Chapter 15

"Morning, Starscream"

The young Decepticon seeker simply glared at the medic as he entered the medical bay. Red Alert, ignoring the look, continued to observe the flier.

"Well, shall we start?"

Taking a moment to collect his datapad and bring up Starscream's recent scan on screen, he sat on his chair and turned to face the seeker.

"First. The new fan blade, what happened?"

Starscream sighed before answering, his voice low,

"It was cracked. We noticed it when I was came down with the virus."

"And who is 'we'?"

"Demolisher and I"

"He's your medic?" Red Alert tried to hide the surprise in his voice,

"No, not really but he has more experience with these type of things than the rest of us"

"And he replaced it?"

Starscream nodded, "yes, when it shattered." He saved the medic from asking, "I was flying when I technically shouldn't have been. It shattered during flight."

Red Alert merely nodded, "I can imagine he wasn't too pleased with that. So the virus, any idea what type of strain it is or how it started."

"No," he shook his head, "Demolisher never said. He came up with an anti-viral drug mixed with energon."

Red Alert continued to nod as he typed his notes on to the datapad, "it's not entirely cleared up but whatever Demolisher gave you certainly helped to isolate it and help with the symptoms." He paused before continuing, "So, the older wounds. The cause of them are?"

Starscream locked optics with the medic before forcing himself to relax under the suspicious gaze of Red Alert,

"Battle wounds, probably" he shrugged, "I don't know, we don't record every injury we substain. We have energon baths to help repair those kinds of wounds."

Before the medic could ask another question, Starscream interrupted, "what about my wings?"

Red Alert supressed a sigh, "I have been repairing them and they are close to completion. To reattach them, you will need to go under stasis but I can only do that when Optimus Prime grants me the permission to carry out the procedure."

"What?! Why do you need his slagging-"

The sound of the proximity alarm stopped the two mechs in their tracks. Red Alert was almost instantly on his feet, his digits pressed to his communication link,

"What is going on?"

"Someone out in the open near the base. We may need your assistance, Red"

"Yes, sir but what of Starscream?"

"Jetfire is not required, he'll stand guard at the door."

Without looking back at his patient, Red Alert hastily opened the door, making his way down the corridor, not noticing the little red racecar whizzing out the room, going around a corner and out of sight.

Optimus Prime and Scavenger were staring at the monitor when Red Alert entered the room,

"What's happening?"

"It's Demolisher," Scavenger answered without taking his optics off the screen, "he appears to be searching for something and is alone."

"You don't think he is looking for Starscream, do you?"

"I am not sure but that is what it looks like." Optimus spoke calmly, "I think we ought to go and meet him. Scavenger and I will go alone but the others are prepared if it turns out to be a trap."

Red Alert hid his worry as he followed the other two mechs to the warp gate,

"be careful. Any sign of trouble, give us our orders"

Optimus nodded before warping near to the area where Demolisher was last seen.

Scavenger crept slowly through the forest near to the open meadow , Optimus following closely,

"He is alone, Prime. I don't see anyone else on radar." The spoke in hushed whispers,

"Good, then it is time to make ourselves known."

Walking cautiously towards the edge of the forest that hid them from the Decepticons' view, Scavenger called out first,

"Demolisher! What are you doing?"

The Decepticon spun round to face the forest, glaring at the Autobot as he came into view,

"Who else is with you, Scavenger?"

"Are you alone?"

"...yes. You?"

"No, Optimus Prime and myself. The Autobots are prepared to attack if need be"

After a moment of silence, Demolisher answered, his voice losing the harsh edge, "I am not here to fight"

"Perhaps you should explain your intentions quickly." Optimus came forwards, standing at Scavengers' side.

The Decepticon studied the two Autobots in front of him before sighing quietly, allowing his frame to relax,

"One of us was shot down. I have my suspicions. I am searching for him."

He decided to keep the identity of the individual a secret as he gauged the Autobots' reactions. Demolisher was surprised to find that neither of the two mechs questioned him further, instead they stayed quiet. The Decepticon suddenly understood,

"wait. You know, you've seen him, where-"

"Yes" Optimus spoke almost gently, "we know. Starscream is within our medical care."

The reaction from Demolisher surprised them both,

"thank Primus."

"What?" Scavenger blurted out before stopping himself,

"The kid is in danger. Thrust has it out for him, has convinced Megatron that Starscream is a traitor and plans to start a coup. I tried to explain but, " Demolisher motioned to his recent injuries, "it didn't go so well. Tell him-Swindle!"

Optimus and Scavenger followed the Decepticons' surprised stare, finding a minicon racing towards them,

"How did he-?"

"I have no idea" Optimus mumbled before Scavenger could finish asking his question.

"Swindle, come here. I need you to pass on a message to Starscream." Demolisher stooped to allow the minicon to climb up onto his palm, "tell him to stay away. Tell him to stay with the Autobots. He cannot, under any circumstances, return to base. Megatron will kill him on sight, we have all been ordered to kill him on sight." He couldn't hide the pain from his voice as he said it. "Thrust has corrupted the chain of command. Do you understand, Swindle?" The minicon buzzed his anger. "Do not encourage him, Swindle."

The minicon chirped his answer, "I understand. He will not be happy though"

"I know, thank you." Demolisher placed the minicon back on the ground, "I must go. Megatron will soon discover I am missing." He paused before staring intently at the Autobots, his voice almost begging,"please, he is young. He-" He cut himself off with a shake of his head before turning to warp away.

Optimus Prime and Scavenger watched to ensure Demolisher was truly gone before heading back towards their warp gate, Swindle following closely behind,

"Well that was interesting," Scavenger said, breaking the silence, "we now have an abandoned seekerling in our midst."

Optimus could only sigh, wondering what was to become of this.