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    Aligned continuity familyWar for Cybertron»Video gamesNovelComicToysTransformers: Exodus» Apparently, the war for Cybertron is all Sideways's fault. Fitting! The Official History of the War for CybertronPublisher Del Rey BooksFirst published June 23, 2010Writer Alex IrvineContinuity Aligned novelsISBN ISBN 034551985XISBN 978-0345519856Page count 288Price $27.00 USD$32.00 CADThe relationship between Orion Pax and Megatron before the war is explored. Also, enjoy meeting one of the original 13 Transformers.Contents1 Synopsis2 Featured characters3 Quotes4 Notes4.1 Errors4.2 Transformers references5 References6 External links SynopsisCybertron's once-mighty civilization is in a period of stasis and decadence. The bygone ages of space exploration and building relations with other forms of life are all but forgotten, the space bridges having all gone offline through sabotage or millennia of neglect. The architecture of ancient cities such as Iacon display a boldness and dynamism absent from modern structures and, indeed, from most of Cybertronian life. As soon as every Cybertronian emerges from the Well of All Sparks (in which resides the AllSpark itself, the device that physically creates them) they are assigned to a caste and guild from which they may never deviate throughout their lifetimes—and even this process has lost its grandeur over the eons, with the newly sparked no longer expected to make a death-defying run through the primordial monsters' den of Underworld. There is no opportunity for change or personal growth. Some are born to lead, others are civil servants, and those of the lowest castes—manual laborers in the underground mines and factories—don't even have names. Understanding that the social hierarchy instills tensions that must be relieved somehow, the High Council turns a blind eye to the proliferation of underground gladiatorial combat. Over these brutal deathmatches, the laborer caste rallies around a charismatic and seemingly unstoppable iconic figure who, acting beyond his natural station, has taken a name—and not just any name, but that of one of the original thirteen Transformers, the powerful and sinister Megatronus. In the cheers of his adoring fans, this name gets shortened to Megatron, and the new form sticks. Orion Pax, a data clerk who feels dissatisfied with the caste system, is assigned to eavesdrop on Megatron's political speeches and file them appropriately for the High Council's knowledge. Megatron's stated goals of a free Cybertron, with each individual determining his own path in life, is highly appealing to Orion. Confused, Orion turns for guidance to his supervisor and mentor, Alpha Trion...who, unbeknownst to Orion and everyone else still alive, is the last surviving member of the original 13 Transformers. As the scribe of past, present, and future, Alpha Trion knows that some great destiny awaits both Megatron and Orion Pax, but does not know what it is. Speaking cryptically to his younger colleague, Alpha Trion encourages Orion Pax to monitor this new upstart. Orion makes contact with Megatron's fledgling organization, in the process enjoying his little tastes of breaking rules and acting beyond the normal limits of his station. The two find broad agreement in the need for a new form of Cybertronian government, though Megatron favors confrontation and revolution, whereas Orion hopes to inspire the masses to change the system from within. The two also engage in nonstop verbal sparring and (would-be) witty repartee. Megatron's team includes the devious spymaster Soundwave and his army of Minicons, and the amoral mad scientist Shockwave. When Orion vocally defends Megatron in a dispute on the Cybertronian datanet, he inadvertently "outs" himself as being part of the organization and is soon viewed as just as much a revolutionary. As their movement gains power, it also grows more violent: Saboteurs professing allegiance to Megatron commit multiple bombings across the planet, including destroying the Six Lasers Over Cybertron amusement park. Megatron repeatedly (and seemingly quite earnestly) swears not to know who committed these crimes and disavows them. But he cannot hide his own involvement in the kidnapping of Sentinel Prime—carried out with cooperation from Sentinel's own Seeker bodyguards. Chief among these bodyguards is Starscream, who is disgusted by Sentinel's show of cowardice during the kidnapping but still resents the upending of his past secure position due to Megatron's actions. He flirts with joining Megatron's forces, but also makes sure to dispatch all his loyal Seekers to Trypticon Station—a floating strategic asset bearing a powerful secret that he understands and that Megatron, for the moment, does not. In the hopes of preventing all-out war, Alpha Trion helps Orion and Megatron secure an audience before the High Council in order to plead their case. The Council members are hostile from the start to any notion of change and view Megatron as nothing but a criminal. For his part, Megatron continues to disown most (but not all) of the violence being committed in his name but continues to call for the total removal of the caste system, including the Council itself. His words feed on the resentment of the underclasses in his audience, and he accepts a term his followers have coined—"Decepticon". When it is Orion's turn to speak, by contrast, he makes a more noble appeal to the broader spectrum of society. He points out that earlier generations of Cybertronians would never have been able to repel the ancient invasion of the Quintessons if they had been constrained by such a caste system. He proclaims their fuller potential as a race if each individual were to be acknowledged as an autonomous robot, using the ancient contraction "Autobot" as an expression of that ideal. High Council member Halogen at last speaks, and he grants that the two radicals might have a point, and that Cybertronian society might have become too static and stratified for its own good. Recognizing the depth of the crisis that their world faces, Halogen asserts that what they need is new visionary leadership to guide a social rebirth—and on that note, the Council proclaims Orion Pax to now be Optimus Prime, the new leader of all Cybertron, with his first mission being the retrieval of the long lost Matrix of Leadership. Megatron is livid at the elevation of his former colleague, believing it to have been a set-up from Orion all along. He kills Halogen at once, but as both sides marshal for war, Optimus is at least able to convince Megatron, in perhaps a final gesture of respect for civilization, not to commit further violence within the Council halls. Instead, the two sides retreat...with High Council members Contrail and Ratbat aligning with Megatron's Decepticons. The war that follows is brutal and largely one-sided. The Autobots retain control of Iacon, as well as Kalis and the key asset of its underground fusion reactor that powers their war effort; the Decepticons take over practically the rest of the planet. Autobot special teams such as the Wreckers (led by the mighty, hammer-bearing warrior Ultra Magnus) manage to hold their own against hulking Decepticon combiners such as Devastator. Some battle sites, such as Praxus, are so thoroughly devastated that the dead can never be counted and no one will ever know who won. Out of desperation, the Autobots launch the AllSpark into space to keep Megatron from gaining control of the source of Transformer life. It is in that battle that Bumblebee has his vocal circuits painfully destroyed. Seeking a new advantage, Megatron orders Starscream to give him access to the secret of Trypticon Station: its stockpile of Dark Energon, the power-enhancing evil essence of Unicron himself. Megatron's "darkened" Decepticons now have a combat edge necessary to overwhelm the struggling Autobots. To accelerate the process, Megatron seeks control of the Plasma Energy Chamber, which would allow him to use his Dark Energon supplies to turn the energon core of Cybertron into an unlimited font of the foul substance—permanently empowering his own forces while starving the Autobots to death. But in order to activate the Plasma Energy Chamber, he needs to acquire the Code Keys of Justice and Power. He eventually acquires both—one of them was stored inside Sentinel Prime's chest, and Megatron resolved that problem by defeating the former leader in combat and hacking him apart. Before Megatron can fully activate the Plasma Energy Chamber, Teletraan-1 reactivates Cybertron's long-disused ultimate guardian, Omega Supreme. Just by transforming from city mode to rocket ship mode, Omega nearly crushes Megatron and the Decepticons to death, and after a successful takeoff, it almost seems like he will be able to fly the Plasma Energy Chamber to safety. But Starscream and his Seekers manage to shoot down the colossal craft, and at the crater of its impact, neither the Autobots nor even Omega Supreme's robot mode can prove to be a match for a Dark Energon-empowered Megatron. Omega Supreme is defeated, and Megatron acquires the Plasma Energy Chamber. Ratchet manages to save Omega's life—barely—but nothing can stop Megatron from tainting the core of Cybertron. Optimus and the Autobots (including Jetfire and Bumblebee) struggle their way to the core, avoiding infection by Dark Energon along the way. Once at the core, Bumblebee manages to extract the Plasma Energy Chamber, and Optimus receives a mental communication from the core itself. Now that the source of Dark Energon contamination has been removed, the core will eventually be able to heal itself...but that may take centuries, and during that time, the core will not be able to generate enough energon to sustain the full Cybertronian population. Most Cybertronians will either have to abandon the planet until it heals, or risk starvation. To show him not to lose hope, the core bestows upon Optimus Prime the Matrix of Leadership. Seeing that the planet will soon be uninhabitable, Optimus orders a mass evacuation of the Autobot fleet—but most of the ships are shot down by Trypticon Station. One Autobot vessel, the Eight Track, is able to link up to Trypticon Station and force it to crash...whereupon the station transforms into a bipedal reptilian monster and goes on a rampage. Alpha Trion grows ever more despairing for the planet he has tended for unimaginable millennia, and he puts into place a radical plan: the construction of the largest spaceship in Cybertronian history, the Ark, on which most of the Autobots may escape. Ultra Magnus, his Wreckers, and a rebuilt Omega Supreme volunteer to stay behind and see to what little territory the Autobots still hold. Despite Optimus's strong wishes, Alpha Trion refuses to leave Cybertron and declares the time has come for his old friend truly to make his own command decisions without the advice from a bygone era. As most of the Autobots flee the planet aboard the Ark, Megatron commands Trypticon to transform into a Nemesis-class supercruiser in which he and most of the Decepticons will give pursuit. Megatron leaves Shockwave behind as dictator of the dying planet, with orders that he is to have exterminated all remaining Autobots by the time Megatron returns. With the Nemesis in hot pursuit, the Ark makes for the only possible avenue of survival: the last intact spacebridge, for which there is no guarantee the artifact will even function, as none alive know how to use it. But as the two giant spaceships get within range of the spacebridge, it does indeed activate and teleport them...somewhere. Aboard the Ark, in a strange and uncharted sea of stars and with no Decepticons in sight, Prowl informs Optimus Prime that the has picked up the energy signature of the AllSpark. And so the search begins... Featured characters Autobots Decepticons OtherOrion Pax/Optimus Prime (1)Alpha Trion (5)Jazz (11)Omega Supreme (24)Ultra Magnus (30)Sideswipe (34)Prowl (36)Ironhide (37)Ratchet (38)Defensor (39)Bumblebee (40)Revo (43)Jetfire (50)Cliffjumper (51)Springer (52)Megatron (2)Soundwave (3)Shockwave (4)Rumble (8)Ravage (9)Laserbeak (10)Barricade (12)Lugnut (13)Starscream (19)Skywarp (20)Thundercracker (21)Trypticon (22)Frenzy (23)Ratbat (26)Contrail (27)Drixco (31)Devastator (32)Bruticus Maximus (33)Onslaught (35)Hotlink (41)Autoclave (42)Nacelle (44)Bitstream (45)Catalycon (46)Blackout (49)Sentinel Prime (6)Insecticons (7)Halogen (14)Chromatron (15)Gauntlet (16)Hydrau (17)Armorhide (18)Lightning Strike Coalition (25)Drivetrain (28)Sigil (29)Bumper (47)Fastback (48) Quotes "As we killed our opponents in the ring, we saw in their deaths the realization that they were individuals. And so we knew we were too. In killing, we understood life. In being the most disposable of commodities—a gladiator whose remains are thrown into the junkpile to be picked over and scavenged, the healthy pieces sold off to brokers in Iacon and Crystal City—in being disposable, we discovered we had value."—Megatron remembers how it all began."Do you question my commitment, Megatron? Dark Energon has been here. I have not used it for myself, have I? I have not fueled my Seekers with it. If it is everything it is said to be, I might have seized control of the Decepticons—of Cybertron itself!—from you had I used it. Now why do you think I did not?""Because you were smart enough to be afraid of it.""Ah, the compliment that twists like a blade in the vitals. A diplomat's skill, Megatron. I would not have expected a gladiator to have it."—Starscream tries to be cordial with Megatron about hiding Dark Energon."Their names were Bumper and Fastback. Do you remember them? [Pause] You killed them both. To protect your organization, which you later started calling a revolution. But you were a killer from the beginning, Megatron. No matter what you call yourself now, you are still just a killer.""What if I did kill them? What are two lives balanced against the misery of millions caused by your castes?""Do you tell yourself that every time? Do you imagine that is what you will tell yourself when, at the last, Optimus Prime has you at the end of his sword?"—Sentinel confronts Megatron's hypocrisy."Sentinel Prime.""Do not call me that.""It is who you are.""No longer, you are the true Prime. The High Council was wrong about many things, but in that action—whatever their reasons for taking it—they have proved correct.""I never meant to usurp what was yours.""That was never my thought. The title of Prime must inevitably pass away. I held it for longer than I should have. May you hold it and be truer to it than I was.""You were true in the end. That is what will be remembered."—Optimus comforts the dying Sentinel."How many of them do you think are still alive? The Thirteen, I mean.""None.""What do you mean, none?""I mean, the Thirteen are a myth, O.P., they never existed. They're principles to guide us, you know? They don't have to be real for us to learn from them.""I don't believe that.""You don't have to. True things stay true whether you believe in them or not."—Optimus and Jazz discuss religion."Take the Matrix of Leadership into you, Optimus Prime. Let it guide you as it has guided the Primes before you. May it defend you as it defended Prima until his time had come to yield it. May it keep you on the righteous path and guide you when you are uncertain. May it strengthen you both in body and in spirit. May it be the light within you, that you may be the light of the Transformers who would follow you."—The Core speaks the words of Primus."Death, death, death or death. If you're asking me, I'm going to go for the death that has a ride in a spaceship first. Let's build this Ark."—Jazz renames Project Generation One."I leave Cybertron to you until I return. And I will return, make no mistake. Do not think of this as a promotion. Rather, I need someone to keep my position warm for me while I go and take care of the Autobots once and for all. I can count on you?""You will find Cybertron exactly as you left it.""I hope not. What are you going to do with all your time? You are going to rebuild."—Megatron wants Shockwave to avoid a situation like the cartoon."We will always be brothers. We are bound together. You cannot escape me, brother. I will hound you across the stars if I must, until every star in the galaxy has burned itself into a cinder. I will hunt you, and I will find you, and when I find you, [clenches his fist] I will, as I promised, see what the Core might have sequestered inside the body of the so-called Prime.""Hunt me then, brother—if your hunt means Cybertron will escape your madness."—Megatron receives a "Shut up, Hannibal" courtesy of Optimus. NotesTransformers: Exodus ties in with the War for Cybertron video game and is partially adapted into IDW's War for Cybertron comic, namely chapter 12 through 15.[1]Despite this intended tie-in, the stories of Exodus and War for Cybertron are largely incompatible, other than sharing a MacGuffin and some set pieces. Even the name of the Prime before Optimus differs between the two (Sentinel versus Zeta), though Hasbro representatives at BotCon 2010 attempted to reconcile this by suggesting the character's full name is "Sentinel Zeta Prime".Regardless, Hasbro had said War for Cybertron was to be the basis of its new continuity, not the beginning proper.[2] All things considered, Exodus is an adaptation expansion.Irvine said he had not played the game.[3] He also said that differences between the novel and game were not due to miscommunications but, rather, resulted from deliberate choices as both products moved in slightly different directions; Hasbro was aware of and approved all of them.[4]The synopsis boldly declares "everything that happened before Optimus and Megatron arrived on planet Earth—has always been a mystery", which is a bit of a fib: Various Marvel UK strips since the '80s (especially 1986's State Games), several cartoon episodes, and reams of Dreamwave and IDW Publishing comics had already been set pre-Earth. "Bumblebee at Tyger Pax" is an apocryphal follow-up story by Alex Irvine about how Bumblebee lost his voice.For a book about Transformers, a society of varied and colorful robots of all sorts and sizes, it is strangely sparse on visual descriptions of characters aside from battle scars and weaponry. Nothing is ever said, for instance, of Shockwave's cyclopean features or any characters who may or may not have mouthplates. Orion Pax/Optimus Prime's appearance in particular is strangely left vague throughout. Irvine said that this too was deliberate, as he felt that any attempt to describe these ancient aliens to modern human readers would risk using Earth references and idioms that would not be appropriate.[5] He later added it also allowed fans to imagine their particular favourite incarnations of a character when reading the novel, e.g. older fans seeing Generation 1 characters or younger ones seeing ones from the live-action films.[6]On a similar note, the verb "transform" and its forms are rather painstakingly and curiously skirted around throughout the entire book, always replaced with either "proto-form" (the first usage of such term as a verb) or "alt-form", depending on the mode into which a Cybertronian is shifting. This is most likely a continuing trend on Hasbro's part to prevent the Transformers brand name from becoming a genericized trademark. Similarly, the word "robot" is also avoided; Cybertronians are instead referred to as "bots" or "mechs".In context of Exodus, proto-form refers to a Transformer's robot mode, as opposed to the usual meaning. ErrorsAt the end of chapter six, Orion Pax has traveled to Kaon to meet Megatron. At the start of the next chapter, when the terrorist bombs go off, he is specifically described as being back in Iacon and speaking to Megatron remotely over a videolink:On the videolink, he watched as Megatron registered the events. [snip...] "You are in Iacon, correct?" Orion Pax nodded.(pg. 46).Then, three pages and only moments later, he is suddenly "still" back with Megatron's troops in Kaon.Fort Scyk is misspelled as "Fort Scyx" once on page 118.Bruticus Maximus and Onslaught are referred to as "Constructicons" (p. 122). The Constructicons here are a larger team than normal, but given that this description shortly follows a paragraph talking about definite, actual Constructicons and that the Combaticons' team name is mentioned later (p. 134), this seems a likely error.Speaking of which, the book describes battle activity involving the defeat (though, not necessarily the destruction) of Bruticus Maximus (p. 122) before it talks about his awakening by Megatron (p. 125). The wording of his reactivation implies that this is the first mentioning of him in the book, introducing Bruticus Maximus to the readers, as though he hadn't been spoken of on the previous pages.Optimus seems to suffer some memory loss during the war. Alpha Trion tells him twice that he spoke to the High Council and inspired them to appoint him Prime. (p. 130, 227).Starscream's backstory is entirely contradictory: Not even Starscream, who had spent much of his scientific career in the labs contained within these refracting walls... (p. 78). "See what?" Starscream asked. Neither Starscream nor Megatron were scientists." (p. 158).When asked via twitter, writer Alex Irvine stated "Let's say he's always been scientifically curious."[7]As with Starscream, Trypticon seems to have two contradictory "origins" within Exodus itself. Early in the novel, Orion Pax researches the station and discovers that it was secretly "recreated" from a simple space station and was given a spark (pg. 82) when Dark Energon was hidden aboard by an ancient iteration of the High Council headed by Sentinel Prime. But elsewhere, it is only called semi-sentient and a drone. Later in the novel, Shockwave is credited with giving it multiple sparks and turning it into a Transformer. When asked whether Trypticon was alive after that first sparking or not until Shockwave, Alex Irvine passed on commenting on the grounds that to do so would give something important away...[8]It is hinted (p. 226-7, 233) that Project Generation One was a contingency plan that had been in place since the Breaking of the Primes and had been a subject of discussion between Prime and Trion after the Core's corruption. Later, Optimus tells Jetfire the Core itself told about Project Generation One (p. 242), though it never uses the term in its entire speech.Not actually an errorIt seems on page 81 that Crystal City's scientists were reawakening Omega Supreme. The key word is "seems": Omega Supreme lies inactive until the end of the war.The number of Autobot Seekers is handled puzzlingly, but one should note that in this continuity Seekers were mostly neutral until Vos was bombed: "All of the Seekers loyal to the Autobots were out on patrol... The sole exception, Jetfire, the sole Seeker to have defected to the Autobots..." (p.204). Transformers referencesPractically everything.But to be more specific.....Elements in Exodus have come from: The Transformers: Megatron Origin, with Megatron as a working-class rebel, a corrupted Cybertron government, and the exposure and subsequent murder of Autobot spies Bumper and Fastback; Transformers: The War Within, with Optimus as a data clerk; "State Games", with Megatron as a warrior-gladiator who used the games as a way of inspiring the masses to follow him, a mention of the State Games themselves and the destruction of Vos and Tarn at the warheads of photon missiles; the Cybertron cartoon, with the long-gone era of Cybertronian colonization and the Space Bridge network; "The Rebirth" and/or Beast Machines for the Plasma Energy Chamber; and the 2007 film and its comics, with Optimus and Megatron being allies, the All Spark being sent into space and then everyone leaving the planet in big ships; and most surprisingly, The Transformers: All Hail Megatron, with the assertion that the Great War began over the Matrix being reconciled with Megatron's mining rebellion. The explicit caste system, however, is original. On the last page, Optimus Prime notes that he and his Autobots "will wage our battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons", a familiar refrain from various Transformers theme songs. Megatron taunts Omega Supreme by saying "First Sentinel Prime and now you, Guardian. You die so easily, it is difficult for me to take any pride in the killing." (p. 214). This is a clear reference to a similar line spoken by Galvatron in the animated movie. Megatron's oft-repeated refrain is "I still function!", another line made famous in the animated movie. Megatron's Generation 1 catchphrase "Peace through tyranny" is subverted by Orion in his speech during the High Council hearing when he states there can be no such thing.When facing off in Iacon, Optimus states "One shall stand, one shall fall", a line from the animated and live-action films.The Fallen's original name is Megatronus, and it is from him that Megatron himself took his name, shortening it after the gladiatorial crowds' chant. In most fictions, The Fallen's name was lost to history or changed. Jetfire states in Revenge of the Fallen that after one of the Primes (the one who would become the Fallen) betrayed them, "His name forevermore was The Fallen."Page 218: "Never had Bumblebee wanted anything more than he wanted to fight and die at that moment." Seems like the author was channeling "you-know-who" in that line.Devastator Winds and the fact that Devastator was named after it were first mentioned in the bio of ROTF Devastator. References↑ Transformers: War For Cybertron #1 Information and Team Revealed↑ TFW2005 interview with Aaron Archer and Matt Tieger↑ Titan Books interview↑ Alex Irvine post on Allspark.com forums↑ ibid.↑ 2011 Unicron.com interview with Alex Irvine↑ Twitter post 1↑ Twitter post 2 External linksAmazon.com pageRandom House pageRead the first 4 chapters at Hasbro's webpageRetrieved from "http://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/index.php?title=Transformers:_Exodus&oldid=1230815" Categories: NovelsWar for Cybertron media
     

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