First off, I just want to say that this is based on a RP me and my friend Stormblue have been playing recently on Skype. While we've been playing, I suggested to her that we write this down so that others can see what we've been up to and experience a whole new world where everything we know and love is on the verge of destruction. Here is the summary for the story: When Optimus Prime is killed by an unexpected Decepticon attack, a small group of Autobots - led by Prime's only son - heads down into the underground tunnels to seek shelter. But none of them expected to find a long lost tribe of non-transforming robots led by one of the last of the Original Thirteen. As Cybetron is slowly being taken over by Megatron and his Decepticon forces, the new Prime is forced to take leadership and lead his people to freedom, and take back Cybetron once and for all. But does he have what it takes to lead the Autobots, who are now on the verge of extinction? Rating: T, may possibly get bumped up to M in the future Theme Song: Third Day - Revelation Setting: AU (Our own universe, post-apocalypse) SP's OC's: Regulus, Kalila, Sirius, Arcturex SB's OC: Rifiki - formally known as Gia Prime Canon Characters: Megatron (Flashback only), Optimus Prime (Flashback only), Primus (voice only) --------------- Transformers: Revelation Chapter 1: Apocalypse He was held at gunpoint, his optics wide with fear as Megatron tightened his grip on his throat and the rough tap of the fusion cannon against his face. Regulus could make out the form of Optimus Prime standing with his gun raised, his facial expression unreadable, but Regulus could sense that he was struggling to choose between saving his only metal and energon. "What's it going to be, Prime?" Megatron sneered, his voice cold as he suddenly pointed the cannon at Regulus's side. "Your son or your life?" "Let him go, Megatron!" Optimus shouted. "He has nothing to do with this!" "Oh, but he has everything to do with our conflict," Megatron replied, smirking. "For instance, he is your son, correct?" Optimus Prime didn't respond, but Regulus knew he was struggling with his inner self, trying to choose between saving his only son and destroying his own nemesis once and for all. He could hear explosions, their bright colours illuminating the frames as the Autobots cried out in agony as they died and their sparks extinguished. Then... slowly, Optimus lowered his ion cannon. "No!" Regulus screamed as Megatron released a blast in his father's direction. The distant sound of explosions quietened down as the small group of Autobots raced down the tunnels. Their heavy breathing was loud and laboured as tried desperately to escape any Decepticons who may have attempted to follow them down here. Surrounding them was nothing but rock and steel, layered with hints of adamant that sparkled slightly, lighting their way and giving them some form of guidance. The young mech sighed with relief as he and the rest of the survivors gathered together. Behind Regulus, he could make out the silver and red form of Kalila, who was leaning against a wall and breathing heavily. He could even see his two other best friends Sirius and Arcturex, their frames barely noticeable in the dim darkness of the chamber. Regulus knew they were all worn out from their desperate escape from the surface, but they had to press onwards. He could make out the sounds of heavy explosions from up above and the distant screams of mechs and femmes, young and old, dying as their sparks extinguished. He trembled slightly, desperate for comfort. He could still remember the lifeless body of Optimus Prime lying dead on the ground right before his optics, his exposed spark pulsing faintly before it died away into nothingness. He had tried to reach for the Matrix, but the next explosion forced him to flee and gather as much of the survivors as he possibly could. Using his knowledge of the underground tunnels, he had led the survivors down as deep as they could go. Now they were alone and in desperate need of shelter. But they couldn't stop now, not with all the killing going on out there. He glanced over at Kalila for a moment before his gaze sadly settled on the rest of the survivors and his other friends. What was to happen to them now that they had nowhere else to go? In their fleeing, many of them failed to notice that the further down they travelled, more and more strange markings appeared on the walls of the tunnels. Almost as if they were road markers meant to aid in navigation and clearly someone besides Regulus and his companions were down here. Though with the explosions above, there weren't any signs of life at the moment... but with the faint lights up ahead, which would soon change. When he regained his breath, Regulus glanced around at the strange markings on the walls and the faint glowing of the light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing that he had little choice in the matter if he and his companions were to survive despite his fears for their safety, he motioned to them to follow him. Kalila, Sirius and Arcturex did not hesitate to follow him, trusting him completely. The exhausted mechs and femmes stood up and followed after him and his friends as they walked down the passageway, glancing at the unusual looking things carved in the walls. They were things they had obviously never even seen before in their lifetime. The tunnel soon opened up to a massive chamber that was illuminated by massive bubbling pools of energon that gave the entire chamber enormous amounts of light, almost like as if it were daylight on the inside and the sun had decided to cast its warm glow within. Regulus halted the group and took a few shaky steps forward, his optics searching cautiously as he went to investigate their surroundings. "Hello?" he called. "Is anyone there?" "There is," a heavily accented voice answered him from the dark, body partly lit by four bright lights, one for each hand as she slowly approached the group. "And you are refugees escaping from the war above as we have." Regulus jumped nervously as the figure approached from right in front of him. He chewed his bottom lip, doing his best to remain as calm as possible, but he was failing miserably. "Yes..." he said softly. "We are." "Then please... make yourselves at home here. My people are wary of strangers, but do not judge based on faction. If you need help, we will gladly give it," the voice's owner said, placing the lights up on the walls and activated others. She was not a transformer though. Four arms, elongated legs, and a blindfold over where her optics should be, the old femme was indeed something most people would have been afraid of. Regulus nodded and motioned to the others to come forward. Slowly, they emerged from the tunnel's entrance and nervously approached the strangers. Strangely, Kalila walked up from behind Regulus and gently massaged his shoulders. All the tension and nervousness left him, but he was still nervous of the unusual robots that lay out before him. Sighing, he removed himself from Kalila's hands and carefully approached the old femme. "We need all the help we can get," he said to the old femme. "Our leader was slaughtered by the Decepticons. They attacked without warning and now we're being hunted down like cyber rats." "Yes, I know Regulus... Primus has felt Prime's death, as have I..." she said with a heavy spark. "My deepest sympathies go out to you... son of Optimus." Regulus dropped his jaw in response. "How... how did you know who I was and what I am?" "I have always known. While I lack optics, I do have a very deep... connection to Primus. My history and those of my people are long, dear Regulus, but know this: you do not take this heavy burden alone. I too was once a Prime," she spoke softly, offering to show the strangers around the tunnels. Regulus looked around at each of the strangers, his own optics widening with surprise. "You were... once a Prime?" he asked. "If you were once a Prime, then that means I'm still alone. What can I do to help my people? My father tried to prepare me for leadership, but I couldn't... I didn't want to bear the burden. I chose to live a life of my own, get out and do my own thing. If I am the next Prime in line..." "That depends on what the Matrix chooses I'm afraid..." the old femme sighed softly. "But yes, I was one of the many who ruled Cybertron before the time of the First Great War, before The Fallen even. But I have never been the kind of Prime Cybertron needed. You see... the entire reason these people exist is because they were like-minded and wished to withdraw from the war. So we retreated down here and become as we are. Losing alt modes, resembling animals, even taming some of the wildlife. We gave up a life of technology and lived as a native organic world," she explained. "As for helping your people... do as I did long ago. Lead them to where you believe they need to be led." "But," said Regulus as he and the others followed after the femme, "I don't know how. I've never listened to my father. He gave up trying to get me to follow in his footsteps, but he never stopped loving me and was proud of the fact that I was his son." He glanced back at each of the mechs and femmes behind him. "If... I lead them, then I'll only end up leading them to their deaths." "It does not matter how you go about your journey, my dear Prince..." the old femme replied gently. "But simply if you have the willingness to even try. I was... terribly afraid at first, when I went underground with my followers. War was at our heels, The Fallen, having slain my brothers and sisters... I almost gave in and fled the planet, but I did not. I knew that I had people to protect and I pushed on despite the fear. You need to learn if you are willing to do the same." "Then how can I learn?" Regulus asked. "I pushed away my father when he desperately wanted me to take the Matrix. He obviously knew something was going to happen, and yet, I was blinded by my own youth. To be independent. I let him down..." "Think about this, dear Prince... does my story seem familiar to you?" she smiled softly, drumming all twenty of her fingers. "Your current situation is not so different from mine, yes?" Regulus blinked his optics and nodded slightly when he realised what she said was true. He was now in the same predicament as the old femme. But he was not like her. He didn't he had what it took to lead his people against the new war... for their freedom. What could he do? He would end up choosing choices that would make them lose their lives or result in their capture. He turned away, ashamed. "I don't deserve the title of Prime. The Matrix was destroyed when they put down my father's body. For all I know, the Decepticons could've captured it or they could've destroyed it by their own hands." "The Matrix," said the old femme, "can never be destroyed, nor can it be wielded by anyone other than the chosen Prime. You may doubt yourself, my Prince, but your father did the same countless times during his enduring leadership. We all did. In fact, you can almost say we can't be Prime without self-doubt." She closed her optics for a moment, as though she was listening to some unheard voice in the wind, before opening them again. She then stopped dead in front of a boiling energon pool, it's pure essence and scent seemed to awaken the survivors' sensors. "But for now, my Prince and his people must rest and enjoy a moment of peace. The energon you see here is pure and comes from the slowly healing core of Cybertron. It should improve your health, so drink til your spark is content." Regulus watched as the mechs and femmes quickly made their way towards the pools and drank their fill, but the young mech closed his optics and headed in the opposite direction. Instead, he headed away from the group and sat down alone on a rock, his head bowed and lost in his own thoughts. Kalila watched her friend sadly. She felt sorry for Regulus. With the secrets he told her of his desperate need to get out of his father's shadow to be himself, she knew that he also felt guilty for not listening to his father sooner. She glanced at the others, trying to decide whether or not she should comfort her friend or drink just to satisfy her thirst and hunger. Chewing her bottom lip, she decided it was best that she leave him be. When he was in these kinds of depressing moods, she knew that he wanted to be alone with his thoughts. Sighing, she sat down with Sirius and Arcturex and drank what she could. But every now and then, she would shoot glances over at her friend, praying to Primus that Regulus would snap out of his depression and confusion soon. The old Prime rose from her throne, gathering a bowl in one arm and scooping up some energon, then took it over to the young mech. "Drink, my Prince," she cooed. "If you cannot rely upon yourself to draw your strength, then take it from the love your people have for you. It is the path I took during these dark times, and it worked wonderfully." She placed the bowl beside him. "I am Rifiki by the way, formally Gia Prime. But my people call me Na'vi, which in our language means mother," she chuckled. "Sadly, I have never had the joy of having my own children. I was pregnant a few times, but was never able to carry any to term." Regulus glanced at the bowl, but he refused to take it. How could he drink something so pure when all he felt was shame? Slowly, his spark demanded that he take the bowl to help him regain his strength. He didn't realise just how low on energy he was until now. Carefully, he wrapped his fingers around the bowl and took a small sip. But when he glanced down at his hands, he never realised just how dirty he was from the fight up above, his insides were as damaged as he looked. He didn't think he would ever be able to anything right for his people. Once again, shame crept into his head. He had never felt so guilty in his entire life. He glanced at her once he had finished his first sip, but the guilt never left him. "Let the guilt sit a while if you must," Rifiki said. "Time is on your side." She then placed all four hands on his shoulders in a comforting manner. The young mech felt his shoulders sag. Already the burden was starting to weigh heavily upon his shoulders. But then, without warning, tears streamed down his optics. He tried to wipe them away, but they kept on falling faster like an energon-fall. He tried to turn away and hide his face behind a hand, his lips trembling. "Shhh," hushed the old femme. "There is no weakness in showing emotion. That is the first lesson learned, Prince." Gently she wiped away the tears with two hands, the others still gripping his shoulders. Without thinking, he turned and burrowed his head into her chest. "I let him down," he whimpered. "I let them all down. Just... just when I thought I was going to live a normal life, hopefully be free from my father, everything comes crashing down like a pile of metal." "War destroys many lives, my Prince," Rifiki soothed, arms wrapped around him. "You are not alone." "But I have no family left..." Regulus cried. "My mother died sparking me, and now... now I am alone." "You have friends and many followers. You have your father's spark guiding you as well." "Friends? Followers?" the young mech questioned. "They'll all die trying to fight against something we haven't seen in Primus who knows how long. The last Great War was over three thousand years ago." He turned away again, sipping the bowl. "And sadly it must begin again," Rifiki spoke. "Can you feel it, my Prince? Primus is calling out again..." Regulus tried to listen, but the sounds seem to fall on deaf audios. However, he could feel something in the air... something he had never heard before. He tried to feel the vibrations in the air, tried to ignore it too, but nothing could be ignored. "I still don't think I can do it," he said sadly. "I might be a Prime by energon, but I will never be something my father once was." "Shhh," whispered Rifiki. "He says your name, Prince. Place your audios to the ground and hear him..." Confused, but unsure, Regulus got down on the ground and listened. He tried listening, but he could not. "I... I can't..." he fearfully answered. "Close optics, open mind... you shall hear however faint." The young mech sighed and tried again, trying his best to listen and clear his mind. He did hear something. It was a soothing, gentle voice that said one word at a time. "Regulus. Regulus." He let off a deep breath and stood back up on his own two feet. "I hear a voice," he said quietly. "Yes," said Rifiki, her breathing a little laboured, but Regulus didn't notice it. "It's Primus... He hears your sadness." "How can he hear my sadness?" Regulus asked. "No one can hear it." "He hears all, sees all. He is the ground upon in which we stand. How can he not hear every one of his children when he is everything?" Regulus closed his optics, thinking long and hard. He then opened his optics again, glancing at the old femme with sad optics. "If Primus is so powerful," he said, "then why can't He bring back my father? If He has the power to take, then He should have the power to give." "Life and death is His to take, yes... but not His to control. That power is exclusive only to us. He is merely our home and watcher, our protector and advisor. That is the way He has always been." "Regulus," Kalila's voice called. Regulus glanced up and saw his sparklinghood friend looking down at him. He glanced away, not wanting to face her. He had hurt her enough as it was. He couldn't bear to face her, not after what had nearly just occurred on the top of the surface. "Regulus, it's ok," Kalila cooed gently. "There's no shame in what you've done. Maybe your father knew his time had come and wanted to make sure that you were prepared for the future. You just refused to accept that fact. Please, Regs. We need you... I need you." Regulus glanced in her direction, his face tear-stained, then at Rifiki. His people needed him, but he didn't want to lead them to their deaths. He had already caused his father's death, and now it was bound to happen again. "I can't..." he whispered. "You can," a voice that wasn't Rifiki's boomed from the ground itself. Regulus jumped at the voice, glancing around in shock. Kalila acted like she hadn't heard it, meaning that the voice was only talking to him and only him. "The burden is heavy, Regulus, but many shoulders bear it. You do not lead alone," the voice called out, strong and deep. "Of all those who call themselves Autobot support this weight. But you are the one who shall keep their shoulders strong." "But what can I do?" Regulus asked. "How can I lead my people without resulting in their deaths? If I lead them, then... I don't know what to do." "Death cannot be controlled. To try to prevent death is to try and keep your own spark from stopping. To think it is to cover your mind in a cloud. You may fear what your actions may cause, but many results will be hard if you do nothing." Regulus sighed. Despite the voice telling him that some things were just out of hand, he still felt unsure about how he could lead. "If I led, then how would I know what to do without the Matrix? All the Primes led through the Wisdom of the Ages and also through their instincts. What makes me any different?" "The Matrix is merely a tool. An insight... the true power of the Primes comes from within." The young mech trembled. "But I'm nothing like my father!" he started shouting. "I am nothing like him! How can I lead my people when all everyone wants is for me to lead them during a time of crisis? I... I'm not worthy. I don't deserve anything." "No, you are not Optimus Prime... You are Regulus Prime." "I can't lead... I don't know how..." "You can. It is in your spark, energon AND mind. You just need to search for it." "How?" Regulus asked. "I'm... I'm scared." "Fear can be overcome when you have others on your side. Look to them just as Optimus looked to his men for help." Regulus hesitated. Inside, he was afraid, outside he wanted to continue arguing. He wanted nothing more than to deny his given path, the path that had been chosen for him by Primus. He wanted to turn away from the loss of his father, forget about his destiny that had been weaved into his genetic coding from the moment he was sparked. But the more he wanted to turn away, the more the voice's power seemed to draw him back towards the path he had tried so desperately to stay away from. His fear began to ebb away, but not his want to be his own self, to be free from the shadow that was his father's. But it seemed that no matter what he did, no matter where he went, his father's influence on the people around him were expecting him his only son to walk in his father's footsteps. Sighing for the last time, he soon came to a realisation that he was never going to be free. He would have to try, no matter how much it hurt. "I'll... I'll try. But what can I do to help my people? What must I do?" "That, Regulus Prime, is what you must find out for yourself." "I'll try, but please... don't call me by that title. I feel I don't deserve it. Not just yet." "It is what your spark says to me, Regulus Prime. I can only address one by the name of their spark..." And with that, the voice sank back into the ground. Regulus opened his optics and sighed when he realised that all had gone quiet and he found himself back in the chamber. It seemed like a lifetime had gone past during his discussion with the unusual voice. He glanced down at his hands and then back at Rifiki and Kalila, his hurt still wandering helplessly through his processor. He doubted he would ever get over the loss of his father nor live up to their expectations, but he promised that he would try and that was exactly what he was going to do. "I... I spoke with Him..." he said, turning to the two femmes. "I know... I heard all," Rifiki said, seeming very weak. "You heard?" Regulus asked. "Yes... I am... his audio receptors..." She fainted. Shocked, Regulus lunged forward to grab the old femme before she hit the ground. "Rifiki... are you alright?" he asked. "Rifiki!" He shook her gently as Kalila looked onwards, also shocked. Rifiki switched her optics back online, but they gave off a faint glow. "I am old..." she wheezed. "But my life will stay strong... at least... until the time comes for you to lead." Regulus bowed his head, sighing sadly, "I don't know if I'll ever be ready to lead." "You will someday," Kalila replied, coming over and kneeling beside him to gently stroke his antenna. "Yes... you may feel doubt, guilt... sadness... but they only hold back the true you," Rifiki said softly. Regulus turned away, unsure how to respond. No matter what he said, the old femme was right. At the moment, he wasn't sure if he really was capable of leading. Sadness was all that still crept in his processor. "Let it... fade from your... processor... For now... I must rest..." "Of course," Regulus replied and gently lowered her chassis to the floor. He then stood up and headed back to the others with Kalila following close behind him. Kalila gently took his hand and their fingers intertwined with one another. Although he was scared to lead, Regulus knew that there was no one else who could take his father's place. At least no one, except him.