“All right,” whispered Optimus as the Autobots, Cosmo, and Sonic and his friends crouched down, hiding from Megatron’s forces, “are we ready?”
“For the record,” hissed Cosmo, “I still say we need to be diplomatic in our approach.”
“Your concern is noted, Ambassador,” replied Optimus. “But, Megatron threw the whole diplomacy thing out the airlock. We’re going through with the attack.”
“All right,” muttered Cosmo as she picked up a stone.
“On three,” directed Optimus. “One. Two. THREE!” Cosmo threw the stone at Megatron’s head, making him dizzy for a minute. A perfect amount of time for Optimus to leap onto him like a wild lemur. The other Autobots attacked the rest of the Decepticons. Ultra Magnus dealt with Starscream, Prowl with Shockwave, Jazz with Soundwave, Ironhide with Thundercracker, Ratchet with Knock-out, Blackarachnia with Skywarp, Bumblebee with Frenzy and Rumble, Perceptor with Ravage and Ratbat, and Cliffjumper with Laserbeak and Buzzsaw. Sonic and his friends attacked Eggman’s forces. Cliffjumper was NOT taking any chances. He fired on Laserbeak and Buzzsaw’s means of flight to keep them on the ground.
“What happened to striking only in self-defense?!” snapped Laserbeak.
“In the case of you Cons,” replied Cliffjumper as he picked the two up, “I prefer to strike first, strike fast, and strike hard!” He bashed their heads together and threw them hard onto the ground. They weren’t getting up anytime soon. He headed off to help Bumblebee who was having a little trouble with Frenzy and Rumble.
“STAND STILL, YOU SPASTIC SHORTIES!” shouted Bumblebee.
“Oh, the short insults!” chuckled Rumble. “Frenzy, what does that say about him?”
“He’s got his own height issues and he’s just lashing out at those weaker than him!” laughed Frenzy. “You’re a bully, you know that, Auto-boob?”
“And you’re a pair of barely sentient drones!” shouted Bumblebee. That did it.
“What…was that…you called me?!” snarled Rumble as he gripped his hammer.
“Uh oh!” gulped Frenzy. “You die-cast dolt! Nothing will chill him out now!”
“WHO’S A DRONE?!” roared Rumble as he slammed his hammer onto Bumblebee repeatedly. Bumblebee fell to the ground, battered and dented. “Prepare to become one with the Allspark!”
“GET OFF OF HIM!” shouted Cliffjumper as he fired his gun at Rumble. The gun fired some sort of gas at him. Rumble cleared it away and Bumblebee knocked him off. The blow caused Rumble’s armor to shatter at the shoulder.
“RUMBLE!” cried Frenzy as Rumble clutched his shoulder. He focused his rage on Bumblebee and Cliffjumper. “Over-charged buffoons! You’ll pay for striking my brother!”
“Beat it, pipsqueak!” snarled Cliffjumper as he kicked Frenzy aside to smolder with his fellow cassettes. Frenzy soon checked Rumble over and decided he needed expert medical care.
“KNOCK-OUT! BOT DOWN!” he shouted.
“I’M A LITTLE BUSY HERE!” replied Knock-out as he blocked a blow from Ratchet with his electro-staff. “Come on, we’re both medics here!” he protested. “You and I are bound to do no harm!”
“Do no harm?!” repeated Ratchet. “You have no right to say those words!” He then went below Knock-out’s belt! Knock-out went to his knees and dropped his staff. “I believe you have some patients,” joked Ratchet as he sped off to help Bumblebee. Jazz was dodging Soundwave’s tendrils with a few Michael Jackson moves. He even leaned waaaaaay over!
“Man, you ain’t got nothing on me!” called Jazz.
“And you think you got something on me, bro?!” snapped Soundwave.
“‘Bro’?!” laughed Jazz. “Dude, not even bros say ‘bro’!”
“And you would know?” argued Soundwave.
“I’m Praxian,” replied Jazz. “Prowl can easily confirm what I’m gonna say! Primus knew my people would go through more than a few struggles, so he gave us an extreme amount of cool to compensate while the rest of Cybertron got…what’s it called on this planet? Ah, yeah, ‘white boy rhythm’!”
“HEY!” protested Optimus. That distraction gave Megatron the opening he needed to punch Optimus.
“At least I have better rhythm than Songbird did! She couldn’t dance her way to a bar!” shouted Soundwave. Jazz dropped the act and simply grabbed the tendrils on the next lash. He then spun Soundwave over his head and slammed him to the ground.
“That was my grandmother you insulted,” snarled Jazz as he dusted himself off. Prowl was in a Cyber-ninjutsu stalemate with Shockwave.
“You know, you COULD have just joined us!” urged Prowl. “We would have helped you with your loss of Xitra!”
“You Autobots would have pried into my business,” argued Shockwave. “The Decepticons know when to leave someone alone.” Jazz then jumped in and kicked Shockwave in the head. As she tried to regain her orientation, Prowl delivered a punch to her gut. Jazz brought his nunchucks out and hit Shockwave repeatedly. She eventually fell. Prowl whistled, then offered a fist bump which Jazz reciprocated.
“Let’s go help Prime,” suggested Prowl.
“Not a bad idea,” agreed Jazz. As they headed off, Starscream was going at Ultra Magnus with his sword.
“Come on, Starscream!” taunted Ultra Magnus. “I thought you were better than dat!”
“Get on to my level,” laughed Starscream as he went into the air, “and I’ll show you who’s superior!”
“Here we go again,” sighed Ultra Magnus as he leapt onto Starscream. “Now, let’s see how Jet Judo works in Robot Mode. Want to find out the effectiveness?”
“Nice try!” shouted Starscream as he did a barrel-roll. As Ultra Magnus fell, Starscream was hit with a flying Ravage and Ratbat. They all fell after Magnus. Magnus landed on his feet. The Cons, no such luck. They landed in a heap. “WATCH IT!” snapped Starscream.
“You watch it!” snarled Ravage.
“How about you ALL watch it?” called Perceptor. “Now DANCE!” He set his rifle to machine gun mode and fired at their feet. Ultra Magnus took the opportunity to swing his hammer into their sides. They all crumpled in a heap. “Danke!” bid Perceptor.
“Just something I read in a book,” replied Ultra Magnus. He then called Ratchet over the comms. “How are the Stinger Brothers?”
“They just needed a patch-up,” called Ratchet. “They’re good to go.”
“Have them help Ironhide,” directed Ultra Magnus. “They can handle electricity better dan he can.”
“Understood,” replied Ratchet.
“Then, who shall WE help?” quizzed Perceptor. “Optimus?”
“He already has help from Prowl and Jazz,” remarked Ultra Magnus. “Blackarachnia, on the other servo, is having trouble with Skywarp.”
“I understand,” replied Perceptor as he powered his rifle up. They ran towards Blackarachnia’s position as Skywarp kept teleporting all over the place, just making her mad.
“Stand still!” she snapped.
“Can’t hit me! Can’t hit me!” taunted Skywarp.
“You act like a bot,” snarled Blackarachnia, “who’s had a crappy sparkling age!”
“LIKE FRACK YOU WOULD KNOW!” roared Skywarp as he drew his sword and started swinging.
“Kinda do!” replied Blackarachnia as she ducked. “In fact, I heard a lot of ugly rumors that you always give a warped backstory relating to your powers.”
“SHUT UP!” shouted Skywarp. She didn’t.
“Let’s see,” mused Blackarachnia, “You were a fighter since birth, a normal baby for only 30 kliks, then Cyber-ninjas took your maternal unit. My favorite was when you fell into a radioactive sand-pit and gained your powers that way. Why don’t you tell me the truth? We Autobots are all about truth.”
“THAT’S A FAT LIE!” shrieked Skywarp. “BACK WHEN ZETA PRIME WAS IN POWER, YOU WERE JUST LIKE US! YOU AUTOBOTS TRIED TO BURY THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SIEGE OF AXIOM NEXUS, MY HOME!”
“Axiom Nexus?” repeated Blackarachnia as she blocked a blow. Skywarp drew in a breath.
“All right, you wanna be the first Autobot to know the truth?” he snarled. “Here it is. I wasn’t always a Decepticon. I was once an Autobot by the name of Spanner. A genius in teleportation technology. I firmly believed that I was on the side of right, that is, until the Siege of Axiom Nexus. The Autobots were ordered to pull out and leave it to the Decepticons. I wasn’t going to leave my wife and kids behind, but Zeta Prime himself dragged me away from the city. The casualty list included my entire family.” Blackarachnia gasped. “Starting to put 2 and 2 together? You’d be the first Autobot to do so. When I was telling Zeta Prime off, he shrugged me off saying that their sacrifice was an acceptable loss in the grand scheme of things. When I protested further, he told me to keep my place and shut up. I fell into depression and drinking. I was about ready to kill myself until Jhiaxus himself came to me. I was about ready to shoot him, but he came unarmed and alone, genuinely wanting to hear me out. After some gentle convincing on his part, I told him everything. When I told him about my family dying, he handed me a hard copy of the orders he gave. An addendum was that any and all scientists and their families must be kept alive. The bot in charge didn’t follow that, so he was executed. I was surprised that Jhiaxus, after all I heard about him, would dispense justice like that, but satisfied that their deaths were avenged. However, there WAS the matter of Zeta Prime’s insult to their memory to consider. You know the story how a mole led Jhiaxus to Zeta Prime? You can guess who that mole was. In exchange for new armor and a position in the Decepticons, I told Jhiaxus where Zeta Prime would hole himself up. And, what do you know, I knew the access code to get in! So, with him good and dead, I was reformatted into a Seeker and became Skywarp, armed with the knowledge that it was best to laugh at the pain and hurt everyone who hurt you a thousand-fold!” As Skywarp finished, Blackarachnia sat on a large stone for her to consider her opponent’s words. Big mistake. Skywarp teleported behind her and slashed across her back. “You know what my motto became when I joined?” quizzed Skywarp. “Strike when the enemy isn’t looking! Okay, so you made me confront my past again! Made me all emotional and stuff! Once this day is done, I’m gonna cry myself to sleep on a bed made of victory!”
“HALT!” commanded Perceptor as he came out of hiding and shot Skywarp. Ultra Magnus then swung his hammer into his sides and tossed him into the heap of smoldering Decepticons Knock-out was working on.
“MEDIC!” called Ultra Magnus over the comms. Ratchet arrived in vehicle mode and transformed before he got to work.
“Go help Optimus!” he directed. “I can take care of her!”
“Got it!” said Ultra Magnus. While they headed to help Optimus, Sonic and his crew, including his new arrivals, Trema, Sira, Natalie, and Cosmo, tore through Eggman’s forces.
“I thought I’d get a work-out,” remarked Sira. “I’m still yawning!”
“I’m hardly sweating myself,” replied Natalie.
“It’s actually easier on my conscience,” answered Cosmo as she made vines tear the robots asunder, “given that they’re not actually alive.”
“Same here!” called Sonic as he spin-dashed more bots.
“MEGATRON! I NEED HELP!” called Eggman.
“Bit of a problem there!” countered Megatron. “My men are smoldering wrecks!”
“Megatron,” snarled Optimus, “your forces are weakened, your reinforcements aren’t going to come quickly enough, and G.U.N subs are on their way to the wreck of the Nemesis! Surrender while you can!”
“I don’t think so!” argued Megatron. “There are still forces to consider in that lake, parts of the Nemesis are already fixed, and those parts are related to the weapons systems! Those subs will be destroyed if you don’t pull them back! Trust me, it will serve you well in both the short and long run!”
“Why the long run?” asked Optimus as he gave a silent transmission to the subs to halt their advance.
“Because the Nemesis may be necessary to help you Autobots survive the threat in orbit!” replied Megatron.
“Erm, you mean the threat that’s landing right now?!” gulped Blackarachnia as she looked up. Everyone else followed suit to see a Quintesson warship pointing one of its ends to the ground and drilling into Mobius’ crust until it reached the landing ramp.
“…No, I was referring to something else,” answered Megatron.
“What are the Quintessons doing on this planet?” asked Skywarp.
“What are they doing on this side of the Neutral Zone?” quizzed Cosmo.
“We’re about to find out,” answered Optimus as the ramp lowered and the hatch opened to reveal Judge Commodore Brinn flanked by two thuggish looking robots.
“And he’s flanked by Sharkticons,” sighed Prowl.
“Optimus, I demand a word,” snarled Brinn’s face of Rage and Wrath.
“Judge Brinn,” called Optimus. “Once again, I find you on our side of the Neutral Zone. Explain yourself.”
“Don’t even TRY to play the victim here!” Brinn spat, still using the angry face. “We’re here to investigate YOUR aggressive charge across the Neutral Zone last month!”
“What do you mean OUR aggressive charge?” demanded Optimus. Brinn’s head rotated to his face of Bitterness and Wisdom.
“Last month,” he explained, “the Ark had flown through the Neutral Zone with another ship close behind.”
“Optimus, I think he’s talking about when the Dyno-bots saved our skid-plates!” whispered Jazz.
“The incident with Metal taking over my systems?” reminded Teletraan. Optimus then realized what was going on.
“Your Honor,” he called, “I can personally assure you, the charge across the Neutral Zone was a result of events beyond my control. My ship’s a.i had gone haywire at the time.” Brinn switched to his face of Doubt and Judgment.
“You honestly expect me to believe that?” he asked.
“Believe what you will, Brinn,” replied Megatron as he stepped forward, “but Optimus IS an Autobot, famed for telling the truth.”
“Megatronus?” quizzed Brinn. “You’ve joined the Decepticons.” His face switched to the smiling one of Laughter and War. “The only Cybertronians nearest to us in our way of thinking. Perhaps there’s hope for you.”
“Perhaps,” Megatron conceded. “Let me review why you’re here. The High Court sent you to investigate an Autobot incursion into Quintesson space. But, as you can plainly see, there IS no incursion.” Brinn switched back to his face of Doubt and Judgement.
“And the matter of the mysterious energy in this planet’s vicinity?” he asked.
“Ah, you must mean the cloaked Metarex ship in orbit,” replied Megatron.
“Metarex?” repeated Optimus. “Teletraan, see if you can get confirmation.”
“You there, Sharkticon,” ordered Brinn as he changed his face to Bitterness and Wisdom. “Confirm that.” The Sharkticon pressed buttons on a pad, then its face turned fearful.
“Er, Prime,” gulped Teletraan, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but…”
“There IS a Metarex cloaking signature in orbit,” Optimus guessed.
“Yep,” replied Teletraan.
“And last I checked,” mused Megatron, “the Metarex and Quintessons are on a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ basis.”
“Get us out of here!” said Brinn to the Sharkticons as his face turned to his face of Death.
“Without even an apology?” asked Megatron. Brinn briefly switched to his face of Rage and Wrath before settling on his face of Bitterness and Wisdom.
“If an apology will suffice,” he muttered, “then I offer it.”
“With Optimus, it may suffice,” hissed Megatron, “but not with me! I will spare you the humiliation!”
“Get on with it!” demanded Brinn as his face returned to Rage and Wrath.
“Knock-out, how go repairs?” called Megatron.
“Done, Lord Megatron!” answered Knock-out.
“Excellent!” cheered Megatron. He returned his attention to Brinn. “After taking you prisoner, I intend to dissect you and your ship for every scrap of information. After that, I’ll display your ship’s battered hull in Kaon. It will serve as a reminder for your species of our power and will inspire the Decepticons for generations to come! First, you will release control of your ship to me, then you will surrender as a prisoner of war.”
“Do you seriously expect me to accept those terms?” asked Brinn’s face of Doubt and Judgement.
“I honestly expected two more ships to land,” replied Megatron.
“Well, I see it as not your concern!” snarled Brinn as he switched to his face of Bitterness and Wisdom. The Quintesson ship then opened fire on all ground forces of both factions, allowing Brinn to escape and the ship to leave unmolested.
“Ah well,” sighed Megatron, “you win some, you lose some. Anyone dead?”
“Negative,” replied Shockwave.
“We’re fine too, thanks for asking!” snapped Sonic.
“As are we,” continued Optimus.
“I wasn’t concerned about you,” dismissed Megatron. “Now, given that you know about the Metarex ship above our heads, given your knowledge of how many Vanguard-class ships it took to take down one, much less Scarship himself, I suggest you allow us to continue repairs on the Nemesis. A Worldburner-class ship can handle an entire fleet of Metarex ships, even if Scarship’s involved.”
“What’s a Scarship?” asked Sonic.
“Scarship’s the living flagship of the Metarex fleet,” explained Cosmo, fear gripping her heart.
“Living flagship?” repeated Amy. “It’s alive?!”
“HE’S alive,” corrected Cosmo. Optimus considered his next move.
“Sir, we can still take him!” urged Bumblebee.
“…Not if the Metarex have designs on this world,” sighed Optimus. He called the G.U.N subs. “Pull back,” he directed. “The Nemesis must be allowed to fly.”
“Optimus!” protested a woman’s voice.
“I don’t like it any more than you do, Captain Darling,” replied Optimus. “Regretfully, we have no choice. Another alien threat is in orbit and the Nemesis’s weapons systems will be the only one to deal with it. I’ll inform G.U.N and Aleena on the details when we get back.”
“Better luck next time,” taunted Megatron. Optimus then grabbed Megatron by the shoulders and got up close to him.
“You better hope there ISN’T a next time, Mister!” he snarled. “Believe it or not, I have cut you a lot of slack when you attacked us! I even forgave you for roboticizing Sonic when I could have come down hard on you and Eggman, but those days are over! Now, your ship may be the only one that can keep the Metarex at bay, but you so much as make a transmission to the Metarex and I will reduce that ship to space dust!”
“You don’t have the firepower to make good on that threat!” hissed Megatron as he shoved Optimus away. He turned to the Decepticons and Eggman. “Resume repairs,” he ordered. As they moved to obey, Skywarp looked at Ultra Magnus who was giving him a pitying look. Skywarp thumbed his nose and turned to obey Megatron.
“All forces, retreat,” ordered Optimus. As the subs came out of the water and converted to land mode, a Ground Bridge opened for the Autobots and Sonic and his friends. Megatron had ultimately beaten them in this fight.