A/N: A little something Essoe and I worked on over the weekend. This led to an ending we never expected ourselves. Also, be warned: Character death.
by Essoe & lost frequencies
Knock Out was smiling.
After months of trying to convince himself that losing Breakdown was but a cruel joke forced upon him by some unknown cosmic force, his friend had returned to him—alive and well. It took several lonely missions and weeks on end trying to locate energon sources scattered throughout different continents, in caverns, tunnels, catacombs and burial chambers before stumbling into Breakdown.
The meeting had been surprisingly unexpected, utterly serendipitous that Knock Out was rendered speechless, his spark aching with a mixture of disbelief, shock and the stubborn grief that never seemed to dissipate.
While the war had made him a hardened soul, remnants of his trusting nature had been kept safe with Breakdown. Their reunion was accompanied by a long, mournful embrace, with Knock Out pressing his face against the cold metal of Breakdown's chest plate, his arms wrapped around tight, as though fearful of letting him slip away again.
Relief washed over him despite the coldness, the unfamiliarity and the lack of emotion in his partner's gaze. Never again would Knock Out have to go through life with the Decepticons in a meaningless waking slumber. Things, as he had hoped for, would return to the way it should be.
Knock Out had wanted to share the good news but Breakdown insisted on taking the element of surprise. Sure they had to pass through a few Vehicons and had them swear never to tell anyone about the big brute's return. They managed to sneak past Soundwave and Megatron while they were engaged in decoding the next set of co-ordinates of the relics at the Command Chamber.
Now at the Medbay, Knock Out immediately proceeded with running a full diagnostics on his partner. Breakdown had only spoken a few words since they met and there was so much yet to be said about the injuries all over Breakdown's body and his encounter with Airachnid.
"Nothing to worry about now, partner," Knock Out said with a smile. "You are safe with me."
If only Knock Out had known the truth. If only Breakdown had felt the same way. The dead cold metal of his body had been, at least for the moment, completely ignored by the medic from Breakdown's observation.
"Heh. I don't have anything to worry about now that I'm back," Breakdown said with a chuckle.
"Looks like you got along fine without me. I knew you'd be alright."
If he had to be honest with himself, Breakdown wouldn't have wanted to meet up with Knock Out this way. He was the one he wanted to avoid. The one that would blow his cover. The one that could expose him for what he really was or more accurately who.
Silas had spent a long time in therapy just getting used to moving around in Breakdown's body. Learning to walk again was tough. Even tougher was transforming for the first time. He recalled the process as foreign and almost painful. The reorganization of his body into a vehicle was quite a jarring experience. One of which he had never imagined.
Then there was going through Breakdown's old memories. It never occurred to Silas that he was breaching anyone's privacy as he rifled through them. He didn't regard it as a form of desecration or an invasion into someone's mind and body. As far as Silas was concerned, the former owner of this body was long gone and even if the former owner were here, it wouldn't have bothered him in the slightest.
It was all part of the plan to blend in with the other Decepticons, to acquire new technology for MECH. That could only happen if the 'Cons had actually believed they were seeing a friendly face.
But this medic. This was the one most prevalent in the memories and one that represented the most risk to Silas. But so far, nothing had fazed the little guy. Silas observed Knock Out noting his cheery smile and all the naivety of a young child.
And yet Silas as Breakdown kept up his act. He put on his best and brightest smile. Everything was going according to plan for the most part.
"You have no idea what I've been through, Breakdown," Knock Out said. "The humiliation and the suffering that big oaf of a leader had put me through. Can you believe he had me partnered up with an Insecticon? Disgusting."
"Huh? We have Insecticons now? When did they show up?" Internally, Silas was slightly curious as it was the first he had heard about them.
Knock Out noticed an anomaly. The scanner hadn't detected an energy pulse in Breakdown's spark chamber. He lifted a suspicious gaze at his partner. "Breakdown, you still haven't told me what happened exactly after you were sent to terminate Airachnid."
Breakdown scratched the back of his helm. He glanced upwards as though trying to remember what happened. "Well, she tore my body to pieces. It all happened so fast that it was just like a blur. The next thing I remember is waking up at MECH again."
Again. Breakdown's last encounter had left him with one functional optic. Knock Out was certain that if he had ended up in the hands of those scavengers again, they would have perhaps succeeded in performing a thorough examination. Why else would it have taken so long for Breakdown to return? And why hadn't Breakdown attempted contact if he had managed to escape? Questions continued to race through his processor. He ran the diagnostics again just to make sure that his optics weren't fooling him.
Something was very wrong.
But the medic would have to approach this in a calm and unsuspecting way—Wrecker style. "Pieces?" Knock Out's question was rhetorical. "So the humans reassembled you and sent you on your way." He rested a servo on his energon prod. "Something tells me you're missing a very important component in your systems, Breakdown. Perhaps you can feel its hollow absence. Because without it, it is impossible for a true Cybertronian body to function!"
It all happened too quickly. The medic had managed to stab the energized prongs of his weapon into the thick vital lines on Breakdown's neck. He dropped to the ground in a heap.
That medic was smart as he was quick.
Too smart. Too quick.
A gravelly laugh escaped him as he glanced up at Knock Out. "That was a good one," said Breakdown as he slowly picked himself up. "You had me going."
"Who are you and what have you done to my partner!"
"You act as though I weren't me anymore." Silas placed his servo on the counter top and gripped on to it. The metal warped beneath his grip. A haunting grin crossed his face. Like the calm before the storm. "I thought you wanted to see your old buddy Breakdown?"
But that was all the warning there was before his arm shifted into his battle hammer and his body charged forward like the world's largest linebacker.
Knock Out might have been quick to sense something was wrong but wasn't quick enough to dodge Breakdown's hammer as it swung at him and sent him flying back against the wall of the Nemesis. The brawl had caught the attention of several Vehicons. They rushed through the medbay doors with the sound of their blasters powering up and at the ready.
The medic groaned, before spitting the energon that had accumulated in his mouth after his face was mashed by Breakdown's hammer. He hated that thing. He'd been hit by the big brute's primitive excuse for a weapon before, but this time, it was personal. There was no forgiving this monster that was dwelling within his partner's body. Knock Out would not hesitate to kill him.
"He's an impostor!" Knock Out shouted at the Vehicons. "Attack already!"
With the three Vehicons that had entered the room, Silas grew ever annoyed. That meant three more witnesses he would have to silence. Wordlessly, Breakdown shifted his hammer back into an arm and raised both arms in a surrendering gesture. He turned around slowly to face the Vehicons. They tensed up, anticipating the worst. "I believe there's been a misunderstanding," said Breakdown. "This was just simply a domestic argument."
It was enough for the Vehicons to give each other a confused look and that was all the distraction Silas needed to take action. He quickly grabbed at one of the Vehicons' blaster and angled it toward a wall. His vice-like grip bore down upon the metal causing it to crumple like tinfoil. As the other two Vehicons started firing, he whipped around the hapless Vehicon like a shield. The Vehicon's yelp of sheer horror was cut short by the blaster bolts riddling his body. Silas charged forward like a freight train traveling at full speed with the corpse as a shield and plunged himself into the Vehicons with all his weight and force.
Knock Out was certain now. This was not his partner. The way he fought, the way he moved—it was so unlike Breakdown. He watched as the two Vehicons retreated, leaving him to fend for himself. Despite the pain surging through his body, the medic willed himself up and stood defensively with his shock prod.
"Alright then," Knock Out said, wiping the vital fluid away from his mouth. "If you insist."
The medic knew he wouldn't survive this. There was no way he could fight off a bot this size with such an unusual fighting style. He wasn't a fighter to begin with. He was a surgeon. A scientist. A friend.
While skilfully twirling his weapon, Knock Out charged fearlessly upon Silas before he swiftly moved to the side and reactivated his hammer, spinning and slamming it into the medic's back.
The second blow had rendered Knock Out semi-conscious. He couldn't get up this time, his systems were on high alert and threatening him with stasis lock. He lay prone and helpless, his weapon sliding across the floor of the medbay and out of reach.
This is it, he thought. This is how we end.
Knock Out had once thought he'd never make it through the war on Cybertron. He'd never make it with the Wreckers. He'd never make it as he and Breakdown journeyed across the stars in search of refuge. He'd never understood why and how they'd survived this long. Breakdown once said that nothing could touch Knock Out because he had luck on his side. And Knock Out would never admit to feeling the same way about Breakdown.
"You might as well finish me off," he scoffed at the impostor. The light in one of his optics flickered, indicating internal ocular damage. "Our lucky stars have left us high and dry!"
"Nothing personal. I just can't afford any witnesses," said Silas. He towered over Knock Out like a menacing giant devoid of empathy in his optics. This was never personal. It was focused and goal-orientated. He needed to remove the obstacle and Knock Out was that obstacle. Killing the cherry red bastard would have just been one more job.
Silas's arm shifted back into the hammer and he cocked it back. He swung it down and...
It stopped. It stopped the Cybertronian equivalent of inches from Knock Out's face. It was as though something had seized him. Like something that had once been dormant had stopped him from finishing the job. It was almost spectral in nature.
Silas suddenly looked rather confused. He tried jerking his hammer hand free from this invisible hold. But it just wasn't moving. He couldn't bring his hammer down to smash Knock Out's helm open. He couldn't scatter its contents across the floor no matter how much he had willed it. He could not understand it.
Perhaps luck was still on Knock Out's side. The first two massive blows had caused a temporary blindness in the medic's left ocular. There were a couple of dents on his radial pauldrons and a few gashes on his forearm. Knock Out was lying on his back now, staring intently at Breakdown while he seemed to be going through some sort of an internal glitch. He caught the familiar yellow glow he'd been used to seeing since they first met in the laboratories. This was the real Breakdown trying to resurface. This was his partner he needed to save.
But no. Any moment now, he knew the monster would win again. Breakdown's spark was gone and there was nothing he could do about it.
Knock Out prepared his buzz saw. "I'm sorry, Breakdown."
Silas finally broke free from his invisible captor. His arm jerked backwards suddenly, almost throwing him off balance. He then swung his hammer downward for that kill shot at top speed. That one opportunity he was going to silence this witness.
For that one moment, it was as if the world was in slow motion. That everything seemed to have come to a strange crawl. Where seconds lasted minutes.
Here comes the fall, the last blow, thought Knock Out before the hammer crushed his helm with an unstoppable, merciless force. The moment his vision was lost, he knew it was over.
Silas's hammer went straight through to the floor on the other side. What was left of Knock Out's helm was now an indistinguishable spray of parts. No more witnesses.
Used energon dribbled off his hammer and into an electric blue puddle on the floor. He just stood there in eerie silence.
Now there was only one thing left to do.
Dump the bodies.
He remembered telling Breakdown that everything around them is made of energy, the building block of all matter. The same energy that lives within their sparks. The atom is just an invisible force field. Nothing exists except energy. It has been there since the beginning and will forever live on surpassing, perhaps even time itself.
Still Knock Out has never been sure where their sparks will go. Most believe it returns to the AllSpark, the creator of life. Some believe it is absorbed back into a nearby star. He believes that it'll take another form and come back as something else entirely. The cycle of life will never end because the true self is indestructible.
His death had been quick and painless, as though he had never died. The energy had simply left his body before the final blow. He remembered only darkness before the light, the acceptance before the resurrection. He was now in the unknown, a place big enough for any soul to have its own universe.
Knock Out kept on walking, unsure of where he was going. But he knew, someone else was waiting for him at the end of this path. Someone he knew very well.
Breakdown had been waiting for his friend to return. He had been waiting ever since the day he died. It was a horrible and selfish thing to wish for and yet that was exactly what he wanted.
He wondered if Knock Out had found someone else to watch over for him for a while when he couldn't. But he knew his buddy wouldn't latch on to someone so easily. So the only other thing he could hope for in terms of a reunion was reincarnation. Breakdown promised himself that he would search out Knock Out even if it took him lifetimes to do so. That was how much he wanted to see him again.
He sat cross-legged. Meditating. It was something Breakdown never considered doing before he died. But here, at the beginning of his afterlife he picked up on it. Not something he would have openly admitted to doing, but he knew if he traveled back through his mind through meditation, he could call up any memory of Knock Out he wished. He could remember the good times, the bad times, and times he would rather forget.
Breakdown was going through one such memory when he heard footsteps. He blinked a few times wondering who was coming to see him: a bright red figure strolling in his direction.
The realization came to him with a jolt. Breakdown scrambled over his pedes as he attempted to stand up. He couldn't get up fast enough. When he finally could, he broke out to a run, his pedes pounding the ground in a full-out sprint.
"Knock Out!" he shouted.
"Breakdown?" Knock Out couldn't believe it. It was him. It was really him! "Breakdown!"
They met halfway with Breakdown lifting and squeezing him tightly.
Knock Out returned the embrace. The coldness he had felt on Breakdown previously was gone. He knew this was the real deal. "So this is where you've been hiding," he said. "Well. Seems like a good enough place. Care to share it with an old friend?"
A rumbling laugh echoed through Breakdown's body. It was a warm and inviting sort of laugh. One of a certain joy.
"Sure thing," said Breakdown. "We have all the time in the universe to do whatever we want."
That's when he knew there was no danger here. A place where no war, no hunger and no faction existed. There was only him, and Breakdown.
Knock Out was smiling.
A/N: We're looking for writers to collaborate/RP with at the Transformers Prime: Revelations RPG forum. If you're interested in joining us in the game, feel free to visit us at: tfprelics dot proboards dot com
Lots of canons to choose from. We look forward to roleplaying with you!