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Prime Directives

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We rarely ask such a question anymore. The Great War, as it's been dubbed by scholars like Alpha Trion and Vector Prime, is to me not much of a war now as it is an understood backdrop in which we as Cybertronians exist. We are predisposed to it. We accept it as a thing we can’t not partake in. But what is the war really about? Not what drove us to it—not the why—but rather what has kept it going? How does it persist? Many have covered the origins of the war from Megatronus I’s rise to power against an oppressive senate in the south, Nova Prime and his nation’s simultaneous colonial expansion across the planet from the north, the eventual formation of the Decepticon Empire based in Kolkular, and the Autobots’ collection of nation states dubbed Iacon.* Nations fell, states were annexed, lives were lost. And yet, we persist with such action.

It is easy to discuss the origins of the conflict. It is even easier to discuss the galactic conquests due to it, in part due to how extensive that history is—between the Great War’s beginnings and fighting on our home planet, and the large swathes of the galaxy that we have made our theater, the length of time of the former is overshadowed greatly by the latter.1 The galactic wars that our people have undertaken, the civilizations we have encountered, the planets we have razed, the writings of this material presuppose both an understanding of the contexts and precursors that led to such travesties, and paradoxically the supposed truth that such understanding not be needed in order to throw oneself into the miasma that our war has set over the galaxy.

If such origins are chapter one of some eventual complete history of our people and the galactic stage chapter three, I would like to contribute a potential chapter two. Thinking on the war as a single entity with only two participating parties has always made me weary. Thus, it is my goal in writing this interval of time between the Great War’s beginnings and its conquest of other worlds to examine not the why of the matter, but the how. How did the Autobots and Decepticons operate when those power blocs were forced to coexist alongside equally powerful and integral governments and societies on Cybertron? The history of these now-tertiary historical powers has been vastly overlooked and misunderstood when at all acknowledged by modern scholars, most especially the situation in the middle east. The Torus States of Uraya, Polyhex, Kalis, and Altihex became the four major powers of the region; their leaders, advisors, military generals, and foreign diplomats and aids worked with and against one another in various local conquests and conflicts. Of course, the attack by Uraya on Iacon in Stellar Cycle 9052 is well known, but less so are the events and factors that led to it and to the restart of armed Autobot and Decepticon conflict after the perhaps-ironically-named Great Shutdown. (Such shutdown was never long-lasting in the context of the planetary stage and hardly at all great when one considers just how many machinations the Autobot and Decepticon governments pulled in conducting the Torus States’ affairs.) Such an attack requires understanding not just the why of the matter, but again, the how of what came before, how the Torus States were often so overlooked and undervalued next to such superpowers as the Iacon States so that just one of their number—the weakest one politically at the time—was able to launch a surprise attack on those states that, among other things, exposed for all to see the rift that had steadily formed between the various branches of Autobot government and in turn spurred the Decepticons to take advantageous actions that would formally reignite active warfare across the planet.

This book examines the history of how tensions in the Torus States led to multiple armed conflicts in the region and how such conflict was energized by Autobot and Decepticon meddling. While officially the Autobots and Decepticons both had agreed to hold back on interfering in the Torus States’ political affairs under the Tyrest Accord, it was an open secret that no such agreement was being at all enforced or honored—deals were cut, legal loopholes and precedences were found, and no one had to work very hard for such meals. The Autobot and Decepticon nation states, Iacon and Kaon respectively, had long been in conflict with one another, and the Great Shutdown and their participation in the middle east conflict came about due to fevered intelligence gathering on both sides and a desire to keep their larger resources closer to home. The Autobots were still recovering from multiple failed campaigns launched against the Decepticon south, the civilian blowback of which had caused Delta Magnus to resign his position as Autobot Supreme Commander and turn the position over to the far more pragmatic Ultra Magnus. The Decepticons themselves were in the midst of a deep financial recession, necessitating the installation of a new head of state, Deathsaurus. A vicious combatant, Deathsaurus was also seen by the Kolkular populace as the answer to their financial woes, someone who would make the state and armies lay low so as to consolidate and replenish their forces. The deals made with the Torus States reinfused the Kolkular economy in great ways. With these two leaders came the withdrawal of fleets and forces from the frontlines, and the resulting cold war allowed for redeployment of smaller forces into the middle east.

Tracing the entirety of this account is complex, there are many rivers of story that lead either nowhere or to a completely irrelevant part of our history in this context, and plenty more that are relevant and require context. Thus, I have chosen to group my findings into three parts. Part one focuses on a brief history of Kalis and its War of Independence from Uraya; Uraya’s history with its main rival Altihex and the latter’s attempt to take advantage of the revolt and push for territorial advancement into Polyhex in Stellar Cycle 9033; Autobot involvement in the region, particularly in Uraya and Tyrest, and the schism formed between Autobot Foreign Intelligence and Autobot High Command; Tyrest’s dealings with its southwestern refugee crisis, lasting until 9036; and the first attempted annexation of Stanix into the Decepticon Empire in Stellar Cycle 9038. Part two discusses Decepticon occupation of Stanix from Stellar Cycle 9040-9044; Uraya’s second turnover of government and its retaliation against Altihex in 9045; and Polyhex opening up diplomatic relations with both of its neighbors in an attempt to address Kalis’ growing consolidation of power. Part three looks at the war that erupted in 9046 between a united Kalis, Tyrest, Baltax, and Altihex, and an uneasy alliance between Polyhex, Stanix, and Uraya and the resulting fallout that ultimately left Uraya, in 9050, politically weak but vengeful enough to strike at the Iacon States under Autobot rule.

I have a responsibility to my people to put down in writing these events, if nothing else for posterity, though I aim first to illustrate through what has already transpired what we should avoid doing in the future or perhaps illuminate how we have repeated ourselves on a cosmic scale. Such circular nature is, I believe, a folly that those of other worlds, the Galactic Council, and our new allies on Earth have every right to criticize. Thus, this account serves to shed light on an oft-ignored portion of our history and what its ultimate relevance is beyond that Polyhex attack, how the Autobot/Decepticon conflict had to contend with existing international contexts and how dangerous a dialectic view of our race and our history can be.

Orion Pax

Stellar Cycle 9090GE*