Project Drive Megatron Insane
Description: Jazz gets captured by the Decepticons and decides to use his time to drive Megatron insane. An unwitting Starscream is more than happy to join in the fun.
Disclaimer: Transformers is the property of HasTak. I am making no profit from this story and no infringement is intended. Likewise, all quotes from songs and television shows are the property of their respective copyright holders.
A/N: From reading TF fanfic, I quickly realized I need to define my time units:
A breem is 8.3 minutes.
A cycle is 2 hours.
A solar cycle is one day.
A stellar cycle is 1 year.
//comm. link talk//
Chapter One: Megatron Gains a Phobia-Music
Jazz held in a sigh as Skywarp and Thundercracker hauled him into the Nemesis's brig. The endless grey walls, offset by the occasional dull purple panel, might as well have read "BOREDOM" in capital letters. In fact, Jazz thought the walls should say "boredom" in every Earth language that used capital letters.
"Ennui," he muttered, ignoring the seekers escorting him. "Langeweile, noia, enfado, aburrimiento-"
"Shut up!" Skywarp jerked his arm.
Although he wanted to annoy Skywarp on purpose, Jazz bit back his reply as Thundercracker opened the blast doors on his cell. Unceremoniously, they dumped him inside, but he just smiled at them. "I thought ya woulda learned several vorns ago that using me as a hostage is a waste'a time. Tryin' ta keep me locked up, period, is a waste'a time."
"Maybe you're here for our amusement," Skywarp replied, smirking.
"Knock it off, you two." Thundercracker shook his head and hit the control to close the blast door.
For a moment, Jazz stared at the gray door with-yes-two dull purple panels in it, and then plopped on the cell's berth, crossing his arms behind his head as he lay down. Deciding to make the most of the situation, he grinned and launched his considerable imagination. After all, Mirage had planted a short range communications device in the Nemesis almost a stellar cycle earlier for the purpose of allowing captured Autobots to communicate with each other while in the 'con base. The device was one of Wheeljack's inventions, tailor-made to overcome the comm. blackout of the brig; it circumvented the block on the higher frequency internal and long-range comm. links by using a lower frequency sound wave. Jazz chuckled darkly and initiated an uplink with the device, and then he proceeded to download several choice songs and sound bites he'd recorded in his databanks from Earth's various radio and television broadcasts.
And so it was that Jazz began Project Drive Megatron Insane(r). "Hold on to yer afts," he told his unwitting and oblivious audience. "This is a Jazz Exclusive, putting the 'special' into 'Special Ops.'"
Megatron first realized all was not well when the theme song for The Brady Bunch began to filter through the PA system. Glancing up from his desk, he glared at his computer speakers. Was it another prank by Skywarp? He'd caught the idiot watching the asinine human TV show three solar cycles earlier and put a stop to it, so it could be a childish form of revenge.
Unamused, Megatron opened his comm. link. //Megatron to Soundwave. Where is that blasted song coming from?//
A pause. //Source unknown. Searching comm. system.//
//Well find it and shut it down immediately!// Megatron closed the link and sighed. Skywarp was occasionally useful, but he was also terribly immature.
". . . All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls."
Rubbing the bridge of his nose in an unconscious human gesture, Megatron tried to tune out the noise and continue reading the report Shockwave had sent him on modifications to the space bridge: Less energy can be utilized through the adjustment of the phase variance between the-
The song suddenly grew louder. "Here's the story of a man named Brady, who was busy with three boys of his own . . ."
Megatron punched open his comm. link again. //Soundwave!//
//Source of interference still unknown,// came the reply. //Accessing security monitor footage.//
//Hurry up.// Megatron killed the connection again and returned to Shockwave's verbose report. Less energy can be utilized through the adjustment of the phase variance- Megatron growled. "I already read that part!" Collecting his patience, he tried again, but the song crescendoed: "That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch! The Bra~dy Bunch! The Bra~dy Bunch! That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch!"
Silence filled the room as the song ceased, and Megatron felt various cables in his shoulders and neck relax. Finally, he could concentrate. He turned his gaze upon the report yet again: . . . the adjustment of the phase variance between the-
"Here's the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls."
Megatron howled in wordless rage and agony. It was starting over? He slammed his console, bringing up the video connection to the command center. "Soundwave! Slaggit! Find out who's doing that, destroy their device, and then destroy them!"
Starscream's smiling face leaned into view. "Of course, mighty Megatron. We don't want your brilliant scheming to be interrupted."
"Starscream." Megatron let his tone do all the threatening.
"We're searching," Starscream replied, his optics shining with blatantly feigned innocence.
Megatron felt a flash of suspicion, but the prank wasn't Starscream's style. Skywarp, likely. Even Rumble. But not his. "Search more quickly."
"I'm sure Soundwave will locate the source shortly." He grinned and closed the link.
"Glitch." Megatron glared at the blank screen, knowing his second-in-command had enjoyed his display of discomfort.
"That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch! The Bra~dy Bunch! The Bra~dy Bunch! That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch!"
Megatron hissed through his vocal component. Humans could have voices even more grating than Starscream's at times. However, blessed silence bloomed through the room then, and he shuttered his optics momentarily. Perhaps the culprit had overheard his wrath and decided better of their course of action.
"Here's the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls /All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls."
Slamming his fist into his desk, Megatron stood and stomped from his office, ready to kill the prankster himself. He took the hallway at a good pace and swept into the control room, where Soundwave, Starscream, and Rumble were working on tracing the signal.
"Well?" He crossed his arms, making sure the business end of his cannon was pointed at Starscream's head.
"Signal is on a low frequency," Soundwave said, pointing to an analysis on the main computer screen. "Our systems are confusing it with several harmonics generated by the ship's computers. Physical search with handheld devices recommended."
Megatron opened his mouth to reply, only for the song to grow louder: "Till the one day when the lady met this fellow, and they knew it was much more than a hunch: That this group would somehow form a family. That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch!" He narrowed his optics, deciding dismemberment was a legitimate punishment for the mech responsible. "Fine," he said. "Carry out the search at once."
Starscream snickered. "What's wrong? A happy little fleshling song too much for our great leader?"
"The only reason it doesn't annoy you is because your vocal processor makes you talk in a screech. Your audio components were likely desensitized eons ago." Megatron turned and headed back for his office. "Order everyone currently on base to assist, and none of you get breaks until the device is found."
Starscream's mocking "Of course, mighty Megatron" added itself to the song as it started over yet again: "Here's the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls."
With a snarl, Megatron punched the wall as he walked, leaving behind a rather sizable dent. "Skywarp, it had better not be you." He retreated to his office for another attempt at reading Shockwave's report.
After accidentally rereading the same paragraph five times in a row, Megatron planted his monitor in his office wall and glared at the plume of smoke arising from the debris.
Megatron lay on his berth, staring at his cabin's ceiling. Five cycles. The slagging song had been repeating on a loop for five cycles, and no one could find the source, even after scouring the ship. He was now not content to simply dismember the prankster. He was going to do some research, find out the identities of the humans who wrote the song, and kill them, too. The horrendous noise was grating on his neural circuitry so badly he couldn't even go into recharge.
"Till the one day when the lady met this fellow, and they knew it was much more than a hunch: That this group would somehow form a family. That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch! The Bra~dy Bunch! The Bra~dy Bunch! That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch!"
An amazing processor ache blossomed in Megatron's CPU, and he prepared himself for the inevitable repeat. He was convinced he could recite the song backwards syllable by syllable at this point.
Megatron sat up slowly, feeling a ridiculously overwhelming surge of hope.
Utter, beautiful, glorious silence.
He opened his comm. link. //Megatron to Soundwave. I assume this means you found the device.//
A very uncomfortable pause. //Negative. Device has not been found.//
//What?// The wave of foreboding that hit him was almost tangible.
Two astroseconds passed, then the PA flared back to life with the sound of several drunk, out-of-tune humans singing: "99 bottles of beer on the wall! 99 bottles of beer! Take one down, pass it around. 98 bottles of beer on the wall!"
"No," Megatron whispered, struggling not to blow a hole straight through his cabin door from his rage. //Soundwave, if you don't find that device within a breem you'll spend the rest of your existence as spare parts for our communications relay!//
//Understood. Soundwave out.// The voice was emotionless as ever.
Megatron lowered himself back on his berth and resumed staring at the ceiling. The song, if it could be called that, must have been sung by ten different men, all of them beginning on a different note. The result was positively painful.
"97 bottles of beer on the wall! 97 bottles of beer! Take one down pass it around. 96 bottles of beer on the wall!"
Megatron rubbed both temples with his fingers. He had to force his processor off of the music somehow. The only way to do that was to engage in one of his two favorite activities: fighting or plotting.
"Fighting," he said to himself, climbing off his berth. Yes, that was it. He would go pick a fight with the Autobots just to get out of the base until Soundwave fixed the problem. Given all the grumbling over the Brady Bunch song, he suspected he'd have plenty of volunteers for the mission. He wouldn't have to give an order-they'd be begging him to let them come along.
So he'd be sure to leave Starscream behind on purpose.
Content with his plan, Megatron left his quarters and made his way to the control room, where he got what was possibly the worst shock of the solar cycle thus far: the mech at the comm. was Starscream. And Starscream was singing.
"88 bottles of beer on the wall-" Starscream was singing in time with the humans. "-88 bottles of beer! Take one down, pass it around, 87 bottles of beer on the wall!"
For an astrosecond, Megatron's audio processors glitched from the mere sound of Starscream's singing voice, which was so high-pitched and raspy it nearly shorted his neural net. He aimed his fusion cannon at Starscream, who saw him and jumped just in time to avoid a blast to his wing. "Stop singing, slaggit! Are you insane?" Megatron paused, considered the stupidity of his own question, then continued. "Never mind. What do you think you're doing participating in a flesh creature's song?"
With wide optics, Starscream stared up at him from the floor, then stood. "Nothing, really. I'm simply highly adaptable to repugnant, annoying, impossible, and exhausting situations." He smirked.
Megatron raised his cannon again, easily reading between the lines of that insult.
"A bit testy today, are we?" Starscream held up both hands in a gesture of surrender. "Soundwave has every mech in the base searching. He even called in the Insecticons, who are excited about the thought of eating the offending device and prankster when they're found."
Megatron lowered his weapon and considered his second-in-command. Knowing Starscream's psychology, Megatron realized he was in a quandary. One, he really couldn't afford to pull his soldiers away from the search. Two, if he left the base alone, Starscream would accuse him of weakness, which was unfortunately exactly what it would look like.
"Did you need something, leader?" Starscream asked.
"Have the Autobots contacted us concerning Jazz?" he asked.
Starscream shook his head. "Not yet. Laserbeak's last report indicated they were still searching the area where we captured him, but even the Autobots can't be so stupid as to not realize we have him."
Megatron pondered the issue of their prisoner. Jazz was Prime's Special Ops chief, and everyone knew how much he loved music . . .
"76 b-bottles of beer on the wall! 76 b-bottles of be~er!"
The humans' singing was getting progressively worse. Megatron held in a sigh. "Did Soundwave check the brig?"
"No transmissions detected, plus the comm. link blackout is solid."
Frowning, Megatron considered the possibility that Jazz had uploaded a packet in a data burst, but that still left the problem of what he'd uploaded the music to. Granted, Megatron could torture him to find out, but if he did that, Jazz would know he was successfully irritating his enemies. Assuming the problem really had originated with Jazz.
No, Megatron thought. I'll save torturing Jazz for a last resort. If he's responsible, I refuse to give the glitch the satisfaction of knowing his ploy worked. Besides, I've put up with Starscream for five million sellar cycles. I can withstand anything. "Fine," he finally replied. "Make sure no one slacks off searching. If they do, shoot them."
Starscream grinned. "My pleasure."
Deprived of his plan to fight and unable to plot properly with all the noise, Megatron headed toward the brig for his third favorite activity: torture. If he wasn't going to torture Jazz over the music, he could at least torture him for information.
Megatron had been listening to "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" on automatic repeat for 20 joors. If he'd been human, his hair would have been sticking straight up, his eyes would be bloodshot, and he would have broken out in hives. But he wasn't human. He was a Decepticon. A proud leader.
So he'd simply planted every piece of office furniture he had into his office walls, blown a hole through Skywarp's left wing for laughing, and welded Frenzy to the command center's floor as a reminder to Soundwave of his fate if he didn't fix the problem.
To top that, his interrogation of Jazz had been utterly fruitless, and the fragger had treated the session like a trip to the wash racks.
Giving up on any semblance of useful activity, Megatron had retreated to his quarters again, fallen onto his berth, offlined his audio receptors, and tried to recharge . . . only to find that his processor had absorbed the annoying song and was repeating it inside his mind.
Nothing short of a full-scale slaughter would lighten his mood now. In fact, he was seriously considering destroying the Nemesis's main computer to see if that would solve the issue and having the Constructicons simply rebuild it.
Megatron sat up, struck by the beauty of the idea. Yes. Destroy the main computer. It would cripple them for a few joors, but he'd send out all the seekers to patrol and have the Stunticons on standby in the base in case of attack.
A nearly hysterical joy overtook his systems at the thought, and before he realized it, Megatron was making his way back to the control room . . . where he found Starscream sitting, his legs crossed on the console, smiling.
"Why are you smiling?" The growl had escaped Megatron on instinct.
Starscream laughed. "Oh, it's not that bad. Reminds me of the high-grade songs we used to sing before the war."
Megatron decided once and for all that his SIC was completely and utterly stark-raving mad. "I should have you committed." He turned and pointed his cannon at the computer, which brought Starscream scrambling to his feet.
"What are you doing!" he shrieked, grabbing his arm and jerking the cannon downward. The blast hit the floor instead.
Megatron grabbed him by the throat. "I'm taking care of our-" He stopped abruptly as he realized his voice was louder than it had been in over a solar cycle.
Either "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" had been programmed to play 99 times or Soundwave had discovered the device.
Megatron released Starscream and secretly basked in the stunning beauty of a silence broken only by the soft hum of computers. "Finally," he said, opening his comm. link. //Megatron to Soundwave. Did you find the device?//
A very long pause met this inquiry. //Negative. Device unfound. Tests using my disruption waves have also proven ineffective.//
//Frenzy will start losing body parts soon.// Megatron shifted his gaze to the obviously terrified red-and-black mech and sneered.
The main computer beeped as a transmission arrived. Megatron ignored Soundwave's reply as he checked the queue, which indicated they had received a text-only message. "Odd," he said, but the code on the message was definitely Shockwave's. Was the musical phenomenon disrupting their connection to Cybertron?
"That's not like Shockwave," Starscream noted, obviously suspicious. "Don't open it. It may be a trick of some kind."
Megatron hit the controls, bringing the entire message up onscreen. "It's likely that whatever device-"
The computer's screen immediately erupted into a grainy video of human women in short skirts. Suddenly music was blasting through the ship's PA again: "Oh, Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!"
Megatron stared in horror as every screen in the command center bloomed to life with the same grainy images: dancing human women in ponytails, jumping around and singing. "What in the fraggin' Pit is that!"
With a visible shudder, Starscream turned toward him. "That is what humans call a 'music video.' Apparently one of their broadcasted television channels plays them."
Megatron managed to smirk. "Is the mighty, fearless Starscream disturbed by pathetic human images?"
Raising one optic ridge, Starscream simply returned the smirk. "Tell me that the sight of jiggly organic flesh doesn't turn your tanks."
"I'm hardly so easy to nauseate," Megatron replied out of sheer spite. In response, a purely malicious grin blossomed across Starscream's face, and Megatron knew the brat's devious mind had just hatched something unthinkable. "Whatever you just imagined, if you do it I'll incinerate you."
Starscream just snickered.
An agonizing three kliks passed, and then the computer screens returned to normal. Megatron joined Starscream in eyeing them with total distrust.
"That was too easy," Starscream said, his voice nearly a whisper.
"For once, we're in agreement." Megatron found that he'd matched his SIC's quiet tone. "Don't touch the computers for now."
Feeling the springs and cables in his body releasing their tension, Megatron swiped a data pad and headed back to his quarters. At least he could resume plotting, and using the pad to draw his plans would ensure the computer network was not disturbed.
Entering his quarters, Megatron retrieved a cube of high-grade energon and sat on his berth, reclining. He took a sip, savoring the taste of such rare fine-quality energon, and settled into his beloved pastime: imagining new ways of destroying the Autobots. Grinning to himself as a particularly nasty weapon idea came to mind, he activated the data pad and loaded the design program.
The screen flickered and then flashed, suddenly showing the hopping forms of human women. "Oh, Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!"
With a scream of incalculable rage, Megatron hurled the data pad at the wall, shattering it into thousands of metal shards.
In the brig, Jazz lay on his narrow berth, arms crossed under his head. He tapped his foot against the wall to a Duran Duran song he'd downloaded into his memory banks and grinned at the ceiling. If his data packet had downloaded and executed properly, the Decepticons should be in the middle of a visual onslaught in which every computer and data pad touched would automatically play the video for "Hey Mickey." Megatron had been in an unusually foul mood when he'd come to interrogate him, so Jazz was certain that "The Brady Bunch Theme" and "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" had been launched successfully. Granted, he had a few lovely dents thanks to Megatron's rage, but it was nothing he couldn't take. Besides, it was worth it to see the nearly glitched look on Megatron's face.
It's probably time for somethin' a bit more complicated, Jazz mused, shifting through his massive collection of information on human literature, film, music, and theater. With some relish he remembered the whimsical book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. "Perfect!" he said aloud before he could stop himself.
Yes, indeed. It was beautiful. Jazz wasn't sure why it was taking his friends so long to rescue him, but he'd be sure to have fun in the meantime. In fact, if he had his way, Megatron and his merry Decepticreeps would never be the same.
A/N: Thank you to all who read and review and to Darkhelmetj for betareading. I'm currently cooking up evil ideas for chapter 2.