ayngelcat: (Starscream)
[personal profile] ayngelcat
Title: Onslaught’s Counter-plan
Universe: G1
Rating: PG
Characters: Starscream, Onslaught, Blast Off, Vortex and Brawl
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers, or any of the characters or scenarios from the series within this story
Prompt: #4: "There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up." - Oscar Wilde

Notes A pivotal point of the Substitute Story. Which is set after B.O.T.


Onslaught’s Counter-plan

“So that’s the score!” said Starscream. “Swindle has been dispatched – elsewhere. A substitute will be found to fulfil the needs of Bruticus’ right foot.”

There was a muttering and mumbling among the Combaticons, general noises of discontent, which grew louder. “What substitute?” Vortex snarled. “Yeah!” said Brawl. “Who gets to decide?” Onslaught and Blast Off cast an uneasy look at each other.

“There will be an advertisement circulated, followed by interviews,” Starscream said stiffly. “The panel will consist of – well -me, of course, seeing as how Megatron has left me in charge of this rabble during his absence …”

There was more angry muttering. Vortex and Brawl took a menacing step forward. “And?” demanded Vortex.

Four sets of red optics were on the Seeker, with that intensity which always made Starscream a great deal more wary of the Combaticons than he cared to be.

“And – er – Onslaught and Blast Off, of course.”

Vortex and Brawl immediately went to protest, but Onslaught raised a hand. “Gentleman, please …” he turned to Starscream. “If I could have some time with the troops …”

The Seeker nodded. “Of course,” he said. “But don’t take too long about it! I want the advert out by tonight.”

……………………………..

After they had spent some considerable time discussing who might or might not fit the bill, reaching no conclusions whatsoever, Vortex was far from happy. “Never mind this substitute,” he growled, refusing to sit down, his rotors quivering. “What I wanna know is – when do we get to go waste Swindle?”

“Yeah!” Brawl piped up enthusiastically. “He sold us out! Still gotta do that don’t we? Otherwise the piece of pit gets off scott free!”

Onslaught regarded them thoughtfully, wondering how much Brawl really thought that and how much he was, as usual, trying to look good in front of Vortex and appease the copter’s vengeful nature. But he smiled.

“Indeed, Brawl,” he said. “There are many things which could be thrown away with no care as to their fate at all – were there not a risk that others would pick them up. Clever, Swindle is. Were he to work for certain others, who knows what damage he could do us.”

“Like certain Seekers,” Blast Off muttered.

“Err - yeah!” said Brawl, not really understanding, but pleased at what he saw as 'support.' “We nearly got done in by him already! Let’s get him!”

Vortex had had enough. “Well what are we waitin’ for?” he snarled, canons clicking. “He can’t have gotten far!”

The copter was already making for the door. “Enough talk. Let’s do it!”

Brawl looked from Onslaught to Blast Off, and back to Onslaught again. Neither showed any signs of wanting to stop him. “Yeah, well – uh - right on!” he said, in a way which again made Onslaught doubt the sincerity of his intentions. He hesitated, but then was gone too, “I’m with you, Tex!” they heard him call out, as the sounds of both their footsteps echoed away in the corridor beyond.

Blast Off looked at Onslaught. He raised an optic ridge.

“We need to talk,” said Onslaught.

……………….

“You know where Swindle’s gone.” Blast Off said flatly, accepting the cube or warm liquid placed in front of him and taking a long sip. It was a statement. Not a question.

“Yes.” Said Onslaught, seating himself in the chair opposite.

“And they won’t find him.”

“No.”

“And that is your intention.”

“It is.”

Blast Off sighed. “Why?” he asked. “Surely not because Brawl might go soft? Swindle could be a menace out there. Your reasoning was most accurate.”

Onslaught was silent for a moment, his red optics glazed in thought. “Indeed. But when I agreed that the danger of him being ‘picked up’ should be removed, I had another scenario in mind.”

Blast Off ‘s optics widened. “You mean to get him back!”

Onslaught nodded. “You know me so very well, my old friend. Indeed, that is exactly what I intend.”

The shuttle looked less than impressed. “He’s a traitor. I would have to advise against it.”

Onslaught took a thoughtful sip of his drink. “Maybe,” he said. “The problem is, Blast Off, I don’t think for one moment this substitute idea is going to work. You saw yourself how difficult it was to even think of one mech who might be suitable. And with Starscream making the choice – because you and I both know that we are only tokens in that decision – who knows what we might end up with.”

The shuttle nodded, slowly. “Worse” he was forced to agree.

“Besides,” Onslaught went on, “Swindle’s good. Very good. You know as well as I do that our movement would never have gotten off the ground at all were it not for him.”

Blast Off sighed. He could not disagree. He looked at Onslaught. "There would of course, be an appropriate punishment? You'd need one. To keep Brawl and Vortex in line.”

“Maybe.”

Blast Off did not appear happy with this response. He huffed. “All right, say I agree with you. It doesn't solve how you get Swindle back? He’s gone – wherever that insufferable Seeker wants him to be.”

But Onslaught was playing with his glass, his mouth forming into a grim smile. “Let us just say, Blast Off, that I have some suspicions that certain recent events were – well – perhaps not quite as they seemed.”

Blast Off nodded slowly, thinking.

The Combaticon leader looked up. The smile was gone, his face set. His optics flared, in a way which left no doubt as to who led the Combaticons, no matter how eccentrically benevolent Onslaught could appear at times.

“I don’t have the evidence yet … but I intend to get it, Blast Off. And once I do, let us just say that, not only will Swindle return but Vortex and Brawl will have no shortage of material on which to exact their frustrations.”

Finishing his drink, he put the empty glass firmly on the table. Blast Off looked at it for a long moment. His old friend’s strategies did not always work, but there was a conviction about him on this occasion, an edge, which made the shuttle think that whatever it was, this one just might.

“I don’t wanna know,” he muttered, finishing his own drink.

“Indeed you don’t,” said Onslaught. “Not yet.”

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