Sunday, August 07, 2011
Skywarp is standing a respectful distance back from Megatron's throne, waiting more or less patiently and still pretty much sulking. But at least someone ELSE is in trouble now....
Swiftblade makes her way in here just moments after the summons. She inclines her head to Skywarp with a little smile, and bows quite deeply to Megatron. "Present, My Lord."
Slipstream arrives and salutes her Lord before stepping over to join Swiftblade, to whom she gives a smile and nod of greeting.
The room shakes a bit, not far after the arrival of some of the seekers as Stormfront makes his way through the halls, the massive mech having to duck through some doorways and all, before he comes to a stop in the highest arched point in the room, looming behind some of the seekers.
Starscream walks in like he owns the place and gives Megatron a nod. Then he looks at Skywarp curiously but says nothing. He takes his usual place in on Megatrons right.
Knifepoint slips into the room, offering Megatron a deep, respectful bow before settling into place behind the other seekers.
Megatron looks out over the assembled Decepticons. "I have called you all here because I have received news that Starscream has solved the problem of the acid rain." He holds up a dark hand to forestall any cheering or other expressions of excitement until he has confirmation of this. "While I have *also* been informed that Starscream snuck out before finishing his research and his period of flightlessness, that will be handled shortly. For now: Is this correct, Starscream?"
Nova Black inclines her head toward Megatron and listens, her wings twitching with excitement as she hears the news. She sees Megatron hold up his hand for silence and wills herself to be still.
Starscream looks his smug gloating self when Megatron starts his comments and then the look dissolves into 'got caught red heanded' and then anger to then apprehension. "Suck out? I did not such thing Megatron." he stammers suddenly, "I needed soem of the documents in the observatory that we destroyed -- I needed those documents to aid me in my discovery of the solution to the ocntinual acid storm we have been under."
Slipstream cocks her head slightly, wings shifting behind her as she listens. Keeping her silence at the hand being raised.
Megatron frowns at Starscream. "The observatory? Pray tell what information was so important that you simply had to go there? Apprehending an Autobot prisoner is worth doing, but *not* when you have been ordered to remain on base." His optics flare. "And you haven't yet answered my question anyway, Starscream. What have you discovered about how to disperse these rains?"
Stormfront stays as quiet as he can while listening to the pronouncement. He's replaced his faceplate, and his optics are shielded behind ballistics-proof shielding, making reading anything near impossible. While the slightest shift causes the floor to creak a little, that's about all that's coming from the titan as he stands at attention.
Starscream steps forward, "Its a persistant low pressure systems causing the acid rain. There is no jetstream of significance to dissipate it on its own, Megatron. The best way to break up the perpatual storm is to gather all the Seeker trines and fly through it hard and evasive." Starscream conveniently does not answer the other question..
Megatron's frame rumbles. "Fly through it? That could prove dangerous if you are wrong. Still, if it does dissipate the rains quickly, it is unlikely to do permanent damage to those flying in it." He smirks and turns to fix Starscream with an intense, withering gaze. "As for the other matter... rest assured I am not going to ignore it simply because you are trying to."
Skywarp stands with his arms folded and sends Starscream a smug glance. At least he's not the only one in trouble now!
Swiftblade feels it's not her time to speak, so says nothing, standing there patiently. If she has an opinion on anything said thus far, it doesn't show in her expression.
Starscream's wings twitch nervously in spite of himself, "I am right, this will dissipate the storm. And the other matter? But we captured an Autobot -- one that shouldnt have been there. It was a security breach that *I* discovered!"
Nova Black smirks slightly as Megatron talks to Starscream. She's happy, however, to hear that the solution to this slagging rain apparently involves flying. She's been getting twitchy cooped up in the base.
Slipstream shakes her head a bit. A glance at Swiftblade, giving her an approving smile.
Knifepoint watches the preceedings carefully. He isn't too pleased to hear that the solution involves /flying/ in the slagging stuff, but if Megatron wills it, he'll do so without complaint.
Megatron chuckles. "A security breach? What about *your own* breach of protocol flying so close to Iacon when you were under strict orders to remain in Polyhex?" His cannon glows with energy as it warms up.
But just as quickly, he turns to the assembled Decepticons. "Very well, all of you will assemble and fly out to dissipate the rains. *However*, as my Air Commander insists upon continually misbehaving, and as several other Seekers' ability to function within or to lead trines must be tested, you will not go out in your usual groups. The trines shall be as follows: Stormfront will serve in the place of Air Commander, and under him will be placed Slipstream as his second, and Starscream as their third." He smirks in Starscream's direction. "The second trine will be led by Nova Black, with Skywarp and Knifepoint. The third will be led by Thundercracker, with Swiftblade and Echo."
He looks out over the sea of faces present in the throne room, studying their reactions. "This arrangement is temporary, yes, but you will all be observed to see how well you lead -- or follow -- in groups other than the usual." He smiles in grim amusement. "I trust, therefore, that you will all do your best to do credit to the Empire in these temporary arrangements."
Stormfront takes in the commentary. The faceplate and shielded optics make it hard to read his expression, and his only words are, "Yes, Lord Megatron. If the other trine commanders will meet with me at their convenience, as temporary air commander, I believe I have a suggestion for limiting the damage done by the acid rain on this assignment. Thank you, Lord. I will begin drawing up plans for my air group immediately and have them ready when we begin this mission." All business as usual - and not entirely unused to leading, after all.
Skywarp eyes Nova. 'Snot like he really wants to lead a trine. Nova's probably not going to be as easy to get around as Starscream is, though- she's not nearly as busy....
Starscream didn’t hear anything after 'Starscream as their third'. He spins on Megatron and faces him furious, "THIRD?THIRD? HOW DARE YOU!" he snaps a look at Stormfront, "What plans fool?! I had all that worked out and I will not listen to you!" he raises his cannon at Stormfront and then suddenly spins it on Megatron and fires.
Slipstream looks mildly surprised but nods in understanding. She looks toward Stormfront and gives him a smile. Then over to Nova Black she gives a approving smile and a gentle sweep of her wings that says 'Do yourself proud'. "Yes Lord Megatron." she intones respectfully. A nod to what Stormfront says about precautions. Then a gasp at what Starscream just did.
Slipstream picks up the dicebag and rolls her agility against Megatron's dexterity. Slipstream's roll succeeds!
Megatron sees the flash of purple as the null ray fire speeds toward him and instinctively twists to evade it. It catches him in the side, and he roars in anger and pain as he turns back toward Starscream. He can't afford to prevent the Seeker from flying -- not when Starscream is needed for the mission to dissipate the rain -- but he can make a point. He raises his cannon and fires, intentionally narrowly missing Starscream.
"You will serve as third under Stormfront for this mission, Starscream, or you will not fly in it at all because I will blast both of your wings off. Do I make myself clear?"
Swiftblade returns Slipstream's smile. She has never seen anyone chastized for simply smiling during a meeting. Especially since there's nothing gloating about her expression. But when Megatron speaks again, she faces forward and listens to him with the respect due the Emperor of the Decepticons. However, once Starscream fires, she twitches quite a bit. What to do? She doesn't know the protocol for this, and she looks to her fellow seekers for some sort of cue. Megatron is clearly more than capable of taking care of himself, but still, it galls her to just stand there and do nothing at all. She gives Starscream a long look, some of her awe of him vanishing.
Starscream looks stunned as the blast narrowly misses him. Hes so mad hes shaking right now but what scares him more is the thought of never flying again. He gives Stormfront a sneer and looks back at Megatron. ".....fine...." and he turns to leave the room no matter if hes given permission or not.
Stormfront starts to move - but reflexes are not, and never have been the giant's strong point. As the blast goes off and fire is exchanged, he moves to stand nearer Megatron, leaving no question of his loyalties, as if there ever were any. With a click, one of his missile bays opens - at the ready, but no way he'd fire in the throne room without orders - but still, best be prepared. He's about to speak, when Starscream turns to leave. "As I said, I believe I have an idea to limit the damage to seekers. Anyone interested in completing this mission with as little damage as possible, come speak with me at your convenience."
Megatron's frame rumbles with rage as he watches Starscream leave. Still, it's as good a response as he could ever expect from Starscream. He stares wordlessly at the others for a long moment, his optics flaring as he looks out over them.
Slipstream exvents softly and looks to Swiftblade. "Best to speak with Stormfront before we head out on the mission. The less damage, the better." she murmurs softly to the other femme. Then noting that flare from the Lord's optics she salutes him. "Permission to proceed with your orders following consultation with Air Commander Stormfront sir."
Nova Black's engines stall in shock -- both at Starscream's actions and at the command Megatron was just now giving. Trine leader? She's only just decided she's ready to be in a trine at all! "I'm not ready for this," she mutters.
Then she looks over at Megatron again. The last thing he probably wants to hear right now is one of his appointed trineleaders whining about her weakness. And it does give her a chance to force 'Warp to behave himself, after all. She fans her wings out proudly and looks steadily at Megatron, hoping he can see that for all her belligerence she would never defy *him*. "As you command, Lord Megatron," she says quietly but firmly.
Knifepoint glares after Starscream momentarily before turning his attention back to Megatron. He steps forward slightly, bowing deeply to Megatron again once Nova's spoken. He hasn't been given a high enough rank to believe his speaking necessary or wanted, so he remains silent.
Skywarp eyes Knifepoint. He's not ever flown with the other seeker. Nova's not too bad, though. Scream's obviously really pissed, though.
Swiftblade nods solemnly to Slipstream before she addresses Megatron. And she waits to see what the Emperor has to say to the more experienced femme's question. "My only ambition is to serve the best I can, My Lord," she says gravely to Megatron. Then she looks over at Skywarp. She knew the mech had quite a bit of pride in belonging to the Trine he does...
Megatron stares silently at the others for a long moment, half listening, half brooding. Finally, he turns to Slipstream. "Permission granted, Slipstream. You are all dismissed. Prepare yourselves carefully for your mission. While Starscream --" he frowns -- "has assured us that this will dissipate the rain and not permanently damage any of you, care must be taken to ensure that you all sustain as little damage as possible. Nova Black and Thundercracker, when he receives the message detailing his orders, should meet with Stormfront as soon as possible and take his suggestions to spark; all others should pay close attention to their trine leaders' orders so as to minimize what damage they incur."
Stormfront nods. "Thank you, lord Megatron. As air commander, I apologize for the behavior of my third, but given circumstances, will let you see to any responses needed from this event. For the rest of you, I will make this my highest priority, and make time to meet with any of you any time to discuss plans."
A little late to the show, Echo comes in through the door quickly, his face creased by worry.
Stormfront glances down at those present. "I will meet with others as their time permits, and will trust those who are here to share the information. As temporary air commander, I want to not only complete this mission - but keep as many of our seekers in shape to fly and fight as possible. As such, while individual trine leaders will have their own assignments, I will be acting as a mobile airbase. My armor should better withstand the acid rain - and leaves the medics only one mech to fix. The rest will be using me as a mobile airbase, and going out for brief maneuvers runs. Because I am not fast or maneuverable enough to complete the needed maneuvers, I will remain in a central location. All under the air command group will report back for a checkup - as I will have a medic and mini-lab on board, make sure they're performing optimally, then go back out for more brief maneuvers to minimize exposure, and allow us an early warning if there's any effects a medic might pick up but seekers wouldn't on brief exposure."
Slipstream enters and takes a spot near her new Air Commander, listening quietly. "So you are planning on flying within the clouds sir?" she asks curiously.
Knifepoint slinks in after most of the other seekers, just before Stormfront begins speaking. He contemplates mentioning his medical training (such as it is) but decides not to- too much work. Besides, if he's going to be flying, he wouldn't have the time to deal with anything like that.
Echo remains quiet as he moves over, others stepping in behind him. He ends up beside Skywarp and Knifepoint. Glancing at the teleporting seeker, he leans against the wall as well.
Stormfront nods in response to Slipstream's question. "I will. My armor should be better suited to withstanding the acid rain better than lighter systems, while I am otherwise not useful to the mission - I lack the speed and maneuverability required by many of the plans. Besides, as a commander, I will not subject troops to unnecessary risks - and especially those I would not put myself through. And this way, we have the means to make sure brief seeker flights are safe at the epicenter."
Slipstream inclines her head toward the mech, "Understood sir. Will we be heading out as soon as you have studied the size of the cloud for the best distribution of the flight team?"
Echo listens, frowning a little bit. Then he looks up at Skywarp beside him to gauge the other seekers' reaction, and then back once more. "... Sorry, I missed part of the meeting." he blurts out finally "We're going to go out FLYING, in the Acid Rain?"
Stormfront nods to Echo's question. "I have temporarily been promoted to flight leader. We are not only flying in the acid rain - but flying specific patterns which will dissipate it. I will study Starscream's analysis to determine the needed flight patterns, and the absolute minimum time they can be completed in to limit the time any seeker is exposed. We will deploy on orders - after all flight teams are ready."
Echo shifts uncomfortably at that notion, but does not complain.
Starscream flings the door open to the war room and walks in. His optics are glowing and his wings are flared. Hes beyong 'mad' right now and then on top of it all... "Who the slag changed the password on my quarters?" He sneers and stares straight at Stormfront.
Stormfront turns his shielded optics on Starscream, looking as impassive as ever, and certainly not backing down. "Soundwave did, on Megatron's orders. I have no interest in your quarters, they are too small for me. They will be unlocked again when your temporary demotion has ended."
Slipstream looks over at Starcream with a faint frown. She says nothing though as Stormfront handles it quite nicely.
Echo looks expectantly at Skywarp at Starscreams' question. Then he blinks and looks at Stormfront in surprise, optics widening
Skywarp looks at Echo "What?"
Starscream narrows his optics, "Too small for you? GOOD I dont want /you/ in them. You do not belong leading Seekers in the slightest." he snorts and glares at everyone but says nothing.
Echo lifts both hands "I'm just surprised you were- Nothing! Nothing at all..."
Stormfront doesn't take the bait from Starscream. "We will allow mission results to determine that, and in any case, you will be restored to your leadership position in due time. Thank you for the research done on this problem, the reports are exemplary. I will hope you deign to join us in the mission's completion."
Skywarp rolls his optics. "Why would I lock myself out of my own quarters?" I bet my code doesn't work either, does it Screamer?"
Starscream clenches his fists, "You are using MY work for your 'command' and no, I will not be joining you .. /leeaderr/ -- you and the other could not keep up with me. It would be a pity to have Megatron watch his great 'new' Air Commander get smoked by his lowly THIRD now wouldnt it?"
Slipstream's wings flare behind her. "No time for petty commentary. Shall we all act like grown mechanisms and focus upon the matter at hand."
Starscream folds his arms and leans against the wall. "Yes of course lets listen to the ... air commanders ideas." his sarcasm is nearly tangible.
Stormfront nods, still refusing to argue. "He is correct, Slipstream. I am using his research to complete the mission successfully, as I would anyone else who successfully resolved such a problem. I am not a scientist - but I do command seeker squads on a somewhat regular basis. I have no intention of keeping up with you, or any other Seeker, Starscream. That is not my function on this mission. But if you will not be joining us, a shame, I would like to add your capabilities to the mission - then you are welcome to do your part and subject yourself to the full damage of the rain instead of taking advantage of the coordination."
Starscream vents air through is intakes. "Oh and what great plan do you have to keep everyone from getting damaged by the rain?"
Starscream looks at Slipstream. "I just got here...Im not Soundwave and cant read minds..." Stormfront nods, "So glad you asked. As I was telling the others, I am going to act as transport, take everyone to the epicenter, and remain in the central region as a mobile airbase. I will have a medic aboard for regular check ups. The seeker squads will deploy from me for brief runs of the specific patterns you laid out. They will return, receive reglar checks to determine the level of damage inflicted by the acid, and then redeploy if it is deemed safe enough for another run. I am not fast or mobile enough to complete the patterns, so I will let my armor shield the others for most of the mission - and let the seekers do what they do best."
Slipstream frowns at that and then looks back to Stormfront, "Sir, maybe we could add an extra bit of insurance of acid damage via some sort of cleansing between runs? Or even perhaps some sort of additive to our armor to help repel the rain?"
Echo folds his arms ".. A wax job maybe? " he asks to Slipstreams' idea "That would offer a temporary layer that the acid could eat away instead of... us."
"Orrrrr you could all just stop being little glitches and deal with it." Knifepoint adds, crossing his arms over his chest.
Starscream continues to lean against the wall and just listens to the rest. But hes scheming, everyone probably knows he is.
Stormfront nods. "An excellent idea, and will be part of the job of the medics who volunteer or are assigned to the mission. Regardless, for acid duties, cleaning will be a part of those 'regular checks'. When I know what medical and armoring resources we have, I'll have them work on possible armor coatings." He glances at Knifepoint, and shrugs. "If you're volunteering to 'deal with it', and go on the first runs to test the damage the acid does, then accepted. Otherwise, I would prefer to have the seekers working with me functioning at optimal capacity. If the Autobots are smart, they will plan a raid as soon as they detect us flying at the epicenter.
Echo glances sharply to Knifpoint, scowling. Then he nods at Stormfront "We fight best when we're at top condition." he agrees
Slipstream inclines her head to Stormfront, "We can confer with Shred and Robustus for who wants to step up for the medical detail." a glance to Echo, "A possibility, but probably would need to be a very good wax and best applied in a thick coating for best effect. Otherwise the only other option is some sort of portable force field that keeps the rain off. Bad thing about those is the energy it takes to run them."
Stormfront nods. "Our energy reserves are at a premium. I wish to not use more than is critical for the mission. As such, until I confer with the trine leaders - since it was your suggestion, Slipstream, I'll put you in charge of conferring with medical to determine all possible options for protection with acceptable expense. Bring up Echo's suggestion with them as well. Let me know who volunteers for that assignment, I'll need to meet with them to see how much of a medbay can be set up while leaving enough room for passengers."
Knifepoint scowls, huffing out his vents. He doesn't say anything though, turning his interest to a scuff mark on his forearm.
Slipstream nods her head, "I'll do so sir with all due diligence and speed. The sooner this rain is gone the better. Morale is bad, that much is very apparent."
Stormfront glances about among the others. "Good, share the plans so far with anyone who might be useful to the mission. If there's any questions, let me know. I will be happy to meet with anyone who needs to speak with me on this, or any other matter of my temporary duties. Given that I have a great deal to do in covering flight command - Slipstream, as you have some experience, your punishment has been upgraded - you're now in charge of the flight academy until this assignment ends, as you've begun learning to train the rookies and sparklings."
Slipstream's wings quirk at this. Surprised evident. "I understand sir." she states.
Echo glances to Slipstream, and then back once more. He goes back to leaning against the wall - mimicing Skywarp perfectly in posture.
Stormfront glances between the others, then back to Slipstream. "You are the obvious choice. Don't worry, its only until ranks return to normal, and I have time to resume those duties, I'm sure. I will be meeting with the trine leaders to determine if there is anything else I need to know, and will make sure I'm reachable if there's questions. It seems we're done here for now, though."
Slipstream inclines her head, "If you have any notes on what you were teaching your academy charges sir I would appreciate having them."
Echo's message padd beeps and he pulls out to read it. THen he blinks and straightens "Thundercracker??"
Starscream snorts but says nothing.
Slipstream looks toward Echo, giving a nod. "Surprise." she murmurs with a little smile.
Echo looks over at Slipstream, straightening. HIs white and silver wings twitch "Oh, not objecting to it! Although I admit I WAS excited to potentially have been working with you." he points out to her, red optics blinking.
Stormfront nods. "Indeed, Thundercracker's squad. And yes, I'll give you all of the notes on current classes for the academy. I'll be setting up meetings with Nova Black and Thundercracker to coordinate. And despite the situation, Starscream, I do respect your experience - if you have any input, especially regarding your ideas, I will be glad to hear it, in hopes of benefitting the greater cause." Yes, he's doubting that will help, obviously, but until attacked directly, he's continuing to give Scream all possible respect under the situation.
Starscream smirks suddenly, "Do any of you really think you can keep up with my trinemates?
At mention of the Academy, Echo looks back sharply to Stormfront. The seeker almost seemed insulted, and folded his arms "... Was the comment about the academy classes to someone else? " he asks, a moment of uncertainty in his voice. THen he looks at Starscream, and begins to speak. Then he thinks better of it, and remains quiet.
Starscream gives Echo a look and then decides to answer Stormfront. "You don't need my ideas.. you have it all right there..."
Slipstream nods and says, "I'll be sure to be in touch with those two as leaders of their trines and let you know when I'm done with the medics sir." a glance at Starscream, frown obvious now. "Not so full of yourself now are you."
Stormfront glances at Echo, "Slipstream, as part of her punishment, was reassigned to assist me at the academy, helping with the most rookie courses. As such, while I am flight commander, someone needs to take that job - since she has been doing part of it, I'm giving it to her." He glances at Starscream and nods. "As you wish. I respect your skill and knowledge - and you and your trine are the lead trine for good reason. I'm not some green rookie who supposes you didn't get where you are for good reason. As such, while holding down your job until you complete your punishment, I was willing to get your input. You worked on the acid rain project, and I give your ideas their full due credit. If, however, you wish to go it alone during this time, I have already told Megatron that any review or determination on your choices and behavior during demotion is up to him, not me, so I will just attempt to do the best with the assignment I've been given until I am returned to my former rank and duties." Straightforward, and ever the good soldier that he's been for milennia.
Echo nods at Stormfront, relaxing slightly. Perhaps a little defensive of his recent graduation? His wings retract fully into his back now as he turns to listen to the conversation about him, tapping idly one thigh with his hand.
Starscream chuckles slightly, "Megatron is a fool for splitting the leaad trine up. We were together for a good reason. And be sure to remember your place and dont get too comfortable wtih my rank either. To be part of /your/ trine I would have to throttle back to half my capabilites as least and thats no good for anyone..."
Slipstream says, "Perhaps Starscream it was overdue that your trine was split up to make all three of you realize just how easy you have it in comparison to those under you."
Starscream looks at Slipstream. "Easy? What do you mean?"
Stormfront remains impassive, just peering down at Starscream and the others. "And you will be together again in time, and I will do my best to return your rank to you in its time in good order, along with your quarters. As for your assessment of Megatron's judgement, I'm sure he's aware of it. If there is nothing else?"
Slipstream just looks at the Starscream, "You are a smart mech, Starscream, you figure it out." then back to Stormfront, "That is all from me sir, I shall seek out the medics to get things rolling there."
Echo unfolds his arms yet again, and looks at Slipstream in surprise. He nods to her "Have a good day, Slipstream." he notes, quietly. And then he turns back to STormfront, waiting simply.
Stormfront nods, "Dismissed, then. If anyone needs me, I will be in the barracks reviewing the study and making flight plans. My current temporary quarters are insufficient for my needs. Good cycle, all, and looking forward to working with you."
Starscream hears the comments but gives no indication hes heard them. He just turns and walks out.