Ultra Magnus was now in a cell, in the same restraints as Megatron. He glared at everyone that visited him. Soon, everyone gathered in the brig. “Erm, isn’t there an occupancy limit?” asked Megatron.
“Megatron, we’re letting you out of the cell,” said Optimus.
“WHAT?!” roared Ultra Magnus.
“You’re still keeping your inhibitor chips,” continued Optimus, “so you won’t access your offensive systems.”
“…I’m having a hard time following your logic,” muttered Megatron as the restraints released him and his cell opened.
“Because I need you free for what’s about to be said. Jazz, you’re up.” Jazz’s hand then moved towards his visor. Windblade then grabbed his hand.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Windblade, please,” replied Jazz. Windblade looked at Jazz for a few seconds, then released his arm. Jazz then placed his hand over his visor and removed it. His optics were offline…then they slowly switched on…revealing a RED color. Ultra Magnus goggled in horror.
“…Optimus Prime, how long did you know…?!” he snarled.
“A few years after I met him,” answered Optimus. “Before you go on your tirade, Jazz has a little story about his life.”
“These optic lenses,” began Jazz, “they were grafted onto me at birth. My parents were devout Decepticons, even calling the Decepticon belief system Decepticonism. They wanted me to be a good little Decepticon. …They were abusive as scrap and I kept running away from that house. I found my way to the police, kept hiding from them when they suggested taking me back home, then they got the hint and arrested my parents on child-abuse charges. I found myself at an orphanage and was adopted by an Autobot couple. I soon learned love and tried desperately to get my optic lenses to be changed to blue. …My birth parents were too thorough. If any other doctor tried to surgically remove them, I’d lose my sight. So, my new parents gave me my visor. After becoming friends with him, I showed Orion my real eyes.”
“I still remember my comment to this day,” remarked Optimus. “I said ‘Your optics are as red as my armor! Cool!’ He then told me the story and I told him I was glad he got out of that situation, otherwise, I wouldn’t have a best friend like him.”
“But…but he’s…I mean, he’s a…!” Ultra Magnus still couldn’t understand.
“If that’s wracking your brains, then drink this in, Boy!” snarled Windblade as Jazz put his visor back on. “You know Arcanus Pax, your father?”
“What about him?” asked Ultra Magnus.
“Yes, you said you knew his greatest secret,” remarked Optimus. “What is it?”
“Did you know that Arcanus wasn’t his real name?” asked Windblade.
“See?!” interjected Megatron. “I WASN’T lying back then!”
“Oh, shut up,” grunted Optimus.
“So you DO know, good.” Windblade then mustered her courage. “Arcanus Pax’s real name…was Treadshot.” Everyone was stunned.
“…Treadshot?” asked Jazz. “As in the most notorious Decepticon Assassin?!”
“But…but that’s…no! You’re lying!” snarled Ultra Magnus.
“I think I know your father’s past more than you, Dion,” said Windblade. “Like Jazz said, Treadshot Pax was an assassin, notorious even among the Decepticons.”
“Pax? He’s always been a Pax?”
“Yes. Believe it or not, for a family famous for breeding Autobots, the Pax Family had its black sheep. Treadshot was one of them. He was still loved, just that the arguments usually centered around his beliefs. …The instant the Praxian Occupation happened; he broke with the Decepticons. Sure, he initially helped the Decepticons build the internment camps, but he found a manifest that had his wife and daughter as occupants. He tried everything…but he found them in a mass grave.” Optimus’ optics widened.
“He was married before and…lost them at the hands of his own team?”
“And there was no one else he felt he could blame but himself. …But he DID find out who gave the order to put them in that camp, Lugnut! Every chance he got, he helped break prisoners out of the camps, all to make Lugnut look bad. It all came to a head when Lugnut’s personal camp lost over 75% of its prisoners.”
“Hold on, our lives was saved by Treadshot of all bots?!” asked Prowl.
“I know. It was then that he changed his name to Arcanus and turned to sorcery to try and heal what he believed to be a scarred soul.”
“If he tried to save himself and atone, I’m sure he became a great mage,” mused Pyra Magna.
“This whole story is a lie!” roared Ultra Magnus. “My father was always a good mech! A paragon of honor and virtue!”
“He was paid to take out Autobots!” argued Windblade. “He and I shared a Cortical Psychic Patch so he could confirm his story to me!” Ultra Magnus then gave an unearthly howl and broke his restraints! He ignored the pain of his inhibitor chips, broke down the cell door, and leapt onto Windblade, slamming her against a wall.
“MY FATHER WAS NOT A DECEPTICON!”
“CYBER KEY POWER!” invoked Windblade. Her Cyber Key inserted itself between her wings and released a hand-fan from the helmet. She combined it with her sword, spun her wings’ rotors, and swung the sword at Ultra Magnus while firing twin tornados at him, knocking him into the wall opposite of her. She got up panting, using her sword to steady herself, and barely noticed Ratchet tending to Ultra Magnus. Her eldest son…then started crying. Megatron, after seeing the whole thing and giving only a few seconds of silence, chuckled, then laughed, then went into hysterics.
“OH, THIS IS JUST TOO RICH!” he cackled. “Ultra Magnus: Deceptiphobe par excellence, yet he’s the son of Treadshot! Oh, Primus! You know, you always said that the spawn of Decepticons will follow their parents’ programming! Well, by that logic, you and Optimus should be joining me! Ah, but you don’t FEEL like a Decepticon! You don’t detect that bit of programming! Oh, what’s a Deceptiphobe to do when his own logic is turned against him?! Brother, you should see your face right now!” Megatron laughed again, using a nearby console to steady himself. “Whoa, never laughed so hard…feeling a bit light-headed.” Optimus then stood over Ultra Magnus.
“Dion Pax,” he snarled, “your actions proved Bumblebee’s reasoning for invoking the Crisis Act on you. I regret what I must do, but I have no choice. I won’t have a second in command who’s so emotionally compromised and so rock-brained. I won’t even have a soldier like that. Do you have any words before you’re relieved of your position and duties as a soldier?”
“…No, Sir,” answered Ultra Magnus.
“Then, as Prime, I hereby strip you of your title of Magnus and strip you of the Autobrand!” Optimus then tore the Autobot symbol off of the former Ultra Magnus, Dion Pax. “Once you’re repaired, you’ll be returning to Cybertron.”
“Be quiet! At the moment, I have nothing more to say to you! Prowl, confine him to quarters and retrieve the Magnus Hammer.”
“Yes, sir.” As Prowl obeyed, Optimus knelt to his mother.
“You did what you had to as Prime,” interrupted Windblade. “To be frank, I would have done the same.”
“…It still stings.”
“Yeah…it does.” Windblade switched her optics off and began crying. Optimus hugged her and did the same. Megatron, for once, stayed respectfully silent.