Chapter 34: Epilogue – Quid Pro Quo, Starscream

A/N: And a one, and a two-

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A still husk lay neglected on the cell floor, wasting away like an abandoned marionette. Optics flickering irregularly told the prison guards that she continued to function despite her dangerously low energon levels. The only time she was put in motion was when the prison guards animated her with irregular beatings. To ridicule her piteous state, they threw in an fitting companion for equal company. She didn't know why, but the aqua blue body shell could sometimes talk, even if it lacked a tongue and a head. She would answer through a strained voice, croaking a feeble reply, but most of the conversations were one-sided. At least he should respond to his name. After being flung to a different corner, the red seeker quietly contemplated the lines on the ceiling.

Starscream always has a plan.

Or at least, some strange choice of sympathisers, who are coincidentally purple. Having relocated their base to Cybertron for the next attack on Earth, the Decepticons grew happier without her, and the visits became more frequent. Quiet hours would bring the purple Cassetticon to her cell to feed her his share of energon. Skywarp avoided them for a while, mainly because he was ushered into a new rank by default, which demanded more of his time. Once, when she was kicked to a sitting posture, Starscream thought she saw his shadow cast from the light at the door. He wanted to see them. He really did. But a broken friend and a headless friend was not a gladsome sight. When she did see him, he wore the look of a child in pain. If Skywarp knew, Starscream wouldn't force him to look upon his closest friends like this and usher him away.

What's going to happen now? Megatron's schemes were falling into place. What turned out to be harmless buildings on Cybertron were giant ominous casts of would-be cannons, collecting energon for it's first attack. Threatening the total destruction of Earth with their very own home planet, powered by a scientifically challenging device, the Autobot's had very little time to spare. Seven days more, and all that would be left of Earth is space dust sprinkled across the universe.

If, Megatron succeeded.

At first, there was some belief that she would be free. Then, things started to happen. Lights. Voices. Autobots floating the ceilings. Thundercracker's headless body shell doing the cha-cha. Skywarp joins the dance in perfect unison with his late wingmate, synchronizing their movements to some obscure theme song playing in the background. And she would clap along if she had the strength, but all Starscream could do was lamely cheer them on. Being vocal to her livid visions dispersed her boredom.

'Sanity. Hmmmmmmmm….sanity……what?'

Maybe this was what killed her hopes of escaping, this languor that came with a prolonged death. The surreal illusions drifted into existence as a result of her depleting energy supply, her fuel tank getting painfully dry. Was her hallucinations playing again, or was the floor really pulsating this time? A flash of white light blinded her guard outside her cell, followed by a violent explosion.

'...Pretty'. Starscream didn't know her imagination could extend to her jailers. Wow. This was vibrant. Wait. There was something wrong.

Those big throbbing bars that prevented her from escaping were gone.

…And there was no dancing. Or music.

A small red optic blinked in recognition of her Porsche cum saviour.

Angel….

Jazz's voice never sounded more melodious or more beautiful to her audio receptors, words rolling off his tongue like silk. Cautious hands curled around her battered chassis with ease, since her wings were violently torn from her back ages ago. A voice susurrated her in the quietest hush, deathly afraid she might just break apart at the slightest hint of agitation.

"Jazz, are you sure she'll help us?" the other Autobot regurgitated his doubts to the saboteur.

'…Who….who the slag is this…Autobot?' she mentally grumbled at the blue and white intrusion. '...R-Ruined a perfectly good moment.'

"'Raj baby, I'm sure sure. Ask Blaster. If he weren't snoopin' 'round, we'd never gotten wind of this piece of info."

'It's called horse mode…or load…or coder…folder…Tell him to go away…his head's so blue.' She fell into semi-consciousness, shutting off her vision from the foreign lights outside her cell. A golden rectangle frame drew itself around Mirage before he vanished from sight. Starscream could feel a fuel line snake into her own, feeding her circuits to cure her hunger. The Autobot's fingers wound tighter around her torn frame, making sure she didn't rattle as much when he bolted off with their current catalyst of war.

The saboteur's arm chirped at Prowl's incoming message. "Status report, Jazz!"

"The little lady's banged up but fine," Jazz sung back a reply to the tactician, stealing a look at the seeker's head bobbing off his hood.

"(My…hero…)" she coughed out an awry chuckle. Looking through slits, she espied a crude entrance made by the Autobots and a sizable amount of explosives.

"Quid pro quo, angel," the black and white Autobot grinned at her trademark smirk. "Do ut des."

Lousy human linguistics. But that didn't matter.

Starscream always had a plan.

Or Devastator-sized luck.

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A/N: Yeah, I had to add an extra feel good epilogue, right?! XD It was supposed to be more tragic, but I opted for the feel good because (a) Starscream rocks and (b) you can't bring a good/bad mech down. It has been fun and tedious at the same time writing this fic, but I am glad to have explored this idea and shared it with you all. I've hope you've enjoyed it! If you didn't like it then I'm sorry, but what are you doing here in the last chapter?!!! XDDD Thank you very much for your support and your reviews everyone:D