Robot War 1988

By Omega Steve

It may have been 1988 for the rest of us but in Transformers' universe the action jumped 20 years into the future. On the Planet of Junk in 2008, Death's Head caught up with Cyclonus and Scourge, who he planned to kill to claim a bounty on their heads. But the trio were discovered by the dismembered head of Unicron (who was using mind-controlled Junkions to rebuild himself) and his forced them to become his servants. Death's Head was ordered to Cybertron to assassinate the Decepticon leader Shockwave and install Cyclonus and Scourge as his replacements. With this accomplished the pair instigated a suicidal attack on the Autobots to decimated both armies.

Wreck-Gar soon learned of the plot when he travelled to Junk with Smokescreen and Inferno. He ordered the two Autobots to return to Cybertron to raise the alarm, but their ship was shot down by Cyclonus and Scourge, and Inferno threw Smokescreen overboard and steered the stricken vessel into the Decepticon army. In a twist of irony (given his name) he goes out in a ball of fire leaving a shocked Smokescreen to report back to Rodimus Prime.

Unicron at his most evil

As Prime and the Autobots set course for Junk, Death's Head challenged Unicron on the astral plane. Though he was defeated he won Unicron's respect, and the Dark God decided to share the story of his origin. In the begining he had fought the God of Light, Primus and both were imprisoned for all eternity within hulking asteroids. Unicron shaped his prison into a transforming robotic body and Primus evolved into planet Cybertron and created the Transformers.

Rodimus led the attack which destroyed Unicron for a second time, but the Chaos Bringer's essence was absorbed into the Matrix. Cyclonus, Scourge and Death's Head were thrown into Unicron's time portal to escape a huge explosion and Decepticon duo ended up in Cybertron's recent past where they joined Scorponok's army (this explained how they were able to journey to Nebulos and become Target Masters in 1986). Death's Head finished up on Earth in 8162 where he fought Dragons Claws.

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Back in 1988, Galvatron made his move by making a beeline for Decepticons' undersea base. Commander Shockwave (still alive in this era) feared he would be overthrown and set the Seacons on Galvatron. They were defeated, even in their combined form of Pirannacon, and Galvatron entered the base only to claim he had been seeking a joint leadership, but now they had offended him and made him an enemy. Shockwave instantly became unpopular, as was the plan, and he realised that he needed an agent to remove this troublesome opponent - but who, except perhaps Megatron?

The Throttlebots get rough justice from Triple I

With the Autobots and their unstable leader, Grimlock, away in space, the Decepticons had a free reign on Earth and were carrying out constant raids on human fuel depots. The agency Triple I feared its credibility was on the line and decided to show it was dealing with the robot menace by car-crushing its six Throttlebot prisoners on live TV. But Walter Barnet had come to realise the Autobots were on Earth's side and placed the Throttlebot's brains into toy cars before the execution. He went to Buster Witwicky for help, and were pursued around a mall by a vengeful Ratbat and the Predacons. Barnett escaped with five Throttlebots and Buster took Goldbug to Mount St Hillary, where they discovered the Ark had vanished. There was just enough time to broadcast a SOS using a transmitter in the cave before Ratbat arrived and flew away with Buster!

With Galen dead it's up to Spike to control Fortress Maximus

Goldbug's message (sent with Autobot equipment) was intercepted by the Autobot Headmasters and they set course for Earth. Their Decepticon enemies followed and the two factions fought at Mt St Hillary and Galen was killed trying to save Buster's brother, Spike Witwicky. He passed his control helmet to Spike who became Fortress Maximus' new headmaster partner and together they routed Scorponok and the Decepticons.

Back in orbit, aboard Steelhaven, Spike underwent the Headmaster process to bond him to the Autobot leader Fortress Maximus. He saw the joining as the only way to rescue his brother from the Decepticons, but many of his fellow Autobots were uneasy at his inexperience and thought it could spell disaster. Kup's fears appeared justified when Fortress Maximus clung to the side of the Decepticon base as it blasted off in rocket mode. Fort Max subsequently fought a space battle with Shockwave (and sent the Decepticon leader spiralling to Earth), but could not rescue Buster as Ratbat ordered the ship into space. But the Autobots were impressed by Spike's bravery and welcomed him into their fold.

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Deposed-leader Shockwave regrouped at Fortress Sinister with the few Decepticons still on Earth and decided to renew his efforts to neutralise Galvatron. He sent his warriors to London to retrieve Megatron from the River Thames and hooked his old rival up to a 'psycho probe' to reprogram him. Megatron had to overcome the demons in his own mind, starting with Lord Straxus and then his great rival Optimus Prime. Ultra Magnus, meanwhile, was freed from his volcano tomb by the Sparkabots and fought Galvatron, finally managing to defeat him!

This Autobot really should have stayed at home today

Magnus and the Sparklers returned to Cybertron using Space Bridge technology, only to find the Autobot base in ruins and no sign of Emirate Xaaron and the Wreckers. They took the Decepticon Flywheels prisoner and were attacked by an army of zombies which were being controlled by an insane Autobot scientist called Flame. He was holding Xaaron and the Wreckers captive in his underground base and planned to 'fulfill his destiny' by activating Megatron's ancient fusion reactor and making Cybertron travel the heavens. Xaaron warned him it destroy their homeworld and Springer escaped to try and get a warning to the surface, but he was attacked by the zombified Impactor. Finally managing to get through to his predecessor, Springer continued on his way and returned with Magnus, the Sparkabots, Flywheels and Trypticon. Impactor killed Flame and sacrificed himself again to shut down the unstable reactor.

Back on Earth, the Headmasters learned that Optimus Prime was still alive, but as a character within Ethan Zachary's computer. They sent him on a cyberspace mission to infiltrate Scorponok's ship and stole secrets of a new process, which allowed them to create Autobot Pretenders (transformers with organic looking outer shells). The Pretenders battled their Decepticon counterparts under Prime's command and won a stunning victory. But Prime still believed he was in a game.

Cyclonus becomes the meat in a car sandwich

On Cybertron the Wreckers resumed training for a showdown with Galvatron, while Ultra Magnus and the Sparkabots went looking for a missing Autobot spy. They became embroiled in an alien plot to abduct Transformers for gladiatorial tournaments and Magnus was forced to fight in the arena!

On Earth, Cyclonus and Scourge along with their Nebulan companions, confronted Galvatron in the hopes of stealing his time-jump trigger and returning to 2008. Little did they know the device was already destroyed, but Galvatron fought them anyway and the Wreckers teleported into the mix - realising to their horror that they were in the middle of a human settlement! They had to do all they could to lure the Decepticons away and allowed Galvatron to escape.

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The Steelhaven crew caught up with Ark in the hopes of obtaining Grimlock's help in rebuilding Optimus Prime. Instead Grimlock challenged the recovering Fortress Maximus to a duel to decide who should lead, and the prisoner Blaster stepped in to represent Fort Max. The Autobots gathered on the moon for the battle and were attacked by scores of Decepticons, forcing Blaster and Grimlock to fight together to defeat their common enemy.

Blaster and Grimlock fight it out for the right to lead the Autobots

Steelhaven travelled to Nebulos piloted by Slapdash, Joyride, Getaway and Goldbug where they sought out a brilliant scientist named Hi-Q. They discovered the planet's fuel sources had been poisioned to ensure the Transformers could never return, but the Decepticons Darkwing and Dreadwind had got around this by bonding with two disgruntled Nebulans. Hi-Q's jealous former pupil, Hi-Test and a small time criminal called Throttle had undergone the Powermaster process to transform into the Decepticons' engines. The Autobots tried to drive them off but were defeated. So they made the decision to restore Optimus Prime to life even if it he would ultimately be killed by the poisonous fuel. Optimus' nobility touched Hi-Q and he offered to undergo the Powermaster process to save the Autobot leader. The others (with the exception of Goldbug) also became Powermasters and routed the Decepticons. They took the difficult decision to leave Nebulos and on the way back, stopped off at the Cosmic Carnival to rescue Sky Lynx and the human children in his care from the slug-like ringmaster Big Top.

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Back in 2008, the planet Quintesson started becoming consumed by a strange rip in the fabric of space and time. The Quintessons decided their best option was to invade Cybertron so they slaughtered the inhabitants of Autobot City Earth, and set a trap for Rodimus Prime. When Rodimus used the Matrix to heal the wounded Arcee, it was stolen by a Sharkticon agent, and the Autobot leader reverted back into Hot Rod. He activated Metroplex to destroy the invaders, while the Cybertron Autobots and Decepticons temporarily joined forces to thwart the invasion.

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In the present day, Inferno, Sandstorm and Broadside arrived on Earth and had to deal with an alien firestarter. Cyclonus and Scourge asked Shockwave for asylum from Galavatron, but let slip that they were instrumental in Shockwave's assassination in the future. Shockwave turned his mind-controlled agent Megatron on them and Cyclonus had his head torn off! His death 20 years before his birth was the trigger for the time storm which would destroy the Quintesson planet in 2008 and threaten Earth and Cybertron. Shockwave judged Megatron to be ready and unleashed him against Galvatron. The two battled but Galvatron convinced Megatron that they were present and future versions of the same being and they agreed to team up. Later Shockwave went insane as he tried to unravel the consequences of his killing Cyclonus and whether he was still destined to die in 2008.

The Decepticon Pretender Skullgrin was sent to Earth to secure a fuel supply and ended up being hired to appear in monster movies (with petrol for payment). His career was curtailled by Circuit Breaker when she realised he was a Transformer, but he was persuaded to do a good deed by rescuing his female co-star. Later a human mercenary team called the Roadjammers were hired by Scorponok's Nebulan partner Lord Zarak to hunt a trio of Autobots but ended up turning on their employer and jamming three new Decepticon headmasters.

In December the Autobot Highbrow fought Scorponok and was able to capture his head. But he could not bring himself to execute Lord Zarak and the other Decepticons decided to mount a rescue to get their leader back.

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Prime must rekindle his feelings for the Earth

Ratbat's Decepticons returned to the Caribbean and set up a holiday camp called 'Club Con'. It was a cover for their latest scheme which involved the Seacons scouring the ocean bed for two Autobot spy cassettes that had been sent from Cybertron centuries ago to warn of an impending threat. Blaster infiltrated Club Con with help from Buster's girlfriend Jessie but they were unable to free him and had to flee. Ratbat and Starscream viewed the tapes and learned that a vast data storage called the Underbase had been launched into space by Optimus Prime and would soon pass by Earth. It could grant god-like powers as well as madness and death to whomever possessed it, but Starscream was prepared to take a chance. As Christmas rolled around, Optimus Prime rediscovered his concern and affection for planet Earth and the planet began to be hit by freak weather conditions caused by the emerging timestorm!

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