Tasuki: I was looking around Teletraan 1 Wikia and I came across Thundercracker's page looking for a reference for him, and I read his bio. I already kind of knew it, but it was saying how he wasn't completely "dedicated" to the goal, to an extent, and stayed because he would have his doubts pushed away. So, I started thinking. What if those doubts were put to the ultimate test? And then this came to mind.
Just so people know, this should probably be considered somewhat AU. I don't know anything beyond the cartoon, Teletraan 1 Wikia, and other fanfics on this website. Thus, I've had to combine what I learned about his character to create my own representation of him that I think is pretty darn close. So, if you notice things that may seem to go to not quite the same continuity, well, it's because of that very reason. I also kind of put it "what-I-think-they-act-like" in here, especially with Skywarp, TC, and Starscream relationship thing and a few other things. I just do it because I think things like the cartoon hold no justice to what I've read that they can do.
Summary: G1. Long ago, he followed a mech for a dream they were given, but now he did so out of fear. He had fought endlessly to achieve that dream, when all it took was a simple choice to achieve it. Thundercracker focus.
Thundercracker was different from the other Decepticons.
Many of his fellow 'Cons had changed over the countless cycles. None of them had noticed, but he had been watching. He had watched cycle after cycle as they descended into the madness that had swallowed them whole and cursed them to the fiery Pits of the Unmaker. They had all lost themselves to the killing and destruction long ago. Even his triad members had befallen the same fate. Skywarp had once been more care free, but now was obsessed with war. Starscream, well, there's was actually too much to say about him. He, on the other hand, had not changed. Unlike all the mechs around him, he had not changed since the first days of the Great War.
He alone could still recall their true goal. He did not know why the rest could not remember it, especially when it was something they had all longed with their entire spark. He did not know why they had lost themselves the damning madness of the chaos of war and let it darken their sparks blacker than the empty abyss beyond the Quasars. How could they allow themselves to fall so far from that dream? How could their- his Leader, the Might Megatron, the very being who had given them the hope for that dream, had been the first to fall into that madness?
He sighed deeply to himself as he typed across the keys off his computer. He had asked himself those questions so many times over the endless cycles, yet no answer ever came to him. He could not ask his fellow 'Cons; they would deem him a coward and pathetic, or think he planned on betraying them. He was no fool, though- No, he knew better than to express his thoughts, even to his fellow triad members. He knew to keep his secrets safe and how to do so, even from the telepathic Soundwave.
To ease his mind and to save it from the griping need to express his thoughts, he had turned to writing them in his own log. He had learned of it from watching those flesh creatures- the humans. They may have been extremely pathetic and inferior, but they were clever. Their "journal" or "diary" idea of writing down one's thoughts was rather… spark easing. He found whenever he typed them into his log they stopped constantly nagging at him wherever he went. They stopped pleading for him to find an answer and to understand. It had certainly saved him when their battles put a true test to the answers of those questions. They had saved him from making a mistake that would cost him his spark.
BANG! BANG! "TC! Open up before I teleport in!"
The sudden knock and familiar call of his triad member sent his fingers flying across the keys. They were used to the motion, due to the purple and black Seeker's constant intrusions, and so it took but a nano-klik to save his log and shut down his computer. His thoughts safe and secret, he turned around in his seat. He was about to stand to let his friend in when he heard a crack on the other side of the door. He was just barely able to turn of his audio receptors as the following crack exploded in his room. He narrowed his optics and turned his audio receptors back on just as he felt the shock wave push against him, then scowled at his friend.
"I was going to open the door, Skywarp," he growled at the Seeker.
Skywarp smirked, "I don't like waiting."
"I'm afraid I can't move form here to my door in less than a klik," Thundercracker sighed, bringing up a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. The purple and black Seeker frowned in disgust at the gesture and folded his arms.
"Why do you always do those silly human gestures? It's insulting to our race," he sneered.
The blue Seeker gave the mech a look, "Because frankly, they create the perfect reaction to all your antics. Now what do you want?"
Skywarp put on a face of mock-hurt, "I just wanted to see if you wanted to go squishy-hunting with me. I'm getting bored, so I figured it would amuse me."
Thundercracker had to hold himself back in order to keep his facial expression calm and his fists unclenched. Oh, how he hated for Skywarp to show how much he changed. It sickened him and it stung his spark. His friend had once been so free sparked in everything he did: relaxation, pranks, battles- everything. Yet now, it was replaced with cruelty and the need to destroy things inferior to their race. Why couldn't things go back to the way they were? Back to the time when they fought with joy and the determination for their dream, and not this senseless violence?
"Sorry, 'Warp," he started to make sure his voice would work right. "But I'm a little tired right now, but I'm sure you can get Starscream to go."
Skywarp wings and shoulders fell slightly, and his optics dimmed just a bit. Thundercracker felt his spark tighten with guilt. As much as he hated how his friend had changed, he would always hate that face of hurt even more. He couldn't go with the mech, though. It was one thing to kill their enemy, the Autobots, whom had a fighting chance against them. It was another to just slaughter an inferior race that had no chance. It wasn't…
"Okay… I guess I can try and get 'Screamer…" the jet sighed, still visibly upset. "He'll probably want to blow some steam, anyways. You saw how Megatron beat his aft today. Makes ya wonder if he'll ever learn."
"Probably not," Thundercracker replied, his voice sounding far away.
Skywarp put on a good fake smile, "See ya later then. I'll be sure and take some pictures and bring back some souvenirs." Before the blue mech could reply, Skywarp teleported and nearly blew out his audio receptors with the resounding crack that came with it. His body wavered as the ring of white noise filtered through his body. The room was spinning, which caused his intakes to churn uncomfortably. Primus, he hated it when Skywarp did that. He had even voiced out against the mech down it, but he constantly refused to yield to his pleading. He knew it was an act of hurt towards his actions this time, but still. He was going to have such a horrid CPU ache tonight.
Once the ringing faded from his receptors and the room stopped spinning, he stood up. Despite the fact his intakes ha been churning just kliks beforehand, his felt the sudden longing for Energon. He needed something to clear his thoughts of his questions and his guilt, and the pink fluid was just the thing he needed. There would no doubt be other 'Cons there, most of them probably over-energized, which would give him something for his mind to ponder on.
So. His CPU made up, he stood, opened his door, and headed towards the Recreation Room.
Thundercracker's red optics glanced around the room from each metal face to the next as he sipped at his Energon cube. He noticed every detail; the glazed look of being over-energized; the foolish and spark-full laughter that was once heard all the time back in the Golden Age of Cybertron; the lax positions of arms and crossed legs. It was in these moments that he found they were like before, back on Cybertron. Whenever they won a battle- took one step closer to their goal- they'd celebrate like this. Energon cube after Energon cube would be downed and they would all be over energized by the end of the solar cycle.
Now, though, he could see through the facade. Beneath their laughing grins and smirks, their callous demeanor lay in wait for when they could kill once more. It sickened his spark when realized he was just as bad as the others were. He sometimes found himself lost in the seductive flurry of battle. The countless explosions were a melody to his receptors that sent a thrill through the Energon running through his metal veins. He lived for the feeling of the wind blowing across his alternate form in the air and the knowledge that his enemies could not beat him in his kingdom high above their heads. It was there he felt invincible and all powerful. It was there he would loose himself.
"Man I just hate those slaggin' Autobots!" he could hear Drag Strip shout from behind him. "They're so slaggin' easy to beat! Just this last battle I was kickin' that Windhcarger fragger's aft into scrap heap!" Just from the tone in his voice, Thundercracker could tell the mech was over energized, and no doubt were the rest of those he was drinking with. His assumption was proven as Astrotrain spoke up from another chair.
"You ain't the only one!" he spoke, somehow managing not to slur his words. "They're always getting in the way of our conquest. Always protecting the weaker races! Bah! I say frag 'em! Slag, we're doing the Universe a favor by killing off this inferior glitches!"
Thundercracker's fist tightened underneath his table. This wasn't what he wanted to hear in order to keep his mind off his questions.
"Yeah, I can't wait until Megatron finally blows this Pit-spawned planet up!" Thrust snarled, slamming his fist into his table. It was at that moment the doors to the room opened and a rather happy-looking Skywarp stepped in with a not-as-annoyed-as-usual Starscream right behind him. Thundercracker's optics met the purple and black Seeker's for a moment, and then parted. Starscream paid no mind to their exchange of looks as he grabbed an Energon cube and sauntered over to sit across from the blue Seeker.
"Primus those humans are so much fun to blow up! They just run around and scream like turbo-rats! It's great!" Skywarp laughed as he got his own cube. A few other 'Cons chuckled with him and gave out a few comments of agreement while the Seeker sat down beside Thundercracker. He took a large gulp of his cube as he set his legs up on the table.
"So what has been going on while I was gone?" the Seeker inquired loudly for all to hear. "Any good conversations or fights happen?"
"We're just wondering when Megatron will finally send this planet to the Pits!" Blitzwing growled and then drank his Energon.
"Bah! You're all such fools!" Starscream spat. "Megatron will not blow up this planet. It's far too valuable."
"Oh yeah, Screamer?" Rumble shouted from his table with Frenzy. Starscream's optics flashed dangerously as he sent a glare in their direction. "And what would you know about that, huh?"
"Because, you little Pit-spawns," the Seeker hissed darkly, "as Megatron's second-in-command, I know quite a lot more than any of you glitches ever will! And I for one know that Megatron plans on using this planet's resources to make Energon for as long as they're available. He won't waste it so easily!"
"Oh, don't get you're aft full of exhaust again, Starscream," Skywarp laughed, swatting his fellow triad member on the shoulder. The Seeker scowled in disgust at his cohort, but let his act slide. After all, the mech had given him a good way to vent not long ago, and the fact he was of his own personal group.
"I am merely reminding those fools where their place is," he sneered, sending a quick, dark look at the two Casseticons.
"Luckily we all know where your place is," Frenzy smirked mischievously.
"Right beneath Megatron's aft so you can kiss it!" Rumble finished, slapping his aft, and the room erupted in a round of chuckles and laughter. It was too much for Starscream's patience to handle. He slammed his Energon cube down, brought up his arm, and blasted the two small 'Cons with his null ray. They had no time to dodge and were thrown right out of their chairs. They lay on the floor, unable to move, as Starscream moved towards them.
"Ridicule me, will you, you little insects?!" he snarled and then glanced at the others, daring them to intervene. When none did, he loomed over the two 'Cons. The light reflected off his back, creating a black shadow that concealed his front, save for the menacing glow of his red optics that stared down at them with a deep hatred and a lust to shoot them in the spark chamber. It was one of the few times the two Casseticons felt a genuine fear from the second in command.
"I should shoot both of you now," Starscream hissed and aimed his arm at them. Before he could say another word, a dark blue hand gripped his arm and squeezed. He winced just a little as the fingers dug into his armor plating. He looked up to find the red visor of Soundwave glowing menacingly at him with the same hatred a femme would have when protecting her sparklings.
"Continuation of action: not approved. Consequences: Dire," his monotone voice spoke, and Starscream smirked challengingly.
"Is that so?" he purred.
"Affirmative. Continuation of previous action: Result in statis lock." Starscream stared into the red visor for a few moments longer, the tension between them filling the room. The other Decepticons fidgeted nervously, while Skywarp smirked in amusement, and Thundercracker mentally shook his head. The moments seemed to take an eternity, but Starscream finally shrugged and smiled smugly.
"They aren't worth it anyways," he spoke with that smile, but everyone could feel the ice in his tone. Soundwave was satisfied, though. He released his deadly grip on the Seeker's arm and turned to his two creations, whom were coming out of their temporary paralysis. Starscream, on the other hand, sauntered back over to his drink with his head held high.
Thundercracker kept his eyes on his fellow Seeker until he sat down, and then turned them onto his drink. It made his spark grow cold every time he witnessed his fellow triad member act this way. He had changed so much out of the three of them. There had been a time when Starscream was beyond foul play and would only make snide remarks in reply rather than take action. Though, that was because back then, he didn't have to take action to keep his pride and status among the other 'Cons. Back then, he did not think of stealing the right of leadership from Megatron. Back then, he was a loyal and fierce warrior whom was able to instill fear in all those who even heard his name: Starscream. The very name that even made the stars scream out in fear.
Now, though… Now he was but a scapegoat for their Leader's anger and an example for those that even dared to challenge his leadership or their new goal.
"Ouch. Might want to get that checked out, Screamer," Skywarp spoke, noticing the servo-sized puncture wounds on their triad leader's arm.
Starscream examined his wound, "I'll have Hook look at it later. I'm not done gloating with my victory."
"You didn't need to go that far," Thundercracker sighed, resting his head on his hand. The Seeker he was addressing looked at him with both surprise and anger.
"Of course I did, Thundercracker. These slagging drones believe themselves better than I- the second in command that was hand chosen by Megatron himself! I cannot allow them to think such things!"
"Yeah, c'mon, TC. What's wrong with you, huh?" Skywarp frowned and gave him a light punch on the shoulder.
"Nothing's wrong with me," the blue Seeker scowled.
Starscream snorted, "Perhaps you are the one that needs to see Hook." Thundercracker was about to snap something back, but Skywarp interrupted him when he leaned up suddenly.
"I know what'll make you feel better!" he grinned. "I bet you've been dieing to hear all about the chaos me and Screamer made today!" Their triad leader rolled his eyes, but let his fellow Seeker be as he took a drink of his Energon.
"Of course," the blue jet replied, putting on an excellent face of false eagerness.
"Okay, well, we decided the best place to go was that city… Uh… What was it called again?" the purple and black jet asked Starscream.
"New York City," the jet sighed annoyingly.
"Right! So we went to New York City because it's just loaded with those flesh bags! Man did we have fun! We decided to let them know we were Decepticons, so we shot a few cars at first. Primus, it was hilarious! They started screaming and shouting and running around stupidly. That's when we started to shoot the buildings and went down there to have some real fun," Skywarp laughed, an overly-happy look in his optics that made Thundercracker's intakes churn just as much as when he had teleported out of his room.
"We transformed and then they went even crazier! We started to pick 'em up and throw them around. Blew up some cars and then threw some of the ones that weren't completely destroyed. You really missed out TC! It's kind of annoying that they don't really put up that much of a challenge, but it sure is fun to watch them blow up. I wish it was a little less messy. That fluid they spew is pretty nasty, and are those disgusting squishy objects that come out of them.
"Too bad our fun had to end when those fragging Aerialbots decided to show up. We had to leave, being outnumbered, but we'd had a lot fun by then, and left a big clean up job for them to do! Oh, that reminds me. I forgot to take pictures and bring you a souvenir. Sorry. I was too busy killing the humans that I forgot and then the Aerialbots came. We'll get some ne—TC? You okay?"
No. No he wasn't, and he didn't care that his anger was showing through. He hated what Skywarp had become just as much as what Starscream had become. He wanted his old friends back. He wanted the ones he met so long ago- when he first joined the Decepticons- back. He wanted the care free, pranking Skywarp back; the one that would play around his enemies and then beat the slag out of them. He wanted the smart, proud, and strong Starscream back; the one that was feared simply because of his name. Primus he wanted it all back.
These two mechs before him angered him beyond belief. They were just like the other 'Cons around him now- corrupt and only interested in killing anything weaker than them or in the way of Universal conquest. He didn't want that, though. He wanted them to remember. He wanted them to remember like he did- remember their true cause. Yet, deep in his spark, he knew he couldn't do it. He knew his words would not reach the sparks he once knew. They were too deep in the abyss of chaos brought upon them by their leader. He wanted his words to reach, though. He wanted it so badly.
He found he suddenly couldn't take the anger burning inside and scorching his spark. His hands turned into a fist and slammed onto his table. Loudly. The table shook and his Energon cube toppled over, spilling the pink fluid over the side. His two fellow mechs physically flinched and looked at him with confusion and some concern. He grit his teeth and turned off his optics as he tried to control himself. He could feel everyone's optics on him in the silence that was now engulfing them. He could feel their thoughts; their rumors; their slanders, all burrowing through his armor and into his spark. Why? Why couldn't any of them see anymore?
"T…C…?" Skywarp asked tentatively and reached out towards him.
His optics turned on and he turned his head away, "I'm just… ah… upset that I didn't decide to come along." He did not give them a chance to speak as he stood and headed towards the exist. He could still feel all of their optics watching and judging him. What was wrong with him? Why wasn't he laughing with his fellow mech? Was he not for the cause anymore? Was he thinking of betraying them? Was he crazy? Why is he acting so strange?
His pace quickened as his fists clenched tighter, digging into his hand just a bit. He glowered at the path in front of him as he did his best to ignore their stares and to push the thoughts he knew they were asking themselves from his CPU. It wasn't until the doors to the room closed behind him and the nagging feel of all their stares vanished, that he finally let loose another blast of anger. His fists slammed against the wall as he shouted out in anger. He pulled his hands away and looked at them, imagining all he done with them and wondered…
"Is something wrong… Thundercracker?" the deep, cruel, and dark tone of his fearsome leader spoke from behind him. He looked up in surprise and then flinched under the red gaze. Fear clawed at his spark, cutting into the old wounds that had been created so long ago. He could remember the first cut and the second and the third. He could recall each moment he could never fully repair, and would always remember the fear that came with each. It was the accumulation of that fear that kept him under the thumb of his leader. The fear that if he were to even think of betrayal, he would end like all those Autobots that had lost their spark to his leader's hands.
"No, sir… Nothing's… wrong," he spoke and did his best to hide the fear in his vocals. An icy chuckled escaped Megatron's mouth as he came close to the seeker. His silver form was dark in the little light that was in the hallway, and when added with the glow of his red optics, the mech looked like the Unmaker himself. Thundercracker could feel the tingle of his black hand wrapped around his neck like a collar strapped on too tightly. He could feel the leash being attached and tied too shortly to a pole so that he could not even walk around. He was a slave to Megatron's will, and the fear the mech instilled in his spark was his chain.
"That's good to hear," the silver mech mused, arms folded behind his back. He took slow, powerful steps closer to the Seeker. His optics lingered over his entire body. He was searching for signs; any signs of the chance of betrayal. Anything that would lead him to believe the blue Seeker before him would pose any danger to his desires and goals. Anything at all, that would make him need to kill the warrior.
"Am I, in your way, sir?" Thundercracker questioned carefully and trying with all his might not to start shaking.
Megatron smiled cruelly, "No, no. You're quite fine where you are. You just looked troubled is all. I find it is… unwise to have some of my better warriors troubled when at war."
"Of course, sir, but I am not troubled at all. I thank you for your concern, though." A cackle escaped the silver mech's lips, sending a shiver down the Seeker's spine.
"Do not confuse my interests for 'concern', Thundercracker. I feel no such thing for those that are expendable, and all of you are expendable. Remember that," his voice spoke in but a whisper right next to his receptors, but it was like a blaster had been shot to him. His entire CPU went numb as the same ringing he had felt in his room returned. He couldn't move; couldn't think; couldn't do anything. He was frozen. If Megatron wanted to, he could kill him right there. Right now. It would be so easy. He would just have to raise his arm and that would be the end of it.
"I trust you will be at one hundred percent efficiency by this evening?" Megatron inquired, pulling away from the Seeker.
He found his voice again, "F-for what, sir?"
"Oh? Forgotten already?" the mech laughed, causing Thundercracker to flinch. "We're going to be raiding that Power Plant. So, can I count on you?"
Were he no different from the other Decepticons, he would not have noticed the deeper meaning to that question. It was not just a question of wither he would be ready. Oh, no. It was deeper than that, and he knew it. His leader was questioning his loyalty. Could he be trusted? Was he fully loyal to their cause? Would be betray Megatron? Was he even more foolish than his triad leader?
"Of course, my Lord," he spoke, his voice shaking. Megatron smiled coolly at him.
"Excellent," he spoke and passed him by. The door opened for the mech and as soon as they closed behind him, Thundercracker's form began to shake.
He placed a hand against the wall for support as his CPU fought for a way to regain its stability. He couldn't stop shaking. He had been so close to being killed. Every fiber of his being told him that. Had he even showed the signs of just thinking the word "No", Megatron would have shot him right then and there. He was expendable. They all were. They were all just tools to him. Expendable tools.
He brought a hand to his throat and fingered at the invisible collar around his neck. He was afraid. So terribly afraid. He was afraid he might move and the leash would catch on the pole and wring him backwards. The collar would tighten and suffocate him and bring him under. He could feel it. He could feel the shadows clawing nearer and nearer. They were reaching out for him; clawing at his arms and legs and wings. They were dragging him under. They were ripping him apart. His hands first. His legs second. Then his wings. Piece by piece he was ripped apart until nothing remained but the shadows.
The world was suddenly alive with explosions and cries of anguish or rage, and he was a part of it. His blasters shook the ground beneath him and ripped the earth, sending debris and mechs flying. Some fell and did not move, while others picked themselves and either continued to fire at him or his fellow warriors. The would not reach him, though. Not up here in his dominion. The skies were his now. His very own battlefield. Here, no one could touch him; beat him. The foolish Autobots stood no chance against him up here.
Thundercracker transformed and landed atop one of the taller buildings of the Power Plant. He crouched down low and gazed over the battlefield like an Earth condor searching for its prey. They were so small from where he was, like insignificant insects that he could crush so easily. His optics turned upwards suddenly, as a jet- an Aerialbot- flew past with Starscream right on his tail. He thought of going after it, but he was forced to transform back into his alternate form when another Aerialbot shot at him.
He sneered to himself as he shot past the mech. It was that annoying little slagger Slingshot. The one Aerialbot he hated the most. Always bragging about how amazing he was in the sky, as if he owned it. His spark flashed with anger as he suddenly turned around to face the AV-8B Harrier. He could sense the surprise coming from the Autobot; it flowed through the air and into his sensors. It sent his spark on high and suddenly all his common sense was lost in submission to another side. His predator side.
He let loose a volley of blast, which Slingshot managed to dodge just barely. Thundercracker would not let him go so easily. The Autobot was his prey, and he was hungry. He circled around and came up behind the AV-8B. He laughed as the aerial craft realized where he was and nose dived. He followed right after. Oh how he enjoyed the thrill of the hunt.
He let the chase continue for a few moments longer until his predatory side decided it was time. No more fooling around; it was time to feast. He pushed his thrusters, sending him shooting forward and past Slingshot, whom let out a cry of surprise. He spun around and flew straight at his prey. He smirked secretly when the Autobot started to fire- as if he had a chance to win. He easily dodged the shots and just as they were about to collide, he transformed. His form collided with the Autobot's, sending them into a spin. It was nothing for him, though. He easily maneuvered over to the position he desired, aimed, and fired. The blast seared right through Slingshot's center causing the AV-8B to screech in pain and begin a spiraling nosedive to the ground below.
Thundercracker released his prey and watched smugly as the Autobot fell. It would all be over soon. The ground would spin round and round in a dizzying blur. It would come ever closer, bringing to his prey's spark the sickening feeling of waited for him when the sky and ground collided. How he enjoyed knowing his prey felt that fear. It was absolutely delicious, and the Autobot was almost there now. Closer and closer… Around and around. A seemingly endless whirlwind leading to death in which you could do nothing but wait for the sickening crunch at the end.
The Seeker scowled in disgust when, at the very last minute, another Aerialbot, that pathetic Silverbolt, came in and rescued his fellow 'bot. He let out a snarl as his fists clenched. How dare that insignificant Autobot steal his joy from him! How dare he rescue his prey!
His optics glowed a blood red as he transformed. He aimed upwards, and up he went. He went up as high as was needed and then turned downward. He would show that Autobot what happened when one stole his prey. They would learn the meaning of his name. He put his thrusters on maximum and shot towards the ground. The sky and earth would meet this day. They would meet in a catastrophic explosion that would rip the sky in two and a clap of thunder would ring through the world. All those that heard it would look the sky and see him pass by in but a blur and they would fear him.
Just as he was reaching his prey and preparing to live up to his name, the call of his leader echoed into his mind. He pulled up short from his nosedive and veered off. He descended towards the Earth to meet Megatron and let his mind regain itself. The predatory side of him was subdued once more and he was himself again. He was no longer just a killing machine built for war; no longer just a tool. He was a mech with thought and feeling. He was Thundercracker as he transformed and touched down to the Earth beside his fellow triad members and his leader.
His red optics gazed out upon the battlefield. Carnage was all around. The world was lit in a burning blaze of chaotic fire combined with the blinded smoke of destruction. Blood and Energon was mixed on the ground where metal and organic bodies lay unmoving. Those left alive stood before their mighty force, gazing at them with pure hatred. As he stared at those alive, the lifeless bodies, and the Energon stains upon his hands, he began to remember. He remembered the dream he still fought for, and so he began to wonder.
"Thundercracker," Megatron spoke, breaking the Seeker from the turmoil of his thoughts. He looked up and stepped forward. The silver mech held out his hand so he did the same. From his leader's hand was dropped two organics; an adult male and female. Both were blood stained, bruised, and afraid. They gazed up at him with tears in their eyes as their bodies shook. He stared back as he coiled his fingers around them. Why had he been given them? Why did they even have them?
"I suggest you surrender and leave Optimus Prime, else I'll destroy these two humans and any others we find," Megatron laughed and aimed his gun at the two organics. The Autobot Leader visibly flinched and various shouts erupted from his soldiers. All were curses upon Megatron's name and his warriors, but all were silenced with a firm raise of their leader's hand.
"Very well, Megatron. I will surrender. Now release the humans and we'll leave," Prime spoke, doing his best to keep his anger from showing through.
"Excellent," Megatron cackled and then turned to Thundercracker. "Kill them."
Thundercracker did not even look up to his leader as he felt his spark suddenly rip. The world became silenced from the angered cries from the Autobots and the dark laughs of his fellow 'Cons. All he could hear was the whimpering of the humans and whirring of his systems as he set them on the ground and aimed his arm blaster at them. They let out pathetic cries that stabbed at his spark, and then clung to one another. He found their cries sent his CPU into a clash.
To kill these humans, these pathetic humans who could do nothing to defend themselves against him, it was… They were just so much weaker than he. Pit, he could kill them with one slagging finger. So why? Why couldn't he bring himself to pull the slagging trigger? He had killed countless humans before. They had shot him, invaded his domain, and challenged him, so he had killed them. He had destroyed so many before and enjoyed it… Yet now… Now, as he looked into their pathetic eyes that pleaded and begged him not to kill them… it wasn't the same. They had done nothing to him. They had not attacked him; challenged him. They were simply tools to be used and destroyed.
There was no honor in this.
Yes, that was it. That was why he was different- how the Decepticons had changed. They no longer possessed a sense of honor. It was the very thing they had lost over the years to the madness. It was the answer to all his questions. All of his fellow 'Cons had lost their sense of honor and because of it, their true goal. They no longer strived for that dream because they no longer had the honor to do so. He did, though. He still held onto that measure of honor, and still strived for that dream that had turned him to the Decepticon cause.
"I know it's fun to scare the slag out of the fleshies, but hurry up TC!" Skywarp scowled from beside him. His fist clenched tightly as his inner thoughts struggled.
This was not what he wanted. He didn't want to kill senselessly. He didn't want to slaughter those who could not even fight back. He wanted to fight with honor for his goal. Pit, he wasn't even sure if he was fighting for the goal he longed for anymore. What the frag was he fighting for now? For Universal conquest? Out of fear of Megatron? Was he not fighting for that dream he wanted? What kind of dream or goal called for the slaughter of defenseless life forms that shouldn't even had been involved. The War should never has escalated this far. It was suppose to stay between their own race where they could fight honorably for their victory- not this. Not this.
"No…" he whispered, his arm shaking ever so slightly. Megatron heard, though, and turned to his Seeker with narrowed optics.
"What did you say?" he hissed and stepped forward as the other 'Cons stepped back.
"I said," he started, lowering his arm and looking right back into his leader's optics, "No."
The air around them was tense and silence, but he could feel it. He could feel their shocked stares and unvoiced gasps. He had said "No" to the Megatron, after all. He had committed treason against their leader's words. He had shown mercy to a human- an inferior race. He had dared to cut the leash that bounded him to the pole. He had decided to become something more than just an expendable tool, and Megatron did not like that.
"Do not defy me, Thundercracker," he snarled, optics flashing dangerously. "Kill them or I will destroy you!"
It was in that moment, Thundercracker realized something. The mech before him was not the leader he once knew and respected. He was no longer a mech that could instill hope into him- make him want to fight at his side with just words. No, the mech before him was but a power hungry beast. He was the one that had fallen into madness first, and was the one dragged deepest into its Pit. There was no hope for him; there was no returning to how he was. His spark was lost, and so his true form was revealed to the blue Seeker. Megatron was no longer a being to be feared. He was merely a pathetic mech lost in his own lust for chaos and destruction.
It was all so clear to Thundercracker now. The darkness and its shadows were clearing. His arms and legs and wings were returned to him. He was slowly being put together piece by piece. The shadows no longer held him in their cruel, maddening cage. He was whole once more. His leash had been cut and now all that remained was his collar. It was all that lay between him and his free will. All that stood in his way now was that fear he felt for Megatron, and now…
"I no longer fear you," he spoke firmly and glared back with pure defiance in his optics. Megatron's own optics widened and those around them let out their held in gasps. That was it. He had cut off his leash, and now he had torn off his collar. He had fully defied Megatron's will. He had betrayed the Decepticon cause.
"You dare defy me?!" the Decepticon leader roared and raised his gun. Thundercracker was ready, though. He sprung into the air and transformed before the silver mech could shoot him. He took off, blasting his fellow 'Cons with the wind gust that came with it. Megatron's frame shook with rage as his traitor flew off.
"Get him!" he snarled, sending his glare at the others. "Capture the traitor and bring him to me on his knees! Do it now!" His loyal 'Cons that still had their collars did not even hesitate as they took off after Thundercracker. Though, Megatron found himself glaring at two mechs who had stayed behind, their CPUs still deciphering what had happened.
"TC… why…?" Skywarp spoke aloud, pain overflowing in his optics, where as Starscream's hurt glare followed the blue Seeker's alternate form as it dodged around the 'Cons after him.
"What are you waiting for! Get him!" Megatron howled. The two Seekers looked at him for a moment, but then took the skies. Their alternate forms easily passed their fellow Decepticons with their speed and were flowing closely beside Thundercracker.
"What have you done, Thundercracker?!" Starscream screeched across their personal comm. link.
"Something I should have done long ago. I don't expect you to understand, or even forgive me," he replied, angled upwards, and shot higher into the sky. His fellow triad members followed right on his tail at a small distance.
"How could you, TC?! Why?! Why?!" Skywarp wailed, causing Thundercracker's spark to shudder. The pain; the hurt; the betrayal was all too obvious in his voice, and it brought him agony. How he wished it could have happened another way. He wished he could have finally come to his realization and acted upon it without hurting his close friends he considered to be like brothers. Yet, as he thought about it while he ascended towards the heavens, he knew it wouldn't have mattered. They did not understand, and would not as they were now. Maybe someday, though. Maybe one day they would understand, but not today.
"I'm sorry…" he replied weakly. He cut off their link as he turned around and shot downwards. His triad members could barely dodge as he shot through them and straight towards the incoming mass of Decepticons. He had been saving this for his enemies, the Autobots… Then again, it would seem everyone was his enemy now. Well… then they'd all just have to remember why he was given his name.
The world and sky was all he saw and felt as his speed became faster. He ignored the incoming blasts that dared to sear and tear through his armor and destroy him. He was going to show the world his might; to bring the sky and the earth together. He no longer held fear for anyone or anything. His goal was his own now. He belonged to no one. He was free, and he would not allow any mech to take that away from him again. He angled himself just slightly as he reached the 'Cons, and then it happened.
It was just a shockwave at first. A great, powerful shockwave that shoved the Decepticons away from him and back into the Earth. Those on the ground were shoved down beneath the immense force. Then it was silence. In that silence the emotions of the world could be felt: Fear; anxiety; pain; hatred; confusion; betrayal. It was all there in that silence. Though, it was brutally destroyed when a clap of thunder so loud that it nearly broke their audio receptors, exploded from the silence. They were forced to cover their audio receptors as the sky met the earth and was torn in two.
The crack of thunder echoed across the world as the one who tore the sky fled those he knew. He was but a speck in their optics when they could all hear once more, and they watched him go. He was not just a dog who had chewed through his leash and dug his way out. He had shaken off his collar and returned to the wilderness he had come from. No one controlled him now. Megatron could no longer reach him, nor could his madness and chaos ever hope to touch and chain him anymore.
"Thundercracker, I hope you realize what you have done. You are no longer considered one of us. You are a traitor to the cause and, as such, you will be terminated if we should cross paths ever again," Starscream spoke through Thundercracker's special comm. link. The mech was far better at concealing his emotions than Skywarp, but the blue jet could still feel the sense of betrayal in his friend's voice.
"I know," he replied, optics lowering. A sigh escaped his fellow triad member.
"I wish you could just tell us why… What brought on this action? Why would you, of all mechs, do such a thing? You were always the one who told me to stay in line! So why? Why, Thundercracker? Tell me why!" the mech growled, confusing mixing with pain.
"I'm afraid that, as you are now… You would never understand," he replied sadly, and felt his spark clench at the disappointed look in the Seeker's optics. "I'm going to give you a password, Starscream. I want you to use it on my computer. I want you to access the program titled 'Log' and use the password. Once you have read it, I want you to contact me again, and maybe then you will understand, and Skywarp, too, if you can get him to read it."
"V-very well, Thundercracker. I truly wish it had not come to this. I do not want to have to shoot you one day," the jet replied with a frown.
"Neither do I…" he sighed once more. "The password is 'Truth'. Type that in and read what you find. Maybe then you can forgive me, too."
"Perhaps… Though I, nor Skywarp, can certainly do that now… You really hurt him you know. Farewell, Thundercracker," Starscream spoke as he regained his emotions. "And, take care of yourself."
"I will… Look after Skywarp. He's going to really need you now. Good-bye." He terminated the link and offlined his optics.
He brought a hand to his face and kept it there as he felt his spark overflow with emotion. He had hurt his beloved triad members- the closest things he had to a family. He had betrayed them so deeply, he wasn't sure they'd forgive him even if they read his logs. He would hope, though. Oh, how he would hope, and maybe then they could strive again for that dream they had so long ago. Just maybe, they could return to those old days.
A sudden beeping caught his attention and he looked to the visual link screen on his arm. He was receiving a link on a secure line; one he didn't know of. He opened the link, knowing whoever it was wouldn't matter. Even if they were able to find his location, he could easily flee before they reached him. To his surprise, it was not the face of those that wanted to kill him that appeared on the screen, but that of Optimus Prime.
"Prime," he gasped slightly.
"I know it must seem strange to have me contact you, being the leader of the Autobots, but I have found I owe you a debt of gratitude. You enabled us to save the humans and keep Megatron from gaining a victory today, although you have sacrificed greatly for it," the red and blue mech stated respectfully and even bowed his head.
"I have sacrificed more than you know…"
"Because of that, I offer you a choice. You may join our ranks and take up our cause, or simply take refuge among us where we would keep you safe from Megatron." Thundercracker laughed, but Optimus did not change his expression.
"Don't feel badly of me, Optimus. It's not that I don't appreciate your offer, it's just… No matter which choice I take, your troops would not take kindly to me being there. I have killed countless friends or family of theirs. Their Energon is stained on my own hands. You would have civil war amongst your troops over me. I would become nothing more than a catalyst and a scapegoat. So, I'm afraid I must decline."
"I see. Very well then, but I must ask… what will you do now? I can promise you that the Autobots will not hunt you and will give you shelter should you require it, but the Decepticons will destroy you on the spot."
"I don't know. Primus, I don't even know what I was fighting for anymore. Things were not always like this, you know. Back on Cybertron, when the Great War first started, we weren't fighting like… like this! We had a true purpose- a real dream worth fighting for! It wasn't about galactic conquest or destroying weaker races!" he shouted, throwing his free arm into the air. "We fought for our freedom. We were created as military 'bots for only one purpose. We only knew how to fight, nothing more. While you, the Autobots, were created for so many things. You always had freedom while we were slaves in chains. Megatron gave us a hope for change, though. He came to us with a dream. He gave us a chance to obtain that same choice you possessed- the freedom to choose what we wanted to be. The freedom to choose to be something more than just a military mech that destroyed things!
"It's why I always hated your kind so much. You denied us our choice and fought against us. You always spoke of how 'freedom is the right of all sentient beings', Prime, but where was our freedom? Where was it, huh?! Where was our freedom of choice? Why could we not be anything more than what we were built for? Why did we have to fight so long and hard to obtain it?"
His body slumped as the vigor in his words lessened, "Though now… just look at what that dream has become. It fell into madness and turned into the need for complete control. It should never had happened. We only wanted to be able to choose our purpose- our destinies for ourselves!"
"Is that why you spared the humans? Because you still believed in that dream?"
"Yes. Primus, yes. I've always kept that my dream, but now… Now I'm not sure if that's even possible anymore. It's been soiled with Energon from all the mechs we've killed and slandered with the madness we submerged ourselves in. Has everything I've done been for nothing? Had all that fighting led to nothing? Am I nowhere nearer to my freedom?"
"Thundercracker," Prime spoke with comfort, "I believe that, the moment you chose to spare those humans, you gained your freedom. In that very instant that you went against Megatron's command, you went against you're programming. You became more than just a military 'bot."
He gazed at Optimus Prime for what felt the longest time as the words sunk in. Then, he laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed. It was a pained laugh; a pathetic laugh. It was a laugh of realization of how foolish he had been- How foolish they had all been. They had been fighting for an eternity, just as their programming dictated them to do. They had been fighting for that dream for so long, when all they had to do was stop fighting. All it took was such a simple choice to gain what they wanted. Just a simple, fragging choice.
"Optimus Prime, I thank-you," he spoke once his laughter died. "And I suppose I owe you a debt of gratitude as well. I have to decided to inform you that I will be watching all of you. You will not know where I am, but you do not need to worry. I am no longer a Decepticon, nor a warrior. I will not kill senselessly anymore. I will instead wait for a time when those I considered my comrades see the truth as well. Until then, I will be but a crack of thunder echoing through the sky. Farewell."
The line flickered off and the blue jet was alone again, but he did not feel like that. Rather, he felt whole. He could not recall such a feeling. It was the first time he ever truly felt whole. It was the first time he ever felt true freedom. He was no longer bound by anything. Not his programming or war or the darkness of tyrants. Nothing held him now, not even the sky above him. He was no longer a feared Decepticon warrior who tore the skies apart. He was himself. He was Thundercracker.
Deep beneath the surface of the ocean, a lone mech walked its dark halls towards a destination that would give him answers. He walked with purpose and with the notion of not stopping for anything. He ignored anyone he passed as he hurried down the hall. He only stopped when he reached the door between him and his destination. The doors gave him entrance, and he sat before the chest to the secrets that awaited him. With quick servos, he accessed the lock on the chest, inserted the key, and the answers of the secrets were revealed to him.
"I find myself remembering back when the Great War first started, when Megatron spoke of that dream. That one about gaining the freedom to choose to be something more than just a military bot…"
Tasuki: Well, there we go. Thundercracker has left the Decepticons now that he has achieved his the goal he so longed for. As I said, it's slightly AU because of that. I do not really know if that might have happened, say, in the cartoon or whatever, but I tend to believe that galactic conquest would not suddenly happen for a mech like Megatron. He seems more like the kind of bad guy that would want something more... honorary, but would then descend into madness and lead to conquest. But that's just me, and it helped add some depth to the story and characters.
Like I said before, I added in my own "what-I-think-they-act-like", particullary with Starscream I believe. Personally, I thought the cartoon did him no true justice. He was more of comedy relief than anything. He's the second-in-command after all, he would not be chosen if he was pathetic and weak. He would have to be strong, scary, and clever, which I do believe he is. Though, I believe him to be extremely prideful as well, so he's bound to be rather bitchy when ridiculed. But as I've said- that's just me. The same goes for Megatron. Maybe I was too old, but he never seemed THAT scary when I watched the cartoon, so I hope to make him seem more... frightening than usual when he spoke to Thundercracker. I mean, after all, wouldn't you expect that from a power hungry tyrant that would do anything to win?
Now, uh... Oh yeah. Hopefully I amped up the action scenes quite a bit The cartoon also did not do the action any justice, which really annoyed me. It's one of the reasons why I considered the 2007 movie better. The action was how you giant robots should fight in that movie, which I hope to obtain in Thundercracker's small time of action, and then his sonic boom manuever.
And um... I suppose that's it. Any comments of if I protrayed everyone right would be well loved, or any form of critique for that matter.