1339/Ignorance is Bliss

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Ignorance is Bliss
Date of Scene: 03 November 2019
Location: Mithril Sea
Synopsis: Skyshredder wins a physical fight against Deadlock, but loses the war of words.
Cast of Characters: Deadlock, Skyshredder

Skyshredder has posed:
     Autobot patrols along the Mithril Sea are kind of sparse thanks to the proximity to Kaon and the general lack of strategic importance, but Skyshredder likes to be out here on the edge of one of the few true wilds on Cybertron. She is skimming along the surface of the water near the shore, kicking up water behind herself with that big tail of hers and just watching the nearby city for signs of Decepticon activity.

     Of course, a big shark patroling near your borders is sure to draw some attention. She isn't doing anything hostile, but one can never be too careful. And if Deadlock has spent any time in the Kaon gladiator arena, either as a spectator or a contender, he might recognize the big shark. She was held there for quite a while as a slave for exhibition fights.

Deadlock has posed:
    Out here, in this relatively untamed region of Cybertron, and especially right now, with the war raging, if anyone wandered out here alone, they'd pretty much be on their own. Unfortunately for some though, it's the only place they can find any reasonable measure of shelter and relief from becoming collateral damage amongst the fires of battle. Real estate in the larger cities is becoming more and more expensive, with many refugees displaced from destroyed cities like Harmonex and Nyon seeking a safe place. And those who were unfortunate enough to not have remote assets when their livelihoods were destroyed with their hometowns?

    Well, that would be why they found themselves out here on their own in this cruel, wild wasteland. One such small group of Empties has found the end of their line. Out of energon, vorns since the last maintenance check...sold the last of their armor just to survive. And yet, they cling desperately to hope. A small, quivering voice cries out in the wilderness...

    "P-please, I beg you...d-don't do this..."
    "Shut up! You're -dead- already."
    "W-we'll join you, I swear..."
    "No we won't! You -know- we'd just be cannon fodder for those slagging Autobots, anyway! Just curse Primus and die already!"
    A cruel laugh. "Yeah, he's right."
    "N-no please! I---aaaaAAAHHHHH!"

Skyshredder has posed:
     With her sharp senses, Skyshredder detects something happening from pretty far off. And she kicks in the afterburners (metaphorically) to reach the area. "Sounds like trouble! Great!" the big shark says as she closes in. She notices the Empties, but despite being an Autobot herself now she rushes toward them to intercept whoever this tormentor is.

     She transforms when she reaches them and makes sure to cause a big thud when she lands to draw the attention of all those in the area. "Hey! Leave them alone, whoever you are!" she says as she pulls a sword that has a chainsaw for a blade...and its teeth are triangular, serrated shark teeth. "Or else you'll have to deal with me. Skyshredder." she adds, grinning a predatory, sharky grin before she charges forward and swings at whoever this mystery tormentor is.

Deadlock has posed:
    "P-please....I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die..."

    Deadlock was about to decapitate the hapless Empty when he gets a serrated saw to the back. He growls, energon spewing freely to the ground from a new gaping wound. Despite this, he seems undeterred, his jaw clenching angrily as he turns to face his challenger. "-Stay- out of this, Autobot." he threatens, and charges at the bulky fembot, aiming for weaknesses in her armor.

    One of the Empties groans. "-Great-, and I thought we'd -avoid- the war by coming here." he grumbles. "Just let him kill us you big lug, not like we have anything -else- to live for!" he shouts at the beastformer.

Skyshredder has posed:
     The big fembot is hit, and some of her armor is cracked in the process. But, with him so close she just wraps the sword behind his back and grins as she revs the engine. "You can't avoid the war anywhere anymore. Sorry! But, giving up is just dumb! You said you'd join! Well, join us instead!" She sounds entirely too cheerful for someone currently locked in battle. "I'm the cannon fodder on the Autobot side, so you won't even have to worry about that!"

     She lets go of Deadlock and gives a kick just to get some breathing room, not to mention her trying to get her sword to bite its way into him some more. "Besides, if you have nothing to live for, why did you even come out here? Living is its own reason for living!"

Deadlock has posed:
    "What, you'd rather they die a slow and agonizing death to a quick and painless one?" Deadlock sneers, as he dives to the ground to avoid the sword this time, sliding under her with dual-wield pistols aimed upward at her undercarriage.

    "Don't you -know- what your superiors do to those who don't agree with the chain of command?" Of course, for the Decepticons, that's get fusion cannoned by Megatron, or sent on suicide missions. But hey, it beats the Institute, right? "Or are you one of the stupid ones? Ignorance is bliss, I guess."

Skyshredder has posed:
     "Ow ow ow!" Skyshredder says as those shots pepper her. She turns to face Deadlock once he has cleared her undercarriage, frowning a bit. "What do you mean? They just...kick them out of the Autobots, I think. Or send them to the brig, maybe?" She is definitely not one of the brightest diodes on the circuit board.

     The question about which way to die is better causes her to pause as she thinks about it. "Um...well...I guess? I mean, if you are alive then you can still find a way to stay a live. If you are dead...well that's kind of it." she says, then looks herself over. She vents softly at the cracks and holes in her otherwise thick armor. "Alright. Let's see how you like it!" she says, then transforms to her shark mode and swims through the air right at Deadlock. But, she doesn't go right for him with those big jaws. Instead, she swims right by his side, attempting to scrap him up before swatting him with that powerful tail.

Deadlock has posed:
    "Ha! You think they can -afford- to just throw people out? Pathetic! I take it you really -are- one of the stupid ones, then. No wonder you're cannon fodder." Deadlock throws back, laughing derisively. "If you make it out of this one alive, I'd suggest you go ask your favorite doctor about the Institute."

    He sidesteps, avoiding the tail and then ducking behind an abandoned structure that may have once served as a factory of some kind before the fall of the Senate. The Decepticon draws his Path Blaster and fires at Skyshredder's already compromised armor.

Skyshredder has posed:
     "Uh...yeah? They threw that one doctor out who helped with that nasty virus thing!" Skyshredder replies indignantly before grunting as she is hit. She comes around again, trailing a bit of smoke through the air from all the hits she has already taken and the holes in her armor. And this time those jaws do open and she tries to take a bite out of crime!

     "I'm glad to be the cannon fodder, too! That means I keep someone else from getting hurt -and- get to have plenty of fights! Like this one!" the big shark adds after she passes.

Deadlock has posed:
    "Ha, they didn't throw him out, you oversized glitchead." Deadlock sneers. "They just sent him off-planet. Hardly a slap on the wrist for what he did." he says bitterly. "Smelt, they even threw him a going away party, didn't they? I saw the footage."

    He cries out when she bites him, managing to wrench himself free from her jaws but only after taking significant damage to his arm servos. "Yeah, fights. Fights that end with being -dead-." He transforms and tries to put some distance between himself and the larger mech.

Skyshredder has posed:
     "Wait...really?" Skyshredder says to that first thing. She follows after Deadlock, moving just above the ground. "...no wait. You're a Decepticon! Deception is practically in the name!" she adds after a moment. "Besides, you were just about to kill those mechs back there! Don't try and pretend like you're better than that doctor guy!"

     The shark turns out to be pretty fast despite her size, and Deadlock's rear-view might be full of shark teeth and the grinding scrap-processing mechanisms within that maw as she tries to bite him again. And with a chomp she tries to take a bite out of his rear bumper.

Deadlock has posed:
    "Yes, -really-. And I'm not lying, you can check the archives. I've got nothing to hide." Deadlock replies. "Again, why don't you go and ask your doctor about the Institute, huh?" he taunts. "I'm sure they'd be happy to tell you alll about it!"

    Skyshredder does get a mouthful of bumper, the pieces grinding to pieces in her jaws. More fuel and other body fluids splatter on the ground and on her face. "Ha!" he says, laughing mirthlessly as he stops a short distance away and ducks behind a defunct control station. "I never said I was trying to convince you I'm better than him. -You're- the ones who do that, isn't that right? Oh--like -right now-!"

Skyshredder has posed:
     "Fine! I will!" Skyshredder says. She almost loses Deadlock as he ducts behind that control station. She even passes by him at first. But, he might notice a glowing line of ice blue that flows along the middle of her body. Then her eyes snap toward him and she turns around quickly. "What? I wasn't trying to convince anyone I'm better. I mean, it's obvious I am so there's no need! You though...whether you are better or not, you gotta go!" She swings that tail at him again.

Deadlock has posed:
    "Good!" Deadlock exclaims when she finally agrees. But he is thrown back into a half-crumbled wall that collapses when he hits it. But he still gets back to his feet. "Hah! 'It's obvious I am'." He mocks her. "That's the problem isn't it? You Autobots think you're on some kind of high moral pedestal, that you're somehow better than us, and yet you turn a blind optic to people like Pharma!" he accuses. "Whether believe it or not, you all want the -same- damn thing we do, and you do just as slagged-up things to get at it! Just like you'd happily turn those hapless empties into cannon fodder for YOUR army, just as we'd do the same for ours. Except you'd brainwash them if they didn't cooperate, we'd just -smelt- 'em. Tell me you big lug, which is worse? Death, or a mindless existence?"

    He doesn't try to run for cover any more this time, instead standing up to her head on. The Path Blaster comes out again, and he aims for her face.

Skyshredder has posed:
     "Blind optic! They kicked him off Cybertron!" Skyshredder replies, a bit exasperated. "And hey! Mindless existence is kind of nice! Have you ever tried it? Just go with the flow, let your instincts take over for a while." Pause. "...wait, can you vehicle types even do that? Maybe not. Maybe that's the problem! You guys get too bogged down with thinking about stuff. Just relax once in a while!"

     She grins after that, which is a pretty large grin when she is a shark. "But, you're wrong about just turning people into fodder. Autobots don't do that unless someone wants to be fodder. There's plenty of non-fodder jobs! Someone has to keep the fighters going, after all!"

     She tries to bite down on Deadlock again, ripping and grinding with the absurd amount of teeth in that mouth.

Deadlock has posed:
    "I -just- told you, it was hardly a punishment fit for what he did." Deadlock reiterates. "And I meant mindless existence as in being forced to do someone else's bidding, without having any choice, or even thought about the matter. As in having a mnemosurgeon literally force you to think what they -want- you to think!" he shakes his head. "You can ignore the truth all you want, but that doesn't make it go away."

    This time, he doesn't even try to get out of the way. Fuel and fluids spew about even more as she tears into him, his body giving way to her strong jaws. He tries to pick himself up off of the ground after that, but his strength fails him.

    The Decepticon glares up at her, his face devoid of fear. "What are you waiting for?" he growls. "Finish it!" he taunts. "Finish it like the savage you truly are."

Skyshredder has posed:
     Most Autobots would probably hesitate at such declarations, both the mnemosurgery and the demand to finish it. Skyshredder is not most Autobots, or even most bots. "What are you even talking about? Memosurgeon? You don't have to do surgery to give someone a memo! And I don't know any Autobots that do Memosurgery! Or...anyone that does, actually. Are you trying to say that Pharma and this Institute place do memosurgery?"

     She does finally pause a moment, floating there in the air and looking upward in thought. "...did they do it to you or something? Is that why you're so upset? I mean, I guess you could be upset that it happened to others but I didn't think Decepticons worried about others."

     She floats there a few more moments, just looking at Deadlock. Then...that grin returns. "Savage is how you win fights. Live in the Mithril Sea for a few millenia and you'll understand that for sure. But, giving up? That's how you lose fights, and then your life." And like the savage beast she looks like, Skyshredder moves to tear into Deadlock like a...well...there's not better comparison than a shark tearing into its prey. She probably gets plenty of that crumbling wall in the process, too.

Deadlock has posed:
    And with that, Skyshredder destroys Deadlock pretty thoroughly, leaving a battered frame and energon all over the ground and herself.

    A short distance off, one of the Empties she had been trying to protect just gapes at the grisly display. Just one of them, because the other one had already offed himself using the blade Deadlock had left behind when she'd attacked him.

    "Monsters...all of them..." he says quietly.

Skyshredder has posed:
     Skyshredder transforms after the attack, then nudges Deadlock with the hilt of her sword. Satisfied that he is at the very least incapacitated, she looks toward the pair of Empties. And...her grin actually fades for once. "H-hey. What happened to him?" She puts away her sword and makes her way over, the thuds of her approaching steps easily audible.

     She looks at the dead mech for a long moment, then over at the femme. "Monsters? I...I helped you guys out! And I'm a monster for messing up the guy that was going to mess you up?" She huffs. "Geeze. I really don't get you vehicle types sometimes."

     The big femme looks toward the sky, then back at the other femme. "Look, if you wanna stay, then stay. But, there's plenty of refugee camps that'll let you in as long as you don't have a Decepticon badge." she says, then turns and starts to leave. But, she stops and looks over her shoulder. "But, that mean guy was right about one thing. Don't join the military branches if you don't want to fight. That's kinda what they do." She transforms again, then floats there. "If you want a ride to a camp, say so. Otherwise...good luck out here, I guess? I mean I'm not gonna try and force you. Freedom is a good thing!"

Deadlock has posed:
    When Skyshredder approaches, the remaining Empty tries to scuttle away desperately. "Wh-what does it look like..." he stammers. If she looks, she'll find the dead mech's own hand still on the blade which is thrust into his spark casing.

    But his expression hardens when Skyshredder starts huffing and telling him to go to a refugee camp. "N-no! I-I know what the mnemosurgeons do..." he quivers. "They probably toyed with you too, and you don't even know it! M-maybe you used to be smarter..."

    Suddenly, there is the sharp sound of a Decepticon transport overhead--Deadlock must have sent up a beacon before he fell, and Kaon was nearby. The ship sets down a short distance away, with a medevac team headed for the fallen Decepticon to gather him up while a different team heads toward the Empties to no doubt do what Deadlock had been trying to--scavenge their bodies.

    But when the remaining mech saw them approaching, instead of running away he rushes toward them as quickly as he can, though he trips over himself halfway there and falls down before them. "P-please...take me...I-I'll do whatever you want..." he stammers, and finally lifts his optics to face them. "...all hail Megatron..."

    The squadron stares at him for a moment, before a black, bulky mech who resembles some kind of tank walks over and jerks the mech to his feet. "Hmph. Fine, get on the ship." he says gruffly. "The rest of you, see what you can gather from that corpse. I'll make sure the Lieutenant doesn't leak out before we can get him back Kaon." Then he turns and heads back to the transport.

Skyshredder has posed:
     Skyshredder is...completely baffled when the mech goes right to the Decepticon recovery team. She looks down at the dead one, then toward the team. This guy apparently didn't want to be a Decepticon, and she feels like he wouldn't want them scavenging him either. So, she picks him up in her jaws and carries him out over the sea before dropping him, burial at sea style. The big black tank mech draws her attention, but she doesn't really recognize him.

     Then, she makes her way back toward base. "Memosurgery? Or was it Nemosurgery? I'll really have to ask about that if that mech was willing to run to the Decepticons instead of come back with me." she says aloud to herself as she swims up into the sky.