Title: Bob Log 1
Location: Rust Narrows
Date: 02 March 2015
Summary: Arcee comes by Nyon to arrest Hot Rod but Arsenal FIGHTS HER OFF. (Log title thanks to Scattershot.)
Tucked safely ('safely') back in Nyon after his adventures beyond the communications dead zone, Hot Rod's almost immediately back to work, where work means threatening the health and safety of Nyon's hardworking law enforcement officers like the terrorist mastermind that he is.
Standing high in a crumbling tower in Nyon's center with Arsenal at his side, Hot Rod studies a building in the better repaired quarters of the city from afar. He has a visor settled over his eyes. He's not hard to find, given that the building in question is one of the area's more popular tenements, and there's quite a lot of traffic that's seen him striding around all bright spoiler and painted flames and definitely not in disguise at all. "--best way to hit it might be to cause a distraction elsewhere so that they aren't guarding it as heavily." But then, that's where his thoughts /always/ go: distraction, flashy, boom.
Hot Rod isn't the only individual who stands out in this rather bleak area...there's a pink car muscling her way through traffic, following whatever faint scanner signal she can find of a certain flaming idiot. Arcee is really, really rather annoyed, to say the least.
With Hot Rod is a large bulky bot - Arsenal. Formally of the Nyon Police Department, the coloring is still the same though there are no markings to show any affiliation any longer. What danger could Hot Rod be in anyway with such a big bot with him, to keep him safe? Arsenal stands ready by his side, a large rifle in hand (and several more on straps over the shoulders). "That would be very affective," Arsenal answers. "They are spread thin already, and more than desperate to prove themselves to Breach. So getting them to chase false leads should givbe all the time you need. The more resources we can strip from them then the more they will weakened. If we can tip them to the point where Breach has to reach out in order to maintain his hold, then we've got them."
There are no scanner pings for Hot Rod. With the communication towers down (because of him, if you ask the Nyon Police Department), it'll take good old-fashioned detective work, like asking someone 'Have you seen an idiot with flames--' and then being interrupted because there is /no one else that could possibly describe/ and being pointed to the right building.
But Hot Rod's already spotted Arcee on the streets below, and he pauses a moment to see if she's got backup. "Uh oh," he says. "I think I'm gonna get yelled at." He doesn't quite shrink behind Arsenal, but he certainly looks tempted. "Cheetor and Flareup would be best for the distraction team, then. She's fast, but he's /fast/, and then the rest of us can strip down their armory and redistribute it."
Arcee seems to be on her own, but the way she's tearing through the traffic suggests urgency, fury, or perhaps an element of both. She slams to a stop once she reaches the building, and transforms back to root mode hastily. Her normally calm, pretty blue optics are absolutely burning with anger as she glares up toward the rooftop. She disappears into the building, probably heading up in a lift.
"Every gun we take out of their hands is one less they can use on someone. I can only carry so many," Arsenal chuckles good-heartedly despite the subject matter. "Fast is good. Reload is fast too. Outrage too. So they might need to prepare to be engaged. The response times were always remarkable." Arsenal raises the rifle in hand to use the scope to look at who it is that Hot Rod seems so concerned with. "My. That is a *lot* of pink." That's followed by a whistle.
With a plan in place for the armory, Arsenal turns to the more immediate, approaching threat. Hot Rod knows who this is, clearly, and he's not running so... Arsenal steps forward and takes aim, barrel pointed to where the lift lets off. When it opens, that is the sight that should be there to greet arcee. "Careful now. No funny business. We understood?"
Snapping his visor back up as they head for the lift, Hot Rod says, "I don't know. You can carry a /lot/ of guns." He's grinning as the lift opens, smile not faltering even as he moves forward to put a hand to Arsenal's arm. "No, no, she's cool," he hastens to reassure her. "I mean, Autobot. But cool." He gives Arcee a brilliant smile, as though he can blind her out of yelling at him. "Hey, 'Cee!"
And the lift is definitely making its way up to the roof level...floor by floor, until...*ding!* The doors open, and Arcee all but tumbles out of it. Only, she doesn't have her pistols drawn, so when she comes face-to-barrel with Arsenal, she smirks and puts her hands up. "Really??" she asks furiously. "REALLY?!!?! SERIOUSLY??!!"
She seems...kind of upset. But not at Arsenal specifically, of course. Arcee decides that Hot Rod's choice of having an armed bodyguard might just be the smartest decision he's made in a while.
Oh, she's cool? That's enough for Arsenal to lower the rifle and even pop the dome, letting it slide back to reveal the femme that is underneath. "Ah, sure, really. I mean, that," she points to the emblem Arcee, "Could mean you support Breach and his Con style tryout, even if you don't know it. I was just trying to be safe! But hey, any friend of Hot Rod's..." She smiles, broadly. "So, gun going away, sorry about that," she says easily enough as she slings that one too over a shoulder to add to the collection there. "Which means you can put that," Arse handwaves at Arcee's pissed-off looking face, "Away too. We're all friends here, right?" She looks to Rod for confirmation on that.
Hot Rod deflates. Smiling didn't work. "What'd I do?" he asks with the wounded innocence of an Ivan.
Stepping back, Hot Rod pats Arsenal's arm in absent approval of her safety concerns, then sweeps his hand in a gesture. "Hey, Arcee. Why don't you join us. Have a seat." On rubble. Or broken masonry. The Rust Narrows are a far, far cry from Iacon in almost every way. There's no obvious hint of what they were up to, except that they have good lines of sight on the rest of Nyon.
Arcee calms down slightly as Arsenal puts her guns away, although she's still venting considerably to prevent herself from overheating, and it sounds like an angry, hissing snake in the background. "Nice HQ you have here," she comments as she finds a charming pile of scrap to sit on. "I don't know if you realize this, but I could have gotten in huge trouble for warning you about...well, YOU know," she mentions, folding her arms across her chestplate. "So why did you show up to the state funeral? Why would you DO THAT?? I wasn't kidding about the situation. You're *still active*." She doesn't say the word 'warrant', but then again, she doesn't need to do that.
"Why *shouldn't* he have gone?" Sorry, but Arsenal was built to come to the defense of others (and with Hot Rod, that comes even easier). So now it is her turn to bristle. "Only certain bots can be there, huh? Every bot in their place, am I right?" She stalks after Arcee, barking most of this from behind the rather pink femme. "That nonsense is what has pushed Patdown off the deepend, is causing Breach to make this private war, and is the sheer stupidity that has put so many good bots in terrible places that they don't deserve to be. It's rather hard to get a leg up when it's decided for you that you can't even have legs," she fumes. For a big bot she moves fairly lightly but she does make for a rather imposing figure with her height and bulk as she moves in on Arcee. "Now is *exactly* the time when Hot Rod is needed, somebot brave enough to be *himself*. To show everybot that they should be too. So, his being there pissed off the Autobots huh? Well, *good*," she decides. "You lot are more glitched than those loudmouthed Cons."
Hot Rod leans away from Arcee as though the hissing were a fuse, and he's afraid she might go off in his face. He turns his hands out in a placating gesture and says, "I know, 'Cee, and I appreciate it -- but hey, look at this way: no one would ever believe I was warned now, so really I was just making sure you were safe!" He looks dreadfully smug with this after-the-fact rationalization. "Arsenal's right. They invited /everyone/. It was my risk to take. I knew it was dangerous. I thought it was worth it. And I think I was right." (Of course.) "We /needed/ to know about Sentinel and what he did, and we're not getting any information here with the communication towers down. The only way to find out was if someone went, and I'm not asking anyone else to take that kind of risk for me."
Arcee stares at Arsenal for a long moment. "I...look, let me explain something that probably wasn't too clear from the get-go," she says in a reasonably mild-mannered tone. "When I found out that there was an active warrant for Rod's arrest, not only with the Nyon local police but in other jurisdictions as well since Prowl wants him picked up, too, I took a big chance and let him know ahead of time. If that gets out, I could wind up facing charges. I'm not saying that Rod, or yourself, or...anyone else doesn't have the 'right' to attend a state funeral, I'm just angry because I put my own aft on the line to help Rod out, and he turned around and showed up in the middle of hundreds of mechs who could have arrested him THERE on the spot as if it was some kind of big joke." She looks over at Hot Rod. "Surely, there was a saner way of doing this. Like..." She gestures back toward Arsenal. "Sending her in your place, for example. Not as familiar and not as obvious to the Tritorian Guard, Autobot Security...you would have gotten your information on Sentinel...but you had to do it the crazy way. I'm just appalled at your lack of judgement."
Arsenal points at Hot Rod! See, that right there? He's exactly right! "Bots need to *see* what their lives *should* be like. Know that the freedoms they deserve can be had. Everyone was invited, so whatever stipulations you're placing on that are your own, femme," Arsenal bites. Her experience has been that anyone protected enough by the system to willingly wear the Autobot emblem has the self-serving preservation to maintain the status quo.
Arse crosses her arms. "Nothing about what you just said is sane. There's nothing really sane with the system as it is. Maybe you should have arrested Hot Rod there, to prove how insane that thinking is. It's not right to attend a funeral?" Arsenal snorts. She does have to note something: "Though if you did arrest him, I'd break him out."
"I /also/ wanted to /pay my respects/. You said they were good guys," Hot Rod says. "You said they deserved that. I can't send someone for that." He folds his arms across his chest in a blatantly defensive pose. Now Arcee has BOTH of them crossing their arms at her. TAKE THAT. "And like I said: I'm not going to have someone else take a risk for me. I didn't actually expect them to be that quick to pick me up," he admits, "but -- well, that's valuable information too."
"Listen, don't blame ME for a system I didn't put in place. I have nothing to do with the way things ARE," Arcee insists to Arsenal. "Best any of us can do is try and find some meaning and purpose with what we've been handed. I don't make the rules. Hell, I don't even have rank," she admits. "I mean, sure, use me as a screaming post because I'm here, but I showed up because I care about Rod, whether you believe that or not. I don't WANT to see him in prison. If I really was part and parcel of this 'system' you hate so much, I'd already have called for backup and Rod WOULD be getting arrested right NOW." She pauses, then adds, "Systems are only as effective as the individuals running them. Last I checked, I'm not part of a hivemind. I have independent thoughts and feelings and I act on them, probably to an extent that really displeases Prowl but I'm not about to change for him or anyone else."
"They don't fool around with active arrest warrants, Rod," Arcee informs the defensive flamed one. "Prowl doesn't 'fool around', period. If he sees you and you're wanted, he'll pick you up."
"I'm not blaming you for making the system. I'm blaming you for not standing up to it," Arsenal fires back.
She shakes her head as she walks away from where she was, behind Arcee, so she's not so much flanking the pink femme any more. Hot Rod has her crossed with the Crossed Arms Rebuff from the front already. "No, the best we can do is to tear it all down, all of it. It's rotten to the core," she grumbles as she steps up to the window she and Rod had been looking out. "If you care about Hot Rod... then join him." She looks back to Arcee. It's that simple, to Arsenal, since she did it. "Stay and keep him out of prison. You admit that you broke the rules already, so you know how bad they are. Right? Stay and fight against them all. Stay and stand behind someone who is *brave enough* to stand up to them. I know that is harsh but it was me too. I followed them, thinking that they would make things better. But I know - you know - that they can't. They won't. If you know what Prowl will think... they stay. Stay and keep Hot Rod one step ahead - two steps ahead. If you believe in Hot Rod (like I do!) then ... well, prove it."
"Prowl's a jerk." The speed of the words suggests that they are reflex at this point. Prowl :: Jerk is instant word association for Hot Rod. "I'd like to see him /try/. I'll keep it in mind, though." Not 'I'll behave' or 'I'll turn myself in' or 'I'll stay out of trouble': he'll just keep it in mind. When misbehaving, committing crimes, and getting into trouble.
"She's right, you know," he adds, glancing at Arsenal and watching her with a smile. "How much good do you really think you're doing out there? None of us want a war on the streets. The /Decepticons/ don't even want a war. All anyone wants is change. From what I saw at the memorial, Sentinel's sure eager to start that war, though. You /saw/ it, Arcee, right?"
Hot Rod looks back at her, dreadfully earnest. "People are going to get hurt. Good people, innocent people. Unless we help. The police, the security forces: they should be the ones doing the protecting, but instead we have to protect people /from/ them."
Arcee seems to consider these things very seriously. On a certain level, they sound very reasonable to her. She *could* join this rebel group, and find meaning and purpose in her work. "I'm...not really on board with Sentinel's crackdown," she admits frankly. Maybe Hod Rod and Arsenal have appealed to her on a level she can understand.
Arsenal points at Hot Rod again! This time even more emphatically! It doesn't surprise her that Hot Rod is spot on but she's more than happy to do the proverbial underlining (and little hearty 'i' dots).
"I'm curious, Arcee. When you look out there," and Arsenal points out the window to the Rust Narrows, "What do you see? Threats? Targets? Assignments? Work? It's easy to see things that way, to know what your orders are and to march to them. The better you follow them the more good it feels like you're doing, right?" Arsenal sighs here, softening, as she's not so much questioning as relating her own experience. "You believe in your spark that you're doing the right thing because you want to, and the more you believe the more you convince yourself. But *look*, Arcee," she pleads. "Because it's not duty or even problems that are out there. It's bots. Bots that are desperate, bots that are way worse off than you or me, bots that need. It's easy to not see them when you don't want to look."
Arsenal... slumps. "Breach would crush them under his foot to prove himself to the Cons. Patdown wants to murder them if they step out of line, if they don't live the function they're supposed to. Prowl... sorry, but Iacon is *so far* away from here and I'm not talking about distance. Nyon? It's only one city on Cybertron. This stuff is going on everywhere and it's *wrong*, Arcee. It's *wrong*. It can't be fixed, it can't be changed from within, it can't be saved. Who does deserve salvation though?" With that Arsenal points out the window at the Rust Narrows.
"Sentinel, Breach, Patdown: they're all the same," says Hot Rod. His voice is firm -- steady, rather than strident, as he draws strength from Arsenal's support. "Maybe they think they are doing the right thing, but they don't see what it's really like down here. How much people are hurting. How much help they need. If we're failing the least of us, we're failing ourselves. I won't let that happen to Nyon. Not while I'm around."
Arcee frowns and nods slowly. She definitely understands the need and desire for a new system, a BETTER system. But that's how Megatron's group started, too. "...All I've ever really known is...the way things are," she admits with some confusion. "My first function was being an aide to Senator Proteus. Maybe I just don't have the...the same life experiences that you have had. I'm not so sure that I would be readily accepted into this kind of group, as I would imagine that my middle-caste status would be frowned upon as elitist. I mean, I'm sort of getting that vibe from you both right now as it is."
"If you're willing to help, I really don't think anybot will care. They are more likely to judge you when you don't." Arsenal looks over to Hot Rod here as she has to wonder... nah, she keeps that thought to herself. "You came all this way. Stay a day or two, see what you think then? Hey, at the least you can maybe see what's going on here to take back to Iacon." She snorts. "Not that it would make a difference." But... maybe.
"There are no castes," says Hot Rod like the dirty radical he is. He shakes his head. "No functions. None of that matters. Yeah, your life experiences were probably pretty different. I mean, not a lot of Senate aides around here, you know? But all it takes to be accepted is a desire -- no, a /need/ for change. A need to /help/. Look around. See what life's really like outside of Iacon's towers."
"I really do appreciate the offer," Arcee admits, despite the lack of basic infrastructure of the rebel 'base'. Their sparks were in the right place, that much was evident. "I think what I'm going to do is...neither return to Iacon nor stay here. I'm going to stay in Praxus for a little while. I have a lot of things going on right now..." Least of which had to do with Starscream, but that was besides the point, "...And I feel like I need to clear the air a bit, think some things through. Seriously, though. Call if you need anything. And Rod? I'm really not kidding about this, Prowl *wants you apprehended*. Please don't take that lightly. He really means it."
"Yeah, take all the air you need," Arse siiiighs and rolls her optics. Sorry, but well, she just tossed her life way to join Hot Rod's cause so she's kind of in a position to think that everyone should do that as well. "Prowl can suck my tailpipe," Arsenal grunts. "To get through Hot Rod, he's going to have to go through me." She thumps her chestplate appropriately.
Arsenal moves away from the window to head over to the lift. "Let me secure your chariot out of here," she gruffs on the way past. She stalks off to mean to give the two some kind of relative privacy before Arcee runs away from here. She's curious and wants to stay to listen but, well, it wouldn't be right.
"Prowl can--." No, Hot Rod. Language. /Language/. WHAT WOULD ORION PAX SAY. Probably not whatever was about to come out of his mouth, because he cuts himself off. After a pause, he finishes, "--shove the warrant up his tailpipe."
So there's a lot going on in rebel circles where Prowl and tailpipes are concerned.
"I don't have the time to waste in an Autobot prison, and I'm not going to let them rewrite my thoughts. I'll take it seriously, Arcee," Hot Rod promises, "but I'm not going to live in fear of it." He glances after Arsenal as she moves off, then back at Arcee. Concern pushes itself into his expression. "Praxus, huh? Everything okay? You're not in trouble or anything, right?"
Arcee waits quietly until Arsenal says her peace, then she turns back toward Rod with a smile, speaking quietly. "That's quite the enforcer you've got there," she says with admiration. "Not bad at all. And yes, I know you hate Prowl. I'm just warning you because I think you belong free to do as you please, and you've been the unfortunate target of a smear campaign." When Rod asks her if everything's alright, something in her falters. "Well...I have some things going on right now that are complicating my life right now...but I think I've got this situation in hand, don't worry about it." Because Starscream can't be THAT difficult to handle alone, oh no.
"She's great," Hot Rod enthuses, looking after Arsenal. "If not for her, I probably would've ended up caught by the Nyon cops already, and Prowl'd happy as could be. He might even smile. Too bad for him!"
Hot Rod gives Arcee a somewhat skeptical glance, then reaches to clasp her shoulder with a smile. "Don't forget: if you need help, I owe you one," he teases. "I'd help anyway, though. You're a friend, whoever you work for. Remember that, okay? I won't worry if you tell me not to. I know you're tough. You put up with Proteus, after all." He steps to the side to walk her to the lift, only waiting for her to take the first step.
Arcee chuckles. "Okay. And...good point, not everyone can say they've worked for the World's Most Boring Mech before." It isn't clear if she means Prowl or Proteus, but she's probably referring to the latter as she likes Prowl considerably more than Rod does. "And I appreciate it. Take care and stay safe," she says as she heads back into the lift.
Arsenal is much more curious about this femme than she was a moment ago! The longer each step takes to get back to the lift... Arsenal stands there with it all ready to go. "Don't wear out your tires on the way out." Sweet smile!
"You too," Hot Rod says, joining Arsenal and watching as Arcee heads out of sight. "That could've been worse," he says with sunshine optimism.
Arcee ignores the jab! Just...lets it go, because she has a lot of other things on her mind at the moment than starting pointless snark wars with Rod's new friend. "See you next time," she says simply, heading into the lift and closing the doors.
What does he mean by that?!? Arsenal frets. "... Yes?" This assumes of course that Arcee isn't going to go to Prowl and tell him where Hot Rod is. "We should move." Pause. "I have another depot I want to show you."
Hot Rod looks slightly confused when Arsenal suggests that they should move -- no way that Arcee would report on them to Prowl, right? (wrong) -- but then she clarifies it's all to go check out another depot and everything makes sense. "Sure," he says, glancing back over his shoulder. "Probably a good idea to scout a few and see which one looks easiest." Then he looks at the lift, which is still carrying Arcee back down. "Maybe we should've gone down with her." Now they'll be stuck here, waiting.
"She seemed capable of handling herself, especially on the matter of leaving," coughs Arse as she's only semi-polite in her opinion of letting Arcee go. Hey, she tried, tried *hard* for Hot Rod's cause to pitch some sense at Arcee. None of it seem to have stuck so really, Arse sees Arcee as part of the problem. "We could also take several of their headquarters. Most have a bare minimal staff. I know of three that are likely empty," she offers. "They'll be watching the streets and Hondo will be in the sky. We need to find a good way to get around Nyon proper without being noticed to do any real damage. Picking off this stuff on the outskirts will help but until we make them lose ground we're the ones that will be on the run."
The lift arrives to take them back down to ground level. Hot Rod leads the way on in, then gives Arsenal a grin. "Hey, you want to get around without being noticed? Hope you're not claustrophobic. We've got the tunnels around here pretty well mapped out," he says as the doors close on them and their conversation. The ruined tower is empty and quiet in their wake.