A/N Ok. Here goes, first fic. I'm kinda wondering about the Vehicons - They're not mindless, and surely at some point one of them must have questioned their allegiance. At present, this is a oneshot, but I'm tempted to continue it. There's so much other stuff I have to type up and upload, though. Cookies to anyone who gets his wierd name reference

January '12: Ahahaha. Yeah, not a oneshot any more. Some details needed to change in order to fit in with the story that developed. It probably still doesn't quite fit. Anyway. This is set before Flying Mind, except in Armada Bulkhead managed to get off the ship somehow without bringing it down. So the Insecticons have only just arrived on the Nemesis, Airachnid's on ice, believed killed. Starscream is rogue. Probably should have given this more thought.

I almost trip over the disconnected arm of one of my former comrades. The blast that tore it off was actually our leader's. A fusion cannon isn't choosy about where it goes once it's been fired, and poor little D-who-knows-what was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I don't know what the actual statistics are regarding drones being killed by friendly fire. Knowledge, bestowed upon humble D-TE9-14159? Besides 'here are some Autobots, go get destroyed by them' or 'here is some energon, go mine it'? Forget it. I'm just a forgettable drone in an army of forgettable drones. We're cannon fodder – built identically, so that replacing parts is never a problem. Not that parts get replaced very often. My left pede has been numb for three months. One bad landing, that's all it took. I hide the limp from people, because we all know what happens to Eradicons who need repaired. It involves a scrap pile and… no, just a scrap pile. Because that's what you get for having a medic that dislikes jets. It's only a matter of time before I end up there. The internals are rusting, and soon it will be noticed. Goodbye, D-14159.

I'm almost looking forward to it. What's the point of life? I won't be forgotten, but only because I was never known in the first place. I've thought about this, and come to a conclusion. The only way to survive on this rock is to be an Autobot. That's right, the severely outnumbered, outclassed, apparently useless Autobots. They've permanently lost – count him – one soldier. Since they came to Earth. ONE. Counting only higher ranks, we've lost Starscream (Thankfully), Breakdown (He was all right, really…), Airachnid (Freaky) and Skyquake (Apparently. Never saw him). And that's not counting the endless drones. I highly doubt that the 'bots are the pathetic, cowardly, dishonourable, weak little femmes we've been told about. Especially since in the next breath we're told that they're incredibly vicious, cruel sociopaths.

Anyway, back to the search. Energon mine. Two Autobots came in, grabbed some cubes and ran out. They actually didn't even fire on us. No, that would be our dear officers, with their pinpoint aim. They'll be long gone by now, but we're being ordered to search the horribly claustrophobic tunnels. Just in case.

I hate my life.

I step over the torso of my armless comrade. Thankfully, he's already dead. At the end of the corridor I have to duck under a stalactite. There's a small cavern to my left, and I give it a cursory glance.

I freeze. Slumped against the opposite wall is an Autobot. He's badly hurt, with glowing energon splashed over his yellow chest. A dark blue femme is trying to move him into a better position. She hears my slight stumble as I drag my numb pede alongside my good one. Instantly, she twists around. One of her hands clicks into a blaster, but it looks dented. Her other hand doesn't even get that far. She curses almost silently. The yellow scout behind her buzzes weakly.

The urge to shoot is sudden and overwhelming, the protocols giving no room to argue. But my arm doesn't move. I stay completely, utterly still, and I suddenly wonder why I should shoot them.

"You!" The overseer calling me from the end of the tunnel doesn't know my name. Surprise. My wings twitch, but my visor doesn't leave the Autobots. The urge to kill them subsides as I try to think of a reason why they should die. Because of my undying loyalty to the cause that will someday kill me without a second thought?

"D-14159." I mutter to myself, too low for him to hear. Just to prove to myself that I have a name. The femme settles into a combat stance between me and the yellow mech. She looks so determined to protect him. Any self-respecting 'con would have cut and run at this point. And his wide optics, dimming now, have this weird expression in them. I don't think I've ever seen it before. It's like… He trusts her. Even though he's dying, he thinks she's going to get him out. "Found anything?"

I see the despair flicker through both sets of blue optics. Blue is a nice colour, even though every instinct screams at me to shoot it. I don't understand why 'cons have red optics. Red is fire. Pain. Death. Blue is energon, and therefore, life. My visor doesn't move, but I activate my vocaliser.

"No, sir." The femme's optics snap from narrowed slits to almost as wide as the mech's round ones. Just as quickly, they revert to 'suspicious'.

I turn and walk on, doing my best to hide my limp. The tunnel only extends a few feet around the corner. I glance around and turn back. I see the Autobots only in my peripheral vision, and ignore them entirely.

"You! Are you limping?" My wonderful faction. Always keen to fixate on the pain of others.

"No, sir." I walk towards him, careful not to limp but glad to be getting out of the tight space. The weeks here mean I'm less claustrophobic than usual, but I still want out. "This corridor is clear, sir. Are there any more to search?"

"That's all of 'em. Stinkin' Autobots are already gone. You sure you don't need that pede looked at? Decepticons must be in top condition, you know." He laughs cruelly.

Thankfully, I don't have the facial capacity for emotions. "I'm fine, sir. Permission to return to the Nemesis?" Generally, you have to wait until you're transferred. I don't know why I even asked. To my surprise, he gives an assent.

"Granted. Maybe you should go see Knockout." He laughs again, then motions me away.

As I don't limp my way to the exit, I hear the vague whoosh of a groundbridge portal. Shouts start, but the whoosh cuts off. Of course, I join the stampede. Surprise, surprise, the Autobots are gone!

The overseer glares at the crowd.

"An Eradicon told me it was clear!" His visor sweeps over all of us. I join them in muttering in indignation, enraged that one of us could do such a thing. Of course, we all look identical. He has no idea that I'm still here. In fact, I just asked to leave, so he probably thinks I'm gone. A deserter. There are high points to being identical and nameless. Nameless to them, anyway.

Maybe I should have gone. I might have been hunted down, but I might not have. It would be a better fate either way than being scrapped because of a stupid pede.

But no, I'm staying. For now, anyway. I don't have anywhere to go, anything to do. I'm a Decepticon. I have always been one, and probably always will be. My loyalty is to our glorious leader, who will lead us to victory with his fusion cannon and his accuracy, throwing us into the meat grinder as he sees fit.

Is it really a surprise that defiance feels good?