Autobot City - One Year Later It has been one year to the day since the devastating attack on Autobot City on Earth by Decepticon forces that took the lives of nearly two hundred of the US Military forces and almost thirty Autobots, most prominent among them the Autobot commander, Optimus Prime, a figure known world wide for his commitment to the highest principles of freedom and justice. Scars of the attack can still be seen both in the city and through the countryside, all the way to Mt. Saint Hillary, where the original home of the Autobots, their grounded spacecraft, the Ark, is located. It was the first Decepticon offensive on this world since they were driven from their undersea base off the coast of Baja, California and the planet itself in June of 1994 by the combined efforts of the Autobots and the GI Joe Special Forces in what has been dubbed, “The Scramble City Incident.” A monument for the fallen, both human and Autobot, has been erected and unveiled on this day, in a somber ceremony presided over by current Autobot commander Rodimus Prime (formerly Hot Rod), Lt. Commander Jazz, and City Commander Ultra Magnus. It is a simple thirty foot tall cylindrical mural, inscribed at the top with the Autobot symbol and United States flag, under which are the names of the fallen, beginning with the three military commanders who were first killed on the Autobot resupply shuttle which was ambushed in the asteroid field between Jupiter and Mars and used to bypass the Luna base checkpoints: Chief Medical Officer Ratchet, Chief Security Officer Ironhide, and Chief Strategist and Lt. Commander Prowl, second in command of the Autobot forces under Optimus Prime. The specifics of why most of their command staff was on a shuttle together on the eve before a major offensive are classified, though it has been publicly stated that Ratchet was there to personally supervise the loading of medical supplies and that Prowl and Ironhide had been assigned to the retrieval of something considered to be absolutely vital to the impending commencement of hostilities with the Decepticons on Cybertron. The fourth member of that shuttle team, Brawn, was severely wounded during the boarding raid. However, he managed survived both the attack and the subsequent crash of the supply shuttle as the Decepticons abandoned it to lay siege to the city and surrounding territories. His comment concerning that day was only, “I failed them.” It is known at this time the Decepticons had smuggled into the solar system a “Space Bridge” portal and placed it on Phobos, one of the moons of Mars. It is thought they planned to use Mars as an eventual base of operations to launch further attacks against Earth, but instead took this opportunity to attempt to destroy the Autobot supply lines and end the war. Since then, subspace sensor nets have been deployed by the Autobots to extend beyond the Solar System to protect against such incursions despite the route of the Decepticons from their home world of Cybertron during the immediate counter offensive launched by the Autobots, though details still remain sketchy as to exactly what happened. To bolster the depleted Autobot forces within the city, GI Joe has commissioned the S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactical Autobot Reinforcement Squadron) under command of Colonel Vincent “Falcon” Falcone and GMCM Hector “Shipwreck” Delgado. Colonel Falcon gave this statement before the ceremony, “The Autobots helped us as much as they could defeating Cobra and fighting against other terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda. They were there during 9/11 helping with the rescue operations...it could have been a lot worse without them. They've helped us with natural disasters and security operations all over the world, though the later only when they thought the cause was just. Through it all they've fought with more passion than I've ever seen for a lot longer than the human race has been against an enemy that sees us as little more than a resource to be exploited, and them as obstacles to be annihilated. We let them down here. Next time we'll be right here with them...this will not happen again.” Shortly after, Rodimus Prime took the Transformer sized podium in front of the various guests, and began to speak. “Optimus Prime once asked me,” began Rodimus Prime after the unveiling, his voice thick with emotion, “what the difference was between a soldier and a leader was. I answered then that I really couldn't tell any difference. He smiled then...you could tell when he smiled, even behind his mask, and assigned me to security, under Kup and Ironhide; two Autobots who had more wisdom in them than all databanks on Cybertron. I didn't know then, but I do now...that it was the right answer. At the end of the day, there is no difference. You either fight or you don't. You're either a soldier or you're not. These men and women, dearest friends and mentors, were soldiers. At the end of the day, they fought and died for what they believed in.” He paused here, visibly gathering himself. “We should always remember and honor those who sacrificed themselves, both Transfomer and Human. They, who gave their lives so that we...so that we could continue on, and learn from their courageous example. It's been a long war for the Transformers, and I fear that though we've driven them into the far reaches of space, we've not seen the last of our enemies, the Decepticons. We should never forget to stay vigilant so that their sacrifices will not be in vain.” Here he paused again, and looked every member of those in attendance in the eye. “But most of all, in all the millions of years, for all the billions of lives that have been lost...we should never, ever, forget them, and what they meant to each and every one of us. Never forget.” “Never forget,” the Autobots in attendance intoned with their leader. Amen. -------------- Just a little something to commemorate the date, heh. Comments, corrections, and criticisms encourged. GI Joe and the Transformers are properties of Hasbro, and I use them without permission, though hopefully with all respect due.