(This story appeared exclusively in my one-shot fanzine about Megatron--Trans-Fusion. Not everybody familiar with BOP has read it. It takes place chronologically between BOP #4 and the end of BOP #5).

Fire of the Phoenix

By Tony”Thunder”Klepack

    The massive vessel Dark Glory travelled across the interdimensional void of Hyperspace bound for it's destination of Cybertron.
    In a darkened office, Megatron watched the cacaphony of colors outside the large viewport. He was anxious to reach their ultimate destination and confront Shockwave and Galvatron.
    He would take back from them the command of the Decepticons, or die trying. The mantle was rightfully his, after all. While he had not personally started the progressionist movement eons ago on Cybertron, he had been the warrior responsible for gathering together and harnessing it's power, channelling it from talk to action. He had known what was needed and done it.
    And the Decepticons would have succeeded by now too, if not for Optimus Prime's charasmatic command of the Autobot forces. In some strange way, Megatron felt that the Autobots recently deceased commander understood him best, despite the fact they had never met before the onset of the Great War. Was it because only Prime's passion for saving the old ways rivalled his own for discarding them and expanding into space?
    Curse Galvatron for killing him! Optimus Prime had deserved the honor of K'rela--the ancient one-on-one combat between two enemies. Megatron had wanted to fight and defeat him in a fair fight.
    Why had he always been cheated of his desire to personally destroy Optimus Prime? First, there had been that time when Prime killed himself because of that ridiculous video game and now this! Was fate conspiring against him, he wondered.
    Had Galvatron had any honor, he would not have disposed of Prime so easily. But Galvatron knew nothing of honor in war. All he understood was killing and the fact he liked doing it. To think he dared claim that he was once Megatron in the universe he had come from! Megatron was nothing like Galvatron and he was greatly insulted by this notion.
    The thought of his rival sparked the memory of their first encounter aboard the Ark. He remembered fighting Galvatron in a haze interlinked with Ratchet fighting Starscream simultaneously. Then, he saw Galvatron slam Shockwave into a bulkhead and offer Megatron the chance to rule the universe alongside him. He saw another image, the next one he remembered clearly. He saw Galvatron standing side-by-side with Shockwave and Starscream on the snowy terrain of Earth sometime after the ship had crashed there. He watched as Galvatron raised his particle cannon and fired at him...and then everything went black.
    He flinched slightly as he remembered the momentary burning pain from the particle energy. But mostly he remembered the burning hatred he had in that last moment--to Galvatron for betraying him!
    For fifteen Terran years, Megatron had trained and possessed a will of iron, resisting the urge to cast aside all his careful planning and manipulation and just go attack Galvatron right then.
    But the years had payed off. Megatron now controlled hundreds of Decepticons all deftly loyal to him and ferocious to their enemies. He had his extremely powerful mobile fortress the Dark Glory, which could destroy a planet if he so chose. And best of all, the Empire posessed fifteen planets, all high in energy resources. Resources that would fuel the Decepticons to all the corners of the Milky Way in time and then, beyond.
    Megatron allowed himself a smile at that. Never, in the Decepticons long history had anyone conquered so much and had so little opposition. And to think Optimus Prime had foolishly believed the war over! Not even his pathetic little top-secret base Oberon was aware of Megatron's new Empire. Of course, he had simply not allowed them to be aware of the Empire. His spies in their faction were nothing if not proficient at redirecting Autobot missions around Decepticon space and reprogramming the remote probes to relay false information.
    To him, the Autobots were of little consequence now. The two attacks by Galvatron's legions had killed a large part of their rebuilt forces and destroyed much of their resources, essentially doing Megatron's work for him, without even realizing it. At their present full strength, they were no match for Megatron's forces...it had been a subject of debate even before the attacks if their forces could have successfully have countered his Empire. Now, it was certain they could not.
    That left only Galvatron's Decepticons to deal with. All they really had was Syrra IV and their own forces, which had suffered in the recent attacks on the Autobots. Of them, only Soundwave, Lightning, and the Predators were aware of his existence. The others would either have the option of joining his empire or death--he would no longer allow two groups of Decepticons to exist. He would command all Decepticons everywhere. There could only be one faction of Decepticons if they were to remain strong and destroy all oposition to their people.
    He would begin the re-unification by destroying Galvatron and earning the right to call himself Megatron once again. For all these years since his ressurection, he had ordered his soldiers to call him the "Commander". No, he had not been worthy of the name Megatron, the most feared Decepticon of all time. Not yet. But he would be. Soon. Galvatron was the ultimate obstacle to his plans--if he could not beat him, then he was not worthy of that name.
    Megatron turned and walked back to his desk where he seated himself. He foresaw only one serious obstacle to his Empire's continued growth. His "benefactors" would sooner or later come to see where he and his warriors were.
    He wondered what their interest in the Transformers really was. When they had used their advanced technology to ressurect him, they had said the Autobots had "wronged them" and they sought revenge. But he doubted the truth to that statement. The Autobots did not pick fights and even if they had, Optimus Prime would have had an excellent reason before committing the Autobots to do so.
    And why had they been so secretive to him? He had never seen them in clear light and they often evaded his questions--surely, if they were being honest they'd have had nothing to hide!
    They had said they wanted him as their field commander against the Autobots, but the handful of missions he had pulled off for them had resulted in several Decepticon deaths as well. Deaths, he was sure, they had planned to occur from his actions. He had never gotten a straight answer from them about those Decepticons being where they were when he struck, and that had been the final point for him--he would not needelessly kill his own! After several more months of work, he began using the resources they had provided him with to build a small Decepticon force--he'd said he needed them to assist him for technical support on several of his assignments--which was partially true. However, he had kept building more soldiers and equipment until he had a sufficient force to break contact with them and began building his own Empire.
    Curiously enough, they had never interfered and attacked him or brought him back forcefully. He had never heard anything at all from them after that and he continued building up his Empire for the next several years. He had always kept sensors trained on that area of space where their ship was, but they had never revealed anything out of the ordinary. In time, he had formulated this plan to retake Galvatron's Decepticons and play his enemies against each other.
    But he knew the years he had been gone from them were nothing to a race like his own and he knew that they too were long lived.
    He knew that one day they would return.
    So far, they hadn't. But it was only a matter of time. He could feel it somehow.
    And it didn't matter. Soon enough, his Empire would be able to adequately defend itself against anything--including this unknown race. He was no fool--he'd continued to have his scientists expand upon the advanced technology they had given him and he had upgraded both the Empire's abilities in that time and his own personal abilities. The "benefactors" would not know that he was planning for their arrival and he would be able to match their own level of current technology.
    The only remaining mystery that was relevant to him, was the scattered evidence he had seen that indicated that his saviors too were robotic lifeforms. Indeed, all the personnel they had used to esacort him around their cruiser and planetary base were Transformers also. He suspected those were just drones created to interact with him...could he have been wrong?
    But the actual aliens seemed to have optics in the little light he ever saw them in and they had talked with a slight mechanical modulation. If it was true there were other Transformers out there, were they from Cybertron as well? And what exactly was their game? He had to eventually find out why they were interested in his people and just how much manipulation of events they exerted over the years.
    Megatron pressed the button on the comm-unit on his desk.
    "Speak," he said.
    "Commander, we're about to re-enter Realspace. We estimate seventeen time units until we have assumed orbit at Moonbase."
    "Excellent, Midnight," Megatron replied,"when we're out of Hyperspace, raise the cloaking shields. I'll be up shortly."
    "Yes, Commander," Midnight's voice said, and then the comm-channel closed. Megatron thought he could detect the slightest hint of sarcasm in the officer's voice, but was uncertain. Midnight was flippant frequently, so he would not have been surprised if he was correct. He tolerated the dragon-like Decepticon because he was the best assassin the Empire had and Megatron found his antics...amusing more often than not.
    Megatron rose from his desk in time to see the colors warp and form stars outside the ship. Yes, he would get to the bottom of the mystery his benefactors presented, but for now, revenge on his long-time enemies beckoned and finally he would give into his desire to destroy them.
    A smile crossed his face as he wondered how Shockwave and Galvatron would react upon seeing their long-dead leader again.