To kick start the new year, here's a brand new follow-on story from my previous ROTF fics: "I Rise, You Fall", "Rising Sun" and "In Your Arms". The title was inspired by the "Tales of the Fallen" comic series. Again, the focus is on Optimus Prime and his perspective. The chapters are written in the style of a series of voice-recorded journal entries, but the flashbacks are written in my previous third-person narrative style. These events start about six months after the events of ROTF.

Hope you all enjoy this one! Happy New Year to all!

Transformers are the property of Hasbro and the movies of Dreamworks and Paramount.

Tales of The Last Prime

Chapter 1: Dearly Departed

"Access code: Island. Voice journal entry 146. Earth date: January 15th, 2010.

It has been six Earth months since our battle in Egypt against The Fallen and Megatron. With the Fallen vanquished and Megatron apparently absent from Earth, there have been no more new Decepticon incidents. It has been a period of unusual quiet for the Autobots and human soldiers of N.E.S.T. operations.

Sadly though, I do not doubt that this peaceful time will only be temporary. Megatron will be recuperating and gathering his forces again. He will surely not forget the planet of his imprisonment for so many hundreds of meta-cycles so easily. It is only a matter of time before our Decepticon enemies rise again.

But there is something else that has been happening to me since my visit to the tomb of the Primes in Egypt four Earth months ago. There I saw vivid visions of my Prime forefathers and brothers as they were in life, visions of their distant and tragic past. I learnt of my creation from one of the first seven Primes: Prima, the leader of the Prime Dynasty. Impossible as it seemed, I am now certain of my direct descent from him. I had doubted my Prime lineage since the evidence first appeared just before the start of the Autobot-Decepticon War, but now I can no longer deny that I am the last of the ancient Prime Dynasty. This knowledge has weighed heavily on my mind. At times, I long for the impossible: I long to return to my Prime brethren, though I have never known them personally. I still see their faces, as they were in life and in death, in my mind. My lost family…

The only piece of them I carry now is the Matrix of Leadership. I carry it by my side always now, attached to my hip. Though we know it to be a powerful ancient artefact that was used to activate Sun Harvesters, it also is of sentimental value to me now. It is the only remaining link I have to my Prime ancestors, akin to how humans may hold onto old photographs of departed loved ones to remember them by. My contact with the Matrix's mysterious energies back in Egypt through Sam Witwicky's efforts has allowed me to look into the past to see my Prime forefathers and brothers before their deaths. It is the only way I can know them now. I have watched them, and I believe they even communicated with me during the time I was offline after nearly dying at Megatron's hands.

But the energies of the Matrix are unpredictable and unknowable. I continue to see visions and images at random, some evidently from the past, others I cannot be sure. Perhaps I have glimpsed scenes of the future or other worlds without realising. I have had strange and disturbing dreams in stasis, though it may well be that they are as much the result of my own insecurities as they are products of the Matrix's energy infusion into my spark. And the voices of the Primes echo in my head unannounced at times, though I can rarely decipher what they are saying.

What has most been concerning me of late though are the growing sensations of heat in my spark. I feel on occasions that my spark chamber is 'over-heating', like there is a gradual build-up of energy internally. But contrary to my expectations, these 'rising core temperatures' are not causing me discomfort, just… comfortable distraction. I suspected they were probably the residual energies of the Matrix which would fade in time. But they have persisted. And not only that, I feel they are spreading further through my internal systems. Ratchet has not been able to detect anything abnormal in my body on last examination though, other than a, as he called it, "healthy amount of energon". The sensations of internal heat come and go for the time being, but I am not sure what they are.

I sense that there is more to be learnt from and about the Matrix. There are moments when I feel inexplicably drawn to it…like it is calling to me in silent whispers… The visions, the dreams, the voices, the heat I feel in my core… I do not know if the Matrix energies are trying to relay a message from the past to me…or whether I am simply seeing old ghosts…

They are so vivid even now…"

[City of Altihex, Cybertron, during the Autobot-Decepticon war.]

Optimus fired off a few shots from his rifle then spun round to take cover back behind a metal wall. From the corner of his right optic he saw several lines of laser fire whiz right past him. He ignored their proximity and reloaded his rifle, keeping his head down. Having freshly reloaded, Optimus hefted his weapon up again to the side of his head, ready to fire it once more at the next available opportunity. His royal blue optics stared down hard at the debris-covered ground beneath his feet.

Across to him, pressing their backs against another metal wall, were Hound, Inferno and Jazz. Through unrelenting Decepticon laser fire whizzing noisily between him and his soldiers, Optimus could hear Hound's pessimism growing.

"It's hopeless! The Decepticons have us pinned down. No way we're getting out of Altihex in one piece!"

Hound was right. The Decepticons had cut off their escape from Altihex city. Optimus considered his words of hopelessness momentarily.

Then Jazz spoke.

"Pull it together, Hound. We'll get out of here. We didn't get this far just to die now."

His first lieutenant's voice was calm and cool; it always was. Optimus silently marvelled at Jazz's collected 'coolness' no matter what situation he was in. Always calm, always collected. Jazz was indispensable to him. He always knew exactly what to say to the troops to give them hope in hopeless-looking situations.

Optimus turned on the com-link in his helmet.

"Any ideas, Jazz?" he asked.

He turned his head slightly to see Jazz smile at him from the other side.

"Maybe. The Decepticons may have the bigger guns, sir, but we got a few tricks up our plates."

From Jazz's arm popped out three grenade-like weapons. He took hold of them in one hand and prepared to throw them.

"Get ready to roll, guys," he instructed.

He tossed the grenades in the direction of gunfire from behind his wall cover. Thick plumes of smoke rose as soon as the grenades clattered to the ground.

Optimus reacted instantly.

"Autobots, move!" he shouted to them.

There were the sounds of running feet, then engines and wheels as the Autobots made their escape through the heavy smoke clouds.

"What would I have done without you at those times, Jazz? You were always there beside me right from the beginning, along with Ironhide and Ratchet. But now…"

Optimus looked down mournfully at the torn halves of his first lieutenant in his cradling arms. He was utterly still and lifeless. Optimus held the halves of his body closer to him.

"Ohhh, Jazz…"

We didn't get this far just to die now.

"You made it this far with me to Earth, old friend. You were not supposed to leave me yet…

We have lost too many brothers too soon in our war.

Jazz…I can still feel the weight of your torn body in my arms… It is burdening…"