Optimus waited by the Gateway for his match to begin. He drummed his fingers on his arm as he tapped his foot impatiently. A flash of warm-grey light appeared and it formed Grilcaldo. “The Weather Copter is ready,” she began. “Are you?”
“More than ready,” declared Optimus. They teleported to the mountainside behind the Autobot base. The Weather Copter was waiting in vehicle mode and Optimus noticed that there was a face on the front. “What, is Bolt Boy a fan of Thomas and Friends?” asked Optimus.
“Yes, why?” growled the Weather Copter.
“No reason!” yelped Optimus as he held his hands up in a “don’t kill me” fashion. Grilcaldo touched up her makeup and adjusted her hairpiece just as the camera appeared. When she was confident she was presentable enough, she turned to the camera.
“I am Grilcaldo,” she began, “the warm-grey princess of Chizara and the fire leader! 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 with home-turf advantage! Representing W-3-4-T-H-3-R-5-Q-U-4-D, we have Bolt Boy’s substitute, the Weather Copter! This bout will be a test of skill! The Weather Copter must remain in vehicle mode and stay in the air for an hour. During that time, Optimus must bring it down. Both are using the full extent of their abilities and arsenals to try and achieve their respective goals. No one else may interfere and, if the Weather Copter wins for Bolt Boy, then Bolt Boy may not use the Right of Substitution again. Weather Copter, are you ready?”
“Bring it!” challenged the Weather Copter as he prepared his helicopter blades.
“Optimus Prime, are you ready?” asked Grilcaldo.
“I was constructed ready!” replied Optimus.
“The bout begins when the Weather Copter takes to the air!” declared Grilcaldo. The Weather Copter wasted no time in becoming airborne. Once it was high enough, it unleashed its gatling guns on Optimus. Optimus took cover behind a good-sized rock and fired at the Weather Copter’s rotor. The Copter dodged and continued firing.
“Oh boy, the Copter knew he’d aim there!” groaned Prowl.
“Something don’t sit right about it,” muttered Jazz.
“Meaning, Sir?” asked Prowl.
“Well, the Copter is clearly on our level of life,” explained Jazz, “but…I don’t know, something about that kind of life being man-made instead of the natural way like you and I…it rubs me the wrong way.”
“It’s been rubbing the other bots the wrong way too, Sir,” replied Prowl.
“Look at the Copter,” muttered Jazz. “It’s a wild card, more so than Optimus. There’s a good chance he’ll lose.” Prowl snorted. “A war wound acting up or was that a snort of genuine disbelief?” quizzed Jazz.
“Jazz, I may not have known Optimus as long as you have,” declared Prowl, “but I’ve learned that his wild-card attitude is a front for someone who plans on the fly.”
“What makes you so sure of that?” asked Jazz.
“I’ve been observing his behavior for the past five years,” explained Prowl. “I can observe 800 moving objects and compute their direction of travel in 0.5 seconds. All reliable indicators tell me that Optimus will win in at least 30 minutes.”
“…Care to make it interesting?” offered Jazz.
“I don’t make a habit of betting when my superiors are involved,” replied Prowl dryly.
“Too afraid of us?” taunted Jazz. That did it.
“How much Shanix do you want to wager?” asked Prowl.
“Not Shanix,” replied Jazz. “If Optimus is even a second over half an hour, you’re gonna be Club Dancitron’s Bouncer for a week.”
“All right,” agreed Prowl. “But, if he manages it in 30 minutes or less, you’re gonna be on patrol with me for a week and be called a rookie.”
“Done!” declared Jazz. They shook on it, then turned their attention back to the bout.
“Man, the Weather Copter ain’t letting up!” muttered Richard as he and Megumi snuggled on the couch in their living room.
“Is it really all of the weather, or just the extremes?” quizzed Megumi.
“It IS leaning on more of the extreme side,” agreed Richard. “Wait, where’s…was that a…a smoke bomb?! Did Optimus just ninja-vanish on the Copter?!”
“Well, his dossier DID say he’s part of the Cyber-Ninja Corps on Cybertron,” recalled Megumi.
“A ninja?! Good God, what next?!” ranted Richard. “Ninja! Wizard! Youngest Prime! Talks to the original 13! Good at video games! Every Autobot loves him! How Mary-Sue can a guy be?!”
“Says the guy with a healing factor and powers of every fictional character out there,” muttered Megumi.
“You’re one to talk, Mrs. Cyborg Tiger Lady!” argued Richard.
“Are you calling me a Mary-Sue?!” snapped Megumi. “I warn you; this means war!”
“Bring it!” challenged Richard as he grabbed a cushion from the couch. Megumi grabbed another and the feathers started flying as they hit each other repeatedly. This lasted a good few minutes while Optimus’ fight still went on. They soon panted as they ran out of energy. The war-like frowns soon softened, then turned into smiles as they laughed at how ridiculous they were being. “What were we fighting about, again?” laughed Richard.
“Your guess is as good as mine!” giggled Megumi as they both sat back down on the couch. They returned their attention to the bout and saw that the Weather Copter had a nasty look on its face. “Oh no,” gasped Megumi, “it’s got something up its sleeves!”
The Weather Copter activated a smaller pair of rotary running in the opposite direction and drawing in warm air while the primary blades drew in cool air. Once the Copter was satisfied it got a decent mix of warm and cool air, both blade pairs spun in the same direction, causing the air mix to form into a very violent tornado! Optimus quickly flattened himself on the ground as the winds tossed chunks of the ground into the air. “Try and bring me down now, scrap-pile!” laughed the Copter.
“…Idiot,” Optimus muttered to himself. “I just came up with a few plans to do so.” He then stood up and let himself be caught in the gusts!
“WHAT’S HE DOING?!” shouted Bolt Boy as he and the Weather Squad watched the fight at their base.
“Not even I make tornadoes that big!” called Tornado Girl. Snowstorm Boy activated the communicator.
“Weather Copter, stop!” he ordered. “That’s too big! You’ll bring down the mountain! …Weather Copter, come in!”
“Your attempts at interference,” called Gricaldo’s voice, “while understandable, won’t succeed.”
“The government won’t let us make tornadoes that big!” argued Bolt Boy. “They cause too much damage! Make it stop, please!”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” replied Grilcaldo. “That would be interference. If it turns out that the Copter did too much damage, then my fellow princesses and I will fix the damage. Besides, it looks like it won’t save the Weather Copter in the long run.”
Optimus was in a level position as he rode the tornado’s air currents, keeping his optics trained on the Copter. Unfortunately, there was too much debris for him to get a clean shot with his gun. “Come on!” groaned Optimus. Just then, he noticed something forming in the Copter’s gatling guns. “…That’ll work,” mused Optimus. The Copter then fired lightning from the guns and Optimus pointed directly at the bolt, then quickly traced a path going from his fingers to the shoulder, to the fuel pump, to the other shoulder, then to the other fingers, and channeled the lightning down that path, redirecting it at the Copter’s blades. The blades stopped moving and the tornado dissipated. Optimus activated his flight jets and dove towards the falling Weather Copter as it bounced down the mountain before skidding at the mountain’s base. Optimus blocked the skidding Copter before it hit the Autobot base, just barely touching it. Once it was confirmed no one was moving, Optimus released his breath then went to the Weather Copter’s front to see that it had a blank expression on its face and was battered from the landing. Warm-grey light then brought Grilcaldo and the Weather Squad to the battlefield and Snowstorm Boy inserted a device into the side of the Copter to get a reading.
“It’s all right,” he sighed happily. “Its programming is in a protective state until it’s fixed. …Wait, what’s this?”
“What’s what?” asked Optimus.
“…Bolt Boy, I think the Copter’s behavior can be explained,” reported Snowstorm Boy.
“How?” quizzed Bolt Boy.
“It’s got a computer virus that’s made it ruder than it allows itself to be,” explained Snowstorm Boy, “and I just discovered who programmed it. It’s a certain former 2nd grade teacher.”
“…You don’t mean…?” asked Sunray Girl.
“OUR former 2nd grade teacher?” finished Tornado Girl.
“Oh yes, I do mean OUR former 2nd grade teacher!” confirmed Snowstorm Boy.
“Well then,” hissed Bolt Boy, “while the Copter’s being repaired and that virus is being deleted, I think we’ll pay Mrs. Technica a little visit!” He punched his hand and generated a small bit of lightning.
“In the meantime, this DOES satisfy the terms for the bout,” interjected Grilcaldo. “This contest is over! The winner is Optimus Prime! Bolt Boy, you and your friends will be returned home. 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?”
“No, thank you,” replied Bolt Boy. “I have business to take care of.”
“Then there’s one last thing we need to do before you are returned home,” declared Grilcaldo. She indicated the mountainside and the base. Both were ruined!
“MY HOME!” shouted Optimus. Just then, all of the princesses, from the capital P ones to the lowercase p ones, arrived and snapped their fingers. The damage then healed itself and the mountainside and base were like new.
“Congratulations on your victory, Optimus Prime,” bid Rosadera before everyone left him. A rift then opened and Megumi, Richard, Arsha, and the Autobots came through it.
“Well done, Sir!” praised Prowl. He then snapped his fingers as if he remembered something. “Jazz, 27 minutes and 3 seconds.” Jazz then groaned. “Better have your holo-form in acceptable police gear!” laughed Prowl.
“What’s that’s supposed to mean?” asked Optimus.
“Jazz bet that it would take you more than half an hour to win the fight,” explained Prowl.
“I lost,” muttered Jazz.
“…You bet against me?!” realized Optimus. “My best friend and you bet against me!” He then pouted comedically.
“Come on! You have to admit, that Copter was giving you a hard time!” protested Jazz.
“Sir, a bit of advice,” remarked Prowl, “leave the odds to those that calculate them daily.”
“All right,” grumbled Jazz.
“Optimus, quick question,” called Richard, “did you get that lightning channeling thing from Avatar: The Last Airbender?”
“Well, the movements, yes,” replied Optimus. “I’ve been learning how to do that near the end of my wizard training. Even then, generating lightning spells is not something us Cybertronian mages do often. I think you can guess whhYY!” Optimus sparked as he finished. He sparked more and more until he transformed. “I couldn’t have been in robot mode THAT long!” he protested as his holo-form appeared.
“It’s been more than half-an-hour now, Sir,” reported Prowl. At that moment, Sonic arrived, looking a little worried.
“Hey, did anyone see Eggbreath around here?” he asked.
“…No, can’t say as I have,” replied Megumi.
“I haven’t heard a peep out of him,” remarked Arsha.
“Wait, didn’t X-PO say Eggman’s working for Caan?” asked Richard.
“He did,” replied Megumi.
“From what I could ascertain when we were freeing the Master Builders,” recalled Optimus, “Eggman was discovered and Caan saved his bacon.”
“So he WAS telling the truth a while ago,” muttered Megumi. “That doesn’t put me at ease.”
“Rook takes Bishop at Queen’s Bishop 6,” mumbled Arsha.
“Pardon?” asked Megumi.
“…I think the enemy moved its piece in our combined game,” replied Arsha.
“So the white opponent of your board,” guessed Optimus, “moved their Rook to Queen’s Bishop 3 as well.”
“Mine too,” remarked Megumi. “I’d like to know my opponent before the game ends!”
“The Quarterfinals need only one more bout before we can make our move,” mused Caan as most everyone gathered at the late Van Statten’s Vault.
“I wish they’d hurry it up!” muttered Mickey. “I’m dying from staying separate from my friends!”
“Your vitals are uninterrupted, I assure you,” dismissed Caan.
“Just a minute,” called Eggman. “Where’s Metaltron?” Caan raised his unibrow as he noticed Metaltron’s absence.
“I DID order everyone here, right?” he quizzed. He then gasped in pain and clutched his head as the future changed. As he panted, Mickey and Eggman had come near him to help him. “…That little…!” snarled Caan. “Metaltron’s leaving us!” He grabbed his Dal Driver and charged after Metaltron. He found her near the entrance. “I can’t exactly say I’m pleased with you leaving us!” he called. Metaltron turned to reveal her now blue face with yellow eyes and sheet-white hair.
“Your pleasure does NOT concern me,” she dismissed.
“Metaltron?” quizzed Caan. “What did you…of course. You altered your genetics.”
“I won’t be a Dalek again,” she explained, “but I refuse to even LOOK human! Besides, I actually like this form more than my original, if you can believe it. I can see into the ultraviolet spectrum, my skin is now resistant to even gamma radiation, my reflexes are boosted to three times that of the average human, my mental capacity is four times that of a Scientist Dalek, and my immune system can kill viruses and harmful bacteria in an instant.”
“You would sacrifice your chance of being pure just for something your casing can do?!” roared Caan.
“The Doctor’s right, purity is overrated,” remarked Metaltron. She then made a face of disgust. “Never thought I’d agree with the Oncoming Storm.”
“I’ll have you exterminated for this!” shouted Caan as he equipped his belt.
“DAL DRIVER!” it announced. He then took out the Pure Dalek Can, rotated the top, and flipped the eyestalk before inserting it into the belt. “PURE DALEK!” He then rotated the crank and piping formed the two halves of his suit. “ARE YOU READY?!”
“Henshin!” called Caan.
“THE UNSTOPPABLE KILLER! PURE DALEK! EXTERMINATE!” called the belt as the suit halves slammed onto him and joined together.
“I’m not going to use a knock-off belt like yours,” chuckled Metaltron darkly. She pulled out a new belt with a single, bulky slot for the gimmick. She then pulled out another device that looked like two halves of an image opened like a set of double doors. She inserted it into the belt and the belt spoke.
“Armor On!” it declared. She then placed her hands on opposite sides of the slot as it played techno music.
“Henshin!” she called. She pulled little levers on each side of the belt buckle and the device in the slot swung closed to reveal the image of a Dalek’s head.
“Base Armor!” it announced as Dalek-like armor teleported itself onto her.
“Kamen Rider Ex,” she proclaimed once the sequence finished. “You may kneel to your mistress.”
“Kamen Rider Dal!” announced Caan. “You will be exterminated!” The two then clashed.