The stage of a fire whereby a room or other confined area becomes so heated that the flames flash over and through the vapours being produced by heated combustible contents in the space; the sudden and rapid spread of fire through the air, caused by the ignition of smoke or fumes from surrounding objects.

"Cybertron will go on."

With a gasp of rushed air as though to refute such a claim, the jet forced the muzzle of his gun against the other mech's chest, but it did not seem to help much, if at all. That infuriating calm still crawled its tendrils over his limbs, through him….

"Cybertron will live on."

"It will not! I shall see to it!"

There it was again, that know-it-all smirk that Starscream couldn't stand the sight of. The expression that silently spoke the words 'I'm better than you'. That foolish overconfidence that, no matter what, the wearer knew he would be right. And to think, the jet had once been enthralled by that expression.

"Cybertron will fall," growled Starscream, his voice hardly betraying the waver in his spark. The complete lack of anything from his opponent was putting him on edge. Even though Prime surely knew he was defeated, he was still smirking. Still that same Primus-forsaken smirk -! Starscream growled again. He was sure he was being mocked.

"There were Primes before me," said the Autobot leader as calmly as he ever spoke, "and there will be Primes after me."

Starscream shrieked as though the words had driven an energo-sword into his very spark. His words, when they came, were furious and jumbled. "There will be Decepticon leaders after Megatron!"

"Who? You?"

A burning humiliation grew in the pit of Starscream's abdomen. "Don't you dare -" but Prime had already spotted the weakness – or perhaps he had known it was there all along.

"You! Lead in place of Megatron! Don't make me laugh. You're no more a leader than I am a mine-slave."

Starscream howled in fury, beads of fluid flying from his lips as he hurled back his head like a wounded animal. The muzzle of his weapon, though not sharp, pierced Prime's shoulder with the strength of the jet's rage as he thrust it forward.

Just like always, Prime didn't even show any pain. Damn son of a glitch.

"What will this accomplish?" the Autobot leader growled, his voice sonorous and low enough to be called a purr. The vibrations caught Starscream by the throat and choked his first words. "What are you planning to achieve? You will be wiped out and Cybertron will go on. Just as it always has done. Primus has ways of regenerating the losses of his children."

Wrenching his gun to the side with a feral growl, Starscream tore Prime's shoulder open. Energon spattered up onto his face, over his lips, but he was too distracted to even lick it away – something he usually found most enjoyable during the heat of a kill. From the look in the calm purple optics, it was obvious the Autobot leader knew of his fate. That just irritated the jet further.

Rage fighting the dregs of his fear, pushing them aside, he pressed the gun's muzzle once again against Prime's chest. Had he touched that same plating with his fingers, he knew he would have felt the heat of the other mech's spark beneath.

A trickle of energon escaped a bitten lip, the tetrajet's grey features, so dark they were almost black, were taut and purposefully blank as one slender blue finger tightened around the trigger. Although the shot was all but silent, ripping through the still air like a beacon to those still-loyal Autobots patrolling the area, Starscream did not seem to hear it.

Prime's body slumped to the ground, the glow from those iridescent mauve optics flickering and finally dying away, sputtering out in a metaphor of the leader's spark. Instinctively, Starscream took a step back away from the lifeless corpse, taking a moment to get himself under control. This weakness would not do; it was not as though he had not seen death before – as though he had not caused death before…

Shakily, ignoring the crescendo of no-doubt Autobot voices from the surrounding maze of narrow alleys and winding streets, the jet opened a communications link.

"Megatron," he gasped into the small in-built radio on his wrist, "Megatron –"

"What is it, Starscream?" snapped the hoarse voice, distorted with static from the poor connection. Starscream glanced back at the still-smoking corpse as though it might attack him, though the disgust was evident on his faceplates.

"Zeta Prime is dead."