Movieverse Short Story: The Best Conviction

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by SuzyPrime, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. SuzyPrime

    SuzyPrime The friendly lurker

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    Short story I wrote, not intended to be a script for TF3. Takes place after ROTF as a kind of epilogue. Combines both the movie continuity and the movie comic continuity. Some non-canonical content included for the sake of setting. Comments and constructive criticism appreciated.

    The Best Conviction - Part 1 of 3

    “Coordinates confirmed, sir. We’re here,” The young MP officer pointed to the in-dash GPS unit of their government-issue SUV and stepped on the brake pedal.

    O’Brian glanced up from the photos on his lap and looked out the window. He surveyed the dusty stretch of road ahead of them, a few limestone boulders, and the silhouette of the Great Pyramid, minus its pinnacle, a mile or so ahead. To the east sat the sun-baked buildings and homes of Nazlet el-Samman.

    A sign at the side of the road in English, French, and Egyptian and Sa’idi Arabic warned that the area was off-limits to tourists, soldiers, archeologists and nearly every breathing human being on planet earth.

    O’Brian looked back down at the satellite photos of the pyramid complex in his lap. Temperature-sensitive instruments in orbit indicated that a lot of heat and energy were being generated under the Giza complex by the aliens. But that’s all the satellites could detect. O’Brian put away the photos.

    “Do you think they are offended, sir?” The MP asked. “The aliens. I mean, why else would they break off contact?”

    “Were they offended by the parades, fireworks shows, festivals, live television broadcasts on every network, closed stock markets?" O’Brian replied, folding his glasses and putting them in his shirt pocket. "Good God. It looked like the millennium celebrations all over again.”

    “Yes, but they didn’t show up for any of that. Not even a photo op or press conference or written statement. Nothing.”

    “This is a race that is secretive by nature. Why else would they have the ability for adaptive subterfuge if they weren’t deceptive at heart…or whatever they have for a heart,” O’Brian said and glanced at his watch.

    “Sir, I’m just wondering why they cut off contact. Maybe we offended them,” the MP said, shifting in his seat.

    “I’m as worried about offending them as offending my toaster when I complain about my breakfast,” O’Brian muttered. He wiped his brow with a hanky and pointed one the of dashboard vents toward his face. The A/C on board their SUV was blowing at the highest setting, but the new director of staff for the American ambassador was still sweating profusely. He’d only been serving in this new role in Egypt for 10 days, and the heat was sapping his patience.

    “Hotter’ than hell,” O’Brian said.

    “That’s why they call it the desert, sir,” said the MP.

    “Nuts to this. Get going,” O’Brian ordered

    “Sir?”

    O’Brian frowned. “This road leads straight to the Khufu pyramid, right?”

    “What’s left of it. Sir, my orders were to take you to the border and wait for our escort.”

    “Now you have new orders. Get going.”

    The MP stepped on the gas and rolled his eyes.

    They approached another sign written in multiple languages: “Extreme Danger!! No trespassing under the authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Egyptian Department of Antiquities and the Autobot-Egyptian Mutual Cooperation Pact.”

    “Sir? That sign?”

    “Scare tactic. We have every right to be here,” O’Brian said, waving him forward.

    Both the director and the MP jumped when the two-way radio fitted into the dashboard came alive with a loud burst of static. Then their cell phones started ringing at the same time.

    “Warning. Energy barrier is in effect 500 feet ahead. Stop your vehicle immediately or it will incur permanent damage. Warning. Energy barrier is in effect 500 feet ahead. Stop your vehicle immediately or it will incur permanent damage. Warning…”

    O’Brian shut the radio off and silenced his ringer.

    “That’s the message on my cell phone too,” the MP said, pressing on the brake.

    “Energy barrier? I don’t see anything,” O’Brian said, peering out the windshield.

    “Sir, I’d like to stop the car. I think we’ve been duly warned.”

    “Speed up.”

    “Sir? We’re a mile past our designated meeting point!”

    “Relax, soldier. There can’t be any harm going in for a look.”

    “Tell them that,” the MP said and pointed toward two vehicles coming from the pyramid.

    O’Brian squinted from the pinkish glow of the twilight sky and saw a non-descript black pick-up truck and an ambulance kicking up great amounts of dust as they headed straight for his SUV.

    “Sir, I’m going to-” Before the officer could finish, the SUV’s engine died, as did its electrical systems. Surprised, the MP pressed the brakes hard and the large vehicle slid on the gravel. The young man overcompensated for the skid and the SUV rolled over into the ditch.

    “Idiot!” O’Brian shouted and he covered his head as broken glass pelted him.

    In the few silent moments after the crash O’Brian grasped at his seatbelt, which strapped him upside-down in his seat. But before he could press the release the vehicle shook and then tipped back onto its wheels.

    Holding onto the front bumper was a tall black mass of metal parts, a conglomeration shaped like a human being, towering above the car. On each of its forearms were two huge metal cannons. O’Brian clenched his teeth to keep from yelling in surprise.

    “Are you undamaged?” asked another alien, behind the first. It lowered to its knees and looked inside the vehicle.

    “I’m…I’m fine, considering,” O’Brian said, sweeping broken glass out of his lap.

    “Your compatriot?” the alien asked.

    O’Brian turned to his driver and saw a trickle of blood running down the man’s dazed face. “I’m okay,” the man said.

    “You are not okay,” the alien said, stood and pulled the driver’s side door from its hinges. “You have a facial laceration and a concussion.” The MP slid out of his seat and sat down on the ground as the yellow alien examined him

    O’Brian stepped out of the vehicle and looked up into the face of the black Autobot.

    “Do you read human words?” The black Autobot said, pointing his finger in the direction they came. “Are you ignorant or stupid?”

    “Ironhide, please,” the yellow Autobot said as he removed a human medical kit from his hip compartment and handed it to the MP.

    “I’m Director Joseph O’Brien, chief of staff for the American ambassador to Egypt. I have clearance to meet with an Autobot delegation. I was told to meet with someone named-”

    “Ratchet. I am Ratchet, Director O’Brian,” said the yellow Autobot.

    “Your meeting was to take place at the border back there,” Ironhide said, his cannons whirring. “Taking advantage of the situation didn’t help you, did it?”

    “What did we run into?” The MP asked, groggily.

    “The energy barrier is our technology. It shuts down human machinery and circuitry,” Ratchet said. “Ironhide, this one needs medical attention from human doctors. Can you take him to the village clinic?”

    The Autobot warrior grumbled under his breath. “I don’t want to leave you alone with this human.”

    “I’m sure the rest of our meeting will be less exciting,” Ratchet said.

    Ironhide consented and transformed. O’Brian jumped back as the robot rearranged its body back into a black pick-up. It drove off with the MP in the cab.


    ***​


    Prime said his reasons for appointing Ratchet to be his liaison to human officials was because his demeanor was pleasant, his interactions were natural, and his command of human languages was perfect. All that was true, mainly because Ratchet was intrigued by humans. Their organic physiology was fascinating, and he was curious how so many splintered cultures and customs could come from a single planet.

    But there were some humans he wanted nothing to do with. And the human that stood before him now was one of them.

    His name was O’Brian, and he was not like the humans Ratchet had worked with during their time as part of the NEST team. Persistent, aloof, and grudgingly cooperative only when required to be, this human was making himself the squeaky cog in Ratchet’s otherwise well-tuned existence.

    “I was told that the Autobot leader was going to be here. That’s the whole point of this meeting! Where is he?” O’Brian asked.

    “I apologize, but Optimus Prime is not available to meet with you,” Ratchet said.

    “He wasn’t available the last four times I called. This meeting was supposed to be different, hence the face-to-face,” O’Brien said, making a clicking sound with his tongue. "We haven’t heard anything from your leader since the Damascus meeting.”

    “He is understandably busy,” Ratchet said, leaning down so the human wouldn’t have to strain his neck muscles.

    “A situation report would be appreciated.”

    “Deconstruction of the harvester continues,” Ratchet pointed to the pyramid.

    “That’s been the situation report for the last three weeks. We need a meeting between representatives, something face-to-face, to set up a new agreement.”

    “Not at this time. We are all occupied with the dismantling.”

    “Before the Egypt incident we had an understanding, a treaty, and our representatives were able to work side-by-side. What has changed to force this silence on us?”

    “We understood that the agreement we made with you was voided after the decommissioning of the NEST team.”

    “And in hindsight that was a poorly executed decision. We would like a chance to re-evaluate that agreement.”

    “Optimus Prime has mandated that the deconstruction takes priority over all other concerns.”

    O’Brian sighed. “In the last six weeks, human society has had to rethink our cosmology, theology, technology and more to come to grips with your existence. This refusal to meet with us could build on mistrust, or even be interpreted as hostility.”

    “I have said all that I was instructed to say,” Ratchet said, standing up straight.

    “Meaning there is more information you have that you aren’t revealing to me now.”

    “Correct,” Ratchet said, standing up.

    “Including the arrival of more of your kind? We tracked three meteor strikes outside Giza last week.”

    “I cannot comment on that.”

    “And how about your agreement with the Egyptians? What technological secrets are they getting from the Autobots in exchange for you operating on their soil?”

    Ratchet frowned at the human’s tone. “There is no technology exchange stipulation in our agreement with the Egyptian faction.”

    “How can I trust that statement if your leader refuses to meet with me?”

    “You have the word of Optimus Prime, and that is all I can offer,” Ratchet said.

    “I want to convey the will of the President of the United States in no uncertain terms. We strongly request that you attend a formal meeting three days from now in Cairo with our representatives in order to make sure there are no misunderstandings between our peoples, especially since more of your kind are arriving unannounced, and without our permission.”

    “I will pass your invitation along to my commander.”

    “Will the Autobots attend?”

    “I cannot say because I do not know. Optimus Prime will make the decision and we will contact you afterward,” Ratchet said.

    “When will that be?”

    “I hope soon, human,” Ratchet said, transformed and opened his cab door. “Please enter and I will drive you back to the border.”

    O’Brian took a step back. “No thanks. I’ll walk.”

    “That’s not advisable considering the high ambient air temperature.”

    “Thanks for your concern, but I’ll be fine,” the human said, and started walking back.

    The Autobot’s chief medic waited as the man disappeared from view, and then returned to the pyramid. He drove into the tunnel entrance that led underground and transformed when he reached the main level of the complex. Climbing the short ramp to the command deck, Ratchet entered the room where several of his Autobot comrades were manning their stations.

    Sideswipe saw him enter and muttered, “Buzz, buzz, buzz.”

    “What?”

    “Humanspeak. It’s noisy, repetitive and annoying, like the insectoid life forms on this planet. A lot of noise, and no meaning,” the sleek young warrior said dismissively, waving his hand at the communications monitoring station.

    “They are curious. What else should we expect?”

    “We should expect to be left alone to care for what’s ours,” Sideswipe said. “And they should expect to wait until we’re done.”

    “The presence of Cybertronian technology that predates our arrival does not dismiss the fact that we are guests to this planet,” Ratchet said, looking over his repair appointment roster for the rest of the solar cycle. “We should take into consideration the feelings and concerns of our hosts.”

    “You must have served with Optimus Prime for quite a while.”

    “Yes, why?”

    “You sound just like him.”

    “Thank you,” Ratchet said.

    “I didn’t mean it as a compliment.”

    “Get used to hearing his words. He is Prime, beyond a shadow of a doubt now.”

    “And yet none of us knows what that means,” Sideswipe scoffed.

    “We’ll learn. Where is he now?”

    “He was on the project deck with Wheeljack, but then he went off on another one of those walks of his.”

    Ratchet left his disgruntled comrade and took the lift down to the next level of the complex., just to the north of the solar harvester. The cavernous base, built underneath the pyramid complex by the Autobots after the defeat of the Fallen, was enormous by human standards. On this deck were all kinds of conveyor belts, workstations, and mechanical tools. Scattered around that equipment were pieces of the dismantled harvester.

    Ratchet walked to the research station located near the exit that led directly to the interior of the stone pyramid structure above. Wheeljack, stood at the station examining some nondescript piece of circuitry. The harvester was almost completely deconstructed now under the direction of Wheeljack. Every piece passed under his educated optic for study and reverse engineering.

    “What did the humans want this time?” Wheeljack asked, not looking up as Ratchet approached. He was fiddling with some strange device.

    “What humans always want, to know what we’re doing.”

    “Gotta appreciate the species’ innate curiosity,” Wheeljack said. “I’m surprised that they didn’t dismantle Megatron completely when he was their captive. They love picking stuff apart.”

    “You’ve found a kindred race,” Ratchet said, and clapped Wheeljack on the shoulder. “Departure time?”

    “Moved up from three solar cycles to one. Earth is now an operational spacebridge hub. Prime got some insight to the power regulation problem in the inter-dimensional targeting array, and I was able to build a replacement unit. All six of the test drones made the trip to earth’s satellite, sent back telemetry, and returned without a glitch,” Wheeljack said, visibly excited. “Whatever knowledge Prime is getting from that Matrix gizmo, he’s putting my science academy professors to shame.”

    “Where is he now?”

    “I dunno. He was here, then he wandered off. Didn’t say where he was going.”

    “I need to report to him on the communication from the American faction. They tracked your arrival and the others, and they aren’t happy with our silence.”

    “Hello, Ratchet. Wheeljack, was the Matrix correct?” asked Prime’s familiar voice behind them. The two Autobots turned to face their leader as he stepped in from the corridor.

    “Yep. I added another transition coil, and it fired up like an energon geyser. The efficiency level went up to 87 percent,” Wheeljack said, holding up that piece of circuitry that Ratchet didn’t recognize. The medic knew very little about spacebridge technology, which is why Wheeljack’s presence on earth was a necessity.

    “Good work. Try to get that up past 90 if you can,” Prime said and turned to Ratchet. “What news from the humans?”

    “The American faction wants a face-to-face meeting to renegotiate the NEST alliance. They also wanted us to know they were able to track the arrivals of Wheeljack, Crosshairs and Trailbreaker.”

    “Have they detected Cosmos yet?”

    “If they have, this human didn’t reveal it to me.”

    “Prime!” Trailbreaker rushed up to the two of them. “We’ve just received the first scans from Cosmos.”

    “Results?”

    “Bingo, as the humans say. Three energon exhaust trails leading straight out of the thermosphere to intersystem space.”

    “Most likely Megatron, along with Starscream. Bumblebee’s battle with Ravage suggests that the third trail belongs to Soundwave. Can we track them?”

    “They might as well have drawn us a map. Trekked to the largest moon of the system’s secondary gas giant. The humans call it Titan. Long-range scans show a single, non-natural structure on the surface, possibly ship wreckage.”

    “Send the coordinates to Wheeljack, then tell Ironhide to assemble everyone at the spacebridge hanger,” Prime said. “We’re going to run fixed-position assault drills on earth’s moon to prepare. Ratchet, set up mandatory maintenance appointments with all Autobots on the trip roster. Prep everyone for vacuum exposure and re-entry stress.”

    “Let’s start those now. Are you available to be my first appointment?”

    Prime nodded and followed Ratchet into his repair bay.

    “You’ve made yourself comfortable here,” Prime said, looking around the room.

    “Despite our cramped quarters, this base feels more like Cybertron than any place I’ve resided since our exodus,” Ratchet said, picking up a scanner and pointing it at Optimus. “Wheeljack says you’re spending a lot of time alone with the Matrix.”

    “It’s proving to be a resource beyond my imagination,” Prime said as he sat down on the examination table. “All the things I’ve wondered about for thousands of stellar cycles are being revealed to me -- the Prime dynasty, my past, the origins of our world.”

    Ratchet took out a nano-molecular joiner and sealed a minute facture in the armor of Prime’s right forearm. “All things we were studying before the war.”

    “When the Allspark was destroyed, I assumed all the knowledge was lost, but this Matrix makes hopeless causes possible again.”

    “I never imagined you would consider any cause to be hopeless.”

    “Ratchet, do you have any knowledge of hatchlings?” Optimus asked, abruptly changing the subject.

    The Autobot medic looked up from his work. “Some. I served as a gestation monitor at the hatchery near the Simfur Temple before I was assigned to your science division.”

    “The Matrix has revealed to me that we won’t be the last of our kind. There is a way to save our race, and possibly Cybertron, without the Allspark.”

    Ratchet felt a tremor of hope through his frame. He hadn’t dared hope since he watched the cube’s launch through Cybertron’s atmosphere on its way to becoming lost in interstellar space.

    “How do I help?” Ratchet said, putting the joiner down.

    “The exact method hasn’t been revealed yet, but I’ve been shown this -- promised this -- by the Matrix. It must become our highest priority. I’d like you to lead this effort after I learn more.”

    “Thank you, Prime. I’m eager to start,” Ratchet said, hoping his enthusiasm covered his self-doubt. Raise hatchings? Without the Allspark or a significant energon reserve? The task sounded impossible.

    He lifted open Prime’s chest cavity and verified the seals on his spark core, then finished the exam with a final scan.

    “What’s my condition?” Prime asked. “Nominal shape?”

    “You’re better than nominal. Better compared to any scan I’ve taken of you before,” Ratchet said. “Going offline did you some good.”

    “I don’t recommend you use that as a treatment option,” Prime said. “But seriously, the Matrix is the key to my return, and my current condition.”

    He opened his hip cavity and removed the small device. The blue glow from its center illuminated the room.

    “It’s as if the Primes knew beforehand that the Allspark would be lost one day, and created another vessel to absorb the cube energy and transform it. That energy serves a different purpose now, but it is still a powerful instrument.”

    “If the Primes knew their descendent would face such dark times, perhaps they made other preparations we don’t know of yet,” Ratchet speculated.

    “We can hope,” Prime said, returning the device to its compartment. He stood up to his full height and stretched his servos. “You said the American faction wanted a report on our progress?”

    “Affirmative.”

    “We will give them one, but I want to give it to a human we trust.”

    “That is a very short list of humans.”


    Continued in Part 2
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  2. SuzyPrime

    SuzyPrime The friendly lurker

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    The Best Conviction - Part 2 of 3

    The command deck was shoulder-to-shoulder Autobots as Wheeljack pressed the Titan coordinates into the spacebridge controls.

    Sideswipe leaned against a console, rolled his left shoulder joint around and moaned.

    “Don’t’ tell me you’re creaking from the drills,” Trailbreaker teased him.

    “Fixed position assault drills in low-G for 17 hours straight,” Sideswipe complained. “I still have dust in my joints. I’m not surprised humans haven’t colonized that moon yet. What a bore.”

    “Those drills weren’t boring. We’re prepped now for anything Prime asks of us.”

    “Yeah, Prime. Where was he when we were doing the drills?” Sideswipe muttered.

    Ironhide lumbered past the two of them. “Lower your audio components and pay attention,” he said over his shoulder and took his place at Prime’s side.

    “Waiting for the word,” Wheeljack said, his finger over a button.

    “Send the probe,” Prime ordered. Wheeljack pushed that button down; a small drone sky spy entered the spacebridge field and disappeared in a crackle of energy.

    “Getting readings. Translating and sending to display,” Wheeljack said, pressing buttons. The three-dimensional display in the center of the room glowed, revealing an image from the surface of Saturn’s largest moon – a dark, orange landscape, speckled by rocks and dark puddles of liquid hydrocarbons.

    “Atmosphere is mostly nitrogen, argon, methane, cyanide -- nothing harmful to us. Rad levels within tolerable limits. Atmospheric pressure just a bit above earth. Air temperature is chilly, about three times below operational safety range,” Wheeljack said, directing the probe along the rocky soil.

    “Every Autobot on the mission needs to be prepped for cold exposure,” Ratchet observed, looking over the readings.

    The probe continued to transmit. It moved up a sand-covered hill and at the summit turned its camera to the rocky valley below. A mammoth structure, alien to the surrounding landscape, rose from an impact crater. The image incited a collective murmur of concern through the assembled Autobots.

    “Recognize that?” Trailbreaker asked.

    “No doubt,” Ironhide said, folding his arms together. “That is the Nemesis, or what’s let of it.”

    “They followed Megatron to this system, but why’d they crash?” Cosmos asked.

    “Unknown,” Optimus said. “Energy readings?”

    “Nothing. Not a blip,” Wheeljack said, flipping switches. “No energon readings from the ship’s engines. No individual energy signatures from Decepticons. No detectable weapons.”

    “Could they be shielding their energy signatures from us?” Prime asked.

    “Even that would require some kind of energy output somewhere. I’m getting nothing. Not one spike on the gauges,” Wheeljack said.

    “Send in your other probes. Look for any traps, any IEDs or surprises Megatron might have left behind for us,” Prime ordered and turned to address the group. “We approach in three teams of three, in two waves. Myself, Wheeljack and Sideswipe in one. Ironhide, Trailbreaker and Ratchet in the second. Cosmos, Arcee, and Crosshairs in the third. First team finds concealment in these craters and covers the entry of the next two.”

    Optimus pointed to a large piece of the bulkhead that had broken from the exterior hull. “Second and third teams meet here. It’s likely that the ship is abandoned, but we can’t take chances. If we meet resistance I want full weapons barrage. The objective is the same as our work with NEST. Destroy all enemy targets. Also, we take possession of energy stores and data tracks on the ship. If you encounter Megatron or Starscream you are to find cover, report, and hold until I get to your position. Thoughts?”

    Ironhide nodded. “If the Cons are in there they’ll have fortifications, but no mobility. First team should try to flush them out.”

    “I suggest we bring in automated sentry weapons. Post them here and here,” Crosshairs said, pointing to the display. “That will provide distraction while we move in.”

    “Agreed. Everyone prep your weapons, download terrain and ship specs from Wheeljack, and see Ratchet for cold exposure protocol. I want to leave in 3,000 seconds. Once you’re ready, report as teams to the spacebridge hanger.”

    Prime’s troops nodded. The Autobot leader looked over their serious faces and turned the display off.

    “I have confidence in your abilities, and trust in your resolve. Our enemy is wounded and they’ve lost their inspiration. Without the Fallen, the Decepticon cause is uncertain. Ours is not. We will drive them from this system by force, and give our human allies some security. And then we’ll follow the Cons, keep on them, and remove their ability to hurt us, or any other beings, again.”

    The assembled Autobots nodded and he could sense their collective mood lifting.

    “We fight for our friends on earth, we fight for our fallen comrades, we fight for the Autobots who can’t be with us, and we fight for freedom everywhere. Engage these new battles knowing our actions bring justice. Our victory brings peace,” Prime said, and a collective cheer rose from his troops.

    “You got 3,000 seconds from now to get ammo and get to Ratchet’s bay for cold exposure prep,” Ironhide shouted at them. “Don’t just stand there and rust. Get moving!”

    Prime’s troops went their separate ways to prepare.

    “Are you available for a quick side trip?” He asked Ironhide.

    “Always.”

    “Follow me.”


    ***​


    The bright kaleidoscope of colors reflecting off the lake made William Lennox squint while he watched his daughter Becca toddle up from the water’s edge. She dumped a bucket full of wet sand onto his bare feet.

    “Aw, play nice, Beck.” He smiled and pushed the sand off his skin. “Come here.” He tightened the straps on her life preserver and sat back in his beach chair as she ran back to the water.

    The sound of footsteps in the sand behind him made him look up. Sarah sat down on the blanket next to him and tried to make herself comfortable despite her swollen, pregnant belly. Lennox handed her a pillow and squeezed her hand.

    “If this is what going AWOL is like, then court-martial me now,” he said and they exchanged a kiss.

    “You’re not going AWOL. I’m not going to visit any husband of mine in prison. I’ll divorce you like that,” Sarah snapped her fingers.

    “So, what you’re saying is your love for me has limits?”

    “Prison walls are my limit,” she said, pulling the brim of her hat over her eyes and yawning. “I wish we’d brought a TV.”

    “We don’t need a TV. The point of this trip was to unplug, relax, run around, get a little nature in our systems.”

    “You can run around nature all you like. You aren’t carrying Will Jr. strapped to your gut,” she said and put her hand on her stomach. “I want a TV just to know what’s happening with those alien war machine things.”

    “Hmmmm,” He adjusted his sunglasses.

    “I suppose we don’t have to worry about giant alien robots in Virginia,” she scoffed. “And I guess I’m shocked that you don’t want to keep tabs on that.”

    “The DOD has it covered,” Lennox said, watching Becca throw a beach ball into the water.

    “If there was a war, would you have to fight those things?”

    “It’s possible.”

    “Which means yes, because when you don’t want to talk about things you use these teeny sentences.”

    “I use teeny sentences because you’ve said everything already,” Lennox put his arm around her shoulder and with the other grasped a handful of sand. “God, I love this sand. There’s something about beach sand that’s different than desert sand, but I’m not sure what it is.”

    “Larry King will probably get an interview with one of the aliens, and we’ll miss it because we’re running around barefoot in nature,” Sarah complained and took a drink from a water bottle.

    Lennox’s cell phone chimed. “If there are alien robots doing TV interviews I’m sure your mother will call us. She wants any excuse. This is probably her right now,” he said, standing up and pulling his phone from his pocket. Sarah squeezed a bit of water at him in retaliation for the comment, which he dodged easily.

    “This is Lennox.”

    “Major Lennox,” said Ironhide’s distinctive voice on the other end.

    Lennox stiffened. “Yes. What is it?”

    “Optimus Prime would like to speak with you. Do you have a moment?”

    “If my superiors allow it,” Lennox held the phone to his chest. “I gotta take this. I’m going to walk back to the cabin. You guys stay here, all right? Hush, hush. Mission info, you know?”

    “We’ve been married for five years. I know the drill,” she said, pulling down the brim of her hat.

    Lennox started up the path that led over a hill and then down into the shallow valley toward their cabin, taking long strides beneath the chestnut and basswood branches. “All right Ironhide, what’s the situation?”

    “Prime wants to update you on our next mission.”

    “Me? Has NEST been reinstated?”

    “Not to our knowledge.”

    “Then you’re speaking with me outside of military channels,” Lennox said, realizing that his superiors would probably disapprove of this call.

    Screw channels, Lennox thought. After the military’s treatment of the Autobots following Prime’s death, Lennox didn’t blame them for avoiding official channels -- Ironhide especially. The old warrior had cooperated with them when Galloway’s team trussed up the Autobots and shipped them back to Diego Garcia like cattle. He was an honorable being, but certainly still dangerous.

    “This time Prime wants to operate alone,” Ironhide said.

    “Give me the sitrep. What’s happening?”

    “Not on this channel. We want to meet with you in person.”

    “That might be difficult. I’m not on duty right now, and I’m not really in a position where I can-”

    “I am waiting for you at your wooden domicile,” Ironhide said.

    “Wooden…you’re at the cabin?” Lennox asked, and started a brisk run up the path. He stepped out of the tree line to the cabin yard and saw a large black truck parked next to the wellhead.

    “Is this area secure? Are you expecting visitors?” Ironhide asked through the phone.

    “It’s just me and my wife and kid. My wife’s family owns every blade of grass within a 20-mile radius and we’re not expecting guests.”

    “Good enough,” Ironhide transformed to robot mode. Lennox approached and Ironhide held his enormous fist out to Lennox, just like their NEST days.

    Lennox grinned and gave him a bump. “Good to see you.”

    “Likewise,” Ironhide said, with a hint of a smile crossing his scarred face.

    “You said something about-” Lennox started to say but was interrupted by the roar of an engine.

    Coming over the rise, Optimus Prime rumbled into the yard and transformed to his robot form. Lennox braced himself as the ground shook from the Autobot leader’s movements. Fully transformed, Prime leaned down on one knee to face the human.

    “Major Lennox.”

    “Optimus Prime, sir. Welcome,” Lennox greeted him and saluted.

    “You are enjoying your rest period?”

    “It’s been a very relaxing vacation. Thanks for asking,” Lennox said. “I haven’t been given any new orders about cooperation between my government and the Autobots. Any news?”

    “Not that we’ve heard. In truth, we haven’t had much contact with your superiors since the last battle. I am reluctant to create another alliance with them,” Optimus said.

    “Your experiences with Director Galloway weren’t the best, but I believe you can trust the-”

    “Major, the issue isn’t one of trust. I want to avoid placing human lives in danger, be they civilians or soldiers. I will involve humans when necessary, but only then.”

    “How can I help you now?”

    “I want to alert the human militaries of our current mission, but I must relay that message through a trusted source.”

    “Did you lose Sam Witwicky’s number?” Lennox joked.

    “Sam isn’t friends with four-star generals,” Ironhide said.

    “Fair enough. What can I report?”

    “We are leaving,” Optimus said. “I’m ordering most of the Autobots off this planet. A small force will stay behind under Bumblebee’s command, and will follow us afterward.”

    “Leaving? Permanently?”

    “That is unknown. We are going to pursue Megatron, and any troops that may have followed him.”

    Lennox rubbed the back of his neck, stunned by this news. “The NEST alliance accomplished a lot in the last two years, but I can tell you right now that without your help my team would have been cut to pieces by the Cons. I don’t think humans would have a chance repelling an all-out invasion by ourselves.”

    “I do not believe Earth is in danger of invasion. This last battle has left Megatron wounded and exposed, and the destruction of the Fallen has likely damaged his stature among his followers. We’re going to track him down, and destroy whatever force he has left before he has a chance to regroup. If all goes well, there may be peace for the first time in a long time,” Optimus said. “If we can achieve peace, I can attempt to save my race.”

    Lennox had experience with Autobot facial expressions, and Prime’s expression was severe. “You need something more than peace to save the Autobots?”

    “Unlike humans, reproduction is not a simple thing for my species. Without the Allspark, our ability to procreate is gone. As Prime, it is my duty to ensure that my race survives. If I can find a few moments away from this war, I can try to find a solution.”

    “No Allspark, no more Autobots. You’re an endangered species,” Lennox said.

    “The metaphor applies,” Prime said sadly. “Every moment we’re at war costs lives, lives that are precious in themselves, and lives that can’t be replaced. That’s why I won’t wait for Megatron to regroup. He must be stopped. Time is short.”

    “Prime!” Ironhide stiffened. “Human contact, 10 o’clock.” The rugged Autobot quickly transformed back to his truck mode. Prime and Lennox turned to face this unexpected guest.

    Still holding her beach bucket, Becca stumbled out of the tree line. She looked up in wide-eyed wonder at the Autobot towering above her father.

    “Ah nuts. Becca, why aren’t you with mommy?” Lennox said, running up to her.

    “I have to go to the bathroom,” the three-year-old said quietly.

    “Prime…” Ironhide warned.

    “Relax, old friend,” Prime said, leaning down.

    “I’m sorry. I didn’t think her mom would let her come by herself,” Lennox said. He scooped Becca up in his arms.

    “Your offspring?” the Autobot leader asked.

    “My first. My wife is about to have another,” Lennox said, approaching them. Ironhide transformed back to robot mode, to Becca’s amazement.

    Prime reached out his hand and the little girl touched his finger, unafraid and delighted. “Oh, wow,” Becca said and shyly pressed her face into her dad’s neck.

    “She is brave,” Optimus said.

    “Yeah, she is,” Lennox agreed, giving her a squeeze.

    “I know now why you fight,” Prime said, standing up to his full height. “We have very similar reasons.”

    “I will give General Morshower your report,” Lennox said, and felt a lump rise in his throat. “This might be goodbye for a long time, huh?”

    “That is likely,” Prime said.

    “Wherever you go, good hunting,” Lennox said, and saluted. “It’s been an honor.”

    “The honor is ours,” Prime said and bowed his head. He and Ironhide took a step away from the humans and the cabin.

    Ironhide pressed a button on his arm. “Fire it.”

    The two Autobots disappeared in a blinding flash of spacebridge energy. Lennox slapped his hand onto his cap before it flew off in the wind kicked up by the spacebridge.

    Becca clapped her hands together. “Again!” she shouted in delight.

    “I don’t think so, Beckster,” Lennox said and started down the path toward the beach. Sarah met them halfway.

    “Becca? Oh gosh, there she is. What was all that noise? I thought I heard thunder, but it can’t be raining,” she looked up at the blue sky.

    “Planes overhead, or something,” Lennox said.

    “Robots!” Becca shouted and clapped her hands. “Big robots!”

    Sarah took her daughter from Lennox. “Robots, huh? Like the ones on TV?”

    “Yeah, they were talking to daddy.”

    “From the TV?”

    “No, over there,” Becca said and pointed.

    Sarah smiled. “Oh you Beckster,” and tickled her stomach. She looked at her husband. “Robots?”

    “Call Larry King,” Lennox said.

    Sarah stared her husband in the eyes and then waved her hand dismissively. “No robots in the cabin.”

    “No robots,” Lennox stuffed his hands in his pockets and kicked some dirt around on the path.

    “Will? Are you all right?” Sarah reached out and took his hand.

    He pulled her in and held her tightly. “I lost some friends today.”


    Continued in Part 3
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  3. SuzyPrime

    SuzyPrime The friendly lurker

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    The Best Conviction - Part 3

    Saturn’s shadow cast the surface of Titan in darkness as Prime’s team stepped through the spacebridge. Sideswipe ducked behind the cover of a rock formation and pointed his weapon toward the Decepticon ship.

    “Wheeljack?” Prime asked, kneeling behind a large piece of debris.

    “Still nothing. No energy, no explosive traces, no comm signals. Nada.”

    “Nada?”

    “Sorry. Humanspeak. It means ‘nothing’.”

    “What about those turrets on the aft section?” Prime asked.

    “Pointed away from us, and I don’t detect any energy source around that could power them,” Wheeljack said.

    “Probes?”

    “I got ’em in the air, and reading nothing.”

    “Continue scans. Sideswipe, optics forward. I’m calling the others in.”

    “Affirm.”

    The other teams crossed through the spacebridge threshold and the Autobots approached the seemingly dead ship. They gathered around a huge crack in the hull and Wheeljack sent in his probes.

    “Arcee, stand guard here. Send a ping to Sideswipe every 300 seconds. The rest of us, move in slowly.”

    “Remember when Megatron had this thing built? That sent a message,” Trailbreaker said as the group entered.

    Wheeljack plugged himself into the nearest console. “Nothing to run the main computer core. Hang on. I’m gonna try to give this thing a bit of my own juice.”

    The console screen lit up for a moment, and then faded out. “Good enough for a quick download. We’re in port-side hallway six-minor. The command deck is about ten doors ahead,” Wheeljack said.

    “What’s the structural integrity like?” Cosmos asked, gingerly touching one of the wall support beams.

    “Everything got rattled in the crash,” Wheeljack said. “It’s hard to say if this place can withstand much action. Be careful where you step.”

    The group continued cautiously down the corridor when the sickening sound of rending metal filled their audio sensors.

    “Look out!” Crosshairs shouted as a support beam holding a bulkhead in place buckled and pieces of the exterior wall rained down on them.

    A section of the support beam fell into Cosmos’ back, sending him sprawling. He only had time to cringe as the rest of the bulkhead started to tip downward. The deck beneath Cosmos shuddered as Prime’s heavy footfalls rushed to his side. He reached up and caught the massive sheet of metal with a grunt. Ironhide stepped to Prime’s aid and helped him keep the bulkhead raised as Crosshairs pulled Cosmos out from under the piece. Prime and Ironhide gave the bulkhead a shove and sent it falling in the opposite direction.

    “Everyone all right?” Prime asked, looking around.

    “Was that a trap?” Crosshairs asked.

    “It doesn’t seem so,” Prime said, looking over the debris.

    “This ship is a junk pile. Cons can’t build worth scrap!” Ironhide said, rubbing hydrocarbon residue from his hands.

    “Even without a Decepticon presence, this place is dangerous. Let’s all remember that,” Optimus said, trudging forward. “Wheeljack, take point and get structure scans of the decks ahead. Crosshairs, get at his side and cover him.”

    “The command deck is just ahead,” Wheeljack said, pointing to the double doors at the end of the hallway. Crosshairs swung his axe and cracked the seal on the door. He and Ironhide pulled the doors apart and the Autobots cautiously stepped onto the command deck, the heart of the ship.

    “That chills my hydraulic fluid,” Ratchet said, pointing his headlights to the center of the command deck. Prime stepped forward and saw an unpleasant reminder of their recent battle. The Fallen’s sarcophagus, unearthed on Cybertron so many years ago, leaned against the navigation station.

    “The Fallen likely traveled to this moon locked inside the sarcophagus,” Prime said. “But it doesn’t explain how he was able to escape.”

    “This might have something to do with it,” Wheeljack said, examining a large throne-like station surrounded by a web of broken tubes and wires. “These lines lead directly to the power core of the ship.”

    Prime walked to the chair and touched one of the tubes that hung down from the ceiling. “A continuous energon transfusion may have broken the seal on the sarcophagus, and kept the Fallen alive after he emerged.”


    “That kind of power demand probably compromised the rest of the ship’s functions,” Wheeljack asked. “Maybe that caused the crash.”

    “It’s one theory,” Prime ventured.

    “We can ask Megatron for the real story when we catch up to him and dismantle what’s left of his face,” Ironhide said.

    “What do you want to do with the sarcophagus?” Ratchet asked.

    “It’s a dead shell. We’ll take it with us for study,” Prime said, reaching out to touch it. But he stopped short and turned away. “Sideswipe, carry it please.”

    Wheeljack wandered from the group toward the rear of the deck that was obscured by darkness. He froze after something under his foot made a loud cracking noise. “Oh bolts. What was that?”

    “There’s something on the floor over here,” Crosshairs said, pointing his headlights downward. He rubbed his hand on a salt-like, crystalline substance scattered on the deck.

    “It looks like a liquid that has dried, and crystallized. There’s more of it in here,” Wheeljack said, walking through a darkened doorway onto the next deck.

    “It’s all over,” Sideswipe said, lifting his wheeled foot in disgust.

    Wheeljack crouched down to the deck and waved a scanner over the puddle. “Its makeup is similar to the silicate amniotic fluid used for…” he trailed off and looked at the ceiling.

    He stood back up, pointed his headlights upward until they focused on a round blue spherical object. The bottom portion of the sphere had been ripped out and hung in frayed tatters.

    “All of you better look at this!”

    Ratchet saw it and froze. “That is a hatchling gestation pod.”

    “What? What did you find?” Prime walked through the door and looked upward.

    “There’s another one,” Wheeljack said, pointing his headlights just a bit further to the right.

    “I’ve got another one over here,” said Sideswipe.

    “Light. We need light,” Prime said.

    “Can do,” Trailbreaker said, fiddling with the controls on his force field generator. The device on his right shoulder emitted an intense light that glinted off thousands of blue pods suspended from the walls and the ceiling. The interior was covered with them, like mushrooms in a cave.

    “Great. The Decepticons found a way to grow a new army? And now they took off to who knows where?” Sideswipe muttered.

    “They tried to grow an army, but none of them left this ship,” Ironhide said, pointing his headlights to the floor. The rest of the Autobots followed his gaze to the deck. Prime stepped to Ratchet’s side. He looked down and saw the floor was littered with hundreds of tiny metallic bodies.

    “By my spark,” Ratchet whispered. “This…this can’t be.”

    “I never thought-” Optimus whispered, but his voice disappeared in a shudder. The last Prime fell to his knees, bent over in grief.

    The Autobots entered and stepped gingerly across the deck, avoiding the remains of hatchlings heaped on the floor.

    “This is an atrocity.” Ratchet bent down and picked up one of the lifeless bodies. It was rigid, but fragile. The expression on its face was one of terror.

    Wheeljack reviewed the data on his scanner. “The crop over here starved to death. There wasn’t enough energon to keep them alive to maturation.”

    “Prime?” Ratchet called, looking over to Optimus. He too was cradling a hatchling body in his hand. His blue optics were narrowed, nearly closed.

    “Most of them over here were deliberately destroyed, broken out of their pods before they were mature enough to survive,” Wheeljack said, waving his scanner over one of the shattered pods. “Why attempt to raise hatchlings only to kill them all?”

    “Prime, this must be the Fallen’s design. This is beyond anything we’ve known Megatron capable of,” Ratchet said.

    Crouched low, Optimus still didn’t respond. The place was silent as the Autobots watched him. Optimus finally made a deep sound; his troops leaned forward, straining to hear, and then stepped back in surprise when he jumped onto his feet.

    Prime reached over to Sideswipe, took the sarcophagus from him without explanation, and threw it violently toward the Fallen’s throne. It struck the back of the device and clattered to the deck.

    Prime stomped over to the throne, picked up the sarcophagus and brought it down with such force that the metal chair crumpled. He swung again and again until the throne was completely crushed. Optimus gripped the sarcophagus in his hands, his shoulders rising and falling, rising and falling in pulsating anger. With a gut-wrenching yell, Prime snapped the battered artifact in two. He clenched his fists shut, crushing the pieces in his hands. The debris fell to his feet and scattered on the floor.

    The Autobots watched this violence in shock.

    “Optimus,” Ironhide started when it was over. His voice was tempered with sympathy.

    Prime cast a glance to his friend and looked away. He trudged over to the bulkhead wall, beat his fists into it until the metal yielded, then pushed his way through and went off alone into the darkness of Titan’s lifeless landscape.

    “Holy pit,” said Sideswipe.

    “Prime!” Ratchet shouted after him.

    “Let him be,” Ironhide said, pulling the medic back.

    “Optimus!” Ratchet said, resisting him.

    Arcee’s voice crackled over the comm. “I just saw Prime exit the ship. Status? What should I do?”

    “Arcee, this is Ironhide. Follow at a distance, but stay clear.”

    “He’s blaming himself for this. We can’t let him!” Ratchet insisted, pulling against Ironhide’s grip on his shoulder.

    “He’ll blame himself,” Ironhide agreed, “but then he’ll get wise, and that’s when he’s at his best. Let him be. You and Wheeljack get your readings and samples here. Go about it. Cosmos,” he turned to face the space-faring Autobot, “get in orbit and start searching for energon trails. Find out where these Con bastards have gone to so we can point Prime’s fury in the right direction when he gets back.”

    “I’ve seen him angry. I’ve seen him fight ferociously, but I’ve never seen him do that,” Wheeljack said.

    “What does all this mean?” Cosmos asked. “Have we lost?”

    Ratchet listened to them as he looked outside. “Before we left, the Matrix gave Prime a vision of hatchlings, of a new generation of our kind. It gave him great hope.”

    Wheeljack closed his scanner, stowed it and hung his head. “And this is the antithesis of such a vision.”

    “Cosmos, get going,” Ironhide said. “Crosshairs, unsling that weapon. We’re in hostile territory. Act like it.”

    The team spread out as Wheeljack and Ratchet continued their scans. Ratchet took samples from the pods and the hatchling bodies for future study. He surveyed the deck again and shut his optics. He couldn’t look at it any longer.

    “We’ve lost something,” Ratchet said to Wheeljack and Sideswipe, the former standing nearby and the latter perched on a piece of machinery above them. “Our race has lost something elemental, something noble, when any one of us is capable of such…” he trailed off. He couldn’t find the words to express what he was feeling.

    “This is a reminder of what our enemy is like,” Wheeljack said, “their indiscriminant disregard for life, and for the potential of life.”

    “I don’t get it,” Sideswipe commented and jumped down from his perch. “You’re all acting like this is a bad thing.”

    No one answered him.

    “Well? The way I see it, that deck is covered in spare parts and that’s it.”

    “Switch off, Sideswipe,” Ratchet said.

    “So what? The universe is out a couple thousand Decepticon pups? Who cares?”

    Ironhide snorted in displeasure and everyone turned to the outer wall. Optimus stood in the hole he had made a few minutes earlier. He walked onto the deck and stopped at Sideswipe’s side, staring into his optics for several silent, uncomfortable moments.

    “They weren’t Decepticons,” Prime said, finally.

    Sideswipe cast his gaze to the ground.

    “Ironhide, collect extra ammunition from everyone. Call Crosshairs and have him set up demolition timers. Wheeljack, set the space bridge for departure and call Cosmos back.”

    “What do you want to do with the ammo, Prime?” Ironhide asked.

    “Blow this ship back to the stars,” Optimus said, and walked away toward the aft section of the ruined vessel. Ratchet followed.

    Sideswipe watched him leave and looked over to Ironhide. “I didn’t mean it. I mean, I didn’t know.”

    “Why are you telling me that?” Ironhide asked. “Go tell him.”

    “After what he just did?! Are you kidding?”

    “You don’t have to worry about him hurting you,” Ironhide said, pulling extra ammunition from his chest compartment, “Just fear disappointing him again.”

    “I want to wait until he’s cooled off,” Sideswipe said, extending one of his swords.

    Ironhide looked in the direction their leader had gone. “I like him when he’s angry.”

    Ratchet found Optimus leaning heavily against a railing that overlooked the remains of the navigation deck. The medic handed him a metallurgic regenerator.

    “You’ll have to do this yourself. I don’t fix self-inflicted wounds.”

    Prime glanced down at his scraped and dented knuckles. The index finger on his left hand was bent and leaking fluid. He took the device and applied it to his hands.

    “Optimus, as soon as we get back to earth I want you to look at these scans Wheeljack and I made and consult the Matrix about them.”

    The Autobot leader nodded but said nothing.

    “The readings we took will show what went wrong with their attempt to grow hatchlings. More important, it will guide us if we attempt to raise our own. I’m not sure I could even start the process without this data.”

    Prime looked down into Ratchet’s optics and the medic shrugged.

    “Maybe the sentient intelligence inside the Matrix knew this would happen. Maybe that’s why it prompted you to pursue this path. And maybe that’s why we’re here, to bring some kind of good out of this.”

    Optimus handed him the regenerator, then turned and leaned against the railing again. “Thank you, Ratchet.”

    Ratchet was about to say something more when Sideswipe pushed past him.

    “Prime? Prime?” Sideswipe said, retracting his swords. When Optimus didn’t respond Sideswipe looked to Ratchet, who frowned back. “Prime, I’m sorry about a moment ago. I shouldn’t have said what I did. I didn’t know they weren’t Decepticons.”

    “Does it matter?” Prime asked, still facing away from them.

    Sideswipe rolled back an inch or so on his wheels, unsure of how to respond. When he didn’t answer, Optimus turned to face them.

    “Autobot, Decepticon. Does it matter that you didn’t know?” Prime asked, folding his arms across his chest.

    “Are you saying I shouldn’t feel good when the Cons lose and I win? You told Megatron yourself, ‘One shall stand, one shall fall’. It’s them or us. How is this any different?”

    “It’s never been ‘them or us.’ That way of thinking is the reason why this war has gone on for as long as it has,” Prime said. “Extermination and genocide are Decepticon goals, not ours.”

    “So I shouldn’t want to kill the enemy?” Sideswipe scoffed.

    “Killing is a need, not a want.”

    Ratchet listened to the debate silently, watching his leader and friend. The anger in Prime had passed, but, as always, the passion was still there.

    “Pardon my bluntness Prime, but come on! You know what battle is like!”

    “I do, and I know where to draw the line. Our war ends with the surrender of the Decepticons, not their annihilation.”

    Sideswipe shook his head. “I don’t think that’s possible.”

    “It is possible, because it has been done in the past. Our kind has lived in peace after war. The humans as well. A human leader from earth’s past said victory comes when malice is given up and when we do all to achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all beings,” Prime said. “That is our cause.”

    “All I know is this war. That’s hard for me to imagine that happening.”

    “Now you know my struggle,” Prime said. He placed his hand on the Autobot’s shoulder. “I can’t make the decision for you. But a choice must be made. A stand must be taken.”

    Sideswipe nodded. “Yes, Prime.

    “I’m glad you are here, Sideswipe.” Prime pressed a button on his forearm that sent a withdraw signal to his troops, then walked back toward the command deck with Ratchet and Sideswipe following behind.

    “He should have dressed me down,” Sideswipe muttered. “Why didn’t he?”

    “Maybe he thinks the best conviction is self-conviction,” Ratchet said.

    The Autobots filed out of the ship and assembled back at the spacebridge rendezvous point. As his troops gathered, Optimus looked them all in the optics.

    “Autobots, Sideswipe did a brave thing just now. He apologized for a wrong, and I need to do the same. We’ve experienced some amazing highs recently. Then we came here and saw how low our kind can stoop. It’s a terrifying plummet, but that’s not an excuse. I should have controlled my anger. I’m sorry.”

    “We understand, Optimus,” Ironhide said.

    “Yeah,” Sideswipe agreed, and others around him nodded.

    “This place is a reminder of everything we’re fighting against,” Prime said and paused a moment before he spoke again. “We’ve done all we can here. Wheeljack, energize the spacebridge.”

    “Coordinates?” Wheeljack asked.

    “To Earth briefly, then home.”

    “Cybertron?”

    “Yes.”

    A murmur of surprise went through the Autobots.

    “For those of us who have borne the battle, we’re going home. We will regroup with as many of our forces as we can and track the Decepticons from there.”

    “Earth coordinates programmed,” Wheeljack announced.

    “Autobots, roll out.”

    Wheeljack and Sideswipe stepped into the field and disappeared, followed by the others. Ratchet took one last look at the ship, shook his head and then left.

    Ironhide joined Optimus standing a few meters away from the spacebridge and held out a small detonator box. “Crosshairs rigged the ammo to blow 20 seconds after this button is pressed. I’ll go last, and make sure the deed is done.”

    “No. I’ll do it,” Optimus said.

    “If you think I’m letting you be the last one to leave your processor is overloaded,” Ironhide scolded him.

    “Then join me,” Prime took the device from his hand. He watched the last of the team, Arcee and Trailbreaker, step into the spacebridge field and disappear.

    “Just when we think we’ve got them licked,” Ironhide muttered, now alone with Prime, “they still manage to damage us, demoralize us.”

    “We shouldn’t expect otherwise,” Prime said. “But the end is coming, old friend. I know it is.”

    “Good,” Ironhide said, holding up his arm cannons. “I want to take these things off at some point. They’re damned heavy.”

    Prime pressed the button on the detonator. He and Ironhide stepped toward the horizon of the spacebridge field. Prime turned to watch as explosions ripped through the ruins of the ship. The structure collapsed on itself, then exploded outward as charges ignited more ammunition. Bright orange clouds billowed into the darkened sky, illuminating the rocky terrain around the ship. When the detonations subsided, only bits and pieces were left inside the crater where the ship had rested.

    “The end is coming,” Prime said again and stepped into the field. Ironhide followed and with a snap of inter-dimensional energy they disappeared, leaving Titan’s orange desert silent and dark once more.


    The End


    Special thanks to Anodythe for proofreading this for me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  4. Anodythe

    Anodythe Well-Known Member

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    :D  !
     
  5. Black Oracle

    Black Oracle Black Convoy's Dark Angel

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    What a fantastically written story this is! It's quietly moving, answers some needed questions whilst keeping others a curious mystery, and gets us personally invested in the characters. If only the movies had this level of intelligence and characterization in them.

    Here you give Optimus Prime engaging depth behind the classic heroic leader characteristics that we recognise him for. It would be a dream come true if we could get more of this level of characterisation for him on the screen. His anger over the discovery of the dead hatchlings in the Nemesis and his subsequent apology to his Autobots was a perfect demonstration of how even Optimus Prime makes mistakes and is susceptible to dark emotions, but quickly recovers from them and emerges wiser.

    Plus it was great to get more of a sense of how the Autobots work and interact with one another. Loved your portrayals of Ratchet, Ironhide and Sideswipe.

    Thank you for writing such a beautiful follow-up to ROTF Suzy!
     
  6. Autobot_Wall-E

    Autobot_Wall-E The Musical

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    This must be the smoothest and most intelligent sounding piece of fan fiction I have ever read on TFW. My jaw just hit the floor.
     
  7. Autobot_Wall-E

    Autobot_Wall-E The Musical

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    Im sorry but this outdoes every fan fic, comic, or any other creative work on this website. The passion and emotion and even the tension was all there. I felt it. You are now my hero.
     
  8. Stiles

    Stiles The Lovely Little Demon

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    This was amazing!! You can feel the passion from Optimus. The way of writing was amazing. You are a really good writer.
     
  9. jgoss

    jgoss transformers fan 4 life

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    awesome job suzy prime this was an excellent ff. i had to wipe a tear and blow my nose prime expressing such emotion was shocking at first but you can't keep things bottled up even if he is the leader. i myself have found out that it's not good to keep things inside i guess you could say that i learned a few things from optimus. also him and ironhide saying goodbye to lennox was touching again great job:thumbs2: :thumbs2: 
     
  10. Cryptwire

    Cryptwire Cybertronian Engineer/Sniper TFW2005 Supporter

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    i loved the interaction among the Autobots! great work!

    :thumb  :thumb  :thumb 
     
  11. zark225

    zark225 Well-Known Member

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    This was fantastic! Great story!
     
  12. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    Just managed to read this. Amazing! Good characterizations, and a very good story. I love it! :D 
     
  13. Cryptwire

    Cryptwire Cybertronian Engineer/Sniper TFW2005 Supporter

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    i read the entire thing and.......... Wow.....

    if this story and the interactions between the characters was in Transformers 3, i would be really, really happy.

    great work.

    I would just like to suggest one edit during the Optimus-Becca interaction :D 

     

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