Movie Optimus's thoughts during the Chicago battle and why he was so mental.
Optimus Prime had always strived for perfection. For peace, freedom and justice.
But he had to admit, these last five years had been trying him.
And the worst thing about it was that it was all his fault. By launching the Allspark into space he had attracted the wrath of the Decepticon legion to Earth. Twice, Megatron, thought dead, resurfaced. Twice, they survived only with the unlikeliest allies.
Optimus thought they might be due for some peace. Some retirement, perhaps?
He was a good person. Good people are supposed to get good rewards, right?
He spared Megatron in Egypt, two years ago. Let him leave, thinking, oh so naively, that with Fallen dead Megatron would leave the world in peace.
And then, he believed Sentinel prime was still the same Autobot that taught him millions of years ago. His old mentor. Oh, it still hurt how Sentinel had betrayed Optimus like that...
But Optimus supposed that was one of his greatest strength... and his weakness. He had this... urge, this need to believe the best in everybody. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings. That everyone deserved freedom, everyone deserved a second chance... people like Jetfire and Wheelie, after all, had redeemed themselves...
But Sentinel... Megatron...
Optimus let his optics gaze across the scenery around him. Chicago, razed to the ground. Skyscrapers with holes and smoke. Ruins. Decepticons shooting humans apart with impunity.
Those poor humans...
This was their world.
This was their world!
This was not their war!
They stood little chance, it was logically stupid to even attempt something like this. Any damage they do was insignificant! Despite their weapons, their fancy airstrikes and railguns, the damage they could do was minimal, so minimal.
This was a statement, they were just taking the city to summon Cybertron. They wasn't even attacking the military yet.
Typical of Sentinel. It was one of his less endearing characteristics. To make a point to the enemy of how they had lost... to give them a chance to surrender...
Yet this was not like that.
This was simple, pure genocide.
All those lives lost...
Yet, Sentinel would not stoop so low, he would not-
"Hurry! Dey're trigger'in tha pillars!" Roadbuster's voice tore through his ruminations, and Optimus realised that the Wreckers had made their way to where he was... suspended so ingloriously by some construction cables, his jetpack ruined, unable to reach for his jetpack...
Topspin leapt from a girder onto where Optimus was hanging, and began to tear into the cables, but Optimus did not pay any attention to it.
He had seen Sentinel order the destruction of Chicago, seen him spread the Pillars, seen him unleash two hundred bloodthirsty Decepticons in Washington, had fought Sentinel to near-death, had known the fact that Ironhide was murdered by Sentinel...
But he had never believed... this...
Cybertron appeared in the sky, not the beautiful jewel that Optimus Prime knew and remembered, but it looked dark, foreboding, even evil.
He remembered Sentinel's mad, deluded ramblings.
'What war destroyed, we can rebuild. But only if we join with the Decepticons!'
'So lost you are, Optimus... On Cybertron, we were gods. Here, they call us machines. Let them serve us. Or perish.'
In time, Optimus would learn, Sentinel had said.
Learn what? That their war-torn race was worth more than the billions of humans suffering, dying because they needed to rebuild a dead husk of a world?
That the entire race had to be enslaved and murdered?
Optimus had always believed in seeing the best in everyone. The violent Wreckers, former Decepticons, humans, stuck-up bureaucrats... even Megatron. Even Sentinel Prime.
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.
Some deserve freedom more than others.
This was his fault. Megatron surviving, Sentinel reactivating, Sentinel getting the pillars, Ironhide's death, Chicago...
This was his fault.
If he had not brought Sentinel back, would things have changed? If he had hunted down Megatron and Starscream and Soundwave after Egypt? If he had not left NEST during the crucial hour when Sentinel murdered Ironhide? If he had not opted to pretend to leave Earth with the Xantium? Would things have changed?
No, no sense dwelling in the past.
It may be his fault... it may be fate... but if it is so, it was time to repair it.
Despite himself, Optimus had always shown restraint. Optimus had only broken loose on Earth a grand total of two times.
The first time, when he had to protect Sam -- a friend -- against three of the stronger Decepticons single handedly, which led to his death. The second was when he was powered up with Jetfire, when he mortally wounded Megatron and killed the Fallen.
Every other battle fought on Earth was fought with restraint. He had to always subconsciously kept himself on check... he had to remember that he's an Autobot, he's the good guy. Only when his friend's life, or the entire Earth, had he really unleashed his full power at the enemy.
It was difficult for him to kill.
Freedom was the right of all sentient beings. Some deserve it more...
Certainly the humans that fought against unsurpassable odds deserve it more than two old maniacs.
He had seen the humans express bravery. Not just Sam Witwicky, who had, twice, risked his life even though he was not a soldier. He protected the Allspark with his life, he traveled halfway around the world while everybody hunted him down to revive Optimus himself... there was much more bravery in Samuel James Witwicky than any of the Autobots or Decepticons.
Frail, fragile creatures, the humans. Yet they persevered. Optimus returned to Chicago, to see Sam, and Robert Epps, and many other soldiers... Outnumbered, outmatched, yet still coming in to try rescue their world.
Optimus had seen William Lennox and the other members of NEST fly in, no doubt to mount some sort of final resistance... even though they stood no chance. Even though they are the best soldiers humanity had to offer, all they could possibly do is take out, what, twenty, thirty Decepticons?
Yet they still fought.
Yet they still took the risk, even though with a single breath a Decepticon can take out entire squads of humans.
The humans... they deserve to live.
Roadbuster and Leadfoot were yelling some things, and Optimus knew they were telling him that it was almost ready. Yes.
The Decepticons must be stopped, no matter the cost.
Optimus flexed his wings, and his engines ignited. Topspin sliced off the last of the cables holding Optimus, and the Autobot leader shot off into the sky. The feel of his trailer-jetpack reminded him of Jetfire. He had not known the Decepticon Seeker for long, but by Sam's recount Jetfire had defected and helped them out, before giving his life as one last act of redemption so that Optimus could defeat the Fallen.
So tragic that such a noble being like Jetfire should be lost in the war.
Ironhide would have told him that he should keep his head focused on the battle, Jazz would have told him to take it easy. Both Ironhide and Jazz, taken away from him forever. His friends. His closest and oldest friend, his first lieutenant...
He still had trouble believing that Ironhide was truly gone. All this while Ironhide had always seemed indestructible, always bad-tempered, trigger-happy, ever loyal...
Jazz, ever so dependable...
Skids and Mudflap, so young...
Jolt, Arcee, Chromia and Elita...
Optimus allowed the grief to wash over him, remembering his closest friends, countless more he had lost to the war... Sentinel Prime, his old mentor, the Sentinel that was wise, now gone forever, replaced by an insane megalomaniac...
Optimus weaved through the Decepticon gunships, and shot toward where the explosions were.
And he was reminded, again, how the humans deserved to live more than they do.
No matter what divided them, the NEST soldiers, mercenaries and whatever other fighters had been rounded up, were fighting brilliantly, as best as they could. Parachutes, NEST weapons, rockets... they too, had losses. More, even, than the Autobots.
Can he do any less?
Gunships pursued Optimus, and he had to weave around them.
Optimus watched as Barricade and several other Decepticons were taken out by the humans. Watched as, despite the suicidal dangers it posed, one of the NEST soldiers parachuted down onto the Decepticon general Shockwave's head and shot him in the neck. Shockwave tossed him away, and, as Optimus watched, he was fearful that another life would be lost... but no, the humans watch out for their own.
Another group opened fire at Shockwave from the building, despite the fact that all it would take was a single blast from Shockwave to kill them...
And he would had, too, if the Wreckers hadn't rolled in, opening fire with all their firepower... despite the impossible odds, they fought. Optimus felt a massive surge of pride for his Autobots just then.
Optimus saw, from the opposite direction, the rest of his Autobots, as well as more humans, arriving. With a sinking feeling, he saw that there were only four of them left...
They had lost Que as well...
Optimus roared, and fired missiles -nto the gunships pursuing him, turning the pursuing Decepticons into fireballs.
About three blocks away, Sentinel Prime was standing on top of the domed building. "It's our world now!" He declared loudly. "Commence transport!"
How dare he.
Optimus narrowed his optics. He had shown mercy and compassion before... exercised restraint... that was who he is. The protector of justice, the last of the Primes. But how could he spare monsters like Sentinel and Megatron, while condemning the humans and his Autobots?
It was then, that he knew what to do.
Launching himself off a building, Optimus closed the distance of a street block, descending as he did so.
"OPTIMUS!" Sam Witwicky cried out loud, and Optimus knew that Sam, like the rest of the humans, like his faithful Autobots, placed their faith in him. It was the burden of a leader.
Every single time, they always hinged on him... like it did during the whole Fallen business.
And he can not, will not, fail them.
Two blocks of Decepticons stood between him and Sentinel. Lennox's human ground team had cleared out. His Autobots, seeing him descend, took it as a second wind and began to charge.
Too long. They won't make it in time.
Optimus Prime intended to make good his threat earlier to kill all the Decepticons.
They do not deserve to live.
Optimus shot over the heads of Ratchet, Bumblebee and Sideswipe as they charged forwards, opening fire at the Decepticons on the street. The Decepticons outnumber them thirty to one easily, yet they did not falter. Neither did the humans.
Optimus saw the amount of wrecked traffic, and realized that each wrecked car on the street meant at least one dead human civilian.
Optimus let out a roar of anguish and rage. Things seemed to move in slow motion then.
Optimus Prime literally unleashed all the firepower his jetpack had to bear, blowing apart several front-liners, as well as a tank-Decepticon.
Optimus landed, still opening fire, firing and blowing apart the massive Constructicon in front of him. Spinning around from the momentum, Optimus cried out, discarded his jetpack, unsheathed his blade, and slammed it into another Decepticon in front of him. As he completed his rotation, Optimus slammed the lifeless husk onto the ground, while his other arm continued to shoot Decepticons apart.
They had names, they had lives and personalities...
So did Jazz.
Roaring again, he opened fire, bullets tearing into Decepticons, tearing them apart, killing them. Explosions all around.
Let them pay.
Let them pay. For Jazz. For Chicago, for Jetfire, for Skids, for Mudflap, for the Arcees, for Jolt, for Que.
Another explosion. Another death. Another memory, another dying face Optimus would have to carry with him forevermore if he survived.
Do not falter.
The humans. Protect the humans.
Still sliding through with the momentum from the jetpack, Optimus unsheathed his blade, and swung it with so much force through the Decepticon on his right that the murderer exploded.
His world was on fire, death everywhere.
Avenge the humans, avenge his soldiers.
Optimus threw his sword onto the next Decepticon, and as the Decepticon fell lifeless, Optimus pulled his blade out and stabbed the Constructicon in his way.
Optimus' enhanced weaponry, Que's last gift, had been spent, and he discarded those, hacking at the Constructicon as his momentum bled out, Optimus unsheathed the other blade and slashed onto the final Decepticon soldier on his way.
They all died, blowing apart behind him.
Still Optimus Prime ran.
Two blocks' worth of Decepticons dead... and Optimus Prime intended to murder one more.
He rolled forwards, avoiding the blast from Shockwave's deadly cannon arm.
Shockwave, the Decepticons' deadliest warrior. A complete monster. No matter what the Wreckers and the humans had thrown at him, even a direct shot through the neck, he was still fighting. Struggling, however.
Someone had fired onto Shockwave's side, and he leant forwards, disoriented.
Honour dictated he had to wait until Shockwave was ready...
And then he remembered how Ironhide had been shot in the back, and any form of restraint left him.
"RRRAAAAAAAAAA!" Optimus' spiked bracers locked onto place and with the most savage blow he had ever given, he tore onto Shockwave's side, sending chunks of metal and red energon spurting everywhere.
Shockwave lurched in surprise, most certainly the logical Decepticon did not even compute the possibility of a very murderous Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime turned to face Shockwave again, and found that he felt no mercy.
No mercy whatsoever for the Decepticon who spearheaded an attack to murder an entire city of defenseless humans.
Optimus Prime lashed out, punched Shockwave in the face with such force the clang reverberated through his arm. He grabbed Shockwave's cannon arm with one hand and the Decepticon's ruined head with his other, and his growled with such hatred that the voice did not sound like his own.
"YOU DIE!" Optimus slammed Shockwave onto the ground, and with a roar tore out Shockwave's eye out.
It would not bring the people of Chicago back, but it would ensure that Shockwave never harmed a living soul anymore.
Without pausing, Optimus tossed away Shockwave's eye, and used the Decepticon's cannon to open fire at the dome in which the Control Pillar was contained.
Sentinel Prime wanted to save Cybertron? A dead husk of a planet? Condemning a race of living humans to do so?
Let him die with Cybertron. Let him die with Shockwave and the two dozen Decepticons Optimus just murdered.
The survival of their race? With the two hundred or so Cybertronians left, with probably around thirty hatchlings... they were a dead race anyway. They were long-lasting old fossils, but the humans have entire lifetimes in front of them. It is not right. Freedom is their right.
Optimus knew it was so very wrong to think that way, it was Megatron's way of thinking...
But what could he do? Let Sentinel go, hope he learns his lesson? He did that with Megatron, and it got Ironhide, Que, and two-thirds of Chicago dead.
This ends here.
The dome blew apart, Sentinel screamed, and Optimus knew that he probably just cut his home planet in two.
Better to lose a dead Cybertron than to lose an entire race of living beings.
Optimus Prime ran up, knowing that, whichever way this battle is going to be, it was going to be the last time he would see Sentinel Prime, his mentor, his leader...
Now his enemy. Now the enemy of the Autobots and mankind.
Now standing on top of the building, strutting like he was a god. He probably thinks he's the second coming of Primus. "Get down here, Sentinel!" Optimus Prime snarled, voice full of venom.
"Optimus." Sentinel Prime unsheathed his Primax Blade, the legendary blade which smote thousands in the protection of Cybertron. "You forget your place."
No, Optimus Prime's place was exactly why he was standing here, about to fight his mentor to the death.
His place was here. On Earth. As leader of the Autobots, defending his home, his friends, from a madman trying to enslave it to rebuild a dead world with an army of murderers.
Sentinel jumped down the building, stabbing his blade into the side of the building to slow his fall.
"I bring you Cybertron. Your home." A dead world. "And still you choose humanity." A race of living people that deserve to live more than the Cybertronians do.
Optimus' faceplate clicked onto place as he drew his Energon axe and unsheathed his blade. With a tone that was almost melancholic, he said, "You were the one that taught me freedom was everyone's right."
How far had you fallen, my friend.
How very twisted your ideals now are.
I am so very sorry....
With a roar to ignore the pain he was feeling, Optimus slashed and hacked onto Sentinel with a savagery that must have surprised the older Autobot, slamming him onto the building.
Optimus rained down blows onto Sentinel, each blow savage. With each blow Optimus remembered Jazz, Ironhide, Jetfire, Que and the rest of his dead comrades. Sentinel barely got his shield up in time to ward off a fatal blow to his head. "I will retrigger that pillar!" Sentinel declared.
Still he cares about his pillar.
Still he thinks this is a game.
Left unchecked he will murder everyone.
For the humans, for his Autobots, to avenge the dead, to save the living who placed their faith in him... Lennox and Epps and Bumblebee and Ratchet and everyone who was now rushing to his aid...
No, this was the right course. Murder might not be ethical, but so is apathy. Sentinel Prime cannot be allowed to survive.
Optimus narrowed his optics.
"Then-" Optimus snarled, "you have to go through me."