The Mech Code

6. Battlefield

"Good afternoon, Thundercracker," said Skywarp, walking into the Seekers' room. Thundercracker had been drifting off into stasis again, but he jerked up when he saw his brother enter the room.

"So, how did things go with Moonbeam?" Thundercracker asked, a hint of sarcasm creeping into his deep voice. Needless to say, Skywarp didn't notice.

"It was all just a misunderstanding," Skywarp explained. "I guess she was mad that we left for the Decepticlub without letting her know first. I got her that diamond necklace, though, and some flowers, so now we're all better."

"Well, lucky you," Thundercracker grunted.

"Are you okay?" Skywarp asked innocently, sitting down on Thundercracker's bed. "You just haven't been acting the same lately."

"What are you talking about, you idiot?" Thundercracker demanded. "Are you saying I've changed? I haven't changed!"

"You're...you're meaner," said Skywarp.

"Meaner!" Thundercracker bolted out of bed and looked down at Skywarp, who was staring at the floor; he didn't look angry, just confused. "I can't believe you just said that!"

"Well you are!" Skywarp stood up too. "I just want to know why! You're so distant!"

"I'm distant?!" yelled Thundercracker. "You're the distant one! We hardly even see you anymore!"

"If that's what you're worried about, there's plenty of me to go around," said Skywarp calmly.

"No, Skywarp, you don't..." Thundercracker watched Skywarp, who was still refusing to look anywhere but the floor, his hands behind his back. Skywarp didn't usually do a whole lot of thinking, but he had a pensive expression on his face anyway, like he was wondering what was going on.

:Why does Skywarp get to have Moonbeam all to himself?: Thundercracker thought to himself furiously. :Look at this fool! It's not fair!:

"I...I don't what?" Skywarp asked.

Thundercracker's cover burst.

"You don't DESERVE her!" he yelled in Skywarp's face, pulling him by the wing. "How can you just SIT there, being the stupid little excuse for a jet that you are, while a beautiful femme like Moonbeam stumbles into your insignificant life and fawns all over you? Why YOU? You didn't do anything! What's so special about you?"

Skywarp was just sitting there, looking gobsmacked, but Thundercracker wasn't finished.

"Do you think relationships are EASY, Skywarp?" he hollered. "Do you think love comes no matter what you do? Well, it doesn't! It DOESN'T! SO JUST GIVE UP!"

Thundercracker leaned over, out-of-breath, one hand resting on the bedpost, while Skywarp just stood there, his mouth wide open. Thundercracker didn't notice it, but Skywarp's eyes were filling with tears as he ran out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

...

Starscream was sitting at the table, casually drinking some medium-grade energon with a straw, when he saw Skywarp run past, hands over his face, eyes streaming with tears.

"Skywarp?" Starscream called. "What the slag happened? Did she dump you?"

"No, we're all made up." Skywarp sunk down onto the couch and tried to wipe his tears away, but they kept coming; he just couldn't understand why Thundercracker was being so mean to him all of a sudden. Sure, there were a lot of things he didn't understand, but this was different. Why was his own Seeker-kin treating him so horribly?

"So why are you upset, then?" Starscream asked, getting up from the table and sitting next to Skywarp.

"It was Thundercracker," Skywarp said quietly. "I only asked him why he was being so mean to me and Moonbeam...and then he just got even meaner."

"Meaner like how?"

"Well, he told me that I don't deserve Moonbeam because I'm stupid," Skywarp said sadly. "I think he hates me now."

"Oh, no," Starscream whispered.

Thundercracker had finally let his jealousy get the best of him.

...

Skywarp was still hurt by Thundercracker, and Thundercracker was still jealous of Skywarp. Starscream was sure that Thundercracker was lusting after Moonbeam, and he also knew that Skywarp was clueless to this fact; he probably thought Thundercracker was being cruel for no reason. (Skywarp never could put two and two together.) To be honest, though, Starscream had no idea what to do.

It was getting hard to handle. Starscream already had underlying suspicions about Moonbeam's true motives, and now Thundercracker, who had been trying to hide his jealousy for so long, had let it all erupt like a volcano, the lava falling onto poor Skywarp and burning him to a crisp. The only thing that kept him happy was Moonbeam.

"I love you, sugar daddy," Moonbeam was whispering to Skywarp as she ran her hands up and down his wings. "Are you ready for our big night out tonight?"

"Of course!" said Skywarp. "I love you, kissy-wissy."

"I'm glad you bought me those new earrings and bracelet to wear with my diamond necklace," Moonbeam told him. "I can wear them tonight!"

"You're beautiful with or without them," Skywarp replied, and kissed her.

Moonbeam giggled. "Who's my sugar daddy?"

"I am!" said Skywarp, initiating yet another sloppy kiss.

Thundercracker, at that time, was sitting in front of the TV, pretending to watch it but really watching Skywarp and Moonbeam, deeply in love, making out on the couch.

Skywarp looked at Thundercracker and cried out, "Make sweet love to me, Moonbeam!"

"SHUT UP!" hollered Thundercracker. "Do you have no respect for your fellow Decepticons?"

"Look who's talking!" Skywarp shouted. "I don't know ANYONE meaner than you!"

"Oh, what a fabulous retort," said Thundercracker, rolling his eyes. "That's me outsmarted, isn't it?"

"At least I HAVE a girlfriend!" Skywarp pointed out. "But you're still single and lonely, and you will be forever and ever!"

"For your information, I prefer NOT to have a girlfriend," Thundercracker lied.

"Oh, that's rich!" said Skywarp.

Thundercracker shouted an obscenity at Skywarp and they both started yelling simultaneously, with petty insults, profanity, and a whole lot of drama. Starscream was just hoping that it wouldn't become physical. But what of Moonbeam? Many people would've hated to be in her situation...but when Starscream looked at her, she was sitting there, safe on her boyfriend's lap, grinning smugly. She was enjoying every minute of this, and nobody noticed. Not Skywarp, not Thundercracker.

Nobody but Starscream.

...

Starscream was lying down on his bed, watching Skywarp get ready for his big date. Of course, Thundercracker was still just hogging the TV, and Starscream assumed Moonbeam was in the guestroom where she (and usually Skywarp) slept, getting ready for the date too.

When Skywarp was finally ready, he had some time to kill, so he sat down on the bed across from Starscream and asked, "How do I look?"

"Fine," said Starscream. "Want an energon cube?"

"Sounds great." Skywarp reached out for the energon and started drinking it. Starscream had several cubes with him. Ever since the fight between Skywarp and Thundercracker earlier that day, Starscream had felt sick to his stomach, fearing that he was right about what kind of femme Moonbeam truly was. At first he thought he could just drink the bad feelings away, but that didn't seem to be working.

"So...how are things going?" Starscream asked nervously. Deep down, he knew that he had to do something, but he didn't know what. Besides, even if he did know what to do, he'd probably be too terrified to do it.

"Moonbeam and I are in love again," Skywarp said dreamily. "I guess she was mad at me, but I got her the necklace and flowers, and now look-our relationship's better."

Starscream winced. "I'm not sure that's such a good thing, 'Warp."

"What do you mean?" Skywarp looked a little confused.

:Where is your courage?: Starscream thought to himself. Probably, he didn't have that much courage in him, and he didn't know if this would make things better or worse, but he had to say it.

"Moonbeam isn't the type of femme you think she is!" Starscream choked out.

"I think she's wonderful," Skywarp said.

"Listen, I KNOW what kind of femme she is," Starscream insisted. "Haven't you noticed that she calls you 'sugar daddy'? Do you know what that means?"

Skywarp just shrugged. "I thought it just meant I was sweet."

"You ARE sweet, Skywarp," said Starscream. "TOO sweet. The term 'sugar daddy' means that she's not in love with you; she's only in love with the things you buy her-and not to mention I think she's taking advantage of the fact that you would do anything for her."

"That is NOT true!" Skywarp sputtered, pointing one finger at Starscream. "You're just jealous!"

"I'm not jealous!" Starscream told him. "I wanted you to be happy in this relationship. But can't you see what she's trying to do?"

"No, I can't!" Skywarp cried. "I know my own girlfriend, and she would never to anything to hurt anyone!"

"What about that time when she slapped you?"

"I deserved that."

"You did not deserve it!" Starscream walked up to Skywarp and shook him by the shoulders. "Who's letting a femme boss him around like a helpless sparkling? Who's putting up with her nonsense every time he doesn't do just what he says? Who's dating a femme who only sleeps with him for his money? Open your EYES, Skywarp!"

"Oh, so this is how it's going to be, huh?" Skywarp pushed Starscream away. "Thundercracker is being a big jerk, and now you're going to be one too?"

"I'm trying to HELP you!"

"I don't need your kind of help!" Skywarp shouted, picking up an energon cube and throwing its contents at Starscream. "And if you can't accept my relationship and be happy for me, then that's your problem, NOT mine!"

"Well, if you're going to be that way, then GET used by her! GET your spark broken!" Starscream looked down at the energon that was staining his paint job and stormed out of the room. "See if I care!"

"FINE!" yelled Skywarp, slamming the door behind him.

"FINE!" Starscream yelled back.


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