Parasite: Hunger. Everything in the world is driven by hunger be it the hunger for money, love, forgiveness … or life. Scorponok is hungry, and he'll do anything to survive. So, it is easy to say, it is a bad day to be an Autobot. Gift for Wiik E.

Disclaimer: If only, if only, the plot bunny sings.

Image: 'Bluestreak's New Pet' by Cipanolino.

Rating: Teen for gore

It gnaws and rips and begs and pleads,

A river always needing within me.

I try to ignore its whimpers and cries,

But I cannot dismiss this hunger inside.

...

The sands shifted, like melting snow, falling to the whim and weary of the wind. The shimmering-painting of endless brown, almost living. The hills of the desert were certainly a sight to behold, at least to Scorponok. Its soft whispers of shifting sand had comforted him for the past two weeks ever since he had found his Master in a pool of his own energon.

The world had fallen to a plague of gunfire. Buildings were falling to the earth with nothing but death in mind, taking life of mech and human alike while leaving pools of life fluids left and right as it dripped down like rivers into the sewage systems. Yet, in the chaos of failing sparks and rotting human hearts, one figure rushed through the sewage systems, caring little that blood was pooling atop his head every time he passed a manhole. He had only one obstacle in mind: to find his master. He had to find Blackout if it was the last thing to be accomplished by the beating little spark in his chest.

It didn't take long for the bond to his master to whisper in the back of his mind: this way.

He listened to the connection with almost a chipper breath, but sudden stopped, the waters of sewage swishing at his sudden stillness. His symbiotic connection with Blackout suddenly seemed to waver and then it snapped; a horrible backlash suddenly slammed into the 'Con's mind, the flier's last painful moments thrusting themselves through the link as if begging the smaller being to help it hold onto life. Scorponok was too overwhelmed to do anything and was quickly cast into a world of darkness and murky waters, his dreams were of energon pooling down into the sewers and Blackout petting his head.

By the time the small 'Con was able to rouse himself a few hours later, he found that his master had not been petting him on the head, but water had been dripping down from the world above … and that there was a pain in his chest, an emptiness. A part of him wanted to drown himself in the disgusting waters because he had felt this loss before, but he had to see. He had to, even if it would haunt him for the remainder of his days like so many masters before. He had to say goodbye to Blackout; his loyal and kind master.

Twilight had started to drown the city, and the drone found himself crawling to the surface like a hungry rat. It didn't take him long to find his loyal master, a ghostly silence whispering the way. It was empty around his owner's corpse, Blackout's form on his belly like a gutted fish. The scorpion-like drone was still a moment, his optics dragging over the form, looking over the damage and for signs of life. Perhaps his master was still alive … perhaps he was only playing.

The clicking of many limbs filled the empty street and the watching windows, and soon the drone was inches form Blackout's outstretched hand. Despite his ache, the drone chirped first as if saying, "Wake up, wake up, I'm here." Blackout remained still. The drone tilted its head and then suddenly lashed out with one of his claws and touched the being in his midsection; Blackout hated being poked.

There was still no movement.

Scorponok wilted on his many legs, the truth starting to set in. Slowly, as if he were a dying dog, the drone drew nearer to his master's hand. The symbiot softly rubbed his head against the hand, begging his master to get up.

He did not get to mourn his master.

Soon a crane and a truck pulled into the sanctity of his mourning grounds, and the drone was forced back underground into the filth of the sewers. It didn't take long to decide, as he watched the humans cruelly drag his master's body away, that if he was going to die on this mud ball, he'd do so in the desert. It so reminded him of home.

Though, it is amazing how persuasive hunger can be … especially when it comes to you.

The Con dug his back legs a little deeper into the sand as the thought made both his tank and his spark ache. They had taken his master away, these Autobots. They had taken the only thing in the universe that was even of a mild importance. There was no doubt in his mind that they'd try to take his life as well. It was just a matter of time, and Primus knows how dangerous he could be when he was hungry.

...

Scorponok sat there with his optics barely above the sands, like a crocodile in the waters. He was watching; he was waiting and sizing up each Autobot to see which would make a good host. There were four of them in total. The medic with a bad attitude; the fire happy Weapon's Specialists; the yellow youngling and the grey sharp shooter. Thankfully, there wasn't a scientist in the group. Ugh, he hated Autobot scientists. They were always trying to get their hands on a symbiotic drone to try and understand the connection they formed with their host so they could break it. Apparently, symbiots were only a Deception thing because they thought it was slavery. For whom … well, that was decided by the symbiot, and how docile they were. Usually, symbiotic relationships were mutual, but it was not unheard of to have a symbiot forced into a partnership or, for a starving drone, to force themselves on a holder. The latter was not usual since the partnership would be unstable, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

And Scorponok had gone past the desperate stage.

He needed to feed or deactivate. Death had seemed soothing at first with the loss of his long companion, but he had a feeling that Blackout cared for him far too much to wish such a thing on him. He'd live if only to punish one of these Autobots for what they had done to him, for taking HIS Blackout.

Now, only to choose which one it should be. The Weapon's Specialist was defiantly out of the question. He was too dangerous, and Scorponok would probably be shot before he could even drill his tail anywhere near the main systems.

The medic was bulky, so he would be a nice candidate, given that he'd probably have trouble getting Scorponok off his back. He was a medic though … Scorponok didn't know much about medics, but he wouldn't be surprised if the crafty healer would find a way to kickback a forced feeding and merge.

The gunner was small and probably limber, but that meant little in the sands of the deserts. Metal still sank, so the drone knew he'd have an easy time catching the small grey being. His armor was probably thinner then the medic's as well and probably easier to overpower. Yes, he was an excellent candidate.

Yet, there was the yellow youngling, Bumblebee. He was about the same size as the gunner, but a little younger … dumber to the ways of the world. He'd be an easy catch as well and probably had thinner armor too. Hmm … well, he had three choices. Whoever strayed the farthest from the group first was fine with him. He needed to feed. He could deal with the consequences later.

Ratchet grumbled to himself as he fell to one knee once again. This was the sixth time he'd slipped on the slopes of the sand. Scorponok tilted his head in sadness. The grumbling of the green mech strangely reminded him of Blackout when he had first been introduced to the Earth's desert. All he did was grumble, whine, moan, and hiss about how much he hated it … that was until he saw just how graceful his partner was beneath the waves of the sand.

True, the medic was that horrid green color, nowhere near as charming as Blackout's paint job, but he was a medic. Now, he didn't know a lot about medics being that he was always repaired by his hosts, but he could tell just by looking at the green mech: he kept himself and his internals clean, a good clean meal. Scorponok's internals slammed violently against his armor, praying almost for him to eat sand to at least end the echoing in his innards.

Well, the medic was alone.

Ratchet finally managed to get his foot loose as and stood there a moment, glaring at the sand as if expecting it to yip and crawl away. When the sand did not retreat, the medic stood on one foot and tried to shake his foot in order to rid himself of the sand in his joints. A surprised yip escaped the CMO as his other foot sank into the loose earth up to his knee joint. With a growl, Ratchet tried to pull out his foot with a hard tug. This action merely made him lose his balance, and he fell face first into the sands.

An angry roar of the engine filled the silent sands and the medic started thrashing about like an angry toddler until he was on both of his knees and out of the sand, engine panting.

"Fraggin' sand. I'll kill Prowl next time I see him. Send me to make sure there are no injuries my aft. He'll regret his next virus update, regret."

The medic's engine finally stopped overheating, and the mech was able to rise to his feet again. Yet, just as he predicted, the foot he put most of his weight on fell a few inches in the sand. A sigh escaped the irritated Autobot and this time he decided that perhaps a fit wasn't the best way to go about the problem. Slowly, he knelt down on one knee and started to push the sands from his trapped foot. Slow and steady wins the race.

The scorpion-shaped drone's eyes blinked for a moment, focusing on the mech before him. Then, with the speed that no organic tunnel-digger could hope to manage, he was digging through the sand towards the mech. Yet he did not jump up like a jack-in-the-box when he reached his destination; he instead started to shift sands away from the medic's underground base.

A yelp escaped the CMO when all of a sudden his whole form dropped further into the earth by about five feet. Ratchet was still for a moment, his CPU trembling at the thought of being stuck in quicksand. Yet, he soon realized that that was not the case; he was not sinking any farther. With a grumbled, his earlier digging continued.

The scorpion was still for a moment, feeling the vibrations of digging fingers start once more. He was worried for a moment there. He had miscalculated the mech's weight and medic fell sooner than he had thought he would. In fact, he almost stepped on him! A soft grumble of disgust escaped the drone before he dived a little deeper into the earth below his new host. The mech might have had a weak spot in his back, but he was still rather maneuverable for one of his size. It was best to trap his new owner in sand up to his waist. It would make his first feeding and program downloads easier.

Especially the programs.

It was probably not a well known fact amongst Autobots, being that they had no drones, but even if a symbiot were able to take a mech down and drill open a port for feeding, he'd still starve if he wasn't able to hack the mech's systems. That's why forced bonds were so dangerous. Even if a drone had all the wires in the right spots, if his host's systems didn't know what to do or thought the uplink a threat, starvation would still follow.

He would not starve.

This time, while moving the sands, the drone knew when the mech was about to give way and was out of the way as the mech fell the last few needed feet so he was properly trapped. Well, with that finished, it was time for some hacking. The scorpion-drone quickly moved to the sands above like a rising air bubble, right behind Ratchet's back. Slowly, the mech to busy grumbling about his current predicament, a scorpion-like metallic tail started to rise above the sands. A pointed tip gradually emerged from the tail's tip, a drill tip folding to the front like a second skin.

Then, sick of his hunger, the tale pulled itself backwards, ready to strike, the medic stilling as a clicking sound came to his audios. Yet, he was not fast enough in turning his head to see what laid in wait right behind –

"Yoh Ratchet! Quiet playing in the sand!"

Ratchet's head quickly turned in the direction of the voice, a huge Top kick suddenly coming over a sand dune. Yet, despite having some assistance, his gaze fell back behind him … nothing.

"What you looking at, sand digger?" mocked the black mech as he transformed.

Ratchet slowly turned back to his companion, hand reaching out for assistance.

"I just thought I heard something."

...

In the night, things in the desert seemed to come to life, enjoying the cool kiss of the darkness. Well, most of the nocturnal creature of the desert that is. Scorponok though, was stewing. He had missed his chance with the medic. True, he might have been able to take on the Top kick, but the medic then would be introduced to his presence and be shooting at him before he could even hope to latch onto his back.

The scorpion-drone sank a little lower into the sand, scaring away a snake that had been hiding near him for the heat his engine was giving off.

Primus, he wasn't going to last much longer like this. His pump was starting to make this clicking-stalling noise. It seemed that, perhaps, he would be getting his earlier wish for death with his master. Even if he did have the energy for a few more days, he wouldn't have the strength to actually attack a larger mech.

He was going to starve … wasn't he?

Yet, despite his midnight brooding, a vibration shivered though the sands, like a hand petting down his back. The drone pushed against it and popped his head up in order to see what was above him. His spark skipped a beat. He had one last chance; one chance. Perhaps overpowering his opponent wasn't the only answer here. After all, some jobs called for superior thinking over superior strength.

Bluestreak's grey form danced over a dune. He was heading over to one of the American bases, ready to report to Optimus and their human companions. It had been estimated that, due to the time limit for most droids without a 'parent' fuel source, that Scorponok was probably deactivated. They would need a team with metal detectors to skim this certain area of the desert. Apparently, as stated by an observation Ratchet had made from sinking up to his waist into the sand, that there was a large amount of sand disturbed underneath the sand dunes. It was far too deep to merely be the wind and far too thick to be a normal earth animal.

The gunner didn't know if he should be either happy about this news or sad. He didn't know much about drones, personally. For him they seemed to be something like pets, but other Autobots told him they were just mindless killing assistants; they'd have to be for being with the Deceptions. To Blue, there seemed to be more to the story than that. It just seemed to him that these mindless drones were just too … spirited. He hadn't fought one directly in battle, but from his observations in his sniping, the little things seem to cherish their owners. They'd even die for them.

The mech pushed the thought to the back of his CPU. He could dwell on that later. Right now … he had to focus on whatever was in the sand before him.

Slowly, the gunner inched closer to what looked like a metallic scrap in the sand. His engine almost stalled for a moment when his headlights reflected off the glass of a dead … optic. There was no denying it; it was Scorponok. Quickly transforming and bringing out his gun, the mech made his way carefully towards the still figure. Yet, the closer he drew to the downed being, the more lax he became. Soon, he stood above the dead drone, his scanners telling him a simple truth. There was virtually no energy left in the little droid. He had starved to deactivation.

"Poor thing," whispered the grey gunner, his door wings drooping. Yes, he knew that was a dumb thing to say, to have such soft sparked thoughts, after all this was war. But, despite that truth, he found himself kneeling down on one knee and patting the droid in an almost loving way. "There, there, soon you'll be with your master. Now, let's see who can help me."

But, just as the gunner readied himself to call out to his companions, the 'dead' droid suddenly sprang to life tail whipping around the young mech's neck and pulling him face first into the earth. Then, with a twist of sand, the scorpion-droid was on the Autobot's back, tail raised high into the air ready to bow to the earth and into the gunner's back.

Yet, before the drone could even hope to insert into the other's back, he felt the gunner's systems start to heat up and his pump wail as the grey mech started to thrash in order to get his body away from his attacker. The drone had forgotten the heat of a host, the heat of a healthy engine full of energon. The scorpion transformer tried to keep equilibrium despite the thrashing body below him. He had to inject correctly the first time or risk killing the new host and interfering with his feeding. It was a necessity that he calm his host's movements in order to download the necessary host programs so he could feed. Yes, the first few weeks would be messy, being that his new caretaker's form would be recalibrating in order to provide for two and not just one, but he'd feed heartily compared to the last two weeks that he had been starving.

The grey mech, suddenly stilled when he heard something come from his back that wasn't a gun, it sounded … like a drill. Before the limber sharpshooter could do more than peak over his shoulder, he saw the drone's tail rise into the air, tip spinning like a mine drill, and the next thing he knew he had collapsed onto the ground entirely with a gurgled scream. There was the sound of cracking metal like a building falling to its knees, and a warm spurt of fluid suddenly exploding over his innards and down his back like boiling water from a geyser. It seemed that the little monster was twisting his inner wiring like cotton candy to a stick until the plastic tubing could take no more pressure, thrusting coolant and other liquids into the gunner's chest where it shorted out chips and overloaded pain receptors. And then there was something else. The little parasite was not only drilling into him physically, but his mind as well.

Blue was about to throw out another blood wrenching scream, when he felt one of the claws yank itself none to gently from his pinned shoulder and slam his head into the sands, muffling his agony and probably silencing any cry for help. The young mech soon found himself flaying at this point, digging into the sands with his fingers in order to try and make a desperate escape. True, the drilling had stopped and his automated system was already trying to heal … but the invading appendage was still in there! Plus, the drone's mental attacks were getting stronger and stronger. Blue knew he had to get away; he had to get away now!

Scorponok felt the tenseness in his body slowly loosen. His new host's struggles were growing weaker and weaker by the moment. He was giving into his new stance readily, except for the host program. It had to be accepted so he could properly feed, but the fraggin gunner's firewalls were persistent. Perhaps, he just needed a little … jolt.

Bluestreak found himself wishing he had tears to shed, because he wanted to drown in them. He had no idea what was going on except that he had been attacked by Blackout's drone, which was now in his back, trying to hack into his system. It wanted something, but what? He wasn't a top officer. What could he possibly have that the monster wanted? What could be –

A jolt slammed into his systems, probably from one of the drone's weapons, stalling all thoughts… and firewalls.

Scorponok's engine purred as he felt his new host's movement's start to stall, his engine struggling to repair, yet his CPU still fought to remain awake. True, he himself was low on energy, but soon he'd get to feed and indulge in the memories of his new master. Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad. He'd be able to explore the other mech's memories freely … and be able to wander away from the memory of Blackout's destruction.

But first … the last hurtle.

Bluestreak's vocalizer was only allowed a pathetic squeak into the sands as one more jolt of electricity was sent through his systems, his optics shimmering and his body going limp. The drone merely shivered in relief as the programs started to download into his new host while some well needed nourishment traveled upward towards him. As the energy lapped over his system, Scorponok found himself oddly content and quickly curled up on top of his new master, his engine starting to fall into a soft recharge. He wasn't worried. Even if the Autobot did wake up before him, he knew this 'Bluestreak' wouldn't kill him nor rat him out. After all, only Decepticon's had drones.

XXX

Paw07: My, Wiik E. sure is my kind of reader; she seems to think the same way I do. She wants a story about the less observed characters. She even gave me two ideas of what she wanted her gift fic to be about. I like them both, but for now I'll concentrate on this one, so don't be too surprised to see a fic about Fred in the near future.

Also, you Scorponok fans, if you liked this I recommend Replacement and Replacement: Roads by Dragon of Despair; then there's the short drabble, Vigil by CasusFere, that made me fall in love with Scorpy to begin with. These two writers heavily impacted me and my belief of the little drone. Hope you enjoyed.

Revisions July 2014