Title: Conspiracy to Commit Salvation
Location: ++ Upper Levels <SECF HQ>
Date: 01 April 2015
Summary: Acuity wants to help bad enough to temporarily bend her precious Law.
-Whirl has been sparsely seen since the massive arrest that happened at the Forge, even more so after a certain interrogation gone awry. He's had a lot to think about since then. A LOT. So he has tried to distance himself from the mess downstairs on the prison floor as much as possible, seeking refuge in the higher levels of the facility. Currently he stands at the end of a hallway, gazing out at the streets below through one of the massive windows that takes up the back walls. There's no telling how long he's been there, just.. staring.
-Acuity isn't trying to be sneaky, but she's not exactly clomping down the hall with angry steps either. She'd been looking for Whirl ever since sending Blast Off back to the cell, between duties of course. Finally she's found him. Slowly she comes up behind him, speaking up before getting /too/ close. "Ah, Whirl, there you are," she says.
-Whirl already knows the source of the voice without having to turn around, mostly because he was forewarned of her arrival by the faint reflection she casts off the window. "Here I am," he says flatly, still gazing out that window without even a glance in Acuity's direction. "Is there something you need from me?"
-"I don't know if there's anything /I/ need from /you/," Acuity says. "But perhaps there's something /you/ need from /me/," she suggests. She steps forward until she's right behind his left shoulder and a little to the side. "I'm guessing you don't have a lot of faith in yourself right now," she says softly, her voice kind behind the blank face reflected in the glass.
-Now that she's in his personal space, Whirl finally turns his head to glare (or stare, it's hard to tell which one's which) at Acuity. It's just for a moment before he looks back out the window, and he shifts just slightly but doesn't seem too concerned about putting more space between him and the femme. "I take it you've heard of the rumor currently circulating amongst the Decepticon prisoners involving myself and an alleged interrogation."
-"It had been mentioned, yes," Acuity says evenly. "Are you going to deny it?" She doesn't sound angry. She's curious what he's going to say. After all, the mech is unpredictable and unstable.
-Is he going to deny it? Of course he's going to deny it! What he did was absolutely reprehnsible with all a huge violation of both legal and moral standards, why the hell wouldn't he deny it? Still.. it's something that is causing him a lot of pain and he desperately wants help but how is he supposed to go about it?
"The femme I interrogated. The one called Pursuit." He keeps his gaze fixed on the city outside the window, staring really hard at a random mech milling about on the street below. "Do you know how much she remembers?"
-"She said that you threatened to interface her to create a hatred of her from Barricade," Acuity states simply. "That is all she really said." She tilts her head to the side. "I don't know her well enough to read between the lines of what really happened."
-Just threatened to interface her? Well, Feint DID say that she went back and fixed the damage Whirl caused, so it makes sense that Pursuit wouldn't remember the entirety of what happened. He'd prefer she didn't remember /any/ of it but still, it's better than nothing. He looks at Acuity again, this time holding his optic on her longer than he did before. "It's true."
Back to staring out the window. "...Can I trust you, Acuity?"
-"I'd like to think you can, Whirl, but if you're going to say something...sensitive...we might want to not be standing in the hallways," Acuity says. "I want to think that everyone has a chance to change, and you have a lot more issues to work through than your average mech. So if you have something to say, I want you to feel free to say it."
-Unfortunately, what Whirl wants to say is extremely sensitive and Acuity is absolutely right about these hallways being a bad place to discuss it, but when is he ever going to want to talk about it again? When this moment passes, Whirl will take that horrible experience and shove it deep, deep down inside of him, never to be acknowledged again.
"It wasn't just a threat," Whirl states after a long, tense silence. "She doesn't remember it, but it went further than she thinks."
-Acuity sighs deeply. "Oh Whirl," she says, shaking her head. "Are you so miserable that you can't contain it inside yourself anymore and feel the need to spread it to others?" She tilts her head to the side and regards him. "Somehow I doubt your anger against Barricade has anything to do with the death of the Senator. What did he to do you that gave you such a powerful need to punish him more than the justice system already will?"
-Whirl didn't expect Acuity to understand. How could she? She has absolutelty no idea how deep this petrorabbit hole goes but since she's so keen on prying, he's more than happy to inform her.
"I don't give a slag about Decimus or any of the Senators for that matter. I despise Barricade for his relationship with Shiftlock and what he did to her. I'm sure you've noticed how close Pursuit is to Barricade, and how overly protective of her he is. That's exactly how he was with Shiftlock. Pursuit is his new Shiftlock."
He turns around completely, now staring directly at Acuity. "He threw Shiftlock out onto the streets. He told the Decepticons to kill her on sight. He disowned her completely and entirely. He did it because of /me./ Because she dared to share an interface with /me./"
-Acuity hasn't had the same experiences as Whirl, no, so she has no direct knowledge of his life other than what he's told her and what the official records say. Still, she's shown herself to at least have an open mind and his appearances don't bother her. She listens quietly. "I see," she says softly. "Shiftlock...I didn't get a chance to know her well, but her death obviously pained you a lot. Having her replaced by the person who helped destroy her was something you couldn't handle. Yet, that was /his/ crime, not Pursuits. Your anger clouds your judgement. Still, when you chose to interface with her in the first place, you couldn't have known what her guardian would do. It might have been reckless, but interfacing itself isn't a crime." Usually. "The question now is, what are you going to /do/ about it?"
-"I don't know," is Whirl's simple but truthful answer. "I don't know what I CAN do about it. Maybe I could've moved on, maybe I could've gotten past it, or at the very least accepted it for what it was, but now I feel like that's impossible." He turns back, gazing out that massive window once again. "What I did to Pursuit.. what I saw inside of her.. Nothing I do will ever make up for it. She may not remember what happened but I do."
He takes a moment to compose himself before he contines, trying to hide the anguish in his voice. "I always will."
-"If she was made to forget, perhaps you could too," Acuity points out. "But, that is a very risky step, and you don't have a lot of reason to trust that options." She shakes her head. "Besides, I think, to some extent, you think you should continue to punish yourself. And there may be some truth to that, but you might be wrong about a couple of things."
-"I don't trust anyone to poke around inside my head." Blast Off being an exception, CLEARLY. "Altering my memories, even the bad ones, in anyway is a thought that makes me sick. And even if it didn't, just erasing the memories of what I did would just mean I'm taking the easy way out. I'd be running away from my problems."
He lifts his arms and slams them both against the window. "I'm tired of running. I'm tired of being a coward. I'm a bad person and I deserve to live with the consequences of being such." He leans in, pressing what passes for his face against the glass. "Barricade's going to kill me if he ever gets out of here, you know. I'm sure he's heard the rumor and I'm sure he knows that it wasn't just empty threats."
-"Then don't run. The reason you're feeling all that guilt, it's not just a punishment, it's an incentive to do the right thing next time, make the right choice," Acuity states. "The truly bad are those without guilt, the ones who do such things and laugh at them, or take them as a point of pride. You have a long way to recovery, but I believe you can do it. But you have to believe that you are worth making the effort, or you never will." Tentatively she lays a claw on the back of his shoulder. "It's not an easy path, but I'll help you if you want it."
-Whirl doesn't flinch when Acuity places her claw upon his shoulder. He doesn't move at all, actually, he just continues staring out that window. She wants.. to help him? Even after knowing exactly who he is and what he's done? Even after the revelation that he forcefully interfaced with a prisoner with the intent to spite the only person she trusted during her short, two days on this planet? Feeling guilt means a lot, apaprently.
The cyclops lowers his arms and turns around to face Acuity. "..I need help, but you might be signing up for more than you think you are. I'm a mess, Acuity. I'm really fragged up in the head, do you really think you could handle that?"
-"Well, I might not be able to handle it, but I think I wouldn't be able to handle not trying either," Acuity says slowly. "I'm not psychiatrist. I don't have the training to do this. But it also means I don't have a reputation to stake on it. I'm doing it because I think it's important, not because someone assigned me to do it," she adds. "No one is messed up the moment their spark comes into being. Things happen to us that shape us. Somewhere, somewhen, something went terribly wrong in your life. Maybe it was your fault, maybe it was someone else's.
"Look, I believe in the law, but I'd rather think that people can learn and change and become whole again. It's why I hate using fatal force. The dead learn nothing, change nothing. You're still alive, and that means something."
-"You're not a psychiatrist, no, but if you stick around with me you might end up filling that role." It's true, Whirl really needs someone he can talk to, someone who he can trust. Someone he's /not/ romantically involved with because, let's face it, anyone willing to get tangled up with Whirl clearly has problems themselves. Maybe Acuity is this person, it would be fitting, wouldn't it? The only two empurata (or close enough to it) in SecF, possibly the entire Autobot faction as a whole, forming a close bond like that?
"So.." Whirl looks away briefly. "I take it that what you just learned.. about the rumor.. will stay between us?" Hed sure would like it to but he's almost sure that the evidence Feint took from Pursuit may make an appearance sometime in the future. Until then, it's best to keep it on the downlow.
-"Of course. If I blabbed one of two things would happen: a) You'd get punished for it. b) The higher ups would do nothing, proving themselves to be exactly what those in the cell think of them. Besides, you told this to me in confidence, and I intend to keep it that way," Acuity says. "And you have to be able to accept yourself before you can withstand more scrutiny from outside."
-Whirl didn't think Acuity was the type to narc on him, but he thought he should ask just to be sure. "I'm sure they would give me some kind of punishment though it would mostly be for show, to make it look like they gave a damn. They really don't though." He manages to look sullen despite his empurata. "I doubt I'm the only to have done.. that to someone in custody." Probably. Maybe. He'll just keep telling himself that.
"Speaking of people in cells and custody.. "I hear you've been pulling some of the Decepticons aside for statements lately. How that been going?"
-"Quite likely you're right," Acuity says. "This sort of job...it jades most people. Even those who start out with the best intentions. I have to watch myself carefully," she admits. She tilts her head to the side. "It's been going alright. There are many in the ranks who seem to have nothing but a thirst for violence. However, some of them, if they had been listened to earlier instead of punished, might have become great people," she notes.
-"Yeah, that sounds about right." Whirl shrugs. "Not every Decepticon is some bloodthirsty maniac but when you're fighting for something you believe in, sometimes you have to become that. Some of them are actually.. quite interesting people." An awkward pause. "Have you.. seen Blast Off?" Might as well cut to the chase.
-"I did. Quite the interesting mech, that one. His distrust of Autobots is aboslute. Yet..." Acuity pauses there. She seems to think for a few minutes. Then she shakes her head. "He's very proud."
-Whirl lets out a groan at the mention of Blast Off being proud as if he knows for a fact how prideful the shuttleformer can be. Okay, he DOES know for a fact. "Uuuugh, yeah. He is. Kind of pretentious about it too, isn't he? He's a high class shuttle so it's to be expected but uuuuuuuuuuuugggghhhh, he takes it too far sometimes. He's also obsessed with space and stars and, oh yeah, never mention stars around him, he gets super sensitive about it and he will NOT shut up about stars once you get him going."
-"I'll keep that in mind. Though, from the sounds of things, he might not be around for very long," Acuity says, tilting her head to the side. At the moment she wishes she could scowl. "Are you on the general frequency? One of the Senators is speaking..." Her other claw twitches slightly. "But yes, we had an interesting discussion about the debate the two of you were in." She lowers her voice a trifle. "He kept his role wonderfully."
-Yes, Whirl can indeed hear the Senator on the radio and yes, he also heard the part about 'taking care of the Decepticons' when they're found guilty (because we all know they will be.) His optic flickers slightly at that and when Acuity mentions Blast Off keeping up his role as 'bitter Decepticon who hates Whirl,' he turns away.
"Of course he did. He's gotten very good at it."
-"You must have some of the worst luck on Cybertron. And it's foolish of you. I pushed him pretty hard. He'll probably hate me, but," and Acuity shrugs again, "since things are likely to go poorly, I felt I should investigate the matter. I don't know if they would have given you the chance."
-"I'm not allowed one-on-one time with prisoners anymore," Whirl says flatly. Not after what happened, no, he needs to be supervised now. He can't be trusted to not be a horrible monster anymore. "I was able to exchange some words with him after the arrest. He was already in a cell by then, it didn't go well."
Long stare out that window again. "He hates me. He hates me, and he's going to die hating me." It starts to dawn on him the reality of the situation, that Blast Off could very well be executed for his crimes as a Decepticon. If he's found guilty, which he's sure to be, then that's it. The last interaction he'll ever have had with the person he loves would be from opposite sides of prison bars, the both of them still playing the roles thrusted upon them. "But I still.."
Whirl hangs his head, shoulders drooping. This world is cruel.
-"There's a good chance he doesn't. It's hard to tell, but I didn't get the impression his spark was in his words when we met. But, he'd never trust an Autobot to tell them the truth." Acuity pats Whirl's shoulder carefully. "If he truly hated you, he could have admitted to things, even if they weren't true, knowing he'd be taking you with him by virtue of the accusation. I gave him ample opportunity, and he still clung to the facade. He's a smart mech by the records, he could have easily destroyed you during our interview."
-It's true. If Blast Off truely hated him, he could've admitted to everything. He would've been killed but isn't that going to happen soon anyway? He could've brought Whirl down with him, but he didn't. That's really the only thing Whirl has to go on when it comes to Blast Off's true feelings.
"I just wish I could've talked to him one last time without having to put on a charade." Whirl sighs. He'll always have those good memories at least, right?
-"I can't say I know what happens after a spark is extinguished. And the thought of so many sparks being distinguished troubles me deeply," Acuity says. "But if you two really...shared...that much with each other, then he'd know if you were truly attached." It's not easy for her to speak of such things since she doesn't have much personal experience. And also, looming in the face of all this pain and loss, she feels inadequate.
-"I suppose you're right." Whirl doesn't sound too convinced but whatever. "I would hope that, after everything we've.. shared, he would know by know who I really am, and how I really feel." Blast Off is probably thinking the same thing, probably. "It's just.. complicated."
-"You don't have much time left I'm sure. But, if you like, I can offer to be your supervisor for a meeting. Last time I checked he was in with Feint. It might make things harder at first, but at least you will have a chance to put aside the doubts so they won't haunt you," Acuity says cautiously.
-Oh Primus, he's with Feint? Now Whirl REALLY wants to see Blast Off, make sure he's okay. Who knows what horrible things she did to him!
"Yes!" Whirl spins around and grabs Acuity's shoulders as if he was pleading with her. "Please, give me the chance to speak to him one last time. Openly and honestly. You.. might hear things that need to stay between those involved."
-"I'd shut down my audials and just keep an optic open," Acuity says, her voice wobbling a bit as her shoulders get gripped. "After all, I don't need to hear anything, just make sure people don't escape." She pauses. "You might be tempted to let him out, and that would case all sorts of troubles for ALL of us. But you need some sort of resolution or you'll never be able to heal." She puts her claws on Whirl's shoulders and stares back. "We'll wait just a little bit or it will seem suspicious...but not too much or the window of opportunity will be gone." She loves the law, yes, but she's not a hardaft like Prowl.
-Acuity has no idea what she just did for Whirl but she might get a hint when the mech suddenly throws his arms around her, grabbing her in an embrace and squeezing her tight. "Thank you, Acuity.."
He then pulls away, turning back around and staring out that window in the same aloof way he was when she first approached him. "I need some time to myself right now. I need to think about what exactly I need to say to him and how to say it."
-Acuity is stunned for a moment before returning the hug. It's a friendly, comforting hug, nothing else. "I will let you know when it is time," she says. "Just remember that I'm putting my neck on the line, so try to behave," she adds gently. Carefully she disentangles herself and turns to leave.