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2017-10-02 Ethics and Diplomacy and Booze

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2017-10-02 Ethics and Diplomacy and Booze
Date 2017/10/02
Location Khepri
Participants Rodimus, Trailbreaker
Plot Colony: Khepri
Summary Trailbreaker and Rodimus discuss some heavy subjects over drink. A Cheerleader roll fails.

With travel now open between Scorn's ship and Rigard, it's easy for the curious to spacebridge over and come take a look. In fact, they've been explicitly invited to do so -- provided they behave. It's probably inevitable, then, that the Lost Lighters find the bar.

Rodimus leads the way, shining beneath the lights at the bar. He's left the cape behind, first impression made, and sits more comfortably without it. One empty glass at his elbow and a half-empty one in hand, he reviews something on a datapad, seated right at the bar. Of course Trailbreaker was going to find the bar. It's an essential part of any healthy community! He most certainly did not seek out a bar immediately upon arriving in the dazzling spaceship world, because that would be weird. He just ended up here. Because that's a perfectly respectable thing to do.

Well, at least he apparently stopped on the way to buy a star-studded scarf to wear around his neck, with something else in a bag. The moment he arrives in the glittery bar, the rather non-glittery and (in his opinion) humble-looking truck beams at the sight of Rodimus. "Hey! Hey, Captain! Not interrupting work, am I?"

"Save me, please, I think I just read the same paragraph six times." Rodimus slams his datapad into a compartment and greets Trailbreaker with a smile that's wide and bright enough to be a minor sun. "It shouldn't matter because Minimus already looked it over but I feel like I should try, you know? I'm pretty sure the drinks aren't strong enough to excuse my complete failure to understand, either, but they're pretty good. Glad to see some of the crew are starting to come over and check things out! They seem to prize trade, and showing we're willing trade partners might be better diplomacy than anything else we can offer."

Trailbreaker thunks onto the barstool next to Rodimus, offering a cheery grin of his own. "I couldn't miss it! Never seen so much fancy decoration in one place. What's it called? Clothes, yeah." He waves down the bartender to order 'whatever they think is best as long as it's strong.' "I thought I'd sample the local drinks, too, do my diplomatic part that way. They must like it when we spend Shanix, I'll bet..." He rests his chin on the heel of his hand. "So, they like us? About time we got some good news. You wanna celebrate with me?"

Rodimus makes a gesture as if to toast their celebration, then holds it while he waits for Trailbreaker to get his glass and complete it. They pour Trailbreaker the same as they gave Rodimus -- strong, but also cheap. He does not have refined tastes, their captain. "I could easily believe you have the making of an amazing diplomat, Trailbreaker. People like you and you're Autobot to the core."

<FS3> Trailbreaker rolls Drinking: Great Success. (8 6 2 4 6 7 4 3 3 3 7 6 8 5 2 4)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Drinking: Success. (7 3)

Trailbreaker swigs his drink, though he almost chokes on it when Rodimus calls him a diplomat. He's not picky about the drink; 'strong and cheap' is his favorite combination. Staring a little with a puzzled smile, he rubs the back of his head. "Aw, ya don't need to flatter me, Rodimus. A diplomat? Not someone real fancy like Ultra Magn--" He briefly tries to imagine Ultra Magnus trying to bow or smile, and cuts himself off. "Drift?"

"Minimus Ambus," Rodimus corrects. "He's going by Minimus now. And that's a name no one knows, but I wouldn't say that makes him any worse a diplomat. And Drift -- eh." He shrugs. "Deadlock's too close a shadow. I've never been much of a flatterer, Trailbreaker. I'm serious. Maybe you should be." But he cuts it with an elbow at Trailbreaker's side like ha ha, so he's not too serious??

"Right, sorry! Aha, well...I dunno. I've been on councils before, of course." Trailbreaker takes another sip of his drink and blushes a little sheepishly at the nudge. "And I guess it would be something to do besides, you know, this." He holds up the glass to demonstrate. "But I guess...s'worth a thought, right?" He's not sure what to think of this. Rodimus! Is complimenting him! Right in the self-esteem boost!

"About that Autobot thing...you know, for a while..." He brushes a servo against his badge. "I thought about following suit. Cuz I really like what you did; that took a hell of a lot of courage, especially in front of everyone like that. But I think...it's not right for me. I need this." He taps himself. "Need the direction, ya know?" Rodimus waves off the apology with an easy smile: think nothing of it, he didn't correct Trailbreaker, and he's certainly not uncool enough to care. He leans over to tink a finger against the side of Trailbreaker's glass and says, "Not that there's not still time for this. In fact, from what I've heard, sometimes drinking is a very important part of diplomatting."

Rodimus leans back, his hand drifting to curl over the empty space on his chest. "Sure, I get you. I kind of miss that myself, to be honest. I'm glad you're making the right choice for you, even if it isn't the same choice as me. I'd never want someone to make that choice because of someone else."

"Schmoozing, they call it! Wining and dining, up in the richie parts of Iacon where I never spent a lot of time. Though the Senator kinda wished he could get us into some of those events." Trailbreaker runs his finger on the rim of the glass, making a gentle hum. He's taken to referring to his beloved old mentor as The Senator, because the Shockwave who committed so many atrocities during the war can't be the same person. They killed the Senator and Shockwave is what's left. "And I'm glad you made your choice too. I think sometimes...being a leader kinda starts to consume someone. They don't get to be an individual anymore..."

He miiight just be thinking about Optimus.

"I only ever really saw that life on vids. Seemed as made up as stories about the Knights," Rodimus admits with a slight and rueful smile. He shrugs, though it goes stiff as he laughs: "Ha. Yeah. Leading can really be--." He breaks off. "I mean, your choices aren't really your choices, you know? Your choices are everyone's choices, or for everyone. On my own, I think I could have stayed an Autobot until my spark extinguished." He shrugs again, more aggressively, like someone who is maybe a little nibbled around the edges.

<FS3> Trailbreaker rolls Cheerleader: Failure. (2 5 3 3 3 4 2 2 5)

Trailbreaker wants to say something to lighten the burden, to insist it isn't so bad, not so dire as Rodimus says. It's what he always wished he could do for Optimus Prime. But even as he tries to think of something to say, he finds himself thinking of Optimus himself again, the truck standing alone from the others, giving just a gentle nod to Trailbreaker's cheer. Lonely. It sort of...dampens the mood.

So he just places a comforting hand on Rodimus's shoulder. "Hey. Well, we appreciate it. I do."

Rodimus laughs -- bright, not dismissive -- as Trailbreaker tries. He covers that comforting hand with his own and squeezes, beaming reassurance back at him. "Well, that's obviously why anyone does it -- that and the sweet perks." There are no perks. His gaze is bright as he leans forward to catch the bartender's attention to top off their glasses. What's that? They don't need it? TOP THEM OFF ANYWAY. "See, though? Diplomatic. What kind of councils have you served on?"

Trailbreaker's glad at least Rodimus is cheering up even if he feels like he kind of messed up his attempt. "Aw, nothing too amazing. I was on the Ethics Committee. We sort of had to make sure Autobots didn't decide anything was justified in the name of the badge. You know how some of us were." He sighs a little. "But that was really more of a pacifist thing, ya know? Felt like I had to do something to stay true to my beliefs during a war, even if it felt like a drop in a horrible bucket."

Rodimus is definitely, 100% cheered up and not broadcasting a facade of it. 100. Cheer. Gaze sharp, though poorly hidden as he lifts his glass to drink, he asks, "Is the ethics committee still in place?"

Trailbreaker raises his glass for a refill. "Sort of? I mean, Xaaron is around, we can always reconvene if we need to. I dunno how popular that would be considering we had entire meetings titled 'What To Do About Brainstorm, Again.' And the third guy was Animus. Here's to you, Animus." He raises the glass with a reverent, sad little sigh. Poor Animus. He seemed like such an honest guy. "I mean, if you wanted to reform it with new people...you know, uh, fellow...non-violent sorts? But what for?"

"I've authorized an attack on a planet that will all but destroy it in the hopes that it might do something to put a dent in Unicron's face -- such as it is -- and you're asking me what we need an ethics committee for?" Rodimus tosses back the rest of his drink and slides it forward very slowly to follow Trailbreaker in a refill. "It'll be uninhabited," he adds after a contemplative pause. "Or -- well. The colonists will have evacuated."

"...Oh. Well. Slag." Trailbreaker stares into his glass with a weak, astonished laugh. "We're still...we're never gonna stop destroying stuff in order to stop others from destroying something worse, huh." He sinks down onto the counter, though there's no judgement in his voice. In fact, the look he gives Rodimus, while sad, is also sympathetic. "So you mean, for you. For us. Someone to step in and go no, you can't do this, we don't care how efficient it might be, what means it justifies. No Gideon's Glue. No sliding into 'less evil' territory."

Rodimus fingerguns at Trailbreaker: bang, bang. "And it needs to be drawn from Autobots, Decepticons, and Neutrals. And more than three people." He leans back in his chair, arm hooked over the back, and give Trailbreaker a thoughtful look. "How about it, Teebs? You feel like doing something else other than--" He reaches, picks up his filled glass, and wiggles it.

"There were more! Just, you know, our numbers started to dwindle. People kinda stop wanting to care about ethics when it's been desperate for the last few hundred years. And pacifists die kinda fast in wars." That last part Trailbreaker mumbles. He's still a little floored by the revelation of Rodimus's plan. It's one that shouldn't involve casualties, it's sensible, and yet, and yet...!

He looks at the glass Rodimus is holding, and then his own, and sighs. "I'll put out a call, though I'm gonna screen the applicants either way. Flame doesn't get to join just because we couldn't keep him in G9. And I'll send it past command, so it's not just my definition of ethics here." He pauses. "You really trust me that much? To be the person to say...no?"

"You served on the committee when Optimus led the Autobots. I can't think of a better reason to trust you than that," Rodimus says, drawing his glass back in and giving Trailbreaker half a smile.

A smile breaks out on Trailbreaker's own face and he downs the rest of his glass. "Huh. Well, when ya put it that way, kinda hard to argue. So, Captain! Wanna celebrate the reformation of the Ethics Committee over a few more drinks? I'm sure you can keep up!"

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=drinking Vs Trailbreaker=drinking < Rodimus: Success (5 7) Trailbreaker: Amazing Success (3 2 8 6 5 7 7 3 5 7 4 8 7 4 1 8) < Net Result: Trailbreaker wins - Crushing Victory

"Why not? I've got a head start on you, after all. You're gonna have to work to catch up," Rodimus teases, and then throws his whole heart into celebrating the reformation and keeping up with Trailbreaker.

Boy, is he gonna regret that tomorrow.

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