"Hey, TC, you gotta see what I just got."

"Skywarp, unless it's a one-way ticket to Cybertron, I am not interested," Thundercracker grumbled, not even looking at the purple Seeker.

"Oh, now, c'mon. I guarantee you'll love it," Skywarp wheedled, coming to stand and stare over Thundercracker's shoulder.

"I am busy, Skywarp," Thundercracker growled. "Busy cleaning up the mess you made of our reports for the last 3 workshifts. I am definitely not interested in anything you might have." He spun around in his seat to glare at his wingmate and banged his head on the cardboard box Skywarp was carrying.

Now, it wasn't a large box, not by Decepticon standards. Actually, it was a rather small box but Skywarp was very proud of it and had stuck it out show Thundercracker.

Thundercracker raised his hand and pushed Skywarp away and in the process crushed one side of said box.

"Hey, easy. Valuable merchandise in there," Skywarp scolded the blue Seeker.

"You have been talking to Swindle way too much, you know."

"Pshaw, Swindle had nothing to do with this. I got it on E-Bay."

"And I suppose you used ," Thundercracker responded sarcastically.

"Yes, what do you think?"

Thundercracker shook his head and returned his attention to the computer monitor.

"Wait," Skywarp said. "You haven't seen what's inside."

He plunked the rather worse-for-wear box on Thundercracker's desk. Thundercracker reached to brush the box off the desk, but Skywarp grabbed his arm with one hand and reached into the box with the other. Then he proudly held up his prize.

Thundercracker stared at the miniscule thing between Skywarp's fingers. "What is that...that...thing?" he asked incredulously.

Skywarp held it up to Thundercracker's nose component and squeezed his fingers together. Squeak, squeak went the toy—much louder than could possibly be expected from such a tiny item.

Thundercracker reared back in surprise and nearly fell out of his chair. "What the slag?"

Skywarp started to cackle. He squeezed the toy again. Squeak, squeak. "Isn't it great? I bought 500 of them. 500 squeaky toys." He put his hand back in the box and pulled out a handful. "Mice, bones, little cats, little dogs, little mailmen. And they all make that horrible noise."

"And what do you plan on doing with 500 tiny squeaky toys?"

Rubbing his hands together, Skywarp bent close and whispered confidentially into his friend's audio sensor, "I've got plans. Yes, I do."

"In that case, leave me out."

"Oh, no, can't do that. I need you."

Thundercracker frowned menacingly at Skywarp. "No, you don't."

"Just play along, ok?" Skywarp begged. "You really don't have to do anything. Just be there."

Thundercracker shook his head. "No."

"Please?" Skywarp begged. "Please? It'll be great, I promise."

"I don't have to do anything? As in Thundercracker is not responsible for Skywarp getting his aft handed to him if something goes wrong?"

Skywarp grinned and nodded vigorously, knowing he'd won.

"Ok, what do you want from me."

"Like I said, nothing. Just be in my quarters at shift change."


As promised Thundercracker arrived at Skywarp's room just after his shift ended. He raised his hand to the buzzer to make his presence known when the door slid open and Skywarp pulled him inside and slid a high-grade energon cube into his hand.

Thundercracker stared at the cube then searched the clutter in Skywarp's quarters for the box of toys. he didn't see them. Shrugging, he pushed a pile of datapads from a chair and seated himself.

"Now what," he asked. He clutched the cube unhappily and didn't taste its contents.

Barely able to keep a straight face, Skywarp said, "Screamer will be here in a minute."

Thundercracker jumped to his feet. "No, no, I will not be involved in anything involving Starscream. I'm leaving."

"TC, don't worry. Like I said, all you have to do is be here. I have to make him think that I asked him here for an after-shift Energon. If you're not here, he'll get suspicious."

"Suspicious of what?"

But before Skywarp could answer, the buzzer sounded and Skywarp practically warped to the door in his haste to answer it.

It slid open and revealed Starscream looking, not surprisingly, suspicious. He glanced around the room and noted Thundercracker sitting amidst the rubble with a cube in hand. He relaxed slightly and entered. He nodded at Thundercracker. Skywarp handed him a cube and then swept more clutter from his recharge bed so Starscream could sit.

Starscream sat but not without first giving the spot an extra brush with his hand. He glanced at his hand and wiped it on his leg.

"Now isn't this nice?" Skywarp said.

Thundercracker and Starscream stared at him.

Starscream took a swallow of Energon then got up. "I really must go," he told Skywarp and Thundercracker.

"No, don't go. Relax, unwind," Skywarp insisted. "Have another high-grade." He plucked out another cube from his storage box and put it next to the one Starscream was working on.

"Just one more, then," Starscream responded and sat back down.

Skywarp grinned encouragingly at his wingleader and took a sip from his own cube.


Starscream turned one achy optic on and peered blurrily around. He was alone in Skywarp's room. He groaned in realization. He'd overcharged again. He pushed himself up on his elbow. Squeak. Startled, he looked around. Nobody was in the room. He sat up. Squeak. He stood up. Squeak. He took a step. Squeak. He walked to the door. Squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak.

By the time he reached the command center for the senior staff meeting, he was ready to scream.

He squeaked into the presence of Megatron, Soundwave and the other senior officers. They all turned and listened to him squeak across the room and sit down with a squeak.

"Starscream," Megatron growled at him. "Are you fit for duty?"

Starscream opened his mouth to answer, "Squeak."