Log Title: The All Too Brief Reign of Rodimus Prime
Summary: An imprisoned Hot Rod is released by Megatron to assist the Decepticons in destroying Unicron as the chaos-bringer readies to absorb Cybertron. Megatron briefly relinquishes the Matrix to Hot Rod, who uses it to destroy Unicron. Now, with precious few moments, Hot Rod tries to escape with the Matrix.
1986...Deep Within Unicron
- The Autobots' desperate attempt to launch the Ark ended in failure, and the majority of Iacon's inhabitants are permanently off-lined. Megatron reigns supreme over Cybertron, as well as many other worlds conquered by the Decepticons, now truly an Empire. The few survivors of the Ark Massacre live beneath the surface of the planet, determined to survive no matter the cost.
- Optimus Prime is dead, killed by Megatron with his bare hands, and the Autobots are in hiding, literally underground. Bumblebee leads a ragtag group of survivors, preparing a last desperate surprise strike against the Decepticons.
Megatron looks at Hook and yells out "Get us out of here!" Hook dutifully takes the shuttle out - crashing through the gaping hole in Unicron's eye and escaping moments before Unicron explodes in a brilliant, violent display of energy. The Decepticons cheer and Megatron, for the moment even is jovial. "Hail, Hot Rod!" The other Decepticons on the shuttle quickly join in "Hail Hot Rod!"
For a flicker of time, it appears that there are no Autobots or Decepticons. They are just the Transformer race. And as they head back to Cybertron, Hot Rod is gifted with the slightest bit of hope that yes...this could be a permanent truce. But first thing's first. Upon touchdown, get out and head to their hideout STAT.
"I hope someone got good footage of that explosion." Hot Rod quips, grinning now. "Must have been quite the sight back home. I have to see that." The young Autobot rubs the back of his head awkwardly. This was just WEIRD. But, a good weird. "Ugh, my head." he says suddenly. Maybe if he could fake out Megatron... "I need to - I think I can - Um, what I mean is, I need to some time to myself, after we land."
Adding to the surrealism, the Decepticons are actually calling out Hot Rod's name in celebration.
Megatron nods as Cybertron comes into orbit. "Of course!" He looks out the window, looking at Unircon's remains. "I hate to even say this, because I'm guilty of bringing this war as much as anyone - but... times like this - it really shows the differences between us are far less than our similarities." He adds "Maybe... it took this event to finally achieve peace."
Soundwave's booming voice comes over the PA. "Iacon...approaching." The Decepticons look down at the ruinous cities. Some parts of Cybertron are literally gashed - like someone took their fingernails and ran through a few sections.
Hot Rod isn't quite sure he's hearing things. "...Well, I certainly feel better knowing that Unicron's gone. Maybe... Someday, anyway, we could be united, again. Under Polyhex?" He feels sick saying that, but honestly it was the best he could come up with. He looks down at ruined Iacon, and sighs. "There's a lot of rebuilding to do."
The ship finally docks. The cargo bay doors open. Hot Rod has the Matrix. Megatron plays his best poker face. He extends a hand to Hot Rod. "Indeed. We need to start rebuilding immediately." He says evenly "Thank you..."
The Matrix firmly in his chest cavity, Optimus Prime's ghostly voice hits Hot Rod. "Run...now."
Hot Rid gives Megatron a firm nod. "Thank you. As much as I thought I'd never say that..." He starts heading out, not daring to run, just yet. "I'm going to find the others. Tell them - tell them that the war's over." He manages a salute, and then heads straight for the ruins of Iacon.
As Hot Rod leaves, Megatron coldly looks at Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and Soundwave. Megatron only nods and the four Decepticons aim their weapons at Hot Rod - and fire. Megatron smirks and mutters "I haven't done this under my own power in more than a million years!" He then transforms into his frightening gun mode and drops into Starscream's hand. Starscream then sends a blast screeching toward Hot Rod.
(That didn't work! Of course it didn't work, Decepticons always aim for the back!) Hot Rod runs flat out now, dodging most of the fire, but falling as Megatron's blast strikes him in the shoulder. He drops to the ground, crawling desperately. "Optimus... forgive me...." he says weakly, hoping against hope that he can somehow find a crevasse to fall into. He doesn't care how far down, as long as it takes him away from the Decepticons.
Starscream quickly aims at Hot Rod's back, fearing another 'disappearance' a la Optimus Prime. *shraak!!* Megatron's cannon blasts toward Hot Rod's back!
Hot Rod screams as the second blast strikes him in the back, energon quickly pooling around him. "No,,, No..." He spies what he thinks is a large crack in the ground, and hurls the Matrix away, hoping it will become lost to Megatron. He's too weak to stand, too weak to fight...
Adding to Hot Rod's misery - the collective Primes housed in the Matrix, just a few minutes ago were giving Hot Rod an enormous sense of power - and even joy, now seem to cry out in woe as the tunnel toward the light is now narrowing to a speck.
Megatron frowns, "Stupid fool!" He quickly spots the crack and orders Soundwave to send a small scout in the crack to find the Matrix. He then radios Hook. "Hook, come up at once! I will need the Matrix reattached to my cannon!"
Megatron grabs Hot Rod and throws him into an open area. He smirks darkly as Hook arrives. Frenzy climbs out of the the crack and thinks for a moment of taking the Matrix himself, but Megatron's cannon aims at Frenzy. "I'll take that..." Frenzy nods, handing the Matrix over to Megatron with shaky hands. "Yeah..yeah boss!"
"No..." Hot Rod's optics flicker. "I - won't- !" He, futilely, latches onto Megatron's leg, a last act of defiance. "You - threw everything away-! We would have followed..." he trails off, so as not to say anything stupid. What did it matter, anyway? "Until... allareone..."
Megatron smirks as the Matrix is soon reattached to his cannon. Alpha Trion and Optimus Prime both cry out in anguish as what appears to be the last speck of hope has vanished. Megatron smiles, aiming the Matrix-enabled cannon directly at Hot Rod's chest. "I did not lie to you - I said after this, I would bring peace...and I have..."
Hot Rod's last visual is a blinding blast of violent light from Megatron's cannon, surging directly into Hot Rod's chest.
Hot Rod's scream is short, but just as anguished as the other Primes'.
Megatron stands over Hot Rod's fallen form. He gestures to Hook. "Take him to the abandoned outposts. I don't care where - find the most remote, desolate area, and drop him there."
Hook grins. "Not keeping this one for a trophy, Lord Megatron?" he asks, already picking up the grayed chassis.
Megatron frowns "Rebuilding is my only concern. Once we rebuild, I want you Constructions to refocus your efforts on finding Optimus Prime's chassis."
Megatron looks at the six Decepticons around and raises his Matrix-enabled cannon at them. "Now... as far as I'm concerned, the story went that 'I' used the power of the Matrix to destroy Unicron..." He adds "And if that story ever deviates, I will have no choice but to offline every single one of you - to ensure the responsible Decepticon was in fact punished." He especially looks at Starscream when he talks.
Deep Within Cybertron
The past few days have been a nightmare for the Autobots, watching helplessly from afar as their planet is nearly devoured. But an odd mixed blessing has slowly become the talk of the Autobot ranks... if anyone was hurt in this massive struggle it was the Decepticons. Thousands, possibly millions of Decepticons were lost in the great battle with Unicron. And rebuilding will take some time - time that will give the Autobots some breathing room.
Far away, Bumblebee stops what he's doing, and puts a hand to his chest. "What... what happened?" No one had missed Unicron, of course, or how he had spectacularly exploded over Cybertron. Even now, Autobots where scavenging what they could of Unicron's remains for study and possible use. But, /after/ that happened, and things started to calm slightly... "Something... happened..."
Perceptor quickly walks over to Bumblebee and steadies the Autobot leader. "Easy...easy now - "
The visual of an exploding Unicron. And a faint, unmistakable memory flashes in Bumblebee's circuits - several decades ago before his capture, a young, eager, and occasionally mischivious Autobot confided in Bumblebee about a dream he had. About how he was instructed from a bunch of elders he didn't recognize, and Optimus Prime, to blow up a 'gigantic monster.'
Perceptor sits Bumblebee down and gets an energon cube from his own personal reserve and hands it to Bumblebee. "Here, take this."
"Preceptor … what's happened?" Bumblebee asks, grateful for his friend and general counselor's support. His optics widen. "Oh... Hot Rod..." His voice is laden with grief; had the bright youthful Hot Rod been destroyed in Unicron's death? /No/, he thought to himself, shaking his head, /Megatron let him use the Matrix - and then offlined him!/ "Hot Rod, I pray your spark has joined with the Primes..." he says out loud, without seeming to realize it.
Perceptor looks at Bumblebee and looks alarmed. "Bumblebee...I believe you are in shock...like the rest of us. No one of us knows WHAT happened, because we were all underground when this happened."
Bumblebee may not be able to justify his theory, but it's clear as a bright day what happened, even if he is just going by what he's feeling now. It's such a strong, overwhelming feeling that feels like its the absolute, definitive truth.
"No, I can feel it. Hot Rod's spark -" Bumblebee can't explain the how or why, only that he knows. "He used the Matrix, to destroy Unicron." he says, a bit more firmly. "Therefore... he shall always be remembered as a Prime."
Perceptor looks at Bumblebee quizzically. "Bumblebee... you can't prove this - at least not yet. Deeming someone a Prime is an incredible honor - we haven't had a living Prime since... Alpha Trion."
Perceptor talks aloud, thinking the Matrix WOULD be a POSSIBLE indicator as to why Unicron exploded, however.
"I know what I feel, Perceptor. Maybe-" Bumblebee sighs, looking down. "Maybe now isn't the time, to confirm the title publicly, but - I *know* Hot Rod was the reason Unicron exploded... and, I also know that he is no longer with us."
Perceptor opens his mouth to challenge Bumblebee, but Bumblebee's resoluteness is unmistakable. Perceptor nods and says reluctantly "It will be done - " He adds "Tomorrow then... we shall have a memorial service to him... as per tradition?"
DW-Bumblebee nods, almost absentmindedly. "Yes - see to the arrangements, if you would?" He sounds suddenly very weary, and his shoulders sag. "...I had always hoped he would be a fine leader. Now, he'll never have the chance. I let you down, Hot Rod."
Perceptor sees to it that Bumblebee's wishes are implemented fully. But that doesn't stop Perceptor's own doubt, and some others, namely Springer. Springer scoffs "Wait..."
Springer looks at Perceptor baffled. "Are you saying... we JUST lost an Autobot leader, and it was Hot Rod??!!"
Pecerceptor nods and walks away to tell the others "Yes. Tomorrow there will be a day of mourning."
Within the Autobot Matrix...
Meanwhile... After Megatron's blinding blast snuffed out Hot Rod's life, Hot Rod felt that unmistakeable, brief moment of absolute cold of death. And then, he finds himself awash in a warmth... and what appears to be a pristine Cybertron.
And unlike Optimus Prime's initial 'meeting' with the elders, it appears that the elders are there to greet Hot Rod warmly and fully into the Matrix. But all agreed that Optimus Prime should be the first to welcome him. Optimus Prime stands before Hot Rod, walking to the all-to-brief Autobot commander.
"W-Where am I?!" Hot Rod says loudly, looking this way and that. "Why..." His words fall silent when he sees Optimus Prime, his hero, his idol. His very dead idol. Well, he knew he was dead already, but... "Prime!" He can't help it, he rushes forward and HUGS the larger Autobot. "Prime! It - it really is you? What's going on?"
Optimus Prime laughs a bit, and returns the hug. He then smirks through his faceplate and places his hands on Hot Rod's shoulders. "Hot Rod - you are a 'prime' - and WE welcome you - to the Matrix."
The shadows and forms of the elders begin to appear. Some look familiar - Primus! Sentinel! Alpha Trion! - bur originally in a dream. Optimus Prime shakes his head and says "You brave...brave soul - you saved the planet of Cybertron - more than any Prime that has come before you." He adds "I am just sorry the Autobots did not get a chance to experience your rule."
"...?" Hot Rod really didn't know what to say to all of that. Him, a Prime? Yeah right, and Springer would stop being grouchy, and Perceptor would get a sense of humor! "I - No way. This is some, death-dream or something. I - I'm no Prime! I'm just a young spark who.... got captured and used."
Optimus Prime shakes his head. "Regretfully - moments ago, you died - at Megatron's hand. You are now one with the Matrix." Sentinel Prime gestures Hot Rod. "Hot Rod - welcome to our fold."
Optimus Prime smiles, but inside, hides his grief that in that brief moment, everyone was free. Now... all appears to be lost.
After the initially welcoming, Hot Rod wanders away from Optimus to talk with the much older Primes. The elders would certainly be occupied with teaching the young one the vast history of their people. Optimus Prime sits down, and sighs heavily. "No hope..." he murmurs to himself. Once again, Megatron has the Matrix. And there wasn't anyone to reclaim it...
A few moments later, Alpha Trion seems to be sitting in the distance. He has a calm, reflective look on his face.
A slight smile comes across Alpha Trion's face, as if he just got an irony-laced joke.
Alpha Trion looks at his great creation and gestures Optimus to come over.
Optimus Prime looks up, wonders what his creator's smiling about (what did Hot Rod do?), and then rises, approaching the knowledge-keeper. "Yes?" He asks, voice soft as he sits down.
Alpha Trion smiles sadly at Optimus Prime. He pats Optimus Prime's shoulder. "I... understand your despair, but it's beneficial to know that our planet has been saved from being utterly consumed - and the Chaos Maker - is now no more."
Alpha Trion's elder frame gets up. He is obviously much sprier than he was during his last few centuries on Cybertron.
"I suppose that is something." Optimus has to admit. And, not all of the Autobots were gone, yet. "...You're right, as always. There is still hope, isn't there?" He looks over, watching in some amusement as Hot Rod heckles Sentinel Prime about *something* that the younger thought very important.
Alpha Trion gives Optimus Prime a sad smile. "The Autobots - will not be able to retrieve the Matrix from Megatron."
"No, I'm not certain that's true." Optimus Prime says firmly. "No one is invincible. Not the Chaos Bringer, and not the Slag Maker, either." He looks up, into the sky. "Hope... is all we have left, father."
Alpha Trion sits down with Optimus Prime. He puts one hand on Prime's shoulder and another - he extends his hand. A smokey visage is formed from Alpha Trion's hand. Alpha Trion squints. A form that can both can barely make out appears. But it's a tall figure. A very tall figure. And the emblem on his chest is unmistakable: a Decepticon (Jetfire, obviously). Alpha Trion listens to Optimus Prime. "Yes... and hope...may come in the most unlikely of places."
"How is that?" Optimus doesn't recognize the chassis type at all. "A new frame - different. Built away from Cybertron. Does he change, perhaps? Will his presence alter the future?"
Alpha Trion smiles at Optimus Prime. "I do not know, my son. But I just keep...seeing this figure." He adds "Maybe he is power hungry and kills Megatron for the Matrix - and an Autobot is able to capture it from him." He adds "Or... perhaps more hopefully, there is something in his spark that is noble …and will lead him to our salvation."
Alpha Trion smiles sadly at his son. "Hard to see, isn't it - primarily because the future is unwritten."
"That is enough, I think. Hope, is eternal." Optimus smiles under his faceplate... and laughs, as he catches Sentinel and Rodimus - yes, that is what he should be called - wrestling in a friendly manner. "Well, things just got interesting, don't you think? The future will come. And we will be here to observe it."
Rodimus is enamored at his new level of being. But he keeps looking around for Optimus Prime. Alpha Trion spots Rodimus' eager expression and nods at Optimus Prime. "Go to him - he will need your guidance - and who knows, his youthfulness may reenergize you."
Alpha Trion continues to sit, marveling both about the destruction of the Chaos bringer and the possibility that their survival - could be in the hands of honest-to-Primus Decepticon.
Optimus shakes his head, but gets up. "Need a hand with the rascal, Sentinel?" The older Prime laughs. "Maybe, Optimus. He's got some fire in him." Optimus touches his creator's shoulder, before joining Sentinel in a playful tackle match. Rodimus, of course, starts complaining about how unfair all of this was.