Author's Note: Ok, this is officially the end of this story. But don't panic. I don't intend to disappear. There will be more stories making appearances, as soon as a few of these darned plot bunnies go away. I've got plot bunnies for the next fic in the series, a fic that fits in just after "Transformation", and another couple of short fics, the first of which will make its appearance in a few days or so, if not later today. So keep an optic open for more fics, coming soon! Also, since I'm not really sure which femme is with which mech, I'm putting them with whoever seems best. Feel free to correct me if I get the pairings wrong.

Disclaimer: I say it every fic; if you don't know by now then you'd better get your memory circuits checked.

Past and Future


Elita-1 sat in her quarters, still in shock. She had come to Iacon in the hopes of seeing her mate again, only to learn that he had been killed in battle by Megatron. Her small team wasn't in much better shape, having learned that two of the three had lost their men as well. Chromia had broken down in tears after learning of Ironhide's death, and Moonracer had been in a similar state over Prowl. Firestar was the only one of the trio who hadn't lost her mate.

After learning of Optimus's death and Hot Rod's role in it, and then finding out that Ultra Rodimus had once been Hot Rod, Elita had gone after the new Prime with the intentions of getting the full story. Ultra Rodimus had told her exactly what had happened. Overwhelmed with anger and pain, she'd hurled herself at him, accusing him of murder and several other, more unmentionable offences. She'd gotten a few good hits in before four other mechs managed to drag her off their leader, hissing and spitting the entire time. They had dragged her out and proceeded to tell her the tale of Rodimus Prime's death and rebirth as Ultra Rodimus, emphasizing that Optimus had forgiven the younger bot for what he had done. First Aid had then informed her that Optimus's wounds had been fatal even before Hot Rod had gotten involved.

The ferocity with which they'd defended Ultra Rodimus had startled her, momentarily shocking her out of her anger. Once she'd become rational again, much of her anger had drained away, leaving only the pain behind. After the others had finally left her alone, she'd gone to the computer terminal in her quarters and called up Ultra Rodimus's file.

It made for some very astonishing reading.

Ultra Rodimus had gone through a hell of a lot in the four years he'd been leading the Autobots. He'd undergone more dimensional shifts than she could shake a stick at, a nearly fatal torture session at the hands of a madwoman, he'd nearly lost his bondmate in battle, he'd slaughtered thousands in the grip of a berserk rage. The young bot had seen more than his fair share of traumas and they had left their marks on him. The scars he would forever bear, the memories that haunted his dreams, the knowledge that a demon lurked deep within his spark. He had his own burdens to bear, and he was coping with them.

Reading all of the information in his file had given her a lot to think about. And think she had. Her mind was never still. Whenever she tried to turn her attention elsewhere her thoughts would always go back to Ultra Rodimus. Finally, she gave in and followed that line of thinking until it reached its conclusion.

Reaching a decision, she stood up and headed for the young Prime's office.

Ultra Rodimus was seated behind his desk, hard at work. Sandstorm was a silent presence off to one side. He looked up as she entered, smiled at her, and quietly slipped out of the office. Elita watched him go, then turned back to the desk.

Emerald eyes tracked across the screen of the desktop terminal. A pen absently tapped against an index finger. Every now and then a datapad would move from the 'In' pile to the 'Out' pile, which was slowly but steadily growing larger. Elita wondered how long he actually spent in that office, and if Magnus ever had to physically drag him out.

She advanced slowly. The other bot was so absorbed in his work that he didn't even notice her. Elita stood in front of the desk for a long moment, just watching him, then cleared her throat to catch his attention.

The unexpected sound startled him into jumping, almost upsetting his chair. His head flew up, eyes as wide as saucers, caught completely by surprise. He stared at her for a moment before closing his eyes and getting himself back under control.

"Sorry," she told him. "Didn't mean to startle you."

"It isn't the first time." He shook his head slightly, then looked at her again. His gaze was curious, but Elita could see that he was tense. "Why are you here?"

"To apologize."

He tilted his head, but said nothing.

Elita hesitated, then forced herself to continue. "I wrongly accused and assaulted you. For that I apologize. I should not have acted before gathering all the facts."

He sighed, dropping his pen onto the desk. "You were in pain and you reacted. I've done the same thing more than once. I don't blame you for your actions. The others, however, can be notorious for holding grudges."

She actually smiled. "Like some of my femmes."

Ultra Rodimus grinned at her, leaning back in his chair. "Elita, you don't have to like me, but you will have to work with me. I lead the male group, you lead the female group. Eventually we're going to have to work together. Please don't try and chew my head off whenever we run into each other. I get enough of that from other people."

The femme commander laughed. "Agreed. I'll try not to tear you apart when we meet." She gave him a small salute, then darted out of the office. She made it halfway down the hall before the flung pen caught up with her.

The young Autobot leader leaned back in his chair, ignoring the screech of protest it let out. He and Elita would meet again, he knew. She was an excellent warrior and commander. He looked forward to working with her.

Smiling to himself, he returned to his work.


Whew! And this one is finished. Now I can get rid of that pesky plot bunny. Stay tuned for more of the Ultra Rodimus series, coming soon.

Now you can send me reviews and tell me what you thought of this story. Reviews will encourage me to keep on writing, and perhaps to get some of my fics out sooner. So send me some juicy reviews. Fenestrae, I've only read one fic that had a 'from inside the Matrix' perspective, and that one's not even on this site. So I decided to give it a try myself. And Gromia, now the fic is finished.

See you all next fic!