- Motto: "Victory needs no explanation, defeat allows none."
- Weapon: Nuclear Charged Fusion Cannon
I think I used up my share of Ember's generosity for this decade, so much she aided me in hammering all this into a workable concept. So my gratitude to her.
And to SmokescreenGT, for kindly lending me Prowl to use in the profiles.
Function: Squadron leader
Alt. mode: Olive green Ford Mustang with black stripes
Weapons: 2x high powered handguns
Height: 28 ft (8,4 meters)
Quote: "We all go, or we don’t go."
Tech Skill: 4
Avatar: A young woman, her hair chin-length and black with purple streaks. She wears a brown leather jacket over a black top, olive-green military-style fatigues and high-heeled brown leather boots.
Profile: [From Remington’s Personal Logs; Entry Nr. TDN-90037512/111] They say there comes a make or break moment in every soldier’s life, when all the stress, all the impossible choices rush up to them all at once. I don’t think I have met mine yet but Beretta sure had hers. And I believe it is one worth recording. It happened during one of her early missions, somewhere in Uraya. She was still a file soldier, sent behind enemy lines with her squad. They completed the task but not without casualties. They carried their wounded to the extraction point, but as it turned out, extraction wouldn’t come. The officer in charge decided they would have to attempt to reach a friendly post on pedal. The wounded could not be carried, because of increasing the risk of discovery and slowing them down. As cruel and distasteful a choice it was, the officer went with it and ordered Beretta to execute those three wounded mechs. Mercy killings. She shot two with trembling actuators, two who were unable to even move or speak anymore. But she couldn’t shoot the third one who was still clinging on to life. She refused the order in the end. Instead, she hoisted that last casualty onto her shoulder and set off. The officer told her it was her choice. Able to progress faster unburdened, the rest of her squad left her behind. She was alone in enemy territory, carrying a wounded who was conscious but was utterly incapable of fighting. Slipping away between ambushes, she made quite a distance before she got into a firefight. Suffered a few burns but managed to take down the attackers and went on. She never stopped. Eventually, she passed by the twisted, charred remains of her squad mates. They had been found and dealt with. Still, she kept going. And after two mega-cycles of tormenting forced march, with several scorch-streaks on her frame and one solid round furrowed into her upper right arm, she reached an Autobot post. There, with proper medical attention, both her and the casualty she carried could be saved.
If that doesn’t show who Beretta really is, nothing ever will. Oh, one small thing. That casualty she brought back. It was me.
Abilities: Beretta is one of those who wasn’t made to command but has grown into it. She used to be rash, reckless and boisterous but after she dragged my aft out of that scrap-hole in Uraya where I nearly died, she started to change. She started to believe she could make a difference. That it mattered what she did and how well she did it. That determination, that confidence, that presence she now has stems from that time. She’s developed into an able field commander. I never thought anyone could change this much, especially her, after all those drinking nights she had endeavored on… And that nickname you’ll hear her called by, “Gunslinger”, that’s no accident either. She’s an expert with handguns, back and forth. Only challenge her to a drawing bout if you can handle disappointment well. The neat looking sports-car she transforms into can reach the top speed of 148 mph, which translates to the kmph range as 236. I gauged it myself.
Weaknesses: Sometimes her old, rash self resurfaces, particularly when there is lot of steam to let off. But it hasn’t caused any trouble so far. [End of file.]
Alt. mode: Black Aston Martin DB9
Weapons: Long-range precision rifle
Special Abilities: -
Height: 28 ft (8,4 meters)
Quote: "Have you ever seen me miss?"
Tech Skill: 6
Avatar: A straight and serious-faced woman who looks like she's in her early thirties, with slicked back blonde hair. She wears a white suit and sunglasses.
Profile: [Evaluation report; Record Number: CL-00513672/7429; Recipient: Prowl, Strategic Advisor; Submitted by: Beretta, Squadron Leader] At the same time, easy-going and utterly confident to the point of superiority. A curious mixture. Not to mention, a relentless perfectionist. Strive for the best, demand the best. I love that when Dragunov has her trusty sniper rifle in actuator and is watching my six with it, but she can get on my nerves when her quirks overtake her sense and she starts talking to the rest of us like we were three leagues below her. The legacy of having been the director of an entire manufacturing firm once, I guess. Now nothing but mud and fluid in the trenches with us grunts. It must have been quite a blow to her, losing all her fortune and pedigree. I am aware, though, that she did it all on her own, decommissioning the entire business when she discovered it had gotten tied up in Decepticon-related politics. That definitely plays to her credit. She’s steadfast, loyal, sociable, smart and fluid in conversation on basically any subject. Just that damn superiority that sometimes gets the better of her…
Abilities: Even if her rifle is unloaded, when she points it at you, you involuntarily get those static-charge shivers crawling up your backplate. She’s the only sniper I know whose hit ratio reaches 98% on the shooting range. You need an optic picked off from 10 miles? She’ll get it done. Though, if you need a diplomatic advisor, I can also recommend her. Her intelligence, familiarity with both economics and politics make her an ideal one. The alternate mode she opted for upon assignment to Earth is a luxury-sports car that has a top speed of 186 mph which, according to Remington, calculates to 300 kmph, as speed is measured in certain regions on Earth.
Weaknesses: Dragunov is, due to a different background, not as physically able as the rest of my squad. She’s best deployed as rearguard / support, away from the direct front. Also, though so far we’ve been able to prevent it, her overconfidence may cause trouble for her. Or the whole squad, for that matter. [End of report.]
Function: Close-quarters specialist
Alt. mode: Beige Dodge Challenger with dark brown stripes
Weapons: 2x automatic, extended magazine handguns
Height: 27ft / 8m
Quote: "Winners are a different caste."
Tech Skill: 4
Avatar: A sporty, determined-looking young woman with short, slightly spikey brown hair. She wears a white-blue-red tracksuit and white training shoes.
Profile: [Evaluation report; Record Number: CL-00513418/2642; Recipient: Prowl, Strategic Advisor; Submitted by: Beretta, Squadron Leader] A walking, solid block of pride. You know how it is with these ex-full contact martial sports practitioners. And Glock was one of the best. Not, by far, as vicious as Kaon’s gladiators but she did dish out and soak up enough in her time. From the way she moves, I wager she is pretty proficient in at least three different disciplines. I also have some suspicions on Crystallocution training. She doesn’t talk about it. Unfortunately, because of that high level of achievement, she believes there’s only one set of rules to follow: her own. She’s dedicated, tireless but when she decides on something, she gets so stubborn even Primus would have a hard time dissuading her. The only way I found to make her listen upon her recruitment was to knock her out straight (you ought to remember that, file DCM-917, you were our appointed disciplinary officer then…). It hasn’t completely stopped her from flaunting my authority on occasion, though, for I believe she sees me as a rival. But it’s under control. Alternatively, Ingram can talk sense into her, they seem to get along just fine.
Abilities: Despite all her personal shortcomings, I can’t help but feel relieved knowing she’s on our side when I see her in action. She can so expertly dispatch basically any foe in hand to hand combat that I don’t know how I ever managed to floor her. She can even use her paired handguns up close, grabbing them by the barrel and using them as clubs or adding their firepower to her already lethal moves in short, precisely controlled bursts. Her car mode has the top speed of 150 mph, which is by other measurements 240 kmph.
Weaknesses: That damn pride of hers. I understand that it’s some kind of code that drives her but it can make dealing with her extremely difficult. [End of report.]
Function: Heavy weapons specialist
Alt. mode: Beige and red Hummer H1
Weapons: Rotator cannon
Height: 33ft / 10m
Quote: "Step aside, I'm comin' through!"
Tech Skill: 5
Avatar: A conspicuously tall and well-built young woman with short-cropped red hair. She wears a black sleeveless shirt, a brown vest, bermuda shorts and hiking boots.
Profile: [Evaluation report; Record Number: CL-005139341/1149; Recipient: Prowl, Strategic Advisor; Submitted by: Beretta, Squadron Leader] The loudest in the team. As loud and as huge she is, as kind her spark. And unfortunately, as dim in the brain compartment. Never aspired for much, having been a power-loader operator before enlistment, but what she has to do, she does dutifully. No science prizes out there for her to win but I’m certain she’d carry all the rest of us on her back to the nearest medbase if she had to, or shield us with her frame from enemy fire, merely out of loyalty. She’s one tough bot who approaches everything with cheerful simplicity and never gives up until either she goes down or the objective is achieved. Couldn’t think of anyone better to hold ground. Strong, reliable and as steadfast as any of the others. Oh, has a habit of emphasizing her point with guns. Huge guns. She has a thing for them. Whether that’s the reason Glock likes her the most, I don’t know. But those two make a highly effective duo.
Abilities: While nowhere near as refined as Glock, Ingram is a resourceful brawler. It’s usually her slamming opponents larger than herself to either the ground or into walls, but I’m the one to feel my skeletal structure jar from those forceful impacts. She can withstand enormous punishment and walk away on her own pedal actuators with injuries that would send a normal mech outright to stasis lock. No, I wouldn’t believe it either but I saw it with my own optics. Add to that her borderline obsession with firepower and you have the perfect material for a heavy-duty trooper. The rotator cannon she carries can be fitted with a variety of ammunition and used for different purposes. Its maximum firing rate is 12.000 rounds per one Earth minute. Her alternate-mode is a fitting one, too. A high-mobility vehicle that can reach the top speed of 70 mph which, again Remington tells me, is about 113 kmph.
Weaknesses: Ingram’s tough alright, but she also needs instructions to operate efficiently. Thinking battle plan comes to her with some difficulty. Also, what makes her so formidable, her love for firepower, also makes her susceptible to running out of ammunition real fast. [End of report.]
Alt. mode: Green Chevrolet Avalanche with yellow trim
Weapons: Stinger Shotgun
Height: 27ft / 8m
Quote: "The fact that things can break doesn’t mean you have to break them."
Tech Skill: 9
Avatar: A girlish young woman with a serene face, her long brown hair tied back to a high ponytail. She wears a brown bib-type overall over a green shirt and working boots. In the pouches of her overall, various tools are tucked.
Profile: [Evaluation report; Record Number: CL-005133618/9020; Recipient: Prowl, Strategic Advisor; Submitted by: Beretta, Squadron Leader] Remington is a solid support for me, she has always been and I know she always will be. We go a long way back. She’s been changed by the war, we all have, but she kept that cheerful, unselfish streak that makes you feel like having a friend the moment you talk to her. Composed, rational and objective, she’s more often than not the cool head we need in a heated situation. Everyone values her input. She keeps records, charts, specifications on everything and is a real wizard when it comes to either repairing or customizing equipment. How many times has it been that she fixed up supposedly totaled guns written off for scrap? I lost track…
Abilities: Remington can sit for cycles without end until she comes up with a solution to a problem. Which, after each engagement, most likely includes one of Ingram’s armaments that jammed due to not-too-proper use. But whatever it is, it always gets remedied in the end. It’s Remington’s gift, she’s a repairs-femme with golden manual actuators. Recently, she has also undergone in-depth first aid training, expanding her considerable knowledge on all things mechanic even more. She carries a custom made shotgun, primarily for self-defense but has no trouble taking down your regular Con from up close. Her alternate mode has the top speed of 75 mph which equals, by her own assessment, 120 kmph.
Weaknesses: Remington is more of a technician than a soldier, so putting her up to the front is unadvised. And I can also sense that she’s growing ever weary of this conflict. Though the thought of having her removed from the squad discomforts me, I may have to recommend her for reassignment to a research facility or temporary dismissal from service to avoid permanent psychological scarring. [End of report.]
Sample post: The gun shop Beretta's holomatter avatar entered was a small, but neatly decorated and tidy place. Wooden racks lined the walls, carrying a display of several dozen firearms from simple sidearms to semi-automatics and shotguns. All labeled and with a tag attached that described the gun's basic characteristics, caliber, rate of fire, magazine size, and so on. Diffused light from carefully arranged lamp-brackets glinted on their scrupulously clean-kept metal surfaces.
Beretta wandered in, clearly feeling as close to the concept of home as it was possible. She couldn't recall even Remy keeping this many weapons in her own workshop, or in such neat rows.
Some of the designations she read on the labels did strike her as odd, though. She tried to pronounced them inwardly. They sounded very similar to...
She picked one of the pistols off the rack. A Beretta M92.
A young, stern-faced but kind-eyed man came over to greet her, wearing an intentionally not too well-ironed shirt. Elegant but not snobbish. It wasn't just the rich and bored who purchased guns, after all.
"Perhaps you'd like an introduction to..." he began gently but was suddenly interrupted by Beretta quickly and expertly ejecting the magazine, slamming it home again, then thumbing the safety off and racking the slide. "...or maybe not."
She looked up at him, grinning.
"I think I can figure out the basic workings, but thanks."
"It's rare to see someone knowing their ware this well," the man said. "I'm Marvin. Welcome to Winley’s Arms."
"Glad to meetcha, Marv. I'm Retta," she returned gingerly.
"Yeah, Retta. And let's just leave it at that, okay?" She raised a holomatter-eyebrow suggestively.
"As you say," Marvin said with a warm smile, though obviously wrong-footed. He turned his attention to the gun she held in her hand instead. "You like it?"
"Oh yes, I do. Very much," Beretta said with a reverence toward the weapon in her voice Marvin could not quite place. "Simple mechanism, yet highly effective and by my estimation, very accurate." She held the pistol out as if tracking a target.
"Your estimation? Haven't you used a Beretta M92 before? Just now you readied it as if you were born with it."
"None that I recall. I'm used to more... advanced tech."
"Advanced tech...?" Marvin smiled again, this time even more baffled.
"Yeah, you know... concussion blasters, standard voltage lasers, plasma emitters and..." she began with unthinking enthusiasm but immediately realized her slip. Dealing with humans was an entirely new, unexpored area. She'd need to watch what she said.
Marvin stood and looked at her, mouth slightly agape, dumbfounded.
"Sorry, sorry. Too much... science-fiction," Beretta giggled, waving a hand dismissively.
"I take it, you're a... professional?" Marvin attempted to steer the conversation back to a more solid ground.
"You bet," Beretta said instead of asking him with mild sarcasm if several millions of years worth of trudging trenches, blowing Cons' cranial units off, ducking for cover and burying comrades qualified as being professional.
"Are you in special forces?"
"So special you wouldn't believe." She looked up, directly into his eyes. Marvin couldn't tell whether she was joking or not.
"If I might take a guess I'd say... from another planet?" Marvin asked, a clumsy attempt at humor. He was at a loss for anything appropriate. He couldn't quite figure the young woman in front of him. An expert with guns, light hearted but so... off. Likable but weird.
Both of them paused. Then both of them laughed. All of a sudden. The exchange was so surreal none of them could contain it any longer.
"Now that, Marv, is a very long and complicated story, I'm afraid..." Beretta said and her expression turned sourer as their laughter abated. Her gaze shifted away, as if she saw something in the distance that had been dear to her once but she had been forced to leave behind.
There were a few seconds of silence.
"Maybe you could tell me... over dinner?" Marvin then said gently.
Beretta looked at him again. His eyes sparkled with a genuine interest. He was a kind person at heart, apparently. The kind that got slagged first when the chaos of war, real war, reached them.
Beretta thought for a moment. While it would have been an interesting jaunt to engage more deeply in human interactions, it would also have severely jeopardized Autobot security on the planet. Not to mention, hurting the guy. He thought he was talking to a normal human. There was no point in dragging him into a conflict that was way out of his reach to comprehend. If the Decepticons' battle plan progressed as it usually did, it was very likely that he would be killed, wiped out along the majority of the planet's populace in the latter stages of infiltration anyway. Best leave him in peace for the remaining time he had.
Though, Beretta wouldn't let any grim chance keep her from doing everything in her power to make the Cons stop and hammer them back to the waste disposal canals of Kaon. Marvin had just reminded her why at all she was an Autobot. For that, she was grateful.
She spun the gun over in her hand and offered it to Marvin, grip first. She looked him in the eye, trying to put as much sincerity in her voice and her glance as the holomatter avatar could convey.
"That ain't gonna work, Marv, I'm sorry. You're a sweet chap, though." She slapped him on the shoulder as he took the pistol. "Nice store, by the way, and great ware. Keep it up."
Waving him farewell, the holomatter that was Beretta among humans, walked out of the gun shop, leaving Marvin's confused face behind.
She walked back to her alternate form that was patiently waiting in a small parking lot nearby, and opened a link to her squad as she sat in.
>> "Two things you won't believe, guys. One: I almost got hooked up with a human. Two: our names are made up of the same phonetics as some gun designations here on this planet." <<
Dragunov turned the page of the newspaper she had flipped open on the table in front of her. She sipped her coffee and waved at the waitress to bring the bill.
>> "How intriguing it would have been." << She smirked as Beretta's transmission came through. >> "You should have gone for it, chief. If we're really named after guns here like you say, we should blow, right?" <<
While she was talking, she held a cellphone to her ear. The open terrace of the cafe was bustling with chattering guests and hurrying staff. Lots of eyes and ears. As much as she was teasing Beretta, Dragunov was well aware of the necessity of appearances for maintaining cover in front of the local populace.
>> "Oh, I wouldn't want to spoil your chances at first shot, Dragu. If we ever get the chance." << Beretta replied.
>> "Much obliged, chief." << Dragunov said and pushed a note to the waitress who returned with the check, and flicked her hand to show no change was needed. The waitress blinked in momentary bafflement but quickly composed herself and offered a curt nod of gratitude. True, the banknote would mysteriously disappear a short time later when Dragunov recalled all the holomatter to her projector but that would be a problem for someone else to solve. >> "I think I know just where I'd start. " <<
>> "What's on your mind?" << Beretta said quickly, before some other members of her squad who liked to pick on Dragu as much as Dragu liked to pick on her would cram the channel full with slag.
And because she was genuinely interested. Of all her squad, Dragunov had the keenest sense for interacting with individuals of vastly different social status and political standing. If Beretta had had to name five Bots who could establish successful cooperation with humans, Dragunov would have been one of them.
>> "There are a few people who keep coming up in the international newsreels and these celullose-based information sheets they call newspapers. The most interesting appears to be a sort of magnate named G.B. Blackrock. Fuel industry, telecommunications, the guy has a hand in almost all major aspects of the planet-wide economy. There are a few others but he is the most prominent. And quite... handsome, by human standards. " <<
Dragunov's holomatter-self smirked as she downed the coffee from her mug and folded the newspaper under the crest of her arm. Leaving the table, she wound her way through the crowded terrace back to her luxury car alternate-mode with an aristocratic, high grace to her steps.
Carefully, so that no one would see, she emptied the drink she had consumed into a wastebin by the side of the walkway, through a slit opening on her palm. She had no biological digestive system to process beverages, but having a drink did a lot to help blending in. And she liked to blend in.
>> "If you ever get in touch with him, make sure to get me a clearance to his factories. Primitive these Earthlings may be by our standards, but some of the technologies they implement are pretty innovative. I’d love to see it up close." << Remington's voice crackled over the comm-net.
>> "You also know this guy, Remy?" << Beretta asked.
>> "Some of the parts I'm pretending to cobble into my vehicle mode were manufactured by his local firms. His renown is quite something this side of the city. They don't slag around much, produce quality stuff. " <<
To anyone not being aware what they were looking at, Remington was just a young woman wearing a worker's overall, bending under a propped-up hood and busily tinkering in the engine compartment of a bulky SUV parked by the roadside. Along the four-lane avenue, warehouses and all sorts of mechanic's workshops rose. Dull clangs reverberated periodically and machine clatter came from the background. A blowhorn signaling the end of a shift blared in the distance, and the air smelled of burned metal, sweat and oil. A towering chimney belched grey, unfriendly smoke towards the sky. Trucks loaded with raw materials, buses carrying workcrews, and the occasional motor-cars sped by. A few pedestrians paced along the walkways.
Remington liked it. The chemicals her nasal receptors picked up and indentified were different than the ones in the industrial districts back on Cybertron but conveyed the same feeling. She loved everything mechanic, animate or inanimate. To her, all pulsed with life. The intricate little parts that turned, spun and slid together to make vast machineries perform various tasks, the sounds that accompanied them, the electrical discharges that coursed back and forth... That's why she felt elated in surroundings like this. The area was like a living city.
Her avatar sighed delightedly and made the all too human gesture of wiping the sweat from her brow.
>> "So this Blackrock guy is worth writing into a report, right? Anything else on your end?" << Beretta said.
Remy straightened up beside her own alternate form and looked left and right.
>> "Nothing of import, chief. Low traffic, the usual at this breem. I'll be moving onto checkpoint five in three klicks. And yeah, this Blackrock chap looks like a viable prospect for our PR agent Dragu..." <<
Dragunov just sniggered and revved her engine to emphasize she liked the thought.
>> "Remy, throw me up some details on him, would you? Find out what you can, his involvements, technical specifications on his hardware, whatever you find interesting and warrants taking up storage space in the mainframe back at base. Dragu, you can help, if you're so inclined. But only surveillance, understood? If you miss a mark and expose us, Prowl will have our afts singed by a solar flare." << Beretta crackled.
>> "I never miss a mark." << Dragunov said with utter confidence.
Beretta grunted. It passed for an affirmation. Even if Dragunov was an intolerable snob at times, oozing superiority and choking holiness, there was no denying her claim. Beretta couldn't name a more accurate sharpshooter in the Earth-based Autobot contingent.
>> "I don't know why you're makin' such a jangle over this all. It's so simple to hang aroun' humans." << A deeper, robust and gleeful voice cut in. Something very loud came through with it, distorting the words.
>> "Ingram, that you? Repeat." << Beretta said, trying to overshout the noise assaulting her audio receptors.
>> "It's me alright, chief. I was just asking..." <<
>> "What's with the commotion? I can't hear a damn thing." <<
>> "Engines, chief. A slagload of engines." <<
A pause. Everyone stayed silent for a micron. Indeed, the cacophony seemed to resolve itself into a choir of angrily roaring engines.
>> "Where the hell are you?" << Beretta demanded, fluid pressure rising.
>> "Gatherin' intelligence, like you said, chief. Glocksie and I found ourselves a street race. She's just driven up to the start line." << Ingram said gingerly, completely unaware that she was about a mono-filament wire's width from unleashing her squad leader's ire.
A row of cars rolled up to a white line drawn on the concrete just a minute before, and wobbled and shook from sudden gas injections. Exhausts spat swirling smoke and blue tongues of flame. A gathered batch of people in overly colourful, extravagant clothing cheered and whistled, waving hands into the air and pulling banknotes from pockets and wallets to hand them over to hastily promoted buckmakers, betting on this car and that.
All types of exotic and conspicous custom made cars were parked around the abandoned roadway that led outwards from the city at the eastern fringe. A long, straight path of concrete flanked by little other than gritty sand, save for scattered patches of dried underwood.
Ingram's holomatter-self sat on the hood of her alternate mode, easily the largest vehicle in the vicinity, and looked on the race about to start with a wide grin. She pressed a cellphone to her ear casually with a single finger.
>> "And what part of that qualifies as gathering intelligence?" << If Beretta's voice had been her fist, Ingram would have heard it clench.
At least, now Beretta knew why Ingram an Glock hadn't started picking on Dragu at the first opening. They had been busy elsewhere.
>> "Uh, local customs, practices... you know, the stuff they always tell us to observe when we disembark on a new world...? So Glocksie thought this might be a... good chance an' all..." << Ingram said, every sign of complacency gradually vanishing from her expression, as she arrived to the realization that something was not quite right.
>> "And the part about no intervention, no engagement until absolutely necessary? Working covert, keeping distance? I'm sure you recall." <<
>> "Yeah, chief but come on, it's just a..." <<
>> "Shut the slag up, Ing. You two disengage right now and get out of there or I swear to Primus I'll shove a batch of scraplets up your exhausts and feed you to a trash compactor. Clear?" << Beretta exploded.
Ingram got the message. She hopped off her hood and began jogging over to the crowded section of the road and elbowing her way through.
Just when with a shriek of tires, the cars took off.
"Slag..." she muttered.
>> "Relax, I've got this." << Glock said a moment later, sounding as sure of herself as she always did.
>> "You break off this instant, Glock." << Beretta said, seething.
>> "Like slag. Once you're in, you don't get out 'till it's over." << Glock retorted, unyileding.
Tires kept screaming and engines revved as if they were trying to outroar one another. Gleaming metal needles rocketed forward to the quarter mile sign - two trash cans at either side of the road - laid out in the distance. Glock took the lead and cut off another car that was trying to overtake her from the right.
Beretta fumed but couldn't think of what to do. Glock's pride was a major cause for cranial unit aches. The worst part, there was nothing in the known universe, except perhaps a round between the optics, that would dissuade Glock from a choice she had already made.
>> "Alright, Glock. Since there's nothing I can do to make you back the slag off, you can have your fun. But get ready to face the consequences. Disciplinary, three mega-cycles, at least." <<
>> "What, you ain't gonna slagtalk to try and put me off?" << Glock said, challengingly.
Beretta sighed. Or rather, her holo-avatar did.
>> "I thought you already understood this before. This isn't about me being right over you. It's not about me doubting your abilities. It's not about seniority or squad command. It's not even about me or you or any of us. This is way bigger. We are here for a reason and that reason is building up a bulwark against the Con threat." <<
A pause in words. Engines grating like hoarse throats. Gears shifting. Another cut-off, this time on the left. Glock accelerated, putting some distance between herself and the other racers.
>> "What you're doing right now, puts everything in danger. Say, you cause an accident speeding around and we get exposed. What's gonna happen? A whole world will panic and mobilize against incursion. How will the Cons react? Most likely, speed up their infiltration process and burn the planet down before we can build up our defenses. And what then? We wage war, trampling another billion dead bodies in a wasteland scoured of life. Haven't we seen that enough times? Haven't enough died already?" <<
The thundering muscle car that was Glock's alternate mode passed the quarter mile sign two chassis lenghts ahead of the second racer. One of the cans was swept over by the torrent of wind the speeding vehicles brought on.
>> "We have duties that we must carry out, we've had ever since we took oath of the Autobot symbol back at Iacon Autobase. If you still haven't figured that, I have no other way left to break it to you than disciplinary. And I can only hope you get the point before you end up in court martial." <<
Glock hit the brakes, sliding into a U-turn. Her tires screeched even more painfully until she came to a halt. The dust she kicked up billowed away.
But she didn't say a word. Her avatar just stared out into the distance in front of her.
>> "I get it. You win, chief." << She then said, dryly. >> "I'm sorry." <<
Beretta sighed again. So damn stubborn you could break a rockcrete block on her cranial. Still this win or lose scrap.
>> "Haul your aft back to base, an officer and I are going to have a chat with you." <<
The muscle car started slowly, defeatedly, in spite of having won the drag round. Not waiting for the onlookers rushing up to cheer her on and celebrate the victory, Glock rumbled away.