Dark Transformations 6/23/2009

by William Victor Speer, III

I.

Sam Witwicky sat in the dorm room, bored out of his mind as usual. He knew that this wasn't over, not by a long shot. His proof was before him on his notepad. In place of the history notes he thought he was writing, were alien symbols. He swallowed hard, his chest heaving.

"It's happening again," he whispered aloud to himself. "They're coming back!" He rushed to the closet to get dressed. He looked to his sports bag. "I'd better pack, there is no telling how long this will take."

The cell phone on his desk suddenly shuddered and opened up into an eight inch humanoid. "You sensing something again, Sam?" the tiny Autobot asked.

"Shhh! Speed Dial!" Sam said, hushing the robot as footsteps walked by. "Yeah," he whispered after a long, tense pause. "The symbols again, but this time they're... different." He motioned to the notepad. "Take a look. See if you can read them."

Speed Dial walked onto the notepad and put his small black hand under his chin, grimacing. "This script is not from Cybertron."

Sam gave Speed Dial a strange look. "What do you mean? You can't read it?" Speed Dial shook his head.

"But that's..." Suddenly a light bathed the entire area. The flash was followed by the familiar sound of a laser cannon blast.

Sam dashed to the window and pushed aside the blinds. He saw a long streak of light, similar to a comet fall to the Earth, following closely by another blue light. He turned to Speed Dial, "C'mon," he said cupping his hand. The small Autobot leapt into his hands, transforming into a sleek black and red mobile device in mid-air.

Sam bolted towards the door, then doubled back to his bed. He reached under the mattress and received a silver scope-mounted blaster pistol. Speed Dial turned his camera eye to Sam with a questioning look. "Just in case, alright?"

Stuffing the alien weapon into his duffel bag he hurried through the dorm hallways without making eye contact with anyone. He nearly fell over his own feet rushing down the stairs to his car and Autobot guardian, Bumblebee. As he got in, Bumblebee cranked himself up.

"Sam," Bumblebee's voice spoke through the speakers, "My sensors indicate that several craft have entered the Earth's atmosphere at accelerated speeds."

"I know, I know!" Sam said. "Their transmissions are in my head! Driving me freaking crazy!"

"Stay calm, Sam. It may simply be Optimus or Jetfire returning with news of Cybertron."

"Negative, Bumblebee," Speed Dial said, climbing out of Sam's pocket and leaping onto the dashboard. "The symbols aren't from home. I saw them."

"Really?" Bumblebee puzzled, "Then where are they from?"

Bumblebee's reply came in the form of an explosion in the road just ahead of them. The yellow Camarro swerved off of the road and plowed sideways into a tree.

Sam grunted as he slowly pushed himself free of Bumblebee's air bag. "Ugh... Bumblebee are you... okay?"

"Internal systems intact, Sam," the car replied. A light beamed out from the steering wheel and scanned Sam up and down. "No broken bones. Major blood vessels, capillaries, arteries – intact."

"Yeah, thanks Bumblebee," Sam said ,wiggling free of the seat belt. "I'm fine." He looked around, "Speed Dial?"

The small Autobot climbed wearily up onto Sam's shoulder from the backseat. "Yeah, I'm accounted for." he declared wryly. "What hit us just now?"

Sam suddenly heard a click next to his head. He felt cold metal at his left temple. Sam froze. In the rear view mirror he could see a man covered from head to toe in worn armor and a visored helmet. The cold object being held at his head was a blaster rifle with thick stock. The guns barrel was being held through the shattered driver side window.

"Alright droids," he said in a deep voice. "No funny business or your human pet gets it right in the brains."

Suddenly, Bumblebee smacked the armored assailant down with the driver side door. A stray red, laser bolt blasted a smoking hole in the passenger seat.

"Hold still, Sam!" Bumblebee said. To Sam's amazement Bumblebee began to transform around him. Speed Dial leapt onto his chest hanging on to the seat belt as the cabin clanked and twisted. Sam found himself looking straight down at the attacker below, through the windshield now placed on Bumblebee's chest.

The attacker leapt behind shrubbery dodging a sudden plasma blast from Bumblebee's arm. He snatched a com-link from his belt. "Boba Fett to Star Destroyer Aesir One," he said. "Quarry is in the box. Need reinforcements to close the trap. Lock on to my signal beacon."

"Well done, Bounty Hunter," the voice on the other end of the com-link. "We have your coordinates. Walkers are en route."

Another plasma blast from Bumblebee sent the tree above Boba Fett crashing down. Fett rolled to one side, dodging the large oak tree. Before Bumblebee could take another shot Fett crouched down and lowered his head. A small, pointed rocket on his back, suddenly launched, streaking through the air in a trail of smoke. The rocket struck Bumblebee squarely in the chest. Bumblebee moaned and crumpled to one knee.

The force of the blast threw Sam out of the walking car. Sam screamed until Bumblebee caught him at the last second, a few feet from the ground. "Run... Sam..."

"NO!" Sam screamed. He turned with his blaster pistol toward Boba Fett. "You bastard!" He opened fire with the laser gun. Fett skillfully bobbed and wove around the blue energy blasts. He returned with only one shot, blasting apart Sam's gun. Sam rolled behind a thick tree narrowly dodging three return shots.

"Sam, here," Speed Dial said, flipping himself open. His key pad twisted into a trigger and his camera scope opened revealing an energy barrel. Sam took the phone-laser into his hand. "Okay, Sam, I'll walk you through this," Speed Dial said. "You have to be lightning quick – and feel the shot."

"Feel the shot – got it!" Sam sprang out with the gun only for the bright spark of Boba Fett's near miss to force him back behind the tree. "Didn't feel that shot." He tried again on the other side. Two more red blasts whipped by him, slicing off several limbs of the tree. "This isn't working, Speed Dial. This guy is really good."

"Give up the droid now, before the Imps get here, and you can still walk away with your life, boy," Fett said. The ground began to rumble. Large metal footsteps could be heard approaching. "Too late."

"Bumblebee?" Sam look over to see the yellow Autobot still down. As the clanking got closer, the trees behind Bumblebee began to fall down. Sam's eyes widened. The same types of machines that had come after Optimus Prime on Coruscant were here now. Four of them surrounded Bumblebee. Below them at least a dozen clone soldiers.

"Aren't those...?" Speed Dial began.

"Yeah... The Republic's clones," Sam replied. "But why?" Sam took a deep breath then called out to the clone troopers. "What do you want from us?"

"Surrender the Autobot droid, Earthling," a stormtrooper replied.

"Why? What for? We're allies remember? We fought against Dooku and Megatron in the Clone Wars."

"The Republic is no more," The trooper told him. "The Jedi are no more. There is only the will of Emperor Palpatine. There is only the Galactic Empire."

"Empire... what? What do you mean – " He looked behind Boba Fett to see a pair of heavily armored stormtroopers blasting the maimed Autobot with streams of lightning from their electrostaffs. "Bumblebee!" The large AT-ST standing over Bumblebee hooked onto him with magnetic toll cables. "NO!" Sam opened fire with Speed Dial in trigger mode. Golden plasma blasts took down the stormtroopers electrocuting Bumblebee. The troopers then turned on him.

He ran as fast as he could as the troopers' laser fire lit up the ground with sparks and red bolts behind him. The commander motioned to one of the AT-ST walkers. "Stop him! Lord Vader wants the droids!"

The two-legged walker fired a single blast behind Sam. The explosion knocked him to the ground sending Speed Dial flying from his hand. A scout trooper grabbed the tiny Autobot, closing his fist around Speed Dial's limbs.

"We have the quarry," the scout trooper said. He drew a black pistol from his hip and pointed it down at Sam's head. "The Emperor was very specific," Sam's eyes widened as he heard the blaster click, "No witnesses."

The gun fired. Sam shuddered. At the last split-second, a green beam of light caught the blast sending it back into the scouttrooper's visor. Sam stood to his feet stunned to come face-to-face with a man with tossled brown hair, a black tunic suit, a black glove and a green-bladed lightsaber.

Without a word the stranger motioned toward the AT-ST walkers, his eyes full of intent. In seconds their reverse-jointed knees began to buckled and spark, as if an invisible claw was pressing against them. Then, all at once the walkers fell into each other and crashed to the ground. The stormtroopers became lost in the cloud of dust and debris.

"Come on," said the strange Jedi. "That won't hold them for long."

Speed Dial ran to rejoin Sam and his Jedi rescuer only to be stopped by a blaster shot landing just in front of him. "The bounty's mine Skywalker," Boba Fett said. "Now Vader will have you both the play with!"

"Not today!" The words came from a female, metallic voice. Suddenly, Boba Fett found himself in the path of oncoming headlights. He turned to see a pink Kawasaki motorcycle and a beautiful brunette careening towards him. The motorcycle crashed into Boba Fett sending him flying some twenty feet into the thicket.

The girl stepped off of the bike and took off her helmet. The motorcycle transformed behind her.

"Mikaela!" Sam ran and embrace his gorgeous girlfriend. They kissed deeply.

"Sam, are you alright?" Mikaela began. "Arcee just showed up on my doorstep. She says some Empire is after them. It does make any sense!"

As she spoke Bumblebee approached in his now battered car form. "We should go now, Sam," Bumblebee said. "They are regrouping."

"Who's regrouping? What is going on here?" Sam said getting into the car. The Jedi got in the back seat behind Mikaela and Sam. "And who are you?"

"My name is Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you."

"Yeah, thanks..." Sam paused for a moment. "You Anakin Skywalker's brother by any chance?"

Luke's eyes widened. "You knew my father?"

Bumblebee drove on to the road doing at least 80mph. Arcee drove adjacent to him matching his speed. The jolt of the car was almost as shocking as the jolt of Luke's claim to be Anakin's son. "Father!? But we were just on Coruscant with Anakin a few months ago!"

"You were on Coruscant?" Luke said in amazement. "The heart of the Empire?"

"No!" Mikaela said in shock, "The Galactic Republic. With Ahsoka! The droids! General Grievous?"

"Uh... Sam, Mikaela – the Clone Wars ended more than twenty years ago," Luke informed with a slight laugh. "I am part of the Rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic..." Luke became distant, "And my father."

Sam grimaced. "I'm sorry. The Empire must have killed him."

Luke sighed, "From a certain point of view."

"Wait a minute!" Mikaela suddenly blurted out breaking the chain of thought. "Optimus took Maggie and Simmons to Coruscant to refuel for the trip to Cybertron!"

"The Empire will be waiting for them ! Optimus doesn't know!"

"That isn't the worst of our problems," Luke added. Sam and Mikaela looked at him strangely. "A couple of my friends and I were forced to land here because of Warlord Bludgeon and his Decepticons."

"Bludgeon!" Sam exclaimed, "That crazy samurai Decepticon!? He's made trouble for the Autobots before. He's shown up to take over everything ever since Megatron disappeared."

"Ugh..." Mikaela scoffed. "As if one crazy robot wasn't bad enough."

"He's declared war on our entire galaxy," Luke explained. "Even the Empire finds him to be a handful. He's the reason we came here. Arcee told us about your struggle for freedom and how this planet was once attacked by the Dark Side. The Autobots living in space have been helping the Rebellion for the past month or so. They're still an urban legend to most of our people, even in the Outer Rim. We traced their energy signature back to Earth. If we don't stop them, I fear the Empire may so do the same – and invade your planet if they discover the presence of Autobots."

"But there's others like you on Earth, right? Your friends?" Mikaela asked optimistically. "More Jedi to help, right?"

Luke made an uneasy face. "Not... exactly..." Sam and Mikaela look at each and then back at Luke, "Has anyone on this planet ever seen a Wookie before?"

The ground began to rumble. Sam looked back. AT-ST walkers were lumbering behind them. "We've got company."

II.

Coruscant, capital planet of the Galactic Empire.

Aliens of all colors and shapes were running and screaming as the USS Perseverance plowed through several of the crowded spires of Coruscant's planet-wide city scape. The ship was a NASA-type space plane, massive enough to comfortably hold over a dozen fully-transformed Autobots. Its angular starboard wing tore off in a sheath of flames as it was buffeted by the green laser bolts of TIE fighters.

"I don't understand!" Optimus said as he towered over Maggie and Simmons even as he sat cross-legged on the hull just behind the control room. "We were on good terms with the Galactic Republic. We were allies against the Dark Side. Why attack us now?"

Maggie shrieked as sparks from her terminal splashed her face. "Were losing power! We going to crash!" The Perseverance scraped against another giant building. "We need cover fire!" Maggie declared. "I can barely keep us in the air as it is!"

Agent Simmons touched his earpiece. "Jetfire! What's going on out there?" he yelled, "We're getting creamed by these things!"

Outside in the air the humanoid SR-71 Blackbird tumbled through the sky wielding wrist-mounted blades and pulse cannons. He spun his metal body about with a blinding frenzy as he blasted, smashed, and sliced apart the relentless Imperial starfighters. No matter how many he destroyed, half a dozen more still seemed to take their place.

"There are ... too many of them!" Jetfire replied, out of breath.

"We've got no choice," Optimus Prime declared. "Autobots, roll out."

"Wait, Optimus – roll out? We're in the air!" Simmons complained.

Optimus only smiled. "Trust me." With that he gently grabbed Maggie and Simmons. The driver seat in his chest opened and he placed them in its seats. "Buckle up," he said as he transformed into a large red and blue mack truck.

"Wait!" Maggie suddenly cried out, "Where's Qwerty?"

"I'm here." The small white Sony Viao spoke in a small, metallic, female voice and then popped open into a humanoid form. The laptop was an Autobot brought to life by stray radiation from the All Spark in the form of Maggie Madsen's laptop computer. It had saved her life and the entire world previously. Qwerty paused as the ship around them rumbled violently again.

An armored hummer pulled up alongside Optimus Prime. "Ready when you are Optimus," said Iron Hide.

"I'm good, too," Glen Whitman said in the radio earpiece. Another green flash lit up the ship. Everything around them rumbled. "Just hurry up and get us the hell outta here!"

Two gigantic doors on the side of the plummeting starship sild open. "Wait for it..." Optimus said cautiously, slowly driving to the edge of the opening in the starship. The ship fell closer and closer to the large landing pad below where people ran screaming.

"Optimus..." Maggie said staring at the oncoming building.

"Wait for it..." Optimus repeated revving his alien engines. The other wing tore off with a deafening metal screech.

"Optimus!" Reggie yelled.

"Now!"

With a bright blue after burn from his tail pipe Optimus Prime's truck form leapt a hundred feet across from the doomed starship and onto an adjacent spire. To Maggie and Reggie's utter astonishment, the red and blue semi drove straight up the side of the alien building. Behind them green laser blasts struck the tower leaving hot orange scars in the building behind Prime's tire tracks as TIE interceptors chased them up the side of the spire.

Jetfire flew around the spire in plane form, then transformed and stood atop the tower.

As Optimus drove up carrying Maggie and Agent Simmons, Jetfire blasted the TIE fighters pursuing them then landed next to Optimus Prime.

"More will be coming soon, Jetfire," Optimus announced.

"What's going on?" Maggie exclaimed. "What could have changed so much in a matter of months?"

"Oh, no..." Glen said. He had been working frantically with the astrological calculations since the mission began. All of his radiation and star charts had been off by several cycles. It took him until that moment to spot the seemingly impossible truth.

"What is it?" Simmons asked.

"I think I've just found out what's happened," he replied. "They don't remember us."

"Obviously! Come on, Glen. Tell me something useful."

"I mean they don't remember us because everything happened 25.6 years ago."

"What?" Maggie grimaced. "What are you saying? That we somehow... time traveled?"

"Well... yeah. The space bridge technology we built it couldn't compensate for all of the ambient radiation in this galaxy. There's some huge energy field. It seems to be flowing through... everything. It must have confused NASA's supercomputers."

"The Force," Optimus deduced. "Some life form in this galaxy has been clouding the truth with the Dark Side of the Force. Master Yoda told me about it when we were last here. That has to be it."

"That Sidious character!" Glen said. "The one that sent Ventress – and the droids."

A loud roar filled the air. TIE fighters were coming in fast. Above them was a large black, wedge-shaped vessel, easily over 2 miles in length. "We'll have to figure it out later," Jetfire declared. "We've got to get space-borne – pronto!"

"Right." Optimus Prime transformed. "Jetfire, Iron Hide, link up with me."

Iron Hide opened his door and unhooked Glen's seatbelt. "It will be safer if you join the other's with Optimus." Glen stepped out of the Autobot hummer. Optimus gently scooped him up and put him in the seat with Simmons and Maggie.

Jetfire transformed into a hyper-extended form of his airplane mode and attached himself to Prime's back. Iron Hide's truck-like body stretched out longways and fit over Optimus Prime's right hand like a gauntlet.

Glen, Simmons, and Maggie watched in amazement as their three Autobot friends became a singular massive battle machine.

"Optimus Prime, Super Mode – complete!" Optimus' new arm twisted into a large four barrel chain gun. Each barrel was an antenna glowing with orange plasma energy. Prime took aim a ripped through several TIE interceptors with a quick, rapid stream of molten slag particles. The shredded, fiery remains of the bent-winged TIE ships fell around Optimus like orange snow. With a sound boom he leapt from the tall spire, up towards the large starship. A monsoon of green laser blast began to rain down on Super Optimus Prime.

"There ain't no way we can fly around that thing without getting drilled, Optimus!" Glen warned.

"Then we'll just have to fly through it!" Optimus said closing his face plate. His plasma blade extended from his left wrist. A thick steel shutter closed over the exposed windshield where Glen, Maggie, and Simmons sat. He bolted straight towards the large Star Destroyer, full speed.

Aboard the Imperial Super Star Destroyer Executor, Darth Vader, dark master of the Imperial Fleet and the living, biomechanical bane of the Jedi, fearlessly awaited the massive Autobot's assault. All around him Imperial officers scrambled and yelled as they ducked for cover.

"Incoming!" one cried. "Brace for impact!" said another. "Shields to maximum!" said the helmsman.

All at once the battle bridge seemed to explode from below. Officers and stormtroopers flew out in all directions. The entire deck of the bridge erupted into sparks and debris as the steel fist of Optimus Prime burst up through the floor. Vader stood his ground, folding his arms calmly even as debris flew inches passed him, as if he knew where each chunk of twisted metal would fall.

As Prime climbed in and stood to his feet, the entire roof of the bridge was ripped off. A gust of air blew through the ship as the command center of the Super Star Destroyer. Only Darth Vader was left standing before Optimus Prime.

"Ugh..." Jetfire moaned. "That crash burned out my afterburner's fusion generator. It will take me a few minutes to get us in the air again."

"There is no escape, Optimus Prime!" Vader said, activating his red lightsaber with its signature snap-hiss.

"At the end of this day," Prime said taking aim with Iron Hide's massive gun form. "One shall stand; one shall fall..."

There was a tense, silent moment as both warriors focused, sensing the raw power of their opponent. One stood nearly seven feet and wielded the power of the Force. The other stood nearly seven stories tall, armed to the teeth with living, robotic, plasma weapons.

Optimus Prime opened up with his chain gun plasma blaster. With superhuman speed, Darth Vader deflected the merciless stream of orange particles by spinning his lightsaber in rapid arcs before him. Small explosions riddled the already ruined bridge as stray plasma bolts struck the walls and terminals behind around him.

After a few long frenetic seconds. The air was filled only with the sound of Prime's empty chain gun spinning. The chain gun fell off of his arm and transformed back into an exhausted Iron Hide, who knelt at the edge of the gaping whole that Optimus Prime entrance had made.

Vader chuckled as he waved his hand, "All too easy." With only a slight hand motion, Darth Vader used the Force to move the damaged metal beneath Iron Hide. With a metallic scream he fell clear through the ship.

"Iron Hide!" Optimus screamed. He trotted over to the gaping whole, quaking the ground as he went. He looked down to see Iron Hide hanging on to the edge of the ship for dear life, his large legs dangling out in the open sky of Coruscant.

"Don't worry about me, Prime," Iron Hide said as he managed to climb back inside the Executor's cargo bay. "Just... stop... Vader!" he panted.

Prime turned to face Vader. To his surprise, the armored Dark Lord had leapt the impossible height up to his metal face. With a warrior shout, Vader delivered a swift strike to Prime's face. Prime doubled back, Vader landed on his chest as he bent backward. Vader delivered a swift stab to Prime chest plate, burying the lightsaber hilt-deep in Prime's torso.

Inside Maggie screamed as she dodged the crimson light blade by inches. The laser sword came so close that it sliced off a small lock of her bleach blonde hair.

Prime yelped as he grabbed Vader in his mighty steel fist. He squeezed the Sith Lord forcefully. Darth Vader let out a metallic wheeze as several of the terminals on his breathing apparatus crushed and shorted out. Vader brought up his saber through Prime's hand, slicing off the tip of the Autobot leader's right thumb. With a gasp of pain Optimus threw the Sith headlong through a bulkhead across the vast, damaged room. Vader vanished beneath a pile of metal debris and sparks.

"Surrender, Vader," Prime said, "It's over."

"Only for you, Optimus Prime!" Vader's reply came as a shock to Prime. Suddenly the bulkhead he had just thrown Vader through came flying towards him.

The large metal chunk of the bridge struck Optimus so hard that it knocked the battle plate over his mouth completely off of his face, revealing his expression of pain. Prime recovered forming his two plasma swords from his wrists. He brought them down upon Darth Vader like a gargantuan pair of scissors.

To Prime's dismay, Vader parried the two giant plasma blades with the edge of his lightsaber. He even twisted the giant swords into a blade lock, forcing Prime off balance as if he were a human sized opponent.

Vader's pale, bald, scarred face was know half visible, as the fight had broken off half of Vader's custom made helmet. "Never underestimate the power of the Force!" Vader dove forward letting Prime's giant wrist-blades melt into the floor behind him, causing him to fall forward catching himself on his fists. Before Optimus could pull out his swords, Vader spun around with his saber held high, catching both of Optimus Prime's massive arms at the small of the wrist.

Optimus Prime roared in pain as his blue hands fell severed on the floor clanking loudly on either side Darth Vader. Vader delivered a swift powerful Force-push to Prime's chest. The concussion of the blast knocked Prime onto the floor and smashed open the protective seal he had over Maggie and the others.

"Now your body's science shall bring supremacy to the armies of the Emperor, once you are dissected." Vader said , his robotic breath laboring, eerily out of synch with his words. "It is useless to resist!"

"It's never... useless, Darth Vader," Prime said struggling to move from the near fetal position he was in. "I will always resist... until ... all ... are... ONE!" To Vader's dismay, Optimus Prime formed an orange energy axe from the stump of his right arm. He crashed it down upon Vader who barely caught it on the edge of his red lightsaber.

"Impressive..." Vader said straining, "Most impressive." Prime pressed down upon Vader as much as Vader resisted the giant light-axe. More of Vader's ruined face was revealed as Prime's light-axe burned off the rest of his cracked helmet. Hydraulic muscles in Prime's began to spark, snap, and give way. "How ...long can you... last ... Prime?" Vader taunted.

"Longer than you will Vader!" Optimus retorted. Sparks flew from Vader's brass-like bionic arms, now half-exposed by he tattered black gloves.

"Perhaps," Vader said, "But your compassion will be your undoing." Vader turned his red-yellow gaze to Prime's chest. His eyes locked on to Maggie Sims.

Suddenly, she began to cough and wheeze.

"Maggie!" Glen cried out.

"Mags! What's happening!?" Simmons said.

"NO! Don't do it!" Optimus Prime exclaimed.

"I would sacrifice this entire garrison to defeat you. Will you sacrifice one of yours for victory, Optimus?" Vader chided, a wicked smile now half visible behind his smashed helmet.

"Jetfire! We've got to go now!" Optimus ordered.

"Right. Fusion reactors are online..." Jetfire replied, "Blasting off now!" With that Super Optimus Prime bolted out of the gaping gash in the top of Super Star Destroyer Executor. Prime and Jetfire somersaulted in the air underneath the ship to pick up Iron Hide as they went.

Inside Optimus's windshield, Maggie caught her breath. "What the bloody hell was that?" she gasped. "Felt like something was choking my lights out!"

"The power of the Dark Side." Glen said gazing ominously back an the Star Destroyer fading below them.

Vader retracted his red lightsaber as stormtroopers and Imperial officers came to tend to him. He chuckled as Optimus Prime's exhaust trail faded into the stars. "Round one is a draw, Optimus. When next we meet... there will no one to stop me that time."

An Imperial officer saluted Vader as he stood wheezing and shorting out in various places. General Vize knew better than to notice it at all. He formed his best stonewall face and reported. "My Lord Vader, the ship has sustained incredible damage and must be repaired at the nearest Imperial Starbase. Otherwise best estimates hold that the ship will be a total loss in less than twelve hours."

"Very well, General. Take us to Starbase Sigma Twelve immediately."

"Aye, my lord," the man saluted and went to turn then stopped. "Also, M'lord, Boba Fett has sent word from a small planet in a primitive Galaxy exceedingly far away. He has made contact with Autobots and has run into... complications."

"Excellent. Lock onto Fett's signal and log in the coordinates," Vader replied.

"And what of Bludgeon, my lord?" the Imperial officer asked. "The Decepticons are wreaking havoc on our forces at the Rebel base on Dantooine."

"He is no match for the power of the Force. While Bludgeon wastes energon on the Rebels – we will gain an entire new galaxy for the Empire. Bring my shuttle, General Veers." Vader commanded as several doctor droids began to repair his robotic limbs. "We are leaving – for Earth."

III.

Dantooine was a peaceful planet. Its constant intermittent rains gave it a lush terrain of soft, hilly plain covered in the most serene wheat fields imaginable. The Rebel Alliance's state of the art defense grid kept the Empire at bay. Unfortunately giant robots were much more savvy against heavy gun emplacements than TIE bomber squadrons. Right now both were attacking the Rebel Base at once.

Only a few ace gunners were able to hold their position against the mayhem of a two-pronged, Imperial-Decepticon onslaught.

One such gunner was the proud Corellian scoundrel Han Solo, dedicated Alliance member and hard-boiled smuggler and gunslinger. He stood at the controls in the midst of four, smoking stormtrooper bodies. He aimed the four-barreled laser cannon upwards and fired.

His large red blasts struck a large giant humanoid construction tractor multiple times. Bonecrusher, as he was called, roared with pain as large flaming gashes were cut into his metal skin by Han's burst of laser fire. To Han's chagrin, the direct hits only made Bonecrusher angrier.

Bonecrusher revealed one of his hands to be a wrecking ball. "I have a bad feeling about this," Han muttered to himself. Bonecrusher began to swing the wrecking ball around with a heart-melting whoosh sound. "I have a really bad feeling about this."

Bonecrusher swung. "Oh!" Han dove to the floor. Behind him the room filled with flame as the wrecking ball smashed the gun turret to pieces, taking most of the top of the gun tower with it.

Han stared out the gaping whole. The entire view was taken up by Bonecrusher's face. "I'll feast on your flesh human! Your blood shall decorate my teeth!"

Bonecrusher leaned in with his robotic maw to crush him . Han rolled back on the floor dodging the bite that took out another chunk of the building. As Bonecrusher leaned in close crunching through the metal of the gun tower, Han took a shot with his trusty DL-44 scope-mounted blaster pistol, hitting the Decepticon in the center of its right eye.

The glass socket exploded in a shower of sparks. Bonecrusher reared back screaming in pain. Han reached into his black vest and retrieved a thermal detonator and activated it. "Eat this!" He lobbed the shiny round bomb into Bonecrusher's gaping mouth. Seconds later Bonecrusher's torso exploded with a bright green shockwave. His massive body fell in half.

Han surveyed the horizon. Warlord Bludgeon leading Ramjet, Soundwave, Rampage, and Mixmaster as they swatted aside Imperial and Rebel forces both. Han sighed "Well that's one down..." he said wryly to himself.

"Han!" said a woman's voice from the com-link on his waist.

"Leia," he replied, "Where are you?"

"Aboard the Falcon with Threepio," she told him. "We're coming to you. Just stay low. Imperial forces are amassing at the base of your gun tower."

"Uh... about staying low... " Han could here the patter of Imperial boots coming up the stairs. "I think they heard my little party with Bonecrusher."

"Just hang on we're on the way."

Han looked up and saw the Millennium Falcon on the horizon. "Hey, be careful with my ship, Sweetheart."

"Relax, Han," Leia said. "It's not like you can break a bag of bolts."

"Yeah well, she's my bag of bolts and don't you forget it!" Han jumped back as a bird-like machine whipped past where he was standing "Look out!" He warned into the com-link. "On your tail!"

Leia grabbed the controls and spun the battered, yet agile Corellian freighter around the laser blasts that flashed by.

"Oh my goodness!" C-3PO exclaimed, "A Decepticon is..."

"I know, Threepio just, shut up!"

Chasing the Millennium Falcon was Laser Beak, a deadly robotic bird and a fierce opponent for anything that could fly.

The aerial cat and mouse became deadlier by the second as Laser Beak began to study all of Leia's movements, catching the Falcon's every move with a laser blast before she made it.

An alarm began to sound in the cockpit. "Oh my! Princess Leia, our shields are at 15 percent! We're doomed!"

Leia looked down toward the gun turret where Han was fight ing off a horde of stormtroopers, ducking behind the ruins of the gun turret for cover. She looked over to see Laser Beak coming around for another pass.

She thought for a moment and grabbed the com-link, "Han I've got an idea."

"About time," Han replied through a series of laser blasts, "What's the plan?"

"When I give to the signal – jump!"

"What!?" Han half-shrieked.

"Just do it!" the ship rumbled again, as Laser Beak hit it with another spray of violet laser bolts. "I'm coming in fast." She turned to the terrified protocol droid. "Threepio, open the boarding hatch."

"The boarding hatch? In mid-flight? But the decompression dangers. Oh, Princess, the odds of this working at this speed are 427,560 to 1!"

"Threepio!"

"Alright, alright – as you wish." Threepion clicked the button and the main opening on the belly of the Millennium Falcon opened. "Oh... we're doomed... doomed I say!"

The Falcon dove downward toward the tower closely followed by Laser Beak. "Han!" Leia said into the com-link in her hand, "Get ready!"

As the Falcon neared the ruined gunnery tower, Laser Beak's stray blasts began to strike the tower. The rays hit near the stormtroopers assailing Han, burying the door way in debris. The coast was clear.

"Han, now!" Leia called out. Han ran to the edge of the opening in the gunnery tower and dove into his starship as it dove upwards. The hatch closed behind them. Laser Beak cawed in terror as he was coming in too fast to pull up in time. The Decepticon bird smashed into the stormtroopers with a terrible crash. Only smoke, debris, and Laser Beak's wreckage remained of the gunnery tower.

Aboard the Falcon Han joined Leia in the cockpit. They embrace and kissed warmly. "Alright I'll admit it," Han said smiling. "I love you."

Leia smiled back. "I know."

"Oh, no!" Threepio cried, "Look!"

"TIE fighters," Leia said. "But like nothing I've ever seen..." Leia said as the monstrous creations of Bludgeon grew closer. "Does the fun never end at this party?"

Han sighed. "I wish Chewie were here..."

IV.

Lando Calrissian had managed to adapt perfectly to the climate on Earth. As far as anyone who looked at him knew, he was a successful businessman taking in the sights. His companion however, needed a thicker cover story – and Lando couldn't think of one to save his life. Not on a planet that had never seen past its own nose before.

They were here to make sure Boba Fett and the Imperials did not capture an Autobot for the Emperor's nefarious schemes. Right now, however they found themselves surrounded by police, transfixed crowds taking cell phone photographs of Chewbacca, and two ominous Men in Black.

"Chewbacca," Lando said.

"Hwaarrrunnn?" Chewbacca replied.

"I have a bad feeling about this."

"I'm afraid your friend will have to come with us." One of the Men in Black said. "Animal Control Services – Sector 7."

"Never heard of it." Lando replied with a sneer.

"Never will."

Lando cracked a smile, deciding to try his masterful skills of negotiation out. "Listen guys. Chewie's not an animal. What he is, is a model mechanics assistant. Fusion reactor on the fritz? No problem. Reversed negative power coupler? Four hours flat, with a discount on labor costs. Come on fellas. What'll ya say?"

"Hmmm... how about..." The leader of the Men in Black snapped his fingers. The SWAT police to aim on Chewbacca and Lando with their sub-machine guns. "...not."

Lando looked closely at the officer's eyes. They were glowing red. "Chewie... these guys..."

"Lord Vader has plans for this world – starting with you."

Dantooine .

"The Rebels are escaping, Master Bludgeon," Starscream said sycophantically, bowing before his Pretender master. "We have limited forces – too small to pursue and to hold the planet."

"It is of no concern," Bludgeon said, sitting upon a giant throne made of wrecked Rebel Alliance buildings. "It is my power that will make us master of all the Universe." Bludgeon stabbed his claw into the ground. To Starscream and the other Decepticons' amazement the vegetation and starship wreckage running along the ground began to twist together and warped into monstrous biomechanical machines. Bludgeon cackled madly. "You see Starscream, my armies are limitless!"

The twisted plants began to morph and transform into grotesque, biomechanical humanoids, resembling Decepticons. The entire field of grass was warped into monstrous warriors, no two of them alike. Some bore bestial legs, others sprouted tentacle claws – all of them snarled with mindless ferocity.

"Behold! The Pretenders are reborn!" Bludgeon stood pumping his fist into the air in triumph. "Go my children. Transform and destroy all who oppose us!"

The Pretender spawns' mutant bodies segmented, revealing metal parts beneath their monstrous flesh. They became grotesque travesties of TIE fighters. Their bent wings were claws and the place where the spherical cockpit would be was a large gaping maw of living metal.

Starscream took a few steps back from the horrors that Bludgeon has just created. "But , Lord Bludgeon these creatures are so... so... unnatural..."

Bludgeon laughed evilly, "Yes, Starscream! Megatron is nothing when compared to the glory of the Pretenders!"

Several of the Pretenders suddenly lumbered towards Starscream, "Lord Bludgeon, help! They are out of control."

Bludgeon only cackled cruelly as the his spawns' wrapped their tentacles around Starscream. "As I said, Decepticons are nothing to the Pretenders." Starscream yelped in horror as he beheld the hideous monsters attacking the other Decepticons.

"No! What are you doing!?" Starscream shrieked.

"Soon this planet will become our living War World – the ultimate battle station from which we will conquer the Universe. You and your puny Decepticon brethren, along with the humans on this planet will serve as food for this world as it undergoes its final transformation into the Throne World of the Pretenders!"

"NO!" Starscream pleaded as the Pretenders began to drag him off.

Bludgeon only chuckled, "Take him away." He looked up toward the sky. "Now, Rebel Scum. Let's see you escape from this!"

Back on Earth.

Lando has successfully tossed a thermal detonator into the air above the heads of the police and the Men in Black. The brilliant energy shockwave floored the Men in Black and disoriented the SWAT team. The blast knocked off one of their helmets revealing them to be Imperial clones in police gear.

Lando produced a blaster pistol from his vest a fired, taking down two of the disguised clones. A hail of red laser fired chased Chewbacca and Lando into a thin alley between two buildings. Lando dropped his brief case in front of Chewie. It fell open to reveal his laser crossbow.

Lando grabbed a com-link from his belt. "Luke old buddy, where are ya!" he said fire a few shots over his shoulder. "We've got trouble downtown – Imperials in disguise!"

Suddenly Chewbacca was lifted into the air, roaring and flailing about desperately.

"And one of them is a Dark Side Shadow Guard!" Lando added in terror. Lando opened fire on the Dark Sider in the black suit and sunglasses with his blaster pistol. Chewie fell with a growl into a nearby garbage dumpster as the Shadow Guard and turned produced a red lightsaber and batted aside Lando's laser blasts.

As Lando stood trying to figure out what to do next, the suit-wearing Shadow Guard unfolded his lightsaber's hilt to form on a large saber-pike. "Prepare to die, Rebel scum!" The Man in Black charged with his saber-pike.

Suddenly a loud whirring siren stopped both Lando and the Shadow Guard in their tracks. Behind the Man in Black, four NYPD squad cars pulled up. Eight cops surrounded the three alien humans. "Freeze! Put down your guns and... light beams ... and..." The police Sargent looked over at Chewbacca, "and... pets... Nobody move!"

"Shoot'em!" Lando shout with his hands up. "He's here to enslave this entire planet!"

"Quiet!" The cop roared back. "You put down that light stick right now!" He said to the Shadow Guard.

The Shadow Guard only chuckled. "Feel the wrath of the Dark Side!" Whipping around the Man in Black made a wide motion with the Force. The squad cars flew in all directions. People ran screaming as large chunks of the asphalt beneath the cars went crashing into buildings. The Shadow Guard in Black lit relentlessly into the hapless policemen. In seconds he had cut down all of them with his saber-pike, only the Sargent remained. The Dark Sider in the suit twirled his weapon above the cop's head sadistically reveling in the man's fear.

He brought the weapon down. The red blade was caught on the edge of a green lightsaber. "Your passion for destruction will be your undoing," Luke said. With a thrust of his arm, Luke Skywalker sent the Man in Black sailing across the street with the Force. The police Sargent looked at his gun, which had been sliced in half then back at the alien mayhem surrounding him and ran away in abject terror.

Luke moved to go after the Man in Black, but was caught in a hail of blue plasma bolts. Luke spun his saber rapidly swatting down the blasts, ever careful to protect the frightened crowds around them from stray laser fire. At first, the blasts seemed to be coming from nowhere, then Luke saw several black-armored troopers appear as though out of thin air. Red laser bolts from Chewbacca's crossbow took down three of them.

"Dark troopers!" Lando said. "Chewie and I will deal with these creeps. You stop that Shadow Guard before he destroys this entire city!"

Using the Force, Luke leapt the impossible distance across the intersection and crashed his lightsaber into the blade of the dark warrior's saber-pike. The two of them fencing back and forth, shoving and shunting each others laser blades against each other.

As they fought Chewie and Lando had defeated the stealthy dark troopers. Luke looked over the Man in Black's shoulder to see Chewbacca grab a cloaked trooper and deliver a swift, savage twist to his neck. The dark trooper's black armor shimmered into view as Chewbacca let the stealth stormtrooper fall to the concrete with a thud. The dark troopers were no more.

The Shadow Guard pressed his face close to Luke's. "You will not stop us, Skywalker! We will capture a living Autobot and create an army more powerful than anything your pathetic Rebel Alliance can possibly imagine." Suddenly, the Man in Black released a powerful bolt of Dark Side lightning. Luke struggled to hold the barrage of deadly energy at bay with his lightsaber.

Above Luke saw a bright red form appear in the sky and grow larger. Soon it became clear that the large form was a humanoid robot – and that it was on a collision course! "Surrender the Autobots, Jedi scum!"

Luke gritted his teeth as the shadow of the large Autobot over took them both. "Be careful what you wish for!" Luke somersaulted high into the air. The Shadow Guard turned around to see the gigantic body of Optimus Prime hurtling toward him in a sheath of fire, debris, and crumbled asphalt. The Man in Black screamed briefly before being instantly pulverized by the impact.

Luke landed gingerly in front of Optimus Prime's face. The large Autobot was unconscious. The sound of helicopters filled the air. Chewbacca and Lando joined Luke's side.

"They don't look too happy about this," Lando said. He looked over at a pair of Imperial speeder bikes. "Come on, Luke let's beat it. From what I've seen, these people have only even known of life on other planets for a few months. They are as likely to slice and dice us as they are to ask for our autographs."

"Warrrrun," Chewbacca agreed.

"Nobody move," Once again men in black and SWAT gear surrounded the three aliens from the Galaxy of the Force. To their surprise the armored Earthlings moved past them and began hooking cables magnets to Optimus Prime.

Luke was totally distracted, staring off into empty space. "I feel a disturbance in the Force," he began. "The Alliance is in danger. A malevolent inhuman force is on the move. All it does is... destroy." He suddenly looked to Lando and Chewbacca. "I have to get back to Dantooine."

Several SWAT police moved toward them. "Luke," Lando muttered out of the side of his mouth, "I don't think they plan on letting us go anywhere!"

"Do me a favor," Luke whispered back, slipping a com-link into his hand. "Find Sam and Mikaela. The Empire found us and we got separated." Luke clicked a locator device on his belt. "R2 will be here any minute. Just be calm and diplomatic." The Wookie growled. "That goes for you too, Chewie. We don't need trouble. Just stall them."

A man in a black-on-black suit approach them. "My name is Inspector Carl Rotham. National Security Agency."

Lando shook the man's hand. "Lando Calrissian."

The NSA agent looked around. "It appears we have a great deal to talk about. These... clones for example. They infiltrated our most secure police forces." The agent gave Luke a stern look, "And you..."

Several armored men approached. "Reports are that you and a laser sword-wielding accomplice are responsible for all of this damage."

"Your highness," Luke began.

"Agent Rotham," the agent retorted. "We don't do 'highness' where I come from."

"Where I come from was once like this place – free, democratic, guided by the Force."

"Force?" Rotham puzzled.

To his surprise several pebbles of asphalt suddenly lifted themselves from the ground and began to hover all around Rotham and his men. "The Force is life, Agent Rotham. It surrounds us and binds us all together. Those who can feel the Force can use its power for the betterment of all life."

"Or to destroy the most expensive intersection of downtown Manhattan," Rotham said wryly. "You're coming with me."

Suddenly the roaring of a loud engine filled the air around them. Gusts of air blustered through Agent Rotham's suit. Above them was Luke Skywalker's X-Wing starfighter piloted by his faithful astromech droid, R2-D2. "I'm sorry Agent Rotham, but the Force calls me elsewhere." Luke jumped the unnatural height onto the closed wings of the starfighter, then into the open cockpit.

The starship's wings opened into their signature X-shape. The SWAT teams took aim on the X-Wing. "Calm down!" A voice shouted from inside Optimus Prime. It was Sector 7 Agent Eugene Simmons . "I'll explain everything. Right now, everybody, including the Autobots are in danger." As Simmons spoke, Luke's X-Wing bolted off into hyperspace.

Several of the tactical soldiers pulled him out of the dented compartment of Optimus Prime's chest.

"He's telling the truth," Maggie said coughing as agents helped her out of the Autobot as well. "The whole Earth is –" Maggie suddenly screamed. She stood face to face with Chewbacca.

"It's alright, ma'am," Rotham announced in his same wry voice, "He's with him," he motioned to Lando.

"Somebody get me outta here!" The muffled plea came from Glen who was still trapped inside Optimus. He finally wiggled free and belly flopped onto the ground. He turned to see Optimus' large unconscious face. "Oh my God..."

Agent Rotham turned to Lando. "Care to explain why I should buy any of this?"

Before Lando could answer the NSA agent, a loud explosion filled the horizon. Seconds later a yellow Camarro came flying out of the smoke, skidding right up to Rotham. Inside the car was Sam Witwicky.

From the opposite direction a beautiful woman on a pink motorcycle emerged. She turned to look back as an AT-ST crumbled behind her crashing into a skyscraper.

Rotham stood with his mouth agape. "You care for that explanation now, or after we pick up your face?" Lando taunted.

"We need to get Optimus some help now!" Maggie suddenly blurted out.

"Right," Rotham said finally agreeing. "All units return to base. Big Red is in tow." Rotham paused. "Speaking of which," he turned to Maggie. "Where are Iron Hide and Jet Fire? Ratchet and Jazz will be expecting them."

"They stayed behind," Maggie told him, "They chose to help the Rebels fight the Decepticons and the Empire, Sir."

"I see..." Rotham shook his head as he looked on Optimus. "These machines have heart, but they shouldn't be so reckless. This Empire will want their technology as badly as Earthbound governments do. They sure aren't making it easy for the new Sector 7 to keep things neutral."

Maggie and Rotham climbed into an armored truck. "They did the right thing, Sir."

"Oh, I'm sure," Rotham replied. "I just wish we could get you people to do the smart thing sometimes."

As the armored trucks and helicopters flew off carrying Optimus Prime's 50-foot body, no one took notice of the armored Mandalorian bounty hunter hanging onto the bottom of one of the Osprey-2 airships carrying Optimus. "Boba Fett to Lord Vader," he muttered into a com-link inside his helmet, "Begin your operation. I'm in position. Standing by to stir the pot."

V.

Luke's X-Wing emerged from hyperspace. He was stunned to find himself in the midst of Imperial starship ruins. Debris was everywhere. X-Wings, A-Wings, Star Destroyers, medical frigates and Mon Calamari cruisers had all been destroyed. Upon closer examination, he noticed that there were no scorch marks or blaster holes. Whatever had destroyed these ships did so without the use of standard weapons.

"R2, are your scanners picking up anything?" Luke asked. R2 beeped a negative answer. "Where's is Dantooine?" R2 chirped. "This is bad, R2. I don't sense anything. No it's worse than that. I sense nothing... like an emptiness that I..."

Suddenly his com-link growled with static as a voice tried to come through. "Hello?" He adjusted the dials and knobs on the sides of the small, white, cylindrical communicator.

"Luke!" It was Leia's voice.

"Leia!" Luke exclaimed back. "Where are you?"

"Dantooine... in ... some kind of ... living factory," Static took her words in and out.

"Dantooine! Where? I don't see anything on my scopes... I..."

Suddenly, Luke saw it. The planet Dantooine had been completely transformed. Its lush green plains had been twisted into a giant hideous, toothy maw, large enough to gobble up a small moon in space. Jutting from the planet were several gigantic tentacles.

As his X-Wing drew closer to the monstrous planet, he could see the forms of two humanoid robots held in the tentacles grasp. They were the Autobots, Iron Hide and Jetfire.

Before he could focus on them long, a swarm of buzzing ships flew up from the planet. At first he thought he saw TIE fighters, until they got closer. They were hideous space beasts covered in claws, sucking maws and stingers. As they whizzed past him their insect-like wings released a barrage of missiles.

Luke spun the X-wing hard to starboard, the guided missile twirled out of control and smashed into one another. He pulled up and caught the space beasts with a laser blasts, vaporizing several of them.

Before he could bring his ship about, more monstrous starfighters were on him, swiping at his X-Wing with stingers and claw-like missiles.

"Luke!" said Iron Hide as he struggled with the tentacles holding him. "Get us loose and we'll handle those fighters. You have to get down to the planet and stop Bludgeon before this War World of his gets too powerful to be stopped!"

Luke maneuvered with his X-Wing, drawing the monstrous ships into a chase. He bolted full speed towards the tentacles holding Iron Hide and Jetfire. At the last possible moment he somersaulted backwards with the X-Wing. The space beasts crashed with a brilliant explosion, severing the giant, kilometers long tentacles.

The tentacles fell back toward the monstrous planet's atmosphere and began to catch fire. Iron Hide and Jetfire opened up with their built in cannons. They ripped apart the swarm of monster fighters chasing Luke's X-Wing with a hail of bullets and plasma pulse fire.

Luke entered the atmosphere of the transformed planet Dantooine. He was stunned to behold Imperial stormtroopers and Rebels alike being herded into gigantic monstrous mouths by ogrish bio-organic robots, filled with raw plasma energy. The hapless victims would instantly be vaporized as their energy went on to feed Warlord Bludgeon's madness.

Luke blasted apart several of the maws with the X-Wing's laser cannons. To his horror they merely reformed in seconds and continued. Iron Hide's voice came in through the X-Wing's communicator. "This whole planet is an extension of Bludgeon's Pretender armor. Destroy Bludgeon and destroy the War World!"

Luke look ahead to see Bludgeons sitting atop his grotesque throne. "I see him," Luke seethed. "Here we go, R2!" Luke fired a pair of proton torpedoes. The bolts of energy struck Bludgeon full in the chest throwing him from his giant seat.

Above and below all of Bludgeons monsters seemed to stop moving.

"Who dares defy the Master of the Universe!" Bludgeon roared.

Luke unleashed a barrage of red laser cannon fire upon Bludgeon. To Luke's surprise the giant abomination drew a large jagged katana sword and began to deflect his laser bolts on its crooked edge.

"We're coming in too fast!" Luke exclaimed. "Bail out R2!" Luke commanded. "I've got an idea!" R2-D2 deployed his trusty rockets and flew out of his port near the aft of the X-Wing. Luke turned hard to port as Warlord Bludgeon made a masterful slice with his sword.

The two wings on the left side of the X-Wing were sliced off by the glowing purple edge of the plasma sword. The rest of the ship continued toward Bludgeon's hideous snarling skull. The X-Wing plowed into Bludgeon's monstrous, Pretender face with a bright orange explosion of flame.

Bludgeon roared with agony as his biomechanical body caught fire and began to fall apart. All around the planet's monstrous mouths began to disintegrate into repugnant goo. "NO!" Bludgeon screamed as his skeletal face broke apart and crumbled, "My ... empire...!"

Below Han and Leia looked around in confusion as the ogre-like droids that had been coming for them shorted out at began to melt. The tentacle holding the Millennium Falcon was also turning brittle and crumbling.

Han turned to see the wreckage of Luke's X-Wing. "NOOO!" he screamed.

Leia touched his shoulder. "He's alright, Han... I can feel it."

"You... you can?"

"The Force, Han... It's something Luke told me on Endor, before the Decepticons thwarted our assault on the Death Star, near Sullust." Han only grimaced. Before Leia could explain further. Laser blast rang out in the air. The space beasts were still active.

Han heard a loud creaking in the distance. "Look!" Warlord Bludgeon's, true endoskeleton was revealed. Now less than half his original size, standing 15 feet tall, Bludgeon had become a walking tank, his powerful organic parts now gone. He saw a green light beam flicker on in the distance. "Luke made it! He's alive."

Bludgeon growled as he reached onto his back and pulled the ruined turret off of his tank form. It became a giant purple energy katana in his hand.

Leia's eyes widened, "May the Force be with you, Brother."

Han's eyebrows lifted, "Brother?" A loud crackle stopped their conversation. It was the sound of energy blades being pressed against each other.

Luke Skywalker and Bludgeon had crossed swords.

"Come on Han," Leia said, looking up at the aerial battle between the Autobots and the space beasts. "The best thing we can do now is keep those fighters of his back." Han and Leia climbed into the the Millennium Falcon. Only to meet C-3PO.

"We're doomed! Doomed!"

"Doom later," Han barked, "Engine prep now!"

On Earth, Ratchet along with Sector 7 machines worked tirelessly to repair the massive body of Optimus Prime. Meanwhile Agent Rotham debriefed Maggie, Glen, Lando, Sam and Mikaela.

"You mean to tell me one man did this to Optimus Prime?" Rotham grimaced.

"Not a man... some kind of Dark Side machine," Glen replied.

"A Sith Lord," Maggie explained. "A Jedi like the man you met earlier, only driven by hatred, cruelty..."

"Evil Jedi," Rotham deduced. "So why did I not take the other Jedi into custody when I had the chance?"

"Because he's the only thing that can stop the Sith Lords," Sam interjected.

"The same Sith Lords that want your walking Camarro?" Rotham asked. Sam nodded. "In order to use their technology the way the General wanted to during the last incident." Rotham looked to Lando, "It seems that you people are more trouble than the robots."

"You people?" Lando retorted. "And it's Autobots."

"I'm just saying," Rotham said with a greasy smile, "It would be best if you and the dog-man..."

"Wookie," Lando corrected with a glare.

"...and the Jedi and Autobots, went back to the wonderful places you come from and leave us Earthlings alone with our burgers and taxes."

"Speaking of which, where is Chewie?" Lando said suspiciously.

"Wantonly destroying our $3,000 snack machines." Rotham's reply was followed by a growl and several can drinks rolling down the hall. Everyone but Rotham giggled.

"You're not going to stop him?" Maggie laughed.

"In my experience with extraterrestrials, it seems to go better when you let the Wookie win," Rotham smiled wryly.

"Guys something is bothering me," Mikaela said. "Lando and Chewbacca are here, Luke went back. Where is Boba Fett?"

Rotham grimaced, "Who is...?" A tactically dressed agent interrupted them as he burst into the room.

"Sir! Agent Rotham," he was out of breath, "Massive hostile contact coming in!"

"Where?" The agent look up. Rotham turned and clicked a remote. On a large screen on the far wall appeared the image of a gigantic wedge-shaped starship.

Lando was frozen in terror. "I'm sorry," he managed. "We've failed you. We thought we could lead them away now they've come in full force."

"Oh God, it's them!" Maggie exclaimed. "The Empire!"

Suddenly, two laser blasts shot down Rotham and the agent that had come to warn him.

"Rotham!" Lando yelled in shock.

They all turned to see Boba Fett holding a smoking blaster. Behind him four stormtroopers, climbed out of the air conditioning duct in the floor. They all trained their guns on the Earthlings and Rebels.

"You're corned, Rebel scum!" Fett announced.

Over the PA system they could hear gunfire and laser blasts. "We're under attack!" voices said. "All personnel to the hangar!"

"The hangar..." Sam thought aloud, "Bumblebee!"

Laser blasts rang out in the hallway. While everyone was distracted, Sam's phone rang. The ringing grew into an unbearable high-pitch wail, until the sound suddenly dropped into a sonic pulse. The wave of sound blew down the far wall, sending Boba Fett and the stormtroopers flying through it. Sam grabbed Mikaela and helped her up as everyone hustled out of the room and into the hallway.

Chewbacca greeted them with purloined blaster rifles. All around him were defeated stormtroopers, their armor cracked, broken, and claw-marked. "What would we do without you Chewie?" Lando said patting the Wookie's shoulder. Everyone took a weapon. Sam held the cell phone Autobot, Speed Dial in trigger mode.

"Rarara–gurahrruuuuun!" Chewie barked.

"Oh,no" Lando said, "Chewie says the Empire used droid poppers on Bumblebee."

"Droid poppers?"

"Electro-magnetic grenades," Lando explained, "Enough of them would knock out even an Autobot."

"This way!" Simmons said. The ran to the hangar to find it in ruins with the smoking carcasses of agents all over. The giant doors were opened. To their horror, and Imperial skiff barge was floating off with Bumblebee lying across its gang plank.

With reckless abandon Sam ran screaming after his beloved car-droid. He fired several plasma shots from Speed Dial, blasting two troopers off of the hover-skiff.

"Sam lookout!" Mikaela screamed.

As Sam ran across the hangar he was abruptly snatched from the ground mid-step. Boba Fett had him caught in a bear hug as he took him high into the air with his rocket pack.

Mikaela screamed for him, trying to get a clear shot on the bounty hunter as they wrestled in mid-air. "Mikaela!" Sam yelled back, "Get Bumblebee!"

"What about you!?" Mikaela cried.

"Just get Bumblebee! The Empire will destroy everything if they get him."

A pink motorcycle drove up beside Mikaela. "He is right, Mikaela Banes," Arcee said in her metallic voice. "We must go now." To Mikaela's amazement the motorcylce transformed into a Cybertronian hover-car. Mikaela climbed in and took off after the skiff barge.

Lando and Chewbacca stood back to back holding laser rifles. "Well partner, it's just you and me," he said as they shot down the endless onslaught of clones.

Suddenly a giant buzz saw burst up through the floor and cut a wide circle around them. The floor board fell into a giant blue hand just as the stormtroopers were about to close in.

Chewie and Lando look up to meet the compassionate glowing eyes of Optimus Prime, fully repaired. Beside Prime were Rachet with his buzz saw hands and Jazz, sporting wrist-mounted plasma cannons. In their hands were Glen, Simmons, and Maggie.

"Optimus Prime, guys," Lando beamed. "You're..."

"Ready for round two."

Dantooine.

Luke Skywalker had crossed swords only once in his life. That was against his father, Darth Vader, once known as the hero of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker. At Cloud City he lost his hand, but he gained priceless experience. Timing. Patience. Good form. All of these were skills he would need now as he faced a skilled opponent three times the size of a natural humanoid being.

Warlord Bludgeon was the new leader of the Decepticons. In his madness he would have sacrificed them all to the Pretender War World he had transformed Dantooine into. Now his armor had been destroyed by a masterless Jedi padawan and a spunky astromech droid. Needless to say Bludgeon was enraged.

Their fighting styles were as elegant as they were deadly. Luke practiced a powerful mixture of the Jedi Arts, making use of both the raw power he inherited from Anakin and the agility he was trained in by Yoda. Bludgeon fought using the deadly art of Metallikato – a robotic cousin to Jiu-jitsu and the Samurai arts.

Their shimmering blades slid off each other more so than they clashed. Luke knew better than to try to strong arm a Decepticon. Instead, Luke focused his mind with the Force, moving to stay a step ahead of his deadly foe. A cartwheel, a somersault, a feint. He used these flashy maneuvers to get inside the reach of Bludgeon's monstrous sword and score slashes to his large metal legs and lower torso, weakening the Pretender's stance and focus.

Bludgeon stumbled then went on the offensive with his built-in laser weapons. He transformed into his tank mode and opened fire with all weapons. Luke found himself desperately deflecting and dodging a hail of incoming laser bolts. Despite his early success in the duel, this battle was far from over.

Earth.

High above the streets of New York, a brutal wrestling match took place. The contenders were a young man with no combat training and a hardened Mandalorian bounty hunter. They landed atop a tall crane over the Hudson River. Fett had the advantage, choking Sam from behind.

"You'll never get away with Bumblebee!" Sam growled. Fett began to squeeze Sam's neck in the rear naked choke.

"What was that?" Boba taunted. Sam only coughed. "I can't hear you!" Fett squeezed tighter.

Sam jammed the Autobot cell phone into the visor on the side of Fett's helmet. "Can you hear me now!?" Sam roared. The Autobot release several thousand volts of electricity into the Mandalorian.

After a few moments of horrible convulsion and sparks, Fett plummeted headlong into the water.

Sam looked over to see the aerial skirmish between his girlfriend and the Imperial skiff barge escaping with Bumblebee. He searched for a way down from the crane. As he was looking around, he noticed a large shadow covering everything around him. He looked up. A Star Destroyer was descending from the clouds. He looked down to the street to see Optimus Prime, Jazz, and Ratchet driving towards the downtown area. "We are going to need a lot more help."

Dantooine.

Luke leapt onto the top of the tank using the Force. Bludgeon transformed and attempted to swat him off with his beam katana. Luke stumbled onto Bludgeon's shoulder. Using all of his might and the Force, Luke Skywalker parried the attack, catching the energy beam on his lightsaber's edge. Luke used his whole body to shunt the blade aside and then he spun with his sword.

The first spin attack dug deep into Bludgeon's neck. The second sent spark and circuitry flying in all directions. Luke made a final cut. With a loud crash, Luke Skywalker stood atop the headless body of Warlord Bludgeon. All around the space beasts crashed and burned as the planet began returning to normal.

The menace of Bludgeon had been defeated.

VI.

Earth.

Mikaela and Arcee pulled up alongside the Imperial skiff. Mikaela ducked a hail of gunfire as the stormtroopers sought to keep a hold of their Autobot prize.

"There's too many of them!" Mikaela shrieked.

"Take us down, Mikaela," Arcee said, "The engines are on the bottom."

Mikaela cocked the blaster rifle. "Right!"

"Hold on tight," Arcee said as she transformed into a pink rocket bike. Arcee swerved down beneath the skiff. "Fire!"

Mikaela fired until the blaster rifle clicked empty. The repulsorlift engines exploded with bright sparks. The skiff barge made a sickly whirring noise. The storm troopers plummeted to the street below as the skiff crashed and skidded right up to the gates of Central Park.

Mikaela dismounted the rocket bike and ran over to Bumblebee. She tapped on his large yellow face. "Bumblebee wake up!" She tapped again, "Come on, Bumblebee. Say something!"

Glowing blue eyes slowly flickered on. "Mikaela?"

"Bumblebee!" she smiled exhausted, affectionately holding onto Bumblebee's giant thumb.

"It is good to see that you are safe." Bumblebee, sat up slowly. "Where is Sam?"

Mikaela stared blankly into the distance. She saw the Star Destroyer coming in over Manhattan.

"I hope he isn't anywhere near that thing."

Sam sat in the driver's seat of Optimus Prime's truck form next to Lando and Chewie. Optimus had found him on the way into town and pulled him down from the top of the crane. When Sam asked about the others, Lando told him that Glen, Maggie, and Simmons stayed in the Sector 7 base to repair the damage done by the Empire. Mikaela was just ahead with Arcee. Optimus drove them around to the opposite side of Central park where Mikaela and Arcee were waiting.

"Sam!" Mikaela said running to him.

The two embraced and kissed deeply. A large shadow covered them. The Star Destroyer was above them now. Sam looked up at the cruiser as he held onto to Mikaela. "Oh, this is bad."

Optimus Prime, Jazz, and Ratchet transformed behind them. Optimus Prime drew his trusty plasma rifle from his back. "If we give it all we've got, we can stop this attack." Optimus' glowing eyes softened. "Even if we do prevail here, things will never be the same, Sam. Your planet has entered the age of the Empire. We will have to fight against the Dark Side for the rest of eternity."

Sam and Mikaela held each other tighter. "I'm with you, Optimus," Sam said.

"Count me in, too," Mikaela said.

Suddenly the roar of fighter planes, helicopters, and the grind of tank treads filled the air. One of the Apache helicopters flew close to Optimus' massive shoulder. Two familiar faces were sitting in the side of the chopper.

"You guys weren't planning on throwing this party without inviting us were you?" The man behind the megaphone was Major Lennox. Sitting next to him in state of the art battle gear was Captain Epps.

They were the soldiers who had fought so bravely against the Decepticons when they first landed on Earth. They had battled the Separatist Droid Army in Washington, DC, and now they had come to repel a full on invasion force, sent from the Galactic Empire.

The sentimental moment was shattered by a loud explosion. The fighter planes had engaged the Star Destroyer. To everyone's dismay the full spread of missiles merely collided with an invisible field of energy.

"Oh,no..." Mikaela gasped.

"The deflector shields!" Sam exclaimed. "All of their ships have them!"

Aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Aesir One, Darth Vader watched with cold detachment as wave after wave of F-15 fighter jets pelted their shields with missiles.

General Veers stood at the Dark Lord's side. "Their weapons have no effect, my lord. Shall we begin razing the surface of the planet?"

"No, General. This planet must be broken – shown that obedience is their only option. Target their communications devices. Launch all TIE squadrons. Sent down the Walkers. Obliterate their feeble military... and take no prisoners."

"At once, my lord."

Luke, Han, and Leia had boarded the Millennium Falcon and left Dantooine. Jetfire and Iron Hide hitched themselves onto the Falcon's hull, sharing power with the Corellian speed freighter to hasten their trip back to Earth.

"Luke are you sure going back to the planet that these freak-bots come from is a good idea?" Han said flatly.

"Hey!" Jetfire exclaimed over the ships intercom.

"Present company excluded," Han sighed.

Luke sat wincing as Leia tended to his wounds and laser burns. "We have to go... I feel Vader's presence."

Leia's eyes widened, "Vader... He's invading the Earth." She swallowed hard. "I know who you say he is... I still can't believe it... but trust me, Luke. That man cannot be saved."

"That's up to the Force." Luke's eyes were so resolute that they stunned Leia momentarily. "Anyways," Luke said softening his gaze, "This isn't about my father." He turned to the golden protocol droid. "3PO, contact Admiral Ackbar tell him to lock on our position and follow us."

"What!" Han exclaimed. "Luke, that's crazy! What about the Death Star? That's where the Emperor is!"

"What they have on Earth is more powerful than any Death Star. If the Empire gets a hold of it we are all doomed."

As the Millennium Falcon bolted off into hyperspace, a battered Starscream floating behind their hyperspace wake, joined by Ramjet, Soundwave, and Barricade. "Decepticons," he said wearily, "We will have our revenge on these worlds! I Starscream, your master swear this!"

"Megatron is the master," Soundwave said in his deep synthesized voice, transforming into a plane-like form. "Decepticons, begin searching party." The three Decepticons bolted off leaving Starscream to float.

Several Rebel fighters surrounded the floating Decepticon. "Surrender, bag of bolts," said Wedge Antilles, second in command of the Rogue Squadron under Luke Skywalker. "The Alliance Senate will decide your fate."

Starscream sighed, "Ugh... everyone's a critic..."

Planet Earth. Manhattan.

Mayhem would be an understatement to describe what was happening. Missile-mounted tanks blasted AT-ST Walkers to pieces. Gigantic, elephant-like AT-AT crushed armored hummers beneath their massive feet. Three giant robots tumbled through buildings as they engaged in a laser-on-laser shoot out with a mile-long flying battle cruiser.

"Optimus!" Jazz called out as he shot down a pair of TIE interceptors with a spray of machine gun fire from his wrist. They crashed into the concrete, forming flaming craters on either side of him. "The Air Force is getting creamed up there! They can't get through the deflector shield and the TIE fighters just keep coming."

Optimus scanned the massive cruiser with his glowing blue eyes. His eyes locked onto the two protruding metal globes on either side of the rectangular bridge of the Star Destroyer. "Those are the shield generators," he announced pointed to them with his massive middle and index fingers. He looked around. "Now to get some altitude." He turned around to see the Chrysler Building and smiled. "Ratchet follow me." Four AT-ST Walkers ran towards them, red lasers blasting. "Jazz, cover us!" Optimus said as he and Ratchet dashed toward the Chrysler building ducking the AT-ST cannon fire as they went.

"You got it, Boss!" Jazz moved his sleek, silvery form with amazing acrobatics. He cartwheeled into the first AT-ST, crushing it's box-like head into an adjacent building with a drop-kick. The metal cockpit folded in on itself with a gust of flame. Jazz back-handed another AT-ST, knocking it onto it side. He grabbed the fallen Walker by the legs and swung it like a bat, in a wide arc, smashing it into the last two AT-ST's in the onslaught. He bashed the Imperial mech-tanks into each other until only twisted metal and scrawny robot legs remained.

Optimus and Ratchet climbed up the side of the Chrysler building, shattering glass and stone as they went. They reached the top of the famous skyscraper where they balanced themselves precariously. Star Destroyer Aesir One was still several hundred feet above them.

"Now what Optimus?" Ratchet asked.

Optimus smiled devilishly, "Fastball special," Optimus braced his hand on top of each other.

"Right!" Ratchet responded. He jumped over onto Prime's folded hands. With Optimus springing him upward Ratchet leapt onto the top of the Star Destroyer. Ratchet transformed his mighty hands of steel into giant buzz saws and plowed into the metal globes with their blades.

As the shield generators burst into flame the Star Destroyers laser cannon batteries sprang to life. One of the double-barreled cannons swivelled back and shot Ratchet in the shoulder. He fell to the street below with a loud crash.

"Ratchet!" Optimus called out as he ran over to his friend, knocking large chunks off of the Chrysler Building as he went.

Ratchet groaned and sat up slowly. "I'm okay Optimus," he moaned, "Did it work?"

They looked up to see large explosions bursting out all over the Star Destroyer. The Air Force's weapons were working now. Darth Vader's cruiser was now vulnerable to attack.

On the bridge of the Aesir One mayhem ensued as officers and clone troopers were tossed about by Ratchet's brazen attack. "We've lost all deflector shields!" shouted one voice. "Hull breach in sector 99428!" "Enemy ships in sector 7!"

"Lord Vader," Veers saluted Vader clearly turning pale, "The Autobots have done irreparable damage to the shields. The Earthling air fighters are..."

"The Empire will not lose to a bunch of savages and their droids, General," Vader declared resolutely. "Fire all turbo-laser batteries. I want this city brought to its knees!"

All at once a hail of green laser bolts sprayed out from the Star Destroyer in all directions. Nearly every fighter plane in the sky was vaporized or torn to shreds by the barrage. The turrets on the Imperial cruisers belly ripped through the Manhattan skyline. Skyscrapers were sliced down, cars were obliterated and bridges were blown in half.

Major Lennox could hardly breathe as he grabbed the radio. "Fall back!" he said. "All units fall back!"

Captain Epps took up his radio. "All ground units rally on the Brooklyn Bridge."

The tanks, hummers, and Apache choppers funneled into the Brooklyn Bridge, fleeing the deadly rain of green blasts. Optimus looked on in horror from across the city. He could see AT-AT's and AT-ST moving to box them in. As he ducked the relentless laser fire from above he search with his eyes until he found something useful. He laid eyes on a tanker truck full of liquid hydrogen.

Optimus trotted over and grabbed the truck. He pulled up the truck to his face. Inside was a terrified driver. "You should go now." Optimus Prime said picking the man up and setting him down gently. He turned toward the Star Destroyer sneering with anger. "Alright Vader," he declared aloud. "I'm bringing this fight to you!" He tore the tank off of the tanker truck and propped it up vertically. He pointed his giant plasma rifle at the bottom of the liquid hydrogen tank and fired.

The large tube of liquid hydrogen exploded like a flaming bottle rocket, lifting Optimus Prime's massive body high into the air. Prime sailed through air, through the hail of green laser blasts flying high above the Star Destroyer. As the thrust left the tanker, Optimus plummeted shoulder-first toward the Star Destroyer.

Vader looked up through the view screen to see the giant Autobot hurtling towards them. "What!?" Vader braced. The entire ship rumbled. Terminals exploded. The entire crew was floored. All except for Vader. He took his lightsaber in hand and looked out onto the bow of his Star Destroyer.

Optimus Prime had landed in the dead center of the floating fortress. Optimus stood up from the large crater he had made in the Star Destroyer. The crash had destroyed most of the cruiser's guns and all of its tractor beams. He stood up with his arm-blades drawn and glowing. The ship's remaining gun turrets turned toward Optimus. As they opened fire, he sliced them apart, letting the automated barrels fly off of the ship to the city below. Optimus charged forward and grabbed the bridge of the Star Destroyer, squeezing with his mighty hands of steel, letting sparks spray across his large blue face.

"VADER!" Prime roared. "Come out and face me! Leave the Earth out of this. This is between you and me."

Suddenly, a small black figure flew out of damaged Star Destroyer bridge. As it whipped past a red blade of light slashed an orange gash across Optimus' right cheek. Vader landed behind Optimus Prime holding his red lightsaber.

Prime transformed his right hand into an orange light-axe. He turned to face Vader. "There won't be any innocent people to hide behind this time, Vader."

Vader turned to face Prime. "There will be no way to escape me this time, Optimus."

Optimus took a wide swing with his light-axe. Vader stopped the giant energy blade with a low parry. Vader pushed the axe-arm aside and propelled himself forward with the Force. He passed between Prime's instep slashing his right ankle before landing. Prime brought his foot down to stomp Vader, but the giant blue heel was caught by a wall of Force.

Darth Vader shoved Optimus Prime backward with his Dark Side power. Optimus large back smashed through what was left of the Star Destroyer's bridge. The mile-long cruiser rumbled and sputtered beneath them. Its massive fusion engines were having a burnout. The Star Destroyer Aesir One began to fall, slowly at first, but then gusts of air began to bluster through Vader's black cape, slowing his advance.

The Star Destroyer clipped several skyscrapers on its way down. It splashed into the Hudson River plowing through several abandoned ferries and sailboats before skidding to a stop.

"Your ship is lost, Dark Lord," Prime said standing up now wielding his left arm-blade with his light-axe. "Your attack has failed."

"Your efforts are wasted, Optimus," Vader replied. "Behold! The Imperial forces of the 501st Legion move to obliterate your pitiful allies."

Prime looked over to the Brooklyn Bridge. He could see Arcee, Jazz, and Ratchet surrounded by Imperial Walkers of all types. Between them his human allies along with the Rebels were trapped in a massive gun battle with an onslaught of stormtroopers. "No..."

"Yes," Vader taunted. "This will be a day long remembered. This is the day the Earth becomes part of the Galactic Empire."

"Never!" Prime roared. They charged one another full force.

Captain Epps opened up with his M30. He took down three more stormtroopers before strafing back behind the ruined hummer on his left dodge several red laser blasts. He looked up to see two AT-ST's closing in on them. He opened fire, emptying his magazine. The bullets merely sparked against the Walkers' armor to no avail.

The AT-ST's trained their guns on him. Epps' gut tightened as he braced for death. At the last possible second. A jagged, glowing, blue blade shredded through one of the Walkers. Another blade impaled the second. The AT-ST Walkers fell over the bridge into the water.

Arcee stood towering over Epps holding a pair of jagged edged plasma machetes. "God, am I glad to see you," Epps smiled breathlessly. He looked to see two more AT-ST's turn the corner onto the bridge. They took aim on Arcee. "Look out!" Epps yelled.

Arcee took three solid blasts to the torso. The rapid blaster cannons knocked her onto her back. Epps rolled out of the way, missing being crushed by his giant pink comrade by inches. Arcee looked up to see the Walkers standing over them. Her mechanical eyes widened.

Suddenly, two streamed of smoke struck each of the Walkers. Their cubical heads exploded with bright orange fire, their legs falling in ticking heaps. The missiles had come from an Apache helicopter flying over head. The man in the cockpit was Major Lennox.

The Apache swooped down to where Epps and Arcee were. "Epps, come on!" he said waving for his comrade to board the attack copter. "There's like a dozen of those chicken walking things coming up the bridge."

Epps ran backward into the chopper, grabbing up a laser rifle, shooting down several clones before manning the chain gun in the side of the plane. He unloaded the entire bullet belt into the nearest AT-ST. Its riddled frame fell forward with a bright spark.

"Go!" Arcee yelled, re-igniting her blades. "I'll cover you!" The pink, svelte robot lit into the AT-ST Walkers with a vengeance. She took swing after swing with her akimbo plasma swords. She scissored the first one into four pieces, kicked the next one so hard that her foot crushed the cockpit, then spun into the next to with a low sweep, slicing both of their inverted legs off in one motion.

Soon she was confronted by a massive AT-AT Walker at the end of the bridge. It opened fire. She ducked and rolled desperately to dodge their devastating blasts. As she began to run out of room, Jazz emerged from the smoke behind the Walker. He was holding a ruined TIE fighter in his right hand. Somersaulting through the air, Jazz smashed the downed TIE fighter into the Walker's head, effectively decapitating the elephant-like mech with its solar-panel wing.

Jazz joined Arcee's side. A phalanx of grenade launching, heavily armored stormtroopers began to blast the two intrepid Autobots with thermal grenades. Arcee was brutally pelted as she attempted to deflect the alien grenades with her swords. Arcee fell back into Jazz's arms wounded.

Jazz slammed his fist into the ground, sending a pulse through the Imperial ranks. Stormtroopers flew in all directions. Everything was quiet. Arcee moaned and looked up at Jazz weakly. "Did we... get them?"

"Yeah, Arcee," Jazz replied with a smile. "I think we got' em."

Arcee suddenly gasped. "The humans! Are they..."

"They're alright, Arcee," the voice came from behind them. They turned to see a HERO truck and a yellow Camarro truck driving through the wreckage.

The doors opened and Sam, Mikaela, Lando and Chewbacca climbed out. Ratchet and Bumblebee transformed and looked around. "It looks like you two went and had all the fun without me," Ratchet said.

Back atop the downed Star Destroyer Optimus and Darth Vader fought bitterly. Prime's light-axe had been sliced off. Darth Vader's chest apparatus had been torn open by Optimus Prime's built-in laser cannons.

Prime's wrist sword was broken. Vader's left arm had been burned off by the light axe.

Both of them were in shambles.

"The day is... ours," Optimus managed to say.

"Not... yet," Vader said through his bio-suits desperate mechanical wheezing. Vader stretched forth his bionic hand. A blast of concussion-force air shoved Optimus over into the water. Vader moved a few steps then crumbled to one knee. He pressed the last working button on his suit. It was a built-in com-link.

"TK 425, reporting," the voice said, "501st garrison commander at your service, my lord."

"Break off engagement with their airships," Vader ordered. "Send all starfighters to these coordinates. It is time... to destroy... the Autobots!"

"Yes, my lord."

A familiar roaring filled Lando Calrissian's ears. "Uh-oh! We've got company!" he exclaimed. He pointed up to where a swarm of TIE interceptors were coming in.

"Oh, man," Jazz said, "There's way too many of them!"

"Sam..." Mikaela said taking his hand.

Sam held Mikaela, "I've got you," he promised, pointing a blaster rifle defiantly at the TIE fighters.

As the Imperial attack ships came within firing range a sudden hail of red laser fire tore them apart. To everyone's surprise a horseshoe-shaped starship whipped across the sky above the Brooklyn Bridge. It was the Millennium Falcon.

Lando beamed, "Han, old buddy, you made it after all!" Following closely behind the Falcon was Jetfire and a squadron of X-Wings, Y-Wings, B-Wings, and A-Wing starfighters. Above them they could see entire fleet of organic looking coral-like ships – the Mon Calamari fleet of Admiral Ackbar.

The Rebel Alliance had come to rescue New York City from the clutches of the Dark Side.

Darth Vader stood wheezing in unbelief, staring wordlessly as the skies filled with Rebel ships. He watched as his clone armies were blasted to bits by X-Wings as they whipped by.

"All will be one, Darth Vader," Optimus said straining to move in the water, "Not even you can stop it."

Vader limped back into the ripped-open Star Destroyer. Amazingly its elevators still worked. He took the lift down to the hangar bays. They were ruined and flooded. Shuttle Tydarium, however, remained intact. General Veers was there, prepping the ship.

He was stunned to see Vader alive. "My lord," He formed his best phony smile and saluted, "You have emerged victorious and..." Vader simply gestured with his fist wordlessly. Veers gagged until the Force crushed his throat completely. He fell with a lifeless thud. Darth Vader boarded shuttle Tydarium.

To Vader's surprise, Boba Fett was in the cockpit. Vader made a gesture. Fett clicked his blaster pistol at Vader's head. "You can't go back to the Emperor empty-handed, and I haven't been paid," Fett said flatly. "Do you want to make a deal?"

Vader lowered his hand. Fett responded in kind. "We will talk... in hyperspace." Fett nodded. Shuttle Tydarium took off into space.

Chewbacca embraced Luke, Han, and Leia in his affectionate bear hug. R2-D2 and C-3PO greeted one another warmly. Iron Hide and Ratchet worked together as they lifted Optimus Prime out of the Hudson River. Jetfire and Jazz guided the paramedics through the city to wounded humans. Mikaela and Sam sat together in the back of the emergency helicopter Autobot, Evac, robotic limbs tending to their wounds.

Epps and Lennox found Luke Skywalker in the crowds of aliens, machines, and curious onlookers.

"Master Skywalker," he shook the Jedi's hand and then saluted. "Major Lennox, United States Marine Corps."

"Greetings, Captain," Luke said, bowing, "I'm Luke Skywalker, Commander of Rogue Squadron of the Alliance to Restore the Galactic Republic."

"Luke," Lennox said, "Some pretty big people are going to want to talk to you..."

VII.

Sam and Mikaela sat looking at the news, still in a state of disbelief. "Tonight," said the newscaster, "For the first time in history, extraterrestrial people are taking the floor of the United States Senate. Alien senator Mon Mothma is expected to announce the Alliance plan..."

Sam clicked the channel. A reporter with a heavy European accent was speaking, "... Now you can see here the large robot explaining to the officials of the Kremlin..."

"... The U.N. Secretary General is expected to announce a motion that will effectively make the entire planet a part of this Rebel Alliance..."

"This is unbelievable," Sam chuckled, "I have to call Dad..." he reached into his pocket and suddenly turned pale with alarm. "Oh my God..." he exclaimed breathlessly.

"What?" Mikaela was puzzled.

"Where is my phone!?"

Aboard the Super Star Destroyer Executor Emperor Palpatine cackled with sadistic madness as he paced back and forth in front of his prized prisoner.

"At last," Darth Sidious announced gleefully, "We will soon have a mobile corps worthy of serving the Dark Lord of the Sith!"

On the tiny terminal before the Emperor, Speed Dial, Sam Witwicky's living cell phone, struggled with his restraints. "You'll never get away with this, fiends!"

The Emperor merely waved to the decorated, grey-haired clone guard, "Take him to the detention level."

Cody chuckled, "This little thing... looks like a desk droid with an attitude."

"Be careful, Admiral Cody!" he warned pointed a stern, withered finger at the clone's face, "Size matters not, and he must not escape us. Do you understand. "

Cody gripped the tiny, bound Autobot tightly in his fist and took him away. "It will be done, my lord."

"And what about me, Your Highness?" Boba Fett said from the shadows.

"Lord Vader," Palpatine said with a nod, "Pay the man." Vader, now fully repaired, set a case before Boba Fett filled with shiny credits. Fett bowed and slunk out of the Imperial Presence. Palpatine cackled loudly again. "Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen!"

THE END... ?