* * *
He felt the shot that ended his life and convulsively dropped to his knees. System feedback from the death upset his fuel control systems, among many others, and he expelled glowing pink chips on the floor. He shuddered and wrapped his arms around his torso, rocking back and forth.
Reflector had died. One component- a sniper's head shot- The sudden systemshock caused a cascade failure. The feedback from one cascade failure was threatening to induce two others. He fought to hold on as best he could, but everything he did seemed to send his systems tumbling out of control even faster.
If he hadn't lost control the moment he died, he would have waited before doing this. The sudden loss of one-third of his mind prevented him from seeing him as others saw him - collapsed, dreadfully weakened, ripe for removing.
One Seeker even dared to step forward, the tip of his arm-gun glowing with an unreleased blast. He ignored the pitter-patter of little cassetticon feet entering the room. "Today's our lucky day, eh?"
In response, a pile-driver came crashing down on his foot. It crunched like armor shouldn't, and the Seeker howled.
"Hey, boss, found the other one!" Rumble yelled.
A subtle hum filled the room as Soundwave swept in. He surveyed the jets without a word, then took up the camera-component in his arms. Perhaps his hum grew a little more obvious then, but none of the Seekers would ever mention it. As he walked away, one of the jets could have sworn he saw the tape-lord gently stroke the camera's jawline.
Rumble trotted out at Soundwave's heels, chattering merrily about getting a new brother.