Ok, this is my first fanfic, hope you enjoy. Positive criticism is welcome as well as any other comments.

Credit: the original idea of this series was taken from DragonDancer5150's series Designation 24601 or Wheeljacks origin. The first sotry is based on the events in "Ignoble".

Disclaimer: I do not own transformers characters, Hasbro or any affiliates. Slybit and Dreadvein are, to my knowledge, my own creations.


Chapter 1

We know the road to freedom has always been stalked by death.
- Angela Davis

"SLIPGEAR!"

His designation reverberated over the cold, foreboding tunnel walls. Slipgear knew that tone. Knew what it implied. He was in slag. He trembled, his spark racing as he heard the menacing footsteps approach him.

A painful grip on his shoulder forced him around while another heavy servo slammed into his jaw, knocking him back. The wall caught him before he hit the ground. The bigger bot stood menacingly over him.

"Your experiment failed yet again, slave."

Slipgear cowered before the looming presence of his overseer, not daring to look up or even open his optics. He had screwed up somehow, again. His experiment. O slag.

"I'm sorry. I can fix it." He managed to whimper. His reply was a vicious kick in the side.

"Get up! The Master wants to see you." The overseer sneered in his deep, guttural voice.

Slipgear's optics flew open in fear. The Master wanted to see him. This was very bad. The Master was ruthless, sparkless. He only cared about the profits his mines made. He never bothered with his slaves. Sparks were cheap to him. Too cheap. The only reason he would bother with seeing a slave… Primus what will he do to me?

"No, no please I beg you, I'll fix it! I'll…"

"Silence you incompetent, worthless piece of scrap metal!" the overseer bellowed, "I said get up or shall I assist you?"

Slipgear scrambled to his feet, his servos clasping at the pain in his sides. The lights of his fins flashing on the sides of his head, betraying his pain and nervousness. Luckily the mask over his face hid all but his terrified optics. The overseer smirked in his direction, shoving him into the tunnels that led to the administration station in the centre of the lucrative mine. Slipgear moved along shakily, too scared to contemplate what would happen to him once he reached the Master's office. The dark interior of the tunnels seemed to close in around him. He ran a finger along the walls as he walked to ensure himself that they were not trying to smother his spark out as everything else around him seemed to want to do.

"Move faster, slave, or do you want to keep the Master waitin'?" the overseer taunted. Slipgear picked up his pace.

They entered the main centre, the looming buildings casting long, evil shadows in the already poor lit centre. It felt like those shadowy talons were dragging him closer and closer to the inevitable. Slipgear began trembling. The overseer shoved him into the main building.

"Dreadvein, the Master is in his office, waiting." A data clerk said behind his shiny office, looking so out of place in the dirty, cold surroundings of the mine. He looked disgusted at Slipgear's presence, too, as if this pathetic creature in front of him was the very embodiment of all that was filthy and vulgar.

Slipgear looked at the floor. His processor was screaming at him to run, to get away, to flee from the pain that he was sure to come. Escape the darkness.

The data clerk opened the metal doors leading into the Master's office. A hard hand shoved him through the open door with enough force to make him stumble. He fell on his knees before a pair of pitch black legs. His trembling became more violent, yet he remained on his knees, trying to control his frame. He knew the mech before whom he knelt, and he was terrified.

A soft laugh escaped the imposing mech before him. The Master. Dreadvein grabbed Slipgear's slave collar and yanked it back, forcing him to look at the Master, while remaining on his knees. The Master was huge. Strong. Evil. His amber optics were cold, boring straight into him. Slipgear winced, trying to pull back from this menacing devil. The overseer applied more pressure to his collar, halting him.

"So, this is the scrapheap who thinks he's an engineer." Stated the cold, deadly voice.

"Yes Master. The same that has been caught sneaking into the administration centre, and stealing engineering and science literature from outside the mine's networks. We have been trying to… persuade him to stop these antics, unsuccessfully. Designation, Slipgear."

The Master seemed not to care about his designation. Why should he? This junk was just a slave. A piece of merchandise at his mercy to do with whatever he pleased. He looked down at the offending slave. His optics narrowed dangerously.

"Then you can read. Tell me slave, how did you learn to read?"

Slipgear whimpered, his fear growing under the scrutiny of those hard eyes. Slaves created within the belly of these mines weren't supposed to be literate. They were not allowed to be literate. The files necessary to function had been pre-programmed. Yet he had learned. His thirst for knowledge had been intense. He had sought, and finally found, an outsider working in the mines that could teach him to read and write Cybertonian, although it had been at great cost to himself. The mech had taught him, albeit secretly, until he could read and write fluently, in exchange for most of his rations. Then they were discovered. He was beaten senseless, and the other mech, well he was never seen or heard from again.

A hand gripped his throat, in-between his collar and his jaw, tightening. "Answer the Master when he asks a question!" A thunderous voice bellowed in his audio receptors. He tried to move his head away but to no avail.

"A mech, from a-, from above, working in the mines, h-he taught me to read and write!" The words rushed out in gasps.

""What was his designation" that voice rang once again in his audios.

"C – Corrupter!" Slipgear squeaked. The trembling started again.

The Master looked at Dreadvein. The overseer simply shook his. "He was taken care of a while ago. He was here doing time for fraud…" his voice trailed away as the Master narrowed his optics at him. The overseer looked down.

"Your experiments, slave, has cost me valuable time and credits. Your so-called excavator contraption failed. Did you not say that it would work?"

Slipgear's processor was spinning. He knew where this was going. By answering he would be condemning himself to a fate that he did not yet know…maybe a level four punishment. Primus he had screwed up enough times already. He shuddered at the thought. Still, he had to answer, or it would definitively be a level four. Slag he only wanted to help. He knew he could make improvements to their operating systems that would save time and more importantly, lives.

"I-It was w-working c-correctly! The operating t-team must not have followed my i-instructions clearly! I explained that they should…"

"Are you implying that Gorelock is incompetent at handling machinery built by an incompetent slave?" The Master's voice was terrifyingly calm.

"NO! No, no the overseer is not incompetent! It's me! I should have been there and ensured that my excavator was operating properly! I only want to help! I have ideas, inventions that will increase the productivity of your mines Master! I just need a chance and a little access to more research!"

"Enough. Your so-called experiments have delayed operation in a very lucrative area of my mines, costing me profits. I think you should be reminded of your station, slave." He paused looking at the slave in front of him. "A level three will suffice" And with that he turned away.

"No please Master! I swear I'll be good! Your slave know his station! I'm worthless, no better than a drone with a spark! I'm not supposed to think! Just do the tasks assigned to me! Please mercy Master! I, I know my station!" Slipgear begged frantically as the overseer started dragging him off his knees out of the office.

The Master didn't even bother to look around again. After all, he had more important things to do. He had to examine the increase in profits. He scowled, sitting behind his enormous desk. Damn these fragging slaves were lazy. His profits had only gone up by 9 % since the last vorn. They needed to work harder.