Disclaimer: Both Transformers and My Little Pony are the properties of Hasbro. This is a non-profit work made by an independent contractor outside of the official company's notice intended for non-profit entertainment and speculative purposes only.
Darkryt Orbinautz presents...
It was a bit hard to swallow that (a) Santa Claus was contacting someone (b) that that someone was the Autobot base and (c) that it was a distress signal for help.
"How are we even supposed to get to the North Pole!?" Ratchet demanded of nopony in particular.
"Allow me." Optimus volunteered. He stepped forward to the GroundBridge control and punched in some coordinates. Ratchet eyed them suspiciously.
"Optimus...these coordinates won't work with the Bridge's computer systems."
Optimus pulled the lever, ignoring him. "Autobots, prepare to embark on an expedition to the North Pole!"
Team Prime and the ponies all rushed through the Bridge.
Cadence, and her husband, Shining Armor, who the Autobots had gone to get in light of Santa's S.O.S call, stayed where they were in the base.
Applejack poked her head back out of the Bridge. "What's lagging' y'alls' tailpipes?"
"He said Autobots!" Shining exclaimed. "Me and Cadence aren't Autobots!"
Rarity joined Applejack's, a pair of mares' heads poked out from the GroundBridge. "Shining, while on Earth, for the purpose of any command, ponies are considered Autobots. Understand?"
"Uh, no. But okay."
Shining Armor and Cadence stepped through the Bridge.
Miko, Jack, and Raf observed that they had been left behind.
"I want to see Santa too!" Miko complained.
Jack made a crack. "After what happened with the tree? Miko, you really think the Autobots would trust with seeing SANTA after that!?"
Miko put her finger to lip. "No...so I'll just have to go without them letting me!"
Miko dashed through.
"...You think we should go after her?" Raf asked meekly.
"And get into trouble ourselves!? No thank you!"
Miko was expecting the North Pole to be, well, cold as the Arctic, but it was actually really warm. Comfortable warm. Like spring.
"MIKO!" Bulkhead shouted, having turned around at her footsteps. "What are you doing here!?"
"I wanted to see Santa too!"
"Miko, this is a mission. Not a tea party!" Bulkhead explained as the rest of the Expanded Team Prime came back around. "There could be dangers here!"
To perfectly illustrate Bulkhead's point, the Autobots suddenly came under fire. Whatever was being shot at them was actually fairly weak, so it was more annoying then anything, but still annoying.
"I thought we were here to help someone?" Ratchet grumbled.
"You are!" A deep, jovial voice shouted at them. "Over here!"
Off to the side and to the distance, there was could be Santa Claus, Missus Claus, and some elves hiding behind a huge gingerbread cover wall. Team Prime and Co. quickly went over there.
"Is that real gingerbread!?" Miko and Pinkie both asked.
Santa seemed a bit offended. "Of course it's real gingerbread! What do you take me for, a soulless mega-corp?"
"Excuse me, Mister Claus..." Shining said. "But you sent out an S.O.S signal, and I can't find anything wrong." Another one of the pellets that had been fired at them smacked Shining's ear. "Pellets aside..."
Santa pointed out from behind the cover.
Shining Armor and the others poked their heads out to see what must have been Santa's factory. The front door opened, and a forklift made of out of gingerbread and candy canes rolled out.
"I still don't see anything wrong..."
The forklift unfolded black legs out from it's front, then another pair out from it's back. The gingerbread and candy canes shifted like a shell as the forklift converted into a Dark Energon Spawn built like a Decepticon Marauder Tank.
Santa raised a brow at Shining.
"Do you see what's wrong now?"
Friendship Is Magic: Prime: The Christmas Special
Chapter 2: The Source of Corruption!
Episode Synopsis: Santa's factory has been corrupted by Dark Energon!
...How'd that happen?
June was pouring herself a cup of eggnog while Jack was out...when she heard a rather powerfully-sounding knock from her door. She opened to see Princess Celestia, just standing outside the door to her house.
"Your Majesty!" June yelped in surprise. "You should've me you were visiting! I would've prepared something for you!"
"Please, dispense with the formalities, June." Celestia requested. "I've come here for informal reasons."
"Yeah, yeah, sure...meaning what, exactly?" June questioned as she moved to let Celestia inside.
"I found Twilight's friends and Miko feuding inside the Autobot base. It upset me, and I was hoping you'd have something to clear my head."
June rubbed her chin, pondering. Her eye drifted back to the table and what she was doing before the Princess appeared.
June got an awful idea. "I have just the thing." she said, snapping her fingers. She walked Celestia over to the table and presented her carton. "Eggnog!"
Celestia leered at the carton's labeling. "I do not understand. What is a Nog? And why are we drinking it's eggs?"
June sighed. "This is gonna take some explaining..."
Back at Santa's factory...
"Santa Claus, " Optimus said, "how is it that your facility was corrupted by Dark Energon?" Optimus was particular concerned that this may have happened due to an intentional use of the violet substance...
One of the elves spoke up.
"We were digging around to get some crystals for a little girl's Christmas list, we found this neat little purple cluster. Somehow, it got tipped over into the furnace we use to power the factory, and well...I think you can see for yourself." The elf gestured to the Maruader/Spawn.
Optimus rose up from the gingerbread cover and stared down the Spawn. He drew up his faceplate, reaching behind his back to pull out his huge orange axe.
"Autobots, bring the rain!"
Optimus charged forward, blade raised, and vivisected the machine.
"My axe has unique Dark Energon-purging properties." Optimus said. "If we can get into the furnace, I can use my axe to purge the facility."
"Please don't destroy any more of my machines then you have to, Optimus!" Santa added.
Optimus nodded, and hand-motioned for his team to move in on the factory. Applejack had to double back around to pull Pinkie away from the gingerbread cover that she was nomming on. Rarity also had to remind Shining of the 'considered Autobots' rule.
"Sooo..." Miko drawled as the last visages of tails and wheels disappeared. "How did you know how to get the Autobots' attention!?"
Santa chuckled. "Well, I was out during my normal runs on Christmas Eve when a storm knocked one of my reindeer out of my sleigh."
"I couldn't go back for him and still make the whole Christmas trip, so I had to leave him behind."
Miko put her hands on her mouth in horror.
"When I was all done and came back, I was expected him to have frozen into a deer-sicle...but instead, I found a strange red truck keeping him warm inside his trailer. I could tell something was strange about it, and when I thanked 'it', it said I was welcome!"
Miko was overwhelmed as the implications became clear. "Ah-buh- ah-fuu...that- does that mean you're like, BFF's with Optimus!? Optimus broke cover for you!?" That was particularly, as this couldn't have happened before the New York Decepticon Massacre that unanimously revealed the Autobots existence.
"Well, what I can say? I looked into his headlights, and we could tell we could trust the other."
"Wow." Miko said breathlessly. "Hey, can I ask you a question?...Another question?"
"Of course, young one. What do you wish to know?"
"How do you travel all the way around the world in one night? Do you, like, have your own GroundBridge?"
Santa chuckled. "Well, I don't have to stop at every house. Not everyone celebrates Christmas...as you should know."
Miko was incredulous at Santa's pseudo-omnipotence.
"I'd say you someone an apology." Santa said mysteriously.
"Yeah... I guess I do..." Miko muttered.
Bulkhead and Bumblebee took point in storming Santa's factory, despite Smokescreen's and Shining's eagerness to attack attack attack.
"Hi-yah!" Bulkhead karate-chopped the door open. The factory and it's doors were large to house the Autobots inside.
"Autobots, refrain from using your blasters." Optimus instructed. "Santa cannot afford for us to damage his machinery."
Cautiously making their way inside, the Autobots lighting their headlights and unicorns, their horns, the Autobots and Co. didn't notice any anomalies that would've resulted from Dark Energon infusion.
"I don't see anything." Shining remarked.
"That doesn't mean anything." Arcee retorted.
More forklift Spawn's jumped in front of them, surrounding them. Optimus slammed his ax into the ground, sending a huge crimson sphere energy at them, reverting them back to their normal non-death machine forklift selves.
Dark Energon spires sprouted out, revealing the location of some control panels that the elves must have used.
"Smokescreen, Rainbow Dash, scout ahead and see if you can locate the furnace."
"On it!" Smokescreen and Dash headed out into the depths of the factory.
The Autobots waited there for their scouts to return...
"Ehh, you all right there, Dash?" Applejack questioned into the dimly-light hall.
"Yeah, we're fine-"
Smokescreen and Dash came bounding back into view.
Rarity was dismissive. "It can't be that bad, can it?"
Gingerbread giants big to stand head-to-head with Bulkhead and Optimus armed with huge candy cane axes stomped out behind Smokescreen.
"It would appear that the Dark Energon has infected the ovens..." Ratchet noted.
"Autobots, do not be afraid!" Optimus ordered. "They are but pastries."
Optimus lunged forward with his ax raised, but the gingerbread giant countered with his own ax and blocked it. Then it swung at him and sent him to the ground right in front of the ponies.
"...Y'all were sayin', Optimus?"
"I may have underestimated the average strength of an animate huge gingerbread man." Optimus admitted.
More forklift-Spawn started swarming into view, and some manipulator arms held up some staple guns and other tools for putting toys together that would hurt if misused. And nutcrackers with working guns. (Those were probably the things that had been pelleting them when they arrived at the Pole.)
"Autobots, fall back!"
"We're running away?" Shining questioned.
A few pellets banged into his skull. That changed his mind.
"We're running away."
They ran away. Away from the bad gingerbread men, Dark Energon Spawn of the Pit, and the FREAKIN' NUTCRACKERS, MAN!
"We need an alternative course of action." Optimus said once they were a safe distance away.
"One that'll disable the defenses without destroying Santa's equipment..." Ratchet added.
Shining raised his hoof. "I have one."
Everypony looked at him.
"We get Twiley to use symbiosis on the forklifts and make them attack the gingerbread men."
Everypony looked at each other.
"It could work..." Ratchet murmured.
"But Twi' said she had no interest in an human holiday! Why would she just up and change her mind to save it!?" Applejack exclaimed.
"We'll just have to convince her!" Shining said confidently.
At Twilight's library, Shining Armor was reasonably confident he could convince his little sister to come and help save Santa's factory- and by extension, Christmas Day. Surely, she'd get over her whole anti-human thing when she heard about how all the human foals' dreams would be crushed when there wasn't anything under the Christmas tree- not even coal in the stocking.
So he was understandably disappointed with himself when the answer he got was a quiet, stoic, totally unmoved by the tale of potential woes of human cubs-
Shining's jaw dropped. "But Twiley!"
"I don't care, Shining. The humans' holiday experience means nothing to me."
"Twiley, how can you be so- so heartless!?"
"How can I be so heartless? My closet humans allies were a bunch of self-serving jerks, one of the Autobots' humans KILLED me-"
"She apologized for that!"
"So!? 'I'm sorry' doesn't make me care. Do you need anything else before I shut the door, B.B.F.F.F?"
Shining sighed. "No."
Twilight closed the door.
"Well, that was a bust." Smokescreen said as Shining finished his recounting of how well his plan had gone.
"I can't wrap my head around why she doesn't like them so much." Shining muttered.
"Shining Armor..." Rarity said. "You've met Agent Fowler, yes?"
"And you've met General Madison."
Shining's eyes widened. "Oh yeah...that guy was a lunatic."
"Consider Twilight has been face-to-face with Madison, but hasn't even had a phone call with Fowler."
"Maybe we could ask the Princess to just TELL Twilight to do it?"
"...That might work. Where is the Princess?"
Jack went inside his house without knocking. Why would he? It was his house. Why should he have to knock?
Well, for one thing, it would given him some warning and the chance to prep for what he saw.
"M-mom!? What are you and the Princess doing!?"
June was riding on Celestia's back while Celestia ran around in childish circles, both ladies wearing party hats and sloshing their eggnog-filled cups around. June's eyes were glowing the gold of Celestia's magic, like the latter had put the former in a trance.
"Celestia's taking me to Candyland!" June 'explained.'
Jack noticed the open carton of eggnog on the table.
"...Mom, do you introduce Celestia to eggnog?"
June hiccuped, wobbled on Celestia's back, and giggled. "Hehe.,..maybe! Come join us, Jackie!"
"...Yeah, maybe in a minute." (Jack was actually quite certain he didn't want to join them.) "I need to make a phone call."
Optimus responded to the ringtone in the side of his head. He knew it was Jack. He had a specific ringtone for Jack.
"What is it, Jack?"
*Pfffftz Pfftz Pfffffzzzzzz Mememememem...*
"I see..." Optimus hung up and addressed his troops. "Jack has located the Princess."
The Ponies looked at him expectantly.
"And she has been...incapacitated."
The ponies kept looking.
Optimus sighed and called Jack again and put him on speaker phone. "Jack, tell the Ponies what you have told me."
"My mom got Celestia drunk."
"That's not surprising." Cadence said. "Auntie Celestia never did hold her liquor well..."
"Regardless, we must develop a solution for Santa's factory." Optimus said, pressing on, ignoring that one of, if not, the most well-respected authority figures in Equestria was totally slammed.
"Perhaps...if we could make Twilight Sparkle see the problem from the human's perspective." Ratchet said. "Perhaps we could get someone to get her to really understand what it means for her to not help us."
Everypony exchanged glances.
"What, you mean like Abraham Lincoln?" Pinkie suggested.
"Pinkie, Abraham Lincoln's been dead for decades!...And how do you know who he is!?"
Pinkie produced the crystal ball and hat of her Madame Pinkie outfit. "You say he's dead like it's a problem." She began making spoooky, more Halloween-style gestures at the crystal ball.
Ratchet shook his head. "I mean, who is the one human Twilight will stop to listen to?"
"...I still don't get it."
Chief Burns was a little...disgruntled at being told his youngest was the key to saving Christmas for the whole world out of the blue by Optimus Prime.
But he understood.
At least he thought he did. Send Cody to Equestria. Have him to talk to Twilight. Save Christmas.
Something along those lines...
Twilight levitated one book from another, still a little irritated at having been asked- by her own BBFFF, no less- to do something for the humans. She heard muttering on the other side of the library door.
"But what if-"
"No buts. Just talk to her, kid. You'll be fine."
"But- Shining, come baack!"
Twilight recognized that whine... abandoning her books, Twilight scurried over the door with a haste that caught Spike's attention.
Twilight pulled her door open to see Cody Burns, clad in his jacket he was always wearing.
"Cody! Hi!" Twilight greeted enthusiastically, pulling Cody inside against his will with her magic. "What brings you all the way to Equestria?"
"I wanted to talk to you...about saving Christmas?"
Twilight's enthusiasm bubble was burst-ed a little bit. "Oh, Cody! Did those nasty Autobots put you up to this?"
"Nasty Autobots..?" Spike wondered aloud. "You really are gaga for this Cody guy!"
"Hey!" Cody protested, but he stopped when he saw Spike. "What the heck is that!?"
"That's Spike. He's my assistant."
"Twilight, I have seen spikes, and I have seen assistants. But I have never seen either that looks like that!"
Twilight tapped her hoof to her chin, wondering what the problem was. "OH! He's also a baby dragon."
Cody looked at Spike with interest. Spike looked back with the same. Spike felt particularly...powerful that even though he was a baby dragon, he was still bigger then Cody was.
"Yeah, I can see that." Cody shrugged, fear totally forgotten at knowing what Spike was. (The unknown was infinitely more scary then dragons.) "But yeah, apparently you can save Christmas if you use your Dark Energon?...And don't tell me you don't want to, because I know you don't have any problem with that!"
Twilight shook her head. "So? Why should I save the humans' holiday?"
Cody paused. "You shouldn't, so don't. Save mine."
Twilight became interested. "...Go on."
Cody took in a deep breath and put his hands together. "Everyone stays at home during Christmas, so there's no accidents or emergencies. It's one of the few times of year I can spend time with my family without something happening to send them all sprawling out of town."
Twilight frowned, sad to hear that the only human she considered a valid sentient being could only get quality family time under such conditions. "I'm...I'm sorry to hear that."
"And...this would be the first Christmas I'd have with the Rescue Bots." Cody added. "But...if you don't want to, I guess that's okay..."
Cody turned around and walked out of the library, closing the door behind him.
Shining popped out of the bush he was hiding in. "How'd it go?"
Cody shook his head. "I don't think I got through to her..."
Both of them were alerted to the slow, creeping squeak of the library door as it was softly tugged open.
"I'll do it."
"Great!" Shining exclaimed. "Knew you'd come around, Twiley."
"Mh-hmm! ...what I am doing again, exactly?"
The Autobots GroundBridged outside of the factory door, tires up to the maximum spin to tread through the ice.
Twilight hopped out of Optimus' cab, Unicronian wings in full view and unfurling like knives as she flew into the factory's ajar doors.
Inside the building, Twilight took up an imperious stance, the various defenses of the Dark Energon having yet to move from their places.
Purples radio rings emitted from Twilight's horn as she put her magic and Dark Energon connection together in one. The mutant forklifts wobbled and jerked slightly, not willing to submit to Twilight's will so easily, but they did. The bestial things jumped off their perches and began swarming the gingerbread giants like horde of wolves.
"The path is clear, guys!"
Optimus, Bulkhead, Cadence, Rarity, Shining and Smokescreen charged in. With Twilight in control of the machines, they had no time navigating their way to find the furnace and the source of corruption.
The unicorns powered up their horns and prepared to put their magic together to blast a purifying spell into the furnace while Optimus charged his ax.
Opening the furnace doors, Optimus slammed his ax into the Dark Energon cluster that was burning inside. Red energies blasted out from the ax, shattering the cluster. Cadence, Shining and Rarity let loose the spell they'd been charging, straight into the furnace hearts. The resulting energies blasted out a shockwave of blue/pink/different shade of blue that blasted apart the corrupt gingerbread and made the forklifts go back to their normal selves.
A hand nervously grasped the corner of the factory door. Mrs. Claus poked her head in.
"I saw the shockwave...thing from outside. Did you save the factory?"
Optimus turned to answer her, but he didn't need to, as the lights in the factory suddenly coming alive said enough.
"Oh!" Mrs. Claus exclaimed. "You did it! You saved the factory- and Christmas with it!"
Santa and the elves slowly start filling back inside their home.
"Optimus..." Santa said, "if there's anything I can do to repay all of you..."
Rarity got a devious gleam in her eye. "Could we perchance talk to your reindeer?" (She, of course, wanted to flirt with them.)
Optimus raised his hand. "There is no need for any reward, Santa Claus. All I ask is that you continue your day job."
Santa chuckled. "Well, at least me reward you with something. How about some Christmas wishes?"
...And on the dawn of Christmas Day in the Autobot base...
Miko was walking a blindfolded Raf into the main room.
"Miko..." Raf said like he thought Miko was going to throw him into a death-trap with lots of painful spinning metal thingies.
"Okay, Raf, you can take your blindfold off now."
Raf whimpered, still fearful, and pulled the the blindfold off and put his glasses on. Raf was confused at the sight he saw.
Rainbow Dash, Pinkie, Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy were all standing around a table with a fully-lit menorah on it and some dreidiels on their sides.
"I'm sorry I tried to like, force you into celebrating Christmas." Miko apologized, rubbing her arm.
"And we're sorry we didn't handle the whole ordeal as well we coulda." Applejack said.
"For forcing you to talk..." Rarity muttered.
"For taking Miko's side when you were obviously uncomfortable..." Dash added.
"For being Pinkie..." Pinkie said in a state of self-awareness.
"...Wow." Raf's eyes got a little misty. "Thank you, girls...this-this means so much."
Miko got down and Rarity came to give Raf a big group hug.
"But, uh, my family doesn't celebrate Hanukkah either."
Miko's eyes widened. Throwing her hand to the air in fury, she screamed. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?"
"Hey..." Raf said quietly. "It's the thought that counts."
Miko glared, then gave up and chuckled. "It's the thought that counts." Miko ruffled Raf's hair.
Pinkie started playing with the dreidels in hilarious ways, that, while fun-looking, was not how dreidels were supposed to be play with.
"Ooooh..." Celestia groaned, stepping into the room with her hoof on her head, Cadence by her side, keeping her upright.
"Did I do anything...untowards whilst in my stupor?" Celestia asked.
"Well, there's this." Cadence produced a photograph and let Celestia see it.
It showed flying in the air and giving Optimus a smooch on the cheek.
Celestia blushed furiously. "Oh my...how did he react?"
"He, uh, started going on about how Primes don't kiss, then shut up when Ratchet told him you were drunk. "
Shining Armor used his muzzle to roll a small Christmas tree up in where the Autobots' destroyed one used to be.
Celestia raised an eyebrow. "That hardly seems an appropriate replacement."
"Don't worry. Twiley's going to fix it!"
Twilight approached the tree, eyed it intently, and blasted it with magic. The tree began expanding in size, quickly growing up the size of the old tree. Ornaments magically appeared on it as it grew.
Shining put a hoof on Twilight's shoulder. "I'm glad you changed your mind about celebrating Christmas with us."
"Yeah..." Twilight looked up at her work on the tree, thinking fondly of Cody. "I'm glad I did too."
The tree started growing larger then the Autobots' old one...
"Twilight..." Ratchet said anxiously. "The tree wasn't that big!"
"Oh! Um, well, er..."
Optimus was outside the base, a cobalt and crimson giant in the building snow, for a moment of quiet contemplation when he heard the sounds of rock and dirt being torn.
Whipping around, he saw the new expanding Christmas tree bursting through the roof of his base.
"I CAN FIX IT!" Twilight yelled so loud Optimus could hear it from inside the base.
Optimus looked up at the tree, still growing. The best intentions, huh?
It was quite thankful that nopony was around, as Optimus was unable to resist the temptation to do something he'd never allowed himself to in front of his troops.
Seeing the destructive results of such well-meaning acts, from somepony-Twilight who had been so resistant to the idea of spending time with the Autobots for the humans' holidays...
And there was Christmas magic in the air, so that might have something to do with it.
Optimus smiled, and...
"Eeuuh heh...ha. Hahaha HAA HAA HAA HAA HAA HAA!"
Author's Notes for 'The Source of Corruption!'
This was a quick story, but...it's a Holiday special. What do you expect, a epic storyline that takes three years to finish?
Throw me some assurance that I got all the intended feelings in the chapter, would you? You know, it's...heartwarming, right?
...I'll see you next time.