Title: Rebuilding Nyon
Date: 9 May 2015
NPCs: Vehicons (Overclock)
Summary: Everyone copes differently and Bulkhead copes by building stuff, big stuff, whole buildings. His project attracts some attention.
The atmosphere here is an unsteady mix of hope and mourning. Even after it's cooled and the last flames have burned out, Nyon still lies a decimated, bare husk with corpses freely intermixed with the rubble - must unrecognisable even as far as their alt-modes. Slow winds wind down the now open streets keeping the ash clouds suspended, and there's no mistaking the smell that hangs in the air.
A rough pedestal has been forged from unpolished metal in a clearing nearby and three piles are taking shape beside it: one for useful scrap metal; one for workable, smelted material; and a third for any bodies found in the process. Cybertronians large and small are busily picking their way through the rubble and hauling what they can to the work site while maintaining a buzz of activity on the local radio frequency used to coordinate their efforts.
No one overseer is directing the labour, instead the work is guided by whoever sees a need or has something to offer; as richer veins of valuable scrap are found calls go out for extra hands to move it while artisans building the monument send requests in the opposite direction for specific metals. It's democracy in small-scale and while it proves to be an imperfect process with regular debate, through collective effort it does move forward. What was an empty clearing has begun to bear witness to a monument for all Cybertron and one martyred mech most of all. While only the lower portion of his body has begun to take shape, a roughly-scrawled name proclaim's the statue's identity: Orion Pax.
After finding his way up from the underground, Bulkhead finally returned to Nyon. The surest evidence of this is not that the mech has done any work on the memorial area - on the contrary, he's snagged some materials from it. One of the large buildings that had a slight list to it where the shockwave from the phase charges that were set off has pushed it slightly onto one of the hulks of an Omega Destructor has had a large scaffolding built around the two of them.
Within the Omega Destructor, parts come falling out from where the Vamparc ribbons were removed and discared and the massive corpse seems to be becoming part of the building itself.
In the ironic twist that what had wrought destruction to the area, Bulkhead is working to use this particular Omega Destructor as a support for the building it was nearest, building it's frame around it in an attempt to make it habital again. Poking out from the head of the creature, the large mech looks over the schematics he's drawn up on a whim and directs some of the bonding. "Make sure that the support struts on the legs are good and grounded. We're gonna need to drive them further into the ground once we have it stabalized, just to ensure that there's no further issues with ground tremors and instablity."
This is the same mech that freaked out and fell down a hole over the mention of ghosts yesterday. Today, he's back in his element, not really concentrating on anything else but the single-mindness of his work. "And be careful. I don't want anyone else falling down a hole. It's scary down there." Okay, so it's not a complete reversal of his personality.
Just as Bulkhead is cautioning his work crew, Hot Rod pops out of one of those holes like some sort of underground terror. Ooga booga. He looks a little dusty and the worse for wear, but that's what happens when you're crawling around through half-collapsed tunnels beneath the ruins of a city.
All the noise and construction visibly sets him aback. Hot Rod seems more surprised by reconstruction than by memorial, and it's the first he sasses with his hands on his hips: "Do you have a permit for that?" he calls at Bulkhead.
Blasted flaming moles. Wait, that's not a flaming mole. That's a mech. And it's asking questions. "Oh." Bulkhead states, as he considers from where he is in the head of the Omega Destructor. "One second!" he offers as the large green mech pulls himself out of the hole in the head of the creature and stands on the ledge before he jumps down onto the shoulder and takes the quick way straight down, landing firmly on his leg struts with a loud /thud/. Dust kicks up around him as the guildmaster steps from the debris. "Considering that I issue the permits, I hope so!" he offers, as he feels around on his hatches. Permit, permit, he had it with him this morning. Oh.
He pulls out the datapad with the proper authorizations on it and a schematic. "See. We're going to bring in the Omega Destructors like an open cul-de-sac around the memorial." he offers, showing where the Omega Destructors are moved in, cruedly drawn and painted over - courtesy of Bulkhead and his 'art'. "I want to link all their arms together in a skybridge that interconnects all of the buildings with sky views from each head and places for Cybertronians to live.. and.. oh my Primus."
He suddenly recognizes the bright paint job, sassy hips and spoiler. "You're Hot Rod! You're the first one to stand up to Zeta Prime, you're like.. a hero!" he offers in sudden surprise in realization, and then he ducks his head, and looks down. "I.. uh.. am Bulkhead.. I was.. on Zeta's staff.. as the engineering guildmaster. BUT I DIDN'T KNOW HE WAS MAKING THIS!" his hand gestures towards the massive creatures. "I didn't know.. but I want to make it up to you. To Nyon.. to Pax and his team. To myself. I'm so sorry, Hot Rod. Can you forgive my ignorance?"
Cascade has been contiuning her work to document this ulgy part of history. She's been going though the ruins and trying to give as unbaised coverage as she can. She's mostly silent through it all the images should speak to themselves. There were some heartbreaking things she found. She had however seen so much and just was wondering if she's got enough saved here, before she goes back to her other work. She does however start moving towards the statue and looks over the various work that's been done here.
"Can't believe you didn't just go through," Hot Rod mutters, not as much under his breath as he probably thinks. He leans slightly to the side to consider the damage done to the ground by Bulkhead's shortcut. It's not so bad, actually. (Especially considering the damage that Hot Rod's done. Er.)
Hot Rod's grin breaks into a laugh as Bulkhead actually goes looking for a permit. "Oh, mech--." He lifts his hands to interrupt, but it's too late. Bulkhead's got the datapad up, the authorizations out, and then there's a schematic too. The laugh lingers in the curve of his lips and brightness of his eyes, but Hot Rod drops his hands with something like a shrug.
Recognition brings a fairly shameless warming of Hot Rod's manner. ~hero~. He's magnanimity itself as he basks in the glow of being called a ~hero~. "Yeah, sure, why not. Primus, Bulkhead--" He stops, checking with the other mech to be sure he had the name right. "You're hardly the only one who was blind to what Zeta really was. Even Orion Pax--" Pause for starry eyes, dimmed in momentary grief. "--it wasn't until all of this--" He gestures, indicating the fallen Destructors and the destruction beyond. "--before /he/ opened his eyes. Can't really expect more from anyone else, huh? As long as you weren't part of this, you're okay in my books." He offers Bulkhead his hand. "I'm just -- kind of surprised to see people rebuilding so soon. Maybe I shouldn't be." His smile slips a little rueful, and the brightness of his gaze is darkened by a passing shadow. He shakes his head.
Lumbering across the broken pavement of Nyon's streets, a black Insecti-hound hauls a fresh load of materials for the monument visible in the nearby clearing. Overclock didn't make an especially small pedestal and the large form of Orion Pax is slowly taking shape atop it. Right now though it's mostly just skeleton. Far from the quietest thing in the dead city, the weight of her load threatens to crack the already damaged ground underfoot as she balances most of a steel beam on her back, bracing it with her tail. Two more workers are with her carrying a similar load, black muscle car alt-modes bearing more metal across their identical shoulders. All three of them share the same black colouration and by now the ash gray of Nyon's air has hidden any other colours on their frames.
The group stops as Bulkhead and his project come into view and offer another shadow in Hot Rod's direction. The beastformer among them cocks her head at the jury-rigged scaffolding. This wasn't something she'd asked for... "Waff the scraff?" In addition to the beam on her back, Overclock is carrying a smaller piece of metal in her mouth.
"No.. I'm too dumb for any of this.. probably why Zeta brought me in.." Bulkhead offers in self-depreciation. "So he can just have someone to keep busy while he did what he did.." His hands wave around at all of the destruction they are surrounded by. Admittedly, Bulkhead probably did green light something hidden, and just never realized it, in all honesty.
"Well, a memorial is great and all. But mechs and femmes can't live in a memorial. There should be more, right?" he asks, all about the positive outlook of it all. "And those things may be evil or something, but that doesn't mean that they can't find a way to make it better." he taps his fingers together, forgetting about the pad until it cracks audibly. "Oh. Uh. Scrap." he mutters to himself.
At the hand is offered in forgiveness, Bulkhead considers it for a moment. Someone really should have warned Hot Rod. Because at the pure joy of getting the approval of a true HERO OF CYBERTRON, Bulkhead picks up Hot Rod in both of his arms and gives him a crushing hug.
...he's totally got Hugging as a skill. So at least Hot Rod won't be hurt.. much. Just ignore the popping of armor plates that have probably been long out of alingment.
Cascade says "From what I know you got the skills for your job and had to claw your way through the system. I think you were one of only good picks for the senate by him to be honest."
She's just speaking her mind here and she look sover the memorial it's not bad work at all, she sees that Overlock is hard at work, but she also thinks about what Bulkhead's saidf there were some from Nyon who made it not many but a few many of them were empthies who'd be in desperate need of fuel, repairs and who knows what else. Then comes the crush hug and gigets the first laugh out of Cascade in quite some time.
Hot Rod exhales with a muted, squeaky startled vent. Once he figures out that it's not some kind of attack (/probably/) and that Bulkhead's not roughing him up for shanix (look, Nyon is -- was -- a rough neighborhood), Hot Rod returns the hug with a hearty slap on Bulkhead's arm. Or -- he tries. His arm is a little ... compressed. Just like his spinal plates. "Yeah, nice to meet you, too!
"You've convinced me. You definitely weren't one of Zeta's," Hot Rod laughs. He steps back, glancing over at Cascade. His smile lingers and he shrugs ruefully at the laugh. "Hey. You with him?" he asks, hooking his thumb at Bulkhead. Glancing past her to Overclock, he studies the work crew only a moment before looking back. He avoids looking too closely at the memorial.
Cascade is a not overally tall Femem with blue, grey and some green armour plating whom is with Hot Rod, Overclock, and bulkhead. She'd called for someone she hoped would help her in her work. She guessed he might work with people on the con's side but? IF those were cons that wanted the same as her? She's not going to argue it. She does smirk at Hot Rod.
"He followed me home what can I say. I think he's a keeper, and ya your right. Bulk's no lacky of Zeta's that's for sure."
"That's Cascade. She's an arch.. arche.. ar.. historian." Bulkhead finally manages as he gestures towards the small femme and shakes his head. "You have a little more confidence in that than I do." he manages with a self-depreciation smile as he glances at the approaching Overclock and her .. friends .. and takes a step back. Secret Decepticon cloning pits. It's just like 'Invasion of the Clone Bots from Clone-B-Tron'. They look very punchable for some reason, though Bukhead can't put his finger on it.
The punch to his arm gets a little laugh. "Keep drinking your energon, you'll get big and strong." Like him. And roly-poly, too. Cause Bulkhead indeed is one big stocky drink of energon to take in. The large mech reaches up and rubs the back of his head thoughtfully. "I thought that I'd make some additions to your idea." he mentions off-hand to Overclock. Because, you know, memorial. Can't live in it.
"Yeah? What about you? Were you with Zeta?" Hot Rod asks even as Bulkhead is introducing her. That takes care of that, then! He nods an easy greeting, despite a question that could sound sharp. "Hey, Cascade. 'M Hot Rod." Just in case she missed that. "So you're a historian, huh? Well, you've certainly to the right place." Because Nyon is history, right. RIGHT.
"Busy addiffions. Waff are you doing?" Overclock asks Bulkhead directly as she walks close, flanked by her posse. It's hard to tell by tone whether the black femme is pleased or angry that the builder has coopted several of her helpers in the process.
Those flames are hard to miss, and Rewind finds that he's glad for that fact. The small mech- another archivist, no less- steps into the general area of the others, though they may not notice him yet. Unlike Hot Rod, he's not particularly noticeable. But that's Ok, he's used to recording things with his video camera, not being in the spotlight himself. Besides, he's a little distracted.
A survivor of Nyon, he's still in a bit of shock right now. It all seems surreal. He's been recording scenes of what's left of his city all cycle. In fact, he's been working at it tirelessly. Obsessively. The more he can focus (ha ha) behind the camera lens, consider what zoom length to use or aperture or the best angle to film.... the less he has to think about what happened. Those charred bodies seem more... distant somehow when viewed from behind the lens, so he's been hiding there. Focused. Yeah. But now he comes across this scene. He's heard of the memorial and that's something to archive as well. He remembers meeting Orion Pax, being impressed with the mech, and now he's yet another casualty to the senseless violence that keeps lapping at the heel of Cybertron. Rewind stops and looks at the others, taking a moment to gaze at Hot Rod and try not to look too melancholy.
"She wasn't part of it, no." Bulkhead admits as the large mech stands up to his full height. He's not afraid of taking responsibilities for his actions. "A memorial is great and all. But this ain't about one mech.. no matter how much.." a gesture towards Pax's legs. "He had help. He had a team. Not only them, but all of Nyon. Hot Rod. Arsenal. Ariel. Hound. Ironhide. Bumblebee. You know - not a one man show. And this shouldn't be a one mech show." the engineer admits.
"We should be focusing on rebuilding. You can make something pretty, but it's something pretty in a wasteland. And wastelands don't do anyone any good." he says as he looks between the group. "So. You can decide if ya wanna help big picture or keep it small."
Cascade says "Pretty much, used to work the Rust Sea looking for lost things before everything went to the smelter. You work stood for it self Bulkhead." The mech really did think he was worth scrap when while he might not be bright he wasn't stupid and his skills were impressive. "Me? I was dragooned by Pax as a scout just as things were going bad. Things went from there, and good to meet you. Something like this can't be allowed to fade away. If it does it might happen again."
She pauses to see another transformer coming by and she notices whom it is it's the one who she had contacted eariler. She looks to Rewind and tries to smile a bit.
"Good to see your still functional."
Catching Rewind's gaze, Hot Rod hesitates a moment before lifting his hand in a wave that splits the difference between greeting and invitation. His smile slips a little crooked as he acknowledges the other ex-rebel. He watches Rewind, even as he addresses the others: "Yeah, but who're you rebuilding for?"
creeeEEAAK--*CRUNCH*! The metal in Overclock's mouth wraps and then shears apart as the Insecti-hound closes her mouth and swallows the portion left in it. "We're not even finished with the war," she disagrees to Bulkhead. "Now's a good time to pause and recognize the people we've lost so far, and a memorial done well will bring everyone together like they need to be. I'd love to see Nyon back on its legs, but who do you think you're housing?"
"And I plan for the monument to move to Iacon. Nyon deserves something larger, and unique."
Rewind grins (behind his faceplate of course) when cascade greets him. With a wave, he steps closer. "Hi. Yes. I was... one of the lucky ones." He stops to brush one hand against his other arm and glance away. "I guess." Returning his gaze to the other archivist, he continues. "I'm glad to see you're Okay, too."
He turns to give a wave to Hot Rod as well, and moves in a little closer in response. "Same for you." he looks up at the other mech thoughtfully. "How are you?" He knows it's a loaded question, and he hopes it's not too much. He looks to the others and will give them a small wave as well, should they look his way.
Bulkhead stands there for a moment. And he looks utterly confused as the mech is asked a very hard question for those processors that usually don't have to think so hard or so deep.
This isn't an engineering question. It's a personal question. And a deep personal question. Who is he really doing this for? The mech stands there for a long moment. And then he finally speaks.
"I don't know." he says honestly. "Maybe myself. Maybe to null myself to the idea that someone I had once trusted would do this. Maybe in the hopes that someone will see it and come back. Maybe for our future. Maybe.. I don't know. It's a lot of maybes. But better to have maybes than nevers, right?" he asks the group.
And with a hint of frustration in his pose and voice, not aimed at anyone but himself, he turns to lumber back to his project. Noone may never live there, but he feels it must be done.
Hot Rod says, "Ha," rather than answer, and reaches out to flick the side of Rewind's camera in a careful gesture of friendly roughhousing. That's a question that doesn't need answering, then. There's a thin hint of strain that only Rewind would really recognize beneath his front of easy friendliness. It's a pretty good front, though.
"What do you mean, we're not finished with the war? Zeta's dead." End of story. Hot Rod puts his hands right back on his hips and frowns at Overclock. "Bulkhead's right to think about the future, at least!"
Overclock, foreman elect of the memorial project, pauses at length to consider Bulkhead's response and then nods solemnly. "I understand. Do what you need to, just try not to gather too many workers at once. The monument is on a tight schedule already."
The pair of vehicons at the femme's side set down their load in unison with a hefty thud and then, with effort, heft the larger one off Overclock's back and set it down as well. The bestial femme rises into her root form once it's removed, no longer doing the work of two mechs. Proof of how long she's been working, even her root panels and head are coated in ash despite being normally concealed within her other form. "The war didn't end when Sentinel died either," she answers to Hot Rod. "Until the Senate has been removed, permanently, all the other draconian institutions of that government are shuttered, and every polity on Cybertron and Luna-2 aren't pinned beneath their heel-struts, the war isn't over."
Cascade watches Bulhead leave, he's a good Mech who got dragged into poltical games. It's a miracle he's surived them and lived to see Zeta Prime's takedown. She lets him go and turns her attention nwo to business for the most part. "Least leave a record right?" She now turns to the matter at hand. "So I'm looking to speak to you about a few things Rewind, there's more that could be lost ... as painful as it is to say. The sorts of thing if they can be saved might keep this ... from happening again."
Rewind doesn't mind Hot Rod's answer- he's not going to press him for more, one way or another. He can sense the tension, and can guess at the reasons. Things will come in time. Instead, he reaches to give the flame-bedecked mech a brief pat- on a leg, or the side, whatever he can reach. "It's good to see you. Are you helping out here?" He keeps the questions forward-facing.
then he's back to focusing on Cascade. "Archiving, in other words. Heh, well, that's what we're good at, right? I'd be glad to help any way I can."
A very small, white and gray Cybertronian with a faceplate. He has a video camera attached to the side of his helmet.
"Nah. Well -- maybe. I haven't decided. I came over to figure out what was going on." Hot Rod smiles, just a little crooked, with a strange distance to the words. Not like he has any say over what happens in Nyon, of course! NOPE. DEFINITELY NOT.
"Anyway, you want an archivist, he's great!" Hot Rod is happy to recommend Rewind to Cascade. He even pushes him toward her, just slightly, with a hand at his shoulder.
Looking past the pair to Overclock, he shakes his head. "I don't know. I mean -- maybe there's stuff to clean up, but with Zeta dead, there's not really -- anyone stepping into his place. No one ever had a great answer for what happens now, but I think it's time we think about how to really make equality a /truth/ instead of an /ideal/."
Overclock keeps her attention on Hot Rod but the Vehicons flanking her take more of an interest in Rewind's little form and their visors stay trained on him and Cascade. Ever shy however, they keep silent. "Anyone with an answer to *that* is welcome to step forward," Overclock replies. "You're Hot Rod?" The Insecticon femme asks out of nowhere.
Cascade gets the idea not pressing for Hot Rod for more information she knows it's a bad idea he's suffered a lot and is mourning the loss of his home city and everyone who perished in the blasts. She looks to Rewind. "In my own way I been making a record of eveyrthing here. So it's not forgottoen. You understand the state of the planet, yes? Certain things could ... use backups?"
Rewind gives Hot Rod a nod. "Yeah, same. I've been filming and..." His voice trails off. Again... potentially touchy subject. Maybe he shouldn't bring it up. "Well, you know. The usual." Suddenly he's nudged Cascade's way, chuckling slightly at the praise. "Thanks, well... I try." He notices the Vehicons watching him and returns the gaze, his red recording light flickering as he films them. "Who're those?" He asks before turning to listen to Cascade.
"Yes. It's an important part of keeping a record, making sure there's backups, and triplicates, and ...well, you get the point." He taps his helmet-mounted video camera. "I'm making records- of here, of this monumnent, the activities here... the activities surrounding us. Everything could be important, or lead to understanding not only what happened beforehand, but learn patterns that can help us understand the future, too."
Hot Rod laughs at Overclock's reply, but it's a laugh that shows thin at the edges. The flash of his smile is almost a grimace. "Yeah. Well. I was kind of hoping /someone/ had an answer." He definitely isn't stepping forward, though. Shifting his stance to a hip-shot lean that emphasizes the spoiler in his shrug, he grins. "Yeah, that's me. What gave it away?" The attitude? The posing? The spoiler? The paint? The naivete?
"Roll-up and Roll-out," Overclock answers to Rewind as each Vehicon nods in turn. Then she walks over to Hot Rod... and glances down. "You have a distinctive frame," and says no more on that. The femme reaches out and offers a clawed hand. "Thank you."
Cascade says "Yes I started out in teh Hall of Records when I was younger I get the drill. I figure I'd be having less work saving it now then finding it again later right? That's exactly it if we don't get the patterns we're going to do it again. This is dangerous given how long our species lives." She is keeping an eye on Hot Rod and Overclock but isn't wanting to interfear much.
Rewind grins a little under his faceplate, nodding as Overclock answers him. "Nice names." Then back to Cascade. "Yes, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, right? Okay, so... what were you thinking? Try to find and backup as much data as we can? Was there anyplace in particular you wanted me to go? Or some subject you wanted me to find?"
"Don't forget this." Hot Rod taps the flames on his chest, all mock offense that she's marked the distinctive frame but forgotten the /flames/ on his /chest/, I mean -- /flames/. "You're-- welcome?" He glances over at Cascade and Rewind somewhat uncertainly as he reaches for Overclock's hand. Who is Overclock thanking and why. Is she thanking those two for being nerds?? "And you are? Besides some kid of sculptor, I guess." He doesn't even seem to find that strange with her frame. Nyon is (was) very open-minded, then.
Overclock smiles a bit beneath her facemask at Rewind's small compliment. Truth be told she'd made the names up herself, for ease of communication more than anything else. As the group of Self-Awares talk, the twin Vehicons turn once again to their load and wordlessly lift it back onto their shoulders before continuing their walk to the monument site.
"I'm Overclock," the femme answers, giving the unsuspecting rebel a brief but firm squeeze on par with Bulkhead's hug. She tries not to leave anything permanently bent at least. "I don't know the first thing about architecture. If I'd been hatched in Nyon I would have been working with you sooner, but maybe we'll get to see each other more in this new world order." Glancing towards the retreating Vehicons, the Insecticon uses that as her cue to leave. "Time for me to get back to work. If you want to talk again for some reason, keep up or use the work frequency. It's got idle chatter as well as logistic traffic."
Crouching down by her discarded load, Overclock heaves the metal bar off the ground and back onto her shoulders before trudging off. Cascade, Rewind, and Hot Rod are given a collective wave.
Cascade says "I was hoping as a neutral party you would be willing to make addtional backups of what I find so no matter what happrns a copy of the information will be around for future generation as old and trite as that sound. Overclock's been doing quite a job on this project too hasn't she?