While people were being healed, the team commanders met with Optimus. In light of Ultra Magnus’ actions in Apotos, Hot Rod was taking his place. “So. Let me sum up what happened,” sighed Optimus. “We have no Chaos Emeralds, the Terrorcons have no Chaos Emeralds, and the Decepticons have all seven. We’ve got people with more than a few injuries, two of them being children, and Megatron is currently laughing up his sleeves with only minimal damage to his forces. Did I miss anything?”
“Well, we got new friends,” remarked Strongarm.
“So do the Cons,” reminded Topaz.
“Yeah, there IS that,” recalled Optimus. “Okay, since my own mission was as bad as everyone else’s, I can’t really assign blame on any one bot. I can only conclude that we were all overconfident after successfully getting the Allspark.”
“Yeah, that’s a safe assessment,” agreed Hot Rod.
“Still, the playing field is now even for both sides,” declared Optimus. “With both factions in possession of weapons that could potentially harm Unicron, we can try to open a dialogue with Megatron.”
“Open a dialogue? Are you sure?” asked Blackarachnia.
“They hate Unicron as much as us, Blackarachnia,” answered Optimus. “Besides, we don’t need to open a dialogue just yet. First, we need to welcome our two new friends. Meeting adjourned.” Everyone cleared out and Optimus made his way to his office. He was given a report of who was cleared and who was still receiving medical attention. Tails’ name stuck out for Optimus and he was sure Sonic was going to blame the young Prime for letting Tails get hurt. He then noticed that Ultra Magnus was just cleared, so he decided to get the chewing-out out of the way. “Ultra Magnus, report to my office.” Optimus waited a bit before the door chimed. “Enter.” Ultra Magnus stepped in.
“You wanted to see me?” he asked as the door shut behind him.
“Take a seat.” Ultra Magnus flinched at the tone Optimus used. He sat down, feeling very uneasy. “Ultra Magnus, I don’t know what’s going on, but this has to stop right now, understand?”
“I don’t believe I understand.”
“I’m talking about your detrimental and out-of-control Deceptiphobia!” Ultra Magnus’ optics widened at what Optimus said. “…Or did I misunderstand what happened in Apotos? Tell me that I misunderstood your willingness to sacrifice Tails to destroy the Decepticons and I’ll apologize right now.” Ultra Magnus’ gaze hardened. “…You really should have taken the way out I offered.”
“Optimus, Tails IS expendable!”
“Oh, don’t be an idiot! Tails may be small, but his knowledge and expertise has saved our skidplates more times than I could count!”
“We have a dedicated science team to do that work!”
“They always asked for Tails help on certain matters and he more than provides!” By that point, both bots were standing up. “Ultra Magnus, you’re one of the most single-minded bots I’ve ever known. That is a strength, yes, but it’s also a weakness! The Decepticons played you like a fiddle!”
“I don’t buy that for a nano-cycle, Sir!”
“Whether you believe it or not is immaterial! The fact remains; your emotions have jeopardized our situation far more than you realize! If we weren’t at war…!” Optimus cycled in some air before continuing. “…You’re confined to quarters. I’ll be contacting Cybertron for more soldiers and more medics. I think our mother can provide insight.”
“SIR!” protested Ultra Magnus.
“You have something else to say, Ultra Magnus?”
“Sir! …Brother, if Mom finds out, it will break her Spark! Please, at the very least, don’t involve her!”
“…Ironhide and I already told her about the situation. She’s coming here. You’re confined to quarters until her arrival. Dismissed.” Ultra Magnus snarled as he left for his quarters.
Up on the Decepticon Moon Base, Megatron allowed himself a maniacal laugh. “Decepticons, behold! Victory in the literal palms of our hands!” He held out the Chaos Emerald he and his team had taken. “Rumble handed us success on a silver platter, and to me, it is exquisite! Now both factions have a chance of taking down Unicron! But, we must do more than leveling the playing field, we must tip it in our favor! Now is the perfect opportunity to make sure we’re ALL in tip-top shape for our inevitable victory over the Autobots! Peace through tyranny!”
“Peace through tyranny!” cheered the Decepticons. As the Decepticons headed off, Megatron stopped Tower.
“Not you, not yet!” hissed the Decepticon Lord.
“May I ask why?” asked Tower.
“Why assist my Decepticons?” demanded Megatron. “What is MECH’s intention?”
“I’m no longer affiliated with that entity,” answered Tower. “A civil war broke out between my faction and my daughter’s during the Metarex incident. Her leadership led to the entire imprisonment of MECH, aside from myself and a few of my loyalists. Daughters are quite impulsive.”
“As are sons, but that’s neither here nor there. So, why take a page out of Nemesis Prime’s book?”
“Because he had the right idea, just the wrong commander. Thus began the process of Project: Chimera and the final draft, Cylas, Cybernetic Life Augmented by Symbiosis. After my evolution, I thanked my followers for their dedication and a life-time of service, but I thought myself more fit to keep the exclusive company of Titans. I’m afraid my followers won’t be joining us.” Megatron snorted.
“That is your price? You wish to join us? The Metarex are allies of the Decepticons. Last I checked, their defeat ultimately started at a MECH base.”
“Perhaps, but I can deal with that at a later date. Besides, helping your men out was a bonus. I have something greater to offer in exchange for a place at the table. Tell me, have you heard of Project: Damocles?”
“Enlighten me.” Tower grinned.
“Ask yourself, wouldn’t you wish to destroy your enemies from orbit?”
“…Orbital weapons? The Nemesis and Scarship are weapon enough.”
“But slow, are they not?”
“…Still listening.” Tower took Megatron’s invitation.
“With multiples of Project: Damocles, coupled with the power of the Emeralds, you could rain fire down on Mobius, destroying any Autobot resistance!”
“…Eggman never considered such a weapon. Shows how much he uses his supposed i.q. of 300. Tell me, if you WERE to join us, would you consider a name-change?”
“To be honest, I would happily accept one.”
“Splendid. For now, though, you are on trial. We need to test out your skills.”
“I shall pass any test you provide.” Megatron and Tower then left the room.
All the Terrorcons met in a large chamber with a pool of magma in the center. Smoke rose from it and it formed a very angry face. “Oh, Lord Unicron,” began Nemesis Prime, “we are honored by your pres…” Unicron then sent the Terrorcons into mental agony.
“None have ever DARED fail me even ONCE before!” roared the Chaos Bringer. “But you idiots, YOU HAVE FAILED ME TWICE OVER!”
“Lord Unicron!” begged Deceptitran. “It was those infernal Transfor…!” More mental agony shut him up.
“From deep inside my planetary prison, I’ve sent you simple instructions to follow! But, you’ve lost the Allspark to the Autobots! You’ve lost the Chaos Emeralds to the Decepticons! AND I HAVE LOST MY PATIENCE! The cosmic alignment is coming, and we have no means of power for me to rise and break free!”
“My Lord, I know we’ve had a few…unfortunate, erm…setbacks…” gulped Crystal Widow before mental agony returned.
“Setbacks?! YOU IDIOTS FAILED ME! With the Three Powers, our plans will be upended!”
“We shall find the Three Powers and destroy them!” begged Sideways. “We promise!”
“Oh, really?! You can destroy the Star Saber?!”
“…My Lord, what did you say the Three Powers were?” asked Straxus.
“The Star Saber, the Skyboom Shield, and the Requiem Blaster!” explained Unicron. “With those three weapons in play…!”
“My Lord, forgive the interruption, but those weapons are already gone,” assured Straxus. “The Thirteen destroyed them after they cast you out.”
“Yeah, same in my universe,” supplied Nemesis Prime. “I had to rip the plans out from the Grid to make the Dark Saber.”
“…Are you sure they’re gone?!” snarled Unicron.
“My Lord, we’ll bet our lives on it,” answered Crystal Widow. Unicron then started laughing.
“Then there IS a way to amass the power needed for my resurrection! Since you lot have offered good news, I am feeling…generous. There is still a way to build me a new body! And this time, THIS TIME, UNICRON WILL MAKE SURE YOU GET IT RIGHT!”