To start, we have to bring up the fact that Transformers canon is generally incredibly mutable. There are several dozen variations for each, in fact, which led to Hasbro pretty much declaring that all variations are valid via the use of "timestreams". These have been elaborated on by TransTech canon, but the gist is: every version of Transformers takes up a different part of the multiverse, which is watched over by the Transient Technomorphs, or TransTechs. The TransTechs's version of the Transformer's home planet houses portals to these other universal streams, which occasionally drag members of other canons into theirs. They have been categorized by the TransTechs to make sending them back home simpler; for example, the live action movies are classified as Tyran, and the original cartoon universe (and its subsequent multitude of movie, cartoon, and comic spinoffs) are variations on the Primax stream. More in-depth information about this can be found here. A full timeline for the Tyran universe, including its alternate endings and contradictory stories can be found here, though the relevant bits (for Barricade, anyway) are covered here and span the comic book prequels Foundation and Defiance, the prequel novel Ghosts of Yesterday by Alan Dean Foster, the film Transformers, and the Alternate Reality Game called Sector Seven, discussed in full detail here.
In the beginning there was the Cube. It was called the All Spark, and once, long ago, it had landed on a planet made of metal. From this cube flowed Energon, the source of life on that planet, which was later called Cybertron. The first inhabitants – Cybertronians, specifically the god-like entities known as Primes – were created with this Energon in order to protect the cube and serve it. There was just one problem: the cube couldn’t really move under its own power, and it needed a sun to draw from to create Energon. Unfortunately, Cybertron had none, so the Primes were tasked with finding and harvesting solar energy to ‘feed’ to the cube, in order to create the Energon that sustained them. To this end, the cube provided them with the very first Transformers, known as Seekers who were tasked with finding suns to harvest. Most of the Thirteen Primes agreed that the only suns that should be harvested were ones that didn’t sustain planets with life on them. The last of them did not agree with this policy in the least and slaughtered the rest, save for
one two – Sentinel Prime and Optimus Prime.
Without the Primes to send out solar harvesters to feed the All Spark, the remaining Cybertronians divided into factions and started fighting over the dwindling supply of Energon. At least, until Sentinel and his two apprentices Optimus and Megatron brought a sun to Cybertron. They found out for the first time that they didn’t have destroy suns to sustain the All Spark; they simply needed to put a sun close enough that its solar rays would hit the Cube. It’s all kind of fuzzy science, but we’re talking about giant shape-shifting robots here.
Happily, this put an end to the fighting between clans, and they were all united as Cybertronians. Even more happily, they could make
babieshatchlings again! Yay! The inhabitants were divided into two main forces: the science division, led by Optimus, that sought to uncover Cybertron’s forgotten past (since Sentinel apparently left out everything important); and the defense force, led by Megatron, who would protect the planet and its inhabitants from all comers. This is officially the first time Barricade is mentioned in the series, as part of the defense force. Of course, this didn’t last long (in Cybertronian time, anyway, that’s pretty fuzzy too), as Optimus’s Nerd Herd found the coffin that the Fallen – everyone’s favorite murderous Prime – was chilling out in. Megatron had it brought to his quarters and, in a twist that shocked no one, was corrupted by the Fallen’s evil voodoo energy-transfer powers. Did we mention the Fallen is magical and on fire? Because he is. Literally.
Either way, Megatron had become evil and power-hungry and decided to use the defense force to seize the All Spark all for himself. He reorganized the defense force as the Decepticons (with a few exceptions like Ironhide and Prowl leaving to join the scientist Autobots), and tried to remove Optimus Prime completely. This was the beginning of the end for Cybertron, as a protracted war tore apart its surface. The Autobots, in a pair of astonishingly monstrous acts, sent their sun back to where ever they’d gotten it from (stopping the flow of Energon) and jettisoned the All Spark into space (thus leaving the Energon-sustained metal planet to die a slow death). Megatron left in hot pursuit of the All Spark, while his second-in-command Starscream rounded up a crew to follow both of them. Barricade was an integral member of the group, as their pilot and physics officer (and the goader that loved to watch their petty bickering and infighting).
Their long journey eventually brought them to Earth in 2007. It wasn’t so different from the average, run-of-the-mill Earth, if you don’t look too closely at the fact that everyone drinks Mountain Dew and drives a GM vehicle.
Oh. Except that the American government had the All Spark and Megatron, and everything made in America (and Japan, via an old technology treaty) was reverse engineered from ‘NBE 01’. They even had an organization dedicated to watching out for more of these Non-Biological Entities. No, not SETI. Sector Seven, who had done a decent job trying to wrangle up or murder robots and keep their business under wraps… until they started having a bunch of leaks. This was about the time that they decided to hire Michael Bay to make a film about the Transformers, because no one will believe in giant robots if you show the giant robots as CGI in a summer blockbuster.
Yes. In the Transformers universe, the Transformer films are present. They managed to fourth-wall themselves with an Alternate Reality Game.
Barricade fits into this as the first Decepticon that speaks English in the film, and the first of the Cybertronians that Sam Witwicky, the spazzy protagonist of the films, actually speaks to personally. He accosts the boy about his eBay account - Sam happens to own a pair of glasses that have the location of the All Spark and Megatron imprinted on them... just go with it - and then has a fit and tries to murder him. Not the best introduction, but when the All Spark and your glorious leader are so close you can practically taste them, can you blame him for being over-eager?
Also notable to this version of Barricade is that following the end of the 2007 film, Sector Seven was officially disbanded. In its place rose N.E.S.T., or Networked Elements: Supporters and Transformers. Instead of being dedicated to keeping the giant robots on the down-low (thought they did some of that too, covering up the final battle that left the All Spark destroyed and Megatron dead as ‘experimental government tech going haywire’), they dedicated themselves to finding every Decepticon and making them extremely dead. Barricade himself managed to stay one step ahead of the group for the better part of two years before being teleported to the stiflingly bureaucratic transdimensional Nexus where he spent the last six months.
AU and Axiom NexusEdit
Barricade’s AU is in two parts. The first is canon variations. As per the prequel novel Ghosts of Yesterday, Barricade was the pilot for the original movieverse Decepticons while they searched for Megatron. Given that Soundwave hacks satellites with a multitude of interface cables that come out of him (as seen here), it is not a far stretch that Barricade would potentially have a pair in order to interface with the ship’s console to fly it; they are located in his shoulders and he’s loathe to actually use them, but finds they can be an effective threat against anyone he’s trying to terrorize. They are horribly creepy and intrusive, after all. This brings up the next part, that he was occasionally a torturer for the Decepticons. Interrogator would be entirely the wrong term, as he never was trying to get information. He just wanted to hurt mechs, and the best way was long and slow. This led to part of his paranoia, and to his skills as a medic in Axiom.
As for what happened to him at the end of the first Transformers movie… he never showed up to the final battle in Mission City, apparently disappearing, and cases have been made throughout canon that survived and showed up in Venice to torment Optimus Prime (no, really) or in California to make Bumblebee and Sam miserable, or that he just plain died. This version goes roughly by the comic book of the movie – that Ironhide ran him into a freeway pillar – except that he managed to get away and find somewhere to repair after the fight was over. Most of his current abandonment issues stem from this; by the time he woke, everyone he knew was dead, except for Starscream who left him to die on an Earth that was crawling with Autobots. Tired of poor leadership and being without Megatron (the one he had pledged his loyalty to in the first place), Barricade essentially renounced following the Decepticons and started moving from place to place in America, trying to stay one step ahead of the Autobots and their human friends while desperately trying to find his symbiont Frenzy – or what was left of him, anyway. He also spent the time studying humans and their culture, and is prone to quips and references to human culture and media, whether anyone else gets them or not. He’s also used to staying in his vehicle mode for long periods of time because of his survival mechanism of hiding.
The second part is the time he spent in Axiom Nexus. Before Revenge of the Fallen took place, he ended up in a multidimensional hub full of Transformers from other versions of Cybertron (as well as his own), and from hundreds of other worlds and dimensions. This set off several chains of events that altered his life. The first was reuniting with a number of his comrades who, at that point, had been dead for him for two years(1). With exception to Starscream – whom he never forgave for ditching him on Earth – he reconnected with all of them and assisted them where he could, regardless of their differing views on who to follow now that there were multiple Megatrons available (2). He even made some sort of effort to keep them together or at least in contact. One in particular, Bonecrusher, became his latest partner (in more way than one (3), and he made a point of being extremely overprotective of him.
This led to another change, where he ended up becoming a medic. The business expanded beyond fixing Bonecrusher as he ended up being known as a reliable medic for Decepticons unused to reliable medics (4), and who didn’t ask questions about how the injuries were incurred. He’s gained a working knowledge of the systems and body types of most of the Cybertronian types (5, 6), and kept supplies on him just in case. This also led to him doing work for other Megatrons, whether it required healing and upgrades (7), stealth or, in one case, pet care and training advice (8, 8.5), and to him pledging allegiance of a sort to the Megatron ofTransformers: Animated when his Megatron died (again) and IDW Megatron (his favorite of the bunch) was turned into a zombie (9,10).
Being in the Nexus mellowed him of his vicious streak slightly, to where he tends to only use it against Tyran Autobots... and occasionally his patients when he's fixing them. He has to make a point to those stubborn fraggers about basic repair somehow, after all. His association with Bonecrusher helped him to, in some small way, finally get over losing Frenzy. He still blames himself for the loss of the hacker, but he’s mostly let go of his rabid, two-year hunt for him (11). Though this might also be in part to him getting a firelizard that had a minor mental connection with him (12), and receiving a pair of minicons, Overbite and Snarl (13). He’s also less likely to be bothered by the fact that’s he’s on a station that’s pulling people from all corners of the dimensions, and isn’t at all bothered by working with people that he should hate. He’s found out in his time that not all Autobots are as bad as his own, and even trusted one version of Ratchet enough to fix him when he was in desperate need of repair (14).
More obviously, he’s been physically altered by his time in Axiom. He spent more time than he’d admit to as a human and thus has a far greater understanding of them and their limitations (15, 16, 17, 18). He’d been partially eaten alive by mechanical spiders, courtesy of the Blackarachnia of Transformers: Animated; aside from the fact that his paint is still not quite right from that, he’s developed a hideous case of arachnophobia (19). He also received a holoform upgrade – to make it semi-solid – and facial restructuring from Transtech Shockwave (20). Barricade still doesn’t know who did that to him, but he still wants to kill them, even if it made his face more humanoid and thus more pleasant for organics when speaking to him.
”Autobots, foul Autobots, here we come. Let our long war resume – and let it end here.”
Barricade is a war machine first and foremost. He belonged to Cybertron’s Defense Force long before the war ever started and he still loves to fight. Sparring with his fellows is his own special stress relief because they almost always beat the snot out of each other regardless of the fight only being ‘play’. Point in fact, some of his worst habits developed entirely to goad others into fights with him. He’s flirty and insulting and makes use of pet names because it annoyed the other Decepticons so much that they couldn’t help but get into brawls with him. He spends most of the novel Ghosts of Yesterday rubbing his fellows the wrong way and delighting in it every step of the way. He can’t help but enjoy driving everyone up the wall. Sometimes this gets the better of him, particularly during his first appearance in the movie. He toys with Sam and then terrorizes him to try to get the location of the glasses, but apparently gets so impatient that he nearly kills Sam. Later, when he and Bumblebee finally catch up with each other after a long chase through Tranquility, Barricade practically leaps at the chance to fight him and summarily gets his aft handed to him for his overeagerness.
In spite of him spoiling for a fight most days, he’s got a serious soft spot for mechs that are smaller than him. His closest and most obvious friend during the film is Frenzy, the spazzy little hacker that he allows into his cab and has a literal spot in his chassis for. In general he’s good with symbionts and minicons, and treats them both kindly and firmly when occasion calls for it. The most obvious examples are from his time in Axiom, detailed in the AU section.
He’s a pretty clever mech. In Ghosts of Yesterday it’s suggested that he’s extremely knowledgeable about physics, given that he’s the pilot of their ship and can give them ridiculous amounts of information about the wormhole that opened. He also (generally) knows how to pick and choose his battles and who to side with, as demonstrated when he stays out of Blackout’s confrontation with Starscream and his defense of keeping Starscream around because the other Decepticons need him for now – even if they don’t actually want him. He also managed to hide himself so well after the first movie that the audience hasn’t seen him since then (except in comics and one novel; canon is dubious and wonky like that), and was smart enough to pick a vehicle mode that most people look to as a symbol of authority. He’s seen to use it several times in the film to great effect, running his lights and sirens to get people out of the way so he can focus on his goal instead of avoiding or running them over.
Though his choice may have been in part because of his twisted sense of humor. He’s the sort that likes his humor ultra-ironic, and what’s more ironic than an evil cop car? (This was actually the reason that the ‘cop car’ Transformer in the movies was a Decepticon rather than an Autobot; the writers through the choice was more twisted.) His sense of humor got even worse once he discovered the internet and streaming television shows from online movie providers and YouTube. He’s added lame cop puns to his repertoire, along with references to wholly-human items and media. This is one of the few redeeming features he’s found about humans, besides their occasional cleverness. He still thinks organic bodies are inefficient as the Pit, and will still refer to them as insects and monkeys in the great tradition of Decepticon organic-hatred, but he’s willing to give them a pass if they can prove themselves. Usually by not screaming like little girls when he’s transforms and starts menacing them.
Of the original movieverse ‘Con crew, Barricade is the smallest. This translates mostly into him being an even bigger menace to make up for his size. Optimus Prime in Ghosts of Yesterday even insinuates that he might be just as dangerous as Starscream. He likes to get into other people’s personal spaces and right into their faces when he’s not fighting. When he is fighting, he prefers the intimacy of close combat and delights in being right there to try to tear out his enemy’s spark chamber with his bare hands. This is his natural reaction to the Autobots of his timestream, whom he hates with an absolute passion. He can be mercurial in his relations with others, but Tyran Autobots always get the same reaction: hate and attempted murder. He blames them for the destruction and (ultimately) the death of Cybertron, a blow that crushed him and made him shockingly bitter about the entire war. Combined with the millennia of searching for the Allspark, he’s become extremely jaded about his war and is certain that every last Tyran Cybertronian will be dead when all is said and done. This facilitated him searching for a new Megatron in Axiom, to get out of his war while still having a way to fight.
Abilities & WeaknessesEdit
Nemesis Prime/"Convoy": The first Cybertronian he met on the station, who is apparently from a reality that technically encompasses all of the timestreams that Barricade recognizes, and more than likely several he doesn't. He figured out the guy is a Prime, but he hasn't pried about this at all and still calls him Convoy. Generally he likes the guy and sees a bit of 'Con in him, regardless of Convoy being an Autobot or something like it.
Nemvoy was the first still-robotic Cybertronian Barricade met when he showed up and is... still pretty much his favorite. He doesn't precisely see how he could be an Autobot and still act so much like a Deception - without being a defector or secretly Tyran or something - but he's gotten a bit past labels for those not in his timestream anyway. He probably enjoys their time together a little too much, but that's cool with him as long as it's cool with Nemvoy. And generally, if he's overprotective of Barricade? The Saleen doesn't mind so much.
He wants to know more about him if at all possible. Barring that, he's content with repairing what damage he can
and the clanging, and never mentioning that Nemvoy sounds suspiciously like Primes that he has known.
Shockwave: The first humanized Cybertronian he met on the station, and the first he knew that recognized timestream designations. He tends to be a bit too logical for Barricade's tastes in some regards, but he does have a soft spot for him as he's the only other Decepticon on the station at this point. Shockwave also makes most of the Energon and seems just as broken by the world as Barricade, and he'd like to help him.
Shockwave you confuse Barricade so much. On the one hand he's wary of Shocks because he's wary ofevery Shockwave because they are dubious science types that happen to generally be sociopathic. On the other hand, Shockwave is tiny and hurting in a way that Barricade's hurt before and he wants to help. If he knew how to help him, anyway. He doesn't exactly trust Shockwave, but if he got into trouble Barricade would be there to get him out of it, especially if it required him shooting people.
Ratchet: Currently the only other Cybertronian on the station that is from Barricade's world. As a medic, 'Cade has some respect for him, but given that Ratchet is an Autobot he tends more toward taunting him and goading him on than anything. Barricade spent some time as a hatchling in Ratchet's and Convoy's care and still likes him a little from that... but also still finds him to be a worrywart.
Skyfire/"Charlie": A Cybertronian from the same reality as Shockwave, and probably the most entertaining to Barricade. Charlie doesn't react well to Barricade's pet names, and that's enough to keep him coming back to endlessly annoy the guy. Barricade finds Skyfire the most interesting squeaktoy he's had since getting here. He just reacts so much to the littlest things and it's hilarious. He will keep calling Skyfire by pet names until the end of time. He'd have done that even if he never knew that "Charlie" wasn't originally human; now he'll just do it more.
He may get somewhat protective of him, though. There's only so many Cybertronians here, after all... and he'd rather liked the last Skyfire he knew. Even if this isn't the same one, he still harbors those feels and will try to keep him from getting into too much trouble.
Sarah Connor: Some human that seems to think he's someone else. He's not sure what to do with her, but finds her threats against him if he harms that son he doesn't care about simply hilarious. Of course, she also attempted to "kill" his hologram with an EMP gun; he is more than a little wary of her because of it. Generally though, he'd love to put her out of his misery for a little while.
Raimi Matthews: BABYCADE THINKS WEE!RAIMI IS THE SHIT, YO but he wishes you'd be more careful about that tree climbing.
Sooner or later Barricade will actually make the connection, but for now he has Raimi in the category of 'interesting'. He'd love to poke him and watch him squirm, or else just compare their timestreams for a while. Maybe even see which of them is the better at computer.
When he figures out who Raimi is, he will be infinitely more interested, though.
Karkat Vantas: Way too easy to rile up, which is exactly how Barricade likes them. He makes a habit of going full robot at him whenever the opportunity presents itself. At the same time, he wants to see Karkat be a better leader for his people; 'Cade is sick of leaders that claim to care but then leave their people to die.
Georgia Mason: SECOND FAVORITE SQUEAKTOY
George is just... so, so easy for him to pester, and he hardly has to try, even. Even so, he appreciates that they can have a slightly civil discussion about actual topics before he has to bust out the big trolling guns to make her disconnect first.
But she's still a human, and in Barricade's optics, that means inferior. Always. He likely won't ever be able to take her really seriously because she's just a monkey.
Charles Xavier: Barricade is, first off, not bothered at all by the fact that Charles has the same face as Twosix. This is completely normal to him. Other than that, Charles is one of the more interesting humans here, and he's pretty sure that he's one of the more clever ones. And that means a lot in Cade's book, or he might not have cared what happened during that whole Black Rock thing. He is honestly intrigued by him and would like to learn more about him.
He's also curious to see just how long it takes Charles to realize that he's not exactly the average guy.