On one of the rotating moons that circulated Jupiter, the Decepticons had finally completed a small fortress. Inside of that fortress, sitting upon his throne Galvatron watched as Cyclonus and Scourge happily talked about their recent victory. The victory was practically meaningless as the Autobots didn't even appear to view this moon worth protecting . In fact the moon provided little to no energy and was probably not worth the power and troops to sustain it. None the less with the terrible losing streak the Decepticons had suffered, any victory was a good victory. Perhaps their bad luck had finally run out.
A small sigh escaped Galvatron. In the back of his mind he remembered a time where he did not rely on luck, back when his mere name struck fear in the hearts of all functional organisms. He turned his head as his glowing optics finally rested on who he felt was to blame for all of their misfortunes - Soundwave.
The navy blue Decepticon was quietly fixing a small glitch in the Decepticon's main computer. A menial task not worthy of his expertise yet Soundwave continued his degrading work without complaint. A wave of rage washed over Galvatron. One of the only memories of his former existence that he could hold onto was his discharge from Astrotrain. Starscream had thrown him out as if he was no better than the lackeys that shared his fate. He had died then, even if his current body was superior his mind was only a shadow of its former self.
It was all Soundwave's fault.
True, he had not been ejected from Astrotrain by Soundwave's hand. However it did not ease his feeling of betrayal. He would have expected something like that from Starscream, but Soundwave...Soundwave was loyal, or so Galvatron had previously allowed himself to believe. Yet despite his so-called loyalty he did nothing to stop it, and with Starscream dead there was no one to blame for his misfortunes but Soundwave.
Ever since Megatron's re-emergence as Galvatron, he went out of his way to make Soundwave pay for his terrible mistake. He demoted the cassette transformer without giving a reason, or even telling him altogether. Galvatron openly belittled him and assigned him the most menial of tasks, as well as taught Soundwave's skills to grunt Decepticons so that they could emulate all of his abilities. However despite this abuse Soundwave never complained, receiving his continuous punishment with an understanding that only helped to anger his leader further.
Soundwave could feel Galvatron's heated glare, but continued to work in silence. He never forgot the day, the moment, that he failed to stop Starscream from throwing Megatron out of Astrotrain. When the jet-type Decepticon proposed the plan to throw out the weak and wounded in order to preserve the strong, somehow Soundwave did not think that Megatron was included with the wreckage. True he was injured, but he was still their leader and his wounds were only potentially fatal. The more he thought about it however, the more he realized how foolish he had been. It was Starscream that had made that proposition and Starscream was forever the opportunist, of course he planned on ejecting Megatron! How could he have stood there in stunned silence as his adversary carelessly threw their leader out to the depths of space? Soundwave couldn't fathom a good defense for his misjudgment. Perhaps his logic circuits had been damaged during battle and rendered temporarily offline? He didn't know, and it didn't matter anyway. It was no secret that Galvatron believed him to be the reason for all of their troubles, in fact Soundwave was surprised that he hadn't yet been executed as Starscream had.
As time went on, Soundwave's respect for Galvatron decreased greatly. Galvatron was a reckless and selfish tyrant, making the same mistakes that Megatron used to berate Starscream for. The Megatron he remembered was calculating and intelligent, always asking technical questions about even the most menial of innovations and inventions. Most warlords never participated in the orchestration of plans, usually forcing their more intellectually advanced subordinates to think of and propose the plans for them to ultimately accept or reject. But Megatron was different and through his great leadership he had earned Soundwave's eternal respect, trust and loyalty.
Perhaps the hope that one day Galvatron would revert back to his previous existence was what provoked Soundwave to stay and shoulder the abuse. Perhaps it was the guilt of knowing that he failed his leader, and the thought that maybe he did cause all of the misfortunes of his team. He really didn't know, as he was never gifted with the ability to examine or even to understand his own feelings.
Suddenly, the ground shook violently, almost knocking Soundwave out of his chair. Galvatron immediately climbed onto his feet, "What happened?!"
Scourge looked through the window to see multiple warships landing on the moon's surface. "It's the Autobots!"
"Don't just stand there!" Galvatron roared. "Attack!" As the Decepticon team charged out of the fortress to fight the Autobots, Galvatron ran over to the window and transformed into his canon mode. He then began acting as a sniper, picking off Autobots as they battled. First Arcee, then Kup, finally he was trying to get a lock onto the elusive Blur when a sudden thought occured - Where was Rodimus Prime?
The Autobot leader was nowhere to be seen. Galvatron transformed back into robot mode and his acute hearing picked up a sound behind him. He whirled around to see Rodimus standing not even a dozen feet away, canon poised.
"It's over, Galvatron!" Rodimus declared as he charged forward. Galvatron dodged to the side and fired a shot from his canon. Rodimus strafed aside and punched his nemisis in the face. Galvatron stumbled back from the force of the blow and Rodimus, aiming at Galvatron's chest cavity, fired his charged canon. It was too close, too sudden and the Decepticon leader found himself frozen. He could only watch in silent horror as the beam neared, when suddenly...
A force knocked Galvatron to the ground. He looked up to see Soundwave's limp form colliding into the window and falling back. The glass cracked under the cubic Decepticon's weight, yet somehow withstood the tremendous impact. At that moment Cyclonus raced in, firing at the Autobot leader, who retreated while firing back. Rodimus Prime casted one last glance at Galvatron, perhaps dissappointed in his failure, then ran out of the fortress. For once the Decepticons had the advantage, Rodimus had miscalculated the number of Decepticons that occupied the Jupiter Moon Base, which left the Autobots outnumbered 2 to 1. As the Autobots retreated in their airships the Decepticons fired after them. Galvatron climbed onto his feet in stunned silence. Everything had happened so fast, first the Autobot attack, then Rodimus Prime's assault, then Soundwave...
The Decepticon leader looked down at his wounded subordinate. Soundwave had landed on his side and rolled onto his back, his chest cavity blown completely open. Fortunately none of his cassettes were inside, as they were all still on Charr. The Prime had clearly charged his canon to max power prior to the attack and from this short of range... Galvatron knew Soundwave's wound was fatal.
Soundwave's wavering optics locked onto Galvatron's yet within his failing visor the Decepticon leader saw no resentment for his mistreatment. It looked almost as if...Soundwave was searching for something, one final comfort before his inevitable passing. Yet how dare he ask for such a thing! It was Soundwave's fault that the Decepticons were suffering so. It was Soundwave's fault that Megatron had lost his mind within the confines of Unicron's control. It was all Soundwave's fault, and he thought that this simple act would redeem him? Galvatron scoffed coldly as he turned his back to his longtime soldier.
As Galvatron walked away, he felt Soundwave watching him.
He deserved it.
He had failed.
He had caused their suffering.
A small glimmer of Megatron's psyche flickered in the back of Galvatron's mind. For that single moment, he truly realized what he had become and could not rid himself of the horrible numbness that began to spread through him.
How do you feel, Mighty Megatron?
...Don't leave me, Soundwave...
As you command, Megatron...
Galvatron froze in his place as his mind replayed the events of his final fight with Optimus Prime, and the events of Astrotrain. This was only one of the many times he remiscenced his final moments as Megatron, yet this time it was different. He didn't watch the events replay through the mind's eye of Galvatron, but instead through the optics of Megatron.
Everyone had left him there. Left him to die.
From the beginning Megatron had known that something like that could have happened. He couldn't have depended on a single soldier to save him. If Soundwave's loyalty truly had faltered he would have left him to die on the battlefield.
Soundwave had failed to save him.
But that didn't make him disloyal.
As Galvatron, he had blamed everything on one soldier so that his fragile mind wouldn't have to shoulder the burden of his poor leadership. Yet as Megatron he never would have allowed the Autobots to take control of Cybertron. As Megatron, he took responsibility for his actions and would use his own failures as guidance.
Soundwave didn't fail as a soldier.
Galvatron failed as a leader.
Yet for so many years Soundwave silently shouldered the burden that Galvatron had placed on his shoulders. Even after all was said and done, Soundwave willing exchanged his life to preserve the life of his leader. With this newfound realization Galvatron turned to regard his fallen subordinate. Soundwave looked so limp, his visor so dark, as if he was already dead.
Slowly the Decepticon leader approached him. Soundwave's visor flickered, the only sign that he was still functional. Looking into the weakening optics of his one true and loyal soldier, Galvatron knelt down and placed his hand ontop of Soundwave's. "I forgive you, Soundwave. Rest in peace."
The Decepticons never understood why Soundwave was memorialized as some kind of legendary soldier. As far as most of their young minds could remember, the quiet blue robot was nothing more than a servant, one who fixed minor glitches in computer systems and occasionally performed espionage. He was hardly worthy of the title to which he was granted. However none of the Decepticons dared to question Galvatron's decision and could only wonder what possessed their leader to grant a minor soldier such a great honor.
Standing infront of the memorial to which Soundwave's name had been recently added, Galvatron made a silent vow. From now on he was going to take responsibility for his own mistakes, his own failures. He was going to get the Decepticons off Charr and back into Cybertron. He was going to lead the Decepticons to victory! After his vow was uttered, Galvatron turned his back to the memorial and walked off, ready to face the war with a renewed enthusiam. It was time to turn the tides of war to their side!
Author's Notes - A friend of mine once asked me "Why is Soundwave your favorite? He's a zombie!" My answer was that he was cool, mysterious, very loyal (which is a trait I very much admire) and one of the most useful Decepticons ever. (He is telepathic, creates cassettes, does espionage, can hack into computers, makes energon cubes, etc.) However, one big argument I receive is that Soundwave's not as loyal as he lets onto be, as he simply stood there and stared as Starscream tossed Megatron out the door and into space. Not only that, but he even challenged the Constructicons and Starscream for leadership. For a long time I couldn't find an answer. Finally, after discussing it with two of my friends, we finally came to the conclusion that Soundwave was too surprised to do anything. Perhaps he didn't think Starscream would stoop so low as to throw Megatron out. It's a difficult defense, as Soundwave was standing right there when it happened, and had ample time to stop Starscream. Another friend's defense was that Soundwave was afraid that if he tried to help Megatron, he too would have been jettisoned out of Astrotrain. On the other hand Soundwave could simply not be as loyal as he appeared, but I don't believe that to be true. If it was, he wouldn't have carried Megatron to the ship in the first place. Also, throughout the show Soundwave had always been very loyal to Megatron. Finally, one other friend suggested that in the movie Soundwave acted royally out of character throughout the entire Astrotrain scene and the ceremony. The only way I could write that detail into a story was to suggest that Soundwave's logic circuits had been temporarily disabled due to the beating he received by the enraged Optimus Prime. Unfortunately, I don't know much about the Generation 2 transformers, mostly because I don't like any of them except Springer. With that in mind, I hope that none of the characters were overly out of character. Thank you for taking the time to read this story!