“There they go,” remarked Ratchet once the Retranga left.
“Lucky girl,” grumbled Optimus. “She gets to visit an alien world while we have to deal with Megatron here.”
“Erm, Prime,” argued Sonic, “aren’t YOU on an alien world right now?”
“…Okay, fair point,” conceded Optimus. “Teletraan, we need a Ground Bridge.”
“Coming up,” called Teletraan. The Ground Bridge opened and everyone returned to base. Optimus stretched his arms above him, trying to stave off tiredness from the events of the day.
“I don’t know about you bots,” he yawned, “but I think I’m gonna hit up monitor duty.”
“You’re volunteering for that dull job?” quizzed Bumblebee.
“I’d like to be the first to know if Megatron takes advantage of this opportunity,” replied Optimus.
“Fair enough,” conceded Bumblebee. “I’m gonna take a quick…”
“Hold that thought,” called Teletraan. “You bots might want to see this.” He switched on the news.
“This is Scarlet Garcia,” announced the reporter, “reporting live from Station Square. Eyewitnesses and other various law enforcement officials have reported seeing a black and purple version of the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, with a pale-yellow, twin-tailed fox at the wheel. The fox has been identified as Miles Prower of Moebius, the alternate universe where our beloved heroes are villains that have conquered their world. Further reports say that the Anti-Tails is behind the wheel in more ways than one as he seems to be piloting this Optimus in both vehicle AND robot mode. Right now, he has currently taken Samantha Urbana, president and CEO of Urbana Industries, as his hostage. He is demanding to see Optimus Prime alone. Whether or not Optimus will honor that ridiculous ‘alone’ bit is still up in the air.”
“Nemesis Prime?!” yelped Optimus. “How did HE get back?!”
“Dat’s dat evil combination of you and Tails, right?” asked Ultra Magnus.
“He sure is!” confirmed Optimus. “And I’m NOT seeing him alone! Prowl! Jazz! With me! Ultra Magnus, you wanna come?”
“My dear brot’er,” chuckled Ultra Magnus, “I wouldn’t miss dis for de world!”
“Has Tails been notified?” Optimus requested of Teletraan.
“He’s on the scene right now with Sonic,” replied Teletraan.
“We’ll meet them there,” declared Optimus. “Activate the Ground Bridge!” The portal opened. “Autobots, transform and roll out!” The quartet transformed, sped through the portal, and arrived at Station Square. Scarlet Garcia arrived, shoving the microphone in Optimus’ face.
“Optimus Prime,” she called, “according to our sources, you’ve met this doppelganger before. Would you care to elaborate on…?”
“Mrs. Garcia,” interrupted Optimus, “I’m afraid I have no time to answer questions right now. My Autobots and I have someone to save and someone to defeat. We’ll answer any questions you have later.” They made their way to the ruined building.
“I never get an interview with you guys!” wailed Scarlet. “This is gonna kill the ratings!” The Autobots then met with Sonic and Tails outside the building.
“Nemesis Prime, this is Optimus!” shouted Optimus. “Come out with your hostage unhurt! I am not foolish enough to listen to you when you said to come alone!”
“Somehow, I figured you wouldn’t listen to me,” sighed Nemesis’ voice inside the building.
“I’m not gonna waste time talking to shadows!” snarled Optimus. “Get your aft our here so I can send you home crying again!”
“As you wish,” replied Nemesis as he stepped out into the open. There was something new about him.
“Did you…weld a goatee on your face?” asked Prowl. Nemesis rolled his optics.
“It’s a long story,” he grumbled, “involving Dr. Robotnik and some ice cream cake. But, that’s not important now!”
“I guess not,” replied Optimus. “Alright, next question, how did you get back here? I thought Teletraan locked you in your universe.”
“He only closed off one of many Globe Posts to this universe,” answered Nemesis.
“…Globe…Posts?” asked Optimus.
“That universe’s version of our Star Posts,” explained Sonic. Optimus was still confused.
“That actually relates to the story of how there are seven different Chaos Emeralds,” elaborated Tails. “Originally, the seven colors you know of were millions of Chaos Emeralds from different planets, scattered across different realities we called Special Zones. Ours were just the green ones.”
“The scientists here,” continued Sonic, “invented these posts that opened a portal to those zones. Eggman scattered the posts all over the Special Zones in his early years. A mistake on his part.”
“You used dem to collect de Chaos Emeralds,” guessed Ultra Magnus.
“Yep,” confirmed Sonic. “However, one of my old friends, Tommy Turtle, and Tails brought all the Chaos Emeralds together, making the seven you know now. With only seven, the Special Zones collapsed and the Star Posts stopped working.”
“Unless you’re a genius like me,” boasted Nemesis. “Did you really think I wouldn’t try and find some way to circumvent the Emeralds’ absence from the Special Zones?”
“I’m not interested in the long-winded explanation of how you did it in the first place,” dismissed Optimus, “I’m more concerned with how you did it again.”
“All your primitive A.I. did…” hissed Nemesis.
“Primitive?!” protested Optimus.
“Primitive A.I. did,” continued Nemesis, “was short out ONE of the Globe Posts. They always work in pairs. If one goes out, the connection to the universe isn’t stable. Repair it, and the connection is reestablished. It took me the rest of Halloween Night and the following morning to fix it.”
“So, why didn’t you come back the instant it was fixed?” asked Jazz.
“Because, if I’ve learned anything from our last encounter,” growled Nemesis, “I learned that Optimus, while weaker than me, is crafty.”
“I wasn’t the one who was sent home crying to his mama,” argued Optimus.
“Your victory that time,” snarled Nemesis, “did NOT come from strength. You tricked me with your stupid humming.”
“Processor over…” began Optimus.
“Don’t care,” dismissed Nemesis. “The point is, I needed something to match your wits. I tried every method on Moebius but found no solution! Every time I ran a simulation with your image, it always bested me! YOU always bested me! I spent every waking moment trying to…!” He then stopped his rant for a minute to see Optimus chuckling. “What are you laughing at?! Anarchy take you, why are you laughing?!”
“Two years,” laughed Optimus. “It’s been two years since our last encounter. I honestly forgot you were a thing until I saw the news. In all those years, you never did anything productive? Write a book? Did some science work? Built something?”
“More like forged something,” replied Nemesis. “I decided to visit my universe’s Cybertron and looked through the various religious artifacts that you hold dear. I stumbled across something you may be familiar with. Two things, actually. Ever heard of the Creation Lathe and the Forge of Solus Prime?” Optimus stopped grinning when he heard those words.
“The Creation Lathe,” he recalled, “was Solus Prime’s workspace, used for what a lathe is designed for and projecting a holographic image of her new creation so she could make it. It was usually used with her hammer, the Forge, to create anything from any raw material.”
“Correct,” replied Nemesis. “But it is useless except in the hands of a Prime. Even then, the Prime must be untainted. As such, the Grid of Domination hampered my chances of using those tools. Thankfully, I found a way.” His left forearm then opened to reveal a rotating assembly with his normal hand on one end and a three-fingered hand on the other. The assembly rotated so the three-fingered hand replaced the normal one and the forearm closed. The Autobots gasped.
“Liege Maximo!” breathed Prowl.
“That’s his hand!” gulped Jazz.
“You ghoul!” hissed Optimus.
“Why do you care?” asked Nemesis. “Last time I checked; he wasn’t all that liked amongst the original Thirteen.”
“That doesn’t justify desecration!” snarled Optimus. Nemesis switched hands again, regaining his original.
“In any event,” he continued, “I got what I needed.” He then revealed the large sword he had strapped to his back. The blade itself was jagged and purple, glowing with an eerie purple light. The hilt of the sword seemed to be made of twisted, warped metal. “My first creation,” boasted Nemesis, “forged from an ancient Cybertronian sword and the blood of the Destroyer. Cliché though it is, I’ve taken to calling it the Dark Saber. Slayer of light if you will!” He then brought the blade over Samantha Urbana, dressed in purple, and then…cut the ropes. “Run home, little kitty,” taunted Nemesis. Samantha wasted no time in getting to safety. Nemesis then pointed the Dark Saber at the Autobots. “Now we may fight unimpeded!” he declared. He charged at the Autobots and slashed at them, but they got away and drew their guns.
“OPEN FIRE!” ordered Optimus. As the Autobots blazed away, Sonic and Tails joined in the fight. Sonic spin-dashed Nemesis’ face while Tails threw a bomb under him. Nemesis smirked as the bomb exploded. The Autobots continued firing into the smoke cloud that covered Nemesis. “CEASE FIRE!” called Optimus. The Autobots stopped and waited for the smoke to clear. As it did, it revealed an untarnished Nemesis Prime pointing the Dark Saber to the sky and using its dark powers to hold the laser blasts just a few feet away from him. “…Get everyone out of here!” whispered Optimus.
“Sir?” quizzed Prowl.
“GET EVERYONE OUT OF HERE!” shouted Optimus. “THAT’S AN ORDER!” The Autobots began a hasty evacuation of that section of Station Square as Nemesis swung the Dark Saber down and sent the laser blasts flying towards the crowd. Optimus’ trailer was summoned and the Autobots got everyone inside. A few were skeptical about fitting everyone inside, but their arguments fell on deaf audio receptors as they got inside. “Ultra Magnus, link my trailer to yours!” commanded Optimus.
“What?!” yelped Ultra Magnus.
“Those people are civilians!” explained Optimus. “I will NOT have their blood on our hands! Get them out of here! That’s your job! Got it?!”
“Yes, Sir!” replied Ultra Magnus. He transformed and linked both trailers to his rear.
“Jazz, Prowl, cover his sides!” ordered Optimus. “I’ll bring up the rear!”
“Yes, Sir!” confirmed the two bots. All three transformed and the quartet of Autobots sped off with Nemesis transforming and pursuing them. The pilot, Tails’ double, Miles, opened the cockpit and fired off dark blast after dark blast. As they went further, they noticed that the blasts were coming up short in terms of distance. Optimus opened the cockpit and looked behind to see that the blasts were being held in place. Nemesis was just as confused.
“Sir!” called Prowl. “On the roof!” He pointed upwards. Optimus followed Prowl’s finger to see a figure on the roof of one of the skyscrapers. The shape was highly distinctive.
“Megatron!” he hissed. Megatron jumped down and landed on his feet, making the road crack under his feet. He was facing Nemesis as he gestured and sent the blasts flying back towards him. “Keep going!” ordered Optimus. As the Autobots sped off, Megatron smirked.
“Smart boy,” he chuckled. Nemesis then swung the Dark Saber sideways and made an energy wave travel right to Megatron. Megatron blocked it by merely holding his hand up, then waved it off, making the energy wave dissipate into the air. Nemesis gaped at Megatron’s abilities. “Close your mouth,” urged Megatron. “You’ll catch Scraplets that way. …Sweet Primus, I sounded just like my mother.”
“You’re not Megatronus!” hissed Nemesis. “He’s too scared of the Dark Saber’s power! He’s trying to drain it off!”
“I presume the Megatronus you’re talking about,” guessed Megatron, “is the one of YOUR universe? Correct, I’m not him. I’m Megatron, Lord of the Decepticons and I’m very worried about your lack of skill here.”
“LACK OF SKILL?!” bellowed Nemesis as he swung his blade down. Megatron blocked with his own and managed to get behind Nemesis, locking his opponent’s arm to the side. “RELEASE ME!” demanded Nemesis.
“But I’ve only just started fighting you!” taunted Megatron. “Allow me to savor the moment!” Nemesis then elbowed Megatron, causing the Decepticon leader to release him, and raised his blade to the air. Megatron then delivered an uppercut and sent Nemesis flying, losing his grip on the Dark Saber. Megatron then placed his foot on the blade as Nemesis landed. “Good,” mused Megatron, “you took advantage of a weakness I had forgotten about. But…you’re a little slow in finishing the job. It’s the blade, really.” He then managed to put his foot under the blade and lifted it into the air, catching it by the handle. He gave a few swings. “Oversized, jagged, improperly balanced, this is nothing more than a glorified club in the shape of a sword.”
“It serves its purpose,” argued Nemesis as he picked himself up.
“Even the swing that projected the energy wave,” critiqued Megatron, “was too slow. If you were surrounded, then enemies behind you would easily disarm you.” A grin crossed his features. “I could help you refine your abilities and weapons.”
“What’s the catch?” asked Nemesis.
“So suspicious!” replied Megatron in mock hurt. “But, to answer your question, I require knowledge about your universe. Tell me about Moebius and I will give you more power than you could imagine.”
“…Information? That’s all?” asked Nemesis.
“That’s all,” confirmed Megatron.
“…Very well, I accept,” agreed Nemesis.
“Splendid,” cheered Megatron as he handed the Dark Saber back to Nemesis. He then called up Robotropolis. “Soundwave, our new partner and I require a Ground Bridge.”
“You got it, Lord Dude!” called Soundwave.
“…Please never call me that again,” winced Megatron as the Ground Bridge opened. Both Dark Leaders then stepped through as it shut.