Hello readers! I'm baaaaack! Originally I published this fic right after the first Transformers movie (under "Before It's Too Late") but took it down. Now I'm just craving putting it back up and working on it. I loved Age of Extinction. When I was watching it for the second time this weekend, I really, really, really wanted to get back into my Optimus/OC fic. So here it is. While I would love to title this "Before It's Too Late" again, there is another fic out there that has the name. I don't want to step on toes or confuse anyone, so here is the new name.

Enjoy you guys! Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Transformers. I only own Kate.


Prologue: A Transmission

Optimus Prime stood on the barren wasteland of an unknown planet. He looked around, sighing sadly, as he witnessed another victim of this endless war. Ever since they left Cybertron. Ever since Cybertron had been devastated and abandoned. It was the same on every planet in between Cybertron and Earth. No life. Families torn apart. Homes burnt to the ground. Governments destroyed beyond repair. No survivors.

The list was endless.

And it was getting to him.

Optimus kicked something too burnt to recognize what it was… it may have been metal, it did make a slight clang.

He sighed again.

Optimus.

"Yes?" He answered. He looked around him, but none of the Autobots seemed to need him.

The Autobots were to the right of Optimus, a fair distance away. Ironhide was sitting on the leftovers of a home, tweaking something with his cannons. Always ready for battle, whenever it came. Bumblebee sat on a worn-down column, his head leaning back as Ratchet again tried to fix Bee's vocal processor.

Optimus couldn't help the smile that graced his face as Bumblebee winced, Ratchet grumbling "Keep still" under his breath.

Jazz was near the group, sorting through a pile of scrap that vaguely looked like a vehicle. Optimus decided that Jazz must have been the one to call his name.

"Jazz," he asked, moving to the Autobot's side, "did you need to speak with me?"

"No, sir," Jazz replied, picking up and looking at a stick-shift, throwing it back into the pile. He turned to face his leader with a puzzled expression, "Why do you ask?"

"I thought I heard my na—," Optimus stopped himself, realizing he might sound a little crazy he might sound if he finished that sentence.

He decided he would keep this new development to himself for now. He didn't want to add something to the Autobot's worries. Not with their stress at an all-time high. Plus, Ratchet would want to examine him. And Optimus hated his check-ups.

"Actually, I wanted to know what your report was." he said instead.

Jazz took a frowned, taking a deep breath. "There's nothing to find, sir. There's no clues to Megatron or the Decepticon's whereabouts. No sign of where they went next."

Optimus's resolve faltered for a moment, his face showing disappointment and his shoulders slumping. The mech blinked his eyes and straightened his spine again and the gears on his face so that they would be unreadable. But his heart was heavy.

Even so, Jazz had noticed. But said nothing.

"Nothing?" Optimus whispered.

"Nothing, sir." The Autobot replied to his Commander, becoming more depressed by the minute.

Optimus nodded, turning away from Jazz and frowning.

"Keep looking, Jazz, there must be something."

Optimus sighed, slowly letting it become habit as he distanced himself from the Autobots. There had always been hope. A clue to where the Decepticons were… a clue to where Megatron was… where the Allspark went and how it could be discovered. It was all there—always. Something had to turn up.

But the more time Optimus had alone with his thoughts, the less his spark held on to hope.

Optimus turned, walking to a large building that would shield him enough from the Autobots. He walked around to the other side, anger and frustration dominating his features. He took aim at the wall, reeling his arm back and sending it flying into the structure. Mercifully it remained standing.

He leaned against the wall, breathing heavily.

He always knew that they would fail. It was his fault why they were searching for the Allspark in the first place. He shouldn't have let Megatron become so powerful. He should've acted sooner.

It was too late. Cybertron was destroyed. The Allspark was missing. And the Universe was going to be destroyed.

All because of compassion.

Optimus…

Optimus started. He stood, looking around him. It was that same voice. He peered around the wall, looking at the Autobots. No one had called him. No one had moved. No one was looking at him. Again.

He moved behind the wall again, looking in the opposite direction. No movement.

Nothing.

Yet the voice seemed so close.

Don't lose hope.

It was only then—after Optimus heard the voice for a third time—that he had realized it was coming from inside his head. It felt similar to when he received transmissions from the Autobots. But, different. Somehow. This felt like—well, he never has felt like this…

It felt… human?

Who are you?

The question that had been lingering in his mind was finally free. Optimus sat on a pile of Martian rock—the only sign of life on this planet—and began to concentrate on the matter at hand: finding the name and whereabouts of whoever was contacting him.