After that bombshell was dropped, Ratchet ordered everyone out of the Med-bay. He needed privacy while he patched up Blackarachnia. Optimus had confined himself to his office to try and understand why she retired from the Spy-Changers. The door chime rang. “Come,” he called. Ratchet came in.
“Elita’s asked for all Autobots to join her,” he reported.
“On my way,” answered Optimus. Time to get some answers. He headed to the Med-bay to see Blackarachnia sitting upright and awake. “I’d offer a hug,” said Optimus, “but, given that you’re recovering from a stab wound and with the severity of the situation, I’m holding back.”
“I appreciate that,” replied Blackarachnia, “because the news I’ve brought back will show why I’ve retired so early in my Spy-Changer career.” She then turned to everyone. “Autobots, we’ve been exposed. Soundwave’s managed to get his servos on our personnel files, even mine. The Decepticons were supplied that kind of information because of an informant in your ranks.”
“Just us?” asked Bumblebee.
“Corporal Bumblebee!” hissed Ultra Magnus.
“She could have gotten into our base and sold that info to the Cons!” accused Bumblebee.
“I DID get into the base when Teletraan went haywire,” answered Blackarachnia.
“You see?!” snapped Bumblebee.
“But, E123-Omega was there and scared me off before I could get anything!” argued Blackarachnia. “My Spark would snuff itself out from shame if I ever betrayed the Autobots!”
“Pretty words mean nothing!” shouted Bumblebee.
“Enough!” roared Ultra Magnus. “You are out of line! Any more outbursts and I strip you of the Autobrand!”
“No one’s doing anything of the sort!” called Optimus. “I have a better means of checking Elita’s words.” He then drew his axe. “My axe is a mighty weapon. So mighty, it can kill anyone who attempts to lie while holding it to their neck.” Blackarachnia grabbed it and held it to her neck.
“I swear on Primus himself; I did NOT betray the Autobots!” She waited a few seconds. “…Well?”
“Hand it over, you pass,” replied Optimus. “Ultra Magnus, you and Ironhide can go. I know you sacrificed too much to betray us.”
“I’m staying,” answered Ultra Magnus as he held the axe to his neck. “I’m not concerned about my innocence, but I want to know who did it.”
“My daughter gave her life for the Autobots,” announced Ironhide as he did the same. “I want to know who spat on it, because I would never dare!”
“All right, you two can stay,” agreed Optimus. “Corporal, since you were the one pointing the finger…” Bumblebee took the axe.
“I wouldn’t make the accusation if I felt I couldn’t prove my own innocence,” he declared. “Nonetheless, I apologize for being rude to you, Ma’am.” Cliffjumper then took the axe.
“Bee and I lost too much,” he answered. “Selling us out to the Cons is a step in the wrong direction.” Ratchet took the axe.
“Selling out that information would be doing harm,” he replied. “Hippocrates had the right idea about NOT doing any harm.” Prowl’s turn.
“This whole thing would be a breach of Autobot law,” he proclaimed. “I would have already resigned from law enforcement in shame.” Jazz’s turn.
“Turning on my best friend would be the biggest mistake I’ve ever made,” he assured, “especially since you got a court martial off my aft.” Perceptor’s turn.
“I’m a scientist, not a spy,” he insisted. “I will not sell us out!” Optimus then held the axe to his own neck.
“I’m not about to betray us,” he declared. “That would make me lose the trust you have in me. I’m not prepared to lose that.”
“Hold the axe to the monitor,” bid Teletraan. Prime did so. “I’m an Autobot a.i. I see no logic in betraying the faction that programmed me.”
“I don’t understand,” hissed Jazz. “Everyone here has been tested and no one’s the traitor!”
“Maybe Elita was mistaken,” remarked Ratchet.
“No, Soundwave had a data cylinder on us!” insisted Blackarachnia. “I saw it with my own optics! Starscream gave me proof!”
“Then who’s…wait, where’s Megatronus?!” yelped Optimus.
“Guys,” reported Teletraan, “Megatronus has switched off his transponder!”
Megatronus was busy copying data over to a data cylinder. It was already 98% copied. “By the Allspark!” he muttered to himself. “How many battles have you had?!”
“More than enough!” rasped a voice. Megatronus turned to see Shadow standing behind him.
“Sh-Sh-Shadow, right?” he stammered.
“Don’t even try!” roared Shadow. “Teletraan showed me what was going on in the medical bay and they’ve figured there was a traitor in their midst! I noticed you weren’t there, so I decided to pay a visit and find you!”
“Oh, they’ve started to suspect already?” sighed Megatronus, dropping the stutter. “A bit earlier than expected. Still, it doesn’t matter. I’m near enough to start my plans already.” A PING sound indicated the data cylinder was ready. “Perfect!” he cheered. He then took the cylinder. “I’ll be taking this data to my bots in the Decepticon camp, if you don’t mind.”
“I DO mind, you freak of nature!” shouted Shadow as he got into a fighting stance. Megatronus smirked.
“That’s rich, coming from a Black Arms experiment,” he chuckled. He then made a swipe at Shadow.
“CHAOS CONTROL!” shouted Shadow. He appeared behind Megatronus. “CHAOS SPEAR!” He launched a dozen Chaos Spears at the bot, but Megatron smirked. He then gestured, and a black mist came from behind him and swallowed up the attack. He then gestured again, causing the attack to launch itself out of the mist and hit Shadow.
“Absorbent et reflectunt,” explained Megatronus. “A darker version of it. It absorbs attacks and uses said attacks against the opponent.”
“You didn’t…!” gasped Shadow.
“Say a word?” finished Megatronus. “My mother is a Camien. Those of Caminus need not concern themselves with uttering the words of a spell. They simply gesture and it happens.” Megatronus’ tube then split and rejoined on top of his forearm. He aimed the weapon and fired.
“Fusion cannon discharge!” called Ironhide as the noise of Megatronus’ weapon rang throughout the base.
“From the server room!” replied Teletraan. Optimus took off and made it down the hall when Megatronus barreled through him.
“HEY!” shouted Optimus.
“Megatronus has a data cylinder!” called Shadow. “Stop him!” Optimus heard the Ground Bridge open and saw Megatronus go through. He transformed and followed him. Their destination was a mountainside. Megatronus set up a machine for data transmission and took the data cylinder when Optimus transformed, took out his gun, fired on the cylinder and destroyed it. Megatronus wheeled around to give Optimus a dirty look.
“Do you have any notion of what you’ve just done?!” he roared.
“What I don’t have any notion of,” snapped Optimus, “is to whom were you sending that data to!”
“My bots, that’s who!” replied Megatronus. He then decked Optimus. Optimus wasn’t given enough time to recover as Megatronus swung punch after punch into him. Finally, Megatronus grabbed Prime’s head and slammed him into the rock. Optimus shook his head of the dizziness.
“All right,” he muttered as he took out his Gaburevolver, “we’re doing this!” He took out a battery that was red, had 1 on one end, and the silhouette of a t-rex. “Brave…!” He didn’t get far as Megatronus grabbed his hand, squeezing and twisting it, cracking the battery. He then tossed Prime aside.
“Moron,” he growled.
“What has gotten into you!?” shouted Optimus.
“The suffering of Cybertronians, that’s what!” hissed Megatronus.
“What are you talking about?!” asked Optimus.
“Since my plans had to be accelerated,” replied Megatronus, “I might as well tell you. After the war ended, I was under the impression that Autobots and Decepticons would cast aside their optic colors and badges and unite as one people. During a party commemorating the Pax Cybertronia, I noticed a shadowy figure by the building. I excused myself to follow that figure and it led me to the Dead-End of that City-state, Polyhex, home of the largest collection of Empties, mainly Decepticon! I then realized what the problem was; the Autobots and their ideals I once fought for! For them, there is no poverty, no crime, no war! You look out the window of the Autobot Academy and you see Paradise! Well, it’s easy to be a saint in Paradise, but the Decepticons do not live in Paradise! Outside the golden walls of Autobot City-states, among the tarnished silver that makes up the majority of Cybertron, all the problems haven’t been solved yet! In all Dead-ends, there ARE no saints, just people, angry, scared, determined people who are hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with Autobot approval or not! As the problem was lain bare at my feet, I grew to loathe the blue tint of my optics, so I started to learn about my former enemies. Over time, I learned about the Gladiatorial Pits of Kaon and joined it as a gladiator! My first fight caused some voice box damage, giving me the rasp you hear now, but the trade-up was that I was cured of my stutter. Over time, I rose through the ranks and earned the respect of the Decepticons. When I was crowned Champion, I used my position to make my case. The Decepticons needed a leader to bring them to glory, not a centerpiece that would cower in fear of Autobots. So, I assembled the D.J.D and told them that they were to wait until Jhiaxus was alone and devoid of the Badge of Command. I would indicate when that was done. After I took it from his home, yes, I stole it, I told the D.J.D to wait until he was alone. It took a while as I broke Starscream and his compatriots out of the Stockade. The whole ‘steal the Harbinger’ thing was a nice twist, since Knock-out suggested that Earth would be a good place to restart the Decepticon Empire. Unfortunately, Starscream didn’t get the message about my position and took off before he could get any instructions, so I joined Ultra Magnus, Perceptor, and Jhiaxus to retake the Harbinger. Obviously, fate smiled on me as it continued unimpeded to Earth, Mobius now. When we crashed, I took the liberty of getting into the personnel files and became very interested about Blackarachnia. I soon found her out and so sent the files to Soundwave. We know your strengths and weaknesses now. That data cylinder you shot had the adventures you had on this planet, but my bots can make do without that knowledge.”
“Megatronus, you can’t possibly mean…” gasped Optimus as horror hit him like a freight train.
“I don’t serve the Decepticons,” elaborated Megatronus as he turned, letting his optic lenses fall into his hand and taking off the Autobot symbol on his chest. He then turned back to face Optimus, optics closed and his arms in front of his chest. “…I COMMAND THEM!” As if the force of those words made them do so, he flung his arms aside, tossing the crushed remains of the lenses and badge. His optics opened to reveal glowing, blood-red optics and a shining, purple Decepticon symbol emblazoned on his chest. Optimus quickly called the base.
“AUTOBOTS! MEGATRONUS…!” he didn’t get very far as Megatronus activated a concealed sword under the fusion cannon and slashed across Optimus’ chest. Optimus fell, clutching his chest. He was then grabbed by the neck and hoisted above Megatronus.
“The name is Megatron!” he growled. “I suggest you remember that, because Cybertron and Mobius are mine!” He then threw Optimus to the ground and aimed his fusion cannon at him. Light came from inside the cannon barrel, but it was never sent out. If anything, after a few seconds of holding the charge, he powered the cannon down and activated his comms. “Soundwave, the Autobots figured it out ahead of schedule and destroyed the data I had copied over. Thankfully, we can still continue ahead of schedule. I require a Ground Bridge.”
“DUUUUUUDE, as you command, Lord Megatron!” cheered Soundwave. A ground bridge opened and Megatronus, now Megatron, stepped through. Optimus lay there, leaking Energon and going into emergency stasis. The last thing he heard was Ratchet’s sirens before everything going black.