“Teletraan,” commanded Optimus Prime, “I need status reports from our other teams in the field.”
Instantly, three windows opened up on Teletraan’s monitor, each with the particular mission’s field commander.
“Prowl here. Work on Autobot City continues apace. No Decepticons spotted in the perimeter yet, but we’re ready for anything.”
“This is Ironhide on board Skyfire. My unit should be arriving on Dinobot Island soon, an’ well kick them Decepti-creeps clear off the island.”
“Jazz reporting from aboard Cosmos. Omega Supreme and the female Autobots are providing a very effective diversion at Shockwave’s citadel on Cybertron while my unit approaches Cybertron’s Forbidden Zone.”
“Godspeed to you all.” replied Optimus Prime.
Outside the Decepticon citadel on Cybertron, the female Autobots, led by Elita-One, advanced closer to the citadel while, behind them, Omega Supreme laid down cover fire. Shockwave and a pack of Decepticons – the Stunticons plus Octane, Runamuck and Runabout – defended their fortress.
“Stunticons,” commanded Shockwave, “maneuver Z.”
The Stunticons united to form the giant Menasor at the same time as Shockwave transformed into gun mode. Unlike Megatron, Shockwave did not shrink when in gun mode, so he was the perfect fit for Menasor’s massive hand.
Menasor blasted Omega Supreme point-blank in the chest. The Autobot colossus fell hard on his back.
“Now, Decepticons,” said Shockwave back in robot mode, “move in for the kill.”
The Stunticons separated and transformed into their vehicle modes. Runamuck and Runabout also transformed to vehicle modes. While Shockwave and Octane covered them, they all charged at the female Autobots.
“Autobots,” said Elita-One, “show these Decepticons the way of the true warrior.”
Sharpshooting from Elita-One and Moonracer caused Motormaster to jackknife and Runamuck to spin wildly. The Decepticon charge turned into a pile-up. Now it was the female Autobots’ turn to transform to vehicle modes and charge at their enemies. The battle for the citadel had turned into a demolition derby.
Meanwhile, on a far more remote sector of Cybertron, Cosmos flew close to the ground as he approached the infamous Forbidden Zone. Packed tightly aboard Cosmos were Jazz, Skids, Powerglide, Blaster (in boombox mode,) Perceptor (in microscope mode,) and Bumblebee.
“Perceptor,” queried Bumblebee of the most erudite of the Autobots, “why exactly is it called the Forbidden Zone?”
“Legend has it,” replied Perceptor, “that billions of years ago, when Cybertron bore a different name and its dominant lifeforms were organic, there was a battle for supremacy, and the losers were exiled to a barren land, where they adapted to the harsh conditions and the planet’s increasing pollution and radiation fallout by mutating into increasingly monstrous forms. The land became dangerously inaccessible, hence the name Forbidden Zone.”
“Tall tales, that’s all they are.” laughed Powerglide. “I’ll believe it when I see it...UMPH! Cosmos, what’s going on out there?”
“I think I found the proof you demanded, Powerglide.” said Cosmos as a giant Lovecraftian menace that had erupted from the ground enveloped Cosmos with its tentacles.
TO BE CONTINUED