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TBAM: Infinity War

Chapter Text

(Xandar, May 9th, 2018)

Home to the Xandarians and many other species, this planet was the HQ for both the Nova Empire and its military force, the Nova Corps. Four years ago, Xandar had nearly been destroyed by Ronan the Accuser when he tried to use the Power Stone. Fortunately, it had been saved by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Unfortunately, no such help would come to this planet today.

Thanos, the Titan warlord, stood on top of what remained of the Nova Corps' HQ. He surveyed the ruined capital as his army, the Chitauri, began executing half of the planet's population, as his way of bringing balance to the entire universe. He wore a very unique gauntlet over his left hand. Behind him were his adopted children and lieutenants, known as the Black Order. One of them, Ebony Maw, approached his foster father with a purple-colored orb in his right hand. Thanos turned around as his adopted children kneeled before him.

"As you have ordered, Lord Thanos. The Power Stone is now yours," said Ebony as he held up the orb.

Not saying anything, the Mad Titan took the orb with his right hand. Then, with a strong squeeze, he crushed the orb and revealed the Power Stone inside. Taking the purple-colored stone, Thanos placed it in the gauntlet, flinching as he felt the very powerful surge of energy going throughout his entire body. It only lasted for a moment as Thanos let out a satisfied sigh before looking at his lieutenants. "Gather the Chitarui and head back to the ship. We're done here."

Suddenly, a female voice with a silky British-accent spoke up: "I see that you're still up to your doctrine as usual, Thanos."

Turning around, the Mad Titan looked up at the sky as a 13-foot Cybertronian femme, whose silver-colored frame was giving off an eerie metallic glow, floated towards his position. On her helm were metal hair-like tendrils that gave off the impression of living beings as they moved about in a slow hypnotic fashion, while also wearing what appeared to be a dress with several tendrils at the bottom. Her faceplates were humanoid and she had blue optics that held lies and dark secrets.

The Black Order got into defensive positions, but Thanos paid them no mind. Behind the femme was an animalistic-like battleship that transformed into a 42-foot grey, purple and aqua-colored mech, who had red-colored optics and shark-like dentas in his mouthplates that almost formed a wicked grin. A shark-like fin was on the top of his helm and it seemed to twitch at every noise he made. The mech's optics stared at the Titan warlord and his adopted children as his mistress floated towards them.

Thanos raised his left hand, signaling his lieutenants to stand down, as he walked towards the femme. "It's been a long time, Quintessa," he said calmly. "I was under the impression that you were still on your people's dead world."

"Former dead world," corrected Quintessa. "Cybertron has been restored, but Unicron is still online. Which is why I need your help."

Thanos gave her a questioning look before asking: "And why should I help you?" The mech behind Quintessa growled at the Mad Titan, who merely flexed his gauntlet, causing the Power Stone to glow briefly.

"Stand down, Gnaw," ordered Quintessa. The mech seemed unsure, but eventually complied with his mistress's orders. She then looked back at Thanos. "Don't forget our history, Thanos. It's true that you were the one who saved me from my exile at the edge of the universe during your search for the Infinity Stones. But in return, I was the one who gave you the Mind Stone before you allowed it to be taken from you," summarized the  femme Sorceress. "You owe me, Thanos. And Unicron is just as a threat to you as he is to me."

The Titan warlord remained silent as Quintessa continued: "As entities born at the dawn of the universe, Unicron and Primus are some of the few beings who are immune to the Infinity Stones. But in his current weaken state, the six stones can offline Unicron before he is revived. And you know what will happen if he is fully restored: Unicron will bring both death and chaos to the entire universe, and that will go against your desire to bring balance, won't it?"

Now, what she said made Thanos think, since the femme did indeed made a very good point. If Unicron was fully revived, all six Infinity Stones together won't be able to stop the Chaos Bringer. He would only bring more death and destruction to the entire universe, which was the opposite of what the Mad Titan sought. Plus, from what he knew so far, at least two of the Infinity Stones were on Earth, which Quintessa said was Unicron. And then there was the Autobots, who were possibly on the planet. They would prove a hindrance for his forces, along with the other obstacles on Earth.

Seeing how Thanos was planning to accept, Quintessa decided to make one more push by adding: "And I also have this too." Raising her right servo, she opened it up to reveal an orange-colored stone floating just slightly above her palm.

The object in her right servo made the Black Order gasp. Even Thanos seemed surprised before murmuring out loud: "The Soul Stone..." This was the Infinity Stone that he could never find, and the one that Gamora had apparently failed to locate.

"The only one out of the six Infinity Stones that had been guarded. Feared for its power to manipulate life and death of all sentient beings, except for Cybertronians," said Quintessa as she pulled back the Soul Stone. "That's the agreement: You help me destroy Unicron and I'll give you the Soul Stone. Plus, not attacking Cybertron once I claim rulership over it." She then raised her left servo. "Do we have an accord?"

Thanos looked at the offered servo and then thought about the Soul Stone, as well as Unicron. After a few seconds of inner debate, the Mad Titan took the Great Deceiver's servo and shook it.

(Burton Castle, United Kingdom)

It was a normal day at said castle. The birds were chirping, the wind was blowing against the leaves, and finally, the Autobots were playing with their human friends. Sqweeks was currently rolling across the inner courtyard. Riding on top of his helm were the Sparklings, Daystar and Gasket. The young Cybertronians were chirping excitedly as the 3'6-foot light-blue Autobot moved on the pathway and grass. The other Autobots that were at the castle were Bumblebee, Arcee, Hot Rod, Evac, Ramhorn, Canopy, Wheelie, Brains, and Cogman. The Dinobots were also present, seeming to prefer Earth rather than Cybertron.

It has been over a year since Cybertron's restoration. Iacon had been fully restored and was serving once more as both the capital city and HQ for the Autobots. Refugees were still pouring in and Energon continued to flow from the planet's core. There was so much to do that the Autobots had started to construct drones to deal with most of the hard labor, in order to makeup for the lack of numbers. Although many of the Autobots who had once been on Earth had chosen to live on Cybertron again, some have decided to stay with the humans, in order to be near their friends and improve relations.

Shane, Tessa's boyfriend, was there as well for one of his usual visits. He was currently riding a scooter as he raced Sqweeks. The two of them were doing this activity together in order to keep the Sparklings entertained. Izabella was waiting not too far away with a homemade racing flag. Also with her were Canopy, her older step-sister, Tessa, and Ramhorn, who was resting beside the girls with Ramjump, Paddles, Axewide, Terraquake leaning against him.

Shane and Sqweeks had just turned around a corner and were heading towards the finish line. Shane had gotten the lead and was now ahead of the Autobot. Letting out a couple of clicks, Sqweeks reached out with his right arm and grabbed the back of Shane's scooter. The man let out the famous Wilhelm Scream as he lost control and flew off his scooter before landing in the grassy field. Sqweeks let out a rapid string of clicks as he crossed the finish line.

"And the winner is Sqweeks, with Gasket and Daystar!" announced Izzy. The other Sparklings let out their own clicks and squeaks of excitement, while Ramhorn gave a huff of approval. Sqweeks stopped to let his passengers off. The mechling and femmeling ran off to join the others. By now, most of the Sparklings were able to walk, their legs and motor-functions were now working as their processors were able to compute complicated tasks.

"No, he didn't! He cheated!" yelled Shane as he got up before wiping the dirt off his clothes and taking off his helmet. "That little tyke grabbed the back of my scooter at the last minute."

"Watch it, hot shot. We got kids present," said Cade as he walked out of the recently-built shed that was made for him so that he could work on his inventions without disturbing the castle. Cogman had been very adamant about it, saying how he didn't want the 'Neanderthal' (which was the nickname the Headmaster called Cade by) making more of a mess for him to clean-up. "Just accept your defeat like a man."

"Yeah, like he said!" shouted Izzy in agreement. She then rubbed Sqweeks' helm when the 'Bot rolled over to her.

Shane just grumbled while Tessa helped her boyfriend out with a small smile on her face. Across the field, Bumblebee and Hot Rod were keeping Ironbolt, Riptide, Strongback, X-Grid, Equator, Aurora and Nightflare occupied by playing different music from 'Bee's radio. Meanwhile, the 17-foot black and orange-colored mech with doorwings protruding from his back, was performing various dance moves in rhythm to the changing music.

"Etre surprise tout le monde! Back spin!" declared Hot Rod in his thick French-Algerian-accent as he begun to spin on the grass, flattening it hard against the dirt ground. The Sparklings all clicked excitedly at seeing this strange, yet interesting, thing that Hot Rod was doing. X-Grid and Aurora even tried to do it themselves, but they instead only landed on their backs in the process. Bumblebee clapped his servos as he helped the two young ones back onto their afts.

"Do you think the both of you can try and teach them something other than breakdancing?" commented Arcee as she carried Matchstick. Said Sparkling was sucking his digits while watching the action from a distance. Behind Arcee was Canopy, who was holding Skylock, Big Wire, Flipside, High Cloud and Dusthorn in his massive arms, keeping them entertained by allowing the little ones to see from great heights in the safety of his servos. Outside the castle's walls, the Dinobots were roaming about, with Skar with them of course.

Back with Cade, said man walked into the castle's library, which had been modified by Adam, the actual owner of the castle. The young teen had put up several computers with large and small screens, cameras, controllers and dozens of wires at one end of the large room without disturbing the hundreds of books on the shelves. Many parts of the walls were covered with pictures of various ancient drawings, Cybertronian glyphs and most of all, the horns of Unicron that were sticking out of the Earth.

Ever since the battle last year, Adam had been suffering visions of Unicron, even in his sleep. Optimus had personally theorized that being so close to the Chaos Bringer has allowed him to try and attack Adam mentally. Perceptor and Wheeljack were able to create blockers for the Prime of Life so the attacks would stop, but Adam had decided to get into researching ways into sealing up Unicron without destroying Earth. With the Autobots focusing more on Cybertron and trying to locate the Decepticons, they had to put the Chaos Bringer into the backburner for now.

And said hybrid was currently hovering in the air. His lower legs and feet were in their Cybertronian form and releasing small heat from the soles, while the rest of his body was human and currently engrossed in a book. To be more precise, he was reading a notebook related to Dark Energon that the previous members of the Order of the Witwiccans had discovered. Cogman had entered through another door, carrying a tray that had a bowl of potato chips and a soda bottle with him.

"Jesus, how many of these books have you actually read?" asked Cade as he looked at the pile lying neatly on the nearby table. Several Datapads were also there, sent from the Hall of Records, courtesy of Optimus Prime.

"I'm pretty much through a quarter of them. It works when you can access 100% of your entire brain and even higher, you know," replied Adam as he finished the book before lowering himself down to grab some potato chips and the soda bottle. He then asked Cogman: "These are the Lays brand, right?"

"Yes, sir. Just as you requested," replied the 4'5-foot silver-colored Headmaster in his uptight British-accent.

"Awesome," replied Adam/Nova Prime as he put several into his mouth. "Anyway, what brings you here, Cade? Usually, you're either in your shed or with Vivian out in London, helping out with mechanical stuff at Oxford."

"Probably bringing germs and dust into the castle," muttered Cogman as he picked up some books.

"I heard that, and I washed my hands before coming in here," retorted Cade, which earned an optic roll from the Headmaster. "And I'm just making sure that you aren't getting too buried in this stuff. I mean, when was the last time you hanged out with Izzy anyway?"

"For your information, she and I went out on a date last week," countered Adam. "Went to the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort. Cogman drove us there."

"One of personal favorites, I must admit," added Cogman. "Combines various cultural themes with construction blocks. Brilliant."

"Fine, fine. Just remember that we have a trip to Manhattan in two days," reminded Cade.

"Got it. And I presume that we'll be taking the Steelhaven?" asked Adam. "Took us forever to clean that ship up. I still need to finish inspecting it completely. It would be cool if we could add a cloaking device to it."

"Yeah? Well, maybe you could figure out a way for us to park it better," said Cade before turning around to leave. However, the image of a large being on a nearby Datapad caught the inventor's attention. This one was huge and even taller than Omega Supreme, but it didn't appear to be Cybertronian. "Hey, what's this?" asked Cade curiously.

Adam floated near him, looking over Cade's right shoulder. "Oh, that? It's a Celestial, a race of powerful entities. Apparently, they came to Cybertron to try and conquer it because they feared Primus' power. They lost obviously, since they were no match for the Thirteen and their followers. They even tried to use something called an Infinity Stone."

"Infinity Stone?" asked Cade.

"Six stones that are tied with an aspect of the entire universe. They're immensely powerful and can be quite dangerous if they're used in the wrong hands," answered Cogman. "The Celestials tried to use one that was known as the Power Stone on Primus. However, as an entity born at the dawn of the universe, Primus was completely immune to the stone's power."

"And we don't have to worry about the Decepticons using them. I did some research and it seems like the Infinity Stones can't be used by Cybertronians," revealed Adam, who was pleased at what he found. He had read at what each stone could do, and if someone like Megatron could use them, then the Autobots would've lost the war a long time ago. And what were the chances of them encountering one anyway?

Chapter Text

(On Saturn's moon, Titan)

A year had passed for the Decepticons since their latest defeat against the Autobots. With Cybertron now under their enemies' control and their base in Russia compromised, the 'Cons needed a new place to lick their wounds. Said place they retreated to was their base on the moon, Titan. Also on said moon was the wreckage of the Decepticon warship, Nemesis. Starscream, who captained the vessel many years ago, had already setup a base around the Nemesis. From there, the Decepticons expanded their defenses and mined for Energon. Most of the labor was given to the Vehicons, allowing the Decepticons to focus on more important tasks. Outposts had also been built to observe the outer areas on the moon in case of Autobot attacks. Overseeing one of them were Blitzwing and Lugnut as they watched the troops inside.

"What's the latest?" asked Blitzwing. He was glad that he finally got the issue with his own three personalities dealt with. Well, more like Flatline removed them under personal orders from Megatron, who didn't want one of his best soldiers being held back by something as personality disorder.

"Still no sign of Autobots or anyone else, sir," reported a 16-foot Decepticon Protoform. "Guess they really don't know we're here."

"Ha! Of course, Lord Megatron wouldn't let us be found so easily!" exclaimed Lugnut, causing Blitzwing to sigh at his comrade's overzealous loyalty to their leader.

A 25-foot Beta-Class Vehicon walked up to Blitzwing and reported: "Sir, we seem to have lost contact with Outposts One through Five."

"We can't reach Outposts Six through Eleven either," added a 18-foot Decepticon Protoform.

"That doesn't make any sense," said Blitzwing. "Try to contact them again, and send out teams to investigate the outposts. If Lord Megatron finds out about this, he'll have our sparks."

Suddenly, the door to the outpost slid open, and walking inside were Bludgeon and Mindwipe. "Blitzwing, Lord Megatron has sent us to take over. You and Lugnut's presence are needed to investigate an Energon source that has popped up," said Bludgeon to the 25-foot tan and purple-colored Triple-Changer.

Blitzwing frowned. Bludgeon was always a mysterious mech to work with, and was hard to know what was going through his processor. Plus, the fact that he was friends with a mech like Mindwipe who could control other processors didn't help the matter. "I received no order on this. Besides, we're currently having a situation on our servos at the moment," said Blitzwing. However, he didn't see Mindwipe's optics glowing nor the Beta-Class Vehicon directly behind him, whose frame began to slack.

"If you're referring to the interference, then Lord Megatron is already aware of it. Mindwipe can use his skills to figure out the problem," explained Bludgeon, while making sure that Blitzwing's and Lugnut's attention were on him, and not on the Vehicons. The Beta-Class Vehicon directly behind Blitzwing deployed his left forearm-mounted 125mm 2A46M L/48 Smoothbore Tank Cannon with an automatic loader.

Unfortunately, Blitzwing's audio receptors heard the sound of shifting metal behind him just in time. Spinning around, the Triple-Changer kicked the Beta-Class Vehicon to the side just as it fired its weapon. Lugnut appeared confused, while Bludgeon cursed. Looking at Mindwipe, the 22-foot dark-green Master Swordsman nodded to the 20-foot black-colored Seeker/Hypnotist. The 'Con's optics glowed brighter, causing all the other Vehicons in the outpost to attack the Decepticons. Soon, the control room descended into chaos as drones fought against their Decepticon masters.

"TRAITORS!!" roared Lugnut as he smashed a Vehicon to the side before deploying his left forearm-mounted 75x350mmR T13E1 L/40 Cannon and aimed at Bludgeon, but said Metallikato user moved quicker and with a quick draw from one of his Energon Katanas, he sliced off Lugnut's left arm at the elbow. Bludgeon then spun around and blocked Blitzwing's Energon Scimitar.

Mindwipe came to his friend's aid by firing his Laser Battle Rifle at Lugnut, injuring the 24-foot dark-purple mech's right leg. With the one-optic Seeker incapacitated, Bludgeon could now fully focus on Blitzwing. The two 'Cons began dueling with their respective melee weapons, while ignoring the Vehicons and Decepticon Protoforms fighting one another. Several Vehicons lunged at Lugnut, but the Seeker was able to swat them aside with his remaining arm.

As their blades hit one another again, Blitzwing glared at Bludgeon. "I always knew there was something off with you, but this: an attempted takeover by having Mindwipe taking control of all the Vehicons? How desperate are you?"

But to his surprise, Bludgeon chuckled. "Do I look like an idiot? Of course, I know something like this won't work if I was attempting a coup. Was being the keyword. No, I just needed the outposts to be blocked from all radio transmissions and the outer defenses down until they arrive."

"'They'?" repeated Blitzwing.

Suddenly, the radar screen in the outpost began to beep rapidly, signaling that multiple objects were approaching fast. As they got closer, they appeared to be Cybertronians with various dragonoids, specifically wyverns. Their frames were colored in metallic purple and had purple optics. But most of all, none of them were giving off spark signatures. The magnetic shield of the outpost shattered as the creatures smashed through before attacking Vehicons and Decepticons alike. Using claws and fanged dentas, they tore apart their victims with extreme brutality.

"Slag this! I gotta warn Lord Megatron!" exclaimed Blitzwing as he moved away from Bludgeon. One of the creatures tried to pounce on him, but the Triple-Changer fired his right forearm-mounted 105mm L7A3 L/52 Rifled Tank Gun, offlining it. Several more of them had gotten in front of Blitzwing, forcing him to transform into his second alt-mode, which was a Type 74 Kai MBT (Main-Battle-Tank). With a single 105mm HEAT-FS (High-Explosive-Anti-Tank-Fin-Stabilized) round, he tore apart the creatures and revved up his treads out of the outpost. Mindwipe fired at him, but was knocked down by Lugnut. The one-optic Seeker then struggled to move before finally bolting forward and grabbing his severed left arm before transforming into his alt-mode of a B-25H Mitchell. He then crashed through the celling and flew out of the outpost.

Bludgeon deployed his left shoulder-mounted 120mm JSW L/44 Smoothbore Tank Cannon and fired at Blitzwing. The 120mm APFSDS-T (Armor-Piercing-Fin-Stabilizing-Discarding-Sabot-Tracer) round pierced the Triple-Changer's armor, but Blitzwing was still able to transform into his first alt-mode, which was a Panavia Tornado F3, and took off, despite leaking both smoke and Energon. "Hmph. Even if he and Lugnut do make it to Megatron, it's too late to stop the Terrorcons," declared Bludgeon.

Turning around, he watched as the invaders finished off the last of the Vehicons. Each creature then transformed into their 20-foot biped forms. They all had demonic-looking faceplates, including sharp dentas and a pair of horns on their helms. And just like in their alt-modes, they possessed purple optics that gave off an otherworldly glow. They were armed with either Energon Battle Rifles or Energon Battle-Axes. A few of them were missing some parts from the initial assault, but that didn't seemed to bother them at all.

"Once living Cybertronians like us, they've been given undead life, thanks to Dark Energon. And with Jhiaxus' modifications, they now have perfect forms, while still retaining their skills and motor functions, but under the thrall of Unicron. They're now his Terrorcons, the Legions of the Chaos Bringer," announced Bludgeon as more Terrorcons began soaring past the conquered outpost and towards the Decepticon base.

(Meanwhile, back at the Decepticon HQ...)

Megatron, who was sitting on his makeshift throne, was currently holding a meeting in the Nemesis's CIC with his top officers: Starscream, Shockwave, Soundwave, Blackout, Barricade, Fracture, Onslaught, Dreadwing and Stockade.

"Our Energon reserves are presently stable for now, but we should be prepared to look for other sources to mine more," reported Fracture.

"Hmm..." mused Megatron as he stared at the holographic image on the table in the center. "And what of our current forces?"

"Presently, we have 1,000 Decepticon Protoforms and 4,000 Vehicons, making a total of 5,000, along with 500 Orbital Assault Fighters," answered Shockwave. "But even with this number, it won't make conquering Cybertron easier. The Autobots have focused heavily on defending Iacon, with numerous anti-personnel and AA turrets ready to repel us. Many of the Vehicons that we were able to manufacture are Alpha and Beta-Class drones. The other classes have been difficult to make due to our current resources. Plus, our scouts have reported that the Autobots have been modifying many of the ships that the refugees have arrived in and have begun constructing their own combat drones, the Autobot Troopers."

"Have we tried to continue recovering the frames of deceased Cybertronians? We can download the CPU backups of our fallen Decepticons into them. Like what we did with Bonecrusher," suggested Blackout as he remembered how Flatline was able to retrieve the frame of the now-revived Close-Combat Specialist from the bottom of the Laurentian Abyss during the middle of a hurricane.

"Unfortunately, even if we had the resources, the probability of that working again is low. Flatline had explained to me that because their backups were uncorrupted, we were able to do the transfer. Plus, the amount of energy to charge a spark-casing is very high, making it difficult for us to do it multiple times without drawing energy from the base," explained Shockwave.

Megatron nodded in agreement. Along with Soundwave, whose importance was obvious, it was only thanks to those threes' skills that Bonecrusher was successfully revived. All the other more competent deceased Decepticons didn't have enough CPU backups. Otherwise, the other Constructicons would be here if it weren't for the fact that they were so ancient that any backups had been long lost.

The Decepticon Leader's musings were broken by the sound of explosions, followed by shouting.

"What the Pit is all that racket?!" growled Starscream as he made his way over towards the nearby window.

But before the 31-foot grey-tan Seeker could even get close, an object trailing smoke crashed through the window and landed on top of the table. Fracture and Blackout stood in front of their leader, but Megatron brushed them aside as he looked at the injured form of Blitzwing. Said Triple-Changer was leaking Energon and had dents all over his frame (minus his helm). "Lord Megatron, we're under attack! By Terrorcons!" exclaimed Blitzwing as he tried to recover.

Wondering what the Triple-Changer meant by 'Terrorcons', Megatron headed over to the smashed window to see that his entire base had become a warzone. Countless Terrorcons were pouring in, wielding their weapons and attacking at anything in their sight. Those in their wyvern forms would either launch energy bolts from their mouthplates or lash out with their claws and fanged dentas, tearing the Decepticons and Vehicons apart with abandoned brutality, while not even caring how much damage they took as they tore into their foes. The 30-foot grey-colored Decepticon Leader spotted several of them combine into 40-foot Cybertronians. They attacked Tidal Wave, who was 65-feet taller, while firing their weapons. The grey and light-green 'Con was firing back with his Cybertronian weaponry (which were his dual shoulder-mounted 24-Tubed Concussion Rocket/Missile Launchers, his chassis-mounted Neutron HMGs and dual forearm-mounted Ion Plasma Cannons) instead of his human-based weaponry.

Megatron growled, enraged that the fabled undead Cybertronians dared to attack his base. He then turned to his lieutenants and began giving out orders: "Starscream, regroup our air squadrons and repel the enemy fighters! Barricade, Fracture, Stockade, reorganize our troops on the ground and push the enemy back! Shockwave, you and Dreadwing will coordinate with the Vehicons! Soundwave, recall all of our forces that are out on missions at once! Blitzwing, get yourself patched up as best as you can and rejoin the fight! Onslaught, regroup with your fellow Combaticons and combine into Bruticus and assist Tidal Wave in eliminating those larger ones! Blackout, you and I shall head to the front lines! Move out!"

The Decepticons quickly separated to perform their assigned tasks. Megatron and Blackout then transformed into their alt-modes of a Cybertronian Jet and a MH-53J Pave Low III SpecOps Heavy-Lift Helicopter respectively and took off. It only took seconds for Megatron to arrive at the thickest area of the fighting: a large hole in the outer wall of the base. Transforming into his biped form in midair, the Decepticon Leader landed right on top of a Terrorcon, crushing it to death under his pedes. Megatron then powered-up his right forearm-mounted Fusion Cannon and fired at a second Terrorcon, destroying the undead's left arm and half of its chassis before a second shot finished it off for good.

Several Terrorcons tried to fire at Megatron, but were destroyed by a barrage of 7.62x51mm NATO Armor-Piercing/Tracer rounds. With his left forearm-mounted GAU-2/A Minigun already deployed, Blackout landed beside his master and deployed his right wrist-mounted Whirl-Blades when more Terrorcons came charging. The 33-foot (29 if you remove the main rotor blades and the two T64-GE-100 turboshaft engines mounted on his back and shoulders) grey-colored Decepticon Tracker sliced apart one of them with his melee weapon before deploying his chassis-mounted Energon Wave Cannon and fired, destroying five more Terrorcons. Other Decepticons and Vehicons started to gather around them, the sight of their leader invigorating them. More Terrorcons began to pour in, waving weapons and firing at the defenders.

"Decepticons, slaughter them!" roared Megatron as he decapitated another Terrorcon with his Cyber-Matter Sword-Axe.

On the opposite side of the battlefield, Bludgeon and Mindwipe were watching the fight from a safe distance. Standing on the edge of a cliff, the former Decepticon Master Swordsman smiled as he watched the carnage unfold. As they were undead, the Terrorcons had no sparks and felt no pain at all. Thus, they could push forward while weathering an immense amount of damage. Even if they lost their legs or arms, the Terrorcons wouldn't stop until the Dark Energon could no longer keep their frames animated or when their prey was offlined. And the Combiners were Cybertronians that had possessed the combination spark when they were onlined, but were unaware of it. Jhiaxus had augmented these specific Terrorcons so that they could combine into large mechs dubbed 'Abominus', and equipped them with dual forearm-mounted Neutron HMGs and Solar Plasma Cannons on their backs.

"As expected of Megatron, he sure knows how to keep his troops in line," commented Bludgeon as he locked his optics onto his former leader.

"It seems like our former comrades are holding their ground, despite the large number of Terrorcons," said Mindwipe.

"Perhaps," replied Bludgeon before looking up to see a Cybertronian Shuttlecraft flying towards the Decepticon base. On top of it was a Cybertronian MBT. Following it was both a Cybertronian Attack Helicopter and a Cybertronian Jetfighter. "But now the main actors have finally arrived."

Back with Megatron, said Decepticon Leader was coordinating the soldiers that were with him. Tankor had come to assist Blackout in keeping the Terrorcons' main force at bay. Thanks to them and Megatron, the Decepticons were able to push back the undead Cybertronians, despite their immunity to pain. However, the arrival of three Abominus began to change the odds against the 'Cons, and it only worsened when Thunderwing flew overhead. Jumping off of him was Elphaorpha, who immediately transformed into his 45-foot biped form upon hitting the ground. Although he was 5-feet shorter than Thunderwing, the indigo dye and azure-colored mech was taller than Blackout and Tankor. With a growl, Elphaorpha deployed his right forearm-mounted Ionic Minigun before firing. Several Decepticon Protoforms and Vehicons were offlined almost immediately as more Terrorcons began pouring forth.

Tankor had destroyed another Terrorcon before turning his attention on Elphaorpha. "Tankor, pulverize!" roared the 25-foot blue-colored Decepticon before firing his right forearm-mounted 120mm MG253 L/44 Smoothbore Tank Cannon. The 120mm APFSDS-T round struck the Blentron in the back, but did very little damage to his armor. Blackout joined Tankor and fired his Energon Wave Cannon at Elphaorpha at full-power, making the Blentron stagger back a bit. The two 'Cons then charged at Elphaorpha, but said mech recovered quickly. Raising both of his arms, the Blentron brought them down upon his foes. Blackout was lucky that he managed to use his Whirl-Blades to deflect most of the force. Tankor was able to block the force with his own arms, only to get sent flying when Elphaorpha delivered a powerful kick to his chassis. The Decepticon crashed into the nearby wall and left a large dent in it.

Seeing this, Megatron raised his Fusion Cannon and fired a fully-charged blast. The impact did some damage to the Blentron, only for said mech to respond by unveiling his dual shoulder-mounted Solar Plasma Mortars. Megatron was forced to move as the projectiles were launched. Several Decepticon Protoforms weren't so lucky as they were torn apart by the explosions. A few Terrorcons were also offlined too. Elphaorpha then went back to using his Ionic Minigun and his left forearm-mounted Magma Frag Grenade Launcher to battle both Megatron and Blackout, while the Terrorcons dealt with the other Decepticons and Vehicons.

Above the battle, Starscream, Dreadwing, along with Alpha-Class Vehicons and Orbital Assault Fighters, were clashing with the Terrorcons that were in their Cyber-Wyvern forms. The undead Cybertronians would fire energy bolts from their mouthplates, said bolts would explode in the air or when they hit a target. However, Dreadwing and Starscream were proving too fast for the Terrorcons, dodging their attacks and downing many of them.

"Starscream, I need air support at the inner perimeter!" yelled Barricade through his comms unit. Terrorcons were swarming in that area as they cut down the defenders with extreme brutality. Back with Barricade, said 16-foot blue-blackish and white-colored mech was firing his Fusion SMG nonstop at the oncoming Terrorcons. Also with him was the recently-revived Bonecrusher, as said 25-foot tan-colored mech was gleefully tearing the Terrorcons apart with either his clawed servos, his tail-like mine-scoop, and his dual wrist-mounted Micro-LMGs. Bruticus was also there, firing his weapons and sometimes crushing a Terrorcon to death.

"Hold your pistons, Barricade! I'm already on route!" snarled Starscream as he made a sharp turn. As he neared the Scout's positions, he saw him fighting alongside several other 'Cons and Bruticus as they tried to hold off a wave of Terrorcons. Dropping eight GBU-39/B Small-Diameter-Bombs (SDBs), Starscream blew up at least thirty Terrorcons as he flew overhead. A few were still functional, but they were quickly dealt with by Barricade and his team. Bruticus, meanwhile, deployed his dual forearm-mounted Sonic Shock Cannons and fired at several Terrorcons until they were too shattered to move. A Terrorcon had transformed into its Cyber-Wyvern form and took to the sky, firing at the Combiner. Spinning up his left wrist-mounted Whirl-Blades, Bruticus deflected the energy bolts before swinging his left arm, slicing the undead Cybertronian in half.

Suddenly, a squad of Beta-Class Vehicons were destroyed by a series of explosions. Dropping from above in his 20-foot biped form was Rartorata. Before the opposition could react, the Blentron's right arm morphed into a Proton HMG, while he deployed his left forearm-mounted Automatic Sonic Shotgun. Firing both of his weapons at the same time, the orange, grey and red-colored mech offlined many Decepticon Protoforms and Vehicons before they had a chance to react. Rartorata didn't even seem to care when one of his shots struck a Terrorcon, not that the undead Cybertronian minded since it felt no pain. Even Bruticus felt the brunt of his attack, staggering backwards while using his Whirl-Blades to shield himself. Bonecrusher, Barricade, along with eight Decepticon Protoforms and two Beta-Class Vehicons were able to get to cover as the Blentron fired at them.

Above them, Dreadwing was leading a squadron of Alpha-Class Vehicons. He was about to launch an airstrike when three of the Vehicons were suddenly shot down. Flying at them in his alt-mode of a Cybertronian Jetfighter was Drancon. Transforming into his 20-foot biped form in midair, the bottle-green, magenta, orange and tan-colored Blentron fired his dual forearm-mounted Photon Cannons, destroying more Vehicons before tearing the rest of them apart with his bare servos. Drancon then lunged at Dreadwing, but the bluish-grey Seeker was able to avoid him before transforming into his 28-foot biped form and firing his left forearm-mounted 30x165mm GSh-30-1 Autocannon. The 30x165mm API-T (Armor-Piercing-Incendiary-Tracer) rounds had little effect on the servant of Unicron, who just swapped his Photon Cannons for his dual shoulder-mounted Concussion Cannons before firing at Dreadwing. The one-optic Decepticon jumped out of the way in time, but was sent crashing into the ground below.

Growling in frustration, Drancon shifted back into his alt-mode and prepared to do an airstrike of his own to finish off the Seeker. But his attention was shifted when another squadron of Alpha-Class Vehicons opened up on him, hoping to take out the Blentron with his back turned. That didn't work and now Drancon was after them. This gave Dreadwing enough time to fall back to friendly lines, though said lines were decreasing rapidly as the Terrorcons pushed the Decepticons back with every minute. The undead Cybertronians weren't giving the defenders a moment's rest.

(Meanwhile, in the laboratory of the Nemesis...)

Flatline watched from a bird's eye view as the Terrorcons invaded the base, swarming it while engaging the defenders. They were also slowly gaining control of the skies while battling the Decepticon flyers. Some of the undead Cybertronians on the ground would pounce on any of the Alpha-Class Vehicons that were passing by, ripping them to pieces with either their clawed servos or fanged dentas before feasting on their Energon. The base's turrets weren't being that much helpful either, sure they would gun down several of the Terrorcons, but the undead would completely ignore their pain to fire back, eventually destroying the turrets. The 19-foot black and red-colored Decepticon Chief Medical Officer/Master Surgeon then noticed that some of the Terrorcons were making their way towards the left and right flanks. It wouldn't be long before they cut off any chance of escape. Turning to a 26-foot Alpha-Class Vehicon next to him, Flatline said: "Contact Shockwave."

(Back with Megatron...)

Said Decepticon Leader continued his fight with Elphaorpha. Around them were the offlined frames of Decepticon Protoforms, Vehicons, and Terrorcons. Blackout was lying off to the side, having been severely injured by the Blentron, while Tankor had been separated from Megatron as more of the undead Cybertronians started to pour in.

Dodging Elphaorpha's left fist, Megatron retaliated by swinging his Cyber-Matter Sword-Axe at the Blentron, leaving a large gash on the mech's chassis. Some Dark Energon started to pour out from the wound, causing Elphaorpha to wince. Megatron took that opening to fire a fully-charged blast from his Fusion Cannon, with the impact being strong enough to cause the Blentron to be knocked off his pedes and hitting the ground with a loud crash. The Decepticon Leader charged at him with his melee weapon raised as he prepared to slam it down onto Elpharopha's spark-chamber. But Megatron was denied his kill when a Proton ASM (Air-to-Surface-Missile) nearly struck him. Jumping back, the Decepticon Leader watched as Thunderwing arrived. The silver-purple mech transformed into his 50-foot biped form as he landed in front of Megatron.

"Well, well, if it isn't Quintessa's little Cyber-Puppy," mocked Thunderwing. "I thought you would be offlined by now, Megatron."

Said Decepticon growled before declaring out loud: "Not until I have claimed what's rightfully mine! Starting with taking your helm from your offlined frame and using it for my future throne room!" He then fired his Fusion Cannon at Thunderwing's faceplates. The shot did little to no damage to the taller mech, who only smirked in amusement. Opening his mouthplates, Thunderwing released a powerful stream of flames at the Decepticon Leader. Megatron quickly activated his jet thrusters to move out of the way as the intense heat melted both the ground and the metal around him. Raising his Fusion Cannon, he fired more shots at Thunderwing. Deploying his dual forearm-mounted Concussion Cannons, the herald of Unicron returned fire, while ignoring the blasts that struck his armor.

Megatron did a roll as he landed right behind Thunderwing. Taking out his Cyber-Matter Sword-Axe, the Decepticon Leader brought it down on the larger mech's back, but the weapon merely bounced off Thunderwing's chassis without any visible damage being done. Before Megatron could recover from the recoil, Thunderwing slammed his left pede down on the Decepticon Leader, pinning him to the ground and causing Megatron to cough up some Energon from the impact.

"Rest easy, Megatron, for your frame shall be put to good use even after your offlining," taunted Thunderwing as he prepared to finish him off. Unfortunately, the offlining of Megatron wasn't his to claim. Flying at him and in his alt-mode of a light-grey JAS-39E Gripen was Nitro Zeus, launching four of his AGM-65B Maverick ASMs at the servant of Unicron. Moving on the ground was Shockwave in his alt-mode of a grey-purplish Cybertronian MBT. The Decepticon Scientist/Assassin plowed through several Terrorcons as he charged towards Thunderwing. Elevating his AstroMag Cannon, Shockwave fired an HEAT round that hit Thunderwing in the chassis, with said impact being strong enough that sent the larger mech stumbling back a bit. Transforming into his 35-foot biped form, Shockwave continued the assault. He was soon joined by his younger brother, Nitro Zeus, who transformed into his 22-foot biped form and let loose with his right forearm-mounted 27x145mm Mauser BK-27 Revolver Cannon. A dozen Beta-Class Vehicons also came in, under orders from Shockwave to assist him in protecting Megatron.

Thunderwing raised his right arm to shield his faceplates, which gave a recovered Blackout an opening to ram into the larger mech's right side. Thunderwing was forced to move his left pede off of Megatron, who was quickly pulled to the side by Tankor. The tank Decepticon brought Megatron towards Shockwave, as said one-optic mech fired another HEAT round from his right arm-mounted AstroMag Cannon.

"Lord Megatron, we must do a tactical retreat, now," advised Shockwave.

"What?!" snapped the Decepticon Leader as he got up, with sparks appearing all over his armor. "I refuse to flee like a coward from the battlefield once more! We will repel these abominations!"

"With all due respect, my Lord, from my logical standpoint, we don't stand a chance of victory. The Terrorcons don't feel any pain nor the loss of their vital components. Furthermore, my analysis of Thunderwing's armor shows that 90% of it is covered in Ununtrium. Our current chances of delivering a fatal blow are less than optimal. We must abandon the base," explained Shockwave as Thunderwing tore through the Vehicons.

Megatron growled in frustration, but eventually conceded. His old friend's logic was usually right and from what his optics could see, the Terrorcons were pushing his forces further into the base. "Very well, order Soundwave to ready the Darksyde. Then sound the general evacuation and fall back!"

Transforming into his alt-mode, the Decepticon Leader took to the sky. "Decepticons, fall back! Abandon the base!" he ordered as he took off. Blackout, Starscream, Dreadwing, Nitro Zeus, along with Astrotrain, followed him in the air. Shockwave shifted back into his alt-mode and drove off, with Barricade, Bonecrusher, Tankor and any other surviving Decepticons behind him. The Vehicons were given the standing order to hold back the Terrorcons at all cost.

Thunderwing crushed the helm of the last Beta-Class Vehicon before his optics spotted Megatron flying away. Activating the jet thrusters under his pedes, the herald of Unicron flew up to get a better view of the battlefield. The Decepticons were in full retreat, and were falling back to the crashed warship. The Terrorcons chased after them with wanton barbarianism, tearing apart any Decepticon unfortunate to be caught in their clawed servos, followed by draining them of their Energon. Vehicons were being stationed to hold the undead Cybertronians back, while Tidal Wave and the Orbital Assault Fighters above them were providing cover fire.

Drancon flew up to him. "Your orders, Lord Thunderwing?"

"Keep up the assault and tell Megabolt that he can finally advance. The Decepticons wouldn't pull such a tactic if they didn't have an escape route already planned out. The moment that something unusual occurs, attack them with full power," ordered Thunderwing.

Within the wreckage of the Nemesis, numerous Decepticons were dashing towards a second warship called the Darksyde. Like the Knight's Ship, it was also of ancient origins, having served as the Fallen's personal flagship during the Dynasty of the Primes. It had a dark-colored paintjob, which gave it a menacing appearance, no doubt by it's former owner. It had been recovered per the Fallen's orders and brought to Titan to be repaired for future use. Shockwave had continued to repair and customize the warship even after the Fallen's offlining. Now, it was finally being put to use as the 'Cons prepared to flee the moon. The Decepticons either ran up the ship's ramps or flew into the hangars. Orbital Assault Fighters were also coming in as they avoided the Terrorcons' energy bolts.

As the Decepticons entered the vessel either from the ground or in the air, Soundwave was watching everything from the bridge, while keeping an optic out for Megatron. With his enhanced audio receptors, the 16-foot dark-blue/lighter-blue mech could hear that the sounds of battle outside the Nemesis were getting closer and closer by the minute.

"Soundwave, I've picked up Megatron's Energon signature. He and his entourage have just entered the Darksyde's upper hangar bay, followed by Tidal Wave," reported Flatline as his four clawed servos were hard at work on the console he was using.

"Good. Prepare the engines for takeoff," ordered the Decepticon Communications Officer in his raspy monotone-like voice.

"Sir, I'm detecting a very large mass heading towards us. I have reason to believe that it's the enemy's HQ," reported a Decepticon Protoform from another console. "There's also a large number of them charging up their weapons. They might be preparing to barrage us the moment we take off."

"I've already calculated that situation. Initiate EMP blast and activate the EMP shields," ordered Soundwave.

As the last of the Decepticons boarded the Darksyde, the ship's ramps closed shut, followed by energy shields covering the whole vessel. The warship began to rise, smashing through the wreckage of the Nemesis as it ascended. Outside, Thunderwing watched as the Darksyde appeared, just as Megabolt had arrived. He was about to order the Terrorcons to open fire when the EMP blast was activated, covering the entire Decepticon base. Despite being the undead, the Terrorcons were still Cybertronians and only paralyzed temporarily by the EMP blast. Even Thunderwing wavered a bit but quickly recovered in time to watch the warship's Dark-Matter Drive activate before blasting off from his sight. Leaving behind the undead Cybertronians, the offlined ones and the servants of Unicron.

Thunderwing landed on the ground, and was soon joined by the Blentrons, as well as Bludgeon and Mindwipe, who were both standing from a respectful distance. "Shall we pursue them, sir?" asked Elphaorpha.

Thunderwing was silent as he looked up. By now, Megabolt's alt-mode was hovering over the base and covering it in shadows. "No, we have already accomplished our goal to lower the Decepticons' forces. They aren't a threat for now," he said. "Have the Terrorcons gather the offlined and any other useful materials that Jhiaxus can use. Blentrons, I want the three of you to head to the next location and prepare for the second phase. Bludgeon, you and your partner will stay here. The time for our master's revival is near at hand!"

Chapter Text

(Somewhere in Outer Space...)

The ship, Statesman, which was carrying the Asgardian survivors of Ragnarok...was in ruins. Half of the Asgardians were killed by Gnaw and the Black Order, while the others were allowed to flee, led by Brunnhidle, aka Valkyrie, and the former gladiators, Korg and Miek. All that remained of the Asgardians were Thor, Loki, Heimdall, as well as the Hulk.

"Hear me and rejoice! For you have had the privilege of being saved by the Great Titan himself. You may think this is suffering. No...it is salvation," declared Ebony Maw to the dead Asgardians as he walked past a grievously wounded Heimdall, while Corvus Glaive impaled one of the lingering Asgardians with his glaive before rejoining the rest of his fellow Black Order members who have surrounded Loki. "Smile, for even in death...you have become the children of Thanos."

Dragging Thor across the floor was Thanos himself, who was gripping the new King of Asgard by his head. He walked up to his adoptive children, with Gnaw joining them. Looking at Thor, the Mad Titan said: "I know what it's like to lose. To feel so desperately that you're right, yet to fail, nonetheless. It's frightening, turns the legs to jelly. I ask you to what end? Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same. And now, it's here. Or should I say, I am."

"A very interesting theory, Thanos," said Quintessa as she floated down next to him. "Though, I suppose there is some truth to it."

"A Cybertronian?" questioned Loki as he shifted his gaze between Gnaw and Quintessa. "I would've never imagined I would see your kind, let alone with you."

"Me and Quintessa have a history together. And unlike you, along with some others that I could name, she can actually carry out her favorable promises," explained Thanos. "After all, how else do you think we were able to track the Space Stone to here?"

"Space Stone? I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about," claimed Loki, whose face remained netural and not showing anything. This, however, made Proxima Midnight hold the God of Mischief at knifepoint.

"Perhaps you know it by a different name: the Tesseract. So, you may as well stop with your lies. Right now, you have two choices: the Space Stone or your brother's head," explained Quintessa. However, Loki still held his poker face, and this caused the Great Deceiver to look at Thanos and gave him a brief nod.

With a brief nod back, the Mad Titan proceeded to activate the Power Stone and began to torture Thor by pressing the Infinty Gauntlet to his left temple. The God of Thunder tried to resist the pain at first, but eventually started to scream out hoarsely. Loki tried to show his lack of empathy towards his foster brother's plight. However, the torture became too unbearable for him to watch with his own eyes, causing him to lose his cool demeanor and step forward. "STOP!" he exclaimed, getting Thanos' attention.

"We don't have the Tesseract. It was destroyed on Asgard when Ragnarok happened," said Thor, who was still recovering from the torture.

"Destroyed on Asgard?" asked Thanos. "Well, if it was destroyed, then why did Quintessa here tracked down the Tesseract's unique energy signature to this ship?"

Loki soon became very reluctant as he glanced at his brother like he knows what he doesn't truly know at all. Without hesitation, the God of Mischief lifts his right hand into the air to deactivate the cloaking spell and reveal the Tesseract, prompting Thanos and Quintessa to smirk at Loki's reveal.

"You really are the worst brother," groaned Thor in dismay.

"Don't worry, brother," said Loki reassuringly. "We'll survive this."

"Your optimism is noted, though misplaced, Asgardian," said Thanos as he made his way to take the Tesseract.

"Well for one thing, I'm not an Asgardian," corrected Loki.

Thanos cocked his head, a bit surprised as he recalled the times when Loki claimed to be one. However, the God of Mischief wasn't done yet: "And for another...we have a Hulk."

As if on cue, said green Avenger shot out from his hiding spot and tackled Thanos. Loki dropped the Tesseract and grabbed Thor, pulling him out of the way. Quintessa moved to the side as Gnaw stood protectively in front of his mistress. The Hulk then proceeded to punch Thanos relentlessly, giving the Mad Titan no chance to defend himself. Seeing this, Cull Obsidian prepared to come to his father's aid, but was stopped by Ebony. "Wait, let our father have his fun," said the Black Order telekinetic, who was confident in the Mad Titan.

And true enough, Thanos began his counterattack. Without the aid of the Power Stone or his adopted children, he delivered a fury of hard punches that overwhelmed the Hulk, who had no time to defend himself. Thanos finished it off by grabbing the Hulk by his shoulders before slamming him hard against the floor. He was about to finish off the green Avenger when Thor tried to attack him from behind by slamming a metal pipe hard against the Titan's head. Unfortunately, it didn't do a thing to Thanos. Quintessa then shot out lighting bolts from the tip of her digits and used them to telekinetically snag Thor before throwing him away from Thanos. Then, with a twirl of her right servo, the metal around the God of Thunder began to shift and bind the Asgardian down, immobilizing him.

Unknown to Thanos, Quintessa, Gnaw and the Black Order, Heimdall had seen everything that has happened from his spot. The fate of his people, his new king restrained and the Hulk defeated, the former Gatekeeper of Asgard finally made his decision for the very last time. Heimdall, despite being gravely injured, was able to reach the remains of Hofund. Gripping its handle, his final words were: "Allfathers, let the Dark Magic flow through me...one last time."

Immediately, a rainbow-colored beam flew out and covered the Hulk. Quintessa, Thanos, the Black Order and Gnaw watched on in surprise as the Biofrost Bridge carried the unconscious green Avenger away from the Statesman and who knows where to. With his objective accomplished, Heimdall meet Thor's right eye for the very last time.

Thanos saw what the former Gatekeeper of Asgard just did. Borrowing Corvus' glaive, he strolled directly towards him. "That was a mistake," said the Mad Titan before impaling Heimdall through the heart.

"HEIMDALL!!!!" yelled Thor in horror as he watched his best friend die, while powerless to do anything as he gave a murderous death glare at Thanos. "You will die for that, you bastard!"

The threat from the God of Thunder did very little to intimidate the Mad Titan when Quintessa approached Ebony. "Gag him," she ordered.

Ebony did so by levitating a piece of metal to muzzle Thor's mouth, shutting him up.

With Heimdall now dead, Thanos gave Corvus his weapon back. Ebony then knelt before his adoptive father while holding the Tesseract in his right hand. "My humble personage bows before your grandeur. No other being has ever had the might, nor the nobility, to wield not one, but two Infinity Stones," said Ebony as he handed the Tesseract over to the Mad Titan. "The universe, lies within your grasp."

With a powerful squeeze from his right hand, Thanos crushed the Tesseract into tiny pieces, unleashing a small blast of energy waves. When he unfurled his fingers, all that was left of the Tesseract were tiny pieces of glass and the blue-colored Space Stone. Blowing the remnants away, the Mad Titan gently fingers the Infinity Stone between his thumb and index finger to place it carefully on the Infinity Gauntlet. Just like with the Power Stone, a pulse of blue-colored energy shot out, causing Thanos to grunt as he felt the Space Stone's energy seep through him before relaxing.

Thanos took a moment to admire the Space Stone before looking at Quintessa. The Cybertronian Sorceress nodded before revealing: "Only three more stones left to go. The Reality Stone is on Knowhere, while the Mind and Time Stones are on Earth."

The Mad Titan looked at his Black Order. "Go to Earth, my children. Find them and bring them to me on Titan."

The four of them bowed. "We won't fail you, father," declared Proxmia.

"If I might interrupt," said Loki, getting Thanos' attention. "You'll be needing a guide if you're going to Earth. I do have experience in that area."

"I'm not sure if you can consider failure as experience," commented Thanos mockingly.

"I consider experience, experience," replied Loki before approaching the Mad Titan. "Oh, mighty Thanos. I, Loki, Prince of Asgard, son of Odinson," he paused as he gave Thor a secret glance. "The rightful King of Jotunheim. The God of Mischief." A knife was secretly conjured in his left hand. Thor saw this and realized what his younger brother was planning. "Do here by pledge to you, my undying fidelity." Loki lowered his head, breathing carefully so not to give anything away, and then lunged his knife at Thanos' neck...

...only for the Mad Titan to stop the knife with the Space Stone. By warping the fabricate of space, he generated a powerful spatial pressure that froze both Loki's left hand and knife, which was just four inches away from his throat. "'Undying'?" repeated Thanos as he grabbed the God of Mischief's left wrist, twisting the knife out of his hand and slowly move it away, despite Loki's attempt to break free. "You should choose your words more carefully."

Thanos then grabbed Loki by the neck and lifted him up. The God of Mischief struggles to break free from the suffocation by kicking the Mad Titan, but to no avail. In fact, Thanos looked almost amused. He then turned his attention to Thor, whose right eye was wide with horror, as if begging the Mad Titan to let Loki go. Instead, he looked back at the God of Mischief and started to squeeze his neck.

"You will never be...a god," choked Loki as his face turned deathly pale and veiny blue.

Thanos smiled cruelly before gleefully snapping Loki's neck. Thor's scream of horror was muffled by the metallic muzzle around his mouth as he watched the life of his dear mischievous little brother was taken from him, while being powerless to stop it. Still holding Loki by the neck, the Mad Titan walked up to Thor before dropping the God of Mischief's corpse in front of the new King of Asgard. "No resurrection this time," Thanos said to Thor, who couldn't tear his right eye away from his brother's dead body.

"If we're done here, I believe we should go now," said Quintessa as she hovered beside Thanos.

"Agreed," replied the Mad Titan as his adopted children and Gnaw gathered around them. Raising the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos activated the Power Stone, overloading the Statesman with energy. As the ship is on the verge of exploding, he then used the Space Stone to open a portal to bring him, his children and allies out of the doomed vessel, leaving Thor all alone. Subsequently, the metal holding down the God of Thunder finally collapsed, allowing the grief-stricken and vengeance-filled Asgardian to crawl up to his brother's corpse.

"No...Loki," mourned Thor, shedding tears for all that he had lost. First was the remaining half of his people, then his best friend, Heimdall, and lastly his little brother as the ship exploded around him.

Outside, Thanos' massive warship, the Sanctuary II, headed out. With it were Leviathans, Q-Ships and thousands of Sharkticons in their animalistic-looking Cybertronian Hovercraft modes. Their next destination: Earth.

(Iacon, Cybertron)

The capital city of the Autobots, was now fully rebuilt. Cybertronians were moving about, either working, patrolling or carefree. Sparklings ran about with their parents, for the first time free of worry of when their next Energon supply would be, or fear of attack. Tyger Pax, Simfur, Metrotitan and Burthov were also beginning to show signs of activity and would be ready for inhabiting. Meanwhile, scientists were starting to theorize that Hatchlings would be born soon with the increase of Energon. Despite the AllSpark being gone, Nova Prime's essence created a pseudo-cube underneath Iacon that would be able to create newborn Cybertronians without two sparkmates conceiving a Hatchling together, but at a slower rate. And thus, the blueprints of a birthing center were being made.

Meanwhile, flyers flew overhead as they patrolled the skies over Iacon. To further increase the city's defenses, the Cybertronians built a massive wall that surrounded Iacon. Said wall was fitted with anti-personnel turrets, AA missile pods, watchtowers and it had a built-in energy field that extended up to five miles. The only way into the city was through the massive and heavily-guarded door. The spaceports were filled with ships of all sizes, with a very large one hosting the Axalon, whose crew was on standby if called for. Near the Autobot HQ was a deactivated SpaceBridge, which was being overseen by Perceptor and Grindcore.

At Iacon's communications tower, Ultra Magnus, followed by Skyhammer, made his way to the main level. "We still haven't seen any new Decepticon sightings, nor any luck in finding their base. And I fear that the patrols are making the civilians uneasy," discussed the 20-foot dark-grey Autobot flyer.

"I don't like it either, but we're still in a dangerous position. Our forces are nowhere near large nor trained enough for us to expand out more throughout Cybertron. If the Decepticons managed to sneak a vanguard on the planet, then it is best that we be prepared," explained Magnus.

"Is that why you're having us patrol some of their former cities, like Kaon?" asked Skyhammer.

"Exactly. They're the most logical places for them to try and setup a base on Cybertron," answered Magnus before he added: "We've also been picking up a strange signal from an abandoned base just a few miles from Iacon." Soon, the two of them arrived at the main communications room. Said room was filled with Autobots at work. Some were delivering reports, while others were at their seats, going through various transmissions throughout the Solar System and from patrols on Cybertron or from outside the city.

"Blaster, has there been any news regarding the Decepticons?" Magnus asked the Autobots' Communications Officer.

Said Cybertronian was a 16-foot red and grey mech with a yellow-colored chassis. Blaster had landed on Earth this February and had taken the alt-mode of a 2018 Toyota Corolla Furia Concept. He had taken a liking to Earth's music, but eventually returned to Cybertron to help with communications of Iacon's defenses, as well as with the Autobots that were still on Earth. As the only Autobot being able to counter Soundwave, Blaster was a necessary part in their defenses.

"Nothing yet, Magnus, besides that distress signal we got a while ago. I already sent that to Optimus. Everything else are just boring transmissions from outside the Solar System," said Blaster. "Slag, what I'd give for some high-grade right now."

"No drinking while on duty, soldier," scolded Magnus. "There's no telling when the Decepticons might strike. We can't risk losing Cybertron after just getting it back. Even with the Autobot Troopers we managed to manufacture, we're still low on actual troops."

"Yeah, yeah," said Blaster as he went back to his console. He let out a sigh from his mouthplates as he continued monitoring transmissions. Suddenly, he went stiff, his optics shuttering as his sensors picked something up. "Whoa! I'm getting some of mad signals here!" yelled Blaster, getting Ultra Magnus' attention. "This are some whacked up beats."

"Is it Decepticons?" asked Magnus, standing behind Blaster.

"Parts of the signal is Cybertronian, but it's nothing like what the 'Cons use," replied Blaster as he tried to focus in on the source. "Also, there's another signal getting into the mix, but I don't have a clue of what it is."

"Skyhammer, have all of our aerial forces be on standby to repel a possible invasion," ordered Magnus.

"Understood," responded the Autobot flyer with a firm salute before taking off from out of the building.

"Can we get a visual of the source?" Magnus asked Blaster.

"Nope, nothing. Best I can do right now is track where they are going," informed the Autobot Communications Officer. "But I don't think they're heading for Cybertron, sir. And judging from the signal, it looks like they're heading towards Earth."

"Teletraan I, contact the Autobot Moon Base. Tell them of what's going on and see if they can get visual confirmation," Magnus ordered the AI who had been installed into the city's systems.

(Autobot Moon Base...)

Consisting of Camshaft, Rollbar, Smokescreen, Dune Runner, Hubcap, Cosmos, along with newcomers Bumper, Arctus, Slap Dash and Red Alert. Bumper can transform into a red and blue 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman S Concept, while Arctus had taken the alt-mode of a greyish-silver M2A4 Bradley IFV (Infantry-Fighting-Vehicle). Slap Dash had scanned a orange-yellow 2015 Nobel M600 Speedster Concept, and Red Alert can transform into a white and red 2018 Lamborghini Huracan LP620-2 Super Trofeo EVO. The base on Earth's Moon had been setup to recover any remains of the Ark that Omega Supreme might've left behind, as well as act as an outpost for possible future invasions. Sky Lynx would also serve as transportation for the team too.

"Red Alert! In the name of Primus, calm your processor already," exclaimed Camshaft as he looked away from his console. The Autobot Security Officer had been complaining in paranoia for the past hour. It had begun to get on the 21-foot silver/blue-lined one-optic mech's processor. Near him, Dune Runner and Rollbar were checking on the north and east sides of the Moon respectively.

"But, Camshaft, this base has zero defenses! What if a Decepticon strike force comes or an infiltrator manages to sneak inside?" panicked the 17-foot white and red-colored mech.

"It does have defenses. Advanced scanners and a cloaking device. Anyone coming several miles away in space will be detected. Plus, we also have an underground shelter that could survive if the Moon exploded. If we add anything else, the human governments on Earth would give us slag about it," explained Camshaft.

"I find it weird that we're still giving into their demands even though we saved their world at least five times. Plus, why are we still defending this planet even after Cybertron was restored?" asked Bumper as he came inside. Said 16-foot red and blue-colored Autobot Trainee was carrying a crate underneath his arms. He and Cosmos had just returned from salvaging parts from Omega's old crash site.

"Optimus' orders. With Earth's core being Unicron, we can't risk something happening," said Camshaft.

"Besides," added Cosmos, said 20-foot green-colored mech with a round-shaped chassis and a red-colored helm was on the upper level of the base. "There's even a lesser chance of the 'Cons coming since they'll be more focused on Cybertron rather than Earth. Just relax, Red Alert."

The Autobot Security Officer rolled his optics before replying sarcastically: "Well, excuse me if I'm just taking in account of every possibility."

"Camshaft!" shouted a voice from outside the base. Standing near the long-range satellite dish was the 20-foot greyish-silver visor-wearing Arctus, with Smokescreen beside him. "We're getting a message from Cybertron."

Camshaft stopped what he was doing and headed over to the tower. "Camshaft here."

"Camshaft, we're picking up a Cybertronian signal of unknown origin heading towards Earth. Do you see anything from where you are?" asked Ultra Magnus' voice.

"Just a sec, sir," replied Camshaft. "Smokescreen, are the scanners picking anything up?"

"No, nothing. I'm not seeing anything," answered the 15-foot dark-blue and red-colored visor-wearing mech with swept-back audio horn receptors. There was a pause before he began speaking again: "Wait, wait! I'm getting something, or a lot of them. It's like they appeared out of nowhere. Oh, slag! They're nearly on top of us!"

At that moment, a large shadow engulfed the Autobots and their base. Looking up, the 'Bots saw two massive Q-Ships flying over them.

"What the scrap are those?!" yelled Slap Dash as he gazed out of the base. The vessels were completely ignoring them as they headed towards Earth. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for the dozens of Sharkticons. Still in their alt-modes of Cybertronian Hovercrafts, the cannibals launched their Proton Torpedoes. The first wave destroyed the long-range satellite dish, knocking Camshaft, Arctus and Cosmos on their backs. More Proton Torpedoes struck the base, injuring some of the Autobots and causing them to lose their footing. Cosmos wasn't so fortunate as he was blasted off into space, with the explosion causing him to fly away from the Moon.

"COSMOS!!" yelled Camshaft as he managed to recover. However, there was no time to help his fellow Autobot as the Sharkticons were preparing for another bombing run. Quickly, the one-optic Autobot helped Arctus up. "Back to the base! Get into the bunker, now!" he yelled as the Sharkticons started their second bombing run. "Bumper, we need to tell Optimus about this! Message him, quickly!" ordered Camshaft as he and the others made a mad dash for the base.

"U-understood, sir!" Bumper stumbled as he headed to the base's communications console. Dune Runner, Red Alert and Rollbar were already opening the door to the underground bunker. Meanwhile, Smokescreen was preparing some of his equipment. By then, the Sharkticons had finished locking onto the base before launching another salvo. Camshaft had just shut the door to the underground bunker in time when the Proton Torpedoes hit, with the impacts releasing explosions that consumed the base. With their job finished, the Sharkticons took off and rejoined the others.

(Greenwich Village, New York City)

Adam and Izabella were walking through the Village. It was in the morning and nearing the afternoon and so far, the Yeager Family had been to almost every part of New York City, including Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Now they were in Queens with their Autobot escorts, which included Bumblebee, Evac (in his new alt-mode of a blue 2018 Jeep Sandstorm Concept), Cogman and Arcee. Cogman was using his holoform to make himself look like a middle-aged Caucasian man wearing a British butler suit.

The family had just done a group photo in front of the Washington Square Arch. As Cade was thanking the photographer who took their picture, the others were discussing of where to go next, while Cogman went off to try and find some new furniture or curtains to bring back to the Burton Castle. "I'd like to head to the Stonewall Inn. I remember my mom telling me about how she took part of the 1969 Stonewall Riots when she was a teenager," said Adam.

"Your mom was a supporter of both gay and lesbian rights?" asked Vivian. She didn't sound disgusted, but rather more curious.

"Hey, my mom never really saw the difference between people who were attracted to the opposite sex and those attracted to the same. In fact, you'll be surprised how many Cybertronians have sparkmates with the same gender too," added Adam.

Off to the side were the other three Autobots in their alt-modes. While Arcee was keeping her sensors on their human charges, Bumblebee and Evac had their sensors scanning the area around them. Suddenly, they picked up a transmission from the Naval Supporting Facility at Diego Garcia, which was being used again as NEST's main base of operations. "This is Optimus Prime to all Autobots on Earth, we've lost contact with the Autobot Moon Base! Their last transmission was of several spacecrafts entering Earth's atmosphere. Report any sightings of strange anomalies immediately."

Then, as if on que, the wind around the area suddenly began to pick up, sending debris flying. People began to scream as they fled the source of the occurrence, which was a massive circular-shaped ship hovering above the city, which was just a few blocks away from where the Autobots were at.

"Uh, Optimus, I think we found it," reported Evac through his comms unit. Immediately, he and the other three Autobots transformed into their biped forms as their human charges ran over towards them. Cogman, meanwhile, deactivated his holoform before mentally calling his new frame which was disguised as a silver 2018 Aston Martin Lagonda Vision Concept.

Cade ran up to them. "Please tell me that's one of yours?" asked the inventor as he pointed at the massive ship.

"Definitely not one of ours. I can't think of any Cybertronian designing a ship like that," said Bumblebee. "Me and Evac will go and investigate. Arcee, you and Cogman escort them back to the Steelhaven. Then rejoin us as soon as you can. I have a bad feeling that this is gonna get messy." Then he and Evac shifted back into their alt-modes before taking off. Nova Prime and the humans quickly got into the Aston Martin before heading towards the Hudson River, where the ship of the Guardian Knights of Iacon was hiding below the surface.

(With Tony Stark...)

Tony had been having a good day so far. He and Pepper were taking a little stroll in Central Park, discussing about their upcoming wedding, maybe even children. Then it started to go downhill when a magic portal suddenly opened in the middle of Central Park. Coming out was someone named Doctor Stephan Strange, claiming to be a wizard and said that he was needed. It was only when Tony's friend, Doctor Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, appeared next did he follow Strange. After that, Stark got the summary of events:

"At the dawn of the universe, there was nothing. Then...boom. The Big Bang sent six elemental crystals, hurtling across the virgin universe. These Infinity Stones each control an essential aspect of existence," explained Wong as he showed them a holographic image of said stones. "Space, Reality, Power, Soul, Mind..."

"And Time, which is under our protection," added Strange as he revealed the green-colored Time Stone inside the Eye of Agamotto.

Stark took that all in before asking Banner: "Tell me his name again?"

"Thanos. He's a plague, Tony. He invades planets, he takes what he wants and wipes out half of the population. He sent Loki to retrieve the Tesseract. The attack on New York City by the Chitauri six years ago, that was also him too," said Bruce.

Letting out a sigh, Tony looked around. "This is it... What's our timeline?"

"No telling. He already has both the Space and Power Stones, and this 'Quintessa' has the Soul Stone. And that currently makes him the strongest creature in the whole universe," explained Banner.

"And what about Quintessa? What's her threat level?" asked Stark.

"She's a Cybertronian. They're an ancient race that have been on Earth since its beginning, and one of the very few beings who are completely immune to the Infinity Stones due to them being formed from the primordial entity, Primus. The Time Stone was entrusted to the first Sorcerer Supreme by Alchemist Prime, one of the original leaders of Cybertron," explained Wong. "Recently, a faction known as the Autobots, have formed an alliance with humanity and have regained their homeworld. Quintessa is their enemy, which explains why she allied herself with Thanos to help him get the stones."

"Well, if Thanos needs all six, why not just throw this one down the garbage disposal?" asked Tony, pointing at the Eye of Agamotto.

Strange turned down the idea immediately. "No can do."

"We swore an oath to protect the Time Stone with our very own lives," backed up Wong.

"Also, this could be our best chance against Thanos," added Strange.

"Or his best chance against us," argued Stark.

"The fact is that we have this stone. Vision is out there with the Mind Stone, and we need to find him now," said Bruce.

Tony coughed uncomfortably before revealing: "Yeah, that's the thing. Two weeks ago, Vision turned off his transponder. He's offline."

Banner was obviously shocked. "What?! Tony, you lost another super-bot?"

"I didn't lose him, he's more than that. He's evolving," said Stark.

"Who could find Vision?" asked Strange.

"Probably Steve Rogers," answered Tony. "Maybe. The thing is...the Avengers broke-up two years ago. We're toast. Cap and I fell out hard. We're not on speaking terms."

Bruce walked up to Stark. "Tony, listen to me. Thor's gone, and Thanos is coming. It doesn't matter who you're talking to or not. We need to find Vision first before Thanos does."

Tony pulled out the flip phone that Steve mailed to him two years ago from his pocket and was about to use the one number programmed in it, when the screaming and a large rumbling noise caught their attention. Running outside of the NYC Sanctum, he, Banner, Wong and Strange watched as the massive Q-Ship levitated above the city. It was thanks to Strange that the powerful winds from the ship were neutralized. That allowed the four of them to meet their foes: Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian, with the former began to speak: "Hear me and rejoice. You are about to die at the hands of the children of Thanos. Be thankful that your meaningless lives are now contributed to the balance-"

"I'm sorry, but Earth is closed for today!" interrupted Tony. "So, you better pack it up and get out of here!"

Irritated, Ebony looked at Strange. "Stonekeeper, does this chattering animal speak for you?"

"Certainly not, I speak for myself. And you're trespassing on this city and on this planet," declared Strange as he manifested twin Tao Mandalas, followed by Wong.

"It means get lost, Squidward!" ordered Stark.

Anything else was cut off by the sound of two car engines. Turning around, Tony, Bruce, Strange and Wong saw a yellow 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Concept with black racing stripes and a blue 2018 Jeep Sandstorm Concept heading towards them. Their surprise only increased when the 'vehicles' transform into the 16-foot biped forms of Bumblebee and Evac respectively. Evac deployed his dual forearm-mounted Concussion Blasters, while 'Bee morphed his right arm into his signature Solar Plasma Cannon.

"Uh, Tony, are these friends of yours?" asked Banner.

Before Stark could respond, Ebony beat him to the punch: "Ah, Autobots. So glad you could join us. Quintessa sends her regards."

Evac's and Bumblebee's optics widened at the name. Glancing at one another and then back at the two Black Order members, they then looked down at the four humans. "I understand that introductions haven't been fully made, but perhaps we should push questions aside until the matter before us is dealt with?" suggested Evac.

The two Avengers and two sorcerers looked at one another. Unable to argue, they decided to take the Autobots' help. Ebony didn't seem to be the least bit faze. Snapping the fingers on his left hand, twelve Sharkticons descended from the Q-Ship before landing in their 16-foot biped forms. Colored in grey, purple and aqua, they had several shark-like features, including razor-sharp dentas and clawed digits with fins on their helms. They also had tails with mace-shaped tips banging against the ground, while their red-colored optics zoomed in on their six targets.

"Scrap," muttered Bumblebee as he looked at the Sharkticons. The Avengers and the sorcerers were also surprised by the sudden enemy reinforcements.

"Flying robot space sharks. That's definitely one of the top 10 weirdest things I've seen so far," commented Tony.

"Sharkticons, deal with the Autobots," ordered Ebony. "Cull, you know what to do."

Cull Obsidian let out a grunt as he lifted his Chained Hammer and began making his way towards the humans and the Autobots. The Sharkticons growled as they revealed their dual forearm-mounted Laser Blasters.

"Bruce, you want a piece?" asked Stark.

Banner looked at him and then at Obsidian before asking rhetorically: "Not really, but since when do I ever get what I want?"

"That's what I thought. Great to have you back, buddy," said Tony calmly as he waited for Bruce to transform into the Hulk.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. At first Bruce's skin turned green for a moment, but then rescinded. This earned some odd looks from the Autobots and sorcerers as Banner grunted in order to transform, but to no avail. Stark noticed the stares and looked at Bruce. "Dude, you're embarrassing me in front of the wizards and robots."

Bruce gasped as his skin returned to normal. "I-I don't know, he doesn't want to come out..."

"Okay, okay. Why don't you just sit this one out. Can you watch him?" Tony gently pushed Banner back until he was protected by Wong. Then he turned his focus on Obsidian, who was now charging at them. Pressing the chest piece, nanites began to swarm out, covering Tony Stark's entire body until he was now inside his brand-new Iron Man Mark 50 Armor. As Obsidian brought his Chained Hammer down, Tony materialized a shield from his right forearm, blocking the blow. With his left fist, Iron Man struck Cull in the lower jaw, causing him to stagger back. Iron Man followed it up by activating his Cluster Cannon, which was the combination of two Ion Cannons from apertures formed around each of the suit's hands, along with four additional Ion Cannons that came out of the suit's back. All six shots converged in a singular point to form a devastatingly powerful beam of energy that sent Obsidian flying backwards. He would've hit Ebony if the telekinetic being didn't alter his brother's angle to crash into some cars.

"Where the hell did that come from?!" demanded Banner. Hell, even Evac and Bumblebee were in a state of shock and surprise at the armor that suddenly materialized on Stark's entire body and what he could do with it.

"It's nanotech. You like it?" asked Tony.

"Guys!" shouted Bumblebee as he pointed ahead. Turning around, Stark saw the Sharkticons charging at them, while some of them fired their dual Laser Blasters at the humans and the Autobots. Acting quickly, Evac deployed his right shoulder-mounted Ion Cluster Rocket Launcher. Taking aim, he fired. The projectile hit one of the Sharkticons before dispersing its Mini-Ion Cluster Bombs, which detonated seconds later and offlined two more Sharkticons and injuring a third. The remaining Sharkticons lunged at the Autobots, who shielded the humans from the tackle. The two mechs rolled backwards as they wrestled with their opponents. 'Bee managed to push his opponent off before ramming his Solar Plasma Cannon into another Sharkticon's chestplates before firing a fully-charged blast that tore the mech apart.

Ebony Maw wasn't remaining on the sidelines. Using his telekinesis, he sent Iron Man flying into the air before focusing on the two sorcerers. Raising debris around him, Ebony launched projectiles at Strange and Wong, with the latter getting in front and conjuring a magical shield to hold back the attack.

Turning to Bruce, Strange said: "Doctor Banner, if the rest of your green friend won't be coming..." Using his Sling Ring, he sent Bruce (and unintentionally a piece of a taxi) through a portal to Washington Square Park.

Back with the Autobots, they were still duking it out with the Sharkticons. One of them fired his dual Laser Blasters at Bumblebee, causing the Scout to grab a nearby car to use as a makeshift shield. 'Bee then charged at the Sharkticon and rammed it into a nearby building. Ignoring its flaying clawed digits as it tried to break free, Bumblebee began smashing the damaged car against the Sharkticon's helm before being tackled by another Sharkticon. This one struck him with its mace-shaped tail, sending the Scout rolling backwards. The Sharkticons fired their dual Laser Blasters, chipping away some of 'Bee's armor, but he recovered quickly enough to fire his Solar Plasma Cannon that offlined one of them and heavily-damaged the other. Grabbing a nearby street pole, Bumblebee threw it like a javelin, impaling the second Sharkticon through chestplates and offlining it instantly.

With Evac, he was struggling a bit more than his fellow Autobot as three Sharkticons ganged up on him. He had just punched one of them back before the second one latched onto his back. Opening its jaws, the Sharkticon bit down on Evac's left shoulder. The Autobot cried out in pain as he tried to shake it off him, while feeling the dentas chewing through his armor and into his wires. After a few seconds, Evac had managed to grab the Sharkticon and throw it off, causing it to crash into the third Sharkticon. Deploying his dual Concussion Blasters, the young Autobot fired at his opponents, offlining one of them and forcing the other two to scatter. Evac transformed into his alt-mode and raced after the Sharkticons, who fired their dual Laser Blasters at him. However, the Junior Knight of Cybertron easily avoided the shots before performing a transformation/leap at the Sharkticons. Tackling one, Evac fired his dual Concussion Blasters at the second Sharkticon, blowing it up in the process. The Autobot and Sharkticon rolled across the street until Evac managed to pin it down. The Sharkticon thrashed wildly underneath him as it tried to punch and scratch at the Autobot. Evac ignored the blows and instead focused on punching through the Sharkticon's chestplates, tearing through its wires and circuits before offlining it for good.

Evac's victory was short-lived as Iron Man flew over him. A claw was wrapped around his waist, which was attached to a chain as Iron Man crashed into the park. Evac watched as the chain was retracted and spun around to see Cull Obsidian charging towards him. Firing his dual Concussion Blasters, the shots were deflected when Obsidian turned his Chained Hammer into a shield. The large Black Order member then changed his weapon back to normal before smashing it against Evac's left leg. Despite being bigger, Cull's strength was enough to severely damage the Autobot's limb, forcing him to the ground. Obsidian ignored him as he continued towards Iron Man, with two of the remaining three Sharkticons following behind him.

"Bumblebee, I've been wounded! Go and assist the human who's wearing that nanotech armor!" shouted Evac as his internal repair systems got to work.

"I'm on it!" replied Bumblebee as he headed towards the park.

Back with Iron Man, he managed to push Bruce out of the way when Cull's Chained Hammer nearly crushed them. Then he engaged the enemy with his dual Repulsor Cannons, only for the beams to be deflected by Cull's shield. The large alien then swung his weapon at Iron Man, knocking Tony against the ground. He then charged and brought his Chained Hammer down on Iron Man, only to suddenly stop. Holding the weapon back was Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man. "Hi!"

Turning to his mentor figure, Spider-Man asked: "What's up, Mr. Stark?"

"Kid, where did you come from?" asked Iron Man.

"Field trip to MoMA!" replied/yelled Spider-Man as he was tossed aside by Obsidian. With the battle resuming, Iron Man took to the air and fired at Cull, who merely shrugged it off as he tried to hit him.

Quickly recovering, Spider-Man got back into the fight. "So, what is this guy's problem, Mr. Stark?"

"He's from space, and he came here to steal a necklace from a wizard," answered Tony as he fired another blast at Obsidian, who retaliated by grabbing the taxi part and threw it at Stark, who dodged it. Swinging, Spider-Man fired another web at the taxi part, grabbing it before throwing it right back at Cull. And that's when the Sharkticons came charging in as they fired their dual Laser Blasters at Iron Man. "Oh, and he brought some robot fish with him too," added Tony as he dodged their shots.

One of the Sharkticons lunged at Spider-Man, who barely swung away in time to avoid its dentas. Instead, it took a bite of concrete, leaving a hole in it as the Sharkticon glared at the webslinger with an angry, evil expression written on its faceplates.

"Jesus Christ! How sharp are those things?!" exclaimed Parker.

"Boss, those teeth can bite through your armor. If they get their hands on the kid, he'll be their new chew toy," said FRIDAY, Stark's AI, in her Irish-accent.

"Have Item 17A ready for launch," ordered Iron Man as he continued fighting Cull.

The Sharkticons continued to pursue Spider-Man when Bumblebee came driving into the scene. Accelerating, he charged towards the Sharkticons before transforming and tackling one of them. With said Sharkticon pinned to the ground, 'Bee rammed his Solar Plasma Cannon into its chestplates and fired, blowing its spark away. The other two Sharkticons shifted their attention from Spider-Man to Bumblebee. Said superhero looked on amazement. "Holy shit! Did that robot just transform from a Camaro?!"

"Yeah, talking cars are the good guys!" replied Stark as he fired one of his Repulsor Cannons at Obsidian, making the Black Order member to hiss out in pain.

It was in that moment an unconscious Doctor Strange came flying by, carried by his Cloak of Levitation. Following him was Ebony, who was levitating off the ground.

"Kid, that's the wizard! Go get him!" ordered Iron Man as he blocked a blow from Cull.

"I'm on it!" replied Spider-Man as he swung off after Strange. Bumblebee had just offlined the second Sharkticon and incapacitated the third before following after Spider-Man in his alt-mode. The duo was chasing after Maw, who continued to pursue the still-unconscious Strange. The telekinetic saw the boy and the Autobot and sent a billboard at them. 'Bee managed to avoid it, but Spider-Man got hit dead-on. Fortunately, the young teen recovered and continued the chase. "Not cool, man," he muttered.

Ebony then turned his attention back to Strange, bending several street lamps to grab the Cloak of Levitation. He eventually managed to snag the sentient cloak off of Strange and would've grabbed the man if Bumblebee wasn't firing his Solar Plasma Cannon at him. Levitating several cars as makeshift shields, Maw watched as Spider-Man managed to grab the still-unconscious sorcerer. Ebony snarled as he activated the Q-Ship's tractor beam. A blue light shot down from the large vessel and began pulling Strange up. Spider-Man, in an attempt to pull the sorcerer out of the beam, grabbed onto a nearby lamp post. That was the last straw as Maw ripped the lamp post from the ground, causing both Strange and Spider-Man to be pulled up. Ebony then launched his makeshift shields at Bumblebee, forcing him to dodge them, and that allowed Maw to escape towards the Q-Ship.

"Mr. Stark, I'm being beamed up!" shouted Spider-Man through his suit's installed comms unit.

"Hang on, kid!" replied Iron Man as he continued fighting Cull.

At that moment, the final Sharkticon managed to recover from Bumblebee's attack earlier and was firing his dual Laser Blasters at Stark. Iron Man was forced to dodge two opponents at once, which eventually became too much as Cull launched the upper part of his Chained Hammer into a snare that trapped Iron Man, who crashed on the ground. Transforming the lower portion of his weapon into a blade on his right forearm, Obsidian lunged at Iron Man, ready to deliver the final blow. But the Black Order member wasn't prepared, though, when Wong opened a portal that sent him to the Arctic. Cull tried to escape, only for Wong to close the portal on him and severing his left forearm, which landed next to Bruce who kicked it away in disgust.

The Sharkticon wasn't remaining silent as it lunged at Wong and Banner, but was stopped when Evac, whose left leg had fully-recovered, fired his dual Concussion Blasters at the Cybertronian, offlining it for good. Iron Man, meanwhile, was finally able to break free. "Wong, Mr. Jeep Wrangler, you're both invited to my wedding!" declared Stark before taking off after Spider-Man.

A few minutes later, Bumblebee returned. The young Scout let out a depressed sigh at his failure to rescue Strange.

"There's nothing we can do about it, 'Bee. We'll just have to contact Optimus and NEST and inform them of what happened," said Evac, trying to reassure his fellow Autobot.

"Um, excuse me," said a voice that caught their attention. Looking down, they saw Banner tentatively approached them. Wong had returned to the NYC Sanctum to guard it with Strange being captured. In the doctor's left hand was the flip phone that Tony was holding earlier. "Do you think you guys would mind giving me a lift? There's a place that I need to get to."

The two Autobots glanced at one another before shrugging. As Evac contacted Optimus and NEST, Bumblebee shifted into his alt-mode and opened his left-side passenger door for Banner to get in. Next stop: the New Avengers Facility.

Chapter Text

(Naval Supporting Facility, Diego Garcia, shortly after the attack at Greenwich Village)

Following Cybertron's restoration, the TRF was shut down and its remaining elements absorbed into NEST. The former TRF Soldiers that were allowed into NEST were those who were former American or British military personnel, like Santiago Santos, who hunted down and eliminated or captured Decepticons only, but they refused to allow any of those who were former Cemetery Wind Operatives beforehand, since the Autobots still held a grudge against the members of the late CIA black ops unit. Using the remaining uninhabited isles as a foundation, the Autobots built Autobot City II, which became the Autobots' main settlement on Earth.

Presently, Optimus Prime, Prowl and U.S Army Ranger and NEST Field Commander, Colonel William Lennox, were in the Command Center, conversing with U.S Marine Corps General Chris Morshower, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whom NEST reported directly to, on a screen.

"Still no contact from our base on the Moon?" Optimus asked his SiC. It was unlikely for Camshaft to stay silent for so long.

"Nothing yet," reported Prowl. "Their last known transmission was a report of several spaceships heading towards Earth. "Although it looks bleak, there may be a chance they are still online."

"Agreed. We'll dispatch Sky Lynx and a team to the Moon to look for survivors," ordered Optimus.

"NASA is currently trying to locate the ship if it's still near Earth," said Morshower through the screen. "Can we still communicate with Cybertron, even though the Moon Base isn't responding?"

"It's possible, but it will be difficult. Iacon's long-range communication systems haven't been fully restored yet. That's why we setup a base on the Moon, to act as a link between our planets. Currently, we're receiving garbled messages," explained Optimus.

"Is it possible that they might be involved with Unicron?" asked Morshower. Since NEST reported directly to him, he was privy to the fact that Earth's core was the Cybertronian Devil.

"No, these beings didn't give off Dark Energon that Thunderwing did. Plus, I don't think that Unicron's herald would ally with organic lifeforms," explained Optimus.

"We've also received word from Bumblebee and Evac that one of the ships had appeared over Manhattan before leaving shortly after. However, we've lost sight of the second vessel. Its last known location was above Edinburgh, Scotland," reported Lennox. "We're still waiting word from them."

"Sir!" shouted a voice. Everyone turned around to see Major Mike Graham of the British Special Air Service, and Lennox's XO, run up to them. He was out of breath and had to take a moment to catch his breath before speaking. "Evac had just reported in. He's asking for a clean-up crew to recover the remains of twelve Sharkticons in NYC, and he and 'Bee are with the Yeager Family and Doctor Bruce Banner. Presently, they're heading towards the New Avengers Facility. They didn't have much, but apparently, the aliens were after something called 'the Time Stone'."

"The Time Stone," said Optimus as he looked at Prowl. "One of the six Infinity Stones. Primordial objects that contain great power. They were sealed across the universe by the Thirteen, except for the Soul Stone."

"And who are the Avengers?" muttered Prowl. The two Autobots then quickly accessed the World Wide Web to learn more about them. The info they gathered was quite detailed: the Avengers were a team of unique and powerful individuals dedicated to protecting Earth. They made their first appearance in 2012, when a rouge Asgardian named Loki used the Tesseract to open a portal above Manhattan to allow his army, the Chitauri, to attack New York City. The Avengers were already there as they fought to save the city. Eventually, they were able to defeat the Chitauri and NYC was able to pick up the pieces. Unfortunately, they weren't able to assist in the battle last year because of the rift that was formed in the team due to a set of legal documents known as the Sokovia Accords that were created back in 2016, and the Avengers were active during the years when the Autobots were forced to go into hiding, which is why the two sides had never meet. Now it seems like fate was bringing their forces together.

They had just finished their research when Lennox looked at Optimus. "Okay, we're assembling a task force to head towards the New Avengers Facility, which is located outside of New York City."

"I'll contact SecDef and let him know. He'll discuss with Ross about these events," reported Morshower before ending the live-feed.

"Prowl, contact all the Autobots on Earth and have them assemble at the facility. We'll have Omega Supreme and Stratosphere pick up those who are too far away to arrive on their own," Optimus ordered the 15-foot white and blue-colored mech, who wasted no time in carrying out his orders.

(Meanwhile, back in New York...)

"So, do I make a right turn here?" asked Cade.

"No, you make a right on the next turn and then take a left on the third," explained Bruce.

Two hours had gone by since Iron Man had taken off to rescue Doctor Strange. With Wong returning to guard the NYC Sanctum, that just left Banner with the Autobots to contact Steve Rogers. At the same time, Cade, Vivian, Tessa, Shane, Adam, Izabella, Arcee and Cogman had rejoined their friends. Cade was amazed that 'Bee and Evac have both fought alongside the Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, and was now meeting the Hulk. It had taken a few minutes for the Autobots and their human friends to explain who they were to the Avenger. They then agreed to take Bruce to the New Avengers Facility. Banner was a bit uncomfortable of the idea of riding inside a sentient being that can turn into a vehicle. Fortunately, Cade had brought a white SUV with them in case the family had decided to bring back souvenirs. The Guardian Knights of Iacon remained inside the Steelhaven, following them as they moved across the water towards the facility.

And that is where we find them, driving down the road with their four Autobot escorts following closely behind them.

"This is so wicked, I can't believe we're gonna meet the bloody Avengers," said Shane in excitement. "How many people can say that they've met actual superheroes in person?"

"Dude, you've been in a battlefield with alien robots, as well as being onboard alien spaceships," said Adam, who had his laptop out and was currently typing down keys at lighting speed.

"Well, yeah. But still, these guys are publicly known as celebrities," replied Shane.

Their conversation ended when Cade made the third left turn. After driving past rows of trees, the New Avengers Facility came into sight. It was still in pristine condition and yet there were no signs of people.

"I'm picking up a single life-form inside the facility," reported Evac as they made their way up the driveway.

The humans and hybrid exited the SUV, while the Autobots transformed into their true forms. Bruce walked up to the front doo and hesitantly rung the doorbell. There was a loud ring that followed it. A few seconds passed by before the sound of footsteps could be heard. The front door opened, revealing U.S Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel James 'Rhodey' Rhodes, aka War Machine. Said Avenger was wearing leg braces so that he could walk due to his broken spine. The man was surprised to see Bruce after all these years. "Bruce?" asked Rhodes before noticing the others. He was especially startled when the Autobots came into view.

"Hey...Rhodey," greeted Banner nervously. "Think we could come in."

Rhodes nodded mutely, for his eyes were still locked onto the Autobots. The Yeagers and Cogman followed Bruce as they entered the facility. Following them were Wheelie and Brains, who had been on the Steelhaven during the attack. The family was amazed at all of the high-tech gear and top-grade furniture inside the base. The Autobots, meanwhile, walked over to the inner courtyard.

Bruce walked up to Rhodes. "I'm guessing you saw what happened at Greenwich Village?" he asked the Lieutenant-Colonel who closed the front door.

"Yeah, FRIDAY sent me a report not too long ago. I also got word from Rogers that he and the others will be here soon with Vision. Looks like whoever attacked you guys also tried to nab him too," replied Rhodes. "It's only a matter of time until Secretary Ross makes a call."

"Wait, Ross? As in Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross?" asked Bruce, remembering his ex-girlfriend's father, the same one who had been hunting him a few years back. However, the two of them didn't notice Adam's attention on them when they said Ross' name. He gave a look at Cogman, who nodded as he pulled out his built-in phone.

Suddenly, the main phone began to ring, making everyone tense. Rhodes walked over and looked at the contact info before grimacing when he announced who it was: "It's Ross. You all better hide while I take this."

Heeding his words, the Yeagers, Cogman, Wheelie, Brains and Bruce went to the next room and out of sight before a holographic image of U.S Secretary of State Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross appeared. He was currently sitting at a table with several of his advisers with him too.

"Mr. Secretary," greeted Rhodes.

Meanwhile, in the other room, Adam separated from the others, while dragging Wheelie, Brains and Cogman with him. Giving a few hand signals to Brains, said 1-foot silver-grey Mini-Con with fiber-optic strands for 'hair' nodded before transforming into his alt-mode of a Lenovo ThinkPad E420 Laptop. He then began to hack into the facility's servers, along with Ross' personal files.

"I trust you've been brought up to speed about the current situation, Lieutenant-Colonel?" asked Ross.

"FRIDAY sent me an update regarding that. NYPD and local rescue forces are helping with the civilians," replied Rhodes.

"And still no word from Vision?" asked Ross.

Rhodes shook his head. "Satellites lost him over Edinburgh."

"On a stolen Quinjet with four of the world's most-wanted criminals," stated Ross with a tone in his voice.

Rhodes frowned. Clearly the past two years since the Avengers Civil War had made the Lieutenant-Colonel embittered towards Ross and the Sokovia Accords. "You know they're only criminals because you choose to call them that, right, sir?"

Not the least bit amused, Ross let out a grunt. "My God, Rhodes. Your talent for horseshit is starting to rival my own."

"If it wasn't for those accords, Vision would have been right here," added Rhodes, who refused to back down.

That made Ross frown physically. Getting up from his seat, his image walked until he was face-to-face Rhodes. "I personally remember your signature on those papers, Lieutenant-Colonel."

"That's right, and I'm pretty sure I paid for that," added Rhodes, gesturing to his leg braces.

"You're having second thoughts?" asked Ross in a almost threatening-like tone.

That was when the sound of the front door opening was heard, followed by multiple footsteps. Looking at the people, the Yeagers and Rhodes watched as WW2 Veteran and U.S Army Captain Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, ex-KGB Agent Natasha Romanova, aka Black Widow, Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, Vision, and former U.S Air Force Technical Sergeant and Pararescueman Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, with the latter helping Vision.

"Not anymore," declared Rhodes loudly.

"Holy shite..." murmured Shane as he took out his smartphone and took a flashless picture of the five 'Rogue' Avengers.

Steve looked at Ross. "Mr. Secretary."

Ross glared at each one of them, as if wishing he was there right now, physically. "The four of you got some nerves. I'll give you that."

"You could use some of that right now, Ross," taunted Natasha.

Ignoring her, the Vietnam Veteran-turned U.S Government official continued: "The world's on fire, and you think all is forgiven?"

Looking at him, Steve's response was: "I'm not looking for forgiveness, and I'm way past asking for permission. Earth just lost one of her best defenders. So, we're here to fight. And if you want to stand in our way...we'll fight you too."

Before Ross could say another word, the doors to his office opened. Walking inside was John Keller, the U.S Secretary of Defense, followed by several FBI Agents, with one of them carrying a legal arrest warrant in his left hand. "Fortunately, Ross won't be doing anything for a while."

Everyone, except for Adam and the Autobots, were surprised at SecDef's sudden appearance. Ross and his advisers were clearly the more nervous ones. "Keller, w-what are you doing here?" stuttered Ross.

"Well, word got to me that some of the world's greatest heroes were gathering after an alien attack in New York City, and I thought to just greet them," replied Keller, who was amused at Ross' nervousness. "But more importantly, a very reliable source just sent me some very interesting news regarding to a case I've been trying to solve back in 2014. And I think that they are in the New Avengers Facility, somewhere."

"That would be us, I believe," said Cade as he and his family stepped into the room. Arcee walked up to the window outside, knocking it gently to get their attention, with Bumblebee and Evac standing beside her. The newly-arrived Avengers were also surprised at the Autobots' presence.

Ross pointed at the family and said angrily: "You do know that this is a U.S military-based facility and that civilians aren't supposed to be here."

"You should follow your own words, since you have no authority here," retorted Adam as he walked up to the holographic image, with Cogman right behind him.

"And what would a teenager know?" growled Ross.

"Oh, a very good deal," said Adam as he began to count several things off his fingers. "One, although the U.S Secretary of State is part of the U.S National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff report directly to the U.S Secretary of Defense, who in return reports directly to the President, not you. Meaning you can't boss the Lieutenant-Colonel here. Secondly, the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the U.S Government from using the U.S Armed Forces in law enforcement, except in cases and under the circumstances expressly authorized by either the Constitution or from an act by Congress. However, the PCA doesn't apply to the U.S Coast Guard in peacetime or to the U.S National Guard in Title 32 or State Active Duty status. And finally, the order to arrest Captain Rogers and his group without a legal warrant is in strict violation of the Fourth Amendment, and the arrest order is an illegal order because the Sokovia Accords are completely unconstitutional. I think I've said everything both politically and legally-related, have I not?"

The only response the hybrid got was clapping from Cogman. Everyone else were silent, with the Yeagers, the Avengers, the Autobots and Keller looking amused. Ross, meanwhile, looked like he was about ready to blow a vein.

"And while I'm talking to you, Ross, I thought you might want to look at this. Cogman, Brains, Wheelie, if you would be so kind."

"Right away, sir," replied Cogman as said Headmaster lifted the two Mini-Cons onto the table, where Brains shifted into his alt-mode and downloaded the data, while Wheelie projected numerous video clips. These video clips showed all of the various actions of the defunct Cemetery Wind.

"For those of you who don't know, these people are, or were, a part of Cemetery Wind," explained Adam.

"'Cemetery Wind'?" asked Steve.

"A CIA paramilitary black ops unit that was shut down in 2014. I never really got much detail on why or what their purpose was due to the HYDRA fiasco," responded Natasha. "But it looks like we're about to find out the 'why' part, though."

Indeed, each video showed Cemetery Wind Operatives attacking Autobots and Decepticons, mercilessly cutting them down whether they were armed or not. Along with that, operatives, like Cemetery Wind Field Commander James Savoy and ex-NEST Soldier, Staff Sergeant Brandon J. Khendsovan, murdering Sam Witwicky and his wife Mikaela, Lucas Flannery, along with an untold number of American and Cuban civilians who were Autobot sympathizers and witnesses in order to cover up their own tracks. The next videos then showed Lockdown assisting the rogue CIA black ops unit, particularly in Jetfire's brutal murder near the outskirts of New Orleans, Louisiana, followed by KSI clean-up crews transporting the offlined Cybertronians to their HQ in Chicago to be melted down in order for them to create their own drones.

"Did you guys remember what Keller said earlier about a case that he's been trying to solve back in 2014? Well, it turns out that a three-star general in the U.S Army was secretly financing these scumbags from the start. And does anyone know who it was?" asked Adam dramatically. With a snap of his fingers, a new video appeared. This time, it showed Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross, back when he was a Lieutenant-General in the U.S Army, speaking with the rogue Cemetery Wind Director, Harold Attinger. "Our current U.S Secretary of State himself."

And with that, all eyes and optics were on Ross. The Yeagers and the Avengers were both giving the man contemptuous looks, but the Autobots, however, were absolutely livid as they shot murderous death glares at the man who had a major part (although not directly) in both their misery and the deaths of many of their fellow Autobots.

Ross, having now lost his stern expression, backed away as if he was actually there. He then looked at SecDef. "Keller, I had no idea that Attinger was committing war crimes and that he even hired a Cybertronian Bounty Hunter. I swear, I only helped them for the good of-"

"For the good of our country, I'm sure," interrupted Keller, for he had heard this speech before. "But you are still being charged for illegally financing a CIA black ops unit that secretly went rogue from the start, and I have both the President's and the Attorney General's approval to remove you from your post and appoint Deputy Secretary McCord as the Acting Secretary of State. For the time being, you will be detained, and your advisers questioned for their involvement. Gentlemen." Keller gave the signal to the FBI Agents, one of whom promptly cuffed Ross while the other read him his Miranda rights as they escorted Ross out of the office, with the others quickly following behind them.

Keller then looked at the Avengers. "Lieutenant-Colonel Rhodes." Said man straightened himself. "A NEST task force led by Colonel William Lennox will be arriving soon. For the time being, you'll be under the command of General Morshower until the current crisis is dealt with."

"Understood, sir," replied Rhodes with a salute.

Keller then turned to the 'rogue' Avengers. "Captain Rogers, until we can find the time where we can work out a full pardon for you and your colleagues, I'm going to have to ask you to work alongside NEST and their allies."

"I understand, sir. Thank you," replied Steve before giving a salute in respect. Like Ross, Keller had fought in Vietnam, but unlike the now-disgraced U.S Secretary of State, he started out as a Navy SEAL and did three tours with SEAL Team 2 in Vietnam, which earned him four Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars and the Navy Cross. Keller later retired from the U.S Navy with the rank of Rear-Admiral in 2002 before being appointed as the U.S Secretary of Defense in early 2007 and was one of the very few government officials who was strongly against the Sokovia Accords ever since it was created, thus earning him Steve's, Sam's and Rhodes' respect.

"Good, keep me inform of any new developments," said Keller. And with that, the line ended.

The next few seconds were quiet as everyone took in of what had just happened. Finally, Rhodes spoke up: "Well...that went a lot better than I thought it would, if I'm being honest."

That seemed to have broken the tension as the Avengers greeted one another, while the Yeagers and the Autobots stood to the side as they watched the friends converse with one another.

"Wow, you guys really look like shit. Must've been a rough couple of years," commented Rhodes.

"Yeah, well the hotels weren't exactly five-stars," joked Sam.

"I think you guys look great," said a new voice.

Walking out of the other room, Bruce finally made his appearance. There was a tense moment as the Avengers laid their eyes on a comrade they hadn't seen since the Battle of Sokovia three years ago. Bruce gave them a weak wave. "Yeah, I'm back."

His eyes then locked onto Natasha, who just said: "Hi, Bruce."

"Hey, Nat'," replied Banner.

It was at that moment did Falcon commented on the situation: "Well, this is awkward." This earned him looks from both Wanda and Vision.

Steve decided to change the subject as he walked up to the Yeagers. "So, I suppose 'thank you' are in order, given how we just got out of dealing with Ross," he said to Cade and his family before raising his left hand. "Mr...?"

"Cade, Cade Yeager," answered the inventor as he shook Rogers' hand. He was currently having a hard time comprehending that he was personally meeting the Captain America. "And, uh, it was no problem. Assholes like him always deserved what they get. Right?"

"I hear that," replied Falcon as he passed Vision over to Wanda. "Gotta admit though," he continued as he looked at the Autobots. "When I saw you guys from the Quinjet, I thought you were more of Stark's robots."

That got some complaints from the Cybertronians, causing Falcon to raise his hands in defense as he tried to ward off their voices.

Then the sound of multiple engines was soon heard, getting louder with each second. Looking up at a nearby security screen, Rhodes saw multiple 2008 Hummer HX Concepts and 2009 Hummer H3T Standard Crew Cab Pickup Trucks, all of them showing NEST's logo on their doors as they drove up to the facility. Also with them were an assortment of vehicles too both civilian and military.

"Well, it looks like the reinforcements are here," commented Rhodes as went outside to greet them. Steve, Natasha, Sam, Wanda, Cade, Adam and Cogman followed him, while the others stayed inside, with Vivian offering a chair for Vision.

Driving up the road was indeed NEST, who parked their vehicles along the grassy field. Behind them were all the Autobots that were currently on Earth. From front-to-back were Optimus Prime, Jazz, Prowl, Ironhide, Ratchet, Arcee, Chromia, Elita, Sideswipe, Jolt, Skids, Mudflap, Mirage, Wheeljack, Leadfoot, Roadbuster, Topspin, Steeljaw, Hound, Drift, Crosshairs, Cliffjumper, Hot Rod, Brawn, Salvage, Longarm, Inferno and Armorhide. Flying above them were the Aerialbots, along with Blazemaster (now sporting a brand-new blue and orange color scheme), Wingblade, Highbrow and Tomahawk. Stratosphere had already landed and was currently unloading Depthcharge, Fixit and Warpath. The Dinobots could be seen approaching the New Avengers Facility from the left side, having been dropped off already by Omega Supreme, who was in his alt-mode and had already landed in the inner courtyard.

All the Autobots (minus the Dinobots, who were already in their bipedal forms) changed into their true forms, towering over the Avengers. Said people couldn't show their stunned expressions. Though they had faced terrorists, aliens, rogue AIs, hell they even had a god as a teammate, but to see giant sentient alien robots who could change into vehicles was something else entirely. And the fact that they had been on Earth for so long made the Avengers wonder how they could've missed them.

Approaching them were eighteen figures. Sixteen of them were Lennox, U.S Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Robert Epps, Graham, former American TRF Field Commander and U.S Army Major Santiago Santos, First Sergeant Roy Perkins, Master Sergeant Brian Burke, Sergeant First Class Jake Eckerson, Sergeant First Class Aaron Mongo, Sergeant First Class Mikal Hooch, Staff Sergeants Patrick 'Don' Donnelly, Michael Tanaka, Josh Stone and Marc Larson, Sergeants Eddie 'Hardcore Eddie' Speight and Marcus 'Baby Face' Zimmerman, and former Sector Seven Agent Tom Banachek. The last two were very familiar to the Avengers: former SHIELD Director Nick Fury and SHIELD Agent Maria Hill.

"Keep your mouths open like that and a fly will go in," joked Fury.

"Fury, you son of a gun," commented Rogers. "We weren't expecting you here."

"Well, somehow I got spotted and SecDef and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff both gave me the option of becoming temporary liaison for NEST and their alien friends. Speaking of, the 28-foot guy in red and blue is their leader."

Optimus got down to one knee, getting as close as he could to the humans. "Cade, Adam, it has been a long time," said the Autobot Leader to his old friends. He then looked at the Avengers. "Greetings, Avengers. My name is Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. I have heard much of your achievements. It is an honor to meet you all, especially you, Captain Rogers, in person," said Optimus as he extended his left servo outward.

Carefully, Steve took the servo, or rather pinky digit, with his much smaller right hand and shook it. "An honor for me too, Prime."

Seeing the confused and cautious looks on the Avengers' faces, Nick said: "Why don't we head inside and give you guys the rundown."

(A few minutes later...)

The Avengers, NEST officers and senior-ranking NCOs, and the Yeager Family were inside a large hangar. Some were standing while most were sitting on top of crates as they gather around an oval table that had been moved. Outside of the hangar, the rest of the NEST Soldiers were checking over their weapons and equipment, while the Autobots walked around the inner courtyard. The exceptions being Optimus, Jazz and Prowl as they stood alongside the others for this meeting. Maria Hill was standing at the front of the table, opening a laptop, which was connected to a holographic screen that showed multiple images. The first set consisted of the logo of Sector Seven, a frozen Megatron in the Hoover Dam and the AllSpark.

"Originally, the threat of extraterrestrials and the study of their technology was done by Sector Seven, which was founded in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, when they discovered what was called the 'AllSpark' and Megatron, the leader of a hostile Cybertronian faction known as the Decepticons, in the Arctic. They were both transported to an abandoned salt mine in Nevada and were kept there until 1936, when FDR personally ordered them to be transported to the newly-built Hoover Dam in order to keep the AllSpark's energy signature from being detected by anyone outside. From Megatron, many modern day technology that we use today were reverse-engineered from his body by Sector Seven. Only SHIELD Agents with Level 7 clearance or higher knew about Sector Seven," started Hill. She then shifted towards an image showing the three founding members of SHIELD, U.S Army Colonel Chester Phillips, SRR Agent Peggy Carter and Tony Stark's father, Howard, meeting with the Director of Sector Seven at the time. "When SHIELD was formed, both agencies worked alongside one another when our interests were aligned, though mainly we were independent of each other, in order to ensure no info could be leaked. Sector Seven was later terminated in 2007 after the Battle of Mission City."

The next images that showed up were video clips of said battle, showing Bumblebee getting his lower legs blown off by Starscream's AGM-65E Maverick Laser-Guided ASMs (Air-to-Surface-Missiles), Megatron ripping the 15-foot AllSpark Mutation (which was once a normal vending machine) that attacked him in half before ripping out its spark and crushing it, Bumblebee offlining Brawl with help from Lennox and his team, Ratchet taking down a heavily-injured Bonecrusher, Optimus Prime duking it out with Megatron, Frenzy being offlined by a 40x46mmSR HEDP (High-Explosive-Dual-Purpose) round from Eckerson's M32 MGL (Multiple-Grenade-Launcher), Ironhide firing on Barricade and forcing him to retreat, Lennox using a black and red 2007 Aprilia RSV 1000 Motorcycle to slide underneath Blackout and fire his RM Equipment M203PI Grenade Launcher at the Decepticon Tracker's crotch, distracting him long enough for the F-22A Raptors of the U.S Air Force's 474th Tactical Fighter Wing (stationed at Nellis Air Force Base) to launch their deadly payload of AGM-65E Mavericks, which were guided by Epps using a AN/PEQ-2A IR Designator to mark Blackout, offlining the 'Con, and finally, Sam Witwicky using the AllSpark to offline Megatron.

"They were replaced by NEST, who worked alongside the Autobots to counter Decepticon activities around the globe. During that time, our job was to assist in the shadows by supplying NEST with intel regarding any Decepticon activities and Cybertronian-related matters, as well as ensuring that no Cybertronian tech fell into the wrong hands," continued Hill as the next video clips that consisted of Optimus facing the Fallen during the Battle of Giza.

"Unfortunately, NEST was decommissioned following after the Battle of Chicago," explained Nick as he took over from Maria. The next video clips that were shown were Orbital Assault Fighters, along with Orbital Assault Gunships and Decepticons attacking and killing defenseless civilians while Sentinel Prime deployed his mobile SpaceBridge Pillars. Then it shifted to NEST Soldiers, Navy SEALS, National Guardsmen and the Autobots attacking the Decepticons as Cybertron began to appear above Earth, ending in victory for the Autobots and their human allies as the remaining Decepticons retreated and Sentinel was offlined, along with the capture of the human traitor/Decepticon collaborator Dylan Gould and Cybertron being sent back through the wormhole. "After that, public views towards the Cybertronians went downhill and Cemetery Wind was formed, which you can all guess how that went." The Avengers remembered the video clips that Adam showed them of the war crimes committed by the rogue CIA black ops unit. "They were immediately shut down when the truth of what they were really doing behind the President's back got out, and their leader, Harold Attinger, committed suicide, seeing it was the better alternative than spending the rest of his life in the same dark hole where we kept Noriega." The next video showed the Autobots fighting the KSI drones, Decepticons and Vehicons in Hong Kong, ending with the Knight's Ship appearing over the city before being shot down by Omega Supreme. "After the Battle of Hong Kong, the Autobots went into hiding with their friends, Cade Yeager and Adam Nova. Cemetery Wind was replaced by the TRF, and they were somewhat better than their rogue CIA predecessor. What followed next was the fate of both our world...and theirs." The final video clips were the Autobots and their human allies fighting the Decepticons on Cybertron, which had arrived towards Earth, ending with the planet's restoration and the Autobots returning home.

"Hold on a second," said Sam as the images ended. "Okay, I get the first few fights, you know, black ops and shit. And I did hear about Chicago. But how the hell didn't we see flying bits of a planet over our heads?" The other Avengers had to agree that they would've seen something like that.

"The battle last year took place on the other side of the world, and most of you were more focusing on not getting caught while on the run," replied Nick. "Anyway, now isn't the time nor place for this kind of discussion. We have bigger problems. First, I'll have Prime here fill you all in on the one who helped Thanos attack Banner and Thor."

Optimus nodded and projected a holographic image of Quintessa for everyone to see. "This is Quintessa. She was part of the first generation of Cybertronians born from the AllSpark after Primus and the Thirteen Primes defeated Unicron. A personal student of Quintus Prime, her desire for power and belief that she was the Prime of Life, had made her betray her mentor and the Dynasty of Primes, leading it to ruins. Later, she was banished to another planet across the universe by Alchemist Prime. I believe that Quintessa's rescue from that world was due to Thanos finding her during his search for the Infinity Stones," explained the Autobot Leader. "I fear that Quintessa wishes for Thanos' aid in conquering Cybertron and the destruction of Earth."

"Wait. Why would Quintessa want to destroy Earth?" asked Rogers.

The three Autobots glanced at one another, debating if they should reveal the secret or not. But with the current situation as it was, they had to come clean in order to prevail against the coming threat. "This secret is only known to a few Autobots, along with the closest members of NEST. Earth's core is in fact the remains of our version of Satan, Unicron. A primordial entity that once sought to bring chaos to the entire universe before he was vanquished by his brother and our god, Primus, and the Thirteen Primes. Quintessa had tried to offline Unicron when she foolishly believed that she could transfer his energy to restore Cybertron. I fear she believes that offlining him will prove her divinity."

That made the Avengers look at one another. The surprises just kept pilling up, and to hear that their planet's core was the Cybertronian version of the Devil just now was still quite a shock. Still, they were used to these kind of things.

"Can she actually do that? Kill Unicron?" asked Natasha.

"She could, if she had all six Infinity Stones," answered Optimus. "But even if Quintessa collects all six of them, she won't be able to use them herself."

"Wait, what do you mean?" asked Rhodes.

Optimus activated a holographic image on the table. It showed Iacon back during the age of the Dynasty of Primes. Across the city, the Knights of Cybertron and the Guardian Knights of Iacon, led by the Thirteen Primes, fought against large robotic beings that weren't Cybertronian. One of whom was carrying a staff that had a purple-colored object embedded into it. "Long before their fall, the Dynasty of Primes was besieged by a group of entities called the Celestials. These beings saw our existence as an insult to their beliefs and waged a genocidal war on us. With them, they used the Power Stone to try and destroy our homeworld, which was also Primus," explained the Autobot Leader. The holographic image then showed the Cybertronians decimating the Celestials, while unaffected by the Power Stone as Prima killed it's wielder. "However, as a primordial entity born at the beginning of the universe, Primus was completely immune to the power of the Infinity Stones. And this immunity was passed onto the Thirteen, and to a degree, other Cybertronians, with the major side effect being that we ourselves cannot use the stones. After the Celestials were defeated, the Primes hid the Power Stone, along with the Space, Reality, Mind and Time Stones across the stars."

"So that's why Quintessa needs Thanos. To use the Infinity Stones," summarized Rogers.

"Correct," replied Optimus. "In his current state, it is possible to offline Unicron with all six of the Infinity Stones. His existence is a threat to all life throughout the entire universe, including Thanos. In return, Quintessa supplied him with the Soul and Mind Stones, if I'm reading Doctor Banner's report correctly. In return, he will help her in conquering Cybertron with his army, alongside her Sharkticons, which are carnivorous Cybertronian creatures."

"If that's the case, then they'll be coming after Vision and the Mind Stone. Which means we have to protect them both," declared Natasha.

"No, we have to destroy it," announced Vision from his spot at the table. Thanks to Ratchet, the wound he got from Corvus Glaive back in Edinburgh was healed. "I've been giving a very good deal of thought to this entity in my head, about it's nature. Also, it's composition. I think if it were exposed to a sufficiently exposed powerful energy source that is very similar to it's very own signature, perhaps it's molecular integrity will fail."

Wanda immediately knew what he was talking about and cut him off by declaring firmly: "Yeah, and you with it. I'm not having this conversation."

"Eliminating the Mind Stone is the only way to be certain that Thanos can't get his hands on it," replied Vision calmly as he looked at Wanda.

"That's too high a price," declared Wanda as she continued to disagree with him, even though there was a wavering in her voice.

"Only you have the power to pay it," said Vision as he took both of Wanda's hands into his own. "Thanos threatens the entire universe. One life cannot stand in the way of defeating him."

This time, it was Optimus who spoke: "It is basically the same as sacrificing both Earth and humanity to offline Unicron in order to save the universe. We cannot condemn one life just for the sake of victory."

"Optimus is right," added Steve. "We don't trade lives, Vision."

"But you might have a choice," said Bruce as he walked up to Vision as he began to explain. "Your mind is made up of a complex construct of overlays. JARVIS, Ultron, Tony, me, the Mind Stone. All of them mixed together, and all of them learning from one another."

"You're saying that Vision isn't just the Mind Stone?" asked Rogers.

"What I'm saying is, if we take out the Mind Stone, there's still a whole lot of Vision left. Perhaps the best parts," replied Banner.

"Can you do that?" asked Sam.

Unfortunately, Bruce shook his head. "No, not me. And definitely not here."

"What if we took him to Cybertron then?" suggested Tanaka. "Wheeljack and Perceptor could take the Mind Stone out of Vision in no time."

"Unfortunately, we don't have that time," said Prowl. "We lost contact with our base on the Moon around sometime ago, along with the prototype Mass SpaceBridge too. Even if we could get to Cybertron, we don't know when Thanos might attack and Iacon's defenses aren't 100% ready to repel a massive assault yet."

"Well, if we're looking for a place that has the tech to safely remove the Mind Stone from Vision, I know one," suggested Rogers.

"I know what place you're thinking of, Captain. Hopefully they don't mind a lot of visitors," said Nick before looking at Lennox. "Colonel, have your team ready to move out. We're heading for Africa."

"Wait a second. How do you plan on moving a whole brigade of human troops and giant alien robots halfway across the world?" asked Rhodes.

Suddenly, a large shadow engulfed the New Avengers Facility and the wind began to pick up. Seeing this, everyone ran out of the hangar just in time to see the Steelhaven hovering above them. It began to descend as its lower walkway was lowered for the troops to enter.

"Oh, that will work," commented Rhodes.

"In that case, we should begin boarding-" Optimus' order was cut off when the Matrix of Leadership inside his chassis began to glow. At the same time, the Mind Stone on Vision's forehead began to shine, as well as the AllSpark inside Adam. Both Vision and the two Primes began to cry out as energy levels began to increase, confusing the others around them as they tried to help them. Meanwhile, images began to appear in their minds and processor. The first images they saw was a massive army of demonic-looking Cybertronians on Neptune. Among them was Thunderwing, who was bowing before a 35-foot mech who looked like the Devil himself with horns on his helm. Then the images shifted towards a neutron star orbiting an Alderson-like disk. After that were the Thirteen Primes before they changed into various objects. Said objects became embedded into a halo that surrounded the Matrix of Leadership. It then showed Cybertron surrounded by said halo as the planet itself began to change into a giant shadowy figure, with glowing blue optics.

Once the images were done, the three of them collapsed to the ground. Izzy, Lennox and Donnelly ran to Adam's side, while Wanda and Sam helped Vision and Optimus was being steadied by Jazz and Prowl.

"What the hell just happened?" asked Cade to no one in particular.

Optimus, who had just gotten his balance back, spoke in a grave tone: "I fear that a far greater threat than Thanos is on the horizon...and we may have been shown an answer to our survival."

Chapter Text

(Unknown Location, the Darksyde)

The Decepticon survivors were recovering from their ordeal from escaping Saturn's moon. Aboard the Decepticon warship, they were working very hard to repair the damage done to said ship during its escape from the Terrorcons. Tidal Wave was currently in his alt-mode, having taken damage during the evacuation and couldn't fit in his true form anyway. Those that weren't patrolling the ship's hallways, manning the turrets, checking systems or simply lounging around, were wondering what would happen next.

Inside the Darksyde's CIC, Megatron was surrounded by his officers as he sat in his chair. Around them were Decepticon Protoforms at their stations, looking over data or the ship's systems. Flatline stood beside Megatron's right, working on repairs to his leader and making sure that no damage had been done to Megatron's Fusion Cannon.

It was Shockwave who spoke first: "Using the Vehicons to hold back the attack, we have over a 1,000 of them, and 700 Decepticon Protoforms left. Of the 500 Orbital Assault Fighters that we originally had, only a hundred is all that we have left. We were also very fortunate that we decided to stash the majority of our Energon reserves on this ship, and thus we're not in imminent danger."

"What about Thunderwing and the Terrorcons?" demanded Megatron. "Are they pursuing us?"

"Negative. Scans indicate they have not left Titan," reported Soundwave. "However, we are currently blocking our signal at the moment and monitoring all transmissions passing by."

"On a side note. We've managed to intercept Autobot communications," brought up Brawl. "It was fuzzy at first, but it appears that Quintessa had indeed survived, and she has allied herself with someone called 'Thanos'".

"The Mad Titan?" asked Megatron out loud. He knew of Thanos, and how he wipes out half of the population of each planet he invades.

"And word is that he's been searching for the Infinity Stones," added Barricade.

"The Infinity Stones. Objects of great cosmic power," mused Megatron, remembering the Fallen telling him of those items. How a race, known as the Celestials, tried to use one of them to conquer Cybertron in ancient times and failed. Neither he nor Megatron had any real interest in them, since Cybertronians couldn't use the Infinity Stones in return for being completely immune to their powers. Then why would Quintessa be working with Thanos...unless it was to use all six Infinity Stones to offline Unicron. "Could all six stones be used against Unicron?" Megatron asked Shockwave.

The Decepticon Scientist/Assassin mused as he calculated the possibility into his processor. He soon said: "If Unicron was at full power, all six Infinity Stones wouldn't affect him as he is a primordial being. However, in his current state, the Infinity Stones could be used to offline him for good. It is most likely in return for helping Thanos retrieve the stones, he will help Quintessa offline the Chaos Bringer and then conquer Cybertron. Unicron is a major threat for whatever goal the Mad Titan has."

Megatron growled lowly. He didn't care if Unicron was offlined, taking those human insects with him. However, the idea of Quintessa ruling Cybertron didn't please the former Lord High Protector one bit, especially when she double-crossed him. Unfortunately, the Decepticons were in no position to fight both the Great Deceiver and the Mad Titan on their own. Megatron knew there were forces on Earth and possibly elsewhere that would defy the two. And with the threat of both Thunderwing and the Terrorcons, Megatron would have to make some unorthodox decisions. "Set a course for Earth. It is time for me and Optimus to have a long talk."

The Decepticons didn't question their leader. They immediately got to work as they carried out his orders and informing the troops. Megatron then looked at Shockwave, the one-optic 'Con had guessed that his leader had more orders. "Bring Shatter and Dropkick here. I have a mission for them. And I also believe it is time we initiate Operation: Trypticon."

"As you command, my Lord," replied Shockwave before walking off to contact both his younger brother and Astrotrain, whose assistance he will need.

(Earth's Moon)

Flying towards the Moon was Sky Lynx, a 50-foot white, blue and red Dinosaur-like Autobot who could transform into a Cybertronian Space Shuttle, while his lower half could detach and transform into a blue and red-colored Cybertronian Crawler-Transporter. Aboard him were Sunstreaker, Bob, Grindcore, Daytrader, Hoist and Trailbreaker. The team had been sent to search for the Moon Team after contact with the latter had been lost.

"We have arrived," said Sky Lynx in a regal tone as he landed near the remains of the base. Bits of the facility were floating in the void of space, with no signs of life whatsoever. Either way, Sky Lynx opened his cargo bay doors for his passengers to step out. Sunstreaker frowned as he scanned the area, trying to pick up any Energon signatures.

"Anything?" asked Grindcore as Trailbreaker and Hoist went to check out the wreckage of the base. Meanwhile, Daytrader was picking up anything useful he could find.

"Nothing," replied Sunstreaker. Beside him was Bob, who was shuffling his clawed pedes against the Moon's sand. "Either they're masking their signatures or-"

"Guys!" shouted Trailbreaker, getting everyone's attention. He and Hoist were beside a large pile of debris. At the very bottom of said pile was what appeared to be a crack in the ground. However, this one was completely straight and not one made from numerous explosions.

"I think we found something," said Hoist as he and Trailbreaker began moving the scraps away.

The other Autobots headed over to help out, while Sky Lynx transformed into his biped form and remained on standby. After a few minutes of moving debris and other stuff to the sides, the Autobots were greeted with a crash-vault door that was similar to the one that Sentinel Prime was hiding behind during his years of emergency stasis lock aboard the Ark. And there was also the same button to open it present, which Sunstreaker pressed.

The door retracted to reveal the members of the Moon Team. They were all badly damaged, with Bumper, Dune Runner, Rollbar, and Hubcap in stasis lock, while Camshaft, Smokescreen, Slap Dash, Red Alert and Arctus were still online.

Camshaft's single optic shuttered when he saw who it was. "About fragging time you guys found us," he said as his chassis gave off sparks.

"Sorry about the delay. A lot of stuff happened," said Sunstreaker as the retrieval team helped their fellow Autobots. The ones that were in stasis lock were moved first and taken to Sky Lynx, who had supplies on board that Hoist could use to treat the wounded. The other members of the Moon Team were helped up after.

"Grindcore, see if you can get the comms tower back online. I'm sure that Optimus will want to make contact with Cybertron as soon as possible," ordered Sunstreaker.

"What about the ones who attacked us?" asked Camshaft as Trailbreaker helped him up.

"They attacked New York City back on Earth, but left soon after," answered Sunstreaker. "Right now, we need to get back in touch with home."

A few minutes later, all the members of the Moon Team were in recharge inside Sky Lynx. Grindcore and Daytrader were currently working on getting the comms tower back up and running again. Meanwhile, Hoist spoke to Sunstreaker: "Their wounds aren't as serious as we originally feared. But the ones who were found in stasis lock will need to remain in recharge for a bit longer."

Sunstreaker nodded, while absentmindedly scratching Bob's helm. "Well, at least they'll make it. But I'm more concerned about the others on Earth. They reported that Adam had left with a small group aboard the Ark based off some vision makes me worried."

Daytrader and Grindcore had succeeded in repairing the comms tower. The moment it came back online, the satellite dish began giving off a ping every five seconds. "Hey, it looks like we're getting a message from Cybertron."

Appearing on the screen were Cybetronian letters forming into sentences. To any other species, it would look like gibberish, but the Autobots were able to read it as clear as day. And what they read made them grim.

"We need to re-connect this to Earth, now," ordered Sunstreaker.

(Meanwhile, with Nova's group...)

Having been convinced that the vision was given to him by Primus, Adam decided to set out and find the place that said vision had showed him. With the Autobots and NEST needed on Earth, Nova took only Evac, Ramhorn, Sqweeks (who had been sent by Izzy to keep an eye on her boyfriend), Cogman and the Guardian Knights of Iacon. Despite it being lost to their fighting forces, the group had taken Omega Supreme, whose built-in Dark Matter Drive was perfect for making a long-distance travel short.

As Onega Supreme was preparing his Dark-Matter Drive, Nova looked at the others. "This is the place I saw," he began as he activated a hologram from his right palm, which showed the very same neutron star in his vision. "Does anyone know what this is, besides the obvious?"

Stormreign got down to one knee as he examined the hologram. His optics shuttered as his memory core processed the image. "If my memory is correct, than that is Nidavellir, home of the Dwarves, and also part of the Nine Realms."

"Both the Asgardians and the Dwarves were close allies with the Dynasty of Primes. The Dwarves especially held a deep respect towards Solus Prime, the sole femme of the Thirteen and the greatest blacksmith in Cybertronian history," added Cogman.

Evac rubbed his chinplates before asking: "You're thinking that something of hers might be there?"

"The only thing I can think of is her personal forge," answered Stormreign. "It's a powerful hammer that was used to forge many of the relics used by the Thirteen, along with other objects such as the Sun Harvester. If Solus' hammer is truly there, it could provide us a key to stopping Thanos, Quintessa, and perhaps even Unicron."

"Then our course is set," declared Nova. "Omega, take us to Nidavellir."

"Copy that. Setting coordinates for Nidavellir. Preparing Dark-Matter Drive in three...two...one," said the large Autobot. Seconds later, the Ark blasted off into deep space.

(Back on Earth and somewhere over the Indian Ocean...)

"It's good to see you again, Clint," said Steve as he shook hands with former SHIELD Agent Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye.

The Avengers that were on Earth had assembled on board the Steelhaven. With them were the Autobots and NEST Soldiers, as well as the latter's vehicles. It had taken them a while to get everything inside the Guardian Knights' ship, as it wasn't made to act as a massive transport craft. But with a little creativity from both Wheeljack and the Wreckers, they had managed. All that was left was to pickup both Hawkeye and Ant-Man, the former who was already on board. And speaking of humans, there had been some debates of whether the Yeager Family should be brought to Wakanda or not. While they couldn't provide any actual support, it would be very risky to leave them alone back at the Burton Castle. Instead, they were moved to Autobot City II, along with Canopy and the Sparklings. The city's security system would be more than enough to protect them and/or buy them time to escape should the enemy try to use them as hostages.

Cade had first resisted this idea, saying he could help. But Optimus countered that with most of the Autobots on Earth protecting Vision, they would need someone they could trust to protect the Sparklings, which were the future of the Cybertronian Race. The Autobot Leader had also given Cade an item that would be useful for protecting both his family and the young Cybertronians. It was shaped as a white circular device, but Optimus had claimed that it would transform into invulnerable armor. With these words, Cade caved in and agreed to stay behind.

Back in the present, Hawkeye said: "Yeah well, when you told me that Ross got arrested for his part in a conspiracy with a rogue CIA agent, and FBI agents coming to my farm to remove my GPS ankle monitor and telling me I'm no longer under house-arrest and I've received a full pardon from the President, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense themselves, and that the fate of the universe was at stake, it wasn't like I could say no to that. Besides, now I can tell my wife and kids when I get back home that I flew in a giant alien ship with sentient alien robots that can turn into vehicles."

Chuckles were passed around when the hangar bay doors on the Steelhaven opened up. Flying in was Stratosphere in his alt-mode of a grey-colored C-5M Super Galaxy, who had gone out to pickup the last Avenger, as well as Landmine who had been with Simmons and Dutch. The large Autobot landed without a problem before opening his nose cargo bay door so Landmine, who was in his alt-mode of a blue-grey Chenowth DR2 Assault Buggy, can drive out. Sitting in the front of the former AllSpark Mutation were Simmons and Dutch, with the back being occupied by ex-cat burglar Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, and Hope van Dyne, aka Wasp. The two of them were currently wearing their suits as they exited Landmine, who promptly transformed into his 11-foot biped form.

"Scott!" called out Steve, getting the man's attention. The former thief, along with Hope, had been looking at the Autobots' ship in awe.

"Cap'," said Scott as he shook Rogers' right hand. "This...is...this is...wow," murmured Ant-Man as he and Hope continue to look at the Steelhaven's interior. Just an hour ago (after his two years under house arrest was over), he had been working with Hope and her parents, Hank and Janet, in gathering Quantum energy for a former enemy of theirs named Ava Starr, aka Ghost, who was slowly dying due to a lack of Quantum energy that she involuntarily harnesses. They had just managed to temporarily stabilize Ava's abilities when Simmons had arrived, announcing that Hope and her parents have received a full pardon from the President, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense themselves, but required Scott for a mission regarding the fate of the universe. Then Landmine transformed into his biped form to show that Simmons was telling the truth, scaring the living shit out of Scott and the Pym Family, and somehow caused Scott to get hit by Quantum energy that turned him into a baby, a child, a teenager, an old man and back into his proper age.

"First time on a alien spaceship?" asked Steve jokingly.

"Definitely," replied Scott before gesturing to Hope. "By the way, this Hope van Dyne, aka Wasp. She decided to tag along."

"Captain," greeted Wasp as she shook Rogers' right hand.

"Pleasure to meet you, Hope," said Steve in return. "Follow me and I'll explain to the two of you of what is going on."

Not too far away from the Avengers, Autobots and NEST Soldiers, Nick Fury was sitting on a metal chair. Watching the group interact with one another, the former Director of SHIELD decided to fiddle with a pager in his right hand. Said pager's screen was displaying a symbol of a golden star with red and blue around it.

Hill, who saw what Fury was doing, commented: "I thought you said that we wouldn't need her."

"That was before I found out that we were dealing with genocidal galactic warlords, evil alien robots and the possibility of our planet being destroyed," replied Nick.

"Friend of yours?" asked Natasha when she spotted Fury and Maria.

"You could say that," replied Nick. "Knowing her, she'll be here in a few hours."

Meanwhile, in the ship's CIC, Optimus was speaking to Jazz and Prowl about where they were heading: "According to Captain Rogers, Wakanda is a small isolationist landlocked nation bordering Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. But more importantly, it is a country more advance than any other nation on Earth. They are also the source of the metal, Vibranium, which is hailed as the strongest metal on Earth. Was Wheeljack able to learn anything after scanning the Captain's shield?"

Prowl nodded. "According to his results, the metal is indeed foreign to Earth, but that wasn't what surprised him. At it's molecular core, the Vibranium is in fact Cyber-Matter."

That made the Autobot Leader and his Saboteur look in shock and surprise. Of all the possibilities they had thought of, they hadn't expected Cyber-Matter.

"Whoa, for real, Prowl?" asked Jazz.

"Wheeljack was positive. The Cyber-Matter on Rogers' shield appears to have been heavily-altered so that it can absorb vibrations. That is how it's indestructible, by absorbing kinetic energy. He also theorized that it would be quite useful in negating earthquakes," explained Prowl. "However, Wheeljack said that the alteration was too precise and too grand to have been done naturally, which can only mean..."

"The change was done deliberately," finished Optimus. He rubbed his chinplates and had a thoughtful look in his optics.

"Something wrong, Optimus?" asked Jazz.

"Nothing...except this all reminds me of something I had read from Alpha Trion's secret pile of data logs," replied the Prime. "If Wakanda and Vibranium are related to it, then this can only be fate that we are heading there to remove the Mind Stone from Vision."

The Steelhaven's loudspeakers came to life as Crosshairs announced: "We have arrived at Wakanda, and we're now making contact with their capital." 

(The Golden City, Wakanda)

As the Steelhaven hovered over the city's main airfield, several Dragon Flyers flew out and surrounded the Cybertronian ship. They weren't there to attack or capture, but merely hovered in place and to assure to civilians. The Autobots were moving about on the airfield or standing inside the Steelhaven. Some were looking around at the buildings while others had their optics on the Dragon Flyers. Meanwhile on the ground, several of the Wakandan Royal Guards had already setup positions as they helped NEST transport their vehicles off the ship while keeping an eye on their guests. The Avengers and Lennox were walking in one group. Approaching them was T'Challa, the King of Wakanda and the current bearer of the Black Panther. With him was the Dora Milaje, along with their general, Okoye.

"This place is quite impressive. Kind of reminds me of Cybertron before the war," noted Wheeljack as he stared at both the buildings and the Dragon Flyers with interest. The 15-foot white mech with red and green racing stripes had been busy with upgrading some of the Avengers' weapons and armor, such as adding dual shoulder-mounted Micro-Missile Pods on the Iron Man Mark 48 Armor, aka the Hulkbuster 2.0 Armor that they had brought.

"This Vibranium they've used does indeed have very similar properties to Cyber-Matter. You might be right, Wheeljack," noted Ratchet.

"I'm more interested in their weaponry. According to Rogers, their weapons are sonic-based," noted Ironhide.

Hound raised a browplate. "You mean like Soundwave? Ugh, just thinking of that creep sends shivers over my circuits."

Back with T'Challa, Okoye commented: "When you said you were going to open Wakanda to the rest of the world, this isn't what I imagined."

T'Challa seemed to be very amused by her words. "And what did you imagine?"

The general of the Dora Milaje simply shrugged. "The Olympics or a Starbucks."

Chuckling, T'Challa looked at the Avengers and Lennox. His eyes then drifted towards Optimus, who was following behind the humans. With him were Ironhide and Prowl. Naturally a few Wakandians were a bit nervous at the Cybertronians, but they did their best to hide it.

Optimus got down to one knee as he approached the King of Wakanda. "Greetings, King T'Challa. I am Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. It's a pleasure to meet you in person."

T'Challa bowed his head in return. "And to you as well, Optimus Prime. It is a personal honor to finally meet the legendary Autobot Leader."

Nodding, Optimus then said: "I know that we're pressed for time, but I was hoping to discuss with you about your people's technology, more importantly about it's origins to be exact."

"So, how big of an assault should we be expecting?" asked T'Challa to no one in particular as he began leading the group.

"Very big, your Majesty," answered Bruce. "Even with the firepower that we had managed to bring, I'm not sure if it's going to be enough."

"Don't worry, you'll be having us for support," assured T'Challa. "Including the Wakandan Royal Guard, Okoye and her Dora Milaje, the Border Tribe..."

"And one washed up old soldier," finished WW2 Veteran and U.S Army Sergeant James 'Bucky' Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier. The former HYDRA Assassin had a new left arm made out of Vibranium and was carrying a Mark 48 Mod 0 GPMG (General-Purpose-Machine-Gun) in his right arm.

As Steve and Bucky reunited, Vision was brought to Shuri's lab. Ratchet decided to accompany, as well as Wheeljack. Meanwhile, in the Steelhaven's cockpit, Crosshairs was making some adjustments as he parked the massive ship. Then suddenly, the ship's radar began picking up two Energon signatures. Frowning, the 17-foot neon-green and black 'trenchcoated' Paratrooper zoomed in on the sources and could only say: "Scrap."

(Wakanda Medical Center)

Rogers, Banner, Natasha, T'Challa, Wanda, Okoye, Lennox, Nick and Hill had moved to the Wakanda Medical Center, or to be more precise, Shuri's lab. The Princess of Wakanda and T'Challa's younger sibling had Vision lie down on a table before she brought up a holographic image of his brain. This allowed Shuri to examine it and the Mind Stone inside Vision's head and it's connection with his functions. Also present were Ratchet and Wheeljack, or to be more precise, holographic images of their helms since their frames were too big to fit in the room.

"The structure is polymorphic," commented Shuri as she examined Vision. Beside her was Banner (wearing his glasses), while Ratchet's holographic helm looked at the android's brain from behind Shuri's left shoulder.

"Right. Me and Tony had to attach each neuron non-sequentially," replied Bruce.

"Then why didn't you and Stark try to reprogram..." began Shuri.

"...the synapses to work collectively instead?" finished Ratchet, with Wheeljack giving Banner a 'yeah, why didn't you?' expression.

"Exactly! Finally, someone who understands," complimented Shuri, who was very happy to have someone or two that have equal intelligence as her.

"Because we didn't think of it?" answered Bruce awkwardly as he realized he was being ganged up, especially when Vision gave him a flat look that screamed 'how badly-created am I?'

"I'm sure you and Stark did your best," said Wheeljack as Shuri got back to work.

"Can you remove it?" asked T'Challa, who clearly didn't understand what the four of them were saying.

"Vision has two trillion neurons inside him, and removing them isn't going to be easy," commented Ratchet.

"He's right, brother," added Shuri. "This will take time to disassemble them."

Suddenly, a holographic image of Crosshairs' helm appeared in the room. "Heads up, you lot. The ship's scanners are picking up two Energon signatures approaching after just entering the country. They're definitely Decepticons."

Lennox quickly contacted the rest of his fellow NEST Soldiers and Autobots and informed them of what Crosshairs had discovered.

"Impossible," said Okoye as she checked her Kimoyo Beads, which showed no visuals. "Our satellites are detecting nothing on our borders."

"That's because your technology was never designed to work on Cybertronians," said Optimus as a holographic image of his helm appeared in the room. "Crosshairs, can you tell us what they're doing?"

"From the looks of it, those two are just flying about. They just sent a message saying they want to speak with you while under the protection of parley," replied the Paratrooper.

"Hmm...this is very unusual for Megatron. Tell them to land at the airfield. I will meet them there," ordered Optimus. He then looked at T'Challa. "Your Majesty, I apologize, but can you please order your forces to hold their fire until I speak with these 'Cons?"

The King of Wakanda frowned. Naturally, he was uncomfortable of letting possible hostile forces so close to the capital. However, he could tell that Optimus would never deliberately endanger civilians. "Very well, but permit to accompany you as you converse with these Decepticons."

(Back at the Golden City Airfield...)

The allied forces all watched a red and black TAV-8B Harrier II and a light-grey and blue AH-1W SuperCobra Attack Helicopter flying over them. They had their weapons ready, but made no move as Optimus and T'Challa walked towards the open part of the airpads. Behind them were their escorts, who stayed at a respectful distance, but were ready to act should all hell break loose.

Spotting the Autobot Leader, the two Decepticons did a dive just a few meters away from them. Before they made contact with the ground, the Harrier II and the SuperCobra transformed into a 1972 Plymouth Road Runner GTX Coupe and a 1973 AMC Javelin AMX Coupe respectively. Once they were close enough, the Plymouth transformed into a 20-foot femme with skull-like faceplates, while the AMC Javelin transformed into a 21-foot mech. Their red optics shined dangerously as they looked at the 'welcoming committee' before focusing on Optimus.

"Greetings, Optimus Prime. I am Shatter," said the red and black femme as she introduced herself before gesturing to her fellow Triple-Changer. "And this my partner, Dropkick."

From the back, Sideswipe spoke up. "Wait a minute, didn't Kup put you down in London last year?" asked the 15-foot silver Frontliner as he looked at Dropkick's new frame.

Said 'Con growled, but was stopped by Shatter who said: "The past is not what we came to speak of."

"Then why are you two here in Wakanda?" demanded T'Challa.

Unlike Optimus who got down to one knee as a sign of respect to the King of Wakanda, neither of the Decepticons did that. "That's none of your concern, insect," hissed Dropkick.

"This is the monarch of the country you two have entered, and it was by his mercy that none of you were shot down before we could have this discussion," said Optimus, which earned him a nod of gratitude from the Black Panther. "Now, what is your purpose here?"

Shatter and Dropkick glanced at one another before the former shifted her optics back to Optimus. "Lord Megatron wants to discuss a temporary truce...against a common foe," she announced to the surprise of both the Autobots and the NEST Soldiers present.