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Chapter 5 Obsessed Much?

Several hours later he had the satellites packed and readied. He loaded them carefully into his arms and went outside. He inhaled deeply as he looked up to the west.

The sky was clouding over, cumulonimbus of a thunder head was building up in the distance; the anvil of cirrus clouds was starting to form.

Birds and animals fell silent. They were preparing for the worst. Distant echoes of thunder broke the still air. The horizon was shrouded in a silver haze as the storm front advanced. Bright lavender flashes of lightening lit the approaching storm cloud.

Starscream watched for a moment, fascinated. In the distance there was a rumble that resembled jet engines. He knew that sound, he had heard it when he was back on earth: there was a tornado approaching.

"This is going to be one fierce storm." He murmured with appreciation of the destruction that a tornado can wreak.

'It's best we launch now, before it fully reaches us,' Said a thought from inside.

"Indeed" he said softly.

He looked up once more at the angry, grey, swirling sky as the wind front slammed into him. He was surprised at the power of the gusts. He held the satellites close to him as he walked to the outer ring of stones.

Guanas were setting up for a ritual. Starscream admired their courage; humans would have started running for cover at the first sign of a tornado or storm. Starscream, however, was not inclined to hang around with a twister approaching.

Starscream called to a couple of the Guanas that were setting up. They immediately ran to his side as he explained what he wanted. He rarely used the Guana language. Quickly they walked to the outer ring of the huge stone circle. There he transformed into his sleek jet form.

He ordered them to place the satellites in his cockpit. The wind roared from the west, and the thunder boomed. He closed the cockpit as the last satellite was carefully nestled.

He turned to face the runway, taxied, and then took off. He reached speeds of Mach 2.7. He left the area with a deafening sonic boom. The boom echoed off the hills and the distant mountains, the shock wave of his supersonic atmospheric exit.

The ground shot away at an astounding speed as he flew up. He exited the stratosphere and flew into space. Although he was not designed as a space vehicle, he still managed to cope quite well outside an atmosphere. It sometimes bothered him on his entrances. His outer armour heated up and the feeling was intolerable. If he did not re-enter carefully he'd pass out on his way back in. This is not a good thing when you are trying to not crash land. The force of his descent sometimes siphoned energon from his brain, causing momentary blackouts.

He felt the release of the planets gravity so he turned off his engines. He used them in minor bursts to allow him to maneuver the satellites into position. They were to settle into a geosynchronous orbit. He hooked them up with little solar panels to produce energy for their running, and he aimed their dish towards locations on the planet where he had placed signal receivers. He set up fifteen, evenly spaced around the globe. He planned on making a couple more that he would send up to track deep space signals.

He flew around the planet enjoying this freedom. He had not been in space for over eight years. He found the zero G. a nice change from the gravity of Guandonnaland; although the lizard people's world had only slightly less gravity than Earth.

He looked down at the planet. He could see that it was a very beautiful place floating serenely in a velvet black of outer space. The oceans were bright blue, darkening to deep purple at their deepest areas. Huge splotches of green that were the continents and a couple of faint yellow outlines that were very small deserts within them. The mountains were very young and too low to have snow covered peaks.

What he found odd was that there was no moon. Every world he had set foot on had a moon that orbited it or a planet it orbited. The planet therefore had no tides. The only thing that affected it was the other planets in the system.

There were four planets in total. Sulor was the smallest and the closest to the sun. It would be considered Mercury's counterpart. It had a rocky crust, a warm iron core and no atmosphere to speak of. Delva, as large as Mars and about the same colour, had a thick, hot atmosphere. Guandonnaland was slightly smaller than Earth hence the lower gravity. It was in a similar age to the Permian period of Earth. Tanos, a brilliant purple gas giant, was about the size of Neptune. The last planet was in an orbit similar to Jupiter. The star that the planets orbited was a very young G5 class, only about four and a quarter billion years old.

He glided and looped all over the sky, feeling delighted in the lack of air resistance. But he also felt distressingly alone. All he really had on this pathetic world was he and his thoughts for company, and that was not enough. Dejectedly, he stopped goofing off and finished his work in space.

He double checked that all of the satellites were set correctly and working. With a final jaunt around the world, he planned his re-entry. Years before he did not have the energy to provide him with a more accurate or safe landing. He thought that another stone skipping entrance like the last time would be very undesirable. Anyway, that sort of uncontrolled speed made him black out.

He checked the trajectory and glided in. He did not need to employ his jets as the gravity would soon help him pick up momentum. He had to have a gradual enough entrance to avoid being burned up completely (a devastating loss if that should happen), but not too shallow that he should skip off the atmosphere and shoot into space. (Not disastrous but inconvenient and embarrassing to say the least).

He nosed down and entered. The air heated up and began to glow orange. He started to pick up speed as he glided down. Flames of hot air licked around him and his wings heated. He adjusted his entrance angle a bit more so his downward spiral allowed him additional time to slow himself. He glided down, his body encased in a yellow orange ball of burning air. He felt himself on the verge of blackout. Suddenly, the superheated air dissipated and he was gliding towards the ground at incredible speeds.

He whooped, boy, did he love this speed. He headed straight for the storm clouds that covered his new home land. It was such a shame, he thought, that he could not reach those speeds by his own power. He shot towards his landing site.

A huge boom that was far louder than any thunder sounded, and from the clouds soared the lone F-15 jet. He swooped down towards the soaking ground where the large rock ring stood. He transformed into his handsome robot mode, his mission accomplished. He took a deep breath. He battled the storm to get to the altar stone and stopped. He looked around at the clearing that was almost shrouded in the heavy rainfall. He missed being with his own kind.

The sky was clouded over and the winds were violently tossing up leaves and dust. A wide path had been ripped through the jungle, narrowly missing the stone circle. Trees and debris were strewn around. One of the huge megaliths, from the ring, was lying on its side. Lightning continued to flash; rain fell in heavy blinding sheets.

He looked up at the statue that stood before the altar and sighed, at least some things were not all that bad. Alas if it were not for Galvatron...

His circuits crackled in the pent up fury as he waved his hand over the stone altar. The altar glowed then moved aside with a rumble.

The entrance opened up and Starscream descended into the hall. He turned left into a small computer chamber and took a seat in front of a monitor. Reptilian creatures wandered back and forth taking readings and writing notes. Then, he started his computations. "Eight years on this world", he thought. Although that was not very long in Starscream's entire life, it was long enough. His desire to leave was greater than before. He wanted to see another of his own kind, Autobot or Decepticon. Moreover, he wanted his revenge. Nothing burned more than his lust for Galvatron's life. He hated no one more than Galvatron. He wanted to pull his optics out and squish them like stuffed olives. He sought revenge so dreadfully he could taste it.

* * *

Starscream finished typing code lines. With a flourish, he hit enter on the keypad and a schematic of another satellite flashed on the screen.

"Santor," Starscream called in his high-pitched whining voice. "Come here, now!" The Guana shaman strode up. On his head he wore a colourful headdress of bright plumes. Attached at his shoulders, with an amber pin, was a long cape of blue. He wore brightly coloured feathers around his ankles and around his neck he wore a Decepticon emblem made in fine gold. The shaman was a figure to behold. He walked with an air of power and wisdom.

He raised his hands to Starscream. "My lord", the reptile spoke in a soft voice, his head bowed. "How may I be of service?"

"Take these plans and get a crew working on them. I want this finished in three days." Starscream ordered the reptile. He handed the Shaman the printed papers.

The shaman looked over them for a moment and winked at Starscream. Then with a few whistles and chirps the reptile had amassed a crew who were looking over the plans chattering excitedly. "We can manage to build this in two. It's not that difficult. Will this be to your liking, Almighty one?" the shaman bowed deeply.

Starscream nodded wishing the creature would just leave and stop groveling. With another bow the Guana turned, with his troop following they left the chamber. He had enjoyed the groveling at first, but after some time, it grew annoying.

"Pathetic flesh creatures," Starscream muttered under his breath. However, he had to admit they were far more interesting than the humans back on old Earth. The reptiles did not run in the face of danger, they turned and faced it. They also took new challenges in the same manner. They were far sturdier than humans, a thick skin made them almost as tough as iron.

'You are a pathetic metal creature' whispered his mind.

Starscream groaned audibly. He had been wondering when his do-gooding alter-ego would rear its ugly head.

Santor was the most intelligent Guana Starscream had encountered. He was as manipulative as Starscream was. He could get what he wanted done, when he wanted it done. The difference was he did not have to use deceit. He was also the largest Guana, aside from the chief of the local village whom was just plain fat; the Seeker had met, reaching a height of around one point eight two meters.

Santor wore more decorative clothing than the normal population. He saw to it that Starscream got whatever he needed and oversaw most of the projects that the lizard people had been ordered to work on.

In turn, Starscream made sure Santor got the best, even better than his chief. In actual fact, Santor was to be considered the leader of the Guanas or at least by Starscream's standards. He did not want to admit that the dedication of the shaman was so important. He believed that without him, he would not have succeeded.

* * *

He rewarded the shaman for his good service with the gold pendant. It made him stand out. Starscream personally made it and bestowed it publicly.

There was a ritual and Starscream happened to emerge from the stone at mid-rite. The Guanas bowed heavily. The Decepticon had planned on seeking out the shaman privately, but the big lizard was there guiding the prayers. Starscream had not been aware that the rite was going on; otherwise he would not have interrupted.

"Is there something I can do for you, o' lord?" the shaman asked.

The others looked up from their positions. Whenever the Seeker appeared so did a new task. Some in the town were getting frustrated; it was disrupting traditional life, although those were the ones who enjoyed the conveniences of Starscream's gifts the most.

"As a matter of fact," the Seeker said, "I was looking for you, Santor. Please stand on the altar. I would prefer you more at my level."

The shaman had looked around and did as he was asked.

"Face me." said Starscream. The Guana complied. The others stood and watched wondering what was about to conspire.

"I, your lord Starscream, present to you, Santor, Shaman of the Guana People, the symbol of my favour." he said in Guana, something he rarely did in public. "This symbol assures you of my protection. Should anyone harm you or utter blasphemies in your presence, they will feel my more unforgiving side." He slipped the pendant around the lizard's neck.

It gleamed in the sun. The shaman stood proudly as the other Guanas cheered.

* * *

It was very late in the night as Starscream had finished installing the last camera into the final inconspicuous mundane object. He had several boxes of them lined against the wall. He had planned to install them in the major towns and around work sites, over a short period of time, so he could watch the goings on at his own leisure. It would also give him an upper hand in learning things before he was told about them. It would give him a greater air of omnipotence.

He quietly exited his home and crept silently through the night. Wild creatures called in the dark and domestic animals honked at him. Starscream glared at them. He did not want any one to notice him and their noise might awaken the herders. The animals in the pen looked like smaller versions of earth ancient duck billed dinosaurs. He dimmed his optics so their light would not be as noticeable in the dark. He paused by the pen and placed a cam carefully in a knot hole of one of the poles.

Very silently he wandered throughout the village. It appeared everyone was asleep. He grinned evilly as he hooked a cam to the roof overhang of the chief's house. He did not like the fat lump. He was grotesque. His flesh hung in huge folds like an Asian rhino. He had none of the agility or nimbleness of the normal Guana person as well as lacking the skills necessary for leadership. Starscream would have preferred to have taken the huge lizard out and drop him in the middle of the ocean, but he was afraid that would kill the plesiosaurs.

A warm breeze blew through the village and everything was silent. The last cam was connected to its hiding spot. He surveyed his handiwork. He turned in silence and strode back to his base. It was very late; or was it very early? He figured it was approximately four in the morning.

He wearily walked down the stairs into the base. He was exhausted and did not realise he was extremely low on power until he did a diagnostic. Thirty eight percent. That hurt. He yawned and hooked himself up to the recharge station. He felt fuel fill his empty tanks. It would take most of the night for his reserves to return to full capacity. When he could re-fuel no more, he stepped over to his sleeping area, lay down and went straight into re-charge before his head hit the pillow.

When he awoke from the recharge cycle, it was near midday. He felt rather indolent. He had spent many nights working on his projects and he had been neglecting to rest for long enough. He was pleased that his mind did not play any more unpleasant memories as he knew he had loads of them.

He touched the wall where the light switch was and the room brightened. He had set up a com panel on a desk and sighed as he punched the buttons, then turned the dial. Static from the storm fuzzed the image. Starscream gently manipulated the knob till the image came in clearer.

Cybertron, his ancient home world, his place of creation and death and then rebirth. He tuned away from Cybertron and focused where he knew Charr was. It was a desolate planetoid of a few deserted cities where the Decepticons were pushed to during the final Great War that destroyed many of his companions as well as Autobots.

He inhaled then turned the knob to tune into a specific energy signature, Galvatron. A blip, then a fuzzy crackle. Starscream chuckled. He typed a few lines then entered the information. The fuzzy sound tuned into as clear as if he were there.

Contact. He had located Galvatron. Galvatron was talking to his troops, Cycolonus and Scourge. The conversation was of no interest. After years of silence he had found out one thing, he could still seek revenge as planned!

'You are obsessed. It's not healthy,' he thought.

Starscream dropped his head heavily to his desk. "Will you keep quiet?" he hissed.

'Slamming your head won't remove me. It will cause your memory banks to fail' said the thought pointedly.

"Well then, if I try hard enough perhaps I can remove you."

'Bad idea. That would cause you permanent brain damage. Irreversible, I might add. I think you would prefer death rather than making yourself a vegetable. So what has the almighty god, Starscream, found out?'

"Nothing much. I've set up the computer to track Galvatron. If I set it to record anything of interest, I am hoping to find out if he knows that Unicron had given me back my body. I wish to find out what he is up to or how the war has progressed. I am a bit out of touch you see," Starscream responded to himself.

'Good. I suggest then you should try the cams and see what you dig up. Especially that fat chief.'

Starscream tapped his fingers on the table in thoughtfulness for a moment. Yes he should see what that big indolent creature was up to. Starscream shut down the program that was spying on Galvatron and opened up the spy cams he had set up around the village. He hit pay dirt.

Chapter 4 - Destitution Chapter 6 - Any Doubts?