Title: Reaching the Root Cause

PCs: Sky Lynx, Whirl, Arcee

Location: Decagon Courtyard

Date: 25 March 2015

Summary: Sky Lynx attempts to discover Whirl's feelings on the Autobots and discovers something much deeper that needs to be addressed.

-- Radio: A-Chat -- Sky Lynx says, "Whirl. So, now that we find ourselves committed to our believes, perhaps it is time I determine exactly how much you understand about the cause that you have decided to join. If I recall correctly, I spoke to you once before on the radio and you seemed to be at a loss of what you felt you should do within the Autobots. Besides the mission I have assigned to you, have you learned anything else?"

-- Radio: A-Chat -- Whirl says, "Uh...not really."
-- Radio: A-Chat -- Whirl says, "I'm just trying to do what I'm told. No need to go above and beyond that."

-- Radio: A-Chat -- Sky Lynx says, "Perhaps it is time that you learn exactly what it is that you decided to register for. Are you currently occupied?"

-- Radio: A-Chat -- Whirl says, "I am not."

-- Radio: A-Chat -- Sky Lynx says, "Excellent. Please make your way to the courtyard of the Decagon, I am enjoying my evening meal."

++ The Decagon ++

A massive prism-like structure that sits at the edge of Iacon, rising      
several dozen stories up, and having ten walls on the outside (hence its   
name). Colored in grays and reds, this is the center of Cybertron's        
military command, as well as a host to top Security Forces officials,      
allowing the two to handle security, intelligence and tactical operations  
across the planet. The building has wide parade grounds and several        
alternate entrances, and is heavily defended above and below with          
weaponized turrets jutting out from the corner points of the buildings. A  
security wall rings the outer grounds, and only authorized personnel are   
allowed past the checkpoints in.                                           

Indeed, Whirl, you get to watch Sky Lynx refuel. Currently curled up on himself with his tail twitching behind him, the large creature is currently head down, his mouth taking in a large amount of some of the highest grade of energon and fuel available on the planet. He has to refuel sometime, after all.

It doesn't take long for Whirl to find Sky Lynx (the guy is HUGE) and when he does he is greeted with the sight of the massive primordial refueling in the most off-putting way possible. Considering Sky Lynx's shape, it makes sense that he has to guzzle it like some kind of animal but.. it's still really weird. So why can't Whirl look away?

"Uhhh...." Whirl slowly approaches, still staring intently on the massive maw taking it all that energon. "What's up?"

Lifting his head up, fuel drips from Sky Lynx's maw, falling thankfully back into the container. He is clean if anything, at least. "Ah, sorry, I do have to keep up a large amount of fueling. Would you like some?" he asks, always willing to allow others to partake in his fuel should anyone require it. "First, my apologies for placing you on the spot as I did, however, with your enthusiastic need to speak out against Megatron and then Blast Off as you did, I could not but help but to feel that you would be more than acceptable to speak up for yourself." he comments.

Lowering his head back into the container, he guzzles some more and then lifts up to lick his chops clean. "Now then. Let us start with the most obvious of all queries. What do you believe it means to be an Autobot?"

Whirl /stares/ at the container of fuel and the droplets that fall into from Sky Lynx's jaws. He's put all sorts of gross, weird things into his body but he has no intention of Sky Lynx's sloppy seconds be one of them. "Yeaaaaaah, I think I'll pass."

Whirl leans against whatever is most convenient for him to lean against, crossing his arms over his chest, and listens to what Sky Lynx has to say. Okay, so far, so good. No monologuing yet. But then he asks that question and, even though Whirl knew it was coming, it still makes him huff in annoyance. "I don't know. Law and order and justice and scrap like that?" He shrugs. "Look, why don't you just tell me what to say, I write it down on my arm, and then I just read off of that instead?"

A shame. It is the best fuel that Cybertron has to offer at the moment as Sky Lynx chuckles. "That would be disingenuous. It would not come from the spark." the large creature states as he looks down towards Whirl. "So tell me. Law and order and justice and all that scrap, you said?" he asks. "Can you expand upon that?" the Roc's tail continues to thrash idly as he considers. "After all, when it comes to the matter of the debate, if one does not believe in the topic and subject matter that they are presenting, then they are destined to lose. What you speak on, what you believe in, it must come from the spark."

about how he's 'totally about the Autobot cause' and such but he's starting to realize that he wont be able to pull that sort of thing with Sky Lynx. Still, it would be extremely unwise to just tell him the real reason he's here, that Starscream pushed him into it, offering him the one thing he wants more than anything in the world as a reward for his services.

"Okay! You got me, alright!? I don't know anything about the Autobots. I've had only bad experiences with them prior to signing up and the only reason I signed up was because I didn't have any other choice." He gestures wildly with his arms as he speaks, obviously frustrated at having to have the conversation. "I mean, what was a supposed to do? I can't be a Decepticon, and why would I anyway? They're disorganized and crazy. I couldn't stay neutral, it was too dangerous and my quality of life was terrible. It was either join the Autobots or die. Or go to jail, which is even worse than death in my opinion."

"Die? And you felt that you were going to die if you did not join the Autobots? That is.. interesting." Sky Lynx states as the large creature dips his head back into his head into the container to guzzle some more of that delicious extra-high grade. The large creature uses his visor to focus in on the empurata. Really, is there much difference between the two? Whirl has no face - Sky Lynx is only a large creature. There's no face there to speak of really. Just the monster. Hands? Yeah, try holding something with the massive claws that the Roc is wielding.

"You had bad experiences. You were one of the rebels working with Hot Rod. I am not ignorant of your past, Whirl. I studied it before I ever approached you about working with the Nyon rebels." the large creature states as he lowers his head to Whirl's level. "And I know of the rumors and the radio discussions. But, that is not here nor there at this present time. What is, is what your convictions are - where your spark lies in all of this. I know that there are those that within our ranks that makes us look like we are the ones that are the sledgehammer for the Senate doing nothing more than carrying out their orders with mindless need and necessity." the large creature states. "While we are upholding the laws and rules and the needs of the Senate and Cybertron;" the large creature states, "however, we are also not without those that are compassionate to what they feel is the strongest of beliefs. Take Arcee, for instance, who is working on finding some small project to work on to help bring something back to the people of Cybertron in some minor way - but it is what she wishes to do. The help I am offering to Override - even if the Senate may disagree, they are at least willing to hear. Yes, I agree. Sentinel Prime is very much iron-fisted and booted in his beliefs. And I find myself in disagreement with some of his more egregious trespasses, such as what he ordered Feint to do to Scattershot - such a pain, that. However, that cannot be the only example that all hold. So you tell me - what is your example that /you/ wish to set, Whirl. What do /you/ want from the Autobot cause besides a meal, a stipend and a bed to recharge in?"

Whirl isn't bothered at all that Sky Lynx knows about his involvement with Hot Rod and his rebels. In fact, it's a point of pride for the cyclops, he's not ashamed at all about his history with the Nyon rebels. The part that comes after that, the rumors and radio discussions, are a different story. Instantly Whirl becomes on edge, bristling at the possibility of Sky Lynx knowing the whole truth about what he does in his free time. Thankfully, the conversation continues and Whirl sighs in relief.

He can't help but divert his gaze as Sky Lynx goes on. It's true, there are lots of instances where Autobots have done extremely shady, illegal things but there are also those instances where an Autobot has shown him kindness or offered him support in some way. Torque, Acuity, even Arcee has found herself on Whirl's good side lately. After careful deliberation, Whirl sighs.

"I want something to believe in."

"I have to admit, having nothing to believe in is a dark and desperate thing. The despair that comes from that could grab and pull you into a place where recovery is not possible. I have seen it claim a few good sparks in my time," Sky Lynx starts as his tail twitches idly and he takes another drink from his large tub of energon. "One time I traveled to the planet of Antilla, where there had been an early outbreak of cosmic rust. I was not allowed to access or land on the planet due to the fact that the entire planet was in quarantine. After planet dropping the supplies I had on board, I circled the planet, hoping to hear any sign of life from the planet. I finally received a transmission from one called Sharpshot. He was a warrior on the planet - a guard of the ruling class that was there. He remained on duty even after the ruling class left the planet, because he believed that they would return to him and help him. I had come across their ship earlier in the travel - they were all infected, and their ship was dead in space. Instead of hiding this information from him, I instead shared it freely and openly. When Sharpshot heard this, he became more and more distraught and desperate. He had failed. He lost his belief. And in the end, as the cosmic rust started to take a hold of him, he decided to terminate his own spark then to try to continue to hold out for a cure." the large creature lowers his head. "Autobots? Decepticons? They have it easy. Even I have it easy. Who doesn't have it easy? You. A nonbeliever. After all, not having a belief leaves you listless and unsure of your lot in life. We don't often think about it, but it matters; without belief there is no creative spark in your life. I read that you were once a watchmaker - one of the best on Cybertron - I believe I may even have an example of your work in my office. But can I say it is fair to see that when you lost your faith in your belief; that would be the time that you no longer decided that you wish to pursue your life as a watchmaker? Was it because it was all the Functionists said you could do, or because your spark was just no longer in your work?"

There we go. Monologuing. It was just a matter of time before Sky Lynx's responses got longer and longer until he started telling stories better suited for a novella. As annoying as it is, it's still better than being lectured and it's not like Sky Lynx is judging him for his beliefs, or rather, his lack of. If anything, he seems kind of sympathetic. Whirl is okay with this, and he listens quietly.

And then his watchmaking comes up.

Whirl visibly tenses and his optic begins to flicker with barely contained rage. Is that what people have been lead to believe? That he CHOSE to leave his career? That he DECIDED on his own to give up the only thing that truly made him happy? Is that what people really think happened? Is that really what Sky Lynx thinks happened? Clearly he knows NOTHING about Whirl or who he is or what happened to him. Suddenly Whirl is a whole lot less tolerant of Sky Lynx's stories.

"THEY TOOK MY HANDS!" Whirl snaps, thrusting his claws out and putting them on full display to further prove his point. "I never wanted to give it up! Even after those thugs burned down my business.. even after I was on the streets, literally fighting for survival.. I always thought that someday I would be able to rebuild my business and pick up where I left off. I went along with the Senate at first, I thought maybe if I worked with them, I'd be able to afford to put my life back together. But they took that from me. They took EVERYTHING from me."

He looks up at Sky Lynx, claws falling to his sides. "So no, it wasn't because I lost interest. It wasn't because of anything like that. It's because I was mutilated, it's because my greatest watch making tools were stolen from me. THAT is why I don't believe in this world or anything on it. Not anymore."

Arcee is headed down a walkway when she overhears a rather loud conversation nearby. Being a little bit curious, she approaches to see what's going on.

As Whirl launches into his tirade, Sky Lynx listens, and remains calm through it all. After all, he wanted to bring up this response. "And when they took everything from you, you in turn wanted to join the very force that defends the decisions that the Senate makes?" the large creature finally asks as he looks towards Whirl. "There are times I would have given anything to have a normal frame. To walk among the masses and not draw attention or be feared. But I have learned to handle what I am and what I have become. You have to find something to believe in - even if that belief is only in yourself."

"We do not think much on it, after all. All Cybteronians. But the creative life, the one that you chose to lead and was taken away from you - that was the hardest belief to have, in my opinion. After all, no matter how much encouragement, praise, award, sales, or response you got from your craft, in the end you were left alone with your art. And it was your decision and your decision alone whether or not it was worth your belief or not. And even more so now that you are without the ability to carry out that craft." The tail of the creature twitches as he raises his head up again to study the empurata. Of course there is no sign of sympathy or pity. "What you have, Whirl, is /tenacity/. However, it is tenacity built only on sheer willpower. It is the thought that you refuse to cow or fall to the Senate's whim that has pushed you forward. But let me ask you this - were you to regain your hands, your face, to return to your former position /would you be able to find your former beliefs/ or has your experiences changed your point of view on all things?" the large creature rumbles as he taps his toes thoughtfully on the ground.

"I will give you some advice on beliefs. It is what I have learned in my existence and travels. And after I dispense it, I do not want an immediate answer. I want you to think on it. To consider it. I encourage you to ponder and learn and consider what place you will take either creatively or emotionally as you travel on in your life."

"First, what you finally decide to believe in will determine where you will go. It's so easy to externalize a belief. To set it in a little compartment and set it aside. The belief that you seek - the one that defines your life will ebb and flow as you travel through life; competition, circumstances, rejection, misalignment with representation, they will all have affect the way you shall travel - but they should not shake your core belief."

"The second thing that you will need to remember in a core belief is that success cannot be the only thing that drives your belief. Success will tempt you and taunt you all in the same breath. It will seduce you on the radio only to let you down in person. It sounds so comforting and logical, but your past cannot predict and be the driving force of your future. For that, I am glad that you have cast aside your beliefs and made yourself a blank slate for your future belief. Because when you rely only on your past you are doomed to only to repeat past mistakes - instead you should seek out what future challenges you have made for yourself on this path and where you wish to go from here."

Dipping his head down to take a drink, Sky Lynx slurps down a large gulp of fuel before continuing, "Next, only your beliefs can control or make you rise or crush you. What we believe in is the only thing that has true power over us. While we may feel as if others beliefs determine our journey, that in itself is just another belief we continue to believe. We always live what we truly believe. That is why some people can achieve high levels of success and appreciation by others and never be able to embrace it and feel it - their own beliefs about their success prevent them from enjoying it."

"Finally, and this is probably the best part of it all. You can /choose/ your own belief. When you examine what your beliefs are, you can choose to change them. You can let go of beliefs that no longer serve you and try on new ones. Left unexamined, you will go on believing whatever it is that you default to and it may or may not support you as an Autobot."

"Ultimately, you need something to believe in. And that something is you. It may be you supported by a higher power, but it is you. Because at the end of the day, your faith in yourself is the only thing strong enough to pick you off that floor, wipe the energon away and start again. And that is where I started. With the belief in myself, Whirl. Because of that, there is no one, no rule, no Senate, no Decepticon that can sway me from where I will continue to offer my expertise and excellence to the Autobot cause and even those - like you - that are needing guidance in their lives."

When it becomes apparent that Sky Lynx has a lot to say on the matter, Whirl tries his best to interrupt and spare himself this torture but, like always, he fails miserably and is forced to listen to ALL of it. It's a lot to take in, to say the least, and Whirl is definitely going to have to take some time to really process it. When Sky Lynx finally finishes, Whirl is left speechless because.. well hell, what can you say after something like that?


Arcee stares up at Sky Lynx, then over toward Whirl as she approaches them. "Hello, have either of you happen to have seen a mech named Nightbeat around, by any chance?"

>> You roll one ten-sided die and get: 10.

>> You roll one ten-sided die and get: 4.

>> You roll one ten-sided die and get: 6.

"Excellent. When you find your path, I will be excited to hear of your discoveries and self-definition, Whirl." Sky Lynx states once he has made his point. The large creature bobs his head down to take another drink as he hears the approach of the femme.

Sky Lynx used Inspirational Insight!

Whirl's Psyche increased by 10! Critical Success!
Whirl's Resolve increased by 4.
Whirl's Initiative lowered by 6.

Glancing towards Arcee, Sky Lynx offers a nod of his head. "Nightbeat. The detective? Not recently, I am afraid. Is he working on an investigation with you? That would probably be very exciting."

Oh thank god, someone who isn't Sky Lynx. Whirl fights through the haze in his mind brought on by Sky Lynx's wordswordswords. "Sorry, I don't even know what a Nightbeat is." Oh, he's a detective or something according to the big shuttlebird. Whatever.

Arcee grins at Whirl. "That's OK, he's kind of new around here and he mostly keeps to himself, anyhow," she explains. She nods to Sky Lynx, and adds, "As a matter of fact, he *is* gathering some information on a new investigation. I have some information he can use, anyway. The possibility of danger doesn't seem to be a deterrent for him, which is...mmm, probably /good/ in his line of work. Not-so-good for his lifespan, if he doesn't watch himself."

"I am sure that he is well trained to handle himself in the course of his investigations. It would be counterproductive if that were not the case, would you not agree?" Sky Lynx offers as he starts to partake of the last couple of hundred astroliters of high grade in his feeding container and glances up. "Last chance if you would like some extremely high grade fuel. You are welcome to some as well, Arcee." His systems /require/ the great stuff to run optimally, after all.

"Oh yes. I am reminded. How is your stadium project coming along, Arcee? I was thinking that with your permission that we could use the neutrality of the site to host the debate between Whirl and Blast Off as they discuss their respective allegiances, if that meets your approval?"

Ohhh yeah, Arcee's little side project. Sky Lynx mentioned something like that, as did Blast Off. In fact, Blast Off seemed pretty adamant that Arcee had some kind of ulterior motive with her project but, considering the history between them, it's not surprising that he would accuse her of all sorts of terrible things. "Oh.. so we're still doing this debate thing, eh?"

Arcee considers the use of the stadium as a forum. If her sudden Prowl-like expression is any indication, she's not much of a fan of this idea. However, she decides, "...Certainly. It...technically, the stadium will belong to the community, so what better way to make use of it than a community forum?" She's still frowning, though.

Sky Lynx between the two. "It is a solid idea. It will show that the Autobots are not just faceless fists of the Senate. It will put light on the very shadow that Megatron is attempting to cast on us. If we were to run away.." he pauses and then his massive frame seems to affect a shrug as the large dino downs the rest of the energon. "Cancel if you wish, Whirl. I am not the one to force anything upon anyone. Be it participation or.." a glance towards Arcee. "..locale. If you will excuse me, I should head on patrol to where my services are needed." Coiling up, the massive Roc suddenly launches skywards with surprising speed before transforming and rocketing off.

"Talk to you later, Sky Lynx!" Arcee has a smile for the dinobird as he departs. She may have a reservation of some sort about the stadium idea, but it's obviously not enough for her to turn down the idea outright.

And with that dramatic exit, Sky Lynx is gone and Whirl is left with Arcee. Well, Arcee and that massive bucket Sky Lynx was drinking out of. He wonders if it's actually someone's job to come out here and refill it periodically and if that person ever skims the top of it. "So.. Arcee. How are things?"

"Better, I...I suppose. I had a little problem, and...I told that problem to go take a hike, because I wasn't putting up with his games anymore. And...he's /gone/! So I guess I should be thrilled. He is officially gone." Arcee doesn't seem particularly thrilled about it, if her expression is any indication. "So my keep-sane project has been to refurbish and clean up the old mecha-soccer stadium in the Rust Narrows, and store game equipment there in the event the locals want to escape all the blight with a game. That's the goal, anyway. It's a big stadium and it's definitely still a work in progress. So what have you been up to?"

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