Let Sleeping Dragons Lie
Optimus Primal watched Megatron sleep on the floor of the cell and mused on the scarcity of dragons in times of peace.
Megatron had emerged from a maelstrom of betrayal and plotting stronger than ever before, tempered by the lava instead of destroyed by it. He'd become a figure of mythology, unlike the other unnatural beast modes the Predacons and Maximals had adopted. Like fuzors and Transmetals, dragons were unnatural to Earth, but where the fuzors and Transmetals didn't exist on Earth, the dragon had somehow endured. The dragon, while not real, existed in humanity's many tales.
Had Megatron inspired the myth, or was he a product of it? It seemed like circular history to Optimus. Had the chicken laid the egg, or had the egg come first..?
Regardless of the answer, the dragon had survived. It coiled at the edges of the known world, representing mystery and danger. It brought terror and disaster in war or natural disaster. It symbolized what could not be tamed or conquered.
Saint George killed the dragons, Optimus remembered, according to human mythology. At some point, humans had believed so strongly in this dragon sleeping in the cell in front of Optimus that they had required a story of dragons dying. They couldn't kill a myth, but humans were too stubborn to stay complacent. In order to overcome their own fear of the unknown, they had to pretend the symbol had been overcome. So Saint George killed the dragons, and the made-up story gave them a brittle façade to cover their fears. But dragons, like the stories they sprang from, like the circular history that repeated over and over, didn't die. Megatron rose from the melted stone and terrorized the world again. The maps expanded once Earth had been explored, and suddenly the vast reaches of space were full of monsters. When the wars ended, the great fire-breathing myth went back to the beginning and started it all again, coming forth once more from lava and hate.
Dragons didn't die. They slept, just like Megatron slept right now, exhausted by the dragonkiller but not killed in truth. Merlin's dragons slept under Britain and rose to clash, only to subside back into sleep, ready to rise another day. The great dragons of Asia brought the storms and sent them away once appeased, but the storms returned again and again. The dragons of war and chaos never went away, but no one saw them in the times of peace. Humanity had believed in Saint George because they needed the hope, not because the tale was real.
Optimus clenched his hands and stepped away from the cell where the dragon slept. He was no Saint George to kill a myth, even one as powerful as this. It felt futile to even think of trying. The death of a dragon, brief as its death might be, could give it more power than its life. All Optimus could do was take this dragon out of Earth's cycle and back to Cybertron, where the Maximals had slain their own mythological dragon and the Predacons waited for its resurrection.
There, maybe he could bury this dragon deep and let the symbol of war sleep, undisturbed, just a little longer.
Optimus Primal versus the dragon.
Just a thought on how exactly Megatron managed to get a beast mode that had no real animal DNA on Earth.