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Forging Excalibur
                                                A Transformers: Armada Story
                                                         By William Rendfeld

   “I honestly don’t see the problem,” Starscream stated. “We require reinforcements, immediately.”

   “That isn’t something to ask for lightly,” the familiar voice of Bludgeon replied. “Our forces are few, if any. While I understand that the Earth campaign is important, we should be concentrating our forces and taking strength here. Our agents are ready to take political power, and once we are recognized politically, this insane act will end. But we will need all we can get.”

   “Procuring the Mini-Cons will augment our forces,” Starscream replied. “You know this.” He activated a small device beneath the communications panel and, when it gave out a light beep, he said, “Besides, you and I both know what will happen if Megatron gets his hands on them.”

   “Agreed,” Bludgeon replied. “Who do you need?”

   “Send in those I can trust,” Starscream asked. “Thundercracker and Skywarp, if at all possible. I’ll also need Mudflap.”

   “Understood,” Bludgeon replied. “There’s someone else that I’d prefer be with you; he has much to learn, but I think you’ll be an excellent teacher.”

   Starscream smiled. “Send him over.”

   “Are we clear?” Optimus Prime asked.

   “Not yet,” Smokescreen reported. “You sure he understood what was needed?”

   “Positive,” Optimus replied. “Starscream isn’t stupid.”

   Starscream cut off his transmission, then clicked his communicator. “We’re ready. Go.”

   “I hear you,” Swindle’s voice came back.

   “You think he can do it?” Smokescreen asked. “I mean, no offense to him and all, but...”

   “He’ll have it down in time,” Optimus replied.

   Swindle carefully crawled through one of the Nemesis’s access tubes, heading towards a particularly noticeable grouping of circuitry. “Nice chips. Probably’d get some serious Energon for ‘em.” He took a breath, then said, “If only I had the time,” before pulling them.

   Suddenly, everything went dark. As Swindle activated his infrared scope, a familiar voice bellowed, “STARSCREAM!”

   “Nemesis long-range sensors down,” Smokescreen said. “We’re good to go.”

   “Patch us in,” Optimus Prime ordered. He turned to a nearby screen as Jetfire appeared. “How’s the reception, Jetfire?”

   “More than enough, Optimus,” Jetfire replied. “How long have we got?”

   “Long enough,” Optimus replied. “Status.”

   “The council’s voted its support to send more aid to Earth,” Jetfire replied. “Tell me who and what you need, and I’ll send them.”

   “Good, we’re going to need them,” Optimus replied. “We’ve been found out; one of the major human governments knows about us, and they want to strike a deal.”

   “You think we can trust them?” Jetfire asked.

   “It’s their planet,” Optimus replied. “Besides, it’s either that or they attack us. I’d rather we have them as allies. Negotiations are forthcoming, but it looks like they’ll be providing us with support and resources, including a potential permanent base.”

   “Which means you’ll need tech support, security and an architect,” Jetfire replied. “I can have Roadblock, the Wreckers...”

   “Negative, not until we’ve confirmed the agreement,” Optimus replied. “I’ll be meeting with their leader in a few breems. In the meantime, make certain the central military is aware of the situation and troops are readied.”

   “Will do,” Jetfire replied. “Also, I’ve got news from Vector Prime. Uploading now.”

   A small status bar appeared on the screen, and Optimus responded, “Confirmed. We’ve got another problem, however; the Race Team’s been found. The war’s escalating.”

   “Another good reason to get moving,” Jetfire replied. “Good luck.”

   The transmission cut off.

   “Power to Nemesis long-range sensors should be restored...” Smokescreen explained.

   “Now,” Thrust declared as long-range sensors snapped back online. “Redundancy active.”

   “Most likely one of those random glitches in the system,” Starscream explained. “I’ll send Swindle in to take a look in a few cycles.”

   “Do that,” Megatron noted as a beacon lit up on the screen. “What’s this?”

   “New Mini-Con pod online,” Thrust replied. “Peninsula on the North American continent, to the south.”

   Megatron looked upon the monitor, and ordered, “Scramble all our forces. We have more Mini-Cons to claim.” He began to step out of the command chamber, but stopped briefly to say to Starscream, “I assume you were able to call for reinforcements, yes?”

   “Yes,” Starscream replied. “They are being readied as we speak.”

   “Excellent,” Megatron noted. “That’s one thing that’s gone right today.”

   A light autumn breeze wafted through Diana Masters’ hair as she sat, drinking her coffee. “I still don’t see why you want me around.”

   “You’ve spent more time with them than anyone else,” Colonel Franklin replied. “As a result, you’re the closest thing we have to an expert on the Cybertronians. Plus, they trust you.”

   “I’m an archaeologist, not a politician,” Diana quickly noted. “I doubt I’ll even be that anymore. The instant some lawyer smells a case, he’s going to pop right in and tear into it with everything he’s got. Even with me quitting, there’s still going to be someone out there who thinks it’s a good idea.”

   “You know the truth,” Franklin admitted. “I know the truth. Those people I work for who are aware of all the facts are aware of the truth as well. And while there isn’t a law that they can’t sue you, I doubt anyone has the means, or the reason. Like you’ve said, you weren’t responsible. You’ve done what you thought was right, that’s what matters.”

   Diana looked down at her cup, and sighed. “But you still want me to stay for a while, to ease the treaty?”

   “At least until negotiations are complete,” Franklin replied. “It’ll only take a few days, a week at most. I’m sure you can hold off moving until then.”

   “Well, I have to wait for my rent to expire anyway,” Diana replied. “It shouldn’t be too big a deal.”

   Franklin’s cell phone beeped, and he quickly answered, “Yes? Understood. Make certain the area is clear before they get there.” He hung up and explained, “Cape Canaveral’s picked up some unusual radio signals from near the main launch pads. They match the signals from the Mini-Con pods.”

   Diana swallowed the last of her coffee and said, “Never a dull moment.”

   “Scans confirm the location of another Mini-Con pod in Florida,” Red Alert explained. “About ten miles west from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Base.”

   “Can you get Colonel Franklin?” Optimus asked.

   “Patching in,” Smokescreen replied. “We’ve got him.”

   “Prime?” Franklin’s voice asked. “We’ve picked up what we think is a Mini-Con pod in Florida, near...”

   “Cape Canaveral, yes,” Optimus interrupted. “We can confirm it. Chances are good the Decepticons are on their way. If you can, ask the personnel at the base to be on standby.”

   “We’ve already begun efforts to protect the civilian population,” Franklin replied. “Warning sirens have been sounded, and the locals know where to go. But it’d be wiser if you got there before anything else happened.”

   “Agreed,” Optimus replied. “We’re dispatching a team immediately, ETA ten minutes.” The call cut off, and Optimus ordered, “Smokescreen, get Scavenger and Blurr. The four of us are on the clock.”

   It had been a long time indeed.

   Those words flashed through Vector Prime’s mind as he considered what had happened. The Mini-Cons were being located. Unicron was moving. What had been long-lost in shadow was slowly coming into the light at last. It had been a long time since the Mini-Cons had walked Cybertron, since Unicron had been a major concern.

   Things were changing.

   It was time he took action.

   Diana had remained silent as she and Franklin drove towards the Ark, hoping to make certain of the situation and perhaps give assistance. As they motored along at a good clip, Franklin asked, “So, what will you do once all this is over?”

   “My sister’s family lives in Seattle,” Diana explained. “Once everything’s set here, I’ll head there until I can get a place somewhere else.”

   “You don’t sound too happy about it,” Franklin noted.

   “I’m not,” Diana replied. “I love my sister, don’t get me wrong. Miranda’s a wonderful person, and she’s a good mother to her children. I’m just a little nervous about Brian, that’s all.”

   “Brother-in-law?” Franklin asked.

   “Yeah,” Diana replied. “He’s brilliant. Smart. I’ll never deny that. And he loves his kids. But he’s always on the verge of being a few fries short of a Happy Meal. Not to mention he’s a little too attached to wine.”

   “Sounds like he’s real fun at parties,” Franklin noted as the Ark came into view.

   “Sometimes,” Diana noted. “Assuming he doesn’t go too overboard.”

   The car came to a halt, and the Ark’s landing ramp descended, allowing it to enter. They exited the car as the landing ramp ascended behind them, and Diana asked, “Why the sudden interest in my personal life?”

   “Nothing wrong with knowing a little bit about the people you work with, is there?” Franklin retorted.

   “They’re impressive, if you think about it,” Starscream mused as he looked upon the Kennedy Space Center from a distance. “They haven’t been to their own moon in over thirty stellar cycles. Their current vehicle for exploring space can’t even leave their own atmosphere. They’re more divided than we Cybertronians could ever fear being in our darkest nightmares. They don’t even know who’s out there for certain. Yet they still test their boundaries, still aim for the stars.”

   “Your point?” Swindle asked.

   “It’s admirable,” Starscream replied. “That’s all.”

   Swindle gave his partner in crime a smirk with his optics, then noted, “Watch yourself there, old man. Megatron’s not blind.”

   “Good thing you’re here to keep an eye on me then, hm?” Starscream rhetorically asked. He quickly activated his communications unit and declared, “Starscream to Megatron. No Mini-Cons located in this sector; moving on.”

   “Understood,” Megatron curtly replied.

   Swindle leapt up and linked with Starscream’s arm, and the larger Transformer transformed into vehicle mode and took flight, heading away from the base. As they moved away, a small panel of fake grass flipped up, allowing a tiny Transformer with silver and blue armor to take note of their departure.

   “Oh, this is sooo not good,” Jetstorm noted before he descended back into his hiding place.

   “Nice place,” Scavenger noted as the four Autobots and their Mini-Con entourage arrived. “Good view of the ocean.”

   “Too bad there’s a civilian population nearby,” Rollbar noted as he scoped out the terrain. “Not to mention that military base. A ‘bot could almost retire here.”

   “Don’t get too familiar with the scenery,” Optimus Prime noted. “We need to get in and out before we attract too much attention. Smokescreen, picking anything up?”

   “Excess radio waves from the nearby base are causing interference,” Smokescreen explained. “Can’t pin anything down for about three miles around.”

   “Looks like we’re hoofing it,” Sparkplug noted from the ground.

   “Agreed,” Optimus replied. “All right, Autobots; split up. Blurr and Scavenger will head northwest; Smokescreen and I will stay near the shoreline and head south. Mini-Cons remain close at all times, and keep sensors online. If you see the Decepticons, contact the other team immediately.”

   The four Autobots transformed into their vehicle modes, their Mini-Con partners linking up with them in the process, and the group split up and moved out.

   “Something’s on your mind, Optimus,” Sparkplug noted.

   “Call it an old feeling,” Optimus replied. “But I’m sensing something...familiar.”

   Red Alert calmly looked towards the two new arrivals and said, “Why am I not surprised to see you?”

   “Maybe we’re just a little too predictable,” Diana noted as she and Franklin entered the large command center.

   “Any information available, Red Alert?” Franklin asked.

   “Not much,” Red Alert explained. “An active Mini-Con signal’s online in Florida, near the Kennedy Space Center. We’re already reading the Decepticons and Optimus’s unit in the area. They’re close.”

   Franklin took a hard look at the monitors, and realized, “You’ve hacked into the weather satellites.”

   “Yes, it was somewhat necessary,” Red Alert reluctantly admitted. “For reconnaissance purposes.”

   “Hardly a bad idea,” Franklin noted. “Now, how many went?”

   “Hot Shot and I are the only Autobots left on the base,” Red Alert explained. “The Race Team’s remained behind as well, as a safety measure.”

   “Just being cautious, is all,” Hot Shot admitted as he entered the chamber. “I mean, after what they did for me, I’d rather they be safe and secure here than out in the field too.”

   “Because they form that shield,” Franklin realized. “Skyboom, was it?”

   “Yes,” Red Alert replied. “For numerous reasons, believe me.”

   “I’d prefer to know,” Franklin pressed. “Miss Masters is excellent concerning her records, but they never mentioned the Skyboom Shield.”

   “Optimus never explained that to me,” Diana explained.

   Hot Shot looked at Red Alert and noted, “It’s not like they shouldn’t know, Red.”

   Red Alert looked at them uneasily, and explained, “The Skyboom Shield is important because it’s one of the five Core Weapons; bits of equipment created from three Mini-Cons combined with one another. They were developed to aid in the fight against the Quintessons, during the first Great War. Each is unique in its power, and stronger than any other hand-held armament in any Cybertronian’s arsenal. We aren’t entirely sure how that happened, either.”

   “And because you now have the Race Team, the group that makes up Skyboom, the Decepticons will try to get their hands on one of the other weapons,” Diana reasoned. “Any in particular?”

   “Any one of them could mean disaster for the people of this planet,” Red Alert replied. “Which is why it’s better that the Mini-Cons who comprise them are safe with us than with the Decepticons, for our safety and yours.”

   “You saw them?” Runway asked.

   “No doubt,” Jetstorm replied. “The Decepticons are here. Megatron included.”

   The Air Defense Team leader hung his head and said, “This isn’t good.”

   “Not at all,” Sonar chipped in.

   The three Mini-Cons stood within their underground stronghold, a salvaged smuggler’s cove from ages past. Runway paced silently, and noted, “We knew it was a matter of time.”

   “Absolutely,” Jetstorm noted.

   “Definitely,” Sonar added.

   Runway shook his head, and leaned against the far wall. “What do we do?”

   A light, ageless voice asked, “May I make a suggestion?”

   The three Mini-Cons turned to face the one who spoke, his armor glittering silvery-white even in the low light. Flanking him on both sides were two others; one slight of build, his armor silver, the other large, his armor a deep orange.

   “Of course,” Runway replied. “Go ahead.”

   Safeguard took a moment to process his thoughts, then said slowly, “The Decepticons are here; Jetstorm has confirmed this, and he has no reason to lie. If Megatron has indeed come, than we can safely assume that he did not come unchallenged.”

   “You think Prime’s here?” Sonar asked.

   “It’s a safe assumption,” Over-Run noted. “Prime wouldn’t let Megatron get away with claiming us as his own again. Especially after what happened the last time.”

   “Don’t remind me,” Jetstorm noted bitterly.

   “But how are we supposed to find them now?” Rollout asked. “I’m not saying I don’t want to find them, but how are we supposed to find them in all this?”

   “The old-fashioned way,” Safeguard noted. “Keep our optics open. All of us must man the watch posts; they should keep us informed. Should anyone see an Autobot they recognize, Prime especially, we will head for them immediately.”

   “That’s assuming they aren’t a Decepticon in disguise or something,” Over-Run noted.

   “Deception may be part of their name, but it is not their best art,” Safeguard noted. “We will find them. Soon.”

   “Megatron, this is Thrust,” the Decepticon flier reported in. “We’ve narrowed in on the Mini-Con pod. It’s underground; seems some recent human activity has made the ground thin enough to allow the signal to get through.”

   “Has the Destruction Team begun excavation yet?” Megatron asked through the link.

   “Affirmative,” Thrust replied. “However, the soil is fairly moist; it may take some time before we’re able to dig it out.”

   “Then snap to it!” Megatron bellowed. “The Autobots already have an advantage over us; I won’t allow it to increase! Megatron out!”

   Thrust looked at his communicator nervously, then ordered to Cyclonus and their accompanying Mini-Cons, “Keep digging!”

   “Blah-blah-blah,” Cyclonus complained as he slowly scooped at the earth with his bare hands.

   While the other Mini-Cons worked, Dualor silently waited. If they were right, and another team was underneath them, then he may well have what he needed most.

   “We’re getting closer; that much I can tell you,” Smokescreen noted as he and his commander inched towards the location of the Mini-Con pod. “But with this terrain, we’d be better off on foot.”

   “Agreed,” Optimus Prime noted as he slowed to a halt. He detached from his trailer and allowed Sparkplug to disconnect before he transformed to robot mode. Smokescreen followed suit after Liftor and Refute disconnected from their ports. “Sensors to maximum, ‘bots. We don’t know what we might find.”

   A blast from nearby quickly affirmed Prime’s statement as Megatron stepped into view and declared, “A very true statement, Prime. You came looking for Mini-Cons, but all you found was the cold embrace of the Pit.”

   “Don’t be so confident, Megatron,” Optimus replied as he opened fire with his arm cannons.

   Megatron took the comparatively light blows, and yelled into his communicator, “Decepticons, to my position, quickly! The Autobots have arrived!”

   As Smokescreen did likewise, calling in support from the other Autobots, a hatch in the ground opened, and Sparkplug was dragged underground. As this event went unnoticed, Megatron opened fire with his main gun, prompting Prime to duck to one side, dodging the attack and readying his own cannon. He opened fire and declared, “We’ll see who goes to the Pit today, Megatron!”

   “Prime and Smokescreen are under attack,” Scavenger reported. “We’re heading for their position now.”

   “Understood,” Red Alert replied from within the Ark’s command bay before the transmission cut off. He turned to his allies and noted, “This isn’t looking good.”

   The remaining Autobot-aligned Mini-Cons had gathered within the chamber with Red, Hot Shot, Diana and Franklin, curious over the recent course of events.

   “This doesn’t look good for anyone,” Longarm noted.

   “They’ll get through it just fine,” Dirt Boss chided. “Prime’s dealt with worse.”

   “I’d feel better if they had help,” Mirage declared.

   “Not an option,” Red Alert declared. “And before you can protest, Hot Shot, remember this; we’re in a very precarious position at this point. Optimus needs to handle this on his own, before anything else happens.”

   “But someone’s got to help them,” Hot Shot pleaded.

   The door to the chamber opened, and a voice declared, “Someone shall.”

   Those gathered turned to the opened door, and aside from the humans, looked on in shock. “By Primus...” Red Alert softly declared.

   Before Sparkplug could cry out in surprise, a familiar voice noted, “Easy, Sparky. You’re among friends.”

   Sparkplug looked to his assailant in surprise, then asked, “Runway?” As the aerial Mini-Con came into clearer view, Sparkplug quickly said, “Don’t do that again.”

   “Sorry, Sparks, didn’t want to attract too much attention,” Runway noted. “With the ‘Cons in the area in everything. What’s happened?”

   “The ‘Bots picked up the signal your pod put out, and we came to find you,” Sparkplug explained. “Obviously, Megatron was here first.”

   “So the Autobots are here,” Runway noted. “And Prime?”

   “Getting close to having his aft handed to him,” Sparkplug noted. “Now if you’re done, he could use all the help he can get.”

   Runway gave a reassuring glance and said, “Slagging right.” He activated his communicator and noted, “Runway to unit; Prime’s definitely here, and he needs a hand.” His communicator clicked off, and Runway assured his comrade, “Count us in.”

   “Now this is more like it!” Cyclonus cackled as he flew in towards the battle between the two leaders, Thrust following behind. “Look out, Autobots! You’re about to hit the hurricane!”

   Far below the two Decepticons, Smokescreen locked onto them with his sensors. As Refute linked up to his left arm, Liftor latched onto Smokescreen’s crane arm. He took hold of the crane as a targeting sensor came online in his optics and the crane extended, allowing a long cannon to deploy. “Hit this, Decepti-creeps!” Smokescreen bellowed as he opened fire, sending a cannon blast towards his opponents. The blast barely grazed Thrust’s wing and Cyclonus’s rotors, but more than served as a warning shot.

   “This one has spirit,” Thrust noted as he transformed. “Cyclonus, let’s give them a real taste, shall we?”

   “Oh yeah, let’s show ‘em!” Cyclonus declared, transforming to robot mode and descending to the ground. “Look out, little Autobot, here I come!”

   Cyclonus went into a mad dive and, with Drill Bit spinning madly on his right arm, drew back and prepared to strike. As his arm came forward, Smokescreen caught it with Refute’s aid, clamping down on the arm before landing a strong punch to Cyclonus’s face. As the large Decepticon reeled back, Thrust opened fire from above, raining laser bursts down from above. Smokescreen took the blasts, covering his face and allowing his heavy armor to absorb the attacks.

   “Fall,” Thrust ordered. “Fall!”

   A missile blasted through the sky, hitting Thrust directly and stopping his attack. As he regained his bearings, a bright flash streaked through the sky distracting him as it neared the site of Megatron and Optimus Prime’s firefight.

   “Come now, Prime,” Megatron bellowed as he continued fire. “Forget this fool’s errand; the Mini-Cons are mine! There’s nothing you can do!”

   “There’s everything I can do,” Optimus Prime called back, his cannon sending salvo after salvo. “You’ve never cared for the rights of your fellow Cybertronians, Megatron, but I’ve never stopped caring. If you want the Mini-Cons, you’ll have to take them over my rusted frame.”

   “So be it!” Megatron cried. “Leader-1, Powerlink!”

   The compartment in Megatron’s leg opened, and Leader-1 leapt out, shifting his form and linking up with Megatron’s cannon to increase its power. His cannon aimed squarely at Optimus, Megatron at last declared, “Farewell, Optimus Prime, and good riddance!”

   Suddenly, clouds of dust erupted from behind Optimus, blocking him from Megatron’s vision as the clear, loud roar of jet engines fired off. As Megatron blocked his optics in surprise, five blurs raced through the air around him, four lancing off laser bolts as they did so and the last heading into the air.

   “Sorry to disappoint,” Runway declared.

   “But we’re fond of Prime here,” Sonar noted.

   “Far more than we are of you!” Jetstorm cried.

   Megatron gave off a cry of rage as he recognized those voices. “You again! You won’t escape me, not after last time!” He reached out a hand to grab them, but was held at bay by twin blasts from the dust cloud.

   “Not again, Megatron,” Optimus declared as the dust cleared, a large twin-barreled gun in one hand, a single-barreled gun in the other. “The Air Defense Team is not yours to control. Not now, not anymore.”

   With those words, Optimus tossed aside Rollout and Over-Run, leaving them to transform into their robot forms as the Air Defense Team circled back. As Megatron watched in surprise, the three jets moved into formation. Sonar split down the middle, and landed firmly in Prime’s right hand. Runway and Jetstorm then connected to one another and, as Jetstorm’s nosecone flipped back, the two jets combined with their comrade, and a bright blue light surrounded them, making them look like the blade of a sword.

   “The Star Saber,” Megatron realized.

   “Restored to the one who wielded the blade first,” Optimus declared. “Leave now, Megatron. You’ve lost.”

   “No,” Megatron said in a low voice. “You haven’t defeated me!”

   With those words, Megatron opened fire. A massive blast rocketed towards Optimus, who stood his ground, waiting for the blow to come. Without hesitation, he placed his blade in position, and took the blow, the blast curling around the blade and Prime himself. When the blast subsided, Prime emerged unscathed.

   As Megatron looked upon him in surprise, a voice noted, “The Star Saber is perhaps the most powerful of the five Core Weapons, in the hands of any Cybertronian. But its greatest power is in the hands of the Matrix Bearer.” As Megatron turned to the source of the voice, Vector Prime said at last, “This battle is lost, Megatron. Depart, now.”

   Megatron growled, his face going between both Primes, before he finally declared, “Very well. Until next time, Prime.” He faded out of view, and the other Decepticons nearby soon followed.

   “Good riddance,” Smokescreen noted as his partners disconnected and he slumped to one knee, Scavenger arriving on the scene and helping to support him.

   “Vector Prime, thank you,” Optimus noted as the Star Saber disassembled itself. “But...why are you here?”

   “I came because I was called,” Vector Prime replied. “By both the will of Primus, and the voices of old friends.”

   With those words, Safeguard disconnected himself from his larger partner, transformed, and landed softly on the ground.

   “We have much to discuss, Optimus,” Vector Prime noted. “But first, we have another concern.”

   Optimus nodded, then turned to Smokescreen and asked at last, “Are you alright?”

   “Beat up, but not too badly,” Smokescreen replied. “Only a few loose joints, is all.”

   Comically contradicting Smokescreen’s statement, his right arm fell apart at the elbow.

   “Loose joints, hm?” Scavenger asked.

   “We’re heading home, Autobots,” Optimus Prime declared. “Our job is done here.”

   “They were right there!” Megatron bellowed as he slammed his hand against the bulkhead. “I practically had the Star Saber in my grasp!” He turned to Starscream and bellowed, “No more playing games, Starscream! We are going to claim every last Mini-Con on the face of that planet, or tear ourselves apart in the attempt! Is that clear?!”

   “Yes, Megatron,” Starscream replied in a neutral voice.

   “How’s Smokescreen doing?” Optimus Prime asked.

   “He’ll recover,” Red Alert replied. “A few days rest and recovery, and he’ll be back to his old self. Between his heavy armor and Thrust’s light weaponry, he didn’t suffer much damage. But I’d rather he remain here at the base, for his own sake.”

   “Understood,” Optimus noted. “Keep him in the clear, Red, that’s all we ask.”

   With those words, Optimus exited the medical bay to find Vector Prime awaiting him. “I’m a little surprised that you came all this way, old friend.”

   “I had a mission ahead of me, one of vital importance,” Vector Prime answered. “I assume you have had time to scan the data sent by Jetfire?”

   “I have,” Optimus replied. “But why hide the Omega Lock on the Mini-Con ship? Why not keep it on Cybertron, hidden away in a place of safety?”

   “At the time, it seemed the wisest option,” Vector Prime explained. “Unicron’s minions would look first upon Cybertron for the keys to his defeat. That’s why the other four keys were hidden away from Cybertron, the last two in our hands. At least with us, they are safe.”

   Optimus gave his mentor a hard look, and noted, “Perhaps. Now’s hardly the time to second-guess.” The two walked down the corridor, and Optimus asked, “Do you know where it is?”

   “Safeguard has informed me that he sealed the Lock upon the Mini-Con ship,” Vector Prime noted. “But he knows not where it crashed. Only that it is somewhere here, on Earth.”

   Prime sighed, and said, “Not much to go on.”

   “Neither are the locations of the Mini-Con pods,” Vector Prime noted. “Yet you seem to be doing well in your search for them.”

   “For now, at least,” Optimus replied. “But I have an ominous feeling within my Spark, Vector Prime. Something terrible is coming. And I’m afraid it may already be here.”

   “Your fears are far from invalid,” Vector Prime replied. “I fear the agents of Unicron are already acting on his behalf, and would not be surprised if one of them is here already. We must be cautious, young one; they have many forms, many guises, and operate best in the shadows.”

   “So I remember,” Optimus noted.

   The two continued walking in silence, before Vector Prime noted, “I approve, by the way. Of you seeking allies.”

   “This is the humans’ world, Vector Prime,” Optimus replied. “They have every right to know the threat which awaits them from Megatron or Unicron.”

   “Yes,” Vector Prime noted. “But for now, we should inform them only of the immediate threat, especially as they stand the better chance against Megatron than against Unicron.”

   “Agreed,” Optimus Prime noted begrudgingly. “But once Megatron is dealt with, and we are revealed to the public, then we will make certain Earth can defend itself. Better a slim chance than none at all.”

   “Perhaps,” Vector Prime replied. “One can only hope for clear views of what’s to come.”

   “The Star Saber and the Skyboom Shield, back in Autobot hands,” a black Transformer noted from the mountains near the Ark. “An escalation of the war. Chaos raging across the cosmos.” A malicious twinkle arose in his optics as he noted at last, “Master will be pleased.”

                                                                The End
A Mini-Con retrieval in Florida leads to further escalation in the war as Vector Prime arrives on Earth and Starscream calls in reinforcements...


More references to Energon and Cybertron, as well as G1. As for Bludgeon...expect him to pop up again.
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Schmedderling Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2006
I may be a Canadian, but I do know where Florida is. ^_^ (and I want that t-shirt that says "Florida is where America goes to die") I'm sure that'd bother some Floridans though...

Yay Thundercracker and Skywarp! Yay Vector Prime! *spins in the office chair* ^_^
Schmedderling Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2006
^w^ *bounces in anticipation*

Hey, it makes sense. The annoying thing is how TC gets mentioned once in the series. Most people have no clue what Screamer's talking about there because of it.
And besides, they both rock.
EchoWing Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
Oh yeah...I knew bringing them into the series full-time at around this point was an excellent idea.

Just wait until you see VP in action...will he ever be fun!:D
Storm-Blue Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
EchoWing Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
Florida's cool. Why else would I include it?
Storm-Blue Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
heh, so true ^_^ although the hurricanes suck
EchoWing Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
No denying that. Thankfully, they've been light this year.
Storm-Blue Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
that's always a plus but the good thing about that one weak hurricane that when through sometime ago shut down school for that day ^^
EchoWing Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
Always a bonus.
Storm-Blue Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
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