Log Title: A Difficult Decision
Location: Autobot Underground Base, Decepticon World universe
Date: October, 2013
TP: What If...
Summary: Jetfire is brought to a meeting with the leaders of the Autobots. There he outlines the plan he and Bumblebee have come up with. Gradually, the group comes to a sobering realization; someone must die to ensure the future of the Autobots.
Jetfire is led into the Autobot structure by Bumblebee. Actually, it's only Bumblebee and a few high-ranking Autoobts. Perceptor is in attendance. The Autobots give a guarded look at Jetfire.
Jetfire looks at Bumblebee and smiles cautiously.
DW-Bumblebee waves at his fellows, trying to reassure them. "It's alright, this one can be trusted. He wants to help us." He's doing his best to seem authoritative. "I ask that you trust me on this - you believe me, don't you Perceptor?"
Jetfire, true to his word, hands over the drone recording - a backup he made for himself.
Perceptor looks at Bumblebee, "Well - it's futile to worry about it now. If he's here - the other Decepticons are bound to follow."
Jetfire says in a resigned tone "If you were to see what I saw on Earth, you would know why Im' doing this."
Jets just handed over his recording with Megatron - they were at the outpost where 300 empty Autoobt laser cores reside. Now in Decepticon control. Jetfire can be seen bragging with Megatron. Right now, it's just Magnus, Bumblebee, and Perceptor and Jetfire.
DW-Bumblebee can't help but chuckle at Perceptor's logic. "Well, I suppose you're right. Have a seat, Jetfire." he says, gesturing for the large Decepticon to get comfortable. "I... I'm still not comfortable with what happened, but... Megatron trusts you, now?"
Jetfire looks over at Perceptor and Ultra Magnus. "OK, Bumblebee asked me to come here. Initially, he was saying that the Autobots were going to mount a full-scale final attack on the space bridge. That - I guarantee is a suicide mission - less than a 6 percent chance of survival."
Ultra Magnus says, "Do you have another suggestion?"
Jetfire nods at Bumblebee "I've been promoted - to what...I don't know - but it's more responsibility. I... still...can't get to the space bridge though. That will require...more 'success' on my part." He looks on at Ultra Magnus "And more losses on your part." He nods, looking at Bumblebee, "May I?"
Ultra Magnus leans forward, looking tense.
DW-Bumblebee nods, slowly. "Go ahead, Jetfire."
Jetfire folds his hands, "The space bridge, as you know - is the Decepticons main hub of transporttation - it can transport supplies and personnel nearly instantaneously from one planet to another." He sighs "If...IF - I can get access to the Space Bridge via promotion - " He looks at Bumblebee, Perceptor and Ultra Magnus - "I could arrange transport to Nebulous - I could PROBABLY do three transports before the Decepticons show up - maybe 75 Autobots per transport - " He looks at Magnus, "And on the last transport - I detonate the Space Bridge - it would erase the record of WHERE the Autobots were transferred." He looks at Perceptor and Bumblebee, then Magnus, "When the Decepticons figure out what happens and try to build a new space bridge and pull up the schematics, they'll see a time-loaded virus I loaded - which will not only destroy any knowledge of building a space bridge, but any history - so in essence, you would be free, but you would be away from Cybertron until you are able to mount an effective counter attack." He looks at Bumblebee, then Magnus, then Perceptor. "But...a cautious estimate - would say that could take hundreds, if not thousands of years - but at least you would be able to regroup." He adds "The Nebulous people are friendly, but you can make absolutely no interstellar travel - you don't want the Decepticons finding out where you are."
Jetfire adds "With this approach, I've calculated a strong...40 percent chance of success. As opposed to a full-out blitz assault."
Ultra Magnus nods. "It's audacious. But how long 'til you can be promoted enough to get access to the Space Bridge?"
Jetfire adds "The space bridge is minimally protected right now, but the boarding would have to take place quickly - and at least three seekers may be in the area, you would almost have to kill them instantly before they can radio."
Jetfire shakes his head. "I...am not sure - I just got promoted - but... " He sighs "The more information I feed Megatron, the more likely I'll gain favor." Jetfire looks at Ultra Magnus and says sadly "If you leave, you will NOT come back until you can mount an effective counterstrike, is that clear? If the Decepticons EVER found out you were on Nebulous - they would kill not only you, but the inhabitants."
Ultra Magnus nods. "It's getting more difficult sustaining small losses for the purposes of counter-espionage."
DW-Bumblebee sighs. "Jetfire... Jetfire says he will stay behind, after the bridge is destroyed." he mentions. The poor bot looks upset over all that's happened - and all that will come to pass.
Jetfire looks at Ultra Magnus "But if you depart - it's only a matter of time before Megatron discovers the tomb of Optimus Prime and Alpha Trion." He nods to BUmblebee "That is why I am recommending that you... 'move' them - to the space bridge, to Nebulous - so they can have a temporary resting place there - and then when you reclaim Cybertron, officially lay him to rest." He adds "Otherwise, when you leave, it's only a matter of time before Prime becomes part of Megatron's museum pieces."
Jetfire nods. Jetfire says, "I would prefer to go, but it's too risky."
Ultra Magnus looks to Bee. "You know I was closer to Prime than almost anyone, but transporting their bodies may be too difficult. I wouldn't want to risk any of our fewer remaining living to protect the dead. Better that we destroy the bodies ourselves to keep them out of Decepticon hands.
Jetfire thinks. "I could... possibly arrange - " He thinks "get some drone - DRONE - not actual Decepticons - to begin hauling debris from the Temple of Knowledge." He adds "If a storage crate was large enough - if we could obtain two of them, I could...transport them as close to the space bridge as possible. No one is going to be supervising my work - IF I get to that position."
DW-Bumblebee frowns at Magnus's suggestion. It didn't feel right. "Maybe if we collapsed the Temple?" he suggests. "Everything that was of value has already been relocated. If the Temple collapses, I can't imagine Megatron shifting through the rubble."
Perceptor chimes in "Normally, I would say wasting resources on the dead is a luxury we don't have - but he was our leader. And as Jetfire says - we can give both of them a fitting memorial on Nebulous until we are able to take back Cybertron."
Ultra Magnus looks from Jetfire to Bee. "Both sounds dangerous. If one of those crates were opened, not only would we lose Prime to Megatron, but your cover might be blown."
Jetfire nods. "These are just my suggestions."
Jetfire looks at Perceptor, Ultra Magnus, and Bumblebee. "Bumblebee suggested Sky Lynx hide out in a neighboring planet and then fly to Nebulous - I emphatically am against this. If this succeeds, Megatron is going to be so consumed by rage - he will monitor EVERY interstellar travel activity. If one leads to Nebulous - all of this is futile. Megatron will send his armies, and all of you will be killed."
Ultra Magnus looks to Bee. "And if Megatron thinks there might be something of value left in the Temple's remains, I can't imagine he won't have the Constructicons dig down to the bedrock."
Jetfire looks at Magnus, Bumblebee, and Perceptor. "I mean this though - you cannot even THINK of making a stealth run back to Cybertron. The Decpeticons - if this works - will NOT know what planet you are on - that could buy you hundreds, possibly thousands of years."
DW-Bumblebee sighs, knowing that the others were looking to him to decide. "Is it worth the risk? Prime wouldn't want us to risk everything for his body..." He looks between the assembled Bots and Con, sighing again. He felt so small, literally and physically. "But, it wouldn't be right to abandon him..."
Ultra Magnus sighs. "We get the point, Jetfire."
Jetfire says, "I can't answer for you - but from what I heard of this Optimus Prime - he'd be worth the risk. But I understand - in order for this mission to succeed, you have minutes - not hours.""
Jetfire adds "The first transport - the most needy - and - at my advising, Optimus Prime and Alpha Trion. The second transport - Megatron will get suspicious - any other Autobots." He adds "The final transport - and most likely, Decepticons WILL be in the area - everyone else. Then as soon as you land, the bridge detonates - and all transport records are lost - and as soon as they upload the schematics for the space bridge, all of THAT data is lost too."
Ultra Magnus looks at Bee. "I still think it's too dangerous to transport Prime's body. The room on that transport can go to living Autobots who can make a difference on Nebulos. Let Prime's ideals be his legacy... not his castoff flesh.
Perceptor gives an uneasy look at Magus and Bumblebee, "I obstain from this debate."
DW-Bumblebee looks at Jetfire, and then to Magnus. "...You're right, Ultra Magnus. But there is something we could bring with us..." He turns back to Jetfire. "Did... Did Megatron give any clue as to where he hid the Matrix?" Jetfire shakes his head. "None - I'm sorry." Jetfire adds "I'm not that close yet."
Jetfire leans in and lowers his voice. "One thing...NO ONE is to know I am assisting you out from these walls. If the Autobots in general heard about me, all the Decepticons would have to do is overhear one of them say in passing something about me - and I cannot help you " He adds "I'd also obviously face immediate execution. Which I am not afraid of, but I would like my death to count for something."
Ultra Magnus says, "Now THAT would be worthwhile side mission. How close would you have to get to Megatron to learn the location of the Matrix?"
Jetfire shakes his head. "I don't know...I got promoted after 'discovering' those 300 cores. It would have to be something bigger than that."
Ultra Magnus nods, looking at Bee. "Regaining the Matrix could make all the difference."
Jetfire says almost ruefully "I've been TASKED in recovering Prime's body and delivering it to Megatron where it will likely be part of his museum pieces." Jetfire says, "But even that - wouldn't get me favor - I would need to ... disclose your main base of operations - I could do that - and give you a day's notice - something that would LOOK like you were still there.""
Ultra Magnus looks at Bee. "The base wouldn't be that much of a sacrifice."
Jetfire gives a resigned sigh. "I know! I'm...running short of ideas - I'm sorry."
DW-Bumblebee sighs heavily, very loudly. It's a very unhappy sound. He knows what must be done.
Jetfire frowns "I devised the escape route - "
Ultra Magnus looks at Jetfire. "No, I'm saying giving up the base could work."
Jetfire says, "Come on, you're not TOTALLY helpless without Optimus Prime - think!""
Jetfire says, "OK.""
Ultra Magnus looks at Bee. "I'd be willing to give up Prime's body to get back the Matrix." He looks at Jetfire. "We're NOT helpless. We've survived under extremely harsh conditions while you've been enjoying full rations with the Decepticons."
DW-Bumblebee looks up. "But, would even our base be enough? If we're not here, and you take it..." He looks away. "Will it be enough?"
Perceptor shakes his head. "No - we give up Optimus Prime and what if all Jetfire gets is an accommodation from Megatron? Prime is worth more than that - either let him rest in peace or dispose of his remains in a dignified fashion. But do not let him become Megatron's trophy!"
DW-Bumblebee speaks up suddenly. "I... I know what would give Jetfire the status he needs."
Jetfire looks at Bumblebee and sighs "What is it?"
Ultra Magnus looks at Bee curiously.
"The life of the Autobot leader." Bumblebee says quietly. He steps forward. "My life would give Jetfire enough status to get to the Space Bridge, and save our people."
Ultra Magnus stands quickly. "No. We can't lose you, Bumblebee. You're too valuable to us."
Jetfire looks at Bumblebee and shakes his head, laughing slightly "What?! No...NO." His voice starts to break "I stood aside and watched the Decepticons slaughter millions of humans, I am NOT killing you!"
Jetfire sighs and gestures "OK...let's go back to the base - "
Ultra Magnus says suddenly, "I'll do it."
Jetfire looks at Ultra Magnus. "No...NO."
DW-Bumblebee looks at Ultra Magnus, almost horrified. "I - I couldn't ask it of you, or anyone else!" he insists. "Please - you were Prime's best friend!"
Ultra Magnus says, "Yes. Bee's right. It has to be someone important, high profile... and it has to be public."
Jetfire gets up. "No! Here's the plan. I'll tell Megatron about your base in THREE days. That will give you 72 hours to pack up and move. I'll wait and see if that's enough - and then I'll contact Bumblebee."
Jetfire nods to Perceptor, Ultra Magnus, and Bumblebee. "Good day - "
"Wait!" Bumblebee says quickly.
Ultra Magnus waits, even though it was directed at Jetfire.
Jetfire walks out quickly. He's NOT going to be the cause of any more bloodshed.
"Jetfire...." Bumblebee sighs heavily. He watches the Decepticon leave, and turns to Ultra Magnus. "....Are you sure about this? You'd... You'd be executed publicly."
Ultra Magnus nods. "I AM Prime's best friend. He was a brother to me, and the Decepticons know it. My sacrifice might get us back the MAtrix. That could turn the war around. We could rebuild."
Ultra Magnus says, "I... I would be willing to die on a mission in battle. This is no different, except the reward could be much greater."
Perceptor pauses and says "If Jetfire gives up our base - what is he giving up? It can barely sustain a moderate raid. But if Megatron sees Jetfire kill one of us... his trust would almost be certain."
DW-Bumblebee nods, slowly. "I... Thank you, Magnus." He looks around. "I know you would give your life, and gladly." He looks to Perceptor. "You're right, Perceptor." He sighs. "Which is why, when the base is raided... Magnus will be here."
Jetfire nods and remains quiet, hoping he doesn't get a kill order.
Ultra Magnus nods slowly. Brave or no, he still seems to be slightly in shock as he contemplates his own imminent death.
DW-Bumblebee looks over at Jetfire. "Megatron will want to torture Ultra Magnus... I ask only that you spare him as much pain as you can."
Jetfire returns, looking sick. He looks at Magnus and shakes his head. "Magnus...I cannot...kill you - I'm sorry - "
Ultra Magnus says seriously, "Killing me will be more merciful than leaving me alive for Megatron's ministrations. What he did to Hot Rod..."
Jetfire sulks down and puts his hands in his face, he knows Magnus is right.
DW-Bumblebee closes his optics, sighing. "Poor Hot Rod... he's with Primus now..." The little Autobot sounds miserable.
Jetfire says weakly, as if the fight has gone out of him entirely. "If this happens, if this is how you want to proceed - I want no Autobot out of these areas to know the circumstances - I want to be as hated as Megatron is - "
Perceptor looks on at Jetfire and says plainly "I don't think that will be a problem if you indeed kill Ultra Magnus."
Ultra Magnus says, "And, of course this must not leave this room. If any suspicion gets out that this is staged, my death will be for nothing."
DW-Bumblebee nods sadly. "*I* will remember what has been said... and once we escape to Nebulos, I will tell everyone the truth." He looks up at Jetfire. "In my optics, you are not a Decepticon. You are an Autobot!"
- GAME: Ultra Magnus PASSES a COURAGE roll of Average difficulty.
- GAME: Ultra Magnus PASSES a LEADERSHIP roll of Average difficulty.
Ultra Magnus stands straighter. "I will get my affairs in order."
Ultra Magnus heads out to make his peace with Primus.
Jetfire sighs and looks at Perceptor, Bumblebee and Ultra Magnus. "Primus be with us all."