Transformers the movie Reloaded: The Strength of a Friend

by Rodimus Prime

Author's Note: This story focuses on Perceptor after the battle of Autobot City. It was inspired by the brilliant "Transformers the movie: Reloaded" fanfiction series which I do not own but am basing this fic off of. I would like to point out that Perceptor might seem slightly out of character because when he speaks he does not sound as intelligent as he did on the show. This is intentional though, because I wanted to portray him as just like any other Autobot mourning the loss of a friend. Also, I don't own the Transformers in any way, but the character of Lumina is my own creation. Anyway, Enjoy the story.

Inside the warehouse-turned-morgue of Metroplex, the Autobot scientist Perceptor stood solemnly over the dull gray corpse of an Autobot warrior, feeling as heavy-hearted as he looked. He had mourned the loss of many of friends and comrades that had fallen in battle this day, but the death of this particular bot caused him more grief than any of the others, even Optimus Prime. To Perceptor, this was not just the body of another fallen comrade, it was the body of an Autobot that had been his best friend for twenty years. And while twenty years seemed to go by in nothing more than the blink of an eye for Transformers, these past twenty had meant a lot to Perceptor.

"...Brawn...You damn illogical fool...Why did you have to die?" Perceptor said softly. The Autobot scientist stared down at the lifeless minibot, knowing that no answer would come. It would never come.

As he grieved, he became lost in thought and his own memories. He recalled when he had first joined up with the other Autobots that had stationed themselves on Earth. For the first couple of months, Brawn didn't really think much of Perceptor, even though Perceptor had nothing against Brawn. On a couple of occasions the minibot accused him of being a coward and a weakling for barely ever going into battle. Although some of the other Autobots would stand up for him when Brawn criticized him, a few would agree with Brawn and Optimus Prime would be forced to break up the argument.

All that changed soon though when Brawn, Bumblebee and Perceptor shrunk themselves down to microscopic size and journeyed inside Megatron's body to disconnect the heart of Cybertron. When he watched how Perceptor endured the pain from assaults by Megatron's evil brain impulses while disconnecting the heart of Cybertron, then later destroying the heart with a brilliantly placed shot, the brown and yellow Autobot realized just how wrong he had been about the scientist. He had witnessed Perceptor's courage and strength with his own optics.

Perceptor would never forget how Brawn answered Optimus Prime that day when Prime asked who saved them all.

"Why don't you ask my buddy here," Brawn replied, putting his arm around Perceptor, "And ask him polite, cause anyone who doesn't think he's a hero is gonna answer to me."

From that day forward, the two Autobots were the best buddies. Whenever anyone criticized or made fun of Perceptor for not being a frontline fighter, Brawn would threaten to knock them upside their head. At times he would even try to assist Perceptor with his work sometimes, and despite only having an average intelligence, he actually picked up a little bit of knowledge.

Then, a couple of months ago, Perceptor was readying himself to relocate to a new base on one of Cybertron's moons with along with other Autobots to prepare to retake Cybertron, when Brawn gave him some news. Apparently, Brawn had persuaded to Optimus to let him have Perceptor's spot on the shuttle.

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"I don't understand, Brawn. The chances that you going to Cybertron in my place will tip the scales for the Autobots are minuscule, so what difference would it make if you were to go instead of me?" he had asked the smaller bot, who was leaning up against a wall next to him while Perceptor performed a system's check on one Autobot City's power generators.

"Well if you hafta know, Perceptor, it's cause I wanna be there to watch when Megatron will be on his knees, surrendering and begging Optimus for mercy," Brawn told him while smiling and cracking his hydraulic knuckles. "Besides egghead, Ultra Magnus is gonna need you here to help get Metroplex up and running. I heard he's actually gonna give you a position in the City's command centre."

"I suppose it would be more beneficial if I were to help handle to situation here then. You be sure to be careful in battle though, Brawn," Perceptor said as he finished up with his work. "I have confidence in you and the others, but the Decepticons are unpredictable, especially Megatron. There is no telling what they may do if they should discover our efforts to reclaim Cybertron."

"Don't sweat it pal. I'm ready for anything," Brawn answered him.

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Perceptor continued to stare at the now scrap metal body of his friend which had been ripped apart by Decepticon gunfire, he let out a small sob and cursed himself for giving up his spot on the shuttle to Brawn. If he hadn't given it away so easily, there was a strong likelihood that Brawn would still be functioning.

Why did I let him take my place? Perceptor thought to himself. "...Primus...I should be the one lying here Brawn, not you...," He told his fallen friend. He felt that he was just as guilty of killing Brawn as whichever Decepticon it was who was responsible for it.

"Perceptor?" he heard a female voice from behind him. He turned and immediately recognized the blue and silver figure of his fellow scientist and girlfriend, Lumina, who had gone with a couple others after the battle to find and bring back any injured Autobots. As he looked at her he silently thanked Primus that she hadn't been harmed in the attack. The beautiful female Autobot and the love they shared were the most precious things in all of existence to Perceptor, and if he ever lost her he would have no more reason to live. At this moment though, he just felt so guilty that he couldn't even tell her how much it meant to him that she was still with him.

"Did you manage to find any wounded?" He asked her, to which she gave him a single nod that they had.

"We managed to locate Hound, Gears, Powerglide, Cosmos, Warpath and Skids. Fortunately, they all have about a seventy-five to eighty percent chance of surviving," Lumina replied, as if she were reading from a report. When Perceptor only nodded, Lumine walked up to him and took his hand. "Are you doing alright?" She asked him, looking and sounding equally concerned.

"It should have been me, Lumina...," Perceptor said, looking down at the floor. The moment after he said that, she surprised him when he felt her smaller metallic hand slap him in the face. When he looked back at her she giving him a very stern gaze.

"Don't you dare say that ever again. What happened to Brawn was not your fault in any way," Lumina told him.

"The Autobots need fighters like Brawn more than they need me. A warrior is better on a battlefield than a scientist any day," He replied, knowing how poor a fighter he was.

"Brawn is gone now, Perceptor, but you're alive. The Autobots are on the verge of defeating the Decepticons and ending this war," She said, putting her hand on his shoulder, "You once proved to Brawn how strong you can be, and wherever he is now he's watching and counting on you to show that kind of strength, so do it. Prove your strength again, Perceptor!"

For a moment, Perceptor only looked into the female Autobot's optics with surprise. But then, he slowly gave a faint smile then hugged her close to him.

"You're right Lumina. I'll fight the Decepticons on Brawn's behalf then, and I'll come back to you alive," He whispered to Lumina, then let her go after another minute, "Go on ahead and assist the others, I'll be along in a moment."

Lumina smiled and gave him a quick kiss on his steel cheek, then nodded, left the room and made her way back to the infirmary.

Perceptor turned back around and looked down at his friend's body as he took out his weapon and loaded it so it would be ready for the battle ahead.

"Brawn, I will never be the soldier you were, never have the strength you had, but I will see to it that you did not give your life in vain. I'll fight in your memory and help bring this long war to an end, I swear it," Perceptor said, knowing that wherever Brawn was now he could hear him. "Rest in peace, my friend."

Perceptor then holstered his weapon and walked away, feeling stronger than he ever had.