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Against Better Judgement

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A lot, apparently.

A lot could go wrong.

Well, to be fair, Smokescreen hadn't known what to expect in the first place, so he didn't really have a definition of what had gone wrong, but it had.

He wasn't sure how the last Omega Key had gotten inside him, but the question now was how they were going to get it out.

"Remove it swiftly," Megatron ordered.

"With pleasure," Knock Out smirked as he transformed one of his servos into a buzzsaw. "I do so resent a finish flashier than my own."

That's one way.

Knock Out's saw inched closer to Smokescreen's chassis so slow it was almost painful. The humans referred to it as 'building suspense.'

Smokescreen tried to wriggle his way away from the saw, hoping to prolong the inevitable damage that was to be done to his frame.

Then it stopped. Just when it was about to pierce through the plating.

"Made ya squirm," Knock Out teased as the saw shifted back into his clawed digits. Then he raised his wrist, once again showing off the phase shifter that he had removed off Smokescreen's wrist. He proceeded to show off the shifter's abilities by phasing his servo through his other arm.

Smokescreen already knew what it did. There was no need for the show.

"Trippy~" then he stomped on the floor, making sure to be dramatic about it, "and intuitive. Proper grounding ensures that the user won't phase through the floor-"

"I said," Megatron cut him off with a slight growl, "swiftly."

Knock Out didn't say anything, but Smokescreen watched his face shift just slightly in annoyance. The annoyance was quickly filtered out, replaced by Knock Out's usual poker face before Megatron could notice the change.

Then, thanks to the phase shifter, Knock Out stuck his hand straight through Smokescreen and into his gears.

The sensation wasn't painful, per se, but it wasn't a comfortable feeling either. It made him squirm a bit.

"Get your stinkin' hand out of my gears," Smokescreen grumbled.

His protests didn't deter the medic from his efforts.


Knock Out's fishing through gears stopped along with Smokescreen's squirms as he latched onto the relic.

"Got ya."

Knock Out began to pull.

That's when it started to hurt. It wasn't unbearable pain, more like severe discomfort, but as his gears shifted to fill in the space the relic had once taken up the pain increased from severe discomfort to mild pain. He felt himself arch off the table as Knock Out pulled the last of the relic out and showed it off to Megatron.

Then Smokescreen fell back down feeling strangely hollow without the key lodged withing his plating. He hadn't even known it was in there, but he felt like it... belonged.

Megatron looked at the key, then to the Autobot on the berth. "Tell me the function of these relics."

Smokescreen gave his best shrug given the fact he was restrained. "Doorstops? Shavers? Bling? Beats me."

Megatron growled at the young bot's stubbornness.

Knock Out raised the phase shifter. "It's a shame I can't just use this to pluck out the information we need."

"But luckily, we have other methods of getting said information," Megatron said, baring those sharp denta of his in a crooked smile accompanied by an evil gaze.

Smokescreen felt a chill run through his systems. He didn't want to find out what that meant.

"Would you like me to prepare the patch, my lord," Knock Out asked.

"No," Megatron didn't remove his gaze from Smokescreen. "I have something else I want to try."

Smokescreen fidgeted under Megatron's stare. If Smokescreen knew the warlord, 'something else' was not going to be enjoyable.

"Of course," Knock Out said with a slight bit of surprise. "What would you have me do then, my lord?"

"Take the relic to the vault," Megatron ordered. "I trust that even you can complete such a simple task."

Knock Out opened his mouth to speak in protest, but stopped the moment Megatron gave him a taste of the same stare that had made Smokescreen go silent.

"Right, my liege, I'll take care of it right away," Knock Out reluctantly said as he picked up the relic.

"And make sure that I am not bothered while I take care of our... guest," Megatron added just before Knock Out left.

Knock Out turned his helm in mild confusion, but nodded anyway. Then he left the room, doors making a strange click behind him that Smokescreen could only guess was the doors locking.

They were left in silence.

Smokescreen stared at the closed door, then he eventually felt his optics drawn back to the red ones of Megatron.

The silence didn't last long.

"Well, Autobot-"


He didn't have time to stop himself from speaking. At least it was only his name and nothing of actual importance.

Megatron raised an optical ridge.

"The name's Smokescreen."

Megatron smirked. "This will be easier than I thought. You're already cooperating and I haven't even started."

Smokescreen was afraid to ask what he hadn't started.

"Well then, Smokescreen-"

Smokescreen didn't like the way his name sounded coming from Megatron's mouth. It gave him another chill.

"-Seeing as you've been so willing already, how about you keep it that way and tell me what I want to know."

Megatron stepped closer to the berth and Smokescreen realized just how large the warlord was. He was undoubtedly taller than Optimus and he was certainly bigger in every other aspect as well.


Smokescreen kept silent and continued to stare at the Decepticon leader.

Intrigue and entertainment spread across Megatron's face and he laughed a little.

"I think I'm going to enjoy breaking you, Smokescreen."