z
  • Home

Young Writers Society


E - Everyone

The Merge Anthology TRANSFORMERS fanfiction: A ghost in the Machine (STORY 1)

by HildeMint


He liked to be in control. He loved the feeling of power that came from seeing someone adore him. He hated to see things done so obviously wrong when he could’ve done them better. All of those things combined made Starscream hate the Decepticons. It was all so... unnecessary, if that buffoon Megatron had half a working logic circuit he could’ve destroyed the Autobots without dragging it out for four hundred million planetary cycles. He had the support, he had the armies at his command, if unofficially, and the high council feared him, at least until they were delt with.

Megatron wasn’t a good leader, he was a miner who was good at breaking things. He was a joke of a despot; he had strategy when dealing with large amounts of troops and his own storied combat prowess, but he had no long-term plans, and worst of all he had grown… fond of conflict, he was addicted to it. Starscream, on the other servo, was a commander caste, a brilliant taction, and a glorious politician. He had successfully led his seekers on every foray, he had been realized as more than a flier in Vos he had succeeded and continued to succeed, and yet… and yet Megatron led and was credited to the smooth, elegant, and destructive power of the Decepticon fleet. No one noticed Starscream clawing his way up the ladder, not Megatron, no one suspected him of greatness! not until he was second in command, THEN his name was known, THEN he was feared but as the mouth piece of Megatron. No one cared about Starscream, and no one cared when that autobot put a hole in his chest.

“Starscream!” A sharp perpetually angry voice shouted. Megatron.

Instantly, the bridge came into focus, it was a large open room, with computers and displays shoved against the walls to make room for more empty space, the only way onto the bridge proper was a singular raised purple catwalk that fed into the large central platform, Starscream had watched many bots get thrown off of that catwalk and into the chasm below. When the Nemesis was created it had nearly twenty command chairs that were manned at all times to keep the warship steady, now there was only one. The huge spiked throne sat threatingly in the middle of the room; it was currently empty. The huge window showed the organic planet’s sprawling green terrain and cloudy blue sky dotted with settlements of its squishy populace.

On the platform that expanded from the catwalk heavy custom machinery let out soft whirls that Soundwave had done his best to silence. The bridge crew now consisted of Soundwave and three Vehicons. Starscream had to train the Vehicons to be on the bridge crew, which was only made more annoying by the fact that anything that regularly worked in a close proximity to Megatron needed often replacement.

Megatron stared out of the large window, his arms folded behind his back in what Starscream called his concerned pose. He was larger than the average Cybertronian, due to his caste being in hard physical labor, large decorative spikes were welded into his shoulder pads, he was he was sliver and rather plain. He had red optics which, wasn’t uncommon, His only visible weapon was a large arm mounted cannon, the cracks between his armor plates glowed softy red, His head had a helmet like appearance, Megatron was the type of bot you would’ve had a hard time picking from a crowd in the gladiator ring. The only reason he was unique now was because most of the gladiators died out back on Cybertron.

Soundwave was working at his station as always, information caste, Starscream wasn’t sure which one, he had normal servos although they were rather claw like, which he used along with er- tentacles that he would plug into the computer directly, he was short and purple, with some black it honestly fit him rather well, most bots here were darker colors but Soundwave stood out, probably because of his rather unique lanky build, he was almost entirely comprised of thin spikes with nary a flat surface in sight. His head was angler and his faceplate had been replaced with a screen, he had two mini-cons which were stored in alt mode for most of the time, which was wise, Megatron probably trusted Soundwave to the most, but that didn’t mean he was safe around him. Soundwave never spoke, some kind of vow of silence, out of all of the ship’s crew, Starscream detested Soundwave the least.

Vehicons guarded the door, Vehicons all looked the same, even the females were hard to pick out unless you already knew, silver heads, one long red optic, small mouth mostly for visuals, purple in color. There were two of them, standing stock still facing the door. V-45632134 and V-873623 Starscream mentally frowned, they were normally patrol, why hadn’t he been informed of the change? Unless of course, V-684333 and V-99934521 had been slagged by an angry Megatron and the two closest patrol bots had been called in to guard. He made a mental note to transfer V-45632134, she was promising.

Arachnid was also on the bridge, which was strange, she was normally skulking somewhere plotting something. Arachnid was Megatron’s new second in command, well she wasn’t really new, she had been instated after Starscream’s death. There were most definitely some hard feelings and he made sure to hinder her whenever possible, even when he agreed with her plans. She was tall for a fembot, that was partly aided by her six extra limbs, six spindly sticks with sharpened points that came out of her back. She was purple, like most bots on this ship, with some yellow on her face plate that lined her optics like kohl. Her optics were solid black, rare, but as far as Starscream knew that was just a spider thing.

Starscream made himself visible behind Megatron, he was out of attack range, but still close enough to surprise. “Yes, my lord?

Megatron visibly tensed he swung around and scowled at Starscream’s semitransparent form. “Mobilize a strike force.” He said,

Starscream had to force back a snarl, “If I may ask my liege, what is the occasion?”

“That isn’t your place to know ghost.” Arachnid hissed.

“Silence Arachnid.” Megatron said holding up a hand in her direction “Two unknown units have been spotted, make sure they have a proper welcoming committee.”

“Of course, my lord, I’ll begin preparations immediately.” Starscream said, his voice warbling as he vanished with a bow. He smirked; Arachnid was most definitely in charge of this mission. He pinged Soundwave for the coordinates, he pinged V-88788382 to replace V-45632134, then he pinged Strike team Brigont to ready themselves. Starscream had purposefully arranged Brigont to be filled with the weakest and glitched Vehicons, he had to put them somewhere, and best of all, it was a completely untraceable form of sabotage.

He pinged V-45632134 to0, once replaced, return to the barracks and await further orders. Then Starscream sighed, it wasn’t audible or visible, it didn’t exhale any heated nitrogen to cool his systems, but he knew that he sighed. The bridge went out of focus. His quarters, it was almost a formality, if there was anything formal about the decepticon fleet, came into focus. The room was dark, he didn’t bother with lights, the door was almost rusted shut, it not like he needed to use a door, it had a berth that he had never used, and his computer, the only thing he used in his quarters, there were no trophies or holo-books on the built in shelving, there were no personal objects strewn about on the countertops, there was nothing to show that the room was inhabited, in a way, it wasn’t, it was haunted like everything else on this flying scrap heap of a ship.

Starscream made himself visible and he began to pace, the repetitive action organized his thoughts. Two unknown units, interesting, the ship’s scanners didn’t pick them up, otherwise he would’ve been the first to know. The Vehicons would’ve reported to him first as well. That leaves five possible options.

It isn’t Megatron, ever since he spent several stellar cycles in deep space, he hasn’t left the Nemesis, which is strange and worrying, he claims to hate the war (ha) that it is a necessary evil to purify Cybertron yada yada, but in his spark, behind all of the fancy language he is a gladiator, and he feasts on violence. He found something, and it is going be a pain in my tail pipe unless I can figure out what.

Breakdown? Maybe, he did leave the ship recently, but if he spotted any unknowns, he would probably rush into things head first, unless of course, Knockout was with him, which… Starscream walked over to his computer and checked the travel log, no, not Breakdown then.

Starscream began to pace again Knockout on his own? He is able to sneak out- even without me noticing… somehow… but he wouldn’t tell Mega bolts for brains, that he leaves without permission and let it be somebot else’s problem.

Soundwave or Arachnid, Arachnid was sent after them, which is strange, however she wouldn’t tell Megatron, she would figure out a way to profit off of this for herself. So, Soundwave, he left the ship twelve cycles ago, told Megatron when I wasn’t paying attention and now Arachnid has the upper hand.

In what exactly? Starscream stopped pacing, he could’ve killed Megatron by now, he controlled much more of the ship than he let on, he was more powerful than he had been when he was alive. What is power without bots to adore you for it? The Vehicons treated him like a messenger for Megatron’s greatness, Megatron himself treated him as if he was the Nemesis’ AI, Knockout and Breakdown like he was a curiosity, a medical fluke to be replicated, Arachnid mocked him with her very existence and Soundwave… well it is hard to know what Soundwave is thinking but Starscream doubted it was any good.

He could attempt a takeover but he had no support, even when he succeeded (because I can most definitely succeed) what would be the point? no one remembered Starscream the Commander, the Second in Command, the strategist behind the great seeker armada, that Starscream had died. It wouldn’t be a new, greater leader taking over the mantle from a popular failure, it would be a strange malfunction of the ship, even if he claimed to be the one who killed him, no one would believe that Starscream the great and wonderful manager of which identical bot stood in which identical hallway could lead, even when he did lead no one would idolize him like they do Megatron, Starscream was missing something, Megatron had something that he didn’t.

Starscream frowned at his dilemma, he had no discernable purpose, no option that wouldn’t lead him to becoming a forgotten relic, other than to do what he was told. He could slag everyone, but then what? Call the Autobots and beg for their adoration, their respect? Wait until the ship runs out of Energon then let the organic pests of this planet do with me what they will? If he did not submit to being a pawn of someone he despised, with no chance of ever rising above his current position as he always had before, with no chance of glory and respect, he would be stuck doing nothing for eternity or until he found a way to pass on, and Starscream was not willing to join with the Allspark just yet. So what? I sit around until we win or lose this war doing menial tasks trying not to become obsolete? He shouted in frustration, but it made no sound.

Anger seethed from his ghostly form in waves at the revelation of his predicament. He began to pace again quickly, forcibly shifting his perspective, as thoughts whirled through his mind and as his discomfort grew, he didn’t notice the shaking of the Nemesis with each of his steps it seemed to rattle under his nonexistent weight, the battleship shuddered and groaned as if agitated. It began to speed up along its predetermined course, it twisted from side to side giving it the feeling of a rocking boat. A shout of alarm filled the normally silent barracks, Soundwave hunched over his terminal trying to locate the problem, only to find that the Nemesis was doing exactly what it was being told to do, although, by who was a mystery.

V-45632134 crashed into a berth as she made her way through the barracks to her designated corner. She muttered something under her breath as she steadied herself, the other Vehicons looked at her with their unmoving, emotionless faceplates, as if expecting her to be smited for her outburst, she lowered her head in shame and carefully made her way to her berth.

In the Med Bay glass and small parts crashed to the floor along with the now lifeless body of a damaged Veicon, Knockout and Breakdown tried their best to minimize their losses. Processed Energon spilled on the floor. A scalpel fell from an upper shelf and buried itself in Breakdown’s shoulder and he let out a shout of surprised.

Arachnid and strike team Brigont stood in the bay watching as the door quickly opened and shut, one of the Vehicons tumbled forward as the ship tilted, he flailed as he fell toward the door reaching out to anything, he slid into the door way as the heavy metal doors slammed shut, with a sickening crunch and a slew of sparks the doors opened and the limp bot slipped out of the ship and into the clouds.

Starscream stopped moving, the ship slowed its speed and ceased shaking, the doors closed and unlocked. He smiled, perhaps… perhaps he could still win, he was powerful, incredibly so, if Starscream couldn’t become the loved and revered leader he had always deserved to be, then someone else, guided by Starscream could, for now, at least until his greatness was appreciated, be a placeholder.


Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
141 Reviews

Points: 12703
Reviews: 141

Donate
Fri Jun 21, 2024 12:26 am
Ley wrote a review...



Image

Hello fellow writer! Ley here to write a tortoise-y review on this amazing work you've published! This is a new review style that I'm using only for the month of June, in spirit of the Great Tortoise Race! Let's get started, 'shell' we? xD

Shell Start:
Okay, so, I'm sorry if I make some mistakes (lore-wise) in this review, but I haven't watched Transformers in about ten years, so I'm relaying on my past knowledge here. From what I know, the Decepticons are the evil ones, if I remember correctly, so I find this POV from Starscream super interesting. I also, like Starscream, hate Megatron. Let's get into some specifics~

Favorite Leaf:

Megatron stared out of the large window, his arms folded behind his back in what Starscream called his concerned pose.

Ha! This made me laugh. Love Starscream's opinions and commentary on Megatron throughout this fanfic. XD

Anger seethed from his ghostly form in waves at the revelation of his predicament. He began to pace again quickly, forcibly shifting his perspective, as thoughts whirled through his mind and as his discomfort grew, he didn’t notice the shaking of the Nemesis with each of his steps it seemed to rattle under his nonexistent weight, the battleship shuddered and groaned as if agitated.

The description here was awesome! We got a glimpse of how Starscream handles anger and tough thoughts, thank you for adding this in!

Shell Fractures:
I noticed that there are a ton of run-on sentences in this piece, for example the last two paragraphs,

Arachnid and strike team Brigont stood in the bay watching as the door quickly opened and shut, one of the Vehicons tumbled forward as the ship tilted, he flailed as he fell toward the door reaching out to anything, he slid into the door way as the heavy metal doors slammed shut, with a sickening crunch and a slew of sparks the doors opened and the limp bot slipped out of the ship and into the clouds.

Starscream stopped moving, the ship slowed its speed and ceased shaking, the doors closed and unlocked. He smiled, perhaps… perhaps he could still win, he was powerful, incredibly so, if Starscream couldn’t become the loved and revered leader he had always deserved to be, then someone else, guided by Starscream could, for now, at least until his greatness was appreciated, be a placeholder.

There is only one period in these closing statements inbetween sentences, so technically all of this was only two sentences all together. It can get hard when you're so immersed in the story to remember things like that, but to me, it's super important for a smoother story. Just a thought <3

Overall:
Even though I'm not that familiar with this whole world, I still found it a super fun read! I hope that in the future I can read more of your works. <3 thanks for sharing!

Thank you for taking the time to read this review! I hope to see you join the race, and keep being awesome! Happy Writing~

Image




HildeMint says...


thank you!



User avatar
50 Reviews

Points: 6037
Reviews: 50

Donate
Wed Jun 19, 2024 4:54 pm
Isbah wrote a review...



Hello!! I used to love watching transformers a few years ago, but I don’t really remember much now. When I saw this piece in the green room, I decided to review it :) I didn’t really like the character of starscream much but you’ve made him a relatable character. It’s a good story with the plot and all the descriptions. I specially empathise with how starscream lost his position and respect after working really hard and how everyone stopped noticing him.
I always loved soundwave XD
The mystery about how something is going on but starscream doesn’t know what is very intriguing.

Starscream, on the other servo, was a commander caste, a brilliant taction, and a glorious politician.

To be honest, I always thought starscream thinks too highly of himself, that’s why I don’t like him. Is that arrogance meant to be expressed here? If it’s not, maybe tone it down a bit, because it seems exaggerated.
That’s all. Keep writing. I’d love to see where you take this next!!




HildeMint says...


thanks! yes it is




You're a hairy, wizard!
— EllieMae