Generation 1 (The Animated Series)
Nine million years before the start of the series (Earth year 1984), there was a civilian robot on the planet Cybertron named Ariel. Ariel had a boyfriend named Orion Pax who was a dock worker. One day, near the end of the Golden Age of Cybertron, Ariel had heard reports that there was a leader commanding a new army of technologically advanced flying robots. She was suspicious of these flying robots that Orion, and close friend Dion were admiring, as they had allegedly attacked one of the outer cities. Eventually, the leader of these forces, Megatron, approached Orion and persuaded him to give a tour of his warehouse. To Megatron's contentment, Orion's warehouse was stocked full of energon cubes. Megatron ordered his army to attack immediately, and gunned down Pax. Ariel arrived on the scene with Dion as this was happening and tried to intervene, but she was gunned down as well.
The Dawn of the Great War
Fortunately, the Aerialbots had been lost in time, and arrived after Megatron had left the warehouse. Although they had arrived too late to prevent the attack, the Aerialbots took Orion and Ariel to Alpha Trion, a first generation product of Vector Sigma. Reluctant at first, Alpha Trion detected a strong spirit within Orion, and thus decided to rebuild him entirely. Orion Pax became the first of a new line of defenders, and was renamed Optimus Prime. Using the same schematics, Ariel underwent a similar reconstruction, and became Elita One. This was the dawn of the Great War, or the Third Cybertronian War.
The war raged on for 5 million years. Once a planet of golden streets and glimmering skyscrapers, Cybertron had now become dark and energy depleted. In time, the Autobots had no choice but to embark on a mission that would take them off their homeworld. Optimus Prime took command of a team of Autobots with the intent of discovering new energy sources. As Prime was boarding the Ark just prior to launch, Elita One entered the docking bay in an attempt to join him. Without warning, the sky was ablaze in a salvo of missiles, and the Female Autobot commander, along with her troop were seemingly destroyed. Over the next 4 million years, Shockwave was left in power. The Decepticons' military operations commander maintained the control of Cybertron just as Megatron had left it. However, believing the Female Autobots to be extinct, no one was aware of what was happening in secret with the aid of Alpha Trion. Outnumbered, but undetected, Elita One and her group of raiders had survived over the years by stealing small amounts from Shockwave's energon cube hangars.
The Search For Alpha Trion
On one occasion, while on a seemingly standard energon raid, the Female Autobots' covers were finally blown. Moonracer, the troop's sharpshooter, attempted to take more energon cubes than was routine. In doing so, she triggered an alarm. Chromia, Firestar, and Moonracer managed to escaped, and rejoin Elita One beneath Cybertron's surface. Unfortunately, Shockwave had monitored their movements, and had discovered their secret underground headquarters. This led to the destruction of their base beneath Rumble's piledrivers, and the capture of Elita One by Starscream. The Decepticons used Elita as bait to lure Optimus into a trap. Prime took the Decepticons' Space Bridge to Cybertron and was immediately captured.
Soon, Optimus was chained up, and dangled over a vat of acid. Rumble cut the chains, but Elita used her special time freezing power to stop Prime's fall and put the Decepticons into stasis. Optimus fled Shockwave's lair, but with Elita dying in his arms. Having used her weapon of last resort, Elita's life-force had been nearly completely drained. Optimus was able to track Alpha Trion to his secret base. The ancient Autobot repaired Elita to the best of his ability, but in doing so, he would soon reveal something about his enigmatic self. As fate would have it, Optimus Prime was the only one who could save Elita by disengaging his power filter and interfacing with hers. Only the Autobot leader's creator would have known of this, therefore Prime made the connection that Alpha Trion was his and Elita's maker.
Meanwhile, Ironhide, Powerglide, and Inferno had also left Earth to follow Optimus to Cybertron. The trio combined forces with Elita's troops to fight the Decepticons, but were being forced off a ledge by Shockwave. Once Elita One had fully recovered, she and Optimus Prime rolled onto the scene in time to join the battle. Upon their arrival, the Decepticons were in disbelief, since they thought they had seen Optimus' carcass floating in the vat of acid. With the element of surprise on their side, Elita shot Shockwave out of the air with a single blast from her pistol. The remaining Decepticons were forced to retreat. Covertly, Alpha Trion had built a newer, and more advanced secret base for the Female Autobots. When it came time for Optimus to return to Earth, Elita One decided to stay behind and continue to command her forces on Cybertron, knowing that Shockwave would likely resurface.