"Work you stupid contraption!"
"Maybe you should try uh, not hitting it so hard?" The smaller mech grinned. "To quote Hook, 'It's a delicate piece of equipment.'"
Starscream responded by throwing a control dial that had snapped off at the annoyance's head. "When I want your opinion, Rumble, I'll ask for it! So be quiet and let me work."
"Just saying." Rumble plopped down on the side of the platform he and the oh so glorious second in command were on. Starscream was fiddling with the Constructicon's latest device to backfire horribly in their faces. Specifically, a very large mobile gun canon with an interior control room had blown a fuse and locked the both of them inside. On the bright side, it was proving to have done its job doubling as an impenetrable fortress. On the depressing side, it also meant no one could break in to get the two of them out. So, all in all the only exit was to get the controls working again since the manual controls were apparently defective.
Starscream had specifically ordered Rumble to stay out of his way while he tried to fix it himself claiming he had no need of the cassette's help. That was just fine for the much smaller mech; he was more than content to just watch the flyer. After all, it wasn't the first, or hardly the last, time they'd be stuck alone together. He was always doing missions with Starscream and heck, they'd even been trapped in the fleshie's medieval past together for a short spell. Starscream had a way to, keep things interesting, Rumble thought to himself. And he wasn't bad to look at either.
Starscream gave the control panel one more swift kick and snarled while biting his thumb. He paused momentarily to realize what he was doing and turned his head towards the ceiling with a sigh. He'd been on this planet far too long. He was starting to act like those stupid little insects that covered the planet's surface. "I can not believe this is happening. We made sure to install a manual control to the door so the operator could still get out in the event of computer failure. So tell me, how they could both break at the same time!"
"Murphy's law?" Rumble piped up with a chuckle.
"It was a rhetorical question!" Starscream slammed the keyboard and rapped his fingers. "What are you doing in here anyway? I thought you were helping Soundwave gather energy."
"I was." Rumble shrugged. "You were takin' so long firing the gun at the Autobots that Megatron wanted to make sure you weren't switching the coordinates to fire at him or something."
"His faith in me is still limitless I see." Starscream smirked. "As if I'd test fire on him." He paused with a chuckle. "I'd like to make sure it works first. Less chance of it backfiring and him still getting up afterwards."
"Yeah, 'cause that's worked so well for ya' all the other times." Rumble couldn't help the continued snicker as Starscream frowned. He never could understand the Seeker's constant death wish when it came to their leader. If Starscream had any talent, it was asking for a beating. "Ya' really should just give up trying to take over. All you're going to do is get your wings ripped off."
"Don't be foolish. Megatron will fall to me eventually. I just have to come up with something that works around his brutish strength and fire power."
"Good luck with that." Rumble transformed his arm into a pile driver and transformed it back to a hand to stretch out his servos. He repeated the action with a bored air; wasn't much else to do really. Two hours of sitting still while the Seeker fiddled with stuff was making him stiff. "Just don't forget he's smart and used to working in the worst conditions Cybertron had to offer." Rumble smirked over his shoulder. "Which required quick thinking and endurance. You're really out of your league."
"Oh please. I know all about his gladiator days. In case you forgot, he was still a gladiator when I joined his team."
Rumble laughed and started to swing his legs letting them clang against the raised platform. Starscream had completely stopped working on the panel at this point and had given the smaller mech his full attention. Rumble tilted his head just the right way so the one light in the ceiling glinted off his visor. "I ain't talking about his gladiator days. That was nothing."
"Nothing?" Starscream looked aghast. "The gladiator fights were nothing?"
"Right, right." Rumble pulled himself up onto the platform and grabbed the ledge to swing himself up onto the computer console. It was more fun to tease the 'Screamer at eye-level. "I keep forgetting you weren't there before Megatron joined the underground fighting ring. You've been such a permanent sore in his side for so long, I almost forget there were days when ya' weren't there." Rumble rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Which is probably a good thing. I can't picture ya' doing the stuff we used to do."
"What the slag are you babbling about?" Starscream leant against the uncooperative control panel and listened to a faint thumping against the wall. They must finally be trying to pry them out. Though, Starscream would bet his energon rations they were only doing it because Soundwave's little brat was in here. Megatron would be more than happy to let Starscream sit in here and rot. Soundwave on the other hand had an unnatural attraction to his little minions. "It's not like you were there either. Soundwave joined when he was a gladiator too."
"Ah, but you see, that's where you're mistaken." Rumble smirked. "I didn't meet Soundwave until Megatron did. Me and Frenzy got reformatted to be his cassettes about the same time you and your brothers showed up."
Starscream tapped the counter but looked towards the door when a particularly loud clank ensured that yes, some idiot was banging up against the door. "And your point is?"
"Me and Frenzy worked with Megatron before he was a gladiator." Rumble stuck his hands on his hips; pride showing through. The cassette was proud to be able to say he was with Megatron first. Along with his brother; they were the first. "Long before he even thought of going up against the council and the government and all their little rules."
"Is that supposed to impress me?" Starscream turned back to the computer and poked a button. The control panel started to fritz much in the same fashion Starscream's own circuits were sparking in frustration. "So you knew him as a nobody. No one is just born a famous rebellion leader. It only makes sense a few people knew him before he was a tyrannical dictator."
Rumble growled. "It's supposed to impress ya' because if you'd let me finish you'd realize Megatron could beat the slag out of you without trying even when he was a nobody so you've got no chance going up against him now that he's even stronger!"
"Well, get on with it." Starscream hissed. "You're wasting my time."
"Like you've got anywhere to be when you're stuck in 'ere." Rumble sneered. "And old Megatron? He was a miner. A piece of industrial equipment just like me."
"A miner?" Starscream's optics flickered slightly as that information processed. It made sense in a way, his build was huge and heavily armored. But it still didn't change anything. "A miner isn't that much different from a gladiator. It still stands that to take him out and claim leadership I have to work around his strength and armor. I can't beat him in a physical fight. Even I know that."
"Ya' don't get it do you?" Rumble huffed. "It's going to come down to a one on one and you're gonna end up getting slagged like you always do. Why not just quit it and be happy that you're the freaking second in command even after all these mutiny attempts!"
Starscream smacked the keyboard and ignored the sparks that flared up. "What do you know about it? I have no intention of quitting." Starscream paused as another loud thump echoed through the room. The idiocy of whoever was hitting the door seemed to have worked wonders to distract him from his tempter. "You think they'd just shoot the fragging door already with Megatron's beam canon or something."
"He probably doesn't want to hurt the impenetrable and indestructible weapon." Rumble snorted.
Starscream turned back to the cassette standing on the control deck. Rumble was obviously irritated now. Clearly he thought his little insider information on Megatron before everyone else knew him was special or something. But why would he care what Starscream thought of him? Or why would he try and impress the flyer? Though, there was an even better question lingering now. "Why would you even care if Megatron slags me anyway?"
"What?" Rumble stuttered. "Uh..."
"Well?" Another clank louder than the last struck the side. This time it was enough to tilt the entire room slightly before it fell back to a level position. Must have gotten Astrotrain to try and hit the door. "What business is it of yours?"
Rumble froze. Starscream was looking at him expectantly. How was the tiny mech supposed to put into words he'd miss having the loud, annoying Seeker around? That it was funny watching him and Soundwave interact or sit back as Starscream got away with doing just about anything he wanted. That he maybe enjoyed their conversations just a tiny bit deep down in his processor. Rumble needed an excuse. "It'd be a pain in my aft if you got yourself offlined."
"How?" Starscream grabbed the console to steady himself when yet another giant smash set the control room to rattling. From here on out they were never putting a control room on a mobile object again. He huffed when the room settled. Starscream was working with idiots. Didn't a single one of them have the sense to get a laser cutter or something to try and cut through the thinner layer around the seams of the door? "Again, how does my getting offlined affect you?"
Rumble said the first thing that came to his mind. "Skywarp would get mopey and annoying."
"Skywarp?" Starscream snorted. "Since when were you two such good friends?"
"We're not! I'm just sayin' if you got yourself slagged he'd get mopey and then he'd be no fun to prank anymore."
"Skywarp would get 'mopey.'" Starscream deadpanned.
"He would." Rumble licked his teeth. "He's always complaining as is that you never hang out with him and Thundercracker anymore. It'd probably triple in annoyance if you got yourself offed permanently."
"Somehow I don't think that's the real reason." Starscream smirked. "So what's the-"
The entire control room turning on it's side cut Starscream off mid-sentence and mid-thought.
Much to Rumble's relief, it also completely distracted him from the topic at hand. Was totally worth getting thrown off the control panel and into the wall. "Ow...my achin' head."
"What are those idiots doing!?" Starscream screeched and gave justice to his namesake. "Don't they know we're in here!?"
"I think that's why they're trying to break in." Rumble mumbled and pulled himself up off the floor. Off the control panel, Starscream was back to towering over him.
"This is just ridiculous!" Starscream kicked the control panel with twice the force he had earlier. This was just not his day. "And what about the battle? Wasn't that still going on?"
"Maybe the autobots are the ones trying to get in?" Rumble rubbed the back of his head. "Or maybe we got knocked over by them trying to take us out or something."
"Doubtful...they would have just blown it up or dumped it in the ocean or their volcano." Starscream muttered. "We're doomed either way. Idiots all of them."
"Won't argue with that one." Rumble sat down on the floor and waited for the next jolt.
However, the next clang, bang, thump or roll over never came.
Instead, the Seeker and the Cassette were greeted by a purple flash of light. Both Starscream and Rumble stared blankly at the newest addition to their impromptu prison. A certain black and purple seeker had teleported into the control room.
"Screamer! Shrimp!" Skywarp waved at his two friends sitting on the side wall of the turned over weapon of the day. The control panel burst into flames and Skywarp couldn't help but chuckle. "You two haven't killed each other yet. Looks like Swindle owes me a cube."
"Skywarp." Starscream grit his teeth together so hard that he could hear the metal grinding. His voice increased in volume slowly as he continued. "Why, tell me, did you not teleport in here when we first got locked in!"
Rumble laughed in the corner as Starscream tackled the idiot seeker and started to beat him stupid. Well stupider. Skywarp was whining it wasn't his fault and some nonsense about being on the other side of the battlefield with the blue pushover. Didn't stop Starscream though; he always loses it once his temper blows. Skywarp was doing his best to block but the punches just kept coming, accompanied of course by some of the most intellectual cursing Rumble'd ever heard. That Starscream sure was something else; he always seemed to make Rumble smile.
Rumble froze and took a few steps back until he was pressed against the wall. Had he...had he just had warm fuzzy feelings about Starscream?
Rumble was so lost in this new revelation he failed to notice when the two Seekers rolled in his direction and knocked him over.