DISCLAIMER: Transformers is the property of Hasbro. "My name is Snarl. "I am a young Transformer from the planet Cybertron. Unlike many, all I have ever known is the Techno-organic nature of Cybertron, as I first came on-line after the "Great Reformatting" that occurred as a result of the final battle between Megatron and Optimus Primal. All my life, I have been told of the great balance not just between the organic and the technological, but of the balance that comes from communion with our creator, Primus. The balance within ourselves. The balance of the spark. "I am a Matrix Templar. After the great reformatting, the legendary Alpha Trion was reborn as per the will of Primus. And among the young, he chose a number to serve as his apprentices in relating the will of the Allspark to Cybertron. I was one of them, and thus, for most of my life, I have been studying to commune with the forces beyond. Though, for some reason I could not comprehend, Alpha Trion seemed to have a greater interest in me than the others. In addition to my studies and meditations, he taught me combat, and how to channel the energies of my spark offensively. He never told me why. "That is, until that day... when it all began." ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Transformers Universe Episode 01: Legacy of Chaos Between realities, between the barriers that separate one time-line from another, a single, tiny figure moved. He was not one, but three - three Transformers combined into one. But they were more than simple Transformers, for their small size hid a great purpose, a dark origin, and a crushing responsibility for redemption. They had a reason for being there, for traveling outside of space and time. They had heard the call, and were answering it. A great calamity was upon not just them, but the entire multi-verse. Ahead of them, they saw their destination - a portal, or rather, what lay on the other side of it. The three communicated with one another, reassuring themselves with in the harmonious binary language of their people. As they stepped through the inter-dimensional gateway, their body took on a change. They regressed from their current forms, which were newer and arguably more "advanced", and assumed an older form that they had several years prior, only now colored green and black. With that act complete, they flew into the portal, and emerged into a grand chamber on the other side. The chamber was round, with a catwalk coming out at four points, merging in the center. There, at the center, hovered a large growing orb - the essence of the Transformers' creator itself. The chamber of Primus, at the very core of Planet Cybertron. At least, of one Cybertron. The small Transformer walked forward, moving to the center of the chamber. Their eyes glowed, and they spoke in one voice, and in a language not their own, "We are Perceptor. We have arrived." "This is it?" a voice asked. "This is what we've been waiting for!?" The traveler's gaze turned to the right, as a large, gold-brown colored technorganic lion stalked out of the shadows. "Enough Snarl," said a second voice, coming from the Transformer alongside him. It was a taller transformer, in robot mode. Perceptor immediately recognized him; though he had a new techno-organic body that had replaced his older one, this was unquestionably Alpha Trion, the one the trio had come to meet with. "Welcome, Perceptor," Trion said in greeting. The lion, Snarl, frowned. Though the size difference between this newcomer and your average Maximal wasn't that great, Snarl was still the larger one. He had never seen Transformers this small before. But then, that day had been a day full of surprises, Snarl noted, looking back at the other new arrival arrived some time before. Compared to both he and Alpha Trion, this fourth Transformer was quite massive. He had arrived earlier, before the "small one," and was colored both red and blue. He had called himself "Sentinel Maximus," Snarl reminded himself, as the titan walked up to join them. "Thank you for coming, all of you," Alpha Trion stated, once they were all gathered together. "As you all know, these are difficult times. Primus has called you all here, so that we may begin to counteract the calamity that awaits us..." "I am Transformed!" Snarl declared, shifting into his robot mode with a burst of light. He turned to his mentor, tightening his grip on his tail axe. "'Great calamity?' Alpha Trion, you've been going on about that since you called me away from my studies to bring me down here, but you still haven't explained what this so-called 'Great Calamity' is!" Alpha Trion sighed. "Snarl, what have I told you about impatience being the handicap of youth?" Snarl frowned. "Teacher, this has been going on so long... this has something to do with my training! I deserve to know what's going on!" Trion nodded. "Understandable, my student, but it is a long tale. It is perhaps best that we start with the Mini-cons..." Snarl looked at the one Alpha Trion had referred to as Perceptor. "You mean... the little guy?" "Little guys," came the reply, as Perceptor stepped forward and gained everyone's attention. "We are the Street Speed Team, Mini-cons from another reality who have the ability to combine with one another." Then, as a show of proof, he split apart, shifting into the form of several smaller robots. "You may call us Highwire, Grindor, and Sureshock," they added in unison, listing themselves off in order. Snarl blinked his optics. "Nice trick." In a flash they recombined, and Perceptor stepped towards the glowing essence of Primus. "I bring grave tidings, Alpha Trion. It is as you have feared. In my dimension, Unicron and Primus have both met their end..." Snarl's eyes widened. "Unicron!? Primus!? What do you mean, Primus is-" "Primus and Unicron exist throughout all of reality," Perceptor interrupted. "In every dimension, there is an incarnation of them both. And just as Primus created all Autobots, Decepticons, Maximals, and Predacons, Unicron created us, the Mini-cons." "WHAT!?" Snarl shouted, stepping forward. "You were created by UNICRON!?" "Snarl, settle down!" Alpha Trion demanded, firmly placing his hand on his student's shoulder. "They were created by Unicron in an effort to control and feed off the negative emotions of war. However, these Mini-cons were redeemed and purified of their influence by the power of innocence. They do not have any of Unicron's malevolence, and are now dedicated to stopping him and his evil!" Snarl blinked his optics again, and then nodded, easing up. "Right," he said, still trying to put together all of the pieces in his mind. "We may not be Unicron's pawns anymore, but as Alpha Trion said, we Mini-cons must bear the responsibility of stopping his evil," Perceptor replied, placing his hands on the altar-console resting below Primus's "spark". "But we cannot do it alone, and you must know our story." Just then, a change swept over the room, causing Snarl to react in surprise. A grid formed over the entire chamber, and in a flash, they all found themselves in a holographic simulation guided by Perceptor's thoughts. "As you all know," Perceptor began. "Unicron and Primus were born from the universe itself, and are eternal opposites. While Primus sought to create, Unicron saw imperfection in reality, and sought to destroy it. From them, many realities were born, each of them going in many different directions. However, there was one universal constant, that Primus and Unicron existed in each and every one of them." As per Perceptor's story, a hologram of Cybertron appeared. However, this was different from the Cybertron Snarl knew... it wasn't techno-organic, and orbiting around it was a large moon that didn't look like any of the natural satellites that he knew of. "As they had been in many realities, Primus and Unicron's incarnations in our original universe had their essences sealed in planetary prisons. As he would in many other dimensions, Primus's prison would fashion his prison into Cybertron. But in the case of Unicron, he would take multiple actions to create himself a body with which he could consume and devour the universe. In your dimension, Snarl, he used the scientist Primacron to create one for him - his dark influence poisoned the madman's mind, and through him, gained the powerful form that he sought. "However, in our universe, Unicron had the power to feed on hate and fear. His essence fed on the negative emotions of countless worlds, until his body grew to massive size. The Transformers, however, who had been scattered throughout the galaxy in our universe, discovered Cybertron, and when Unicron attempted to consume it, they used the power of their creator Primus to force him into dormancy. The story progressed. The "moon" began to crack open, until exploding out from under it came the form of Unicron's planet mode. Snarl's optics widened, and he stepped back, shocked - he knew it was a simulation, but Unicron was still imposing and terrifying... larger than life... "That is, until he broke free, after using the power of the Mini-cons to bolster the war between the Autobots and Decepticons to make himself grow stronger. But once again, he was met with resistance, and this effort failed." The image of Cybertron disappeared, and the hologram focused on Unicron. Dangling over the Chaos Bringer's maw were two Transformers that Snarl did not recognize, but one was colored red and blue, and looked suspiciously familiar to Snarl. The second, who was mainly white and lavender slipped from the other's grasp and fell into Unicron. In a second, they all vanished in a bright and violent burst of light. "The Optimus Prime and Megatron of my reality. They had played into Unicron's hands, and in an act of self sacrifice, Megatron attempted to end the war and cast Unicron into oblivion. However, they would face Unicron not once, but twice. Unicron had merely escaped. Megatron would be resurrected, and was manipulated by Unicron into giving him the power to restore his body." Unicron appeared again, this time larger than life in his robot mode, which Snarl noted (amidst his amazement) was colored black rather than orange. However, Snarl would find what he saw next to be infinitely more surprising. A second titanic figure appeared, this time with a head that Snarl was sure looked like that of Optimus Prime. Both he and Unicron grappled with one another in a battle of titans, before it ended with the "Prime" firing a beam that caused Unicron's body to shatter and explode. The other titan vanished, revealing only a single, black spark. The spark of Unicron. "As it had before, Unicron's body would be destroyed. Only this time, Primus would not sit back and allow his darkness to fester and restore itself." Cybertron appeared again, and this time, a blue light rose from the planet's surface and headed towards Unicron's essence. Suddenly, a new, purple-colored individual appeared. Unicron's spark flew into him, causing him to scream in agony. "Unicron attempted to possess Megatron - or Galvatron as he was calling himself - and use his body as a host for his evil. But Galvatron would not allow himself to be used, and sacrificed himself a second time." "Galvatron" turned, facing the blue light that Snarl now realized was the essence of Primus. The Decepticon screamed in rage, and flew into the light, causing a reaction. Galvatron's body burned away, and Primus's spark met Unicron's, causing an explosion of light that created a bright, shining, new star. "Primus forced himself to merge with Unicron, thus essentially canceling them both out. However, while this put an end to the conflict between them in one reality, it would set in motion a chain of events that would have shockwaves throughout the entire multi-verse." The holographic grid faded, and they all found themselves "back" in Primus's chamber. "What... what is it that happened?" Snarl asked, looking as though he wasn't sure he really wanted to know. "By merging with Unicron in that reality, Primus caused a ripple effect that spread through every universe," Alpha Trion explained. "Primus and Unicron were weakened in ALL realities, forcing all of their incarnations into dormancy. That is, in every reality but one." Snarl blinked. "Which one?" he asked. Alpha Trion sighed wearily. "I suppose you could call it the Prime Universe," he replied. "The nexus to which all realities are linked. Snarl blinked, confused. "The what now?" "There exist countless realities, but only one 'Prime Reality,'" Perceptor explained. "The 'Prime Reality' is the nexus reality, the hub of all dimensions where Unicron and Primus's powers are the greatest. There is nothing inherently special about it in terms of cosmic events, but it is where Primus and Unicron are most vulnerable. Essentially, if they are destroyed in that universe, they would be destroyed in EVERY universe." "So where does that leave us?" Snarl asked. "I believe that this is where I factor into the story." They all turned. Sentinel Maximus, who had been silent up until now, had finally spoken. "Very well, Maximus," Alpha Trion said. nodding. The Autobot nodded in return, and stepped up to the altar, just as Perceptor had. He placed his hand on it, and the holographic grid once again covered the entire chamber. "The universe I come from is much like many of the others I have seen. Though we never used the title of "Prime", or had to suffer the tyranny of a "Megatron", we were no stranger to warfare. Our race was also divided into factions of Autobots and Decepticons, and I, Sentinel Maximus, was one of many in a long line of Autobot leaders. And of course, my arch-enemy was the Decepticon leader, an insidious warlord named Mega Zarak." This time, the grid formed the image of a vast battlefield, which Snarl assumed to be on Cybertron. Sentinel Maximus was there, leading a battalion of Autobots against a horde of Decepticons, led by a red and black Transformer with a large, jagged set of horns. "For years, our people knew nothing but war. But not even my battles with Mega Zarak could prepare me for what would lie ahead. Not until they came." In the midst of the battle, a fissure opened up in the sky, as if a hap had been torn in time and space itself. Pouring out of it came a horde of what Snarl recognized as Vehicons - yellow and blue versions of the tank and helicopter drones that had been used to control Snarl's Cybertron years before. Leading them were several Transformers that stood out merely by their presence - regardless of their construction, they all appeared to be commanding the Vehicons. One was a yellow tank that looked suspiciously like a Vehicon himself, but who moved around in robot mode and acted with intelligence and individuality. Alongside him was a smaller, blue one that transformed into the same kind of helicopter as the drones, but also seemed to be giving orders. The most prominent among them, though, was one that looked like a gigantic Maximal, who transformed out of a winged beast mode into his robot mode, and then flew forward to lead the assault. Snarl's optics widened in shock - two of them, he recognized. "Those two... the purple and blue ones! I recognize them from historical accounts made by Optimus Primal's crew! Their names are Tigerhawk and Obsidian! But their colors are different..." "There's a story to that, but let me continue my tale," Sentinel Maximus replied. "The invading army caught us off guard, both the Autobots and the Decepticons. They swept through our forces, until they came to us." Indeed, the events played out before them, with the army of Vehicons tearing through both sides. Finally, "Tigerhawk" reached both Sentinel Maximus and Mega Zarak, with both Obsidian and the other Vehicon general at his side. Snarl watched in shock as he watched both leaders be defeated before his eyes. Then, rather then finish them off, they gathered up Mega Zarak and vanished into another portal. They were gone as quickly as they had arrived. "I did not know it at the time, but they had come for a reason other than conquest. They had come for Mega Zarak. They had crossed the boundaries of time and space... all to collect a single warrior." And with that, Sentinel Maximus's tale came to an end. He stepped away from the altar, and the holographic grid faded once again. "But what does it all mean?!" Snarl asked. "Why would they... Obsidian and Vehicons? Tigerhawk? What were they doing there!? The records said that they were all destroyed!" "Obviously, they were the multi-dimensional counterparts of those Transformers," Alpha Trion replied. "Versions of them from realties where fate had taken a very different turn. Snarl, you know Primus and Unicron exist in every reality, and just today, you were illuminated to the concept of different versions of Optimus Prime and Megatron. Thus, it is not much of a stretch to think that other Transformers have "doubles" in these parallel worlds." "Yeah, but," Snarl replied, "what were they doing there?" "As Sentinel Maximus said, they were collecting Mega Zarak," said Perceptor. "Collecting?" replied Snarl. "What were they collecting for?!" "Unicron is building an army," Sentinel Maximus replied rather flatly. "After I was defeated, my spark was called by Primus, reaching out from the Allspark itself. He told me how Unicron planned to bring about the final battle. By assembling an army, he will not only destroy Primus, but fashion himself a new body through which he can devour the entire multi-verse.. He sent those Transformers, his generals, because he thought that he would have a use for Mega Zarak as a servant. "And really, who better?" Maximus continued. "The Autobots and Maximals, they fear and oppose the very nature of Unicron. But Decepticons, and Predacons, they can be tempted to violence by promises of power. Unicron has obviously coerced this Obsidian, and his subordinate Tankor, in this way, and found some way to corrupt this Tigerhawk to his side. Just as he undoubtedly did with Mega Zarak." "So... he's building an army?" asked Snarl. "But why? Why not send only a few of his own warriors to this 'Prime Realty' to destroy Primus? What does he need an army for?!" "He needs an army, because he knows Primus will attempt to defend himself," Alpha Trion replied. "He will do the same as Unicron has done - send others to fight where they cannot.." Snarl blinked, and stared at his mentor for several moments. Then, realization hit him, and he stepped back, his voice raising in fear and anger. "That's why we've been called here!? Because Primus has chosen us!? CHOSEN ME?!" Alpha Trion sighed, and walked towards Snarl. "Snarl, I have foreseen this day from the very moment I was restored to life. I knew that Primus would one day require those to step forward for him, and face the onslaught of Unicron's forces. To fight for the sake of all existence, for the sake of maintaining the balance. It is for that reason I have prepared you so exclusively." "So, you've had that in mind all this time!?" Snarl shouted. "You trained me so you could force me to fight!? And against UNICRON!? When did you plan on telling me all this!?" Alpha Trion stepped back. The eyes of both Perceptor and Sentinel Maximus were on them both, waiting to see what Trion would say. The older Transformer sighed, and walked towards his young charge. "I will not force you to do anything, Snarl," he replied, his voice soft. "The choice is yours and yours alone. I regret that I did not tell you sooner, perhaps I did it out of guilt, or fear of what you might say. Primus required me to create an apprentice to stand in for me, as I would be forced to remain here and guide Primus in this reality. But I know what it is like to have a young person you have placed your faith in to struggle under the weight of a destiny forced upon them. So that is why I put the choice in your hands, Snarl. Forget Primus, forget me... only you can decide whether you want to take on this responsibility. Just know that whatever you decide, I will be proud of you." Snarl's optics widened, and he stared at his mentor. Inner conflict burned into his very spark as the magnitude of his teacher's words sunk in. Alpha Trion was giving him a choice? Snarl was angry and confused... and he been chosen as a Matrix Templar just so he could be used as a pawn in a war? Did he really even HAVE a chance to say no? He was afraid, but how could he turn his back when he knew the consequences of failure? This conflict, it would require as many warriors as possible... could he look himself in the eye if he refused? Finally, the young Maximal let out a heavy sigh. "Very well," he said. "I will go." A small, sad smile appeared on Alpha Trion's lips. "Thank you Snarl." Snarl nodded, the mark of uncertainty still etched on his face. "It is a great weight for a young one to be forced into a war," said Sentinel Maximus. "But you have chosen this path yourself, Snarl, while many before you have been forced to survive these situations without being asked. To turn down a life of safety to do what you must takes great courage, my friend." Perceptor nodded. "We Mini-cons know better than anyone the price of a forced destiny. But we also know that it is what you decide for yourself that ultimately matters, not what others decide for you." Snarl sighed. "So, that's it? We just head over there, and face whatever Unicron's preparing to throw at us?" Alpha Trion shook his head. "No, not yet. There is something that must be done before you go. Just as Unicron has chosen certain Transformers to lead his growing army, Primus also realizes that his soldiers will need a leader. Thus he has chosen one among the many whose sparks have joined the Allspark. One who has saved Cybertron from calamity once before." Before Snarl could reply, a bright light emanated from Primus, who summoned the last vestiges of power left in this dormant incarnation. The light filled the chamber, causing both Snarl and Sentinel Maximus to cover their eyes. As the light intensified, a silhouette began to take form... "Is that... Optimus Prime?" Snarl breathed. Alpha Trion shook his head. "No," he said, as the light began to fade. "It is another." Before their very eyes, their leader was revealed, causing Snarl's optics to widen. The individual standing before them - it was a Maximal. Snarl recognized just which one from historical archives. It was one of this individual's older bodies, only much larger - half Sentinel Maximus's size) - and was mostly colored brown where his form had previously been black. He stepped forward, his gaze looking over all that had been assembled. "I can't believe it!" Snarl gasped. "You're.. you're..." The figure nodded. "Optimus Primal." ---CYBERTRON PRIME--- Two pairs of optics came on-line, glowing amidst the darkness of a vast, cavernous room. A toothy mouth curled up into a smirk, and two large wings twitched in anticipation. Yes, he knew. He knew that the time had finally come. He walked forward, leaving the chamber and stepping out into the open air of a balcony. His forces had long since seized control of this citadel, and established it as their headquarters. Not that it had been any trouble; this Cybertron was completely desolate. War had long since ravaged it, and as a result the Transformers of this dimension had wiped themselves out of existence, out of memory. But he knew, that before long, this ruined Cybertron would once again play host to war. The greatest war of all time. A war to end all wars. "I await your arrival, Optimus Primal," he breathed, staring out at all that lay before him. Assembled before the citadel were the Vehicon forces commanded by his fellow generals, Obsidian and Tankor. Of course, they had improved upon them, and they now included larger versions that had been developed thanks to the assistance of warriors they had collected in their travels across the multi-verse. What's more, their ranks would soon be bolstered by soldiers Unicron would call from all corners of reality. Yes, they were well prepared for whatever Primus might send after them. Suddenly, shadows passed over the winged general, and four bodies landed behind him. Razorclaw did not turn to face them. "Lord Razorclaw," one of them said, "we have been waiting for you to emerge from your chamber. So, is it true? Is Primus finally making his move?" "Razorclaw" smiled, but did not yet move to look at them. "Indeed," he replied quietly. "And I suppose you four want the honor of being the first to face his pawns?" "If you will give us the privilege, my lord." Razorclaw at last turned, facing the four warriors that now stood before them. All four of them were Transformers from different realities, twisted by dark essence of Unicron himself, just as he himself had been twisted. Every single one was in their alternate mode. Three of them looked like bizarre hybrids of various beasts, while the fourth looked like a gigantic robotic crab. "Very well. You will face Primus's warriors when they finally arrive. Shockaract, Elephorca, Drancron, Rartorarta... the task is yours." TO BE CONTINUED... ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Author's Note - Hello and welcome to "yet another Transformers: Universe adaptation", as told by me! I don't want to give too much away too early, but here's some notes to better understand this. 1. Most of the characters come from the Transformers Universe toy-line. Alpha Trion is, of course, the same as the G1 character, in a post-Beast Machines techno-organic body. I have him here to the purposes of expanding Snarl's back-story. As for the four guys at the end (Shockaract, Elephorca, Drancron, and Rartorarta), they're based off characters from other lines and have been adapted to serve this story's purposes. 2. The events described by Perceptor are basically recounts of the events of Armada and Energon. When Perceptor arrives in Primus's Chamber in the beginning of the story, he and his component Mini-cons are changing from their Energon bodies into their TFU forms. 3. This story is completely independent of any other attempts to write a Universe-based fan-fic, as well as the official "Transformers: Universe" story that was began as part of the convention comics. My characterization is SOMEWHAT based on the few official TFU character bios, but I end up taking more from some than others. Hope you enjoyed this first installment. With the set-up complete, we move into the action with the next chapter. Special thanks goes to Optimal Megatron, who helped me lay the early groundwork for a lot of this, as well as Infinity Blade, Destron D69, and Master Fwiffo, who have all looked at this story in the various stages of its development. Also, thanks to Jake and 1DB for putting that picture together I use as a "cover" for this.