“Hailing Fulcrum!” the comms announced. “Fulcrum, this is Misfire! Come in!”
“Fulcrum receiving!” replied Fulcrum.
“State your location, my boy,” ordered Misfire.
“Entering subterranean room in pursuit of yellow runt. …Wait! I see him!” Fulcrum then shouted to Bumblebee. “Yellow runt, halt or be blasted to plasma!”
“I HAVE halted, see?!” called Bumblebee. Fulcrum then grinned as he reported to Misfire.
“The runt has reached the edge of a crack in the floor! He’s trapped! An easy target!”
“Listen to me!” shouted Bumblebee. “The ground’s not safe! It’s riddled with cracks! If you keep stomping, it’s gonna give way and we’re gonna plummet helplessly to our deaths! So please, please, STAY WHERE YOU ARE!” Fulcrum stopped.
“Fulcrum, report!” called Misfire.
“The ground is heavily cracked. The runt claims it’s not safe to proceed.”
“What was that?!” snarled Bumblebee.
“Th…s…m t…sm…!” Misfire’s order became garbled.
“Communications impaired!” replied Fulcrum. “Confirm orders concerning the runt.”
“WHO’RE YOU CALLING A MICRO-SIZED HALF-PINT WHO STOPPED GROWING UP BECAUSE HE DOESN’T DRINK ENERAX!!” Bumblebee’s rant was accented with him stamping his feet, exacerbating the cracks in the floor. He heard the cracking of rock splitting beneath his feet and realized his mistake. “Oh, I am become error! It’s breaking up!”
“I know that!” replied Fulcrum. “It’s just a signal-fluctuation.”
“Not that, you twig! The ground! The ground is breaking up!”
“R…ea…F…m!” came the garbled reply of Misfire.
“He says the ground is…” Fulcrum couldn’t finish his explanation as the floor gave way and sent the two bots tumbling down.
“Might I ask, Sir,” quizzed Flywheels, “what should we do with Windblade and her retinue?”
“I’m working on it, Flywheels,” replied Krok.
“Excuse me, Krok,” called Windblade, “I must admit, I’m curious about those orders you mentioned.”
“Decepticon Battle Orders may not be discussed with enemy combatants; you know me better than that!”
“We’re prisoners, not combatants!” argued Megatron.
“You might plan to use your weapons when we’re the most vulnerable!”
“Then why didn’t you take them?! You haven’t done ANYTHING practical, have you?! Seems to me, all you’ve done, since we’ve met, Napoleon, is strut around with that swagger stick of yours, shouting! Well, color me unimpressed!”
“…What is this ‘Napoleon’? Is it an insult?”
“Famous Human Ruler of an old Mobian country when the planet was called Earth,” explained Windblade. “Noted for his strategic brilliance.”
“And for being five foot nothing!” muttered Megatron.
“…He had…five feet?” asked Krok. Crankcase was searching everyone all the while and then found the symbol on Megatron’s chest.
“What’s up with siding with Autobots, soldier?” he growled. “You really forgot who the enemy is? You young’uns! Always forgetting the glories of the past and wasting time on a dismal rock!”
“Examine my Badge fully, Crankcase,” replied Megatron. Crankcase arched an eyebrow.
“…Interesting choice of words, soldier.” Crankcase complied. “Besides, with you guys, the REAL form of address is…is……is…! Er, Krok!”
“What’s the matter, Crankcase?!”
“Erm, you might want to come here! You too, Flywheels!” Krok and Flywheels looked at each other before approaching Crankcase. They saw the full Badge in Crankcase’s hand, then looked at the chest cavity in Megatron’s torso…then they fearfully put two and two together.”
“…Hi. I’m the current Lord of All Decepticons. You may call me Megatron, or Lord, or Master, or Sir, or a combination of them.” The three yelped before Crankcase put the Badge back into Megatron’s chest and polished it before joining Krok and Flywheels in a salute. “And the skinny bot with the antennae is my younger brother and sworn enemy, Optimus Prime, and Windblade is my mother. Ordinarily, I would love nothing more than to see them watch as their faction crumbles, but we’re pressed for time and I need Optimus’ connection to the Matrix.”
“What for, my Lord?” asked Krok.
“To defeat Unicron. He’s festering in the center of this planet and will need to be put back to sleep. You wish for orders? Follow us into the depths of this planet. Make sure your whole team knows of this.”
“…Come to think of it, your original orders…”
“What about them?”
“The thing is, Mother didn’t think to come here until she received transfer orders from Optimus a little over six months ago. When did your commanding officer tell you to come here?”
“…About…a year ago, local planetary time, Sir.”
“Then I’m curious how your commanding officer could possibly have known to find her here, given the slowest possible warp from Cybertron to here.”
“…My Lord, with all due respect, do you REALLY expect me to question the orders of Straxus? That’s a one-way ticket to the Smelting Pool of Polyhex behind Darkmount, and I’m not eager to take a swim in molten metal!”
“The point is, what if your original mission had nothing to do with us?” asked Windblade.
“But it MUST do!”
“But, if it doesn’t, then you would be neglecting the orders of a superior officer which wouldn’t go down well with Straxus, thus earning you a one-way ticket to the Smelting Pool.”
“What’s this about the Smelting Pool?” called Misfire’s voice. He approached the group with his prisoners in tow. The Dyno-bots were dragging Thundercracker, all of them in alt-mode, while Sonic and his friends were walking behind them with their hands behind their heads.
“Let them go,” ordered Megatron.
“I don’t take orders from prisoners,” scoffed Misfire.
“He’s not our prisoner, Misfire! He’s our Lord!” Misfire’s optics flickered in confusion at Krok’s statement. “The guy with the BADGE!”
“Oh?” asked Misfire. “…Oh…OH!” He then saluted Megatron.
“Now that THAT’S cleared up,” said Megatron, “release them at once!”
“Yes, my Lord!” Misfire keyed in a command and the mode-locks on the Transformers fell away. They then transformed and the Dyno-bots leveled their weapons at Misfire.
“HOLD!” called Optimus.
“Hold?!” argued Slash as her sword’s blade rotated in a menacing manner. “This creature surprised us with the mode-locks! He deserves to die like the dog he is!”
“There’s been a slight breakdown in communication, but now they all know who’s the head Decepticon here! Megatron got them in order!”
“…I’m still watching him!” growled Grimlock.
Bruticus was swatting all the shots aside while firing his missiles. “Oh what a day! WHAT A LOVELY DAY!”
“Guys, hitting him ain’t working!” called Rodimus.
“Shockwave, are the Combiner Plugs the only weakness?!” called Shadow. “Bruticus is obviously wise to that scheme since he’s protecting those areas!”
“I…I can’t…I don’t…” Shockwave, for once, was floundering for answers.
“Okay, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but while you’re having your crisis, WE’RE ALL GETTING KILLED OUT HERE!”
“But you don’t understand, Bruticus is the most perfect Combiner, made of five soldiers with a tactician commanding the whole operation! He could easily drain our…drain our…wait, the Combaticons are arrogant kids!” Shadow then arched an eyeridge.
“More like finally getting a hypothesis. Shadow, how long have we been fighting that behemoth?”
“About 40 minutes.”
“Then now’s a good time for us Transformers to use the Cyber-keys! At least 20 more minutes of combat should do it!”
“…You have a plan?”
“I just remembered that I studied a Maximus before.”
“A rough estimate, but yes.” Shadow then called everyone on the comms.
“Guys, Pour on the power! We got 20 minutes to pull something!”
“And it will be Bruticus’ fist up your asses!” roared Bruticus as he fired missiles from his left fore-arm. Everyone got out of the way.
“CYBER KEY POWER!” The Transformers invoked their Cyber Keys and unlocked their hidden abilities. Rodimus had a large bow and arrow in his hand and Knock-out was twirling an electro-staff. They all charged at Bruticus, ready for round two!