Author’s note: Yep, another TF3 story. Just the beginning so far. "In the beginning, there was nothing but the void." The deep voice of Optimus Prime announces over the backdrop of black nothingness. "But creation would not be held from existence indefinitely, and sprung forth in the most awesome of displays." A vast, fiery explosion bursts forth, only seen until the initial waves reach the viewer, and then followed by the deafening roar of the Big Bang. "Pure energy spread through the nothingness, leaving heat, light, form, and in some cases, life in its never ending wake." Mixed in the super-heated debris springing forth from the core of the un-ceasing blast is a geometrically perfect shape, and then others are seen; cubes, spheres, pyramids and others, all spreading far and wide with the rest of the fiery wake of creation. "Localized accumulations of this power would spread the seeds of life far and wide." A pyramid, roughly the size of the All Spark careens toward the vicinity of the blue-green Earth three and a half billion years ago, blazing through the solar system and colliding into the sun, creating an explosion that sends blasts of radiation throughout the system, most hitting nothing, but one burning into Earth's atmosphere and cutting into the ocean, weakening as it descends into the depth, but finally finding a home in a string of proteins, engulfing the lifeless strands with energy, and creating the first life on the planet. In a far distant sector of space, the giant cube that will one day come to be known as the All Spark bounces through an asteroid belt. "In most cases, billions of years pass between opportunities for this gift of life to truly take root. But in some cases, a source of life-giving energy is forced, albeit very temporarily given the grand cosmic timeframe, to settle in one location," the Cube enters the atmosphere of a barren metal wasteland of a planet and crashes down onto its surface "and instantaneously give rise to life on an exceptional scale!" Vast waves of energon radiation washes over the impact crater left by the cube, and slowly seven humanoid forms emerge from the barren ground, which is now being re-shaped into more structured shapes. The scene zooms into the side of one of these newborn creatures, to reveal hieroglyphs etched into their bodies; specifically the symbol of the Primes. “But like with creation, entropy would not remain suppressed, and would go to any lengths, develop any necessary adaptations,” the view shifts to another one of the newborn Primes, one who turns to be revealed to be the Prime who will one day become the Fallen “and enlist any ally to regain dominion over creation once again, and see that it never has the chance to return.” *** The clear blue sky, one hosting a few bright white cumulus clouds, seemed to suddenly shudder as a space bridge opened to spit forth a multi-colored winged construct, one that seemed unaffected by its tumultuous entrance to this planet. The craft cut downward through the clouds over a continent, one that started in the middle of the Atlantic stretched to roughly one hundred miles from the northwestern tip of Africa on its east. The craft continued eastward past the unknown continent and headed into Africa, toward the land that would one day be Egypt, slowing as it got to the long dormant solar harvester, transforming and landing at the structure’s base. A human settlement was near the structure, and the humans present were all initially startled and fearful at the appearance of the mechanical life form, but at seeing the newcomer more closely, they seemed to recognize it and relax. The robot, a combination of silver, maroon and blue, with strips of metal hanging from his face that created an appearance that was not all that far removed from that of the facial hair of male humans, walked straight to the base of the harvester and began to inscribe a new series of glyphs onto it. These new symbols, like others carved into it thousands of years after its construction, seemed to depict a stellar map, one of a far distant solar system. The slender robot completed his inscription before turning away from the machine, lifting off into the air, transforming and blasting into the sky, heading westward at exceptional speed before disappearing into the opening of a space bridge. The craft emerged from nothingness mid-way over the odd continent that stretched over much of the central Atlantic Ocean, heading down toward an island created by deep channels dug through the continent, the channels creating a series of three concentric rings, or moats, surrounding the island, channels leading to the enormous ports on the northern and southern portions of the continent, allowing access to the Atlantic from either side. On the central island was a magnificent series of settlements, designed by and for humans, while at the center of it all stood a gigantic Cybertronian fortress that spread out over a mile in every direction and possessed a tower that stretched nearly a thousand feet into the sky. The moats were being traversed by steady flows of human boats of various designs, manned by humans of various races and cultures. Many were docked along the rings of land as well as along both the shores of the central and those of the main island at the edge of the outermost moat. Spread out over the different pieces of land stood works of great art, architecture, representations of exotic plants and animals from all eras of the planet’s history, and some displays of the most primitive facets of Cybertronian technology that were nothing short of magical to the comparatively primitive humans. Though vastly primitive to the Cybertronians, the ships and personal tools that the several hundred humans present on the island possessed were more advanced than any Earth-made technology would be for more than eleven thousand years. The ship lowered toward the ground, transformed and landed upon its feet, walking onward toward the giant fortress. The men, women and children were clearly in awe of the giant alien robot, and regarded it, as well as the others like it, as a god, but the presence of the great creatures was commonplace to them. The continent had been created by these aliens countless human lifetimes ago, and while disinterested in contact, the giant god-like creatures had permitted the ancestors of these humans access to this vast land of wonders. As the robot approached the entrance to the imposing structure, six figures exited from it and approached him, one member calling out in Cybertronian. “Greetings Alpha Trion, it is good to see you safely returned. We can use your assistance in the ongoing search for the Matrix of Leadership. While your quest to find new stars fit for harvesting is valued, it is really secondary at this point to our finding the Matrix. You’ve already provided us with the locations to four such stars.” “It’s now five Overbite, and any further seeking I do will have to wait until I have conducted crucial business with the Seeker that you serve.” Alpha Trion replied to the powerfully built robot, but at noticing something about the robots that he was not expecting, commented further. “Have you undergone some changes?” “Alterations so that we may better search the ocean floors for the Matrix, nothing more Commander.” Overbite replied, his voice seeming to imply that there was something that he was keeping from the colorful Seeker. “And you know that we serve all Seekers, not solely Shockwave.” The statement elicited only a grumble from the slender Seeker as he marched past the six robots and entered the vast fortress. Within moments he was in the command center at the top of the tall central tower. Within the command center stood one large and imposing robot, looking over an array of screens with shots of different sections of the entire planet. “Your unexplained absence has led to Jetfire and several other Seekers being transferred here to replace you,” the robot calmly addressed Alpha Trion without shifting his gaze “though perhaps it was a redeployment that should have occurred sooner, given your apparent lack in dedication to finding the Matrix of Leadership.” “Which disqualifies me more, my apparent lack of dedication to the search for the Matrix, or my lack of dedication to the Fallen, Shockwave?” The smaller robot asked pointedly as he came to a standing position next to Shockwave, viewing the same screens the dark, hulking and cycloptic robot seemed to be scrutinizing. “And did he order this transfer himself, or did he have Megatron convey the command for him?” Without looking away or altering his tone, one which indicated only mild interest, Shockwave replied. “The Primal War is long over, Alpha Trion, the Fallen was dealt with, and is all but surely dead by now. And what Cybertron’s Lord High Protector has anything to do with this, I do not know. I was not aware that he had any knowledge of our race.” “You know very well the Fallen is not dead!” Trion grumbled. “And I am certain you are aware of Megatron’s involvement in the continuation of his carnage.” “Actually, given what we know, the Fallen more than likely is dead.” Shockwave countered dispassionately. “The spark dampening chamber that he was supposedly imprisoned within was powered remotely by the energy given off by the line of Primal sparks, a line which ended nearly two thousand years ago with the death of Sentinel Prime.” “The murder of Sentinel Prime!” Alpha Trion corrected. “Yes, the murder of Sentinel Prime;” Shockwave corrected himself “a crime which was met with the first recorded legal execution in Cybertronian history. Justice served, I suppose. But with Sentinel Prime’s murder, the Dynasty of the Primes came to an end, and therefore, the legendary prison of the Fallen should have depowered, allowing him to go free and search for the Matrix on his own. Face it brother Seeker, the Fallen is dead, and the Decepticon cause along with it.” “Then explain this, brother Seeker.” Alpha Trion replied back as he pulled a chunk of metal from a compartment on his torso and handed it to Shockwave, who finally turned away from the bank of screens to see what Alpha Trion was referring to. Shockwave held the metal before him, observing the Decepticon symbol etched clearly upon the dented, scorched and battered piece of gray metal. “I carved this off of a battlefield corpse when I was on Cybertron yesterday.” “All visits to Cybertron are to be announced to the other Seekers.” Shockwave replied, seemingly ignoring the impact of what Alpha Trion placed in his hand. “The reports from the observation probes have been more uneventful then usual of late, so much so that I had a feeling something was being covered up.” Alpha Trion snapped back. “Clearly I was correct. The planet is being destroyed by Megatron and a vast army under his command! And the banner they seem to be rallying behind is the same that you and the other Decepticons once branded to your frames!” Alpha Trion took a step back and turned to face Shockwave directly, counting the silent moments before finally continuing in an accusatory manner. “Give me some reason not to take your apparent indifference as complicity!” Shockwave peered from the piece of extracted armor back up to the array of view screens. “It is not indifference; it is merely that unlike you, I am not prone to giving into my passions. And I am not complicit in any of the Lord High Protector’s endeavors. If the visage of the Fallen is being used to rally behind, it is not due to me. I have not set foot on Cybertron in over three-thousand years.” Alpha Trion maintained his glare. “I will be looking into that claim. Though it ultimately matters not, your strings are long enough to manipulate your puppets, regardless of where your feet are set.” With that the slender robot turned and marched out of the command center. Shockwave watched him leave before turning back to the front and walking toward the command console. “You, like the master, would do well to realize that Megatron is nobody’s puppet.” Alpha Trion walked out of the fortress in an agitated manner. Instead of transforming and taking to the air, the robot chose instead to walk away from the structure, finding the travel by foot to be more conducive to deep contemplations than air travel, and began traversing one of the large white bridges that connected the inner island to the rings of land and then to the main continent. “Is all well, Commander?” Alpha Trion turned and looked down over the edge of the bridge to see a giant metal manta ray floating at the surface of the water. “Yes, all is well Seawing.” The Seeker lied, took a few more steps before turning back to the aquatic pseudo-beast. “I suppose Shockwave instructed you and other members of your team to keep an optic on me.” “Of course not, Commander.” Seawing replied as human boats made their way on either side of him, the sarcasm thick in his voice. “You just look like you could use some company. New Trypticon is a beautiful city, but it can lead to feelings of despondency at not being able to return home until this fruitless search bears fruit. I wouldn’t want you to do anything regrettable in a fit of depression.” The Seeker chuckled at the absurd insinuation, but halted as he recognized the underlying threat. Alpha Trion turned angrily toward his subordinate, but paused as sensors on his wrist beeped to life. The bearded robot peered at the readout that was configured onto the back of his wrist in the second it took for him to move his arm, and shuddered with surprise at was greeted his optics. “Impossible.” The Seeker then tapped a few buttons on his wrist. “Access New Trypticon mainframe.” A moment later an automated voice came through his wrist. “Connection secured.” “I require a detailed scan of object currently entering planet’s orbit, the one that appears to be giving off readings consistent with energon radiation and is projected to impact in the northwest quadrant.” Alpha Trion addressed the city’s computer system. “Object scanned and identified with 99.43% certainty.” The voice replied. “Transmit identity via text.” The Seeker instructed, warily eyeing the giant manta ray watching him from the surface of the wide moat. The verification of Alpha Trion’s initially readings, the ones he considered to be impossible, scrolled across his small wrist-mounted screen. ‘The All Spark’. The Seeker pondered how this could be possible, but was interrupted from his thoughts by Seawing’s voice coming up from below the bridge. “Yes Lord Shockwave, we will see to it.” The faux beast glared up at Alpha Trion and began chuckling ominously. The Seeker slowly backed away from the edge, a feeling of dread coming over him regarding what order Shockwave had transmitted to the powerful aquatic Cybertronian. The sudden sound of a large object exploding through the water behind him forced Alpha Trion to turn toward the opposite end of the bridge, just in time to see the giant shark soaring through the air right into him. The shark’s momentum pushed both it and the shocked Alpha Trion over the edge of the bridge and into the water next to Seawing. Once beneath the surface of the waves, the shark had no problem driving the Seeker further into the depths. Alpha Trion struggled against the beast, who didn’t manage to effectively clamp its jaws around him, but whose snout had speared the Seeker’s abdomen and was driving him toward the ocean floor. Trion battered the top of the beast’s head, and seemed to be pulling away from the diving shark, but a pair of arms sprouted from the sides of the beast to batter back against the would-be prey. The two forms rocketed downward and cleared the rocks on either side, as well as the base of what was revealed to be a floating continent, and headed through the open ocean depths toward the black bottom. The Seeker raised his right hand and reconfigured into the shape of a long, harpoon spearhead with the un-barbed side honed to a razor sharp blade before thrusting the tip of it deep into the left optic of the attacking shark. “Curse you Overbite, your misguided loyalty will bring about the end of Cybertron as well as this world!” Alpha Trion pulled free of the shark as it painfully jerked away from the barb, and the Seeker prepared to propel himself up to the surface, but his ascent was interrupted as a pair of giant tentacles wrapped around his waist and upper legs. The Seeker turned to see the enormous metal squid that the tentacles were attached to a few dozen feet below and to the side of him. Alpha Trion reconfigured his lower left arm into a rocket launcher, but he was rammed by a coelacanth that sped into him from the right, then by Seawing battering him with a swoop from above, and then the Seeker looked to his left just in time to see a giant sea turtle bearing down on him and biting into his rocket-launching forearm. Alpha Trion rocked against the impact of the enormous turtle slamming into him, and looked down to see the horrific site of a lobster rocketing up at him from the depths. Alpha Trion turned against the turtle and directed him down toward the body of the squid that still had a pair of its tentacles wrapped around him. Igniting the thrusters built into his calves and back, the Seeker drove the faux aquatic amphibian into the squid, and then suddenly, all three vanished from the dark depths. The bright light of day was jarring to the three combatants as they suddenly appeared in the midst of the pseudo-zoo that Alpha Trion had built for the native humans centuries before, startling the dozens of flesh and blood patrons that had been enjoying the interaction with robotic representations of animals long extinct. As the three fighters hit the ground, the turtle bounced free and the Seeker, lacking the surprise brought on by the space bridge that currently was affecting the robotic beasts, lunged forward toward the squid and sliced the blade of his spearhead through one of the tentacles wrapped around him and launching a pair of missiles at the beast’s body. The combined strikes caused the monster to cry out in pain, release the Seeker and bounce across the ground as the missiles exploded against its frame. The turtle transformed to robot mode and charged Alpha Trion, but the Seeker was ready for him, turned to intercept the strike, and flung the hulking robot into herd of robotic dinosaurs and blasting through the body of a giant but slender spinosaurus, sending circuitry and chunks of metal all over the paddock built for these long-vanished interactive zoo attractions. The other dinosaur representations roared in reaction to the sudden stimulus, designed to mimic the behavior of the creature but with a failsafe built in that they not harm humans. The squid gingerly transformed and slowly rose to his robotic feet, still aching from the missile attack as his comrade lifted himself up through the remains of the spinosaurus. Alpha Trion readied his weapons to follow up on his initial attacks, but a noise from high above caught his attention, and he saw a giant winged cannon take off from a launch bay near the top of the central tower and head in a northwestern direction. “Shockwave!” Alpha Trion growled before taking to the air and transforming to give chase to the other Seeker. The multi-colored craft darted out after the larger winged cannon, cutting through the clouds to catch up to Shockwave. Alpha Trion entered a large cloudbank, and was nearly incinerated upon exiting by Shockwave, who had slowed and rotated his cannon barrel around so that it faced behind him. Alpha Trion banked left just in time to avoid the deadly strike and returned fire. His shots connected, but they lacked enough firepower to do much damage against the heavily armored Shockwave, who rotated his cannon barrel back to the front of his flight mode, shot ahead, and disappeared into a space bridge. “No!” Trion called out, before he too disappeared in a flash. Alpha Trion was not able to get an exact location for the point of impact for the All Spark cube, but was able to use the data he had acquired to make a fairly accurate estimation for planet fall. Sure enough, at emerging from the bridge a few hundred feet off the ground, the Seeker was greeted by the site of a small mushroom cloud of dirt and debris in the distance a few miles out. Alpha Trion sped to the location of impact, the air getting thicker with dust as he drew near, and saw Shockwave already walking into the impact crater toward the cube. The cube had destroyed a simple human settlement, and Alpha Trion felt great sadness at seeing the dead and injured laid out around the impact crater. It had been only a few millennia since the ancestors of these people crossed onto this continent, the first of their species to do so, and Alpha Trion had taken great interest in it as it occurred. Once again, his world had brought pain and destruction to this one, and if he were to fail in his current endeavor, he had no doubt that this would only be the beginning, and would ultimately lead to this solar system’s total destruction. Alpha Trion was resolved to not let that happen, and had taken steps to aid him in this task. Of course, the arrival of the All Spark on this world was one eventuality that he could not have predicted or planned for, and it was something that would require a great deal of improvisation to keep from getting out of hand. The multi-colored Seeker bore down on the thus-far unsuspecting Shockwave and unloaded a barrage of his highest powered ordinance. The black and purple Seeker turned just as the ordinance slammed into him, sending his frame bouncing up the side of and then out of the crater, but he snapped right up, accessed his primary weapon in his left arm, and returned fire. Though smaller and less powerful, Alpha Trion was faster and more maneuverable than Shockwave, and evaded the first few shots while sending his adversary ducking for cover with a second volley. Alpha Trion transformed and landed just inside the crater, only a narrow pile of rock and dirt separating him from Shockwave. The darker Seeker lunged over, his left arm transformed back into a hand so that he could grab the bearded Seeker and then slam the electro-axe jutting out of his right wrist into the captured Alpha Trion, but Trion reacted too quickly, slicing up at Shockwave’s outstretched left hand with his bladed spearhead, amputating his hand at the wrist. Shockwave ignored the pain of his lost hand and swung at his former comrade with his electro-axe, but Alpha Trion was expecting the swing and ducked, rolled to the side and came up to his knees with his other hand reconfigured into a missile launcher and pointing directly at Shockwave’s chest. The explosion sent the darkly colored Seeker flying back through the dust-filled air and hitting the ground hard. Alpha Trion immediately turned to the All Spark cube and ran toward it, touching it as he got to it and sending a mental request for it to alter its size. A moment later the object easily fit in Alpha Trion’s reconfigured hand, and the Seeker transformed and blasted to the sky. A short journey later the craft darted back downward through some deep canyons and blasted through the surface of a large river that cut through the mountains. The Seeker transformed to robot mode, dug into the river bed and placed the All Spark into the hole, mentally instructing the life-giving artifact to increase to its natural size again. With only half of the cube pointing out of the rock and mud, Alpha Trion stepped closer to it and began to add more inscriptions to the giant structure with his optic lasers. The normally impervious cube adjusted its pre-existing glyphs to make room for the new ones being added. “…will reveal the doorway.” the Seeker muttered through the water as he finished his additions to the historical record kept on the cube. Alpha Trion then withdrew several small devices from his torso and placed them meticulously around the cube, and once all were in place, remotely activated them. The dampening grid they created around the cube was visible only for a moment before vanishing from optical view, the devices generating the field altering their appearance to look like any other stone on the bottom of the river. The All Spark was still visible to the naked optic, at least until the river’s silt and dirt would accumulate over it and bury it, but any detection of the energy given off of it would be masked as long as it remained within the generated field, which, if left unmolested, should have enough power to last nearly ten thousand rotations of this planet around its sun. Alpha Trion trudged along the floor of the river toward the shore, and finally broke through the surface and walked onto the rocky beach, well aware of Shockwave standing sixty feet in front of him, patiently waiting for him to make his exit onto dry land. “It was drawn to this world by the harvester, wasn’t it?” “Not quite. It sought out the Matrix of Leadership.” Alpha Trion nodded. “Separated from both Prime and Seeker, it needs to see to its own sustenance. But the harvester is a construct; the Matrix is of the Cube.” “I see.” Shockwave replied. “And I suppose your inability to locate the Matrix has been an act all this time. Alpha Trion, Scribe of the Primes, keeper of our world’s historical record. How could you not know its location?” Alpha Trion smiled. “I’ve known where it was since I first entered this planet’s atmosphere. And I’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that none discover it until a Prime worthy of it is ready to bear its weight and responsibility.” “And Optimus Prime is not worthy?” Shockwave asked ominously as he took a single step forward, his massive foot sinking into the soft dirt. Alpha Trion’s optics flared in surprise at hearing Shockwave divulge his awareness of Optimus’s Primal heritage. “The Fallen has identified him?” The lone optic-bearing head twisted in a negative fashion. “No. From what I’ve been informed, the Head of the Science Division, the Prime you’ve attempted to keep hidden even from himself, made a discovery of some of the heritage we Seekers buried from them, and members of his team observed that one of the cranial marking he had been hatched with was identical to what they would come to find was the crest of the Primes.” Shockwave, who had altered his left forearm so that the amputated stump was now a canon, explained. “I don’t blame you for keeping his heritage a secret from him. Even without the confirmation you just provided, I would have known that he was unworthy of calling himself a Prime, regardless of whose spark he was budded from.” “I never said Optimus Prime was not worthy!” Alpha Trion growled. “From the little I’ve observed, he may be the greatest of the line! Any hesitation on my part was due merely to him and Cybertron as a whole not being ready for the reintroduction of this aspect of his legacy.” “Whatever the case, he is likely dead or soon will be.” Shockwave offered. “And he is of a generation that is unaware of procreation methods beyond that of the Cube. Sentinel Prime had the awareness and wherewithal to spawn an offspring and do so secretly, Optimus Prime’s death will represent the end of the line, and the re-emergence of the only entity deserving of the title Prime.” “Your devotion to the Fallen will lead to the end of all life.” Alpha Trion snapped. “Do you truly believe that his betrayal was simply derived from a desire to control all the power of the Primes himself? Or a loathing of the indigenous life forms of this world?” The brightly colored Seeker watched Shockwave as the larger robot momentarily considered his questions. “Of course this star has an energon core, how else could life spontaneously spring forth in this system? But there were alternative stars with energon cores that had not yet produced life or whose life had run its course and come to an end; I was aware of one at the time of the betrayal and had little difficulty finding others in the eons since. But there was something that made the Fallen feel obligated to destroy this particular star, and I think I might have discovered what it was.” “This attempt to prolong your doomed existence is getting pathetic.” Shockwave replied. “You are one of the most brilliant thinkers ever produced by our planet,” Alpha Trion spat at Shockwave “I need you to use that brilliance now and recognize the Fallen’s true agenda! This star is one of several energon-core stars strategically located throughout the universe, stars that are linked by a nearly imperceptible but immensely dense tendrils of energon radiation, tendrils of pure energy, pure life that seem, according to my calculations anyway, to be keeping entropy at bay; the pure entropy that was beaten back by the explosive creation of existence!” “Some sort of fence, is that it?” Shockwave questioned skeptically. “Pushing the void back as the universe expands? Really Alpha Trion, until now I considered you to be THE most brilliant thinker to have been produced by our planet, but I was severely mistaken in that regard.” The dark hulking Seeker continued marching toward Alpha Trion. “Any hesitation I may have had in eliminating the potential asset you posed has been discarded at the revelation of this theory of yours. Goodbye Alpha Trion.” “Yes, Goodbye Shockwave.” Alpha Trion replied before lunging at the larger, more powerful Seeker, narrowly ducking a quickly fired blast from the wrist canon and tackling him through a space bridge. A moment later the two Seekers came tumbling back onto the grass of the animatronic prehistoric zoo just outside the fortress on New Trypticon. They got up and Alpha Trion immediately realized that the team of Decepticons that he had been fighting earlier was approaching them. “Yes, my regard for your brilliance was thoroughly misplaced!” Shockwave announced loudly and almost mirthfully as he rose to his feet. “You went from one on one combat in a neutral setting with a wounded opponent to seven on one combat in a location where I have complete control!” The single eyed Seeker turned to his gathering comrades and nodded to them. “But I’ll help make the numerical odds more even for you. You will soon face only two opponents.” Before Alpha Trion’s optics, the six aquatically adapted Decepticons converged on one position next to Shockwave, reconfigured their shapes, and merged into one gigantic form, one that stood sixty-five feet in height and was nearly as wide as it was tall. Shockwave noted Alpha Trion’s surprise. “Yes, very ungainly, and it’s every bit as clumsy as it looks,” the dark Seeker explained as he looked over the monster roaring at Alpha Trion and lowering to adopt a quadrupedal, gorilla-like stance “but the raw power possessed by this devastator, this…gestalt if you will, vastly surpasses the combined power of its six individual components.” Shockwave then turned to Alpha Trion. “It is a tremendous technological breakthrough that I am proud to take credit for and one that has been shared with Megatron’s forces on the home world.” Though initially startled at the appearance of the combiner, Alpha Trion outwardly displayed none of the signs of concern that Shockwave and the other Decepticons had been expecting. “I thank you for reducing the number of separate enemies that I must face, Shockwave. That will help me greatly. And as for your assertion that you have complete control of this location, well, that may be true of the fortress, but I’m the one that designed this floating continent, even this inner island of New Trypticon, and knowing of my intent to sabotage the effort to retrieve the Matrix of Leadership, don’t you think I would have implemented some facets that weren’t on the blueprint that you have access to?” “Yet another bluff.” Shockwave replied, sounding more certain than he truly was. “Shockwave, nothing I have said to you today was a bluff.” Alpha Trion answered the claim before turning to the various mechanical representations of prehistoric species and mentally activating a series of directives that had been built into their core programming. At once the creatures ceased milling around their various enclosures and turned to charge toward the Decepticons, easily storming through the fences of their respective paddocks. In moments the dinosaurs and ice age mammals were swarming over Shockwave and the giant, a pair of wooly mammoths, pair of wooly rhinoceroses and three gigantopithecuses plowing into the Seeker as a tyrannosaurus rex, a stegosaurus, a triceratops, a Utah raptor, a smilodon, an ankylosaurus, and a quetzalcoatlsaurus all sought to overwhelm the multi-bodied giant. Shockwave easily blasted his right fist through the head of one of the mammoths and incinerated two of the giant primates with his wrist cannon. “Is this the extent of your well-planned sabotage, Alpha Trion?” Shockwave laughed as he easily outfought the mechanical animals. The much slower and more awkward gestalt was having more difficulty connecting strikes to the dinosaurs, though it did manage to slam one of its massive fists down upon the smilodon, utterly destroying the mechanical saber-toothed tiger. “No.” This was all that the colorful Seeker said before directing the dinosaurs to attack Shockwave, leaving the giant unmolested. The dinosaurs, larger and more powerful than the mammals that had previously assaulted Shockwave, barreled into the dark Seeker as one, and their combined effort had the powerful robot tumbling to the ground. The beasts then ran from their target, clearing out of the immediate vicinity, leaving both Shockwave and the giant confused. Alpha Trion turned to look at the throngs of human sea craft coursing through the channels in an attempt to get to the open ocean and escape the unprecedented, in their limited histories anyway, Cybertronian on Cybertronian violence. The bearded Seeker sadly shook his head at knowing that those to have not already reached the ocean would never reach it. His leg thrusters ignited, lifting him a dozen feet off the ground and allowing him to hover there, and he mentally activated another set of measures that he had built into the continent, measures installed long ago to be used only as a last resort. The ground shuddered as a series of explosions erupted across the ground in front of the Cybertronian fortress towering over the Transformers, causing the enormous structure to topple forward a bit, the metal at its base groaning under the increasing strain of keeping the leaning structure aloft. Shockwave and the giant looked up, and watched in horror as the straining base finally gave way, causing the tower to tear away from the main base and plummet down toward them. While the Decepticons had turned to look up at it, Alpha Trion had already relocated himself and instructed his dinosaur soldiers to do the same, leaving only Shockwave and the gestalt underneath the billions of tons of falling metal. Shockwave ignited every thruster he had that directed him away from being beneath the doomed edifice, and narrowly avoided being crushed. The gestalt had no chance of avoiding the impact, and was obliterated beneath the unimaginable weight of the structure as it smashed through the rocky ground, nearly splitting the inner island into several smaller islands. A moment later Alpha Trion sent another series of mental commands, commands that set off explosions laced throughout the entire continent, causing the vast artificial land mass to shudder uncontrollably and implode upon itself. Having barely avoided the collapse of his fortresses main tower, Shockwave bounced across the ground from his uncontrolled flight to safety, and looked up just as Alpha Trion came down on him, smashing his right fist into Shockwave’s optic. The brightly colored Seeker then stabbed his spearhead into the dark Seeker’s abdomen. Shockwave pushed Alpha Trion away, the two robots then stumbling and falling upon the violently quaking and crumbling ground. Shockwave got to his feet and leapt to the air, intending to flee the rapidly decomposing continent, but the moment he was off the ground he was slammed back into it by the quetzalcoatlsaurus. Shockwave flung the winged automaton away, but as he got his hand and knees beneath him, the boulder-like end of the ankylosaurus’s tail smashed into the side of his face, immediately followed by the spikes of the stegosaurus’s tail driving into his right thigh. The ground finally fell apart beneath them, every piece of the island and everything on it plummeting down into the ocean. Shockwave sunk through the water, but turned to find a way back up through its surface. A giant boulder was sinking down toward him from above, but a blast from his wrist cannon split the great rock and he was able to wedge himself between the enormous pieces without being dragged down to the depths. But just as he cleared the boulder Alpha Trion was upon him once again, and the two began battering one another. The inner island was fully destroyed and the last of its pieces was descending through the surface of the Atlantic, and the explosions and quaking would be sending the surrounding continent down after it shortly, beginning with a mountain range that had been surrounding the moats and inner island. The largest of the mountains began tearing apart and sliding into the vast lake created by the loss of the inner island. The fighting Seekers ceased their conflict as the dim light that had been visible to them beneath the waves completely disappeared, and they turned to see a mountain coming down upon them to drag them to the ocean floor. Dozens of craft from various regions around the world struggled to remain aloft against the massive waves being generated by the sinking land mass. Those mariners able to spare a glance backward witnessed the final destruction of this great continent of the gods, a land of wonders that they and the next five hundred generations of their descendants would never see again. *** The scarlet red nebulae stretched out across the horizon, creating a beautiful glow off of the crystalline sand that made up nearly the entire surface of this alien world. Aside from the mountains in the distance, the only thing to see on the barren landscape was the team of Autobots putting the finishing touches on a solar harvester in the distance. It would be a site that would have instilled a tremendous sense of awe in nineteen year old Sam Witwicky were he not so concerned about the structural integrity of the craft he currently found himself in. “Are you sure this thing is going to hold together?” “Yeah it’s gonna hold together!” Skids snapped back. “Whatchu think, Mudflap put it tagetha?” “Yeah, whatchu think, I put it…hey!” Mudflap turned toward Skids threateningly. “No!” Sam stepped toward them with his hands in the air in an attempt to pre-empt the likely brawl between the two. “No, no, no, no, no! You guys aren’t putting any additional strain on this ship!” “Ah, don’t wet your pampers.” Skids replied, waving his hand at the human as he did so. “Sam?” Ratchet poked his head in the room, sending a disapproving look to the twins, despite not knowing for certain that they had been misbehaving, before returning his gaze to the human. “Get your suit on, we’re ready for you.” Sam exhaled deeply and headed toward a streamlined blue and silver space suit. “On my way.” * “Thanks for doing this Sam.” Optimus Prime, standing next to the solar harvester with the Matrix of Leadership clutched tightly in his right hand, transmitted to the speaker in Sam’s helmet. “No problem Optimus.” Sam said as he took in the awesome view surrounding them, his sense of wonder overpowering his fear as he reached the side of the harvester next to Prime. He then looked up at the Autobot leader. “So what do I do now?” Prime smiled as he knelt down and revealed that his left hand contained the tiny piece of the All Spark that had gotten caught in Sam’s clothing after thrusting it into Megatron’s chest. Prime places the small shard of metal in the sand a few feet from Sam. “Just look at the shard while I do my part.” Prime then looked to the other Autobots. “The rest of you may wish to back up now.” With that the other Autobots scattered while Optimus Prime began climbing the structure to insert the Matrix and begin the process. Upon reaching the activation portal near the top of the giant structure, Optimus Prime paused a moment to reflect upon the significance of what was about to happen, and then activated the harvester by inserting the Matrix. A tremendous beam of light shot out toward the ancient star and quickly began drawing the vast energy from it, channeling it into the harvester’s core, and after building up for several seconds, a smaller, very focused beam shot out from the device’s core and enveloped the All Spark shard. Almost instantly the shard began to grow in size and glow brilliantly with an unfathomable level of energy; not just any energy, but the live-giving and sustaining energon. Despite being frighteningly close to this incredible level of energy, Sam remained completely unharmed, and seemed to fall into a trance-like state while watching the All Spark cube grow toward its original size and shape. Within minutes the red star was vastly dimmer, and the cube was almost as it had been prior to its destruction. It was already the same size, and the Autobots could sense that the power level was back to it had once been, the only difference was that the entire cube was smooth and featureless; the glyphs that once told of their planet’s history were gone. Gone, until still entranced, Sam stepped forward and reached toward the cube, energy washing out of his body and flowing over the cube, filling in the missing glyphs and ridges as it made its way from Sam’s body and encompassing the entire All Spark. A few minutes later and the process was complete, the exhausted Sam collapsing upon the alien sand and the light of the planet’s primary star fading from existence. “It’s done!” Ironhide called out. “Get Sam back to the ship before he freezes to death!” Ratchet bellowed, and a moment later Bumblebee was doing just that. The yellow Autobot scooped Sam into his hands and sprinted back to the ship as Optimus Prime leapt from the side of the harvester, landing on the sand and touched the cube to shrink it down to a manageable size. “Thank you Sam.” Bumblebee forced through his damaged vocal processor. Sam, barely conscious after what had just transpired, only smiled weakly as he replied. “No problem Bee.” “Autobots, mission accomplished!” Prime’s voice came through Bumblebee’s radio speaker. “Let’s roll out.” *** “Lord Megatron, the All Spark shard in our possession has crumbled to dust, and our sensors have confirmed that the star of the system we tracked the Autobots to has been drained of energy.” Starscream announced as he entered the throne room/bridge of the nearly rebuilt Nemesis. “It would appear that their attempts to restore the All Spark were fruitful.” “It certainly does appear that way.” Megatron snickered. “How kind of them to do the work for us.” The powerful silver Decepticon commander, now fully repaired from his resurrection and battles that followed it, marched across the bridge to navigation, being manned by a hulking green and brown robot. “Bludgeon, plot a course so that we intercept them just as they’re entering Earth’s atmosphere!” “As you command, Megatron.” *** “Yes, I’m well aware of what your science fiction has suggested for the timely traversal of space.” Ratchet chuckled to a still hazy Sam as they made their way to the bridge of the cargo freighter that they had build for the trip. “Worm hole generation, anti-matter engines, bending space, tachyons,” the green Autobot shook his head condescendingly, “gobbledygook! Now this Omega class star freighter utilizes the only legitimate way to traverse such distances, aside from space bridges, which I still haven’t figured out how Jetfire pulled off, is…” the craft shook suddenly, sending Ratchet stumbling and Sam to the floor. “We’re under attack!” Prime’s voice blasted through every speaker on the ship. “Man battle stations!” “What battle stations?” Ironhide bellowed as he sprinted past Ratchet and the human. “This thing is nothing more than a glorified mail truck!” The black Autobot charged into the bridge, seeing the giant black war ship attacking them through the front viewport. “We’re not completely helpless Ironhide.” Sideswipe called out from his seat at the weapons station. “This crate has some teeth!” With that the silver Autobot returned fire on the Nemesis, sending a high-powered shot that cut through the front of the Decepticon ship, but not causing enough damage to repel the attackers. Ironhide ran to the front and stopped next to Prime. “Jeez, I was hoping we’d never see that thing in action!” “No such luck.” Prime muttered. “Sideswipe, launch everything we have at that thing! Ironhide, get everyone, including yourself, to evacuation pods!” “Not without you, Pri…” “That’s an order Ironhide!” Prime interrupted as he piloted the ship down toward the Earth’s upper atmosphere. “Now get it done!” Ironhide paused, tempted to argue, but turned and barked to the other occupants. “Evacuate the ship! Do it now!” Prime maneuvered the craft defensively for several minutes before seeing that the last of the escape pods had been jettisoned and directing the ship back at the Nemesis. The speaker on the console sizzled for a second before giving way to the voice of Megatron. “Prime, you do not have to die. Hand over the cube and I’ll let you continue your existence. I might even be persuaded to allow your Autobots and a few humans to continue living as well, just jettison the All Spark into space and head back to Earth.” “Are you really expecting an answer, Megatron?” Prime asked. “Because if your offer was anything more than taunting, I do have a response in mind to give you.” “Oh Prime, am I really that transparent?” Megatron ominously chuckled. “Yes, I’m merely taunting you. Of course I’m not going to let you or any one of your sheep live. I just felt it a necessary pleasantry to at least lie to you.” Prime looked back to his sensor screen to see that the pods were a safe distance before banking his ship sharply. “You’re not getting the All Spark Megatron!” The Autobot craft cut back into Earth’s atmosphere and sped down toward the North American continent, but Prime turned east, out toward the Atlantic. The Autobot commander pressed as series of buttons to open the rear cargo section. “Disengage all measures securing the All Spark in the cargo bay.” Prime ordered the ship’s computer. The Omega class star craft complied, retracting all bars and straps that were keeping the All Spark secured in the rear of the ship. Prime leveled off just a few hundred feet over the ocean, and then directed the ship back upward, causing the enormous cube in the cargo bay to begin sliding toward the now opening bay door. Just as the spark was about to slide out, a horrific bolt of energy shot down from the heavens and blasted the top of the Autobot ship, sending it beneath the waves and toward the depths of the Atlantic. As the craft slowed but continued descending, the All Spark rolled out of the rear of the ship, and both the ship and the cube slowly fell to the murky mountainous region of the ocean floor. Shortly after disappearing into the lightless depths, the flash of energon emission cut through the darkness numerous times.