Decisions

This was her last test.

Her final opponent stared her down, large and bulky with a large cannon protruding from his chest. Nightbird merely glared back at the Autobot to her side. Clearly he was going to be a different opponent to battle. She had excelled with fighting people armed with stealth or odd special powers, and even took down one of the Wrestlers all on her own. This would be the first time she would fight an opponent with an actual weapon.

Nightbird knew she was ready. Time and again she had been deemed worthy of weapons; sai daggers, nunchaku, shuriken, and two lightsabers. And still she was confined to the Cyber-Ninja Corps and not allowed into battle. What did it take to graduate? She knew she had the power and capability to hold her own in the fight against the Decepticons. Her special power was teleportation, Slaggit! That alone should be enough to let Master Yoketron know that she was worthy of going into battle.

But no. Nothing she did was ever good enough for the Master. No matter how many enemies she would floor, no matter how stealthy and elusive she was in battle, she would never be good enough. What was worse, Master Yoketron never told her what she needed to do to be worthy. He had treated her very differently from any of his other students; she could tell. Many a time she had been given more attention than any of the other students, and more training and battles as well. Sometimes she wondered if this was his way of showing affection.

"Remember, my students. This is a hand-to-hand battle simulation. No weapons allowed." Master Yoketron explained. Nightbird wasted no time getting rid of her weapons. Inside, she was moderately relieved; her opponent seemed to only be armed with that cannon of his, and she could tell he was agitated that he wasn't allowed to use it. Nightbird was glad for her irremovable faceplate; her opponent wouldn't see her smirk. Though he seemed to find another thing to complain about.

"Woah woah; where the Pits did she get all those weapons!?" The red Autobot expressed his disapproval; rather rudely, if she may be so bold to state. Nightbird couldn't help but throw a snarky comeback his way.

"Surprised I'm better well-armed than you are?"

"Yes, actually. I am surprised. Since when do you give more than one weapon to your students, Master Yoketron?" Nightbird was somewhat surprised at this notion. She had more weapons than the other students? She hadn't noticed; she had yet to be in a battle involving weapons.

"I have my reasons. Nightbird is a special case, Warpath. I plan great things for her, and for another student. As I have already informed her; this is her last test."

Of course. Nightbird should have remembered; she was protoformed and raised specifically for Master Yoketron's little 'special plan' he always told her about. Whatever it was, Nightbird wished he would just get on with it already. Besides, this mention of 'another student' perked her interest. Perhaps he was to be a worthy opponent for her. She was tired of all these tests and battles she had to do.

Not physically, of course; she had learned long ago that she was incapable of feeling pain. Many of the medics that contacted her had suggested that it was a glitch in her wiring, though many a-time Master Yoketron had forbidden them from tampering with her circuitry. Did this 'other student' have the same circuitry? Was she a twin or something? Nightbird decided to lock these questions away in her processor. Perhaps when she graduated she would get an answer out of him.

She had a battle to fight.

"Take up your positions. Begin whenever you feel ready." Master Yoketron commanded from his perch. The arena was a roughly-cut winding shape made of the rocks just outside the Kalis City Limit. This would be easy; just a simple matter of shielding and differencing her position. She took up a fighting stance, and waited.

Warpath charged. Nightbird just stood her ground, her servos balled into fists and her knees bent. Warpath came close enough to bunch her in the face, before she teleported right before his fist made contact. Finding herself a good distance behind him, she jumped up and squatted in mid-air, before extending her stabilizing servo and making contact with a fist of his.

A violent jerk later and she knew she had to grab onto something. Reaching out of a random piece of rock she caught in a split-second, she managed to hold on long enough to stop Warpath's trajectory and keep her from violently smashing into the ground. With her free stabilizing servo, she kicked Warpath in the chinplate, and sprung out of his grip. She crouched onto the side of the cliff for a moment before straightening and bouncing off of it.

A corkscrew maneuver later and she found herself grabbing onto his face and crouching over his upper body. Unsure of what to do in this position, she randomly punched a part of his back and managed to get through his armor plating. There were some wires there, and some of them she knew led to his stabilizing servos. If she could just mess with them a little, then there was a good chance she'd be able to stop him from moving. That would be good; without movement there wasn't much else for him to do, and he'd have to admit defeat.

It didn't take long for Warpath to realize he didn't like having a femme writhing all over him, and grabbed onto her upper torso. His grip was much stronger this time, almost crushing her armor plating into her insides. Clearly he was holding back earlier. She was tossed over to a random side that she didn't know, and nearly crashed into the side of the cliff. Thinking quickly, and knowing there was nothing to hold on to, she collapsed into herself and spun around with the momentum.

When she stretched herself out, her feet made contact with the cliff and she immediately bounced off of it as soon as she felt herself able. Then she ran over to her opponent, him barreling towards her as well. She wasn't sure what would happen when they made contact, but one thing was for sure; neither of them wanted to lose. It was only a matter of time before they made contact and tried to kill each other.

Nightbird found herself overwhelmed by his sheer size and strength. There was a sickening pain in her core, and she soon found herself pinned to the ground, Warpath's chest-cannon prodding her own chest as though it were a surgical tool, and his servos gripping her wrists. For a reason that she knew but couldn't grasp entirely, he was holding her wrists a good deal above the ground, though the twisting motion he did to them let her know that it didn't mean he wasn't just as capable of keeping her down as he would have with her arms on the ground.

She was quick to react though; she transferred the energy in her wrists to her stabilizing servos, and brought one up to a crook in his armor underneath his cannon. She then started pushing him upwards, with all the force she could muster into her stabilizing servo. A pain-filled cry let her know that he was hurting quite a bit, but his grip didn't falter. She'd have to try something else, and now, while she was somewhat in control of the situation.

She knocked her servos upwards and clocked them together, bringing Warpath's with them. The strength on them didn't seem to be enough to make him let go of her, but it did manage to lift his body up a bit. This was good. Now she could slip out from underneath her. But now she had a choice; either she would slip out in front or behind him. The front would put them on equal ground, ready to fight each other for a considerably longer amount of time. Behind would twist him over onto his back and ensure that he lost his grip and that the fight would be over, with her winning. She went behind.

The traction leading her upwards was rather dizzying, as she had expected to land on the ground with Warpath doing a mid-air spin from the force. Instead, he let go almost immediately and simply keeled over a bit from the strain of trying to hold on. But that didn't stop her. It couldn't stop her. She needed to keep moving, she needed to win.

Nightbird made sure she landed on his back instead of the floor. Warpath managed to straighten himself up with her stabilizing servos choking his neck. It wouldn't be long before she'd lose her grip or he pried her off of him. She looked around, immediately catching sight of a stalagmite not too far from where they were in the center of the arena. Focusing on it, she teleported again.

With her body precariously balanced on the tip of the stalagmite, she straightened her squatting legs and jumped at the first red thing she could see. Thankfully Warpath was the only red thing to see for quite a while, and so she managed to land on his back and jolt him towards the floor. This gave an unexpected result, as his cannon ended up getting in the way and cracking his body incorrectly, prompting Nightbird to get off before he suffered any serious damage to his back. Regardless of what was going on, she was always taught not to all-out kill an opponent.

No matter how badly she wanted to.

As soon and Warpath managed to turn himself over to his back and crack his back into its correct position on his own, she took up a battle stance to make sure he wouldn't attack again. He showed no sign of being able to get up anytime soon, so she relaxed her position. Standing up straight, she walked calmly over to him. The game was over. She had won. By her foot, Warpath's agitated expression clearly showed through his own faceplate, his optics glaring at her with scorn and hate. She stepped on his chest and bent over him for good measure, bending just above his cannon.

"Surprised that I'm better at fighting than you?" She echoed from her previous statement. "The game is over now, Warpath, and I won. How does that make you feel, eh? Mister Graduate-Student-Who-Can't-Even-Win-A-Fight-Against-A-Femme." Nightbird couldn't help but taunt those on the ground to fight longer. She always wanted to fight a little bit longer, if only to actually lose for a change. It would be the best day ever if she would only lose. She hated winning so much.

Then she was blasted 10 hics into the air.

Of course, she didn't feel any pain. She never felt pain. All those things that she never got in her life, those were what she wanted most. She wanted to lose, and she wanted to feel pain, and she wanted to feel hated and despised. Too many students smiled at her and wanted to talk to her. Too many people went easy on her. Too many people lost to her. This was the first time she actually lost.

Clearly Master Yoketron wasn't happy with this. By the time she landed, she had caught many reprimands and chastisements from Master Yoketron, all directed at Warpath. There was an argument too. Warpath didn't take any put-downs lightly, it seemed. He always wanted to be right. He always wanted to win in some way.

"You heard her, Master Yoketron! The game was over! Once the game was finished, I used my cannon on her! There's nothing against that in the rule book!"

"You went against your own kind, Warpath. What I don't understand is why you would do something like that?"

There was a pause. Then,

"She beat me is why." Came Warpath's answer. So that was it. He was willing to brutally damage his own kind just because she beat him. Nightbird knew how she should feel about this. She should feel disgusted and appalled that such blatant Decepticon-like behavior was adamant in a student of the Cyber-Ninja Corps. She should feel ashamed of him for resorting to such barbarism in battle. She should feel scared that he was at large.

But she didn't. Instead, she felt… proud of him. She was proud that he had enough integrity and fighting spirit to attack anyone who challenged him. She was amused by how he took such a childish notion as 'she beat me' as enough incentive to wound her. And she was even delighted that he had found the right moment to attack her and make her lose for what felt like the first time. Now she knew what she did wrong. Now she knew what she needed to do to truly win a fight. She needed to take a win for a win, and a loss for a loss. She wished there were more people like Warpath in the Autobot Rankings.

"What you did was Decepticon-like Behavior, Warpath. I will not tolerate such disobedience and deliberate attempts to damage or traumatize one of your own. Do you understand, Warpath?"

There was an aggravated sigh from Warpath, but he gave no further argument. Nightbird liked that. He liked how he didn't want to admit to defeat, and always tried to be the one to win. But she was also disappointed. Because even though he didn't want to give in, he was. She got angry at him. Why wasn't he standing up for himself and taking care of what he needed? Why wasn't he telling Yoketron specifically that he wasn't going to comply with what he wanted him to do?

Because that was Decepticon-like Behavior.

"Then do you know what must be done?" Yoketron again. At this, Nightbird had began to rise. She smirked underneath her faceplate, glad that she could not feel pain. Her body was reacting strangely, but it was obedient nonetheless. Her stabilizing servos took a moment to stop shaking and balance her weight, but with enough leverage from the side of the wall she managed to get up.

"I do." Was her first statement. Yoketron and Warpath's attentions were immediately drawn to her. Warpath seemed shocked at her, apparently expecting her to stay down or be dead. She was disappointed. There were so many aspects about him that she had come to like, but there was a disproportionate amount of things she didn't like about him. There was too much Autobot in his Decepticon-like Behavior.

"Get back down, ya glitch-head!"

"You are in no position to be standing up, Nightbird."

"Shut yer traps! I'm not going to take any orders from either of you." Nightbird snapped at them, this time keeping her own leverage and not relying on the Cliffside anymore. Her servos stopped shaking and she was in complete control of her own body. She was just fine. She didn't need anyone else's help.

"What, did I blow you in the head or something!?"

"No. I just finally learned something."

"Oh yeah, what?" Nightbird offlined her optics for a moment, making sure she was certain about her decision. She wanted to make absolutely sure this was what she wanted. Yoketron would be fine with his 'other student'. She'd get what she wanted with them, but not here. And when she had finally decided she was, in fact, completely and entirely certain, the world around her became tinted a bright, menacing red.

This was shaping up to be a very interesting day for Longarm. First, he had been promoted from and intern to a Security Chief, the next step in the Autobot Intelligence Agency. This was good. He was one step closer to his ultimate goal of being the head of Autobot Intelligence. He was never one for the battlefield, he knew. If any of his activities back in Boot Camp were any indication, he was more suitable for trickery and stealth than actually fighting.

Of course, being a Security Chief wasn't exactly the first thing you thought of when you thought of the Autobot Intelligence Agency. But he'd have to learn how to keep his own files safe before exploring the enemy's. Once he learned how to make the documents and information assigned to him completely safeguarded and inaccessible, then he'd be able to go one step further and become an agent. He had a lot to learn, but still, practice makes perfect.

Of course, he wasn't entirely prepared for what happened next that day. The alarms had sounded off soon after he had finished securing his first practice document; it was a random nonsense drabble, full of random words strung together with no meaning whatsoever. So the first thing he thought of when the alarms for the Autobot Intelligence Agency began to sound was that someone was here to steal his document. Which he didn't understand completely, since it was just nonsense, but he had been trained to take every document, no matter how random, as seriously as if it were his spark.

Longarm decided to delete his document in a fit of panic, which was his first mistake. He should have locked it, or saved it into a secure area, or at least have transferred the data within it to his processor. But he was in plain sight in a large connector room, full of somewhat-trivial data the Autobot Intelligence Agency had gathered over the years. He wasn't supposed to be here in the first place... So why was he?

He'd think about that later. Right now he needed to get out of here and get himself to a safer location. Running through the maze-like hallways as well as though he had been born there, he was completely intent on getting to the center of the Intelligence agency. Who knows how dangerous this intruder could be? He wasn't built for battle; he was built for extension and assistance. He was built for stealth and nothing more. Those who were built for both stealth and battle were Cyber-Ninjas.

How ironic that, as soon as he began thinking of Cyber-Ninja's, he had realized that the intruder was, in fact, a Cyber-Ninja. And a female one, at that. This took him greatly off-guard, as he had only caught sight of her on the third-to-last turn until the center of the agency. He skidded to an abrupt halt, though not on a dime at all. He almost thought he would collide with her at the rate he was going! But of course, the Cyber-Ninja was more than capable of handling herself, and he merely slipped and fell onto his back from all of his attempts to stop himself.

As for the ninja? Well, she jumped over him and landed perfectly just a few mechanometers from his head. Soon enough he found a strong force placed upon his chassis by the ninja-bot. He stared up at the ninja, and did a double take. This ninja had a large dent on her chestplate and a crack on it as well. The crack on it seemed to be going all over the Autobot Insignia she had, making it seem as though it were specifically done to symbolize something. If he deduced correctly (and he sincerely hoped he was wrong), then the scar upon her Autobot Insignia meant that she had given up life as an Autobot. This only meant on thing:

She wanted to be a Decepticon.

"Tell me where the Space Bridge terminals are and I might spare your life." The ninja-bot warned. She dispatched two strange looking weapons from a spot on her wrists, and held on to them in a manner that suggested that she would not hesitate a moment with her decision. Longarm felt a large burst of fear contract his throat. He felt as though he was staring death in the face. The red optics of the femme seemed to burn with the ferocity of the pit.

Perfect.

"Speak!" She demanded of him. He made Longarm's faceplate twist in smile, his consciousness taking control of the situation. Oh yes, he would speak. He would speak and he would tell this femme where the Space Bridge terminals were. He would help this femme fulfill her goal of becoming a Decepticon. They needed someone like her in their rankings anyway.

"Very well, my dear. I will lead you straight to the Decepticon Arena."

This clearly took the femme by surprise, though she did a very good job of masking it. She merely lifted a brow, and stepped off of his chassis. She did no further questioning and allowed him to pick up Longarm's form from the ground. Obedient as well, it seemed. He stood tall and looked straight at her, unmoving. This seemed to draw out a reaction from the Ninja.

"Are you planning on tricking me? Do you wish to send me to the authorities, or will you arrest me as an authority yourself?" She said in a reprimanding, regal tone. She turned her body sideways, holding her three-pronged weapons tight in her hand, but still low and relaxed. She seemed confident of her abilities and sure that she would win whatever fight came up. If he could, he would have smiled with his own face.

But then again, he didn't have one.

"On the contrary, my dear femme," The look the femme placed upon her optics betrayed her faceplate. Her sheer astonishment and fear was clearly visible, but it was quickly replaced by what he could perceive as a menacing smile. He looked down at her from his Decepticon height, glad to be loose and free of the confines of his small Autobot guise. Their red optics both shared the slit that was used as a pupil.

"I intend to assist you."