As the sun set over the Pacific, the Decepticons lay or sat on the deck while Soundwave, Dr. Blight, Maleficent and Starscream did their best to patch up the injuries. Swindle was in stasis lock, needing a full overhaul to be any use again.
Soundwave finished reattaching Megatron's arm cannon. Megatron was on his feet, but his face and armour were still dented and torn.
"Reintegration completed, Megatron," Soundwave intoned, "Test recommended."
"Ow!" Rumble snapped as Maleficent applied a torch to his wiring, "Watch it, you bucket of bolts!"
"I'm doing my best," Maleficent whined, "I am not familiar with this…magnificent technology. Not yet anyway."
"You were a great help," sneered Starscream, trying artlessly to straighten Lazerbeak's wing. Lazerbeak screeched and snapped at him. "You were about as combat effective as an oil drum falling off a cliff!"
"I'm sure you were wonderful, MAL," Blight said, trying to repair the joint on Ravage's leg.
"Maleficent," snapped the seaplane transformer, and then appealed to Megatron. "Great Megatron, the Planeteers have stymied me many times before, but they are not invincible. We can get more energon, destroy more power plants! I am ready to serve you in this!"
Dr. Blight glared up at her AI companion, groveling to Megatron. The Decepticon Leader looked thoughtfully toward the island dwindling in the distance. "Your willing service is noted, Maleficent. I have a task for you now, in fact."
Maleficent nodded ecstatically, "I owe you my life for this new body you've given me! Tell me what I can do for you, Megatron? What service can I perform?"
Megatron swung round, took aim with his reattached cannon, and fired.
For over a second, energy crackled through Maleficent, forming a violet aura around him. Then it faded, and the grey sculpture of the new Decepticon cooled, and then crumbled away into silicate dust, settling on the deck or scattering over the sea.
"MAL!" Dr. Blight screamed, "MAL, baby!"
"This Captain Planet has made fools of us," Megatron roared, "And our supposed allies are traitorous and inept! The Autobots' knowledge of this world and its defenders make it useless to us. We're leaving."
"Good riddance, you walking malfunctions!" Blight was incandescent.
"I suggest you bring your ship up and be gone soon," Starscream snarled, "We do not place much importance on a steady air supply in space!"
By the time Blight's airship was on its way, the Decepticon ship was nearly to the lowest clouds.
"Those miserable, backstabbing, interloping robots!"
"Do you mean the Autobots or the Decepticons, Doctor?"
"Both! Either! Prime was just a stupid idealist, but Meg…" She froze, then whirled around to face the monitor on its arm, "MAL?" Blight asked weakly.
The monitor switched on and the usual sinister face appeared. "Yes, indeed, my dear Doctor. And I apologize profusely for my adverse behavior. I was led astray by superficial bribes by those who wished to use me for their own ends. I am your eternal confidante, Doctor Blight!"
"Oh, MAL," Blight fairly cuddled the monitor, "You're forgiven. But how did you get back here?"
"The weapon Megatron used took long enough that I was able to download back to our ship before…." He trailed off.
"Clever MAL! Let's go lay low for a while, until every robot has cleared off this planet."
"I heartily agree."
Hope Island was a mess. The rest of the day had been spent extinguishing fires and removing the toxic detritus and metallic debris from the battle.
Ma-Ti was sitting with Gaia near the crystal cave, holding each other. She was weakened by the damage but in no further danger.
"Well," said Wheeler, dusting his hands off as the Planeteers and Autobots gathered, "we've done all we can for now."
"The rest is up to the plants, the soil, and time," Kwame said, a touch sadly.
Gaia nodded tiredly, "Yes, it will. Our struggle to better this world and protect its environment has seldom come so close to home, though. I've never been forced to consider scouring this world of its enemies…never expected to have this island blighted," her lips quirked, "by war. I've never expected to consider sacrificing my island's animals, my home, my Planeteers…"
The Planeteers were alarmed to see tears welling in the Earth Spirit's eyes.
"Oh, Gaia," Gi wailed, and rushed forward, putting her arm around Gaia and taking her hand.
Kwame knelt and said, "Gaia, we understand the risks. We fought willingly."
"There is no point in living if even Hope Island is destroyed," Linka said stoutly.
Gaia hugged Ma-Ti tightly, and stroked Gi's hair with her other hand. "My brave Planeteers…"
"Brave they are," Optimus Prime said, "Your valour honours Earth and Cybertron both. But, we cannot remain here. We're not compatible with the local environment."
"We are so sorry to have brought such destruction to your world," Prowl said earnestly.
"If this is what your war does here," Linka said softly, "I cannot imagine the conditions on Cybertron."
"Lucky you," sighed Arcee.
"We shall return to our ship and be on our way. But know this, you have friends among Autobot kind."
"Always happy to meet a new friend," said Captain Planet, alighting and shaking hands with Optimus. Somehow only Captain Planet could make that seem natural. "You have friends here on Earth too, Optimus Prime."
"We are truly blessed, then," said Perceptor, smiling.
"Farewell, Autobots," Kwame said. "I hope that sometime soon your world knows peace."
"As do we," said Prime. "And someday, perhaps we can visit your world in peace as well."
"And not ruin the lawn," Ratchet said drily.
"Know that the sight of your world in peril has strengthened our resolve to stop Megatron and bring back peace," Optimus Prime declared.
"And we're still dedicted to protecting this planet," Linka replied, addressing herself to Gaia as well as Prime.
"I'm sure you can do it," Captain Planet beamed. "Planeteers for the environment, or Autobots for peace: the Power is YOURS!"