Thought Cybertronians didn't need to breath air like humans or some other organic species, they had picked up a number of habits from their alliance with Earth to make them more accepted by the organic life there. These traits had subsequently been passed down to the Predacons and Maximals after their ancestors had passed on.
So although Dinobot wasn't exactly short of breath, he was panting like it, and his arms drooped at his sides, though this was due to a low energon level. He'd exhausted himself tearing away at Obsidian. In the end, he'd only succeeded because he'd blown off the General's propellers, grounding him. In the sky, he'd been a terror and a strategist, but on the ground, he could do little more than flop about like a fish, waiting to be put out of his misery.
Dinobot had, naturally, obliged.
Off in the distance, as Dinobot watched, one of the hatches opened in the side of the fortress, and a figure was sent hurtling up through it and high up into the air. Someone must've set up the anti-grav units to maximum and hurled the attacker into the stratosphere. And Dinobot would bet his last chrome screw that figure had been Stryka. Most of the drones were defeated on the ground and in the air, he could only see small pockets of resistance now. They'd won. Their only real big threat left now was...
... as if on cue, a bolt of lightning split the air.
Dinobot turned his back to the fortress to gaze in the opposite direction, towards the Citadel of Megatron. An ion storm was starting in the air. An uncommon occurrence on Cybertron, but decidedly fitting given the mood of things. Dinobot stood and watched, curious, as a figure of great size lifted off from the balcony of the citadel and made its way towards the battlefield. A new drone?
No, he realized, far worse.
And he was arrayed in a new body. Only his face was instantly recognizable. Of course the ol' rust bucket would have the ego to put his face on it. But the rest of the body was an identical copy of Optimus Primal's final form on Old Earth. The one Megatron had jokingly referred to as 'Optimal Optimus.' Dinobot... the transmetal Dinobot... had seen it up close and personal in battle on more than one occasion. It was tough to beat.
This was evidenced as, even as he prepared to defend himself, a single backhand from Megatron sent him sprawling, his sword clattering a yard away from his hand. He rolled over, crawling towards it, but a massive foot descended atop of both it and his hand, stopping him.
"Ah Dinobot, my old subordinate... how very nice it is to see you again..."
"Go stick it up your exhaust pipe you slaggin'..."
The rest of his statement was cut off as Megatron kicked him full in the face with his other foot, sending him flying through the air. He came down with a crash, rolling, bits of his armor cracking off and coming to a jarring halt as he crashed into the side of an overturned tank drone. He spat up mech fluid, and he could feel several of his teeth had been chipped. Worse, his internals were scrambled. His left eye was cracked, the glass had fractured.
The boom of footsteps announced Megatron was coming closer, but he could barely move. Couldn't defend himself. As that evil face came into view, he weakly tried to fire his lasers. A weak beam of green shot from his right eye. Megatron blocked it with his arm and it bounced off like rainwater as he reached down, grasping his torso, crushing him. He would not cry out, however. He would die with dignity.
"Insufferable traitor," growled Megatron. "Too often I have felt the sting of your betrayals. And time and time again they have cost me final victory. But no longer. Now, you are done for. You have lost, Dinobot. You have nothing."
"I... have... my... hon-..."
Megatron's fist swung out, easily bigger than Dinobot's entire head, and then darkness overtook him.
"This isn't over yet..."
"Hold on to your convictions..."
"Don't give up, Optimus...!"
"This battle is not yet over, Primal..."
"Don't forget what the Oracle said..."
"You were right all along..."
"The seeds of the future lie buried in the past...!"
After what seemed both an eternity and an instant, he awoke.
His warrior instincts kicked in and he slid instantly to his feet, grasping for the sword which rested at his side. Only once he was fully ready for combat did his senses come on-line, and he gasped in shock at the information he was receiving. His green optics opened in awe.
All around it was a vision of green and blue. Sometime during his... he didn't know what to call it... journey?... night had turned to day, and a new solar cycle was beginning. As far as they eye could see it was greenery, organic trees and grass and plants of all varieties all around...
... no, he realized, after a closer look, pushing himself up to his full height and allowing himself to relax a little. Not organic. Techno-organic. The balance between organic and technology. This was what the Oracle had meant by reformatting Cybertron. This was the world Optimus Primal and the other Maximals had been fighting for.
Speaking of the other Maximals, he realized he was not alone.
They'd all fallen at different points, different places, against different foes. But they'd all re-awoken here, together, and completely unharmed. Gone were their troubles and pains, washed away and completely overhauled. As one, they seemed to awaken, stumbling to their feet, their groans of discomfort giving way to gasps of open awe as they beheld the spectacle of the world of green before them before them.
"What... what is this place?" asked Black Arachnia breathlessly, as Silverbolt helped her to her feet.
"Believe it or not... this is Cybertron," intoned Cheetor thoughtfully. "Or what used to be Cybertron."
"I... don't... don't get it," murmured Rattrap, half to himself. "I could feel Megatron reaching into my spark... and then... poof."
Dinobot shivered, remembering the sensation as well, and idly a clawed hand reached up to massage his chestplate, right over his spark chamber.
"No... there was another voice, remember?"
The big ape had done it, Dinobot realized. Somehow, he'd succeeded... not only in defeating Megatron, but in their mission to restore organic life to Cybertron. But they could all instinctively sense it had not been a battle without cost. They could feel a distinct... absence amongst them.
And, he realized as he did a quick headcount, they were missing another in their party as well.
Rattrap noticed it as well. "Where's Botanica? What happened to her?"
A burst of greenery announced her presence as the tree-lady emerged from the ground just beside the vermin, smiling broadly as a leaf. "Somebody call my name?"
"Sprouts!" cried Rattrap, overjoyed to see her... so much so he launched himself into her arms and gave her a hug, one she quickly returned, compressing their forms together until their titanium skin started to creak in protest.
Dinobot felt he was going to be ill, and turned his back on the gathering.
Botanica then began to work her magic, and flowers sprouted up everywhere. Foliage grew and expanded, and as they watch, a fresh wave of it swept over the ruined city below, further covering the old cities of Cyberopolis and bringing about a new age for the transformers of Cybertron. The Age of Beast Machines. Off in the far distance, they could see, new transformers, freshly reformatted, beasts and machines both, running across the field. They knew too, they'd seen as sparks, seen the battle for the sake of Cybertron. Now they were reborn, just as the planet had been reborn.
At long last... transform your destiny... transform... and... transcend...
"I understand," said Cheetor solemnly.
Dinobot grunted. He didn't understand at all. But he knew enough. They'd won.
A sword rested on the wall now, serving decorative purposes rather than as a weapon. A memory of ages past and old battles. Not to say that Dinobot was no longer capable of wielding it. He practiced with it regularly at least three standard mega-cycles a day to keep his edge.
But these days, battles were not fought with swords, but words, and even he had found a place amongst the new Maximal Order that was rising up over Cybertron. The Maximal Elders were long gone, Megatron had destroyed their sparks when he'd invaded. So who more worthy than the heroes who'd fought the Techno-Organic War to lead the newly reformatted Maximals in this new age?
Naturally, Cheetor had stepped into the role of High Councillor, though he'd done so with a lot more reluctance than he would have less than five stellar-cycles ago. The Beast Wars and the Techno-Organic War had changed him a lot, forced him to grow up. The irresponsible hotshot had long since gone, replaced by a wiser, more mature, and infinitely more responsible leader. He delegated well for someone so young.
Black Arachnia sat on the Council as well, one of their chief resident scientists. Silverbolt had earned a position as a captain in the military, overseeing security matters at the newly fashioned Citadel (which had been grown as much as built). Rattrap and Botanica were handling matters like that, helping to build (and grow) new homes for all the Maximals, helping rebuild the city in a new image. Nightscream, reunited with his family, was joining in some remote scouting of the far reaches of the planet, bringing in newcomers every day to their new home.
Well it turned out the Predacons were far more reluctant to undergo the reformatting process than one had initially suspected, but eventually, witnessing the raw power of the new techno-organic forms, they'd agreed to go along with it, and a diplomatic mission was sent to their orbiting space station. The Tripedicus council was refusing to submit to the new Maximal leadership, of course. And that was where he came in.
Chief Predacon Liaison Dinobot.
It had a nice ring to it.
So it was today Dinobot picked up his ceremonial sword (leaving the battle-worthy and battle-marked real one on the wall), slipped it to his side, and reverted to his velociraptor form as he walked along the corridor of the fortress to the latest of the Council meetings. This particular one had something to do with rationing the new energon-fruits they'd discovered, and he suspected it would be boring, but someone had to keep the Tripedicus representative in-line, or hell would break lose, and they'd had enough wars in recent memory to last them all for another few millenia.
As he walked, Dinobot paused by an open window, as always ignoring the chirping of birds overhead and peering down at the garden. There, right before the Citadel, stood the statues, grown from techno-organic seeds and pain-stakingly shaped by laser-cutters. They'd been one of Cheetor's first decrees... a tribute to those who'd fallen in the last two wars. The first, and largest, lay in tribute to Optimus Primal, standing with hand held high, holding in his open palm a single seed of the future. Behind him, facing the opposite way was Megatron, holding in upraised claw a spark. The two stood back-to-back, a fitting tribute to old foes. Beside them lay a small statue of Rhinox, who's pose was thoughtful, peaceful, not the war-torn, ravaged look of the twisted Tankor he'd become. And alongside him, in a short row, were those lost on Old Earth. Depthcharge, Tigertron, AirRazor, and Transmutate. Even Noble had a statue set aside for him.
Not for the first time, Dinobot wondered what would have happened if he'd been amongst those who'd fallen during the Beast Wars. Would things have turned out differently?
"Bah," he muttered to himself, setting off again. "I must be malfunctioning... I'm already losing my warrior's edge if I give in to such pointless speculation."
And so, with a steady, even stride, his claws clicking against the floor, Dinobot made his way towards the future of Cybertron.
Skipped the battle with Obsidian to get right back to the action, and decided on an ending fitting for Dinobot which, for once, doesn't end with him getting killed in some glorious battle. Beast Wars Forever!
Yoda's Padawan: tosses Thrust to Rampage for some of his patented 'fun' There, that ought to satisfy you.
MerlockVonBaron: I jumped from episode 106 straight to episode 212. Basically, you can assume the plot became identical for that much of the story.
New York-Chan: I do so enjoy inspiring people. And yes, most Beast Wars fanfics have been downright terrible, I'm glad I can provide what talents I have to the fandom. Because Beast Wars rules, of course.
YearoftheCat: Indeed it does, and this is it.
Rampage's Girl: Everybody seems to love Dinobot. And Rampage, which is even odder to me. Maybe Megatron should clone more Dinobot's as love-slaves for you and Yoda's Padawan.