“Metal?” quizzed Swoop.
“Metal Sonic!” gasped Optimus. “Wh…where are you?!”
“All around you!” replied Metal Sonic as he appeared on the main viewer. “I have become your ship!”
“But, you were a single mind!” protested Tails. “How did you possess the Ark?!”
“With a ship of my own!” answered Metal Sonic. “Tell me, everyone, what does the term ‘Worldsweeper’ mean to you?”
“Worldsweeper?” repeated Swoop. “You mean the Decepticon Symbol ship? Those things are gone.”
“Well, I just uncovered one,” laughed Metal. “Shockwave’s, to be precise, the Enigma. My physical form is on her ship while Eggman sends down the Transformer clones of himself to conquer Mobius. Shockwave’s still making more as she keeps my connection to the Ark stable. I must admit surprise as I didn’t expect your a.i. to fight me every step of the way.”
“YOU corrupted Teletraan!” realized Optimus. “YOU drove him insane!”
“If the computer went insane,” dismissed Metal, “that’s no concern of mine. It’s just a bit of bad code.”
“His name was Teletraan 1, you spawn of a…!” growled Optimus.
“SILENCE!” roared Metal. “Selfishly, I have a burning desire to exact revenge! I could pulverize you with intense gravity! I could cut off the air supply and let Tails die with you watching him perish! But, I am above such petty concerns. Since your a.i. sought to protect you from my influence by getting the ship out of the solar system, I will return you to Mobius to deal with our armies. A futile effort, though, but I want some entertainment.”
“I guess telling you that biological organisms are important would be pointless,” muttered Optimus.
“Biological life HAS no value!” argued Metal. “It is nothing but a toy for me to dispose of at my leisure!”
“Or for you to slaughter, given that you mentioned an army,” remarked Swoop.
“I must say, even with G.U.N mobilizing,” chuckled Metal, “it’s still nothing more than sport!”
“Maybe,” called Swoop, altering his voice to a different volume, slightly louder than his usual, “but I think the Ark’s systems are more sporting than anything G.U.N can give. For instance, the fire suppression systems can cut in pretty damn quick in the event of a fire!”
“I don’t know why you’re talking like that,” snapped Metal, “but it doesn’t matter. I will soon empty the Ark of you vermin and use it against…” He was interrupted by the sound of a Static Laser gun firing at a pipe. “ARGH! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” roared Metal as fire suppression foam sprayed into the bridge. Swoop then pulled Optimus into the corridor and another hand grabbed him. It belonged to the bot who was putting away the handheld Static Laser he fired, Master Sergeant Ironhide! He was accompanied by the rest of the Autobots and the Dyno-bots.
“And now, we boogie out of here!” suggested Jazz.
“Let me take a new spin on that,” replied Optimus. “We’re gonna boogie away from the bridge. First Council Protocols!”
“Right!” called Grimlock. “To the Fang!” Grimlock went down one corridor while Optimus led the others down another. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” shouted Grimlock. “MY SHIP IS THAT WAY!”
“We’re not going to your ship,” answered Optimus.
“Prime, much as I want to put the First Council Protocols to good use,” interjected Bumblebee, “I think it’s time to embrace the oldest and noblest of Pirate traditions!”
“I never was one for Pirate traditions,” replied Optimus. “Now, First Council Protocols.”
“What are you talking about?!” snapped Grimlock.
“In some Arthurian legends,” explained Ironhide, “after Merlin was sealed by Nimue, she became King Arthur’s most trusted advisor. As such, Prime made a secondary a.i. to supplement Teletraan in the event that he’s unavailable. However, since Metal Sonic is in control of the ship, we can’t trust it, so we have to get off the grid.”
“How do we do that?!” barked Slag.
“By going to Auxiliary Control!” replied Optimus as he opened a door.
“How did you know about Arthurian legends?” Slash asked Ironhide.
“Does having a Texan accent REALLY make you dumb?!” protested Ironhide. “Where do you think Optimus got his love for stories and history from?!” They entered Auxiliary Control and…the Dyno-bots were surprised at the sight, even in the currently dim lighting.
“…This is the Enterprise bridge from Next Gen,” remarked Grimlock.
“Dyno-bots, my men could use some help at their respective stations!” called Optimus. Prowl took Tactical, Jazz took the First Officer’s seat, Ratchet and Tails took Engineering, Bumblebee took the conn (Wesley’s position), Cliffjumper took Ops Management (Data’s position), and Ironhide took Environment.
“…This is the bridge of the starship Enterprise, registry NCC-1701-D, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, from Star Trek: The Next Generation!” continued Grimlock.
“The design was a Forge-day present for Optimus,” answered Jazz. “Now, could we get some help here?” Grimlock couldn’t resist giving some snark to Optimus.
“Let me know when you get a Conjux Amica,” he joked. “I’ll throw you a parade.”
“DYNO-BOTS!” shouted Optimus. “HELP! NOW!” Grimlock grinned before assigning the Dyno-bots their positions. He ended up sitting in Counselor Troi’s seat, Swoop and Slag assisted in the Science positions, Sludge assisted Bumblebee, Slash helped Prowl, and Snarl was with Cliffjumper.
“We’ve got control of the ship,” reported Sludge.
“Optimus, this IS Metal Sonic we’re talking about,” reminded Bumblebee. “He’ll find us soon.”
“We’ve got more time than you think,” assured Tails.
“How do YOU know?” asked Grimlock.
“Tails is right,” replied Swoop. “If Metal’s as strong as he boasted, he should have seen the Fang coming, but he didn’t. He doesn’t have full control over the ship. I’m willing to bet my Spark that some sections are still tied in with Teletraan’s core program.”
“So, it gives us some time,” continued Tails, “it’s just that we don’t know what to do with it.”
“I do,” interjected Optimus.
“Lay it on us,” replied Jazz.
“Tails, Swoop,” called Optimus, “we’re going to bring Teletraan 1 back online.”
“What?!” yelped Tails.
“What in the Pit for?!” protested Swoop.
“Metal Sonic said that Teletraan was fighting him every step of the way,” reminded Optimus. “If he had so much power and control over our systems, why didn’t he just delete him? He needed US to shut him off. I don’t think he COULD delete him.”
“What will turning him back on accomplish?” asked Slash. “He’s still crazy!”
“Don’t worry,” assured Optimus. “I have a cunning plan!”
“You mean, a stupid one,” muttered Ironhide.
“My plans are never stupid!” protested Optimus. “Helm, set a course for the sun!”
“WHAT?!” shouted the helm crew.
“If my plan fails,” explained Optimus, “Metal Sonic will get control of the Ark. I WON’T let that happen!”
“You seem to have forgotten the little detail,” wailed Sludge, “of us still being onboard!”
“If it comes to that,” replied Optimus, “we’ll teleport over to the Dyno-bot ship, but we’ll need to wipe the ship’s computers so that Metal Sonic can’t get onboard. Then, we can contact someone to pick us up.”
“Yeah, I can see,” snarled Grimlock, “that your plans are the height of sanity!”
“Quit your bellyaching,” hissed Optimus. “Swoop, Tails, and I have a lot of rerouting to do, and it’s boring and tedious as the Pit! As such, while I work, I’m going to entertain myself with The Fabulous Windblade #252.” Optimus’ holo-comic lenses came down as he took out a pad for working on Teletraan.
“………WHAT?!” protested the entire crew, sans Optimus.
Shadow’s skyship was being hit on multiple angles. The Cyber-Eggs were showing no mercy. Multiple fires were blazing on the deck. Shadow managed to pick himself up from the ruined Captain’s seat and looked around the mangled bridge. “Report!” he shouted to Tactical.
“Our main engines are about to blow,” reported Abigail, a Female human, “our weapons are gone, and we’ve lost maneuvering thrusters.” Shadow roared in frustration. He looked around the bridge, all crew members giving a look that they were about ready to give their lives. He then looked on the monitor, the Enigma deploying more Cyber-Eggs.
“Perhaps today IS a good day to die!” declared Shadow. “Prepare for ramming speed!” Metal Sonic’s face then came up.
“Do you see it?” he boasted. “The beauty of it. The inevitability. You rise only to fall. You, Mobius, are a meteor. A swift and terrible sword and you will crack under your failure. Purge me from your computers, turn my own steel against me, it won’t matter. When the dust settles, the only living thing on this rock…will be metal. Or, you could just…” he was cut off as a sound was heard. It sounded like cannon fire.
“Abigail…” hissed Shadow.
“Found the source!” called Abigail.
“On screen!” ordered Shadow. The image surprised the entire crew. There, floating in the sky, was Angel Island, Knuckles’ home! It was armed with large guns and cannons on top and below the ground. An energy globe surrounded it with the colors flashing between red, blue, purple, and green. “Magnify on the people!” called Shadow. The screen gave a close-up of wizards and witches of the Four Orders projecting the energy globe and others firing their wands. Other people were manning the guns with Knuckles keeping an eye on the Master Emerald and Queen Aleena in full armor, commanding the whole situation.
“The Cloak and Dagger’s life support is failing!” reported a Mobian Tiger.
“Trema, bring the survivors here,” ordered Aleena.
“At once,” called Trema’s voice over the intercom. A shimmering effect later, the survivors and Team Dark came into view.
“Welcome to Angel Island in fortress mode,” greeted Aleena.
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” bid Shadow. “My ship?”
“In the sea, but salvageable,” replied Aleena.
“Tough little ship,” joked Knuckles.
“Little?” protested Shadow.
“Agent Shadow,” called Aleena, “we could use your help on the guns.”
“You DO know how to use them, right?” asked a voice. It was Sira! Shadow gave a Look. “Sorry,” said Sira with a grin. Team Dark then joined the crew of the Angel Island Fortress.