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Megatron Starscream Goa Firestorm

Megatron is sitting on his throne, having just called Starscream. After the formalities, Megatron cuts directly to the chase. "Starscream, I have read your report. It is quite unsettling to read these charges you level against my Decepticons." Megatron stares his bright red optics directly into Starscream's. "These are serious charges, Starscream. I hope for your sake, this investigation proves you right, and you do not fail me."

Starscream nods at Megatron. "Of course, I do not level such charges lightly," he says, "Rest assured, my accusation has merit."

Megatron continues in his raspy voice, "The Decepticon Goa will also be leveled with these charges of treason against me and my Empire. Be wary of him, I suspect he would rather lie to my face then to tell his Emperor the truth. You are authorized to use whatever scientific method to persuade the truth from his core." Megatron rasps in a growl, intent to get the truth out of Goa this time. "Is there any other important information you wish to relay to me before the questioning begins?"

Starscream rubs his chin. "I believe I have informed you of all the necessary information," he says, "I simply do not know what to make of Firestorm's actions. Perhaps she has feelings for Depth, and this is why she allowed him to escape. But even this is no excuse, in my opinion."

"I agree, Starscream. No Decepticon has any excuse to disobey me or my orders. I will summon them. You are authorized to engage them in any line of questioning you please." Megatron rasps, indicating Starscream may indeed take part in the interrogation.

<Decepticon> Megatron says, "Goa and Firestorm, report to the Throne Room."

"Of course," Starscream says. This makes sense, after all, Starscream was there when it all happened.

Goa is first to skate into the throne room, apparently in a hurry, struggling not to squeal tires as he immediately stops and falls to one knee before the throne. "My lord." He keeps his optics glued to the floor, this time.

Firestorm was finally finished with her medical exam when Megatron radioed for her and Goa to report to the throne room. She groaned softly, not really wanting to go, but she had to. With a sigh she followed her brother, moving beside him once they were before Megatron in his chair, lowering to one knee with head bowed, "Lord Megatron."

The silvery form of the Emperor is seen sitting upon his imposing metal throne. To his right, stands Starscream, the air commander. It appears as Megatron has allowed Starscream to be present during the proceedings. Megatron pushes a button on his control pad, and the hot interrogation lights turn on, beaming down on the pair. Megatron turns his red optics to Goa first, "This is the THIRD time now you've been under such scrutiny, Goa. Now we will see what type of Mech you really are." Megatron now addresses the pair, rasping in an angry tone. "You two are charged with the crime of treason against me and my Empire. Respond."

Starscream smirks at the pair. "Well, what do you have to say for yourselves?" he remarks, "Lord Megatron demands an explanation. I suggest you make it good.

Goa keeps his head down, if only to hide his dental plates grating -- his orange hands dig into the armor of his knee as well. "By what evidence, sir?" is his quiet, neutral reply, after a delay of a few nanosecs. Starscream had been up here first ... so the field must be set against them. But they were being given a chance to speak. This COULD be going worse...

Firestorm's wings twitch slightly as Starscream's voice follows Megatron's, rubbing it in. She had a mind to punch him in his smug face, but this was hardly the place to do it. Instead she'd keep her gaze at the floor, though glance a moment at Goa without turning her head, letting him speak before she blurted out anything.

Megatron leans forward and growls. "I will not allow you to play ignorant. Now respond, both of you." Megatron rasps, gripping the armrest of his throne, the metal giving way with a sickening crunch under Megatron's might. "Now out with it, before I have Starscream FORCE it out of you. I should NOT have to go to such lengths to get something so simple as the truth out of my Decepticons."

"You heard him," Starscream snaps, "Tell our Leader why you chose not to obey my orders, and defied HIS order that Depth was to be apprehended and destroyed."

Goa returns the instant's glance at Firestorm before bringing his head up into the light, cringing at the sound of creaking metal. The intensity washes out the green of his helm and shadows his optics, producing large rings of darkness under them. He observes Megatron with tunnel-like focus, ignoring Starscream's ... cheering. "I have not betrayed you or the Empire. There's no response I can make to that claim." Depth's name catches Goa's attention enough for him to realize the point. "I was executing that order when you found me, Starscream." He looks over at Firestorm ... long enough for a palpable pause, then directly back at Megatron. "Firestorm's behavior baffles me as much as it did the Commander. Depth might've had some way of controlling her neural net."

"No... No, there was no mind control." Firestorm suddenly states, giving Goa a look of reassurance, knowing what to say as she looks at both Megatron and Starscream now. "It's my fault for not informing you earlier, my Lord. After the alien had crashed on Cybertron he seemed to have taken a liking to me. I saw this as an opportunity to get close and find out any information of his species and what they were capable of, or could offer us to win the war." Firestorm winces slightly under the hot glare of the lights above, but continues, "Later on I found out his kind is nearly indestructible and uncontainable, so apprehending him would be impossible. The cycle that they left I stopped Starscream for his, and our army's safety, since their flagship and entire crew were more than capable of wiping the planet, and us with it." It pained her to say such things, but it was needed to keep her aft alive.

Megatron glares at Goa as he offers the excuse. "I have no reason to believe you were doing so, Goa. In fact, I have reason to believe you are, in fact, in association with Depth and aided in his escape." Megatron growls at Goa, becoming even angrier as Firestorm's story contradicts Goa's. "One of these things is not like the other, Goa. And this is not the first time you would have lied to my face." Megatron is now suspect of the story at hand, and instructs Starscream to find the truth, "Starscream. Time to get to the bottom of this."

"Oh, were you indeed?" Starscream sneers, "Well, then if this was the case, why did you not inform Megatron and myself of this prior to your insubordination?"

The smaller mech tilts his head up, squares his jaw, then looks over at Firestorm again. His optics ridges droop to the sides slightly with ... confusion? He could be reasonably sure Firestorm was making this up, but he couldn't be completely so, and the latter option worked out much better for him. "Firestorm," the name is pronounced with a bit of hurt to it, "As your twin," He tilts his head, "You must've known what I was doing. Why didn't you come to me? Collaborate?" He mumbles, before looking back at Megatron. His diagnostics note his energon pump skipping a beat. Or two. That was /quantifiably/ angrier than he was in med bay, for sure. But if he couldn't come up with a good answer to Starscream's question, maybe she'd pick up on the hint Goa gave and help him out. "I knew Depth was able to get into the secure areas of Polyhex. A report could've compromised my intentions to the xenos." He does not look directly at Starscream as he speaks, instead studying Megatron and choosing to ignore the pressure ... wondering when, precisely, he lied to the Emperor. Half-truths had been spoken by the mech, he would admit, but never an outright lie. Even this proceeding was /feasible/ in his processor ... so far as the twins had presented it, anyway.

"My Lord, please. Goa wasn't informed of my actions either, so he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when I intercepted Starscream." Her expression was surprisingly serious now, though the feelings over the twin link would say otherwise, urging Goa to trust her. "No one was told, not even you Goa, because I couldn't risk the xeno finding out my intentions and turning to destroying us all. Lord Megatron, my actions are my own, and I will accept any punishment you see fit, but Goa had nothing to do with me or the alien. I beg you to spare him..." She was pretty much lying out of her aft now, but she covered it so well that she was surprised to have confused even Goa. For now she'd pretty much grovel before Megatron, her head bowed low, pretty much serving respect and satisfaction to him on a silver platter.

Megatron rasps, "I was fully aware of the dangers Depth proved to me and my Empire. That is why I ordered his destruction. And yet, you two took it upon yourselves to act as you did and betray me and my Empire. And for that you both will pay. For you Goa, I should slag you where you stand, right here, right now." Megatron points his black fusion cannon directly at Goa. "Not only for your actions concerning Depth, but for the stories you've tried to cook up and tell to my face. You are a disgrace to your fellow Decepticons and I will ensure you realize as such." Megatron is listening to what Firestorm has to say, and is silently approving of her taking responsibility for her own actions. He'll punish her accordingly. "Starscream, what do you make of Firestorm's story?" Megatron rasps, while still continuing to direct his optics, cannon, and anger at Goa.

Starscream hmmms. "It's a good one, I'll give her that. I have no evidence that she actually would willfully betray the Decepticon Empire. However this does not excuse her actions."

Goa immediately drops his gaze as Megatron takes aim at him, scanning the barren floor with frenetic pace. The mech rattles mentally if not physically as he processes and re-processes in double, triple time. He already knew he was an insult to the name Decepticon, he'd been reminded of that often enough. But what stories? /What stories?/ What the slag did he know? Even in a panic, Goa seethes, claws for answers... Where did he slip? Was it Swivel? Slipstream? An anonymous tip? "If I'm to be sentenced, sir, make it for incompetence, negligence, idiocy. Not treason. I did not and would not betray you or the Empire." His voice is frantic as well. He keeps considering and re-considering Megatron's words. He said should, not would. That didn't help much; maybe he didn't put as much thought into his word choice as Goa liked to think most mechs did. All he can do in the meantime is kneel and wait.

"And I'm truly sorry for those actions against you, Starscream. It was simply to keep us all safe, or else the ship would have fired upon us." Those words were probably the most difficult for her to say, but she did despite hating herself for it. The sound of Megatron moving his cannon into place made Firestorm quickly lift her head to see him pointing it at Goa, her optics widening slightly as she tensed up. She hoped to Primus he wouldn't fire...

Megatron agrees with Starscream's assessment of Firestorm's story. Without a word, Megatron lowers his weapon away from Goa. It's not his turn to meet the cannon - at least not yet. He grabs a data pad filled with the maximum punishment he could dole out for charges of treason. His finger hovers over each one, considering it carefully. Luckily for the pair, Megatron doesn't consider the death penalty - he has future uses for his Decepticons. Imprisonment is much the same in Megatron's decision making process, having little use for the growth of the pair and their continued service in the Empire. "You both will suffer the consequences as the results of your actions." Megatron rasps.

Starscream nods at both Goa and Firestorm. He's willing to give them the 'benefit of the doubt', at least so far in that they didn't mean to do harm to the Empire.

Goa untenses with an audible creak in the springs of his shoulders. After that, he can't think of any consequence that could faze him, and the stupefying fear is gone, if only for a moment. Perhaps with that comes the wisdom to, for once, keep his head down /and/ his mouth shut.

Firestorm untenses as well, visibly calmer now once the cannon is lowered. Surely any other punishment would be better than a blast from that thing.

Megatron's metallic finger hovers over "Reduction in Rank." Pondering over this, Megatron punches it, along with several other sub-punishments, including forfeiture in pay, extra duty, and retraining at the Decepticon Academy. Megatron decides this fate for both Decepticons, his red optics now addressing the pair. Megatron rasps, "Both of your punishment is as follows: Immediate reduction in rank by 1 rank. Forfeiture of half of one month's pay. Extra duty for seven days during the Games. Assignment of your duty day - Retraining at the Decepticon Academy concerning the chain of command and following orders until training is complete."

So he'd get to avoid the games? Goa wasn't completely sure, but he could go without proving himself at this point, not making a fuss -- and avoiding an assault on Crystal City seemed like a pleasant idea. But what was the next rank down? Janitor? Loss of pay doesn't seem to bother him, either. Nor does stopping by the Academy. He looks over at Firestorm without moving his head, peering for her reaction.

Firestorm didn't really have a reaction to the punishment, taking it for what is was, although a easy wave passes over the link, showing her relief that it wasn't too serious a punishment. She nods towards Megatron, giving a small bow of the head, "As you wish, Lord Megatron."