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Half a Life By: Sunstar

Dying of a broken bond; Starscream recalls the death of his bondmate and the shattering of his spark.

Authors note: This is only a scenario that went through my mind after an IRC chat concerning my RP Game. What if something happened to Starscream's bondmate, Phoenix, how would Starscream react? In this piece I am examining emotions.

This is only associated with my RP-verse so has no connection to my other works. Phoenix and Pulsar are characters that are by Phoenix.

This was written quite a long time ago, but I have revisited it and revised it.

Half a Life

How many nights I lie awake
Feeling your footprints in my soul
How many miles will it now take
To fill this cup and make it whole
Johnny clegg and Jaluka - Journey's end.

The weight of the universe rested upon his shoulders; it felt almost unbearable now. Pressure that felt like many billions of metric tons weighted him down. Too much weight for one mech to bear alone; alone in an unforgiving world where there was no chance of turning back. No chance at repairing that which was sundered. The ties were broken, gone forever.

"Pulsar can manage on his own now, " said Starscream to himself as he watched the young Seeker go off on his duties for the day. The red Seeker wearily crossed his quarters listening to the whoosh of the door as it closed behind the Prince, the Seeker's future ruler. He had only wished his son well for the day as he did every day. He gave him no hint to his intended plans.

He cocked his head straining to listen, to listen for a whisper or a sign. He listened for the sultry voice of his bondmate and sighed. The room was deadly silent today and would remain silent everyday until forever. Silent, cold, bereft of anything he had once held dear; it was much like the cold emptiness of the subspace void. It felt like a teleporter leap, only one which had no exit; he longed for such a leap.

Once more grief threatened to overwhelm Starscream and he inhaled deeply as he attempted to compose himself. But the spark breaking loneliness was intolerable.

He had taken to recluse in his quarters as often as he could, avoiding external contact with friends and other Decepticons. Though when he was out and about, Starscream's face showed no emotion. Only a hard coldness borne of a shattered spark. His walk no longer held the light spring of the once proud Emperor; instead it was solid and direct. His wings did not hold themselves full and wide; instead they sagged slightly. His optics shone with a dimmed light that craved the better days. Nor did his armour have the keen gloss of someone who had once spent many a good hour grooming.

He did his best to hide it and that only served to make him meaner, crueller. His pain was as much weakness as it was a strength. He had used it to his advantage, but no more.

He stifled a sob-like groan as he sank to his knees on the floor wishing for a way to change the past. But there were no reliable time machines. Starscream sat that way for several hours silently, pensively, looking up at the sword hanging on the wall. It had been a gift to him from the previous Decepticon leader a few decades earlier and it would be a gift to the next Decepticon leader.

It would be Pulsar who would lead the Decepticons in the never ending civil war. War; he hated it with a passion now. For him, the fight had long since finished.

He sighed heavily as he glanced at the collection of strange weapons. He had collected them over the years and displayed them on the wall. His optics finally laid to rest on the flame thrower that was propped lovingly against the wall. It was primed and polished to a keen glow, ready for instant use by its owner. But the owner was long dead. Starscream had kept it, maintained it, in perfect working order.

His lip curled for a moment in a rare fleeting smile as he thought about the chaos and carnage that the flame throwers had caused in the past. But the fond memory left as the ache of separation welled up inside the silent Seeker. Phoenix; his empress, queen, wife, bondmate, call her as one will, his beloved, had died five years earlier in a raid.

Oh such a simple raid, an easy raid that went so terribly, terribly wrong, so suddenly. He forever regretted issuing orders for the raid. Despite her urgings to discard the planned attack, he carried through ignoring the advice. He had ignored Phoenix, his trusted advisor, as Megatron had often ignored him, and sent her to her doom.

He remembered the moment. The day could not have been more perfect and he had been flying through the crisp blue sky and then he felt a tearing at his soul that burned like the hottest fire for the briefest second. A scream of anguish and pain slipped from his mouth as he fell from the sky to a spot near where she lay. At first he had thought he had been shot. After checking himself he found that he was not wounded, but his spark felt the very lethal gash that his bondmate had suffered. Two bodies, two minds, two wills and two conjoined sparks.

The mission; it was not supposed to happen that way. It was supposed to be a quick in, collect the energy, and out. However, their sneak attack turned into an ambush for them. Phoenix felt there had been a leak.

Starscream had landed and transformed, and ran at full speed dodging mortars and shrapnel that rained down from the sky. The earth shook and shuddered as the ground was torn up around him. He searched the fresh craters until he found her. His mouth opened and he uttered a shrill sob-like cry then fell to his knees. Before him she lay, a tattered mess of scorched metal and sparking wires that oozed energon.

His queen moved her head and smiled at him, her fingers reached up to take his shaking hand. He knelt at her side and held her close to his canopy pleading with her to hang on, but her wounds were fatal; he knew there was no chance.

She spoke to him, but her words were weak whispers. But, despite the thunderous sounds of warfare, he could hear her clearly. Starscream begged her to conserve her energy, promising that he would get her home and repaired. He kissed her lips that were wet with the energon that seeped from her mouth and crushed her to him. He offlined his optics and wept in silence. He ignored the falling debris that hammered all around him as he clung to his dying Empress.

And then a coldness swept over his being; like the wind of an Arctic squall.

The burning fire he had felt moments before went cold as if liquid nitrogen had been spilled over his body. The icy cold numbness left an emptiness where there had always been a warmth. When he brought his vision back online, his lifemate had died and turned grey. Her spark had parted her body taking a portion of his own along with her.

He tipped his head back and screamed out her name in a spark shattering cry that was lost in the sound of a nearby explosion. He bowed his head until the front of his helm touched hers. He remained that way until his two commanders, Skywarp and Thundercracker called the retreat. They found him, covered in dirt, his wings tattered from shrapnel and debris, and escorted him to Astrotrain.

Starscream felt that part of him died that day and the rest wanted to follow. He knew there was no turning back once a bond was made. He knew the risks, but he never truly thought that day would happen so soon. He had figured that he would have a few million years before expecting to experience the horror. He had expected to be the one to die first; being a front line warrior and general.

He managed to hang on and teach his bereaved son the ropes of leadership. Internalising his grief, Starscream became stern and cold. He had his empire to maintain. However, he delegated much of his regular duties to his commanders. Over time he gave more responsibilities to Pulsar, until the young Seeker could do everything that was needed to be done on his own.

What was left were the gifts of command.

Starscream stood up when his mind was made. He opened the subspace locker in his recharge chamber and drew out his coronation cape and crown. He picked up the finely jewelled head-dress that he had made for Phoenix for that glorious day. It would go to Pulsar's bondmate, his Queen, his Empress.

He had always held the hope that he would see the glorious reign that would be his son's, but the emptiness of being half alive ate at him more and more every day. He had half of a life now and he could not stand it any longer. The isolation had sapped at Starscream's strength and his will to live. He strode to the wall and took down the sword. He held it in his hand for a moment and drew the blade out of its scabbard.

His optics took in the fractal designs of the Damascus Tridium as it glimmered in the light. He had not held the sword since the day of his Queen's death.The Seeker turned the hilt and looked at it as it glinted in the light, he admired it and gave it a slight flick, listening to the sound of it slice the air. The weapon vibrated with a power, but the power no longer called to him. It was calling to another, calling to Pulsar. With a weak and weary sigh, Starscream sheathed the blade again.

It was a mistake, but it cost him everything he had once held dear.

He gathered the crown and cape in his hands and tucked the sword carefully under his arm. Wordlessly he climbed the stairs to his son's private chamber. No one would be home at this time at this time of day. He pushed the door open and the room was neat and pristine.

Starscream laid the articles out neatly and sat down on the end of the recharge platform and drew out his datapad. He looked at it for a long moment, pondering what he would write. What would his last words say? He thought about writing something long and in-depth, an autobiography perhaps, but settled for short and to the point.

User Name: Starscream
Password: Unlocked
Personal log for: STARSCREAM
Earthdate: 02.29.2052

You knew this day was coming, so bear with me. You are aware of my wishes, they are in the datapad. I am passing this, Command and datapad, to you now. I am also passing you the crown that I wore, the crown that Phoenix wore and the sword which was passed to me when I became ruler. Instructions for care of the sword are stored within this datapad. Please remember to "blood" the sword as soon as you can.

I wish you well and success in your reign. I am sorry I cannot see your glory days. But I know you will make me proud.

I am thinking of you, Pulsar, emperor of Cybertron and my son.

- Starscream

Starscream placed the datapad down on the recharge platform alongside the ceremonial wardrobe. Silently, without looking back, the grieving Seeker descended the stairs and walked into his recharge chamber. The room was silent and the only sound was the constant thrum of his fuel pump. He placed a hand over his canopy for a moment to feel the vibration of that tired mechanism.

He laid down and allowed himself a last look at his life as it passed in review across his mind. From his meeting with Phoenix, to his bonding to her, the creation of their son and then their daughter, he reviewed his coronation and remembered the happy times and the sad times and finally her death. Again, he allowed himself to relive the pain he felt that day in every detail. He could see it, feel it, taste it, smell it and as he felt her spark part from his; his spark parted from him.

For just a moment, while he was in transition, Starscream could see Phoenix standing before him, holding out her hand to him. He reached out smiling, and took her ebony hand in his and closed his fingers around hers. Starscream exhaled in a thankful sigh at finally being able to join her once again and died with a smile at his lips.

I don't know where you are
My eyes are fixed upon your star
I know that that at the journey's end
I will see your face again.
Johnny Clegg and Jaluka - Journey's end.