“KING ARTHUR?!” yelped Cliffjumper once all the Autobots and their allies gathered at the Autobot base.
“GENIE?!” squeaked Blackarachnia.
“STRIKA’S TEAM?!” shouted Ratchet.
“MERLIN?!” squawked Goldbug.
“IF WE’RE ALL DONE SPEAKING IN SHORT SENTENCES!” thundered Merlin. “Good LORD! You Cybertronians are terrible at surprises!”
“Merlin’s right,” interjected Optimus. “There’s obviously a threat that requires the help of King Arthur and a Genie. Speaking of which, where IS she?”
“Right here,” answered Cliffjumper as he held up his hand. “Hey, Shahra, come out and meet everyone.” Shahra then left her ring.
“What is thy wi…?” she became very aware of everyone seeing her and hid behind Cliffjumper’s head.
“It’s all right, Ma’am,” assured Optimus. “We won’t hurt you; I promise.”
“I never thought I’d see you again, Shahra!” chuckled Sonic.
“Sonic! It IS you!” Shahra flew towards Sonic and gave him a hug. Amy kept her jealousy inside, not wanting to cause a scene. Shahra then looked at Amy. “And you must be Amy Rose.”
“…You know about me?!” asked Amy as her jealousy vanished.
“Sonic talked about you quite frequently when he was my master.” Shahra then bowed to Amy. “If you happen to possess my ring, I would be honored to grant you any wish that is within my power.”
“I hope we become more than master and servant,” replied Amy.
“It’s good to finally meet you outside the pages of the Arabian Nights, Shahra of the Ring,” greeted Merlin.
“Likewise, Merlin. When I felt the Erazor Djinn’s lamp escape the stories, I felt I had to pursue him. But, there was no one around that could wield my ring. Strika said that the Erazor Djinn gave the ring to her, but it looked like he never told her of its power.”
‘Her loss,” chuckled Cliffjumper.
“What doth prompt these three worlds represented at this table to come together?” asked Arthur.
“Simple,” answered Merlin, “Morgane Le Fay is coming back and she’s ready to enact her plan to use the Sword of Parallels.”
“That sword?! I thought you had it destroyed when my cousin first sought it!” protested Sira.
“Your cousin?” asked Optimus. Sira sighed.
“My old family name was Le Fay.”
“You’re Morgane’s cousin?!”
“Aye, she is,” confirmed Arthur. “I beg thy pardon for this, Sira, but thou art the only member of that family with any shred of sanity.”
“No need to ask for my pardon, you’re right.”
“So, why do you call yourself Sira Mayworth?” asked Optimus.
“Because Natalie and I had our wedding in May, making our happiness worth more.”
“If we can get back to the topic at hand, what IS the Sword of Parallels?” asked Cliffjumper.
“A blade forged to open the gateways to the various stories of the world,” explained Shahra. “In the wrong hands, it has warped whole civilizations as they turned reality upside down. We MUST make sure it’s destroyed, or its seven activators are kept out of reach, at the very least!”
“The Chaos Emeralds?” asked Amy.
“No, the World Rings.”
“Aren’t they bound to the Arabian Nights?” quizzed Sonic.
“They don’t need to be within the pages to keep the Arabian Nights in check,” answered Merlin. “However, if the World Rings are placed into the Sword’s handle, every story, from Goldilocks to the Odyssey, is in peril.”
“Cute story,” grunted Grimlock, “but that’s all it is, a story!”
“Grimlock!” hissed Optimus.
“I’m a wizard of the Green Order and I can tell you right now, there is NO way that any of this is true! I can’t possibly believe that guy is a wizard, much less Merlin!”
“We saw him freed from the tree!”
“Probably a light show within a fake tree!”
“Grimlock, we have a Goddess on our side, and we all fought Unicron in some fashion! Can you REALLY not believe that this guy is Merlin?!”
“You require proof, Mr. Grimlock?” asked Merlin.
“In the worst way possible!” challenged Grimlock.
“That’s exactly how you shall receive it!” Merlin flung some sparkles at the Dyno-bot leader. The sparkles then multiplied and surrounded Grimlock. All of a sudden, he and the sparkles vanished!
“…Merlin, he’s gonna assume you cast locus on him,” muttered Sira.
“I didn’t. He’s still here. In that chair, as a matter of fact. I had to do something that only us magic folk can do.”
“What, turn invisible?” asked Optimus. “My cousin, Mirage, does that and so does the Decepticon, Ravage. I mean, it’s only when it’s dark, but…” Optimus’ train of thought was then derailed by a noise. It was a noise he heard before, but within the confines of the base, it was so out of place.
“…A goat?” asked Arthur. “Dost thou keep livestock, Autobots?” Jazz leaned into what appeared to be the empty chair, then he fell to the floor in a heap. It was only when he started laughing and gasping at the same time, sounding like a noisy seal, that his condition was confirmed.
“Jazz, wha…” Cliffjumper then clapped a hand to his mouth to try and stifle his laughter. He then picked up what occupied the chair and placed it onto the conference table. It was a shaggy gray goat, and it was glaring at Merlin with as much anger as it could muster. By then, Optimus, Sonic, Amy, Sira, Shahra, and Arthur joined in the laughter.
“Oh my! Poor Grimlock!” giggled Amy. Grimlock then leveled his new horned head at Merlin and prepared to charge as he gave an angry bleat. Cliffjumper then put his hand in front of Grimlock to stop him.
“Sh…Shahrahaha!” Cliffjumper managed to get out, “I ehehe I wish hm hmm I wish for you to hoh hoo return Grimlock ha ha to normahahahal!”
“Just as soon hee hee as I stohohop lahahahaughing!” Shahra regained enough composure to then throw more sparkles at Grimlock and he grew back into his normal robot mode, just on his hands and knees. He glared at everyone, daring them to make a joke, as he crawled back to his chair and sat back down. The laughter then died down as Grimlock sank into his chair and folded his arms.
“Okay, with those demonstrations out of the way,” Optimus cleared his throat to regain the rest of his composure, “we still need to know where the World Rings are in the world.”
“Thankfully, they’re still in Shamar and our enemy isn’t pursuing them,” replied Merlin.
“Then, by Heaven, let us retrieve them!” proclaimed King Arthur.
“With Eggman’s forces so large in number, we can’t afford to do so. He’s churning Eggacons out faster than any of us can believe.”
“Merlin’s right, we need more soldiers,” agreed Optimus.
“But Cybertron still hasn’t given any indication,” reminded Prowl, “about receiving our messages that Unicron’s been beaten, and Mobius is safe again.”
“Don’t you have a trinket to make more soldiers?” asked Merlin.
“Yeah! The Allspark!” cheered Sonic. “Tails has made some more vehicles! I’m sure Scattershot would love some brothers!”
“Bad idea.” Optimus quickly shut the notion down. “When Eggman locked the Allspark in an active state, he damaged it permanently. If we use it now, we’d only be able to make four more.”
“…Enough for a Combiner Team,” mused Prowl. “Remember? Silver swiped the Enigma of Combination from Eggman after the Bruticus debacle.”
“I’m not so easy about using the Allspark for a quick fix!” urged Optimus. “If we use it, it’s gonna go offline permanently!”
“And if the Allspark WANTS to be used?” asked Jazz. “I mean, it IS sentient in some fashion.”
“…I’ll consider it,” sighed Optimus.
“In the meantime, there IS a way to get more organic allies,” offered Merlin. “Ones YOU should be familiar with, Arthur.”
“…My knights?!” asked Arthur.
“And your queen.”
“Let’s get that out of the way, first,” declared Optimus. “Meanwhile, I’ll have a little chat with the Allspark about Merlin’s suggestion. We need all the help we can get.”
“My friends, tis time for a most sacred quest!” cheered Arthur as he raised Excalibur to the air. “Tis time to fight and defeat our enemies that dare defile the worlds of reality and the stories!” Everyone cheered at that.