This is the first chapter in the first story in a big Transformers series I have planned out. I’ve put a lot of work into it. Please be sure to tell me what you think. Any favorite parts. Anything I could improve on. C&C welcome and appreciated.
Rise of Maximus
By: Maxwell Wade
#Chapter 1: Welcome to Cybertron
Darkness… then a light. A single fixed point, small and dim as though viewed from a great distance. Suddenly the light became brighter and more intense. It grew and grew until it was completely overwhelming.
Then… Awareness. This new consciousness initialized its optics for the first time, and found itself standing in a large room. In an instant it gained a sense of self and mind. His body was plain and featureless. He was flat grey from head to toe, save for his bright orange eyes. The only remarkable thing about him was his right eye. Instead of a standard optical sensor, his right eye was comprised of three separate and specialized lenses. One where his eye should be, the second a bit above and to the right, and the third below and to the right.
His first instinct was to explore his surroundings. First he looked up at the ceiling. It was vast and far above him, with elegant and grand decorations. As he looked, everything he would need to know about the ceiling folded out before him. Its function, name, and basic construction all rendered in his mind. Then he looked to his left. There he saw a support column. It was big and sturdy, with decorative runes and engravings running up and down it. As he looked at the structure, all the basic information he would need to know about it rendered before him, much like the ceiling.
He looked around with awe and wonder, taking in mass amounts of information as he looked around. Then he looked behind him, and he saw something different entirely. Before him was an immense circular hole. A massive and sacred structure leading directly to the core of the planet. This he knew with complete certainty. This wasn’t like the other bundles of information that initialized as he saw new things. This was powerful, definitive, and absolute. In an almost automatic response, he fell to one knee, as his understanding of the significance of this place truly dawned on him. The Well of Allsparks, where all his kind originated.
Spoke a voice from behind. The sudden noise was startling, causing him to fall backwards. Suddenly his mind was filled with more new data. He was flooded with the ideas of sound and language, as he was exposed to a whole new form of sensory input.
The owner of that voice walked up to and stood over the newborn cybertronian. He was red and white, and had a small crest on his forehead. There were two large round structures on his shoulders. As the newborn looked at the stranger, and gained access to more new information, he learned that those round structures were wheels. There were two more on the stranger’s legs. Then he spoke again.
“Welcome. My name is Hardware. Would you like some help?”
The stranger reached a hand down, and lifted the newborn to his feet.
He thought for a moment about what to do next, and decided to try replicating the sounds he heard. He replayed and processed the words in his mind, and then spoke.
He was startled by the sound of his own voice, but none the less found this new ability to be fascinating.
“So you can speak, excellent.”
“It usually takes bots a bit longer to learn something as complex as language. Now I know you have a lot on your mind. A lot of questions you want to ask, but first I need to ask you a few questions of my own. Can you tell me where we are?”
He thought for a brief moment, before the answer appeared in his mind, clear as crystal.
“Fantastic. Now can you tell me your name?”
This took a bit longer to consider. This was more than simple information. A name was something special. A single word that defines who you are. His mind raced with different possibilities. An incomprehensible number of words and sounds putting themselves together and coming apart all within the span of a single moment. Then one stood out. The perfect combination of words and syllables to form the label of his identity.
“Wonderful. Well Maximus, welcome to Cybertron. Now follow me. There is much I have to show you.”
Hardware said as he walked to the temple exit. Two grand and ancient doors stood as the only entrance. They were truly massive, as if they were made for beings much larger than themselves.
As they walked, Maximus looked around him. Analyzing every detail he could. Taking everything in. The two left the temple, allowing Maximus to see the greater world. Above him was a vast and infinite sky, filled with countless stars. Far ahead he saw towering structures with shimmering lights. There were dozens of bots around him, all going about their day. Some looked at Maximus briefly, but most failed to notice him entirely. Not too far off to the side Maximus saw a space port with a shuttle preparing for launch. Everything was so fascinating to him. He wanted see it all. His attention was especially drawn to the shuttle.
There were many different bots walking on and around the large craft. Checking systems and making final preparations for launch. Suddenly everyone hurried away as the engines powered up. A white light flared from the thrusters. Maximus looked with pure fascination and excitement. But before the ship was able to leave the ground, Hardware pulled Maximus away and lead him to a smaller structure to the side of the temple.
“You’ll be able see plenty of launches in the future, but we still have much to do.”
Maximus felt disappointed that he wasn’t able to see the shuttle launch. He tried to catch one last glimpse before he entered the structure.
What he entered looked a lot simpler compared to the grand and ornate temple he emerged from. The building itself was a somewhat large dome with no windows. The only openings were the door, and a round skylight above them. Inside was a large computer terminal. Above the terminal was an impressively sized monitor, with two smaller monitors attached to either side.
“So what are we doing here?”
“I’ll be running some diagnostics to make sure all you’re systems are functioning properly.”
Hardware walked over to a large round terminal, and Maximus followed. Hardware pulled a small cord from the terminal and plugged it into Maximus’ arm. The monitors above the computer showed a lot of information that Maximus didn’t quite understand. While he was perfectly capable of reading the words and numbers displayed on the screen, he had no idea what most of it meant. Though one word prominently stuck out to him.
“What does Predacon mean?”
He wondered aloud.
“It’s who you are. There are two kinds of bots in this world. Maximals and Predacons. Descendants of ancient bots called Autobots and Decepticons.”
Hardware replied as he made certain preparations on the computer terminal.
“And who are Autobots and Decepticons?”
He asked again.
“Big bots that lived here a long time ago. I doubt you’ll ever meet one.”
The medi-bot said dismissively.
“Well what happened to them?”
The predacon asked. His curiosity only grew with each answer.
“I don’t know, and I don’t really care. Historian’s never been my function. I’m just the one who gets new bots like you up and ready for life.”
Hardware made the final preparations and turned to face Maximus.
“Well then what’s all the rest for?”
He asked, still not quite understanding everything on the display.
“Like I said, I’m running diagnostics on your basic operating systems.”
Hardware said, not looking away from the screen. He looked over every bit of data. Every number and every point needed to be identified and accounted for.
“Energon circulation, cognitive rendering, targeting protocols, yep. Everything seems to be running smoothly. But there are a few more things I need to do before you get to go.”
Hardware then pulled out a data tablet, and preemptively started checking things off.
“What are you doing now?”
The newest predacon asked.
“Now we move on to the physical portion of the examination. You’ve shown no issue walking or talking, so I can check those off without any worry.”
Hardware then reached down and picked up a small section of pipe from the floor.
“Do me a favor and hold on to this. Whatever you do, don’t let go.”
Maximus nodded and grabbed on to the pipe. Then, without warning, Hardware tried to pull the pipe out of Maximus’ hand. But as instructed, he did not let go. Instead the pull caused him to lurch forward towards Hardware.
“Good. Grip strength is nice and tight.”
Hardware momentarily let go of the pipe and checked off another item on the data tablet. Once he was finished he grabbed back on the pipe.
“Now I want you to try and take it from me. Don’t hold anything back.”
As he was commanded, Maximus pulled as hard as he could. He easily ripped the pipe from Hardware’s grasp, and nearly threw him to the floor. In surprise, Maximus dropped the pipe and threw his hands above his head.
“Sorry! Was that too much?”
Maximus asked, quite concerned.
“Oh no. I’m quite alright. If anything I’m impressed. Few bots are born with strength like that.”
Hardware chuckled as he regained his footing. He checked off the last thing on his data tablet and set it down.
“Now, there’s one thing left to do, and that’s selecting your alternate mode.”
The red and white medi-bot removed the cord from Maximus’ arm, and started typing something into the computer terminal. Multiple alien looking vehicles appeared on the primary monitor. All of them were some form of jet.
“What are all these?”
“Vehicle modes. Every cybertronian has the capacity to transform into a second mode. Some are cars or trucks. Others take flying forms. But most bots you’ll see will have a beast mode instead of a vehicle mode. They’re based off of animals from other worlds. I’ll never understand why they’re so popular though. Driving is always going to be faster than walking, no matter how many legs you have.”
Maximus found the idea of a beast mode fascinating. Much more interesting than a simple vehicle mode.
“Will I be able to choose another alternate mode after I pick one here?”
“Of course. This is only to get you started out. But you do actually need to choose one first.”
There was a slight edge to his tone, clearly telling Maximus that he needed to select one of the jet forms before they could continue.
Of all the forms on the screen, one in particular stood out to him. It was sleek and elegant. With a long pointed nose cone and forward swept wings, the craft looked fast and powerful. Much more intriguing than any of the others.
Maximus said, pointing to the chosen jet form on the screen.
Hardware typed something into the computer terminal, and the image of the selected jet was enlarged to fit the whole screen. When Maximus looked at it, his body automatically activated the scanning procedure. An orange laser shot from his optics, appearing almost as a flat sheet of light. It quickly moved down the image and back up, before shutting off.
“Okay. That was weir-”
Maximus was cut off midsentence as body began to ■■■■■ and change. His color went from a flat grey to a dark blue, bordering on black, along with many orange highlights that matched the color of his optics. Two jet wings sprouted from his back, and a long cockpit formed in his chest and midsection. Finally two air intake vents rose out of his shoulders and ended just above his head.
Maximus cried out in excitement, looking over his new body.
“Impressive, I must say.”
Hardware smiled, happy to see another young bot appreciating such simple things. It was a refreshing sight.
“Now with that taken care of, the only thing left is transformation. I want you to clear your mind. Just focus on nothing but changing shape.”
The medi-bot spoke in a calm and reassuring tone and took a couple steps back.
Maximus took a deep breath and cleared his mind completely. He focused on thought. Change. Putting it to the forefront of his mind, willing the motion into reality. In an instant his body changed from the bipedal robot mode to the sleek and quick jet mode he had selected.
He shouted again, completely taken aback by what he had done.
“Exciting isn’t it. The first time always is. Now this will take some getting used to. Especially with a flying form like that. You’ll want to take it easy for a while and-”
Hardware stopped when he realized Maximus wasn’t listening to him. He was rapidly changing back and forth between his two modes.
“Jet, robot, jet, robot, jet robot. This is incredible!”
The young predacon was as excited as could be.
Hardware yelled urgently.
“You need to take it easy or you’ll burn yourself out!”
The old medic was on the verge of panic. Maximus quickly shifted back to robot mode and looked at him.
“It’s fine. You just need to be careful.”
Hardware spoke in a more gentle tone as he calmed down.
“So is that it? Can I go now?”
Maximus was eager to leave. There was a whole life ahead of him he couldn’t wait to live.
“Almost. There is one last piece of advice I want to give. Now like I said, you’re a predacon. And for whatever reason, predacons aren’t treated very well in this day and age. And before you ask, no. I don’t know why. I doubt I ever will. It’s just the way things are. You seem to be a particularly bright bot, and I’d hate to see someone like you taken advantage of or beaten down. So be careful out there. You understand?”
Hardware said, genuinely concerned for the predacon’s wellbeing. Maximus looked to him and smiled.
“Alright. I’ll be careful. And thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you.”
Maximus walked to the exit, and Hardware gave him a solid pat on the back. The young predacon took his first steps as a free bot, ready to live his life in an entire planet of possibilities.