EPILOGUE:

Blackout wheeled back for safe distance. The jet hovered, blasting his entire payload of missiles at the aircraft carrier, the tower bursting into fragments. Blackout unleashed his own missiles, his main gun still chattering across the now empty flight deck. Not fixated on killing humans anymore. Just destroying the ship: a bright silver target for their rage.

Another explosion, bursting from belowdecks, followed by another and another, in a systematic chain.

"Dead End seems to have found his calling," Skywarp said, blandly. A side of the hull punched itself out, and, among a roil of smoke an d flame, Dead End's red frame showed. Blackout acknowledged across commnet and swooped in for a retrieve.

They hung for a moment as the ship gave a groan, the kind of sound that metal protesting its inevitable failure made. Blackout grunted in satisfaction.

"I wonder if this changes anything," Skywarp mused, as the ship splintered in half, flames blossoming from the gaps in the metal. Another series of explosions as the torpedo storage units went up.

"How so?"

"Mission logs indicate humans as an obstacle, but not an enemy. The Autobots have always been our opponents, and beyond avoiding detection, it doesn't seem like we've had any real animus towards them." A pause. "Before now."

"Now," Dead End said, "When they have a weapon that can do that to one of us."

The commnet went deadly quiet.

Blackout spoke quietly, trying to mask how desperately he wanted to be at the Nemesis. "I guess all along they've seen us as the enemy, but we were too fixed on the Autobots to notice. We were…asleep." The conning tower blew in a massive burst, a fireball rolling black smoke upward on a carpet of red and sparks "But now that we're awake…."

END

X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X

Well, there you go. One more story in this arc, Rift, which I hope actually manages to tie everything up. As usual, it's all finished except for editing so it's just a matter of posting—I get sad when I find a great fic that the author abandoned—that will not happen with this story arc that we've both spent over a year on! Watch me as I try to be semi-ROTF compliant, juggle a cast of thousands, and be all Epic and stuff!

I want to thank everyone who's read this story (and survived this far). I know I get a bit too political at times (someone told me all the political/philosophical stuff is 'boring' and they stopped reading), and I struggle with those Autobots, still, but thanks for sticking with me! 'Con-centric fics, genfic, dark stuff, non-shipping fics are a hard sell sometimes and I really have been kept going at times looking at those readership stats. Even if you never reviewed, the fact that week after week I see over a hundred hits on this story—I can't even tell you how much that means.

Right. I'm getting sappy. If you have any questions, etc, feel free to shoot me a PM or something. I suck at responding to reviews because I'm terribly shy, actually. But I'm trying to get better at that!