So, I was watching 'Triage' a while back, and then this... thing... crawled into my head uninvited. *sigh*

Read on, folks.


Soundwave didn't just sift through data; he reveled in it. No signal was unheard, no code was unbreakable, no transmission was safe, no computer system protected. The buzzing stream of information that sped across his visor was like an abstract painting. The hum of signals and transmissions; a symphony. And he loved every bit of it. So when he received a notification on his visor demanding his presence at Lord Megatron's side, he was somewhat reluctant to put the console in sleep mode, and leave his workspace.

The door hissed open, as the Head of Intelligence walked out, his visor telling him that Megatron was not at the bridge as usual, but rather, on top of the Nemesis. Soundwave felt a pang of uncharacteristic uneasiness, but he brushed it away, as he walked down the warship's spinal corridor. He sent out a command to the elevator controls, allowing him to step in without breaking stride, as soon as its doors opened. Hitting the button for the appropriate floor, he waited stock still, as the elevator ascended.

It was not a very unusual thing that Megatron wanted him on the Nemesis' spine; being Megatron's most reliable lieutenant meant that he would be trusted with things his leader considered too private to be sent in a data packet; things that could only be passed down by word of mouth in the privacy of the ship's spine. This was probably no different.

The elevator doors parted open, sending a rush of wind that blew across Soundwave's slim frame. It was a good thing he was stronger than he looked; anyone else would have thought he would be blown away like a pile of twigs, considering how skinny he was. The view was that of a cathedral of white clouds; they towered high, some higher than the Nemesis, a brilliant white in the morning sun. Soundwave didn't have to walk to the edge to see what was down at the planet's surface; he knew their course was currently taking them over a dense mountain range.

Soundwave looked around, and his visor picked out Megatron, standing near the ship's bow, the planet's sun glinting on his steel grey armor, his servos clasped behind his back, as he was wont to do. But what really sent a ping across his visor was Knockout and Dreadwing. The medic was beside Megatron, his paint still scratched from his ordeal in New York, and his servos on his hip joints. Dreadwing stood on Megatron's other side, his arms folded across his chest, his faceplate set in his usual steely glare. None of them had noticed him yet.

Definitely curious, Soundwave strode forwards, and sent out a ping to Megatron. The lord's shoulders straightened and he slowly turned around to appraise Soundwave. The unease crept back again, but Soundwave ignored it. Dreadwing turned his helm towards Soundwave and acknowledged him with a simple nod. Knockout took one look at the Head of Intelligence, and grinned maliciously. "Soundwave," said Megatron, his crimson optics narrowing, "So good of you to join us…"

Soundwave said nothing. He stood, resolute, as he awaited Megatron's instructions. There was silence, the wind whipping about their helms. Megatron turned away, looking back at the horizon. Dreadwing shifted uncomfortably, but Knockout was rocking back and forth, apparently happy about something. Soundwave noted the medic's behavior, and filed it away for later.

"Tell me, Soundwave, how fares your decoding of the Iacon database?"

Soundwave felt the foreboding coldness again, but he pushed it away, and replied that the decoding was going slow, but well.

"I see," said Megatron, "But why so sluggish? Is there something wrong regarding your health?"

Soundwave was somewhat confused by the question, but he answered regardless: he was perfectly fine, and no complications had arisen. Megatron nodded. "Hmm, yes, you were always a very good liar, Soundwave…"

The Head of Intelligence took a step back, for once, completely thrown by the statement. He queried Megatron as to what he had done to convince his Lord that he was being deceived.

"Oh, why don't you tell me yourself, Soundwave?" said Megatron, facing the young mech, "After all, you were the one freely giving away the entire Iacon database to the Autobots…"

Soundwave was shocked into something deeper than silence. Dreadwing unfolded his arms, his faceplate loosened in a display of shock and outrage.

"Oh, don't act so surprised, Soundwave," growled Megatron. "After all, you did have a virus inside of you, did you not? A virus you conveniently failed to notice. A virus you happily let frolic around inside you. I know, Soundwave, I know everything, now, courtesy of our physician." He gestured towards Knockout, who puffed his chest plates proudly. Soundwave was too flabbergasted to notice.

He had had a virus. Inside him. Siphoning his information, his decoding, and his hard work. And he had failed to stop it. There was no telling how much information the Autobots had now.

"You see, Soundwave, Knockout has been taking up a few extra responsibilities, after that little tussle in New York. And do you know what he found?" He leaned forwards, into Soundwave's visor, sharp denta bared. "Do you know what he found? He found a data stream, nearly undetectable! Leading out of the Nemesis' mainframe! And do you know what was in that data stream?" His voice had risen, from a low growl, to a bellowing roar. Soundwave felt Laserbeak twitch, something Megatron had noticed, because his optics flicked towards his chest.

"Yes," he rumbled. "Laserbeak… I should have known…" The Decepticon leader looked back at Soundwave, his denta clenched together in a snarl. "Tell me Soundwave, what deal did they offer?"

Soundwave felt his energon run cold. Surely Megatron wasn't accusing him of treachery, now, was he?

"But I am accusing you of treachery, Soundwave," said Megatron, "I trusted you, Soundwave, furnished you with our deepest secrets, our tactics, our plans! AND THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ME?"

Soundwave felt his spark grow rock hard. He had no way of knowing the virus was in him, and so he had no idea that he was unintentionally giving away vital intelligence to the Autobots.

"No way of knowing, you say? No way of knowing? Coming from the one who hacks into a million servers every day, I find that hard to believe!"

And without preamble, he reached forward, and ripped Laserbeak off Soundwave's chest, kicking Soundwave to the ground. Soundwave felt the drone's distress and pain over the mental link, as he thudded to the metal deck plates. The Head of Intelligence could only watch, as the Lord he had served under promptly took hold of the drone's wings and tore the thing in half, its energon spilling onto the ground. It was there that Soundwave felt his mental connection with Laserbeak flicker and die, leaving a cold void.

"You, the most trusted of my allies," snarled Megatron, "Had the audacity to go ahead and sell vital information to the Autobots…"

He raised a pede and sent it crashing into Soundwave's visor. It was like being hit in the face by a bolo grenade. The young mech was sent tumbling, helm over pedes across the hull, hairline cracks appearing on his visor as he slid across the ship's spine. His helm throbbing from the impact, he raised himself to his knees, and he could just make out Knockout grinning like it was his birthday come early, and Dreadwing looking at him with an expression of sacrilegious fury. The deck plates vibrated as Megatron's pedes drew closer. There was the sound of something being drawn…

Soundwave felt a horrifying pain in his abdomen, as the steel grey blade plunged into the plating. Components were torn. Wiring was ripped. Energon lines were breached. "I am ashamed, Soundwave," said Megatron, "ashamed that you, my most trusted lieutenant, would betray the Decepticon cause so readily." He twisted the blade left and right, Soundwave's body following suit, the sharp edges of his frame scraping the metal, sending drops of his energon everywhere. There was a sharp jolt, as he was sharply lifted upwards, still impaled on Megatron's blade. And then, with a snarl of disgust, Megatron shook his arm, dislodging Soundwave, and sending the injured mech to the ground with a crash.

Soundwave heard it; the charge of a photon cell, the click and whirr of a heat sink, the steady rumble of built up energy. He raised his visor a bit, and found himself staring into the barrel of a fusion cannon, aimed directly at his sword wound. Alarms flitted across his visor, but they were distorted from the damage it had taken. He tried to say something, anything, but pain and loss of energon clouded his senses, made his limbs go numb and limp, and his throat cables dry.

A piece of his visor chipped off, revealing an optic.

Megatron fired.

So what did you guys think? Good or bad? Let me know in the reviews section.

-This is Zapwing, signing off.