Disclaimer: I don't own Transformers. I never will. I do own my OC's. The only one in this chapter is Mimic.
AN: This is mainly G1. I've added a few things. Like characters that should be dead that I just had to keep alive for plot purposes (that and I love them dearly). I've thrown in an explanation for Starscream, because, let's face it, not getting vaporized needs a bit of explaining. So, this is a warning. This is AU. Very freaking AU.
Rating: This chapter is rated for some transformer cursing and that's about it. The rating will go up as the story progresses. Each chapter will contain it's own rating.
Rain pounded the planet surface, winds howled and lightning struck with devastating effect, splintering alien trees and scorching rock. Native animals skittered about in the desolate mud and cold, frantically searching for any form of shelter from the downpour that threatened their survival.
Two sets of foreign optics looked down upon the vast expanse of alien life with little more than repulsion and distain.
"Remind me again, why the Pit we're out in this slagging weather, on this Primus forsaken mud ball? I swear, if I can't clean this crap outta my joints…. I'm gonna slag you myself, Starscream. I promise you that Galvatron won't get the opportunity. So come on, enlighten me, oh brilliant one, why am I rusting my aft off out here, hmm?"
The blue seeker visibly shuddered thinking about all the rancid fluid and organic life that was presently lodging in his joints and clogging his gears. Not to mention the steady barrage of rain that beat against his outer armour, producing the most horrendous of noises. The sound was so deafening that he'd missed a lot of the conversation's beginning, simply trying to tune his audio receptors around all the abhorrent clatter.
Starscream stepped up beside him but never shifted his frontward gaze. Nor did he blanch at the indignantly blunt threat that his comrade, and fellow seeker, issued. The weather and the alien life didn't bother him. Back when he'd been a scientist, he'd catalogued far worse places to be, even with the present planet's volatile weather system. Starscream was in fact very glad that the nearest planet to the base was void of tar. Now that could clog you in places best never mentioned in public. What truly bothered Starscream was the concept of a spy intercepting the conversation that was presently taking place. The violent storm battering the tiny mud ball not only left the atmosphere charged, which interfered with any ships scans and sensors, but the darkness obscured them from sight and sideways rain was enough to permeate even the most sophisticated cloaking technology. He could be absolutely certain that at this moment, no one, absolutely no one was listening in. If there was a tiny, miniscule, unfathomably microscopic chance that Galvatron somehow got hold of this conversation, Starscream knew that the murderous glitch would redefine his very concept of the word 'pain'.
Starscream sighed; ventilation systems blowing soggy leaves out his secondary exhaust vents.
"Thundercracker, we're here because if Galvatron finds out I've let you in on this little scheme…" It was abundantly clear that Starscream meant 'crazy-never gonna work-very suicidal plan' when he mentioned the inexcusably loose term. "...of his, then he will personally tear us new spark chambers. Out here we can be sure that nothing will be overheard and our afts will remain dent free. Dent free for the time being, anyway."
Thundercracker's left optic flickered briefly as a wave of repressed annoyance flashed through his cortex. You always gotta drag me into this. He thought.
"So, exactly why are we out here if Galvatron's gonna frag us? And we both know he'll find out eventually. He always does" It was oddly true. It was Thundercracker's belief that insanity brought insight. Galvatron was very rarely wrong about in-house plotting, though it made sense. He couldn't have remained the Decepticon leader, simply by turning a blind eye to that line of independent thought. He continued on. "…and when he does, Air Commander, exactly how much of the blame is gonna sear my tailpipe?" He resentfully questioned.
Starscream huffed at his fellow seeker's tone.
"It won't come to that." He barked. "By the time he does discover our deception, he'll thank us for our foresight."
Thundercracker visibly twitched, Yeah, right, thank us?
The seeker despite himself, decided to hear Starscream out. If anything, Starscream had enough frag worthy intelligence on him, that if he went down, he'd make sure he took his wing-mate with him in his fall from grace. Thundercracker knew how vindictive Screamer could get and Primus only knew what their esteemed and mighty leader would do to him, should he happen to discover that the laser rifle that almost blasted the old glitch a new exhaust, not a few orns past, had actually belonged to him. That in the midst of battle he'd dropped his rifle. Only made worse when a certain gold coloured, somewhat sociopathic Autobot picked it up and turned it on their illustrious Decepticon leader. That battle had almost truly ended in utter ruin.
Thundercracker whined at the various images of torture his mind began conjuring up. Utterly distraught, he inhaled a large quantity of chill air to cool his systems. He realized that no matter what Starscream came up with, he'd be convinced to help him in the end just to prevent information like that from reaching the audios of Galvatron. Thundercracker sighed, utterly disheartened.
"So… Screamer. Why's Mimic got your servos in a slagging twist?"
Thundercracker vaguely remembered the femme raiding Starscream's lab and 'borrowing' some equipment. That hadn't gone down well with Starscream. Not one tiny, teeny bit. Since then, Starscream's usual list of complaints had drastically changed from ninety percent, 'Galvatron is glitched' and ten percent, 'you're all absolutely incompetent' to pretty much 'I want that femme drawn and quartered'. Starscream's usual hostility not withstanding, he seemed to be taking a real dislike to her.
Either that or he was head over heels, wildly in love with her.
Nah. No one could love Mimic, not without needing a total core defragmentation.
That and Thundercracker wagered both Starscream and Galvatron suffered with the most severe cases of narcissism ever seen. The mechs in question couldn't possibly love anything, what with being so in love with themselves and their pretty, shiny reflections to notice the Universe collapse around their thick, hollow helms.
Thundercracker could have laughed but he feared he'd fall into hysterics and something gross and…ewww… organic would blow down his gullet in this storm. If that happened, he'd need to purge a cycles worth of energon and he was certain the low-grade slag that they were rationed with would taste as foul coming up, as it did going down. No thanks.
Starscream turned to face his fellow seeker. It was only now that Thundercracker saw the nervous tension in his facial plates and the trademark scowl that seemed to have deepened, sufficiently enough to remind him of Galvatron with squishy bits caught between the grooves on his feet. The previous notion of accidental laughter died a rather swift death with the hard look that had settled in Starscream's optics.
"Mimic can't be trusted." Starscream firmly reasoned, as though that in itself was the source of his disquiet.
Thundercracker sent his very best 'And?' glare in Starscream's direction. They both knew that half the Cons on base would cut your energon lines during recharge, if it were of any benefit to them. That wasn't the reason for his dislike or this prematurely doomed conversation and Thundercracker knew it. Starscream was holding something back.
The unimpressed seeker waited for further elaboration and Starscream eagerly obliged, spewing his paranoid theories like bad high-grade at a Decepticon victory celebration. Rare as they were, these days.
"There's no record of her in any of the archives. I mean nothing. How she managed to survive as it is, is completely beyond me what with Shockwave's stupid stunt. It's like she never existed. And she just waltzes up out of nowhere and joins us. " Starscream's fists clenched and shook with tremors. "... I know she's using him. I know it. I'll never understand why that glitched fragger didn't scrap her when she first arrived. Having her here is pointless. She's beyond insane. Scientist? If she's a scientist then Galvatron really does have a boron compressor!!!"
Thundercracker bristled, clearly impatient with the progress of the conversation.
"So what? The same can be said for you! Primus, what about Soundwave….or Cyclonus? Half of our forces are comprised of cutthroats, thieves and general slag-you-in-your-sleep buckets of slimy, greasy, fraggin', half-processor glitchbags. Why the frag should she be any different?" Thundercracker paused a moment to collect himself before he continued. "So…she changed her name. Got an upgrade. It happens. Some of us weren't always Decepticons. And just because you'd never heard of her doesn't mean she wasn't a scientist."
The blue seeker scowled momentarily as he realized he'd made an error in his lengthy rant. It was one of their rules-his seeker comrades and himself-that nobody was to ever mention pre-war Cybertron and their past lives in front of Starscream. Said ex-scientist made it his duty to remind them of how renowned he was and how respected.
Thundercracker hoped to Primus that Starscream was too agitated by the situation to launch into one of his patented 'I was a famous and very self important egotistical scientist' speeches. Starscream never actually used those exact words, but every time he talked about his pre-war life, that's all that any of them could hear. Thundercracker silently prayed. No nostalgia, dear Primus, please, NO NOSTALGIA.
Primus seemed to answer Thundercracker's silent plea and to the seeker's relief, Starscream didn't take the opportunity to burst into a self-important rant. Instead his voice seemed to gain in pitch; or as Skywarp dubbed it, his 'whiny voice'.
"Will you shut up and listen, you dolt? Galvatron is sending her on a covert mission. She hasn't been here a fragging vorn and he's committing nearly half of our resources just to get her into Autobot city." Thundercracker could have sworn he heard a twinge of jealousy there. "What one, single Femme can do, I've no idea, but bringing down Autobot city isn't one of them. This is gonna be disastrous for us."
Thundercracker began processing all this new information and mentally translating the 'disastrous for us' to a 'disastrous for me'. His processors choked on one indigestible detail.
"Screamer…exactly what resources is Galvatron 'committing' to this?"
Starscream almost smirked. Correction, Starscream did smirk. Thundercracker had his moments of intelligence but this time must not have been one of them.
"That…would be us, Thundercracker."
The Decepticon seeker's face fell in nothing short of absolute horror.
"Frag that!!! The automated defences will pick us out of the sky!! Is he insane?" Thundercracker shrieked.
Starscream fixed his wing mate with a cold, hard stare. Thundercracker sighed and tilted his head skyward; rain and leaves plastering his face.
"You know, on second thought, don't even answer that last question."
"Do you swear loyalty to me… to the Decepticon cause… and to the complete annihilation of all Autobot scum and their Leader, Optimus Prime?"
Galvatron enunciated every word slowly, his optics scrutinizing the facial expressions of the Femme, Mimic as he watched every word fall on her processor like a hammer to an anvil. His voice echoed across the enormous expanse and reverberated off the cold, dull walls. The silence between words was deadly. It was clear that he was looking for any signs of deceit. Being the master of lies, deception, was one thing that Galvatron picked up on like a bad odour.
The usually bustling throne room was now completely empty save for the slowly maddening Decepticon Leader, the Femme, Mimic and Starscream. The details of this grand scheme were to remain utterly and completely secret. But for all intensive purposes, Galvatron needed Starscream's skills and full cooperation, not to mention his fellow seekers, if the plan was to succeed. The Decepticon Leader knew from past errors that his Air Commander needed firm guidance and instruction, less he fall victim to his own initiative and screw up plans at the worst possible moment. One would laugh at the misfortune of the seeker's plots, had it not happened too many times to count and cost the Decepticons defeat after humiliating defeat. The time would come when Starscream would cease to be an asset. Just one failure too many and he would need to be dealt with. In part, Galvatron felt it his own fault that Starscream's ego had grown to the size it was now.
He should have cut the slagger down eons ago.
In fact, he was beginning to regret not vaporizing the molten heap of low-grade slag after Unicron had remade him (and several hundred times previously). He'd had the perfect opportunity and justification, not that he needed to justify anything, when he'd found Starscream literally crowning himself ruler. The traitorous glitch had had the nerve to jettison him into deep space and for that he'd beaten Starscream to within a parsec of termination and told him that he'd live to regret his betrayal. Starscream had been left as Air Commander but was stripped of his rank as second in command. He'd kept Starscream in charge of the Seekers knowing the almost human twitchiness of the airborne nutcases. They responded well to Starscream and might not take it too lightly if he was removed, at least until Galvatron could acquire a new replacement. The data recovered from this mission might provide him with some other options.
Silence followed Galvatron's speech like a viper; poisonous, lethal and patiently waiting to strike down the Femme. Starscream shifted ever so slightly in the awkward moments. Unlike most of the Decepticons, those who would answer 'yes' without a second thought as to what was being asked, Mimic weighed every word that had been spoken. So careful was her consideration that she let the pregnant pause continue for what seemed like several astro seconds. When she finally did speak, it was clear that she'd chosen her own words very cautiously, arrogantly aware of the major pit falls when addressing Galvatron.
"I hereby swear allegiance to the mighty Decepticon Leader, Lord Galvatron. I pledge my services to the Decepticon Empire and I swear to rid the Universe of every last Autobot."
There was no emotion, no sarcasm and worst of all, there was no trace of a lie. Disappointment was practically engraved onto the face of the Seeker standing watch. He looked as though he'd never be pleased again. Galvatron visibly noticed this and a strangely amused light, glinted faintly in his optics.
Satisfied with the pledge, Galvatron and the femme started to iron out the details of this plan. Both appeared completely oblivious to Starscream's presence.
"You've been in possession of both the city schematics and the personal medical files for nearly an orn now, I trust that everything is in place and on time?" Galvatron questioned. He emphasized the 'on time' part. He'd little to no experience dealing with punctual scientists.
Mimic locked optics with the leader and nodded her head once before confirming it with her aggravatingly grating voice. It was one of the things that put her creepy level on par with Soundwave's. That voice. That hideous, gravely voice. It was like someone had clogged her vocalizer with sand and rock and left them to grind while she spoke. And she chose the way it sounded. She could sound like anyone she wanted. She must have known the way it irritated them.
"Yes, my Lord. Everything is prepared."
No grovelling, no emotion. Almost vaguely disinterested. It appeared to be her typical, average state of being. As far as anyone could tell, she wasn't attached to anything. Not even her laboratory creations.
Starscream shuddered in revulsion at the thought of those things she kept locked in her lab. Those monsters were hideous, disgusting and utterly vile. He'd have preferred to stay on that miserable jungle planet rather than drag his aft back to Charr and the thought of staying on base with those things.
He felt something cold sliver up underneath his armour; an invisible crawling thing that touched sensitive wires and nerves, making him shudder. He pushed the images of Mimic's creations out of mind.
He pondered Mimic, herself, for a moment.
There was something very wrong about her. A few others had spoken about it in hushed whispers, just generally freaked by her mere proximity but unsure why. She was just wrong. The way she looked. The way she acted. She frightened a lot of the weaker Decepticon soldiers with her rather disturbing appearance but only a few of the senior members knew the chilling quirks of her personality. It's a widely known fact that there are few things that Decepticons wouldn't be willing to do to achieve victory, but she pushed those limits daily. One of her ideas consisted of nanites programmed to devour Cybertronians from the inside. Everyone thought it a good idea until one lowly mech asked how the nanites would be made to distinguish bewteen Autobot and Decepticon. Her answer frightened Starscream and even Cyclonus had looked horrified. The truth was that nanites wouldn't be able to. They were too small to be programmed with identification software. She was suggesting unleashing a plague that would have, more than likely, gruesomely murdered every Cybertronian in the Galaxy. She theorized that she could have come up with a vaccine, but not even Galvatron was willing to put that to the test. Frankly, her ideas were monstrous. Her methods were monstrous. It was a silent agreement between the most senior of Decepticons that they would keep her projects absolutely quiet. As nasty as most Decepticons were, it was best they not know what she got up to on her spare time.
He'd especially kept the more barbaric details from the other seekers. The sight of her pulling the wings off a Decepticon corpse would forever haunt his recharge. He didn't care if it was for research, as she'd loosely claimed at the time. The other seekers would kill her if they ever found out about her desecration of a wing-mate and Galvatron would blame him for it. Besides, the likes of Thundercracker and Skywarp, to name but a small few of the many seekers, had long since become disillusioned with the Decepticon cause.
Countless millennia of war had robbed the Decepticons of their great tacticians, their pride and in rare cases, their sanity. The knowledge of Mimic's various attempts to destroy the very concept of morality would strip the Decepticons of the few remaining intelligent warriors.
Honestly, she scared him on a level that he'd previously not known existed. Galvatron would torture but he'd always kill you in the end. It was inevitable really. Mimic had made devices that could keep a Cybertronian conscious and alive, indefinitely. No matter what you did to their body. No matter what cruelties you inflicted and how much pain you caused them, death just wouldn't come for them and they'd feel everything. Galvatron would always kill in the end. In a way it was a relief to know. He killed, perhaps not out of any mercy, but certainly he didn't have the spark or patience for such practices.
Mimic, on the other hand, might not even think about killing a captive, and that worried Starscream. As much as the thought that Galvatron might have only kept her alive to keep the others in line. As previously established, the Decepticons were beginning their crumble from power. However, if you thought that Galvatron would give you to her to play with, you'd easily endure a couple more vorns at least.
Starscream's energon stalled as his pump missed a beat. Is this what it's come to?
A voice in Starscream's head answered his question and offered him a glimpse of the only possible outcomes the Decepticons would ever achieve in this war.
They would fall, hated and blamed for the degradation of all of Cybertron…or they'd make sure everything fell with them.
At one time, that would have been acceptable to him, but that was a long time ago now. It was a time when the lines between Decepticon and Autobot were clear: the strong warrior Decepticons against the weak civilian Autobots. Optimus Prime verses Megatron. It had all seemed so eerily simple for him to choose back then, but after the death of Optimus Prime these imaginary lines in the sand had become blurred beyond almost any recognition. So many Decepticons had originally joined because they'd felt Optimus an unsuitably weak leader. Too soft. Too out of touch. That had changed with Rodimus Prime. Possibly the youngest Prime recorded and by Primus could he be ruthless when pushed. Optimus had been ever the Diplomat. He'd remained a beacon of understanding and a symbol of all things noble and good, even up until today.
Optimus had waved the olive branch in the faces of the Decepticons for so long that when Rodimus Prime launched his first and only assault on their largest and central base, he'd sent them scurrying out of sensor range like frightened glitch-mice. Rodimus had never shown an ounce of cruelty against any Decepticon prisoners. They were treated fairly and with dignity but he'd made it abundantly clear that his new leadership wasn't weak…and that he was no Optimus Prime.
The Autobots had never hated the Decepticons like they did the day Optimus passed and over the years the new Prime had channeled that hatred into turning the tide of war. These days, if you looked close enough you would see Autobots tear into Decepticons like Sharkticons. Years of hate and hurt having twisted once passive, peaceful mechs into merciless killers. You only had to observe the new brutal tactics to know that, truthfully, war had made monsters of everyone. Yes, the lines were well and truly blurred beyond imagining now.
Something clicked within the femme and the resulting noise startled Starscream out of his congregation of thoughts.
He'd not been paying attention to what was being said but Mimic's affirmation brought the strangest smile to Galvatron's face. Whatever had Galvatron smiling, couldn't have been good.
There was that clicking noise again and Mimic, dare he even think such thoughts, looked not at all pleased about it. She was…restless was the best way to describe it. Glitched would be another.
He still hadn't the faintest idea why she'd joined the Decepticons. If he'd hoped to glean information on her purposes, then he'd failed magnificently. The questions surrounding her and her goals were endless and as of yet, unknown. For one thing, she'd joined the Decepticons claiming to oppose all of Prime's ideals despite glaring gaps in her knowledge. If she were asked, and forced to answer, he doubted she could name more then a handful of Autobots.
Truthfully, this femme had as much enthusiasm for their whole cause, as Galvatron had for kindling a friendship with the Prime himself. Why is she here? What's she after? He was certain that the femme looked down on their ideals.
Starscream shifted his weight a little more. Pain was flaring up his right side through some half repaired gears and one or two rushed patch jobs. He hoped that this would end soon. Hoped and prayed.
By the time the unforgivably long and arduous meeting finally neared its end, he'd heard the plan be taken apart by Galvatron and Mimic, time and time again. They put it back together so many times that the seeker was almost convinced it would work. He realized that the human's were right in one respect. If you hear the same thing enough times, you actually will start to believe it.
Finally, Galvatron ended the formal section of the meeting with a wave of his hand and Mimic slowly rose. She stretched stiffly as her unusually heavy frame straightened out in a series of whines and groans that sounded altogether unpleasant.
Apart from a slight likeness to an Autobot bitch, also known as Road Rage and generally referred to-by the Decepticon ground troops- as the second most psychotic and violent Autobot in the known Universe (only upstaged by Autobot 'Don't call him Sunny' Sunstreaker), Mimic had the typical streamline features that all femmes possessed. Of course she had to segment herself from every Cybertronian by adopting the most dull and depressing, glossless ash colour paint job ever seen on any self respecting mech. Her armour also had noticeable gaps exposing the wiring and sensitive cables and joints. That openly freaked a lot of Decepticons out. It was like walking around with some of your insides exposed.
She also had an aversion to handheld weaponry. Which was shocking, in all truth.
Taking all of this into account there was one pretty big problem; her altmode.
Namely, her lack of one. Well, she did have the ability to transform, however, needing nearly an orn in preparation and taking almost an entire solar day to complete the transformation was not what Starscream considered a viable altmode.
And she was leading some sort of crazy assault on Metroplex? Starscream allowed himself a frown whilst Mimic shielded him from Galvatron's sight.
How many times had he found himself in this position; with some crazy scheme, some unreliable scum-sack and approximately 99.999% chance of failure? He'd honestly lost count.
Starscream clenched and unclenched his fists. The only other movement he'd allow himself till Galvatron dismissed him.
Each plan seemed more insane and reckless than the last and Galvatron's moods just appeared to be becoming increasingly desperate and temperamental as time progressed, if the whole Mimic situation was any indication.
Starscream predicted that if he didn't get himself fragged in the battle, Galvatron would make him and his comrades wish that they had. Things were going to get bad…it was only really a matter of how bad things got.