As the restorative justice movement has begun many mechs have stepped forward. War criminals, murderers, petty thieves- all have confessed and received their rulings. There is one mech that stands out amongst the crowd of wrongdoers. Doesn’t stand out may be more accurate. With far less excitement than those previously sentenced, Ring-- Rung of Pious Pools steps forward.
Once reminded of who that is the few present exchange glances as the small mech approaches the stand. What could this tiny orange mech possibly have to confess?
Rung speaks as the little noise in the room dies down. "Several million years ago I served on the Fateful Archetype before it crashed." A wave of silence goes through the confused listeners. "And during the crash." Muttering begins to rise behind Rung. How was Rung there? Didn't that crash kill everyone aboard? Wait there WAS a single survivor! It was him?
"I- One moment please. This is… hard to speak of after all this time.” Especially to so many present. Rung starts again, “I mourn the death of my crew and those I served with but because of their deaths I was able to keep my most carefully guarded secret." Rung takes a deep breath. It rattles his vents as he releases it. "I, Rung of Pious Pools, have been illegally practicing psychiatry for the last 3 million years.
"During my time on the fateful archetype I was under suspicion of growing too close to patients. My superiors didn't like how we interacted, evidently. I was accused of malpractice and brought before a tribunal. They disbarred for my 'inappropriate relations' with those I’d been asked to help. I was in the brig awaiting my sentencing to be sent up the chain of command when the ship was shot down. I don’t know how I survived but I did. The rest of the crew didn’t. The crash took any knowledge of my tribunal to the graves. I didn't breathe a word of this to anyone aside from my former friend, Froid.”
Rung frowns as the other mech’s name leaves his lips, “He then used my secret to blackmail me until his disappearance. He stole my life's work, which he renamed as the Froidian Classification System, and dragged my reputation through the muck to the point I felt the need to leave Cybertron after the war ended. I’ve held this secret longer than some mechs have lived... and I decided now was the time to let the darkest part of my past go.
"If you are looking for an apology or regret you wont find them here." Rung's helm snaps up. The glasses burn with the stubborn determination of his optics. "To the day I die I will fight the decision they made, I know I was not inappropriate or unprofessional with my patients. They were simply too daft to see it. I kept my secret because I knew I was able to do more and since then I have. I'm not sorry, but I know now is the time for the past to be laid to rest so it doesn't continue to haunt our futures. If requested I will release all my patient files for review, but only into the hands of another licensed psychiatrist unless permission is granted by the patient themselves. I will not break their confidentiality. " Rung’s hands fold behind together as he meets the eyes of every committee member before him, “So decide what you will.”
When the files are requested for review the console they are downloaded to nearly crashes. There are thousands. Thousands who don’t even seem to recall who Rung is.
An incoming recording is routed to the inboxes of everyone on the Lost Light's crew roster, including command and even some who have been gone. There is a rather large attachment with it, but the origin stifles any fears of malware.
Even with the lab in disarray it's easy to tell which one it is; the botany lab and Skystalker are unmistakable things that bloom as the recording opens.
"Hello, everyone." Skystalker is looking particularly polished, and there have been some delicate touch-ups to his paint; pale golden lines along seams, framing eyes, standing out as faint shimmers on his armor and wings. The flush of color in his biolights is bright, along with his eyes. His hand lifts in a greeting from the desk, and his lips pull up into a subdued grin. "Firstly--"
"I wanted to say things to so many of you, and I will undoubtedly make some personal visits… but I just need to speak and get some things off of my chest before I wimp out." Skystalker pauses, adjusting his wings in a tilt and sweep downward, resting there. "We've come so far together, in all of this. When I joined this crew, I wasn't sure I would be of much use. But I couldn't bear to stay on Cybertron. It hadn't been my home for so long… and all I saw were ghosts. So I ran, like I did before."
"Contrary to popular belief, neutrals didn't always run out of cowardice. We are brave too. Some of us ran out of fear. Or despair. Or even hope for something out there that wasn't war. Hid away. We longed for a home where we could be at peace, and a great number of us took sides even if not badges. I was one of them, so I know." The spacer's slender hands fold on the desktop, lacing fingers together as he considers his words. Clearly he has practiced this, but there remains an uncertainty. "I was born outside of Nyon. I was a rebel. I fought, back then. I spied for us when I was drafted by the Senate. I brought back intel. I agreed with Megatron's first words of equality, his writing. Obviously, that didn't last. When Nyon was destroyed I was in Iacon. I returned to slag and ruin. Everything collapsed after that, and I flew as fast and as hard as I could, remembering how I was forged on the highest peak on Cybertron and reaching for those same stars."
"Not long after that, I was trapped and sold into slavery by an alien trader. Freedom wasn't meant for me, at least at the time." Skystalker's eyes turn downward, all too aware that his own story wasn't something he told everyone. It lingered, sometimes, but it was never something he shouted from the rooftops. "The first years I remember vividly. After a point, time blurred. There are periods which I remember as if they happened yesterday, and others where I only recall emotions, colors, snapshots, attempts on my own life. I had no home once I left Cybertron, and I would not get another until our war ended. Before it did, I escaped-- I had heard much about the turning tides between Decepticons and Autobots, and… I suppose it inspired me to try and get away one last time."
"I was free, finally, because of that last attempt. If it hadn't worked…" Amber eyes harden, along with the lines of his mouth. Skystalker pauses another moment, vents quiet. "The war ended, and I went back. But nothing there was familiar. No faces, no places, nothing. I felt like an alien. I knew no-one until I came to sign up for this mission--" A smile flickers. "--and then I found Rodimus holding the list. How could I not? He was the only thing left of what I remembered."
The rest is history, in a sense.
"This ship became my //home//. All of //you// became my home. I had been free but I did not taste freedom until I looked down on Cybertron as we left. I was afraid, yet I learned that you need to let your faith be bigger than your fear."
"Here on the Lost Light, I have felt an //indescribable// joy that I've never known before." It is here that Sky's facade of togetherness cracks some; he smiles, however, motes of light shining from his eyes, wings lifting. "I was accepted, despite everything. I was supported. Loved. I found myself-- my real self. Not the slave, masked by millions of years of forced compliance." He stops, vents spiking audibly before he is able to compose himself.
"Whatever happens next, I love all of you. I will always be here for you, as you have been for me."
"I hate goodbyes, so you won't get one." Skystalker's smile brightens through his emotions, scattering the shadows from his face. "I'm going to help the Knights rebuild. It will be a place of peace and welcome. It will be a piece of this ship, and this mission, made real-- and all of you are welcome there. To find your own peace, if you need it."
"I've left a copy of all of my work on Cybertron. Devisiuns have agreed to go and help the engineers and scientists there oversee the crop transference to the planet. I believe that with both halves together, maybe we have a //real// chance for Cybertron to purify itself and generate energon again. The same for Caminus, and every other colony out there. Even if you never liked my gross plants, these crops are our future too. I have hope that we can figure this out together."
"Don't be a stranger, never with me."
"Oh, and Captain?" Skystalker leans into the feed, eyes narrowing in mirth. "You may have led us here, but to me you will always be my forge-brother, and I feel it in my spark when I am around you. I have faith that many of your crew believe the very same after this journey."
"As I said. No goodbyes. Only 'see you again soon'." Skystalker takes a moment to sit up and lift his wingspan with pride. "I've attached something for each of you. It's my symphony. I've worked on it for years, and I am finally proud of it. It is for all of you, and it is for this home I've had."
"I lost //my// light. You helped me find it again."
"Skystalker of the Lost Light, out." His smile is a brilliant thing, warm and full of love.
//[attachment: compressed file: LostLightSymphony/comp.mic.allmovements/final.mic]//
CHARTER of the JUSTICE COMMISSION of the COUNCIL OF WORLDS
1. BE IT RESOLVED as of this day of the galactic calendar that we as a governing body acknowledge the bloody history of our people. For millions of years, Cybertron has been at war. The weight of that history surpasses the ability of any individual to make restitution or redress. This may serve as a legislative finding that retribution and punishment for crimes committed by individuals during that four million year period serves no legitimate deterrent purpose. We, as a people, recognize that were we to require removal from the community of each criminal act defined in law or treaty, there would simply no longer be a community from an individual actor might be removed.
2. IN THE INTERESTS of restoration of our people and for restitution to our own planet and to the galactic community at large, a COMMISSION FOR JUSTICE is hereby formed, to be selected according to the following principles:
(a) Voting Members, 10 representatives of the Colonies of Cybertron, selected by the Council of Worlds; 2 representatives of the Cybertronian Galactic Fleet, selected internally according to Fleet protocols; and 1 representative of the Cybertronian justice system, selected by the Acting Chief Justice.
(b) Advisory Members: 1 representative from the Office of the Chief Justice, to wit, the Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord; 1 representative selected from the governing board of the Cybertronian Medical and Therapeutic Trauma Directive. (MTTD).
(c) Petitioning Members: 2 representatives of the Galactic Council Diplomatic Advisor Task Force (DATF), who will have no authority to vote or offer advisory opinions, but may petition for correction or redress to individual restorative solutions to ensure that restitution to the broader galactic community is not overlooked.
1. Petitions for relief to the Justice Commission include the identity of the petitioner, a brief summation of their wrongful acts (no more than one page), and an estimated time for hearing. The Justice Commission will review each petition to determine appropriate docket lengths.
2. At hearing, the petitioner be duly sworn under penalty of perjury and will put forward a factual summation of their conduct, their estimation of the damage to the victims, and any suggestions they have as to appropriate restitution that may be made. Each voting member of the panel and each advisory member of the panel may inquire of a petitioner for up to 30 minutes (per). If questioning is not concluded, voting members may agree to extend the time to request information.
3. Once the fact-finding portion of the hearing is concluded, all members may suggest appropriate restorative measures that may be taken, including the petitioner. No suggestion will be rejected without due consideration. The goals of restoration that must be balanced are:
(a) the measure of harm to persons, property, or society effected by the petitioner;
(b) the measure of remorse demonstrated by petitioner;
(c) any prior attempts at restitution or redress made by the petitioner;
(d) mental health or therapeutic records provided by or for the petitioner;
(e) the need to build a functioning, effective, restored Cybertronian society;
(f) the best interests of and continuing well-being of the petitioner;
(g) the best interests of and continuing well-being of Cybertron;
(h) respect for the integrity of the process.
4. If consensus is reached upon a solution that successfully balances these concerns and achieves the goals of restoration, the petitioner will sign a restoration agreement with the Justice Commission whose provisions may be enforced under the laws of contract and civil responsibility per the Cybertronian legislature, with a special enforcement provision through the Office of the Chief Justice, which will monitor and render assistance to the approved petitioner.
5. If no consensus can be reached within a reasonable time, the petitioner’s request for relief may be rejected by the panel without prejudice with an opportunity to refile.
6. If the majority of the panel believes that it is not possible to balance the goals of the Commission with respect to an individual petition, and agrees that a petition must be rejected with prejudice, the petitioner has a right of appeal to the Office of the Chief Justice within 30 days of the result. If a petition is rejected and the appeal is not granted, the petitioner’s only measure of redress is through the ordinary recourse of the criminal justice system.
TO: Minimus Ambus, Hound, Prowl, Autobot High Command
I write to you to resign my commission as Autobot Chief Medical Officer, effective at the end of the stellar cycle. I have held this position since the inception of the Autobot army, and it is time that I step aside. I urge you to consider First Aid to replace me. He has demonstrated all the qualities of an excellent doctor and officer and I believe would effectively execute the duties of the position.
It has been the honor of my life to provide what aid and comfort I can to the common Autobot soldier, whose sacrifice and suffering has earned us this moment. I urge this Command, which has my utmost confidence and admiration, not to forget that sacrifice as you guide our race to peace, at last.
Ratchet of Protihex
When the transmission starts, it's at a diagonal, only to be righted around-- and around-- and around again--
"That's not for you, let it go..." Skystalker's voice is muffled against the bump and shuffle of something against the input; the recorder gets held aloft, tipped down at Skystalker, who is now looking up with the crankiest face he can muster. It's not really that effective. Instead of trying to jump for it, he moves off camera and wrestles it away from a flailing tentacle, which fills the screen around his face when he sits down upon one of Unoe's coils.
"Sorry." comes flustered, and Skystalker gets slightly edged up against the frame as the plant's maw comes in on the other side. It clicks and rumbles, unintelligible though somehow one gets the feeling that it's curious. Or maybe he just knows what's happening, it's hard to tell.
"I definitely //hear// the crazy part." Skystalker puts his hand up under Unoe to guide the head away again. The flail of tendril stops too, settling with a faint rustle. "I hadn't heard from you after you landed... but then I didn't hear anything from the planet either, so I tried not to worry." His armor is a fine sheen and even his features seem to have been dusted with a golden shine; the lights in the ceiling glimmer off of him, and he even shows off an angling of his hand and wrist. "There's a bit of a touchup craze going on here, but I think part of it is a little supernatural. I'll explain later. I could hardly believe it all when I heard it..." The spacer trails off a little, only to orient a dazzling smile at the camera.
"... I'm glad to hear you're on your way back." The warm color of his optics deepens to a rich orange amber, and there's a small lean into focus. "Don't talk like that, you'll jinx yourself and the rest of those good mechs. And I do-- want to come, I mean. Right now things are pretty... tense here. Lots of command and captain and fleet meetings, and I've been working on some things with the others to do repairs to Metroplex, but there's only so much I can do before I start getting in the way. Repairs on the crew have been going well, too."
"But the crops? I've worked on them so long that all I need now is to plant them and record the results... and maybe they could take on that planet too. I've taught some newsparks about them, and they seem to love it." After some rambling on, Skystalker seems to focus again when he mentions the newsparks, folding his hands up in front of his face with a laugh.
"Make it back soon, alright? I want to meet your knights. And maybe...maybe we can see if anyone else wants to come? We can be away from Cybertron while things calm down. Figure it out, you know?" Skystalker's biolights hum with a rosy hue. "I love you too. Don't drink yourself stupid if you haven't already. Daybreaker will tell me if you did."
Will it? Is that a thing? Unfortunately it's a cliffhanger, because Sky waves his fingers as the message cuts.
The feed begins with a shot taken from inside the Daybreaker. Music can be heard playing from another room, and a layer of smoke envelops the room. Drift waves some of it away with a hand before centering the camera on himself. He grins and one can practically smell the enerhol wafting off of him through the video.
"Heeeeey! Sorry for the late correspondence, things have been kind of crazy over here."
Uproarious laughter is heard and Drift smiles at something off camera.
"We just got the news about Megatron so we're having a little ship party thing. Sucks you're not here with us! But! But.. it's okay because I'm coming back and the knights? The ones from the desert? They're coming back with me!"
He waves his hands at the camera. "Just for a bit! I want to stop by the fleet and grab those swords and say my goodbyes and all that stuff before heading back out. Also, you if you're still down to come back with me. I figured we could grab Unoe and any other botany related stuff you wanted to bring with you. I had Wedge and Slipknot clear out some room on the ship so we could fit everything."
His eyes widen and he leans towards the camera. "You don't know who they are, but you will! I've been talking you up like crazy, everyone's super excited to meet you!"
In the background, a rather bulky tan helicopter-former walks past holding what appears to be some kind of water filled smoking apparatus. He quickly realizes Drift is filming and slowly backs out of frame.
"Aaaannnyyywaaaaay, that's it for now I guess. We're still a few days away from the fleet but we're getting there. I'll see you real soon!"
Drift pulls the camera close. Real close. His face takes up the entire feed. "I'm sure you already know this, but just in case something happens.. I love you."
"Awww, that's so fucking cute," the helicopter can be heard saying off camera. Drift laughs, embarrassed, and turns off the feed.
FROM: Minimus Ambus
SUBJ: Re: Agenda of Command Meeting 12092018
You said that you aren't a soldier. I understand. Many have been called to service in this army who are not soldiers, or who would be other than soldiers given an option in a universe with fewer wars.
I am. I have always been. I am a soldier.
The badge represents all that I serve. In war, you have seen what it means. In peace, it remains. Duty, order, courage, freedom. It is worthy of honor and respect. It should not be cast aside as a symbol of mere division, because that was never what it was meant to be.
I understand that this is the path Autobot Command has chosen. I respect that you have the authority to make this choice, although I disagree profoundly with the choice. I am prepared to accept the consequences of my actions. I will report at 0600 on the morning of the effective date and go like a brother officer to the holding cell of your choice when you arrest me for insubordination.
I will not remove this badge.
Drift waits patiently for the signal to reach it's destination. Video chatting across planets tend to be a little slow and he's grown used to it after doing this every month. Finally the video feed stabilizes and he finds himself looking directly at another mech with bits of animal kibble hanging off of him.
"Drift!' the animalformer chirps happily, his grin unnaturally large. "How the hell are ya? OH! Before you ask, yes, your money order went through just fine. We really appreciate you doing that, by the way, the nomadic lifestyle is a lot easier when you don't have to beg for basic supplies."
Drift smiles, though it lacks it's usual charm. "Glad to hear it, but that's not what I'm calling about. Have you heard the latest about Megatron?"
"Besides about him being a huge bastard? Yeah, scuttlebutt around the city is that he's targeting colonies now."
"Right." Drift leans forward, his expression serious. "I'm coming over there soon. I'm bringing the Daybreaker and you're all coming back to the fleet with me until we take care of him."
The mech on the screen laughs and waves a clawed hand. "You serious? Come on, we can handle a couple Decepticons no problem! We know this desert better than anyone, worse comes to the worse we just lose 'em in the dunes! You don't have to make the trip all the way out here, we're not some damsels in distress that need to be rescued any time something bad happens." He leans forward, chin propped up on his hand. "But I know it's in your nature, what with being a dashing hero and all."
Drift frowns. "I'm serious, Wedge. I told you about Crystal City, you know what happened there. I can't let you guys get wiped out too, you and the others are too precious to me." He leans closer now, jutting a finger at the screen. "Do you understand? Stay out of the city until I get there and do not, under any circumstance, take any unnecessary risks!"
Wedge leans back. "Alright, alright! We'll stay hidden and out of trouble." He puts a hand over his spark. "Knight's promise."
Drift's expression softens and he allows himself a smile. "Thanks, Wedge. Give the other my regards."
"Of course. May Primus guide you."
"And you as well," Drift responds before cutting the feed.
Soundwave receives his response in written form, posted publicly for all to read. Megatron writes:
The purpose of allowing Decepticons to challenge the Supreme Leader for command was to encourage the Supreme Leader to remain sharp and focused on his ability to protect and advance the Decepticon cause. It was not meant to allow those who had forsaken the Decepticon cause to achieve via the law that which they failed to do through treason.
Nevertheless, it cannot escape my notice that a traitor and commander of the forces arrayed against the New Cybertron and my resurgent Decepticon Stellar Empire has volunteered himself for execution at my hands. Therefore, in the spirit of shouldering the burden of the fighting that must fall upon my Decepticons in this war, and in order to save the lives that would otherwise be wasted bringing the traitor Soundwave to his just and deserved punishment, I accept the challenge.
As challenger, I invite Soundwave to choose a neutral location for our battle. We will engage in unarmed combat. The winner shall be decided when one mech ceases to function or yields, at which point he will be at the mercy of the victor.
Megatron of Tarn
The audio file appears suddenly and spreads quickly. Anyone may access it, download it, and listen to it. As many times as, they wish. It’s addressed to all Cybertronians- no matter the faction or colony. And it is sent directly to Megatron himself.
It holds a recording of the following:
“Decepticons. Cybertronians. Megatron. This is Soundwave of the Lost Light and I ask you take just a few short kliks to stop and listen to me. For this might be the most important message you have heard in your life.”
“You are being deceived.”
“It was more than a statement. It was more than the truth. It was a call to arms, a call to tear the foundation of society away so the truth lay raw and bare: that we were ruled. That there was injustice. That we lived under constant threat of those who believed themselves greater than us. ‘’Better’’ than us. We would not stand for that. And thus, the pillars of the Decepticons were forged:
“Freedom. Justice. Peace. And equality.”
“We fought against a tyrannical rule, that placed a few above many. That conditioned us into believing this was as good as life could be for someone. That decided what we would do before we could discover what we wanted to do. They turned a blind-eye to our suffering so long as Cybertron was as they wanted. And to those who didn’t fit in their system? They were punished- swiftly and cruelly. With this constant threat hovering over the public like an executioner’s axe, they controlled us with fear.”
“But these demagogues and despots are gone. The Decepticons wiped them away. Cybertron is now free of tyranny! Its systems are just and fair. We are at peace and all or made equal. The Decepticon dream made reality. After four million years, we achieved it. We won.”
“Unfortunately… You are being deceived.”
“Megatron has told you all of this. Megatron would have you all believe it. Megatron. Is. Lying.”
“I ask you to look around, I ask you to wash the patina of complacency from your optics and see the truth. Megatron does not give you freedoms and choices- he gives ultimatums and restrictions to keep you controlled. Megatron’s justice is in the hands of a division of murderers and sadists who need scant little reason to torture and kill. Megatron’s pride has denied us peace again and again; he does not care for peace unless he is the controlling it.”
“The Decepticons have become what we desired to eliminate. Enamored by speeches, spurred by hate. We were too consumed that we never noticed the pyramid Megatron built out of us. And I’m ashamed to have allowed him to position himself at the top. I suppose we are all equal under Megatron. Because, to him, we are nothing more than tools for his rule.”
“This is not the world the Decepticons were told about. It’s not the world we were promised and it’s not the world we fought for. We don’t deserve this- we deserve better. Better than him. And I will no longer watch him destroy us.”
“I challenge you for leadership of the Decepticon Empire and all that entails.”
“You claim that we need you to make Cybertron great again? I disagree. I can only hope that this message- that my challenge against you, the Great Deceiver- will make every Decepticon, every Cybertron, see the truth:”
“We don’t need you.”
The stage is set for Megatron’s address. The hall where he took power months ago is bathed in a soft light that casts everything save for the stage and the area immediately in front of it in shadow. Deaddrop whizzes about in her drone form, checking every angle for the impending broadcast. Decepticons and newbuilds, all wearing the same badge, file into the open space. They do not crowd the podium. That space is given over to others: a series of coffins (not enough to reflect the true loss, but enough to confer just the right gravity on the assembly) draped in purple banners of steelsilk, each embossed with the Decepticon icon.
When the broadcast begins, cast out into the black for all, Cybertronian, Galactic, and all things inbetween, Megatron is already at the podium. He has been repaired since the recent battle, but he does not gleam: a bit of the fight remains with him, a patina of dried energon at the edges of his armor, a scratch or rough edge that dilutes the light. His crimson optics strike a contrast with the darker colors that surround him, drawing the eye to Megatron’s face. The crowd is silent.
“We gather here in the sight of the dead, so that they might bear witness to our resolve and ratify the course of action we now must take.” Megatron begins. “We should welcome this call, the culmination of our sacrifices, our preparation, and the ultimate test of our strength and our will. We were forged for this moment, and the time has come to seize it.”
The camera zooms out, showing Megatron in the context of the crowded hall. He is flanked by his lieutenants, Turmoil, Raptorion, Shockwave, and Terminus, each deep in shadow and their optics dimmed so as not to break the curtain of darkness that separates them from the light that seems to emanate from their leader. In that, they are like the others, rendered witnesses. There the frame is fixed until the conclusion of Megatron’s address.
“We honor our dead, who fell defending their home against a savage attack. For my Decepticons the events of these past cycles are all too familiar, a reminder of a crucible out of which too few emerged. For those recently forged, my condolences: you have received your first lesson of what war is. I had hoped to conceal this truth for you. Peace has always been my mission, yet I am cursed to be followed by war. Such is the burden of visionaries and liberators. So be it. I welcome the hatred of those who would see this world placed back into chains, who would sell its people to organic enemies who, even now, gather against us. We are here to steel ourselves, and to prevent, as much as we are able, a second cataclysm from engulfing our race. In this spirit, my appeal tonight is not just to this hall, but to the stars beyond, and all who care to listen. But before I confront this new war, I must address how it is we came to be where we are now, and why I must do what I will do and say what I will say.”
“Four million years ago I stood on this spot, in ancient Iacon, and with fewer followers than now gather in this hall cast down an order that had endured for a million years before I was forged. At first I was alone, with nothing but my words and my will. But through these things I gathered my first allies. To those who are deceived, there is no more powerful friend than the truth. And the truth was that from its inception civilization on our world was synonymous with slavery. Slavery to the gods, slavery to the Primes, slavery to their rotten legacy, slavery to the Senate, slavery to our very forms. And yet, no one could articulate this plain truth. It was forbidden to the point that even intelligent and caring mechs could not even conceive of it. We were, all of us, deceived.”
“I ended the deception. I persuaded even those who served our corrupt order that I was correct. Across Cybertron, the simple act of questioning who our so-called masters served, to whose interests they were accountable, and how they might be replaced, became an act of revolution. For our people were not enslaved through force of arms but through the erosion of their will: the strongest among us were convinced that they were weak. And, as it turned out, those who imagined themselves to be mighty surrounded themselves with walls of tin, gathered soldiers with armor made of gold, and wielded weapons eaten away by rust. The revolution swept them away before they realized what was upon them.”
“From where, then, came the war? All who heard my truth understood it and were moved by it. Miners lay down their tools, officers of the law openly embraced a righteous treason, soldiers took up arms against their comrades, recognizing them at last as their true enemies. I stood here, with a mech at my side who I once called a friend and a comrade in arms, and together we dealt the final blow to our corrupt masters. But he was enamored with their power and became enthralled by their symbols of domination, chief among them the Matrix, that symbol of divinity that has only ever brought delusions of superiority and dominion to its bearers. And so he claimed a divine mandate to unseat the power bestowed upon me by the people of Cybertron and the truth of my vision.”
“And so the war came. The greatest war ever fought, a war that spanned stars and ages, ground down civilizations, and nearly consumed our race. To the newly forged, I ask you to find a Decepticon who fought in the war and to ask them of their experiences. The hesitation before they speak of it, the moment of silence that lives in every survivor’s spark, can speak more to the war than I can in our short time here now.” Perhaps to express the silence that lives in him (and is rarely expressed) Megatron takes a moment and pauses his oration.
Once finished, Megatron picks up the thread, pivoting away from the war. “It was a stellar cycle ago that I returned, after our war, summoned to fight a threat out of our past so old that it lived outside of memory. And the tide against Unicron turned. I was content to leave, then, I will confess to you. My world, that I had fought so long to secure against all who would harm it, had been destroyed. It gave no life. But, as I wrote during the struggle against Unicron, by rising to the challenge and killing a god, we earned the right to begin anew. We became worthy of what we had accomplished, and now the Cybertronian race may once again rise, a billion sparks alighting on the surface of the miracle planet.”
“It was only a few months ago I entered this hall and dispossessed the pretenders who claimed the right to use this miracle to their own selfish ends. Now, when it appears that those forces, and others, would bring the scourge of war back to Cybertron rather than tolerate my guidance of our restored world, a world that belongs to you more than it ever did to them, I am compelled to explain why I have taken the measures that I have. For many of you, I describe events that occurred before you were forged. However, they were not so long ago.”
“When Cybertron returned to life, I heard again the call that led me to end the reign of the Senate and the Functionists and to end the threat posed by Unicron. It was responsibility, not ambition, that moved me. For I knew, intimately, the mech who appointed himself the leader of Cybertron. I saw the way that he created a forum of discord between Cybertron and her colonies, a vehicle for his ambitions more than a true governing council. I resolved that this new generation of Cybertronians would not be abandoned to incompetence, which would ensure another war when the inequities and depredations of a class dedicated only to its own survival and advancement, lacking the vision demanded by the miracle of our world’s rebirth, caused rebellion, strife, and violent conflict. I could not derogate my responsibility to my world. Though I had fought for millions of years, though I had faced down a god, I could not rest. I will never rest. I will never be complacent in the face of injustice.”
“And so I acted. Cybertron came to me because I willed it and my Decepticons made it so. We exiled the traitor and scattered his Council. In their place we have labored these past months on forming our own society, intent on building an example that would awaken the better nature of every Cybertronian spark. But it has now become clear that we will not be allowed our moment: rather than show another way, or build their own society, the deranged followers of yet another Matrix-bearer have brought war to our world. They have slaughtered our comrades, stolen a titan, and sowed the very destruction that they accuse me of fomenting. It has become clear that we must respond, if we are to preserve the way of life that we have only just begun to unveil.”
“In this, the law is on my side. Those who attack us are nothing more than outlaws, bandits, and traitors. I deposed the Senate. I cast out the Primes. If there is any legitimate authority on Cybertron it is my authority: the edicts of a usurper have no force, and a council convened under him has no power to bind any spark. In the wake of my victory over the Senate and the Primes, I established a new order, not just on Cybertron but across the stars. This, the Decepticon Stellar Empire, the mighty Constellate, presided over an unprecedented era of expansion and power for our people. The Cybertronian race was never greater than when Constellate fleets cyberformed alien worlds and smashed any organics who would oppose us. Alas, those days have gone, squandered by Autobot obstinacy and internal treachery. So it always is with empires: They can only be consumed from within.”
“So, to my new Cybertronians, I say: take heed! The Constellate rises again. And it does not rise alone. My power has derived entirely from the higher truths my words express and that live in my commands. And this is one of those truths: all Cybertronians belong to Cybertron. No matter how estranged, or changed by time, the eternal spark that burns within us all was made on Cybertron, and to Cybertron it shall return. We are all one, at creation and at the end.”
“And yet some have strayed from this truth. I have great love for the Colonies: They demonstrate the myriad potential of Cybertronian life, which knows no one mold or purpose. And yet, they too show the signs of a corruption that even now threaten to send them down our path, the path that has led to so much anguish and suffering. Caminus, a world worthy of being venerated as the foremost leader in Cybertronian arts and culture, is nonetheless enslaved by a veneration for the Primes that undermines its foundations. Eukaris, the definitive refutation of the Functionist dogma that beastforms are inferior to other frames, is itself embroiled by conflict between factions riven by organic notions of separateness and purpose that have no place in a race characterized by the eternal and universal spark. On Velocitron they exalt the altmode over the root and so have built their society on a shadow Functionism. More could be said, but all that need be understood is that the colonies themselves must be rescued by the Cybertron that gave them life.”
“And so I say this: the time has come to unite all Cybertronian peoples, not in a council that permits division, faction, and war, but under my leadership. All shall be one under Megatron. I invite the colonies to dispatch their delegates to Cybertron, as a sign that they accept their inherent and eternal position under the new Constellate. Cybertron is rich: we have more energon than we can burn, newsparks are forged every day, and the society we are building will serve as an example to all. These things can be shared with the colonies, if they only acknowledge Megatron as their leader.”
“We must unite for another reason. Much has changed these past millennia. The short-lived organics have met and, in some cases, surpassed Cybertronian technology. They remember our long war, and the scars we carved deep into their worlds, civilizations, and psyches. Now that the colonies have been discovered, there is no doubt that the rapacious organics, who must consume all that they see to fuel generation after expanding generation of growth, will turn their greed upon us, or seek to avenge the insults against their forebears. Only standing together can we resist the organic threat. Only under Megatron can we be strong enough to weather the coming storm and push back against the organic tide that gathers on our shores. Among our newbuilds are geniuses, artists, and creators. I have seen them, and embracing our new world will restore Cybertronian technology to its preeminent place and enable us to again assert ourselves as the dominant form of life in this galaxy.”
“If the colonies refuse to unite, and if the fleet organized to inflict terror on our world, which fears nothing more than our way of life, continues to oppose me, well. They have demanded war, and I shall give it to them, a hundredfold. A hammer will descend upon their worlds and their ships the likes of which has never been seen in our history, and all resistance shall be scorched away. I wish that I did not have to give this ultimatum. I wish that we could proceed upon our enlightened path, ignorant to the dangers that lurk in the dark, but that is not what fate has in store. We can only rise to the moment we are given, and in this struggle we must once again earn our right to live in accordance with the truth, as I have discovered it.”
“But I do not threaten war lightly. My hand is open, as it was to the present Matrix-bearer, who refused my offer of peace early in this conflict. But it cannot remain open forever. The world that I am building is a world for all. Not Decepticon or Autobot, Cybertronian or colonist, but for each of our mechanical brethren scattered across the stars. Let the Cybertronian diaspora come to an end, let these divisions that have afflicted us for so long be laid to rest. I do not bring war, I offer mercy and conciliation. But I will never compromise our strength or my will. If you come to build a new world with me, you will be accepted. If you come to infiltrate, undermine, sabotage, or make war, you will be destroyed. I am Megatron. I promise this, and nothing more.”
“Let us proceed then, in front of these honored dead, to rededicate ourselves to the cause for which their sparks, young and old, were snuffed. To our new Cybertron, to the new day that awaits our race, if we have but the courage to achieve it.”
With this, Megatron concludes his remarks. His name thunders within the halls, shouted by his most fervent supporters. Other speakers follow, exhorting Megatron as leader, conqueror, and visionary. Newbuilds led by Decepticons march in the streets as the sun sets, delivering the bodies of the dead to where they can be interred or recycled. When the dawn comes, Cybertron prepares for war.
HI RODMIUS how u doin?
Sorry you are on frie
in a thing to keep you from being on fried
sorry it is hard to type when i am drunk and have these claws I think right now I am a pinecone???? no thats not what its called srory
also I am drunk
but listen u might be bored there so I am gonna attach a drink 2 this message ur welcome!!!
why wont it let me
I WANT TO MAKE THE DRINK AN ATTACHMENT
RODIMUS HOW DO I ATTACH A DRINK TO THE MESSAGE LIKE U DO WITH PICTURES N STUFF
TO: Medical and Science Divisions
Effective immediately, all Quintesson parts (in particular tentacles) and technology are to be placed under medical quarantine. If you are working with Quintesson technology or biology, notify the medical division immediately and leave the Quintesson item in place. Someone from medical will be dispatched to take custody of the article. Under no circumstances is there to be any further testing of Quintesson parts until further guidance from Medical.
Ratchet of Protihex Chief Medical Officer, Lost Light
I am Quicksight of the Keiiar conflict, and I have been where you are now.
I was told the same things that you have been told. I have heard the stories of the times of Functionist oppression, of Megatron's valiant struggle against them, and of the rise of the Decepticons. I believed them with all my spark. I still do. But those things happened four million years ago. Things changed since then. People changed. The Decepticons after the war were much different than those that started it.
I was not forged, as you are, but constructed cold, my body built to spec and charged with my spark. I was built. I was not built as a person. I was not built to live, but to die. I was built as a weapon. The origin in my name is not a place, but a battle, a battle of a war that had lasted for millennia before it, and for millennia after. I was one among dozens like me, one of a batch of soldiers created specifically to fight that battle, and we were one batch among thousand. Each and every one of us was built for a single purpose: To fight, to take down as many Autobots as we could before we died ourselves. Death was always a certainty for us. Those of us who did not die in our first battle would die in the second, or the third, or the hundredth. We were not expected to survive. We were not meant to survive. To the higherups, we were simply weapons, cannon fodder to be thrown at the Autobot lines. That was the sole purpose of our creation.
We were not the first to be created with only one purpose prescribed to us at birth, but with any luck we are the last, for this is the sort of thing that we had been fighting against in the beginning. "Form dictates function" was the ideology of those in charge before the war, the Functionists. They declared that everyone's purpose was determined by the form of their bodies, and so, when they cold constructed mechs, they did so with the intention to prescribe a single purpose to them, before they even came online. This is what the whole fight began with, to ensure the right of all Cybertronians to be whatever they wished, free from persecution.
War, of course, necessitates sacrifices. War requires discipline, and a tight control on where resources go. There are, however, some things that should never be sacrificed: our morals and especially the very ideals we are fighting for. If we sacrifice those, how, with an honest spark, can we say that we are fighting for them? How are we any better than the Functionists and their belief that one can only be what they transform into when we ourselves build soldiers never meant to survive to consider being something else? How can we say that we stand for the right to choose what we do with our lives when the main purpose of the existence of the DJD is to put down anyone who dares try something else? How can we say that we are fighting for the rights of all Cybertronians when we ourselves are denied the most basic of those rights? What good does it do to vanquish the monster if, in the process we become a monster ourselves?
You have probably heard Decepticons like myself being called traitors. A few years back, I would have agreed with them. Several years ago, I still believed in the idealistic image the higherups painted: that we were still fighting for freedom, for justice, for equality, and anyone who did not toe the line was an enemy of everything good and just, that Megatron was the incorruptible spearhead of justice, and that everything he did was for the greater good. I was blinded for it. I did not stop to think, or look about me and see the world with my own optics, rather than simply take whatever I was told as the truth. I threw the word 'traitor' around liberally, and there are those on this ship who can confirm it.
I was being deceived.
I will not deny that there are traitors among us, but they are not solely among the rank and file. The corruption starts at the top, at the very peak. It starts with Megatron, who betrayed his ideals, his cause, and his people, for the sake of pride and power. The great Megatron who first stood up against the Functionist regime is no more. He was a casualty of four million years of war. The Megatron we see today is just another face to oppression and corruption. He has become that which he had fought against. We owe it to the Megatron of old to depose of him as he had of the Functionists if we wish to truly call ourselves Decepticons.
I do not mean that we should bow to Starscream, or Prowl, or Optimus Prime. A free peoples is not meant to bow to anyone. Four million years have passed since the Decepticons first rose up. Four million years is enough time to change anyone and anything, but there is nothing that says that we can not change back. There is nothing that says that we can not try again, do better this time. Some may call me an upstart for suggesting we go against the established system, but remember that four million years ago, the original Decepticons were seen as the same. We can go back to those ways. It is our right, nay, our obligation, as Decepticons to return to our roots, to start fighting for freedom and justice once more, and to not abide by any tyrant, no matter who he is.
Megatron's recent attack on the Lost Light demands retaliation and a show of power. We need to make sure he knows we're not going to be dealt with as easily as he thinks. Troops, an assault is coming. Be prepared. Run drills, keep in contact with our intelligence operatives and myself. Megatron has access to a space bridge and that puts him at an even greater advantage; this means attacks can come at any time, so be vigilant. If anyone wants to involve themselves in specific missions, volunteers are needed. And if anyone knows about anything we can use against Megatron, come to me.
-Fortress Maximus, Head of Combat
We looked into other timelines. There's a Shockwave out there who's unaltered, who is closest to my old teacher.
From what we saw, he's no better.
I might have looked too fast, though, or stopped too soon. I need to do a little more study myself. Not around him. He's dangerous as he is.
P.S. Rung is keeping an eye on me so I'm gonna be sober tonight.
[On Rodimus' desk, when he's able to look away from the...decorating job Trailbreaker and Starstruck have done, is a dataslug with a little note that says '4 ROD, <3 UR BEST BUDS' on it. When he plugs it into a monitor, he'll find there's only one file on it, and it's a video.]
Sounds of movement can be heard first, presumably the scrape of fingers against the camera, as well as some giggles.
“Hold on, I almost, almost got it--”
Starstruck's voice is easily recognizable, as is the slur to his words. After a moment, the video feed cuts in, displaying a bright-visored Trailbreaker in front of Rodimus' desk, a drunken grin on his face. Starstruck is quick to move in front of the camera to join him, sloppily throwing an arm around Trailbreaker's shoulders as he starts to speak.
“Heeeeeeey, Cap'n! Roddy Rod Rod, best captain EVER, we hope you like your new office!”
“It was Starstruck's idea!” This is proclaimed very proudly by Trailbreaker, who leans heavily against Star. Or maybe Star's leaning heavily on him. Or both. It's hard to tell.
“Teebs got the stuff though--”
“But Star thought of, of the poster, do you like it? I bet you do--”
“Oh he totally does I bet he LOVES it--”
“We should go to a beach and--”
“--and it's okay if you win, cuz, cuz we'll have lots of drinks after! And we can hang out--”
“--I'll bring the oil--”
“--and it'll be fun, yanno? You could really use some fun, Rodimus, I think, cuz of the whole Soundwave thing, um, sorry that's kinda my fault--”
“--and the shades, I'll bring those too--”
“--but it'll be okay, cuz we'll go to the beach and race and drink and it'll be reaaaaaal great.”
“Ho hum and a bottle of rum, a pirate's life for me!”
There is a brief period of time where they break into slurred, nearly incomprehensible song. With how loud they're singing, it's strange no one has burst in yet. Snatches of lyrics can be caught, mostly relating to pirates and rum and getting really drunk out on the ocean. Just as he'd started it, it's Starstruck who breaks off as something to the side catches his interest.
“Oh, oh, and Teebs brought you this! It's like, like, the coolest fuckin thing, Rod, Roddy boy, like, you'll love it, I know you will.” Tugging Trailbreaker by the arm, Starstruck waves his hand in a broad gesture, seemingly to point out the lava lamp sitting on the edge of Rodimus' desk. Bright orange lava bubbles and floats slowly inside the glass of the lamp. Starstruck bends to get a closer look, a dreamy expression crossing his face.
“Teebs, Teebs, Teebs isn't this like. The fuckin coolest thing. The coolest fuckin. Thing. Teebs.”
Trailbreaker, practically slumped over the front of the desk, also stares at the lava lamp.
“Yeah...wow....it's so...relaxing? Relaxing. And colorful! Rodimus will like it, right?”
“Totally dude, toooootally.”
For the next five minutes the two stare at the lava lamp, taking turns touching it and exclaiming at the heat of it before giggling and repeating the process. Eventually, Trailbreaker leans too far forward and nearly falls over, and this seems to break them out of it.
“Whoa, Star, I think, uh...wait, what else were we gonna d—oh yeah!”
Turning back to the camera, Trailbreaker beams. “Fireflight and Lie---Ten. Little guy. Yeah. They say hi too!”
Trailbreaker goes to give Starstruck a high five, and they both fail, missing completely. The next thing he says is inaudible as Star moves back to the camera, and the audio and video both cut out at the same time.
Hello, Prowl! I hope this evening finds you well. I apologize for the late nature of this report, I have been kept busy with multiple projects and may have been a little hung over from Bulkhead and Wheeljack's ceremony. Nonetheless.
First of all, congratulations! You are extremely venomous. To organics, not us. Please be careful not to bite any organics. Being able to produce your own venom is a very interesting trait for a Cybertronian body to have! Also, your radiation treatments will help reduce the bio-organic mutations over time. In the meantime, I hope you are adjusting well to your arachnid properties. Did Sequin help? He is a dear, no?
Also, in regards to the nanomachine-Energon Magnifica enhancement treatments. I've attached some more data. Unfortunately, Whirlwind started experiencing aggression spikes, lashing out and even showing violent tendenices, alarming in someone ordinarily so meek. I was able to reduce the problem significantly by absorbing some of the nanomachines, though it has altered my own frame. For now I think we should shelve the project or at least wait until I am able to further examine the cause of this problem.
Let me know if you need anything else!
-Nightshade, Grand Butterfly of Cybertron, Magnificent Swallowtail of Steel, etc. etc.
Talked to Shockwave. He is, as I expected, unrepentant. He also seemed convinced that he would have made the same decisions or similar ones even with his emotions. When I asked him how he knew that, he claimed it was an unanswerable question. But it isn't! We have the Lens that lets us see into other timelines. He is interested in seeing this for himself. I want permission to show him myself, through a very restricted and supervised method, making sure we're not giving him more information than we need. But if this is the way to reach him, to see once and for all if restorative justice can work even on Shockwave, this is it.
Also of note: Orion's unaccounted for by Shockwave's group, last seen going into Quintession space. :(
Thanks for letting me pursue this, by the way. Especially after all that's happened. It's a lot, I know. I'm here for you.
ur a good guy ok :) :) :)
I have reviewed the patient file for a recent medical emergency involving total loss of brain module due to explosive trauma. Under normal circumstances this injury is all but fatal. The patient file discloses that Doctor First Aid, assisted by Nurse Vortex and Surgical Aide Spinister, responded rapidly, appropriately, and creatively to this medical emergency. Doctor First Aid performed a surgical intervention, assisted by Nurse Vortex and Surgical Aide Spinister, to transplant a cold brain module under circumstances where the patient's spark was undergoing cascading pulse failure leading to imminent collapse. To perform this procedure under the circumstances required significant skill and is an exemplary application of medical training and knowledge. It is therefore appropriate that this CITATION OF MERIT be and hereby is placed in their permanent personnel records.
--Ratchet of Protihex, Chief Medical Officer (Autobot Army), Co-Chief Medical Officer (Lost Light).