Okay, so... I write fanfiction. And I felt wrong posting here without posting any of it. So... yes. This is old. And it's my response to something in Bayverse that I really didn't like. Hell hath no fury like a Megatron fangirl! ;-) Not sure if there's a specific format I should be using to post things or not, but I didn't see one so I'm just going to post it. Anyway, I hope you like it. Should be some things both Bay-likers and Bay-haters can enjoy I hope. I'd love to know what y'all think. ========= I Belong to Nobody "Megatron." He tilted his head up to find the voice. Or tried. The sound assailed him from every direction, so loud his audio receptors rang with it. Was he malfunctioning? First, there was the voice, coming from everywhere, and his optics couldn't detect anything at all. Then he saw it: shifting metal. Between and around it, flames rose, licking at and brightening it but neither melting nor consuming it. The metal formed shapes he could not recognize, clicking into place with sounds almost as loud as the voice had been, the strange heat brightening the spaces in between. Then, as he watched, the metal shifted again just as effortlessly. Whatever it was, he envied it. Of course, like all of his kind, he could change form. And he was the most powerful of the warrior caste, capable of more transformations or partial transformations than most of his followers could even imagine. And, like all of them, with enough study of an object, he could store its dimensions and train his frame to mimic it. But this thing he watched, the metal clicking as it furled and unfurled again, these flames curling like lovers' hands around it, was not doing that. It was shifting, yes, but not by following patterns it had learned. It was doing whatever it wanted. Whenever it wanted. And it was big. "What are you?" he hissed, his optics flaring. Then, bolder: "Show yourself." With a new flare of red, the dancing metal clicked together. Megatron clenched his teeth to keep from wincing at the sound. They were frills, he realized, ringing a burning face. Enormous optics, red like his own, flickered online with a flash that nearly blinded him. "What are you?" he repeated. It was no longer a question. This thing would tell him, or pay for not doing so. Anything, no matter how massive, could be torn, rent, broken. Anything, no matter how formidable, could be hurt. It chuckled. He did not flinch at the sound. This creature had frightened him before. He had been disoriented, confused, pained from its noise. Now he was not. Now, he would not give it that advantage. "What am I? I made you what you are. The artifact you found and safeguarded - do you not remember how it whispered to you, how visions of conquest invaded your dreams?" "I remember nothing." Megatron snarled. "My choices were my own." The thing laughed, its booming voice roiling through the darkness. "Is that what you believe?" "I don't have time to waste on beliefs. It is the truth. What I am, I chose to be." The frills danced, their dark metal gleaming. "Believe what you will. I expected nothing different." Flames danced around its lips as it laughed at him. "I am the mightiest of the mighty. I am the last of the Seven Primes." The frills skittered with amusement. "History calls me Fallen. I call myself the last one alive." Megatron's optics widened. That explained the thing's power. Still, the Seven had never been gods. They had merely been the first of their kind. If this creature was one of them, then it must be mortal. And more than likely smaller than it looked, as well. He knew already that it could transform as it willed. The great head in front of him, then, was probably its entire body, transformed into an enormous face to make him think it was immense. "Primes?" Megatron laughed. He would not be so easily deceived. "Then I nearly killed the last of your descendants. I would have succeeded easily, if not for a human's... interference." His faceplates shifted into a smile. "If I don't fear him, why should I fear you?" The great face snorted, the air it expelled feeding the flames around it. "Do not be too proud of that, my chosen. If your adversary was indeed our descendant, then our lineage is woefully diluted." Megatron growled, surprising himself. Why should it bother him that this creature had just insulted an enemy he had fully intended to destroy? Then again, he had considered that enemy his kin once, many vorns ago, taking pride in his intelligence, his quiet tenacity. There was more to value in an honest enemy's defiance than in this thing and its lies. "Leave me be," Megatron rumbled. "History calls you mighty, but history is over." "Leave you? Is that truly what you wish? Surely you remember dying." He hadn't. Not really. He'd remembered the battle, remembered losing it, remembered how he'd lost it. But he had not remembered the pain. Now, the memory seized him, as easily as this thing could if it chose to, searing its way through him as surely as the energy that had killed him. At first, as the raw heat of the Allspark's energy surged through his circuits, he had felt only elation. Every part of him had awoken to its energy, suddenly, fiercely aware. Background systems he had long since stopped giving thought to flared to life, overflowing with power. He had reared up in triumph, his infused spark blazing, intent on crying his victory until the planet itself shuddered with the sound. Then, everything had become pain. Wires had cracked and split, overfull, as energy poured into them without slowing. The metal of his frame had heated to white, burning him everywhere, the inside of his chest melting as he tossed his head and his claws scrabbled at his own frame, desperate to remove the cube before it melted him down from the inside. But the worst of it all had come when the pain stopped. His systems, one by one, had flared and faded and died. His vision and hearing had failed first, but that was nowhere near the worst of it. The faint winds of the planet had no longer touched him. Its dust and dirt had no longer abraded him. In that final moment, he hadn't even been sure he was there at all to sense the terrible emptiness. "Yes," he rasped, his voice soft as one of the human insects' voices. "I remember dying." And now I am here. With you. He flexed a claw. It was time this thing gave him answers. If not, he could at least tear out an optic before it brought him low. "And where am I now?" he hissed, louder now. "Still dead, my chosen," the great head answered. Megatron fought not to flinch at the sound, and failed. The Fallen talked on, unconcerned. "I call to your place in the beyond to tell you that you are mine. You are dead, but you will live. For no other reasons than that you are useful to me, and that I will it." Megatron smirked. The ancient Prime spoke well, but every word it said revealed new weakness, unspooling the threads that held together its web of illusions. If he were indeed dead, as it claimed, with what could it threaten him? A return to the oblivion he'd forgotten falling into, and nothing more. There was nothing to stop him from declining. And he might well do it. The memory of life tempted him, of course. Here, there was nothing, no enemies to crush, no victories to savor, no dinning cries of war from those who followed him, his will seething through all of his kind, overwhelming their fear, their hesitation, their defiance, even their hatred. But accepting it meant binding himself to this creature, this piece of history rebuilt before his optics. Better dead and his own master than online and a slave. "And if I refuse your -" he sneered the word "- gift of resurrection?" "You misunderstand me." The red optics gleamed their annoyance. Their radiance burned the smaller mech, but he refused to look away. What would it matter if it damaged him? He was, apparently, already dead. "There is nothing to refuse. Your Decepticons are already on their way with the shard that will revive you. There is no offer. There is no acceptance, and there is no refusal. There is my will, and there are those carrying it out." "Now prostrate yourself," the great voice said, so loudly that Megatron's whole frame vibrated with it. "And thank me, for I have chosen you for this." Barely comprehending the words, Megatron howled in pain. Real pain, he wondered, or the memory of it? Though the haze of his torment he saw and heard the metal shifting, the blaze rising all around it. What was the ancient Prime becoming? He couldn't focus. Then something pressed him down, inexorably and far too easily, more easily than he might force a human pressed under his hand. He twisted uselessly beneath the other's blazing - arm? Leg? Perhaps it had become something that had no limbs at all, only the means to further bear down on him. He wheezed, high, grating sounds coming from his vocalizer as the metal of his back bent and snapped under the weight. What was it forcing him into? There was no space here, no ground, nothing but the emptiness of what it had unimaginatively called "the beyond." And yet this was real enough. He would be crushed, destroyed, annihilated beyond annihilation, if the thing continued. No. It had said it wanted him alive. With that revelation came pain he knew was real: the pain of torn circuitry flaring to sudden life. He shuddered, thrashing, dimly aware that he couldn't thrash like that, not ground underneath the other's heel or hand or whatever else. Which meant that they had come already. Which meant that he was waking up. He threw back his head, suddenly aware he was upright, and roared. There was a wet, muted sound, and he knew he must be somewhere in the alien planet's sea. He saw others gathered around him, the metal of their frames flickering, the lights they bore shining now on him, now on themselves, now on him again. They spoke the language of his kind, their voices urgent, and stared at another light near them. He looked down - down? - and saw that the light came from his own chest. They had embedded the Allspark fragment inside it. His spark, energized by the shard, shone bright as the Fallen's fires. He heard a sound he would know anywhere: a scream, high and thin, from a vocalizer that wasn't his. The others' claws skittered over him, moving faster and faster as they connected parts torn from the wailing one. He felt a sudden vertigo as new systems came online within him. Fighting dizziness, he tested them, learning how they functioned, studying the new abilities they granted him. The other Decepticons stared, unable to believe they were watching him awaken. Some fell before him as the Fallen had forced him to fall before it, bowing and rising and bowing again, babbling their disbelief and devotion. "You are their leader," the Fallen's voice said somewhere near him. Behind him? Above him? All around him? He couldn't tell. "But I am their god, as I am yours." His engines flared to life and he soared upward through the water, some of the small ones who'd awakened him still hanging on. "I do not believe in gods," Megatron hissed into the watery darkness, the others' lights guiding him toward the surface. "And if I don't, they don't either."