The Vok, also known as the Swarm, are an alien race in the Transformers franchise, usually tied to the Beast Wars incarnation of the series.
Generation 1 Edit
Animated series Edit
The Vok were first introduced as an unnamed, mysterious alien race in the Beast Wars cartoon, in which they were responsible for the presence of huge amounts of Energon and several alien artifacts on the planet that would eventually be identified as prehistoric Earth. These mysterious are revisited throughout the first season of the series, with the Maximals wondering at the true nature and intent of their alien "landlords" while Megatron seeks to usurp their power. Eventually the Vok arrived in person to confront the Transformer interlopers, and after scanning Optimus Primal created an avatar of Unicron in order to communicate with him, as he lacked the ability to comprehend their physical form. Feeling that the presence of the Maximals and Predacons had "contaminated" their experiments on Earth, they reformatted the false moon in orbit of the planet into a machine that would ignite the planet's Energon deposits, thus "sterilizing" the planet. Optimus' pleas to stop them fell on deaf ears, as the Vok felt that their actions were justified by the danger posed by the continued presence of the Transformers, and the aliens returned to their home realm of Nexus Zero.
A combination of Maximal and Predacon ingenuity destroyed the planet-buster weapon before it could destroy the Earth, and a quantum surge was released that mutated many of the Transformers into partially or wholly Transmetal forms, creating a link between them and the Vok. This rendered them immune to the Vok's Energon based weaponry and made them undetectable to Vok defenses, as demonstrated when the two groups discovered yet another Vok weapon hidden on Earth. It was also revealed that Tarantulas, for reasons unknown, hated the Vok and wished to annihilate them. The Vok also abducted Tigatron and Airazor, whom they would later combine into the mighty warrior Tigerhawk.
The exact nature of the Vok was never disclosed in the series, but the creators held two separate theories: that they were either a highly evolved form of the human race from the distant future, or that they were a reborn version of the Swarm.