The vortex swirls a vicious red carrying its organic passengers through space and across dimensional planes, the inside rocket hot, they quickly pull down their hoods, lock arms with each other and kneel, no matter what they had to stay together. Though it felt like eternity, the trip last only a few short seconds. They listen hearing the sound of glass shattering but in reverse. Just when they thought they could bear the heat no more, the vortex opens and tosses them them into a bright light.
Screaming, they tumble and hit the parcheddehydrated ground sliding across their hands and backs. Rafael remains on his back and groans reaching up to adjust his glasses but too afraid to open his eyes, “Did... did it work?”
Miko pushes herself up, having landed on her side and looks around, “The sky is blue, there are a lot of rocks.”
Jack let's loose a hiss, the palms of his hands scraped open from impact, he stands up and pulls back the hood, “We're on Earth, I think. We can still breathe.” He then pulls out his cellphone opening the contacts. Two names sit next to one another, Arcee and Arachnid. His thumb dances between the two of them, Jack then bites his lip debating on which to tap.
Miko grabs his arm, “Let's see where we are first. We don't need dark Arcee on us again.”
“Right,” Jack answers with a nod then looks over as Rafael shuffles to his feet looking around
The youngest blinks as he looks around, “No Decepticons.... nor Autobots. I hope we didn't get sent to another dimension altogether.”
Suddenly, the sound of an engine, not just any engine, but one belonging to a being from Cybertron could be heard roaring across the open land scape. In terror, uncertain of who it would be, the three humans quickly run and hide finding a rock crevice to squeeze into. The idea of outrunning on of the titan like beings was pure foolishness, all they could do was hide like prey.
The roar of the engine grows louder followed by the signature sound of a t-cog clicking then a heavy weight hitting the ground. The being cast a long shadow, the humans hold their breathe, wanting to look but not daring to expose themselves until they know for sure.
A familiar voice suddenly calls out, “Jack! Miko! Rafael!” It was a female, “Jack! Jack!” the female cries, her tone was desperate, fatigued, worried, a week she had been searching.
Jack goes wide-eyed first in joy then his stomach sinks into terror, “Arcee?” he whispers trying to get a better look.
“Jack no,” Rafael whimpers grabbing at Jack's sleeve, “What if-”
“If I'm wrong, run,” Jack answers, “I'll find you two. I promise.”
The foot steps stop, the sounds of a whimper come from the titan, “Jack!... Please...”
Jack pulls himself free from his friends and walks out towards the shadow, “Arcee!” He rounds the corner looking towards the sky to the being towering above him.
Blue armor highlighted with pink, the titan turns, casting beautiful blue optics to the ground, all sorrow erased and replaced with joy upon seeing the small human, “Jack! Thank the All spark! I found you!” Arcee kneels down to her friend, partner, and brother, Jack taking the chance to leap and grab her arm in a hug as she wraps her servo around him.
“Arcee! It's you! It's really, really you!” Jack calls out overjoyed, “Miko! Rafael! It's our Arcee! It worked!”
“Arcee!” the other two call out emerging from their hiding spot, “Arcee it's you!” Rafael leaps up, grappling her other arm in a hug as Miko shouts in joy and joining the arm hugging, “Raf you're a genius!” the oriental girl proclaims.
“Miko! Rafael!” Arcee speaks in relief, “Where the scrap have you been! An Earth week has passed!” Her optics catch the large red Decepticon symbol on the back of Rafael's hoodie. They go wide in shock and terror, “What in Primus's name!” She then pauses and rubs her digits across Jack's hoodie, she had been to overjoyed to notice before, “How in Cybertron's name did you get armor of this material and why the scrap does it have a red decepticon symbol on it!?” Terror and confusion flood her questions, she had lost two partners to the Decepticons, and now a third, a rookie, three human children, had been in close proximity to them? How?
“Oh....” Miko speaks, “That's... a long, long story.”
Jack chuckles and looks at her reassuringly, “You will not believe the week we've had.”
Though highly confused but no the less relived that the young humans are alive and in good health, though on edge, Arcee happily carries them back to the safety of the Autobot base. It was no black tower, just a deserted hidden missile silo that mimics the surrounding plateaus. Instead of hallways of Cybertroain technology the only resemblance to Cybertron were Ratchet's many tools and various equipment. Their return was far from silent, but not as rejoicing as the Autobots had expected. Each of the kids yell in fear at seeing Ratchet before returning to seeing it was their grumpy medic. Bumblebee and Bulkhead's sudden appearance caused them to once more scatter behind Arcee before seeing their colors were once more normal.
Optimus gave them the largest fright, humans were quick to run from what they had grown to see as a harbinger of death, their stomachs sink and the trio nearly destroys the entire living area in an attempt to run away and hide. The Autobots watch in utter shock at such a reaction, Optimus recoiling hurt by seeing such a sight. Their very first meeting had gone so smoothly. Jack manages a good look at Optimus and quickly calls off the panicked escape, “Wait! Wait.... it's.... its our Optimus.”
“Your Optimus?” the Prime in question parrots
“What has gotten into you three!” Ratchet proclaims in disbelief, “You're behaving like we're the Decepticons and Optimus was Megatron himself!”
Bumblebee races forward scooping up Rafael, holding to boy like a protective older brother worried beeps flying from his damaged vocalizer, “You just startled me Bumblebee, that's all. It's been a crazy week.”
“What the scrap happened to you three!” Bulkhead exclaims watching Miko hurt by her reaction
“You will not believe us,” Miko answers.
Ratchet huffs, “I'm already in disbelief. You three fall off the radar for an Earth week, then suddenly reappear looking like Decepticon pets, that 'fabric' can only be made by a skilled medic. Plus you are behaving act like we attempted to harm you three! What were you about to call me anyway, the Doctor of something? And you panic, at seeing Optimus of all bots!”
Jack answers, “Doctor of Doom. And believe it or not, Megatron gave us shelter.”
“Megatron!?” the other proclaim in shock.
Rafael slides off of Bee's servo, standing on the raised platform once more. He pulls from his back pocket a small thumb drive like object Knockout had given him, “Maybe we should let you watch this. Then you'll see why we're so jumpy.”
Ratchet reaches to take the device sliding it into his hand as it begins to unfold growing steadily larger until its length nearly matches the width of his hand. Ratchet turns the device over in his palm, it looked harmless enough until his experienced eyes catch a signature marking, “You got this from... Knockout...”
“We did,” Rafael answers, “It's proof of the Spring Break we've had.”
Miko shrugs, “Hey a picture is worth a thousand words after all in all languages. Plug it in and we'll explain the 'Con look.” she turns around and tugs in the shoulders of her hoodie stretching the symbol slightly.
Ratchet looks back at the humans with a skeptical look on his face, one optic ridge in an arch. We wanted little to do with that crazed narcissistic medic. He then shifts his optics to Optimus, wondering if they should continue this game. He was ready to mark the trio as the most insane of their kind! Optimus simply nods at the medic, “Let us hear them out, Ratchet. They have disappeared from our radar for an extended period. Use that to decipher why.”
Ratchet sighs lowering his shoulders, “Alright then.” He turns to the massive computers and inserts the external drive. The other Autobots gather around the central monitor curious as to what had happened to their friends. A video screen appears as nothing but static and familiar, unfriendly voice muttering. A thud is heard and the static clears.
A picture of Knockout, covered in scars, his armor and optics a surprising blue stares at the screen one clawed hand up, “Finally, piece of scrap.”
“Knockout!” Ratchet proclaims in disbelief.
“Mirror Knockout,” Rafael speaks, “I believe that because of a solar flare, the ground bridge warped and sent us across the dimensional barrier into a place with a slightly different time line.”
“Autobots, if you can see this, I assume young Rafael is correct in his theory,” the mirror Knockout speaks, the Autobots watching, mouth slightly agape, “You may not believe them, and I do not blame you. However, have no fear. We have been guarding your young friends over this pass Earth week. I have gathered plenty of proof for this claim, observe,” Knockout reaches pass the camera and something clicks causing it to go back to static then it displays a view from someone's optics.
No one could decipher who it was but three human yells caught the being's attention. The bot scurries quickly towards the sound and looks over some rubble. Arcee goes wide-eyed at what she sees. It was her! But with red optics crouched low, one blade forward as the children stumble backwards from her. The two wheeler was struck silent watching horrified as the being finally makes a leap at the mirror Arcee.
The being finally speaks as it pins its foe then looks back at the frighten humans, “Run!”
“Arachnid!” Arcee finally speaks in shock.
“She saved us,” Jack answers, “And it's gets weirder.”
And indeed the video does grow odder, it cuts to the view of another mirror Decepticon in the ruins of the city. The being briefly looks to one side seeing the humans slide to a halt and looking up at him fearfully before looking back at it's target. A loud menacing whir is heard as if tauting the fallen titan, the view suddenly locking onto mirror Bumblebee.
Several confused and fearful beeps and whirs come from the young scout seeing himself as an evil red optic menace. Rafael speaks up, “That must be Starscream. I thought he didn't see us.”
The video cuts again to another view, this one running on heavy footsteps snarling, “Where is that fragger.”
“Breakdown?” Bulkhead speaks up recognizing the voice, “But wait... that means....” His optics drop to his small friend who only nods with a sad look and they look back at the screen.
Miko's scream could be heard, Breakdown turns towards the noise and Bulkhead could be seen looking down at something. The former wrecker growls and charges forward swinging his hammer and connecting then looking at the humans, “Get out of here! Now!”
Ratchet stares at the screen in disbelief, while he questioned the antics he saw, it was no mistaking that it was the human children. But, the Decepticons were doing everything they could to keep them out of harm's way as they run through the city ruins and the Autobots.... the Autobots were attacking them, “By the Allspark... so... you... three had to run for you're lives. Where did the ground bridge place you!”
“In Jasper,” Jack answers, “What was left of it. Optimus, mirror Optimus,” the youth quickly corrects himself, “Had built a tower where this base is in order to take over Earth and use it as a base in the war.”
“Is...” Optimus starts slowly still looking at the screen, “that me?”
They turn back to the video, a fourth view now plays high in the sky. Indeed, it was Optimus the False Prime, bathed in red and black staring down the human youths at gunpoint. The trio cowards before him unable to run, unable to fight. The being speaks, “Optimus enough!”
“Megatron,” Optimus speaks knowing the voice in an instant then watching as his mirrored version is knocked away from the children.
The battle scene falls to silent as Knockout's voice is heard again, “If you were not convinced before, I do hope you are now. Megatron ordered us to protect the humans. They knew of us and them speaking of your world, well, I'm sure we shared similar reactions as they spoke of our world. But, what can I say, we soon found joy in our small friends” Several clips fade in and out as well as still pictures showing the trio of humans talking with the Decepticons, the humans walking along their arms and even being carried by the Nemesis various crew members. They shared stories, laughed with each other, even the silent Soundwave seems to enjoy the humans' company.
The narrating medic took on somber tone “The Autobots were winning the war and soon the our Earth would be in ruin just as Cybertron is in both our worlds.” Joy was replaced by sorrow as clips of destruction and the Autobot's cheering in victory of it are displayed. The scene was enough to make hatred towards their mirror selves boil up. Optimus had to shutter his optics, unable to bear watching his dark self behave like Megatron.
The narrator suddenly changes from Knockout's voice to Megatron's voice, “I must say one thing, Optimus,” the Prime seems to perk up, “These humans, are quite clever for such a young species.” Cement proof of them in a mirror verse, duplicates of Jack Miko and Rafael were seen talking to Jack, Miko, and Breakdown through what they guessed were Knockout's optics “If not for their own curiosity of each other I doubt we would have discovered our world was one Earth week behind, time wise, from yours. I am sad to say I had to put them in grave danger and travel into the heart of evil to get them safely back to you, my brother.”
Silence takes over the base at the mention of brothers between the two leaders, the Autobot's turn to Optimus, who continues to watch silently, “We were sad to see out young friends go, but good bye had to come eventually.”
Next a string of clips play with the humans seated on the various Decepticons and speaking to their Autobot friends they had grown to miss, anxious to see them once more. The Autobots watched entranced by the scene, how peaceful they were, how things could have been, may yet still become. An outcome were there is no hatred towards either faction, only peace. The Decepticons laughed, tossed about friendly taunts, even in the midst of war, well mirror Starscream had placed it best in one clip, 'These humans have gotten to your heads!'
Ratchet shakes his head still in disbelief, “Another universe that mirrors our own... next thing I'll see is you three sitting on Megatron!”
“Um... actually,” Jack begins.
But the clip answers for him, all three human sitting content, secured and relaxed on the silver, blue-eyed leader. Optimus couldn't stop himself from saying it, “Megatronus...?” It was just as he remembered his one time brother, a loving, peaceful, hopeful look on his face seeking for the best he could make without harm if he could at all help it. The Gladiator who let his opponent back up, a speaker for a better Cybertron, not a tyrant who wanted to rule with an iron fist. Perhaps, just maybe, his brother may be gone in this Universe, but still lived on in another. He felt a pain in his spark begin to wane as hope attempted to refill it. He had to hold back a joyful laugh.
The screen fades to black and turns off. Optimus walks closer to the children gazing down at them, “You three have had quite a journey this past week. It was my understanding a Spring Break is for relaxation. Not traveling into a Mirror Universe full of danger and unknown. I am thankful for your human nature, wit, and ingenuity that returned you to our world. And I am pleased to have you three back safe and sound.” The Prime's optics then narrow, “However, what did Megatron mean by placing you three in grave danger to get you home safely?”
Rafael steps forward, “Simply put, if we took Soundwave's bridge, we would have been closer to a Decepticon then an Autobot. And on this side, that is a death wish for any human.”
Miko the speaks, “So we had to break into the Autobot strong hold and use theirs.”
“Okay, this is one story I want to hear,” Ratchet states looking at the organics.
“Megatron! Please be alright!”
Dispite the continued human presence, the Decepticons dig feverishly in the ruins of the Black Tower looking for any sign of their leader. Breakdown and Dreadwing easily toss away the larger and heavier pieces; Starscream, Knockout and Arachnid dig through the rubble cursing whatever material was blocking their scanners. Soundwave does little digging but seems to run in almost circles following bits of Megatron's energy signature that was left during their invasion of the tower.
No Autobot's could be seen for miles, Starscream doubted that they would return for Optimus, instead they would argue, bicker, and fight over who was now in charge. It was a golden opportunity to finish them off; but Megatron was still in peril.
Speaking of easy pickings, the human military stand guns at the ready, locked on the frantic aliens. They had thought the fall of the tower would make them scatter. Instead, the blue-eyes dig like dogs after a lost bone. But the order to fire never comes, was it fear, confusion, compassion, or bewilderment that stopped their commanders. The humans celebrated the tower's fall but shrieked like children when the blue-eyes leaped over them and began to dig. It was going on several hours, every so often the titans would call out a name. Fowler and Silas both had barked and snarled at the titans. Even fired into the ground and air. They aliens jumped at the gun fire then went right back to digging like nothing happened, soon becoming deaf to the sounds.
Silas finally give the signal for them to lower their arms, “At ease men! These titans are not here for us. Not this time.”
“What do you think they're looking for?” Fowler inquires, as they watch almost mystified by the sight.
“Someone important,” Silas answers, “Let's watch.”
Soundwave suddenly stops darting in circles looking at his feet, a few yards from the center. He suddenly kneels down and begins digging away. The others look up, then go to join him in digging. They make a circle about a big around as Megatron is tall, they dig with all their re-summoned might, knocking the rubble away between their legs and into growing piles behind them.
“They found something,” Fowler states watching them closely, his human curiosity taking over.
Their armor dirty and exhausted from both the day and the heat they knew they could not give up now, not if Soundwave had zoned in on this one spot. Starscream reaches down deep to widen his hole, and something reaches back, grasping his thin wrist. The white seeker whimpers as he's pulled down slightly then tightens his grip on a much thicker object, “I got him!” He proclaims, feeling the clawed hand desperately digging into his armor, “Megatron, hang on!”
The group moves, the humans raise their weapons again. Starscream braces against the ground and begins to pull as piece by the piece the rubble is knocked away from their leader. With a loud roar, a heavy piece of metal is tossed behind Breakdown and Dreadwing. The being pulls tightly on Starscream's arm as Starscream pulls back.
The ground starts to crumble away and the an arm punches through the rubble and grabs at the surface pulling the rest of itself free. It was Megatron! Armor turned dark from the rubble he was buried under for so long. He let's loose a wheezing gasp, his loyal troops grab and pull him from his tomb, as their mighty leader collapses on the ground with a sigh of relief, “Thank you....” he mutters weakly.
“Thank us later,” Knockout orders, switching to his medical tools and begins to seal the broken lines, “Take it easy, sir. We have won. And you have lost a lot of energon.”
Megatron nods weakly and looks up at Starscream with a smirk, releasing his seconds wrist. Starscream rocks back on his heels and rests on his hind quarters, his wings drooping down his back as he looks to the sky, “Praise the Allspark....”
Dreadwing pumps his fist in the air in victory snatching up Soundwave and hoisting him up celebration, “You did it Soundwave!” Soundwave quickly turns and swats at Dreadwing, preferring the ground to being tossed into the sky as such.
“Don't scare us like that,” Arachnid states, “We thought we lost you.”
Breakdown had moved to help in repairing their leader, “He's taken harder hits, we'll have him back up in no time.”
A soft footstep is heard from behind them, Dreadwing turns and sneers, Fowler was cautiously approaching them, “What do you want, human! We have caused you no trouble. In fact, we just saved you. Let us fix our leader and we will gladly leave.”
“Dreadwing,” Starscream hisses, “Do not provoke them. Not now.”
Fowler stops looking up at the bulky green flier then to its injured leader, an odd blue liquid had pooled under him, their blood he believed. For a moment he catches the dim blue optics of the dirty silver titan then looks back to Dreadwing, “He's hurt pretty bad, isn't he?”
Dreadwing is caught off guard by this, had the human just made a compassionate remark, “Yes. Very badly. He is lucky to still be functioning. Why do you ask? You are a military human. I thought you hated us.”
Fowler smirks, “Some civilian humans have made a claim that the blue-eye titans are peaceful. Do the blue eyenames Jack, Miko, and Rafael mean anything to you?”
Dreadwing freezing looking over to Starscream unsure if he should answer. Starscream stands and looks at the human, “What difference does it make?”
“Well, for one,” Fowler continues, “They claimed a blue and a red blue-eye saved them from a green and a red red-eye. That true?”
“Yes,” Starscream answers crossing his arms, “Two of ours saved a small group of humans by those designations. We had told the civilian humans to keep running, we were going to go take care of red-eyes.”
Fowler nods, “They said you would need help.” Starscream goes slightly wide-eyed at that statement as the dark skinned human continues, “Seems he was right.”
“What are you getting at, human?” Starscream inquires eying him closely, this was the same human who earlier that day had tried to shoot them down.
“The name's Fowler,” he answers, “Guy with me is Silas. We run an operation called M.E.C.H. We were made to handle the titian aliens. But, from what I've seen, you came to help your own. You showed compassion to the younger members of our species. They were willing to see what we were blinded by. You blue-eyes. Your alright. The red-eyes, they're the trouble makers?”
Starscream nods, “That is correct.”
Fowler nods, “I'll let ya get back to your leader.” He then turns to his men, “Men! The Black Tower fell and swallowed at least one red-eye with it. The others scattered. The blue-eyes were nowhere to be found. They vanished into the wild blue yonder. Let's go home”
The army stood looking amongst themselves, was this a gag order? “I said move out!” Fowler orders. His men salute and begin to fall back and pull away from the tower leaving the Decepticons to tend to their wounds.
Arachnid stands stunned, “Did we just get an alliance?”
“I... think so....” Starscream slowly speaks.
Knockout grits his teeth, “Oh no, please not your spark. Bear with me, sir. Breakdown, help me get him on his back.” His assistant nods and together they, with what little help Megatron could muster, they get their leader onto his back.
Megatron hiss and grits his dental, moving one hand to rest on his chest, “Easy, doctor.”
“Just one more patch and I'll get you to the med bay,” Knockout reassures him, “You'll be free to recharge all you need then.” The blue medic gently runs his fingers down a crease causing Megatron's chest plates to part enough to see his spark. Knockout goes wide-eyed and jumps back in shock, “Megatron! You....”
Megatron chuckles in victory, pushing himself up and pulling his chest plates further apart for the others to see, “Megatronus Prime has rightfully claimed the Matrix.”