"Aw fraggeraft..." Drift's voice said from the navigation systems of the converted platform. The swordsman sat up and looked around the dimly lit bridge of the Xianthum, scanning around automatically to see if the other mechs had moved. None had and Drift knew it, but he couldn't help it.
The pale mech's lips quirked up as he was focused now on his surroundings, and could hear the buzzing-clicking coming the Foreman. Roadbuster was doing the Cybertronian equivalent of snoring as the mech was sprawled in the main command nest. To the green mech's right and slightly behind was the security station, hosting a red and white femmie that was scowling at her console.
To Drift's own right, and the far right of the bridge, at the communications station the small form of Blaster was plugged in. To anyone that didn't know the minibot's odd quirks would have thought the sound master was molesting his station that glowed with mostly light. Blaster had managed to coax the Xianthum into making a sound to color display that only he and his 'minions' of microcons could read with no problems. The small, red and silver mech was tilting his head this way and that, studying and interacting with the signal that was coming in, decoding and scanning the clear text/shades.
Behind the sound master was the weapons station and another mech was snoring and in a way to make Red Alert twitch every twenty breems because of the off sound in it. No one was at the stations of engineering and science currently.
In the middle of it all, Roadbuster was still soundly in recharge with his right arm was propped up on the edge of the ring surrounding him and connected to the ship. So even in recharge, he was aware on a few levels of what was happening with the platform-turned-cruiser and the near space around. If needed the Xianthum could bring him up and out of it, with an understanding of what was going on.
Drift looked around, picking up his empty energon mug and with a practiced flick of his wrist he sent the mug flying to hit his Foreman on the chest, "We have a problem boss-mech." Drift called over as the mug bounced down to the green mech's lap.
Roadbuster jerked awake at the magic word, not the mug, and the Foreman looking around with one optic narrowed and his visor lifted, "What? Problem?"
"Yeah..." The sire of the living ship the Wreckers were on looked back at his station. Drift scowled. "It's another ship..."
"Ship?" Roadbuster gave himself a shake, "Cons?" He was both leery and perking up at that possibility. He glanced over to Blaster who was absorbed in the signals on his display in both focus and two connecting lines to the console.
"No, Decepticons don't have any living ships that we know of," Red Alert said from her station, loyally guarding the Foreman and hoarding security. "At least, true ships and cruisers, that isn't including the station-former Trypticon from last we heard."
"Not impossible Sheila," Roadbuster pointed out, "Some can be brain-washed, it's happened in the last war and a few of the younger, new-born ships have been stolen at the start of this war too."
"Don't tell Percy that." Drift muttered, glancing back at the Foreman as Roadbuster finally heaved himself upright in the command nest.
Shooting an exasperated look over at Leadfoot, who was still out like a light, "Oy..." The Foreman sighed, reaching up to use the back of one hand to rub at his optic shutters to get them back into proper place, and lost his squint-eyed look doing so. "She knows, but we won't remind the sheila."
"Primus bouncing on Drift's big shiny sword!" Blaster's voice yelped in clear Cybertronian, interrupting everyone, making the pale mech to his left lift his hand reflexively towards the mentioned Great Sword on his back.
"Stop using my sword in your curses midget." Drift huffed, armor plates ruffling down his frame.
"Make me sir-sharpy." Blaster fired back as he turned in his seat to look at Roadbuster, "This other ship the Xianthum's making friends with? Not a ship."
Red Alert tilted her head, "Platform?" she guessed, glancing on her own console and frowning. Her winglets twitching and sparking a little between them as her other senses kicked in, leaving a staticy feeling in her processer. "No... there's no Platform that large, it's nearly thrice as large as Xianthum is in length. Not to mention the sheer mass if it."
"Him."A deep, though softly femmine voice said, it vibrated from all around
There was another long pause before Blaster spoke up, "Did Xianthum actually speak aloud?"
"Ayep," Roadbuster tilted his head and then his optics flashed and dimmed in the equivalent of a blink. "What is-" he paused as Xianthum nudged at the Foreman through their current link, "...he, what is he? Sheila?" the mech added looking at the controls in front of him.
There was a pulsation through the decking under peds of those standing on the bridge, and some exchanged looks while their leader sat up in the Nest.
"What was that?" Red Alert asked her gaze shifting between her console and Roadbuster a few times before frowning over at Drift.
"That..." Drift tilted his head, "Was odd."
"What?" the medic demanded.
"You know that feelin' yae get when you see Inferno with half his armor, or when he's literally steaming from the heat after a fire?" Roadbuster asked, personally linking the sensation to his own reaction to his unbonded mate in the washracks or just getting off shift... or both at the same time.
Red Alert considered, able to bring up the memories of that, of her mate in some of the most extreme heat doing what he was made and modified for and doing it well. The red and white femmie could also feel her own system flush with heat. Her optics flashed, "Wait..."
"Yeah," Roadbuster cackled as he pointed down, "What we felt? That was attraction."
"What?" the pale mech demanded as another pulsation worked though the decking, only this time spreading out farther, starting in the core of the living platform turned ship and working its way to the outer armor plates.
"Sharpy," Blaster called, and when Drift looked back over at him, the Minibot pointed to the main display that was showing the complying mix of song echoes and what visuals could be picked up, "Your sparkling-that's-not is attracted to that guy out there."
The swordsmech twitched again, his blue optics narrowing at the display while Drift reflexively dropped one hand to the hilts on his hips.
"Was wondering at reactions if this ever came up," Roadbuster chuckled, blinking again as Leadfoot fell off his chair as another pulse came.
"What the frag?!" The oldest of those on the bridge yelped.
"...graceful," The Foreman commented dryly, propping his chin up on his knuckles. "Welcome back to land o' the conscious. Guess who just found out they can have desire for the first time?" Roadbuster pointed at the growling Drift, "There's a hint."
Leadfoot heaved himself back upright, putting hands on his back and arching it to get his dorsal plates back into alignment. Well aware of being watched intently by the head medical officer as he did that, but it was nothing new to the old mech. He scratched at his armor pocket while taking in everything, and looking at the main display. "Frag me, but if that is a full grown cruiser we will have space to spare some day."
"He is not a cruiser, or a freighter."Xianthum rumbled while starting to bank so she was not approaching this new person and thing head on, and tilting so her own much stronger dorsal plates and paneling were facing him instead of her more vulnerable sides and 'soft' underbelly. "He is very big though."
"Very," Blaster agreed, like the rest of the Crew and refugees onboard there were no ill effects of their home and transport rolling in space, as Xianthum had her own gravity. Both in mass and internal manipulations so there was always an up and down on her decks.
"But what is he?" Drift demanded, his tone implying greatly- as greatly as his largest sword was with the title of Great Sword- that the pale mech did not overly approve of this attraction his 'child' had for the other ship that wasn't quite a ship right off the bat. Never mind that that was how Drift himself and Perceptor felt about each other when they first met so long ago. "It's nothing like any of the evacuation ships or other platforms that left Cybertron in the Exodus."
"Nothing like it in our generations that is," Leadfoot pointed out as he sat back down to skim over what data had been gathered. He also checked Xianthum's weapons, making sure they were ready just in case. From the same console the old red mech read the displayed threat levels, the platform didn't seem to think there was much of a danger.
However, Xianthum was relatively young for a platform, and only recently took on the cruiser form she was in now. Some things that were a threat, she may not know as such right away. Leadfoot knew this and he hoped Roadbuster did as well.
"It- he, has an Autobot emblem on the bow." Red Alert scowled at her own screens.
"Is that not good?"
"Oy, big sheila," Roadbuster spoke up, answering the living ship's question, "Remembered the three times when yea wore the Decepticon emblem, to lure them in a trap?" He waited, running clawed fingers over the connecting lines attached to his forearms, sides and thighs.
"Yes, 'oh.'" Red Alert snorted, "Blaster, is the ship transmitting?"
"Yeah..." The Sound Master winced, "But not to us, he's... trying to sing back to Xianthum. Doesn't sound like he's done any deep-space songs in a loooong time," Blaster paused as he glanced at a side display and grinned, "I agree big girl, it's funny- but painful to me."
The Foreman looked around as another pulsing vibration passed around them, "Alright, I think I know where this is goin'. Someone comm. Perceptor, an' send out an alert, if this is going where it seems, we want to put anyone under ten vorns in stasis."
Drift frowned and turned in his seat, even as he was reaching through his bond as well as opening a communications channel through the platform's network to his mate, "Why would we need to do that?"
Roadbuster, Blaster and Leadfoot all pointed to the new display that Red Alert just brought up on the main display showing the planetary system they were in as well as two representative miniature icons of the two ships. The Wrecker ship and the unknown one were both starting to swing into arcs that would have them circling each other at a healthy distance while Xianthum and the other sounded, scanned and basically eyed each other.
"I don't get it..." Drift said after a few clicks of watching.
"Mech... this is the start of a dance." Leadfoot started but was interrupted by a smirking Blaster.
"And we're just along for the ride." The little minibot put as much feeling of bad thoughts as he could in his tone for the last word to get the point across.
Red Alert did the equivalent of rolling her optics at the twitching, growling swordsmech, "Wonderful, thank you so very much Blaster for that." She waved at Drift, getting a glare in return for a second. Drift seemed to think better about it when the red armored femmie narrowed her gaze right back at him. Red Alert was after all both the head medical officer as well as being trained by the same person that taught Ratchet, and like him had her own set of underhanded tricks and tactics.
"As Percy keeps reminding the refugees," Roadbuster pointed out, lifting a hand and stretching the connecting lines as he did so while motioning around at the bridge, "Xianthum's her own sentient being that's lettin' us ride along inside o' her. She's as subjectable to desire, wants and needs. Not to mention the big Sheila has been fully mature for some time. Drift, mate, I know you're her sire- stop glarin' at me- but Xianthum's no sparkling anymore."
The ship herself added to that speech by rumbling, and hesitantly lowering the internal buffers so that her passengers could hear her singing. It was not exactly the same as how smaller, 'normal' mecha sang; this kind of song was long and as complicated as it was simple. It was an older way of speaking that was used almost exclusively by larger ships and platforms as well as other sparked 'things' such as stations and cities. It was a song of greeting, of interest but wariness as well no true words formed just yet.
The cruiser was singing her name out, singing a proper greeting to this non-ship person as the Xianthum swept some of her stronger scanners out as she got closer to see if he was alone. Internally and externally that is. The Wreckers' living transport and home kept her distance at first as her own frame was all but bloated from refugees taken in when fleeing Cybertron. Xianthum understood their safety was a priority and that was why she was keeping her long range scanners on this new thing, now in visible sight of the non-ship that was easily three times her size.
In a word he was huge.
After punching a swath through Megatron's planetary blockade back on Cybertron along with other platforms, to let the last of the escaping populous to the freedom of space; Xianthum had found out just how big she was. It was one thing to hear her Crew and visiting mechs comment that she had been the fastest growing platform after being sparked. Doubling her size and hearing claims of being one of the largest sparked transports in the planet's lower levels... but to see the Ark class ships, the cargo carriers and other platforms in comparison?
Xianthum was far from small, yet here and now in this planetary system she just arrived in was a mech of some kind that did make her look small. Well-armed with sets of dormant cannons (largest on her sides about the size of his medium ones) and other tucked away weapons systems hidden under his white outer armor plates.
It was unnerving and thrilling at the same time!
Though not hearing or scanning any real threat outside of the obvious, the sparked cruiser held her outer protective armor down tighter just in case. It was ingrained into her to be on the safe side as her original Crew were Wreckers- level workers before the war and construction mechs were always cautious when working. The ship was as much a Wrecker as her passengers, so there was an interesting mix of that caution and a want of more of that thrill.
So as Xianthum swung deeper into the system waiting for the echoes of her song to come back while the first rusty notes in the same 'language' from the non-ship made it to her. Keeping the star to her port side, the other ship moved away from the gravity well of the same star with it to his starboard. Spacially speaking the two weren't far away from each other now, but far enough that either could bug out.
A wordless expression of, "?" was sent in a short ping like song from Xianthum
"?" The friendly ping evidently came as a surprise as the non-ship mech automatically replied in kind while his extended long range scanners played over the cruiser's outer form. Since he had let her see some of his decks, Xianthum did as well. Unlike him the Wrecker ship was comparatively bloated with passengers, more than was comfortable really.
There was no jealousy though from Metroplex, for that was the name of the other. He rumbled, the sound vibrating a few of his decks out right, in turn causing ripples and waves in his energon tanks.
Echoes were coming back now for him, adding more details to his scans. It gave Metroplex a more intimate way of seeing Xianthum, not just emotionless images on internal screens. The mech could see that Xianthum wasn't moving like an attack class ship, nor like someone of his class- though that in itself was understandable considering how few of Metroplex's kind seemed to be left. The closer she came the more the mech thought that the ship looked like a vastly oversized cargo transport with her big body and stubby wings with three thrusters in the back and two forward. Only she had modifications towards her bow to catch, demolish and then ingest asteroids and meteorites to convert the raw mined materials into whatever Xianthum's factories where configured for.
It was different from his own shape that was for sure, his current one that was. Metroplex was comparatively streamlined to the sprawled out form he had been in before, or his bipedal form. He was thicker in armor, with the paneling all around instead of just heaver armor on the back and sides like Xianthum (it was understandable the belly of the cruiser was angled away from him). She had more to worry about than he did, very little could get past Metroplex's defenses within the normal range of weapons (warp cannons notwithstanding) and basic space born hazards (meteorites, asteroid fields, radiations, planetary whales and moon bats).
In human turns, Metroplex looked like an odd cross of a navy escort destroyer and a catamaran craft. Two thirds of his lower hull was a single shape that divided towards his front into two hulls close together. The 'deck' was wider- at least at the moment as Metroplex had been about to leave the system after collecting energon- with thick towers and domes over it and of the largest was one of the few places his scant crew inhabited. Though the mech's own command nest, processors, spark and useable living quarters where all buried deep within his shell. He would not take any chances with his literal handful of inhabitants.
With a soft shrug, and some concentration for a minor transformation Metroplex rid himself of the rounded and/or pointy aquatic like hulls on his lower section. Letting the 'relaxed,' more normal shape come back, becoming flatter with an inward curve.
Xianthum tipped, coming closer as the other did this, attracted to the differences between them. To how Metroplex could change such large sections of himself at the same time, and so fast! It took a collection of shifts for her inhabitants to help the cruiser change her factories.
Metroplex hummed reassurance as he drifted closer, most of his sensors on the Wrecker ship, but he was also well aware of what was going on inside of him. In his own command nest where his PM (Platform Manager) was wiggling and twitching in his excitement while talking animatedly to the rest of the so called 'command staff.'
The five were a bit scattered in comparison to Xianthum's bridge, for one thing it was larger in Metroplex without the need to make use of every hand span of space. The main Nest itself was sunken into the floor with visible energon lines glowing underneath it and the mostly purple mech with red optics and he was happily sprawled inside. Like Roadbuster over on Xianthum, this mech was hooked up to the 'ship' but by all the connection lines down his back between wings, forearms, a few in his sides and on the sides of his thighs.
Above and behind was another mech just as large, maybe a just bit shorter, only in red and pale cream with his own red optic band like visor. He was sitting in a high backed chair that seemed almost to be made for the mech's odd form with wide armrests and a slight recline. Right now he was slumped in the chair with elbows on the armrest and hands folded on his chest. The optic band was dimmed as the mech snored in less than a quiet way.
However, it was when Grimlock stopped snoring that those around him would start to worry about the mech.
The purple mech glanced back at the acting commander before doing the equivalent of rolling his optics. Octane flashed one of his most charming smiles up and to his right where his mate was in a way nesting in her own way and absorbed in her latest project. He glanced over at the other two that were in the bridge.
The dark form of Stalker was tilting his head at the readouts on his screens at his hybrid station of navigations and communications. "Fascinating tones she's using." He mused, the mech was much smaller then both Grimlock and Octane (and honestly it wasn't hard to be) but though he had a slender build Stalker was also still taller than the two femmies. He was black and dark gold mostly, with a dark gray chevron that shaded his black visor. Everything about him, from how he sat, his colors, to the lack of the normal glowing highlights of the Cybertronian body, even Stalker's soft voice, was to keep him unnoticeable in the mech's 'work.'
"Every Metrotitan is different," Quicksilver pointed out from her spot, not a true station but it let her keep an optic on both Metroplex's systems and be able to bring up readings on her patients in and out of stasis.
"Don't think she's exactly like our Plexy-Baby," Octane chirped up, his deep voice oddly cheerful... or more giddy then his normal cheerfulness. "The big guy's not picking up any transformation seams. Don't think she can transform- but- but-" He shivered.
The slender pale form of the medic frowned at the 'pilot,' "Octane? What is with you?" the femmie paused as a pulsation most of the crew never felt before worked through the decking.
"He can't help it," the glider said from her spot looking down at them all. She was mostly bare silver with a network of crisscrossing black markings on her body, limbs and over her wings that were currently folded up to look more like sensor panels. Her golden optics softened as she gazed at her mate, propping her chin into one hand, not minding the charcoal smudges, "Octane's connected to Metroplex, and-" she pointed down meaning at another pulse vibrated around them, "The big guy is getting more than interested in our inner planetary system guest. My fly-bot is picking up on that."
Grimlock slipped lower in his chair as the living Metrotitan they were in rumbled and an odd- to say the least- sound came from somewhere down below them. As Grimlock was growling and flaring his armor in startlement at his sudden awakening, the odd, and very deep sound worked its way forward to be sent out, it was Metroplex's voice.
"What this?" Grimlock demanded as he pulled himself up, glaring around before his new predator instincts had his gaze locking onto the purple PM and his irregular movements. "What wrong with him?" He demanded, to anyone who didn't really know Grimlock might think he wasn't the brightest headlight, but they would be vastly surprised. The big mech's output was damaged because of the actions of the Decepticon Shockwave, but thanks to the help of Quicksilver's surgical skills, Grimlock's mind was just as sharp as ever under speech pattern damage. "Runner! Come paint your mate!"
"Yesss... come here my flitter!" Octane leaned back and reached out to make grabby hands at his mate.
An amused rumble sounded around them, "Down fly-bot."
"But Plexy-baby!" The big mech almost squealed in delight sitting back up, his hands flicking over the space-born city-former's controls to direct several of the main scanners at the cruiser. As if Octane thought that his self-appointed charge had somehow missed seeing or scanning the Wrecker ship in all this time. Or just forgetting it was Metroplex that pointed her out in the first place, "Where's the fun in that? And look at those thrusters and bays she has- and she has mining capabilities for ingesting asteroids- ooohhhh she has moveable wings that are just so thumpy...!" Octane's wings shivered in his excitement as the mech wriggled in the command nest again.
"Are you trying to set up Metroplex or drooling over the other ship yourself?" Rhythm Runner asked from her perch, or artist's nest it could be called as well, her tone taking a mock-offended edge. The glider rearranged her many sheet metal 'papers' that she was never without, in order to always be able to draw out her memories of the war in order to stay sane in between the continual projects of adding into proper murals to Metroplex's walls and one room in particular.
"I can appreciate beautiful armor where ever I see it." Octane said, wings sweeping up and putting a hand on his chest, the linking cables still connected on both arms and his sides, much like how Roadbuster was on the Xianthum. "Besides, I only love you my dear lovely flitter of a juicy energon goodie-"
"He's on a compliment binge again," Stalker did his level best to do the equivalent of rolling his optics. "Metroplex, can you distract him? Or better yet Rhythm, start painting on him again."
"I'd love some more shell art- and some other things!" Octane chipped, unphased at the interruption, "And I'm trying to get a distraction for all of us, but mostly my Plexy-Baby here. City, ship, station and platforms alike need a good fragging just like any other mech."
There was dead silence on the bridge as everyone stared at the tanker, broken only by a slightly deeper and out of place rumble of amusement from all around that bled into Metroplex's voice.
"What?" Octane demanded, one wing twitching as he itched at the base of a connecting line.
"You are just..." Stalker flexed his hands, "Just..."
"He right." The deep and ever growling voice of Grimlock spoke up from his spot, now lounging in the command like chair while watching Octane do everything but brood over a hatchling in his nest.
"I know," Quicksilver smiled over at Stalker, sending a ping of reassurance to the two-wheeler, "It's as natural as it is disturbing to some when you true think about it, as we are living inside of another mech's form. It's quite fascinating culturally though, the reactions to and accepted facts between average mechs and the Metrotitans."
That did it, Stalker calmed down at the promise distraction of a good cultural discussion with his prefer debate partner while his mind adapted to what was going to happen next. The mech and medic started the debate on what was and wasn't culturally acceptable when dealing with the Metrotitan class, and from different cultural points of view as Quicksilver was from the Towers and Stalker from the deeper levels within Cybertron.
As they did this, Metroplex turned his attention away, back into outer space where the cruiser was. Normally the massive mech would watch his inhabitants quite carefully, even joining into the discussion for the welcome stimulation as he had so few. However as the Xianthum flared out her armor and rolled in space, a very different kind of stimulation was promised in that flirt-ish action.
For the first time, since long before his 're-awakening' and leaving Cybertron, Metroplex wasn't completely focused on the mechs inside of his frame. He was no longer watching with passive amusement like the city-former did during the golden age. Nor did Metroplex need to guide Primes, lock Autobots or fleeing neutral civilians in rooms to protect them, or 'accidently' shifting rooms to squish whatever unlucky Decepticons that had made it into his- at the time, hidden walls.
Metroplex didn't have to worry about guarding the last Ark, armies that should and should not be stepped on. There was no longer any anxiety of not finding survivors that had been left behind on Cybertron like him.
He was fully charged from basking half a vorn with his underside in the light of the local star, getting so much extra energon that many, many of his inner chambers and bays had been converted into extra energon tanks. Though not completely healed from both the war and from a few random bonks of space born objects. Including one incident that involved startling a black space-ray by accident, another one of the so very few 'wildlife' creatures in the depths of space, and another occurrence that happened when he ran into the small planet when recharging. Metroplex was more or less back into his prime strength in his current ship like form. His residents were safe inside, and if not exactly thriving yet they were healing in spark as well as mind.
So it was understandable that Metroplex let himself take this opportunity. Let himself listen to Octane's encouragement but even being linked with the tanker, Metroplex soon didn't hear the once Decepticon at all. Not with the other living cruiser singing to him in greeting, her voice echoing in the empty void of space. It was a word-less mixture of tones, signals and semi-corporeal emotions that only mechs of her size and larger were able to make. Metroplex let her song wash over him, rippling through his armor and inner systems with a low growl of pleasure.
Metroplex hesitantly started to truly sing back, not having done so since long before the Golden Age, before he had settled down as an established city-core. In other words, the massive mech's song was a bit more like a warble as he turned to follow the path of ions the smaller cruiser had taken. Metroplex could see her visually quite well now as they turned around each other in tightening circles.
The city-former's voice was in the deeper range of tone than the cruiser, rolling like thunder and the growls that Cybertron used to do near the core. The sound that was more than just that, vibrating through the void as well as armor and open internal spaces in the speaker and listener. The Xianthum's own voice was higher, in comparison at least to Metroplex as all of the platforms had deeper voices by their sheer size alone. Where his tone was like thunder, hers was more like the steady rivers of energon when they still flowed on Cybertron; strong and powerful but a life giver above all else.
Xianthum had been a Wrecker Platform, according to her song, and had helped to start building a new level when the civil war started to get out of hand. When it had gone off the handles, as her native Crew said, had joined in the exodus off planet while using her thicker armor to take hits the cargo arks and smaller personal ships would never have been able to take. Metroplex rumbled his sympathy as his scanners reached out to trace over the now cruiser's hull to check for damage or scars. Her Crew was too good, too caring of their home and biggest teammate to leave any damage for longer than needed, and the spots were only visible by somewhat more shiny patches.
Metroplex warbled again, his song still less than impressive at the moment from long disuse. The song from Xianthum rippled with amusement again, causing a flash of exasperated embarrassment in the mech before he was finally close enough to pick up something else coming from the other Metrotitan.
She was giving off that same pulsation that worked through his frame from spark to hull.
Rolling again, Xianthum was flashing her underbelly to Metroplex, getting a croon from him as his outer armor ruffled again before extending in an action that was as instinctive as it was learned. Metroplex was old enough that he knew what to do to make up for his lack of voice, as that cleared at least. Flaring plates of armor that were at least as long as a football field in some places, he was displaying his strength as well as size. An unspoken way of going, 'look at me! Look how thick my armor is- see how well I can protect those inside of me as well as others!' It was distracting enough to the other ship as she twitched her stumpy shaped wings back at Metroplex.
Metroplex himself ruffled his armor, a wave like motion that started near his bow in his ship-like form, working backwards. He did it again trying to entice her closer to him as the larger titan warbled back to her song, as best he can considering how out of practice he was that is.
Xianthum coasted closer while the bigger mech did a slow roll himself, showing off with his plating flared out to look as impressive as possible. Metroplex was more than pleased with himself as the Wrecker ship was indeed impressed at the space born city was doing his best flashy strut. So to say that is, as he wasn't in his bipedal shape yet, extending certain plates downward to create a frame around his lower hull. Metroplex couldn't completely without exposing too much on his sides, there was an art in this action to create that curtain without exposing himself and risking the safety of his passengers.
The mech was surprised as Xianthum sneaked in closer, closing the last of the gap between them to bump against his side. Thanks to mass and internal dampening fields keeping the deed no more than a very strong vibration to her passengers in that area, and none of Metroplex's crew were in that section to start with. Both their hulls were warm in comparison to the empty space all around. It was a welcome change to feel living metal on their scale and that was the reason the mech sidled closer with puffs of small thrusters on the other side. A flash from one of Metroplex' main thrusters had him moving to rub slowly against Xianthum's own side as they coasted in opposite directions.
Ignoring the grumblings of her sire inside her bridge, Xianthum flashed her thrusters to roll until one of her stubby wing was resting the top of her wing was flat against Metroplex' side as she moved along his length. The mech continued to purr and sing as best he could while rubbing his plating against hers while Metroplex' energy field flickered out, extending past his hull to first brush against the cruiser.
Xianthum slowed and with puffs of smaller thrusters along her sides and bow, stopping with wing and part of her side pressed against Metroplex while he vibrated his hull against hers. "I like you." Xianthum said, speaking externally.
"I like you as well cruiser." Metroplex replied in the same way, still purring though it took a deeper warp and turned into a warble that gave one last crack that was a sharp underscore to Xianthum's happy trill at his words from before.
"Metroplex!" Grimlock yelled, hands clamped over his audios like the others, even Quicksilver and Stalker, who had retreated to medical, as well as the others in the quarters' deck.
"Plexy-Baby tone it down internally!" Octane added his voice to the mix, rising half way out of the nest at the keen from his mate. His hands passing through the holographic displays around him to try and manually turn down the sound but his wings jerked up as he felt the beginning sensations along the edges of his armor. "...?"
"Clear Decepticons from vocals!" Grimlock demanded, standing himself and prowling forward to stand behind the command nest, "It hurt! Stop it!"
"You shush!" The big mech demanded, glancing at the twitching wings of the triple changer.
"This is not as easy as it looks." Metroplex pointed out, he rumbled as his voice not quite spluttered and hit an... interesting pitch.
More than Grimlock yelled now, and though the Metrotitan did feel bad for his residents, it was also annoying and distracting. With only a minor amount of guilt, and some messing of with his internal gravity systems Metroplex manipulated the gravity panels so his personal peanut gallery was either sprawled on the decking or stuck up on the ceiling for the next while.
Grimlock roared, claws digging into the decking while Octane shrieked indignantly, flailing a bit before his limbs too were pinned. The flier was freaking out more than the Dinobot leader, and the cables that held him down even more.
Most of Metroplex's attention was on the Wrecker ship than his pinned residents, but a keen of pain drew his focus sharply inside, slowing as the camera optics on the bridge swept around. Real guilt rippled out the mech's spark as he saw the crier, and at once loosened the gravity back to normal, and then lighter in the spot Rhythm Runner was. He murmured softly, apologetically over her communication system. At the same time Metroplex also had to cushion Octane through their link, and reassure the PM that his mate was fine, but no, Metroplex wasn't going to let Octane up because his hands constantly moving over his controls were just too distracting. So be quiet and let Metroplex do this himself and in a little bit Octane was free to run off to his own room with Rhythm Runner- who had only been pinned and now just fine.
It took a few cycles to calm his PM down into grumbles, but soon Metroplex was purring happily again. Gaining peace internally in several ways after that and having Xianthum rolling again to hesitantly touch the other of her wings under Metroplex's underbelly. That flirtatious movement swung the mech's attention back out externally to her once more.
The city-former's energy field pulsed against the cruiser's in a steady but powerful tri-rhythm. Metroplex chuckled and crooned encouragement as Xianthum experimentally tried to do the same, but she never had to do anything like this before. Even on Cybertron Xianthum's only interactions with other Metrotitans had been passing under a city, and being at least four to eight levels under them at that.
Metroplex gave a pleased hum as Xianthum's outer armor fluffed up so to say and smoothed back down as the ship slid under the mech. She rested with her dorsal ridge against his underside, sweeping her scanners to either side before shivering in pleased excitement as Xianthum realized that she was completely hidden under Metroplex!
The mech stretched out his plating above her, letting the edges brush and scrape along her hull. More than pleased with himself as Xianthum, being one third his size, moved from his port side to starboard and back the other side, always keeping her dorsal ridge in contact. Metroplex knew what Xianthum was doing before she realized that her instinctual motives were of inspection, so he made himself look as impressive as possible from all angles. There was no telling when a possible mate would break off to see the potential from a different angle.
With a little power to her thrusters Xianthum scooted along the underside of one bow, briefly skipped over to the other and from that bow slid back to stern. In the end of this inspection that found no flaws outside or in between the opened armor plates, Xianthum came back to rest in the true center under Metroplex while his purring hum took a deeper, fuller note.
Xianthum starts to sing again, pressing against the city former as he vibrated his plating against hers. There was definite interest in her person as well as careful encouragement echo in Metroplex's energy field as it overlapped and nearly merged here and there. The cityformer was encouraged himself as Xianthum thrummed her main engines without going anywhere. She liked what he was doing, it showed in song and action, shifting to find how to get more of her armor against his to feel the vibrations, energy field is all sorts of interest and attraction as waves of pulses worked out of her core again.
One of Xianthum's own many residents froze at this new wave.
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh... oh..." a neutral shelled Wrecker paused looking around her lab (as even with her modifications Perceptor was still called a femmie thanks to her streamlined and slender form) and then her optics turned down at her feet. Or rather the decking under them, "You had better give time for the sparklings to be put in stasis and for me to pry Drift off the bridge."
An agreeing hum came from the decking, but there was an urgent buzz as well. It was a semi-silent 'hurry the slag up then!' that was a half command from the Xianthum. Perceptor huffed in return to her once sparkling, slapping the nearest wall in reprove. The red and black femmie was still Xianthum's carrier parent and the platform manager on top of that.
"Behave child of my love," Perceptor warned lifting a finger and waving it at the nearest camera-optic, "You should know that the excess of energy you and this other titan produce will affect us all. The children under Wrecker charge- your charge have suffered enough without having to be through into yet another trial of age they are not ready for."
Xianthum hummed, considering that and if it were possible she would have nodded. Heat and energon flushed through her lines, reading stasis pods but more so rapidly alter some flooring. Since leaving Cybertron her Crew, under the guidance of Perceptor and the watchful gaze of Xianthum they had added in recharging berths that would only rise a little off the ground because of the admittedly cramped overcrowding. There had be talk between the Foreman and Seconds about expanding or finding a suitable world or moon to colonize in the last while, but they had all agreed to put more space between themselves and Cybertron.
Now though, Perceptor paused in helping the medical staff (Red Alert aiding from the bridge by finding the most secure locations) to not only putting the young and those just not ready for the overflow. Strapping the youngest down as well as they didn't have the mass to not shift or move around.
Excited motion on her bridge had Xianthum turning her attention to Blaster as he all but molested the communications station again. He was accessing her readings of her scan and inspection of Metroplex, and the sound master was diving half into the panel. He popped back up, fingers running over the light display well able to read it better than normal Cybertronian glyphs.
"Primus bouncing on Drift's other big sword!" Blaster yelped, jumping in his seat, green optics wide and reflecting the light from the display.
"Alright, that is it you little runt!" Drift rose, baring his denta, and though he didn't have the same built in fangs that native-sparked Wreckers and deep level mechs did, he could still be quite scary. Rising from his seat the pale mech had one hand dropping to a hilt, while his other was already starting to pull one of his hip mounted blades out of its scabbard. Taking one look at the swordsmech, Blaster gave a sparkling and femmling like scream before diving into the floor itself thanks to the gaps in the decking that he normally used to do tune ups on his station.
Thankfully to the sound master, Drift had to go past Roadbuster and the mech could easily shake off the one connecting line he had to Xianthum while letting reflexes kick in. Breaking up fights was nothing new to the Foreman, it wasn't to any Foreman as Wreckers on a whole were a more aggressive faction of Cybertron. Roadbuster bodily tackled Drift, letting partial transformation kick in and his twin saws snapped out, though only one whined to life to shock the pale mech out of his twitchy state.
After all, when you were pinned to the floor on your back, partly on your side, with one chain saw against your neck cables and another buzzing at full power above you... you paid attention.
"Drift," Roadbuster growled, flashing his own incisors while his hovering saw slowed and halted so fast it made a pointed clanking sound to help enforce one word order, "Chill."
It took a moment or two, while Drift stared at the saw blade above him in shock. Both at seeing that saw that has sliced through Decepticon and level supports alike... and was now aimed at him. Drift cycled air through his heated systems once, twice, on the third he managed to calm down, tentatively finding his inner peace. "...yes boss."
Green optics narrowed under a protective visor that flashed red and edged in orange before Roadbuster leaned back. His saws retreated, altering the blades back into his armor before offering a hand to Drift. He hesitated before taking the Foreman's hand, looking away as Drift realized he had been about to attack little Blaster. Granted the Minibot wasn't exactly innocent in the mind and liked to play his music a little too loud but he was still a friend and...
"What got into me?" Drift wondered aloud as he was helped up, turned and pushed firmly but not unkindly back into his seat.
"It's the energy lad," Leadfoot explained, waving a hand as he sat back down again. "You're Xianthum's sire so you're related to her and to the energy she's dumping inside and out of her hull." The elder looked over at where Roadbuster was tapping the decking with the end of a clawed foot to see if Blaster was still even on the bridge, "He needs to get to his other half."
"I'm fine now, I'm-"
"Where's Perceptor?" Roadbuster overrode Drift's voice, glancing back at Red Alert, ignoring the protesting engine revving from the security mech.
The chief medical officer regarded the flashing display that already had the requested information up. Xianthum was still aware of what was going on inside of her, even while flirting and mock-retreating from the other Metrotitan. "Percy's in her labs, where else would she be when not in the Nest? She camps in there almost all the time since leaving Cybertron." Not that I blame her, Inferno and I live in the medical bay now after all with the overcrowding, Red Alert added mentally.
Anticipating the next order to come, Red Alert connected to the platform network to locate two mechs. As an officer and a Second, she was able to connect the communications of Bulkhead and Longhaul to Roadbuster. The green mech flashed her a smirk in an unspoken thanks for the aid and knowing it was what he wanted.
"Bulk', 'Hauler, get up to the bridge I have a job for you." He said looking at Drift. "Get Drift down to the PM's labs and get yeaselves to the nearest open space for you big fraggers."
~Heheheh...~ The snicker came with Bulkhead's glyph on the communication line while across from Roadbuster, Drift was starting to rise again, ~Sure thing Boss-Mech.~
~I'm sure Xianthum will lock 'em in.~ Longhaul added, chuckling.
"What do you mean lock me in?" Drift demanded pushing himself up again, bristling but struggled to rein in that annoyance/aggression that spiked up once more.
Roadbuster turned and frowned at Drift, and when the other mech kept coming over to him, a Command Signal pulsed out. Every bearer of a Datum and Matrix could produce it to reinforce orders, to remind or introduce to others that they were a true leader in Cybertronian culture. Roadbuster as a Foreman had not only his Datum, but the artifacts that would be someday belong to Wedge, as well as the Datum that rejected Hook. So that meant that Roadbuster's Command Signal was a little bit stronger than normal (yet at the same time not as strong as one would think as he only had control over his) and add to that fact that the green mech rarely used that pulse it made everyone in a three deck radius and a half a kilometer wide sitting upright with wide optics. Even the Xianthum paused her thrusters to drift and let Metroplex get closer to her in worry.
The Foreman used the state of the others to get his claws hooked on Drift and start pulling the pale mach to the back of the bridge by the time the two heavy duty Wreckers shook off their own stunned state to take the last few steps to the bridge door. "Take 'em down to Percy's labs, an' make sure that sheila is in there too- Xianthum lock them both in until ya can think again!"
The Cruiser hummed in agreement, but was promptly distracted as the other Metrotitan dipped and ran the edges of his extended armor over her back again. Her hum turning to a deep vibration that was as much her doing as what was being transferred from Metroplex.
Roadbuster did the equivalent of rolling his optics, shifted to balance on one foot, he retracted the claws on the other as much as possible to tap the 'toe' of that foot on the decking in a five beat pattern, "It's safe now Blaster, come out."
A silver and red head poked out of the ceiling, "Holy slagging spring factories!"
"You need to slow down on your attempt of trying to come up with a new curse phrase," Red Alert commented.
"What was it that made you frag off Drift?" Roadbuster asked, reaching up to let the minibot drop and catch himself on the green mech's locked saw. He swung and landed back on his station, looking a little guiltily at where Drift had been.
"Right... yeah," Blaster cycled air and turned back to his display- making a note to do something to 'make up' to the swordsmech or Xianthum might lock him in a vent... again. Giving himself a full body shake, Blaster settled down again at his post, aware of the optics of the others on him as well as the singing of the ship as he connected again. "You need to see this 'Buster."
The Foreman glanced first at Blaster's screen, but only a sound master was able to read the display, so he waiting the few clicks it took for the larger display, "What is this? The other ship...?" Roadbuster paused as a choking, wheezing sound came from behind.
Red Alert beat him to Leadfoot, the femmie supporting the older mech as hard as she could, the heel of her hand connecting to a certain spot on the red back. A sort of pressure point to force the elder to clear his vocal system, "Primus, that's in, I'm overhauling you old mech."
"Gonna need it," Leadfoot gasped, rubbing his armor over his spark chamber, "We might all gonna need it. Damn big sheila ya' had to pick that titan over all those possible."
"What are ya' yabbering about?" Roadbuster demanded, glancing back at the main screen, optics scanning the reading, then out lines along the display of the other ship. "This ship a bad mech...?"
"That isn't a ship," Leadfoot insisted, using Red Alert to stand upright and move to the front of the bridge as well.
"It's a city!" Blaster put in quickly, shooting a look at the elder since he had wanted to explain this news, "A city-former!"
"I thought the city-formers left Cybertron towards the Tameus colonies...?" The green mech paused, sighed and shook his head, "Never mind, stupid question, they'd go wherever they felt like."
"You were overdue for one," Red Alert smirked but turned her attention to the display now as well, as Leadfoot was walking fine.
The elder shook his head, and put in before any verbal snipping could start, "This isn't just any city-former mates." Leadfoot said, optics on the screen as it filled with even more details every time Xainthum's scanners passed over the other titan. "That... that is Metroplex."
"I thought it was Metrotitan," Blaster tilted his head.
"That term came around because of this mech," Leadfoot grunted, reaching out to lightly smack the small minibot in the back of the head. He didn't use as much strength because he knew Blaster wasn't physically that strong and if the red mech hurt him, both Red Alert and Perceptor would have his aft. The two had more than a maternal protective edge, as Blaster was more than just a legacy of their skills. Though Leadfoot knew they did not raise him as a sparkling, the two were still deeply involved in the next stage of his life.
So they were protective of the runt.
Leadfoot continued, pointing to the display, "Ya' all are too young to remember, but that mech 'ere, he was the heart of Iacon." The elder Wrecker grinned at the confused then gaping expressions.
Down the hall Bulkhead paused behind Long Haul, looking back with a blink as he heard his Foreman's voice bellowing out something along the lines of, "what the frag?!"
The pale green femmie-hauler hesitated, holding a just as confused as his escorts. "I don't think I want to know," Long Haul decided as she shook her head.
"You can put me down..."
"Not until the labs!"
"Stop laughing young lady!" Drift added as he glared instinctively at the nearest camera as everyone felt the rhythmic rumbling that announced Xianthum's amusement.
The cruiser had to laugh again despite herself, drifting down and away from Metroplex while tilting so one stumpy wing edge trailed along his underside. Xianthum paused all movement, having an 'oohhh' moment then with a playful tone as she picked up on the definite attraction radiating and crackle of energy that came from the mech. She broke away, drifting as the bigger city-former followed with a croon.
Metroplex purred as he outright fluttered his outer plating at her, brushing two edges on the wing. Though Xianthum fluffed right back, she also flickered her thrusters to slide out from under the mech and then again at him in a 'catch me if you can' way while making for the nearest planet and its moon.
Had he been in his robotic form, Metroplex would be grinning as he gave chase after the cruiser, matching her speed as he could tell that Xianthum wasn't really rushing. On the way, Metroplex also finally remembered to let his peanut gallery... er, residents out of the pinning, heavy gravity at last.
"Fragging- W%# ! piece of-" Grimlock roared, but he was out shouted.
" T$$^ 1!" Octane yelled but at Grimlock for insulting his platform, only to turn around and do the exact same thing.
Rhythm Runner hid her face in her hands, as much from the spoken words (though in all honesty living with Octane in the Decepticon forces she had heard a lot worse) as at the dents on her and those dents her mate that would be in awkward places.
Metroplex though was cheerfully ignoring the whole lot of them, with the exception of letting Quicksilver and Stalker see the proceedings on the bridge. Though from his internal sensors and cameras told the mech that those two were settling down in one of the back rooms of the main medical bay.
Before too much interest could be spared, Metroplex realized something, in that Xianthum was still a cruiser, and thus bit faster than his bulk as she- in ship terms, skipped ahead between the gold, tan and brown planet and its satellite to hide behind the moon itself.
He may have been a bit slower but was more experienced than the younger platform, and according to several past PMs, he was also a sneaky son of a slagger. The city-former wasn't going directly after her, nor was he being too aggressive by trying to head Xianthum off. Flickering a different set of thrusters to lift his bow up and then rotated on his axis as Metroplex piloted himself up and over the moon as he snuck up on the Wrecker ship from above.
The unexpected move surprised Xianthum. She rolled to her side, sweeping her scanners up. "Hmm, clever." She praised, and also realized that she had forgotten that in space, it was more dimensions that they navigated, they didn't have to stay in the line of gravity the local sun made with its planets. It opened up, or reminded of multiple possibilities of where the platform could go.
With a chirring sound as he rubbed his plating against her back, Metroplex rolled with her in a massive, but still graceful dance. The two only were able to do so because they were in space, in an atmosphere the sheer mass of both would force Metroplex to transform and Xianthum to struggle unless being supported by water. So there was something that just had to be said to this kind of freedom for the Metrotitan class that they can't get anywhere else.
The cruiser started to purr back to Metroplex as he one more was radiating so very clearly his interest in Xianthum's person, and an flare of pride flashed through him as he felt the interest from the other. Only to do the mental equivalent as Xianthum away from him and the moon, flashing her underside in a tease again while Metroplex followed after while his humming took a concerned edge. He watched as the platform's path took her a wee bit to near, almost dangerously close to the planet as the moon was left behind.
Xianthum was actually very aware of the planet and its gravity (how couldn't she be with no less than ten different officers pointing it out in worry), but she wanted to see what Metroplex would do, or if he would try and save her from possibly getting caught in the gravity well.
As soon as Metroplex realized she wasn't doing anything his thrusters flared to life at near full power to rush ahead, and then slid up and under her. Once he felt Xianthum attach onto his hull to stay in place the cityformer rose, away from the planet's gravity with her on his back, on the forward part just before of his bow, the 'deck' part as dubbed by his new crew.
Metroplex hummed again, more than pleased with himself as he maneuvered both his bulk and the platform's out of the grip of the gravity well, and well away from the planet.
The next words Xianthum spoke, only added to his pride though, "You are very strong," She said with her smile in her tone, the show of physical strength was pleasing from both her learned Wrecker culture as well as just being very impressed. The cruiser didn't let go with her clamps, long unused as there was no need for rails in space, but with so many Level Workers, being over crowded or not she was still in perfect health. Xianthum could feel his hull shift under her, but it was to open enough to let her clamps get a proper hold on him. Interest spiked once more, or to a higher level as she waited to see what Metro will do now.
"Thank you," Metroplex rumbled as his field expressed his intense interest in her once more, scanner playing across her underside. Taking full advantage of this chance to search for certain parts on her, where they were and gently coaxing to get open her armor plates enough for him to do so, as he had already. The vibration of his own pleasure working from his to her hull as he was allowed to get a good scan and find what he wanted.
"I am platform turned cruiser, I am the Xianthum," She sang, pleased with her spot as her energy field sank into his as she added in pride, "I am a Wrecker. What are you?"
"I am a cityformer, Metroplex is my name." the mech crooned, chuckling at the semi late introduction, at least a 'normal' one. After a moment of enjoying the feeling of Xianthum's scans on him again from this new spot, singing softly to him as Metroplex essentially fluffed up to expose some of his transformation seams to her. A kind of proof but also when it came down to it, showing off, "I have risen from the deep sleep..."
Xianthum 'looked up' from peering at those seams, unable to help feeling a bit of envy, and reached out to Roadbuster who was back in the Command Nest (finally noticing that he was the only one that was there with Topspin, the others have since left), wanting to know why she could not transform. Metroplex was aware of the shift in attention, and hummed in a softer tone, as the Foreman and his unbonded mate had to stop what they were doing to reassure and remind Xianthum of what she could do that the other Metrotitan couldn't. That she could, and did, take pride in that she could ingest asteroids, and had six internal factories that once supported up to ten different Level-construction sites at the same time.
Metroplex hummed and would have held still, to hover in place but as soon as Xianthum let go of him, he didn't want her near another planetary body. So Metroplex was intent on getting back to the empty space, she can still inspect him and after Xianthum relaxed so that Metroplex could complete see her now, the internal build that is a platform.
Finding that she liked being admired as much as she did the mech, Xianthum purred as she shifted, testing her clamps to see if she could let go. Or maybe being released was the term, as Metroplex had to open his armor again. He didn't, not right away as the city-former rolled with his partner. It was the equivalent of twirling around with a dance partner, just to their scale. Only after two and a half rotations did he let go, letting Xianthum head off away from any gravity wells, flashing thrusters at Metroplex. He laughed as he chased after her, listening to the happy singing that picked up the closer the mech got to her spot once picked out.
Then suddenly, another song rose up strong and powerful in the solar system, echoing deeper in tone than Xianthum's voice. It just wasn't the two or three intermixed levels like hers, but reverberating like in-atmosphere thunder. Putting those to shame as Metroplex sang back, ignoring the reactions from his inhabitants who hadn't heard him like this. No one in their or even the last ten generations had heard a true Metrotitan song, let alone a chorus.
Xianthum rolled in space once more, brushing one wing and then the other against the mech's side and then underside as he caught up. Metroplex extended his armor showily, flirting right back as the two did a 'slow' tumble of a dance. Sliding closer and breaking apart to alternate between letting armor scrape and rub against each other as well as to perform a rolling move or to display.
Metroplex vibrated his armor against hers whenever they touched as he sang, the song becoming complex as his field brushed over hers as well. Xianthum was responding in kind as she maneuvered to get her port wing against Metroplex' side and then pivoting over it until she was 'facing' him: underside to underside. For a glorious long, purring moment as momentum pressed the cruiser to her... partner, before the edges of her stubby wing tips were angled 'down' against Metroplex. So though they were in the right position there was also just too much space separating.
Far from feeling frustrated or miffed at the almost insane driving tease, for Metroplex knew it was one of her ways to touch. Much like he would touch or trace lines with his digits in robotic form. So instead Metroplex purred to her while another ripple in his plating against her wing tips and then almost his entire underside.
Apparently, living ships, platforms or cities decide that they liked or disliked someone rather rapidly just after meeting them, and Xianthum really liked Metroplex now as she pulled her wings back. Once again together as the cruiser basically nuzzle up against the mech, her hull flushed cold- though not as cold as raw, dead space and then heating back up to seem hotter and then before. It made Metroplex shiver all over while a warble of desire escaped.
By now his field was making it quite clear that he intended to mate with Xianthum, but only if she would allow him. From the shiver in her frame as his extended armor plates closed in to touch around Xianthum's sides as she pressed closer, it seemed he was welcome. Metroplex was aware that mustn't be fast about it at first as still technically this would be her first time in any deeper interaction with someone of her class. This was no alliance forged in the rush of battle in and after the exodus; however as a city-former patience was a trait that had been bred into his kind by Primus himself.
Xianthum snuggled into the offered embrace, her song shifting to a lower tone of pleasure and evolving attraction to longing while Metroplex rubbed gently against her in shifting armor. He had to do a partial transformation in order to rest his plating over the edges of Xianthum's form. At the same time he met her docking clamps with his own, holding his becoming mate as heat built and flushed through forms. It was a good thing no one was using any of their wash racks, or at least for their normal use as pretty much every line that wasn't coolant or energon was turning hot.
Energon itself was crackling and conducting not only emotion of the two Metrotitans but their own energy fields as well as that growing desire. It grew and spilled over to influence passengers, as that was one of the not so well known side effects on those who lived within platforms. It was actually a welcomed one as it didn't happen that often, and easily skipped by just going into stasis by those who were too young or didn't feel they were up to the intensity and inadvertent 'breeding season' for all who were inside.
With a deep, vibrating purr, Metroplex almost fluffed again in smug pride but that would have him lifting the plating he did not want to lift despite having a good hold, and was held onto. It was an embrace the city-former didn't want to break in any degree, not with the cruiser still snuggling against him.
"?" The mech hummed question back, no true words as his mind started thinking about the next step.
"How?" Xianthum asked.
It took a moment to shift gears back again, "How...?" he asked back, though more of asking what she meant by her question.
The Wrecker ship's voice lowered, curiosity mixing with honest bafflement, "How does it work?" Xianthum asked, wanting to know the literal mechanics of mating between two of their kind.
Culturally speaking, it was very rare with two 'young' Metrotitans of city, station, platform or ship class to mate, at least normally one partner was always older to teach. Metroplex had before, will again, but to remember this took an awkward moment as he processed the question.
Still, the unexpected question had a mental stumble, backtracked and then Metroplex skipped back to the right set of tracks.
"Right," Metroplex chuckled, the sound vibrating as he finished with the docking and link up. A little later on, when things had calmed down- after the fact, the inhabitants of the two would be able to move from one to the other easily. Though right now no one, who was awake, would be interested in moving from their spots they picked out as they partnered up. The mech had no problem explaining the mechanics before doing what he said, or coaxing Xianthum to do something. As said before, if Metroplex was anything than the very embodiment of patience.
Being docked was one thing, and linked to communicate and transfer energon and supplies was another, and then the mating connection a whole other thing altogether. Parts of that kind, even on the scale of the Metrotitans were sensitive, and it took more than a little rearranging of parts and other systems before that connect could even start to extend. Metroplex knew his mechanics, but it took some scans, a shy flusher to calm down in Xianthum before he could see how things worked, and relayed that. It wasn't long for the Wrecker ship to trace her own pathways, to find seals to break painlessly for the first time. Energon lines had to be stopped, blocked and then diverted into another path.
The one thing that was such an advantage of over-crowding, was that most of those out of stasis were always doing something to clean or keep up on small repairs after the larger wounds sustained from the Exodus were tended to. Mostly her core crew tended to the 'growth-spurts' while the Insecticons in her vents cleaned. So when it came down to it, the tightly folded inner armor plating could slide back with no rust or hitches.
Metroplex's song deepened in complexity, with echoes of entrapment, that attraction melding to fondness with the under tone blending with lust and longing. There was another echo in his song of the city-former willing to stop, though hoping not having to, but willing. Xianthum's trill bolstered that hope to expectation as first of the energon lines connected and flushed with the heated liquid energy. The main frames of their monolith cases extended just after and locked together with a thunderclap of vibration.
The cruiser shivered, holding her outer plating reflexively tighter and rumbled the equivalent of a purr. Xianthum ignored the laughing at her reaction from some of the core Wrecker crew, including the Foreman and his mate on the bridge. She couldn't help it, when the interfacing cables (true cables) started to make connections there was a verity of internal reactions in both. It was just that with Xianthum who had more mechs, the reactions were more notable. Such as several pairs who had thought themselves sneaky to get more space with the sensual activities the mating with the living platform and city triggered in their smaller residents.
There were more than a few yelps, flailing and curses up the walls as the wash racks triggered involuntary on their own. Running either too hot or cold as the solvent and water splashed down on those inside.
One mech laughed, taking this unexpected surprise with better humor then his Autobot partner. He shook his head, glowing sensors on his head getting some solvent off only to have them get soaked again. "Oh calm down mate," Que laughed, leaning back against the wall, propping and arm on bent knee as he watched the other mech pull down a drying cloth and hold it over himself. The blue mech laughed again as the cloth was promptly soaked, and then pooled liquid before splashing down over the mech's head.
"Well...frag..." he muttered as the mech realized his scrambled reflex had been pointless. With a pout he let the cloth drop as he did the equivalent of sighing, a muttered half keen under the breath.
Movement came as Que came over on knees before lifting the edge of the cloth and grinned at his partner's blue optics. "Its okay mate," he chuckled leaning forward to press their helms against each other. "Remember, the Xianthum's most definitely alive... makes things interesting." He grinned as his partner gave an embarrassed hum and dropped the wet cloth over them both. Que rolled with his partner with a chuckle as the water flicked off, and then on again.
There were a few other awkward moments like that, even over on Metroplex the large form of Grimlock lost his balance with the sudden moving of the floor and managed the best face plant of the new cycle in front of Swoop. As well as the best expletive following that, much to Metroplex's amusement as the city-former rolled in the open space.
Metroplex laughed to himself under his song as he rolled with his new mate, as much to keep movement that would simulate both, as to play in a way. Connected he could feel her, the potential of the Xianthum and that just right coding she had inherited to let her grow and mature so rapidly (in turns of their kind). There were lingering echoes of Vector Sigma coming from her, just as there was an imprinted echo of the Matrix of Leadership on the mech, a gift from the last Prime whether he knew it or not. Just as Metroplex could now see and feel who his new mate was, she could see his near ancient age, and the power behind that.
There was a playful surge passed from Xianthum to Metroplex, teasing him about his age in unspoken words and song. He promptly returned the favor, letting a wave of his stored energon flow through the connecting lines.
"Drink your energon little youngling, you shall need it." Metroplex said, and crooned as the last of the mating cables snapped together within the monolith case.
"Yet you, elder, should keep what you have to keep up," Xianthum shot back without missing a beat, "Burning so much hotter than I."
The mech rumbled and vibrated his covering and holding armor plates against the cruiser, "You will find that heat is good, we are in space... and you have just arrived after a jump, and I have basked for nearly a vorn."
"So you need much rest then?" Xianthum teased, the Wrecker ship trilling her laugher again.
"Not nearly as much as you will need," Metroplex promised as the first upsurge of his energon started, flowing to Xianthum and triggering her to respond in kind as the true act of mating started.
It was like a flare of a star, powerful in every right, absorbing in the unseen and felt beauty of finding another. Of being close to someone on their level, in a role no Platform Manager could ever fill, no matter how loved the little species-cousins were. Here and now both could feel physical pleasure of another kind, in the freedom of space and with a healthy star spreading its warmth alternatively spread over each titan's dorsal plating as they rotated in their orbital path of the same sun.
The love and enjoyment of the moment was not the only thing, there was also the rising hope of new generations that built upon and then reinforced with each passage of inner spark energy into the mating bond. Though this was not a Bonding, it was far from unimportant.
Metroplex and Xianthum both, their class of Cybertronians were revered for more than just being the living centers of cities, mobile homes and factories in the levels, energon collection stations in orbit of the planet- or at least they used to be nearly as revered as the temples of Primus. Many of the subcultures seeing them as a closer link and proof of their god of creation as it took the children of the Metrotitans to even start a new city, or a population bloom of Platforms before a new level of the metallic planet could even be considered.
It had broken Metroplex's spark in more ways than one to awaken on Cybertron in war and find himself alone. The ever constant blend of songs of his fellows that he fell asleep to was naught but aching silence. Being replaced with echoes bouncing off of the crippled moons, of screams of pain and loss until there was only a single dying, crying voice of a once station was heard out of his native territory of Iacon. Trypticon being forcefully reformatted and then muted by Megatron's design, in a punishment that was as much deserved as it wasn't.
The mech had thought himself the last of his kind, more so after finding himself alone again on the planet after the last of the armies fled in one last desperate push to the old space bridge. Metroplex's salvation had come in the dregs of the populous forgotten, and in the triple-changer tanker that attached his comparatively little self to the titan's face in glee and relief. That had given him strength (and been given energon by Octane) to get these last and those in stasis away from the planet.
And here he was, with a converted Platform crooning to his memories, her presence more comforting than anything at this moment.
Metroplex's voice rose in the solar system, stronger than it had been in ages. He had another of his kind, a mate, and the beginning seeds of a new generation of his kind beginning to form in this first bonding of several to come. Staying on one place never looked so good.
Queen's notes: This is my Monster, a whole chapter out of my book and out of order of the Level Workers saga, but the Monster is also a request and gift to Ultra Rodimus Prims, Storm Dracona and every Wrecker and Metroplex- and Xianthum- fan out there!
Edit: Ultra Rodimus Prime has re-edited this, thanks sweetie!