The Ark is the name given to the Autobot spaceship that originally carried the Autobot and Decepticon armies to Earth. While no longer used as Autobot Headquarters, the Ark is still an important Autobot asset, and has been returned to full flight status, although it is used less often than smaller shuttles and the Space Bridge due to the Ark’s significant fuel consumption. While most of the Earth-based Autobots operate out of Autobot City, a small crew of Autobots remain on the Ark in combat readiness. When not in use, the Ark is parked on a special platform on the slope of Mt. St. Hilary.
The Ark is a Vanguard-class Deep Space Interceptor. It has 5 Decks and houses a full crew complement of 300 Transformers (although it can be flown by only a handful if necessary). A full crew includes a ship commander and an 18-member bridge crew, who work 6 at a time through 3 rotating shifts.
The Ark's environment is fully automated and self-sufficient. It can be altered to match the air composition and pressure of most inhabited worlds, eliminating the need for airlocks during extended terrestrial stays. For engines, the Ark features 4 Hyperfuel Intake Accelerators.
It is armed with 16 particle-combustion cannons (port), 16 laser emitters (starboard), a primary starfield missile launcher, and an Overshock sonic battery. 
Crew of the Ark
The following 32 Autobots were on board the Ark when it crashed on Earth four million years ago.
- Bridge Crew - 19
- Optimus Prime - Leader
- Belowdesks - revived later - 13
- Red Alert
- Support Personnel
Lesser known personnel, picked by Prowl, not Prime, also travelled aboard the Ark. Not published on the original roster, these Autobots were not remembered as the Elite 19 Bridge Crew, nor the Elite 32 Autobots of legend. If they hadn't been later found and revived, their names would have been lost to time.
- Cuffs - Additional Autobot security
- Onyx - Ejected in escape pod - First Dinobot. Disappeared during the Quintesson Invasion of 2013.
- Toaster - Blaster's brother
'OOC Note: These "Support Personnel" are the OCs/Obscure FCs who listed themselves as being part of the Arks crew, but not revived until later.
The Ark left Cybertron when constant battles between the Autobots and Decepticons had left the planet in an energy crisis, with Optimus Prime and a contingent of Autobots 4 million years ago in search of the fuel Energon. Shortly after launch, it was attacked by the Decepticons on the Nemesis. The Nemesis attached itself to the Ark using tractor beams. The Decepticons, including their leader Megatron, boarded the Ark and attacked. During the battle, the Ark was damaged and, after ejecting several escape pods, crash landed on Earth, into the side of a volcano in what one day would be called Oregon. The accident was seared into the memory of virtually every Autobot as the entire events eventually became part of Autobot mythology .
In the Earth year 1984, the volcano erupted, jarring Teletraan I back to life. Sending out a Sky Spy satellite, the computer scanned assorted Earthly vehicles and machinery to form alternate modes for the Transformers. Skywarp happened to be in the path of Teletraan's reconfiguration beam, and once reactivated, dragged the other Decepticons into the beam, allowing them to be reconstructed. As they departed the Ark, Starscream opened fire on it, disobeying Megatron's orders, who cautiously opted to have the Decepticons save their energy until further sources were found. The blast dislodged some of the rock face above the Ark, and the resulting collapse knocked Optimus Prime's body into the path of the beam. As a result of Starscream's wasteful attack, the Autobots lived again. The Autobots on the relatively-intact bridge of the Ark were repaired immediately, while the Autobots in the more heavily-damaged belowdecks were not recovered for almost a year.
Although the Ark was severely damaged in the crash, preparations were made to launch it again following the apparent destruction of the Decepticons. When the ship was nearly ready, the Decepticons re-emerged, prompting the Autobots to stay on Earth, using the buried hulk of the Ark as their base of operations. From this point on, the Autobot spacecraft is simply referred to as "Autobot Headquarters."
Following the construction of Autobot City in the early 21st century, the Ark shared duties as the home base for the Earthbound Autobots, but it's clear that Autobot City was regarded as the bigger threat to the Decepticons.
In 2010, the Ark finally made its return to Earth. Its first major mission was to deliver supplies to the earthquake-torn region of Haiti. After Optimus Prime determined smaller crafts could resume delivering aid to the victims of the earthquake, the Ark resumed a more stationary role as a secondary base for the Autobots. It was also the intended home to the Witwicky family, as Spike's house was destroyed in 2009 by a grudge-carrying Starscream.
In 2011, the Ark was turned into a mobile search and rescue base due to world-wide flooding, saving animals and humans from the rising waters. The Autobots used the Ark as a support and transport vehicle for the attacks on the Arctic and Antarctic Decepticon bases.
When not in use, the Ark is parked on a special platform on the slope of Mt. St. Hilary.
What If? Universes
In 1982, Dr. Mindbender discovered the Ark buried in a Mt. St. Hilary. Finding an amazing species of giant robot inside, Mindbender removed and repaired them, removing their cores for study and installing controls to pilot them directly or remotely as drones. With powerful mecha at their disposal, Cobra's army seems unstoppable.
The Autobots' desperate attempt to launch the Ark ended in failure. The Ark went on a daring run, but was ambushed and crashed violently. Prime quickly gathered Bumblebee and told him to take a certain remaining survivors and flee - while Prime and the rest of the able-bodied bots held the Decepticons off. The Decepticons made quick work of the remaining 'bots - and ended with Megs killing Prime and ripping the Matrix from his chest.
After the conclusion of the Second World War, General Robert Savage speaks to the newly formed United Nations, and stresses the importance of not only a world diplomatic force, but a policing force. The General is placed in command of the UN's security forces, which are named G.I. Joes by the people. Joe takeover was gradual, with them slowly gathering up power. Temporary emergency powers somehow become permanent, and keep growing. Under the Joes, peace is maintained and strengthened, and even though there are still seeds of discontent, the Joes faithfully and honorably defend the principles of peace and justice. In 1982, Joe science teams uncovered the Ark and studied it without waking the Autobots and Decepticons inside, using the technology they found to give the United States a huge technological edge. They use this edge to enforce their will across the world.
- ↑ Furman, Simon. Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK CHILDREN. pp. 152. ISBN 0756630126. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756630126?ie=UTF8&tag=bzespla-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0756630126.
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