Running Wild

Important information:

"..." Speaking

:...: comm. link

'...'bonded speech

'...' thinking

Astrosecond- 2.5 earth Seconds

Klik- 150 earth seconds/ 2.5 earth Minutes

Orn- 150 earth minutes/ 2.5 earth Hours

Joor- 60 earth hours/2.5 earth Days

Metacycle- 17.5 earth days/2.5 earth Weeks

Vorn- 10 earth weeks/2.5 earth months

Stellercycle-30 earth months/2.5 years

Breem-slang for a moment/minute.

Night Cycle: star down to star up

Day Cycle: Star up to star down

Authors Note: First and for most I would like to thank my two fabulous betas, Maverick1997 and Brighter Than the Sun (aka Sunny). You guys rock my socks!

Ok so this is a HUGE au. A cross over from Transformers G1 and the Bay verse. The human characters are much more entertaining to write with in Bay verse, but I love the story and characters frames from G1. So with very few exceptions (coughcough-Roadbuster and his awesome accent-coughcough) the Cybertronion characters will be from G1.

Disclaimer: I own nothing! Nothing I say!

Summary: After being shot down by Autobots, Thundercracker's trine is forced to leave him behind. With no way home, he seeks shelter in an empty horse trailer, and its owner is less than thrilled…

() () ()

The sky was still and quiet over the plains of Nebraska. The sun was just beginning to set in the summer sky, painting the once blue horizon with pinks and reds. Below the setting sun, corn stalks swayed gently in the breeze, looking like soft waves that drifted over the earth. It was a serene, gentle scene, where crickets were just beginning to chirp and birds were settling in for the night…

Three F-15 fighter jets screamed across the darkening skies, effectively destroying the peace. Their roaring engines sent flocks of birds soaring with fright and silenced the crickets instantly.

The jet engines were pushed harder and faster , riding the air currents as they rose into the sky. One of the jets, which oddly appeared to have been painted blue and black, suddenly pulled away from the other two. It shot away from the others with a car-aack of a sonic boom that shook the ground far below.

A red, blue and white blur shot forward, racing towards the blue F-15 and quickly caught up to take the lead once again. Not to be out done, the tri colored jet suddenly dipped its nose to the ground, putting itself into a flat spin. It became a blur of red, white and blue as it picked up momentum, spinning dangerously towards the ground. When it looked as though the F-15 would crash into the earth and cause its own destruction, it pulled out of the spin. The jet did so with seemingly no effort and grace as it shot skyward again to rejoin the formation. The jet's afterburners working hard and engines screaming with the effort.

The tri colored jet evened out once it reached its blue companion. If jets could look smug the tri colored jet certainly would have. You could tell by the way it flew, suddenly dipping its nose up and evening out again, repeating the manoeuvre with ease multiple times while keeping its place among the two other fast paced jets.

Far behind the two faster jets, the purple one struggled to catch up. No matter how hard the purple and black jet pushed its engines, it could never quite keep up. Technically it should have kept paced easily, its design and engines exactly the same as its companions'. Its engine sputtered, as if irritated, before the jet disappeared in a flash of purple light. It suddenly reappeared directly in front of the other two jets, causing them to veer in different directions to avoid certain collision.

As Skywarp transformed to his bipedal form and stretched out to allow him to fly with his back to the ground, arms bent so that his servos were placed beneath his helm. The seeker's long legs stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankles. The flight seemed graceful despite the effort his engines were using to keep him sky bound.

The teleporter shot his trine mates a cocky grin. :Teleporting abilities, I have, speed matters not!:

Realigning themselves, so that they flew just behind the purple jet, Starscream and Thundercracker sighed. Over their private comm. lines Starscream sneered :No more Star Wars Skywarp. I'm sick of you speaking like Yoda.:

Skywarp's grin grew tenfold. :Aggravates Megatron, but it does! Speak like this, continue, I shall!:

Starscream growled through the comm. link, a task in itself as sending just noise was very difficult and often didn't work. Luckily for Starscream though, he had lots of reasons to practice making wordless noises through the comm. :But it is aggravating me. That is rather counterproductive to your endeavors.:

Skywarp just laughed at his trine leader, sending waves of joy to Thundercracker through their spark bond. The blue seeker sighed inwardly, a habit he had picked up since coming to Earth. 'Come on 'Warp. This is supposed to be a peaceful flight. You can harass 'Screamer when we make it back to base.'

Skywarp pouted, unhappy that his bonded had insisted that he leave Starscream alone. 'No fun.' The purple jet stuck his tongue out at his mate as he dropped below the other fliers, transforming back to his alt form. Evening out, Skywarp rose to fly on Starscream's other side at the same time Thundercracker dropped back so that the three formed a triangle, the symbol of the trine.

Calmness filled the three seekers then, at least for a little while. There was no war, no death, no Decepticons, no Autobots; Nothing but three frames flying in perfect unison and the wind beneath their wings.

Thundercracker mildly noted that they were flying over a large horse farm. In his peripheral vision he had spotted two riders following a gentle trail back to the barns. The height and speed at which they flew meant that the blue seeker couldn't make out any physical traits of the flesh bags. The proud seeker brushed it off, they were in too good of a mood to bother with the dominate species of this dirt ball.

'They're lucky.' Thundercracker mused to himself as they flew by. Any other day, the three seekers would have attacked the farm, for no other reason but their own entertainment and to destroy the peace that had filled the land. However today, even the seekers were enjoying the peace.

Suddenly filled with joy, the blue seeker sent a pulse of love to his younger mate. Skywarp made a pleased noise and sent his own love volleying back to Thundercracker, who soaked it up like it was the last bit of energon on Earth. The pair had to be careful where and when they would let emotions like that slip through the bond. Love for someone else, happiness without pain and joy without destruction were just some of the emotions that were considered weak within the Decepticon army.

If anyone found out they were more than just, as the humans crudely called it, fuck buddies their lives would be ended. No ifs, ands or buts. Megatron would deactivate one and watch the other wither away with guilt and loss. A weakness like love was not tolerated within the Decepticon army, and a spark bond was met with the death of both parties. It was safer for everyone in the army to destroy a mated pair within the safety of the base, where their deaths would not cause problems in the heat of battle.

Thundercracker had always hoped that if they were ever discovered, Megatron would destroy Skywarp first and do it quick. The blue seeker would willingly take the place of the one to wither away, becoming a former shell of himself before joining his mate in the well of sparks…or maybe the pit. Either way, Thundercracker did not want his mate to suffer, and had already come to terms with the actions he would have to take to ensure Skywarp would not suffer.

Another volley of love brought Thundercracker out of such morbid thoughts. They were careful, so very careful. Starscream, the only other Decepticon that knew of their bonding, had outlined rules that they were to follow to make sure that no one else would find out. As leader of their trine the tri colored seeker had instinctively known what they had done.

Not overly impressed with their actions, Starscream had shaken his head in irritation then set about 'cleaning up their mess.' Since then, the three of them had taken precautions to protect the secret; as long as they were outside of their quarters there was to be no physical affection, no gentle touching, and no touching outside of training ever! Of course there were to be no soft, gentle or comforting words either. Even in the safety of their quarters they had to be careful; if Soundwave caught the wrong thought and found out that their relationship was deeper then purely physical, he would surely tattle to Megatron. That was, of course, even before you considered Soundwave's little pack of spies. In the end their safety had become Starscream's top priority, even placed before Megatron's orders. Although, if Thundercracker was placing bets, he was sure that Starscream was only doing it to spitefully get back at their leader. Either way, Thundercracker didn't care.

Sighing again, Thundercracker sent out a message along the comm. lines. :We should be getting back soon. No need to for Megatron to catch on to our little outings.:

Skywarp, who had become bored with flying in a straight line and had begun doing tight cork screw spirals, made a noise of displeasure. :Aw, come one TC. We haven't been out here for long. I'm sure Magster hasn't noticed us gone yet.:

:You don't know that Skywarp. We can't take chances.:

Skywarp whined, and straightened out again. :Staaaaaarscream! I don't wanna go back yet.:

Starscream sighed, and mentally shook his head. :Again, why did you bond with him Thundercracker?:

If he could have, Thundercracker would have shrugged. :Was a good idea at the time.: The blue jet replied in a playful tone.

Starscream snorted, while Skywarp made a noise of indignation deep in his engine. :Either way, Thundercracker is right. We should go back before our absence is noticed.: Starscream said firmly, not wanting Skywarp to argue.

Skywarp sighed in a subdued way. :Fine. But you guys suck.: Thundercracker knew that if he could, Skywarp would have pouted.

As the trine began to fly through an incoming storm, pushing their engines to rise above the low cloud cover and associated lightning, their comm. crackled to life.

:Starscream, where are you and your idiotic trine?: Megatron's cold voice rang through their processors, freezing their sparks in fear.

But Starscream kept his cool, use to dealing with their irate leader. :Patrolling, my liege.: The aerial commander lied smoothly, keeping his tone respectful.

:Patrolling?: Megatron asked, his icy voice churning the three fliers tanks.

:Of course. What else would we be doing?: Starscream asked, his usual sarcasm sounding too forced to be natural.

:Do you take me for a fool, Starscream?: There was something their leaders voice that made Thundercracker nervous.

The blue jet pinged his trine leader. :Something's not right.:

:I know.:

:I think we've been lead into a trap.:

Starscream paused before answering. :I believe you're correct Thundercracker.: His pitch was higher than before as realization set in.

Continuing as though no communication between Thundercracker and himself had occurred, Starscream commed his leader. :Of course not Megatron, you are our magnificent leader. Our merciful leader.:

From the dark clouds a massive grey form emerged and Megatron dropped down beside Starscream, forcing the two seekers behind them to drop back even farther. Megatron was in his bipedal form with the turbine engines that Starscream had been forced to place within Megatron's pedes keeping him air born. Their leader shot Starscream a dark look and snarled, but the noise was lost to the rushing wind of their flight. :Pray tell Starscream, why are you patrolling so far out from base?:

The tri colored seeker recovered from his shock quickly, and tossed out another lie that would save the trine from punishment. :We were along the fourth quadrant patrols when we picked up an Autobot spark signature. We came to investigate.:

The lie was smooth and delivered in Starscream's normally nonchalant manner. But Thundercracker could feel Skywarp's fear leak through their bond as Megatron's silence seemed to stretch into human minutes.

'He's not buying it TC! He's not buying it! We're dead! We're all so dead.' Skywarp's frantic feelings nearly caused Thundercracker to fall from the sky. But the blue jet managed to stay calm enough as not to alert their leader.

'Hush Sky. Let Starscream do his work. If anyone can convince Megatron of our innocence's, it'll be 'screamer.'

'But…but Megatron never believes Starscream! He's going to find out, and we're going to get punished for it!'

Thundercracker sent a feeling of calm to his mate in a desperate attempt to reassure him, worried that Skywarp's fear would cause him to do something stupid. But deep in his spark, Thundercracker worried about the harsh beating that they would no doubt receive when they arrived back at base.

:Odd, don't you think.: Megatron said far too calmly through the comm. lines. :that the only spark signatures that I have been able to detect, has been only you foolish lot. Why do you think that is?:

:They are able to move quickly through the terrain here. It's far too easy to lose them.: Starscream said quickly, hoping that the lie didn't sound as lame to his master as it did to him.

Megatron's grey fist shot up and smashed into the underside of Starscream's wing, cracking the sensitive appendage. The tri seeker gasped and quickly transformed back into this bipedal form to remain airborne. The opposite arm shot up to the damaged wing as energon began to leak down the length of the appendage. "Please, master! It's not what you think! They were right he-" Starscream's begging was caught off when Megatron's heavy fist wrapped around his delicate throat plates, cutting off his words.

Thundercracker and Skywarp transformed and froze behind their leader. Skywarp whimpered and quietly floated behind Thundercracker, seeing his older mate as safe in situations like these. But needing to keep up appearances, Thundercracker discreetly waved him away. 'Not now Skywarp, we'll deal with this once we're back in our quarters.'

From behind him, Skywarp nodded and gently floated away from his mate. But Thundercracker noted it was only just enough to not raise suspicion.

"You are pathetic Starscream." Megatron snarled, no longer bothering to use the comm. lines now that they were no longer flying. "A pathetic little worm. Now, get your useless trine back to base before I dismantle you here and now."

The leader released his SIC and shoved him hard away from his heavy built frame. Coughing hard and doubling over with the effort, Starscream managed to speak. "O..of course Megatron, our great, merciful leader."

The tri colored leader turned and motioned with his helm for the other two to go. As Starscream turned to follow, Megatron's foot shot up and kicked the F-15 hard in the aft. This sent him shooting forward, crashing hard into Thundercracker.

The blue seeker managed to regain his balance quickly and keep his commander air borne. Once the pair where stable again, Starscream turned to shoot Megatron a dirty look. Looking as though he were about to start an argument, Thundercracker placed a servo onto a grey shoulder plate and squeezed hard. :Don't 'Screamer, he's baiting you. Don't give in to him.:

Starscream snarled, but didn't respond to either his leader's actions or his trine mates words. Instead he jerked his shoulder out of Thundercracker's grasp and flew past him. Megatron chuckled darkly and floated up beside the blue seeker.

"Get going Thundercracker, wouldn't want to fall behind." Megatron said cruelly, with a sick sense of joy in his tone.

Keeping his faceplates lax and unemotional, despite his rolling tanks, Thundercracker nodded and turned to follow Starscream. Then, a blimp on his sensors had the blue seeker tensing and ready for attack.

With the sun now completely down, the Nebraskan planes were inky black and impossible to see anything from the sky. But from that inky blackness, a rocket came screaming up at Starscream.

"STARSCREAM MOVE!" Thundercracker shouted, hoping that the tri colored seeker could get out of the way in time.

But with his wing damaged, Starscream's maneuverability was hampered. The tri colored seeker froze, knowing that even if he did tried to move out of the way he wouldn't make it. There was a flash of purple and a ftzz as Skywarp teleported beside his trine leader. The teleporter rammed hard into his leaders side, throwing both of them out of the path of the rocket.

It flew past them both harmlessly, shooting off into the distance. Thundercracker sighed in relief before shooting to his trine mates, concern slipping past his strong defenses. The blue jet helped right both of his trine mates, gripping a grey arm plate in one servo and a black one in the other, keeping them air borne.

"Are you two alright?" Thundercracker asked, trying to keep his voice emotionless. But witnessing his bonded mate and trine mate nearly die had the blue jet shaking just a little.

"Yeah, we're okay TC…can we go home now? I'm done flying." Skywarp said quietly, his panicked red optics were shooting around the ground.

Megatron suddenly shot past the seekers, leaving them still shaky in his own haste to escape. Getting a grip of himself much faster than Skywarp, Starscream snarled "We need to go now! GO!"

Thundercracker nodded, grabbing hold of Starscream with both servos and dragged him along the sky, heading back towards the horse farm they had seen earlier.

Moving as fast as Starscream's damaged wing would allow, the seekers followed their leader.

:Why are we retreating? Why not fight the Autobots?: Skywarp asked, getting his nerve back.

:Tell you what Skywarp, you go down and find them. Let us know how it goes for you.: Starscream snapped over the comm. as he began to fly on his own.

Skywarp made an irritated noise as another rocket came screaming up at the three seekers. Skywarp didn't see the rocket coming up behind him and how the teleporter didn't hear it coming, the blue jet never could have guessed.

Shooting away from their trine leader, Thundercracker shoved Skywarp out of the way of the oncoming missile. It shot passed their frames, leaving the paint along their sides blistering from the heat. Hanging still in the air, Thundercracker released his purple mate.

'Skywarp! Pay attention, I'm not always going to be here to protect you!' Thundercracker snarled across their bond as worry and fear bled across with his words.

The purple seeker rolled his optics at his mate and huffed with his ire. 'TC, I don't need you to protect me all the time! I am more than capable to take care of myself.'

Feelings of anger and aggravation hit Thundercracker from Skywarp's side of the bond. The blue seeker sighed and tried to keep his irritation from his mate. Thundercracker knew he had failed when Skywarp's faceplates crunched up with his own irritation, glaring at his blue and black mate. 'Come on Skywarp, let's get out of here.'

Thundercracker went to grab Skywarp's arm, but the purple jet jerked out of his grasp and shot past him. The blue seeker shot one last glance down at the ground, irritated when he spotted nothing. Giving his black helm a hard shake, Thundercracker shot after his mate and caught up very quickly.

Coming to fly beside Skywarp, so that the purple flier flew between himself and Starscream, Thundercracker sent a wave of love to his irritated mate. Skywarp shot another dark look at the blue seeker, and clamped down on the bond, blocking anything from being transferred. Thundercracker frowned at his mate and used the comm. to speak with him. :Stop being so immature. We'll deal with your insecurities when we get back to base. :

:I'm not insecure!: Skywarp snarled back, a burst of anger slipping through the bond.

:Skywarp, enough! Let's just get back to base and argue there.:

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Skywarp couldn't get over his irritation. :You suck Thundercracker, and sometimes I don't know why I bonded with your cranky aft!:

Hurt flashed through Thundercracker spark, but managed to keep his side of the bond closed from his mate. He refused to allow the purple jet to know he was hurt by something as simple as words. Instead the blue jet shot the purple seeker a dark look, refusing to answer.

:Stop it, both of you! I don't need to know what you're saying to know that you're fighting. Our moronic leader is getting suspicious.: Starscream snapped, easily noticing the tension between his trine mates.

A head of them, Megatron kept shooting them confused glances, his calculating optics focused far too much on Thundercracker and Skywarp. :If he finds out we're all good as deactivated.: Starscream said calmly, keeping his faceplates passive.

Thundercracker remained silent, but Skywarp's irritation got the better of him. :It's not my fault Thundercracker's a jerk.:

A scream of a third missile had Thundercracker diving out of the way. He barrel rolled hard to the left, away from his trine mates, and the missile rocketed past harmlessly. Smirking Thundercracker thought that the Autobots needed to practice their aim if they were ever going to take down a seeker. Then an astrosecond later a fourth rocket, the sound of the air slipping over its aerodynamic form hidden by the third missile, slammed hard into Thundercracker's side.

It exploded on contact, ripping a massive whole into the blue seeker's side and destroying the lower half of his left wing. Liquid heat ripped through his sensors and a pain so great it blacked out his vision. Warning bells rang in his head and warnings flashed across his HUD. His black servos clamped down onto the damaged area as hot, pink energon leaked over them.

Thundercracker pushed all that aside as he began to fall, plummeting fast towards the ground. The blue seeker slammed his side of the bond shut so that Skywarp wouldn't fall with him, and put all his concentration into righting himself. Rushing head first to the ground was not his idea of a good landing.

Struggling to right himself, Thundercracker tried to force his pedes down so that they faced the ground. The appendages didn't seem to want to co-operate with his commands and hung uselessly above him; his turbo engines struggling to remain active.

The last thing Thundercracker saw before he hit the ground was the same stupid horse farm and a stupid fiberglass trailer that humans used to tote around horses. He wasn't sure why that stuck out in his processor, but it had as Thundercracker smashed helm first into the earth. His vision went to static as his body rolled hard over the ground, his limbs twisting and pulling in awkward ways. He felt his already damaged wing snap completely off from his shoulder, sending a searing pain across his body. His processor blacked with the pain, his vision going blank.

Thundercracker fought against the blackout and onlined his red optics. One of his optics was cracked and sparked when power lit it up, so he allowed it to power off and the darkness consumed him.

() () ()

Somewhere in the inky blackness of the night, Sideswipe stood up. He flattened his black servo and pressed it against his forehelm as though he were blocking the sun from his blue optics. The crimson mech let out a low whistle and grinned. "I told 'ya that if I fired two rockets in quick succession that the second one would take out the seeker."

Sunstreaker, who had been crouched behind a rock and moping about being stuck out in the middle of nowhere, stood to follow his brother's line of vision.

"Whatever. Let's just get the damned seeker and get back to base. The sooner we get back, the sooner I can get this grime out from under my armor."

Shouldering the massive rocket launcher, Sideswipe shook his black helm. "Come on Sunny, that was a great shot!"

"Don't call me Sunny," The gold mech snarled, quickly rising to anger.

Moving towards where the blue seeker went down, the crimson mech smirked at his twin. "Don't worry Sunshine, we'll be back home before you know it! Hey, who knows, maybe Epps will give you a good cleaning and a polish too!"

Sunstreaker snarled at his twin, his golden servo's tightening into fists. "I swear Sideswipe, if you keep it up…"

The gold twin left the threat unsaid, sending his anger through the twin bond. The crimson twin just laughed, and gently punched his brother in the shoulder. "Come on Sunny, let's go get our seeker." With that, the crimson twin merrily walked in the direction that Thundercracker had crashed.

Sunstreaker snarled at his twin. "Watch the paint glitch! I just had it waxed." The golden twin followed his brother, not happy at having to find a dumb seeker.

() () ()

Skywarp watched in a mixture of horror and panic as Thundercracker spiraled out of control towards the ground. The purple jet tried to feel something, anything, across the bond to let him know that his mate was going to be ok.

But Thundercracker had clamped down tight on the bond and nothing was getting through. :TC! TC PULL UP!: the purple jet screamed across the comm.

The teleporter watched in shock as his mate smashed into the ground at impossible speeds. His large blue frame rolling, churning up dirt as Thundercracker's body rolled across the earth, his left wing coming off with a brutal SNAP.

The large blue form of his mate came to a halt, his faceplates buried deep into the earth and he wasn't moving. Pain from Thundercracker's side of the bond burst into Skywarp, causing the purple mech to gasp. In self preservation, the purple seeker clamped down on his side of the bond again, stopping the onslaught of pain.

"THUNDERCRACKER!" Skywarp howled and moved to dive after his fallen mate. But a pair of strong, blue and grey arms wrapped around a purple, black and grey chest plates and arms. "NO! NO! LET ME GO!" the youngest of the command trine screamed, thrashing his Starscream's arms.

:Skywarp, calm yourself!: Starscream hissed at the purple seeker through the private comm. lines.

The purple seeker struggled harder, kicking at his leader in his desperate attempt to get to his mate. :We need to get him 'Screamer! We can't leave him!:

Trying to calm his trine mate, Starscream used as gentle a voice as possible. :I know 'Warp, and we will. But you need to calm yourself, Megatron is already suspicious. Do you really want our foolish leader to learn of your foolish behavior?:

Skywarp stopped his struggling, falling limp in his leaders grasp. :No.: The purple seeker muttered.

Patting Skywarp's helm, Starscream released the purple flier. :Good. Stay here, I'll go fetch our moronic trine mate.:

Skywarp whimpered and fidgeted as Starscream released him. The trine leader moved to go fetch his fallen trine mate, when Megatron's cold voice stopped him. "Leave him."

Starscream whipped around awkwardly with a damaged wing to face his leader's impassive face. "What!" Starscream screeched, leveling a glare at his leader.

"If Thundercracker is not strong enough to get back to base himself, then he does not deserve to come back. The Deception's will be stronger without his weakness if he deactivates." The mammoth Cybertronions blood red optics shifted to Skywarp. "And any other Decepticon that goes down with him does not deserve to live."

Both Starscream and Skywarp froze at his words as Megatron's red optics bore into the purple seeker. He may not have been positive that Megatron knew about the bonding, but Starscream was sure that their leader had a good idea.

Needing to protect the trine, Starscream forced his faceplates to be unemotional. His red optics glanced at Skywarp, who was looking worried and scared, and back to Megatron. Starscream had to make a choice; either follow their leader's order or not. Either way, the trine would suffer. But which was the less of two evils…

Starscream gritted his dental plates and bowed his head, hating himself for doing it. He pinged Skywarp, and made a clear order. :Don't react. I vow to you, we will come back for him first chance we get.:

The purple seeker stiffened behind his leader, steeling himself for what was about to occur. "Of course Lord Megatron. We will do what is necessary for the army."

Megatron's optics narrowed on his normally traitorous SIC. He had not expected Starscream to give up the fight so quickly, and was disappointed that he had done so. There had to be some alternative motive, but what was it?

Skywarp shifted nervously, drawing Megatron's attention back to the purple flier. It clicked in the grey mech's processor then, causing the mech to smirk. The tri colored flier was protecting Skywarp, the youngest and most useless of the three. Megatron snorted at both fliers. "Pathetic," Megatron sneered at the seekers, causing them both to flinch.

Helm still bowed, Starscream clenched his jaw mechanism shut tight. He didn't see when Megatron's grey fist shot up to his black helm, punching him hard. Starscream was forced off balance, stumbling in the air. :DON'T REACT!: Starscream snarled to Skywarp as the purple jet looked as though he were going to help the air commander.

Skywarp froze and looked worried. :Don't look so worried. Keep your face impassive and don't show weakness.: Starscream snarled again. Skywarp did as he was told, dropped his shoulders and straightened his back, keeping his arms at his side. He managed to sweep the emotions off his faceplates to look as blank as the other two.

Starscream took a position of subordination; helm down, shoulders and wings drooping and never quiet meeting Megatron's optics. It was a position that the tri colored seeker had learned long ago to appease his leader.

Megatron snorted at Starscream. "Now there's a good little seeker. Let's go. If Thundercracker is truly worthy, he'll make it back on his own." The grey mech shot a dark look at the purple jet then turned to fly back to base.

Skywarp floated to his leader, taking comfort in his trine mates EM field. :We'll come back right?: The hesitation in Skywarp's tone twisted Starscream's spark in a way he didn't like to admit it could be twisted in.

:First chance we get.: The trine leader assured. Without looking back, the tri colored jet moved to fly after his leader.

Skywarp looked down at where Thundercracker crashed and after making a strangled cry in his throat, flew after Starscream. Guilt and self-loathing eating away at the purple jet's spark; Thundercracker would have never left Skywarp behind.

() () ()

Thundercracker came back online just in time to see his trine flying away, Megatron just a head of them. He didn't bother crying out to them and he wisely kept his end of the bond clamped down tight. He didn't want Skywarp to feel the pain that he was feeling. Although, Thundercracker had an inkling that Skywarp had felt a good dose of his pain when he had slipped offline.

The blue seeker groaned as he moved, forcing himself to all fours. Energon poured from the wound in his side and what was left of his wing as pain seared across his sensors. The seeker coughed hard, bringing up energon as he forced himself onto his pedes.

His long limber legs were shaking as he slowly moved towards the horse farm, his only reference point he had in Nebraska at the moment. He swayed on his pedes as pain ate away at his strength. He just wished the pain would fade, just a little.

The high red barn quickly came into view, with its wooden fences that were pens that kept the four legged creatures that humans kept in. His aching pedes hit gravel as he came to the road, and the seeker lost his balance. He went crashing to the ground, landing hard on his knees. Using his servos to keep himself from eating dirt, Thundercracker looked around for some kind of shelter.

More energon leaked from his wounds and down his cracked chin plates. And the pain…oh the pain. He wished he hadn't crashed as hard as he had, maybe then he would have been able to fly. He cast his blood red optics to the dark sky, glad that his mate had left with Starscream. The blue seeker wasn't angry that they had left him there; a weakness like pity from his trine mates would not be tolerated in Megatron's presence.

Besides, he had forced Starscream into a pact that if he had ever been shot down and lost behind enemy lines, Starscream was to get Skywarp to safety at any cost.

Another wave of pain shuttered through Thundercracker's damaged frame, dragging his attention back to the situation at hand. Looking around for shelter, Thundercracker spotted the horse trailer from earlier, and was glad that it was empty.

Forcing his body to move, Thundercracker crawled across the gravel, leaving a trail of cooling energon in his wake. Pain ate away at every circuit, making the seeker want to lie down and slip into recharge. The doors to the horse trailer were slightly open, so the seeker was able to tug the doors wide open without having to break the lock.

Looking inside, Thundercracker sighed. There was no hay or bedding inside the trailer that would have got caught in his joints and stick to the drying energon on his frame. It would be a tight fit, the blue seeker knew, but with one wing missing he was sure he could. At least getting away from this area would mean getting away from the Autobots. That would at least buy him enough time to get back to base or at least close enough for his Trine to find him. He just hoped that his spark dampener had not been damaged in the crash.

The seeker steeled himself for what he was about to do, Thundercracker thought of Skywarp. If he wanted to see his mate again, he was going to cram his large body into this damn horse trailer. Taking a deep intake of air, Thundercracker climbed inside; his damaged wing struts rubbing painfully along the roof of the trailer. Pulling his remaining wing tight against his back, he slithered along on his belly, pulling himself forward inch by inch until his black helm rested uncomfortably against the trailer wall. He twisted around so that he lay on his wingless side, he pulled his knees up as far as they could so they too, were pressed against the wall of the trailer. He finally pulled his pedes inside the trailer, using the tip of one to pull the doors close as best he could and rested his pedes against the opposite wall from his knees.

In a lot of pain and great discomfort, Thundercracker let his optics power down. No longer able to stay conscious, Thundercracker slipped into an uneasy recharge. Pain ate away at his processor even in a state of unconsciousness, as his self-repair systems tried to fix the damage.