Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. It would be great if I did...but alas.

General Summary: This is just a collection of plot bunnies that I'm regularly attacked with. I usually let them go, but I figured I should treat them kindly so they might leave me alone in the future.

Summary: This is part two of a little mini story (3 parts) revolving around a captive group of Autobots held by a Decepticon OC and stuck on an organic planet during a monsoon.

Rating: T, for the less humorous side of war.

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." Gandhi

"Don't you dare!!!"

Everything stilled.

It's quite extraordinary how so many different moving parts and individuals can stall, almost at exactly the same time and produce virtually identical looks in reaction to something as small as three whispered, broken words.

The sight of so many 'Con's stopping dead in their tracks and mirroring looks of shock, apprehension and horror, cut a cold, foreboding path through Ratchet's CPU. Such concern worried Ratchet. After all, he'd spoken, so why were these 'Con's so worried all of a sudden? He was certain they weren't concerned over his well-being.

As a torrent of questions raced through his mind, the medic felt the grip around his torso tighten. The sudden, sharp pressure was sufficient enough to produce an uncontrollable shriek in response. His hands immediately sought a way to pry open the massive fingers, but the digits were impossibly strong. Pain began to leech all his strength.

The agony of being slowly crushed was unimaginable.

"Medic, that almost sounded like a threat." The enormous 'Con whispered darkly bringing the medic so close to his face that Ratchet would have been able to reach out and punch him right in the optic. That was if Ratchet had been stupid…or suicidal.

The two Autobots, the ones that could still see, were transfixed at the scene playing out right in front of them. They were watching a senior officer be literally crushed to death and all they could do was squeak in protest. The red Autobot looked about ready to speak but a harsh, sideways glance from the medic took the words from his mouth before he said them.

Blue eyes turned back to the brightest red.

"What…if it was?" Ratchet managed to croak between gasps. His face stiff and dental plates ground together in defiance.

The 'Con started laughing again. It was a deep, humourless, disbelieving boom. The violent chuckle jarred Ratchet up and down in a vice like grip.

The blue Decepticon turned to face the others. Ratchet could barely make out the faintest of whispers and snorts ebbing meekly from the crowd. The rain was falling harder than ever and was now accompanied by a strong, seemingly directionless wind.

"It seems that this little medic here is actually threatening me." More pressure was applied to Ratchet and his loud yelp was accompanied by the audible, groaning sound of metal buckling under merciless black fingers.

Someone in the crowd forced a laugh, probably thinking that they were required to respond in some way. The blue 'Con stopped talking and frowned. In the background there was a very distinguishable sound of metal colliding on metal and a muffled moan soon after. Satisfied that there would be no more interruptions, the Decepticon continued, this time addressing Ratchet. The grip around his damaged chassis lessoned marginally, allowing the medic to respond without screaming.

"So, medic, exactly what would a pathetic little 'bot like you find to threaten me with? Are you planning to disgust me into deactivation?" He sneered at the medic's dirt covered form.

Ratchet felt something sharp, prod something incredibly sensitive inside his chest but couldn't ascertain what it was. The mistreatment had already begun to take its toll on his weary form: sensory overload had knocked his scanners offline. He bit down the urge to make any kind of pained sound; responding to the Decepticon with as much bravado as he could fake and force out convincingly.

If he didn't do something now, his comrades were dead.

"You kill them, then you'd better kill me." Ratchet noted the stark silence of stunned, fearful 'Cons and the expression of rapidly escalating anger on the face of his captor.

The fingers around his mid-section twitched and he knew their commander was seriously toying with the idea of popping him open like an organic insect. Crushing him without a thought. This Decepticon had an obviously lethal temper. The Autobot wagered threatening him wasn't the wisest thing he'd ever done.

Ratchet softened his words.

"You say… you have a use for me. Fine, I'll do whatever you need, just don't harm the others." He pleaded.

There was a moment when death looked almost certain. Just something flashing across the optics of the 'Con commander. A sparkle of reckless abandon. That urge to kill in the most violent and brutal way imaginable and to the Pit with the consequences.

But the look passed as quickly as it came.

The blue Decepticon glared impassively as he fully considered the proposal; his hand applying more and more pressure to the medic as he did so. Ratchet screamed as he felt several supports began bending but it was only when he heard the clatter from inside his chest that he knew something truly terrible had occurred. From the look of the 'Con's slowly returning grin, he'd been waiting on that sound. The grip relaxed instantly, earning a shudder of absolute relief from Ratchet. The medic ached in so many places he wasn't sure he'd ever stop hurting.

"Your generous offer is accepted. You do exacly as I say and your little friends get to continue functioning. You disobey me and they die in the most twisted way I can think of... and while you, dear medic, get to watch. " The 'Con smiled as sweetly as he could whilst in possession of a face forged in the Pit itself.

He dropped Ratchet back into the mud and looked down on him as nameless enemy faces came and dragged the others away, to where, Ratchet couldn't see. The medic lay in a tangled heap of abused and twisted metal for several moments before doggedly dragging himself up to his knees once more.

The look of absolute smugness on the blue transformer's face made Ratchet wish he were back in that death-grip so he could smack that expression right off.

The Decepticon tried to look innocent.

"I may be mistaken…" He put his hands behind his back and rocked forwards on his feet till he was again towering over the Autobot. Truth be told, he looked utterly ridiculous considering his height and rank."...but it sounds like a transforming cog slipped. How unfortunate…but it looks like you won't be going anywhere, anytime soon." He laughed then as Ratchet took a moment to sink into the mud in despair. The medic shakily realised the commander was right. It did sound like a slipped cog. However, without his scanners that type of precision damage wouldn't show up on internal monitors.

Seconds passed before Ratchet could swallow his anger and utter contempt for the 'Con. He'd very little hate within him, even for the enemy, but how much he hated this individual right now. With all his cantankerous being, he hated him.

But that was before the realization of just what he'd committed himself too, fully struck him.

He'd just made a deal with a Decepticon. He would be working, for a 'Con.

It was treason. There was no garnishing it, no denying it. Even if the cost was the lives of his comrades, which wasn't necessarily guaranteed, the territory he'd just entered was enough to relieve him of his rank and if convicted, possibly his life. Primus knew he'd fragged off a lot of influential mechs that would jump at the chance of smearing his good name.

Not that they needed to do anything...he was now officially a traitor, in the eyes of the law.

Honestly, that single notion hurt him more than anything. Even if the Prime pardoned him, the others would still know. Echoes of accusation and suspicions flew around the medic's cortex. Every decision he'd ever made would be questioned. Every life he failed to save would become sinister and purposeful in the minds of the masses. He'd never be trusted enough to perform his duty.

But what could he have done? They'd all have been killed, right there, half sunk in the contaminated waters of a backwater mudball if he hadn't done what he did. He shuddered. On any normal day he'd have gladly risked his life in the call of duty, he'd have easily sacrificed himself. But this was more than his life; this was his reputation, his very memory, the trust his comrades had in him.

Would he be willing to sacrifice everything he had and was, for individuals he barely knew?

It was then that he realized he already had. Even if it cost him everything, it was his job to save lives. If the penalty was the label of traitor, then so be it, because those three injured Autobots were going home. One way or another. They were now his priority: his responsibility. Without contemplating all the consequences of his actions, he'd already made his choice.

Ratchet gathered himself up a little further. Straightening his back was a herculean effort as armour had been bent in ways contrary to the movement. A particularly large dent popped back out as he finally managed it.

"What is it… that you want me to do?" He whimpered. Defeated and yet resolved.

The 'Con's face twisted itself into an image that burned it's way through the medic's optics and straight into his CPU. He'd witnessed the medic's very world be twisted and warped beyond a two-dimensional Autobot's ability to comprehend and the commander's face was jovial because of it.

Ratchet knew from that day onwards that he would never forget that smile, that look of malice…or the air of utter insanity that radiated from this Decepticon.

"Oh, you'll see soon enough. Let's just say I love surprises." He 'Con whispered.

Two more Decepticons appeared from the darkness and dragged a limp Ratchet into the night.

He didn't fight them.