NOTE: Was requested to re-upload this, so here it is. Please don't bother to concrit; this was four years ago, I know exactly how bad it is. Unless you were one of the ones requesting, seriously, just ignore this.
It sometimes seemed to Megatron as though his existence was divided into two parts. The majority of it consisted of a seemingly endless wave of sound and chaos, orders and command, battle and fury. The other few moments left over from the daily business of ruling an empire always seemed to turn to this; utter silence.
Like so many things, he couldn't decide whether he was grateful for it or whether he loathed it entirely.
He stared ahead of him, leaning forward slightly in his throne, his fingers arched before him. The slight frown that was his default expression was all his face gave away.
It was strange, really, that he got any silence at all in a base consisting of four other giant robots beside himself, most of whom were approaching borderline insanity. But Wheeljack was tinkering in his lab, Demolisher was filing reports, Thrust was busy reviewing old battle sequences and who knew what Cyclonus got up to in his spare time? Megatron personally preferred not to speculate.
He was not satisfied.
It didn't really make sense. He was in possession of the Requiem Blaster. Admittedly, the Autobots had the other two super-weapons, but still. It was a victory. The moon-bound Decepticon's track record in that department being what it was, you had to enjoy victories while they lasted.
He was not satisfied.
Not at all.
The disgusting, loathsome, irritating possibility was beginning to worm its way into Megatron's mind that maybe, just maybe, he had made a mistake.
Megatron hated making mistakes. More than anything else, he hated making mistakes. More than Optimus Prime, more than this insane planet and its satellite, more than Starscream…
No. Not more than Starscream.
His frown deepened.
One thing the silent moments did do was allow for one's mind to wander. Megatron hated that, too.
So when the Minicon alarm blared throughout the base, he dipped into his daily ration of evil smiles.
The setting: an idyllic forest on a mountain slope. All was still. All was peaceful. Needless to say, all was about to go to scrap.
Leaves rustled. Birds looked up. Forest creatures briefly paused from their daily activities, at the sound of several large, approaching creatures. From far off, there came the sound of a raspy voice complaining, a younger voice joking, and an older, tired voice busy trying to keep the other two voices in line.
At the sounds, two purple optics peeked out from behind a rock, before disappearing again. Shortly they reappeared, followed by a silver, metallic head. One human-sized hand became visible, gripping tightly to the surface of the rock. The optics narrowed, and the whole thing suddenly ducked back once more.
Skyscan leaned back against the rock, his knees drawn up. He held his ray-gun up, checking the setting once more. Satisfied that it was still firmly set on 'incinerate', he decided that it was time to get moving. Glancing around furtively, he paused, steeled himself, and bolted into the trees. He moved quickly, but carefully, so as not to attract any attention.
As he ran, Skyscan kept a steady grip upon his weapon. The voices became further and further away, and he smiled quietly to himself.
The lousy bastards weren't going to get him without a fight.
"There are no words to describe how stupid this is."
Hot Shot smirked.
"C'mon, it's not that bad.", he drawled, unable to keep the faintly provocative note out of his voice. As far as his alleged partner was concerned, it was definitely that bad.
Starscream growled and took a half-hearted swipe at a branch that was blocking his vision. As though on silent command, six other branches moved to take its place.
Starscream really, really hated trees.
Sure, they looked pretty, sometimes, and they had their uses in supporting life. But when he was flying they looked like they looked like just another shade of green and when he was surrounded by them he was blinded, trapped, irritated and attacked by slow-minded woodpeckers.
And now that he was here he couldn't even cut the slagging things down, as any sensible mech would do. Optimus had sternly instructed him not to. And when, thirty seconds into the exploration, he had gotten fed up and, in a moment of forgetfulness, taken out his sword, Alexis had begged him not to damage the forest. So, reluctantly, he had agreed, and now here he was, unable to even give the insolent greenery what it deserved… He growled again.
Hot Shot turned, and gave a laugh.
"Having trouble?", he snickered to the red seeker, who now stood on one leg in a tangled mess with his wings, his cannons and most of his limbs trapped between surrounding trees.
Starscream paused from squirming helplessly to give him a poisonous glower, before returning to the task of extricating himself with as much dignity as possible.
A hundred metres or so away, Red Alert sighed and shook his head. Really, they were worse than the kids sometimes.
He suspected that Hot Shot had agreed to accompany them on the ground as a weird way of making up with Starscream, after last week's little incident. Whether Starscream appreciated the gesture or not was uncertain.
Optimus had requested that both Starscream and Jetfire remained on the ground as much as possible, to the displeasure and annoyance of both. He had justified it too, saying that he wanted to 'reduce the risk of being detected'.
Privately, Red Alert thought that it was unlikely that any group consisting of nine Autobots, five humans, several Minicons and one robotic bird was likely to avoid detection for long, in the air or otherwise. He quietly suspected that Prime's motives had more to do with worry about the risk of long-range fire from the Requiem Blaster than anything else.
The kids had asked permission to accompany them, which was why Red Alert was here now, in his unofficial role as caretaker. It wasn't that he hated the job. It was just that he felt sure, in some private corner of his mind, that he was screwing it up somehow. It was a feeling he often had, although he made a point of not letting the others know. No one likes finding out that the guy who holds their life in his hands is more or less in a well-concealed state of nervous panic.
Red Alert flicked his optics around once more, satisfied that his charges were not doing anything openly suicidal at that exact moment.
"See anything, Red Alert?", called Fred, who sat upon the medic's shoulder, making his way through a enormous bag of chips. To tide him over on the mission, the human boy had also thought to bring five sandwiches, a bag of marshmallows, two bags of pretzels, a muffin and a few thousand chocolates, all of which he carried in a bag slung over his shoulder.
"No. Nothing," said Red Alert, checking the portable Minicon scanner. The device bore a faint resemblance to a transformer-sized game-boy, and its screen currently showed nine dots of red light and fifteen dots of blue. A team consisting of Sideswipe, Blurr and Scavenger was searching the west quarter of the forest, while Optimus Prime, Jetfire and Hoist made their way through the east sector.
There was no sign of the Decepticons. Or, for that matter, the Minicon.
This sort of thing was not supposed to happen to Megatron. Ever.
Not surprisingly, it was the fault of his idiot inferiors. Cyclonus, in this case. Whenever the copter-bot got bored, it was a sure sign that something was about to go horribly, horribly wrong. Apart from his unfortunate fondness for puns and morbid jokes, the Decepticon also had a tendency to become somewhat…trigger-happy whenever he deemed life to getting too slow for his taste. Which was why Megatron now sat on the ground, one antler slightly bent, half buried in a mound of rubble and dirt which had been sent avalanching down the mountain side by a misplaced laser blast.
"Cyclonus…", growled the tyrant, one of his pre-prepared rants getting ready to bubble out.
There was an extremely nervous giggle from the helicopter, who hovered overhead. Cyclonus transformed and hopped over to assist his leader.
Why does he never walk, thought Megatron privately. Even Demolisher, stupid as he was, seemed to get the concept of walking in a straight line. Not Cyclonus. He jumped, he hopped, he staggered, he weaved, he sometimes even skipped, but his movement never translated to anything as sane as an actual walking pace. At first, it had been unnerving. It still was, but now it was mostly irritating.
Demolisher appeared and fell about the task of freeing Megatron, at the same time admonishing Cyclonus for his foolishness. Megatron sighed. It was a pity, he reflected, that Thrust had persuaded him to let him wield the Requiem Blaster this time. He would dearly have loved to shove it in the faces of his ineffective 'soldiers'.
"Demolisher, get out of the way. Leader-one…"
Realization dawned on Demolisher's face and he ducked to the right just in time to avoid the rubble-clearing blast from his leader's fusion cannon.
Well, that was taken care of, thought Megatron as he stood up and brushed himself off. On the negative side, of course, it had almost certainly alerted the Autobots to their presence. Slag. Tidal Wave had been left behind on the moon solely as a way of keeping this a covert mission. Double slag.
Keeping his temper as far in check as he could, he ordered Demolisher to return to helping Wheeljack and Thrust find the elusive Minicon. Cyclonus was instructed to get into the air and keep a watch for approaching Auto-trash.
When his men were out of view, Megatron gingerly felt his bent antler, reflecting that if they did not capture both the Minicons that the computer said had been activated, he was going to be really quite angry.