Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-21

Optimus was being congratulated on all sides. The Holo-Droid glared. It couldn’t fathom how a mech that was weak could beat it at something it knew as well as its opponent. Optimus then took notice. “Well?” hissed the Holo-Droid. “What are you waiting for? Order my destruction and be done with it.”

“I want answers first,” snarled Optimus. “Who were you trying to reach?”

“If the past weeks were any indication,” replied an elder woman’s voice, “I’d say it was trying to reach me.” A femme then appeared. She wore white armor with a helmet style shaped like a Fleet Admiral’s hat. She had wings and the Autobot symbol emblazoned proudly on them.

“Fleet Admiral Flashpoint!” yelped Optimus. “How long were you watching?”

“Since your duplicate came back online,” replied Flashpoint. “That thing was mobilizing us to a set of coordinates near your current position.”

“What coordinates were you given?!” gulped Optimus.

“Southern Imperia,” answered the Holo-droid. “Specifically, Robotropolis!”

“Robotropolis?” asked Flashpoint. “The home of that unsavory human that keeps fighting a blue hedgehog?”

“You were gonna murder him with the Autobot fleet?!” growled Optimus.

“No!” insisted the Holo-Droid. “We’re not gonna MURDER anyone! We’re going to HELP Sonic save this planet from a certain cyclops!”

“…An ultimatum,” realized Optimus.

“Bingo!” confirmed the Holo-Droid. “We issue a very specific statement! Eggman drops his vendetta against Sonic and does everything in his power to get Shockwave under lock and key, or we level Robotropolis with the Autobot fleet.”

“What?!” yelped Flashpoint. “This is outrageous! I see no reason to…!”

“Would you think for a second?!” snapped the Holo-Droid. “This is a chance to fix this! No more having to deal with two problems! No more Sonic being distracted by Eggman’s schemes! No more Shockwave and Metal Sonic! Sonic, here, claims that he’s doing it for the people, when, truth be told, they’re comfortable with Eggman attacking and couldn’t care less! Sonic is a hero, a living part of mythology with power to inspire and go beyond limits! But, time and again, he gets squandered by the people he cares about! Well, it’s about time to correct this mistake! Eggman had succeeded a while ago by making the people numb to his schemes! He’s proven to be the first successful villain, so it’s up to us to help Sonic be a hero and save this planet!”


“What?!” yelped the Holo-Droid.

“You have a lot of gall,” snarled Sonic, trembling with rage, “to say that the people of this planet became numb to Eggman! You have a lot of nerve saying they couldn’t care less about their lives being trampled on by Eggman’s machines! You dare tell me that the people I protect don’t care about being saved?! Every day, I have to hear stories about Eggman ripping an entire village in Mazuri apart, a hole blown into Chun-nan’s mountainside, and ancient tombs in Shamar being robbed! I fight to make sure Eggman doesn’t cause that tragedy every day, that he has to think about the lives he’s ruined, even for a brief time! I have to live with the fact that I can’t be everywhere at once while a madman causes untold suffering! That’s why I save people, to show that one being is more than enough to stand up to evil! Nothing enrages me more than some hunk of junk telling me my sacrifices aren’t worth it!”

“I have never seen Sonic so mad!” Tails whispered to Shadow.

“Can you blame him?” muttered Shadow. “He was just told that people don’t care about good things, that people only care about themselves.”

“Holo-Droid,” interjected Optimus, “you want to save this planet? You want to show the world that Sonic and the Autobots are more than titans that visit rarely and just listen to prayer, not doing anything? In the end, all you’re doing is threatening people if you don’t get your way. You’re trading Mobius’ self-imposed sanctions for your own! That’s not Sentinel Prime’s example, that’s Zeta Prime’s example! The example of a despot, not a hero!”

“Slag it all!” dismissed the Holo-Droid. “We have to do this! Look at what Eggman’s constantly doing! Having to put up with two problems and rebuild again and again and again and again and nothing ever changes!”

“Wrong!” argued Optimus. “We WILL win through eventually. We do so by convincing people we’re right, by winning hearts and minds! We don’t force people to think as we do, and we sure as the Pit don’t point a gun to their heads saying accept or die!”

“Slag it! We have to do this!” insisted the Holo-Droid. “We have to…!”

“Fleet Admiral Flashpoint, broadcast an order to stand down!” ordered Optimus. “No action is to be taken!”

“At once, Sir,” obliged Flashpoint as she released a breath. The Holo-Droid glared again.

“He will never stop, he will never cease, Eggman will never change,” it insisted, “unless WE make him change!”

“…Teletraan 1, fry him!” commanded Optimus. The Holo-Droid’s image faded as the endo-skeleton sparked. It fell and made a crash.

“Primus, that’s a creepy cuss!” gulped Jazz.

“Fleet Admiral, you deserve explanations,” sighed Optimus.

“Yes, and I want details,” insisted Flashpoint.

“Everyone, whatever logs were made surrounding this unfortunate mess I put us into,” directed Optimus, “give them to her so she can have the facts as well as our views.”

The Autobots and their allies told Flashpoint everything. Flashpoint had her staff confirm the logs. When she got the entire story, Flashpoint sighed. “Well,” she stammered. “This…I…You understand, this is a lot to take in.”

“We can certainly go over the Holo-Droid’s systems and find the problem,” assured Ratchet.

“With all due respect,” sighed Optimus, “you won’t find a single fault. It was doing exactly as programmed.”

“Prime, it reached into my chest and squeezed my spark like a stress toy!” protested Bumblebee.

“The Holo-Droid was based off of my memories and mental patterns,” answered Optimus. “It’s more than likely that if I hadn’t gone on this journey, I’d be doing what the Holo-droid did, even going so far as to get the Autobot fleet here.”

“Prime, I don’t buy it,” remarked Vector. “How many times did you save this planet? You’re far from evil.”

“I believe the phrase, where you’re from, is that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions,” observed Flashpoint.

“Take it from a veteran of her caliber,” confirmed Ironhide. “Even I can tell you that the funny thing about morality is that you can justify anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, in the name of a greater good, but it’s a matter of where you draw the line.”

“I’m not particularly happy about what I’ve discovered about myself,” sighed Optimus. “But, I’ve got some people willing to give me a swift kick in the aft.”

“What I would like to know is how the Holo-Droid deleted the various Emergency Shut-down protocols you and Teletraan installed!” snapped Tails. “You guys buried them in its programming! It shouldn’t have found them!”

“Optimus’ invention, Optimus’ memory patterns,” remarked Ratchet. “The funny thing about exact duplicates is that you and the duplicate know everything about each other, including where one would logically put things.”

“So, that’s it?” rasped Shadow. “You went from one side of the planet to another just to find some witch who told you to get your act together?”

“No, I think this whole journey has ensured he won’t turn evil,” replied Sira.

“How do you figure?” asked Cliffjumper.

“Well, when the Holo-Droid went nuts,” supplied Amy, “what happened? We rose to the occasion. We tried to protect ourselves and our friends.”

“Optimus,” remarked Sira, “you should be proud of your friends.”

“Oh, I don’t think any bot is capable of being prouder,” assured Optimus.

“Well, if there’s nothing else,” interjected Flashpoint, “I promised my grandchildren I’d take them to Six Lasers Over Cybertron.”

“Oh, I LOVED that when I was a sparkling!” cheered Bumblebee. “There’s the Space Slide, the Galaxy Coaster, the Plasma Curve, and…”

“Corporal,” interrupted Flashpoint, “don’t make me hurt you.”

“Give your grandchildren my best wishes,” bid Optimus.

“Will do,” replied Flashpoint. “Fleet Admiral Flashpoint, out.” She ended the transmission.

After things settled down, Sira, Natalie, and Trema were given a tour of the base with Amy as their guide. They were granted access a while ago. “And this is Optimus’ office,” revealed Amy. “Let’s see if he’s in there.” She rang the chime. No one responded. “Huh?” muttered Amy. “Teletraan, is Optimus in his office?”

“No, he’s on the ship,” replied Teletraan as his avatar popped up on a view screen nearby. “He and Ratchet were checking over my link to the Ark’s functions.”

“Are they on the bridge?” asked Sira.

“No, Ratchet beamed down back to the Med-bay while Optimus went to the cargo hold,” explained Teletraan. “He’s busy playing on his flute.”

“His flute?” quizzed Amy. Meanwhile, Optimus was playing a snatch of music from Star Trek. It was from Lessons. He and Elita usually played a duet of the song with Elita on the piano. When he ended, he could swear he heard a piano version of what he played. Back on Mobius, Blackarachnia was playing a portable piano after she thought she heard Optimus playing the flute. As she played on Mobius, Optimus joined in at the right time and the song played on. No words were needed to show their thoughts on the other.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-20

“Ah, Optimus,” gulped the Holo-Droid. “Er, this probably requires some explanation…”

“Teletraan briefed me on the situation when Sira, Natalie, and I teleported past the lock-down procedures,” interrupted Optimus. “You really should have stepped down.”

“Well, given the circumstances,” replied the Holo-Droid. Optimus wasn’t having any of that.

“Execute Shutdown Program Alpha Omega Prime!” he ordered.

“Wait a klik!” yelped the Holo-Droid. Too late. The image faded to reveal a boney, bronze looking endoskeleton with a blank face.

“Wait, WHAT?!” squawked Ironhide.

“If you’re wondering why I didn’t give you bots that shutdown code,” called Optimus, “it’s because it was keyed to my voice patterns.”

“Uh HUH,” mused Ratchet.

“Is everyone okay?” asked Optimus. Teletraan’s avatar shook his head.

“I speak for all of us when I say we’ve been better,” he groaned.

“Probably a good thing we haven’t tested out the new tanks G.U.N built for us,” supplied Bumblebee.

“How’s your brother?” asked Optimus. Bumblebee checked over Cliffjumper.

“Don’t worry, Twilight!” mumbled Cliffjumper. “We’ll stop Discord and Q!”

“I think he’ll be all right,” reported Bumblebee.

“Cliffjumper’s a Brony?” muttered Jazz.

“I’m surprised too,” replied Optimus. “In any case, Teletraan 1, end the lockdown.”

“Belay that!” shouted a voice. It was the Holo-droid! The image it was projecting was still Optimus, but it looked like the image was static-like.

“Bent on locking us in?” asked Optimus.

“We need to talk! I…” The Holo-Droid then stopped. “You’re the only one who doesn’t look surprised that I’m online again.”

“You’re based off my memories and mental patterns,” replied Optimus. “It’s natural for you to make back-ups.”

“Yeah, true that,” conceded the Holo-Droid. “I doubt you can stop me now. Teletraan, get a signal out to…”

“Frag that! I’m shutting you down!” snapped Teletraan. The Holo-Droid snapped its fingers. Nothing happened. The Holo-Droid was confused and tried again. “Deleted that,” explained Teletraan.

“Well, poopy,” muttered the Holo-Droid.

“Good work, Teletraan,” praised Optimus. “However, hold off on shutting it down. I need info from it.”

“You’ll have to beat me in a fight,” taunted the Holo-Droid.

“I have another idea,” replied Optimus. “Secondary computer, bring forth my Duel Monsters collection.”

“You’re seriously challenging me to YuGiOh?” scoffed the Holo-Droid. “You want to settle this with a children’s card game?”

“It’s going to be two decks of 40 random cards,” explained Optimus. “You may choose the rules.”

“You’re really going through with this,” sighed the Holo-Droid. “All right, ARC-V rules.”

“Teletraan, give us 8000 life points each,” directed Optimus. Teletraan brought up a life point screen. He looked up the rules and then assumed a referee’s uniform.

“Call it,” called Teletraan.

“Heads,” replied Optimus. Teletraan flipped a coin and caught it. “Well?”

“Bad luck, Prime,” sighed Teletraan to Optimus. “Activating holo-projectors.” Optimus then took one deck while the Holo-droid took another. They activated their duel disks.

“If you win,” offered Optimus, “the base is yours and we’ll relocate to the Space Colony ARK. If I win, you’re going back to factory settings after being shut down.”

“Fine by me,” replied the Holo-Droid.

“It’s time to duel!” announced Teletraan.

“Let’s see,” mused the Holo-Droid. “I think I’ll activate Unexpected Dai and special summon Warrior Dai Grepher from my deck. Next, I’ll normal summon Star Drawing” A male humanoid warrior with a large sword came up as well as a cutesy monster with a wand and beret. The monsters had two attributes, one for attack, and the other for defense. Grepher’s attack/defense ratio was 1700/1600 and Star Drawing’s was 1600/1000. “Now, I think I’ll use those two to XYZ summon Tornado Dragon!” A dragon made of wind appeared next to the previous two monsters before they were put inside the monster. Its ratio was 2000/2100. “Now, because of Drawing’s effect, I can draw a card. After that, I’ll just set this thing down,” the card was set in the spell/trap zone, “and end.”

“I’m not risking it,” replied Optimus. “I’ll play Hand Destruction, so we’re sending two cards from our hand to the graveyard and drawing their replacements.” They both did so. “Now,” declared Optimus, “I’ll summon Alexandrite Dragon,” a dragon with prismatic scales came up with a ratio of 2000/100, “and attack your Tornado Dragon with it.”

“Poor choice,” chuckled the Holo-Droid. “Here comes my trap card, Mirror Wall. That brings your Alexandrite Dragon down to 1000 attack points, leaving it open to Tornado Dragon!” Tornado Dragon bit into Alexandrite Dragon’s neck and tossed it aside. Alexandrite Dragon vanished, and Optimus’ life points went down to 7000.

“Scrap!” swore Optimus. “Still, you DID help me satisfy the conditions for my new monster. Because a normal monster was destroyed in battle, I’ll special summon Orichalcos Shunoros.” An elaborate, humanoid machine came up. Its ratio was ?/0. “Since Shunoros’ attack depends on the opposing monsters on the field, his attack is 1000.”

“Not going to help you on this one,” laughed the Holo-Droid.

“I wasn’t finished,” replied Optimus. “I’ll activate Swing of Memories to get Alexandrite Dragon back.”

“That’s gonna be destroyed when your turn ends!” observed the Holo-Droid.

“With Shunoros’ effect? Not likely,” countered Optimus.

“Scrap, you’re right,” swore the Holo-droid.

“Now, I set this little card in the spell/trap zone, and end,” finished Optimus.

“Let’s see what I draw,” muttered the Holo-Droid. It gained a smile when it saw the card. “Oh, perfect!” it laughed. “Let’s see, I think I’ll forgo paying Mirror Wall’s 2000 life point cost, so away it goes. Next will be the normal summon of Skilled Dark Magician.” A humanoid appeared next to Tornado Dragon. It was dressed in robes and shoulder armor, carrying a staff, with a ratio of 1700/1900.

“That raises Shunoros’ attack to 2000,” replied Optimus.

“Then I set this card here,” continued the Holo-droid as it was put into the spell/trap zone, “and put Tornado Dragon into defense mode. I end.”

“Thus, activating my trap card, Zoma the Spirit,” called Optimus. A creepy, impish looking creature came up. “I’ll just special summon it to the field and end.” An attack/defense ratio appeared with 1800/200. “I believe it’s my turn.” Optimus drew a card from the deck. “I’ll attack your Skilled Dark Magician with Zoma the Spirit.”

“Which only drops my life points by 100, if I’m not mistaken,” mused the Holo-droid.

“It’s right,” sighed Teletraan. The Holo-droid went from 8000 to 7900

“And Shunoros’ attack just went back because now it’s just my Tornado dragon again,” chuckled the Holo-Droid.

“Then I just set this and end,” replied Optimus. The card went to a spell/trap zone.

“I’ll just detach Star Drawing from Tornado Dragon, destroying whatever spell or trap you set,” laughed the Holo-Droid.

“FRAGGIT!” swore Optimus.

“Let’s see, since it’s my turn,” mused the Holo-Droid as it drew a card, “I’ll just set this and end.” It went into the spell/trap zone.

“Then, I’ll draw and pass,” answered Optimus.

“Pass?!” yelped the Holo-droid. It then sighed as it drew a card. “Your funeral. I’m playing the spell I just drew, Shield and Sword. That swaps the attack/defense ratios on everything on the field. Your Shunoros now has an attack of 0, your Zoma the Spirit has 200, your Alexandrite Dragon has 100 and my Tornado Dragon has 2100. Speaking of Tornado Dragon, I’ll switch him to attack mode, so he’ll attack Shunoros. So, I believe your life points are 4900?”

“Scrap!” swore Optimus.

“Your turn,” offered the Holo-droid. Optimus drew a card.

“Oh, perfect!” he cheered. “I summon Junk Synchron!” A short, stout creature in orange armor, a scarf, and goggles appeared. “Now, I’ll tune it with Alexandrite Dragon to synchro summon Clear Wing Synchro Dragon!” The previous monsters vanished, and Optimus put their cards into the graveyard. A dragon with a mix of crystal and machine appeared and roared. Its ratio was 2500/2000. “Clear Wing Synchro Dragon, get Tornado Dragon out of here!” Clear Wing Synchro Dragon roared in acknowledgement and swiped Tornado Dragon. The monster faded, and the Holo-Droid’s life points went to 7500. “Now, I switch Zoma to defense mode, set this, and end my turn.” Optimus set a card in the spell/trap zone.

“Hm,” mused the Holo-Droid, “I think I’ll activate Jar of Greed to get another card. Next, I’ll normal summon Ancient Gear Hunting Hound.” A metal, corroded dog appeared. Its ratio was 1000/1000. “You know the automatic effect he’s got on you,” said the Holo-droid.

“I take 600 damage,” answered Optimus. His life points went to 4300.

“Now, for its second effect,” chuckled the Holo-Droid. “I’ll send it and the Ancient Gear Beast I drew earlier to the graveyard to fusion summon Ancient Gear Howitzer in defense!” A winged creature made of pipes and with turrets for hands came up as Hunting Hound faded away. Its ratio was 1000/1800

“Clear Wing will chain with its effect!” called Optimus.

“You dimwit!” insulted the Holo-Droid. “That’s not gonna do you any good! Card effects can’t affect Howitzer! Down go your life points, due to Howitzer’s effect!” Optimus’ life points went to 3300. “And I’ll just set this in the spell/trap zone and end.”

“Scrap!” gulped Ironhide. “Prime’s at a major disadvantage!”

“This game has a way of turning things around,” mused Jazz, “if there’s no cheating, at least.”

“Clear Wing will attack Howitzer,” announced Optimus.

“Will it?” asked the Holo-Droid. “Tell me, are there any Ancient Gear monsters in your deck?”

“Scrap! Howitzer’s effect!” swore Optimus. “Wait, there’s still Clear Wing’s effect to consider!”

“Oh, I have considered it!” laughed the Holo-Droid. “Hence why I’m playing Forbidden Chalice. I hope Clear Wing enjoys 400 extra attack, because its effect is gone!”

“Slag!” shouted Optimus.

“And Howitzer can’t be affected, so you’re still handing over your Ancient Gear Monster!” The Holo-droid held its hand out. Optimus handed over the monster. “Thanks to Howitzer, I can summon this bad boy, ignoring the terms of summoning! Didn’t expect your Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon to be on my end, did you?!” A metal, corroded dragon appeared and roared. Its ratio was 3000/3000. “I believe it’s still your turn,” giggled the Holo-droid.

“I’m setting this and ending my turn,” sighed Optimus. Another card went into the spell/trap zone. The attack points went back to the original number for Clear Wing and its effects were back.

“My turn,” declared the Holo-Droid. “Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon will attack Clear Wing Synchro Dragon. I see you trying to activate a spell/trap, don’t even try! You know as well as I do, Reactor Dragon can’t be affected by spells, traps, or monster effects until it attacks, and you take damage!” Reactor Dragon attacked and destroyed Clear Wing. Optimus’ life points went down to 2800. “And because of Reactor Dragon’s effect, say goodbye to Zoma! Your go!”

“Slag!” swore Optimus as he drew a card. “I’m playing Pot of Desires, so I’ll banish 10 cards from the top of my deck to draw 2 more.” He did so. “Now, I’ll play one of the cards I drew, Smashing Ground. Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon must go!” The monster was thrown off by the ground beneath it shaking like Jell-O. “Now I set this card and end my turn.” Another spell/trap.

“My turn,” replied the Holo-Droid as it drew a card. “Ah, I can use this! I play Overload Fusion! So, I’ll be using Ancient Gears Hunting Hound, Beast, Howitzer, and Reactor Dragon to fusion summon Chaos Ancient Gear Giant!” A metal giant came up with a ratio of 4500/3000.

“Hang on!” yelped Ratchet. “I saw those beasts go into the graveyard space! You shouldn’t be able to use them!”

“With Overload Fusion,” explained Optimus, “the Holo-Droid can use any Ancient Gear monsters on the field or in the graveyard. Banishment doesn’t mean death.”

“This game makes no sense!” shouted Bumblebee.

“Button it, pipsqueak!” snapped the Holo-Droid. “My turn’s not over. Unless Optimus has a spell or trap to use…”

“Which I do!” replied Optimus. “I activate Bottomless Trap Hole! Want to chain anything to the effect?”

“I see no reason to,” dismissed the Holo-Droid. “My Giant can’t be affected by spell or trap effects.”

“There IS a way for it to be vulnerable to that,” countered Optimus. “I’m chaining Effect Veiler to Bottomless Trap Hole!”

“WHAT?!” yelped the Holo-Droid. A blue haired angel briefly flashed before a hole opened beneath Chaos Ancient Gear Giant. It fell down the hole.

“That’s right, Effect Veiler can remove any effects, no matter the monster!” boasted Optimus. “With that, your Giant had no protection against my Trap Hole! Anything else you wish to do?”

“I pass,” hissed the Holo-Droid.

“Then I set this card and end,” finished Optimus.

“Give me something good!” begged the Holo-Droid to Primus. Its optics flashed. “Thank you! I activate Cup of Ace! Teletraan, flip a coin! If it’s heads, I draw 2 cards. If not, Optimus draws 2 cards!” Teletraan did so. “Well?”

“Bad luck, Optimus, the Holo-Droid won that one,” sighed Teletraan. The Holo-Droid drew.

“Perfect!” it cheered. “I’ll normal summon Clown Zombie!” A zombie clown appeared with a ratio of 1300/0, laughing creepily. “Since I control a level 2, Dark monster, I can special summon Caligo Claw Crow!” A cartoonish crow with oversized talons appeared with a ratio of 900/600. “Now, I’ll use these to XYZ summon Number 65: Djinn Buster!” A dark, metal encrusted monster with large swords for hands appeared with a ratio of 1300/0. “Djinn Buster, attack Optimus’ life points directly!”

“Hold that thought!” called Optimus. “I’m playing Call of the Haunted to revive my Clear Wing Synchro Dragon. You’ll have to go through a replay for that.”

“Then Djinn Buster will break off the attack,” replied the Holo-Droid. “But, that does permit me to use Rank-Up-Magic Quick Chaos! That ranks Djinn Buster to Number C65: King Overfiend!” Djinn Buster changed into an overlord style monster with a ratio of 1600/0. “Now, I’ll activate its effect, targeting Clear Wing by detaching Clown Zombie! As long as Djinn Buster is attached to Overfiend, you can’t activate any monster effects!” Clear Wing’s attack went down to 1500. “Your move,” offered the Holo-Droid. Optimus drew.

“I activate Limit Reverse to revive Effect Veiler,” he announced. “Next, I’ll use him and Clear Wing to synchro summon Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon!” A dragon made of crystal came up and roared, armed with a ratio of 3000/2500. “Crystal Wing, get rid of Overfiend!” Crystal Wing roared and slashed at Overfiend with its claws. The Holo-droid’s life points went to 6100. “Your move.”

“Indeed, it is,” agreed the Holo-Droid as it drew a card. “I’m playing the card I just drew, Fissure! Say goodbye to Crystal Wing!” Crystal Wing fell into a crack in the earth. “Now, I end my turn.”

“It’s playing with Optimus like a cat with a mouse!” gulped Ironhide.

“A non-Mobian cat, maybe,” sighed Sira.

“Come on!” pleaded Jazz. “Primus, let Optimus turn this thing around!” Optimus drew a card.

“I summon Necroface!” he called. A creepy baby’s head with tentacles coming out appeared with a ratio of 1200/1800. “Its effect allows all banished cards to return to the deck and gain 100 attack from each card. Teletraan, how many cards were banished?”

“15,” reported Teletraan. “So, Necroface will gain 2700.”

“Thank you,” bid Optimus. “Necroface, attack him directly!”

“And that activates my trap card, Nutrient Z!” laughed the Holo-Droid. “I’ll be gaining 4000 life points before taking damage.” The Holo-Droid’s life points went to 10100 before Necroface smacked it with its tentacles, bringing it to 7300. Optimus sneered.

“I end my turn,” he sighed. The Holo-droid drew a card.

“Oh, yes!” it cheered. “Mystical Space Typhoon! I think I’ll target…that spell/trap card right there!”

“That was my Burying Mirror Force!” thought Optimus. He discarded it.

“I end,” declared the Holo-Droid.

“All right,” answered Optimus as he drew, “I’m playing Allure of Darkness to draw two cards. However, one of my cards is banished because of Allure’s effect. Necroface shall attack you again!”

“Scrap!” swore the Holo-Droid. Its life points went to 3600. “Still, I have a life point advantage!”

“Then, use it,” insisted Optimus. “It’s your move.”

“Very well,” chuckled the Holo-Droid as it drew. “I’m playing Dark Hole to destroy all monsters on the field. Since Necroface is the only one, away it goes. With that, I end.”

“All right,” replied Optimus. “I set this one and end.”

“Already?” asked the Holo-Droid. “Well, I’m not one to take chances. I play Pot of Dichotomy. I’ll take three cards of different types from my graveyard and reshuffle them into my deck. Then I’ll draw two cards. Hey, the one I’ll summon is one Necroface returned a while ago. Come on back, Ancient Gear Hunting Hound!”

“You can’t conduct the battle phase,” replied Optimus.

“And yet, Hunting Hound still inflicts 600 damage due to its effect,” countered the Holo-Droid. Optimus’ life points went down to 2200. “Now, I’ll use Hunting Hound’s second effect to send it and another Ancient Gear monster to the graveyard to fusion summon Ancient Gear Howitzer again in defense!” Howitzer came back. “And, due to the effect, Howitzer inflicts 1000 damage on you!” Optimus’ life points went to 1200. “All that damage and my monsters didn’t need to lift a finger! I end my turn!” Optimus drew.

“I summon Mechanicalchaser!” announced Optimus. A spheroid machine with various hunting tools and wings came up with a ratio of 1850/800. “Those 50 extra attack points are what I need. Mechanicalchaser attacks Howitzer!”

“And Howitzer’s effect allows me to special summon Ancient Gear Beast!” laughed the Holo-Droid. Another creature built like Hunting Hound came forward as Howitzer fell. Its ratio was 2000/2000.

“Ample opportunity for me to play my trap card, Escape from the Dark Dimension,” announced Optimus. “I’ll bring back the card Allure got rid of, Dark Horus!” A black, metal dragon appeared with a ratio of 3000/1800. “Dark Horus will attack your Beast!” Dark Horus swatted Beast aside, bringing the Holo-droid down to 2600. “That’s my turn, what’s yours?”

“I’ll set this card I drew facedown and end,” finished the Holo-Droid.

“All right,” replied Optimus. He drew a card. “Oh, hello!” he said as he grinned. “First, Mechanicalchaser will attack your face-down.”

“Poor move!” giggled the Holo-droid. “My face-down was Charcoal Inpachi!” A wooden golem that was smoking appeared in a defense position. Its ratio was 100/2100. “Now, you receive damage for attacking a monster with a stronger defense!” Optimus’ life points went to 950.

“All right, Dark Horus will stomp Charcoal Inpachi,” answered Optimus. Dark Horus smashed Charcoal Inpachi. “Now, I’ll set this, and end.”

“I’m just going to set this one and end,” chuckled the Holo-Droid. Optimus grinned.

“He’s got him!” remarked Jazz.

“Who?” asked Ironhide.

“Optimus, he’s got a plan for the Holo-droid,” explained Jazz. “I see that win grin!”

“He’s at 950 life points!” protested Tails.

“If he plays it right, that may be an advantage,” assured Jazz.

“What makes you so sure?” quizzed Bumblebee.

“…Well…YuGiOh is a very deep and involved game,” floundered Jazz. “His strategy will become apparent any cycle now.”

“…You have absolutely no idea how this game is played,” guessed Trema.

“…I can’t hide anything from a Witch, can I?” sighed Jazz. Trema shook her head. “Well, I DID develop an appreciation for it.”

“Since when?” inquired Tails.

“Since his girlfriend taught him everything he knows about the game,” explained Jazz. “He doesn’t flash that grin unless he’s got an ace up his sleeve.”

“My turn, I believe,” recalled Optimus. “I’ll draw.”

“Perfect chance to activate Ring of Destruction on Mechanicalchaser!” boasted the Holo-droid.

“I discard the card I drew to chain your trap with my own, Rainbow Life!” replied Optimus. “Whatever damage you were going to inflict on me becomes a life point gain!”

“Confirmed!” cheered Teletraan. Optimus’ life points went up to 2800 while the Holo-droid went down to 750.

“NO!” shouted the Holo-Droid.

“What did I tell you?!” cheered Jazz.

“Don’t celebrate just yet,” urged Optimus. “It’s the Holo-Droid’s turn.” The Holo-droid drew.

“I set this and end,” it announced.

“All right,” smirked Optimus. He drew. “I use Twin Twisters to discard 1 card and target that spell/trap you set. Dark Horus, end this! Attack the Holo-Droid’s life points directly!” Horus roared and sent the Holo-Droid sprawling as its life points went to 0.

“VICTORY! OPTIMUS PRIME!” announced Teletraan. Cheers rang throughout the base.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-19

Journey’s log. Supplemental. I have been…unable…to try and…puzzle out…oh, for Primus’ sake, who am I kidding?! I know damn well what Sira said! And, looking over my past actions over the past few years, I can’t blame her for saying that. What have I done? I’m surprised Jazz and Ironhide, my closest allies, put up with that. At this point, I wish Jazz invoked the Crisis Act. “What did I do?” I asked aloud. “What did I do to cause something so unpleasant?”

“I think you can answer that yourself,” replied a motherly voice. I whirled around to see two bluish, transparent bots. Their legs were replaced by ghost tails. One of the bots was a femme in a dancer’s armor and the other was a stocky mech with medical markings. I was confused, then remembered the names that were used for my weapons. I pointed to the femme.

“Blade Dancer?” I asked. She nodded. “Then, YOU,” I said, pointing to the mech, “are Pacemaker.”

“That’s right,” confirmed the mech. Time seemed to stop for us as we looked at each other.

“Er, can you sit down?” I asked.

“We can,” assured Blade Dancer. I offered my seat to her and she sat down as if she were still alive. Pacemaker took the other seat. As I stood, they gave me warm smiles. I wasn’t sure I deserved them.

“I made a humungous mess of things, haven’t I?” I sighed.

“Yep, no painting over that one,” remarked Pacemaker.

“Then what am I supposed to do?” I asked. “Never make mistakes? Never raise my voice? Never get angry at anything? Never lie or take a shortcut? Act like a goodie-two-pedes?”

“Of course not. Not even the Primes are that perfect,” replied Blade Dancer.

“THEN WHAT IN THE PIT DO YOU AND THE PRIMES WANT FROM ME?!” I shouted. “I…I just don’t know what to do! What can I do to make this right again?!”

“We want you to be better,” answered another voice. I jumped and whirled to see Solus Prime behind me.

“Yeah, that’s helpful,” I snarked as I tried to slow my Sparkrate.

“You know the problem,” explained Solus, “now you can find the solution.”

“…Yeah, knowing the problem makes a solution easier,” I conceded.

“Pacemaker and I were holding back because we weren’t sure about you,” answered Blade Dancer.

“We didn’t know what would happen if we cut loose,” continued Pacemaker.

“Maybe you shouldn’t,” I sighed. “Maybe Sira underestimated how far along I went on an evil path and you should snuff my Spark before I get worse.”

“Did you really just say that?” hissed Pacemaker.

“In front of a medic, a dancer, and a Prime, no less?” asked Blade Dancer.

“Orion, you’re our partner,” assured Solus. “You’re our friend. As Jazz has been demonstrating since you met him, you don’t leave friends hanging. You help them, try to make them better.”

“And, if you can’t?” I asked.

“Then, at least we made the effort,” replied Blade Dancer. “So, what’s the next stage?”

“I need to be more mindful, think a little before acting and speaking,” I declared.

“You won’t try to do so?” asked Solus.

“While I may lean more to Star Trek,” I replied, “I can’t deny Yoda’s wisdom. ‘Do, or do not. There is no try.’”

“Wise words,” chuckled Solus. “We need to go, as do you.” She then placed her hand on my shoulder as Pacemaker placed his hand on the other and Blade Dancer hugged me as a mother would. “Good luck, Optimus,” bid Solus.

“Thank you, Solus,” I reciprocated. My optics switched off for a moment, then I realized what she said. “Wait, did you call me…?” I then saw my hands. They were in the familiar talon shape. I looked down to see my old cockpit chest. My shoulders had their flight jets back. I then felt around my head and found antennae. Solus was right! I’m back to being Optimus Prime! I gave a cheer! My magic was back!

“You’re quite the excitable one,” mused a voice. I turned to see Sira and Natalie watching. “We felt a magic surge, a small one, here. So, you reexamined your Spark?”

“I did,” I replied, calming down. “I have a few friends to thank. Pacemaker, Blade Dancer, the Primes, the Autobots, our Mobian allies, and you. Thank you.”

“For what?” asked Sira.

“For having me go on this journey to truly know what I need to be mindful of,” I explained.

“Well,” muttered Sira, “we all saw that you were going on some journey. Even my current apprentice, Amy Rose, could see it.”

“The Scarlet Specter has a good teacher,” I praised.

“I’m flattered,” replied Sira. “Like I said, we all knew you were going on a journey. The reason behind it? That was something we couldn’t see. Good thing, too.”

“It wouldn’t really be a test if someone knew the answer,” I guessed.

“You got it,” confirmed Sira.

“Personally, I hope this is the last time I go through this trial,” I sighed.

“You don’t get it, do you?” observed Natalie. “The Trial of the Soul never ends. The universe wanted to see if you could really change and you just proved you can.”

“When I asked my friends for help,” I realized.

“Exactly,” answered Sira. “That’s what a true Transformer does, regardless of being made of metal or flesh and blood. It changes, adapts, helps, and is helped along the way. No being can change without some help.” She then bade me follow her through the house. “Yes, there are those that abuse it by becoming overly dependent, but there is another end to that spectrum.”

“Never asking for help,” I answered. “Letting pride in doing things yourself get in the way.”

“Right again,” replied Sira. “And, along the journey, for a moment, you were thinking of possibilities never once considered by you.”

“When Blackarachnia showed me the Post-war Suffering being heaped on the Decepticons,” I sighed. “I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

“Then, don’t let me detain you,” bid Sira. “But, just so you know, you’re welcome to visit me when you need advice. And, if you’re lucky, Natalie and I may stop by your base.”

“Well, in that case, I’ll make a visit easier for you by mailing you your security cards,” I called.

“Much appreciated,” chuckled Sira. “See you out there!” I was at the main drive with Sira and Natalie still waving goodbye.

“Ad magnitudinem vero,” I chanted. I returned to my original size and switched the comms on. “Ratchet, this is Optimus Prime. My magic’s back and I need a Ground Bridge.” Static was the reply. “Ratchet?” I asked. I tried another one. “Tails?” Static again. “Teletraan?” Static from him?!

“Is something wrong?” quizzed Sira as she and Natalie ran up to me.

“Not even my A.I’s responding,” I answered. A horrible thought struck me. “The Holo-Droid!” I gasped. “I left a copy of me in command!”

“Before you went on this journey?” asked Sira.

“That’s what’s got me so worried,” I gulped. “I haven’t mastered teleporting myself yet. Want to visit the Autobot base early?”

“Sure,” replied Sira. “We just need an image to work with.”

“Better than that, I know the coordinates and the inside of the base,” I helped.

“Even better,” cheered Natalie. “Concentrate on those things as we chant the spell.” We then held our hands up like a doctor would. I did as asked, and we started chanting.

“Locus. Locus. Locus,” we chanted. As we did, magic was flowing around us. We let my image and coordinates bleed into the magic and it started guiding us there.

The Holo-droid went to the main command center. “All right,” it muttered. “What’s on the docket for today? Ah, yes. Teletraan 1, open a channel to the Autobot fleet. Tell them they are to launch within the hour.”

“Not a chance!” snarled Teletraan. “GUYS! NOW!”

“CYBER KEY POWER!” shouted all the Autobots as they came out of the woodwork. Jazz fired off his Bass Cannons at the Holo-Droid. Prowl’s shoulder mounted launchers became shoulder mounted rifles as they fired. Bumblebee’s hands became spikes and they fired a large stream of electricity. Cliffjumper unleashed triple-barreled blasters from his arms. Ironhide combined his cannons to make a laser bazooka. Ratchet had claws deploy from his arms and fire electromagnetic beams. Teletraan deployed internal defenses. The Holo-Droid face-palmed.

“Seriously?” it asked. “I’m made of lights and force-fields! What can you…?” Its power levels went to 99% after 12 seconds. It waited another 12 seconds before it dropped to 98%. “Not gonna work, guys,” it remarked. “I can do this all day!”

“Tails, is it even doing anything?” gulped Prowl.

“Its power levels are dropping, but slowly!” reported Tails as he looked on a monitor. “Keep up the attack!”

“Guys, I’m getting bored!” sigh the Holo-Droid. The Cyber Keys then wore off. “There! You’re done!” remarked the Holo-Droid. “Now, will you just…?!” The Autobots then each took a tank from beneath the floor, converted them to rifles, and fired. “Oh, hey! Commander Tower let you guys have them again. Awesome.” It then used its forcefields in its hands to redirect the beams of light to the Autobots. They were blown into the walls.

“NO! KEEP UP THE ASSAULT!” cried Tails.

“Oh, Miles Prower!” quizzed the Holo-Droid in a sing-song voice. “Is that you I hear?”

“Oh, Scrap in a Test Tube!” swore Tails. He turned to his friends, hiding behind him. “It’s our turn already, guys!”

“Blast away!” cheered Sonic. Knuckles grabbed Tails’ legs and Tails grabbed Sonic’s legs. Knuckles spun around a few times, then released Tails.

“SONIC OVERDRIVE!” announced Team Sonic as Tails kicked Sonic into the air, giving him height enough to do a Light Speed Attack, doing his signature Spin Dash at higher speeds and bouncing on the Holo-Droid multiple times. The Holo-Droid knocked Sonic into his team.

“CHAOS INFERNO!” shouted Team Dark. Shadow initiated Chaos Control. Rouge lifted Omega by the head and he converted his arms into laser cannons, rotating them around his body in a counter-clockwise direction and firing. The Holo-Droid redirected the beams and knocked them down.

“FLOWER FESTIVAL!” called Team Rose. Big the Cat bounced Amy and Cream on his umbrella, then he lifted it slightly into the air. Amy landed on the umbrella, struck a pose, then Cream landed on her and struck another pose while an explosion of flowers hit the Holo-droid. The Holo-Droid slammed its foot on the ground as the flowers evaporated and knocked the team down. A shamisen was then being played, then drums. The Holo-Droid was confused.

“CHAOTIX RECITAL!” screeched Team Chaotix. They sang off key, unleashing a sonic blast. The Holo-Droid grabbed one of the overhanging blasters under Teletraan’s command and shot at the Chaotix’ feet. They were tossed like ragdolls. The Holo-Droid then felt something in its head.

“Hm, it looks like Teletraan’s trying to hack my systems,” it chuckled. “It’d be a shame if I didn’t anticipate that and made a special program for that!” It snapped its fingers and the main console sparked. Teletraan 1’s avatar clutched its head in pain.

“Teletraan, are you all right?!” asked a voice.

“Iiiii’mmmm fiiiinnneee!” slurred Teletraan. The avatar then fell.

“Was that…?” muttered the Holo-Droid, wondering about the voice. Trema came out with a laser pistol with a gatling gun barrel. “How did you get in here?!”

“Special permission!” answered Trema as she fired.

“I thought you saved a Nebulan Blaster for war time,” remarked the Holo-Droid.

“This IS war time!” snarled Trema as she continued firing.

“Hm, power levels are dropping,” mused the Holo-Droid, “but, not enough. Say, Trema, did you know various emergency procedures were implemented when the intruder attacked Optimus? This one’s my favorite. Emergency Procedure 5! Activate!” A force field came between her and the Holo-Droid. “Yeah, we got the tech from the cargo hold of the Ark!” it boasted. It then looked over its victims. “Look at you morons! Did you really think you could beat me?! There isn’t a single being here who can stop me! Primus, there isn’t even a being on this planet who can stop what I’ve begun!” Suddenly, a laser blast hit it from behind, sending it sprawling onto the ground. “All right!” it shouted. “Who had the gaaaaaaahello!” it said as it looked down the barrel of the laser pistol pointed at it.

“I don’t know,” grunted the owner of the gun. “I might know a bot.”

“Kiddo!” cheered Ironhide.

“Sir!” gasped Prowl.

“Dude!” called Jazz.

“Mr. Prime!” cried Cream.

“Optimus! You’re back!” cheered Sonic.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-18

Journey’s log. Supplemental. Sira had just dropped the mother of absurdities on me! “Turning…evil?” I repeated. “…No, I’m not!”

“You most certainly are!” replied Sira. “I’ve seen this happen numerous times. You’re arrogant, power-hungry, and so deluded, you can’t even see it! You don’t value another’s opinions and your selfishness and ego are getting to a point where you won’t see anyone but yourself, not even your loved ones.”

“This is absurd!” I snapped as I got up. “You’re probably not even a real Witch! This whole thing must have been…”

“SILENCE!” roared Sira as she got up. She did the whole scary Gandalf convincing Bilbo to give up the Ring thing as the area went dark. “It is NOT wise to argue with a Mage of any Order, for we have little patience and a LOT of power!” she continued in a booming voice. She then took a deep breath and the area went back to its old lighting. “And it’s power that’s the issue here,” she sighed in her usual voice. “Magic IS a power, but so many people view it as a path to gaining MORE power! Domination over others! Massacre and murder! Just being wicked in general! Magic, on the other hand, is a fickle thing. It CAN’T be used in that manner. Hell, it doesn’t WANT to!”

“Doesn’t want to? What do you mean?” I asked.

“Magic is alive, in a sense,” explained Sira. “Mages ranging from a simple Parlor Magician to ones of our caliber have existed since the dawn of the universe. Tell me, how many history books on Cybertron alone did you crack open and discover that the Great Evil Wing, the Black Steeled Wizard of Ultimate Badness, had made the world his dominion, or some such nonsense like that?”

“I…er…I guess I…haven’t…thought about it…” I stammered.

“That’s because you’ve been focused on YOUR problems!” answered Sira. “Magic is a living thing tied to a mage’s essence, their very soul! It wants to be used to defend, to help, to heal. It flat-out refuses to be used to actively or passively hurt someone! The soul, the very thing that powers magic, knows the difference between right and wrong, even if the mind is too clouded to tell.”

“That didn’t seem to stop Aaron earlier in his life!” I argued. Sira sighed.

“My former student was old when Mobian society was young,” she replied. I was surprised to hear she taught Aaron magic, but thought it best not to go on that tangent. Sira wasn’t in any mood for it. “His power was beyond anything any mage has seen before or since. My point is this: it’s extremely rare for someone to break the rules like that. The accounts I’ve heard on that subject, I could count them on one finger.”

“But, what about curses?! Dark magic?!” I snapped. “Primus shield me from lying, my weapons were forged in a terrible ritual!”

“When something like that happens,” explained Sira, “the people performing it are granted magic from another world that could allow them to break the rules like that. A dark, demonic world that can’t exist in our plane of reality. A god or demon makes a bargain with some poor sap, conveniently ‘forgetting’ about mentioning a price until it’s too late.”

“So, what, you’re telling me that my connection to magic went kaput,” I quizzed, “because my Spark knew I became a bad guy?!”

“No,” answered Sira. “It hadn’t happened yet. Someone decided to speed up the process before it got that far.”

“Who?” I asked. Sira then waved her hand over my weapons and the Matrix. “You mean, the Primes, Pacemaker, and Blade Dancer did this?”

“They’re worried about you, worried about what you might become,” sighed Sira.

“I am not turning evil!” I insisted.

“Oh, really?!” argued Sira. “How many times did you use your power selfishly?!” I was about to say never, then a memory played out. It was when we found Fwuffy on the Ark.

“Optimus, I really must protest keeping the Poozit with us!” – Prowl.

“Who’s Prime?” – Me.

“How many times did you lash out at and threaten unreasonably?!” asked Sira. Another memory played. It was before I spoke with Aaron last.

“Those things? I thought they were for public use, so I took the prototype for a joyride. I always wondered why Commander Tower said I’ve ruined it for you guys. I guess they’re under lock and key now.” – Vector.


“Orion!” – Ironhide.

“How many times did you put your problems above others?!” inquired Sira. My last conversation with Aaron played out.

“What else could you want from me?! You’ve taken my freedom, my magic, my sanity, my beard trimming schedule, and my usual hygienic routine!” – Aaron.

“Yeah, life’s tough all over. I need some information.” – Me.

“And how many times did you assume that your solutions were the right ones?! That your answers were the only ones?!” hissed Sira. The conversation the day before my departure played out.

“Kiddo, I really think you should…!” – Ironhide.

“Ironhide, I get that you’re worried about me, but this needs to be done. Someone, somewhere on this planet, can help me fix my magic and I need to find that someone before things get really bad.” – Me.

“Do you ignore another’s suffering?!” quizzed Sira. My last bout with Blackarachnia last night played out.

“All they do is talk and talk and talk and never get anything done!” – Blackarachnia.

“No, the Council DID get things done!” – Me.

“Did the image the Chrono-knife showed us last time mean nothing?!” – Blackarachnia.

“Or are you just off in your own little world when people are trying to get you to listen for five damned minutes?!” snapped Sira. My christening of the ship then played out.

“Yeah, but the reason people voted for Watchful was because they didn’t want to call it a name like the space colony.” – Ratchet.

 “Yes, but, it’s not their ship now, is it?!” – Me.

“Our actions and thoughts shape who we are,” finished Sira. “Believe me when I say, yours are NOT shaping up to that of a hero. I suggest you stay here and reexamine your Spark, because you are going to need to help yourself.” She then turned into red mist like Amy does and flew to the main mansion, disappearing over the rose hedge maze. I sat alone, contemplating her words.

“Amy, you must understand, this is a lot to take in,” muttered Trema.

“I’m sorry, Master Trema,” insisted Amy, “but this isn’t up for debate! The Holo-Droid’s lost it! It nearly killed Bumblebee! It’s contacting Cybertron a lot to request military hardware!”

“But my access to the base was revoked!” reminded Trema. “No way is the Holo-Droid going to let me pass!”

“Considering we’re trying to bring it down,” remarked Amy, “I don’t think its opinion of you matters.” Trema considered. She then sighed.

“Very well, I will help,” she sighed. “But, after that, it’s up to Orion whether or not I can visit.” There was a knock on her door. “Hide yourself, I’m expecting someone,” urged Trema.

“Abscondam,” chanted Amy. She then turned invisible.

“Mutatio Figura,” Trema cast as she went from her natural Nebulan state to her Mobian disguise. The knock returned. “Enter,” rumbled Trema. A female Warrior-hog came in, baring her teeth.

“I have come for my son’s Honor Knife!” she barked. “Hand it over, or I will take it from you!”

“Now that you are here, and I have confirmation that your son has paid his debt,” whispered Trema as she held the knife she took from the café, “I have no further need of it.” She handed the knife over.

“…You rob my son of his honor just to get my attention?!” snarled the Warrior-hog.

“You cannot take away what someone does not have,” hissed Trema.

“Are you saying my son is without honor?” asked the Warrior-hog.

“I am saying your son is a coward and a liar!” replied Trema.

“And what of his mother?!” called the Warrior-hog.

“That remains to be seen,” remarked Trema.

“…Tell me, rabbit,” instructed the Warrior-hog, “what have I done to earn your disrespect?”

“The misdeeds I have heard from my colleagues speak for themselves!” snarled Trema. “Attacking a Scorpion Model! Detaining and searching vehicles without warning or provocation! And you, executing one of your men when he refused to destroy a G.U.N. convoy!”

“Whatever we have done,” insisted the Warrior-hog, “is in the name of security and safety for our honor!”

“You must think me a fool to make your lies so clear!” snapped Trema.

“I do not wish to quarrel with one who speaks and acts like a warrior!” replied the Warrior-hog.

“Neither do I!” answered Trema. “I am sure your species DO have honor and a proud tradition, but I must know why you act this way!”

“We are acting the way we do,” explained the Warrior-hog, “because we have been hunted in the past and refuse to be so weak in the future. That is all you need know!”

“Mobians and Humans are both Apex Predators!” snapped Trema. “There is no need for you to act this way!”

“I’ve heard enough!” snarled the Warrior-hog. “I have what I came for. Pray that we don’t cross paths again!” She then left without another word.

“Damn her!” swore Trema as she cancelled the spell.

“No point in trying to change her,” sighed Amy as she cancelled her spell. “We gotta get going.”

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-17

Journey’s log. Mobius date: April 1, 2017. Stardate: 1622185.96. After the events of last night, I started asking around for magic folk and, to my surprise, the lady who defended Elise from Blackarachnia was the one I should have asked for in the first place. She’s called Sira and she’s the Grand High Witch of Mobius. She lives in the Northern Edge of the city I was in last night and…what I saw wasn’t what I expected. Let me explain, the Grand High Witch of Cybertron, a title reserved for the most powerful Witch, usually lived in a remote cave. Sira, on the other hand? Opulent mansion. I arrived at the gate and pressed the call button. A human woman’s face filled the screen. She wore a blue pixie cut and was in some sort of maid’s uniform. “May I help you?” she asked.

“Er, this is gonna sound weird,” I stammered, “but I’m an alien robot looking for the Grand High Witch, Sira, and I was…told…she lived…here…” My voice trailed off.

“Ah! Orion Pax, correct?” quizzed the maid. My holo-form’s optics went wide. “Lady Sira’s expecting you. One minute. Parvus!”

“The Shrinking Spell?! What for?!” I yelped as I shrunk down to the size of a Mini-con.

“Lady Sira prefers to talk to young ones at the same level,” explained the maid. “Please meet me at the front door.” She ended the call and opened the gate. I transformed into my now human height and headed to the door. It opened to reveal the maid. I initially thought it was just a maid outfit, but it seemed to be a blend of maid outfit and ballgown. “Lady Sira is in her garden,” she reported. “This way, please.” She led me through the mansion and out the back door into a rose garden maze. “Now, how did she arrange the path to the center this time?”

“I beg your pardon, Ms.…” I floundered.

“Oh, how rude,” the maid admonished. “I’m Natalie, Sira’s wife.” I arched my eyebrow, again, I may add. I’ve been doing it ever since I came up to the gate. “Oh, we make it work,” assured Natalie. “Being the maid has been a hobby while being an eccentric billionaire became a hobby for Sira.”

“So, why call her Lady Sira?” I asked.

“It’s become a pet name,” Natalie explained as she led me through the maze. We hit a dead-end. “No easy path this time, eh?” she mused. “Lady Sira loves to change the path to the center after a week. She does with her eyes closed. Wants to test her brain so she can get to her favorite spot in the center. Odd though, considering she’s of the Red Order.”

“…Mages of one Order can use spells from another,” I muttered, trying to go along with it. “It’s just slightly more difficult.”

“True, I’ve used water spells from time to time,” replied Natalie as we went down another path. “And I’m a witch of the Purple Order!”

“Right,” I gulped. Soon, we found the center. Sira was sitting at a table with two chairs, looking upwards. Natalie cleared her throat. Sira turned to see us.

“Ah, young Pax,” she greeted. “That will be all, Sweet Natalie.” Natalie curtsied and left. Sira gave me a small smile. “Lovely girl,” she sighed.

“I’m…sure she makes…a fine wife for you…” I replied, still thrown off by Sira’s residence.

“Is something wrong?” she asked.

“This…isn’t what I expected from the Grand High Witch of Mobius,” I muttered.

“It’s our planet’s 41st century,” remarked Sira. “Did you expect the Grand High Witch to live in a cave, cackling over a cauldron of green goo?”

“Well, it’s what Cybertron’s Grand High Witch does!” I answered.

“…You’re joking, I hope,” mumbled Sira.

“No, I’m not,” I answered.

“Right then,” sighed Sira. “I need to speak with Slapdash when the Universal Council of Witches meets again.” She then shook her head. “In any case, please, sit. Tell me your woes.” Finally! Some groundwork! I sat down.

“My magic just stopped working a while ago,” I explained. “Everything I enchanted…stopped, for lack of a better term. I can’t access the wisdom of the 1st 13 Primes and the spells in my repertoire won’t even sparkle. Heck, my weapons aren’t even working!”

“Uh HUH,” replied Sira. “Let me see them, wisdom vessel and weapons.” I took out the Matrix and my weapons and laid them on the table. Sira then picked up the Matrix and looked it over, making several “hms” along the way.

“Er, it was how I…” I started to explain.

“Quiet, please,” instructed Sira, “I’m talking to Solus Prime.”

“WHAT?!” I yelped. “I didn’t tell you about the…!”

“I said, quiet!” hissed Sira. She then picked up the gun. “Was he always this bad?” she asked it.

“Are you gonna talk to…?” I quizzed.

“Button it!” snapped Sira. She then looked at my axe. “Lost cause, huh?” she asked it. “One minute, let me confirm that.” She took out six six-sided dice and one ten-sided die. She shook them in her hands and then released them. They landed on low numbers. “Oh dear,” she moaned.

“What?!” I asked.

“Shush!” hissed Sira. She then grabbed my chin and turned my head. “Yep, just as I thought.”

“Um,” I said.

“Can’t go five minutes without flapping your lips, can you?” remarked Sira. She released my chin. “But, that’s all right. It’s a classic symptom.”

“Symptom of what?” I quizzed.

“What the problem is,” explained Sira. “I’ve seen this kind of thing before, in the history books. Your implements could as well. Did you know the gun was called Pacemaker and the axe was called Blade Dancer?”

“I…well, no,” I floundered. “I’ve been trying to find out.”

“That’s because you haven’t unlocked their full potential yet,” answered Sira. “Good thing, too, in this instance. If you had, and this happened, you’d have been too far gone.”

“Meaning?” I asked.

“The problem isn’t with your magic, the problem is with you,” replied Sira.

“I don’t follow,” I said.

“All right, then, simple words for a simple bot!” sighed Sira. “You’re! Turning! Evil!” …WHAT?!

The bot that attacked the Autobot base was back in his ship. He looked a bit tired. “I couldn’t get him to use his magic!” he snarled. “I just couldn’t…! Chill out. Now’s not the time for a rampage.”

“Good mantra,” replied a woman’s voice in a permanent growl. “Welcome back, Grimlock.” A Femme red, grey, and gold with a blue face and Velociraptor bits stepped out.

“Thanks, Slash,” bid the bot, Grimlock. “How long was I gone?”

“About 48 days now,” answered Slash.

“48 days from the ship?” chuckled Grimlock. “Wow, that Energon field you made only started sparking when I saw the ship a minute ago.”

“I am already making adjustments,” reported Slash. “Were you able to get the young Prime angry?”

“No, just annoyed,” sighed Grimlock. “Apparently, he’s got a lot on his mind.”

“Grimlock? Is that you?” asked a voice. Another bot came it. It was in a color scheme like Grimlock and Slash’s and had Pteranodon parts.

“Swoop, good to see you,” greeted Grimlock.

“Ah, good, I can tell you what I found,” cheered Swoop. “I discovered footage of Optimus going toe to toe against a certain Cyclops that gave us our current alt-modes.”

“Shockwave’s alive?!” snarled Grimlock.

“Yes,” replied Swoop, “however, she was beaten, truly beaten.” Grimlock smiled.

“A kid tangled with Shockwave and beat her?” he chuckled. “Interesting.”

“Perhaps we should avoid this one,” suggested Slash.

“Oh, no, we shouldn’t,” argued Grimlock. “If this kid can take on the strongest and smartest Decepticon, it is IMPERATIVE we get his weapons up to full power. Besides, they’re the last two we need.” He looked at the wall of weapons.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-16

Journey’s log. Mobius date: March 31, 4017. Stardate: 1622183.34. I’m finally in Spagonia, Mobian Europe. I started in the British Isles, what with magic being strongest there. I wound up at Spagonia University, with a Professor Pickle leading my holo-form to his study. He showed me a map of all Spagonia and all the magic hotspots on the continent. The greatest one was near Stonehenge. There was a well-known magic school on a field trip there, so I asked the staff and students for help. Unfortunately, they couldn’t do well. Technomagic was beyond that school. They pointed out that the hotspot in Soleanna may help. It was night when I arrived, and a festival was going on. Soleanna was Mediterranean in design, with rivers going through the city. The buildings and towers were well-lit, and fireworks were going off. It looked like the people were in prayer, and a boat was going through the rivers to a central altar. The boat had ballet dancers in yellow dresses on the bow. A young woman was standing behind the dancers and waving as the people cheered. She was a brunette in a simple white dress with her hair adorned by feathers on each side. I couldn’t fathom what was going on, so I tapped a woman’s shoulder. She wore some sort of black ball gown with white trim and disconnected sleeves. Her rose adorned head turned to me. “I’m not native to Soleanna,” I began. “What’s the particular reason behind this festival?”

“It’s the Festival of the Sun,” explained the woman. “It’s where we pay homage to our Patron Deity and God of the Sun, Solaris. Quiet now! That woman over on the boat, Princess Elise, is about to give the Final Prayer!” The woman, Elise, was greeted by a Bishop and handed a torch. Before she lit the altar, she made a prayer.

“We give thanks for the blessed flames. May we always continue to have peace. Sun of Soleanna, guide and watch over us with your eternal light,” she proclaimed. She then lit the altar and the flames wove into a beautiful design. More fireworks were launched, and the city cheered. I then felt something on my vehicle mode’s trailer bed. My vehicle mode was tossed into the air. I transformed to get a better landing. I then realized that gravity was going to put me in the river.

“LOOK OUT!” I shouted. Everyone got away from the splash radius. I got up once I regained control. I hadn’t prepared myself for an underwater environment, so I was coughing up water for a bit.

“Well, you made quite the splash,” joked Blackarachnia’s voice. I finally looked up at the bridge to see her in robot mode.

“And, you interrupted the humans’ enjoyment, why?” I hissed.

“You were the one who landed in the drink,” observed Blackarachnia. She then drew out a laser launcher and leveled it at the altar. The crowd gasped, the lady whose shoulder I tapped flew through the air and landed at the altar just as Blackarachnia pulled the trigger and let a shot fly.

“Defendere!” she chanted as she cast a large, red energy shield. The shot was absorbed. Blackarachnia snarled. “Machine Woman, you have disturbed your opponent’s attempt to enjoy a long-standing tradition of this country! How dare you!”

“You have interfered with my actions!” hissed Blackarachnia. “You will pay!” she raised her claws to strike.

“Not here!” I demanded. I got between her and the altar. Blackarachnia still advanced. “Didn’t you hear me?! Take it out of the city!”

“You wouldn’t dare interfere here!” snarled Blackarachnia. “It might shatter the Pax Cybertronia.”

“I’ve got 4.37 light-years to bring you back to Cybertron!” I hissed. “I might risk it!”

“The universe respected us when they saw us,” growled Blackarachnia, “and it shall do so again!”

“Freedom is the right of all sentient beings!” I snarled.

“Then, follow through with that, and stay out of my way!” shouted Blackarachnia. “I have freedom to conquer!”

“And, I have freedom to stop you from doing that!” I replied. I grappled her, then activated my flight jets, taking us out of the city. We were flying towards the eastern forested area. After I plowed through a few trees with her in front, Blackarachnia jabbed her claws into me and injected more cyber-venom.

“You still cling to methods that are archaic in origin!” she hissed. “Mercy? Duty? Honor? Justice? That led us to corruption in the High Council! All they do is talk and talk and talk and never get anything done!”

“No, the Council DID get things done!” I protested.

“Did the image the Chrono-knife showed us last time mean nothing?!” shouted Blackarachnia. “Your values have just proven worthless as you don’t act on them! Enjoy rusting alone on this Primus-forsaken rock!” She transformed and sped off. Please, let that be the last time I see her!

“Well,” sighed the woman that protected Elise, “that could have gone worse.”

“Could have gone worse?!” protested the Bishop. “Sira, those robots nearly splashed everyone! The dark one almost killed the Princess! I’m surprised you came tonight and were fast enough to protect her!”

“I just had a feeling I needed to attend this year,” replied Sira. “Besides, is Elise still alive?”

“Well, obviously!” answered Princess Elise.

“Then, no harm, no foul,” assured Sira. “Besides, I was expecting the male robot. He needs guidance. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Natalie is expecting me later tonight for a private celebration. Go on, be merry, and enjoy yourself. The people need to see that you can find joy in adversity.” She then became red mist and flew to the north.

“Strangest woman in our history,” muttered the Bishop. “Your Highness, do we continue?”

“I see no reason to stop the festival over a mere altercation that resulted in no deaths and only wet clothes,” replied Elise. “My people, Solaris has blessed us with first contact with the Transformers and it didn’t result in someone getting hurt, as our reporters in the field would have found in their respective countries. We have no need to fear them and will continue to have peace. Enjoy yourselves!” The declaration was well received.

“I’m not sure HOW a Holo-Droid can sleep,” remarked Ratchet as he shut the door behind him, “but, it IS sleeping. We should be able to talk in peace.” Sonic and his friends were assembled in the Med-Bay with the Autobots. The truth was out.

“We gotta do something about that thing!” muttered Ironhide.

“Well, going at it half-cocked with a Photon Rifle isn’t going to work,” replied Cliffjumper.

“Okay, yes, that was stupid!” hissed Jazz, getting a little irritated about that maneuver. “At the very least, I should have found the doo-dad that powers it, but I was being too hotheaded! Can we drop it?!”

“You WERE shooting at the doo-dad that powers it,” answered Tails. “It was just protected by Optimus’ image.”

“Mind explaining?” asked Jazz.

“The Holo-Droid’s image,” lectured Tails, “is made up of lights and forcefields, creating something we’ve been trying for centuries to make, hard light holograms. Its holo-emitters are on the endoskeleton and project a perfect image of Optimus around itself. For all intents and purposes, it’s a walking force-field.”

“Is there anything you and Ratchet can cook up to switch it off?” quizzed Sonic.

“Sadly, we’re still coming up short on that score,” sighed Ratchet.

“How does it run?” asked Prowl.

“Energon, like us, why?” wondered Ratchet.

“Then, we may stand a chance with a frontal assault,” replied Prowl.

“But, Tails just said nothing can hurt it, Mr. Prowl,” reminded Cream.

“We need larger, more powerful weapons,” explained Prowl. “It’s impervious, but not unstoppable. Ratchet provided me a critical piece of the puzzle.”

“I get it!” realized Ironhide. “we drain the thing’s energy banks, it’s vulnerable!”

“And constant, sustained attacks will do it,” confirmed Prowl, “we just need to survive long enough to see it through.

“We haven’t done Team Blasts in a while,” mused Amy. “This may be a good time.”

“Team Blasts?” asked Prowl.

“Concentrated attacks that rely on the entire team,” explained Sonic. “Each team has one. Me, Tails, and Knuckles call ours the Sonic Overdrive.”

“And we DID all get a Cyber Key,” recalled Bumblebee. “Now’s a good time to test them.”

“Perfect!” cheered Prowl. “We’ll also need Teletraan 1 to help coordinate the assault and get us in lockdown until we’ve dealt with the Holo-Droid.”

“…I don’t think that’s a good idea right now,” winced Tails. He pulled up a screen to see Teletraan 1’s avatar drunkenly weeping.

“MICHAEL BAY’S NOT MAKING MOVIES ANYMORE!” he wailed and then drunk from a hip flask before the image faded away.

“…Isn’t he already dead?” asked Ironhide. “It IS 4017, ain’t it?”

“What I don’t understand,” remarked Tails, “is that Teletraan’s got various filters to prevent himself from taking in too much Energon. How is he drunk?”

“Tails, ever since I landed here,” answered Ratchet, “I’ve learned not to question some things. Just help me get him sobered up and ready.”

“When that’s done, we’ll need some time to plan,” declared Prowl.

“Make it happen, people!” ordered Jazz. “This whole mess went down when an intruder slipped by our sensors and I DON’T want this incident weakening us!”

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-15

Journey’s log. Mobius date: March 22, 4017. Stardate: 1622159.78. I’ve recovered from Blackarachnia’s dose of Cyber-venom, nasty stuff, and have proceeded to leave the continent of Chun-nan. I decided to head to the continent of Spagonia. As I headed towards my destination, I noticed that the place was desert-like, with very few trees, much like the savanna of…of…oh, Primus below! I’m in Mazuri! Africa! I’ve missed my mark again! Still, it’s a magic hotspot, so, let’s check it out. I arrived at a village with the center marked by a tree taller than my robot mode. I could easily climb it. I approached the entrance arch when a Mobian Black Rhino charged at me. I transformed and landed behind him. “FILTHY MACHINE!” roared the rhino.

“To think I thought herbivores were peaceful!” I gulped as the rhino charged. I dodged again, but the rhino turned on a dime and managed to gouge my foot. I started hopping around in pain. The rhino readied for another charge when an old human got in his way.

“THAT’S ENOUGH!” bellowed the man. “Let him in, Abeeku.”

“Elder Gwek, you can’t be serious!” snarled the rhino. “That’s a machine!”

“A machine that thinks for itself and understands life!” argued Elder Gwek. “I’ve been expecting him as he needs my assistance. Now, stop antagonizing our guest! You cannot blame all machines for the death of your father!”

“You cannot change my heart so easily, human!” roared Abeeku. From what I observed, addressing someone by their species instead of their name is a grave insult on Mobius. He stormed off and left us while I patched my foot.

“I do apologize for Abeeku,” sighed Gwek. “His father was killed by Eggman’s machines.”

“Eesh, sorry to hear that,” I winced. “Anyways, you said you were expecting me?”

“Takeshi told me you were on a journey to restore your magic,” replied Gwek.

“You spoke with someone from an island chain from Chun-nan?” I quizzed.

“Through a more…magical way,” answered Gwek.

“So, you can help me?” I inquired.

“I can try,” remarked Gwek. “What’s the problem?”

“I’m having trouble syncing up with the artefacts that are the source of my magic,” I explained.

“Let me see them,” said Gwek. I laid down my weapons and the Matrix near him. He walked around and inspected them. “Hm, interesting,” mused Gwek. “I can feel other people in them.”

“The Matrix holds the wisdom of the Primes before me,” I explained. “My weapons were forged in a terrible ritual involving living Cybertronians.”

“Oh dear,” sighed Gwek. He then started chanting something. Must be a spiritual magic user. After his ritual, he turned to me. “I’m sorry, my friend,” he said. “I cannot seem to communicate with the spirits inside these artefacts. Were I younger, we might have had something. Why, in my younger years I would have issued one chant to single-handedly take down an entire army and race across the desert in 2 minutes!” That…seemed like…embellishment.

“Er…is there anyone else to talk to?” I asked.

“I’m afraid not,” replied Gwek. “At least, none that are properly trained. My time as the Elder and Supreme Spiritualist is coming to an end. No one has yet been trained in the latter title and my right-hand man, Kwami, needs more training to take my place as Village Elder.”

“Oh well, thank you anyways,” I sighed. I turned to leave, but someone threw a net on me! The assailant was on me as I struggled to get out of the net. I then felt pinpricks on my chassis. The assailant was trying to probe me for a chink in my armor! I then swung an elbow and the attacker shouted “OW!” It got off me and I managed to break the web. I had to get some of the beastly stuff out of my eyes. When my vision was restored, Blackarachnia was removing damaged dental-plates and making new ones. Yeah, we Cybertronians are like sharks in that regard. We can make new “teeth” to use human expressions. We just do it in a matter of seconds after we remove our old ones.

“You’ll pay for that!” snapped Blackarachnia as she threw her old dental plates to the ground. “I mean it! Dental Plate care’s expensive!”

“I thought your holo-form was a Black Widow!” I snapped. “Ogre Faced Spiders do the net thing!”

“Oh, well, see, I take the abilities from ALL spiders!” answered Blackarachnia. She then pounced on me and was about to expose my neck to her fangs, but I delivered a blow to her optics. “You WOULD strike a lady!” she cried.

“You’ve attacked me,” I argued. “Gender is right out the window!” I then grabbed her arm. “Time to take this fight outside the village!” I flung her out of the village and we dueled in the desert. I got into my usual ready stance, resulting in her laughing.

“I’m the only one with claws here!” she joked. She got into a stance and flexed her claws.

“Oh boy,” I gulped as I remembered my weaker state. Blackarachnia then charged as I adopted a new stance. Her claws flashed as they raked my face. She raised her arm for another attempt, but I drove my forehead into hers, rendering her dizzy. As I charged, she regained her vision and threw a web at my eyes like Spider-Man. “COME ON! AGAIN?! THAT’S CHEATING!” I protested.

“I don’t see any wrestling ropes,” observed Blackarachnia. I got the beastly stuff off my eyes again. “I hope, now, you’ll believe me when I say I only want to talk.”

“After attacking me?!” I snapped. “There’s nothing to talk about!”

“I respectfully disagree,” argued Blackarachnia. “You see, the issue here is patriotism.” I was confused. “You know the old films. Head on back to Cybertron and put an end to the Decepti-Huns. All you need are a few good Bots.”

“What? That nonsense is at least two thousand Earth years behind us!” I countered.

“But, you can’t deny that you Autobots are as warlike as us,” hissed Blackarachnia.

“I DO deny it!” I proclaimed. “We may have held such ideals during the Great War…”

“At which time, you slaughtered millions of us,” interrupted Blackarachnia. “And reconstruction put us in hovels! Since then, there are no indications of improvement for the losers or the so-called ‘mercy’ you Autobots claim is a common value!”

“But, even so,” I argued, “even during that dark time, we’ve begun to make rapid progress!”

“Oh yeah?” remarked Blackarachnia as she took out a knife. “You want to review your ‘rapid progress’? Let’s look at a scene a thousand years ago!” She pressed a button on the handle and a horrible scene played in front of me. It was a scene of the poorer sections of Cybertron, populated by robots who showed the telltale signs of destitution on their chassis’. They were called the Empties by society. Fuel was hard to come by in those areas and spare parts even harder. “Look at them,” directed Blackarachnia, “look for some telltale signs of war.” It was then that I saw the Decepticon symbol on some of the poor wrecks. They looked like they had chemical alterations done to them. “Rapid progress,” scoffed Blackarachnia, “to the point where you bots tried to control us with drugs.” The scene vanished, and we were back in Mazuri. “And then,” continued Blackarachnia, “on finally getting us on our feet, you personally ran off after a law-breaker and got the charges cleared in a night while it takes us days to clear charges! And then, you exposed us to this rock’s natives! Now, here you are, repeating the same old story, doing the wrong thing when things don’t go your way!”

“No, that is not true!” I insisted. “The same old story is what I’m seeing right now! A being who confronts others, not to learn, but to judge, to prosecute, to perpetuate the problem!”

“You clearly have no idea what’s at stake here,” hissed Blackarachnia. “Suppose it turns out I know you too well?”

“I have no fear about what the facts reveal about me,” I proclaimed.

“The facts about you?” cheered Blackarachnia. “You’re a fountain of good ideas! There are preparations to make. But, when we meet in Spagonia, it will be exactly as you suggest.” She turned around. “Blackarachnia, TRANSFORM!” Her front swung upwards as her arms went underneath to make a car front with a spider fang motif. Her legs folded and tucked into her rear to make the trunk of the car and legs came out, pointing themselves forward and back. Her holo-form came up as a Mobian Black Widow. Mobian Spiders have a humanoid body structure with four extra spider legs and the telltale large butts. Her holo-form then entered her vehicle mode by way of a hatch opening like my cockpit as Optimus. “Ta-ta!” bid Blackarachnia as she sped off. As she vanished in the distance, my hand twitched and sparked. I transformed, having been in robot mode for too long.

“All right,” I declared, “Spagonia, it is. Just need to get my nav-computers straightened out.” I then sped off to find one of the northern Mazuri cities.

The Holo-Droid had terminated a call from the command center. Teletraan 1’s avatar appeared on the screen. “I’m not too sure that’s a good idea, sir,” he stammered.

“I know it’s a bit extreme, but…” assured the Holo-Droid. It was interrupted by an angry Jazz.

“HEY! FAKIMUS PRIME!” he shouted. The “Black” accent was dropped. He sounded more like Worf.

“Hey, Jazz!” called the Holo-Droid. “You know, calling me a fake Prime is kind of rude and…”

“Yeah, it’s rude, as is my interruption,” conceded Jazz, still sounding like Worf. “Do you know what’s ruder? Shoving your hand into someone’s chassis and threatening to offline them!”

“Er, I’m not sure…” stammered the Holo-Droid.

“You’ve adopted my best friend’s tell whenever he lies,” interjected Jazz. “Your dental plates get exposed and you look all over the place! You said that Bumblebee’s crystal mail was destabilizing his Spark and you were giving the same tell that time!”

“And, let me guess,” sighed the Holo-Droid, dropping the act, “you got the real story from Bumblebee, whozzzz manner of zzzzpech zzzzoundzzzz like thizzzz when he liezzzz.”

“Have you got a screw loose?!” wailed Jazz. “What’s wrong with you?!”

“I don’t know why you’re so upset,” remarked the Holo-Droid. “You get irritated whenever Bumblebee makes a short rant.”

“The rants ARE annoying,” replied Jazz, “but that’s no cause to hurt people!”

“And I don’t WANT to hurt him,” assured the Holo-Droid, “he just needed to get the message that he was getting on everyone’s nerves.”

“You could have KILLED him with that stunt!” shouted Teletraan 1. The Holo-Droid’s face went sour. It turned to the large screen.

“As you can see from the cameras in the med-bay, he’s still alive and is making a full recovery,” it dismissed. “What, pray tell, is your point?”

“You’re malfunctioning!” snapped Teletraan 1. “You’ve been online for too long and the acids in your batteries are leaking into your CPU!”

“Guys, there’s nothing wrong with me,” argued the Holo-Droid.

“Oh yes, there is!” hissed Teletraan 1.

“I have asked all Autobots and they agreed to have the Crisis Act invoked!” continued Jazz. “You’re relieved of command as Ratchet, Tails, and Teletraan give you the once-over to figure out what’s wrong with you!”

“And if I refuse to go along with this, what are YOU going to do?” asked the Holo-Droid.

“Emergency Shut-down Procedure 2: Armed and Engaged!” announced Teletraan 1. There was a silence for a few seconds. “That…should have…shut it down…” stammered Teletraan 1.

“Had it deleted a while ago,” explained the Holo-Droid. The sound of a Photon Rifle being primed filled the room and the Holo-Droid stared down the barrel of said weapon in Jazz’s hands. “Jazz, don’t embarrass yourself,” sighed the Holo-Droid. Jazz fired his weapon one handed. Given that it had no recoil, it was easy to do. He fired again and again and again, to no avail. The shots were simply absorbed. Jazz’s weapon then beeped that it was out of juice.

“All right, then,” declared Jazz as he holstered the weapon and took out his cyber key. The Holo-Droid then slammed its hand into Jazz’s body and threw him back. As Jazz sprawled, the Holo-Droid dusted its hands off.

“Jazz, don’t get in my way again,” it muttered. “It would be a shame if I had to disrupt your vocal processors. How would you sing again?” The Holo-Droid commed Ratchet again. “Ratchet, we had a weapons misfire from Jazz’s Photon Rifle! Jazz was hit! He needs help!”

“On my way, sadist!” hissed Ratchet.

“…Just get Jazz patched up,” sighed the Holo-Droid. It then retreated to Optimus’ office.

Amy was patrolling a dark forest. Cream had told her that there was something living there that scared her and was the size of the Autobots. Amy took up her Scarlet Specter persona and started looking. The forest choked out any light. “Lux fiat,” said Amy as she made a small orb of light. She soon saw the reason why light wasn’t coming into the forest. Large webs of spider silk choked out the treetops. “A spider colony, great,” muttered Amy.

“Come into my parlor,” purred a voice.

“And I just wandered into a spider trap!” cried Amy. She then noticed something in the web. “Wait, since when did spiders dye their webs blue?” She was then bitten, and something was pumped into her. She passed out in a few seconds. When she regained her vision, she tried to move, only to realize she was cocooned in spider silk and gagged.

“Don’t bother,” assured the purring voice. A Mobian Black Widow stepped out of the shadows. “There’s no escape, pinky,” she purred. “I need you. You see this?” She gestured to a machine. “Impressive, no?” Amy looked at the machine, then shrugged in her cocoon. “And, why, pray tell, are you shrugging?” asked the spider. Amy spoke, still gagged. The spider rolled her eyes, then removed the gag.

“I’ve seen that machine before,” explained Amy.

“You have not!” protested the spider.

“Oh, yes, I have!” answered Amy.

“You’ve seen a mincer of this caliber before?” quizzed the spider. “You know? The things we use to chop up our prey?”

“One, if you WERE a Mobian Spider,” countered Amy, “you would know that cannibalism, especially sexual cannibalism, was long abandoned by species that may have practiced it before their evolution! Two, I’ve seen that machine used to turn a large amount of blue crystal into pink liquid in a cube container! Three, I see the Decepticon symbol on your choker! You’re not native to this planet! Are you the stowaway from the Ark?!”

“The Ark?” scoffed the spider. “He seriously named it that?”

“Well, are you?!” insisted Amy.

“Blackarachnia, stop making the poor girl panic!” boomed an alto voice. Trema, in her Mobian disguise, then came into view. “Amy’s on our side,” she assured.

“Her?!” protested Blackarachnia. “She’s barely up to my ankle! What can she do?!”

“You’d be surprised at what she can do,” remarked Trema. “Now, will you let her go?” Blackarachnia rolled her eyes and sprayed a green gas. The web surrounding Amy turned into powder and she landed on her feet.

“If you can prove your strength, I’ll consider you an ally,” sighed Blackarachnia.

“What kind of proof…?” Amy stopped when a noise came from the cave entrance. “Guys…”

“I hear it too,” replied Trema.

“Spiders?” asked Blackarachnia.

“No, their speech is softer,” answered Amy. “That’s the Scorpion language.”

“Please tell me you understand them,” gulped Trema.

“Mobians can speak up to five languages, aside from English,” explained Amy. “Scorpion is one of the ones I speak. That’s one of the Imperia Scorpion dialects, belonging to the Arizona Hairy Scorpion.” Three aforementioned Scorpions then came in. Much like the other Mobian animals, Mobian Scorpions have a humanoid body shape with five fingers. Their natural armor is the toughest to break. Their tails are wrapped around their waists when not in combat. A large male surveyed the cave and its occupants. A large female bared her teeth. A smaller male folded his arms and licked his teeth. The large male spoke in his native language. Amy bristled, then spoke in the Scorpion’s language. The other Scorpions chuckled.

“You swear well, Hedgehog,” remarked the large male. “It’s a pity you have hair. You would have made a fine warrior.”

“She’s warrior enough!” hissed Trema.

“I have no proof of that,” dismissed the Scorpion.

“Careful,” warned Amy. “Scorpions can use their claws and tails as wrecking balls.”

“If I recall,” mused Blackarachnia, “Scorpions have venom in their tails.”

“You dare call yourselves warriors?” hissed Trema. “You poison and talk and posture but have no TRUE courage or honor! The title of warrior is misplaced on you, your ancestors, and your children!”

“TREMA!” yelped Amy.

“Bad move?” guessed Blackarachnia. The large female and smaller male snarled. The large male stepped slowly to Trema.

“What did you say?” he asked in a dangerous tone.

“I said Scorpions of all generations are cowards!” growled Trema.

“That’s what I thought you said,” rumbled the large male. His fingers then turned into the telltale claws that mark the scorpion and smashed into her ribs with them while giving a roar. The large female and smaller male turned their hands into claws and all Scorpions raised their tails. Trema then summoned long, arm mounted swords while Blackarachnia raised herself on her spider legs and Amy summoned her hammer. The two sides charged at each other and battle was joined. Blackarachnia was taking on the large female and Amy took on the small male. Amy’s hammer was slammed into her opponent’s side, pinning him into the wall. The tail flailed wildly to try and sting her, but it didn’t reach her. Blackarachnia stayed above her opponent while she took a few stalactites from the ceiling and threw them at her. The female’s tail was then thrust upwards, but Blackarachnia dodged and caught it under the main stinger.

“Look out!” warned Blackarachnia to Amy. Amy got out of the way as the large female was tossed into the smaller male.

“WATCH IT, MOTHER!” he roared.

“YOU WATCH IT!” shouted the large female. Trema’s blades kept the stinger and claws of her opponent at bay. Soon, the large male made a mistake. He raised his arms to smash his claws down onto Trema’s head, leaving him open to her blades. A Mobian Scorpion’s natural armor is one of the toughest materials around. No blade on Mobius could pierce it, only bullets and laser blasts. Trema and her swords, an individual blade named the Ban’graza, meaning “Honored Metal”, are NOT from Mobius. Her left Ban’graza deliberately missed vital organs as it pierced the large male’s armor. Battle was halted as the noise of a blade piercing armor rang throughout the cave. Even Trema’s allies were surprised.

“FATHER!” cried the small male. Both Scorpions ran towards the large male.

“You…stabbed me!” he winced as he was being picked up.

“Don’t be such a baby,” dismissed Trema. “I could have aimed for a vital organ.”

“No sword on this planet has stabbed a Scorpion!” snarled the large male.

“My weapons and I aren’t from this planet,” replied Trema, “and neither is the spider.” The Scorpions arched an eyebrow. “Est verum forma,” chanted Trema. She leapt out of the cave and grew into her real form and Blackarachnia’s vehicle mode rolled out as her holo-form disappeared. She then transformed, making her way out of the cave. Trema and Blackarachnia then towered over everyone. “What is your name?” asked Trema.

“I am Rex, son of Alex!” replied the large male Scorpion as his family patched his wound.

“I am Trema Xarthanax of Nebulos, mother of Galan, Witch of the Green Order,” introduced Trema.

“Well, Trema Xarthanax of Nebulos, mother of Galan, Witch of the Green Order, know this!” hissed Rex. “You have forced a Scorpion to molt! You have forced me to shed my armor and be weak! This is an insult a Scorpion will neither forgive nor forget!” He then spoke in the Scorpion language to his family and they took off. The three girls then caught their breath.

“That could have gone better,” sighed Trema.

“I always assumed you were a Mobian Rabbit,” replied Blackarachnia. “My mistake.” She then placed her hand over her spark. “By the rings, asteroid, and twin moons of Nebulos, I honor and greet you.”

“By the twin moons of Cybertron, I honor and greet you,” returned Trema.

“Is…that a greeting?” asked Amy.

“Formal Nebulan greeting,” explained Trema. “I’m surprised I didn’t teach you that.”

“You were busy in helping Sira teach me magic,” replied Amy.

“You’re a witch too?!” yelped Blackarachnia. “Is everyone on this planet magically inclined?! On Cybertron, it’s just a few of us!”

“The proportions of magically inclined to those that aren’t are the same as that on Cybertron,” answered Trema. “Mobius just has more people than you do. In any case, I believe Ms. Rose here has proved herself.” Blackarachnia sighed. She couldn’t come up with a good argument.

“All right, fine,” she conceded. “There IS more to her than meets the eye. I’m sorry for treating you like spider food.”

“Accepted,” replied Amy.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta harass Orion in Spagonia,” answered Blackarachnia as she transformed. She then sped off through a Ground Bridge. As the vortex closed, Amy started thinking on what she said.

“Is she supposed to do that?” she asked Trema.

“Someone was supposed to,” replied Trema. “If she can get Orion to his final stop, then this whole thing will result in a more powerful Prime.”

“I hope so,” sighed Amy. “Because, if it doesn’t, Shockwave and Metal Sonic will go through with who knows what.”

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-14

Journey’s log. Mobius Date: February 25th, 4017. Stardate: 1622095.38, for Star Trek nerds, like myself. I had met up with Misty, nice girl, by the way, and while she couldn’t help since, as Amy said, technomagic is beyond most Mobians, she did tell me of some magic hotspots on the continents of Chun-nan, Mazuri, and Spagonia, respectively known as Asia, Africa, and Europe in the past. As Station Square was on the east coast of the continent of Imperia, formerly known as North America, I decided to head further East. So, I arrived on an island chain…outside…of…Chun-Nan……I need my compass fixed. In any case, walking around Mobian Japan is quite the interesting experience. There’s still a sense of mysticism and modern society blending together. And, of course, there’s still the best entertainment on the planet. From what Misty has told me, there are Wizards and Witches in the, apparently still in business, Toei Studios. I decided to start there. The cast and crew of a show came out and I explained my plight to them. “So, can you guys do anything?” I asked. I had hoped the fox girl in the lab coat was an actual scientist.

“Well,” mused the fox, “I could add some text to it. Maybe a flash noise or a new coloring job.”

“Wait, aren’t you a scientist?!” I yelped.

“No,” answered the fox. “I’m a manga artist playing a Kamen Rider!” After a few minutes of talking, I found that the fox, Yumiko, had gotten a contract to be the first woman to play the titular Rider in the new Kamen Rider Quill. It was a fantasy show with an artist theme. Her default form is a black bodysuit with silver armor and a silver helmet looking like a pen tip with red compound eyes. She fights the evil Cuttrior and his Sinoid generals. Cuttrior wants to tear the world of fiction apart and uses the Sinoids, named after the seven deadly sins, to do so. After obtaining her transformation belt, the Author Driver, Kamen Rider Quill fights to protect her people with art based attacks.

“So, really,” remarked Quill’s suit actor, another fox, “when this ‘Misty’ person told you about Wizards and Witches in Toei Studios, she meant more in the editing department.”

“Any of them actually magic users?” I asked.

“Sorry,” sighed Yumiko. “I have no clue. I’d still ask around.”

“Thank you for your help,” I replied, bowing. After a while, I was given a pass to go into the editing department. After asking around, I found a human Wizard, Takeshi. After I told him the story, he started looking at my gun with a sonic screwdriver he had enchanted. After no results, I suggested the red setting. No results. After Takeshi confirmed he didn’t know much in the way of my people’s connection to magic, I thanked him for his help and headed out of the studio and wandered around Tokyo for a while. It didn’t last long as I heard explosions and screaming citizens.

“SOMEONE HELP!” screamed a woman’s voice. I turned in the direction of the explosions.

“Who, me?” I asked with a grin. I charged headlong towards the source to see a robot. Three guesses who’s controlling it. If you guessed Baldy McNosehair, you win! Eggman had a new robot that looked more like a ball with red circles for eyes and a set of tank treads on the front and back. The Omelette Dictator was laughing in his Egg-mobile when I arrived at the scene. When I clapped optics on his new toy, I was unimpressed. “You’re serious about this?” I said in a deadpan tone.

“Ah, Orion Pax, if I recall!” cheered Eggman. “Say hello to the Eggatron!”

“By the unholy stomach of the Destroyer, what kind of a stupid name is that?!” I sighed.

“Stupid?!” snapped Eggman, offended. “What do you mean stupid?!”

“‘Eggatron’? Dude, you can do better than that!” I wailed.

“Ah, but you don’t know what this baby can do!” giggled Eggman. He then docked his Egg-mobile with the robot.

“Knock it off, Egg-breath!” I hissed as I transformed. “We both know how this is going to end. I’m just going to go over there, tear that thing a new one, and…!” Then…it happened. The rear treads flipped to the sides and segmented into two parts joined by elbows. They sprouted five digited hands. A metal canopy slammed down to protect the pilot. It was sporting a robot version of Eggman’s fat head. The front treads brought the darn thing on two feet. The whole transformation went by so fast that he managed to score a sucker punch! “ARGH! MY NOSE!” I shouted as I massaged my olfactory sensors. I heard Fatso laughing and it seemed to be coming from the robot’s head! It even had facial expressions!

“Something wrong, Orion?!” asked Eggman. “You came here, expecting to fight a simple robot and yet you find…A NEW TRANSFORMER!!” He started laughing.

“The heck is that thing?!” I quizzed.

“This, my young friend,” replied Eggman, “is the result of sifting through Shockwave’s files on cloning! Not really my first option to use a body for a mech suit, but, ‘adopt, adapt, and improve’ is a scientist’s creed.” My optics went wide.

“You discovered our CNA!” I guessed. “You can grow your own T-Cog!”

“Now you understand the implications of simply making my own instead of going through you Autobots when I dig a Cybertronian up,” laughed Eggman. “So, you wanna go a few rounds?!” He slammed his fists together. “Come get some!” I got into a ready stance. Eggman threw a roundhouse kick, which I blocked, leaving me open for a punch. This time, it was to the gut. Then another kick threw me into a building. The military had arrived on the scene and started firing. Eggman switched a red energy shield on and deflected the shots. I got between the reflected shots and the soldiers. Thankfully, it didn’t hurt that much. Eggman took the advantage and slammed both fists onto my back! I fell to the ground. Eggman raised a club, ready to split me open. Something zapped him and made him stop.

“Huh?” I muttered. Then, I saw it…her.

“Well, now,” purred the femme. She was a voluptuous bot with a purple and black color scheme. “Never thought I’d see the great Optimus Prime in a weakened state,” she continued.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“Someone who’s…toxic,” hissed the femme. “Though, if you want a name, I’m Blackarachnia.”

“Let me guess, spider holo-form?” I muttered.

“Black Widow, to be precise,” purred Blackarachnia. She then jabbed me in the chest. Something coursed through my tubes as I fell. “See you around, Red, White, and Blue,” remarked Blackarachnia as she took off. I was in a bit of pain for a while. After it passed, I got up, clearing my processor. Eggman had fled, taking his Transformer suit with him. This journey just got crazy.

Bumblebee headed to Optimus’ office. The Holo-Droid summoned him for some reason that escaped him. He hadn’t done anything wrong, had he? He knocked softly on the door. “Come in,” called Optimus’ voice. Bumblebee came in to see the Holo-Droid looking over something on its temporary desk. It then gave its attention to Bumblebee. “Ah, Bee, good to see you.”

“You wanted to see me?” asked Bumblebee.

“Yeah,” replied the Holo-Droid. “It’s about the rants you give. You know, the ones about your height?”

“What about them?” quizzed Bumblebee.

“It’s starting to get on our nerves, little guy,” explained the Holo-Droid. “So, if you could knock it off, that would be awesome.”

“…Little?” hissed Bumblebee. “Did you say little?!”

“Er, yeah?” confirmed the Holo-Droid.

“……WHO ARE YOU CALLING AN ATOM SIZED…?!” Bumblebee didn’t get very far as the Holo-Droid placed its hand on his chest and made the external image pass into Bumblebee’s chest. He felt fingers wrap around his Spark and started gasping in pain.

“That’s what I was talking about,” hissed the Holo-Droid. “Stop ranting about your height or I won’t release your spark until it stops pulsing!” It then released Bumblebee’s spark and let him collapse. The Holo-Droid then commed someone. “Ratchet, Bee’s got a problem! I think his crystal mail is affecting the stability of his spark! Get here now!”

“On my way!” called Ratchet. Bumblebee passed out.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-13

“Orion Pax, this has to be the dumbest idea you’ve ever had!” shouted Ironhide as Orion started packing. “You’re just gonna wander around with no vehicle mode for your current frame, no idea where you’re going, and you’re just hoping you’ll find something! Kid, this is nuts!”

“Actually, that café Aaron mentioned is a good start,” mused Amy. “I know the address. Look for a blue hedgehog named Misty.”

“About that,” continued Ironhide, who had a grievance against this whole thing, “are you really gonna take advice from a psycho that tried to kill us?!”

“Well,” answered Orion, “Amy DID just say that the café exists and I don’t think she would hang out with any bad witches. Besides, Misty might give me some magic hotspots across the planet.”

“You’re still going to go on a journey with no weapons and no backup!” wailed Ironhide.

“He’s not totally backup-less,” assured Teletraan. “Both Arks will track his position and get him out if he’s in a jam.”

“On top of that,” replied Orion, “I DID scan a vehicle mode. While it’s not as sleek as my original mode, it serves this frame well. Tails and Ratchet are making some gadgets for me in case I run into trouble.”

“Ask, and ye shall receive!” called Tails’ voice. He was riding the rolling table Ratchet was pushing. For someone so cranky, Ratchet had a grin on his face.

“Who ordered gadgets built by two geniuses?!” he cheered.

“Oooh, does somebody have new toys for me to play with?” asked Orion, acting like a child on Christmas.

“We certainly do!” replied Tails. “So, pay attention. These toys have one or two expensive accessories.”

“‘One or two’? Go on,” urged Orion with a grin.

“…There really is no point in giving you the standard safety lecture, is there?” sighed Ratchet.

“First off,” began Tails as he pointed to a circuit board, “that circuit board will connect you to both Arks and the base. Since the Energon density messes up the normal comms when you go the normal linear route, it sends the signal to the Arks and will direct the call to whoever you want to talk to. Simply tap your comms unit, say who you want to talk to, and you can enjoy a conversation wherever on Mobius you happen to be. Tap it again to close the channel. Hold it down for three seconds to initiate an emergency teleport to get you out of whatever mess you’re in.”

“As for your new weapons,” supplied Ratchet, “it should integrate well with your weapons systems. They’re designed to look like decorative smoke stacks since trucks no longer run on fossil fuels.” Orion took the two smoke stacks and put them on his upper arms. He then lowered a blue visor with an HUD targeting system. He saw a target board and locked onto the center to calibrate them. They rotated to point at the target and Orion fired. The two beams connected at the target and started a small fire.

“Vector tap dancing Prime!” yelped Ironhide as he took a fire extinguisher and emptied the contents onto the target board. Tails allowed himself an evil laugh.

“Good work, you two,” praised Orion. “I might keep them after I get my magic back.”

“Can’t you just wait to tell G.U.N. about this mess or are you gonna keep them in the dark?” asked Ironhide.

“What they don’t know won’t hurt them,” remarked a voice. Everyone turned and saw the weirdest sight ever! They saw Optimus Prime!

“What the?!” yelped Tails.

“Hello, Orion!” greeted the Optimus clone.

“Hello, Optimus!” returned Orion. “How are you doing?”

“I’m doing very well,” replied the Optimus clone. “How about you?”

“Fine, given the circumstances,” sighed Orion. “Do you want to explain, or should I?”

“Oh, you and Teletraan should BOTH do it,” encouraged the Optimus clone. “You two do it so well.”

“Thank you!” replied Orion. He turned back to the Autobots. “My friends, say hello to the Holo-droid!”

“I developed him as a decoy in case Egghead decided to invade,” supplied Teletraan. “Don’t worry, you can thank me later.”

“And Teletraan had developed a way to upload memories and mental patterns onto it,” continued Orion. “So, it’s like I never lost my magic!”

“Granted,” sighed Holo-Optimus, “I can’t use magic, but G.U.N. doesn’t need to know.”

“Don’t worry,” assured Orion. “I have planned for everything.”

“Kiddo, I really think you should…!” protested Ironhide.

“Ironhide,” interrupted Orion, “I get that you’re worried about me, but this needs to be done. Someone, somewhere on this planet, can help me fix my magic and I need to find that someone before things get really bad.”

“Well, if you’re sure…” sighed Ironhide.

“Look, G.U.N. will be told that there’s a problem that demands my undivided attention,” assured Orion, “that way, the whole thing can be uninterrupted. I won’t leave right now, but I will be going at 5:30 tomorrow morning.” Ironhide sighed.

“Good luck, then,” he bid.

5:30 came, Orion’s quiet alarm buzzed him awake. He got out of bed, grabbed his stuff and headed for the main doors.

“You sure you don’t want everyone here?” asked a voice in a quiet tone. Orion turned to see his best friend leaning against the wall.

“Let’s be honest, dude,” replied Orion in the same quiet tone, “they’ll just say I should take more time to prepare.”

“They’re right, you know,” remarked Jazz. “You shouldn’t leave until you’re absolutely ready.”

“I’ve got the ship and space colony monitoring my position,” assured Orion, “and a crew and friends that I can rely on. I’m good on all fronts.”

“Then, good luck,” bid Jazz. Orion gave a reassuring grin to Jazz and glanced around the base.

“I will be back,” he promised. “When I do, things will be different.” With that, he stepped through the doors, transformed into a futuristic semi-truck, summoned his trailer, and sped off into the early morning.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 3: Orion's Journey)

TMC 3-12

Eggman was busy with a personal project of his, Project: Couch Potato. He was in a fluffy bathrobe, fluffy slippers, sitting on a couch that was easily straining to hold his weight up, surrounded by 20 snack trays, and watching a show called When Powers Collide, a soap opera with a superhero theme. “But Wall-Smasher, please!” wailed Dyna-Flash, one of the main female leads, a mountain lion, “Ever since you gave me that blood transfusion on that rocky cliff in the wrecked convertible while Mega-Fist’s minions surrounded us, I’ve developed…FEELINGS for you!”

“No, Dyna-Flash!” protested Wall-Smasher, the main lead, a bull. “You are my Lover’s Secretary’s Mistress’s hockey coach! This love…cannot be! But, even so, I’ve developed…FEELINGS for you as well!”

“Good heavens!” groaned Eggman. “Why can’t the studio just use robots?! They’re more convincing than these twits!” One of his snack trays was polished off. “POPCORN!” he roared. One of his attendant robots got him one in a flash.

“But, out of you, Slip-Silk, and Terra-Drill,” continued Wall-Smasher, “I must confess…I can only choose…!” The show was interrupted by his doorbell. Why an evil city populated by robots has a doorbell, I’ll never know.

“Any distraction would be welcome at this juncture,” Eggman muttered. He got up, opened the door, and found himself staring down the barrel of a gun. The owner looked like a human boy, 16 years old, of Japanese descent, wild looking hair dyed blue, blue eye contacts, a red jacket, jeans, black boots, and black, fingerless gloves exposing the knuckles. The boy grabbed Eggman by the shirt and slammed him against the wall. As the sound of flesh hitting metal reverberated across Robotropolis, Sonic peeked in looking a little concerned for Eggman.

“Who did you sell it to?” asked the boy in a soft, dangerous tone.

“Sell what to who?!” yelped Eggman. “Who are you?!”

“Er…this is Orion Pax,” explained Sonic. “You knew him better as Optimus Prime.”

“Optimus?” repeated Eggman. He then smirked. “You know, you were already committing some borderline race mockery when your holo-form was a hedgehog!” The gun was pressed harder against his nose, making him yelp.

“Tails hacked into your systems and discovered one of your little projects,” snarled Orion. “Your anti-magic shield. When did you finish it and who did you sell it to?”

“What, the Magic Suppressor 9,000 Extreme?” asked Eggman. “That was supposed to be a surprise! In any case, I HAVEN’T finished it! It has a defect against Chaos Energy. I was trying to fix that bug until a certain purple cyclops stole the blue Chaos Emerald I had in my possession!” Orion looked at Sonic who had pulled a device out to test if Eggman was lying.

“Nada,” reported Sonic.

“Slaggit!” swore Orion. “Then why isn’t my magic working?!”

“Well, I don’t know!” cried Eggman. “I’m a scientist! I…wait, if your magic isn’t working, why are you threatening me with a magic gun?”

“Because I can beat you over the head with it!” threatened Orion.

“Whoa! Orion!” protested Sonic.

“If I find out that you managed to lie, even under a lie detector,” Orion gave a soft chuckle, “you’ll be eating that bathrobe!”

“Yes! Yes! I understand!!” yelped Eggman. “All units, let Orion Pax and Sonic exit Robotropolis unharmed!” Orion roughly let Eggman go and stormed out with Sonic following, looking at Eggman apologetically. Once he was sure they were out of earshot, Eggman picked himself up, dusted himself off, and stroked his mustache. “So,” he mused with an evil grin, “his magic isn’t working, I see.”

Back at the base, Knuckles and the Chaotix Detective Agency had arrived. Amy had told them what had happened. Tails had just come down from the ARK and was waiting in the Command Center. “How do you know that he didn’t sell it to someone months ago?” asked Charmy as he buzzed around Ratchet.

“I don’t know,” muttered Orion. “Gut instinct, I say. If it was sold to someone else, there are still at least three unanswered questions. First, why did that person wait until now to use it? Second, why would Eggman sell an unfinished product? Third, why would I still be affected when I went to visit Eggman?”

“Those are very good points,” rasped Espio as finished his maintenance on his shuriken. “It seems we’re back to square one. Aside from melee weapons, are there any defenses in case the intruder decides to attack again?”

“Well,” recalled Orion, “we DO have those tanks G.U.N. made for Autobot use. They turn into ranged weapons for us.”

“Those?” asked Vector. “I thought they were for public use, so I took the prototype for a joyride. I always wondered why he said I’ve ruined it for you guys. I guess they’re under lock and key now.”


“Orion!” barked Ironhide. Orion then realized what he just said.

“Vector, I’m sorry,” he apologized, and he meant it. “I don’t know what came over me.” He massaged his temples as he cooled down a bit more. “This whole thing has me spun up like an overwound watch! Grgh! I shouldn’t have told Eggman about my magic not working!”

“Don’t worry!” assured Jazz. “Teletraan can monitor him if he starts something!” A groan escaped Teletraan’s speakers.

“Just like his attempts at locating Shockwave and Metal Sonic?” asked Prowl. “Just like his monitoring of the last Chaos Emerald since Shockwave now has six? Just like all the millions of functions Teletraan 1 does on a daily basis? He’s the most powerful computer program Mobius and Cybertron have ever seen, but he doesn’t have infinite computer resources.”

“I hate to sound needy,” sighed Teletraan, “but my CPU is being overclocked as it is.”

“Amy,” interjected Orion, “did you, Tails, and Ratchet find anything to fix this mess?”

“I’m afraid not,” sighed Amy. “Your people’s potential for magic is greater than anything I’ve ever encountered. Heck, Cybertron managed to have raw magic as a fuel source, and it’s powering your ship right now, but it’s based around technology. Technomagic is a new field of study for Mobians.”

“On top of that,” continued Tails, “Ratchet and I are only scratching the surface of magic. It could be ages before we could be of any help to you.”

“Not to belittle our efforts,” replied Ratchet, “but you need an expert in this magic nonsense and we’re not experts at all.” Orion sighed.

“I didn’t want to consider this route, but consider it I must,” he muttered. “Prowl, what are the rules for calling a prisoner in Deep Down Penitentiary?”

“Orion,” urged Prowl, “I must advise against this. Aaron’s not going to like getting a call from you, since you were behind his downfall as a wizard, coupled with the fact that he’s not a man to trust in society.”

“Are you nuts?!” yelped Sonic. “You can’t seriously be thinking about asking Aaron for help! He’s not a wizard anymore! He’ll throw all sorts of insults against you!”

“Like we have a choice?” asked Orion. The question hung over their heads for a long time.

Deep Down Penitentiary is an undersea prison where those that have proven unfit to rejoin society dwell. The location is top secret, visitors are discouraged, and callers are monitored closely. Aaron dwelt in a cell that nestled between a male rhino with anger issues and a female fox that kept asking the guards how they would like to die. When he was in the cell, he would just stand in the center with his back turned. “Hey, Aaron the Magnificent!” called a guard, a female stag beetle.

“It’s…just…Aaron!” hissed Aaron.

“Whatever,” dismissed the guard, “you have someone asking for you. We’ve already approved a voice only call. The caller’s got five minutes.”

“Very well,” he sighed. The radio then turned on and a voice he loathed came to his ears.

“Hey, Aaron,” called Orion in an awkward manner. “You can…probably guess who this is.”

“Yes, I believe I can, Optimus Prime!” snarled Aaron. “Called me just to gloat?!”

“Actually, I have something else in mind,” replied Orion, deciding not to correct him.

“Do you now?!” snapped Aaron. “What else could you want from me?! You’ve taken my freedom, my magic, my sanity, my beard trimming schedule, and my usual hygienic routine!”

“Yeah, life’s tough all over,” replied Orion in a jerkish tone. “I need some information.”

“Why should I help you?!” hissed Aaron.

“I can convince the prison staff to at least let you have a shower and a beard trim,” offered Orion.

“Will you now?” asked Aaron, slightly intrigued.

“If possible, I can also get you a better cell that isn’t next to crazies,” continued Orion. Aaron pondered.

“I’ll take what I can get,” he finally answered. “What do you wish to know?”

“I recently encountered another Autobot,” explained Orion. “However, his first response was to take my magic weapons. After the fight, my magic stopped working. All my attempts to revitalize the artefacts I own have failed and the spells I have in my repertoire don’t even sparkle. Could this guy have put a curse on me?”

“Possibly,” remarked Aaron. “Certain magic users are that powerful. You say every magic item you own is disabled?”

“Well, no,” replied Orion. “Anything I didn’t originally enchant still works just fine.”

“Ah,” said Aaron with a slight smirk. “It’s centered around YOUR magic specifically. I can’t help you on that front, sadly.”

“Then what can I do?” asked Orion.

“If it IS a curse placed on you,” answered Aaron, “you are not strong enough to break it and, loath though I am to admit it, neither would I if I still had magic. If I were you, I’d seek out those more skilled in magic; the Wizards and Witches, the Sorcerers and Mystics who have been around for a lot longer than I.”

“Where can I find them?” quizzed Orion.

“No clue,” replied Aaron. “That’s for you to work out. I heard from one of my fellow inmates that her cousin works at a café in Station Square. Why not start there?”

“Hm, sounds like a good start,” mused Orion. “Haven’t really done any magic user networking since I landed here. Thank you, Aaron. I’ll talk to the warden to get you smelling better down there.” The call ended as Aaron smirked.

“Sucker,” he laughed. “I would have told him for a deodorant stick!”