The Human Condition
It's Only Love
She had nothing against humans. She just hated being one.
Stormcloud was left more in the lurch than the rest of the Decepticons - until she was changed, she’d never even seen a human before, except in pictures. She hadn’t been on Earth for three hours when suddenly she was a member of the dominant species. Fortunately, she was being given a tour of the Decepticon base by Skywarp and Thundercracker when it happened. Twenty minutes earlier and the Seekers would have been chasing each other through the sky.
She had other problems as well: Transformers were robots, and therefore asexual - their gender was no more important than their colour and was simply another identifier. Stormcloud had never seen herself as particularly different from her male counterparts. Her build was a typical Seeker jet; no lighter, no more graceful or curved than Skywarp and Thundercracker. As a human female, differences were quite obvious. Sway - a female Insecticon and formerly organic being - could explain a few things to her. Others she couldn’t; she was an insect before, not a mammal. Fortunately, Stormcloud had read up on the subject and was therefore not caught unprepared by the certain less-pleasant aspects of being female.
If that wasn’t bad enough, two months of being human was clouding her judgement as well. She found herself having… well… physical reactions to certain others. Nothing major, nothing noticeable to an outside observer, but enough to unnerve her when it happened. It didn’t occur to Stormcloud that any of the others might have the same problem around her, so she didn’t mention it.
Just then, one of her largest problems decided to enter the room. By human standards, none of the Decepticons were particularly attractive; their faces were too harsh, their bodies too angular, and their overall air of antiquity and agelessness tended to unsettle the humans around them. Conversely, the Decepticons found the humans to be too soft and undeveloped ( “Sort of like grubs,” Sway had said ) for them to have any physical interest in them. Skywarp was one of the few of their number whom humans didn’t seem to mind.
He wasn’t any better-looking than the others - too thin with a vulpine face that couldn’t be called handsome - but he was enjoying himself and it showed. The same pleasure was in the Insecticons as well, but it wasn’t particularly new to them. Everything was new to Skywarp, and he wanted to experience it all. Despite the situation, he loved life, and it looked good on him.
Currently, he was leaning against the doorframe, waving a colourful piece of cardstock. “We got a postcard from Onslaught! Ahem: ‘Dear Decepticons, We hate you. Love, the Combaticons.’ They’re such sweeties.”
“At least they’re surviving all right,” said Stormcloud. “Has there been any word from the Stunticons?”
“None. Soundwave’s still looking, but they might be hiding themselves on purpose.” He shook his head. “You know what’s really weird about this whole set-up? We’ve got the one who refuses to talk as our receptionist.”
Stormcloud laughed. “No, Soundwave has Reflector answering the phones now. It’s incredible to watch - he can carry on four separate conversations at once. Maybe more, but the most I’ve seen is four.”
“Makes sense,” agreed Skywarp. “Reflector’s usual thing is to be running around in three bodies, but I’ve seen him control several more than that. Fielding multiple phone calls is nothing.”
“It must be very strange for him, having only one body,” said Stormcloud. “Not that it isn’t strange for the rest of us. The gestalts can’t bind, Soundwave… has his own problems… We’re all tiny and soft and stuck with one form. I’m female, for crying out loud!”
“That never bothered you before.”
“It didn’t mean anything before!” Stormcloud kicked a chair in frustration. “It doesn’t look as if any of you male Decepticons are having any problems…”
Skywarp tucked the postcard into a pocket of his jacket and settled himself more comfortably against the doorframe. “Are so. For instance, did you know that fried okra tastes truly awful?”
“Not problems like that. Reacting to people strangely for no good reason. Wanting to be close… Close physically, I mean,” she added lamely. The Insecticons weren’t much help explaining things in this direction, tending to focus rather heavily on decapitation.
“What, you’ve suddenly fallen in love with the entire army?”
She bit her lip. “Not the entire crew. And not love. We don’t have a word for it and I’m not sure of the human term. It’s a purely physical reaction.”
Skywarp spread his hands. “You’ve lost me. I mean, I like being physically close to Thundercracker, but he’s been my best friend since… well, about ten minutes after we first met.” He slept in Thundercracker’s room more often than he did in his own, simply because he didn’t have much time to be near him during the day. Besides, Thundercracker looked so endearing first thing in the morning, all grumpy and dishevelled… not that Skywarp was going to say that to Stormcloud. It wasn’t any homosexuality taboos - which he wouldn’t understand even if they were explained to him. Despite his human form and the fact that he used the male pronoun, in his own mind, Skywarp was asexual, - that kept him from being completely open with the other Seeker, it was simply that some things were private - Thundercracker wouldn’t like to look vulnerable in front of Stormcloud, therefore it wasn’t Skywarp’s place to mention a vulnerability to her.
“I’ve had time to become acquainted with the crew, and for the most part I can get along with them. But it’s only been two months. It hasn’t been enough time to develop a true rapport with anyone.” For a human, maybe, but Stormcloud didn’t know that and her time-sense was still Cybertronian. Two months was nothing to a being who had lived for five million years. “I shouldn’t have strong feelings about anyone! Especially not bizarre human feelings that have no Transformer equivalent and have no attachment to the mind or emotions! And you standing there looking concerned isn’t helping!”
Concern turned to confusion. “What?”
“You’re… attractive, Skywarp,” said Stormcloud slowly, uncertain of the terminology. “It makes it a bit difficult to think around you; physical signals keep getting in the way.”
“Slight raise in internal temperature, finding yourself watching the person instead of concentrating on what you’re supposed to be doing; in extreme cases feeling as though your internal structure has been knotted?”
Stormcloud nodded. “Yes. It… happens to you as well?”
“Yes.” He’d told Thundercracker much the same thing within a week of the change.
The female Seeker took the admission the exact wrong way though, closing the distance between them and slipping her arms around him. Not sure what else to do, Skywarp returned the embrace. He hadn’t meant Stormcloud, but was quickly becoming interested. He knew there were physical differences between the genders, but it hadn’t actually meant anything before. She was soft, for one thing, and the scent was different… Despite the fact that he didn’t really have any emotional attachment to her, he was intrigued.
Skywarp pulled away with a quick smile. “I have to finish showing the postcard to everyone,” he said. “I’ll come back later. This might be… interesting.”
“You’re up late.” When Thundercracker didn’t reply, just kept staring out over the city, Skywarp took it as his cue to fill the silence: “You weren’t in your room. I thought I’d find you up here, though. Thinking about flying?” Thundercracker could often be found on the roof, leaning on the railing and brooding.
“Where were you last night?”
It was the tone more than the question that stopped Skywarp. “I was with Stormcloud. Why?” To an outside observer, it sounded worse than it was. The Decepticons were still, for the most part, uninterested in the idea of physical relationships. Even despite a complete lack of body-consciousness, they preferred to wear clothes - not just for the practical considerations, but because they liked the colours and found the monotone of human flesh dull. Sleeping together was merely that; any meaning came from the fact that it left one vulnerable.
“I thought so.”
There was no inflection to Thundercracker’s deep voice. Worried, Skywarp laid a hand on his arm. “TC? You okay?”
Thundercracker shook him off. “You were disloyal to me. Being alone is one thing. Being with someone else is another.”
“Oh, for… I’ve spent time with other people before, Thundercracker. So have you.”
“Not like that. Not close.”
Skywarp pinched the bridge of his nose. “Of course not. We weren’t human until a couple months ago.”
The other turned on him. “This isn’t about physical reactions! It’s about depth of relationships. You’re my companion, Skywarp; you tell me things you would never share with anyone else. I’ve seen aspects of you that no one else even suspects. And you gave part of that to Stormcloud.” Thundercracker started past him, but paused a few steps away. “You can either be with me or be with everyone else but me.” He disappeared back into the building, leaving Skywarp alone on the roof.
Thundercracker paced his room, clenching and unclenching his fists. I’m jealous. That’s not right; I don’t get jealous. Skywarp had other friends and it never bothered him before. And it wasn’t like Skywarp truly betrayed him; his short tryst with Stormcloud was only physical. Physical wasn’t important. He overreacted.
But Skywarp was his.
He stopped pacing, pressing his fists against his temples, trying to stop the train of thought. Each knew he could always go to the other for sympathy, encouragement, or just to complain about his job - it was a comfortable relationship, and Thundercracker was finding himself increasingly uncomfortable with it.
But Skywarp didn’t see anything wrong with what he did; he even admitted to it. And there wasn’t anything wrong with it. It wasn’t as if he were sharing a trauma, or leaving himself vulnerable to blackmail, or otherwise opening up emotionally or intellectually. It was just…
Skywarp. Is. Mine.
Thundercracker sat down, squeezing his eyes shut, as if he could force his mind to shut up. Great Cybertron, it was bad enough that he was of two minds about the whole Decepticon cause, now his unhelpful little mental voice was getting possessive. Possessiveness in interpersonal relationships was not a Decepticon trait.
You’re not a Decepticon, Thundercracker. You’re human.
“Shut up.” As if vocalising would stop his own mind.
But that never works, does it? he asked himself. He needed Skywarp. Skywarp could always make the doubts go away. His confidence and attitude were infectious, and he always had an explanation for whatever Megatron’s plan of the week was. And he had a smile that could make Thundercracker forget his own name…
Stop it! That has nothing to do with anything!
Doesn’t it? How about the fact that before a smile was just an indication of an emotional state? Face it, Thundercracker - you’re human and slave to human biology. And biology plays a big part in human interpersonal relationships.
I am a DECEPTICON!
Thundercracker’s doubts quieted down, but only because he was too tired to think. Exhausted by his internal struggles, he curled up and fell asleep.
A low growl caused Thundercracker to jump slightly as he walked down the hall the next morning. Turning, he saw Ravage peering around a corner, and he favoured the panther with a scowl. Ravage divided his time between curling up under Soundwave’s desk and roaming the halls. While he still retained his Decepticon intelligence, he had no way to communicate. Thundercracker was sure he could still ‘talk’ to Soundwave though, however that might happen.
When he turned to continue on his path, Ravage growled again. Fed up with the universe in general and the spy in particular, Thundercracker snapped, “What?”
Ravage blinked twice because Thundercracker’s annoyance couldn’t possibly be directed at him, then licked a paw to show he didn’t care anyway. Then he turned away, walked a few steps, looked back, and waited. Thundercracker repressed a sigh and followed the big cat to Soundwave’s office.
The panther padded in and settled himself by Soundwave’s right hand. At a gesture from the dark man, Thundercracker reluctantly shut the door behind him. Reflector wasn’t in yet, and the Seeker didn’t really want to face Soundwave alone. He was strange enough as a Decepticon; as a human, he was downright creepy.
Of course, it was Thundercracker who had to break the silence. “What do you want?”
“You enjoy being human?” asked Soundwave. Thundercracker decided he was never going to get used to Soundwave’s human voice; it wasn’t quite as deep as his own, but it had a strange strained quality, as if his throat was perpetually dry. Every word was a growl, a bizarre contrast to his usual, modulated tones.
The question was almost an accusation. Thundercracker immediately took the defensive: “Of course not!” Soundwave waited, and even though his voice was wrong, his silences were still impossible to wait out. The Seeker looked away. “Sometimes I forget,” he admitted quietly.
“Skywarp enjoys being human.” It was a flat statement.
“Skywarp could be turned into a brick and he would find some way to like it,” said Thundercracker, angry at Soundwave for bringing the other up, at Ravage for pulling him from his brooding, at Skywarp for his disloyalty, and at himself for perceiving it that way.
“Change his mind. Use any means necessary.”
If either were purely human, with human minds, the statement would have been insulting. As it was, Thundercracker laughed at it, short and bitter. “We had a fight last night, but I’m sure you already know that. He’s not listening to me right now.”
Thundercracker had worked with Soundwave long enough to know that nothing in the Decepticon base was ever truly private. If Soundwave or the cassettes didn’t hear you, Reflector would see you, or there was a security camera… As it was, Soundwave did have most of the common areas in the office building bugged, but not the roof. Not that he let on that he didn’t actually know about Skywarp and Thundercracker’s argument.
If the two weren’t talking, then Soundwave’s chances of converting Skywarp over to his side were almost nil. Skywarp didn’t really listen to anyone except Megatron and Thundercracker, and it was Megatron’s ridiculous scheme that Soundwave was trying to circumvent…
Except… Except that Skywarp and Thundercracker were a package deal. Losing Thundercracker would make Skywarp miserable soon enough, which could be used against him. And if the two made up, then Thundercracker could try to sway him.
All this passed through Soundwave’s mind in a matter of seconds, and none of it reached his face. Instead, he merely nodded a dismissal to the Seeker, who gratefully left. Then Soundwave allowed himself a faint smile, reaching down and scratching Ravage’s ears.
I shouldn’t have done that, Stormcloud thought, staring blankly at her computer screen. Remembering where she was and what her current task was supposed to be, she added, I shouldn’t be doing this, either. I have work to do. She typed a few sentences, and got stuck. Look, you stupid creature, you’ve already blown one assignment; don’t blow this one, too.
She hadn’t meant to get that close to Skywarp. It wasn’t her intention to get close to any of them. Her place was merely to be an air warrior, to serve her cause, to fight and even die to fulfill her function. She was a soldier - the threat of termination always hung over her… and the others, too. Getting friendly with her fellow warriors only meant sorrow later. And getting close to one’s superior officer was never a good idea. Some friendliness so they don’t pick on you, but nothing too tight. Skywarp’s so new to being the Air Commander. I wonder what will happen if he ever has to order Thundercracker into certain destruction?..
Then, Oh, slag! Thundercracker! What does he think of my ‘borrowing’ Skywarp?.. Nah, he’s probably fine with it. He seems like an understanding one - being human probably hasn’t messed him over like it did me. Still, probably better to avoid her fellow Seekers for a few days, if only to give herself time to sort things out in her own mind.
Idly, Stormcloud wondered if Sway was free later. She wanted someone to talk to, and, irrationally, she wanted to talk to a fellow female.
Thundercracker was pulled from a dream in which something tore off his wings by a knock at his door. Shaking off the nightmare, he sat up and called quietly: “Who is it?”
“Me. Open up.”
Skywarp. A pang of betrayal almost made him pull the covers over his head and go back to sleep. But, he was already awake and despite Skywarp’s typically abrupt greeting, a slight tremor was in the voice. Thundercracker got up, pulled on a robe over his nightclothes - for warmth more than propriety, - and opened the door.
Skywarp’s mouth twitched into a brief smile, but settled back to a more tense expression. “Hi. Can I come in?”
Without speaking, carefully holding his expression neutral, Thundercracker stepped aside to let the other past. Skywarp walked in, paced the room twice, then stopped. “Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“You look awful.”
“You stay up for twenty-eight hours straight and see how good you look,” retorted Skywarp, sitting heavily on the edge of the bed, though the tone wasn’t bitter. He shrugged. “I had work.”
Curbing the urge to be sympathetic, Thundercracker asked, “Megatron’s got a new scheme?”
“No. My own fault; I couldn’t sleep last night so I did paperwork.” He sighed, twisting his hands in his lap. “Listen… Thundercracker, I’m sorry. I got so wrapped up in testing my new senses that I… No, no excuses. I spent the night with Stormcloud and didn’t even bother to consider your feelings, and it’s been tearing me up since you told me off.” He looked up then, his customary assurance gone from him, waiting.
He didn’t have to wait long. Thundercracker crossed the room immediately, pulling him into a tight embrace. “You’re forgiven. I was terrified you wouldn’t come back…”
“Shh, shh, I’m here, I’m not leaving.” Skywarp stifled a yawn. “Okay, maybe I am, but I’ll be back in the morning. Maybe I can get some sleep now that I’m not tying myself in knots… Hey!”
“Sit down; you aren’t leaving and I can’t get your shoes off if you’re standing.” Thundercracker pulled one of the laces, then smiled up at him, almost shyly. “You’re always taking care of me. Let me return the favour for a change.”
Skywarp sighed, but gave up. “You’ve got to be kidding. All I do is get you in trouble. Then you get me out of it. How on Cybertron did I end up with the Air Commander promotion and not you?”
“You believe in the Decepticon cause, I… sometimes forget that I do.” Skywarp could always make his doubts go away, a fact that not only made Thundercracker’s life tolerable, but saved it on a number of occasions. Megatron didn’t like to be questioned, especially when the question was ‘Why?’. He pulled off Skywarp’s other shoe, then carefully set both aside. Skywarp probably wouldn’t be able to find them in the morning - he was of the type who believed the floor was just one big shelf.
Since Skywarp spent most nights in Thundercracker’s room anyway, he accordingly kept most of his clothes there as well. A few minutes of searching located his friend’s pyjamas - black, like most of his wardrobe - which Thundercracker tossed to him. “There. Get changed and go to sleep. You need it.”
A trace of his usual mischief flashed across Skywarp’s face. “What? You’re not going to help me?”
“You don’t need help.”
“Indulge me. Besides, I like the feel of your hands on me.”
Thundercracker, surprised - and pleased, which added to his surprise, - answered automatically: “You’re bizarre.”
“And you like it,” agreed Skywarp, unoffended. “Come here.”
For reasons that she didn’t entirely understand, Stormcloud found it fascinating to watch Sway eat. Specifically, she was surprised such a small creature could pack away so much food and not show any effects. Sway gave the impression of being tall, mostly because she tended to hang around Kickback, who was shorter than she was. Once you saw her alone, you realised she couldn’t be much over five feet. On top of that, she was… Stormcloud paused, and decided on the term ‘sinewy.’ Sway was graceful, but it was the grace of a warrior rather than any feminine trait. She wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination - a face like a hatchet and a body to match.
To her annoyance, the more solidly-built Stormcloud found herself envying the Insecticon’s ability to eat anything she pleased and not gain any weight.
Stormcloud pushed that aside. Sway was the only other female Decepticon in the area - there were two more Insecticon females in Bali, - and Stormcloud found she was more comfortable talking to her than any of the males. She wasn’t sure if Sway actually enjoyed her company or if she just showed up because Stormcloud paid for the food. You could never be sure with Insecticons. “So you’re saying these… physical responses… are a breeding urge?”
“Mm, pretty sure,” agreed Sway. “You should ask Kickback. He, hmm, knows more about humans than any of the other Decepticons here.” Shrapnel, Bombshell, and Kickback had actually been active in Indonesia for four hundred years before the Decepticons found them again.
The Seeker didn’t want to ask Kickback. Kickback was male, and the thought of talking to him about such a topic made Stormcloud uncomfortable. Well, more uncomfortable than she already was with it. “So have you and Kickback, um…”
Sway arched an eyebrow. “I don’t see how that’s any of your, hmm, business, but for your information, no.”
“Oh. I just thought… I mean, you two are always together…”
“Insecticons stick together, and Kickback’s my, hmm, friend,” said Sway. “Mm, besides, I’m a dragonfly, he’s a grasshopper. Incompatible species.”
The Seeker tried to understand, and failed. “But you’re both human.”
Sway gave the other a long look of total incomprehension before turning her attention back to her breakfast.
“Okay, I’m here. What’s up?”
Thundercracker motioned to the seat across from him and waited for Skywarp to sit down. “We’ve got to get out of here.”
“But I just arrived,” protested Skywarp.
“That’s not what I meant.”
‘Here’ was a dingy café several blocks from the current Decepticon Headquarters. More specifically, ‘here’ was a quasi-secluded booth in a corner. Not that they were entirely unnoticed by the assorted clientele; the simple fact that they were wearing business clothes made them stand out. “Why are we here, then?”
“If I know Soundwave, he’s got the office building tapped top to bottom.”
The conversation was quickly put on hold as the waitress arrived and delivered coffee. Skywarp waited for her to leave before asking, “What’s wrong?”
“Skywarp, I have to get out of the army.”
Thundercracker fiddled with his coffee, but didn’t actually drink any. “I can be a Decepticon. I can tolerate being human. I can’t be both.”
“Why not? Thundercracker…”
“I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I can’t do it,” said Thundercracker. “In our true forms, I had my wings. We were practically immortal - if we weren’t killed in a fight, we had a chance of seeing the end of the war, going back to Cybertron… As humans, we’re fragile. We won’t last fifty years. We can’t go home, even if we win.” Skywarp was actually built a few years after Thundercracker was, and the open, worried look he currently wore made him seem even younger. In Cybertronian terms, it was negligible. Human, it was suddenly important. He clasped Skywarp’s hand, oblivious to the dark looks some of the diner’s patrons sent his way. “There’s no point in fighting any more. And I want you to come with me.”
Skywarp took his hand back. “I can’t. I’m the Air Commander now, I’ve got responsibilities…”
“‘Warp, listen to me: Your title means nothing and you know it.” Thundercracker sighed. “It’s over. Sooner or later the Decepticons on Cybertron - or the Autobots - are going to figure out what happened to us, and I want to be as far away as possible when they come looking.”
“All right,” said Skywarp. “Say you left. What do you do then?”
“I’ll find the Constructicons and become a welder!” snapped Thundercracker. “I don’t know - I don’t care. I just want to get away from Megatron and his stupid scheme.” He settled down, resting his elbows on the table and his face in his hands. Feeling a hand on his arm, he looked up. “Everyone is ready to walk out, Skywarp. They’re just too scared.”
The other raised an eyebrow. “‘Everyone’? What about Soundwave?”
“He lost most of his cassettes; what do you think?” asked Thundercracker. “He asked if you enjoyed being human, and when I said ‘yes’, he told me to change your mind.”
“Soundwave’s running the mutiny?”
Thundercracker paused, pensive. “Probably not a mutiny; he’s too loyal to Megatron. He just wants his true form back. Probably thinks that if everyone gangs up on him, Megatron will have to stop his current plan.” He shrugged. “Who knows what Soundwave thinks?”
The waitress came by to refill Skywarp’s coffee mug; Thundercracker still hadn’t touched his. Eventually, Skywarp said, “I won’t report any of this to Megatron. I should, but I won’t. But I have to stay. Agree or disagree, Megatron’s still our leader. I still follow him.”
Silence fell for a few seconds, then Thundercracker sighed. “I can’t leave without you. I don’t agree with you, but if you stay, I stay.”
Skywarp smiled and leaned across the table to kiss him lightly on the forehead. “Thanks, TC. You’re the best friend an ex-giant shapechanging robot could…”
“All right, I think we’ve had quite enough of you two.”
The Seekers looked up with some surprise at the large man glaring down at them. With genuine confusion, Skywarp asked, “Are we doing something wrong?”
“I’ll say,” sneered the man. “You’ve gotten a bit touchy-feely for our tastes.”
“Why not bother them?” asked Skywarp, indicating a couple in another corner who were attached to each other with a leech-like tenacity. “What they’re doing doesn’t even look hygienic.”
A ham-sized hand clamped itself firmly to Skywarp’s shoulder and hauled him to his feet. “And what you’re doing isn’t natural, so I suggest you…”
He never got the chance to finish his suggestion. A splash of still-steaming coffee blinded him, one hand caught his collar and yanked him back, another socked him in the jaw, and a kick caught him in the midsection, knocking him into a table… all in about three seconds.
“Humans,” growled Thundercracker, rubbing his fist where it had intersected with the man’s jaw. “I can never decide whether I pity or despise them.”
“My hero. Next time, I get to pick the restaurant, TC.”
Thundercracker turned away from the window. “So much for thinking I could blend into human society. I have no idea what rule we broke, but it seems to have been a big one.” He sighed. “Lousy customs. Lousy planet.”
“It hasn’t been all bad,” said Skywarp. They had retreated to the relative safety of Thundercracker’s room. Skywarp was lying back on the bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to Thundercracker grumble and pace. After a few minutes, he sat up and said defensively, “It hasn’t.”
“Earth in general or our current condition in particular?” asked Thundercracker. Skywarp shrugged, so the other returned to his pacing. With a noise of frustration, he suddenly stopped. “I hate this! I hate this lousy body and everything that comes with it!”
Suddenly Skywarp was beside him, one hand around his waist, the other stoking his hair back. “Everything?”
“Almost everything,” amended Thundercracker, but he stepped away. “I admit, some of it is enjoyable. But every day I’m thinking more like a human. This isn’t me.”
“Listen to me, listen,” murmured Skywarp, cupping Thundercracker’s chin to force him to look into his eyes. “Decepticon warrior, pyramid-Seeker, Earth-style jet, human - no matter what your form is, you are Thundercracker.” He smiled faintly, not his usual smirk but an unguarded - almost uncertain - expression. “And you’re my companion. No matter what the rules are, I love you.”
I know that. I’ve always known that. But he couldn’t reciprocate the smile. “I’m scared, Skywarp. Everything’s different…”
Skywarp kissed him, lightly. “It’s only different bodies, TC. We’re used to that.”
“We’re still who we always were inside,” Skywarp said reassuringly. “Our minds are the same - the emotions haven’t changed, just the expression of them.”
Thundercracker broke away from him, turning to the window and bringing his fists down on the sill. “It’s more than that! We can’t fly, we can’t go back to Cybertron… What’s the use? Why do we stay with him? What’s our stake in it now? Skywarp, tell me I’m doing the right thing!”
“Shh. My poor, dear Thundercracker, of course you are.” He slipped his arms around Thundercracker, smoothing his hands down his chest until they were loosely clasped around his waist. What are we doing here? We’re not Decepticons, not part of the war… Just because I don’t know the answer doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Megatron always has a reason for doing things, even if I don’t always understand them. Everyone needed faith in something; Thundercracker trusted Skywarp to give the Decepticon cause meaning, and Skywarp trusted Megatron to be right. There was a reason for why Megatron wasn’t working towards finding a counter to the curse. There had to be a reason - the alternative would be unbearable.
Unfortunately, he didn’t actually know the reason. Skywarp sighed, resting his head on his friend’s shoulder. “Probably because a project that big would catch the attention of the Autobots, maybe even tip them off as to what happened to us. Megatron doesn’t want to risk it until we’ve made a big energy haul through our business dealings.”
“That makes sense, I suppose…”
“Of course it does. Trust me.”
To be continued ...