September 15, 2011, 7:02 PM
(War Room, Iacon)
Streetwise had been trying to radio Cubicron now for about a day, and is being called here probably to deal with that. The transmission did not go through of course, and he was getting a little anxious as he walks towards the war room. Peering up at the door, he pauses, before tapping it to request entry, pulling his hand back quickly.
Prowl doesn't bother to look up as he opens the door, keying something into his console to send off to Red Alert. He's a bit agitated, for good reason, and it shows in the occasional, minute twitching of his doorwings. "Hello, Streetwise."
Optimus Prime nods to the young mech standing and gestures him to take a seat at the big table that both Prime and Prowl are working at, Prime with a stack of datapads in front of him, Prowl at the console. "How are you holding up? I promise, we will share any news about First Aid with you and your brothers as soon as it comes in."
Entering, Streetwise kept his shoulders straight - almost militant - and he nodded politely to both "Thank you. I do appreciate this. I am doing well, I think." a pause "I keep having bad dreams but... I'm trying to ignore those, and stay positive. We WILL be getting him back right? " he asks, focusing intently on Prime. His optics flick to Prowl, and the doorwings for a moment before looking back as he takes a seat
"Yes." Prowl answers shortly, tone clipped. He types out something else, sparing a moment to glance at Streetwise before turning his attention back to the console. "We are already working on a plan."
"Thank you for being willing to stay in Iacon and abide by our rules temporarily, Streetwise. I know that you do not trust our motives, but First Aid's safety is our highest priority at this moment in time. We will do our best to bring him home." Optimus Prime says kindly. "Now, what is it that you wanted to speak with us about?"
Straightening somewhat, Streetwise nods at Prowl, looking a little more energetic than before. He then turns his attention back to Optimus, although obviously he had questions "I always abide by the rules when in another city. I came to Iacon to help find First Aid - and I intend to. I came /here/ though because my attempts to contact my father are not going through... after a few tries, I am guessing you blocked unauthorized signals out of the city as part of the lockdown. I would like permission though to contact him if only briefly - he's going to be rather upset and I need to tell him I am safe." notes the youth to both of them.
Prowl frowns slightly at the request, wings twitching more vigorously in annoyance. "During lockdown, all communications must be authorized by command staff. Those that are authorized will be monitored and recorded. I doubt a mafia don would be very pleased with such a thing."
Optimus Prime nods. "I'm happy to authorize a channel for you to contact your father, Streetwise, but it is subject to the same limitations that any other individual would have during lockdown conditions."
A frown comes over Streetwise's face, and he nods slowly to both "If I don't, he'll come find me, which isn't something I want for EITHER side. Someone will get hurt. But he doesn't have to know it will be recorded right? " he taps the side of his nose "If he thinks its just me, then no harm, no fowl."
"If he attempts to breach Iacon, he will be killed." Prowl responds bluntly, looking up at Streetwise finally. "I do not think you understand who your father is, Streetwise. If you wish to contact him and Prime has given his assent, however, it is your choice."
Optimus Prime holds up a hand quellingly to Prowl. "Streetwise, we don't wish your father harm, although we can't condone the life he has chosen. But the defenses of Iacon are formidable, and if you feel it is best not to inform him, that is well within your rights."
Streetwise inhales sharply at Prowls' words, optics flickering as he looks down at that, then back up towards both of them. He then states "To keep this from getting out of hand, I really think I should at least send him a message, which you can look over first hand. And I know who my father is. Don Vespa." he turns to look at Prowl, but he seemed not quite as.. proud as before of this. "... What do you think he's done?"
Optimus Prime sighs. "Streetwise, are you sure that you wish to hear this at this time?"
Prowl remains silent, waiting for the youngling to answer Prime. He's perfectly content to tell Streetwise, but Prime can overrule him, and he supposes it is a tad bit cruel.
Streetwise glances from one to the other, then glances to his hands. He turns one over, the compartment there flipping over to show his transmitter. One installed while he was in Cubicron. He was very still a long moment. Then he looks up and frowns "I'm not some 'kid'. I want to know why ... how, rather. What he's done."
"We are not trying to treat you as a youngling, Streetwise, but as someone who is under a great deal of pressure from many directions. It is never easy to hear unpleasant information about loved ones," Prime's eyes seem, for a brief second, altogether too knowing before he continues. "But it is your right to decide." He nods at Prowl to continue.
Prowl pulls up several files on his console, activating the one closest to Streetwise to share the screen. Image captures of badly-injured, often deactivated mechs, lists of names- some shops, some mechs- and locations, videos of mechs threatening storekeepers, and Primus only knew what else. "The 'second hand parts' your father sells have a tendency to come from unwilling donors who were still using them." He says coldly, one doorwing flicking in an almost dismissive manner. "Many mechs have been deactivated to keep your father's 'buisness' running, and even more have been threatened with the same fate if they did not turn over any and all profits they made to him. Would you like me to continue?"
Streetwise's optics look to the screen, and he goes very still. His fuel tank churned a little bit at the images a moment, staring at them. Definitely some familiar faces. He doesn't respond verbally to prowl, but there was a faint tremble in his jaw as he nods slowly, as though forcing himself to do some unspeakable act himself.
"I know you care for him, Streetwise, and he seems to care for you too." Optimus Prime says, very carefully. "But there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that he is not someone who we can blithely allow in Iacon. I am sorry to have to break this news to you."
Prowl stays silent for a few moments, listening to Prime. He does feel a bit guilty about this, but Streetwise did ask. "Were the old systems of government still in place, we would be more than capable of bringing him up on multiple charges of illegal smuggling of parts, illegal gambling, extortion, assault, and murder." He says calmly, moving his gaze back to the console. "As well as a multitude of other, lesser charges. He would most likely be sentenced to permanent stasis and the removal of his personality component for examination and storage."
Venting carefully and controlled, Streetwise responds to Prime "I always knew there were reasons he couldn’t come here... I didn’t know they were..." he chokes almost and shivers, putting his face in his hands "... Why did he keep it from me? If I was going to take over I would have had to... find... out...' he sounded more confused than anything. "... may I borrow your trash receptacle?"
Optimus Prime stands, moving more quickly than his size would suggest to retrieve a bin in the corner half-full of empty energon cubes that haven't yet been taken to recycling. "It's no fault of yours, Streetwise," He says, putting the bin down next to the chair Streetwise sits in and sitting down next to him rather than returning to the chair he had occupied previously. He puts a hand gently on Streetwise's shoulder. "No one blames you for your father's activities. As to why he didn't tell you- he is the only one who can tell you that, although I believe it was because he realized you were unlikely to approve."
Prowl remains silent throughout the exchange, removing the evidence from both consoles and deactivating the one nearest the two other mechs. Comforting others has never been his strong suit. "It is most likely he intended to slowly desensitize you to such a lifestyle until you would be comfortable taking over." He says quietly, turning most of his attention back to the console in front of him. Best to leave this to someone who was actually good at it...
Streetwise flinches at the touch at first, but then doesn't pull away again. He looks up at Prowl, optics wide and almost tearful, if a transformer could cry. Then he turns to stare at the bin "... I can see that. I still can't believe he'd..." he sputters, distress turning halfway to anger. Then he pauses "... Don't tell my brothers. I mean, some may know. But... I don't want this to get out." His hand moves to Prime's, holding it there, for reassurance.
Optimus Prime squeezes Streetwise's shoulder gently. "It is up to you to tell them however you wish. I would advise you to do it soon, though. Such secrets have a way of coming back to haunt you, and none of your brothers seem the type to hold it against you. You are meant to function as a unit, and strength comes from unity."
"I suppose... suppose you're right. But not yet... Not right now obviously." notes Streetwise, dropping his hand as he breathes again deeply, working to regain control over his emotions "... I really really wish I could go for a drive right now though. And yet I can't even transform yet..." he is silent a moment, then straightens "I should still send a message to father though... tell him I will be here a while. When it's all over, I'll tell him I don't want in anymore."
Optimus Prime nods. "Just because he has chosen the life he has doesn't mean he doesn't care for you, Streetwise. Remember that, if it helps." He removes his hand from Streetwise's shoulder and goes to stand up. "I am proud that you have chosen to make a different choice. We would be pleased to count you among the Autobots, if someday you decide to join us."
Streetwise nods in agreement, although it didn't seem to have heart in it. But he does lift his head, and offers a bit of a smile "... One of the former PRimes was on a poster in my room. And even before we got split up, I was into mysteries and detective stories... playing 'cops and robbers'. I'll seriously think about it... not sure if I'd fit in. I'm technically an accomplice." he looks to Prowl, at that.
Prowl considers for a few moments, doorwings twitching. "...You have not actually committed any of these crimes yourself." He says slowly, "We have several in our ranks who /have/ committed crimes, if not of this magnitude, and in this particular situation, the benefit would outweigh any negatives of such an agreement." He shifts to look fully at Streetwise, fixing the mech with a serious stare. "Should you wish to join the Autobots, it would be possible."
Meeting that Stare, Streetwise nods once more "I understand. I'll think on it... right now all my thoughts are about my brother though. Someone who I both know and still not know... and yet feel more about than my father." he confesses, switching topics in his own distraught state as he leans forwards again to rub at his forehead.
"Vespa took you in when you had no knowledge of who you were or where you had come from. Rather than attempt to find your family or anyone who knew you, he taught you what he wanted you to know. You are no more guilty of his crimes than any creation is guilty of their creator's." Optimus Prime stands up fully, returning to the head of the table and his stack of reports. "If you wish to use the comm console over there to send a message to Vespa, you may, or, if you would rather, a frequency can be cleared so that you can send one directly from your own comm."
"I'll send him a message. I... dont wnat to speak to him right now." his faceplate curled up in a slight look of disgust, then he hunched over "... MAybe. If I feel better. I'm sorry." he adds.
Optimus Prime turns away from his reports to look at Streetwise. "I am sorry we had to tell you this, Streetwise, especially at such a stressful time. If there is anything we can do to help you, or your brothers, don't hesitate to let us know."
Prowl watches Streetwise carefully for a few moments before looking back to his console. "You are welcome to contact him at your convenience. Simply find myself or Red Alert beforehand and we will set you up with a secure line."
"Its better this way I guess... instead of later, when its too late." notes Streetwise as he thought. Himself, ordering parts without realizing it? He shuddered and hunched over the bucket. He nods at Prowl "I'll make sure you see the message first." he promises, sitting up "... I think I'll go for a walk, or run though. Or find Groove." strange how those hugs are contagious
"Regardless, I am still sorry," Optimus Prime says.
Prowl nods, entering a few notes into the console. "That would be appreciated, Streetwise. My apologies for being the one to tell you what your father has been keeping from you." He says quietly, one doorwing flicking slightly.
"It... Its accepted." notes Streetwise as he carefully stands, though still looked somewhat sickened. He wasn't getting much sleep tonight. "But... thank you." he straightens, nodding to both before glancing to the door without a word, waiting for permission to leave.
"Is there anything else you need from us?" Optimus Prime asks. "If not, you have no need to wait to be dismissed, Streetwise- you are not an Autobot. While you're subject to the rules of the city while in Iacon, you are, technically, a civilian."
"No, nothing else. And okay. Thank you again." he nods to both, turning to tap himself out of the room. The moment the door closed, he booked it down the corridor, looking for... he wasn't sure yet. but hopefully he'll find it.