Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Note: contains slight spoilers for the official series.
“Where is it, where is it?” the Decepticon called Starscream was growing increasingly irritated: his scanners had indicated that there was a certain amount of dark energon in this locality, and yet he could not find any of it, and that was annoying.
Then again, whenever Starscream thought straight, this whole set-up screamed of a set-up. Or a trap, for that matter, for the place – some sort of an abandoned factory – just was not the right place to find any energon, dark or otherwise.
More precisely, this used to be a turkey-processing plant, now abandoned in the grip of the recent recession – but even if Starscream have known about this, he wouldn’t have cared, for humans or turkeys, this mattered little to the alien robot. The dark energon here, however, did: the amount indicated by Starscream’s sensors seemed to be rather small, but every little bit counted-
As Starscream flung away yet another crate, something finally emerged, but it was not dark energon in any amount, big or small. Rather, it was one of the natives of this pathetic planet...only not.
Starscream was uncaring about this planet’s natives as any Decepticon was (not counting Megatron himself – it was hard to say just what was going on inside the Supreme Commander’s CPU regarding this planet’s natives or anyone else), but even he could tell that his discovery was just too bony by the natives’ standards, and also it was big. Really big. Almost to Starscream’s waistline, for that matter – and that matter was slightly worrisome in the end. The fact that that apparently was from where the dark energon signatures were emanating was even more concerning.
Carefully, Starscream reached out to grab the strange being only to have him slip past his grip and flank the Decepticon.
“You’re alive!” he growled, his sockets lighting up with some sort of a yellowish light. It gave the native an alert, predatory look...not unlike that of a Decepticon, or rather one of Soundwave’s Predacon minions. Starscream decisively decided that he did not like it.
“Yes I am!” he snapped back, trying to aim a laser at his interlocutor (what was it with the dark energon signatures?), but the latter already moved, still trying to flank him.
“You’re capable of independent thought!” the native continued, shifting his stance, clearly favoring one of the forelimbs now.
“Yes, unlike your machines,” Starscream snarled, trying to stay annoyed, as opposed to worried, with this...this creature. “I am-“
“You’ve got water!”
“...Say what?” Starscream blinked. Yes, this part of the world (the state of Kansas, actually) was rather dry, but water is not the sort of thing that comes up in a conversation with a Decepticon (or an Autobot for that matter) very often. As a result of that blink he missed the creature’s next movement, as he – or rather it – managed to get behind Starscream and jump onto his back.
“Aargh!” Starscream yelled, as a pinprick of definite pain burst through his back. “You savage-“
The pain withdrew. Starscream whirled around to see his attacker now involved in a fight with another one of those...humans, who had some sort of a chain wrapped around the first human’s forelimb...only not. There was something strange about it, but Starscream did not care as he just blasted both of them into oblivion with laser fire.
Only not. Somehow his attacker seemed to have better senses than a Decepticon (or a paranoid Autobot) did, and jumped away from Starscream’s fire onto the nearby wall, flinging away the other human in the process.
There was a reason as to why Starscream was Megatron’s second in command. Well, there were several of them, actually, and the matter of Soundwave and his position in the Deception chain of command was still unresolved, but anyways: Starscream was a crack shot, and he still had his enemy in his sights – he shifted his position and fired.
The human (or not) dodged it, leaping in a twisted movement right onto the Deception – right opposite his spark. Now Starscream saw perfectly that while the rest of his opponent’s limbs spawned ordinary fingers and toes (just much more sharper – sharp enough to pierce his body armor), his left hand was in a form a scythe – a very, very large scythe, large enough to deal some body damage to the Decepticon and then some.
“Get it off, get it off!” Starscream screamed as he flailed, trying to get his opponent off him, when the latter stiffened, as a crossbow bolt pierced him, and then another one.
The grip of Starscream’s opponent upon the latter’s breastplate went slack and the creature fell down to the ground, still twitching...until down came a sword, right onto its’ neck, and cut it in two. Only then did the creature disintegrate into dust – not normal human behavior in death at all.
Confused, embarrassed and unhappy, Starscream stared down at the pile of bony dust. Even now some dark energon residue signatures emanated from that pile.
“What was it?” the Deception finally spoke.
“Thrax. A sort of a Ri’avim demon,” one of the new humans said, clearly not as shaken as the Decepticon himself was. “And who are you?”
“I am Starscream, the second-in-command of the glorious army of the Decepticons,” Starscream glared at the human: he really had enough of their slack attitude: he was a Decepticon, damn it! The natives of this planet should fear him, not attack or confuse him or just stare at him like that!
“Ah, I’ve read about you guys – you’re the heroic robots from the stars, right?” the human continued to look at Starscream without any fear or panic in her guise.
Before Starscream could answer, the other human did.
“No, Kennedy, I don’t think so. The robots in the news looked different, plus his aura...it is kind of murky...”
“Willow...” the first human turned to her mate.
“Excuse me,” Starscream aimed one of his lasers at the humans. “But why would that... that thing attack me?”
“You have water inside of you, right? To prevent your engine from overheating or whatever?”
Starscream hesitated, thinking it over. The Cybertronians knew water and they did use it, but being metallic beings after all they also had a very careful relationship with it, unlike Earth’s natives who just took it for granted, apparently.
“Yes,” the Decepticon finally admitted. “There is some water in my being – far less than there would be in one of your primitive machines made in my size, but still...”
“That’s what the Ri’avim was after; that and the positive energy that makes us alive – or you, for that matter; before you argue I must say that I see it in your aura, mostly coming from your chest, just like in case of any other living creature,” the human called Willow began to speak, or rather – to babble. “The undead – zombies, vampires, Ri’avim – they run on negative energy instead-“
“Stop,” Starscream was still mentally capable of putting two and two together, and right now they added up to four. “This positive and negative energy – does it come in crystals?”
“...If you charge them, sure,” the human Willow said, surprised. “But usually energy is all around us; it usually comes from the moon or the sun.”
Starscream nodded. The idea that the energon crystals accumulated the energy inside them was nothing new; the idea that this energy came from the local moon and sun was ridiculous, but acceptable by the natives’ standards and their ideas of the undead, like the creature that had attacked Starscream, apparently wasn’t unlike some of his own creations when the dark energon was utilized...
And on that note, having been on the receiving side of one of those undead was disturbing – he probably had not crossed a line when he tried to dethrone Megatron via utilizing dark energon, but right now he couldn’t help but wonder if he had.
Starscream also became aware that the humans were staring at him as his Autobot alarms began to blare in the distance, which meant that the Autobots were coming, which meant more trouble for Starscream – something that he would rather avoid at the moment. “We will talk later,” he told the two humans as he transformed into his plane form and flew the coup (or rather the factory) right through the roof.
Willow and Kennedy exchanged thoughtful gazes.
“Well, that was different.”
And they made their own escape.