Author's notes: This is basically my reaction to 'The Human Factor'. Feedback is always appreciated!

The human had fallen silent several minutes prior to them entering the medical bay. Knock Out didn't really mind. He would be making plenty of noise in a little while.

"There." With one hand Knock Out gestured to the operating table. "And do make sure the restraints are properly fastened. I don't want it getting loose and trying to escape."

Obediently, the Vehicons secured Silas to the table, checking and rechecking the bonds. They had overheard him tell Megatron what he had done to his faction. If the unthinkable did happen they would be the ones to blame – and the ones who would be forced to take him down at the cost of their lives.

Knock Out smirked at the expression on the pretender's faceplates. It was one of horror, as if he had finally realized the situation he was in as the last Vehicon exited and the door hissed closed. He began testing the restraint's strength, trying to free himself already.

"They were your friends, Breakdown." Not taking his optics off of the patient, Knock Out began preparing a surgical tray. A welder. He wouldn't be needing that, unless he needed to keep the patient alive. Scalpel. Definitely. Retractor. Probably. That would go next to the pliers.

"Knock Out?"

Abruptly his smirk twisted to form a glare. He slammed the tray down. Just as quickly his faceplates smoothed out and he smiled again.

Preparations finished, he wheeled the tray over to the operating table.

It was only then the patient really began to panic, twisting and trying to get out of the restraints with a mad fury Knock Out hadn't seen in a while. He was ventilating heavily as Knock Out approached, turning his missing optic away from the medic as Knock Out's drill came out.

Knock Out was silent, letting the patient hear the sound of the drill echo throughout the room.

"Knock Out it's me!" he was straining, trying to get away from the drill as the medic nonchalantly began undoing the hinges in his chest armor. He needed to get to the pain receptors. "It's Breakdown! What are you doing?"

The medic hesitated, though he did not shut off the drill. Then he spoke.

"I might have excused your pathetic attempts at tricking me if you weren't using his voice. I think that will go first."

Effortlessly, the chest plating came off, and Knock Out saw him for the first time. If keeping the human alive hadn't been in his best interests at the moment, it would have been the simplest thing in the world to simply take his head off right then. He switched off the drill and began digging around, trying to find the pain receptors.

"How are you being powered?" Knock Out asked rhetorically, using one claw to push the human out of his way. "I highly doubt your fragile organic bodies are equipped to handle the Energon that's required to power me, never mind someone Breakdown's size."

"Why don't we try it?" the human's jaw was clenched. It looked like he was in pain, though that might have had something to do with the fact that Knock Out's claw was digging into his back.

"Hmmm. Perhaps another time. In another universe. Ah."

The human's face was one of utter shock. Knock Out chuckled at his mouth hanging open. He tapped the fleshy body, noting how something cracked, but the human didn't seem able to feel it. All the better.

"Now I said I would start with Breakdown's voice box didn't I?" not expecting a reply and not receiving one, Knock Out smirked again.

He straightened and grabbed the scalpel, looking from the patient's eyes to his optics.

"This won't hurt a bit."

The patient began struggling again. The scientific part of Knock Out's mind told him to start recording these reactions and continue testing the pretender's 'fear' of him. Knock Out obliged.

"Knock Out stop!"

The medic's optics flicked back to the human, who looked back at him with a dark glare. He turned back to his target.

"Do you remember the battles in the streets of Kaon? I'd just left the Stunticons and you were teaching me how to use the – the – I can't remember what it's called but-"

Knock Out sliced the plating open. Energon began to spill from the incision and dripped to the floor.

Breakdown's voice began to shout, to beg. Knock Out shook his head.

"I don't know how you've managed to access his memory chips, but I will find out. Have no fear."

The voice went silent with a crackle of static. Curious, Knock Out looked at the human, wondering if he had suffered any damage to his body. Satisfied, he nodded.

"Now that that's settled we can get down to business."

Knock Out reached behind him, still not looking away from the human, who seemed to be trying to decide if he wanted to see if he could speak or not.

"I'm not sure if this device is capable of registering such small electrical impulses, but rest assured. If you survive what I have planned for you, I'll make sure to ask Soundwave to send Laserbeak out for a real human monitor."

Knock Out attached the cord behind the human's back, ignoring the glare and muffled grunt he got in response.

He'd expected to hear the sound of the monitor informing him there was no Spark activity. Perhaps a tiny sound of a human heart, or whatever was keeping the patient online.

Instead he was greeted with the sound of a Cybertronianlife signal, beating to the rhythm of his own Spark.

Knock Out stopped, well aware that his hands were covered in badly manufactured and volatile Energon and that one of them was in the patient's voice box, or that the human was staring up at him with an expression he should be wary of. Pulling his hand out of the patient's neck, he shoved the human aside, ignoring the grunt of imagined pain, and dug past the pain receptors and felt around for the latch.

Unhooking the chamber casing, Knock Out pulled off yet more armor and plating, optics growing wider and wider as he began to see the telltale blue glow of an online Spark.

He stopped as soon as the Spark was exposed, instinctively moving to prevent the human from seeing it. He couldn't really stop the optics from seeing the Spark, but he could prevent the eyes from seeing what only medics and bondmates should witness. His optics flicked up to the patient's damaged optic, which stared back at him.

Curious, he activated his drill and moved it closer to the optic. The reaction was violent. Jerking away, helm smashing into the operating table, but he probably couldn't feel any of it. He began ventilating audibly – panting, really, and Knock Out moved back.

Transforming his hand, he touched the bare optic with one claw, as he had when Breakdown had shown up at the door so long ago. Though he flinched, there was none of the terror.

Knock Out wanted to say it, but a quick glance at the human who was staring at him with a slightly confused expression would use anything he said against him. Instead he simply picked up the welder and began sealing the patient's neck back together.