Message: 2/16.........Posted........Author IC Text Report (1)....Tue Jan 02....Geist
<< Submitted as text-only and encrypted for rank 5+ viewing only >>
TO: Decepticon High Command
SUBJECT: Rank-And-File Unrest
Normally, I would not concern myself quite so much with such matters, except for the fact that my loyalty to the pack is unquestioned. Hence, the submission of this report.
Last cycle, unit Fusillade utilized broadband radio for several other Decepticons (units Catechism, Vortex and Geo), concerning a transmission or file entered by the Alpha in the most recent foray into the Trifid Nebula. Given the names involved (although unit Sixshot was not initially contacted, but appeared later at the spaceport and very aware of the intentions of units Fusillade and Catechism), I decided to investigate in the interests of ascertaining their intent. I found units Fusillade and Catechism loading a shuttle for departure, and upon revealing my presence, was informed that their intent was to destroy the HIVE asteroid.
The... obvious nature of the ongoing feud between Aerospace (particularly the Seekers) and the pack nothwithstanding, I attempted to convince them to cease and desist -- convince via diplomacy and, admittedly, a bit of intimidation, as due to the pack's status in relation to the command structure of the Empire, I am unable to 'order' anyone to do anything -- I did, however, insinuate that their intentions could very well be construed as treason against the Empire. Such insinuation, it appears, was enough to dissuade unit Vortex from unit Fusillade's intended course of action, and unit Vortex departed.
Message: 2/17.........Posted........Author IC Text Report (2)....Tue Jan 02....Geist
<< As previous, submitted as text-only and encrypted for rank 5+ viewing only >>
The situation escalated, however, when unit Sixshot arrived soon thereafter and attempted to forcibly coerce unit Geo into boarding the shuttle against her will, to which unit Greymalkin appeared to defend unit Geo from being forcibly taken against her will -- unit Sixshot, from all indications, appears to believe he can order others around that are well outside his divisional bounds.
Matters continued to escalate further when unit Fusillade attempted to give me an order (which again, due to the nature of the pack, is also disallowed under Imperial edict), and then order unit Sixshot to attack me if I did not follow her 'orders' to depart. Eventually, however, they unloaded their cargo and backed down from their intended course of action.
Despite unloading their munitions for their intended strike of the HIVE asteroid, I respectfully submit that units Fusillade, Catechism and Sixshot in particular be closely observed for any further indications of potential treason against the Empire. I volunteer myself to watch unit Catechism, as I believe my cloaking systems are more than adequate to allow me to observe with impunity without being observed by her in return. As to the observation of units Fusillade and Sixshot, I leave in the capable hands of High Command to determine the best course of action.
<Decepticon> Shockwave says, "Geist, Fusillade. Report to the space centre."
<Decepticon> Geist says, "As you command."
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "Fascinating that you pick and choose when you decide to listen to those who aren't your Alpha, Sweep."
Very large and flat, like the NCC spaceport always has been, there remains the room for spaceships and aircraft of all shapes and sizes to land and take off, whether they're equipped with VTOL or not. The large hangers, warehouses for incoming supplies, and maintenance stations are still there, although now they seem to mostly exist on the northwest edge of the area. Where once the runways were silver Cybertronian, an impurity has been added to give the whole area a frost-blue tint. Also new are the rows of sharp, jagged, upward pointing structures to the north and south that crowd together enough to make passage difficult without flight. Beyond the southern border that these provide is the sparkling ocean, and far behind the north edge, the distant peak of Mount R'Lyeh can be spied. Past the hangers and warehouses is the raised structure of the Command Center, set atop a maze of metallic supports that appear to the eye no sturdier than dandelion fluff, but in fact are more than sufficient to serve as support for the Empire's commanders while at the same time cushioning it from the vibrations caused by the activities of the spaceport. Several passages wind their way beneath the Command Center, allowing individuals access to the Spinal Pathway without having to first pass through the nerve center of the city.
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "The fact that we Sweeps have that choice must be making you jealous."
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "Phht, not really, suck-up."
<Decepticon> Betty says, "Choice of subservience to one subservient to the Empire proper, or subservience to the Empire herself, lapdog? Where exactly DO your loyalties lie, mein sweepflieger?"
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "With my Emperor, Galvatron, foremost, and Cyclonus and my Pack Leader Scourge."
<Decepticon> Betty says, "Conveniently answered, and politically gauged, Herr Sunder. And crosswise with your portrayal of 'choice' in allegiance. I was unaware of any choice in loyalty concerning our beloved Reich."
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "Loyalty to the Empire is different from when those outside the specific chain of command try to overstep their bounds."
<Decepticon> Betty says, "Ohhhhh... Tsk tsk tsk. So now there are 'levels' of loyalty one must show to appropriate factions and splinter groups that you and your kind have formed? So conquest and the very pinnacle of the definition of empirical rule and Oberherr Galvatron's will is subverted by your interpretation of a petty concept such as 'chain of command'?"
Shockwave has in his sole hand a datapad containing Geist's recent report. It has displeased him. While Shockwave is normally content with letting Galvatron handle any unrest amongst the troops with his usual flair of killing those that dare disobey him, Galvatron is not here. Reluctantly, the Decepticon DCI Commander must admit that there are some things that Galvatron surpasses him in. Luckily, these are few and far between.
Shockwave is standing in the middle of one of the currently unused silver runways used for the shuttles. There is a lot of space around him. The water-on-metal waves can be heard to the south. The massive Mount R'Lyeh to the north casts a hazy shadow across great sections of the Decepticon spaceport.
She's no Skywarp, but Fusillade makes good time back to New Crystal City. With midnight coating the skies, only the sounds of her engines tell of her approach. She soon blows past the control tower, with wings swept. She half-rolls as she does the flyby, the floodlights splashing her gloss white underbelly as she sizes up those present below. The turquoise and gold flicker of her quartet afterburner flames fades as she banks. The bomber reports to the area, but refuses to touch down.
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "If Galvatron directly orders me to follow another's command who does not normally command me, I will obey him."
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "Otherwise, it makes about as much sense as Cyclonus following the command of some random Seeker in Aerospace."
<Decepticon> Betty says, "Hmmmmm... Interesting. So, loyalty to the concept of empirical rule and the understood premise of mein oberherr's will, the life's blood of the far reaching and ACTING hand of our beloved Reich, now requires direct orders from der Fuhrer himself?"
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "I take no orders from those not authorized to give them, but rather take anything said by such as "suggestions.""
All appears quiet in the Spaceport, at least at present. Little presence other than the typical maintenance crews and the like to ensure that all Imperial craft are ready for depart at a moment's notice. Yet, those crews aside, there is another watching from the shadows.
Truth be told, Geist had very little reason to trust words after the events of the previous cycle. He had cloaked as he had departed the Spaceport, only to double back soon thereafter and make certain that the shuttle had, indeed, been fully unloaded. He has kept watch ever since, remaining in a shadowy vantage point from which he could best observe the Spaceport as a whole.
With Shockwave's arrival, however, he steps out and into view, the cloak dissipating as he deactivates it, and engages his anti-gravs to descend towards the runway where Shockwave currently stands. "You summoned, sir?" he asks quietly.
<Decepticon> Betty says, "Depending wholly upon the direct, given order and not the basic tools of initiative given you by our very being and place as lords of all? Do you strike this initiative from your given circuits often, or do you simply operate in this manner as standard, relegating yourself to the role of puppet, unknowing, unseeing, unthinking for the greater good of our Reich, for the greater good and strength of das Oberherr, for the power and influence of our very core?"
Sweepcraft <Sunder> happened to be in the neighborhood, and the whisperings of things gone sour involving someone trying to order his wingsib around that had no business doing so has intrigued him. After all, this wouldn't be the first time someone tried to order around a Sweep, and it probably wouldn't be the last. He stands near his wingsib, smirking, ready to report all to Scourge, soaking up every last bit of information that comes his direction. Sunder shifts into his fearsome-looking robot mode.
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "Eh, tried that, Axis. Didn't really seem to do me much good."
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "The system we have going now seems to work well."
<Decepticon> Fusillade rewards Sunder with mocking laughter.
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "You really want to have control over the Sweeps really bad, don't you?"
Geist transmits a message via radio. Sunder receives a radio transmission.
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "No. I simply want them to have enough CPU capacity to have controls over themselves."
<Decepticon> Betty says, "Ahhhh... So now the strength, power, energon and death we have spread and suffered over eons in effort to crush this diseased, rebellious peasantry is simply a 'system'. Why Herr Sunder, such cold, calculating efficiency. 'Tis humorous indeed."
Sunder transmits a message via radio. Geist receives a radio transmission.
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "I have nothing more to say on this matter. I consider it closed unless Scourge, Cyclonus or Lord Galvatron himself say otherwise."
<Decepticon> Betty says, "Jawohl, little puppet. Enough HAS been said, ja?"
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "Ah, is that what all that radio tickling below was all about? Your brother snapping your leash, Sunder?"
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "no"
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "That is all."
<Decepticon> The Creepy One, Sunder says, "Truth be told, I find this issue tiresome to discuss."
Shockwave peers upwards into the sky with his single optic, watching as the replica B-1B Lancer performs a flyby of the spaceport. Calmly, he transmits to the Decepticon elite, "Fusillade, report to my presence and land." Having had to deal with Sixshot on more than one occasion, Shockwave is growing tired of the mild infighting that has been going on. Thankfully the Decepticons have a very swift and effective way of combating this, even if it never seems to last forever.
Turning his head to the slightest degree, Shockwave spots Geist as he decloaks nearby. "Yes," he replies to the Sweep once identified. He also notes Sunder but does not react to him other than noting that the Sweeps are no doubt once again sticking together. "We are going to resolve this matter in a swift and efficient manner," he tells Geist, waiting for Fusillade to land.
<Decepticon> Betty says, "Ja. Puppetry has always, while pleasurable to mock, tired me from within my very core. Whereas the more enticing pursuits of our beloved Reich do stoke the very flames of my interest."
Sunder transmits a message via radio.
Geist receives a radio transmission.
Geist transmits a message via radio to Sunder.
Sunder transmits a message via radio to Geist.
B-1B Lancer spares another circling pass, using her holding pattern to verify that there is no other interfering air traffic. That last pass is with her main weapons stores bay open, the tell-tale glitter of unusual payload, meaningless to most, chilling to those who know, suggesting that her initial plans to go to the Hive weren't quite as half-cocked as some might have believed. Deigning to swing her wings forward, she lands, the scream of engines reverberating off the walls. A few of the techs scatter as her undercarriage touch down, conveying her multi-ton mass to the ground. Throttling the thrust into reverse, she slows her gallop to rock to rest in front of Shockwave, flicking nose canards a few feet over his head. "Certainly," she says in a light, airy alto.
Geist glances over at Shockwave, nodding silently and watching as Fusillade finally comes in for a landing. His expression would make one of those World Series of Poker players proud -- nothing revealed in his expression or body language.
Sunder stands silently, watching all that is going on. He was anxious to hear what would be said. He makes a mental note to remember to tell Scourge everything he hears, even though it's not a misbehaving wingsib that needs "tattling" on--no, this is far more serious. Scourge will not take kindly to others trying to order around his pack when they are in no position to do so.
Shockwave turns to address the Lancer in front of him. "Fusillade, you have been accused of attempting to disrupt Scourge's plan by destroying the hive asteroid," he drones. Shockwave's optic pulses with each word. The DCI Commander appears to be as calm and cold as ever. He might as well be talking about the weather. "I do not care about whether the Sweeps are ordered about or not. It is their judgment call on whether an order is reasonable." Shockwave is not fond of this, of course, but at least the Sweeps tend to follow orders when they aren't worried about their independence being threatened. "Explain yourself." he states.
The sleek bomber rears up, wings collapsing onto hips even as the rear fuselage splits to form arms. The horizontal stabilizer slides up, the forward fuselage folds up accordian style, and Fusillade hops up on thrustered feet.
Fusillade squaring shoulders and clasping hands behind her back, Fusillade cants her head to the side, and adjusts her behavior and speech to fit her audience. " Scourge wishes to see the feasilibility of using the Hive aliens as weapons against the Autobots. It is not, however, in the capacity of these creatues to ascertain the difference between Autobot and Decepticon. I forsee a breakdown of containment of these parasitic creatures which would result in the loss of more Decepticon soliders and resources than they would save. Destroying the asteroid was -- always has been -- a contingency plan. Scourge himself instructed me to prepare for such an outcome. I chose to advance the timetable; Geist, despite agreeing with my assessment regarding the destruction of the edifice, chose to interfere in a realm that he regularly states he has no use for. Catechism had voiced her objections to Command multiple times, and provided plans for a secondary route of destruction. The primary would have involved no one touching foot on that rock, while the second would have involved minimal contact with the asteroid surface distal to the main entrances of the colony -- on the other hemisphere. I have no intent to undermine the command structure, but rather to preserve the continued existance and welfare of the Empire."
Geist remains silent throughout the exchange. If one didn't know better, one might think he was merely observing the proceedings, rather than an active participant. The only indication that might break his otherwise nigh-perfect poker face is a Spock-like rise of his right optic ridge. However, he decides it better to wait to be addressed before offering any potential 'rebuttal'.
Sunder listens and glances at his wingsib for any reaction. The raised optic brow says it all. Well, any Decepticon worth his (or her) salt is obviously going to slant their explanations in their own favor. Wading through the slag to get at the truth was going to be interesting. He idly taps a talon on his other arm as they are folded across his chest.
"You may be right," Shockwave drones back to Fusillade. "Scourge's plan could fail. It could backfire and endanger us all. However that is -Scourge's- decision to make," Shockwave's voice grows slightly louder. "-Scourge- has his own plans for the xenomorphs. If you have a problem with -Scourge's- plan then you may take it up with -Scourge-. You may -not- go behind -Scourge's- back and interfere with -Scourge's- operation."
Shockwave raises his left arm, aiming his blaster at Fusillade. Without additional delay, there is a the loud sound of the arm cannon firing, followed by a bright purple bolt arcing the short distance towards the Decepticon elite. Hit or miss, this is only a warning, and Shockwave lowers his arm. "I trust I have made myself clear? If not, -Scourge- can deal with this as he sees fit, and he is not as forgiving as I."
Shockwave strikes you with Arm Blaster - Maximum Power for 19 points of damage.
As Shockwave responds, Fusillade knows full well where this is going, down that same road that the initiative to rattle the Autobots at Retoris Tunnel. A hard glint of disdain crosses her features. Calculating as always, Shockwave is no fool, and the shot goes nowhere near the neutron bomb stuffed torso, and instead pierces through Fusillade's left knee and thigh. There's a sharp cry from her as she crumples, a whiff of seared cauterized energon, punctuated by the keen edge of shock... and something else: a harder, astringent tone of gameness, determination. That is followed by the flicking hiss of her whipping out one wingblade. Digging its tips into the ground, she steadies herself in a mostly upright position, air drawn in sharp short draughts over vents. "Scourge's plan for the xenomorphs interferes with the soldiers of the Empire -- Galvatron's own. That extends to the welfare and usefulness of your own troops, Shockwave. I already stated that objections were not listened to. You have, however, quite clearly made your point. I will stand down and will not destroy the Hive."
Both optic ridges raise this time as Shockwave makes his point in that eloquent and charismatic manner that only he can deliver with his trademark finesse. Then, Geist perhaps does something strange: he shakes his head slowly for a moment. o O (I tried to warn you...) O o Then, almost as quickly as the motion was made, it stops, and Geist is again standing at attention, his expression as unreadable as ever.
Sunder wasn't quite expecting the end result of this to be someone getting kneecapped, and he looks at Geist and sees his wingsib shake his head momentarily. The scent of wounded bomber is rather tantalizing, too bad there was no mass leakage of energon. Well, at least Scourge's plans aren't going to be interfered with. Although things might be more entertaining later on if someone does decide to do so...
Shockwave's attention appears to be fully on Fusillade, but in truth he is definitely also paying attention to the reactions of Geist and Sunder. His optic flashes in a dull manner as Fusillade steadies herself upright. "Good. Take it up with Scourge." Yes, Shockwave is also concerned about whether these aliens will get loose. Evil dangerous Decepticon plan backfiring and consuming us all? Yeah, it has a certain ring of truth and familiarity to it. But he cannot allow Decepticons going behind the plans of the high command. Shockwave's head finally turns to face Geist and Sunder. He doesn't say anything, but there is an obvious unspoken question that asks 'was there anything else?'
Geist returns Shockwave's gaze for a brief moment -- enough to read the body language and demeanor of the cycloptic one -- and shakes his head again. No, nothing from him.
Sunder doesn't require anything further, either. He too shakes his head wordlessly.
Fusillade remains silent for the moment. Some would dismiss it as a SULLEN silence, but the fact of the matter is that Fusillade is expending tremendous effort to stave off the welling greyness that gnaws at the edge of her vision. There's still enough awareness to be surprised at the silence from the Sweeps, even as some activity begins to form two runways down, the schedules of the Empire waiting for no one. Several more minutes, and once systems have compensated and properly recalibrated, Fusillade shakily rises, resting weight on her good leg.
"Good," Shockwave drones again. "Then I have other matters to attend to. Everyone here should find something useful to do." Hopeful that this matter has been resolved, Shockwave steps towards the confusing maze-like passages that lead to the spinal pathway, as there is other business that needs taking care of.