Megumi looked at her new surroundings in a tiny bit of nostalgia. “Tokyo?” she muttered.
“You’re my opponent in this?” growled a voice. Megumi whirled around to see a muscular Japanese man with fearsome claws on his fingers, grey hair, and a long tail with oak leaf spines running from the tail’s tip to the nape of his neck. Megumi recognized him instantly.
“Godzilla!” she cheered. “What brought you to this tournament?”
“I just wanted to see if you were fighting in it,” replied Godzilla. “Whether or not I qualify makes little difference to me now. I want to see how well you fight these days.”
“Well then, put up your fists!” challenged Megumi as she fastened her belt.
“Vortex Driver!” it called.
“I’m about to win this one!” declared Megumi. “Henshin!” As she changed, Godzilla let off a challenge roar and charged at her, swinging wildly.
Optimus looked around and blinked. “The base?” he muttered.
“Prime? What are you doing here?” asked Teletraan.
“Teletraan, did anyone unwanted come inside?” quizzed Teletraan.
“Let me check,” replied Teletraan. “…Found her!”
“Her?” asked Optimus. “I didn’t say I was looking for a woman.”
“Who else could it be?” replied Teletraan. “This IS the preliminary round for the Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale, correct?”
“…How did you know about that?” demanded Optimus. Then, he realized it. “Wait a cycle, Moradelia said I was fighting…you’re not Teletraan 1! You’re Beatrice, the Golden Witch! This is the mental scrap, isn’t it?!” Teletraan’s avatar cackled. As it did, it changed into a human woman with ginger blonde hair in a braided bun and adorned with a rose on the right side of the head. She had a long pipe in her hand and her piercing blue eyes penetrated Optimus’ armor as she cackled. “I fragging knew it!” hissed Optimus.
“You’re more perceptive to magic than my usual opponent!” laughed the woman, Beatrice. “In any event, it’s partial ‘mental scrap’, as you so eloquently put it. A version of hide-and-seek if you will!”
“Just peppered with illusions,” muttered Optimus.
“Right again!” giggled Beatrice. “Come and find me!” She vanished from the screen in a shower of golden butterflies and cackled all the while.
“Slagging PIT! I HATE the mental scrap!” swore Optimus.
“You and me both, Prime!” called the voice of his best friend.
“What the…my castle?” muttered Arsha.
“Arsha?!” yelped a voice. It was Domesta, her Genie maid. “I thought you were in the Over-realm!”
“I’ll explain everything later,” assured Arsha. “Right now, has anyone attempted to…?”
“UNHOLY, FAT FLESH!” screamed a voice with a robotic undertone.
“WHAT IN THE DEPTHS ARE YOU DOING IN MY BEDROOM?!” roared another voice that was familiar to Arsha.
“DADDY!” she yelped. She dashed up to her parent’s tower with Domesta trailing behind her. She stopped at her parent’s room and saw a robot in priestly ornamentation swiping at her father, King Elgrad Royana. “DADDY! THIS WAY!” she called.
“Arsha?! What are you…?!” spluttered Elgrad.
“I’ll explain later, Daddy!” replied Arsha as she summoned her armor and grabbed the robot priest, Priest 072486. She then pulled him out of the tower and onto the balcony. Priest 072486 then punched Arsha in the jaw, disorienting her enough to make her fall.
“VICTORY! STEEL OVER SKIN!” shrieked the Priest.
“Idiot! She did that numerous times when she was an adolescent!” snapped Elgrad.
“ORGANIC LIES!” accused Priest 072486.
“Not really!” laughed Arsha. She was riding on a broom with a handlebar and footrest harness. “Catch me if you can, you spark-showering excuse for micro-circuitry!” she taunted as she flew towards the stables.
“SAY THAT TO MY FACE, YOU DEMON OF FLESH!” roared the priest as he activated a jetpack and flew after her.
“…Domesta,” mumbled Elgrad.
“Yes, Your Majesty?” asked Domesta.
“What the F*** just happened?” quizzed Elgrad.
“No idea, Your Majesty,” replied Domesta.
“Come on, stop trying to hit me and hit me!” taunted Godzilla as he threw a car!
“Stop hiding behind cars and maybe I will!” replied Royal. That did it! The spines went blue! “Uh oh!” gulped Royal as she ducked into an alley. Godzilla unleashed his atomic breath. “Okay, important safety tip,” she gasped to herself. “Do NOT poke at Godzilla’s bravery!” She then got an idea. “Well, I haven’t used it much,” she mused. She then drew out an i.d. tag and changed her own for it. She spun the wheel and activated the wardrobe.
“Godzilla Steel!” announced the Vortex Driver as she gained additional armor based on the King of the Monsters. Godzilla stomped past the alley, looking for her.
“I heard your belt!” he roared. “Come out and face me!”
“If you insist!” whispered Royal as she dashed out of the alley and tripped him up with her new tail. Godzilla then swung his foot into her ankles and tripped her up. As he got up, he raised his foot over her head and brought it down. She grabbed it before it hit her head and flung him aside. Godzilla picked himself up again as Royal charged at him and punched him in the face! Godzilla shook his head and recovered.
“You’ve clearly been fighting a long time,” he rumbled.
“Comes with fighting Shocker Rift for five years,” replied Royal.
“I can see that,” growled Godzilla. “If this fight went on any longer, we BOTH would have leveled Tokyo at our current size.”
“Then perhaps we should get out of any populated area and fight somewhere more remote,” suggested Royal.
“Nah,” replied Godzilla as he waved his hand in dismissal. “This fight’s over anyways. I’m out.”
“…I’m sorry, maybe I’m not reading you right,” muttered Royal. “Are you…?”
“I forfeit,” confirmed Godzilla. A green flash of light appeared and solidified into Verdutha.
“You forfeit?!” she protested. “But both of you are worthy competitors! You’re passing up a chance at a great prize!”
“I don’t need any magic voodoo thing,” dismissed Godzilla. “I’m already the most powerful kaiju in the world, I don’t need a wand to prove it. I just wanted to see if Megumi needed me again and it’s clear she doesn’t. I was going to forfeit if I faced her in the tournament anyway and deemed her strong enough to be a hero and, right now, she is. Thanks for considering me, but I’m not accepting any more invitations to fight in this tournament.” He then stomped home.
“…This…this is…I don’t,” spluttered Verdutha.
“Never happened before?” guessed Royal.
“No, never,” confirmed Verdutha. “…Well, I guess you win this one, even if it fell flat for both of us. Megumi, like I said, you’re worthy enough to be a competitor. You will receive dossiers on other participants once all preliminary rounds are complete and all participants are decided. Welcome, once again, to the Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale.” She then took Megumi back to Vorton.
“Jazz, what are you doing here?” asked Optimus.
“Not really here, dude,” replied Jazz’s image.
“Oh, yeah, mental scrap,” muttered Optimus. “So, what ARE you, then?”
“Maybe I’m your own mind trying to tell you something,” answered Jazz’s image, “maybe I’m one of your weapons, but the signal’s messed up with Beatrice’s interference; or maybe I AM Jazz with secret psychic powers that you never knew about! Though, given who I am, that ain’t likely.”
“Yeah, that sounds more like something I would say,” muttered Optimus. “I think it’s the first option.”
“Probably,” agreed Jazz’s image. “So, how’s your brooding over your brother’s betrayal?”
“I am NOT brooding over Megatron’s betrayal!” insisted Optimus. “I’m just thinking over how Mom’s gonna take this and what will happen to him if the Autobots win this second war. Not to mention, I’ve been thinking about how this might lead to fratricide and what I would do to him if I got the Master Wand.”
“So…brooding,” remarked Jazz’s image.
“…Yeah,” muttered Optimus. “If you ARE one of my weapons with a messed up image, then let me remind you that our first time meeting face-to-face was because I was dangerously close to becoming a bad guy. With Megatron leading the Decepticons, I’m constantly running the risk of committing the sin of killing my own brother!”
“True,” conceded Jazz’s image, “but he’s still alive and I don’t think any bad guy would even consider the potential ethical breaches you’re running into.”
“But you don’t know if I’ll STOP thinking about them!” argued Optimus.
“…No,” replied Jazz’s image lamely.
“I have so much power for a mech that hasn’t fully matured,” sighed Optimus. “The prize will only give me more power than I need! The Master Wand is like the Infinity Gauntlet with all the Infinity Stones set into it! One flick of the wrist and the universe is your playground! How am I supposed to resist that kind of temptation?!”
“Maybe you won’t,” mused Jazz’s image. “Maybe you’ll be a terrible god that can make Cybertron and Mobius bow to you.”
“My point!” exclaimed Optimus.
“Then again,” replied Jazz’s image, “you’ve had that kind of power for a good chunk of your life and had only a hiccup on that front. Nowadays, you’re pretty far away from that kind of evil.”
“But what if…” Optimus stopped himself until he found the right words. “What if the Master Wand is too great of a temptation?”
“Now that, I don’t know,” remarked Jazz’s image, “nor do I know if you’re that kind of bot who grabs power at every opportunity. But you can’t find out if you just think, think, think all day!”
“What else can I do?!” protested Optimus.
“You can find the psycho witch, for a start,” offered Jazz’s image.
“You know this is all in the robot’s head, right?!” snarled Beatrice’s voice. “I can hear you just fine!”
“The point is,” continued Jazz’s image, “only if you move forward will you find out if you WILL fall to that temptation. So, moving forward, what will you do?”
“…I’m not sure,” mused Optimus, “but I think I’ll use my imagination.” He pulled out his gun and then began his search.
“That’s better!” cackled Beatrice’s voice. “I was getting bored!”
“Yeah, well, keep your rose in your hair! I’ll find you!” snarked Optimus.
“…Keep my rose in my hair?” muttered Beatrice’s voice. “That’s a new one.” Optimus checked his office and was greeted with a falling cake about his size. “That never gets old!” cackled Beatrice’s voice. Optimus left the office and decided the repair bay was next. He opened the door.
“AHA!” he shouted as he pointed his gun into what should have been the repair bay’s interior. Instead, it was a basement dwelling as a human male his size leveled a nerf gun at him. “…Not what I was expecting,” mumbled Optimus as he observed the human was pale, had dirty-blonde hair in a ponytail, and a bit of scruff on his chin and upper lip. He had a sour expression on his face.
“You can go now!” warned the human. Optimus held his hands up as he backed off.
“Sorry,” he apologized as the human shut the door and reality returned to normal for him.
“Dumbaft!” he hissed.
“Jackhole!” hissed Optimus once the door shut. He then got an idea. “Boy, am I an idiot!” he called.
“Is someone giving up?!” cackled Beatrice’s voice. “Come on now, the game is just beginning!”
“Rest assured, I’m not giving up,” replied Optimus. “I know how to find you!”
“Oh? And how, pray tell, did you compute that, machine?” taunted Beatrice’s voice.
“I’m willing to bet that you’re not even far!” called Optimus.
“What proof do you have of that?!” cackled Beatrice’s voice. “The fact remains I cannot be found by your vaunted sensors!” The area went red for a bit.
“A Red Truth, all right,” chuckled Optimus. “Then here’s a Blue one for you: because it’s in my head, reality is mine to alter!” Just then, the area went blue and Beatrice’s voice yelped in pain. Optimus found the source of the yelp in the server room and found Beatrice pulling a blue spear out of her rear end.
“How?!” demanded Beatrice. “Machines can’t acknowledge that magic exists! Only those who can give credence to the Witches’ side can use a Blue Truth!”
“Lady, I was recently promoted to a full-fledged Wizard of the Red Order,” replied Optimus. “Magic exists in this universe!”
“Very well, then!” hissed Beatrice. “A magic duel it is!” She then summoned towers that fired off streams of light!
“Defendere!” called Optimus as he cast a red barrier. The streams hit the barrier multiple times before shattering. When it did, Optimus fired from his gun. Beatrice split into golden butterflies and they flew to a spot in the air above the impact of Optimus’ shots and reformed into Beatrice. Optimus charged a shot as Beatrice turned her pipe into a dueling sword and charged her own shot. Both then released their shots at the same time and created a magnificent explosion, knocking both of them out. When they opened their eyes, Moradelia was standing between them.
“This round has ended,” she announced. “Because, in the mental world, she fell last, the Winner is Beatrice. Both of you are worthy enough to fight in this tournament. You will both receive dossiers on other participants once all preliminary rounds are complete and all participants are decided. Welcome, once again, to the Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale.” She then brought Optimus to Vorton as Beatrice was returned to her home of Rokkenjima.
Arsha and Priest 072486 were still flying around the castle and shooting at one another. Arsha then pulled her broom straight up and the Priest followed her. She then abandoned her broom and dove straight at him, pushing him downwards and punching him repeatedly. They soon landed in the hay near the stables, making it explode and startling the horses. They picked themselves up and attacked, pushing each other outside and leaving the horses to gossip about what happened. “Give up!” bellowed Priest 072486. “Steel over Skin!”
“I’ve heard that before from a robot that left us a while back!” countered Arsha. “She lost that one!”
“She will triumph in the long run!” argued Priest 072486. “The unholiness of flesh shall be purged!” He then attacked with more punches, but Arsha countered with a direct knife-hand jab to his hip joint, rendering him unable to move. Just then, Rosadera appeared.
“This round has ended,” she announced. “The Winner is Arsha. Both of you are worthy enough to fight in this tournament. You will both receive dossiers on other participants once all preliminary rounds are complete and all participants are decided. Welcome, once again, to the Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale.” She vanished and returned Arsha to Vorton while Priest 072486 was returned to his world.
“Well done, all of you!” praised Death as she heard the stories of their bouts.
“Godzilla forfeited?!” squeaked Richard. “That’s not like him!”
“How’d he even understand what all this meant?” asked Jazz.
“He and the other Kaiju,” explained Megumi, “were genetically altered and shrunk down to look like us…somewhat. He still had his powers.”
“So, it’s the same Godzilla that helped us beat Vortech?” asked Batman.
“The same,” replied Megumi. “Now, we wait until the preliminary rounds are finished and all competitors are selected.”
“How many are we expecting?” asked Optimus.
“There will be 32 competitors once all of them are decided,” explained Death. “There will be two normal rounds, then the quarterfinals, then semifinals, then the final round and a round for the two losers of the semifinals to decide who will take Third Place.”
“If one of us is going to keep the Master Wand out of enemy hands,” declared Arsha, “we all need to get to the semifinals.”
“She’s right,” agreed Optimus. “We can’t run the risk of other people using it to invade our universes with evil intentions.”
“Agreed,” confirmed Megumi. “That thing needs to be locked away and only one of us will get that chance. Until we reach the semifinals, we’re all in this together.”
“Then we need to start…” Arsha’s sentence was interrupted by an alarm.
“All inhabitants of Vorton, emergency!” called POmega. “A Shocker Rift fleet has decloaked with the Dominus and two unidentified ships at the head! I repeat, Shocker Rift is attacking!”
“Battle stations!” ordered Megumi. She, Optimus, and Arsha headed to the Gateway room. “Do we have a visual?” asked Megumi.
“We do,” replied Rusty. “Projecting images now.” The mystery ships came on screen and Optimus and Arsha blanched a bit. One of the ships looked like a bunch of swords while the other had slender pincer claws on each side of its keel.
“Of all ships!” groaned Optimus. “I thought it was still under repairs!”
“You know one of them?” asked Megumi.
“It’s the Decepticon flagship, the Nemesis!” replied Optimus.
“I guess it’s a safe bet to assume Megatron’s on that ship,” muttered Megumi.
“And the other one is Dr. Borg’s experimental ship, the Scorpion,” revealed Arsha.
“Three guesses why it’s called that,” mumbled Optimus.
“We’re being hailed by them and the Dominus,” reported Rusty.
“Open a channel,” ordered Megumi.
“Channel open,” obliged Rusty. Hiro, Megatron, and Dr. Borg appeared on screen with each on the bridge of their respective ships.
“Ah, Megumi!” greeted Megatron. “Good to see you again. I see you’ve met my younger brother, Optimus Prime.”
“And a woman rapidly becoming a thorn in my side,” called Dr. Borg. “How fares the Fae Republic? Still incredibly angry at what Knock-out and Ratbat did?”
“Let’s just say,” replied Arsha as she transferred her hairpiece to her waist, “those specific bots are within the Fae Republic’s Circle of Vengeance.”
“I hypothesized as much,” chuckled Dr. Borg.
“That’s quite a fleet you have there, Hiro,” quipped Megumi. “I take it you’re trying to siege Vorton again?”
“And this time, we will take it,” declared Hiro. “Of course, there is the easier option of you surrendering it to us. It would avoid any bloodshed, since my allies seem squeamish about it for some odd reason.”
“I’m squeamish about UNNECESSARY bloodshed!” hissed Megatron.
“I’m afraid bloodshed will be necessary if you don’t leave at once!” challenged Megumi.
“I was hoping you’d say that,” chuckled Hiro. The call ended.
“Status of shields and weapons?” requested Megumi.
“Shields at maximum,” reported the Brigadier. “All weapons standing by.”
“The enemy’s shields are raised and their weapons are online!” reported the Shocker Rift Dalek Commander.
“Then, by all means,” declared Hiro, “order all ships to move in for the kill!”
“I obey!” replied the Dalek Commander.