Disclaimer: I own nothing – at least nothing Transformers related.

AN: Just a short filler chapter this time around. Sorry. But after such a long time I have to get back into the flow of the story and Starscream needs some rest to lick his wounds after his great debut as the Decepticon Supreme Commander as well.

At the end of the chapter you will find some more pseudo-scientific explanations. I hope you enjoy them – I did writing them ^^ – and that they make up a bit for the lacking length of the actual chapter. Actually I think they are longer than the chapter itself. Uhm…

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get in touch with my usual beta mdnytryder but Starfire201 graciously took over until further notice. Thank you. ^^


5. Into the blue

Starscream had to give Megatron one thing.

He was tenacious and a survivor.

Even now, as an itty bitty sparkling cowering under his desk and nursing the wounds he had acquired when the Seeker had followed the old and honored tradition of blaming recent failures on the first mech in the Decepticon Supreme Commander's sight.

Megatron Junior had taken quite a beating, Starscream's Spark reveling in the squeaks and squeals and shrieks of pain the tiny vocalize had emitted while his processor had conjured memory after memory of similar encounters with the roles reversed, with Starscream cowering on the floor, desperately begging for mercy and crying in agony, trying to protect himself from more blows and feeling utterly helpless under the cruel stare of the giant mech towering over him, judging him and finding him wanting and taking great pleasure in letting him know just how pathetic and useless he found him to be.

It had been the Pit for the little silver creature that had once been the bane of the red Seeker's existence but pure heaven for said Seeker, his ego swelling back to its former size (roughly equal to Jupiter) and vorns of nightmares full of torture and dreams for revenge finally coming to rest.

So it was no real surprise that even with the threat of more of Soundwave's "Evil Paperwork of Doom"™ looming above Starscream's head and the army's Energon storages dangerously low, the new leader of the Decepticon woke up on his wonderful, spacious, new berth with a smile on his face and the feeling that he could take on the world and win. (Not Prime though, but he would find a way to rectify that problem as well… Somehow.)

He stretched languorously, reveling in the opportunity to flex his wings and warm up his thrusters without having to fear to bump into walls or scorch something that was too close to the berth. Then he hopped on his peds, sauntered over to his own personal Energon dispenser, aware of tiny red optics following him warily all the way and drew himself a cube. The liquid energy inside the cube was paler than normal and kind of dull, a clear sign that the Energon reserves were getting low and only the low grades and stale leftovers remained.

It sobered Starscream slightly but still he kept a huge smile on his face and turned so that buckethead junior had a good view of him drinking every last drop of the precious liquid. A broken whine reached his audios and the Sparkling shuffled around a bit, sniffing and clicking in pain and hunger, but in the end, the little mech knew better than to leave his hiding place, especially after what had happened last evening.

Starscream smirked, crushed the cube and turned towards the door, when a tiny beep from his computer froze him in his tracks.
Apparently his super-computer had finally managed to get through all the data of his previous experiments.

The Seeker was far from impressed at the time it had needed to come up with some results. Super-computer, hah!
He could have probably come up with some answers himself if he had known that it would take so long to sort through such a measly amount of data.

Starscream grumbled softly about incompetent super-computers and even more incompetent Constructicons, torn between rushing to his blinking toy to discover the reason for the tiny nuisance running underfoot and the desperate need to find a way to get Energon before they all fell into stasis. (And to get the paperwork out of his quarters before it came alive and swallowed him whole, he wouldn't put anything past Soundwave at the moment.)


In the end, some newfound sense of responsibility (and his fear of the paperwork) won.

Starscream somehow managed to cram all his datapads in his arms, almost stepped on Mini-Megs hand for good measure and made it out of the rooms with not loosing more than three pads. Once he had reached the command center, he shoved his load of finished paperwork of the arms of the first mech he could find, smirking smugly at the rather disappointed looking Decepticons that watched him covertly from their stations.

For a moment the Seeker habitually considered adding insult to the injury, to make a comment that would rub in that he had beaten them at their own game and would continue to do so in the future – then he ruthlessly squashed the impulse. Almost drowning in datapads once was enough. No need to tempt his army to throw even more at him, just to see if he could back up whatever verbal claims he had made before.

His silence on the matter raised some optic ridges, but Starscream quickly distracted the more devious minds in the room from figuring out just why he had resisted bragging by sitting on the giant throne, opening a basewide com channel and then starting a tirade just what he thought about his troops for abandoning him in his hour of need:

How could they do that to him?

They had destroyed his ingenious plan of heroically drawing the attention of the Prime on himself to buy his troops time to get away with the Energon or to attack the shocked enemies.

But instead they had laughed!

They had jeered!

They had put their own petty feelings and distasteful sort of pleasure before the glorious cause, before their hungry comrades and selfless commander.

How could they do that to him?

Just because of them they were now having to ration harshly to make the last drops of their storage last as long as possible while he, the poor, misjudged and wronged Starscream had to work his genius once again to lead them out of this horrible situation, hoping against hope that he would manage the impossible and work out a plan that even they couldn't mess up somehow.

While most Cons had droned Starscream's voice out after the first two seconds, his final words were a mean and effective wake-up call to all: "I guess it's no miracle it was so easy to kill Megatron in the end. With you morons as his army and guard the only way it would have been simpler to finally offline him would have been if he if he had shot himself out of desperation of having to work with you!"

Starscream smirked at hearing more than one growl emanating from the Cons in the command center, shutting the com off and lifting his wings high to show just how unafraid he was of the angered mechs. He sneered at everybody who dared to look in his direction and shoved a gloomy looking Soundwave roughly out of his way when the other mech partially blocked one of the consoles the Seeker wanted to work at. The taller mech obediently took a few steps to the side, but he continued to glower at his "Commander" from behind his only dimly lit visors, Ravage pressed against his legs and mirroring his glare.

Starscream only smirked in their direction, cleared his mind of all but the thought of Megatron's face when he had seen his SIC with his newest weapon standing in front of him and the realization that had dawned on the big silver mech's features that this time nothing and nobody, not even Soundwave, could save him from his certain fate.

Soundwave flinched as if struck, Ravage hissed, tensed and was then ordered to return into his Creator's chest – then the blue mech turned abruptly and strode stiffly out of the room, Starscream's laughter following him down the hall all the way to the Communication Officer's quarters.

Satisfied the Seeker turned to his console once again and opened a list of possible attack sites. Time to make a plan that would hopefully work.


When Starscream returned to his quarters in the evening, it was with a strangely satisfying feeling of accomplishment filling his Spark.

Thinking back to all the attempts of Megatron's life and rulership, he tried to remember when he had last felt so at peace with himself, his role in this war and the world at large, but he truly couldn't find an occasion that had him equally… happy? – to have contributed to the efforts of his faction.

Half out of a sudden onslaught of nostalgia, half out of true curiosity he thought even farther back, when it had only been the Autobots he had called his enemies and Megatron was an idol and comrade, perhaps even friend, instead of a constant thorn in his side. He had experienced this feeling of satisfaction then, to a degree, but never as strongly as he did right now – or when working with Skyfire in their cozy little lab, discovering new things while the rest of Cybertron and their bitter, jealous words and spiteful gazes could bite their shiny, metallic afts.

He sighed yearningly, then he froze, caught himself and shoved the sudden bout of uncharacteristic and severely unwanted melancholy out of his processor.

A tiny blinking light in the corner of one of his optics helped him to get rid of the last traces completely.

The Seeker rushed to his computer, ignoring the frightened yelp of a roughly awakened Sparkling under his desk, and eagerly devoured the results.

Figure after figure poured over the screen, a jumble of numbers and facts that even Soundwave would have problems making sense of. Starscream's processor on the other hand absorbed all the new information like a sponge, put it into relation with what it had known before, and fit them into half-thought out theories of what could have happened and spun whole webs of possibilities and probabilities most of the scientists once living in the Golden Age would have needed vorns to retrace, recreate and more importantly to simply understand. The holes of his webs of theory he filled with practical knowledge, with calculations and even more information stored away and working together to disregard hypothesis after hypothesis until only one remained.

When the Seeker slowly sank into the chair in front of the computer he knew exactly what had happened, why it had happened and how he could recreate it if need be.

It was… incredible.

Unbelievable.

Utterly brilliant!

It would have probably brought him lots of honor and mentions in scientific journals in the Golden Age, if not the prize of the Scientific Academy of Iacon itself.

For a moment Starscream allowed himself to dream of old times, of what Skyfire would have said, of what the other scientists would have said. He even tried to think of a few ways his discovery could have been put to use, perhaps to sentence criminals to lives as Sparklings and Younglings or to sell rich Alphas the possibility of a second, third, even fourth childhood whenever they wanted.

He couldn't help but shiver in fright and elation at the same time of what a true inventor, like Wheeljack, could have made once introduced to his discovery, because even Starscream, for all his brilliancy, had to admit that his strength lay in spontaneous bouts of complete enlightenment, light-years ahead of his peers, rather than day-to-day application of what he had just discovered.

A slight brush against his thruster brought him out of his stupor, but for once, he felt no ire at the tiny thing peering up at him out of wary red optics, only awe at his own accidental accomplishment and everything that resulted out of it.

"To think, that just a few differently connected wires, some other materials and two changed calculations would have resulted into a completely ordinary weapon." He mused, staring down at the Sparkling without really seeing him. "Instead I've managed to not only lock most of your mass into subspace, but to do the same to most of your Spark as well. And the chances, that per chance I used the correct power of the beam to effectively separate all layers of your Spark from its core instead of simply fragmenting it left and right until I would have been left with a drooling imbecile writhing on the floor in a mass of half-existant armor and melted joints…"

Starscream's processor almost locked up in an attempt to calculate the odds and he quickly changed to the next train of thought, his optics getting a definite gleam. "And to think, that such a fortunate accident would not even lead to me finally getting the position in this army that I deserve, but would allow me to also gain an understanding of one of the mysteries Cybertronian science has tried for ages to unravel and failed."

He jumped out of his chair, suddenly unable to sit still, and began to pace the length of the room instead, each of his maniacal sweeping gestures watched warily by the silver Sparkling peeking out from under the desk.

"I understand everything now. Do you understand? Everything! I know… I don't know where to even start. I know how subspace is created, the forces at work for its creation, how to manipulate it further than all those idiots at Iacon would ever have dreamed of. Primus, I could probably recreate a device like Skywarp's teleport-ability if I wanted to. Or open portals into different dimensions! I could connect two completely unrelated mechs' subspace together and use it to transport messages or goods between them. Or… Oh Primus, I could even equip measly organics with crude mockery of true subspace if I really, truly wanted! Do you have any idea just what that means?"

Starscream spun around and beamed down at the Sparkling, his wings hiked up high and vibrating of elation, joy and excitement. Megatron hesitated for a moment, then he whined faintly for Energon, hoping that the good mood of his Caretaker would make him generous.

Instead it abruptly vanished when Starscream once again was reminded just why he had made this brilliant discovery to begin with. Formerly bright red optics sparkling with happiness and disbelief turned a darker shade of cruel calculation.

Two swift steps, a yelp and Megatron was dangling from harsh claws, trembling at the merciless face his captor wore. "I guess more than anything it means, that you've become useless to me now. I've learned all I could from you."

A slow smirk made its way over the dark grey lips as Starscream strode unhurriedly to a waste chute half hidden in a corner. It lead directly into the ocean outside of the base, in the deepest depth where nobody would ever find the crushed and lifeless remains of a tiny, silver Sparkling.

"Science thanks you for your troubles and sacrifices. You've really done the whole of Cybertron a great service. You will never be forgotten… Oh, who am I kidding. You will be, I'll make sure of that."

Starscream held the squealing and struggling Sparkling over the opened dark maw of the chute and grinned cruelly down at him. "Goodbye, mighty Megatron…"


"He's getting mightily full of himself, don't you think?"

A snort. "He always was. Megatron just beat him to a pulp before he could bore us with too much of it."

"True, true. Still, it's quickly becoming unbearable. We have to do something and fast."

"Yeah, the way it's going we'll all starve to death or run around doing the bidding of the Autobrats before long. Screamer's absolutely useless as a leader."

"Time for a change of management then."

"And how will we do that?"

A swish in the distance followed by a few, sure steps.

"Offer of assistance: I do have a few ideas…"


"A short(?) introduction of the concept of Subspace", an extract from a general overview over Cybertronian science and scientific achievements by Skyfire given to a group of human scientists visiting the Ark:

[…]

"Where does Optimus Prime's trailer go when he transforms?"

To be honest, I've waited for this particular question the whole day. I've been told by my comrades that this is one of the most commonly asked question many people on various planets wonder about after the first excitement of meeting a completely new and strange species like ours has passed.

The most common answer in turn is an apprehensive muttering of "Subspace" followed by a hasty retreat before whoever has asked the question can even vocalize the natural follow-up: "What is subspace?"

This reaction has various reasons: Number one is, like already stated, that this question has been asked many times before and by now most of the Autobots have become tired of answering it over and over again. In fact, even the Twins – I'm sure you've been warned about them – prefer running to attempting to prank or mislead the questioner by now, having exhausted all of their ideas to use in this particular situation a long time ago.

Fortunately for you and I, I haven't had yet the pleasure of repeating the explanation over and over again, so I will at least try to enlighten you on the subject.

I deliberately used the word "try", for you see, reason number two most mechs have come to prefer running as their reaction of choice to such an innocent question is that most of them have roughly as much knowledge about the workings of subspace as you. Namely none.

Subspace is something most of them think about as much as your species do about breathing. It's a part of their life and so they simply use it.

And us few others, who know at least a little bit about the workings of such an amazing and unique peculiarity of our species, sadly have to admit that while we can at least vaguely tell "What" it is, we still only have some vague theories about many of its other aspects such as functioning, limits and creation, to name only a few examples.

But back to the so simple seeming but yet so troubling question that manages to terrify most Autobots as Megatron never could: "What is subspace?"

I've recently read a few of your species' science fiction novels and, among many other amusing and sometimes ridiculous tidbits, discovered your still highly theoretical belief of the existence of alternative realities, other dimensions next to our own, so to speak. I'm honored to be the one to answer this question for you once and for all: Yes, there are other dimensions and alternate realities. Cybertronian scientists have proven so many times in the past.

Before you celebrate though and ask for details, I'll have to disappoint you as well. Unfortunately most of those proofs were the results of lucky or unlucky experiments that had actually nothing to do with the search for a way into another dimension. A lot of them were about or used subspace though.

I can see that a few of you seem to now entertain the notion that subspace actually is one of these alternate dimensions.
I'm sorry if I confused you in this way, you will see why I seemingly misled you like this in just one moment.

Subspace isn't actually a dimension on its own.

Instead it is a space in the border between two of these alternate realities.

I… Are you still following? I know this is confusing, it has been confusing Cybertronian scientists for eons and we're used to thinking in more dimensions than you are… Uhm, pardon the pun.

You see, somehow – and there's where a lot of theories start but not a lot of facts exist – somehow our Sparks have the ability to influence the infinitesimal thin border between realities and sort of… stretch it, create a space inside it that we can actually access to store things.

In fact our Spark partly exists in subspace – some scientists and priests theorize that this is the way bonds between our kinds are even possible. They reason that our Sparks exist on our own plane of reality as well as in subspace. And they use this subspace, where actual limitations like distance, time etc. simply don't exist because, well, subspace isn't actually a dimension on its own…

Well, anyway, they argue that because of that our Sparks use subspace to connect to others.

In fact they think that all Sparks that ever existed exist closely together in one or several versions of subspace and those that have bonds sort-of overlap each other. A few more frowned at scientists have even theorized that each Spark is connected to every other one, regardless of time in the real plane, at that all these Sparks together are the entity we call Primus. They think that Primus is not actually a god but the whole of all Sparks that did and will ever exist.

Others believe that there actually is a Primus and that He's, well, living in subspace and connected to all our Sparks this way. Most mechs favor the theory, regardless of whether they believe the explanation on bonds or not, that Primus may have a connection to subspace as well and that, when our Sparks extinguish, they don't simply cease to exist but slip completely into subspace instead where Primus receives them and brings them to the Well of All Sparks.

But, well, while interesting, it's all very theoretical and more suited for theoretical debates than more practical-minded scientists.

Onward to more practical application of subspace then.

Subspace enables every Cybertronian to store a limited amount of things depending on the strength of their Sparks.
While a bigger Spark usually means that they have more power as well, that doesn't mean that bigger bots automatically have access to more subspace than their smaller counterparts. Both factors certainly influence each other to some degree but tests throughout the population in the Golden Age have shown that even "tiny" bots sometimes have a Spark-strength that grants them a truly amazing amount of subspace to use as they see fit. If you want I can introduce you to Cliffjumper later. He's a perfect example of a smaller mech with a very strong Spark and a fitting access to subspace.

But back to its general uses.

Apart from storing various things, some more or less accidental discoveries have enabled us Cybertronians to transfer mass and part of our bodies or alt-forms to subspace as well, resulting in mechs like Perceptor, Blaster and even Megatron whose remarkable size-difference in true and alt-form should be well known to you. Triple-changers like Blitzwing and Astrotrain are based on the same mechanics by the way.

Another advantage of our access to subspace is our self-repair system.

Some of you may have wondered in the past how it is possible for us to repair even the most gruesome damage through only Ratchet's admittedly phenomenal care and abilities and the intake of Energon. From a purely logistical view-point it should be impossible: Where do we get the materials from that we need to replicate the alloys that make up our armor or inner circuitry?

Through supplements in our Energon? Through Ratchet's repairs?

Partially.

But most of what we need we generate ourselves.

Our Sparks somehow are able to reach into subspace and either draw atoms through the thin barrier between the alternate dimensions or neurons, electrons and protons exit freely in the space in-between. Either way, they change whatever they draw into themselves through a mixture of nuclear fusion, nuclear fission and other only partially known reactions in whatever our bodies need and either use the resulting radiation as extra energy to keep themselves alive or diffuse it back into subspace where we can't keep track of it any longer.

I see that some of you are clearly intrigued, but unfortunately I have to inform you that this process isn't recreatable through other means at this point of time. Believe me, we tried. If our species as a whole would have known how the create materials and energy by using subspace alone, perhaps this whole war would have never happened…

Or would have been even more gruesome than it already is now, we will never know.

But back to our original topic.

Naturally our ability to access subspace isn't always advantageous, given that it means that less well-meaning individuals can store whole armories away to use whenever they see fit. It was a great problem for a long time how to deal with and contain criminals if there was the danger that they would pull out a lock-pick, a weapon or worse out of subspace the moment nobody was looking. In the beginning of our society punishments therefore consisted almost always of either forced stasis or death, a rather barbaric practice but sadly necessary all the same.

A lot of the research in those dark times naturally dealt with the problem of how to block the access to subspace.

Eventually the mechanics how to temporarily - and only temporarily, even now, otherwise the process will have lethal consequences - neutralize our inborn ability without immediately extinguishing the Spark of the affected bot were discovered, resulting in a in a slightly less deadly and merciless justice system. But even then, this newfound way to hinder criminals from escaping and harming innocents wasn't enough, given that it only worked for a certain period of time before the block had to be lifted or the convict's life was at a serious risk.

The true breakthrough was when a team of scientist led by the famous…

Uh, I guess the designation won't mean anything to you, but, I have to admit, he was something of my hero and inspiration when I attended the science academy myself, so excuse my enthusiasm – anyway, after long research a team of scientists finally developed devices that enabled mechs and femmes with a higher sensitivity towards Spark energy and electric fields than most to access other mechs' subspace and to transfer whatever they had stored there back into our dimension.

There are still records from that time that prove that the whole of Cybertron was ecstatic upon this discovery and that the justice system underwent a mayor overhaul – only to have to change again once blueprints of said devices showed up in the public datastreams, enabling everybody with the necessary Spark sensitivity to access whoever's subspace they wanted. Naturally the next step for scientists everywhere was how to solve this problem, but up to now no definitive solution has been found and I've been told that it was and is a constant race against the Decepticon scientists to stay one step of each other in this regard.

A less commonly known but very interesting fact is that among the many (at first) disregarded discoveries made while searching for the way to access foreign subspace was the way to fold time and space.

Yes, you understood right.

Without even realizing it they discovered the theories and mechanics that once, hundreds of vorns later, would be the basis for our modern day spacebridges. And before you ask, no, unfortunately I'm not authorized to explain this particular technical miracle to you in further detail. Not that I could, honestly.

My strengths simply lie in different fields than highly theoretical space and time mechanics or the engineering part of this impressive bit of technology. You'd have to ask Wheeljack or Perceptor instead, or perhaps Shockwave, Starscream or even Scrapper on the Decepticon-side – though I doubt they'd be inclined to answer you.

What?

Yes… Yes, these rumors are true. Starscream and I were partners once.
We researched and explored together until an accident resulted in me being frozen for millions of years.

Yes, he was actually good at what he did, believe it or not.

In fact he was looking into the possibilities of subspace right before we left for our ill-fated mission. He had the theory that it would be possible to "fold" subspace into itself or to part the barriers between actual dimension and subspace once again, to more or less recreate the effect that created subspace to begin with. If he had been successful mechs from the size of say, Cliffjumper, would have been able to effortlessly store things from the size of Omega Supreme away.

Yes, I admit, the image is funny. And yes, I also agree that Cliffjumper truly doesn't need a reason to develop even more of an ego.
I'm sorry for what happened earlier. He can be rather thoughtless and abrasive but he truly means well and has a good Spark.

What?

...No, I don't know if Starscream was ever successful.
We were separated before he truly started to experiment and now… we're not exactly on speaking terms anymore, if you know what I mean…

Is it possible to actually store living things in subspace?

Um, I have to admit, I'm not actually sure. I know that Beachcomber and Percy – I mean, Perceptor – usually transport plants and samples in subspace when they have to keep their hands free, but I'm not sure if they ever actually subspaced something of higher intelligence let alone true sentience.
If you could please wait a moment…

Thank you for your patience.

I've asked them and no, they haven't tried yet and are vehemently against experimenting on actual living specimens until they are actually sure that it won't be harmful to the subspaced party. I agree with them on that. Even on Cybertron most scientists shied away from testing any of their theories regarding this particular question. The only possible exception I could think of would be Shockwave but I guess if you actually would be in the situation to ask him about it, you would probaby find yourself subspaced rather than get a straight answer out of him…

The generally accepted theory though is that whatever enters subspace is basically taken out of the normal time continuity and therefore basically frozen in time. Nobody knows though how that would affect a living being less durable than a plant or microorganism – especially if its actual functioning is so closely tied to perfectly timed bodily functions and constant in- and outside stimulation as in both of our species. We could end up frozen in time for the duration, dead or fully aware of the experience and slowly going insane, so no, we won't test what would happen anytime soon.

Any other questions?

Ah, yes, I should have expected that we would come back to that, given how fascinated your species seems to be with the concept.

How did we prove that there are actually other dimensions?

Well, naturally I don't know every single experiment resulting in not what was expected but an unwanted peek into what's behind the veil, so to speak.

But I know that many of those accidental discoveries happened when the actual objective of the experiment was either something related to spacebridge technology or teleporting – no, we can't recreate Skywarp's ability, we've tried and it baffles us as to how it is possible. It's actually using subspace in some way other than a normal spacebridge, but how it really works, nobody knows – or when somebody tried to expand or to affect subspace in any way.

And I know that whatever happened usually resulted in a catastrophe of some kind, more often than not killing some of the scientists involved.
I'm not sure if that is because we aren't meant to look beyond our own universe of if the safety measures taken simply couldn't deal with whatever happened.

Anyway , our first suspicions regarding the existence of alternate dimensions were based on something that actually happens to more than seventy percent of all Cybertronians at least once in their lives: One day, while searching their subspace for something they need, they suddenly encounter an item they've never actually put there and have never seen before.

Yes, exactly the expression I can see on your faces right now is usually their reaction as well.

Naturally the opposite case happens sometimes as well. Something goes missing for days on end only to show up again some time later exactly where it's supposed to be, in subspace, where the affected bot searched at least dozens of times before.

Anyway, such things happened simply so often that in the end it was concluded that sometimes the barriers between dimensions get thin enough that items stored in subspace cross over into the subspace of another reality's version of the affected Cybertronian, either through overlapping or through other means.
The accidental discoveries only strengthened that theory.

By now the general advice for a similar situation is to simply put back whatever you found – your other self could need it back after all - and to wait until everything is normal again.

Have I ever found something in my subspace myself?

Yes

…Yes, I did.

No, I'm alright, thank you for asking.

The memory of the incident is just a little bit… disconcerting to say the least.
Not because it happened, no. It's a rather common occurrence after all.

It's more… the nature of the item I found.

I can't think of a reason why I would normally carry something like that with me at all times, so… I have to admit, the thought of a universe in which I do is rather… frightening to me.

Frightening indeed…

[…]


AN: My take on the Cybertronian scientists:

Before anybody begins accusing me of blatant favoritism for "Starscream, the genius" (The accusation would be probably more than a bit true, but still), I actually put some thought behind the different natures of the Cybertronian scientists shown in G1: how they work, research things and get results.
They are all brilliant, hands down – just not everybody in the same way and each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses.

There's Percy, who's greatest strength and weakness is his obsessive hyper-focus.
He's a walking, talking lexicon of knowledge and he has enough patience and curiosity to spend vorns analyzing and studying one single thing until he knows basically all there is to it and how it could be of use in any way – at least until he's somehow pointed at something else to go all "Whee, shiny!" once again and forget all about whatever had his attention first.

Shockwave is similar in the regard that he has great knowledge of a lot if not all fields.
He's extremely focused as well but more conscious of when the effort he puts into his research just doesn't fit the benefits he gains from it.
It's only logical to be efficient after all.
Generally his projects tend to follow the same ulterior motive: He wants to make things (and bots) more efficient and effective and doesn't stop if he leaves the boundaries of morality behind.

Then there's Beachcomber and sometimes Seaspray, depending on who you ask, and perhaps even Hoist, Grapple, the Constructicons and Ratchet to some degree as well. They all are experts in their chosen field of expertise and happy with it, but just as clueless about something outside of it as the rest of it.

Soundwave I see as a sort-of scientist by necessity rather than by choice.
He'd rather concentrate on being the Communications Officer and the TIC but given that his superior has a nasty temper and no patience and the scientists in his faction are Cons with their own individual attitude problems it's better for everyone involved if he acts as the inbetween and he knows enough of everything to at least be able to tell what's going on, if there's a real problem or if somebody's bullshitting him.

Next in line is Wheeljack, who I regard as a true scientist only if he has to be and more of an inventor and engineer by choice.
He's more interested in the practical day-to-day uses of science than the theory behind it. He cares more about the fact that it works at all than why it does.
Usually he's the happiest tinkering away at whatever strikes his fancy, flitting between projects as long as nothing can really capture his interest for more than a few days. He's the one you go to if you truly need something. Wheeljack will probably explode a few times on his way to the needed gimmick but in the end he will present you with a working version even if everybody but himself will marvel at how he has done it in the first place and he probably will be unable to explain it properly without one of the other scientists taking his machine apart to understand it for themselves.

Starscream is another jack-of-all-trades like Percy and Shockwave. Unlike them though he has no patience at all.
He's a researcher, inventor and engineer all in one but simply hasn't the necessary focus to stay with one of the fields and dominate it.
His quicksilver mind is his greatest strength and his greatest curse.

It's constantly working and therefore everything that takes longer than a few days or weeks or has no interesting, world-changing challenge behind it bores him easily and gets never truly completed. At the same time, given that his processor is collecting and connecting information all the time and creating and rejecting theories at unfathomable speeds he sometimes has moments of true brilliance that opens up to him a whole new field of science just like it happened in this chapter.

Things click into place and he understands.

Not only simple things like getting five percent more performance if he changes this or that component but whole new areas of science nobody ever considered possible before other than in their wildest dreams.

And exactly therein starts his problem.

He knows that it is all possible and even why and how it is.
But nobody else does.

And so he's excited, waiting for the other scientists to bow to his brilliance and praise his marvelous processor while the rest of the world either tries to catch up or simply dismisses his ideas as impossible fantasies not worth looking into.

A frustrating situation for everybody involved, especially because Starscream isn't ready to go back and explain everything from step one when he's already at step 283 and 'knows that it works, fraggit.'

And when the first scientists finally reach the stage in which they slowly prove through experiments the truths that Starscream has recognized ages ago through his mind alone, our dear Seeker has long since lost interest in the whole field and switched focus at least five times again.
Until the next stroke of brilliance makes itself known and the whole frustrating mess starts again.

And, last but certainly not least, there's Skyfire.
I see him as more research-oriented than truly building or inventing things. He probably left the engineering to Starscream, knowing that when his partner had to concentrate on fitting tiny mechanical parts together he at least wouldn't be bored quite as quickly as usual. Skyfire in turn would have taken over any longtime experiments, waiting for results and handling the watching of slow chemical reactions.

Also he would have probably enough faith in Starscream and experience with his unpredictability to actually believe his suddenly emerging, sometimes outlandish theories and to try to slowly and steadily get to the point Starscream already is. He doesn't always succeed in time to stop his partner from becoming frustrated with the slow, slow world but given that he's good at what he does, he actually believes that whatever he's trying to prove is possible and can convince the other scientist to give him pointers when he's stuck, he usually gets his fair share of the recognition when the rest of the scientific world finally 'sees the light'.

I consider him actually the most easiest scientist to be around and a rather balanced individual.

He's even-tempered, intelligent, patient and focused without the danger of losing himself completely in his research.
Given who his former partner is, he is able to tolerate more extreme personalities as well as being bound to be a force to be reckoned with himself should there ever be the need of one. Skyfire points Percy in the right direction, provides general translations for both sides and explanations to Wheeljack's latest invention and gives the less scientific minded mechs a fresh breath of "normal" in the rather crazy and confusing lab.