Pace. Pace pace pace. Three steps over, pivot, three steps back. Pace pace pacity-pace.

... I think I'm going crazy in here.

Not crazy like everyone says I'm crazy. I'm not.

But I'm going to be if I stay here any longer.

Of course, walking out of the Autobot brig is a teensy bit harder than taking a stroll out of my own quarters, so...

I can manage to get four steps in if I go diagonally. My cell is exactly three steps by two skips. I measured. Not like there's anything else for me to do in here... they even took my rotorblades.

I'm just not sure if they're trying to kill me with boredom, or drive me nuts. Heh, it's going to take more than this! Autobots don't have the guts to actually interrogate, and if they think a little solitude is going to get me to break down, they're deluded.

They're Autobots, of course they're deluded. What am I saying?

Anyway. I've been through worse than this. I have. Locked in a box for eons, with no company but me, myself, and the voices in my head. Teammates, voices, it's all the same thing.

... And the dreams, of course. Hallucinations, whatever. Is there really a difference?

Sometimes I dreamed that I was out of the box, back on Cybertron, wrecking mayhem like a good little Decepticon soldier. Sometimes we were on alien worlds, conquering, exploring.... what I was doing didn't matter, because the dreams always ended the same, with me waking up, back in the box, back in the nothingness that never ended.

Sometimes I'm not sure we ever got out.

After all, I've dreamed things like this before. Daring rescues by the Decepticons, by the Autobots – don't ask – or by Onslaught, who explained that this was all part of his brilliant plan. Being rebuilt by Starscream kinda just fits right in with the rest.

Really, when you think about it, waking up to find the entire Decepticon army reduced to a handful of soldiers who've been out cold on some ragtag back-world, and forced to scavenge off a bunch of barely-sentient organics while the Autobots spend as much time organizing pep rallies for the locals as they do fighting? Yeah, that's not helping with the sense of surrealism I'm getting here.

One, two, three, pivot.

I'm almost hoping this is another hallucination, and I'll wake up soon. Not that I like being in the box, mind you, but maybe the next hallucination will be better. Less cells, hopefully.

Oh, hey, I hear footsteps. That'll either be fuel, or Prime wanting to tell me how we can all live in peace and harmony and hold fluffy parades, or something like that. Honestly, I really don't mind him that much; alright, so the speeches are a load of slag, but baiting him is more interesting than staring at these hideously orange walls. Or maybe it'll be the yappy one; he's always fun to see how fast I can get him to stumble over his own vocalizer and bolt out of the brig. Here we go...

Nope, no luck. Short little orange Autoblob, who doesn't seem to appreciate my suggestions for how he could improve his look. Sure, they're painful, but hey, it'd make him more interesting to look at. But then, Autotrash never did go in for the energon-splattered look, as I recall.

... Except that one time, when I dreamed that all the Autobots were murdering psychopaths. That was entertaining, if weird. Megatron was a mathematician, of all things. Freaky, huh? I know, never happening. But at least it had the bonus of novelty.

And now I'm alone again, without even my teammates' bickering to keep me company.

One, two, three, pivot, one, two... Back to pacing.



I wonder what Swindle's doing. Silly question, he's cheating someone, I'm sure. And Brawl's probably hitting something, while Blast Off watches and pretends he's not entertained. Onslaught's plotting something. Onslaught's always plotting something.

Don't tell him I told you, but most of his plots are slag. I usually go along with them, because really, do I have anything better to do?


I could use a plot or two right now, actually.

He-ey, I hear a commotion. Something's happening! Involving me, from the multiple scowling Autobots and the manacles. Someone doesn't like me much, I'd say, and is in a hurry to get rid of me. Nice.

Yep, here we go... And there's Onslaught, and Brawl, and Blast Off. Oh, and Swindle, almost didn't see you there.

"I give up a promising deal with a resistance movement to get your aft out, and all you can do is make short jokes?"

"You must admit, Swindle, that you make it rather easy..."

"No one asked you, Blast Off."

"Knock it off, all of you. You have your trade, Autobots. Combaticons! Return to base!"