A young, male, anthropomorphic, two tailed fox was looking intently at a monitor. He had his best friend and said friend’s self-proclaimed girlfriend record a meteor shower that happened the night before. He was reviewing the footage over a communications channel with a white furred, female, anthropomorphic bat in a black jumpsuit with a pink heart breast plate, a black furred with red highlights, anthropomorphic, male hedgehog, and a giant robot with the Greek letter Omega on its shoulder. “Tails, sweetie,” muttered Rouge the bat, “I don’t exactly understand what the meteor shower has to do with G.U.N.”
“Look at the first five,” urged Tails as he rewound the footage to the moment the first five meteors came into view. He magnified and enhanced the image. “The markings on it seem too smooth to look like natural erosion. It almost looks like writing.”
“It’s not the Black Arms alphabet, I know that much,” growled Shadow the hedgehog.
“Will it prove a hazard to the planet?” asked E123 Omega.
“I’m not sure,” replied Tails, “but I think G.U.N. should be prepared in case the peace we’ve been having goes south.”
“We’ll have our top scientists working on the meteor crash sites,” assured Shadow, “we’ll keep you posted.”
“Thanks, Shadow,” bid Tails. He terminated the call. As he did, he noticed his eyes drooping. “Oh, sweet Chaos,” he thought, “I didn’t get enough sleep. I better turn in.” He switched off his equipment.
On Angel Island, Knuckles was looking at the five meteors that landed. They were cone shaped with half a sphere at the base. The semi sphere bit was in the ground. He heard voices inside the meteors. “Planet fall achieved, sir,” reported a young sounding voice. “We’ve landed.”
“More of a falling then a landing,” said a gruff grandpa voice, “if you ask me.”
“That’s enough,” moaned another young voice. Knuckles heard someone holding back on throwing up. “Autobots, open the stasis pods,” said the second young voice. The meteors opened to reveal a giant robot inside each one. One of them, wearing a blue helmet with antennae and red outer armor, went to the edge of the island and hurled. When he finished, the robot jumped back startled. “Bumblebee,” directed the robot, “activate your cyber scanner and find out where we are.” The smallest robot, wearing yellow outer armor and a helmet with a tiny pair of horns, let something fly from his right wrist. It bathed the island in blue light, and then went back to the robot’s wrist.
“We seem to be on a floating island sir,” reported the small robot. “Its main source of power seems to be a giant jewel giving off energy. There is one life form on this island. At last scan, it was in the bushes over there.” He pointed to Knuckles’ hiding spot.
“Well, that tears it,” figured Knuckles. He jumped out of the bushes and got into a fighting stance. The robot with the antennae helmet turned to a red robot with black tubes on its forearms.
“Ironhide, what was that universal greeting again?” he asked. The robot with the tubes opened its mouth. “Never mind,” interjected the robot with the antennae, “I got it.” He then faced Knuckles. He put his left arm in front of himself, put his right wrist on top of the left, showed his palm to Knuckles, and spread his fingers out with the middle and ring finger staying together. “Bah-weep-graaaaagnah wheep nini bong!” called the robot. “We come in peace.” Knuckles lowered his fists and arched an eye ridge. “I am Optimus Prime,” the robot with the antennae helmet introduced, “leader of the Autonomous Robotic Organisms from the planet Cybertron. You can call us Autobots for short.” He gestured to the robot with the arm tubes. “This is my weapons specialist, Ironhide.” Ironhide pointed the business end of his tubes to Knuckles.
“You feeling lucky?” asked Ironhide in a cowboy drawl.
“Easy, Ironhide,” urged Optimus.
“What?” asked Ironhide as he lowered his weapons. “I just wanted to show him my cannons.” Optimus then gestured to a white robot built like Ironhide with a pair of black horns on the front of his helmet.
“My chief medical officer, Ratchet,” introduced Optimus. Ratchet sniffed the air.
“The creature’s pheromone levels suggest that he’s lonely and wants to mate,” he reported.
“Didn’t need to know that,” groaned Optimus. He then gestured to a red robot with purple optics and was built like the small yellow robot. “My assassin, Cliffjumper.” he introduced.
“Hey,” greeted Cliffjumper.
“And my scout, Bumblebee,” finished Optimus as he gestured towards the small yellow robot.
“Hello,” greeted Bumblebee.
“Are you and Cliffjumper brothers?” asked Knuckles.
“Slag, yeah!” confirmed Cliffjumper.
“How hard is it to take care of Bumblebee?” quizzed Knuckles.
“Wait, what?” yelped Cliffjumper. “N…no! No! I’m Bumblebee’s younger brother!”
“But he’s a pipsqueak compared to you!” protested Knuckles. Bumblebee then put his face up close to Knuckles’.
“YOU HAVE NO ROOM TO TALK, YOU MIDGET MONGREL!” he roared. Knuckles didn’t take to kindly to that.
“YOU’RE SHORTER THAN YOUR TEMPER!” he roared back.
“YOU’RE SO SHORT, YOU’D FIT IN A SCRAPLET HOLE!” shouted Bumblebee.
“MICRO MORON!” insulted Knuckles.
“SUBATOMIC SHRIMP!” snapped Bumblebee.
“SPASTIC SHORTSTACK!” shouted Knuckles. Bumblebee opened his mouth to say something, but Optimus cut him off.
“Bumblebee, stand down!” ordered Optimus.
“Sir, he…” protested Bumblebee.
“That’s an order!” snarled Optimus. Bumblebee hesitated, and then stood up. Optimus turned to Knuckles. “We didn’t come here to cause trouble, Mr.…er…I’m sorry, I don’t believe I know your name.”
“I’m Knuckles,” replied Knuckles, “guardian of this island and the Master Emerald.”
“The what now?” asked Ironhide.
“The jewel that Bumblebee detected,” clarified Knuckles, “it helps keep the Chaos Emeralds in balance.”
“What are Chaos Emeralds?” asked Ratchet.
“Seven jewels that have immense power in them,” replied Knuckles. “When all seven are collected, they give the user unlimited power.”
“Good thing the ‘Cons didn’t know about them.” muttered Ironhide.
“Who?” asked Knuckles.
“Their full name is the Deceptive Constructs,” explained Optimus, “or the Decepticons.”
“Long ago,” continued Ironhide, “The Autobots were in a war against the Decepticons. It started a thousand years before life began on Earth, or Mobius, as it’s called now apparently.”
“In fact, Ironhide and I were on Earth when the war was having its decisive battles,” remarked Ratchet.
“When was this?” asked Knuckles.
“By the old Earth calendar,” mused Ironhide, “I’d say 2007 to 2016.”
“You were there at the start of the century of self-awareness?” asked Knuckles.
“Sorry?” quizzed Ratchet.
“It’s when most of the animals gained sentience,” explained Knuckles.
“How did that happen?” asked Bumblebee.
“An alien species called the Xorda attacked Earth,” recalled Knuckles. “They mutated the animals in hopes that they could use them as slaves to wipe out the humans. They didn’t count on the animals suddenly demanding rights. The animals attacked the Xorda and beat them back. A few years later, after a lot of legal debate, they were given rights as humans. We helped humans improve the planet and now we coexist with humans. Some animals didn’t exactly gain sentience, so we still eat them.” The giant robots arched a metallic eyebrow.
“Okay, that seems awkward,” muttered Optimus.
“Never mind that,” dismissed Bumblebee. “Optimus, our alt-modes are outdated by this planet’s current standards.”
“What?!” wailed Ironhide. “I like this alt-mode of mine!”
“It would get you pulled over nowadays,” insisted Bumblebee. “Gasoline powered vehicles are considered museum pieces and driving them is illegal.”
“All right then,” declared Optimus. “Autobots, have your alt scanners on. We need more up to date alt-modes.”
“First things first, Optimus,” interjected Ratchet, “how do we get down from here?” Ratchet had a point. There weren’t any ways to get down from a floating island.
“Here,” replied Knuckles as he handed a gold ring to Optimus. “It’s a warp ring. It’ll take you wherever you want to go. Just think of the destination’s name and you’ll get there. I’d suggest Station Square. They have all sorts of modern vehicles there.”
“Er, Knuckles,” observed Optimus as he looked at the size of the ring, “I don’t think you can fit through that, much less any of us.” Knuckles grinned. He flicked the ring into the air and it expanded to allow Cybertronians to pass through. “…The frack?” swore Optimus.
“Like I said,” chuckled Knuckles, “think of Station Square and step through.” Optimus blinked, then shrugged and stepped through. As he disappeared, the Autobots looked at the ring nervously. Optimus then poked his head through the ring with a big grin on his face.
“You bots have got to see this!” he urged. He beckoned for the others to step through. They shrugged and followed Optimus. As they stepped through, Knuckles got an odd feeling about the Autobots, as if something dark was in one of them. The feeling was dismissed as Ratchet was the last to step through. Knuckles thought that maybe Tails should hear about this in the morning. Mobius, prepare yourself. Your lives will be transformed.