The next day for Team Orion…did NOT fare well. They were beset upon by Transformers resurrected by Dark Energon. The one who did such a deed in order to test his new powers was Thunderwing. The day was another rainy one and Team Orion nearly lost their lives. They holed up in an old garage for a small town that was long destroyed. Orion, Jazz, and Blackarachnia were pointing their guns outside at strategic vantage points while Sonic and Amy searched the whole building for any nasty surprises. The rain was pouring down hard and caused Orion’s Spark-rate to spike rapidly. He was getting more scared by the second. “It’s time to end it, don’t you think?!” snapped his own voice. He was alone, so no one else but him could see a spectral version of himself when he was Optimus Prime. Orion pieced together what this apparition was.
“…It’s not time,” replied Orion. “They’re just mindless zombies led by a two-bit terror. We’ll find a way. We always have. I always have.”
“When you had the Matrix!” argued the apparition. “But now, it’s no longer useful to you! There’s no hope!”
“I’ve been doing fine without it.”
“…Well, listen to you! And what are you gonna do when Tower puts two and two together and realizes you aren’t as powerful as you once were?!”
“Tower doesn’t know. Besides, he’s not a guy who shows himself on the battlefield. He’ll throw more zombies at us thinking that one of them will bring me down.”
“Maybe he’s right! You haven’t faced so many before! How much longer can you keep this up?!”
“It always seems bad at first, but then I find a way. They’re just soldiers that were robbed of their rest. There’s no reason to hold back against them.” The specter then revealed its desperation.
“WHO GIVES A RETRO-RAT’S AFT ANYMORE?!” it finally shouted. “There’s no way to beat Unicron! There’s nothing to fight for! There’s no more honor! …Come to think of it, the only honorable thing to do is…!”
“Quiet!” hissed Orion.
“NO! I WON’T SPEND THE REST OF MY DAYS ON A PRIMUS-FORSAKEN ROCK!”
“…What do you want from me?”
“I want it to end!” pleaded the apparition. “Aren’t you tired? Wouldn’t it be great to be free of all of this? Ironhide’s waiting for us. He wants you to join him.”
“Guys!” hissed Blackarachnia over the comms. “There’s a clear path northwest of us! Trouble is, that window’s gonna close soon!”
“Everyone, gather to the northwest,” ordered Orion. “Wait for my signal, then make a break for it.” Orion closed the channel.
“YOU’LL NEVER MAKE IT! THEY’LL GET YOU!” shouted the apparition.
“We’ll make it. I’LL make it!” declared Orion. The specter disappeared as Orion and his team gathered at the northwest. There was a path between the zombie-bots. Orion held a hand up, then swung it down as he transformed. Blackarachnia and Jazz followed suit as Sonic scooped up Amy and followed them when they barreled out of the building. The noise attracted the zombies and they lumbered towards them. They poured on the speed and made it out of the town, then Orion transformed and threw a grenade at the zombie-bots. The explosion took out the whole town.
“SWEET PRIMUS!” yelped Jazz. “DID YOU PACK A LEVEL 5 GRENADE?!”
“I ONLY PACKED A LEVEL 4, I SWEAR!” replied Orion.
“SCRAP! TOWER!” shouted Blackarachnia. They all swerved out of the way as Thunderwing landed. Orion, Jazz, and Blackarachnia then transformed back into robot mode, and everyone got into a combative stance.
“You’ve stooped!” snarled Orion to Thunderwing.
“I did what was necessary to survive!” replied the former MECH leader. He leveled his gun at the group and fired. Everyone scattered and fired back. Thunderwing transformed and took to the air so he could fire missiles. Orion then leapt up in front of the nose cone and, in a fit of primal instincts, sliced through the fuselage with his axe. Thunderwing then came down hard, crashing and skidding into the remains of the town. Orion was catching his breath as he landed near the crash. As he looked at the remains, he saw that the pilot, Abraham Tower, was covered in blood and not moving. The blood looked a little too excessive for a simple bump. He then glanced at his axe…and saw a red liquid on the blade. It took just a few seconds for a horrible theory to form in his mind. His theory was confirmed as the jet faded from blue, toner gray, and orange…to gunmetal gray. He dropped the axe in horror and stared at his hands. Abraham Tower, the former Silas of MECH, the former Commander of G.U.N., and the former Unicron ally called Thunderwing, was dead. Orion Pax had finally taken a life…and he felt sick to his fuel pump. His friends then came up to him.
“Hey! The zombies!” called Sonic. “They all fell down! How did it…?!” He then saw Orion staring at his hands. “…Orion?”
“Orion, are you all right?” asked Amy.
“He isn’t,” replied Blackarachnia as she picked up the axe. She pointed out the blood on it. Sonic and Amy were confused as to why it was significant when Jazz pointed their attention to Thunderwing’s corpse. They looked into the cockpit and saw the dead Tower in there.
“The corpse color clued me in,” remarked Jazz. It then dawned on Sonic and Amy what Orion had done.
“Hey, Orion!” called Sonic. Orion made no attempt at moving. “Orion, he was gonna kill you! It was you or him!”
“Sonic, I don’t think that’s helping!” hissed Amy.
“Orion! Orion!! OPTIMUS!” Jazz’s sudden use of his old name snapped Orion out of his trance with a yelp. “Dude, we gotta get out of here! Unicron’s gonna send someone to investigate, I’m sure!”
“R…Right. Everyone, roll out!” ordered Orion as he got a semblance of command together.
Everyone made it to another cave. The rain had stopped, much as Orion wished it would go on so his thoughts could be drowned out. Sonic, Amy, Jazz, and Blackarachnia were outside the cave, keeping watch and making sure nothing fractured Orion’s psyche anymore than it was already. He was curled into a ball and clutching his head. As he rocked back and forth, Pacemaker and Blade Dancer appeared. “Orion, it’s okay,” soothed Blade Dancer.
“…I killed…!” whimpered Orion.
“I’ve seen this before,” sighed Pacemaker. “We WERE used to kill a couple of times in our existence. You’re probably the only one who hated it.”
“Look at you!” hissed a third voice. It looked like the Optimus specter had returned, but the face was not one of desperation. It was one of bloodlust!
“Begone!” hissed Pacemaker as he and Blade Dancer got into a defensive stance. The specter merely waved his hand and approached Orion.
“You’ve survived worse!” snarled the apparition. Orion simply whimpered in reply. The specter continued. “This isn’t about those pathetic zombie-cons! It’s about Tower! …We’ve never killed anyone before, have we? Sure, mountains of Eggman’s robots! This…this was the first living being! A living machine…with a soft center of flesh and blood!” The apparition then turned to the cave entrance. “What happens when Unicron finds out and sends the Terrorcons after you? You will have to kill them too. …Can you? …Will you be able to when the time comes? Maybe THEY will kill YOU…or is that what you WANT?!”
“No!” whispered Orion. The specter grunted before vanishing, leaving Orion to his thoughts.