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Transformers In Character!
And what does that make us? [prompt response] 
30th-Mar-2010 12:41 am
TFA Slipstream

*Taking time out from her scouting, Slipstream is crouched upon the ledge outside the wide glass expanse of the observation deck, near the top of the building in which she has claimed quarters*

The ideas of friendship and animosity have become entwined with my thoughts on leadership of late. Although I fully expect others to disagree, I think that anyone can potentially be a Decepticon leader; it is all a matter of going unchallenged. For example, let us say the most widely known Decepticon Leader is imprisoned by Autobots; well, as long as he's got loyal followers raving about how glorious his escape will be, he still is the Decepticon Leader. He's got followers. Yet, at the same time, someone else, perhaps a previous Second-in-Command, could be leading the Decepticons who are not in prison. And if this is so, then that individual is also the Decepticon Leader, so long as he, or she, goes unchallenged. And in another Star systems, other Decepticons may declare themselves the Leader. And they too would be.

In all of these cases, the rank and file about the Leader have a choice to make for themselves: accept commands or give challenge. It is in this way, the choice to submit or resist makes the Leader. Or, most correctly, their choice, plus their ability to follow through with that choice. A choice to resist means little to the Leader if the challenger fails...except that it makes both stronger for next time. Well, assuming they both live.

And, what, does this have to do with friendship or animosity? Everything, possibly. A Starscream recently said, "Those who do as I tell them, recognize my greatness, and don't get in my way are my "friends". "Enemies" would be everyone else." And I believe I agree with this, at least, I believe these definitions are parts of what makes up "friend" and "enemy". Going by these borrowed definitions - so appropriate to our faction - friends are not going to be as likely to make a challenge. The rest, may. Having "friends" means support when you make your challenge against someone else - though of course the actual combat must be a one-on-one duel - you may certainly have help in gathering the intel you need to plan strategy for that duel, and if you fail you will certainly need help with repairs.

However, I do not truly believe that everyone falls into only these two categories of supporters and everyone else. There are so many complex relationships, as I am learning. Those we call Liege Lords, or kin, or even lover are not mere supporters, and furthest from being enemies. And there are those we may term frenemies, or consider drinking partners, intelligence contacts, or business associates, which we enjoy for a time, or on a certain level, but would not hesitate to betray. And there are rivals, for love, or position, which is not the same thing as worthy opponent or mere annoyance, all of which would be considered enemies in the most general sense.

Some of these relationships I have experienced. I have found one I will consider Lord, because he is eldest and best of a kind, a progenitor and example. Though I will not submit to his commands and call him Leader, I will protect his reputation within the faction, such as any of us can do for another. And I will lead in his stead so long as he has other pursuits.

And I have found kin. A brother I knew I had and found again, and brothers I never expected to find, but discovered as my wing kin. Kin, unlike lesser friends, maintain through their bonds with us, their words and deeds such a respect that they may challenge without being enemies. Kin can tell us we do wrong, or refuse us, and still be respected. They make us stronger in character in doing so. They can make us stronger in spark by their very presence. They are to be protected and defended - whenever it would not dishonor them to do so.

I have no lover. I do not even have a body I use to pass the time. But, I have seen enough to know these both exist. A different kind of choice to submit or resist.

I do have various contacts and acquaintances. The kind of individuals that are valued for their influence, or what they can do for me, or maybe, sometimes, because I see some of myself in them. Individuals I might very well like to share a cube or two with after a mission. Ones that I trade favors with. Meet to discuss mutual goals. Yet, all of these I would betray if it came to time of military conflict. Some, maybe, it would hurt to betray, but I would still do it, because it is my duty. And I think, in some cases, they would not respect me otherwise, because they would betray me just the same.

I have rivals. A rival for love, even if they never perceived me as such and won what I lost. But, that was the way I saw it. And I think sometimes I have a rival in my pursuit to be respected amongst the faction; he doesn't even see me for me, and is so cold and just domineering to everyone, even though I really tried to show my admiration for his success in our mission. I do not know that I have any worthy opponents, and this is probably because Autobots are decadent and complacent, and many Decepticons do not see me as a threat, yet. There is someone who will draw his gun if I get too close, and I have to say it puts a little thrill through my shard when he does that, not that his primitive Earth tech is much of a threat. But, I think, if it came to true military conflict and we were on opposing sides, I might just have to go out of my way to kill him myself; his kin may not understand, but that would be the best way for me to honor the little hero for challenging me. There are some, also, that are mere annoyances, they are not worth fighting, but under some circumstances, they could be made very useful.

All relationships, in fact, can be useful, in developing leadership ability. Those who support me of course aid me in my goals, even if they do not follow my commands. And those who oppose me present challenges for me to overcome, which will only make me stronger. And, the stronger I become, the less others will see me as one to resist and the more they will see me as one to which they must submit.

[ooc: sometimes I struggle with Slipstream's 'voice'. For example this rant about PDAs and pain is a lot more like her canonical bitter/bantering voice. But, I think she would have to have a non-bitter mode, because I don't think "bitter" is her personality trait, just an outward expression of her obsessed 'I am Starscream to Starscream's Megatron', which I also don't think is her predominant trait...whatever that unrevealed trait may actually be.]
30th-Mar-2010 09:00 am (UTC)
TFA Starscream

/comm: Unsurprising to see that you have... ideas above your station./
30th-Mar-2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

//yeah, I've got some ambition and potential.//
30th-Mar-2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
/You have ambition... Maybe you have potential. It's unlikely that it'll ever be realised, however./
30th-Mar-2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

// I suspect that is Megatron talking. We both still have a lot of ambition and potential; we just have different goals right now.//
30th-Mar-2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
//What about Megatron?!//

*is a sensitive subject (more so than usual), considering yesterday's events...*
30th-Mar-2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

//*fully aware its a sensitive subject* I don't know; you tell me, but I'm guessing he didn't give you quite everything you craved from him. *whether it be professional recognition, approval, love or sex*//
30th-Mar-2010 01:15 pm (UTC)
//*snaps-* You wouldn't know the first thing about it.//
30th-Mar-2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

//yeah. You're right I know nothing like that. *at least you didn't shoot me*//
30th-Mar-2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
//That's what I said.//
30th-Mar-2010 11:21 am (UTC)
IDW Perceptor

-out doing some explorations of his own; comms-

[There are indeed many complex relationships one one truly pauses to take a look at it all. That "gray area" in between, in my opinion, seems to hold much larger numbers anymore than the defined "friends" and "enemies" categories.]
30th-Mar-2010 12:36 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

Comms back: //There certainly is a lot of ambiguity between the given extremes. Sometimes a relationship goes has to be tested before its actual value is known.// *has no idea how Perceptor fits on the scale*
30th-Mar-2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
IDW Perceptor

[Very true. I have experienced something like that many a times before. One can only dream of a place that lacked enemies as a whole but then I doubt there would be any sort of balance should a place like that exist.]
30th-Mar-2010 11:50 am (UTC)
BW Waspinator

*still trying to process out everything she said* You see thingz lotz more complicated than Wazpinator...

Wazpinator thinkz there are either friendz or not-friendz; every one elze. Life simpler that way.
30th-Mar-2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

Your view is simpler, Wasp, but you understand the important part: we're kin. *smiles*
30th-Mar-2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
BW Waspinator

Yez, and you are good, little sizter. Do not treat Wazpinator badly at all *and he's been manipulated enough to know if he is again at this point, so he trusts her*

[OOC: "Hey Soul Sister" is my official song for them :3]
30th-Mar-2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

*goes still, she did not think of herself as a little sister, even though she knows she is very young* Yeah, thanks....
30th-Mar-2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
BW Waspinator

*mostly likes the irony of being able to call her that, since he's so small*
30th-Mar-2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
[BW Terrorsaur]

If there is more than one "Decepticon Leader", doesn't that make the title of Leader pointless? Isn't the meaning of "Leader" someone who makes commands that all will follow?

//And I find it hard to believe that someone as elegant and clever as yourself would have no lover.//
30th-Mar-2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

I knew there would be differing opinion. However, I think there can be multiple Leaders, and at some points in history a supreme or exalted Leader to unite them all. In this way there can be both one and many.

//Weren't you supposed to have some rumored flaws? *misses Sunstorm now* It's that I'm even less experienced in that area than in combat or leadership. Was not very smooth on the one date I had.//
30th-Mar-2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Say two groups of Decepticons meet, each with a different leader, and those leaders give conflicting commands. Who are the soldiers supposed to obey, the one that they follow, or the one whose command is more compelling?

*small, wry smile*
//I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about.//


//A date with whom, may I ask?//
30th-Mar-2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

That's where resist or submit gets really interesting. *smirky smile* There could be betrayal of one leader for another. //as Ramjet, Sunstorm and I did to our creator when choosing to follow Megatron...which I now regret.//

//I had one date with Skywarp. The one that is not my brother or the wiggly derp. *the one that is only mostly an idiot*//
30th-Mar-2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
If you could switch leaders at any time, loyalty becomes useless.

*looks briefly horrified when she says Skywarp's name, and then relaxes*

//Now there is one that, in my time, history has been extremely kind to.

Is it really your experience preventing you from finding someone, or are you just not interested? Part of the reason I never saw Waspinator's feelings is that I was simply had other things on my processor at the time.//
30th-Mar-2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

That is why I believe in loyalty to a cause, over loyalty to its leader. Leaders can lose their way and corrupt what was a good cause. I am aware most Decepticons do not share this opinion.

//actually it was mostly I spent time craving attention from someone who was never going to give me what I really wanted. So, I know I need to move on...but I'm not sure how that works. The rejection is still a sharp pain. I'm kinda scared what I'll do.//
30th-Mar-2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm with you on that. It's like I said before, madness seems to be a trend with Decepticon leaders. The biggest problem is that although a leader may do what he-- or she-- may consider best for the cause, if the goal or effect is not immediately clear, then by your reasoning it would be reasonable for the soldiers under their command to desert them. If that is the case, how is the leader supposed to rely on their troops? They could just claim that they did not see that they did not see how the order was in the interest of the cause.

//Well, I've seen that you've been busy with your project. That should be a good way to keep your mind off it. If it's attention you need, Wasp and I are here for you. *realizes that could be taken a couple different ways, but leaves it open*

And if something bad should come out of all of this, you have us to call on to have your back.//
30th-Mar-2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
TFA Slipstream

well, that is often what happens with Starscreams *still sighs a bit* They do question their leaders worthiness to the cause. But I'm afraid it just goes back to resist or submit. The leader and subordinate both choose resist and it comes to a fight. The display deters the weaker among the ranks from resisting themselves.

If a leader is not charismatic and inspiring on their own, then these displays become a neccessary function of keeping order. *seems to realize something* But, a leader who was effective from the start would not need to rely on such displays.

//Terrorsaur, you are too charming! I am exceedingly fortunate to have you as an ally.//
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