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Comfort Conditioning

Chapter Text

The three seekers shot into the air, twisting into their jet-alts. It was a Sunday, and these days always seemed to be bright, blue, yawn and stretch type of days that seemed perfect for a flight. Starscream took point, and the three climbed in altitude when they suddenly broke formation and spiraled off.

Fancy acrobatics were only worth it if there were others watching. And it just so happened that three quarters of the Decepticon army were impatiently waiting for the flashy seekers to get on with it. Seekers were extremely high-maintenance creatures, but their primping and odd needs were only part of their quirks that the Decepticons tolerated. The worst part was their fear of closed spaces.

Ramjet, Thrust and Dirge shot into the air, mimicking the Command Trine's start and made much stronger turns that demonstrated their stability rather than their elegance. Skywarp and Thundercracker flew circles around them, second only to their leader, trinemate, and Air Commander, Starscream.

The red and white seeker relished in this flight because he knew it would be the last for quite a while. The Decepticons were trying to make contact with a subaquatic race of creatures on the satellite or moon named Europa, orbiting Jupiter. By forging an alliance with the new aliens, the Decepticons hoped to finally dominate Earth and kick the Autobots back out of the solar system so they could begin to pillage and plunder as they were wont to do.

But herein lies the problem: Subaquatic meant they were far below the thick ice sheet that covered the moon, and in the water that was kept liquid by the intense pull of the giant planet that it circled. The pressure was so dense below the surface that they feared even their plating would succumb to crushing. So they had to go in a huge spaceship-turned-submarine to meet the creatures.

Enter major conflict with the seekers: being below deck in a small enclosed space for days.

So the seekers were stretching out their wings, getting ready for the journey. One could say that Megatron must be mad for even attempting to bring the seekers down with him. But he would argue back: Would you leave Starscream alone for that long?

Hook was waiting below deck with a loaded syringe to put them all into forced-recharge, hopefully keeping them sedated for the entire trip. When they reached their destination, a huge air pocket where the civilization bloomed, the seekers would wake and be ready for orders. So before their forced sleep, the seekers twirled, danced, and spun in the air, actually looking like they enjoyed the other's company if only for this single flight.

"Bunch of femme-fairies," Rumble grumbled. Frenzy snickered, lacing his servos behind his helm.

"I think it would suck to have such obvious weak-points displayed on my back. I mean, we all know how sensitive those things are..."

An optic-waggle. "Heh, yeah. That one time Hook repaired Dirge? I thought he was going to overload just because the medic was realigning his wing-flaps."

Their hilarious laughter was cut short when Starscream flew particularly close to them, his after-burners singing the tops of their helms.

"Fragger!" The both cried, ducking quickly and earning the sniggering of the rest of the army.

"Starscream! I tire of this display. Prepare your troops for the dive."

"Yes, oh loud one. Come'on mechs, transformation-land in canon."

One after the other, the seekers transformed in midair as they landed softly on the ground near the submarine. They cascaded into a line, ending with the red and white seeker making sure to flourish at the end. No one acted impressed, though many secretly were. And it always bothered them that Starscream seemed to know they were witholding praise, but acted as if they had told him he was slagging Primus incarnate.

The seekers loaded, Starscream taking one last moment above to fully take in the scene of Earth before they left for Europa.

Already he felt his wings itch.

Megatron barked orders and his men were jumping to comply. Within a cycle, they took off and entered space to make the trip to Europa. Without fail, the Autobots had built a similar craft and were in pursuit.

Megatron had a twisted grin. At least they would have something to do on this trip.

"Incoming message from Autobot ship," toned Soundwave.

"Surprise, surprise. Patch them through."

"Megatron! Turn back immediately or we will be forced to fire." Prime's faceplate filled the screen, and every one's attention was fixated on the Autobot leader.

"Come now, Prime, I thought you wanted me to leave Earth. This is me recognizing that request." A flash of denta, and smile that would curdle energon.

Prime narrowed his optics. "We both know that is not what you are doing. Are you trying to make contact with the Europa natives?"

Megatron shrugged. "Guess you'll find out. Motormaster, full speed ahead. Astrotrain, let us give a little gift to Optimus before we leave."

"Yes, sir." A back panel in the back of their ship opened. A spread of high-impact cluster bombs covered the area between the ships. Prime cut off the transmission as Hound steered their ship away from their path, trying to avoid the bombs.

And in that instant, the Decepticons raced off to Europa.

"Alright, seekers, settle down," Hook called to the rapidly talking fliers. He was already seeing the affect of their claustrophobia sinking in as their wings twitched and they talked in higher octaves. They were nervous, and Primus help them all if they didn't calm them.

Starscream turned to Hook, folding his arms across his chassis. The others, sensing the change, did the same even if they didn't like to act as if they took orders from the red seeker. Hook looked surprised to get their attention so quickly.

"Er... We're going to begin to put you under. We'll start with the lower ranking jets and move upward through the ranks. Remember to relax and we'll wake you once we've entered the underwater city."

Starscream turned to his trine as Hook and a few other Constructicons started to sedate the seekers. "I fragging hate this."

"We'll be asleep so we won't even know we're that deep below the surface," came a soothing Thundercracker.

"Slag, I agree with 'Screamer. What if it doesn't work? What if we wake up in the middle? What if the submarine wasn't built strong enough to withstand the pressure-"

"Skywarp," Starscream growled, as the black and purple seeker tried to calm his trembling wings.

"Sorry. I just... Ugh. Why couldn't we just stay on Earth?"

TC gave a significant look to Skywarp, then tossed his helm in Starscream's direction. The red seeker groused and put his hands on his hips. "It's not like I would do anything that obvious."

"Oh, okay. Not elegant enough for you?" Skywarp sniggered.

"Shut the slag up before I use your glossa to clean the space barnacles off of the hull."

"Command Trine, we're ready for you."

The three seekers looked around, noticing that they were the last ones awake. The room was eerily quiet now, and all three seekers shivered a little in a combination of fear and discomfort. Hook shook his head, sighing. The terrors of the skies, reduced to trembling sparklings.

They hooked up an IV to the three of them, and connected them to a machine that would monitor their internal functions while they slept. No one was going to be on duty watching them, so they needed to be connected to the system in case something went wrong. First Skywarp drifted out of the bond, then TC, and finally Starscream felt himself falling asleep, his annoyance and discomfort melting away with his consciousness.