NewsTransformers movie seriesWWTFU Character profilesStore

Another Time and Place
The epilogue to the original Transformers comic book, told in the 1991 UK Transformers Annual.
Story by Simon Furman, pencils by Staz, inks by Lesley Dalton, and colours by Caroline Steeden.

Part 1

I stand on a glazed plateau hewn from a mountain of metal, a shining dish of tungsten and chromium high above the planet below... and I remember.
Though distant, the memories are still painful, like the dull ache felt in a limb no longer there. Memories... battles won and lost, friends long dead, enemies long gone... like escaping gas in the ocean depths they bubble slowly, inexorably to the surface.
My mind seeks refuge... in a better time. When we had reached an ending... of sorts. Millions and millions of years, locked in perpetual combat with an enemy that had lost sight of any sort of ultimate goal, an enemy flailing blindly in a fog of destructive fervour. And suddenly, in one massive stroke - it was done, finished.
But it never ends.

Prowl regarded his leader's back solemnly, disturbed by these long, silent moods that, of late, had seemed to come more and more frequently. These days, when Optimus Prime was not in the council chambers, involved in affairs of state, or on one of a seemingly ceaseless round of state visits, overseeing the rebuilding of a world unused to peace, Prowl always knew he could find him here - in Nova Point's huge observation bay.
He'd first noticed the change in the towering Autobot some months after they'd returned to Cybertron. They'd spent weeks on the planet Klo, helping the surviving inhabitants re-build and heal. The Decepticons were gone, those still able sent fleeing through space with their tails firmly between their legs. But the scars ran deep, and would take many years to heal. Klo had been a rare world, one to whom peace was a way of life, and war an unheard of thing. But then the Decepticons came, meaning to claim the planet as their own. The Klovians didn't resist, but still the Decepticons cut them down like so much cattle, burning their cities, tearing their lives apart.
Prowl sighed, reflecting on the fact that much of the blame for the catastrophe on Klo belonged to him. He'd trusted the Decepticons, had believed they would uphold the post-Unicron [--- text missing ---] spaceships and left them to die with a planet all thought was tearing itself apart. Grimlock saved them, took them off Cybertron in stolen craft in pursuit of the Decepticons. But by then it was much too late. Not only had the Decepticons ravaged Klo, they'd also discovered the tracer Grimlock had placed aboard their lead craft. When the Autobots arrived, like some mythical cavalry, there to save the day, the Decepticons were waiting for them. Many more died, and it fell once more to Optimus Prime and a handful of humans to save both them and the Klovians.
Even now, Prowl thought, it hurt to remember what a mess he'd made of things. Not even the untouchable, implacable Grimlock had come away from that battle unchanged, and - since their return to Cybertron - the Dinobot commander had almost disappeared from public view. Like so many others, restored to full power by the 'wonder fuel', Nucleon, he had lost the ability to transform his body. Though ostensibly stronger than before, he - again like so many others - felt they had lost something precious, something vital. Did they feel almost like outcasts because they were Transformers who simply no longer transformed? Prowl didn't know, and didn't particularly want to find out. He, like those others, was also a child of Nucleon. Was its cursed legacy his to inherit as well? Would he too, someday, become an outcast from his own race? He shuddered, the thought less than appealing.
And what of Prime? Though he couldn't know for sure (the Autobots' leader was not given to baring his soul to those under his command), Prowl suspected that much of his current malaise was due to his 'rebirth' as one of the Nucleon generation. Recreated after his destruction, Prime had also merged with his Nebulan partner, HiQ; the two Powermaster components, fleshling and Transformer, combining at a molecular level to form one being. Though built to transform, the new Prime, with the Nucleon soaked HiQ as his core, ended up frozen in robot form.
And now, many months later, here he stood. Back turned to a thriving new world on Cybertron, staring out into space from Nova Point, the towering edifice that climbed into the stars, high above the planet surface. What was he looking for out there, wondered Prowl. Did the answers lie somewhere in the stars?

Prowl coughed, alerting Prime to his presence, even though he felt sure the imposing figure before him was well aware he had company. This... detachment was what worried Prowl more than anything. What had happened to the spirited, friendly leader he had once known? Was it the Nucleon, or was it more? After so many years of perpetual combat, had peace now burned him out?
Prime turned to face him, slowly, as if he bore a vast weight on his shoulders. "Yes, Prowl?" he said, before even completing his turn, thus confirming Prowl's suspicion.
"It's Grimlock," replied Prowl, getting straight down to business without preamble, hoping against hope that he could jar Prime back into gear, "he's up to his usual tricks again." Prowl smiled. "I should have known his low profile wouldn't last!"
Prime did not return the smile. "That spacecraft, the one I just saw lift off. He was on it."
It was not a question, Prowl knew that. Even detached as he now seemed to be, Prime - it seemed - didn't miss much. "Yeah. Usual stuff, no clearance, no authorisation - just hops in a space transporter with his Dinobot buddies and heads off into the wide, blue yonder."
Prime just stared.
Prowl paused, trying his best to maintain the rueful smile. "Y'know, I'm surprised it bothers me anymore. It's just... well, it's just Grimlock!"
"Then why do you bother me with it?"
It was Prowl's turn to stare, his jaw slack with shock. Never in their long association had he known Prime to speak to any of them in such a curt, dismissive way. And to him?! Trite as it sounded, Prowl considered them to be more than merely commander and lieutenant... he considered them friends!
"Because," said Prowl through gritted teeth, annoyed despite himself, "I took the precaution of interfacing with his ship's computer. He's locked on course to Hydrus Four. Ring any bells?"
Prime just stared. But this time Prowl knew his words had had effect. In his eyes, Prowl saw something he'd never seen there before. It was fear.
"Let me refresh your memory, Optimus Prime. Hydrus Four, a part colonised world in the Hunfi system. Where, a few years ago, scientists discovered a new source of energy... called Nucleon! Energy that Grimlock first used on himself and then on us! Shall I go on?"
"No." It was a whisper.
"Any idea why he's going there? These days, Cybertron's rich in Matrix energy. We don't need Nucleon, and even if we did it's been proven far too dangerous and unstable to use safely. So why? What could he possibly want on that godforsaken place? It's hardly on the galaxy's top ten tourist spot list!"
For a moment it looked as if Prime was going to answer Prowl's question. But only for a moment.
"I don't know," was all he said.
Prowl stared at him, but Prime refused to meet his gaze, keeping his eyes fixed firmly on the floor in front of him. The moment dragged out until finally Prowl turned abruptly away. Half out of the observation room's door, Prowl turned back, his parting shot bitter and inadvertently right on target.
"I just hope you know what you're doing. Don't forget, the Decepticons are still out there somewhere... what's left of them anyway. They too have deactivated and wounded warriors, and I doubt they'd be too concerned about how they got them functional again... or what price they had to pay! Whatever Grimlock's up to, he may just end up leading the Decepticons straight to the Nucleon they so craved last time we fought!"
Prime said nothing. He had turned back to the view port. Prowl snorted disgustedly, wondering aloud what had become of Optimus Prime. Because whoever this figure in front of him was, it wasn't the Prime he knew and admired.
Prowl exited, not seeing Prime lower his head once more, not seeing fingers gouge deep into the metal ledge in front of him... and not seeing the mix of dreadful despair and self-loathing in his eyes!

    Next page (2/5)

Disclaimer: This website is not created or run by either Hasbro, Kenner, Takara, Marvel Comics, Dreamwave Productions, Devil's Due Publishing, Titan Books, DK Publishing, IDW Publishing, Atari, Melbourne House, DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Pictures, or any other company whose characters or products are mentioned on the website. It is in no way intended to infringe on the copyrights and trademarks of these companies; it has been created for informational and entertainment purposes only.
Webmaster: Lars Eriksson,