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Sidus ad Quirito Diabolo
Written by: Shea M. Daily
Drabble #3a: Perfection
Summary: Optronix can easily picture this seeker as what he should be: Death and War and Insanity made whole and perfect.
Fandom: Transformers
Continuity: Shattered Glass, AU
Characters: Optronix a.k.a. Optimus Prime, Starscream, Starsinger (OC), Autobots, Unicron
Pairings: Optronix (OP)/Starscream, Autobots/Starscream, Optronix (OP)/Starsinger (OC), (very slight) Unicron/Starscream
Warnings: bad mojo, character death
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: For 14FlashSteps on Fanfiction.net, who gave me this prompt:

"He had, Optimus realized in dark humor as his ember fell into darkness, unintentionally created the perfect weapon."

It deviates a little from what was asked for, but not by much, so I hope it pleases. ^^ Incidentally enough, because of her prompt, I actually got around to writing the back-story for this. And here it is. XD

This has 4 parts on FF.net. I tried to condense it down into one file, but dA's being a douche and saying the file is too large to upload. XD Technically this should probably be considered it's own story, but I'm trying to be neat and organized. >.>

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"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood."
- Khalil Gibran


Beautiful, Optronix thinks silently to himself. Starscream is so achingly beautiful that it is almost pain to see the seeker.

He watches, attention caught and held by the seeker moving so assuredly through the lab, conducting only Primus-knows-what experiment. Nothing that he would be interested in, he knows. Starscream is a Crystal City seeker, and unlike their Vosnian cousins, they resented war and everything to do with it. Starscream is the heir to Starsinger, and will one day rule over Crystal City; he is unlikely to be any different than his sire in his dedication to peace.

It is such a waste, Optronix knows. He can easily see this beauty bathed in the rich energon of his enemies, the war-mad optics so distinctive to the Vosnian seekers glowing bright on facial painting that would be black instead of white. He can so easily picture that beyond-genius processor turning its attentions towards weapons designs and chemical warfare. He can picture this seeker as what he should be: Death and War and Insanity made whole and perfect.

Unbidden, Optronix places his hand on the glass separating him from Starscream, the black armor of the digits startling when compared against the almost-blinding white of Starscream's plating. When Starscream looks up at him with a questioning smile on his lips, curiosity in those sickeningly-blue optics, he can't help but smile. Soon, he thinks. Soon I'll have you, little seeker.

Until then, there are plans to complete, fellows to recruit, and a seeker to seduce.

***

He takes his time, courting the leader of Crystal City with patient words and delicate touches. Starsinger is in mourning, has been in mourning for most of Starscream's life, Optronix knows. The loss of his mate has all but crippled the seeker lord, but that is more than alright. Optronix doubts a fully-aware mech of any build would have been so blind to the chaos that laid in wait within his ember, which is one of the main reasons he does not attempt to seduce Starscream directly.

It would do no good, not with that one. There is something different about Starscream, something that leaves Optronix both wanting and wary. It is a faint whisper, an intangible plea at the corner of his awareness, an inherent defect or mutation never noticed. Optronix wonders about it, but does not tempt fate. He would have the seeker soon enough, and until then, he will play matters safe and will go for the sire instead.

For although Starsinger is barely clinging to sanity, he is still somewhat pleasing to the optic, and exceptionally intelligent. It is such a pity he will have to die.

***

He meets in secret, coaxing his fellow mechs into seeing his dream, twisting their hurts and grievances into something dark and twisted, gloating when they turn around and simply add to his vision. Eventually he will not need to meet in secret to feel out potentials; they will come to him, they will seek him out, and they will – of their own volition – raise him up as their leader and the standard to which they should all be held.

There are days where he is both sickened by their useless predictability, and bemused by how simple it all is. Nearly twelve million vorns of peace, and it will only take half of a single vorn to convince most of the populace that what they really needed was war. He knows that from there it will not be hard to convince them to take his war to the stars.

For now though, he enjoys the luxuries his 'intended' showers him with, so pathetically grateful for the attention Optronix has shown him that the aging seeker will do practically anything for Optronix. He has already used this to great effect – through Starsinger, he is able to weasel his way into the Forbidden Archives. He does not know what, exactly, he is searching for, but he knows he will find it there.

***

He meets his soon-to-be step-creation officially two cycles after the official engagement. Starscream is …well. Suspicious comes to mind, as does discreetly hostile. Starsinger is blind, but not stupid, and notices his only living creation's disdain for the match as surely as he does not notice that he is being played. Optronix can see the older seeker's hurt in his dropping wings and soft, wheedling voice asking piteously "Why can't you be happy for me? Am I meant to grieve for the rest of my life?" To which the younger seeker replies with nothing but contemptuous silence.

Optronix is unsure about how to deal with this. He had assumed that the pacifistic tendencies of the sire had been passed down to the creation, and while to some extent that is true, there is some degree of cruelty in Starscream that Starsinger does not possess. He wonders at it, just as he wonders as to how he should respond. As the potential bond-mate of Starsinger, and soon-to-be adoptive-creator of Starscream, he should put his pede down and enforce respect – if not towards Starsinger, then at least towards himself – but on the other hand…

….On the other hand, while there is nothing but disdain and contempt in Starscream's optics when he gazes at his sire, there is nothing of the sort in his optics when he gazes at Optronix. There is curiosity and fascination and sheer possessive anger that is as intriguing as it is disturbing. He has never officially met the seeker, and though he has been watching Starscream for many cycles, Starscream himself has only caught him at it once.

But then, that one has always been special, hasn't he?

And really, why should he protest this sudden change in events? So what if Starscream considered Starsinger beneath his notice? Optronix wasn't really intending on bonding the feeble seeker anyway. And so what if Starscream made readily apparent that he would allow no other to touch Optronix's ember but himself? Sure, it disrupted some of his plans, but it also sped up the grand majority of them, and really, why should he wait? Starscream wanted him and he wanted Starscream.

It was such a pity that he forgot one key point. After all, a moment of cruelty over the potential loss of a desired mate was to be expected from any flight-build, regardless of their otherwise natural, typical inclinations. That Starsinger did not respond in the defensive towards Starscream's aggressions was the main reason why he lost, and why no other seeker said a word in denial.

But momentary aggression and cruelty did not mean that Starscream was any less a pacifist.

***

Optronix proceeds very carefully. He cannot afford to drive off Starscream, not at this stage in his plans. He woos the young seeker twice as carefully as he did the sire, and spends much time in the archives researching the things Starscream is interested in so that they can have true conversations. He doesn't always succeed, and he has the distinct impression that Starscream is vastly amused by his attempts, but the attempt has been made and Starscream is appropriately appreciative.

He had thought once that he would not be enthusiastic about Starscream's scientific pursuits, and now knows he had been very wrong. Over the course of his research, he has discovered that without rigid morals and ethical coding, Starscream's research and projects could be so easily be perverted and used for ill-gain that he spends many cycles alone just laughing at how easy it was all turning out to be.

He wonders at the study of contradictions he finds in his little beloved, and looks forward to the day that enticing puzzle is attached permanently to his own ember.

***

Starscream does not send him extravagant gifts as Starsinger had; no, Starscream's gifts were of a more subtle, useful nature. Though he has not said much of anything about his goals for Cybertron, and the universe afterwards, he suspects that Starscream knows enough to guess the sorts of mechs he needs to get in contact with to build his support base and command team.

He meets Starscream's associates, peers, and mentors at both the Crystal City Academy of Learning and the Iacon Institute of the Sciences. Ratchet is a medic with a sharp tongue and a sadistic streak that is only barely hidden – and tolerated – by his sheer brilliance at his job. Prowl is the security director of the whole of Iacon who has little-to-no emotional programming whatsoever and enough ruthlessness to cause multiple inquiries on whether or not his actions were completely necessary, and who has an office based in the Institute and occasionally can be convinced to give lectures on Tactics. Jazz, Prowl's bond-mate, is an apparently easy-going, fun-loving mech who acts as friend and councilor to almost every mech that comes through the Institute's doors, but behind that friendly persona is a mech who has no concept of right and wrong and a processor that does not stop planning such casually cruel pranks that have so much potential for becoming deadly. Skyfire is a teacher at the Academy with a memory that is spot-on perfect and who had coached and inspired Starscream into pursuing a career in the Sciences; Skyfire is a shuttle-class flier with a casual, sociopathic nature that is almost alarming to see, especially when the shuttle makes it subtlety clear that he considers Starscream his, and not Optronix's.

It is a threat that will not be tolerated for long, but Optronix can and will be patient. Starscream obviously has already made his choice – he can afford to do nothing about Skyfire until Starscream was his in entirety.

Because of these mech's natures and the perfection with which they fit into his plans, he never once considers that the mechs he meets with are high enough in Cybertronian society that becoming their acquaintance would ease his own way into handling the responsibilities that would come with being the bond-mate of a seeker lord. He never once considers that Starscream hasn't guessed at his agenda, that in fact Starscream is quite oblivious to his desires, and is only doing what must be done to ensure a smooth transition for them both.

It is an oversight that he comes to regret as surely as he comes to hate his seeker.

***

The first time Starscream brings up the possibility of a casual merge, Optronix is both alarmed and pleased. He is pleased because he wants the seeker, has been craving him for far too long already, and a casual merge will do much in satiating that hunger. He is alarmed because Starscream is not quite ready to know the full agenda, regardless of how much he may have guessed already, and even a casual merge would allow no half-truths or lies between them.

Starscream would know everything, and he was not ready for that yet. Even if the seeker could handle the truth of Optronix's goals for Cybertron, the image of just what he wants to mold Starscream into would be enough to scare him off. Optronix can't risk losing Starscream; he is already so entwined with the seeker that he thinks he will go mad if Starscream ever left. He hadn't mean for things to progress that far, but he also had made no move to stop them either, and that scares him the most in the deepest recesses of his ember.

That Starscream has already become so much of his reason for living is half the reason he denies the seeker the merge he so desperately wants. Until he can maneuver things into going the way they need to, he will not risk any chance of losing the seeker.

***

Starscream is disappointed and displeased, and there is an unbearable silence between them that is slowly driving Optronix mad. He dotes on the seeker, sending him gifts and apologies and platitudes, but nothing seems to thaw the ice that is steadily growing in those too-blue optics. He is desperate now, wanting nothing more than to simply hear a single word from his seeker's mouth, but there is nothing for him.

Starscream does not argue, wheedle, negotiate, or beg for what he wants, as Optronix is rapidly discovering. Though Starscream is normally a gentle, passive being more than capable of a level of generosity and empathy that belies his station in society, he is still nonetheless the only heir of a very rich and influential seeker-lord, and will one day be the ruler of an entire people; he is stubborn and spoiled and very used to getting what he wants, when he wants it. And, apparently, Starscream wanted him, not just to talk to or to share kisses and cuddles, but in entirety; Starscream wanted to know Optronix on the deepest level, and it was rapidly becoming an ultimatum in their relationship: either Optronix gave in and allowed Starscream to do as he willed or they were over.

So he thinks over his options very carefully, never once considering leaving the seeker – their separation will never happen, he won't allow it. Eventually, he finds himself in Ratchet's office, quietly explaining the situation and seeking advice he doesn't even really know how to ask for. Ratchet, thankfully, understands only too well what he wants.

"It's not possible to block information in a merge without leaving your partner very aware that there is something being blocked – which defeats the whole purpose of a merge anyway," the medic says brusquely. "The only hope you have is that your seeker is inexperienced when it comes to merges of this nature, as – if he's inexperienced – it will take him several merges to learn how to sift through the data feeds. Considering that he's the one who suggested it, and the one determining that this relationship will go no further until it happens, I'd say you are completely out of luck." The medic grins unrepentantly and shoves him out the door.

But just before he closes the door in Optronix's face, he pauses, expression thoughtful. "Perhaps," he says slowly, unsurely, "you should go talk to Prowl." There is a moment of silence, and then even quieter, "I never told you to talk to him." And then Optronix is staring at a door, a million thoughts spinning through his processor.

***

Prowl stays silent and still throughout Optronix's explanation, staring thoughtfully out the window where both mechs could clearly see Jazz and a group of scientists that Optronix has mentioned once or twice before that he'd like to recruit, if at all possible. There is a long moment of silence between them, but Optronix is a patient mech. He can wait.

Eventually, Prowl's completely monotonous tone break's the silence. "Love, passion, and obsession do strange things to an otherwise rational mech, Optronix. A rational mech begins to latch onto signs of behavior and beliefs that aren't actually there, and he can be blinded by what he wants as opposed to what actually is." Prowl goes silent for a bit, before continuing blithely, "Are you certain that this seeker is like us? Or do you simply wish him to be?"

Optronix feels anger bubbling beneath his calm exterior – how darethis mech question Starscream so? – but three things stop him from lashing out. The first is that Prowl has unknowingly repeated doubts he himself had about what he has so far observed in regards to Starscream's behaviors and actions. The second is that the strength of his reaction to Prowl's words tell him he was in too deep to give any opinion not already tainted by his feelings for the seeker. The third is the knowledge that, for as powerful and ruthless as Prowl was, Jazz is even worse because the only thing standing in the way of Jazz is Prowl himself.

So he says nothing, merely concentrates on calming his sudden anger. This is apparently the right answer to a test he hadn't even known he was being given, because Prowl suddenly smiles and slides a thin disk across the desk. "Take it," he says, still not looking at Optronix.

Optronix does so. "What is it?" he asks, fingering the small, fragile metal in his hand.

"It contains a small virus, of sorts. It distorts the natural behaviors and thought processes of a mech, leaves them open to suggestion and manipulation." The smile slips off his face as if it was never there, and, finally, Prowl's dead stare leaves Jazz and focuses on Optronix. "An otherwise rational mech, blinded by his obsession, may mistakenly believe that he has found the one perfectly suited for his own personal brand of madness, but a smart mech will find that with this virus, he can be assured that he is never proven wrong."

Optronix is not a genius, but he isn't stupid either. He is remarkably intelligent, in fact, and very capable of reading between the lines. Many mechs wondered how Prowl had convinced the friendly, amiable Jazz into merging with him, let alone bonding, and now he knows. Prowl's ruthlessness is to be both envied and feared. He makes a mental note, and leaves.

He does not give thanks. He does not have to.

***

Though Prowl's silent warning echoes repeatedly through his thoughts, Optronix decides to let their first merge determine whether or not he will actually need the virus. He shouldn't, he knows, but he cannot help but hope that Starscream was truly his. Once he has made his decision, he is almost too eager to join his ember with Starscream's; the aching want that he has been denying for many cycles now demandingly obvious.

Unfortunately for this not-quite-subtle ache, it takes even longer to coax Starscream into even speaking to him, let alone merging with him. His seeker's eyes are artic cold and without any sign of even exasperated affection, and there is a certain decisive determination to the tilt of his wings that leaves Optronix wary. But he has a purpose, and so he forges ahead, telling lies and partial truths about why he has denied Starscream such a simple thing. By the end of his prepared speech, Starscream is still staring coldly at him, saying nothing, mouth a grim line.

"I love you, you aft!" Optronix grinds out forcefully after a long moment of silence, more than a bit angry that all his careful preparation has amounted to nothing. Surprisingly, this works where nothing else has, and while the seeker still doesn't say anything, the ice in his gaze thaws and there is a small, smug smile curling gently at his lips.

A thin, delicately-plated hand stretches out and gently touches the back of Optronix's more heavily-armored and much larger hand, and lingers too long to be anything but a caress. There are no words exchanged, no discreet messages sent over comms, but nevertheless Optronix catches Starscream's meaning perfectly clear.

Tonight.
So, yeah. I wanted to play in this verse a bit more, especially because I can't get it out of my mind. XD I've already got several little one-shots ready to be posted, and figured I should just stick them under one banner and call it done. Title for this fic comes courtesy of Google Translator, so Latin purists can either a) shut up and deal, or b) give me a proper translation. Title is supposed to translate into: 'Scream upon the devil's star.'

This series is going to be a bunch of one-shots and drabbles related to my story, Diabolicae Foedus. Each is capable of standing alone, but it is highly recommended that you read that one-shot first. Some of these will simply be longer, more embellished bits of story that didn't make it into the main fic, others will be events before and after and during that the main fic couldn't get into. And still more may be brought about by clever people giving me prompts (hint, hint). What I can promise: a lot of angst, horror, and character death. What I can't promise: regular updating schedules, that your prompts WILL be used, or fluff.

As for this particular installment, I hope it doesn't disappoint. I've planned another three side-stories to Diabolicae Foedus, one of which will "officially" end the series - although I will continue to update this as I get prompts and ideas (*hint*).Review?
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August 2, 2012
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