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Epilogue A Star's Death

Difficult not to feel a little bit
Disappointed and passed over
When I look right through
See you naked but oblivious
And you don't... See... Me....
But I threw you the obvious
Just to see if there's more behind the
Eyes of a fallen angel
Eyes of a tragedy.
-A Perfect Circle, 3 Libras

Guandonnaland fifty years later: Earth Date 2076

"Fascinating," muttered Skyfire excitedly, "Starscream come here quickly! This is extraordinary!"

"What's on the monitor?" He inquired with a whisper-like tone. He stood up and strode over to the giant flier. Skyfire had three DNA strands slowly rotating showing off several highlighted sections."

"I am comparing the old research files on Guandonnaland. There were no creatures who look remotely like the present Guanas, however there were the Pelycosaur." Skyfire pointed to another screen that held an image of a large reptilian creature with a huge fin on its back beside another similar amphibious creature that had noticeable gills. "They both are similar they share almost identical DNA chains."

Starscream was curious. He leaned forward over Skyfire's shoulder. "It's obvious that the two creatures are related. By appearance alone you can see distinct family traits; and don't tell me that is unscientific reasoning."

"It is unscientific, Starscream. That's like saying the Megalodon is the ancestor of the Great White Shark on Earth because of the teeth." Replied Skyfire.

"Well aren't they? The similarities between the teeth are striking." A shark's body did not fossilise very well, being that they were made of cartilage, so most knowledge of sharks of the past were based on similarities of teeth. A Megalodon's tooth was very big and resembled that of a Great White Shark in many respects.

Skyfire sighed deeply. "They could easily be related but it's difficult to prove without a fossilised skeleton. It could be a dead end in evolution for all we know." Skyfire glanced over at Starscream who scowled back at him.

"Those things were huge, Starscream. They're estimated to be twelve to fifteen metres long and some Earth scientists think they might have been as much as thirty-one metres in length. They would have to eat whales to survive."

"I know their reputation and size. It has not been proven that they are not related to the Great White." Replied Starscream challengingly.

"It's pure speculation that they look even remotely like a Great White Shark. DNA test results would prove if they are related or not. Human scientist's tend to sketch whole animals from the existence of a single molar, part of a jaw or other bone fragments. They could test for DNA similarities from those Megalodon teeth but ultra violet radiation from the sun over time would have degraded those fragile chains."

"Well they still existed when you crashed on Earth. Perhaps we can dig one out of the ice like we dug you out and then maybe we can wake it up and repopulate the species. It would send those pathetic humans into chaos." Starscream laughed thinking of the horror on the human's faces as they got swallowed up in the giant shark's mouth. He remembered, with a grin, how the sharks remained in close proximity to his lab's sealock door in the undersea Decepticon base. They came from all directions when he disposed of dead or unwanted specimens. He would stand by the huge window and watch in fascination as the sharks tore their prey asunder. The water would haze with blood and the sharks would become frenzied.

Skyfire frowned at Starscream, displeased at being reminded of his nine million year stasis and disgusted at his continued aggression towards the humans. He wondered if his aversion had to do with being reformatted to their aircraft shape. It was not a bad design; humans had a way with aerodynamic forms and his F-15 alter-mode was beautiful to watch in flight. Skyfire was often envious at Starscream's agility in the air. He could perform intricate and complex manoeuvres, darting, twisting, rolling and diving. The Seeker had his flying abilities down to an art form. "I'd be willing to bet it would bite you in two if you revived it." He said in response to Starscream's unkind reminder. "But you are getting me off topic." Said Skyfire with slight irritation. Starscream seemed to enjoy arguing with him or leading him astray in such matters.

Starscream frowned trying not to imagine a massive shark attacking him. Its huge two metre wide mouth could easily tear him apart. He shuddered just thinking about it. If such animals still existed; he would have not been seen in the undersea headquarters on Earth or outside of it at least. However re-populating Earth with them still held amusement to him.

"Anyway, back on subject. I will label the three species into groups A, B and C. Group A: the prehistoric Pelycosaur appeared to have split somewhere along the line with one family evolving into Group B: the modern Pelycosaur, with several subgroups and the other line that evolved into Group C: the modern day Guana. Group A is extinct."

"The Dimetrodon species." Starscream laughed again. "I remember when I saw them in the swamp about sixty years ago and I was thinking how they eventually evolved into humans back on Earth. Here they evolved into the Guanas. So what about them?" Injected Starscream.

Skyfire nodded his head, "Group B: lacks those genes that both group's A and C share. These genes relate to how the creature remembers things. Starscream, what you are looking at is a form of genetic memory. That is how Guana's learn like they do. They can somehow recall information from previous generations. It's an amazing way to keep one's cultural histories." Admired Skyfire, his voice was full of excitement at this discovery. "It's all theory at the moment. But with further research we could prove it."

Starscream stopped laughing for a moment. He thought, puzzled. He remembered something the shaman had once told him long ago. 'Long before our ancestors discovered the use of fire and the stone tool was an unobtainable object...' He felt a pang of grief wash over him; Santor, his friend, had died two years earlier from old age. He knew it would occur some time soon but even knowing that never made it easy. "That explains a lot."

"There is more, When I tested samples from various families, I discovered that some lines had more of those genes than others: the shamans, Santor, Teris, her Daughter Nara and son Monkoto all have extra memory genes. There are a few Guanas born with out those genes and they don't survive long."

"That's how they remembered our first arrival. Some of their memory is passed on in the genes of the next generation. How very interesting." This was originally noticed when Tuli's first offspring had hatched within months of its birth. She had learned most easily the language of Starscream. Other spawnlings showed similar pre-knowledge in their parent's fields. Most of the Guana offspring that had been born to his crew displayed advanced abilities.

More proof to their intelligence: the Guanas had followed Skyfire's suggestion of constructing their buildings below the ground leaving their planet to look natural and prehistoric. They had huge lights that were powered by the flow of water during their winter rainstorms. Excess energy was stored in huge underground energon vaults that would supply the city for the rest of the year.

Their cities were not barren or sterile like some of the cities on Cybertron were; instead they had huge gardens, climate control that maintained their underground world as bright, warm and as humid as the above ground. They were not bound to remaining under the surface and there were still smaller cities above the ground. Starscream, however was never keen on going too deep in the cities. He preferred to keep to the surface, the sky or in his base just under the standing stones.

Their living arrangements had an advantage that placed Starscream at ease. He was never truly certain he had succeeded in killing Galvatron and he remained slightly cautious; living in fear of possible discovery. But to the casual observer, Guandonnaland looked like an insignificant prehistoric world with only a few small towns and cities built by an incidental primitive intelligence.

Together they worked on the puzzle of Guana and Pelycosaur link. Once their research was finished Skyfire decided he would pay a long overdue visit to Cybertron and present the research to the University.

* * *

It had been over three weeks since Skyfire had returned to Cybertron with their findings. Starscream was disappointed that he was unable to go along. The Autobots were adamant about him remaining off their planet until the tentative Decepticon-Autobot peace treaty was finalised. He grudgingly agreed to this as he had no wish to be shot out of the sky for no reason.

Teris walked into the chamber, her face was grey and aged but she still held an impish glint in her amber eyes. Her long purple robe hung over her shoulder and she walked with grace and nobility. She tipped her head respectfully at Starscream. The Guanas still held a great respect for Starscream even though Skyfire had made it plain to them that the Seeker was not a god and therefore should not be viewed in such a manner. Starscream was angry with Skyfire for this but he did not let it show.

"N'kosi, there is a message from Skyfire on Cybertron." She said softly in the language of her kind. Teris chose either not to learn his language or not to speak it; whatever her reason was, he did not question it. She was now seventy-three Earth years in age and she still had a powerful spark. She did much to bring the Guana people together after she had returned. A sizeable rift had formed in her people that Santor and the chief Natanja had struggled to reconcile. Teris and her crew along with the rebellious Tuli and her lot, worked together to bring their people in line.

"Thank you Teris." He replied in her language as he watched the elderly reptilian woman sit down cross legged on the floor and chant. Guana's still believed in the mystical even though they were now more technically advanced than the humans. He was intrigued by this but he did not hold too tightly to their beliefs. Science was provable the Metaphysics were not. However he figured now that the meditation was a way for them to access the ancient memories of their ancestors.

Teris often remained in his company or not far away and almost always she remained above the surface. Starscream still held an intense fascination for her. He looked no different to her than he did when he first arrived. Transformers lived for an incredible amount of time. Her life span, although it seemed long to her, would be a virtual eye blink to him. She wondered for a moment if he remembered all the faces of the people he had seen or knew. Fifty years was long, over nine million was mind boggling.

She had seen a restless glint in his optics more and more in the past few years. She could tell he yearned to leave. What he would do and where he would go was a mystery but she figured one day he would leave Guandonnaland. She continued her chant, but he would return one day like he had returned before. Her memories, she knew, would be a guide to future generations and they would know him as she did.

Starscream stood up quickly and moved to the computer desk. He clicked on the flashing icon in the bottom of his screen. He had been waiting for some word from Skyfire. The screen flickered and the message appeared along with a sizeable file attachment.

"The presentation of our discovery went down very well, Starscream. You should be proud. Also the last attempt at peace talks have crumbled and sadly you are still denied return to Cybertron. Oh well, one day perhaps. Anyway that is not why I am sending you this message. I found the attached file in my computer back in the lab, which reminds me, do you want that old tool box? Back on topic, the file was titled important.txt. It seemed to be a letter or something addressed to you. I'm sorry I did read it but it's kind of strange and kind of creepy. Oh, I will be leaving Cybertron in a week or so. Something interesting is happening in the Charr system I will fill you in when I return. - Skyfire."

Starscream opened up the attachment leaned back in his chair. He glanced over at Teris again and she sat cross legged in a meditation. He focused on the screen and read the file.

* * *

Starscream, this is a story I think you might want to know. Perhaps it will answer a few of your questions that I know you've always wondered about. So I shall start.

Eons ago Sunburst, my leader, my friend and I flew on missions deep into Autobot held territories. We did many types of missions together, everything from raids, to assassinations of top Autobot figures and occasionally to take out upstart Decepticon renegades. Sometimes we had to do rescue missions of fallen comrades. It was in a raid mission that things went terribly wrong for me.

We were flying to bomb an Autobot bunker that was set in a fairly cold world that had a dying star. No not Charr, it was closer to the older outer arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. We had flown in low over the site and we were about to drop our bombs when we were attacked. Sunburst and I were both wounded. I lost control of my guidance systems. I could not guide myself down, instead I crashed into a building. I am not sure of what happened to the rest of my wingmates but I assumed they had all died.

When I crashed, my nose cone crumpled, and it crushed my brain. I was captured shortly after the crash by Neutral robots. The damage was deemed irreversible and I lay in a coma. They tried to mend my smashed metallic skull, but to no avail.

Now they say that when one is in a coma that person is aware of things around them. I was no different in this respect. Some of the medics were discussing in my presence that I was beyond saving and that it would be better to extinguish my spark rather than allow me to live in the pain I was in. This was frightening enough but it was not the worst I had to endure.

A humane death was not what I was going to enjoy. I was kept and studied. They used my body for various nefarious experiments. Dissecting me, poking at my damaged brain trying to figure out how a Decepticon thinks or what makes him tick and they call Decepticons evil. Perhaps it was that, coupled with the damage I suffered in the crash, that made me who I became.

I had become a target for a rescue mission. The Decepticons had found out many years later that I was still "functional" and they decided it was of great importance to them that I should be retrieved.

The Decepticons had better medicine and they attempted to re-construct my damaged brain. Otherwise, my body was fine. However, their reconstruction was far from perfect. I had acquired a very short termed memory as well as amnesia. The amnesia was ok to live with, I guess. The Decepticons knew who I was, even if I could not remember. However they did not tell me everything I needed to know about my past. I guess it was their way of keeping me as a dumb cold blooded killer. It was not being able to remember the simplest things that really bothered me.

Yes, I had forgotten who I really was, what I was doing as a Decepticon, what my original function as a soldier was. I followed the Decepticon orders blindly, although I needed a constant companion to remind me of my missions. I was strangely invaluable to the Decepticon cause. Perhaps it was because I was expendable or because if I was captured I could not possibly leak information to my capturers, as I would have immediately forgotten it. I was a very skilled marksman and from a distance my aim was still deadly accurate. My ability to forget was as much an asset as it was my bane. As it proved on my last assassination mission: I knew I was a top sniper.

I was ordered by Galvatron to take out the renegade and traitor Blitzwing. Not an unusual task for me. I was often ordered to hunt down rogue Decepticons and kill them. This time it was odd for me as I did not have my companion, Whitespark.

Blitzwing, as anyone should know, was a Triplechanger, a mech with two alter-modes. There are Decepticons who are quite jealous of this ability. Most of the land bound Decepticons envy the common ability of a Triplechanger to have an aerial as well as a vehicular alter-mode. When the going gets tough in one mode they can swap to the alternative form. Blitzwing's reason for his fall from grace with Galvatron was a long winded tale and I don't feel the need to go into it here.

However I do feel the need to explain why I was sent after him so many years after he was let go from the ranks of the Decepticons.

Perhaps it was his activities that was upsetting Galvatron. He had been working as a mercenary for a couple of renegade Decepticon factions. He was also known to sell information to the Autobots. Whoever needed his services would pay the hefty sum with high grade energon. Galvatron had believed that he was attempting to undermine his leadership. I believe he was partly responsible for the death of my kinsman, Thrust.

I had my orders and I had infiltrated his base of operations. Sneaking though the corridors I managed to track him down. I had caught him off his guard. I held my weapon only a half metre from his head.

"Do you have any last words, before I execute you for treason?" I had asked. I often allowed for a last request or a few final words. I would never attend to them as I would have simply forgotten it.

His mouth opened and closed as he formulated something to say to me.

"Starscream survives." He said quickly.

I was confused as to why he would tell me this. Although the name did ring a bell, I could not place a face to it. "Starscream? Who?" I asked, hoping to get more detail as to who he was and why he was important at this time.

Blitzwing looked thoughtful. "You know Starscream, Decepticon leader for a whole two minutes before Galvatron killed him at his coronation oh.. about twenty years ago..."

I was most confused by this. How could he have survived if he was killed once before? However a thought tickled my addled mind. A red and white Seeker at the war academy, very fast and very intelligent. He had very high aspirations. Another figure came into mind. A pale sun yellow Seeker, female. She was talking to this red and white Seeker.... AH "Sunburst" I said out loud as I remembered her name. I knew I had to remember to write this memory down later.

"No, you idiot, Starscream!" The Triplechanger sounded exasperated. I stopped and thought for a moment, as I did I lowered my rifle. I could no longer remember why I had been holding it to his head. He seemed like a nice enough guy.

"What about him?" I had asked.

Blitzwing smacked his head with the palm of his hand. "You have a couple of bolts loose don't you?"

"I don't know." I had wondered if I had been in a fight or something. I was quite puzzled as to why I was there in the first place. Must have not been important. "I can't remember, are you going to fix them for me?"

"You know..." Sighed Blitzwing, "never mind, forget I said anything... get on with it."

For me this was not a problem, I already had. "Ok then, nice chatting to you.. bye!" I said cheerfully. I left the Triplechanger a little more than puzzled. I guess he was quite happy to have been spared his death at the hands of a brutally forgetful Decepticon.

My memory would be my ultimate downfall. It was difficult for others to understand the problem I had. For them it was easy to access memory files but for me it was a major task. My memories would surface at the strangest times and I would try to write them down in hopes to one day puzzle them back together. I had hoped that in this manner I would remember who I was.

I was not seen as a feeling, sentient being. They would see me more a tool to be used and ignored when I didn't have a purpose. It would have hurt more if I could remember life any other way. Those memories I had before the accident were very hazy. Memories after the accident were equally hazy.

As I walked away my memory of Blitzwing started to fade into oblivion, however I had managed to maintain my thought on Sunburst and the associated name, Starscream. I was still unsure what was significant about him. I decided if I could remember I would tell Galvatron about him. I had hoped that he would enlighten me on the significance of his survival. I wanted to know why Blitzwing was telling me this. In retrospect, I think he was attempting to make a deal: Information on Starscream for a reprieve from Galvatron.

I transformed and flew back to Charr. With my memory it was a surprise to most, that I could even find the planet after leaving it. It was a simple matter really. The Constructicon Hook had set up a homing beacon within me so I could follow it home.

On my way back I met up with Whitespark, My companion. He had been off visiting a pleasure asteroid, Monicus. Details of what goes on in such a place I should not go into, however I will say it's usually full of low lives, mercenaries, hoodlums, gamblers and other dangerous characters.

Whitespark was supposed to have accompanied me on my mission. It was high enough security that written orders were not given. Decepticons learned that if I have a form of reminder such as Whitespark or a datapad outlining my mission in full detail I can get my job done reasonably well. I only don't remember why he had left me or when. I guess it had to do with gambling debts he had wracked up with the other Decepticons and Blitzwing's base of operations was not too far from Monicus.

He was chattering to me about all the wonderful robot ladies he had met, that he had made a huge win and had it stashed away somewhere. He was pleased that he could pay off his gambling debts with the other Decepticons and I was happy for him. That was when we entered the Decepticon throne room. Galvatron sat where he usually sat: on the throne.

"And your mission?" Asked Galvatron as we neared him. His optics looked intensely at me.

"Mission?" I asked, I had thought for a moment that I had been with Whitespark, at Monicus. Then I remembered I had been alone somewhere else. It was very depressing, Whitespark was having the time of his life while I was doing what? I was very confused so I shot a glance at Whitespark. He normally would laugh, slap me on my shoulder and remind me of what had slipped my mind. He quivered noticeably, his optics glittered with terror. I was disturbed by this. He was just explaining to me how much of fun a time he had. It was then I remembered; he had been warned once before about making sure he was with me when I went to carry out a mission. Oh no! I had forgotten to do something, again!

Galvatron had shot a murderous glare at Whitespark.

"I thought I made myself clear about Windraker; you were supposed to go with him, to make sure that traitor Blitzwing, was dead..."

Whitespark glanced at me in the "I am so dead" manner, I only shrugged at him, not quite understanding his fear.

"I'm sorry sir..." Said the white Seeker nervously.

"I am sorry does not cut it Whitespark! You have been warned before and yet you still abandon him."

"But Sir! I..." Whitespark did not get to finish his sentence.

Galvatron had lifted his plasma cannon and aimed it at Whitespark. "Idiot!" He screamed as he fired a lethal blast at the white Decepticon.

Whitespark let out an anguished shriek as his body exploded. The explosive display of the white Seeker was incredible. Energon sprayed out in all directions coating me and the floor. I, in reflex hit the ground as bits of my companions body showered over me.

I felt very sickened at the sight and the feeling of Whitespark's spilled energon running down the back of my head into my face. I was supposed to be hardened against this sort of revulsion, but it was always different if it was someone you knew and saw as a close friend. I looked up at Galvatron in fear, trying to calm the hammering of my fuel pump. I was dumbfounded and in shock. I had hoped that I would not be next.

Galvatron looked at me with pure fury. "Let this be a lesson to you, should you fail in your task again."

There was nothing I could even think to say in response to the vicious attack against Whitespark and I knew that I had better hold my vocalisers in check.

I stood up and backed towards the door. I knew now was not a good time to turn my back to the enraged Decepticon leader. He was much too unpredictable at the best of times; when he was angry there was not telling what he could do and I had no wish to become dead like Whitespark. I reached my hand out behind me and grabbed for the handles on the door, I pulled it open then quickly turned, stepped out and closed it fully before I walked away.

I walked the hall feeling very depressed. I had let my only friend down. I tried to remember what I had supposed to have done when I passed a window opening to the outside. I usually ignored the goings on of the outside world but this time my attention was caught. I had noticed two mechs walking towards the building; one was very tall bearing the insignia of the Autobots and the other was smaller yellow and of the Seeker configuration, bearing no mark. This Seeker was also female and she was so very familiar. I thought I had seen her somewhere but I could not figure out where.

My confusion again irritated me. I hated not being able to remember things, sometimes the simplest things. It often drove me to distraction while I tried to figure out what it was. However, as I often did, I would forget what was bothering me and return to my normal hazy existence. I was often described as living, what others termed, a here and now existence. It was because I did not think too far into the future and I could not remember the past. They said it had advantage as I would not worry over those who I was ordered to kill. I was more or less a mindless zombie to them.

I had not gone too far down the hall when I heard the sound of weapons fire, and soon after the smell of smoke. There was a fire somewhere in the base. As I ran down the corridor the smoke thickened around the side entrance of the throne room.

I waited no longer, I burst through the doors like a mad mech. However I had chosen the wrong time. As I burst through the doors I encountered the exhausted and anguished face of the renegade Starscream. I was stunned that I had recognised him almost immediately. Something triggered a flood of memories to come into my mind almost at once. For the first time I remembered my existence as a whole. His face shifted from fatigue to hatred. As his optics locked on to me so did his laser rifle. It was obvious to me that he now saw me as a new threat. I heard the whine as the rifles charged up. I was about to scream at him not to shoot as the bolt hit the sweep and then myself.

I felt the blast from the enraged Seeker tear into my body, It melted the amber glass of my canopy. The heat vaporised my circuits, incinerated the surrounding energon and fuel ducts. It was intensely hot. I hadn't realised that a Seeker's weapon could be so powerful. With a surprised gasp, I flew backwards and hit the ground heavily. I felt light headed for a moment and I blacked out for about a nanosecond.

A fraction of that nanosecond later everything came back online again. I sat upright looking around myself. I did not hurt from my wound anymore so I looked down at myself; the wound was gone. I remember that I was pleased by this discovery; I had been repaired. I was perplexed at how I survived. I wondered if I was unconscious for a lot longer than it felt. Then my optics sent the confusing message to my brain; I was still in the throne room, smoke was still heavy and Starscream was still standing facing me, his rifles smoking. It was at this point I could see a pool of energon around me and realised that my body was dead and somehow I managed to survive as a spectre.

I stood up, not knowing what to say, to think, to feel as I watched Starscream, while standing over my lifeless form in transition shock. I had never heard of this happening before. I was also annoyed. For the first time in eons I had my memory back: I knew my past, who and what I was only to lose my life seconds later; it was very unfair. A multitude of emotions crawled over me; sadness, anger, hatred, frustration and fear. But I could do nothing.

Starscream came over to my corpse. He used his foot to gently nudge my head into a position so he could get a better idea of who I was. I was very shocked to see his expression. It was horror intermixed with guilt. It was hard to explain the emotion that I had read in his optics. I paced the throne room shooting glares at Starscream as I struggled to think about what had just happened to me. I stopped my frustrated pace and decided that I would not look for revenge against this Decepticon. He had not acted completely in cold blood. I realised that the red Seeker had not meant me any harm personally. He was only defending himself. Call me a fool, call me whatever you like, but I am not prone to holding grudges; even against someone who murdered me.

I was still in shock from what had happened and I decided that I would go off somewhere so I could think to try deal a sudden flood of memories and come to grips with the overall situation. At this point I had no idea how to appear, vanish or possess. I turned away from Starscream who was now examining Sunburst when I had spotted an Autobot creeping behind. He had a look of ill intent in his optics and I had no idea what I could do to stop him.

Now the reality of my demise struck me like a ten thousand kilotonne nuclear warhead. I now realised I was utterly alone for the first time. I had no one to turn to, to ask for guidance. I had always had someone close by. Sunburst was my leader and a close friend; our paths had separated during that mission. After recovering with the Decepticons, Whitespark had been assigned to me as my partner and we were such for a very long time. I had rarely been alone until he was killed.

"Stand-up, turn around." Demanded the Autobot holding his weapon to Starscream's head. I knew that this menace would have every intention of killing the Seeker. There was nothing I could do. I stood back from the pair, I became incensed when he threatened to kill Sunburst solely on the grounds that she could not talk if he did. After a few moment's struggle Starscream managed to overpower the Autobot knocking him senseless. I could see that by the manner of the Seeker that he was very exhausted perhaps to the point of involuntary shut down.

I knelt down beside Sunburst feeling a wash of sadness waft over me. I looked into her face as she came to for a moment, her optics flickered in my direction, they flashed brightly for a brief second as she muttered my name as she returned to her unconscious state. I wondered if she had seen me or if she was reacting to a memory.

I glanced over at Starscream as he circled the throne. His hand slid over the surface and he had a weird expression on his face. I had no idea what was going on in his mind at that time, he looked torn as if indecision was pulling at his mind like tidal forces pull at a planet's ocean. The indecision was soon replaced by a wicked glint in his optics. Starscream sat in the throne that belong to Galvatron I knew that he wished to take over. I did not think it would be wise, he had far too many enemies amongst the Decepticons. I thought they might contest him for that position.

When I think about it now; I am sure I would have supported Starscream as a leader, had I been alive. Seekers, even loners like Starscream, needed to be in a group. They functioned exceedingly well in a unit, their combined firepower and overall speed was something to be reckoned with.

Decepticon airforce was divided up into several units, the smallest being the individual Seeker, the flight came next containing two to three Seekers, a squadron contained two to three flights. Next came the wings numbering two to three squadrons and finally battalions which containing two or more wings. When a battalion was set to do battle, the sky could be filled with over eighty-one Seekers. Each having a special ability or power. This force could have played havoc with the Autobots had it been used that way and had they not been kept in the smallest three units.

From what I did remember of Starscream at the Academy he had an ability at being organised although he was a little hyper and excitable. He planned things out quite well, selecting his team on the basis of their skills and how they would be useful in the given scenario. His skills had not gone unnoticed. I saw the smugness on his face when he received his papers informing him that he had been selected to join Megatron's elite force, whereas Sunburst and I were sent to a different sector of the galaxy.

I am sure, with Starscream's leadership, we would have been grouped so that our powers complimented each other even if our personalities did not. But I digress.

I was standing over my body looking intently at myself. I had become so morbidly fascinated with my own death that I did not realise that there had been another attack until I saw a Sweep killing Overcast at Starscream's request. I had never been a cold blooded type, I did not find joy in making my victims suffer like some of my comrades did. I did not like to torment them: I did my mission and killed them as quickly and humanely as I could. Starscream on the other hand was enjoying watching the spark fade from Overcast's optics. He looked as if he took extreme pleasure from it and that did disturb me.

"Dead mechs tell no lies." Starscream laughed cheerfully. I disagreed with him; if I could become a ghost then, I could, if I could find a way, tell my story. As I am telling you now, Starscream, remember that. There could be others like me out there.

I thought about going where ghosts go when Starscream made ready to leave. It's the gregarious nature of Seekers that caused me to realise that I did not want to be alone. I had always had someone there and I decided I would remain with the one who killed me, at least until I could figure out what to do with myself. I hoped I would not be alone as eternity is a very long time.

When Skyfire transformed I boarded along with Starscream. As I touched Skyfire, I felt a mental overlap. I discovered I could read what the mech was thinking; I was fascinated. Skyfire was clearly upset at his younger friend's activities. Although he did not show it outwardly, only sadness. He was frightened when he was sent the email informing him of Starscream's absence. When he discovered that Sunburst was absent from her usual job, he could only have assumed that she had taken off for Charr in hopes of stopping Starscream. He was angry with Starscream for endangering them, for endangering their friendship. He was anguished by seeing the female Seeker in her condition, there were a myriad of other emotions there as well. I became embarrassed realising I was invading someone's private thoughts. Quickly I broke off the overlap and hovered so I was not touching him in any form or way.

I pondered about the experience wondering if I were to completely overlap myself with Skyfire, if I could take control of him. It was a fascinating thought but again I did not feel like invading his privacy. I did not wish to cause trouble.

Tension increased between the Seeker and the Autobot jet. I realised I seemed to be empathic to their emotions. I could feel the frustration emanating from both individuals. Skyfire was angry, worried and scared. Starscream was furious, confused, hurting and depressed. I was suddenly bombarded with another emotion that I had not anticipated: betrayal. Starscream felt betrayed. I could not see into his mind unless I overlapped him but I could feel an intense feeling of betrayal and anguish.

I suppose with the knowledge that Skyfire was reluctantly bringing the Seeker in to face justice on Cybertron he would feel that his friendship was used and broken. From what I understand gaining Starscream's complete trust is very difficult if not impossible and to lose that trust can be very easy.

After an argument with Skyfire and a nasty reference to Skywarp and Thundercracker, he relented and went to Sunburst's aid. He, on the outside, said he did not care about her condition. On the inside, I knew, he was as worried as Skyfire. I stood behind him watching his repair work, he cut and cauterised attempting to stem the flow of energon. "Primus help me!" He pleaded.

I wanted to help her out as much as he did. His optics dimmed for a moment as his face slackened and he shuddered silently. He stopped his work and glanced over his wing in my direction he squinted a bit as if he was trying to see me. Had he somehow become aware of my presence? I wondered.

"Her energon is too dangerously low for her to bleed like this. She will die if we don't get her back Cybertron fast. Did you bring any extra energon along?" Starscream whispered fearfully.

"I have enough to get us back to Cybertron. I'm very sorry, I can't spare any for her. And you know I would if I had it to spare." Skyfire was truthful in this, if he had spare he would have given it up. A glimmer of hope crossed Starscream's optics and he opened his chest and removed a can of a condensed energon beverage that was never found on Charr. We had to do with raw energon or trade it for more refined stuff.

I paced back and forth behind Starscream offering words of encouragement to both him and Sunburst. I felt his frustration increase when he discovered that his idea was not going to work. "Skyfire can't you fly any faster?"

"Going at top speed now. It will still be several hours yet..." Replied Skyfire with a note of sadness. I could attest he was really trying to fly faster. But as design limitations go, he had met his.

"She does not have the luxury of several hours!" I leaned over him and accidentally caused an overlap. I caught his hopeless thought 'What can I do?' I broke off the partial possession, stunned with myself. Along with the thought I could read his innermost anguish. It was like seeing him without armour, naked and vulnerable.

I had an idea but I was not sure if it would even work. I knew when I overlapped him, I could hear his thoughts. I wondered, if I overlapped him again, if could I project my thoughts into him. It was all I could think of; he had energon in him if he could only get out of his frustration for a moment to think clearly he would see that it was a way, perhaps the only way, to help her. I was never a field medic. I could do minor patch ups and basic first aid but I never had the training for more intensive repair methods. It was not surprising with my memory, but I had seen mech to mech transfusions performed and I knew that Starscream had considerable knowledge in mech repair and construction.

I leaned over his right audio receptor. "You have it within you to help her." I said thinking strongly of the energon flowing through his body. I hoped that he would listen to me. Starscream shot a look over his shoulder in my direction. I knew he could not see me. He seemed perplexed and confused. He spend a few moments grumbling to himself before he reluctantly initiated the transfusion and went into a temporary stasis.

I could do nothing at this point for either of them. I waited and watched over them until we arrived at Cybertron, soon the pink flow from Starscream to the other Sunburst stopped. And from that moment I knew nothing else could be done. Sadly I walked away from Skyfire and Starscream immediately after they arrived. I knew what was going to happen and I did not wish to see it. Tension between him and Skyfire was already at the breaking point and I did not want to witness what could be a very violent encounter. Starscream was still a Decepticon to the very core, yet I could sense within him that there was something more. Another side of him that fought for a place in his life, a less aggressive and a more curious side. A side that was far older than the warrior and it did not wish to remain dormant.

I walk the halls of Cybertron nowadays; they're very full of people. Going on about their daily lives oblivious to my presence. It is sometimes kind of disheartening; everyone around and no one I can interact with.

I am rarely ever seen. I choose to remain unseen and occasionally when I do let myself be known to someone, I try to convince them to allow me to borrow them for a while. There are things I need to get done here before I go to wherever it is I need to go.

Other days I go down to the eerie Decepticon Crypt. I know I am alone here but I also know I am not the first and there remains that chance for me if I decide I want to try a second chance at life. I often look at the pillar that still supports the Feet of Starscream. But I know only his original essence is buried here not his soul.

- Windraker

Starscream felt a cold shiver creep over his being, as if he were standing on top of Mount Everest. However, on this planet the mountains were small and snow did not even exist. Teris looked up at him from her sitting position distracted by his sharp intake of breath. He shook in fear and worry, he knew now that Skyfire would know he gave the order to kill Overcast and some of his more secret thoughts.

Suddenly the cold chill he had felt a moment earlier was replaced by a warm breeze and the scent of spring day on Earth.

"N'kosi..." The shaman said, her voice was contemplative, "There is something—someone standing in the corner."

Starscream jerked his head in the direction that Teris had pointed and he could see a grey scintillating form; it was a Seeker, it was Windraker. The grey spectre walked into the light fading slightly in the brightness before he strengthened his ethereal form. He held his hands apart in a gesture of peace.

"Why have you appeared to me?" Inquired Starscream feeling another chill. He wondered if Windraker proposed to possess him as he himself had once possessed others. "You are not going to take over my body are you?"

"I mean you no harm, Starscream." The ghost said, "I am glad you finally got my message. I was hoping that you would have found it sooner but I had not anticipated that you would be in exile for so long. You can imagine how hard it is to type a message without an agreeable host body. And I waited until I could find one who would let me borrow them."

Starscream's mouth hung open in surprise.

Windraker laughed softly a warm breeze tugged at the shaman's cape. "No, I came to tell you that I am watching you and I am your guardian, well sort of. I would have come to you sooner but I wanted to do it after you read my message. I did not want to scare you to death and you of all people should know how others react to the presence of a ghost."

"I'm sorry Windraker... I didn't mean to kill you... well I meant to defend myself and there was no way for me to tell that you were not after me." His tone was guilt laced but it was true. There was no way for him to know that Windraker was not a threat at that time.

The ghost looked thoughtful. "Don't worry about it. I was living on borrowed time anyway. I should have died one hundred thousand years ago from my injuries."

Starscream was lost for words. There were other ghosts? Then it was possible that Skywarp and Thundercracker were also somewhere out there, in the ethereal? He glanced down to the floor, for a moment he felt disappointed; he had hoped that the experience was unique to him alone. Starscream looked up from the floor and the room was empty, the ghost was gone. However, he felt that he was not entirely alone.

"You could see right through him." Said Teris with surprise.

Starscream shot a glance down at her. "I've told you before, but I also existed much like that once."

Teris smiled slightly. "I remember the tales. We don't see our ancestor's spirits, we remember them. I will leave you N'kosi to your thoughts." Teris bowed and gracefully strode to the door. She glanced over her shoulder at the Seeker as he turned back to the screen. She smiled again and left.

The Seeker exhaled a deep sigh as he turned back to the computer. He quickly tapped a response to Skyfire's message and sent it on its way.

Starscream leaned back into his seat, steepled his fingers and drifted into thought.

Old warriors might die but some, it seemed, will never fade away.

* * *

Tidal forces ripped and tore at the abandoned world that orbited the now dead red dwarf star. The ground shook and ancient buildings toppled as huge fissures formed in the crust of the planet. The world of Charr had been abandoned by the Decepticons for over thirty-five years before due to intense tectonic activity brought on as the fire within the dwarf star flickered out.

The world was breaking apart as the star's gravity collapsed its surface in towards its core. The Star was too small in mass to nova but its death caused Charr to be dragged into close proximity. The closer Charr came to the dead sun the worse the earthquakes became. It would be a matter of a few hours to a few days before the planet would be ripped apart by the black dwarf's gravity.

Deep below ground in the abandoned burial chamber remained one sarcophagus; all others had been removed to Cybertron before the evacuation. The massive earthquakes caused the huge metal and granite pillars to topple over and smash across the huge metal coffin shattering it. For a brief moment the tremors ceased as huge clouds of dust and debris settled.

There, in amongst the shards of the sarcophagus and debris from the earthquake, lay the battered body of Galvatron, his optics glowed dimly in the darkness and flashed with hate and fury.

Chapter 17 - Bridge Over The River Acheron