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2015-05-31 Not an Interrogation

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Not an Interrogation
Date 2015/05/31
Location Command -- Ultra Magnus's Office
Participants Ultra Magnus, Blast Off
Summary Ultra Magnus calls Blast Off in for some questions.

The request to see Blast Off is phrased with excruciatingly formal courtesy. Ultra Magnus sends it with a suggested time and leaves his door open as he works. He spends a lot of time behind this desk, low, woodwind-heavy music rolling through the air as he works his way down a list of paperwork tasks, some of which basically may or may not exist just as part of a longstanding campaign to bury Rodimus in memoranda.

Now he sits, leaning back slightly in his seat as he reviews a personnel file. It's a very long personnel file.

This is one of those things that Blast Off has been dreading. A meeting with Ultra Magnus, lawmech. The Combaticon is a Decepticon, a former mercenary, a sniper, space warrior, and prisoner and.... well, needless to say a by-the-books type like Magnus makes him itch just a little. Getting called to his office is even more alarming... visions of brig-time and all sorts of other unpleasantries are swimming through his processor as he steps into the Autobot's doorway and eyes that file. The really long one. He's still half-debating how hard it would be to jump out of the nearest airlock and just fly off, but then he'd get stranded out here so... no. Not yet.

"...You wanted to see me?"

"Yes. Thank you for being prompt."

Ultra Magnus glances across the datapad in his hand and then flicks it onto the surface of his desk with a clatter. Reaching forward with two fingertips, he turns down the music, and then sets his arms together against the edge of the desk, loosely twining his heavy hands. "I understand you were present for Rodimus's little cooperative exercise the other evening."

Blast Off flinches just slightly as the datapad clatters on the desk, then straightens up again to stare at the other mech. His comment about "cooperation" draws a twitch from the Combaticon's optic ridges. He glances to the datapad as if trying to see what is on it: is there a Wanted Poster, or police report, or some other sign that he's in trouble?....

"I didn't do anything wrong." Because that's /obviously/ why he's been called in here.

The blue edge of helmet plate that marks Magnus's brow pulls down over his eyes as he narrows his gaze across the desk at Blast Off. "I have heard nothing to suggest that you did," he says. "Should I surmise that you have a guilty conscience?"

Those violet optics dart a little more rapidly from Magnus to the datapad and then, with a turn of his head, to the doorway as if debating how fast he could run out of here... before looking once more at the Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord. "No!" He says a little too hastily. "Of course not. I...I just thought..." He glances around again. "Well... I'm one of the few Decepticons on an largely Autobot ship. I just... well..." He hesitates. "Blaming Decepticons for trouble seems to be the *in* thing to do."

"This is not the first time I have heard this accusation, Blast Off." Magnus sits there for a long moment with his fingers set against each other, frowning at the Combaticon in surly silence. He watches him a little like he's waiting for something, and the time seems to grow while his frown remains motionless.


Blast Off is TRYING to look unaffected and aloof, slaggitall. He's the *picture* of aloof, right? Unswayed, uncaring Combaticon shuttle who soars above it all and could not care less for the petty concerns of others! Yes. Right. His optics dim for a moment as he manages the aloof look, then they flicker as Magnus keeps just... looking at him. And waiting. And frowning. And... waiting. The shuttle's aloof facade begins to crack, a wing elevon twitching as he glances away and back again. He leans back, almost looking like he'd about to flee, then catches himself. A hand comes up to scratch at the heat shield on his arm.

Finally, he breaks the silence. "I did not do ANYTHING! I just came from my shift... I was heading to my quarters when I met Mercy and Rodimus outside in the hallway and they were going on about... about *things*." He points to himself and stares at Magnus. "But *I* was a perfectly well-behaved gentlemech the *entire time*."

Leaning back in his seat again, the big blue law bot lets his hands fall from the desk to knuckle against his lap, and he shakes his head, slowly. "I am not expecting you to confess to anything. From what I have been able to piece together, the entire population of the bar behaved to varying degrees of ridiculous, and Drift just says he somehow owes Whirl fifty shanix." His frown takes on, momentarily, a tint of baffle, and then he moves on after a beat's pause.

Magnus says next, in a very bland, neutral tone: "You believe that the Autobots of this crew treat you undeservedly."

Blast Off has been at war for so long and a prisoner too many times that he finds that first statement a little hard to believe. The Combaticon eyes Magnus, dubiousness written on his features- or what are visible of them, at least. He studies the lawmech carefully, then deliberates his response to the rest. His head tilts just a little to the left as he does so.

"Well," he begins, each word measured, "Yes, that has been my... experience." He almost brings up several of Rodimus' past transgressions, but thinks better of it. That is the Captain, and who knows what Magnus would think of someone speaking less than flattering terms about him. They're probably BFFs and Magnus thinks Rodimus can do no wrong, right? I mean, that's Autobot relations for you, /obviously/. They're all rainbows and turbo-unicorns, after all. PFFT.

"I have had several Autobots attack me because I"m a Decepticon." It seems safer to mention more obvious trouble-makers. "Whirl and Fortress Maximus, for instance. And I have been treated with suspicion because of my faction as well."


Listening to this with studied neutrality, the Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord continues to watch Blast Off and his doubting face with very little shift in his own expression.

"Suspicion?" Ultra Magnus prompts. He gestures with two fingers, thumb ticked up, in a 'carry on' type gesture. "In what context?"

Blast Off is trying and failing to look aloof now, his optics still doing that nervous little flicker and dart from side to side, accompanied by the occasional wing elevon twitch and now even a shoulder roll or two. "Totally uncalled for suspicion, mind you!" He feels the need to point out. He even emphasizes it with a finger pointing to magnus- which then shifts down to the ground because pointing *at* Magnus might be seen as rude and he doesn't need to give the Autobot any further reasons to throw him in the brig. Because he's still half certain this is where this will end up.

"But yes, suspicion. Because I am a Decepticon, so some of the Autubots I meet automatically view me with it. Sometimes even assume I have done wrong or act like they will strike first because they figure if they do not, I will. Or are more inclined to believe an Autobot's story than a Decepticon's. Like your..." He again almost brings Rodimus into this, but refrains from saying *Captain*. "Well, several Autobots. Because of our past history. Because ...I suppose old habits die hard." Now his finger comes up again, to defend himself from the accusation he's sure is coming. "Even my treatment in the brig..." Wait, maybe he shouldn't bring that up, "Well... I simply mean to put out that there are sometimes... double standards, and Decepticons are assumed to be stirring up trouble... when all we want to do is do our jobs and perhaps have a drink at Swerve's."

"And you believe any such suspicion you encounter is entirely due to the badge you wear and not due to anything you may have done in service to the badge you wear," Ultra Magnus says mildly, his level gaze a pale glow.

"The Decepticons are aboard this ship on the promise of good behavior and by Soundwave's word. While you are here, until that promise is breached, you are members of this crew, subject to the same rules as any Autobot. Tell me," rumbles Ultra Magnus, tapping one fingertip and then another against the surface of his spotless desk, "about these double standards."


There's a subtle shift backwards as Blast Off becomes more and more uncomfortable with this conversation. The war hasn't been over *that* long, and his reaction to nosy or inquisitive Autobots was generall to *shoot* them, not have to keep answering their questions. But Magnus is right, and he DID agree to play by their rules. "I... Yes. I did agree, and I *have* been following the rules as set out to me when I joined this mission."

Another wing elevon twitch. "And... well, I imagine some of the suspicion is a result of behavior during... the war, yes." He glances away once more and his demeanor becomes quieter. "It was a... very long war." Then his gaze returns to Ultra Magnus. "I did what I had to do- as a soldier. Following orders and doing what it took to survive." His finger comes up again. "As did *most everyone else on this ship*. We ALL particpated in that war and I imagine most of us have done things we might... well, we might not have chosen to do otherwise." Another shoulder roll. "But... that is over now, and I was told we were moving on from that."

He looks hesitant at the mention of double standards. "Well... just that... like when I was in the brig. The Autobots received...wine and early releases while I received an energon cube and Breakdown was left to sleep in his cell. And ...well, other times when there is trouble- like the bar brawl that landed me IN the brig in the first place....I was merely defending myself from Whuirl- and yet BOTH of us receieved brig time!" So unfair. SO UNFAIR.


"Yes," Ultra Magnus says mildly. "You are correct. Everyone on this ship survived the war. In form, there are many differences. Perhaps you are right that there are few enough in substance."

His gaze narrows again. For a long beat's silence, he sits there. He taps a fingertip against the surface of his desk. Then Magnus says: "You received disproportionate treatment in the brig?"

That... almost sounds promising. Like- maybe he WON'T wind up in the brig, after all? Dare he hope? Blast Off looks thoughtful. Thoughtfully suspicious, at least. "Yes. Exactly." He nods his head- then pauses at Magnus' last question. His cultured voice still sounds hesitant, like he's waiting to be entrapped somehow. "...Ye-ess..." He doesn't want to mention Rodimus by name. "When I was let out, it was to assist in what turned out to be Fortress Maximus' rescue. Before then, Grimlock was released, yet Breakdown was kept in a cell, despite them both landing there at the same time, for the same fight. And Whirl received wine..." he stops to add with a little more emphasis on the injustice of this all, "/Wine/!" while looking a little striken. "...and I received the barest of rations." AGAIN SO UNFAIR. How did he SURVIVE.

"I see." Ultra Magnus considers for a moment longer. He leans down, opens one of the drawers of his desk, and pulls out a thin flat datapad, which he slides across the surface of the desk to Blast Off. "Please fill out a formal complaint."

"Uh..." Now Blast Off is a little nervous. Well, even more than before. He blinks and stares down at the datapad. "Well, I'm willing to let it ...slide this one time." Mainly because he doesn't want to have to name Rodimus and risk the Autobot Captain feeling sore about that fact. And jettisoning him out with the latest trash or something as a result. ...or something.

"I am not," Ultra Magnus answers him. "Neither the Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord, nor the executive officer of this ship, can be in the habit of 'letting things slide.'" It's amazing how he can so precisely and carefully drop the quotation marks around the words, isn't it? His expression shifts in the lift of the blue edged plate over his eyes. "But if you are unwilling to formalize your complaint, I can do nothing without evidence." His frown pulls his mouth further down at both corners. "I consider myself an unlikely audience for ... unactionable complaints."

"I...Uh... I will keep that in mind." Blast Off is looking even more uncomfortable now, wondering if the greater harm would be in divulging Rodimus' name or in having "wasted Magnus' time". He starts backing towards the door. "Next time. I will... I will be sure to file a formal complaint."

"Very well." Ultra Magnus considers, and then tips his hand. Rather than continue what he has already claimed isn't an interrogation, he says: "I believe you have answered my question, more or less. You may consider yourself dismissed."

Blast Off gives Magnus a quick nod and beats a hasty retreat- while trying not to LOOK hasty. At all. No, not at all.

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