Cybertron was always dark.
One would think all of the artificial lighting and the brilliant glow of the smelters and the spotlights shining into the sky would keep the metallic planet fairly illuminated, but no - all light was lost in the dark sky always filled with stars. No sun shined on Cybertron where it floated in the emptiness of the void, its homestar abandoned long ago. The planet was in a permanent twilight with no overly thick, gaseous atmosphere to dampen the shine of the heavens - there was only a thin one to prevent cosmic radiation from permeating the metal planet and its inhabitants, and even then, the atmosphere was artificial - more like a forcefield generated from deep within Cybertron itself to offer just enough oxygen and nitrogen to fuel the flames of the smelters and combat the radiation of space.
The endless twilight was simply something a Cybertronian grew accustomed to - most knew nothing else. Few knew the feeling of wind going through their systems and caressing circuitry never before touched, and even fewer knew the warmth of a brightly shining sun or the light of a new day.
Ravage was not one of them.
The black Cassetticon lifted her head to watch the stars where she lay on a ledge overlooking Iacon, and her tape crackled deep inside her as she made a quick recording of a streak of light far in the distant sky. The stars fascinated her - the way some flickered while others shined steadily, the way some moved while others remained stationary, the way most where white but some were red, blue, and even a green one or two - it was quite interesting, and she could spend countless cycles simply watching them and taking snapshots of anything she could not understand so as to investigate further. The shimmering lights of Iacon were much like the stars in the sky, flickering and moving in a similar way, but Iacon's light was much brighter and harsher than the distant lanterns of the heavens. Still, she made a few more recordings for comparison as well as made a mental note to compare Iacon and the stars to other cities - Praxus would be a good one.
A chime in the back of her mind tore her attention from the sky, and she glanced over her silver shoulder to see a familiar blue form stepping toward her. Cybertron's eternal twilight played over his color, making him appear darker than he truly was, and shadows fell harshly across his sharp corners. The only thing the twilight could not modify was the steady crimson glow of his visor which he kept trained on the city far below as he stopped beside her and slowly sat next to her, one large leg hanging over the ledge.
Ravage's tape crackled more audibly in contentment as her optics dimmed in response to Soundwave's large blue fingers as they slid over her head and across her audio receptors. The touch was all too short-lived, and she stubbornly pushed her head back into his hand when he tried to stop. His amusement tickled the back of her mind as he relented, and Ravage shifted her position so she leaned against his leg where she lay.
After a moment, she rewound her tape slightly and, using the gift of telepathy she had inherited from him when he first Sparked her, sent Soundwave the first image she took of the light in the sky, and behind it was her endless curiousity - what was it? He never failed to answer her and even found her fascination with the stars amusing.
"Comet," he answered simply in the melodious echo she had always known him to have.
"But isn't it too low?" she inquired further. At this, Soundwave looked closer at the image she sent him before he sent a negative response.
"Appearances deceiving," was his answer. "On horizon." Satisfied, Ravage settled against him once more and moved her attention back to the glimmering city below. She had long ago learned why he spoke so oddly compared to other Cybertronians - the bond they shared as creator and offspring as well as the gift of telepathy she had inherited from him prevented him from keeping secrets from her. He once worked as a scientist many vorns past, and an explosion had rendered his vocal processor functional only thirty percent. It was painful to speak properly, so he simply did not do it, and since he could still get his point across even with his limited speech, he saw no point in having it repaired. Ravage had probed his memories in the past to hear for herself what he had once sounded like, and she had to admit she preferred the harmonic echo he now possessed. It was soothing.
"Where are the others?" she asked after nearly two breems of silence. She did not have a proper vocal processor of her own, but they needed no spoken words.
"Recharging," Soundwave replied, and as he did so, he lifted his free hand to touch the tips of his fingers to the protective covering over his chest. She was not too surprised her younger siblings were already resting. The twins Rumble and Frenzy were still exhausted from their performance at a concert the orn before, and Laserbeak had made the mistake of trying a new mix of energon - her filters had a hard time processing it, so Ravage assumed earlier that she would go offline early.
"And the new one?" she asked, unable to prevent her muzzle from pulling back in a small grin when she felt him swell in pride. He lived for this - she could not imagine what he would be like if Primus had not granted him the rare ability to split his spark and create life.
"Growing," Soundwave answered, injured voice devoid of the excitement Ravage felt practically rolling off of him. The nameless spark nestled in the larger mech's spark chamber was already halfway through its development - soon enough, it would be ready for the body Soundwave had already completed for it.
A soft, steady roar brought the black femme's attention back to the sky, and she raised her head just in time to see a series of mechs fly overhead toward Iacon. She could only make out a silhouette against the star-filled sky, and she saw no wings on any of them - they must have been part of the new line of mechs she heard about from Soundwave, the new line which could fly without wings. There were not many of them yet, so it was almost an honor to witness them in flight.
"What would it be like to fly?" Ravage asked her creator when she could no longer see the flying mechs as they descended into the city.
"Suggestion: inquire Laserbeak." Ravage whirred her tape with annoyance and let her head once again rest on her folded paws. She had tried that before, and Soundwave knew she had. Laserbeak was not exactly the brightest of the four and was not very informative. She could not tell Ravage of how it felt to fly.
After a klik, she tilted her head slightly so she could look up at Soundwave when her annoyance did not trigger the spark of amusement it should have. His red visor was trained on the city, and for the first time, she felt something new from him - apprehension. Unnerved, she probed further and growled when he tried to block her.
"You can't keep secrets from me," Ravage warned him. She did not like what she was feeling from him - apprehension, worry, emotions not like her creator - and she demanded an explanation. If he did not tell her or continued to block her, she would get the information she wanted by force.
Soundwave knew that, and after another klik of watching Iacon, he turned his head to look right at her, hesitating once more as if judging how he wanted to word what he needed to say.
Ravage realized later that he hesitated because he was stalling.
Ravage leapt to her feet in alarm when she heard an explosion and tore her gaze from Soundwave back to Iacon to see the remnants of a pillar of fire disappear into Cybertron's twilight. Smoke billowed from the outer region of the city where the flying mechs had disappeared to be joined by another ball of flame, and the shockwave from the explosions shook the pillar where she and her creator observed. It took more effort than she liked for Ravage to turn her gaze back up to Soundwave who was still watching her.
She took a small step backwards when he opened his chest, and she gave him an angry growl in response before she lashed out, but before she could force her way into his mind for the answers she wanted, he finally relented.
"Safe location: necessary," he said. "Future: uncertain."
Ravage's growl lowered as she forced her anger to the side and let herself think about the situation. Wandering through Kaon, she had heard talk of a group of mechs unhappy with the way Cybertron was being run - a rebellion of sorts. She had not entertained the notion for long - it was absurd. Cybertron functioned just fine, and its inhabitants were at peace.
Obviously, not enough agreed with her. Ravage reluctantly looked back down to the now burning area of the city - the docking areas if she remembered right. She could only watch for a klik before she moved her gaze back up to her creator. She knew what it meant, but she had to ask anyway.
"So it's true."
Soundwave nodded quietly and looked to Iacon.