As Megatron's optics rebooted, he noted the absence of gunfire. It was too quiet, almost as if the battle was over…

He sat up – it was.

Soundwave lay a ways apart from him, looking oddly smaller than normal. The overlord noted the shrapnel in both of their joints, making every movement an irritation to the delicate circuitry under his armor.

He activated his comlink. "Starscream, come in."

The Seeker mech swore. 'Megatron? So you're still online?'

"I believe so." No need to ask when the battle had finished. "Any casualties?"

'None, but we are missing Soundwave. And you, but I've always said someday you would turn tailpipe and run from a battle…'

"I have Soundwave with me. Megatron out." A quick scan showed that nothing seriously was wrong with the other mech, save for his seemingly unnatural size, but Megatron attributed it to a malfunction in his optics. He picked up the Decepticon gingerly, and began carrying him to his quarters. He wouldn't need a visit to Hook; the Constructicon had more than enough work to do, judging from the lack of noise generally associated with comrades-of-sorts waiting in the repair bay for word on their friends.

He had the strangest feeling that Soundwave had saved him from a fate worse than death.

As gently as he was able, the overlord placed his Third in his quarters. They were barren, Megatron noted, with a lack of holos, or even paint, to add some feeling to his room. Megatron's own quarters were a glassy silver-white, better enabling him to see any intruders, such as Starscream.

Sparing the Communications Officer one last glance, Megatron strode out to inspect the damage.


He heard his own air intakes hitch, and he struggled to remove his face-mask before he emptied his tanks all over the floor. He was so tired, he wanted recharge so badly…

He rebooted his optics, and saw that the ceiling was much higher than it normally was.

What had that Autobot hit him with? A virus? That seemed to be the most logical answer – a virus to disable the Decepticon Armada, and it seemed to be working.

With that conclusion reached, he managed to fall back into recharge.

When he woke up, everything was alright again.

He sat up and scraped the dried energon off his chest as best he could. He stood; feeling lighter than he had in a while.

On they way out the door (he stood on a chair to get the access code in) he heard.

Megatron's orders, somethin' about—

'Warp, I don't want to…

Was it okay to go outside, when they seemed to be arguing so heatedly? But he wanted to know what Megatron wanted, and what someone didn't want 'Warp to do.

He wanted to learn that more than anything in his whole life right now.

Sound wave opened the door. He saw nothing that had said those voices. Cautiously, he moved out of the doorway, until—


His whole body smashed into a huge purple-black leg. He hadn't noticed it before, was that wrong? Soundwave squinted under his visor at the blurry form above his head. It seemed to be in a state of shock.

A gentle hand picked him up, and suddenly he was face-to-face with a winged blue Decepticon.

Both bots stared, before Soundwave answered the question that was burning up their CPUs.

"I'm Soundwave."

Thundercracker and Skywarp teleported into the throne room an astro-second later, carrying a delicate something. Strangely, Skywarp was quiet, his optics filled with…amazement? Terror? Megatron couldn't really tell from here.

Thundercracker hesitantly clasped his hands behind his back, hiding the delicate something.

"Well?" Megatron was in no mood for their silence. He wanted an update on his Third, and he wanted it now.

"We found him." Skywarp supplied. "And he seems to be functioning correctly…"

"Then where is he?"

Thundercracker showed him the delicate object.

"I'm Soundwave," it said, seemingly unfazed by the sight of the overlord. "I'm your Decepticon Communications Officer, and yes, I am a sparkling."

Thundercracker gracelessly dumped Soundwave into Megatron's arms. "He's your problem now."

Skywarp shuddered. "C'mon, TC, let's get-"

"He still thinks the sound of your thrusters activating are the most pleasant sounds he's ever heard," Soundwave said from out of nowhere.

Megatron stared.

Skywarp yelped and teleported instantly, leaving the blue Seeker with Megatron and Soundwave.

Thundercracker glared at Soundwave. "Shut it."

"You do. Why don't you want him to know? Does he not like the sound of your thrusters? He does, I know he does."

Thundercracker met Megatron's optics and followed Skywarp out the door.

Megatron had thought nothing could faze him. He had been able to rip out an Autobot's internals with as much emotion as Shockwave, been able to see Optimus Prime rising from the 'dead' countless times—

Scrapper and Long Haul walked in just then, pushing another one of Hook's experiments. They appeared to take no notice of Soundwave's condition, completely ignoring him in favor of Megatron.

The overlord placed the sparkling on the floor. "Go see Hook." Soundwave glanced at Megatron for a moment before turning and walking straight into Hook's delicate machine.

The machine buzzed, fizzed, and fell silent. The two present Constructicons stared. Soundwave stared back before he began backing away, very slowly. Then, for no apparent reason at all, he turn and raced out the door, managing not to walk into anything on the way.

"Get him." Was all the overlord said.

Sound wave didn't even know why he was running. The two Decepticons in there had meant him harm, he knew that much. They hadn't said anything that Megatron could hear; only Soundwave had been able to pick up their threats.

He noticed a small pipe leading up. Up was good, Soundwave reasoned. And his size would allow him to hide until Megatron came to find him.

Of everyone he had met so far, he trusted Megatron the most. His thoughts weren't twisted, like Starscream's, nor angry or comedic like Skywarp's and Thundercracker's. They certainly weren't like the Constructicons.

Megatron's thoughts, around him at least, were loyal.

Sound wave scrambled into the vent. He heard Scrapper and Long Haul racing toward the vents, but he was already inside. One Constructicon hit the pipe in frustration.

"Jus' like those idiot twins of his. Knows where to hide."

Twins? Images filtered into Soundwave's CPU, of two Decepticons about his size, purple-blue and black ones. Again, Soundwave felt like he knew them, but he couldn't think of where.

It had to have something to do with before he had woken up. Soundwave was determined to find out what.

He hadn't been paying attention to where he was going. A weaker panel collapsed, and Soundwave fell into the arms of Starscream.

"Might Megatron, I have found Soundwave." Megatron strode out from around a corner.

"Starscream, this is one of the few times I must compliment you. Those faulty vents placed to capture Rumble and Frenzy worked perfectly…" he paused. "For the wrong bot."

Starscream handed Soundwave to Megatron. "Skywarp and Thundercracker say he told them a little too much."

"Is it my problem that he listens to gossip?"

Starscream glared at the brush-off. "There's something off about him."

Soundwave perked up. "There's something off about you." He said bluntly.

Megatron chuckled. "I like him," he said to Starscream's astonishment.