Disclaimer: I don't own anything, nor are any profit to be made by this. All rights belong to Hasbro, and their other proper owners.

Summary: Optimus had warned Sam that "fate rarely calls upon us during the moment of our choosing…" Nor does it necessarily ever pick the best person for the job as Sam would come to find out. Ultimately however, it would be the Matrix of Leadership that would decide the fate of our world, including who would save it.

Setting :Taking place after the PA skirmish in RotF.

Warnings: There will technically be a character death, and may contain spoilers for the movie. Will also include some Generation one bots later on; such as Sunstreaker (Side's Twin), Prowl, Wheeljack, Mirage, and Ultra Magnus.

Segment 1- The Downfall of Optimus

He had watched in utter horror as the brave Autobot leader's optics dimmed, his tall form colliding with the ground in a symphony of shrapnel and crunching metal before him. Sam's heart throbbed in his chest as he ran for his life. He had no hopes or even dreams of what would come next, there was no one standing between him and Megatron anymore. It would haunt him every time he closed his eyes, that scene replaying over and over like a broken projector on his eyelids, the death of Optimus Prime in order to save him.

He had originally ran to Bumblebee out of sheer relief, but as soon as he entered the vehicle he knew that wasn't it. His friend and guardian drove off like a bat out of hell, ducking behind Ratchet and Ironhide who were providing cover fire for their escape. When Mikaela wrapped her hands around him it was all he could do not to cry. One of the bravest beings in his life had just died, and all for him. It didn't matter if that had been Optimus' own choice or not, the guilt of what happened settled firmly on Sam's heart.

Leo didn't stop talking during the drive until Mikaela made a half hearted threat to 'nut him' if he didn't shut up. After remembering the bot she had ruthlessly smashed short hours earlier he complied instantly. Sam spent the rest of the drive in an uneasy nap in her arms, he tried to sleep, but all that came to him was that scene again and again.

It had been difficult attempting to calm his overstressed mind. What with Leo freaking out on them all and claiming that he was the one the Decepticons were after in the beginning because of his stupid website. That and the Allspark was sending him all sorts of signals that were haunting his waking vision. Symbols, characters, glyphs, vs the endless nightmare of the fall of Optimus Prime. Sam only wished that what Leo thought was true, and then Leo could be the one to deal with the damn Allspark and its mood swings coupled with insane amounts of information that humans shouldn't possess! He could also be the one kicked out of Astronomy 101 for flipping out so superbly instead of Sam, then he could be the one tongued by diesel robot chick Alice.

It was moments like this that made him regret his choices back in high school. Why the hell did he have to put on the brave front and get in the car? It all came back to what Optimus once said to him, "Sam, fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing." Fate also rarely cared who it picked, or if they were even wholly capable of doing what it was that fate required. He hated fate, it had dealt him a lousy hand and forced him to play it to the final bluff. His loss resulted in the death of a friend and several other injuries on his chosen college.

Sam thought that perhaps that was why sentient beings were doomed to misery. They had to play the hands that Fate dealt to them. He woke up draped over one of Bumblebee's warm seats, soft jazz drifting over the radio. His heart had stopped racing at least, the Allspark was still sending him coded messages that he had no way to understand. The symbols drifting across his vision were more like normal people and watching the cells float across your eyes lazily.

Bumblebee chirped a sad greeting, Sam forced a smile up for his friend. With no more than a pat on the dash, the door closest to him opened to reveal wherever the bot had taken them for shelter. The twins were chattering and pestering Leo, who was undoubtedly somewhere nearby judging from the loud protesting on his part. Mikaela sat against Bumblebee's hood seeming to be deep in thought, her expression was so serious he almost didn't want to interrupt her.

"Sam, are you alright?" Mikaela asked noticing that he was up and about at last. He felt himself tremble, his heart ached for Bumblebee, and he wondered if anyone other than the Autobots and Lennox's team knew of the Prime's fate. He doubted that anyone other than the fallen bot and himself knew the irony of their last conversation.

"Bee, what happens now?" he whispered at the bot. He warbled in response, apparently he hadn't told the others yet, perhaps he should tell Mikaela. "Optimus is dead…" He must have sounded pathetic, but she needed to know, "and it's all my fault. I should have helped him sooner, now the world is going nuts and trying to kill us." Bee warbled again, nudging Sam's legs. His girlfriend frowned, she allowed him to hug her with soft tears of grief. When he finally had his tears dried it was nightfall.

"Sam, it's going to be alright, Ironhide won't let Optimus' sacrifice go to waste, and neither will Ratchet," she held him, making him feel a little better. Everything from that moment on felt like his life was on someone's screen, and that they were reviewing every choice he had made. Fate it seemed had a cruel sense of humor, not that Sam wanted to encourage it.

Leo had crawled his way back to their sad excuse of a base camp for reasons unknown. He had led them straight into the less than enthused meat counter of former Agent Seymour Simmons of Sector 7 under the assumption it was just another blogger like himself with even more arrogance. The resulting conversation ended with them meeting a surprising old bot that called himself Jetfire. Shamelessly bad jokes and parachutes aside it had been an enlightening experience. Sam ended up beyond dizzy, as he and the others were transported via space bridge. When he blinked he was falling from the air, not more than a second later his hand had been crushed as he fell from the sky into the harsh unforgiving sands of Egypt.

It hurt like hell, his heart ached for the loss of so many innocent civilians and soldiers, and he must have looked as shitty as he felt. Bumblebee and the others hadn't fared much better for landings, but at least metal landing like that could be repaired. Ratchet wouldn't be happy with any of them by the end of this, especially not with him if he told Ratchet that it was his fault that Optimus had been offlined.

For right now he was seated next to Mikaela, sitting on the edge of the ruins that paralleled the Great Sphinx, it still felt unsettling. He reflected again on the activities of this last week, something felt off. He still remembered that during Mission City an Autobot, Jazz, had been offlined. The Autobot second in command had been given a burial at sea, same as the Decepticon leader.

Unlike Jazz however Megatron had been brought back to life again using the shard of the Allspark that had been guarded at Diego Garcia. With the Decepticon reactivated it was only a matter of time before something went wrong. Of course with that shard used, and the other used on Jetfire that left none to revive Optimus. Though was it really possible to bring Optimus back from the other side? They no longer held any shards of the Allspark, they had no way to know if Ratchet could repair the big bad boss bot back to his full glory, or to even close enough to normal for whatever Jetfire was speaking about to work on him.

Without Optimus what would the Autobots do? What could any of them hope to do against this new enemy? Especially when the only one who could defeat it was a Prime, the one who stood for everything… Sam wanted to cry again, but Mikaela had noticed something that his brain had yet to connect. Though her intention was romantic, it jogged the Allspark into pestering him, which was he needed. They were sitting under the stars next to the most beautiful pyramids on the planet. Three pyramids built by three kings to represent Orion's belt on earth, and what had Jetfire told them?

"When dawn alights the dagger's tip three kings will reveal the doorway," Sam repeated softly drawing confusion from his girlfriend, he lead her downstairs to wake up Leo and Simmons to announce their latest discovery. Leo hadn't been in Astronomy 101 long enough to get to page 46 of their textbook, the part where it explained that Orion's belt was also referred to as the Three Kings.

When he pointed this out to his comrades they quickly made their way to the Mountains of Petra as the stars pointed to. Sam was glad that Bumblebee knew where they were going, because he really couldn't tell one rock or piece of dust from another. Even with GPS it would not have been easy for the bot, but perhaps he had a more advanced version.

It took several minutes even with Bee's system leading the way, and at the end of their cosmic rainbow was a nice big slaggin' port of nothing. Of course there was also the fact that if it wasn't the biggest doorway ever made Simmons promised to do something humiliating. Leo called dibs on disproving that, Bumblebee had chirped excitedly at the bet, Sam and Mikaela were willing to bet the bot had evidence to that. In the mean time they studied the inside of the ruins at the dagger's tip.

It had all sorts of reliefs and mosaics, but no clues as to the whereabouts of this Matrix that Jetfire told them about. The Allspark did nothing to aid them either, it simply loitered around Sam's brain like the pink elephant in the room. Mikaela stood against him, she didn't understand either. It took the roughhousing antics of the twins to get a true breakthrough. Skids and Mudflap slammed hard against one of the frescos on the wall, and when the dust settled they heard a whistling sound. The same sound that anyone would recognize if they walked through a canyon like the one where Sector Seven was. The whistling of the wind, the Allspark went haywire as Sam examined the area. There were glyphs matching the ones running through his head beneath the plaster.

"Bee!" Sam looked at him. Bumblebee was quick to toss out the twins, he walked to the plaster and readied his plasma cannon. One concentrated shot later Sam felt like he was in an airlock from the amount of trapped air that fled the tomb they were searching for... The Tomb of the Primes.

Their hopes had been renewed only to fester back down as the Matrix of Leadership crumbled in his hands when they stumbled upon the long forgotten energy source. Sam fought the urge to scream in frustration, packing the dust of the matrix into a sock, daring to hope that with all his might that it would bring back the fallen Autobot leader. For hope was really the only thing keeping him going at this point.

Optimus had been watching this all from inside the matrix with a heavy spark, he had neglected to inform Samuel of the true fate of those who offlined. Even if Ratchet managed to repair his body, his spark had already been collected and in the matrix it would remain. There would only be one result if the matrix was used in the way Samuel intended… The former leader of the Autobots cringed, when Ratchet finally joined him in here he was going to get quite the earful.

A/N: Major Thanx and Assistance from Hittocere (hittocerebattosai and sparky-chan123 were great help too).

Please review and tell me how we did. TTFN