Sonic and Cheetor raced through the jungle that stood between Maximal City and the mountain. “You’re too slow!” taunted Sonic.
“Oh, please! How many seconds behind are you again?!” laughed Cheetor. He then looked ahead, as did Sonic, and they saw Inferno in beast mode! They quickly went behind her and turned to face her. Cheetor transformed to bot mode and leveled his gun at her. He then fired on her. Inferno just shrugged it off as she turned to face her enemies.
“FOOL! Pain is my friend! Allow me to introduce YOU to it!” she cackled as she went to bot mode. She then leveled twin flame throwers at her opponents and fired explosive blasts. Sonic and Cheetor got out of the way. Inferno then heard a screech and turned her head skywards to see Airazor swooping down with Rattrap screaming in their talons. “Invaders from the air!” she cackled. “More meat for the Colony!” She fired at the two airborne Maximals.
“WE’RE ALL GONNA DIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!” screamed Rattrap.
“Isn’t there a rule,” snapped Airazor as they dodged Inferno’s shots, “that heroes have to face destruction with dignity?!”
“Hey! What’s the use of dying if you can’t enjoy it?” Airazor simply released their grip on Rattrap and let him fall screaming. Rattrap then recovered enough of his wits, transformed to robot mode, and kicked Inferno in her face. He then looked to Cheetor and Sonic. “You kids okay?”
“Doing fine,” replied Cheetor.
“Come on! Let’s scrap her!” called Sonic. He then spin-dashed Inferno right in the face, knocking a few of her teeth out. Rattrap whistled.
“Not too shabby there, Blue Boy,” he remarked.
“Hey, Cheetor! Your turn!” called Sonic.
“CYBER KEY POWER!” called Cheetor as he invoked his Cyber Key. The Key inserted itself into his shoulder and turned, deploying curved swords from the shoulders. Cheetor then ran around Inferno and managed to slice off the jet engine inside her abdomen. Inferno howled in pain.
“My turn!” called Airazor. They swooped down, grabbed Inferno, and threw her into a tree, knocking her out cold. They then prepared their wrist rockets.
“Hey, hey!” called Rattrap. “An opportunity like this don’t come but once in a lifetime, you know?”
“Opportunity for what?” asked Cheetor.
“Come on, Spots! Use your head! Remember when I talked about being a Memory Sifter?”
“A Memory Sifter, what’s that?” asked Sonic.
“Well, have you heard of a Cortical Psychic Patch?”
“Yeah, it allows one bot to read the mind of another.”
“Well, I was born with one. Right here in the beast mode’s tail. Back in the day, I used to read a perp’s mind and present my findings to the court so they could be used as evidence. …Maximal Elders decided it was an ‘infringement on a person’s rights’!”
“You know that there are other, more safer means available!” snapped Airazor.
“Hey, I was born with a Cortical Psychic Patch! What’s the use of having it if I’m forbidden from using it?! Besides, she’s not exactly conscious. She won’t fight.”
“That sounds like a slippery slope I’m not sure I want to go down!”
“And if she consents?” asked Inferno’s voice. Everyone whirled around, ready to fight as Inferno picked herself up. “At ease, I have no reason to fight right now.”
“Yeah, right!” scoffed Rattrap. “Aren’t you the one who burns all the trees in the name of your ‘Queen’?!”
“I’m with Rattrap! Let’s get her!” called Sonic.
“The bird’s actions,” continued Inferno, “knocked some of my previous memories to the forefront.”
“What, now you’re a goody two-shoes?” snarked Rattrap.
“Nothing of the sort, I still hate the Maximals, but now it’s becoming clear to me why I do, as well as Autobots. If you can access my memories and make me remember what I once was, I will owe you.”
“Yeah, right, then you’ll stab us all in the back at some point!”
“Of course, and then you will try and undo the damage I would do.”
“Rattrap, this could be a great opportunity,” urged Airazor.
“Hey, hey, hey!” argued Rattrap. “You were against me using my patch earlier!”
“Because I didn’t hear any consent! Now I did, so it’s not an issue anymore!”
“Shut up and just do it, Rattrap,” sighed Sonic. Rattrap rolled his optics.
“Yeah, yeah, story of my life! All right, Mandibles, sit down and open the back of your head.” Inferno did so and powered down. Rattrap inserted the back of his tail as he put a helmet on. He lowered the helmet’s visor and began his work.
Meanwhile, Kong, Rhinox, Tigatron, and Knuckles made their way through the empty city. “I gotta say, I think I’d prefer the hustle and bustle,” muttered Knuckles.
“I don’t know,” mused Rhinox, “under better circumstances, I’d enjoy the peace and quiet.”
“There’s the Council Chambers,” called Kong as he pointed to a door. “That’s where Nightscream was last seen.” They cautiously entered the room and looked around. Knuckles then looked up to see Nightscream snoozing on the ceiling. He quietly got the attention of the Maximals and pointed upwards.
“It seems his beast mode’s starting to affect him,” rumbled Rhinox.
“It’s not the beast mode, it’s the program block,” replied Tigatron.
“…Access Nightscream’s Core Consciousness,” Kong ordered his personal computer. “Passcode: Kong Primal.”
“Passcode: accepted,” came the reply. It startled Nightscream into waking up and screeching while flying around the room. Tigatron then jumped up to Nightscream and brought him down, pinning him to the table. Nightscream continued screeching.
“ENOUGH!” shouted Rhinox. Nightscream stopped making noise and looked to Rhinox. “…You’re scared, Young Nightscream, but we’re here to help.” At this point, Tigatron sensed Nightscream was calm enough to hear his fellow Maximals out. “You fear your beast mode, but it’s part of you, just as ours are part of us.”
“The programming block we all got as Sparklings?” continued Kong, “we don’t need them. We’re both beasts AND bots. That block has been suppressing our beast side when they should be partners. There’s a way to get both beast and robot forms together, the first step is to merely delete the programming block.” Nightscream blinked, then he sent a mental command.
“Programming block: deleted,” reported his computer. His bat face then softened.
“I think I get it now!” he sighed happily. “Thank you, Sir!”
“It looks like the Dyno-bots fixed what they could,” remarked Rhinox as he looked at the repaired consoles. “We can pick up where they left off.”
“The other Maximals!” yelped Nightscream. “Where are they?!”
“Still out in the jungle,” replied Tigatron. “If we can gather them back here, we can fix what Saurion did.”
“But Saurion still has-!” Nightscream stopped.
“The Cyber Planet Key, yes,” finished Kong. “Which is why we need to access the Oracle.” The Maximals then gave Kong a look. “…Did I grow a tail?”
“Kong, I have nothing but the highest respect for you,” began Tigatron, “but did you blow a fuse?!”
“The Oracle’s meant for the Maximal Elders!” agreed Rhinox. “We’re not allowed to-!”
“I don’t know if you’ve all forgotten,” interrupted Kong, “but the Maximal Elders were the first casualties along with the Tripredacus Council! We’re the senior Maximals here!”
“Could someone explain what or who the Oracle is?!” snapped Knuckles.
“The Cybertronians have another name for it, its original name,” explained Kong, “Vector Sigma.”
“Wait, you guys have a link to some mystic super-computer that can repair the Matrix?”
“…That IS one of its many functions, how do you know that?”
“Oh, I’ve got a story to tell you. Let’s get Optimus here. He’s had access to it before.”