Title: Just Catching Up
Date: 4 April 2015
Summary: After dealing with Pharma, Overclock and Soundwave take a moment to catch up. Soundwave gets a better idea of who he's dealing with and Overclock confirms that facemasks don't blush.
<Continues from Reunion with the Good Doctor>
Overclock watches as Pharma flies off and waits until the doctor is well out of sight. Her arm drops and her thoughts fall back to their more subdued baseline. There's still some lingering cheer from the encounter but also some discomfort. Pharma's change was a pleasant surprise but once again the empty is left struggling to find fault in his logic. Her plan has some unpleasant flaws...
Banishing the thought, she turns her head towards a nearby ridge. Instead of keying her radio she just thinks loudly. (( Soundwave, if you're still there I think you can come out now. ))
It doesn't take long for the carrier to emerge. Yes, Soundwave picked up that thought- loud and clear. Which may or may not still be a little disturbing if you think about it. Once he is close enough for comfortable communication, he speaks. "...Inquiry: Did you find what you were looking for?" He certainly got an optic-full, but he tries not to think about that too much.
(( I did, )) Overclock replies, 'speaking' in thought, for her the most comfortable language. It's a luxury she's fond of to use it instead of Neocybex around the special carrier. She needn't bother explaining her thoughts on the exchange though, her emotions have already done that for her.
(( Thank you for watching out for me. I guess he wasn't dangerous to me after all. ))
This brings pause to the Decepticon outlier. Soundwave continues to speak, since she can't hear HIS thoughts. "...Do not mistake his lack of outright hostility for trustworthiness. Any Autobot is dangerous. Pharma especially so. He is particularly hated among many Decepticons for his misdeeds, and for reason. Even among some of his own allies."
The carrier studies her a moment, then adds, "But... you're welcome. I am glad to offer you assistance, and backup should it be needed. You are..." There is suddenly just the *tiniest* trace of warmth to his otherwise flat voice, "...unique."
(( I know, I've been in his mind as well, )) she assures. (( I trust his emotions but not the mech completely. He's not that loyal. But please, )) she continues with a note of annoyance and perhaps even disappointment. (( don't talk with that dry tone like you're still selling me a badge. I don't have one yet but I'm on board and *nobody*, from either side, is more or less trustworthy just because they call themselves Decepticons or Autobots; those are just labels. ))
Overclock reaches out a hand and waves Soundwave towards her as her thoughts of the blue mech once again turn fond. (( Now get over here and get out that cable you carry around. It's not fair to make you do all the talking. ))
Soundwave tilts his head just slightly at that. "To some degree, that is true. A badge on either side does not guarantee soundness of spark or strength of character. And the Decepticons have those among their ranks who are of... questionable qulaity. However..." And here is where the carrier's loyalty and faith in his cause shines through, as it is want to do. His answer is even and thoughtful. "...There is a reason we are Decepticons. A reason *I* am a Decepticon. A Decepticon badge is not a guarantee, but it /is/ a promise. It is something more than simply a label, it is a way of life and a cause we have chosen to accept- despite suffering, persecution and even death."
As Overclock beckons him closer, Soundwave is happly to comply. She is the first person he ever interfaced on an intimate level, and he will always retain a certain fondness for her as a result. Besides, it has been a *very* long time. The boxy blue mech takes out his cable, offering it to her. "...If you insist." Again, there is a subtle note of warmth there.
On the matter of badge loyalty, Overclock's rebuttal is a single word. "Starscream." She likes the blue carrier and agrees with him on many things, but that's not one of them. As the mech draws closer though, her interface panel springs open again and the ex-scienceformer reaches over to accept her end of the cable... and then dives at Soundwave to pin the carrier under her much-enlarged frame.
(( I do.)) There's a fun-loving, palpable smile beneath her facemask as her new, guarded face stops just above his and she makes the connection on her end. Free-spirited as she is, knocking the stiff formality out of her favorite Decepticon is turning into a new hobby.
Soundwave ...can't really argue that much there, either. He doesn't trust the Seeker any more than Overclock does, and he's the one who brought the mech to Megatron's attention in the first place. It's a decision he sometimes regrets, too, as Starscream has done a number of questionable things since then. He gives her an acquiescing nod.
That's about all he has time for, though, as Overclock suddenly pounces. He is surprised enough that he winds up very quickly flat on his back, staring up at her through his red visor. His body stiffens for a moment, especially as she plugs in and that rush of data starts streaming through- on both sides. He regains his balance, as it were, fairly quickly though and a hand comes up to brush against her faceplate. "You have changed in many ways... but the important things remain the same."
As recently as she was plugged into Pharma, Overclock's systems are very much ready for another handshake and the new landscape of her mind is exposed quickly and comfortably. Many things have changed but many remain the same. She smiles beneath her mask and seeks out the optics separated by two matching visors. Insecticon CNA may have added a certain curve to her face, but the carrier was her inspiration for that little detail.
Her own hand reaches down and brushes along the opposite side of Soundwave's face, mirroring his gesture. (( I feel fuller, more alive, even if I'm still incomplete. )) There's a touch of guilt as she recalls just how recently she was plugged into an Autobot and the femme brushes against the blue mech's mind to gauge his reaction.
Soundwave is a mech of infinite calm, with centuries of practice at controlling his emotions. And for the most part he is very even-keeled right now. That said, there is a /slight/ trace of jealousy. Not a large one, nor one of the sort to make demands. But still, it was just a little hard to watch the femme he interfaced with so /intimately/ go and interface with another mech- and not just *any* other mech, but an *Autobot*. There's a distaste there. Soundwave wouldn't touch someone like Pharma with a ten-foot pole. Or forty. Or any pole, innuendos notwithstanding.
He enjoys her touch, his own hand still tracing idly along the outline of her face. (( I like your visor. )) Surfing into the ocean of Overclock's mind, the outlier glides easily forward, noting what is the same, and searching for differences. How have the past 20,000 years affected her? Soundwave is not /that/ different than he was, only perhaps a little more rock-solid (if that's possible) in his loyalty to the cause, his trust in Megatron, and his ability to control his particular talents. (( I am glad. Scorn's handiwork was an asset to you, it seems. ))
(( A gift and a curse, )) Overclock admits as she brushes her shiny new claws along Soundwave's audios. While what she had before could pass as claws, what the beastformer sports now are undeniable. The strong and self-confident hum of systems is animalistic and intoxicating, a pleasant analgesic for the wound in her spark. Overclock's body surges with energy that's coiled and ready to spring at a moment's notice, her senses are more watchful, and there's a distinct verve to her mind that was far more subdued before. In 20,000 years, Bloodhound's gained a body that can keep up with the demands of her mind.
(( You've aged like enerwine, )) the Insecticon teases of the Carrier's sameness. Who he already was is part of what she likes about the telepath.
(( Many things are. )) Soundwave replies. (( So many aspects of life contain infinite possibilities, and what matters in the end is less what that potential is and more what we choose to do with it. )) He seems unfazed by her claws (he is used to his friends having claws, or beaks, or...) and returns the humm of her systems with the deep rumble of his own engine. (( I like your new form. You seem comfortable in it. New... )) His hand traces down her face to her neck and starts following the seams into her shoulders, (( ...energy. ))
She will be able to detect some pleasure at her words. (( I found out who I was the day I met Megatron. It brought me the clarity of focus I needed and I have been finding deeper meaning to it as I go on. But my path has remained the same. I do not think it will ever change. I seek not so much /different/ experiences, but new approaches and deeper understanding of the path I am currently on. ))
(( We're opposites then, )) Overclock realizes as an epiphany from her time in the great hive comes back once again. Showing off just a little, she gives the engine in her chest a firm rev to let its strong bass course through them both; hers is bigger. As it dies off, the Insecticon quiets her mind and shares her new discovery. (( Call me Overclock, or Bloodhound, or Spectrum; those are just labels, like Decepticon or Insecticon. I don't know who I am - I don't have the slightest idea - but I'm okay with that. I know what I am and what I want to be, and I'll be who I will be at the end, whoever that is. ))
(( Who you are is fixed and just growing more solid, but I think change is a constant for me. )) Overclock gazes deep into Soundwave's optics and back at her own at the same time. For the moment, for just a little while, she's close to her natural state again and enjoys a moment at peace. The remaining tugging from her spark and the new shadows and secrets that she's picked up along the way are paved over by the carrier's natural calm, out of sight and out of mind - just for now. (( Thank you for being an anchor for me. ))
Soundwave agrees, (( Yes. We are. )) But there is acceptance in that, not disapproval. The mech has spent so much time in so many minds that he is perhaps far more comfortable with differing viewpoints than many would be. Different viewpoints and different approaches to life are not neccessarily wrong (the Autobot viewpoint perhaps getting the closest to that in his mind, but many of them are simply misguided, not evil or malicious). (( I find it interesting how you constantly seek to improve yourself. To explore new things and find what works and what does not. To... transform yourself. There is value in that. ))
He enjoys the view and their close proximity. It isn't often someone looms over *him*, but this is a very *nice* kind of looming, and he is enjoying it. His hands have both begun exploring the new frame, stroking slowly along the areas he can reach, fingers occasionally pausing to linger and caress whatever seems like a sensitive area in between armor plates. (( I am pleased I can be of assistance. You were my first... deep interface. You are... special to me. ))
(( You're mine too you know. Pharma doesn't count, )) Overclock offers mirthfully as she enjoys the bulky carrier's deceptively gentle touch. The chitinous plates on her frame are alien in subtle ways to Cybertronian anatomy; they round too much, the materials are wrong, and their joints aren't quite right, but just the same they're still Overclock's plates - still Bloodhound's plates. She lets the carrier have a little fun finding some of the seams of her new body (it's at least as fun for her as it is for him), then leans down to brush the edge of their faceplates together. In a pure and primal show of affection, she rubs herself 'cheek' to 'cheek' against Soundwave and draws in a deep breath, recognizing his scent, savoring it, and filing it away fondly. Some of her former namesake sense still very much remains although it's not quite as thorough as before.
Letting the moment pass happily, Overclock gives a gentle urge to relax and lift the carrier's mind back into his brain casing. (( I'm sure you'd love to make up for all our lost time but we do have somewhere to be - and a war to prepare for, )) the femme reminds. (( Come on we should get going, although I have an idea to make the trip a little less one-sided... )) Is that a hint of mischief in the beastformer's thoughts? Oh yes it is.
Despite all his careful control and desire not to allow himself to get carried away with petty things like jealousy, Soundwave still feels a surge of pride and pleasure when she calls him her first, and dismisses Pharma. He does enjoy being close and exploring her frame. It is a bit alien to him, but unlike many Cybertronians he harbors no disdain or prejudice towards it. It fascinates him- he's always had an interest in insecticons, and here he has the opportunity to explore one, of sorts, up close and personal.
Speaking of which, when Overclock comes in to rub faceplates, his hands come up grasp her shoulders for an embrace, sweeping one hand behind to stroke down her back eventually. His engines rumble in response, and the fact that hers are stronger is turning into a very enjoyable, rather exciting surprise. He's usually the larger, stronger individual, and matching power is greeted with interest.
She does have a point, though.... unfortunately. He gives her one more affectionate squeeze before his arms drop away. (( ... Another time, perhaps? )) He prepares to drop the connection, though there is a trace of regret. However, always the professional, Soundwave understands why. And he IS curious about that hint of mischief. (( ...Yes? ))
(( /Definitely/, )) Overclock agrees, letting slip some of her passion to whet the carrier's appetite. Did she know Soundwave wanted a small assurance of exclusivity? Sure, but it's also the truth. Pharma was business and Soundwave, though once business too, is also a matter of pleasure and friendship.
(( Once we're on level ground, let's swap into our alt-modes and I'll hop on. I bet if I lay on you right we can get our ports close and hide the slack in your cabin. )) The scienceformer-turned-Insecticon is smiling impishly beneath her facemask. It's fun enough to mess with the prim and proper carrier in little ways while enjoying her favorite hobby. It'd be even more fun to do both hiding in plain sight.
Soundwave is pleased by that, too. As a carrier, he tends towards close bonds and strong family ties. Ocerclock is not family, not yet... but she is a friend, and he has a fondness for her. Her suggestion is agreed to as well, a gentle amusement coming through their connection from him to her. (( Understood. I am... game to try. )) Since she is on top of him, he will have to wait for her to rise.... besides, he's not in *that* much of a hurry.
That earns a pleasant surprise from Overclock in return. She was honestly hoping to catch the carrier a little more flat-footed with the idea and maybe tease some embarrassment at the potential of being caught cabled to an Insecticon while driving to Kolkular... but on the other claw, she's more than happy to do it for its own sake. Easing herself up off Soundwave's frame, the femme rises back to her full height and offers the mech a hand up.
(( I knew you weren't as stiff on the inside, )) she audibly purrs. (( If you need help getting down from here, I'll let you ride me to the road. It's only fair after all. ))
Soundwave has learned to try new things... at least a little. He's still fairly on the straight and narrow as far as paths go, but if she wants to try something... as long as it isn't outright disruptive or hobbles him on the job at all.... he is feeling conductive to it. Especially right now, after being apart for so long. He accepts her hand and gets back on his feet.
(( I am still learning, and you are an interesting teacher. )) He offers, a small grin under his faceplate. He lifts an optic ridge to look at her, then down towards more flat terrain. (( I believe I can manage, unless you just really *want* to do that... )) There's a trace of uncertainty... he's not used to being mech-handled, after all.
Overclock's frame barely moves as Soundwave puts his weight on it to pick himself up. The femme's new body is stable by nature and she might still be trying to show off a teeny bit. Feeling the carrier's uncertainty, she just smiles. She does so enjoy the rare moments nudging Soundwave out of his comfort zone, and more often than not into hers. Stretching her arms briefly over her head, she disconnects the interface cable and hunches forward as her body reshapes itself into her new, fully beastformer alt-mode... well, beastformer with some definite Insecticon touches. Soundwave might want to avoid the stinger at the end of her tail.
"We can plug back in at the bottom, I don't want your cable getting snagged on something," she explains. "And be sure to squeeze me good and tight so you don't fall off." And yes, the femme's thoughts betray that she means that exactly how it sounds.
Soundwave takes his cable back, watching as Overclock teases and transforms. He looks at this new mode, outside demeanor as calm as ever- until she says /that/. His reaction is subtle, but she may be able to detect that she's hit that slightly awkward place again. His optics flicker behind his visor and he stares at her a moment before *ahem*ing and bringing his hands together to crack his knuckles briefly.
Finally, though, he moves to ride her. This isn't awkward - or oddly exciting in a way- at all. The mech does as told, though her words have brought a slight self-consciousness to the carrier as he grips her now. "Just... let me know if you get uncomfortable." Not that HE is or anything.
Subtle to others but Overclock is learning the carrier's mannerisms a little at a time. She's counting that cough as a victory.
Once Soundwave is settled on top of her, the beastformer shakes herself out to get comfortable with his weight and make sure he's on good and firm. Her claws flex and grip at the rocks as her joints sink under the extra load. She's no freighter and he's not exactly light, but the Insecticon is pleased and a bit proud by how well her body handles its passenger. (( You'll know when I do, )) she reminds, not worried in the slightest. To Overclock this is just good fun.
Crouching down with Soundwave on her back, the four-legged insect leaps up onto the ridge beside them and then bounds nimbly down the hill.