“So, could you explain your whereabouts?” asked Shockwave once Nemesis returned to Mobius.
“That’s not your concern,” snapped Nemesis as he sat on the throne.
“Dude, that’s MEGATRON’S throne!” gulped Soundwave.
“Megatron left me in command, so it’s MINE!” snarled Nemesis. “How go repairs to the Nemesis?”
“We are now at 86.5% of total repairs,” reported Shockwave.
“It’ll have to do,” sighed Nemesis.
“Sir?” asked Shockwave.
“Prepare the ship for immediate departure,” ordered Nemesis. “We’re going through with my original plan.”
“That seems illogical,” countered Shockwave.
“Are you questioning the one Megatron put in charge?!” snarled Nemesis.
“I simply do not think that…” began Shockwave.
“DON’T THINK! OBEY!” roared Nemesis. “Or, do I have to send you to those asteroids that once made up Xitra?!” Shockwave flinched at that and stayed silent.
“That was out of line!” shouted Soundwave.
“I’m not in the mood, Soundwave!” barked Nemesis.
“Your command style is WAY out of whack!” snapped Soundwave, not allowing himself to be deterred. “I formally submit, here and now, that you’re too crazy to be in command!”
“I said shut up!” snarled Nemesis.
“Furthermore,” continued Soundwave, “I declare you too focused on destruction and hereby announce that the Decepticon Cause needs you relieved of command!”
“How dare you!” roared Nemesis.
“Shockwave, as a Senior Officer, do you concur?” asked Soundwave. Shockwave gave no response. “…Shockwave?”
“You have not produced his medical records to prove it,” replied Shockwave.
“…You know Knock-out hasn’t had time to examine him these past few days!” hissed Soundwave.
“Then your statement would not be considered valid,” concluded Shockwave. Nemesis grinned.
“Assume your post on the Nemesis, Brigadier General Soundwave,” he ordered.
“Negative,” replied a monotone. Soundwave had activated his mouth-plate and retracted the flap on the rear of his helmet. “The Nemesis will not be moving.”
“You have something else to say?” hissed Nemesis.
“You are a visitor,” elaborated Soundwave. “Article 7, Section 2, Subsection 3, Paragraph 4 of The Doctrine, Decepticon law, states that no visitor may assume command. In Megatron’s absence and in light of Shockwave not taking her chance, I will assume command.”
“How many times must I say it?!” sighed Nemesis. “Megatron left ME in command! Assume your post!”
“You are not authorized to give orders,” droned Soundwave.
“One last time, assume your post!” snarled Nemesis as he drew the Dark Saber.
“I am in command,” countered Soundwave. Nemesis swung his blade but it was too slow. Soundwave grabbed it with his tendrils and wrested it from his opponent’s grip, tossing it aside. He then delivered a punch to Nemesis’ gut that threw him backwards. Nemesis picked himself up and growled.
“I’ll tear out whatever passes for your Ember for that!” he snarled.
“Laserbeak, eject,” droned Soundwave. Laserbeak flew out and transformed. “Operation: Hierarchy Education.”
“Comin’ up!” called Laserbeak. He fired off his blasters in rapid succession, distracting Nemesis from the tendril Soundwave snuck onto him. Nemesis was electrocuted and fell to the floor. Soundwave slammed his foot onto Nemesis’ head, not hard enough to destroy it.
“Laserbeak, return,” droned Soundwave.
“Aye!” called Laserbeak as he transformed and reentered Soundwave’s backpack.
“Stand down or face termination,” threatened Soundwave.
“I…yield,” surrendered Nemesis. Soundwave removed his foot from Nemesis’ head.
“Soundwave: superior,” declared Soundwave. “Nemesis Prime: inferior.” His back flap came back and his mouth-plate retracted. He then activated his comms. “Hey, Knock-out, dude!” he called, dropping the monotone. “Nemesis and I finally established a chain of command, but Nemmy was beaten with it. Mind patching him up?”
“Just send him to the med-bay,” replied Knock-out.
“Done and done!” replied Soundwave. He detailed a team of Egg-pawns to bring Nemesis to the med-bay. Once he was gone, Soundwave grinned.
“Righteous!” he called. Shockwave then slapped him! As he massaged the cheek she struck, Soundwave turned to his fellow Xitran survivor. “Dude! What the heck?!” he protested.
“That was stupid!” she hissed. “He has a direct line to the D.J.D! I’d be VERY surprised if you DON’T end up on the List!”
“Dude, you know he thinks of us as mere machines!” argued Soundwave. “Besides, he went too far with that Xitra remark! I’m sure Megatron will forgive me for taking him off the throne!”
“It’s not Megatron you should worry about,” countered Shockwave, “it’s Decepticon High Command.”
“What do you mean?” asked Soundwave.
“I don’t know if you noticed,” explained Shockwave, “but he’s been given the Master Key!”
“…The same Master Key that gives him permission to be the temporary Lord?” gulped Soundwave.
“Exactly!” confirmed Shockwave. Soundwave realized his error.
“I have to apologize to him,” he gulped.
“If you’re lucky,” replied Shockwave, “he’ll just put you on sanitation detail.” Soundwave scurried off to apologize to Nemesis.
“Any news whatsoever on Nemesis Prime?” asked Optimus.
“None, sorry,” replied Bumblebee.
“You did what you could,” assured Optimus. “Anything you need?”
“Something a little…dangerous,” answered Bumblebee.
“…How bad? Illegal?” asked Optimus.
“Sir, I wouldn’t ask this if I saw any other alternative, but me and Cliffjumper’s research is turning up with zilch” replied Bumblebee. “We need access to the Forbidden Archives.”
“…Perfect, not only is it illegal,” sighed Optimus, “it’s sacrilegious!”
“I’m sure Primus won’t mind if we just look,” assured Bumblebee.
“Do you have the necessary paperwork at all?” asked Optimus.
“Got Jazz, Prowl, Ironhide, and Ultra Magnus to sign,” reported Bumblebee.
“Perfect,” snarked Optimus, “now when something happens, I take the fall!”
“Nothing is gonna happen in this case!” argued Bumblebee.
“That’s what YOU think,” countered Optimus, “but I happen to think otherwise! There’s a reason the Forbidden Archives are named that way! The knowledge they hold is dangerous!” Still, Optimus signed off Bumblebee’s last bit of paperwork and allowed him access to the Forbidden Archives. “Just be careful,” warned Optimus.
“I will,” promised Bumblebee. Just then, the alarm sounded.
“Report!” Optimus ordered Teletraan.
“The Nemesis is making a beeline towards Mobius!” called Teletraan.
“Beam us up to the Ark!” commanded Optimus.