Warnings: AU for G1, and also plays a bit with the bunny located at community(dot)livejournal(dot)com(slash)tf_bunny_farm(slash)358315(dot)html
Notes: Written for the Gen In January challenge on Dreamwidth's the_fic_trader community. The prompt was "Starscream, freedom."
The Right of All
There was once a time, long ago, when personal freedom meant that he could fly as far as he wished. He'd seen different worlds, so very many, some even further from home than the mudball they were currently stuck on. In those days, it was just him and his research partner, studying their finds and just being.
Then the Accident happened, Skyfire offlined on a frozen rock, and Starscream's wings were metaphorically clipped. He thought for sure that there would be no escaping from the cage of his frameset – from the stigma of being warrior-cast – ever again.
He went to the war academy because, according to everyone (except Skyfire, but the opinions of the deactivated didn't count), that's all seekers were good for – flying war machines that had no business in a science lab or any other real profession. And like all other seekers, he excelled; it was in his programming, no matter how hard he tried to forget. So Starscream tuned out, allowed instinct to guide him, and prepared to spend the remainder of his (hopefully) short life as a military drone.
Then another accident occurred, this time during a training session. Another cadet had stumbled too close to the targets on the firing range and took a serious hit to the torso. And somehow, Starscream pulled free of his apathy enough to recall how to tend to the damage. He ignored the grumblings of the rest of his training unit, focused instead on field-patching the hole until one of the academy medbots could assist the mech. Once the emergency was over, he was positive that everyone would forget his actions and life would return to mediocre.
A few cycles later, Starscream was transferred from central combat training to military medic training. It would be nearly a quarter-vorn before he realized that the move was slowly giving him back his sense of self, the same sense that had been lost along with his scientific accomplishments.
Now, vorns later and light years away from home and everything remotely familiar, he had the respect of not only his commanding officer but of the entire Decepticon army. He had a team of engineers that looked up to him and were eager to assist him in whatever way was necessary; he had recently begun to train Hook and Scrapper so that they would be able to perform minor surgeries on their own while he dealt with more serious injuries. He had a trine that watched his back, both mechs well-aware that their wingmate was vulnerable whenever he stopped to assess injured colleagues on the battlefield.
And that, so far as Starscream was concerned, was his definition of freedom, and not even the self-righteous Autobots could take that away from him.
End Notes: I think I'll come back and play in this 'verse some more later. I'd like to compound on how things are different for Starscream amongst the Decepticons while the Autobots are fooled into thinking everything is as it was in G1 continuity...