2018-10-04 Planning Committee
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Location||Command -- Incident Room|
|Summary||Okay it's a committee of two but.|
Prowl is supposed to be focusing on smoothing out the wrinkles and tying up the loose ends of the Tempo mission, but off to the right on the glowing warboards is a broad layout of New Iacon with a lone dot marking the last known location of Hound and Soundwave. Prowl quietly frets over it. Of course it doesn't move, but he keeps checking. Radio silence is awful.
"We're going to require a lot of air support," Prowl comments to Rodimus, sulking back to the table where more holographs project a simple render of Tempo's ship mode.
If Rodimus is fretting,he keeps it well-hidden. He has an air of almost ease in his poised confidence, and when he glances toward the dot marking their known location, his expression is almost smirkish in his confidence. THEY GOT THIS, PROWL.
"Okay, Prowl, I'm going to suggest something, and you're going to hate it, but I'd like you to think seriously about it." Rodimus shifts, straightens, and looks over to the projection of the ship. He pauses. He lets the silence build. Then he says, "Put Starscream in charge of air support."
Prowl barks a smile-less laugh. He looks over, squinting. "He's not going to listen to orders, Rodimus. Are you going to make him listen to orders? Have you heard him screech? I can't scrub the sound from my audials. This is what we get for electing a seeker." He stands there, palms against the desk, possibly aware of how unhelpful he's being.
"So don't think about it like you giving him orders and start thinking about it like you're working alongside him as allied forces," Rodimus suggests, prickling in the face of Prowl's response. "If you can't handle that, I will. Also the screeching joke was old like -- four million years ago."
"It still applies!" Prowl's doors level out. "No, I can handle it. I just... really need to stress how closely these plans must be followed." He fwumps into a chair and... thinks. Mulling. Chewing. It's clear the idea grows on him, and the tabletop holograms are suddenly filled with very precisely placed seeker trines. Rodimus is left in growing silence as Prowl busies himself, a little caught up.
Watching Prowl set his plans forth, Rodimus lets him work a moment, then breaks in again: "Plans only get you so far, Prowl." He would say that. "Plan to trust your commanders to make the decisions. I know you like to think that you can and _will_ control everything, but sometimes you can't -- and sometimes you shouldn't. Put Starscream in charge of it, tell him what you need, and let him decide how to do it. You'll get better results out of him. Hard as it might be for you to let go." (edited)
Prowl pauses to consider Rodimus' points long enough to be noticeable. They're not readily dismissed. He looks surprised - marginally, not insultingly - when he turns his attention to Rodimus proper, and parts his lips to say something that clumsily changes to, "You're not covered in insect limbs. I told you."
Rodimus is, in fact, _blisteringly_ shiny. He looks in better shape than he has -- well, nearly since he was reforged. Possibly even including that. After all, on being reforged, he immediately spent days in the wilderness with Chimera trotting around through storms and the wilds. So. Yeah! No insect limbs.
He smirks. "It was still gross, Prowl. Sorry you ended up with some -- ugh. Hair. Or whatever. Just." He breaks off, and doesn't quite say the obvious: who wins, who _won_ in a choice between Minimus and Prowl.
Prowl disables the light bloom setting in his optics so Rodimus' highlights simmer down. "I'm sure I would've dove to save my ex, too. Speaking of... Where did you get those tickets? And what sort of favor are you expecting?"
Rodimus looks briefly flustered, like he dove to save Minimus for anything as silly as FEELINGS -- then, thinking VERY CAREFULLY about actually arguing that point, almost sulks. "Think of it as an apology for letting you get gunked."
Prowl grins. "It was just a few hairs, but thanks. Can't say I enjoy fonts in general but... should be good for Minimus. Possibly even fun. We'll see."
Then, as if this gesture from Rodimus was the toll for compliance, Prowl adds Starscream to his meeting schedule. "What are we going to do with the Quintessons?"
Wrinkling his nose, Rodimus contains his skepticism on the fun front. It's a wrinkle that grows into a broader expression of disgust. "Light them on fire?" Just a suggestion.
Prowl is quiet as he seriously considers the murder option. He nods, slowly. Yes, we can make this work...
Rodimus reaches over and taps the table in front of Prowl. Hard. "Prowl. Prowl, don't set the Quintessons on fire. Fantasize about it. Devote large portions of your processor to imagining how it would work as a nice mind-clearing exercise. But do not. Do it."
Prowl jerks from his flaming reverie. "No, no. Of course not. They violated the Tyrest Accord, so... I suppose they're going to trial. But the sort of tech that they managed to get away with..." He catches Rodimus' gaze. "Not great. Catastrophic, even. Counting on Ten and Cosmos here..."
"I wonder what their plan was, where we'd be now, if you hadn't managed to wipe their control button." Rodimus taps his own chest, spark and Matrix buried beneath. "We're split, now, with Megatron and the Quints and a hundred other things to chase. Would it be some kind of freaky Quint-puppeted Megatron instead?"
"Lunatic," is all Prowls says of Megatron. "Did you read the reports? He's trying to bring culture back. Culture! After he'd done everything in his power to wipe it out. It's offensive. I might've preferred Quint-controlled Megatron."
“Suddenly I feel a need to retire and go artist. There’s an artist inside of me just dying to get out.” Rodimus seems perfectly serious. Naturally, this means that he isn’t. “I think my featured choice of subject is going to be Megatron, possibly dismembered, possibly just decapitated. Maybe some little stylized bits of flame. You know, something subtle.”
Prowl looked about ready to tear off into a negative, brooding stalk again, but Rodimus catches his focus with disguised comedy. It confuses him enough to make him pay attention. He laughs, in the end, short and sharp, and when his amusement fades, he looks on Rodimus from a slightly different angle, so to speak. "You're holding together pretty well."
Rodimus: Prowl, don’t set Quints on fire.
Also Rodimus: Mmm, Megatron on fire.
“You think I’m joking?” Rodimus asks, offense melting into a grin. “Okay, I’m joking. Anyway, someone has to hold together. I don’t know. This is a bump on the road, Prowl. The spasm of a dying thing. The war is over and Megatron is irrelevant. I’m pissed about the newbuilds. Maybe not me, but why not embed some of our own as newbuilds in this flourishing art scene. As agitators. As disruptors.” No one has more rebellion in their spark than young artists. “Build on our information campaigns. And when he comes down in it, he shows himself.”
Prowl leans in a little. "You... want to do some ground-level rabble-rousing?" He steeples his index fingers and presses them against his lip, thoughtful. "I'm not opposed, but... the "coming down" part would probably involve death, if Megatron found out where these artists came from."
”Tell me that’s not a spec ops operation, from the ground up,” Rodimus says as he leans in further. “They know what they’re getting into. And you know what our people are capable of. Any action we take against him, especially if it’s on his own territory—” His eyes drift towards the city projected on the table. “—has a chance, a risk, for the people who are taking that action. I’d do it. In an instant.”
"I know you would." Prowl's features twist as he buckles down on the thought. "Let me... see about sharpening this idea. Jazz and Mirage would be good for it. I don't want to send anyone else into New Iacon until Hound and Soundwave are out."
"Why not?" Rodimus asks -- at first sharp, then (not quite gentling, but subsiding) quieter. "Why not, Prowl? We can't attack Megatron one strike at a time. We need to hit him on all sides. Even -- especially -- when he doesn't know."
Prowl, for once, doesn't have numbers to back him up. He just has a gut feeling, a nervousness that fumbles into a muttered response of, "Too risky." But there's clearly a part of him that agrees with Rodimus' approach. As usual, he looks conflicted.
Rodimus laughs outright. "_Prowl._"
"...What!" Prowl straightens in his seat to look indignant.
"Why are _you_ telling _me_ that it's too risky? How do you think we're going to win this? Asking him?" Rodimus spreads his hands across the display. "Do you think there won't be casualties as a result of this?"
"No..." Prowl's fingers curl against the table. "I'm aware of the risk of casualties..." He looks from the display to Rodimus, and slowly rises to stand. "You're ordering this? You, as the Captain?"
Those words check Rodimus just a moment and make him really examine the past ten minutes. He says -- he says, "_Yeah,_" in the end. "I want you to examine the idea, take it seriously, show me the projections. Why are you hesitating, though?"
Prowl's doors tilt in what might be relief. "I'll run the numbers." This said like he can't wait to run the numbers. Rodimus' question goes unanswered as Prowl swipes the displays and all of their notes into his datapad and pushes away from the table. "Going to wrangle Starscream. Good talk."
"You do the numbers, I'll do the wrangling. Let's play to our strengths, huh? And let's be real -- you're, uh." Rodimus thinks about how to say this diplomatically. "Better with numbers."
After too long a pause, he adds, "Than I am."
Prowl... fingerguns. Small, subtle fingerguns. "No complaints here. If he agrees, let me know and I'll start working on the plan for air support." His lingering fingergun turns into a little salute.