Megatron returned to the Nemesis-A and ordered the ship to be ready for the next day’s battle. He sat in his ready room and stewed over his lost chance of power. The coming war against Starscream’s forces wouldn’t give him enough of an opportunity to wrest that kind of power from Optimus. “Peace,” he muttered. “All I want is power to bring peace. Why is it so difficult for the universe to understand?!” His door chime then rang. “Come in.” The door opened to reveal Treadshot. Megatron stood up. “Dad!”
“I met with your mother,” replied Treadshot. “She said she told you boys everything about what I was. …I’m sorry to hear about Dion’s reaction…and yours considering Dion’s. …My boy, making the same mistakes as me.”
“Oh, come on, Dad!” protested Megatron. “The Autobots had become decadent! They went all Functionist on the Decepticons! Someone had to stop them! That’s why I gained power! You were a Decepticon once! That’s how we obtain peace, isn’t it? By seeking power?”
“That’s not the trick to obtaining peace, my boy. The trick is knowing when to give up power, something both sides lost sight of during the war.” Megatron rolled his optics and sat down. “…How’s your wife?”
“…Physically, she’s fine,” remarked Megatron. “It’s her mental state I’m worried about.”
“Hadn’t you better check on her?”
“She locked me out when I tried.”
“…She’s hurting, badly.”
“She needs her husband now.” The two mechs then stood up. Megatron went one way and Treadshot went another.
Nightbird was in the mess hall with a bottle of Engex. She gave everyone the impression that she wanted to be alone. As she poured herself another glass, someone approached her table. She looked up and glared at Drift. Drift responded with a smile as she sat down. “I’m glad I could find you, Nightbird.” Her optics then rested on the bottle. “…I see you started without me.”
“My former target wanted to meet me,” replied Nightbird, “to discuss my bright future once we commit deicide. Did you expect me to deal with any of this in a sober manner?”
“I figured a somewhat casual setting would make things…easier. Fewer ghosts lurking around.” Nightbird scoffed.
“Says the only ghost that matters.” She downed her glass, then poured another one. Drift noticed that Nightbird spilled some Engex as she poured.
“…Don’t you think you should slow down?”
“This is nothing.” Nightbird set the bottle down. “And whether or not I want more will depend on where you think this conversation is going.” Drift realized that Nightbird might not be totally receptive, so she considered her words.
“…All right, let’s talk,” she sighed. “Look, our cyber-ninjitsu styles are similar to the ones Yoketron teaches, yes?”
“So, why not have the two schools work together occasionally? I’m not suggesting a total merging of the schools, even Yoketron would be against the idea. What I’m proposing is the occasional student exchange. I mean, with Starscream beaten, do you really think either Autobot OR Decepticon will, deep down, WANT to resume hostilities? Maybe this is a good opportunity to try and…learn from one another?” Nightbird DID give the idea some thought.
“…No.” Drift was a little dismayed but held her course.
“It’s a ludicrous suggestion!”
“But why is it ludicrous?”
“Do I really need to explain why telling Yoketron that the exchange will involve his students learning how to kill, when his own dojo code calls killing impetuous courage, is a bad idea?!”
“No, but I might need some help understanding why it’s crazy to suggest that both schools at least learn from each other so they can better understand the other’s philosophies.”
“You’re being difficult!”
“Coming from you, that’s a compliment.” Nightbird slammed her hand on the table as she continued.
“You and I come from a school of killers, Deadlock! That is what we exceled in! That’s what we ALWAYS excel in! Decepticon Cyber-Ninjas are not, nor will we ever be, heroes!” Drift briefly considered her former pursuer’s words, then changed tactics.
“You said, when we were students, that you wanted to change the Decepticon Cyber-Ninja Corps; now, now you say that the Corps is irredeemable, it’s beyond redemption.” Nightbird folded her arms in annoyance.
“What are you getting at?”
“Nightbird, have you ever tried saving people instead?”
“…I’m sure that I saved plenty of people by removing certain unsavory individuals.”
“CERTAIN unsavory individuals. That means the clients had to wave a lot of Shanix under your olfactory sensors to get you to remotely care about them. You know what Bludgeon always said, never take contracts simply for the sake of others, and you didn’t. Tell me, even when you accepted the contracts, when you ran your sai into the head of a gun-toting drug lord with a resume shockingly like your own, were you really thinking about how many people you saved by doing so?” Nightbird looked away, uncomfortable at Drift’s questions. “So, let me ask again, have you ever taken up your sai because innocent people were in need, or are you chasing around potential personal futures, hoping that if you kill enough of them, you might get a decent recharge one day?”
“I…I wouldn’t…” muttered Nightbird.
“You wouldn’t…?” invited Drift. Nightbird finally stood up and slammed her hands on the table.
“I wouldn’t know where to start!!”
“How fortunate that you have someone who can help you with that!”
“What exactly do you want from me, Deadlock?!” Drift sighed.
“…I want us to move on. I don’t want to be a ghost locking you in a moment in the past. You already said that you don’t believe the Decepticon Cyber-Ninja Corps will ever change if you continue like this. If it hasn’t worked then, maybe it’s time to try something else.” Drift got up and headed towards the door. “I don’t expect an answer right now. Give it some thought. I’m not asking you to be a hero. A work in progress is good enough.” She left the mess hall, leaving Nightbird to her thoughts.