Title: Right and Wrong
Location: Decagon - Training Facilities
Date: 10 November 2014
Summary: Feint and Blurr catch up. Skids is Feint's trainer.
++ Training Facilities <Decagon> ++
Located in the basement beneath the grand hall, the Training Facilities are a series of large pyramidal structures at the base of each of the Decagon's ten main towers. Internally shielded, reinforced and designed to handle all but the most eggregious displays of power and force by those inside them, the ten training rooms make use of holomatter emitters to similate any combatant, obstacle or environment. Training gear allows participants to feel similated damage and injury without need for massive repairs, and without a threat to their lives. Smaller practice and interview rooms, as well as lecture halls flank either side of the rectangular hallways between training room entrances, where instructors can assess and train students under their command. Everything here is flat brushed steel, moderately lit, floors painted with room numbers and guides towards various training stations.
Blurr comes looking for Feint at the Decagon one cycle, looking his usual young and bright self. He hasn't seen her in a little while, not long but she's his conjunx endura after all! She's been in training, he knows, so he wanders into the training grounds in search of her. Can't wait to see how far she's come! Plus, he could use some practice himself.
Feint is one of the smaller training rooms. Seated in the middle she is surrounded by complex scanning and sensor nests on poles equidistant from her chair, forming a circle around her and above her. There is a holomatter video panel in front of her; every so often it signals her to reach out to a specific sensor and project a symbol into it. Similar to a game, it's training her to focus and direct her abilities onto a specific target at different positions around her.
It doesn't take Blurr long to find the training room Feint is using. Especially since he can check every single one in the entire complex in about half a breem. He bursts in, probably interrupting the session and everything, because he's annoying like that. "Feint!" he exclaims happily. "So how's the training coming?"
Feint startles and a big red X appears on her screen as she misses the target. Quickly swiping her finger across the board to pause it, she stands from her chair and goes right over to Blurr to try to hug him. "There you are! I was beginning to wonder if you'd forgotten about me!" she teases playfully. "It's going well so far, Skids has been very helpful. What have you been up too?" she asks in return.
Blurr accepts the hug and returns it warmly. "Good, I'm glad it's going well. Forget about you?" He chuckles. "How could I ever forget about you! So, someone named Skids is working with you?" he asks, finall letting go and sitting down in one of the seats probably meant for an instructor when observing their cadets. "I've been good. Training a lot like you, and gathering intel."
"So what are you going to be training to do?" Feint asks with good natured curiosity. "How do you gather intel, and what kind? -- Oops, I'm sorry, that's probably something I shouldn't ask. I may not have clearance for that sort of thing, nevermind," she says, waving her hand to dismiss her own request.
"You know I'm not really sure what they have planned for me," Blurr answers with a shrug. "But I'm sure I'll find out soon enough." he smirks slightly at her further questions. "Probably not but you're my conjunx endura so I have to tell you everything. Right? As long as you don't tell anyone else about it." At least that's how he thought it worked. "Anyway I gather intel by convincing the people I need the intel from that I'm trying to help them, and then give the information to Sentinel. I guess I'm good at making friends, kind of comes with being a celebrity."
Feint thinks on this a little. "That's kind of dishonest," she notes. "You're playing with people's trust and emotions to get information out of them. Isn't that... isn't that kind of like a form of blackmail?" she asks innocently.
Blurr considers this for a moment. "Hm. Yeah, maybe. But it's not bad blackmail, because we're trying to stop the terrorists!" He answers, reassuring her. And himself. "They almost collapsed an entire sector of Nova Cronum recently, did you know that? But we stopped them. Sometimes we have to do questionable things in order to keep the peace. We have to sacrifice a little, at least."
Feint questions the logic of it, but she doesn't want to upset Blurr. "/Maybe/. But I'd prefer to do things the right way if possible. If we start doing anything to defeat the terrorists, then we'll be just like them."
"Well, no, we wouldn't be, because we wouldn't be blowing up clinics and cities." Blurr argues. "And killing innocent mechs." Like Rung. As if things were really that simple. "Which they do."
"I won't argue that they're doing some terrible things, because they are. But we have to be careful that we don't do the same terrible things to stop them," Feint assures Blurr. She resigns herself to planting little seeds of truth in his head, hoping that as he gets older, they're take root and help him grow up.
Blurr frowns at that, and goes quiet for a moment. "I guess you're right. But do you think that was wrong?" he asks, staring inquisitively at her, his optics full of questions. "How else would I get the information I need? I mean, you don't think capture and interrogation would have been better?"
"I guess... I guess I don't know. If you can get someone to tell you the truth without caging or hurting them, that would be the best way to do it," Feint muses thoughtfully. "... Maybe I'll be able to help you with that someday! I suppose it would be tricking them if I made them think, oh, that maybe they were talking to their superior officer and answering questions, but that shouldn't hurt them." She laughs. "Maybe I shouldn't worry so much. Looks like we might do the same things."
Blurr looks excited at this prospect. "Oh, you can do that now?" He grins. "Well maybe that's what we'll do! We can trick them into thinking they're talking to someone they -really- trust." Because that's so much better! "Or do you need to work on that more?"
"Well, Skids thinks my ability might be tied to my emotions, so I have to learn how to control those. When my feelings get out of control, they can hurt other people," Feint explains. "It's going to take practice and concentration to do that, so you'll probably ready to get intel data before I will."
"So you just need to work on keeping a level head. Shouldn't be too hard, right? Just don't don't think about stuff in a way that makes you upset. Think about how we just need to get the job done, for the good of everyone." Blurr smiles. "Er, well. I guess I'll just go back to lying and blackmailing in the meantime." he jokes. "But it won't be for too long, right?"
"Hopefully it won't," Feint agrees. "I dunno, there might be more to my abililty, Skids says it's beyond what even most other outliers can do." Yes, try not to morally warp her too much. She doesn't need any more help towards a Bad End.
"Well I hope there is!" Blurr says excitedly. "I knew you were extra special. It's really amazing, what you can do, you know." He pats her on the back. "Come on, I think we deserve a little break from training, what do you say we grab some engex?" He gets up and moves toward the door.
Feint grins, happy with this suggestion. "I suppose so. That sounds like a great idea, and I could use your company for awhile." To the bar we go!
Blurr is also happy. "Great!" The two of them head out of the training area toward the rec rooms. He walks up to the self-serve bar and gets a couple of a drinks for the both of them, laughing a little. "Heh, I remember you used to not even want to take any of the drinks I offered you when I first met you."
"That's because I was wondering what I'd have to do to earn them," Feint admits. "No one gives you anything without wanting something back in the mines."
"I know, but I told you I wasn't trying to bait you into doing anything." Blurr sits down and slides the other glass over to her. "But all of that is behind you, now."
He pauses, taking a sip of the drink. "How did you even end up down there anyway, you hardly look like a mining type."
"Because I have a very small altmode," Feint explains, catching the drink and looking at Blurr as she sits next to him. "There are lots of little sentry aerodrone frames like me, I mean, look at how many data slugs there are - millions of them, that's why they're disposables. That's why *I* am disposable. The Cybertronian air corps didn't want me because I wasn't big enough or strong enough or special enough to be a fighter, and since I have enhanced sensors, I was classed for manual labor. I check the structural integrity of the mines and scout for fresh nucleon or energon seams."
"Yeah but, having amazing sensors like that could be used for so much more!" Blurr says enthusiastically. "Which is why you're here now. You could trick people into thinking they're talking to their best friends or superiors. You could make us invisible to anyone you want. We could do -anything-, Feint."
"Let's make sure that people don't use us to do the wrong thing, then. We'll have to be careful," she advises, taking a drink.
There's a moment of silence as Blurr considers that, frowning a bit while staring down into his drink. He looks back up at her, suddenly looking concerned. "What do you mean, the wrong thing? Like what? How will we know if it's happening?"
"Did anyone ever teach you what was right, and what was wrong? Do you ever feel bad for having done something? Have a regret or realized that you hurt someone, and inside you, you knew it wasn't right?" Feint asks, wondering how much primary programming school or nurturing Blurr might have had.
Hm. What a question. The answer to that is the only right and wrong he knows is whatever Rung taught him, since the IAA never really bothered with that sort of thing. Or maybe they'd left it out on purpose, who knows. As for Blurr, he is really not quite sure how to answer that question. "I...well..." he fidgets nervously. "I've had regrets, yeah. But I don't think I ever felt like something I did wasn't right..." He frowns again. "Did -you- ever think that way about anything I've done?"
If you pay attention or your senses are super-tuned you can hear footsteps in the hallway. Couple of steps, pause, couple of steps, pause and eventually the steps are coming close and closer until a blue and red mech walks into the rec area and smiles upon recognizing people. "Hey Feint." He nods at Blurr "Blurr. Hope I am not interrupting anything?"
Feint was about to tell Blurr that she thought him stabbing Shiftlock in the neck right in front of her was pretty wrong, but Skids' arrival shuts that right up. "Oh hello, sir," Feint greets. "Actually I was taking a break from training and catching up with Blurr, and we were discussing right and wrong."
Blurr looks up at Skids. Oh he met that guy before. Right? "Oh, hey um..." He really can't remember his name. "Sorry I know we met, but I can't remember what your name was. It's a thing with me," he laughs, motioning toward Feint. "Just ask her."
Skids smiles and waves off Feint "Please do not 'sir' me. When I hear 'sir' I tend to check behind me expecting to find a frowning Prowl." He looks at both "Just call me Skids. We are all in the same boat aren't we? And yes we met Blurr at the Three Brewers 14 cycles ago and Breakdown came in looking for answers."
"All right ssssSkids," Feint says, correcting herself mid-word. She glances over at Blurr and seems a little uneasy about how lightly he takes his little 'memory issues'. "He has difficulty remembering things, especially after the IAA finishes their regular maintenance on him," she notes before taking antoher drink of her engex.
Blurr nods quickly. "Skids. Yeah, I remember the 3Brewers! Hey," he laughs, slapping Feint playfully. "I'm just bad with names, okay? I said I remembered meeting him, and I do." He glances at Feint nervously. She's treading on dangerous ground, kind of. But not yet, really. She isn't supposed to tell anyone about that, right?
Skids optics narrow a bit at the mention of IAA and regular maintenance. It is all about trust in who is messing around with you. "Interesting. That statement brings a ton of questions to mind." The mech leans casually on the wall "If it is something you ever want to look into. I would be happy to help a fellow 'gifted'. I just have a hard time figuring out how regular maintenance from racing would impact memory. Mysteries fascinate me."
IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD BLURR. That is what Feint would like to say, out loud, at maximum volume, while grabbing his shoulders and shaking him like dog with a ragdoll in its teeth. Instead, Feint opts to just smile politely. "He -does- have other racers trying to ram into him at times, so maybe something's loose and they're trying to find it." She covers for Blurr just a little, half for Skids' sake, half for Blurr's. Last time she tried to find out what was going on, she made someone kill themselves. She doesn't want that to happen a second time.
"It probably wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion at least once, dear," she suggests to Blurr, hopeful.
This seems to make Blurr even more uncomfortable. He shifts nervously in his seat. "WellImeanthat'sbecauseitodoesn'tright?" He pounces on the opportunity to dismiss the idea of anything unusal going on. "Routine maintenance doesn't impact memory, I'm just bad with names at times." And then he nods at Feint's suggestion. "Could be that too, sometimes the obstacle courses can get pretty rough. But nothing too severe." He ignores the bit about getting a second opinion. No one else knows him inside and out like the IAA do!
Skids does not press the issue further but notes the discomfort and makes a note to maybe look into the IAA as part of his extra-curricular activities. He switches the topic back to Feint. "On another subject, we need to continue your training sometime soon. Still lots of work to do and things to figure out."
Good, as long as the hint was dropped. She'll probably talk to Skids in private about this later. "Yes, I've been practicing with sensor targets, trying to respond to a specific target with a specific symbol no matter which direction it comes from. That way I can use my ability like a single gunshot, instead of like a handgrenade and a prayer."
Blurr looks relieved that the subject was dropped. "Oh, so you're the one training her? How far have you guys gotten? Feint mentioned that there might be more to her abilities?" he asks, eager to know more.
Skids tilts his head hoping she does not focus too much on hurting people. "That is certainly good news. Next time we will work on trying 'not to see everything' and see what happens. I have a few theories but of course we need to test them if we want to get a clearer picture of your gift's potential and limitations." He nods at Blurr "Indeed I am. I had the chance to study with other gifted people so I have seen plenty of unique things. The higher-ups thought I would be well suited to take her through the motions and tests." He looks Feint over "She is unique indeed. It is hard for a mech to fully understand how she sees the world. To her it is natural. To you and me, it might be like trying to point out the color 'blue' to a color-blind mech know what I am saying? I still want to run some tests that involve toning her senses down to focus on small things. Like putting two boxes with spare parts in them. Line up both boxes and only be able to see the content of the first without the senses stretching over the second one. Little tricks and tests like that for starters."
"Yes, we're just getting started Blurr. I have a long way to go before I'm ready to do anything as interesting or risky as you are," Feint smiles, reaching over to pat him on the shoulder affectionately. She looks up to Skids from her seated position. "I'll be ready to train again soon, but I wanted to spend a little time with Blurr before he's off doing his own work."
"Well..." Blurr chuckles a little. It isn't hard if you've been in her mind. But that isn't a topic he's going to bring up right now. "I'm glad you're making progress. And Feint take your time. You know me, I'll always find ways to get the job done." He puts his hand over Feint's in an equally affectionate fashion.
Skids waves off Feint's 'excuse' "Hey it's cool. I am not the mean teacher type of mech. We can do this in a day or two." With a smile and a wave Skids heads off to his room to read up on more stuff and watch the ROMs from Teach-yourself-Metalikato-in-21-cycles. "Have a nice evening you two."