AN: My first ever foray into the Transformers fandom! I'm excited. This fic has not been beta read so any and all spelling and grammar errors belong to me. With no further ado lets transform and roll out!
Megatron woke to the sound of soft voices speaking above him. His processor felt sluggish, it was difficult to concentrate but the voices were familiar enough for him to take notice. He fought through the haze and forced his optics online. Two blurry shapes and a mess of colours was all he could make out. His optics offlined against his will, leaving him in darkness. The voices continued as though they hadn't noticed his optics flash.
"Please, Optimus, reconsider. It isn't right, you and I know it."
That voice was familiar.
"And what are my options," Optimus asked, sounding weary. Defeated.
"Offline him. Quickly, and with some dignity. He doesn't deserve our mercy but he does deserve a clean, honorable death. Not a single 'bot would speak a word against us."
"You may be right, Ratchet. Even so, I cannot condone killing a weakened and unarmed opponent. It would be murder."
"And is what you're considering any better," Ratchet demanded.
"Perhaps not but I see no other way. While killing Megatron has never been a task I have shied away from I had always imagined the circumstances of his death to be somewhat more … grand. If I offlined him as he is we would have the entire Decepticon army at our doorstep calling for our spilled energon. A death in fair combat they might have understood and accepted but the time for that has passed. If I challenge him to combat now what are our options? If I won the Decepticons would view it as a mockery of justice and Megatron would die a martyr. If I lost Megatron would be free to continue the Decepticon cause with the Matrix of leadership ensuring his victory. "
Optimus's vents exhaled deeply.
There was a long moment of silence until Ratchet spoke. "It's wrong, Optimus."
"I know," the other 'bot agreed softly. "What choice do I have? This is the only possible solution. The Decepticons need not know he survived and we can keep him safely contained to live out a comfortable life. It's more than he deserves."
"Nobody is expecting a body, Optimus. No 'bot would have to know if we did it here and now."
Another long pause. "I can't. Please understand, my friend. As far as he has fallen I once considered this mech to be a brother to me. If I can't give him freedom or a dignified death I can at least give him life, however little a life it may be."
"And what will you tell the others," Ratchet asked, his voice now soft. He was resigned to his leader's decision.
"Nothing. This isn't something I would wish to become public knowledge. He can stay here; I will visit him from time to time and ration a portion of our energon for him."
"And you're sure the coding will make it so he can't leave?"
"I'm sure. He won't be able to disobey a direct order from me," Optimus assured him.
"Then do it and pray to Primus this doesn't blow up in our faces."
The voices became a distant buzz, falling out of his hazy processor entirely. Megaton gave into exhaustion and fell into a peaceful recharge.
He woke to his processor feeling clearer that it had been in cycles. He had a vague memory of an explosion of some kind. A fight that seemed muted and dulled in his memory. A quick internal scan revealed damage but, more disturbingly, damage that had healed over time.
How long had he been in stasis?
His internal chronometer wouldn't give an accurate display indicating some possible processor injuries, likely sustained in battle.
Megatron wisely kept his optics offline and took stock of the situation. It wasn't good. He was heavily restrained, even laying still he could feel the heavy weight of the bonds crossing his chestplate and holding his limbs down. Whoever had restrained him knew who they were dealing with. Since he highly doubted his Decepticons would dare restrain him in such a way and he knew very well the humans had no such means to restrain him so effectively that left the only obvious choice.
Megatron onlined his optics and was disappointed to find no one was in the room. He was almost insulted. Did the Autobots think him so little a threat they couldn't even be bothered to post a guard or six to watch him? That wouldn't do.
He began testing the restrains. As he expected they didn't give.
"Be at ease, Megatron."
"Optimus Prime," he snarled, unable to turn his restrained head to face the mech. "I must say, Prime, this isn't you usual style."
Optimus didn't speak and Megatron strained against the bonds.
A very small flutter of anxiety began creeping up his back plates.
"Do not ignore me, Optimus."
"I'm not ignoring you, I'm concentrating."
Optimus finally came into view and it took Megatron only a glance at the expression on the mechs face to realize something was wrong. Optimus looked guilty.
The flutter of anxiety became a bit more pronounced.
"What is going on, Prime? Why am I not in the brig? Where are the guards?"
Optimus frown, his guilty expression deepening. "You always were perceptive."
"No, Prime, you are just far too easy to read."
The Prime smiled slightly, the expression turning sour on his face and disappearing as quickly as it had begun.
Megatron began tugging on his restraints in earnest, straining his servos against the unforgiving bands to no avail. Prime wasn't taking any chances with his prisoner and while Megatron had to commend the simple efficiency of his restraints the fact was that he didn't take being restrained with any amount of grace. He felt caged and claustrophobic, wanting nothing more than to be able to stand and move freely. Restraints chafed, a cold reminder of his former lift in the Pits.
"I hadn't meant for you to be awake until after everything was complete. I didn't want to alarm you."
"Alarm me," Megatron barked out a laugh that felt forced to his audials. He was afraid. "How generous, Prime. I can assure you that you need not worry about my delicate sensibilities. It would take a great deal more than I'm sure you could come up with to alarm me."
"Perhaps," Prime said.
He moved closer to Megatron who glared at him with all the hatred a fury he could muster. Prime seemed unaffected as he put his servos on Megatrons chest plate, fingers easily finding the override panel underneath his armour. Megatron jerked away as his chest plate opened and the dim blue glow of his spark lit Primes armour.
The moment his spark was exposed Megatron began struggling. He pulled and thrashed and threw all of his considerable weight against the bonds and wasn't able to move them an inch. His chest plate stayed open while Prime stood back and watched him struggle with an unhappy look on his face.
A snarl escaped the Warlord as his rage began to give away to impotent frustration at being unable to escape his bonds. Worse, at being unable to decipher the meaning behind Primes actions.
Was the Prime going to extinguish his spark? No, Prime wasn't the sort to kill a helpless foe.
What possible reason could he have for exposing Megatron's spark?
The only answers Megatron could come up with were ones that make the energon in his lines freeze with a sickly fear.
There were only two reasons to expose a spark.
To kill a mech or to bond to them.
"Don't do this Prime," Megatron howled, bucking so hard against his bonds that the metal began groaning under the strain.
"I'm sorry but you have left me little choice."
"No choice? Kill me Prime. That is you choice. Strike! Do it!" Optimus shook his head, looking ill. Megatron grit his dentas and put everything he had into breaking the restraints. He failed, tried again and still failed, his anger building with every failed attempt. Prime waited patiently until Megatron lay on the metal slab, vents hitching, trying to draw air as fast as they could into his overheating systems. "Don't you dare Prime," Megatron said. "Bonding with me will only weaken both our causes and you know it."
"That is true, if I meant to bond with you."
Megatron froze as he stared at the Prime, not understanding.
Prime elaborated. "A true bond would be useless for my purposes. I can't kill you so the best I can do is incapacitate you."
A wretched roil in his tanks threatened to make him purge what little enrrgon he had left in his tanks. The word incapacitate in regards to his spark was something that drew up images of a fate worse than death. If Prime tampered with his spark with the goal of rendering him useless there would be no end to the damage he could do. He could spend the rest of his days as a mech completely out of his processor, needing assistance to do the most basic of tasks. The great Warlord and Leader of the Decepticon army could, with the wrong move of Primes hands, be reduced to a vacant optic'd drone or an invalid without control over basic bodily functions.
Though he knew it was futile Megatron thrashed against his restraints with a bellow that echoed in the small room.
Still his restraints didn't give.
Megatron could only stare up at the stark grey ceiling with coldly determined optics and resolve to bear whatever Prime would throw at him. "Tell me, what are you going to do?"
"I-it's an old program, long since fallen out of general memory. I uncovered it while translating the Iacon database. An old slave program. It was added into your hardcode while you were in stasis; all it requires is spark to spark contact and a genetic imprint. You were meant to be in stasis until everything was complete. I suppose this is for the best though. You might have reacted worse if you have come out of stasis already ... incapacitated."
Megatron listened to Prime speak, hardly daring to believe a word of it.
It sounded so farfetched and unreal. Surely this couldn't be Prime, not the Prime he knew. The Prime who, even he had to admit, held unshakable convictions about freedoms and rights for all sentient beings. His Prime was going against every belief he held dear to enslave an enemy.
He was at a loss for words. It didn't seem real.
Prime babbled on but all Megatron could think about was how much he hated Autobots. All of them, they were the worst kind of cowardly hypocrite, saying one thing and then doing something like this. Prime wouldn't even be giving him the dignity of a proper warrior's death, instead choosing to draw out the fight long past its true end.
"Megatron? Are you even listening?"
Megatron turned his optics on Prime, taking in the shame faced visage and the cold determination underneath the shame. "Kill me, Prime. "
"I can't do that. At least this way you will get to live. Think of it as an early retirement."
Against his will a sharp laugh escaped, the thread of hysteria underneath barely noticeable. "Death is preferable." And he meant it; anything was better than what Prime envisioned for him. Slave was not a role that suited one such as him. He was a warrior, a leader; a life of subjugation represented everything he had fought so hard against.
To his horror Prime didn't respond to his statement and instead rested what he assumed was supposed to be a comforting servo on his shoulder plate.
"I hope one day you will forgive me and realize what I've done is for the best."
"Prime … don't do this," he ground out, feeling everything slipping away from him. His freedom and control and independence suddenly all in jeopardy because of one foolish Prime who thought he had the power to make the leader of the Decepticons submit.
Prime shook his head. "It's better if you aren't awake for what comes next."
Optimus disappeared from view.
Megatron thrashed as hard as he could, felling his plating dent under the force of his struggles. It made no difference, the bonds didn't give and within moments a creeping lethargy fell over him, his optics going dull. The last thing he was aware of before the world went dark was a deep sense of despair.