Every year or so I put together a little something that tries to bring the Beast era characters together with the G1 character, and to use existing toys to represent these characters. So, well, here we go again: Revisionist History: A Classical Tale "Within this realm of Nexus Zero, there are few aspects of the universe that I can not access." The floating spark commented in a deep, masculine voice as it hovered before countless images shimmering against the bright, flowing ether that surrounded it. "Yet I am still unable to breach this shroud that I know to be obscuring all existence." A second spark hovered through the ether so that it was floating next to the first. "You have been commenting on this shroud of yours for over twelve vorns. Perhaps it's time you listened to the VOK and accepted the possibility that your sensitivity to things might be off just this once." The feminine voice emanated from the new spark. "No, over the last several cycles I've noticed breaches in the shroud more and more, as though it's being shaken, and soon to be lifted." The first spark replied. "The loss of clarity occurs first on Earth, but immediately follows to Cybertron, and Nebulon soon after. In time the blurring of reality travels to every world that occupants of those planets come into contact with, and then worlds that those newly infected worlds contact, and so on, spreading across their galaxy. Individuals, even entire family lines exist when I know deep down that they should not, and I sense the absence of others that according to reality never came into being." "Its origin was Earth?" The feminine voice questioned. "Yes, our former adopted home." The deep voice replied. "It is there that reality first became obscured, over one thousand of the planet's solar rotations ago. Only in the last few breems have I been able to see through the shroud enough to pinpoint its point of origin, though with each passing astrosecond the clarity is increased." "Really?" The feminine spark replied, seemingly worried. "The fact that this...whatever it is, is happening so close to the final battle worries me." "As it does me." The masculine spark commented. "Primus, his followers and his alien allies have no need for such a large scale deception. They are all but assured victory over Unicron, who never fully recovered from his destruction at the hands of Rodimus Prime in the Earth year 2005." "Of course!" The female exclaimed. "That was one thousand years ago almost to the date, and it was at about that time that you first started noticing the obscurity in reality. Could his destruction have been one large ploy to put his enemies into a false state of ease?" "Perhaps, but I started noticing the shroud more than a tenth of a vorn prior to his initial destruction." The first spark said. "It was...wait, I believe I can see through it now." The spark glowed brightly as it strained to see what was invisible to all others. "There!" Much of the light eminating from the spark shot out toward one dark flicker of the ether, and seemed to bring the shadowy image displayed on it into clarity. "The origin of the deception." The luminescent energy given off by the spark brought the distorted images into focus, and the two floating sparks were presented with the image of two human males, in a cavern deep beneath the surface of the earth. One was persistantly brushing dirt and soot off of the wall of the cavern with his pick, the light mounted on his helmet illuminating his progress as the other human approached him from behind. "Hey McKenzie, what the heck are you doing?" "Thought I saw something, Moody. Something shiney." McKenzie, the digger, replied as clumps of stone and dirt fell away from the rockface he was brushing his pick against. The humans both stumbled back as glowing stalagmites of energon crystals were revealed. The two men rose to their feet and dusted themselves off. "What the..." McKenzie asked in stunned facination. Moody stared at the discovery for a moment before finally responding. "The Tutchone Tribe used to believe that a worm lived in this butte that had eyes like the sun." Moody then gave his friend a congratulatory slap on the back. "You can't mine coal to save your life, but it looks like you just found some of those eyes." The masculine spark allowed the image to fade back into dark obscurity. "Of course! The reason that the shroud was so convincing was that it was the legitimate timeline. The obscured reality is one shifted, a shift that we had a hand in! But though obscured, it is reality none the less! The Cybertronians have been preparing their defense based upon false information!" The spark hovered upward through to other regions of Nexus Zero. "They must be warned that there is a very strong possibility that Unicron is far more powerful than he has allowed them to believe!" The other spark followed closely behind. "But the VOK have made it clear that they will play no part in the coming battle, that they will take no side! And because we exist here with them, we are to take no side either." "The VOK have not the right to declare neutrality on this, not when they are the reason for existence's disadvantage! It was the VOK who seeded the Earth with that enhanced energon; it is the VOK who created this divergent historical path!" The male spark adamantly answered. The two sparks emerged though the cloud-like sections of the nexus and found themselves surrounded by several of the wraith-like VOK individuals. "VOK, scan my spark, bear witness to the images which I have just taken in, and understand their impact!" It only took the VOK a moment to do as the spark asked, and one floated forward and addressed the masculine spark. "This is most unexpected, and potentially catastrophic. But the battle, and its outcome are not our concern." "But they are your responsibility! The VOK are the reason for this shift in temporal existence!" The spark angrily replied. "You possess great power and intelligence, now display the wisdom to correct your mistakes!" "Silence!" Another VOK floated forward. "When you and your mate were returned to Nexus Zero by the warp-gate safety measure built into the emissary vessel that you commandeered, we allowed you to continue existing with the expectation that you to be far more grateful and compliant." "Call me ungrateful all you wish, but that does not change the fact that your actions put the universe in jeopardy." The spark barked back. "You are in a position to at least attempt to make matters right. You are obligated to make that attempt!" The second spark hovered forward. "You VOK are quick to point out your ruthlessness, you seem almost proud of your apparent detachment. But despite what you will admit to, I have witnessed great acts of compassion by your species. The morality to do what is right exists within you, but the opportunity to do it is passing quickly. Weakened or powerful, Unicron approaches Cybertron as we speak." The VOK went silent as they communed with one another on a level imperceptible to the sparks. Finally the first VOK to speak to the sparks floated forward. "Though we acknowledge our role in this course of events, the VOK will take no action on this matter. But we agree that action must be taken." Two clouds of ether formed between the sparks and the speaking VOK, and became a flurry of movement as particles were drawn from seeming nothingness and configured into as yet unrecognizable forms. "You will be the ones to take action." The particles slowed as the final forms seemed to take shape. "You will be the ones to warn the Cybertronians." The feminine spark hovered forward over the newly formed shapes. "We would probably prefer something more akin to the emissary frame." The other spark dropped down into the larger of the new forms, and Tigerron [Classic Overbite] arose through the mist. "We have no time to negotiate for more powerful frames; these will suffice." Tigertron looked up at the VOK he had been speaking with as the second spark took possession of the other frame [Classic Dreadwing]. "Though we will need a lift." *** Perceptor [Classic LOC] made his way through the hallways toward the central command center deep within Iacon's Capital Spire; hallways that he had once traveled through comfortably, but which now seemed cavernous in this minature body which he had possessed for nearly nine centuries. Much had changed shortly after the Great War; the suspension of nearly all surviving Decepticon sparks, the decommissioning of their frames, the exile of the Autobots that refused to relinquish their large frames, Cybertropolis had replaced Iacon as capital of Cybertron for politcal reasons, and nearly all of the structures had been scaled for Micromaster occupation, as well as those of the various races spawned from their basic body structures. But in recent centuries an enormous energon surplus had been attained, allowing for the gradual return of Autobots to the homeworld. Iacon had been raised back to the surface of the planet, and was soon restored to its former glory. While no longer the planetary capital, it was clearly the residence of over ninety percent of the returning Autobots, both for sentimental reasons, and because its structures were still scaled for larger Cybertronians. Perceptor had longed for the return of those comrades unwilling to undergo size modification for centuries, and was elated when they finally started making their way back home, but for various reasons he retained his smaller body, despite his unwillingness to drop his Autobot identity in favor of the more politically correct Maximal faction. Finally reaching the command center, Perceptor noted that the large room was empty except for a lone, darkly colored Maximal [Classic Snarl]. "Hello, am I in the correct location?" Perceptor asked, his voice briefly startling the Maximal who was looking out the window. "I do not kno...pardon me, but aren't you Perceptor, the Autobot hero?" The Maximal responded. "I wouldn't consider myself to be a hero, but I am the Autobot in question." Perceptor confirmed. "Your voice sounds familiar, are you in the media?" The Maximal smiled. "There was a period where I was a bit of a celebrity, though that was a long time ago, and I've been reconfigured a few times since." The dark robot extended his hand in greeting. "I am Silverbolt." "The veteran of the Beast conflicts?" Perceptor asked as he accepted the outstretched hand. Noting the Maximal nod, he continued. "It seems absurd for you to refer to me as a hero, given your defense of, well, the universe." "I merely played my part, I'm no hero." Silverbolt replied. "I'm afraid that we've got another part for you to play." Ultra Magnus [Titanium] announced as he entered the room with the Maximal Security Commander, Leo Prime [Classic LOC]. "Thank you both for coming on such short notice." "Not a problem." Both of the vastly smaller robots answered in unison, Silverbolt a little awestruck at the presence of the Autobot legend who had only recently returned to Cybertron, and Perceptor beaming a broad smile at his old friend. "Time is of the essence, so I'll get right to the point." Magnus said as he gestured to them to sit in some properly scaled hover-chairs that had been left for them. Leo Prime took one of the hover chairs as well as Magnus sat in a large chair and looked his guests in their respective optics as they hovered up to his level. "Unicron has once again been rebuilt and is on his way here. Our intelligence indicates that he is only a fraction the size of his original form, but the Council of Elders are of the belief that this will lead to the final battle, the chaotic climax of existence as foretold in the Covenant of Primus." "And the weakened destroyer will loose four curses upon the defenders of Primus; war, conquest, famine and death." Perceptor began quoting. "The curses will set upon the champions and cause destruction and chaos to eliminate their defense. The evil of the curses shall be stopped only by the Primal Virtues, who will be called upon to find the wisdom to awaken Primus, and light the dark deception." "Exactly." Leo Prime answered. "I see that despite your devotion to science, you have a firm understanding of the religious texts." "Excuse me, sirs, but I fail to understand how this passage is useful to us in defending Cybertron." Silverbolt commented. Leo Prime looked to him, then to Magnus, who shrugged and nodded his agreement. The Maximal Security Commander then returned his gaze to his fellow Maximal. "The Council has a theory regarding that, one which we can use your assistance to flesh out." Magnus leaned forward and peered intently at his old friend. "Perceptor, Leo Prime was filling me in on a theory you had. A response to a comment he made about how there could never be a true Maximal Prime so long as the Autobots kept the Matrix with them away from Cybertron." Magnus cocked his head quizzically. "Do you remember what you said to him?" "Certainly. I extended the theory that a Maximal Prime had already been chosen by the Matrix, and then explained the results of some independent research that I had conducted regarding the subject that supported this theory." Perceptor replied. Silverbolt turned to Perceptor. "What are you talking about." Perceptor turned to the Maximal and smiled. "Actually, this is a matter that you may be able to shed some light on, as you were present when it took place." "What?" The canine/robot questioned in an extremely confused manner. Perceptor smiled, relaxed in his chair, and then finally began to explain. "It all began about a vorn after the resolution of the Beast Machines conflict. I was curious about the power enhancements discovered over the course of the Beast Wars, specifically those provided by mutations caused by transwarp cell radiation and then by the direct merging of separate sparks. Using simulations, I managed to reenact and duplicate the Transmetal process, and in the case of Megatron..." Perceptor looked up at Ultra Magnus and shrugged. "The Predacon Megatron that is, I managed to duplicate to some degree of accuracy his resultant frame from his combination with the Decepticon Megatron's spark." Perceptor's metal brow furrowed in confusion as he sat back before continuing. "But with Optimus Primal's transition to his Optimal Optimus frame, I ran into some very different results. According to the simulations I ran, and please know that I was extremely careful to reproduce all conceivable variables involved in the original process, the resultant frame of Primal should have been quite different. His size would certainly have been enhanced, but to a level comparable with that of Megatron's dragon frame. And the resultant frame that my simulation produced possessed only a robot and beast mode. The beast mode was fairly accurate if the various thrusters and other vehicular parts were removed, but the robot mode was significantly different, and less powerful; at least less powerful once the spark of Optimus Prime was removed." Silverbolt shook his head, not fully understanding what Perceptor was getting at. "So what are you saying?" Perceptor smiled as he explained. "Well, when I mentioned a moment ago that I had taken into account all variables, I was not entirely truthful. There was one element at play that I overlooked. The Matrix. With Optimus Prime on the brink of death, and Hot Rod not having been built at that point, the Matrix, having come into contact with a worthy spark, had selected a new Prime. Without knowing it, Optimal Optimus was in actuality, Primal Prime." Perceptor looked to the two commanders and shrugged. "Or so my theory says." Silverbolt's optics were stretched wide. He then looked to his fellow Maximal and noted that the Maximal Security Commander was already peering intently at him. "Which is why we need you." "Me?" Silverbolt asked. "You know the approximate location of where Primal fell at the resolution of the Beast Machine conflict." Magnus commented. "And your canine nose might be of assistance as well." *** "When I agreed to scale down for even further energon efficiency, I only did so because I'd still be bigger than the majority of you Maximals." The yellow Autobot [Classic LOC Bumblebee] announced to the approaching Maximal [Titanium Cheetor]. "But you had to go and ruin that pleasant bit of self esteem by making yourself twice my size, Cheetor." "Hey, I don't feel like waiting around for one of your prodigal friends to step on me. And besides, I figured a larger, more powerful version of myself might be appropriate given that the biggest and baddest of the big bads is on his way here now." Cheetor replied jokingly. "Well, let's just hope that the reports of Unicron's inability to heal after his destruction at the hands of Rodimus Prime were not exagerated." Bumblebee commented as something in the dark sky above him caught his attention.. "Cybertronians have crossed his path several times since then, and each encounter has confirmed that he's never come close to returning to full power." Cheetor replied before raising his wrist to his mouth. "Cheetor at outpost thirty-eight on the northern outskirts of Cybertropolis. We've made visual contact with something." "Affirmative, we've had several confirmations from your area. Scout ships are en-route and the bulk of our forces will be shortly behind them." A voice replied through the speaker. Cheetor's optics grew wide as more came into view. "Don't bother with the scouts, just send the warriors, it's them!" Four forms dropped from the dark sky at an alarming rate, and a moment later two hit the ground with a thunderous impact, while the other two cut back into the sky and sped out toward the few Cybertronians stationed to defend the area. Cheetor and Bumblebee turned to fire on the flying forms as they shot by overhead, but the ships [Titanium Scourge and Titanium Sunstorm] were too fast for even Cheetor to get a bead on. As they watched the fliers zip around in the dark sky, they heard their comrades firing upon the two that had hit ground. The two defenders turned to see the massive forms standing a half mile in front of them, one of whom they instantly recognized, Cheetor from his time aboard the Ark on ancient Earth, and Bumblebee from brutal, first hand experience. "Megatron." [Titanium WW Megatron] Cheetor exclaimed, but quickly shook off his shock and dread and began firing. "Yes, but who is the other one?" Bumblebee asked as he opened fire. The other form [Titanium Fallen] seemed to hear the question, and called out to all that opposed them. "I have gone by many names in my time, but know now that on this day, I am death!" The dark warrior fired on them, and though hitting only the ground in front of them, the two defenders went flying in different directions. "Alright..." Cheetor quickly dragged himself back to his feet. "This guy's death, Megatron's gotta be conquest, so who are the other two?" The Maximal's question was answered as he witnessed the orange/yellow jet transform mid air, position his hands over the defending Cybertronians below him, and suck the energon from their frames. "Ohh, right, famine." Cheetor opened fire on the enemy in the shape of an old Decepticon Seeker, but his shots had no effect. He then looked at the blue and white Scourge, who had transformed, landed, and was now destroying numerous Autobots and Maximals with his bare hands. "Time to go to war." With that, Cheetor opened fire on the bearded robot. The Cybertronian defense forces started arriving en masse, but their weapons seemed to have no effect on the minions of Unicron. Their armor could sustain any barrage, their weapons could destroy any blockade, hull or warrior, and their physical strength exceeded that of Guardians. It was only a matter of minutes before it was clear that the defenders didn't stand a chance against them. And then it happened. The ground began shifting, long solid metal that had long lain dormant began sliding and reforming, and soon a tunnel leading all the way down to what seemed to be the very core of the planet was exposed, and a few moments later, three forms shot forth from the mouth. The first form was easily recognizable as their leader, Optimus Prime [Titanium WW Optimus Prime]. The second form was recognized, though none believed that it could exist concurrently with Optimus Prime. But all of Cybertron's defenders were willing to set aside their doubt and welcomed the return of Rodimus Prime [Titanium Rodimus Prime] enthusiastically. The third form was the most confusing, and with the exceptions of Cheetor, garnered the least amount of joy from those that witnessed its return to the surface. But the spark of Cheetor leapt at the sight of Optimus Primal's frame [Titanium Optimal Optimus] bounding out in ground vehicle mode and immediately taking to the sky in air guardian mode. A booming voice cut through the heavens, the volume must have been deafening, but those present seemed to have no negative effect from its force. "ARISE, VIRTUOUS CHAMPIONS OF CYBERTRON; ARISE OPTIMUS PRIME, ARISE RODIMUS PRIME, ARISE PRIMAL PRIME! TOGETHER ATTAIN THE WISDOM TO LIGHT THIS, OUR DARKEST HOUR!" The three newcomers wasted no time in charging into battle, and while all of these leaders were powerful before, they now possessed enough power to meet the invaders as equals. The three Cybertronian heros met the invaders head on, and their ordinance and physical blows to one another laid waste to the landscape around them, the shockwaves sending the hordes of Autobots and Maximals off their feet and skidding across the ground or flying through the air for miles. "How many times must I kill you, Prime?" Megatron growled as he gripped his ancient enemy. Optimus Prime swatted Megatron's hands off of him and laid a powerful punch to his jaw. "The first time was all that was needed to prepare me for today." Optimus went to kick Megatron, but the Decepticon leapt away and squared off against the Autobot once again. "What are you doing serving Unicron?" "I serve no one!" Megatron growled. "He needed to alter my mind and body to make a servant out of me before, and even then I refused to see him as my superior." The Decepticon lunged for his enemy, and the two of them grappled ferociously with one another. "This time he preferred me sane, and offered godhood for my assistance. I can not be made a slave, but I am definitely not opposed to a mutually beneficial alliance." "Bah, disguise it any way you wish, but your deals with the devil always leave you the servant of a lost cause, and this time when Unicron is defeated, it will cost you more than just your sanity!" Optimus Prime twisted and slammed Megatron into the ground, then raised his foot high above his enemy's head and slammed his heal down onto Megatron's face, driving the Decepticon through the metal ground and deep beneath the surface of the planet. * Rodimus Prime drove his fist into the grill of the dark warrior of Unicron, but the Fallen merely staggered back a few steps before advancing once again on the red Autobot. "I've watched you with interest from afar for centuries. Such a hot headed youth; even as the Prime you were subject to doubt and hesitation. And now YOU are the one serving as the discipline of Primus?" Rodimus landed a combination of punches and a knee that once again sent the ancient disciple of Unicron stumbling back. "Discipline comes with age." A crescent kick finally sent the dark evil one to the ground. "One as old as legend depicts you should know that." The Fallen lunged upward and slammed his shoulder into Rodimus, sending the far younger Autobot stumbling back and falling to the ground. "The virtue that you apparently embody was the only one I respected. Optimus Prime's compassion is a weakness and a personality fault that has gotten him killed in the past, and will likely do so again today. This Primal Prime apparently represents reason, but reason is a waste of effort and ultimately pointless. All that one need think about is how best to serve the master of chaos." The Fallen marched rapidly toward Rodimus, but the Autobot was quickly on his feet and launching blows at the invader. The dark warrior continued speaking as they exchanged strikes. "But discipline is an asset, regardless of who one may be. Unicron values discipline, and rewards it. Which is why I am so gravely dissapointed that such a valuable trait be embodied by such a lowly whelp as you." Unlike how he had been in his youth, Rodimus did not allow the words to affect him, and remained focused on his plan to defeat this enemy. He had heard legends regarding this being, and the Matrix energy that was flowing through his frame seemed almost alive with intensity at being so close to Cybertron's original traitor. Rodimus Prime drew him even closer as they grappled, opened his chest, and released the power of the Matrix upon the Fallen. Awash with the lifeforce of Cybertron, the Fallen struggled against the power of millions of years of enlightenment and life, against the souls of betrayed brethren, against the very will of Primus himself. The struggle was short lived, as the Fallen fell to the ground, his frame empty of all but the weakest glimmer struggling to keep his spark from extinguishing, a spark that was now finally severed from the Allspark, forever beyond the reach of Primus' mercy. * The two flying harbingers of destruction darted after the Air Guardian form of the reborn and renamed Primal Prime. The former Optimus Primal weaved through their ordinance, gracefully dodging each deadly shot, and lowered ground-ward, transforming a couple dozen feet off the planet's surface and speeding forward as his tires hit the ground. Scourge and Sunstorm sped after him, blasting away after his departing form. So intent on destroying this Prime that neither of them recognized, that they failed to notice the barrage of firepower heading toward them. The shots from Optimus and Rodimus Prime brought the two fliers crashing down, but the Decepticons transformed and appeared to have only minimal damage. Primal Prime had turned while they were rising to their feet, and quickly ran down Scourge within a moment of him standing. Sunstorm turned to aid his comrade, but he was soon accosted by the other two Primes. "ENOUGH!" The thunderous voice from the sky let all on Cybertron know that the true battle was about to begin. The speckled black of space was broken by the suddenly appearing form above them. Though countless miles high above them, the image was still huge; but not as huge as it had been a thousand years before. Nor was it the same shape, no, this one had a flatter form. It plummeted to Cybertron and crashed upon the surface as though it were a falling city. All were sent hurtling back with the exceptions of the three Primes, who merely stood their ground and stared. The form finally came into view, a battle tank [Cybertron Unicron] of unfathomable dimensions began rolling toward them. "THE FALL OF MY MINIONS IS OF NO CONSEQUENCE. CYBERTRON IS DOOMED DESPITE YOUR EFFORTS." A yellow blur flashed from the distance to the three Primes, and Cheetor was standing next to them. He peered closely at his former commander. "Bigbot?" "Hello Cheetor." Primal Prime smiled at his friend. "I understand that it's been awhile." "You two will need to catch up later." Rodimus Prime calmly mentioned. "In case you hadn't noticed, we need to figure out a way to defeat Unicron." "Well you're the expert at that." Optimus Prime replied jokingly. "So where do you suggest we begin?" "Somehow I don't think he'll let us into his frame this time around." Rodimus answered amusedly. "We must unleash the wisdom of the Matrix to save our planet from this threat." Primal Prime spoke up. The three of them looked to each other, and as one seemed to come to the same realization. They positioned themselves so that they faced each other in a circle, opened their chest compartments, and allowed their Matrix energies to flow together, creating a large key that then descended down through newly created opeings in the surface of Cybertron through to its very core. "Yes, of course, true wisdom does not come from looking outward, but from looking within." The massive tank transformed to the robotic form of Unicron, a robotic form that stood well over a mile high. "YES, AWAKEN MY BROTHER, SO THAT I MAY DESTROY HIM PROPERLY." "Cheetor, you may want to hold on to something." Primal Prime commented as the ground began shaking uncontrolably. Unicron's laughter added to the quaking ground as he levitated off the surface and back into space. The planet Cybertron itself began reforming itself, and soon a robot [Cybertron Primus] so large that only someone on the outskirts of the solar system could fully take it in stood before the comparritively diminutive Unicron. A bolt of light, one almost invisible next to the giants, streaked toward the enormous robot. As it drew near, it positioned itself so that the tip would travel to the location of the three Primes. A moment later, the glowing orb that had caused the streak slowed and stopped before the Primes. It dispersed, revealing the robotic forms of Tigertron and Air Razor. "Greetings Optimus Primal." Tigertron addressed his friend and former leader. "Tigertron...Air Razor?" Primal Prime was stunned. "There's no time for explanations." Air Razor said. "Just know that what you see is not truly what is unfolding!" Tigertron commented. His assertion seemed to be supported by images that were fluctuating in and out of everyone's vision. No longer was he the only one to notice the discrepancies in reality. The shroud was coming down, the deception was moments from being revealed. "This reality is all one big lie, a lie stemming back over one thousand years!" "AND SO IT SEEMS IT ENDS." The voice of the creator of the Transformer species bellowed impossibly through the vacuum of space. "YOU DO NOT REALIZE HOW RIGHT YOU ARE, PRIMUS." The infinitely smaller, though still huge Unicron answered laughingly. "IT IS TIME REVEAL WHAT YOU ARE TRULY UP AGAINST!" The shroud fell, and now it was Unicron [Armada Unicron] that towered over Primus. "I WISH THAT I COULD SAVOR THIS MOMENT LONGER, BUT AFTER AN ETERNITY, IT IS FINALLY TIME FOR MY MASTERSTROKE!" On the surface of Primus, the three Primes, Cheetor, Tigertron, Air Razor and the newly arrived Silverbolt all stared in terror at the portions of Unicron that filled the sky. "It's over Primes." Megatron commented as he, Scourge and Sunstorm casually walked toward their enemies. "NO, IT'S NOT." The voice of Primus was awesome, but quiet enough for only those present at that location to hear. "HISTORY WILL BE RESTORED." The ground parted near the group, and a pool of glowing energy emerged from it. "NO!" Unicron's roar thundered throughout the skies. "STOP THEM FROM ENTERING THE PORTAL, MINIONS!" Megatron, Sunstorm and Scourge lunged to stop any Autobot or Maximal from entering the glowing energy in the open ground, but their charge was stopped by Optimus Prime, Rodimus Prime, Primal Prime and Cheetor. "At least one of us needs to go through." Optimus Prime called out as he locked arms with Megatron. "You three!" Primal Prime turned and called to Silverbolt, Tigatron and Air Razor. "You're most fit to undertake this mission!" He was knocked to the ground by a blow from Sunstorm just as the words exited his mouth. "Us?" Air Razor replied. "Yes." Rodimus Prime continued as he hip-tossed Scourge. "You're invisilble to ancient scanners and more closely resemble an Earth alt-mode than any of us, and there's no chance of running into yourselves a thousand years ago." "A million years ago, maybe, but not a thousand." Cheetor joked before being hammered by Sunstorm, who was in turn sent flying back three dozen yards by a blow from Primal Prime. Primal Prime turned and pointed at them in the brief moment before Sunstorm came charging back at him. "Go now!" "MEGATRON, STOP THEM!" Unicron called out, but Optimus Prime was hammering away on the legendary Decepticon, whose focus was divided between stopping the small Maximals and protecting himself from Optimus Prime, and therefore he was unable to accomplish either. "Sorry Unicron, Megatron's busy." Optimus Prime called out. "SO BE IT." The dark god of chaos replied. "THE PROMISE OF GODHOOD BOUGHT ME ONE MEGATRON, IT WILL BUY ME ANOTHER." A beam of energy shot from the fingertip of Unicron and traveled down the tunnel that the three Primes had originally emerged from. Primus screamed in pain at the violation, but he lacked the power to stop his dark enemy. Moments later a shapeless form was drawn from the tunnel and brought into the air, a clear view of it obscured by the energy grasp that Unicron had employed to draw it out. Despite the inability to view it clearly, Primal Prime knew very well what Unicron had pulled from deep within Primus. "YOU SOUGHT DIVINITY BY BETRAYING THE ALLSPARK IN THE PAST, SO MY PROPOSAL MERELY CATERS TO YOUR PRE-EXISTING NATURE. DO MY BIDDING, STOP THE SERVANTS OF PRIMUS, ENSURE MY VICTORY, AND YOU WILL BE GRANTED POWER SECOND ONLY TO MY OWN. DO YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS?" Chuckling came from the quickly altering form as the answer emerged. "Yeeesssssss." The energy subsided, and the final shape of the altered form [Classic Nightscream] stood on the metal ground. "THEN ARISE ONCE AGAIN, IN A FORM THAT BEST CAPTURES WHAT YOU TRULY ARE. A HARBINGER OF DESTRUCTION, A SERVANT OF UNICRON." "Cheetor, stop the pretender; Maximals, I suggest you jump now!" Rodimus called out as he battered his fists against Scourge. Silverbolt, Tigertron and Air Razor did as they were told and leapt into the wall of temporal energy. Megatron lunged for them, but Cheetor grabbed him and lifted him away. "Not so fast Tiny!" Despite towering over the newly revived Beast-era Megatron, Cheetor quickly found that he was easily outclassed in terms of power by the legendary insurgent, who easily pried himself free from Cheetor's two-handed grasp and sent a blast to the center of his old enemy's chest. "Ughn, I see Unicron made you stronger than you look." The Maximal groaned as he looked up from the ground. "Fool!" Megatron bellowed as he took to the air and fired once again upon the downed Maximal. "Death itself could not stop me, did you really think that you could?" The draconian Predacon leapt into the pool and vanished into the past. "NOW, YOU, AND YOUR WRETCHED OFFSPRING WILL FINALLY CEASE TO EXIST!" Unicron's voice thundered through the atmosphere. All witnessed Unicron drawing his clenched fist back and driving it into what they viewed as the ground, but which also served as Primus's chest. Primus and existence cried out as their death throes began. *** Lights and colors zipped by as Silverbolt, Tigertron and Air Razor soared back through time. Suddenly the lights and colors ended, and the three time travelers shot out from the solid surface of Cybertron in the exact location that the energy portal had been. The three small Maximals gingerly rose to their feet and took stock of their condition. "Well, despite the millennia of change, I easily recognize where we are..." Silverbolt commented as he looked to his companions "But the more pertinent question is when we are?" Tigertron surveyed the cyberscape before looking up to scrutinize the stars above, utilizing his telescopic vision. "Our trip was ended prematurely, we did not make it all the way back to the original divergence. Judging from the position of the stars, we undershot it by roughly a decade." "So it's too late to have Unicron destroyed in 2005?" Air Razor asked. "I'm afraid that year has come and gone." Tigatron replied before suddenly jerking around as he heard noises in the distance. "Beast modes!" With that, all three Maximals transformed and ran to the shadows of a nearby building. Three Seekers flew by overhead, one of which had been modified to look like an F-15. The Maximals watched as the dark gray, green and purple jets swooped by, came back, transformed and landed where they had been standing moments before. "I'm telling you, Stalemate, I detected someone here." The purple Seeker said. "Well, either it's Skywarp using his teleportational ability to screw with us again, or those sensors you bought on the black market are garbage." The green Seeker replied. "Now let's get out of here." With that they leapt to the air, transformed, and sped away. "It appears as though the Decepticons still rule Cybertron, or this portion of it anyway." Silverbolt muttered as they emerged from the shadows. "Whatever the case, we need to find Optimus Prime, provided he's still alive. Our best bet is Earth." The three Maximals started walking quickly toward the large city a several miles in the distance. Just as they disappeared from view, an energy build-up occured at the point that they had entered this time through, and Megatron shot through. The Predacon robot straightened up and looked out over the metal landscape. Just before turning into the direction of the departing Maximals, the three Seekers returned. "Yeah, this time I'm detecting it too." The voice coming from the jet would normally not be audible to Megatron, but his senses, like his overall power, had been heightened by Unicron. He immediately transformed, but realized that it was too late to hide, as the Seekers were currently approaching and would clearly have spotted him. "Don't move!" The comparatively minuscule dragon turned his head and growled at the flying Decepticons, who had transformed and were all pointing their arm-mounted weaponry at him. "Don't move shrimp!" The gray Seeker ordered. "Slaggin' Micromasters are springin' up everywhere." The purple, Earth-modified one commented as he powered up his obviously enhanced cannons. "And now they're adopting a flesh suit to keep themselves off our scanners. So what exactly are you supposed to be?" He barked at Megatron. The dragon laughed. "A harbinger of destruction, a servant of, well, you wouldn't believe me if I told you." The red beast then noted the weaponry of the purple warrior. "Those arm-mounted cluster-bomb cannons do not appear to be Decepticon standard issue. Where did you procure them, if you don't mind me asking?" "Huh, wha...I took these off of a dead Autobot." The Seeker nervously replied, his fear confirming what Megatron already knew. He then attempted to reassert his dominance. "Now quit askin' and start answerin'!" "I'm sorry, but I believe I recognize the handiwork, and even at the earliest and most pathetic point of his carreer, this individual would never have supplied Autobots." Megatron laughed. "No, if I am correct, you purchased those weapons either from Swindle directly, or through one of his subordinates. Provide me with contact information, and I may allow you to live, yesss." The surprised Seekers were silently stunned for a moment before all laughing out loud in unison. "Can you believe the bearings on this runt?" The purple Seeker took on a snarl before addressing Megatron one more time. "Time to tear them off." The dragon displayed a toothy grin as the Decepticons started toward him. *** "Hey Knockdown, give me a hand with this!" The green Decepticon Micromaster called out as he attempted to hoist a large piece of machinery into a non-descript metal crate, both items being more than twice his size. "Come on Tek, you know the deal." The bulky brown and silver Micromaster grumbled as he assisted his comrade. "You invent, I lug. As the boss has said numerous times, that's the most efficient use of our time. And while we're on the clock, our time is the boss' time, so we'd better follow his rules." Tek stepped back as Knockdown hefted the device into its intended crate and swung the open side shut. "Yeah, well someday my time will be my own, as will the time of all of you." "Oh no, not the 'someday I'm gonna be boss' rant again." A predominantly red Micromaster muttered as he approached them. "Don't start with me Soar." Tek grumbled at the newcomer. "Sorry Tek, but as sharp as you are, you just don't have the chops to be a crime boss." Knockdown commented. "Oh, I don't know about that." The unknown voice came from the winged figure emerging from the shadows. "Hey, who the slag are you and what the smelt do you think you're doing?" Knockdown belted out as he marched toward the red dragon coming into the light. The red dragon transformed to robot mode and easily swatted the oncoming Micromaster away. "Ah Knockdown, just as clumsy and stupid as depicted in Cryotek's reminiscences." The time traveling Predacon then looked and smiled at the red Decepticon. "And you must be Soar." Megatron then turned and beamed at the green Tek. "And if it isn't Cr...Tek himself." The Predacon walked over and wrapped his tail arm around the shoulders of the nervous green robot and guided him as they walked together across the floor. "You proved...will prove that is, to be a true source of guidance to an aspiring young naer-do-well, a role model of sorts." Megatron then stopped and grinned maniacally into the face Tek. "It pleases me to no end that I am now in a position to return the favor." Soar had been helping Knockdown to his feet. "Do you have any idea of who owns this facility?" "I have no interest in the property of the double crossing Combaticon." Megatron snarled at the two Micromasters who were slowly making their way toward him. "I am here to make you all a deal, one that will benefit each of us greatly." "What deal?" Tek asked sceptically. Megatron smiled at his very young former/future mentor. "Your assistance, in exchange for unimaginable power." The Predacon then turned and displayed his smile to the others. "And as a sign of good faith, I'll give you each a taste of this power up front. A little upgrade involving technology centuries ahead of anything you've seen." *** "Quickly now, before they get back!" The tiger said, prompting the three Earth animals to quickly make their way into the recently vacated supply freighter in the middle of the refueling depot. The obviously exhausted occupants had stumbled out of the ship just moments before and headed into the central complex for energon replenishment and perhaps some offline time. The Maximals didn't have the luxury of assuming that the pilots would be taking a stasis nap, and had to work fast if they wanted to make off in the unoccupied shuttle. The wolf leapt up onto the pilot's seat and transformed to Silverbolt. It would be difficult, but he found that he could manipulate most of the controls and peer out the windshield enough to pilot adequately. "You're certain that this is necessary?" "The intel we downloaded from this city-state's central complex indicated that Optimus Prime left the for Earth nearly six months ago." Air Razor pointed out. "And even if we could convince the Autobots here on Cybertron to fly us to him, getting to the small sectors of Cybertron that they control would be even more difficult than boosting a ship and high-tailing it to Earth." The tiger growled as he viewed another set of controls and then transformed. "I was barely familiar with our transwarp controls, but this archaic worm-hole generation technology is a complete mystery to me." "Well you will need to figure it out quickly, my friend, for once we launch we will need that device operating to have any chance of escaping our pursuers." Silverbolt commented to Tigatron. "I've got some good news." Air Razor commented. "I've accessed the refueling facilities main computer, and it seems that our pilots have checked into regeneration chambers. They've each reserved and eighteen hour block." "That should be adequate time for us to get familiar with this ship." Tigatron responded in a not completely confident manner. *** "It sickens me. The Autobots advance over Cybertron like a plague of human insects." Megatron [Classic 2-Pack] growled. "Ten years ago we had driven then almost completely from the planet, forcing them to take refuge on our moons and Earth. But that accursed concentrated energon that developed naturally on their world gave the humans teeth, teeth that could cut through our metal skin!" Starscream [Classic Starscream] and Soundwave [Classic Reissue Soundwave] stood by and allowed their leader his rant. "With the humans able to better defend their world, the Autobots have been able to focus their war effort on Cybertron. And given their alliance with Earth, they've maintained an energy surplus, while we've barely managed to get by!" "Thanks for the recap, O Mighty Megatron, but your fury is as ineffective as your leadership has been lately." Starscream sniped, a grin on his face. "Might I suggest a pool of lava, Megatron?" The voice of Beast-era Megatron emerged from the hallway a moment before the dragon swooped into the room, accompanied by a bio-mechanical pterodactyl [Classic Swoop]. "That is what finally rid me of the winged gnat that nipped at my heels." The Decepticons immediately raised their weapons at the small flying beasts, and then covered the approaching triceratops [Classic Knockdown] and tyranosaurus rex [Classic Terrorsaur] as they entered the room behind their winged comrades. "Before you die, please let me know how it was that you bypassed our defenses." The green Decepticon Commander requested in an almost congenial manner. "In these beast modes, we are nearly undetectible to your sensors." The red dragon responded. "As we would be to Autobot sensors." A grin came over the Decepticon leader as he lowered his fusion cannon. "Alright, you have my attention..." "Oh..." The beast-era warlord had failed to consider a new name for himself. Quickly glancing to his leathery wings, their form reminded him of something and he replied without a second thought. "Nightscream, you may call me Nightscream." "And your colleagues?" Megatron asked. Nightscream took perch upon the back of a chair and nodded to the pterodactyl, who was also taking perch on a computer terminal. "That there is Soar." He then pointed at the triceratops with his tail. "That is Knockdown." The dragon then pointed at the green T-rex, but hesitated. He would not mourn this entity that would someday become his mentor Cryotek should any misfortune befall him, but Megatron's very existence was significantly tied to him. 'Tek' would need to live well into the future to guarantee the Predacon Megatron's existence and well being. "And this is..." the dragon shifted his eyes up at the pterodactyl flapping its wings as it tried to get a good grip on the flat console. "This is Terrorsaur." Tek looked up at Nightscream in confusion, but remained quiet as he noted his new leader's knowing nod. "Well then Nightscream, how do you propose we put your stealth to good use?" The Decepticon Commander inquired. The dragon smiled. *** "You guys don't have any girls in here, do you?" Spike Witwicky asked as he simultaniously knocked and opened the dorm room door. He peered in and saw an eighteen year old boy laying on one of the beds, thumbing through an engineering trade publication. "Hey Allen, how are you doing?" "Fine Mr. Witwicky, how goes the fight with against the giant alien robots?" The young man smiled at Spike as he replied. "Well, very well. Though you need to remember that some of those giant alien robots are our friends." Spike replied. "Yeah, tell that to your son over there." Allen nodded accross the room to a slender boy a few months shy of his seventeenth birthday sitting at a desk, peering into a notebook computer screen, manipulating the data on it with brainwaves transmitted via a headband connected to the computer by a thin cord. "I'm not his son." The boy snapped, but then apologetically looked at Spike. "Sorry Spike, I didn't mean for it to sound like that." "No problem Mitch." Spike replied, genuinely not offended. "Though I thought you'd started cutting the Autobots some slack." Mitch looked back to the computer screen as he answered. "The Autobots were the ones that brought the war here. They may not be directly responsible for the death of my parents, but indirectly..." the youth looked up at Spike. "They had a hand in it." A solemn look came over Spike's face. "I thought that we agreed that you would have no more contact with Colonel Beller." Mitch closed the notebook computer, took off the headband, and gave his full attention to his legal guardian. "And I thought you wanted me to reach out to the other members of SODA." "Josie Beller doesn't attend Survivors Of Decepticon Aggression meetings to heal, she goes there to recruit." Spike snapped back. "And she found the ultimate weapon with you." "No!" The teenager stood up. "I'm not a weapon to her, I'm someone she has a lot in common with, someone she can confide in, someone to share her secrets, someone..." Mitchell stopped, realizing that he may have said too much. "My God Mitchell, is she sleeping with you?" Spike barked out furiously. "She's forty-six years old, and you're barely old enough to drive!" "She's not sleeping with me!" Mitch growled. "Why can't you accept that she's more aware of what I'm going through than you are?" Spike stared intently into the eyes of this boy that he'd been raising for nearly a decade. He knew Mitch was lying, but he couldn't prove it, and given the child's astronomical intellect, one frequently compared to Einstein and da Vinci, it would be unlikely that he would trick him into admitting something that he didn't want to admit. "Look Mitch, I loved your parents too. Chip was my best friend since before I could ride a bike. And I will not let some bitter woman turn you into something you're not." Spike knew he was losing the boy. He never had a chance of saving him really. Mitch wasn't even seven when it happened. In the basement, watching his father attempting to modify the weaponry of his newly developed exo-suit to incorporate an odd form of energon discovered just a few weeks prior. Any Autobots that attempted to study the material quickly went into stasis lock, and seeing an enormous opportunity, the U.S. government selected Chip Chase to spearhead the creation of weaponry utilizing this material's anti-Cybertronian characteristics. Chip had not officially started his new role, but he had decided to tinker with his greatest achievement and see if it could utilize some of this 'supergon'. Unfortunately, his appointment to this new role was not kept as confidential as it needed to be, and his tinkering ceased as he heard a crash followed by his wife screaming upstairs. He grabbed his son Mitchell, put him into the basement's panic room, told the boy not to activate the monitors that were hooked up to various cameras in the house, and utilizing his exo-suit's mechanical legs, charged upstairs. Terrified, Mitch obeyed his father for about two minutes before the urge to see what was going on overwhelmed him. He switched on the monitors, stared at the one depicting events in the living room, and watched as Laserbeak [Classic Reissue] and Ravage [Classic Reissue] butchered his parents. Mitchell turned his back to Spike and walked to the window, looking down at the parking lot outside as he replied. "I was turned into what I am long before Josie came into my life." "Mitchell, come home with me. Intellectually you may be more than ready for MIT, but emotionally you still need to interact with your family on a daily basis." Spike pleaded. "My family is dead." The boy muttered. "I may not be your father, and Carly may not be your mother, but we love you as our own." Spike continued. "And are you going to try and tell me that you don't consider Daniel to be your brother?" "I..." The boy paused, clearly torn, but something outside caught his attention. "Hmm, nice car Spike. Features from various cars, but the whole matching none. I see the Autobots are finally taking the requests of Auto makers to heart and no longer mimicking their property." Mitch then shrugged and turned back to Spike. "And yet it's still clearly Bumblebee." [Classic Bumblebee] "Come home with me Mitch." Spike continued his efforts. "I'll work it out with the university. They'll understand, given your age they'll have no choice. And in a year or so, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to have you back." Mitchell Chase merely shook his head and sat back down at his desk. "No, I think I'll be staying. A mind is a terrible thing to waste you know." "Mitch, I am your guardian. Don't make me press the issue." Spike threatened. "No Spike, don't you make me press the issue." Mitch countered. "I'm fifteen months from my eighteenth birthday, I'm a college student doing very well in his classes, and I'm happy here. I'm also a survivor of a brutal attack at the hands of Cybertronians, an attack that left me an orphan, and you want me to go live with you at Autobot City." The skinny teenager shook his head. "I'm not studying to get into law school, but I'd say I'd have a good case for emancipation." Spike stared at the boy, angry, confused, frustrated, scared and hopeless. "Has it really come to this?" Mitch slid the headband back on and opened his computer. "Don't threaten to make me leave." He looked up, and gave Spike a look of genuine concern. "I'm sorry it spun out this way. You, Carly and Daniel are my family, and I do love you. But I need this." The boy then offered a weak smile. "And I'm not sleeping with Colonel Beller." "Alright, I believe you." Spike lied. "Anyway, Bumblebee and I were driving down from New York and decided to visit you. Maybe grab some lunch?" Mitch forced a smile and nodded. "Sounds good." He turned to his computer screen and looked at it one last time before closing it. The images of an F-14 and an A-10, each with a corresponding robot image below it [Classic Steel Wind and Thunderwing], greeted his gaze, and went black as the notebook computer was closed. *** "Worm hole cleared." Air Razor reported as she viewed the controls, and then peered out through the windshield at the blue, green and white orb far below them. "We're here, the planet of our births." Tigatron was almost giddy at the prospect of returning to Earth, even an Earth very different from the one he left long ago. "Try to find an area devoid of human or Cybertronian occupation." "Yes, we do not wish to be detected." Silverbolt commented. "Uh, yes, that too." Tigatron smiled, his desires to be alone with nature once again clear to those with him. The good humor was ended as an alarm went off on the console. "Another worm hole has just opened behind us!" Air Razor frantically commented. "There are nearly a dozen Decepticon troop freighters emerging from it!" "Just get us on that planet!" Tigatron called out. Air Razor manipulated the controls and sped the ship toward the planet below. Several shots impacted the rear of their craft, but the ship remained cohesive as it entered Earth's atmosphere. But though in one piece, the descent was not controlled, and they started crashing down toward the eastern portion of North America. *** "Alright, sit down all of you." The police captain called out to his officers, all of whom were stuffed into a conference room. "Now you've all heard the rumors, and I'm here to tell you that yes, they're true. We've just received our shipment of the CLMG02 Supergon side arms." A commotion of cheers came over the officers as three crates were rolled into the front of the room. A man in a dark gray suit walked in with the crates and stood next to the captain. "Alright, that's enough. This is Mr. John Cavaleri with the Department of Defense. He's going to give you a brief overview of the features of this sidearm. A more thorough training will be given to you starting next week." The captain then looked at Cavaleri and nodded. "Thank you Captain Jones." Cavaleri gently waived one of the breasts of his suit coat back and drew a futuristic looking and very colorful pistol. "This, ladies and gentlemen, is the CLMG02, a sidearm designed to fire regular rounds for your more domestic issues, but which can also fire supergon-irradiated, magnetically charged metal rounds for adversaries that fall into a more giant alien robot category." Cavaleri held the side of the pistol forward and pointed out a knob just above the handle. "By pressing this knob, the protective casing around the supergon crystal housed within your sidearm will be breeched, releasing the radiation to be absorbed by the specially designed rounds." As Cavaleri activated the feature, the central housing of the gun began glowing green and the tip glowed orange. "Please note the color changes indicating the release of the supergon. As the rounds leave the chamber they are given a moderate magnetic charge, of course the orange indicates that the charger has been activated. The rounds won't penetrate Cybertronian skin, but they'll stick to it, which is just as good given that the true weapon is the radiation." He looked over the faces in the room before continuing. "Any questions?" A thunderous boom outside kept anyone from asking their questions. In a confusing flurry of motion, the police officers filed out of the room to see what was obviously from the noise to be a crash of some sort. Several hundred yards away, thankfully in an isolated section of forest, the flaming wreckage of some flying craft burned. "Check for survivors!" Captain Jones called out. "No, wait!" Calaveri countered, pointing at a chunk of debris with a Decepticon symbol clearly visible on it. "Time to issue the new side arms." * The Hawk pumped its wings ponderously as it gave up its attempts to fly and tried merely to slow the rate at which it, and the wolf and tiger it was clutching, were plummeting to Earth. The three beasts hit the ground hard and rolled, and though all were banged up having to leap from a crashing ship and then by the impact, none were truly injured. The wolf rolled over and gingerly stood up. "Thank you Air Razor, as uncomfortable as that was, it was far better than the alternative." "We must make our way to Autobot City and warn the Autobots." Tigatron grumbled. "Those Decepticon ships aren't here to camp." "No, but why are they here?" Air Razor questioned. "They have little chance of gaining ground on Earth now that the humans have militarized the raw concentrated energon crystals left over from the Beast Wars." "That was not meant to be an occupation force." Tigatron added. "They're here to pillage, steal or destroy." "Or all of the above." Silverbolt grinned through his canine teeth. "I suggest we set out now." *** Ultra Magnus stared out over Autobot City. Prime had left for the United Nations the day before and had left him in charge here. Not that this was an unfamiliar task for Magnus, he had been the Autobot City Commander for years before Prime had returned, after getting Autobot positions on Cybertron and its moons ready for their big push. But despite his familiarity with the role, Magnus would be happy when Prime returned and resumed his role as ranking Commander. Out of the corner of his optic Magnus noted what appeared to be the outline of a bird, but he did a double take as his view must have been incorrect. This bird's wingspan would have had to be nearly eleven feet. But as Magnus turned his head the beast disappeared behind a building. "Blaster, scan for all mechanical life forms in the vicinity." A few seconds passed before Blaster replied. "Sorry Chief, ain't no bots here except us Autobots." "Good." Magnus muttered quietly. He watched the peaceful, mountainous landscape for several more minutes before finally deciding to return to the command center. He turned around took a step, and was thrown back as the city's central complex erupted in flame and concussive force. A series of secondary explosions popped all along the city's defensive perimeter, destroying most of the cannons needed to buffer a Decepticon attack. The acting City Commander rose to his feet and raised his wrist communicator to his mouth, but the attack was upon him before he could say anything. Blazing out of the sky, Skywarp [Classic Two-Pack Skywarp] unloaded repeated missiles on the hulking Autobot. Magnus was thrown to the ground, his frame battered but not destroyed. He rose to his feet, only to be flattened by a speeding tank bounding over a rocky outcropping a few dozen yards away. The turret swiveled around and leveled the cannon directly at the Autobot. "Goodbye Magnus." Megatron fired. *** "Optimus Prime, Autobot City is under attack!" Blaster's voice burst through the speaker on Prime's dashboard. "On my way Blaster! I should be there in ten minutes." The Autobot Commander [Classic Two-Pack Optimus Prime] replied, increasing speed and driving on the grass along side the road to avoid the human traffic. As he sped he pondered how the Decepticons could have bypassed their security. *** "Sorry lunch had to be cut short." Spike commented to Mitch as the boy stepped outside Bumblebee. "I understand." Mitch replied, and then looked at the yellow and white car. "Don't pull any punches Bumblebee." "You don't have to worry about that, Mitch." The car replied before speeding off. "You know, you could be in the thick of it before they even get close to the combat zone." Mitch spun around at the sound of the woman's voice, and saw a beautiful middle aged blonde woman in a dress Army uniform sitting in the back of a parked limousine with the door open. She raised a cell phone to her face and spoke into it. "He's here in the parking lot, come on down." Mitchell walked toward her, nodded to the driver, and stepped into the back of the limo. As soon as he saw that the partition was up between their section and the driver's, he lunged at the woman and kissed her passionately. "Oh God I've missed you, Josie." The woman smiled and laughed gently. "It's only been a couple of weeks." "Six weeks, four days. And we didn't even make love that day." The boy replied. "Come to me tonight, after the battle, and I'll more than make up for it." Colonel Beller winked. "But Captain Leonard will be here in a moment, so let's calm down. It's best if nobody knows about us, not yet anyway." The boy nodded, and a moment later the Army Captain entered the limo. "Colonel Beller fill you in on the situation Mitch?" "Not really, but I can guess." Mitchell Chase replied. "The Decepticons are attacking Autobot City, thus providing us with an excellent opportunity to field test one of the battle suits." Leonard and Beller looked at each other and smiled. *** Prime burst through Ramjet [Classic Ramjet] and Astrotrain [Classic Astrotrain] and sped toward the center of the city. Megatron, in his new green body, was blasting away any and all resistance. "Death to all that stand in my way!" "Enough Megatron!" Prime called out as he transformed and sprinted at his ancient enemy. The two battered away at each other relentlessly, but seemed evenly matched. "It's time your tyranny was put to an end once and for all!" Prime landed a punch to Megatron's stomach, followed by a knee to his face which sent the Decepticon flying back. A deadly bolt of searing plasma shot into Prime's face, as the red dragon that had fired it sailed above laughing. "Yesss, there are some things that one can never get tired of doing." "He's mine!" Megatron barked out at the departing dragon. "Attend to your own target!" "Yes, of course." Nightscream replied, and then sped ahead as something caught his eye. "Why, there he is now." Hot Rod [Classic Rodimus] fired fruitlessly into the sky after Starscream. The red Autobot raised his rifle and aimed carefully, but before he could pull his trigger, a sustained stream of plasma tore into his back and sent him to the ground in agony. "Argh!" Soar dropped out of the sky and pounced on the Autobot, as did Terrorsaur and Knockdown. "This the guy?" "Yes my dear Soar. Please remove him from consciousness and store him securely onboard one of our ships." Nightscream replied. "Now please excuse me, I must see to it that my namesa...uh, our leader can destroy Prime without damaging what's nestled in his chest." "What?" Knockdown inquired. "Nevermind. Just complete your task!" Nightscream barked. From a distance, a gray and red Seeker watched and listened to what transpired between the bestial warriors. "You're definitely up to something, Nightscream, and I intend to find out what that is." *** The A-10 warthog flying over the mountains toward Autobot City was in actuality smaller than a compact car, but it carried almost as much firepower as a full sized version. It sped toward the center of the conflict, where Optimus Prime appeared to be fighting blind against what appeared to be Megatron, only now he was green and bearing traits indicating a tank alternate mode. "Perfect, either mode provides me with a nice big target." Mitchell Chase's voice emerged from the plane. Megatron swung his arm heavily and knocked Prime a good sixty yards away. Hearing the sounds of the advancing aircraft, Megatron turned and raised his arm-mounted fusion cannon. But even before he got his cannon raised to position, irradiated metal pellets that stuck to his metal dermis were pelting him. "Argh, no!" The Decepticon Commander screamed out as the building radiation started to interfere with his internal systems. The mini-jet shot overhead and swooped back around, transforming to robot mode and landing several yards from its target. Rounds sprayed forth from all four limbs of the exo-suit, and now the energon radiation was visibly glowing off of Megatron. The Decepticon instinctively transformed, but as Mitch had noted moments before, this form was no less easy for him to hit. The tank shuddered as the radiation forced Megatron closer to stasis lock. Just then Laserbeak started down to aid his leader, but was driven off by Cliffjumper [Classic Cliffjumper] firing after him. But despite the bird no longer being a threat, and having the Decepticon leader almost at his mercy, Mitchell transformed and sped off after Laserbeak, firing after him furiously. "Die Laserbeak!" Megatron transformed back to robot mode, but was unable to rise to his feet until after he had brushed off most of the magnetic rounds stuck to his frame. Even then, he was barely able to lurch forward, away from the fray. Skywarp dropped down, transformed and landed next to him. "Skywarp, get me to one of the ships." The Decepticon leader then noted that the combined effort of the Autobots and human military was taking its toll on his forces. "And call for a retreat." "Yes mighty Megatron." Soundwave replied as he carried his leader as best he could being in such proximity of the supergon-irratiated bullets still affixed to Megatron's frame. "Soundwave, call for a withdrawal." The black and purple Seeker muttered into his wrist communicator. "Sk...Skywarp, I...I'll be going into stasis lock soon. Tell Soundwave I want to have my frame rebuilt back into one that transforms to a pistol, something with mass-shifting capabilities." Megatron struggled to say. "Even the worst shots can't miss hitting a tank, but as a hand gun, I can evade these poisonous pellets of the humans with ease." "Yes mighty Megatron." "No!" Nightscream protested Megatron leaving the fray. "You must kill Optimus Prime! I must have an opportunity to pick at his corpse!" The green Megatron reached out and swatted the dragon to the ground. "You presume to order me!" Even brutalized and on the brink of stasis, Megatron was still a force of nature. "Return to the ship and pray I don't smelt your organic-stenched frame." *** "Prime, are you alright?" Bumblebee arrived just as the last of the Decepticon ships was disappearing into the clouds. He had originally thought that the gray mini-jet was a Decepticon left behind, but the outcry from his fellow Autobots when he started to target the flier let him know otherwise. So he had charged out to aid his leader. "Prime, easy there." Mirage [Classic Mirage] arrived next to the leader as well. "Looks like you'll live, but you're in pretty rough shape Prime." "Ughn, I guess I should take this as a sign to quit stalling on my being rebuilt." The Autobot leader said through his partially melted face. Jetfire [Classic Jetfire] landed next to the three Autobots and leaned in toward Prime. "Sir, I've just brought what's left of Magnus to the infirmary. He's alive, but he won't be for much longer unless I start repairs immediately. His entire frame needs to be rebuilt, and, well, given the similarities in your core framework and nervous systems, I was wondering..." "Just do it Jetfire." Prime replied. "It will give you practice for when you need to fit me with that form."