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TransWarp: Issue #3 (2021 Edition)PAGE ONEPANEL ONEVenus nervously enters the original TransWarp Lab. Countdown smiles, holding her hand.1 VENUSAm I allowed in here?2 COUNTDOWNJust look official.PANEL TWOCountdown shows Venus a canister with a small window on its side. Inside it are glowing particles.3 COUNTDOWNYou have to see this.PANEL THREEA close-up of Venus’ face, as the light from the particles dances on her face.4 VENUSThey’re beautiful. What are they?PANEL FOURWe look down into the canister. The glowing particles race around.5 COUNTDOWN (OP)Trans-Ion particles. The building blocks used to construct a TransWarp cell.PANEL FIVEVenus looked at Countdown with a stunned expression. Countdown continues to smile.6 VENUSIt will work?7 COUNTDOWNBased our most recent results, yes, it will work. We’ve been given the greenlight to create a cell for full-scale testing.PANEL SIXVenus throws her arms around Countdown, almost toppling him backwards.8 VENUSOh, my darling…PAGE TWOPANEL ONECountdown is propped up against the dirty wall in the Predacon chamber. His eyes are black.1 SILVERBOLT (OP)Who’s Venus?PANEL TWOThe exact angle as the previous panel, but this time, Countdown’s eyes glow to life.2 SFXTZZWWIIIIPANEL THREESilverbolt sits against the wall next to Countdown. Countdown looks up at him.3 SILVERBOLTYou were mumbling the name as you came back online. A friend of yours?PANEL FOURLooking down from Silverbolt’s perspective. Countdown looks at the ground.4 COUNTDOWNShe’s… a pilot with the MAD Wing.5 SILVERBOLTMy kind of girl.PANEL FIVEAn inset panel. Countdown has a quizzical look on his face.6 COUNTDOWNGirl?PANEL SIXSilverbolt has a wry smile in the corner of his mouth.7 SILVERBOLTEarth culture. It rubbed off on you after a while.PAGE THREEPANEL ONECountdown gave his head a rub. Silverbolt’s expression is one of concern.1 SILVERBOLTAre you alright?2 COUNTDOWNYeah.PANEL TWOSilverbolt put his head back against the wall and looked upward.3 SILVERBOLTI came into this war and I knew my place. I had a purpose. Now… I don’t know. How much good can an old combiner do on his own?4 LINK PANELPart of me wishes I’d died with them.PANEL THREESilverbolt’s head is now dropped. Countdown looks up at him.5 COUNTDOWNI got to see you in action once. I was on board the Laraam.PANEL FOURLooking up from the surface of Cybertron, a Maximal shuttle is flying overhead. Purple laser-fire streaks upwards at it. One of the shuttle’s wings is already on fire. Silverbolt, in his vehicle-mode, is swooping down towards the surface. His bomb bay doors are open, unleashing hell on those below. This is the main image on the page.6 DIALOGUE PANELWe came under Predacon fire on re-entry. You flew a solo bombing run to take out the artillery.7 LINK PANELIf it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here.PAGE FOURPANEL ONEBack in the chamber, Silverbolt’s head is still drooped.1 SILVERBOLTThe Laraam, huh? The last shuttle from Earth.2 LINK PANELIt was a beautiful planet.PANEL TWOAn angle on the three Maximal Proto-Pods leaning against the wall.3 COUNTDOWN (OP)I didn’t die on Earth. I’m not dying here.PANEL THREECountdown walks towards the toppled table which is missing a leg.4 COUNTDOWNAnd neither are you.5 SILVERBOLTI like your optimism.PANEL FOURCountdown places a hand on the table but looks up towards the ceiling of the chamber.6 COUNTDOWNI want to be able to see the stars when I go, not some filthy bunker wall.PANEL FIVEDespite being on an angle, Countdown activates the table interface. It glows to life.7 COUNTDOWNI have an idea for getting us out of here, but with him crawling around in your circuitry, I can’t risk telling you yet.8 SILVERBOLTUnderstood. What do you need from me?PANEL SIXA close-up of Countdown’s face, determined.9 COUNTDOWNI need you to trust me.PAGE FIVEPANEL ONESilverbolt approaches the table. A hologram of a combiner body is emanating from the table’s surface. Silverbolt wears a worried look. Countdown studies the design.1 SILVERBOLTIs Razorclaw killing you part of the plan? Because that’s what he’s going to do if you build this.2 COUNTDOWNWhat’s wrong with it?3 SILVERBOLTThe combined form is incredible, but with no individual robot-modes, he’s not going to like it.PANEL TWOSilverbolt presses a button on the table. A hologram of the Laser Core Amplifier is shown.4 SILVERBOLTAnd what’s this second shield? It doesn’t fit with the rest of the design.5 COUNTDOWNThat’s for me.6 SILVERBOLTOh, so you are expecting some fireworks. At least you’re prepared.PANEL THREECountdown plugs some cabling into the table.7 SILVERBOLTBut it’s all part of the plan, right?8 COUNTDOWNRight. Now help me hook up the pods.PANEL FOURSilverbolt picks up one of the Maximal Proto-Pods that had been leaning against the wall.9 SILVERBOLTYou know, this trust thing would be a whole lot easier if you gave me something.PANEL FIVESilverbolt places the Proto-Pod on the ground near the table. Countdown hooks a cable up to it.10 COUNTDOWNAlright. The plan has one major flaw.PANEL SIXA close-up of Silverbolt’s face. His worried expression returns.11 SILVERBOLTTerrific.PAGE SIXPANL ONESpiral and Rhinox are in a hanger, standing before a Maximal-sized fighter jet.1 SPIRALSo this is her -- the Xelor. She’s got a few modifications, namely the engines your boys have given us, but underneath it’s our standard PK-100.2 RHINOXPK?3 SPIRALPred Killer.PANEL TWOSpiral points to a similar-looking vessel beside the Xelor. The main difference between the two ships is a double-cockpit. The other vessel looks a bit older and banged up.4 SPIRALWe’ve had more time to work on ships this size, so they’re faster and nimbler than the things the Preds are passing off as fighters. But first, Flight School: 101.PANEL THREERhinox climbs the ladder up one side of the double-cockpit ship, Spiral ducks under the nose to do the same on the other side.5 SPIRALThe mods on the Xelor will mess with the handling a bit, but as you’ve never flown before, you won’t know the difference.PANEL FOURBoth the Maximals are looking into the cockpit. Rhinox looks concerned.6 SPIRALStick. Throttle. Ejector seat. I won’t bother filling you in on the armaments because you won’t be carrying any and your targeting computer has been ripped out to make room for the engines’ processors.7 LINK PANELJump in.PANEL FIVESpiral whistles to get the attention of another Maximal, Primal, who approaches.8 SFXHWIT!PAGE SEVENPANEL ONESpiral descends the ladder as Primal reaches the foot of it.1 SPIRALI’ve got a mission to plan, so I’ll leave you in some capable hands to run you through the rest.PANEL TWOPrimal ascends to the top of the ladder. Rhinox has settled himself in the cockpit. They shake hands.2 PRIMALI’m Primal.3 RHINOXRhinox.4 SPIRAL (OP)Oh, and Primal. I want them both back in one piece.PANEL THREEA shot from the nose of the ship at the two Maximals in the cockpit.5 PRIMALSo have you ever flown before?6 RHINOXWell…7 PRIMALI’ll take that as a no. Ok, we’ll start at the beginning.8 RHINOXForget it. Just up and down, left and right.PANEL FOURA shot from across the cockpit, Rhinox with his hands on the controls.9 PRIMALYou don’t even want to learn how to land?10 RHINOXThe last one didn’t come back down. This one might not be any different.PANEL FIVEA shot from the front again. Primal gives Rhinox a confident smile.11 PRIMALHas anyone ever told you you’re crazy?12 RHINOXI’ve been getting that a lot lately.13 PRIMALYeah? Well sometimes crazy works.PAGE EIGHTPANEL ONESilverbolt is being carried by two large Predacons down a corridor within the dirty Predacon complex. Tarantulas follows them. Silverbolt is still coming back online, with his head hanging loosely.PANEL TWOA passing Predacon spits on Silverbolt, who tries to move his head to avoid it but still gets hit.1 SFXSPI-TOOPANEL THREEThe large doors of the chamber open to reveal Razorclaw examining the newly constructed Proto-Matter Combiner body. Countdown stands behind him nervously.2 SFX (DOORS OPENING)KA-SHHPANEL FOURSilverbolt is dumped unceremoniously onto the floor of the chamber.3 SFXTHA-BOOM4 RAZORCLAWAh, Silverbolt. I’m glad you’re here to witness this.PANEL FIVERazorclaw spins around quickly and delivers Countdown a vicious backhand.5 SFXKRSH!PAGE NINEPANEL ONECountdown hits the floor, hard.1 SFXKRA-DNGPANEL TWOAn angle over Razorclaw’s shoulder. His shadow looms over Countdown who is crumpled on the floor.2 RAZORCLAWYou disappoint me, Countdown. It’s almost as if your Spark wasn’t quite in it. That will change, or you’ll be melted down and recast as mortar casing. Alive or dead -- used to kill your own kind.PANEL THREETarantulas inspects the combiner body. The two Predacons that dumped Silverbolt on the floor stand either side of it.3 PREDACON GOONWhat should we do with it, my Lord? Scrap it?4 TARANTULASMight I suggest we keep it, Lord Razorclaw. It will aid in our understanding of the technology.PANEL FOURRazorclaw waves a dismissive hand without taking his optics off Countdown.5 RAZORCLAWJust get it out of my sight.PANEL FIVERazorclaw crouches down over Countdown. In the background, the two large Predacons haul the body from the chamber. Tarantulas follows it out.6 RAZORCLAWAll designs will pass before my optics before they’re executed. I see that to be the best way to avoid any unnecessary violence in the future.PAGE TENPANEL ONECountdown and Silverbolt watch as Razorclaw leaves the chamber.1 RAZORCLAWWouldn’t you agree?PANEL TWOThe doors of the chamber slam shut after Razorclaw has left. Countdown struggles to his feet.2 SFX (DOORS CLOSING)SHH-KNN3 SILVERBOLTAre you ok?4 COUNTDOWNI’ve had worse.PANEL THREESilverbolt leans against the wall to steady himself.5 SILVERBOLTHe’s given up on the programming, for the moment at least.6 COUNTDOWNWhy take you in then?7 SILVERBOLTI think he just likes crawling around in there.8 LINK PANELHow’s it coming?PANEL FOURCountdown is at the table, which now stands on four legs once again. A new combiner body hologram is displayed.9 COUNTDOWNSlowly.10 SILVERBOLTNot bad. An improvement on the first one for sure.11 COUNTDOWNIt served its purpose.PANEL FIVESilverbolt reaches down amongst the empty Proto-Pods for something.12 SILVERBOLTI hope so.PANEL SIXSilverbolt examines the Laser Core Amplifier.13 SILVERBOLTAre you going to tell me what this is yet?14 COUNTDOWN (OP)No.PAGE ELEVENPANEL ONESilverbolt took a seat at the table. Countdown continued to work.1 SILVERBOLTProwl always said “Play to your strengths”. Yours is definitely secrecy.2 LINK PANELAircraft design on the other hand -- not your strong suit.3 COUNTDOWNYou knew Prowl?PANEL TWOSilverbolt has a small smile on his face as he gets lost in thought.4 SILVERBOLTHe was a good one for secrecy too. Very important when it came to strategy.PANEL THREESilverbolt’s smile falters, and sadness reaches his eyes.5 SILVERBOLTWe really could have used him at the Hub Assault. That was a fiasco. Some more heavy-hitters wouldn’t have gone astray either.PANEL FOURCountdown’s eyes shift to Silverbolt, listening intently.6 COUNTDOWNLike who?7 SILVERBOLTTake your pick -- Blaster, Kup, Sideswipe. Ironhide was always good by your side in a tight spot.PANEL FIVESilverbolt begins typing into the table, the smile having returned to his face.8 COUNTDOWNLike this one?9 SILVERBOLTYeah. But reminiscing will get us nowhere. Let me show you what a real jet looks like.PAGE TWELVEPANEL ONERavage is walking down a corridor past Predacon troops loading their weapons and arming themselves to the teeth.1 DIALOGUE PANELIt is the eve of battle and I don’t know who or what I’m fighting for.2 LINK PANELThe battlefield is familiar, but not the names.PANEL TWOA long shot down the corridor, showing more of the same, with Predacons everywhere, lugging weaponry.3 DIALOGUE PANELI’ve joined a faction founded on the betrayal of my old one, but only because I’ve made a deal with the enemy.PANEL THREESea Clamp, Ram Horn and Cicadacon smile subtly to each other.4 DIALOGUE PANELI’ve been recruited by three ambitious Generals to do in another…PANEL FOURA close-up of Magmatron’s face, very serious.5 DIALOGUE PANEL… whose only crime is his success.PAGE THIRTEENPANEL ONERodimus and some troops prepare for battle.1 DIALOGUE PANELThe Autobots…PANEL TWOSmaller Maximal soldiers are ashen faced.2 DIALOGUE PANEL… are still the enemy. I’ve made no peace with them.PANEL THREEIn the MAD Wing hangar, Rhinox is on top of the Xelor, working on the engines.3 DIALOGUE PANELWho are they to dictate the terms of my freedom?PANEL FOUROptimus Prime stands beside Ultra Magnus on the battlefield, both staring into the distance.4 DIALOGUE PANELThey haven’t won yet.PAGE FOURTEENPANEL ONEA close-up of Razorclaw’s scarred face.1 DIALOGUE PANELRazorclaw…PANEL TWORazorclaw sits sharpening his sword. His personal insignia is crudely branded over the top of his old Decepticon one.2 DIALOGUE PANELThe Autobots have failed to extinguish his Spark, and he’s proven himself a true leader throughout the course of this war.3 LINK PANELWho am I to kill him?PANEL THREEA close-up of sparks flying off his sword as he sharpens it.4 DIALOGUE PANELAfter all, he is made of Decepticon parts.PANEL FOURAn angle across the two cylinders holding the heavily damaged bodies of Divebomb and Headstrong.5 DIALOGUE PANELIf he can win the day, then my freedom is assured -- with no Autobot strings attached.PAGE FIFTEENPANEL ONEA mid shot of Magmatron.1 DIALOGUE PANELMagmatron…PANEL TWOThe angle pulls back, revealing Magmatron with his band of loyal troops walking down a corridor.2 DIALOGUE PANELThese Generals are some pieces of work, but their brutality is feared by friend and foe alike. To be in their favour in this new faction can only be advantageous.PANEL THREEMagmatron and his crew walk past Sea Clamp, Ram Horn and Cicadacon, who glare at them.3 DIALOGUE PANELIn order to secure it, and perhaps to the detriment of the Predacons -- Magmatron…PANEL FOURIn the shadows, Ravage stalks Magmatron and his crew down the corridor.4 DIALOGUE PANEL… must die.PAGE SIXTEENPANEL ONEA close-up of the holographic design of the new Proto-Matter combiner body.1 RAZORCLAW (OP)I’m told you had a hand in the design, Silverbolt.PANEL TWOThe angle pulls back. In the dirty holding cell, Razorclaw leans on his sword at the side of the table, studying the design. Countdown is at the opposite side of the table. Silverbolt stands against the wall, arms crossed.2 RAZORCLAWI’d say you missed your calling.PANEL THREEA close-up of Razorclaw’s face. His optics narrowed.3 RAZORCLAWBuild it.PANEL FOURAn angle looking up at Razorclaw from beside Countdown.4 COUNTDOWNBecause of the complex nature of the combination, you understand the additional requirements?PANEL FIVEThe reverse angle, with Razorclaw looking down at Countdown.5 RAZORCLAWA fourth pod, correct?PAGE SEVENTEENPANEL ONERazorclaw’s comm-link crackled to life.1 COMM-LINKCommander! We’re receiving reports of increased Autobot activity!PANEL TWOCountdown and Silverbolt exchange a look.2 COMM-LINKThey’ve broken through our forward positions and there are reported sightings of… of…PANEL THREERazorclaw clenched a fist, almost triumphantly. He bristled with power.3 RAZORCLAWPRIME! I hoped I’d have the honour of killing you! I’ll wear your head as a crown!PANEL FOURSilverbolt stepped forwards and pointed a finger at Razorclaw threateningly.4 SILVERBOLTHe’ll have you stuffed and mounted on a wall!PANEL FIVERazorclaw took a mighty swipe with his sword and took one of Silverbolt’s legs clean off.5 SFXSHHHIIIING6 SILVERBOLTAaaarrgghh!7 COUNTDOWNSilverbolt!PAGE EIGHTEENPANEL ONERazorclaw put a foot on Silverbolt’s chest and his sword to Silverbolt’s throat.1 RAZORCLAWYou and everyone you know will soon be offered the choice between death and servitude. I give you time now to consider your answer.PANEL TWORazorclaw headed towards the door.2 COUNTDOWNThe pods! What about the pods?!PANEL THREECountdown’s shoulders slumped as the doors closed.3 SFX (DOORS CLOSING)SHH-KNNPANEL FOURCountdown looked back over his shoulder.4 SFX (SILVERBOLT’S LAUGHTER)HA-HAHAHA…PANEL FIVECountdown looked at the stricken Autobot, lying on the ground in a pool of oil leaking from his leg.5 COUNTDOWNWhy are you laughing?6 SILVERBOLTI’m just picturing his head hanging above a fireplace.PAGE NINETEENPANEL ONERazorclaw, in his lion alt-mode, tears across the battle-scarred landscape at top speed.1 RAZORCLAWCommand.2 COMM-LINKThis is Sea Clamp.3 RAZORCLAWWhere is he? Where is Prime?PANEL TWOIn a busy Command Room, Sea Clamp overlooks a 3D model of the battlefield, as other Predacons man their stations in the background. Cicadacon can be seen among them.4 SEA CLAMPHe’s been on the move. The latest reports have him in Sector…PANEL THREEA close-up of the 3D map, with a flashing indicator saying ‘Optimus Prime’ clearly in ‘Sector Ronta’.PANEL FOURAn extreme close-up of Sea Clamp’s mouth, with a small, evil grin.5 SEA CLAMPKypa.PAGE TWENTYPANEL ONEBack on the battlefield, Razorclaw leaps over an old, abandoned trench.1 COMM-LINKI was about to divert reinforcements to that sector.2 RAZORCLAWScrap that. I'm going myself!3 COMM-LINKDo you think that wise, my Lord?PANEL TWOSea Clamp leans in and types into a glowing interface beside the 3D map.4 COMM-LINKRemember your place, Sea Clamp, or you’ll be in a ditch beside Prime!5 COMM-LINKRazorclaw, out.PANEL THREESea Clamp opens a small holographic communicator on his forearm. It displays a fearsome looking bot.6 SEA CLAMPSector Kypa.7 FEARSOME BOTIt will be done.PANEL FOURSea Clamp sits back in his chair and shares a knowing smile with Cicadacon.--- END ISSUE #3 ---
The Singer Chapter NineStarscream makes his next instructions very clear, his optics glinting with amusement as he lifts Orion’s picture. “They're asking me to lead,” he says, his optics flicking to Megatronus for a moment before darting back to Orion. “I am doing the best I can,” his optics jump back up, “to get the people that I need.”Megatronus squints at him for a moment as he interprets the song, before his shoulders straighten and he blinks in surprise. “You want me to help Optimus?” he says. “Are you sure he’ll want that?”In front of him, Starscream snorts and shakes his helm, turning away from him as he makes his way back to his berth. His wings swoop easily on his back as he stoops down to pick up the pictures he had previously discarded, an amused expression on his face as he shuffles them back together.He can’t help blinking a little at his reaction, since it is probably the first time the mech has been so relaxed and pleased around him, seemingly perfectly confident in whatever is going to happen next.“Alright then,” he says, and then he turns around to go find Optimus Prime. oOoThe hall to the audience chamber is still teeming with mechs from various city-states when he gets back, and he flicks his optics over the crowd. A dull buzz reaches his audio receptors as the voices of dozens of mechs overlap each other as they chat and wait to be called in to meet with the new Prime.Primus, he thinks as he flicks his optics up to the chamber door. While Optimus’ method of revealing his Primehood had obviously been effective, it certainly hadn't afforded him an easy transfer of power.That is just going to be something they are going to have to deal with though, and he vents in determinately as he squares his shoulders and begins to make his way through the crowd, heading towards the doors.There is a bulky red mech standing guard as he approaches, and he finds himself getting scanned warily as he comes to stop in front of him. “The Prime will get to ya when he can,” the guard says gruffly, the lines of what looks like a permanent scowl on his face. “I don’t know how long it’s goin’ to be.”Megatronus has to fight back a small smile as he thinks about the nightmare it must be to crowd control this situation. Thankfully, Prowl had given him the impression that he can skip the waiting list.“My name is Megatronus of Kaon,” he says as he pulls out his ID to show the guard. “I was told the Prime was waiting.”It feels weird, calling a mech he had known as Orion not that long ago the ‘Prime’, but… he will manage. He has more important things to worry about.In front of him, the guard’s optics widen at the sight of his ID and he finds himself getting scanned again, this time with a bit more appreciation. “Ah, you’re Megatronus,” he says, his shoulders loosening slightly as he looks back towards the doors. “I’ll let the Prime know you’re here. Hang on a klick.”He nods at that and puts away his ID as the guard turns to slip into the meeting room. The door opens silently and affords him a brief glimpse of a few mechs gathered around a table, seemingly in deep conversation.It doesn’t take long for the guard to come back, the door closing silently behind him as he comes through. “You can come in once he’s finished with the batch from Polyhex,” he says as he retakes his guard post. “No one’ll come in while you’re with ‘em.”The meeting doesn’t take long to adjourn, a servant from the inside opening the door as it begins to wrap up, letting him inside.“Thank you, Jazz,” he hears Optimus say, his voice much deeper and fuller than it used to be and his mask still in place as he sits and shakes servos with a smaller, blue-visored mech. “I will keep what you said in mind.”Megatronus doesn't know what they had discussed, but the black and white mech seems pleased, a smile on his face as he releases Optimus’ servo and stands to sweep into a quick bow. Light reflects off of the intricate decals on his armour that denote his Polyhexian origins, and Megatronus can’t help thinking of the wingstripes he had seen back in Vos.He waits patiently for Jazz to leave, his optics following the delegation until the door swings shut behind them and leaves him alone with Optimus still sitting at the table. For a klick he wonders if the silence will be uncomfortable, but Optimus seems too relieved to see him for that to happen.“Megatronus,” he says, relief evident in his voice, his mask sliding away as his optics brighten. “It's good to see you.”He can’t help smiling at that, and he comes closer, his optics flicking over Optimus’ changed form as he goes to take the chair that Jazz had just vacated. “You are looking…well.”Optimus winces and huffs out a vent, running a servo over his face and somehow instantly transforming from a solemn Prime to an overwhelmed archivist. “Don’t remind me,” he says tiredly, waving his servo at him. “I nearly embarrassed myself getting into this chair because I forgot how big I was. It’s only been a few orns you know. I’d stand up, but I’m pretty sure I’ll trip over myself doing it.”His expression is so rueful and put upon that Megatronus can’t help the laugh that bursts out of him. Optimus joins in after a klick, his shoulders loosening as he chuckles next to him.“I really am happy to see you,” he says as they calm down again, an irritated huff bursting out of his vents as he slumps in his chair. “You won’t believe how hectic this orn as been.”Megatronus thinks back to all the article headers he had read, and a small smile flickers over his face. “Considering the crowds of people outside your doors, I think I can imagine.”Optimus groans and runs a servo over his face again. “Primus,” he mutters. “I’ve been in meetings this entire cycle. First with Senators, and then with palace staff, and then the councillors started arriving…” His engines growl and Megatronus blinks to find the mech glaring, his annoyance at his orn finally manifesting.“I swear they all think I’m stupid,” he says, sitting up higher in his chair and giving him a forlorn look. “Most of the higher-up mechs don’t like the fact that I was an archivist—you should have seen—one of them made a comment about my lack of robes.” He laughs, shaking his helm. “Even if I had had some as Orion, they definitely wouldn’t fit now, and I don’t see how my lack of robes has anything to do with my ability to meet with people.”“There are still mech’s in high positions here?” Megatronus asks, a little surprised, given how chaotic the news had made the ejection of corrupt Senators seem.In front of him, Optimus sighs and waves his servo in a so-so gesture. “Some,” he says. “But given Sentinel’s corruption, I don't really know who I can trust— besides you.” He nods at him before huffing and rolling his optics. “I can tell already that nearly all of them are trying to play me for a fool,” he says. “I can tell they are all trying to pander to me, but at the same time they don’t really think that I am a proper Prime. Everything I do wrong just proves it to them.”He sighs, and his shoulders slump. “Somehow it is my fault that I don’t have a plan for how to suddenly replace the whole entire Senate at once.” He vents and gives him a tired look. “I’m doing my best, but I hardly have any experience with this, and I can feel people trying to turn me into a figurehead Prime or something. They think I’m naïve enough that they will just be able to do whatever they want.”Megatronus frowns at that, but finds he isn’t really surprised. Thanks to the way he had become Prime, Optimus has almost no actual political allies, so to any Senators or Councillors who hope to spread their circle of power, the new Prime probably looks like easy kill.“I can’t let that happen,” he hears Optimus say quietly, and he glances up to see the mech sitting with a troubled expression on his face. “Right now, people don’t want to listen to me,” he continues, his optics flicking to meet his. “But, even though I don’t know how to be a Prime, I am an archivist, and I’ve spent my whole life learning about how Cybertron works.” He swallows and vents out a sigh, his optics dropping down to the table. “Sentinel and a lot of the past Primes have done a lot of damage to this planet,” he says softly, before he looks back up at him. “I think— I have ideas of how to help fix it. But I’m going to need help.”Megatronus blinks as he realises what he is asking. “From me?” he says, and Optimus nods quickly, leaning forward.“Yes,” he says, laying his servo on the table between them. “I know you have more experience with politics than I do, and I know I can’t do everything myself. I need someone I can trust by my side. Someone who I know isn’t trying to play me for their own gain.”Megatronus stares at him, and he can't help feeling like a bit of an idiot as he thinks back to his previous concern and anger over what Orion would become as Optimus Prime. He had been busy trying to convince himself that Optimus would somehow become like the other Primes, and he hadn't bothered to consider that the mech in front of him also hadn't been expecting what had happened.He hadn't asked to be Prime. All he had done was go out on a limb in an effort to remove Sentinel's corruption, and now suddenly, he is expected to lead the entire planet.And he knows specifically how corrupt everyone around him is.He knows he is probably expect to fail, so said corruption can grow.He can't imagine how overwhelming that must be, and the fact that Optimus had managed to make things function at all right now is probably commendable. His mind flashes back to Starscream's amusement over his doubts as to whether Optimus would want his help, and he can't help smiling too.“You really have ideas for improvement?” he asks, and across from him, Optimus’ optics brighten, the excited archivist in him coming to the forefront as he sits up.“Yes,” he says. “As archivists, we could research things and come to conclusions and write reports, but nothing ever happened with them. We could research caste poverty, and make suggestions based on past initiatives but nothing would happen.” He draws in a vent and gives him a satisfied look. “But now, I can start using that research. I can actually use the Archive for what it is for.”“And the Singer,” Megatronus speaks up, straightening in his seat, his spark rising in his chest. “He hasn’t been used properly in eons. But you can.”In front of him, Optimus smiles. “Of course,” he says. “Everything has been so busy, I’ve hardly had the time to think— but Starscream already knew many of the corrupt Senators, I bet he can help us choose honest ones.”Megatronus nods at that, although he personally doesn’t really like the idea of a Senate, even an honest one. But, under Optimus, it might be acceptable, and hopefully during his reign they can put some measures in place that will prevent that level of corruption from happening again.“Alright,” he says, looking up at Optimus with determination. “Let’s get to work.” oOoThings don’t become easy right away, there is still far too much that needs to be sorted out and investigated, but they make a good start on it. The arriving and waiting delegations begin to be escorted to guest rooms for the time being. Their presence foreshadows deca-orns of meetings and negotiations, but at least they are no longer clogging up the front lobby.The specific meetings with delegations get put on hold for a moment while Optimus puts out several statements about Sentinel’s eventual trial, and reassuring everyone that while all of his old treaties and policies will all eventually be re-investigated, they will stay in place for now.With that said, the planet no longer has to worry about their entire system of life being uprooted in one orn, and they can have a chance to try to find proper Senator candidates.And that is where Starscream comes in.“Ideally we want an equal number of Senators from each city-state,” Optimus tells him as they sit in his office. The room is still large and opulent, but it is on the second floor and farther away from the public, affording them some peace and quiet.Away from the prying optics of the public, Optimus has his mask off again, and he bends his helm over a list of names with Starscream. “Most of the city-states’ governing systems have been disrupted because of the corruption scandals,” he continues. “Although most of them have at least put in temporary leaders, so we can still work with them.”Starscream hums as he listens, his wings flicking lazily on his back as he leans forward and participates in his actual job for probably the first time ever since becoming the Singer. Megatronus can’t help smiling at that as he looks down at his own datapad of names.When they had first asked for Starscream to join them, a servant had informed them that Sentinel had typically only visited the Singer once a deca-orn, since meeting the Singer was expected of him, even if he didn’t care for anything he had to say.Megatronus flicks his optics over the two working mechs, and he imagines Starscream will be able to take a more active role in the palace from now on.Not everyone is happy about that though.“Wait.” In front of them, Councillor Firespark of Tyger Pax flicks his optics between the three of them, his gaze lingering on Starscream for a moment before it darts to Optimus. “I thought you were interviewing Senator candidates,” he continues, the ornaments on his frame rattling as he tosses his helm angerly. “You’re telling me you are actually basing your decision on whatever he says?”He points sharply at Starscream, and although Optimus’ mask covers most of his face, Megatronus can see his optics narrow in distaste for a nanoklick, obviously not impressed by the mech’s opinion of his Singer.Starscream only smiles at the mech. “I knew you were trouble when you walked in,” he tells him smugly, confirming what they already know. Councillor Firespark will not be finding himself on the Senate any time soon.Other meetings go better, and as the orns progress, they slowly compile a list of potential candidates. It isn’t complete yet, of course, several city-states are still dealing with the backlash of Sentinel’s removal, and have yet to send any delegations, but they are at least getting somewhere.(Vos in particular, he has heard, is reeling in shock and rage at the reveal of the Air Commander’s crimes, and he thinks they are still busy trying to replace him, so they have yet to come to Iacon.)A few orns into their work though, he begins to notice something just a little bit… off, with Starscream. The mech still seems completely willing to help them, sitting at the table with them for most of the orn as they work through candidates, and complaints, and other issues that are suddenly heaped on top of Optimus. Starscream gives input when he can, but Megatronus can’t help noticing that he seems… restless.Once he gives a name to the behaviour, it becomes almost glaringly obvious, and he watches as Starscream shifts anxiously in his seat. His optics rest on Optimus and his pile of datapads for only a moment before they flick off to the windows and then over to the side, his wings twitching agitatedly on his back. His digits spasm from where he taps them on the table, and his servo jerks up to scratch at his arm for a moment, before fluttering up to tug restlessly at a robe he doesn't have. (He hasn’t worn any since Sentinel had stepped down and been arrested, and Megatronus finds his isn’t surprised.)The scratching isn’t even enough to dull his paint, but Megatronus can’t help the spark of alarm he feels at the sight of it. His CPU flashes back to when he had walked in on Starscream in the middle of his breakdown, the mech seeming to care little as he had scratched deep enough to draw energon.“Starscream?” he finds himself asking, the mech’s optics jumping to him like a startled turbofox. “Are you alright?”Optimus looks up at the concern in his voice, his optics zeroing in on Starscream’s agitated expression. “Is something wrong?” he asks, and Starscream’s optics jump between them, his wings twitching sharply as his vents turn low and shallow.Megatronus can feel Optimus’ concern grow at Starscream’s reaction, and he sits up slowly, his optics still on the edgy Seeker. For his part, Starscream’s optics drop down towards the table, his wings stiff on his back as he presses his lips together, seeming reluctant to talk to them for the first time in orns.Megatronus swallows at that, and Optimus’ optics flick to him worriedly, before he looks back at Starscream. “Starscream,” he starts slowly as he pulls his servo away from his datapads and gives the Seeker his full attention. “You know you can tell us anything, right? If you need something, that’s okay.”Megatronus’ mind flashes back to what Ratchet had said once about Starscream’s trine, and he wonders if that is the problem. But that train of thought gets cut off as Starscream finally darts his optics back up to them, his wings fluttering nervously behind him as he flicks his optics around the room. His gaze rests for a moment on the window again before he looks back at Optimus.“Look up,” he says, his voice barely above a whisper as he watches Optimus, his shoulders hunching in on himself. “Call to the sky. Oh, look up and don't ask why.” Megatronus blinks at the plaintiff note in his voice, and he watches as his lips press together again and he vents shakily, his wings jerking sharply on his back before he continues again, the tune changing with another song.“I know that ooh, birds fly in different directions.” His servos press into the table and his voice climbs beautifully as he sings the rising notes, his optics darting to Optimus. “Ooh, I hope to see you again. Ooh, birds fly in every direction.” He swallows. “So fly high, so fly high.”He vents shakily as he finishes before he seems to shrink back in his chair, as if he expects to be yelled at. Megatronus doesn’t want to think about what could have prompted that response, but he has a pretty good idea.From the subtle flash in Optimus’ optics, he thinks the mech is on the same wavelength as him, but he keeps his reaction mostly hidden, not wanting to frighten Starscream even more as he tries to work out what he is saying.It doesn’t take long, and Megatronus has to give credit to the theory that the Prime is supposed to be able to understand the Singer better than most, because Optimus’ optics brighten after only a few klicks, his helm darting over from Starscream to the window and back again as he figures out what the problem is.“Oh!” he says, drawing a surprised twitch from Starscream, the mech watching him with a slight air of confusion as Optimus smiles at him. “Of course,” he says, settling back in his chair. “I should have realised. You need to fly, don’t you?”Megatronus blinks and finds himself thinking back, trying to remember the last time Starscream had flown. Certainly not since Optimus had been thrust into office and— and hadn't the servant said when she had been leading them to meet Starscream in the Gardens that he was having his flight of the deca-orn?He thinks of Vos, with its rising skyscrapers, and its sky-highways and opens skies… and he thinks Starscream’s deca-orn flight in the Gardens can hardly compare.Optimus seems to think similarly. “Actually,” he says, shrugging almost casually, as though Starscream isn’t currently watching his every move. “I read during my research that the Singer used to fly over Iacon regularly.” His optics flick up to Starscream and he holds his gaze with a kind look. “You should do that, I think,” he says quietly. “The Gardens seem a little small to me.”Starscream’s optics widen at that, and Megatronus nods, clearing his intakes as he jumps on board with Optimus’ plan. “We should take a break actually,” he says, sharing a glance with the mech, before looking back at Starscream. “You could go fly now, if you want to.”To be honest, he isn’t really sure if Starscream is venting or not, the mech continuing to stare at them with wide optics, his wings completely still behind him as he takes in what they are saying.“Yeah,” Optimus agrees, drawing his stunned optics as his mask closes over his face and he prepares to stand, seeming to pick up on the fact that the Seeker is in too much shock from their positive response to figure out what to do with it. “We should do that.”Megatronus gets up too, and Starscream trails along behind them as they exit the office, the mech watching them mutely as though he can’t quite believe what is happening. It doesn’t take long to reach the balcony that looks out to the lobby, and Megatronus watches as Starscream’s optics dart over to the doors leading outside as they begin to descend the steps to the first floor.He wonders privately when was the last time Starscream had been let outside. It seems to him that Sentinel had made it a policy to keep a very tight leash on the Singer.Starscream’s optics dart nervously to the guards as they approach the doors, but all they do is nod respectfully at Optimus and open the doors for them. This leaves Starscream to stand in the threshold, a frozen expression on his face as he stares out at the sky.Megatronus and Optimus stop quietly to watch him, and a slight breeze flits through the doors, Starscream’s wings twitching as it brushes over him. His vents catch and a strangled noise bursts out of his throat before he breaks into a run, his wings flaring and his arms raising up beside him as he runs out into the sun.Megatronus follows with Optimus as they step outside and watch as Starscream reaches the edge of the stairs. His thrusters ignite in one leap as he rises and twists, transforming in an instant, his engines roaring and a sharp shriek filling the air as he blasts off.Megatronus finds himself speechless as he watches, his optics wide and mesmerized as Starscream shoots up into the sky. If he didn’t know better, he would swear there is an undertone of pure joy to the sound of his engines as he arches upwards, his flight faster and higher than anything he had been limited to in the Gardens.He stays within the vicinity of the palace, but that only means that he and Optimus have a front row seat as the Seeker swoops through the air. His frame is sometimes only a speck in the sky as he leaps through spirals and barrel rolls and freefalls, his wings cutting through the air with near mind-blowing skill.Beside him, he sees Optimus reach up to rub at his chassis for a moment, and he looks over. “When I got the Matrix…” he starts softly, his optics dim as he thinks. “Primus knew how his Singer was being treated. He…” his optics crinkle with something like wry amusement and he shakes his helm. “He was not pleased.”Megatronus blinks, and he wonders what it must have been like exactly, to feel that.“I think Sentinel limited his flying time,” Optimus continues, his face tilted up as he continues to watch Starscream’s flight with appreciation. “In my research, it says that Seekers need to fly. I think that Sentinel limited it to the bare minimum.”Megatronus swallows and nods in agreement. “Yeah,” he says softly, looking back up. “I think Sentinel felt threatened by him, since the Singer can’t be faked.” He vents tiredly and watches Starscream loop around a cloud in the sky. “I guess we shouldn’t be surprised he was so controlling of him.”He hears Optimus’ engines churn unhappily at that, and he looks over. “What about his trine?” he says, remembering how Starscream’s behaviour had reminded him of the missing Seekers. “Have you been able to find anything about them now?”Beside him, Optimus sighs, his optics taking on a sad light as he watches Starscream. “I haven’t had much time, but so far I haven’t found anything useful,” he says. “I did send a message to Vos a few orns ago, but they are still busy finding a new Air Commander. I think it will be some time before they get back to me.”Megatronus gives his own sigh and nods, his optics turning back to the Seeker in the sky. High above them, Starscream continues to swoop joyously through the air, a few notes drifting down to them as he realises the Seeker is singing, his flight sparking a song sung more for the skies than for them.He can only hear a few words as the music drifts down to them on the wind, but he smiles at the sound.“Clipped wings, I was a broken thing, had a voice, had a voice but I could not sing… And I don’t care if I sing off key…I find myself in my melodies…I shout it out like a bird set free…” oOoStarscream’s spirits seem to rise with his flight, and Optimus informs him that he doesn’t need permission to go flying, only to make sure the guards can ensure his safety. Starscream doesn’t seem to have a problem with that—although Megatronus heavily suspects that part of that has to do with the fact that Optimus had gone through and purged the guard of the mechs most loyal to Sentinel.Sideswipe and Sunstreaker had made the cut. Vortex and Brawl had not.The freer flying aside, they don’t really have a solution for Starscream’s missing trine. If Starscream knows where they are, he doesn’t seem to be able to tell them, and asking him about them yields nothing because he can’t even tell them their names.Thankfully, Vos seems to be sorting itself out, and Optimus soon gets a message from the new Air Commander Starseeker, the femme informing him that a delegate will be visiting them shortly.He comes during the mid-orn cycle.Megatronus, Optimus and Starscream are busy reviewing a potential Senate Candidate from Tyger Pax named Bumblebee, when a servant interrupts them. Optimus’ mask snaps into place as the mech ducks into the office, holding the door open as though ready to slip back out in an instant and bowing apologetically.“The Seeker delegate is here,” he says as he stands up again. Optimus blinks at him in surprise, glancing between them for a moment before he looks back at the servant.“Thank you for telling me,” he says finally, nodding at the mech. “You can show him to the guest quarters. I will meet with him after my meetings with Shockwave tomorrow.”In front of them, the servant presses his lips together and he shifts a little uneasily. “Forgive me, Prime,” he says quickly, bowing again. “He seems rather insistent. He is demanding to see the Singer.”“The Singer—?” Optimus starts confusedly, only to be cut off by the sound of shouting outside. The sound is too far away and muffled to be understandable, but as the servant winces and Optimus’ brow furls in confusion, Megatronus watches Starscream sit up abruptly, his optics widening and his mouth dropping open as his vents stall.He stares at him, and before Optimus can respond to the noise, Starscream is scrambling out of his chair. His optics are wide and his vents thin and rapid as he darts towards the door, the servant jerking it open in surprise to let the frantic Seeker through.All it takes is one look between each other before he and Optimus are up and out of their chairs as well. The two of them head to the door as Megatronus tries to think what could possibly excite such a response from Starscream.They catch up to him at the balcony, the mech standing stock still by the railing, his optics pinned on the form of an angry, shouting Seeker below. “I’m not leaving until I see him!” Megatronus hears him yell as he pulls away from a set of approaching guards. “I know what the former Prime did— I demand to see the Singer!”His optics widen as he recognises the voice, and in front of him, Starscream ignores the stairs completely, choosing instead to simply leap over the railing. His thrusters ignite and his wings flare behind him for balance as he sails down towards the Seeker in the lobby. Megatronus’ optics follow him, and he can’t help noting that the blue mech below looks suspiciously like the Seeker Thundercracker, whom he had met only a deca-orn ago.He and Optimus approach the railing, and his suspicions are confirmed as the mech’s yells cut off and his optics widen at the sight of Starscream. A strangled noise catches in his throat as he runs forward to meet him, and Starscream doesn’t slow as he lands, the two collapsing in a tangled heap as Starscream grasps desperately as Thundercracker. A sob hitches in his throat and he squeezes his optics shut as he wraps his arms around him, his plating rattling as he clings tighter.Around them, the guards shift uncertainly and glance up for direction. Megatronus waves them down without a second thought, his optics solemn as he looks down at the two Seekers. His CPU flashes back to Thundercracker’s tense and angry reaction to the mention of the Singer in Vos, and he has a pretty good idea of what is happening now.Optimus has probably caught on to it too, the mech standing silently beside him as they watch Starscream press his helm into Thundercracker’s chest. His vents stutter unsteadily as his wings tremble behind him.“I've been hearing symphonies,” Megatronus hears him sing, his voice thin and sparkbreaking as he clutches tightly at Thundercracker. “Before all I heard was silence.”In his arms, Thundercracker shudders out a muffled noise and he ducks his helm into his shoulder, his own grip on Starscream only letting up enough so that he can run a servo over Starscream’s wings as he continues his song. “A rhapsody for you and me,” he sings, his voice rising and falling with straining emotion, his wings pressing into Thundercracker’s touch. “And every melody is timeless.”It takes a while for Starscream and Thundercracker to calm down enough to actually talk to them, but Megatronus can’t really blame them. Even once they are more or less composed and sitting in front of him and Optimus, they still don’t let go of each other, some part of them always touching as they sit across the table from them.“You’re his trinemate,” Megatronus starts with the obvious, and Thundercracker nods.“Yes,” he says quietly, his servo tightening on Starscream’s. “I would have come earlier, but things were kind of a mess in Vos.”Megatronus nods at that, before he darts his optics over Thundercracker. “Why didn’t you mention this earlier?” he wonders. “When I was in Vos, you said you didn’t know who the Singer’s trine was.”In front of him, Thundercracker sighs, his engines letting out a slight growl as he scowls down at the table. “I wasn’t allowed to,” he says quietly, before glancing at Starscream. “After ‘Screamer was sent to Iacon— and even before that really, we basically got put on lockdown. Nobody was supposed to know who his trine was, because nobody was supposed to know for sure that his trine wasn’t with him like it was supposed to be.”“Why weren’t you?” Optimus asks, his voice solemn as he looks at them with a steady, understanding gaze. “Why were you kept separate?”Thundercracker snorts and shakes his helm, his servo tightening on Starscream’s again before he looks up at them. “A lot of reasons probably,” he says bitterly. “Control is a big one. Trinemates are good leverage against each other.”Megatronus nods slowly at that, not at all surprised that Sentinel would choose to do something like that. “Air Commander Sunburst was in cahoots with Sentinel, yes?” he says, calling Thundercracker’s gaze over to him. “I suppose keeping you by his side is a good way to ensure you never cause problems.”A trinemate for each of the leaders, he thinks bitterly. Each kept locked up in a gilded cage.Thundercracker grimaces at that and nods, before Optimus sits up slightly. “Wait,” he says, glancing between the two Seekers. “Trines are supposed to have three mates, is your third mate still in Vos?”Both Thundercracker and Starscream wince at that, and Megatronus watches as their wings twitch agitatedly, twin scowls on their faces. “No,” Thundercracker gets out as he looks back up at Optimus. “Sentinel took him away.”“Locked away,” Starscream says mournfully, his wings fanning behind him as he looks at Optimus. “In an unknown place.” His voice breaks slightly on the high note, and he looks away.“We think Sentinel locked him in a prison somewhere,” Thundercracker clarifies, his optics darting between him and Optimus as Megatronus marvels at the sudden ease at understanding Starscream’s clues. “We don’t know where.”His CPU helpfully brings up the time Sentinel had censored Starscream because of ‘someone he had in his custody’, and a scowl grows on his face as he huffs out a vent and looks up. “Why did Sentinel lock away your mate, but leave you in Vos?” he asks, and Thundercracker’s wings slump slightly as he looks at him.“I think…” he says slowly. “It was so he could have someone close to Starscream nearby,” his lips press together, and he looks down, his voice dropping into a mutter. “Sunburst probably wanted some collateral for himself, so he kept me, and… well the best way to punish a trine is to separate them.”Megatronus’ tanks flip unhappily at that, and he looks over as Optimus sits up, determination lighting up in his optics. “What was his name?” he asks, looking at each Seeker in turn. “If Sentinel took him, then there must be a record somewhere.” His optics flash and Megatronus imagines he is giving them a crooked smile under his mask. “I have a lot of experience with those.” oOoSkywarp.The third trinemate is Skywarp, and once Optimus has the name, it doesn’t take long for him to task the entire Archives into finding out what had happened to him. With an entire army of archivists, it takes less than two orns before they receive an answer back in the form of a datapad and a prison record.“He’s in a prison at the edge of the city,” Optimus tells them, Starscream and Thundercracker practically vibrating with impatience as they organise themselves. “I’ve already told Prowl to get a convoy ready for us. We’ll go get him as soon as possible.”As quickly as they are working, it still takes about an orn to get everything in order. Starscream and Thundercracker bear it the best they can, but while Optimus tries to offer distractions in the form of working with the Polyhexian delegates to pick which instruments he should order, the work is only holding action for the anxious Seekers.Even with the impressive speed the palace guard manage to organise everything, Megatronus doubts anything could be fast enough for the two trinemates. The orn of the retrieval arrives though, and he watches them sit tensely next to each other in the transport vehicle, their servos clasped tightly as they watch the scenery change as they drive out of the main city.The prison, when they arrive, is an imposing isolated grey complex, everything about it utilitarian and severe, an electric fence surrounding the whole compound as they drive in. Megatronus can’t help the sour feeling that builds up in his tank as he looks around the desolate place, unable to imagine how long Skywarp must have been held here, away from his trinemates and his people.He hopes Sentinel is being kept in a place as bad as this while he awaits his trial. He doubts it, but he wishes it anyways.Both Thundercracker and Starscream have similar sick looks on their faces as they get out of the transport vehicle, the two Seekers silent and stiff as Prowl steps forward to guide them towards the main building. Megatronus vents quietly and follows along with Optimus as they trail a few paces behind.Once inside, they are met by the head warden, a stiff red and white mech named Red Alert. According to Prowl, the mech has a reputation for running a tight—but fair—ship, so Megatronus has at least some hope that Skywarp hadn't been subject to more cruelty here, on top of being unjustly imprisoned and kept from his trinemates.Red Alert guides them towards a visiting room and keys the door open. “Everything should be in order for him to leave this orn,” he tells Optimus simply, before he gestures for them to enter and finally ducks away.Prowl stays outside, but Megatronus and Optimus follow after the two trinemates as they step into the mostly baren, grey room. A Seeker stands by the far wall, next to another door, and Megatronus watches as Starscream and Thundercracker stumble to a halt. Silence hangs in the air as their optics become pinned on the red pair of the black and purple mech, Skywarp standing just as frozen across from them.Even from a distance, Megatronus can tell the Seeker’s time in prison has worn on him. His paint is dull and scratched in places, the purple wingstripes on his wings chipping away in spots as he draws in a sharp vent.The moment breaks, and Starscream lets out a desperate noise as he and Thundercracker sprint across the room. They tumble together in a frenzy of metal limbs, all three of them shaking and trembling as they reunite.“Primus,” Thundercracker whispers as he clings to his trinemate, his voice thin with emotion and his servos shaking as he runs them over and over again on Skywarp’s plating. “Primus, primus— I didn’t think I would ever see you again.”In his arms, Skywarp lets out a wet laugh, his optics bright with tears as he clings to his trinemates, his own stuttered phrases getting lost amid his trinemates’ as they check each other over. Thundercracker mutters lowly about the state of Skywarp’s wings while the mech himself seems more appalled by Starscream’s complete lack of wingstripes than anything else. His servos flutter over the bare panels, and Thundercracker hums a low agreement and mutters something about fixing the problem soon.Megatronus’ spark warms at the sight, and when he looks over, Optimus’ optics hold the same warmth, a pleased gleam in his gaze as he watches the three Seekers come together. “I’m glad we were able to find him,” he says quietly, and Megatronus nods.Next to him, Optimus sucks in a deep vent and lets it out as a sigh, his optics flicking around the room with a troubled look. “I think I’m going to have to look into what other kinds of people Sentinel has been locking away,” he says tiredly. His shoulders slump slightly as he takes in the sheer magnitude of work he has in front of him. “There is so much to do.”Megatronus nods, but bumps shoulders with him, calling his attention as he raises his chin. “We’ll be able to figure it out,” he says confidently, and Optimus’ optics flick over him hopefully.“You think so?” he says, and in front of them, Megatronus hears Starscream begin to hum. The notes rise and fall rapidly, and the tune is filled with so much mixing emotion that it doesn’t even need words, the song managing to perfectly encapsulate his feelings upon reuniting with his trinemates.He looks over at the three Seekers and he smiles, his spark settling contently in his chest. “Yes,” he says quietly, his optics flicking over the group as the other Seekers begin to hum along, their harmonies matching perfectly to Starscream’s song. “I do.”The End
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