I owe everyone a huge apology for making you wait. Honestly, my fanfiction is often the story of 'how they got together', and so once they've gotten together I lose motivation to write any more. But this is exactly what I planned from the beginning, if not slightly sped up. Please enjoy.
As he stood in the hall, Orion barely registered the sirens going off around him. He was still in despair when a face turned the corner that he was not expecting. A blue femme who had been running stopped abruptly and stared at him. A yellow mech followed.
"Sir!" the young mech beeped in a rare Cybertronian dialect. Orion recognized them as two of the bots who he'd seen beneath the Earth's surface. They were Autobots.
"Optimus," the femme breathed, looking at him with too much hope, too much faith than anyone could hold in a data clerk. She put her servos out. "Optimus please, whatever he's been saying to you, it's a lie. You have to come with us. The Autobots need you."
"Come home," the yellow mech beeped.
Still confused and unsure, Orion raised his cannon to gauge their reactions. Their frames stiffened but they didn't raise their weapons to meet his. But it was more than that which convinced Orion. Their optics didn't hold the look that liars have when found out. They didn't lose their façade and run. They stood their ground, optics filled with disappointment. Not in him, but simply in the turn of events.
Orion lowered the weapon. "I do not recognize your faces. But I believe you."
The two Autobots practically glowed. Orion lifted his head, nodding at the flashing red light on the ceiling. "We should probably move. Where are we going?"
"This way," the femme said.
Soundwave heard the sirens and practically tore out of his quarters. Autobots had infiltrated. He had to find them. But for what purpose? Soundwave was not a creature of impulse. He didn't take chances. He was calculated. He did not go running down the halls without a plan.
But he knew what he was doing. It wasn't a plan; it wasn't even a comprehendible string of thoughts. When you were sure about something so completely, you didn't have to think about it. You just did it.
Soundwave turned on an emergency tracker and fixed it to Orion Pax. It sought him out. The signal beeped in his processor.
He couldn't run fast enough. Time was precious. He slid to a stop and did a quick hijack on the Nemesis computers, causing all of the hallway doors to slide open and stay open. Soundwave flipped into alt-mode and flew down the hall.
Orion and the two autobots shot over and over at the locked door, which took up the whole wall.
"This is my fault," the femme said. "I miscalculated our coordinates to Ratchet. If we don't break through that door to get to the bridge, Ratchet will have to close it and re-open it here, and who knows how long it will take to charge back up for a second run."
The door they had come from slid open behind them, and the three raised their weapons.
"Soundwave," the femme hissed, straightening her aim.
Optimus stepped in front of the smaller mechs, though he lowered his weapon slightly. It hurt to see him. "Let them go," he said. "If not me, then let them escape this once."
Soundwave approached and stepped around them. He typed into the heavily locked door. It slid open, and the glow of the ground bridge illuminated the now connected rooms.
The Autobots looked incredulous, but did not dally to ask questions.
"Let's get out of here," the femme said, and she and the yellow bot ran to the bridge. Orion lingered, facing Soundwave.
"Go," Soundwave said simply.
"What are you waiting for?" the femme called.
Orion couldn't look away from Soundwave.
Orion made his decision. He walked over to the ground bridge.
"You two must go without me." The Autobots looked shocked. "I'm sorry, I cannot leave now. But I will join the Autobots soon." He touched the symbol on his shoulder, where the new paint was scratched away. "I promise."
The ground bridge closed simultaneously with the opening of the far door. Megatron stormed in with officers and eradicons in tow, likely just glimpsing the bridge's closure.
Orion relaxed his shoulders. "Megatronus."
"That was the ground bridge I saw closing!" Megatron said, waiting to be filled in.
"They tried to convince me to join them again," Orion said. "I know I should have stopped them, but I just couldn't yet. I'm not used to violence. I know it's been a long time but I still feel as if I'm just out of the Hall of Records."
"Treacherous!" Megatron shouted, grabbing Orion by the shoulders and throwing him to the ground. Orion didn't resist. Soundwave tensed defensively, taking the slightest step forward. Out of the corner of his optic, he saw Knockout looking at him with shock. But the medic didn't snitch on him. He shifted closer and stood at Soundwave's side.
"If you are not with us, you are against us!" Megatron roared at Orion. He raised his fist, and Orion closed his optics to accept the blow.
Soundwave started forward and Knockout grabbed his arm and whispered, "Don't be a fool."
Megatron's fist tightened, but he lowered it and growled at Orion. "You have a lot to learn, brother. I will not go so lightly on you next time." He whirled around at Soundwave. "Soundwave! How could you let this happen?"
"He only just arrived," Orion cut in.
Megatron looked livid from Optimus' intrusion on his question, and he expressed it freely with the offender unaware behind his back. Soundwave didn't know if his Lord's patience would last much longer. It would not be long before he shackled Orion up, ending the charade. Soundwave knew how Megatron thought.
The Decepticon Leader stormed out. The others followed. Knockout looked back at Soundwave, disgruntled. Soundwave himself was shaken. He'd never considered Knockout the most loyal 'Con, and now everything was thrown out of whack. He was the one struggling to stay in control.
The doors shut and Soundwave was alone with the lost leader of the Autobots. Orion's expression was unreadable. He spoke to Soundwave in an even tone. "Lock the door."