We are a literate, intermediate to advanced AU Transformers RPG Based off of the first season of TFP with dashes of other incarnations sprinkled here or there. Characters from any continuity are welcome however must be restyled to match the TFPrime universe.
Active, with ongoing plotlines, we are always willing to integrate new characters into storylines once incorporated into the setting.
Cleaver’s praise did not go unappreciated. The old mech’s field warmed considerably at the compliment, which was quite a feat considering how cozy and amicable it had been from the onset. He was a long-wave through and through, and while that alone typically clued mecha in on his gregarious nature, it wasn’t until they were close enough to be in the very thick of things that they tended to notice just how deeply his affable disposition truly ran.
He had known Cleaver less than an hour, and already he seemed to regard her as a fond friend.
“A reference. A drawing, actually.” He replied, before gently rolling the little statue between his hands, from one to the other then back again.
“A member of my parish was quite the artist. She loved to draw, loved animals even more. One day she gave me one of her pieces as a gift and, well, I decided to return the favor.”
He chuckled a bit, looking fondly down at the statue in his hands as he brushed a thumb over its little head.
“It’s no masterpiece, but you wouldn’t have known that, judging by the way she treasured it.”
He went silent then, turning the little figure carefully in his hands as he recalled a distant memory, his field and smile alike turning wistful. After a few brief moments of quiet, the old mech looked up suddenly, realizing he had lost himself in thought.
He offered Clever a sheepish smile and an apologetic smile for the inconvenience.
“I’m sorry, we we’re having a conversation, weren’t we? Pray your mind doesn’t wander as much as mine when you reach my age, I lose so many good thoughts these days.”
It was easy to recover from the earlier faux pas in the presence of such a gentle mechanism, who seemed to radiate kindness and patience like heat from a sun-baked stone.
Cleaver had found herself caught in the nostalgic drift of Altruous's words, optics dimming but remaining fixed on the small sculpture. She blinked out of her stupor, acknowledging the Vector's smile with a brief nod.
"No, it's good to reflect. Objects can carry such memories and meanings. Stories. I collect them."
"Yeh hoard'em, love," came a new voice from the far end of the bar, punctuated by the slow, heavy footfalls of a tank-like frame. "Ain't nothing sentimental in bleached antelope skulls and empty tic-tac boxes."
Layby came to stand in his favoured place on the other side of the counter, casting a warm smile on both Cleaver and the slender mech sat beside her. New faces - always welcomed and appreciated in his bar.
Cleaver sat back on the stool and rocked one hand between them, taking on the task of introductions. "Layby, this is Altruous, who may be joining us for a bit. Altruous, this is Layby - resident High Grade producer and security."
The big blue and green mech inclined his helm in greeting. "Good ta meet yeh, Altruous. Always glad to have new additions to our little colony. Particularly when they're peaceful-like."
Altruous perked up at the sound of the newcomer’s voice, his head turning to catch a glimpse of him as he walked leisurely into the room. The old mech’s face lit up instantly, the brittle, cracked metal around his optics crinkling into crescents as he grinned.
He watched the fond banter between Cleaver and Layby silently, all too happy to bear witness to a quiet moment of domestic bliss. He did his best to keep it to himself, but he was a long-wave through and through, and so his field betrayed his thoughts on the scene.
If one could turn giddy clapping into a feeling, that is precisely what could be sensed in the old priest’s field.
As Cleaver made introductions, he shifted his weight a bit, adjusting his relaxed posture as he held out his hand for Layby to shake.
“The pleasure is all mine, I assure you.” He replied, sincere as could be.
“Your lovely medic has been keeping me company, and I must say young mech, you have excellent taste.”
He grinned at his own joke, laughter bubbling in his field as he gave Cleaver a conspiratorial wink.
Layby took the mech's hand in his, engulfing it with the utmost care. He squeezed once rather than shook, not entirely trusting the ancient joints and his own strength.
The former soldier was clearly enjoying this far more than the medic. He chuckled at the embarrassed flash across Cleaver's optics as much as at Altruous's remark.
::Relax, love,:: he sent over shortwave. ::Preacher's probably got the happiest longwave ah've ever met.::
Cleaver straightened on the stool, her engine harrumphing. ::Can't wait for him to team up with Sarita...::
"Can't wait fer yeh to see Sarita again an' tell her the news that yer stayin'," Layby said with a grin, finally releasing the medic's hand. "Bitlet's a curious sort, an' ah've never met an Order mech weren't a good storyteller."
An icon flashed inside the seam running up Cleaver's left forearm boom, and a tinny ringing noise could be heard coming from the Medbay. The chicken-shaped timer was going off.
"Excuse me," Cleaver murmued, already halfway off the stool. "Recondition a vat of coolant out back. It was a pleasure, Altruous. I'm sure that Layby will be more than happy to help you settle in."
Layby nodded and rested a forearm across the bartop, simultaneously leaning in and settling his weight. Getting comfortable. He didn't wait for Cleaver to take her leave of the bar, his optics bright with interest on the frailer mech.
"'fraid I've not spent much time with the religious caste, so ah don't know what yeh might need here whilst yeh stay." He rolled his hand outwards on the countertop, pointing to the doorway with his thumb. "Yeh got a case stashed somewhere needs picking up? Or were yeh travelling just subspace-and-compartments?"
Altruous made a point of giving Layby's hand a reassuring squeeze as they shook, to assure the larger mech that he was in no danger of hurting him. The rest of his body may have been brittle and weathered, but his hands were in considerably better condition. The rest of his body could fail him, but so long as he had his hands with which to tend to the sick and injured, he would be a happy mech.
As Cleaver took her leave, the old priest waved and bid her goodbye, before turning his attention to the mech who took her place as his company. The burly mech's question made him chuckle, his optics crinkling into crescents.
"You're welcome to try to bring it all in, if you're up for the challenge."
He gestured with his staff, dipping it towards the atrium's main entrance.
"Though, I'm doubtful you'll be able to fit the entire ship through the doorway."
He smiled at his own joke, his field rippling with warmth and good humor.
"In all seriousness my fiend, I have only what I need, and need only what I have. The Concordia has little of anything of value within it, though you and yours are free to help yourselves to it all the same."
"Ohh, don' let Cleaver go hear yeh sayin' that!" Layby groaned with a pantomime grimace. He pressed the knuckles of his fist to his mouth, optics bright with mirth. "Femme's a hoarder like you ain't ever seen. If yeh're meaning 'ship' like a pod, or -Primus forbid- a real ship, she'll have every dial, bolt an' scrap bit of wiring boxed up and overflowing outta the basement."
The 'basement' referred to the storage cavern they'd found in the lower tunnels, notable only for its massive lockable door. Looking at the patchy schematics the Decepticons had gifted them when they took the abandoned site on as a DMZ, the area looked to be an overflow storage vault if the Nemesis had to miss sequential pick-ups whilst productivity was high. It had never been used.
Now it was full of packing peanuts, George Foreman grills, various animal parts and a hundred thousand old magazines bundled with cable ties. Layby thought of the 'basement' as a handy room-sized fuse of flammables should they ever need to blow up the mine.
The big mech rapped his knuckles on the bar, smiling wide and easy. "We were holed up in our ship out in the Australian desert for goin' on sixty Earth cycles. The amount a crap she got to fit in there was... Well, that's medics for yeh: waste nothin' might be useful."
Layby glanced towards the door as if realising that Cleaver might have wandered back (unlikley) and perhaps not appreciate his assessment of her careful material stockpiling (definitely). Then, with a rueful sort of pride, he went on. "Other week, she found out that the little plastic tripod things t'keep the pizza box lid from touching the cheese is the perfect shape an' conductivity to separate tensile fibers durin' rethreading."
The thick rectangles of his brows inched higher. "Which somehow justifies a hundred of the fraggin' things."
Laughter spilled from the old mech's vocoder, light and crisp and pleasantly warm. He laughed not just with his voice but with his eyes, which waned like crescent moons as he smiled a fond, joyful smile.
"Oh, Primus bless." He shook his head, his shoulders bobbing sightly as his laughter seized hold of them as well.
He hadn't the faintest idea what a pizza is, or why they're packaged in boxes, or why those boxes would need to be protected from whatever "cheese" is (or is it the other way around?) but he didn't feel the need to ask for clarification. The details were unimportant - he understood the meaning Layby was trying to convey all the same, and that is what mattered.
"I'm sorry to say that what I have to offer is indeed a ship. Of the capital S variety. Nothing awe-inspiring, mind you, but it has served me well over the years despite being nearly as old as I am."
The Concordia was, at this point, older than most of the mecha still fighting in the war. It had survived throughout thousands of years, and throughout those thousands of years it had traded hands only a handful of times. It was in Altruous' which they stayed the longest, and it was with him it would stay until he found someone who had more need of it than he did.
All that someone or someones would have to do is say the word, and it would be theirs.
Layby leant forward resting one blocky elbow on the bartop. He pointed a single blunt finger at Altruous, and though his expression was serious to the degree of coldness, his field hummed and flickered with absolute amusement.
"Now listen here, mech: if y'make that offer within audio-range of Cleaver, she is gonna demolish yer ship. Yeh won't ever get it back." Ah'm talking bolts in boxes; stacks of hull sheets; anything upholstered she'd 'ave the stitching out of; and Primus forbid yer wiring's still good. She'd have me sat rolling spools fer days."
He withdrew his finger into a clenched fist, which then shook a little for emphasis. "Again."
Shaking his head a little, Layby let slip the smile he'd been suppressing and set his arm back flat on the countertop. "If yeh choose t'do it, after yeh think about it some more, it'd be put to good use. Generosity ought t'be passed forward, and Cleaver's made an art outta fixing mecha with things been scavenged and saved."
Straightening back up onto his pedes, he reached beneath the bar and pulled out a wadded mesh cloth already damp with cleanser. He rubbed it in smooth, slow circles on the bar to sop up the few drops of energon he'd spilled in his tirade.
"Livin' here with us don't mean yeh owe us anything," Layby said softly, meeting the Vector's optics from beneath the thick plates of his orbital ridges. "Help where yeh can, but we're all here for more or less the same reasons. Ain't gonna exploit someone just wants ta get along peacefully."
Altruous was, and always had been, a mech who loved easily. He gave affection freely, allied himself loyally and without condition to those of whom he was fond, and never in his life did he feel regret for taking others into his spark, even when doing so resulted in heartbreak, or worse still, betrayal. Despite all the reasons a mech might have to harden their heart, the old priest still gladly regarded everyone he met with goodwill and open arms.
The old mech was, without question, unflinchingly and unapologetically loving.
That said, it should have come as little surprise that Altruous found himself taking the mech before him, this goodhearted mech who laughed easily and smiled wide, and finding a cozy little compartment inside his spark to put him away in. They had only just met, but already Altruous decided he was going to adopt the hell out of this mech, and there was nothing he could do to deter him. It was set in stone - the process was already in motion. If there were legal documents he could sign, Altruous would have already sent them in to be processed.
"Owe?" The old mech repeated the word with a half-smile, his optics glowing warmly with quiet amusement. "Believe you me, young mech, my offer hasn't anything to do with feelings of obligation, or the idea of owing a debt."
He took hold of his staff then, using it to help support his weight as he leaned forward in his seat, his tone lowering in a conspiratorial fashion as if he were about to share a deep, personal secret with Layby. He even went so far as to look over his shoulder for effect, to make sure there were no witness around to hear what he was about to say. Once sure that they were alone, he turned to look back at Layby and favor him with a wry smile.
"I just don't want to make insurance payments on the old thing anymore."
No sooner did the words leave his mouth did the old mech begin to chuckle at his own joke, his optics glowing bright with mirth as he reached out to pat Layby on the shoulder, as if in apology for setting him up for such a terrible punch line.
Layby remained hunched over the bar, grinning and snorting a laugh at the unexpected punchline. Altruous's hand was a negligible pressure against his arm, a drawback of armour thickened and treated to withstand explosive blasts at close range. Sensation was dull to come through. The old mech's field was something else, though: filtering between his seams and warming something deep and core.
He shuttered his optics a moment, just revelling in the odd feeling of peace and comfort that leaning close into the Vector's field evoked.
"If yeh're sure," he rumbled, only leaning back into 'his' side of the bar when Altruous moved away.
It was troubling how easy he could imagine sitting up late talking to the spindly mech. Maybe with some High Grade and soft music, just talking about their travels. Altruous just seemed like one of those sparks people gravitated towards as a friend.
Clearing his vocaliser, Layby shook his head a little with a rueful smile. "Ah'll make sure yeh get first pick on the salvage. Might be some material yeh can use fer sculpture. Wouldn't be right to not keen summut from yer ship."
One would think the priest's face would get tired of all that smiling eventually, but despite the odds the little old mech's warm, quiet grin was still going strong. It helped that he had such pleasant company to keep his grin from ever wanting to fade - but then, Altruous had gone so long without company of any sort that he likely would have taken to Layby even if he were of a less agreeable temperament.
The vector was a social creature by nature. He could do well enough in solitude, as he knew he was never truly alone so long as he had Primus in his spark, but even so, he was prone to loneliness as all creatures who live for others are. In those long months he spent adrift, Altruous had grown to miss the sound of voices other than his own, and the feeling of a friendly field buzzing in the air as a steady reminder that he was not alone. He missed being able to talk like this, to hold a conversation with someone about nothing of consequence.
Most of all, he missed having someone to care for. It was a disconcerting feeling, having no one to help, no one to fuss over. He felt lost without someone to dote upon, useless almost. He knew full well that his age was catching up to him, and that he wasn't good for much anymore, but the one thing he could still do well despite the inhibitions of his failing body was care.
Now that he finally had other mecha around to care for, the old mech simply couldn't help but smile. He had survived all the trials and tribulations which accompanied his solitary journey through the stars, and at the end of his road he had found a new, beautiful home on a new, beautiful planet, and best of all he had the opportunity to be a mother-hen again.
As far as the old priest was concerned, all was right in his world.
Shuttering his optics, the old mech let out a quiet chuckle, shaking his head fondly. "Alright, alright." He said warmly, placating, as if Layby were twisting his arm on the issue. "If you insist."
He leaned back in his seat, his worn joints creaking slightly as his plates shifted and settled. He held out his hand to Layby, palm up, fingers pressed together. Then, with a bit of concentration, he summoned another small scrap-metal sculpture from his subspace. This one was more detailed than the first, less worn-looking. Evidently, it was one of his more recent pieces.
In his hand stood a tiny figurine of a cassette, a tiny little avian-model with a long, graceful neck and broad wings.
"Though I must warn you, if you allow me to save too much you'll find trinkets like these hiding everywhere you look."
"Nowt wrong with that," Layby chuffed, not even trying to sound like he could be annoyed by discovering random ornaments around Haven. He leaned forward a little to peer at the small figurine. "Most'a th' time, been livin' in places decorated on just function and necessities."
His tone was admiring and warm, genuinely happy to be shown what was obviously a hand-crafted piece of art. For a moment he was envious of Altruous's thin and dexterous fingers; the way he could turn the sculpture in his hands without any risk of dropping it or crushing it.
Layby had tried to pick up one of James' sachets of cat food without the special rubber-tipped tweezers Cleaver had made for him. The creamy brown gunk had mashed into the tiniest crevices and taken an age to soak out. He'd been so disgusted that he'd made feeding James the one and only task Sarita needed to perform to 'earn her keep'.
The sculpture was beautiful. It'd genuinely crush him if he accidentally damaged it, or anything else Altrous made.
"Promise ah won't touch any I find." He held his hands up, splaying his wide, blunt fingers demonstrably. "Not got the most delicate touch in the 'verse. Good for shifting heavy loads, not so good for handlin' fragiles."
It made him think of the few times he'd carried the two human women who'd lived here. Sarita, particularly. He'd been terrified to even vent on the organic wrong lest her skin break or pressure changes made her lungs collapse.
He needed to spend less time thinking about how humans could be damaged, clearly.