Disclaimer: I don't own the Transformers, as much as I wish I did.
Author's note: Ok, so I guess I have some explanations to give before we get started. I began working on this fic about 10 months ago, and aside from a couple of key points, the storyline has morphed and evolved so much that it is now on a completely different path from the original.
This chapter was partially inspired by a concert I performed in recently, where we explored the relationships between music, light, science and cosmology. There were three pieces in particular, through either their words or their harmonies, that just stirred something within me. After some research, I managed to find some interesting articles about early cosmology that gave me a few ideas, and although I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination, they have been very useful.
Chapter one is all about setting the scene: I really wanted to capture Soundwave's superior understanding of sound and music, and what it would be like to actually see music - after all, music is just a series of wavelengths, just like light.
The title, loosely translated from Latin, means 'Cosmic Music', the chapter title is from a hymn by John Milton (the text of which was also used in one of the pieces we performed). I mention Ptolemy, however, I should point out that Pythagoras was actually the first to speak of harmonics and in turn, musica mundana.
Anyway, enough of the boring stuff. Chapter 1 is short, the others will be longer, I promise. Any questions? Just ask. All comments and criticisms welcome :)
A massive thankyou to my good friend Taipan Kiryu – you saved me from drowning in the murky depths of writer's block.
Chapter 1: Ring Out ye Crystal Spheres
Science and mathematics, music and light; intrinsically unified, the basis for all existence. The philosopher Ptolemy had been the first of the humans to describe the universe, envisioning a model in which the Earth was the centre of all things. Above the Earth spun vast crystal spheres, each embedded with the stars and planets, eternally revolving on crystalline axis, producing what the humans had termed 'music of the spheres'. Musica mundana; notes within notes, harmonics only the gifted could hear.
Soundwave chuckled silently, ah, the folly of youth. It was a beautiful theory, and fundamentally wrong. True, their perceptions had altered; as their race matured so too did their train of thought. However, narrow-minded vanity veiled the eyes of human science and music, their youth was their greatest flaw; their inferior substance another; never would they truly understand.
Then again, nor would many of the Cybertronian race.
Few could detect what the humans had termed musica mundana. Only one could comprehend what it revealed, interpreting the complex interplay of wavelengths and ratios, imbuing an image of cosmic harmony or discord. It was this ability set Soundwave above all others.
Yet as wrong as the humans had been, the images their words conjured were strikingly similar to the blissful lightshow afforded by the wavelengths of music. Although a duty, Soundwave relished the privilege to explore the cosmos and expand the mind.
Casting aside all worldly distractions he allowed his mind free reign, ascending through the spheres to a place where sound and light rule with tandem force; the zenith and nadir of all existence laid bare for only the blessed to see. Only he could partake in this astral bounty, secrets unlocked through comprehension of the universal language of music: a cosmic traveller borne through the vast expanse of time and space on a chariot of symphony. The stars; the planets. He knew each of their songs intimately, so regular was his sojourn. Of course, he would report what was required, but the rest was his, and his alone.
It was then, in that euphoric moment of tranquillity that he first became aware of it, a bell-like tone floating gently across the shimmering liquidity of the ether. At first it was nothing more than a slight vibration, inaudible yet present, encircling his body and caressing his metal skin like a gentle breeze. Halcyon-like, it drew from him the cold and unyielding hatred so meticulously nurtured over countless millennia, instilling in its place a feeling of blissful calm beyond the grasp of all others. Captivated, he allowed his mind to relax and, for the first time in his existence, his mental barriers withdrew, exposing his inner sanctities for all to see.
Like the first rays of sunlight breaking the darkness of light, it began to grow; a distant ringing blossoming into light, soaring on wings of crystalline beauty. He could feel it, see it; a dazzling white light, reflecting and refracting; prisms of colour dancing gracefully over the rippling plain of space.
Still it continued, the voice of the heavens; spinning elegantly on the air before him, beautiful perfection. He felt drawn to it, a desire beyond earthly bounds deep and unremitting, driving him to extend a trembling hand and touch it.
Recharge did not come for Soundwave that night, or the nights that followed.