I own NOTHING but the plot of this little story!
Optimus looked out over war worn fields. The Autobots and Decepticons had pretty much wiped each other out. Only a few remain. He'd defeated the Decepticons here. At the price of Ratchet's spark. He sorted through the memories of that fierce battle until he located exactly where his friend had been standing.
At the spot, Optimus kneeled down, running a digit over the marks Ratchet's pedes had made. He moved his servo to another spot, feeling each hole made by fire from the Decepticons. He closed his optics remembering Ratchet's last words. "No matter what happens Optimus, don't lose hope. Win this war for the Autobots. Good luck, Prime."
A faint smile appeared on Optimus' face plates. He stood, face guard slipping into place. His sword came forth, showing where the end was shattered from defending Ratchet from a shot aimed for Ratchet's chest. He'd saved Ratchet that time, but couldn't later since he was defending Bumblebee at that moment. The smile fell as he went over how Ratchet fell.
A random shot was aimed for Ratchet. Optimus blocked with his sword. It shattered, covering them in the cooling metal slivers. A yell sounded drawing their attention. Ratchet gave Optimus a gentle shove. With a nod, Optimus took off to where Bumblebee was on the ground with leaking leg. He shot at each Decepticon within range. While taking a shot at a 'Con with dark purple armour, he caught sight of a Decepticon gaining on Ratchet. Optimus screamed out a warning too late. The 'Con pushed the gun he was holding into the medic's back, his optics on Optimus. The trigger was pulled, and the two Autobots locked optics. "Go to him, Prime. I've got 'Bee," Sideswipe offered. Optimus nodded before running. Many 'Cons were taken down on Optimus' way there.
"Ratchet," Optimus managed as he dropped to his knees. He took Ratchet's servo in his own. "I'm so-"
"Don't. It's n-not y-your fault," Ratchet corrected. "No matter what happens Optimus, don't lose hope. Win this war for the Autobots. Good luck, Prime," His optics closed and he never opened them again.
Optimus went through the motions of a fight earlier that day. Each defensive move and offensive. He shook his helm before the swords and face guard retracted. He walked the center of the once battle field. Once there he closed his optics as he remembered a poem Lennox, who had long ago passed away in battle, had told him once. His rich, sweet baritone said the words softly.
"In Flander's Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row by row"
Looking over the field again, his optics found a patch of red flowers growing near where his sword had broken. The shards still littering the ground.
"That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly"
Tweets and chirps drew his attention to the air where small brown birds with white bellies were flying.
"Scarce heard amid the guns below."
He'd heard that sound long enough that in the quiet, like now, he could hear guns and cannons going off near by despite the fact there was only the sound of air cycling through his intakes.
"We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsut glow,"
In a way, he felt like he should be among those lieing deactivated. He briefly felt the scarred metal making up his chest. His digits found the dent. A shiver racked his frame for a moment.
"Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flander's Field"
Optimus stopped speaking. He took a second to remember how many he lost in that horrible war. He thought of Ironhide and Ratchet, and all of the others. He could see each face, say each name. He made sure. He sighed as tears came to his optics.
"Take up our quarrel with our foe:
To you from faililng hands we throw"
He started to walk and as he said 'quarrel' he caught sight of a discarded sword. He picked it up, shivering at the sight of a mutilated hand near it.
"The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die"
"We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flander's Fields"
"In Flander's Fields" Optimus finished. He turned to Sideswipe who had said the previous two lines.
"I'm sure they would've been proud of ya Prime," Sideswipe assured as he rolled up beside him. Optimus chuckled.
"I hope so. I'd hate to keep them awake," Optimus joked back. Sideswipe gave him a grin patting Optimus' arm.
" 'Bee wanted to talk to ya. We couldn't find you back on base, so I figured you'd be out here."
"You were right then. I just wanted to remember them and this place was the best option."
"November 11th. Glad ya did."
"Never forget what happened," Optimus said.
"You remember this though Prime. You were a great commander. You helped so many survive and get freedom."
Optimus gave him a grin. "Lest we forget."
"Lest we forget," Sideswipe grinned back before they both left the field. They missed a shine coming from a piece of Ratchet's armour.
LEST WE FORGET - REMEMBERANCE DAY / VETERANS DAY - NOVEMBER 11, 2011