(Iacon, Cybertron, one month later...)
Optimus Prime stood inside the Hall of Records, while gazing at a Datapad that he was currently holding in his left servo. Much of it had been restored when Nova had finished reviving Cybertron. Furthermore, a chamber near the planet's core had been found filled with backup Datapads that showed the history of the Cybertronian race. Optimus had a good feeling it was Alpha Trion's doing, his final noble attempt to preserve their peoples' past. The Autobot Leader had gone through each and every one of them before cataloging them into their new homes.
It had been a month since the battle and the restoration of Cybertron. The Autobots on Earth were quick to return home before the Decepticons or anyone else tried to lay claim to the reborn planet. Surprisingly, the first city to be repaired was Iacon, the former capital city of the Autobots during the war. The buildings there were rebuilt and brand-new, as if they were never in ruins to begin with. Although some were still without power, but were slowly charging up. As for Energon, it was gushing out like water from a broken dam. There was so much that the Cybertronians were having trouble collecting it all.
While most of the Autobots were working on fortifying Iacon, small teams under Ultra Magnus' command had been dispatched to explore the rest of the planet and to find any other Energon reservoirs that might be sprouting up, while others were working at the starport and welcoming new arrivals. Since Optimus' message of their homeworld's restoration had gone out, more Cybertronian refugees were pouring in everyday. Some came on their own, while others came in either small groups or large spaceships. Many of them were Autobots, while others were Neutrals or former Decepticons. Regarding the latter, many of them had followed under Megatron because they feared him. However, after hearing how Jetfire, Drift, Wheelie, and Brains had defected to the Autobots, these 'Cons also decided to do the same. It was also very clear that they were tired of fighting and simply wanted to return home. Given the shortage of servos and that there was a lot of work to be done, the Autobots figured that accepting them was the best course of action. Plus, Optimus believed that it would invite other Decepticons to defect too.
Regarding Earth, much was being done to repair the relations between the humans and the Autobots. The leaders of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria had demanded compensation for the damage that Cybertron had done to their countries, such as access to Cybertronian tech. Algeria was the loudest in this group of people, but Nova silenced those voices when he released a video to both the United Nations and the rest of the world that showed all the war crimes and other atrocities that Harold Attinger and Cemetery Wind had done to both species. This in turn caused many civilians to setup peaceful protests against the U.S Government for allowing the renegade CIA agent and his black ops unit to commit such acts, while also stating that Attinger and his men were no better than the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan as a whole. Although it was a rather cruel move, but many of the Autobots, with Prowl being especially vocal, saw that it was a necessary play in order to gain peaceful resolutions in their favor. The President of the United States, Secretary Keller, General Morshower, and Charlotte Mearing, the Director of National Intelligence, supported him and were quick to confirm that the videos were 100% real and that measures were being taken to ensure that such a thing will never happen again. Starting with shutting down the TRF and recommissioning NEST.
As for the Decepticons who survived the battle, Optimus had dispatched what flyers he had available to scout the Earth. After two weeks of relentless searching, they had found no sign of them. However, the Autobots, NEST and the Russian Federation's 45th Guards Spetsnaz Brigade were able to discover their hidden base under Mount Yamantau, but it had been thoroughly cleaned out. The only plausible explanation was that the surviving Decepticons had somehow fled Earth after their defeat. Wheeljack hypothesized that Tidal Wave, Astrotrain and Jetstorm were used as transportation to carry them off world. Prowl then suggested to setup sentries around Cybertron just in case Megatron decided to attack.
Jetfire, Whirl, Rewind, Dion and Zeta Prime were the very first Cybertronians to be given official burials with full military honors on Earth, since Optimus believed it was the best honor that could be given to them. Sadly, very little of Rewind's remains could be found. All that could be recovered was his right arm and his weapon, with the latter being kept by Nova as a memento from his fallen childhood friend.
"Optimus," said a voice that brought the Prime out of his thoughts. Turning his helm, the Autobot Leader saw Prowl standing at the entrance. "Magnus' team have returned from their scouting trip."
Optimus nodded and subspaced the Datapad that he was reading. The two of them made their way out of the Hall of Records and onto the streets. They quickly transformed into their alt-modes and drove off towards the Autobot HQ. They passed by Cybertronians who were hard at work. Although much of the city had been restored, thanks to Nova, there were still many things that required manual labor.
"By the way, sir. Were you looking up info on Unicron?" asked Prowl as they made a right-turn.
"Yes, I'm hoping that Alpha Trion had left something about the Chaos Bringer," replied Optimus. Information on Unicron was still being restricted between the Autobots and humans, with only Cade, Vivian, Lennox and the closest members of NEST knowing that Earth's core was the Cybertronian version of Satan. Since learning this, Optimus had studied everything on the Chaos Bringer. Unfortunately, there was very little info on him. The only definite thing that Optimus had learned about Unicron was that he could produce a corrupt variant of Energon called 'Dark Energon'. When used, it could reanimate offlined Cybertronians into Terrorcons or give power to the living, but at the cost of putting him or her under Unicron's thrall.
Optimus and Prowl arrived at what use to be the Citadel for the High Council that had ruled Cybertron alongside Optimus and Megatron before the war. Now, it was the Autobot HQ. Autobots were going in and out of the large building, which was one of the few structures at full-power and 100% operational. Guards were stationed both outside and inside the building, while being commanded by Armorhide at the time. Some of the Autobots greeted their leader, who greeted them back, while others continued their work. Optimus and Prowl boarded an elevator and headed towards the top floor. When they arrived, several officers, including Ultra Magnus, Wheeljack and Perceptor, were already present. They were currently surrounding a large round table while looking at a holo-map.
Magnus turned around when he heard the doors to the elevator opened. "Optimus," he said as he greeted his commanding officer.
The Autobot Leader nodded as he and Prowl approached the table. "What's the status on your latest findings, Magnus?"
"So far, we've found at least three more polities that have enough power that we can start moving people into, but I still think that we should hold off on that until we have a more stronger security detail," replied Magnus.
Optimus nodded. "I agree, since most of the refugees that have arrived are civilians, and we can't risk spreading them out too much until the automatic sentry turrets are 100% operational. What else?"
Magnus pointed at specific spots on the holo-map. "We've also discovered several large Energon reserves. I'm having Roller take the Knight's Ship to mine them and bring them back to Iacon."
"Good. Although we have a steady supply for now, but with more refugees coming in, we'll need more," said Optimus before turning to Perceptor and Wheeljack. "What's the status on your end?"
"Regarding the automatic sentry turrets, we have only about 64% of them online," said Wheeljack. "And with the low number of flyers that we have, I'm trying to repair as many of the recovered Orbital Assault Fighters as I can. I also suggest that we try to add armaments to the ships that the refugees came in."
Optimus nodded. One of the major advantages that the Decepticons had in the war was their larger number of flyers. Aerial power would be needed to defend Iacon until better defense systems were placed. Speaking of the Decepticons, "We've still been unable to locate Megatron and his remaining Decepticon forces?"
"Correct," answered Prowl. "Some of the defectors said that Starscream had setup a base on a moon in this system a long time ago, but they don't know which planet it's orbiting. And with most of our current forces focusing on both defending Iacon and working on repairs, I highly advised against sending out search parties for the time being. We've also had no such luck finding Thunderwing after Nova jettisoned him off Cybertron, or the mech, Jihaxus, that we have already confirmed was working with Quintessa, especially with that doppelganger of yours, sir. He was nowhere during the battle or on Cybertron at all."
"Do we have any info on Jihaxus?" asked Optimus.
"Very little, unfortunately. According to our findings on him so far, he used to be a scientist during the Dynasty of Primes, but after the fall, he disappeared," reported Perceptor. "I'm still searching through any databases, as well as going over whatever we managed to retrieve from the Ignition Chamber. Besides that, I have nothing else."
Optimus sighed. "Then we'll just have to keep our optics opened. And those on Earth?"
Even with Cybertron's restoration, some Autobots had decided to remain on Earth for different reasons. Most of which was that some of them had developed close bonds with the humans there. Landmine continued to live with Simmons and Dutch, with the former having regained both his mansion and his former popularity. Camshaft had gotten close to Leo, and the two of them had moved back to the United States to work as acting ambassadors for the Autobots. Bumblebee, Arcee, Canopy, Sqweeks, Evac, Wheelie, Brains and Cogman were naturally staying with Adam, Cade Yeager and Izabella, who had been officially adopted by Cade. Bumblebee, Arcee, Wheelie and Brains would also pay visits to the Witwickys, telling stories to the toddler Daniel Witwicky about his parents.
As for Ironhide, he retook his role as the Autobot guardian to the Lennox Family. From what Optimus had heard, the moment the Heavy Weapons Specialist and Will had arrived at the family farm, a tear-stained Annabelle had all but jumped into Ironhide's large servos. The black mech also met the young Aaron Hyde Lennox too, as said toddler soon became attached to Ironhide as much as his older sister had been when she was his age. He would even cry if he was separated from the Heavy Weapons Specialist for too long. Chromia had decided to stay with the Lennox Family as she didn't want to be separated from her sparkmate anymore, which was something that Optimus and Elita could both relate too.
"Relations are improving somewhat. There have been many humans who knew of our effort to save their kind and are supporting a truce with us. Although some are still pushing for access to our tech under the claim to better defend themselves, those voices are now fewer, thanks to Nova's video," said Prowl. "Details of an official ambassador are still in the works and we have yet to receive world of one being selected. However, Nova did receive an invite from Cade Yeager about something called a 'barbeque'? Several other Autobots have been invited as well, including you, sir."
(Burton Castle, near the outskirts of London)
After Burton was buried with full military honors, his will was discovered and it was revealed that he would leave everything to Adam. This included both his castle and the surrounding property. Nova decided to allow his new family to live there too, and thus became the new home of the Yeager Family. Upon being officially pardoned by both the President and the British Prime Minister, Cade could finally reunite with his daughter, Tessa. Also living there now were Izzy, who was officially adopted into the Yeager Family, Jimmy and Vivian, who was now Cade's fiancé.
Presently, Cogman was prepping tables, chairs, a grill and other items for the upcoming barbeque, with help from both Evac and Canopy. Sqweeks was at the front entrance of the castle, keeping his optics out for Bumblebee to return. With Cybertron restored and the world back to the way it was, Cade thought it was a good idea to celebrate. Sure, it was a little odd thing to do, given how much work still remained and the 'Cons were still on the loose, but the inventor figured it would be good just to kick back and relax.
Nova Prime, now in his human form, was currently sitting above the castle gate while looking at the driveway. Also with him was his now girlfriend, Izabella. It was very pretty clear to both the Autobots and humans that the two young teens were deeply attracted to one another. Guess it took the near end of the world to finally make them realize their true feelings for one another.
"So, what's it like being able to turn into a Cybertronian?" asked Izzy.
"Still feels weird, though," replied Adam as he raised his left arm and watched as it shifted into a Cybertronian arm. "It still feels like my own body, but that just what makes it so weird because its Cyber-Matter." Adam then magnetically picked up an empty soda can before tossing it into the recycling bin down below. "Though having electromagnetic powers is pretty cool." Both teens laughed at the comment.
Suddenly, a car engine could be heard approaching. Driving up the driveway was Bumblebee, who parked near the castle's entrance. Stepping out were Cade, Tessa and her boyfriend, Shane. The two young adults waved at Adam and Izabella before unpacking their luggage from 'Bee's trunk. Once everything was out, the Autobot Scout transformed into his biped form and headed off to help Evac for the upcoming barbeque.
An hour or two later, the rest of the people came. Lennox and Epps brought along their respective families. Ron and Judy Witwicky had also come, having been personally invited by Cade, and brought their grandson too. The others were Simmons, Dutch, Leo, Burke, Donnelly, Eckerson, Tanaka, Graham, Stone, Hooch, Mongo, Marc, Eddie, Zimmerman and Perkins. For the Autobots, there was Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz, Ironhide, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Arcee, Chromia, Elita, Jolt, Skids, Mudflap, Mirage, Wheeljack, Leadfoot, Roadbuster, Topspin, Steeljaw, Wheelie, Brains, Bob, Hound, Drift, Crosshairs, Evac, Hot Rod, Canopy, Cogman, Sqweeks, Landmine, Salvage (now sporting a brand-new red and orange color scheme) and Longarm.
Soon, the celebration barbeque was underway. Epps was carrying bowls of shrimp and nachos as he passed by Eckerson, who was working on the grill with some meat. In another part of the property, Annabelle was hanging out on Ironhide's right shoulder, with Aaron safely in her arms. The Heavy Weapons Specialist had several empty Energon Cubes beside him. Also with Ironhide were Chromia and Hound, with the latter showing the young human girl his X19 Scrapmaker Minigun.
"So, compared to 'Hide's Ion Pulse Cannons, which one can do the most damage?" asked Annabelle to the Commando. She smiled when she heard her little brother squealed at the mention of 'cannons'.
Hound took a puff from his cy-gar. "Well, I won't deny that Ironhide can do some pretty damage with his cannons. But my baby here can tear a 'Con apart in ten seconds flat," said the Commando as he patted his weapon.
Ironhide let out a snort in response. "Yeah, after using a hundred bullets or more. And I just need one or two shells to put any of Megatron's goons down."
"That's because there's a difference in ammo size!" argued Hound.
"Oh brother," muttered Chromia as she rolled her optics while watching her sparkmate argue with the Commando some more.
The rest of the party members were interacting. Ron and Judy were sitting beside one another, sharing a glass of wine as they watched Bumblebee, Wheelie and Brains tell stories to Daniel about his mom and dad. Their grandson was captivated by the deeds that his parents did with the Autobots.
Epps' only son was playing around with Bob, for the boy had taken a shine to the Insecticon. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker were keeping an optic out to make sure Bob didn't hurt the boy. The Chief Master Sergeant's four daughters were looking at the Sparklings that the Autobots had brought with them. Arcee and Elita were there to supervise as the young Cybertronians were inspecting their human counterparts. From a distance were Sarah Lennox and Epps' wife, Monique, who were keeping an eye on their own kids. The two mothers were also talking with Vivian about her engagement with Cade.
Lennox and Simmons were currently discussing topics related to NEST with Landmine sitting with them, content just to listen. Specifically, about the changes that were needed to be put in place now that the Autobots had their homeworld back. Despite that, they too were enjoying the festivities with the other NEST Soldiers and Autobots. Donnelly, Burke, Eddie, Tanaka, Stone and Mongo were playing fetch with Steeljaw, while Perkins, Hooch, Marc, Zimmerman and Graham were trying out the new outdoor basketball court. Meanwhile, Leo was talking to Skids and Mudflap as the young man caught up with the two troublemaking twins. He also got along well with Jimmy. Surprisingly, even Santos had been invited, but the former American TRF Field Commander seemed to prefer sitting on the side as he wasn't yet comfortable being around the Autobots. Still, he also seemed to be relaxed and would greet anyone who spoke to him.
Optimus stood to the side, taking in the sight of his Autobots and their human friends conversing with one another again. After Harold Attinger and Cemetery Wind, the Prime had feared that the tensions between the two races would never fully heal. And his mood was lightened further now that Cybertron was fully restored. His attention shifted when he spotted Cade walking up to him.
"Enjoying the party, Optimus?" asked the inventor.
"It is a comforting sight, yes," replied the Autobot Leader. "To be honest, I had long since lost hope of ever bringing Cybertron back to life. But seeing it now, though, makes me feel as if this tragic war may finally come to an end soon."
Cade nodded, smiling as he watched Tessa converse with Izabella, with the former seeming to have gotten quite attached to her new little stepsister. "Megatron and the Decepticons are still out there, though. And there's Unicron too."
"Its true that we still have a long way to go, but after everything that has happened, I believe we can face it together when that time comes," replied Optimus confidently as the two of them continued to watch the party.
(On Saturn's moon, Titan)
After the battle, all the Vehicons and a quarter of the Decepticons had been lost. Among the survivors were Starscream, Shockwave, Nitro Zeus, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Rumble, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Jetstorm, Barricade, Blackout, Sideways, Long Haul, Sunstorm, Dirge, Ramjet, Mohawk, Thrust, Dreadwing, Slipstream, Stockade, Fracture, Wreckage, Incinerator, Onslaught, Brawl, Swindle, Vortex, Blast Off, Flatline, Storm Surge, Mindwipe, Bludgeon, Lugnut, Blitzwing, Payload, Astrotrain, Tidal Wave, Dirt Boss, Hailstorm, Divebomb, Space Case, Blademaster, Brimstone, Ransack, Overcast, Tankor, and of course, Megatron.
They were all busy. Using the crashed Decepticon warship, the Nemesis, as their new base, the 'Cons were either tending to their wounds, moving equipment or guarding the perimeter. The Nemesis had crashed onto Titan many years ago when Starscream and an elite army of Decepticons had gone out to search for Megatron and the AllSpark. However, the ship had met unexpected events and crashed on the moon.
Now, it was being used as a base of operations for the Decepticons, as Titan had much resources that could be converted into Energon. New Protoforms were also being grown and what metal was available was being used to produce Vehicons. Some 'Cons were guarding the perimeter while others were at work, making sure the base stayed operational.
In the room that was use to be the ship's CIC, Megatron sat in a destroyed chair. Surrounding him were his top officers: Starscream, Shockwave, Soundwave, Blackout, Onslaught, Fracture, Dreadwing and Stockade. None of them said a single word, not even Starscream, for they could tell that their leader was in a very, very bad mood.
After what seemed like an eternity did Megatron finally speak. "What is the current status on Cybertron?"
"According to our latest recon report, the planet has been restored," answered Soundwave. "However, Earth hasn't been destroyed."
"Although much of Cybertron is still barren, the Energon flowing from the planet's core is slowly repairing cities and Energon reservoirs are beginning to appear," added Shockwave. "The Autobots are using the Axalon to mine the reservoirs and have also made Iacon their capital city and base once more. Furthermore, Autobot refugees and Neutrals are constantly pouring in. There are also several Decepticon defectors with them too."
Megatron growled when he heard the last part. He would deal with those turncoats in due time. He then turned to Blackout. "Do we have enough to mount an immediate assault?"
The Tracker bowed his helm. "I'm sorry, my Lord, but our forces have been greatly diminished since the battle on Earth. And our current forces are not enough to assault Iacon, which is already being heavily-fortified as we speak."
That did very little to soothe the Decepticon Leader's anger. However, he was a very patient mech. He had waited this long to revive Cybertron, and he could wait a little more longer to reclaim what is rightfully his. "Very well. We shall focus on increasing our current forces. Soundwave, continue to monitor all communications from both Cybertron and Earth. Shockwave, I want you and Flatline to find a method that will give us an edge. Stockade, Onslaught, have all of our troops be given a restriction on Energon supplies, and any failure to follow that will be met with harsh discipline. I will leave that in your servos, Blackout. I want flyers under both Starscream and Dreadwing's command to search the nearby planets and moons for any other usable resources that can be converted into Energon."
Soundwave, Starscream, Blackout, Onslaught, Stockade, Dreadwing bowed their helms and excused themselves. That just left only Megatron and Fracture in the CIC. The femme stood by her leader's side as the former Lord High Protector gazed at the distant stars.
"Has there been any sign of Quintessa?" asked Megatron finally.
Fracture shook her helm. "None, my Lord. But I doubt she managed to survived the battle."
"Never underestimate that witch. She wouldn't have survived this long without a trick or two up her servos," snarled Megatron as he slammed his left fist against the chair's left armrest. "She'll pay for double-crossing me, right after I reclaim Cybertron."
(Somewhere near the edge of the Solar System...)
Flying towards a moon in his alt-mode was Thunderwing. Having survived Nova Prime's attack, the servant of Unicron had fled after the plan to transfer Unicron's essence into Cybertron had failed. As he flew closer to the moon, the mass of the rock's image began to fade away and was instantly replaced by a metallic one. A small doorway leading into the structure opened up for Thunderwing to fly through. A few seconds later, the mech shifted into his biped form as he landed in what appeared to be a vast chamber that contained innumerous purple-glowing pods. At the center of the chamber was a floating platform with four figures on it. One of them was Jhiaxus, who had fled from Cybertron when the Autobots managed to enter the Ignition Chamber. The other three Cybertronians were demonic-looking. Two of them were 20-feet tall and had retractable wings on their backs. The one named Drancon was colored in bottle-green, magenta, orange and tan, while Rartorata had a orange, grey and red-colored chassis. The third was called Elphaorpha. He was 45-feet tall, more bulkier than the others, and had horns attached to his shoulders. His chassis was colored in both indigo dye and azure. Like Thunderwing, they also had purple optics. These were the Blentrons, who were Unicron's other servants who served under Thunderwing.
Jhiaxus turned his attention away from the console he was using to look at Thunderwing. "Well, it appears that you have finally arrived, Lord Thunderwing. Seeing how Cybertron has been fully restored, the plan to transfer our master's essence into the planet was a failure."
"Shut up, Jhiaxus," growled Thunderwing. "The only reason why you are still online is because you are useful to us." He then looked at the pods. "What's the status of the Terrorcons?"
"Very good so far. The lifeless shells of these Cybertronians have been completely filled with Dark Energon. Once I start working on my modifications, they will be even more powerful!" replied Jhiaxus before letting out an evil laugh. "We're very fortunate that Megabolt's large mass is blocking their unique signatures from being detected."
"So long as they follow orders, than the rest is extra. With our initial plan ruined, we'll have to move onto Plan B in order to revive Lord Unicron. Blentrons!" bellowed Thunderwing as he turned his attention to the three demonic Cybertronians. "Do you have it?"
The Blentrons got down to one knee, while Elphaorpha lifted a spherical-shaped container. "Yes, my Lord. Although Zeta Prime hid it surprisingly well, we were still able to locate and retrieve the device."
The container began to open by retracting halfway. Once it was done, the contents inside the container levitated upwards. It was a purple-colored crystal sphere, pulsing with energy that was being held in a dark-grey hollow metal shell. The object floated into Thunderwing's waiting servos. The herald of Unicron then gazed at the dark artifact with sinister glee. "The Dark Spark. The antithesis of the Matrix of Leadership. This is what we need to revive our master. This and..." Thunderwing trailed off as he turned around to face Jhiaxus, who flipped a switch. Suddenly, a large pod, which was larger than the others, was lowered. Once it reached their level, the pod opened, causing steam to pour out before finally revealing a mech's frame inside said pod. The mech's chassis was covered in tentacle-like tubes that fed Dark Energon into his frame. In the center of the mech's chestplates was a scratched symbol that marked him as part of the Dynasty of Primes.
"The frame of Omega Prime. Soon, Unicron will be revived and be even more powerful," laughed Thunderwing.
Several miles outside of Thunderwing's base was a small floating battleship with thrusters at the back. Inside the ship was Quintessa, who had sparks popping out of her frame and Energon coming out of some small wounds. However, they were slowly healing as she looked through the bridge's window. The former student of Quintus Prime frowned as she looked at the artificial moon.
"So, that is where he disappeared to. In the end, Thunderwing was merely using me," snarled Quintessa as she floated down to sit on the captain's chair. "Nevertheless, I won't stop. I've gotten too close to stop now. I will destroy Unicron once and for all, and will take my place as both a Prime and the ruler of Cybertron, in order to bring balance back to the entire universe. Even without the Decepticons' help." She then looked forward. "Gnaw, contact your brethren and take us out of this system."
"As you command, my mistress," replied the ship as the engines began to power up. "But where are we going?"
Quintessa only smirked as she activated a holo-screen that showed six crystal-like stones, with each one painted either in blue, red, purple, orange, yellow and green. "I have an old friend of mine to visit," she simply said as the battleship took off.