A/N: Ok…I've had this story stashed away in my computer for God knows how long and decided to go ahead and share it with my readers. This was my other option to "Baby Con" but I abandoned it. NOW… I can't promise this will turn into a full blown story like my first Baby Con nor can I promise fast updates, BUT I figured you readers would get a kick out of this so here you go.
Baby Con, the Alternate Version
By Fire Redhead
It was an all out battle inside the improvised Decepticon headquarters on Earth. Megatron and his treacherous, former Second in Command, Starscream were locked in yet another fight for the right to lead the Decepticons. Thus far the score was stacked highly in Megatron's favor with no wins for Starscream and a whole string of humiliating defeats for the SIC. But, true to his nature, the tenacious Seeker refused to accept defeat. He was utterly convinced of his destiny and would never stop until it was achieved.
Megatron snarled, swinging his battle swords in intricate swipes, trying to deliver a blow that would end the traitor once and for all. Somehow he'd come back from every "termination" and Megatron still didn't know how. Starscream ducked agilely and jetted around his former leader to gain an angle. Megatron wheeled fast, sword just nicking the top crest of Starscream's helmet.
"You're a fool if you think you can defeat me Starscream!" the warlord growled, "So many pitiful attempts, I thought by now you'd learn you cannot conquer the unconquerable!"
"Says you Megatron! Every leader falls and you will be NO exception once I'm done with you!" Starscream rasped, flying around him.
The Seeker fired repeatedly at the Decepticon leader, trying to get a clear shot of his Spark Chamber. However, Megatron was skillfully parrying any shots aimed at his chest. Suddenly, the Seeker saw an opening and dove at Megatron. Magenta hit silver with crushing force as Megatron accidentally released his sword. The huge weapon slid noisily across the stone floor and in an instant Starscream snatched it up. He arced around to face Megatron again.
"So how do you feel now that you are helpless Megatron?" Starscream taunted, leveling the sword.
"Helpless?" the warlord spat, "You truly are delusional to believe that I am helpless."
Megatron leveled his hefty arm gun at the Seeker.
"I know your energy levels are low, Megatron." Starscream mentioned with narrow optics, "Firing that will only—"
Starscream narrowly missed a hit to his chest.
"…it will only make me feel better." Megatron finished the sentence.
Starscream swooped around fast, sword raised for a blow but suddenly Megatron leaped up and kicked him hard in the shoulder. The Seeker, thrown completely off balance, spun sideways and hit the electro-magnetic beam that helped power the base. The Seeker's optics shot open as he screamed at an audio-shattering decibel. Megatron watched Starscream's pain with smug satisfaction.
Suddenly the pinkish light began to glow blue and eventually mixed to purple. A flash of light made Megatron's optics offline to shield them from the intensity.
He heard his sword clang on the floor.
When his optics rebooted the room was dark. The electromagnetic field had overloaded and shut down. And what was odd was Megatron didn't see Starscream anywhere. The warlord went on the defensive, waiting for the wily traitor to pounce from the shadows.
A squeak caught his attention just below the electromagnetic generator. Megatron directed his arm cannon at the sound. As he stared down the barrel of his weapon he suddenly caught sight of the source. The warlord lowered his arm, his optics cocked at a puzzled angle.
"What in the name of the All Spark?" he hissed upon seeing a tiny magenta, gray, and black-colored Sparkling with large, red optics, and two stubby wings budding from his back. There was no doubt it was Starscream, but a Sparkling version of him.
How in Cybertron had THAT happened?
"Lord Megatron!" Lugnut came thundering in, "Are you all right?"
"Of course I am you fool." Megatron groused.
His loyal minion was bristling his weaponry, "Where is that traitor Starscream? I'll blow him into…"
"No need Lugnut." the silver leader smirked forebodingly. "I believe his fate is sealed."
As Megatron took a step forward Lugnut looked down to where his leader's optics were directed.
The single optic blinked, "That's HIM?"
Megatron nodded; that same dark smirk on his face.
"Oh-HO." Lugnut agreed with his master.
The Sparkling rubbed the outer lenses of his optics and blinked rapidly. He looked like he'd just awakened from recharge. Suddenly the darkest shadow imaginable engulfed him. Optics wide, Sparkling Starscream slowly looked up at the pair of terrifying giants looming over him. His mouth opened, chin quivering as terror stole his voice.
Megatron put a hand to his audio as if trying to hear a noise, "What's that Starscream? No snide comments? No threat to end my existence?"
The little Seeklet was silently shaking like an aspen leaf in the breeze.
Megatron's smile was that of grim satisfaction, "No? Going to spring an oil leak instead I suppose, hmm?"
Little Starscream's optics were brimming with lubricant as he suddenly sprang to his feet and ran down the nearest passage as fast as his stubby legs could carry him.
"You always were a little coward weren't you Starscream?" Megatron called after him.
"Shall I crush him Megatron?" Lugnut offered.
The warlord held up a hand, "No. He is no threat to any of us now. I will deal with him though. After all, he WAS my Second in Command."
"Of…of course glorious Megatron. As you command."
With that Megatron marched briskly after the fleeing Sparkling, an almost giddy bounce to his step.
How fitting for Starscream to suffer such a humiliating indignity. Initially he would've just offlined him and would've been done with it, but this fate was much better than a quick termination.
Little Starscream was indeed fast, but Megatron's phenomenal strides soon overtook him. With a swift scoop of his hand the warlord seized the terrified Seeklet and made his way to the mine's main exit. Starscream kicked and struggled, squeaking plaintively as he tried to free himself from the tyrant's grip.
Megatron smirked at the Seeklet whom had once been the biggest shard in his armor, "Yes…I believe your final disgrace shall be to go offline at the hands of some feeble organic."
"No!" the Sparkling cried scratching at the fingers clenching him.
But his baby claws could do little against the Decepticon's impregnable armor. Megatron reached the same stone ledge Lugnut and Blitzwing had disposed of Starscream so many times before and stared down at the river below a moment. A sinister smirk continued to lift his mouth plates.
"Well this is it you traitorous little nuisance. I will finally be rid of you."
Starscream continued to squirm in his grasp.
The Decepticon leader suddenly opened his hand to drop him, but the Sparkling clung to his hand with a shriek. Megatron shook his hand but the Seeklet hung on for dear life.
"Still persistent I see." Megatron mention as he rearranged the Sparkling into his hand again. "There's something I've always wondered Starscream. Were you born to fly…or did that ability come later?"
Suddenly Megatron's fingers flicked sharply, casting the Sparkling from his hand like a marble. As he fell, Starscream tried with desperation to fly, but he met the river with a meager splash instead.
Megatron gazed over the ledge a moment as the ripples faded with the current, "Hmm. It must've come later then."
Luckily for Starscream Cybertronians didn't need oxygen to survive. The river pushed him downstream a couple miles before he managed to claw his way to shore. He was shaking as his core temperature was brought low by the water. The Seeklet lifted himself up. He was all covered in mud from the bank but managed to scramble away into the forest beyond.
He had to run or that giant silver monster would get him!
It was dark, it was muggy, and little Starscream was completely lost. Vegetation scraped at his metal as he clawed his way forward. Nothing looked familiar and the sounds of nocturnal creatures filled his audios. All at once he saw a pair of glowing yellowish eyes in the branches ahead of him. He stopped and froze.
Starscream ducked, covering his helmet as an owl swooped over his head. He let loose a squeak of fright and bolted through the woods like his life depended on it. A coyote howled somewhere in the dark. Starscream ran faster, tripping over roots and stones clumsily. The Sparkling ran for what seemed like forever when suddenly he heard the hissing and rumbling of something non-organic just ahead. For a second he thought better of it, but anything had to be better than this crazy organic forest!
When he stumbled out of the trees he discovered how wrong he was.
A loud noise and a blur of metal whizzed by him. Little Starscream skidded to a stop on a paved road.
Starscream jumped as another metal shape sped by honking its horn loudly. He spun with panic, trying to find a way off of this scary path swarming with fast-moving, rolling machines. Another zoomed by making him stumble and fall across the centerline.
The louder, deeper horn made him turn and his features fell with horror. A huge, brightly lit, metallic beast was barreling toward him. Fear froze him in place, making him the very embodiment of the "deer in the headlights". The semi honked repeatedly, smoke hissing from beneath its squealing tires as it tried to stop. A horrible grinding sounded as the trailer jack-knifed across the center line. The Seeklet covered his head and just before the huge semi could smash him with its bumper, it stopped. A series of horrendous sounds followed; glass shattered, metal crunched, plastic cracked, and engines hissed. And there sat the little Seeker in the middle of it all; the key stone that had caused all this chaos.
Realizing he wasn't dead or smashed, Starscream slowly uncovered his helmet and stood up in front of the imposing grill of the semi. The horrible noises kept rising and were mingled with the shouts of angered humans.
"WHAT the HELL, asshole!" a man shouted.
"You nearly got us KILLED!" a woman added.
The door to the semi cracked open and the trucker shouted back almost apologetically, "I had to stop! There's some kind of robot in the road!"
"Why didn't you just hit it? It's just a robot!"
The trucker's boots dropped down, "It's right in front of my truck. I don't think I hit it."
The sound of several footsteps drew closer and Starscream did the only thing a baby Cybertronian wanted to do when terribly frightened.
"AAAAAAHHHHHH!" he screeched at the top of his voice.
The scream was so loud the headlights of the semi shattered followed by the pained shouts of the humans as they covered their ears.
"WHAT IS THAT?" someone tried to shout over the din.
No one heard the question as they were holding their assaulted ears in pain. Starscream kept up his scream for several seconds before he bolted across the scary road as fast as he could.
"There it goes!" a woman pointed to the shadowy figure.
Starscream scurried down the slope of the ditch to escape, but his foot suddenly slipped in the mud. With startled buzzes and squeaks Starscream rolled down the slope until he hit a chain link fence at the bottom. The Seeklet whimpered and sat up with mud wedged in his helmet slats. He blew air through the vents sending the mud spraying everywhere. He sniffled with static and started to cry. All he wanted was someplace warm and safe to hide from all those scary things.
Through the flicker of his optics he all at once noticed a warm yellow glow beyond the fence. He laced his claws through the links. Not far away he saw something across a stretch of road: a big building with a soft light emanating from its windows.
That looked like a safe place to hide…or was it?
"Do you see it?" a human man asked at the top of the hill.
The voices made up the Seeklet's mind as he scrambled over the fence, fell on the other side, and ran to the building just ahead.
The Autobot base…
Ratchet sat alone in his office, trying to draw up some schematics for a new med bay layout. The other Autobots were off base patrolling Detroit for trouble and he had opted to stay behind to get his work done. He always worked better in silence without young bots causing all kinds of commotion.
Ratchet perked his head at the sound. It sounded like something had tipped over one of the empty oil drums outside the base toward the back east wing. The medic grumbled and creakily rose to go check.
When he reached the back sliding door to the warehouse Ratchet carefully opened it and poked his head out. He saw one barrel rocking on its side but didn't see the heat signature of any organic sneaking around. It wasn't uncommon for some organic creature or human to meander by and cause some kind of commotion. But Ratchet had to be sure it wasn't something more serious.
He shrugged and was about to close the door when a pitiful squeak suddenly caught his attention. The medic looked down and his blue optics widened. There at his feet was a tiny magenta, gray, and black Sparkling covered in mud from his helmet all the way down to his chubby thruster feet. At first glance Ratchet felt a wave of pity sweep over him as well as shock at seeing a Sparkling. That is…until he noted the color scheme and the unmistakable red optics. Now, there was no doubt in Ratchet's processor who this Sparkling was as it sniffled with static at him and wiped mud from under his optic.
"OH…OH NO. Nononononono, NO!" the medic shook his head in horror.
Ratchet didn't know HOW the Decepticon second had become a Sparkling but he didn't care. A Decepticon was a Decepticon no matter how big or small.
The baby Seeker peeked beyond the medic's leg at the warm, inviting lights inside the base. He smiled and toddled forward, but Ratchet's leg barred his path.
"Uh uh! NO way Starscream! You go be someone ELSE'S problem!"
The muddy Sparkling tried to maneuver around Ratchet's leg, but the Autobot's large foot jumped forward, touched the tiny cockpit chest, and nudged him back. The Sparkling clanked on his bottom.
"Beat it you little pain in the exhaust!" Ratchet snapped as he shut the door.
No sooner had Ratchet taken two steps away—
[Ksss! Ksshh! Ksss!]
It sounded like a dog scratching at the door. Ratchet shook his head and took a few more steps, determined to ignore the stray.
[Ksss! Ksshh! Ksss! Ksss! Ksshh! Ksss!]
Ratchet ground his dental plates and cracked open the door again, "Didn't I tell you to scram?"
Quite suddenly the muddy Sparkling slipped past his leg.
"HEY!" the medic whirled around to try and catch the invader, but he wasn't nearly fast enough.
The Seeklet raced into the Autobot base and disappeared into the TV room leaving a path of mud prints.
"No! HEY! Get back here!" Ratchet shouted.
When the Autobot entered the living room he caught sight of the red-eyed dervish scrambling audaciously up onto their couch. Starscream took a seat, rolling over into the cushions as if he owned them and in the process got them soiled with mud. The medic growled and activated his magnets which wrapped the Sparkling in an orb of pink light. Little Starscream squeaked with protest as he dug his claws into the couch. He tried to hang on but the magnetic field ripped him off. Ratchet held the filthy Sparkling out in front of him like he was an unwanted mouse caught in the kitchen before curtly depositing him several feet from the doorstep outside.
The door banged shut behind him.
Baby Starscream blinked slowly and glanced back as the warm light was forcibly stolen away from his sight. His lower lip quivered and he wiped a fresh batch of lubricant tears from his optics. His large, wettened optics glared at the door as he pushed himself up. With tenacious determination he marched to the door, took a seat in front of it, waiting. It would open again and he would get inside.
When the rest of the Autobots returned from their patrol Optimus greeted Ratchet as he walked by, "Evening Ratchet. All quiet in the base?"
"Yep." Ratchet answered not taking his optics from his data pad. "Patrols went well I take it?"
"A bit eventful. There was a wreck just up the hill from our base." Optimus mentioned, "The humans claim a little robot caused the wreck but it ran off. I don't know if they saw any little robot but we helped them clean up the wreck just the same."
Optimus shrugged, "We never found any evidence of another robot so we'll keep out optics open just in case."
A flash of lightening brightened the windows followed by a roll of thunder. Ratchet looked up, casting a worried look out the window.
"Hmm. Guess we got back just in time. That second storm front finally moved in." Optimus casually remarked, "Well, pleasant recharge Ratchet."
"Uh…yeah. Same to you." the medic replied.
Though Optimus didn't notice it, Ratchet kept staring out the window from the corner of his optic. He tried to focus on the data pad again.
Rain began to patter against the window as if the thunder was the brutal fist that punched it from the sky. The data pad was becoming far less interesting.
The medic shook his head thinking sourly, "Little slagger is probably long gone anyway…and even if he's not why should I care? He's the most evil Decepticon ever to be spawned from that whole faction. He's never lifted one servo to help anyone but himself."
Ratchet squint his optics with brief concern as the wind picked up but then hardened them.
"Oh for Spark's sake Ratchet, quit thinking about it! It's not like the little monster can't take care of himself." the medic growled mentally.
The rain became a sheeting torrent, roaring against the roof. Ratchet put his face in his palm, massaging the broken crest on his forehead.
"Slag it." he swore under his breath.
Ratchet pushed himself out of his work chair and briskly marched to the back entrance. He paused at the door, mentally debating whether he should open it or not. The rain roared louder against the roof. Finally Ratchet slowly cracked open the door. A bar of light leaped into the rainy darkness, but he didn't see the Sparkling. Ratchet looked to the right and then to the left. Just as he was about to close the door, he heard a rather pitiful sniffle of static and a sob. There, huddled against the base wall, was the little lump of magenta metal. Starscream was hunched over holding a scraggly piece of tin over his helmet as an improvised umbrella, desperately trying to keep out of the rain.
"Oh for the love of…" Ratchet muttered feeling like an ogre for banishing the little guy out in the storm.
The tiny Seeker tilted his tin umbrella upward and upon noticing the light made a frantic B-line for the door. He skidded to a halt when he saw Ratchet yet again blocking the way. Starscream wiped the lubricant from his eyes and growled at him, baring his dental plates.
"If you're going to act like THAT then you can just stay out here and get rusted." the medic threatened as he slowly closed the door. "It's more than you deserve."
The red optics lowered and began to flicker in a distinct Sparkling "cry". The baby Seeker whimpered piteously, rain and mud spilling down his helmet in brown rivers. He sniffled. Ratchet rolled his optics skyward and opened the door all the way.
"All right. Get in here."
Little Starscream ran inside like a magenta bolt.
Ratchet pointed sternly, "But don't think I won't put your little Decepticon aft right back outside if you give me any trouble!"
The Sparkling stood shivering in the entryway dripping a puddle of dirty water around his feet. He dropped his piece of tin and whimpered. Ratchet grabbed one of the "bed sheet" rags he'd been using earlier and dropped it onto the wet Con's head. Starscream squeaked with surprise, fighting the cloth trap. Ratchet was about to bend down and help him dry off when the Seeklet all at once began wiping away the water and mud from his body with a strange meticulousness for one so young. The medic watched him, partially fascinated such a youngling would care so much about how clean it was. It was as if Starscream's vanity had been present all along.
After several minutes he finished and dropped the sheet. Then he toddled back into the TV room. Ratchet followed behind him until the Sparkling scrambled up onto the couch again.
"Sure…make yourself right at home." the old Autobot grumbled sarcastically.
Ratchet sat on a tire-made chair and gave the Sparkling a cross stare, "Now listen up Decepticon. You're going to sit there all night and recharge. I don't want to hear a beep out of you until morning. And then tomorrow when this storm passes you're on your own. Got it?"
Starscream glanced at him but didn't appear to be listening. He lounged against one of the huge pillows and snuggled his helmet into the soft material. His little thrusters tucked up near his body in a classic Sparkling curl. The large red optics closed their shutters.
"I'll be watching you." the medic warned as the Sparkling immediately went into recharge.
Ratchet stayed up most of the night watching the Decepticon Sparkling recharge. Dare he think it…Starscream, the merciless, egotistical, wanna-be tyrant was rather cute as a Sparkling. Not that "cute" changed Ratchet's mind about Starscream. "Cute" didn't change who and what he was. Eventually though, the monotony of the uneventful watch sent Ratchet into recharge as well.
Several hours later…
A nightmare about the base burning down and a tiny demon Seeklet laughing maniacally amidst the flames stirred Ratchet from his brief recharge with a startled snort. His optics darted. No fire. No…well there WAS a demon Seeklet but he wasn't laughing like the Unmaker. Instead Starscream was twitching in recharge.
"Thank Primus…" Ratchet sighed.
Slowly the Seeklet's optics opened drowsily and he gave a big yawn and squeak. He rubbed his optics and sat up, glancing around.
"So, you're awake." the red and white bot glanced out the window noticing a clear early morning sky, "Well it's morning. Time for you to leave."
As the old Autobot rose to pick up Starscream, the magenta Seeklet suddenly made a funny grinding noise and held his black tummy. He whined and looked at Ratchet. The medic recognized the symptoms.
"Oh fine. I'll get you something to fuel up before I send you on your way." he rose and then gave a strict point, "But don't you move from that spot."
Ratchet was only gone for about three minutes when he returned with a quick batch of low grade mixed with oil. Two clawed hands followed by a pair of round red optics poked up over the backrest of the couch. Starscream clicked at him anxiously.
"Hold your pistons in place." the old medic groused, moving around the couch, "You'll get it soon enough."
Suddenly, much to Ratchet's shock, the Seeklet hefted himself onto the backrest and took a flying leap at him. He dodged enough to avoid the Sparkling landing on his head, but Starscream still managed to latch onto his forearm. Ten silver claws dug into his paint.
"HEY! OW! Stop it you greedy little monster!" Ratchet barked, automatically shaking his arm.
The magenta Sparkling held on and reached for the fuel in Ratchet's hand, making determined grunts as he did. Quickly, Ratchet placed the fuel in his other hand and set it down on his chair. In one quick motion he reached over to remove the Seeklet and grabbed him by the back of his wing struts.
The second Ratchet gripped Starscream's wing struts his audios were assaulted by the loudest, screechiest scream ever to erupt from a Sparkling. Starscream released his hold on Ratchet's forearm, wailing as loud as a Boeing 747. The old Autobot winced, trying to cover his audios with just one hand and failed miserably.
Inevitably the horrendous noise startled every Autobot in the base out of recharge and sent them running to find out what was going on. What they found was Ratchet leaning away from a screaming Sparkling dangling from his hand.
"Ratchet!" Optimus yelled over the din, "What is going ON?"
Ratchet just gave an irritated yet helpless look as Starscream continued to live up to his name. The Autobots gasped when the windows nearby began to crack and some shattered.
"OOOWWWWIEEEE!" the Seeklet screeched.
That word made Ratchet drop him on the couch. Starscream bounced once, clamored over the backrest, and immediately took off running, crying the whole way. For several long seconds the gathered Autobots just stood there, too shocked to know what to say as the Sparkling's crying faded into the base.
"Was that Starscream?" Bulkhead asked finally.
"What was your first clue: the look or the scream?" Bumblebee hit his audios to see if they still worked.
"How did he get in here? And how did he find us anyway?" the green mech continued.
Ratchet sighed, "I let him in…and I don't know why I did. Primus must be testing me."
"So HE must've been the little robot who caused that wreck." Prime assumed.
Ratchet nodded, deciding to hold off explaining how he'd seen the Seeklet earlier but didn't let him in then.
Prime just shook his head, "Come on. Let's go find him."
An explanation could wait for now. The Autobots switched on their sensors, searching for the baby Con.
As they searched, Bumblebee asked, "So why was he screaming like that Doc Bot? You weren't grabbing him that hard."
Prowl turned to answer, "His wings are very sensitive."
"Huh?" the yellow bot quirked his head.
"That's why I always tried to aim my shurikens for his back and his wings." the ninja admitted, peeking under a crate, "His wings are a part of him and connect directly into his protoform. They're not just a fancy Mod."
Ratchet growled, "I was JUST trying to get him to quit clawing me! I didn't mean to hurt him. It was just the first thing to grab."
"No one was accusing you." Prowl mentioned calmly.
"Well…NOW you know all right!" the medic huffed. "Besides, I was going to put his Decepticon aft to the curb right after he was done refueling."
Prowl's sharp visor slanted at the grizzled medic, "You…were going to kick him out? A Sparkling?"
"Yes. Yes I was."
"Doesn't that strike you as a tad cold?" the gold and black bot asked.
"Not when it comes to Decepticons." Ratchet huffed, "Especially Starscream."
A/N: Ok there's the first chapter…hope ya'll enjoyed this!