Star Saber: The Origin


Todd Matthy


        Outside, the world was at war. Cities fell, mechanoids massacred, and Energon massively consumed every cycle. But what happened outside didn’t matter his test was in the Temple. The arena was silent and empty, when the warrior Star Saber entered. Except for his master and bodyguard, there was no one present. It was now or never. This test would determine whether he was worthy to challenge for the title of master. This test was life or death. He’d either pass or he’d die.

        ‘Listen,’ Star Saber thought to himself as he kneeled before his master Bludgeon on the arena floor. With his bodyguard, Sixshot behind him on the dais, Bludgeon ordered the test to begin.

        At Bludgeon’s command, four Vehicon drones floated into the arena. Vehicon drones were the ultimate deterrent. Once programmed to hunt their target they won’t stop until the targets pacified or they’re destroyed. Shutting down his optics, Star Saber tuned his audio sensors to the hums of the drones’ engines; two hovered beside him, another in front, and the last behind. Concentrating further, he picked up on the faint hum of the targeting mechanisms locking on him. Then something unexpected happened: A rumbling came from the arena’s entrance tunnel, a tank drone was coming. It distracted him for a moment, but only a moment. His audio receptors picked up the click of the drones laser nozzles. The drones fired.

        Star Saber’s transformation cog clicked and switched as the drones destroyed each other.  In jet mode, Star Saber swiftly angled up and took off as the boom of the tank’s cannon echoed through the arena. Feeling the heat beneath his engines, Star Saber barely escaped the tank’s energy beam. Accelerating, Star Saber rapidly approached the dome of the arena as the take drone fired another shot. Transforming back to robot mode, Star Saber did a forward roll and drew his sword.

        ‘Saber blade!’ he shouted, swinging forward into a mid-air barrel roll and plunged the blade in the center of the tank drone. Vaulting his legs over his head and rolling through, Star Saber landed gracefully as the tank blew up behind him. Turning toward his master on the dais, he bent his knee in reverence to Bludgeon.

        ‘Impressive, a little clumsy on your take off. But impressive nonetheless,’ Bludgeon acknowledged. ‘Star Saber, rise.’

        Star Saber rose, storing his blade into a compartment in his back.

        ‘Who are you?’ asked Bludgeon, beginning the Ritual of Identity.

        ‘A disciple of Metallikato,’ he answered.

        ‘Who is our master?’

        ‘The Soul of Cybertron. The Ultimate Warrior. He who goes by many names but was chosen by Primus to lead us in his stead during our darkest hour.”

        ‘Well done. You are ready. Two solar cycles and you shall take the final test,”

        Bludgeon left. Sixshot remained, gazing down at Star Saber, his latest challenger. Not much was known about Sixshot. The stories about his off-planet travels, displays of special powers, and transformation experiments sounded more like fiction than fact. What was known was that in two solar cycles, Star Saber would face him one-on-one. A battle few have survived that frightened most. But not Star Saber, he was a survivor and he’d win.

        ‘Sixshot,’ Bludgeon summoned. If Sixshot was a mystery, Bludgeon was a riddle. Star Saber heard he was an acolyte of an ancient Cybertronian called the Fallen. The story was he served the Fallen in exchange for knowledge of the mystic arts. When the Fallen was defeated, he became a nomad exploring the inner core of Cybertron, where it was said he discovered the resting place of the Ultimate Warrior and was purged of the Fallen’s influence. Claiming redemption, he decided to the knowledge the Fallen gave him in the name of peace and founded the order of Metallikato to train those sought similar knowledge.

        Star Saber exited walking to his quarters. He didn’t think about whether the stories about Bludgeon and Sixshot were true or not what was true was after all these metacycles he was about to become a master. He was excited, but not so much that he wasn’t able to dodge the arrow that flew at his head.

        ‘I see anticipation hasn’t dulled your reflexes,’ a voice spoke from around the corner.

        ‘I heard you notch your bow, Deszaras’ Star Saber acknowledged, pulling the arrow out of the wall then facing the fearsome, sharp-winged, blue plated, red-eyed bot.

        ‘I heard the big news,” Deszaras taunted. ‘The mighty Star Saber, named after the sword of Prima, awaiting his dance with death.’

        Star Saber didn’t respond, much to Deszaras’ chagrin. He did this a lot. Deszaras was always known for pushing fellow disciples buttons, hoping to engage them in spontaneous combat to prove he was the top student. Many took up the challenge and many lost their lives. In Metallikato, combat ended in death unless a master called for stoppage. Star Saber took it upon himself to end many of those duels before they got deadly, wound Deszaras’ pride and earning his scorn. This was another failed attempt for Star Saber brushed off the taunt, went to his quarters, and entered.

        A Metallikato disciple’s quarters served as their private sanctuary. It was where Star Saber worked on his special project, the V-Star. Every Metallikato student had a special project; whether it was Sixshot’s obsession with mysticism and transformation or Deszaras love of creating weapons, a creative outlet was said to center a student’s spark, keeping him balanced between the light and the dark. The V-Star was a set of armor that transformed into a skysled. It was how Star Saber blended into Cybertronian society without raising suspicions.

        ‘Interlock!” Star Saber commanded, folding his legs into his chest while the V-Star transformed into an erect set of limbs. Within a nano-second Star Saber’s body merged with the V-Star, integrating their circuits, making them one. Pushing a button on his new bodies arm, a helmet covered Star Saber’s face. The helmet was red with a faceplate to mask his features. If one looked closely, one could’ve mistaken Star Saber for the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime. It wasn’t a coincidence. Despite being forbidden from choosing a side Star Saber admired Optimus. His compassion yet strength as a warrior, and ability to snatch victory from a hopeless abyss would’ve instantly made him a master of Metallikato. In Star Saber’s mind he’d be the greatest master to ever live. But, that was not the hand Primus dealt, so Star Saber left his quarters and exited the Temple.

        Transforming to vehicle form, Star Saber took to the tranquil, starlit sky. It was a surprisingly peaceful night, something Cybertron hadn’t seen since the war broke out. He savored it, for all he knew it could be the last one he’d ever experience.

        Leaving the Border Regions, Star Saber flew into the sky above the Cybertronian capital city, Iacon. Slowly, Star Saber drifted past what was left of the dominant structure of the Iaconian skyline, the High Council Pavilions, ruined after the last battle. Descending, Star Saber glided in the air above the once glowing Energon Pools that are now a repository for scrap. Descending east, Star Saber transformed back to robot form and landed in an alley beside the one place on Cybertron that was neutral ground: Maccadam’s Old Oil House.

        Rumored to be managed by one of the original thirteen Cybertronians, Maccadam’s was known for it’s high-grade oil and commitment to neutrality. Autobot and Decepticon allegiances were checked at the door, lest a mechanoid seek the wrath of the reclusive manager. At least that was the idea. Though neutrality was the policy once patrons were inside Maccadam’s was a house divided. Autobots fraternized with Autobots and Decepticons with Decepticons. Still, the dim, neon, cantina was the only place Autobots and Decepticons could co-exist making it a hub of conversation; a hub for listening.

        Star Saber removed his helmet upon entry and approached the bar, ordered a cool cup of Energon, and took a seat at corner booth, away from the hustle and bustle. Glancing around, he overheard a conversation between two neutrals: Sandstorm and Beachcomber. His interest piqued, Star Saber continued to listen.

        ‘I can’t believe they did it,’ Beachcomber began. ‘The Helix Gardens, who would want to destroy them?’

        ‘Blue crystals suspended in methane. Since Crystal City fell, it was the only place left for quiet meditation and relaxation. Now it’s a crater nothing but smelt and twisted steel,” Sandstorm finished, sipping on his Energon.

        ‘I was there,’ Beachcomber continued. ‘Cerebros and I were holding a sit-in when an Autobot Security Force came to fortify the gardens. Their Commanding Officer, Bluestreak, I believe, told us to leave. He claimed they’d received word the gardens were the Decepticons’ next target.’

        ‘What did you do?’ Sandstorm asked.

        ‘We told him we were going nowhere. That he had no right to tell us where we could and couldn’t go. Bluestreak insisted we move but we refused and by the Matrix, we were going nowhere. Then they struck.’

        ‘The Decepticons?’

        ‘Without mercy. They didn’t care who you were, if you were in their way, you were a target. Cerebros and I couldn’t take it—we…’

        ‘You joined the Autobots,’ Sandstorm finished sternly.

        ‘I had to—it was the only way to protect the gardens.’

        ‘Of all the protoforms to pick up a laser, you Beachcomber are the last. I’m disappointed.’

        ‘Disappointed? What was I supposed to do? We were dying. The Autobots, fascists that they are, were at least trying to protect the gardens. At least they’re trying to make sure there will be a Cybertron when this is over.’

        ‘You don’t get it, do you? There’s not going to be a Cybertron. This war—it’ll never end. If the parties wanted to end it, they’d have negotiated a cease fire by now.’

        ‘And what are you doing about it, Sandstorm? It’s easy to spout rhetoric about peace, but what happens when people don’t listen? What are you going to do? Wait until you’re killed by a stray laser blast?’

        ‘Already spouting Autobot propaganda,’ Sandstorm commented, taking another swig of Energon. ‘I’m joining the exodus. I’m leaving the planet, perhaps never to return.’

        ‘You’re running away?’ Beachcomber gasped.

        ‘I’m surviving. I’ve seen the statistics. If this war continues, Cybertron will become a wasteland. If we are to survive as a race, we must do the unthinkable. We must go.’

        ‘I understand where you’re coming from. I do. But I can’t abandon my planet. Not if there’s a chance, the slightest chance, that it will survive.’

        ‘I admire your dedication, my friend.’ Sandstorm took a final drink of oil and stood up. ‘We leave in two solar cycles. Your welcome to join.’ Sandstorm walked away leaving Beachcomber alone with his Energon to contemplate his friend’s words.

        Leaving Cybertron, an interesting notion, Star Saber thought. Both sides made compelling arguments. Even though Star Saber couldn’t imagine leaving, Sandstorm made some convincing points. If anything the conversation was a microcosm of what he thought of the war. While Star Saber admired Optimus Prime for his courage under fire, he could not over look the conviction of Megatron. After all, Megatron was fighting against the injustice of the caste system that was holding Cybertron back. He’d often hear Bludgeon talking of Cybertron’s past. When space travel was common and contact with other species was the norm. Now, once you were born in the Well of All Sparks, you were assigned a caste from which you could never leave. Like Megatron, he didn’t think this was fair. Neither did Optimus Prime for that matter. It was not Megatron’s cause that he hated but his methods. Wanton destruction only served to lead Cybertron further into the abyss. But he couldn’t change that. The only thing Star Saber could do was listen and learn something new.

        Star Saber searched around then he caught sight of a familiar robot. He was wearing a rag but the walk and posture was unmistakable, Sixshot sitting beside Soundwave, the Decepticon Communications Officer.

        Star Saber focused his audio receptors on the conversation, but all he heard was static. Soundwave knew how to disrupt radio waves. It was how he kept his secrets. Still, Star Saber was curious. Why would Sixshot meet with one of Megatron’s top lieutenants? He wondered. Sixshot knows it’s forbidden to pick sides.

        Star Saber got up and slowly inched toward Sixshot and Soundwave’s table. He kept his receptors open, but only heard static. He decided to take a chance and test his abilities to blend in. He walked past Sixshot and Soundwave’s table. If Sixshot recognized him, he could ask why he was meeting with Soundwave, and hopefully receive answers. If not, he’d lose nothing. So, he passed by and picked up two words spoken by Sixshot, ‘Ratbat’ and ‘the Temple.’ Star Saber decided this was the perfect time to exit.

        Transforming, Star Saber took to the air, pushing his engines to the limit. What would Ratbat, the disgraced Senator who tried to broker an arms deal with Megatron, want with the Temple? He became so lost in thought that he wasn’t listening, so he didn’t hear the shifting of gears right above him. A massive weight pounced upon him followed by a claw digging into his back. Star Saber was being attacked. It was time to see if the V-Star worked the way he designed it to. Accelerating, Star Saber spun in mid-air hoping the centrifugal force would throw off his attacker. He accelerated further then suddenly stopped tossing his attacker into the hill just beside the Tower of Pion. Mid-air, Star Saber transformed and landed beside the hole created by the force of his assailant’s crash. From the dust, his foe emerged, and a jolt went through Star Saber’s circuits.


        Sixshot was on Star Saber before he could finish his name slashing so viciously and gracefully, his blade was barely heard. Star Saber ducked, barely avoiding the strikes. Star Saber tried a quick leg sweep, but Sixshot anticipated and caught him with a vicious kick to the head. Rattled, but not defeated, Star Saber inched himself into a guard position and drew the Saber Blade. Feinting left, Star Saber spun and struck at Sixshot’s right. Sixshot parried the attack, bringing the two of them back into the guard stance. Circling, the two Metallikato disciples measured one another, waiting for an opening or an attack. Sixshot stepped backward into an erect position. Placing his hands together, he began muttering words in a dark and ancient language. Out of thin air, a second Sixshot appeared, then a third, then another, and another, until he was surrounded by total of six.

        On Sixshot’s orders the duplicates transformed into different modes: a plane, a gun, a car, a tank, a flying wolf, and in the center: a robot. From the left came a shot from the gun. Star Saber dodged only to have his legs clipped by the car. The flying wolf pounced, he tossed it off toward the robot, and it passed through.

        Hard light holograms, Star Saber thought, that’s where the stories began.

        Shutting down his optics, Star Saber backed away and listened. The holograms had no spark, but Sixshot did and each spark emitted a beat. Listening, he honed in on the beat and lunged toward Sixshot with blinding speed and slashed his side plating.

        Seeing an opportunity, Star Saber transformed into his jet mode. Checking his built in computer, he found the battle with Sixshot had drained his Energon by twenty percent. He’d have to stall or end this battle quickly if he hoped to reach the Temple and figure out what was happening.

        ‘SIXSHOT!’ he shouted while ascending. ‘What’s going on?’

        ‘I’m ensuring the future,’ Sixshot answered.

        ‘What do you mean?’ Star Saber asked.

        ‘Peace, non-intervention. Those are the ideals of the weak. We are disciples of Metallikato. We have spent our lives learning the ways of combat. It’s time we use these abilities properly. It’s time to stop denying our path. The path of the warrior.’

        ‘To use our skills as instruments of destruction? That’s a path I refuse to follow.’

        ‘I had a feeling you’d feel that way. I’m sorry for what I must do.’ Sixshot transformed into his jet mode and pursued Star Saber. Shooting upward and circling across the Iaconian skyline, he led Sixshot on a chase, weaving his way between the towering spires. Sixshot unleashed a barrage of laser fire, barely missing Star Saber.

        ‘ENERGON LEVEL: SEVENTY PERCENT,’ his internal computer warned as a searing burn cut through his left engine. Sixshot scored a direct hit and Star Saber was sputtering out of control, crashing beside the Energon pools. Transforming back to robot mode, he felt a vicious slash cut across his back. Rolling to his side Sixshot stood over him, poised to strike the final blow. Sixshot thrust, he rolled. He thrust, again, Star Saber rolled back into a standing position. Star Saber drew the Saber Blade, only to have it knocked away by a kick to the arm. Quickly transforming to gun mode, Sixshot fired a laser blast, penetrating his chest cavity. Sixshot transformed into car mode and crashed into him, pinning Star Saber down. Grabbing Sixshot’s underbelly, Star Saber attempted to leverage his way out but Sixshot transformed again to tank mode, crushing him with the added weight, and leaving only his right arm free. Searching, Star Saber found the Saber Blade within reach and with his last ounce of strength, grabbed hold of it.

        Grinding his wheels into his chest, all Star Saber could was whack Sixshot, a minor nuisance. Star Saber went limp. Then he thought of something. It was a long shot but it might work. With all his might, Star Saber was able to slightly leverage Sixshot’s front and slid his sword under. Shutting off his optics and listening, he heard the gears of Sixshot’s transforming cog shifting.

        Now!  And he thrust upward.

        Star Saber pulled the Saber Blade out of Sixshot’s transforming cog. His cog damaged, Sixshot’s transformations were erratic causing him to involuntarily change into a strange amalgam of modes. Seeing an opportunity, Star Saber struck and severed one of Sixshot’s arms. Sparks burst from the severed limb, as Sixshot staggered toward the cliff above the Energon pools. Wasting no time, Star Saber charged with great speed, driving the Saber Blade’s pommel into the side of Sixshot’s head, sending him tumbling into the corroded Energon Pools.

        For a moment, Star Saber basked in victory. But it was only a moment. He had to get back to the Temple. Transforming, Star Saber flew back to the border regions and arrived at the Temple, surrounded by Megatron’s air force, the Seekers.

        ‘ENERGON: TWENTY PERCENT.’ The fighting with Sixshot took more out of him then he thought.

        Circling and shining spotlights, Star Saber would have to sneak inside if wanted to avoid detection and reach the Energon chambers. Waiting for the right moment, Star Saber, silent as a shadow, dashed inside the Temple. Listening and peering around corners he crept toward the Energon reserve chambers, hoping to avoid Seekers. Inside the Temple was strangely calm. No sign of fighting. Star Saber found this odd. Metallikato disciples wouldn’t surrender to the Decepticons without a fight. Would they? Listening, he could hear the Seeker troops chatter as they passed by. They were complaining about the lack of resistance. Those answers would have to wait, he had to recharge first then he’d solve the mystery. Reaching the Energon stores, Star Saber removed his helmet and bolted toward the reserve fountain. Foregoing a receptacle, Star Saber dunked his head and guzzled the rich, liquefied Energon.


        Pausing for a moment, Star Saber spotted a green Seeker, arm launchers poised to fire. Instinctually, Star Saber drew the Saber Blade and in a flash severed the Seekers arm but not before a stray blast hit an energy conduit, raining sparks through the chamber. Mixing with the Energon, a series of explosions began and spread out of the chamber. Star Saber tackled the Seeker as the chamber exploded.


        ‘Why are you here?’ Star Saber demanded of the Seeker, surrounded by fire and flame.

        ‘The old ways are…done…’ the Seeker sputtered, sparks flying from it’s smoldering and broken face. ‘A new…order…’

        Suddenly, a loud pop followed by a shower of sparks flew from the Seeker’s face. It was dead. Transforming to jet mode to conserve Energon, Star Saber angled his weapons upward, fired at the ceiling, and flew through. He fired another round at each level until he reached the level where Bludgeon’s chambers reside.

        Speeding through the hall, Star Saber arrived at Bludgeon’s chambers and fired upon the sealed door. Inside the room was empty. There was only one place he could be, the arena. Quickly, he sped toward the arena. Arriving, he quickly transformed and stood, face-to-face with Bludgeon, accompanied by Ratbat and Deszaras.


        ‘Master,’ Star Saber began ‘What are you doing? Why is he here?’ He pointed at Ratbat.

        ‘Seekers, elim-in-ate…’ Ratbat began.

        ‘No. He’s one of us,’ Bludgeon interrupted ‘Star Saber. I see you passed the final test. I knew you were good, but Sixshot was something more. I’m impressed.’

        ‘You haven’t answered my question.’

        ‘Star Saber, for all of your listening you do not see. Change is coming. For too long, the order of Metallikato has sat idly by and watched a corrupt system make us into weak, impudent, fools. We are warriors!’ Bludgeon exclaimed. ‘Our destiny, as much as we’ve denied it, is to fight. The Decepticons are our kindred spirits, the time has come for the Order to join their cause.’

        ‘What about our loyalty to Cybertron? The Ultimate Warrior?’

        ‘Once again, you listened but failed to understand. I was apprentice to the Fallen, and he revealed to me the secret of Cybertron. At the core of our planet is an engine so powerful it can defy stellar orbits; a living starship, capable of creating a universal dynasty, bringing peace and tranquility to the universe. The Fallen fell before he learned how to activate it, but Megatron has discovered the secret. Dark Energon, the blood of the Chaos Bringer, Unicron is the power source that will move Cybertron across the stars. That is why we should not resist the inevitable, we must join with Megatron. With their military might and our ability to slip into the shadows, we can end this war in a matter of cycles and achieve our destiny.’

        He couldn’t believe it. After all the cycles of training, reciting the Ritual of Identity, all the talk of fighting beside the Ultimate Warrior, it was all a lie. Bludgeon didn’t form the Order to preserve Cybertron, he formed it to train a new breed of conquerors.

        ‘So, everything you ever taught me was a lie. Very well, I renounce you as my Master and I renounce the Order of Metallikato. May Primus have mercy on the path you chose.’

        ‘I’m disappointed, Deszaras, terminate him!’

        Deszaras drew and swung his mace toward Star Saber’s chest. Star Saber spun and cut the chain with the Saber Blade.

        Star Saber advanced toward Deszaras, who smiled and pulled out his bow and arrow. Staring into each other’s optics, the two were locked in a death stare. Star Saber advanced; Deszaras pulled the bow, the arrow released. Moving the Saber Blade in a circle, Star Saber deflected the arrow, sending it back toward Deszaras, piercing his chest. Angered, Deszaras drew his blade and met Star Saber’s advance. Slashing and parrying, Star Saber and Deszaras were locked in combat.

        ‘ENERGON LEVEL: THIRTY PERCENT,’ Star Saber’s computer informed him. He ignored it, focusing squarely on Deszaras. Using his strength, Star Saber wheeled his sword around like a propeller, slashing Deszaras in the chest and bringing him to his knees. Suddenly, Star Saber felt a blinding pain in his chest circuits.

        Falling to one knee, Star Saber, oil leaking from his chest, glanced upward to see Bludgeon standing over him, fresh oil on his sword.


        ‘Still blind,’ Bludgeon jested. ‘I misjudged you.’ Turning away he addressed Ratbat, ‘Have the Seekers level this place. It’s a relic whose time has passed.’

        During the order, Star Saber opened a secret compartment in his leg drawing his pistol. Listening, he waited for the right moment.


        Star Saber fired, catching Bludgeon in the face.  Bludgeon screamed, rousing Deszaras to come to his aid. Together with Ratbat they fled as the Seekers rained laser fire upon the Temple.


        ‘Over ride!’ Star Saber ordered, clutching his chest. Still leaking oil, he transformed and flew away as fast as he could from the smoldering debris raining down on him. Pushing himself to his limits he escaped and transformed back to robot mode at the moment the Temple collapsed.


        ‘Stasis lock, now!’ Star Saber commanded, settling in a dark alley to avoid detection, as his world went black.

        Time passes, a surge of energy flows through him. His vision comes back online. Standing over him was a white Autobot, holding an Energon booster.

        ‘He’s back online,’ the white Autobot stated.

        ‘Thank you, Ratchet’ another voice said. ‘Need a hand?’ the other Autobot asked extending a blue hand. Star Saber took it and glanced upward.

        ‘I’m Optimus Prime,’ the robot said.

        ‘Star Saber.’

        Star Saber stood up and brushed the dust off his casing.

        ‘You look a little worse for wear,’ said Optimus, ‘Do you want Ratchet to run a full system analysis?’

        Star Saber glanced back at the ruins of the Temple he once called his home. ‘No, but thank you.’

        ‘Can you tell us what happened?’ Optimus asked.

        ‘It’s a long story,’ Star Saber answered.

        ‘When your ready you can tell me everything,’ Optimus said, putting his hand on Star Saber’s shoulder, ‘I’ll listen.’