The Bridge of the Toppat Airship is filled with noise and yelling after the most recent attempted raid, but instead of the typical excited whooping from Chief Terrence Suave over a 'job well done', or rather a botched heist, it sounds something closer to disciplinary action.
"We had things under control for a tactical retreat, Reg," scolds the Chief, looking into the defiant eye of his current deputy. "You can't just grab the controls and go against an order just because you're my right hand man! You could've crashed the ship, gotten us killed-"
"And you would have us leave behind valuable members of the Toppat Clan? We weren't even able to get everyone back aboard!" Reginald fires back, gesturing to the members of the ground team present for the impromptu meeting; among them, the Chief's Third in Command, scowling beneath his moustache. "You chose to make this raid on the Wall, of all places, without knowing the layout of the facilities?"
Chief Suave brushed off his accusation with a flippant gesture. "It's a complex! Clearly they've got something in there, especially if it's so heavily guarded, even if I don't know what it is!"
That was the wrong sentence. Chief Suave feels a shift in the air around him as all eyes turn to their leader.
"So you had no goal?" Reginald spits, taking a step closer with the blood boiling in his veins. "No end point? No profit? No artifact, jewel, gold, or even asset in mind for the taking? Then what was the point of putting the lives of so many good agents in danger?!"
"For the hell of it?!" His second accuses. "You planned to abandon your Third in Command, my right hand, for a heist that had absolutely no reason to exist?"
"We haven't been, making margins-"
"Due to your own foolishness! They could have died, or worse yet, been imprisoned in a maximum security prison complex with little to no hope of escape!" He gestures back to the Third, offering a brief apologetic nod. He simply tips his hat back in understanding. "We already lost Joe Cool to this one raid. Can you imagine what it would have done if your recklessness cost us any other valuable members?"
Reginald words seem to touch an exposed nerve, and everyone present on the bridge feels a revolution bubbling from uneasy depths. He looks back around the room, and glances over to the current pilot of the Airship. The pilot offers a sly smile and pushes a button, unseen by Chief Suave, to turn on the ship's internal broadcast system.
"Dignified members of the Toppat Clan!" He announces, eyes boring holes into the now concerned Chief. "Terrence Suave has been planning heists without goal, without merit- seemingly just for the thrill of it all! His recklessness and lack of leadership is an endangerment to all in the Clan, and with his history in mind, his actions will only result in more disaster until our name has been dragged through the mud!
"Is this really who we want as our leader?" Reginald calls, now looking around the room. It's an invitation to rise, and the disgruntled members of the improvised jury do so with haste. "Do we really wish to be lead by a man who rides his whims, with no consideration for others?"
There's a resounding, echoing NO! as every Toppat on the ship answers his metaphorical question, shaking the bridge and all other rooms connected. A devious grin grows ever larger on Reginald's face as more members join his side- including the Third himself, now looming over the disgraced leader alongside Reginald.
"Then," He states, with bold confidence in every word, "Terrence Suave is not fit to be chief, and I say we commence the Denouncement Ceremony!"
Yet, even with such bold words spoken, Terrence simply...chuckles. He looks worried, sure, but it's as if the thrill, the high of adrenaline has him in a much tighter hold than fear. "Really?"
Reginald deflates for a moment. "Erm. Yes. Yes, really."
"I see how it is," the Chief states, dusting off his shoulder. "You think, that since you're my Right Hand Man, you can just do whatever you want. Stage a coup, get up to power. It's what you've always wanted, right?"
...Well, yes, that is what he wanted. It's a fact. Maybe not the 'stage a false coup' bit, but who was to say? Some members of the clan turn to Reginald, who does his best to stand firm.
The Chief doesn't buy the act. "I mean, listen to him! Going off about, oh, no honor! No dignity! What, just because I picked you? Yeah right- I got my butt in this seat fair and square." There's a devious glint in his eye as he says, "You're demoted. Thirdy? If you throw this loser overboard, you'll be next in line."
The air shifts again, and now Reginald is terrified. The Third was stronger than him physically- he was more brains than brawn if he was honest, and in a straight fight? There was no way he could win. And now Terrence was offering everything in the world on a silver platter to the Third, everything he ever wanted and more.
He watches as the Third flicks his eyes down to Reginald, then back to Terrence. Something's happening behind those eyes, but he isn't sure what. Then, he feels an arm snatch him by the back of the coat. He yelps- rather undignified, but understandable.
This was it, wasn't it? This was how it ended. Well, he had a good run. The Third steps forward, all but dragging Reginald along with him,
And decks the Chief in the face. He's knocked back, the hat flying from his head as he's all but launched head over heels and slaps his face against the glass of the windshield. In the same motion, he grabs the top hat from the air, handing it to Reginald.
"I'd rather be 'is Right Hand Man," he snarls, "than your next in line."
The indecision is gone. A rallying cry is made, and swarms of Toppats descend on Terrence to throw him off the airship. The Third- Reginald's Right Hand- simply watches, and slowly puts the shorter man back on his feet.
It's all Reginald could do to clear his throat. "Thank you."