Iacon is a city-state in the Transformers: Extinction fanon.
The home of order and justice, the birthplace of righteousness, land of a thousand freedoms - this is how Iacon has sought to project itself. History, however, does not see it entirely in such a shining light – the story of Iacon is one of repression and bitterness as much as it is of heroism and virtue. What is true, however, and irrefutably so, is that Iacon is the birthplace of the Autobots, one of the main forces in what was to become known as the Great War. Iacon’s history is longer than that of the Autobots, however, and the Iacon of today is not how the city has always been. Today, Iacon stands a testament to endeavours of the Autobot forces, its scarred streets lined with memorial statues and the mausoleums of its greatest heroes. Barracks and military academies vie for space in the centre of the city, each proudly bearing the name of an Autobot warrior of legend. Housed deep underground below the city’s streets, a secretive chamber sits undisturbed, holding within its walls the Matrix Flame, a mystical fire which burns with the life force of the current Matrix bearer. Iacon’s low skyline is interrupted here and there by the barrels of vast artillery batteries, whose occasional thunderous roars light the city with glorious muzzle fire. Thick, acrid smoke churns from manufacturing works on the outskirts of the city, where munitions and materiel are produced at staggering rates for the benefit of the Autobot forces – in fact, a common saying in the city states that “the smoke of factories is the breath of Iacon”. There are none who could even consider doubting Iacon’s allegiance, nor its unwavering devotion, in the Great War. What is free to doubt, however, is the flawless light in which many Autobot recruits will paint their hallowed city. Much as the people of Vos will neglect to tell of its savage pit fighting, or the inhabitants of Polyhex play down the belligerence of the Polyhex Wars, those hailing from Iacon will unfalteringly overlook the overbearing and aggressive stance which their city has held for millennia. They will talk of the glorious victory over Polyhex which brought that city’s indefatigable expansion to a halt, or speak of the order and peace which their fabled Governor Fracturepoint brought to Cybertron with the creation of the Iacon Accords. Glorious victories over the Decepticons are the topics of everyday conversation, whilst the presence of towering idols dedicated to figures such as Sentinel Prime, Alpha Trion or Fracturepoint are a pervasive reminder to Iacon’s citizens as to which side they are on in this war. What is almost always left out of the lexicon of Iacon’s citizenry are its darker periods, which often overshadow and outweigh its glories. Talk of Iacon’s grand plans for a benevolent empire will never mention the hundreds of thousands killed on both sides in the bitter struggle to retain hold of Hibernium, Iacon’s last remaining imperial possession, nor do they mention the horrific treatment of the people of Hibernium or those who seek to liberate it – summary execution of civilian women and children, political prisoners dying in fuel strikes, false-flag bombings used to provide false justification for shelling residential slums. Tales of Iacon’s contributions to science and security throughout history will never take a second to address the Red Beard Project, which created some of the most devastating and dangerous weapons ever known to Cybertron – many of which were later proliferated to other cities and radical groups, at a profit to the government of Iacon. No, these chapters of history exist only in the minds of outsiders, those strangers from other lands who would dare to doubt the purity of the last bastion of peace on the planet. This is Iacon. Land of a thousand freedoms.
Possibly one of the more polarising chapters in Iacon’s history is the war with the city-state of Vos. To those from Iacon, it was a justified invasion seeking to stamp out the savage and barbaric practices of the gladiatorial city-state; to those from Vos, it was an unwarranted act of genocide and ethnic cleansing from a domineering and hegemonic force; and to those on the outside, it was simply one of the bloodiest and most brutal conflicts Cybertron had seen at that time. The casus belli for the war itself originates long before the actual hostilities, during the proliferation and rise in popularity of the fighting arenas in Vos. Whilst the Governor of Vos, the charismatic Shotmaker, fully endorsed the fights as a means of entertainment and of showcasing the best Vos had to offer, the Governor of Iacon at the time, Fracturepoint, did not see eye to eye, finding the practice abhorrent and offensive. At first, the antagonism was confined to petty bureaucratic squabbling and sternly-worded political addresses. Eventually, though, the resentment both states harboured towards the other grew to encompass commerce and immigration, with mutual trade embargos set in place, and a uniform denial of the movement of individuals from Vos to Iacon, and vice versa. Iacon’s border patrols even adopted a shoot-to-kill policy on all refugees and immigrants suspected of coming from Vos. After a few months, it seemed that this status quo would remain, with both sides locked in a sort of ‘cold’ war. However, when a foiled arson attempt on Belligerum, the largest of Vos’ arenas, was traced back to a covert operations unit of Iacon’s military, Vos declared war on the polar city in full. Initially, the war went in Vos’ favour, as their neighbouring city of Tarn, which at the time boasted the most advanced military on Cybertron, lent its full support, providing munitions, logistics and training to Vos. However, a late decision by Thunderblitz, the Governor of Tarn, to withdraw its support for fear of sparking a global conflict, saw the tides of war shift in favour of Iacon. Without the need to defend themselves from the incessant air-strikes and ballistic missiles, Iacon was able to launch an all-out offensive, pushing the forces of Vos out of the city. Once Iacon itself was secured again, the invasion of Vos began in full. Within days, vast swathes of Vos’ residential and financial districts had been captured, and annexed as exclaves of Iacon. Summary executions and public torture were used to quell the newly captured areas, and soon the entirety of Vos seemed threatened. It was at this time that Shotmaker was enacting his last desperate gambit – opening up the prisons of Vos in order to conscript an army of violent criminals. This penal legion was to prove Iacon’s downfall, the brutality and discipline which a long life of savage prison hierarchy had instilled within them making them more effective than any soldier. Within two months, the massive gains Iacon had made were almost entirely reclaimed by Vos, and the mounting casualties on both sides forced Fracturepoint to order a full withdrawal. Vos had defended its arena culture, at a huge price – and Iacon felt nothing but hatred and bitterness. Countless numbers of its best soldiers had perished, believing their sacrifice would help to rid Cybertron of a practive they found to be repugnant, and all in vain. From that day until the eventual fall of Vos, neither city ever opened up trade or international relations again, often denying the right of the other to even exist as a functioning entity.
Iacon has always harboured aspirations of becoming a vast empire, and in the centuries leading up to the so-called Golden Age, when borders were fluid and territories changed hands monthly in bitter struggles for expansion, the Autobot homeland was able to claim a possession to which it still clings today, the neighbouring city-state of Hibernium. Hibernium had long been a city of superstition and poetry, of self-reliance and tradition – and as such, had felt no desire to involve itself in the geo-political squabbling which was engulfing Cybertron. For centuries, it had simply been left in peace, its neutrality never being called into question or abused. Several of the larger city-states even maintained important trade agreements with it, considering the energon it produced to be amongst the purest on the planet. Iacon, however, saw this precious city as a jewel to be added to its crown, and sought to find a pretext for invasion. A false-flag bombing was planned, with several slum areas on the outskirts of Iacon attacked, killing scores of civilians, with the bombings being made to appear as though they had been perpetrated by individuals from Hibernium. With a pretext obtained, Iacon mobilised its forces, and prepared to invade. The modest standing army of Hibernium was no match for Iacon’s structured and disciplined forces, and the city-state fell in a matter of days, officially declared as a part of Iacon. This was not the end of the matter, however – Iacon had made the mistake of confusing neutrality with pacifism, fully expecting to be able to assimilate Hibernium with little to no hassle. What they were to find instead was a populace to whom the notion of foreign rule was one worse than death, a nation to whom freedom ranked higher than life itself. The initial invading forces soon found themselves under threat from scores of resistance cells working independently of each other, bands of urban guerrillas seeking to reclaim their homeland. Casualties were high for the invaders, who were forced to send for inordinate numbers of reinforcements. In the meantime, though, the resistance fighters used the time they had bought to organise themselves, forming a network of highly organised freedom fighters. Hoping to deter the patriotic sentiment off of which this network was feeding, Fracturepoint issued a number of laws forbidding most of the traditional practices of Hibernium, outlawing its native language, among other cultural and traditional practices – new laws which were enforced with the death penalty. The effect of these decrees, however, was merely to galvanise opposition to the rule of Iacon, rather than easing the process of assimilation which was hoped for by Fracturepoint. Vast numbers of the terror cell’s operatives began to adopt words from their prohibited language as a nom-de-guerre, with the more notable examples being the assassins Eagla and Scéin, and the fuel-striker Na hOcras. The fuel strikes themselves signalled the beginning of a new phase in this chapter of Iacon’s history, the start of Hibernium’s attempts to involve the outside world in their struggle for freedom. Although Cybertronian law granted certain amnesties and privileges to prisoners declared as ‘special category’, including political prisoners, Iacon systematically denied this designation to those prisoners belonging to the Hibernium resistance. In protest, a young and charismatic member of the resistance, using the pseudonym Na hOcras, organised what was to be the first of many fuel strikes, which saw the political prisoners refusing their daily fuel rations in defiance of their treatment, and that of their people. Though initially stifled and dealt with through forced refuelling, the fourth of these fuel strikes was to spark international interest. Cybertron had finally overcome the ravages of the Vos-Tarn war, and many now turned their eyes to Iacon in search of prosperity and peace – instead finding brutality and subjugation. With global attention focussed on their prisons, Iacon could no longer force the striking prisoners to refuel, and had to sit and watch as the dying revolutionaries undermined the international standing of the proud city-state. Eventually, as several of the strikers died, and emotions across the planet were turning against Iacon, the decision was made to remove the sparks of the surviving strikers, and hold them in stasis independent of their bodies. Four prisoners were held captive in this manner, Na hOcras included. In Hibernium, their names became the stuff of legend, and many attempts at freeing the “Fuel-Strike Four” were enacted, all but one of which were unsuccessful – the last such attempt being undertaken by two unidentified figures, and having successfully liberated Na hOcras. In Hibernium, it is hoped that he shall return to lead a renewed bid for independence, whilst Iacon has despatched several Autobot units to recover the fugitive, fearing that he may seek to bring the Decepticons to Hibernium in order to ally with them against Iacon.
Battle of Iacon
Iacon is fondly regarded by many, even those outside of the Autobot ranks, for its involvement in the later stages of the Polyhex Wars, the brutal wars of expansion waged by Straxus in a bid to turn his city-state into a dominant power on Cybertron. Vast territorial gains had been made, wiping several burgeoning city-states right off of the map, before the armies of Polyhex turned their attention to Iacon, believing it to be of vital strategic importance. Long-range ballistic missiles and devastating air-strikes were used to target Iacon’s military installations, in a bid to crush their ability to defend themselves against a ground assault. However, Straxus vastly underestimated the ability of Iacon’s military to adapt to any situation, and the forces of Polyhex were caught completely unaware when the ground forces they had expected to have routed instead took to the air, using both aerial alternate modes and advanced fighter jets previously purchased from Tarn’s technologically superior military. It soon became clear to Straxus that this war would be fought in the skies, not on the ground. Fracturepoint, then an officer in the military, not yet Governor of the city-state, knew that his only hope in defeating the endless armies of Polyhex lay in capitalising on this early victory. Mobilising as many aerial units as he could, he prepared to make an incursion deep into enemy territory, rationalising that if he could destroy the fortress of Darkmount, the citadel which housed the Governor’s headquarters, the resulting power vacuum arising from the death of Straxus would cause the army to collapse into squabbling factions vying for control of the city-state, allowing the remnants of his ground forces to mop up any troops remaining in Iacon. The raid, however, did not go as was planned, and both Darkmount and Straxus survived – the majority of Fracturepoint’s air force was shot down by the vast encampment of ground troops deployed at the border of Polyhex. The incursive forces were able to salvage the situation somewhat, many of the fallen units deliberately crash landing in the midst of the encamped army, proving more lethal in death than they had in life. By the time Fracturepoint had ordered a retreat, casualties on both sides were cripplingly high. Straxus ordered his men to reclaim the skies, knowing that once the aerial forces under Fracturepoint’s command were eliminated, he would be free to invade Iacon and bring the war to a swift and brutal end. Any of Polyhex’s forces fighting on other fronts were swiftly recalled and redeployed against Iacon, effectively bringing the vast majority of the Polyhex Wars to a close. The following period of the war was fought almost exclusively through intermittent dogfights, becoming little more than a long series of skirmishes, a war of attrition geared towards negating the other side’s capability to wage war in the sky. This period of slow progress – mockingly dubbed the “Battle of Iacon” by the inhabitants of that city-state – was slowly beginning to tip in Polyhex’s favour, with Fracturepoint barely able to command a dozen units to contend with the invaders. Iacon’s salvation was soon to come, though, from the most unlikely of places. A group of Straxus’ underlings, unhappy with the sluggish pace of the war, had attempted to overthrow the brutal warlord, and died trying. Fracturepoint saw an opening, however, and used the confusion to convince Straxus to negotiate an end to the war. Straxus, fearful for more attempts on his life, agreed, asking only that Iacon cede the secrets of the Red Beard atomic bomb project to Polyhex, a condition which later led to the proliferation of the atomic bomb across Cybertron. However, the Iacon Accords which were signed shortly after the Battle of Iacon, masterminded by Fracturepoint, were to contain specific clauses about the use of atomic weaponry against Iacon, or its allies. In all, the relative success of Fracturepoint’s ventures in the conflict was to result in him becoming a public hero in his home, and soon lead to his election as Governor.
Red Beard Project
After the end of the war with Vos, the Governor of Iacon, who at that time was the power-hungry warmonger Strikefire, was faced with massive levels of public resentment and indignation towards the loss of life the city had suffered, both military and civilian. Eager to save face, and reluctant to place his city in another war as gruelling and costly as that from which it had just emerged, Strikefire announced the commencement of the Red Beard project, promising that Iacon’s military technology would soon reach the point where any war it waged in the future would be over in days, with little loss of life to its forces. Details of the project were to remain confidential, but the core of the initiative hinged upon the development of next-generation super weapons, with the aim of providing a deterrent to future attacks upon Iacon, and the firepower to quickly end any future war. Initial efforts hinged upon expanding the meagre stockpile of chemical warheads which the city-state possessed, but even generous pricing estimates proved far too costly for a nation emerging from a bitter war. Instead, Fracturepoint, then a notable military officer, suggested the exploration of nuclear weaponry, using a helium fission reaction to fuel a powerful explosive. At this proposal, top physicists from around the city-state were drafted into the project, many of whom were reprogrammed into utter secrecy, to prevent any possible leak of information on the project. For months, progress churned along slowly, but steadily, turning out several possible designs for the weapon. Eventually, a feasible delivery system was devised, and a lengthy period of work began in earnest on the precise calculations and research needed to perfect the final stages. The first working bomb, dubbed ‘Trinity’ by the design team, was tested in the Sonic Wastes shortly over two years after the project was initiated. The success of the weapon was undeniable – providing a thirty kiloton yield from the first test. Several proposed modifications later, and the second test, ‘Grapple’, was to prove even more powerful. Realising that, even with close to fifty kilotons of explosive power, single bombs would not provide the needed deterrent, Strikefire and Fracturepoint ordered development of mass-produced version of the weapon, dubbing it ‘Castle Bravo’. Specifications were prepared, and several factories were requisitioned by Strikefire’s government in order to produce the required components en masse. However, whilst the secrecy of the project itself remained unbroken, the tests in the Sonic Wastes could not be kept under wraps, and the Governor of Polyhex, the aggressively expansive Straxus, declared war on Iacon. Although officially considered part of the Polyhex Wars, the war on Iacon was fuelled less by territorial expansion and more by fear, with Straxus hoping to conquer it before this destructive weapon could be deployed against his city-state. After emerging stalemated from the war, dubbed the ‘Battle of Iacon’, the city soon appointed Fracturepoint as Governor, bitterly resentful towards what they perceived as the failure of Strikefire’s plans. Fracturepoint and Strikefire had been forced, by the necessity to finish the Battle of Iacon, to agree to share the results of the Red Beard Project with Polyhex. As such, one of Fracturepoint’s first actions as Governor was to convene a summit in order to reach international agreement on the use of these nuclear weapons, which were later to become known as the Iacon Accords.