After watching ROTF, I wondered whether Optimus might have seen and been spoken to by the original Primes whilst he was 'offline' or 'dead' as Sam had when he died momentarily too. And anyone else notice how it was that when he was resurrected, Optimus seemed to know who the Fallen was, whereas previously in the movie he didn't display any knowledge of the Fallen? That's where I'll be coming from with the following story.

There's alot of questions I have regarding the Transformers mythology of the original seven Primes and how Optimus is linked to them. I wrote this story in an attempt to give more details about these important plot points in the movie.

Something I really would have liked to see in the movie was some significant dialogue between The Fallen and Optimus before their final battle, but alas, their encounter was brief and little was said between them before Optimus spectacularly and brutally tore The Fallen's face off. So in this story, I'm going to try to envision an additional encounter between The Fallen and Optimus before they met in battle in Egypt.

I'll assume here that Optimus was not actually 'dead', but close to it in 'stasis lock' as stated in the movie's novel. I'll also try to take the prequel "Defiance" comics into account where I can too in the writing of this, though like in the movie, I'm dropping the idea of The Fallen ever having been imprisoned in a sarcophagus.

Note also that I'm assuming that the Primes all have a tendency to refer to each other generally as 'brothers' usually, even between forefathers and descendent sons, hence why The Fallen calls Optimus a 'brother'. I make the forefather-descendent son and even a suggested direct father-son relationship a bit clearer between Optimus and the six deceased Primes though.

This fic begins right at the end of movie with Optimus on the aircraft carrier ship.

Transformers is owned by Hasbro; the movies by Paramount and Dreamworks.

I Rise, You Fall – Part 1

The tall and noble mechanical form of Optimus Prime stood silhouetted against the gradually receding light of day. He was aboard a U.S military aircraft carrier ship heading away from Egypt and back toward U.S. land. In one hand, he held a long staff, a trophy from his recent victory over one of his most significant foes, The Fallen.

In these always appreciated peaceful moments to himself, Optimus's thoughts wandered back to events past. His mind took him back to recall his experiences during the time he spent in stasis-lock, what the humans compared to being in a state of 'coma'. Through his contact with the Matrix of Leadership, he had seen and learnt much about matters that had been a great mystery to him all his existence. Answers to historical questions and the truth behind fabled stories of Cybertron's past had been revealed to him. But perhaps most importantly of all for him, he had finally discovered where it was that he came from and meaning behind his name of 'Prime'. The visions he had seen and words he heard in regards to his heritage had been revelatory and humbling.

Darkness. Coldness. He had barely possessed the awareness to recognise those concepts as far as he could remember about his state of mind at the time. Then there had been mist, surrounding him, collecting at his feet. Optimus had found himself striding through the white swirling clouds. Was he offline?

"Optimus Prime" an ancient voice echoed in his audio sensors.

Optimus scanned his unreal surroundings for the source of the voice.

"Optimus Prime" the voice echoed again.

"Who are you?" Optimus replied. "Where are you?"

"Closer than you realize."

Out of a thick cloud of white mist, a skeletal-shaped ancient Cybertronian figure emerged in front of Optimus. There was the outline of a long staff within one of his clutches.

Something about him felt familiar, like a feeling of kinship, but at the same time, there was something dark and terrible about him. Optimus was uncertain whether he was peaceful or dangerous, trustworthy or manipulative, good or evil.

"How do you know me?"

"I've known you for a long time, young Prime. You and I have shared history. You and I…are family." His voice rung of ages and seductive promises.

"How is that possible?" Optimus questioned, confused, but curious.

"I too am a Prime. One of the first."

The ancient and dark Cybertronian took a step forward toward Optimus. Optimus instinctively moved back a step.

"I am known as 'The Fallen', the last of the original seven Primes that came before all other Cybertronian life. And you, you are special. You are Optimus Prime, the last descendent son of our proud Dynasty. We are kin, we are brothers, the last Primes."

Optimus regarded The Fallen cautiously, unsure whether he spoke lies. But there was an element of truth in his tone.

The Fallen drew closer to Optimus, but this time, Optimus remained rooted to his spot, transfixed. The Fallen's mysterious ancient aura seemed to rob him of the ability and will to move. He felt compelled as well as cautious. He wanted to know more of his unknown origins.

"Do you know what it means to be a Prime, Optimus?" The Fallen almost whispered to a captivated Optimus Prime. "To be a Prime is to be a King, a God amongst our Cybertronian minions. Do you not feel it? The effect, the power you have over your Autobot followers? Do they not rely on your strength and leadership? Would they not die for you in battle? Would they not do anything for you willingly?"

Optimus's head bowed regretfully. "Yes. Many have sacrificed themselves in my name, under my command. So many."

One of The Fallen's cold, rusted claw fingers slipped under Optimus's chin and lifted his face up to his. Optimus stared into the fiery red abyss that was the Fallen's optics.

"Why do you display sorrow, young Prime? It is only right and fitting that they should worship you, die for you, a Prime! For you are their ruler, their divine King! You were born to be so."

Optimus shook his head. "No. I'm no ruling King or God. I just lead my Autobot soldiers in battle against our Decepticon enemies. I shoulder the burden of leadership in war. We fight for the freedom of all."

"But you could be so much more, Optimus Prime! Why burden yourself with unnecessary abstract values and causes for others? You are destined to rule as all Prime descendents are, as I am! We are the last two Primes! The Autobots, the Decepticons, the War, none these should matter to you, for you are above all those insignificant concerns! Cybertron, Earth, the Universe are all ours for the taking!"

The Fallen extended an inviting open palm out to Optimus. For a moment, Optimus was both fearful and mesmerised by the outstretched ancient talons.

"The war can end. And you can be victorious!" The Fallen was coaxing into Optimus's audio sensors. "You can defeat your enemies with a wave of your hand! They will bow before your might! Your arch-nemesis, Megatron, hopes to achieve the power of Primes, but the truth is: Primes are born, not made! You are blessed to be of the former, Optimus Prime! You were created gifted with great power that only needs nourishment! A plentiful source of energon will provide you with the all energy you need to manifest your full potential, and I have it, the Sun Harvester!"

The Fallen's inviting open hand beckoned. Optimus regarded it uncertainly. His fingers began moving up involuntarily, as if being drawn by an invisible force toward The Fallen's waiting claws.

"Join me, Optimus Prime! I will guide you to your destined path! Once we claim the energy of Earth's Sun, ultimate power will be ours! We will ascend to our thrones and once again the Dynasty of Primes shall rule as Gods amongst insignificant Cybertronian and human mortals! It is my…and your destiny as Primes!"

Optimus's royal blue optics suddenly hardened then. His hands stopped and curled into tight fists by his sides.

"I have no desire to be a dictating tyrant God! Certainly not at the expense of Earth and humanity and all my fellow Autobots! That is what separates me from Megatron! You are no different from him! You are power-hungry, insane! I cannot believe I may be descended from the likes of you!"

The Fallen hissed sharply. "You dare reject me!" His ancient and dark face contorted into a hideous expression of anger.

"You fool!" he spat at Optimus. "You would give up power and Godhood for…for worthless human flesh-bags and Autobot slaves?! You're a Prime, like me!"

"A Prime maybe, but like you? Never!" Optimus responded in disgust.

Suddenly The Fallen lashed out at Optimus with his staff rod, knocking him to the ground. As Optimus attempted to sit up, The Fallen's clawed foot landed hard on his chest, pinning him down.

"How disappointing, Optimus Prime." The Fallen spoke in a grave voice. "You had to be like our other brothers, protecting life before harvesting power. And now you shall share the same fate as them: oblivion!"

The Fallen raised his staff weapon above Optimus's face, ready to drive it through his head. With what little strength he had, Optimus managed to pull the Fallen's pinning leg off his chest and cause him to lose his balance. As The Fallen stumbled back, Optimus rose to his feet and attempted to tackle The Fallen. The Fallen met Optimus in a locking of hands. The two Primes struggled in a wrestle.

"You are weakened from your wounds, Optimus Prime! And I am gaining in strength!" The Fallen taunted. "You cannot beat me! You will fall as your brothers did eons ago!"

Optimus felt his knees buckling under The Fallen's strength. His arms would soon follow.

"I must…must not give in!" Optimus thought to himself in desperation.