Megatron slipped inside the quarters that were never locked against him, hoping to find the owner in recharge, but certain he would not.
His probabilities were correct; Soundwave was hunched over the workbench, carefully crafting a new frame. Megatron's ember felt tight; how was he supposed to approach this, to help Soundwave grieve the loss of their brave friend Rumble? Worry grew thicker, especially as none of the symbionts were in evidence. Of course, at a moment like this, he would bet that the pack of them were within Soundwave's subspace, to be as whole as possible.
"Don't go smoking up your processors over me, Kahuna," Soundwave said without even a flinch in his delicate work.
"Soundwave, I authorized you to have three duty cycles free..." Megatron began.
"All cool and excellent, but don't give me that line about taking time to process," the communications specialist told his longtime friend.
"You give it to me when we lose mechs, and this was a part of yourself, Soundwave," Megatron scolded gently.
"I haven't lost him!" Now Soundwave did stop, turning to actually face Megatron. "I swear, I'm not as looped as Prime, not strung out on stims, anything! He's with me! But I've got to get this frame built fast for him!"
Megatron cocked his helm to one side, concerned, but also willing to listen. "How? You endow your creations with free will, giving them a part of your ember while making them independent."
Soundwave nodded, turning back to making the connections. "Frenzy's his twin, down to the spark. And Ravage was boosting the last transmissions Rumble sent out. Little Dude saw there was no way out, set a module to keep his frame moving, and uploaded himself. He's here, sharing space with his bro, but that can't last long. Gotta get him a new frame, while Frenzy is being gorged by the others, so he can split his spark again."
Megatron sat across from the driven mech, picking up the soldering iron to one side. "Then we'll do this together, my friend, so our little one can be back with his brother."
"Cool beans, big dude," Soundwave answered, opening his schematics for Rumble to share with Megatron.