The corridors rang with his steps, and Megatron scowled. There should be an answering tread, lighter with the disdain for even having to step rather than fly. Where was the mocking laughter, the suspicious questioning, the derisive sarcasm? And why, on the eve of Megatron's newest plans, did it even matter to him that the space to his side was vacant?
His thoughts turned over the vision he had for the future of Cybertron at this point. None of his three lieutenants could have accepted peace, not like this, and they would have been first in line to take his spark from his chest. They would have seen only the weakness in his submission to Prime at the end of the fight with Sentinel.
None of them could have understood the calculation inherent in the choice to do so, to regain space, clarity, and a chance to openly pool resources. Starscream might have come close. The mech had been a master in the lessons of willing submission, after all, with an understanding of the methods of controlling through being controlled. However, that wasn't quite what Megatron had in mind the microt he had knelt to his brother.
No, he had a vision of Cybertron restored, using the fact that many of the surviving Autobots had a taste for war now, to push back out and claim the resources they had charted as their war spiraled beyond their original system. Cybertron would be the mighty center of an Empire as Megatron saw it now, his hubris no longer shaped by controlling all around him, but by a need to restore and better what he had broken.
He would need an organizer, though, an overseer to see the works necessary were built on schedule and within limitations.
He would need a communicator, someone to coordinate the various arms of his projects.
He most certainly did not need someone who questioned every move, who was never far from his side, and who would usurp the glory for himself with the slightest provocation. Such a being was as unnecessary now as it had been halfway through the war.
::Ramjet, I want an analysis of the hatchlings we did recover immediately. Base code percentages of lineage tracing.:: The quick, firm order was sent along comm lines with brutal efficiency, nothing of his personal thoughts tainting the words. On the other end, there was acknowledgement. Placing one of that trine in as his coordinator had been a quick way to give Thundercracker the time he needed to force the entire Seeker contingent into line beneath him the way Starscream had.
Once he had the report, Megatron would personally survey those that carried higher percentages of base coding from the three lieutenants he had lost in the final days of the war. With proper environments, enhanced by memory data being uploaded into the developing processors, Megatron could shape what he most needed out of his former lieutenants to stand at his side once more.
Shaping a viper like Starscream would take time, planning, and care. Luckily, Megatron had known Starscream a very, very long time, and knew just why his viper was bent the way he was. Megatron might not need such a heckling, vainglorious mech at his side, but there had been reasons, all along, to keep the savagely proud and strong Seeker close to him.
Megatron was more than willing to consider the tactical ones as advantage enough, and too proud to admit the more personal need for a closer confidante and companion than Thundercracker could ever be.