Author's note: This story is based off the 2007 movie. While I like G1, I also find the Movie more easy to manipulate, so I'm going for a more free-form approach where I can tweak things, and you can be surprised. Therefore, it's clearly going to have some non-cannon things presented, and many liberties taken. Please read with that in mind. This is my first Transformers attempt, though I have been writing for many years, so when giving feedback, no flames, only constructive criticism and comments please.

How it Was
Chapter Six: Divided They Fall
By: Nightelfcrawler
Disclaimer: Obviously Transformers is not my own, and is property of Hasbro. Be gentle.

Excerpt from First lieutenant's log:

It has been a long cluster of vorns. After the initial attack, we had no chance to retaliate at first. Optimus Prime was wise in withdrawing, regrouping and training what little personnel we had left. The Decepticons did a good job scattering Cybertronians, and eliminating those he could.

Some of our squads vanished without a trace. We heard rumors he was also seeking out femmes and single-handedly off-lining them personally. For what purpose? We can only surmise that he wants to control everything, even our people's very existence.

I have changed, as we all have. Gone are the fun happy-go-lucky days of freedom, enter the days of war. Optimus Prime has taken his leadership position seriously, and has changed in our eyes as well. He has grown wise, patient, and a tall icon representing our very will. Had he been introduced to me before assuming his role, I would not have recognized him. As it is, we have all grown significantly older in our actions and thoughts as a result of this war.

They knew what they were doing. They took out all communications networks, took control of the energon plants and employed those who chose not to flee as mindless slaves to do their bidding. Any who protested were disassembled in brutal fashion. Gone are the starry night skies with gentle blue glow of the city lights. Instead, replaced by smoldering smelting plants that melt down ruined buildings, fires all over as far as the eye can see as the Decepticons blow holes in anything they please, trying to hunt us down. Our planet is in ruins, dead and emblazoned with war, no longer peaceful and serene.

Optimus mobilized us in one of the few places the Decepticons had not taken. It had been an old industrial plant once, long since abandoned. There are no useful reasons for the Decepticons to take it, and they haven't found us due to ingenious imagination and creations thanks to our inventor and hologram expert. It appears still to be abandoned, our energy signatures masked by a force field. Powering this field requires massive energy however, and it's risky obtaining it. Thankfully, the workers in the plants are no loyalists to the Decepticons. They had an underground train of supplies going to us in secrecy.

The war has raged far too long. Had we been prepared, perhaps the tide would be in our favor, but at the moment everyone knows we are just denying the inevitable. Megatron has shown us he is not afraid to destroy everything to get what he wants. He has no care for lives other than his own. Even his own officers have suffered his wrath.

It was at this point, Optimus realized that we had lost. Still, he did not for one minute think of surrendering, instead he came up with an intricate and risky plan. But it may just work. I only hope that after it's over with, we can re-build our world from the ruined shambles that it sits in.

His optics scanned the two soldiers standing at attention before them. He hardly recognized them as the uncertain younglings that he'd first laid eyes on in the council chambers so many millennia ago. They had grown, changed and adapted with the war, as they all had. They had grown up. It was their expertise that he relied on now. "Bumblebee, may I speak to you privately. Arcee, please gather the rest of your squad for the mission, thank you for volunteering."

"Yes sir." The slim mech saluted smartly and walked out the door, leaving the taller scout with his superior. Bumblebee stood at rapt attention, his optics focused solidly on his commander.

Optimus had a fond spot for him. The young scout reminded him of himself when he'd been Orion Pax, eager to please, and very responsible. He was brave, and a formidable warrior despite his small size and lack of artillery. Ironhide had commented many times on the scout's resourcefulness and ability to blend in with his surroundings. It was also well known he was one of Optimus' elite officers, even to Megatron. Optimus Prime was counting on this. "I have a mission for you." he said solemnly. "What I told your second is only a cover. The real reason for this mission to Tyger Pax is far more important." He said solemnly. "Your lives may very well be forfeit if you accept this mission, and I will not force you to do so."

"Sir, my own life and that of my squad is inconsequential in comparison to anything of importance to our people. I believe I speak for them all in saying that we would gladly fight and die for the cause, if that's what is required."

Optimus sighed. He knew that the smaller mech would say that. He had been counting on it, yet a pang of sadness gripped his spark. He knew lives would be lost...if not all of them. Still...he needed the best, and they were it. "I have stationed the majority of our troops here at our base. It is here that they will be making the last stand. One of my expert officers volunteered to be captured and leak the information." Both of them were silent, knowing that the loss of Prowl was a tragic necessity. But Megatron never would have gone for anything short of a key officer. Prowl had volunteered, knowing the risk and the guaranteed result, and they had lost contact with him as expected. Still, the Decepticons had begun mobilizing towards their fortress. The plan was working. "The Decepticons believe that I and the rest of us are holed up at the fortress, with intentions to launch a full scale attack. With all of us in one place, they will attack...and focus their full attention there. However, as you know...we are not there." he said softly. "We are here, with a different reason. You and your squad must protect myself and my team from any forces that determine our location once we begin this mission. You must stall them in ANY way necessary. It is vital that Megatron does NOT find out that the Allspark is really here..." He said touching his chest lightly. "That the other mobilization is a diversion so we can initiate the Space Bridge and send it into the vastness of the universe...hopefully away from this planet forever. If we do this, perhaps the war will end."

Bumblebee stood taller, his optics focused completely on his commander, assessing the situation without flinching. He knew what was being asked of him, and had already accepted it. "Yes, sir." he said firmly. "I will keep Megatron from reaching you, however we can. But what if he discovers what you are doing, and follows the Allspark into the space bridge?"

"There is that chance. Stop him if you can, if you cannot then my squad will attempt to stop him as well. With all hope, he may not discover what we are up to at all..." Though Optimus knew this was being overly optimistic. Megatron was smart. Prowl hadn't known about the ruse when he'd gone and allowed himself to be captured. With hope, this would work. "I will depend on you and your resourceful team to keep us safe, Bumblebee." He put a hand on the mech's shoulder as he stood tall. "It is critical that Megatron does not get his hands on the Allspark."

"Yes sir!"

Most of what happened was told later. Megatron had taken the bait at first, and attacked the main fleet with everything his forces had. Optimus had taken his officers into Tyger Pax's secure interior, and started the space bridge's operations. They had built it here secretly while leaving the trail for the false lead. It had taken a great deal of their precious resources of energon to create it, but at long last it was ready. They could hear the battle distantly as they began to power up the array. It wasn't until they were actually ready to initiate it that they heard the explosions far closer.

"Frag..." Ironhide spun. "They've found us. I hope Bumblebee and Arcee's team can hold them back... Hurry Prime."

He turned to the massive array, and opened his chest chassis, drawing the Matrix out. Everyone's optics was on him, staring as he held the relic carefully. "Stand back." He warned, as he willed the container open, it's sides splitting to reveal the rotating Allspark within. Everyone did as he asked, as he held it up in his palm. At his mental wish, the Allspark began to unfold, twist, shift and grow... it became massive, growing larger and larger, hovering above his hand as he lifted his other to help support it, power crackling at it as it shifted, making all of their cables stand on end. Once it had finished, Optimus gave a small shove to the relic, and it floated serenely over towards the space bridge, rotating gently once as it tumbled freely, and hit the glowing beam spiraling into the sky.

Behind them, an angry bellow sounded, and everyone turned in time to see Megatron jumping into the sky, reaching for the Allspark, before shifting form and plunging into the light.

"No!" Ironhide warned. "He could be sent anywhere! It's set for random out points!"

But Megatron didn't listen, and vanished into the brilliant light, the Allspark ahead of him and out of reach before the energon began to flicker, and died, the array shutting down, spent.

For a moment, everyone was silent as they stared with disbelief at the empty space. The space bridge had no receiving end... it was set for a random point, to purposely lose the Allspark... and without having touched the item, it meant Megatron had been sent probably far from the relic... and far from Cybertron.

"Primus, is he GONE?!"

No one answered, no one dared to think about it.

"Prime, I'm getting faint signals from Bumblebee's team. We need to go and salvage them quickly." Ratchet was the first to get them back on track.

"Ratchet, take whomever you need." Prime said swiftly. "Jazz, Ironhide, with me. We need to gather the remaining forces and move them to a secure location, and get the word out that Megatron is gone. The Decepticons may break apart with this knowledge, we need to send it out there now."

They split apart, each to their assigned locations. It wasn't until later, after the communications had been sent, that they re-grouped at the ruins of their hidden bunker base. The damage was severe to their facilities, but luckily the key systems such as medical computers were undamaged, allowing Ratchet to get to work immediately on damaged comrades. Bumblebee was in poor shape. Arcee told them what happened, he had single-handedly mouthed off to Megatron, pissing him off adequately that he was distracted until the last moment. Thankfully, the Allspark's emergence into the Space Bridge had caused him to abandon his efforts against the scout, sparing his life, but leaving him dangerously crippled. Ratchet had managed to cap off his energon leaks, and was currently working to re-attach his limbs as the scout remained off-line for the duration. But Ratchet had also told Optimus that there was another more serious injury that he could not heal as he had no replacement part for Bumblebee's model. He could use advanced regenerative beams on it, but it was possible that the scout's vocal processors would never fully be 100 functional again. He hadn't told the scout yet, but he recommended that Optimus advise everyone to expect text messages from the scout for the time being.

They had lost team members in the siege. Prowl was unaccounted for, assumed dead. Sentinal was confirmed dead as was Dion. Optimus' spark ached, despite the empty Matrix sitting dark in his chest. The names continued to rise. Wheeljack, missing. Hound missing. The twins, missing. And worst of all, Elita One's team, missing each and every one. The mood was somber, as the few survivors sat awaiting repairs, the battles dying down outside. The Decepticons had broken off for the time being after the news of Megatron's disappearance, and inability to contact him. But the damage was done. The last holdout of the Autobots was destroyed, and they were scattered everywhere, communications were down, and they had no idea what to do now.

Optimus Prime stood surveying the wounded, watching as more flooded in. Compared to the millions of sparks, only a handful had found them after centuries of fighting, was this the end? Had he doomed their race now?

"How are you holding up?"

Optimus turned as Ironhide stopped beside him, surveying the same scene somberly. "I am troubled, my friend."

"Yes, I could tell. As am I."

"Without the Allspark, we cannot fix the damage, heal the wounded." Optimus said softly. "Did I do the right thing?"

"Yes." Ironhide said firmly, shooting a sharp glance at him. "Look, I never said I was a leader. I'm a soldier, I follow orders, it's what I do. But even I know when a situation is lost. You did everything you could, and you succeeded in what we had planned. It didn't turn out the way we hoped perhaps, but the Allspark is gone, as is Megatron. For now the battle has stopped. We achieved a victory here today."

A hollow one perhaps, Optimus thought, crossing his arms to study those around them. But Ironhide was right. The fighting had stopped for now, but what did they have left? Very little. Their planet was in ruins, with few habitable places any longer, the entire composition of the super-heated structures had flooded the core, and everywhere natural fires and molten metal were gushing out of the planet's surface. They had destroyed the planet. There would be no living here, not until things cooled down, and this would not happen until no more fighting happened for centuries. Then, there was only one thing that could be done.

"We must leave." Optimus said finally, after thinking through his decision. Ironhide glanced up at him, his optics questioning, but he did not voice his thoughts. "There is little we can do here. We must pursue the Allspark as well, before Megatron finds it. I only hope that he was not sent close to it." He sighed, lifting his gaze up to the stars, milky and muted through the red glow of the dying planet. "Wherever we sent it, it's out there. Only it's power can rebuild our world, and fix this mess. We cannot continue fighting against the gathered forces of the Decepticons, they far outnumber us. But perhaps in smaller groups we might have more of a chance if we spread out searching."

"I agree." Ironhide said softly. "It is our best chance. But to leave our home… many will not wish to do so."

"Those who wish to stay, can of course do so." Optimus said with a sigh. "But I fear few will choose to live in this kind of conditions. These are not suitable for any life-forms, even our own. Perhaps some will find other places to settle and wait out the Decepticons. But I know that I cannot rest until I know the Allspark is either in safe hands, or destroyed so it cannot be used like this again. It's power was not even put forth in this war, I would hate to see what would happen if it had been."

"I'll tell the others." Ironhide said quietly. "When do you wish to leave?"

"I will gather a few whom I wish to remain at my side. The rest may leave as they see fit. I will make sure Ratchet equips them all with long-distance communications frequencies to get in touch with us."

And so, they went. Bumblebee was the first to volunteer, despite his vocal limitations, he made it very clear that he wanted to pursue the Allspark. After his bravery at Tyger Pax, I could hardly deny his request. I promoted him to my personal squad, and gave him permission to go. Arcee asked to accompany him, but I needed her assistance gathering more forces, for her speed was critical in getting word out fast. One by one, groups left, individuals set out, and teams ventured forth, all in search of comrades lost through the ages, and for the ultimate prize, the Allspark. I was slightly concerned sending so many after it, knowing any one of them might be tempted to use it if it were found, but it could not be helped. I trusted my soldiers to handle themselves in an honorable fashion. And so they did.

I set out with my team after everyone else had departed, and we ventured into the stars. Space was vast…and though we see time differently than most, being our bodies do not age as biological life-forms do, merely wear out and require new parts, we felt our mortality as we knew that should we encounter any threats, parts would not be available. With me, I took my most trusted advisors, those who had stood at my side valiantly protecting that which they knew stood for peace and prosperity. We spent ages traveling the stars, finding nothing, and everything. We had much time to reflect, to learn from each other, to bond as a team.

It wasn't until I received a distant signal one vorn, that some of that hope that had dimmed after the war began to rekindle. It was faint, very distant. This meant the sender was far away, light years perhaps, but I recognized the pulse.

Bumblebee had found it.

His message was simple. He had found residual energy of the Allsparks' passage, and was on it's tail. It's trajectory indicated it was heading to a one-sun system with several orbital planets. It was still light-years from his position, but he sounded healthy and positive. I made no delay in changing our course as our pods sped up, igniting our reserve engines as we sped towards his location.

Several vorns later, I received another signal, stronger this time, and far more excited.

He had located the planet that the Allspark had landed on, it had not moved from that location, the trail ended there.

The planet held life. Biological life.

Myself and my officers had marveled at this fact. There had been evidence and rumors to support other life-forms in the galaxy, but our kind had never before encountered it to our knowledge. Perhaps this planet would solve many mysteries of our own race, perhaps these biologicals were far distant ancestors of our own people.

The four of us ignited our highest speed, and shot towards our destination, hope shining as brightly as the sun that poured down onto the blue globe transmitted from our scout.

Earth. Our new home. I can only hope that our experience with these people here fares better than our last home.

For freedom is the right of all sentient beings.


Author's note: Thanks for reading this little diddly. It was short perhaps, but fear not. I have a 'sequel' of sorts already 100 pages into it. Though it's post movie, it relies on this version of events to set the scene or have background information, though you needn't read either to know the other.

Hope you enjoy, look for it soon!