The following are the major factions in the Transformers Universe.
The Autobots are the most visible "good-guy" faction on the TFUniverse MUX. Composed of giant robots striving to protect the planet Earth from the "evil" Decepticons, the Autobots are led by Optimus Prime and Elita One, and are based in Autobot City, Nevada. They are from the planet Cybertron, and generally regret inadvertantly bringing their civil war to Earth.
The Decepticons provide the yin to the Autobots' yang. Powerful and imperialistic, the Decepticons are considered evil by most Autobots, and indeed many of them enjoy living up to that reputation. The Decepticon are led by Lord Megatron and Illarion, and are based out of Decepticon City, Russia. Megatron seeks no less than galactic domination, and just about has the power to obtain it.
Yo, Joe! GI Joe is an elite anti-terrorist Delta team, devoted to protecting the world from Cobra and other violent terrorist organizations. They are highly skilled, and have access to cutting-edge military technology. Led by General Hawk and Flint, GI Joe are true American heroes! Based in their hidden base somewhere in Utah, GI Joe is the world's best defense against the assaults of Cobra, and assist against the ravages of the Decepticons as well.
Cobra is a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world. Led by Cobra Commander and his advisor, Destro, from their base on Cobra Island, Cobra maintains an off-again, on-again shaky alliance with the Decepticons. Cobra works to undermine world governments, to weaken them in preparation of Cobra Commander's eventual bid for world domination. In spite of their failures thus far, they are not a group to be trifled with.
When Jetfire returned, he defeated Jazz and resumed his place at Prime's right hand. On Cybertron, the struggle for control became a struggle for survival as Ultra Magnus returned with an invasion force of mad, oil-thirsty Junkions.
In the Shattered Glass universe, the Decepticons are heroic, and commanded by Megatron and Cyclonus. They are based out of Polyhex on Cybertron and the Decepticon Interceptor Nemesis on Earth, and seek to prevent the evil Autobots from ruling or destroying both worlds.
In the Shattered Glass universe, G.I. Joe is an assassination squad serving the personal interested of President Colton. Any one stirring up too much trouble, or suspected of 'terrorist' or 'un-American' leanings, is rounded up and "detained," usually never seen again -- "rendered" to another country for torture, or just buried in the desert with a bullet in their head. General Courage runs the day-to-day operations of G.I. Joe, with the assistance of G.I. Joe Command.
In the Shattered Glass universe, Cobra is a peace movement began by Father Cobra.
Cobra's been around as a peace movement since probably the 60s and 70s, but only became known to the public in the 80s when a US government attack on one of their compounds resulted in the slaughter of dozens of the peacenik hippies. News reports indicate the hippies started it.
Cobra knows G.I. Joe are a bunch of brutes that work for President Colton. They know who the famous (to them) operatives are (Ebony, Snake-Eyes) but probably not everyone (same as TFU Cobra).
Cobra bought their own Caribbean Island as an escape from US persecution. However, they were unsuccessful in this attempt, as G.I. Joe bombed and invaded the island, slaughtering most of the citizens. Those that escaped now hide in Springfield, although with Lt Bludd captured by G.I. Joe, Father Cobra fears the worst and has been moving his followers to a new hidden base in Broca Beach.
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