Kem's Robot Worldbuilding Yellhole Apparently

Discussion in 'Your Bijou Blogette' started by Kemmasandi, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    And if the first thing ever gets written i have ideas involving Quintesson Attack and Optimus figuring out how to use his creepy Matrix Bullshit powers without actually having to die first, which is useful.
  2. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Oh i love that idea A LOT
  3. HonestlyVan

    HonestlyVan a very funny person who never tells jokes

    Oh yes, indestructible Eldritch Horror Optimus is the best flavour. The last time he can recall getting knocked out was when an industrious Decepticon put a drillshaft right through his spark chamber, but he woke right up when the Autobots managed to pull it out. The battle strategies start revolving around throwing enough bodies to slow Optimus down to accomplish whatever main goal they have, b/c apparently there's just no putting him down.

    If I may add to this, consider also that the more he regenerates, the more objectively fucking weird his frame becomes. Little by little, he starts fueling less and sleeping less and his frame becomes somehow denser despite not getting any heavier and he "feels" bigger than he appears on optic sensors. He also doesn't seem to have a radiation footprint at all, while simultaneously being a walking radar blind spot. Ratchet forbids him from donating energon unless it's in an emergency b/c it makes people act... weird.

    Opimus remains pleasantly ignorant that he's starting to weird everyone out, and in his defense most people also forget that they're kinda creeped out by him now while talking to him -- except if they think he's mad at them. Then they have a creeping suspicion Optimus is reading their mind, and they're terribly sorry for whatever they did.
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  4. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    shoves delicious ideas into my brain

    i absolutely love this idea sdkdhdh <3333 i've been thinking of this idea as sort of a G1/TFP mashup where most of the visuals and situations/tone comes from G1 but most of the history/lore comes from my TFP headcanons because i just like those lmao... and now i'm thinking about Optimus's frame design just gradually taking on more of a TFP flavor the longer the war goes on, alongside the other changes. Juuuust enough to set him apart visually in a way that they're not used to, maybe a robot-style version of the Uncanny Valley. I wanted to give him TFP-Soundwave style tentacles too XD Soundwave tries to use telepathy on him and gets nothing but tv static.
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  5. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    also this is off-topic but i ended up doodling a loose diagram of Cybertron's general makeup the other day. Presenting Primus Pizza, 99% Bullshit by volume.

    The tree-like bits in the Space Dust layer are the bits that roam around collecting minerals and shit and turning that into useful resources for Primus. Some of them are hollow because Primus uses them to funnel some of that useful stuff up to the crust, where it gets found and mined by Cybertronians. Alpha Trion used them to hide the Matrix away deep underground. Orion Pax used them to retrieve said Matrix and become Optimus Prime. Megatron figured out that some of them were bringing energon to the surface (but didn't realise exactly what they were, he thought they were a natural formation) and dropped dark energon in them to poison the Autobots. Which worked, except it also fucked up Primus for a bit and that's why everyone had to leave the planet because Scary Shit started happening. Good job, Megatron.
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  6. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    a short list of Robot Rocks courtesy of tfwiki, for me to yoink at leisure: (pls pick a better rock to name ur Special Fragile Power Shit after, omg, quartz is kinda Known for not breaking down easily at all lmao) (apparently a robot drug. petition to make this like shrooms that makes u face due north and space out) (i know it says metal in the page but fuckit) (keep reading this as forsterite in my head and going 'wait i know that one' lol)
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  7. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    I finally got around to outlining a fic i started/last updated in fuckin 2014. I've wanted to come back to it ever since; it's one of the ones that came about when i was feeling Very Bitter at megop fics handwaving like the whole war to have a shippy fic and also the amount of fics that had Optimus coming back from the Orion Pax episodes sparked with Megatron's sparkling and like... either brushing aside the inherent Consent Issues in that scenario or even just never mentioning them at all. :/

    Soooooo I took that idea and ran with it, and now it's Optimus Whump: The Fic. XD Optimus gets knocked up unknowingly with an unwanted sparkling and absolutely nothing about his carrying experience is pleasant. Although he does get to beat the slag out of Megatron, as Megatron deserves. (Sometimes I love a good 'Megatron is actually sorta tolerable' story... sometimes I just need him being his nasty filthy more-or-less-canon self. lbh, tfp Megs is a trash fire of a person.)

    I have 18 chapters on the outline - I was hoping to go for a lower chapter count than that tbh, but oh well. 18 chapters is better than ??? chapters, which is what I had before lmfao.

    Eldritch Horror!OP also has sort of an outline. That one's about 6 chapters, which is much nicer. I wish I could just focus on one damn fic at a time ohmygod.
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  8. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    (vibrates quietly about these extremely good concepts)
  9. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    this video is incredibly interesting omfg
  10. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    keep entertaining idle dreams of a yt channel that explains geology things that are Commonly Misinterpreted in yt videos. i went through a few volcano videos this evening bc i got stuck in hyperfocus mode and its frankly impressive how much so many people get wrong lmao. If i played a drinking game with it id have to drink when they said something actually correct, or id die of alcohol poisoning.

    fav part: all the people in the comments getting competitive over Whose Volcanoes Are Bigger xD
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  11. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Far as I can tell, the title of 'Biggest Active Volcanoes' goes to Indonesia (Toba), the USA (Yellowstone), New Zealand (Taupo) and maybe to Japan? There's an active system in Kyushu that had an eruption about 30k years ago ish that was on the border of being supervolcano large, I think that probably should count lol. I also would like to know what's going on with the Taupo Volcanic Zone, because that entire thing is absolutely lousy with calderas clustered reasonably tightly together and I wanna know how some of those can be considered extinct when there's a younger active caldera literally overlapping them. I guess maybe the magma chemistry is different somehow? IDK, gotta keep reading.
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  12. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    I've gotten a bit focused on a fic I started writing back in 2017 sometime lmao. It started out as plain old mechpreg smut with megatronus and orion pax, because I've had a good-end AU for them percolating in my head since fuckin 2013 and it only has a vague plot but that makes it great for random smut!

    2021!me took one look at this fic and said: Im gonna give Megs a knot

    and then shortly afterward I went full galaxy brain and said: Hey what if Orion goes into labor while theyre still knotted lmfao

    I am having so much fun with this now XDDD

    I got a big thing for humanlike mechpreg for some ungodly reason, but I'm often slightly disappointed by how samey a lot of the birth scenes are. Which is like, Fair; 90% of the time theyre just written to scratch a kink or few, fuck knows ive done that a few times... but I kinda want the full breadth of Experiences with them and that means like... things going off-script, awkward or just plain stupid situations, uncooperative anatomy, messes, boredom and waiting for shit to happen, low-stakes Problems, jokes being made about all of that... it can be great for character development, even if it is just plain a ridiculous concept for giant alien robots lol. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I haven't found much of that sort of fic.

    Mostly sfw excerpt under cut:

    “You should comm your doctor friend,” said Megatronus, audibly reluctant. “It is early, but he may still have the time to travel all the way from Iacon.”

    He and Ratchet had never exactly gotten along—they were a little too similar, Orion thought but had never said aloud. Megatronus respected Ratchet, however, and Ratchet returned the sentiment despite his (valid, it had to be said) worry that Megatronus’ presence might put Orion’s life in danger.

    Orion shuttered his optics. His spark whirled fast, the timer on his HUD ticking steadily away. “I should,” he agreed, voice measured and far calmer than he felt.

    He and Megatronus had agreed with very little discussion that Ratchet should oversee his pregnancy. Although Ratchet had not worked in obstetrics for a few centuries, he had been delighted to accept. Orion had imagined that their long friendship would reassure and comfort him. He’d never once been ashamed to discuss his medical experiences with Ratchet, from exhaustion and burnout due to his own tendency toward overwork, to the small and sometimes embarrassing injuries that came from sharing an active sex life with a gladiator so much larger and stronger than himself.

    Until now.

    Primus. Maybe, if he was lucky, Ratchet would be in recharge. (Unlikely, said his logic subroutines; Iacon and Kaon shared nearly the same timezone.)

    Orion dug into his contacts, producing Ratchet’s long-distance comm ID. Megatronus cupped enormous servos around his gravid belly, little strokes of his thumbs sweeping across his uselessly-gapping abdominal plating. Orion vented a deep sigh, drew resolve from the solid warmth of his mate’s frame, and called the number.

    Good morning, Ratchet. Are you available?

    Ratchet responded near-immediately. 《 I absolutely am, old friend. Is this a personal call, or medical?

    Trust Ratchet to zero in straight to the point. Orion would have appreciated it more in literally any other situation.

    I have gone into labour 》he explained, searching fruitlessly for a less embarrassing description of the problem. 《 I have not experienced much, if any of the typical initial symptoms, and we were therefore… surprised by the active stages of emergence.

    Ratchet read between the lines of the clinical description with the unerring accuracy of a mech deeply familiar with all aspects of the process. He had carried two of his own kindlesparks, another reason Orion had sought his care.《 Let me guess: you were busy fragging?

    Orion hedged his answer. 《 Well... to put it frankly, yes.

    It’s common 》Ratchet assured him, chuckling over the connection. 《 Don’t worry, Orion, it shouldn’t have any bearing on the sparkling. You’re well within the bounds of what we consider full-term for the projected frametype.

    Orion passed the information along to Megatronus, who made a relieved noise and let the jitters fade from his swirling EM field. 《 I am glad to hear that. Unfortunately there was a, another slight issue.

    Ratchet’s reply came tinged with concern.《 What is it?

    Orion glared into the darkness behind his shuttered optics. He was never going to live this down.

    Had I mentioned that Megatronus has a locking mod? It, er, it fixes into my forge lock when he overloads and, well, it is clearly in fine working order.

    Ratchet was silent for a long moment. 《 Am I to assume that the lock is still engaged as we speak?

    Yes 》Orion admitted. Mortified resignation flooded his spark, coloring his EM field deep crimson.

    Well 》 said Ratchet, stretching out the syllable. 《 That’s a lot rarer, I’ll give you that.

    Megatronus rubbed Orion's abdomen, projecting protective defiance through his field in response. “If he is berating you I will have words with him,” he murmured.

    Orion waved him off, placating. “No, he is not. I just--you know, I never ever anticipated having to tell one of my oldest friends that I have a spike stuck inside me while I’m going into labour. Why would I? It’s an entirely ridiculous idea and I can’t believe I’m living it in reality.”​

    Thinkin of having an omake where Ratchet and Orion get together with their babies for a robocoffee and Ratchet admits that actually Orion isn't the first he's heard of this Problem; it's just that the first time was Hospital Gossip and he thought it was an urban legend. Orion is just glad to know someone else out there was also That Foolish With A Sex Mod.

  13. HonestlyVan

    HonestlyVan a very funny person who never tells jokes

    God, this is 80% of my problem with the stuff that I write off as Pointless Anthropocentrism in TF fic. Nobod ever even, like, fucking does anything with the human-specific baggage they bring into the stories about robots, and it just bores me to tears b/c half the time the whole concept of the story seems to be "here's a thing that humans in fiction do! But it's done by giant robots in the exact same way! How novel" when it really is not!!! These things would be just as boring to read about if they were about regular degular human people!!!

    Like... when people legit don't think about the robot aliens further than the end of their nose and write them having all the same hangups as people unintentionally, that's just like whatever, not everyone is a slut for worldbuilding and the verfremdungseffekt as I am, but when people do it on purpose, and even call attention to doing it on purpose, and not even do anything interesting it's like what?? Why?? Why this fandom??
    • Agree x 1
  14. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Yeah, that thing in general is just so frustrating. At this point I give things a pass if it's obvious it's for kink reasons lmao, but if it isn't I end up being like.......what's the point??? Me vs. the whole mech/femme thing, gogogogo

    Today's Google Maps discovery, which made me lose my shit:

  15. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Eugh I tried to write more of the mechpreg thing and got about a single paragraph done, which is better than nothing but not what I'd like. Part of the issue is mom's between jobs at the moment and we're both stuck in the same small house and I need a bit of Solitude to write skdhgfj. At this point I might try escaping to the library again... I used to be able to get some decent shit done there like five, ten years ago, so I hope it holds lol.

    I found a twitter thread about how TFP Optimus gets softboyed a lot in fic, and that strikes ppl as OOC and annoying... and I'm in the awkward position of agreeing with most of it but also not particularly agreeing with many of the conclusions ppl drew? And sometimes I wonder if my OP comes across as softboyed to these readers when I was going for a completely different thing wrt his character?

    (side note, I fuckin love how random US politics posts turn up when you search megop bc the maine republicans use that as their organising tag lmfao, its never gonna not amuse me that they have to share space with robot enthusiasts lmao.)

    Anyway, some thought organization on how I see TFP Optimus:
    • first of all I project like fuck all over him lol. There's a few main points and they all influence each other:
      • He's quiet, self-contained, does most of his processing without showing it on the outside, yada yada. He's not 100% Logic or whatever, he has his moments of Strong Emotion, but he tends to work in a fairly cerebral mode most of the time and when he does show his emotions, it's typically Subtle compared to others in the show.
      • He's somewhat socially awkward in a way that strikes me as both fascinated and also somewhat frustrated: he likes ppl in general and is interested in their general wellbeing, but there's a lot they do that's just very WHY.
      • He's primarily concerned with a very big-picture issue and is keenly aware at all times of his responsibilities and the things he needs to do to make the big-picture stuff happen.
        • I find that almost all of the above shit is v e r y close to how I experience myself, and am often perceived IRL.
        • also, as a result there's a few things about him that are canon as per Aligned as a whole, but that I ignore, either because i hate it (Covenant of Primus) or haven't read/played/watched it (p much everything else lol). And like, basically as soon as I was five episodes into TFP I had my own Take on Optimus, and I am now Picky about how different things can be from that Take before I discard them.
    • TFP OP's most Important Part, imo, is his Thinkin. He's thoughtful, he considers his actions and his words carefully before he does/speaks them, he takes likely reactions/consequences into account. He's mostly fairly confident in his conclusions because of that, but he also seems to be conscious enough of the inherent Unpredictability of living in a childrens cartoon world (y'know) to not count too hard on things happening that way.
      • I think this might be part of the 'OP likes Rules' stuff I've seen? That and the Primes don't party line lol. Anyway, my OP is not a particularly rule-oriented person, he tends to see them as like, potentially-helpful guidelines.
      • I rank this above his emotional component because his emotions get filtered through his Thinkin, rather than the other way around. (Except for when it comes to killing Megatron, at least in the first season.) Portrayals of Optimus where the Thinkin gets filtered through his emotions feel wrong (with the exception of stories where this is intentional on the author's part, which is *chef's kiss*). I'm not totally sure how to put this into words, but while his emotions can affect his decision-making process and whatnot, there needs to be like... at least some acknowledgement of it to make it ring true to me?
        • probably Terry Pratchett said it best with his Third Thoughts: thinkin about HOW you're thinkin about WHAT you're thinkin. Probably more levels of it too, lol. I tend to do this naturally, and while it is in no way a cure for acting impulsively and fucking up, I tend to know mostly where I've fucked up as I'm doing it; I just can't stop it because my brain's decided This Is What We're Doing, Even If It's Stupid.
        • So I tend to vibe most with an Optimus who is fairly clear-headed and self-aware even as he's fuckin up in the heat of the moment lmao. Also one that can go back and apologise where necessary, because even though the emotions are strong and the embarrassment and guilt are High, he knows where he went wrong and that he owes someone a nice sorry at least.
    • so yeah, he also needs a decent emotional core. This can vary a lot - I can enjoy Optimi who don't have strong emotions, but are fairly in-tune with and take seriously the emotions that they do have. I can also enjoy Optimi who do have strong emotions but also have a fairly tight rein on how said emotions are expressed - although I do prefer it when that tight rein is not 100% because of any like... moral/social conditioning or fear of expression, but like... a personality thing? XD IDK, it's late and I'm not sure I'm using words right skhgkhd.
      • I also read him as more prone to directing emotions inward, which means they tend to manifest as sadness/tiredness/that sort of general draining malaise. He's very capable of anger, but actually expressing it more than like, Disappointed Disapproval takes a bit of effort so it better be worth the effort, y'know.
      • Positive emotions also get the inward treatment tho! My OP gets misread as being like, sad or disappointed or frustrated when actually he's neutral-to-positive, especially by humans. He finds enjoyment in small, often irrelevant things, often because they get him thinking.
    • My Orion Pax is probably way more in danger of the softboy thing, but I don't think he's that either lol. He just is... newer, less experienced, has been shoved down into place all his life and is still getting used to the idea of sticking his head up and wanting more. He has strong emotions but is also the sort of person who feels more comfortable with more control over them; he likes Logic a lot better, and he's still sort of wrapping his head around the idea that emotions are a part of living as a person, making subjective choices. He's also not exactly naive - he's historian-adjacent, lol, he'd have a lot more social context for fuckin everything than the vast majority of mecha and he's thoughtful enough to ask those questions, at least to himself - buuuut there's a difference between being aware of things and actually living them. The latter comes with a level of emotion and brutality that's just really hard for him and his logic-preference to wrap his head around.
      • I haven't read any of the TFP prewar novels, so I wouldn't know if there's characterization in there that explains the common fandom takes on Orion Pax. I've read a couple of excerpts and wasn't necessarily hooked, lol.
    ...more thoughts to come in the future lol. It's bedtime and I'm tired XD
    • Like x 2
  16. Loq

    Loq rotating like a rotisserie chicknen

    I avoid larger fandom when at all possible so idk what the Reigning Takes are, but I have read at least two "pre"war novels (one covers the beginning of the war, the other is set immediately after the abandonment of Cybertron) and I'd say your read is pretty on the money. He's very, very self-contained, to the point where chapters written close to his POV (the books kind of walk the line of 3p limited and 3p omniscient narration) tend to "six paragraphs of internal monologue for one line of dialogue." Early war OP is... as you say, newer, less experienced, a little more naïve, but not necessarily softer for it- it just impacts his own internal logic. If anything, it makes him a little stubborn at times, a little more prone to deciding he has Thought Things Through and is therefore Correct, even when there's things he's missing.

    I'm particularly thinking of one exchange between him and Jazz, just after OP has been Primed, about whether it was really a good idea to let the Senate do this:
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  17. HonestlyVan

    HonestlyVan a very funny person who never tells jokes

    Yeah, I was afraid to comment but what you were saying is eerily parallel to a post I made about how I write TFP Optimus, and I'm generally extremely vain about my characterisation abilities. Also a big thing people ignore about the prewar novels (and the games! Nobody ever talks about Optimus' characterisation in the games, and that's frustrating b/c that's Orion acting under the title of "Optimus" before he has the Matrix, and it's extremely crunchy characterisation food) is that I genuinely think they're all told by an unreliable narrator -- probably Alpha Trion, since he has access to the Covenant the whole time.

    So, like... it's all interpretation.
    • Agree x 2
  18. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Well damn, there goes my best theory!! XDD Yeah, that quote really rings true to me. Which books were they? The only Aligned book I've ever read in full was the Covenant of Primus, which... ok, it did have a few cool things in it (Mercury and the Mutacons, Arachnicons) I gotta admit that much - but I really really didn't like the way it handled almost everything about the Thirteen and Orion/Optimus, so it's very possible that I'd read those excerpts I mentioned in the context of that residual dislike.

    Context for my dislike of the Covenant: There was a plot in the beginning about Liege Maximo playing on Megatronus' feelings for Solus to get him to kill her (it's complicated and imo the book didn't explain it v well) and when the Primes got together afterward Thirteen (aka who Optimus is supposed to be) called it just a mistake? Which struck a nerve all on its own, and then not long afterward, some very close friends of mine were attending a university that got shot up by some incel fuckhead and i think four people were killed. So it's a really unfortunate authorial choice and coincidence that's tainted the whole book for me, and probably wasn't helped by the fact that the Covenant was very popular among megop shippers at the time because of the "journeys end in lovers' meeting" quote in the later chapters (which TFwiki says is about Primus and Unicron, Ackshually, and I remember having a similar objection at the time, maybe) so it kept getting shoved in my face and championed by people I also didn't like very much and... yeah, perfect storm of NOPE, lol.

    (There was also the "there are thirteen frametypes and one of them is Girl" thing that I also did not like, but I've hated human gendery shit in my robots since 2012 so like I've gotten used to just ignoring that lol.)

    RE. the games... [eyes emoji] I might have to see if I can find some cutscenes on youtube or something! That does sound like crunchy food, but alas I have no way to play the games myself XD

    RE. Alpha Trion the unreliable narrator - I'd believe it lmao. It... is actually explicitly the case in most of the Covenant of Primus, which really just gives me another excuse to ignore the shit out of that canon lol. It also makes the scene where Shockwave is going full mad scientist over the Dinobots really fuckin funny - he's portrayed as being super excited and affectionate towards them, completely OOC. Way funnier if I picture that as Alpha Trion just making shit up, as opposed to being expected to believe TFP Shockwave ever calling Grimlock "my boy" lmfao.
    • Like x 1
  19. Loq

    Loq rotating like a rotisserie chicknen

    eject human gendery shit from robots fistbunp
    I wanted a copy of the Covenant for completionism's sake but now I'm not so sure, oof.... I have Exodus and its immediate sequel, Exiles. Exodus is half directly narrated by Alpha Trion, as mentioned upthread, and almost definitely skewed even in portions where he isn't directly speaking 'to' the reader, but it's got a lot of fun background stuff from prewar Cybertron- caste and clade information, amusement parks, art communes on volcanoes... Exiles has a different-from-IDW look at Velocitron, but tbh the plot is a bit convoluted and nonsensical, and mostly I'm here for Blurr being a shining beacon of entertainment.
  20. HonestlyVan

    HonestlyVan a very funny person who never tells jokes

    (best robot meta we ever concocted: almost everyone on 00 hates the whole "mechs and femmes" thing for being too "people and Women" and nonsensical let anthropocentric, and after raging about it, "femme" now carries the same connotation as "goth"

    TFP Megatron and IDW1 Cyclonus, femme icons)
    • Winner x 2
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