A/N: I suppose it's about time I got back into writing again. This story was originally intended to feature G1 Starscream, but given my recent infatuation for the new model in TF Prime I've revamped this old story into something completely new. As some of you may recall in the G1 episode "A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court" Starscream, Rumble, Ramjet, and Ravage all were transported back to the middle ages where they encountered knights, peasants, castles, kings, and even dragons in their attempts to conquer the ancient world. But (predictably) they are thwarted by the Autobots. While the episode itself was ludicrous and riddled with ridiculous errors it had an interesting base premise: what if Decepticons traveled back in time and conquered the ancient human world? It got me to thinking of a more revamped version, one that I could write and feature TF Prime Starscream as well.
This is set sometime after Armada, upon which Starscream had terminated his last clone in order to acquire a new T-Cog.
To Serve Our Metal Lord
"Chapter 1: A Stitch in Time"
Starscream cried out in agony as he all but welded himself shut once again. His servo flopped over weakly, dropping the fusing tool carelessly onto the floor. His vents were heaving, desperately trying to cool his pained systems. Feeling his clone's deaths and even getting beaten by Megatron paled in comparison to the pain of installing his new T-cog without assistance. He could scarcely believe he had summoned the gumption to even perform the task. Not that he was incapable of the surgery, but psyching himself up to endure the pain had been exceptionally difficult. How many times had he almost gone through with it only to flee from fear of the pain? Pain was no stranger to him, oh no, serving as Megatron's SIC had seen to familiarize him with those unpleasant sensations. Familiar with pain he was, but accepting of it, never. But Starscream finally had had enough of skulking around on foot, unable to fight (and flee) in the way he mastered so long ago. He couldn't stand being confined to the ground.
Now it was done. The T-cog was installed. The only question remained was would it work? After several long moments of regaining his composure and feeling the harshest of the pain subside enough to open his optics, Starscream sat up. His side hurt like thousands of needles were burying themselves in his circuits. His own Energon stained his front chassis and dripped down the surgical table. A weakness made his thin frame shake. He needed to replenish his lost Energon quickly before he collapsed.
Standing tenderly on his sharp pedes the Seeker stood with a grimace. Every move was torture. With limping movements, Starscream went for the stash of Energon he had saved for just this occasion. He was designed and practically programmed to seek out Energon but without certain means the task had become difficult. He opened the compartment that held his stash. It was just a small crystal cluster and several broken chunks he had found. It wasn't refined yet but it would certainly fuel him for several more days. He snatched the meager amount, staring at the comforting blue glow before he jammed it into an Energon canister plugged into his fuel receptor. He twisted the bottle-like mechanism and it began to process the Energon into a liquid which slowly flowed down the tube into his eager systems. The warm familiar surge of energy flowed through his body, filling him with renewed purpose. Energon was everything. It was life, power, and everything he sought to obtain.
If only there were some way to get all the Energon he could ever want and then HE would have all the power. Then all who had wronged him; Megatron being at the top of his "list"; would suffer. Sadly, none of his plans had panned out and he remained the luckless outcast, scrounging out a meager existence on the fringes of a war.
After several long minutes the canister was empty and Starscream felt renewed, albeit the pain was ever so fresh. He stood gingerly and lifted his arm for a small test.
"This had better work." he muttered to himself.
He strained, willing his arm to rearrange and form his blasters. The plates on his forearm twitched. Pain from his side shot up and into his arm.
"Scrap!" he cursed.
But he wasn't going to quit. This had to work…it HAD to! He strained again, face contorted with pain. Just when he thought the plates wouldn't budge they sluggishly slid back, his fingers splayed and slid along his forearms, and the reddish glow of his blaster lit at the tip. Starscream fell to his knees but then cackled with glee at his transformation. It worked! The T-Cog worked! Painful as scrap…but functional. If it was that painful to transform his hand into a blaster he dared not imagine the untold horror of pain that would follow a transformation into his jet mode. Even though Starscream wasn't renowned for good ideas he decided waiting for his systems to adjust before fully transforming would be prudent. At least his blasters worked; although the trade-off was using them would deplete his Energon much quicker than his rockets and he didn't have Energon to spare.
"Well, I suppose a little rest would do me some good." He concluded returning to his makeshift berth.
Even though he was in pain, Starscream allowed himself a smug smirk: he was back in the game.
Just as the Seeker was about to fall into a peaceful recharge the proximity alarm startled him off the berth. He rushed to the view screen and frantically opened the visual. His optics widened in horror as the screen showed seven Eradicons landing outside the Harbinger's hull.
Megatron must've figured out he was hiding out in the Harbinger and sent a strike force to either capture or…eliminate him. Without an ample power supply flowing through the broken vessel Starscream knew he had no means of repelling the force sent after him. He would either have to fight or flee. Flying wasn't an option yet but at least he could form his blaster. Even though he was more than capable of beating a few Eradicons, it still didn't overshadow the fact that he was outnumbered and at an extreme disadvantage. Not to mention even if he destroyed this first task force Megatron would no doubt send more until he got what he ordered.
The choice for Starscream was clear: flee or be scrapped. The Eradicons entered the broken hull and he could hear them thunder toward the laboratory. With a flurry of his claws Starscream began to activate the ground bridge and made sure to grab the remote that came with it so he could bridge himself to another location after he escaped. He really didn't care where he bridged to as long as it was far from Megatron and his goons. As he typed in the commands he noticed something was wrong. The location coordinates were phasing in and out as if the machine couldn't make up its mind and the power was fluctuating.
"Come on! Come ON!" Starscream shouted angrily, slamming his fists into the control panel.
He could hear the troopers outside the lab door.
"Surrender Starscream! There's no way out!"
"That's what you think" the Seeker muttered before calling back in a pleading voice, "All right! All right! I surrender! Just don't shoot!"
Just as the ground bridge finally opened the door flew open and Starscream shot a guided missile into the space, causing the corridor to erupt in flame. Parts flew and smoke curled in its wake.
"Thank you Decepticon scientists." he thought as the green portal swirled before him.
Wasting no time Starscream ran headlong into ground bridge. As he ran he noticed the portal was behaving strangely. Normally the energy swirled around the tunnel, but the energy sparkled like static and bits of blue were seeping into the green. But he didn't have time to worry about the ground bridge as red laser fire hit the energy walls around him. He glanced over his shoulder to see three of the seven Eradicons chasing him. Starscream painfully transformed his arm and fired back. Finally, the other side was visible and Starscream leaped out of the portal and kept firing at his pursuers. With pinpoint accuracy (a skill of which Eradicons were rather inept) Starscream dropped one of the closer Eradicons just as he stepped out of the ground bridge and shot the legs out from under a second. The third Eradicon met him head on, throwing him back. Starscream cried out in pain and staggered to maintain balance. The trooper didn't give him any time to recuperate as he struck his former commander again. Pain flooded Starscream's neural net. But with a tenacity born of so many other thrashings, Starscream came right back. Quicker than most Cybertronians, Starscream dodged a third strike and delivered one of his own straight into the Eradicon's chest. The red visor flickered as the trooper grunted and stared down at the razor edged claws of the Seeker buried almost to the palm in his chest.
Starscream winced but leaned in close to the fading visor. He smiled darkly before giving the fatal twist of his claws that dropped the trooper for good. Turning he heaved a sigh through his vents.
Close Megatron…but not close enough.
But suddenly, Starscream became very aware of his surroundings. He was standing in a field amid piles of straw and not more than a few yards away lay a human settlement. No human settlement he had ever seen before. It was dark and only lit by a few dim fires here and there amid the ramshackle homes. Something was off…but what?
England 534 A.D.
The Henry Fox Inn was the busiest tavern in the town of Black Thorn. Weary travelers, the king's soldiers, and merchants would frequent the large two story building for food, drink, rest, and the occasional bedside pleasure. Ten buxom maids worked there, serving the customers in many aspects as well as maintaining the inn for their boss.
One such maid was named Celina, a subtly pretty girl with blond hair that was braided to her bottom, a generous bosom, gray green eyes, and worn hands. Her main job was serving ale to the numerous male clienteles who passed through the inn's doors hoping to drown their troubles in liquid refreshment. Of course, once the ale flowed so did their hands; all over her backside among other places. She had to tolerate it, or be fired and thrown into the street. Being a single woman she had little to no hope of financial survival. Women of her station (or women period) were very rarely granted the opportunity of self-employment and if she couldn't hang onto this demeaning job then she would become yet another beggar woman scrounging for scraps in the garbage out back. She could tolerate the molestation and leering if it meant food and a warm, dry place to sleep.
The night had proceeded as any other as patrons came and went. Celina collected an empty table's leavings and brought them to the bar for cleaning. As Celina reached for a flagon, the liquid in the vessel began to ripple. She gripped the cup but then the table began to vibrate and so did the chairs. High above the ceiling a low dull rumbling sound cut through the night air. Dirt from the tavern ceiling drifted down onto the floor and table as the whole structure began to shake. She and the remaining patrons hastily leaped from their seats, staring around in terror as the thundering sound grew louder.
"What is that?!" someone shouted.
"A storm!" another cried out.
Suddenly the roaring heightened in pitch, becoming a fierce shrieking noise.
"It's demons! Demons are coming to devour our souls!" a man screamed as he bolted out the tavern door.
Others followed his lead, piling out the open door of the bar. Celina could only watch them flee as she sought refuge behind the bar counter.
"Oi! Wot in the name o' the Almighty is goin' on?" Henry, the boss, appeared from the kitchen, pipe in his grizzled mouth. "Where're they goin?"
Celina shook her head when the shrieking sound grew in decibel and suddenly the whole tavern shook, sending bowls and tin flagons clattering off the tables. Henry grabbed the doorframe to steady himself.
The pipe fell from the inn keeper's mouth, "Wot the bloody Hell?!"
Celina gasped as the quakes repeated themselves every second followed by screams of people outside. She didn't know what was going on but she wasn't going to be foolish and leave the safety of the tavern. All of a sudden an intense pink light flashed outside and fire erupted across the road. Wood and burning debris hit the roof and littered the ground. Celina cringed behind the bar unsure of what had just happened. The town was under attack, but from whom? Was it the neighboring kingdom? Was it bandits or marauders? The quakes continued as did the screams. Somehow some of the screams became coherent.
"God save us! A giant!" a woman screamed.
"A DEMON! A DEMON! RUN!" another shouted.
Celina shook her head. What were they saying? Giants? Demons? What was going on?
Starscream strode down the dirt street of the primitive town turning in bewilderment. This wasn't the location he had set into the ground bridge! Where in the name of the All Spark was he? He glanced back, watching several humans scurry away between the dirt and stone houses.
What a filthy, underdeveloped human nest.
He didn't know much about humans but he DID know that something was definitely amiss seeing the primitiveness of the structures and the overall garb the locals were wearing. It didn't fit what he'd seen in the other humans he'd encountered. The tall Seeker looked at the Space Bridge remote, trying to figure out what went wrong and why he hadn't ended up where he had wanted. The remote processed a moment but kept insisting the coordinates were correct.
"Arg! Useless scrap!"
He was about to throw the remote in a fit of rage when a thought suddenly gave him pause. The surge…and the color change in the ground bridge. Starscream scanned the buildings again and viewed the land beyond. Suddenly it dawned on him: Perhaps…perhaps he WAS in the correct spot, but in a different time; a much earlier time in human history. The former SIC blinked, trying to sort out how he managed to create a time portal with the Harbinger's ground bridge.
At first he was outraged and quite panicked by the prospect that he was now in such an archaic period in human history. He punched flurries of commands into the remote, hoping to reopen the ground bridge and step back into the lab of the Harbinger. But no portal opened, no command was received. A brief moment of panic swept through his systems. What was he going to do? Could he get back to his original time or was he stuck here?
"Oh this is just wonderful!" Starscream ranted aloud, "Here I am stuck all alone in this waste of human antiquity!"
He was about to rage further but was suddenly calmed by a singular ambitious thought.
"I'm…all alone. That means…no Autobots. No Megatron! It's just me." his mind raced, "And there's no one to stop me from conquering this world and all the Energon that goes with it!"
Starscream allowed himself a sinister cackle at the prospect. Always his best laid plans were thwarted by meddlesome Autobots and that insufferable brute Megatron. But no longer.
There would be nothing and no one to oppose him as he single-handedly conquered the Earth and enslaved its inhabitants who were at least intelligent enough to be useful. He would have an entire planet bend to his will and all the untapped energy resources would be his to harvest and use. And best of all, Megatron and the Autobots were nowhere to be seen. In fact, if his historical references were correct other Cybertronians would not settle on this planet for many centuries.
The Seeker smiled to himself just imagining Megatron completely unaware of all that he was about to do. Perhaps when he had this planet in his tyrannical grasp he would find a way to end Megatron and perhaps even take the helm as leader of the Decepticons once and for all. But first, he had the Earth to defeat.
This time his tyrannical plan would work. He was well-charged and no meddlesome Autobots had followed him either. The Earth was his playground and the first thing he needed to do was "knock down" the strongest kid there; namely the king of these lands. And then the next and the next until the whole planet belonged to him.
Starscream gave himself a month to conquer it all…if not less. It all depended on how hard the little carbon monkeys were willing to fight or perhaps they would simply bow down in fear to their new lord.
He scanned the horizon with fierce optics, searching for something of interest. He found it quickly in the form of a large stone fortress just ahead. That must be where the human leader of these lands resided. That is what he would conquer first. With a confident stride he marched up to the stone walls of the castle, stopping just short of the moat. Humans were shouting and scrambling along the parapet, preparing to defend the castle.
"Loose!" a man bellowed.
Starscream blinked as dozens of arrows whistled down from the defense wall and bounced off of his metal, none so much as scratching his metal. He let himself chuckle with satisfaction. Even if the humans had bullets and guns the result would have been the same. His thrusters ignited and with a quick burst he flew over the battlement and landed tremendously in the courtyard. The humans scattered like cockroaches under a kitchen light. Starscream laughed at their retreat and marched toward the castle building itself to take what was rightfully his.
Inside the castle of King Geldar…
"SIRE! SIRE!" Sir Egglemort came storming into the main hall, face ashen with fear.
Everyone in the court turned with great intent to the knight who burst into the hall. At the head of the room, seated on a golden throne, was King Geldar, a man of thirty six with dark hair and beard. He was dressed in the finest purple and gold clothes, with a lavish ring of bear fur about his shoulders and a jeweled crown atop his head. The throne next to him was occupied by his Queen, a handsome woman of much younger age. Both were shocked by the sudden outburst.
"Speak, Sir Egglemort." the king, commanded.
Stumbling toward his leader with several other armed knights tailing him he shouted, "We are besieged! You must get out your Majesty!"
King Geldar sat up straight on his throne, "Besieged? By whom? The Northern Kindom?"
"No, you're Majesty. A giant!" the knight cried.
At first there was hushed laughter at the outlandish idea, but just then a vibration shook the stained glass windows and toppled several ornaments from the walls. The court filled with fearful gasps and a few screams. The king and queen leaped from their seats and turned to see an ominous, spikey shadow darken the colored glass. In a cacophony of shattering glass, the entire composition exploded into the great hall, littering the stone floor with its multicolored blood. Screams echoed as an impossibly tall figure emerged through the broken frame and entered the castle. He was a giant, but not of flesh and blood. He was metal from head to foot, wing tip to wing tip; like some huge, terrifying knight suit brought to life. The metal giant's red eyes gleamed with malice as he the surveyed the chaotic room a moment. His helmet crest was just shy of brushing the ceiling and the massive flat wings that spanned his back were scraping it.
"SILENCE!" the giant shouted in a deep scathing voice.
Fear struck the court into a paralyzed stupor. Wide eyes met the blazing reds above.
Starscream surveyed the humans a moment and noticed the pair wearing circlets of gold on their heads; obviously a bauble of their leadership.
"Humans, I am Starscream, Tyrant of the Firmament." he directed his gaze at the king and queen, "Am I to assume YOU are the leaders of these lands?"
King Geldar was almost too afraid to speak up, but he nodded and said meekly, "I am King Geldar."
Starscream looked down at him with disdain, "Then, King Geldar, I demand you relinquish your lands and all your subjects to me."
Hushed whispers followed and the king straightened himself up, "I…I cannot."
The Decepticon's red optics flashed, "Really?"
In the blink of an eye Starscream's arm shifted into his main weapon. He lifted and fired into the center of the cluster of humans. Stone exploded from the floor, charred limbs and blood flew in grisly curtains across the room. The king and queen both cringed, falling to the floor in terror as the mighty blast finally subsided. Dead bodies littered the floor and survivors were all recoiling or crawling, amongst the carnage. Starscream held his humming weapon in the same position for a moment, a dark look on his face.
"How about NOW?"
"I…I…" the king couldn't form a coherent sentence given the horror he'd just witnessed.
Starscream's weapon lit again and the humans screamed, "Let me put it simply for you. Turn over your kingdom to me or I will eradicate every living thing I lay my optics on!"
The once proud man threw up his hands with penitence, "YES! Yes. My—my kingdom is yours! Take it. Just please spare our lives!"
A pleased smirk lifted the corner of the Seeker's mouth as he retracted his weapon, "There now. Was that SO hard? Now BOW before your new lord."
With a rippling effect the court fell to its knees, heads bowed with fear. Starscream smiled, bathing in the simple glory of it. He would've MUCH rather preferred the Decepticons and Autobots kneeling before him…but he supposed these human minions would do.
"Very good." he commented. "Now, Geldar, you will make a proclamation to your former subjects about my lordship. As of now, every human, every building, every inch of this land and sky belongs to me." He paced a bit, "Any who resist or defy my rule will be terminated. Do I make myself clear?"
There were nods, bobbing heads of fear.
"Good. Now go. Gather my subjects outside this castle. I will return in one of your hours and I expect every living human to be present."