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Chapter 4 Disturbing Memories

Memories concern
Like opening the wound
I'm picking me apart again
You all assume
I'm safer in my room
Unless I try to start again

Linkin Park - Breaking the Habit

The production of energon cubes from his old cave home was at full capacity. Starscream designed and made a cube generator that ran on the power of two energon cubes a month. He had to make more storage chambers in his headquarters for the seemingly endless supply of power. He often stood at the door to the room enjoying the view of pure clean energon that glowed pinkly at him. He knew if Megatron had been able to see this, he would have droole.

The shaman had insisted on having a solar temple built directly over the spot that the headquarters was to provide a place for offerings to be deposited and worship to be practiced. Starscream readily agreed to this as it suited his vanity.

Starscream suggested that it would please him much if they would carve a stone statue in his image, as well as a couple of stones in the likeness of his insignia. The shaman agreed that this was a very good idea and saw to it that his workforce carved the effigy in the finest granite stone. They used red granite, a fine white granite that looked like marble and lapis lazuli. A black granite was carved for the head in which garnets were set for the eyes. When the Guana people unveiled this statue of him. Starscream was stunned and very flattered at how handsome the image was and amazed at the fine detailing. The Guanas were fine artisans.

A strange feeling it was when he realized something actually cared for him. He however felt a bit guilty. He got what he wanted from lies and deceit. He smooth talked the shaman into doing what he wanted and the shaman did them. Before this, in order for him to get what he wanted, he had to twist his words and then turn around and occasionally murder the one who provided the gifts.

The new statue did appeal to his vanity. It was his spitting image. He could not keep his eyes off it. It was a shame the Guanas were not on Cybertron as this would have been a marvelous marker for his tomb He chuckled to himself. If only Astrotrain was here to see him. He had not done very well as a god on the Saturn moon, Titan. At least Starscream had kept the title longer.

The Guanas heaved in large stones quarried from the nearby cliffs. They were polished and smooth. Starscream helped them with the placement of stones that were meant for the ring. He had suggested to make a henge similar to the one that was on the planet earth, set with scientifically accurate stones to predict the coming of summer, winter and the great rains that occurred in the Spring and autumn.

He had gone to the earth's Stonehenge alone at night when no others could see him. He was curious that humans could create such an accurate time clock in such a primitive prehistorical place with tools and weapons made of stone or very soft untempered metals.

The main difference with this henge was that the statue of Starscream was set at the back of the inner ring before the altar stone. This was decided so he did not have to be present 100 percent of the time when they wanted to place offerings of energon or interesting items that they thought he might be pleased in. The Decepticon emblem was artfully carved on the front of the altar stone.

* * *

He sat inside the large computer room, designing new plans. He was working on some satellites that he wanted to throw into orbit. All he needed was some components the Guana people were making.

The people had laboured almost night and day to get the bits and bobs he needed to create his home and all the technical advances of the time he had left. The glass blowers had adapted his teachings and were improving the mix and blend of glass to the point they had a version that was quite similar to the flexibility of earth plastic but with the strength of tempered glass.

The village of Tanadon was creating better computer parts. They were working with silicon and gold. And the capacitors the other factories had pumped out. The city of Winsalo had a huge copper mine and the people there were working making hundreds of meters of wire for his electrical projects.

In a private workshop off his resting chamber he sat. It was late and he had a spot lamp shining brightly on the component he was fiddling with. He rubbed his eye with a hand and placed the screw driver down. He was tired. He had been working for several days with out a rest cycle and he felt beat. The last satellite was ready and he flicked a switch. It hummed to life.

The pad on desk scanned the device. It proved to be in fully functioning order. He rubbed his hands in delight. He was personally creating several satellites that he intended to place in orbit around the planet. He also had a couple hundred simple cameras created and set in simple objects like rocks and trees. He placed these around the villages he had setups in so he could monitor Guana activities. He wanted to be the all knowing god.

He returned to his chamber and sat down and popped his feet on an ornate table a woodworker had given to him. It was decorated with gems and gold, with designs of dragons interwoven with the Decepticon insignia. He had never thought of the insignia as such a beautiful emblem in art. Beautiful stoppered glass bottles filled with very pure energon sat at one end along with a large jeweled goblet.

He laughed, sat up and took a fine goblet and filled it with energon from the decanter. From his experience near death by starvation in the swamps, years ago, to living the high life that even Galvatron would never experience. He held his glass to the sky. "If only you knew, Galvatron. You're so dead!" He tossed his head back and drained the glass.

'That was revitalizing,' he thought.

"Go away, I am celebrating alone. Anyway it would be better if I recharge properly" he whispered back as he walked wearily to the bed.

'How about one more drink?' the scientist insisted. 'I deserve it. I've been working all week on those satellites.'

"How about you let me sleep. I am tired beyond all measure." he responded harshly.

'OK, OK. You win.' the scientist sighed. 'Just don't let the bed bugs bite. Sweet dreams' the thought said evilly.

Starscream settled down on his bed. He fingered the soft fabrics that were covering it and reached for a pillow and closed his optics. All thoughts sank into a blur. From the fog came a memory.

* * *

He was standing on the dais, the Decepticons were trumpeting to his triumph. He wore the crown that Astrotrain had placed on his head.

"As your new leader, I....." He stopped in mid sentence as a unfamiliar ship arrived. His Optics narrowed as he looked at the intruder. A large, purple Decepticon emerged. "Who disrupts my coronation?" he asked, looking at the foreigner." There was something vaguely familiar about him.... he almost looked like Megatron, only meaner.

"Your coronation, Starscream? This is bad comedy." the other replied.

"Megatron, is that you?" he asked. It was his momentary confusion that cost him his life.

The intruding robot transformed into a cannon. "Here's a hint!"

Before Starscream could react he was blinded by a bright flash. It all happened too fast. He stood transfixed, caught by surprise. He looked forwards and wondered where everyone went. The light burned hot around him. He cried out. How hot, how painful was this light. He cried out again but no sound came from his mouth.

He struggled to focus his optics and he could barely make out the shape of the Decepticons standing around in front of him. Their mouths opened in surprised horror. He wondered what they had seen to have surprised them so much.

The heat intensified. Oh, how he wanted to be away from this terrible heat. The burning pain tore at his mind and soul and he leaped rapidly from the heat and pain. He drifted to the top of the dais. An odd sensation of floating, not flying. The heat and pain was gone. 'Good riddance.'

He looked around. There was talking below him and a chant went up. "Long live Galvatron! Long live Galvatron." Odd, they should be chanting 'Long live Starscream'. It was then that Starscream looked down at the platform directly below and realized what had happened. He was dead.

He could not believe it. He was disgusted at himself for not being more cautious. He knew there were others that opposed his declaration that he should be emperor of the Decepticons. He figured that there would be assassination attempts. But on his coronation day?

What seemed swift to the others seemed like a lifetime to him. He hovered at the top of the dais, watching in dismay. There was no mourning. No one cared that he was obliterated. He plunged from the ceiling and lay in the crumbled pile that was his body, he sobbed. He wished it was not true.

The robot named Galvatron came up to the platform and kicked his ashes. Starscream turned and tried to pound him with his fists, but his hands only went through him. Something else happened: he caught a thought. Starscream hesitated and then overlapped himself with Galvatron.

To his horror and disgust, he found that his murderer was once Megatron. Although his thought patterns and personality were slightly different, the Megatron personality was there. They were the same person. The horror of it struck him. Galvatron enjoyed it far more than any sane Decepticon should have. The satisfaction at seeing Starscream crumble to dust gave the purple Decepticon a pleasant energy blip. What disturbed Starscream was the sadistic desire to do that over and over again. Starscream broke off his overlap. This guy hated Starscream intensely.

He screamed his frustration.

Galvatron looked down at the ash pile at his feet, then ordered "Scourge, you and the sweeps get rid of this disagreeable filth."

One of the sweeps swept it up into a canister and was about to throw it into a smelting receptacle.

Scourge held up a clawed hand and prevented the canister from dropping. "It would be more honorable to place him in the crypt," he said.

The sweep looked around and replied, "He was a traitor sir, it would be dishonorable to the ancestors to give him a burial of a hero."

"It would be more dishonorable if we disposed of him as common litter. He was good at his job and that was enough," Scourge replied. "Anyway who said he was going to receive a hero's funeral?"

The sweeps muttered in agreement. They turned and walked to the crypt.

Starscream was curious about that last statement. 'How would they know how well I did my job?' He followed behind, drifting as a near invisible sparkle, he watched as they interred him without so much as another word. He was bitter, and angry. He swore then that he was going to dispose of Galvatron even if it meant returning from the dead to do so.

Again he was curious. If Galvatron was Megatron, who were these others? He overlapped Scourge. He staggered out of the overlap. Unicron, it seemed, gave them all new lives. Scourge was his former comrade Skywarp.

He regretted now leaving the others for dead in space because it came back full circle. Now he was dead. The humans had a cute saying: "What goes around comes around." But if Unicron could reshape them, perhaps he could give Starscream a new body and return him to life! He laughed a sickening laugh. It was a shrill cackle mingled with hatred of what had been done. It was a penetrating laugh that echoed in the vaulted crypt.

The sweeps huddled together frightened They thought they heard the haunting laugh of Starscream. They told Scourge that they thought the crypt might be haunted, that they thought they had heard Starscream. Scourge told them they were cowards and there was nothing left of the traitor but ash and dust, but inwardly he too had felt a presence.

He placed Starscream's feet neatly on the top of the pillar. He looked around and whispered "Happy haunting Screamer." It sounded faintly like Skywarp. Then left.

What they did not realize is they also left Starscream's ghost there. It took him a while to figure out how to completely appear, although he was somewhat transparent. He had time to think and he knew that in his desire to get away from the torture, heat and pain of his violent death, his laser core had managed to leap out of danger before his body had been completely destroyed.

He looked around the crypt for days, calling, looking and found out one significant thing. He, Starscream, was alone. The first and perhaps the last ghost. No Decepticons or Autobots had managed to escape total destruction, and no one living could see him. He faded out as he walked alone in the empty halls of Cyberton. And became a formless spark.

The dream swirled and Galvatron's face filled his mind. Laughing at him. Haunting him. Mocking him. Telling him he was going to die again and again and again. This time there was no sparing his soul. He would be executed, his body melted down into slag.

The Seeker's mind screamed in terror. He awakened. His head throbbed and he found himself entwined in his couch coverings. A nightmare. No. It was memory of his death and his "afterlife".

'One can learn so much by peeking into forgotten memories,' his scientist thought.

"Was it you who dredged up that one? I had not forgotten it." snarled Starscream. His hands were shaking.

'Yes,' the thought admitted. 'I just wanted to find out what made you tick.'

"What ticks me off is more like it. You do that for fun don't you? You want to beat me down with my failings." Starscream felt dismal and sick. He would rather not have re-lived his death again and had that reminder that one of his old teammates was his undertaker.

'Well it's a fact. If you had not tossed your brothers out... They begged you not to and you did not have to. Don't you remember? You cold-bloodedly left those who were possibly closest to you to die. If you had not been so callous, you would most likely have been alive. You know Thundercracker and Skywarp were the closest thing you had to a family. They might have not really liked your pompous attitude, but they did respect your judgement. You betrayed them. Although you went back for them, you had already betrayed them.' This made Starscream clearly upset.

"Astrotrain was too burdened," he attempted to justify the murders.

'That's a lie and you know it. You and Astro' conspired to ditch Megatron. It's buried in the back of your brain here. Would you like me to dredge that memory up?'

"No. I do remember. I had forgotten. I had remembered it was there that day in the swamp." he said weakly.

'You traded the lives of your friends for power. All you ever have done is seek power in some form or another at the cost of others. If it were not that I was you, I would have said good riddance.'

Starscream said nothing as his thoughts slammed him. It was the first time he saw himself for what he was.... nothing.

'All that you ever loved, you traded in for power. It's no wonder that no one shed so much as a tear for you. You are incorrigible"

"I had the right to that leadership. It was long owed to me for my dedicated service to the Decepticons. I risked my life and limb for the "cause"." He was seething with anger.

'YOU IMPUDENT BASTARD.' his thoughts screamed at him. 'How many others have risked life and limb? They are in it for the "cause", you are in it for power. I can dredge up some other interesting memories that would make my point'

"NO! Don't. Let the memories be. Leave them where they are. Your point is made."

'Your lust for power has cost you your life and the lives of others,' his thoughts said gently. 'Be careful of what you wish of these people.' With that the thought faded. He looked around the room and disentangled himself from the couch.

It was not a pleasant memory that he had re-lived, although he had learned by that mistake that if he overlapped a machine he could make it operate. So, to his delight, when Octane hid in the crypt he took over another Decepticon's body. The feeling of having a body, although not his own, led him to seek out Unicron.

He left his personal chamber, deciding that resting was not a pleasant option at the moment and he went to continue working on his projects. He had only, at best, half an hour of down time.

Chapter 3 - God Complex Chapter 5 - Obsessed Much?