The Machination is a secret organization on Earth, devised by Scorponok as his latest effort in the advancement of outlawed technologies. They keep Scorponok's damaged head in a lab, while working to develop Headmaster technology. As with Scorponok's previous efforts on Nebulos, the Machination maintains various front organizations to mask its core activities.
- Abraham Dante — leader (as the head of Scorponok)
- Mister Creel — field agent under Drake
- Mister Drake — high-ranking field agent
- Mister Jolly
- Mister Kloss — a mole working within rival organization, Skywatch
- Mister Reese — one of several Headmasters piloting a Sunstreaker clone body
- Mister Stoker
- Miss Svenson
IDW Comics continuity
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Mister Stoker, agent of the Machination, investigated a secret Decepticon base in Oregon. He took a number of pictures of the installation, and stored them on his SM-4 palm computer. The Decepticons attempted to acquire the computer, killing Stoker in an attempt to steal it, but it eventually fell into Autobot hands instead. An agent placed in an Arizona police department reported Stoker's death to Mister Dante.
Mister Drake arrived at the Machination's Dallas, Texas offices (where they operated under the auspices of "Epsilon Holdings"), and was greeted by Mister Dante, Miss Svenson, and Mister Jolly. Jolly briefed him on the recent Transformer activity, noting that the visitors had sped up their plans, and so must the Machination. And, thanks to Stoker's computer, Drake had a homing signal at his disposal. Later, Drake and his field team followed the signal to the shores of Lake Michigan, where they witnessed a number of Autobots plunge into the water, en route to their secret base.
Some time later in southwest Michigan, an RV sat idle. Inside, Mister Drake and his Machination field unit trained and waited for their encounter with the Transformers.
Meanwhile, Ironhide and Sunstreaker were assigned to return the humans, Verity, Hunter, and Jimmy, to civilization. Upon surfacing, however, the two were immediately detected by the Machination. Drake and his team pursued the two Autobots on the highway outside Lebanon, Missouri, unleashing several drone buggies to stop traffic (by blowing up civilian cars). While Ironhide, carrying Verity and Jimmy inside, managed to extricate himself, it appeared that Sunstreaker and Hunter were blown up by Drake's forces.
Later that day, Jazz and Wheeljack sought out Sunstreaker's corpse at an impound lot in Springfield, Missouri. They were immobilized by the Machination's weapons, but Optimus Prime reclaimed Sunstreaker's husk. As Ratchet examined the remains back at base, however, he discovered that it wasn't Sunstreaker at all, but a fake. The humans who staged the altercation on the highway might have still had Sunstreaker and Hunter in their possession.
Ratchet, Jimmy, and Verity discovered two probable locations to search for their missing comrades. Along with Ironhide, they decided to defy Optimus Prime (behind his back) and investigate.
Verity and Jimmy broke into an auto parts store in Fort Wayne, Indiana, beneath which was a hidden manufacturing plant. Just as Verity noticed a strange business card, emblazoned with only an "M", the room filled with gas and the two passed out. Ironhide and Ratchet worked to rescue them. Ratchet sped away just as the local police showed up, but Ironhide and two police cars were caught in a fiery explosion. The secret facility had self-destructed, destroying any trace of its origins. But no one was yet aware that the unconscious Verity, safe inside Ratchet, held onto the "M" business card.
Meanwhile, Hunter, not knowing his where he was, was being prepared for an unknown surgery.
Later, in another mysterious Machination factory, in Tampa, Florida, Dante spoke with a shadowy, severely damaged Transformer (possibly just a head). Dante informed the Transformer that the most recent test subject had not rejected the implants. The Transformer was eager to "proceed to a full test transformation."
Later still, Dante escorted Hunter, post operation, to the shadowy Transformer, announcing that Hunter had "successfully assimilated the upgrade." When Hunter asked what was to become of him, Dante gestured to a wall lined with headless Sunstreaker bodies. "You could still play a part in the Machination's new world order," Dante said.
Soon, the Autobots discovered that the SM-40 had been used to track them, and that the Machination had set up surveillance around their craft. This was what allowed the organization to coordinate the attack that led to Sunstreaker's capture. Optimus Prime resolved to move the Ark 19.
Hot Rod and Wheeljack's search for their missing comrade turned deadly as they were surrounded by a pack of Sunstreaker replicas which not only shared his appearance, but his armament. Worse still, these constructs could assume robot form and detach their heads, one of which did so and revealed the Machination agent piloting it. The agent announced that he was a Headmaster and the next stage in both human and Cybertronian evolution. Meanwhile, Hunter escaped Machination brainwashing only to discover the suffering, but still-living severed head of Sunstreaker — the Machination Headmasters were logged into his mind, using his knowledge to hunt and attack other Autobots.
However, that had it's disadvantages. Sunstreaker's actual inner knowledge of modern Autobot technology was quite limited, as he never bothered to read Wheeljack's memos and announcements. Hot Rod and Wheeljack managed to hold their own against the Machination's creations. In fact, the Headmaster clones failed to match up to Hot Rod's abilities even with numerical superiority. Meanwhile, Hunter used the group's technology to turn himself into a Headmaster, melding his consciousness with Sunstreaker's, possibly causing the apparent weakening of the clones. With the escape of their captives and Hot Rod handily defeating Headmaster clones in one-on-one combat, the Machination weren't doing very well
The Machination also had an agent planted within Skywatch. The agent sabotaged the reactivation of Grimlock, causing him to go berserk and escape. The Machination tracked Grimlock across the countryside (not a difficult feat); Scorponok approached him and offered an alliance, intending to stall Megatron's plans long enough for the Machination's own plans to reach fruition. Grimlock refused; and so, back at the Machination's Detroit base, Scorponok and Dante planned to further sabotage Skywatch's efforts to reactivate and control the remaining four Dinobots.
While continuing his search for the real Sunstreaker, Hot Rod came upon a wrecked Sunstreaker clone; he deduced that its destruction was "the price of failure."
One year on, the US government had used the Machination as scapegoats for the Transformers, passing it off that the group had built and operated all the robots people had seen. The public believed this (except when they forgot the Transformers existed ever).