Post by Grand Moff Martin on Jul 21, 2018 21:52:13 GMT
'A STOPPED CLOCK'
'A STOPPED CLOCK'
Earth. New Year's Day, 2009.
Twenty-seven minutes to midnight.
Kup: "Prime? Is that really you?"
Rodimus Prime: "Yes... Yes, it's really me. Our enemy only existed within the Matrix itself. Tearing it free... closed the door. Sadly, it also means that we missed a chance of destroying him and cleansing the Matrix. Eventually, I'll have to go back into the Matrix to face him again, and destroy him for good. But next time... he'll be ready for me."
Scattershot (transforming to battle station mode): "Alternatively..."
Rodimus Prime (shot by a 700-megavolt pulse cannon): "AAAAACK-!"
Scattershot (transforming back to robot mode): "...we can just put you on ice until we've figured out exactly what is going on around here."
Red Alert: "Okay..."
Perceptor: "I'm sorry, Scattershot. Strafe's dead."
Rewind: "It looks like almost everyone here is dead. How many Autobots were on this ship?"
Arcee: "Over four hundred... All of them."
Afterburner: "And apart from you three, it seems that all those who weren't deactivated in the crash have been destroyed by our great leader."
Arcee: "That wasn't him. He was possessed by Unicron."
Kup: "It's been a bloody long day."
Red Alert: "I've never known one quite like it."
Nosecone: "Could someone please tell me what this all means?"
Red Alert: "Well... You remember that rift in time and space that destroyed the Quintesson homeworld?"
Blaster: "No, what rift?"
Kup: "But you know how we went back in time this morning to the year 1989 to recapture Galvatron?"
Lightspeed: "Are you feeling all right?"
Scattershot: "Are you telling us that scientists on Cybertron have finally cracked the secrets of time-travel?"
Arcee: "No, not Cybertron - we used the time portal here in Autobot City: Earth, remember?"
Perceptor: "But you haven't been to Earth in over six months."
Kup: "All right, we need to think this through carefully. But first let's get Prime into the city and stabilised."
Scattershot: "But keep him powered down until further notice. He's killed enough Autobots for one day."
Afterburner: "Damn right. And I don't think we should take our optics off these three lucky survivors until we know what their role in all this really is."
Kup: "Now, wait just a minute. Prime made me his second-in-command."
Lightspeed: "Yeah, and Prime has now killed a friend of ours. His decisions no longer stand."
Scattershot: "I'm the highest-ranking Autobot here, so I'll be calling the shots until further notice."
Perceptor: "I'm sorry, Kup. Your words haven't been making much sense, and your survival and close association with Rodimus mean we must ask you to stand down, at least on a temporary basis."
Blaster: "I have to agree. All those in favour of making Scattershot acting leader?"
Nosecone: "That's seven votes to three."
Afterburner: "Of the ten Autobots who your friend hasn't killed."
Scattershot: "Enough. Let's go. Technobots - gather up all weapons. Blaster, Kup - bring Rodimus into the city. Rewind, Perceptor - conduct a search to see if anyone else has survived the crash."
Twenty-one minutes to midnight.
Arcee: "Something isn't right."
Red Alert: "Nothing about this is right. Galvatron should be dead, torn apart by the rift twenty years ago. Instead, he rules Cybertron, nobody remembers us going back in time this morning, nobody remembers us being on Earth this morning, and apparently time-travel hasn't been invented."
Arcee: "But if time-travel hasn't been invented, where have we come from? Have we really been to the past, or have our memories of the last three years been corrupted? And if our memories, beginning from when Galvatron first time-jumped, have all been a fiction, how did Unicron come to be trapped inside the Matrix?"
Red Alert: "Oh, we've been to the past all right."
Arcee: "How can you be so certain, when the world around us says otherwise?"
Red Alert: "Because I brought something back with me. Now be quiet... we're coming into the city."
Twelve minutes to midnight.
Red Alert: "It's vitally important that I speak with Rodimus Prime."
Nosecone: "Forget it. Prime stays shut down and nobody gets to see him until Scattershot says otherwise."
Arcee: "Come on, Red. Leave it. Let's go."
Kup: "I don't know why you bothered. You knew they weren't going to let you in there."
Red Alert: "I know, but I needed to see the security set-up. They've got Prime in an isolation ward, hooked up to a variable voltage harness. Any spark of mental activity, and they'll shock him back into unconsciousness. And he's under constant watch. They're not taking any chances."
Arcee: "I hate to say it, but I can't exactly blame them. Besides, supposing they did let you wake him up. What's to stop Unicron taking possession again and killing us all?"
Kup: "At least none of them have been stupid enough to try to take the Matrix away from him. If they break the link, so that Prime reverts to Hot Rod, Unicron will have free reign of the Matrix, and nothing will stop him."
Red Alert: "Nevertheless, I believe making contact with Unicron is the only way to untangle the time stream and reverse this madness."
Arcee: "How can you make contact with Unicron without risking his attacking us again?"
Red Alert: "By ensuring that he has no time to attack us."
Red Alert: "He won't have time to do anything. I'm going to walk into that room, past the Technobot guards, and have a long conversation with both Rodimus Prime and Unicron. I'm going to get to the bottom of this whole damn temporal mess."
Red Alert: "With this."
Time Warrior: "Hello."
Arcee: "Did that Autobot insignia on your wrist just talk?"
Kup: "It's just a radio."
Time Warrior: "I'm not."
Red Alert: "He's not."
Red Alert: "While you guys were fighting Galvatron and Megatron, I met the Time Warrior. Optimus Prime summoned him from Cybertron to join the effort to return Galvatron to the future. The plan was for him to send Galvatron back to 2009 once the Wreckers and Mayhems had subdued him. Things didn't quite work out that way in the end, and he asked instead if he could come back to the future with me."
Kup: "Why? Why would anyone want to travel twenty years into the future rather than just wait for it to come along?"
Red Alert: "Because if you wait for the future to come along, then it becomes your present. The Time Warrior wanted to come to 2009 with me so that he could see the future and then return to his own time without it causing the cosmic imbalance that comes from travelling back to a time where you don't belong."
Arcee: "So he's the first Transformer to make an excursion forward in time, rather than back."
Time Warrior: "Exactly. People who visit the past risk changing history, causing paradoxes and destroying the universe. People who visit the future just get to see what might be, and can then use that information to shape events in the present, so that a better future might come to pass."
Kup: "Well, with the Autobots almost extinct, the Matrix corrupted and Galvatron ruling Cybertron, you can't make things much worse than they are now. But I still don't understand how you're going to talk safely to Rodimus and Unicron."
Time Warrior: "Simple. I'm going to pause time."
Arcee: "Give me a break."
Time Warrior: "That's the plan. Are you ready?"
Red Alert: "Ready's my... first name... Scratch that. Yes, I'm ready."
Time Warrior: "Then open me up and press the stop button next to my digital display."
Red Alert: "How very eighties. Okay, here goes."
Red Alert pressed the button, and the blinking colon between the hour and the minute stopped, so that Time Warrior's display simply read "2356".
Red Alert: "Kup? Arcee? They're frozen in time! Just like you said they'd be!"
Time Warrior: "Time has been paused. Now press the next button up to activate the hologram field. Neither Rodimus nor Unicron must know who they're talking to, or we won't learn what we need to learn from them."
Red Alert: "I'm green! Guess I'll need a new name."
Time Warrior: "Just say you're a student. And remember, we need to bring out his dark side. Don't worry, Unicron won't be able to act against us while time is on pause, and the V.V.H. will kick in as soon as time resumes."
Red Alert: "All right, I'll try to stay in character. The guards aren't moving. Let's go in."
New Year's Day, 2009. Autobot City: Earth, 2356. Four minutes to midnight.
TO BE CONTINUED