"Alignment" is an unofficial Transformers novella written by Simon Furman, designed to tie up the loose threads left over from the Generation 2 comic book, and to bridge the gap between the Generation One era and the Beast Era. The storyline was produced without Hasbro's approval, and as such, is considered non-canon, but is included here on Teletraan-1 due to the insight it offers into the author's thought processes regarding the earlier storylines that it follows. As such, those elements of the story that enlighten official stories (namely, the true nature of the Liege Maximo and the purpose of the Hub) could reasonably be considered pseudocanon.
"Alignment" was published in two parts, both released exclusively at the UK convention, Transforce. Book 1 was released at Transforce 2001 in a magazine-styled format; at Transformers 2002, Book 1 was reprinted alongside the newly-written Book 2 in book format. In 2005, the whole story was made available online.
The story takes place several hundred years after "A Rage in Heaven!", by which time the Autobot-Decepticon alliance established in that story has broken down, and hostilities have begun once more. In the intervening years, Galvatron II destroys Megatron and assumes leadership of the Decepticons, arranging the construction of a fleet of Warworlds. In a major battle at Pinea Omicron, Optimus Prime succeeds in defeating Galvatron, but is knocked into stasis lock himself in the process, leaving both sides leaderless and in grave need of energon. Ultra Magnus assumes the role of acting Autobot commander on Cybertron, while the Decepticons, led by a High Council, regroup on "New Cybertron," a world transformed into a metallic sphere through use of the eco-structuring process previously employed by the Cybertronian Empire.
As the story begins, Ultra Magnus sends a crew under the command of Grimlock to search for energon, only for their ship to inadvertently enter the cloaked region of space concealing the Hub, a massive structure of interlinked planets that is home to the menacing, mysterious Liege Maximo. Using this massive resonant web of worlds, the Liege Maximo plans to ascend to the realm of the gods, and with the time of the universal alignment that will allow to accomplish this goal about to begin, the Liege Maximo takes no chances and directs his forces to attack both the Autobots and Decepticons to keep them occupied. To fight back, a cabal of Decepticons led by Soundwave secretly restores Megatron to life, and the Decepticon leader is able to safely evacuate New Cybertron and blows the planet up to destroy the Liege Maximo's armies. Ultra Magnus is also able to get his fighting forces off Cybertron, and both sides then counter-attack the Hub.
Grimlock's crew attempts to sabotage the Hub from the ground, but they are systematically killed, leaving only Swoop alive by the time the united Autobot-Decepticon counter-attack arrives comes and draws the Liege Maximo's attention. As the Liege Maximo focuses his attention on the armada, Megatron performs a solo strike on the monster's exposed flank, dying in the process, but causing it to feel pain for the first time in millennia. Panicked, the Liege Maximo begins the alignment, separating his lifeforce from his corporeal form. His body is destroyed by the armada, and Swoop commits a final act of sabotage, causing the portal created by the Hub to collapse. With nowhere to go, the Liege Maximo's lifeforce dissipates, and he is destroyed.
Relation to other works
"Alignment" served to answer several of the questions surrounding the mysterious entity, the Liege Maximo, that the Generation 2 comics raised. The story explained, as the comics had hinted, that the Liege Maximo was one of the first Transformers created by Primus, who sought to reconnect with the divine origins of the Transformers by gaining access to the realm of the gods. This was the reason for the eco-structuring that Jhiaxus and the Cybertronian Empire were subjecting planets throughout the galaxy to during the Generation 2 series—this interconnected series of metallic worlds formed the "Hub", a resonant structure that would allow the Liege Maximo to accomplish his goal.
The story also served to form an explicit link between the Generation One time period and the recently concluded Beast Era. It is noted that while the Decepticons are leaderless on New Cybertron, the Decepticon High Council were unable to agree upon a course of action to further the Decepticon cause. Specifically, a splinter group referring to itself as the Predacons advocates "unconditional surrender to the Autobots, a pooling of resources, an extended time of gathering and secret re-building"—this, of course, being the tactic of the Tripredacus Council. At the conclusion of the story, this is ultimately the voice which wins out. Additionally, energon depletion forms a major part of the story, and to overcome it, the concept of downsizing the Transformers' physical forms is introduced.
The Furman-penned "Transformers: The Ultimate Guide" made reference to "Alignment," explicitly noting that it was unofficial, but reiterating the Liege Maximo's status as one of the group fiction now referred to as the 13 original Transformers. "Alignment" was also responsible for coining the name "Galvatron II" to refer to the Galvatron introduced in "Rhythms of Darkness!", which was later officialized by e-Hobby when they used it as the name of their exclusive version of the 2003 Galvatron reissue. Furthermore, the storyline which accompanied the e-Hobby Laser Ultra Magnus reissue described this Galvatron as possessing a Warworld, apparently taking its cue from the backstory briefly covered in "Alignment."