Baby Con, the Alternate Version
"I Believe I Can Fly"
The following day…
"There you go little fellah. Drink up." Bulkhead said gently as he cradled Sparkling Starscream in the crook of his brawny arm while delicately popping the Energon bottle into his mouth.
With eagerness the little Decepticon gripped the container and began draining it. He made tiny purr-like noises as the low grade disappeared.
Bulkhead smirked, "You know, I like him a lot better this way."
"At least it shuts him up for two minutes." Bumblebee remarked, taking a sip of his own morning fuel.
Quite suddenly the empty Energon bottle bounced off of Bumblebee's helmet.
"Hey! What the…?" he swiped his hand with defense.
Bulkhead chuckled,stooping to pick of the empty container. "He's got quite the aim for a little guy."
Bumblebee gave the impudent Sparkling a glare before returning to his fuel, "I'll show him 'good aim' when I throw him out that window."
Since his breakfast was done, Starscream began to squirm out of the green bot's arm.
"Hey, slow down little fellah. Where do you think you're going?" the big mech inquired, trying to keep the Sparkling in one spot.
"I wanna go play!" Starscream insisted very clearly.
"All right. But stay inside the base so we can watch you."
Compliantly, Bulkhead set the Seeklet on the ground and watched him run down the corridor as fast as his little legs would carry him. Starscream, of course, had no intention of staying inside the base. He had a mission; and that mission was flying. The day before he had gotten a lovely taste of that sensation and he wanted to experience it again.
As he rounded a corner he suddenly felt two thin squishy arms wrap around his body and squeeze. The Seeklet let loose a squeak of surprise and wiggled.
He heard Sari laugh as she hugged him, "Hey Starscream where are you going?"
Starscream made an irritated face since his plans were being stalled.
Then he whined, "Noooo…wanna play!"
The teen "baby talked" to him, "But you're just so cute I have to hug you!"
That only made the baby Decepticon whine even more, "NOOO!"
"I'm not letting you go until you say please." Sari insisted.
Starscream kicked and struggled, hissing through his vents.
"Say please and you can go play."
The Seeklet stopped struggling and made a low moaning sound, "Please?"
Sari finally let him go, "Ok then. Go play"
Upon discovering he was free, Starscream made a B-line for the big manufacturing wing of the base.
"But STAY inside!" she shouted as a side note.
Sari followed after him just to make sure he was in sight and not getting into trouble. But when she got there the Seeklet had vanished.
She groaned, "Great…where'd he get to now?"
All at once she heard the hollow bang of an oil drum outside. Curious, she trotted to the windows and immediately she spotted Starscream. He was looking at the empty oil drums outside the base. For a moment he circled them and then seemed to select one, which he climbed atop.
"What in the world is he doing?" the girl wondered.
Little Starscream climbed onto an empty oil drum behind Autobot headquarters. The barrel wobbled precariously as he shakily stood on its top, arms spanned for balance. When he was certain his perch was solid he stared up at the sky. High above, skimming the clouds was a passenger plane of some sort. The Seeklet smiled with wonder and chirped.
If that huge metal beast could fly then so could he.
He stared at the ground a couple feet below.
The only question was: how does one fly?
No one had ever shown him how to fly and he wasn't sure anyone could. None of the other robots could fly. Well… Sari, she could fly with her jet pack thingy. Something deep inside told Starscream that he could fly and he was determined to learn how.
The tiny Seeklet steadied himself on the barrel, his face fixed in a serious frown. He squatted down, wiggling his aft as if to build up some kind of take-off energy. Then, with a mighty leap he launched off the barrel toward the blue sky. But gravity, being impartial to human, Autobot, and baby Decepticon alike, refused to grant him a pardon. He dropped like a stone back onto the concrete, luckily landing on his feet.
Starscream squeaked and stared at the sky again.
That sure didn't feel like flying.
Mentally the Sparkling crossed off the "aft shaking to build momentum" attempt. Stubbornly he climbed back onto the barrel for another go. This time he aimed his arms out in front of him and leaped off his launch pad. His feet still met concrete.
Unbeknownst to Starscream he was being watched by Sari and very soon Bumblebee.
"Whatcha lookin' at Sari?" the yellow mech asked.
Sari put a hand on her hip when her friend approached, "I told him to stay inside...and WHERE does he go?"
"And you're surprised? Starscream wouldn't even do what Megatron told him to do." Bumblebee quirked his head upon looking out the window, "What is he doing?"
"Trying to fly, I suppose."
Bumblebee snorted, "He's never going to fly with those stubby wings. My tire is wider than both of those things tip to tip."
Sari sighed and watched as the magenta Sparkling made another attempt—failed attempt.
"Poor Starscream. Could you, keep an eye on him for me? I have to talk to Prime."
The yellow bot grudgingly nodded.
By his tenth leap Starscream was growing very frustrated. Huffing indignantly the little Con looked back at his "launching" barrel.
Maybe…he needed a higher launch pad?
He looked around and noticed a stack of barrels that was much taller. Determined he ascended the precarious mountain of barrels until he stood at the peak.
Yeah this was much higher.
The Seeklet rose up on the tips of his pointed feet, arms raised.
He would do it. He just knew he would.
Unafraid he sprang from the barrel mountain, grimacing with effort. But, once again, gravity foiled his feeble attempt. Starscream gave a startled buzz as he fell back down. Only this time he crashed into the barrels near the bottom of the pile with a calamitous bang. The magenta Sparkling rolled thruster over helmet across the concrete until he came to an unceremonious stop on his aft. Scuffs and smudges marred his plating.
With a snarl of rage the Sparkling leaped up and tried to kick a rolling barrel. He missed and fell on his bottom again. The Seeklet sniffled and began to cry with frustration.
Why couldn't he fly? He had wingsdidn't he? Why didn't they work?
He let the front of his helmet drop in his hands, lubricants seeping out from under his optic shutters. He cried more and more until he stared longingly at the sky. Then, he saw the roof of the Autobot base—so close to the sky.
"Hi Optimus." Sari greeted the red and blue leader as she entered his personal quarters.
"Hello Sari." the mech turned in his chair.
The transorganic activated her jet pack quickly and ascended onto his desk to be at "eye level" with him.
When she landed she said, "I was just wondering…have you figured out how Starscream turned into a Sparkling?"
The leader sighed through his vents, "Well I have some theories I guess…Ratchet is the primary scientist here. He'll probably figure it out."
"Well what do you think?"
"Me? If I were to guess I'd say the All Spark fragment in his forehead had something to do with it."
She nodded, "I was thinking that too."
He touched a console, "I've been sorting through Teletran's records but I can't find anything pertaining to this kind of incident." He touched another button and a detailed bio of Starscream popped up, "After we captured him once we gained a bit more knowledge of his construction."
Sari frowned, "You mean you didn't know how he was built before?"
"Starscream is what we call a Seeker. Even though most Decepticons are flight capable, Starscream is considered the elite of his faction."
The bio scrolled, "Most of the information on him was lost or deleted…probably by himself. But given his ego, he wanted to leave his achievements intact for anyone to see."
Though she was Cybertronian, Sari couldn't yet read the strange robotic writing. Prowl was teaching her but it was slow going, "So what does it say?"
"Oh it's a long list of flight records and achievements. But I thought this was one didn't fit." He brought up a single string of data, "The Cybertronian Scientific Achievement Award."
"If I remember right, it's a VERY prestigious award given to a top ranking scientist on our world."
Sari blinked, "So you're saying…Starscream was a scientist?"
"Unless this is forged." Prime shrugged, "Of course…with his knowledge of cloning that would make sense. He just turned his drive from science to conquest."
The girl thought a moment, "So he's actually really smart."
Prime smirked, "But chronically unlucky…and too arrogant to make his plans work."
Sari shook her head, "So that's why he can talk so clearly. He's like a child prodigy."
"Maybe so." The red and blue bot glanced around, "Where is he by the way? Weren't you watching him?"
"Bee is doing that right now."
The leader frowned and stood, "That's…I think we'd better check."
"What? Don't you trust Bumblebee?"
Optimus shrugged a bit, "Mostly…unless he gets bored."
Sari activated her jet pack to follow him, "Good point"
The two made their way across the base until they spotted the yellow mech.
"Bumblebee have you seen Starscream?" Optimus asked.
"He was out back trying to fly off the barrels. I think he's still there." he admitted.
"Bee! I thought you were watching him?" Sari scolded.
"Well I was!" Bumblebee argued, "But…"
Suddenly Bulkhead shouted from outside, "HEY! OH PRIMUS! STARSCREAM, GET DOWN FROM THERE!"
The three shared a look and rushed outside to see what was happening. Bulkhead was standing alone in the courtyard his hinged jaw agape as he stared toward the roof.
"What's wrong Bulkhead?" Optimus shouted.
The big green bot pointed a clamp upward. The Autobots and Sari looked and gasped upon seeing little Starscream tottering on the ledge of the base roof.
The girl screamed, hands flying to her face with horror, "STARSCREAM! What are you doing? You'll fall!"
As usual the Seeklet didn't appear to be listening. He was instead looking at the sky, holding his little arms up as if reaching for the clouds.
"How did he even GET up there?" Bumblebee asked incredulously.
Sari shouted, "Who cares! We have to get him down!"
The three Autobots stared at the precarious position of the Seeklet bouncing on his feet as if preparing himself to take off.
"Don't DO that Starscream! You're going to fall!" Sari shouted with worry as she was activating her jet pack.
The girl's pack activating seemed to finally snap the Sparkling out of his mission for the moment. He looked down at the assembled Autobots.
"Just stay put Starscream. We'll get you down." Optimus reassured.
The little Decepticon stomped his thruster, "NO! I wanna fly!"
"You can't fly Starscream! You're too little!" Bulkhead shouted up at him.
"AM NOT!" the Seeklet argued and added, "You're too fat!"
Bulkhead's optics widened at the rude remark.
Optimus held up his hands pleadingly, "Please Starscream! Don't move! Just stay right there."
"NO! I wanna fly!" the Sparkling impudently stuck his "tongue" out at him.
"Little grease spot." Bumblebee growled. "Yeah! Go on! Jump!"
"Quiet Bumblebee!" Optimus barked.
Starscream focused on the sky again, not letting the watching Autobots deter him from his mission. He was going to fly and that was that. Taking a couple steps back to gain momentum, the Seeklet suddenly sprinted for the ledge and jumped, arms outstretched.
"NO!" they all seemed to shout at once.
For the briefest instant the magenta Sparkling seemed to glide, but predictably gravity took hold. When gravity's tug pulled at him, Starscream gave a squeak of surprise and flailed his arms in a desperate attempt to gain some altitude. He tumbled, head over thrusters toward the ground, but luckily Sari swooped in, snagged the Sparkling around the middle, and yanked him away from the ground. The Seeklet was shaking with closed optics but cracked one open when he didn't feel himself falling anymore. Instead of blue sky, the stern blue face of Optimus was glaring at him.
"Starscream! Don't EVER do that again! You could've been scrap!" he scolded as Sari landed.
The Seeklet shrunk down at the leader's tone but cried stubbornly, "I wanna fly!"
"Not today." Optimus shook his head. "Bulkhead put him back in his play pen. I don't want any more accidents."
"All right Boss Bot." the big mech took the Sparkling and did as he was told.
"But I wanna fly! I wanna fly!" Starscream cried as he was taken inside.
Optimus shook his head again, "If he keeps that up he's going to seriously hurt himself."
"Poor Starscream. He just wants to fly so badly." Sari mentioned sadly as she began to follow Bulkhead into the base.
Later in Prowl's quarters…
Prowl was in the middle of a Spark Centering mantra when the chime at the door made his sharp blue visor arch with interest…and mild annoyance at being interrupted.
Sari appeared from behind the retractable shade, "Hey Prowl."
"Good afternoon Sari." The lanky black and gold mech greeted, getting out of his akimbo stance.
"Could I ask you something?"
He nodded, "Of course."
"Well…it's more of a favor."
"What kind of favor?" the mech asked.
"Could you…I mean…would you be able to teach Starscream how to fly?"