Title: There Is No Place For Kindness Here
Location: The Forge, Kaon
Date: 05 December 2014
Summary: Why does a kindhearted medic want to fight in the Pits? Megatron wants to know.
Megatron is being tended by the surgeons after his last bout in the pits. He's missing an arm, and Hook is diligently crafting a new one, with a new weapon in-built. Patiently, the battered steel-gray miner rests against the upward-inclined repair slab, looking up at the feed from the matches, as well as the ongoing CNN (cybertron news network) news feeds. He's otherwise quiet - particularly at the reports of a ship coming in from one of the colonies.
One of those matches, which has just ended, would be Torque's. It was a close to a tie, but one last, swift punch earned her the win, though not without cost. "Thanks Suture.." The femme grumbles when limping in against the other medic's shoulder, a grunt escaping as she sits gingerly on a free medical berth. A cracked optic flickers occasionally while a drying trail of energon courses down from her nose to join the sliver coming from the corner of her mouth. The rest of her isn't in the best of shape either, though the most notable is the beaten chestplate and a bent antenna.
"How bad is it..? Here, gimme a mirror." Suture does so and Torque grimaces at the face staring back at her, curling upper lip back to inspect the cracked gap in her dentals. "Primus, that mech could hit.." With a defeated sigh, the femme lowers the mirror and is about to lay back, but pauses when a familiar flash of grey catches the corner of her optic and she turns to stare, mouth slightly agape. "Whoa.. You're Megatron, aren't you?" Anyone who's anyone in the Forge would instantly recognize the iconic mech, though they likely wouldn't dare talk to him.
"I am," he responds calmly. There's a slight distance in his voice as he finishes observing the report on the Animatronian delegation. That had his attention first; fans come second. It's not his intention to be rude, he's simply focused on what he knows is coming, and he is, after all, a thinker.
"You fought well," he appraises. "Torque, is it?"
It is carrying a crate of supplies for the medics that Breakdown rolls into the repair bays, looking marginally less battered and dusty than if he had been racing. The crate shifts as he reverts to root mode and sets it down with others of its kind. dusting pointed-finger hands loosely together in with gentler clanking than greater action might require. He does not immediately interrupt, but it is clear from the flicker of his gaze that he has taken in the room. So to speak.
Dear Primus, Megatron is talking to her! Antennas flick back, with the bent one whirring in broken protest, and a faint glow hints her cheeks. "Ah.. Yessir, that's me. And thank you.. Mech was a bit faster than I thought, though." She carefully touches at her cracked optic and hisses softly as it flickers in agitation.
Back on topic, she turns to regard Megatron again while Suture gets to work patching her up. "Your fight, though, was amazing, I gotta say. Even if you lost.. er.." She stops there and changes gears, "I can't imagine competing in the high tier like you." Especially with all the killing. When Breakdown enters Suture eyes him and drolls in that bored, slightly annoyed way he always speaks, "Was wondering when those supplies would show up."
"It is not something to be done lightly." Megatron turns to look at Torque and study her; she's a fairly new face and one that has not moved up from the middle and lower tiers - to knock out or to first blood, respectively - but there are many who simply do not have the tanks to kill. There aren't many that continue in the Forge; often they see too much death and quit - or Clench gets his hooks into them somehow, and rapes them of that innocence in a public spectacle of death. Such 'first kill' videos often bring extra on the back markets. There are those who perversely enjoy seeing the untainted light die in a mech's optics when they snuff out their first spark. "Tell me, Torque - why are you here? What compels you that you should seek out the Pits?"
"You need somethin' in particular or you just razzin' me for fun?" Breakdown wonders with a kind of complacent equanimity as he glances in Suture's direction. He splits the crate open to display its contents without much panache or flair, long scrape of pointed fingers over its lid not without its minor noise pollution of the room as he clanks back from it.
Torque wasn't expecting that question, but frowns none the less and looks back at herself in the small mirror where she tries to rub away some hlaf dried energon from her nose. "To help in the medbay initially, honestly. I've been coming to the Pits for a while heal folks, but only recently did I get into the arena. It's.. extra shanix." The admission is said with a hint of bitterness, but it's the truth. "But I make sure to see to anyone I've fought, make sure they're okay. ..What about you?" She looks back to him before glancing Breakdown's way. He looks a bit familiar.. Maybe from the racing circuit. "Hey, thanks for the supplies, by the way. We were runnin' kinda low." Torque smirks to him. Suture flinches at the scraping noise and gruffs with a frown, "Just razzin'.."
A nobility of spirit brings Torque here, which is a rare thing indeed. Desperate mechs who needed fuel, those who are angry at the senate, those who enjoy killing, those who want to test their warrior's spirit - these are the usual fare. Kindness is as rare as a green spark here. "I have no other choice," he says. "I am decommissioned. There is nothing left for me apart from the pits."
"Unn-huh," Breakdown says. He smiles a little, as if more amused by the shift in attitude than would strictly be friendly, but does not press the issue beyond the languid hum of his recognition. "Figured you could use some down here anyways. Track ain't runnin' demo today so we don't need as much. Knock Out don't mind." Because-- that would be relevant. If he minded. I guess. He straightens a little, frown faint in his expression as it banishes that ghost of a smile.
"I've heard of that Knock Out mech. Pretty good mechanic from what I hear. Heh, I've still gotta meet him sometime, but you race folks always want my paint instead of in the shop." And Torque does want to get into the race workshops sometime. Maybe someday.
Back to Megatron, Torque's smile softens and she furrows brows just slightly to him. "That can't be true. I mean, what about your writing? It's pretty good if you ask me. and well.. I hear a lot of mechs are taking it to spark." She says that last part with a careful tone, not one to take sides... yet, at least.
"I was sent to prison for those writings," Megatron says with a calm that belies the storm inside of him. The are raw nerves connected to that writing. Loss. Fear. Suffering. Beating to the brink of death - all for speaking his mind. All for asking the wrong questions. All for others being awakened to the same societal predicament. "Do you understand what it means to be a part of the manual labor class, Torque?" There is no malice in that question, as he turns to look at her, crimson optics set on the fembot.
"He is good." Breakdown glances in Megatron's direction for his calmness and hesitates on the verge of speech. He settles his weight back on the heavy stillness of his feet, a low grind between his gears detectable as almost-words that does not quite resolve into them. Like clearing your throat. Restraint is not one of his better qualities, generally speaking, but it's clear to whom the question was addressed; watching the heavy truck bear up against his own impulses is, in ways, a little funny.
Torque glances away at his reminder. "Right.. It's been changing things, though. Actually making mechs think." She quickly shuts up on that subject, however, and remains silent until Megatron speaks again. It draws a sidelong glance from Torque as well as a press of her lips into a thin line. She could very well spout the same lines puts forth by the Senate, about how everyone has their place and whatnot, but the truth surges past it to the surface instead.
"If I were still back at the University I'd say it means being a productive member of society and doing your part to help further Cybertron's movement forward. But since I'm not..." She pauses and sighs. "Right now it borders on enslavement, if you ask me. I get mechs all the time who've been unable to get treatment because their supervisors think it's too much hassle. And look at Kaon now? It's been driven into the ground and now all these mechs can do is work or fight day in and day out while their higher ups keep dreaming of being Momus. Er.. before what happened to him, I mean."
"A group of us witnessed unspeakable crimes being done to every caste, even Senators who did not toe the functionist line paid the ultimate price. There is a reason the Academy burned to the ground, why the Outliers scattered to the winds, why Senator Shockwave is here - stripped of his rank, his head, his hands." Something seems to flare up in Megatron as he speaks, his tone and demeanor changing, going from a quiet, weary laborer into a force of raw willpower and determination the likes of which even Primus has not seen since the wars of the gods. "The polite name is 'personality adjustments'. Dissent is a now a /disease/, Torque. Questioning is sickness. If those who hold power can now break the mind and destroy free will, what hope does this world have? I've written my polemics, but it has not affected the root and core of the problem, and if I can no longer persuade those who have had their wills stripped by Prime and Senate both... there is little option left for change." "We don't need just change," Breakdown puts in, his head bearing down a little as if under the weight of his own scowl. "Change ain't enough. It sounds like what they do. An adjustment or whatever." He lacks Megatron's eloquence, to the surprise of no one ever. He does hold forth with considerable /vehemence/. "We can't just change what is."
"I know about empurata." Torque says bitterly, her expression hardening. "I just met one of their victims the other day. He actually wanted me to help kill him, but.. I convinced him against it." A glance to Breakdown. "Well something's gotta happen sooner or later. Mechs are getting antsy and it feels like something's gonna explode any minute now." She addresses them both now. "I imagine one little push and it'll all go over the edge. We've already got unrest here in Kaon and now other low castes are getting up in arms with this Hot Rod mech I keep hearing about."
Megatron responds with only one statement. "Change will only come with force."
"Already done some," Breakdown agrees, with the flaring chuff of almost a snort. His gaze is a glower, expression set in his scarlet-plated face. "Already done. Just ain't enough yet. What's a /little/ push? We took down some of their most damning scrap and they just lied their afts off about it."
Force... It's not an idea Torque entirely agrees with, and now that the conversation begins to shift that way she suddenly feels out of place. "..Maybe, I don't know." She's quieter now, staring down at her lap with a pensive look. "If it comes down to force I'm not really sure what I'd do. If force was used against the Senate, how much do you think you'd even need? How far would it escalate?"
Megatron had wondered the same thing in the past; now he knows that he will apply as much force as it takes - even if it means he must burn the world down to ashes to rebuild it with his own two hands. He can see Torque wavering, questioning, the inner conflict in her voice and mannerisms obvious... and precious. Though he cannot say it outright, it is for the innocent souls like her that he will swallow all the evil in the world - three times that much! -- and become the monster that everyone suspects he is. He knows he is strong enough to bathe in inner energon and create an army of demons that will be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the freedom the weak cannot obtain alone.
"It will take war. That is the only way they will listen and reconsider, is when their power is threatened and wrenched from their grasping hands. I cannot say how long, how intense, or to what extent - that will be answered by the Senate themselves. We will see how much pain they must endure before they are finally willing to listen and -act-."
"Talk about escalation like there's another option," Breakdown says in a dark mutter, shake of his head slight. He takes a half-step back again, arms folding across the bulk of his chassis as he frowns. He glances at Megatron, and then back to Torque again. "What do you do if not force? War? You think somethin' else would even /work/? You think there's even a chance without it? I mean to do what, even? Hot Rod's a punk and an idiot but he ain't wrong."
How long has Soundwave been here? Did he just arrive, slipping in quietly, unnoticed? He manages to do that sometimes, despite his size and lack of any obvious sneaking skills. He's just... quiet that way. Or perhaps he's been here for a long while? That's entirely possible, too... he has a way of blending into the background. He is seen here in the Forge fairly often, though rarely says much, nor interacts much with other mechs. He certainly is never IN the Pits themselves. No, it's like he's always watching, listening... though to what wouldn't be obvious. Not everyone knows he's an outlier, a telepath with the ability to read minds and pick up emotions.
But one thing that may have become clear to many- he is often found near Megatron. And here he is, once more, standing in the shadows quietly, reaching out with his mind to pick up thoughts, emotions, and memories. But it's all for a good cause- because it's for the Decepticon cause.
Primus, Torque never thought she'd hear the word war. It sits like leaden weight in her tank and sends a shiver up her spine. She may fight in the arena, but war meant death, and death is just.. something she can't bide by. Yet even without war the lose of lives still plagues them.
About to reply to Megatron, Breakdown's comment catches her up and draws her attention. Something about the way he says it just.. lights a fire behind her optics. "I don't /know/ okay?" She gruffs, balling fists and glaring at him. "I fix mechs, not plan wars. And even if, or when, one does break out, what do you think's gonna happen to those on the sidelines? They're gonna get swept up in all of this for no reason at all. I can't say I support the Senate much, but I can say with certainty that I doubt they're gonna roll over and give in. Violence begets violence, and I bet you they're gonna drag everyone down with 'em."
"And thus I asked you why you were here, Torque. Which is worse, to allow mechs to starve to death at the whim of a few? To allow one small handful of powerful individuals determine the course and value of every life? To allow the intellectual class to mutely and complicitly continue empurata or personality adjustments until free will is mythology?" Megatron asks plainly.
He softens his tone. "War is never a pleasant option. I know what it means. I simply see no other alternative to the continued degredation of our civilization and species than armed rebellion."
"Already dragged down pretty far," Breakdown rumbles in a low and surly weight. Yet he seems to sense that maybe he has jeopardized something delicate between Torque and Megatron; in the flicker of his glow-bright glance, in the deepening of his frown, he steps back again, shaking his head with a low puff of noise. "Anyway, didn't mean to start nothin'," he says, and turns the rest of the way aside, shoulder pauldrons dipping as he turns his scowl elsewhere, and starts off back toward the hallway from whence he first arrived.
Soundwave listens to the conversation, picking up Torque's soft-sparkedness as clouds of misty pink and orange... soft like a sunset. He can understand her hesitation. Soundwave doesn't *want* war, either. But, sometimes you have to do things you don't neccessarily want to do in order to obtain the goals you have in mind. As Megatron so eloquently puts it. The outlier listens to HIS words, and they are the color not of sunset but of dawn. Red and black and new beginnings. He feels a surge of inspiration just listening to the Miner. Breakdown is watched as he leaves, but otherwise not acknowledged.
Realization of her outburst steadily begins to trickle in and Torque pulls herself back from the anger, her shoulders drooping and a grimace maring her features when watching Breakdown leave. "..I know. I know it isn't pleasant, but.." She frowns to Megatron, the looming threat of fighting, rebellion, and war visibly weighing her down. "I just don't want to see it get out of control. I know there's hope for change if this happens, but at what cost, and how long will we need to fight?" It's a question that's hard to answer, or even can't be answered, really. Torque certainly isn't looking for one as she stands, able to put weight on her leg now that it's fixed. "Anyway.. I need to get back to my shop. I know things are getting crazy with all of this stuff happening, but.. if you're ever in Kalis, then maybe you can stop by and we can talk about.. lighter things." She manages a light smirk despite the previous conversation and nods before heading out.
Megatron watches her go. He reminds himself that it is for her sake, and the sake of those like her, that he steels himself to become a killer.
He wanted to be a medic once. Maybe someone else can enjoy that dream.