In my short life I have known nothing but war.
It exists in my earliest memories: the fear, the pain, the loss. The violence. I was told stories by my elders and my…I guess you could call them my family. Tales of a great society filled with peace, where freedom was valued above all else. The sparks of emotion would grow in their eyes as they recounted growing up in a world where knowledge was freely exchanged and taught, where differences were met with acceptance and understanding, and where life was sacred. They described a world that bore such little resemblance to my surroundings, that it was practically alien. All my generation knew was the destruction that surrounded us.
Your history books describe ancient wars in an almost poetic fashion. They write stories of battles where the lines were clearly drawn and divided. Where the opposite side was always clearly defined by the color of their uniforms, or the flag that they flew. They speak of wars like necessary evils, unavoidable in the quest for ultimate good to overcome ultimate darkness. Their battles had goals, had purpose, and were fought with honor. There was a winner and a loser, and after the fight they both returned to their nations to continue living. This notion is as alien to me as your world.
Generations ago, well before my time, our war had a purpose too. It must have. But like the many brave soldiers who choose to fight and die for their ideals, their goal was eventually lost in the slaughter. New leaders replaced fallen ones, and with each change, the war changed too. Sides became blurred, armies divided, until there were no sides anymore. It wasn't a war any longer, it was a massacre. It rolled across my world like a wave, drowning all in its path, and leaving me helpless to fight the currents. I fought family fought. They fought because their elders fought. We were trapped in a cycle of violence that I didn't have the will power to break.
When they found me, I was practically dead. My spark barely a glimmer in haze of the smoky aftermath. They asked me what a child like me was doing out in the middle of a hot zone.
I told them that war makes soldiers out of everyone before I succumbed to the blackness of oblivion.
They took me under their wing. I don't know why – it would have been just as easy to leave me behind. They were faster on their own, without an untrained and injured charge to care for. But that was not in Optimus' nature. Ratchet healed me. 'Hide trained me. Optimus…he spoke to me. He asked me why I fought, for what reason did I almost lose my life.
I didn't have an answer.
He spoke to me of the past, just as my elders had once done. And then he spoke to me of the future, and what he hoped to make it. He spoke of Megatron, the one who sought to use the violence and chaos of our planet to create a new world order, the one who sought a world where only the strong survive, the one who sought to perpetuate the suffering of my people. And then, Optimus spoke to me of his plan…and I told him that I wanted to help.
I know why I was sent here. Anyone else in our little battalion could have infiltrated this planet, protected this boy, without problem. But they sent me because I was the youngest.
I think they sent me here because they wanted me to know peace, for no matter how short a time, before I met my inevitable end. They sent me here because they though we were walking into a battle that we would not walk out of. They thought that we were going to die, and before that happened, they wanted me to know what we were fighting for. They wanted me to understand peace before war killed me.
I am jealous of your people. Not in any malicious way. I guess that envious would be a better word then, given the context. I have read your history, I know of the wars that have plagued your planet. However, I am envious of your peoples' ability to heal after conflict. To bridge the divides that run between you. I envy your short battles, your global community. When I watch your world move around me, I am reminded of the stories I was told growing up. I never knew the peace that my elders spoke of, but now I think I understand. I am envious because war and hate destroyed my planet, my people. And I am determined to never allow the same thing to happen to Earth.
Now I know why I am fighting.