A/N This fic is heavily based on a dream I had before I actually saw Endgame Part 2. I had to fill in some of the gaps myself with my own creativity, because some areas in the dream weren't clear or I couldn't remember them too well. But this is basically what happened. So if some things don't make sense either character-wise or story-wise, you have been warned. And blame it on the dream, not me XD
They all knew that this was it—the biggest battle that they would have to face yet. And it was worse than they could have imagined, for it was not Omega Supreme they would have to defend themselves and the Earth from, but three clones that looked very much like Lugnut.
The three Lugnut-Supremes came down out of the sky, then hovered above the ground. The forward-most one seemed to look down at its Autobot enemies, its single eye gleaming momentarily in the sunlight.
"This is it," Optimus Prime whispered, clutching the Magnus hammer tightly in his grasp. He still didn't feel worthy to touch it, let alone use it. But he had no choice.
"We've got to stop them," Ratchet said, never taking his eyes off of the horror he saw before him. His past was coming back to haunt him more than ever right now, in ways he'd never imagined it would.
"Even if we go offline in the process," Prowl stated. A couple of the others glanced in his direction, but noted the solemn expression he wore on his face, and then they realized he was simply stating a fact. Prowl seemed to have accepted the situation, as well as whatever fate may throw his way. If he went offline during this battle in order to stop Megatron, and protect the Earth… so be it.
"We're all gonna have to keep our wits about us for this one," Jazz commented to no one in particular. He wasn't sure if anyone heard him anyway.
Just then the forward-most of the Lugnut-Supremes opened fire, and all of the Autobots had to leap out of the way, each going in a different direction, as energy blasted into the ground. Dirt was thrown up in every direction and when the dust cleared, an enormous crater was seen where the Autobots had been standing mere moments ago.
Optimus roared a battle cry as he jumped into the air, kicking on his jet boosters to their max and gritting his teeth. He held the Magnus hammer ever more firmly his grasp, prepared yet not prepared to use it.
He was aware of Prowl following just behind him, and he knew that the ninja was the only bot who could serve as backup in this instance, since Prowl was the only one who could fly. Well, other than Sari of course, but part of him hoped she wasn't following—at least not too closely if she was.
What happened next happened almost too quickly for Prime to remember clearly later on. The Lugnut-Supremes were firing upon the Earth now, raising their arms and shooting huge bursts of fire and energy into the ground.
The terrible screams and shrieks of frightened humans, accompanied by the terrible stench of smoke and burning buildings and pavement. "Prowl!" Optimus yelled, "You're with me! Everyone else—protect the city, get the humans to safety!"
"NO way, Prime," Sari shouted, even as another wave of energy fireballs poured down from the sky. "I'm the only other one who has a jetpack, I'm coming with you!"
Optimus found he couldn't argue, mostly because they were running out of time. Omega Supreme's giant clones were getting closer and would only continue to wreck more havoc the closer they got. "Fine!" Optimus said. "Prowl, you'll cover my flank—Sari, you will cover Prowl." That would give Sari a bit more distance, at least—he trusted her capabilities because she'd more than proven herself, but she was still a rookie in his optics.
"The rest of you are with Jazz—protect the humans!" Prime shouted. With that his armor mask went up around his face protectively, as did Prowl's. Sari already had her helmet up, so she simply proceeded to fly upward.
"Don't get ahead of me, Sari," Prowl warned, increasing his speed a little.
"I've got point," Optimus reminded them both, moving ahead of them both. He kept one optic on where he was going but also took a moment to glance at the hammer. "I just hope I can use this thing," he said, too quietly for anyone else to hear.
As they neared the giant clones, Prowl suddenly came to a halt and grabbed Sari out of mid-air, forcing her to stop. Optimus Prime, not even noticing they'd stopped, kept on moving forward.
"Hey!" Sari shouted indignantly. "What's the big idea?"
Prowl released her. "I want you to wait a moment," he told her. "Remember what I have taught you—hold back until you can see a clear advantage."
"Well what good is that doing me now?" Sari snipped. "Prime's going straight up to them and—"
Prowl held up a finger. "I have a plan," he said simply. "You will know when to move forward."
"Let's get these humans to the tower," Jazz shouted over the noise of warfare and frightened screams. "It's the only safe place around for them right now."
"I agree," Ratchet called out. Bumblebee and Bulkhead had already taken on their vehicle modes, and humans were beginning to pile up into them. Ratchet and Jazz each transformed as well, taking in as many humans as they could before taking off.
"Let's go at a slow pace so other humans can follow us," Bulkhead said. He was the largest, but even he couldn't take all of the remaining ones.
"Good idea," Bumblebee remarked. However, being his usual self, he went a bit faster than everyone else.
Ratchet grumbled a little when he realized some humans were climbing up onto his roof and hanging onto his sides. He did permit it though, considering they were frightened and they did need to be taken to safety.
"This may take several trips back and fourth, to get them all to safety," Jazz commented.
"Unfortunately I won't be joining you on the trip back out here," Ratchet informed him.
"What?" Bulkhead exclaimed. "But—"
"I need to use the transwarp gate to get to the moon," Ratchet said. "If I can get to Omega Supreme, he might be able to help us." And I must see if I can get to Arcee, he thought.
Sari hovered just behind Prowl, disliking the fact that she couldn't do anything at the moment, but she trusted her friend's judgment. After all, she was actually part of the plan this time around, and there was a reason she had to wait. She was no longer being told "go home" or "it's too dangerous". She simply needed to wait so that she would have a key advantage to do more damage, plus she didn't need to get hurt before she could do anything advantageous.
Optimus Prime was dodging energy beams that were being fired from the giant clones. He gripped the Magnus hammer firmly in his grasp and summoned it to prepare its energy for firing.
Storm clouds appeared overhead in response to the hammer's power, and an energy surge erupted from the end of the weapon, shooting upward toward the clouds. Then lightening began to appear in the sky, flashing almost at random, then three powerful and well-aimed bolts of lightening struck each of the Clones in the torso, causing each one to get knocked off-course a bit. Both of them lit up as the energy impacted them; sparks could be seen flying off of them as well as smoke, accompanied by the stench of metal and circuitry starting to overheat.
The energy died down and the storm clouds overhead began to dissipate. It then became apparent that the Clones, however damaged, were not finished putting up a fight yet. They began to fire openly at Prime, although all of their misses simply rained down on the city below, adding to the massive destruction that had already taken place down there.
Prime looked like an annoying mosquito compared to the Clones, especially since the hammer had powered down for the moment. He was too busy dodging the fire to concentrate on focusing its power again.
Prowl, however, was already in the process of doing something. He hovered in place in mid-air, out of the way of the fire coming from the Clones, but not too far away either. Sari hovered right behind him, her eyes glued on Optimus, wishing she could go forward to help.
A low, vibrating hum emitted from Prowl's vocalizer, a sound that was almost completely drowned out by the noise of warfare all around. He was attempting to utilize his processor over matter skill to disrupt the circuitry within the giant Clones.
Only as he began to concentrate, Sari yelled out Prime's name and began to fly forward. This disrupted Prowl's concentration and he called out after her, "Sari stop! Come back here!"
However, the girl wasn't attacking. She simply flew downward and approaching the nearest Clone's heel. She then placed her hand on its heel, closed her eyes, and concentrated. A moment later her eyes snapped open and she gasped, then turned and made a bee-line back toward Prowl.
"Prowl!" she shouted, coming toward him, "I found out something!"
"What?" Prowl asked her, instantly forgetting her disobedience. Perhaps there had been a method to her madness after all.
"The Clones are being controlled by Lugnut," she informed him. "If their link to him can somehow be disrupted, then—"
"There would be no one to control them," Prowl concluded. He nodded. "Well done, Sari. Now stay back."
He flexed his arms, then brought his hands together in front of him to steeple his fingers. Then he concentrated as hard as he could, once again humming and focusing all of his attention on breaking the link between the Clones and their current controller.
Shockwave was still attempting to get the data patch by working on Arcee's processor circuitry. However, just as he was starting to make some progress, he heard a noise behind him. Something that sounded like—
—A Transwarp bubble forming and someone emerging!
Shockwave whirled around just in time to glimpse a red-and-white bot vanish from sight, and a blue Transwarp orb wink out of existence.
"Come out, whoever you are!" Shockwave snapped, raising his weapon. Upon receiving no reply, he moved forward cautiously to see if he could get a better look.
Just as he started to round the corner of the doorway, he got hit by a blast of magnetic energy that both immobilized him and snatched his weapon away from him.
Then the magnetic blast sent him crashing into the opposite wall, then the reddish aura of the magnetic field vanished. Shockwave groaned and sat up, looking at his attacker.
"You again!" Shockwave spat, narrowing his optic.
"Yeah, me again," Ratchet replied dryly, taking a step forward. He held up his left arm—the one that wielded his EMP device. "I really hate it when I have to use this thing, even on a Decepticon. But…"
With a frown, Ratchet raised his arm, and Shockwave only had enough time to blink before he was hit with the blast that knocked him temporarily offline.
Megatron already knew that things were going wrong—terribly wrong, in fact. For some reason he'd lost contact with Shockwave—his skillful double-agent failed to respond when he tried contacting him for a status report. On top of that, something seemed to be disrupting Lugnut's link to the Clones, at least somewhat. Furthermore, that pesky, cheap imitation of Ultra Magnus out there was proving to be quite handy with that hammer.
I must get back to the moon, Megatron thought. He needed to find out what was going on back there, and regain control of the situation before he lost complete control of the Clones.
So he exited the Clone he had been occupying, transforming into his vehicle mode and taking off into the sky, as quickly as he could.
Ratchet quickly realized that, as much as he hated to leave Omega Supreme, he had no choice but to go back to Earth. He needed to get Arcee out of there, and it would only be a matter of time before Shockwave woke up. Plus he honestly had no idea if Megatron had any more Decepticons with him up there—or any traps or "surprises", for that matter.
I'll be back for you, old friend, he thought to Omega, dearly hoping that the bigger bot somehow heard him. But I have to get Arcee out of here.
With that he scooped her up into his arms, summoned the Transwarp bubble, and headed back to Sumdac Tower on Earth.
Sari was beginning to feel a little useless, since she'd already done all that she could. Prowl seemed to be disrupting the link that enabled control over the Clones, one by one, and Prime was still working with the Magnus hammer. It seemed that, so long as they managed to keep from getting themselves shot, they were going to gradually win this battle.
However, energy and fire were still being fired upon the city, as any blast that was shot simply went down on Detroit itself.
"Sari!" came a sudden voice over her commlink, and she pressed a finger against the side of her helmet. "Yeah?" she said.
"Ratchet. If they can spare you up there, I need you for something urgent."
Sari glanced at Prowl, then muttered, "I'm not really needed up here right now, I don't think… on my way."
After casting one last look toward Optimus Prime, she whispered, "Good luck guys… stay safe up here." Then she flew away, toward Ratchet's position.
Starscream, with some difficulty, had managed to pull himself together, just barely. Once he got his body and limbs reattached, he slowly stood up and then had to twist his head a little to get it positioned right.
He was cracked all over, and he ached in places he didn't even know he had. But this wasn't the time to focus on that—he was going to go and make Megatron pay, once and for all.
He just had to figure out how.
Looking around, he then noticed that a lone Omega Supreme was still standing there on the moon, unmoving. "Hmmm," Starscream purred as a sly smile formed on his lips. "Maybe if I can regain control of Omega Supreme, I can finally finish Megatron once and for all!"
Cackling, Starscream switched to his jet mode—somewhat painfully—and zoomed off toward Omega Supreme.
Things were beginning to take an ugly turn for Optimus Prime in the battle against the clones. He'd managed to inflict considerable damage upon all three of them, but they were now ganging up on him. They had closed in to the point where they had completely surrounded him, concentrating everything they had on him. Optimus simply did not have any more time to spare any attention whatsoever on firing up the Magnus hammer again. He knew it was only going to be a matter of time before he was slagged, and good.
Prowl could see this, and he knew that there was only one thing he could do. He had noticed Sari's departure a few moments ago, and he was glad that the girl was out of harm's way.
He began to hum again, allowing himself to slip into a deep trance. He sunk deeper and deeper into the feel of the Allspark power that was all around—he didn't draw fragments to him, exactly, he simply drew from their energy and combined it with the energy in his systems—and the energy within his own spark.
His body began to glow brightly, and he moved toward the three Clones. Then quite suddenly, three powerful beams of blue-white energy erupted from his body—one from each of his hands, one from his right foot—and impacted the Clones.
The bright aura began to fade from his body, although what he'd done had apparently been enough. One of the giant Clones had sustained enough damage so that it let off an impressive display of flying sparks, and then it went downward, crashing into the ground below in a lifeless heap. That just left two to deal with.
One of the two turned to regard Prowl for a moment, then fired at him. Prowl was almost completely drained of energy so he was unable to move or even react. He vaguely heard Prime shout his name as the energy blast impacted his chest, sending him crashing down to the ground below.
Prowl landed roughly in the middle of a junkyard, crashing into a pile of dirt and debris. Upon crashing, he did not move, and the blue light in his visor winked out as he went offline.
Optimus Prime was well-aware that Prowl had fallen, but he couldn't go after him or even spare a moment to check on him via-commlink, not now. The ninja bot had give him a clear advantage by damaging two of the Clones and destroying one of them, and he couldn't let that advantage go to waste.
With a loud battle-cry, Optimus held the Magnus hammer up high and used his strength to summon the weapon to prepare for another energy blast. Maybe, just maybe, those two remaining clones were damaged enough so that he could take them out with a final blast.
Jazz, Bumblebee and Bulkhead had managed to get quite a few humans from around the area into the Tower, and they were still bringing more in. Sumdac was up on the roof trying to keep the force field online, and he was also busy raising it and lowering as he needed to in order to let the Autobots bring more people inside.
Ratchet had just arrived with Arcee in his arms, and Sari arrived a few minutes later to greet him.
"Is that… Arcee?" Sari asked in wonder. When she'd first met Ratchet, he never wanted to talk about the femme, or anything related to the war, at all. But after that first encounter with Lockdown, where the bounty hunter had tried to capture Optimus, Ratchet had gradually begun to talk more and more about the war with anyone who seemed even remotely interested.
And Arcee had gotten mentioned a lot.
"Yeah," Ratchet replied with a nod. "Look, kiddo… I've seen what you can do with those scanning abilities of yours. I need you to see if you can figure out how to bring Arcee back online."
"Sure," Sari said and stepped forward. Ratchet stooped down so that Sari could easily reach the femme in his arms, and she placed a hand on Arcee's forearm. The girl's hand glowed brightly as she concentrated.
After a moment or two, Sari withdrew her hand. "You need to recalibrate your EMP generator into a recovery tool, then you can salvage Arcee's secondary memory storage from her hard drive."
Ratchet cocked his head to one side, narrowing his optics. He still didn't put his complete trust in her… odd diagnoses, because he still wasn't sure how she was doing it in the first place. However, she had proved many times already that she was never wrong.
Sighing, he lifted his arm and brought out his EMP generator, then held that arm out toward her. "I hope you're right about this, kid," he said. "Give me the settings."
Megatron had arrived on the moon to find Lugnut looking like he'd blown a circuit, and Shockwave just coming back online.
"You incompetent fools!" Megatron snapped at them once he learned what happened to Shockwave, and that Lugnut had managed to lose one of the Clones. "Do I have to do everything myself?"
He growled, then pretty much answered his own question by saying, "Of course I would be doing this by myself right now, if it weren't for Starscream and the fact that Lugnut got in my way…"
"I still might be able to rig up a data patch," Shockwave said. "I managed to save some of the intelligence officer's codes to my own processor before she was taken."
"Then get to it!" Megatron snapped. "Lugnut, are you still in control of the remaining clones?"
"Yes my liege!" came the reply.
"Good," Megatron said. "Destroy that annoying Autobot, then proceed to destroy Sumdac Tower."
On the ground where Prowl had fallen, there was no one around and it was quite an ugly sight. Of course, junkyards would never be considered a tourist attraction anyway, but this one looked worse with the sight of damage from weapons' blasts, plus the stench of burning tires and who-knew-what-else.
But in the very spot where Prowl had fallen, the dirt and debris shifted slightly. Then a hand slowly came up out of the dirt, accompanied by another hand and then a groan. Gradually, Prowl pulled himself up out of the dirt, then collapsed on the ground beside the mound.
For a moment he simply lay there, trying to gather some of his remaining strength. It took him a moment to remember where he was and what he had been doing previously, but once the memory came to him, he quickly sat up. Dirt and debris fell away from his exposed circuitry as he moved, although some of it stubbornly clung to his armor.
"Oh," Prowl moaned and placed a servo on his forehead. "I seem to have… over-exerted myself up there." Then, ignoring the pain, he glanced upward. He looked just in time to see one of the Clones begin to fall from the sky as it sparked violently, appearing to be nothing more than a smoking heap of scrap metal now.
"Prime, along with my energy surge, must have taken out two of them, for I only see one left," Prowl exclaimed to himself. "I should join him."
His jetpack spit and sputtered for a moment, as if arguing with him about being put into use after all that punishment. But they finally sprang to life, and he kicked off of the ground and moved to rejoin his leader in the sky.
Megatron was furious. Another of the Clones was lost, and the way things were looking, it wouldn't be long before the third one was lost as well.
"I believe it is time for a change of plans," Megatron said. "Shockwave, did you manage to get the original codes from that female Autobot?"
"Yes I did," Shockwave acknowledged.
"Good, we will then allow the final Clone to serve as a distraction on Earth while we make our getaway in Omega Supreme himself," Megatron answered. "You have done well, my most loyal servant."
That got a reaction out of Lugnut, who then seemed to completely forget what he was supposed to be doing. "Lord Megatron, you said I was your most trusted servant!" the big lug exclaimed, and he actually stood up and made a move toward Shockwave, the cords sparking as he yanked away from them.
"Oh don't start that again," Shockwave said in annoyance. "I am simply trying to do my job!"
"But I am more loyal than you!"
Megatron felt a massive processor ache coming on, especially as the argument continued to ensue. They'd already been through this once already, and this was not something he wanted to deal with. Not after the loss of the Supreme Clones he was facing.
"ENOUGH!" Megatron finally bellowed, then used his fists to knock each of them across the room. He'd put up with enough of this nonsense and he wasn't about to put up with any more.
"Master, please forgive me for displeasing you!" Lugnut predictably gushed, bowing down on his servos and knee-joints after he'd recovered.
"Just get out of this room!" Megatron spat. "And Shockwave, upload those codes into Omega, NOW!"
"Yes, my liege," Shockwave said, rubbing his sore shoulder joint warily.
Ratchet finished using his EMP on Arcee, who responded almost instantly.
"Ratchet?" she said, looking at him with wide, blue optics. "Did we get away from Lockdown?"
"You remember?" Ratchet asked, grabbing her shoulders and looking at her face. "You really remember what happened?"
"I remember… we were captured by Lockdown, and then there was some sort of blast," Arcee replied. "After that… nothing." She seemed to be trying to think, though she also seemed to consider Ratchet's presence a good sign.
Ratchet smiled warmly. Maybe some of the horrors of the past were finally starting to be fixed, so to speak. She remembers! He thought to himself, his smile widening into a full grin. "Then we'll have time to talk later about the stellar-cycles you've missed," Ratchet said.
"Stellar-cycles?" Arcee blinked. "Was I… offline all that time?"
"Sort of," Ratchet said hesitantly. Then he pulled her into a tight embrace, surprising them both. "Arcee… it is so good to see you again."
The third and final Clone seemed to lose its equilibrium or something at the last moment, for it no longer seemed to pay any attention to anything around it. Optimus Prime took full advantage of this, using the Magnus hammer for one final, full blast.
That did it. The final Clone was destroyed, and it was sent crashing to the ground below.
The battle was now over. Optimus lowered the hammer and turned to look at Prowl. A silent acknowledgement went between them: It's over.
"You're damaged," Optimus commented as he looked at Prowl.
"I will survive," Prowl said off-handedly with a slight shrug. "Perhaps we should check on the others."
"Right," Optimus said. "But right after that you are going to let Ratchet take a look at you. You definitely need to have that damage patched up."
Then the Prime reached out and placed a hand on the ninja's shoulder. "And… thanks. For everything." Optimus smiled. "I need to thank everyone personally."
Prowl simply smiled, and the two of them began to head toward Sumdac Tower.
Shockwave managed to get Omega Supreme fired up, and Megatron took full control of him. They weren't able to do this beforehand because Lugnut had inadvertently messed up the settings somehow or other while he was hooked up to Omega.
But now they were able to take off into space once again, away from Earth and out of this blasted system.
Megatron was, however, confident that they would be back again someday. It was only a matter of time. All he needed was a new plan, and new resources.
Starscream hid in the storage area of Omega Supreme, where he could effectively hitch a ride and stay out of sight, effectively waiting for the right moment to try and gain the upper hand again.
Someday, he vowed, he was going to take Megatron down. It was only a matter of time. Starscream smiled. I just have to wait for the right moment! He thought with an evil chuckle.
A/N So yeah, that's pretty much what happened in the dream, although I had to get creative and add in some dialogue here and there, plus originally, in the dream, Ratchet did not hug Arcee and Starscream didn't appear at all. But I thought those things would be a nice touch.