Had to take a little break from my "Tales of the Last Prime" ROTF fic and felt motivated to write something in the TFs: Animated universe instead. This short one-shot fic is a little dedication to Prowl after his death. It's set after the end of the show with Optimus and crew back on Cybertron and is written primarily from Optimus' point of view. Note the italics indicate Optimus' thoughts.
In memory of Prowl.
Eulogy to a Fallen Hero
Lost in his own thoughts, Optimus Prime was oblivious to the low chatter of the crowd around him.
Walking steadily and humbly toward a public stage in Iacon's main ceremonial courtyard with crowds of Cybertronian onlookers on either side of them, Optimus and his team, Ratchet, Bulkhead, Bumblebee and Jazz, carried the body of Prowl in an open case on their shoulders. Sari was flying close by them.
Hundreds had gathered for the public funeral ceremony to honour a fallen Autobot hero: Elite Guard members, cyber-ninja trainees and the general Cybertonian public. Ahead of Optimus and his team, Alpha Trion, Cliffjumper, Perceptor, Arcee, Jetstorm, Jetfire and a sullen-looking Sentinel Prime stood in two lines flanking either side of the public stage. Optimus noted without judgement the absence of Ultra Magnus due to his current status of still being in medical recovery.
The former Earth-stationed Autobots reached the front of the public podium and slowly lowered their precious cargo onto the ground. Ratchet, Bulkhead, Bumblebee and Jazz then positioned themselves around Prowl's body, leaving the front of his case visible to the watching crowds. Sari landed near to her friends and bowed her head.
Optimus Prime paused in front of Prowl's dark and still body. He shut off his optics momentarily and heard Prowl's voice in his mind.
"Stillness... Be silent..."
Optimus thought solemnly how Prowl had always tried to teach them all to be still and silent more often. He onlined his optics again and for a nano-klik, he believed Prowl was simply meditating in his open case before him, lying still and silent in focused concentration as he often used to. But cold reality quickly replaced the young Prime's illusion of his deceased comrade.
Concealing his quiet grief as best he could, Optimus looked up again toward the public stage waiting in front of him. Sympathetic and reassuring expressions from Ratchet, Bulkhead and Sari, a subtle nod from Jazz and a faint smile from Bumblebee encouraged Optimus as he made his way toward the podium.
With an intake of air, Optimus Prime ascended the public stage. Silence descended upon the watching crowds. Carrying himself with dignified composure, the young Autobot captain walked steadily toward the voice projector at the centre of the podium. Taking centre stage, he fearlessly confronted the Cybertronian crowds gathered below him. They waited attentively to hear what he would say.
Optimus gazed down heavily once more to the bottom of the stage at the fallen hero they had all come to pay tribute to, then he lifted his head and began to speak clearly and sincerely. His once young and inexperienced voice now resonated deeply with the weight of burden.
"It is not often that we encounter kindred sparks. But I have had the honour. When I first met Prowl, he was lost in life as I was. We shared much in common."
I see the frustration in his visor optics again. I hear the anger in his voice, as clearly as if it were yesterday.
"First I fail to protect the protoforms and now this!"
The crack of the hard rock as his fist slams into it echoes.
"Do you have any idea what it's like to embark on a path only to find it so completely twisted and turned that you have no idea where you are?!"
His inner turmoil roars out to me. It connects to me.
"Oddly enough, I do."
Optimus' dim optics were the only betrayal of his internal state, but he did not falter in the delivery of his speech.
"Though he was aloof from the rest of us in the beginning, Prowl learnt gradually to become a member of the team."
He approaches me, offering his cooperation for the first time.
"You're not alone. A wise bot once told me a machine is stronger than its component parts. Only I had to learn that the hard way."
He holds his hand out to us. We lay our hands over his.
Optimus' voice rang strong in the audio sensors of the listening crowd. Rarely had the young Autobot captain ever felt more certain about what he was saying than he did now.
"I am privileged to have known him and had him fighting by my side. He was a bot of great honour and astonishing skill and ability, a true cyber-ninja to the core."
I am telling Ratchet that I cannot do it. I am not ready.
"Are you forgetting what happened the last time I tried to fly? If I couldn't handle Starscream's fembot clone, what makes you think I can take out three Omega Supremes?"
His jet thrusters raise him into the air beside me. For the final time, he offers me his assistance.
"Because I'll be right by your side. I know Master Yoketron would say it's the ninja-bot, not the weapon."
Optimus pushed down the dull but constant pain in his spark.
"He respected life in all its forms and took the time to stop and observe the world around him. He learnt much from watching the simplest of things."
His back is turned to me as he gazes up at the old tree growing through the roof of his room.
"All this organic life, this...nature, it refuses to be contained, such a force of will. But everyone here is blind to it. They all rush to see everything but never sit still long enough to experience what is around them."
A small smile tugged at Optimus' lips as he recalled the simple memory, but then the smile quickly faded.
"Prowl knew the meaning of sacrifice more than anyone. He has demonstrated it with his own."
He lies lifeless in Jazz's arms.
"He gave up his spark to save us."
I begin to move toward him. It can't...it's not...
Optimus' blue optics fell.
"It is thanks to you Prowl that the Allspark is once again whole. You have given us back our source of life. For that, all of Cybertron honours you."
Optimus watched as his Autobots carefully lifted up the case containing Prowl's body again. They carried it toward a circular suspension pyre generator that was glowing with gold energy a short distance away from the stage.
"Prowl, our fallen hero, friend, brother, we dedicate to you our highest respect and gratitude. You sacrificed yourself to save us and others. We will carry you for the rest of our solar cycles in our memories."
A teary-eyed Sari hovered close by as Ratchet, Bulkhead, Bumblebee and Jazz placed the case down on the ground near the pyre generator and carefully lifted Prowl's body out. They brought him to the gold light of the pyre generator and released him above it. Prowl's body was held suspended in the gold light for a moment then began disintegrating. The crowds of hundreds of Autobots watched in solemn silence as Prowl's remains were transformed into glowing gold particles that scattered into the air.
"Rest peacefully, Prowl. May you be reunited with Master Yoketron in the Well of Allsparks."
Some of the glowing gold particles drifted toward Optimus and swept past his face. The young Prime gazed upward at them as they floated up into the dark star-filled sky.
I will see you again, my friend.
Optimus sent his final words up with the departing gold particles.
"Until all are one."