od I have too much time on my hands. Blame TFLive for this crazy idea that is summed up in being MY ultimate vision of the TF Universe, picking and choosing what I feel is the best from across the spectrum. Now, as a warning, this is the first chapter and those are always the worse for me. I hate charecter introductions... But anyway, I hope itll get good as I go on, now that the introductions are out of the way... But Im rambling. Here ya go. The door creaked closed as Michelle Reynolds tip toed her way inside, stepping carefully to avoid the mess- but more importantly, to keep from disturbing the reams of papers strewn about the little three-room apartment- but more importantly, to keep from disturbing her roommate, Anita. Anita had been quite grumpy about Michelle's late nights at the lab, and the noise she invariably caused upon return. Naturally clumsy and unkempt by her very nature, Michelle could do very little but try to keep from waking her friend. She sighed with relief as she made it past the maze of scattered documents. If her boss Dave ever found out about the mess she had here, she had little doubt she'd be fired. But she was always very careful with anything confidential she handled, and she never brought it home with her- less out of fear of it being found, and more out of fear of not being able to find it when needed. She sighed as she collapsed into her chair, her long brown hair falling down over her face and covering her glasses. Her sight had been bad since birth, and contact lenses only served to irritate her eyes, so she avoided them. She brushed her hair aside for a quick look at the clock. The numbers 1:45 blinked back at her, and she sighed, just letting her head fall backwards. It was not uncommon for her to fall asleep at her desk, and tonight would not likely be the last. Her eyelids came down slowly, until a bright flash filtered through. She glanced out over the horizon. From her apartment window, she could make out the outline of the city. While the town was nowhere important, it was one of the locations of several Government laboratories, where she worked. The city itself was not as big or impressive as one would expect a home of a national laboratory to be. Centered in the valley surrounded by golden hills, it was neither impressive nor advanced, but for a town in California, it was nice enough. But it was not the buildings that attracted her attention tonight, but the stars above. For brief moments, flashes of light shot across the stars, in dazzling red and purple colors. Michelle watched in awe for a few minutes, and then dismissed it. The Lab had a large laser system, and they were likely testing it again. With a deep sigh, she lay her head back down and closed her eyes again, and was soon asleep. And up in the sky, a flash brighter then the others came, followed by a falling star. The next day, Michelle, while glancing through the paper during her lunch break, saw a brief notation about a small Earthquake that registered farther north in the Californian hills. She dismissed it without a second thought, and returned to her sandwich. *** Main system rebooting. Spark accessed. Memory files online. Audio receptors online. "Are you all right sir?" Voice Module online. Optical Sensors online. Optimus stared up into the face of Red Alert, which brightened at his movements. His eyes darkened again as the list continued, informing him that mobility and transformation functions were restored, and he sighed deeply, as his diagnostic reported several fractured fuel casings and one weakened leg joint. "I'm functioning perfectly." He said. "Where's everyone else?" "We can't find Scavenger." Red Alert said quietly. "Prowl's in stasis, but will be all right. Jetfire and Ironhide are doing their best to keep Aidia online. I think she'll pull through, but I must get back to her. Are you sure your fine?" "Yes." Optimus lied again, even as his systems screamed as he pushed himself up. "I'm fine." "Then I must get back to-" "Wait. Where are Bumblebee and Windcharger?" Red Alerts eye turned a dark crimson. "I'm sorry.... Optimus." "I... understand." He said quietly, pushing himself to his feet. "Attend Aidia. I don't want to lose anyone else." "Yes sir." Optimus sighed, glancing around through the rubble. The bridge was shattered, debris everywhere. The once beautiful hull of Aris... gone. A twisted wreck. She won't be happy. Through the shattered ceiling, a rays of light shown downward. Pushing himself to his feet, he walked toward it, shielding his eye against the light, so he could look out to the world above. "A blue sky." He said quietly, gazing at it. "I never thought I would see one..." He turned his head away, and then quickly noticed something sticking out of the rubble. He hurried toward it, heavy feet clanging against the steel ground. Then with a shout, he called out. "I found Scavenger!" Within moments, the hulking green and white form of Jetfire appeared, pushing aside the wreckage with his powerful arms. Optimus moved to help him, bringing his gargantuan red form alongside his friends, pushing aside, hoping to find someone alive. But it was to no avail. "Sorry Major." Jetfire said quietly. "Too late for him. He's gone." Primes optics went bitch black as his hand held his former lieutenants. He turned away, cursing his mechanical form for not giving him an outlet to express the pain and rage he felt. "You did your best Major." Jetfire said quietly. "Wasn't anything different you coulda done." "And yet still they fall,” Optimus’s voice choked out. "I know it's hard Major,” Jetfire said softly. "But we don't have anything else we can do." "The Decepticon ship?" Optimus said quietly. "We wounded her, but not fatally." His comrade answered. "And Command knows we're here... They'll send us help." "And I have three who will never go home." Optimus spat, getting to his feet and turning away. Jetfire's hand descended on Optimus's shoulder. "The Cons know we're here too Major. We'll have to be prepared." "Get everyone and everything back online." Optimus answered, refusing to make optical contact. "I need Aris to run the diagnostics and tell me what’s wrong with her-" "We're not sure she's in one piece." Jetfire muttered, glancing around at the shattered wreck of the ship. "Then have Red Alert MAKE sure." Optimus barked, glaring at Jetfire. "Once that's done..." He turned again towards the mangled wreck that was Scavengers corpse and struggled to find his voice again. "Once that's done, we'll have a proper cremation." "Yes sir." Jetfire saluted stiffly, and hurried off. Optimus again glanced at Scavengers body, his optics darkening as his head rested against the wall. "I'm... sorry my friends." "Welcome back beautiful." Ironhide said gently as Aidia roused from her sleep. "Not who I wanted to see." She groaned, pushing him away as she sat up. "Are we all right?" "No." Ironhide and Red Alert both answered simultaneously. "Bumblebee and Windcharger..." Red Alert continued quietly. "Scavenger too." Jetfire added, entering in and manually closing the door behind him. Aidias face contorted in a look of pain as the realization dawned on her. Her eyes closed for a long time. Ironhide's hand landed on her shoulder. "Sorry." He said quietly. She didn't answer. "How's Optimus taking it?" Red Alert asked, glancing up at Jetfire. "Same as always." Jetfire answered. "Not well." "Poor guy." Ironhide shook his head. "He's too young to have to deal with this." "How can you be so casual about it..." Aidia's voice came shakily through. All three glanced at each other. "It's been a long war." Ironhide said quietly. "You'll learn this in time." Red Alert answered, turning his attention to brining Prowl back online. "Optimus wants Airs." Jetfire said quickly. "Start her back up." Red Alert's lone visor glanced down at Prowl for a minute. "But-" "I can help Prowl." Ironhide quickly stood up, starting toward Red Alerts side, but Aidia’s hand stopped him. "I'll do it." She said quietly. Red Alert glanced at the two, then quickly accompanied Jetfire out. "You sure?" Ironhide asked quietly. She nodded. "Suit yourself." He answered. Without saying another word, she began her work, hands meticulously moving through the exposed wires to find everything that needed to be reconnected. Ironhide sighed, and sat back to watch her work. At least Prowl wouldn't be joining Bumblebee and Windcharger. *** Red Alert shook his head. "The main harddrive is damaged. I can repair it, but the data's gone forever." "We still have her backup, right?" Optimus muttered, staring at the black screen. Red Alert sighed, wiping away some more rubble to get a better look at the mechanical components. "Yes. We can reboot her from step one. She won't be exactly the same, but she'll be functional." "Good." Optimus said quietly. "If only bringing back all friends were this easy..." "What was that?" Jetfire's voice caused Optimus start. "Nothing." He said quickly. "Red Alert, hold off rebooting her until we can properly recycle the dead. She never was able to take loss well- if she never knows they existed, she'll function better." Red Alert sighed. "It sounds so wrong..." "He's right, you know." Jetfire said quietly. "She wouldn't remember them anyway." "Yes... I understand." "Get the preparation's ready. I want this done as soon as possible." Optimus said quietly. Jetfire nodded. "Agreed, Major. There isn't anything else we can do." Red Alert quietly closed the main computer hatch. "I'll be ready in a few hours." *** "Report." Sixshot's lone eye glowed dimly as he rattled off the numbers. "Damage to main engine at 85%. Main thrusters are irreparable. Inter-System Communication gone, main communication at 70%. Weapons functioning at 25%. All other functions at 90% or more." "They seem to be quite good at selecting their targets." Skywarp muttered, shaking his head. "Another great victory from our fearless General." Starscream's icy voice hissed. "Despite our victory, that tiny ship left us helpless. And for what?" "Don't test my patience Starscream." "For what?" Starscream again demanded, motioning out the view port to the green and blue planet below. "For this... insignificant dirt ball. Useless tactically and primary summaries report nothing of value here either. Again I ask you, for what?" "Starscream’s right for once in his sorry life." Shockwaves entered the argument. "I can see no tactical advantage to this mission." "He has a plan." Skywarp said quickly. "I'm sure he was-" "Nonsense!" Starscream roared again. "He's failed, yet again. When Lord Gigatron hears about this, he'll have your head!" "Starscream." "This is the last mistake you'll ever make. Your time as one of the Generals is over!" "Starscream!" "And I, for one, will be happy to see you go. There are many more deserving Generals I would lend my talents too, and-" "Shut. UP!" With those words, Starscream crumpled as a massive fit shot upwards into his gut, crumpling the metal and shattering the glass of his cockpit. Starscream collapsed with a gasp, and looked up in time to see the fist close around his neck, hoist him into the air, and toss him against the wall. Shockwave took a quick step backwards, and Skywarp made an audible gulp as the massive form of Megatron stepped downward from his makeshift throne, powerful arms crossed across the great purple symbol on his chest. He glared down at his command crew, scowling underneath the pointed hood of his crown. "The Autobot interference was unexpected, and unfortunate. But we are still where we need to be." "And why, praytell, is that?" Shockwave growled, keeping his optic focused on Megatron's face. "Sixshot, run a scan on the planet." "80% water. Occupied by small bipedal beings. Technology rating, 54%. Natural resources, Water, limited natural gas, mild abundance of metals... Nothing remarkable, Lord Megatron." Megatron glared at him. "Scan again- deeper this time." Sixshot glanced backwards, then ran it again. "Wait... I'm detecting faint traces... Raw Energon?" Shockwave's eye lit up, and Skywarp nodded. Starscream looked up weakly, unadulterated hate obvious in his expression. "Yes... more- it's all over." Sixshot continued, the excitement in his voice growing. "This planet is ripe with it! Large deposits, all deep underground! Why, there's enough to power the entire Decepticon Armada for years!" "And that, my dear troops, is why we are here." Megatron continued, his eyes on Starscream. Starscream muttered something unintelligible back, and Megatron smirked. The expression on his face was more then obvious enough. He turned away, stepping down from the raised platform on which his throne stood. "I learned this location some time ago, but have not been able to request this mission until now. The Autobot appearance here changes nothing. We are to collect a large sample, and return to the Decepticon Armada with it. This planet is from here on forth property of the Decepticons." "And what of the inhabitants?" Shockwave mused. "Too small to pose a threat." Megatron dismissed him with a wave. "They will be crushed easily." "If my interrupt lord Megatron..." Sixshot said quietly. "There may be a threat yet." "Their technology level is only at 54%." Megatron growled. "What do they have-" "While most weapons will be useless, they do have high-yield explosives which could cause some damage. But more importantly, I detect technology to create EMP.' "EMP..." Megatron growled, his eyes darkening. "I did not expect that..." "The fool has lead us into a death trap." Starscream cried. "They have the spark-killer weapon, something so dangerous even we won't use it! He's failed-" He was silenced by an explosion very near his head. The cannon at Megatron’s side smoldered with heat. "Don't test me again Starscream." Megatron growled. Sixshot, Skywarp and Shockwave all shrank backwards. "This news is... unfortunate." Megatron continued. "We'll have to change our strategy. I had planned to conquer them quickly..." "May I suggest we work in secret, Lord Megatron?" Shockwave suggested. "The cloaking field can disguise our ship in orbit. But on the ground... Perhaps new transformation schemes are in order?" "Lord Megatron would never disgrace his form with a human made machine!" Skywarp protested. "The mere thought-" "Quiet, Skywarp." Megatron held his hand up. "I'm sure there is something suitable here. Sixshot?" "Yes Megatron. While primitive, their mechanical designs are suitable." Sixshot quickly brought up several images. "They should prove serviceable." Megatron came over to his side, staring at the menagerie of vehicles. His optics landed on one in particular, a massive green tank. His finger came up, tracing it's outline "That land vehicle... is most impressive." He said quietly. "It shall be serviceable, for a time..." He stood, a smile on his face. "Starscream? You will be commanding the first mission. Come select one." "I refuse!" Starscream roared. "No mere Earth vehicle can replace my-" "Starscream..." Megatron’s voice warned. "Yes.... sir." Starscream spat as he selected a sleek jet. "Sixshot, Shockwave... You two retain your current forms. I will have need of your orbital modes. What is Shock Fleets status?" "Damaged, and under repair." Sixshot reported. "Cyclonus and Demolisher are working on them now." "Skywarp, get those two and have them select transformation schemes. Also, have everyone upload translators, just to be sure. I will begin plotting our first strike. I want to do this once, and only once. We shall be done with this planet as soon as possible." *** The three pyres burned into the night, the charred remains of three fallen warriors sending clouds of smoke towards the sky. The small group watched in silence as their friends burned away forever, their corpses reduced to ashes. Jetfire, Ironhide and Red Alert watched the scene grimly, the all-too familiar sight just one more memory added to the many. Aidia stood alone, trembling at the sight, doing her best to quell her own feelings. Prowl, back online, stared morosely at the pyres, wishing he had something to keep his mind off the loss of his friends. And Optimus watched them all. His troops. His soldiers. His friends. And he continually cursed the fact that the pain would never go away. And the last of the fires burned away into nothingness. *** "We're ready to bring her back online." Red Alert said quietly. "The installation is complete." Optimus nodded. "Do it." There was a soft hum as the computer system reactivated itself, followed by a bright young voice. "Thank you. I am Aris, 'Axalon' class battleship designation ML-23, run and operated by a T-A-I class Teletran system. Please register the commanders name." "Optimus Major." Optimus stated slowly. "Thank you. Thank you. Performing check on primary systems." Optimus sighed and waited. A few moments later, the voice shrieked out in horror. "What did you DO to me?" "Yes, Aris, I'm sorry." Optimus said quickly. "We came under attack and crashed. We need you to restore as many functioning systems as you can." "I.... Understand. Recalibrating for independent operation from ship." There was another pause before her voice was heard again, slightly pained this time. "Calibration complete. Aris online. How may I be of service?" "Are the scanner systems working?" Optimus asked. "Functioning at 78%." "Good, run a scan of this planet. Tell us where we are." "Scanning... Planetary data as follows... Water rating, 80%. Mineral rating, 45% Atmospheric rating, 47%." "She has changed." Prowl whispered to Ironhide quietly. "What happened to the Aris we knew?" "Gone." Ironhide whispered back. "Complete wipe. We'll have to start over from step one." "Does that mean she no longer remembers that one time I-" "Yes." "Thank Primus." The computer droned on. "Primary species: Small, bipedal, humanoid. Technology rating 54%. Contact with other species: negative." "Primitive world." Prowl growled. "We're not supposed to be here. Autobot code number 65-" "Contact with primitives is forbidden." Aris interrupted. "Recommendation: Select alternate forms suitable for the world." "Yes, that." Prowl muttered, robbed of his chance to recite yet another code from memory. "Are the CR chambers working?" Optimus asked. "Yes. Would you like me to scan for suitable alternate modes?" "Yes Airs, thank you." "Scanning..." "Great." Ironhide muttered. "I'm sure I'm going to end up some ugly piece of junk..." "Quit whining." Jetfire muttered, escorting Aidia into the room. "Be glad this planet has mechanical alt modes at all. We coulda been shoved in a place without any suitable forms- and THEN we'd be in trouble." "Yech." Prowl shuddered. "Ever tried to transform into a tree?" Red Alert called back with a smile. "Now you’re just slagging with me." Prowl growled. "Scanning complete. Many suitable alt modes have been found. Displaying Gallery..." "Well, here it is men." Optimus said, for the first time in a while feeling peaceful. "Pick something you like- we could be here awhile." "Holographic interface activated." There was a sudden bright flash from the computer system, a small hovering elongated cone dislodging itself from a compartment, and traveling to the center to the room. There was another bright flash, and around the disk a small figure formed, shrouded in light, before condensing into a solid form. "What the pit?" Ironhide cried. "She's never done that before!" "What is that?" Jetfire stared, kneeling down and squinting at the figure. It was humanoid, with soft pink flesh. Clothed in red and white, and with a large hat emblazoned with the golden Autobot symbol, the representation grinned back up at him. "It is one of the life forms of this planet." Aris's voice responded. "You told me to select something that I liked, Optimus. I can't be of any use as a ship, but I will do my best to do what I can." The small human eyes turned, staring upwards at the Major with wide, innocent brown eyes. Optimus couldn't help but laugh. "Is that the case? Very well then. Ok guys, pick and choose!" *** Two jets and a helicopter streaked across the sky. In the lead, a bright red jet called back to its companions. "Cyclonus, keep up!" Starscream called "Sorry, geesh. For crying out loud..." "Why DID you pick that thing anyway?" Skywarp demanded. "It fits." Cyclonus responded smugly, twirling his rotors just a bit faster. "Sweet Primus, the idiots I must bear with." Starscream muttered. "Sixshot! Are we getting close?" Sixshot’s voice filtered back through the com system. "Correct your bearing, 12º. It should not be too much farther." "All the technology in the universe, and we still can't get the transporter coordinates right..." "We don't want any humans seeing us materialize out of nowhere." Sixshot’s voice responded. "They do not have this technology ye-" "I know, I know." Starscream growled. "Starscream..." Skywarp said quietly. "There appears to be an installation ahead. It's likely occupied. We should turn around and-" "I'm not going back up there." Starscream growled. "We're going to this fast and quickly." "But, if there are humans-" "We'll hit it so fast that they won't know what it was." Starscream answered. "Sixshot, get Shockwave ready." "All right... But Megatron-" "Who cares what Megatron thinks? Lets get this over with." *** Thousands of miles above, a small satellite appeared out of the emptiness. "Is this what I'm reduced too..." Shockwave muttered, his main cannon adjusting to the precise coordinates indicated. "Two hundred thousand hours put into this war, my arm sacrificed... and it all comes down to this." He growled. "Commencing firing..." *** Michelle groaned. The walk from her office to the main compound was a long one, and the massive briefcase of papers she was lugging between the two made it seem twice as long. Why, in an age of email, did she have to lug these things around? When she had asked, the best response she got was a mumbled something about 'class' and 'file size.' So with no real answer, she made her way down the path, dragging the briefcase behind her. "Good morning." A voice said walking past her. Michelle mumbled something quietly in response. The sound of jets and a helicopter filled her ears next. That caused her to pause- this was a restricted area, air traffic wasn't allowed. But that thought was quickly replaced as she realized that Dave was the one who had just passed her, the recipient of her paper cargo. Grumbling again, she turned, pulling the briefcase behind her. The next thing she saw was the light that came down from the sky, engulfing everything in flames. *** "Optimus..." Prowl said quietly. "What's wrong?" Optimus glanced back at him. "I have been monitoring human transmissions." Aris's voice inputted. "Something terrible is happening..." With that, an image appeared on the screen. Optimus stared at the screen, his eyes narrowing as only one thought entered his mind. "Decepticons..." *** Michelle ran. The light from the sky tore downward, a pulsating tower of red energy, ripping into the Earth. The initial shot had taken out her main office, and most of the surrounding area. It remained in place, superheating the ground and sending debris into the air. The constant roar from the beam hurt her ears, and the sickening burnt smell filled her nostrils. She ducked behind a small tree still standing and turned, staring upwards into the sky. The beam of energy stretched far into the sky, clouds swirling around the light. Around the column, three aircraft hovered in place. The way the two jets simply sat was frightening- their immobility defied every known law of physics and engineering design. Even as her friends fled around her, she couldn't help but stare at the three- the three that had summoned death from the sky. "Michelle!" Two hands grabbed her and began to pull her away. She looked behind her into the face of Dave, panic etched on his face. "We've got to run!" He shouted, his voice barely rising above the noise. She shakily got to her feet and followed him. Something exploded, this time in the air. Dave grabbed her and hurled both of them behind a small tree.. Their eyes turned toward the sky, as twelve jets with more familiar markings charged towards the offenders. "We're saved!" Dave shouted. "Those are our jets! Go get em!" Michelle could only watch the battle unfold in silence. *** "This is Black Sheep Squadron. We are approaching the hostiles. No response has been transmitted to us. We will not open fire until they do." *** "Company!" Skywarp yelled, his voice filled with panic. "Finally! I was getting bored!" Cyclonus whooped, whirling in a circle before charging forward, his guns already blazing. "Wait!" Skywarp cried. "Megatron’s orders-" "Forget what he said. We'll be out of here before they can send another wave." Starscream commanded. "Shoot them down, they'll be no match for us." His engines flared, and he streaked toward the incoming jets, passing Cyclonus quickly. Skywarp hovered in place for a minute. "Megatron won't be happy.... but Starscream said.... and their opening fire! I know I'm going to regret this." He finally turned and joined his comrades. It took 30 seconds for the first two human jets to disappear in clouds of flame. Starscream cut sideways through the group of 12, who scattered, returning fire in the form of small shells, which despite the hits, Starscream completely ignored. Cyclonus charged forward, forgetting all conventional limits of a helicopter as his booster kicked in. With a wild whoop, he charged head on, all his forward lasers firing in a concentrated burst of energy, turning another human jet into dust and flame. Skywarp came in from a distance launching two tracking torpedoes, which vaporized another jet, even as Starscream downed another two with a laugh. The human jets pulled upward, regrouping and turning back to face their opponents. Starscream and Cyclonus responded with a head on charge, with Skywarp trailing behind. Skywarp gave a sudden yell and pulled upwards. Starscream saw as well and pulled aside. Cyclonus wasn't so lucky. A dozen missiles exploded on and around him, and he gave a yell as his body plummeted from the sky. *** "They got one!" Dave whooped. "Yeah..." Michelle whispered quietly, her eyes unable to move from the battle taking place above. It was because of this that she almost missed the helicopter turn into a giant. *** With a loud ratcheting sound, Cyclonus expanded, the lower realm of the helicopter coming downwards, as his feet spread outwards. The missile pods on his small wings unfolded as well, his hands breaking free and clenching into fist. Finally, as his tail span came down against his back, his head pulled itself free, and he landed on the ground, vehicle no more, but a towering steel colossus. "You hurt me...." He said shakily, his eyes turning upward to the sky. "That's IT!" He screamed, boosters in his feet igniting. "Now I'm MAD!" He shot upwards laughing like a maniac as all four of his cannons blazed, turning the sky into a light show of his making. "Cyclonus!" Skywarp cried desperately. "What are you doing? Get back in vehicle mode!" Starscream simply laughed. The remaining four jets turned to flee from the robot, which was tearing into them now with his bare hands. "Don't let them escape!" Starscream roared, launching missiles. Two more exploded. The lone survivor tried to flee, but found itself physically restrained in Cyclonus's arms. "Show yourself!" Cyclonus cried, ripping into the cockpit and grabbing the occupant within. "This? This is what hurt me?" He cried staring in disbelief at the tiny figure. "I'll kill em all!" He tossed the figure aside, letting it plummet to the ground thousands of feet below, and the jet continued on until it eventually hit the ground. With a roar, Cyclonus turned and charged toward the ground below, his optics searching for more of the tiny targets. "Cyclonus, wait!" Skywarp pleaded following after him. But a now-transformed Starscream restrained him. "Let him work out his frustrations. Shockwaves almost finished burrowing. We need to get ready to grab it and go." "But..." Skywarp protested as Starscream headed down towards the ground. "Megatron’s gonna kill us...." *** Michelle stared upwards in horror as the colossus landed, his eyes glowing bright red, and a look of unadulterated hate on his frighteningly human face. "All right little guys, come out and die!" The voice boomed, freezing every cell in her body in horror. At her side, Dave began a long string of 'Oh God.' his eyes riveted on the giant metal beast. A security guard, standing among a group of other refuges, panicked, firing his gun twice, which only managed to attract the monsters attention. A quick blast incinerated not only the guard, but everyone around him as well. "I'll hunt you down and kill you all!" The voice yelled across what was left at the lab. In a flash, three still-standing buildings disappeared in a flurry of shots and explosions, and everyone remaining in the area turned to run. His maniacal laughter piercing the air, he began firing at everything that moved. Behind her, Dave's panic hit the limit and he bolted. A flash and a scream later, Michelle was alone, her arms wrapped around the small tree, shaking uncontrollably, her thoughts filled with fear and prayers for mercy. The beast that had been a helicopter continued his hail of fire, alighting everything that was not already burning, turning the entire area into a field of fire, as his hideous laughter filed the air. Michelle held onto the tree as if it was her lifeline, as she saw everything she had ever known burn away. Then a thunderous crash caused her to look upwards, staring into the face of the monster. "Hellllloooo." The voice was accompanied with a chuckle. "Nothing can save you now!" But an act of God did. A sudden wailing siren filled the air as from seemingly nowhere, a police car leapt out of the air, colliding head on into the beast’s chest. The massive robot stumbled backwards, a string of incomprehensible venom-filled words coming out of his mouth. But the air was filled with another voice, a battle cry of "Prowl, TRANSFORM!" The police car literally leapt into the air inverting itself and expanding itself outwards, taking on a very distinctive humanoid shape. And for a brief moment, Michelle stared into a face resembling a knight, it's calm yellow eyes staring back at her for a brief moment. And for some reason, she felt relief. A massive red symbol stood out, proudly emblazoned across the robots chest. A proud white knight, ready to fight for her side. And she heard one more word. "Run!" She didn't hesitate again. As she fled, she heard her robotic savior clashing with the massive demon. Another explosion caught her attention, as a large green cargo jet suddenly flew overhead, toward the energy column that came from the sky. There was another explosion, and she turned back to watch as the knight took on the demon. *** "Autobots!" Cyclonus yelled to his comrades. Skywarp didn't have a chance to react, the cargo jet was already upon him, knocking him out of the sky. He landed on the ground a robot, his gun arm already charging up energy. A large red car charged him from the other direction, yelling out 'Ironhide Transform!" It expanded outwards, landing a large blocky foot on Skywarps back. Skywarp fell forward with a yell. "Autobots..." Starscream growled, whirling and charging towards the battle. Ironhide glanced up only just in time to see Starscream transform, his sword drawn and at his chest. Ironhide stumbled backwards with a yell, and Skywarp rose to his feet, his right-arm cannon firing straight into the open wound. Ironhide collapsed with a shout. "We'll destroy them all!" Starscream laughed. "Not so fast!" Starscream and Skywarp whirled as a massive red truck charged into the fray, barreling through the both of them. There was a deafening screeching of tires as it turned, and the words "Optimus, TRANSFORM!" echoed across the field, as a mighty warrior stood above the field. From the sky, the cargo jet came down, folding on itself, and a howling of sirens as an emergency SUV came forward as well, as Jetfire and Red Alert joined the fray. Ironhide pulled to his feet, and Prowl came to their side, even as Cyclonus retreated behind Starscream. "You’re going no further, Decepticons!" Optimus roared. "They survived the crash..." Starscream muttered. Meanwhile, Skywarp was busy screaming into his com, "Yes, AUTOBOTS! Lots of em! Here!" "Leave this planet or we will destroy you!" Optimus stated, the challenge obvious in his voice. "Tough talk for a Bot without a ship." Starscream chuckled. "I accept your challenge. Come Optimus, and face me!" "Wait Starscream!" Skywarp protested. "Don't-" Starscream didn't wait. With a cackling laugh he charged forward, sword drawn. Optimus didn't let him get close. Brining his shoulder down, he charged forward and straight up into Starscream’s gut. Before Starscream had a chance to react, Optimus grabbed his head and threw him at the ground. Starscream’s head covering cracked, and Optimus's foot delivered a powerful blow to his side. Starscream ceased to move. "Get up, Decepticon." Optimus hissed. "I have two more lives I need to pay you back for." "That will not be necessary." Optimus turned as two tanks appeared in a flash of light coming down from the sky. "TRANSFORM!" The tanks sides split open and two arms came out, pushing itself up as the lower treads expanded outwards. A sinister head crowned with two long arms pulled itself out, and two red eyes glowed in Optimus direction. With a similar yell, the smaller, brownish tank unfolded itself as well. "You are the commander of your ship?" Megatron demanded. "I am." Optimus answered, his eyes staring straight back into Megatron’s. "I am Megatron, third Grand General of the Decepticons." Megatron answered, a gleam in his eye. "Remember that name well, for it is the name of your doom." "And remember this well. I am Optimus Major, and I will avenge the sparks of those you murdered. Even if it cost me my own!" "I like you." Megatron laughed. "Lets test your strength, shall we?" "Bring it on." Optimus responded, readying himself. "This is a mistake Major..." Jetfire said warningly. "He has that title for a reason." "It doesn't matter." Optimus answered. "I will stop him, even if I-" "Enough chatter!" Megatron commanded. "Lets end this!" But before either could move, they were interrupted again, by Skywarps shriek. "MEGATRON! In the sky!" All eyes turned as many jets made themselves visible on the horizon. "Hmph." Megatron grunted. "It seems we must save this contest for another time." He turned toward Prime, a smile filling his narrow face. "Farewell Optimus. I look forward to our next meeting. Shockwave, terminate operation! Demolisher, grab Starscream. Let us be off." And with that, all turned into streaks of light heading toward the sky. "We should leave, quickly." Optimus nodded. "But Optimus..." Red Alert said quietly. "There are humans-" "Let the humans deal with the humans." Optimus answered. "It's unfortunate, but we can't blow our cover yet. Aris, open the spacebridge. Lets go." A hole opened up from nowhere with a sound like a bell, and all the warriors transformed, and hurried through. And then, the massive column of energy from the sky simply dissipated, turning into nothingness. And Michelle sat alone, shocked and silence, staring at where the brief battle had taken place. She was still there when the paramedics found her, an hour later. *** From a distance, a small black form watched as the human rescue crews did their best to contain the damage. "Autobots..." He whispered. "Decepticons... At last. Things are about to get real interesting indeed."