TFA SlipstreamIt is a couple days past Halloween, and the unusual eeriness has left the nexus. The weather is yet autumnal; crisp and cool. Today, there is something happening along the street in Park Slope. The road and walkways between the towering, violet-toned apartment building and the recently manicured park are filled with displays of orange flowers, consumables, quirky figurines and small holographic projections of deactivated or departed bots.Slipstream, back in her usual teal and violet deco, after the Halloween Party, is seated on one of the many benches that have been brought out in offering for restless sparks to find symbolic rest.
I went to Mexico, once. It was the Autumn before I found myself here in the Nexus....
No, that is not the beginning. I should start earlier. Starscream created me, and my brothers. Before our creation, Starscream - the loser - went and got himself killed by Megatron. Megatron cheated a bit, using that key, but whatever, it's not like Starscream didn't try every underhanded and deceitful ploy when he was trying to take The Mighty One offline.
Anyway, at some point, Starscream had gotten an AllSpark fragment lodged in his head, which made him...undead, or alive, or immortal. Call it what you will! So what did the genius do? Went right back to trying to kill Megatron! Now, I'm all for vengeance against those who offend or injure me, but at some point, one's got to learn which tactics to enact that revenge are just ineffective!
He failed, of course! Even immortal he failed; just now he could fail spectacularly in rapid succession. So, what did he do? Come up with some all new strategy? Spend time rethinking his tactics? NO! He slaggin' went back to his tired, old bomb schemes! He makes me so mad!
Not only did he fail to trap Megatron with his scheme, he completely escalated his fail by drawing in the Autobots - he should have known that would happen as soon as he endangered the city - and getting himself captured! They carted him off, as it were, on that blue ship: the Elite Guard.
They extracted his codes while he was captive, but I'm gettin' a bit off topic....
Point is: Starscream escaped. That is where things really begin to affect me! By escaping the Elite Guard,and so soon after trying to slag Megatron, again, Starscream managed to get himself on the wanted list of both factions! Which resulted, firstly, in me inheriting the animosity of both factions the moment I came online, but prior to that, in the fated - maybe - team-up of the two most upgrade-juiced, crafty, bad-aft martial artists I've ever heard of!
This pairing coincided with Starscream's awesome strategy of cloning decoys. It was...not one of his worst ideas, I'll say. The Dynamic Duo took them down pretty quickly...but that might have been to Starscream's design. He just had to go and stick with the whole bomb theme! I still fail to see the logic in making clones in his own image only to treat them as disposable! And, I still fail to see why the Autobots - of all supposedly life-respecting bots - could be so quick to let them explode. Maybe it's true there was little time, maybe war does things to a mech, maybe they had to concede that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...maybe those eldest two were drone-like, but did they know? Would it have made a difference?
It makes a difference to me, because whatever others do to Starscream, or to one of my brothers, I have to assume may, even potentially, be done to me.
And coming online knowing all this - in a kind of summarized format unlike living the memories - being another clone of Starscream, I knew I had to do what I could to protect my interests...from Megatron, from Autobots, and from Starscream, or it could be me that was captured, experimented on, or blown up.
I wanted it to be different. I wanted Starscream to somehow show or say that I wasn't a disposable decoy, to communicate that he wanted me with him. But...he didn't, exactly. And, if that battle had gone differently, maybe I would have acted differently, but what I saw was...so long as we had Megatron, his Decepticons, the Autobots, and even Sumdac against us, we couldn't win. Not with Starscream and all my brothers. Not...not with Starscream's leadership, and not with enemies on every front.
The easiest enemy to remove was Megatron, and all that took was submitting to his cause. It was actually one of the most obvious and easiest decisions I ever had to make. I do not regret it, after all, I do agree with the Decepticon goals of gaining access to and control over our homeworld and most-sacred artifact. It was a treacherous act, but it was also intelligent. Removed an entire faction as enemies and made them allies.
That left the Autobots - Team Earth, their Ministry of Science, and the Elite Guard included - and Starscream as enemies. I started making plans to handle those threats, and that brings me back to the beginning: Mexico.
It was autumn. I'd spent the time since our battle at the Carbon mines - with Megatron and Starscream away - seeking AllSpark fragments. I kept in contact with other Decepticons in the city, as I could, but I was operating on my own. It was obvious the others didn't have much teamwork, without Megatron, so I knew I had to have an advantage to present the to them, if I were going to get them to follow. Ramjet and Sunstorm would follow, I thought, if I had a plan or target, and I was still working on that.
Until I started to hear less chatter...at the same time the Elite Guard was back. I heard just enough to think maybe...maybe Megatron's bounty hunter of preference was involved. I wasn't sure. I didn't know about Ramjet's plans, then. But, I knew Decepticons were getting picked-up, if not by Lockdown, certainly - somehow - by the Elite Guard.
I didn't care much about Blitzwing and Lugnut. I mean, they're entertaining enough, and I'd fly with them again, but I wasn't going to risk myself for them. And, though I wanted it to be different, I wasn't going to risk myself for my brothers, either. Because, I was slaggin sure Blackarachnia or Scrapper wouldn't be motivated to do it, which meant I was the only one left to help. And if I got caught, then, there would be no one else with any motivation to stage a rescue.
The idea of escaping from the inside wasn't something I was prepared to consider, though I knew Starscream had escaped from that ship before.
My decision was to temporarily leave Detroit. And unlike the one to side with Megatron, it wasn't easy. I had two brothers in the city; three of us could have been strong together. But, I wasn't yet ready to assume leadership of the other two. I'd been quiet in my searches for the fragments. I hadn't bothered humans too much - except maybe those Crimson Angels - I knew that would draw the Autobots. I'd wanted more time, for everything. Starscream had millions of stellar cycles to plot! I had less than an Earth year! I wasn't as cowardly as Skywarp, but the smartest thing I could think to do was run...fly rather.
That's how I ended up in Mexico. I'd seen enough Earth movies on captured satellite channels to know that's where fugitives ran. And maybe, there were fragments there. The AllSpark had been dispersed that fragments had ended up all over Detroit, and that included airports, riverports and interstate highways.
The humans there were in the midst of a celebration. Two days that honored the spirits - like sparks - of dead ancestors, whether they be the young innocents, or the old. I was vaguely intrigued, having myself a sorta dead - and physically departed - progenitor. Los Día de los Muertos
I had never witnessed - even heard of - such happiness in any race over others being dead. It has to do, I suppose, with their belief in an afterlife, like going to the Well, I guess. I don't really believe in that stuff! Still, it made an impression.
I could not stop thinking about that slaggin' bounty hunter. Granted I had never met him, but I had that sorta-summarized memory of what Starscream had witnessed through my eldest brothers. I knew he'd worked for Megatron before. Knew he was supposed to be good at tracking, that evidence suggested some Autobot had shown him how to trace AllSpark fragments, like the one I just happened to have in me. And...he's got a faceplate rather like a skull, let's face it!
This Day of the Dead celebration was all about skulls! Their Lady of the Dead deity - Mictecacihuatl - has a big wide jaw that can swallow stars! Think about that!
They had among these ofrendas
, the offerings for the spirits things like flowers, and 'spirits' in the sense of beverages, and many foods, and so many skulls and skeletons, calaveras y calacas
: skull candies, giant skeletons, skeleton figurines, dandy skeletons in hats and tails! El Catrin
, the dandy skeleton, is so like that bounty hunter.
And, it wasn't only that. I'd see some human with a tattoo. Or, a human in a poncho. Or, a muscle car. It was like...a bad trip. You know what I mean? A bad trip to Mexico to face the fear I'd tried my best to avoid. I didn't want to be caught!
It was the beginning of something that at present has become an obvious association. I'm not saying anything else about it, but yeah, I'll give ya 'association'. I'm aware we've been seen together.
So in this story, I've still got the Autobots and Starscream as enemies, right? Well, I said I was making plans. Another tradition of this Day of the Dead is telling anecdotes about the departed. And Starscream, as I left him, is offline. Thus, the many holograms of him, and the toxic cocktails he would appreciate, and my story. Because I did find something I was seeking in Mexico, and I had it when I returned to Detroit. I had it when I found his gray shell. I hadn't used it before I came here, and it didn't come with me, but I know where it is, like I know where his shell is.
That's how I can remove another enemy and make them an ally. And, make him really notice me. I don't mean, notice me as some paramour, like a future consort; I mean, notice that he's a dead loser without me. Forget better half; I'm his best part!
I might hate myself for it, he makes me so crazy...but, offline, even though he's not an active enemy, he's not an asset, either.
And then, that just leaves the Autbots. I'm not saying anything more about them. I'm not afraid of them! And...we're all members of the same, small community here. Endangering any member of the community would be like shooting oneself in the foot. Only a total loser would do something like that![ooc: It might be a slight stretch of the canon timeline saying the events of Five Servos of Doom took place around late October, but it is true the episode is several before Human Error, which does take place at Christmas; and based on appearances of snow throughout the series, and the age of the Witwiky baby born in Season 2 and shown in Human Error, it's plausible a full year has passed after Along Came A Spider. Slipstream was not show in the cartoon between the Decepticon assault on Omega Supreme, near the carbon mines, and her shooting down Wingblade Optimus over Detroit; this covers the time in which fellow Decepticons (Swindle, Ramjet, Sunstorm, Lugnut, and Blitzwing) were captured. So, canonically, we don't know where she was, except that she wasn't captured. There are 'deleted' scenes described in AllSpark Almanac II which indicate she was intended to be the one to discover Starscream's offlined shell. So that scene is pseudocanon. In the 'deleted' scene the storyboard descibes Slipstream reactivating Starscream with "one of her AllSpark fragments". That makes it sound like she had more than one. So, my conclusion is that Slipstream, at least pseudocanonically, spent Season 3, avoiding capture, and seeking AllSpark fragments. That she did any of this in Mexico is just my head!canon.]
[ooc: music - Voltaire - Day of the Dead