Title: Faith, trust, and Loyalty

PCs: Megatron, Soundwave

Location: Kolkular

Date: 29 April 2015

Summary: Megatron has a word with Soundwave. Plans are made.

One matter concluded and still there is so much more to get to. Megatron considers the deal with Overclock to have been reached, and it has been a successful one. He turns to walk to his next appointment which... is a large, open, unclaimed block of time. In part, this is why he wanted to handle affairs with OC quickly, to make more time for this more private of meetings. Only Protocol is aware of where Megatron means to be now.

"Soundwave, a word?"

There have only been a few times that he has spokn those select words to Soundwave. They are a code if not a command. Soundwave is to lead them to somewhere secluded, somewhere *alone*. Megatron trusts Soundwave to assess where such a location is and to lead them both there. Those words also serve as a polite request because Megatron knows what it is for Soundwave to grant a private audience - to disconnect from everything else to focus on just one bot. It's a selfish request, Megatron knows, but he believes it to be an important one.

As they walk, Megatron fills the march to their seclusion with small talk. " "There has been a great influx to Kolkular. No doubt you heard my address from this morning? More shall come, a great many more. Among them might be spies for Zeta, or even defectors that we should not tolerate. Such as Blurr. I need you to monitor each newcomer to make sure that those within these walls stay safe. Until we march on zeta we cannot afford to be sabotaged from within."

Indeed, in the past several cycles there has been a whirlwind of activity, new faces, thoughts finding expression and and plans being set in motion. Soundwave has had an extraordinary amount of work to do, and he has performed each task with his customary diligence and quiet devotion. Devotion to his tapes, his cause, and to Megatron himself.

When Megatron speaks, Soundwave listens- and Megatron's word becomes the loudest voice in an ocean of words. The outlier has spent a very long time learning to sort through these thoughts and voices that come as a constant barrage. He grows more skilled all the time, though it requires a certain concentration that causes the mech to always work to retain calmness and control. He uses that right now as he focuses in one the words of his leader. And he does so gladly. Megatron is wise and will lead Cybertron to a better future.

He nods to the miner and understands. The blue and blocky shape of the carrier soons leads Megatron down a hallway and towards a room tucked in the back of the base, one where the voices are fewer and further between and where they will not be interrupted. He has already sent Laserbeak to ensure this remains the case, then turns to address the Decepticon leader.

"Understood, and agreed. I have been monitoring each newcomer. Blurr would be untrustworthy, though his former conjunx has more... worthy intentions. However, Feint, Orion Pax, and many of the rest of the Autobots currently here harbor doubts. They are not fully aligned with our cause yet."

"Nor will they ever, not truly. They believe themselves elevated beyond it. That somehow their righteous sense of nobility spares them from the actions that they engage in or makes them immune to the actions they will need to take. It is sickening yet... necessary. Zeta is no fool and the weapons he posses are far too great for us to face alone. The Decepticons... I fear for them were we to make this attack alone. Still, many will be lost and that..." It pains him. This is a Megatron that has not yet made war with the world he loves so dearly. He has fought and he will fight still. He values every bot that has agreed to lend themselves, body and spark, to his cause. It is not an easy decision to allow their deaths to come to pass. He knows that his only true course is to be prepared to avenge them.

"Yet, it is not Orion Pax, the Autobots or Feint I wished to discuss." Now that they are alone. "It is *you* I am concerned about, my friend."

When Megatron says this he *means* it. He has allies but his friends are few and far between. There's Rumble and Frenzy but everyone else... he is unsure of. Likewise, Soundwave is a hard mech to read yet he's certain that Sounder's faith is absolute - more than his own.

"The loss of Nyon was... great. All those voices." Megatron softens. This is a private moment so he is allowed to be at leasta hint of the bot he once was. "You *had* to have heard."

"I have spent a long time among people just like them," Soundwave begins, his oddly harmonic yet monotone voice not carrying past the room they stand in. "Working for Senator Ratbat, living among the corruption and malignancy as I tried to decide how best to help the people like me. The people like Ravage, Buzzsaw, and Laserbeak. Pretending to *be* one of them while their thoughts and intents sickened me. Some are selfish and seek only to benefit themselves, no matter who pays the price. Many more are lazy- either in thought or in action. Their intentions are not evil, but they willingly put blinders on. Taking those blinders off and forcing themselves to see causes them discomfort- enough so that they fall back into old patterns easily. Sometimes without even realizing it."

His head tilts almost imperceptibly as he considers. "Many of the Autobots here fall into the latter category. Their intentions are good, but they are used to following the path that has been set out for them. While they may take some risks there is part of them that is afraid to follow a less beaten trail." The carrier stops and gazes at his leader, a flicker of life gleaming in his red visor. "You have never been afraid to take the more dangerous, more daring path. To lead the way despite discomfort- despite the pain you know you may face- and find that better way for the good of all. And your followers know this. We are not afraid to follow that path with you, no matter what pain greets us on the way. Because ultimately we know it is worthwhile. And nothing worthwhile is gained without a little pain, without some suffering and hard work. As a miner you know this best of all. Nothing worthwhile is going to be easy. And, unfortunately, there will be losses. Losses are inevitiable- but you will make those losses *mean* something in the end."

Upon hearing of Nyon, the outlier pauses, glancing away as he thinks back. Megatron is correct, of course. "...Yes." His hand comes up to pinch the bridge of his nose a little before falling away again, allowing himself the /slightest/ display of discomfort in front of his leader. "It was... disturbing. So many empties, so many people like us, struggling against a system that knocks them down.... silenced by one individual's avarice. The confusion... the pain... conjunx enduras terrified and distrought as they searched for their beloved only to lose them- and then lose their own lives...." He pauses with a shake of the head, "....The noise... the *screams*... it was... It was everything I could do not to lose control."

Megatron smiles.

It's soft, but it's sparkfelt. "I had hoped to speak of you, soundwave, not have you offer such kind words about me. I am thankful for them and your honesty. That is something I wish to honor. For all your bear witness to, all the voices you hear, your own remains true to yourself. Your strength in incalculable, my friend." There is more about that he hopes to get to in a moment, but for now Megatron focuses on his concern for Soundwave.

"There are a pair of mechs. You know how much I trust them. Rumble and Frenzy are the best of bots, true to themselves to the core. I rely upon their friendship to keep me sane, and I believe they could do the same for you. Their aspirations do not lie in bettering their stasus. They are not consumed with motivations of self-serving ambition like others we must surround ourselves with. They speak as the common bot does - because they are. I rely on them because their counsel is true, their intentions common. That is not meant as a slight but rather a compliment. Where they have been invaluable friends to me, I believe they could be to you as well. I want you to reach out to them. They will befriend you, I am sure of it. They will see in you what I do - your strength, your resolve."

That small smile remains. "Even the strongest of us - you - need help sometimes, Soundwave. What we go through, what we *must* go through... relying on others is not a weakness. You know this in some way, with Lazerbeak and the others, but... you need to open up. Take that risk, or you risk becoming lost." Megatron frowns. "I have *you*, but I can't help but worry that you need someone. Or someones," Megatron smirks. "Just as you keep me honest, Rumble and Frenzy might help to keep you sane."

Soundwave listens. Of course, he does this all the time, in ways most other people could not even comprehend... but especially right now. He *focuses* on Megatron and he appreciates the kind words. He knows the burdens Megatron bears and he knows Megatron even taking the time for this small exchange is already a gift. "Thank you. I only wish to serve you and the Decepticon cause... for the betterment of all."

Upon hearing of Rumble and Frenzy, now it is Soundwave's turn to play host to a tiny smile on his face, not that is shows from under his faceplate. "...I am familiar with them and have spent time with both. They are a vent of fresh air to me. You are correct, they are "common" in the best of ways. Diamonds in the rough. I have had some discussions with Rumble, in particular. And he *is* rough. He has struggled and toiled and knows not of High Caste living, but there are times I have found that he contains bits of wisdom a High Caste could never comprehend. I would be honored to bring them further into my family, should they choose to accept."

He pauses a moment. "...Yes. It is... these bonds that keep one focused. Keep one centered. My bond to my family. My tapes, even to individuals like Pursuit, who have been like a daughter to me. These are the people whose voices I return to when the screams grow too... loud."

"They are particularly good at being loud!" Megatron chuckles. "I cannot imagine what it is like for you but I would guess it is like a sea. An ocean. You were once lost int hat, and I know I would have remained that way were it me. I need my thoughts to be my own. So admist all of that, Rumble and Frenzy should be able to make themselves heard over the madness." And thus why he believes his friends should be friends with his other friends. He just wants them all to be able to hang out together.

Megatron then nods. There is no soft way to approach this so he does what he does best; he charges in. "Your devotion to the cause we started dwarfs my own. There is no use denying it: I know it to be true. You *have* to be more bound because of who you are, Soundwave. You know what we all think and... I need you to know my mind. Fully. I need to ask you to undertake a burden that I am unable to shoulder myself. It's shameful to admit but in you, more than any other living thing, I wish to entrust what I hold most precious; my mind."

He sighs. "Our cause will consume me. I will die on the battlefield before I submit. I know this about myself. There is perhaps no length I will not go to that I will not undertake... and I need *you* to hold me back. I need *you* to remind me should I step too close to that end. In *you* I entrust me, more than I trust myself.

"My spark belongs to the Deceptions, truly and wholly. My mind... I grant to you, Soundwave. There must be no corner to our operations that you are not aware of. My every thought must not be hidden from you. If I waver, I will push forward. If I fall, it is on you to carry us on. If I surcome to my own follies... I am asking you to make sure I am not allowed to go too far. If I must be stopped, it is by your hand alone that I wish to have my existence extinguished."

Soundwave gives Megatron a nod, that faint smile still on his lips, "I will be pleased to ask them." Then he quiets once more as Megatron speaks of the cause they both have such invested in. Their life's work. And what he hears is a mix to both stir his spark and bring him some concern... more for Megatron himself and his burdens than for any other reason. Moved, the carrier takes a small step towards his leader. "You have many burdens. And like the great thinker that you are, the heaviest one is the one you place upon yourself." He offers this quietly, seeking to provide some comfort. "You birthed this movement, and I find it hard to conceive of you so losing your way." There's a pause, then, and the carrier considers how to say what he wishes to say next. "...You are correct, though, I can... sense the flickers of doubts. These are doubts any great mind is bound to have... if you were convinced of your absolute righteousness at all times, if you did not question- then you would not learn or grow." He turns his head to look at Megatron. "I... I have refrained from... probing. I did not wish to intrude on your privacy. It is my job to monitor the others, but... to monitor you in such a manner.... it seems... disrespectful."

Megatron's final request brings Soundwave to a quiet halt, and he stares at his leader... the red visor not giving much away, but his hesitation is still palpable. "...You ask for something I... am not certain I can do. I am here to serve you. How... how would I make that call? Who am I to decide such a thing?" Soundwave is a skilled mech, and a compentent one... but he is also still feeling his way into his destiny, and seeking out just where his focus- and abilities lie. The idealistic outlier suddenly finds himself resisting that "unbeaten path" he was speaking of before... and he *wants* to follow Megatron down it, but... can he? This is the one task he never expected to be asked.

"I would defy Primus himself if he rose to stop me. You alone, Soundwave, I trust. In *your* judgment I place *my* faith. You are stronger than me, than all of us. If I go too far..." There has to be someone to stop him, because even Megatron cares about his cause more than he cares about himself. At least in rational times such as this.

"I can have no secrets from you, Soundwave. There can be nothing about what we do that you are not aware of. *Everything*. You must be everywhere, for that is how you can aid the Decepticons. I should *not* know all things - You need only share with me what I must be made aware of. My strength to guide us relies on that. Your vigilance is what will keep me alert to what I must know, to know when and where to act. For this and so much more, you *must* have access to all of me. I respect y you for the coutesy that you have granted me, but I extend to you the pleaded invitation to do what you fear most. For the sake of all of us."

Soundwave is deeply moved by Megatron's faith in him, and wishes nothing more than to be worthy of it. The carrier is silent for a long moment as he takes all this in. Eventually, his angular head bows down. "I am... deeply honored, Megatron." His face turns upwards once more and he adds, "I will do everything in my power to live up to the you have gifted upon me. My life is yours, and our cause's. I will do as you ask... for your sake. For the sake of all those we fight for."

"And I, Soundwave, will value your trust in me to the end of my days. With every beat of my spark, I vow to you to see that you survive well beyond me." Because Megatron believes that to the be the most fitting thing he can promise. He reaches out to clasp Soundwave's hand, at the forearm. A clasp shared by brothers, of mechs more than friends. "I might come to betray myself but I will never betray you."

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