"So, the whole 'seen the error of my ways' speech was a lie?" Terrorsaur asked.
"Of course." said Starscream, "You think that, with Megatron finally gone, I was going to simper around and follow the Autobots? I finally have my chance to take over the Decepticons. Since the Autobots believe I've switched sides, I can catch them all off guard and get rid of them all. With Prime dead as well, it will be easy."
"What about me, though?" asked Terrorsaur indignantly, "I'm not going to help you take over and them go back to containment!"
"Terrorsaur, buddy, come on!" said Starscream, "Megatron was your leader too, remember? Scorponok and Inferno, a.k.a. Megatron's biggest fans, are gone too. The only one standing in the way of your leadership is that coward Waspinator! We will both be leaders, don't you see? By helping me, you are helping yourself as well!"
Terrorsaur looked gleeful.
"Yeah." he said slowly, "Your right. So, what do we do first?"
Over with the good guys,
"The time portal's coordinates are almost ready." the newly promoted Rodimus Prime informed Optimus Primal, "We can go home real soon."
"To our respective timelines?"
"Good." said Primal, "We'll take Terrorsaur with us, since he is from our timeline."
"We've been attacked!" shouted a voice from behind them.
Turning, they saw Starscream hurrying over to them, dragging the still bound up Terrorsaur behind him.
"Starscream? What happened?" asked Primal, hurrying over.
Starscream seemed to be out of breath and looked alarmed. "Some transformer I've never seen before killed Cyclonus and tried to kill us too!"
"Um, yeah! It was . . . um . . . scary!" added Terrorsaur.
Rodimus looked slightly suspicious.
"Could you tell what faction is was?"
"No, it had no symbol faction. It just said it would be back with reinforcements."
Primal turned to Rodimus.
"Whatever this is, we need to stop it. Dinobot, stay here and guard Terrorsaur with Starscream and Rodimus. Rhinox, keep working on the time portal. The rest of you, come with me."
Primal, Wheeljack, Mirage, Cheetor, and Rattrap transformed and headed out. Dinobot snarled and aimed his sword at Terrorsaur, keeping him at bay. Starscream turned to Rhinox, whose back was to him, working on setting the proper coordinates to return them to their separate timelines.
"Okay, just this code, a tweak of this . . . and . . . done!" he announced.
He didn't notice Starscream's null-ray cannon aimed at the back of his head.
"It's all set. As soon as they get back, we can return to our-what?"
He turned as Dinobot's sword came down on Starscream's cannon just as it fired, causing the null-ray beam to fly past Rhinox. Dinobot them grabbed Starscream and thrust him around to stand next to Terrorsaur.
"Nnrgh! I thought your story sounded far-fetched." Dinobot growled, "I understand being a traitor, being one myself, but trying to kill someone with their back turned? Where is the honor in that?"
"T-Terrorsaur! Help me!" gasped Starscream, struggling in Dinobot's grip.
"Why? It was your plan. Besides, I'm all tied up, in case you didn't notice!" Terrorsaur snapped.
"All right! All right! What do you want then?" Starscream asked desperately.
"A duel." said Dinobot, "You against me. Hand to hand. The loser will die honorably."
"Psh. Fine." Starscream snorted, tossing his null-ray cannons to the ground, "I could take you on, no problem."
"Hey, if I take part in this fight and I win, can I go free?" asked Terrorsaur hopefully.
"Only if you win." Dinobot stated.
Rhinox looked outraged. "No! We can't let them go!"
"In order for this to be a fair fight, conditions must be made. If we defeat them, they die in the battle. If they defeat us, they go free. If we were to contradict those requirements, we are no better than Megatron."
"Fine. But I don't like it."
Dinobot turned to Rodimus.
"You can battle Starscream instead. For a warrior with a sword like me to fight an unarmed opponent like him would be unsound. Terrorsaur and I have similar weapons."
With that, Dinobot and Rodimus turned to face Starscream and Terrorsaur, whose energy binders disappeared.
"Prepare to duel." said Dinobot.
Terrorsaur charged forward, raising his wing-blades. Dinobot blocked Terrorsaur's first swing with his sword, then used his rotating blade weapon to knock Terrorsaur's other blade out of his hand. Terrorsaur drew back, holding his remaining blade in both is hands, while Dinobot swung his sword around gracefully, preparing to swing again.
Next to them, Rodimus and Starscream were punching, kicking, and maneuvering around each other, seemingly equal in strength.
Rhinox stood in the background, feeling uneasy about giving those two the chance to escape.
A little ways over, Primal and the others returned in time to witness the fights begin.
"Rhinox, what's happening?" asked Primal.
"Oh, just a fight of honor to the death, that's all." said Rhinox, sounding irritable, "Dinobot's idea."
As that was happening, Dinobot decided to transform to beast mode, becoming a smaller version of Megatron's lizard mode which, according to Rhinox, had been called a 'raptor'. Terrorsaur also transformed into his 'flying lizard' mode and dive-bombed Dinobot. But Dinobot leapt into the air and rammed into Terrorsaur, slamming him back to the ground on his back. Changing back to robot forms, Dinobot raised his sword over Terrorsaur.
"For once, you were a worthy adversary and fought well."
"Eat slag!" spat Terrorsaur in response.
Dinobot's sword came down and stabbed through Terrorsaur's chest. He gave a high-pitched squawk of pain, then fell back, dead. Dinobot stood up and wrenched his sword out of Terrorsaur.
"It is done."
Then Rodimus flew into him and knocked him backward. Starscream had tossed Rodimus right at him.
"Not quite yet." he said as he approached the two of them on the ground, picking up his null-ray cannons as he went.
"Whoa. That's just low." remarked Cheetor in disgust.
Starscream aimed his null-rays at the two fallen warriors.
"I'm a Decepticon. I don't play by the rules."
"But you do need ammo." Rodimus added.
Starscream's cannons activated, then sputtered and hissed.
"What the-?" Starscream said incredulously.
"Part of the relinquishing of weapons was that they were to be emptied in case anyone decided to attempt to cheat." Rodimus said satisfactorily, getting back to his feet with Dinobot.
"But . . . !" sputtered Starscream.
Rodimus turned to Dinobot.
"Dinobot, if I could borrow your sword?"
"Wait! Can't we do this over? I promise I won't cheat next time!" Starscream said desperately.
Rodimus raised Dinobot's sword.
"Sorry, Screamer, you had your chance. There are no resets in honorable duels."
Starscream screamed as Dinobot's sword impaled his armor. Then he fell back limply to the ground and smoldered, not moving.
"Yeah, see, that right there is why I switched." said Demolishor significantly to Waspinator.
"Well done." Dinobot said to Rodimus.
"Thanks. Here's your sword back." said Rodimus, handing the sword back.
"O-kay, so, are we done now?" asked Primal loudly.
"I'd say so."
"The portal's settings are calibrated." Rhinox confirmed.
"Then let's go home."
Primal turned to Rodimus.
"Thanks for all your help." he said, holding out his hand to the Autobot leader.
"Yeah. Yours too." Rodimus replied, shaking hands with the Maximal commander.
Cheetor and Mirage approached each other, also shaking hands.
"I'll look you up in the archives when I get back." Cheetor promised.
"That'd be neat. Too bad I won't know until it happens to me anyway." Mirage said regretfully.
Rhinox and Wheeljack did the same.
"It's a shame we live in different timelines. We could've done some amazing work together." Wheeljack said wistfully.
"I don't doubt it." said Rhinox.
Dinobot held out his hand to Rodimus, but didn't say anything.
"Good luck." Rodimus said.
Dinobot merely nodded. But it looked as though he was on the verge of saying something . . .
The moment was ruined by Rattrap, who shouted, "Come on! Enough squishy goodbyes! Let's get outta here already!"
Behind him, Demolishor, looking relieved said "Thank you!"
Primal turned to Waspinator.
"So, do you want your new faction symbol when we get to Cybertron?" he asked kindly.
"No." Waspinator declared, "Wazzzpinator not joining Maximalzzzz or Predaconzzzz! Wazzzpinator retiring! Wazzpinator want peace!"
"If that is your decision, I accept." said Primal, "You don't bother us, and we won't bother you."
"Good! But . . . Wazzzpinator still needzzz a ride home." he admitted embarrassedly.
Primal led him toward the others, waiting for them.
"I know. Come on."
Optimus Primal turned back to face the Autobots, standing with his comrades.
"Good luck, Rodimus Prime!" he called.
Then he, Rattrap, Cheetor, Rhinox, Dinobot, and Waspinator vanished into the portal, back to the future.
Rodimus saluted their departure, then turned to the last Decepticon.
"You coming with us, Demolishor?"
Demolishor shifted uncomfortably.
"Well, yeah. I mean, I'm not stay here. But . . . I can't see myself fighting for peace. And with Megatron gone, the Decepticons are doomed anyway, so . . . I'm just gonna retire like the bug-guy."
"Alright then. Wheeljack, reset the coordinates for our timeline."
"But Megatron wasn't dead in the future before all of this happened." said Mirage suddenly, "So, does this mean that when we go back, we won't have to fight anymore?"
"I doubt it." said Rodimus, "We didn't get rid of the entire Decepticon organization. Just it's leader."
"How different are things going to be now, without Megatron alive to see the future like before?" Mirage asked.
"If anything, it will be better." said Wheeljack, "Not as much fighting or casualties. But, then again, maybe, like Demolishor said, the remaining Decepticons will not go on without Megatron."
"Well, we won't know for sure until we get back there anyway." said Rodimus.
"Done! Let's go!" said Wheeljack at last.
Rodimus Prime, Mirage, Wheeljack, and Demolishor vanished into the portal, reappearing on Cybertron.
"And for good measure . . ." Demolishor turned and fired his quadruple shoulder missiles at the entry to the portal, blasting it into pieces. "Now no one can go back or forward in time again." he said determinedly.
He and the others took the time to observe Cybertron. It looked pristine and well cared for, as though there was no war.
"Wow." murmured Mirage.
"It looks . . . peaceful." said Wheeljack in awe.
Rodimus Prime watched as the others walked forward into what he was sure was the foretold golden age of Cybertron.
"Yes . . ." he looked up into the sky above him and smiled.
"We did it, Optimus."