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A/N: The name for Megatron's trine is borrowed from Wayward with permission.
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So, it had finally come to this. The three who had joined together as a trine had become one who had joined as a part of the trine. His subordinates, his friends were destroyed, but not by Autobot or Maximal cause, no. Accident and internal fighting had destroyed his trinemembers, left him alone to carry out their goal.
He would see it finished, however, though not because of their memories. The seed of this scheme had been his dream originally, yes, so long ago that they barely remembered that. It was a simple dream, easily understood by any Decepticon. They wished to rule the army, to replace Megatron, Starscream, and Shockwave. The Procellacons had agreed among themselves that they could conquer the universe far more effectively than those three, because the Procellacons were a trine.
It seemed that they had been quite correct. As a trine, they had survived the Great War. As a trine, they adapted to the new Predacon forms, testing their limits and learning their capabilities without ever bringing attention to themselves. As a trine, they had stolen the Golden Disk and made their way to Earth.
It was only on Earth, when the trine sundered, that they began to fail.
Millions of years of teamwork, of (dare he even think of it?) trust, destroyed by one Maximal. Dinobot should have understood that they were not personally firing on him when he fought Optimus Primal on that narrow bridge. He stood too near the enemy commander, of course he would draw friendly fire. But that blasted Maximal would not allow him to fall-!
Megatron slowly unclenched his fist. The Maximal had not let Dinobot fall, just as either of his trinemembers would have done in a similar situation. But this time, the ones firing on him were not Autobots, but his own trine and their help. After what had led Dinobot to challenge him, betrayal was inevitable, yes.
Losing their warrior had been a dangerous blow for the trine. Scorponok had maintained that Dinobot would return to them, that the trine would be restored. As their tech, the scorpion perhaps understood each trinemember the best. He knew them, inside and out, from shell to spark. He had repaired them when no one else was available, had upgraded them when new technologies came out, and had used his own sensors and abilities to ensure that they were never ignorant of what dangers lay ahead on any battlefield. True, he often seemed dull-witted, but what could be expected when he had been forced to scale down to one-fifth of his original size? The processing power he required to analyze the multitude of sensors had made him seem a bit slow even before they were rebuilt. Now, the fact that he was functional at all was mute testimony to what he had given up.
So when Scorponok had told him that Dinobot would return to the trine, he had believed and accepted. Their goal would be completed by the three of them - tech, warrior, and leader.
Dinobot had been their warrior, the one for whom fighting was all there was. All Decepticons could fight to one degree or another, and the three of them had all been on the front-lines and so none of them could be bad warriors. But the difference between Scorponok's skill and Dinobot's had been pronounced. Even he was not as skilled as his third-in-command. But that had been acceptable, yes, because it had often been Dinobot's skill that ensured their victory.
Decepticons came in threes, however. Scorponok and Dinobot were not enough by themselves, no. They needed a leader, someone to hold them together, and they were fortunate to already have one available. After all, the two of them would never have met if it weren't for him.
It had never occurred to either of them that a simple accident would destroy the trine. But no, it had not been a 'simple' accident anymore than the rest of this had been a 'simple' theft. The tremors from the energon igniting had destabilized Scorponok's hover-platform, and he had fallen into the lava below.
So had Terrorsaur, but Terrorsaur was not a Procellacon. What did Megatron care of his loss? One less warrior, yes, but also one less threat.
Scorponok had not lived to see Dinobot come back to them. Perhaps if the scorpion had, then there would have been no need to try to take Dinobot's head. It had not been anger that had guided his sword, no, but simple practicality. The warrior had betrayed him by remaining with the Maximals, had stolen the Golden Disks, and most importantly, he knew what was written on them. Megatron could not afford for Optimus Primal to learn what lay on the Disks, and his third-in-command had presented him with such a perfect opportunity...
The vermin had interrupted the proceedings, however, and when Dinobot had fought his companion, had told the Maximal that he didn't need rescuing.... Then Megatron had allowed himself to dare hope that his warrior had truly returned.
Hopes were often dashed among the Decepticons and Predacons, so he had not been particularly hurt when Dinobot chose the Maximals over him once more. Yes, and the sun was not particularly hot, either.
It had not been a surprise that Dinobot killed himself trying to defeat Megatron. A year, barely a year, since the trine sundered, and they had bled energon due to each other. Whatever guided the velociraptor to that valley, to that destruction, it could not save either of them from their wrath. He would not allow this scheme to fail because of his rogue trinemember, and Dinobot would not allow it to succeed.
Dinobot's skill in battle, the mastery of tactics that made him the dangerous warrior he was, had rendered the numbers arrayed against him moot. Perhaps if all of the Predacons had swarmed him, they would have defeated him. But fighting him in ones and twos ensured they would lose; only someone who knew how he fought could possibly stand against him.
Megatron took great pride in the fact that he had been the one who destroyed Dinobot. Not one of his subordinates, not one of those blasted Maximals, he himself. It brought the circle to a close, and left him as he had originally been- alone.
The problem, he had found, was that he had learned to despise being alone. The nature of the trine had infected him, so the loss of both of his partners left him... morose. He continued onward with his plans and struggled all the more to ensure his victory. Yet, he caught himself at times seeking for the others. He had accepted Scorponok's destruction with ease, but now that both were gone, he found that he could barely acknowledge a malfunction without wishing to call on Scorponok to repair it.
It disturbed him, but the logs on the Darkside's computer disturbed him even more. During his recharge time, he had been calling out with his internal radio on the old Procellacon frequency. None of those who monitored the communications had known what they were seeing, of course, but it was unacceptable that he should lose this much control.
He had never thought of their subgroup as particularly special. Certainly not on the order to justify his recent behaviour, no. But he desired the presence of the others, the ones he had fought beside and lived with for so long.
Perhaps, though, there was a way he could silence his desire for the others until he had won these Beast Wars.
A clone, one clone would have to be enough. Dinobot's DNA was still in the computers from the first time they had needed such a clone. That one had proven weak, though, and he had not felt anything for it as he felt for the real Dinobot. It had not his spark, that vital bit of energy almost painful in its lack.
But he lacked half of Rampage's spark at his disposal then. Nor had he managed to access and decrypt Tarantulus's most secret notes. The treacherous spider dabbled in many things, including the nature of sparks. Some of the notes were chilling in the implications of what he had to have done to discover these things. Even some Decepticons would have recoiled if they knew about this. After all, the logical thought on learning what he had done to his enemies in the name of research was: 'Who will he experiment on when we've cleared the area?'
While the notes on sparks presented some interesting angles of research, Tarantulus had not followed up on the ideas that were of most interest to Megatron currently. However, they did render a set of Scorponok's notes comprehensible. His second had apparently spent some of his spare time hacking into Tarantulus's computers; a pity he had never informed the tyrant of this.
Rampage's spark and his basic personality could be suppressed for a time, if Scorponok was correct. Too short a time for a true resurrection, really, mere decades. Even a single decade was more than long enough for his purposes, however.
The major technical problem came from the inevitable stresses put on the shell with anchoring a dead spark to a live one. Standard Cybertronian metals corroded quickly in their presence, as the sparks unleashed sixth-order energies. Very few Cybertronians had any armor that could defend against the rare, dangerous power of focussed thought.
His own research into their Transmetallization seemed to present viable answers to that problem, though it left him with a new one. How could he induce a repeat of the energy bombardment that created the Transmetals in the first place?
Even if he could find a way, restoring Dinobot seemed rather counter-productive. Certainly, allowing himself a little madness by ignoring the desire for his trine was the first step down a slippery slope, but there should be a better way to adapt to their destruction. At the very least, restoring the traitor over the loyal tech was foolish.
But he did not have Scorponok's DNA, and he could not tie the tech to a body as different from his original as Dinobot's was. The nearly-mystical methods he would have to use to call the spark back were imprecise at best. The waiting body called to the spark as much as he did.
He had to find another way.
Yet another skilled warrior under his command, one loyal to him alone... Yes, he could make use of such a being. The resurrection he wished to attempt would effectively result in the spark entering a body anew. Programming had the most influence in the beginning of any transformer's existence, even if the spark won out in the end. Programming could hold for years, however, and while that was much too much to hope for, months of programmed loyalty were not.
Yes, if he could but find a way to create more Transmetals, he would construct a living monument to the Procellacons. The skill of the trine's techs would be reflected in its form, the skill of the warriors in its actions, and their ability to achieve any goal would be displayed by its very existence.
And when he had won, when he had become Megatron in more than merely a symbolic namesake, it would be deactivated and displayed for all the universe to see that he could never be stopped, for he did not stand alone.