2015-03-24 Discipline and Enforcement
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Discipline and Enforcement|
|Location||Lost Light - Command: Ultra Magnus's Office|
|Participants||Rodimus, Ultra Magnus|
|Summary||Rodimus seeks Magnus's advice about appropriate discipline measures. You know. Sort of.|
Lost Light: Command -- Ultra Magnus's Office (#129Rh)
The nameplate by the door says: Ultra Magnus Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord Wipe your boots before entering.
There's a large desk with a smaller chair opposite and a recharge slab off to the side. The desk centers the room, its largest and most prominent feature in an area distinctly spartan in decor. There is a nameplate on his desk. It says the same as the nameplate by the door except for the part about boots.
"You know, on Earth, humans practice flogging on ships." It is very possible that Rodimus saw some sort of movie and is taking it as fact. He's certainly confusing past with present. He leans in through Ultra Magnus's doorway, fingers hooked on the edge of the door frame. Exasperation saturates him, from voice to posture to scowl. He does not look particularly perky. "What's the Autobot or Tyrest code have to say about that?" He's probably not 100% serious. Maybe just 50%.
Interruption in this way does not come as a shock to Ultra Magnus, already a fairly regular occurrence. Glancing up from the thin angled screen streaming data before him to consider his superior officer, he lifts two fingertips to a control on the desk. The soft strains of music already only barely audible diminish into nonexistence. "It's a circumstance-dependent inquiry," he says. "However, the Autobot Code frowns on corporal punishment as typified by excessive cruelty. The Tyrest Accords have a strict enumeration of appropriate discipline for offenders, most of which do not include physical punishments so crude as to involve a whip. Civilized cultures generally evolve past the state-mandated affliction of brutality after a certain stage of development, although in certain limited circumstances--" and he pauses at this point with a faint narrowing of his gaze as he rests his hands flat across his desk. It slowly, slowly occurs to him that Rodimus is probably not coming over to engage in a spirited academic debate about theoretical disciplinary technique.
No, it's true. He isn't. Rodimus stopped listening somewhere around 'circumstance'. Releasing his hold on the door frame to drop through it with an exaggerated sigh, he crosses to stand next to Ultra Magnus's desk. He does him the very great kindness of not not hopping atop to take a seat. However, he leans his hip up against the side of the desk and folds his arms over his chest. Rodimus shifts to face Ultra Magnus and sighs /again/. "So no beating Decepticons until morale improves? It'd sure help /my/ morale. Maybe not theirs, but it's not like there are a /lot/ of them, so /overall/ it would probably still be better for /everyone/. As a /whole/."
"Beating any of the crew is not advisable. However, if you are inclined to rethink the entire arrangement and jettison the whole pack of troublemakers, thieves, liars and murderers, I'm not opposed," Ultra Magnus says unhelpfully. Slowly, carefully, he leans his chair backwards a diagonal fraction, and looks up at Rodimus with a lingering frown.
Rodimus immediately reverses position to give Ultra Magnus an aghast stare. "I'm not going to do that. This is the first chance we've really had to work toward something good /together/. We can't let it fail when we've barely begun. And if it fails, it won't be because /we/ weren't willing to try," he adds with a stubborn set to his jaw.
Ultra Magnus gives Rodimus a look a little difficult to interpret, but it's probably because the range of expression on his stern face is so limited. He is the reason for that urban legend about faces freezing that way. He says, "To be entirely fair, I do not limit that to people who were Decepticons. There are a number of crew I would have turned aside at the doors without regret. I suppose that's neither here nor there. We're all here now."
In contrast, Rodimus's expressions are all too easy to interpret. He's terrible at screening the shift of thought as it passes over his features: exasperated, first, but there's a deeper note of humor that lingers as he listens. It's with a bright note of optimism overlaying the laughter in his voice that he says, "Yep. We are. I hesitate to ask just how big a number that would've been if I let you. Bet I would've been on that list if it weren't my ship," he adds with a grin. If he's bothered by the idea -- and what right would he have to be bothered, given /just how recently/ it was that he ran away with /Ultra Magnus's/ ship -- he doesn't show it.
"It is your ship, and I don't bet," Ultra Magnus says with a slight lowering of his head, eyeing Rodimus from beneath the weight of his plated brow. He does not actually answer the point, nor does he trot out any bona fides about how quick he was to sign up on Rodimus's quest; he merely says, "I never thought bringing Decepticons aboard was a safe idea, but if they're going to be crew we unfortunately have to treat them that way, with all rights and privileges et cetera. Especially in light of our /newest/ additions to the crew."
"The Camiens?" Rodimus sighs and drops his arms from their cross to brace a deeper lean onto and across the desk. "Too bad. I like them better, you know? Some of those Decepticons have some major hangups. Like, I removed their I/D chips. They should /love/ me."
"They're Decepticons. They don't know that word." Ultra Magnus conveniently ignores the fact that it's not exactly a word that is common parlance for him either, right up there with other things he is unlikely to say like 'cuddle' and 'pizzazz'. He straightens the diagonal lean of his chair and turns out a heavy hand, fingers spread indicatively at Rodimus. "I find the Camiens unobjectionable so far, although I admit I was surprised at Chromia's ... firearms deficiency."
"They should learn it. I'm completely lovable." Don't worry, Mags: Rodimus doesn't seem to need reassurance on that point. He just smirks. "Windblade uses a sword, too. And Nautica mostly seems to use a wrench. Chromia's said that Caminus is struggling. Could be that firearms just require too much energy, or some other something that the colony lacks. Or maybe it's all about the aesthetic." He spreads his hands wide in a gesture. "I can get behind that," says Mr. Flames.
Ultra Magnus seems about to say something that he then does not say. He closes his mouth again and frowns for a moment before clearing his throat in a low grind of a noise, shake of his head slight. He says, "Somehow I doubt that the entire colony adheres to the same /unique/ aesthetic sense," and eyes Rodimus, unique exemplar of that PARTICULAR aesthetic.
Rodimus's smile widens under Ultra Magnus's gaze. "Maybe not, maybe so. Windblade might be able to explain it to you. Of course, it could just be /tradition/, which is basically the worst explanation for anything, ever. But this is totally getting away from the point, which is--" (about him, as all point are) "--that I am /really/ straining myself not throwing the Decepticons off some days."
"They do seem to have developed traditions with significant weight, many of which I do not understand," Ultra Magnus says, with a slight tip of his hand in a gesture as he adds. He closes his mouth in a grim frown and rises to his feet, straightening out of his seat and letting his arms fold in a weighted barrier across his chest as he moves out. Standing facing Rodimus at an angle to his desk, he says, "If they actually commit infractions, I encourage you to arrest them, or to ask Red Alert to arrest them. It would do several of them little harm to cool their heels in the brig for awhile. I realize that historically you have considered insubordination as a kind of ... pleasure hobby, or something, but you should remember that it is actually a subject for discipline."
"Pleasure hobby. Oh my God, you're trying to avoid saying fun, aren't you." Rodimus's eyes light with glee and he abandons his point entirely to lean toward Ultra Magnus. "Say it."
Ultra Magnus gives Rodimus a particularly dour look and stands there glowering down at him for a long moment.
Rodimus sounds it out for him: "Ffff-uuuu-nnnn."
"The duly appointed enforcer of the Tyrest Accord is not meant to provide /entertainment/ value," Ultra Magnus informs his captain primly.
"I like to think of it as a happy bonus to your other duties," Rodimus says, nothing like prim. He's deliriously delighted and his grin only widens. "Want me to make it an order?"
"Would that be /fun/ for you." Ultra Magnus is so busy infusing the word with derision that he doesn't quite manage a recognizable question mark.
"Yes!" Rodimus thrusts his fist into the air in victory. The derision slides off his slickly painted flames like so much oil. He gives Ultra Magnus a friendly little punch on the arm and says, "See? Not so hard. Anyway, the whole -- insubordination thing. It's kind of. You know. I have trouble with the line. What's best to ignore, what actually deserves to be addressed. Being on this side of the desk is still a little--." He breaks off, tips his hands, then brightens his grin right back up as he braces straighter with a confidence that stretches a bit thin when he pushes it. "But I got it!"
Ultra Magnus looks down at his arm and exhales, in a low hissing sigh that accompanies the only mildly aggravated shake of his head. "Rodimus, just draw the line /somewhere/ and enforce it. Consistently. Or get me to enforce it." Is it curious how much of Ultra Magnus's advice to Rodimus about his homework involves delegating? "For Primus sake, don't just go around forgiving it all until your ship full of cheerful miscreants has made us all ridiculous. Bad enough that a fourth of your command deck goes around testing the auras of rooms before he goes in--"
"Okay. Enforce it, enforcer," Rodimus delegates. He doesn't /quite/ make a gesture of dusting his hands, but he does brush them together before folding his arms back across his chest. "Because that's one line I never really learned."
"Yes, sir," Ultra Magnus says with a grim shade of satisfaction.
Rodimus grins up at Ultra Magnus like this is the best idea he's ever had. "Okay. Good. I'm glad we got that settled, then. Thanks, Magnus!" He pushes away from the desk in a pivot toward the door.
Ultra Magnus nods once, and then turns back to his desk. He says, "Of course." Sitting down again in a slow folding down of his massive weight, he reaches out with his fingertips and turns the volume back up on the low music he was working to before. It's probably not actually a theme song to play Rodimus out of his office, but then again, you never know.
The only theme song appropriate to play Rodimus out of any office would be something that is all, 'I'M TOO HOT. HOT DAMN.' It is WILDLY unlikely that is the music that plays when Ultra Magnus raises the volume. So Rodimus just leaves, abandoning Ultra Magnus to paperwork and instrumentals.