It was currently impossible for Jazz to convert to vehicle mode on his own, so he had to get someone to transform him. The process wasn’t very comfortable for Jazz as Ratchet had to release certain armor latches and move other parts with some force. Once back in vehicle mode, Jazz began internal repairs and slowly activated his holo-form. “Primus, that was awful!” he groaned. “Thank you anyways.”
“Just doing my job,” replied Ratchet. “How are internal repairs?”
“Going a bit slow,” reported Jazz.
“That’s natural,” answered Ratchet, “after that long of exposure.”
“How are the others?” asked Jazz.
“We’re functional,” remarked Optimus. “Where did those other Jazzes come from?”
“My Gatakiriba combo,” explained Jazz. “I used the OOO Driver before I saw Aaron sporting a Cyber Key around his neck.”
“Whose was it?” asked Prowl.
“It was mine,” replied Jazz. “He was stupid enough to give it to me so I could prove it was Cybertronian tech and not a magic metal from otherworldly origins.”
“Wow!” sighed Sonic. “That’s some stupidity right there.”
“I know!” agreed Jazz. “Wait, where’s Shadow?”
“Fighting Aaron right now,” revealed Bumblebee.
“That disgrace to wizards will be arrested sooner or later,” chuckled Optimus. They heard a moan.
“Amy!” called Sonic. He ran over to her and held her up. Amy’s eyes opened.
“Sonic?” she said weakly.
“Easy,” encouraged Ratchet. “Save your strength.”
“It’s a good thing you Mobians have adaptive biology,” remarked Optimus, “otherwise you’d be dead from that blast.”
“Adaptive biology boosted with magic always helps,” chuckled Amy weakly. “Wait, where’s Shadow?”
“Fighting Aaron, I assume,” answered Trema’s voice. Trema was getting up. “He’ll have an advantage.”
“Forgive me if I disagree!” cried Amy as she tried to get up.
“Amy, easy!” insisted Sonic.
“Sonic’s right,” supplied Ratchet, “you need rest.”
“When Shadow’s about to die? Not likely!” argued Amy.
“What do you mean ‘about to die’?” asked Optimus.
“Optimus,” answered Amy, “do you know how many times I’ve been slapped around when I went on solo missions as the Scarlet Specter?”
“Not really,” muttered Optimus.
“EVERY time,” revealed Amy, “bar my training with my teachers, literally EVERY time!”
“The point being?” asked Jazz.
“I’ve learned to gauge when someone is holding back!” finished Amy. Her gaze went to Optimus.
“Amy, in many warrior cultures, like Nebulan and Cybertronian cultures, accusing a warrior of holding back is plain rude!” admonished Trema.
“Besides,” continued Jazz, “this is Optimus Prime. A Prime never holds back, right best buddy?” Silence. “Prime?” All eyes leveled to Optimus.
“…I can explain,” gulped Optimus.
“I don’t think you can!” hissed Amy.
Meanwhile, Shadow and Aaron continue trading blows. “Come on!” taunted Shadow. “Is that the best you’ve got?!”
“Considering you’ve been holding back,” replied Aaron, “why should I go all out?”
“What do you mean?” asked Shadow.
“Let’s be honest,” sighed Aaron, “neither of us are at full power. You’ve been holding back because of something actively restraining you. The thing is you can take off the restraints at any time!”
“I don’t see how it concerns you holding back,” answered Shadow.
“Are you sure?” asked Aaron. “Don’t you want to defeat me at my full potential?”
“You’ve been holding back this entire time?!” yelped Jazz
“Okay, yes!” confirmed Optimus. “I’ve actually learned how to tap into Chaos energy a while ago, before Shockwave appeared. But Shadow doesn’t know that! If he did…”
“He’d be mad at you?!” guessed Amy. “Listen, I like the guy, but his default emotion is mad!”
“It’s more than anger, it’s pride!” insisted Optimus. “It would shatter him if there was a robot stronger than him!”
“Fueling a person’s ego is unbecoming of a warrior!” roared Trema.
“Dude, what in the Pit!” protested Jazz.
“Sir, there is another option!” interjected Prowl. “Wasn’t your trailer made from a spare battle-frame?”
“It’s not perfected!” replied Optimus. “There’s a problem with it!”
“I think that problem is negligible!” insisted Prowl.
“No, you don’t understand,” urged Optimus.
“I’m willing to make a deal with you,” offered Aaron. “You give me your most powerful attack, and I’ll give you mine. That way, if, by some miracle, you beat me, you’ll have the satisfaction of taking down the most powerful opponent without any help.” Shadow’s ear twitched. He seemed to be deep in thought.
“You know,” he rasped, “the thing is, I know you’re stoking my ego…” his hand then went to his wrist ring! “…but you’re right!”
“Optimus, you need to do something before Shadow does something completely reckless!” urged Amy.
“There’s literally nothing he can do to make this situation any worse than it is,” replied Optimus, “bar blowing up the city.” They were all watching Shadow at that point and saw him removing his rings! “…He is going to blow up the city!”
“But I live here!” yelped Amy.
“That’s it!” encouraged Aaron, feeling the power rising in Shadow. “Keep it coming!”
“SHADOW! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?!” shouted Sonic.
“SHADOW!” called Optimus. “YOUR PRIDE ISN’T WORTH LEVELING THE CITY! COME ON!”
“Way past the bargaining stage!” yelped Prowl. Shadow then started glowing red and his eyes turned completely white.
“CHAOS…BLAST!” he roared. A dome of red light soon engulfed the city. The Autobots and allies hit the deck. The light remained for a while, then it faded slowly. “Powerful enough for you?” snarked Shadow. “Hope you’re proud.”
“Oh, Shadow,” replied Aaron’s voice, startling the hedgehog, “I AM proud. Not of the damage, no, but of you! You are one of the few people to stick to your guts and throw everything away to satisfy your frankly fragile ego. For that, I tip my hat to you. But, I believe we’re done.” He fished out the yellow Chaos Emerald. “Chaos Control.” He then disappeared from his position in the sky and reappeared behind Shadow, delivering a kick to his spine.
“Prime, you’re out of options!” called Amy.
“We don’t know that!” insisted Optimus. “We still have the emeralds to whip up…”
“The Chaos Emeralds aren’t Dragonballs!” snapped Jazz. “Besides, we don’t have all seven!” Optimus sighed. He really didn’t have any options. He transformed and charged at Aaron.
“Battle frame: Online!” he ordered. “Optimus Prime: Super Mode!” The trailer started folding and twisting until it changed into a set of limbs held by an empty box with an armored chest unit. Optimus’ legs folded into the vehicle mode rear and his arms folded backwards. He flew into the box holding the limbs and the chest armor folded down. A helmet like his own came down over his head. Connections hidden in Optimus’ body attached to the ones in the battle frame. The limbs then moved at Optimus’ command. Optimus grabbed Aaron and threw him away from Shadow while Shadow was tossed to Ratchet. Aaron soon picked himself up.
“What fool stopped my righteous attack?!” he snarled.
“There is nothing righteous about killing anyone, even in war!” Optimus snarled right back.
“You’ve clearly never been in one,” observed Aaron as he charged at Optimus. Optimus twisted around to let Aaron’s punch go wild. Aaron twisted and managed to land a hit and, oddly enough, not receive any damage on his end. Optimus then swatted him into a building. The dust settled for a bit.
“That might not have done much damage, but, by PRIMUS, that felt good!” sighed Optimus.
“Oh HO!” laughed Aaron as he crawled out of the rubble. “Is that a smidgen of pride I sense? Guess your creators wanted you to imitate life.”
“Creator, actually,” corrected Optimus.
“Master Trema, what’s with Optimus?” asked Amy. “He’s much more powerful than Aaron now! Where’s that confidence he’s famous for?!”
“I think I see why he was so hesitant,” realized Trema. “That confidence went out the window when his speed decreased.”
“I don’t understand,” said Amy.
“In raw power,” explained Trema, “Prime can’t be beat right now. However, his current form has increased his mass to a level he’s not used to. His body cannot compensate right now. So, while we’re seeing a definite increase in strength, we’re also seeing a definite decrease in speed.”
“In other words,” gasped Amy as the reality of the situation hits her, “Prime can’t hit Aaron and he’s taunting Optimus with the few free hits Prime landed on him!”
“Damn it!” snarled Prowl. “I feel so helpless! We need to do something!”
“Like what?” asked Trema. “Get ragdolled? No thank you!”
“Of course, a Nebulan would say that!” hissed Prowl.
“To be fair,” mused Ironhide, “between the Super Prime and the Psycho Wizard…”
“Don’t you start!” protested Prowl.
“Hey, you may have forgotten,” snarled Ironhide, “but I was on Femax, okay?! Those Amazons almost killed both sides! I got stabbed! And blown up!”
“I got stabbed and blown up too!” answered Trema. “And dumped by my boyfriend from Femax.”
“I was dumped by my Femaxian girlfriend too,” replied Ironhide. “But, there’s a difference between us, Ms. witch princess.” Trema raised an eyebrow at that as familiarity struck her. “When my ex left, she took half my Energon. When yours left, he took all of HIS Energon.” It was then that Trema realized who the Transformer was.
“Yeah, well at least I slept with Nortor, Mr. Cyber-hick!” she snapped as one would to their sibling.
“Yeah, well unlike me and Chromia, you have no means of proving it!” Ironhide snapped back.
“Do too! We’ll just ask him!” offered Trema.
“Can you guys keep it down?!” called Optimus. “I’m trying to fight here!”
“Okay, in hindsight,” thought Prowl, “I’m so glad I’m staying behind.”
“Pity, really,” sighed Aaron. “You wanted strength and your new form slows you down. Once I’m finished with you, I’ll find the wizard that gave that Kamen Rider-obsessed dolt that belt!”
“Wait, didn’t Jazz tell you?” asked Optimus.
“He had the nerve to say that you could use magic!” snapped Aaron. “It’s impossible for a machine to sully magic!” Optimus stared, then smirked.
“Captain Witwicky,” he chuckled, “while I would love nothing better than to argue with you, I literally have a million better things to do. So, here’s the deal. I want you to hit me with your most powerful fireball.”
“Is that so?” quizzed Aaron.
“You may have misheard me,” remarked Optimus. “I don’t mean some arbitrary percentage, nor fifty percent. I want YOU to hit ME with your MOST powerful fireball.”
“Suppose I don’t play along?” asked Aaron, a little irked at the smarminess dripping from Optimus.
“Then I guess your wife won’t want to see you,” taunted Optimus. Aaron twitched. “Oooh, consider that nerve touched,” smirked Optimus. “Come on. You, me, most powerful fireball. Clear?”
“Crystal!” growled Aaron. Aaron then started hovering in the air. He then formed a red sphere of light in his hands, then thrust them into the air. The sky, the buildings, the streets, the people, EVERYTHING turned a nasty shade of red. The atmosphere of Station Square was saturated with Aaron’s anger towards Optimus. Through it all, the youngest Prime still had that annoying grin.
“That’s it!” called Optimus. “Keep it coming! I can actually feel it!”
“IN MERE SECONDS,” roared Aaron, “ALL YOU WILL FEEL IS FIERY OBLIVION, YOU WORTHLESS PIECE OF MOLTEN SLAG!”
“Oblivion, or disappointment?” asked Optimus. “Go ahead, flip that coin.”
“AS YOU WISH!” shouted Aaron “IGNIS GIGAS!” The fireball was massive as it hurtled towards Optimus at incredible speed. Optimus simply held his hand out.
“Corpus Pondus in Igne,” he said. The fireball then got smaller as the flames travelled safely into his hand. Soon, there was no fireball at all. Aaron stared in disbelief.
“Impossible!” he breathed.
“Afraid not,” replied Optimus. “My people CAN use magic. I’m a wizard of your very Order. I’m sure you’re familiar with an absorption spell. Absorbing water spells make the absorber swim faster, air spells improve flight, earth spells allow you to feel your opponent’s movements in the ground, fire…well, I’m sure you figured out my current form’s speed deficiency, until I absorbed your most powerful fireball. The thing is, that spell was hard for me to master, until today.” Aaron just roared and launched multiple fireballs. Optimus just kept absorbing the fireballs.
“WHY WON’T YOU DIE?!” roared Aaron.
“Dude, throwing fireball after fireball at me, even after I showed I can absorb them, is a sign of insanity,” sighed Prime.
“YOU KNOW WHAT!” screamed Aaron. “TIME TO STAIN THIS CITY WITH BLOOD! SCUTUM REFLEXIONEM!” Optimus, Trema, and Amy’s went wide with horror.
“What did you say?!” cried Amy.