Skids felt as if the sorceress Avaya’s glare was burning holes into him. But he overcame his fright and managed to answer her query, though not before reminding himself that telling your personal name to a mage gives him or her power over you. “The Autobots!” Skids blurted. “The Autobots have summoned you...to help them.”
Avaya’s demeanor changed from hostile to haughty. “So,” she asked, “I take it this means the war between Transformer robots continues to rage?”
“Sadly,” replied Skids, “the answer is yes.”
“Take me to the surface.” she ordered. “I must see what has changed during my imprisonment.”
Skids and the sorceress exited the ruins cautiously, wary of the presence of evil mutants. Soon, it became clear they were alone for the moment. This gave Avaya time to contemplate the grim landscape of the Forbidden Zone and perceive the events which had transpired recently. Finally, she spoke again.
“Yarvok has fulfilled his dreams of conquest...at a terrible cost. I almost wish I was still imprisoned, so I did not have to witness this.”
“Yar-who?” asked Skids.
“Yarvok, a megalomaniacal wizard. I was one of his pupils eons ago. When he saw that my powers would grow to match his and he sensed that I opposed his evil plans, he forcibly exiled me to a dimension of nothingness.”
“To rule the Forbidden Zone through black magic. But while it is clear he succeeded, it is even more clear that he expended the Forbidden Zone’s meager natural resources to the point where he is a prisoner in his own kingdom. I sense he has gone quite mad...and that he holds your fellow Autobots prisoner in his castle.”
“Will you help me free them?”
“I must. I am indebted to you for liberating me. But I cannot fly, I must conserve my powers for the battle ahead.”
Skids transformed to vehicle mode and opened the passenger door. “Hop in.” he said.
“How quaint.” the sorceress remarked dryly.
On Earth, the last Autobots standing before Trypticon’s attack finally fell from either severe damage or exhausted Energon. Trypticon spread out his arms and adopted a messianic pose, declaring, “NOW TRYPTICON CRUSH AUTOBOT CITY!”
But before he could begin his destruction, Autobot City began to transform into Metroplex, a mighty Autobot warrior who matched Trypticon in size and strength.
“THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL BE CRUSHED,” declared Metroplex defiantly, “IS YOU!”
The Autobots and humans inside Metroplex were less sanguine. Metroplex had sustained heavy damage from the Decepticons’ strafing of his Autobot City mode. They watched Metroplex’s cerebral monitors nervously as he sized up his opponent.
With a roar, Trypticon made the first move, lunging at Metroplex and putting the bite on his opponent’s right arm. Metroplex poured every ounce of strength into grabbing and lifting the upper half of Trypticon’s head, dislocating the Decepticon monster’s jaw. While Trypticon screamed incoherently in pain, Metroplex delivered a pummeling blow to his enemy’s midsection. Trypticon stumbled backward, and Metroplex moved in for the kill, but the giant Autobot had gotten overconfident. Trypticon used the cannons mounted over his brow and inside his mouth to blast Metroplex in the face. Momentarily blinded, Metroplex suffered a lashing in the chest from Trypticon’s tail, and fell on his back. Trypticon pounced on Metroplex and tried to slash him with his claws, but Metroplex blocked Trypticon’s moves, and the two behemoths began wrestling on the ground, tumbling around, and flattening whole mountains in their wake.
Finally, Metroplex used the momentum to gain the upper hand, and Trypticon went flying through the air, falling down into a deep canyon.
Metroplex approached the edge of the canyon cautiously, but no amount of caution prepared him for the savage attack of the wounded Trypticon, who flew up swiftly from the bottom of the canyon and unleashed his entire arsenal of weaponry at Metroplex.
Inside Metroplex, the Autobots shielded the humans from the explosions and fires produced by Metroplex’s wounds. They saw on Metroplex’s cerebral screens that he was beginning to access the Energon-X, and they crossed their fingers that his most powerful weapon, his chest cannon, was still functional, and that the Energon-X would prove as potent as they dared to hope it was.
A massive single beam erupted from Metroplex’s chest cannon, hitting Trypticon point blank and sending the monster back over the edge of the canyon. This time, Metroplex dove down after Trypticon, relentlessly tearing into the monster with a ferocity that equalled the monster’s own. Within minutes, the burning remains of Trypticon littered the landscape and Metroplex stood tall, proud, and triumphant, with the Autobots and humans inside him cheering.
The Autobots had won the battles for Earth. But what of the battles for Cybertron still raging?
In the Forbidden Zone, Yarvok’s twisted entertainment in the form of Blaster attempting to outfight an unspeakably monstrous giant mutant was interrupted when he sensed intruders approaching. Racing to his scrying pool, Yarvok was confronted with the sight of Skids with his sun roof down, giving his passenger, Avaya, the open space to cast powerfully stunning hex bolts at Yarvok’s mutant guardsmen. Once the last guardsman had fallen, Avaya jumped out of Skids and placed herself in the midst of the garden outside the castle, where her powers would be strongest, and issued an ultimatum to Yarvok: “Face me, you cowardly brute, if you dare!”
In response, Yarvok teleported outside the castle and stood face-to-face across from Avaya. “So,” the wizard raged, “the disciple needs to be taught yet again who her master is!”
“No one is my master,” the sorceress replied, “least of all you!”
And thus the gauntlet had been thrown down, and the duel between black magic and white magic erupted cataclysmically.
TO BE CONCLUDED