Log Title: The Second Meeting
Location: Cybertron, Decepticon World universe
Date: October, 2013
TP: What If...
Summary: Bumblebee and Jetfire meet again. The young Decepticon asks to learn more of Optimus Prime, and gives Bumblebee an idea on how to save the remaining Autobots.
Cybertron - Con World
- The Autobots' desperate attempt to launch the Ark ended in failure, and the majority of Iacon's inhabitants are permanently off-lined. Megatron reigns supreme over Cybertron, as well as many other worlds conquered by the Decepticons, now truly an Empire. The few survivors of the Ark Massacre live beneath the surface of the planet, determined to survive no matter the cost.
- Optimus Prime is dead, killed by Megatron with his bare hands, and the Autobots are in hiding, literally underground. Bumblebee leads a ragtag group of survivors, preparing a last desperate surprise strike against the Decepticons.
Jetfire is at the usual 'big pipe' meeting place - safe from Decepticon scouts - mainly because Jetfire is supposed to be the scout. He wants uncomfortably for Bumblebee. He's still questioning why he's even doing this - he could easily risk death - but after seeing Prime's modest resting place - it just doesn't make sense the Prime he was told about and the reality that was as plain as day. In addition, he has a few spare energon cubes handy in case Bumblebee appears again.
Bumblebee does indeed appear, having come to this place again on a hunch. Jetfire struck him as an oddity, and he wanted to meet the large Decepticon again. He approaches in stealth mode, but drops the stealth cloak when he gets near to Jetfire. "Hello, Jetfire." he greets warmly.
Jetfire jumps and bonks his head on the pipe. "Ouch! - " He favors the small dent and looks at Bumblebee. "Hello..." He then opens up a compartment and sets two energon cubes on the ground for Bumblebee to partake in.
"Woah, I didn't mean to startle you Jetfire!" Bumblebee says apologetically. He smiles at the two energon cubes, but doesn't partake of them. Instead, he shunts them into his subspace compartment so he can take them back to the other Autobots. He looks up at the large Decepticon. "Thank you, friend."
Jetfire frowns at that mention of 'friend' - it sounds like something with strings attached. He moves past Bumblebee and crawls outside the pipe and looks above, sure enough no Decepticons. He then heads back into the pipe and lowers his voice. "I...saw inside the Temple of Knowledge. I found the 'trick' door."
DW-Bumblebee rubs the back of his head. "You went inside the Temple?" He sighs a bit. "The Decepticons don't seem very interested in going in... but we still did the best we could in hiding the door. That was a long time ago..." He blinks. "Did you... go inside?"
Jetfire nods and says slowly "I saw...his resting place. Optimus Prime." He nods to Bumblebee "I asked Megatron to give me EVERYTHING he had on Optimus Prime. I told him it was because I suspected the Autobots were using old strategies that could not be detected with our latest technology." He pauses "Prime wasn't the power-hungry cult leader I have been led to believe - he looked... almost kind."
Jetfire shows Bumblebee a sort of 'recording' he made. In it, at Prime's grave, there is a white organic rose. Jetfire says in a low tone, "That's a human plant - or a flower - they routinely lay them on the resting place of humans who have perished."
"Optimus was the kindest being I've even known." Bumblee says quietly. He looks at the flower - to him, a strange alien thing. As Jetfire explains the significance, Bumblebee smiles slightly. "...The laying of a... flower, what does it mean?"
Jetfire says plainly "For some, it means a token of love, or a symbol that you miss that being." He adds "For others, including myself - it's a measure of respect." He adds "Don't worry - I won't tell the Decepticons where Prime is resting. Megatron would only want him for a trophy."
"Thank you." Bumblebee says, sounding touched. Jetfire kept suprising him, and the little leader felt something in his core - a growing sense of hope. "So, the Decepticons don't know - that's good."
Jetfire raises a finger and activates a control panel. It shows an energy field a few kilometers from here. "OK, you can't survive on just hoping for energon handouts." He adds "THIS energy field is going offline very soon - it's getting obselete - and the Decepticons are almost completing its replacement, HOWEVER it's still in operation." He mutters "But not for long, and as a result - it's very, very lightly guarded. I'm assuming someone like you could easily..." He shows 3 entrances - "Go in, take the remaining energon - and leave undetected." He gives a stern look at Bumblebee, "But I don't know how much longer it's operating. So, this is only temporary."
Optimus Prime made a huge impression on Jetfire. However, it's still speculative. He got everything on Optimus Prime. But virtually nothing with Prime speaking. It was all data - the raids he conducted, the ones he commanded. And of course, the heavily-edited account of his last days.
DW-Bumblebee makes careful note of the map, and the field entrances he's marked. "...I...How can I repay you, for all you've done?" It might not seem like much to Jetfire, but to Bumblebee, the Decepticon has changed his entire outlook. The plan he had devised, what the Autobots were planning... he had thought that it would be a suicide mission, one last hurrah for his people, without much chance of success. But now...
Jetfire says quietly "I don't... require anything - however, I haven't even heard Optimus Prime's voice - if you could... possibly - give me some archive footage? All I have is what I've PERCEIVED of him to be - and up until a few days ago, I perceived him to be the biggest threat to Cybertron that Megatron vanquished."
"Gladly, friend." Bumblebee falls silent for a moment, as he brings up some footage. It appears to be his own archived memories of Prime. He looks up at Jetfire, realizing that his viewing screen on his arm is very small for the other. "Do you want me to give you a dataslug?"
Jetfire nods and waves his hand, "Later on - my optics can see remarkably well." He hears the voice and the words coming out of Prime's mouth. Jetfire's optics flicker. "I would have been honored to be captured by him."
Prime's voice is calm, reasonable, but not condecending; he seemed to have truly valued Bumblebee and the other Autobots. "Don't work yourself too hard, Bumblebee." he says. "Be mindful of your limits." Bumblebee's response is a laugh. "You don't seem to have any, Optimus!" The Autobot Leader chuckles. "I do have my limits, and it's no shame to admit that."
Bumblebee looks up at Jetfire, and smiles. "Prime... would have been glad to have you, I think." He seems sad.
Jetfire nods and looks at Bumblebee, saying in a slightly scolding tone. "Well, you'll him no service by dying. " He adds "I'm one of the Decepticon's top science advisors. In a few weeks, I was planning a trip to one of the planets - Nebulos - it's too large in size to be patrolled - and I probably will not find anything - BUT - it is a highly mecanized society - and very capable of sustaining Transformer life." He adds "If - you - ONLY you - were to stow away in my shuttle, I would assume that shuttle is so large, that I wouldn't even FIND you. If you are following my path of thinking."
"No." Bumblebee's answer is blunt. "No, I couldn't flee. I won't abandon the others!" His voice is full of conviction. He pauses, look out of the pipe for a few moments. After a silent debate with himself, he nods. "I trust you, Jetfire. SO I will tell you this..." He straightens up, looking into the Decepticon's optics. "I do not carry the title of 'Prime'... But I am leader of those Autobots that still survive."
Jetfire blinks and is honestly genuinely surprised. Prime - sure - he could take on Megatron. But the Autobot standing in front of him? He shakes his head and says lowly "Don't be a fool - if you stay around here, you WILL be caught and you WILL be killed." He adds "I am OFFERING you a way out."
"I will not abandon the others!" Bumblebee counters sharply. He knows Jetfire means well, and wants to help. But the small Autobot's mind is decided. "I made a promise to Prime, and I will not go back on it."
Jetfire sighs and rests his hand on his head, thinking. "Well.. I'm sorry, but 'I' cannot help you if you don't let me. I CAN'T help you here. I don't even have a top security clearance! And last time I remember, any assistance given to the Autobots will result in us getting tried for treason and then quickly executed - in a public setting to set an example."
Bumblebee is silent for a long moment. "You've already helped me, twice now." he points out quietly. "And... if you *could* help us, would you?"
Jetfire looks at Bumblebee "IF I could...possibly, but I'm just one Decepticon. I don't even have clearance enough to MAKE a difference."
"A single being can change the course of history." Bumblebee says. "I... I want to trust you, completely. And my core says you're worthy of that trust..." The small Autobot seems torn. Was he risking too much?
Jetfire nods and says "Well, SCIENCE says I cannot make a difference in my current state." He adds "The ONLY way I could - would be if I were to actively discover something that would cripple your already wounded standing. That would be no short of discovering a major hideout or the capture and/or termination of one of your highest officers." He then looks at Bumblebee and says "So... you can see our predicament."
Jetfire says, "SOME Decepticons think I already am weak for requesting to leave Earth, it's only by pure luck that Megatron and the high-ranking Decepticons believe it was because I couldn't do my experiments on Earth's climate.""
DW-Bumblebee is silent for a long time, head bowed. He couldn't in good conscious send someone to certain death... but, this could be the Autobot's only chance of survival. "I... I will ask the others, what they think." he states finally. "I will vouch for you; after all, if you were truly intending to betray me, you would have done so already."
GAME: Jetfire PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Immense difficulty.
Jetfire thinks, good sense starting to get ahead of him. "You know...this is a bad idea." He begins to head out. "Look, I'm sorry - thank you for introducing me to Optimus Prime - but I think I've already gone far enough in helping." He tries to move Bumblebee aside so he can make an exit.
"No, please!" Bumblebee says suddenly, sounding desperate. "Please, don't leave!" The minibot tries to stand firm, although the larger mech could push him aside if he pushed harder. "Please - you've given me hope that we'll actually survive!" His voice in sincere. "Just hear me out!"
Jetfire looks EXTREMELY conflicted - and a bit stunned the little guy suddenly put himself up against a guy 4 times is size. He finally gives a resigned sigh, "Very well..."
"We're planning... well, attack isn't the right word." Bumblebee says quickly, afraid Jetfire might try to leave again. "We're planning to assualt Polyhex, and make our way to the Space Bridge."
GAME: Jetfire PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Above Average difficulty.
Jetfire looks at Bumblebee and says plainly "You assault Polyhex - and the Decepticons will wipe out every single one of you. It is that fortified." He adds "Besides, the Space Bridge isn't even fully operational right now." Jetfire frowns, thinking aloud. "If 'I' were you, I would get a fleet, and then sneak in. And then have someone sympathetic to your cause ALLOW you access to the Space Bridge, offload as many as you can with as many Space Bridge runs before the Decepticons become suspicious - then on the last Space Brige run - destroy the bridge and the technology, making it impossible for the Decepticons to follow you."
"Well, when I first perposed the plan... Our thoughts were, die quickly in battle, or die slowly, hunted." Bumblebee admits. Then his optics widen. "Not fully operational? Why not?"
Jetfire frowns "It just isn't - I don't have security access, remember? I'm HOPING they eventually put me on to investigate the problem."
"...I see." Bumblebee sighs. He falls quiet again. "...You're familiar with the fighting Pit, aren't you?" he asks suddenly.
Jetfire nods simply. "I am - I've never attended such a barbaric encounter, but I am aware of its function."
"Several of my people are held there." Bumblebee says sadly. "Including one of our stongest and proudest - Sky Lynx." He looks up at Jetfire. "Skylynx has a shuttle form, which could carry many of us safely. If he could be freed, he could help us get through the Bridge."
Jetfire frowns, "I just TOLD you, Bumblebee, the bridge doesn't work! And until 'I' can get access, or at least get a visual, I don't know WHEN the Space Bridge will be operational again!"
Jetfire adds "And don't forget, Bumblebee - even IF Sky Lynx can FLY you - there are still an armada of Decepticon shuttles and ships that would blow Sky Lynx to ashes - remember the shuttle that was supposed to have a successful mission 4 million years ago?"
DW-Bumblebee nods. "I know, but... I'm just telling you what my situation is." The minibot seems dejected, as if his final hope is being dashed. He never wanted to be leader, and now... "Our time is running out, Jetfire. We can't stay here..." His shoulders sag.
Jetfire sighs and pats BUmblebee "You've survived this long..." He adds "A shuttle will NOT do - Not with the Decepticon defenses. You need the space bridge. THAT is the only thing that can transport you LIGHT YEARS away from where the Decepticons are - and if 'I' were to even POSSIBLY get access, I would have to both destroy the Space Bridge as well as the design so they would have nothing left."
Jetfire tries to say in the best encouraging tone he can for the grim situation. "Who knowns - in a few million years, you may be able to rebuild and get your forces mobilized, then mount an attack to retake Cybertron." He adds "Then...maybe your faction can give Optimus Prime the resting place fitting for him."
Jetfire frowns and finishes, "If - IF I were crazy enough to help you guys, that was what I would do - find a way to get to the Space Bridge alone - WHICH requires clearance. Begin the transfer process. " He adds "When Megatron or the Decepticons ask why so many Space Bridge activations, I would say it's just for a test, but they would get suspicious - they would investigate. When they come, I would then do a final transport, and then rig explosives to utterly detonate the Space Bridge and any design schematics.
DW-Bumblebee listens carefully to Jetfire's words. Even with all the hypotheticals - he could scarecly dare to believe that Jetfire would do all of this. "But... Would you be able to get through the gate before the Bridge collapsed?" he asks. He's seized by hope, something he had almost lost. Could this desperate plan succeed?
Jetfire shrugs "I would remain. The Autobots could not know what I am doing for fear that you may have an informant - it's somehting i know you don't want to consider...but logic dictates the fewer beings know of this, the better."
"I-!" Bumblebee looks at Jetfire, utterly shocked. "I... cannot ask this of you!" The small Autobot shakes his head. "You shouldn't have to die!"
Jetfire says pragmatically "Well, I would PREFER to go with you." Jetfire shakes his head. "Look, it's futile because I can't even get ACCESS to the space bridge."
Jetfire frowns "Look... I am doing well enough to gain favor from Megatron. I'm already on thin ice for requesting a transfer from Earth. It will take me months to regain his confidence." He gestures "Anyway...good luck - "
DW-Bumblebee nods slowly. "You've given me more hope then I think you realize, my friend." Bumblebee states "I... I will tell the others what we've spoken about." He steps aside, to give Jetfire room to leave. "Primus watch over you."
Jetfire 's optics flash in panic. "No! Tell NO ONE about this."
DW-Bumblebee pauses. "W-why not?" he asks.
Jetfire pats Bumblebee "Primus watch over you as well - remember, that energy plant is lightly guarded. Meaning even with a minimal staff, if you are detected, you are certain that an army of Decepticons will intercept you immediately." He adds "Autobots are becoming rarer and as a result, all the more coveted to...collect."
Jetfire frowns "Because - you're assuming the Decepticons have not gotten to ONE Autobot to make them an informant. It's far better for the Autobots to believe that I am just as much of a threat to them as Shockwave."
You're saying - that their might be a traito in my people?" Bumblebee's tone shifts, and he sounds almost *angry*. "That is impossible."
Jetfire frowns through his faceplate. "I am saying be realistic. The Decepticons have ways of extorting - someone may not be a traitor, but the Decpeticons have a way of putting beings in places where they can't help BUT work for the Decepticons!"
Jetfire leaves and turns his head, "The more the Autobots fear me and loathe me, the better chance this could actually work."
DW-Bumblebee shakes his head vigorously. "I know my people..." He looks over at Jetfire, sadness on his face. "....*I* will always remember you as a friend. I won't let the truth be forgotten."
Jetfire nods. "Farewell...and Primus watch over you." He then crawls out, hoping 2 things, that his new friend will be safe, and that he will never have to see Bumblebee ever again.
DW-Bumblebee nods. "Til All Are One."
Jetfire raises a hand. "Til All Are One."