"It seems you have some friends," the Leader had uttered to Defensis, as Washout's blaster bolts impacted on his skin. "I would think they have better things to do tonight than die." The Leader raised his other arm, and deployed a long-barrelled weapon; taking careful aim, he blasted the ground beneath and in-front of Washout, causing the tank to go rolling into the newly-blasted hole. It would take him a few moments to get out.
Moments that Defensis didn't have.
The Leader: "Now then, where were we? Ah, yes. Here we are, two tinkers in the clock of the universe. One on the side of good, the other supposedly on the side of evil. I wonder how this will turn out?"
Defensis: "This battle serves no purpose. If you truly believe in what you say, then why not leave well enough alone? This very battle could damage the timeline you claim to care so much about."
The Leader: "Normally, I do things with a little more subtley. However, these so-called 'Dairycons' you've been shacking up with lately have been the cause of a lot of stress for yours truly. By helping them, you're causing me no end of headaches."
Defensis: "You see too-small a picture. In The Grand Design, they too are children of Primus. As such, they must be brought into the fold, and shown the error of their ways."
The Leader: "And you, old man, see too-big of a picture. Small details like these don't wash out in the grand scheme. They must be carefully controlled, and expunged when they threaten the grand tapestry."
Defensis: "It appears, then, that we must agree to disagree."
The Leader. "So it would seem. A pity; I've had quite the obsession with you. It was watching you, and others like you, that led me into what I do now. I had hoped that we might be friends."
Defensis: "Perhaps in another life, then."
The Leader: "Perhaps." The Leader took aim with his weapon; at this range, he was not likely to miss, and Defensis imagined that it would do significant damage, even with the Disk protecting him. He had no other choice. He reached into his storage compartment, and pulled out his shard of Primus.
Defensis: "Primus, hear me. Some of your children have gone astray, and I'm unable to teach them the error of his ways. Open their eyes so that they might see."
The crystal floated up from his hand, and began to glow. As it rose, it came into contact with the golden disk. Sparks began to fly. The power increased. Before everyone's eyes, there was a blinding flash, and-
They were gone.
All of Them.
The fight didn't last long.
But it was certainly brutal. There were moments when even Burning Furry Monkey had to look away. Suffice it to say, the Decepticon was subdued, and the others were nowhere in sight. Oil spots on his hands, Spot left the battered Decepticon lie there and once again focused on BFM and his scanner. He was making adjustments and frowning.
Spot: "Something the matter?"
BFM: Well yes, and no. Obviously, we're in a different universe from our own. However, this isn't the one we want, either. Our friend isn't here."
Spot: "So what now?"
BFM: "According to my calculations, we simply go back thru the rift."
Spot: "Shouldn't we try to help that other 'bot?"
BFM: "Saving the Universe is Job One. We're needed elsewhere. He'll have to take care of his own problem for now."
Spot: That hardly sounds like an Autobot."
BFM: "In-case you've forgotten, I'm a maximal. Your descendent. The Last Autobot here... is you."
Scanning the rift, Spot and BFM step thru, disappearing from this universe forever.
A damaged, debilitated Motormaster looks on. Barely functioning, one optic dangling, he reaches out one arm, gripping the floor. He pulls, dragging himself a few feet.
He drags again, and moves a few feet more.
In minutes, he's at the opening of the rift.
"So I says to da guy, if my pal Rush says it's ok to hate, then I'm going to hate. Ya know what I mean?"
The human nodded. He was sorry he'd gotten into this cab; the driver hadn't moved the taxi since he got in, instead preferring to talk on and on about his views on politics. He was going to be late for his meeting.
Suddenly, a blinding flash, and the human was sitting on the pavement at the edge of the street.
The taxi had simply vanished.
Uncle Whiskey Breath and Campaign Car were marveling at the luck that brought Windchill back into their midst when the flash of energy took them.
A shuttle heading for Electrum's base on Cybertron suddenly drifts into the side of a building and crashes. Cobalt Sentries are dispatched to the scene, but find no one inside the wreck. They searched Electrum's base to interview the occupants, but find no-one there.
As Suddenly as she'd been there, she was gone. The buzzing in Prowl's ear had finally stopped. Strange, that little insect. Stranger still what she had to say. He pondered it for a moment, then headed back into the Sanctum of Prime. If what she told him was true, then Optimus needed to be aware of what was happening next.
Of what Plothole and The Leader were about to unleash.
Spot and Burning Furry Monkey stepped out of the rift, and into their own universe again. The Scrapmetal loomed behind them, not moving. Apparently, the part of the program that caused it to chase them was no longer needed, having sent them to another universe and back. It simply idled there, awaiting instructions.
BFM: "You know, I wonder."
Spot: "About what?"
BFM: "I wonder if that object you were given was part of *your* mission. Have you perhaps considered trying to use it?"
Spot had, for a moment, considered that very thing. He took the object out of his compartment and held it out in-front of him.
Spot: "The Decepticons in that universe called this the Matrix. However, it doesn't look like one to me." Spot held it above his head and concentrated. "Now light our darkest hour!"
BFM actually giggled. "Hey, maybe you should say, 'arise, Spotimus Prime.'"
Spot: "Very funny. Obviously, this object doesn't work in our universe. Whatever it was supposed to do, it doesn't do it here. It's just more junk. Just like those Pretender shells over there." Spot took the object, and tossed it inside one of the dusty old shells. "There. Good safe spot for it. It's out of the hands of the Decepticons. I'll call in a salvage crew to pick up this junk when we get back."
BFM: "Get back?"
Spot: "Yes. When we get back from our mission. Come on. Let's go find our little friend."
Spot and BFM stroll back into the Scrapmetal rift, heading off for parts unknown.
Moments later, the scrapmetal rift sparkles again, as Motormaster drags himself slowly, painfully into our universe. He senses more than he sees an object glinting off to the side, and one thought enters his mind: Revenge!!
Motormaster crawls into the Pretender shell, and grasps onto the Matrix from his universe. It glows, pulsating a warm energy which envelops him. Outside, the Pretender shell starts to close as repair functions splutter to life. Motormaster falls unconscious as the shell closes around him, powered by the other-universal Matrix energy and his own desire to live on...if only to destroy the 'bot who did this to him.
There is a resounding 'chunk' as the shell completely closes, and then, silence.
To Be Continued in 2009's Dairycon: Pretender to the Throne!
Available in 364 days.