“I’m sorry to hear that not everyone shares your views, Your Majesty,” muttered Optimus as he called Aleena.
“Senator Beller’s prejudice, while absurd towards the Autobots, does have a basis,” replied Aleena. “Her entire family was killed in an Eggman attack, at least avoiding the old Roboticizer Eggman had.”
“…My sympathies,” offered Optimus as he ran through the ramifications of that device. “To have your flesh converted into steel, to have your blood vessels replaced by wires, to have muscles rewritten, atomically, into pneumatic pumps, and to be stripped of free will is a…reprehensible crime.”
“So, it may take a while for Senator Beller to warm to you,” mused Aleena.
“Yeah, if she does at all,” sighed Optimus. At that point, a high-pitched noise echoed throughout the base.
“Er, Prime,” gulped Teletraan, “you may want to see this.” He then put up a picture of Perceptor in robot mode as he ran laps on the walls, yes, ON the walls, squeeing all the while.
“…Ratchet, report to the Lab,” called Optimus. “Perceptor seems to have lost it.”
“On my way,” replied Ratchet.
“Never thought I’d hear a scientist squee,” muttered Aleena.
“Believe me,” replied Optimus, “this is new to me as well. Now, where were we before we got on the tangent about Senator…?” His question was interrupted by another high-pitched noise.
“Now Ratchet’s squeeing and doing laps!” yelped Teletraan.
“Ratchet? Squeeing?!” quizzed Optimus. “Excuse me, Your Majesty.” He headed off to the lab. When he arrived, Ratchet was still doing laps and Perceptor had calmed down.
“PRIME!” he called with a big grin. “Good to see you! Ironhide may have made a rediscovery!”
“Oh?” asked Optimus. Perceptor pointed to a tray that had the rock on top. Turns out, it was a rock-covered object. The shape of the object almost looked like a key. “…A key?” sighed Optimus. “You two are squeeing over a key? Even if it’s shaped like The Key, there’s no proof that it is.”
“Then test it!” urged Ratchet. “Put it into the Matrix!”
“Let me clean it first!” interjected Perceptor. He got the rock off to reveal a golden, squared-off key. He then gave it to Optimus. Optimus took the Matrix out of his chest and put the key into a slot on top. It then pulsed with a blue light. Optimus arched an eyebrow before putting the Matrix back into his chest. Optimus then stood at attention and his optics went dark as his face assumed a neutral expression. Perceptor and Ratchet feared the worst and snapped their fingers in front of Prime’s face. After a few seconds, the lights in Prime’s optics came back on and he regained total control to do as Ratchet and Perceptor did when the key was found. He then calmed down to call all Autobots.
“Hey, bots! Gather in the conference room! Ironhide made a rediscovery!” he cheered. All Autobots soon gathered and were confused at the beaming faces of Optimus, Perceptor, and Ratchet.
“Sir, what rediscovery did I make?” asked Ironhide.
“Check this out!” laughed Optimus as he took the key out of the Matrix. He then laid it on the table.
“…A key?” muttered Prowl.
“Not ‘a’, ‘the’!” insisted Optimus.
“…The key?” quizzed Prowl.
“One minute,” urged Optimus. He then held out his palm to release blue light. It flowed around the table until it formed a mech’s bust. The mech had an impressive chin with a beard, a helmet styled almost like Optimus’, and a haggard expression was on his face. The bust faced the veterans of the previous war and smiled.
“Ironhide, Prowl, and Ratchet,” he sighed in a voice that was deep and gravelly. “My oldest friends.”
“By the Allspark!” breathed Ironhide. “Sentinel Prime! The only time a Prime can be projected is if…”
“If Vector Sigma and the Matrix have synced!” confirmed Optimus.
“I don’t believe it!” cheered Ironhide. “I tripped over the Key to Vector Sigma!”
“Giving you the advantage against Megatronus Pax,” agreed Sentinel Prime. His expression then went downcast. “I am…sorry…for the awkward position you are in, Optimus.”
“Hardly your fault, Sentinel,” assured Optimus.
“I must share some blame,” insisted Sentinel. “It was I who molded Megatronus to bury his emotions during conflict, thus he couldn’t ask for much in the way of help, and it was I who forbade the Autobots from looking at the poor of Cybertron. Quite simply, I exacerbated the problem and buried it under extravagant parties and now, you’re fixing my mistakes. Hardly fair now, is it?”
“We’ll end this quickly,” replied Optimus, “I promise you and all of our predecessors.”
“If you can do so,” mused Sentinel, “then you would be hailed as the greatest Matrix Bearer. Farewell.” Sentinel then vanished.
“The greatest Matrix Bearer,” chuckled Ironhide. “That’s quite a commitment!”
“I just want to end this, nothing more,” urged Optimus. At that point, they heard a great crashing sound from below. “What the?!” yelped Optimus. “To the Storage Room!” All Autobots quickly made their way to the Storage Room and drew their firearms. “We go in on my signal!” whispered Optimus. “Steady…steady…NOW!” The Autobots burst in to see Team Sonic in an argument.
“Why can’t you watch what you’re doing?!” snapped Sonic.
“I only climbed up six boxes!” protested Knuckles.
“The stack had FIVE!” snarled Tails.
“Cancel red alert,” sighed Optimus. “Stand down, bots.” As they put their weapons away, Team Sonic started explaining what they were doing there.
“I wanted to see if there were any Scraplets around,” replied Tails. “It was supposed to be a test for my newest invention. I call it the Scraplet Scrapper! If it works, it will reduce a Scraplet to nothing more than its individual components for us to use!”
“…I’m not sure I want to use tech with Scraplet parts,” gulped Optimus.
“Prime, we’ve got a situation!” called Teletraan. “Multiple Decepticon contacts en route to Station Square! Megatron’s among them!”
“Then we’ll meet them!” declared Optimus.
“Mind if we tag along?” asked Sonic.
“By all means,” replied Optimus. “Blackarachnia, Jazz, Ultra Magnus, Ironhide, you bots are with me.” A thought then occurred to him. “Teletraan, who’s with Megatron?”
“All three Seekers and Soundwave,” reported Teletraan.
“Hm,” rumbled Optimus. “Ratchet, Bumblebee, come as well. The rest are staying here to coordinate the action.”
“Understood,” confirmed Cliffjumper.
“Ja!” replied Perceptor.
“Very well, Sir,” obliged Prowl.
“All right!” cheered Optimus. “Teletraan, open a Ground Bridge to Megatron’s position! Autobots, Transform and Roll out!” The Ground Bridge opened and the Autobots transformed, speeding into the vortex with Team Sonic alongside them. They found themselves at the mountain ridge outside of Station Square to see Megatron, Soundwave, and the Seekers in alt-mode. Soundwave was a tour bus with an albino Mobian bat at the wheel. His exterior was blue with a showy logo of him and his minions in rock and roll poses with various instruments beneath their band name, “Soundwave and the Cassettes”. His holo-form had a red visor over his eyes and his hat on backwards. His cassettes were in alt-mode, stored in the roof of the bus while their holo-forms were on the lower levels. Ravage sat on the right, patiently with his tail flicking lazily. Laserbeak and Buzzsaw, a pair of black hawks in actual kilts with the Decepticon symbol on their sporrans, were perched on the top by the Cassettes’ alt-modes. Ratbat was a purple bat in a suit, studying the stock market of Cybertron. Ravage was trying to take a nap while Rumble, taking the holo-form of a blue rhino, tried to stop Frenzy, taking the holo-form of a red Howler Monkey, from pacing.
“You are going to dig a trench in Soundwave’s floor if you continue,” rumbled Ravage as his ears flicked from the footsteps generated by Frenzy and Rumble.
“There’s no specific plan here!” snapped Frenzy. “All we’re doing is attacking a city in the hopes that Sonic would come! What if he’s forbidden by the Autobots to fight us!?”
“Doubtful,” mused Ratbat, his slight Eastern European accent coming in. “Sonic is not one for standing idly by while others fight his battles for him.”
“And our only source to give you that claim,” hissed Frenzy, “was a fat fleshling!”
“‘Main ‘en, laddie, will you relax?” called Laserbeak. “Dr. Eggman’s…”
“Eggman!” protested Frenzy. “He seriously calls himself that!”
“Dr. Eggman’s been fightin’ Sonic for years now!” continued Laserbeak “He’s got the experience!”
“He hasn’t even beaten the blue rat!” snarled Frenzy. “If Sonic doesn’t show…!”
“I think a certain monkey’s getting antsy!” called Soundwave. “Frenzy, get in the shotgun seat.” Frenzy slumped over, then sat next to Soundwave.
“I feel like a Sparkling!” he muttered.
“We’ve all had a turn in that seat and you choose now to complain?” asked Buzzsaw.
“WE’RE IN A TOUR BUS DURING A WARTIME SITUATION!” wailed Frenzy.
“We’re going through with a plan to attack Optimus’ psyche!” hissed Soundwave. “Now, I don’t care whether we’re disguised as a clown car or a covered wagon, as long as we complete the mission and win! So, put on your grown up proton boots and help your teammates search for Autobots!”
“Fine,” sighed Frenzy as he took control of the sensors, “but this is the dullest part of the job.”
“I would raither have a boring job in this war,” remarked Buzzsaw. “I’m not getting any Autobot Spark signatures. Frenzy might be right.”
“Don’t be so sure,” countered Laserbeak.
“Why?” asked Ravage.
“I see seven Autobots on top of us!” called Laserbeak.
“Where?!” yelped Ratbat.
“On top of the canyon!” reported Laserbeak.
“I’ll tell Megatron,” called Soundwave as he switched on the comms. “Lord Megatron, be advised, seven Autobots are on top of the canyon.”
“Can you see Sonic?” asked Megatron.
“No,” replied Laserbeak. “Maybe I can…” He didn’t get far as Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker were shot in the thrusters.
“STARSCREAM, TRANSFORM!” announced Starscream.
“THUNDERCRACKER, TRANSFORM!” called Thundercracker.
“SKYWARP, TRANSFORM!” shouted Skywarp. Their transformations were the same as Starscream. As they fanned their feet, the Decepticons started looking around.
“Where’d those shots come from?!” bellowed Megatron.
“SOUNDWAVE, TRANSFORM!” called Soundwave. He and the cassettes cut their holo-forms off as his side split away to allow the floor to become legs while the sides became arms and the roof became a backpack. His head popped out of his chest and he took cover with the Seekers.
“MEGATRON, TRANSFORM!” boomed Megatron. His transformation was the same as it was, but the fusion cannon had to twist to get into the correct position onto his arm. As all the Cons transformed, red, purple, and green bolts of magic flew down towards them.
“Trema?! Sira?! Amy?! Natalie?!” quizzed Optimus as he saw the ones firing on Megatron’s team.
“We would have been here sooner,” remarked Trema, “but there was a sale on combat knives.”
“I wanted to go clothes shopping!” griped Amy.
“Your timing couldn’t be better!” cheered Optimus. “Autobots, help them with keeping the air-based Decepticons down! Pin them all down! Defendere!” All Autobots unleashed laser fire, effectively pinning Megatron’s forces to the canyon floor. At the casting of Defendere, all allied forces had a shield around them.
“TAKE COVER!” bellowed Megatron. They found rocks to hide behind and fired back. “Soundwave, make every effort to locate Sonic!”
“Doing so now!” called Soundwave. “But the laser fire’s interfering with…wait, I don’t need sensors! I have a visual! He’s with the Autobots, Tails, and Knuckles!”
“Get him down!” shouted Megatron.
“Frenzy! Rumble! Eject! Operation: Nutcracker!” announced Soundwave. Frenzy and Rumble came out in their vehicle modes.
“FRENZY, TRANSFORM!” called Frenzy.
“RUMBLE, TRANSFORM!” shouted Rumble. They transformed in the same way. “All right!” cheered Rumble as he activated his hammer. “First, we crack the shell!” He slammed the hammer down onto the ground, causing a massive fissure that caused the canyon walls to tumble, bringing the Autobots and their allies with them.
“Then, we crack the nuts inside!” declared Frenzy. He then combined his hover-generators into a large speaker and screamed into it. Everyone covered their ears in pain.
“And now, the coup de grace!” chuckled Megatron as he got out a hand dart. It seemed to be covered in machinery. When Sonic had his back turned to recover from Frenzy’s scream, Megatron loaded the dart into his pointer finger, aimed at the back, and fired! The dart buried itself into Sonic’s back and crackled with electricity. Sonic doubled over in pain as the dart started a transformation Sonic had prayed Eggman had abandoned. “I was aiming for his head,” mused Megatron, “but the results seem to be the same.”
“WHAT DID YOU DO?!” shouted Optimus.
“Let’s just say,” laughed Megatron, “the plan needed Eggman to dust off an old project!” Everyone looked at Sonic in horror as his fur was replaced with steel, his quills looking more menacing, silver talons replacing his fingers, his shoes becoming bipedal stabilizers, and his once green eyes turning into a red visor in his original eye shape. “Thanks to Cybertronian technology, Eggman had compacted the effects of his old Roboticizer into a single dart!” That was when Sonic, in a newly robotic state, stood up. He looked around, confused.
“Where am I?” he asked with a robotic monotone.
“Cyber-Sonic, thank goodness we found you!” cheered Megatron. The newly-christened Cyber-Sonic turned to Megatron, confused.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“Don’t you remember?” yelped Megatron. “It’s me! Megatron!”
“I do not recall anyone by the name of Megatron,” replied Cyber-Sonic.
“By the Allspark!” cried Megatron. He then turned to Optimus. “You have damaged him! You Autobot terrorists will pay with your Sparks!”
“Hold on! WE damaged him?!” protested Optimus. “You’re the one who roboticized him!!”
“And you spout lies as usual!” snapped Megatron. “I can’t believe I must call you my brother!”
“Who are they?” asked Cyber-Sonic.
“Our mortal enemies!” replied Megatron. “We’re outgunned! Soundwave, open a Ground Bridge!”
“At once!” confirmed Soundwave. The portal then opened.
“Cyber-Sonic, get going! We’ll cover you!” insisted Megatron.
“Don’t let them take Sonic!” shouted Optimus. The Autobots and their allies rained laser fire down on their enemies, avoiding Cyber-Sonic, but the Decepticons covered their retreat very well. Soon, they all went into their ground bridge and it vanished, taking Sonic with them!
“NO!” wailed Amy.
“Why would he need Sonic?!” yelped Tails. “Why did he roboticize him?!”
“Psychological warfare,” growled Optimus. “He’s planning to use our friend against us to gather the rest of the Emeralds!”
“That would be a logical assumption,” mused Ultra Magnus.
“And now, my darling Sonic is a prisoner of Megatron!” cried Amy.
“Well, I intend to get him back!” declared Optimus. “This I swear on my Spark!”