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Transformers: Exodus is a novel written by Alex Irvine, which tells the story of the relationship between Orion Pax and Megatron long before the war broke out in Cybertron.

StoryEdit

It has been several centruries since Cybertron's golden age of space exploration and planetary colonisation, and its society has declined into stagnation. Almost every Space Bridge has gone offline due to sabotage or years of neglect, so contact with the other planets the Transformers colonised during the golden age has been lost. When a new Transformer is born from the Well of All Sparks, they are assigned to a caste and guild from which they may never deviate. Castes are separated into a hierarchy, with the highest castes relating to science and politics while the lower castes are given to manual labourers in factories and mines. Those in the lowest castes are not given individual names. 

In the industrial city of Kaon, gladiatorial combat grows in popularity among the lower castes. One of the gladiators - a labourer who completely opposes the caste system calls himself Megatronus after one of the original Thirteen Primes - rises to power and becomes a local celebrity due to his skills in the gladiatorial pits. Megatronus fans and followers shorten his to Megatron in their chants, and the name sticks. 

Understanding that the social hierarchy instills tensions the must be relieved somehow, the High Council turns a blind eye to the proliferation of underground gladiatorial combat.

In Iacon a clerk named Orion Pax - who works in Cybertron's Hall of Records and also dislikes the caste system - is assigned to eavesdrop Megatron's political speeches and file them appropriately for the High Council's knowledge, finds his championing of a free Cybertron where each individual determining their own path in life highly appealing. Orion turns for guidence to his supervisior and mentor Alpha Trion, encourages him to meet with Megatron, cryptically stating that a great destiny awaits them both.  Orion travels to Kaon and meets Megatron in person, along with two of his followers the amoral mad scientist Shockwave and the devious spymaster Soundwave. Orion and Megatron engage in intense but friendly debates over the nature of free will, and they find broad agreement in the need for a new form of Cybertronian government. However, Megatron favours confrontation and revolution, while Orio hopes to inspire the masses to change the system from within.

As Megatron's political movement gains power, it also grows more violent. Terrorist professing allegiance to him commit multiple bombings across Cybertron. Megatron repeatedly states in public speeches that he does not know the terrorist and did not orchestrate these attaxks. The terrorist then attack a casino in the city of Altihex, where Sentinel Prime is attending a show. When the bombings start, Sentinel relies on his three Seeker bodyguards - Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker - to escort him to safety. However, the bodyguards instead take Sentinel to Kaon and present him to Megatron. Starscream flirts with joining Megatron's forces, but sees Sentinel as a potential bargaining chip and does not allow Megatron to kill him, ordering Skywarp and Thundercracker to take him to Trypticon Station, a floating strategic asset bearing a powerful secret that he understands and that Megatron. for the moment, does not. 

To prevent all-out war, Alpha Trion helps Orion and Megatron secure an audience before the Cybertron High Council in order to plead their case. The council is hostile to any notion of change and view Megatron as a criminal. Megatron continues to disown the terrorist attacks but continues to appeal for the removal of the caste system, including the council itself. His words are supported by the lower castes in the council itself. His words are supported by the lower castes in the council's audience, who have started calling themselves Decepticons. By contrast, Orion makes a more noble appeal to the council. He proclaims the Transformer's fuller potential as a race if each individual were to be acknowledged as an autonomous robot, using the ancient term Autobot as an expression of this ideal. Impressed by Orion's morals, the council appoint him as the new leader of Cybertron, Giving him a new name and title: Optimus Prime, with his mission beingthe retrieval of the long lost Matrix of Leadership. However, Orion's sudden elevation outrages Megatron, who believes the situation to be a set-up. He kills council member Halogen, but as the crowd marshals for war Optimus Prime manages to convince him not to commit further violence within the council halls. The two sides reteat from the halls and begin the war for Cybertron.

The war is brutal and largely one-sided; the Autobots retain control of two cites, Iacon and Kalis, while the Decepticons take over the rest of the planet. Out of desperation, the Autobots launch the Allspark into space. Megatron orders Starscream to give him access to Trypticon Station's stockpile of Dark Energon, a power-enchancing substance. The Decepticons consume the Dark Energon and become extremely powerful gaining a combat edge and overwhelming the struggling Autobots. Megatron then seeks control of the Plasma Energy Chamber at Cybertron's core, planning to flood it with Dark Energon, which would permanently empower his own forces while poisoning Cybertron and starving the Autobots to death. He murders Sentinel Prime and steals the key to the Chamber, but before he can access it, the Autobots reactivate omega Supreme, an enormus robot that transforms into both a rocket and a city. Omega Supreme takes the Plasma Energy Chamber and attempts to fly it to safety, but Starscream leads an ariel assault which shoots him down, and after Megatron empowers himself with Dark Energon, he effortlessly defeats the Autobots and Omega's robot mode. He floods the Chamber with Dark Energon and sents it back into Cybertron's core. 

As the Dark Energon flows throughout Cybertron, Optimus Prime ventures into the core to fix the Chamber, accompanied by the Autobots Bumblebee and Jetfire. Once they find it, Bumblebee extractsthe Chamber, stopping the flow of Dark Energon, and Optimus receives a mental communication from the core itself, who is in fact a being know as Primus. Primus will eventually be able to heal himself, but the process will take centuries, and in the mean time he will be unable to generate enough Energon to sustain the population he curently does, so the Transformers will either have to abandon Cybertron or risk starvation. Primus bestows Optimus with the Matrix of Leadership, which contains the collective wisdom of all past Primes. Optimus orders a mass exodus of the Autobot army, but most of the ships are shot down by Trypticon Station. One ship, the Eight track is able to link up to the station and force it to crash into Cybertron. As it falls, however, the station transforms into an enormous, reptilian monster and goes on a rampage. 

Alpha Trion grows ever more despairing for Cybertron, and he sets a radical plan into motion: the construction of the largest spaceship in Cybertronian history, the Ark, on which most Autobots may escape. Several Autobots - including Aplha Trion, Jetfire, and a newly repaired Omega Supreme - volunteer to stay on Cybertron and protect what little territory the Autobots still hold. As most of the Autobots flee to the Ark, Megatron commands Trypticon to transform into an equally large spaceship, the Nemesis, in which he and most of the Decepticons will give pursuit. The Ark takes off into space, and the Nemesis pursues. They fly to the last intact Space Bridge, but because no one alive knows how to use it, there is no guarantee it will work. As the two giant spaceships get whitin range Space Bridge, it does indeed activate and teleports them to an uncharted part of space. With no Decepticons in sight, the Ark detects energy from the AllSpark. Optimus orders the Ark to pilots to follow the signal, and the Autobot's adventure in space begins.

Featured CharactersEdit

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