Title: Forge Uprising: Investigation Part One
Date: 01 January 2015
Summary: Jazz's first step in collecting information about the change of hands at the Forge: Talk to the girl Megatron saved - Torque.
The other day was.. just plain horrible. Torque would have never imagined something like that would happen to her, and the thought of it still effects her even today. A sign on the garage door of the shop informs any potential customers of it being closed for the day, but as this is where she lives one can still hear the sounds of someone moving things around inside.
Being a member of the Security Forces, it's easy for Jazz to track down anyone connected to the recently captured video footage. Having identified Torque, he's rolled into town looking for her at her place of work. He has some questions to ask, but more importantly (to him at least, don't tell Prowl), he wants to make sure she's all right. Something like that can rattle a person to their spark.
(*knock knock knock!*) "Anyone home?" Jazz asks aloud, taking the polite route first. He'd rather not just show up, lights flashing, announcing his badge and affiliation through a sound amplifier. Frag protocol - it doesn't get good results every time.
The noises inside immediately cease the moment Jazz knocks on the door, a few quiet moments allowed to pass before a lock is heard and the garage door slides up to face height. Torque is standing there in the doorway, looking a little haggard with a box under her arm. "Sorry, shop's closed toda-- Er."
It takes her a second to see the security force emblem on Jazz as well as recognize him from a brief encounter at the bar. Antennas twitch up a bit more at this revelation, but she remains a little guarded with lips pressing thin. "Sorry about that... There anything I can help you with, officer?" It's not that she doesn't like cops. It's more that some of them can just be hard-afts at times.
Jazz gives Torque an understanding smile. "Yeah, I don't blame ya for wantin' some privacy. I guess you saw the badge huh? Don't worry, I ain't here to cause trouble, just get some information. Can I come in? I promise to wipe my wheels."
Torque's optics flit over the mech curiously, trying to figure out his true intentions.. And he seems like he's being honest enough, so she nods slightly and moves aside to allow him in before closing and locking the garage.
"Gonna have to excuse the mess." The femme notes when moving past him now and setting the box on a table beside several others. In fact, the entire shop looks like it's being boxed up. "I figured with all the ruckus over in Kaon, folks are gonna need a full-on clinic instead of a body shop. Maybe.. I dunno." She frowns to herself when staring down at the box before sighing and turning back to Jazz, already motioning for him to take a seat on one of the nearby stools while she brings up another. "So what sorta info were you lookin' for?" Does he know..?
Jazz settles himself on the offered seat, his plates and engines at neutral, his body language relaxed and at ease. He doesn't look like he's ready to cause or get into trouble. "Well, I'll put it to you straight, little lady: Security Forces knows what went down in the Forge, and we saw you there." Yeah, he knows.
Hopefully before Torque has a chance to react badly or run, Jazz holds up his hands. "Now don't get it twisted, I ain't here to bring you in or anything. First things first - I wanna know if you're all right." His tone softens towards the end of his statement with what sounds like genuine concern. Looks like we have a compassionate cop.
Torque, meanwhile, looks rather tense, almost on the edge of her seat. She's never been one to be good at hiding her emotions, which is why her optics widen and body almost bristles when Jazz reveals his knowledge of her being at the Forge. Primus, this is it! She's slagged, she's gonna be hauled in for questioning!
The option to flee crosses her mind, but Jazz is faster than she can act and quickly elaborates. With this new information, Torque pauses, looking a bit lost and confused that he'd ask that. "Wait.. You mean you're not gonna arrest me or anything..?" Brows furrow in scrutiny, eyeing him over until she's sure he means it.
"I'm.." The femme begins slowly as her tension begins to release and defensive nature melts into an unfamiliar mix of sadness and confusion, gaze on her hands and a frown on her lips. "I'm okay.. I think. It was just.. horrible. I know Clench was, well.. I suppose evil would fit, but to kill everyone else like that.."
"Clench ain't exactly gonna be missed, but you're right. 'Course none of the mechs and femmes in that slag-hole are pure as the driven diamond dust, but he's the mech that started the whole thing," Jazz agrees. He leans forward a little on the stool. "I hate t' even ask, but I gotta: What's a decent femme like you doin' in a place like that?"
"He took advantage of them, that's what he did." Torque clenches a fist atop her knee. "Mechs and femmes that had nothing because of how they were created. He took 'em and made 'em think they had a purpose by fighting, but for all the wrong reasons." It made her sick and disgusted and she's glad he's dead, but there was still something about the way it was all done that felt.. wrong. Maybe because it was a straight up slaughter.
Attention returns at Jazz's question and she lifts her head to meet his gaze until the faint trace of a smile lights her face. She knew he'd ask that, everyone does. "To help others, believe it or not. It's why I'm in Kalis, too. People in the Forge.. they needed compassion, for someone to actually care about them, so that's why I started there in the medbay. Eventually I tried my hand at some fights, but it never got deadly and I knew everyone I fought."
That checks out with her behavior in the video, Jazz thinks to himself. "Charity work. Yeah, we got a few mechs doin' that sorta thing in free clinics in bad places. Not exactly smiled upon by the powers-that-be, but not illegal that I know of." He approves of bending the rules in cases like that - screw the Senate and the Council if they don't wanna do what every mech knows in his spark is right. "Would it be possible to get a list of names of people that were fightin in the pits? Maybe the ring-leaders at the very least?" he asks.
Ah, so that's what he wants. "I doubt many of 'em are alive. You saw the tape. Megatron slaughtered everyone who supported Clench. Some might have gotten away, but anyone else who was left either fled or joined the Decepticons. I.." She hesitates, looking unsure of herself. Should she really give everyone away?
"..Look." She finally continues, tone more level and serious now when looking head on at the mech across from her. "I'll tell you all the names you need to know, Decepticon recruits I saw that day and the really bad sorts that may have escaped the slaughter, but everyone else I'll keep to myself. There were some genuinely good mechs there who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I don't want the cops after them, alright? It might make 'em do something stupid when they're just trying to get their life together. Deal?"
Jazz can't argue with that. "Deal." He grins. "Off the record, I'd rather let let some bots off with a warnin' and spend my time dealin' with the real hard cases, you dig? Ain't no need to throw a first time offender into Garrus-1."
Seriousness melds back into a warmer demeanor at Jazz's agreement, Torque smiling in return and nodding. "Agreed. Got a pad?" When one is produced she'll get to work jotting down the names of those who might have slipped the execution and those who helped do it, some likely recognizable and others not. "And y'know.. it's not that I want to see everyone on here in jail. To be honest, Megatron made a strong arguement and I probably would have joined him if he'd gone about this a different way. I just think they need some help.. To be shown this isn't right."
Torque lingers on one name in particular, her memory flashing back to him leading her out of the slaughter, and sighs faintly when adding it to the list. "Is there a plan to stop Megatron?" She asks quietly when glancing up, as if others were listening. "Or is that classified?"
Jazz finishes taking down names, some of them disturbing him a little. He shakes his head, disappointed, as he notes them down. When the list is finished and Torque asks her question, the former racing star has to stop and think about it a moment.
"I don' know," he states earnestly. "Y'see, they -tried- to shut him up before - the Senate, that is - an' I don't think that made things better. I think it changed him. The tone and content of his polemics changed after Rodion. I ain't got all the details but I think somethin' happened to him in that cell. Maybe something that shouldn't."
He sits back. "But if it ain't already obvious I've kept up with his writin' - cultural investigation an' all that - an' I can't help but think the reason it's catchin' on is because something really is corrodin' the core of our society. That's about the limit to what I can say without my superiors ventin' down my spoiler, but it's the truth." His easygoing and friendly demeanor fades back in, the seriousness unable to keep a hold on Jazz for long. "Now, I'mma let you in on a little secret: There's a cop in Rodion that's got the same feelin' about this that you do, an' he's challenged the Senate straight out about it. Dunno how he managed to keep his job after that, but if you -really- wanna help do somethin' about all this? You need to talk to Orion Pax."
"Of course something is. Just ask anyone down here and compare it to how a lot of high castes feel. I'm not saying I have anything against them, but a lot of their opinions and feelings about the lower castes are just.. they're so off and it isn't right. We may work different jobs or not be built the same, but we've all got sparks and that should count for someting, if you ask me." Torque's sense of riteousness and justice swells within her when voicing her opinion. Jazz may have to watch himself, but she isn't about to hold her tongue when it comes to these topics.
It's only when he talks of Orion Pax that she settles down, puffed stature deflating back to a more neutral posture. "Orion Pax? I've heard a little about him. ..It's funny, 'cause I was also told to talk to that Hot Rod guy, but his tactics seem a bit too.. drastic for me." Her thoughts sink back inwardly to ponder this offer now, hand to her chin and optics dimming. "But if what I've heard about Pax is true then.. maybe it'll be good to talk to him. If anything I can at least help with medical concerns.."
"Pax is straight shooter. He'll uphold the law, but he won't do it with an iron fist in a tin glove. Hot Rod ... Yeah, I've heard of that kid. Spark's in the right place but he's just as likely to drive everyone off a cliff," Jazz notes with amusement. "A lot of passion but not a lot of wisdom, if you get my drift."
Taking the data pad and slotting it into a carrying station on his side, he stands from the chair. "Only one last thing I'm gonna mention an' then I'll get outta your grill: There's a good chance these Decepticons may take an interest in you thanks to what happened with you and Megatron in the pit. If you want, I can set up some security posts so that if trouble comes knockin', we can catch 'em." He gives an understanding grin. "/However/: If you don't exactly want everything you do gettin' back to the optics of police - and I am perfectly happy to look the other way - then I'll just give you my com frequency instead."
Torque makes a mental note to seek out Pax when she can, but for now she's got bigger concerns with the Forge fallout. "I've been so worried I almost forgot about the Cons coming here.." She rubs the back of her helm and sighs after standing with him, optics downcast in thought. "I'm.. not against the cops. At least, cops like you, but I don't need more of a hassle. I think it'd draw more trouble if the Cons saw you guys outside the shop. ..No, I'll try and handle it myself." A glance up to him with a small smile that she allows. "But I'll definitely exchange frequencies. I know I don't really know you, but you look like a good mech, so I trust yah."
She'll see him out after exchanging comm numbers, turning back to her half-packed shop once the door is securely locked. Primus, if Cons really are coming, then she's going to have to prepare.. Hopefully one of the more reasonable ones drops by.