My Side of the Mountain:
Although Achilles was not aware of his weakness, I was well aware of mine. Efficiency had been down 15% for over three years; circuit boards had been jostled and fragmented, wires and fuses were peeling from the one component I needed to survive; my Cosmatron. I had been warned privately from Rachet on this problem several times; all I needed was one blow in that particular area and it would all be over.
To conceal this fact, Rachet moved and repaired the component from its previous location, adding reinforced shielding to give it improved protection. It was a wise move. Several data hacks later gave the Decepticons access to the Autobots' medical records and internal construction. Megatron possessed information to most Autobots' structural and component weaknesses, including mine. Rachet, anticipating this vulnerability, never updated the records as to the whereabouts of the Cosmatron's new location; its existence and function wiped clean from the memory files; even Wheeljack was not permitted this knowledge. Even so, I doubt it would have taken Megatron long to discover the most likely location it was hidden. He has had many years to study my anatomy and I am confident he had done so with careful diligence.
I realize I took false security in our secret operation and didn't give the matter much thought over the following two years until that fateful day in Spring, 2005; the day of the Decepticon attack on Autobot City. As I flew toward Earth to aid the battle, I wondered why Moon Base 2 never received any distress signal from The Truancy. The likely conclusion is the shuttle had been tampered with. And that was not the end of it; the flight data recorder revealed the hijack and ensuing battle lasted under five minutes. I can't help but think Megatron used the knowledge in those stolen medical records when firing on each Autobot. It is the only way he could have terminated them so quickly.
Megatron was also winning key battles for Energon on Earth; his minions were hitting us aggressively and in just the correct places to cause maximum bodily damage. He had a trump card in his hand and he knew it. I wasn't sure until Megatron pierced and wounded me that my suspicions were validated. He hit the Cosmatron in the bulls eye over and over. I knew by the third blow the component had been destroyed. It blew like a bomb within me and that my time in the light would soon be over.
I didn't need to be told I was dying. Perceptor's examination didn't reveal the cause – but I knew. I am a rare Prime that wasn't robbed of the chance to be surrounded by the ones I loved; it's still hard to express how much that meant to me. In addition, because the Matrix is kept secret, it is often a confusing and shocking period for the survivors. I was very grateful I was able to relieve the Autobots from that. I knew I left them in very capable hands.
Where was I going with all this? Oh yes, I was talking about weakness. There is something else. I want to address the scorn that has been heaped upon Hot Rod as the cause of my death. I don't say this out of sympathy, or even because I believe Hot Rod deserves vindication, I say this because my side rarely gets considered when this point in history comes up. I want to be clear that no matter what anybody thinks, I had a choice too. His conduct that day exposed me to liability, but not out of responsibility to my decisions. I was never forced to cease fire on Megatron; I had just as much will to continue the battle as I had to stop it. I could have destroyed Megatron; I had a decent shot and the high ground. I had a choice to make, and I chose not to fire. Remember that he pointed his weapon at me, the one ultimately in danger. If anybody deserves blame for my death, it falls squarely on my shoulder struts and mine alone. If that exposes me as being weak, then so be it. I just wish the blame would stop, because I see no blame to spread, but if it cannot be resisted, then give it to me. Hot Rod received more credit than he deserved. My choice had just as much weight and validity as his.