At G.U.N, in a room specially designed for the Autobots, Shadow tapped his foot repeatedly. Irritation crossed his features. “Losing your temper?’ chuckled a familiar, sultry voice.
“This whole thing is absurd!” snarled Shadow.
“What’s absurd?” asked Rouge as she flew down from an upper gantry.
“This!” snapped Shadow. “The Transformers! Our treaty! A warship above our heads!”
“It’s an Autobot ship,” assured Rouge. “They’re the good guys, remember?”
“Yeah, good guys led by a kid!” argued Shadow.
“They have given us results,” countered Rouge.
“Rouge, Optimus is a child, plain and simple,” hissed Shadow.
“A child that’s a powerful ally,” remarked Rouge.
“If you two are finished,” said a voice. Shadow and Rouge turned to see Jazz standing in the doorway. They arched an eye ridge.
“Where’s Optimus?” grunted Shadow.
“I didn’t get much of a clear picture,” replied Jazz, “but he mentioned something about Sonic, a 24 chili dog lunch, his vehicle mode’s cockpit, and a full detailing.”
“Apparently, the faker’s never heard of a napkin,” sighed Shadow.
“So, what’s up?” asked Jazz. “I assume there’s a reason for a meeting.”
“We’ve found another Chaos Emerald,” replied Rouge.
“Another one?!” cheered Jazz. “All right!”
“However,” interjected Shadow, “it’s being misused.”
“Not so all right, then,” winced Jazz. “Have we got I.D. on the misuser?”
“Yes, but not anything current,” reported Shadow. He then pulled up the files on the mystery emerald abuser. It was a 50 something year old man, pretty muscular, military haircut, square-cut beard, and dressed in red. “He’s called Captain Aaron Witwicky of the United States Air Force. Before the planet’s previous countries collapsed, Captain Witwicky had experienced PTSD after a war between the U.S. and China had leveled both countries and brought them to a standstill in 2786. The reason was because his wife and children were killed by U.S. soldiers firing on anyone in a panic after the battle of Hong Kong was going south. An uneasy peace was signed, but Captain Witwicky refused to accept it. He wasn’t the biggest fan of technology and sought out to learn magic.”
“He did realize that all civilizations on this planet were built on technology, right?” asked Jazz.
“He said that it was a mistake,” clarified Rouge. “He sought out help from a witch and found that there were four main divisions of magically inclined people on this planet.”
“Just like Cybertron,” muttered Jazz. “Is that a universal constant?”
“Anyway,” grunted Shadow, annoyed that they drifted off topic, “he felt that the only way to get to his wife and children was to start a war without technology. So he stirred the pot a bit with the other orders and soon sparked a war. It became the War of Four Orders.”
“That war wasn’t confined to this planet,” revealed Jazz. “Optimus is a fledgling wizard of the Red Order and a history nut. From what he’s researched, the war lasted for a thousand of your years across the universe. After it died, most magically-inclined people went into hiding, even from planets whose cultures were heavily reliant on magic.” An oddity then crossed Jazz’s mind. “Wait, shouldn’t he be dead? He looks to be in his 50’s. If he’s from the later part of the 28th century, then he should be in a grave by now.”
“Some sort of age lock spell, we believe,” mused Shadow. “And a long life spell. That, or a good means of cellular and mental stasis.”
“Any idea what color Chaos Emerald he’s using?” asked Jazz. “There are only four Chaos Emeralds accounted for. You guys have green, we have red, Sonic and his team have Cyan, and Shockwave has purple.”
“That does leave blue, yellow, and white unaccounted for,” answered Rouge, “but we have no idea what the color is. We only know it’s a Chaos Emerald because of the energy frequency all emeralds emit.”
“I guess we’ll find out when we meet him,” mused Jazz. “Any patterns to his attacks?”
“Not attacks, per se,” corrected Rouge, “but more along the lines of vandalism. He and his men teleport in with Chaos Control, draw some graffiti, and then move on to the next location.”
“So, guerrilla vandalism, then,” guessed a voice. Everyone jumped and whirled to see the Scarlet Specter leaning against the wall.
“How long were you…?” stammered Jazz.
“The entire briefing,” replied the Specter. “Many a witch and wizard has heard of Captain Witwicky. Practically no one wants to meet him because he’s dragged magically inclined people through the mud with that war of his.”
“So that’s why we don’t hear about magic people,” grunted Shadow. “This guy put you guys in a bad light for a long time.”
“And the work to clear our name is slow,” continued the Specter. “There’s still a negative connotation with magic.”
“Hold up,” interjected Shadow. He then turned to the main monitor which was displaying more vandalism by Witwicky’s men. The interesting thing was that it now had a Transformer sized, green man there.
“A Nebulan!” gasped Jazz.
“A what now?” asked Shadow.
“A Nebulan,” replied Jazz, “from the planet, Nebulos. A warrior race. This kind of petty vandalism should be beneath them.”
“And our people haven’t spoken with them since the war ended,” called a voice.
“Oddly enough,” remarked the Specter, “that’s not the first Nebulan I’ve met.”
“You know of another Nebulan?” asked the voice.
“Yes,” answered the Specter. “One of my teachers is a Nebulan, a witch of the green order.”
“Nature, huh?” mused the voice. “I gotta meet her.”
“She’s a nice lady…,” the Specter’s voice trailed off. “Wait, who’s saying that?”
“It’s coming from behind us,” replied Jazz. They all glanced around the room. Then they heard laughter. They turned to the source of the laughter to see a certain Prime shimmer into view. He was squatting and pointing at the group.
“The looks on your faces are priceless!” he cackled. “Although, I can only assume Miss Specter’s face is similar to yours.”
“How long…?” gasped Rouge.
“When Shadow was griping about me earlier,” explained Optimus as he stood up. “My detailing was done quickly. Turns out, while his eating habits are gross, Sonic leaves a smaller mess then I thought. Jazz is right, though, he never uses a napkin.” He then turned to the files on Witwicky. “I’d say it’s Mora Mortem, suspending any and all decay in the body as you sleep. To sleep that long he most likely used Multo Sopor, putting the caster in a sleep that he had originally specified when casting it.”
“How do you…?” quizzed Rouge.
“Observation is a standard fare for someone that’s magically inclined,” explained the Specter. “There is something Optimus missed.”
“What’s that?” inquired Optimus.
“Custodientes Imperium,” answered the Specter. Optimus then smacked his head.
“Oh, yeah,” he realized, “he’d lose a lot of magic energy when sleeping that long, on top of casting those spells. He must have used Custodientes Imperium to keep his energy reserves at acceptable levels.”
“I will tell the other witches and wizards of this,” declared the Specter. “We don’t need another war setting us back. He’s most likely under the impression that the war still continues.”
“Good thinking,” praised Optimus. The Scarlet Specter curtsied, then left via red smoke. Optimus then turned to Jazz. “Jazz, get Prowl to patrol the city with the rest of the police. We need them to keep all citizens safe when we engage Captain Witwicky. Get Sonic in on this as well. This may need Teams Sonic and Dark.”
“With respect,” rumbled Shadow, “what little I have for the blue annoyance, Team Dark can handle one man.”
“I can’t run the risk when magic is involved,” insisted Optimus.
“What risk?” hissed Shadow. “At worst, you guys will shout mumbo jumbo and shoot sparks at each other.” Optimus hmphed and walked out like Amy would if she’s annoyed.
“Insulting magic, are we?” asked Jazz. “Dude, I’ve seen how powerful magic duels are. On my first mission as a Guardian Cadet, I saw two Decepticons locked in a magic duel. I don’t know what caused it, but they nearly leveled the Decepticon Capital City of Kaon. All I heard was if they should join a bot named ‘Megatron’ or not.”
“In any case, G.U.N. will be on standby when things go south,” replied Shadow.
“IF things go south,” remarked Jazz.
“Trust me, they will,” insisted Shadow.