Everything had gone wrong.
The base was falling apart from Decepticon attack. The Omega Lock had been destroyed. Megatron had established a powerful foothold on Earth. It was all of Optimus Prime's worst fears coming true, one after the other. Most of his Team had already evacuated, each to their own corner of the world to hide and wait for a chance to regroup, but while their safety in the moment granted him a small amount of comfort, the Autobot Leader knew that their positions remained only too vulnerable in the end. "What about you?" he heard Ratchet ask him.
"I will insure that the Decepticons cannot follow," Optimus answered solemnly, gaze stoically fixed on the swirling green energies of the Space Bridge in front of him.
He watched as Ratchet approached the open portal, wondering if his comrade could ever forgive him for having to destroy the Omega Lock. That it was even a question leant an even worse weight as he heard the medic's pained whisper. "I...never imagined it would end like this...."
And then Ratchet too was gone. "Neither did I, old friend," Optimus said, feeling a gentle chill in his Spark as the Space Bridge closed.
Now came the most important part. The proud Autobot turned his attention to the Bridge Controls, hand tightening into a fist as he steeled his resolve. He unsheathed the Star Saber from his back, gripping its hilt with all his strength. He raised the sacred weapon above his head, aiming it squarely at the Bridge's console. "I only hope," he thought as he brought the blade down, "I will someday meet you all again in the Matrix."
The sword cut through the air. The base filled with explosions. And Optimus Prime's world went black.
Transformers Prime/My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Chapter One: Arrival
"Everything is going right today!"
Apple Bloom's enthusiastic boast matched her bright smile as she led Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle through the wide-open fields just outside of Ponyville at a swift pace. Her fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders shared her good spirits, each with their own reasons. "First I found two whole bits just lying on the ground!" Scootaloo cheered.
"Then I got an 'A' on my Arts and Crafts project for Miss Cheerilee!" Sweetie Belle added giddily.
"And I finally convinced Applejack to gimme a raise in my allowance!" Apple Bloom finished with gusto.
The three continued their fast-paced trot over a nearby hill. "With all this good-luck energy goin' around, we're bound to find our Cutie Marks today!" Sweetie Belle said.
They all prepared to give a Team Shout together until Apple Bloom suddenly stopped short, causing her companions to bump into her and topple all over each other. "Hey, what'd you go 'n' do that for?" Scootaloo asked her friend as she sat back up.
"Sorry, sorry," the young Earth Pony said, "I just...I thought I saw somethin'."
"Was it a shiny something?" Sweetie Belle asked as she got back on her feet.
Apple Bloom nodded. "Then I think I see it too," her unicorn friend said, pointing over to a far-off hilltop.
All three soon looked over at the "shiny something": a bright light, glinting sharply in the afternoon sun.
Scootaloo's wings buzzed with excited curiosity. "Whaddya think it is?" she asked eagerly.
Clearing the last of the dust off her hairbow, Apple Bloom looked at her friend with a determined smile. "I dunno, but I say we get a closer look 'n' find out!"
"Um...d'you think we should maybe bring one of our sisters along?" Sweetie Belle suggested meekly, "Just in case?"
"No way!" Apple Bloom and Scootaloo both answered at once.
"Don't ya see?" the Earth Pony Crusader said, "This is a sign! I bet if we go to that light ourselves, we'll finally get our Cutie Marks!"
Finding that logic hard to argue with, Sweeite Belle quickly let her initial concern slide away to join her friends in their newest plan. "CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS, HO!" the trio cheered, slamming their hooves together.
They quickly made their way over to the hill from which the light was shining, spouting off excited guesses to each other. "I bet it's a pot of gold, and we'll get money-making Cutie Marks!" Scootaloo said.
"Or maybe it's a mirror, 'n' we'll get looking-good-in-a-mirror Cutie Marks!" Sweetie suggested.
"Or maybe it's a...!"
Apple Bloom's idea quickly faded from her mind as the three fillies soon saw what the object of their curiosity actually was. Embedded in the hilltop, its blade not only reflecting the sunlight but crackling with a strange energy of its own, was a sword as tall as a building, its construction looking far more intricate and advanced than anything the Cutie Mark Crusaders had ever seen before. "Oh man, this thing is awesome," Scootaloo said, "Please tell me it has something to do with our Cutie Marks!"
Her friends were much less enthused. "I think I need to renew my 'get our sisters' idea at this point...." Sweetie Belle murmured nervously.
"I gotta agree with Sweetie this time, Scoot," Apple Bloom said, circling the sword with caution. "I dunno what this thing is or where it came from, but it looks dangerous."
The small-winged pegasus looked ready to argue on that point, but it was cut to the quick by a low, rumbling moan from nearby. Huddling close together in a panic, the Crusaders looked over the hilltop to where the sound had come from, and found an even more shocking sight waiting for them. Laid out across the ground was a gigantic...being of some sort, garbed from head to toe in armors of red, silver, and blue. Like the sword, the armor's mold and the ways it bent and folded and connected were complex at a level well beyond normal Equestrian technology; indeed, the way it fit around the being, it seemed less like armor and more like a second skin. "OK, now I'm getting creeped out too," Scootaloo admitted, even as she leaned over the edge of the hill.
An excited gasp from Sweetie Belle drew her attention back, however, as the young unicorn leapt away from her friends to point at the being below. "Wait a second, girls!" she said, "Look look look! His shoulder pad, look at the side of his shoulder pad!"
Apple Bloom and Scootaloo did just that, and quickly saw what had so grabbed their friend's eye: an insignia, in the shape of a white face oddly similar to the head of their strange new visitor. "A...Cutie Mark...?" Apple Bloom asked in disbelief.
"Maybe it's the Cutie Mark Fairy!" Sweetie Belle said, bouncing up and down eagerly, "Maybe it's here to give us our Cutie Marks, and it just had an accident along the way!"
Scootaloo gave her friend a gentle push. "There's no such thing as a Cutie Mark Fairy!" she said, "And even if there were, d'you really think it'd look like that?"
Again, the armor-clad giant groaned, sending the trio back into worried silence. As they again huddled together, their eyes were caught by an eerie glow near the shoulder pad and its "Cutie Mark", pulling their gazes downward. Given what they had seen thus far, they had to assume this was the giant's arm...only it had been cut off at the elbow, and was leaking a thick blue liquid that had been the source of the glow. "...OK, so it's not the Cutie Mark Fairy," Sweetie Belle said timidly, "Now can we get our sisters...?"
Apple Bloom and Scootaloo did not hesitate to nod this time.
Pain. A thick fog of pain covered every last one of Optimus' sensory systems. He could barely move, his mind struggling to process the disorienting mixture of aching numbness that gripped his body. This was not Death, the Autobot knew that much at least. Though that begged the obvious question: why not?
And then he heard voices. Faint, but nearby. Decidedly unfamiliar, as well.
"Well shoot. Apple Bloom 'n' the girls weren't kiddin'. That really is one odd piece 'o' work right there."
"It...it doesn't look like any animal I've ever seen...."
"I don't think it's an animal at all, Fluttershy. It looks more like a highly-advanced machine of some kind."
Two thoughts immediately entered Optimus' still-woozy mind: the first was that these voices were clearly talking about him. The second was that Fluttershy was the strangest name for a human he had ever heard. "Have to get up," he reminded himself, "Have to let them know I am not an enemy...."
"Well whatever it is, it is clearly in awful shape," a fourth voice, this one elegant and smooth, spoke up from nearby, "It seems a shame to simply leave it here in such dreadful condition."
"I dunno, Rarity," a fifth voice, rougher and sounding like it was coming from above, replied, "We don't know anything about it. It could be dangerous."
This time, Optimus felt something...on his chest. Tap, tap, tapping over and over, as if it were bouncing on him. "Or it could be the coolest thing in the world!" another new voice giggled.
That tone...that attitude...Optimus suddenly found his efforts to get back online empowered by a sense of familiarity. "Miko...?" he finally managed to whisper scratchily, eyes opening at last.
The Autobot's optics were immediately overwhelmed by the extremely bright light of the sun, forcing him to raise a hand instinctively to cover them...only to realize the hand he planned to raise was no longer there. Worse, judging by the shocked gasps around him, he had managed to scare his new observers. "Please, do not be alarmed," he said, trying for a calming tone but coming out more desperate from his exhaustion, "I mean you no harm!"
He felt those small taps quickly travel off his chest as he slowly sat up, using the hand he still had to shade his eyes. Systems calibrating quickly now that he was conscious again, Optimus noticed just how different his surroundings were. Not just from whatever he had expected them to be, but from any place he had ever seen in all his travels, even as it was filled with familiar elements. There were fields of grass, and clouds in the sky, but they were both more...vibrant...than the Autobot was used to. Everything around him just seemed so...bright. So alive. But that was only the tip of the iceberg.
Floating in front of his face, with an expression that brought Arcee's steely spirit to mind, was a small, winged horse with a pastel-blue hide and a rainbow-colored mane. And it was talking to him. "OK," it said, "so you can talk. Then howzabout explaining just what the hay you are, and what your business is here in Equestria."
"Calm down, Rainbow Dash," another small horse, this one purple with a tiny horn on its head, called from the ground, "Let's at least give it...or him...a little leeway before we start getting too pushy, OK?"
Optimus Prime had lived through many incredible experiences in his lifetime. Fighting off hordes of Terrorcons, facing down the heart of Unicron, having his mind filled with the power of Vector Sigma...but this? This was something else altogether, and for the first time in his life, the Autobot Commander could not think of how to properly respond. "Um...you OK there, big fella?" A third horse said; no wings or horn on her, but she was wearing a small cowboy hat. "Ya look like you've never seen a Pony before."
Gently gripping his temples, which were still throbbing, the Autobot frowned a little, struggling to make sense of everything that was happening. "I...cannot say that I have," he said gently, "at least...not like you."
"We haven't exactly met anything...er, anyone quite like you before either," the purple one with the horn said, and Optimus could see the familiar air of diplomacy in her face, "It might help both of us if we got some introductions done."
She prepared to continue, but a worried little squeak interrupted her. Optimus saw that another winged horse with silky pink hair was floating near his broken arm, looking anxiously at the Energon slowly leaking from its open wound. The timid little thing looked into the Autobot's eyes with a sympathetic whimper, trying to find words that clearly were not coming out right. "It is alright," Optimus said soothingly, reaching over to cover up his injury, "Your concern is appreciated, but I assure you I am fine."
It was only somewhat true; even as he was feeling a bit less shaken, Optimus was still only too confused about just where he was or what these creatures were, and while the general aches all over him were beginning to fade, that only threw the pain of his cut-off limb into sharper relief. Yet his natural urge was still to protect, and as long as it was not so bad as to be life-threatening, he was perfectly willing to grin and bare a bit of harm to give his delicate new observer a bit of comfort. As it turned out, however, his newfound accquaintances felt differently. "No no no, that will not do at all," the elegant voice from before spoke up, allowing Optimus to see it belonged to another horned horse with a shimmering white body and curled purple hair, "I've worked with Applejack before, I know 'smiling through the pain' when I see it!"
Given the hat-wearing horse's reaction (a smirk that seemed to mix annoyance with endearment), Optimus had to assume she was the "Applejack" in question. Likewise, from what he had heard when he had still been waking up, the elegant horse who now approached him was "Rarity". He had heard the first winged horse referred to as "Rainbow Dash", while the second, more timid one's little squeaks of worry had him guessing she was "Fluttershy". That left the other horned horse, and whichever one had been so excited while bouncing on his chest earlier. "Now I realize I'm no medical expert," Rarity spoke up, bringing Optimus' gaze down to her as she positioned herself under his wounded arm, "but I am something of a talent when it comes to craft and precision. If you'd allow us, I believe I and my friend Twilight Sparkle can give your arm a slight workover that should provide at least a temporary fix."
The other horned horse (which meant she was "Twilight Sparkle", the Autobot made sure to remind himself) nodded as she too moved toward Optimus. "Rarity's right," Twilight said, "She and I are Unicorn Ponies, our magic can help you."
Unicorns? Magic? The Autobot Commander had read of such things in human books, but he had been under the impression they were only fairy tales. It seemed, however, that such was not the case. That left him to question whether or not to accept their help. Certainly, their desire to assist seemed sincere, and he could feel the Energon pooling against his fingers; something needed to be done, and soon. To top it all off, Fluttershy was looking at him with pleading eyes as wide as dinner plates. "Please...?" she said gently.
Optimus could not help but give her a little smile, unclasping his hand from around the injury. "Very well," he said with genuine calm this time, "You may proceed."
Both unicorns looked at each other, nodded, and then turned their attention to the task at hand. "Now this may sting a bit," Twilight said, "but just keep still and calm, and I promise it'll be fine."
Closing her eyes, Rarity's horn began to glow, and Optimus could only watch in fascination as that same glow appeared around his wound, its presence providing an oddly-pleasant tingle of sensation. That tingle soon began to guide the jagged metal edges of Optimus' arm toward each other, folding them in and packing the hole shut; as Twilight had warned, it was indeed a bit painful, but hardly the worst the Autobot had ever experienced. More important, it was successful at stopping the bleeding. "There we go," the white unicorn said with some pride, "Much better."
Twilight stepped forward next, but her eyes remained open as her horn lit up. It then emitted a thin beam of purple energy that shot straight out to the same spot Rarity had worked on before. Optimus hissed a bit, more in surprise than in anguish, as the beam acted like a supernaturally-precise blowtorch, welding the folded-in metal together to keep it in place. Twilight made sure to guide the beam slowly and carefully, her brows furrowed in concentration, until at last each piece had been finished. "Done," she said, the beam vanishing immediately.
Lifting it up to his face, Optimus could not help but admire the unicorns' work; not an alloy out of place, shut tight enough to keep the Energon from leaking but not so tight as to be uncomfortable, and it even managed to look relatively nice to the optics. "I am impressed," the Autobot said, "Ratchet himself would be proud."
"What does a ratchet have t'do with anything?" Rainbow Dash asked confusedly.
That got a little chuckle out of Optimus, despite himself. "It requires quite a bit of explanation," he said with good humor.
"I think we could all use some of that," Twilight said. "How about we find some place a bit less...exposed in town, and you can talk things over with us?"The Autobot nodded; it sounded like a reasonable plan, and the more chance he had to acclimate to this...new world, the better. Without warning, he suddenly found his shoulder pad occupied by one last Pony, this one pink with hair that looked as if she'd spent her entire life wallowing in static electricity. "That's great news!" she cheered, and again Optimus recognized that Miko-level enthusiasm, "I even have the Welcoming Party already set up for you!!!"
"How did you...?" he began to ask.
"First rule 'o' Ponyville, Big Guy," Applejack said to him wryly, "Never ask 'how' about Pinkie Pie."
To Be Continued....