Attack on Prime - Chapter 93 - melishade (2024)

Chapter Text

Gabi and Wheeljack could feel the ground shaking beneath them. Wheeljack looked ahead, seeing the faint line of the wall in the distance. He could feel his spark drop as the wall crumbled away and the blobs of red titans began to walk. Wheeljack then heard Gabi gasp in horror as she fell to her knees in despair.

“Kid,” Wheeljack called out, “Kid, what happened?”

The Wrecker watched as Gabi slowly turned her head to him, and he could just see how devastated she looked.

“The Rumbling.” Tears poured down Gabi’s face, “It’s happening. My home…my parents…Reiner.”

Wheeljack grunted as he forced himself to stand up and support his weight using one of his swords. He limped over to Gabi and picked her up, causing her to yelp. Wheeljack placed her on his shoulder before limping as fast as he could. He needed to get to the Jackhammer! Now!

==

Historia dropped the knife she was using while Ymir collapsed to her knees in fear as the setting returned to that of Erwin’s home. Both women were trembling at what they had just heard. The Rumbling had been activated. The outside world was going to be flattened into powder. Innocent men, women, and children were going to be crushed to death.

“Eren actually did it,” Ymir finally spoke after a moment of silence.

Historia…shook her head. “No. No I can’t let that happen.”

“Historia?” Ymir questioned as Historia stood up and walked to her room to change her clothes. Ymir was stunned to see Historia walk out of the room wearing something more casual instead of her pajamas.

“Historia!” Ymir yelled as the queen went for the door. The titan shifter grabbed her before she reached it and pulled her away from it, “What the hell are you thinking?!”

“What do you think?!” Historia demanded, “We have to help!”

“Help?! Are you nuts?!”Ymir yelled, “This is the Rumbling! The literal end of the world! How are we supposed to stop it?!”

“Ymir, there has to be a way!” Historia reasoned, “We have the weapons! What about contacting Cybertron?!”

“If contacting Cybertron worked, they’d be here right now!” Ymir declared, “Optimus and the others failed! And you want to put yourself at risk of dying for people who wouldn’t give a damn about us?!”

Historia snapped her head at Ymir in anger before pointing at Ymir. “Tell me that again.”

“What-?”

“Tell me that again!” Historia commanded, “Tell me that you would be fine with letting the world burn! Tell me you would be fine with letting innocent kids, kids that we look after, burn and be crushed into the ground! Tell me, Ymir: the girl who willingly abandoned me to go and save Reiner! Can you let other people like them die?!”

“This isn’t like that!” Ymir retorted, “This is a chance for you to be safe! You don’t have to become a titan shifter!”

“And you’re okay with having people who were like you be killed?!” Historia demanded, “My life is fine, so long as they die?! Why?!”

“Because I’m f*cking scared!” Ymir confessed, “I’m scared! I don’t want the world to be trampled, but I don’t want to die for the world and I don’t want you to die! But I know that the both of us are not going to stand by and do nothing even though I know that the both of us wouldn’t be proud of ourselves if we just let it happen!”

Historia and Ymir stared at each other for a brief moment before they both started crying.

“f*ck,” Historia swore.

“f*ck,” Ymir swore in agreement.

“I…I don’t want to help either,” Historia confessed, “But…I can’t…in clear conscious let it happen. I’d never forgive myself.”

“…we could both die.” Ymir trembled in fear, “We could really die.” Ymir couldn’t help but remember the cult she tried to save before getting pushed off that wall. Her efforts were in vain. Her efforts were always in vain…but…she didn’t want to let them die.

Historia wiped her tears before holding out her hand to her wife. “In sickness and in health.”

Ymir recognized that Historia was referring to their vows before taking her hand. “’Till death do us part.”

Historia couldn’t help but smile, and Ymir pulled Historia out the door.

“Lock it,” Historia requested.

“Really?” Ymir raised an eyebrow.

“There’s chaos. I don’t want Erwin losing his stuff,” Historia reasoned.

Ymir rolled her eyes and locked the door behind her. Ymir stepped a god distance away from the house and bit her hand, transforming into her titan form. Historia climbed onto Ymir’s back before the titan shifter ran off.

“Where are we going?!” Historia asked.

“Ship…need help…,” Ymir answered her.

==

Onyankopon could only stare in dread at the screens before him. He was alerted to the sounds of the alarms throughout the Jackhammer, and saw through the cameras that the Walls were crumbling…and the Colossal Titans were moving. Oh god! The Rumbling!

The Jackhammer landed right next to the neutral ship, almost as if it never left, and the door slowly opened. Onyankopon saw his comrades rushing into the ship, crowding him and asking him what was going on. Did he succeed? Did the Survey Corps succeed? Was Eren stopped?!

“The Rumbling…it’s been activated,” Onyankopon spoke up.

“What?!” someone spoke.

“What do we do?!”

“How do we stop it?!”

“Can we even do anything?!”

“We should go get the Survey Corps!”

“They didn’t handle it! Clearly!”

“We can’t go back!” Onyankopon declared, “Not right now! Shinganshina is a war zone, and if I take the Jackhammer there, who knows how damaged it will be! I can’t fly this well! Only Wheeljack can! We wait here for the Survey Corps or for Cybertron to come to us! Once we do, then we can work out a plan!”

“And do what?!” Someone else asked.

“Shouldn’t we go right now?!” Another asked, “The ship is extremely powerful! We could use this to attack!”

“Our homes will be trampled!”

“If we don’t know how to properly use it, we’ll damage it and there will be no hope!” Onyankopon reasoned, “We have to wait! There’s no other option!”

Onyankopon forced himself out of the crowd that was surrounding him before sitting down on the edge of the Jackhammer, holding his knees to his chest. “We wait.”

The other Restorationists realized that Onyankopon wasn’t going to budge. He was the only one who really had any knowledge of managing the Jackhammer, and if he wasn’t going to do it, then…they had no choice. One by one, they sat down. They waited, they prayed, they hoped for assistance to come as soon as possible.

==

Optimus…couldn’t think. He was still trying his best to comprehend what had just happened. He could barely hear with his audio receptors. It…the Rumbling…it was actually happening. The Colossal Titans stamped the ground so loud that the earth shook. The noise was too deafening, and the sky was scorched a scarlet red from the humidity. Humanity was going to perish. Humanity was going to die because of him. He failed…he…Eren…why? Why would Eren do this after everything they had been through?!

“Optimus?” Megatron grabbed him and shook him by the shoulders, “Optimus!”

It was no use. Optimus just looked so catatonic, so dead inside. The Prime had slipped out of his grasp and fell to his knees in defeat. His optics stared at the marching titans, ignoring the comrade right beside him. Megatron examined Optimus’ body. No bruises. No permanent damage from what he could see. He had to check on the others. He had no choice but to leave Optimus alone.

Megatron stood up and ran to the first ally he could see. Arcee was lying on the ground with Sasha right next to her, trying so hard to physically push her with all her might to get up. Megatron grabbed the two-wheeler by her back and propped her up against some debris that hadn’t crumbled during the ensuing chaos.

“Status,” Megatron ordered.

Arcee could only stare at Megatron before using her remaining servo to weakly point to her left. Megatron spotted the other dislodged arm before standing up and walking over to grab it. He walked back to the injured Autobot and set it down next to her.

“I’m in no condition to fight. There’s not enough time to reattach my arm and I’ve lost a lot of energon,” Arcee weakly explained before turning her attention to the Colossal Titans, “It doesn’t seems like it matters anyway…we failed.”

Megatron couldn’t help but look back at the Colossal Titans and feel ashamed. He knew what Eren’s intentions were, but he didn’t take the proper measures to stop him, and now Eren was going to get what he wanted: the whole world burned to ash.

“No!” Sasha screamed at them both, “There has to be something we can do!”

“Sasha, there’s not much I can do,” Arcee lamented, “I already tried. The Armored Titan is dead. What about Wheeljack?”

“As far as I know, missing in action,” Megatron answered, “And Optimus isn’t in the right head space to actually fight.”

“…can’t say I blame him,” Arcee confessed, “I’ve seen how close those two were. Why would Optimus hurt him?”

Megatron couldn’t help but sigh in defeat at…everything. What got them all here? Inaction? Emotion? Attachment?

“Slag everything,” Megatron groaned as he stood up.

“Where are you going?” Arcee couldn’t help but ask.

“…I don’t know, Arcee,” Megatron admitted, “But…for what’s it’s worth, you weren’t wrong about me.”

Arcee couldn’t help but be surprised at those words as she careened her helm to look at him, but he was already trudging away from her.

“Well…we tried,” Kenny said carelessly.

“Will you shut the hell up?!” Levi demanded as he continued to examine Hanji’s injuries.

“I’m fine,” Hanji waved off as they stood up with the makeshift bandage, “I still have an eye. I can still fight.”

“Hanji, you can’t fight in your condition,” Erwin retorted.

“Erwin, I’m not going to stand by and let genocide happen! Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do!” they screamed at him. The Commander then winced in pain and clutched their wounded eye.

“Hanji-!”

“There’s a way we can still stop Eren, I know it,” Hanji proclaimed, “The Jackhammer is still active, but Onyankopon took it back to the neutral ship. I can read Cybertronian, and even then, Wheeljack showed us the steps on how to activate the autopilot. We use it to get to Eren’s titan form and stop him.”

“Yer not in the best shape to actually do that,” Kenny commented, “And it’s not like yer going to pull that off-!”

“I don’t care!” Hanji yelled at him, “I am not going to support f*cking genocide!”

“Well this is your fault!” Magath yelled as he stomped over to the rest of the Survey Corps. Colt was helping support Lara, ignoring his own tears coming down his face, while Pieck remained right behind them in titan form. However, Pieck couldn’t help but stare in despair at the sight. Was her faith…was it misplaced? Was she wrong for putting her faith in that being? It said that Optimus would stop the Rumbling, but now he looked just as paralyzed as everyone else.

“We were trying to stop this travesty from happening, but you devils just had to get in the way of it all!” Magath shouted.

“Hey! We just tried to help you stop Eren!” Jean retorted, “Optimus was just trying to stop Eren!”

“And look at where that landed us!” Magath gestured to the Rumbling, “It took you so long to recognize that we were the good guys!” Magath pointed to Hanji. “Especially if that one is spouting that they don’t want to cause a genocide!”

Something caught their eyes and they turned to see Megatron trudging towards them. Magath should have felt fear in that moment. The sight of the Flying Titan in all its wickedness should have terrified him, but all he felt was rage.

“And you!” Magath seethed.

“General!” Colt pleaded while Lara could only stare.

“You lied to us for years!” Magath shouted at him, “Stringing us along to your whims to get what you wanted! Making us…care about you! And you played us all and got people killed!”

“Isn’t that what you have done?” Megatron challenged in annoyance, “Forcing Reiner and Annie to do Marley’s bidding and infiltrate the Paradis military? Making them believe that the people of the island were devils when they weren’t? Having them string the Survey Corps along until they got what they wanted?”

“At least what they were doing was stopping the Rumbling from happening!” Magath retorted, “This! This is on you!”

“And I accept full responsibility,” Megatron tiredly replied, shocking everyone there.

Everyone froze at that. Did Megatron…just…accept responsibility?

“What?” Hanji questioned.

“After nearly causing the extinction of my race and destroying our planet, I should have known better.” Megatron pulled out his sword and stared at his reflection in it, “I should have taken far more effective measures to prevent this tragedy once again…but it seems I learned too late. And for that, I’m sorry.”

Half of the Survey Corps mouths dropped. Megatron…just apologized to them all. He apologized?!

“Oh wow, we are f*cked,” Kenny swore.

“There is still time to correct my mistake,” Megatron proclaimed as he turned to face the Rumbling before him, “Whether I succeed or fail, I do not know. But…stay out of the way. Live your lives peacefully. That’s all I can say.”

Megatron took a few steps forward but-!

“Please don’t kill him!” Mikasa begged, forcing Megatron to stop, “Please! Please just try to talk to him-!”

“Optimus tried. He failed,” Megatron cut her off as he placed his sword on his side again, “He was our best chance of stopping the Rumbling before it started, but Eren no longer cares. If we wait to try that again, more people will die. And even if you do try to convince him to stop, will you accept the fact that he will have the blood of thousands, if not millions of people on his hands? The lot of you could barely stand me as I am for my past crimes. What makes you so certain you can stomach seeing Eren if you somehow manage to bring him back?”

Megatron glanced back to see Mikasa’s expression of denial while Armin looked like he was coming to terms with Eren’s actions. “He’s too far gone now, Mikasa. He willingly attacked all the comrades he swore to protect. I can’t tell you this in a gentle manner, considering the situation, but it’s over. And you need to let him go.”

“…If that’s the case, then Eren will want to kill you!” Armin retorted, “He hates your guts! Megatron, you might not be able to survive this! We can’t lose anyone else because of our mistakes! Please don’t go!”

Everyone noticed just how…resigned Megatron seemed to his fate. How accepting yet defeated he looked in regards to his imminent death. Megatron glanced down at the ground before placing his sword back on his side.

“…Thank you…,” Megatron spoke, “For believing that I could be something more than who I am.”

Armin and Mikasa didn’t know what else to say as Megatron walked away from them without another word. There was no way that they could change his mind. He…He was going to go.

“He’s…not actually serious?” Connie questioned, “Is he? This has to be a joke.”

Megatron found himself right in front of the defeated Prime. Megatron saw just how sparkbroken he looked. Optimus could only stare at the ground, at his trembling servos. The calm, cool, and collected Prime that he knew for eons…looked so lost and afraid.

“Optimus,” Megatron began.

“Megatron…I failed.” Optimus gritted his dentas in frustration and agony.

“Optimus-!”

“Humanity is going to suffer because of me, and I failed them all.” Optimus covered his face with his servos, “You were right. I was too kind. Too soft. And now…”

Megatron kneeled down in front of Optimus. He took the Prime’s servos in his own and pulled them away from his face, forcing Optimus to look him in the optics.

“…Optimus you tried to make peace,” Megatron reasoned, “You tried to make peace because of what I had done. Because of the death and destruction that I had caused in the past. You did not want history to repeat itself once again and tried to prevent it through peace. You tried…and I can’t fault you for that.”

Optimus knew that deep in his spark…this felt off. This was wrong. Why did this feel so wrong for Megatron to say? “Why are you telling me this?”

“…I am telling you this because you don’t need to fight anymore,” Megatron answered, “I will deal with Eren. Just keep the humans safe.”

Optimus quickly snatched Megatron’s servos to prevent him from leaving. “Megatron-!”

“I have to,” Megatron cut off, “I know the outside world better than anyone here, and I know those humans don’t deserve to die.”

“Megatron, you will die!” Optimus retorted.

“Yes, but at the very least this will be on my own terms,” Megatron proclaimed.

“Megatron-!”

“I’m sorry, Optimus Prime,” Megatron apologized.

Optimus froze at the words that came out of Megatron’s mouth. “What…what do you just say?”

Megatron felt…ashamed. Embarrassed even. He couldn’t continue looking Optimus in the optic and hung his helm. “I’m sorry, Optimus, for everything I’ve ever done. For the war, for killing our planet, for trying to destroy Earth. I’m sorry for the lives that I’ve taken and the people I’ve harmed. I’m sorry for forcing you to make difficult decisions because of my own failings. I’m sorry I did not trust you that day during the council. And I’m sorry that’s it’s taken me until now to properly apologize for my transgressions to you.”

“…Megatron…” Optimus didn’t know what to say.

“You were my brother,” Megatron confessed, “My constant. Despite everything that happened between us, I am still glad that I got to know you.”

Megatron pulled his servos out of Optimus’ grip before standing up fully.

“Wait.” Optimus his servo out as Megatron turned to look ahead.

“Goodbye, Optimus,” Megatron spoke.

“Don’t go!” Optimus tried to grab him, but it was too late. Megatron transformed and flew off away from Shinganshina, directly towards Eren’s titan form.

“He’s actually serious,” Levi spoke, baffled that Megatron actually went for Eren. Megatron didn’t change course. Didn’t change direction. He went straight for Eren to…stop him. To save the world, to save humanity! A race he despises and he went to save them!

Megatron couldn’t help but find himself distracted by the sight of the Colossal Titans beneath him, but flew faster when he finally spotted Eren’s monstrous, centipede-like titan form leading the charge. Megatron hovered right atop of the form before transforming and landing on the spine of it. Megatron examined his surrounding before seeing Eren’s lumbering head. The form might be different, but the rules should remain the same: 10 centimeters wide, 1 centimeter thick. Megatron bolted towards the nape, ready to attack, but quickly noticed something out of the corner of his optic. He grabbed his shield to protect him from something ramming into him. Megatron’s back slammed into one of the protruding bones before he slumped forward. Megatron’s vision refocused and he watched in horror at the sight of Reiner Braun’s titan standing before him. Megatron looked around to see other titan bodies forming to surround him. All of different sizes, shapes, and titan types were coming to kill him. Megatron gritted his dentas before pulling his shield from his back and slamming his sword against it.

“Let us dance!” Megatron challenged as he charged at them.

“Hanji, how far is Wheeljack’s ship from here?” Erwin demanded.

“It was on the other side of the island,” Hanji answered, “On horseback, it would take a full day from Shinganshina, including breaks and rest. And considering we need to restock on equipment is another issue. We’d have to go to Wall Rose headquarters to grab it first while also grabbing food and supplies.”

“Go handle that yourselves,” Magath swore as he turned back to his remaining allies.

“We need to work together in order to stop this,” Erwin retorted.

“I’m not working together with you,” Magath declared.

“Sir!” Colt yelled at him, “Our families are going to die and you’re rejecting their help?!”

“Quiet, Colt, and help he search for supplies from the wreckage!” Magath ordered.

“General Magath, it’s unwise to not accept their help,” Pieck reasoned.

“We’re getting supplies,” Magath ordered.

“General!” Pieck called to him as she and the others followed him. Meanwhile, Lara tried to use her powers, but nothing was working. Damn it! She never expected her powers to get stolen!

“We do it without them. I don’t care,” Hanji declared, “We have enough resources to do it without them.”

“What about Arcee and Optimus?” Jean asked as he glanced back to Sasha still trying to keep Arcee awake.

“We need 3D gear supplies, and Wheeljack is still on the board,” Hanji answered.

“Wheeljack’s been injured. He can’t fight without proper medical attention,” Erwin explained.

“How?!” Hanji demanded.

“Eren got to him first before Wheeljack could kill Zeke,” Erwin explained.

“sh*t!” Hanji swore before turning to Arcee, “Arcee!”

“She looks really bad!” Sasha yelled at them.

Hanji then turned their attention to Optimus, and just felt guilty. They weren’t sure if they could even ask him for help. Did he have the strength to help them out and stop Eren?

Optimus slumped forward once he realized Megatron was out of his line of sight. Megatron…went to stop Eren. Megatron went to fix his mistake. Optimus felt his servos shaking once more. It happened again. First Megatron, and now Eren. He failed to protect them. He failed to understand them, and now the world was going to pay for his sins. Why?...Why in the Allspark does this keep happening? Why couldn’t he do any of this right?! Some Prime he was! He can’t even protect the people he cares about!

Optimus clutched the sides of his helm. He hated this! Why in the Allspark was he brought here in the first place if this was going to be the end result?! Why didn’t Eren listen?! Why couldn’t Optimus convince Eren to stop?! If only…if only he tried harder…then maybe…maybe…Optimus’ servos fell to his folded knees in defeat. He knew he had to do something. He knew that, but this was different from Earth. Even if he saved the humans of this world, there would no doubt be retaliation for any lives lost. His home, his family, was going to be put in danger. And if he helped saved the world, there was no guarantee that they would be safe. That Eren would be shown mercy…but he knew that the longer he contemplated, the more lives would be lost.

Optimus’ gaze was redirected to the emblems on his upper left arm: the Autobot symbol and the Wings of Freedom. He knew what those meant, what those represented. If he did nothing now, he would be unworthy of carrying them both. Everything he had ever done would be for naught if he sat on the sidelines and did nothing. And that was something he would never allow himself to do. Optimus opened his optics with a new found will and determination. He stood up on his own two pedes and walked over to the Marleyans still standing and scavenging for supplies, passing the Survey Corps in the process.

“What the hell?” Kenny commented as they all realized that he was heading towards the Marleyans. Magath grew fearful as they saw the titan approach, quickly grabbing his rifle and aiming it at the titan. Magath noticed Colt and Lara taking steps back in fear while Pieck stood her ground.

“General Theo Magath,” Optimus spoke to him in a deep voice.

Magath found himself trembling. sh*t! He didn’t think that the titan would know his name! Magath stopped shaking; however, when Optimus got down on one knee for better interaction.

“If I am to succeed in stopping Eren, promise me that you and your forces will leave Paradis alone,” Optimus said.

Magath blinked in confusion. “W-what?”

“If I stop Eren, leave Paradis alone,” Optimus repeated in a simpler manner. He knew it was a long shot, but he still had to try and make peace if he somehow succeeded.

“Leave Paradis alone?!”Magath nearly shouted, “It’s because of you that the world is going to hell! This is your entire fault! Do really think that Paradis will be left alone after this?!”

“Megatron is giving this world a fighting chance, as will I,” Optimus retorted, “This is the one chance you have at surviving this catastrophe.”

“Even if it was possible, why the hell should we believe you?” Magath hissed, “You’re devils. Scum of the Earth that should be wiped out.”

“I do not care what you think about me,” Optimus declared, “But I do believe that humanity does not deserve to perish. I will do everything in my power to protect your world. The only thing I ask in return is that you do not destroy mine.”

Magath was surprised at the titan’s steadfast resolve. But it didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to believe this titan! Not even…not even after he tried to convince Eren to stop. As Magath’s doubt began creeping in, Pieck suddenly emerged from her titan formed, startling her comrades.

“I believe you,” Pieck declared, “I believe you, Optimus Prime.”

“Pieck!” Colt exclaimed.

“What are you doing?!” Magath demanded. She was putting herself in danger! What was she thinking?!

“You do?” Optimus spoke, taken off-guard by her proclamation.

“I’m sorry for our actions today,” Pieck apologized, “But right now, I am being as honest as I can be with you. I never cared about Marley. I knew full well that they would decide to kill all the Eldians whether or not we received the power of the titans. I only cared about my comrades and keeping the people I love safe. The only reason I became a warrior in the first place was so my father could receive medical care from Marley. Everything I did, I did for him.”

Magath was stunned when tears began falling down her face. “And all that will go to waste if Eren succeeds with flattening the whole world. Please. I’m not asking you as a warrior or an Eldian or a devil. I’m asking as a scared woman who’s afraid to lose her home and father. Please, if you can find a way to stop him and save this world then please.”

Magath looked back at the titan, and saw that he was moved by her cry for help. He was shaken to his very core. The titan’s surprise turned into determination as he stood up.

“You have my word: I will do everything in my power to stop Eren,” Optimus declared.

“Thank you,” Pieck whimpered as she hung her head.

Magath gaze turned to the gun pointing at the titan. He found himself wavering again, before deciding to lower the gun and point it at the ground.

“I can’t guarantee that the island will be safe after this,” Magath confessed, “But if you succeed, then I’ll do what I can to protect it.”

“That is all I ask,” Optimus said, and Magath noticed a sense of relief in those bright blue eyes.

“Optimus!” Hanji cried out as the Survey Corps ran over to him. Magath saw Optimus’ face grow fearful. The man saw Optimus clench his fists and shut his eyes, choosing not to face the Survey Corps.

“Optimus, what are you doing?” Armin asked as Levi pulled out his swords.

Optimus knew…he knew that he wouldn’t come back. Megatron knew that fact clearly. If the both of them left and they failed to stop Eren, then it would cost them their very lives. He would never see them again. He had faced death in the face countless times but…this time felt so different. It…it genuinely terrified him. But…he had no choice. He had to go.

“Survey Corps,” Optimus began with his eyes still shut. Optimus then turned to his comrades and gave them a small, yet bitter smile.

“Optimus?” Hanji asked fearfully.

“It’s been an honor serving with you all,” Optimus declared.

Before anyone could comprehend those words, Optimus turned towards the marching titans and took one step…then another. Then all the humans in the vicinity finally realized that Optimus was running towards the Colossal Titans, towards Eren.

“No! Optimus, stop!” Hanji screamed as they tried to go after him, but Erwin quickly grabbed them and pulled them back.

“Hanji!” Erwin warned as he held them with his prosthetic.

“Come back!” Connie shouted.

“Optimus, what are you doing?!” Sasha screamed.

Jean ran over to Colt and grabbed him by his collar. “You! What did he say?!”

“He said…if he stopped Eren, that we leave the island alone,” Colt answered.

“That son of a bitch!” Jean exclaimed as he let Colt go, “They’re not going to keep their word! Come back!”

Armin was stunned by Optimus’ words to them, but for some reason, he wasn’t stunned by Optimus’ actions. Mikasa watched in fear, but didn’t know how to react. She was scared to say a word for what might come out. Arcee could only watch on in sorrow. She wanted to say her apologies to Optimus for…everything. She wanted him to not go, but she knew Optimus. He was too self-sacrificing for his own good. And now…this might be the last time she sees him: running towards danger to try and protect others.

“Let go of me!” Hanji screamed at Erwin in anger and fear, trying to kick their way out of his grip.

“We don’t have a plan yet!” Erwin retorted.

“Levi!” Hanji screamed at him.

Levi activated his 3D gear and flew towards Optimus as fast as he could before Erwin could respond. Levi used his 3D gear to fly low on the ground due to the lack of material he could actually cling to. Levi managed to reach Optimus and shot himself high into the air to get a better vantage point. Despite his injured arm, he used it and aimed his energon spear at the titan. Optimus looked backed at him briefly, and the world seemed to stop for them. Levi could only stare into those bright blue optics, but couldn’t will himself to pull the trigger. He…he couldn’t hurt Optimus, but he couldn’t let the titan rush to his death. Levi snapped out of his moment of weakness when Optimus activated his battle mask. Levi shut his eyes and pulled the trigger, and Optimus transformed into his alt mode, causing the energon spear to just barely miss his legs.

Levi couldn’t find any more items to latch onto and ended up hitting the ground hard. The Ackerman rolled to a stop, causing him to let go of his handles he had on him. Levi groaned, holding his injured arm before he forced himself to sit up. He heard Optimus’ engine fade away watched in fear as Optimus drove as fast as he could to Eren. He didn’t understand. Why was that self-righteous dumbass going?! What was he thinking?! He was going to get himself killed! But…he knew that Optimus wasn’t going to let humanity die.

And…neither could Levi.

“sh*t,” Levi swore to himself before standing up.

“Captain!” The remaining members of the Survey Corps ran to his side as fast as they could. Jean and Connie helped Levi to his feet before they all looked on in fear. The Rumbling was happening…and Optimus and Megatron went to go stop Eren.

“What…what are we supposed to do?” Jean asked.

“Arcee! Arcee stop! You’re hurt!” Sasha pleaded as forced herself to stand up, gaining everyone’s attention.

“I have to go after them,” Arcee declared, her legs wobbling. She took a step forward, but quickly collapsed to her knees. Arcee tried to stand up once again, but was stunned when Pieck crawled to her side and kneeled down, her human body still sticking out of her titan form.

“Your name is Arcee, right?” Pieck asked.

“…maybe,” Arcee answered.

“You knocked me unconscious,” Pieck commented, recalling her human appearance in Marley.

“…probably,” Arcee begrudgingly admitted.

“Climb on,” Pieck ordered. Arcee found herself crawling onto Pieck’s titan form and holding on to the hair with her arm.

“I need my other arm,” Arcee told her weakly. Pieck used the titan form’s maw to pick up the appendage before crawling over to Magath and the remaining Marleyans.

“General Magath, I am going to help the titans in any way I can,” Pieck declared, “If I am to be executed for treason, so be it.”

Pieck then turned her attention to the Survey Corps. “You said that there was a ship that we could use to reach Eren. How fast would it take?”

“To get there, it’d take a while,” Armin informed her, “But the ship would be able to reach Eren in a matter of minute if we could track him, or Optimus and Megatron.”

“How do we find them?” Pieck asked.

“Cybertronians give of life signals that can be tracked with their technology,” Armin explained, “Their signatures should be in the Jackhammer. If we find them, we’ll find Eren.”

Hanji kicked themselves out of Erwin’s grip before glaring at him in anger. Erwin’s expression remained tight, but he didn’t buckle under Hanji’s gaze. Hanji then sighed in defeat before turning to the others. “We get supplies in Wall Rose. We rest, then we head for the ship. I don’t support this genocide. And I’m not leaving Optimus and Megatron behind.”

“We need horses,” Sasha reminded.

“We’ll get them in Rose…or whatever it’s called now,” Hanji sighed before glancing back at the Marleyans and noticing Lara’s injuries, “You’re the War Hammer. Why haven’t your wounds healed?”

“Eren Jaeger used the Founder to steal my power,” Lara answered, “And he was somehow able to call upon…puppets. Other War Hammer Titans.”

Pieck’s eyes snapped open in terror. “The past titan shifters. Eren has the ability to summon past titan shifters at will. He can make a whole army with them.”

“Optimus and Megatron are in danger!” Armin realized.

“Let’s go! Now!” Hanji ordered before looking at Magath, “You too!”

Magath wanted to protest, but considering the situation, and the fact that Pieck was already leaving with the titan on her back, he had no choice. He went back to Colt to help carry Lara as he followed the Survey Corps north. Erwin was about to follow, but stopped when he noticed Kenny not moving.

“You’re not coming?” Erwin assumed. Kenny couldn’t help but look up at the Colossal Titans before turning his gaze to Erwin.

“I don’t want to,” Kenny confessed, “This is…bigger than me.”

“…I don’t blame you,” Erwin agreed.

"You don't have to go," Kenny proclaimed, "This is bigger than you too."

"I know," Erwin agreed, “But I can’t let this go.”

Kenny glanced behind Erwin to see Levi assisting Hanji in walking. “He’s going, isn’t he?”

Erwin glanced back to see who he was referring to. “Yes…I can tell him-!”

“No,” Kenny shot at him, “I owe Levi.”

“…Kenny…thank you for all your help,” Erwin said to him.

“Don’t thank me just yet,” Kenny advised as the two walked together north. Armin stopped his march with his comrades and his new allies when he noticed Mikasa had stopped. She was staring out of Shinganshina. She was staring at the march Colossal Titans and the faint image of Eren’s new titan form. He had only just transformed into this monster of a form, but he was already a speck on the horizon. Armin couldn’t help but notice just how devastated Mikasa looked. She still looked so shell-shocked, like she was still trying to process this was happening.

“Mikasa…” Armin spoke up, snapping her out of her thoughts, “We have to go.”

Mikasa merely hummed in defeat before following Armin and the others.

==

Optimus continued driving as fast as he could towards Eren’s titan form. He ignored the pounding steps of the Colossal Titans and focused on the main objective: the monstrous, thorny, creature up ahead. The creature that Eren himself had turned into. He pushed down the raging thoughts of his mind, of how things managed to turn out this way as he managed to reach the back of the titan form. He used the strands of muscles on the leg to climb up the massive form as Eren managed to reach the water. Optimus reached the top of his back before bolting towards the center, narrowly avoiding the water that enveloped the legs.

Optimus gasped at the sight of Megatron fighting off multiple titans, each varying in shape and size. Optimus could see Megatron taking more hits and trying his best to block it with his shield. But the more hits the shield took, the more damage it sustained, and it already looked damaged beyond repair. Optimus quickly rushed to his aid, taking out of his blasters and firing at the heads of the titans closest to him.

“Megatron!” Optimus cried out to him as he ran towards the former warlord. Megatron snapped his helm towards Optimus, stunned at the sight of Optimus being there in the first place.

“Prime?!” Megatron called out in confusion as he smacked his shield in the side of a Jaws Titan. Megatron gasped when a War Hammer Titan was sneaking up behind him with a sword in hand. He bolted towards Optimus and tackled him down to dodge the swing of the puppet. Both noticed the Zeke’s Beast Titan forming and hanging off a protruding bone on the giant spine. It manifested rocks in its hand before chucking it at them both. Megatron used his shield to protect them both from the impact, but another War Hammer used a sword to pierce Megatron’s shield and cut it in half. The force knocked the two of them back, and they ended up falling through a gap in the spine and plummeted towards the ocean. Megatron shielded Optimus from any other attacks from above before they crashed into the water.

==

Night

The way to the military base in Wall Rose was a long one, and a quiet one. Neither side, Marley nor Eldia, said a word to each other. During the trek to the military base, Kenny had managed to steal three horses and a cart from neighboring farms and villages distracted by the sight of the Colossal Titans. Many didn’t like the idea, but considering the situation, they didn’t really protest. Now wasn’t the time. Lara and Magath were on the first horse. Hanji and Levi were on the second horse, despite both of their insistence to not put them on the horse and to give it to someone else. The final horse was used to pull the cart that carried Annie, Jean, Colt, Connie, Armin, and Mikasa. Erwin was riding the horse to the cart with Kenny sitting behind him, guiding it towards the base.

Sasha had elected to sit on the back of the Cart Titan, keeping a close eye on Arcee and her condition. Sasha consistently taps her on her servo to keep her alert and keep her alive. Arcee would stare at her with flickering optics, moving her digits to show signs of life. Sasha still stared on in concern, looking at the stub of a shoulder that stopped spurting out energon. She was certain that Arcee had run out of energon and was running on fumes.

“Well, it took us half the night to get here,” Hanji began as they all stared at their old castle grounds, “But we’re here.”

Hanji turned to the others. “There should be some left over supplies in stock. I know we stored a few 3D gear supplies here. There are enough beds. Let’s treat whoever’s injured.”

The uneasy alliance got off of their horses and migrated into the castle. Connie noticed Sasha still sitting atop of Pieck’s titan form.

“Sasha-!”

“I’m staying with Arcee,” she cut him off, “I have to.”

Pieck turned her attention to Connie and merely lied down. “I can remain out here.”

Connie didn’t know what else to say but decided to remain outside with the three. He didn’t trust Pieck, and at the very least, he wanted to get Sasha out of the way in the event Pieck betrayed them.

The Survey Corps and the Marleyans began to rummage through the supplies that were still there. There were still horses, and water, but not a lot of food to go around. They had to ration their food and hit the next town over. Hanji managed to find their office and rummaged through their drawers to find a spare set of combat glasses to replace the one that Eren had broken.

“Hanji,” Erwin spoke to them.

“Anything?” they asked him.

“We found some of the weapons you mentioned, but no energon that can be given to Arcee to stabilize her,” Erwin answered.

“Shame,” Hanji commented, “Looks like Arcee’s going to have to wait a little longer for aid. We can eat outside the castle and then sleep in separate rooms. I’m sure no one wants to sleep in the woods.”

Lara winced as Colt wrapped her injuries in bandages that he had managed to find when rummaging through storage. Lara grit her teeth as Colt poured more alcohol on her wounds before he continued to wrap them.

“Sorry,” Colt apologized, “I know you’re probably not used to this anymore.”

“It’s fine,” Lara seethed through the pain, “Thank you for helping me.”

“Of course,” Colt insisted, “You helped me when I was recovering from my sickness.”

Lara’s mouth grew tight at that. She remembered. When Matthew…Megatron was there. He helped create a cure for Colt, because he had the knowledge to do so even with such limited resources. Because he was a titan from beyond the stars. But even if he decided to help stop the Rumbling, the betrayal and the lies were still fresh in her mind. She wanted the truth out of him. She needed it.

Armin and Mikasa felt…tired…conflicted. They and the other members of the Survey Corps were helping set up the outdoor seating and the pot to make food under Hanji’s command. It was them trying to distract themselves from the situation. Eren had enacted the Rumbling and both Megatron and Optimus went to go stop him. Without any back up or resources, there was a possibility that they could die. They had been comrades in arms for years. Even if Megatron was terrible to them, he still assisted the island and helped make progress. And Optimus…their confidant…their role model…their friend…was now going to stop Eren in exchange for their safety. It was a long shot, they were certain that Optimus knew that, but even so, he was still willing to try. For them.

They tried so hard to prevent this outcome and now it was at their doorstep. And Eren…Eren actually attacked them. Hurt them. Didn’t he care about them? Why did he…?

Levi finally managed to get the fire going before setting the pot above it. Hanji and Erwin came out with the food in storage and started filling the pot with water.

“Well, take a seat,” Hanji said, gesturing to the blankets on the ground, “We have a long night ahead of us.”

Hanji was stirring the pot of stew on the fire as everyone else sat around the fire pit outside of the base. All the Marleyans were on one side, and the Survey Corps were on the other. Annie and Kenny had elected to stand alone, while Erwin stood next to Hanji.

“So…are we going to talk about how to stop Eren?” Sasha asked everyone, “And…save Optimus and Megatron?”

Hanji sighed. “Again, we need to get to the Jackhammer and activate the autopilot. Arcee, how are you feeling right now?”

Arcee merely groaned in response, her faceplates in Pieck’s hair on the titan form.

“Arcee would be the one who’s more knowledgeable than I am about working Wheeljack’s ship,” Hanji explained, “If we can find Wheeljack-!”

“Yeah, I don’t think that he’s gonna be much help either,” Kenny dryly commented.

“Kenny’s right. We found Wheeljack injured and Optimus decided to leave a kid with him to keep an eye on him,” Levi begrudgingly explained.

“Gabi.” Pieck had given her name.

“What?!” Colt exclaimed as he stood up, “You left a child with a titan?!”

“The Autobots have a no killing rule for humans,” Erwin explained, “Her being with an Autobot is the safest option right now considering the situation.”

Magath scoffed in response. “And that same ‘Autobot’ decided to attack Liberio and cause harm to innocent civilians. Now the Rumbling has been activated, and it’s because of you devils. Some hypocrites if I ever saw them.”

Jean was furious and shot up from his seat. “Hey! None of this wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t send people to attack us and got Eren’s mom eaten! That’s how this whole damn thing started in the first place!”

Magath rolled his eyes. “So one person lost their mother. What about the millions upon millions of lives destroyed by the reign of the Eldian Empire? You’re losses don’t compare to the countless lives lost under your rule!”

“We had nothing to do with that! We didn’t know jack sh*t about that until you guys came in and ruined our lives!” Jean reminded, “You were left alone with the promise of not getting attacked! We left you alone for a century!”

“A century means nothing in the face of 2,000 years,” Magath shot back, “And suddenly turning against your own comrades and creating a paradise for yourselves is extremely out of character.”

“You know nothing about us!” Jean yelled.

“Jean, enough,” Hanji spoke up, “There’s no point in arguing. We’ve already seen the world outside the walls and learned about Optimus’ war. We can’t go back to being ignorant island devils. Besides, Magath is just surprised to see that we’re not acting like the devils he painted us to be. We’re going against genocide? Against a world that despises us? Who in their right mind would do that?”

Magath grew quiet at that, scowling a little before taking a drink out of the bottle he had on him.

“We still have to find a way to stop Eren,” Sasha spoke once again, “We need a plan, right?”

Armin sighed to himself before speaking. “Eren consumed Reiner, so he has the powers of the Armored Titan. The Colossal Titan has been removed from the battlefield, but Eren was somehow able to use the Founder to acquire the powers of the War Hammer, and using it to summon the lives of past titan shifters and their powers. But they have no agency of their own.”

“Then the question remains: how many titan shifters can Eren summon at his command? And what abilities they possess?” Erwin asked.

“At least 1,385 titan shifters he would have under his command,” Lara answered Erwin, causing everyone to turn to her.

“Tybur,” Magath warned.

“Willy and my family are in danger; I have no choice,” Lara proclaimed before turning back to the others, “I say that number because there are some titan shifters who haven’t lived to full term. And the Tybur’s knowledge of the Eldian Empire is quite beneficial.”

“Such as?” Erwin pressed.

“The Beast Titan is not limited to one animal,” Lara explained, “It’s based on the users strengths and preferences. Meaning the Beast Titan is the one that has the most variety when it comes to titan shifters. It would take on animal forms not native to Paradis. With claws, jaws, and powerful skill sets. I could go through the entire animal kingdom and it still might not be enough to elaborate on the possible forms we might see. Dogs, rams, even snakes. The Colossal Titans would be the most dangerous to summon due to the blast range, but they’re not the most versatile for combat. Jaw Titans are smaller and weaker, but speed and agility is their ally. The War Hammer Titans would be the most problematic, considering the multitude of weapons that can be summoned from the very ground they walk on. I can give you even more information to utilize in order to defeat Eren Jaeger, but I have a request of my own.”

“We don’t have time to meet your demands, lady,” Kenny stated.

“We might,” Hanji replied calmly as they stirred the pot, “The Jackhammer can travel at high speeds. So if we lock onto Optimus or even Megatron’s signal, then we find Eren, and arrive at the battlefield in a matter of minutes.”

“Then I want my family to be safe,” Lara declared, “I want them to be brought back here.”

“We won’t have that much time to make a round trip and search for your family,” Annie retorted.

“Big talk for someone who managed to get her father out of Liberio,” Magath remarked, causing Annie to glare at him, “You think we wouldn’t look deeper into why you betrayed Marley in the first place?”

“I know where my family is,” Lara cut off the conversation before it began, “Fort Salta. It’s a highly fortified military sight that Marleyans use to perform experimental weapons tests. The Tyburs have been providing funds to the sight to allow for advancements in weaponry to fight off the Rumbling if it ever came to pass.”

“How far is the sight?” Hanji asked.

Lara looked away in shame. “Far…but I’m desperate. I can’t lose my family. I swore to protect them.”

“Your brother declared war on us,” Mikasa declared coldly, “He could have said anything else, considering he had the public listening to him willingly. He could have called for peace between our nations, but he decided to declare war on us.”

“…Hate me and my brother all you want, but I have six nieces and nephews that had nothing to do with the conflict,” Lara confessed, “I want them safe. After, you can do what you want to me and my brother.”

“But you don’t even have the War Hammer Titan,” Connie remarked, “Eren took it-!”

“I will get my power back,” Lara cut him off with warning.

“Okay.” Connie raised his hands in surrender.

“Wait, could we use this ship to go to Liberio and get our families out?!” Colt asked hopefully, “If it’s super fast, then we can go to Liberio and save our families-!”

“No,” Kenny answered coldly.

“No?!” Colt exclaimed, “Why?!”

“How the hell do you think that’s even gonna go?” Kenny demanded as he crossed his arms. “We save one family, then two, people will be begging to come aboard and we’ll be wasting more time trying to bring people to the island, which by the way, citizens here f*cking hate your guts. We won’t be stopping Eren, which is what you want.”

“The unfortunate truth is that stopping Eren is probably the better option considering our resources,” Armin explained, “We don’t have the ability to save people and focus on stopping him.”

“That…that’s not fair!” Colt shouted, “Annie has her father, and Lara might get her family back! Why can’t we go back to Liberio to get them out?!”

Colt, the mission-!”

“I don’t care about the mission! I didn’t even want to become a warrior! I only did it because my uncle put us in danger!” Colt shouted at Pieck, “My brother and I were sacrificed to slaughter just to be safe! And all of that is going to be for nothing?! And I don’t even know where my brother is!”

Magath didn’t say anything, but part of him was internally fuming. How many of the Warriors and Warrior Cadets were actually loyal to Marley? But...considering what Colt had gone through, what the Warrior Cadets had endured for so long…how could they not hate Marley for treating them like a commodity? For threatening their lives daily? Colt only became a warrior because of his uncle. Of course he would never be truly loyal to the cause. But despite that…he still wanted him and the others to live.

“...He’s in a hospital in Wall Sina,” Sasha confessed.

“Sasha,” Jean warned her.

“What? Why is he in the hospital?!” Colt demanded.

“…He got hurt,” Sasha explained, “He’s alive, but…he hasn’t woken up yet.”

“How did he get hurt?” Colt demanded.

“The friend he was with tried to kill our men,” Levi explained calmly, “Arcee acted in self-defense and the bullet ricocheted off of her, hitting the kid. Sasha saved his life.”

Magath was stunned at the revelation as Colt snapped his head back to Sasha. Gabi stormed the ship, and that devil…saved an enemy? Magath glanced over to the titan residing on Pieck’s back and saw the guilt ridden expression on the titan’s face.

“Is there…is there a chance that I can see him?” Colt pleaded.

“Considering the situation, it’s safer to leave him where he’s at,” Hanji explained stopped stirring the pot, “We’ve kept his identity secret, so no one should be going after him.”

“Colt, see reason for the time being,” Pieck requested, “We still have time to stop the Rumbling. We may stop it before it reaches Liberio.”

Colt didn’t like that reply. He wanted them out of danger immediately. He wanted to see his brother, but he couldn’t? Colt clenched his fists in frustration before releasing them. “Fine.”

“…We are going to have to kill Eren,” Annie spoke up.

“I don’t think that’s our only option,” Mikasa immediately interjected, “We have resources-!”

“You saw what happened today,” Annie reminded them, “You saw how Eren acted. And now he’s going to destroy the entire world. I’m sure Eren’s beyond reason at this point. Not even Optimus was able to dissuade him.”

The 104th grimaced at Annie’s words.

“Killing him would be the only option to save the world,” Annie proclaimed, “There’s no other way.”

“There has to be,” Sasha insisted, “Maybe if we talked to him-!”

“He attacked all of you,” Annie reminded before gesturing to Hanji, who was now starting to pour bowls of stew, “Look at them. Their wound is still fresh.”

Hanji glanced at Annie before returning to their task.

“If you somehow manage to convince him to stop, I’ll be impressed, but I doubt that’s what’s going to happen,” Annie proclaimed, “Eren’s made up his mind, and you need to as well.”

“…Why are you still helping us?” Pieck couldn’t help but ask, “You got what you wanted. Your father is safe, and I know you don’t care about Marley. Why would you still try to help, knowing that the world would still despise you after?”

Annie couldn’t answer the question. How could she? She got what she wanted anyway. She was free from Marley and her father wouldn’t be used as blackmail against her. Even if she wasn’t off world, the Rumbling was a benefit. It would destroy the outside world so there would be no real repercussions from Marley for her actions. So why was she willing to help out now? Annie glanced over at Colt. He was just as much of a victim as she was in all of this. Empathy was no doubt influencing her decision to help. She glanced over at the 104th. They were allies, then enemies, and now she wasn’t sure where they all stood, but…they were going up against someone they called friend. And…she still didn’t want them to die. She didn’t want the people who gave her a second chance, either begrudgingly or willingly, to perish at Eren’s hands. She noticed how all eyes were now on her and turned her back.

“Beats me,” Annie replied.

“…Foods ready,” Hanji informed as they started passing bowls around. Each person took a bowl and started consuming the meal. Lara couldn’t help but notice Arcee didn’t even bother to take one. She merely turned around and lied on her back to look up at the stars.

“What about her?” Lara asked.

“She needs to eat something called energon,” Hanji answered, passing a bowl to Erwin, “Only source of that right now is in our 3D gear and we need that to fight. We get her to the neutral ship and she’ll get some from the stockpile inside.”

“I…didn’t think they could be injured,” Colt confessed.

“…It’s not the first time I’ve gotten my arm blown off,” Arcee mumbled.

“So your titans are not the invincible warriors you hoped they would be,” Magath mocked them.

“They’ve been helpful,” Hanji handed him a bowl, but the sight of food was making Magath nauseous and he immediately pushed it away.

“What? Too high and mighty to refuse food from devils?” Kenny challenged.

“Shut up,” Magath sneered.

“No, because you’re the only one here who still has that piss poor attitude about even helping them out,” Kenny declared, gesturing to the Survey Corps.

“I still don’t think it makes you heroes, trying to make up for your past deeds,” Magath stated.

“Oh, no, I’m a piece of sh*t.” Kenny gestured, “Bottom of the barrel scumbag. I’ve even killed kids, but I’m not justifying my actions as a way to make the world a better place.”

Kenny pointed to the 104th. “They ain’t innocent either. Pretty sure they’ve killed innocent people when they’ve attacked Liberio. They’ve even killed my own men, which by the way,”

Kenny raised his bowl to them. “Props to ya. Ya really stepped up. But their sh*t was reactionary. Self defense even. You? Nah. You’re going around taking over countries, killing innocent people with the power of the titans. It don’t make you better than the Eldian Empire.”

Magath shot up to his feet. “It was-!”

“Atonement, whatever.” Kenny put the word in air quotes, “But ya still killed people with the titans. Top of that, all your child soldiers are f*cked in the head. I’ve never made kids do my dirty work, like that one over there who said she was my kid.”

Everyone snapped their heads to Annie while the titan shifter seized up mid bite.

“Yeah, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you,” Kenny commented before turning back to Magath, “But she was willing to defect from you because she hated you. Monkey brain was also doing his own thing with the mass suicide sh*t so he defects. Three of your warriors are dead. And your cadet said that he’s not loyal to Marley. Meanwhile, Tybur here was a pampered princess who let this sh*t happen in the first place.”

Kenny got in his face. “The way I see it, the only f*cked up monster here is you, a slave to his own f*cked up heroics, willing to kill kids to keep his hands clean. Now no army, few allies, you’re really at the end of your rope.”

Magath grabbed his collar and the Survey Corps were immediately on edge.

“Kenny, stop antagonizing him,” Erwin ordered.

“Come on, sh*t for brains, tell me I’m wrong,” Kenny continued, ignoring Erwin, “Tell me some weak ass retort.”

“Your friend: The Flying Titan,” Magath hissed, “Seemed really happy tormenting children and bringing destruction wherever he goes.”

Kenny laughed. “Oh yeah, the miner turned gladiator turned psycho warlord that destroyed his own home.”

“Miner?!” Hanji snapped their head at that while everyone else stared in surprise.

“Megatron’s the worst of the worst, and he hates humanity!” Kenny cackled, “All of it! He doesn’t give a sh*t if you’re from Marley or Eldia! And the funniest sh*t is that he’s the first one to jump into the fight to save it! He jumped in before the titan that loves humanity! What the hell does that say about you?!”

Magath end up punching Kenny in the face, causing him to stumble back and drop his bowl. Colt ended up grabbing Magath while Erwin grabbed Kenny by the arm. But Kenny didn’t retaliate. Instead, he wiped the bruise on his cheek and grinned.

“Got a rise out of ya, didn’t it?” Kenny goaded.

“Damn it, Kenny, you can shut up with your bullsh*t!” Levi yelled as he grabbed him and forced Kenny to spin around and look at him.

“Come on, you know I’m right!” Kenny rolled his eyes.

“We need allies!” Levi reminded.

“Well, I don’t think he’s going to help, since his head is so far up his ass,” Kenny proclaimed.

“You’re not innocent in this!” Magath shouted.

“…the same…,” Arcee croaked, “…All…the same…”

Everyone turned their heads to Arcee, surprised she even spoke at all.

“Arcee, please rest,” Sasha pleaded with her.

“…It’s all the same.” Arcee ignored Sasha, “Home, Earth, here, it’s just arguing…and fighting…war…death…the world is ending and…you’re still fighting with each other.”

Everyone was in shock when they saw a tear dripping down the side of Arcee’s faceplate. “We just wanted a better world, and equal world, but all we did was fight. And kill…I’m so tired…why did I leave home…for the same thing? Why….am I…still alive?”

Arcee placed her remaining arm over her optics to hide her tears. “I didn’t want this…I never…never…”

Sasha immediately went to comfort Arcee while Magath lowered his arms to his side. Kenny could feel a twang of guilt before snatching Connie’s bowl of stew and storming off.

“I’ll get him,” Levi stated before walking past Erwin.

“Are there any other grievances that we need to get out?” Hanji asked the rest of them. Silence was the response, and Hanji merely picked up the bowl Kenny dropped and poured some stew for Connie.

“Now then, let’s draw up a plan to stop Eren,” Hanji addressed Magath.

The general sighed. “Fine.”

Magath was prepared to approach, but suddenly started coughing, using his hand to cover his mouth.

“Geez, I didn’t think that my cooking was bad,” Hanji remarked.

Magath stopped coughing and looked down at his hand. He grew fearful when he noticed that his blood looked…purple. He quickly clenched his fist and hid it.

“I’ve had better,” Magath lied to them.

“Ha,” Hanji drawled out.

“What the hell was that?” Levi demanded as he found Kenny slurping his stew on top of a crate.

“f*ck off,” Kenny swore.

“You’re causing problems,” Levi hissed at him.

“I’m airing out tension,” Kenny proclaimed, “Don’t want allies trying to kill you right?”

“Just like you tried to kill us,” Levi shot back.

“Damn, midget, why you acting so immature?” Kenny set the bowl down.

“Well finding out that my former commanding officer was working with the man who raised me, abandoned me, and tried to kill me, doesn’t exactly leave a happy f*cking taste in my mouth,” Levi listed.

Kenny sighed at that, slumping against the wall. “Yeah, I guess that would leave me in a sour mood too.”

Levi rolled his eyes at that.

“Don’t blame your friend,” Kenny requested, “He’s…a pretty decent guy.”

“Well I’m pissed at the both of you, and when this is over, I swear to god, I’m going to make you stay down for good and not talk to that ass hat again!” Levi declared, “You should’ve just stayed hidden, f*cker.”

“You don’t have any questions for me, Levi?” Kenny pressed.

“No,” Levi seethed.

“Well…I got something I need to get off my chest anyway,” Kenny relented, “So I need you to hear me out.”

“I’m not going to listen to your attempt at a pity party,” Levi said as he turned to leave.

“The end of the world might happen; I just want you to hear me out,” Kenny said.

“What the f*ck is there to hear?” Levi demanded.

“Levi, please,” Kenny pleaded.

Levi stopped and glanced back at Kenny and noticed a strange look on his face. That was odd, Kenny never begged. He stated that was a sign of weakness. The fact that Kenny was even saying please…meant it had to be serious.

“Make it quick,” Levi ordered.

“I’m sorry,” Kenny apologized, “I’m sorry for making you feel abandoned.”

“’Making me feel abandoned’?” Levi mocked, “Just apologize for abandoning me and trying to kill me.”

“I won’t apologize for leaving you,” Kenny declared, “In the end, that was the best call.”

“I guess killing me was the best call too,” Levi growled, “You really f*cking suck at this.”

“Staying with you meant you would’ve ended up like me, and that’s not what your mother wanted,” Kenny declared.

That made Levi do a double take and process the sentence. “So you did know my mother,”

“I…Kuchel was stubborn…you take a lot after her,” Kenny said.

“…how did you meet my mom?” Levi asked.

“I didn’t need to meet her,” Kenny declared, “I knew her my whole life.”

Levi was starting to put the pieces together, remembering the night Megatron blackmailed him during the coup. “Are you…related to my mom?”

Kenny sighed, not ready for the emotional baggage that was about to come up just by saying these next few words. But he was here now, he had to say it.

“I was just…her older brother,” Kenny confessed.

Those six words shook Levi to his core. He didn’t know what to say. Kenny noticed his silence and continued.

“I told her to get rid of you when she was pregnant,” Kenny explained, “Her line of work as a prostitute didn’t pay a lot, and having a second mouth to feed in the underground would’ve made it twice as hard. She insisted on keeping you. She wanted to have you. I took you with me that day because I wasn’t completely heartless in leaving you to die. You were all I had left of her, so I took you underneath my wing to make sure you could survive on your own. People would assume, they would’ve killed you to get to me, we would’ve both ended up dead.”

Levi was trying hard to keep a straight face, but he felt overwhelmed. Kenny saw Levi’s face turn into one of sadness and heartbreak. He turned away from Levi and lowered his hat to cover his eyes.

“Then why?” Levi began, “Why did you leave me that day?”

“…I wasn’t safe to be around,” Kenny answered, “I’m a sh*tty person. Kuchel would’ve killed me if you ended up like me…I was never fit to be your dad.”

Levi turned his attention away from Kenny, not wanting to look at his uncle anymore.

“But…,” Kenny began, “You…you make me proud. Your ma’ would be proud of you.”

Levi lifted his head and noticed Kenny wiping something away on the side of his face.

“I’m horrible; I get it,” Kenny declared, “I tried to kill you and I left you. It doesn’t mean sh*t in the end, but…you’re my pride and joy….and I’m sorry.”

Kenny stood up. “f*ck, I’m going to sleep.”

Levi didn’t know how to feel, seeing Kenny walk away and go into the castle. He…he hated this.

==

Meanwhile

Optimus found himself violently coughing up saltwater as he forced himself to roll over in order to purge his insides. The Prime tried to focus his vision, and was confused when he saw grass underneath him.

“Well, good to see you’re not dead,” a voice commented.

Optimus looked up to see Megatron sitting on the edge of the shoreline with a rather bored expression. Optimus’ vision cleared and realized that they were on a beach. But which beach? Did they go back to Paradis?

“We’re on the mainland,” Megatron explained, “I needed to put some distance between us and Eren in order to come up with a strategy.”

“We-!” Optimus finished coughing up the remaining water in his pipes, “We have to stop him.”

“Quite obvious. How do you propose we do that?” Megatron demanded as he rubbed his helm, “It’s clear that Eren has complete access to the powers of the titans. At least enough to somehow summon previous ones. Who knows what else he’s capable of?”

“He’ll reach the mainland,” Optimus reminded as he forced himself to stand up. He found himself losing his balance due to his concussion.

“Like you’ll be able to reach him in your condition,” Megatron retorted.

“Megatron, this world will be destroyed just like ours!” Optimus shouted in anger, startling the former warlord. Optimus found himself startled at his own outburst before slumping against the ground. He covered his face with his servos, the adrenaline he had earlier no gone and replaced by his fear and doubt.

“…I don’t know how many titans he can create in a given moment.” Megatron decided to continue talking, “But it’s clear he has access to the previous titan shifters and their skill sets. There are most likely different forms of the Beast Titan, and an army of Armored and War Hammer Titans. Along with the energon and the regeneration, it would be hard to land a critical hit at the nape of the neck.”

“…we…we can’t,” Optimus muttered, “I…can’t.”

Megatron merely looked ahead of him in the night sky. He couldn’t tell where the sky and the sea met. It was just a dark abyss. He could hear the sounds of the water crashing against the shore, knowing that the Colossal Titans would rise up from underneath the sea. “Do you want me to do it?”

Optimus lifted his face from his servos.

“Because I can,” Megatron continued, “I’m used to everyone hating me and wanting me dead. What’s a few more people?”

“…we can’t resort to that,” Optimus tried to convince himself, “We can find a way to stop him without killing him.”

“And how many people will die before we come up with that solution?” Megatron asked, “He has complete control of the power of the titans. He doesn’t need Zeke anymore; the monkey is dead, or at least under his control.”

“I am not killing Eren,” Optimus growled.

“He might not be giving you a choice,” Megatron retorted.

“Megatron-,”

“This is the exact same thing I did,” Megatron cut off, clearly fed up with Optimus’ denial of the situation, “I was blinded by my rage and lust for power, and it caused me to destroy our home to get it. Eren has been blinded by his desire for freedom since day one, and he’s going to destroy the whole world just to have a taste of it.”

“Quiet,” Optimus hissed.

“He is a prisoner of his own delusions!” Megatron yelled.

“He is a victim,” Optimus declared as he put his servos on the sides of his helm.

“He is a murderer, just like me and you!” Megatron yelled.

“I cannot fight someone I care about!” Optimus shouted, “Not again!”

Megatron heard Optimus mumble ‘not again’ before turning away in guilt. “…I guess I ignored how much he meant to you. Maybe that’s why you were so blind in seeing the truth.”

“It did not sound like you were,” Optimus shot back.

“Would you have listened to my warning?” Megatron asked, “I’ve already made clear my unfettered hatred for him. You would’ve assumed my warning were out of malice.”

Optimus didn’t reply to that and stared out at the ocean. “Erwin…he warned me…I should have taken more caution. Part of me…part of me hoped that Eren would have looked beyond his hatred and revenge. But I was wrong.”

Optimus removed his servos from the sides of his helm. “He reminded me of you.”

“Absolutely not,” Megatron declared, “That brat couldn’t even hold his own in a fight.”

“But his desire for freedom…it reminded me of what you used to preach,” Optimus said.

Optimus clenched his servos. “But I failed you, and him. I should have never accepted the title of Prime, and I should have never made false promises and reassurances when I had no idea if we would succeed.”

“You’re a fool if you think that,” Megatron declared without hesitation.

“Megatron, that was your life’s work,” Optimus insisted, “Your ambition.”

“And look at where it landed me the moment I didn’t get what I wanted?” Megatron reminded, “Lives destroyed. Our home destroyed. A never ending war. Tampering the blood of Unicron. That was all me. That had nothing to deal with you.”

“Some would disagree,” Optimus proclaimed, “Ratchet called me ‘soft’, and that I did not pound you into scrap when I had the chance. Arcee had even criticized my decisions in keeping you alive…They were right. I should have recognized that you were too far gone to be saved or reasoned with. But I could not. How in the Allspark could I bring myself to kill my own brother?”

“…then I guess I’m soft too,” Megatron confessed, “I could have killed you when you reverted back to Orion Pax. Naïve, confused, trusting, and defenseless. Instead, I took you back to the ship and tried to convince you of a lie, knowing full well you would have discovered the truth. I was arrogant, and a fool, in more ways than one.”

“…it was our foolishness that let our war continue on,” Optimus declared, “We should have just killed each other.”

“Agreed,” Megatron said, “And…it was my foolishness that waited until now to apologize, when we’re most likely going to die again.”

“You were never one to apologize,” Optimus commented.

“Because I was a coward,” Megatron declared dryly, “A pathetic coward who was dumping his own issues onto innocent human children because he couldn’t actually face you.”

“You should apologize to Armin and Mikasa for forcing them to keep your secrets,” Optimus advised, “You should apologize to the Survey Corps for the way you treated them. You didn’t have to be so cruel to them.”

“If we make it out of this,” Megatron reminded, “But…I am sorry. For everything. For putting you through so much trauma and pain, for ripping out Bumbleebee’s voice box, for kidnapping the humans, for trying to destroy Earth, for destroying Cybertron.”

Megatron chuckled sadly at that. “What was I thinking? An apology isn’t going to fix the damage I caused.”

“…Then I am sorry too,” Optimus apologized.

“You have nothing to apologize for,” Megatron hissed.

“I do,” Optimus insisted, “For being naïve, and not truly acknowledging the reality around me. My foolish hope was my own twisted delusion.”

“…Hope won you the war,” Megatron retorted, “Determination and persistence won you the war.”

“And will destroy this world,” Optimus said, “I gave Eren false hope. I believed that there could have been a compromise in a peaceful manner. But I should have listened to your advice. I should have acknowledged your experience on the continent, and recognize that the world might not have changed their ways through patience and peace talks.”

“Well in hindsight, it was the better option to pursue instead of this,” Megatron admitted.

“And it happened anyway,” Optimus lamented, “…We may very well die again, trying to stop him. This world may very well perish if we fail. It is only two of us that stand against him.”

“And if we stop him…Paradis may not be left,” Megatron reminded.

“…I know,” Optimus sighed, “Even so, I cannot let humanity perish. I made a vow that I would protect humanity, even if it would cost me my life. Who would I be if I broke that now?”

Megatron stared at Optimus, knowing full well that the Prime made up his mind. Megatron stood up and held out his servo to Optimus. Optimus stared at that servo for a brief moment before taking it. Megatron helped Optimus to his pedes and the two looked each other in the optic.

“You’d be unworthy of your title,” Megatron finally answered.

Optimus left out a soft huff in response. “I suppose so…We must stop Eren for the sake of this world.”

“Even if it means ending his life,” Megatron pressed.

Megatron could see the sadness and defeat in Optimus’ optics. “If I have the chance, I will kill Eren. I can deal with the consequences. You don’t need that burden on you.”

“Let me try to reason with him,” Optimus requested, “One last time,”

Megatron sighed. “Okay.”

Optimus gave a small smile before staring back out into the abyss. “Megatron, if this is where our story ends, then…I am glad that I get to fight by your side. Not as my enemy, but as my brother.”

Megatron felts his servos trembling before turning away from the Prime, not wanting him to see the raging emotions within him. He felt…relief…and happiness. It felt like one of the massive weights of guilt he’s been harboring for so long has been removed from his shoulders. Brother…he called him brother.

“By the Allspark, Optimus,” Megatron chuckled, his voice wavering and unsteady, “That’s such sentimental nonsense.”

Optimus closed his optics before sighing. “We need to go before the Rumbling reaches Marley’s shores.”

Megatron nodded before transforming into his alt mode. Optimus climbed on top of the aircraft before the two took off towards the deadly threat.

==

Gabi held on tightly to Wheeljack’s armor on his shoulder as the Wrecker continued to trudge through what used to be Wall Rose. The two were initially were going to go through what used to be Sina, but the Colossal Titans continued to march, blocking their path and forcing Wheeljack to go around. But the Warrior Cadet couldn’t help but still feel terrified. Those titans kept on walking towards the continent, and there was nothing she could do to stop it. She had no idea where her cousin, her parents, her aunt, or any of her remaining friends were. If they weren’t on the island, they were going to be killed. And the titan she held onto right now…

She looked behind her to see the trail of glowing, blue, blood that stained the ground every time that Wheeljack limped forward. No matter how tightly he held his side, and no matter how careful his steps were, more of his blood leaked out. He was dying. He was no doubt going to bleed out and collapse. But he still kept going. Apparently his ship was on the other end of the island. But were they going to even make it there on time? The Colossal Titans that marched was probably going to still block their path. They would have to wait for them to walk away to prevent them from being crushed underfoot or burned alive from the steam.

Gabi’s train of thought was broken when Wheeljack suddenly started wobbling. Gabi yelped as Wheeljack collapsed to his knees. He quickly grabbed Gabi from his shoulder and held her tight as he fell on his front. Wheeljack’s servos hit the ground, and he let Gabi go, causing her to stumble and roll out. She gasped in horror at the sight of the weakened Wrecker. He clutched his side in pain and she could see his optics flicker.

“C’mon!” Gabi pleaded as she ran up to his faceplates, “C’mon, you have to get up! The world needs us!”

“…I’m sorry, kid,” Wheeljack apologized weakly, “I don’t have a lot of energy left in me.”

“Please!” Gabi begged, “Optimus needs us! My family! The world! We have to go! Get up!”

Gabi tried desperately to pull his faceplates upward, but it was no use. She was too weak to help him stand.

“…You gotta stop,” Wheeljack told her, “You’re wasting your breath.”

“But-!”

“Your friend,” Wheeljack used his remaining energy to point south, “He’s in Wall Sina…Hospital…’Cee’s been visiting him…he’s still alive…go…”

“No!” Gabi screamed as Wheeljack passed out, his arm slumping to the ground, “Get up! Please get up! I can’t do this on my own!”

Gabi clutched her head in panic before her hand grazed something in her ear. The communicator that Optimus gave her! Yes! She could call him! Gabi pressed the button four times and waited for Optimus to respond, but nothing happen. The line was still dead. Gabi tried again, but it still didn’t work. Gabi screamed as she kept pressing the button repeatedly. But there was no response. No words on the other end. No one to answer her cry for help. It was just a long, ringing, beep. Gabi fell to her knees in despair, staring at the Colossal Titans that continued to march as the sun began to rise. But she felt no hope. There was no hope.

Gabi felt tears streaming down her face as she cried out in the desperation. No one was going to come! It was over! Even so, she screamed out.

“HELP US!” Gabi cried out.

==

Onyankopon and the others still tried their best to stay awake, waiting for the help that might not come. But as the night sky slowly got brighter, they all slowly began to fall asleep. But not Onyankopon. He needed to stay awake. He needed to be alert when the help finally came. It was the only thing keeping him going right now. The only thing giving him hope was the call going through. Please…Please!

Onyankopon head slowly lolled over to the sighed, and he could feel the exhaustion claiming him. As his eyelids closed and he was met with darkness, a green light suddenly brightened the darkness. Onyankopon slowly opened his eyes, and yelled at the sight before him, alerting all of his other comrades. They all gasped and screamed at the sight of a circular, swirling, green doorway that just opened up out of existence. Some of the Restorationists scrambling for metal to use as weapons while Onyankopon shot straight to his feet. They all watched with concern and anticipation as a silhouette walked through the doorway. They all were prepared to attacked, but were taken aback to see…

A human? A human with fair skin, wearing glasses and a white lab coat and sneakers. His hair was orange and wild, standing upward and defying the laws of gravity. He had his hands raised in surrender as he stepped forward.

“It’s okay,” The human reassured, “I’m unarmed. I have no weapons. I just came through a spacebridge.”

“Space…bridge?” one of the Restorationists questioned in confusion.

“We use it to travel across space,” he explained, “Kind of like a teleporter.”

“What the hell is a teleporter?” another demanded.

That got a more visible reaction out of the human. “Really? What year is it on the planet?”

“854,” Onyankopon spoke up as he approached the human.

“854?!” he exclaimed in surprise, running a hand through his hair, “Wheeljack, where did you guys end up?!”

“Look, are you friends with Wheeljack and Optimus?!” Onyankopon asked, “Can you help us?!”

The human turned his attention to him. “You’re saying that Optimus is alive?”

“Yes! I think!” Onyankopon answered with doubt, “Look, I don’t know. I just sent the message with Hanji! We just need help!”

“You’re Onyankopon,” the human realized, “You were on the call.”

“Yes!” Onyankopon explained.

“My name is Rafael,” he introduced himself, “You can call me Raf. I need to know where Wheeljack and Arcee are. Can you find a way to reach them?”

Before Onyankopon could reply, everyone was startled at the sound of a cry coming from the interior of the Jackhammer. Rafael immediately ran inside the ship, ignoring the rest of the people there. Onyankopon followed him as Rafael climbed onto the seat and swiped at the screen looking for something.

HELP US!” someone cried out. It…it sounded like a little girl.

“What are you doing?!” Onyankopon asked him.

“Trying to figure out where that’s coming from!” Rafael answered as he typed something on the screen. Rafael gasped as he saw a signal pop up on the screen, but Onyankopon noticed the signal looked weak.

“What-!”

“Ratchet!” Rafael cried out as he bolted out of the Jackhammer and towards the still open spacebridge. Others noticed that he appeared to be talking through a comm. link as he ran, “Someone’s down! We need to move!”

“Wait!” Onyankopon called and reached out as Rafael went through the spacebridge. Onyankopon wasn’t sure if he should follow him, but the man took a step back as much larger silhouettes started to appear through the spacebridge.

Historia and Ymir arrived at the neutral ship to the sight of the spacebridge still open and the other titans walking through.

“Oh my god,” Historia gasped before laughing, “It went through!”

==

The Marleyans on the shore watched in horror as the Alliance Fleet was wiped out by the steam rising out from the depths of the ocean. They saw the ships flying into the air before crashing into the water. The Marleyans spotted a Colossal Titan rising up from the depths of the sea, then another, and another, until an army of these massive lumbering titans emerged from the ocean. They tried firing their canons at them to slow them down or even kill them, but it did nothing. Their wounds regenerated and they continued marching on. One by one, the Marleyans fled their post and ran as far as they could from the Rumbling. Some of them looked back and gasped in horror at the sight of the Attack Titan form emerging from the sea. The monstrous display of creaking and lumbering bones terrified them beyond belief, but the only thing they could do was run for their life. Run in despair and run in vain at their imminent death.

One of the Marleyans looked up towards the sky and pointed towards the sight. “Look!”

His comrades followed his gesture and saw a flying aircraft with a metal titan riding atop of it, heading right towards the side of the Attack Titan. The metal titan jumped into the air, while the flying aircraft transformed into another titan. It grabbed the metal titan by the arm and spun in the air before throwing it towards the head of the Attack Titan.

Optimus grunted as he ended up grabbing the hairs of Eren’s titan form. He dangled on the edge of the long hair, gasping at the sight of the Colossal Titans walking below him. His gaze flickered up and down the shores, and was mortified at the sight of the front line of Colossal Titans destroying the earth it walked along. Homes were stomped out, trees caught on fire, steam continued to rise. The world was being destroyed before his very optics.

Optimus! Convince Eren to stop! You’re out of time!” Megatron shouted through the comm. link as he landed just below the nape of Eren’s neck. The former warlord had to balance himself on the extended spine as more hollow titan shifters manifested in front of him. Megatron pulled out his sword and charged at them, ensuring that the titan shifters didn’t get past him and hurt Optimus.

Optimus started to furiously climb up Eren’s hair like a rope. Optimus gasped in horror at the sight of humans still in the area, running desperately for their lives. No! No! Eren, stop! Optimus finally managed to reach Eren’s head and latched onto the long, pointed ear of the new titan form.

“EREN!” Optimus screamed in his ear, “Stop! Stop this madness at once! The Rumbling isn’t necessary! Please!”

Megatron ended up placing his sword in between his dentas before kicking a War Hammer Titan and snatching a scythe out of its hands. He beheaded the War Hammer Titan before targeting the other ones that were getting closer to him. He was losing room on the juncture between Eren’s head and body. Megatron glanced up at the bones protruding to the sky, and saw more titans forming. Megatron grit his dentas in frustration at the sight of Zeke Jaeger’s Beast Titan forming once again. This was a massive problem!

“Optimus!” Megatron shouted over the noise.

“Don’t kill them! Don’t kill them! EREN!” Optimus begged as the Colossal Titans got closer to the humans. If Eren could just listen! Please! “EREN, STOP!”

Optimus gasped in horror as the screams of the humans grew louder and louder, terrified at the Colossal Titans right on top of them. Optimus ended up reaching out towards them, but the Colossal Titans blocked his view of the humans. He hoped that one of them made it out and was still running, but there was nothing. The humans were gone, dead, their screams of anguish and despair drowned out by the noises of the trampling footsteps.

Eren….he didn’t…he actually did it…he was doing it now…he was killing humans, and he was going to wipe out the entire world! Eren was actually committing genocide!

“PRIME!” Megatron ended up bending backwards to dodge the throw of the rocks targeted at him. However, the rocks ended up hitting the back of Eren’s head, cutting through some of the long strands of hair that Optimus was still holding onto. Optimus felt numb as he felt his inside churn at the sensation of falling. The Prime reached out towards Eren’s titan form as he plummeted to the Colossal Titans below. He actually…this couldn’t…how could he?

“Optimus!” Optimus turned his helm to see Megatron jumping down the Attack Titan and transforming into his alt mode before flying towards him. Optimus grabbed onto the wing of his alt mode before Megatron flew as far as he could from the arsenal of rocks and various weapons being thrown at the two of them.

“Alright, talking didn’t work and you had your chance!” Megatron stated harshly as he managed to successfully get out of the line of fire. Megatron flew upward and began to circle Eren’s titan form, “We have to take him out! Right now!”

“The humans…,” Optimus began hyperventilating. He actually was starting to panic! He couldn’t focus! “Megatron we need to get the humans as far away as possible!”

“We don’t have the resources to transport humans en masse! And where would they go?!” Megatron demanded as he had to dodge more rocks being thrown his way, “We have to focus on stopping-!”

Optimus didn’t listen when he noticed his opening. He jumped off of Megatron’s alt mode, and dove towards the ground. He landed in a section that hadn’t been trampled by the Colossal Titan’s yet. He transformed into his alt mode and drove as fast as he could, away from the threat behind him to find and help the other humans.

“OPTIMUS!” Megatron shouted as he flew after him.

==

Mikasa could’ve sworn that she was dreaming. At least it felt like a dream. She found herself walking through the forest towards on a warm and sunny day. She stepped out of the forest and was stunned to see a cabin in a clearing. There was a small table outside and smoke coming out of the chimney. She saw someone waiting for her there, cutting wood with an axe. She gasped with joy to see that it was Eren in civilian clothing, his back to her and his hair finally shorter again. He had finally come home.

“Eren!” She called out his name as she ran to him. As she did, Eren turned to look at her, Mikasa froze at the sight. Titan markings were on his face, but they were much more defined and detailed. And his eyes were scribbled out by darkness. This was wrong. This was all wrong.

“…up.” Mikasa heard a voice calling from behind her. She’s heard that voice before. Every time she awakened her new power, that voice called to her and guided her. She turned her head and looked behind her to see Optimus in human form looking at her with sympathy and guilt.

“What?” Mikasa stumbled.

“This place is not for you,” Optimus spoke in a voice clearly not his own, “Wake up Mikasa.”

“But-!”

“Wake up. You must wake up!” Multiple voice clawed out of his throat, Get up! GET UP, MIKASA!”

“What-!”

“Hey! Get your asses up! We gotta problem!” Mikasa gasped as she woke up to the sounds of Kenny yelling at everyone.

“What’s going on?” Connie slurred while Sasha bloated right up.

Armin blinked and rubbed his eyes when he noticed something glowing directly in front of them. He gasped at the sight of a green, swirling door that was directly in front of them. Everyone shot up and quickly got their equipment while Pieck stood on all fours. Annie was prepared to bite her hand while Sasha was quick to guard Arcee’s body that was still on Pieck’s back while everyone else had their energon spears aimed at the swirling door. Colt quickly grabbed Lara and put her behind him while Magath aimed his own gun at the door.

The Survey Corps noticed a figure jumping through the bridge before they collapsed onto their knees. The Survey Corps gasped when they realized that it was Ymir wearing 3D gear.

“Ymir?!” Armin exclaimed in surprise.

“I’m good,” Ymir groaned as she forced herself to stand. She tried to speak once more, but had to quickly cover her mouth, “No I’m not.”

Ymir tried to heave whatever was in her stomach to try and ease the pain, concerning everyone. When Ymir was done, her gaze ended up drifting to the Marleyans. “God damn it, there are a million thoughts running through my head without me trying to hurl my guts out.”

“We’re allying with the Marleyans to stop Eren,” Hanji told her as they lowered their weapons.

“Well, it’s a good thing your call went through,” Ymir spoke. As if on cue, two other figures stepped out of the swirling door. They were humans. Annie narrowed her eyes at the two humans in matching, black combat gear: long pants, long sleeved shirts with gloves. The outfit almost looked like armor, like the entire piece was completely bulletproof. They even had two guns slung along their waists. The male was taller than the woman. He had black hair, a clean shaven face, and blue eyes. Meanwhile, the woman, looked a lot like an easterner, like Mikasa. Her black hair was extremely short, and half of it was shaved clean off while the other half was combed over to her right.

“Doing good, shark lady?” a woman spoke, bending down to look Ymir in the eye.

“My name’s Ymir,” Ymir hissed at her.

“You can turn into a freaking shark!” the woman exclaimed as the male pulled out a rectangular device, “That’s the coolest thing ever, and I will not shut up about it for the rest of my life!”

“Miko, later,” the male told her before looking through the crowd. Once his eyes fell on Hanji, he began to walk up to them, forcing Levi to step in front.

“Back off,” Levi warned.

“I’m not hostile,” he reassured, and Annie’s eyes widened in realization. He then showed the rectangular screen of Onyankopon and Hanji to the duo, “Are you Hanji Zoe?”

“Yes, but who are you?” Hanji asked.

“Jack,” Annie spoke, earning all eyes on her, “You’re Jack. You’re the human from Earth.”

Jack raised an eyebrow at her. “How do you know I’m from Earth?”

“There was a video the Flying Titan-um…Megatron showed me of you,” Annie explained.

“Oh cool, so Buckethead’s actually here, that’s fantastic,” Miko drawled out sarcastically.

“Huh, you say Buckethead too,” Connie commented.

“Also, how the hell did Megatron get a video of us?!” Miko demanded.

“Uh, long story, but the call made it through?!” Hanji exclaimed.

“Yeah, Onyankopon is with us. I think he’s telling the others what’s going on. We came here because we were following an Autobot-,” Jack’s gaze drifted behind Hanji as he noticed Sasha guarding Arcee, and his face contorted into one of horror.

“Oh, scrap!” Jack swore as he ran past Hanji.

“Arcee!” Miko yelled as she followed Jack.

Erwin noticed the Marleyans were still tense and walked over to Magath.

“They’re fine,” Erwin insisted, “They are allies to Optimus Prime.”

“How are you so sure?” Magath demanded.

“Arcee, what happened?!” Jack exclaimed. Sasha grew tense as she pointed her sword at them, but the huntress and the titan shifter were both surprised when they practically ignored her.

“Help me up!” Jack ordered. Miko bent down to one knee and held out her cupped hands. Jack stepped on it, and Miko raised her body up, allowing Jack to climb onto Pieck’s back.

“Jack?” Arcee groaned in confusion as she forced herself to sit up, “What are you doing here?”

“What happened to your arm?!” Miko screamed as she put her hands on her head.

“It got sliced off,” Arcee answered before grumbling, “Again.”

“What the he-! When?!” Jack demanded.

“Jack, stop fretting. Call Ratchet before I pass out again,” Arcee practically ordered.

“Miko!” Jack barked at her.

“On it!” Miko yelled as she activated her comm. link.

“Okay, look,” Jack began as he jumped off Pieck’s back and faced the alliance, “It’s been a very confusing twelve hours. We get a call from the Jackhammer asking for help. Then we see skinless titans just walking around! We pick up one signal that is dark energon, which we’re all assuming is Megatron! We run into her and some blonde girl!”

Jack pointed at Ymir. “Who we are very happy for because she’s also been giving a run down on what’s been going on, but at the same time is not helpful because Optimus is alive! Somehow! So it would be nice to actually know two things: what is going on in summary and where the hell is Optimus?!”

“Eren Jaeger activated all the Colossal Titans within the walls and is going to flatten the entire world and Megatron and Optimus went to go stop him in exchange for protecting the island but we have no idea where the hell they are!” Hanji explained.

Miko and Jack’s eyes looked ready to pop out of their skulls at Hanji’s answer.

“Megatron-!”

“Yes!” Hanji cut Miko off.

“Protecting-!”

“Yes!”

“And Optimus is-!”

“YES TO ALL OF IT! JUST HELP US!” Hanji screeched.

“Jesus f*cking Christ,” Jack groaned as he smacked himself in the face, “I did not ask for this today.”

Everyone grew tense when they heard loud footsteps. The Marleyans gasped at the sight of an orange and white titan running through the portal. He immediately took notice of Arcee struggling to stay awake and ran over to her.

“By the Allspark, Arcee!” he exclaimed, “This is the second time you’ve had your arm lodged off!”

“I don’t go snapping at you when you used syn-then,” Arcee slurred as Ratchet checked her vital, taking note of her energon readings dropping.

“We need to get to work fast,” the medic declared as he took notice of Arcee’s severed arm on the ground. He then noticed she was on the back of Pieck’s titan form and pointed at her.

“You! Carry Arcee’s arm!” he ordered as he picked up Arcee from her back.

“Absolutely not!” Magath declared, “She is not going with you!”

“This isn’t a matter of debate, human! Those titans have already wiped out 30% of this world’s mainland!” he retorted. He held Arcee in his arms before turning back to Pieck, “The first time through the spacebridge will feel strange, but it doesn’t harm organics."

Pieck nodded her head as she followed close behind the medic through the spacebridge.

“30%?” Colt asked in fear, “Already? What about Liberio?! Our family! We have to-!”

“We’ll figure it out,” Jack reassured, “We just need to get a handle on the situation and save as many people as possible.”

“I’ll tell Magnus we found help!” Miko informed before running through the spacebridge. Jack was about to follow Miko through, but stopped and turned back to the people behind him.

“You guys coming?” Jack asked them, “Because…this is a one-way ticket. We’re probably not going to come back here in order to save more lives, and I’m not going to blame you if you want to stay out of this.”

Everyone looked towards each other. This was it. This was the choice they had to make. Their lives or the lives of the world that hated them. Despised them. Never knew them. This is the choice that needed to be made. And…Hanji wordlessly shook their head and stepped forward. “I’m not staying out of this. I don’t care if the world hates us. Mass-genocide is wrong.”

Hanji then turned to the Survey Corps. “The military has essentially been dismantled. None of you have to follow my orders. If you want to stay, that’s fine.”

“We’re not staying,” Armin declared as he and Mikasa stepped forward, “We’re coming. We’ll find a way to stop Eren.”

Hanji nodded their head and gave a small smile.

“Look, I don’t want to be that guy, but the bridge can’t stay open for very long or it kills energon, so choices need to be made,” Jack declared.

“Sorry,” Hanji apologized, “Let’s go!”

“Side note, spacebridge will feel weird the first few times, but you’ll get used to it,” Jack told them.

Hanji took a deep breath and worked up their courage before running straight through the spacebridge. Levi quickly followed close behind, using his 3D gear to fly into it. Mikasa went in with little to no hesitation, while Armin followed close behind.

“Isn’t there a less scary way?” Connie laughed nervously as Jean ran through.

“Nope!” Sasha exclaimed as she pushed Connie through with her. Ymir moaned in anger at the prospect of her stupidity before following her fellow scouts.

“Are you going to come?” Erwin asked Kenny, “This is your final chance to disappear forever.”

Kenny sighed. “I told Levi the truth, and I hate the fact that I know I would be an asshole if I left right now.”

Erwin nodded his head before the two of them went through the spacebridge together.

“Wait, I have a brother in Wall Sina who’s in a coma!” Colt exclaimed to Jack, “Can’t we please get him?!”

“Is that on the island?” Jack asked him.

“Yes-!”

“Then it’s safer for him here,” Jack reasoned, “When this is over, we can take him to Earth and do everything we can to get him treated, but right now, we have to focus on saving others.

Colt relented as Annie slung Lara’s arm over her shoulder. He decided to assist the two through the spacebridge. Magath was stunned at the sight of it all, and Jack mistook his lack of words as a sign that he wanted to stay behind. As Jack was prepared to leave, Magath quickly snatched his arm.

“What are you doing?” Magath demanded, “Why are you accepting help from those devils?”

Jack raised an eyebrow in confusion. “I…don’t see horns sticking out of their heads?”

Magath was stunned at the response. “But-!”

“We have to focus on saving people right now,” Jack declared, “We can’t focus on politics. Are you coming?”

Magath didn’t know how to respond to that. Jack didn’t know how to interpret his confusion, but simply grabbed his arm and pulled him through the spacebridge. When Magath finished passing through, he felt like he was going to throw up. He covered his mouth and did everything in his power to keep himself from throwing up the stew.

“Everything is vibrating from the inside!” Connie exclaimed as he fell to the ground.

“You get used to it,” Jack proclaimed, “Spacebridge is much more intense than a groundbridge.”

“I don’t know what any of those mean but I’m not moving!” Sasha exclaimed.

Armin found himself trying to focus his vision when he went through. When it cleared, he gasped at the sight around him. The interior of the ship they were in was filled with high-tech gear, more advanced than Wheeljack’s own ship. He saw a blue titan with tall shoulders barking orders with a sliver hammer next to his chair. He saw the medic attempting to reattach Arcee’s arm as quickly as possible while Arcee drank some energon to refuel. Pieck was next to Ratchet as the medic was telling her to give her certain tools. He was surprised to see another teenager working one of the monitors. He was slightly shorter than Miko, with orange hair sticking upwards in an odd way. He wore a white lab coat with running shoes, and a pair of red glasses. Armin turned his attention to the monitors, and found that it had a picture of other Autobots he didn’t recognize. But Armin could tell that the monitors were measuring something.

Colt’s gaze shifted around the ship, and gasped when his eyes fell upon Onyankopon comforting Gabi, who was sitting down on the ground still crying her eyes out.

“Gabi!” Colt screamed as he ran to her. Gabi’s head snapped towards him before she scrambled to her feet.

“Colt!” she bolted towards him and the two embraced in the middle, “You’re alive!”

“How did you even get here?!” Colt demanded as he let her go.

“I was with Wheeljack!” Gabi sobbed, “And they came and-!”

“Wait, where’s Wheeljack?!” Hanji demanded.

“We had to send him back to Cybertron to get treatment there!” Ultra Magnus informed Hanji as he glanced back to the new guests on his ship.

Armin glanced over to his right to see Historia in the older 3D gear model next to Ymir, tying her hair up into a high bun.

“Your majesty!” Armin exclaimed.

“What?!” Magath turned his gaze to Historia and was shocked. The ruler of the Walls was a teenager?!

“Ymir and I intend to help out in any way that we can,” Historia declared, “I know the 3D gear is an older model, but it’s the one I’m most familiar with.”

“I still don’t think it’s wise for you to be putting yourself in danger like this!” Hanji retorted.

“The Walls can survive without me,” Historia declared, “We both know that the military was the one doing most of the work. I’m staying.”

“…As you wish,” Hanji relented.

Ultra Magnus finally took notice of Hanji. “Onyankopon has informed us of your knowledge of these creatures. We need you to explain their strengths and weaknesses.”

“Specifically the one that came out of a damn horror movie!” Rafael shouted as he showed his screen to them. They all looked in horror at the monster that walked high and tall among the Colossal Titans. It was essentially bone, with strings of muscles here and there to help the being move. The monster looked like it had two ribcages, one of them sticking into the ground and helping drag itself along it. It had long black hair, and its arms were dangling by its side. On top of it, multiple titans were standing along it.

“Oh…,” Jean breathed as Miko pulled out her phone and took a picture of the monster.

“That…that has to be Eren,” Armin concluded.

“That can’t be right!” Gabi exclaimed, before noticing how the bones mirrored the color of Reiner’s armor, “Wait…” her gaze drifted towards the crowd, and dread filled her gut when she realized that Reiner wasn’t among them, “Where’s Reiner?”

“Gabi,” Colt tried to ease her in gently.

“No! Where’s Reiner?! Where’s my cousin?!” Gabi screamed.

“I’m sorry!” Colt apologized as he hugged her tight.

“Where is he?! Where is he?!” Gabi begged.

Ultra Magnus’ mouth formed a thin line before his gaze returned to Hanji, “Is there something I should know about this ‘Reiner’?”

“Reiner was the holder of the Armored Titan,” Pieck answered for them, “And Marley experimented with energon in order to make the power of the titans stronger. Reiner became immune to energon based attacks and could take on strikes from Cybertronian metal, but Eren took his power by eating him, and now…it’s a problem.”

“Wait, did you just say eat?!” Rafael exclaimed.

“Oh, gross,” Miko spoke up.

“What of the multitude of titans that reside on the back?” Ultra Magnus asked them.

“He took my power,” Lara answered, “The powers of the War Hammer Titan.”

“But you’re still….alive?” Miko gestured to her.

“He used the power of the Founder and his connection to all Eldians to take my power and create an army of past titan shifters,” Lara explained; however, the Autobots and humans still looked flabbergasted.

“What is this?! I feel like I’m missing chapters worth of information!” Jack exclaimed.

“It’s not fun,” Arcee groaned in agreement.

“Do you know any way of getting near this ‘Eren’?” Ultra Magnus asked, “The ship can’t get close enough to it. Every time I try-!”

“Incoming!” Rafael shouted as the monitors were blaring.

Ultra Magnus quickly pivoted the Iron Will away from the rocks that nearly hit it, causing the humans to lose their balance, and grab onto something Levi saw a window and flew over to it to peer out. The Ackerman stared in disbelief as he saw Zeke’s titan form dangling from one of the bones of Eren’s titan form.

“It’s the f*cking monkey!” Levi swore.

“Zeke is still alive?!” Erwin exclaimed.

“What do you mean still?!” Magath demanded.

“Motherf*cker’s body was gone after Wheeljack launched a grenade at him and Eren!” Kenny yelled.

“Again, chapters!” Miko screeched.

Rafael turned to the blaring monitor once more and saw Smokescreen’s picture blaring loudly. He quickly triangulated Smokescreen’s position to open a spacebridge. Rafael opened the hatch, causing the others to move away from it. They all watched from above as the Colossal Titans continued to crush everything underfoot. The spacebridge suddenly opened as a blue and yellow titan stumbled into the metal bar before clinging onto it for dear life. The scout coughed as steam poured out from all over his body.

“Smokescreen!” Miko exclaimed.

“I’m good,” Smokescreen waved off before noticing the new group of humans, “Wow, there are a lot of you this time.”

“Smokescreen, report,” Ultra Magnus ordered.

“The steams too much,” Smokescreen admitted, “I don’t know how well Bulk and ‘Bee are doing, and even with the phase shifter-!”

Smokescreen winced as Jack opened up a water bottle and poured it on his head.

“We need to go down there and help!” Colt told Ultra Magnus.

“Absolutely not! None of you humans are going anywhere near those Colossal Titans!” Ratchet shouted.

“People are dying!” Jean retorted.

“And you will too!” Ratchet declared, “The Colossal Titans are burning at over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You won’t be able to last a second.”

“It’s going to melt your skin off if you get too close,” Rafael added, “You’d be killed before you could take out even one.”

“It doesn’t look like Eren is emitting that steam,” Onyankopon commented as he took a closer look at the monitor.

“Cool, so how about we talk about blowing that thing up!” Miko exclaimed, “If we do, maybe the Colossal Titans will stop!”

“This isn’t one of your monster movies!” Ratchet shouted at her.

“Do you have a better option?!” Miko shot back.

“Eren is the one that is commanding the Colossal Titans,” Hanji confessed, “Setting off explosives at the nape of the neck could work in stopping the Colossal Titans.”

Mikasa stared at Hanji and fear and horror. They…They can’t be recommending that. They can’t be telling these titans to kill Eren.

“We need more forces,” Jack declared, not noticing the anger in Mikasa’s face as he pulled out his phone, “I’ll call Agent Fowler to see if he can get a bomb-,”

Mikasa pulled out her blade and shoved Jack against the wall before placing the blade against his neck. Miko automatically pulled out the gun from her holsters and aimed it at the back of Mikasa’s head. She pulled out another one and aimed to at Jean and Armin who tried to rush to Mikasa’s side.

“No infighting on my ship!” Ultra Magnus ordered.

“I won’t let you,” Mikasa ignored Ultra Magnus, glaring at Jack with such ferocity.

“Mikasa, stop! They’re trying to help us!” Jean pleaded.

“I don’t care,” Mikasa declared, pressing the blade further in Jack’s neck to draw blood.

“Let Jack go, or I blast your brains all over the ship,” Miko threatened.

“No,” Mikasa said.

“Fine,” Miko said as she pulled the hammer down on her gun.

“Miko, don’t,” Jack advised as he held his hand towards her. He then turned his attention to Mikasa and put his hand on the one holding the blade against his neck.

“Mikasa, right?” Jack began, “I don’t know what Eren means to you, but we can’t have infighting right now. The more we try to come up with a solution, the more people are going to die. Eren already trampled 30% of the world, and it’s only going to get worse.”

“I won’t let you kill him,” Mikasa declared, “Let us talk to him first-,”

“This guy is trying to wipe out the entire world!” Jack reminded, “You can’t negotiate with someone like that! They’ve already made up their mind! And even if you somehow managed to reach him and talk to him, what happens next? Do you have a way to stop him without killing him if he says no?”

Jack pointed to the hatch, and Mikasa glanced over to see the glimpse of the Colossal Titans below. “That’s real. That’s happening. How many people are dead right now because of him?”

“I don’t support this,” Mikasa declared, “But Eren is still…he’s my…”

Jack felt Mikasa’s hand trembling and forced her to move the blade away from his neck. “If you have another solution, I’m all ears, but this guy is not going to stop. Not until everything is gone.”

Mikasa felt a hand on her shoulder and looked back to see Armin practically pleading with her with his eyes. He shook his head at her actions, and Mikasa forced herself to relent. She let Jack go, allowing Miko to put her guns away. She walked over to Jack as he rubbed his neck, but she glared at Mikasa with contempt.

“Good first impression,” Miko seethed at her.

“Yes, targeting the giant titan would be the best recourse in action,” Ratchet began, “But the Colossal Titans are spread out all over the world and are killing humans as we speak! We still have to clear the Nemesis and the U.S. military! If we focus on all of our resources onto the titan now, how many humans will actually die before we stop this?!”

“At least they’re walking and not running!” Rafael retorted, “Walking speed means it would take a few days before this world goes to complete sh*t!”

“Optimus and Megatron should be there right now, right?!”Armin asked.

“We haven’t located them yet!” Ultra Magnus explained.

Everyone froze at that statement. Optimus and Megatron…were missing?!

“Missing?...they should be on the Founding Titan!” Armin exclaimed, “They’re supposed to try and stop Eren!”

“The Colossal Titans and this Founding Titan are already scrambling our sensors,” Ultra Magnus explained, “And we’ve done multiple sweeps of the Founding Titan and found neither Optimus nor Megatron.”

“Which is ironic considering Megatron should be easy to spot due to his obsessive flare with the dramatics and the dark energon!” Ratchet shouted.

“Isn’t there a way you can find him?!” Sasha pleaded.

“That’s what we’re trying to do!” Rafael explained as he typed urgently on the screens, “What do you think Bulkhead, Bumblebee, and Smokescreen are doing right now?!”

This is terrifying as scrap!” Bulkhead shouted through the comm. link system.

“Doesn’t it make more sense to attack the big titan?! Why is Optimus not there?!” Smokescreen demanded.

Hanji’s eyes snapped open in realization. “He panicked.”

The Survey Corps and the Marleyans stared at Hanji in confusion, but the Autobots and their human allies looked at Hanji like they lost their minds.

“The frag did you just say?” Ratchet swore.

“Optimus…panicked!” Hanji spoke up with more confidence, “Oh sh*t, Optimus actually panicked!”

“Wait, wait, wait, wait!” Miko interjected, “Optimus Prime having a panic attack?!”

“We’ve never even seen Optimus laugh or cry!” Jack added.

“Maybe rage! That’s the closest I’ve seen!” Smokescreen called out.

“Yes, Optimus panicked!” Hanji shut them all down, “There’s so much destruction happening on such a large scale and humans are being killed en masse and Optimus doesn’t have the resources to stop it! Megatron would no doubt go after Optimus because he still gives a sh*t about Optimus, but Optimus can’t kill Eren!”

“Even though he’s destroying the world right now?!” Magath demanded.

“Yes, because Optimus can’t kill someone he considers his son!” Hanji gasped in realization before slamming their hands over their mouth. Ultra Magnus had to physically turn around to face Hanji after their statement, while the Autobots and their humans allies looked like fish out of water. Hanji knew they couldn’t focus on that and quickly regained focus.

“We need to find out where the most populated cities are that haven’t been trampled,” Hanji declared.

“How is that going to help?!” Jean demanded.

“So we’re just skipping over the-! Yeah okay,” Jack sighed in defeat.

Hanji walked over to Magath and grabbed him by his collar. “Where are the most populated cities right now?!”

“I-I don’t have a map-!”

“That is your map!” Hanji screamed at him before pointed to one of the monitors. They shoved him forward, “Use that to pinpoint the most populated cities!”

Hanji shoved Magath forward before Rafael jumped down a ledge to offer his hand. Magath slowly took it, and the young adult lifted him up towards the keyboard and the map.

“Why are we going after populated locations?” Ultra Magnus demanded.

“If Optimus doesn’t have the strength to kill Eren, then he’s going to do the next best thing, and that’s evacuating humans and killing Colossal Titans threatening to flatten them,” Hanji explained, “So we need to find out where the most populated cities are that haven’t been trampled. If we find it, we find Optimus and Megatron!”

“We need to have someone stay behind and see how the Founding Titan operates,” Erwin proclaimed.

Ultra Magnus’ attention went to Miko and Smokescreen. “Miko! Smokescreen! I’ll drop the two of you over the Founding Titan while we look for Optimus!”

“Got it Boss Bot!” Miko was prepared to grab the Apex Armor, but Jack quickly grabbed her arm. Miko turned her attention to Jack and sighed.

“Jack, we gotta move,” Miko reminded.

“I know, just…stay alive,” Jack advised.

Miko paused for a moment before she chuckled. “C’mon, Jack. I’m the one with the suit.”

Miko’s laughter died down when she saw the serious and nervous expression on her friend’s face. She swallowed on reflex as her nerves were starting to get to her. The two ended up hugging end other fiercely, not wanting the other to realize how terrified they were.

“You too,” Miko muttered. She let go of Jack and held back her tears before running to get her armor.

“Hold on!” Connie exclaimed, “We’re the ones with the weapons and the experience to kill titans?! How come she gets to go on Eren?!”

Miko stepped on the button of the Apex Armor that was on the floor, and the humans watched with surprise and awe as a metal body formed around Miko, almost making her as tall as Arcee.

“That is a very valid reason,” Hanji proclaimed.

Miko grabbed the handle of a device before jumping down the ship to stand next to Smokescreen. Miko clunged to the side of the ship as it approached Eren’s titan form. Miko could see the shell of the Beast Titan forming rocks in its hand before turning to Smokescreen.

“Ready?!” Miko shouted over the turbulence.

“Not at all!” Smokescreen confessed.

“That’s the spirit!” Miko exclaimed as she grabbed Smokescreen before jumping off the ship. The Beast Titan redirected its throw from the ship to Miko and Smokescreen as they fell towards Eren’s body. Miko shielded Smokescreen as the rocks pelted the back of her armor. Miko threw Smokescreen towards the Beast Titan, and the Scout started firing his blaster at the cord connecting the Beast to the Founder. The cord did snap and the Beast fell atop of a few other titans below, knocking them off the Founder as well. Miko then sliced a War Hammer in the face with an axe before landing on the spine of the Founder. Smokescreen grasped onto one of the protruding bone the Beast Titan was hanging onto. A War Hammer Titan fired a crossbow at him, but Smokescreen turned on the phase shifter and the attack went straight through him.

“Are they going to be okay?!” Historia asked as they looked out through the opened hatch. The Founding Titan got smaller and smaller as they flew away from the line of fire.

“Apex Armor and Phase Shifter,” Jack explained as Ultra Magnus closed the hatch, “One weapon is indestructible and the other allows attacks to go right through you.”

“We have the cities!” Rafael informed as he showed the map with the coordinates glowing in red.

“Bulkhead! Bumblebee! Prepare for spacebridge coordinates!” Ultra Magnus called out.

“Yes, sir!” They both shouted.

==

Megatron roared as he sliced through the nape of one of the Colossal Titans marching onward. He transformed into his alt mode before firing multiple shots of dark energon at some of the other massive titans in the lineup up. The titans Megatron attacked collapsed to the ground and began to disintegrate. However, the Colossal Titan behind the corpses merely trampled them in response.

Meanwhile, Optimus was on the ground, firing at the Colossal Titans with his blasters, trying his best to slow them down by shooting at their weak points. However, the massive size of the Titans was preventing the energon from properly decaying the skinless beasts. If he had a much larger weapon, then it could work, but-!

Optimus glanced down to see the humans fleeing in terror at the sight of the Colossal Titans. Some looked back at him, but they just did their best to keep on running for as long as possible. Optimus looked behind him to see the large metal door of this walled town. He aimed his blaster at it and firing, violently opening the metal doors and destroying them.

“Flee through that exit! Run!” Optimus ordered.

“Optimus we are wasting time and delaying an inevitable like this!” Megatron called through the comm. link as he cut through the nape of another titan, “We will exhaust our resources and we will fail!”

“Just kill the titans!” Optimus commanded him.

“We need to return to Eren!” Megatron retorted, “We help humanity if we kill Eren!”

“Megatron-!”

I will do the deed!We need to go!Megatron yelled at him.

Optimus was about to retort, but stopped when he noticed two children falling behind. One of them had dropped a bag of money and was trying desperately to collect it, while the older of the two was trying to pull him back. Optimus bolted towards the two children, ignoring Megatron’s cries to run away from the titans. Optimus knew he might be killed in this, but the Colossal Titans were to close, and he had to try. Let it be enough.

“Optimus, don’t be stupid! Run!” Megatron screamed at him as he transformed back into his alt mode and flew towards the titans coming towards Optimus, missing the spacebridge that opened up nearby.

Optimus saw the children screaming in terror as the titans destroyed the buildings surrounding them. Optimus managed to reach them and shield them from the debris and rubble hitting his back. However, Optimus saw the titan’s foot ready to stomp down on all three of them. Optimus shut his optics and braced for impact, prepared to protect the children, but-!

Optimus’ optics snapped opened when he heard the sound of an engine and felt a presence above him. He looked up to see…A familiar shade of yellow and black transforming into his bipedal mode. He transformed his servos into two electric daggers and sliced through the foot of the Colossal Titan. Optimus was stunned to find the leg of the monster frozen in place, but the others behind it were pushing forward, causing it to topple over. The yellow titan quickly skidded to a stop before bolting towards Optimus as the titans were about to crush them.

“Bumblebee?!”

“Bridge! Bridge! NOW!” Bumblebee called out as he grabbed onto Optimus. Optimus gasped when he felt the ground give out under him and all four of them fell through the spacebridge. Optimus cradled the two boys in his servos as they crashed onto a smooth, solid, floor.

Optimus’ hearing was a bit unfocused and muffled. He slowly released the two boys from his servos and he was certain someone took them, but who? Bumblebee had rolled off of him, and someone was calling his name, but he was warning them not to get too close to him. A light was now in his face, and he blinked to adjust to the light. When the light disappeared, he was faced with…

“Ratchet?” Optimus was still in a state of shock as he sat upright. Ratchet quickly scanned Optimus’ body and recalibrated Optimus’ vitals to his systems. Ratchet saw that Optimus’ vitals were beginning to stabilize, showing actual signs of life, before staring at the Prime.

“You’re alive,” Ratchet could only say, “You’re actually alive?”

“Ra-!” Optimus grunted as Ratchet slapped him in the face.

“What in the Allspark were you thinking?!” Ratchet demanded.

“Believe me, he wasn’t!” Optimus snapped his head towards Levi, the captain glaring at him in anger, but relieved to see that he was still alive. Optimus looked around the ship to see the Survey Corps and the Marleyans side by side. He examined his surroundings further. He…was on the Iron Will? Ultra Magnus?! Jack and Rafael?! The call made it?!

“What…what are you all doing here?! You were supposed to remain on the island!” Optimus yelled at the Survey Corps. The Autobots, Jack, and Rafael were stunned. Was Optimus…angry?!

“Hey! If it wasn’t for our quick thinking and us being here, you’d be dead right now!” Hanji shouted at him, “You just run off into certain death without a proper goodbye and you expect us to stay put?!”

Optimus! Answer your fragging communicator! Status!” Megatron yelled at him through the comm. link system.

“I am fine!” Optimus told Megatron, “I am on the Iron Will!”

I can see that!” Megatron shouted as he flew around the ship. He managed to catch a brief glance of the Autobot Commander staring in shock before flying back towards the Colossal Titans.

“Rafael, connect Megatron to our communication systems!” Ultra Magnus ordered.

“Great,” Rafael drawled out before typing a few things on the keyboard. When he was done, Megatron’s face ended up showing up on the screen next to Miko and Smokescreen. “Can you hear us Buckethead? If you can, f*ck you for trying to destroy Earth five times!”

“Raf!” Jack shouted.

“Hate me all you want; I need help now! There are still humans here on the ground!” Megatron called out.

Jack was flabbergasted while Ratchet’s mouth dropped. Bumblebee managed to finally sit up and stare at the screen. Megatron…asked for help?! For humans?!

“I’m opening up a spacebridge to the other side of the planet!” Ultra Magnus informed as he accessed the coordinates on one of his screens.

The humans on the ground gasped in shock and stopped running when the spacebridge opened up in front of them. They didn’t know what to do! What even was it?!

“Humans!” Megatron called out to them in their language, “Go through the doorway! It will take you away from the Rumbling! Go! Now!”

An old man recognized the voice that spoke to them. It was…that man! Who saved his son and gave them all of that money to get by!

“Let’s go!” the old man ordered the others.

“But-!”

“C’mon!” The old man grabbed a younger male and pulled him through the spacebridge. The others saw the Colossal Titans coming closer and quickly scrambled through the portal so they wouldn’t get crushed. When they reached the other side, they found themselves on the shoreline of a beach. They didn’t know where they were, but…they were away from the Rumbling. They all broke down into tears and cries of relief, grateful to be alive.

Once Megatron saw that the spacebridge closed, he abandoned the Colossal Titans and let the town be destroyed, heading directly for the Founding Titan.

“Hey! Where do you think you’re going?!” Ratchet demanded as Megatron flew past the Iron Will.

“Eren is controlling the Founding Titan and the Rumbling! If he’s dead then the Rumbling will stop!” Megatron answered, “Why haven’t any of you Autobots targeted the Founder yet?!”

“Miko and Smokescreen are currently engaging the Founder as we speak,” Ultra Magnus informed.

“You let Miko and Smokescreen do what?!” Optimus demanded.

“IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY TO DIE!” Miko cackled through the comm. link system before slashing a Jaws Titan in the face.

“…you let the humans keep the Apex Armor,” Megatron concluded.

“Smokescreen also has the phase shifter,” Jack added.

What about the humans on the ground?!” Bulkhead asked through the comm. link system, “I got a few of them clinging to me for dear life wanting to get away from this thing! I need a bridge to get them someplace safe!”

“On it!” Rafael informed as he opened a spacebridge for Bulkhead.

“Optimus, what do we do?!” Bumblebee turned to the Prime, “How do we approach this?!”

Optimus felt like his processors were still spinning. It had been so long since he’s been thrown into the leadership position. Four years since he had been asked to lead. He still wasn’t able to completely process that the call to Cybertron made it. Optimus’ gaze shifted through both the Survey Corps, ready to follow Optimus’ command, and the Marleyans, still nervous at all of this. Then, his gaze fell to the youngest humans there.

Gabi stilled cried in Colt’s arms, mourning the loss of her cousin. Meanwhile, Onyankopon was doing his best to calm down the two boys that he had just saved. They looked fearful at their surroundings but eternally grateful that they were still alive. The two boys looked directly at him, hopeful, pleading for his help.

The humans needed them. This whole world needed them all right now.

Optimus stood up before turning to Ultra Magnus. “Commander, what is the status of reinforcements?!”

“We are currently working to clear the Nemesis for transport, but it is taking longer than anticipated given the situation!” Ultra Magnus explained.

“Are you talking about my ship?!” Megatron demanded.

“Jack, what about Agent Fowler and the U.S. government?!” Optimus turned to Jack.

“In progress too, but that will most likely get cleared faster!” Jack explained.

“Then we divide our resources for the time being!” Optimus declared, “We need to transport as many humans away from the threat while a secondary team tries to stop Eren!”

Optimus turned to the Survey Corps. “Half of you will assist in engaging the Founding Titan! The other half will assist in locating and transporting humans to safety!”

“Erwin, Levi, Sasha, Jean, Annie, and Ymir will attack the Founding Titan!” Hanji told their forces, “Armin, Mikasa, Connie, Pieck, Kenny, Historia, and myself help with the ground forces!”

Magath wanted to retort to Hanji about them ordering his forces, but given the situation, he kept his mouth shut.

“But Commander-!”

“Mikasa, I know you’re not in the right mindset to confront Eren! You will help with evacuation!” Hanji told her.

Mikasa’s eyes fell to the floor and she nodded wordlessly.

“Give a few of your energon spears to them!” Hanji told Connie and Armin, “They need some extra resources!”

“Got it!” Connie and Armin started dismantling a few of their energon spears and gave them to Jean and Sasha.

“We can use the Iron Will to attack the Founding Titan!” Ultra Magnus suggested.

“The Iron Will needs to remain in the sky and target the Colossal Titans!” Optimus declared, “If your ship is the only ship allowing us communications and access to Earth and Cybertron right now, we cannot risk it getting damaged from the Founding Titans attacks! Keep it in the sky and have it help with evacuation until reinforcements arrive!”

“Yes, sir!” Ultra Magnus responded.

“Get those humans to Earth!” Optimus pointed towards the two Middle Eastern children, Gabi, Colt, and Onyankopon.

“What?! No!” Gabi screamed at him, “We can’t! We have to help!”

“This is not the place for you!” Optimus told her.

“Actually, those three can help,” Jack proclaimed as he walked up to Colt, Gabi, and Onyankopon, “See those monitors?”

“Yes?” Colt nodded in confusion.

“Those will tell us if the temperature of the ‘Bots increase too much from the heat of the Colossal Titans,” Jack explained, “You’re going to come with me to Earth, and Agent Fowler is going to give us as much cold water as possible so we can cool down the ‘Bots so they don’t die from overheating! Got it?!”

“Got it!” they all said.

“Raf!”

“Understood!” Rafael set the coordinates for Earth and a spacebridge opened up right behind them. Onyankopon quickly grabbed the two Middle Eastern children and hauled them through the ‘bridge, followed by Gabi and Colt.

“We’ll be back soon!” Jack declared before following them through.

“Arcee, status!” Optimus ordered as the spacebridge closed.

“Could be better,” Arcee confessed as she gestured to the arm still in progress for being reattached.

“Arcee is not ready for combat!” Ratchet informed.

Optimus’ mouth formed a thin line before he turned to Bumblebee. “Can you assist in combating the Founding Titan?”

Ratchet and Ultra Magnus were stunned at the request. He didn’t say he was going to go and fight the Founding Titan. He had asked Bumblebee to do so.

“Optimus, are you sure?” Bumblebee pressed.

“I will assist Bulkhead and the others with evacuation,” Optimus reassured.

Bumblebee looked like he wanted to protest, but relented. They didn’t have time to argue. “Okay.”

The Founding Titan is approaching!” Megatron shouted through the comm. link system.

Optimus saw through the Iron Will’s window the massive beast coming into view. Ultra Magnus saw the sight of the War Hammer Titans prepared to fire projectiles, and pulled the Iron Will upward to dodge the attacks. Megatron charged forward in his alt mode to draw the attack towards himself. He fired dark energon blasts at the War Hammer Titans, knocking them off the skeletal mass to be trampled below.

“Prepare to drop!” Ultra Magnus ordered as he opened the hatch once more. A few of the humans were intimidated by the sight of the titans below, but quickly regained their nerves.

“Ymir, wait!” Historia grabbed Ymir’s arm.

“Historia, what-!” Ymir grunted in surprise when Historia kissed her dead on the lips, surprising the Survey Corps and stunning the Marleyans.

“…Reiner would be disappointed if he was here,” Annie commented.

Historia released her wife before smiling at her. “In case that was the last time.”

Ymir’s expression of surprise turned into one of determination. “It won’t be the last time.”

“Autobots, it is an honor to fight by your side once again!” Optimus addressed his comrades, “Roll out!”

Bumblebee was the first to dive out of the Iron Will, followed by the humans. Annie and Ymir bit their hands and blue lightning consumed them. Annie drop kicked a titan hanging on one of the protruding spines while Ymir tore into the flesh of another with her mouth. Everyone else with 3D gear latched onto the bones of the massive form, dodging all projectiles and short range attacks coming their way. Jean gasped when he realized there was a Jaws Titan that was about to tear him in to, but Miko quickly punched the titan in the face. She then grabbed the titan body by the head before throwing it at another, knocking them both off of the Founder.

Bumblebee transformed one servo into an electric dagger while pulling out his blaster from another. Bumblebee landed on the spine and fired two rounds at one titan puppet before stabbing another in the chest when it got too close. The titan that was stabbed froze in place before Smokescreen phased through Bumblebee and shot it straight through the head.

“Guess those stingers really did come in handy!” Smokescreen remarked with a grin.

“And you said getting the perks of a Warrior Class was a waste of time!” Bumblebee teased as they stood back to back as a few titans closed in on them. Levi and Erwin quickly launched their energon spears at two of the titans surrounding the Cybertronians. The explosion the weapons created caused some confusion among the puppets, allowing Bumblebee and Smokescreen to strike the others down.

Sasha noticed an opening towards Eren’s nape and was prepared to fire an energon spear, but found herself hesitating to pull the trigger. Sasha gasped when she felt titans behind her and quickly flew out of the way of their attack. She was surprised to see Megatron transforming and landing on the spine, crushing the nape of one of the titans that was going to eat her.

“Megatron just saved a human,” Smokescreen spoke, forcing Bumblebee to glance over in Megatron’s direction. The two Cybertronians made eye contact, and neither could tell if they held any malice for taking the other’s life. However, the roar of titans brought their attention back to the battle.

“Some of these things just look like animals from Earth!” Miko remarked.

“You know what the animals are?!” Sasha asked through the comm. link.

“Yeah, kinda surprised at how similar our worlds are getting!” Miko yelped when a cart titan charged towards her, but she quickly evaded the attack before elbowing it in the neck.

“We need the Tybur’s help!” Erwin declared, “She said that she has knowledge of the past titan shifters!”

“Did anyone give her a comm. link?!” Bumblebee demanded.

==

“Wait, I need to get to Fort Salta!” Lara pleaded with Optimus, “My brother and my family are there! I need to make sure that they’re alright and they’ll be taken to safety!”

“Tybur, it will still take time for the Rumbling to reach Salta! We need to focus our resources elsewhere!” Magath reasoned as he climbed back down to the floor.

Lara walked over to Magath and grabbed his collar. “My duty is to protect my family first! Get me to Salta or I will drop you of this thing right now!”

“Jesus, okay!” Rafael exclaimed, “Just point it out on the map!”

“The base is on a plateau!” Lara explained.

“Well then I need the right coordinates or else you could end up at the bottom of it!” Rafael exclaimed.

“Optimus, a word.” Ratchet beckoned the Prime over. Optimus followed the medic to a small corner.

“Optimus, I know that it has been some time since we have last seen each other, but you know those humans do not have a protective shell,” Ratchet insisted, “At the very least, Miko has the Apex Armor, but if those humans get caught under those titans then-!”

“They are aware of the risks,” Optimus cut Ratchet off.

Ratchet blinked in disbelief. “They can’t be. They-!”

“This has been their whole lives,” Optimus explained, “Living in fear of a titan threat that would one day come and devour them. If they were to abstain from this fight, then it would be a disgrace to the name of the Survey Corps.”

Ratchet’s gaze felt to his left arm, and he saw the Survey Corps emblem right under the Autobot symbol. He glanced over at Arcee, and the two-wheeler merely nodded in response. Optimus wasn’t going to change his mind, and neither were those humans.

“We’ve spotted humans!” Ultra Magnus informed.

“Bulkhead I’m opening up a bridge to get you here!” Rafael informed.

Humans from a rather large city continued running for their lies and the Rumbling inched closer and closer to them. They were running out of energy and running out of breath, but the desire to survive outweighed whatever their body was screaming at them. They looked up to the sky to see a flying boat heading towards them. It turned around to face the Colossal Titan threat before pulling out some advanced guns. The boat fired, and blue light came out in rapid succession, hitting the Colossal Titans in the head and causing them to slowly disintegrate. The titans that were hit slowly fell to their knees and collapsed to the ground, but more still kept on coming their way. The humans saw a green doorway open up and a green car drive out of it. The car rushed towards the Colossal Titans and transformed into a much smaller one at that. Its hand transformed into a wrecking ball of some kind, and rammed into the ankle of the closest Colossal Titan.

Another red and blue titan emerged from the doorway and assisted in shooting out the ankles of the other Colossal Titans closing in on them. Humans and a four legged titan then flew out of the doorway and grabbed other humans that were falling behind, saving them from being crushed by the Colossal Titans. The portal disappeared on them, but then reopened right in front of them. A woman with blonde hair stepped out and pointed to the doorway.

“If you want to live, please step through the portal!” she pleaded with them.

“Hell no! I’m not stepping through that!” someone shouted.

Someone else stepped out of the portal, a middle aged man looking very pissed off.

“I’m sorry! It’s the portal or that!” The man pointed to the Colossal Titans being slowed down by the titans. The humans looked back at the portal and quickly scrambled through it, trying to get away from the Rumbling as soon as they could.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Survey Corps continued to grab as many people falling behind as possible and bring them as close to the spacebridge so that they could escape. Hanji noticed a small group of humans that were dangerously close to the Colossal Titans. They flew up towards the Colossal Titan ready to step on them, and fired an energon spear directly in the face of the titan. The chord disconnected, and the spear blew up, knocking the Colossal Titan backwards into a few others. Some of the humans still in the area stared in shock at the sight of the Colossal Titan falling backwards. It wasn’t one of those titans that did it; it was a human!

Hanji flew downwards and grabbed an old woman from the small group they managed to save. “I’ve got people here!”

Pieck quickly rushed over to them and kneeled down, allowing the humans to scramble on top of her as quickly as they could. Pieck then stood on all fours before bolting towards the spacebridge to get them through.

“I got one!” Connie exclaimed as he grabbed a screaming woman with one hand, “I don’t see anyone else!”

Armin noticed the way that the Colossal Titans from the sides were closing in onto their positions, trying to compensate for the ones already slain. “Are all the humans safe?!”

Mikasa managed to grab a child that fell behind and flew away as far as possible, but the child was screaming out for someone. She looked behind her to see another child that had fallen even further behind.

“No!” Mikasa tried to turn around to grab the child, but one of the Colossal Titans had crushed a building, and the debris fell on the child, crushing him.

Mikasa was mortified. “We have to go back! We have to go back!”

“Mikasa we don’t have time!” Hanji shouted.

“Commander please!” Mikasa begged.

“Hey, c’mon we need to go! The humans made it through!” Bulkhead explained, gesturing to the spacebridge. The last of the humans in the area had clamored through before Historia and Kenny bolted inside.

Mikasa’s eyes shut in agony before she flew towards the spacebridge with the crying child in hand. She flew through and rolled across the ground, shielding the child from any major injuries. Connie had also flown through the bridge, setting the crying woman down on the ground before flying back through. Mikasa left the child on the ground, knowing she didn’t have time to comfort him before running through the spacebridge. When Mikasa reached the other end, she found herself back on the Iron Will. The others Survey Corp members were panting in exhaustion, trying their best to calm their nerves after what they just witnessed. Lara was still trying to point out where Fort Salta was to Rafael while Jack was trying to make a phone call to someone, saying something about medical assistance.

The area is clear!” Optimus informed through the comm. link, “Where is our next location?!”

“The area wasn’t clear,” Mikasa mumbled, her arms trembling in horror, “It wasn’t.”

“Mikasa.” Armin kneeled down next to her.

“He killed more children.” Mikasa was beginning to cry, “He killed more children than he did in Liberio, and I couldn’t stop it!”

“Mikasa, breathe! We have to focus!” Hanji reminded her, “We have to save more people!”

“I got the coordinates for the Fort!” Rafael explained before punching them in and opening up the spacebridge.

“I’ll go with you!” Magath proclaimed as he walked up to Lara, “They might be less likely to shoot if they see me.”

Lara turned her attention to Ratchet. “Can they be transported to Earth? In case if the Rumbling reaches the ends of our world, I want them to be safe.”

Ratchet sighed. “Fine, but they have to deal with human customs on that planet.”

“That’s actually a good point, we’re transporting humans to the other side of the world. How long will it take for the Rumbling to reach them before it can be stopped?” Pieck asked as she pulled herself out of her titan form.

“Based on the trajectory and speed, it should take them a few days to reach the other side of the planet,” Ultra Magnus explained as Lara and Magath jumped through, “That will grant us time to stop the Founding Titan and the Rumbling.”

“Well the Rumbling’s not just on reverse Africa anymore. It looks like it’s hit Eastern Asia?!” Rafael squinted at the map.

Mikasa looked up at the map and saw the energy signatures headed to the eastern continent….to Hizuru...to…

Mikasa gasped in horror as she shot to her feet. “Kenshin!”

==

Willy waited patiently at Fort Salta in the command center with his family. He and his wife were comforting their scared children while the Marleyans were trying to ease their worries and prepare the blimps for an aerial attack. They might just well be the last line of defense against the Rumbling, but…they had to try. All of humanity was at stake.

Meanwhile, Willy…just felt guilty. All of humanity was about to perish, and he was certain that he didn’t do enough to stop it. His family was going to perish, and his sister…he had no idea if she was even still alive. His children…they did nothing wrong, but all he did was bring imminent death over their heads. If only he had the chance to fix his mistake.

“Sir!” a soldier busted through the door to the command center.

“What happened?!” The secretary demanded.

“There’s a green doorway outside!” the soldier declared before running back out. The military in that room was confused at that statement, but they followed the soldier outside. Willy ended up standing on his feet and following the soldiers close behind.

“Dear!” his wife called out to him.

“Dad!” Fine cried out.

When they all reached the outside of Fort Salta, they gasped at the sight of a green, swirling, doorway in front of them. Willy gawked at the sight while the soldiers aimed their rifles at it. The commander held up his hand, ready to give the signal for his comrades to attack. They all grew tense when two people ran through the bridge. The Secretary was ready to give the signal to fire, but the people raised their hands in surrender. Willy walked past the soldiers and gasped at the sight.

“Lara!” Willy bolted towards his sister and the woman ran towards him. They embraced each other in the middle and started crying tears of joy.

“You’re alive! Thank god you’re alive!” Lara sobbed.

“General Magath!” the secretary saluted.

“Stand down, all of you!” Magath ordered

“What are you doing here?!” Willy let Lara go and pointed at the doorway, “What is that thing?!”

“They call it a ‘spacebridge’,” Lara explained.

“Who?!” Willy demanded.

“Titans from beyond the stars,” Lara answered, shocking everyone, “You were right, Willy. More like Optimus and Megatron did come to our world.”

As if on cue, Ratchet walked through the spacebridge, causing the soldiers to drop their weapons and scream in horror.

“Alright, enough!” Ratchet shouted at them, causing them all to be quiet, “She asked to come here for her family! Where are the rest of these ‘Tyburs’?!”

“Dear?!” Mrs. Tybur yelled at the sight of the titan and the portal before her. Ratchet noticed the children before turning to Lara.

“I assume that is them,” Ratchet said.

“Yes.” Lara nodded before addressing the crowd, “Everyone! The Marleyans have aligned with the forces of Paradis, and they bring help from beyond the stars! They will assist us in destroying the Founding Titan and saving our people!”

Ratchet tapped something on his wrist before turning to the humans. “This spacebridge will take you to another world far away from the Rumbling! You can take your family there and choose to abstain from this fight! The choice is yours!”

“Is it…safe?” Fine asked.

“It’s safe.” Lara beckoned her family to come forward, “You will be safe from the Rumbling.”

“You will have to be quarantined on Earth for a time that will be explained further by the humans there,” Ratchet continued as Willy’s wife and children stood beside Lara, “Please enter through the spacebridge. And if any more of you humans wish to enter and leave this conflict, you are more than willing to do some.”

Some of the soldiers looked…uncertain at Ratchet’s words. What if he was lying? What if it was a trap? The other half looked elated. A way out? A way to flee the terror and onslaught of the Rumbling? They all looked to their commanding officer, hoping for some kind of answer from him, but even he looked uncertain. However, someone else jumped through the portal. It was a human woman with black hair tied in a low ponytail and gray eyes. She looked like she was wearing a different kind of medical outfit. Was she a doctor?

“Ratchet, what’s happening? I’m waiting for people to come through,” she told the titan.

“Well the humans are hesitant, Nurse Darby,” Ratchet informed her.

The nurse looked to her right and saw the Tybur’s children looking frightened, clinging to their mother’s dress. She kneeled down towards them and smiled.

“Hi, I’m Nurse Darby, but you can call me June,” she introduced herself, “You must be really scared right now. And hungry, right?”

The children slowly nodded their heads.

“Well, if you come with us, then we’re going to do a medical examination and get you something warm to eat,” June reassured, “Do you guys want chicken noodle soup? I used to give that to my son when he was scared.”

“…I want soup,” one of the children spoke up.

“Okay.” June stood up and offered her hand to the children. One of them was about to take it, but Mrs. Tybur pulled him back.

“Mama-!”

“You swear you will not harm my children!” Mrs. Tybur shouted at June.

“I swear as a medical professional and a mother: your children will be safe,” June promised her.

“Victoria, please go with her,” Lara begged her.

The mother was still hesitant, but the frightened faces of her children were more than enough.

“Take my children to safety,” she commanded June.

“C’mon.” June picked up one of the smaller children with ease before beckoning the others to follow. Willy watched as his family ran in through the portal before turning to Lara.

“They’ll be okay,” Lara reassured.

“If anyone wishes to leave, then do so now!” the secretary’s voice boomed throughout the area, causing the soldiers to turn to him.

“S-sir-!”

“Our world is ending, and I understand the fear of being trampled!” The secretary spoke up, “However, I cannot leave my post while so many lives are at stake. I will not fault you for fleeing to safety, and I will not charge you for treason. If you wish to run, then do so. If you wish to fight, then stay.”

The soldiers then turned to Magath, knowing full well that he was the one that was going to make that final call based on the chain of command. Magath stared them all in the face and sighed.

“I’ve seen the Rumbling for myself,” Magath said, “Leave if you want to. You will not be charged for treason.”

Immediately, half of the soldiers ran through the portal, ignoring their instincts to avoid it. Some of them looked hesitant. Do they go to safety, or do they stay and fight? The secretary turned to the remaining soldiers. “I told you-!”

“We will stay,” one of them spoke up, “We stand with you, sir.”

“I’m staying too,” Willy declared.

“Willy, are you out of your mind?!” Lara shouted at him.

“Our name still holds some weight!” Willy reasoned, “If the frightened and terrified people don’t listen to the help these titans are provided, then maybe they will listen to a voice that has been trusted by the public for years!”

“Willy, you don’t even have titan powers!” Lara reminded, “I’m the one with titan powers and Eren took it!”

“All the more reason to use the Tybur name!” Willy retorted, “Our family is safe from the Rumbling. Nothing can hold us back from doing the right thing. Let me help you.”

Lara’s mouth formed a thin line before she turned to Ratchet. “Can he come?”

Ratchet sighed in annoyance. “More humans. That’s great. Fine, he can come. Just don’t touch anything!”

Magath was about to retort, but he suddenly started to violently cough. He collapsed to his knees, causing Lara to run towards him.

“Sir!”

Ratchet narrowed his optics when he noticed the color of the blood Magath coughed up was darker than normal. “Stay away from him!” Ratchet ordered Lara before scanning Magath. When Ratchet was done, he examined the results and gasped in shock.

“By the Allspark, you’ve been infected with dark energon!” Ratchet exclaimed.

Magath froze in fear. Dark energon? How did-! Magath recalled Porco’s Colossal Titan expelling so much purple steam. He had given his mask in order to protect Colt; he didn’t want him to get infected again.

“Is there a way to cure it?!” Willy asked him.

“Normally I would recommend a high dosage of raw energon to combat the virus, but it’s clear that this is a different form of infection that I don’t have the cure for!” Ratchet declared, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to save you given the situation.”

Magath looked down at his hand before wiping the remaining blood from his mouth. “What can I do right now to fight?”

“Human you can’t-!”

“I still stand, and I still breathe! What can I do to fight?!” Magath demanded.

“You are the General of Marley,” the secretary stated as he approached, “If you can inform the other Marleyans military sights of what is going on, then they may be prepared. It was only Eldians who received the warning of the Rumbling, but the other military sights are going to be unaware of…them.”

The secretary gestured to Ratchet. “They need to be made aware.”

Magath turned to Ratchet. “Is there any way that we can inform them while also finding survivors?”

Ratchet beckoned him through the spacebridge. “We use this.”

“Is this even safe?!” Willy asked in confusion and fear as Magath followed the medic through.

“C’mon.” Lara grabbed Willy’s wrist and pulled him through.

==

Jean yelped as he managed to dodge and weave through the large hands and feet that tried to trample him. He spun to the side before launching an energon spear right in the face of an Armored Titan. That Armored Titan roared in pain before Megatron jumped and beheaded it with ease.

Miko swung the axe into a Snake Titan, trying her best to behead it, but found that it got stuck halfway through. She quickly stepped on the head and yanked the axe out, but the snake was still active. Miko was prepared to try and behead it again, but Annie had grabbed the snake and ripped the head from the body before throwing it at a titan that was right behind Miko.

“Thank you!” Miko gave a thumbs up before returning to the battle.

Ymir tried to crawl to Eren’s head from below, with Sasha hanging onto her hair for dear life, but they were immediately cornered by puppet titans dangling by strings along the ribs. Ymir jumped from titan to titan, cutting and ripping out the napes as quickly as she could. Meanwhile, Sasha provided support to the titan shifter, firing her last energon spear at a titan ready to sneak up on them. The titan was blinded, allowing Sasha to cut through the nape of the neck. However, Sasha noticed cracks in her blades already, which caused her to become concerned. If she and the Survey Corps on this thing ran out of energon spears, how long would their blades last for? Eren consumed the Armored Titan, and thus, the puppet titans no doubt had an extra layer of strength to them. Their blades might run out after an extra few swings. What else could she do?

Sasha’s gaze shifted upwards and noticed the strings that allowed the puppet titans to dangle below them. They were malleable. Flexible like joints. Maybe those could be cut! Sasha bolted towards one of them and dodged a swipe aimed at her body before cutting through the line holding the titan. Sasha watched the titan fall into the hot steam below, no doubt to get crushed by the Colossal Titans walking below.

“Everyone!” Sasha yelled through the comm. link, “If the titans are attached to cords, cut the cords instead of the napes! It will make our blades last longer.”

Bumblebee’s optics darted around the area to examine the army in front of him and Smokescreen. That human was right. Some of the titans had cords while others did not. “How many of those spears do you guys have left?!”

“Not many!” Erwin answered as he fired one of them at the nape of a small Cart Titan.

“We’ll deal with the titans without cords!” Bumblebee informed, “Humans will deal with the ones with them!”

Sasha gasped at the sight of Levi cutting through the cords of five titans dangling below the rib cage with ease. Miko couldn’t help but peer through the openings of the ribcage to watch the Captain fight. She saw the Captain spin before cutting through the nape of a titan and letting it drop. Miko yelped as Levi flew through the opening to get to the top of the structure and slice through the cords of titans hanging on the protruding bones.

“Jesus Christ, what did he eat?!” Miko exclaimed before rolling out of the way from a War Hammer Titan.

“Left.” Levi swung to his left when a titan tried to grab him before switching his blade to an energon spear and firing at it.

“Below.” Levi bent backwards as a War Hammer Titan shot an arrow up towards him. However, Smokescreen quickly blasted it in the face. Levi then cut through two more cords before turning back to the head of the Founding Titan. There had to be a way to reach it and destroy it. Could Megatron do it? Levi’s gaze fell to Megatron providing assistance to Annie. Megatron would have done it by now. He’s certain he attempted it. Even so, how long could they even keep this up?

==

The spacebridge opened up to the Hizuru capital, Kyoto, and Mikasa practically bolted out of there. She gasped in horror at the sight of the Colossal Titans’ beginning march to crush the city below.

“Holy sh*t,” Connie swore as he and the others flew out of the spacebridge, “There’s too many of them!”

Armin was confused by Connie’s statement as Pieck crawled out of the spacebridge. What did he-! Armin gasped in horror at the sight below. The people! There were too many people running away! He thought they would have evacuated! Why did none of them evacuate?! How were they supposed to get them out?!

“Get the spacebridge closer to the populous and guide them to the portal!” Optimus ordered as he and Bulkhead emerged from the spacebridge and drove towards the Colossal Titans. They immediately pulled out their blasters and began to fire at the oncoming threat to them. The spacebridge closed and opened up in the sky once again and the Iron Will flew out of it. Ultra Magnus quickly launched blasters and projectiles to slow the Colossal Titans down.

“C’mon people, this way!” Hanji beckoned the humans towards the spacebridge, “Pieck, provide guidance!”

This way!” Pieck shouted at them as she ran throughout the city, destroying a few empty buildings to create other pathways for the people to run through.

“Over here!” Armin called out, waving in front of the spacebridge portal that opened up just a little bit closer to the edge of the capital. He quickly moved out of the way as people scrambled to get through.

“Mikasa, wait!” Connie cried out as Mikasa flew towards the city and the Colossal Titan threat.

“C’mon,” Historia beckoned gently as she grabbed a small child hiding under a shed before flying towards the spacebridge. Meanwhile, Kenny unceremoniously hauled someone over his back before flying through.

Mikasa’s eyes darted around the city, and could only watch helplessly as the city she had visited over two years ago was being trampled. The boats, the bridge, the food markets, the homes, the gardens, everything. She gasped at the sight of one of the Colossal Titans crashing through the Emperor’s castle, destroying years worth of culture in an instant. It was being destroyed in front of her very eyes. She could see people getting trampled for lagging behind, but she didn’t move to help them. Why didn’t she help them? Was it because she was still in shock? She enjoyed this place, even if she was only here for a short amount of time. She walked these streets and experienced spring here! And now…!

“KENSHIN!” Mikasa hollered through the chaos and the noise, “KENSHIN, WHERE ARE YOU?! KENSHIN!”

Please! Please, she just wanted to find him amidst the chaos and confusion and get him to safety! Please! Someone! HELP HER!

“Temple!” Mikasa’s head snapped to the sound of that voice.

“What?!” Mikasa called out, “What do you mean temple?!”

“He’s at the temple fleeing with his parents on horseback! Get to the temple on the hill!” Mikasa’s head snapped to the temple with the massive red archway up on the hilltop. She quickly adjusted her 3D gear before bolting towards the temple. She latched onto the buildings that were still left, and when there were no buildings left she latched onto the trees that had now come into view. When she reached the top of the temple, she saw that no one was there she flew further through the forest.

“KENSHIN!” Mikasa cried out for him.

“Optimus, these titans are getting closer!” Bulkhead shouted as he and Optimus continued firing as many headshots as they could. Optimus gritted his dentas behind his mask before running towards the Colossal Titans.

“Optimus!” Bulkhead screamed for his leader. Optimus didn’t listen as he grabbed onto the muscle strands of the closest titan before climbing. He felt his servo burning and his armor heating up, but he still pressed onward until he reached the top of the Colossal Titan. He pulled out his blaster once more and aimed it at the line of titans next to the one he was on, directly at their napes. Optimus’ fired those shots in rapid succession, blasting the napes away and killing the Titans. However, the farther the Colossal Titans were from his line of sight, the harder it was to hit a direct shot at the nape. Optimus turned to his left and fired his blaster at the line of Colossal Titans that was closest to him.

“Optimus, the Colossal Titans in the back of the line are migrating towards the city!” Ultra Magnus called out through the comm. link. Optimus looked through the steam and gasped when he saw Colossal Titans walking from further down the line towards the city, towards the people. By the Allspark, was Eren coordinating this?! Was Eren trying to make the titans more effective by having them target the humans?!

“Optimus, the humans!” Bulkhead called out as he pointed to the Colossal Titans. Optimus looked down and saw that there were humans that were consumed by the steam of the Colossal Titans. They screamed out in agony as their flesh began to burn until it was nothing but charred debris. Even though they were still alive, they still cried out, begging to be put out of their misery.

“Ultra Magnus, how much longer can you hold these titans off?!” Optimus begged.

There are too many, and I might exhaust all of my resources just to try and kill all the Colossal Titans here to save these humans!” Ultra Magnus retorted, “…Optimus, we…we can’t save everyone.”

Optimus hated this. He hated the fact that Ultra Magnus and Megatron were right. They couldn’t save everyone, but they could still try to save as many as they could. Optimus noticed how the Colossal Titans were still inching closer and closer to the spacebridge while the other humans were scrambling to get through the portal. The Survey Corps continued their search in finding other survivors and bridging them to the portal.

“Keep trying to delay the Colossal Titans until they reach the spacebridge!” Optimus ordered, “We have to try and save as many as we can with what we have!”

“Understood sir!” Ultra Magnus replied.

“KENSHIN!” Mikasa hollered. She glanced behind her to see the Colossal Titans pressed forwards as she continued searching every nook and cranny in the forest. The longer she searched, the longer she delayed, the closer they got, and she couldn’t help but be terrified. Was Kenshin already dead?! Was he trampled to death?! No! No, he couldn’t have been! He was resourceful! He had to still be alive! She couldn’t lose her first friend outside the walls!

When Mikasa emerged from the forest, she gasped with relief when she spotted Kenshin riding on horseback away from the Colossal Titans. His father and mother were riding on the same horse next to their son. She thought that she could reach them and guide them towards the spacebridge, but she gasped in horror when a shot rang out and hit Taisho. The horse was spooked and knocked the both of them off of their horse, causing Kenshin to quickly turn around and go after them.

“Dad!” Kenshin screamed as he rode towards his parents. He heard the co*ck of a gun and froze to see two of his father’s advisors pointing guns at them.

“Give us your horse! Now!” one of them ordered.

Kenshin didn’t care about the horse, and immediately jumped off to run after his parents. Let those two bastards fight over his horse and the one they scared off. The prince ignored the arguing between the two men as he ran towards his parents. He gasped at the sight of his father’s wounded shoulder from the gunshot. His mother used her clothing to immediately apply pressure to the wound, but Kenshin saw that his mother had clearly dislocated her ankle from the fall.

“C’mon! We need to keep moving!” Kenshin shouted at them.

“Kenshin,” Taisho groaned.

“Dad, get up! We need to run!” Kenshin begged him.

“It’s no use,” Taisho relented as he sat up, “Our horses are gone, your mother and I wouldn’t be able to walk.”

“Dear,” Katsuko whimpered weakly as she stared in horror at the sight of the titans coming closer.

“Then I’ll f*cking carry you, god damn it!” Kenshin screamed at him as he began to cry.

“Kenshin it’s over!” Taisho shouted at him, and Kenshin was shocked to see that his father was also crying, “It’s all over! There’s nothing else that we can do!”

Kenshin shook his head in denial as he stood up. “No! We’re alive! We can still survive this!”

Kenshin quickly tried to pull his father to his feet, but he cried out in pain as blood came out of his wound.

“Kenshin, you’re hurting him!” Katsuko cried out.

“If we don’t move, we’ll die!” Kenshin sobbed.

The family heard a loud explosion and looked up to see one of the Colossal Titans hit in the neck with some explosive device. Kenshin narrowed his eyes and gasped with hope at the sight of Mikasa flying through the smoke with her 3D gear on.

“MIKASA!” Kenshin screamed at her, “MIKASA, HELP US!”

Mikasa grit her teeth as the Colossal Titan crashed into the ground, thankfully missing Kenshin and his family. She noticed another Colossal Titan that was too close for comfort and spun in the air before launching her second and last energon spear.

“I NEED HELP!” Mikasa begged through the comm. link, “KENSHIN’S IN TROUBLE! SOMEONE HELP ME!”

“We have to get these people out!” Hanji reminded, “They’re still fleeing through the spacebridge! We have to prioritize!”

“The Colossal Titans are getting too close, and not everyone is out!” Connie cried out.

“We might have to go!” Bulkhead cried out.

“Buy more time!” Optimus ordered as he shot more Colossal Titans. His pedes were beginning to burn from standing on the Colossal Titan for too long. But he still had to try.

“Optimus, get off the titan, your vitals are spiking!” Ratchet ordered as he stared at the red screen and the blaring monitors.

“Ratchet-!”

“I JUST GOT YOU BACK! I CANNOT LOSE YOU AGAIN!” Ratchet screamed at him.

Optimus’ turmoil grew bigger. The stakes were too high. There was still too much to lose. The Colossal Titans were now too close to the spacebridge. They had no choice. They couldn’t exhaust all of their resources when there were millions, if not billions across this world that were fleeing in terror and in vain. They…they had to…

“Everyone!” Optimus called out through the comm. link, “We can no longer remain here! Escape through the spacebridge!”

“Wait, there are still people!” Armin called out from the bottom where the spacebridge was.

The Colossal Titans are too close now!” Pieck retorted as she stopped in front of Armin with humans hanging onto her for dear life, “We have to go!”

“Optimus is right!” Hanji reluctantly agreed, noting how the Colossal Titans were just a few steps away from the spacebridge, “We have to go!”

Bulkhead stopped firing at the Colossal Titans and bolted away from the army. He managed to grab a few humans before transforming and gaining distance from the titans. Meanwhile, the Iron Will flew over to where Optimus was, and the Prime saw Ratchet hanging onto the platform with his servo out. The Prime jumped up and grasped Ratchet’s servo before turning his blaster to the Colossal Titan he was on and killing it with a single shot to the neck.

“Wait-!” Armin yelped when Connie tackled him through the bridge, and Armin was met with the sight of so many people begging and crying out for salvation before they were crushed to death. Armin felt some of their blood get on his face before he and Connie ended up slamming into the floor of the Iron Will. Connie slammed his fists into the floor of the Iron Will and screamed in anger.

“EREN! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?! WHAT MAKES ANY OF THIS RIGHT?!” Connie cried out.

“Mikasa! Where’s Mikasa?!” Hanji cried out as Ratchet pulled Optimus onto the platform.

“I got her!” Rafael cried out as the signal from Mikasa’s comm. link went off, “I’m opening up a spacebridge!”

Mikasa let out a battle cry as she sliced through the nape of two Colossal Titans. She could feel her skin beginning to burn from the heat, but she still pressed on. She knew they couldn’t leave her behind, so she just needed to buy enough time so she could get Kenshin and his parents to safety. But she was seeing red bruises and burns on her hands. Her handles were actually hurting to hold because the metal was getting too hot. The metal from her equipment was causing more pain by the second. She had to stop, but Kenshin was still too close to the Colossal Titans!

“She won’t last much longer,” Taisho realized before turning to Kenshin. He looked so ready to fight and survive. He just wanted to save his parents, but despite Mikasa’s impressive battle prowess, he was certain she could only carry one of them. Taisho turned to his wife, and Katsuko looked like she was having similar thoughts to him, despite how terrified she looked as well. They were done for. They knew that. But Kenshin, their only son, needed to survive.

“MIKASA!” Taisho shouted from below, “TAKE KENSHIN AND RUN!”

“What?!” Kenshin shouted at his dad as he kneeled down, “No! NO! MIKASA DON’T DO THAT! DON’T LISTEN TO HIM!”

“Kenshin, you have to go,” Katsuko pleaded with her son as she placed a hand on his cheek, “She can’t save all of us!”

“She’s saving us right now! Don’t say that, Amma!” Kenshin didn’t mean to say that. He didn’t mean to call her by the name he called her as a child. But he was scared, panicking, there was still hope all three could be saved.

“Kenshin, she can’t carry all three of us,” Taisho reminded.

Mikasa had heard Taisho’s request as she sliced through another Colossal Titan. No! She could buy more time!

Mikasa, get out of there now! You’re going to die!” Hanji screamed through the comm. link.

“I still have to save Kenshin and his family!” Mikasa reminded as tears from flew her eyes, “I’m strong! I can do it!”

Mikasa, your gear will be destroyed from all this heat and you’ll die too! Mikasa went can’t save everyone!” Hanji declared before whispering in defeat, “We can only save who we can.”

Mikasa glanced down and saw the Colossal Titan getting too close to the three. Her gear was too hot now. She had no choice. She could only save who she could. Mikasa cried out in fury and heartbreak as she flew down towards the ground before heading straight for Kenshin. She saw the spacebridge open up a few meters away from him, but it wasn’t enough to haul all three through there. She knew her limits, and he was already upright.

“No, we can buy more time, Abba!” Kenshin grabbed his father’s hand, getting the man’s blood all over his own hands.

“Kenshin.” Kenshin froze when his father’s other hand landed on his head, blood staining his hair and skin.

“I love you.” Kenshin’s mouth hung open while Taisho smiled bitterly, “And I’m so proud of you.”

A foot slammed the ground directly behind the family.

“Live on for us,” Katusko requested, placing a hand on top of her husband’s and son’s.

“Wait-!” Kenshin felt hot arms snake around his abdomen and was met with the sight of Mikasa’s back, tackling him backwards. He was pulled away from his parents feeling his hands slip out of both of their grasps. Only when Kenshin felt the momentum of flying and loss of his parents’ warm touch, did he realize what had happened.

“WAIT! DON’T LEAVE THEM!” Kenshin screamed as he was pulled through the spacebridge, just as his parents were crushed by the titans. Kenshin tried to wrestle his way out of Mikasa’s grip to go back, but she was just too strong, and the spacebridge had closed anyway. He kicked and flailed his arms, but nothing seemed to work.

“Kenshin! Please!” Mikasa begged him.

“ABBA! AMMA!” Kenshin belted out in agony, squirming and screaming his heart out. “ABBA!”

“I’m sorry!” Mikasa began to cry as she pulled him down to the ground and hugged him tight. She ignored the pain she was feeling all over her skin and body and just focused on comforting Kenshin.

“LET ME GO BACK! ABBA! AMMA!” Kenshin screamed out like a child, not the regal and confident prince that she had known. “ABBABA!”

Willy, Lara, and Magath watched on as the prince of Hizuru continued screaming out in sorrow after they had finished putting in their own comm. links. Kenshin was still trying to force his way out of Mikasa’s grip, but he only leaned forward against the floor in defeat. Kenshin slammed his hands against the metal, begging to go back home.

Armin stared on at Kenshin’s distress and felt…horrible. He felt so guilty. He…caused this. He didn’t listen to Megatron. He didn’t listen to all the warning signs about Eren. They let all of those people die! And now…and now he-!

Armin gasped when his vision was suddenly met with a large expansion of mass under a starry night sky. He looked behind him to see a glowing tree, realizing that he was in the place that Eren had called them all to when the Rumbling began. But even then, he could’ve sworn he was still seeing distortions in the sand. He could see outlines of flowers. He just knew it. Armin searched his surroundings. He searched and searched for Eren until the scenery changed. It changed into that of a ghastly sight.

Eren tried his best. He really did try to distract himself from death and carnage below and stare off at this wondrous sight before him. The blue, cloudy, expansive sky before him, it was all he ever dreamed about. The freedom of an untouched, undiscovered world was right before him. Eren extended his arms outward to take in the sight. He found his arms shorter than what he was used to, he found himself in clothing that he was in when he was a child, but he didn’t care. Freedom was right before him.

“This is…” Eren wanted to say freedom, but the sight before him kept changing. It flickered back and forth from the sky, to the carnage and crushed bodies below. There were so many dead. So much blood underneath his feet. He wanted to enjoy this freedom, but he couldn’t. He already had enjoyed this type of freedom before. With his friends, when they fell from the sky together from Wheeljack’s ship, that was their freedom. That was a freedom he longed for. An untouched world with friends by his side, but now, he was standing alone, and crushing the world beneath his feet.

Eren felt someone’s presence behind him, and turned around to see Armin standing before him. Not Armin as a child, but Armin as an adult. Eren tried to put on a brave face and smiled at him.

“Look, Armin!” Eren pointed to the sky that had returned to view, “It’s the world we dreamed about!”

Armin…could only stare on in horror. All he saw was carnage and horror. A sea of blood and crushed bodies before him. Oh god! It was a nightmare!

“I never dreamed about this,” Armin spoke, “I never dreamed about any of this!”

Armin saw confusion on Eren’s childish face before stomping up to him. “Stop the Rumbling! You’ve done enough damage already! Enough lives have already been lost! Cybertron has been contacted! Stop this bloodshed now!”

Eren’s confusion seemed to be replaced with a slow realization, like he remembered the situation that they were in. “I can’t. The island-!”

“Would have been fine if you waited!” Armin screamed at him, “We succeeded in doing the impossible! This wouldn’t have been needed! We had protection, but you’re still doing all of this! You have nothing to gain out of doing the Rumbling anymore!”

“No-! I-!”

“Don’t be stupid!” Armin belted, “Stop acting like an impulsive stupid child! Do you really think succeeding will protect the island?! Protect you?! The longer you continue this, the more enemies you’re going to continue making! Do you think Optimus’ allies will be happy with this?! What about Optimus?! Huh?! What in all of hell would make you think that any of us wanted this?! I am not going to live in a peaceful world built from bloodshed! I won’t be happy with this! Stop the Rumbling!”

Eren’s childlike wonder disappeared from his eyes, and it was replaced with nothing more than a blank stare. “No.”

Armin was stunned when he heard his voice echo throughout a sandy void with a large, glowing, tree behind Eren.

“I will not stop the Rumbling,” Eren declared in his older voice, but his lips did not move, “I still cannot leave Paradis’ further to chance.”

Armin shook his head. “We both know that’s a lie! Eren! Paradis’ future is secure! I know you! This is just selfishness!”

“Then stop me from breathing,” Eren ordered him, “If you believe that Paradis has a future in this world with others, then stop me from breathing.”

Armin felt his hands trembling at Eren’s challenge. It…it felt like he was mocking him, like he knew that Armin wouldn’t go and attack him. Armin was a pacifist. He fought with words, not fists. He would not attack.

Armin remembered the words Eren spoke to him, and he remembered Megatron’s warnings about Eren. He remembered the vivid destruction and danger that Eren caused and brought them into. This was wrong. This wasn’t for their sake, but could he really attack his friend…while thousands if not millions of others die?

Armin gritted his teeth and clenched his fists before running towards the younger version of Eren. “EREN!”

Armin felt his hands wrap around Eren’s throat, and as he was ready to choke the life out of him, he hit the floor of the Iron Will hard.

“Armin!” Hanji called out.

Eren…felt his body was trembling. He couldn’t believe it. Armin attacked him! He actually attacked him and tried to kill him in here! Eren grunted as he searched through the Paths to determine what was going on outside of it. He saw Cybertronians and Survey Corps members attacking together on the back of his Founding Titan. He saw Optimus and his other allies through the eyes of the Colossal Titans, killing the monstrous beasts and buying more time for the humans to escape. He saw them being whisked away somewhere else through a swirling green portal.

No! No! The army of Colossal Titans was dwindling, and the people in the outside world were being saved! They were actually counteracting the Rumbling! That was impossible! No! He had already done too much now! His hands were stained with too much blood to back out now! He spoke a single word to the tree, a single command to all the Colossal Titans still standing.

“Fight.”

Everyone atop of the Founding Titan grunted when the massive beast they were fighting on jerked forward.

“What’s happening?!” Miko shouted at everyone.

Sasha felt the hairs on her neck shoot up in an instant. The air changed, there was a sense of urgency now. She peered through the gaps of the spine and saw the Colossal Titans getting into a starting position. Sasha gapped in horror as the Colossal Titans began running.

“They’re running!” Sasha screamed, “Holy sh*t, they’re running!”

The others looked down to see the Colossal Titans beginning to run faster than they even anticipated.

“sh*t! How fast would Eren complete the Rumbling now?!” Erwin demanded.

“We’re calculating those numbers!” Rafael shouted through the comm. link.

Megatron grimaced at the sight below. Reinforcements haven’t arrived yet. It might be a fruitless effort, but it was one he had to try. Megatron closed his optics and fell backwards through the gap of the spine and off the skeletal mass.

“Scrap!” Smokescreen cried out.

“Megatron!” Erwin called for him.

Megatron could hear his internal systems screaming at how hot it was and that core temperatures were rising, but he ignored it. He still had time before he experienced permanent system failure. Megatron transformed into his alt mode and flew through the hot steam, firing his blasters at the Colossal Titans. The Colossal Titans stumbled forward and crashed into the ground from the momentum of their running. Megatron transformed into his bipedal mode to slow down the heating process in his internal systems. He carved out the napes of the necks of the titans that were closest to him.

==

“Why are they running?! Why the f*ck are they running?!” Kenny demanded as the humans, Optimus, and Ratchet looked down below. The Colossal Titans were running as fast as they could, taking more lives and flattening the earth.

“Damn it, we don’t know!” Rafael shouted in anger as he opened a spacebridge for Bulkhead to escape in.

Mikasa still felt her body was burning from the Colossal Titans even after she let Kenshin go as he continued to grieve. It was so hot; her skin burned. Her trembling hands were singed red. It-!

Mikasa gasped when she felt cold water dumped all over her body. She immediately shot up to her feet and pulled out her sword to the person, but was stunned to see the teen, Colt, backing away, holding an empty bucket in his hands.

“Sorry,” Colt apologized as Mikasa noticed Onyankopon and Gabi hauling gallons of water into the Iron Will through the spacebridge, “I just-!”

“Down here!” Ratchet waved to the humans, gesturing to Optimus who leaned against the medic for support. Onyankopon and Gabi quickly dumped water onto Optimus to help cool him down.

“Fighter jets and tanks are ready!” Jack explained as he jumped through the spacebridge, “I also have the car ready too-!”

“No! No tanks! No cars! Only jets!” Rafael waved his hands frantically.

“What?! Why?!” Jack demanded.

“They’re running!” Ratchet answered.

“What do you mean they’re running?!” Jack shouted as he peered down the open hatch. “…oh, god.”

Kenshin watched with a tear stained face as Jack stood up and put a rectangular device to his ear. “Only jets! They’re running!...Yes, I know!...Agent Fowler, we don’t have time!”

Kenshin looked behind him to see Willy staring down the hatch in terror. Kenshin felt rage build up and overflow before he bolted to the Tybur and wrapped his hands around his neck to choke him, getting his father’s blood on his skin.

“Kenshin!” Mikasa cried out.

“Stop it!” Magath tried to reach for him but he started coughing again.

“I’LL KILL YOU! LIAR!” Kenshin roared at him while Willy struggled to breathe, “IF YOU HAD JUST TOLD PEOPLE THE KING WANTED PEACE INSTEAD OF LETTING MARLEY DO WHAT THEY WANT, WE WOULDN’T BE HERE! MY PARENTS ARE DEAD!”

Historia quickly pulled Kenshin off of Willy, but the prince kept on screaming. “THAT’S HIS BLOOD! HIS BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS! MURDERERS! BOTH OF YOU!”

“Willy!” Lara rushed to her brother’s side. She felt sick, seeing the sight on blood on her brother’s neck, but Willy looked so remorseful at the sight at the blood on his neck and hand.

“LET GO OF ME, HISTORIA!” Kenshin screamed at her.

“No!” Historia declared, “We can’t fight with each other! We have to work together!”

“f*ck!” Kenshin hollered. Kenshin grunted when Kenny grabbed the prince by his collar.

“Yer parents are dead! That’s sucks! It’s the way of the world!” Kenshin shouted at him, “Ya want revenge?! Ya wanna do right by them?! Then help us kill those damn things!”

Kenshin looked back down at Optimus getting water dumped all over him. He grimaced before snatching his shirt out of Kenny’s grasp.

“Fighter jets are ready! Open the spacebridge!” Jack ordered Rafael.

Rafael slammed down on the button and a spacebridge opened up in the sky. Some of the Survey Corps members peered out the window and saw multiple flying aircrafts shoot straight out of the spacebridge and launch missiles at the Colossal Titans. Multiple Colossal Titans were blown away and into pieces while other fighter jets were shooting bullets at the top of the Colossal Titans.

Jack, you were really not kidding!” new voice called out through the comm. link.

“I really wish that I was kidding!” Jack yelled in frustration.

“I’m still having trouble believing it even though it’s right before my eyes!” the voice exclaimed.

“Agent Fowler?” Optimus spoke up. The voice paused at the sound of Optimus’ voice before it devolved into a chuckle.

Of course when it’s the end of the world, Optimus Prime has to be the first one in the fight against it!” Fowler declared, “So Jack’s report about Megatron being here is also true?!”

Unfortunately,” Ratchet answered.

“…I hate today!” Fowler declared.

“We all hate today!” Rafael shouted.

“Target the nape of the neck!” Hanji ordered them, “The titans can only be killed by targeting the nape of the neck!”

“You heard that everyone!” Fowler addressed the other fighter jets, “Let’s go save the world!”

Yes sir!” they all saluted before flying in to assist the Autobots.

“Wait, why aren’t you guys calling comrades from your world?!” Willy demanded Ultra Magnus.

“We are!” Ultra Magnus answered, “The Nemesis isn’t a ship that can be manned on its own, and we had just passed legislation to break the aircraft down! I’m in communications with Knockout and the council to get that cleared and halt the dismantling of it!”

“So no one else can come to help out?!” Willy demanded.

An idea popped into Ratchet’s helm before groaning in frustration. Optimus ignored the water still being dumped on him by the three humans and turned his attention to Ratchet.

“You have someone?” Optimus asked.

“I don’t even know if he’ll agree,” Ratchet confessed, “Close the hatch!”

Ultra Magnus wordlessly pressed the button to close the hatch and bring Optimus and Ratchet inside the Iron Will.

“Are you okay?” Gabi had asked the Prime.

“I am alright,” Optimus answered her, “Thank you for your help.”

“Next set of coordinates!” Rafael informed, “We’re going to have to rush this, considering the time frame!”

Wait! What about the humans on the other side of the planet?!” Fowler asked, “If you guys are putting them there and the titans are running, there’s gonna be nothing left!”

Optimus thought it over. This world was no longer going to be hospitable, so they needed to relocate the humans. Optimus glanced back at Jack and Rafael and realized something. This world was already similar to Earth. And on top of that, Jack and Rafael had no space suits to speak up. They were breathing just fine. Which meant…

“We need to start transporting the humans to Earth!” Optimus declared.

“Whoa, what?!” Rafael exclaimed.

That might not be the best idea Prime!” Agent Fowler reasoned, “We’re talking about an increase in the population! A possible virus outbreak! We have a lot that we would need to consider!”

“If we do nothing, then the humans will perish! Earth is the only other environment that we have that is hospitable for the humans! We need to transport them there now!” Optimus ordered.

“…Damn it! Bryce is gonna be pissed! Jack!” Fowler called out.

“On it!” Jack immediately ran through the spacebridge that had just opened up.

“Everyone else! Get ready!” Rafael ordered.

“I need the comm. link system to reach out to Cybetron!” Ratchet declared as he ran over to one of the computers.

==

Fowler continued shooting bullets and missiles at the Colossal Titans along with the other soldiers. He and a few others quickly did their best to get out of the way of the steam, but some others got caught in the attack. The engines of the fighter jets heated up too quickly and exploded, killing the pilots on impact. Fowler grimaced at the light and the outline of the explosion from his co*ckpit before contacting his comrades.

“Don’t go in the smoke!” Fowler ordered, “Either fire from above or in front!”

Unidentified aircraft!” One of his soldiers reported. Fowler snapped his head to the steam and saw a jagged silhouette flying through and firing at the Colossal Titans, knocking them down with ease. Fowler gasped when that monstrous silver aircraft emerged from the smoke, with parts of its armor was eroding and chipping away due to the heat. The agent realized that this had to be Megatron. The Autobots had informed him of the change in appearance due to the Chaos Bringer, but…he wasn’t expecting it to be this bad. Fowler was confused; however, when Megatron clearly flew further away from the Colossal Titans. What in the Sam Hill was he doing?!

Megatron quickly found a large lake before nose diving into the water. He transformed into his bipedal mode and let the water cool his internal systems. By the Allspark, he desperately needed this. As his internal units cooled down, he thought over a few possibilities. He spotted human aircrafts, so the humans from Earth were no doubt here. But the Colossal Titans were already running. Was there a possibility that nuclear weapons could be used, or cleared? Maybe he should have stayed to assist in killing the Founding Titan, but-!

Megatron’s train of thought slowed when his gaze fell to his arm, and he noticed…the brown of his armor was eroding. The brown of the body alterations caused by Unicron were falling off. Was it due to the excessive heat from the titans? It was the only conclusion that he could come up with-!

Megatron felt the vibrations of the footsteps in the water and quickly transformed before flying out of the lake. He still had work to do.

==

“Damn it! Why did Buckethead have to leave?!” Levi swore.

Miko glanced over when she noticed an opening towards the nape of the neck. She tightened her grip on the axe before bolting straight towards the nape. A few puppet titans noticed her and tried to block her path, but Miko quickly rammed through them or used her blade to slice off limbs. Miko jumped into the air and let out a battle cry before ramming the axe into the nape.

“Scrap!” Miko tried to yank out the axe when she realized it didn’t cut all the way through. As Miko tried to do that, everyone noticed how the puppet titans' movements became more erratic. Before they could capitalize on that, the Founding Titan jerked forward and moved sporadically, forcing many to lose their balance.

“Miko!” Bumblebee screamed for her as he bolted towards her. Miko screamed at the sight of glowing blue tendrils emerging from the cut she created, some of them grabbed her arms and yanked her forward, causing her to let go of the axe. She ended up getting thrown to her left while axe fell into the steam below. Bumblebee quickly lunged for her and grabbed her arm while grabbing the shoulder bone of the titan. The two were dangling from the massive structure while the blue tendrils receded back into the nape of the neck before closing the wound.

Erwin was shocked at the sight of it. Those blue tendrils…it must’ve been from that worm that emerged from Eren’s body and attached itself to Eren’s head before the Rumbling was activated. Was that the source of the power of the titans? Could they just kill that and that would end the power of the titans? Would damaging that cause the other titans to stop?!

Annie quickly bolted over Bumblebee and grabbed Bumblebee’s arm before pulling both him and Miko up. Ymir and Smokescreen quickly tackled two other titans that tried to ambush Annie from behind before they could knock all three of them over.

==

“Alright, I’m back!” Jack jumped through the spacebridge again.

“Good!” Rafael said.

Jack noticed the secondary team that included Optimus was now missing, but many of the native humans were still there. Willy, Magath, and Lara were discussing plans with Rafael while Kenshin was sitting on the floor with his knees to his chest, looking rather catatonic. Blood still stained his hands and they were now getting smeared on other parts of his kimono. Jack noticed that they were already low on water.

“Go back to get more water!” Jack ordered Onyankopon, Gabi, and Colt.

“Got it!” They all said as they ran back through the spacebridge.

Jack then turned his attention to Magath. “Got the military locations?”

“Yes,” Magath answered.

“So I’m assuming the two of you are gonna do the talking,” Jack concluded.

“They should listen to us…hopefully,” Willy said.

Lara gasped at the sudden surge of energy in her body. She suddenly felt better! She looked down at her leg and pulled up the pant sleeve before unwrapping the bandages.

“Lara, what are you doing?!” Willy exclaimed, but stopped when they all saw the wound healing once again.

“Holy sh*t! That’s how it works?!” Jack demanded.

Lara felt hopeful. Did she get her powers back?! Could she fight and help save lives?! The hope she felt quickly vanished as the wound stopped healing and she felt the pain surge in her leg once again. No! Why?! She needed her powers back to do her duty!

“Wait! Why did it stop?!” Magath demanded.

“Everyone!” Erwin called through the comm. link system, “There’s a glowing entity that resides in the nape of the Founding Titan! If we cut it out or kill it, then maybe the Rumbling will stop!”

Magath recalled when he fired that weapon and the worm emerged from Eren’s body. That entity. It must be the entity that’s the source of the titan powers.

“How did you find this out?!” Ultra Magnus demanded.

I tried to cut through the nape but it didn’t work!” Miko answered, “I lost your axe, by the way!”

“You’re still alive; that’s what matters!” Ultra Magnus reassured.

“Do you have any other weapons that might be able to cut the entity out?!” Optimus demanded.

“There’s still an issue with providing proof to the rest of the council!” Ultra Magnus explained, “I’ve been transmitting footage as we speak! Hopefully they will be able to meet our demands and get us a weapon!”

Do what you must!” Optimus ordered.

==

“Fire!” A Marleyan lieutenant ordered as the soldiers atop the wall of another military base fired in rapid succession at the Colossal Titans speeding closer and closer towards them. However, none of the bullets had taken effect, and the titans still healed from their wounds.

“Sir! We need to run!” one of his soldiers pleaded.

“There are still people on the ground!” The lieutenant reminded as he glanced back to see civilians running around the military base from their homes.

“We’ve already gathered enough explosives! Let’s just run and set it off!” another soldier argued.

“Someone needs to set them off! And it probably won’t be that strong any way!” the lieutenant declared.

Soldiers screamed in terror as a spacebridge opened up next to them and Jack and Magath jumped through it. One of them quickly fired at Jack, but the bullet struck the armor plating instead of his face.

“Ow! We’re trying to help you!” Jack exclaimed as Willy stepped through the portal.

“I’m Willy Tybur! Get through the doorway now! It will take you somewhere safe!” Willy explained.

“Whoa! Hey!” Jack exclaimed as soldiers immediately abandoned their posts to run through the spacebridge.

“There are still civilians on the ground!” the lieutenant declared. “We might have explosives to help slow the titans down, but-!”

“How many?!” Magath demanded.

“A hundred people at best!” the lieutenant answered.

Magath found himself coughing, causing Willy to run to his side in concern. Magath looked down at his hand to see the dark energon and blood mixed together. His hand began trembling at the sight of his growing infection. He looked down at his arms to see that his veins were already turning purple. He was marked for death. He was going to die regardless if he somehow managed to survive the Rumbling. He…ended up causing this. He had to take some fault, some responsibility for the cause of the Rumbling. If he didn’t force the Eldians, those children, to fight an adult’s battle for them, none of this would have happened. He hurt children. Children who were clearly suffering and even defected because they hated their lives. Annie, Pieck, Colt, Gabi. If he could change their fates so that they could live normal lives, he would. If he had listened to Megatron when he was giving those warnings to begin with, maybe things would have been better. If this was going to be his last stand…then…

“Where are the explosives?!” Magath demanded.

“On the other side of the wall-! HEY!” the lieutenant yelled as Magath snatched one of Jack’s guns from his person and ran along the wall to where he had pointed.

“What are you doing Magath?! Come back!” Willy screamed at him.

“I’m marked for death! Convince the other military bases to accept help! Your name still holds weight!” Magath yelled before turning to Jack, “Tell Annie and Pieck to complete the mission, and Colt and Gabi to live long lives!”

“Magath!” Willy screamed.

Raf, the Magath guy is running off towards explosives! Spacebridge him out!” Jack ordered.

“Ratchet says that he’s infected with dark energon!” Rafael informed.

“So we can save him! We did that with you!” Jack retorted.

It’s a new mutation! The energon might not even work!” Rafael retorted, “We also don’t have time to cure him considering everything!”

“Scrap!” Jack swore as he saw the Colossal Titans getting closer. He didn’t want to leave this guy behind, but it looked like he didn’t have a choice, “There are civilians on the ground! Magath is gonna blow up the explosives to slow down the Colossal Titans! We need them to be spacebridged out now!”

“Get through the portal! Go!” Willy beckoned the lieutenant.

Magath could feel his body getting weaker as he continued running towards the explosives complied against the back of the military base. Some of them were atop the wall while the others were littered across the ground. He saw Jack and the lieutenant going through the spacebridge, but noticed Willy staring at Magath with regret. Willy quickly saluted Magath before Jack reappeared and pulled Willy through. Magath grabbed a chain of explosives and pulled them along the length of the wall to cover as much space as possible. This probably wouldn’t slow them down all that well, but if the spacebridge opened up right behind the military base, and the people crowded around the bridge, then maybe the Colossal Titans in the pathway would be blocked by the explosives just long enough for them to get through.

“Open a ‘bridge 50 meters behind the coordinates you just dropped us off at!” Jack ordered Rafael.

Colt, Gabi, and Onyankopon returned with more water, and the two Warrior Cadets looked around for Magath, but they couldn’t find him.

“Where’s General Magath?!” Colt demanded.

“He’s staying behind to set off explosives to slow down the Colossal Titans! Raf, bridge!” Jack shouted at him.

“Wait what?!” Gabi exclaimed, “He can’t! Why?!”

“He’s marked for death, and he’s thinking it’s a good idea to make a sacrifice play!” Jack explained as Rafael opened the spacebridge.

Magath noticed the familiar glow of the spacebridge seated on the ground, startling a few of the civilians there. “HEY! GO THROUGH THE PORTAL! IT WILL TAKE YOU SOMEWHERE SAFE! RUN!”

Magath finished lining up the explosives before running towards the section where the explosives were most concentrated.

“Let us see him! Please! Let us get him back!” Gabi begged.

“No! Too dangerous!” Jack declared.

“He’s our general! We have to-!”

“He doesn’t want you two to be there!” Jack cut Colt off, “He gave me a message.”

Magath sat along the wall, watching the Colossal Titans break through the front wall of the military base. He stared at the gun in his hand, lamenting the fact that he couldn’t properly apologize to the Warrior Cadets. He hurt them. He hurt so many people, and he couldn’t take it back. Magath initially tried to pull the pin out, but it wouldn’t budge. Magath then tinkered with the gun to figure out the mechanics of it. He found the safety. He pulled the hammer down. He squeezed the back of the gun and his finger hovered over the trigger. He aimed the gun at the closest bomb. He prayed….

“He wanted the two of you to live long lives,” Jack explained.

Magath pulled the trigger and the energon bullet flew. It ignited the chain of bombs and grenades, consuming him and killing him on impact. This created a chain reaction of the other explosions going off and slowly a few of the Colossal Titans in its path. The remaining people that were still in the crossfire saw the explosion and noticed some of the muscles of the titans eroding, but quickly regained their focus and ran through the bridge once they realized that the Colossal Titans were still moving.

“The people are out,” Rafael informed, “I’m returning the spacebridge to where the B team is.”

Colt fell to his knees in shock while Gabi felt so dead inside. They kept losing people. Why did they constantly keep on losing people?!

“Hey, look at me.” Jack placed a hand on Colt’s shoulder, “He wanted you two to live, so you two are going to keep on living, no matter what. Okay?”

Colt tried to hold back his tears, but he couldn’t help it as he began to cry. Jack continued comforting him while Gabi tried to breathe. This was too much. It was too much! She couldn’t handle it anymore! It-!

“What do you mean no?!” Gabi raised her head in confusion when she saw Ratchet yelling at the screen. He was talking to someone, but she didn’t know who it was.

I mean no,” the voice on the other end of the screen commanded. It sounded so confident, assured, annoyed, and bored all at the same time, “This conflict has no real impact on Cybertron or even my people. I have no reason to carelessly put them in danger for a world I know little about.”

“There is the matter of Optimus and Megatron still being alive-!”

“Even less of a reason for me to join that fight,” the voice interrupted, “I care nothing for Optimus, and Megatron is someone I would kill.”

“Are you saying you would let innocent people suffer?” Ultra Magnus challenged.

“I am practicing self preservation,” the voice answered, “I cannot be at your beck in call and risk my life for a situation I know little about!”

Ratchet groaned in frustration. “Please, Predaking! We cannot do this on our own! We are already having trouble getting the Nemesis cleared!”

“I still-!”

“Please!” Gabi spoke up, causing Ratchet to snap her helm at her, “Please help us!”

“…that sounds like a sparkling,” the voice remarked.

“Yes! She’s a sparkling! And thousands if not millions like her will be destroyed if you do not help us!” Ratchet declared.

There was silence on the other end of the line before the other person spoke. “I have demands.”

“You cannot be serious!” Ratchet exclaimed.

“I am risking my life for people I do not know. I have demands that need to be met for my people,” the voice declared.

“Fine, what is it?!” Ultra Magnus demanded.

“My people need an increase in trade when it comes to special ores,” the voice began, “They need others metals in order to compensate for their diet.”

“What else?” Ultra Magnus pressed.

“A new landing pad needs to be built in Iacon,” the voice continued.

“What?!” Ratchet yelled.

You complain about the marks we leave whenever we land in highly populated areas. A landing pad in the city will not kill you! If anything, it creates additional job opportunities!” the voice retorted.

Any last requests state it now!” Ultra Magnus ordered.

“Hm….,” the voice thought it over, “I would like an oil bath installed in my territory.”

“…Really?” Ratchet sighed in annoyance.

The sparklings enjoy it,” the voice retorted.

“Yes to all of it! A spacebridge will be sent to your coordinates!” Ultra Magnus declared, “Assist Knockout in getting the Nemesis!”

“Very well. Darksteel! Skylynx! Prepare for combat!” the voice ordered before disconnecting from the screen.

“Who was that?” Onyankopon asked.

“An annoying aft predacon is what he is!” Ratchet yelled.

==

The Survey Corps, Optimus, and Bulkhead arrived at the next location of a large and crowded city that mirror London. The Survey Corps quickly flew through the city to help the humans while Optimus and Bulkhead continued firing at the heads of the Colossal Titans. Meanwhile, the Iron Will was firing from above, keeping a close eye on the humans on the ground. However, there were too many buildings getting destroyed, crushing innocent people below. Some have managed to make it through the spacebridge, but others weren’t even close as they were crushed underfoot.

“We’re not going to save everyone here!” Pieck informed, “There’s too much destruction and chaos! We could end up being crushed ourselves!”

“We still need to try and help them!” Armin reasoned.

“The U.S. fighter jets are taking care of other Colossal Titans and they’re still trying to get more reinforcements and weaponry that they can use!” Bulkhead informed.

“Don’t you guys have f*cking bombs that you can use or some sh*t?!” Kenny screamed over the comm. link.

There’s a chance that could cause more damage to the environment!” Fowler chimed in as he and his forces continued firing at the Colossal Titans, “We can drop an atomic bomb on that Founding Titan or whatever, but we need the others to get out the way first!”

“How fast would it take to clear it?!” Hanji demanded.

Mikasa continued seeing the destruction around her. People were dying. Her friends were getting caught in the crossfire, her arms ached…and now…now…

Mikasa gritted her teeth as she landed atop a tower with a giant clock and screamed. “COME AT ME!”

“What?!” Connie exclaimed.

“Mikasa!” Armin exclaimed.

“BRING IT ON! I’M STRONG! STRONGER THAN ALL OF YOU!” Mikasa continued screaming. It was all she had left to help her nerves. She ignored the screaming, the pounding footsteps, the spacebridge opening up right behind her, the wings sprouting out and covering the sun. “I’LL TAKE ALL OF YOU ON! YOU HEAR ME!”

“HEY GET THE f*ck OUT THE WAY!” Kenny shouted at her. Mikasa gasped when she heard a loud, animalistic scream right behind her. She snapped her head back and gasped at the sight of a metal, scaly, black, lizard with orange wings. She saw its chest glow and a light crawl up its long neck to its mouth. Mikasa quickly ducked as the creature released a large trail of fire that hit the face of the Colossal Titan, causing it to fall backwards. Mikasa raised her head to see two more of these creatures emerge from the spacebridge, opening their maws to release more fire and burn the Colossal Titans’ heads.

“What the hell?!” Historia swore in shock.

“What are those things?!” Hanji asked with both terror and excitement.

“Predaking!” Optimus answered.

“Oh, the dragon’s finally here!” Rafael sighed in annoyance.

Armin saw all three of these creatures dive into the hot steam. He managed to see their outlines burning and tearing the flesh of the titans, but…they appeared to be fine? What kind of Cybertronians were these things?!

“You should be thanking said dragon,” The Survey Corps raised their heads at the new voice. A shadow loomed over all of them, and they looked up to see a massive structure emerge from the spacebridge and started firing at the Colossal Titans. The blasters started to disintegrate them on impact, slowing down the marching army and allowing the team on the ground to gather the remaining humans and get them through the spacebridge.

“What the hell is that?” Connie looked like a fish out of water as he dropped someone off near the portal.

“Calvary little human,” the voice replied throughout the comm. link system.

“Calvary?” Hanji questioned.

==

“You probably should have shown me footage of this sooner,” Knockout proclaimed from the co*ckpit of the Nemesis. Vehicons were running diagnostics and calibrating the weapons systems across the Nemesis while a few other former Decepticons were gearing up for the fight, “I think the council might have agreed, or at the very least, have an excuse for them to have the ship destroyed.”

“This ship is here now, that is all we can ask for,” Ultra Magnus reassured.

“Still this is…,” Knockout peered down through the glass of the co*ckpit to see the Colossal Titans running. He couldn’t help but chuckle nervously, “This is way above my pay grade.”

“Can you just use the f*cking thing to help us out?!” Levi shouted.

“Yes, by the Allspark!” Knockout couldn’t help but rub his audio receptors, “I still wasn’t sure if the report of Optimus being alive was confirmed, so I didn’t get the Star Saber.”

…You didn’t get the sword that could cut a mountain in two?” Hanji demanded in a low voice.

“Look, whoever this is, I’ve already been doing a lot convincing the council to use the Nemesis, and I had to bribe multiple former Decepticons with the promise of acquitted time and-!”

GO GET THE SWORD!” everyone practically screamed at him while others were screaming profanities.

“Okay, fine!” Knockout shot back, “I need someone to come with me! DeadEnd! Take care of the ship! Shadow Striker there’s a machine gun atop of the ship! You know what to do with it!”

“Whatever,” Dead End shrugged as he took control of the Nemesis.

“Great!” Shadow Striker grinned with delight before running to the top of the Nemesis.

“Wheeljack is on the Nemesis! His wounds are almost repaired!” Knockout informed.

==

“I will go with you!” Ratchet informed as he carried Arcee in his arms, “Don’t let Wheeljack out of the medical bay until I can conclude he’s clear enough for combat! And if he is, he can only use the Jackhammer! No physical combat!”

Rafael opened up a spacebridge to the Nemesis, but before Ratchet passed through, he turned his attention to the humans still on board the Iron Will. “If you don’t have a task here, get on the Nemesis! There’s more room and much more durable!”

“We have to stay!” Onyankopon declared as Gabi and Colt nodded their heads in agreement.

“You three come with me then!” Ratchet gestured to Lara, Willy, and Kenshin. The Prince raised his head from his seated position in confusion.

“What…?” He mumbled.

“Kenshin! We still have influence! We need to help the people!” Willy reminded as he grabbed him by the arm and pulled him up. He and Lara ended up following Ratchet and Jack through the spacebridge before Rafael closed it. Willy, Lara, and Kenshin were stunned at the sight of the main deck of the Nemesis. The technology, the design, the other titans with strange faces running around, it truly felt like they were on another planet.

“Scrap, Arcee!” Knockout exclaimed in surprise at her state.

“Don’t judge,” Arcee groaned.

“Help me get her checked out first!” Ratchet ordered as he ran down the hall with Knockout following behind.

==

Once the Predacons got a physical conformation that the organics were cleared out, they flew away from the Colossal Titans and let the remains of the city be trampled into dust. Predaking then roared to Darksteel and Skylynx before splitting off away from them. The two other Predacons ended up flying towards the Iron Will before landing directly on top of it. Gabi, Colt, and Onyankopon yelled at the sudden weight that shook the ship, but Darksteel pecked at the glass with his beak in order to get Ultra Magnus’ attention.

“Assist us in locating other pockets of humans and alert us so we can evacuate them!” Ultra Magnus ordered, “Destroy as many Colossal Titans as you can!”

Darksteel cawed at Skylynx, and the other trilled with delight. Both of them jumped off of the Iron Will before heading in the opposite direction. The duo worked together to tear through the Colossal Titans with their claws, unaffected by the steam.

Eren could feel it. He could feel the way that the Colossal Titans were being struck down by all of these new combatants! The running wasn’t enough now! They were actually getting the people out! NO! No he was not going to let them stop him! He was going to keep fighting until his last breath! He had already chosen this path! He had to see it through! He touched the tree and gave the same command he had provided before, this time with more force.

“Fight!”

Meanwhile, Predaking continued to fly by himself in the steam. He managed to spot a few humans in the steam as well, but they were screaming in agony as they were charred beyond repair. Predaking couldn’t help but grimace at the sight. It was disgusting. It irked him. Predaking continued to burn these monstrous creatures as much as he could, letting them burn away and crumple to pieces once the nape of the neck was destroyed. Predaking was about to kill another one with his fire; however, he stopped himself when purple blasters collided with the nape of the neck, instantly killing it and knocking it forward due to the speed at which it was running. It rammed into the back of another Colossal Titan, knocking it to the ground as well. Predaking snapped his helm to see a familiar aircraft flying overhead. He snarled at the sight of Megatron attacking the Colossal Titans, assisting him! He didn’t need that manipulative fool’s help!

Predaking blinked when he noticed Megatron turning back around and flying towards him. Predaking screeched when he realized that Megatron was about to ram into him! Before Predaking could launch a fireball to knock him out of the sky to let him be trampled below, he saw a red hand ready to slam him into the ground. Megatron rammed into him, effectively pushing him out of the way of the Colossal Titan’s attack. More titans tried to grab at the two, but Megatron managed to get the both of them out of the line of their attack and out of the steam. Megatron then flew over to a waterfall and transformed into his bipedal mode, letting the both of them crash into the water below.

Predaking quickly snapped his helm towards Megatron as he pulled himself out of the water. He growled as he noticed Megatron coughing up the water that got into his systems, the brown of his armor completely eroded away leaving nothing but silver and purple. The former warlord glanced back at Predaking, but the predacon noticed that there was no malice in his gaze. No hatred. Not even fear. There was caution, but Megatron didn’t look down on him or fear him.

“Everyone!” Megatron activated his comm. link. “The Colossal Titans have just launched an offensive attack!”

==

“Yeah, we kind of noticed!” Hanji screamed as they were all trying to evacuate another town. Many of the Colossal Titans were distracted by the attacks from the Iron Will and the two Predacons, but there were some that were actively kneeling down to crush the humans below. One of them managed to grab both Pieck and Bulkhead before throwing them both straight into the ground.

“Bulkhead! Pieck!” Optimus called for them, but he had to dodge swipes from multiple titans trying to crush him.

Pieck was doing her best to force herself to regenerate while Bulkhead was certain that he had broken something. He could feel that his body was slowly cooling down from the lack of exposure to the Colossal Titans, but he needed to tap out, and he needed to drag the titan shifter to safety.

“I need a bridge!” Bulkhead forced himself to stand up before grabbing Pieck’s titan form and dragging it towards the spacebridge that just opened up.

“I can still fight,” Pieck reasoned as her body continued to heal.

“We have support from others right now!” Bulkhead reasoned, “And both of us were just thrown pretty fast. I can feel my head gasket spinning.”

“But-!”

“Just take a moment to recover!” Bulkhead ordered as the two made it through onto the Iron Will. Ultra Magnus saw Bulkhead and Pieck and quickly lowered the panel down so the two of them could get some air. The humans quickly dumped as much water as they could carry onto Bulkhead while Pieck crawled out of her titan form. She then grabbed a bucket full of water next to Onyankopon and dunked her face in it to cool herself off.

==

Megatron and Predaking raised their helms to the sight of the Colossal Titans atop of the waterfall, ready to trample the lake they were in.

“Run!” Megatron immediately transformed and flew off while Predaking quickly bolted and flew off after him.

Everyone I have good news and bad news!” Fowler spoke through the comm. link system.

“Good news?!” Hanji asked.

“More U.S. soldiers are prepared to deploy with fighter jets! There are a few that can help out with evacuation on the Nemesis!” Fowler answered.

“Bad news?!” Bulkhead demanded.

“There’s a huge crowd of people about to get chased over a cliff and we’re trying our best to hold off the Colossal Titans so we can get them out!” Fowler exclaimed as maneuvered his way around a hand strike and fired at the face of a Colossal. He glanced over to see the massive crowd fleeing for their lives as they reached the edge of a cliff, the drop going directly into the sea.

“How many?!” Armin asked in horror.

“Enough to fill a football stadium twice over, now get the Nemesis here!” Fowler shouted.

“We have to assume at least 20,000 people!” Rafael declared.

“The Nemesis will be there shortly!” Ultra Magnus informed, “One of the Predacons should head over there now!”

Predaking glanced back at Megatron and sneered before roaring in affirmation and flying opposite of Megatron. A spacebridge opened up and he flew through it before launching a fireball at one of the titans that came into view.

==

“Damn it! We could really use some extra help right about now!” Sasha swore as she dodged another attack from a War Hammer Titan.

Annie threw a combo at one of the titans in front of her, but grunted when she felt something tackle her from behind. The puppet titan pinned her to the spine and Annie snapped her head back, but she couldn’t help but gasp in horror at the sight of Reiner’s titan form staring down at her. She watched him die. She saw him get eaten! She might have resented him later in life, but for Eren to use his corpse as a f*cking puppet actually pissed her off!

Bumblebee quickly shot the titan that was atop of Annie, drawing its attention to him. Bumblebee quickly ran back as the puppet tried to kill him, but Annie quickly killed the back of its leg before punching it down into the steam below.

“I could really use some assistance over here since I don’t have a secondary weapon!” Smokescreen called out as he kept firing at the nape of the neck, but the energon bullets weren’t doing too much damage. Smokescreen didn’t waiver even as puppet titans came up behind him and phase directly through him to fall over the titan form, “The phase shifter is mainly defensive!”

Erwin’s eyes fell to Bumblebee as he drew out his daggers and stabbed a Jaws Titan in the neck. Erwin gasped at the sight of the puppet twitching sporadically, unable to move and properly attack! It was paralyzed! Annie grabbed the titan by the head and threw it at another titan. Wait, if those weapons could paralyze those puppet titans, how effective would it be against Eren himself?

Erwin flew and dodged all the attacks from the other puppet titans before landing on Bumblebee’s shoulder. “Your daggers! How effective are they in paralyzing large masses?!”

“Using the stingers does take up a lot of energy to use and they usually stun opponents for only a few seconds with average sized Bots!” Bumblebee explained before he realized what Erwin was think about, “You want me to try and stun this thing?! It’s massive!”

“The nape of the neck is the weak point of every single titan!” Erwin reasoned, “If you can target Eren there, then there is a possibility that Eren won’t be able to move even just for a few seconds! Then maybe we could land a killing blow of some kind with the reinforcements that were mentioned!”

Bumblebee thought it over before activating his comm. link. “Agent Fowler, tell those fighter jets to fly over to the Founding Titan!”

“On it!” Fowler said.

“Okay.” Bumblebee got into a starting position, seeing a clear shot towards the nape of Eren’s neck, “Keep the path clear I’m gonna go for a direct hit!”

“OVER HERE UGLY AFT GLITCHES!” Smokescreen hollered as he bolted away from the nape of Eren’s neck, luring the titans that were still attacking him away. Bumblebee then sprinted towards the nape of the neck, getting the attention of some of the other titans. Erwin immediately jumped off of Bumblebee’s shoulder and flew towards a few of the titans before managing to cut the nape of at least one of them. Meanwhile, Sasha and Ymir were stopping the titans below from climbing up to stop Bumblebee while Levi was slicing through as many as possible. Bumblebee jumped into the air when he reached the base of the neck and pulled out his stingers before stabbing Eren directly into the nape.

==

The massive crowd of humans alongside the cliff screamed in terror at the sight of the Colossal Titans running closer to them, despite the fact that there were strange flying birds attacking them to try and slow them down. There was also a massive metal lizard with wings, alternating between tearing through the flesh of the titans and burning them to a crisp. Many along the edge of the cliff tried to push back against the crowd so that they wouldn’t drop to their deaths in the sea below, but they were certain that there was nothing that they could do to stop their imminent death. It was either the drop or being crushed to death.

Some of the humans gasped in terror when a green portal opened up in the air between the cliff and the sea, and a massive dark and jagged blimp emerged from it. It inched closer and closer to the edge of the cliff until it became close enough for the people to step on it. The people screamed when a massive titan with a discolored body, sat in a chair with a massive gun attached to it. It began firing the weapon in rapid succession towards the Colossal Titans, hitting them in the chest and legs to slow them down. The people gasped in surprise when humans in strange green patterned outfits climbed towards the edge of the ship, holding out their hands towards the people.

“Get on the ship! Now! We’re going to take you to safety!” one of them shouted.

“What-!”

“I am Willy Tybur!” Willy and Jack climbed up towards the edge of the ship together, “I give you my word, they will get you someplace safe!”

“Get on now!” Jack practically ordered.

The people teetering over the edge took their chances, and grabbed onto the hands of the soldiers. They were quickly pulled onto the ship and were aided in climbing down to the smooth platform before being met with Lara, Kenshin, and a few other soldiers.

“Go inside, it’s safer in there,” Lara reassured.

“This way.” Kenshin beckoned them towards the entrance. The people followed Kenshin before a few U.S. soldiers guided them inside. When they were inside, they were quickly met with nurses and other military personal that had food and water. The people began sobbing with relief as the military assisted them without any hesitation.

“The top of the ship is getting really crowded!” Jack remarked as the massive horde of humans scrambled onto the ship, causing massive overcrowding on the top deck, “If the people keep on panicking to get on, we might not get all of them in time!”

“We’re not abandoning these people!” Kenshin yelled at Jack.

“We still have to strategize!” Jack reasoned, “Agent Fowler and Predaking can only do so much as individuals, and while it’s effective so far, the Colossal Titans are starting to attack! We need something massive that can block their path! And Shadow Striker-!”

“This is a lot of ammo that I’m spending right now!” Shadow Striker shouted over the noise, “Vehicons are manning the ship for the most part but maybe we can call a few of them up here?!”

Lara was about to speak up, but gasped when she felt a familiar sensation flow through her body. She lifted her pant leg once more to find that her wound had finally healed up. She could see that her veins were glowing blue, clear evidence that her powers had finally returned. What had happened? What was happening?!

==

Eren grunted in the head of the titan when he suddenly couldn’t move properly. His body was twitching sporadically and he was suddenly losing his connection to the puppet titans atop of his back. He could feel that the Colossal Titans were slowing down. They weren’t attacking or running. They had been reduced to walking once again. The War Hammer...he couldn’t feel it! Why couldn’t he feel the War Hammer Titan anymore?! Who hit him?!

Bumblebee flinched when he felt electricity run through the nape of the neck, seeing the sparks of blue from his attack. He forced himself to push deeper into the nape to cut through it completely.

“It’s working!” Jean exclaimed as all the puppet titans started twitching violently mid attack.

Bumblebee gasped when tendrils suddenly shout out of the nape of the neck, even as Eren had slowed in his moments. One of the tendrils wrapped around Bumblebee and ripped him off of the nape, flinging him high into the air.

“BEE!” Smokescreen cried out as he, Miko, Annie, and Ymir ran towards the tendrils sprouting out from the nape.

“Take care of the titans while they’re paralyzed!” Erwin ordered the remaining humans, “We need to capitalize on this opportunity!”

“Yes sir!” Sasha and Jean shouted as all four of the humans returned to slicing through the titans.

==

Lara flexed her fingers before turning her attention to the ledge Willy was standing on. She climbed up the ledge where the other soldiers were and saw that the Colossal Titans had finally slowed down. The Founding Titan, it must’ve been weakened somehow. If that was the case, then she could use her power to save these people, possibly for the last time. No…definitely for the last time. This was the only window she was probably going to get and she needed to capitalize on it. She was afraid for her life, but she was a Tybur, and she could no longer run from her duty.

“Willy!” her brother spared a quick glance her way before realizing what had happened and turning his attention to her completely.

“Lara?! Your eyes!” Willy exclaimed, “Your power, it-!”

“This is probably going to be limited,” Lara reasoned, “Willy…”

“Lara,” Willy’s voice was laced with concerned. He gasped when his younger sister had hugged him tight.

“I love you, Willy,” Lara said, “I hope you get to live a good and free life, without the title of Tybur weighing down on you.”

“Wait,” Willy gasped as Lara released him. She found an opening onto the cliff side and quickly jumped off the Nemesis to the dirt ground.

“LARA WAIT!” Willy cried out as Lara ran through the crowd towards the Colossal Titans.

“What’s going on?!” Kenshin cried out.

“Lara jumped into the crowd!” Willy yelled.

“She what?! I thought she didn’t have her powers!” Jack exclaimed.

Bumblebee managed to paralyze Eren’s titan form!” Erwin informed everyone with the comm. link, “We need help landing a killing blow before Eren regains mobility!”

“Reinforcements are headed your way!” Ultra Magnus declared.

“Wait!” Mikasa had begged.

Lara continued running through the crowd, but the wave of panicked people have nearly knocked her over one too many times. She needed to get over them. Lara saw enough space between the crowd and the Colossal Titans and stepped on the ground hard, creating a descending ramp in that space. Lara then stepped on the ground once again, launching herself high into the air with a crystallized platform of her own making. Lara had forgotten for a moment just how good it felt to actually use her powers after it had been ripped away from her. But now that she had it back in her possession, she never wanted to let it go. In that moment, she didn’t care about the danger and death that came with being a titan shifter. She didn’t care about the thirteen year curse. She just felt so free through the air.

“We got the Star Saber!” Knockout declared as he and Ratchet emerged from the spacebridge with the Star Saber in tow. The two of them yelped at the sight of all the humans that were clamored together, crying with such relief at being alive.

“Doc,” they both heard a voice and snapped their helms to see Wheeljack limping towards them, using the wall as support while holding his injured side.

“Wheeljack, you need to go back!” Ratchet exclaimed.

“My injuries aren’t as bad as ‘Cee’s. I can still fight,” Wheeljack reasoned, “I just need to get my ship. It’s still on the island.”

“Let me look you over first!” Ratchet retorted.

“Get the sword to Chief,” Wheeljack advised, “I’ve been hearing chatter about the Bee stunning the Founding Titan.”

“The massive bone structure?!” Knockout exclaimed.

“Hey, don’t want to interject, but one of those humans ran back to the red titans and is bending the ground to its will,” Dead End popped his helm on the corner of the hall.

“Wait, what?!” Ratchet exclaimed in confusion.

“Lara come back please!” Willy cried out for her, trying to step off the ship to get through the crowd. However, Jack saw what he was doing and quickly grabbed Willy’s arm to pull him back.

“Hey stop! You don’t have any powers!” Jack reminded.

“She’s my sister!” Willy retorted.

Lara landed atop of the ramp and slid down towards the bottom to slow her fall. When she hit the solid ground, she stared up at the Colossal Titans in fear. Her body was trembling at the sight of the skinless bodies looking so catatonic and dead inside. The fact that they were getting attacked did nothing for her. They were still mighty beast lumbering towards them all to crush them. Lara glanced back at the people still fleeing for their lives, and gasped when she saw children in the crowd. A mother was holding her baby tightly to her chest, a father grabbing his son’s wrist so he wouldn’t lose him in the crowd…they all had families. People they cared for and needed to protect. She couldn’t abandon them now.

“What are you doing?!” Lara gasped when she heard someone screaming at her through the device in her ear. It was the orange medic, Ratchet, calling out to her. “You need to get back on board the ship right now! Let Predaking and Agent Fowler hold off the Colossal Titans until we can board everyone!”

“I can’t take that chance!” Lara reasoned, “Eren lost control of the Founding Titan, and it gave me my powers back. I don’t know how much longer I can hold onto it, but I feel its pull. I feel it slipping away from me, and I need to use it to protect these people before Eren somehow takes it back!”

There are reinforcements heading towards the giant titan! This seems unnecessary!” Knockout retorted.

“It is my duty as a Tybur to protect these people, and I will not turn my backs on them now!” Lara declared, “I will complete my task and see it through to the end!”

“Look, please reconsider!” Jack pleaded through the comm. link, doing his best to hold Willy back.

“LARA! LARA COME BACK!” Lara grimaced at the sounds of her brother begging her to return, but…she couldn’t. She had to complete the mission. She took a deep breath and calmed her nerves. At the very least, she got to see her family one last time, and also got to say her goodbyes to Willy…but…there was still one thing that clung to the back of her mind.

“Put me through to Megatron,” Lara commanded through the comm. link.

Excuse you?!” Ratchet exclaimed, “Why in the Allspark would you even want to talk to him?!”

It’s a personal matter,” Lara answered Ratchet, “And it’s going to be my final request. Please. I need closure.”

Ratchet turned his attention to Knockout, who merely shrugged in confusion and defeat.

“If it gets her to help, I don’t see why not?” Knockout confessed.

Ratchet seeing the severity of the situation through the cameras, the swarm of humans trying to get on the Nemesis, could only be resigned to this last request. The Predacon and the humans no doubt could only do so much with the quantity.

Ratchet groaned in frustration. “Fine.” The medic pressed the keyboards on the Nemesis and connected with Megatron’s frequency. “Megatron-!”

“What is it?!” Megatron demanded, “What happened?!”

“Megatron,” Lara spoke his name, and there was a pregnant pause on the end of his comm. link.

Why are you contacting me now, Lara?” Megatron asked her.

“This is going to be the last time I speak to you.” Lara’s attention was set on the Colossal Titans, “I’m going to do something…I’m not coming back from it…I can feel my hold on the War Hammer. I just need to pull on it.”

…You should be contacting Willy in your final moments,” Megatron retorted.

“I’ve already spoken with him,” Lara explained, “And I’m going against what he wants: my safety.”

Then why me?” Megatron asked.

“You know how I feel about you, or how I felt about you in the past,” Lara began, “Honestly, I feel conflicted as of now. But…I genuinely want to know what you really thought about me. I need the truth from you. Grant me that final request.”

Ratchet and Knockout couldn’t help but listen in on that conversation and stare at each other in surprise. What in the Allspark was happening on this world?

You won’t like what I have to say,” Megatron reasoned.

“Tell me,” Lara commanded.

“…I thought you a liar, malleable, someone who did not earn her honor,” Megatron answered her truthfully, “You bend to the will of others instead of taking control of your own life….But…you have the makings to be a really powerful warrior. Someone who would be both strong and kind. Worthy of their title.”

Lara…couldn’t help but start laughing at Megatron’s words. “All this time, you were actually honest about how you felt about me.”

I’m not trivial to sentimentality,” Megatron informed her.

“I know.” Lara accepted her fate and the circ*mstances, “Even so, I am glad that I got to meet you. Goodbye, Matthew.”

It was a slip of the tongue, but she couldn’t help it. It was the name that she had been used to. Lara mustered all the remaining strength she had left. She could feel the pull get stronger. The ground beneath her hardened and cracked under the pressure, and she could feel the steam rise out from her skin.

“…Goodbye Lara,” Megatron told her, and Lara could detect a hint of sorrow in his voice.

Lara’s eyes snapped open as she left out a powerful scream. Walls and spikes of her power erupted from the ground to block the Colossal Titans coming her way. The eruption caused her bun to become undone and her hair to fly everywhere. Some of titans got stuck on the spikes in the wall she created that stretched for miles. The ones behind them, piled onto the ones that were stuck.

“LARA!” Willy screamed for his sister as he almost managed to jump off the Nemesis to help her, but Jack quickly grabbed his waist and yanked him back.

“Stop! STOP!” Jack yelled at him.

Lara could see the Colossal Titans trying to barge through the wall with force and speed. They were still walking, but the force of their walking and their weight caused cracks to form in the wall. She screamed louder as she strengthened and hardened the walls and spikes to keep them at bay.

“Come on! Come on!” Kenshin jumped onto the ledge and continued assisting the humans on board with the other U.S. soldiers. Kenshin could see the wall created starting to give out, and he prayed that the titan shifter could hold on just a little bit longer. A little longer! Everyone was almost on board!

Lara could feel herself getting tired, weaker, her bones felt like they were going to break and she wanted to vomit. But she continued to push and use her power. Despite the fact that her vision was getting blurry, despite the fact that everything ached, she pushed on! She would not give in!

Lara…could see memories. Memories of her life…her life was flashing before her eyes. Her playing with her brother before studying to become the War Hammer Titan. Her schooling, Her sister-in-law, her nieces and nephews, the sun, sky, and moon, delicious pastries, her parents, the horrors of war, Megatron as Matthew, and now…

Even for a moment, she was happy she got to live in this world, at least enough that she wanted to protect it.

Lara slammed her fists into the ground to put more power into her defensive. Her face felt like it was cracking under the pressure, but she pressed on. A little longer! A little longer!

“LARA! STOP! YOU’LL DIE! LARA! STOP!” Tears streamed down Willy’s face as Jack continued to hold him back.

“That’s the last of them!” a soldier shouted at Jack as they pulled the last of the humans on board.

“Ratchet!” Jack yelled through the comm. link.

We need to get that other human back!” Ratchet retorted.

“Do we have time?!” Jack asked with concern, “We can’t have the Nemesis get caught in the crossfire!”

“Go!” Lara strained through the comm. link.

“But-!”

GO!” Lara screamed out as she slammed her fists one more time.

“You heard the human!” Knockout shouted as he took control of the Nemesis to pilot away from the edge of the cliff.

“LARA! NO! STOP! PLEASE!” Willy begged as Kenshin had to assist Jack in restraining him. The Nemesis slowly backed away as it pivoted to fly towards the sky. Lara’s couldn’t help but glance behind her to see the ship fleeing and sighed with relief. They…they were safe. Safe from the Rumbling. Lara’s body and heart finally gave out from the sheer exhaustion of using her powers. Her body collapsed onto the ground, and the Colossal Titans busted through the wall she created.

NO!” Willy sobbed as the Colossal Titans continued to walk forward and trample the ground beneath them. He had lost eyes on Lara’s body through the smoke, but it had no doubt turned to paste. The Colossal Titans almost reached the Nemesis, but Knockout managed to steer the ship away in time before it could touch them. Willy fell to his knees and screamed in agony while Jack and Kenshin could only watch as the Colossal Titans fell over the cliff and into the sea.

==

Annie and Miko held onto two of the tendrils for dear life while Ymir was sinking her teeth into another one. Bumblebee was using one of his blasters to shoot at the back of Eren’s head and the tendril still holding him. Meanwhile, the four Survey Corps members were cutting down the titans one by one, diminishing Eren’s forces. Levi cut through two other titans when he spotted more fighter jets coming out of the spacebridge and firing missiles at the Founding Titan.

“Someone land an explosive at the nape of the neck!” Erwin shouted to the fighter jets.

Eren flinched and shut the titan’s eyes, overwhelmed at the multiple attacks above and in front of him. He needed a way out. He needed to find a way to regain control. The power of the titans was trying to hold off the titans and titan shifters on his neck. He was getting overwhelmed. He needed something-! He needed!

Eren’s titan eyes practically snapped open when he felt powers of the War Hammer Titan return directly to him. There was no pull anymore! No struggle! Lara Tybur was dead! The War Hammer Titan was permanently his!

“FIGHT!”

Bumblebee yelled as the tendrils threw him off to the side towards the impending doom below.

“BEE!” Smokescreen shouted.

“BUMBLEBEE!” Miko cried out as she, Smokescreen, Ymir, and Annie all got thrown in different directions off the titan form. The tendrils receded back into the nape of the neck before crystals emerged and coated the nape as extra protection. Annie quickly grabbed onto the edge of the bones and used her claws to slow her fall down the curved structure and actually stay on it. Annie then used her other hand to catch Ymir before she fell into the steam below.

Meanwhile, Smokescreen dove after Bumblebee and grabbed onto to him tightly before turning the phase shifter back on. They both phased through the steam, the body of a Colossal Titan and into the ground. Miko ended up crashing into the ground hard, leaving an impact crater behind. Miko screamed and protected her center with her arms and legs when the Colossal Titans ran over her or stepped on top of her.

“sh*t!” Levi swore as the puppet titans started moving once again and attacking them. Some of the War Hammer Titans they had disposed of started reanimating themselves once again and aimed their arrows at the fighter jets. They fired their arrows, and some of them collided with the missiles the planes had fired, causing a massive explosion that blocked the fighter jets view. In a matter of second, they were met with a second volley of attacks from the War Hammer Titans. Many of the arrows pierced the jets and caused them to spiral out of the sky and fall into the steam below while a few others had exploded on impact.

“I can’t see anything!” Jean exclaimed.

Sasha felt the hairs on her neck stand up when she noticed a Jaws Titan leaping at Jean through the smoke. “JEAN!” But it was too late. Jean cried out in pain as the titan clamped down and tore off his right leg.

JEAN!” Sasha immediately swung towards him and caught him in her arms while Erwin sliced through the nape of the neck.

“Erwin, we need to go!” Levi declared as he landed directly neck to him, “We lost our heavy hitters!”

“Someone get us out of here!” Sasha cried out in desperation, “Jean’s hurt!”

The spacebridge opened up on the spine, and the humans quickly flew through it before a Beast Titan could grab them. All four of them were stunned to find themselves not on the Iron Will, but on the interior of a purple ship, filled with civilians and U.S. soldiers.

“sh*t, give him here!” A nurse ran up to Sasha with a rolling bed, forcing Sasha to gently place Jean down.

“We have to go back,” Jean whined in pain as the nurse rolled him away, “We have to go back! Our friends are in danger! Please!”

What happened?!” Hanji demanded through the comm. link.

“Jean’s down for the count and we lost our titans and titan shifters!” Erwin informed.

What happened to Bee and Smokescreen?! Where’s Miko?!” Bulkhead called out in fear.

We don’t know! They just fell somewhere!” Sasha confessed.

Ratchet grimaced at what he was hearing as June continued to check over the man with a bloody stump for a leg, begging to return to the battlefield once more. The others have been scattered, and Bumblebee, Smokescreen, and Miko needed to be retrieved. Ratchet opened his arm to reveal the vitals of the Autobots and saw that Smokescreen and Bumblebee’s life signals were strong and steady. If Miko had the Apex Armor, then she should be fine as well. But they needed someone to grab them, so….

“Wheeljack, we’ll send a spacebridge to the Jackhammer so you can pilot it!” Ratchet informed, “Nothing else! Do you understand?!”

==

The secondary team practically crashed into the Iron Will through the spacebridge, looking worse for wear. Optimus had climbed down the platform next to Bulkhead and Onyankopon and Colt started pouring water on the Prime. Meanwhile, the rest of the humans quickly grabbed the other buckets left unattended and dumped it all over themselves.

“Is everyone okay?!” Hanji asked.

“f*cking great!” Kenny replied sarcastically.

“Wheeljack has currently been deployed! He’s going to use the Jackhammer to search for Bumblebee, Smokescreen, and Miko!” Ultra Magnus informed.

“What the hell happened on that thing?! What about Annie and Ymir?!” Historia demanded.

We’re still on this goddamn thing!” Ymir screamed out in the comm. link, “Annie’s trying to carry us both so we don’t fall!”

“We need to get them back!” Pieck declared.

“How much longer can you hold on for?!” Ultra Magnus demanded.

I don’t know!” Annie answered fearfully.

“Optimus, we have the Star Saber!” Ratchet informed, “Get to the Founding Titan and we’ll have it transported to you!”

Optimus couldn’t help but grow tense at that. It was falling on him to take care of the deed. To finish the job because no one else could. He couldn’t do it. He didn’t want to fight Eren. He didn’t want to kill him, but-!

“Optimus!”

“I understand!” Optimus regained his composure before reluctantly ordering, “Take me to the Founder!”

===

Erwin, Levi, and Sasha stepped into the main deck of the ship, seeing the chaos unfolding around them. The vehicons were trying their best to go over the ship’s systems while Dead End was piloting the massive hunk of metal. The trio had to maneuver their way through an endless see of people both physically and mentally distraught. The trio had turned their attention to Willy, who’s crying wouldn’t cease due to the loss of his sister. Jack was doing his best to comfort the man while Kenshin stood nearby with his back faced to the Tybur. Kenshin then noticed their presence before walking up to them.

“What happened?!” Kenshin demanded.

“sh*t got complicated. Our team got separated on the Founder and one of us got injured,” Levi explained.

“So what now?!” Kenshin exclaimed.

“Now we get this to Optimus!” Jack declared as he entered the room. He pointed behind him to see Ratchet and Knockout carrying the Star Saber together before the setting it against the wall.

“I’ve set coordinates for the big titan,” Dead End informed.

“Good, now the Iron Will needs to get to the Founding Titan in order to make the drop off!” Ratchet declared, ignoring the sight of Megatron’s alt mode flying on the outside of the Nemesis, visible from the main deck.

“That’s…the Star Saber?” Erwin asked Jack. The former commander of the Survey Corps couldn’t help but gawk at the sight of the massive sword before him. He’s heard rumors about this thing being an ancient weapon that could cut mountains in two, but to actually see it was…breathtaking honestly.

“Yeah, we get this to Optimus, and hopefully it is him, because if it’s not, it’s just going to be a giant sword,” Jack answered.

“How would you even know?” Sasha asked.

“The sword will glow blue and-!” Jack was cut off when audible chatter and frightened screams could be heard from outside the room. Erwin noticed Sasha immediately growing tense and eyeing the door with caution. The door to the main deck opened, and Erwin and Levi noticed the visible terror on Jack’s face when he saw that it was Megatron. The ex-con was leaning against the door, and Erwin could see the steam from the Colossal Titans radiating off of him. The brown of his armor no longer existed, leaving only silver and purple. Levi elbowed Erwin and nudged his head back, and Erwin looked behind to see the visible terror on everyone else. Ratchet looked angry at the sight of Megatron, and Jack’s hand was subconsciously reaching to the remaining gun on his person. Dead End and Knockout looked ready to collapse at the sight of him. However, the one thing that terrified Erwin the most was when the vehicons in the room, either out of survival or instinct, kneeled down and bowed to Megatron.

Willy’s tears had stopped when he noticed the action of the vehicons and the tension in the room. He noticed how everyone looked scared…scared of Matthew…Megatron…but Megatron…he looked so displeased at the sight of everyone looking at him in terror. It was clear that he hated it. Megatron’s eyes then drifted towards the Star Saber, and Willy could see the visible panic on the other titans’ faces. Megatron had snatched the blade, causing Ratchet to pull out his blades and Jack to grab his remaining gun and aim his weapon upward.

“Put the Star Saber down right now Megatron!” Ratchet ordered, but Megatron ignored that order.

“Open up a spacebridge to the Founding Titan,” Megatron ordered calmly, “I will take the Star Saber to Optimus.”

The vehicons snapped their heads to Megatron in surprise while Knockout’s mouth dropped.

“And you think we’re just going to listen to you?!” Ratchet exclaimed.

“Do you want to protect the humans on this planet or not?!” Megatron challenged.

Before Jack himself could say anything, Erwin immediately stepped in front of the teen. “His word is good.”

Jack had almost dropped the gun in response as all eyes were on Erwin now. “What?

“His word is good,” Erwin emphasized, “Let him take it to Optimus.”

Jack and Ratchet couldn’t comprehend what Erwin had said, neither could Levi and Sasha. Erwin had jumped to Megatron’s defense. Willingly. Why would he-?! The familiar glow of the spacebridge appeared right behind Megatron, and everyone turned their attention to Knockout, who’s servo released the keyboard that he had just pressed.

“Knockout!” Ratchet yelled at him.

“Go,” Knockout calmly addressed Megatron, leaving the former warlord stunned, but he quickly regained his composure.

“Thank you.” Everyone’s mouth dropped at that before Megatron fled through the spacebridge. Jack quickly snapped out of his thoughts and put his gun back in his holster.

“I can’t believe you just did that,” Dead End told Knockout.

“Why in the Allspark would you even do that?!” Ratchet demanded.

“Because that’s not the Megatron I used to serve during the war,” Knockout proclaimed.

“…you defended him.” Jack was flabbergasted at Erwin.

Erwin rubbed his eyes in exhaustion. “I know.”

==

Miko gasped in terror and relief as she pulled herself out of the crater. She shook her head from the concussion that she received, but she was still alive, but…she was stepped on multiple times. Without the Apex Armor, she would have been crushed to death. The thought…terrified her. Miko took deep breaths to calm her nerves, resting her hands on her knees. She wondered why the inside of the Apex Armor felt so hot, until she looked around.

She was devastated at the sight of the wasteland before her. She could see the Colossal Titans still marching on, getting further and further away from her. The footprints of the Colossal Titans were imprinted into dirt. There were no trees, no buildings, any remnants of people were just flattened and bloodied bodies practically fused with the dirt they were crushed on. It was just a hot landscape of death.

Miko gulped at the sight and almost wanted to cry, but then she remembered Bumblebee and Smokescreen. She had seen them falling, but she didn’t know where exactly they had hit the ground! Where were they?!

“BUMBLEBEE!” Miko called out, “SMOKESCREEN! WHERE ARE YOU?!”

Miko’s eyes scanned the barren, grotesque landscape until she spotted a familiar yellow arm emerging from the ground with a blue light under it. Miko bolted over to it and immediately grabbed onto it. She pulled as hard as she could until both Bumblebee and Smokescreen phased out of the ground. The two Autobots panted out of fear and relief from the ordeal they just went through, but Bumblebee quickly turned his attention to Miko.

“Miko, are you okay?!” Bumblebee asked.

“I’m fine! What about you two?!” Miko demanded.

“We’re okay, we had the phase shifter!” Smokescreen explained.

“We need to get back to the giant titan!” Bumblebee declared.

“Driving’s not going to be fast enough and they’re probably still using the spacebridge to get all the humans out!” Smokescreen retorted.

“Plus, it’s really hot and the Apex Armor is the only thing protecting me from the heat!” Miko added, “If I step out, I’m sure I’ll be cooked!”

Before Bumblebee could say anything else, they all heard the sound of an engine and looked up to see the Jackhammer flying above them before landing on the ground. The hatch opened, and the three saw Wheeljack standing up, the patchwork done on his side extremely visible. They also saw a plethora of weapons available for the Survey Corps inside.

“Get on! We got a world to save!” Wheeljack declared.

==

The Iron Will had returned to the Founding Titan, and everyone was visibly terrified at the sight of it still being active, along with the puppet titans on its back. They all spotted a few fighter jets still crowding the mass and firing missiles at it, actually doing some damage, but the titan mass continued to heal and the puppet titans continued to attack the aircrafts.

“That nuclear option that Miko was talking about sounds really good right now!” Rafael remarked.

“Where’s Annie and Ymir?!” Hanji demanded.

“There!” Rafael zoomed in on the visual he had of Eren’s titan form and pointed to the sight of Annie and Ymir hanging onto one of the bones from Eren’s secondary ribcage.

“Hold on! We’re going to be sending you a spacebridge!” Ultra Magnus reassured them.

Please hurry!” Ymir begged.

Ultra Magnus noticed that the puppet titans started careening their heads towards the Iron Will before the War Hammer Titans aimed their weapons at his ship. “Brace yourselves!”

Everyone had grabbed onto something from the ship as Ultra Magnus flew upwards. Water and equipment flew everywhere as arrows and other projectiles had almost hit the ship. As Optimus and Bulkhead clung to the sides of the open hatch, Optimus had managed to catch the sight of the spacebridge opening up below them and a good distance away from the army running towards it. Optimus saw Megatron’s alt mode flying out of the portal before the former warlord called for him.

“OPTIMUS!” Megatron had landed on the plateau in the desert and transformed, and Optimus gasped at the sight of the Star Saber in his servos. Optimus quickly jumped off the platform of the Iron Will, ignoring the cries of his comrades. Megatron spotted that the Prime was in free fall and transformed to fly over to him.

“Give me the Star Saber!” Optimus reached out his servo towards Megatron. Megatron transformed once again and tossed the Star Saber to Optimus once they had reached optic level. Megatron transformed to gain some distance while Optimus continued falling towards the ground. He adjusted his pedes before he hit the ground hard, leaving an impact crater behind. However Optimus was still standing and remained unscathed, holding the Star Saber in his servos.

All the humans on the Iron Will couldn’t help but look through the open panel to see that Optimus was alive. They were relieved to see that, but that relief faded when they realized he was in the direct path of the Colossal Titans.

“OPTIMUS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! MOVE!” Hanji called out to him.

“He’ll be fine!” Bulkhead reassured.

“How are you so sure?!” Connie demanded.

“If there’s anything I learned about Optimus when I served him, it’s that it takes a lot to break him!” Bulkhead declared.

Optimus tightened his grip on the handle and held it upright towards the running titans. He could feel the ground beneath him shaking, but he kept himself steady. Suddenly, he remembered something from a long time ago. He remembered how the Star Saber was used against Unicron when the Thirteen Primes battled him. He remembered that…the Matrix of Leadership was attached to the Star Saber, amplifying its power.

“Matrix of Leadership, I call upon you,” Optimus commanded with a whisper. He closed his optics and felt a gentle surge of energy emerging from his chest. It traveled down his arms and reached the Star Saber, causing it to glow a bright light.

The Jackhammer had arrived on the scene, and the four Autobots peered through the glass window to see the familiar glow of the Star Saber on the ground.

“Whoa.” Miko gaped at the sight, while Bumblebee and Smokescreen’s expressions were full of hope.

Meanwhile, Eren’s eyes drifted down towards the blinding blue light. Eren’s gaze fell onto the sword and couldn’t help but notice how familiar it looked. Where had he seen it before? Eren then recalled that moment in the Paths, when Primus almost killed him. He had conjured up a blade that was identical to the one that Optimus was holding in his hands. Eren had to be cautious. He had no idea what that thing would even do. Wait…Arcee and Wheeljack always brought up the Star Saber to prove his identity. No…no it couldn’t be it!

“Ratchet, I don’t remember the blade ever doing that,” Knockout remarked as Ratchet watched the scene before him through the Nemesis’ connection to the Iron Will. Erwin, Levi and Sasha watched the screens in awe while Jack’s face contorted into a smile. Kenshin watched in utter fear while Willy watched with a mix of fear and anticipation. Was…was that blade really going to work?

Optimus spread his legs out, he pulled the blade back until it was completely behind him. Optimus then took a step forward. Then another. And another. He swung his body, spinning to gain momentum, carrying the blade with him. Optimus let out a loud battle cry and swung the Star Saber, letting out a long, blue, stream of energy. The attack flew upward towards the Colossal Titans and sliced through the bodies of forty Colossal Titans with a single hit.

The humans atop in the Iron Will watched in disbelief as the Colossal Titans that had just been cut through fell backwards. They initially felt fear, realizing that Optimus had just missed the nape of the neck. But, that fear was replaced with amazement as the Colossal Titans…didn’t regenerate. The titans were quickly evaporating before their eyes, and the nape wasn’t hit! That was impossible!

“HOLY sh*t!” the Survey Corps gawked at the sight. Meanwhile, Pieck was in a state of disbelief. Was this the power? Was this the power that would end the titans forever?!

“YES!” Bumblebee and Miko cheered with joy and excitement.

“That’s what I’m talking about!” Smokescreen shouted while Wheeljack grinned with delight. Meanwhile, the puppet titans had stopped attack their enemies, clearly taken off-guard by the display of might and power. Megatron was still flying around the area, but even he was relieved to see that Optimus was able to use the power of the Star Saber, and not be on the receiving end of it himself.

“Everyone!” Ratchet comm. linked the others who were not at the sight, “The Star Saber works! Optimus took out forty of the Colossal Titans without hitting the nape of the neck!”

“YES!” Fowler and the other U.S. soldiers still alive and active began to cheer. Jack cheered with delight as he grabbed Sasha and spun her around. The huntress couldn’t help it and began to celebrate with Jack at this moment of victory.

Kenshin and Willy gasped at the footage they had just seen. Optimus…he did the impossible. He accomplished something that no one ever thought was possible.

“…Helos,” Willy muttered.

“Is…Is that the power of a god?” Kenshin couldn’t help but ask.

“No.” Ratchet smiled, “That’s just Optimus Prime.”

Erwin should have been elated, but…he was actually horrified because of an old memory that came to mind. “I said ‘f*ck you’ to Optimus twice.”

Ratchet and a few other vehicons snapped their helms to Erwin. “YOU DID WHAT?!” Meanwhile, Knockout couldn’t stop himself and began cackling with delight.

Eren felt…terror at the sight of Optimus’ might. It was stronger than the power of the titans. It…It! The mouth of Eren’s titan form ripped itself wide open. He let out a loud, sound shattering cry of anger and fear, causing everyone in the area to cover their ears and audio receptors in agony. The Colossal Titans still close to Eren bolted directly towards Optimus. Optimus grit his dentas and stood his ground, launching another stream of energy at the Colossal Titans coming forward. He managed to cut through five of them, but too many of them were swarming him in order for him to carve out a clear path. Before Optimus could make another strike, he noticed Megatron flying low towards him. Optimus immediately jumped onto Megatron’s alt mode before the titans crushed him.

Optimus clung to Megatron with one servo while holding the glowing Star Saber in the other as the former warlord flew upwards before looping back around towards Eren’s titan form. The puppet titans aimed their weapons at Megatron, but were immediately bombarded by projectiles from the Jackhammer and the Iron Will.

“No…” Mikasa whispered to herself as Megatron was directly above Eren’s titan form. Megatron turned his body over and Optimus jumped off, raising the Star Saber above his helm to cut off Eren’s head.

Eren was internally panicking as he managed to catch the Prime was in free fall above him. No! NO! Optimus was going to kill him! He had the power to actually kill him. He had to stay alive! He had to fight. Eren could feel the power of the titans squirming within the bones of his neck in a panic. Move to the head. Move to the head! Eren could feel the insect like creature follow his commands, slinking into the head of the titan and burrowing into it.

Optimus swung his blade downward, cutting through the nape and the armor he created around the nape. Optimus continued to fall after decapitating Eren, and everyone in the area noticed that the massive structure of bones had stopped moving once Eren had been decapitated. Meanwhile, the puppet titans had ceased their movements and slumped against the structure or fell through it to the ground below. Eren’s massive head hit the ground first before Optimus landed on the ground with bended knees to absorb the impact.

What happened?! Did Optimus kill it?!” Knockout asked through the comm. link.

“Optimus decapitated Eren…but…the titans are still moving,” Hanji spoke with dread as they all continued to watch the Colossal Titans run.

“Wait, why are they still running?!” Smokescreen demanded.

“Don’t tell me Prime f*cking missed!” Levi yelled.

“He didn’t miss! Something else is happening!” Hanji declared.

Optimus searched for Eren’s decapitated head through the hot steam. He could see the outline of the bones above him, but he saw no head at the front of it. Optimus’ gaze fell to the ground, and he noticed a trail of long, black, hair that led directly to the monstrous head on the ground. Optimus…couldn’t help but be in denial. Was this it? Was it actually over? Did he kill Eren and end the Rumbling?

Optimus rested his servo on the head and closed his optics in shame. He failed Eren. He failed him…and he had to kill him. How could he have done this?

“Optimus stay alert! The Colossal Titans are still active and trampling the ground!” Megatron informed.

Optimus snapped his helm at that. They’re still active?! Why were they still-?! Optimus grunted when a hand blasted out of the head of the decapitated titan before wrapping around his neck cables. Optimus’ vocal chords strained as the grip got tighter before he was thrown right under the skeletal structure of the Founding Titan. Optimus skidded on his knees to a stop before looking back at the head of the titan. Another hand punched out of the head before a smaller titan body crawled out. The titan body was Eren’s original titan form, but now, it was enhanced with the powers of the Armored Titan. The armor covered his whole body, save for his joints, and Eren’s eyes seemed to burn even brighter with rage.

Optimus got to his pedes, holding the Star Saber tight as Eren jumped out of the titan body and stomped his feet into the ground. When he did, the bones of the skeletal structure began to connect together with crystals. The crystals grew larger and larger, climbing up the structure and blocking any pathway that would have allowed him out of this new prison. This action had also reignited the movements of the puppet titans on the back of the skeletal mass.

“He’s still alive!” Megatron shouted through the comm. link.

“OPTIMUS!” Bumblebee screamed from the Jackhammer. The Warrior quickly opened the hatch of the Jackhammer and jumped out of the ship despite the protests of the Autobots inside. Bumblebee dove towards the massive structure, trying to get to the gap that was still open, but his path was immediately blocked by some of the puppet titans. Bumblebee fired his blasters at the puppet titans, but was stunned when Annie and Ymir finally managed to climb atop of the mass and attack the puppet titans. Bumblebee landed on the spine and saw the remaining gap was still closing. He bolted towards it and spotted Optimus, trying to reach out to his leader with an outstretched arm.

Optimus looked up at Bumblebee and the others that were fighting atop the structure. “Deal with the Rumbling and continue evacuating the humans!” The order earned shouts and cries of protest from everyone through the comm. link.

What are you thinking?!”

“Optimus, please don’t!

“Prime, that’s a sh*t idea!”

“There is no time! Save the humans!” Optimus ordered.

“They’re still active!” Ymir shouted in her titan form before jumping onto the back of a Female Titan and ripping the nape of the neck out.

“OPTIMUS!” Bumblebee tried to reach out for him before the structure closed, but Annie had tackled Bumblebee away before an Armored Titan struck him from behind. Optimus turned his attention back to Eren, and even though his facial expressions were limited due to the powers of the Armored Titan, he could tell through Eren’s eyes that he looked furious.

Optimus’ grip briefly tightened on the handle of the Star Saber, but then it loosened slightly. The Prime stabbed the Star Saber into the ground, and released his grip on the handle, stopping it from glowing. Eren looked baffled at the sight. He stared at the blade before turning his attention back to the Prime.

“Is this truly the freedom you so desire?!” Optimus demanded, causing Eren to grimace, “Is this the free world that you wanted to achieve?! Bathed in blood?! Why would you perverse your dreams like this?!”

Optimus’ optics narrowed when he heard no response. “Why are you afraid to give me a proper response after all this time?!”

Eren growled at that. Shut up. Just shut up!

“You have seen what I am capable of, Eren, and I would advise not pursuing this any further. I am giving you one final chance,” Optimus declared, “End the Rumbling. End this madness and bloodshed.”

Eren didn’t reply to him.

“End this farce!” Optimus commanded.

This time Eren did respond. He raised his fists to block his center, like Optimus had taught him before. One of the first things that Optimus had taught him all of those years ago. Optimus grit his dentas and pulled out his blasters and aimed them at Eren. The Prime’s optics flickered in hesitance, but Eren suddenly ran towards him, forcing Optimus to fire at him on reflex. A few of the shots hit Eren, but it only slowed him down for a brief moment before he continued his charge towards him. Eren raised his fists to slam into Optimus’ helm, but Optimus quickly rolled out of the way and his fists slammed into the ground. Eren saw the Star Saber in front of him and lunged for the handle. He tried to pull the weapon out of the ground, but it wouldn’t budge. Why wouldn’t it budge?!

Eren roared when Optimus jumped onto his back and stabbed Eren through a gap in his armor. He had angled his blade to push and rip the armor off of nape, but Eren had punched Optimus in the face before he could get very far. Optimus had lost his grip on Eren’s back and rolled backwards to gain some distance from the titan shifter. Both had glared at each other before they both lunged forward to continue their battle.

==

“We have to go down there and help!” Hanji turned to Ultra Magnus.

“You have orders: help with the evacuation of the humans!” Ultra Magnus retorted, “Optimus can handle himself!”

“Yeah, I don’t know about that, shoulder pads! Optimus was pretty reluctant earlier to kill him!” Kenny retorted.

“Orders still stand!” Ultra Magnus declared.

“Hey, guys,” Wheeljack whispered through the Survey Corps’ comm. links, “I have some extra weapons for you guys on the Jackhammer.”

Armin glanced back down the hatch and saw the Jackhammer below them. He turned to his Commander and gestured to the flying vessel below. Hanji noticed said vessel before making up their mind.

“You might follow Optimus’ orders,” Hanji began, “But Optimus has been following mine for the past four years.”

“What?!” Ultra Magnus snapped his helm back.

“Get to the Jackhammer!” Hanji jumped off the Jackhammer and went into freefall, followed by Connie, Armin, Mikasa, and Kenny. Bulkhead yelped in surprise as the five humans past him and careened towards Wheeljack’s ship.

“Wait!” Ultra Magnus called out as he put the ship on autopilot and peered down the hatch. He saw them latch onto the Jackhammer with their hooks before swinging over and landing into the opening.

“Maybe we should help them out with the fighting!” Bulkhead suggested.

Ultra Magnus grimaced before turning his attention to the Colossal Titans below. “We still need to divide our resources and get the humans out.”

“I can stay behind and help,” Bulkhead declared, “With your-!”

“You don’t need my permission in this,” Ultra Magnus cut him off, “Go.”

Ultra Magnus watched Bulkhead jump out of the Iron Will towards the Jackhammer and Rafael closed the hatch in response. However, Rafael noticed that both Pieck and Historia were still on the ship.

“Why didn’t you go down with them?” Rafael couldn’t help but ask the two of them.

“My gear isn’t the newer model,” Historia answered, “It’s not equipped to fight those titans. I can only help with evacuation.”

“So that’s what we’ll do,” Pieck declared, “I’m sure that Optimus has enough support to handle the Founder, and even then, we can transport to him in order to provide that support.”

“So be it,” Ultra Magnus declared before walking over to the console and activating the comm. link. “Agent Fowler, what is the status of the military personal?!”

More fight jets will come and Bryce will be elated to try out some new bombs right about now!” Fowler declared.

“Predaking, assist the Nemesis with the evacuation!” Ultra Magnus ordered as he sat in his chair. The humans heard a shrill of annoyance through the comm. link system.

“…Megatron-!”

I will assist Optimus,” Megatron declared lowly before disabling the comm. link.

“As of the rest of you, good luck!” Ultra Magnus addressed the Autobots and Survey Corps before flying off to assist with the evacuation.

==

“Wheeljack, how are you doing?!” Hanji demanded as they unhooked their gear from the side of the ship.

“Fine,” Wheeljack grimaced before gesturing to the pile of weapons he brought with him, “Get suited up.”

“We’re coming too!” Smokescreen declared. Everyone yelped when Bulkhead grabbed the Jackhammer before he fell to the ground, causing an uneven weight distribution.

“Bulk!” Miko ran over to her partner and pulled him onto the ship.

“Alright, some people gotta jump off! Jackhammer can’t support this many people!” Wheeljack declared.

Smokescreen turned on the phase shifter and jumped into the air before phasing out of the ship and to the chaos below.

“Erwin, Levi, Sasha, get to the Jackhammer right now! Wheeljack brought weapons! We’re going to help Optimus!” Hanji ordered through the comm. link. A spacebridge opened up immediately in the Jackhammer, and the trio immediately ran out.

“Is Jean gonna be okay?!” Connie asked Sasha.

“I don’t know,” Sasha confessed, “There was so much happening, and-!”

“Jean is safe and out of the fight, that is all we can ask for,” Erwin cut her off, “We just need to equip ourselves.”

Megatron landed on top of the dome where the puppet titans were fighting Bumblebee, Annie, and Ymir. Megatron saw Smokescreen, then Bulkhead in freefall, drawing long range attacks from the War Hammer Titans. Smokescreen had grabbed Bulkhead to ensure the attacks went through the wrecker as well. When the puppet titans tried to reload, Smokescreen then turned off his phase shifter and dropped kicked one of the titans in the face. Bulkhead immediately smashed one of them in the face with his wrecking ball. He then noticed the other Survey Corps members jumping down from the Jackhammer and hooking onto the large, protruded spine in order to slow their fall. The last to jump out of the ship was the human in the Apex Armor, Miko, quickly curling into a ball and landed atop of the dome to block attacks directed at the others. The former warlord saw the Survey Corps all equipped with energon spears and Cybertronian blades, using them to immediately starting to attack the puppet titans. But as one fell to their attacks, another took its place to continue the fight.

This wasn’t going to work. Sure, half of the forces could annihilate the Colossal Titans and evacuate the humans; however, these puppet titans were going to keep reviving over and over again with no loss in stamina in order to fight for Eren. Eren was still active, somehow, he didn’t understand why. He heard through the comm. links that there was some sort of insect creature within the nape of the neck of this massive structure. It was impossible for Optimus to have missed the creature. Maybe Eren had relocated it…right back inside of his body! His human body, or whatever remained of it. If Optimus could strike the centipede and destroy it using the Star Saber, it could end this whole situation.

But he didn’t see the glow of the blade through the opaque view of the dome. It meant that Optimus wasn’t using the blade. Optimus wasn’t using the Star Saber to stop this and end Eren. Megatron grimaced in frustration. By the Allspark Optimus! He could not let his emotions guide him when they’ve all seen the destruction of the Rumbling!

“The puppet titans are a distraction!” Megatron activated his comm. link, “And Optimus has stopped using the Star Saber! We need to get through the dome and get to Optimus!”

“Okay, but how exactly are we supposed to do that with the zombie army?!” Miko demanded.

Megatron quickly scanned the dome for any weak points to exploit. He saw an Attack Titan grab Ymir by the tail before spinning her around and throwing her into the top of the dome, causing cracks to form from the impact. Megatron immediately ran towards the crack in the dome and stabbed his sword through it to prevent it from closing up properly.

Eren snapped his head upward when he felt shards hitting the top of his head. He saw the pointed end of Megatron’s sword pierce through the top of dome and realized what was going to happen. They were going to try and break through it. They were going to try and break through the dome in order to get to Optimus. He could feel through the puppet titans that the others were preoccupied. That was good. He would let them be preoccupied. But there was another problem.

Eren dodged another swipe from Optimus’ sword as he gained some distance from the Prime. He could feel through the Paths that the Colossal Titans were being destroyed and the people were being taken to safety. Maybe…maybe he could try calling the Colossal Titans to make up for the loss of his army. He tried to call the most recent titan shifter, Porco, into existence. He thought about his titan form, tried to will it to manifest, but nothing happened. He couldn’t call Porco forward. Maybe calling Bertholdt will help, but nothing happened. Why couldn’t he call for them?! He tried going further back into the other Colossal Titans but that didn’t work! Why didn’t it work?!

Eren was met with a blaster to the chest, throwing him off his balance and flying into the dome of the wall. Eren glared at the barrel of Optimus’ blaster before it suddenly clicked. Porco and Bertholdt had dark energon in them. Not regular energon. Anyone who carries dark energon would be severed from Primus and belongs to Unicron! The tree branch in the paths that was infected with dark energon had to be the branch that was connected to the Colossal Titan, but Porco and Bertholdt were the only ones that were infected with dark energon. But…did one single titan shifter getting infected with dark energon cause the powers of the Colossal Titans to be cut off completely?! Was that why he can’t utilize the powers of the Colossal Titan completely?!

Eren managed to roll out of the way of more blaster fire. He had to think of something else and fast. He searched through the Colossal Titans that were still active as of this moment. Some of them weren’t encountering any humans on the ground. Maybe he could use them to attack everyone above. Eren strengthened the armor around his fists and summoned a dagger in his hands before lunging towards Optimus, releasing a quiet command to the Colossal Titans to come and fight for him.

Predaking tore through the nape of a Colossal Titan with his teeth before jumping and dodging the swing of another Colossal Titan trying to kill him. As Predaking continued to fly across the cinder filled skies and acidic thunderstorms, Predaking noticed something. The Predacon saw the Colossal Titans in the back of the line had stopped running forward, and started running towards the sides. It was running in a different direction, like it was being called somewhere else. Predaking flew out of the smoke and forward in order to gain some distance and room to transform into his bipedal mode. When he landed on the ground and saw the silhouettes of those Colossal Titans running sideways through the smoke.

“Darksteel, Skylynx, do you notice any strange behavior with these creatures?” Predaking had asked them.

“They’re running in a different direction,” Skylynx answered.

“They’re running away because of our might!” Darksteel cheered.

“No.” Predaking knew that was wrong. These titans were mindless. They had no concept of pain nor fear. Basic functions so far have been to walk, run, and destroy. And if these titans were fleeing, they should be running from the direction they came from, but they weren’t.

“Ratchet, the Colossal Titans’ behavior has changed,” Predaking informed, “Some have started running in a horizontal direction.”

“I’m noticing it too,” Ratchet proclaimed as he stared at the screens on the Nemesis, “They’re coming from both directions.”

“Um…where exactly is everyone else at right now?!” Jack asked in fear.

Ratchet gasped in horror. “Wheeljack, inbound! Colossal Titans are heading your way to attack you!”

Wheeljack quickly flew out of the way as two Colossal Titans tried to grab the Jackhammer and destroy it. Wheeljack started firing blasters and missiles at the Colossal Titans, but he noticed more and more were coming towards the dome.

“A little help here!” Wheeljack called out. Megatron grimaced at the sight of the Colossal Titans above before letting go of his sword and flying upwards.

“Wait, hold on!” Armin cried out.

“Create a path to Optimus and Eren at the spot where my sword is lodged!” Megatron ordered before firing his blasters at the Colossal Titans, causing them to fall backwards and stumble into the other Colossal Titans. Armin searched the top of the dome until he spotted the familiar handle of Megatron’s sword. It pierced the top of the dome, and Armin could still see the cracks that had formed because of it.

“There!” Armin immediately took off towards the sword.

“Armin!” Mikasa called out for him before following him close behind. The two gasped in horror at the sight of the puppet titans blocking their way, but Annie and Bumblebee had quickly jumped in to protect the two of them.

“Everyone, launch the energon spears at Megatron’s sword!” Hanji ordered as the Survey Corps started making their way to the blade.

Optimus’ blades and Eren’s armored fists and dagger were colliding with each swing and each attack. Sparks flew from the sheer force of both of their swings as they tried to push the other back. Optimus then raised both of his blades into the air to block a kick from above. The Prime stood his ground and forced Eren back before pulling out his blasters and firing at the titan shifter. Eren used his arms to protect his center before charging at him, ready to barrel him down. Optimus transformed in his alt mode before Eren could reach him and drove in reverse. Optimus transformed back into his bipedal mode before jumping into the air and attempting to strike Eren in the head.

Eren noticed something…off as they continued their fight. He’s seen Optimus’ battle prowess, his strength, all off it. Even now, Eren could tell that he was using a lot more force. He even used a sword that would have killed him if he didn’t move the power of the titans back to his head instead of leaving it at the nape. But Optimus disregarded the sword now. He wasn’t using the sword that took out dozens of Colossal Titans without using the nape of the neck! Why?! Why would-?! He couldn’t be serious! Was Optimus still holding back after all this time?!

Eren yelled as he slammed the side of his arm into Optimus’ helm, knocking him to the side and into the ground. Eren then threw the dagger he was still holding at Optimus’ chassis, but Optimus flipped backwards, causing the dagger to pierce the ground instead. Don’t demean him like this! Stop treating him like he was weak! Like he was fragile! Stop caring! Stop being kind! Stop it!

Optimus pulled out his blasters once more before firing at Eren, causing the teen to guard his nape on reflex. Optimus saw the Star Saber still stuck in the ground. Battle instinct was screaming at him to go and get the sword. End this war. End this senseless slaughter and annihilation of the human race. But…

"Even if I do kill them all, I know she won't come back. And I was an idiot for spending the last time with her fighting." Eren vented, "And now she's gone forever. The titans took away everything. Our hopes, our dreams, we can't even leave the walls and see the outside world."

Optimus jumped out of the way and jumped towards the Star Saber. He was prepared to grab it, but Eren managed to conjure up a wall to block him off from it. Optimus kicked the wall in a few times and saw cracks forming with each impact, but Eren stepped on the ground, and a blunted spike hit Optimus in the chest and knocked him back. Optimus forced himself to sit up, seeing that Eren looked enraged with those eyes.

"Even though you can't go back, you have a world that you can call home. You've been to a world where humans are free." Eren looked up at the setting sun. "You've even seen what's beyond those worlds and can easily leave these walls without any form of fear for your life. I thought you would try to find a way to go back to your home, but you're willing to waste your time on a weak and spineless species like us."

Had he…had he always been like this and he chose to ignore it? Optimus dodged another punch from Eren that collided with the ground. Eren was a child. He was a child with so much trauma and pain, of course it warped his mind. But…Eren had also been prone to violence, full of hate and revenge. He thought that he had changed but…had he just been ignoring the lack of it? Or did he just change for the worse?

"How could I tell them that I ate my own father?" Eren retorted, his voice cracking, "They would've been disgusted by me; they would've hated me. You're probably disgusted with me right now, aren't you?"

"Eren-,"

"I'm just a pathetic monster with a stupid dream," Eren declared.

The world became more complicated for someone who only sought and idealistic version of freedom. Did Eren still cling to that dream out of selfishness? Did he truly go to the extremes because he wanted to protect the island and provide it a future?

“You…think I would activate more titans on purpose?!” Eren shouted.

“Eren-!”

“You don’t trust me!” Eren exclaimed, “After everything, you don’t trust me!”

Optimus used both arms to block a punch that was meant for his face. Maybe he was aware but ignored it on purpose. Why would he ignore that behavior in the first place? Was it just because he didn’t want to see what he was becoming? Was it because he thought he would be able to prevent it? Everything was against them. There was always a possibility for war, but he didn’t want war. He didn’t want war with a race he was supposed to protect. He didn’t want to fight innocent people and cause more bloodshed. Which was why he desperately tried peaceful solutions: contacting Cybertron, giving energon to Hizuru, he was tired of war, tired of fighting. Why did it always have to end like this?! Why in the Allspark was he called here in the first place?! Was it just to go through the same horrors he went through all those years ago?! With Megatron, with Cybertron’s death, the near destruction of the human race?! He couldn’t do this anymore! He didn’t want to fight anymore! He didn’t want to fight his own son, but he didn’t want the humans to die!

He...really didn’t want to fight anymore. Optimus ended up taking the full brunt of another punch from Eren.

Mikasa let out a battle cry as she launched an energon spear at the legs of one of the puppet titans while Sasha launched her spear at the neck of it. Meanwhile, Hanji and Connie were drawing puppet titans away so that Erwin and Levi could deal killing blows to the napes with their swords. Armin managed to see an opening through the chaos and launched his energon spear towards Megatron’s sword. The spear wedged itself between the cracks and the dome before igniting and blowing up, creating an opening in the dome. Armin rolled across the dome before landing right next to the opening. Armin looked down to see Optimus and Eren, but was shocked to find that Optimus was fighting without the Star Saber. The Star Saber was lodged into the ground, but Optimus was fighting without it…And Eren…Eren was hurting him?! Optimus wasn’t fighting! Why wasn’t Optimus fighting?!

“Optimus what are you doing?! Please fight back!” Armin screamed, gaining everyone else’s attention.

“Optimus isn’t fighting?!” Miko exclaimed.

“Fight back!” Eren screamed in the nape as he roared in his titan form and kneed Optimus in the stomach. Optimus struggled to stay upright but Eren kicked him in the face, causing him to stumble with his footing. Eren gritted his teeth as Optimus forced himself to stand. He was weak, he was a coward! He was supposed to be an all-powerful titan, but he wouldn’t attack his enemy! An enemy destroying the world! He was a hypocrite! Saying that he would kill the enemy that was in front of him all those years ago in that f*cking courtroom, but couldn’t do it now!

Eren backhanded Optimus before kicking him in the chest, sending him stumbling to the ground. Optimus struggled to get on all fours before Eren kicked him in his side, hard.

“Optimus, get up!” Sasha screamed through the comm.

“He’s going to kill you!” Erwin screamed as well.

“Scrap! Scrap! Scrap!” Smokescreen swore.

Eren clenched his fists and waited as Optimus forced himself to stand up and hold his side. Eren could see the sorrow in his eyes and growled before grabbing him by the neck and crystallizing the hand there to tighten his grip.

“Fight back Optimus!” Bumblebee screamed.

Everyone began screaming at him through the comm. as Eren crystallized his other hand before making it into a fist.

“...I can’t…,” Optimus whispered.

Eren screamed as he let go of Optimus and uppercut him in the face, shattering his battle mask into pieces. Eren was shocked as Optimus was sent flying, his back hitting and skidding across the ground. His hand trembled as pieces of Optimus’ mask fell to the ground.

Eren took deep, haggard, breaths as he heard and felt the march of the Colossal Titans continue onward. His gaze fell to the broken pieces of the Prime’s mask and his body began to tremble. He…he hurt Optimus. He shattered his mask! He…Eren looked around in horror. Wait…what was he doing? How could he do this?! This was exactly what he saw! He was causing the future that haunted his dreams every night! He shouldn’t be doing this at all! The bloodshed, the screams, it was too much! He even had the option to give it all up and leave it in someone else’s hands! Why didn’t he do it?!

But heed my warning, Eren Jaeger. It doesn’t matter the motivation. It doesn’t matter the goal. If you go down the path, no one will be by your side. Your friends, your family, everyone will turn their back on you. No one will care for the purpose. They’ll just see the actions and destruction that you’ve caused. No matter what side, you will never be seen as a hero.

It was like he said. He had called him a child then, but now…

You will only be seen as a monster.

Eren screamed out in agony, and the dome shattered at the sound of his own screams. Miko, Annie, Ymir, Bulkhead, and the other clung to the spinal structure for dear life. However, some of the puppet titans and Bumblebee and Smokescreen to fall through the crystallized armor that wasn’t part of the original titan structure. The two managed to see Eren in a state of panic, but they gasped in horror at the sight of Optimus on the ground, unconscious, and his battle mask shattered into pieces.

Eren pulled on his hair, trying to calm down and stop his panic. His focus returned to the unconscious Optimus, and he couldn’t help but slowly step forward. Maybe…maybe he could try to-!

“STAY AWAY FROM OPTIMUS!” Eren grunted as he was met with a punch to the face and a punch to the gut from Bumblebee and Smokescreen respectively. The force of their attack sent Eren flying to the other side of the shattered dome. Eren forced himself to sit up and saw both titans glaring at him. Smokescreen had his blasters out while Bumblebee had his stingers. They made sure that they were in front of Optimus, keeping him out of Eren’s view. Wait, hold on, he can try to fix-!

Eren jolted when Bulkhead had jumped down from atop of the dome before pulling out his wrecking ball on his right servo. “You’re not going anywhere!”

Eren scrambled back when Miko landed on the ground, glaring at him with such venom and vitriol for someone so young. It looked familiar. “MURDERER!”

Eren felt terror as they all charged at him at once. Out of fear, Eren screamed out as sharp crystals shot out of the ground and spread throughout the dome. Smokescreen grabbed Bumblebee before turning on the phase shifter, allowing the spears to pass through them both. Miko merely took the full force of the attack. However, Bulkhead wasn’t so lucky, as one of the spears left a gash in his lower arm.

“Bulkhead!” Miko yelled as the wrecker pulled himself from the spear.

“I’m good!” Bulkhead grunted as he held his arm and the spears stopped forming.

Smokescreen and Bumblebee managed to get a good distance away from the attack range before Smokescreen let go of Bumblebee. Both looked behind them in horror at Optimus’ broken battle mask and unconscious form.

“Optimus is down!” Bumblebee called through the comm. link, rushing to Optimus’ side.

“What?!” Ratchet demanded.

“The Founding Titan broke is battle mask and he’s unconscious but alive!” Bumblebee checked the Prime’s pulse, “We need someone to get him out of here!”

Wheeljack! Get Optimus out!” Ultra Magnus ordered.

“Buckethead and I are busy trying to protect everyone else!” Wheeljack shouted as he and Megatron dodged another swing from the Colossal Titans.

“Ratchet-!”

“We’re still trying to evacuate the humans! So is everyone else!” Knockout reminded.

Bumblebee grimaced in anger before standing upright. “We’re going to protect Optimus until someone can get him out! Do the same rules apply for killing a titan with the Founding Titan?!”

“Yes, but Eren isn’t displaying any signs of exhaustion so that would be a problem!” Hanji shouted, “We’ll keep the puppet titans busy for you! Just take him out!”

Bumblebee looked around the destruction caused by the titan shifter and thought of a plan. “Here’s what we’ll do: Smokescreen and Miko try to get close to the titan while Bulkhead and I fire long range shots from outside the spears. We need to lure him out and then rush him. Overwhelm him until we can get a clean shot at the nape.”

Smokescreen turned on the phase shifter once more while Miko raised her fists.

“Let’s roll!” Bumblebee declared as he and Bulkhead began firing at the spears and Eren. Eren quickly covered his nape out of fear and panic, trying to curl himself into a ball. Smokescreen turned on the phase shifter and ran through the spears while Miko barreled through the spears to destroy them. Eren gasped when he saw Smokescreen in his face. The scout had turned had pulled out his blaster and started firing energon bullets at Eren’s face, blinding him. Miko then took this opportunity to jump into the air and onto Eren’s back. She grabbed Eren’s chin and head and started twisting Eren’s head to rip it off of his body. Miko found that she was getting results and she felt the armor crack into pieces, but Miko gasped when Eren was blindly throwing spikes and spears in different directions. Some of them hit her, but shattered due to the strength of the armor. However, there were a few others that had nearly hit Smokescreen, forcing him to dodge.

“Jesus Christ! Why is he so hard to put down?!” Miko demanded.

“I heard that Optimus trained him!” Bulkhead informed.

“Aw this is bullsh*t!” Miko yelped as Eren grabbed her head and threw her off of him.

“Think fast!” Smokescreen jumped high into the air and punched him in the face, causing him to lose his balance and hit the ground hard. Eren yelped as Smokescreen stepped on his armpit and grabbed his arm before he began to twist it, trying to rip the appendage off.

Eren roared in pain and in anger, feeling the tear of each muscle fiber in his body. He also felt Miko grab and pull on his hair, trying to rip it clean off. He hated this. He hated that this was happening! He hated how this was a vision of the future that was still somehow intact! Let him go. Let him go! LET HIM GO NOW!

Smokescreen quickly activated the phase shifter as Eren tried to stab him in the chest with the spikes. Miko flinched at the spikes hitting the armor, trying to tear her to pieces, but she still held on and pulled. However, Eren managed to use a spike to cut through his hair and force Miko to stumble and roll back. Eren was about to grab Miko and throw her towards the Colossal Titans to be crushed.

“Rush him!” Bulkhead yelled in anger.

“Bulkhead, wait!” Bumblebee called out, but Bulkhead had jumped over the remaining spikes and used his wrecking ball to crush the armor of his leg and snap the bone in two. Eren roared as he fell down to one knee. Eren saw Bulkhead co*ck his arm back to punch him in the face again, but Eren managed to roll out of the way in time. However, Eren roared in shock when Bumblebee had come up from behind and managed to pierce his exposed leg with one of his stingers. Eren felt his whole body freeze up from attack, allowing Bulkhead to throw an uppercut, sending him flying into the air and crashing into the ground.

Eren groaned in pain as his leg twisted back around to heal himself. He scrambled back in fear as Bumblebee helped Smokescreen up to his feet while Bulkhead rushed to Miko’s side. He needed help. He needed support! He couldn’t do this on his own! But…he was alone. He had no one now because of the choices he made. And he-! Eren paused when his hand touched one of the puppet titans that had fallen through the dome, inactive and immobile. Eren snapped his head towards them before sending out a command to the puppet titans.

Bulkhead glanced over to his left to see one of the puppet titans that had fallen through the dome twitching erratically before standing upright. It snapped its head towards him before charging at him.

“Someone protect Optimus!” Bulkhead yelled, taking the brunt of the titan’s attack to protect his comrade.

Bumblebee gasped at the sight of more of the titans on the ground snapping upright before moving towards Bumblebee, Smokescreen, and Miko.

“Bee go!” Miko called out as she drop kicked a Beast Titan in the face. Bumblebee bolted and dodged swings and punches and kicks, making his way towards Optimus and guarding his body, firing at other puppet titans.

“We have to help them!” Armin declared, noticing the puppet titans that were now active below.

Erwin looked up to see Wheeljack and Megatron still attacking the Colossal Titans above. “Wheeljack! Megatron! I need you to launch your weapons at the top of the dome!”

Interesting plan tiny!” Wheeljack remarked.

“We need the titans gone in one go so we can focus helping the others in defeating Eren!” Erwin declared before addressing everyone else, “Everyone prepare to jump down!”

“This is crazy, Erwin!” Hanji shouted.

“Do it!” Erwin shouted at Wheeljack and Megatron.

Wheeljack and Megatron immediately looped around and aimed their blasters at the cracked dome. They fired in unison, and the blasts had destroyed the integrity of the structure and the puppet titans. As the fire reigned down, the Survey Corps, Annie, and Ymir jumped down to the battle below, using the debris and smoke as a cover.

The combatants on the ground quickly covered their heads and eyes as the bodies and the debris fell and hit the ground, obscuring everyone’s view of their surroundings. Eren heard the familiar sounds of the 3D gear flying and cutting through the titans that were on the ground. Eren quickly ducked his head as Annie emerged from the smoke, throwing a punch at Eren that narrowly missed his head.

==

Arcee still felt lethargic and sluggish. She was still slowly recovering from the loss of energon, the exposure to dark energon, and the loss and reattachment of her arm. She forced herself to stand up from the berth and limp towards the door. Her arm still felt like it was going to fall off, but she needed it to stay on. She slammed her fist on the lock panel, allowing the door to open. She gasped at the sight of the humans on the Nemesis, both from Earth and this world, running around in a panic trying to find relatives and loved ones or get medical attention.

“Arcee?!” a familiar voice exclaimed. Arcee looked down to see June staring up at her in shock, and Arcee’s expression morphed into horror when she saw Jean on the bed getting treated for the loss of his leg.

“What happened?!” Arcee demanded.

“E-eren,” Jean slurred, “He-!”

“Don’t talk! Save your strength!” June ordered, “Arcee, you look terrible, you need to be on bed rest!”

“I have to help,” Arcee declared with a grimace, “Eren, he-!”

“You’re in no condition to fight!” June retorted, “Besides, we have it handled! We have allies from Earth and Cybertron helping out!”

“I still….I still have to…” Arcee slumped against the doorway out of exhaustion, scaring a few of the humans close to her.

==

Hanji flew through the smoke and debris, trying to find out where Optimus was. They managed to spot the Star Saber that was sticking out of the ground and flew towards it. They gasped in horror at the sight of Optimus on the ground, unconscious, the shards of his broken battle mask still on his face. Hanji landed on the ground before pushing against Optimus’ face.

“Get up!” Hanji screamed at him, “Optimus, get up! Please!”

Armin and Mikasa landed right behind Hanji and were mortified to see Optimus in such a defeated state. They hated the way that Hanji was trying in vain to wake Optimus up, banging their fists against Optimus’ face and screaming at his unconscious body.

Commander we have focus our attention on Eren!” Connie called out through the comm. link.

Hanji sighed in defeat, resting their head against Optimus’ face. They grit their teeth in anger before snapping their heads to Armin and Mikasa.

“I know how you feel about Eren, but this has been going too far for too long,” Hanji said lowly, “Eren dies today.”

Mikasa couldn’t come up with a retort as Hanji flew off into the fray. She then turned her attention to Optimus’ unconscious body and fell to her knees. She gripped the dirt with her burned hands, tears falling out of her eyes. Why did it have to be like this? Why was the world so cruel?! Kenshin’s home and parents were gone. So many people were dying. Jean was hurt, and her hands burned so much. And now Optimus, the person who continuously helped them out for so many years was unconscious on the ground, while his comrades were fighting in a cause they failed to prevent in the first place.

“Why?” Mikasa whimpered.

“Mikasa...” Armin placed a hand on her shoulder, “We have to help the others. Just…just focus on giving everyone cover.”

Mikasa sniffed at that before standing up. “Okay.”

“sh*t!” Sasha swore as she dodged one of the puppet titans that were on the ground. She launched one of her energon spears at the nape and blew it clean off, “We should attack in one go!”

Bulkhead crushed the head of a Jaws Titan before crushing the nape with his pede. “Ideas?!”

“Humans go high! We’ll keep the ones on the ground distracted!” Bumblebee declared, “Go now!”

The Survey Corps started flying overhead, using the puppet titans and spikes as anchors to get to Eren. The puppet titans tried to grab them and crush them, but Annie, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead quickly attacked the ones that got too close to the humans. Eren noticed the Survey Corps above them and tried to defend himself, but Miko had jumped him from behind and smacked him in the back of the head. Eren stumbled forward, and Smokescreen quickly grabbed Eren’s hair and pulled him down further, exposing his nape.

“Fire!” Hanji yelled as they all got their remaining energon spears and fired them at Eren’s nape. Eren’s eyes snapped opened and he screamed. He knocked Smokescreen back and off of his head before pulling his arms inward, something that Armin and Mikasa noticed as they made their way to their comrades. His armor hardened even further with the crystals; however, Levi couldn’t help but notice spikes coming out of the arms.

“Dodge! DODGE NOW!” Levi and Mikasa both heard in their heads.

“Move!” Levi yelled.

“What?!” Kenny exclaimed.

Eren roared and swung his arms outward releasing a barrage of shards in all directions, connecting with the energon spears launched and blowing them up before impact was made. Smokescreen didn’t have time to turn on the phase shifter before the attack hit, and ended up getting pierced a shard in the shoulder, knocking him to the ground. Mikasa had grabbed Armin and pulled him to the ground to avoid getting hit by the shards. Erwin and Kenny were able to split up and dodge the attacks individually. Levi noticed one heading directly towards Hanji and tackled them out of the way, but Levi ended up getting a shard lodged into his leg while a few had stabbed through his fingers, causing both of them to fall. Sasha managed to dodge and weave through the attacks, but she froze in fear when she heard a strangled cry of pain. She looked up and watched in terror as a shard had gone through Connie’s stomach, tearing a clean hole through his body.

“CONNIE!” Sasha bolted towards Connie’s body as he began to fall to the ground. She managed to catch him and used her body to absorb the impact of the fall. She then examined Connie’s body, and was mortified at the sight of the massive hole in his gut she assumed no one could even fix. There was blood everywhere. On the ground, on her clothes, on her hands, Connie’s blood was everywhere.

“Connie! Stay with me! Stay awake!” Sasha begged him. Tears stained Connie’s cheeks and his eyes just looked so glossy. His breathing was uneven and haggard; he even coughed up blood.

“S…ash…It…hurts,” Connie mumbled weakly.

“I know it hurts! Just stay awake please!” Sasha begged her friend.

“…mom…” Connie’s body fell limp in Sasha’s arms, causing her to scream out in anguish.

“Someone help me!” Sasha begged for anyone to come to her aid. Ymir managed to hear Sasha’s plight and saw Connie’s lifeless body in her arms. Ymir quickly rushed over to them and blocked the two of them from view of the other puppet titans. She looked back to see Sasha crying over Connie, ignoring the blood that was staining her clothes even more. Ymir growled in anger before swiping her claws at a puppet titan that was getting too close to them.

“LEVI!” Kenny screamed out for his nephew as he and Hanji hit the ground hard, blood flying everywhere.

“Levi! Levi, sh*t!” Hanji exclaimed as Levi held onto his wounded leg. They immediately placed their hands over the wound to try and stop the bleeding. They saw the shards in Levi’s fingers, looking ready to actually tear them off completely. Kenny was about to fly after him, but-!

“Focus on Erwin!” A voice rang out in his head.

“The f*ck!” Kenny swore as he snapped his head around to find out who was calling to him. However, his attention fell on Erwin, and he nearly screamed at the sight of Erwin flying around Eren, trying to land a direct hit onto the nape.

“sh*t!” Kenny cursed, trying to decide who needed his help the most. Levi was on the ground. He didn’t know jack sh*t about medical aid. Erwin was still caught in the crossfire. He was going to get crushed by Eren if Kenny didn’t do anything about it. He suddenly felt a surge of energy course through his veins as he made his decision.

“Save Erwin.”

Levi continued screaming in pain as blood was coming out from his left leg, even as Hanji was doing their best to apply pressure to it. He forced himself to look up, ignoring Hanji’s pleas for him to not move, to see Erwin flying around trying to land a blow on Eren’s titan form, alone. Erwin managed to dodge some debris aimed for him, but didn’t see the hand ready to slam him into the ground.

“Erwin!” Levi shouted, causing Hanji to snap their head at him.

Erwin looked up in horror, unable to react as the hand was almost ready to hit him. Erwin grunted as someone kicked him in the face, causing him to unhook his 3D gear by accident and fly across the battlefield. Erwin hit the ground hard and skidded across the dirt, getting dirt all over him.

Levi watched in horror as Kenny kicked Erwin and was now under Eren’s hand. The man managed to look at Levi one more time, and Levi managed to catch the sight of Kenny’s blue eyes from the energon before Eren smashed him into the ground. Levi could only watch as Eren lifted his hand and shook it of Kenny’s remains. The hat Kenny wore flew from Eren’s hand and landed in front of Levi, all bloody and battered.

Levi began shaking as Bumblebee and Miko were now tag teaming to attack Eren again. Hanji was no doubt saying something in his ear, but he didn’t know what it was. It was just white noise to him right now. Kenny is dead. He shouldn’t care that Kenny was dead. Kenny tried to kill him before. But why...?

“You’ll live with me from now on,” Kenny told him, “That means doin’ what I say.”

Why?

“This is how you hold a knife.”

Why?!

Levi could only stare as Kenny walked away from him, not even bothering to give a farewell.

WHY?!

“You…you make me proud. Your ma’ would be proud of you.”

Levi felt his anger and sorrow boil over to an unhealthy degree as he grabbed his blades, ignoring the pain in his fingers and his leg.

Bumblebee stabbed Eren’s hand with his stinger, shattering the armor there, and kicked him in the face before flipping back to gain some distance. Before Miko could counter Eren’s attack, a streak of red flew past both of them and sliced Eren’s exposed hand clean off. Miko looked in shock to see Levi cutting up Eren’s arm, through the small gaps of Eren’s armor before stabbing him in his eyes. He screamed as he sliced through the gaps of his other arm and made it immobile for a brief moment.

“Whoa!” Miko gasped as Levi grabbed the last of his energon spears and used it to destroy the leg where Bulkhead had shattered Eren’s armor. Levi quickly dodged a swipe at his body from Eren before flying upwards. Bumblebee saw Levi’s gaze of rage directed at Eren’s nape. He tried to cut it off with just the blades, but the armor was too tough and prevented any real damage. Levi snapped his head to Bumblebee, and the warrior was stunned at the fact that Levi’s eyes mirrored that of energon.

“What the f*ck are you doing just standing there?! KILL HIM!” Levi dodged another swipe at his body, jumping off and cutting through the already healed hands once again. It was a fruitless effort; Levi knew that in the back of his mind, but he was going on autopilot, letting his rage consume him. He was getting angry over someone that had done more harm than good in his life, but it hurt. He couldn’t deny that it was hurting.

“Hanji!” Hanji snapped their head to Erwin, seeing him scramble over to them to check on them and their injuries.

“I’m fine!” Hanji waved off before turning their attention to Levi. They narrowed their good eye at the gas spewing out of Levi’s gear. It was expelling energon smoke too quickly. It was overheating!

“We need to get Levi to stop!” Hanji declared.

“Why?!” Erwin demanded.

“The energon in his gear!” Hanji pointed to the mechanism, “Energon can be used as a vital source for our 3D gear if the user isn’t doing anything strenuous to the equipment itself! Using too much of the energon in such a short period of time could lead to the user blowing themselves up by mistake! We need to get Levi to stop!”

“I’ll get him to stop!” Erwin hooked onto one of the jagged structures that were still standing and flew upward.

“ERWIN!” Hanji called out.

Megatron had transformed into his bipedal mode, landing atop of the Jackhammer and causing the ship to shake a little. He grit his dentas in anger, seething at the sight of more Colossal Titans still coming towards them to try and stall them. Megatron glanced downward to see that the battlefield below had devolved into more chaos. Optimus was still down, the Autobots were not coordinated, and the humans looked like they’ve sustained losses from the looks of it.

“Wheeljack, can you handle the Colossal Titans alone?!” Megatron demanded.

“I would need help! I’m running a little low on ammunition!” Wheeljack informed.

“Ask for help!” Megatron jumped off of the Jackhammer towards the chaos below.

“Wait!” Wheeljack called from inside the ship. His sensors started blaring at him, telling him the Colossal Titans were closing in on him once more. He turned the steering wheel on his ship and fired at the face of a Colossal Titan above him. “I need backup! I need backup now!”

Erwin flew towards Levi, trying to keep track of where the Captain due to how fast he was flying. Even Bumblebee and Miko were having trouble keeping up with Levi to actually land a hit on Eren.

“Levi! Levi, stop your exerting your gear! You’ll get yourself killed by blowing yourself up!” Erwin pleaded with him.

Annie crushed the nape of a titan with her heel when she noticed Megatron flying down towards them, towards Eren. Annie noticed his sword was on the ground, untouched in the chaos of the fight. Annie ducked her head and rolled towards it, grabbing it before slicing the head off of a Beast Titan with it. She threw the sword high into the air towards Megatron, causing Megatron to transform into his bipedal mode and catch the blade in his servo. Megatron then spun and chucked the blade towards Eren’s head. Levi had hooked onto Eren’s arm just as Eren raised his fists to block from Megatron’s attack. Eren was able to protect his face and neck, but Levi’s chord ended up getting cut by the blade, breaking Levi’s speed and momentum. Levi gasped as he began to fall, but Erwin caught him and pulled him away from Eren.

“Erwin let me go!” Levi screamed at him. Erwin yelled in pain at the hot 3D gear on Levi’s back touching his skin. It’s like Levi didn’t even register the pain! The former commander could also hear a high winding pitch coming from the device and quickly cut it off of Levi’s back before tossing it at a Jaws Titan with his metal arm. The device exploded, taking the titan’s head off with it, but rendering Levi unable to fight. Erwin nearly crashed into the ground with the Ackerman as Megatron jumped on top of Eren to pull out his sword and stab him with it again. Bumblebee and Miko were about to assist him but quickly got attacked from behind by other puppet titans.

“Erwin, you asshole, what the f*ck?!” Levi shoved him in the chest, ready to take his complete anger out on Erwin: for stopping him from killing Eren, for lying to him about Kenny! How much did Erwin know?! He was certain he knew everything! However, Levi stopped when Erwin just looked so tired and apologetic.

“I’m sorry for everything that I put you through,” Erwin said to him, “Both out of selfishness and atonement, I’m sorry.”

Levi genuinely didn’t know what to say to the man, but…he was just so exhausted at this point. Was this really how it ended for all of them?

“Erwin! Levi!” Hanji screamed as they flew over and sliced the nape of one of the titans that got near them, “I need help here! Levi doesn’t have his gear anymore! He needs to get out!”

==

“We’re currently busy right now!” Jack hollered as he and a few other soldiers were helping civilians get on the Nemesis via a spacebridge, “The Nemesis is currently being used to kill the Colossal Titans and Agent Fowler and the others are bombing another location!”

What about Ultra Magnus?! The flying lizards?!” Hanji demanded.

“They’re in another sector!” Ratchet yelled over the intercom.

Pieck had managed to pick up three humans with her jaw and bolt towards the spacebridge that was open. She gasped at the sight of Colossal Titan hand reached out towards her, forcing her to open her jaw and throw the humans through the spacebridge. Pieck was then smacked high in the sky by the Colossal Titan before crashing hard into the ground a good distance away.

“sh*t! Someone go get that weird looking titan on all fours!” Fowler ordered as he and the other fighter jets released the bombs they were granted on the Colossal Titans.

Pieck felt like her insides were turned outward, and she was certain that her skull had been cracked open and her spine was twisted in odd places. Even as her body was healing, she wasn’t sure how fast she could gain some distance from the Colossal Titans before she could be taken to safety. Before she could be crushed. She…she was certain she was never going to know. Did her father survive by some miracle? Was Liberio crushed into powder? Did they truly fail at stopping the Rumbling and ending the power of the titans? Was this all for nothing?

Pieck blinked, trying to make up the figure that was calmly walking towards her. What was this person doing?! They were going to get crushed! “R-run…please…run…”

Pieck felt a hand being placed on her head before she lost consciousness.

==

Eren could feel it. He could feel the Colossal Titans being killed with each passing moment. Through bombs, or vicious animals, or flying ships, they were all falling to the ground. He was losing the power he had….he was losing. It was all going to be over for him and who knows what they would do to him afterwards. Even so…he wasn’t going to lie down and take defeat. He was still going to fight. This was the choice he made after all.

Megatron ripped off both of Eren’s arm before kicking him in the chest to create distance between each other. Eren’s arms quickly regenerated as Megatron charged at him. Megatron leaped as was ready to stab Eren, but Eren sharpened his claws and left three large claw marks in his chest. Megatron winced in pain as he landed on the ground while Eren managed to gain some distance from him. Eren roared as a trail of spikes heading towards the ex-con. Megatron jumped out of the way before one of them impaled him straight through the chest.

Megatron got into another fighting stance, ignoring the dark energon leaking from his chest.

“What in the Allspark are you doing?!” Unicron demanded as he appeared next to him.

“Shut up!” Megatron shouted, thankfully responding to Eren roaring once more.

“No!” Unicron declared, “I will not be silenced anymore! If you stay here any longer, you will die! If not by these Colossal Titans or the creature himself, it will be by the Autobots as they drag you back to Cybertron to execute you! I will not let you kill us both!”

“That is not your choice to make,” Megatron hissed as Eren charged at him. The ex-con stood his ground as Eren rammed into him, blocking his chest area with his arms.

“I am apart of you!” Unicron shouted, “You’ve refused to listen to me and look where it got you! Risking your spark over some pathetic species! If you let the boy die all those years ago, you wouldn’t be in this situation! If you had just minded your own business and kept your mouth shut, you would be better off!”

Megatron yelled as his head butted Eren before kicking him away from him once more.

“I don’t care about my own existence,” Megatron declared.

“And neither do the rest of them! Not the Survey Corps, not Optimus! If you died, they would only see it as a loss to their tactical advantage! Not because they care about you!” Unicorn reminded, “They’ll never care for you the way they care about Optimus! They’re idiotic! Foolish! They’re blissful ignorance led them to this point! Divide and Conquer! That’s all this species cares about!”

“Am I any better?” Megatron demanded as he began dodging spears.

“You’re worse,” Unicron declared, “Nothing you do here now, will change what you’ve done in the past!”

“So I give up?” Megatron demanded.

“You said so yourself: you don’t care about your existence!” Unicron reminded, “So why are you fighting?! Why are you risking your life for this world?! A world that spits in your face any chance it gets! Why are you staying when you know the Autobots will kill you if you survive this?!”

Megatron didn’t notice Eren conjuring up a spear.

“WHY IN ALLSPARK ARE YOU STILL HERE?!” Unicron screamed.

“Megatron!” Mikasa yelled she charged at Eren, using the last of her energon spears to aim at Eren’s hand. The weapon managed to do some damage and blast off Eren’s hand, but that didn’t stop Eren from attacking her with tiny pieces of crystal. Armin managed to tackle her out of the way, but not before the crystals left a gash on Armin’s side and cut through both of their 3D gears.

Megatron watched in horror as they both hit the ground. Unicron’s shouts, his own delusional cries, were now drowned out as Mikasa was trying to drag Armin to safety.

The reason why he still stayed…was because he cared. He cared about them.

Eren threw a long spear at the former warlord, but Megatron used his sword to block the attack just inches away from his helm. As the spear collided and glided along the edge of his sword, Megatron let out a mighty battle cry before knocking the spear away from his face. Megatron bolted towards Eren, forcing Eren to have two puppet titans appear in front of him. Eren quickly gained some distance away from Megatron as he quickly stabbed the Armored puppet in the mouth with his sword. The War Hammer managed to knock Megatron’s sword out of his servos and out of reach. But Megatron was not deterred. He merely used his claws to jump, grab the War Hammer’s face and crush it. He then used all of his might to toss the titan body towards two puppets that almost killed Armin and Mikasa.

Eren glared at Megatron as the former warlord snapped his head towards him, finally looking ready to kill him. He couldn’t let that happen. He couldn’t die yet. He wouldn’t die to Megatron. He was going to continue fighting! He just…hated the way that this turned out. Eren was doing this for his friends-! Eren glanced over to Sasha trying to wake Connie up, but it was clear that he was long gone. He shook his head. He couldn’t think about that right now. There had to be something he could do, something to take Megatron off guard. What would that even be? Megatron was always prone to violence and hatred and destruction. Even though he’s probably claiming to be a better person, there was no guarantee that was even true!

But…if Megatron didn’t save his life all those years ago, Eren wouldn’t have been here now. Maybe that act alone was an indicator that Megatron has changed.

Eren conjured up another spear as his attention turned to someone behind Megatron. A yellow and black titan that was fighting another Beast Titan. He was certain Optimus told him about him long ago. His name slipped his mind, but it didn’t matter. If Megatron had truly changed,

Megatron noticed the spear wasn’t directing towards him.

Then he wouldn’t mind,

Megatron followed Eren’s gaze and saw Bumblebee behind him.

Saving an Autobot!

Megatron found his body moving on reflex when Eren threw that spear. But even as his body moved towards the distracted Autobot, he couldn’t reason with himself as to why he bolted towards Bumblebee to try and save him. Bumblebee took his life, made him rust at the bottom of the ocean before falling under Unicron’s control. Bumblebee was the main reason of why he was even dealing with this chaotic crisis at all. But…Megatron took over Bumblebee’s mind. He killed him, ripped out his voicebox mercilessly. He hurt him, made him suffer in so many ways that newsparks should never have had to go through. So why, after all the wrong that he did to Bumblebee, why was he trying to save him now?

Bumblebee managed to kill the Beast Titan he was fighting when he heard someone call his name. He turned and gasped when he saw a spear headed straight for him. Before he could react, someone pushed him out of the line of the attack. Bumblebee was shocked to see that it was Megatron who pushed him out of the way. Before Bumblebee could react or determine what happened, the spear had torn open Megatron’s chest, revealing the dark energon in his spark, while also tearing his left arm off.

Both Autobot and ex-con skidded across the ground, with Megatron’s arm flying off in the process. Bumblebee managed to sit up, trying to process what just happened, only to be distracted by Megatron yelling in pain. He turned to see Megatron crying out in pain as he differentiated between clawing at his open chest and holding onto the stump where his arm was. The spear had cut through his upper arm, his circuits there were now sparking and fried, and dark energon was leaking from his wounds.

Bumblebee was in a state of shock as he scrambled back. Megatron saved him! Why did Megatron save him?! He didn’t understand!

Eren was surprised as he stood up fully. Megatron…actually saved an Autobot? His enemy? Why would he-?! Eren’s train of thought was cut off when Smokescreen and Bulkhead rushed in to attack him. He still had to continue fighting.

Optimus slowly opened his optics to the clouded sky and hot air. He was delirious for a moment, questioning who and where he was, but gasped when he saw Colossal Titans swatting at the Jackhammer, trying to destroy it. He heard echoes and voices screaming and fighting as he tried to comprehend the situation present to him.

Optimus forced himself to sit up and watch the chaos around him in horror. Ymir was trying her best to protect Connie and Sasha from puppet titans while Bulkhead and Smokescreen were holding off Eren. Meanwhile, Annie and Miko were working together, punching titans left and right, while Hanji was still trying to protect Erwin and Levi. Megatron was incapacitated, his arm gone and his chassis damaged. Mikasa was checking on Armin’s wound, tearing off her sleeves to use as bandages for Armin. Optimus was devastated to see the burns on her hands and arms. Optimus looked back at Eren as he roared before charging at Bulkhead. Eren…

He wouldn’t stop. Eren would never stop, not until the entire world was destroyed. Not until his lust for vengeance was satisfied. There was no reasoning with him, and there hasn’t been for a long while. The Prime just refused to see the truth, and he accepted full responsibility for that. But it was no doubt too late for apologies. Optimus had to stop this, and there was only one way that he could now. Optimus turned his attention to the Star Saber pierced into the ground. His servo reached out for it before he grabbed the handle, the Saber glowing at his touch. He had to do this. No matter how much he didn’t want to, it had to be done.

“Bring it on, you teeth-sacked creep!” Smokescreen shouted as he jumped on Eren’s back and pulled him by his hair. Bulkhead ran towards him, ready to smash him in the chest with his wrecking ball. Eren grabbed Smokescreen by his arms and threw him at Bulkhead, causing the two to crash into each other. Eren got ready to attack the both of them, but ducked when a blue stream of light headed straight for him. The stream hit multiple puppet titans behind him, causing them to fall over, causing limbs and heads to fly and roll. The Autobots and Survey Corps managed to move out of the way before they hit them directly while Eren stood up and turned his attention to Optimus.

The titan had the glowing Star Saber in his right servo, and his battle mask was shattered beyond repair, allowing Eren to see his mentor’s emotions once more. He saw anger, sadness, and sorrow. The hope that was in his optics was long gone, filled only now with acceptance towards his duty. Optimus was going to end this…It would finally be over.

Optimus took small steps towards Eren, slowly but then picked up his pace and was charging at him. He tightened his grip on the handle and yelled as he swung at Eren, but the titan shifter dodged the blade as it slammed into the ground. Optimus transformed his arm into a blaster and fired at Eren’s face. Eren created a crystal wall to block the attack, and Optimus cut right through it with the Saber before slicing through Eren’s arm. Eren kicked Optimus and forced the titan back to give his arm some time to regenerate, but he realized that he couldn’t do it at all. Eren grunted as Optimus hit him in the face with the handle of the sword.

The Survey Corps noticed that Eren’s arm wasn’t regenerating as Optimus threw another wave of energy at the titan shifter.

“What’s going on? Why can’t Eren regenerate?” Ymir demanded in the nape through the comm. link system.

“I don’t know,” Armin admitted, before finally taking notice of one simple fact, “…but Optimus isn’t relenting.”

“What do you mean?” Annie questioned in the nape.

“Optimus…isn’t going to let Eren walk out of this alive,” Armin proclaimed.

Mikasa gasped when she heard Armin’s proclamation. She tried to run towards the two, but Armin forced himself to stand up and grab her, pulling her back.

“Let me go!” Mikasa screamed.

“Our gear is damaged!” Armin shouted, “You’ll be killed!”

“But Optimus promised me!” Mikasa screamed, “He promised me he would protect Eren! He can’t do this! He can’t!”

Eren rolled across the ground as Optimus kicked him in his side. The titan shifter forced himself up and conjured up a dagger in his hand. Eren roared as he ran towards the Prime while Optimus let out a battle cry as he charged for him as well. The two thrust their weapons forward and struck.

==

Ultra Magnus continued firing whatever weapons were left in his artillery as the Colossal Titans continued their march. Predaking and the other Predacons continued blasting fire from above while the remainder of the U.S. Air Force fired missiles and gunshots to slow the Colossal Titans down. However, each and every one still attacking noticed something off. The Colossal Titans had stopped running.

“Doctor,” Ultra Magnus called out through his systems, “Status.”

I don’t know. They just stopped,” Ratchet informed him.

==

The Autobots and the Survey Corps watched in shock and horror at the sight before them. Eren had his dagger go right through Optimus’ abdomen, while Optimus had half of the Star Saber go straight through part of Eren’s nape, ripping his actual body in half. Bumblebee sat up and saw energon dripping from Optimus’ wound and his mouth as he gritted his dentas in anger. When the Autobot looked closely, he saw that Optimus’ optics were full of sorrow because the deed he had to commit.

Bumblebee heard Megatron chuckle bitterly as the former warlord turned himself onto his back and looked up at the sky. The former warlord seemed to be ignoring the pain and agony that he was in right now.

“You truly are the worst human I have ever met, Eren Jaeger,” Megatron declared.

Bumblebee stared back at the titan shifter and realized something horrid. Optimus…broke his code. Optimus killed a human being.

Eren let go of the dagger in Optimus’ side and lifted his hand towards the Prime. Optimus felt fear rise in him and pushed the blade deeper into the nape, but Eren forced himself to work through the pain. Eren’s hand began shaking as his hand reached for Optimus’ face. Optimus felt reacted on instinct, swinging the blade to his left. The titan shifter’s head flew off the body and rolled across the ground, blood staining the ground and the Saber.

Mikasa fell to her knees in despair, but not a single word or noise came out of her lips. Her mouth trembled at the sight of Eren’s titan body falling to its knees, but she was still in a state of denial to even utter a word of importance. Why won’t her body move? Why?

Optimus didn’t know exactly what to feel in that moment, but instinct told him that this wasn’t over. Not yet. His gut feeling was correct when he noticed something glowing within the spine of Eren’s titan body. Optimus took a step back when a large, glowing, centipede shot out of the titan body and let out a sound of clear frustration. Optimus tightened his grip on the Star Saber one more time and grinded his dentas. He ignored the energon seeping from his wound and his mouth as the creature went for Eren’s head. Optimus screamed in rage as he swung his sword downward for one final strike.

“Wait,” Mikasa pleaded, reaching out towards Optimus with her right hand, but it was clear the Prime didn’t hear her as the blade began to cut through the creature.

“I still…,” The blade was halfway through as everything began to slow down. The Colossal Titans stopped running, their feet slowing to a stop before hitting the ground. The puppet titans stopped attacking, their swings and punches stopping mid-motion. The Survey Corps stopped moving, frozen in panicked states of terror and anguish.

“I still have something to say…,” Mikasa confessed.

Just as Optimus was about to cut through the insect, Mikasa and Armin felt something grab the collars of their shirts and pull them back from the chaos of the fight.

Attack on Prime - Chapter 93 - melishade (2024)

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