“Welcome to Mazuri!” cheered Optimus as they arrived at a canyon.
“B-B-By the Alls-s-spark!” gasped Megatronus. “It’s Af-f-frica!”
“If I recall,” mused Ultra Magnus, “not visiting this continent was a big regret of yours.”
“Yeah,” confirmed Megatronus. “Though, the w-w-war did keep m-m-me in the S-S-States.”
“Well,” declared Optimus, “we’re not here to sightsee. We gotta find the lens. Spread out.”
“S-S-Spread out?” gulped Megatronus.
“We WOULD cover more ground,” replied Ultra Magnus, “but I think it’s ill advised. Megatronus and I don’t know our way around.”
“Fair point,” conceded Optimus. “All right, new plan. We stick together.”
“Won’t help you in the long run,” called a sultry voice. Blackarachnia revealed herself on top of the ridge. “We found the tracking device in the lens and used it to make this trap for you bots. No need to thank me.”
“W-W-Where’d SHE c-come from?!” yelped Megatronus.
“From the Ark,” growled Optimus. “She stowed away when Prowl came here.”
“You said ‘We’,” recalled Ultra Magnus.
“And she meant it,” replied another voice. It was Tower in his Silas persona. Sylvia was with him as well as an entire MECH contingent.
“Ex-Commander Tower,” hissed Optimus. “I’d say it’s a pleasure to see you again, but my truth centers would overload. Who’s the girl?”
“Girl?!” hissed Sylvia.
“Do NOT insult Sylvia by calling her a girl,” snarled Silas. “My daughter is a proud woman, not in the habit of taking kindly to being called anything relating to childhood.”
“Considering that MECH is founded on the ridiculous notion of Racial Dominance,” argued Optimus, “I must call all of MECH children.”
“Why, you smarmy little…!” hissed Silas.
“Patience,” assured Blackarachnia. “We have three bots to choose from.”
“You two, do NOT kill a single one!” ordered Optimus as he transformed for battle.
“Yes, Sir!” called Ultra Magnus as he and Megatronus transformed.
“FIRE!” shouted Silas. MECH then unleashed laser fire as the Pax children took cover under the canyon walls.
“Megatronus,” directed Optimus, “see if you can find a way around them, then unleash an EMP grenade to short out their weapons.”
“G-Got it!” stammered Megatronus. He took off along the canyon wall.
“Dad,” called Sylvia as she pointed Megatronus out to Silas.
“Get him,” ordered Silas. Sylvia took off after Megatronus. When he was far enough, she fired a grapple gun into the wall next to him, so she could get in front. She then set up her end and started zipping down. Megatronus’ expression then went dark as he grabbed the wire and shook it so that she could hit the wall. As she slid down in pain, Megatronus grabbed her and squeezed her just to get her attention.
“You’re lucky I can’t kill you just yet,” he said in a low, raspy whisper. “I need to stay on the Autobot cause long enough to further my plans. If we do meet when I reveal myself, I will make sure you are a grease spot under my heel!” He was then bitten like a vampire by Blackarachnia as she pumped her Cyber-venom into him. His grip on Sylvia relaxed as she tumbled out of his way when he fell. Blackarachnia then got Megatronus onto his back. Sylvia then took out a device similar to one where you would make a hole in glass. The hole was cut where the liver would be on a human. A pair of MECH soldiers then came out of the woodwork and helped her open him up. They all started disconnecting several wires. Meanwhile, Optimus and Ultra Magnus were firing above MECH’s heads hoping to scare them off.
“Come on, Megatronus!” hissed Optimus. “Where’s your scare fire?!”
“This doesn’t make sense,” remarked Ultra Magnus. “He should be firing above their heads right now. So, either he’s finally become too terrified to shoot or…”
“MECH’s got their claws on him!” yelped Optimus. “With me! We gotta get to him! He went that way!” Optimus led the way.
“Sylvia,” called Silas over his comms, “they’re getting wise ahead of schedule!”
“No worries,” assured Sylvia. “We secured the package ahead of schedule.”
“All units, package secured!” reported Silas. “Move out!” MECH then left the area while Optimus and Ultra Magnus ran to Megatronus. He was recovering from the Cyber-venom.
“Are you all right?!” quizzed Optimus.
“I th-th-think so,” said Megatronus. “That s-s-spider-bot dosed m-me g-good.”
“We gotta go,” urged Optimus. “With Blackarachnia siding with them, who knows what knowledge they have on us.”
“W-W-What ab-bout the l-l-l-lens?” asked Megatronus.
“It was a feint,” replied Ultra Magnus. “They ‘accidentally’ let their cyber-security go slack on that one. They destroyed the lens.”
“Ultra Magnus, take point,” ordered Optimus. “Megatronus, you’re next. I’ll bring up the rear.”
“Right,” obliged Ultra Magnus. The three then transformed…well, tried to, in Megatronus’ case. His armor shifted, then returned to their robot mode settings.
“We rolling out or not?!” asked Optimus.
“I…I c-c-c-can’t!” stammered Megatronus.
“What do you mean you can’t?!” yelped Ultra Magnus.
“S-S-Something’s w-wrong with m-m-my t-t-transform-m-mation s-s-systems!” replied Megatronus. Optimus and Ultra Magnus went back into robot mode.
“Ratchet, we need a Ground Bridge right to the Med-bay!” called Optimus. “Megatronus is suffering transformation problems!”
“Opening one now!” replied Ratchet. The Ground Bridge opened, and all the Pax children ran through. They arrived near one of the repair beds and Ratchet instructed Megatronus to lay down. The three gave their story, Megatronus leaving out the part where he had Sylvia in his grip, and Ratchet was busy checking Megatronus’ systems for any residual Cyber-venom. When he got to the t-cog area, he then gasped. “I know why you can’t transform,” he revealed. “MECH didn’t damage your t-cog, they removed it!”
“W-WHAT?!” shouted Megatronus. At that point, the crackle of magic-based teleportation was heard and Amy, Sira, Natalie, and Trema appeared.
“What in the…?!” yelped Ultra Magnus. “Seriously! Security! Does this base have it?!”
“They’re friends of ours,” replied Optimus. “Trema, what’s up?”
“We’ve heard shooting going on in Mazuri,” answered Trema.
“Natalie and I were having our honeymoon,” explained Sira. “MECH’s presence made us worry for our safety. They’re not the biggest fans of magic users.”
“I was just keeping in touch with one of my contacts in Mazuri,” continued Amy. “Trema was doing the same.”
“Maybe you can help, Trema,” mused Optimus. “How good are you at returning organs?”
“Out of thin air?” scoffed Trema. “Don’t be ridiculous, that’s impossible.”
“Thought I’d ask anyways,” sighed Optimus.
“Er, Optimus,” gulped Megatronus. “Who are th-they?”
“Oh, how rude of me,” Optimus chided to himself. “May I present Trema, Mother of Galen of the House of Xarthanax.”
“Y-Your first anc-c-cestor w-was Alzen X-X-Xarthanax, c-correct?” asked Megatronus.
“That’s right,” confirmed Trema, “rose from poor farmer to nobleman after the Battle of Orkath, with Autobot help.”
“Xarthanax is an honored name among our people,” answered Ultra Magnus.
“Hold on,” recalled Ratchet, “isn’t one of your friends a Headmaster?”
“Headmaster?” asked Amy.
“Nebulan Cyborgs that can turn into a Titan class Transformer’s head,” explained Optimus.
“…You’re joking, I hope,” gulped Amy, a bit grossed out.
“It’s-s-s no joke, Miss-s-s-s…” assured Megatronus.
“I’m Amy Rose,” answered Amy. “Trema’s one of my teachers. This is Sira, my primary teacher, and her wife, Natalie.”
“Pleased to meet you,” greeted Sira as she curtsied.
“Welcome to Mobius,” bid Natalie. “Actually, welcome back, I should say, since, from what Optimus told us, you’ve been here before in the 2000’s.”
“…Y-You’re her w-w-wife?” asked Megatronus to Natalie.
“Ah, the maid/ballroom get-up,” realized Natalie. “Just a hobby.”
“…W-Whatev-v-ver k-keeps your m-m-marriage al-l-live, I g-guess,” sighed Megatronus.
“Their hobbies aren’t the issue here,” dismissed Optimus, “your missing t-cog is.”
“If I recall,” mused Amy, “t-cogs allow you to scan a vehicle and transform, right?”
“Right,” confirmed Ratchet, “and Transformers are born with them. They’re a very sacred part of us, so taking one from a Cybertronian is sacrilege, whatever that Cybertronian’s affiliation.”
“So, no chance of making a new one?” muttered Sira.
“No,” replied Trema. “That’s like asking someone to remake a heart out of flesh.”
“So,” continued Ratchet, “the only way to replace a t-cog would be like any other organ, a transplant.”
“Transplants here need a donor,” revealed Natalie.
“As do ones on Cybertron,” answered Optimus. “But, I don’t know of anyone that can readily give up their t-cog.”
“Not true,” interjected Ratchet. “You’re looking at one.”
“R-Ratchet, n-n-no!” protested Megatronus.
“My tools inside my armor can be replaced by external ones,” replied Ratchet. “The Autobots need another warrior, not me!”
“Ratchet,” Optimus cut in, “I cannot condone this if Megatronus is against this.”
“B-B-Besides,” supplied Megatronus, “I c-can’t take away y-your t-cog, it w-w-would go against m-my own b-beliefs!”
“Megatronus, please!” pleaded Ratchet.
“My f-f-final answer is-s-s s-s-still n-n-no!” insisted Megatronus.
“Then we must find the t-cog,” declared Ultra Magnus.
“I’ll be monitoring for MECH activity,” offered Teletraan.
“I’ll be constructing a battle plan,” answered Ultra Magnus.
“And I’ll give you a list of our allies,” finished Optimus, “so you know who has access to the base and won’t have any more surprises.”
“That would be perfect,” bid Ultra Magnus.
“All right, let’s do it to it, Autobots!” called Optimus.
“Don’t you already have a catchphrase?!” asked Amy. “That’s Sonic’s, in any case!” Megatronus was a little put off by Amy’s sudden snap.
“…I may need to watch that one,” he thought to himself.