"Don't fret, brother," Maximus said to Sentinel reassuringly as the Prime Brothers walked into their offices. "Kup will take good care of Orion while you and I are doing our duties. You know just as well as I do that things will work out in the end. It just takes a little bit of time, that's all."
Sentinel glanced over at his brother, his optics shining with slight amusement and sadness. "You never give up, do you?" he said softly. He was in no mood for any conversation that involved his son, but knew better than to not heed his brother's advice. "Sometimes I just wish I wasn't born a Prime, and then we wouldn't have to go through slag every single day!"
Suddenly Sentinel found himself roughly pinned to the wall by a formidable amount of force. He blinked only once to come face to face with an angry Maximus. His optics flashed with fury and his hand made a grab for his brother's throat. He managed to get a grip, but it was not powerful enough to make Sentinel choke or do damage to cause any hurt. He became aware that they were being watched nervously by some of their peers, but he ignored the looks of surprise. The only thing that he could focus on was the look of annoyance in Maximus' optics.
"Don't you dare speak like that, Sentinel," Maximus hissed acidly. "If you even think about not wanting to be a Prime again, then consider yourself one of my punching bags. Even if you voiced your concerns to the Elders, then what would they think of you? They would look down upon you in disgust and ask: 'Who does this Prime think he is when he should be thinking about others before himself?'
"This is not a very good excuse, Sentinel! Think about the prophecy that has to be fulfilled in the future when the time comes. I know you think I'm being selfish about the prophecy, but I'm not. I'm thinking about for the good of those I love dearly, including my sons and my love."
Sentinel felt Maximus release his grip on his neck and he rubbed it to get some circulation back into it. He lowered his head in shame and sighed. He didn't mean to think so selfishly, but there were times when he couldn't help it. If Maximus hadn't been here to snap his thoughts back into reality, then he would've continued to disappoint the Elders.
The other Autobots, who had been watching the intense scene, returned to their duties, quite confident that the matter had been resolved.
"I'm sorry, brother," he said quietly. "I shouldn't have done that. Perhaps it would be best if we don't make a mention about this to the Elders."
Maximus nodded. "It's alright," he said. "As long as you don't do it again, or I will make sure my threat becomes clear."
"Speaking of the Elders," said Sentinel as he glanced up at Maximus, "I should get going while I still can. While I'm gone, can you check up on Kup and Orion every now and then? It is not that I do not trust Kup, I'm just concerned for the wellbeing of my son and it should be a Prime's job to look out for the future."
Maximus smiled beneath his mask. "You can count on me, brother," he reassured him, his tone warm. "I just hope the Elders aren't going to be pissed at you when you arrive a little bit later than your usual time."
"Maximus," Sentinel warned, "watch your language. I don't want Orion to learn such harshness when he is older. Am I clear on that?" He stepped forward and lightly tapped Maximus on the chest just to make his warning as clear as possible.
"Yes, of course!" Maximus promised, waving a hand. "Just make sure that you come back in one piece. I'd hate to see what they might've done to you while you are gone. Now get going before I forget about my promise." He winked just to prove his point.
"Just do your job before I turn you into a rust bucket!" Sentinel hissed and he stalked out the office while Maximus glanced over his shoulder to see his brother vanish into the elevator.
"Hang on a second, Sent!" he called as he rushed over to Sentinel's desk and picked up some papers before running back to the elevator and handing them over to Sentinel. "Don't forget these, brother. You might need them in case they start questioning a few motives that you don't want to openly discuss about. I signed them for you while you were on your way over here with Orion."
Sentinel smiled knowingly at his brother. "Thanks, Max," he said. "You really are one in a million."
"I'm the only one in a million," Maximus chuckled. "Now you get going before they decide to call off the meeting. Who knows? If they do, then that means we get to go home a little early! How cool would that be?"
Sentinel shook his head in amusement and pressed a button to the elevator. "Dream on, Max," he teased as the doors closed. The doors were the only thing that blocked off the communication between the brothers. However, just before the doors completely closed, he heard Maximus chuckle again.
"Take care, brother."
"I will, Max. See you and Orion when I get back from the meeting."
"Will do, Sent."
Sentinel could've sworn he saw an image of Maximus doing a mock salute and he burst out laughing before he leaned back against the wall and shook his head. He sure hadn't seen his brother mock him in a long time and it felt good to see the childish side of him once again. However, he knew that side of him may very well perish as time went on, but he decided that he would do his best to ensure that side of him never died out completely.
Kup gently set Orion on his lap. He frowned as the sparkling's lips trembled in an attempt to cry. Kup glanced around to look for something so that Orion could entertain himself, but when he saw none, he knew that he was going to be in serious trouble for not doing something to make Orion feel better. The only thing he could do was gently bounce him up and down on his knees to make an attempt in making him giggle again.
Kup loved it when sparklings laughed. It often brought joy and happiness in his own Spark and he couldn't help but laugh at a few memories when he helped look after Maximus and Sentinel when they were still younglings. Those two had been troublemakers right from the start, but they eventually became the two most popular Primes on the face of Cybertron.
Orion warbled in protest, getting Kup's attention. He glanced down at the youngling and saw him staring up at him through tear-filled optics. They were beautiful golden optics that none of the parents seemed to have as their own. The only ones he knew who had golden optics were the Autobot spy and trainer Scavenger and Orion's grandfather.
"Oh," Kup cooed kindly, "don't cry, Orion. You'll be alright. Your father was just being stern with you. Don't take it too badly to Spark. Learn from your mistakes and you won't get yelled at again."
Orion blinked back his tears and rubbed his optics to clear away some of the liquid that had leaked into his optics. He looked so young and innocent and already everyone was expecting him to live up to the expectations of the Primes in legends and old stories that had been passed down from generation to generation.
"Why don't you entertain him with one of your infamous stories, Kup?"
Oh slag! I'd completely forgotten about those! Kup mentally slapped himself for not remembering his promise to Sentinel and Maximus. He had promised to tell Orion a little story about a certain somebody, somebody he had not discussed about since the day of the accident. He felt a twinge of guilt flow through his Spark and he hardly noticed the look of concern on Orion's face plates. But when he saw the innocent and curious look on Orion's face, he chuckled and gave him a light tickle on the tummy.
Orion squealed in delight at being tickled and wriggled about in Kup's arms. Kup laughed and tickled Orion some more until the sparkling was out of breath. They both sighed in content and then Kup glanced up at the ceiling, thinking about that tragic day that left him feeling guilty and Maximus and Sentinel upset for many millennia.
Should I? he wondered. Kup shook his head and sighed a little. "I might as well."
Orion blinked his unusual golden optics and tilted his head to one side in curiosity; as if he was wondering what the old mech was going to say to him. He decided to be patient and he waited for Kup to speak. He played with his fingers a little while before Kup's sigh got his attention. He glanced up at him one more time and reached up for him.
Orion had learnt his lesson from his father, but he still wanted to touch Kup. To his surprise, he saw tears pouring from his azure optics. Confused, he reached up for them and gently touched his cheeks in a reassuring manner. He warbled again; trying to ask what was wrong, but he had a feeling Kup wouldn't understand him.
"Ah, little one," said Kup when he saw what Orion was trying to do. "You remind me so much of him." He gently took his hand and gave it a light squeeze. But he was surprised to feel Orion squeeze back a little more tightly than he anticipated. "Wow, you've got quite a grip, little Orion," he laughed.
Orion giggled and squeezed a little harder, trying to show how strong he was. He felt Kup wince a little and he wisely let go of him. Kup smiled and showed him something on his right arm that had caused him to flinch. It was a large scar that was longer than him, but not as wide as his unusual bulk.
"This here, Orion," explained Kup, "is an old injury I received after your grandfather saved my life." His optics leaked more tears. "If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here today. He was a good mech and loved everyone dearly. We looked up to him and honoured his bravery and understanding. His name was Solisortus Prime, but we all called him Solis, or the 'Rising-Sun', which is what his name meant in ancient Cybertronian."
Orion didn't understand what Kup was saying, but he listened intensively.
"I remember your grandfather's face like at the back of my hand, kid," Kup went on. "He had kind optics that shone with wisdom beyond his years. He looked a lot like you, but your colours take after your uncle. I'm guessing you got them from your grandmother. He was kind and gentle, just like your father and uncle, and he took his job as Prime as seriously as your own great grandfather."
Orion blinked in a way he could ask: "What happened to him, Kup?"
Kup almost immediately caught the look and sighed softly, more tears falling as he spoke again. But, when he did, his voice came out in a choking manner, a manner that shocked Orion to the core of his young Spark. He had never heard anyone act like this before, but he knew better than to talk except to let Kup continue.
"Well," said Kup sadly, "your grandfather did the most heroic thing I had ever seen. Apparently, the foolish young mech that I once was, I did the most stupid thing I had ever done and it is something that I deeply, deeply regret..."
Flashback: Kup's POV
Flashback: Kup's POV
I glanced to my left and to my right as I followed behind Solisortus, along with several other mechs that were my age. I was determined to impress my leader in a chance to become an official member of his Inner Circle of Autobots that protected a Prime and took their job as seriously as any other mech. Apparently this was an expedition for young mechs such as me.
When we're recruited into the Autobot ranks, we were expected to go along with our Prime on a scouting mission and he would search extremely closely to see what made us who we were. It was almost similar to Autobot Boot Camp where we first learned to control our abilities as well as learn how to fight in combat against any outside threat that dared to attack our home planet, Cybertron.
Solis glanced over his shoulder to see how we were doing and to ensure that none of us had fallen behind him. Unfortunately, one of my friends and me had and I looked over my shoulder to see who had slacked off. Sometimes it gets annoying when this happens and it drives me up the wall a lot. I don't like it when things go wrong.
"Come along, Ironhide, Kup," Solis called encouragingly. "When this is all over, you can take the time off, I can promise you that." He smiled beneath his mask and I felt a little bit better at his kindness.
I put as much strength as I possibly could into my legs and trudged up the hill after the group. Solis nodded in approval to my attempt, but he shook his head when he saw Ironhide falling further and further behind.
Ironhide was a powerfully built young Autobot. This, unfortunately, made him slow and uneven in his gait. I didn't mind this too much, but there were times when I couldn't afford to accept the fact that he was different compared to the rest of us. Even Solis seemed a bit shaken up by Ironhide's unusual appearance and I was surprised myself when I realised I had formed a friendship with him. Again, I don't mind him at all, but all I can say is that he can get underneath your armour and drive you completely insane.
To me, it almost seemed like Ironhide had heard the disappointment in Solis's voice, and he seemed to move much faster than he usually did and he finally caught up with the rest of us. I patted him on the back for giving it his best and he smiled at me to show me his thanks.
I heard Solis chuckle in amusement and we continued onwards. I still didn't understand why we had to come on this stupid scout mission in the first place. Solis hadn't explained to us the full purpose for it and I was getting angrier and angrier by the minute, my breathing becoming shallower and louder as the time drew on. My patience was obviously wearing thin.
Solis turned his head and tilted his head to one side, as though he was listening to something we couldn't hear. He stopped and turned around, his unusually charcoal coloured optics looked us over, and he bowed his head, a deep sigh escaping his vocal processors.
"You are obviously wondering why we came out here for this expedition," he said to us, his deep baritone voice soft and gentle, looking at each and every one of us. "Apparently, my good friend Whirl detected something unusual out here. Not only is this an expedition for you, it is possible that this may become your first combat mission. So, you must all be alert and ready when the time comes. Follow my lead and you will do fine. Are there any questions?"
The mech, Silverbolt, raised his arm.
Solis glanced over at her. "Yes, Silverbolt?" he asked.
Silverbolt looked a nervous as he spoke, even his voice seemed to be shaken up a bit. "Uh, sir," he said lowly, "do we have to do any flying? I... I don't do so well when it comes to it."
The Autobot leader shook his head. "No," he said. "There will be no need for flying. Each over you will be divided into several teams that will require you to go on foot. If it makes you uncomfortable, young one, I will not make you do anything you don't want to.
"Now, you, Silverbolt, will go with Longarm. Ironhide will be teamed up with Prowl. Kup, you will be with me. Now spread out and search for anything that appears to be anything unusual. If you see anything that does not belong or is a threat to you, report to me at once. There is to be no hesitations and no drawbacks. Is that understood young ones?"
We stood up straight and saluted Solis. "We understand perfectly clear, sir!" we answered in unison.
"Well done," said Solis, nodding. "We might just make Autobots out of you yet. Off you go, and remember to be careful. These rock cliffs are extremely dangerous and you must be very cautious."
We nodded and my friends instantly split up into their required teams. They then vanished around the corner and went their separate ways, leaving me alone with Solis.
I was a bit nervous, but I felt a gentle hand being placed upon my shoulder. I glanced up and saw the same kindness in Solis's optics. Again, I felt better that I was with him instead of with the others. I knew that I would always be safe alongside my leader.
"Shall we go then, Kup?" Solis asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.
I nodded once and we headed off down the uneven slope. My feet struggled to grip the ground, but it was extremely difficult because of the loose rocks that kept on slipping whenever I took a step. Solis was already a few feet below me and was glancing over at me from the corner of his optics to check up on my progress.
He was taking very graceful steps and never seemed to slip once on the slope, like as if he had done this over a thousand times in his life. It was probably nothing to what he had experienced in his existence.
He stopped when he had gotten further and frowned a little. "You must take your time, Kup," he told me. "Don't rush your steps. Take your time and watch where you put your feet. This is a very unsafe position that we are in and we must take great heed to where we are going. Come along. When we reach ground level, you'll be able to rest your aching feet."
I nodded gratefully and looked down at the ground, keeping an optic out for any loose rocks that Solis had pointed out. Solis had already reached the flat ground and I was still lagging behind. He was standing there waiting for me patiently as I wobbled and stumbled towards him.
Unfortunately, I wasn't paying as much attention as I should be and I slipped on a very loose rock. I fell on my aft and went racing down the slope at an alarming speed. I panicked and tried to slow down using my feet, but Solis shot me a look that told me not to panic. I obeyed his silent stare and continued to slide until I finally reached the bottom.
I eventually slowed down to a complete stop, my feet lightly touching Solis's own. I soon realised that I felt completely uncomfortable, mostly because how dust and rocks had gotten wedged underneath my armour, including places I did not wish to describe. This was the most embarrassing thing I had ever felt.
Solis chuckled when he saw the look on my face and offered out his hand to me. I took it reluctantly and he helped me up to my feet. I brushed the dirt from my armour and used my fingers to get rid of some of the dirt that were stuck in my arm and leg joints. I felt a bit better after that, but still sore from my ordeal.
"Do not worry, Kup," Solis said gently, "it happens to everyone, including me. We are not perfect and we all know that. However, some of us fail to realise that meaning until it is too late."
I pursed my lips together and licked them out of habit whenever I was nervous. I had still not forgotten my own mistakes I had made back in the past. They were mistakes that I deeply regretted about.
I glanced around. "What... what was that?" I questioned, my head shaking from side to side. I then turned back to look at my leader, my nervousness growing worse.
Solis lifted his head, his audio receptors twitching. I had heard rumours that those with tall audio receptors had hearing that were much better than those that did not. It goes to show how far in evolution we had come. I also hear they are incredibly sensitive to the touch and required delicate handling when surgery is being performed on them.
"I do not know," Solis said. He looked up to where we had come from.
There was nothing up there except for a few boulders that seemed to be a little loose that was too close for comfort for me. Again, my nervousness began to pick up and I turned back to face my leader, my optics pleading him to know exactly what to do if they were indeed a danger to us. But, Solis didn't seem a bit bothered by the boulders. His attention was elsewhere and I looked in his direction to see what could make him act like this.
To my utter surprise, I saw nothing.
Puzzled, I lifted an optic ridge and glanced back at Solis. "What's wrong?" I asked him.
"It's strange," Solis answered, but it sounded like he was talking more to himself than to me. "We came out here to do a scouting mission in the hopes that the younglings would be promoted to their new ranks, but, instead, I am told that we must check out these strange energy readings that seemed to resemble that of a Transformer. What is it that puzzles me so?"
"Sir?" I questioned as I walked up to him and lightly tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. He finally glanced over at me, his charcoal optics blinking in the sunlight. "What is it?"
Solis shook his head. "It's nothing, little one," he answered. "Come; let us continue on our way." He pointed behind me and I saw another flat path that seemed to turn a corner. Down below was another cliff and it seemed like it could go on forever. It obviously led to a canyon that was deeper than anything I had ever seen.
I nodded and Solis once again led the way. But the moment we started walking, tiny rocks fell in front of our feet. But since Solis said there was nothing to worry about, I kept on walking, but I noticed that Solis had halted in his tracks. Confused, I looked back at him one last time to see what his problem was.
"Sir, are you sure that there is nothing wrong?" I asked.
But when I did look into his charcoal optics once again, I saw a glint of... fear.
Solis glanced upwards and that look in his optics seemed to grow worse. I heard something from above me, but I didn't know what kind of object would make a sound like that. It was both confusing and not understanding. It was also new and very much in the unknown.
Never, in my entire life, have I strayed far from the safety of Iacon. There are many things out there that can haunt a young mech's mind and turn into vicious nightmares, creatures that are like from the nightmares of sparklings or that have such a horrible appearance that we can mistake them for things that we don't understand. Apparently, my nightmares are not filled with creatures that give me horrible dreams, but things that may be out there beyond Cybertron and its twin moons.
Unfortunately, this was one of those things that will give me nightmares for a long time.
I looked up in the same direction that Solis was looking at and I felt my insides turn into complete mush. Rolling down towards us at top speed was the same loose pile of rocks that we had seen earlier. And they were heading straight towards me at lightning speed. It was too fast for me to get out of the way and I knew that there was no way I could avoid them.
Suddenly, I felt a pair of arms shove me out of the way and I fell to the ground, out of the danger zone. I rolled once, twice, then thrice before I came to a complete halt several feet out of the path of the rolling rocks. I sat up and tried to see through the dust as the rocks bounced to and fro.
Pebbles bounced off me harmlessly, but I felt something slash across my arm and leave a huge trail of Energon that poured from a deep cut in my right arm. It hurt like slag and I knew I was going to be in pain for months on end.
A huge cry of pain reached my audio receptors and I felt my Spark skip a beat in pure, utter horror.
I tried to stand up, but it was no good. My arm had been damaged pretty badly from where the sharp rock had cut into, but it didn't stop me from attempting to stand up. I had to get up, I just had to!
I finally managed to stand up painfully and I staggered towards the huge pile of rocks. The dust had settled down to reveal the rocks that were much bigger than me and I could guess they could easily crush a Transformer if thousands piled up just like that in front of me. I doubted anyone could survive such an accident.
Then I realised who my saviour had been... Solisortus Prime!
Quickly I rushed over to the pile, wincing from my injuries, and started removing the rocks as fast as possible. I don't know how long a Transformer could survive underneath because anything could have happened to them. They could be bleeding and have their oxygen tanks crushed or they could be suffocating under there so badly that no one would be able to reach them in time.
Still thinking of the possibilities and the outcome for my Prime, I kept on removing the rocks until my hands were sore from pushing myself too hard. Unfortunately, I had completely forgotten about calling my friends, and because of my stupidity, I had a feeling that the worst was yet to come.
"Sir!" I cried desperately. "Can you hear, me, Sir?"
I kept on calling until my vocal processors had become sore as well. But I didn't give up. I wasn't about to abandon my Prime just like that, it would be dishonourable and unforgiving in the Prime family, and his bondmate would have my head for doing such a horrible thing like that.
"Solis," I called again, louder than ever. "Please answer me if you can hear me!"
"K... Kup," a voice hoarsely whispered quietly. It was so quiet that I wasn't sure if I had heard it or not. Under normal circumstances, my hearing would never be as good as my Prime's. "I'm... I'm down here."
Listening carefully and following the shallow breathing that I could barely even hear, I managed to find Solis underneath the rocks. I removed it carefully, but to my surprise, I realised that it had been that rock that had had Solis pinned underneath all that rubble. His leg had been crushed and it sparked dangerously.
"Kup," Solis said in relief when he saw me.
I smiled softly and gently placed a hand on his chest, but he winced in pain when I touched him. I soon came to an understanding that he was badly broken and beaten. He was covered in huge cracks and dents, and Energon was leaking from the biggest crack in his chest. From what I could make out, the injuries looked very serious, far too serious for me to even make repairs.
"You're going to be ok, Sir," I told him reassuringly. "You just need to rest while I call for help." I reached for my com-link to call Ironhide in the hopes that he had medical skills that were better than mine. But as I touched it, a navy blue hand stopped me from touching it. I glanced down and saw Solis looking me square in the optics, his own optics pleading.
"It's... too late for me, Kup," he said as his battle-mask split apart to reveal his mouth and he coughed up Energon that sent me into a wild frenzy of fear, but I kept myself in firm control. "I won't be able to make it. My injuries are far too serious to be repaired by hand or by tool. You understand don't you?"
I tried to speak, but my voice ended up choking on itself.
Solis shook his head and he lifted his arm. He used the last amount of his strength to remove the boulder that was covering him. It rolled off the cliff and I watched as it fell into the depths below. Solis then turned his head back to look at me, his charcoal optics soft and calm. He obviously knew that he was dying and was doing all he could to prevent me from feeling upset.
"Kup," he spoke, his voice never quivering, "do not feel so sad that you had to see death so soon. My time had never come at such a good time." He shook his head. "I'm sorry that it had to come down to this."
I kneeled down beside Solis, my hand reaching out to him. Solis took it and gave me a reassuring squeeze as my tears threatened to fall. I had only just joined the Autobot cause and had just started to get to know the Autobot leader. Now it seemed like that I would never be able to see him in battle. It had been my life-long dream and now that it looked like it would never come to be.
I lowered my head and whimpered.
I heard Solis chuckle. "Now, now, Kup," he said. "There is no need for that nonsense. I can see that you are going to be a great Autobot someday. You'll still be living for a long time."
"How do you know?" I questioned.
"Because the Matrix of Leadership grants me that ability to see the future, even seeing the outcome of Cybertron's future," Solis answered. "You know just as well as I do that it is all true. You... just refuse to believe it until you see it with your own optics."
I turned away, but Solis gently took my chin and turned my head back to look at him, his charcoal optics seemed to glow brighter than I had ever seen. "Kup, do you remember the prophecy that the Covenant of Primus spoke about?"
I shook my head.
"Apparently," explained the Autobot leader, "that it spoke about a prophecy that foretells about the coming of a saviour. Someone who will step up and take the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to lead against a threat that promises to destroy the entire Universe, including Cybertron. The saviour will have incredible powers and unbelievable strength."
It soon dawned upon me when I realised what he was talking about. "What are you saying, Sir?"
"The Elders thought that I was the promised saviour," Solis replied. He shook his head sadly. "Unfortunately, I'm not. It's true that I have powers like all Primes do, but I don't have the legendary gifts that the saviour is supposed to have. No, I'm just another Prime who is supposed to continue the Legacy of Primes until the real saviour does arrive. However, it won't be until my son Sentinel has a son of his own that really will live up to the expectations of the spoken prophecy."
"What do you want me to do?" I asked.
Solis sighed heavily. His chest compartment opened up, revealing a huge blue and silver glow that threatened to blind my optics. I covered them up for a second before the glow died down and I uncovered my optics. To my surprise I saw what it was that had caused all this sudden talk.
Nestled inside Solisortus Prime's, in front of his Spark chamber, was the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.
I had never seen anything like it before, but I knew what it was because all new recruits were expected to know everything that goes on in the Autobot Army.
My grandmother made a mention about the Matrix once and I asked her what she was talking about. She then told me the story about the Great Battle between Unicron and Primus, the ones who were our gods. They were the gods who created life in the Universe that we knew as it was today. She even told me about the creation of the Matrix and of Solisortus's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Vector Prime – the Keeper of Space and Time and the very first Prime that ever existed.
"I," said Solis, interrupting my thoughts as he choked again on the Energon that threatened to cough out from his mouth, "want you to fulfil my final wish. I wish for you to take the Matrix and give it to my love, Lapasi, and tell her to give it to my sons Sentinel and Maximus. They will decide who should become the next Prime, but I have a feeling that I know who will."
Carefully, I reached inside his chest cavity and my fingers lightly brushed against the Matrix's handles. The moment, I touched it, I felt a huge surge of power flow through me and started to overwhelm me with flashes of memories and thoughts that belonged to the deceased Primes from long ago, their whispers filled my audio receptors with wisdom for a brief moment, but then they closed up to me before I could recall what had happened between us.
I then carefully tucked the Matrix into my own chest cavity where no one would ever be able to find it. Solis must've put a lot of trust into me in order to keep it safe until it reached its new master.
I lowered my head, my optics not making contact with my leader. "I promise to get this safely to your sons," I promised. "I swear it upon my life."
Solis nodded weakly. "Thank you, Kup," he said. "You don't know how much this means to me. Look after my sons well as they grow up and teach them the Legacy of the Primes. Show them the ropes and give them advice if they ask for it. Until their time comes to join me in the All Spark, till all are one."
Solis sighed once more as he tilted his head to one side. He convulsed once, then twice as his optics went offline. I tried to look away, but I could not stop myself from blocking out the sounds of his dying body. It hurt to hear, but I knew that I must bear with it for as long as possible.
When the sounds finally died down and I was alone with Solisortus Prime's body, I turned to look back at him, only to see that he had a smile upon his face and I knew that he had died a happy mech. He'd obviously seen something that made him want to jump for joy. Perhaps it had been his creators or those that had died in the heat of battle. Were they friends as well? I would never know the answer, not until I too passed on into the All Spark. Solis's entire frame had changed from its natural colour to a dull grey colour that showed that he was permanently offline with no hope of return.
Then I heard voices from behind and I looked up towards the ridge above me. Sliding down the slope was none other than Ironhide and Prowl and I could see that they had been worried about us.
"Kup," Ironhide cried as he landed beside the pile of rocks, his face filled with worry, "what happened?" He glanced over towards Solisortus Prime's body and then back at me, his azure optics pleading for an explanation.
I sighed and told them what I had witnessed.
End Flashback: End POV
"We eventually called for the Autobot base to come to our location after we told them the same story I had told my friends," finished Kup. "They were saddened by the loss of Solisortus Prime, but they knew that I had a promise to keep. I went to your grandmother's place and told her everything I could recall. She too wept for a long time, heavily grieving for the loss of her beloved bondmate.
"After I provided her as much comfort as I could give her, she then called Sentinel and Maximus down and she told them that their father would not be coming home. They too cried, but Sentinel was the quickest to recover. He then asked if I still had the Matrix of Leadership.
"I told him that I did and took it out of my chest. I handed it over to him and he just stared at it longingly, as if he sensed the presence of his father nearby. He offered one handle to Maximus and Maximus took it. Then they started glowing with unbelievable amounts of energy! The Matrix altered their physical form until they were just as tall as me and your grandmother."
Orion had listened long and hard during the long tale. He had never heard anything like it before! Even though he didn't understand the words, he understood the tone of voice and he knew that Kup was sad and guilty about the loss of the Prime he had just started getting to know. Now he was old and had to get to know two new Primes at one time. It must be difficult and unbearable.
"From what we could gather," said Kup, "the Matrix had split in half in order to share its powers between the brothers so that they may not become jealous of each other in the future. I swear, those two bicker quite a lot but still love each other no matter what."
Suddenly there was a knock at the door.
Kup and Orion glanced up and Orion felt a familiar presence swell within him. He didn't know what that feeling was, but he knew that it indicated that someone of his family was coming in to see him. It was either his father or his uncle Maximus.
"It's open," Kup called.
The door opened and Sentinel Prime stepped in. He looked a little tired and exhausted from what Kup could make of it, but he knew that it was not from long work. He'd just started work and he knew that this was the time where he would be off to see the Elders and give them a report about what was going on in the Autobot Army.
"And how can I help you, Sentinel?" Kup asked.
Sentinel shook his head and he glanced over at his son, who stared back at him with his golden optics. He then turned back to Kup and sighed softly. "I just thought," he said, "I could come and quickly check up on you before I head off to see the Elders."
Kup chuckled and he stood up before walking over to the yellow Prime and lightly patting him on the shoulder. "You don't have to worry, Sentinel," he said gently, "I've got this covered. I was just telling Orion about your father and the way he saved my life before passing away and giving the Matrix to me in order for me to give to you and your brother."
Sentinel smiled slightly. "That's good of you, Kup," he said. "At least someone likes your stories." He looked down at his son and lightly tickled him underneath the chin. Orion giggled and grabbed his father's hand, giving it a light squeeze to show his newfound strength. "Amazing!" Sentinel exclaimed. "He sure is strong for his age."
"That's only a very light squeeze he's giving you," Kup laughed. "He gave me a taste of half of his strength and hand is still sore from where he gripped it."
Sentinel frowned as he remembered the prophecy from the Covenant of Primus. "The prophecy did say that the saviour would be incredibly strong," he groaned.
Kup shook his head. "Don't think about the future, Sentinel," he told him. "Think about here and now. We may not be able to stop the coming of the prophecy, but we must learn to accept the fact that your son will one day live up to the expectations that your father was not able to fulfil. He had powers too, but he knew that he wasn't the one and accepted his death without a hesitation."
"I know Kup," Sentinel replied. "I just don't think I'm ready to see my son become Prime right away when the time comes. He might be so young and so... alone. What if he too doesn't meet the requirements and Primus decides to throw his life away as well like he did with the Primes before us? What if–"
"Sentinel, shut up!" Kup hissed as he lightly slapped Sentinel on the cheek, causing his old friend to flinch from the pain. "I told you to not think about the future! Think about here and now! Don't make me send you off to Ratchet to get a maintenance check up."
"Sorry," Sentinel apologised. "I wasn't thinking straight. Maybe I should go now and get this thing over and done with before I become overrun with these thoughts all over again."
"You go do that, you silly young mech," Kup growled. "You were giving me a processor ache and I'm sure Orion was getting one too. Now get going before I decide to kick you there myself." He shook his head in annoyance.
"I might as well," said Sentinel as he smiled beneath his mask. "You take care, old timer, and look after Orion well. Not only is he the future, but he is also my son." He then shot a protective look and Kup knew that he meant business.
"Yeah, yeah," Kup groaned and thrust his hand towards the door. "Get going or I will do what I just said."
Sentinel laughed and left the room, closing the door behind him. Kup and Orion watched him go and then Kup glanced down at Orion. "I hope you're not too angry with your father, kid," he said to him. "He may be your father, but he is also a big pain in the aft."
Orion giggled and flailed his arms and legs in excitement. Kup sure was a funny mech when he didn't even realise it.
Kup shook his head. "I think it's time for your bottle, Orion," he said. "Don't you think?"
Orion clapped his hands happily, once again making Kup laugh in amusement. The old mech then went back to his desk and sat down before pulling out the bottle that Sentinel had given him in order to give to Orion whenever he was hungry. He put the teat in Orion's mouth and the sparkling happily suckled on it.
"Oh to be young again," Kup groaned as he watched Orion enjoy his feed.
Spiritimus Prime: Sorry I took so long to updateery bus with my Christmas. Now I'm just happily having a wonderful holday in Lincolns good to be home again and I've never felt so replaxed in my entire life. I just feel that a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Anyway, I'm thinking about doing some Christmas oneshots. Who knows? Maybe not. But I'm incredibly busy these days. Oh well. Mybe someday I will. Till the next update! Stay tuned!