Location: Daraa Camp, Syria
Date: 18 July 2013
As logged by Major Bludd
Daraa Camp - Syria - Western Asia
A military camp has been established east of a major highway running north-south through Daraa Governate in the south of the country. Many tents sprawl throughout this area. Military vehicles are parked neatly at the east end of the camp, and a pair of Rattler jets sits beside a Mamba helicopter at the north edge.
Major Bludd sits in a canvas folding chair in his air-conditioned command tent, poring over reports and messages on his handheld computer. A frown creeps across his face, deepening as he reads a brief message from Angel. With the swipe of a finger, he closes the message, tapping his communications earpiece. "Angel, report to my command tent immediately," he transmits.
"Yes, Major." comes Angel's reply; the man sounds resigned. As he should; disobeying direct orders was a pretty stupid move, even if he didn't mean any harm from it. Stupid Angel. He walks up to the Major's tent, his uniform straight and proper. He stops outside the tent, and makes himself know. "Reporting, sir."
Bludd is waiting at the door and opens it, staring imperiously at Angel. "In," he says, stepping aside so the sniper can enter the tent. The temperature inside the tent is noticeably cooler than that of the outside; an air-conditioning unit hums in one corner of the tent. The only furniture in the tent is a blue canvas folding chair behind a footlocker and a blue canvas cot.
Angel enters with a tiny nod; this didn't seem the right moment for a full salute. He glances around quickly, fighting down his claustrophobia. He felt like a caged bird - a bird that might be about to get roasted. "Yes, Sir?" he asks in his most polite voice, knowing full well why the Major wanted to talk with him.
"I understand you have something to tell me," Bludd says, walking around the footlocker and dropping into the chair. He crosses one leg over the knee of the other and folds his arms across his chest. "S'pose you go ahead and fill me in."
"Yes Sir." Angel says with a faint sigh. He resists the urge to hang his head like a petulant child; it'd only make things worse. "I... have been in contact with the Decepticon that calls itself 'Nightlash', sir." he begins, shifting his weight from foot to foot slightly. "She intiated contact after her request of safe habour here was denied."
Bludd stares evenly at the center of Angel's forehead, his expression just on the annoyed side of neutral. "I see. Did you identify yourself as a member of Cobra?"
Angel nods in affirmation. "I did, sir. She wished to - to convey her reasons for seeking us out, sir." He bites his lower lip; a nervous habit that is the only true tell of what he's feeling. "She was quite... insistent, about her reasons." He pauses. "She's quite unlike what I expected, sir."
"I believe my standing orders said quite clearly that no Cobra operative was to have any contact with any Decepticon," Bludd says in a low tone. "What else did you discuss with this robot?"
Angel seems to wilt slightly. There's no doubt that he's frightened of Bludd; and it's taking all of his resolve to not panic right now. He hated being confined, both mentally and physically. Right now, he was dealing with both. "She wanted me to speak to High Command on her behalf." he says after a moment. "I told her I couldn't; that I was breaking orders just by communicating with her." The sniper takes a breath. "She then commented that she and I were alike; she was breaking with her Command in order to fight alongside us. She said - she prefered us to her own kind."
A lopsided smirk twists the edge of Bludd's mouth. "You seem to have no trouble understanding the words written in the standing orders," he replies, "and yet you also seem to have no difficulty in completely disregarding them." He uncrosses his legs and leans forward toward Angel. "You've found a kindred spirit, then," he says, the smirk expanding. "A fellow ... rogue operative. Someone who would rather follow its own judgement than obey the orders of its superiors. How fortunate for you that you have a friend."
Angel's ears burn red, as he drops his gaze from the Major's face in shame. Point well taken. "I..." The sniper's shoulders sag for a moment, before he straightens up, lifting his gaze back to his commander. "I have no excuse, Major." the man says with resignation in his voice. "I acted foolishly, and without regard to the consequences of my actions." That's a good boy Angel; maybe the Major won't tie you up next to Fadi.
"So long as you remain a member of Cobra," Bludd begins, rising slowly to his feet and pausing to let the phrase sink in, "you are not to speak to this or any Decepticon robot." He begins to pace the short distance to his bunk, gazing over his shoulder at Angel. "These are orders given to everyone in Cobra and they are to be obeyed by everyone in Cobra." He turns leisurely on his heel and paces back toward the sniper. "What you did was not only insubordination, it was an act that has the potential to cause serious harm to all of Cobra Unity." He stops pacing mere inches from Angel. Until now his tone has been calm and quiet, but now some of his anger begins to show. "Do you know what the Decepticons will do to Cobra Unity if they think we are harbouring their rogue?" he growls. "I cannot and will not allow a member of this organisation to endanger its safety. Am I making myself quite clear, Redfield?"
GAME: Angel PASSES a COURAGE roll of High difficulty.
Angel's gaze tracks Bludd as he rises and starts pacing. He swallows dryly as the Major starts his long windup. The sniper had no doubt that if the Major wanted him dead, he'd be dead. As the one-eyed Aussie stops in front of him, Angel manages to remain perfectly still, refusing to flinch. "I understand, Major." he says firmly. "I swear on my honor, it will never happen again."
Bludd snorts at the word 'honour' but makes no comment about it. He activates his handheld computer and taps at it for a minute. "You'll take the place of Corporal Heston of Viper Platoon Baker Delta," he tells Angel. The sniper might recognise the platoon from a recent incident in Dael: they're the platoon who were punished for the failures of a few of their number. Bludd looks up from the computer. "They're under some special orders right now, and Heston's gone to the infirmary, so they're shorthanded. They'll fill you in when you get there." He glances back to the computer for a moment, then adds, "They're working in Dael at the moment. The road's done but there's construction work t'be completed, as well as the rest of their duties."
Angel listens to the Major's punishment detail, not letting any expression show on his face. Inwardly, however, he's yelling at himself for being a dumbass. He knew the Major was a hardass, but did he take that into consideration? Nope; he was too busy being charmed by a giant robot's sad story. "Understood sir. I'll report for duty at once, with your leave." he says evenly.
"If I discover that you have disobeyed my orders again," Bludd says, "you will be discharged immediately. Understood?"
Angel nods. "Loud and clear, Major." the sniper replies, his tone dead serious. He should feel lucky, after all.
Bludd says, "Right. Dismissed."
Angel salutes briefly, before turning around and exiting the tent, off to perform his punishment.