Starscream is damaged in an accident, leaving him with no memory. The Autobots find and repair him, but can he be trusted?
Writer: Alexander B. Potter
Originally Published: In the Transformers Legends anthology, November 2004
Starscream is ranting by himself on a mountain path, contemplating his usual plans of usurping Megatron and raging at the idiocy of the other Decepticons for following "that Mega-moron". He punches a rock face in his frustration, and flings a chunk of the resulting rubble into the air. Feeling somewhat better, he wanders over to the edge of the trail. It's at this point that he hears the rock begin making its descent back to the ground, and he turns his head back toward the mountainside to see where it will land. He does watch it crash into the above mountainside... right up until a chunk of the debris spears straight through his left optic. Off balance and surprised, he trips and falls backwards over the edge of the trail. Before he can transform and fly away, the back of his head meets a rock with crushing force, and he's stunned. He continues falling all the way to the bottom, severely damaged. The last image he sees is a strange, dark bird flying overhead.
Meanwhile, Soundwave informs Megatron of Starscream's accident, and they both are highly amused by the video footage of it. Megatron decides they'll retrieve Starscream's battered carcass at a later time.
Back at the mountain, Hound and Bumblebee are out cavorting around, with Spike riding along in Bumblebee. Their fun is put to an abrupt halt when Bumblebee finds what at first looks like just any pile of trashed scrap metal, but upon close inspection is Starscream. After some debating, they decide to load the body onto Hound and take it back to the Ark so that Optimus Prime can decide what to do with it.
Although highly suspicious of it being a trap of some sort, Optimus Prime gives the okay for Starscream to be repaired, though he is to remain restrained and have the power chips for his weapons removed, and Red Alert is advised to make sure security stays high. Some time after, Starscream is mostly repaired and wakes up, dazed and confused. He doesn't remember his own name, but quickly picks it up when Wheeljack talks to him and asks if Starscream can hear him. Starscream eventually responds, and Optimus Prime is called in again, with a sizable number of other Autobots, presumably "just in case". It soon becomes clear that Starscream remembers nothing of his past or who he is, though he's getting images and feelings when he looks at the Autobots, as if he has known them before but can't quite get the connection. The majority of the Autobots believe he's lying about the amnesia, but Optimus Prime seems to believe him, and gives the go-ahead for an attempt to repair some of the more extensive damage to Starscream, specifically his logic circuits, in the hopes that perhaps it will restore his memory.
After Starscream is knocked out again for the procedure, Wheeljack expresses a desire to find out exactly what makes the differences between Decepticons and Autobots, and believes that this memory-less Starscream would be a perfect opportunity to find out. He proposes alternations to Starscream's logic patterns, but Optimus is reluctant, stating that he doesn't believe it would be "ethical". They come to a compromise and Wheeljack promises not to make any changes that would interfere with Starscream's freedom of choice, but to repair anything that might already be doing so.
Starscream wakes up again later, and reports that he feels less confused. He's also being rather polite and thankful. He's aware that the Autobots don't trust or like him, based on their actions and what's been said around him, but even so they've repaired him, and that confuses him somewhat. Bumblebee explains it away with "That's what Autobots do. Help." Optimus offers Starscream a chance to get out of the room and try out his other form, and Starscream accepts. The two walk outside together, followed by the more suspicious Autobots who are guarding Optimus.
Back at the Nemesis, Soundwave is receiving information of Starscream flying around, seemingly repaired, and hanging out with the Autobots. He goes directly to Megatron with it, and Megatron flies into a rage, assuming Starscream has allied himself with the Autobots in order to overthrow him somehow. This cannot be tolerated, and Megatron orders everyone to meet at the Ark.
Megatron and a small group of Decepticons interrupt Optimus retelling the history of the war to Starscream, who doesn't understand the reasoning behind the war, and demand Starscream return with them to the Nemesis. Optimus states, rather calmly and amusedly, that Starscream doesn't look like he's being held against his will, and he could return at any time if he so chose. Megatron again orders Starscream to "get over here now", but Starscream merely stands where he is and says nothing. A skirmish predictably breaks out, with Optimus stepping in front of a still-weaponless Starscream to protect him. The Decepticons eventually retreat, Megatron promising to be back, as usual.
Starscream is confused but intrigued at the togetherness of the Autobots, specifically, Optimus Prime placing himself in danger to protect him. He notes that he can't understand why the Decepticons would follow Megatron, and Optimus replies that he doesn't really know either.
Meanwhile, back at the Decepticon base, Megatron is beating anything that moves, and a lot that doesn't, in a blind rage. Soundwave, a safe distance away, is endlessly amused by the whole situation.
Starscream, still just outside the Ark after the battle, is still trying to figure things out. He knows that the Autobots don't trust him, because there's always at least two of them following him around and watching what he does. But he's puzzled at the lack of any overt hostility towards him. They've all been friendly, or at least distantly courteous. Thinking about Megatron fills him with disgust and anger, and he feels like the memories are just out of his grasp, hovering at the edge.
However, just as he's about to go back into the Ark and join the rest of them, he looks up into the sky and happens to see "the distinct shape of a bird" and that acts as a trigger. Suddenly, he remembers everything. He remains where he is, "stunned and shaken", until Optimus comes closer, inquiring why he hasn't come back inside yet. But Optimus senses something different, and confirms that Starscream has gotten his memory back. He asks what Starscream is going to do now. Starscream responds: "Now... I leave." He takes off and goes back to the Nemesis.
Talking with the Autobots later, Optimus expresses a hope that somehow, what they said and did would influence Starscream for the better. The other Autobots seem to be of the opinion that Starscream was planning on taking off from the very start.
Starscream strolls right back into the Decepticon base, congratulating Megatron on his part in Starscream's plan to dupe the Autobots. According to him, he had planned to infiltrate the Ark and gather information, and Megatron's attack had only lent credence to his ploy. Unfortunately, he just couldn't stand to be around those Autobot fools for any longer, and had to leave before gathering any information. Megatron, while still angry, accepts the story and expresses that he can understand how the Autobots would be a "trying group to be around".
Starscream leaves for his quarters, thinking about Megatron and the Autobots. He wonders what kind of results it would lead to, if he created a team environment based on what the Autobots had, and wonders if that might be the key to overthrowing Megatron as leader. He resolves that he must be careful with this plan and work slowly, because Megatron will still be highly suspicious of him for some time to come.
Starscream also begins to wonder what Optimus would think about his using the Autobot leader's lessons in kindness in such a way. But he quickly stops those thoughts, and retreats into his quarters.
Takes place in some kind of alternate G1 universe where Starscream possesses a conscience.