Spectrum

Optimus brought back his axe and Autobot emblem shield, and charged Unicron. While the Red Avatar blocked Prime's first wild cut, Arcee's construct armor lost about a third of its size. She darted past Unicron, and altered her pistols. The gun in her right hand sprouted six barrels on jointed mechanical arms. And her left pointer finger pull the trigger on a sawed-off double barrel shotgun. Hundreds of pellets dug into the Destroyer's Avarice armor. At the same time Arcee's other weapon focused independently on his knees, elbows, shoulders, drilling blue lasers into him.

Unicron grunted in annoyance as he felt his construct being penetrated, but he could not focus on Primus. Not with Ion's rapid, reckless assault pushing him further from Mogo. He flew upwards and swung his blades down at the green titan's head. But Arcee was faster and was able to prevent his attempt to move both Cybertronians into his front quadrant. And Optimus easily stopped the red cleaver with his shield, though the orange one cut into the haft of his axe again. The Green Lantern used the divot as leverage as he forced both of Unicron's weapons wide, and dived forward to land a heavy blow to the Destroyer's jaw with his left fist. The Avatar of Rage responded by grappling his brother, while he launched the more missiles at his sister. The barrage ended prematurely as his supply was exhausted and he did not have the raw materials to manufacture more.

Rather than waste energy resisting Unicron's bear hug, Optimus cancelled his construct, letting Ion replenish their power as he flew back to a safe distance at his normal size. And Arcee's scattergun barked twice, destroying the majority of the rockets. The few that survived dented and cracked her Hope construct, but the young Cybertronian let Primus start to repair the damage while she continued her attack.

Unicron swung a massive backhand at the Autobot leader, realizing his blades would not be able to hit the comparatively tiny robot, but expecting his city sized wrist would be harder to dodge. More than damaging Optimus, Unicron just wanted to buy a moment to focus on Arcee and her persistent attempts to burn through his skin and damage his joints. Prime matched the titan's speed, and instead of being smashed, he landed lightly on Unicron's forearm. Ion strengthened their outer layer to protect Optimus from the nuclear heat put out by the Rage armor.

The Autobot leader created a surgical scalpel, with a normal handle and a blade half a kilometer long. He plunged the monomolecular knife down, slicing cleanly through Unicron's armor, both construct and physical. Optimus altered the grip into a trailer hitch, then attached it to his body as he Transformed. He sped along, parallel to the Destroyer's wrist, as if to cut Unicron's hand off. The blade was not long enough to do that, but it did damage circuits and actuators under Unicron's outer shell, causing his hand to twitch. The Avatar of Rage dismissed the Avarice cleaver in his left hand and clamped down on his other arm. His attempt to crush Optimus failed as Prime started to resume his giant form, grabbing and trapping both of their enemy's wrists.

Ion and Unicron struggled, the Avatar of Rage trying furiously to break free, and the incarnation of Will struggling to keep him trapped. In addition to the physical brawl, Optimus and Unicron sparred with constructs. Blade, beams, and bombs blasted back and forth between them. The Destroyer quickly gained the upper hand, and Optimus's armor splintered and flaked away from the assault of Red and Orange. Unicron managed to wrench his left hand free, and recalled his cleaver to destroy the Autobot's deteriorating construct.

Arcee's rapier stabbed into the left side of Unicron's back. During the altercation between her two brothers, Primus had continued her weak but potentially crippling attacks on the Destroyer's joints. That minor pressure had been enough to let him focus on Optimus, believing his female foe would continue that attack. Instead the youngest Cybertronian had let the Avatar take over the attack, so she could create and refine her construct sword.

The needle-like blade pierced the layer of Avarice, and parted the ferro-titanium armor underneath like water. It speared through conduits and servos, until it finally reached their goal. A crystal, buried deep within Unicron's body, glowing from within with a hungry Orange Light. The outer layer of the gemstone shattered and the blue blade slid the rest of the way through. Unicron ceased his struggle against Optimus and looked back over his shoulder incredulously.

"What have you…"

The Avatar of Rage's dull statement was cut off as the crystal split in two, with a cracking sound that was audible despite the vacuum of space. Then his back exploded, throwing Arcee back and disintegrating her rapier. At the same time, most of Unicron's construct armor and his entire army simply vanished.

A serpent of Orange light floated in the void between Unicron and Primus. From fang to tail, it was twice as long as Unicron was tall. Unlike any snake Optimus had seen, there were four pairs of needle like teeth jutting out of its upper jaw. And its eyes looked more mammalian than reptilian. Its body shimmered, as if its scales were tiny, precious metal coins.

The Avatar of Avarice stared at them hungrily. Its eyes flickered from the two Autobots that hosted its younger siblings, and then to Unicron's titanic form. It looked past the other three Avatars, to the approaching Lantern Corps, and further to still to Mogo. They could feel the building greed, and sparks played across the snake's form. Then it blinked, and sentience eclipsed the raw emotion. It addressed its siblings, and Optimus thought he saw hints of obligation and worry on its face.

"There is nothing here I want," Ophidian lied blatantly. And then the Orange Avatar appeared to fold in upon itself until it vanished.

"What have you done!?" Unicron howled, livid beyond all reason.

"Given back Hope to one you took it from," Arcee spoke alone, feeling Primus's pride at her host's statement. Optimus nodded, but at the same time released Unicron and put some space between them.

"I WILL ANNIHILATE YOU," the Avatar of Rage shrieked, all reason lost. A gout of the Red flame shot out from the gap in his back, melting it closed. Arcee could not help but wonder how much damage the 'repair' had done to him. And as if in answer to her silent query, Unicron swung at Optimus, his cleaver forming as his arms descended. And the movement of his left shoulder was slower and stiffer. Ion took advantage of that, sliding out of the way of the faster strike, and catching his brother's wrist. Prime twisted the limb, crushing it with relative ease now that the layer of light was gone from over the metal. As the Destroyer reflexively release his left blade, Optimus quickly let him go, and wrapped a sphere of Will around the blade before Unicron could recall the Light of Rage. Then he gestured, and the bubble and cleaver vanished. The subtle removal of a portion of his power cooled Unicron's ire, and he backed away from both his siblings slowly.

"What did you do?" he demanded nervously.

"I have taken a page from Lady Primus's book," Optimus Prime explained, "We cannot kill you, but we can dissipate your power. But, all deference to you, Lady Primus, rather than just spread the Light of Rage as far and wide as we can, I think we should send it to places where it will be kept out of idle hands. Like into the supermassive black hole at the center of a random galaxy."

If Unicron's eyes could have bulged out of his head, they would have. As it was, his posture said that he was barely resisting tackling Optimus/Ion. Before he could give in to his rage, Arcee darted forward. She knocked the second cleaver from his hand and surrounded it with a cube of Primus's power.

"Or perhaps a temporal anomaly?" Primus suggested as she banished the segment of Rage.

Unicron roared, surrounded his body with a layer of pure Red fire, and charged Optimus. Arcee spread her hands wide, and a cone of frigid Hope reduced the heat and strength of his armor. Ion caught his brother and worked to keep their form stable, while Optimus laced their fingers and hammered their fists into the center of Unicron's back. He kicked the Destroyer away, but he grabbed onto the Red construct, tearing part of it away. Green light wrapped Red again, and more of Unicron's power vanished. The Destroyer howled again, and this time flew at Arcee/Primus.

"I don't understand," Ion said, "We have already taken more than twenty percent of his power and stripped him of the Light of Avarice. He must know he doesn't stand a chance against the two of us."

"He has fallen too far into the purity of Rage," Primus shook her head, familiar with her brother's fighting pattern, "It could make him more dangerous."

He hit her as she said that, and his clawed fingers tore into the Blue construct, trying to dig out the crunchy Autobot center. Arcee grabbed his wrists, both previously damaged by Optimus, and crushed them. Unicron's fingers jerked wildly, and the female robot was able to pull them back out of her armor of Hope.

Optimus reached them at that moment, and, to add insult to injury, used a giant Green lint-roller to strip off more of the Light of Rage covering the Destroyer. Ion banished it again. Another wordless vocalization escape the eldest Avatar, and he threw both of his siblings back with an explosion of his power. Both Autobots kept their wits and captured some the light that had attacked them.

Unicron whirled back suddenly, and a crimson bladed chain bisected Primus's construct. But in his uncontrolled fury, he missed Arcee, if just barely. She dismissed the giant form, absorbing the Light of Hope once more. And Optimus summoned his own chain, wrapping Unicron's arms to his body, crushing his metallic skin. Arcee followed his example, a bolt of Blue silk enfolding Unicron's legs and dragging them up towards up towards his chest. The Avatar of Rage shrieked and more gouts of flame set him free. But the incinerated chains and cloth changed, surrounding each segment of Red energy and carrying it away. Suddenly Unicron went still.

"You are trying to feed my anger, so I will throw my power at you," he told his siblings.

"You have already willingly offered us two thirds of your strength," Ion agreed.

"We were hoping you wouldn't notice until we had reached our goal," Arcee added, "So Ion and Primus would not have to wear themselves out like Primus did the last time."

"But at this point, and between the two of us," Primus concluded, "we should be able to take the rest of your power without exhausting ourselves in the process."

Unicron turned to flee, but his body was too slow to escape his siblings. Ion and Primus started to syphon the Light of Rage and send it to other distant and dangerous places across the universe, while their hosts summoned constructs to hold the Red Avatar. After only a minute, Unicron had been reduced to five percent of his total power, though the auras around his siblings were also weakened.

"Now what?" Unicron demanded darkly, "Even with just this body, I am one of the strongest forces in this universe."

Arcee looked at him incredulously, Optimus shook his head, and Ion chuckled.

"Did you honestly expect that to work?" Primus said softly, "Did you think that I… that any of us would forget that that body traps your spirit, preventing you from teleporting or entering the Astral, and limiting the range at which you can control the Light of Rage?"

"It was worth a try," Unicron sounded almost petulant.

"Just because we cannot destroy your body, doesn't mean we have to leave it in that state," Ion stated in a firm, almost threatening tone.

With little mercy for the killer of billions, Ion and Primus returned his body back to the lump of metal and crystal it had been when the Avatar of Hope had tricked him into trapping himself. The machinery he had formed from the planetoid was melted back into its raw components and spread throughout the rogue moon. But they left his 'face', not the machinery to move it or the weapons, but just the outline on the surface, so that others would see it and know to stay clear.

"Goodbye, brother," Primus addressed the sphere, hints of Rage wafting futilely off it. Then she drew back her leg, and punted it towards the edge of the universe.

"That was foolish," Ion chided her, "We could have placed him in orbit around Oa's star and had the Lantern Corps watch over him. Now he will return some day."

"And we will be ready," the Blue Avatar countered, "And in the end I could only be myself. I could not deny Hope, even to him."

"Will you be returning with us to Oa, Lady Primus?" Optimus asked.

"For now," she answered thoughtfully, "But whether I remain will depend on what the Guardians have to say."

"The Unicron incident is resolved," Mogo conveyed to the rest of the Lanterns, and the borrowed rings separated from their users and flew off to find new Lanterns. And Avatar bonded Autobots opened a hyperspace window to the center of the universe.