Title: Never Alone
Location: Arcee's Quarters
Date: 27 May 2015
Summary: Arcee helps Blurr find the truth.
A regulation habsuite with a personal touch; the nameplate on the door is pink, and reads 'Arcee' in Cybertronian script.
Arcee has recently returned from some sort of fieldwork, and presently, she's relaxing in her quarters, reading some information about the new 'Autobot Registration Act'. She has some serious reservations about the purpose behind it, and she said as much to Megatron himself.
As Arcee is relaxing in her hab suite for the evening, the door signal abruptly goes off, indicating that someone wishes to visit her in her private quarters.
Arcee checks the external camera, just to make sure it isn't Starscream. Then she taps a button on her computer console, and the door slides open. "Hello!"
Nope, it's definitely not Starscream. Blurr enters the room as soon as she opens the door, looking a little bit sheepish as he sits down next to her. "Hey, uhm..." he glances around nervously. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything--"
"No, you're fine. Just trying to pick apart this whole 'Autobot Registration Act'...the explanation Megatron keeps giving me for the need to have it is...fairly flimsy, as you'd probably imagine. But trying to argue with him is proving to be difficult," Arcee says. She steps over to Blurr, having a closer look at him to see if his condition has improved any further. "How's everything been?"
Physically, Blurr looks all right. Not exhausted as before, that's for certain. He shrugs. "Heh, you ask me they're just aft-hurt over the DRA. None of this is about freedom or equality or anything, Arcee. No, it's all about -revenge-. That's -all- he wants. You know it, I know it, all of us Autobots know it and even some of the Decepticons know it, too. He's turning into -exactly- what Zeta Prime and Sentinel Prime were, sadly enough. There's no point in arguing with him."
"Yeah, no kidding. Why else would he keep such a measure in place, but to send a message? Of course, my argument has been, not all of the Autobots were on board with the DRA -- just the ones in law enforcement and the Senate thought it was fairly useful. But of course, Megatron can argue in circles. Anyhow, enough of that..." Arcee smiles slightly. "You look a lot better. Do you feel up to facing that dream again? If not, we can save it for another time, but the more it's confronted, the better chance we have of getting some answers."
Blurr looks surprised at her request to see the vision again, his optic ridges going up. "I--really? You--want to see it again?" Wasn't it just -horrible-? "I mean i-it was terrible wasn't it?"
Arcee nods in agreement. "Oh yes, it was horrible. But I meant it when I said I want to help you defeat this problem. It's running you down like a case of bad fuel, and killing your spark. It's time to show it who's in charge!"
Blurr smiles. "Wow, I--" It's like he's not even sure what to say. "--thank you."
He pauses as he pulls out the interface cable once more. "Look Arcee I--I know I've done some things that you aren't proud of. Things that...that -no one- should be proud of."
"Yeah? ...Um, so have I, remember when you met me at a hidden lagoon with a certain rotten Air Commander?" Arcee reminds, her expression suggesting that she'd just as soon like to forget that chapter of her life permanently. "Everyone's done something that makes them cringe, so...so what of it?" As she talks, she heads over to her cozy recharge berth. She's actually made a very utilitarian area and prettied it up a bit. "Might be more comfortable here..."
Blurr follows her over to the berth, nodding. "Yeah, I know. We've all done things, but--some of us have done things that are more heinous than others." He says, sounding ashamed as he sits down. "Maybe that was a bad experience that you regret, but...at least you didn't murder anyone..." he says quietly. "How could I ever make up for it all?"
"You make up for it by realizing what led up to that moment, and consciously choosing to learn from it. Because if you remain in the past, bringing up that past, it will be useless to you because you can't bring back the dead." Arcee pauses for a moment, then adds, "If this were peacetime, I'd be seriously worried about your mental state, but this is war. Many Autobots have killed. Springer's killed, Prowl's killed...and I know eventually, I'll probably be in a position where I'll have to kill someone. If the situation is kill or be killed, then you must do it in order to survive."
"I know, I know." Blurr sighs. "But it wasn't a kill or be killed situation, Arcee! I killed people who didn't even have a -chance- against me! -Innocent- people! I-I let it happen..." He looks distraught enough to be on the verge of sobbing. "You're right, I -can't- bring back the dead. But what -can- I do?"
Arcee reaches over and touches Blurr's arm. "...You acknowledge that it happened, and then you move on and stop beating yourself up about it," she insists. "Please understand, I'm not trying to tell you to brush over this lightly. But you've already whipping yourself about this, day after day after day, and it's doing nothing but wearing you down. Right now, we don't have the luxury of...of therapy. Or even reparations. The time to make amends isn't here yet...we're still dealing with one crisis after another. What /you/ can do is...focus on the things you can change, that you can do something about. You're a different mech now than you were then. You're more mature, have more control. And I'll help you, you don't have to face that rotten vision alone anymore. A lot of that feels like /guilt/, Blurr, and we need to be bold and stand up to that."
Blurr moves closer to her but is quiet for a little while. "But...like what? What can I change? War is coming...there's no question about that part." He sighs. "-Someone- has to stop this back-and-forth cycle of revenge before anyone gets any kind of peace around here. But it's not like anyone's going to be -talking- any sense into Megatron any time soon. Maybe we're too far gone. Maybe it's too late. Maybe we're all doomed to destroy ourselves."
"Pff." he shakes his head. "Don't listen to me, I have no idea what I'm even talking about."
"Well...you get very anxious when you recall those deaths...which is understandable. But what I mean by 'change' is use that anxiety to your advantage," Arcee explains calmly. "When you begin feeling absolutely overwhelmed and upset, just...use it as a 'booster', use that anxiety just like energy to fuel your resolve for the next encounter. It's simpler to just show you than explain it. Admittedly." She smiles, looking patient. "Like...that's how I got rid of Starscream, I just remembered the time Drift tried to murder me and how scared I was, and I turn that into anger and determination, and I can look at Starscream and go, 'I'M NOT SCARED OF YOU. I LIVED THROUGH A MANIAC PLANTING A BOMB IN MY CHASSIS, I WAS A SURVIVOR THEN AND I'M A SURVIVOR NOW.' Something like that."
Blurr smiles. "Oh, right. I almost forgot." He holds the cable out to her. "This'll make communication a lot easier."
"Oh, right!" Arcee gets situated in the berth, all cozy-like and as comfortable as the situation will permit. Then, she brings out the cable connector and establishes the link.
Immediately, Arcee gets a taste of why Blurr often talks so fast that no one can understand him. His mind is constantly racing with everything and nothing all at once. It's like the rest of the world is in slow-motion to him. If Cybertronians could have ADD, this would be the prime example of it.
Just beneath that she can already tell what he's told her--he has a lot of guilt about many of the things he'd done in the past. There's also a lot of confusion in certain areas, which is likely owed to damaged and corrupted code in his memory banks. Speaking of the memory banks, the vision she'd seen earlier and other version of it are there, though true to his descriptions they all share the same theme.
The very first time Arcee tried this, she was met immediately with the horrible dream-vision immediately. This time, she anticipates it, but is instead greeted to a slightly more self-aware sensation, and...a certain feeling of control that wasn't there before.
(Blurr?? I'm here,) Arcee 'says' as she mentally reaches out to try and command some of that fleeting attention. Her own presence is curious, warm, and surprisingly bold. (Let's go talk to Shiftlock.) She channels any fears and uneasiness she has into being brave. Blurr may get impressions of certain mechs who have influenced Arcee to some degree or another: Proteus, Blast Off, Fasttrack, Prowl, Magnus, Orion Pax, Sky Lynx, Springer...oh, and Starscream, too. No dataprints, just memory impressions.
Shiftlock...is where a lot of the confusion begins. The first time Blurr met her was at Maccaddam's. He hadn't liked her very much, but the second time, she tried to connect with him using Mercury's Shifter abilities to make him see the world for what it was and thus convince him of how desperate she was to be freed from Ratbat's clutches. Needless to say, it hadn't gone over well, given how young and ignorant Blurr had been at the time.
Still, she hadn't wanted to hurt him, so she 'gifted' him with some of her accelerated repair mechanisms in order to mitigate the problem. He did agree to help her...but when she came knocking, he -didn't-. -That- was where the confusion began, where it all started. The vision always went downhill from there. It seemed, that was where the first bits of corrupted code were. It soon becomes clear that -someone- hadn't wanted him remembering the optic-opening encounter with Shiftlock as it was. That someone also didn't want him to be friends with Shiftlock, either.
As Arcee studies the corrupted files, she makes these discoveries known to Blurr, as well, because there is a chance he can actually run some maintenance code on himself and seal off these areas to prevent further deterioration. Or, maybe he has other defenses in place that could help. That is something which is beyond Arcee's scope of ability, but she can at least make these things known to Blurr as she observes them, which is something she wouldn't be able to do if they weren't linked. "At last, that's finally making sense," she exclaims. "What else is at play, here, I wonder."
She delves deeper, knowing she risks triggering the murder scenarios (which may not be ENTIRELY fictional; she's certain that some of those kills actually happened and are now just haunting Blurr relentlessly because of the corrupted code. But there's only one way to find out for sure.
Some of them are fictional, yes. Though many of them actually did happen. Thankfully, the one involving herself is actually fictional. Of course.
Upon delving deeper, though, she would find that indeed, -some- of the code has been slowly repairing itself over time, and at some point he had actually regained the memory of Shiftlock's connection to him--the part that Axle had erased previously. This was in direct contradiction to the conditioning they'd used to convince him that she was the enemy and thus to treat her as such--hence the confusion. The two different events just didn't mesh with each other, didn't make sense. If he'd befriended her and offered to help her, why'd he attack her? That was the burning question lingering on his mind, each time he was plagued by the past.
"Hmm...no wonder there's so much clashing in here...well, let's just make it un-clash," Arcee decides. She does her best to very carefully 'create' two separate paths -- unraveling Shiftlock's memories from Axle's conditioning. Nothing would be erased, but bit by bit, they become two separate strands of events. Because Arcee could see where the code was cramming together and making things incomprehensible and nightmarish, she could also inform Blurr where they were clashing and how best to coax them apart, and distinguish the real events from the ficticious ones.
It seems like it takes a very, very long time, due to the complexity involved, but meanwhile out in the 'real' world, Arcee's snuggled up against Blurr like a contented, sleeping cat, very relaxed and not so much waging war as she is performing delicate mental calculations.
Slowly, but surely, everything seems to fall into place. And as that happens, it all becomes much clearer to Blurr. The betrayal...was Axle's doing. He remembered it all now, they'd dragged him down into the isolation block again, and deliberately erased his memory of the encounter then conditioned him to believe something -else- entirely different. A lie. The lie that Shiftlock was trying to steal from him.
Suddenly, it seems to dawn on Blurr that -everything- about his life back then had been so...orchestrated. But at the same time he'd -allowed- it to be, not wanting to face the real world where he'd have to make real decisions. -Hard- decisions that he never wanted to face. Selfishness was at the root of it all. The same self-centeredness that made him wish he'd never left his isolation chamber, so that he'd never have to concern himself with the rest of the world. What a shame...
Arcee continues to quietly and carefully work, relaying information and switching up pathways, until she's gone through the entire sector. Then, she lingers there, but not as a working presence, just as a background entity. Blurr may be consumed with some hurtful truths, but he definitely isn't alone...and that's what Arcee promised him all along.