Prologue: The Introduction
Explosions rocked the burning ruins of Iacon as a terribly wounded Optimus Prime dragged his bleeding chassis out of the fallen architecture that once was the Iacon Hall of Archives. Crawling into his command post, he grabbed a ledge to pull himself to his pedes as he limped over to the damaged communications grid. Energon seeped out of a myriad of abrasions and threatened to spill more as he forced his weakened structure to operate under normal status while he could feel his sensual impulses starting to wane drastically. Opening a private channel to the underground Autobot base, he began to transmit a message.
“Status report!” he demanded.
A weak reply broke through the static, “Optimus, this is Ratchet. The reports are true; the Decepticons have fled the planet—no, Cybertronian airspace all together! It appears that they, too, were aware that the Core is about to detonate. And from what information our Deepground Teams have recovered, the rumours are also true. Cybertron is dying—imploding from the inside-out! We have mere solar-cycles to abandon our world before we are all spare parts!”
“What of the status of the Convoy?”
“Completed. We have loaded the last of what Energon we sucked dry from the Energon reservoirs and collected from the silos. And it’s a damn good thing too! Earthquakes have multiplied and intensified, and they just created huge crevices that run through all the Energon stores, swallowing them into the planet. In fact, we are experiencing a massive 9.6 at our location as I speak! A 10.2 has just been reported in the Sonic Canyons; Cybertron is falling apart faster than I initially predicted! We are still anticipating your arrival, Prime. All remaining Autobots are being evacuated to the Convoy vessels and are awaiting your next commands.”
Optimus clutched his chestplate which had a metal beam protruding from it, and groaned loudly, “Get out of there now, Ratchet! I will not arrive in time… and I would only slow down the evacuation effort.”
“I have pinpointed your location and dispatched Silverbolt and Jumpshot to your position. Hold on, sir, we will rescue you.”
The roof above Optimus Prime broke open and two battle-weary Autobots peered into the orifice they created, “They are here…”
“Excellent! I will inform Deputy Commander Ultra Magnus that we should begin launch procedures. Ratchet out.” The transmission ended.
One of the Autobots jumped down, “Optimus Prime, sir? My designation is Jumpshot. Silverbolt and I are here to retrieve you in one piece, sir!”
Pointing at a half-functioning Autobot, the commander stared Jumpshot firm in the optics, “Take Jazz, first! His condition is critical and he is drifting into stasis-lock.”
“But Prime, we have orders to retrieve you…”
“THAT IS AN ORDER, SOLDIER!”
Moving away from the Autobot leader, the young Autobot approached the nearly off-lined Jazz, and lifted his chassis, handing him up to Silverbolt, “Silver! It’s now a double-rescue operation! Get Jazz to the Irradiating Grace; I got the Big Boss!”
As Silverbolt took the small Autobot into his arms, a massive 11.4 magnitude earthquake shook the entire building, causing a huge portion of Iacon architecture to collapse into a new fissure. The Autobot almost lost his balance but he activated his aerial boosters and flew off with Jazz. Jumpshot, then punched his way through fallen debris over to Optimus Prime. Taking him into his embrace, he activated his boosters and blasted out of the building, just as the command post fell into an immense cleft.
“This is Jumpshot,” he spoke into his comlink, “I have secured the Boss… and just in time too! I’m heading back to the Convoy now. Fire up the engines and GET US THE FRAK OUTTA HERE!!!”
Jumpshot followed Silverbolt over to the makeshift spaceport where hundreds of Autobot vessels were taking off. Flying into the Irradiating Grace’s main gate, he nodded his approval to the deputy commander, Ultra Magnus, who was right beside the doorway. As Magnus sealed it shut, he ordered the pilots to launch the vessel off the planet.
The two Autobots brought Optimus Prime into the bridge of the vessel, and set him in his command seat, securing him in before strapping themselves in seats themselves.
“We have lift-off, Prime!” one of the pilots declared enthusiastically, “Initiating course to rendezvous with the other vessels in orbit…”
The massive cargo vessel, Irradiating Grace, joined up with all the Autobot vessels; they all had made it. From the cockpit, the Autobots watched as the planet collapsed in on itself and exploded into oblivion.
“Our home… gone…” one of the Autobot femmes spoke up as she became overwhelmed with emotion, “I cannot conceive that this is what it has come to… the War—us!—we destroyed Cybertron…”
“Initiate the artificial gravity generators, and then prepare the communication grid. I have a broadcast to make to all our Autobot brothers.”
A low, humming sound informed all the Autobots that the generators had been activated and they left their safety harnesses and began to report to their designated positions on the vessel. First Aid, a medical officer, immediately had Jazz transferred down to the medbay, while Ratchet insisted Optimus to join with them as well. However, he refused and was given the approval from Blaster, their communications expert, to begin broadcasting his message:
“To all my fellow Autobot brothers within the Convoy. As you all are aware of, our greatest fears have revealed themselves to us this solar-cycle: Cybertron, our homeworld for countless of millennia and our place of origin, is dead. The war with Megatron and his malevolent Decepticon forces has climaxed to this appalling fate, which none of us wanted or conceived probable of occurring. We are now fugitives of a struggle that will encase the entire cosmos if we are not cautious. Wherever we journey to now, we will be counted as ‘aliens’ and we may be refused quarter or all basic necessities. I want you all to know that I, Optimus Prime, am greatly distraught by these events as are you all, but this will NOT be viewed as a defeat; we will persevere, we will fight, and we will continue to resist Megatron’s evil. This is a difficult and dark time for all of us, but we must persist to ensure the survival of our race. With what resources and wildlife we managed to preserve may just be the key to our salvation. Our brother, Ratchet, informs me of a planet known as Tranquility where we may find refuge and sanctuary. I am ordering all captains of their respective vessels to set our course for the Tranquility system. Anyone who behaves in any belligerent manner will be incarcerated and executed by firing squad as all solutions of invasions are prohibited. All forms of aggression will be viewed as Decepticonism and will be dealt with as such. Forgive me for acting in the manner of a tyrant but we cannot risk any violent behaviour or we may lose our one chance of finding refuge among all the worlds this cosmos has to offer. Weapons are now unnecessary and I order mandatory military stand-down. That is all. Optimus Prime, out.”
Ratchet allowed the Autobot commander to lean on him as he stood up and went with Ratchet down to the medbay, with a trail of Energon following in their wake.
“Well said, Optimus,” the senior medical officer commended him as he helped the Autobot leader onto a medical berth, “It may seem brutal and tyrannical but your reasoning is sound; we cannot risk any belligerence.”
“Indeed, Ratchet… indeed. I do hope we do find sanctuary amongst the peoples of Tranquility… I do hope so with all my Spark. Perhaps the leader is moral in his thoughts… yet, we will not be able to comprehend for sure until we arrive at the planet. When we arrive, the vessels will remain in geosynchronous orbital rotation while I go alone to the planet and speak with the hierarchy, personally.”
“Ha! You makes all these plans of preparations but we are several million parcycles off from our destination, so let’s not jump to immediate conclusions.” Ratchet began to pull out the metal beam out of Prime’s chestplate.
“Ratchet, please put me under heavy sedation or apply an anesthetic to my systems… I wish to be in a comatose-like condition while you operate on my damaged chassis.”
Without debate, the medical officer injected a heavy sedation anesthetic into Optimus Prime’s right shoulder amid the armour, who could feel the strength of it. His optics flickered then went off-line as he drifted into stasis-lock…