Sunday, July 1, 2007

15 Tammuz 5767: Build A Scarecrow Day/Canada Day


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing was brought once again by the mechanical bird creature, which somehow found me in the hotel room I currently reside in. It then flew out the window and joined several pigeons being fed by an old lady. Fortunately this seems to be the last in this series. Enjoy.

Transformers: Identity Crisis

Week 7: Optimus Prime/Konvoi

Greetings, people of Earth.

Optimus Prime in the Mojave Desert just prior to his arrest

As I write this, I have just learned (as you probably know by now) that Optimus Prime has been arrested by the Cybertonian Police. It is certain that the official claims will make his defeat a glorious battle and there will be promises of a military response. The truth on both items is very different. Following the recent press conference by Marissa Faireborn, which will be discussed below, Optimus left the Groom Lake facility, abandoning his trailer, and traveled westward over desert, the entire time making radio broadcasts challenging “Decepticons” to come for him. Given the nature of the situation, not only were two arrest teams dispatched, but Ambassador Megatron himself joined to participate. Transforming, Optimus trained his rifle on the officers and dared them to fight, firing several shots but not actually hitting them. On Megatron’s orders, the officers did not return fire, and he attempted to talk the Autobot into surrendering. Optimus attempted several times to provoke a response before turning the gun on himself. It was only the quick action of the ambassador that prevented a suicide. During the whole incident the United States military made no attempt to intervene and the ambassador and his party left unhindered. Optimus is now being held in the embassy-at-large as he awaits interrogation.

“Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.”

Through our previous communications, we have discussed the Autobots extensively, but Optimus Prime, the alleged Autobot commander, has barely been mentioned. As discussed last week, the commander is actually Ironhide, the one with the greatest ties to Earth’s power hierarchy. One might then suppose that Optimus’s position is being a figurehead, but the situation is more complex than that.

The original vehicular mode for Optimus was an Opel Blitz truck, the same as for Ironhide and Ratchet, much as Elita One and Bumblebee were both originally Tatra T87s; it was accidental that his transformation made Optimus taller in humanoid mode than the other two. The Nazis, with their human prejudices, were drawn to him as leader because of this, and the Autobots exploited their behavior, much as they exploited the apparent cuteness of Bumblebee and femininity of Elita, modifying him to better play the role. Drawing on this, he became accustomed to the part, making contracts with the humans and issuing public commands to his fellows. He was often seen with Elita by his side, but this had nothing to do with her being his “woman.” In truth his position, like hers, was primarily in intelligence, except she was his superior.

Optimus Prime as an Opel Blitz truck during the Third Reich

As previously discussed, the “Generation One” Autobots are not so individualistic as humans are. Serving the interests of the group, Optimus dutifully played the public role of leader as he continued to do his job, relaying everything he learned to Elita, Ironhide, and Jazz. The Nazi leaders revealed an amazing amount to his casual observation, made all the more effective by the enhanced sensory capabilities of his eyes and ears, which greatly exceed those of a human. He was the first to report activities that suggested the Nazi government would be unstable years before the Allied powers began to seriously threaten them and recommended the Autobots seek an alternative power base. When the Autobots resided on McMullen’s estate, he gathered information indicating the full extent of the latter’s activities, suggesting an avenue for the bored “Generation Two” Autobots as mercenaries. More than the Americans realize, he has been collecting information on their military activities. Indeed, his important suggestions extend to the beginning of the Autobots’ presence on Earth. After the stolen spacecraft carrying the Autobots crashed in a remote part of Siberia on 30 June 1908 (in what has since been mistaken for a small asteroid or comet impact), Optimus Prime made a number of important suggestions: the initial avoidance of humans, a westward migration using the Trans-Siberia Railroad by adapting themselves to look like trains, leaving Russia before the worst turmoil of the Russian Revolution occurred, the period of intensive study of human culture in Austria, and finally creating a partnership with the Nazis on their way to planetary domination.

Through it all, Optimus expected no glory and seemed to accept his position. But in assuming the role of commander for the Nazis (who called him “Konvoi”), he received attention in amounts and kinds he was not used to. The situation must have been confusing for him, praised and respected by the humans as a great leader while he nevertheless reported regularly to Elita and ultimately had to defer to Ironhide. Living so closely among humans put him at risk for cultural contamination, and based on statements made by Bluestreak, he may have taken certain ideas too seriously. Specifically, while he was supposed to act masculine, he was anatomically unable to fully act out the role, a situation that many human men find less desirable than death. (He is known to have been propositioned; one diary records that Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler’s mistress, offered her services to Optimus if he would keep Elita away from Hitler.) That Elita pretended to act feminine only made things more confusing as she effectively dominated him in his work. In Great Britain and the United States, even though the mores were looser, the effects were lasting and profound. Anastasia McMullen, picking up on part of the real relationship, once remarked that Elita had him “whipped”; Optimus was so offended that he refused to work directly with Anastasia for several years, much to the confusion of most Autobots.

Given the ambivalent and hypocritical nature of human gender roles, Optimus found plenty of support for what he learned about being a “man.” As the Autobot presence became public knowledge and he became an iconic figure, this only became worse. A traditional human cultural theme frames the reproductive act as the more masculine dominating and getting enjoyment from the inferior partner, and it appears Optimus embraced the concept. Unlike the “Generation Twos,” he was not interested in “female” (or “male”) Autobots in that manner, nor is it likely he could ever admit to himself wanting to “degrade” another Autobot through an act he considered “domination.” An Autobot treating another Autobot like a “Decepticon” is considered offensive, almost taboo. Indeed, Optimus has often objected to romantic relationships among Autobots even when the “female” partner is clearly not being “dominated,” his thinking is so contaminated. This is not, of course, the only method of “domination.” There are reports of some Autobot mercenaries (particularly Prowl) being extraordinarily cruel and violent in killing opposing humans, but Optimus had few chances to do so himself.

It was the Groom Lake facility and the opportunities this presented that turned Faireborn into a victim. As you undoubtedly know, Faireborn has recently chosen to go public with her involvement with Optimus Prime. While serving at the facility, what started as an apparent friendship changed when he told her that his functioning was poor and he required “human life force.” The “life force,” he claimed, would help him recharge and regenerate, making him a better leader when faced with the increasing attacks by the “Decepticons.” Although nervous, she eventually agreed, and that was when he put her inside him.

Humans, of course, are chemical machines and do not have a “life force.” We Transformers use the microassembler technology in our bodies to repair and regenerate ourselves. Inside each of us is a container organ to hold the raw materials for generating power and self-repair. Optimus Prime is much larger than car-formatted Autobots, and his container itself is large enough to hold a human. Putting her naked into his container organ, he held her there for as long as a minute before expelling her, covered in waste products. Although being suffocated naked in a goo-filled tight space was unpleasant and humiliating, she submitted because she thought it helped him and he seemed appreciative. (Some biographical information we obtained suggests that Faireborn’s parents were neglectful while pursuing their own military careers; this could have made appreciation so important to her.) The “chargings” took place approximately once a week for several months until Faireborn put in for a transfer and was ultimately discharged. The transfer was deliberate; Faireborn felt Optimus was becoming increasingly intrusive and controlling in her life and she wanted to escape. She also had learned that she was not the first, but that several other human women had been used to “charge” him going back to the start of his presence at the Groom Lake facility. It is thus not surprising that she left him, found a new job, and was spending private social time with another human when “JJ” found and confronted him, forcing his exposure.

The other Autobots, of course, have known about this activity for some time. Many themselves have their own practices for humiliating humans, an indulgence they allow themselves to make dealing with your species more tolerable. The commanders at Groom Lake also knew, which is unsurprising as one of Optimus’s “chargers” had to be treated for asphyxiation. The Autobots, however, were so valuable that this was tolerated to keep them happy. When so much is at stake, such matters as people’s lives are considered trivial. After all, the Autobots are heroic and good, and your kind is only human.

We wish you well.

Soundwave, Cybertonian Communicator.
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