Title: All for One
Author's Note: This is currently a one shot, but if people like it and comment, I'll add more one shot chapters. My humorous stories tend to focus on Bumblebee, so I thought I'd shake things up and try my hand at a funny Decepticon story. I hope Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp are not too OOC-ish (it's been years since I saw the G1 show and I mainly know them from the IDW comics). Time unit conversion Nano-klik: ~ 1 second; Deca-cycle: ~ 3 weeks
"Slaggit! This is ridiculous!" Skywarp ranted. "This is not our responsibility. It's
Forty-three, Thundercracker silently counted to himself. Forty-three outbursts. His trine brother had been complaining, loudly, since Megatron had assigned them to this cursed duty. Not that he blamed his wingmate. For unknown reasons, the trine had been assigned construction duty. Of all things, construction duty. They were hauling large metal beams over a mountain range. The slagging things were so heavy that the three of them Starscream, Skywarp and himself had to use harnesses on them and slowly fly them over the mountains. At this pace, they couldn't even use their altmodes.
"Using our superior skills for this! It's insulting!" Skywarp continued.
"Shut. Up. Sky. Warp." Starscream bit out each syllable.
That made thirty-nine 'shut ups' from Starscream, by Thundercracker's count. The other four times he himself had tired of his wingmate's grousing first. He began timing how long until Skywarp's next outburst. The intervals between each one were becoming gradually shorter. Soon, he believed he could accurately estimate when the next outburst would occur. If nothing else, the extra computations gave him something to do during this infernal duty.
"Surely you can see how absurd this is!"
Forty-four. And several nano-kliks sooner than Thundercracker anticipated. He filtered the new time into his internal equation.
"The best trine in the Decepticon army, and we're forced to do
Constructicon work?" Skywarp released one hand off the harness, waving at the beam they carried. The other two cried out in protest as it began wobbling. "Why us? If he needed fliers, why not some drones? Or the Coneheads? What idiocy possessed Megatron to do this to us?"
"Just let it go. And grab that harness before it falls!" Starscream hissed at Skywarp.
Thundercracker contemplated whether or not to add this to Starscream's 'shut up' count. 'Let it go,' was probably the mildest order the Air Commander had ever used for silence, but the intent was the same. It would be interesting if the tamer command effected the duration until Skywarp's next tantrum. Intrigued by the new variable, Thundercracker began cross-referencing the inflection of Starscream's commands compared to the time decrease between Skywarp's outbursts. Perhaps stronger inflections caused a smaller time decrease? The hypothesis was worth investigation.
While he compiled numbers, he also considered the irony of Starscream refusing to engage in a discussion of Megatron's faults. Their trine leader usually pounced at the chance to ridicule the other mech. It was almost unheard of for him to miss an opportunity. In fact, it was unheard of
Thundercracker halted, forcing the other two to do the same or risk unbalancing the beam. They squawked at the abrupt stop. Ignoring their protests, he turned to Starscream.
"What did you do?"
"What do you mean?" Starscream replied, too quickly.
"We 'mysteriously' pull the most humiliating shift imaginable for Seekers, and yet it's Skywarp not you, not you! who's complaining about Megatron. When have you ever not carried on about our glorious leader? Yet Skywarp brings it up, and you tell him to, 'let it go.' What did you do?"
Skywarp turned shocked eyes to the Air Commander. "Screamer?"
"Don't call me that! And I didn't do anything," Starscream glanced away, "
"Much?" Thundercracker replied at the same moment. "What didn't you do 'much' of?"
Starscream attempted to shrug, but the metal beam's immense weight made the motion impossible while airborn. Instead, he twitched his wings. "It was just a small clerical error. Keep moving. This is heavy."
"Actually, I feel like putting it down. 'Warp, that sound good to you?"
"Down sounds real good to me," Skywarp replied. Suiting actions to words, he dropped altitude without warning. The others scrambled to match his decent, trying to keep the beam from toppling from their grip. They dropped it unceremoniously into a shallow stream bed.
"Amazing," Starscream said, once they stood on solid ground. He considering his trine. "I didn't realize we'd joined the Autobots, becoming a democracy, taking votes. All that tripe."
"No, not Autobots," Thundercracker snorted. "We're Decepticons. With that comes the responsibility to question our leaders, confirm that they deserve our loyalty. Is that not what you always say?"
"Cute." Starscream's optics narrowed.
"So." Thundercracker crossed his arms. "'Clerical error?'"
"Yeah, what does that even mean?" Skywarp asked.
Starscream threw his arms up in disgust. "It was nothing. Remember when the Aerialbots attacked our supply depot, three deca-cycles ago? Several munitions crates were destroyed. I assisted in the clean up. A few crates of explosives were mistakenly reported as destroyed. Some Constructicons discovered them recently, undamaged."
Skywarp glanced at Thundercracker, then back at the Air Commander. He shrugged. "That's it? Finding extra weapons is usually a good thing. That's glitched."
"Precisely my point. It was nothing."
Thundercracker had plenty of experience listening to Starscream's narratives and, more important, listening to what was not said. He raised an optic ridge. "Where exactly did they find these explosives?"
Starscream awarded him with an annoyed glance. "Is that important?"
"Yes. Even more so now, since you don't want to answer."
Skywarp's shoulders slumped as he considered his trine leader. "Screamer, you didn't
"Do not call me that!" Starscream growled. Glancing between the two other Seekers, he shook his head. Surrendering, he listed off the coordinates where the crates had been found. Coordinates that were not only no where near the supply depot, but actually on the far side of their base from it.
"You must not have hid them very well, huh?" Skywarp asked, shaking his head.
"They were hidden. They were in a cave. I collapsed the slagging entrance. There was no way to see them, or the cave."
?" Thundercracker prompted.
"I don't know. Maybe someone else saw me over there. For whatever reason, our glorious leader sent the Constructicons to the area. 'For raw materials,' I believe the excuse was. It took them a few deca-cycles, but they found the crates."
"Did you ever consider, y'know, moving them once you realized they were digging over there?" Skywarp asked.
"I don't credit the Constructicons with an access of mental prowess, but they might have noticed me flying in empty-handed, and flying away loaded down with crates. Especially if Megatron sent them there to investigate me."
Thundercracker shook his head. Starscream stockpiling explosives didn't surprise him. When it came to ways to overthrow Megatron, his trine leader was always exploring new and creative options. It took more than a few crates of munitions to surprise him anymore. Although he had to ask, "How many other stashes do you have, that Megatron doesn't know about?"
"I'm shocked, Thundercracker," Starscream replied, sounding anything but. He didn't even attempt to hide his smirk. "Concealing weapons and explosives would be deceitful and traitorous. A loyal Decepticon would, of course, turn all munitions he obtained into base, where they would strengthen our cause. Suggesting I would do otherwise insults my," Starscream waved a hand idly, considering, "my
integrity. My honor. I am upset you even consider me capable of such duplicity."
The three Seekers glanced between each other. Then Skywarp burst into laughter. Even Thundercracker couldn't hold a straight face. With a wicked grin, Starscream pretended to buff a scuff from his arm.
"That's hilarious," Skywarp said. "Seriously, though, if you'd hid that slag better, Megatron wouldn't have found it."
"Please," Starscream scoffed, "do you know how long I've been able to hide weapons from him?"
"Apparently, three deca-cycles," Thundercracker raised an optic ridge. "After all, to suggest otherwise would insult your integrity and honor."
"Yes, of course," Starscream said, innocently, "three deca-cycles."
Thundercracker rubbed his temples. He was developing a processor ache: a common side effect when dealing with too much of Starscream's rationalizations. "Fine. Whatever. This still doesn't explain how 'Warp and I got dragged into," he gestured at the neglected beam, "this."
"Oh. That." Starscream looked away.
"Yes, that." Thundercracker crossed his arms.
"I'm sure interested in that too," Skywarp chimed in.
Starscream shrugged. "Megatron was unimpressed with me having the explosives "
"Imagine that," Skywarp interrupted, glancing at Thundercracker.
" and informed me that if I enjoyed playing in the dirt, he could find something 'suitable' for me to do. Then he assigned me to move these." Starscream kicked the metal beam.
"Assigned you. Not us. You. At what point did we get volunteered for this?" Thundercracker asked.
"I pointed out a flaw in Megatron's logic." The Air Commander shrugged again.
"Wait," Thundercracker raised a hand, stalling him. "Let me guess. You informed him that these are far too heavy for one Seeker to carry?"
"Thanks, Screamer. Really, I mean that." Skywarp muttered.
"Stop calling me that!"
"What, exactly, did you think he'd do once you pointed that out?" Thundercracker asked, rubbing his temples. Yes, he was definitely developing a processor ache.
"I thought he'd give me something, anything, else to do. I didn't want to haul these things around. Would you?"
"Funny you should ask," Thundercracker replied, "because, no, really I don't want to."
"Why didn't Megs just beat the slag outta you? That's what he usually does." Skywarp didn't pretend to sound concerned about his Air Commander's physical well-being.
"Yeah, well, he did that too," Starscream grumbled.
Thundercracker considered his trine leader, arms crossed. "I suppose I should thank you. After all, if I weren't here, doing this wonderful chore because of you, I would be probably be doing something even more tedious: like attacking Aerialbots, or fighting Autobots, perhaps blowing something up. You know, boring stuff like that." He waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. "But now, I have the exciting opportunity to explore a new career as a Constructicon. Thank you, Starscream."
"Shut up," Starscream said, but without any vehemence. "Are you two done complaining? We still have to get these slagging things moved."
The two wingmates exchanged glances. "Why should we help you? This is your punishment."
"Because if you don't, I'm won't finish this. And when Megatron comes asking why we're not done, he won't just come after me. You'll share any punishment I get. So, by all means, do nothing. Enjoy Megatron's wrath. I know he will." Starscream leaned against a boulder, crossing his arms.
"I hate you," Skywarp muttered.
"C'mon, 'Warp. Let's get this slagging thing moved." Thundercracker motioned to his trine brother, shaking his head. Turning back to the Air Commander, he asked, "One more thing, is there anything else you're up to that's going to come back and bite us in our collective afts?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Starscream replied, hand over his spark. "I'm the picture of innocence."
"Great," Skywarp growled. "We're dead."