If it's not obvious, I'd like to mention now that bullying is not fun. At all.
Well- in real life, it's not. Oddly, Starscream getting bullied is just amazing and everyone loves it. :D
Right, backstory: this is a piece of utter oddness that just tripped me up on my first day back to school.
I looked in my homework diary and found a page on bullying. Some of the phrases just made me think: MEGATRON! STARSCREAM!
What else could I do, fellow Transfans? It was begging to be written. Begging.
Anyway, this is my version of the movie-verse, which means that Jetfire isn't dead. ;O Because I love him.
Hope you enjoy!
Starscream was flicking channels. It annoys everyone, but everybody flicks channels at some point or other, so you can't hold it against him. Unless you're perfect. Let's assume you're not, and resume this tale.
Starscream was flicking channels. And, as you do when you flick channels, you briefly see things that catch your eye. So you flick back, but then you either can't find it, or it wasn't interesting anyway.
You've probably gotten the impression that Starscream was flicking channels by now, so I shan't mention it again. Anyway, as he was flicking, he saw something in black and white.
This isn't very common nowadays, so he was naturally intrigued. Perhaps it was one of those brilliantly corny Westerns.
He actually found the correct channel again, and settled upon it.
The camera was focusing jerkily on a small human child, cowering under a bed with a stuffed bear.
Starscream watched incredulously. What was this?
"Max hears the footsteps, and he hides."
Maybe it was an old horror film.
"Max is brave, but he is afraid of his Daddy. When his Daddy comes up the stairs at night, he knows he is in trouble."
The screen blacked out on a frightened whimper, and a different voice spoke as details faded onto the screen.
"Don't suffer in silence. Contact us."
Starscream blinked, shivered, then decided to do something else. It was too early before the water-shed to be having such scary adverts.
Suddenly, he was aware that someone was standing behind him- you know, one of those deep, ominous feelings in the very bottom of your fleshling stomach that warns you of such doomly things.
Starscream turned around to see Megatron flexing his claws menacingly.
It is unnecessary to say that the deep, ominous feeling wasn't a good one.
Six minutes later, Starscream wheezed weakly.
Right, so Megatron had been a bit unhappy, and maybe- for once- rightfully so. Maybe Starscream shouldn't have been watching television when he did have two roles to fulfil- both that of Air Commander and Second in Command.
However, all Megatron seemed to want in a second was someone to abuse regularly, so he had only been neglecting his other position.
Said Decepticon Commander snorted at him. "Go and attempt to do something useful. I tire of your wheezing and heaving."
He had hardly been the one heaving. That was it, Starscream decided. He had had enough. This had gone on for too long, and it was time to do something.
He, Starscream, would contact the Suffering in Silence helpline. It wasn't like anything bad could come out of it.
Climbing to his pedes, he began to limp away, only to hear a fusion cannon be primed menacingly.
"You forget something."
Starscream turned around slowly. "...Of c-course, my lord."
He tried to make the bow as mocking as possible.
Unfortunately, Megatron noticed this, and did not approve.
It was another couple of days before Starscream had the time, strength, or willpower to sit down at the computer and write out an email.
However, these days were not spent doing nothing; he couldn't remember the email address of the helpline.
He had spent as much time as possible watching the television, but the blasted advert hadn't come on.
Starscream now knew that favouritism was alive and well within the Decepticon ranks; the fact had been blatantly shoved in his face earlier.
This is what had happened.
Soundwave had left his lady-love orbiting the Earth, and deigned to join them in the base.
Starscream had been desperately flicking channels in the rec. room (in what seemed like vain hope to find the advert), when he had been 'called' by Megatron.
He remembered it well.
Why he couldn't just comm. anyone, Starscream didn't know. He just had to shout, didn't he. Disturb everyone.
/Yes, my liege?/ he replied sweetly, still speeding through the channels.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU SHOULD BE-"
Upon seeing a black and white advert, Starscream stopped, and went back a channel- but it was for drugs. He huffed quietly.
"-ARE YOU LISTENING? YOU HAD BETTER NOT BE WATCHING THAT TELEVISION AGAIN!"
/...No, my liege...?/
"YOU CANNOT LIE! YOUR LIES ARE ALMOST AS USELESS AS YOU!"
Starscream didn't have an appropriate reply, so he continued flicking through. The rage emanating from Megatron was palpable, even through the corridors of the base. It hit him like a mallet. A big, strong mallet.
"GET HERE NNOOOOOOOOOOOOWWW!"
Where, exactly? How could he get 'here' when he didn't know where 'here' was? And, this meant he couldn't possibly arrive 'now', because he'd have to find out where Megatron was first.
/...Where is 'here', my lord?/
"YOU ARE SO PATHETIC AND USELESS!"
Starscream's wings drooped slightly and he closed his optics. Then, with a sigh, he stood, leaving the television on- he might be lucky; if the advert returned and he heard it, he might be able to get back in time to see the end.
He trooped out, preparing to be verbally assaulted due to his lack of abilities. This time, he supposed, it would likely be not only the original matter, but the fact that he couldn't locate someone by 'here' alone and not being able to arrive instantly. No doubt some abuse about being useless would creep in, but this was normal by now.
Didn't mean it hurt any less.
After a long 'discussion', Starscream limped back into the rec. room, only to stop in surprise. "What is this?"
Soundwave was bending over the television.
The Seeker was frozen momentarily. "HAVEN'T YOU HAD ENOUGH WITH YOUR SATELLITES? YOU-"
Soundwave turned, saw Starscream, and waved a tendril.
"DON'T EVEN DO THAT!"
The Communications Officer clicked in satisfaction, and released the television. He then settled back and began to watch a program.
Starscream fumed. "I was watching!"
"Correction; Soundwave is now."
"No, no no!" Starscream's talons clenched stiffly as Technology Channel loaded, and some human machines were displayed dramatically.
Soundwave watched appreciatively.
"I order you to move!"
Soundwave, not one to disobey orders, shuffled along the couch.
"Not like that, you- FINE!" Starscream howled. "I'll stand in front of the television and BLOCK your view until you surrender!"
Megatron burst in through the door. "Soundwave, tell me you know what he's been-"
He caught sight of Starscream pointing angrily at the television. Soundwave looked a little less apathetic than usual.
"What are you two doing?"
The Seeker span round and hissed. "He came in here and commandeered the television! I was using it!"
"No, you weren't. You were with me. I should know. I am Megatron, after all."
"But before that!"
"You said you weren't watching the television beforehand," Megatron narrowed his optics. "Which is it?"
Starscream stamped his pede, then winced. "That's not fair!"
Megatron snorted. "Soundwave was here first."
"You spend too much time in here," Megatron announced. "You are neglecting your duties, and I see fit to ban you from using this room and its facilities."
Starscream gaped. "You can't be-"
"You shall remain confined to your own room."
His optic twitched. "What? Why?"
"Complain and you'll be confined to my room."
Starscream barely heard the new threat. "I'm not a sparkling anymore!"
"You act like one."
Starscream snarled, then turned to dive at a surprised Soundwave (who had been happily watching Technology Channel) and attempt to wrestle the remote control off of him. "GIVE IT HERRREEEE!"
The Communications Officer rapidly wrapped some tendrils around the Seeker, binding his limbs.
"Language, Starscream," Megatron admonished with a large, unsettling grin.
The second squirmed unhappily as Soundwave tightened his grip. "Let me go-!"
Soundwave was about to comply when Megatron sighed menacingly. "No. Keep him there. He needs-"
How anyone sighed menacingly, Starscream could not fathom. Then again, Megatron was-
"-Megatron!" shouted Megatron. "...What have you to say for yourself, Seeker?"
Starscream scowled and bit a wandering tentacle viciously.
Soundwave moaned, and the tendrils tightened further.
The repulsed and squeezed Air Commander coughed, but didn't let go, instead mauling the trapped tendril.
Megatron narrowed his optics. "Release Soundwave."
Starscream growled, but grudgingly opened his mouth. Soundwave's tendril slapped into and then slowly stroked down his face.
"You disgust me," Starscream spat, trying to edge away.
"Perhaps Starscream prefers Future Machines as a channel," Soundwave suggested, changing the program. Some sleek jets were drifting in the sky.
The Seeker groaned quietly, then turned his helm away. He would like to have smashed it into something hard. This might have stopped the madness.
"Symptoms of addiction identified," Soundwave continued. "Starscream feels embarrassment due to his obsession-"
Megatron cackled. "Admit it, Starscream. Is this what you like?"
"I'm leaving," the Seeker snarled. "You're getting no satisfaction out of me."
He wriggled fruitlessly, as Soundwave did not release him.
"This is RIDICULOOOUUS!"
"Attacking your fellow Decepticons is ridiculous," Megatron declared with great glee. "Neglecting your duties is ridiculous. Making-"
"I have done neither of those things!"
"Did you or did you not leap at Soundwave just now? And then bite him?"
"N- yes, but-"
"Lying to me is ridiculous."
"Will you shut up?"
Megatron paused. "What did you say?"
"You're lying, again!"
"No, I'm no- ARGGHH!"
Soundwave squeezed the Seeker roughly.
"Alright, so I lied!"
Megatron purred, and stroked his own chin magnificently. "Thank you, Starscream. Soundwave; release him. He is to go to his room."
The second snarled inwardly before realising-too late- that he had, in fact, done so aloud as well.
"You'd rather stay here? That's fine."
Starscream savagely snapped at another tendril and sank his fangs into it. Soundwave rumbled in surprise and the appendages loosened.
This was all the opportunity Starscream needed; he took it immediately and dived out of the room, locking the door behind him.
This should give him time to sufficiently get away. He ignored Megatron's roarings and started bolting.
Through the door, the television program switched to adverts.
"Jenny can't tell anyone what they do to her."
He paused, audio receptors pricking.
"OPEN THIS DOOR, YOU USELESS PIECE OF-"
"They tell her that she's worthless-"
"FRAG!" Starscream wailed, racing back to the door.
"Open this door, Starscream!"
"ARGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" the Seeker howled, dancing in front of the entrance in indecision.
"And she knows that no one can stop them."
"SOUNDWAVE! GET THIS DOOR OPEN BEFORE I BLOW IT TO PIECES!"
Starscream banged his helm into the door and unlocked it.
A slightly amazed Megatron found himself looking at a dejected Seeker. "You actually obeyed me?"
Starscream snarled, shot past him, and threw himself towards the television.
He caught the very end of the advert, memorised the email, and flipped backwards to avoid some tendrils, only to find more chasing after him.
"You're deranged," Megatron sighed, locking the door again. "Soundwave, hold him."
Starscream shuddered. He'd like to forget that.
He turned back to the dilemma at hand.
He wanted to write the email all at once- then he could send it immediately, without second thoughts or any chances to delete the thing.
Or, for that matter, chances for that accursedly accursed tentacled freak to hack around and find it.
He typed the first line, then paused, unsure of what to put. How did one express oneself when one was used to Suffering in Silence?
It wasn't like he could ask anyone for advice. He may as well just get on with it before someone burst in on him.
There was no such thing as privacy.
Suspiciously, he looked over his shoulder for any lurking individuals, only to see his wing blocking his view.
With a twitch of said appendage, this problem was solved.
Peeking behind him, no one seemed to be there.
He turned back to the computer. What could he say? He didn't want to sound all whiny and helpless, because he wasn't, not really.
He was Starscream, after all. It was annoying how much he had sounded like Megatron at that moment, but it was true.
He wasn't a pathetic mech. He had many skills. He could take on Autobots- and, not to mention, was actually able to use his processor. Unlike some individuals.
Starscream sighed, then bit his lip. This was ridiculous. He should just leave it.
No. Even if he didn't send it, he still needed to write this; to see the problems laid out before him in clear text.
Some hidden resolve pricked up his wings. He flexed his talons, and quickly began typing.
Megatron stroked his chin as he contemplated how Evil he was.
He sat like this a while, a perfected Evil smirk crossing his faceplates now and then as he thought of Evil things.
"It's over NINE THOUSAAAAANNNNNDDD!"
The sudden alert from his computer ended his concentration, and he swivelled across to have a look at his agenda. (Soundwave had insisted he organise his day.)
One hour of Evil Contemplation: complete.
Next up on the itinerary was to spy on his subordinates.
He swivelled himself back to the computer and opened up footage from security cameras. This was actually rather fun- which was why he did it, and didn't delegate it to some minion.
He narrowed his optics as he scanned the rec. room. If Starscream was in there, he was going to have a painful shock.
He wasn't. Well, that was a surprise.
Was he in his room? Megatron checked the footage.
Amazingly, yes. He appeared to be doing something on the computer.
"He's going to have square optics any day soon," Megatron scowled. "Do I have to limit anything electrical?"
There was a loud crash. One of the tiny displays showed Barricade lunging for Rumble, who was asking about the whereabouts of Frenzy.
Soundwave was busy ignoring his offspring, working on his own computer in the background.
Megatron wondered what the other mech was up to. Zooming in on the desktop, he saw some satellite pictures.
He had seen nothing like them before, and didn't wish to see anything of the like again.
The commander opened up a new window and checked out what his subordinates had been up to online.
Soundwave had ordered some catnip- Megatron didn't even know anymore- and had complained about his magazine subscriptions not arriving.
Megatron supposed it had something to do with the delivery address of 'Decepticon Base/Earth's Orbit'.
The Seekers hadn't done much of note.
It wasn't like Ravage or his brethren could type, so they weren't worth checking.
Nor- but what was Starscream up to?
An alert had just popped up. "Warning: Starscream is acting suspiciously."
He could see the Air Commander looking around warily, wings twitching.
Megatron narrowed his optics, and stroked his chin again with a glorious frown. The Seeker appeared to be writing something.
"SOUNDWAAAVE!" he shouted, in his perfected Base Bass Bellow Technique.
He saw Starscream glance around nervously at the same time the Communications Officer glanced up from his hastily screensavered images. /Lord Megatron?/
The Seeker's behaviour was arousing suspicion.
"I WANT USELESS' DOCUMENT!" he roared.
Starscream's helm snapped up.
Soundwave paused. //Hacking in progress./
"I DON'T JUST WANT HIM HACKED! I WANT HIM RES-"
Megatron's attention was diverted as Starscream bolted for his door, chair falling with a crash.
"Hah, it's locked," Megatron muttered gleefully. "Didn't think it would be that easy, did-"
Starscream charged up some cannons that the mech had not seen before- and therefore had not considered- and blasted his way out.
The Seeker panted, flattening himself against the wall.
No one seemed to be following him, but he had definitely heard Megaton shouting. And this was never good news. Especially when the word 'useless' was involved.
He couldn't get out of the base- it had been locked down for some reason, but perhaps he could hide it out.
Maybe the Autobots had attacked the base, causing the lockdown, and Megatron was distracted.
Starscream found himself wishing that the Autobots were suddenly berserk savages and not pacifists, and were currently howling violent war cries whilst hurling themselves into the base, blasting anything, everything, and nothing.
This didn't seem too hard to imagine for Ironhide. Maybe if Prime died, Ironhide would take command.
"Prime has to go," he muttered.
The second yelped and shot away from the threatening voice.
"Who has to go?" Megatron silently emerged from some shadowy corner.
"N-no one, my liege."
"Don't lie to me."
Starscream began to back away. "P-Prime?"
"...Optimus? At last we agree on something." Megatron paused. "Were you planning on doing this?"
What was the right answer? Starscream quickly made a decision. "...Yes?"
The commander narrowed his optics, seeing the Seeker was out of arm's reach. "No, Starscream-! Only I get to annihilate Optimus. He's mine, you hear?"
"Of c-course, master," Starscream hurriedly agreed. "Prime's entirely yours; I wouldn't touch him."
"So, you wouldn't do it?"
At least he knew this answer. "No, my lord."
"Then you're a coward," Megatron hissed, tensing.
Starscream saw the slight movements and instantly fled down a conveniently placed corridor- even though he wouldn't be able to get out of the base, hopefully he could lose the bigger mech.
He threw himself through another entrance, only to find himself in another room.
Spinning around, he flung himself back out- straight into Megatron. Starscream winced as he collided with the other mech's chassis.
He shook his whirling helm, then realised what he had run into and backed away with a whimper. "S-sorry, master-"
Megatron's fusion cannon materialised, and he pointed into the room.
Starscream thought about running; although it was an incredibly powerful weapon, Megatron's aim wasn't that impressive. Then again, he didn't look very happy at all; it was unlikely that this would be dropped.
Maybe he just wanted to talk about tactics, or something of the like.
Quietly, he reversed into the room, optics on Megatron's cannon. The other Decepticon followed, and the doors closed with a click behind him.
Starscream's wings rose in agitation, but he tried to calm himself. He had done nothing wrong today.
Perhaps Megatron thought that they'd lock themselves in the room until they came up with an unbeatable strategy. Yes, that must be it.
There was a short silence.
"Tell me, Starscream. Are you-" the silver mech narrowed his optics and paused infinitesimally. "-content?"
The Seeker twitched. "Content?"
"Yes, fool," Megatron visibly controlled himself. "Happy. Cheerful. Full of joy." He consulted the internet. "Are you one with boundless elation... are you beaming with gay delight?"
Starscream shuffled. "I surely am."
"Are you lying again?"
"Yes," Starscream muttered, then shrank back as Megatron snarled. "Nonono, my liege, no-! Serving you fills me with such feelings!"
"Of course it does." Megatron moved forwards.
Starscream looked frantically around but saw no means of escape.
"Why don't you tell me the truth?" The commander heard Starscream mutter something in response. "What was that?"
Starscream shrieked in frustration. "BECAUSE YOU'LL HIT ME!"
"Why would I do that?" Megatron remained alarmingly calm, but advanced again.
The Seeker gulped and stepped away- into a wall. With a squeak, he tried to dive past, but Megatron slammed him backwards into a corner, then smiled disarmingly.
"I am smiling disarmingly," the commander noted vigilantly. "And I am Megatron. You are disarmed by the disarming smile and you cannot deny me. For I... am... MEGATRON!"
Starscream tried to duck past, but-
"My bulk is too great!"
He wondered if he could go over, but-
"My height is too great! Watch me loom over you! Feel my MEGA-LOOM!"
Starscream dropped to the ground and was about to scrabble under-
Megatron grabbed the Seeker just as he was squirming between his legs.
Starscream yelped and attempted to wriggle away, but the bigger mech held him there firmly by the scruff.
With a whimper, he stopped struggling.
"Starscream, Starscream, Starscream! Will you ever learn?"
"I wish to l-leave." Starscream announced, to no response. He lowered his wings meekly with a piteous noise. "Master, c-could you not hold me here?"
"Between my legs? You went there, not I."
Megatron thought, then gripped a wing with his free hand, claws digging in painfully. "No."
Starscream whined and kicked at him feebly.
"Tell me what you're up to, and I may."
"You've been very suspicious lately. What have you been doing?"
Megatron shook him roughly. Each word was punctuated by a shake. An emphasised word had a sharp knee to the abdomen. "Whenever you say 'nothing' there's undoubtedly something."
Starscream shrieked and coughed, and latched onto his leg with a whimper. "I'm n-not usurping you, master!"
Megatron growled and flipped him over."I never said you were usurping me, liar. Why exactly did usurping spring to mind?"
Starscream drooped miserably. It was hard to appeal to an interfacing panel. Especially when said panel was both practically touching and impending upon you. "M-my liege, I honestly have done n-nothing-"
"There's that word again," Megatron nearly sang.
"But I haven't! You must b-believe me!"
"I must? I must do nothing. I am Megatron. I advise you to tell me now before Soundwave does."
Starscream felt like crying. "I h-haven't gone against you!"
Megatron was suddenly contacted by Soundwave. /...Analysis, Starscream is up to something. Phrase worthy of note: 'I haven't gone against you'. He does not deny doing something./
The commander's optics narrowed. "I SEE, SOUNDWAVE...!"
Starscream hissed and glared dangerously at Megatron's interfacing panel. "Soundwave is trying to get me in trouble, isn't he-! The slimy-"
"Watch yourself, Starscream. Know your place."
The Seeker quietened, but glowered at the panel.
"How did you know about Soundwave?"
"You shouted his n-name, my liege."
"You eavesdropped upon our conversation!"
"Wha- no! I didn't! You cried out before me!"
"You'll be crying out shortly," Megatron snarled.
The Air Commander whimpered.
"Come now, Starscream," the bigger mech growled, smashing him into the wall. "We must work this out-!" He squeezed the other mech's throat for some unnecessary emphasis and continued. "We don't want anyone saying that the Decepticons are incompetent, do we? We can surely get along sufficiently- and all you have to do is just remember who your commander is."
Starscream choked and tried to inconspicuously wriggle free. "B-but that's jus-just it, my liege-"
The Seeker gathered his shredded confidence. If he didn't say it now, he likely never would. "I-"
"Hurry up," Megatron snapped in a timely interruption.
Starscream withered. "Never m-mind."
"That would be an order- you know the whole master-servant relationship? ...I knew you were stupid, but not that stupid."
Starscream scratched fruitlessly at the hand holding him. "Well... I saw a-"
"Do I care? Do I look bothered, to you?"
The Seeker glanced up to glimpse Megatron's decidedly annoyed expression. It was the expression that told him unless-he-redeemed-himself-soon-he-was-in-it-deeply. Soundwave deep.
Truth was the only option. Hurriedly, he rushed to appease the mech. "I wrote an email to c-contact a helpline..." He trailed away miserably.
Another glance told him that Megatron didn't look particularly pleased.
"But I didn't send it-! I can delete it- and I will, b-because it was stupid, and I was s-stupid to do it-"
"Didn't catch that," Megatron sighed. "What did you say?"
"...I'm stupid?" Starscream wilted even more.
"No. Try again." The commander dug his claws into Starscream's wing.
The Seeker screeched. "I'M STUPID! I'M STUUUUPIIID!"
Megatron tried to choke back a laugh. That was timeless. "Really? I feel inclined to agree. Continue."
"There's n-nothing else-"
"There's that 'nothing' word again," Megatron mused calmly.
Starscream tried to shrink away. "W-what do you want to know?"
"Lots of things, my dear Starscream. Why?"
"...Bec-because I... because-"
Megatron narrowed his optics as the Seeker stammered, unable to develop further.
He kindly decided to tug out his embedded claws somewhat from Starscream's wing. The other mech froze in mid-stutter.
"Tell me. If you don't say a thing, how will anything ever happen?"
The wing underneath his claws fluttered nervously. "...I f-feel abused?"
"Is that a question?"
"So don't make it one."
Having to say it again only made it harder. "I-I feel ab-abused."
"You feel abused."
Starscream knew this was a mistake. Knew it.
"Sounds like your audio receptors are working perfectly well," Megatron sneered, dropping him.
"...Y-you aren't particularly f-fair or gentle," Starscream hesitated frequently, slowly picking himself up.
With a deep growl, Megatron thrust him back harshly against the wall. "Have you got a problem with being a subordinate?"
"N-no, master, no-"
"So what are you whinging about?"
The Seeker moaned. "Th- the way I get t-treated!"
Megatron screwed up his faceplates in disgust. "You deserve everything you get."
Starscream wailed in frustration. "But I don't even betray you like I did in G1!"
"Does Ravage ever change his spots?"
"Never mind," the commander snarled, then slammed him into the wall just because he could. "You are disloyal in many ways- betrayal is not simply attacking at every opportunity. And you did betray me majorly when you flunked that battle on Earth, in case you have forgotten. I'll take this fine opportunity to remind you of how you skipped off to to sparklingsit for the Fallen."
"But-! They were our-"
"Decepticons needed someone to 'take command', didn't you say?"
Starscream hung his helm in realisation. "I-I'm sorry, my lord."
"I wasn't even dead! You must have thought about replacing me whilst I was alive! Why did you actually process the thought before my body was even vaguely cold?" Megatron's optics almost widened as he came to a realisation, immediately snarling. "Prime and his boy stayed for longer than you!"
The Seeker whimpered with an anticipatory cringe, ready to receive any sort of blow.
None came. Megatron released him and strode over to a window.
Starscream massaged his neck, then looked up.
The silence grew.
There was no reply. Starscream whimpered and edged closer. "M-master...?"
"...Prime and his boy stuck around longer than you," Megatron repeated quietly. "In my last moments, do you know what I heard? ...No. Of course you don't. As I died, I heard Optimus expressing regret- albeit in that idiotic, heroic way of his. My brother still cared, even after everything he believes in- did you even mind? In those two years? At all?"
Starscream crept up to him and knelt, bowing his helm.
"You feel abused, do you...? Well, I feel betrayed," the commander continued. "By my own Second in Command, who is surely supposed to be- among other things- my most loyal."
The Seeker's wings drooped, and he closed his optics. "I failed you, my lord."
The silence stretched again.
"So, remind me," Megatron suddenly growled. "You're abused how?"
Starscream realised the moment had passed and whipped out a piece of paper, holding it between them like a shield. An A5 paper shield.
Megatron regarded it in great disdain. "What is that?"
"A piece of paper, Lord Megatron."
"How dumb do you think I am? Do not toy with me."
"I-it is a piece of paper detailing wh-" Starscream stopped.
"It doesn't m-matter, I'll destroy it-"
Megatron's sigh was enveloped in a rumbling snarl. "Give it to me."
The Seeker hesitated, then attempted to crush it.
Megatron grabbed his wrist and yanked it so his palm faced upwards. His talons were tightly curled around the tiny paper.
"N-no," the smaller mech whined, trying to pull away. "It was a foolish thing to do! And I w-won't ever do it again, and perhaps I could go now-!"
He looked hopefully at the door.
"Do you honestly think that you're getting out of here without leaving me satisfied?"
The mech's wings twitched, and he whimpered. "...If- if you try to get the paper by force, it'll be destroyed in the p-process, and you'll be left w-with nothing-"
"Correct. You are nothing, Starscream. ...And you underestimate me. I am Megatron. I do not need to get the paper by force."
"No," Megatron smiled pleasantly, then narrowed his optics. "Open your hand now, or I'll rip your wings off."
The Seeker shrieked and tried to tug himself free, panicking.
"What don't you understand about that sentence?" Megatron pulled him back.
Starscream shut his optics tightly, but his talons uncurled.
Megatron picked up the work delicately with one claw, and read the human text. "...What is this?"
Starscream had sunk to the floor in misery, wrist still held, meaning his arm was awkwardly bent mid-air. "Its purpose is to inform you of w-whether you are being abused or not."
"I see. And, let me guess, you think that this is correct is saying you are?"
Megatron inspected the requirements. "I think you should explain this. I don't understand the problem."
The Seeker looked up briefly before returning his gaze to the floor.
"'What is bullying'. Bullying? What does this mean?"
Starscream tugged feebly for his wrist to be freed. "Bullying is another term for being abused."
Megatron read aloud. "'Criteria: Deliberately harmful.' I honestly cannot understand the link between you and this 'bullying.'"
Starscream groaned. "You bully me."
"Yes, you," the Seeker retorted. "You deliberately harm me. You'll see the next item is 'Repeated over a period of time'. We can safely say that this has been going on a while. The next is 'Difficult to defend against'."
Megatron almost smiled, fangs glinting. "You find me difficult to defend against? That sounds like a compliment. Besides, you lik-"
"I do not!" Starscream raged shriekily, snapping his own fangs- then remembered he was shouting at Megatron, and tried to calm himself. "'Involves an imbalance of power' sounds familiar, too."
Megatron now looked fairly confused, and sounded it, too. "But you're my subordinate. You're supposed to do as I say."
"Which might be fine if you had normal requests," Starscream hissed, wings flaring. "And if you didn't beat me for no particular reason. And if-"
Megatron continued reading. Maybe the Seeker did have a point. "'Forms of bullying'. The first being 'Physical; hitting, kicking, stealing, damaging, or... defacing belongings...?' I don't damage your belongings."
"LIAR!" Starscream screeched. "Besides, you're skipping over the parts that you frequent-! Do you see the first two actions? Hitting? Kicking?"
"Yes," Megatron elaborated.
There was a pause before Starscream tried to tug his arm free again. "Let me go!"
"No. We're going to finish what we started."
"Very well," Starscream sounded venomous.
"'Verbal: name-calling, mocking, taunting, personal insults, threatening, spreading rumours.'"
"You need help understanding that one?"
"But you are incompetent." Megatron didn't sound angry, just bewildered. "And I only threaten you because you are useless to the point of disobedience, which in turn leads back to the imbalance of power." He read on. "'Relational: deliberate exclusion from social groups.'" Looking up in delight, he tackled the Seeker. "I don't do that. Hence, you clearly aren't abused... or bullied."
"You only need one of these things to be bullied!" Starscream growled and searched for inspiration. "...I'm going to join the Autobots."
"You what?" Megatron snarled and twisted his wrist viciously.
Starscream yelped. "I didn't mean it-"
"No! I swear it! I was just giving an example-" Starscream tried to squirm away, but his wrist was held firmly.
"Oh, that's right," Megatron flung the Seeker onto his front and stamped on him. "I forgot you can't tell the truth."
The other Decepticon wailed into the floor. "M-master, please-!"
"The orn you join the Autobots, Starscream, is the orn I resign and let Bumblebee take my place as Decepticon Commander."
"B-but Bumblebee is an A-Autobot-"
"Exactly, fool." The silver mech flipped the Seeker onto his back and began to crush him slowly with his pede.
Starscream whimpered and tried to push the large weight off of him.
Megatron shook his helm in derision of the futile action. "You believe I'd let you leave? We clearly need to spend more time together."
"T-that's my point, my liege... you do exclude me from social groups!"
"No Decepticon will turn traitor without consequence."
"But you wouldn't even let me be a traitor!"
"You're telling me you want to be a traitor?"
"No! I'm n-not! I d-don't!"
"This isn't going anywhere fast, Starscream."
The Seeker gave up on trying to move Megatron's pede, and started squirming. "This isn't fair! I was only t-trying to give you an example of how you d-don't let me do anything!"
"So because I won't let you join the Autobots, you think I'm unfair."
"No! You exclude me from my own trine when the mood takes you!" Starscream howled.
Megatron paused. "...And?"
"You're so controlling!"
"And one orn, you'll be a perfect subordinate, as you should be. And that's how it'll always remain." Megatron glanced down the rest of the paper, placing pressure intermittently upon Starscream's chassis. "'Modern Technology'. Hahaaaaa, these fleshings do give me chuckles. 'Technology', indeed. They have no idea. 'Malicious emails, nasty texts and/or phone calls, picture/video clips sent via mobile phone, chat room bullying- malicious messages sent via chat rooms.' I don't do these things."
Starscream whimpered and whispered something.
The other mech flinched, then spoke just audibly. "S-Soundwave d-does-"
"Soundwave sends you malicious emails and messages? Nasty texts and phone calls? Sends you pictures and video-clips? Bullies you?"
"Y-yes," Starscream almost mouthed.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"...Y-you're supposed to sort it out," the Seeker trembled.
"What on Cybertron gave you that idea?"
"You're supposed t-to tell an authority figure," he explained miserably.
Megatron blinked, then scanned the other side of the document. "...'Tell someone you trust- a parent/guardian, a friend, a member of staff or a peer mentor...' I see. I'll get Soundwave in here."
"No, no! I don't w-"
"Will you stop your wriggling! Do you want this rectified?"
Starscream whined. "But I don't want to see him- he'll touch me with his-"
"I'll be here."
"B-but you were there before, in the rec. room...!"
"But I told him to do so."
"That's what you think," Starscream mumbled.
Megatron's processor nearly crashed. "How long has this been going on?"
"I don't want to t-talk about it," the Seeker whimpered, shaking.
The commander narrowed his optics, but left it. "We are going to deal with this, Starscream. You should have told me sooner!"
"Y-you're not the most a-approachable of mechs, my l-liege."
Megatron snorted. "You shouldn't be so useless. What should I expect, though? Seekers are all unstable. You know, it's fitting that you are the Air Commander. You know why you are? You're the most useless of the lot, and that's an achievement."
Starscream frowned unhappily. "That's-"
"You all make me feel like purging," Megatron continued, pressing down on him. "Just look at your legs. What's wrong with you? And I just want to tear your wings off!"
The Seeker's optics widened as his wings twitched rapidly in near-hysteria.
Megatron sighed heavily, and read the final Form of Bullying. "'Discrimination. This can be racist, homophobic, sexist, or discrimination of an individual's faith/religion.' I've never discriminated against you."
"You just did," Starscream reminded him.
"You said all Seekers were unstable... a-and-"
"You're right, Starscream. You are all rather bizarre and odd looking. And when did you decide to carve into yourself?"
The second glanced at his etchings. "When you-"
"Get into your emo-corner," Megatron snarled, kicking him brutally.
Starscream scurried into the corner and crouched miserably.
The commander huffed angrily, and paced around, muttering Evilly.
After a long period, his helm turned slowly, and he eyed Starscream, who was curled up and nursing his battered self.
Slowly, he prowled closer, preparing to-
There shined a shiny light from outside of the window.
Starscream cowered in the corner as Megatron's helm snapped round.
From deep within the base, a doorbell rang.
"GET THE DOOR!" Megatron howled. "IF ANYONE WANTS ME, I'M BUSY!"
/Soundwave hears you, Lord Megatron,/ Soundwave replied. /Down, Ravage. Savage our visitor./
There was silence for a moment. Starscream took the opportunity to shuffle away from Megatron, who placed a pede on him to prevent any such action. "Where were we?"
Rather unexpectedly, the door burst open in a giant ball of flame and a tall Cybertronian walked in.
He looked slightly familiar, but Megatron could not place him.
"What is this interruption-!" he demanded.
"We weren't d-doing anything though, master-"
"We were about to," Megatron snarled, glaring at the individual, who quickly began to glow.
So brightly that Megatron couldn't actually look closely at him.
"Who the frag are you," the Decepticon snapped. "Hurry up about it."
"I am Op- I mean, Social Services," the figure rumbled.
"Show me your face," Megatron sneered.
The stranger paused, stuck something onto himself, then dimmed the brightness around his helm.
Grey facemask, blue optics and helm, antennae... he did look familiar.
Megatron narrowed his optics thoughtfully.
It was the moustache stuck cheerfully at a jaunty angle onto the faceplates. The moustache was definitely throwing him off. He just didn't know anyone with a moustache.
The mech raised a red forearm and pointed. "I'm here to collect Starscream."
"He has been mistreated, and it is his right to be taken away where he will be cared for."
"What right? He has no rights!"
"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings," the mech replied solemnly, then cursed in an undertone. "Frag! I told Ratchet I wouldn't say that! Damn- the twins have won their stupid bet!" With a small growl, he shook his helm. "No matter. Starscream, do you want to go to a better place?"
The Seeker blinked, and trembled as the glowing figure reached out to him. "...Are you Primus?"
"No- Prime, actually."
Megatron frowned. Something wasn't right here. "Wait! What are you doing?"
"I'm taking Starscream away. You really are slow, aren't you?"
"He's been abused, obviously."
"That is an outrageous lie! Did he tell you such things?"
"His email did. And his present state shows me this, too." The tall mech indicated the quivering bundle of Seeker on the floor.
Megatron swore rudely. "Frag you. I'll blow you-"
"No thanks. I'm too busy to be killed today. Besides, if you did that I'd have to call on a human to help me, and they're busy too. It would ruin our schedules. And you'd never get Starscream back."
"I-I would lose Starscream?"
"You would," the mech replied. "But if you prove yourself to be a worthwhile guardian, you could potentially get him back."
Megatron watched in despair as the bright mech gathered Starscream into his arms and reassured him.
The Seeker flinched away initially, but clung onto him desperately as he crossed the room. "Am I going to the Pit?"
"No, Starscream. We're taking you to a better place."
"Oh." The Air Commander blinked wearily. "That's good."
Megatron gaped. "You can't just do this!"
"Give me one reason why."
"B-because he's my Starscream-!"
"You should have thought about that," the glowing blur responded.
"But how will I-"
"We'll be in touch," the mech rumbled, then jumped out of the window.
Megatron heard him shout halfway down.
"I CAN'T FLY! JETFIRE, MOVE!"
There was a sudden thwoom as a large aircraft swooped past the base.
Megatron gaped for a moment at the disappearing blob on the horizon before Soundwave trundled in through the smouldering hole. "Lord Megatron; Starscream has gone?"
"Yes, Soundwave," the commander snarled. "Well done, genius." He frowned suddenly in thought, still facing the window. "Wait one minute- Starscream hadn't sent the email."
Soundwave began to back out of the room.
"And he couldn't have sent it, because I was with him. You were the only one with opportunity."
"So-" Megatron whipped around to see Ravage waving his tail happily. "SOUNDWAAAAAAVE! YOU'VE LOST ME MY SEEEEEEEKERRRRRR!"
There wasn't much peace that night.
(Plot hole: let's just say Starscream didn't think of using the internet to find the helpline. ;P)
Onwards, sweet reader!