Optimus Prime had every available monitor up and running, searching for any sign of decepticons, anywhere. Every autobot was helping, even Jazz did when he arrived, refusing Ratchet's attention to his injuries. They were searching not only on Earth, but her moon, and those planets accompanying her in the solar system. They looked in the skies, on land, in the water. They are searching everything, but couldn't find a single thing. Optimus was trying to stay calm, but he was losing his grip on sanity. She trusted them, trusted him and he had let her down. What was he going to do now?
"Bumblebee, Wheeljack," he called, concentrating on the monitor. "I want you two to go scout. I want a complete search of everything find. Look high, look low," he returned his full attention back onto the screen in front of him. He didn't even look to see them leave, he just assumed they would.
"Optimus," Ratchet said calmly next to him. "It'll be fine,"
"I don't need it Ratchet," Optimus almost growled. "I don't want to think about it. I'm on the verge of losing it and we all know how that's going to end.
"Optimus Prime. Bumblebee here." the autobot radioed. "We got three decepticons."
Before anyone could relax, the radio frequency was completely covered with static, making everyone in the room wince. The computers around them whizzed on, displaying the last face that Prime wanted to see on it.
"Megatron," Optimus growled, stepping forward.
"Optimus," Megatron almost smiled. "It's so good to see you again, old friend."
"What have you done with her?" Ironhide demanded, stepping up.
"Who? The girl? You can't possibly all care for her that much!?"
"Where is she, Megatron!?" Optimus demanded, losing his temper.
Megatron only smiled, moving to the side a little, to display the girl hanging in the air, arms covered in chains, with circles burned into her clothes and red bruising everywhere. Optimus narrowed his eyes.
"We've been trying to get us to tell her where you have your base...but she's a determined insect, I'll give her that much. It wasn't until your radio frequency was opened that we were able to lock onto it." Megatron returned into view, smiling as if he had won the lottery. "Optimus Prime, I have some valuable information to give to you. You better listen." Optimus narrowed his eyes, but gave the con his full attention. "I need you. For every minute you do not come, I will torture her for two. Do you understand me?" Prime only nodded. "Come to coordinates when this message is over, and come alone. I will send a squad to pick you up." Megatron paused, clearly enjoying Prime's willingness to bend at his command. "Time is of the essence, Optimus Prime." and with that, he was gone.
"Ratchet, we have no time. Get the bridge locked onto those coordinates," Optimus demanded, looking at Ironhide. He opened his chest plates, producing the sacred Matrix of Leadership. He handed the thing to the scared autobot who was looking at Prime in disbelief. "You are acting Prime now, Ironhide," Optimus said.
"Only until you return," Ironhide replied, just as the ground bridge opened. Optimus Prime darted through it, not even hesitating.
"That is if he returns…"
"Megatron!" Optimus called, standing in the snow.
Megatron had sent him to the arctic. It was freezing his processors, which Optimus guessed was a part of his plan. Maybe to slow him down. In the distance, he saw a red light approaching. Three decepticons landed, two on either side of Optimus, immediately producing stasis cuffs on the Prime, and one landed right in front of him. His eyes narrowed.
The con said nothing, only walking up to the Autobot and placing a hand on his shoulder. A shock of electricity shot through him, and he blacked out.
Optimus groaned, grabbing his head. Blasted Soundwave, he cursed, blinking his optics open. He looked around, noticing every small detail everywhere, scoping out the place. He was in a holding cell, so there wasn't much in the room. But there was a small lump in the furthest corner. Optimus looked closer and,
The lump stirred, but awoke to the autobot's touch.
"Please…" she said faintly.
"Bells, it's me. It's Optimus Prime,"
Annabelle looked up at him. She turned her lips up in a smile that didn't quite match her eyes.
"Hey big guy," she said quietly, her voice hoarse and damaged. "I was wondering when you'd show up."
Optimus wanted to pick her up, but couldn't figure out how without harming her more. She seemed to know what he was going after. She mustered all the strength she had left, and climbed into the bot's hand.
"You know," she muttered, curling into a ball as he brought his hands together. "We have a theory here on earth. Those who care more about other's safety and well being, are the one's who suffer most." She gave Optimus a pointed grin, and Optimus just smiled in return.
Eventually, Bells fell asleep, and Prime sat there holding her, being as still as he could, trying not to disturb her well-earned slumber. After about forty-five Earth minutes, the door opened and in stepped Megatron.
Optimus narrowed his eyes. He laid Bells on the ground behind him, and took a protective stance between her and the con. Megatron only laughed as Bells woke up.
"Still fighting for the human, huh Prime?"
Optimus said nothing in response. Annabelle ran next to him, placing a hand on his metal. She looked up at him, but he had glued his optics to his foe's.
"Do not worry, Optimus Prime," Megatron spat, walking closer. "I do not wish her anymore harm. I just have one quick thing for you to do, then you can be on your way."
Optimus eased his stance a little, obviously stunned at Megatron's statement. All optics were averted to the sound of a creaky wheel when Knockout brought out what looked to be a bed. An oversized bed.
Megatron gave no hesitation. Transforming his hand into a hook, he slammed it in to Optimus Prime's shoulder, causing him to cry out in pain, scrunching down, and bringing his hands to the intruder. Without missing a beat, Megatron swung him onto the table which automatically released bonds over Opimus' wrists and ankles. Bells watched from the far corner in disbelief. What were they doing?
Optimus groaned and Megatron dragged his hook, still dug into Prime's metal, down and across Primes chest plates. When he finally released the metal, Optimus' chest was covered in energon.
"But I cannot allow you to go without causing some bodily harm," Megatron cackled. He looked at Knockout, and nodded.
The con almost smiled, typing something into the computer stationed at the foot of the bed Optimus resided upon. A red light appeared at the bottom, and slowly traced it's way up and back down Optimus' body. When it finished it's course, the bonds released Optimus, who was immediately re-hooked by Megatron.
"Megatron," Annabelle stood at her corner. Optimus wasn't even trying to hold himself up. Megatron's hook had him in an almost kneeling position, optics wincing and almost closing entirely in pain. "You got what you wanted, did you not? Release him."
"I cannot allow you or the autobots discover the location of our base," Megatron said, eyeing Optimus, who hadn't changed. "I cannot release him to drive off and learning."
"Then allow him to transform," Bells pleaded. "Let me drive him forward. I will not stop until we are far away from your base. When we get far enough, I will send for Ratchet who will bridge us back to ours,"
Megatron eyed the human curiously. He tossed Optimus aside, who tried to stand again but was stopped by decepticon warriors. Megatron walked over to Annabelle, who didn't even flinch when he picked her up, glaring at her.
"You make a solid arguement, human," he growled. "But do not think I am finished with you. I have many more things I need to….discuss with you."
"Wouldn't miss it for the world," she smiled.
Megatron dropped Bells, who landed on her back. She groaned, rubbing her back as she sat up. Searching for Optimus, she found him in Knockouts hands, who was transforming him piece by piece.
How'd he find out how to do that?
"He's unconscious," Megatron explained as she climbed into the truck. "Be careful,"
Bells saluted him as she backed out, and drove forward.