Teletraan-1 did not distinguish between friend or foe.
The artificial intelligence of the Great Ship merely responded to the request of the user, answering questions and giving information as though it were any computer interface. The creators could have imbued it with a life of its own, but that would have defeated its true purpose.
Teletraan-1 had a true purpose.
The lone figure walked up to the interface console, his one glowing optic focused on his task. Using the tip of his gun-hand to push the activation button, he had one, and only one question for the computer housed within the Ark:
"Interrogative: what is the possibility that the Dairycons Survived?"
In an infinite Universe of Possibility, whatever can happen, does happen, or in-fact has already happened. It can be said that, in one form or another, The day was saved- or that it was not.
To one who is about to observe the outcome, both possibilities exist within the Universe.
The actual act of observation can cause the event to unfold one way or the other. An observer must observe; collapse the waveform and see what happens. Did the Dairycons win? Or did the Dark God in the form of TestShot win?
Read on, Moo Believers!
The massive weaponry of MooBase 2 fired, blasting TestShot. Despite the Dark God's formidible reserves of negative energy, the MooBase 2 weapons literally overwhelmed him. Powered by the Shard of Primus- that purest of pure pieces of Primus' own spark- the weapons demolished TestShot. Punching thru and obliterating vast swaths of dark tendrils, the weapons bore down on TestShot's physical form, until it, too, was overwhelmed.
TestShot's physical form cracked...
Then crumbled, the dark energy pouring out from the pieces.
The weapons of MooBase 2 continued to fire, thru the dark energy, and down to the surface of the planet, pounding the ground mercilessly, reducing the lifeless chassis of the Donkeys of the Apocalypse to so much dust.
It seemed like a sure victory. Destruction of Testshot. Destruction of the Donkeys of the Apocalypse...
They were destroying the Dark God... but they were destroying their friends as well.
They did not pretend to think there was another way; they knew their sacrifice was necessary, and that in their place they would gladly have done the same.
The twin blasts of energy- massive weapons-fire from MooBase 2, and dark energy from the Dark God- washed over the last known position of the Dairycons. The scrapmetal rift was shattered from the arrival of MooBase 2. Plothole's Shard of Primus was powering the massive MooBase 2. There was, literally, nowhere for them to go to escape the blast.
So they did not escape. They chose not to go quietly into that good night.
Without an issued command, with nothing more than bravery in their hearts, Every Dairycon turned as one and fired their weapons at the incoming waves of energy.
The shattered fragments of the scrapmetal rift glowed.
The Ancient felt a ripple in the timestream.
It is said that Energy cannot be created or destroyed; only changed from one form to another.
The Dark God still existed in the form of a massive negative energy cloud; freed of his construct, the tendrils of dark power could easily continue to dissolve and consume the Universe, in a massive unchecked and uncontrolled fashion. Without a body to contain and channel the dark essense, the universe would collapse violently, and in a very short period of time.
But Moo-Base 2 was not finished yet.
"Activate Secondary Transform Sequence!"
Massive armored batteries swung inward. Powerful cannons, still red-hot from firing, retracted, as massive limbs folded outward and forward from the center mass of MooBase 2. Limbs that resolved themselves into traditional arms and legs, bristling with heretofore unseen secondary weapons batteries.
MooBase 2 Transformed into its Secondary Battle Mode.
A thunderous voice could be heard across the entire planet. If Sound carried in space, it's likely the entire Universe would have resonated with the words coming from the chest of this massive construct. Announcing it to the heavens, Moo-Base 2's secondary Transform spoke:
"Big Max on-line!"
The Shard of Primus was not the only device the Ancient had available to him.
PlotHole happened to be in possession of a number of other Artifacts, of ancient and inscrutable purpose. One of these- a tiny flake off the Shard of Primus- was, like the Matrix, a potential path to solidarity. Only a True Believer, on the cusp of their own accention, could possibly interact with this Snowflake of Solidarity.
At that moment, on the surface, when the Dairycns turned in-unison to fight the menace, they achieved a rare convergance of events. They were, in that moment, at One with Primus.
All were One.
Primus does not forsake his children.
The Artifact left PlotHole's hands, shimmering the same way the scrapmetal rift did before shattering.
PlotHole smiled. He whispered softly, so only he could hear:
"do-over, old friend?"
A source of Light and Wisdom in its own right, the Snowflake of Solidarity brought itself to the Dairycons on the surface of the Planet. Aligning with the pieces of the scrapmetal rift, it could draw upon other pieces of the Spark of Primus from other dimensions.
The Dark God was not the only entity that existed 'tween the dimensional spaces.
The Light of Primus surrounded the Dairycons.
Scattering them to the multiversal winds for just a moment.
The impact of Primus-powered MooBase energy and Dark God tendrils ripped across the surface of the planet, and out into space, cracking the planet, dissolving the moons in orbit- changing the very nature of the sun in the center of the solar system.
There was, literally, nothing left where the blast had hit.
The pieces of the scrapmetal rift remained on the surface of the scarrfed landscape.
A moment passes.
The Dairycons flicker back into proper dimensional space. Very much shaken, but very much alive. They survey the barren landscape where they'd been mere moments ago. They took stock of themselves.
Everyone was accounted for.
Including two more.
The Leader... and ToiletBot.
The Dairycons looked up at Big Max.
There was not much to say.
They said it anyways.
Clutterbug: "Wow... it's so.....Big."
Uncle Whiskey Breath: "Yep."
Spot: "I wonder where that came from?"
Ticker: "Does it seem to you like it's missing something?"
Burning Furry Monkey: "Of all the diode-blown dim-wittery... they left a piece out!"
Bunny Convoy: "Huh?"
Scoot: "He's asking, 'where's the head..."
There wasn't much time for Uncle Whiskey Breath to ponder the sky above. For in-front of him stood that annoying seeker jet. He couldn't remember why, exactly, he didn't like him. But there was...
why was the figure standing next to him so familiar?
Though dented and rusty, he bore the unmistakable look of a Cybertronian.
The figure seemd to recognise him. He called out:
It had been Ten Years. Ten years without memory, or reason. Ten years of not knowing what had happened to the other.
The memories flooded back.
Uncle Whiskey Breath remembered.
He finally remembered.
The reason he was here.
The reason he lost his friend.
Uncle Whiskey Breath took aim at The Leader and fired.
Pete shrunk down, pulled a small floppy disk from his pocket and inserted it into the computer.
Pete: "Computer, upon my final command, run program from inserted data source."
Pete regained his size and armored up.
"Computer... eject command console!"
The computer complied, launching Pete out of MooBase 2. Pete activated his jetboot stabilizers; guiding his descent, he aimed for the group of Dairycons directly below him. Swinging around, he blasted the jets into the ground, cushioning the landing. Rolling more than running, he came upon the One.
Prime was waiting.
Pete: "Optimus, the Mission of this humble shell is complete. I now surrender myself back to you." Pete slumped; the power that once controlled him, whether it was the city or Minerva, was gone. Optimus had regained full control of his Pretender Shell technology.
There were no moments to ponder or regret the loss.The Dark God's energy was loose; without a body to contain it, it would be mere moments before it washed unchecked across the universe. Acting quickly, Optimus brought the shell back under full power. Sealing the shell, he squared the brim of his hat; looking across the desert expanse, he sensed who it was he needed.
Optimus: "HotStuff, WindChill, ThunderClap! Form upon me!"
The three small minicons complied. Leaving their assigned Guardians, they flew quickly to Optimus' side. It was dangerous; there would be only one reason they were summoned to be together in the same spot. Pooling their energies, they transformed...
Optimus reached up and took hold of The StormSword.
The Ultimate Dairycon Weapon.
In the hands of the Noblest Warrior in the entire Dairycon Universe.
The Dark God would be Stopped.
No Matter the Cost.
ToiletBot blocked the shot. The sudden burst of intense cold made his bowl break out in beads of sweat.
TB-1: "UWB! Uncle! No! Wait!"
Uncle Whiskey Breath: "Wait?! This scraplet ruined our lives, and you tell me to wait!!!?"
Toiletbot: "I'm not happy either, but he had a reason!"
Uncle: "You don't seriously believe that!"
Toiletbot: "The Universe was in-danger!"
Uncle: "The Universe is in Danger because of him!"
Already Holding his Blizzard Shotgun in one hand, Uncle reached and pulled out his blaster pistol. Both weapons were now trained on The Leader.
Uncle would not miss the next shot.
A small plane suddenly disengaged from Uncle's Blizzard Shotgun. Beeping a message to Uncle, Windchill powered up and shot away, heading for Optimus Prime's location.
Uncle: "The Hell? What do you mean, Until All Are One?!"
Toiletbot: "The-Universe-is-in-Danger! We have to deal with that first!"
Uncle: "Let *him* deal with it! He likes mucking up the timeline! For that matter, why isn't he already dead!? I saw him consumed!"
The Leader: "Er, yes, well, funny that. I tend to leave a few of myself lying around in-case of emergency. Though when the tendrils had me, I thought that was it. I do intend to thank Optimus for the timely rescue. The Allspark is no place for a soul such as mine, though."
Uncle: "Shut Up! I'm not talking to you! I'm talking to my friend!"
Uncle lowered his weapons, but not his voice.
Uncle: "Well, why not do it?! Why not go save the Universe!! You've mucked around in our past, you've ruined our future!! Go do something useful! Stop TestShot!"
The Leader: "I rather liked you better when you had the accent."
Uncle reared up and fired his blaster pistol at The Leader's feet, scorching the ground in-front of him.
The Leader: "Sigh. Look, I rather can't help right now, alright? It's up to Optimus Prime. I barely had enough power left to send everyone a few moments into the future. And truth be told... well, you see, my soul has passed thru the Allspark, and what with my equipment being destroyed...well, what you see here before you now isn't really me; it's... more of an echo of what I once was. I'll fade away soon enough. I simply came along to say.... I'm sorry."
The Leader: "I said, I'm sorry! I could have handled things better there in the Past. I... was in a bit of a hurry, you see, trying to save a friend and all, and well... I didn't realise until the last moment he was my friend. That's not usually my style. So... sorry, old chap. To both of you. Hopefully, bringing the two of you together now makes up in some small part for..."
The Leader began to flicker.
The Leader: "Oh....bother. Well, that's it, then. Thank Optimus for me, will you? And when you see the Ancient, tell him he owes me one. Watch over the Reinforcements for me. Right then. Goodbye."
And just like that, the Leader faded out of existence.
MooBase 2 Command Console.
"Hello Ethan. Are we ready to play the Next Game?"
Optimus Prime sent out the call.
"Big Max- Final Mode!"
Optimus Prime, combined with his Pretender armor, Stormsword in-hand, fired his boot jets, and headed for Big Max. The large city/battlestation/robot opened a series of doors in its chest. The white light of Primus shined forth, bathing Optimus in its purity.
The Matrix within Optimus Prime's chest reacted.
Additional armor began to form around the shell as Optimus entered the chamber. The chest compartments closed. The armor continued to form and expand as Prime stepped onto a platform. The platform began to rise, bringing him to the top of the City.
The computer program finished running.
The Shard of Primus and the Matrix reacted.
Optimus Prime.... Transformed.
Sensing a reaction in the City/Robot behind him, the Dark energy, acting on instict, coalesced into a rough shape of the original Dark Lord of Chaos. Seeing thru eyes that weren't quite there, the Dark energy whipped out a massive tendril toward the chest of Big Max...
An unimaginably large hand grabbed hold of the tendril, stopping it from reaching its destination.
A voice thundered from the top of Big Max. A voice not unlike the Gods themselves came forth from the Head now in-place on top of the Big Max robot:
"I Am Optimus Prime."
Clutching the tendril with one hand, Optimus Prime flexed; BigMax deployed a massive energy-version of the StormSword in his other hand. Channeling the energy of the Matrix and the Shard of Primus himself, the giant energy sword raised high, and sliced downward...
The Dark energy dissolved under the pure cleansing Light of Primus.
Primus' Herald, the Matrix-Bearer, Optimus Prime... had finally completed his mission.
Teletraan-1 finished the presentation.
The figure nodded; it was as he suspected. Autobot, Decepticon... these designations did not matter. These Cybertronians, these 'Dairycons', as they called themselves, had united under a single banner in order to fight a menace far greater than themselves. It happened over and over, in every version he was presented with.
But what brought them together in the first place? What was it that united so many philosophies under a single brand? Why an earthen bovine symbol?
What was this supposed Myth Behind the Moo?
If he could find that out.... and if he could determine the logic behind it... well, that knowledge would prove useful indeed.
"Computer, close file on Dairycon Universe. Delete all records of my query."
Big Max transformed back into City mode and landed, having exhausted his stores of energy during the fight. It would be a very long time before the City could power up again to even minimal levels.
The Dark Energy was no more; not even a whisper of it could be felt by those present. Whether it had been truly destroyed, or merely shunted into yet another dimension couldn't be determined. All they knew was, for now, the Dairycon Universe had been saved.
Though at a very high cost.
Together with the newly-arrived Reinforcements, the Dairycons gathered their fallen heroes. Though no trace could be found of The Leader, they added his name to the monument erected at the front of the City.
The Caskets were the best they could design; the City had seen to their construction prior to powering down. Though they held a Transformers' remains, they did not simply inter them; similar to Pretender Technology, there was a small power supply set to monitor each chassis. Though current Cybertronian medical technology may not revive them, it would always be hoped that sometime, perhaps in the future....
It gave hope to those who remained.
Optimus held forth at the eulogy dedicating the Monument. He spoke of thier bravery during their race's darkest hour, and vowed that they would not be forgotten. He read their names, so that each warrior present would commit it to their memory banks:
"SunBeam. Nachos BelGrande. Bailjumper. PinchBottom. Washout. The Leader. Campaign Car. Crackup. Checkers. Domino. FlatFoot. Minerva... Ass-09, and Motormaster."
There was an audible gasp from those assembled.
"Yes, even Ass-09 and Motormaster. Though they aided the enemy, even taking the lives of our own, it is clear that they were merely pawns in a larger game; their very sparks made subservient to his. Though their crimes against us were unforgivable, forgive them we must, for they, too, were Dairycons."
The caskets were placed into the ground. The City was sealed. The remaining Dairycons would head out toward the other side of the planet; the half that wasn't decimated by the recent battle.
It would be some time before a rescue party arrived from Cybertron; seeking to improve morale, Optimus Prime sat his errant children of Primus down in nearby woods. The night air was, by human standards, cool and pleasant.
The war was over; at least, it was for these proud warriors. Many had sacrificed themselves so that the others could live on. The thought did not hang over them lightly. Each Dairycon warrior remembered those that fell in that climactic last battle; they vowed never to forget them. By living, they honored the ideals of those who had gone before them.
Optimus knew just the story to tell. One very near and dear to the hearts of those present.
"Everyone, gather round and let me tell you a tale.... about drinking, time travel, and the power of friendship. This is the story of two Cybertonians, TB-1 and UWB... whom you affectionately know as Uncle Whiskey Breath and ToiletBot..."
Earth: The Netherlands.
He had sensed it before anyone else had.
The Mexicon's second-in-command knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that their leader had fallen. It was a dark day; though they had all left their homeland for the safety of their adopted home, their leader had stayed behind, to keep the home fires lit, until the day that they could all return.
When they felt Nachos BelGrande's ember die out... snuffed by a dark force... they thought their day of return to the Homeland was forever lost.
It was a day of great mourning.
It was during their mourning, their darkest hour, when the Taco of Leadership shimmered into being in-front of Him.
He who would lead the Mexicons to victory.
Though Nachos BelGrande would be missed, the Taco had selected a new Leader of the Mexicons. Reaching for the Artifact, holding it aloft, they heard the voice of their leader announce from the great beyond: