1. Mission Invite
"Energon doses and whispers on kittens. Bright copper metal and something you've bitten. Powerful blasters and, um...something with wings, these are a few of my favorite things..."
"You know, Skywarp, I really think I feel better now," said Starscream, arms folded across his chest.
"Really?" asked Skywarp, stopping his singing.
"NO, not really!" Starscream yelled. "And I don't think that's even how the song goes."
"Being ground-bound has gotta be, like, the worst thing that could happen to a jet," said Thundercracker. "When will you be healed--you know, able to fly again?"
"Two weeks to a month," Starscream said. "It's very depressing, not to mention painful. After about a week of this, I felt like I was infected with the Cybertronian Plague."
Right now, Starscream was sulking on the couch, not really doing anything productive. Thundercracker and Skywarp were both standing next to him. For one week now, half of Starscream's left wing had been snapped off, leaving him basically crippled, stuck at base, unable to fly--and it wasn't treating him well. Most of the others had just decided to avoid him, but Skywarp and Thundercracker had stuck around. It was allegedly because, as the legends have it, a Seeker's wounds heal quicker if he is surrounded by his own kind. But it was mostly because they didn't really need to to be accused of being "traitors".
"You don't have the Cybertronian Plague," Thundercracker was saying, watching Starscream, who was slurping on about his seventh energon smoothie that day. "And stop acting like such a sparkling. Remember when I got injured?"
"Oh yeah," said Skywarp. "I remember that."
"Of course you remember it." Thundercracker glared at the purple Seeker. "Both of my wings had been blasted, one of my arms got shot off, and so I was lying there screaming, in the pain of my LIFE, with Screamer running around in a panic, and YOU couldn't do anything but hit on our enemies."
"How often do you come across three hot female Autobots?" Skywarp asked. "Besides, they thought we were totally studly!"
"They didn't think we were studly!" Thundercracker hollered. "They thought we were pathetic!"
"Well, I can't help it if you lost to a femme," said Skywarp haughtily.
"One of them gave me her number!" Thundercracker protested.
"Don't lie, TC!" Skywarp warned him. "I know she just gave you the number to the local energon shop!"
"You are NEVER going to let me live that down, are you?"
"That was not our finest hour," said Starscream, making no effort to break up his brothers' argument. "By the way, TC, would you bring me another one of those smoothies?"
"We're all out," Thundercracker told him flatly.
"How can that be?" Starscream tossed his empty smoothie can onto the ground. "There were eight this morning!"
"Well, you drank them all," Thundercracker said.
"No, Rumble had one of them." Skywarp laughed. "It was too much for the little guy, though. Just about an hour later, I saw him throwing it up all over Soundwave."
"That's because those disgusting things are filled with synth-en," Thundercracker explained. "Like, none of it is real. In fact, Starscream, I don't think you should be drinking any of it either."
"It's the only thing I've found that numbs my wing pain," Starscream said back. "So I guess I'm out of luck."
Thundercracker shook his head. "Look, Screamer, all I know is--"
"I'm going out on a mission tonight," said Megatron, striding into the room, hands behind his back. The old mech's eyes were aimed towards the ground, but he took a moment to glance up and glare at the three Seekers. "I'm looking for an energy source I've been tracking. They seem to be out in the wilderness, hidden in a mine or a cave somewhere. They're highly unstable, though. So it's very important that I get to them before the Autobots do."
"Would you let Starscream go with you?" Skywarp asked.
"Yeah, he definitely needs to get out for a little," Thundercracker added.
"Oh, so now you're trying to get rid of me!" Starscream bolted up and put his hands over his hips. "I know you're thinking it--traitors!"
"We are so not traitors!" said Skywarp, hurt. "We just want you to stop being so moody and sulky and get some fresh air."
"Moody and sulky." Starscream shook his head. "Can you believe this guy?"
"I sure can," said Thundercracker, pushing Starscream in Megatron's general direction.
"Now why can't you go on the mission together?" Skywarp asked. "You could, like...bond, or something."
"Me and Starscream? Bond?!" The thought was so ridiculous that Megatron and Starscream burst into laughter.
"I don't see that working out, exactly." Starscream grinned, wiping tears of laughter out of his eyes. "But slag it, I'll go anyway. I do need to get out of this place."