Disclaimer: I don't own Beast Wars or any of its characters. All I own is a Dinobot action figure and you won't get him, even if you do sue me.
A/N: This fic was born using the theory of the missing episode, where Rattrap downloads the original Dinobot's personality into the clone. I did make a few exceptions to the summary of the episode, though; I needed Rattrap to go alone after Dinobot's clone, otherwise the fic wouldn't have worked. So... just humor me, here.
To Die For
His reboot sequence should have been slowed down. Rattrap had tampered with his system, crossed his wires; he should have had enough time to download the original Dinobot's personality into the clone. And the clone should not have woken up in the middle of the download.
The clone's eyes flickered on, getting brighter and brighter as his systems booted up. He stared at Rattrap and Rattrap stared back, until the clone smirked. He started shifting his jaw from side to side, like he had a kink he just couldn't work out; it made the Maximal's mech fluid run cold. Rattrap started backing up, ready to turn and run but the way the clone stalked him step for step made turning his back on his opponent impossible.
He didn't have time to process a plan, the clone moved too fast. The clone's much bigger hands were on Rattrap's shoulders, squeezing and easily denting the metal there. It was then Rattrap was certain this would be it, this time he really was going to die. And no amount of snark or sarcasm was going to save him this time.
The clone lifted Rattrap off the ground and tossed him a few feet away, knocking the other Transformer senseless for just a few nano-clicks. By the time the clone had his foot on Rattrap's chest, pressing down and pinning him to the dirt beneath him, Rattrap barely had time to register the fact he was down for the count. And the realization didn't completely sink in until his optics focused on the monster staring down at him, a cruel smirk on his face and the blade-like claws on his hands twitching eagerly for destruction.
Rattrap stared up at the clone, optics narrowed in frustration and anger. Not too long ago, he had been caught in situation similar to this – except, this time he knew Dinobot wouldn't be changing his mind at the last minute. This time, Rattrap was sure the one standing over him would be sending him to the scrap heap in a few hundred pieces.
It seemed to take forever for the clone to finally make his move, and it was then Rattrap knew his demise wouldn't be quick and painless. It was going to be full of pain and very slow, all for the clone's twisted pleasure. The clone's left eye started to glow a brighter shade of red and then the pain started. The laser coming from the clone's eye was focused on Rattrap's forehead, the Maximal could feel his cranial cavity weakening, caving in slowly. Even if he turned his head from side to side, he couldn't escape the searing hot pain, and in the end he only ended up with more welts and scorched metal on his face.
He shuttered his optics and screamed, screamed long and loud. Long enough to feel the strain on his throat's circuitry, and loud enough for his vocalizer to finally glitch, causing his screams to come out in a jumbled mess of warbled static. The clone cocked a brow and ground his dentals together, enjoying the sound of the other mech's pain far too much.
The clone shut off the laser, Rattrap opened his optics slowly, vision blurred. Rattrap opened his mouth to speak but the sudden pain on his chest was cause only for another static-filled cry of pain. He lifted his head as best he could and looked down at the laser literally burning a hole in his chest plate. He let his head fall back and stared at the clone in disbelief; surely no one could enjoy torture this much... He reached up with one shaky hand, as though that would bring the clone to his senses, as though that would bring Dinobot back. But the pain didn't stop and the clone's grin only grew wider and wickeder as the laser beam became thinner and the force behind it strengthened.
Rattrap's hand fell back to the ground, hand fisting against the dirt and pulling up a handful of dying grass. His armor was melting away under the pressure of the laser and it wouldn't be long before his spark was exposed to the deadly ray. He fought to kept his optics open, trying his best to ignore the pain; if this was how he was going to go out, he was going to stare death in the face.
He was going to die with honor, just to spite this monster that Megatron dared to name Dinobot.
There was a sudden hiss as the last of his armor was melted through and the laser brushed against the lid of his spark's chamber. Another hiss, a pressure pushing him to the side, then the weight of the clone was no longer there and the world around Rattrap faded to blackness.
"How's he doing, Big Bot?"
Hesitant silence, then, "Rhinox?"
"He's stabilized. Wake him gently."
He could hear voices. Faint, familiar voices.
"Hey," Cheetor said in a hushed down, using one hand to shake Rattrap from light recharge. "Hey, Rat-Face, how you feelin'?"
Rattrap groaned and coughed; his throat's circuits were so sore. "I've had better days," he mumbled and weakly slapped the Transmetal cat's hand away from his shoulder.
"Be thankful you're alive to see today," Optimus said from the other side of the table Rattrap lay on. "What were you thinking?"
"Wasn't thinkin'," Rattrap replied in a monotone that didn't suit him, optics drifting from Cheetor's face to the ceiling of the Axalon.
"We could tell that much," Optimus snapped, his tone deep and harsh and full of worry all at once. The Maximal leader leaned over Rattrap, obscuring the Transmetal rodent's view of the ceiling. "Next time you wander into Predacon territory with a death wish, be kind enough to inform the rest of the team."
Rattrap's optics dimmed and he lifted one hand with what little strength he had and gave his leader a thumb's up. "Can do, Fearless Leader," he mumbled as he turned his head to the side when Optimus let out a deep sigh before leaving the room.
"You gave us quite the scare," Silverbolt said from somewhere in the room once Rhinox left to speak to Optimus; Rattrap couldn't be bothered to look for the fuzor.
"Yeah," Cheetor said in a hushed tone that made Rattrap's fuel pump clench; he didn't need their sympathy. "Seriously, why did you go out into Pred territory on your own like that?"
"He could have killed you, Rattrap."
"Zip it, 'Bolt," Rattrap muttered as he stared at the ceiling again. "I know he coulda killed me," a smirk found its way onto his mandibles, "I just didn't think I'd be caught in that kinda situation."
"Wha–?" Cheetor squeaked in confusion, now leaning over Rattrap the way Optimus had only moments ago.
Rattrap stared up at the Transmetal cat and sighed. "I thought I had it under control–"
"Had what under control?" Cheetor pressed on, brow furrowing.
Rattrap was quiet for a few nano-clicks then shook his head. "Nevermind, it don't matter anyway."
"But – Rattrap, you're not making any sense!" Silverbolt exclaimed from wherever he was in the room.
Rattrap sighed loudly and hoisted himself up on his elbows as much as his weakened body would allow, glaring at the fuzor across the room now. "If it makes ya feel better, I won't be doin' it again."
"Doing what again?" Cheetor questioned, pushing Rattrap down onto the table again; he was supposed to be resting even if he was stabilized.
"I told ya t'nevermind!" Rattrap snapped, optics narrowing in a glare as Cheetor stared down at him with wide optics. For a second, the Transmetal cat looked like that naïve kid who boarded the Axalon with sky-high hopes and out-of-reach dreams. The look didn't last long, soon replaced with a glare of Cheetor's own and then the feline walked away, snarling in anger.
Rattrap waited until Silverbolt silently left the room, following Cheetor to wherever the other Maximals gathered to discuss his sanity. Once he certain he was completely alone, Rattrap lifted his head to look down at the place the laser had pierced his chest. He ran his fingertips over the area; Rhinox and the C.R. chamber had done their jobs well, the welt wasn't visible and couldn't be felt, physically. But Rattrap could feel it in memory and it made his processor lurch. He let his hand fall away from his chest as he laid back down onto the slab of steel.
He smirked at the ceiling absently. He was going to be an emotional wreck for the next few days and the other Maximals were going to shoot him looks that labeled him insane, but it was alright. They would get over this stunt in time, probably faster than Rattrap himself would, and life would go on. And Rattrap would have that uneasy feeling in the pit of his processor every time he thought about his run-in with the clone, something to remind him of things that just weren't worth throwing his life away for anymore.