Log Title: Questioning Ratbat
Location: Decepticon Fuel Storage
Date: September 18, 2020
Summary: Ghost tracks down Ratbat to follow-up on the words spoken in Valvolux.
As logged by Ghost
TFU - Friday, September 18, 2020
Decepticon Fuel Storage
Spread across the Decepticon-controlled majority of Cybertron are fuel stores, where energy in various forms is gathered to be prepared for distribution to the faction's numerous strongholds. A large portion of the workers are captured and enslaved Neutrals, who do the dirty and heavy work while the Decepticons are generally either guards or administrative workers.
Ratbat is actually back to doing his job, now that Cybertron's been revitalized. No more sniffing about the inner depths of the planet, dodging meccannibals or bioorganic nightmares to report back any morsel of goodness that he didn't drink himself. A pale...its not so much a light as it is a lessening of darkness as he scans using his sensors, upon one of several tanks. "Six hundred seventy three cubes, plus excess." The excess was the fuel auditor's tax sometimes. Cubes must be strictly maintained and there must be no leftovers. Fortunately, Ratbat was willing to accommodate the Empire in its accounting. He flits down towards the large circular tank and lands on a pipe, his fangs glistening.
Ghost finds herself, after some conversations and thought, tracking a certain bat down. Well, she has bats on the brain after an earlier conversation and has decided to follow up on another thought. So here she finds herself in Polyhex, moving through the fuel stores. Two threads with one action. Wings are tucked tightly behind her as she moves, making no attempt at true stealth but still moving quietly for one of her size. The new frame of hers gives off its own darklight glow as she moves, aiding somewhat in helping her avoid running into much of anything.
Ratbat pauses before he sinks the ole fangs into the energon reserve. He considers the power move of doing it anyway, but declines. Ratbat takes to the air, and moves on to the next large central tank, there's a bored tone to his voice, "What is it, this time? What is important enough that your first actions after a full-body rebuild...with such wonderful new toys, I am sure...Why do you choose to haunt the logistics bat?"
Ghost tilts her head, smiling thoughtfully to herself and tracks Ratbat now, walking along as he moves to another tank. Frame lighting shuts down, leaving her moving int he darkness with a certain ease. "Several things really." tone thoughtful, timbre a low contralto with perhaps a faint, lingering rasp. "First and foremost I'd rather have not visited you in Valvolux. As you've mentioned, full-body rebuild. One must be cautious in the initial breaking in period, even if the base schematics are the same. However, one does as one is called for the Empire. Even a fuel auditor." She pauses where he's stopped, peering, "As for choosing to haunt you, I've an insatiable curiosity. And Ravage likes to gossip about things he overhears, you see. But with gossip, it's always best to go to the source, don't you think?"
"Rumors." He humphs as he scans the reserve. "I tell Soundwave one thing and suddenly Intel gets /very/ curious about me. That tells me that Soundwave agrees with me...or he fears what I fear." He pauses, and rescans the same tank, "Thirty-two cubes low. If I find out Swindle's involved, I'm going to....no wait." He pauses, "That was probably for you, I imagine. No matter, I'll account for it." His topic switches to conversational as he moves on, "Did Ravage tell you what I told....of course he did. Your thoughts?"
Ghost watches the bat work, keeping herself quiet and listening. "Well.. I wasn't at all curious until the cat got me involved. My plate is well and truly full of my own investigations." she paces back, peering at the fuel reserves a moment before, "Trypticon provided all the fuel needed for my reframing. There was no tapping into imperial stores." Optics glint, "Yes, he and I had a talk after. Morale among the rank and file.. cultural opportunities or lack thereof I might add within our own borders." She paces around the storage reserve, "I did inform him that asking me to come was a poor tactic." She shrugs.
"The Unaligned are many. Having left eons ago with no moral conviction to choose a side, driven by a sense of disgust or helplessness." Ratbat perches beneath a pipe, and his wings fold up about him, "Six eons of disgust, of helplessness, of wanting their home back. Six eons NOT of war. Their numbers are NOT as dwindled as ours. If they were to align among themselves, neither side would be left standing." He preens himself as he continues, "Destrons, Dominicons, Tyger Pax, Valvolux, Retoris. Fraternization with the enemy has increased exponentially, on a sliding scale of X+Y2 since Cybertron's rebirth. Too many factions now, no unity. We will fritter away into just one of many groups soon, when the citystates begin to exert their influence, Ghost. Megatron will NOT be pleased to hear such a report."
Ghost finds something to lean against, peering at Ratbat, her own wings folding neatly behind her, panels locking. Arms cross across her front and she nods, "Well, yes." Tone neutral, "There are many returning, many names, banners, thoughts, ideals, joys.." Another shrug before she smiles ever so faintly, "We've always had fraternization outside of our own ranks, Ratbat. It's simply more apparent now that there is a veritable buffet of options to choose from, wouldn't you think?" She hmms, optics narrowing and despite being clad in white, does a rather good job of momentarily being one with the dimness. "No, he would not be pleased at all to have such reported. Not without cold, hard fact to support." Tone mild, neutral even. "You left out Altihex..." Brow raising, "We are still united, they are a conglomeration of polis-centered locations concerned with their growth.." pause, "For now, I suspect though."
Ratbat mostly just addresses the area, as he doesn't really need to see Ghost anyway to sense the energon within her. He just stares forward, "You seem hesitant, then you are wise. I *am* a Decepticon, Ghost, despite my arrival to the cause. And I cannot survive on my own. All I can do now is warn you and he (Soundwave) of what is coming. A war that we are not prepared for." He pauses, then takes a risk, "Add to the issues I've caught wind of through Soundwave, they all lead me to believe something very important. There is not much loyalty to the Empire these days, and few cannonings will prevent that from dropping any further. More will be enticed away, joining new causes. The mere fact that the Dominicons have survived..." His tone grows more fierce, "whereas in the past they are quickly, and forcefully Punished!...." He lets that trail off, and leaves a pregnant pause in the air.
Ghost allows her optics to narrow just slightly, "There is still much loyalty to the -Empire-, Ratbat." she notes, tone dry, almost amused before sliding painfully neutral, "Yes, the Dominicons. That was.. an interesting surprise to awaken to." She shakes her head, "You say that you are a -Decepticon-, Ratbat..." tilting her head, tone thoughtful, "What does that /mean/ to you?"
Ratbat raises his head at that, his big eyes glow red, "I have spent two million years searching my planet for the spoils of war that could sustain us, Ghost. Then of course came the Nemesis encounter with the Ark, and millions of years...slipped through my claws. And I too awaken to a sight that should not have been. A world in which there is plenty of pure energy. Enough for all of us. Enough for Cybertron!" He unfurls his wings so he can gesture from his perch, "And at every step of the way, the Autobots choose to betray us. Choose to ignore the needs of our world. Their loyalties shifted in the wind, so very, very quickly. Towards a minuscule, upstart race even..." He takes flight, flips over and comes down closer to Ghost, "You ask me what it means to be a Decepticon to me?" His voice grows louder, "SKREE SKREE! I want them DEAD! All of them, all of the traitors who put other lives ahead of ours! SKREE SKREE! Megatron IS the only hope out there for a unified Cybertron. A planet no longer at war with itself...." His tone drops again, "But a war of culture is not one we can win so easily. Few if any recruits from the stars will join us now, not so late into the war."
Ghost's violet optics flash gold as Ratbat speaks. Her tone remains calm despite wing-plating rustling behind her and those new finials of her shift-fanning. "At least you were spared watching our planet die slowly in the darkness of space, scraping for every iota of fuel in a landscape tortured by our war, Ratbat. Some of us were here while the ark and Nemesis crew were missing. " She blows air out of intakes, "And then the Nemesis crew returns, heralded the harbingers of the end, a new beginning." Her tone shades caustic, "Well here we are, a new beginning..." Optics slit, that faint rasp picking up as timbre drops, "So yes. I ask you what it means to be a Decepticon, Ratbat."
She takes an idle look at fingertips before polishing them on her chest, "Oh.. a war of culture... Hrmph, it was culture that got us into this war, built on the backs of those deemed disposable, worthy only for what they could give and give again until the giving itself killed them." Peering over optics near ultraviolet in intensity save for golden ringed irises, "What are you willing to give up for the cause, to see Megatrons vision, words, dreams come to fruition? Words? Deeds? Actions? What was done in the past will not work for the future, Ratbat - as you've said in not so many words, the field is changing and so are the players yet the Game remains the same."
Ratbat manages a level tone, "I gave up my body, Ghost. For a time much, much longer than your own....perhaps it's far more equivalent to your time built into Trypticon....Mmmh, I can't say I've had THAT sort of punishment, but when you say 'what am I willing to give up?', you and I both have given. quite. a. bit....and I find it tiring that I still get asked such questions, six million years later."
Ghost offers a wry smile, "I ask everyone the same questions, Ratbat. Every cycle is a new one, and the answers may change you see." She tilts her head, "I apparently died." Matter of fact tone. "A lot at least from what I can remember. I don't suggest it myself. Although it gives one a unique perspective on what one is willing to give up." Then she laughs, "I've only been serving as Trypticons Security for a quarter vorn or so. Before that I was a field operative under Shockwave during the lost years."
Ratbat humphs. "Well........aren't you special? but you'll have to forgive me if the novelty of being interrogated, of being suspected, grows weary after the first thousand times." He turns his back to Ghost and starts to fly up to the piping again, "I am....exceedingly aware of my vulnerabilities, and I cling to the scraps I am given, like a petrorat beneath the feet of giants."
Ghost shrugs, "We're all -special-, Ratbat." head tilts, "Now that you've imparted to me words of your insights the same as you did Ravage, what do you hope to accomplish?" She peers around the fuel depot then back, "What.. you dislike being a much more fuel efficient frame-type, able to slip in places, being overlooked for being small thereby able to gather more information? Perhaps even 'cute' given the right circumstances." Optics flicker. "As for scraps, energon flows now, few of us are surviving on scraps." Pause, "Or have you some other thoughts into how you may serve Megatron that you are keeping to yourself, parceling out words like crumbs for others to follow, hmm? Intel divisions love of doublespeak, while entertaining, does prevent action when one grows too used to the sound of ones own voice."
"Far be it for me, Officer, to suggest to Megatron what he should and should not do. No, I enjoy my meager life FAR too much for that. I have done my duty as best I can, studying nuances in Cybertron's polities, and have related my words to Intelligence. What happens now is out of my claws..."
Ghost inclines her head rather politely at the words, "Very well then. I do thank you for the burden of repeating such things yet again. And for causing you distress by questioning your.. alliegence to the cause." A sketched bow, "But it is the little things such as this that, no matter how dire, must be properly recorded and reported. No matter the.. reaction to such things."