So… finally, the conclusion. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if no one remembers this story after all this time… But, finally done; hope it's enjoyable!
Oh, and there's a bit near the end which was inspired by issue 7 of the Generation 2 comic, albiet with a different character saying it there than here.
& & & & & & & & & &
"So… how's the weather in Madagascar?" Cosmos asked.
"I don't know… warm?" Ultra Magnus, standing next to him in the Autobot Headquarters level one main corridor, replied.
"Is it raining?" Cosmos queried.
"You know, you can just see for yourself, when you launch your surveillance mission."
"Oh," Cosmos replied, chuckling nervously. "Right. So… what did you watch on TV last night?"
"Cosmos…" Ultra Magnus said naggingly. "You really should get going."
"But… but… it's so lonely out there!" Cosmos lamented. "Sometimes, I just can't deal with it, you know?"
"Well…" Magnus began; but his reply was interrupted by a clatter and a… caterwaul?… coming from down the corridor. "What… in the shinning galaxies…"
Suddenly, Optimus Prime rounded the corner. He was damaged, particularly in the face; he was swinging Jetfire around like a blunt instrument; and he was… singing?
"If I can see it, then I can do it," Prime continued, bouncing Jetfire off of walls and the occasional Autobot.
"Op…timus?" Ultra Magnus asked stunnedly.
"Okay, I'm ready to go!" Cosmos declared, transforming into flying saucer mode and flying for the nearest exit.
"Prime, what's… what's wrong?" Ultra Magnus asked, approaching his bizarrely behaving commander.
"I believe I can fly," Prime continued singing, windshield washer fluid from his chest sprayers squirting into Ultra Magnus' optics.
"Oh," Magnus replied, trying to clear his face with his hand as he talked. "We've… all had that problem at one time or another, Prime." Ultra reached out a hand to try to reassuringly pat Optimus on the shoulder.
Optimus grabbed Ultra Magnus and tossed him backwards over his head, never breaking song.
Prowl stepped out into the corridor from the control room. "What's all the racket, I can't hear myself calculate - " he began. "Good Primus!" he exclaimed.
"Prowl!" Ultra Magnus called, scrapping himself off of the floor. "Secure the control room! Prime's… off…"
"I believe I can soar," the Autobot leader sang. "I can see me runnin' through that open do-o-or!"
"Optimus, no!" Ultra Magnus exclaimed. "That door's closed!"
"I believe I can –" KRANG! "fly…" Prime's voice weakened briefly after he jumped through the closed double door, but his song went on.
"Um… oop…" Prowl managed, staring at Prime through the giant opening his body had smashed through the doors.
"Optimus! Prime! Prime!" Ultra Magnus called, running towards the control room. "No, don't spin that!"
"What's going on?" Prowl cried in incredulous confusion.
& & & & & & & & & &
Meanwhile, Nightbeat was trying to determine exactly that.
"Observation log: I am now entering Optimus Prime's quarters," Nightbeat narrated into a handheld cassette recorder (like all Transformers, he was a fan of cassette technology). "My lockpicking kit was in good working order… however, it proved unnecessary, as subject left his door unlocked. Note: this is unusual. Normally, I have to force entry into Prime's room." Nightbeat began feeling the walls over.
"Hello? Optimus Prime?" Perceptor, the Autobot scientist/microscope, entered the room. "I need you to sign this requisition for more microscope slides. Wheeljack absconded with mine for some sort of insane contraption –" Perceptor stopped as he finally noticed that it wasn't Optimus Prime examining the room. "I say… Nightbeat? What are you doing here?" He watched Nightbeat crawling toward Prime's backroom. "Cleaning?"
"Nooo…" Nightbeat said, before pausing to lift his recorder to his mouth again. "A trail of… a dirt-like substance, possibly dirt, appears to be leading from the rear of Prime's quarters. Am following…"
"You're… following dirt? Are you sure you're not cleaning?" Perceptor asked, with some perplexion.
"Side note: Perceptor has entered investigation area," Nightbeat spoke into his recorder, before turning his head toward the other Autobot. "I'm here to investigate Prime's bizarre behavior."
"You're not the most observant robot, are you?" Nightbeat asked, resuming his crawl across the floor.
"What? Now see here, you – you gummy shoe –" Perceptor began to reply – until Nightbeat's path brought them face-to-face with a tunnel dug through the back of Prime's quarters, leading out into the volcano into which Autobot Headquarters was embedded. "What… on Earth?"
"It appears… to be a hole," Nightbeat replied. "We may have a break in the case!" he announced to his recorder. "If you'd care to transform," he said, returning his attention to Perceptor, "maybe we can get a closer examination!"
"Well… very well. It is frightfully odd," Perceptor acceded, converting into microscope mode.
"A-HA!" Nightbeat exclaimed, moments after focusing Perceptor's lenses on the opening. Lifting his tape recorder again, he declared, "It IS a hole!"
& & & & & & & & & & &
Meanwhile, at the staging base of the hole's makers, the Decepticons were rather amused as Prime's rampage continued.
"Ooh, that'll leave a dent, dent, dent!" Shrapnel exclaimed.
"Yeah – in both of 'em!" Skywarp laughed.
"Heh heh heh," Megatron chuckled. "Excellent work, Buzzsaw! A masterpiece!" Buzzsaw, busy playing the extended-length edit of the song with which Prime was performing along, was unable to reply.
"A masterpiece of a mess," Thundercracker said. "We sure are trashing the place."
"Yes," Megatron agreed amusedly. "However – we can make this even more productive than mere mayhem and destruction! Prime – move towards that computer!"
Through the viewscreen, the Decepticons could see the chaos in the Autobots' control center. Autobots ranged between dazed and offline; equipment was scattered everywhere. And Teletran-1 was sounding an alarm.
"Alert! Alert! Danger! Danger! Optimus Prime is singing and dancing! Code red! Code red! Mayday! Mayday!"
"There's nothing to-o it," Optimus Prime sang, as he grabbed Teletran and threw it up through the hole in the top of the volcano.
"Oh no! Teletran-1!" Ultra Magnus exclaimed.
"We really should plug up that hole sometime," Prowl observed.
"Ha ha ha!" Megatron laughed. "Now we shall have the Autobots' master computer, as well! Retrieve it –"
"Not me!" Starscream exclaimed pre-emptively. "I don't want to miss this!"
"I'm not going, going, going!" Bombshell cried. "It's my cerebro shells which started all this, this, this!"
"Well, we are taping it, it, it," Kickback noted.
"All right, I'll go!" Ramjet said. "It's too crowded in here, anyway! I keep crashing into stuff… accidentally, I mean," he added.
"Excellent!" Megatron said. "Now – dance, Prime! Dance – to your doom! Ha ha hahahaha!"
& & & & & & & & & & &
Ultra Magnus couldn't believe what was happening. Damaged Autobots everywhere. Teletran-1 lost. The control room – really messy. And Optimus wouldn't stop singing.
And – now the emergency alert phone line was ringing? Now what??
"Hello?" he answered, somewhat dazedly.
"Good afternoon, sir or madam," the voice on the other end said. "How are you today?"
"Uhh… I've been better," Magnus replied.
"Oh. Well, I can tell you something that will make you feel better."
"Yes – now you can save more on your long distance!"
"What?" Ultra Magnus asked confusedly.
"Yes, if you'll just switch to MC-"
"I can't DEAL with that now!" Ultra Magnus exclaimed, disconnecting the call.
"Ultra Magnus!" Nightbeat sped into the room, not even coming to a full stop before transforming back to robot mode. "I've been conducting an investigation! I believe – the Insecticons have taken co- "
He was cut off as Optimus Prime hurled himself across the room into him. "I…can fly!" Prime sang.
"Nightbeat!" Prowl called. The blue and yellow robot, dented into the wall, didn't reply. "What about the Insecticons? 'Taken c…c…'"
"Taken – taken coffee? They've taken our energon-coffee maker?" Ultra Magnus exclaimed. "What ELSE can go wrong?"
"I – no, Prime!" Prowl cried. "Stay back!"
Perceptor came running in. "Annoying self-styled sleuth, speeding off like that! I – I…" Perceptor's voice trailed off as he surveyed the damage, the chaos, the singing Autobot leader attempting to dribble Prowl like a basketball. "I… think I'll just come back in a few astro-minutes," he said, backing away – and then flying backwards, as Prowl was hurled into him.
"I believe I can touch the sky," Prime continued, jumping up and down with his arms upstretched.
The doors on the other side of the room opened. "Who dares interrupt Grimlock's TV reception?" Grimlock exclaimed angrily. "Me Grimlock was watching big sports match –" He stopped at the sight of Optimus Prime jumping, twirling, and trying to carry a tune.
"Ughh… Prime singing again?" Grimlock said. "Bah! Dinobots – to sports bar!" He walked back out.
"No – Grimlock, wait!" Ultra Magnus called after him. But, then the emergency phone line started ringing again. "Oh no." Reluctantly, Ultra returned to the console. "Hello?"
"Hello, sir or madam," the same telephone solicitor from the earlier call said. "How are you this afternoon?"
"Oh good. How would you like the opportunity to change your long-distance plan?"
"Ahh…" Ultra Magnus pulled out his laser pistol and blasted the console. "It was a boring conversation, anyway!"
Looking back towards the room, Magnus saw that Optimus, while still performing R. Kelly, was at least headed out of the control room, through the doorway Grimlock had used earlier. "Well, at least that door's open," he said.
"Jump spread-eagle through that open door-or-or," Prime sang, as he leapt through the doorway. His singing continued, though in a weaker-sounding voice, as he continued down the corridor.
Magnus stopped for a moment, at the sight of the snow angel-like outline of Optimus Prime left in the doorframe. "Prime!" he called. "Stop! Come back!"
Optimus made his way out of the Ark. Ironhide had regained consciousness, and pulled himself nearly upright. "Some… leakin' lubricants… should… cool you off," he said unsteadily.
Prime ignored Ironhide, and the other damaged and incapacitated Autobots still strewn outside. The music coming from his cab-chest's speaker was building to a crescendo. He stumbled away… towards the cliff.
"Optimus! No!" Ultra Magnus had emerged from the Ark.
"I… can fly!" Optimus sang.
"No! No, not really!" Magnus began to run towards his leader.
One Autobot remained between Prime and the cliff: Hot Rod, still doubled over. "I… can fly!" Prime continued, as he picked up the prone robot, and kicked him into Ultra Magnus.
Magnus, in full run, was caught full-on. "Out of the way, Hot Rod!" he cried exasperatedly.
But… it was too late.
Optimus Prime jumped.
"Liquid… hydrogen!" Ironhide exclaimed, a bit dazedly.
"Fly! Fly! Fly!" Prime sang.
The chorus on his radio could be heard concluding "Ummm, Ummm, Um –" until it was cut off, replaced by the sound of a loud, metal-crushing crash.
The Decepticons cheered as the signal feed from Optimus Prime changed to static. "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!" Megatron laughed triumphantly. "Optimus Prime has been destroyed! Excellent work, my Decepticons! Excellent! And now, to celebrate – let's go steal energy from a nuclear power plant!"
The Decepticons' cheering died down; some groaned a bit.
"…In Hawaii!" Megatron concluded.
"Yay!" the Decepticons cheered – except for the Insecticons, who cried "Yay, yay, yay!"
Back at Autobot Headquarters, those Autobots who had come online and were reasonably ambulatory had made their way down the cliffside to their fallen leader. His battered body lay face down in the sandy ground.
"Prime…" Ultra Magnus managed.
"Aw, Prime," Ironhide said. "Leakin'… hydrogen!"
"Hey," Wheeljack said. He picked up a small, crushed bit of metal. "A cerebro shell! I… was Prime under mental control?"
"That's… what I was trying… to say!" Nightbeat, still at the top of the cliff, as he was still partly imbedded in a console, called down.
"Oh," Ultra Magnus said.
"I… guess we have to determine who… our next leader will be?" Prowl said reluctantly. The Autobots exchanged uncomfortable looks.
"Gguuuh," Hot Rod, crawling slowly, said, raising his arm a little.
"No!" several Autobots cried.
"What's that?" Prowl asked.
"It… sounds like 'rrrr'," Nightbeat observed.
Wheeljack made an inarticulate cry. "Optimus!"
"He's alive!" Prowl exclaimed.
"Holy hot sauce!" Jazz exclaimed.
"Rrrrrrr…" Prime continued.
"'Repair?'" Magnus guessed.
"'Ratchet'?" Nightbeat hypothesized.
" 'Routabegga?' " Wheeljack asked.
"Rrrrrrrrrevenge!" Optimus Prime cried, raising his chest slightly out of the ground.
"Liquid lubricants!" Ironhide exclaimed.
& & & & & & & & & & &
Two weeks later…
"This… will not… stop… Megatron!" Megatron exclaimed.
"Uh-oh, Jazz!" Prowl said. "He's trying to fight it off again!"
"No prob, man!" Jazz replied. "I'll just shoot him up with another shell!" He pointed the car-sized insect-mode Bombshell at Megatron. "It's real convenient he shoots these things out when he's squeezed, like one of them water-squirtin' bug toys!"
"Mm-hmm," Prowl agreed, as Jazz fired another cerebro round into Megatron.
"That's better," Wheeljack said.
"Good work," Optimus Prime, using a crutch, with his other shoulder bound to his side and a large metal patch covering his dented-in faceplate, said. "Now, what are these other Decepticons doing?"
"Getting' a little culture, man!" Jazz replied. He led Prime to the other part of the large staging room in the Decepticon base. "A lotta a them Earth kids learn this in school! They call it… square dancing!"
Shrapnel, Kickback, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Ramjet, Thrust, and Dirge were all dancing a cerebro-shell enforced square dance. None seemed exactly happy about it.
"Yeah, square's a good name for it," Jazz remarked quietly.
"A-heh-heh-heh!" Ironhide chuckled. "Go, ya funky metal bandits!"
"Uh! Uhh! Make…it…stop!" Soundwave, forced to play the hoe down music in tape player mode, moaned. The deep-throated groaning of Buzzsaw could also occasionally be heard, forced out despite being the cassette carrying the music.
"Ain't no liquid nitrogen gonna cool you off!" Ironhide said.
"Ha ha! Ha ha ha ha!" Optimus Prime laughed. He began to walk back towards Wheeljack's work.
"Hypothesis: my gun arm's nozzle is stuck over my eye/nose/mouth thingy!" Shockwave exclaimed, stumbling slightly as he struggled with the problem. "Declaration: I would never call my dedicated sensor an 'eye/nose/mouth thingy'!" he cried indignantly. "Hypothesis: an Autobot made me say that!"
"Heh heh heh," Grimlock chuckled.
"Interrogative: why have I been injected with a cerebro shell? Declaration: I was not even part of the group which controlled Optimus Prime!"
"Too bad, so sad," Grimlock remarked, as Shockwave walked into a wall.
Prime had reached Wheeljack's side. Megatron and Starscream had been placed inside of a roped-off, square area.
"Okay… just about set… there!" he said.
"So, how does it work?" Optimus asked.
"You just take these controls, Prime," Wheeljack said, handing his leader a pair of very large control sticks. "Ya move 'em around with these – " Starscream and Megatron each shifted a little in correspondence to the controls. "And this – " Wheeljack continued, as he pointed at the large button on top of Megatron's stick, "makes 'em punch!" He pushed down on the button, and Megatron punched Starscream in the face.
"Ha ha! Ha ha ha ha!" Optimus laughed. He made Megatron punch Starscream again.
"Real rock 'em sock 'em action, huh, boss?" Wheeljack asked.
"Yes! Ha ha ha ha!" Optimus laughed, as he commanded Starscream to hit Megatron.
"Yeh, these cerebro shells are sumthin', huh?" Ironhide asked, as he came up to Prime's side. "Ahm… sorry, Prime. That we didn't figger out sooner whut the Decepticons'd done ta ya."
"Mmm," Prime grumbled.
"Ah shoulda known, th' second ah saw ya singin' and dancin' ta that Madonna song!" Ironhide continued. "You never woulda done that if ya were yerself!"
"Er… yes," Prime chuckled nervously, not making optic-contact with Ironhide. "Yes… never…heh heh…"
"Nightbeat deduced it," Prowl remarked. "That kind of detective ability is why he's gotten his new assignment: trying to figure whatever on Earth happened to Spike."
"Good luck with that," Wheeljack remarked. "Think I'm gonna hafta invent a tiny-sized funeral ship…" he muttered to himself.
"Autobots!" Megatron exclaimed from the ring. "This will not hold us forever! And one day, Prime, I'll see you in this squared circle!"
"We'll see, Megatron," Prime replied.
"I shall be… avenged!" Megatron declared. "We will rise… again! I… will… return! One small boy stood between me and mastery of – no, wait, that one's inapplicable. We – ugh!" Megatron was cut off, as Starscream punched him in the stomach.
"Sorry, Megatron!" Starscream said insincerely. "The Autobots made me do it! Heh heh heh!"
"Well, they aren't making me do – this!" Megatron exclaimed, as he grabbed Starscream's throat.
"Acck!" Starscream cried.
Megatron only crushed his neck for a few moments, however, before Optimus had reclaimed the boxing controls. Playing with both joysticks at once, he forced Megatron and Starscream to pummel each other, and occasionally themselves.
"Stop hitting yourselves! Stop hitting yourselves! Ha ha ha ha!" Optimus Prime laughed.