Terminology and Language
- Main article: Cybertronian Terminology
Social Stigmas and Taboo
- Main article: Cybertronian Creation
14 Million BCE
Primus, a brilliant Quintesson scientist, goes rogue, fed up with not being allowed more freedom in his experiments. He sets out to create a race of his own; a race that will survive him, and will worship him forever. Locating a large, ore-rich asteroid belt, he selects one good-sized asteroid and builds drone-robots that mine the other asteroids and encase the entire asteroid with metal, building several layers atop it. Cables, wiring, engines are placed throughout the layers.
He names his new base Cybertronia when construction is finally complete, and heads away from the asteroid belt closer towards the core of the galaxy. He wanders around from system to system, harvesting resources and stocking his metal planet to the brim, not wanting to have to constantly refuel. Primus is a little absent-minded, however, and forgets to deactivate all of his mindless drones. They placidly keep going around and building layers. Many of the fuel and mineral deposits he has had harvester drones collect and store on the surface become covered over (the source of future mines), leading the harvester drones to think that they are running out of resources, and start to go out and look for more.
Primus' first experiments are miserable failures, most of the wretched results barely living long enough to draw a single breath, and the few that survive unintelligent, shambling monstrosities (the Transorganics). Dismayed but not dissuaded, he shifts his attention from biological to mechanical life. This creation survives and has vast intelligence, but has no emotions or motivation: it must be programmed to do anything. This is the supercomputer Vector Sigma.
Frustrated, Primus returns to the drawing board. He begins to use Vector Sigma as an assistant, programming him to help make his creations. One day, he makes a mistake and feeds in some of the old plans for creating organic life. Vector Sigma churns over the information and resolves the inconsistencies, and creates a new life form: a mechanical life-form with evolutionary capabilities. The Cybertronians are born. Primus finds the originals and improves on the basic design, adding some integral design patterns to give them even more of a drive by instilling some basic goals in each.
A golden age begins on Cybertronia, as the new creations emerge onto the surface of their homeworld and start to create a civilization. Primus watches over them rather smugly, adding new enhancements to them and to Cybertronia as time goes on. But then Primus begins to feel the touch of his own mortality. He sets his drone-like mechs, now called the Guardians, to protect Vector Sigma, the planet, and the Cybertronians, and prepares for death while his creations grieve in anticipation, vowing never to forget him.
He feels some niggling fear, however. The other Quintessons haven't shown up during his life, but he fears that the Cybertronians may be assaulted by them after his death. He decides that in order to protect them, he needs to keep certain information secret from them until they learn more about the galaxy. He wants their civilization to develop normally: they have already started out at a technological level incomparable to any evolved organic race. So he takes certain steps...
He builds three mentally and physically enhanced 'protectors' who are intended to have far longer lifespans than the other Cybertronians and provide continuity for them: Alpha Trion, Straxus, and Excelsius. He constructs three geographically separated bases for each of them: Iaconia, Calyhex, and Myridon. To each one he entrusts the guardianship of one powerful artifact. Alpha Trion receives the Matrix of Leadership, an artifact that can store impressions and memories of great individuals, if they bear it for some time, and which can detect leadership ability. Straxus receives the Seal of Cybertronia.... To Excelsius, his final creation, he gives the Oracle: a storage device with his final testament that holds all of his experimental records and a chronicle of Cybertronia's history, which also is tied into the network of Cybertronia and can affect its environment.
And then, Primus dies.
13 Million BCE
Lost for a while without their creator, the Cybertronians are rather aimless for some time. They have everything they need provided, and only the slight impetus of their basic programming to motivate them to do anything. They do slowly begin to develop new technologies to explore space, as the galaxy out there does fascinate them. But only slowly, Cybertronia is moving around at this time and new worlds are being encountered every so often.
One small group of Cybertronians, members of the sanitation detail, do start to get motivated, because they have been programmed to LIKE their work, which requires constant contact with junk. The rest of the Cybertronians like their world neat and orderly... these robots like chaos and messiness. They're tired of having to make things neat when they like the mess better. So, when Cybertronia passes by a deserted world, covered with the detritus of a civilization that destroyed itself through environmental catastrophe as a result of overdevelopment, this group "jumps ship" and settles on this nice, junk-covered world. They are the precursors of the Junkions, and this explains their more placid, content natures and their similar physical design: they were never enslaved and never experienced the wars.
And then, one day, the ship arrives.
The pilots disembark, and the Cybertronians are stunned to see beings in the image of their creator! By this time, Primus is a distant memory, and the memorial erected by Excelsius at Myridon has become more of a temple than a monument. The arrival of the Quintessons is like a myth or legend coming to life, and the Cybertronians are overwhelmed, showering the Quintessons with friendship and awe. Only Straxus, deliberately programmed to be cautious to the point of slight paranoia by Primus, is skeptical and urges the others to be careful with the Quintessons... but his warnings aren't heeded, and he is overruled by the overjoyed Excelsius and Alpha Trion, who feel as though they have their beloved creator back.
The Quintessons are no fools, and quickly take advantage of this openness. While the Quints openly profess friendship, the guardians are all quietly reprogrammed to obey them alone, and one day the Cybertronians wake up as slaves, herded to reprogramming facilities by their massive sentinels.Straxus had returned to his stronghold of Skymount in Calyhex once overruled and had decided that he was going to take some precautionary steps anyway. As a result, the Quintessons did not have access to all of Skymount and the guardians there are still loyal to Straxus and the Cybertronians. But they are hopelessly outnumbered, and Straxus knows that it is only a matter of time, even though he and his followers are determined to stand to the end.
Excelsius and Alpha Trion make their way to Skymount through the catacombs of Cybertron, unknown to nearly all but the three. The triad hold a desperate conference, trying to find some way of averting the total enslavement of their race.... Alpha Trion communes with the Matrix of Leadership and comes out with a plan...
He presents his plan: Excelsius will use the Oracle to place a specific, non-reversible command into Vector Sigma -- that all of its creations should have the desire to be free. The Quintessons will not be able to create willing slaves. He will additionally use the Oracle to plant within each of the triad a specific timetable of events: at some time in the future, when the Quintessons are settled and no longer feel themselves threatened, each of them will begin organizing a rebellion.
However, there is a catch. These things could be anticipated and reversed... were the Quintessons to learn of the plans. So the three must all submit to having their memories wiped and their artifacts somehow shielded from use.
Reluctantly agreeing, all three join together as the Quintesson guardians break down the last resistance, using the Oracle to implant the Plan and damage their memories. The Quintessons find the three disoriented and note that they are placid and obedient in their memoryless state. Thinking they have hit upon a wonderful idea, the Quintessons quickly wipe the memories of nearly all the other Cybertronians, destroying their memories of the time before the Quintesson Invasion.
The Quintessons quickly clone more creation factories like Vector Sigma, seeing the Cybertronians as valuable commodities for sale to other empires. The Quintessons begin selling Cybertronians throughout the galaxy as slaves. However, the imperative placed in Vector Sigma survives on in its clones: all the Cybertronians want to be free. The Quintessons use restraining bolts and programs, and terror-tactics... but they can't find a way to remove the desire. Vector Sigma remains impenetrable to them: they can copy it to a degree, but they can't understand how it functions, OR how the Cybertronians function. They try to reproduce them, but the best they can do is make semi-intelligent creatures.
However, the Quintessons can and do alter the "basic program designs" to their increased profit: they don't need all segments of a civilization. Slaves are either used as domestic servants or for dangerous/unpleasant duties such as military service or mining, after all: they aren't used as artists or scientists or leaders. They therefore begin to create two very distinct classes of robots: military-industrial and civilian-protocol. The second class, in general, requires more friendly and pleasant personalities, while the first requires more aggressiveness.
Perhaps some of these slaves rebelled or deserted, overcoming restraints to go off and found new worlds...
12 Million BCE
The Quintessons grow lazy, living off the riches of robot sales, and one day the Plan is set into motion: Alpha Trion, Excelsius, and Straxus each found revolutionary cells that find quick and intense support from the population of what is now called 'Cybertron'. Thus begins the First Cybertronian War. After some initial victories, the Cybertronians are close to victory, when word comes that a Quintesson resupply ship is coming with reinforcements that will mean the end of the rebellion... if it can deliver those reinforcements to the last remaining stronghold, situated on the Plains of Istoral.
The ship is just about to land, and a furious battle is raging on the plains as the Cybertronian group under Excelsius desperately fights to take the base before the ship can land. At this crucial moment, Excelsius sees the ship descending and remembers, vaguely, the original arrival of the Quints... and remembers the Oracle. He rushes into the base where he has been leading his cell: his old headquarters of Myrmidon, now known as the Temple of Primus. He uncovers the Oracle, hidden for all this time in the altar there and links into it and into Cybertron's network. At his command, several crucial, supporting beams within the layers of Cybertron are withdrawn... and with a thunderous roar, a massive section of the surface of Cybertron collapses into what is thereafter known as the Istoral Trench. The section includes both the Quintesson base and the Temple, and the resulting debris clogs the engines of the landing ship and makes it blow up. Cybertron is now free.
Having ousted the Quintessons, Cybertron enjoys a brief time of peace and pure research, known as the Golden Age of Cybertron. City-states develop around the industrial centers the Quintessons built. The Cybertronians set up a council to rule their planet, overseen by Straxus and Alpha Trion. With knowledge stolen from the Quintessons, the Cybertronians learn to master subspace. This knowledge is put to use, as they learn to transform, changing their bodies into different forms.
Unfortunately, the peace does not last forever. Without the balancing factor of Excelsius, the very-different Alpha Trion and Straxus cannot reach agreement on things. Straxus has been hardened by the years of slavery and rebellion, his natural tendencies towards suspicion and the desire to maintain order and control altered into dark paranoia and a driving ambition to make Cybertron so powerful that no slaver could ever threaten it again... and he believes that the ends justify the means. Alpha Trion has been made more gentle by those same years, saddened by the destruction of the Cybertronia he only vaguely remembers yet buoyed up by the supportive force of the Matrix. The two constantly clash: Alpha Trion wants to turn inward, to rebuild and recreate, to rediscover the creative impulses within the Cybertronians. Straxus wants to push outward, to seize new grounds and fortify current holdings rather than tear them down and rebuild for what he sees as "frivolous" purposes.
Straxus puts his desires into practice in the city of Calyhex, now known as Polyhex, and turns his former base of Skymount into a dark, brooding fortress that he renames Darkmount with pride. Many members of the military-industrial sector join him, finding his authoritarian control a good replacement for the command hierarchy they no longer have. However, many others want nothing more than to get away from all things military, and go to more neutral areas and/or join Alpha Trion's supporters in Iacon. The more civilian-service Transformers generally support Alpha Trion's group or remain neutral.
Eventually, the crisis arises: Cybertron begins to run a little low on fuel. The planet needs to restock or it cannot continue moving around. The metal world is passing close to an energy-rich system, with plenty of resources to refuel Cybertron. Straxus proposes that they travel to the system and harvest it. There's just one catch, that Alpha Trion learns just as the Council is about to approve Straxus's proposal: the system is inhabited by a sentient but non-developed race.
Straxus argues that the non-technological organics don't need and can't use the resources of their system. Alpha Trion counters that they eventually will, and will suffer for the removal of them. Straxus responds that the Cybertronians have the right and the ability to take what they need. The Council splits almost down the middle... but Alpha Trion's side wins by a very small margin. Cybertron will continue onward in search of an uninhabited system to harvest.
Furious at what he sees as gambling with Cybertron's future, Straxus returns to Darkmount and, in defiance of the Council, sends a raiding party to collect some small measure of resources. He privately resolves that he will not tolerate another such decision. When his actions are discovered, he is publicly censured by the Council and branded a Deceptor - rather than imprisonment (the Cybertronians are still touchy about the idea of limiting liberty in any way), the punishments are closer to those of Puritans or Amish: the criminal is punished by public shame and branding. However, this backfires: Straxus isn't ashamed, and his followers all brand themselves with the symbol as well to denote their support. It becomes a symbol of belief... and a symbol of a growing division.
Cybertron moves on, and reaches another system... and this one is also inhabited, by a species that is industrializing. The Council once again votes not to harvest its resources. Straxus stands up after the vote and denounces the Council, saying that anyone who disagrees with him is "No better than an automated robot" (auto-bot ;). Despite the Council mediators trying to make them both stand down, Alpha Trion stands and engages in a shouting match with Straxus, saying that he would gladly be an 'autobot' if that meant protecting others' lives. Straxus sneers at him some more and walks out.
Straxus leads a team to the world and begins to take resources. Alpha Trion organizes a party of robots who brand themselves differently and call themselves Autobots. They face off against Straxus and his group of 'Decepticons'. Cybertronian fights Cybertronian for the first time... Straxus pulls his group back once they have amassed a decent amount of resources... and then proceeds to start a campaign of conquest and unification across Cybertron. Thus begins the Second Cybertronian War.
After the start of the War, Alpha Trion is surprised when the matrix "requests" another holder. Alpha Trion passes the matrix off to a worthy Autobot who just happens to be in charge of the military arm of the Autobots. As the war goes on, the Matrix gets passed from Autobot leader to Autobot leader when one leader dies and finds another worthy inheritor (as told to him by the Matrix itself).
Most city-states remain neutral, seeing the Decepticons as little more than a disorganized rabble. Slowly, however, they begin a slow conquest of the planet, and as more and more city-states either fall or join the Decepticons, Alpha Trion and the Autobots begin fighting back, showing up to aid neutral cities. Soon the council crumbles, and most cities have joined either the Autobots or Decepticons. The battle lines are drawn, and the war begins.
As the fighting rages on, Cybertron passes near to a solar system occasionally. Both sides send out forces to acquire resources from these systems, occasionally setting up outposts. At times, the planet passes by a system where transformers are still enslaved, and they gladly enter the ranks of whichever side frees them. Soon, the Autobots and Decepticons are scattered across the galaxy, yet the main goal of the war remains to conquer Cybertron.
10 Million BCE
The war continues, but after a long time, the Autobots prevail after Cybertron hits a belt of uninhabited and resource-rich worlds. Many Decepticons lose motivation, and Straxus is unable to retain their loyalty after they have grown tired of the war. The crews of the Steelhaven and the Hellbender depart Cybertron, Fortress Maximus trying to lure Scorponok away from Cybertron. Scorponok still manages to fell two Primes, Sentinel and Sarikus, before he departs. Angry and frustrated, Straxus heads towards the interior of Cybertron, and on his way back to the surface, he stumbles upon an artifact nearly forgotten amidst an ancient factory... Vector Sigma. The original and the only sentient creation factory. Cloned, but never duplicated, by the Quintessons. The only one capable of producing true leaps in creation. Straxus is inspired and makes a request of Vector Sigma. He asks Vector Sigma to design new Cybertronians -- a group of warriors who will change the balance of power on Cybertron. Vector Sigma complies and produces schematics for the new Decepticons, all endowed through antigravity with a new capability: flight in the unaerodynamic robot mode. Activating idle dronebots among the factory, Straxus has his new warriors built with the last of the factory's material and power reserves. Presenting the built bodies to Vector Sigma, Straxus' final directive is that they be infused with life and conquering warrior personalities to match their designs.
Rather than returning triumphant with his next generation of warriors, however, Straxus is never seen alive on the surface again.
During this time period, an Autobot leader lies dying, unable to find a successor for the Matrix. Desperate, he asks for someone to call Alpha Trion, and asks the ancient Autobot to guard the Matrix until someone else worthy comes along. He dies, leaving Alpha Trion with the Matrix, and the Autobots start living in peace, thinking that all is well since the Matrix doesn't feel a need to be carried around.
Years later, a Decepticon called Megatron begins a program of conquest once again. Alpha Trion, by now old and tired, is horrified by the progress of this powerful new Decepticon. He despairs, not wanting to lead through yet another war. One day while he slowly tries to organize care for the wounded and some sort of defense, a young injured Cybertronian named Orion Pax is brought to him for repairs. As he bends over Orion, the Matrix flares within him... and he realizes that the time has come to pass it on. Rebuilding Orion Pax in a more powerful frame, he places the artifact in his chassis, relieved that his long vigil has finally come to an end. The young Cybertronian is reactivated with a new purpose and a new name: Optimus Prime.
Megatron finds himself forced to fight other would be Decepticon "leaders". After a long struggle against various warlords, he finally manages to force his way into becoming the uncontested Leader of the Decepticon Army. Many Decepticons hate him or are jealous and spend the brief moments of "peace" during the 3rd war to attempt to "dethrone" him. They all fail.
The Third Cybertronian War begins. It will rage (sometimes quietly) without cessation for more than 10 million years, destroying and stripping Cybertron of resources, as the metal planet no longer continues on its course to harvest new resources. The Seal and the Oracle are both lost and forgotten, and the Matrix is now believed a purely Autobot artifact. Primus is a faint legend and the Quintessons a distant even if loathed memory.
4 Million BCE
The Decepticon hold is largely consolidated, but events have frozen into a stalemate, limited by the death of resources. Cybertron drifts, nearly stripped, close to becoming a dead world. The Autobots, in desperation, realize that some new resources must be found if their species is to even continue to exist. Scientists search and search... and finally one brilliant one, Perceptor, locates a new system within reachable distance, formerly unnoticed because of the relative faintness of its star, with no signs of developing sentient life.
The Autobots build the Ark and a selected group heads towards Earth to get some resources. The Decepticons pursue, both ships are caught in the unsuspected asteroid belt, they crash-land on Earth, and the occupants are deactivated.
Shockwave is the acting commander of the remaining Decepticon forces on Cybertron. While he would like nothing better than to take command himself, when Megatron doesn't return and is presumed dead, he finds it useful to cultivate the mythos of the vanished leader in order to rule more easily, using his predecessor's charisma to compensate for his own lack thereof. Unfortunately, his plans for expansion must wait. Cybertron still has no new resources. However, Shockwave has projected that Cybertron will pass by a harvestable system, through random stellar drift, in 5 million years. He is patient and doesn't mind waiting it out. He deactivates many warriors, keeping only enough to maintain Decepticon holdings, and sets aside enough resources to do the harvesting. The Autobots fortify Iacon and try to conserve and survive as best they may, with the situation on Cybertron slowly settling into a dull armed truce.
Ten-thousand (10,000) years after Megatron and Optimus disappear, a group of Autobots discover the planet called Neddron. In an attempt to get away from the war, these Autobots hoard energon and other resources to build their spaceship. When the rest of the army finds out about the Neddron group's antics, they're furious. The Neddron Autobots leave Cybertron, only to be found out by Shockwave. Years later, after he gathers enough resources, he sends a group of Decepticons after the Neddron-bound Autobots. The war continues on Neddron and the Cybertronions there are forced to change their technology and war tactics in order to survive Neddron's hostile environment.