Author's Note: These stories are based on Original Characters in various Transformers universes. The characters are not mine, though I do have permission, as part of the exchange, to write their stories. Each chapter is a stand-alone story.
And here's the second of my TF Exchange pieces. This one is based on Chase, and the theme was: Faction Switch!
It was supposed to have been a routine supply run. At least, as routine a supply run as could be expected under the circumstances. Things hadn't gone as planned, and now Chase stood before Megatron, the Decepticon leader.
Megatron paced slowly, deliberately across the floor in the main control room of the Nemesis. His path took up one entire side of the room. Alone in the center of the same area, trying not to fidget stood Chase, the object of Megatron's intense scrutiny. A scattering of the rest of the Decepticon troops lined the wall behind Chase. The only sound in the room was the even tread of Megatron's feet. Tension crackled in the air.
"So," intoned that gravelly voice, slicing through Chase's audio receptors, "you have returned from the Energon collection run." Chase couldn't help the micro-flash of memory that flitted across his cortex…
"Chase! You are to fly to the power plant and return instantly with as many Energon cubes as you can stuff into your hold. Starscream, Thundercracker! You will follow and make sure he returns in one piece WITH his cargo intact. We desperately need those Energon cubes. Now, GO!" Megatron's order sat well with the new Decepticon arrival. Chase wasn't much of a fighter, but he was able to pull his weight (sometimes literally!) by carrying anything and everything his ruthless leader demanded.
Starscream wasn't so pleased with his assignment, however, and grated on both his comrades' radio frequencies for the entire trip to the power plant. "I can't believe that I, Starscream, Master of the air, have to play nursemaid for a cargo plane! Megatron is foolish to send me out on such a pathetic, routine mission! I should be leading the Decepticons, not flying tamely back and forth on shuttle runs...!" His inane vitriol continued in the same vein with little repetition.
Thundercracker said very little, and Chase finally realized the light blue jet (who was quite a bit cleverer than he let on) had simply turned off the frequency that his fellow Seeker was ranting on.
Perhaps Starscream had a point, as all three of them made the initial leg of the run with no difficulty whatsoever. Several Decepticons were at the power plant ready to load his sturdy P-51D Mustang hold with an enormous supply of Energon cubes while Starscream and Thundercracker lounged nearby…
Chase's central processor suddenly cut his flashback short as Megatron changed course to step closer to the young mech. While usually quite able to survive the physical give-and-take abuse from the rest of the troops, Megatron was to be avoided at all costs. The intimidating ruby stare was only a few feet from his own before Megatron continued.
"However, you were spotted…"
"Autobots!" yelled Thundercracker, leaping into action. He took up a defensive position in front of Chase while Starscream thundered into the air screaming insults at the small Autobot infiltration group. The rest of the Decepticons raced to stow the last few Energon cubes, then gave him the signal to depart.
Chase revved his engines, the extra weight in his hold noticeable, but not detrimental to his takeoff. Nearby, Thundercracker leapt and transformed, following him up into the air. Chase saw only three Autobots, but he didn't want to stick around to find out if there were any more on the way. He and Thundercracker poured on the power, making all haste to the beckoning sky. Chase soon noticed Starscream, triumphantly crowing his superiority, take up the position on his left flank.
"B-but Megatron…" was all Chase was able to stammer out before a vicious slice of Megatron's arm silenced him. Ruby optics met orange as the two locked gazes. After a moment to reaffirm his total superiority, Megatron continued.
"You also came back one Decepticon short, due to your belligerence and stubbornness..."
Chase rocked in sudden agony as his left wing crumpled. Forcing himself to stay level in the sky, he nearly missed the giant white jet that sliced through the sky in a tight arc to reorient on the trio. Starscream and Thundercracker peeled off from their positions to perform a scissor maneuver. The giant white jet barely avoided the two Seekers to fire another blast at Chase, this time a direct hit on his propeller. Chase started losing altitude, fighting to keep his blades spinning.
"Skyfire!" shrieked Starscream, aiming another blast at the giant white jet while Thundercracker looped around to try and support Chase's failing left wing. "you putrid traitor!" The Air Commander scored on Skyfire's wingtip, causing the Valkyrie to yaw sharply and lose altitude. Sneering, he called back to Thundercracker, "Leave him! Chase is done for! We're fast enough to make it back to Decepticon headquarters, but that cargo plane won't be able to keep up. One more hit, and the cubes he's carrying will explode and blow us all to pieces." Starscream looped back around to come even with Chase and Thundercracker. Down below, Skyfire straightened out and started to climb back into attack position.
Chase got mad.
Shrugging off Thundercracker's help, he steeled his circuits and managed to speed up, leveling out. There was no way he would fall out of the sky, if only to spite that whiny, self-centered, coward Starscream! His voice crackled over the com, "Starscream, I am the reason for this mission. I am the one carrying Megatron's Energon cubes. As such, that puts me in command here. You will engage Skyfire, and make sure he does not have the chance to fire on me again! I will make it back to Decepticon headquarters or so help me I will have your afterburners for a bunk-warmer!"
Silence. Skyfire leveled out and took aim. Thundercracker let out a single bark of astonished laughter.
Starscream screeched incoherently and exploded forward, blasting Skyfire with his entire arsenal. He never saw the second winged form lurking in the skies above…
Thundercracker was one of the Decepticons lounging against the wall. He had had an amused smirk plastered across his lip components ever since their return to the underwater Decepticon headquarters. Of course, Thundercracker wasn't the one dealing with Megatron's interrogation, either. Chase envied the blue Seeker for just that moment.
Megatron had stopped speaking. He took a step back and began to pace again, rubbing his chin with one giant black hand. Chase stood up straight in sudden anger. Despite how it sounded, he DID come back and the Decepticons DID have a large supply of Energon cubes. It wasn't his problem that Starscream didn't have enough processing power to remember the very specific orders given to them. He had nothing to be afraid of!
Or so he thought.
When Megatron again turned to face him, he felt his knee servos giving way. Megatron raised his right hand to point at Chase, that cold black fusion cannon aimed directly to the center of his chest compartment. The Mustang's bravado fled at the sight of the wrong end of Megatron's fusion cannon. He didn't blame it.
Megatron intoned, "It seems that you not only completed your mission, but you also managed to rid me, albeit temporarily, of the greatest obstacle to my unopposed rule."
Chase started to cringe in anticipation of a fatal blast, but then Megatron's words reached his central processor. He started up at the imposing form with a dumbstruck expression. "B-but…"
"Excellent!" praised the silver Decepticon leader, lowering his arm. "I think you'll make a worthy addition to my conquering army, Chase."