Disturbing the Peace

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Disturbing the Peace
Date of Cutscene: 17 October 2016
Location: Tarn
Synopsis: Swivel gets arrested for disturbing the peace and is placed in jail.
Cast of Characters: Swivel

“I know it’s yer ‘ome. Mebbe you dun wanna leave it. But tell me, wot is more important? Livin’ ta see another cycle, or stickin’ around ‘opin’ you don’t get caught in ther crossfire? If that’s a chance you wanna take, then do so. But us Cybertronians are limited - there ain’t no more ‘otspots! Mebbe someday they’ll come back, but we kint know that. Please, save yerselves, just give up Tarn and start over somewhere else!”

Once again, Swivel was making an impassioned speech, trying to convince the citizens of Tarn to evacuate. The femme was slowing down and trying harder to enunciate, hoping to be taken more seriously than before. However, her reputation as a fool has already been set, and most of the citizens just shake their heads and wander on by her. But a few citizens have gathered about her, listening intently and nodding their heads as silent agreement.

“Look, where ya goin’? Look, just ‘coz ya’ll think I’m crazy dun make this idea a bad one! Good things kin come from anywhere. You see the Decepticons millin’ about, and ya KNOW the Autobots wun let that stand! They’ll come to ‘liberate’,” Swivel makes quotations with her fingers, “you, and then they’ll stay ta protect ya. Some may think this’ll be great, if ya survive the battle for Tarn to see it. Unless ya plan ta join in the fight, on either side, get out of ‘ere! Get--”

Swivel was cut off as two officers stepped up to her, one on either side. “That is quite enough. It was amusing at first, but you are starting to ruin the peace. We already warned you once,” one of the mechs say.

It was true. Swivel had received a warning to not stir trouble. However, she was perplexed by this warning, as she did not really see herself as causing any trouble. She saw herself as helping! And so, she did not stop trying to convince the citizens to flee Tarn before the inevitable Autobot attack.

“Wot? But I--” Swivel began to protest, and then one of the mechs grabber her by the upper arm.

“You wouldn’t be resisting arrest, would you? Because that would look really bad for you right now,” one of the officers taunt. Swivel stares up at him, her optics wide and bewildered.

“Arrest? Arrest fer wot?” Swivel asks incredulously. One mech chortles, while the other shakes his head, wearing a slight sneer.

“For disturbing the peace. Come on, we think you just need a little break, and we got just the place for you!” the snider officer says, while the other snickers. Swivel continues to look flabbergasted, but when she realises this isn’t a prank, she just hangs her head and submits. “There’s a good girl. I think you’ve made enough scenes here. Come along now.”

Swivel was terribly aware of all of the optics on her as she was cuffed and made to follow one officer, while the other brought up the rear. As civilians watched, she was sure she saw some of them cheering and laughing. What would this do to her credibility, she wondered. She also found herself thinking about Hot Rod. He must have gone through this a lot. After all, he was quite a rebel. And then it dawned on her. Does this make her a rebel? Swivel reflected on that cautious, law-abiding citizen she once was, when she believed in the government and honestly bought the lie that the law was there to protect her. Now, she was cynical, paranoid, and distrustful. This was not the sort of person she wanted to be.

Throughout processing, Swivel’s mind was elsewhere. She had been reflecting upon the events that led to her current disposition. And she was trying to decide whether to try and let her suspicions go, or if doing so would just leave her even more wide open to danger. But if she was less suspicious, then maybe she would accept Blurr’s help. But if she did that, she’d certainly never see some of her friends again. She would certainly lose her elocutionist and his training. So what is the balance between vigilance and paranoia? Swivel could not really define this delicate line. She began to wonder who could? Who could she turn to for wisdom?

“Well, we hope you smarten up during your stay,” a guard said. Swivel just nodded her head as she was pushed into the cell. It was not empty. There were others in there, and she shrunk away from them. They looked mean. They obviously did something to end up in here, and Swivel didn’t want to get their attention. Wait. Swivel was in here! And she didn’t do anything too terrible. So maybe they didn’t either. Maybe they wouldn’t shiv her during recharge. One of them looked more bored than menacing, and the other was content to lie on the floor with his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. Well, Swivel often liked to believe that a stranger was just a friend you haven’t met yet.

“‘Ello!” Swivel said, trying to sound cheerful. Silence. The bored one barely gave her a glance, and the other remained staring at the ceiling. “Um…. I’m Swivel.” At first, Swivel wanted to ask what they were in for, but she doubted that would be terribly tactful. However, she could not think of anything but asking why they were there, or for how long they’d been locked up. It made it hard for her to think of other topics that weren’t so painfully avoiding the obvious ones. “Uh… ‘ow are ya’ll doin’?” Ouch. That was also a dumb question. The bored one cast her an annoyed look, and Swivel recoiled a little. “Wellum… okay… guess ya’d jus’ prefer some quiet toim. I’ll, uh, I’ll uh jus’ sit in this corner…” Swivel said as she walked over to a free corner and sat down, “...but if ya wanner talk, I’d be ‘appy to.” Swivel gave her best smile. The bored mech just shook his head and looked away. Swivel sighed. She could already tell this would be a long couple of cycles.

The thought most prevalent on Swivel’s mind, however, was that she hoped that Tarn did not get attacked while she was locked up.