Starscream told Megatron letting Soundwave get an upgrade would be a bad idea. He told Megatron that Soundwave would only use that opportunity to his advantage. Very few of the Decepticons had been allowed to upgrade themselves ever since they awoke on Earth, primarily out of lack of resources but also partly out of pride. Their first forms were perfect when they first awoke, and most of them were not willing to admit they were outdated, even Megatron. It was why Megatron’s altmode was still a handgun he couldn’t even fire on his own. Pride and stubbornness, nothing more.
But no, Soundwave insisted he needed an upgrade, and because Soundwave was such an annoyingly loyal little sycophant, Megatron agreed despite Starscream’s continual protests. Sure, Starscream would begrudgingly admit that Soundwave was definitely the most out-of-date of all of them. Most humans didn’t even know what cassette players were anymore, much less used them or carried them around. Still, it wasn’t like Soundwave was unable to get his job done - the Autobots’ humans were still ridiculously dimwitted and carted Soundwave into the Ark unwittingly about three times a week. Out-of-date and obsolete or no, Starscream insisted Soundwave did not need or deserve an altmode upgrade when the rest of them had to go without.
But no. Megatron relented, and Soundwave got his wish.
At least Starscream could say “I told you so.” Even Megatron was beginning to think he should have put a limit to the kinds of altmodes Soundwave could choose. A car, a van, a tank - even an electric griddle would have been more reasonable. But a satellite? A satellite couldn’t blend in with the rest of the Decepticons on Earth, and a satellite certainly couldn’t sneak into the Autobot base! But they couldn’t spare the resources for another upgrade – upgrade, downgrade, whatever – so Soundwave smugly let them question their wisdom in not restricting him.
And the others paid the price of Megatron’s foolishness.
“I swear, if those things touch me one more time, Soundwave...” Starscream snarled as he pulled his feet into his chair. Along the floor around his seat, Soundwave’s new, long appendages slithered from one console to the next. He insisted he needed to be able to hook up to every console he could with minimal movement on his part. That way, he could be even more efficient than before. He called them his new “data cables”. Everyone else called them his “extra, groping hands”.
“Query,” Soundwave mused as he lifted one of his tendrils to brush over Starscream’s wing. “Starscream will do what?”
With a pained screech not unlike the feedback of a wet microphone, Soundwave found out exactly what happened when he pushed Starscream too far. Tentacles were not meant to bend that way, nor were they meant to be tied into knots with one another and then tied around Megatron’s throne.
Especially not with Megatron still in it.
Megatron, for his part, simply twitched and made odd, grunting noises as he tried in vain to figure out if he wanted to scream, laugh, or cry while Soundwave tried desperately to unknot his new appendages and ignore how much it hurt doing so.
Starscream simply unleashed a screeching series of, “I told you so!” Nobody was sure who it was directed toward. Nobody cared.