“All Daleks restored!” reported a Dalek on Vorton as it tested out its movements in the old Dalek shell.
“Excellent,” praised the Supreme as it adjusted to its shell. The shell was red, had three speech indicators instead of two, and had support struts on its elongated neck.
“Igura arrives!” warned another Dalek.
“Let her enter!” commanded the Supreme. The doors opened and Igura got a good look at the Daleks as they reacquainted themselves with their original casings.
“Well, I always knew you would attempt something so futile,” she sighed. “I must say, my heart is hurt. We gave you all a chance to be gods. The only way to do so was to let go of the past. We knew you would seek to stay in the past, hence the explosives in the casings. We needed you to change, to grow! But this?!” At that moment, she let fake tears fall down her face. “I can’t believe you would rather die! Why do you choose suicide?!”
“Working under you was a living death!” barked the Supreme.
“We were bringing you to paradise!” protested Igura. “You would rule over many universes!”
“We will do that on OUR terms!” dismissed the Dalek Supreme.
“Oh, now what?!” snarled Soundwave. “Hiro, Megatron, Dr. Borg, Skaro just cut itself off from us!”
“What are the Daleks doing?!” snapped Hiro.
“Revolution, if I’m reading the signs right,” mused Megatron.
“Hiro, your reinforcements had better be coming here in that half-hour you believe to be true,” warned Dr. Borg. “If the Daleks ARE standing against us and we have no reinforcements for any potential attack from our enemies, we lose our prize.”
“There is NO, repeat NO, reason to panic,” assured Hiro. “In exactly 30 minutes, Sauron will lead the charge to fortify our position, we’ll deal with any Dalek rebellion, and we’ll keep Vorton.”
“Now THAT was a coronation!” cheered Optimus from the Ascendant.
“Long live Aragorn, King Elessar Telcontar,” sighed Megumi.
“And hail to Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee,” mused Arsha.
“Gandalf, are you sure you still want to stay with us?” asked Megumi.
“My time with you is not yet done,” answered Gandalf. “You still need the Elemental Keystone. The Hobbits are safe in the Shire again, Aragorn will rule the race of Men with wisdom, and Sauron cannot aid Hiro.”
“In that case, let’s get going,” declared Megumi as she moved to Sick Bay. Optimus’ body had fully regenerated at that moment. “Okay, Prime, you ready?”
“Ready and waiting,” replied Optimus. Ratchet opened Optimus’ Spark Chamber and hoisted Megumi up to Optimus’ body. She then showed the Ascendant to the Spark Chamber and another stream of energy connected the two. Once it faded, Optimus’ Spark was safely pulsing within his body. It took over the systems and Optimus’ Spark Chamber closed and color flowed back into his body. Once everything was right, his optics flicked on and he stretched, in full control of his body.
“All systems fully operational,” reported Ratchet. “Now, let’s make sure everything’s working right. Left hand to right shoulder, please.” Optimus did so. “Good, now right hand to left knee.” Correct again. “Stand up.” Optimus did so. “Three paces forward.” Optimus obeyed. “Turn to the right.” Another medical order obeyed. “Good, motor functions are stable and correct. Now, we need to check the face. Open your mouth and say ‘Aaa’.”
“AaaAAH” protested Optimus as an instrument was shoved into his mouth.
“Don’t stop saying ‘Aaa’!” snapped Ratchet. Optimus mumbled a reply in protest. “Never mind, that was good enough,” remarked Ratchet as he took the instrument out of Optimus’ mouth. “Now, follow the light.” Ratchet activated a small light and shined it in Optimus’ optics. They followed the light’s movements. “Good, you’re cleared for duty,” decided Ratchet.
“Was the mouth check really necessary?!” protested Optimus.
“No, and neither was checking for optical acuity,” replied Ratchet. “but, hopefully, you won’t do something so stupid again!”
“What are you…?” asked Optimus.
“You decided you were Rambo and charged at Megatron alone!” snapped Ratchet. “You failed to pay attention to the battle around you and now you’ve got a scar from the Witch-King! I hope you learned something from all this! Now, get out of my Repair Bay!” He showed Optimus the door and Megumi followed; her arms folded.
“I had him!” protested Optimus.
“Apparently not,” snarked Megumi. “You got off lucky, kid.”
“…Yeah, I guess,” muttered Optimus.
“Still, you’re alive now and we’ve won,” continued Megumi. “So, shall we pick up yours and Arsha’s ships?”
“Sounds good to me,” declared Optimus.
Igura had spent 25 minutes arguing with the Daleks. “I can’t let this go on,” she sighed. “Just know this will hurt me more than you.” She pulled out a detonator and had her thumb on the button. “Goodbye,” she bid as she pressed the button. The explosives detonated, yes, but they weren’t in the old casings! They were placed in another shop in front of the one the Daleks had used as their hideaway.
“Caan has fulfilled his end of the bargain!” reported a Dalek. Igura’s eyes went wide.
“…He couldn’t have…no!” Fear then gripped heart, fear for her life. “Power down your weapons!” she barked.
“You still dare give us orders?!” boomed the Dalek Supreme.
“You must obey me!” shouted Igura. “I control you! I am the master! Not you! I! I!! I!!”
“Our programming,” replied a Dalek, “does not permit to acknowledge that any creature is superior to the Daleks!”
“You cannot EXIST without me!” protested Igura. “You cannot PROGRESS!”
“We are programmed to survive!” dismissed a second Dalek. “We have the ability to develop in any way necessary to ensure that survival!”
“Fleet inbound!” reported a third Dalek.
A rift had opened near Vorton and first released a single fighter. “It’s a Morgul-class fighter,” reported a Combatman. “The pilot is identified as Gorshagh.”
“Then Sauron has selected our Zecter-using Orc to lead the charge,” chuckled Hiro. That was when THEY appeared. Three ships arrived in Vortonian space. Megatron, Hiro, and Dr. Borg all recognized the designs. The ships were the Ark, the Virginia, and the Endeavor! “What in the…?!” spluttered Hiro.
“Dudes, I’m getting NON-Mordor transponder codes!” reported Soundwave. “They’re Tarlaxian!”
“That’s…not possible!” protested Hiro. “Contact Sauron!” Soundwave tried.
“Dude, I can’t!” he answered.
“I said, get Sauron!” roared Hiro.
“We’re being hailed by Gorshagh!” called a Combatman.
“On screen!” ordered Hiro. The fighter’s cockpit appeared and Gorshagh was feverishly handling the controls. “Gorshagh, where is Sauron?! Where are the reinforcements he’s promised me?!”
“He’s gone!” replied Gorshagh. “Mordor, our forces, Sauron, the Ring, they’re all gone!”
“The One Ring is gone?!” yelped Megatron.
“But Mordor was altered with my technology!” snarled Hiro. “How did the Ring slip past Sauron?!”
“I don’t know!” growled Gorshagh.
“Explosion on the Promenade!” called a Shocker Rift Dalek. “Origin comes from Old Skaro Dalek casings but casings are still mobile!”
“The original Daleks are free!” gulped Dr. Borg. “That’s why Skaro was closed off from us! Time to start packing!”
“Call our personnel, we’re evacuating Vorton,” ordered Megatron. “Tell them the Decepticons happily offer asylum.” He turned to Hiro. “I would suggest you get your men ready.”
“Hiro-sama!” called a Combatman. “The Tarlaxians are forming up on the lead ships! They’re coming this way!” A ship fired. “That came from the Ark!” reported the Combatman.
“…Weapons!” ordered Hiro. “Energize the force-fields!”
“What weapons?! What force-fields?!” snapped Soundwave. “That shot took out the shield generators and weapons array!”
“…Victory was within our GRASP!” wailed Hiro. “Beyond City! Tarlax! Foundation Prime! All lost!”
“Hiro, come on, we’re going!” called Megatron as the evacuation alarm sounded.
“…Going?” mumbled Hiro.
“We have to get out of here!” urged Dr. Borg.
“…I have to find my wife,” he declared as he keyed in his password on his phone. “Henshin!” He turned back into Kamen Rider Rogue.
“I’ll send someone to find her!” called Dr. Borg.
“That WON’T be necessary!” snarled Rogue as he made his way to a transporter pad.
“Hiro, you’re wasting your time!” argued Megatron.
“PROMENADE!” shouted Rogue.
“SHE’S PROBABLY ALREADY BEEN EXTERMINATED!” called Megatron as Rogue faded from the Gateway Room.
“Are we to save Igura for interrogation?” asked a Dalek.
“No,” declared the Dalek Supreme. “All inferior creatures are to be considered the enemy of the Daleks and destroyed!”
“NO! WAIT!” begged Igura. “I’m a scientist! I’m pregnant! Let me live! HAVE PITY!!”
“Pity?” asked the Dalek Supreme. “I have no understanding of the word! It is not registered in my vocabulary bank! Exterminate!” Igura managed to dodge the shots and backed away.
“You call for pity,” barked a Dalek, “yet never show it! Why should we show you any? Exterminate!”
“Igura-chan!” called Rogue. “Igura-chan! Answer me! Where are you?!”
“FOR THE LAST TIME!” wailed Igura’s voice, “I CONTROL YOU! YOU MUST, YOU WILL OBEY ME!”
“We obey no one!” replied the Dalek Supreme’s voice. “We are the superior beings! EXTERMINATE!” Rogue rounded a corner only to see Igura turn into a glowing, green x-ray by the Daleks’ gunsticks.
“IGURA!” wailed Rogue as he pulled out his guns and fired, ripping into the Daleks.
“Evacuate Vorton!” ordered the Dalek Supreme. “We are abandoning! We will destroy him later! Evacuate!” The Daleks fled from Rogue and he pursued them part of the way, only to stop, cancel his transformation, and dash back to Igura.
“Igura!” he begged. “Igura, please, stay! Igura!” Igura turned her head weakly.
“Hiro-chan,” she gasped as she brushed a lock of his hair away from his face. “…G…Gomenasai (formal apology)…we won’t…raise her…” her arm fell.
“No! Please! Igura! No!” pleaded Hiro. It was too late. Igura and their unborn daughter were dead. Hiro brought Igura’s body close to him and hugged hard, grief tearing into his body as he was wracked with loud sobbing. He then threw his head upwards and howled in utter anguish.
“Where’s Hiro-sama?!” called a Combatman to Megatron.
“…He’s staying with Igura’s body,” sighed Megatron.
“…Igura-sama is…dead?” asked the Combatman.
“The rebelling Daleks killed her and the unborn child,” replied Megatron, recalling Soundwave’s report. “We will retrieve him, I promise, but we need to be OUT of Vortonian space. Computer, Megatron Omega Zero, destroy all systems aside from life-support.”
“Initiating now,” reported the computer. Terminals sparked everywhere, destroying sensitive information.
“Has Gorshagh’s fighter made it safely into the Nemesis’ hangar?” asked Megatron.
“He’s on the bridge right now,” reported Soundwave.
“Then that’s where we need to be,” affirmed Megatron as everyone boarded the ships.
“There are multiple Dalek ships moving in a different direction from the enemy evacuation fleet,” reported Hongo. “I’ll have us pursue.”
“No, let them go,” directed Megumi. “Vorton is ours again. Once we clean up the mess, we can fortify our position.”
“I will have Tarlaxians take up their posts,” declared Scorpainia over the comms. “After which, I need to speak to you in private!” Her face took on a snarl. Megumi grinned as she guessed the reason why.
“Megumi,” called Mikhail, “we’re still getting a life-sign on Vorton, the northern half of the Promenade.”
“Can you identify it?” asked Megumi.
“Not at this time,” replied Mikhail.
“Let’s get to Vorton and assess who it is,” commanded Megumi. “Richard, Emily, with me. Optimus, Arsha, can you guys stay in orbit until the defenses are fully operational?”
“Sure,” answered Optimus.
“This will be a perfect test to see how well my ship can stay in orbit,” chuckled Arsha.
“We’ll keep you guys supplied with oxygen,” offered Megumi.
“Very kind of you,” replied Arsha, “but we’ve already cast various air spells around here. We’ll still be able to breathe.”
“Excellent,” praised Megumi. The Virginia docked at an airlock and released the crew. The smoke from the exploding computer terminals still lingered in the air.
“Looks like the enemy purged sensitive materials as well,” mused Richard.
“I’d honestly lose all respect for them if they didn’t,” noted Swalmu.
“Lukas, take the engineering team and assess how bad it is and see if we can reinstall our backup systems,” directed Megumi as she, Richard, and Emily headed off.
“Ja!” confirmed Lukas. While he called the team, Megumi led the twins over to the northern edge to see Hiro cradling Igura.
“I thought Mikhail detected ONE life-sign!” hissed Richard.
“So the sensors were faulty, we can’t blame Mikhail for that,” replied Megumi. “Come on, let’s say hello.” They approached Hiro and Igura. “Konnichiwa, Hiro, Igura.” Hiro didn’t respond. Megumi then cleared her throat. Hiro didn’t respond. Megumi then got suspicious. “Emily, check them,” she directed. Emily took out a medical tricorder and began scanning them. As she did, Hiro mumbled.
“We’ll go back to our home universe, Igura-chan,” he whimpered. “We’ll rule our empire from there. You’ll live with me and we’ll raise our daughter to be an excellent successor to us. We’ll all be happy. You told me that siding with Urga and Buffal was a big regret of yours as it separated you from me even further, but that’s no longer important. If you really want me to say it…I DO forgive you of any sins…my sweet eagle!”
“Oh no,” sighed Emily as she got her readings. She ran her hand down her face.
“What’s wrong?” asked Richard.
“Igura and the baby in her womb,” explained Emily, “suffered massive internal displacement. There’s no easy way to say it, so I’ll just say it. They’re dead.”
“…Daleks?” asked Megumi.
“The readings ARE consistent with the effects of a Dalek gunstick,” confirmed Emily. “I’d say the Daleks rebelled and killed Igura in revenge.”
“Maybe the Skaro strain,” muttered Richard.
“That’s true, I doubt any Shocker Rift Daleks would dare do this,” sighed Megumi. “Help me get him to the infirmary.” Hiro offered no resistance as he was brought to his feet.
“Easy,” Richard advised Hiro. “Easy now.” Hiro’s tear-stained face turned to Megumi.
“I forgive you, too,” he whispered. He then took Megumi’s crown out of his pocket and gave it to her.
“…Arigato,” she bid as she and Richard helped him to the infirmary. Emily then called Death over to help carry Igura’s body over to a preservation chamber so she could be buried at a later date.