swordage: Text reading "We're a bunch of giant robots that turn into vehicles, I'm sorry if our culture is different than yours." (tf sorry about our culture ol chap)
[personal profile] swordage
Oh my god, what's this? Some more things from that 100 prompts set? Why, it is! Actual productivity! How did this even happen, I have no idea. Some of them are pretty substantial though.

12. Beautiful (Sunstreaker): G, G1

"Look, don't touch," one human scolds another. The hand that had been creeping ever-closer to Sunstreaker's hood jerks back, much to his relief.

They put a dark velvet rope up around him not much later, before the real crowds come in. His plating gleams - the lighting isn't perfect, but it brings out the mellow tones of his color in just the right way. His windows are just the right level of transparency, and even his wheels gleam oil-slick. His interior is as free of organic debris as it will ever be. He is, to put it finely, gorgeous. And every sentient being in the building knows it.

He's far from the only beautiful vehicle there, but he is the only incognito Autobot. The humans worship him from behind the ropes, taking pictures that will never live up to the real thing, and it doesn't matter that there's another Lamborghini to his right - he is beautiful, he is admired. He is surrounded with words of awe, flashes of light glinting off the curves of his perfect finish. It's everything he could want.

And yet...

And yet.

***

14. Children (Wheeljack and Dinobots): G, G1

No one else seems to understand what it means that they are his creations. He has known every part of them, built them from scraps to sentience. They are clumsy and dangerous and sweet and loving and he did not know how much he loved them back until they were locked away like any other failed mechanism.

"They can think," Wheeljack said.

"Not well enough," Prime said.

Wheeljack was not the only one to build them, but he is the only one to visit them in their cave and just be with them. He learns things he'd never programmed into them - that Grimlock is their leader, that he is impetuous and tempestuous, that where he goes the others will follow.

Wheeljack manipulates him, flatters him into behaving the way Optimus thinks is proper. It hurts his core to tell his giant children to be submissive and docile; it hurts him more to see them cast aside like so much trash.

It's for their own good.

***

26. Formal (Optimus and Megatron): G, Movieverse pre-war

Optimus never could quite align his color-nanites in just the right patterns. Megatron was gleaming shades of silver and titanium, sigils seeming to dance over his plating with every shift of the light, but Optimus still struggled to even remember which ceremonial pattern he was supposed to be using.

Megatron laughed, a rumble like well-warmed gears, and touched the flare of one shoulder. "Like this," he murmured, and his clever fingers sketched out designs. Color blossomed in his wake, red to contrast blue, primary colors from which all else came.

"Will you..." Optimus began to speak, but Megatron already moved to touch his back, tracing out sinuous and unreadable patterns. Optimus obediently woke the nanites where he touched, and if he shivered then Megatron moved with him to keep the designs unsoured.

"Now you are presentable," Megatron said, stepping back to admire him. Optimus moved into the shining circle of his arms anyhow, pressing their chest-plates together, spark to spark. They thrummed together for a long moment.

"We should go," Optimus said regretfully. "It won't begin without us."

"Wing Command would be happy to run it without us," Megatron laughed, but he was the first to step away anyhow.

"A surfeit of ambition," Optimus sighed. "I am truly presentable?"

"Truly." Megatron nudged his shoulder, no patience for hesitation. Optimus nudged back - perhaps childishly, but it made Megatron laugh. They went together, in subliminally synchronized step, to stand before the Allspark in its cradle and a hundred silent frames awaiting newsparks, and if there were a greater proportion of fighting-builds to service-builds Optimus made no note of it in the excitement of their entreaty.

***

34. Sunlight (Scorponok): PG, Movieverse

The light here is full of colors, the bright multi-spectrum flare of helium. Scorponok likes the mica-fine sparkle in the sand, the way everything soaks up the energy and heats the air to rippling. He likes to flatten out on the surface after too long in the cool underneath. There is warmth everywhere and it's nothing like cold space, nothing like dead Cybertron. It is alien and fascinating and he falls a little more in love with the planet with every noon spent baking in its desert.

The heat gathers best on the altmode he shares with Blackout. They sit silent on the sands, rotors gently spinning when Scorponok twitches a limb. Soon. Soon the humans will be exterminated and he will dive through the sand freely. But for now, he clicks softly within Blackout and waits.

***

88. Finally (Dinobot and Rattrap): PG, Beast Wars season 1

Dinobot's pebbly hide gathered misty rain in tiny droplets. Rattrap tried not to wonder what they would taste like. He hadn't been out long enough for the water to gather in his own fur as anything more than a silvery shimmer.

"Hey, Dinobutt," he said, trundling up beside him. He was careful of his footing - the dumb Pred was standing way too close to the cliff edge, and Rattrap had zero interest in being a fuzzy splat in the river.

"Vermin," Dinobot said - but it was more subdued than it should be, with hardly a snarl at all. He didn't even look aside from his blank stare out over the waterfall.

"You coming inside yet?" Rattrap looked up at the rough creases where Dinobot's throat met his massive jaw. A thick drop of water zip-zagged along the lines of his skin.

"I am keeping watch." One clawed hand twitched slightly, a few droplets shaking loose. Rattrap tried not to groan - Dinobot was doing no such thing. The great big lunk was moping.

"He's not coming," Rattrap said after a moment. Dinobot looked at him sharply, lips twitching back from predator-sharp teeth. Rattrap knew better than to flinch. And then Dinobot just looked back out over the river. "We kicked Megatron's skidplate hard enough to hole him up for a good long rest in the R-chamber. He's not coming." Dinobot just ignored him that time.

Cog-for-brains needed something a little stronger than a reality check, then. What he needed was... a distraction. And there wasn't anyone better at distractions than Rattrap.

"Hey, gear-gizzard." Rattrap hissed a Maximize and reached out to grab Dinobot's muzzle just as the scaly face turned toward him in surprise. "You don't have to pine for him anymore," Rattrap said in the most grandiose manner possible, not even trying to suppress his snickering, "I'm here for you, lizard lips."

And then, in one quick motion, he licked a bold stripe up Dinobot's leathery nose and bolted.

He needn't have bothered running; when he hit the lift and had to stop anyway, he looked back to see Dinobot still staring after him with the best wide-eyed expression of shock that Rattrap had ever seen. The sound of the lift headed up seemed to shake Dinobot from his impression of a pointy rock, and he gave a little shudder and growl. Rattrap blew a little kiss at him just before the ship broke his line-of-sight - the snarl of annoyance carried clearly, though, and Rattrap couldn't hide his self-satisfied smirk.

Optimus' little smile stopped his stroll through the bridge dead in its tracks.

"What are you grinning at, boss-bot?" Rattrap said, careful to keep it cheerful. Wouldn't do to put the big guy on edge with a too-mutinous remark.

"Nothing," Optimus said mildly, turning back to the monitor. That only lasted a moment before he couldn't help adding (with barely-supressed laughter), "It's about time."

"What?" Rattrap knew he squeaked. Squealed. Whatever. "What's that supposed to -"

The lift hummed to life. Rattrap jumped, took one look over his shoulder, and ran for the hills - or the holes, or the service hatches, as the case may be.

"It's just Dinobot," Optimus called after him, sounding outright baffled.

Rattrap tossed a wave over his shoulder, grinning at the distinct hrrfle sound of Dinobot's disgruntled snort, and hollered back, "There's no fun in letting him catch me!"

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-01 06:34 pm (UTC)
sharpest_asp: Black and white art of a hissing snake arounda  dagger (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharpest_asp
I think, oddly, my favorite here is the PreWar Bayverse.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-01 07:41 pm (UTC)
sharpest_asp: Black and white art of a hissing snake arounda  dagger (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharpest_asp
+grins+ I am glad to know you are reading it! I keep thinking of it by the first chapter's title, but usually when we write a series, we do switch up the titles for chapters. ((Our Epic rewrites of DC Comic history come RIGHT to mind for that))

Trying to find a balance between G1 naivete and innocence with more Bay reality salted in (and the better humans) has been interesting.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-01 09:56 pm (UTC)
ilyena_sylph: transformers insignia with autobot upper half and decepticon lower half, in red and purple (Transformers: One species)
From: [personal profile] ilyena_sylph
*squeebles gleefully!!!!!*

Oh, just knowing that you're reading is awesome.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-01 08:24 pm (UTC)
katharos: (science wheeljack)
From: [personal profile] katharos
Oh hey HELLO Megatron and Optimus being young and hot! I really like how in tune they are with each other right up until the end and the cold hand of the future.

Dinobots! ;_; Wheeljack breaks my heart . Been avoiding that episode.

Sunstreaker! I like the way it's left not clear exactly what it IS that's missing but there's a hollowness nonetheless.

...I'm going to have to watch BW. But argh I have to finish at least ONE continuity before I start another one!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-01 09:54 pm (UTC)
katharos: (megatron optimus surprise!)
From: [personal profile] katharos
I am so ridiculously in love with the idea of them as twins. Yessssssss that's what yanked me into the fandom in the first place. And their whole relationship exists in a backstory of bittersweet adorableness because I can't imagine how they could ever come back together now. :(

I like to think their rule was amazing. Because Megatron/Optimus working together - how could it not? But yeah there had to be some pretty deep fractures for the rebellion to have happened. My personal headcanon is that Cybertron became a really big power under their rule. But they (and the population) were split on what being 'Great' meant - for Optimus it meant being a great economic and humanitarian power, a powerful voice of reason in galactic politics but not dominating other sovreignties. For Megatron it meant military power, an undisputed Galactic Empire and in the end the difference cracked them and the planet apart. And maybe they had some colonies that were starting to demand independance and Megatron sweet talked them.

Sorry, word explosion. ^^;

Yep, first Dinobot episode. The one where Optimus really, really goes against my entire fangirling characterisation of him. ;_;

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 02:22 pm (UTC)
katharos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] katharos
*laughs* I'm not exactly optimistic about governments myself! I work in one - they're generally full of fail. :p

Hmmmmm. I think - presuming they were able to move the levers of power - (and a LOT of this depends on what the structure of Cybertron's governement was - how much real power did they hold?) they brought in some sweeping changes and made things better for a lot of mechs. But - law of unintended consequences - it made things worse for others, some good ideas didn't just translate to real life. And the longer their rule laste the more difficult it was to implement change and people who believed their early promise resented the failure (see: Obama) and of course no government can ever give everyone what they want - because people want mutually incompatible things. And one person's Golden Age is another's dystopia. *wry*

But I like to imagine they were amazing. Because it just makes the fall even more painful.

The most realistic backstory for the war I've seen is L Mouse's Masks. Except they're not twins in that story. *sadface.*

My viewing of G1 so far has been sporadic so I can't really add to this! But yeah. All fandoms have the fanon elaborations of characters to an extent but I've never seen it taken as far as it is in Transformers. Consequence of v. flimsy characterisation to begin with a multiple canon characterisations? I love it. It's like this enormous fandom hive mind built up over decades and decades to something far richer than the original. Seeker culture. The Seekers themselves! Characters and relationships and back story, and people can pick and choose and make up new stuff that may or may not be assimilated and no one can legitimately say 'OMG that's not canon!' *cough*

Um yeah. To return to original point. My favourite Optimus the one who is a good leader in both senses of the word, a bit of a dork, occassionally fallible, and a bit of hypocrite because you can't be both 'good' and a leader in a war which has almost exterminated your entire species without being slightly hypocritical. But one who loves his Autobots - and anyone else who gives him half a chance - with all his spark. And who sincerely upholds 'Freedom is the right of all sentient beings'. And I've been able to reconcile the GI version one to most of that so far except, yeah. Dinobots. ;_;

I've read and like other versions of Optimus though - have you read Vigil? It's basically: Optimus gets hit with a clue-bat RE: the Dinobots. http://www.transfan-asylum.net/scribblings/vigil.htm

...yeah, Optimus makes me babble.

('m trying to remember now if I ever commented on your twins/Optimus fic. I know I wrote a rec for it but not sure if I commented. *checks* Ack, no, I didn't. I fail. It's one of my very favourite Optimus fics. :))

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-04 10:28 pm (UTC)
katharos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] katharos
I don't think I have read that - it sounds really cool!

And yeah, I know what you mean about the awesome. I started writing an epic AU back in... March I think? gulp. Focused on Megatron and Optimus. It's progressing in awkward fits and starts amid wails of 'not enough awesome!'

Transformers theology is fascinating! They have empirical evidence that their souls exist. What does that do to a culture? And ack, yeah. Relgious war. I hadn't thought of it in those terms before, but yeah. I'd be really interested to know the thoughts you're teasing out!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-05 08:30 pm (UTC)
katharos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] katharos
Engineer of Souls is amazing. wow.

I've read a couple of fics where there's an off handed joke about people 'not being allowed to proselytize to the giant robots.' A fic where they were could be really awesome in a train wreck kind of way. And then there's that really awesome fic in the Borealis series where Optimus and the Dalai Lama have a long conversation.

Ohhhh, no, I really like that idea. Something closer to Buddhism than monotheism? Heh, so is Starscream a heretic of on a religious quest? If he believes his true function is Leader of the Decepticons...

why am I logged into this account

Date: 2010-10-05 10:46 pm (UTC)
lex: (freedom is the right of all)
From: [personal profile] lex
Oh gosh yes I loved that conversation. It was just so PRIME. And I personally think Prime is the love-all-Primus'-creatures type, even when clearly humans aren't Primus' creatures, and he'd be tickled by the various human religious and how uncertain they are. So adorable! Ickle little humans!

Well, if you consider the split between Megatron and Optimus is probably also a religious one - perhaps the Decepticons were promised that the function they were created in need not define them? And thus, Starscream really is the Decepticon ideal, because he does not take "know your role" as an answer. I mean, Optimus has always been Prime, but Megatron MADE his place as leader of the Decepticons. It didn't exist before him. I really think the Autobots rallied to Prime, but Megatron built his faction. So, yeah. Those are my thinky thoughts.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-01 09:55 pm (UTC)
ilyena_sylph: bust level shot of comics Optimus Prime  (Transformers: Optimus prime)
From: [personal profile] ilyena_sylph
OH, Sunstreaker!!!! Oh, Sunny, honey.... you beautiful broken darling mech. *blows kisses at him*

I like the Wheeljack one, that goes to some of the things I really don't like about G1.

For Bayverse, I love Optimus and Megatron being twins. For G1 I really can not take it. But oh, that was fabulous.

And the Scorponok pice is fabulous. Just... I love it.

BW was never my favorite, but that was cute!!!!!!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-02 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] spacehussy
I really, really, really need to get off my ass and give you more prompts because you do MAGIC with them.

Let's see - the Sunstreaker one kind of inexplicably gives me the creeps. It's such a sordid little window into mind. Like, I genuinely feel like I'm invading his privacy just by reading it, if that makes sense?

You could not have done a better job with Wheeljack here, I think. I'm basically just reiterating what everyone else said, but you really do his relationship with the Dinobots some justice. I love Optimus on a large scale, but when it comes to the Dinobots, fuck I hate him. It makes me unspeakably happy to see that at least someone loves them for what they are.

Prime and Megatron - oh dfkjghkghdfhgfdk. Keyboard mashing cannot express how much I love that one. I love their youth and their closeness, in just a couple short paragraphs you capture how I like to think of them pre-war. Also, omg yay color-nanites :D :D *glee* No paint! Nanites!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love when you write Scorponok? I love that his intelligence is ambiguous, hinted at. I seriously just love him in this, just him hanging out with Blackout in the sun and loving the planet, which is completely unrelated to the gross little creatures that currently inhabit it. I love that line, dive through the sand freely.

Goddamnit you're making me miss Beast Wars, and we haven't even finished G1. BLARGH. Anyway, I love how fun this one is D: It's so relaxed and cute and they're amazingly in-character. You really do a good job with Rattrap's dialogue - I can hear almost every line in his voice, and that's without trying to type a ridiculous accent for him. But I'm sure you're not surprised by how much I appreciate that <3

p.s. hi ilu and your stories are so wonderful to read.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 01:34 pm (UTC)
katarik: DC Comics: Major Slade Wilson and Captain Adeline Kane, text but I can make you better (What's the point of false modesty?)
From: [personal profile] katarik
Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuunstreaker. Oh, Sunny, *honey* -- that's beautifully him, with some really sensuous details. I love the bits about how polished he is, the way you can nearly see the way the flash glints off his frame and the shine of his hood.

And then. That end. And yet. When he doesn't even know what he's missing, and suddenly reading the story felt kind of voyeuristic. Oh, Sunny.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 01:37 pm (UTC)
katarik: DC Comics: Major Slade Wilson and Captain Adeline Kane, text but I can make you better (Default)
From: [personal profile] katarik
WHEELJACK. There is nothing about this piece I do not love, including that he himself didn't know how much he loved the Dinobots at first. Ow ow ow. That episode causes me pain in my *soul*, and I love him finding bits he didn't program into them, how much it hurts him to manipulate them into being... stuff they're not. Soldiers, not the leader Grimlock *is*.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 01:43 pm (UTC)
katarik: DC Comics: Major Slade Wilson and Captain Adeline Kane, text but I can make you better (Default)
From: [personal profile] katarik
I kind of want to give Optimus a hug. And also Megatron. And and and basically BABIES. *hugs them, fears for them*

I love the bit about Wing Command's surfeit of ambition, and there being more fighting-models than service-models and Optimus barely noticing, and how it's nanites and not paint and how sensual Megatron tracing the patterns into him is, but *quietly* so, if that makes sense -- it's something the story doesn't flatly say, but you can see it in that one quick mention of Optimus shivering and the way they thrum together for a moment.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 01:46 pm (UTC)
katarik: DC Comics: Major Slade Wilson and Captain Adeline Kane, text but I can make you better (Default)
From: [personal profile] katarik
Nnnnngh, Scorponok. I love Scorponok, I admit this freely, and this is gorgeous -- he's still designed and programmed to kill things, that didn't get left out, but he *loves* Earth for reasons that make complete sense. Of course he would love Earth more than (dead) Cybertron, with its sand and its ever-constant primary and its *heat*.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 01:47 pm (UTC)
katarik: DC Comics: Major Slade Wilson and Captain Adeline Kane, text but I can make you better (Default)
From: [personal profile] katarik
I have never seen BW, but this story kind of makes me want to.
Edited (right verbs, self!) Date: 2010-10-03 01:47 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 02:18 pm (UTC)
katarik: DC Comics: Major Slade Wilson and Captain Adeline Kane, text but I can make you better (What's the point of false modesty?)
From: [personal profile] katarik
I HAD AN EXCUSE TO USE THE 'PRETTIEST' ICON I HAD TO.

You could disguise hugging as polishing, maybe! And then he would accept your weird squishy ways.

Yeah. It's... it's better, but it's still not *good*, and that's a painful thing to write because it's so much of what happens with a lot of our actual lives. The space we're in isn't the right size, and sometimes it's got sandpaper in, but there didn't used to be any space at all.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaabythem. *coos at them*

I also like that you made him intelligent without really taking sides on the drone-or-sentient war. He's obviously intelligent, sentient or not is up to the reader.

... sddsfjldsfjklfdsjkldasjklsdfjkl um. Your encouragement is kind of sound. Um. *eyes you thoughtfully*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-04 10:50 pm (UTC)
ext_407633: (Default)
From: [identity profile] empty-geas.insanejournal.com
Simply beautiful.
I love the contrast in the Sunstreaker piece. All quite perfection above and the restless hollow beneath.
And Scorponok is so cute in his own ruthless, kill all the meatbags way. It's fantastic to see his joy in the warmth and light, especially when it's shared in good company.

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