"And…that is how we escaped," an inebriated Sideswipe finished. He downed the rest of the energon before him and grinned at the others gathered about the table. He elbowed Sunstreaker slightly. His twin eyed him drunkedly, as he sat at the table with his fingers fairly clawed into the table for support. The others laughed, even as Sunstreaker shot them all a glare.

Bluestreak brought his laughter under control amidst a slight hiccup. "So…do you think that Megatron ever fround out?"

"Fround?" Jazz asked, grinning.

"Yeah, fround!" Hiccup. Giggle.

"They have been quite quiet lately," Ratchet said.

"I dunno," Sideswipe replied, motioning over to Hound for another container of energon. One was placed in his hand and he tried to mask the slur and static in his vocals after he drank it. "…mebbe!"

"C'mon Sides," Sunny slurred. He paused for a breath, and for a second it appeared he was going to fall off his chair. "You never told me 'bout that thingie of yours."


"That thing. You know. The thing."

Bluestreak giggled uncontrollably, his laughter spotted with hiccups. Jazz couldn't control his laughter anymore and joined in.

"Oh, the thing," Sideswipe grinned. "I planted a little…you know…wild card."

"A what?" Hound asked.

"You know…a little incendryary object."

"Incendiary?" Hound corrected, bemused.

"Yeah, that."

"That means it blows up," Jazz stated.

Bluestreak erupted into laughter again at the reference.

"I planted something," Sideswipe continued, trying not to laugh. "That well…let's just say will ruin Starscream's little 'plans'."

Sunstreaker grinned evilly and slung an arm about Sideswipe's shoulder. "Tell them what it was."

Sideswipe sat back smugly. "Well…it's a…"


Megatron's optics came online slowly, and he found himself staring into the blank optics of Soundwave and Frenzy. His whole body ached dully, as if resonating from some distant and healed wounds. "What…happened?"

"The Lamborghini twins escaped," Soundwave answered. "The one called Sunstreaker shot you with a stolen rifle twice, with the last shot nearly deactivating you. If he had aimed a few millimeters to the left, you would be dead."

Megatron's mind raced as his cpu brought up the necessary memories. Being shot. The yellow twin falling to the floor. The explosions. The twins escaping. Starscream…

He growled. "Starscream…"

"Has taken control in your absence."

"I'm sure he has," Megatron moved to sit up, but Soundwave kept him down. "Let me up!"

"You are still not well enough. It has been nearly two months since the incident. In that time, Starscream has repaired the hull and most of the main computer, which the red twin, Sideswipe, destroyed. He has even obtained energon rations, even though we have not been able to find the twins."

Megatron couldn't mask his surprise. "He…found energy?"

"I am just as surprised as you, sir, although I do not think he is happy that you were able to be recovered."

"That sounds more like Starscream," Megatron muttered. "I think I have to see the rest for myself. This sounds too bizarre to be true."

"Ah, Megatron, you're awake." The two looked up as Starscream entered their 'repair bay'. Starscream folded his arms and didn't seem none too pleased. "I am so glad you made a speedy recovery."

"So am I, although all this nonsense about you taking the lead and…not screwing up is rather confusing."

Starscream scowled. "Don't let giving praise hurt you too much, oh mighty Megatron," Starscream sneered as he turned away. "Primus forbid you should praise your crew on a job well done in your absence." He began to walk away.

"Wait, Starscream," Megatron began. Starscream stopped. "Uh…thank you, Starscream."

Starscream eyed Megatron, then gave a small, barely audible, "Hmph!" before leaving.

"I don't know about you, Soundwave," Megatron hissed. "But something isn't right here."


Megatron stood in the control room, surveying the damage done to the main computer, and the repairs that were in progress. Vital memory units had been compromised, besides surface damage that could be easily repaired.

He frowned.


The holding cell in the brig was marked for non-use, and still retained the blaster pockmarks on the walls, as well as the broken force field generators. Blasts to the generators came from the inside of the cell. Bits of the metal cell was cracked from ricochet blasts. He could see dents in the wall from the skirmish between Starscream and the twins. The monitoring equipment in the hub was completely fried.

Megatron frowned as he gazed down into the compromised machinery. Again, memory banks were completely destroyed. Most of the communications equipment was intact. He poked a bit of broken machinery, amazed that the twins knew just what to hit and where.

A small red chip clattered from the tangled wire mess to the ground. He picked it up and eyed it, instantly recognizing the Autobot insignia on the chip.


Starscream entered the control center, frowning instantly upon seeing Megatron standing before the newly reconstructed main computer. The last two months had been almost a dream for Starscream, save for that he knew the whole time that Megatron had not been killed, and would make a steadfast recovery. As the days progressed he became more sour, knowing that soon his reign would end.

"Yes?" He asked. Megatron waved him off. "I was busy writing…"

"The others will be here in a minute. I just wanted to unveil the new main computer to everyone, including some new…adjustments."

Starscream folded his arms and waited as the others entered. As soon as the rest of the Decepticons were present, Megatron activated the main computer. "It looks just as it did before!"

"Ah, but wait," Megatron grinned a grin that made Starscream uneasy, and he reached over and deposited a small red chip into the computer. The others exchanged confused glances as the computer processed the chip. "This addition will help us immensely!"

Starscream froze as a recording was brought up, a recording of himself inside the brig. Instantly he knew what the clip was and what was going on, and moved forward. Megatron raised his gun arm and shook his head.

"I'm listening."

"On one condition."

"Megatron, I can explain," Starscream started. The other seekers fidgeted.

"Save it, Starscream," Megatron smirked. "I knew this whole 'loyal, respectful Starscream' was too good to be true. Thank Primus our Autobot friends decided to make a recording of what transpired down in the brig."

"You must destroy the Decepticon mainframe computer and provide a return of energon supply for all Decepticons."

"For our freedom? That's hardly a good asking price."

Starscream groaned inwardly and shifted his optics to the screen. Frenzy and Rumble had already turned to him in anger. The other jets stood back, hoping against hope itself that whatever Starscream said didn't indemnify them.

"The unfortunate bot who was in charge of disarming you is going to get a rather rude surprise when he realizes he missed one lowly pistol. Don't get me wrong, it's quite refreshing to trade insults without the sound of blasters destroying the art, but the truth is, I don't want you as captives. And my colleagues don't wish to call you their colleagues."

"You framed me?!" Rumble growled and advanced on Starscream, but Frenzy held him back. "Let me go! I had to spend a month in the brig because of that lying tincan!"

"Yes, Megatron has a plan to either brainwash or blackmail one of you, if not both of you, into Decepticon service. Quite frankly, the thought sickens me."

"That still doesn't even out the destruction of the mainframe computer and free energon."

"And severely injure, if not kill, Megatron."

Megatron shifted his optics to Skywarp and Thundercracker. "I can understand how Starscream would jump at the chance to betray me, but I'd never think I'd see this sort of thing from the likes of you."

Thundercracker stepped back in dread. "I…uh…well, sir…"

"Silence!" Megatron scowled. "Don't worry. I've got a fitting punishment for the three of you."

"Besides, it'd be nice to show your newly attained troops that you can handle a crisis such as the demise of Megatron in a situation such as this."

"My thoughts exactly."

"Megatron, my lord," Starscream began. "I can explain all of this, it's not what it seems!"

"You asked the Autobots to kill me, Starscream. You might have just done it yourself! And you knowingly plotted against me!" Megatron stepped forward, gunarm at the ready. The trio of jets backed off.

"Good going, Starscream," Thundercracker hissed.

"Yeah," Skywarp echoed.

"Shut up! You two are as much a part of this as I am!" Starscream screeched.

Megatron smirked. "Starscream, do you know what it feels like to be run through with a blaster that comes from your own faction?"

"Uh…no…" Starscream eyed the blaster.

"I think you should know how it feels. You should feel the heat passing so close to your core. I think you should see the smoke pouring from your torso," Megatron laughed a bit maniacally as the gun charged. "Just to return the favor!"

Starscream's scream was heard through the furthest reaches of the ship as the gun discharged, followed by the screams of his fellow jets.

Megatron's laughter echoed afterwards.