Black Narcissus predicted the Autobots actions correctly. The poison spore test site was discovered. The Autobots were the ones who volunteered to investigate for G.U.N. They activated their battle masks as they investigated the area just in case their air intakes wouldn’t be clogged. The air in the site was thick with a pale-green cloud of dust. Perceptor and Ratchet gave each Autobot there a test tube to gather a sample. Bumblebee had gathered his and sealed it before he leaned against a street sign to wipe his brow. The sign collapsed and Bumblebee fell. As he picked himself up, he checked the sample. No cracks were discovered in the test tube, so no chance of contamination. Blackarachnia was running her scanner over a site where she believed the spores came into being. After getting a reading, she confirmed the remains of a pod that exploded, scattering the spores over the area. Perceptor was in mobile lab mode, keeping his holo-form off in these conditions, and scanned the area with his microscope lens. A minute later, he assumed robot mode and waved Ratchet over. Ratchet jogged towards Perceptor. “How bad?” he quizzed.
“Let’s just say,” replied Perceptor, “good call on the battle masks. The air is toxic, even for Cybertronians.” Bumblebee and Blackarachnia came up.
“It looks like the spores,” reported Bumblebee, “when left untreated for an hour, affect integrity of any object in the area.”
“How do you know this?” asked Ratchet.
“I’ve found evidence of such a claim,” muttered Bumblebee.
“These are NOT natural spores,” continued Blackarachnia. “The pod I hypothesized exists. It exploded, scattering these spores to the winds.”
“If it’s too toxic for us,” declared Ratchet, “then we need to quarantine this area. Bumblebee, tell Ultra Magnus to go ahead with setting up the containment dome. Make sure a decontamination air-lock is among the generators.”
“Yes, Sir,” bid Bumblebee. He called up Ultra Magnus, but it was riddled with static. After a few minutes, Bumblebee ended the call, hoping he got through. “Interference,” he elaborated.
“The spores must be the culprit,” mused Blackarachnia.
“In any case, we can’t leave until the dome is up and running,” remarked Ratchet. No sooner had he said that then the sky turned red with an energy dome. Perceptor looked at the shape of it.
“A bit bigger than we asked for,” he mused.
“Probably accounting for spreading,” guessed Blackarachnia. A crisper call came through.
“Ratchet, be advised,” called Ultra Magnus’ voice, “the air-lock is directly south of you.”
“Thank you, Ultra Magnus,” bid Ratchet. “Research team out.” The call ended. “Well then, to the air-lock.”
After an invasive decontamination at the air-lock, the Autobots returned to G.U.N headquarters for a combined research effort to understand the spores. Cosmo gave some insights to the Metarex mindset, so her allies understood her need to think on these matters. She was back at the soil patches behind the Autobot base, taking in some sun and nutrients from the soil, meditating to clear her mind. She heard a door chime. “Come,” she called. The door opened to reveal Sira.
“Am I interrupting?” she asked.
“Honestly, maybe having someone to talk to would help me,” replied Cosmo. Sira sat by Cosmo and smoothed her dress. “Sira, right?” recalled Cosmo. “We met at the lake when Megatron revealed the Metarex’s involvement.”
“That’s right,” replied Sira. “I don’t believe I got your name.”
“I’m Cosmo of Greengate,” introduced Cosmo.
“A pleasure to meet you, Cosmo of Greengate.” greeted Sira.
“Likewise,” returned Cosmo.
“What’s on your mind?” asked Sira.
“This whole poison spores thing,” remarked Cosmo, “this isn’t the usual Metarex warfare. This would make Yellow Zelkova feel like a coward.”
“Maybe their priorities have changed,” suggested Sira.
“Unlikely,” countered Cosmo. “I’ve fought them for the entire length of the Seedrian’s war against them. They always chant ‘Eternal, Unyielding, Unchanging’. Me, on the other hand, I’ve changed bodies at a faster rate than most Seedrians at peace.”
“If it’s not too personal,” interjected Sira, “how many bodies was that?”
“Ten,” explained Cosmo. “Each body, during the war, lasted about 5,000 years. Most Seedrians don’t change their form until at least 10,000 years have passed for that body. Even so, my longest body, in that time frame, was about 7,000 years. It was my previous body.”
“I see,” realized Sira. “So, you don’t think the Metarex would change their M.O so quickly.”
“Not in the slightest,” answered Cosmo. At that point, Optimus came up.
“Am I disturbing something?” he asked.
“Just some ruminating,” replied Sira. “Can we help you at all?”
“We’ve managed to find Scarship through his cloak,” reported Optimus. Cosmo got out of the soil and dusted herself off as she and Sira entered the Command Center. An area in Mobian orbit was displayed on the screen. Topaz was there as well.
“Have we established contact?” asked Cosmo.
“We haven’t made the attempt,” answered Topaz. “We’re about to launch a missile strike.”
“No one’s launching anything!” hissed Cosmo. “Besides, the missiles won’t scratch Scarship. Let me talk to the Metarex.” She started typing in commands on the keyboard.
“Cosmo,” interjected Teletraan, “you may be an ambassador, but you’re not authorized to speak on behalf of Mobius. Topaz is better qualified for that.”
“I’ve got all the authorization I need,” replied Cosmo as she continued keying in commands. “I’ve earned that a long time ago.” She then opened a channel to the Metarex. “Calling the Metarex Flagship, under Jurisdiction 2 of the Intergalactic Rules of Warfare! This is Ambassador Cosmo of Greengate!” The Metarex Five appeared.
“Cosmo, my daughter,” chuckled Dark Oak. “Still spewing the stale platitudes of change?”
“My God,” gasped Sira. “They look like demons!”
“Yeah,” snarked Optimus, “THAT’S diplomatic.”
“Metarex Five, tell me,” called Cosmo, “since when did you guys, especially you, Yellow Zelkova, turn the Metarex Empire into cowards?”
“HOW DARE YOU!!!” bellowed Yellow Zelkova as he rushed at the screen.
“That’s even less diplomatic!” snapped Optimus. “I thought you were an ambassador!”
“Cosmo, you impugn my honor!” roared Yellow Zelkova.
“Do you even know what that means?” quizzed Pale Bayleaf.
“I’m actually glad he didn’t say ‘belittle’,” chuckled Cosmo. “I would be all over that like a hive of slarnaks. But, seriously, poison spores? That’s the weapon of a coward, and you know it. Dark Oak, you’re in command of a ship that could reduce this planet to asteroids, yet you hold your position, just about to launch pods filled with poison spores so you could watch it die. Where’s the fight in that? Where’s the honor? Or…is there something else I missed? This isn’t the usual Metarex warfare. What are you five up to?”
“You were a General,” argued Red Pine. “Did you succeed in revealing your strategies to us?”
“Besides, our choice of colonization is our business!” shouted Yellow Zelkova. He then turned sheepish. “Er…oops,” he mumbled.
“IDIOT!” bellowed Dark Oak.
“Ah HA!” laughed Cosmo. “So, Chaar’s got resource problems! Exhausted them, did we?”
“Such a suggestion,” argued Dark Oak, “is slanderous!”
“What are you talking about?” remarked Optimus. “Why mention that dead-end world?”
“Chaar was where we Seedrians exiled the Metarex to,” explained Cosmo, “after the war. A war that had raged for 50,000 years. Fifty thousand years of bloodshed, and for what? Just satisfying your egos? Proving your so called superiority?”
“We ARE superior!” boomed Dark Oak. He then got the Metarex chanting “Eternal! Unyielding! Unchanging!”
“Oh, for the love of The First World Tree!” sighed Cosmo as she switched the channel to one of Mobius’ children’s shows, similar to Sesame Street.
“Cosmo,” snapped Optimus, “I must insist that this dialogue be handled by official Mobius representation!” Cosmo returned the image to Scarship’s bridge.
“Finished?” she asked.
“You would not be so quick to ridicule,” growled Dark Oak, “once you’ve seen our prize! Behold!” He revealed a giant crystal with many galaxies inside.
“You didn’t!” hissed Cosmo.
“What kind of Planet Egg is that?!” asked Optimus.
“It’s not ONE Planet Egg,” replied Dark Oak. “It’s many.”
“Dark Oak intends to use the combined power of the Planet Eggs he stolen over the years,” guessed Cosmo, “to help the Metarex survive their world.”
“Merely as a terraforming activator,” explained Dark Oak.
“So that’s why the spores exist,” realized Cosmo. “they kill all life on the planet and await the energies of your combined Planet Egg.”
“Thus activating the necessary energy sources for us to thrive,” confirmed Dark Oak.
“At the cost of 7 billion people!” snapped Sira.
“A bargain,” dismissed Black Narcissus.
“I was lenient with you until now,” warned Cosmo. “It seems conflict is inevitable, but I still offer you one chance. Leave now, or we will stop you.” Her answer was the laughter of the Metarex Five and the cessation of the transmission.
“Well, that concludes negotiations,” muttered Optimus.
“We have no choice then,” replied Topaz. “I’m ordering the missile strike.”
“What?! No!” yelped Cosmo. “They won’t scratch Scarship!”
“I recommend getting the Space Colony ARK’s weapons online,” declared Optimus. “Our Ark will assist.”
“Those won’t help!” protested Cosmo.
“I’ll rally the magic community,” replied Sira. “The Metarex need to be beaten back.”
“They have defenses against magic!” snapped Cosmo.
“Let’s meet at G.U.N HQ,” suggested Optimus. “I recommend somebody inform Aleena about this whole affair.”
“We’ll take care of informing Aleena,” answered Topaz. A Ground Bridge opened for the Autobots and they stepped through to G.U.N HQ.
“FOR THE BILLIONTH TIME,” Cosmo shouted to try and convince them not to go through with the attack, “YOU CAN’T FIGHT THE METAREX!” The attempt failed and Cosmo rolled her eyes as she followed the Autobots. “Stubborn single-forms!” she hissed to herself.