Writings of the TOTGA-verse

The Quintesson Wars: Bad Moons Rising

The quintesson’s ship, that foreboding tower of black metal and piercing red eyes, which had just hours before hung malevolently over the skyline of Iacon, now rested in smoldering pieces across the metal hills around the Well of All Sparks. It’s central column had been snapped apart like an ebony twig, and the mushroom-like hood atop it had caved in, with a great hole punched into its dome. Crimson lights across the wreckage’s surface flickered dimly, trying to hold on to life, while orange fires burned within the wreckage. It was a sound victory for the Primes and newborn race of Transformers; the quintesson’s daring invasion had been soundly repulsed.

But how that victory had been achieved, no-one among the people of Iacon could say for sure. Prima’s plan to activate the city’s defensive weapons had been rendered null as a bright light had suddenly flared at the megalopolis’s center, engulfing the enemy vessel as a loud sound, like the tolling of a great bell, had split the evening air and drowned out the sounds of clashing blades and weaponsfire. When the light and noise cleared a second later, the ship was gone, and a thunderous boom sounded from the plains around Iacon. The Primes and their warriors hadn’t time to ponder the miracle, and instead cut down the rest of the quintesson monsters infesting the city streets, now that they would not be replaced with reinforcements from their ship.

The battle was over. Night had fallen over Iacon and the surrounding plains, and while the populace immediately went to work repairing the damage the quintessons had wrought- assisted by the restorative abilities of Solus, Alchemist, and Nexus Prime- the rest of the Thirteen traveled to the crash site in search of answers. Before the looming visage of the ship’s hood, a ribbon of green light sliced through the air. It grew larger, widening into a gateway cut into the empty space. From its center, Prima, Megatronus, Liege Maximo, Amalgamous Prime, Alpha Trion (accompanied, as always, by Beta Maxx), Onyx Prime, Micronus Prime, and Quintus Prime emerged together, their armor painted by firelight and the dim glow cast down by Cybertron’s twin moons, Hecate and Artemis. Vector Prime walked out of the portal behind them all, and dispelled the gate his sword had created by stowing Rhisling on his hip. The glyphs on its blade stopped shining, and the air around the Primes righted itself again. The robotic demigods looked up at the destroyed ship, none of them taking as much pride in their victory as they wanted to. With only one ship, the quintessons had slipped past fleets of warships and planetary defenses, and proceeded to launch an invasion of the capitol city of their fledgling civilization.

It made Vector Prime wonder: if this enemy was so bold as to immediately attempt such a strike- to leave the rest of the Imperium of Cybertron leaderless and disoriented, no doubt- how would they retaliate now that they had been defeated? If the quintessons truly had visited other dimensions before this one, had they already anticipated the results of this battle?

He shook his head. He wouldn’t allow himself to become paralyzed by fearful ruminations. As the Guardian of Space and Time, a threat to the multiverse such as this new enemy was his responsibility, whether the others shared that sentiment or not. Meanwhile Megatronus kicked at pieces of wreckage by his feet, looking for anything that could have once been a weapon, or a part in the ship’s systems. The segmented plates that made up his face were shaped into a scowl. If Vector thought he had been caught unaware by this new enemy, he could only imagine what ran through Megatronus’s mind.

Vector’s gold hand rested on Megatronus’s pitch-dark shoulder. “This will not happen again,” Vector said reassuringly. “We will be ready for them.”

But Megatronus only turned his grimace to the face of his comrade, and shrugged the outreached hand off of his arm. “Indeed, I shall,” he hissed wrathfully, his eyes burning a hellish red. Vector gave a melancholy sigh, and joined the other Primes in examining the wreck. Only one bot could console Megatronus in his worst of moods, and she wasn’t here right now.

Beneath the quintesson ship’s dome, they found a way into the vessel’s interior. The winding passages were large enough to accommodate their giant forms, though to Onyx Prime they seemed more like the veins and arteries of a massive creature than hallways. With curved surfaces and walls made from thick black cables, they branched off into smaller passages often, and frequently merged with others halls to lead into wider chambers housing unfamiliar machines. Some shipwrights likened their craft to loyal companions, but this monolithic vessel truly felt like a living organism- like the bestial titans that roamed across Cybertron’s equator. The Lord of Beasts squared his shoulders and tensed his claws, feeling like some insignificant microbe within the body of this bizarre creature.

Fascinating,” remarked Quintus Prime, plucking a cable from the wall and pinching it with his long, thin fingers. Maroon liquid trickled from its torn end. His six eyes were wide with wonder, and his small mouth agape. “Oh, if only Optimus had left it in a more pristine condition…”

“That is one way to appraise this… thing, I suppose,” Onyx murmured, not exactly sharing in Quintus’s enthusiasm. The difference between the two of them, he supposed, was that Quintus couldn’t recognize a true monster among the many forms life took across the cosmos. The quintessons didn’t even come from this cosmos; they were foreign to the natural order, and it terrified the Lord of Beasts.

The Primes pressed inward in to the wreck, keeping on the same path as it went uphill through burst-open hatches and intricate valves. Broken bodies were strewn across the floor: some the Primes recognized as more of the tentacled warriors they had fought, while others were clearly of the same design, but frailer, and without tails to support themselves on. Their bodies simply ended in a web of tendrils bellow their waist, and some even had more additional appendages coming from their flanks, or behind their shoulders. Pinkish flesh wove with complex circuitry beneath sheets of osteoderm and metal. The Primes said nothing as they passed the corpses, eventually coming to a door which hadn’t broken open wide enough to allow them through.

With the strength of the five robots that made up his form, Nexus Prime stepped forward and ripped the hatches from the walls, tearing out trails of wires and tubes beneath them. The Primes stepped through the aperture and into a massive round chamber, the interior of the quintesson ship’s domed cap reaching up all around them, with twin beams of moonlight shining through the massive tear in its side. The silvery radiance shone upon destroyed machines adorned with strange markings, with damaged hologram projectors that occasionally spat out more otherworldly symbols that none of the Primes could decipher.

In the center of the cavernous space, a harness made from gnarled mechanical arms, twisted like the roots of a black tree, reached down and wrapped around a creature encircled by broken monitors. It had no limbs that the Primes could see, just a large, bloated face of necrotic tissue and grey cybernetic implants that held it all together. It’s bony jaws were slack, its mechanical eyes lightless. All over the creature’s body, cables and tubes of varying size stretched between it and the myriad of machines around its harness, which in turn were linked to the other mechanisms throughout the chamber by visceral webs of veiny circuits.

The Primes gaped up at this thing in a dreadful silence, not knowing what to make of it. Now more than ever, these new foes presented themselves as a threat utterly alien to them. For all his terrifying powers, Unicron and his minions were something they could understand.

The creature in the harness suddenly shuddered, and its right eye filled with a dim red light, which illuminated a jagged rupture in the armor above its face, where blood and mech fluid bled out through ridges of brain matter. Creature and harness turned as one, swiveling on some axis in the ceiling to face the Primes as a choked gurgling sound escaped its mouth. Horrified, Prima stepped back and threw a hand on the hilt of the Star Saber.

“What… what in Primus’s name are you?” he gasped. The creature’s jaws drew together as its one working eye widened. Then, it spoke:

"Prima of Cybertron. You and the rest of the Thirteen, acting on behalf of the cybertronian race, have refused to comply with our mandates and submit yourselves to Judgement." It spoke in the detached, eery voice that the crew of the Chronon had heard at the Benzuli Expanse. It shuddered, as more fluid poured from its wound and a few cables on its side tore away from its body.

“Submit?” Prima scoffed. “You expected us to stand by and let you decide if we live or die?”

Your compliance was mandated, cybertronian,” the creature- a quintesson, to be sure- said. "Your universe has been selected by the quintessons for trial and examination. The compliance of the native civilizations ensures an orderly procession and is convenient on your part."

Prima’s eyes narrowed. “Your people appear more as invading tyrants than judges, from where I’m standing. The Imperium of Cybertron does not recognize the authority you claim over our right to exist.”

Irrelevant,” boomed the quintesson. More machines began to come loose from its body as the edges of its face sagged. "We are the only authority; only we can observe the permutations of existence, removed from its influence.

There is a realm of being beyond the ability of even your technological mind to grasp. It affords a perspective that you could not begin to process within tenfold of your spark’s lifespan. What you perceive to be your universe is part of a vast matrix that must be curated, and only we have the means by which to do so.

The quintesson began to sink into its harness as it drew closer to death, and Prima stepped forward. This shriveling creature’s grand words and pious ramblings did little to sway his mind. He drew his sword from his back and pointed the Star Saber’s blade up at the quintesson.

“You have lost,” the Warrior of Light says defiantly. “You underestimate your enemies if you truly expect them to yield to you- not without a fight, they won’t. The people of this universe will never be cowed, and we will resist your judgement with everything at our command.”

The quintesson’s eye flickered as blood stopped pouring from its head wound. Its flesh sagged, sloughing off its mechanical supports in places as it offered a final rebuke to the Primes:

"Your actions are consistent with previously-observed permutations. You are but a piece in a system far beyond your ability to comprehend. You are a product of probability on a scale unfathomable to you, but which we have observed since before its inception. You cannot break from the confines of your existence. You cannot defy the quintessons.

You believe you will have war, Prima of Cybertron. We will have Judgement.


So here it is: the finale of the cut-short Quintesson Wars. More of a look into how they started than a chronicle of centuries of battle and the generations of people who fought in them, but it’s the best I could do. I bit off way more than I could chew on this one and found myself in way over my head.

So this is the end of the Quintesson Wars, but from now on I’ll be returning to just writing standalone vignettes or short stories from around the TOTGA-verse timeline. I’ll revisit the quintessons and the Quintesson Wars again, but in a format more within my capabilities, and sprinkled among other things that I want to share.

As always, comments and constructive criticism is requested and appreciated. Thank you so much for your time.

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Timeline

A timeline of significant events of the TOTGA-verse, spanning over a hundred and twenty million years.


  • ??? BCE: Primus and Unicron are created on Trecedim. The finer details of their origin is unknown.

  • ???-??? BCE: Primus and Unicron explore the universe. Their opposing views lead to conflict.

  • ???-??? BCE: Primus and Unicron battle for the fate of creation, with Primus wanting to preserve life while Unicron sought to destroy it.

  • ??? BCE: Primus flees from Unicron to the Milky Way galaxy, and sacrifices his physical form to create Cybertron and the Thirteen.

  • ???-??? BCE: the Thirteen train to master their powers and become acquainted with one another. Solus Prime forges the Skyboom Shield for Prima and crafts the Apex Armor for Liege Maximo.

  • ??? BCE: Quintus Prime creates the first generation of transformers to fight beside the Thirteen. Twelve of these transformers found the Order of the Knights of Cybertron and serve directly under Prima’s command. Megatronus commands his own Warriors Elite.

  • ??? BCE: Unicron creates his four Heralds to find civilizations to destroy and to fight Primus’s forces.

  • ???-??? BCE: several millennia of conflict between the forces of Primus and Unicron.

  • ??? BCE: the final battle between the Thirteen and Unicron. Optimus Prime opens the Matrix for the first time, killing Unicron and banishing the Heralds to the Void.

  • 39520 BCE: the Golden Age begins. Cybertronian-kind unites under the banner of the Imperium of Cybertron, led by the Thirteen.

  • 39520 BCE: the Well of All Sparks begins to regularly produce new transformers from its depths. Rapid migration and urbanization across Cybertron begins.

  • 39517 BCE: the Primal Basilica is constructed in Iacon. The Order of the Knights of Cybertron becomes the Imperium’s primary military, scientific, and peacekeeping force.

  • 39500 BCE: The Knights of Cybertron begin launching exploratory missions into deep space and make contact with the nebulon race.

  • 39492 BCE: official relations between the Imperium of Cybertron and the Nebulon Republics begin. Meanwhile, the Knights of Cybertron begin experimenting with cybermatter as a means of establishing colonies on other planets.

  • 39457 BCE: Cybertron’s first moon, Hecate, is selected for colonization and is cyberformed. Mining corporations begin operations on the second moon, Artemis.

  • 39440 BCE: Gigantion is selected for colonization and cyberformed. Solus Prime oversees further experiments concerning cybermatter.

  • 39430-39300 BCE: advancements in cyberforming technology leads to a colonization boom. Chaar, Paradon, Antilla, Caelum, and Conventus are cyberformed and colonized.

  • 39000 BCE: further experiments with cybermatter are relocated to the planet Sero and conducted in secrecy by Solus Prime and the Knights of Cybertron.

  • 38882 BCE: the extradimensional plane of transwarp is discovered by Vector Prime and the Knights of Cybertron.

  • 38803 BCE: cybertronian-kind now uses transwarp as the premier method for faster-than-light travel. Meanwhile, Solus Prime’s cybermatter experiments on Sero lead to the development of the first space bridge.

  • 38800-38795 BCE: a network of space bridges is constructed to link Cybertron and the colonies.

  • 37420 BCE: first contact with the quintesson race at the Benzuli Expanse.

  • 37420-37417 BCE: the First Quintesson War. An experimental machine made by Solus Prime from her experiments with cybermatter is used to drive the quintessons out of cybertronian space.

  • 37416 BCE: the Imperium of Cybertron is inducted into the Federation of Allied Species- the interstellar body politic.

  • 37415-37410 BCE: the Second Quintesson War. The Imperium of Cybertron drives the quintessons out of our dimension with aid from the Nebulon Republics.

  • 36666 BCE: the Third Quintesson War. Attempts by the quintessons to re-enter our universe are soundly repulsed by a muliti-species armed response.

  • 1st Century CE: Solus Prime begins construction of the Omega Lock on Sero. Meanwhile, Liege Maximo spreads lies among the other Primes and their followers, making them distrustful of one another.

  • 200 CE: Solus Prime completes the Omega Lock.

  • 484 CE: first contact with humanity and cybertronian kind on Earth.

  • 1530 CE: the War of the Primes begins. All transformers are recalled to the Imperium of Cybertron to fight. The official cybertronian presence on Earth departs.

  • 1845 CE: the War of the Primes ends with a thirteen-way brawl between the Primes, in which Solus Prime is killed. Liege Maximo is found to be the instigator of the conflict, and the surviving Primes all turn on him.

  • 1845-1945 CE: Liege Maximo is imprisoned in a stasis pod for instigating the war, and the Primes decide to leave Cybertron. The Knights of Cybertron construct an elaborate tomb in the Hydrax Plateau and tell the cybertronian populace that the Thirteen all killed each other in their battle.

  • 1945-1946 CE: Optimus Prime splits the Omega Lock into five pieces, and his disciples hide them across uncharted space. Meanwhile, Quintus Prime gives the Matrix of Leadership to a student of Alchemist Prime in secret, so that the lineage of the Primes will continue.

  • 1946 CE: the planet Clemency is cyberformed and colonized by the Imperium of Cybertron. Liege Maximo’s stasis pod is hidden inside the planet’s colony ship. Meanwhile, another colony ship carrying the Key to Vector Sigma crashes on Junkion. The crash triggers the ship’s cyberforming engines, and Junkion becomes a cybertronian colony.

  • 1947 CE: the surviving Thirteen and the Knights of Cybertron leave the Imperium aboard thirteen colony ships. To the cybertronian populace, it is as if the Knights just mysteriously disappeared. Aethus Prime becomes the second Matrix-bearer and fourteenth Prime, and takes up the mantle of leadership.

  • 1950-2000 CE: the eleven Prime Colonies are established in uncharted space. Meanwhile, Optimus Prime discovers Trecedim at the edge of the galaxy and is appointed as its guardian.

  • 1984 CE: contact with humanity and the Imperium of Cybertron is re-established.

  • 2007 CE: formal relations with the Imperium of Cybertron and the human United Nations begin.

  • 2121 CE: humanity organizes itself under the United Human Polities (UHP), presenting a united front to the intragalactic community while preserving the identity and sovereignty of individual nations. This new superpower quickly begins rapid colonization of the Orion-Cygnus arm of the galaxy.

  • 3355-3359 CE: the Fourth Quintesson War. The quintessons bring a massive Dyson sphere into our universe to act as a staging ground to subdue the Milky Way galaxy. This sphere is destroyed in a joint human-cybertronian assault and the remaining quintesson forces are swiftly quelled.

  • 3359 CE: the UHP is inducted into the Federation of Allied Species.

  • 3370 CE: the Epoch of Stagnation begins for the Imperium of Cybertron.

  • 100013400-100013401 CE: the Dire Wraith Conflict. Alien invaders besiege Cybertron’s outer colonies. Sentinel Zeta defends the Simfur temple from a Wraith assault.

  • 100013410 CE : Sentinel Zeta becomes Sentinel Prime, the 1,316th Matrix-bearer.

  • 100013410-100024000 CE: Under Sentinel’s reign, tensions between the social classes in cybertronian society escalate over concerns of inequity. This burgeoning discontent is escalated by the emerging Decepticon movement led by Megatron.

  • 100024000 CE: the Decepticons seize the colony of Chaar and use its industrial resources to begin raising a military force. The Great War begins.

  • 100024020 CE: the Decepticons lay siege to Iacon and murder Sentinel Prime’s council of advisors. Sentinel Prime himself mysteriously disappears, and the Matrix of Leadership somehow ends up sealed away in the Tomb of the Primes. The Epoch of Stagnation ends.

  • 100024025: the Autobot faction is formed, led by Ultra Magnus, in opposition to the Decepticons. The location of the Tomb of the Primes suddenly disappears from collective memory.

  • 100024585 CE: the Autobots and Decepticons agree to a cease-fire after it is discovered that the core of Cybertron has been severely damaged. If it is not repaired soon, Cybertron and the colonies will die and extinction will be inevitable.

  • 100024585-100024590: the Decepticon Fleetcarrier Invincible is rebuilt into the CFC Salvation following the discovery of one of the Omega Lock’s components within the Sea of Rust. A crew consisting of both factions (and neutral parties) will crew Salvation to gather the rest of the Lock and use it to repair the core.

  • 100024590: the events of Transformers: Salvation. (see original post for details)

  • 100024591: the Great War ends in the Battle of Mission City on Earth. The Autobots defeat the last of the Decepticon armed forces, and thus they win the war.

  • 100024595 CE: transformers are exiled from the civilized galaxy, confined to space around cybertron & the colonies.

  • 100024600 CE: the Imperium of Cybertron reorganizes itself into the Cybertronian Commonwealth, led by democratically-elected officials.

  • 105095316 CE: the colony of Velocitron is founded.

  • 119992707 - 119992906 CE: The Final War- human civilization is nearly destroyed in an interstellar war of attrition. A nanotech weapon renders Earth uninhabitable. The planet Avalon Prime becomes the new home of the UHP intergovernment and the post-Final War heartland of humanity.

  • 119997917 CE: Earth becomes habitable again, and humanity rushes to rebuild their homeworld.

  • 120002915 CE: The events of Transformers: Twilight of the Golden Age. (see original post for details)

  • 120002916 CE: The New Imperium of Cybertron is formed with the reunification of the cybertronian worlds. Axis Prime becomes the 1,317th Matrix-bearer.

  • 120007917 CE: the events of Transformers: Dawn of a New Age. Heroes new and old unite to defend the galaxy from an all-consuming evil.


Not much to say here. We need a timeline if I’m gonna be jumping all over the place chronologically. Comments and constructive criticism are not only appreciated but requested.

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The two missing entries, what will they entail?

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I can’t give it away right now, of course, but it’s got something to do with what the rest of the galaxy was up to during the transformers’ exile.

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I have made some edits to the timeline- mostly to correct grammatical errors and to include information I mistakenly ommited.

Also, I’ve begun re-writing some of the bios for the various cybertronian colonies. Looking back, a couple of them don’t describe the planet’s culture or important sites as well as I wanted. Spirabilis’s updated bio has been up for a few days now.

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Legacy

The Burthov Spaceport, Cybertron, 6.12.120006999

A clear, starry night had fallen over the Burthov Spaceport, allowing the pale light of Cybertron’s twin moons to fall upon the metal land. A massive audience of cybertronians of every kind, from every world- among them scientists, old soldiers, bounty hunters, holy warriors, miscreants, and other varieties of unlikely hero- stand assembled before two of the spaceport’s many docking cradles. Resting within one was a massive vessel, nearly thirty miles in length, bearing a bronze-colored hull accented by maroon on her downward-angling fins: Salvation II, the successor to the modified Fleetcarrier whose crew had saved their entire race from extinction over twenty million years before.

In a smaller berth beside Salvation II was a comparatively tiny frigate- a slender craft built from black metal, appearing as essentially a thousand-foot-long energy cannon sandwiched between two engines and a command center. The Excalibur II- built in memory of the ship whose crew had vanquished the Heralds of Unicron and ushered in a new Golden Age only a few thousand years earlier- glowed with green exterior lights running down the length of its hull, and a similarly-hued aura burned it each of its thrusters.

A tall bot with vibrant orange and yellow armor speaks to the crowd, relating to them the history of the names Salvation and Excalibur- a purely ceremonious gesture, as most everyone in the crowd knew them well- before turning to face their newest incarnations as she drew a long, golden sword from her back, and lifts the blade to the sky.

On her signal, the two ships come to life, gently roaring as their engines flare and exude jets of plasma. The docking cradles release Salvation and the Excalibur’s descendants, their catwalks, cables and tubes peeling away as the two ships begin their climb toward the black heavens. The Excalibur II spirals around Salvation II as the two ascend, quickly overtaking the gargantuan Fleetcarrier with its superior speed.

The crowd looks up, watching in awed and respectful silence as the Excalibur II becomes but a shining green dot in the night sky, and Salvation II a twinkling blue speck- the two almost indistinguishable from the thousands of white stars up above. Their auras then brighten as their transwarp drives engage, and with a flash the two ships vanish, each leaving a dazzling trail of emerald and cyan light in their wake as they soar into the night.

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The Prime Colonies

Primogenitum

All of the Prime Colonies were cyberformed and developed with the aid of the Order of the Knights of Cybertron, holy warriors and explorers who were the premier scientists and peacekeepers of the Golden Age. History has no shortage of records and legends of dutiful and honor-bound Knights defending the weak and innocent. Beholden to the Thirteen, but loyal to Prima especially, the Knights of Cybertron came to the Warrior of Light when the other colonies had been sufficiently developed, and settled on the world which he had chosen to be his legacy. The named it Primogenitum.

Primogenitum has two large continents which take up much of the eastern and western hemispheres, and each one has similar environments to the other. Each plays host to vast mountain ranges covered in evergreen forests, great expanses of rolling, grassy hills, lakes, and white beaches along their coasts that give way to the ocean. Primogenitum’s climate is similar to Earth’s northern hemisphere, with four seasons also like Earth’s. The climate warms in the spring and summer, and cools in the fall and winter. Struck by the natural beauty of Primogenitum, Prima’s disciples decided against urbanizing the entire planet, and instead live in separated cities built around Wells of Sparks while leaving much of the natural world untamed. These cities are by no means isolated, however, as aircraft frequently fly between them.

Primogenitum’s capitol city is Machaera, built just beneath the north pole on the ocean between the two continents. Bridges extending from the coast of each landmass connect to Machaera, and it is from here that the Knights of Cybertron rule the planet. The order is led by a council of twelve, chosen from their ranks for years of exemplary service displaying courage, humility, and benevolence. A high percentage of Primogenitum’s population holds membership within the order, sworn to protect life and right injustice across the cosmos. With the reunification of the cybertronian worlds, the Knights are once again returning to their place as the New Imperium’s protectors, and their ornate, medieval visage is a common and welcome sight across cybertronian space.

Prima never ruled Primogenitum, instead living a life of seclusion upon his world while he left the Knights to shape its civilization. When he died, his body was interred within a mountain on the western continent. His sword, the Star Saber, was entrusted to his Conjux Endura, who hid it at the bottom of a lake on the eastern landmass. She is still alive today, and continues to watch over her departed lover’s weapon, only bestowing it to those who possess his pure heart and noble intentions.

Aevum

Aevum is a unique anomaly in the multiverse: a single point in space and time that somehow exists in multiple realities at once, shrouded within a strange energy field that warps the barriers between universes. Intrigued by this bizarre world, Vector Prime chose it to be his colony. Evidently, many Vector Primes across the multiverse made a similar decision: today, Aevum is a hub of sorts for travelers and immigrants from across dimensions, and a gateway from which a traveler could explore infinite realities beyond their own.

Much of Aevum’s surface is encrusted in cities made from blue and black metal, featuring great observatories in which scientists and historians watch history unfold throughout the multiverse. Travel between realities is largely unrestricted, though there are a few rules in place so as to protect the integrity of the fabric of reality. Time travel, for example, is largely prohibited- and while theoretically nigh-impossible, anything can happen in a multiverse of infinite possibilities. Outside of Aevum’s cities is a vast desert. Its geography is constantly changing, and its sands are littered with artifacts from various universes. Anything from old toys to entire starships can be found here, and unsavvy wanderers are in great danger of becoming lost in space and time, never to find their way out.

When the rules of multiversal conduct fail, there exists an organization dedicated to neutralizing threats to all of existence. The Temporal Guard was established by various Vector Primes to intervene in situations which could effect the flow of time and the stability of the multiverse. Navigating such threats is a difficult task- the Guard could just as easily exacerbate a problem they might be trying to fix. Therefore, they are rarely called into action. Aevum is also fiercely protected in all realities, for the damage one could inflict if they were to somehow disturb this multiversal nexus point is unfathomable.

Sophos

Sophos, cyberformed and colonized by Alpha Trion, is a repository of knowledge and cybertronian culture second only to the Vector Sigma supercomputer on Cybertron. The entire planet was rebuilt into a digital library, with immense databanks stored in great computers within its mantle, and tall data towers rising into the sky from within its cities. The native transformers of Sophos dedicate themselves to curating this immense archive, forever burying themselves in research and scouring the galaxy for lost cybertronian artifacts. Sophos has enjoyed a peaceful history throughout its existence, and its people do not keep much in the way of a standing military force. More than any other world in the New Imperium of Cybertron, they rely on the Knights of Cybertron for protection.

The people of Sophos were overjoyed to join the New Imperium in 12002916. Having been isolated from Cybertron and the core worlds for over a hundred million years, its historians now had eons of new history to catalogue and add to their repositories. Since then, the native sophans have been hard at work assimilating the history of the former Cybertronian Commonwealth into their own, comparing notes with other cybertronian historians, and compiling a more complete record of the storied history of the entire cybertronian race. Sophos’s museums are a sight to behold, and are visited by beings from across the galaxy.

Many assumed that Alpha Trion’s book, the original Covenant of Primus , would have been kept on Sophos. However, it is not. The sophans have always believed that it was left on Cyberton following the War of the Primes, and were surprised to learn that their distant neighbors have no idea as to its whereabout either. The current location of The Covenant of Primus is unknown, and many sophans have since left to search for it.

Astrum

Solus Prime was killed in the War of the Primes, leaping in front of a deadly attack meant for Nexus. It was her death that made the rest of the Thirteen come to their senses and lay down their weapons- how tragic that they did not see reason sooner. When the Thirteen and their acolytes left Cybertron, the Knights of Cybertron vowed to establish a colony world in her honor.

Astrum is the Prime Colony founded in memory of Solus Prime: an artificial world built around a neutron star imbued with the life-force of Primus. Primus’s divine energies shrank the star to a diameter of less than twelve miles, and the star now emits the Allspark’s life-giving essence. Astrum is made in the shape of Solus Prime’s crest: a thick ring of purple metal marbled with glowing blue conduits, with a rectangular protrusion extending from its outer side. The ring takes in the energies emanating from its star, using them to power its systems and create cybertronain life.

Astrum’s people live on the inner side of the ring, beneath the pale light of their star. Unique features in the technology managing Astrum’s atmosphere darken the sky at regular intervals to simulate a day-night cycle. The terrain atop the inner ring is mostly temperate, with high mountains, forests and grasslands separated by narrow seas. These environments are carefully maintained by mostly-automated processes within Astrum, allowing the native transformers to pursue creative and artistic endeavors. Astran culture takes after the spirit of Solus Prime, and its people are master artists and builders of advanced technology. The vast majority of the astran population is female- fitting for the world of the first female cybertronian, perhaps- though since the reunification of the cybertronian worlds, the gender ratio has started to even out somewhat.

Astrum’s capitol city is called Meridiem, home to the planet’s finest creators. The city itself is an artistic masterpiece, with beautiful architecture and numerous displays of fine works and impressive technology. Every city on Astrum is something like this, with much space dedicated to both displaying their artists’ masterworks and providing space for them to create new wonders. Perhaps the most sacred locale on the ring is the Astral Caminus, a facility deep within a wintry mountain range with uses energy from Astrum’s star to power itself and create almost anything its patrons can imagine. The Forge of Solus Prime rests in its central chamber.

Vergrandis

Each of the Thirteen was unique, but Micronus Prime was exceptional for his boundless energy and lighthearted demeanor. The first minicon never failed to lift his companions’ spirits, and his followers could best be described as the hardest partiers in universe. It took some time, but they eventually regained their merry fervor after the War of the Primes and founded the colony world of Vergrandis- for which they threw a grand celebration that is purported to have ended in a hypernova at the other end of the observable universe. Nobody was hurt, thankfully. Though Micronus was rendered blind for a good century or so afterward. Or so the story goes.

Vergrandis is not a planet for anyone who detests excessive noise- both auditory and otherwise. Its cities are a chaotic mish-mash of garish architectural styles, bright colors, and neon holograms. Its inhabitants are all minicons and other varieties thereof, taking after Micronus himself both in stature and talent for revelry. The capitol city is Parvos- or, as it’s known in some circles: “Party Central”. Shortly after the formation of the New Imperium of Cybertron, representatives from Vergrandis and Junkion met on an uninhabited planetoid to engage in a “dance-off” to determine who the best partiers in the universe truly were. The competition had to end in a draw twenty years later, after the planetoid was accidentally split in two from the proceedings and its star began to exhibit signs of stellar collapse.

Elementum

In their endless pursuit of knowledge, the scientists and scholars of Cybertron’s First Golden Age eventually came to an inescapable conclusion: that, for all their intellect and unparalleled technological feats, there were aspects to the universe that science alone could not explain or manipulate. There were forces driving the underlying structure of creation separate from the observable physics that catalyzed its more obvious phenomena, and new disciplines had to be made to study and harness these metaphysical energies. Of this breed of devotees to the fantastic, none were more accomplished than Alchemist Prime, born from the Well of All Sparks with an innate affinity for these mystical forces. With the Lenses forged into his optics, he could observe the cyclical movements of these forces behind the veil of reality, see how their ebbs and flows translated into the effects of the physical world; and using the powers that Primus had given him, he could tap into these forces to reshape the world around him to his desires.

After Unicron’s first death, Alchemist threw himself into his studies, to both increase his power and to accrue knowledge to share with his people. He amassed a varied following of like-minded disciples- among them the bot who would become the fourteenth Prime, Aethus- and together they learned to blend the logical with the transcendental, using science and “magic” together to achieve far greater than either could on their own. The Disciples of Alchemist fought to keep their wisdom from falling into the hands of warmongers in the War of the Primes, and afterward they followed Alchemist to establish their own colony world in his honor.

Alchemist and the Disciples chose a cold world far removed from the other Prime Colonies, its surface coated in vast tundras and snowy evergreen forests. Through great cracks in the land, they could see glowing reservoirs of strange energies churning up from within the planet’s core, and their excitement was indescribable. The world was carefully cyberformed, its core transformed into a receptacle for the life-force of Primus, and it was named Elementum.

Alchemist Prime ruled over Elementum for many thousands of years, while his brightest pupils among the Disciples were granted leadership of its individual city-states. They created an academic culture prioritizing the cultivation of knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and the people plumbed the depths of their planet’s mysterious features while simultaneously looking out into the primordial forces of the cosmos. They deepened their understanding of the paranormal and expanded their preternatural abilities, some even venturing offworld to battle evil as their ruler had done millennia ago. But Alchemist eventually died, as most things do, and with his passing did the bonds of fellowship between the Disciples break. The heirs to the Prime’s legacy fought with one another for sole ownership of the inheritance, and each city-state began to horde their discoveries for themselves. Their armies made war against each other with their awesome powers, seeking to raid the archives of other cities to steal what secrets and treasures lied within them.

The fighting endured for an eon without a sign of stopping, and so the Knights of Cybertron came to Elementum from their own colony, Primogenitum, to enforce a peace while the Disciples were brought together for talks. At the base of the mountain where Alchemist Prime was interred, the Disciples signed a pact obligated them to share their research freely among themselves and their subjects, and to keep an everlasting peace between their cities. With this accord, the fighting stopped across Elementum, and the planet and its people have enjoyed unity since.

Elementum’s capitol city is Alchimia, nested within a valley between lines of tall, snowcapped peaks and girded by a white wall that shines like marble in the light of the moon. Tall white towers can be seen rising above the wall, housing laboratories and libraries for citizens, scholars and scientists to all use, and between the bases of these buildings run courtyards home to native plants and wildlife. The other cities of Elementum are similar in design to Alchimia, if smaller in size. The mountain housing Alchemist Prime’s tomb borders a dense deposit of energon, the exotic matter’s unique properties reacting with Elementum’s own energies to create astounding effects, such as brilliant auroras in the sky above, or stretches of rock and ice suspended in midair.

Concordia

Concordia is the colony world of Nexus Prime, the First Combiner. Like him, the planet’s inhabitants are capable of merging their minds and bodies to create stronger, wiser, and more powerful beings. They are led by an ancient being called Sum-of-Many, one of Nexus’s closest friends. Sum’s consciousness has been transferred from one team of combiners to the next, each host adding their memories and wisdom to the gestalt’s mind. The result is an entity that embodies Concordia’s history, and the spirit of its people.

Concordia is an ocean world, with nary a scrap of natural land to be found above its endless sea. The planet’s Wells of Sparks form within the ocean floor, and around them, immense artificial structures rise up from the depths to support large cities suspended above the water. Billions of concordians live in these cities, and also in the underwater constructs that support them. Across the planet, these settlements are linked by webs of bridges and railways. The capitol city is Simul, in which Sum-of-Many resides.

Concordia is also one of the few cybertronian worlds to have its moons cyberformed and populated as well. Concordia has five natural satellites, to be precise, each one with a unique climate and named after one of the components of Nexus Prime. Heatwave is volcanic, and its people hardy and resilient; Breakaway is barren and trapped in a harsh eternal winter; Topspin is oceanic, like Concordia, but is wracked with great electrical storms; Landquake is a desert moon with frequent seismic activity, as the name might suggest; and the mountainous moon of Skyfall is covered in lush jungles.

Eukaris

Onyx Prime’s colony world, Eukaris, is far from what many might expect of a cybertronian planet. The Lord of Beasts and his followers were always closer to the natural world than the rest of their kind- ironic, for a race of machines- and enjoyed the company of flesh-and-blood creatures. It was only natural that their world should follow suit. The surface of Eukaris is remarkably Earth-like, with eight continents supporting a vast array of unique biomes surrounded by deep blue seas. Onyx and his acolytes were adamant in preserving these environments and their great ecosystems even as they cyberformed the planet’s core, and integrated themselves into Eukaris’s pre-existing order as opposed to remaking the world to fit their own designs. Eukaris has none of the sprawling megacities of the other cybertronian worlds, with the people preferring to live in the wild with the planet’s creatures. There are a few small settlements built around Eukaris’s Wells of Sparks, with buildings made from wood and stone and featuring only what advanced technology is necessary.

Unlike the other cybertronian worlds, Eukaris does not have a single unified government. Instead, the eukarians live in separate nations which are usually divided by unique environmental adaptations and ideologies. These nations have quarreled in the past, with many having come and gone over millions of years, but today they coexist peacefully. Many eukarians are techo-organic, their bodies made from both cybertronian machinery and living tissue, which typically manifests as muscle and bone. These biological components are sustained by energon, like their mechanical counterparts; and while it’s never been known as to why or how these cyborgs are made, they’ve been a common occurrence throughout cybertronian history. Techno-organics feel especially at home on Eukaris, with their biological functions giving them a deeper connection to the natural order of their world.

Some of the larger and more influential nations of Eukaris include the Whispering Sands, who live in an arid desert on the sixth continent; the South Frost, dwelling in the frigid tundra at the planet’s southern pole; the Below, a hive of insecticons who dwell in a vast underground tunnel network; and the Deep-Dwellers, who claim much of the planet’s oceans and the costal areas. There are many more, each with their own customs, and they all find neutral ground within a long mountain range on the second continent. The Steel Shard Mountains, named for their rich deposits of ore, rise high into the sky, and their valleys are filled with ancient structures hewn from the mountainsides. The mountains are a gathering place for eukarians, where their ancestors cyberformed the planet eons ago. The largest of the mountains, Mount Axalon, was converted into a massive temple dedicated to Onyx Prime, and it is here that the Lord of Beasts rests in death, alongside his fabled Triptych Mask. Many eukarian transformers from every nation live in the Steel Shard Mountains, with many more making regular pilgrimages here for ceremonies and other special occasions. Onyx Prime is greatly revered by all eukarians, and Axis Prime- the current ruler of the New Imperium of Cybertron and herself a eukarian native- is also something of a celebrity.

Muto

Muto is the colony world founded by Amalgamous Prime, the First Transformer. As the planet was being cyberformed, Amalgamous has his Transformation Cog, which granted him his shape-shifting powers, removed and placed within Muto’s core. Amalgamous’s organ was fused with the planet in the cybeforming process, and through his sacrifice, the world became a wondrous machine unlike any other.

Like Amalgamous himself, Muto’s form is fluid and ever-changing. Continent-sized metal plates orbit around the planet’s core, their geographies shifting as they continuously merge and break apart at random. It is difficult to describe Muto’s surface and the layout of its cities, for such a description would be rendered obsolete within mere months. It’s similarly difficult for many to fathom how the transformers native to Muto manage to live in such a chaotic and ever-changing world, but the people here are as adaptable as their planet. Mutan transformers tend to have many alternate modes- some are even Shifters, like Amalgamous, who can alter their bodies unrestricted- and they effortlessly adapt to their world’s changes as they come. Mutans are easy-going but dependable allies who remain by their friends through even the worst of times.

Spirabilis

The War of the Primes was not only a societal disaster for cybertronian kind, but an ecological calamity as well- as close to one as a robotic race could come to, at least. Many species of transformers were driven to near, or total extinction in the civil war. Thus, when the Thirteen left to found their own colony worlds, Quintus Prime- the Prime of Life- chose to make his world a sanctuary for the endangered creatures his followers managed to gather during the war, and a home for all kinds of cybertronian life. The planet its people are themselves a monument: a celebration of the infinite diversity of Primus’s children.

Spirabilis is surrounded by a ring of energon crystals that glisten in the day and night, most visible at dusk and dawn. Its crust and mantle are composed of vast stretches of a white, marble-like substance formed around blocky metal superstructures the size of islands and continents. These structures vary in size and shape, and between them are deep chasms that go down for hundreds of miles, to luminescent blue-green seas of energon surrounding the planet’s core. The surface superstructures hold Wells of Sparks and Hot Spots where transformers are born, and support various different biomes and climates. There are forests and jungles of red biomechanical vegetation, deserts of crimson sand, plains of vermillion grassland, arctic tundras, oceans of water, and more.

The people of Spirabilis live on and within the planet’s superstructures in cities built into the natural geography of their location. Travel between these structures is possible via Ground Bridges, flight, or through bridges crossing Spirabilis’s chasms. All kinds of transformers live here, from the standard humanoid bots, to predacon dragons and massive leviathan-like machines swimming in the energon seas. The culture here is one of deep spiritual convictions and a simple reverence for living things, the natural world (“natural” having a something of a different definition to them than organic beings such as ourselves), and harmony. All life is sacred, and spirabilans live within the natural order as opposed to disrupting it with the widespread urbanization of the other cybertronian worlds.

Bellator

Exceedingly cold, barren, and almost entirely void of life, Bellator is a planet that even most cybertronians find rather unattractive. The energon that the species depends upon for life is held deep within the world’s frozen crust, and the extreme cold is hazardous even to them. But it was here that Megatronus chose to settle in the great exodus following the War of the Primes. In truth, the Dark Warrior had no intention of colonizing Bellator, unlike his fellow Primes and their own chosen worlds; he’d come to the planet to die in solitude, wracked with terrible guilt for killing Solus Prime in their battle atop the Hydrax Plateau. Despite his intentions, Megatronus’s legions of warriors followed him to Bellator and put down their metaphorical roots. While his followers developed a hardy civilization to endure the planet’s harsh conditions, Megatronus isolated himself. When he died, his remains were interred in a massive tomb built within the summit of a lone mountain in the northern hemisphere. Recently, the remains of Megatronus’s weapon, the Requiem Blaster, were placed within the tomb as well, following its destruction in 12002915 CE.

Bellator’s surface is largely flat and rocky, its vast plains broken up by long mountain ranges in which the people of the colony tend to live. The planet’s weather is similarly monotonous, with temperatures well below freezing and constant snowstorms. A perpetually-cloudy sky blocks much of the light coming from Bellator’s already dim star from reaching the surface, which does nothing to improve matters. Energon and other valuable minerals lie far beneath the snow and rock, and were not easily accessible even with Golden Age-era technology. Megatronus’s warriors saw these inhospitable conditions as worthy challenges to overcome, and overcome they have. They built their cities within the mountains, sheltering them from the worst of the frigid wind and blizzards, and bored deep into the ground for further protection and access to energon. A typical bellatoran city is like a great pit, usually at or in the base of a mountain, with layers of buildings and bridges running between its walls for at least a mile down. The inhabitants use heat lamps to keep themselves warm, and their dim yellow and red lights stand out for many miles around in the darkness that often shrouds the planet. A great rift is carved into Bellator’s moon- a scar left by a carless misfiring of the Requiem Blaster some time after Megatronus’s death. Debris from this event still linger in Bellator’s orbit; the people have converted the larger asteroids into orbital defense platforms and docking facilities for starships.

Megatronus’s Warriors Elite were fierce and disciplined fighters, and the society they built follows suit. Bellator’s is a militaristic culture, where every transformer is conscripted into service not long after their creation, and remains in active duty for their entire life. Bellatoran culture has no concept of “reserve forces”, or of a life outside of military service; to them, life is service, and death- whether in battle or after a long and storied career- is their reprieve. But bellatorans do not romanticize warfare- like most other civilized peoples, they consider it to be a gruesome business. But while other cultures would act to avoid conflict, bellatoran transformers consider it their grim, but necessary duty to devote themselves to battling evil throughout the universe. Every bellatoran soldier is trained in a broad arsenal of weapons, and their bodies are made to be weapons in and of themselves. Bellator’s unforgiving climate aids in hardening its people, who pride themselves in their toughness. In addition to weapons and tactical training, bellatorans are instilled with the usual devotion to duty, honor, and discipline common among other “warrior races” in the galaxy, and are also taught to show very little in the way of mercy to evil-doers. Those of good moral caliber have nothing to fear from Bellator; but the wicked will be met with a cold, howling fury like that of the planet’s terrible blizzards.

Bellator’s leaders are a small council of generals who have ascended their society’s ranks through millennia of exemplary service. One of these generals is selected to be a “praetor”, and given additional executive privileges as an arbitrator in the council’s sessions. The praetor is granted an additional vote to exercise as they see fit, and has the power to overrule decisions made by the other generals in extreme cases- and not without great consequence, as well. Bellator’s formidable military has seen much action over the course of many millions of years, in defense of the other Prime Colonies from alien aggressors and, more recently, in the battle over Cybertron in 12002915. Bellator’s people are friendly enough to their fellow transformers from Cybertron and the other colonies- in their own way, at least- and regard most other species in the Milky Way galaxy with respect. Most are inclined to remain in their good graces.

Trecedim

Trecedim is the name given to a mysterious moon orbiting a lonely red gas giant at the very edge of the Milky Way Galaxy. What keeps these two solitary worlds in place is unclear, as the planet has no star; it simply skirts the boundaries of the galaxy, hanging off the precipice of the empty vastness beyond and isolated from civilization. Trecedim’s origins are unclear, but what little is known of the moon makes it an important locale in cybertronian history, and indeed the history of the entire universe at large.

Trecedim is the birthplace of Primus and Unicron, the two gods of cybertronian lore. They lived together here for eons, until Unicron became evil, and Primus was forced to battle him. Their conflict drew them off the moon and out into the universe, and Trecedim was forgotten until Optimus Prime journeyed there many thousands of years later in 1972. Primus appointed Optimus to be Trecedim’s guardian, to protect it from evil-doers and to hide it from the rest of the universe. Optimus did exactly that, and for nearly a hundred twenty million years, virtually no-one knew of Trecedim’s existence. But in 12002915, Axis Prime and her allies journeyed to the moon on their quest to slay the Heralds of Unicron. Now, Trecedim’s existence is known to all, but Optimus Prime still stands guard upon its surface, and has served as an effective deterrent for those who seek to abuse its power.

Trecedim’s power lies in its vast oceans of a strange blue-white fluid. These seas glow ethereally in Trecedim’s eternal night, and contain primordial energies and paranormal forces. It is from these forces that Primus and Unicron were made, and the power within Trecedim is far greater than either of them. Sufficiently advanced technology could be used to harness Trecedim’s seas to perform terrible or miraculous feats, effectively making their wielders into gods. It is for this reason, though, that travel to Trecedim is severely limited, and why it is tended to by Optimus Prime. Optimus has been imbued with Trecedim’s energies, made immortal and possessing great powers to guard this wondrous place.

Trecedim’s landmasses are cool and rocky, made from blue-grey stone and elements not found anywhere else in the galaxy. Hewn from this rock are ancient structures, crumbling from age, where Primus and Unicron must have lived in their youth. Within these ruins, and closer to the coasts, are alluring alien plants that glow blue and purple beneath the starry sky. Trecedim’s landscapes are sometimes painted red by faint light coming from its planet, and gentle winds blow silently between the flora and rock formations. In the moon’s northern hemisphere is a place called the First Well: a sinkhole said to be the exact spot were Primus and Unicron were born. The walls of this pit are studded with beautiful crystal formations, and at the bottom is a pool of Trecedim’s mysterious liquid.

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Lineage


Cybertron: the Primal Basilica, Iacon, 1947 CE

“Are you… are you certain that I am worthy?”

The pale light emanating from the crystal orb was the only thing illuminating the dark corridor beneath the Basilica. It cast Aether’s slender form and sloping armor in a faint blue hue, and filled the symbols etched into the plating. But the one holding the orb was obscured by the darkness as he held it out to Aether in a small, six-fingered hand. So deep were they in the lower levels of this holy bastion that the walls and ceiling were bare, void of the ornate columns and grand chambers decorated with holographic murals that most cybertronians saw. Few had ever seen this part of the Primes’ seat of power- Aether himself hadn’t known these rooms existed until only a few moments ago, when the bot presenting the Matrix of Leadership to him now had guided him through a labyrinth of back-allies and tunnels at the bottom of Iacon.

Aether’s question hung in the space between the two cybertronians, above the glittering core of their people’s most sacred talisman. The hand that held it was not that of its bearer, but of a bot with six gold eyes within a narrow face, and a slender figure that hovered above the floor. He smiled at Aether and drifted forward, and with his free hand he gently grabbed one of Aether’s and placed it atop the Matrix.

“I?” he said softly, looking down at the Matrix between Aether’s fingers. “No, I’m not sure. But, it’s not up to me, young one.”

Beneath Aether’s open hand, the Matrix hummed softly, and its light brightened. Aether did not- could not- look away, as he gazed into its multifaceted surface and felt another presence enter his mind. It filled the space beyond his consciousness; he felt it at the edge of his thoughts. He sensed the entity’s wants- its need to expand its knowledge of the cosmos and the living things that lived across its many worlds, and the empty spaces in its being that it longed to fill. Aether now felt the Matrix’s hum inside his spark, and to his surprise, he felt the core of his being singing back, resonating with it.

Now, he understood.

Aether gripped the talisman’s shell, lifting it from the other man’s hand and pulling it close to him. “But, why can’t he carry it anymore?” he asked. “It’s been his since the very beginning.”

The old man’s smile fades, and sorrow weighs on his face. He wasn’t so old, really; no older than the rest of his kin, but recent events had worn him down, and left him tired. He looked away from Aether and sighed mournfully.

“The others feel it best,” he began, “that we leave our worlds. Our rule has brought you ruin; our reign must end, and it is time for your people to lead themselves.”

The enormity of the old man’s words pressed upon Aether’s spark like the fabled grip of the Lord of Beasts himself. His species stood in the ruins of a once-golden age, but at the same time at the precipice of an unknown future. The old ways were destroyed with the cities they had built; cybertronian-kind needed new leaders with new ideas around which to gather.

“The Matrix cannot come with us to be locked in some dark vault forever,” the old man continued. “Just as we have made our choice, so too has it decided to remain. Take it, Aether, and use it well. And as it learns from you, so will you- and all who come after- learn from it.”

The old man turned and retreated into the darkness, his emerald and copper tassels and thin tendrils trailing behind him as he vanished. But Aethus Prime was not alone as he made his own way out of the Basilica’s catacombs, and into the golden rays of a new day.

Planet Hedonia, 283578 CE

Armax Prime pulled the point of her spear from the broken body of her foe: a monstrous arthropod-like creature with a hard red shell and a weapon in each of its many arms. She flicked the greenish ooze from its innards off the spear and looked up to see another one of the invaders scuttling toward her. The barrels of the guns on its back flashed blue, and a torrent of plasma surged her way. Armax dropped to the ground and transformed, becoming a bullet-shaped truck that roared as its engine came to life. Before the creature could ready another salvo, Armax rammed into it, slamming it against the bombed-out husk of what was once a residential building. The bug screeched in pain as its exoskeleton crumpled, and the harnesses mounting its weapons to its shell pierced the soft tissue underneath.

Armax backed up, letting the crushed attacker fall over onto the ruined street. She resumed her robot mode, the cab of the truck splitting to form her arms and back, while the bed and interior mechanisms merged to make up the rest of her body. She looked out across the battlefield, which had been a beautiful cityscape just some months ago. Now the sky over this part of Hedonia was an angry red as plumes of smoke climbed high above the towers and their shattered windows, and the shore at the metropolis’s eastern border was lined with debris from a downed cybertronian cruiser. Blue flames lapped at the wreckage, fed by energon pouring from its ruptured fuel lines. Five hundred transformers had manned the ship, giving cover for transports ferrying the native hedonians out of the city. Five hundred bots, now dead under her leadership.

Everything was going so wrong. The city had all but fallen to these invaders; she just couldn’t bring herself to admit it.

Something hit her back, and she toppled over, feeling yet another one of the arthropods raking its claws over her armor. It searched for a purchase, latching onto the plating over her back and digging into the narrow spaces between the segments. It was going to rip her apart, but Armax twisted, struggling against her foe to come around and pin it to the road with her weight. She then transformed, her shifting parts dislodging the creature and even slicing through some of its more delicate limbs. It shrieked, its pained wailing soon drowned out by the screeching of Armax’s tires as she drove down its body. The armor on its underside was weaker than on its hide, and she felt it sag and buckle beneath her wheels. She transformed again, and put the creature out of its misery with her spear. She pulled it back, looking over her shoulder to see more of the invaders surging toward her down a scorched boulevard- some of them were already shooting at her with handheld energy weapons. Armax saw in the hellish sky above them that more of their bloated ships with their spindly appendages and pulsing lights were descending through the shroud of smoke, spitting swarms of homing projectiles at the cybertronian and hedonian ships overhead.

What do I do? Armax pleaded to no-one. What can I do?! The creatures fought with such ferocity, and so relentlessly that their heavy losses seemed unimportant to them. She had never faced an enemy seemed so incapable of yielding.

She dropped onto one knee and raised her arms, their sturdy armor protecting her from the flurry plasma bolts that now began to pepper her. Her spark grew cold with despair as she realized her inexperience would now spell her own death, as well…

But in that moment, something else within her burned like a star. Time slowed to a crawl; the sizzling darts fired from the invaders’ weapons lazily swam through the air, while the swarm bearing down on her crept sluggishly over the husks of cars and busses, the fires within the wrecks almost motionless. Within her chest, the Matrix called out to her, ringing like a bell and filling her audio receptors with its ethereal chorus. In her mind’s eye, she saw visions of past battles, of the Primes before her vanquishing the enemies of Cybertron. She saw Megatronus reducing scores of undead terrorcons to cosmic dust with a single shot from the Requiem Blaster; she saw Prima and Optimus rallying the Knights of Cybertron against the slithering servants of the quintessons; she saw Aethus Prime ripping the blood from the veins of more quintesson creatures, forming it into a web of lashes that cut through a battalion of the things as human soldiers past him into the fray.

Now, she understood.

Missile pods on Armax’s back swung around her shoulders and opened to disgorge their volatile contents upon the swarm, shrouding the onslaught in a curtain of fire and smoke. The veil cleared to reveal the charred and blasted bits of a dozen insectile invaders, though more were advancing to take their place. But the sudden annihilation of their front line had given them a moment’s pause- a moment that Armax Prime seized with her renewed confidence. As the missile pods folded away to load another salvo, she charged, reforming her hands and wrists into machine guns that spat twin hailstorms of lead into her foes. The bodies of the slain insects fell back into the still-living creature’s behind them, slowing their advance and forcing them to clumsily crawl over one another to push forward.

Armax kept up the pressure for as long as she could, until the horde eventually pushed through the chokepoint and into the open intersection in which she made her stand. They fought like the quintesson’s serpentine constables: they tried to surround her and overwhelm her with their superior numbers. But that tactic hadn’t defeated the Primes before, and it would not defeat her now. Retracting her guns, she limbered her spear and heaved it through the chitinous walls forming around her. She became a vortex of death, cleaving through limbs and armor and eviscerating the invaders. Something within the Matrix roared with approval; something else felt sympathy for the misguided aliens besieging Hedonia; another presence still urged Armax to gather a glob of their entrails for study. She pushed these thoughts into the recesses of her consciousness, focusing on the end of her spear as it sliced through shell after crimson shell.

There would be time enough for past Primes and past battles; right now, there was a new war to win.

Diplomatic shuttle en route to Cybertron, 100013209 CE…

Septimus Prime watched the planet Fellowship rapidly grow smaller against the star-speckled darkness, its many satellites both natural and artificial becoming tiny dots over the neon-lit, urban-encrusted hemisphere that faced the aft of his shuttle. The ship’s pilots were focused on their monitors in the cockpit, and Septimus’s guards kept to themselves on opposite ends of the bay, leaving him to his thoughts as they passed through flotillas of alien vessels on their way home to Cybertron.

His mind dwelled not on the council summit between him and the gaunt-faced nebulon and torkuli representatives- no, he did not wish to endure another headache at the moment. The tiny organics were stubborn and unrelenting in their demands, but that was their duty to their people, and he did not begrudge them. He thought of his own duties as a Prime, chosen by the Matrix: his responsibilities as a leader of the Imperium of Cybertron, burdened to walk ahead and light the way for the rest of Primus’s creations to follow. It was a hard burden to bear, but he took comfort in that he did not bear it alone.

Within the Matrix’s core, he could hear echoes of the Primes who had come before him. In his most dire moments, they cautioned him; when he doubt seized his thoughts, his predecessors would console him; and when indecision paralyzed him, he could look into the eons of memory recorded within the talisman in his chest, turning to the past for whatever guidance it had. But within this repository came another burden: knowledge that had been kept secret among the lineage of Matrix-bearers; secrets that would change the Imperium- the whole civilized galaxy- dramatically, were they ever shared.

They have a right to know. Our people deserve to know what they have lost.

His optic shutters blinked, wiping dust from their lenses, and in that brief moment Septimus had been transported to a field of rolling metal hills under a stark white sky. He was standing now, looking up the high wall of the Hydrax Plateau, its face adorned with towering statues of the Thirteen. A strange ethereal light permeated the area, softening the monuments’ edges and hiding the plateau’s snags and ridges in its glow.

“You heard me,” Septimus called out, undisturbed by his sudden relocation. His voice quietly echoed all around the bluish-grey plains as he waited for a reply. “A leader must be true to those he leads; he cannot deny them of their own history!”

Atop the plateau, a single silhouette stepped into view. It was a small figure with thin limbs, and the light of this realm seemed to shine faintly through its body. Septimus could not make out the figure’s face, but he felt its gaze fall upon him.

They are not ready.

Septimus felt its response within his neural network, appearing in his mind without a sound being uttered. Its “voice”, genderless and light, was unfamiliar to him.

“Who are we to judge that?” he then said, to which it replied:

It is our duty as leaders to protect them. There is pain in that history, in the memories that bear it.

“We were made to be warriors,” Septimus said, sweeping an arm around the plains beneath the plateau, and the lip of the Well of All Sparks some great distance away. “Our people are familiar with pain.”

Pain that comes from without. Unicron, the Quintessons, Dire Wraiths- all external foes. But the wounds we hide are deep within, and they still need time to heal.

Septimus shook his head. His people had healed. The colonies had been restored, their cities rebuilt, all eons ago. The other’s words rang hollow, their position long-outdated.

“You’ve made your point,” he said. “Now I wish to speak to someone else. Someone younger- I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.”

The other shook its head. There is no-one else. It said. Only thoughts and memories, echoes of your predecessors.

“Yes, I know.” Septimus closed his eyes, frustrated. “With you, it’s certainly obvious.”

Then Septimus detected a brief sensation- an emotion that stirred within him but he did not feel. Insulted. It felt insulted. How…?

They are not ready. The other said again, insistent this time. Not yet. But in time, they will be.

Then the Hydrax Plateau vanished, and Septimus was overwhelmed with a blur of images. He saw bright explosions, soldiers, entire worlds engulfed in flame… but through the chaos, he caught glimpses of majestic cities ahead of the wastelands, of great ships riding into the unknown, and he heard a chorus of cheers behind a deep, echoing knell.

In a second, it was over, and Septimus was alone with his thoughts again, back in his seat within the shuttle. Within his chest, he felt the Matrix fall silent. He pondered his exchange within its depths, and of the vision it had shown him, and he did not understand.

The Tomb of the Primes, Cybertron, 100024020 CE

Sentinel Prime felt the Matrix’s presence leave his mind as if a surgeon had opened his hull and torn out his innards. Where the talisman had once resided, there was now an emptiness, a great nothing within himself that the rest of him did not move to fill- not yet. He felt its shell uncouple from his sparkchamber as he lifted out from within himself, and as he did its light spilled out over the ancient murals hewn from the metal walls around him. He turned his old eyes away from the Matrix, lest he be blinded, and he took a heavy step forward.

Behind him, outside the tomb’s entrance, gunfire and explosions echoed from far away. Each blast grew steadily closer as the Decepticons tore their way through Iacon, as he should have known they would.

So my failure is complete. Sentinel thought. There was nothing he could do now to stop this catastrophe that he should not have done decades before, when he could still have changed the present. But now he could look ahead, and prevent those yet to come from suffering for his mistakes.

Perhaps, one day, history will note that I could at least spare a glance to the future. But for now, let it record the folly of Sentinel Prime in all its spectacular horror.

He lowered the Matrix onto a pedestal in front of him, and as he drew his hands from its shell, he felt its light subside. Looking down at the Matrix, he saw that its core was now dark and opaque, and the gold of its container had faded to a dreary grey. Sadness overtook Sentinel as the watched the splendor drain from the holy relic, as it had elsewhere across the Imperium of Cybertron. He remembered how dazzling it had been when Septimus had offered it to him- how bright everything had been back then- and guilt flooded the void within him.

He let his gaze linger on the Matrix, the ornate sarcophagi surrounding its pedestal, and the architecture of the tomb for a moment longer. His would be the last eyes to behold any of it for some time, he imagined. There would be many questions, and few- if any- answers; a mystery to haunt his people for eons to come.

But one day, Sentinel hoped- one day, far from now- they would understand.


College has put some added weight on my day-to-day, but it has broken my writer’s block. So here’s a nice big hopefully-somewhat-enjoyable story/thing to make up for my silence. Comments and constructive criticism are appreciated, if you have any.

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The Federation of Allied Species

The Federation of Allied Species is a political union of several hundred sentient races throughout the Milky Way galaxy. Each species represents itself as a single government entity within a larger deliberative body, which sets interstellar laws governing social and economic conduct. According to the foundational documents of the Federation, the Concordance of Sentients, this union exists to unite the galaxy’s intelligent life-forms through a simultaneous recognition of commonality and celebration of diversity, in order to uphold and protect the rights and dignities that are owed to all sentient beings.

The Federation holds true that all intelligent beings are equal, and possess a plethora of freedoms and entitlements that no government under its banner may violate. Members found lacking in this regard are subject to sanctions, and can be removed from the Federation should those fail to incite corrective action. While the Federation no longer holds power over a species that has left its ranks, ex-members are likewise stripped of various privileges they may have enjoyed within the alliance. To expel a race from the Federation requires a near-unanimous vote within the Allied Species senate, and to date, only a handful of peoples have ever been successfully removed. The most recent species to be expelled were the cybertronians, who were forced into exile for wreaking destruction upon the galaxy in the Great War over twenty million years ago. However, diplomatic relations between the New Imperium of Cybertron and the Federation have shown promise, and there is nothing within the Concordance stating that an excommunicated race cannot be welcomed back into the fold…

No-one knows for sure when the Federation of Allied Species was first founded: it has existed for as long as anyone alive today remembers, and its membership has been constantly changing throughout its history. Many civilizations have come and gone. Today, the likes of humans, nebulons, lithonians, a’ovan, and many more cultures enjoy membership. The Federation has the power to keep peace and mediate conflict between its member-species, though its power is lesser and ill-defined when concerning intra-species warfare- except in cases when such conflict threatens the livelihood of other races. Such nebulous policy is what has allowed tragedies such as the Great War and the [REDACTED] to occur, though there is comfort to be taken in that such events are rare occurrences amidst eons of peace and prosperity.


Fellowship

Fellowship is the name given to the artificial planet which serves as the political center of the Federation of Allied Species. The date of its discovery has been lost to time, but what is known is that the planet predates the Federation by several millennia, and that it was not constructed by any of its member species, current or former. The identity of Fellowship’s makers has eluded xenoanthropologists and historians for eons, though it is clear from the technological marvel they left behind that theirs was a civilization advanced beyond our comprehension.

Fellowship is a convenient heartland for the Allied Species because of its modularity: from its control center, one can divide its surface into into an infinite number of custom microclimates. Virtually every aspect of these zones can be individually tailored to the needs of a given species- from geography and soil PH levels to gravitational field strength and atmospheric composition- and their boundaries can be reshaped as needed. Fabrication engines beneath the planet’s crust can create a forested mountain range within a month, then submerge it beneath a sea of methane in the next weekend, before draining the ocean to make way for an arid desert before the year is out. Cloning facilities can also grow wildlife to populate these biomes, using genetic templates provided by their inhabitants. While the Allied Species have learned to use these technologies with precision, no-one can say for certain as to exactly how Fellowship is able to perform these miraculous feats.

Most races in the Allied Species maintain a permanent population on Fellowship, living in great cities within their respective microclimates. Other zones are made to accommodate multiple species to encourage intermingling, with gravity and atmosphere that is at least tolerable for most life-forms. In these cities, one can explore hundreds of unique cultures from across the Milky Way galaxy- especially through popular art and cuisine. In the north pole, the Allied Species Senate convenes within a massive enclosed complex built atop the planet’s control center. The control center is off-limits to most, and is manned by a small number of AI that have been inserted into the network controlling Fellowship’s systems. These AI are responsible for overseeing the planet’s microclimates and overall functionality, though there are many more systems that they are unable to access. Fellowship’s builders surely had grand ambitions for the world, and one can only hope that its current tenants are making them proud, wherever they are.


Sometimes I feel like writing out these codex-style pieces as opposed to short stories. Narratives are hard, yo. It’s a lot easier to just put down a few paragraphs of information- especially when it’s all fictitious information you get to make up entirely in your head. Hopefully I can do a half-decent job at both, eh? Whatever comments or criticisms you may have, feel free to share 'em.

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Worthy

The Well of All Sparks, Cybertron, ??? BCE…

Night had fallen over the metal hills around the Well of All Sparks- his first night. Prima looked up in wonder at the black sky, full of twinkling stars and whispy tendrils of cosmic dust. How many of those stars had planets orbiting them, he wondered? And how many of those planets held life, in some form or another? His brain module tried to count all the pinpricks of light overhead, but it quickly abandoned this task. Prima dismissed the message appearing within his mind’s eye informing him of the time-out.

He was supposed to protect all of this. Countless stars, countless worlds, countless living creatures throughout the universe- it fell to him to protect all of this. A daunting task. The one who had created him had told Prima that he was powerful, but was he really that powerful?

Prima looked down now at the sword he held in his right hand: an ornate grey hilt inlaid with gold, and a blade made from two bands of metal folding over and around each other in a beautiful pattern. Its balance was perfect. In his hand, it felt lighter than air. He held up the sword, studying its features. The stars above were reflected in the flats of the saber’s blade, and now Prima saw that their light caught on an inscription etched along the weapon’s length. Curiously, he read:

Let those who hold this sword with light in their hearts and noble intent be worthy of the power of the stars

Am I worthy? Prima thought. Once more he looked to the stars, and thought of his duty. A daunting task, indeed. He new very little about himself- or maybe it was that there was so little to know about himself altogether- but he decided then and there that he was someone who would not shy away from responsibility- no matter how daunting it seemed.

Am I worthy? I don’t know. But I can find out, can’t I?

Prima looked away from the night sky, turning his gaze westward, where the others were walking. The one called Onyx had said something of a great city in that direction. Stowing the Star Saber on his back, Prima walked after them.

The Benzuli Expanse, 37410 BCE…

Prima’s feet scraped across the deck of the quintesson ship, throwing out waves of sparks as he ground to a halt. Doubled over, he placed his free hand over the tear in his abdominal armor. It came away wet with energon, and he could feel more of his life-blood trickling from more wounds on his shoulders and legs. He felt his strength fading.

He looked up at the white disk that was the Benzuil Expanse ahead of him, through the open aperture of the alien vessel. The quintesson in front of him hovered above the deck, its ghastly face and writhing tentacles protruding from its dark tetrahedral body. Behind a mask of grey, stretched-thin flesh, its red eyes stared into him.

“You cannot stop this,” the Appointer said slowly and softly. “Judgement is at hand. Your resistance is meaningless.”

Outside the ship, nebulon and cybertronian ships traded fire with the quintesson fleet, pushing them closer and closer to the Expanse. Prima felt the vibrations from exploding torpedoes and shattering hulls through the armor of the Appointer’s vessel. In spite of the quintesson’s words, he knew that victory was so very close, and he would not give up now.

Standing to his full height and bringing the Star Saber to bear, Prima grunted as he took a heavy step toward his foe. The Appointer’s response was immediate: crimson beams of energy shot from its body and hit Prima in the chest, and he staggered back again. The Appointer surged forward, reaching out and pinning Prima against a wall with its clawed tendrils. He struggled, but the quintesson dug its claws into his armor. He roared in pain as one tendril tore the pauldron off his right shoulder, and another one stabbed its bladed tip into his arm.

“Your resistance is nothing but an inconvenience to us,” the Appointer said, pressing harder still. “To us, you are powerless. You will die now, in vain.”

Prima fought against the Appointer’s grasp, clawing at its tendrils with his free hand as he struggled to free the other. His grip on the Star Saber faltered as the quintesson’s blades cut the mechanisms in his forearm. He kicked at the Appointer’s body, and it recoiled, dropping Prima onto the deck. The Star Saber clattered to the floor in front of him, and both he and the Appointer reached out to grab it.

Both combatants seized the hilt of the Star Saber at the same time. The Appointer’s tendril instantly recoiled, and Prima thrust out his arm in turn. The blade drove into the quintesson’s side, and it emitted a high shriek as the weapon glowed blue. Prima yelled as he twisted the Star Saber within the Appointer’s wound and drew it diagonally across its body, making a deep gash from which a dark bile poured out. The Appointer reeled back, releasing its hold on the Star Saber, and Prima defiantly brandished the weapon.

“My power is far greater than you know,” he said, fighting through the pain of his injuries. The Appointer shot another beam of plasma at him. Prima held his sword in front of him, blocking the blast. Slowly, he began to march forward.

“The stars themselves are with me, quintesson,” he continued. He flicked his wrist, sending forth a crackling wave of energy. The Appointer recoiled, and panels on the walls swung out to catch the incoming arc. Prima now broke into a run, charging at the Appointer and smashing through the defenses it raised to try and halt him.

“It is my duty to resist you!” he roared, cutting through barriers and tendrils in a blur of metal and ribbons of pale light. “To protect the stars from evil, like you!”

The Appointer howled in pain and rage as it bled, and the last of its defenses crumbled. It lashed out with its tendrils, shooting them forward like bladed whips to shred Prima’s armor. The Warrior of Light was undeterred by the onslaught, cleaving through wire and bone with ease as if they weren’t even there.

“So long as there is life within me, I will not yield!

With a final yell, Prima leapt at the Appointer, the tip of the Star Saber shooting forward and lancing through the quintesson’s body. It bored through layers of alien armor, through bone and flesh, and flashed a brilliant white as its energies destroyed it from the inside out. Prima’s momentum carried him forward, through the open maw of the Appointer’s ship as he lost himself in a field of starlight…

Primogenitum, 4066 CE…

Prima looked into the blade of the Star Saber one last time. Reflected in its blade were tall trees covered in snow, cloudy skies, and the beautiful face of his love beside him. Looking past the blade, he saw a tranquil round lake before him. He took a step toward it.

“When I am gone, you must care for the Star Saber,” he said to his Conjux Endura. She nodded, understanding. The light beneath Prima’s armor had grown dim, and his movements had slowed in recent decades. He was nearing the end of his life, soon to be relieved of his duty.

“There will be others after me, who will find themselves in need of the blade,” he continued. “I trust you, my love, to keep it safe.”

“I will,” she promised. “I will keep it always, only relinquishing it to the worthy.”

Prima turned. “How will you know who is worthy?” he asked.

“I suppose they will remind me of you,” she said with a smile. It was a smile that Prima returned. He faced the lake again, and without another word he tossed the Star Saber over the water. It spun through the wintry air, coming down at the lake’s center and hitting the water in a great splash. In a moment, it had sunk, and the lake rippled as the water righted itself again. The sword rested gently at its bottom, shrouding itself in silt, never to be seen again. Not until a being would come with a pure heart and noble intend, worthy of the power of the stars.


To celebrate the completion of my Prime Colony rewrites, here’s a short story about Prima and the Star Saber. As always, comments and constructive criticism are welcome and encouraged.

Check out the revised Prime Colony bios here!

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Fracture

The Hydrax Plateau, Cybertron, 1952 CE…

Morning dawned upon the city of Iacon, the darkness of the night fading away as rich orange rays spilled over the horizon and the sky began to turn blue. The sunlight shone between the great city’s towers, gleaming off shards of shattered glass and metal torn asunder. It painted over the husks of bombed-out vehicles lying in the streets, and over scores of mangled bodies, their energon trickling from their wounds to pool together in bright blue puddles on the roadways. A few living transformers walked among the dead: most carried weapons limply at their sides, and eyed each other with fearful suspicion. Others dropped their guns and swords into the rubble and embraced each other, overcome with a bittersweet feeling of relief.

The war was over. After centuries of fighting, of so much death and destruction, it was finally over.

In the quiet stillness of the morning, in the numb shock of the surviving combatants, no-one noticed a small ship take off from a lonely port at the edge of Iacon. Light and shadow rolled over its hull as it flew between the city’s layers of skyscrapers and bridges, until it left the city’s limits and traveled east. It glided over the miles of empty hills that stretched across Cybertron’s north pole, beyond the battlefields of the war which had ended the night before. The land here was unblemished, its surfaces smooth and reflecting the sun’s first rays through the cockpit of the shuttle. Its reactive panes darkened, and its pilot maintained a constant speed and heading toward the Hydrax Plateau.

The ship landed before the vast wall of blue-grey metal, its rough and jagged face looming over the shuttle as its exit ramp lowered from its belly. Slowly, Optimus Prime stepped down the ramp, holding a massive silver hammer in his hands. Behind him, eleven silvery blocks, each one more than sixty feet long and twenty feet wide, their surfaces adorned with cyberglyphic inscriptions, floated along behind him. Optimus led his procession out from under the shuttle and toward the plateau, their forms casting long shadows beside them.

Optimus looked up at the enormous wall of metal, casting a solemn gaze to the enormous monuments hewn from it: gigantic statues of himself and the other Primes, standing together, their faces cast in stoic expressions as they looked out toward Iacon. Then he stopped to look at the caskets behind him, sunlight glinting off their lids. A great sadness filled him, and for a moment he wished- hopelessly- that history would remember his friends as they were when these great monuments had been made, and not as they had been in the centuries since.

The caskets slowed to a stop, hovering silently above the ground as Optimus gripped the Forge of Solus Prime tightly, and then swung it at the wall in front of him. The hammer rang as it struck, its song echoing for miles around as Optimus swung again and again. It was a low, sorrowful melody accompanied by the shifting of the wall as arcs of energy ran across it. Part of it caved inward, forming a circular porthole and a long hallway beyond it. Ornate decorations wove themselves into being on the walls and ceiling as Optimus went through, continuing to hammer away at the receding metal in front of him. Images appeared on the floor behind him as he marched on: a tapestry starting at the entryway with a depiction of the Well of All Sparks not far away from the Plateau. It continued, showing images of Optimus and his fellows leading their people into battle against Unicron, then standing proudly among them as they built beautiful cities and explored the stars. It showed their bonds of fellowship decay as the Thirteen hoarded arsenals of mighty weapons and sealed their followers within great fortresses. It showed the grand cities they had built crumbling away as they fought each other, each with legions at their backs. Five centuries of slaughter later, it ended as Optimus stopped within a wide chamber at the end of the hall, showing all the Primes impaled upon their weapons in the great hall of the Primal Basilica, together again in death.

Optimus Prime turned and walked back outside, the sunlight snagging on the spiderweb crack in the translucent plating on the left side of his chest. Behind the caskets stood an elderly-looking bot with a long beard made of silicon fibers. Optimus greeted the elder with a nod, which the other returned. Without a word, the two led the caskets into the tomb Optimus had made for them, and arranged them in a circle within the chamber at its heart.

“What will you do now?” the elder asked when the work was done. Optimus set the Forge against the wall and pondered the question.

“What will you do with that?” the elder then said, and he pointed at Optimus’s chest. Optimus opened the panels above his abdomen, parting the purple and grey hatches to reveal a crimson orb of crystal within an ornate shell. He took it in its hand, and looked into the Matrix of Leadership. He felt its rage, the blind fury it had soaked up from the now-dead Primes. Optimus had hoped it could be a useful tool for future leaders, a repository of knowledge and memory for them to draw upon, but now…

“I will take it where it can never be found,” Optimus said. “There it, and myself, will remain. I will not allow our failures to pass on to future generations.”

“And what if you succumb to it?” the elder asked gravely. “The others… what makes you believe you could be immune to its effects?”

Optimus shook his head. “I was created to be its steward. To keep the Matrix until the time came to pass it on to our successors. Now, that time will never come, and so now I will keep it forever.”

“Will I ever see you again?” said the elder, his tone fading from worry to sadness. Optimus shook his head again.

“Farewell, Alpha Trion,” he said.

“Until all are one,” Alpha Trion replied.

The two left the tomb, and Optimus swung the Forge of Solus Prime once more to raise a shield of armor over its entrance. The hammer’s powers transmuted the natural metals of Cybertron’s surface into a heavy alloy over the porthole, dense enough to withstand the ravages of time and whatever weapons that curious explorers might level against it. Optimus swung the Forge over his shoulder, fastening it to his back, and then ignited his energon sword. With its searing blade, he carved a single glyph onto the shield: the symbol of the Thirteen, of the mighty fellowship they once shared. Then, climbed back into his shuttle. Alpha Trion watched as its engines thrummed to life, streams of plasma billowing behind them as Optimus steered the ship upward and into the clear morning sky. He watched it grow ever smaller as it climbed, until it finally disappeared forever.


I’ve been wanting to write this one for a while now. As always, comments and constructive criticism are requested and appreciated.

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Appointed

Nebulon modular frieghter First Day’s Run, En route to Sorizen-II, 37416 BCE…

Captain Elaan Selani stepped quietly onto the empty bridge of the First Day’s Run, strutting between the unmanned consoles and sensor stations as if he owned the place. That was because he did- First Day was his ship, which meant he could very well step out of his quarters and take a leisuresome stroll throughout its corridors and public spaces after lights-out any time he pleased. Rank, as he’d been so often reminded in the Kari Militia by pompous Majors and sub-Commanders, had its privileges. Elaan had never been able to join those privileged few in the militia; but now, as a “mere” civilian, here he was with the best darn multi-purpose long-distance hauler in the Nebulon Republics to his name, with a good crew to keep her running and the comfortable income that such a union would grant you.

So whenever he felt inclined to tour his vessel after-hours, with only the soft hum of her transwarp drive reverberating quietly throughout her interior for company, he promptly did just that. The dimmed lights, the inactive terminals, and the complete lack of people and their noise created an ambiance that Elaan found to be simply sublime. Sometimes he’d get himself a cup of warm tea from the galley and read an old book there at one of the booths, or he’d immerse himself in the gentle white noise of First Day’s innards in Engineering.

Sometimes, though, he’d wind up here, on the bridge, reclining in his chair at its center, beneath the primary sensor controls and systems analysis console, staring out into the tunnel of rainbow light through which First Day frequently travelled. Apparently, Transwarp looked different to every species, and Elaan thanked whatever power that may have created his people for allowing him to see it like this. The view made long trips like this one more bearable. Sometimes, even, he wished that he wasn’t such a punctual man, otherwise he’d give himself an extra day or so to marvel at the extradimensional plane around him. The bridge’s overhead lights were off, with only the soft glows of the monitors, their control panels, and the varicolored streams of light coming from outside illuminating the room. Simply sublime.

Not everyone found transwarp as beautiful as he did, Elaan knew. For some, its many dangers blinded them to its magnificence. Just entering and exiting this dimension-outside-dimensions required a brazen defiance of the scientific laws of the universe, using the exotic properties of energon to create a field around a starship which momentarily tore open a hole in the fabric of space and time, through which a ship could slip in and out of transwarp at the leisure of its crew. Accidents happened all the time: a botched “jump” could reduce a ship to atoms, or leave an entire sector untraversable for decades, if not forever. And that was to say nothing of transwarp itself: an ever-changing bundle of non-realities with few, if any, consistent rules, infinite in a way that somehow made the universe seem small in comparison. Ships got lost in the nothing, too, never reaching their destinations, and every spacer knew stories of strange and unfathomably-massive monsters which prowled the void and could swallow even a cybertronian dreadnaught whole.

Oh, well. A Knight of Cybertron had once told Elaan that “every rose has its thorns”, and while Elaan didn’t know what a “rose” was, the saying seemed appropriate. He was a smart man, he had a good crew, and he had a helluva ship. With all that going for him, he felt safe enough to enjoy the majesty of this place. He reached into one of the pockets within his open jacket and took out a small capsule about the size of a pill bottle. Through a transparent slit of reinforced glass on its otherwise flat grey surfaces, he peered at the tiny, unformed embryo suspended within the icy-blue preservation gel inside. He wondered if M335-J2 (the holographic ID which scrolled across the glass), or any of the other twenty-thousand unborn nebulons in cryo-bins secured in First Day’s cargo bay would eventually grow to be spacers like him, or if they’d be content with life on this new frontier colony where he was taking them. Maybe, if he was fortunate enough to live so long, he’d meet on of these little guys after the geneticists on Sorizen-II had grown him or her into a proper living, thinking nebulon. He laughed quietly at the thought.

“I remember when you were just a couple chromosomes in a shotglass!” he imagined himself saying to some faceless sorizian many years from now, which the younger lad or lass would hopefully find some humor in.

A shrill alarm from the navigation console at the front of the bridge snapped Elaan out of his daydream. The sound was familiar, but at the same time it confused and frightened him: it was the autopilot’s collision alarm, an alarm which should never sound within transwarp. There was one thing which scientists all over the galaxy could say for certain about transwarp: it was statistically impossible that two objects within it could see or interact with each other in any way. Something about “phased-states” or something which Elaan didn’t have the level of education necessary to fully understand. But he did understand that whatever physics were at play prevented ships from hitting each other within transwarp. The terrible monsters from spacer legends were simply that: legends.

But that, perhaps, was another one of those rules which could change upon occasion.

He practically leapt over to the helm, stuffing the embryo-pod back into his jacket, and scanned the console, which claimed to detect an unknown mass which was rapidly approaching the First Day’s Run from the port side. Something within him did not want to take the chance of this being a bizarre malfunction, and he allowed that something to take command as he slapped the the communicator built into the console.

"Everybody get up, now!" he yelled, his voice booming over the ship’s speakers. “I’m making an emergency stop!

Whatever was going on, he wanted his crew awake for it. He reached for the black cover which concealed the emergency switch, which would flood the transwarp drive with enough energon to catapult the ship back into normal space in an instant. It would be a rough re-entry, but it was preferable to being smashed to pieces. But as his hand hovered over the protective flap, a strange sensation passed over Elaan like a kind of vertigo. His fingers curled on their own, and his legs suddenly gave out from under him. He fell onto the deck, throwing his other arm up onto the edge of the console to brace himself, as a high-pitched whine filled his ears. The muscles beneath his green skin twitched and spasmed outside his control, and he felt his heartbeat stutter. His vision became blurry as he looked up at the monitor, which reported that the unknown mass was… slowing down?

A shadow glided in front of the bridge’s windows, blocking the rainbow aura outside and darkening the room. No, not a shadow- some kind of machine made from sloping mounds of black metal, roped together by thick armored cables. Between the plates of this alien machine, pinpricks of crimson light appeared, like thousands of tiny mechanical eyes staring down at the ship. Elaan felt those eyes staring at him through the glass. For a moment, he thought he heard the voice of Satie, his best mechanic, crackling through the commlink, but then the whining in his ears rose to a painful pitch, drowning out her words and stabbing at his eardrums like hot needles. Involuntarily, he reeled and fell onto his back.

DO NOT RESIST US.

The voice, indescribable and deafening, echoed inside his head. All at once, it felt as if a clawed hand had reached into his skull and was squeezing his brain like a vice. He let out a choked gasp and rolled over, trying to force himself to get up to the console again. He wretched, and as he did, droplets of blood- oily and black, as it was with most nebulons- fell from mouth and nose.

DO NOT RESIST US. YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO HELP US RENDER JUDGEMENT UPON YOUR LIMITED EXISTENCE.

Elaan’s body no longer obeyed him, twitching on the floor as his arms and legs writhed uselessly at his sides. Outside, the machine- it was impossibly large. It filled the entirety of the viewport now- opened. Its plates split apart and its cables uncoiled, revealing a deep, dark maw behind them. Huge tendrils snaked out of that maw toward First Day’s Run, and Elaan felt the whole ship shake as they took hold of her.

YOUR TECHNOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL ADVANCEMENTS WILL BE ADAPTED TO SERVICE US. YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN. DO NOT RESIST US.

Arcs of red energy ran across the bridge consoles. Elaan felt his ship being pulled upward, faster than the artificial gravity could adjust to compensate. He slid into the stem of his captain’s chair, rolling over to face the back of the room. The embryonic vial fell from his jacket and tumbled end-over-end toward the door, which snapped open as whatever the machine was doing to First Day infected its motion sensors. The vial rolled down the corridor beyond, and disappeared as the hall’s overhead lights flickered out. Or perhaps that was his own sight fading…

YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN. WE ARE THE QUINTESSONS. YOU CANNOT RESIST US.


As always, comments and constructive criticism are encouraged and requested! Please let me know what you think.

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urgh. quintessons.

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Avalon

Glamorgan-IV territory, Earth, 120007916 CE

The brisk morning air gently breezed over Liege Maximo’s armor as he sat at the edge of a high white cliff, staring out over the tranquil sea. The sky overhead was obscured by a blanket of grey clouds, thinning in some places and allowing shafts of light from Sol to fall upon the rippling water. All was calm, the only sounds being the gentle crashing of waves on the rocks at the base of the cliff and the rustling of the wind through the green grass.

Earth looked much different from when Liege had seen it last, well over a hundred twenty million years ago now. Beneath the grass, the remnants of an old concrete road lingered. Further back away from the cliff, by where his ship Present Memory was landed, the rusted hulks of assault vehicles and the hollowed-out shells of powered armor were half-buried in the dark soil. A great war had been fought here some fifteen thousand years before- a war which had nearly destroyed Earth and human civilization. Liege was intimately familiar with that kind of war- how it swept over a world like fire and burned its cities to ash. How a people could lose themselves in its frenzy and indiscriminately slaughter each other, all pretenses of righteousness and justice (or even vengeance) slipping away in the bloodshed.

Liege Maximo had been foolish in his youth, to think that there could have been any victor in such a war as that. He was wiser now, but he knew that he had learned this lesson far too late. It saddened him to see that the humans had made the same mistakes he had. But like him, they had learned, and for the last fifteen millennia humanity and its planets had known peace.

I suppose we’re in good company, he thought. Perhaps now they’ll be-

A pattering of footsteps interrupted his thoughts, and Liege turned to look behind him. Over his shoulder, he saw a human woman jogging along a worn path. The woman took notice of Liege- for really, a cybertronian was hard to miss- and she abruptly stopped. “Oh!” she said, surprised to see the Prime of Lies on her morning run. “Uhm… good morning.”

“Good morning,” Liege echoed, raising an armored hand in greeting. “Don’t mind me, please. I’m just… sightseeing.”

The human woman nodded, appearing to find this a reasonable explanation for his presence. “Picked a good spot for it, you did,” she said approvingly. “Not many come by this place, believe it or not; nice to see someone else with an appreciation for natural beauty.”

Liege laughed. “Yes, indeed. Yours is a beautiful planet, but many of your people take it for granted.”

To his surprise, the human woman stepped off the jogging trail and approached him. He’d been too friendly- the “your people” remark didn’t have the same affect these days, disappointingly. His talent for discouraging unwanted company had diminished.

“Shouldn’t you return to your exercise human?” he said. “As I understand it, your bodies require a great deal of maintenance to remain in good form.”

“I run this stretch five days a week.” the woman waved her hand dismissively and took a seat by him. “Missing one won’t kill me. Besides, it’s not every day you see Liege Maximo on your morning run.”

This human was clearly persistent, unfortunately. If knowledge of his identity wouldn’t deter her, than nothing he said would. Liege closed his eyes and steeled himself in preparation to have an actual conversation. Opening his eyes again, he looked down at the woman, who had sat down on his left side. The breeze gently blew through the curls in her auburn hair, causing it to quiver. She looked back up at him and said:

“So, I take it Cybertron doesn’t have anything like this.”

“No,” Liege answered, shaking his head. “Cliffs and grass aplenty- biomechanical grass, of course- but no oceans. The weather isn’t so lively either- there’s rarely a cloudy day on Cybertron.”

“Now that is a shame,” the woman proclaimed. A moment of silence passed between them, during which both Liege and the human turned their gaze to the ocean. But then she spoke again:

“I’m Margaret, by the way,” she said. “I know your name; only fair that you know mine, I think.”

“A pleasure, Margaret,” Liege replied. “I didn’t realize I was a subject of conversation among the human species.”

“Are you kidding?” said Margaret. “Most people learn cybertronian history in school- the parts that coincide with ours, at least. I took a course once about how you and the other Primes influenced old human mythologies.”

“Yes, your ancestors did have some peculiar perceptions of us.” Liege grinned, his mind dredging up ancient memories of time spent on Earth back when humans were just beginning to shape iron into weapons and armor. “For some reason, the idea that a giant with indestructible skin was simply a cybernetic being from another planet seemed far too outlandish to them. Not sure how they could’ve mistaken me for a mischievous deity living in the clouds, but I have to admit I took some pleasure in playing god.”

Margaret laughed, and Liege continued. “To be honest, I’m saddened your species isn’t so gullible anymore. After a hundred twenty million years locked in a stasis pod, I was looking forward to coming to Earth and making you all my servants, catering to my every whim. I’d have you performing sacrifices and everything. Blood rituals, chants- I had it all worked out. Would’ve been fun for everyone.”

Both he and Margaret broke into laughter, reeling back and cackling for a good half-minute. As their hoots and guffaws echoed around them, it occurred to Liege that he could’ve just up and left if he truly didn’t want this woman’s company. Perhaps a part of him wanted someone to talk with after all- living on a tiny island on Astrum, he rarely got visitors. He thought he didn’t mind the isolation, but perhaps he also wouldn’t mind some meaningful interaction with the outside world every now and then.

“I’m-… I’m sure-… I’m sure it would’ve been a riot,” Margaret wheezed, her laughter beginning to subside. “But lucky for us, the idea of cybernetic beings from another planet isn’t so far-fetched anymore.”

“Yes, your species has come a long way, hasn’t it?” Liege said, smiling. “I remember back when you all thought your planet was flat, and that plagues were caused by malevolent spirits. Why, I vividly recall saying to Prima that this was obviously a backward, degenerate race that would destroy itself within a millennia or two. I mean, why bother with such a moronic people?”

Ouch.” Margaret winced “A hundred twenty million years later, and that still hurts.”

“Hmph. Well, it shows you what I knew,” Liege continued. “a hundred twenty million years later, here you are as a respectable interstellar civilization, and I spent most of that time shut away in a pod on some backwater colony.”

“You certainly missed the mark there,” Margaret agreed. “But then again, I suppose we did used to be a pretty rotten people a long time ago. Bigotry, wars, inquisitions- I have to wonder: what did the other Primes see in us back then?”

Liege looked back out over the ocean, peering into its depths as his memory went further back in time. One thing his people had learned about these great bodies of liquid was that great secrets could be hidden within them. Secrets which, maybe one day, could be revealed, when the time was right. After the young and foolish had grown, and become wiser.

“I suppose… I suppose they saw potential in you,” Liege said after a moment’s pause. “That, in spite of what you were then, there was a possibility that- after a time, perhaps- you could become a wiser, gentler, better people.”

Margaret nodded slowly, sitting cross-legged on the grass. “I do appreciate the vote of confidence,” she said. “Nice of them to give us a chance- to see that potential to be better instead of writing us off. Kinda like what they did with you, maybe?”

Taken aback, Liege straightens his back and fixes the woman with a perplexed stare. Seeing his reaction, Margaret continued:

“You nearly destroyed your own civilization, right? That ‘War of the Primes’ or whatever it was. The other Primes could’ve executed you for that- and I don’t think anybody would have held it against them- but instead they put you in stasis. Maybe they thought you could become better after a time, too.”

The crashing of the waves and the murmur of the wind were the only sounds for a long time as Liege Maximo and Margaret, the former despot and the human, were silent. Ghosts of old wars lingered in their minds and in the world around them, memories and relics from times which had long-since passed. The past would always be with them, the once-proud tyrant and the descendent of barbarians, but now they lived in a brighter present. And somewhere far beneath the sea, an even greater future awaited them.

“My compatriots did always have a most aggravating and persistent sense of optimism,” Liege Maximo sighed.


As always, comments and constructive criticism are encouraged and requested.

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The Equinox Saber

In many interpretations of the cybertronian faith, Primus and Unicron are two parts of a larger whole: avatars of a cycle of creation and destruction, life and death, light and darkness, which drives the universe. This duality is embodied in a weapon forged in universe TGA-77.8913.44444: when both the Star Saber and the Dark Star Saber were destroyed in a great battle, an artificer from Astrum salvaged their remains and remade them into a single blade. Naming the new weapon the Equinox Saber, this nameless craftswoman had no idea that her work would change her universe forever.

The Equinox Saber eclipsed both of its components in power, and a skilled wielder could apply its energies with finesse enough to sunder fleets of warships in one strike, or unleash them in a great blast which could shatter a planet’s crust and ignite its atmosphere. Powers from across the universe coveted the weapon, and wars have been waged across the cosmos to obtain it. Over the course of many millions of years, the Equinox Saber has been wielded by heroes and villains, and every sort of character in between. It has been an instrument of righteousness and a weapon of terror in equal measure. Many times has it been lost in the rubble of some war or another, lying dormant for years or even centuries before being discovered again and once more becoming the object of the universe’s avarice.

The Equinox Saber was a large dual-edged sword, its blade from interwoven bands of black and white metal inscribed with the written language of Ancient Cybertron. Its hilt was grey and inlaid with silver filigree, along with crystalline shards of Energon and Dark Energon. When a wielder called upon its power, the Equinox Saber’s blade would glow, and great tendrils of blue and purple energy would radiate from it. The sword reportedly felt lighter than air, and its blade never dulled.

The sword was last seen some twenty thousand years ago, when Ironclad, the last Knight of Cybertron, wielded it against the tyrant Dominus Prime, a warlord from another dimension who’d come to claim the weapon for himself. Dominus carried with him his timeline’s own version of the Star Saber, enhanced somehow with unknown technologies and black magic. He and Ironclad dueled over the remains of Cybertron, its core destroyed in a long-ago war and collapsed into an unstable wormhole. The battle was long and spectacular, even in a universe which had grown accustomed to such things. Dominus Prime matched Ironclad for every strike, and at the duel’s climax he split the Equinox Saber in two down its middle, slicing off Ironclad’s arm as he did so. This caused a great explosion of metaphysical energy which destroyed the planetary fragment on which Dominus Prime and Ironclad were standing, and both halves of the Equinox Saber fell into the wormhole below. No part of the sword has been seen since, though Aevum’s Temporal Guard has an entire task force devoted to scouring the multiverse for them. If the Equinox Saber is ever recovered, it is likely for the best that it be destroyed.

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Sentinel Prime

Born Infinitus on the planet Caelum, the bot who would become Sentinel Prime gave up his original name to become Sentinel Zeta of the Simfur Temple Guard. During the Dire Wraith Conflict, when the Wraiths attacked Caelum, all Sentinels save Zeta were killed trying to repel the invaders. Alone and with only his Primax Blade and shield, Zeta was nonetheless determined to keep the Simfur Temple from falling into enemy hands, and in a grueling hours-long melee, he single-handedly repelled the Dire Wraith force. His unwavering conviction and fortitude made him a hero across the Imperium of Cybertron, and earned him the intrigue of Septimus Prime and the favor of the Matrix of Leadership. Septimus took Zeta under his tutelage, and in the year 100013410 CE , Zeta succeeded Septimus and became Sentinel Prime, the 1,316th Matrix-bearer.

Following the brief recovery period after the end of the Dire Wraith Conflict, Sentinel Prime mostly upheld the then-current status quo of cybertronian society, with no grand agendas or sweeping reforms to speak of. Sentinel was known for his deep compassion for his people, but was often accused of being ignorant to the social conflicts brewing under his reign; such as the animosities rising between the different social castes of the cybertronian populace, and the rise of anti-organic and xenophobic political platforms and fringe groups. Some historians contend that Sentinel was aware of the flaws in old Imperium-era society, but did not do enough to properly address and remedy them in spite of his good intentions

The burgeoning social tensions reached a tipping point at Megatron’s establishment of the Decepticons, who plunged the Imperium of Cybertron head-first into the Great War. Sentinel Prime quickly committed the armed forces to quelling Megatron and his fellow insurgents, but the Decepticons had managed to build themselves into an effective military and political power to match them. Those close to Sentinel said he became morose as he realized war was inevitable, and blamed himself for Megatron’s rise to power and the hatred that fueled it. He withdrew from the public eye and kept to himself in private chambers within the Primal Basilica, only leaving when his council was sought for the ongoing war effort.

Just twenty years into the Great War, Sentinel Prime vanished mere days before the Decepticon Empire’s first assault on Iacon. There is nothing in the historical record to suggest what happened to him: whether he was killed, fled into exile, or befell some other fate- he simply vanished without a trace. It was around this time, also, that the location of the Tomb of the Primes became lost, and the presence of the Matrix of Leadership within its chambers suggests that it had been removed from Sentinel’s person at some point. It is unknown if these events are related to one another.

Since the re-discovery of the Tomb of the Primes and subsequent explorations of its labyrinthine necropolis, it has been determined that Sentinel’s body is not among those of his fellow Matrix-bearers, leaving him as only the second Prime to not be interred in the Hydrax Plateau. This has only added to his mysterious legacy.

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The Quintessons

Hailing from deep within the extradimensional non-spaces of transwarp, the quintessons are an enigmatic race of cyborgs who live outside of space and time. Ageless and powerful beyond our comprehension, the quintessons think themselves superior to spacetime-bound life, and view themselves as curators of the multiverse. For reasons which have never been fully explained, the quintessons feel the need to travel the multiverse and judge which timelines are worthy of existence- those realities which do not meet their unknowable standards are destroyed. All life is exterminated or added into the quintesson collective as slaves or vassals, stars are extinguished, and reality itself is somehow unraveled into a nothingness more profound than even empty space.

Quintesson culture seems to be entirely built around this process of evaluating and destroying universes. Every starship is built for combat, all personnel are armed, and barely any attempt is made at diplomacy with other species. Spacetime-bound lifeforms are required to submit to their occupation, or be destroyed. Quintessons adhere to the will of an entity they call the Imperial Magistrate- xenoanthropologists have deduced that this figure is a collective intelligence of some kind, to which most, if not all quintessons are connected. The quintessons also utilize slaves and conscripts in their invasions, taken from peoples they have conquered in other timelines, or from civilizations which have allowed themselves to be dominated to avoid annihilation. The quintessons view these vassals as expendable, and utilize them as such in war.

Perhaps the most horrific part of a quintesson invasion is the creation of a Judge: a being made by a figure known as the Appointer with the purpose of determining the fate of a particular timeline. The Appointer creates a new Judge in each universe to which it is summoned, and this Judge is then often destroyed when it has delivered its verdict. Once the quintessons have established a foothold in a given universe, they determine what they believe to be the five most technologically and culturally advanced civilizations within that reality. Tens of thousands, sometimes even millions of people are abducted from each of these unlucky chosen species, and are then used to create the Judge. The Appointer digitizes the neural networks of the chosen in a process which usually destroys most organic brains, and weaves these minds together into a single consciousness. The bodies are broken down and used, along with quintesson cybernetics, to create the Judge’s physical form. This is the quintessons’ idea of a “just” trial: as it was created from inhabitants of the target universe, they believe that the Judge has the necessary context by which to make a “fair” assessment of that universe’s worth. If the Judge decides to spare the target universe, then the quintessons will leave; but it seems as though Judges are rarely so merciful.

It is impossible to assign a general uniform appearance to the quintessons, as the pervasiveness of genetic and cybernetic augmentation within their society has turned them into a race with no one defining silhouette, and no one genome. Many have thus argued that the quintessons should be considered as a collective of species- indeed, many may have once been spacetime-bound lifeforms who were assimilated into this collective. There are some common features, however: biological and cybernetic components are often black and red in color, featuring veins or conduits which glow blue, orange, or crimson. Many quintessons have a head that rotates inside an armored cradle, and is adorned with five faces. These faces often indicate the emotional state of the individual, and limbs and extremities also often come in multiples of five. A quintesson’s integrated weapons can be biological or technological, ranging from the mundane claws and kinetic firearms to bizarre instruments which manipulate exotic matter and warp reality to devastating effect. Some quintessons are vaguely humanoid in size and shape, while others are positively eldritch in form and dwarf even cybertronians.

TGA-Prime is notable for being the first universe to successfully repel a quintesson invasion: to date, the quintessons have tried on four separate occasions to subjugate TGA-Prime, but each attempt has failed. The four Quintesson Wars saw almost all of the Milky Way galaxy joining together to defeat their common enemy, and it was in the Fourth War that humanity made a name for itself among the stars by playing a pivotal role in destroying the last of the quintessons’ footholds in the galaxy in 3359 CE. The quintessons have not made an appearance since, but the universe is infinitely vast- the collective may have simply reallocated their efforts to other galaxies and regions beyond the Milky Way. It is unlikely that they are gone for good.

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Humanity

Humanity first drew interest from the galactic community in the year 484 CE, when the Knights of Cybertron discovered Earth (though independent cybertronian explorers may have made contact with humanity long before then). Over the next thousand years or so, Ancient Cybertron maintained a mostly covert presence among human civilizations all over the world, sworn not to interfere with their natural evolution. Despite this, however, there is evidence to suggest that ancient humans the world over were occasionally aware of their extraterrestrial observers, and that exchanges of culture took place sporadically over the centuries. Many minor deities, monsters, and local folktales may in fact be misremembered encounters between ancient humans and cybertronians.

The ancient cybertronians wrote highly of humans, in spite of the brutality and many atrocities they must have witnessed as they studied them. Whatever their primitive or violent nature, the ancients seemed to find in humanity a kindred spirit: they were both young species then, with much to learn about themselves and the universe, but they had the potential to become something greater with time. Mystics wrote of shared destinies and intertwined fates, though these prophecies seemed to be dashed as the Knights of Cybertron left Earth to fight in the War of the Primes in 1530. By 1947, cybertron and humanity were entirely isolated from each other, and would not meet again until the year 1984. Thirty-seven years may have been no time at all for a species as long-lived as cybertronians, but much had changed on Earth by then.

Humanity and Cybertron, both now aware of each other’s existence, became fast allies. While the Imperium of Cybertron was still reluctant to meddle in human affairs, they nonetheless had a profound impact on human civilization. The realization that there was an entire community of other intelligent species out in the cosmos inspired humans to do away with their old international grudges and ideological conflicts. The Cold War came to a swift end in 1986, and a kind of world peace was achieved as the human race devoted itself to raising quality of life for all peoples, developing sustainable technologies, and furthering space exploration. Humanity developed transwarp technology in 2007, and expansion into the solar system and beyond began in earnest shortly after.

By 2121, humanity had organized itself under the banner of the United Human Polities, an international government made to present a unified front to the rest of the galactic community while preserving human civilization’s many national and cultural identities. Nations now laid claim not just to land on Earth, but to entire star systems as well. Over the ages, though, these identities have changed greatly. Cultures have diffused or merged to form new societies that are at once vaguely familiar and largely unrecognizable to the 21st Century observer. The UHP was inducted into the Federation of Allied Species in 3359 after their heroic actions in the Fourth Quintesson War, and later came to the Autobots’ aid in the war against the Decepticons. When the Allied Species moved to exile Cybertron after the Great War, the UHP was the lone dissenting vote. It was after this that the long era of peace between humans began to come apart, with multiple interstellar conflicts culminating in the Final War in 11992907.

No-one can be sure when exactly the Final War started, who started it, or why, but it swept through human space like a wildfire, and the fighting was no more intense than in the Sol system. The urban sprawls of the Kuiper and asteroid belts were reduced to rubble, cities on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter were raized, Mars’s ecosystem was so thoroughly ravaged that the planet essentially returned to its ancient pre-terraforming state, and Earth was consumed by a nanotech weapon called the Red Plague. Earth’s destruction heralded the end of the war: united in mourning the loss of humanity’s homeworld, the surviving nations allied against the Red Plague’s creators, the Orion Technoarchy, and thoroughly obliterated them. These nations then declared to never again take up arms against each other, and began the arduous task of rebuilding the UHP.

Roughly 15000 years later, humanity has largely recovered from the Final War. The resettlement of the Sol system is well underway, and true to their ancestor’s word, armed conflict has not occurred since between nations. When the New Imperium of Cybertron returned from exile in 120002917, the UHP was more than eager to renew the bonds of fellowship between them and their oldest friends. Today, humans and cybertronians are each other’s most steadfast allies and greatest advocates.

Humans are the most genetically and phenotypically diverse organic species known to exist in the Milky Way galaxy, so any attempt at a uniform description should best be kept somewhat vague. It can be said that humans greatly resemble nebulons in their size and shape, though with greater muscle mass and bone density, on average, and without the technicolor skin tones. Humans and nebulons are, in fact, almost eerily similar anatomically and physiologically- human-nebulon couples can even produce healthy, but sterile offspring. Human values and beliefs are also difficult to generalize, what with their insistence on maintaining several distinct cultural identities. Perhaps it could be said, then, that humans place great importance on self-determination, and celebrate diversity while at the same time valuing commonality as a foundation for relationships- whether those relationships be personal, diplomatic, or otherwise.

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The Covenant of Primus

The Covenant of Primus is a series of texts which serve as the holy book of the cybertronian faith. It is at once a quasi-historical tome, a legendarium of cybertronian myths and folktales, and a collection of prophecies divined in the First Golden Age by Optimus Prime and the Vector Sigma supercomputer. The Covenant’s history is as old as Cybertron itself, if not older.

The first Covenant was given to Alpha Trion by Primus when the original thirteen Primes were created. Descriptions of the original Covenant are sparse; surviving records from the First Golden Age say that it was some sort of trans-dimensional computer that stored data in a holographic plane beyond the physical universe. Scholars on Aevum speculate that this realm exists separate from space and time, and that all permutations of the original Covenant throughout the multiverse are connected to it, and thus to each other as well. The original Covenant contained a complete record of cybertronian history from Cybertron’s formation to the present day. Every action of every second was recorded, and the original Covenant continuously updated itself in kind. Alpha Trion was tasked with safeguarding the original Covenant so that the Thirteen and their fellow cybertronians would always have a history to draw upon, and Primus also gave to him a device called the Quill. With the Quill, one could write into the Covenant’s database, and those contributions would translate to alterations of the timeline. The havoc that wanton use of the Quill could bring deterred Alpha Trion from ever using it at all- as far as is known, at least. The original Covenant also contained many bizarre artifacts and enigmas: passages written in unknown languages, bizarre rhymes and riddles, and ominous ramblings, to name just a few. Alpha Trion could never discern the true meaning of these mysterious entries.

The second iteration of the Covenant was written by Beta Maxx, Alpha Trion’s minicon companion, and distributed among the masses. More of a spiritual guide than a historical document, this version of the Covenant embellished upon the Thirteen’s early lives, and mythicized the eons of battle between their armies and Unicron’s legions. It conveyed to the still-young civilization the beliefs that would become the pillars of cybertronian society, encouraging them to work together, value and protect all forms of life, and to fight evil. This version of the Covenant also contained prophecies recorded by Optimus Prime and Vector Sigma, gleaned from the Allspark and the Matrix of Leadership. There has been much scholarly debate over these prophecies, mostly concerning which- if any- have come to pass, or whether any of them are even legitimate.

The third and most recent iteration of The Covenant of Primus was made after the War of the Primes, expanding upon the second with new chapters detailing the rise of Golden Age Cybertron, the founding of the first seven colonies, Liege Maximo’s betrayal, and the War of the Primes. Most importantly, the Knights of Cybertron used this book to enforce their conspiracy to hide themselves and the Prime Colonies- it was written that the Thirteen all killed each other in their fight atop the Hydrax Plateau, and that the Knights mysteriously disappeared in 1947 CE. This new Covenant was written in Neocybex, the new language being deliberately constructed to prevent future generations from understanding any surviving records which could disprove the conspiracy.

Since the reunification of the colonies and the formation of the New Imperium of Cybertron, a new edition of The Covenant of Primus is being written- one that tells a more truthful account of cybertronian history. Alpha Trion’s Covenant has been missing since the end of the War of the Primes- the Knights of Cybertron have long thought that it was entrusted to the people of Sophos, but recently it has been discovered that the book has never been on that planet. It is theorized that the original Covenant and the Quill may have been secretly left on Cybertron, like the Matrix of Leadership, but their current whereabouts are unknown. Many explorers have gone out into the galaxy in search of them. The rediscovery of the original Covenant would finally unravel the last mysteries that persist in cybertronian history- or, in the wrong hands, the damage the Quill’s time-altering powers could do could be immeasurable.

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The table of contents has been fully updated- a link to it can be found in the original post. The timeline also has received an update. Highlights include, but may not be limited to:

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