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Charlotte posted a topic in forums_forum_341https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebk52iDL4tw Everyone had been to too many funerals. But the universe insisted on throwing everyone one more. The Autobot known as Bumblebee was never the strongest Autobot, or the fastest, or the most scientifically inclined. At the end, after the events of the past several years, he wasn't even the most beloved. But even many of the Decepticons who'd tried for millenia to kill him had to admit that he was the most Autobot of Autobots; fiercely loyal, intensely compassionate, and committed to his principles. His funeral was well-attended. Prowl, ever the forward planner, had dispatched guards in the event that someone tried something - but no attack came. Maybe it was the final stand-down order that Megatron had given the previous day; maybe it had been the recent attack by the ancient Metrotitan, amidst the machinations of the long-lost Transformers of the Dead Universe; maybe, after years of infighting and scrambling to maintain a fragile peace, no one was in the mood to fight. As speeches were given, those in attendance reflected on the day. For the Decepticons, everything seemed to change on that fateful day two years ago, when Galvatron - manipulated by the primordial forces of the Dead Universe - momentarily caused the combination of every single Decepticon on Cybertron to merge into a giant "omni-combiner." Robbed of will, that being was then forced to fight their leader, Megatron. After Galvatron's defeat - after Optimus Prime and Rodimus used the Matrix to heal Galvatron's infection of Vector Sigma - and without their leader, the Decepticons had surrendered. All were faced with the problem of how to peacefully co-exist with the Autobots - a state of affairs made somewhat easier by the ascent of Starscream to the role of supreme ruler of Cybertron. For those unaffiliated, everything had changed with the healing of Vector Sigma - the origin of, one way or another, all Transformer life - and the signal it had sent out to every single Transformer in the universe: "the war is over. Come home." They had arrived to see a Cybertron that had come alive with strange phenomena that were barely understood - resurgent wildlife, strange weather, energon anomalies - and cities that had been ravaged by war. The war may have been over, but its wounds were still open wide and unrepaired. For the Autobots, the loss of the Matrix of Leadership - something considered a myth by many unaffiliated, a useful prize by Decepticon orthodoxy, and a holy artifact by the Autobots - stung most of all. Without it to splice sparks from and create new, constructed-cold Transformers, and without any new hotspots that gave birth to naturally occuring sparks that could be forged into new bodies, the future of the Transformer race was in doubt like never before. It had saved them all from one threat, and its loss had created another. The Autobots closest to Bumblebee gave their speeches. Prowl gave brief, utilitarian praise to Bumblebee's pragmatic nature. Rodimus spoke of how Bumblebee had the biggest spark housed in the smallest body, and only used the phrase "until all are one" twice (a new record.) Optimus Prime, who would always be a leader of the Autobots even if he wasn't necessarily the current leader, gave the kind of inspired speech that had made him respected, even by his enemies. Then Prime gave Bumblebee his last rites. He touched the center of his chest, where his spark would be. "I commend your spark to the Allspark and the Allspark is one spark and the one spark is your spark and in this way we are all connected." All mourners present spoke in unison. "And in this way we are all connected." * * * After the funeral, several Transformers - both those in attendance at the funeral, and those who had been elsewhere on Cybertron - received summons from on high. For the Autobots Seahawk and Highlift, it came from Optimus Prime himself; for Arsenal, it came from President Starscream; for Redline and Raker, it came from former Decepticon Supreme Leader Megatron; for Algorithm, it came from Captain Rodimus. Optimus was at the embassy, helping with newcomers from Cybertron's lost colonies. Starscream was in his office at the tallest building in Iacon, Cybertron's capital city. Megatron was moving into the captain's quarters aboard the Lost Light, while Rodimus sulked worked on a hobby of his in the hangar of that ship. Everyone had heard of the Nova Praxis, the recently built sister ship to the Lost Light; a faster-than-light quantum ship, staffed with diplomats and support staff, on a mission to a station in neutral territory, in help finalizing post-war reintegration between Cybertron's factions and the rest of the universe. Some had already signed up; others were weighing their decision. Wherever they stood, the Nova Praxis was on everyone's lips, and whatever was about to be discussed had to have direct bearing on that mission.