Surfing with the Alien Ω
|Fenspace Infinities material. Fenspace Infnities material hasn't "happened" by the current timeline, though it's already been referenced in future-history or alt-history Fenspace stories and discussion. Here there be dragons of questionable canonicity, you have been warned. --The Mgt|
Surfing With the Alien Ω: A Time to Die
(Written by ClassicDrogn, posted 25 July 2008)
The battle had been... epic. Epic in its reasons, epic in its numbers, epic in the ways it had been fought, and as far as Hotseat was concerned, the most amazing of all had been Wave Convoy - and not just because he was her "father." He had gone through the enemy like a fusion turbine, slicing off little chunks with his blades and leaving only expanding plasma in his wake. It wasn't until the aftermath that they'd realized he'd been using an afterburner that consumed himself - the technique he'd first tried back in 2013, at the fall of Crystal Osaka, which had almost killed him then.
It was killing him now. More careful programming of the gravity nodes that spread out the internal shear gradients and stronger construction after the last time had let him keep it up for nearly an hour rather than seconds, but simply exerting that much force had taken its toll. When he'd been retrieved, every joint in his frame was rag doll loose, actuators long destroyed and shattered out of the way by continuous forced movements. The twin swords that had taken such dreadful toll were welded messily to his forearms, the hands that should have held them likewise shattered. The right was gone completely, the left hung by the energon cables and data lines where the wrist joint had failed. The rest of him was little better, the heavy cybertronium armor scored and broken, and grey with soot in those few places not left completely black.
Black, like a starless void, like the the gaping empty feeling in her fuel tank at the thought of a universe that didn't have him in it. Scrap it, it shouldn't be possible for him to die! Stasis mode had saved him the first time he tried this bolthead maneuver, the little energon he'd had left all collected in the head and the connections closed between it and the body, consciousness and every other system shut down save a piezo pump that pulsed every few minutes, circulating the energon just enough to keep his laser core lit.
The thing was, he'd reached the brink of stasis shutdown a few minutes too early, and erased the subroutine in order to fight on. The data port to connect to his offline backups aboard ship had been damaged, and you couldn't just shut down a core's functions piecemeal externally, not if you ever wanted it to come back online, and so now they were going to lose him.
She understood, now, why he'd added tear ducts to her body design, despite serving no practical purpose when her optics were fitted with ultrasound cleaners. Though she'd never been a human they way he had, the act of shedding tears felt... not good, because it was possible nothing would be good ever again, but right. It was like admitting to the universe, "This thing makes me sad, too much to hide behind pride. It's something that is worth being seen sad over." Hugging her arms closer she slumped against the bulkhead and let the little spurts of diluted energon fall like glowing gems.
They'd gathered in the garage bay, the small group of mecha pilots and "real Transformers" who'd finally gotten him to accept leadership as organized Autobots. He'd called for them as soon as the damage was pronounced terminal - not that most had been far away to begin with. It wasn't any real mystery what for - they were nuts enough about the source material to claim allegiance, after all - and if the four color "systems monitor" set up beside the repair bed left any room for doubt it was quickly dispelled when Wave Convoy glanced around at his collected subordinates and spoke.
"My time in the light, is short," he began, formally, before looking at his chosen successor. "Tigre, my friend. It is to you I will pass the Matrix."
Uncharacteristically flabbergasted, the black and grey fembot named staggered back a step, gaping, golden optics wide in shock. Quickly gathering herself, she protested, "You, you gotta be shittin' me, C! I ain't no leader, I don't even wear an insignia... I'm the bad one. Hell, I'm still makin' up for stuff that only happened in a TV show and fake memories, I'm not good enough to be in charge!"
"That never stopped any of you from following me," he countered. "I was a regular shmoe, a little lazy, a little selfish. I had to work at it. You've worked at it, and I have full confi...dence in you..."
The blue glow of his eyes flickered at the hitch in his voice, and the armor panels below his chest grille and insignia opened to reveal the dark grey casing of the Matrix chamber. His words continued to be interrupted as most of the available processor time was taken up by high-speed data transfer. "It's not quite... like the movie... no plot device power... to shatter villains... or end plagues... but it will guide you... through your doubts... and you will rise... to be the light... in our darkest hour..."
As the chamber itself opened, a blinding blue glow spilled out, the whole room washing out to nothing but that brilliant, shimmering radiance and a few jagged black shadows cowering desperately behind the assembled Autobots' backs. It was breathtaking, and nothing like it had ever happened on those few other occasions Wave Convoy had shown the device off. As the glow faded, so too did the light in his optics, and weirdly enough the colors of his paint job, washed clean of grime as well as they could in the short time while everyone had gathered, did as well, leaving him grey and silver from head to foot rather than the green and gold that the 'wave had bonded into the structure of the metal itself.
Tigre lifted a hand to her face, looked at it as if it was alien, then dropped it again, drops of radiance forming a moment later at the corners of her optics. She extended the human-sized "minihands" in the first two right fingertips and retrieved the Matrix from its socket in Wave Convoy's chest compartment.
Hotseat wanted to look away, to watch anything but this moment that somehow finalized the loss and made it real, but she couldn't. Some corner of her mind noted that she might have felt jealous, or at least worried that things would follow the movie script more than intended and leave her in, well, the hot seat, but if anything it was a relief, and the thought that "big sis" Tigre couldn't handle anything that came her way all but ludicrous. More importantly, watching meant showing respect, and for all the trouble and teasing she'd given him from time to time that was something she definitely wanted.
A faint trace of energy seemed to wash over Tigre as she set the small construct into her own containment chamber - something that they all had, essentially the definition of "real Cybertronian" construction along with a laser core and Energon power - and a few pieces of gold trim appeared in its wake along with a white-outlined red insignia on her chest, giving the dark color scheme a regal look rather than shadowy.
"Huh, kinda tingles," she noted, "but I don't think I'm gonna turn into an RV now." Just to make sure, she stepped clear of the small crowd, out into the hangar proper, and transformed with the familiar multi-toned crunch. "Nope, same old Trans Am, guess it really don't... doesn't work like the movie." Her scanner bar whooshed a couple of times, then she returned to robot mode, muttering thoughtfully, "And if that's the kind of guidance he was talkin' about this is gonna be even more of a pain in the a... ass than I figured. Fuck."
Raising her head, she gave the collected Autobots a serious look, more serious than most had ever seen her. "Okay, I've never been big with words, but I guess this is part of my job now so I'll give it a shot. Wave Convoy... no question he was the first of us, and I'd say he was the best, too. He always said he didn't deserve it before but I think he's proved he did, and more than once... so let's remember him as Optimus Prime, 'cause if the suit fits you should at least wear it at your own funeral. Whatta you guys say?"