There is a scream.
Now, normally, that would not mean anything. On the battlefield, screams are usually drowned out by gunfire, orders, shouts and other such noises. If a scream /is/ heard, then it is usually regulated to the background while survival and combat are focused on instead. Distractions get you killed, after all.
This, however, is different. Much different. This Scream isnt heard by audios nor does distance affect its potency--this is instantaneous, as loud as if it was right into your audio, and full of fear and pain. There is only one mech who Hears it, and the effects are immediate. He, who has been busy jamming communications and sniping unwary enemies, sharply stands as straight as a statue as his crimson visor flares bright red.
A sudden feeling, akin to glass shattering, stills the battlefield as it leaves a confused uneasiness in its wake. Nobody knows what is wrong
only having this bad feeling that something is Not Right.
Only one spares a glance over his shoulder at the dark statue just within the furthest edge of the battlefield. He has seen this before, but it has been so long and so rare that even /he/, the great Decepticon emperor, fears what may happen next. Soundwave, he whispers, his voice betraying his dread and sounding almost like a shout in the dead silence.
The Decepticon communications officer, Megatrons right-hand mech, does not reply nor gives any indication that he had heard the Decepticon leader. The only ones who dare to move are his charges, the Cassetticons, and they disappear from sight without so much as a whisper--and when Rumble and/or Frenzy can accomplish this with no fuss, thats quite an accomplishment
and quite ominous. However, only 5 disappear--the sixth, the newest and the one who had Screamed, lies on the ground, still and in very bad shape.
Soundwaves gaze is drawn to the fallen tape, and his visor flashes a bright pure white--and stays that way. Slowly, the Decepticons hands rise to his shielded face and clasp, most fingers intertwined except for both pointer-fingers and both thumbs, which simply press together. These fingers form an L shape--the thumbs press beneath his chin while his pointer fingers line up with the center crease-point of his faceplate, the sides of the tips resting against the point of his nose. His visor dims to complete blackness as his face tilts downwards ever-so-slightly and his body relaxes to a far more ready stance.
A quiet voice breaks the silence, a rumble like the forewarning of an incoming earthquake or thunderstorm. It is monotonic and flat, with no musical undertone to counteract the low, sinister darkness swirling just beneath the surface. Wayl uu forsa, ste al ke umeti xi prot malfas safegip xi al.</u>
The vent in the center of Soundwaves forehead begins to glow a dim red from behind the slits as a lingering chime of a small bell seems to pass through everyones psyche, leaving a deep chill of deep-seeded dread to shudder their forms in its wake.
The Autobots recover first and react, ignoring the Decepticons as a whole as they begin focusing all of their attention on Soundwave. Some of the braver ones--the Twins, Ironhide, Hound, and Mirage-- form a frontline as some others gather around the fallen Cassetticon. Still others begin to fall back with the intent to shoot from afar, and yet Soundwave ignores them all. His sensitive sensors begin to clock into overdrive, his perception sharpening and spreading out as a new sense begins to unlock--thus creating the impression that the Autobots are slowing down.
His voice releases a stream of more ancient words, too fast to be understood easily (even though it seems to be normal speed for him) yet growing in power and volume. Ste al xi siltum malfas omea hunlt lepas pekah bala al!</u> His voice sharply rises from loud to thunderous--monotone or not--as his hands unclasp and his wrists cross in front of his faceplate. ZEPHE!!!</u> He roars as his arms snap to the sides, palms upwards at about waist-height and elbows slightly bent. His head tilts back as a power surge seems to course through him, the light within his forehead-vent sharply flaring from dull crimson to a bright red--like a third optic coming fully online.
A loud, ominous sound comparable to an echoing gong lanced through the Transformers as the final locked mental shield falls away, filling each mech present with a shared, yet unspoken, fear and confusion at just what is happening.
Soundwaves head bows, shoulders tensing, and everyone subconsciously takes a step back--no matter how far away they are or what faction they ally with. He does not crouch, nor threateningly step forwards one step, nor gives any warning at all--he simply bursts forwards in a silently dead sprint as his visor flares back to life, still glowing that blindingly bright white.
With shouts of warning shattering their frozen dread, the Autobots open fire while those furthest away scramble to get to a good sniping point and keep their distance. The Decepticons, still frozen and uncertain of whats going on, are almost afraid that their Communications Officer will be cut down before he takes more than a few steps. However, it becomes clear that no shots are directly hitting him, some merely skimming past and leaving a black charred trail in its wake at best.
Foolish. They betray their plans from within, as clearly as if they had shouted them as loud as they could. It is too easy to simply move just millimeters to make their shots miss.</u>
Soundwave does not slow nor flinch at the show of firepower. With a single-minded determination, he clenches his hands into fists as he lowers one shoulder, spearing Ironhide to the ground.
WHOMPH! The sharply gruff exclaimation burst from the veteran as his back slams--hard--into the ground, with surprising force, making his ventilation systems hiccup for a split second. Wispy smoke begins to rise from his fingertips as he lashes out with a swipe towards Soundwaves helm, but a blue hand shoots up and grabs his wrist in a vice-grip before it could get close. The Decepticon locks white visor to blue optics as that odd light from his forehead-vent pulses white--and Ironhides optics flare white as well as he roars in agony
then lies still.
That alone took probably less than ten seconds from the spear to Ironhide going offline.
Foolish again. You thought, thus you lost. You will survive, but only if he continues to live.</u>
Sideswipe and Sunstreaker move as one towards their downed comrade, but Soundwave is in motion before they take more than a step. He stands, pivots, and throws Ironhide at the duo, knocking them back and to the ground. He spins, clocking an unprepared Hound with a spin kick to drop him, and lands at a crouch, one hand against the ground. He leg-sweeps Smokescreen, sending that Datsun to the ground, before refocusing back on his true objective.
Before he can move much further than a few steps, still crouched somewhat, something lands on his back and wraps around his neck, constricting his throat--for what its worth, although this something is completely invisible to his physical sensors. He ignores this presence for the most part, fully rising to his feet before deliberately turning his back to a hail of gunfire from the wiser Autobots who had kept their distance. A soft hiss of pain, easily picked up by Soundwaves hypersensitive audios, grants some pressure loosening from around his neck, and a single backwards-elbow-strike dislodges this unseen presence altogether.
Soundwave spins and launches a stiff uppercut at seemingly nothing (even though it seems to strike /something/) before his vent-light pulses white again. Theres another agonized shout as a light-created box appears at an apparent apex of an upward flight, and Mirage materializes out of it--and his optics are glowing white with a noticeable dent under his chin. He does not move as he falls and slams into the ground some distance away, apparently unconscious long before he returned to Earth.
Not even /your/ special ability can hide you from /mine/. Did you learn nothing from what happened to your comrade?</u>
Soundwave can see and sense the Autobots anger overcoming their fear after seeing another one of their number fall. He realizes, as a laser from the Prime strikes--and shatters--his glass-like chestplate, that hes running out of time. He looks towards his fallen charge and sees some of the Autobots (mainly Minibots) begin to gather around the tape.
//GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!//</u></i>
The Autobots recoil, clutching at their helms as the telepathic bellow echoes in their minds. The Decepticons wince, but they are not deafened as their mortal enemies have been--they react more from the unnatural way of hearing Soundwave. His voice
you can somehow tell its him, but there is no monotone. The musical undertone is much more pronounced, and one can almost sense
emotion? From /Soundwave/? Ah yes, there is anger--but fear is also there, and its much more than just a mere trace.
Soundwave runs, paying no heed to the recovered Twins hot on his heels and the technically-inclined Autobots tending to the fallen. He punts Beachcomber away and into Brawn, Cliffjumper, and Warpath--but his arms are grabbed as the Twins catch up--Sideswipe to the right, Sunstreaker to the left. Before he can turn his ire against them, his audios and optics are assaulted by the light and sound show courtesy of Jazz himself.
Soundwaves audible bellow of pain echoes through the area, providing some sense of realism into what may be considered a surreal development in the fight. His audios cut out sharply and his visor cuts to black as his optical circuits similarly spasm from the attack.
Do you think my senses are restricted to my five physical sensors? You may have blocked my sight and my hearing, but I am not blind nor deaf.</u>
He can sense more Autobots growing bold and approaching, as well as the frustration from both Sideswipe and Sunstreaker as they are unable to force Soundwave to his knees. His anger gives way to frustration
which quickly shifts to fear and desperation as he realizes that his charge is fading a bit more with each passing second, and that the noise in his own head is exponentially increasing to intolerable levels.
The telepathic scream rips through everyones mind, Autobot and Decepticon alike, as the red glow from his help pulses
yet remains red. Still, the pulse never does anything on its own--it is a signal as to what Soundwave is about to do--or is doing. When it pulses again, this time turning white, he reaches out to each Autobot mind within the limits of his ability and levels a direct attack from his mind to theirs.
Any Autobot within 100 feet of Soundwave suddenly shouts in agony as their optics glow white before falling over like puppets with their strings cut. The attack is so strong, even those not directly attacked can still sense the faint pulse of it--and one could even say that Soundwave himself is not in full control of his abilities right now. The Decepticon slumps slightly, his arms freed from the now-unconscious Twins, as he recovers from the strain of using his ability as he is at the moment. At least the noise has died down. After a few seconds, Soundwave straightens and, despite his optics and audios still being offline, walks towards where his charge still lies without so much as an uneasy step or wobble.
All optics (except for Soundwave) suddenly shifts towards the one who had spoken--the Autobot Keeper and Communications Officer, Blaster. The Autobot doesnt seem to be as shell-shocked as everyone else, although he does look wary and greatly surprised. Soundwave does not reply or seem to acknowledge the question or Blaster himself. He simply kneels on one knee and gently picks up the limp body of his newest Cassetticon.
//Must you ask, Tapemaster?//</u></i> Soundwave Asks Blaster directly, struggling to keep it under control and focused only on Blaster, yet not too strongly to make it seem like an attack. //You, of all mechs here?//</u></i>
Blaster just looks at Soundwave, then at the tape--apparently a purple bat--and simply nods. Oh yes, he does understand, even if he doesnt have the same abilities that Soundwave has displayed even now. Sir, he murmurs, turning his gaze to the Prime nearby, I suggest we leave. We cant fight him.
Optimus Prime studies the Decepticons, who seem just as stunned as his own remaining troops are. Blaster has a point--in these circumstances, it would be quite foolish to continue. Retrieve the others and retreat, he orders, turning back towards the Decepticon Tapemaster.
Soundwave, for his part, slowly takes a few steps back towards the Decepticons and away from the fallen Autobots, focusing more on his wounded tape than the devastation he had caused. Even so, the presence that has been around ever since Soundwave had fully unlocked his special ability remains just as palpable as ever, like someone hovering over your shoulder and watching what youre doing. With few words spoken amongst themselves, the Autobots quickly retrieve their offline and/or groggy fallen and get away as quickly as possible.
Once the last of the Autobot energy signatures disappear from their scanners, the Decepticons breathe a collective sigh of relief. Theyd won, and with relatively few injuries overall
except for one or two here and there. Heh, with something like that, all we gotta do is send an injured tape in and--, Starscream sneers, clearly without thinking (again).
Skywarp and Thundercracker slap their hands over the Air Commanders mouth with a united hissed SHHHH! while looking at Soundwave warily, and for good reason.
There is no sense of sound this time, only a single pulse of red from that light in his forehead-vent and a dangerous glint enters Soundwaves blinded visor as he slowly begins to turn towards his comrades. The palpable presence grows more noticeable and oppressive, giving even the most thickheaded of Decepticons the impression that Soundwaves ire has not been nearly exhausted just yet. Every Decepticon takes a step back (or more), except for Megatron, who stands resolute as he studies Soundwave. He almost look like hes
waiting? But for what?
A sharp, echoed CAW! shatters the tenseness as Lazerbeak and Buzzsaw swoop down towards their Keeper in a slow spiral before landing on his shoulders--Lazerbeak on his right, Buzzsaw on his left. As soon as contact is made, Soundwave straightens and stops in mid-turn, becoming a statue once again, as his visor dimly glows white even as the red glow from his forehead vent dims and flickers. The presence fades slightly as a soft click seems to softly echo in the back of everyones mind--the first of the mental shields raising again and relocking, and the voices in Soundwaves mind--the voices of his own comrades, fades just a bit to hushed talk.
Rumble and Frenzy emerge from their own hiding spots, taking no notice of the other Decepticons as they run towards Soundwave and slow to a stop at his sides--Rumble at his left, Frenzy at his right. They rest their hands at the outer sides of Soundwaves legs, like a human child reassuring himself that his parent is standing right next to him. There is another faint click as another mental shield rises and locks, and the presence continues to decrease as the visor turns more pink than white. The forehead-vent-light flickers weakly and dims more, the voices now mere whispers.
Ravage then decloaks from his spot curled around the back of Soundwaves neck, head and tail resting beneath Soundwaves chin, and
is the robotic jaguar
purring?! It takes a little bit of time from that point, but slowly more clicks echo in the Decepticons minds as the presence continues to decrease and the shields continue to rise and lock at a slow and steady pace.
Finally, the last click--louder than the others and sounding more like the safety of a rifle being switched--resounds and the last fragments of light from Soundwaves forehead vent dies out altogether. Finally, there is nothing but silence to greet his sensitive audios and his mind. He lifts his helm, his visor slowly flickering back to life at its usual red shade, as he secretly basks in the unbroken silence that none dare break.
With his tapes firmly at his sides, the final one resting in one blue hand raised perpendicular to his torso just below his shattered chestplate, Soundwave finally finishes the turn to face his comrades. He focuses on the Decepticon closest to him, the only one looking at him expectantly and with no hint of apprehension, and recognizes him for who he is. The Tapemaster immediately stiffens to his normal attention stance when in Megatrons presence, and easily ignores the cowering of the other Decepticons--even if he has not forgotten Starscreams careless comment.
What is your command, Megatron?