Things that I think some people forget are canon in the IDW universe, or think are just fanon
The usage of “frag”, “slag”, and “scrap” as cuss words
Lovers (conjunx endurae) being called “sparkmates”
Queer-platonic relationships (amica endurae)
While Megatron and Optimus are seen as very old, they are not. Megatron is five million years old, and OP stated that Megatron is a little older than him. Bots older than them include but are certainly not limited to: Rung, Whirl, Ironhide, Kup, Ratchet, Cyclonus, Tailgate, Rewind, Red Alert and Minimus Ambus/Ultra Magnus
Starscream was a representative in the Senate
Camiens laud those who have carried the Matrix as gods; they would view Rodimus just as they do Optimus
Young Cybertronians being called “sparklings”
Rodimus spent three days trying to program his holomatter avatar to have a sweatband
Before becoming Optimus Prime, Orion Pax was close friends with Megatron. He read and quoted Megatron’s Towards Peace and was even unsure if he was on “the right side”
Whirl likes French films
Rodimus is 4.2 million years old - only 800k years younger than Megatron
Mecha from Caminus have different spark frequencies than that of normal Cybertronians, causing their energon to be blue rather than pink
Megatron and Impactor worked together in the mines and were best friends
Cyclonus was on the Ark-1
Alcoholic beverages (engex)
Rodimus, Whirl, Skids, Swerve, Tailgate, and Ultra Magnus have all customized their holomatter avatars
Soundwave and Drift both grew up in the gutters of Rodion and were taken in by Megatron
There’s a mech on the Lost Light named Toaster, who turns into a toaster
Whirl was alt-mode exempt and a watchmaker of sorts. After the Empurata procedure, he changed his name (Whirl was not his original name), frame, and started hanging out in Rodion’s gutters, where Drift and Soundwave lived. He then became a prison guard and beat up Megatron, causing the latter to be pushed over the edge and start the war
Nautica is the exact picture of Pipes’ Dream Conjunx, but he died before getting the chance to meet her
Rodimus, formerly Hot Rod, grew up in the streets of Nyon and took care of other homeless people, and was approached directly by Megatron, who was hoping to recruit
Before becoming Rodimus, Hot Rod was about Rung’s size
Certain Decepticons in high standing with Megatron had special ceremonies performed by one of the Warriors Elite or Megatron himself in which the chosen Decepticon would have a piece of their spark casing removed and forged into their Badge
On both sides of the war, some mecha had real, physical badges, while others were simply painted on
Megatron is a forged spark in a cold-constructed body
Shockwave was a senator, and ran an academy for outliers (which Skids, Trailbreaker/Trailcutter, and Damus/Glitch, who would later become Tarn). He and Orion Pax (who was later to become Optimus Prime) were close friends
Mecha saying “I could hug you!”
Drift is filthy rich for a reason undisclosed
Rodimus and Swerve are both religious, just not obnoxiously so
Orion Pax had his insides rearranged by Shockwave’s techs to make a hole in his chassis - unbeknownst to him, Shockwave was doing this to MANY mechs to make it possible for them to carry the Matrix of Leadership. Had it not been for the hole created by Shockwave, Orion Pax would have never been able to become Optimus Prime
Even then, it hurt Orion Pax when the Matrix bonded with him and made him into Optimus Prime - when the Matrix bonded with Hot Rod and made him into Rodimus Prime, it felt good and right
Even by Cybertronian standards, Prowl is considered “heavy”
Chromedome was still able to lift him over his head and throw him off a cliff
Rodimus (Hot Rod at the time) broke into Styx, one of the most high-security Decepticon-owned prisons to ever exist, to break out Dealer, a former member of his unit (who then promptly betrayed him)
Chromedome and Brainstorm worked for The Institute, which was responsible for mind-wiping, Shadowplay, and Empurata
Drift joined the Decepticons at the very beginning of the war and only became an Autobot near the tail end of the war, less than a century before its close (He became an Autobot after meeting Wing, and then pretty quickly became a Wrecker and went to Earth in a time period likely to be the 80s or 90s). For nearly all of the 4 million years the war went on, he was Deadlock, amongst the most horrifying Decepticons out there, and was favored by Megatron enough that the warlord sent his most notorious bounty hunter out to go find him even after Deadlock had betrayed his superior officer’s orders and went rogue
Megatron never got an Autobot badge of his own; he still wears Bumblebee’s
This is what Rodimus says when he realizes the underlying paradoxes of Megatron that has become accepted background noise in the common culture of the Cybertron Civil War. How can someone rumored to have a green mottled spark, a rumored point one percenter, be a common mining vehicle, something that was mass produced five million years ago?
And Megatron deflects any questions about his origin as well, showing that in the society that he wants, the question itself should not exist to begin with, be it in law, spoken, or even in thought.
But this is not about him. This is about a different origin of Cybertronians. We have the Forged, we have the Constructed Cold, we have the MTOs. And then we have a breed rarely spoken of.
The Warborns are rarely spoken about. With Whirl’s comment we know that Fortress Maximus never experienced Cybertron before the war, never experienced the senate or even the reign of Zeta Prime. And we know that he’s also Forged, as his spark did not seize when the Kill Switch was activated.
Fulcrum is also Forged. He did not suffer the effects of the Killswitch either.
But notice his wording. It seems to be even more suspect. Sure, Forged has been used to describe the so-called “birth” of a Cybertronian, to the point where it is basically the word for it.
But where do the Warborn come from?
Bumblebee was of the last generation of Cybertronians, yet at the start of his life the war hadn’t really begun. Sure there were Decepticon terrorists, but nothing outright. The Warborn label wouldn’t apply to him or those from his hot spot. The war hadn’t truly become what it was later.
So let’s look at Fortress Maximus again.
Pious Maximus was a figure from before the war. Outspoken against the caste system to the point where he ended up being one of many who conveniently “disappeared”.
And one would have to admit that there is a resemblance. Enough for Sentinel to confuse Fortress Maximus with him.
He disappeared to the Institute, and was never seen again. And there his body was gutted, the brain module taken, probed, peeled.
We never learn what happened to the sparks. While Rossum’s Trinity is a medical term in the Cybertronian medicine, we know that through the Triple-M that you don’t need the transformation cog, and we know that with spark isolation, a common way to house dangerous criminals, the spark can survive on it’s own.
Iced, inside a flower, in a cockpit, the spark can survive a lot. Maybe it need helps, but it can survive.
Rodimus called Megatron the First Hybrid. Which seems to indicate that there are more than one. That there are other forged sparks within constructed cold bodies.
And we do seem to have some sort of indicator that dysphoria in some form might exist, with Starscream continually changing his body, either never feeling that his body was “right”, or he never grew attached to his looks because they weren’t “his”.
So the Warborn, where do they fit to make this a complete image? We don’t know if the Institute kept the sparks, but what if they did? Kept them with the other mass produced bled sparks from the Matrix, but probably catalogued and written down from whom they came from as well. And if dysphoria was documented, hell, it could be used to “explain” Decepticons, then what if Constructed Cold bodies were made to “fit” the sparks.
Pious Maximus might be one of those that couldn’t recall their past lives. After all, if data from the brain can leak into the spark, then it might not do it in the first place.