With the Chizarans helping out, the cleanup of the hangar went smoothly and swiftly. Megumi and Richard retired to their house and bed, exhausted from the food fight, and went soundly to sleep. Lisa also took a bed in a spare room and fell to sleep, dead to the world until morning. When Megumi and Richard woke up, they smelled food cooking. “Sausages?” muttered Richard. Then, they remembered. “Oh yeah, maid,” recalled Richard.
“I wonder if Kaede and Kaitlyn grew up…will grow up with her in their lives?” mused Megumi. “Man, time travel really alters the tenses, doesn’t it?”
“I’m sure Michael or the Doctor could give a lecture or two on the subject,” chuckled Richard. They got dressed and made their way to the dining room as Lisa was placing their meals at their places.
“Good morning, Sir, Madam!” she greeted. When they sat down, she sat at her own place and they ate their meals.
“Lisa, this is delicious!” praised Megumi. “Where’d you acquire the skills?”
“Before I was kidnapped,” explained Lisa, “I was serving as a maid in an old Morphus family’s house. I didn’t enjoy it. I learned the skills, but never got ANY praise whatsoever. Mr. Boomer then lured me into his work with the promises of a better life. As you know, he tricked me and locked me in my spider form.”
“That reminds me,” remarked Megumi. “Lisa, with your paycheck, I’m going to add what I paid for you when I thought you were a normal tarantula.”
“On top of the standard paycheck?” asked Lisa. “You don’t need to do that!”
“Yes, I do,” replied Megumi. “You’ve suffered enough and need the money more than I do.”
“Thank you, Ma’am,” bid Lisa. Just then, there was a knock on the door.
“Now, who could that be?” asked Richard.
“I’ll go check,” declared Lisa as she pushed back her chair. She went to the front door and opened it to reveal Octorpindar. “May I help you?” asked Lisa.
“Are Megumi and Richard home?” inquired Octorpindar, slightly hurriedly.
“They’re in the middle of breakfast,” explained Lisa.
“Who’s at the door?” called Richard.
“It’s Octorpindar,” replied Lisa.
“Let him in,” directed Megumi. Lisa turned back to Octorpindar.
“May I take your coat?” she asked.
“I’d prefer to leave it on,” replied Octorpindar as he entered the house and took off his shoes. He bounded up the steps and met with Richard and Megumi. “I have a message for you from Queen Empress Scorpainia herself!” he panted. “At your earliest convenience, you MUST come to Tarlax 14 and meet her and Dr. Emily Williams at the Royal Eye Hospital!”
“What’s Emily doing there?” asked Richard.
“Assisting in the birth,” replied Octorpindar.
“Scorpainia’s having her baby?!” yelped Megumi.
“We gotta finish up quick!” declared Richard.
“I’ll stay behind and clean up!” called Lisa.
“Thank you!” bid Megumi as they quickly finished breakfast.
Richard and Megumi arrived at the hospital and were directed to the waiting area outside the delivery room. Emmanuel and Lukas arrived as well as Lacey. They waited as they heard Scorpainia screaming as she was getting her baby out of the womb. In the delivery room, Scorpainia was holding Eelinape’s hand, or rather, CRUSHING it! Her tail was threaded through the bed and restrained so she wouldn’t accidentally sting the baby. “Come on!” urged Emily. “You’re doing great! One more push!”
“YOU SAID THAT FIVE PUSHES AGO!!!” roared Scorpainia.
“And look how well you’re doing!” replied Emily. “Wait, I see the head! Come on! Push!” Scorpainia was practically roaring at a frequency only dogs could hear. She then started panting from the last push.
“My…” she gasped weakly. “My…” Then, a sound that she was waiting for reached her ears. “My child!” she panted happily as the baby cried at being pushed into a brighter, colder world.
“Congratulations!” cheered Emily as she checked over the baby. “A cute baby girl!”
“A girl?!” called Eelinape.
“Wait, no, wrong equipment,” Emily corrected herself as she recorded the baby’s weight. “It’s a bouncing baby boy.”
“In your face!” chuckled Scorpainia.
“Height: 59 cm,” reported Emily. “Weight: 5.5 kg. Time of birth: 08:42 am. Temperature: 36.4 C. He’s big, but healthy.”
“You did good,” Eelinape praised Scorpainia. “I suppose it wasn’t so bad.” Emily drew in a breath at that statement.
“…Wasn’t so bad?” repeated Scorpainia in a low whisper. Eelinape started sweating. “Wasn’t so bad?! WASN’T SO BAD?!”
Megumi, Richard, Lacey, Lukas, and Emmanuel and the nurse recoiled in terror outside the delivery room. “A…Are you sure it’s safe to go in?!” squeaked Lukas.
“I may be wrong,” gulped the nurse as he hid behind his arms. Emily then opened the door.
“Come on in and meet the new Prince of Tarlax!” she invited. Megumi, Richard, Lacey, Lukas, and Emmanuel followed her in and found Scorpainia holding her son with Eelinape making cutesy noises. They got a good look at the baby and saw that he had two humanoid arms and a set of lobster claws as well. He had a lobster tail and long antennae under his nose. Still, the baby looked cute.
“Did you name him yet?” asked Richard as the new baby was passed to Eelinape.
“I think we’ll call him Lobstornias,” declared Scorpainia.
“Eelinape, here,” called Emmanuel as he opened a box of cigars.
“Er, I don’t smoke,” replied Eelinape as he handed his son back to Scorpainia.
“Neither do I,” assured Emmanuel. “These are chocolate cigars.”
“Now that’s different,” answered Eelinape as he accepted one and put it in his mouth.
“I’m so glad all of his Godparents could come,” sighed Scorpainia as Lacey took a turn holding Lobstornias.
“All of them?” she quizzed. “I know Lukas, Emmanuel, and I are three out of the four. Who’s the other Godmother?”
“Who else but Megumi?” asked Scorpainia.
“ME?!” yelped Megumi.
“You’ve saved Tarlax as much as Lacey did,” explained Scorpainia. “The honor of being his Godmother is yours if you’ll have it.”
“…Scorpainia, I’d be honored to be his Godmother!” cheered Megumi as she got misty eyes.
Once everyone was tactfully shooed out of the hospital, Richard and Megumi returned home. Lisa greeted them and showed off how clean the house was. “Okay, that’s impressive!” praised Megumi. “Having six arms must be…er…useful.”
“You were about to say ‘handy’, weren’t you?” guessed Lisa.
“Yeah, I was,” sighed Megumi.
“Glad you stopped yourself,” remarked Lisa. Just then, there was a knock on the door.
“Now who?” muttered Richard. Megumi opened the door to reveal Arsha.
“Arsha, come in!” invited Megumi. Arsha entered the house and whistled in an impressed manner.
“You’ve set yourself up real good!” she praised as she removed her shoes.
“We’ve made it so we’re comfortable,” replied Megumi.
“You look like you just came back from something,” observed Arsha.
“Scorpainia was giving birth on Tarlax,” explained Richard, “and Megumi was named a Godmother.”
“No kidding?!” cheered Arsha. “Congratulations!”
“Thank you,” replied Megumi as she, Richard, and Lisa led her to the living room. “Tell me, what brings you here?” asked Megumi.
“Just some scouting,” replied Arsha.
“I thought we were using Optimus’ universe for our bout?” quizzed Megumi.
“We are,” answered Arsha. “I just wanted to see what your universe looks like. Oh, that reminds me, Sonic’s found a good course for us. Some place called Green Hill Zone.”
“The place where it all started for Sonic fans,” chuckled Megumi. They waited for a bit for one of the Chizaran Princesses to make their announcement. “…Er, hello?” called Megumi.
“Anyone?” asked Richard. “My wife and her opponent just got the fight terms hammered out!”
“…Is someone asleep?” quizzed Arsha. Snoring answered her question.
“Oh, for the love of…!” griped Amartonadii’s voice. “Sorry! Rosadera’s asleep at the announcement console!”
“Asleep?!” yelped Lisa. “What happened?!”
“Partying, that’s what,” replied Amartonadii. “Let me just see if…all right, a race through Green Hill Zone. First one to cross the finish line is the winner. Arsha’s broom against Megumi’s motorcycle. No interference, no power-ups, all specs on both vehicles are good, okay then, it all checks out. Looks like I’m making the announcement.” She cleared her throat before giving the usual spiel. “The challenge has been set, the terms have been agreed upon, and the chance of victory is agreeable for both sides. All five of the Founding Chizaran Princesses will be judging. When this break is over, your fight begins! Prepare and make ready! Good luck!”
“Thank you!” bid Arsha and Megumi together.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me,” grumbled Amartonadii, “I’m going to put Rosadera to bed!” The call ended and Arsha and Megumi smiled at each other.
“I look forward to facing you once this break is over,” proclaimed Arsha.
“Just know this,” replied Megumi, “whatever the outcome, you are an excellent friend and I will miss you when this is all over.”
“Then we need to make sure we have one final bash before we say goodbye,” declared Arsha.
“We better talk to Optimus about it,” mused Megumi.
“Then let’s visit him,” offered Richard.
Optimus and Blackarachnia were playing a game in their base’s holo-suite. They had just defeated the boss and opened a chest to get their contents. “Aw, sweet!” cheered Optimus. “Blade of Infinite Possibility!”
“But no updog,” muttered Blackarachnia.
“You’ve been mentioning updog ever since we started this game!” laughed Optimus. “What are you even talking about?!”
“I’m talking about updog!” replied Blackarachnia.
“Wh…what’s that supposed to mean?” chuckled Optimus.
“It means updog,” answered Blackarachnia.
“…What’s updog?” quizzed Optimus. Blackarachnia then erupted into hysterical laughter. “Oh, Primus Slaggit!” groaned Optimus as he realized the joke. “Well, aren’t you proud of yourself!” Blackarachnia was rolling on the floor as she laughed.
“I have NEVER,” she wheezed, “in my life, got that joke to work!” The game was then paused as Teletraan’s avatar appeared.
“Sorry to interrupt,” he bid, “but Phury just broke the door down and is currently engaged in a fight with Jazz and Bumblebee.”
“Not in my house, she ain’t!” snarled Optimus.
“Computer, save, bookmark, and end game!” called Blackarachnia as she and Optimus dashed to the Command Center, finding Bumblebee and Jazz dodging the objects Phury was throwing. Optimus caught one and sent it flying back to her. As she leapt, Blackarachnia flung a web at her and pinned her to the wall. Phury struggled against her bonds, but tired herself out in the attempt. As she panted, Optimus got closer.
“You invade my base! You attack my friends! You…!” he ranted.
“I don’t believe this!” growled Phury. “You consider your pawns your ‘friends’?!”
“Those ‘pawns’,” hissed Optimus, “fight with the most bravery I’ve ever seen and work the hardest out of any soldier to defend this world from petty tyrants like you! You’re in MY base and you WILL show them respect!”
“In my universe, Cybertron burned half of Appoplexia with their war!” snarled Phury. “They made no attempts for reparations! They gave no respect for us, no matter the faction, so why are they due any?! The Master Wand was the best chance I had of keeping the universe safe from them!”
“Yeah, well, cheating wasn’t the way to go!” growled Optimus.
“I’ll be after Megumi for ruining me!” promised Phury. “You can count on it!”
“State your business or get out!” warned Optimus.
“I have decided on how to best you!” declared Phury. “You are part of the Cyber-Ninja Corps, correct?”
“And you were trained by the Shinobans of Shinobus,” recalled Optimus. “You’re challenging me to a ninja fight?”
“Each of us will use the weapon we are weakest with to achieve victory,” replied Phury. “Whoever lands three hits on their opponents will be victorious. No other weapons may be used, no force-fields, no robot mode, no outside interference.”
“And our battlefield?” rumbled Optimus.
“There’s a forest outside my old palace,” answered Phury. “We’ll use it.”
“Fine,” agreed Optimus. “Just know that I will be praying for severe scrutiny on this bout.”
“You will get your wish, Young Prime,” assured Moradelia’s voice. “The challenge has been set, the terms have been agreed upon, and the chance of victory is agreeable for both sides. Nemengra, the black princess of Chizara and the death leader, will be judging. When this break is over, your fight begins! Prepare and make ready! Good luck!” Purple light surrounded Phury as she vanished from her bonds. Optimus cycled air through his olfactory sensors, trying to calm himself down.
“Prime,” interjected Teletraan, “Arsha and Megumi are requesting permission to come in.”
“I could use some more friendly faces,” replied Optimus. “Let them in.” The door opened and Megumi and Arsha entered the base.
“Hello!” greeted Arsha.
“Thank you for coming,” bid Optimus. “I just got the terms of my bout settled with Phury.”
“I take it she’s STILL angry about having to settle for fighting over Third Place Prize?” muttered Megumi.
“And she insulted my friends by calling them pawns,” answered Optimus.
“Okay, one, rude!” growled Arsha. “Two, if she wanted First Place Prize, she shouldn’t have cheated!”
“Well, winner or not,” remarked Optimus, “I’m gonna show her what happens when you cheat!”
“Optimus, if I could turn your attention to something more pleasant,” offered Megumi, “Arsha and I were planning a feast before we all need to part ways.”
“One last hurrah before we all return to our lives,” mused Optimus. “I think we can work that in.”
“I just want you all to know,” called Arsha, “this has been a fun adventure. We DID have our downs, but I wouldn’t change a single bit of it.”
“Neither would I,” agreed Optimus.
“And neither would I,” supplied Megumi. “If you all want, I can get you into After Academy.” Optimus and Arsha looked at each other, then shook their heads.
“We’ll save that for AFTER we die,” explained Arsha.
“But you’re more than welcome to drop by our homes when you can,” offered Optimus.
“I’d like that,” replied Megumi. “Now, I’d better get back home.”
“I’m still getting paperwork throughout all this,” sighed Arsha. “A Realmfleet Captain’s work is never done.”
“Hey, before you ladies go,” called Teletraan, “how about a picture with you three?”
“Just a moment,” directed Optimus as he transformed and switched on his holo-form. “There, now we can all fit.” Teletraan aimed his camera eye at the three as they lined up with Optimus in the middle, Megumi on his right, and Arsha on his left. Arsha and Megumi each knelt down and placed a hand on his back as Optimus placed his hands on both their backs. Teletraan lined up his shot.
“All right, say ‘Trinity’!” called Teletraan.
“Trinity!” called Arsha, Optimus, and Megumi. Optimus and Arsha winked when they said that and Teletraan took the picture. It appeared on the screen quickly.
“Now THAT’S a cool picture!” cheered Optimus.
“Good work, Teletraan!” praised Megumi.
“Did you take photography classes?” asked Arsha.
“Oddly enough, yes,” answered Teletraan. “I got into some online photography classes at Optimus’ request.”
“I paid his tuition and he got certified,” explained Optimus. “He was worried about what would happen to him when the war’s over. He wanted to try his processors at photography and he’s been doing it on the side ever since.”
“Planning ahead, the gift of the gods,” praised Megumi.
“Amen to that!” chuckled Arsha.