Chapter Four

Andromeda remained silent as she was forced to follow Megatron through this hellhole. More times than she could count had numerous prisoners stared and questioned what she was. But not left the time to ponder just what Megatron had intended for her, her musing were answered in a bellowing roar. Hundreds of Robots lined stands like some kind of subterranean arena…that's what it was. A huge arena painted with strange fluids and rusting body parts.

Turning to Megatron to question his reasoning for all of this, she only just managed to block the brunt of his swift kick. Flying over the edge and landing in the middle of the arena, Andromeda groaned from the impact. The resounding roar of the crowd intensified as she collected herself, looking back up to see Megatron sit upon a throne with Soundwave and Starscream at his flanks.

"My Loyal Decepticons! I bring you, Entertainment!" his almost cheerful cry egged his men on, "A little exotic organic creature from beyond this sector of space. Once Cybertron has been returned to its true glory, then her world shall follow!" Andromeda was going to have none of this,

"Why are you doing this?!" she cried back, "We are no threat to you?!"

"The weak perish while the strong thrive!" Megatron yelled, a wave of his servos ringing the arrival of her challenger. A brute of a mech, much taller than herself wielding a heavy weapon, "We shall see which side is yours."

Thinking fast, Andromeda dodged the brute's swing, barely missing his second attack. More than once she tried to convince her attacker this was not worth the fight, but he just laughed like the others and continued attacking. Sparing a glance to Megatron, he was enjoying this slaughter too. She wasn't going to have any more of this escapade. Thrown back by a missed strike, she stood her ground,

"Fine, you want blood," her anger fuelled her biotics, licking and flicking around her like flames. "I'll give you BLOOD!" though not trained like an Adept or even a Vanguard, she still found natural proficiency in her Biotics. Fuelling as much energy as she could into her arms, she shot out a biotic pulse at the brute. The shot unaffected by his block suddenly shot him into the air. All looked on in surprise, as she seemed to hold him up with nothing but energy and will, before she slammed her arms down hard. The resulting move caused the mech to fall with unimaginable force. Once the dust cloud settled, the brute was very much dead, squashed under the force of Andromeda's Biotic slam. Glaring at Megatron, she was pleased to see his shocked expression at the sight of her kill. "Send your sheep to slaughter you pompous piece of SHIT!" she yelled, causing Megatron to look straight at her, "I'll kill all you send! Is that entertaining enough for you? Mother FUCKER!" Megatron's surprise turned to unbridled rage as he summoned the next wave. Andromeda looked on, praying she had the strength to hold out long enough to help her team.

Sitting in their cell was not something Daveth, Lea or Alyssa wanted to do. Andromeda might've been already dead and they were going to be next.

"So much for survival," Alyssa sighed, lying on her back and staring at the generated field, "Who do you think will be next?"

"Shut up Alyssa," Daveth snapped, not liking the situation any more than she did,

"Sorry, I'm just sick of this silence," Alyssa muttered, sitting up she pulled her legs closer and just sat, "Do you really think we're going to get home?" her curiosity getting the better of her, and she knew the others were thinking the same thing,

"We got to," Lea piped in, worried over Andromeda and Hunter along with themselves. She didn't want to die here; she longed to see Rannoch and the flotilla again, "But…what do you think Captain Coyle got from all of this?" Lea looked to the others, only to find anger and hate,

"No doubt retelling some shit story about how he tried to save everyone but because of us only he survived," Alyssa hissed,

"How he survived adversity and with a single shuttle managed to return to civilization," Daveth added, sharing a chuckle with Alyssa,

"I guess we finally agree on something," he snickered. Alyssa nodded but turned back to stare at the guards. Some generic models but could be mistaken for statues by the way they just stood there. It was very tempting to try and coax a reaction from them just to beat the boredom but a sudden crash pushed the thought aside.

The guards were in a flurry until something large and red landed on top of them. Surprised, the others jumped to their feet to see this new being. He stood slightly taller than the mechs, matching Daveth's height. Bright red and black armour almost melted into the dark room. As if not noticing them, he called out in his native tongue to somewhere above him, followed by 2 more shapes. One was smaller than the red mech and one much larger than the both of them. The three watched as the new mechs, somehow different to their guards, began looking around the room, the smaller yellow mechs spotted them.

"Why are they talking like that?" Lea asked, a little nervous from the looks the 3 new mechs were giving them, "I though Hunter said they had complex linguistic algorithms,"

"Either they don't want us to understand…or they aren't like the others," Daveth realised these mechs were in fact different from the others. Unlike Megatron and his soldiers, these mechs weren't as intimidating. They seemed to have a more calming aura, rather than the frightful feeling Megatron exuded. That and the fact these mechs bore a different symbol; a red face rather than the pointed symbol.

"Maybe they're a different faction, we did see some of the others fighting each other," Alyssa added, seeing the same thing Daveth did. Feeling he was responsible, Daveth approached the barrier and stood face to face with the mechs,

"Please, can you understand us?" Daveth watched as the mechs looked to one another until the leader, the tall red and blue mech, approached,

"We do," the mech nodded, "Tell us, what are you and why are you in Shockwave's lab?" he asked, genuinely concerned. His optics were dimed as if to simulate such concern,

"We were part of an exploratory mission through a dormant relay, a relay that brought us into this planet's orbit," Daveth explained, but the red and black mech jumped in,

"Optimus, that must've been the huge blue explosion over Iacon," he jumped, looking to Daveth with amazement,

"Yes, our ship's Eezo core went critical from the bludgeoning we sustained from re-entry and the firefight we stumbled into," Daveth confirmed, "Our team tried to find and collect all of the survivors but most were found dead. We later discovered our late Captain was the reason, leaving us all for dead while he escaped in our last shuttle," his anger was evident in his retelling, the mechs watching with interest and concern, "Our leader, Spectre Connors, tried to defend us all…but we are all that is left,"

"Is this Spectre Connors no more?" Optimus asked,

"No, that Megatron mech took her for 'entertainment'. She's been gone the last few hours," Daveth explained, Alyssa and Lea approaching them. Optimus' optics widened at the diversity of these alien creatures,

"That must be why there hasn't been a lot of cons on duty," the smallest mech stated, "They must all be watching whatever bloodsport Megatron set up,"

"Bloodsport?!" Lea gasped, her mind now thinking of the worst, "We have to help Andy!" she panicked, calming when Daveth placed a taloned hand on her shoulder in the hopes of calming her. Alyssa then approached the mechs, taking Daveth's place,

"Please, can you help us get out of here?" Alyssa asked, looking Optimus right in the optics,

"Why not just step out of there?" the red and black mech questioned, "It's just a simple energy field, anyone can pass through it," his smile drooped when Alyssa glared back,

"Perhaps, but we can't survive in your atmosphere," Alyssa explained, pulling up the planetary scan results, "Your planet has little to no oxygen in the air, stepping out of this field we'll be unconscious in a under a minute, and dead in a matter of minutes. We need our combat suits and breathers, that Shockwave creep put them in storage somewhere in this room," Nodding, Optimus ordered the others – Bumblebee and Sideswipe – to search the room for their armour.

"Is there anyone else in your group?" Optimus asked, monitoring the generated atmosphere of their cell,

"Just Hunter, our Geth infiltrator unit. Shockwave took him somewhere after Megatron took Andy," Lea answered, "I just hope he got away,"

"We will find your friends," Optimus nodded, his blue optics gazed reassuringly on the young Quarian, smiling at his sincerity. Bumblebee and Sideswipe called out after finding their stored gear, pushing it through the field and watched as they geared up,

"By the Goddess, it feels good having my weapons back," Alyssa smirked, cocking her shotgun and making sure it was in good condition,

"I'm just glad to have my enviro-suit back," Lea added, padding herself down to ensure all clamps and connections were hooked properly. Moving to her weapons, she blushed and turned away from Daveth as he secured his own armour.

"We'll have to carry Andromeda's weapons until we can find her," Daveth announced, pulling out the N7 grade gear from the capsule, handing what the others could manage before securing Andromeda's Black Widow to his back. Once their helmets and breathers were connected and in place, the 3 stepped through the field; marvelling at the size of their rescuers. Optimus, being the tallest, towered over them; Daveth only reached his cheat plates while he matched Sideswipe in height. Bumblebee was the smallest and was probably the same size as Andromeda.

"Where did Shockwave take this Geth you mentioned? We will head for him first," Optimus asked,

"He might have the location of Sentinel Zeta Prime too," Bumblebee added, receiving a nod from his commanding officer,

"Down the passage, behind where you…dropped in," Daveth pointed to the door the guards were standing before, but before they could go through their comms sprung to life,

"Rescue unnecessary, Quademus-Lieutenant. We have already made our escape and silenced the mech, designation Shockwave, from sounding station wide alarm.," Lea was relieved to hear Hunter speak, gladdened he was okay, "We are making our way back to you, taking out resistance we encounter,"

"Belay that Hunter," Daveth ordered, surprising Alyssa and Lea, "Lock onto Andromeda's signal and head for her, we'll meet you there. But don't engage any mechs you find, just get to Andromeda and report on her status,"

"Acknowledge. Altering course," Hunter replied before the comm when dark. Turing back to Optimus, they headed out.

"But Optimus, can we really afford straying off to help them?" Sideswipe asked, "We gotta save the other Autobots trapped here,"

"Maybe we can help with that!" Lea smiled, opening the commlink to Hunter, "Hunter, can you hack into this stations security systems and initiate a station-wide Prison Break?" she asked, running to keep up with Daveth and Bumblebee,

"Stand By…Operation Complete, we are now integrated into the Prison Security protocols. Initiating release procedures," the sounds of cell doors opened and containment fields powering down was great news to the small Autobot team, "Reactivating weapons systems. Prisoners are now capable of defending themselves,"

"Thank you Hunter, we greatly appreciate your assistance," Optimus joined the commlink after a quick scan of the frequency. He had caught Hunter by surprise but since he was with Lea, Hunter assumed he was a friendly,

"No need for thanks. We were simply operating as directed," Hunter replied, before going silent. Optimus looked a little confused before looking back to Lea,

"Geth are still developing their AI, what they lack in a personality they make up in processing power and advanced Cyber warfare," Lea explained, stopping close to Daveth as they watched as other bots like Optimus and his team storm out of their cells and take out the guards on duty, "But we need to hurry, who knows how long Andy can hold out,"

"If she isn't already terminated," Sideswipe jumped in, ignoring the glare shot at him by Bumblebee, Alyssa and Daveth, "What? How is a little organic like them going to beat one of us?" it was a fair enough questions, considering they were made of metal and capable of who knows what kind of damage.

"If Andy can take out a Thresher Maw, then she can handle herself," Daveth snapped back,

"A what?" Bumblebee asked, though not liking the name of such a thing,

"Giant, man eating worm," Lea explained, "Maybe 3 times as tall as this prison with a ravenous appetite. It could easily swallow any of you whole,"

"We also have to find Sentinel Zeta Prime! He's the reason we came here!" Sideswipe added, looking back to Optimus. This caused the leader to pause, turning to Daveth and the others,

"We cannot abandon our mission, but I refuse to allow Megatron to take the life of one not apart of this war," Optimus stated, looking over to the free prisoners, one of them caught his optics, "Jazz!" the smaller white and blue bot, slightly taller than Bumblebee stopped and looked to the leader, smiling as he approached,

"Optimus! Had a feelin' you were apart of this breakout," Jazz smiled. Daveth and Alyssa were surprised they could understand him before Lea whispered that, thanks to Bumblebee, he aided in updating their universal translator to understand their language.

"I am glad you are safe my friend, but are you combat ready?" Optimus asked, spying another bot, one that resembled a female more than the bulky mechs the team had seen, run up to him,

"Sure am Optimus, what do ya need?" Jazz asked, it was astounding that once translated this new mech spoke with such inflection. Daveth recalled an African-American human speaking in the same manner, stranger for it to be coming from an Alien robot.

"Take Arcee and head for these co-ordinates, an Ally is in danger and needs a swift extraction," Optimus explained, showing the 2 new bots to the others. Jazz looked in marvel at their organic comrades,

"Shoot, that's Megatron sick little Gladiator pit. Heard from the Guards some organic alien was bring a beat done on the Cons sent in," Jazz added, turning to Arcee, "Come on 'Cee, we got a job ta do,"

"Right, lets go!" Arcee turned to follow but a small hand grabbed hers. Looking back she was surprised to see Lea trying to fit through the bars. Successfully managing she stood before the pair,

"I'm going too, Andy may need a medic," Lea stated, not unaware of Daveth's disagreement, but he knew she was right and allowed her to go with them. Watching as they ran off, Daveth caught up with the others to offer support. The faster they get to this Sentinel bot the sooner they can meet up with Hunter, Lea and Andromeda.

Andromeda felt about ready to drop from the wave after wave of enemies Megatron sent into the arena. Her biotics were taking their toll on her and her tech powers were overworked to the max. She was quite proud of the look on Megatron's face when she snap froze one of his brutes, smashing him to bits with his own hammer.

Her latest challenger twitched and writhed as her overload ripped through his systems, ending his torment with a weak slam. Splattering his helm across ground from its force. Getting her pained breathing under control, she relaxed her dislocated shoulder before snapping it back into place. Her suit was already pooling with medi-gel – healing any and all internal injuries along with reducing her pains significantly. Sighing in relief that her arm was no longer hampering her, she turned to Megatron.

The angered and annoyed scowl crossing his faceplates was enough to tell her he was not happy about the outcome. Whether it was her progress or that she defeated his soldiers she wasn't sure. Right now she was just worried about whom he would send next.

"Incompetence," Megatron hissed, turning to Soundwave, "Go," was all he uttered before Soundwave jumped into the pit. To Andromeda's surprise the entire stadium fell quiet the moment Soundwave dropped. Something was up and she just couldn't see it.

Though she didn't have time to try and make sense of anything as Soundwave moved faster than she anticipated. Striking hard with his arm outstretched, the result being she was thrown clear across the arena. Slammed into the opposite wall, she had only just found her feet before Soundwave slammed her again. Luckily with the medi-gel working on her injuries, it was cushioning his strikes though not breaking anything, it would definitely bruise.

Gasping a breath, something strange slithered up her leg. Looking down she froze at the sight of a mechanical tentacle wrapped firmly around her leg. With a swift snap, Soundwave had flung her like a ragdoll to the middle of the arena. A sudden uproar echoed all around her as she tried to get her bearings, but she was instantly hoisted into the air as another mechanical tentacle joined its twin. Tightening their grip, one of the probing tips somehow connected with her suits systems; struggling a new at the thought of him turning her oxygen systems. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

The probing node had delved into her medi-gel delivery systems, initiating a complete suit vent. The sudden rush of the gel could've been mistaken for being crushed or injured, though it certainly felt like it. The moment Andromeda's body began to react to the vent, sharp and ripping jolts of pain shot through every fibre of her being. Her wounds and injuries reignited as the scream of agony racked her frame. Her voice was almost hoarse by the time her body grew numb from the adrenaline rush the pain triggered. She jolted and quaked in Soundwave's grip, unrelenting as he held her up for all to see. Just on the cusp of consciousness, she could've sworn she heard…purring? Maybe Soundwave compromised one of her suit's cooling fans.

Sagging in his grip, Soundwave lowered her to the ground but never releasing his grip and ensured she remained upright. Andromeda slowly raised her helm, glaring at Megatron, his scowl replaced with a satisfied smirk. He leered down from his throne, like some self-righteous emperor inspecting his warriors after battle. Andromeda only caught glimpses of him while she fought off his mechs, remaining indifferent toward the battles, if not angered by her progress, but she could see in his optics, as if they were organic eyes, that he was enraged as well as intrigued.

"I must say little human," Megatron drawled, having learned what she was during a rather heated fight with a brute, "You have faired better than I gave you credit for. But your organic form would prove to be your downfall,"

"So…what now? You going to kill me?" she demanded, managing to incline her head to show she was looking at him despite the painful ache rushing through her body. His snicker did nothing to put her at ease,

"Perhaps, but why kill one who shows potential," Megatron smirked, pulling more concern from Andromeda's mind, "Shockwave was most interested in these 'Biotics' both you and the blue femme exhibited. But since you are far more valuable as a combatant than a test subject, here is where you shall stay," Andromeda's eyes widened at the thought of Alyssa or anyone on her remaining team being experimented on,

"No! Don't touch them!" she snapped, a renewed drive renewed her struggles before the Decepticons and their Master, "Do whatever you want with me but leave them alone!"

"How considerate. But such martyrdom is wasted here," Megatron snickered, leaning forward on his throne, "If you take their places, then they will be disposed of. No sense keeping something that has no use to me," the horror on her face was, thankfully, concealed to the bots surrounding her, no matter what she did she couldn't save her team - dare she say her friends. Truly defeated, she slumped in Soundwave's hold and showing all she had finally lost.

Suddenly, a shot rang out. Soundwave emitted a shrill shriek and his hold on Andromeda slacked. Falling to her knees, she looked back to catch another shot pierced through his chassis and probes. As he stumbled away, and all focus scattered to find the mystery shooter, a strange white and blue mech dropped from the ceiling,

"Come on, we gotta book it," Andromeda was surprised by the bot's appearance, she didn't react as he grabbed her and pulled them both back into the ceiling vent.

"Autobot! Stop them!" Megatron roared, but the bellow was deafened as the mech pushed Andromeda further into the vent. Before she could curse at this mysterious mech she was handed over to the awaiting Lea.

"Lea? You're okay!" Andromeda wrapped her arms around the smaller Quarian, wincing when a jolt of pain snapped through her again,

"Yes, so are the others," she smiled, returning the hug before turning to injecting medi-gel into her suit. Once the cooling numbness took effect, Andromeda was able to move about freely again. Getting to her feet, Andromeda heard movement from one of the other vents. Taking her pistol back from Lea, they took aim before seeing Hunter climb through, "Hunter!" Lea smiled,

"We are glad to be of assistance, Creator Lea'Haren," Hunter nodded, turning to Andromeda, "Spectre, our distraction will not last, we advise immediate evacuation,"

"I agree with the flashlight, let's move it," the mech pointed the direction out, the female looking bot leading the way as he took the rear. Andromeda was still confused as to why these bots were helping them when only 5 minutes before she was ripping them apart.

"We'll explain everything later," Lea explained, seeing the confused look on Andromeda's face, "Right now, these guys are our allies and they want to help us," she smiled. Andromeda trusted her team and said nothing else as they ran through the chaotic corridors.

"Optimus, we have the package, did you find Sentinel Zeta Prime?" the femme, Arcee, called over the weapons fire,

"Yes, but we were too late. Sentinel Prime is offline," Optimus replied, his tone mournful and full of regret, "We are heading to these co-ordinates, but the transport can't hold its position for long, you need to get there within the next breem," she could hear the battle in the background, the Decepticons were now aware of the Prison break and trying to contain the escapees,

"We'll be there Optimus, Arcee out," closing the comms, Arcee and Jazz gave the others cover fire as they cleared the room. Moving through the corridors, many other Autobots and detainees joined up as they headed for the transport. Andromeda was running low on thermal clips as were Lea and Hunter. But now they had reached the final chamber, the open doors showing the shuttle awaiting them. Those who couldn't fight ran for it, while the others laid down cover.

"Spectre! The enemy has overridden our hacking attempts! They mean to seal us in and surround us!" unfortunately, Hunter's warning came late as the door began to close,

"We gotta make a mad dash! Let's move!" Jazz called, pulling Lea and Andromeda back toward the doors, running behind them.

Disaster struck as a shot flew past Andromeda. But the shot was much larger than a normal round, like a disc, which cleanly sliced Lea's left arm clean off. The shock and pain from losing a limb caused her to collapse.

"MEDIC DOWN!" Andromeda screamed, pulling Lea to cover as she tried to stop the bleeding. But she was no medic and it she didn't do something fast, Lea would die. No, not on her watch! Taking her heated pistol, popping the heat sink, saying a quick apology before she pressed the clip to Lea's arm. Holding her as she screamed in agony, she managed to cauterise the wound and stop the bleeding.

"Spectre! We must leave now!" Hunter called again, covering them as Andromeda managed to fasten Lea to her back, having passed out from the pain, and retrieve her limb. Intensifying her shields, Andromeda had bought enough time to reach Hunter and the others before they gave out. Making it through the doors, Andromeda looked back to see Hunter was still shooting,

"Hunter! Come on!" she called, but the Geth simply looked back,

"Our function is to protect. We will hold them off until you, Creator-Lea'Haren and the team are safe," Hunter replied, moving to his left arm and, to Andromeda's horror, ripped the limp from his frame, "Creator-Lea'Haren will require a replacement…I will be at ease if I can provide her with my own," he threw the arm to Andromeda just as the door closed, concealing his fate to her and the others,

"ANDY! WE GOTTA GO!" she heard Daveth cry, cursing herself she grabbed the limb and dashed to the transports. Helped on by Daveth and Alyssa, the other mechs on-board gave them room to help their friend. Accessing Lea's omni-tool they found the proper procedure for replacing her arm.

Optimus looked on in dismay as Andromeda, Alyssa and Daveth feverishly worked on their companion. He could tell from her shaking hands and twitching body language that Andromeda was not taking this well; her companions seemingly coping better. He watched as Daveth and Andromeda conducted the procedure while Alyssa monitored Lea's life signs. Erratic but in the clear, they managed to attach the robotic limb before applying large quantities of a strange gel-like substance onto the effected site, sealing her suit as well.

Free from the Kaon Prison, he just dreaded what would come next. These visiting aliens were now caught in their conflict, one millennia in the making with no sign of ceasing. Optimus dared not approach them as they tended to their teammate, there would be time to talk back at HQ.