The first indication that it was going to be a bad day came when Astrotrain stomped down the hallway towards him, holding three tiny seekers.
"I think you lost something," Astrotrain growled, shoving the sparklings into a startled Starscream's arms.
"But... wait..." Starscream looked from Astrotrain's retreating back to the three innocently glowing optics.
Well, two pairs of optics, and one thruster. Taser swung upside-down from one leg, beeping quietly.
"What the slag are you brats doing now?" Starscream demanded.
"Skywarp told us to go away and make trouble for someone," Scritch told him innocently.
"And to tell everyone that it was your turn to watch us when we got caught," Taser called up.
Stick whacked Scritch in the wing. "We were weren't supposed to tell anyone it was Skywarp!" he hissed.
Starscream froze at the sound of footsteps behind him. He turned to look over his wing with a sinking feeling.
Mortified, Starscream dropped the sparklings. Stick squeaked, attaching him to Starscream's hand with a magnetic snick. Scritch hung off Stick's leg, clinging to one of Taser's thrusters.
Megatron's lips twitched.
"Here, let me help you with that, Starscream," Megatron purred as Starscream tried to shake the dangling sparklings off. Catching Starscream by an intake before he could pull away, Megatron shoved the Air Commander Stick-first into the wall.
Starscream cursed, tugging at his trapped arm. "Megatron! Don't walk away from me, slag it! Argh!"
"He's a jerk," Scritch commented. Stick nodded in agreement.
Starscream just snarled.
Stick blinked up at his wingmates. "Wha happened?"
"You got null-rayed," Scritch told him, optics wide with awe.
"Yeah! We poked you and every thing!" Taser chimed in. "So what did it feel like?"
Stick sat up, patting himself to make sure all his parts were still there. "I dunno."
"How do you not know?!" Taser scowled furiously.
Stick just shrugged his wings and clambered to his feet. "Dunno."
Air hissed through Taser's intakes. "Humph."
"What's he doing?" Stick asked curiously, watching Starscream working at the desk.
"Dunno," said Scritch. "But it must be important."
Three sets of optics turned towards Starscream, accompanied by three evil little grins.
That's it! Starscream set the data pad on the desk, turning back to the computer. If I modify the rotational speed here, then... yes, that's it!
So focused was Starscream on the monitor, he completely missed the two tiny red optics peering over his desk. A matching black hand snuck its way across the desktop, carefully lifting his data pad. The optics, hand, and data pad disappeared behind the desk.
Furious whispers broke out.
"Stop hogging, Stick!" Scritch whined, tugging on the data pad.
"Yeah, I wanna see too!" Taser bounced up and down.
"No! I stoled it fair and square! I get to see it first!" Stick held on stubbornly.
"So?" Scritch yanked harder.
Stick glowered and activated his magnetics. "Ha! Now try to take it!"
Scritch folded her arms and sulked. "You're such a jerk sometimes."
Triumphant, Stick looked down at his prize. "Uh, is it supposed to look like that?"
The other two clustered around him and the data pad. "It had words a second ago," Taser said.
They exchanged looks.
"Oopsie," said Scritch.
Meanwhile, above them, Starscream was frowning at the screen. "That's not right," he muttered to himself. He reached blindly for his data pad, not noticing the tiny black hand sliding back over the edge of the desk.
The three sparklings very quietly tip-toed away, ducking around the door frame and into the hall. A few seconds later, a shriek reverberated down the hallway, sending the three fleeing as fast as their little thrusters could take them.