A Transformers Prime Fanfiction
::Warning:: Spoilers for Predacons Rising
The noise was constant now. From the almost imperceptible shuffling of rust falling from walls and beams to the skittering of the many vermin to the great groans as the plates and struts of the planet shifted, sound had returned to the silent world. Ancient machines sighed and groaned as they began to function with no sentient mechs to guide them. Rending metal screamed in agony as new wells of energon burst from long dry channels. Where the light of the planet's life blood spilled out crystal growths sprang up and caught the light of the bright star over head singing songs not heard for millennia. Cybertron was awakening.
Deep within what had once been a mine a steadier sound than the others had begun to beat. The scraplet colonies that had inhabited the shafts during the long dark of Cybertron might have followed the noise in their quest for sustenance but the burrows and warrens were scorched black from chemical fire and the few remaining scouts of the swarms they had contained were wandering and aimless.
Had any followed the noise they would have found an odd creature indeed and not one that would have tempted them overly in the first place. A coating of carbon and minerals covered the majority of a once purely Cybertronian frame in an earthy brown glaze. Red light gleamed out of his optics and from a starburst shaped seam in his chestplates. The beating rhythm became tremendously loud at this point and its source obvious. The massive chassis swung in a steady rhythm, wielding a pickax that seemed large even in the great servos that held it.
The rebirth of Cybertron had come at a price. What little was left of the infrastructure had been obliterated by the shifting plates. Great cities had been crushed to dust and ancient wastelands had been revitalized. There was little left of the once proud civilization, and that which had survived was mostly buried. What had once been great iron and copper tunnels for transport and commerce were now compressed veins of the necessary elements. The metals were still there but it required mining to get at them, and so the great mech mined.
Megatron had spent many days wandering the shifting, unsettled world. How long he was not certain. Many of his internal systems had been damaged by his possession and torture at the hands of Unicron and the forcible extraction of the demon. His self healing programs were doing what they could but it would be many cycles of light and darkness in the sky before they prioritized his internal chronometer. Therefore the once Warlord, once miner, once gladiator, once host to the Unmaker wandered without sense of time or place.
He did not know what he was seeking. Silence, he had thought at first, peace in which to think, but Cybertron was alive with noise as it had been from the time eons past when he had crawled out of the well. A cacophony surrounded him but he had a silence within that could not be filled. For so long, far longer than anymech realized the warrior had not been alone with his thoughts. From the moment he had first touched the dark energon back in Shockwave's lab the murmuring had begun in his spark; instant, unrelenting, terrifying. It was shocking how quickly he had grown used to it, had begun to crave it, had searched the universe until he had found sufficient quantities to supply the need, had kept finding excuses to expose himself again and again even once he understood the cost.
But he had never truly understood, not until Unicron himself had brutally explained what the violet taint meant; separation, silence, being truly and forever cut off and alone never to rejoin his brethren in this life or the next. Then the taint had been stripped from him in a moment. Optimus Prime had come flying in and saved the world, saved his friends, saved Megatron. The Allspark container had drained every last flicker of dark energon out of the Warlord's very spark. It had been far more excruciating that any of the torments Unicron had unleashed upon him, that separation from the poison that had stained him for so long. The collector had shattered his spark and reformed it a thousand times to get at every bit of the Chaos Bringer.
In the last few nonoklicks that it had inhabited his frame the Unmaker had wrecked his last chaotic act on the mech who had dared to seek him out and think himself an equal. He had stretched before the Cybertronian's awareness the great length of time the Chaos Bringer had existed. Had forced him to experience each eon, each age, he had spent trapped in the core of Earth. Had highlighted the many warlords who had risen, spilled blood, and spread terror among the humans. The message was abundantly clear.
This is what you are. You are no more to me than every one of the mortal dust motes who served my cause without even knowing my name.
No! I am Megatron! I am-I-Am-
His deeds were pulled from his memory one by one. Each held up and claimed by the creature being pulled apart even as he rained this last torment down. Each marked.
With this you served me my slave. You have never been free of me, and never will be.
And then the poison was no more.
The Unmaker had unmade him. Every portion of his existence that had been tainted by the blood of Unicron, from those first samples on Cybertron, to the crystal he had brought onto the Nemesis, to the floods that burst forth form Earth's core; all felt as if they had been ripped from him.
He fell lifeless to the ground, spark burning in agony and processor shocked into stillness. It had seemed to last an eternity and in its wake his processor and spark had been left clear and unclouded for the first time in eons. The hunger still burned but now he could identify it for the abomination it was. Such clarity had not been his for so long. As he lay there he tried to gather his wits. He remembered those first glorious cycles with Orion, when they were going to change the world together, standing together watching the gladiator fights under Iacon, the horror in the Archivist's innocent optics as he saw the shed energon and shattered sparks his fellow Iaconian mechs took pleasure in, the elation Megatronous felt realizing that they would be allies. He felt now and wondered at his ability to move his own servos, at his freedom, no matter how painful it was. Everything that stood between those moments was hazy, unimportant somehow. Had those ages really occurred? Or was this all some new torment by the Unmaker?
How he found the strength to stand he would wonder ever after. But find it he did, even as Starscream arrived with his prattling of loyalty and conquest. Horror rose up in the raw spark at the thought. Him? Subject the very mechs he was fighting to free? That thought lasted a nanoklick before being swept aside by a bitter wave that might have been comprised of remorse and self loathing. How could he even harbor these feelings after all he had done? For the changes in his frame, the changes he could see in Orion's, no Optimus's, frame, the shattered world around him; all confirmed the truth of the terrible memories. A small voice in the back of his processor pointed out that his fusion cannon was gone, and along with it his battle sword. He was changed, transformed in far more ways than one. All this passed in a sparkbeat and he was left staring in horror at his servos. How had he strayed so far from his goals? How was it that his hands were stained with so much innocent energon?
"NO!" he roared in agony.
The blast was directed at the cringing Seeker but in truth the larger Warrior barely saw him. Instead he was seeing a sturdy red and blue mech. Cerulean optics beaming up at him with trust and hope, all of which he had betrayed. There was no comforting, deceiving buzz in his spark to hide behind. No fog of purple haze to cover that truth. He strode away from his former Second, longing to throw himself at the peds of his brother and beg forgiveness. But even without the presence of Unicron his own pride was too strong to allow that. Not at the peds of the warrior who had defeated him so many times. Still, in the massive frame his brother now wore he could see the ghost of the mech who had come to him bursting with curiosity and stirring hope. Orion at least deserved an explanation. The truth.
"Because I now know the true meaning of oppression, and have thus lost my taste for inflicting it."
True enough, for now. Megatron dared a glance into Optimus's optics for a moment and saw suspicion, suspicion spark deep and old as their split, and yet still a spark of hope. The once-Warlord looked away as he felt his spark shatter afresh. There would truly never be any return to what they had been, to the trust and brotherhood they had shared. Orion was gone, Megatronous was gone. Now his brother was the host to the purity that was creation, and he was a husk tainted from spark to mesh with the stain of Earth and the monster it in turn had been host to. Still, the red and blue mech held onto his hope, despite betrayal after betrayal.
He longed to say something. To beg forgiveness? To claim that all that had passed between them no longer mattered? That he would willingly put aside the Decepticons and work beside his brother to rebuild this world? The keen processor that had guided the war for so long whirled to life and shattered these impulses before they were fully formed. He was under no delusion about what he had done. The low level possession by a dormant demon did not entirely explain or in any way excuse his actions. He had betrayed his brother, he had destroyed his entire world. He could not ask Optimus for forgiveness now, if only because he knew the mech would want to grant it. A murderer such as him deserved nothing. From the way Starscream was babbling it was clear his mere presence brought Unicron's chaos to the situation as if the taint had not been ripped from him. But perhaps there was one last service he could render his brother.
"Enough!" he cried out stalking toward the Seeker. "The Decepticons are no more, and that is final."
Unable to bear another glance at the mech who stood behind him, fearful of what weakness he would show if he stayed, too cowardly to face the humiliation that he knew was his just due; the Warrior fled. Transforming he took to the sky and flew until energon depletion forced him to land. He had no idea where he was. Even had his navigation systems been working the changes that had been wrought on the planet were such that the old maps were now meaningless.
How long he lay there on the ground, aching with internal rage and grief, he did not know but he was stirred to life once more by the strange glow that lit the horizon just before dawn. The mech thought it was in the direction from which he had come but could not be sure as he had changed tacks so often. The urge to go see what was happening, to seize control, filled him and he fought a brutal battle to stay where he was, depleted energon or no. His time was over, he had proven unworthy, unworthy of everything he had once laid claim to from the honor of a Prime to the love of a brother.