In the vastness of space and time, there are many mysteries. And one of the oldest was the planet Cybertron. For at the core of the small, highly metallic planet, resided Vector Sigma, the most powerful computer in all of reality. No-one knew where the computer came from, or how it came to rest in the core of the Cybertron. And even though Vector Sigma itself never showed any outward signs of intelligence, it gave rise to a race of sapient robots. These shapeshifting mechanoids called themselves Cybertronians, but were better known to the rest of the galaxy as Transformers.
For nearly half a billion years the Transformers knew only peace. Until they discovered the secrets of faster than light travel, and made contact with organic lifeforms. This led to a schism in the robotic beings, over how they should interact with their neighbors. The Decepticons, ruled by the tyrannical Megatron, believed organic lifeforms were inferior, and should be eliminated or enslaved, based upon how useful they were in the Decepticons' eyes. They were opposed by the Autobots and their leaders, the council of Primes. The Primes wanted to befriend organics, to teach them and learn from them in kind. These disparate goals caused great debates, which slowly evolved from a battle of words into civil war.
Over ten millennia, the war grew ever more brutal, and the hatred between the fractions more primal. In time, only handful of the Transformers even remembered the genesis of the conflict. Contact with other races was lost, as the Cybertronians focused all of their efforts inwards, and most other species avoided the war-torn planet.
As resources grew scarce, Megatron hatched a terrible plan to bring the war to a definitive end...
The massive steel doors bulged inward from the impact and turned red from the heat. A second shot opened a gap between the halves of the barricade, which now glowed bright orange. One final blast threw the right half of the door inwards, while the left side hung on by a single, partially torn bolt.
"Megatron," the attacker's voice echoed slightly as he stepped onto the nearly empty bridge. Had he been organic, his build would have been described as muscular. His torso was red, and the transparent aluminum panels in his chest appeared decorative but actually served as windows in his vehicle mode. His legs and head were a deep blue, and there was a nobility in his cybernetic face. His left leg was damaged just below the knee, and servos and wires were visible through the break in his armor. He limped forward, his rifle trained on the Decepticon leader.
"Optimus Prime," the larger, more menacing robot sounded more amused than anything else, as his red hued visual scanners locked on his counterpart.
"What happened to Soundwave?" Megatron asked nonchalantly.
"Your lieutenant is off-line," Optimus answered firmly, "And you will be next. It ends here."
"You are more right than you know." Megatron smirked in amusement, as he lifted slowly from the captain's chair. The Autobot leader jerked the trigger, and a bright blue particle beam lanced out of his gun. The energy bolt hit 'Megatron' square in the head, disrupting the hologram. Prime immediately began to cast about for his opponent. A cylinder of red plasma emerged from the gunner's seat, striking Optimus's damaged left knee, burning off the lower half of his leg.
Megatron strode over to the crippled robot. Optimus started to lift his gun again, but Megatron kicked it out of his hand. The Decepticon ruler pointed the heavy cannon on his left forearm at Prime's head. But then he seemed to think better of it, and lowered the weapon.
"No," Megatron said thoughtfully, shaking his head, "No, it will be much better if you live to see this."
"What are you talking about?"
"Didn't you wonder why I would take the Nemesis a mere two hundred thousand kilometers from Cybertron?" Megatron taunted his rival, and Prime considered the early jab.
"I calculated that you were keeping a reserve unit safe, so that after the assault Shockwave is leading reach saturation, you could swoop in behind my Autobots and catch us in a pincer attack."
"And yet Soundwave and I are the only ones here. Not much of a reserve unit," Megatron sounded disappointed, "That was always your problem, Optimus. You are a brilliant battlefield commander, and a charismatic leader, but you always had trouble considering the long term. How many battles might you have won, if you where only willing to sacrifice a few of your people? No Optimus, the battle below us is just a distraction."
"The second largest battle in the history of our race is a distraction?" the Autobot leader sounded confused, "From what?"
"From this." Megatron hit a button, and a holographic schematic appeared. It was a missile and Optimus's processors struggled to comprehend the unfamiliar technology.
"Don't strain yourself," the villainous 'bot said mockingly, "After all, it took me months to understand the technology, and the better part of ten solar cycles to have my Decepticons fabricate the components. This, my dear Optimus, is a Polarity Singularity Bomb. It generates the quantum equivalent of an electromagnetic pulse. This bomb will cover Cybertron with a magnetic field roughly the equivalent of a neutron star's gravity well. The metal bodies of our fellow Cybertronians will be crushed flat. The only downside is that their circuits will be fried so quickly they won't feel any pain."
"But that will kill the Decepticons as well as the Autobots," Prime protested.
"A small loss. Most are idiots who blindly follow whoever is strongest. The rest are plotting to overthrow me. The only one with a worthwhile measure of both processing power and loyalty was Soundwave. And you have already eliminated him."
"Vector Sigma won't survive that attack, even at the core of the planet, even with its shielding," Optimus argued, "You would drive us to extinction?"
"Of course not, Optimus," Megatron replied smugly, "In the hold of this ship there are seventy initialized Protoforms, all Makers."
The Autobot leader was shocked. Female Cybertronians were very rare. For Megatron to have acquired so many before they were activated, the Decepticon must have been plotting this for at multiple thousands of years.
"And they have all been modified to view me as their god and king, all the way down to their base code. And they will pass that code on to their offspring. The new race of Cybertronians will be crafted in my image, but they will all be unquestioningly loyal to me alone!"
Optimus pulled himself across the deck with painful slowness. He wanted to lunge for his rifle, but could not let Megatron notice him.
"Where did you even acquire such a weapon?" the Autobot tried to distract his enemy, "I've never seen that technology, and there were no reports of the Decepticons developing anything like that."
"That is the best part," Megatron chortled, "I was sold the schematics by one of your precious organics. That creature Larfleeze did not care what I was going to do with it, so long as I provided the payment he demanded. To think, the end of our race for a mere ten thousand kilograms of gold."
"What do you want?" Prime asked carefully, "What will it take for you not to fire the bomb? Do you want the Autobots to surrender unconditionally?"
"This is not a standoff or a negotiation, my dear Prime," the genocidal 'bot scoffed, hovering his left hand over the console menacingly, "I was simply making sure you fully understand what is about to occur. That way I am guaranteed to get the maximum possible output from you when I do this."
With that taunt, Megatron pressed the button. The ordinance, larger than the two robots combined, separated from the Nemesis. Then the rocket lit up, and it streaked towards the planet.
"NO!" Optimus shouted, lunging forward futilely. The bomb vanished outside his visual range, and seconds later a harsh yellow glow surrounded all of Cybertron. Even at their distance, the ship was pulled closer, and Megatron had to adjust the thrusters to compensate. Though both the distance and the intervening vacuum made it impossible, Optimus still imaged he could hear the screams of his comrades as their transistors melted and their bodies collapsed in on themselves. The aura of devastation faded from around their homeworld, and the Autobot slumped. As his head dropped, he realized his attempt to reach Megatron had instead landed him next to his rifle. Megatron was too busy studying the readings from Cybertron with a look of perverse triumph, and he did not notice Prime lifting the weapon. Not until Optimus spoke.
"Establish Energon interlink," Optimus stated loudly, "Override safety protocols. 100% charge transfer."
The Decepticon turned back to his enemy, his visual scanners widening. The gun began to hum as all the power from Optimus's body flooded into it.
"What are you doing?" Megatron demanded nervously, "Even if you kill me, what good will it do you if you end up in stasis lock?"
Optimus did not answer. He continued aiming the rifle at his rival's chest, but did not pull the trigger. Megatron's expression evened out.
"I knew you could not do it," the tyrant chortled, "After all, end me, and you will be the one responsible for the death of our race."
"I was not hesitating," Optimus countered, "I was scanning for the best frequency."
He pulled the trigger, and a beam of emerald energy erupted from the muzzle of his rifle. It tore through Megatron's torso, destroying his Energon capacitor and clipping the edge of his Spark chamber. The bolt was only moderately reduced in power by cutting through the genocidal robot, and it burned though the outer hull of the ship, melting a hole out into space. Red lights of warning immediately illuminated the bridge.
"Hull breach detected," the Nemesis reported, "Warning, atmospheric containment fields at sixteen percent and falling."
The Decepticon glanced down at the gap in his chassis with an expression of pain and horror. Then he shifted his gaze to Optimus.
"Better we should all die here," Optimus answered the unasked question, "than become what you would have made..."
His voice faded out, as his safety protocols put him into stasis lock. Then, as the red light in Megatron's optics faded as well, the ship reported the failure of the shields. The thick atmosphere rushed violently to the breach Optimus had created, dragging Megatron back. For a moment, the Decepticon's body blocked the leak. Then he was dragged out of the ship into the blackness of space, and Optimus's still form followed close behind.
Thus the story of Cybertron came to an end. But as for Optimus Prime, his story was only just beginning.
Even though most did not hear the call, the immortal humanoids nevertheless heeded the summons. One hundred thirteen blue-skinned beings assembled in the great hall, awaited the return of their last comrade. Each would have stood less than a meter tall, had their feet rested on the floor. Instead, each hovered a few centimeters above the floor. Though a handful were bald, most of the ancient beings possessed a thick mane of white hair. Each wore an identical robe, primarily red, with a column of white down the center. And in the center of said blank spot was an insignia; two parallel lines with a circle between them, of the brightest green.
The one how had gathered them descended from outside the planet's atmosphere, a bubble of emerald energy trailing behind him.
"Brothers," he greeted them proudly, "I have found the solution to issues with the Manhunter project."
The sphere opened, and gingerly set the still, damaged form of Optimus Prime in the middle of the amphitheater.
"Behold, a nearly intact Cybertronian..."
Author's Note: I am posting three new projects today, and after two weeks, whichever one proves the most popular, I will continue.