Perceptor was in one of the laboratories, away from his crowded bunk room. One of the buildings had recently been shelled, meaning that Autobots were now in tight quarters, with little privacy even for the more ranked individuals as he. He hummed a little bit, expecting visitors soon as he typed up data on his computer.
Jackknife would be one said visitor, having come over to Perceptor's lab any number of times when something was needed from him or by him. "Good cycle Perceptor." she offers to the mech with a smile.
Being dragged along by Jackknife, Magnum is also one said visitor. Though Magnum is no mechanic, he's been able to offer some useful insight from time to time, pulling from his personal knowledge bank and vast experience. That, and old friends and contacts always prove useful. "Good cycle as well, Perceptor." Magnum says with a curt nod. It's simple and to the point.
Percy looks up and smiles at both "Ah greetings. I'm glad you could attend and I was waiting patiently. Magnum you were on the convoy that was heading north by northwest through the Aluminum Hills when the iBex were stampeding correct? And the numbers were calculated in the medium-thousands to the high thousands if I read the reports correctly. Would you confirm this for me?"
Jackknife inclines her head to Perceptor, allowing Magnum to handle that one since she wasn't there.
Jackknife inclines her head to Perceptor, allowing Magnum to handle that one even though she had been there herself.
Magnum, being in his Robot mode for Jackknife, confirms Perceptor's query with a nod. "Correct. It was Optimus Prime, myself, and Jackknife here in her vehicle. Luckily, we were able to sustain only minimal damage."
"That is reassuring to know, although my question was more about the numbers of the iBex. So correct, they numbered in the medium to high thousands? " asks the Scientist, frowning in confusion at which question the 'correct' was for.
Jackknife chuckles softly, "Leaning toward the high thousands Perceptor."
Perceptor nods again "I was afraid of that. My calculations show that the iBex are becoming severely overpopulated. They will deplete their food sources and diseases will start to affect them more numerously. They will likely push out to other sources beyond their natural habitats and endanger Transformers. " he notes, bringing up a world map showing various images of iBex territory and numbers.
Magnum looks grim. "I recently responded to a distress call from Hot Rod who intercepted the Decepticons killing the iBex. Luckily, I was able to get there and aid him. There were two signatures, one on a standard attack pattern and one at significant distance. But if what you say is true.. Primus, Perceptor. The Decepticon way is never the right way. But something should be done to protect the citizens before that worst case scenario happens. Have you thought of any options? Killing them is out of the question."
Jackknife looks at the image map and frowns to that news. She glances over at Magnum as he speaks. "They must know about the population as well and decided to take advantage of it while they could." then looking back to Perceptor, "They'll die anyway if they have no food, which isn't good for the rest of the animals."
"Yes, as well as they will suffer more. Sadly we may have to petition to have a culling. It is the humane thing to do." admits Perceptor "Unless someone wanted to go through several thousands of thousands of iBex and remove the Sparkling creation factories from the majority of them..."
Magnum shakes his head. Neither of these options sounds terribly appealing or humane to him, and it is visibly so. "I think other options should be considered and explored before we consider that. The question is, what are they?" Magnum mulls.. it looks like the Mech is thinking it over carefully.
Jackknife nods her head to Perceptor, "Perhaps we could make use of the natural predators somehow? Have them weed out the ill and old, that would eliminate some and there would be less work for us to do."
"There are not very many. A quick death I think would be the answer in the extreme case. The other idea is too draining on resources and would not be fast enough. Yes, I looked into that, but the Vista Hawk seems to be rather shorthanded itself. It simply cannot cull fast enough." he explains with a sigh "I am at a loss of what else to do.
Jackknife hms, "How about a bit of a round up and shipping some off to other worlds that may need them?"
Magnum still seems like he's thinking heavily on the subject. A quick death? That's really not what Magnum wants to hear. Maybe they can pick off some of the dead or wounded.. or "Maybe.. " Magnum responds both to Jackknife and in his own thought. A virus? That's not much better then shooting them.
Discordia nods at Jackknife "Perhaps, although it may not be financially feasible. the Autobots are not flowing in Energon after all." he notes as he taps up the screen, looking at the numbers again
Jackknife nods, "Then perhaps it is just more humane to make it quick for them, perhaps just rounding up a portion of the herd and run them to the slag pits."
Magnum grumbles and hangs his head. "I cannot condone that action. I won't have any part of it." Magnum looks like he's set in his decision. He looks over to Jackknife, wondering if she feels the same way.
"Magnum, it is not a pleasant job, but sometimes one must do pleasant jobs to do the RIGHT Thing. Would you rather they die slowly of starvation?" Perceptor asks "I will submit my data to Prime. However I am still open for ideas."
Jackknife sighs softly at Magnum, "They would not be the only ones either." she looks at Perceptor. "Probably be too much to ask to observe them awhile to see which ones are ill and old, kill those, then see where we are at.."
Perceptor states "That's plausible, though it would take more work."
Magnum crosses his arms. "My decision is final, Perceptor. But the old and the sick?" Magnum considers that for a moment. "I can live with that. But I still will not participate in such a mission. Can a scanner be configured to detect them in a herd that large?"
- "Perhaps. I will submit the suggestions so that the tools are developed. It is either that or let nature take its' course. If anything we could use the parts and energon."
Jackknife nods, "That's what the Decepticons were doing with them I'm sure, or at the very least harvesting the energon off of them."
Magnum nods to Jackknife's assumption. "You are probably right, Jackknife. We should ask Hot Rod about what happened at the site before we rolled back to Iacon."
"Indeed. Thank you for your time friends." notes Perceptor "Perhaps we should adjourn?
Jackknife looks over at Magnum then nods to Perceptor, "I believe so Perceptor, this whole discussion has Magnum a bit upset. Best to let him calm down, let Optimus make the decision."
Magnum responds, "This is a difficult situation.. It lies somewhere in that gray area. I know that Optimus will not steer us wrong. I should seek his consult on matters like these; it could help me better my own decision-making skill." Turning to Jackknife, Magnum replies, "Sorry if I seem upset with you."
Standing, Perceptor opens the door for both of them to allow them to depart.
Jackknife moves for the door, telling Magnum, "I suppose I am just not seeing it as you are Magnum. Though I understand your compassion, sometimes what is for the overall good can feel wrong."