"He ordered WHAT?" Starscream shrieked over the laughter of his trinemates. Soundwave, who had just delivered the repulsive news, looked equally unhappy.
"Lord Megatron has ordered that you, Starscream, teach lessons on speaking Cybertronian. I am to assist you. Apparently, we have caused enough of a distraction with our 'antics'."
"Antics, he calls them. He has reduced our beautiful language to nothing more than antics. Barbarian." Starscream hissed, shooting a foul look at his cackling mates. Skywarp was laughing so hard he was unable to stand without support from Thundercracker, who at least was trying to keeping his laughter hidden. Starscream was in no mood to acknowledge that, however. "You two have one klik to shut the frag up or I will banish you from out berth for the next ten vorns." Immediately the seekers stopped laughing, but Skywarp was unable to completely stifle his giggles.
"C'mon Scree, you have got to admit it's kind of funny. I mean, you aren't exactly the teaching type."
"It's not as though anyone is gunna listen to the lesson," Frenzy chimed in. The youngling was seated on the floor, watching Ravage try to feed Rumble his own arm. Dumb fragger shoulda known better than to antagonize the kitty cat. The adults were completely ignoring the scene, considering it was a very common occurrence. "Those slaggers are just gunna stare at you and pretend that you're talking to them in a berth room voice."
"Frenzy!" Soundwave snapped, light pink energon flooding pale faceplates. He had gotten into the habit of removing his facemask around the seekers. It altered his voice too much, and he found that he didn't like the robotic way he spoke with it. It blocked far too many of the nuances common in Cybertronian speech. That was fine for dealing with the soldiers, but not for those he had deemed to be friends.
"What? It's totally true!" the young mech looked up at his creator, completely unrepentant.
"It really is 'Wave – ow Ravage, leggo! – cuz, you know, you're all good lookin' and –I am going to kill you! – and Cybertronian is way nicer than the disgusting earth languages – ha! take that! – so they all have these fantasies and crap." Rumble finally managed to get away from his older brother through use of an admittedly cheap shot. "The latest one is about bagging a seeker trine." Immediately three sets of engines started growling darkly and Soundwave buried his face in his hands. Surprisingly, it was Thundercracker who reacted first.
"Fragging perverts think they can touch my mates do they? Let them try I will rip them limb from fragging limb and then shove it up their afts!" The lyrical voice descended into incoherent snarling as two sets of limbs wrapped around their shaking mate. Starscream and Skywarp cooed softly, attempting to calm the possessive mech as Soundwave's family watched in stunned silence. After a long moment Thundercracker calmed, turning to press his face into Skywarp's neck. It had been a long time since he had lost control like that. Not since the first attempted theft of his mates had occurred in Vos, in fact. He would not tolerate such an infringement again. And, from the dark look in his mates' optics, neither would they.
"So I'm thinking that maybe Thunder shouldn't attend your class tonight. That's just asking for a bloodbath." Skywarp grinned, trying to break the tension. The younglings giggled nervously. "Hey maybe he can younglingsit! You lot can ask him all about the time he got stuck in that…" A dark hand clamped over the teleporter's mouth, silencing the embarrassing story.
"Hey!" Frenzy protested. "We wanted to hear that!" Thundercracker resolutely did not look at the pouting youngling. He did, however, make the mistake of looking down at Ravage when the oldest of the siblings stalked forward to rub against his pede. Eldest or not, that youngling could pout as well as any of his brothers. It took all of the flyer's willpower to look away. Ravage huffed in amusement.
"The offer is appreciated, but unnecessary. Ravage, Lazerbeak and Buzzsaw will be on patrol, and I will have Ratbat with me. Rumble and Frenzy are, theoretically, old enough to be on their own for a short time. Tonight will determine if they are able to be trusted to be alone without destroying my quarters… like last time." The twins protested this statement, saying they had only made a little mess while their siblings smirked at them. The seekers grinned, happy to have been invited into the telepath's home. It was a safe zone, their quarters and Soundwave's, a place that they could retreat to when the imbeciles they worked with became too much. Both rooms had been declared a "Cybertronian Only Zone" and not even Megatron bothered them there. Of course, they were unsure whether or not the titan was even aware of these meetings, but that was beside the point.
"No, you fools! I cannot believe I have to teach you fragging sentence structure! When building sentence you start with the subject, followed by the place, person, object and verb! Why are all of you so incompetent?! The subject only comes directly before a verb in English!"
Soundwave observed the gesticulating seeker with amusement. The "class" had been running for about three kliks and Starscream looked ready to massacre them all. Albeit, some mechs were trying (and Soundwave would not acknowledge that he was pleased to note that Onslaught was one of them) but most of the soldiers were clearly not paying attention to anything other than the melodious sounds of a ranting seeker. Some of the more brazen had taking to asking stupid questions, not only of Starscream, but Soundwave and Skywarp as well. So far the younger seeker had simply giggled, while the sapphire mech had refused to answer at all, but he could feel his level of ire rising. He had no wish to be here, and even less desire to deal with the common rabble that was here for fantasy fodder. He stoutly ignored the little voice that said he wouldn't mind giving private lessons to a certain gestalt leader.
A loud crash startled the ground mech out of his reverie. Looking up, he watched as Starscream calmly stepped over the paralyzed body of a large tank.
"Now, someone else tell me how to correctly conjugate the verb "to walk". If you mess it up I will shoot you." The class stayed silent. This was not what they had expected. At a pointed look from the irate seeker Soundwave sighed and gave the correct answer. Satisfied, Starscream turned to his trinemate and demanded that he complete a conjugation as well. Smirking cheekily the black seeker did so, and the unwilling instructor turned his attention back to his "class".
"Soundwave and Skywarp just gave you a demonstration on how to conjugate. Skywarp even used his correctly in a sentence. Now, I hope you were paying attention because I am going to give you a written exam. You will pass with at least sixty percent of the answers correct, or I will shoot you. This is the last time that I will speak this foul language in these lessons. Begin when you get your test." The evil smile on the Air Commander's face did not bode well for his "students." Soundwave was glad he had decided to record this lesson. Thundercracker and the telepath's own creations would find it hilarious, he was sure.
Being alone was boring. The twins had not expected that. Sure, they had the place to themselves, but there were only so many times one could watch old vids, arm wrestle or raid your siblings' belongings. Even playing the contraband game system had gotten tiring. They had beaten every level, like a million times before. Soundwave would ground them for a vorn if they decided to…redecorate their living quarters once again. The screams they could hear echoing from several levels up had stopped being entertaining half a groon ago.
"Dude, I am so fragging bored." Rumble groaned as he flopped down onto his berth, throwing an arm over his optics dramatically.
"What do you want me to do about it?" Frenzy snapped. "I don't have any ideas."
"Well, can you at least go get us some energon? The dispenser's still broken from when Lazerbeak threw Buzzsaw into it."
"Why can't you? You're the one who is bored. Lazy aft."
"Because you're my little brother and you love me?"
"I'm younger by half a klik!"
"Still makes you the baby bro, bro." Cocking a brow ridge at his brother, Frenzy asked,
"And you think this is the way to talk me into getting you energon?"
"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?" the blue twin whined obnoxiously. Throwing his hands into the air, the red twin gave in.
"Fine. But you so owe me."
"Sure sure. Whatever you want. Now get me food! I think my tank is starting to eat itself." Throwing a filthy look at his brother, Frenzy gestured rudely before heading into the hall. He'd place credits on Rumble being asleep by the time he got back. Distracted by these thoughts and his own hunger, the youngling failed to notice the large shadow stalking him through the halls.
Thundercracker was recharging. It was that or sulk about how his mates were in a room with a bunch of perverts who wanted to get them into the berth. Skywarp had been right when he had said Thundercracker showing up at the lesson would lead to a murder. He was no stranger to jealousy, but usually he was better at controlling it. He was the calm, centered focus compared to Starscream's temper and Skywarp's mischievous nature. But he was not blind to the looks that his trinemates garnered, even more so now that they were back to speaking their native languages. The fraggers would probably cream themselves if they heard either of his mates speaking Vosian. In truth however, it was the lust filled stares that he himself was getting now that he had given up speaking the filthy human language. Yes, his deep bass was pleasing, but not so much that he should be the focus of such desire. The sound manipulator was confused, and masking it with rage. Things that he did not understand were a danger to his mates. He had learned that lesson the hard way and would never make that mistake again.
A frantic comm call jolted him out of his rest.
"What is it, Rumble?" He mumbled sleepily.
"Frenzy's gone!" The words were difficult to make out through the youngling's hysteria. "He went to get energon ages ago and I fell into recharge but I woke up because he disappeared from my spark and he won't answer my calls and I can't get a hold of Soundwave because his comms are off and I don't know what to do!" Now wide awake Thundercracker sprang into action.
"Alright listen to me Rumble. Stay in the room. I will contact your brothers and have Ravage fetch Soundwave. I am going to go down to the mess hall and see if I can find Frenzy. Do not answer the door for anything other than your brothers or creator, understand?"
"Yes," Rumble sniffled.
"Good." Cutting the call, Thundercracker immediately contacted the rest of Soundwave's creations. Ravage immediately abandoned his post, running full speed for his creator, while the fliers headed home. Thundercracker set off for the mess hall, but was quickly distracted by faint screams coming from an abandoned service hall. The voice sounded young and as though the owner was in great pain. Without hesitating the wing second turned into the dark hallway and made his way to the voice. He was horrified to find Frenzy's bloody body sprawled across the floor, energon staining it and the walls. The youngling's optics were barely online, and faint, broken whimpers came from his vocalizer. Putting in an urgent comm call to the med bay the seeker scooped up the youngling and turned to leave the abandoned corridor. He never saw the enraged glowing optics or the shot that hit him in the back. He barely had the presence of mind to curl his massive body around his precious cargo, protecting the dying youngling from further harm. Another shot struck him, sending the elite seeker into darkness.