Optimus drummed his fingers as he awaited his judge to take him to Ms. Furella’s home universe. “Just you wait, lady,” he grumbled, “I’m not gonna make it easy on you!” A flash of orange light then announced his judge’s arrival. It formed into a woman in an orange outfit that had a belly indicating she was at least six months pregnant. “…Er, are you the judge for my bout?” asked Optimus.
“Sure am!” replied the woman. “I’m Naratelto, the orange princess of Chizara and the fertility leader.”
“I see,” muttered Optimus.
“Yeah, I’m kind of obsessed with being pregnant,” chuckled Naratelto. “I must have mated with everyone in my generation 500 times each.” Optimus’ optics went wide. “In any case, that’s not why I’m here. Ms. Furella is ready on one end of her universe’s Washington, DC. You’ll be on the other end.”
“Got it,” confirmed Optimus as orange light surrounded them and changed the scene to Washington, DC. Instead of humans using the streets, the city was populated by humanoid animals with humans as the lowest class and treated as such.
“They’re about to announce the bout,” called Richard. Megumi then seated herself onto Richard’s lap, wiggled a bit to get comfortable, then let her husband wrap his arms around her.
“You two are adorable,” sighed Emily happily as Joshua massaged her shoulders.
“Wow, look at the scene,” muttered Bumblebee.
“Any Transformers in that universe?” asked Ultra Magnus.
“Not according to Ms. Furella’s dossier,” reported Teletraan.
“Good, the inhabitants would have been conquered by the Decepticons in an instant,” declared Ultra Magnus.
“I am SO glad the animals we know,” praised Blackarachnia, “are more polite than those savages!”
“Calling them savages would be putting it mildly,” muttered Amy.
“The more I see that society of Anthros,” gulped Arsha, “the happier I am that they’re not from OUR universe.”
“I think the judge is about to begin!” called Bashoon.
“I am Naratelto, the orange princess of Chizara and the fertility leader!” introduced Naratelto. “The combatants are ready for their next bout! Representing 4-N-1-M-4-L-1-5-R-3-G-N-4-N-5, we have Ms. Furella with home turf advantage! Representing T-R-4-N-5-F-0-R-M-3-R-5-M-0-8-1-4-N-C-H-R-0-N-1-C-L-3-5, we have Optimus Prime! The fight shall be a game of hide-and-seek. Optimus must hide in vehicle mode somewhere in this city while Ms. Furella will use her connections to find him within 30 minutes. Optimus MUST remain in vehicle mode while Ms. Furella may use all of her tactics at her disposal. Ms. Furella, are you ready?”
“Start the match, already,” replied Ms. Furella’s voice.
“Optimus Prime, are you ready?” asked Naratelto.
“T-cog’s ready to go,” confirmed Optimus’ voice.
“Begin!” declared Naratelto. Optimus transformed and sped down the streets of a different DC.
Ms. Furella pulled out her phone and called one of her contacts. “Jim, get the squad,” she ordered. “I want a sweep of the city, pattern 7.”
“Got it, Mistress,” replied Jim, her enforcer. As she waited, one of her pets, a human, put her fur coat onto her. Another human, of Asian descent, drove up in a red sports car.
“Stop!” she ordered as she tugged on her pet’s leash, prompting the poor girl to kneel. The car stopped and she opened the rear door. Her pet entered first, then she did. “Get me to Washington International School and make it snappy,” she ordered the driver.
“Y…Yes, Mistress!” gulped the driver in an accent. He then drove off. The drive took about 10 minutes.
“Oh, now that’s just mean,” chuckled Jazz.
“Which part of this are we talking about?” asked Prowl.
“…Okay, yeah, enslaving humans is bad,” conceded Jazz, “but I was thinking about what Prime’s doing right now.”
“Wait…is…is that…Optimus?” asked Arsha.
“…Spark signature confirmed,” reported Shalvey once she got the results. “It IS Optimus.”
“But I thought…” muttered Arsha.
“You don’t think it’s his t-cog, do you?” quizzed Henry.
“I mean, it makes sense,” replied Agus.
“T-cog?” asked Jandro as he and Brendan looked quizzically at them.
“Transformation cog,” explained Wilson. “It’s an essential part of Transformer biology, allowing them to change shape and scan a vehicle mode.”
“…Biology?” muttered Swalmu.
“They’re naturally occurring robots,” explained Flora.
“Just like the Change-a-trons of my world,” chuckled Twaldar.
“Wait, you have a toyline like Transformers?” asked Flora.
“It’s got a central story and everything,” confirmed Twaldar. Just then, they heard a knock on the door. “Come in,” called Twaldar. Charline then came in.
“Charline, what can we do for you?” asked Brendan.
“Twaldar, I need your lap,” replied Charline.
“…I beg your pardon?” inquired Twaldar.
“I’ve seen many of my classmates sitting in the laps of their lovers and I want to find out what that’s like,” explained Charline.
“Er, okay,” answered Twaldar as he offered his lap. Charline sat down and wiggled a bit to get comfortable. She then appeared to be in thought.
“Okay, I can see the appeal,” she mused. “So, Twaldar, you single?” Twaldar was taken aback by the forwardness.
“As a matter of fact, yes,” he answered.
“Looking for a romantic partner?” asked Charline.
“Yes, but I’ve had no luck with them,” sighed Twaldar.
“Want to try with me?” quizzed Charline.
“…You know what, why not?” chuckled Twaldar as he wrapped his arms around her waist.
“Oh, I hope you two are happy together,” wished Flora. She then observed how much time was left. “15 minutes, good grief!” she breathed.
“Okay, robot, you’re good, I’ll give you that,” called Ms. Furella. “But the game will end soon and I will win.”
“Will you?” asked Optimus’ voice. The driver and Ms. Furella’s pet looked around in fear.
“Quit panicking,” ordered Ms. Furella, “he’s just throwing his voice somewhere. Going on that piece of data, we can only conclude he’s still in the immediate area.”
“A good guess,” replied Optimus’ voice.
“There’s no shame in admitting defeat in the presence of your better,” purred Ms. Furella.
“There is if they’re not my better, you stretched-out rat!” snapped Optimus’ voice.
“Did you just call me ‘rat’?!” hissed Ms. Furella. She turned to the driver and her pet. “DON’T JUST STAND THERE! FIND HIM!” she bellowed. The three then took off in separate directions.
“You know, the ferrets of my world,” mused Sonic, “would take offense to that.”
“Who enslaves humans like that?!” protested Amy.
“Look in our history,” remarked Richard. “White folks alone could tell you stories about our slave-owning ancestors. Although, in my world, that really depends on the specific white person you ask. There are those who think we need to go back to slavery, some being REALLY vocal about it, even in our political offices.”
“I suppose I COULD, in a miniscule way,” sighed Amy, “understand where she’s coming from. Humans and animals, in my world, didn’t have a good relationship at the start.”
“And there’s a terrorist organization that wants to ‘take back the power that animals stole from humans’,” recalled Richard.
“I take it you’ve heard of MECH?” asked Sonic.
“During our little dimensional mix-up,” answered Richard, “the Nazgûl attacked some MECH soldiers. That was when Twaldar and Swalmu became Kamen Riders.”
“10 minutes left,” reported POmega.
“WHERE ARE YOU?!” bellowed Ms. Furella as she and all of her contacts turned the now-ruined White House upside down. “SHOW YOURSELF!”
“Galling, isn’t it?” taunted Optimus’ voice.
“What’s galling?!” snarled Ms. Furella.
“How your crusade isn’t fully supported,” explained Optimus.
“You mean those weaklings that want to make peace with humans?!” asked Ms. Furella.
“Yes, your sister, especially,” taunted Optimus.
“…TEAR THIS DISGUSTING MONUMENT TO THE HUMAN’S FORMER POWER APART!” Ms. Furella ordered her gang. “I WANT THAT MACHINE FOUND!”
“Tear the White House apart?!” yelped Emily. “She ain’t messing around!”
“Dios Mio,” (My God,) swore Xiomara, “this is brutality at its finest!”
“Five minutes, Mistress,” reported Jim.
“Not as easy as you thought?” taunted Optimus’ voice. “In fact, this world is not as stable as you thought! You, Madam, are personally responsible for everything that happened under your command! You want to destroy humankind!”
“FALSE! I wanted to save them!” argued Ms. Furella.
“What do you offer as evidence?” asked Optimus.
“So, Judge Optimus wants evidence?!” shouted Ms. Furella. “By the time I got to where I am today, humankind had been bowing to us for almost a century! But, they STILL aren’t ready to accept the truth! When I became an assassin as my predecessor wanted, it was clear we needed the situation dealt with! In my early days, I was convinced that a gentler hand was needed to deal with the humans. I figured that being kinder would deal with the terrorist group, Unus Annus.”
“Latin for One Year,” remarked Optimus. “I read about them; their victories take a year as they know the fight for their freedom will be long.”
“When I finally gained enough administrative power,” continued Ms. Furella, “I ordered all labor camp commanders to reduce their output quotas by 50%. I reorganized the camps themselves; child labor was gone, medical care was improved, food rations increased, all of these things dropped the death rate by 30%! So, how did Unus Annus react to all this?! On my one year anniversary, they blew up a dock, killing 200 of my men, soldiers and workers who had families!”
“So, you had to order a response,” growled Optimus.
“Exactly!” confirmed Ms. Furella. “But, it had to be a tempered one! 200 animal families lost one of their own, so 200 human families had to lose one to make things even!”
“That’s murder! Evil!” shouted Optimus.
“No, that’s justice!” argued Ms. Furella. “Because, even though I had killed them, I still wanted peace! So, I tried again! And what was my reward? An assassination attempt during my visit to the capital! I had to order another round of executions, courtesy of Unus Annus! On and on it went, year after year! Time and again, I would reach out with an open hand only for Unus Annus to slap it away! …WELL?! Are you listening to all this?!”
“TIME!” called Naratelto’s voice.
“What?!” yelped Ms. Furella.
“This contest is over!” cheered Naratelto. “The winner is Optimus Prime!”
“WHERE IS HE?!” demanded Ms. Furella.
“Right here,” answered Optimus’ voice. Ms. Furella then noticed the driver was leaning against the sports car with a smirk on his face.
“…No!” breathed Ms. Furella. The driver’s hair then turned blue!
“Wait a minute, that’s not…?” asked Emily.
“No way!” gasped Richard.
“I fragging knew it!” cheered Jazz.
“Altered the old alt-mode and holo-form!” confirmed Prowl with a grin.
“You sneaky bot!” chuckled Arsha.
“YOU CAN’T BE!” argued Ms. Furella.
“I can,” replied the driver in Optimus’ voice. “OPTIMUS PRIME, TRANSFORM!” The headlight sections of the car’s front split away and pulled the door sections away with them as the driver vanished. The rear then unfolded and released feet as it split apart and extended. The rest of the car’s front then folded downwards to form a chest and reveal a head. Hands then came out of the new arms as antennae flipped upwards from the back. While the body was a little different, the head-sculpt was colored the same and revealed everything about the new robot, even its name. The robot, Optimus Prime, flashed his cheeky grin. “More than meets the eye,” he chuckled.
“YOU CHEATED!” accused Ms. Furella. “I FORMALLY SUBMIT AN APPEAL ON THE GROUNDS THAT OPTIMUS PRIME CHEATED!
“You said you would find me no matter where I hid,” countered Optimus. “You never said how I should hide.”
“His ability to scan a vehicle mode and alter his holo-form,” supplied Naratelto, “WAS included in his dossier. With what Optimus and I have just said, your appeal is rejected.
“Let me make sure I heard you right earlier,” continued Optimus, “YOU’RE not responsible for the squalor humans currently live in, Unus Annus is.”
“Yes!” confirmed Ms. Furella. “Yes, exactly!”
“Then why,” asked Optimus, “do you think they don’t appreciate this rare opportunity you’re handing them, hm?”
“Because humans are blind, ignorant fools!” answered Ms. Furella. “If only EVERY human cooperates with us, we can turn Earth into a paradise! From the moment we animals became what we are today, it was clear that we were the superior races, but humans don’t accept it! They want to be treated as equals when they most certainly are not! Biologically, culturally, and combatively, we were superior in every respect! We didn’t choose to evolve into a superior race, nature forced that role onto us! And, it would be so much easier if the humans would accept their current role, but no! Day after day, they cluster in their religious houses like backwards freaks! Night after night, Mark Fischbach, the leader of Unus Annus, plants bombs outside our homes in some perverted attempt to free his people! …Pride. Stubborn, unyielding pride. From the servant girl that cleans my room after my trysts, to the condemned man toiling in a labor camp, to the terrorist skulking in the shadows of the States that make up New England, they all wear their pride like some twisted badge of honor!”
“And you hate them for it,” concluded Optimus.
“OF COURSE, I HATE THEM FOR IT!!” shrieked Ms. Furella. “I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THEM! THEIR SUPERSTITIONS AND THEIR CRIES FOR SYMPATHY, THEIR TREACHERY AND THEIR LIES, THEIR SMUG HISTORY AND THEIR STIFF-NECKED OBSTINACY, THEIR RELIANCE ON TECHNOLOGY AND THEIR BARELY-USEABLE FINGERNAILS!”
“You should just exterminate every human on Earth,” hissed Optimus.
“Yes, yes, that’s the Final Mission of Ms. Furella, isn’t it?!” called Ms. Furella. “I KNEW IT! I ALWAYS HAVE! I SHOULD REMOVE EVERY SINGLE HUMAN PEST IN EXISTENCE! …I should order their immediate extermination! You live among animals yourself; you know how verminous humans are! You’ve seen animals hate humans!”
“And that hatred is smacked down by their own kind!” replied Optimus. “Where I come from, humans and animals learned how to coexist! It wasn’t an easy road for either side, but there’s peace and minimal hostility between humans and animals of your caliber. No, not of your caliber, that would be an insult to them! They are, far and away, millennia ahead of your world! I can only conclude that your people are the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth! You have proven yourselves inferior to Mobians in EVERY aspect! Hence, I will keep my company with Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends.”
“Optimus, you will be returned to Vorton,” interjected Naratelto. “Ms. Furella, though you have suffered a defeat, know that it only brings as much dishonor as you feel necessary. Would you care for an interview with Blancalmarem and Nemengra?”
“Not a chance, you backwards freak!” shouted Ms. Furella.
“I was rather hoping you’d say that,” hissed Naratelto. She and Optimus then traveled to Vorton in orange light. “Congratulations, Optimus,” bid Naratelto, “I’m sorry if your victory was spoiled by her racism.”
“She’s the one who needs to apologize, not you, Ma’am,” assured Optimus. “But, I appreciate the sentiment. I need to talk to my friends.”
“Of course,” replied Naratelto. She then vanished in orange light as Optimus called up a few people on his comms.
“Megumi, Arsha, Sonic, can I talk you guys?” he requested. “I need some friendly faces now.”
“Happy to be one of those faces,” replied Megumi.
“See you in the Gateway room,” finished Arsha. The call ended.