A World Transformed #2 - Cover
Issue Two: "The Coming Of Giants, Part Two"
Written and Illustrated by Bryan Richard Shipp
The Transformers: powerful warrior robots waging a neverending battle across space and time. Autobots and Decepticons, fighting a war of long-forgotten ideologies, now trapped in a cycle of violence that threatens to consume them all. They have traveled across the ages from their homeworld of Cybertron to a blue-green orb we know as the Earth. But this is not the Earth we know; it is a world transformed, a place of mutants, superheroes, and villains. It is a world where nothing is as it seems. . .and these alien robots will soon find that those they thought were allies and enemies are not. They will find that there are greater threats than each other. . .
"I live! Now! Now, let all Autobots suffer the wrath of Megatron!"
Megatron laughed as he watched the Autobots and the Decepticons around him awaken from their millennia-long sleep. The Decepticons, their processors still addled from the damage they had taken, only recently repaired by the Autobot computer, Teletran-1, heard the voice of their leader and ran to his side, leaving the Autobots alone and still-strewn around the command center of the Ark.
"Decepticons, report your status!" Soundwave called.
In turn, Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Rumble, Ravage, Buzzsaw, Laserbeak, Reflector, and the Constructicons all called to Soundwave, acknowledging their presence. Soundwave scanned the gathered Decepticons, then glanced at Megatron, their leader. Megatron had heard the roll call, had noticed the missing Decepticons, and his optics narrowed.
Near the front of the bridge, Optimus Prime rose from his command chair and looked around. His gaze leveled on Megatron. "Tyrant! You survived, as well?"
"I am Megatron! I am power incarnate--nothing can defeat me!"
A calm came to Optimus Prime’s voice, as if he spoke prophecy. "You will lose, Megatron. You will never come to the power that you crave so much."
Megatron screamed. "You shall not live to see either my victory or my defeat, Optimus Prime!" He leveled his fusion cannon at the Autobot and fired. Optimus Prime was flung backwards into the control panel, a black hole torn in his armor. Megatron continued firing wildly, striking the walls and ceiling more often than the Autobots gathered in the control room. With one final blast, he blew a hole through the ceiling, and the rock of the mountain collapsed into the bridge, sealing away the Autobots, crushing them in a massive cave-in that Megatron and his Decepticons, being higher in the Ark, were immune from.
As the dust from the cave-in settled, Megatron shook his head in disgust. "That will not hold them long, and we are yet too weak and too few to battle them now. Come, let us leave, and regroup! For when my wrath comes, no Autobot shall survive!"
The Decepticons flew out of the Ark through an open hatch in its belly, seeing for the first time the world Optimus Prime’s rage marooned them on. The landscape around the mountain the Ark crashed into was populated by green trees and buildings. The Decepticons immediately recognized these buildings and the vehicles around them as a base of war surrounded by tools of destruction. Gathered around in the base were tiny creatures, soft-looking and weak.
"Starscream, what are these things? Parasites?" Megatron raised his fusion cannon and aimed it at the creatures. Several broke and ran, scattering like mecha-insects.
Starscream stared at the creatures, probing them with his internal sensors, analyzing the data with his vast scientific knowledge, information gathered from millions of years of being a scientist. Even as he studied the new information, he watched out of the corner of his eye as Megatron tightened his arm against recoil, a sure sign that he was ready to fire.
"Megatron, wait! These are organic lifeforms, creatures like us, only smaller, weaker. Look at the weapons and equipment they have arrayed here--surely they might be of some use to us?" Starscream reached out, touching Megatron’s arm, knocking its aim untrue.
Megatron grabbed Starscream by the throat. "How dare you ruin my shot! Your insolence is quickly becoming intolerable, Starscream--I can see now that the time has come to crush the life out of your spark!"
"Megatron, wait!" Soundwave stepped forward. "Starscream is correct--these flesh creatures are potentially valuable to us. I am detecting a massive communications network extending across this planet, as well as nuclear power signatures. If these flesh creatures have created this level of technology, they could prove extremely valuable to our cause."
Megatron stared at Soundwave, wondering if he, too, was challenging Megatron’s authority. No, Soundwave is too loyal to me, he would never dare such an act. Megatron put Starscream down. "You have a temporary reprieve, Starscream. If these flesh creatures truly have the technological capabilities Soundwave says they have, then we must enlist them to our cause." He turned to face Soundwave. "Soundwave, you are our communications specialist." He waved at the fleshlings arrayed below. "Communicate with them."
Corporal Jack Arsen stared up at the enormous 30-foot-tall robots that had come out of the alien spacecraft. He’d been assigned to the Sector 17 base at the foot of Mt. St. Hillary two years ago, and his time there had been mostly peaceful--he had nothing to complain about. When his C.O. told him that the reason he’d been assigned to Sector 17 was because of his linguistic talents, which were needed to decipher the script within the alien spacecraft buried in the volcano, he could hardly believe it. But then they showed him the Ark, and his world changed. For two years, he’d been trying fruitlessly to translate the alien language. But he had no clue which symbols correlated to which sounds, which phonetic combinations made sense in the alien language and which didn’t, or even if the aliens used the same general syntax that most human languages shared.
Now, holding his headphones close to his head and watching the robots towering over the hill above him, apparently engaged in a heavy argument, Arsen wished nothing more than that he had never even heard of Sector 17. The silver one with the black cannon looked especially unpleasant. . .never in all the science fiction books he’d ever read did anybody predict that the first contact between humankind and aliens would be in an isolated Oregon military base with a nearly 40-foot robot with built-in weaponry.
Suddenly, the argument grew silent. Arsen, concentrating so intently on listening to the robots that he was staring off into space, now focussed again on their behavior. The blue robot with the shoulder-mounted cannon was walking toward him. He sat perfectly still, hoping his fear wouldn’t be obvious to them from his wide eyes and quavering jaw, hoping he wouldn’t soil himself as the robot leaned down over him and said something in its native language.
Arsen tapped his chest. "I am Jack Arsen. Jack Arsen. Who are you?"
The robot said something very quickly, punctuating it with something that sounded suspiciously like Arsen’s own last name. Then, before Arsen could move, the robot reached out with a single finger and touched Arsen’s forehead. He felt a surge of electricity run through his body, and then he blacked out.
Soundwave watched impassively as the tiny human collapsed in a heap next to his monitoring equipment, then stood. He watched as humans wearing combat armor and carrying machine guns ran out of the various buildings of the military complex, watched as the tanks rolled their cannons toward him sluggishly. He turned his head to look at Megatron.
"Linguistic and historical data acquired. Preparing to communicate with the flesh creatures."
Megatron snarled. "Then do it, Soundwave! Or I may have to expend precious energy destroying them all."
Soundwave nodded, then turned around again. He raised both his hands in a gesture of peace, displaying that he was unarmed. . .a lie, but nevertheless it would be effective against the primitive minds of these humans.
"Do not fire," Soundwave said. "I mean you no harm."
The movements stopped, and a thin man wearing what Soundwave, thanks to Arsen, recognized as spectacles came out of what appeared to be the central building in the military base. Soundwave waited as the man crossed to the end of the line of human soldiers.
"Welcome to Earth!" The man opened his arms wide, as if to embrace the Decepticons. "I am Ambassador Frank Cullen."
Soundwave nodded, and an odd silence passed over the base, as if neither was certain how to proceed. Finally, Megatron stepped up next to Soundwave.
"Tell them we want their energy, and their aid in fighting the Autobots."
"No!" Starscream stepped up next to Megatron, and the Decepticon leader stared at his insubordinate Air Commander. Ignoring him, Starscream said to Soundwave: "We cannot enlist their aid in the war effort yet--it would frighten them. Tell them instead that we would like to explore their world, learn about them. No, wait--even better." Starscream grinned. "Tell them we have missing comrades who might be injured and dying, and that we must find them before it is too late."
Megatron stared at his Air Commander. Starscream returned the gaze. "Fleshlings are like Autobots--weak, sentimental fools. They’ll be eager to help us if they think we have wounded."
"How would you know what fleshlings are like?" Megatron snarled.
"I was. . .am. . .a scientist and an explorer. Remember, Megatron?"
Soundwave watched the argument impassively, then returned his gaze to the small human standing before him. "I am Soundwave," he said, "and I must act quickly. We have missing comrades who may possibly be lost somewhere on your world, wounded and dying. We must be given leave to search for them."
Ambassador Cullen nervously looked around him, then returned his gaze to the giant robot. "I--I’m sorry to hear that, but your presence on our world might cause a panic among my people. I cannot simply let you leave. . .if you would prefer, we can search for you. . ."
Soundwave shook his head. "No. You would not know what to search for. Is the only reason you will not allow us to search for our brethren because your people would fear our size, should they see us?"
"Well, that’s one of the reasons, yes. . ."
"Then behold!" Soundwave turned to Starscream and told him to transform. Starscream did so, his body shifting and compacting into an F-15 air superiority fighter. Turning back to Cullen, Soundwave continued: "We are Transformers, we all have the ability to shift into different forms, for disguise. Now, with your objections assuaged by this new information, I must insist that we be allowed to search for our comrades."
"But. . .how can I be certain of your motives? That you will return, once you leave?"
Soundwave looked away from the ambassador as he thought. . .and as his optics fell upon the drive section of the Ark, protruding from the mountain where it had crashed long ago, he turned back to Cullen. "We will eventually have to return to our ship, Ambassador Cullen. Stored within it are our fuel supplies and repair equipment. You can be certain that we will return."
Cullen nodded. "Very well. But I’ll ask that one of my people accompany you on your search, that we can learn more about you and help you in whatever way we can."
Soundwave paused for only a second. "That will be acceptable."
Ambassador Cullen motioned for Major Peter Harmon to accompany the Transformers, and the attaché stepped up to Soundwave, who knelt and held out a hand for the Major to climb onto. With that, Soundwave nodded to Megatron and Soundwave.
"Well done, Soundwave." Megatron turned and narrowed his optics at Starscream. "Do not think this excuses your treacherous words, Starscream." Turning to the other Decepticons gathered on the hill, Megatron called, "Seekers, transform! We leave here immediately!"
The two remaining Seekers, Thundercracker and Skywarp, transformed into twin F-15s and took off into the air, followed by the Constructicons, Soundwave, Reflector and Megatron, who flew in their enormous robot modes. Cullen watched them leave, and his heart sank--only three of the robots had disguised themselves. As he watched the Transformers leave, he knew he had been manipulated.
Then, from deep within Mt. St. Hillary, another rumble shook the ground beneath his feet.
In the Ark, Optimus Prime stood in the midst of the smoke and dust of the destroyed rubble which had left him and his Autobots trapped within the Ark while the Decepticons escaped. The look in his optics was one of defeat--he had failed to destroy the Decepticons, had failed to protect the Autobots on Cybertron, had failed in his mission to bring energon back to the depleted stores of Iacon. . .and now the Decepticons were once again loose, free to wreak havoc on this world that he had crashed them on.
"We’ve got to go after them, Prime! We outnumber them almost 2-to-1, we can take ‘em!" Cliffjumper said, balling his small hands into fists.
"No, Cliffjumper, we must gather our forces and regroup. The Decepticons will not grow in number in the time it takes for us to take a logical, instead of emotional, action." Prowl said, frowning.
Prime looked at his most trusted advisor and nodded. "Yes, I agree with Prowl. We must see how badly we are damaged, see what we can do to repair the Ark and return to Cybertron."
Cliffjumper flung his arms up in frustration and walked away from his leader.
Prime surveyed his troops in the Ark’s main chamber. All were present, with the exception of Crash, Roll, Burn, Overdrive, Downshift, Camshaft, General Grimlock and his elite. Prime frowned. "We’re missing friends."
"Fan out! Look through every deck, every room until you find the missing Autobots! But do not leave the Ark--we don’t know what kind of environment exists on this world yet, and we’ll need to learn more about this world before doing anything here." Prowl watched as the other Autobots fanned out, searching through the darkened spacecraft. Prowl turned to the Ark’s main computer, Teletran-1, and played his hands over the controls. "Teletran-1’s badly damaged, Optimus. But it’s already released an explorer probe. . .I’m going to patch in to its signal, see what we can find out about this world.
Prime nodded and began picking absently at a damaged section of wall plating.
After a while, the Autobots returned, each of them reporting that they had found nothing. By then, Prowl had bypassed Teletran-1’s damaged circuitry well enough to patch into the data feed from the explorer drone.
The tiny machine showed them a world rich in life--organic life. Flesh creatures scurried all across its surface, going about a rich and peaceful life. As Optimus Prime watched the images on the viewscreen, anger bubbled up within him. Anger at Megatron, that he was free to destroy the peace of this world. Anger at himself, for crashing them here and enabling Megatron’s inevitable rampage. And conviction. A conviction that he must not allow Megatron to harm these creatures.
Optimus Prime’s hand clenched into a fist. "Autobots, we have found ourselves stranded on a world unlike any we’ve ever seen before, a world in which tiny, organic creatures will be confronted with the enormous power of Megatron and his Decepticons. We must do what we can to protect them, and we must find out everything we can about them and our missing comrades. We begin our search immediately. Autobots, transform and roll out!"
The Autobots transformed into their disguise modes and followed their leader out of the docking hatch beneath the Ark’s thrusters onto the unfamiliar soil and bright sunlight of their new world. As they drove over a grassy hill, Optimus Prime braked so hard he almost jackknifed. There, arrayed below them, was a military base belonging to the flesh creatures of this world. . .and their collective weaponry was aimed directly at Optimus Prime.
"Yes, they lied. Yes, they can’t be trusted. . .but you can’t just shoot them on sight!"
General Carlton Preston frowned down his large barrel chest at the shorter, thin ambassador. "Mis-ter Ambassador, I can do whatever the hell I like. I am the officer in charge of this installation, and by God I will defend us against the onslaught of these robots! They’ve already taken down one of my men--the doctors don’t even know if Corporal Arsen will survive his ordeal. Shocked through with at least 5000 volts, from what they told me. That will not happen to another of my men. Is that clear?"
Cullen turned away and dabbed a bit of sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief. As he stuffed it back into an interior coat pocket, he hit upon an idea. He swung back toward the General. "Then let me go out there. Alone. If they harm me in any way, then your people can fire on them all they want--you’ll have only lost me."
The General snorted. "I can’t say the prospect doesn’t please me."
"Then let me go! You’re risking nothing by not killing them immediately."
Preston shook his head. "Nope, I can’t put the safety of this country in jeopardy just so you and a bunch of robots can have a pleasant little tea-time." He pushed past Cullen and began to walk toward the radio where he would order his men to fire.
Cullen’s eyes narrowed as he watched the General’s broad back receding. "Don’t make me invoke Clause 18-C of the United States Ambassadorial Code, General."
Preston turned around. "What the hell is ‘Clause 18-C of the United States Ambassadorial Code’?"
"It’s a short, little-used clause which gives me the power to take over this base, relieve you of command and use your personnel and equipment in whatever manner I choose to further diplomatic relations between this country and another."
"Those robots aren’t another country."
"No, they aren’t, but they represent another country, and by the laws governing my position I cannot allow you to fire on representatives of another country without them first firing upon us. And if I can’t convince you, then I will force you."
A bright red blush of fury tinged the General’s skin, travelling up from where his collar was buttoned too tight around his massive neck, over his chin across his face to his scalp. His fists balled into hammers, and Ambassador Cullen--half the General’s size, if that, stood like David facing Goliath, his calm posture and steely eyes every bit a match for the General’s forceful impotence.
Preston pointed one large finger directly at Cullen’s face. "I’ve never heard of this Clause 18-C, Mister, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to take the risk of letting you take my command away from me. You’ve got five minutes, Cullen. Get your ass out there and talk to your robot buddies."
Optimus Prime stood, transformed, in front of the rows of tanks, trying to convince them that he and his Autobots meant them no harm. The tanks did not seem to be listening. Prowl, standing behind Prime, frowned at the Autobot Leader’s strange behavior--being knocked unconscious in the crash seemed to have damaged something vital in Prime’s logic circuits.
Meanwhile, Jazz, standing beside Prowl, was swaying gently, one hand next to his audio reciever. Prowl glared at him in irritation. "Is there something wrong with your stabilizer circuitry, Jazz?"
"Hmm? No, Prowl, I’m just listening to some of the music of this world. They really know how to move and groove here!"
"Yes, of course they do," Prowl said dismissively. "If you don’t mind, Jazz, we’re trying to make contact with the flesh creatures. . .and I doubt any fears they may have will be calmed by your gyrating."
Bumblebee snickered, and Prowl turned back to see a flesh creature--they certainly didn’t seem that small on Teletran-1’s viewscreen--moving rapidly toward Prime. The look on Prime’s face was one of utter curiosity, as if he’d never seen such a creature even though he had been present at Prowl’s briefing.
"Hello, flesh creature," Optimus Prime said. "I am Optimus Prime, an Autobot. We come from the world of Cybertron, many light-years from here, in peace. Tell me, have you seen our mortal enemies, the Decepticons? We must destroy them."
Prowl screamed inside his mind and rushed forward to stand next to his leader. "Optimus," he said quietly, "maybe you should let me handle this."
Prime looked at his second-in-command in surprise for a moment, then nodded. "Yes, I--I think you should, Prowl."
Prowl knelt on one knee, then leaned forward to better face the human, who was still only a bit taller than Prowl’s own head. Looking at the human evenly, he said, "You don’t understand our language, do you?"
The flesh creature looked up at him and said something in two beats. . .probably a single word in their language. Perhaps a greeting? Logic dictated that he would get nowhere with guesswork. . .he decided to begin with the most rudimentary language, one understood by any intelligence in the universe.
In the ground, he sketched with one enormous finger, I ^ I – II.
The flesh creature stared at what he had drawn with a curious look on his face, and Prowl began to wonder if the creature truly understood what he was gazing at. Then, it reached down and, with its hand balled into a fist, traced in the sand II ^ II – IV. Prowl sighed. . .the creature plainly did not understand even rudimentary mathematics. V, being the symbol for 10, would--
The creature rubbed the dirt flat, replacing IV with IIII. It then looked up at Prowl and smiled.
Prowl nodded. He had been hasty. . .V perhaps stood for 3 on this world, though why they would want to use it for 3 instead of 10 boggled his logic circuits. Perhaps he could take it to the next step, then. . .it wasn’t logical, but he felt it was a risk he would be able to take. After all, if it worked communication would go that much faster, and if it didn’t, well, at least he would know roughly where he stood in ability to communicate with these flesh creatures.
Prowl swiped the ground clear with one enormous hand, then wrote a series of 1’s and 0’s out. Binary code was the simplest language that could do any real communication--two symbols, infinite possibilities. As he began writing the symbols, the flesh creature apparently recognized what he was doing. He held out a single finger and mouthed something to Prowl, then ran back into the building from whence he’d come.
A viewscreen shrouded in darkness displayed the events in the main courtyard of Sector 17. A single figure watched from the shadows, fascinated by the proceedings.
"So Optimus Prime allows his first officer to handle his diplomatic relations for him. Interesting. I believe it has more than something to do with our objective." The voice that spoke out of the darkness was calm and soft, with a faint rasp of metal on metal.
"Indeed, Overseer," another voice spoke in the darkness. "Our agents are scouring the globe for the objective. We have not found it yet."
"You will search harder, then. We are now racing against not only time, but the Autobots and Decepticons who will no doubt begin searching, as well."
"We will find it, Overseer."
"You had better, Gotterdamerung. You know the price of failure in this."
The sun had long since set by the time the Autobots and the humans began any real communication. Ambassador Cullen, recognizing the code Prowl wrote in the sand as Binary, got the chief of computer operations for Sector 17, Major Dan Childress, who began translating the code. Prowl, finding a human he could "talk" to, began writing more and more complex statements in the code. Childress, upon finding Prowl’s code making little sense, realized that the Autobot had moved from representing mathematics to representing his own language--and presented Prowl with a CD containing the translations of Binary Code into the English language, as well as digitized versions of the Oxford English Dictionary and several textbooks on English grammar. Prowl took the CD, though he didn’t know what to do with it--until Jazz realized what it was, transformed into sports car mode, and played the CD in the Compact Disc player Teletran-1 had included in Jazz’s redesign. Once he read the data, it was a simple matter of transferring the data to the other Autobots via serial relay. The process took a mere 10 minutes, and when it was done all the Autobots could communicate easily with the humans in their own language.
"I am Prowl, second in command of the Autobots. This is our leader, Optimus Prime," Prowl said. "We have come to your world in peace, but I fear we have unleashed an extremely dangerous force here."
"I’m Ambassador Franklin Cullen. Welcome to United States of America, on Earth. Tell me, is this force you describe another group of robots such as yourselves who look like this?" Cullen held up a picture that the base cameras had taken of the massed Decepticons.
Prowl’s optics automatically zoomed in to view the picture more closely, and he nodded. "Yes, those are the Decepticons. He haven’t much time--we’ve taken valuable time from our search already by learning to communicate with you. Where are they?"
Cullen frowned. "They told us they had missing friends, possibly wounded. They showed us that they could transform, so we let them go find their wounded. They told us they would be returning to the spacecraft, because it had their repair equipment inside. We sent an observer with them. They wounded one of our men, though--the one with the shoulder cannon touched a linguist and shocked him."
Prowl nodded. "That sounds like them, all right. Manipulative deceivers. That spacecraft is ours, the Ark. We crashed here in it because the Decepticons ambushed us and lost control of the ship." Prowl did not look at Optimus as he said this, but Prime’s optics fell to the ground at his feet. "It also sounds as if Soundwave--the one with the cannon--extracted the linguistic data from your fellow’s mind. A far faster process than that which we Autobots use, but it comes at a price. I would be surprised if your linguist ever regained the knowledge plundered from his mind." Prowl shook his head, frowning, his right hand balled into a fist. "Can you track your observer?"
Cullen nodded. "Yes. Come with me, I can get the base techs to do it." Cullen began walking back to the main command building of Sector 17, and the Autobots followed, careful not to step on any of the vehicles clustered in the courtyard.
Cullen pointed at one of the communications officers. "You, there, patch me in to Major Harmon."
The officer nodded, began working the console in front of him. General Preston walked up to the Ambassador.
"Your five minutes are long over, Cullen. Glad to see you’ve got these tin cans falling in line."
"On the contrary," Prowl said from where he was looking into the command post, "we are neither tin cans nor falling in line. We are simply trying to locate the whereabouts of the Decepticons."
The General sneered at the Autobot. "Let me tell you something, tin can, your buddies wounded one of my men, and it takes all my willpower to keep my men from blowing you off this planet. So shut the hell up."
"They are not our ‘buddies’, as you so quaintly put it. They are our enemies. We must find them and stop them before they plunder your world. If you had attempted to stop them, they would have destroyed you and your men. You do not realize how extraordinarily powerful Megatron is."
"I think you seriously underestimate our weaponry."
"You certainly underestimate the Decepticons’."
Suddenly, a burst of static blared from the loudspeakers in the command center, causing all the humans there to cringe and cover their ears while Prowl looked on impassively. The communications tech lowered the gain, then turned to face the Ambassador and the General.
"Nothing, sirs. Just static."
"Can you trace the signal?" Cullen asked.
"Already did, sir. It’s fifteen miles south of here."
Five minutes later, a U.S. Army Blackhawk landed in the area indicated by the trace. They found a damaged radio and the badly crushed body of Major Peter Harmon. The reports filed by the investigation team stated that his bones were pulverized, as if he had been crushed completely by an enormous fist.
Prowl stood in the Ark, Optimus Prime next to him, looking out at the sea of Autobot faces staring up and him and Prime for guidance. He looked at Prime, then at the Autobots, and started to step forward to address them. Prime laid a gentle hand on Prowl’s shoulder, and when Prowl glanced back at him, he nodded and stepped forward.
"Autobots, hear me. We have crashed here on this world, Earth. We have no way of knowing how much time has passed, but we do know that the Decepticons are free to roam this planet and do as they will. We can be certain they will attempt to conquer these people. We cannot allow that to happen. We have been given permission to search for the Decepticons, provided we remain disguised, and provided we take observers with us on all ventures.
"Ours is a difficult task. We do not know how our Autobot brethren on Cybertron fare, and until the Ark is repaired we will not be able to find out. Until that time, we must do all that we can to aid the humans of this world. And, I fear, you will have to do this without my help."
A murmur of disbelief traveled through the assembled Autobots. Prime raised a single hand, and the Autobots fell silent once again.
"No, I’m not going anywhere. . .at least, in body. But I fear these few moments of lucidity are only fleeting. I know Prowl has already sensed that there has been something odd about my behavior since our awakening." Prowl nodded. "My condition will only deteriorate as time progresses. At least, until it can be found."
"Until what can be found, Optimus?" Bumblebee asked, stepping forward.
Without a word, Optimus Prime cracked his chestplate, then opened it fully with his hands. A T-shaped panel slid forward and opened, revealing the empty Matrix bay inside.
Next Time: "Beyond the Space Bridge!"