Stormfront has made himself a little bit more at home in the barracks, at least have a temporary station - which could be a worse one, given his bunkmates. It’s still obviously cramped, but he has a data pad station, and a few slightly larger accommodations so he can get his rations instead of needing someone with smaller hands to handle it and the like. At the moment, he seems to be reviewing personnel files.
Slipstream had done what she set out to do while the mission in repair bay was going on. She walks in and sees you are here, which surprises her as she thought it may take a bit longer than what it obviously took to finish that mission. She grabs her reduced ration for the solar cycle and then heads over to where you are sitting, "Good cycle." she offers, "How things go?"
"Good cycle." he greets, looking up from the work. "Things went well. Most of the squad was undamaged, and we completed the mission. I'm still here, pending a complete scan, since I took the heaviest fire, but feel well... just need some armorer work."
Slipstream glances over you a moment, taking in what damage there is, then a nod given to you. "I am glad it was completed and hope we will hear something good soon. I spoke with the recon mechs for some time and got them to give me some precise plans they were going to implement. You said you wished to see them, so I got a copy here on a data pad."
Stormfront offers over the data pad with the mission report on it, should you wish to review. The damage appears heavy to the armor - there were a lot of nanos, but there also doesn't seem to be a lot of signs of anything that would have affected systems - dodging is not his strength, but he can take it. "Yes, it’s in the hands of the medical division, currently. And thank you, yes. I will definitely be reviewing this and see what I can add."
Slipstream takes the one you offer her, exchanging it for the one in her other hand. She taps on the screen to overlook the report. "Ugly things." she murmurs.
Stormfront looks over the report, committing the details to memory frame by frame. "Do you mind if I make a copy of all of this? I'll get back to you with detailed suggestions and the like soon. And yes... quite ugly."
Slipstream looks up from the data pad screen, "Not at all, go ahead and make a copy for yourself." she states, then looks back to the screen, "Hard to believe something that ugly is that useful to do self repairs."
Stormfront connects a wire to the data pad, downloading everything to his internal data analysis computers for later review, setting it on going over the mapping functions now while it loads. "Function over form - they're well suited, usually, to do their job."
Slipstream scans through the rest of the report and hmms, "Yes, that's true I suppose. Too bad I missed the action though. But my mission has been overdue for too long as it is."
Stormfront nods. "I think you would have been useful... but we managed. And, as you said, you have plenty to be doing. I have no doubt you'll see plenty of action soon enough."
Slipstream offers you the data pad back, "How many can you carry inside of you anyway? How many on your ports?" she asks, just curious really.
Stormfront takes the pad back, tucking it away to focus on the femme he's talking to. "I'm designed to carry a six seeker flight team on my undercarriage, and have secure seating for eight passengers, two crew, one gunner, and up to two tapes or similar. So, given the perfect complement, 19 is my recommended capacity and crew."
Slipstream cocks her head to the side, then nods slightly, "That's impressive." she admits softly, "I read that Robustus took one of the guns in hand. Didn't know the mech even had that in him." she states, "But then sometimes the situation calls for action."
Stormfront nods. "My gunnery station is a lot more accurate with someone else manning it. My primary armament is missiles and bombs. I was designed as much to provide heavy armament and cover for other people as to be field sufficient. Soundwave's piloting and Robustus' gunnery were both significant helps in the situation, and let me focus on covering the strikers."
Slipstream moves into her berthing area, which is next door to where you are sitting, so she can put her data pad away. "Hope you didn't have to use them inside the patient. That could have been really dangerous, especially if you hit something like the energon tank or the like. Talk about getting blown away."
Stormfront nods. "They had me fire a low bore missile, and I otherwise allowed others to do the precision targeting. You're right... I'm not made for finesse. Very little I have is anything but high explosive."
Slipstream mms, "Well it worked out well from what I could tell from the report. I'm sure the medics will be busy fixing folks if the reprogramming takes hold like it should." she moves out of her berthing area and stops by your lower leg, "So tell me.." she states, making a hand gestures to the winking femme there, ".. was she someone you knew?"
Stormfront glances down at the leg plates, shifting it slightly to give you a better look. "No. It was something that was added when I was much younger... no one in specific. I... had something of a reputation in my younger days. That, and my... function led to a few of my very early companions making jokes about me going to pick up a few femmes."
Slipstream looks thoughtful about what you tell her, "And what sort of reputation did you have?" then a pause, "As to their jokes, they were young too yes? That would be typical, making fun of the big mech who can literally pick up a femme."
Stormfront nods. "We were young, and quite close friends. Mostly agile fliers as part of my original fighter escort. They liked to joke. And I had a reputation for picking up dancers, especially... including being used as a stage a couple of times. Resources were more plentiful, and entertainment as well."
Slipstream nods to your reply and looks up from your leg to that unreadable face, her wings flex slightly behind her. "Not many dancers around anymore. I know there is one in our ranks that keeps quite busy raising money to keep the war effort going. Not sure if she's attached to anyone though." she notes.
Stormfront nods once, though his tone is a bit lighter, as if amused. "My reputation was also quite some time ago. I do try and keep a professional appearance for the sake of trainees." A pause. "You are correct though. Entertainment is much more rare now."
You say, "Well I am no longer a trainee, so why keep up appearances? We are all comrades in arms here." she states, then a nod, "True."
Stormfront nods. "If I no longer appreciate femmes, I'd have taken the painting off, or stopped getting it touched up when damaged. And, I suppose, it adds some 'personality'."
Slipstream considers that point, "Well it does do that. Not like I've see the other mechs around here doing something similar." she agrees.
Stormfront pauses, glancing around a moment. "No, but then a lot of them don't have the surface area, I suppose. A lot of them also haven't been around as long. Times were different, in the very early days."
Slipstream nods, optics dimming a bit as she remembers the memories that Goa had shown here. "Yes, much has changed." she agrees softly, "And continues to change."
Stormfront leans back in his emptied out space. "That much is very true. And I imagine, will continue for quite some time, as resources grow more and more scarce."
Slipstream brightens her optics back to normal hue, "He was afraid of going off Cybertron again. I never blamed him for it. He had gone through so much. Though I fear that to find resources we will have to leave our world eventually. I pray I will be able to go and not find it too scary."
Stormfront nods once. "Indeed... eventually. I doubt I will be called along, unless the squad is to be seeker heavy. My resource needs are significant. Still, one never knows."
Slipstream mms, "I would not guess as to what the squad needs would be. That is for Megatron to decide." she states, her wings shifting back into their normal position.
Stormfront shifts a little with a broad shouldered shrug, still lounging as much as he is able. "What squads need and what is a good complement is often something I have at least a little say in, so I have to think on it. I rarely make the final decisions, but I'm consulted reasonably often when something might include trainees."
Slipstream moves back into her berthing area, "Earned the Emperor's trust have you? I hope to do so as well eventually. I am patient." she states, taking a seat on her berth.
Stormfront nods. "I knew Megatron when he was an idealistic upstart. We are not friends, but I gained my position out of those early relationships. I was among the early Decepticons. Others are more suited to top command positions, but my programming and study - and the early relationships have made sure that I often get to work in mission analysis - since I have the time to work through it."
Slipstream shifts her body so her legs stretch out in front of her; she leans back on her hands, slanted slightly toward the berth. "Got any tips you would offer?" she asks softly, "I have the feeling it will be a bit harder for me, being a femme that won't flirt her way up the ranks."
Stormfront shakes his head. "Good service, in time, will be rewarded. But otherwise, I have little to offer - I found my niche. I am a better advisor and tactical mobile battle station than commander - my rank is still much the same as it was a very long time ago... which suits me fine."
Slipstream hms softly, then nods, "Well I certainly can do my missions and other assignments to the best of my ability." wings shift way back so they are parallel to the wall instead of flat against her back as they are normally.
"Sometimes that's all you can do. In time, others will take notice. Those who volunteer for additional training will probably also increase their chances of getting choice missions... which increase chances of promotions. Work hard, and I can help with that part, and let the CoC know you're putting the effort in."
You say, "I will keep that all in mind, thank you Stormfront." she smiles sincerely, a soft dip of her wings. "I hope I can repay your helping me out."
Stormfront nods. "You can. Work hard, be a good example for others. We can always use more of those. Besides, I appreciate you helping me settle in here."
Slipstream presses her lips together slightly, then releases the tension. "I'll do my best. Maybe I'll rub off on Shadowstar. Maybe not. Doesn't hurt to try. I certainly am not going to lower myself to flirting with higher ups to get a better rank. Nor am I going to settle for just any mech either. Not after Goa."
Stormfront shakes his head. "I do not think anyone would expect you too. You have your ambitions, but you're going about them the right way... and when you get there, it will be because you can handle the position. Better for everyone."
Slipstream hmms, "Well I don't know about anyone expecting me to do so, just that I don't wish to do so. I'll do it the way I planned, and hope for the best."
Stormfront nods. "I've talked to you enough, I have no doubt that you will get there in time. I will see what I can do. As I said, beyond working on getting the advanced training protocols, I can't offer much advice. I've held my position for as long as there has been an academy. Still, from what I've seen, I'm certain you'll do well for yourself."
Slipstream shifts her wings back to nearly flush with her back, leaning back a bit more on her hands and drawing her legs up just slightly, bending them at the knee, "Your advice was helpful, and I thank you for it."
Stormfront nods. "I'm certain that I will be speaking with some of command soon enough. I will submit the advanced training protocols then to make sure they deem it worth the energy to have some of the seekers undergo further work. We'll go from there.
Slipstream inclines her head, "I look forward to that training should our Lord find them worthy of pursuit." she assures the large mech.
Stormfront shifts forward a bit in the bay that has been cleared of the charging berth, and everything else possible to try and make room for the massive mech. "Either way, I'm certain that, now that people will be leaving the barracks more often again, there will be more opportunities to distinguish yourself in the field."
Echo flies on overhead, transforming into his robot mode at the last minute to land in his own little alcove, swinging in feet first with practiced ease.
Speaking of some sort of command... There is none higher than that of Lord Megatron. As if foreshadowing his appearance with their current line of conversation, the door to the barracks opens. *psssht* Several mechs at the entrance call come to the position of attention, saluting and greeting him. "Hail, Lord Megatron!" followed by a resounding "HAIL!" by nearby Mechs. Megatron proceeds further in, casually inspecting various spots.
Slipstream was about to say something, but as those cries of hailing Megatron happen she is quick to her feet and upon a knee just outside her berth. "Power to the Decepticons, destruction to the Autobots." she states firmly.
Stormfront takes a bit longer than others to get up and at the ready. He's just not built for speed and agility - and the gestalt sized mech has a lot further to go. On the other hand, he's known Megatron since the earliest days of Decepticons - and he's assigned to get young seekers ready to face such things. As such, there is no flaw in his 'at attention' when he gets there, but also no vainglorious shouts with the others. He is known well enough to the CoC, and has proven his loyalty and dedication long, long since.
Moments after he had settled in, Echo climbs back out of his honeycomb. Five stories up he too moves to attention, hovering right by his bunk as is expected of him.
Megatron casually walks over to where Slipstream, Stormfront, and Echo are gathered. "Decepticons." Megatron rasps and nods. It doesn't sound like Megatron is terribly cranky this cycle. Probably from reading Soundwave's report on the recently successful mission. "I have read your reports on the nano repair. I await the results of this mission." Megatron paces softly, looking at each mech in turn.
Slipstream remains where she is, quite still. Apparently awaiting the orders to be 'at ease'. "As am I, my Lord." she assures the silvery mech softly, yet respectfully.
Stormfront peers a long way down at the Decepticon commander. "Thank you, sir." he replies simply. "An honor to serve."
Echo remains above. He wasn’t involved in the mission, so he merely watches and waits, as did every other NPC in the room.
Megatron then suddenly realizes that his Soldiers are quite a ways above him. But this is usual, and not to be unexpected. Looking up at Echo, Megatron growls, "Get down here." Though Megatron's gruff demeanor is solely directed at Echo, it's clear he wants his troops at optic level.
"Sir!" and with that, Echo cuts his boots, dropping like an Autobot. Moments before contact he hits them again, coming to a halt before impact and then gently lowering himself the last foot.
Slipstream shakes her head a bit at what Echo was doing. The femme seeker wisely remaining upon her one knee, head slightly bowed, hands resting on her upraised knee, wings just a hint back and up.
Stormfront would have to be in a deeply recessed area to be at optics level with Megatron, but is also both comfortable enough with his record of service, Megatron knowing the giant mech well, and the physical impossibility, and thus doesn't worry much about it, just remaining at attention.
Megatron immediately faces Stormfront, the highest ranking Decepticon in the barracks. He stares his red optics directly into Stormfront's and rasps, "Stormfront! What is the current training plan?" Megatron inquires, looking to see what training is being executed in between missions.
Stormfront wasn't going to say anything - not the time. But opportunity knocks sometimes. "The current trainees are waiting for the flight plains to be re-opened for basic. Details and performance reviews are on that data pad, sir." he replies, gesturing to one of the tables. "In addition, I have a proposal for opening a new program... the proposal details and resource requisition forms are also on that data pad - requesting permission to open advanced training protocols with sections for formation flying, team tactics, escort duty and security training and advanced marksmanship drills for seekers. At its current stage, the advanced training protocols are proposed to be strictly voluntary... but it includes a request for all graduates who submit for at least three advanced training programs to get high consideration for future missions to reflect their improved preparation."
Slipstream smiles slightly at the large mech gets to tell the Emperor the ideas he had been discussing with her.
Megatron immediately walks over to the table. He secures the data pad in question and gives it a cursory glance. He'll look them over in a while. "A proposal, hm?" Megatron rasps. "And what is so wrong with the program currently in place?" Megatron inquires, still looking over the data pad for a brief click.
Stormfront answers simply, "I have become aware that there is no incentive for any seeker, once they pass basic, to do any further training at all. While we have numerous skilled warriors, only so many are trained in team tactics - and a few people have expressed concerns about some of the current drills. While I am always available to assist those who request it, almost no one has, with the common reaction being that, as it was said to me, 'training is for rookies'. I do not believe that that attitude serves the Decepticon cause well in the long term, sir."
Echo remains quiet. He was recently a rookie, but this wasn't his business. Was it?"
Slipstream looks up a bit, trying to see the expression on Megatron's face as he is told this information.
Megatron clutches the data pad in hand - almost that he breaks it. "No incentive, Stormfront?" Megatron rasps angrily. "How about staying alive?" Sounds like a pretty darn good reason to Megatron. "And how about destroying those Autoscum once and for all?" Again - a mighty fine reason to train and fight as Megatron WILL conquer Cybertron and assert his rule over all who oppose him.
Echo looks at Stormfront, considering his idea. But at Megatrons' rasping words he stiffens a little, giving a faint nod of approval.
Slipstream's wings seem to snap slightly at the tone the Emperor takes as she slowly draws herself up out of her kneel. Standing at attention as she listens to the two mechs.
Stormfront remains calm, nodding once to Megatron's response. They've known each other a long, long time - the reactions are expected by now. "Precisely my goals, sir. I would believe that the cause, and chance to win the war should be all the reason for Decepticons to take every possible chance to improve themselves. However, that has not been the case. Currently, I do not have the rank to demand additional training, or to make it mandatory... otherwise, given the prevailing attitude among the troops, I would have. I have all the reason in the world to wish to see the army better trained."
Megatron considers this for a moment. Perhaps the troops do need some better training. But perhaps a prescription of bouts at the grease pits would do just as nicely. Megatron rasps, "I have overseen many training and sparring bouts at the pits, along with numerous flight training sequences and patterns. What I fail to see is how these recommendations are any different." Megatron seems thoughtful over this, and he definitely wants to see more in a formal report before he makes a decision.
Stormfront nods. "The pits are fantastic combat simulations, obviously. We also have numerous very skilled fliers. Most of the proposals have two things that are currently not heavily implemented, sir." he replies coolly, having both talked to CoC a lot before, and having been at this a long time. "First, most of the drills involve work with a unit. Covering each other's weaknesses, providing escorts, backing one another up, flying in formations to pool resources, rather than an entirely individual focus. Secondly, the training will be based upon performance evaluations, targeting each mech and femme's weaknesses and following up on previous training to try and improve based on professional observation and long term goals, over single fight simulations."
Slipstream glances over at the unreadable face of the larger mech, then at his posture, his hands, some sigh he may be stressing at all. then looks back to her Lord, waiting for the silver one to make his decision.
Echo listens attentively. This may after all involve him. He glances across to Slipstream, lifting an optic brow in puzzlement.
Sounds like a working, effective Military to Megatron. And that's what he needs to destroy the Autobots once and for all. But Megatron has his reservations of changing what already works. Megatron considers this for a while and decides he'll review the proposal for a while longer before making any decisions. "I will review your proposal. Meanwhile, select a small squad of volunteers and begin testing. Your program will be evaluated in a decacycle."
Slipstream smiles slightly to this news, at least the proposal would have a chance to be proven!
Stormfront shows no sign of feeling under any particular pressure. Megatron is a harsh leader - just the way Stormfront prefers it. He signed on in the early days, after all, and has gotten to the point he has for his knowledge of his position. "Yes sir." he replies simply. "I will finalize the proposal and submit it. I believe I also already have two potential volunteers. You will have the full report by tomorrow."
Megatron grins, "Excellent. Do not disappoint me, Stormfront." With that, Megatron takes the draft copy and heads out of the barracks.
Echo looks at Slipstream after Megatron leaves, and asks "What do you think of the idea? I LIKE it."
Slipstream looks over to Echo, "I'm signing up as a volunteer, that give you a hint?" she asks with a smile.
Stormfront waits until Megatron is out of hearing range, seeing as the massive mech makes a lot of noise when he moves in these quarters. Then he sits down in his cleared out bay. "Well, that somewhat ups the timetable."
Echo nods quickly And looks to Stormfront "Do you need another volunteer?" he asks hopefully
Slipstream turns to face the larger mech as he settles back down, "I would wager Nitrogear would want in on it. Maybe Shred once she's cured."
Stormfront nods to Echo. "Yes, trainee. Ideally, I will have a few more seeker volunteers, because much of the training will involve unit work. Your marks to date have been exemplary... so I will submit your name for consideration and inclusion." he replies, then nods to Slip as well. "Both of them would be welcome as well."
Echo pauses "I'm not a Trainee." he points out meekly "I graduated. But thank you. "
Slipstream's wings quirk slightly, as if what Echo said amused her. She walks back into her berthing spot to sit down on her berth.
Stormfront seems almost amused, but with the faceplate and ballistics proof glass covering his optics, he's hard to read as he regards Echo. "Ah yes, so you did. Perhaps if you'd been a bit noisier about celebrating your graduation. It’s an accomplishment, be proud of it... basic training isn't easy." And, old bastard that he can be, Stormfront is always working on making is harder.
"My class had the usual Graduation Raid and other things like everyone else... " he notes, a little disappointedly that it wasn't well known.
Slipstream shifts her legs up onto her berth, chuckling. "Ah young mechs at graduation."
Stormfront nods once. "I oversaw the launch portion of that, and helped to review the final assessment. You had top marks for teamwork... which makes you an ideal candidate for advanced training... and low marks for assertiveness and leadership potential. Obviously, in the end, it balanced out sufficiently... though I believe that combination often gets high marks from Starscream... skilled fliers who are unlikely to question him." he assesses aloud.
Echo blinks a little bit at Stormfronts' assessments "The thing about it sir, is that they broke up the class afterwards. We trained together ,and we were good together. But now we're all split up working with others we don’t know the flying styles of." he explains.
Echo says, "And... Starscream is very critical of anyone's flying. Though you learn fast from him. Cause if you don’t, you crash."
Slipstream frowns slightly as she vents softly and states, "He's too full of himself. You should fly with others that don't want you to crash."
Stormfront nods. "I am quite familiar with the others who oversee seeker training, and their favored styles." he agrees. "And... yes, they break most classes up. They have for some time, moving people to different assignments. Which is part of the cause for my proposal... to try and help form new groups who are familiar with one another in style and tactics, and work on training them to work as one unit." he replies, carefully avoiding comment one way or another about his thoughts on Starscream's approach.
Echo shrugs "Its an effective way of making sure we learn. Many jump at the opportunity to train under him. I've been lucky to get one or two lessons." he explains, leaning against the wall.
Slipstream snorts so hard it sounds like she busted something loose. "Won't see me jumping at him anytime soon." just a bit of a snarl to her tone. Slippy can be catty when she wishes to be so. Her wings flare and flex in a decidedly annoyed fashion, "Ignores a wing fondle totally. He so blew his chance." she mutters.
Stormfront waves a hand. "I'm well aware. Starscream is an excellent flier, and a skilled mission leader." he agrees, still not saying anything regarding his training methods. "As long as you have no desire to gain promotion, he is an effective leader. I intend to incorporate some of his methods and tactics he's developed... and incorporate them into formation use."
"Ignores A wh-what??" stammers Echo, startled as he turns to stare at Slipstream in shock, jaw going slack. Then he blinks and looks back to Stormfront "In... Indeed. I look forwards to it sir. But if you do not mind Ma'am, sir, I have a recharge bunk warmed up for use."
Stormfront nods to Echo. "Please, get some rest. I will be sure to include your name in the proposal. Thank you for your enthusiasm."
Slipstream just smiles to Echo, a slight shift of her wings. Not replying to the question. Instead shifting herself to lie down on her berth, flat on her back, wings stretched out flat, one leg crossing over the other, hands coming to rest just under her canopy edge.
Echo wings back up to his bunk, swinging in to recharge as well
Stormfront tilts his head, regarding Slipstream. "Well, that was interesting."
Slipstream lifts her head a bit with a questioning sort of look, "Megatron just showing up and you getting to pitch your proposal?" she asks.
Stormfront nods. "A visit from our leader to the barracks, by itself... interesting. I did not expect to end up agreeing to complete the proposal quite that early... but now I am assured it will get direct attention without filtering through Starscream first too."
Slipstream smiles and nods, then settles her head back down on the berth. "As it should be." she states matter of factly, shifting her leg to straighten it out. "I'm going to get in my recharge now."
Stormfront nods. "Rest well." he agrees. "It seems I have a lot of work to do."
Slipstream lets her optics power down, "You get some rest too." she murmurs then slowly relaxes as she falls into recharge.