Author's Note: I don't own Star Wars or Transformers. I'm just borrowing them. So don't growl at me if I do something strange with them. And don't snarl at me for the use of Ultra Rodimus. I'll write a fic about him later. So, those of you who don't like my character (and you know who you are) can butt out. Sorry if I'm a little vague about the members of the Jedi Council, but I only know one or two names, and I'm not sure if they're correct. So you have been warned. If you can tell me who's who, THANK YOU!!! BTW, this fic takes place around books 5, 6, and 7 of the Jedi Apprentice book series, before Obi-Wan decided to stay on the planet Melida-Daan and help the freedom fighters. This fic also covers the events of book 7, when Xanatos sabotages the Temple.
Of Lightsabers and Autobots
The mission had not gone well. The Autobots had been on their way to a distant world for treaty negotiations when the Decepticons had ambushed them. Both armies had ended up on a lifeless planetoid, engaged in a heated battle. Large chunks of the planetoid's surface were being blasted away by the sheer volume of firepower being thrown about.
The laser weapons and missiles made no sound as they flew, but the shockwaves from the impacts was still felt.
"How the hell did they figure out where we were going?" Ultra Rodimus demanded over his internal comlink from where he hid behind a boulder. He ducked as the Sweeps fired at him en masse, then popped up and returned fire. They scattered to avoid the shots.
"Unknown!" Perceptor yelled back, firing his light cannon at Cyclonus, who barely managed to dodge. "All preparations were made over secure comm channels!"
"I guess Soundwave figured out how to crack our codes," Springer commented as he dove on the Decepticons, peppering them with laser fire.
"Impossible!" Blaster protested as he unleashed his cassettes. "No one can crack my codes or reach my frequencies! I made sure of that!"
"Apparently they figured it out."
"Concentrate on the task at hand!" Ultra Rodimus bellowed as an argument began between Blaster and Springer.
Someone large joined Ultra Rodimus behind his boulder. The Autobot leader glanced over at his mate, Ultra Magnus. They exchanged glances, then returned their attention to the fight.
The Decepticons were fighting hard. Galvatron, as usual, was cackling insanely. The Decepticons closest to him were alternately glaring at him and at the Autobots. They didn't like his cackling any more than the Autobots did.
"Jazz! Where in Primus's name are you?!"
The undamaged shuttle swooped overhead. Its powerful weapons opened fire on the Decepticons below, taking them by surprise. Low on energy, they were unable to defeat the shuttle.
"Decepticons, we cannot win this day! Retreat!"
The Decepticons began pulling out. Autobot weapons fire chased after them. Galvatron turned and fired at Ultra Rodimus just as the Autobot leader and several other Autobots fired at him. The shots collided in mid-air.
The colliding shots erupted in a spitting ball of energy that disrupted the very fabric of the dimension itself, creating a rift between two different realities. The Decepticons were far enough away that they escaped the tremendous pull of the breach. The Autobots, however, were far too close.
There was a powerful wind around the breach, a wind that packed more force than any hurricane the Autobots had ever been exposed to. It was like being caught in a tornado. The screaming wind literally pulled Autobots away from where they clung to boulders and pieces of debris. They were ripped loose and sucked into the hole.
Ultra Rodimus's long cape whipped wildly in the wind. He was clinging to the boulder for dear life. His long braid lashed out, the end cracking him upside the head as the wind caught it. Beside him, Magnus also fought to resist the howling force of the black-hole-like pull. But he lost the struggle.
The wind managed to get underneath him and rip him away from the rock. Magnus let out a scream of protest as he was pulled into the breach.
"Magnus!" Ultra Rodimus screamed.
Without a second's hesitation, he let go of the boulder.
He was dragged into a tunnel that writhed and kinked like a demented snake, coiling and doubling back on itself. He bounced off the walls of the tunnel, striking sparks every time he hit the wall. Each impact sent pain shooting through his body. A high-pitched sound cut through him like a knife. He tried to block it out, but it wouldn't be blocked.
Up ahead he saw a lighter patch. Was it a way out? He didn't know.
The tunnel kinked one last time, then spat them out the way a child spat out a sour candy.
He crashed down onto a hard surface and lay there for a moment, stunned. Finally, he levered himself up to a sitting position, and from there back to his feet. He looked at the other Autobots, then at the humans and humanoids gathering nearby.
"Where the hell are we?"
The Jedi didn't know what to think. One moment everything had been normal. Then the Force itself had screamed as if in pain, a writhing hole had opened in the air, and a number of shapes had been violently ejected from the hole, landing in a heap on the flat top of the Jedi Temple. One of the shapes had managed to stagger to its feet, proving itself to be a person of some odd species.
The male now facing them was tall, an easy seven feet tall. He wore garments that looked suspiciously like body armor, silver-grey with red and blue stripes. A striped helmet framed his face. Almond-shaped green eyes, slightly vertical and with unusually long outer tapers, gave him an exotic appearance. Silver hair hung down his back in a thick braid, the end dangling past his knees. He wore a long, flowing cape of a shimmering golden fabric. Under his armor he looked to be muscular and well-built, but was very slender for his size. The way he carried himself spoke of raw power hidden under that armor.
"What is going on here?" Mace Windu asked as he and the rest of the Jedi Council finally arrived. The crowd of Jedi Knights and students parted to allow the strongest of the Jedi to approach the strangers.
The strange man prodded one of the other men with the toe of his boot. The other man groaned and stirred. The first man nudged him again. This time the target staggered awkwardly to his feet and stood there, swaying unsteadily.
This man was smaller that the green-eyed male. He was dressed in garments that were shades of green and silver in color, and his long hair, tied back in a ponytail, was green-gold. His eyes were bright blue. His clothing resembled armor.
One by one, the other men began to wake up.
The next person to climb to his feet was a slender man with fiery red hair, dressed in red and blue. He looked more like a scientist or philosopher than anything else, while the others radiated the feeling of warriors. The redhead shook his head to clear it, then began to survey his surroundings.
"What the hell hit me?" A black-haired man dressed in black and white armor sat up, holding his head.
"I dunno." The speaker was another redhead, but his hair was more red-brown than true red.
A growl drew everyone's attention to a lion, struggling out from underneath the dead weight of a rhinoceros. Two smaller males, both in blue and white, lay in a heap, out cold.
A tall, blue-haired man was next to come around. "Did anyone get the licence number of the planet that hit me?" he groaned as he dragged himself to his feet.
The next person to come around was woken when the blue-haired man tripped over him. This one had light blue hair, cut short, and was dressed as a sprinter or distance runner. He let out a groan as he sat up.
"WhatinthenameofPrimushappenedhereIdon'tunderstandatall," he chattered at near light speed.
"Blurr," the silver-haired man growled in warning.
"What's going on?" Obi-Wan Kenobi poked his head around another Jedi, took in the newcomers in one glance, and bolted, heading straight for them. His Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, followed at a more reasonable pace.
"Ultra Rodimus!" Obi-Wan exclaimed, aiming straight at the silver-haired man.
The tall man looked up and grinned. "Obi-Wan! Long time no see!"
The Padawan hugged the tall man, then looked at the others. "Springer, Perceptor, Jazz, Blaster, Steeljaw, Ramhorn, Eject, Rewind, Ultra Magnus, and Blurr?"
Magnus grinned at Obi-Wan. "Nice to see you again. Where's that pain-in-the-aft master of yours? I know he's around here somewhere."
"I'm right here." Qui-Gon joined them. "A pain in the aft, am I?"
"You were the most badly-behaved human we ever had in Iacon," Magnus informed him. "You needed a leash, or there was no telling what kind of trouble you'd get into. First you left the city without permission, then you disappear into the labs, then you get into Primus knows what...you were more trouble than any other guest we've had the misfortune of meeting."
"That sounds like Qui-Gon, all right," Obi-Wan chuckled.
"You were almost as bad, pipsqueak," Ultra Rodimus snorted. "Between the two of you there were more booby traps and tricks than the last time Ratchet, Wheeljack, and Perceptor got into a prank war with Sunstreaker and Sideswipe."
"You know these people?" one of the other members of the Jedi Council asked Obi-Wan.
"We do. We told you about them, remember? We were thrown across the dimensional barrier and ended up on a world ruled by sentient machines, separated into two different factions, the Autobots and the Decepticons. Ultra Rodimus is the Autobot leader, their Prime. Ultra Magnus is his second-in-command and, last time we met, his very good friend." Obi-Wan looked at the two. "So, how's your relationship coming along?"
Both grinned at him. Then Magnus pulled Ultra Rodimus's head down and gave him a searing kiss. When they finally came up for air, Ultra Rodimus panted happily while Magnus smirked at Obi-Wan.
"Fine," Magnus purred smugly.
Qui-Gon chuckled slightly. "I wasn't that bad."
"Wanna bet?" Jazz retorted.
"The ones you befriended, they are?" Yoda asked.
Mace Windu scanned the Autobots with the Force. Most of them were normal, the usual non-Jedi presence in the Force. But when he looked at Ultra Rodimus...
The sheer amount of Force radiating from Ultra Rodimus's body, mainly centered in his chest, was so powerful it nearly blinded him. The Force flowed freely through Ultra Rodimus's body. As it did so, it sang loudly, so that any Force-sensitive being could hear it. The Force sang with joy at having such a powerful conduit to flow through. From the way the other gathered Jedi were twitching and squirming, Mace Windu knew they could hear the song, but didn't know where it was coming from.
"He is incredibly strong in the Force," Mace Windu finally reported.
"That's an understatement," Obi-Wan snorted. "He's more powerful in the Force than any known life-form. I've felt his power before. Everyone here can hear the Force singing. Ultra Rodimus has a more powerful Force presence than any member of the Council."
The other members of the Jedi Council scanned Ultra Rodimus. All took one look at him and flinched away from the blinding light of the Force radiating from inside his body.
"And he is not trained in its use?" another member of the Council asked, stunned.
"No. He didn't even know he had such power," Qui-Gon answered.
"I don't need training in anything," Ultra Rodimus informed them tartly. His eyes flashed.
"You do," Mace Windu told him. "Such power cannot be left untrained. It can cause great damage if it gets out of control."
"This power is not what you think it is," the Autobot Prime snapped, voice as cold as ice.
"It is the power of the Force," Windu snapped back.
"I will not accept any training in what I know cannot be tamed," Ultra Rodimus snarled at him, turning his back on Mace Windu.
"You will be trained!" Mace Windu barked, losing his temper, something that hadn't happened in years. "You have no say in the matter!"
Ultra Rodimus froze in his tracks.
There was a muttered "Uh-oh" from the other Autobots, and they quickly scooted back, away from their Prime. The other Jedi shot them nervous looks.
"What will Ultra Rodimus do?" the Jedi Knight Adi Gallia asked.
Jazz looked at her. "He won't lay a hand on him, but after a comment like that, the fecal matter is about to hit the impeller."
The Jedi exchanged confused looks as they tried to make sense of Jazz's words.
"He means the shit is about to hit the fan," Obi-Wan translated. "Mace Windu is gonna get it."
Slowly, Ultra Rodimus turned. His eyes were literally glowing with what everyone identified as barely suppressed rage. Mace Windu took an involuntary step back.
"I have no choice in the matter?" he hissed. "Are you saying that you'll take away me right to choose what I do, even if I already know that the power in question cannot be tamed? You think I haven't tried it already? I have. It doesn't work. This power is its own master. So do me a favor and back off!"
Mace Windu scrambled back, away from the furious Autobot. Ultra Rodimus paced after him, continuing his rant, never raising his voice. The fact that his voice never rose above speaking volume made it even creepier. Everyone else wisely remained silent.
Mace Windu ended up pinned against the side of another shuttle. Ultra Rodimus clamped a hand like a steel vice around his neck and lifted him off his feet. The eerie glow of Ultra Rodimus's eyes cast greenish light over Mace Windu's face.
Finally, Ultra Rodimus dropped him again. Mace Windu landed in a heap. The Prime straightened his back, glared down at him, and read him a description of his parentage that didn't once mention humans.
"I should be taking notes," Springer whispered to Obi-Wan.
After a few minutes, Ultra Rodimus ran out of things to say and turned away. Mace Windu slowly got to his feet.
"His power comes from the Matrix of Leadership," Obi-Wan explained. "I told you about it. It's an orb of crystal encased in a metal shell, and it contains the souls of the dead Transformers. It also contains the essence of their god, Primus. I had the good fortune to see the Matrix the last time I saw Ultra Rodimus. I could feel Primus's presence inside it. I'm sure you noticed that his Force presence is centered in his chest. That's where the Matrix is located. It's kept in a compartment in his chest. That's where his armor is the thickest."
"The Matrix is the source of his power?" Adi Gallia asked, interested.
"Yes. The Matrix is alive. When its bearer dies, it chooses another bearer. If its chosen host is not equipped to carry it, it changes his physical body to accommodate itself. Ultra Rodimus used to be a small bot named Hot Rod. When the Matrix chose him as its new bearer, it changed him, doubling him in height and making him stronger. When he was fatally wounded by the Decepticons, it changed him again, this time into his current form. It only allows its chosen bearer to touch its power. Anyone who doesn't meet its standards can't use it. Ultra Rodimus can channel its power through his body if he needs to, but the rest of the time it's more or less dormant." Obi-Wan shrugged. "At least, that's what I understand about it."
"Not even we know much about the Matrix," Perceptor added. "It is a mystery. The only time we saw the Matrix's full, unleashed power was when Rodimus Prime opened it to destroy Unicron."
"Unicron?" Qui-Gon cut in. "I came across a mention of that name, but I never found out who or what Unicron was."
"You saw the strange moon over Cybertron?"
"You mean the triangular one with the hornlike projections coming out of the top of it? Yes, I saw that. What was it?"
"That was Unicron's head."
Qui-Gon stared at Springer. The triple changer's voice was full of cold anger.
"Unicron was a Transformer. His alternate mode was a ringed planet that equaled Cybertron is size. He devoured entire worlds, killing uncounted billions of innocents. He used the planetary matter as a power source. When he reached Cybertron he transformed to an equally colossal robot and attacked. He ate two of Cybertron's moons and nearly tore the planet apart. If Rodimus hadn't opened the Matrix and blown Unicron up from the inside Unicron would have destroyed our world. We have no way of knowing how many worlds Unicron destroyed, or how many billions of people he killed. But we do know that Unicron was ancient, perhaps older than Cybertron itself. He had to have eaten thousands of worlds to remain on-line for so long." Springer had a cold look on his face.
"Oh," was all Qui-Gon could say as he tried to wrap his mind around the idea of a creature that devoured planets like a person devoured food.
"I met a person from one of the worlds Unicron had eaten," Ultra Rodimus added. "His name was Kranix. He was the last survivor of the planet Lithone. Then he was killed by the Quintessons on the planet of Quintessa."
The expression on Ultra Rodimus's face became even colder and more terrifying. That expression convinced Qui-Gon that he really didn't want to know.
The Autobots were given guest quarters in the Temple while Perceptor searched for a way to get them home. They interacted well with the students and teachers in the Temple, and made use of the training rooms.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, drawn by the anticipation radiating from one of the training rooms, entered to see what all the fuss was about. What they saw quickly explained the anticipation.
Ultra Rodimus and Magnus were standing in the middle of the training area, facing each other. Both wore only shorts, leaving their arms and legs bare. Ultra Rodimus was heavily muscled, with a body that would be the envy of any professional bodybuilder. Magnus was nearly as well-muscled.
"What's going on?" Obi-Wan asked one of the other students.
"Wait and see," was the response.
For a long moment, the two Autobots remained motionless. Then, without warning, they moved, displaying a grace and power neither had shown before. After a moment, Qui-Gon realized that they were performing a complex martial art, but it wasn't one he recognized. He watched them as they executed combinations he hadn't even thought possible.
Both of them were concentrating on each other, their focus narrow to the point of excluding everything else. Qui-Gon winced as Magnus's left foot slammed toward Ultra Rodimus's midsection.
The Prime had seen the blow coming. He couldn't evade it, so he moved into it, striking down with his elbow an instant before Magnus's foot made contact. The sound of metal striking metal echoed through the training room. The blow negated much of the kick's force, but enough of it got through to land a powerful blow against Ultra Rodimus's torso. The force of that kick would have broken any normal person in half. Ultra Rodimus's expression didn't even twitch as his striking arm rebounded and straightened, his fist heading right for Magnus's solar plexus. Magnus's arm came down to block. It deflected the strike, but while Magnus deflected that hand, Ultra Rodimus's other hand came up in a vicious chop to the back of Magnus's still-extended leg's knee. The knee bent sharply in reflexive response, and Ultra Rodimus spun to Magnus's right on one foot while the other swept for Magnus's right ankle and his right arm flailed around in what looked like an uncontrolled windmill but was nothing of the sort. Magnus moved his head, snapping it out of the path of the blow even as an arm flew up to block, but Ultra Rodimus's fist dropped instantly under the block and hammered Magnus's rib cage. At the same moment Ultra Rodimus's scything foot found Magnus's ankle. Magnus went down, deliberately throwing his weight toward the Prime in a bid to take his leader down with him, and he almost succeeded. He did bring Ultra Rodimus down, but Ultra Rodimus folded in a move so controlled it looked as if he'd wanted Magnus to. Ultra Rodimus's left arm shot out, snaking through Magnus's left armpit from behind, then down to catch Magnus's wrist. Then Ultra Rodimus half-turned away from Magnus and jerked up on his wrist, straining his elbow backward and leaning hard on his left to force Magnus over onto his right side--which pinned that arm beneath him--and his own right hand flashed down in a chop that stopped dead the instant it touched the side of Magnus's exposed neck.
"Got you," Ultra Rodimus announced calmly.
"That you do," Magnus answered.
The two rolled apart and were back on their feet in an instant. Magnus worked his arm to restore the feeling. The two circled each other, then went at each other again.
By the time they were finished, the watching Jedi were completely certain that they never wanted either of the two Autobots mad at them. Magnus had out-pointed Ultra Rodimus nine to eight, and both were sweating when they finished. Strangely enough, despite the force with which their blows had landed, neither of them had even the slightest bruise. Obi-Wan theorized that their metallic skin didn't show bruises.
"That was fascinating to watch," Qui-Gon commented.
"Now I know why all the others were so eager to watch," Obi-Wan agreed.
"I could do that," Obi-Wan's old rival, Bruck Chun, bragged.
Ultra Rodimus, overhearing the boast, whipped around, caught Bruck by the tunic, and flipped him onto the arena floor. "Oh, really?"
The Autobot Prime then proceeded to teach Bruck a lesson in keeping his mouth shut. By the time he was through with Bruck, medics were needed to get Bruck back on his feet. Bruck struggled into a sitting position and spat a furious swear word at Ultra Rodimus. Magnus hid a smile as Ultra Rodimus, in a calm, clear voice, suggested that Bruck do several highly improbable, athletically difficult, and possibly biologically impractical things involving his own mother, a few household implements, and a dead fish. Bruck was still searching for a response to that when the medics carried him out of the arena.
"What kind of martial art was that?" Obi-Wan asked.
Ultra Rodimus shrugged. "You don't have a word for it in your tongue. It's a very ancient form of unarmed combat. Few people still practice it. Magnus and I are two of them."
"Is it difficult to learn?"
"Quite difficult, and it takes years to master."
"Like lightsabers. They also take years to master."
Obi-Wan drew his and activated it. Ultra Rodimus leaned in to inspect the blade, but didn't touch it.
"We have a similar weapon on my world, but few people possess one, much less know how to use it properly."
Qui-Gon offered his to Ultra Rodimus. The Autobot took it, looked it over, and activated it. He tested the balance for a long moment, then spun it in a lightning-fast arc. He performed a series of complicated maneuvers with it, then shut it down and handed it back to Qui-Gon.
"You're good with it," Qui-Gon noted as he returned it to his belt.
"I've used swords before. I also have a laser sword."
"I'm guessing you're one of those few who can use it properly."
"Why did you do that to Bruck?" another Knight asked as she approached them.
Ultra Rodimus shot her a long look. "That brat needed a lesson in manners. Since it was obvious no one here was going to give him the lesson he deserved, I gave it to him. It's a lesson he won't soon forget. If he was an Autobot I'd've had him scrubbing out the sewers underneath Iacon."
"That would be something to see," Obi-Wan muttered.
"I take it you've had experience with Bruck?" Magnus asked.
"Yes, I have. He's a bully."
Ultra Rodimus nodded in understanding. "Ah. I see. I've had more than enough experience with bullies when I was young. That was almost four million years ago, though."
"And you haven't been bullied since?"
"I managed to get myself transferred away from them. Once I became Prime, no one dared bully me. Everyone else would have their heads. And my mate is the so-called sadistic drill instructor, so anyone who messes with me is in for a lot of trouble."
Magnus blinked innocently.
That night, Mace Windu scanned the Force to make sure all was well inside the Temple. He paid particular attention to what the visiting Autobots were doing. Perceptor was hard at work trying to find a way home. Jazz was listening to music, lying back on the couch. Springer was already asleep. Blaster was chatting with his cassettes, exchanging gossip. Blurr was sleeping. Then he scanned for Ultra Rodimus and Magnus.
When he found them, he blushed furiously.
Ultra Rodimus and Magnus were...otherwise occupied. From the sheer amount of passion and desire they were radiating, they wouldn't be finished anytime soon.
"What?" another member of the Council asked, noting Mace Windu's blushing.
"Ultra Rodimus and Magnus are...erm...coupling."
"Oh." After a moment, "Oh."
"And you sensed it," another member chuckled.
"Ultra Rodimus's Force presence is so powerful it dragged me in." Mace Windu struggled to conquer his blushing.
"And through Ultra Rodimus's eyes he saw," Yoda added. "Got a look at what they were doing, he did."
Laughter echoed through the Council chamber. Mace Windu groaned as his blushes came back even stronger.
Magnus raised his head slightly from Ultra Rodimus's neck as he distantly sensed something. He didn't know what it was. After a moment, strong arms reached up and drew him back down onto the bed, on top of the young Prime. Their armor lay discarded in a heap in the corner, and their activities had peeled the bedcovers away.
"Ignore them," Ultra Rodimus breathed in his ear, adding a small kiss to the side of Magnus's neck.
Magnus grinned and resumed his interrupted ministrations, nipping at his mate's neck as Ultra Rodimus's hands roamed across his back and through his long blue hair.
The next day, Mace Windu couldn't look at either of them without blushing as red as a beet. People kept giving him curious looks.
"Serves you right for spying on us!" Ultra Rodimus yelled at him from down the corridor. "What we do in bed is our business, not yours! So next time go spy on someone else!"
The stares became knowing, and passing Jedi hid grins. Chuckles echoed up and down the corridor as people figured out why Mace Windu was blushing so hard. Mace Windu fled, hiding in his quarters. By the end of the day, the whole Temple knew that Mace Windu had spied on Ultra Rodimus and Magnus while they were in bed.
"I don't think he meant to," Qui-Gon commented.
Obi-Wan snickered. "Maybe, maybe not. But he did catch them right in the middle of what they were doing. When we were in Iacon, First Aid told me that those two were among the most shameless of any other couples. I don't think we'll be seeing Mace Windu again for a few days, until he works up the nerve to show his face in public."
Three days later, Qui-Gon walked into the training arena, looking for Obi-Wan. He found Jazz, Blaster, and Springer playing cards while Obi-Wan watched. Ultra Rodimus was performing a series of stretches. Magnus was talking with Steeljaw and Ramhorn.
"Hey, Qui!" Springer called.
Qui-Gon turned to face him. "Yes?"
"Whatever happened to whatsisname, Mace Windu? I haven't seen him around for a couple of days."
"He's hiding in his quarters. Several days ago he was scanning the Force to make certain everything within the Temple was all right, and he peeked in on Ultra Rodimus and Magnus while they were...busy."
Springer howled with laughter. "He spied on them while they were making love! No wonder he hasn't shown his face around for the last few days!"
"Everyone in the Temple knows that he spied on them, and now he's too embarrassed to show his face in public."
The other two Autobots burst out laughing. It took almost half an hour for them to calm down enough for them to finish their game.
"What are you playing?" Qui-Gon asked.
"Cybertronian version of poker," Jazz explained. "Obi-Wan is watching and learning how to play. It's a game of chance, and Force influence is forbidden. Since we're all sensitive to Matrix energy and, by extension, the Force, we'll be able to tell if he's cheating."
"I won't cheat," Obi-Wan protested.
"You never know," Blaster told him. "The unwritten rule of poker is 'if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying'."
Obi-Wan glowered at him.
"We have a mission," Qui-Gon told his apprentice.
The younger Jedi groaned, but got up and followed his master out.
"Good luck!" Ultra Rodimus yelled. "You're gonna need it!"
"Thanks!" Obi-Wan called back.
When Qui-Gon returned, it was obvious that something had gone terribly wrong. He returned alone, with a wounded Jedi Knight but without his Padawan. Ultra Rodimus tracked Qui-Gon down and began pumping him for answers.
"What happened, Qui-Gon?"
Slowly, the big Jedi began to speak. He told Ultra Rodimus about the situation on Melida-Daan, what Obi-Wan had done, and why he had returned without his apprentice. Ultra Rodimus listened quietly, not speaking. When Qui-Gon was finished, he made a thoughtful sound.
"I know it hurts, Qui-Gon. But the hurt will ease in time. And Obi-Wan will return. This I know."
Qui-Gon shot him a sideways look. "Are you sure you can't use the Force?"
Ultra Rodimus smiled. "Quite sure. But sometimes the Matrix gives me glimpses of what is to come, or what may occur. It tells me that there is something bad about to happen, and that you and Obi-Wan will be reunited."
Before either of them could say anything else, Yoda summoned Qui-Gon to the Council chamber. Ultra Rodimus followed. Mace Windu was there, but Ultra Rodimus didn't even spare him a glance.
"Summoned here you were not," Yoda commented.
"The Matrix has been warning me of something terrible for the past few days," Ultra Rodimus answered. "Now that something is coming to pass. The Matrix also tells me that is involves my Autobots. I am here to learn what is going on. So I dare you to try and make me leave."
The Jedi Masters exchanged glances. Then they agreed that Ultra Rodimus could stay.
"Called you here on a matter of grave importance we have," Yoda told Qui-Gon. "Secret it is. A series of thefts we have discovered."
"Here in the Temple?" Qui-Gon asked, startled.
"Sorry I am to report such a thing. Taken are things that do not have monetary value. Yet serious the thefts are. Against the Jedi Code they are."
The Council wanted Qui-Gon to discreetly investigate the thefts.
"My Autobots will also help," Ultra Rodimus offered. "We have skills you lack. Blurr can act as a message runner; that's what he was built as in the first place. Steeljaw has a highly-developed sense of smell, as does Ramhorn. Blaster is a scout and communications specialist, and very good at setting or disarming traps. All of us are skilled warriors. I am a stealth specialist. We have much to offer."
"Welcome your aid will be," Yoda told him gravely.
Ultra Rodimus nodded to him and pulled out his communicator. He opened a commline to the other Autobots and began issuing orders in the Autobot language, a language not native to the galaxy they were in, and one no intruder or non-Cybertronian could translate.
"Are you not worried that someone will mimic your speech?" another member of the Council asked.
Ultra Rodimus smiled coldly. "They can try. All of us are equipped with voice recognition circuitry. If a voice isn't one we recognize, we can track it to its source and deal with whoever's trying to confuse us. Besides, no one but another Cybertronian can speak our language. Other races have tried to learn it, but no one has succeeded. Some have tried for millennia to learn it, but they all failed. We don't have to worry."
"Mirage reporting in," a voice said out of thin air.
"I see your cloaking device still works, Mirage," Ultra Rodimus commented, looking at the empty air to his right.
"Yes, but I'm having difficulty turning it off." There was silence for a long moment. "There!"
A box of yellow lines took shape. In it was a human outline. The box vanished, leaving another Autobot in its place.
This one had hair that was dark blue at the roots, shading through lighter shades of blue to white at the tips. He wore blue and white scout's gear, and an equipment harness. He saluted Ultra Rodimus.
"Jedi, this is Mirage. He's our scoutmaster. He's also the only Cybertronian to possess a personal cloaking device. It's built into his circuitry, so no one can extract it. To duplicate it they'd have to locate it first, which is impossible because of the complex nature of his systems. Obi-Wan is a mechanical whiz and even he can't understand how our internals work. Mirage is perfect for scouting where no one else can go without being noticed."
Mirage nodded to the startled Jedi. "With your permission, I'll get right to work."
Ultra Rodimus nodded to him. "Report in every half hour, subvocal comm unit."
"Will do." Mirage faded out again and left.
"An intruder will detect him," Qui-Gon warned.
"No they won't. That cloaking device covers all spectrums. Heat, sound, motion sensor...nothing works against Mirage. He has little to no presence in your Force. Not even the Matrix can detect him. When he's invisible, he's a ghost. The only thing he can't do is walk through walls."
"How come we didn't see Mirage when you arrived?" Mace Windu asked.
"He's having trouble turning his cloaking device off, so he's invisible 99.9% of the time."
"Ah. I see."
"What skills have you to offer?" Yoda asked.
"Me specifically? As I said, I'm a stealth artist. Plus, I have the Matrix. I can use it as a radar if I have to."
"You are impossible to miss to a Force-sensitive."
"Are you sure?"
Mace Windu scanned for Ultra Rodimus, but sensed nothing. "How...?"
"The Matrix shields itself. If it doesn't want to be detected, it won't be. I can also channel its power for other uses. If it lets me, I can use its power either offensively or defensively. You don't want to get between me and my target. If I want to flatten something, it gets flattened, and so does everything between me and it." Ultra Rodimus showed his teeth in a nasty smile. "All of us are equipped with powerful weaponry, most of which you don't want to be on the business end of. And coming at us hand-to-hand will end in a lot of carnage."
Qui-Gon blinked. "Then I'm glad you're on our side."
"And we'll give our opponents hell. Now, which items were stolen?"
One of the other Jedi Masters passed over a list. Qui-Gon read through it, then passed it to Ultra Rodimus. The Prime read it, then transmitted a datafile to the other Autobots.
Soon, the other Autobots were combing the Temple. They somehow managed to act and behave normally while they were on full alert. They had the permission of the Council to enter all areas of the Temple, even the restricted areas, and were very thorough in their scans.
The senior training rooms were vandalized. Qui-Gon found Ultra Rodimus and Springer already there, investigating the wreckage.
"This is really becoming irritating," Ultra Rodimus growled.
"And it won't end until we find whoever is responsible."
The next theft was a very major one. The healing crystals of fire, an ancient Jedi treasure, were stolen. Ultra Rodimus began scanning for their energy signature.
"There's too much interference."
A message arrived for Qui-Gon. It was from Obi-Wan. Ultra Rodimus shot Qui-Gon a significant look and pushed him into the Council chamber to view the message. When the message had ended, Qui-Gon decided to go to Melida-Daan to help Obi-Wan.
When they returned, an attempt had been made on Yoda's life. Ultra Rodimus had assigned Steeljaw to keep an eye on Yoda. When Yoda tried to protest, Ultra Rodimus pointed out that if the attacker had tried and failed, it was inevitable that he would try again.
"Vulnerable to a lightsaber, Steeljaw is," Yoda retorted.
"No he isn't. Qui-Gon tried his lightsaber on us. It won't even scratch our armor. It won't do anything but make Steeljaw royally pissed, and you do not want a metal lion with jaws that can crush solid tritanium mad at you."
Soon, sabotage was running through the Temple. Not long after Qui-Gon returned with Obi-Wan, a horizontal turbolift carrying children crashed through the ceiling of the lake level of the Temple. Bant, Obi-Wan's Calamarian friend, went for help. Soon after she left, Ultra Rodimus dashed in. He took one look at the dangling turbolift and performed a partial transformation to his jet mode. While Obi-Wan bounded up the steps to reach the stricken turbolift, Ultra Rodimus engaged his engines and shot upward, flying underneath the turbolift and holding it up while Obi-Wan and the Jedi inside got the children out. The roar of his engines was deafening.
Yoda and the other members of the Jedi Council arrived below. The noise was astonishing. They looked up at the turbolift.
Ultra Rodimus, now sporting jet wings and engines, held the turbolift aloft. The noise was the roar of powerful jet engines as they worked to keep the turbolift, and the children inside, from falling. Once all the children were safely out and their caretaker had taken charge of them, the Autobot Prime returned to the ground. As his engines powered down, his wings flipped over so that the tips pointed up, in a hold position. They mirrored the red-and-blue-on-silver color scheme of his armor and skin. The Autobot faction insignia dominated the center of each wing.
"Thank you for your help," Yoda told him.
"I couldn't let those children fall to their deaths."
"You like children?"
Ultra Rodimus nodded.
The acts of sabotage continued. Qui-Gon, after a conversation with the Temple's tech expert, realized that his first Padawan, Xanatos, was behind the sabotage. He involved Obi-Wan in the investigation, knowing that Obi-Wan had faced Xanatos before. As the two walked toward Tahl's quarters, Ultra Rodimus joined them. They entered Tahl's quarters. While Qui-Gon explained his suspicions, Ultra Rodimus leaned over to stare intently into Tahl's eyes. While she couldn't see him, she could sense him, and wondered what he was up to.
"My people have a technology that can replace damaged eyes," he explained. "Implants that work the same way as normal eyes, but can also see in the infra-red, ultraviolet, and other spectrums. There are people on several worlds who have these implants. I am merely mapping out the placement of the implants if Tahl wishes to receive them."
"I will consider it," Tahl told him.
Siri, another Jedi student, arrived. She told Qui-Gon that Bruck Chun had bragged about his father, who had become a powerful person on the planet of Telos. That was the proof that Qui-Gon needed.
Bant met them as they exited Tahl's quarters. "I know how the intruder is getting around the Temple!"
"I was thinking about the different attacks. They all took place near water."
Ultra Rodimus nodded his agreement. "Springer reported the smell of wet robes near each scene. He theorized that whoever is responsible is near or in the water."
"That would explain why the sporting gear was stolen," Obi-Wan pointed out. "The kit must have contained several breathers."
"Then we'll check the tunnels."
As they swam through the tunnel, they stopped to check each of the platforms that projected away from the wall. Ultra Rodimus remained out of sight. He swam like a fish, and his silver skin blended into the background, his stripes breaking up his outline. When Obi-Wan pointed out that bright red and dark blue would be very easy to spot, Ultra Rodimus grinned and explained that he could control the color of his stripes. To prove it, he changed them to pale blue and light grey. He effectively vanished into the background.
At the end of the tunnel, Qui-Gon spotted a service area for the purification tanks. Bant opened the panel and the three walked through. Ultra Rodimus seemed to vanish entirely.
Xanatos was hiding in the purification tank. When he surfaced, he faced off with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. In mid-battle, when Xanatos had his back to the water, a hand shot out of the water, grabbed his cape, and yanked, pulling Xanatos off balance. A moment later, Ultra Rodimus launched himself out of the water, startling Xanatos.
"New friend, Qui-Gon?" Xanatos taunted. He leaped at Ultra Rodimus, but the agile Autobot dropped to the floor, tangled one leg in Xanatos's, and twisted, all in less than a second. Xanatos fell. An instant later Ultra Rodimus was on his feet and ready for a new attack.
The fight continued until the systems automatically began to flush the tunnel system with water. Xanatos escaped.
Obi-Wan commented that Xanatos seemed to know every move they made, and wondered if there was a spy in the Temple. When the group returned to Tahl's quarters, Qui-Gon asked about the navigation droid Yoda had brought for Tahl. Tahl shut the droid down. Qui-Gon found a transmitter attached to the droid. The group began working out a plan to trap Xanatos. Ultra Rodimus contacted the Autobots and told them what was going on, and what to do. Then he and Mirage went with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.
Xanatos took the bait and walked right into their trap. He was accompanied by Bruck. When the trap was sprung, Obi-Wan got into a lightsaber battle with Bruck. The fight raged down the corridors into the Room of a Thousand Fountains, where Bant was being held prisoner. During the fight, the water systems restarted. Bruck was caught by the torrent of water. His lightsaber shorted out, and he was thrown over the edge of the waterfall. On the way down he bounced off the rocks, then landed on the grass. His neck was broken. Obi-Wan dug through Bruck's pockets until he found a small durasteel square with holes drilled into it. It was the key to Bant's shackles.
Qui-Gon was engaged in a fierce battle with Xanatos. During the fight, Xanatos made a comment about what the Jedi revered destroying them. Ultra Rodimus, leaning out the window, suddenly stiffened, looking shocked, and disappeared. Qui-Gon wondered what the Prime had realized.
Xanatos jumped off the ledge of the Temple onto an air taxi, shoved the driver out into mid-air, and flew away. Qui-Gon hurried back into the Temple. He met up with Obi-Wan and both of them hurried toward the tech center. When they arrived they saw Ultra Rodimus climbing out of the fusion furnace. He was carrying something in the curve of one arm. Once he was out, he held out the missing healing crystals of fire.
"When Xanatos made that comment, I remembered that you Jedi treasured these things, so I acted on a hunch. I found them in the fusion furnace. If Miro had continued to reboot the systems, they would have started a chain reaction and destroyed the entire Temple."
"You saved the Temple."
"On a hunch," Obi-Wan added.
The members of the Jedi Council looked up as the group entered the repaired Council chamber. Ultra Rodimus held out the crystals.
"I found them."
"And he saved the Temple from being destroyed in the process," Qui-Gon added.
Perceptor arrived. "Ultra Rodimus, I believe I have found a way to get us home."
When it was time for the Autobots to leave, every person in the Temple gathered to bid them farewell. They watched Perceptor open the dimensional breach, and the Autobots pass through one by one.
Ultra Rodimus clasped hands with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. "It was nice meeting you again."
"Likewise," Qui-Gon responded. "We owe you much."
"You don't owe me anything. I did what had to be done." Ultra Rodimus stepped back. "And now it is time for me to leave."
"Farewell, my friend."
The Prime grinned and waved to them. Then he passed through the breach, and it closed behind him.
"Do you think he'll find that gift we snuck him?" Obi-Wan asked.
"He will," Qui-Gon answered. "He will."
Back in their own dimension, the Autobots completed their mission and returned to Cybertron. Kup and First Aid insisted that they report to Medbay for a checkup. The scans revealed that they were in perfect health. Then they were allowed to return to their own quarters to rest.
Ultra Rodimus dropped his pack on the bed and began digging out the items he'd brought with him on the mission. His hand encountered a small bundle that hadn't been there before. He pulled it out.
He held a palm-sized package, neatly wrapped and tied. Attached to it was a note. He picked up the note and unfolded it.
"We owe you a lot for your help in saving the Temple and the Jedi Order from destruction. So the Council agreed that we should at least give you a token of our gratitude. Thank you for everything.
Ultra Rodimus smiled slightly as he read the note.
"What is it?" Magnus asked, reading over his shoulder.
"A gift from our friends." Ultra Rodimus unwrapped the package.
In his palm lay a smooth crystal, glowing gently. In the center of the crystal was an eternal flame. It was one of the healing crystals of fire.
Ultra Rodimus cupped the treasure in his palms, staring at it. The crystals were one of the greatest treasures of the Jedi. He hadn't thought that they would voluntarily part with one of them.
"It's beautiful," Magnus commented, touching the crystal.
"It is. And it is a precious gift." Ultra Rodimus placed it on the small table beside the bed.
"Then we will treasure it," Magnus decided. He studied the crystal a moment longer, then placed his hands on his mate's shoulders and drew him down onto the bed. "Now, I do believe First Aid told us to rest."
"You need the rest. So relax."
Ultra Rodimus obeyed. As he lay back on the bed, he began thinking up ways to get his mate back for his tricks. Some of the things he came up with were worth trying. He allowed a small but wicked smile to cross his face as he resolved to teach his mate a little lesson...tomorrow.