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Megatron Starscream Skywarp Thundercracker

Megatron drums his fingers on the armrests of his throne, glaring balefully at the doors to the throne room as he waits for them to open. He's not surprised Starscream is taking his time about reporting -- not when he took his time showing up to the raid the other night already. And he's long past the point where Starscream's bad behavior surprises him. But not being surprised and not being incensed are worlds apart.

Starscream has been trying since he got the order to report to Megatron, to figure out away to explain why he was late. It was a stupid reason really. True he was working on some complex mathmatics in his lab, true that he went into standby to better concentrate on the equation. But he /did/ hear the call and he chose not to answer it. In that is where he is guilty. Then half missing Chains and hitting Megatron with his null ray only made matters worse. And now hes late for the stand tall session. What the slag. If you're already in trouble might as well go for broke.

Starscream pauses at the door and resets his shoulders, then straightening up a bit he dones his most arrogant facial 'pose' and pushes the door open.

"Here as you..bel-- ordered, Megatron." Starscream says as he walks in and stops several feet from the throne.

Megatron's optics flare with rage as Starscream prances toward him with an audacious little smirk on his faceplates. The air of the throne room hums with energy as his weapons systems power up. "I don't suppose you have an *explanation* for your behavior the other night." Starscream casts a wary optic toward that infamous arm cannon and fights down the urge to bolt. "I -- I was working on some complex mathematical computations involving --" he pauses for a beat. But in that beat his mind is clocking at about warp gazillion on what the math was for. "-- a way to extract more energon from sources than what we achieve at the present. If we can extract even 13.541% more energon per source it can help our efforts greatly... Mighty Leader."

Megatron's frame rumbles in dark amusement as he notices Starscream casting a fearful glance at his weapon. "Energon collection?" He rises from the throne to loom over the insolent Seeker. "Energon collection is a worthy goal. And we all know of your many scientific achievements. But surely, oh brilliant scientist, you could have *waited* to present your findings until *after* a military campaign at which your presence was *required.*"

Starscream takes a step back in spite of himself when Megatron leers over him. "I didn't intend to miss the beginning of the mission! I was finishing up and the formula just came to me. I had to work it out and load it into the computer incase I was damaged in battle -- I mean it does happen, and the data was lost -- could have been lost." another pause for a beat and then the tone of his voice changes ever so slightly, "It was a small contingent of Autobots. My presence was not an issue with you there. Surely your power hasn't waned that much since last week... has it?" slag his mouth and his sarcasm. It will be his demise some day but he just can't help it...

Megatron listens to Starscream's litany of excuses. Knowing his Second's quick with and clever mind, one or two of them might even be partially valid. But that does not excuse his attitude -- or his later idiotic stunt that ended in Megatron getting shot by his own null rays. "Are you telling me," he begins, still smirking, "that your *own* memory banks are insufficient to store the data you needed? Or perhaps you felt *certain* some Autobot fool would blow a hole in your memory banks, such that you needed a backu --?!" He stops, hearing Starscream's last comment, and his amused banter ends in a bellow of fury.

Black hands reach for Starscream's wings, tightening painfully around the thin metal. "Down," he snarls, no longer bothering with witty remarks. He pushes down on the wings to underscore the command, knowing that if Starscream fights back against the force pressing him down, it will only hurt the Seeker worse.

Starscream is always surprised at how fast Megatron can move at times and this is one of those times. He feels the black hands compress the metal of his wings and the rush of pain flooding into his CPU makes him instantly obey. "Me-Megatron." He stammers as he half falls to his knees. "Why? This information was more important then me being on this mission. Surely you wouldn't want both leaders of his Empire compromised by a mission going wrong? What I discovered was too detrimental to the future of this Empire. And the more energon we can collect for you--" Now he's rambling. "-- the better it makes you look. Yes it will show how powerful you really are. Please Megatron, let me go." and of course his voice had hit that 'whine' factor times 10 right about now.

Megatron tightens his hands around the sensitive metal of Starscream's wings, grinning cruelly as he feels it give. Then he stops; seriously damaging one of his best warriors isn't something he's going to risk. Not yet, anyway... "You are not the one who decides what is most important to the Empire, fool. And if you truly think you have discovered information that could lead to the downfall of the Empire, you should have presented it at the last meeting." Suddenly, he stops, smirking, and gives Starscream's wings another hard wrench. "Or better yet -- present it to me *now.*"

His wings, any Seeker's wings, are so sensative. This is absolute torture right now. "I'm --I need to .. get it -- This.. willhelp us -- I'm still working on it --Let go!" Right now all hes intersted in is getting his wing free any way that he can no matter that he basically is making no sense right now.

"No, I didn't *think* you had anything worthwhile to say." Megatron rumbles in disgust as Starscream stammers nonsense. He wants contrition, or at least a facsimile of it, and he won't get that from a blithering, panicked mess. He loosens his grip slightly, but the severe frown on his faceplates makes it clear that he's perfectly willing to tighten it again.

A surge of anger rushes through Starscream's systems them at the comment but he doesn't show it. He is relieved that the grip has loosened on his wings but remains panicked that the hands are still there and poised to clench down again at any moment. "If... you let me go, I can finish for formula for extracting more energon for the energon we spend now gathering it." and for once he stops while he might be ahead.

Megatron considers this. Starscream might well be lying, spinning his original excuse into something plausible just long enough to slither out of the situation. But if he *has* been working on such a formula, provoking him into concealing it out of spite does a disservice to everyone... and makes a fool of him. Optics flaring, he hauls Starscream up by the wings. He pauses a moment for the worst of the wave of pain that this must cause to pass and then says, "Very well. But that is not a bargain, Starscream. It is an order. You will present the formula to me at the next Decepticon meeting -- and the *other* scientists present will analyze it to ensure that your --" he grins -- "*calculations* are *correct.*"

Starscream is hauled to his feet by. his. wings. Oh that hurts, that hurts, that hurts a lot. But he fights to conceal as much of it as he can. "Yyes, Megatron." he says obediantly as the order is given. And then he waits to be let go of, daring not to move in the meantime. He knows that will only make it worse.

<Decepticon> Starscream opens his comm and sounds somewhat drained. "Skywarp, Thundercracker... meet me outside... Megatron's office. That is an order..." and he clicks off his comm.

<Decepticon> Skywarp says, "On my way, Scream. What'd you do this time?"

<Decepticon> Starscream mutters something unintelligible and snaps off his comm link again.

Megatron chuckles and lets go, hearing Starscream finally abandon his "I'm trying to be useful" protestations for the respect he's been looking for. "Then I am finished with you. Go." He sits back down, staring warily at Starscream now that he is free, until Starscream takes his first stumbling steps toward the exit.

Starscream gets dropped to the floor suddenly and slowly pulls himself up to a sitting position. He gives Megatron a cautious glance out of the top of his optics and then slowly gets to his feet. "Thank you, Leader." he says with as much humbleness as he can muster and then slowly turns and heads for the door. He hopes his two trinemates are there to get him. It's bad enough they have to see him like this but anyone else would be beyond humiliating.

The door to Megatron's throne room opens with a hiss, revealing Skywarp and Thundercracker waiting just beyond.

"Wow, you really slagged him off this time, Starscream!" Skywarp says, looking Starscream up and down and taking in all the dents and scraped up paint. "What'd you /do/?"

Starscream glares at Skywarp and starts to say something and then pauses for a minute. "Just take me to repair." he says as he makes it to TC and Warp. He doesn't look back at Megatron but he does still try to stand tall. Though that's really hard right now as bad as his precious wings feel.

Thundercracker says nothing, perhaps wisely. He just waits for Starscream to exit the room properly. Of course, doesn't mean he's not wondering the same thing that 'Warp asked. He risks the briefest glance toward Megatron, then moves to fall into step next to his trine leader.