Cosmo had adjusted well to life with the Autobots. They had set up three empty patches of earth for her to get nutrients from as well as getting some sun in. Being a chlorophyll based life-form, she didn’t need to eat as animals did. Photosynthesis was all she needed. She got along well with Cream and Amy. In fact, the best person to get along with her was Amy’s mother, Cassandra Rose. She was a red hedgehog who was a botanist and a great lover of roses. Cosmo had given her a few seeds from the worlds she traveled to and so she was the first person on the planet to have alien roses thriving in her garden. However, there was one pot with a single blue rose with a silver stem that didn’t thrive at all. The pot was filled with sand instead of soil. She and Cosmo were examining it. Cosmo was in one of her soil patches, buried up to her waist as they looked it over. “A prime Secco Blue rose,” muttered Cosmo. “Wilted already. I can’t understand it.”
“It looked a little dry,” replied Cassandra, “so I gave a drink and…”
“You watered it?” quizzed Cosmo. “That explains it. Secco’s a desert world. Too much water will rot their roots at a faster rate than any plant on this world.”
“How often should they be watered?” asked Cassandra. “This is the only one I touched.”
“Once a year,” explained Cosmo. “And even then, it’s just a light sprinkling because Secco only gets…” she didn’t get far as a laser shot hit the ground between them. Cosmo leapt out of her soil patch as they looked around until they saw a MECH sniper! “Was really hoping not to meet them!” gulped Cosmo. “Come on!” They fled into the Autobot base.
“Target confirmed,” called the sniper. “According to the data we got from our ally, she’s changed.”
“So, the plant IS female,” replied Tower’s voice over the comms. “I’ll tell our ally now. Is she dead?”
“No, just ran scared into the base,” reported the sniper. “However, there WAS someone else with her, Cassandra Rose. Witness count?”
“Leave that red rat,” ordered Tower. “She’s not that deep in Autobot matters. We can dispose of her at our leisure. Return to base.”
“Yes, Sir,” replied the sniper. He started packing up.
“MECH?!” yelped Optimus. “This close to us?!”
“That’s disconcerting,” muttered Prowl.
“MECH’s getting bold,” growled Optimus. “Mrs. Rose, I don’t think it’s safe for you to travel outside of a Ground Bridge. We can get you home.”
“Thank you,” bid Cassandra. “I’ll take you up on that.”
“I’ve just told Amy what happened,” reported Teletraan. “She’s expecting the Ground Bridge in her living room.”
“Very good,” praised Optimus. The Ground Bridge opened and Cassandra stepped through. It closed once there was confirmation of Cassandra’s safe return home. “Now, we have another problem,” called Optimus. “G.U.N’s also reported a build-up of Eggman/Decepticon activity. Intelligence says they’ve intercepted a transmission between Robotropolis and Shockwave. They mentioned finding a ship with the registry number DFS-0001. That number has popped up in more than a few history books. I don’t need to tell you the danger that presents.”
“DFS-0001,” muttered Prowl, “a registry number I thought was part of a scrap-heap.”
“That registry number sounds familiar,” mused Cosmo.
“You snuck aboard that ship during the Battle of Femax,” recalled Prowl. Cosmo thought some more on that, then remembered, horror spreading across her face.
“The Decepticon flagship!” she breathed.
“The Nemesis,” confirmed Optimus.
“A thing of beauty, I say,” Megatron told Eggman as he looked over the blueprints for the Nemesis. “A Worldburner-class starship, even the Decepticons considered the armaments a bit overkill. On top of the standard energy weapons, missiles were stored. A tractor beam would hold enemy vessels in place or drag the ground forces inside. It’s a work of art, truly! …Doctor?” He then turned to see Eggman playing poker with Knock-out and Shockwave. “Dr. Eggman, would you please pay attention?!” snapped Megatron.
“Just showing that there IS a scientific principle to Poker,” replied Eggman. Megatron got the hint. Eggman wasn’t going to pay attention unless it stroked HIS ego.
“…Who’s winning?” asked Megatron.
“I have Queens and a pair of 6’s!” cheered Knock-out as he reached for the pot of rings and Energon chips.
“Keep your hands to yourself,” called Shockwave. “I have the most probable winning hand. A pair of Kings and a pair of 7’s.” Knock-out groaned as she reached for the pot.
“Claws off!” snapped Eggman. “Take a look!” He made a grab for the pot before Shockwave stopped him.
“Explain your logic,” she demanded. “You do not have a pair. I see a 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, all in different suits.”
“I thought you’d have played this during the first war,” sighed Eggman. “That’s a Kangaroo Straight!”
“…Kangaroo Straight?” Shockwave repeated as Megatron rolled his optics. “What does a Kangaroo have to do with this?”
“Explain it to her, Knock-out,” replied Eggman.
“A Kangaroo Straight jumps,” explained Knock-out, “from the 2 to the 4 to the 6 to the 8 to the 10! Very rare hand!” Shockwave calculated the probability.
“Illogical,” she countered. “The probability is 0.995 to 1 against, meaning it is more likely to draw such a hand than it is to draw at least one pair.” Megatron swiped five cards from the top of the deck and laid them down on the table.
“And the probability of my hand?” he asked as he revealed it.
“…649,740 to one against!” Shockwave yelped. “That’s a Royal Flush!”
“Now, if we’re done with Poker for a cycle,” snarled Megatron, “the Nemesis isn’t going to fix itself! I have no intention of having just the Ark hang over our heads! The Autobots must not keep that advantage. Do you realize the gap here?!”
“Megatron, this feels like a rehash to me,” replied Eggman. “I DID tell you what happened when we dug up the Enigma, right?”
“You didn’t use it properly,” answered Megatron. “Why go for such a complex plan as infecting Teletraan when a simple bombardment would do?!”
“The Autobots would try and take it,” countered Shockwave. “Besides, we ARE contending with two Arks. Remember the Space Colony?”
“A Worldsweeper-class ship,” argued Megatron, “could have easily taken them both, even IF that class was infamous for crashing. Now, thanks to some bungling, it’s a smoldering wreck on the…wait…I’m a fool. Shockwave, has G.U.N made any effort to salvage the wreckage?”
“…No, and I see where you’re coming from,” replied Shockwave.
“I don’t,” interjected Knock-out.
“We use the Enigma’s wreckage to retrofit the Nemesis’s operations,” explained Eggman in a bored tone.
“And, with a Worldburner-class ship,” continued Megatron, “our Ground Bridge will have greater range than that of the Autobots’. We could send our combined forces to the moon!”
“…A moon base?” asked Eggman, suddenly interested.
“A moon base,” confirmed Megatron.
“Well, why didn’t you say so?!” cheered Eggman. “That’s been on my bucket list for years!” He called up Metal. “Get the repair crews to put their backs into it!” bellowed Eggman. “There’s a future moon base with MY name on it!”
“Why is he so suddenly enthused to help us?” Knock-out asked Megatron.
“The thought of a future reward make anyone work harder,” explained Megatron.
“Your logic is sound,” praised Shockwave.
“Lord Megatron,” called Soundwave over the comms, “bad news. We found a cloaking signature in orbit around Mobius. It matches that of a Metarex ship.”
“The Metarex are here?!” snapped Megatron. “Why?!”
“Trying to find that out now,” reported Soundwave.
“I think this MAY turn to our benefit,” mused Shockwave, “IF we remind them of their place.”
“Good point,” replied Megatron. “The Metarex ARE members of the Decepticon Empire.”
“When was the last time you talked to these ‘Metarex’?” asked Eggman.
“Admittedly,” replied Shockwave, “it’s been a while. But, allies of the Decepticons aren’t so easily shaken.”
“Perhaps,” mused Megatron, “but this is more incentive to raise the Nemesis.”