So....I was thinking. What if there were Hearalds of Unicron before Galvatron, Cyclonus, and Scourge? What if before our universe, there existed another? What if you found yourself with no other choice but to sell your soul because of the hand that life had dealt you? What would you do if you found yourself free after eons of servitude? *** The Dawn of Time "Choose." With this one word, they clawed their way up from the abyss of creation bathed in the bright crimson glory of their horrific re-birth. Mindless, soul-less, and absolutely perfect, those once discarded by unavoidable circumstance now stood ready to pass on the charity of their “Father” to an infant universe still struggling to get it's bearings. There would be no debate or committee in the execution of their creator's intentions. His word was absolute. An unquestioned natural law that could not be denied or debated, only obeyed. “Sweep forward my children, and herald to the ends of this universe my arrival to the theatre of it's demise. Beyond virtue and tyrany, my comming trumpets not an end of days, but an engagement with the inevitable.” “Go my children, and prepare all whom you encounter. Prepare them for fire and agony. Let them know the fear and joy that only your father’s lasting embrace can bring. Let them know the name of their final day and speak it with the whispered cries of their last scorched breath." "Let them know UNICRON.” *** Memorial Day Twenty billion years had passed sence the day he had been asked to choose between an eternity of service to his creator or the uncertain release that oblivion would bring. Durring the passage of time Shaman had patiently watched the new universe grow and change around him. Countless civilzations pulled themselves out of the smelting bowles of their respective worlds with varied results. Some populations evolved, flourished and reached out to the welcoming arms of the twinkling points of light seen from the night skys of their individual worlds . Others struggled against their darker natures and fell back to the primordial pits of their creation, cursing themselves to eventual extinction. Whatever their tale, the ultimate end result for countless worlds was always the same. It was a scenerio he had seen play itself out on numerous occasions. There would be attemps to avoid the unavoidable, or to bargan with that which could not be bought off with empty promises of power and wealth. Despite every challenge, all would ultimately be consumed for the glory of his creator. When Shaman last served as the facilitator of his master's unending rapture, he recalled how the inhabitants of several populated worlds in a bianary star system had made a futile attempt to escape destiny. They were an oddity in the galactic sceam of things. A test case of sorts on how biological, cybernetic, and physicaly assended species could live and work together for the betterment of themselves and their neighbors. When Unicron had come upon thier transmissions, he had studied and considered them for a time. Even the anchient lord of chaos paused and took notice of the ease by which these populations co-existed and drew streangth from one anothers differences. When Unicron eventually came, there was a valiant attempt to hold the line against his insatiable hunger. As planet after planet fell, those who had worked so long and hard to forge a future for themselves now found theselves fighting for the right to even exist. Mercy and tollerance was never in the master's make up, and fellowship to this extent could not be allowed to flourish. In the end, the civilization they had lovingly crafted over three million years was wiped from the face of the galaxy as if it had never been allowed to rise. No one was left to sing their songs or quote their scriptures. No one was left to remember what they had built, lived, and died for. "It is better to continue to exist and serve at the side of chaos than to surrender my life and allow the ember and the joy that my people were to be extinguished from creation forever." Shaman's final words on his world's final day had echoed in his audio receptors several times in the last twenty billion years since he originally spat them out with bile at the universe that had betrayed him and all he held dear to the hunger of the dark god. His race pre-dated the creation of this new universe by several hundred million years. Once they stood proud and tall, their civilization spanning countless worlds in a confederation of prosperity. They had not known war, famine, or disease since embarking on their campaign of cooperation with their neighboring star systems. Cities rose across the landmasses of their member worlds in a wave of good will that seemed without end. To give thanks for their blessings, each world had erected temples in honor of the Universal One. It was in one such place of worship that Shaman had gone to study while still barely out of adolescence. He had been born Ka-Leb of the planet Nolrov. Named in honor of the two whose joined embers gave light to his eternal flame, the being that his master would later re-craft into the first of his heralds existed in the same manner as all his people. Generations before, his kind had evolved past the point of the need of corporeal form, and had become beings of pure light and energy. Unable to completely abandon their ties to the tangible world, Ka-Leb's species had created interfaces capable of carrying their life force, or "embers", and had placed these vessels within advanced technological constructs in an effort to continue to interact with the physical realm that they had outgrown. It was during his studies that Ka-leb had first become aware of a great "emptiness". At first he dismissed it as childish feelings of doubt and dread invading his waking time when not communing with the others in their daily melding, but as time progressed, he came to know a different truth. The "emptiness" he had come to know was sentient, hungry, and it was drawing near. Time had not numbed his mind to the memory of his world burning around him. Those fortunate enough to escape their cybernetic shells in an attempt to ascend to a higher plane enjoyed only temporary freedom as they were eventually captured in the gravitational pull of Unicron's energy collectors and consumed. Ultimately, broken and alone, Ka-Leb stood at the mouth of the abyss into which he had seen his entire world and way of life disappear. Grief and anger filled him beyond his capacity to understand. It was then that the voice spoke to him. "Choose." "Choose what?!" Ka-Leb cried out. "You have taken everything there ever was and ever will be and have left nothing. Where was their choice?! Where was their charity?!" "Their time was at an end. Your time does not have to be. This universe is drawing to a close. Soon a new one will be born to take it's place. There will be new wonders to behold. New truths to be discovered." ".... and new lives to be taken and new worlds to be consumed?!" Ka-Leb interrupted. "What manner of being are you?! How can the One allow something like you to even exist?!" That is when the most terrible sound Ka-Leb had ever heard washed over him. The sound of chaos laughing. "You have yet to understand your place, but I am not without some degree of patience. The "One" in which you refer is no better than an absentee shepard who no longer cares about the welfare of his flock. The "One" has abandoned you and all of creation to the inevitable." With overwhelming heaviness, Ka-Leb shut down his sensory systems. He had heard, seen, smelled, and felt quite enough for one day. He retreated into the deepest parts of his consciousness in an effort to hide from desperation. He knew he could not wait out destruction, only try to make the pain more bearable. Images of his mother and father invaded his mind. He saw his world as it had been, vibrant and alive. He saw childhood friends and remembered happier times when life was less complicated and there were new opportunities and discoveries with the dawn of each new day. Why have you turned your back on us? Why would you let this happen? What did we do to deserve this punishment? There was no answer to the questions invading his mind, only heart-wrenching silence. He wasn't sure if his next act was out of curiosity, selfishness, or adolescent naivete. Slowly, Ka-Leb of Nolrov opened his visual receptors to bear witness to the end of days. What he saw next both astonished and sickened him at the same time. As the remnants of the universe burned around him, what was left of his badly damaged shell came to rest in the massive outstretched palm of the right hand of the Lord of Chaos. With his one remaining undamaged optic sensor, he stared into the face of darkness and made his fateful decision. He would continue, but not as he had been. He would serve this new master and leave his old life behind. He would sell the last flickering shards of his ember itself so that he could insure that a piece of what had been would continue to live, buried deep inside of him. Over the course of twenty billion years Unicron's promise of discovery and truth only served to further darken and enslave Shaman's existence, until the day chaos abruptly fell silent. It was high above the planet Cybertron, home world of the children of Primus, that Shaman found his answer to his master's absence. It was with an unusual combination of envy and joy that he found the severed, moon sized head of the fallen chaos bringer in high orbit around the planet. "No life signs? Not even a spark," he said to himself, as a relieved smile slowly found its way across the cold, liquid metal of his face plate. He had not allowed himself a moment of hope or joy since his soul-less second life began. He stared down at the sprawling surface and twinkling lights of Cybertron below. In their fight for survival, not only had they achieved what had previously been impossible, but they had managed to unknowingly free him from Unicron's embrace. Shaman was so overcome with emotion that he failed to notice his early warning sensors chirping at the pair of fast moving shadows closing in on his coordinates. The mindless and absolutely perfect forgotten children of chaos himself had come to pay their respects to their father and show their own form of gratitude to the unsuspecting inhabitants of the planet Cybertron below. *** I was thinking of doing this as a bi-weekly. Lemme know what you guys think!