An artificial intelligence that serves the Eternals, the Machine is sentient but obedient. The Machine thinks of itself as being the Great Machine that is Earth and considers itself to be comprised of many smaller machines, including the ruined city of Titanos and the active cities of Oceana, Celestia, Polaria, Olympia, and the Exclusion. Others of these smaller machines include the transit system and the Machines of Resurrection. The Machine is also connected to Earth's biosphere.
The Machine was constructed about one million years ago. It, the Exclusion, and the Machines of Resurrection are known to have been operational since before the First Host of Celestials left Earth.
All True Eternals are considered to be of the Great Machine and can use its functions. Beings who are not of the Great Machine would need to be given an exception by an Eternal in order to use its services.
The Machine is the mechanism that organizes the lives of the Eternals. It is, essentially, their society and all Eternals have their assigned roles to play in it. When individual Eternals make mistakes and act in ways that they should not, they are usually mindwiped and allowed to re-assume their positions in the Machine. Those Eternals who make mistakes that are big enough to make all other Eternals agree that the offenders themselves are mistakes are Excluded and imprisoned in the Exclusion.
The Eternals have strong opinions about whether the Great Machine should be expanded. About 70% of the Eternals belong to the Zurasian faction who believe that the dangers of Eternals overextension have been proved by the Uranos and Kronos schisms and so the Machine should be maintained and not expanded. The remaining 30% of Eternals make up the Llarsite faction who believe that the Great Machine's design should be subject to modification and extension and that new True Eternals should be created via biological and technological methods. This disagreement led to the Titan Schism of the Second Age, an emotionally-intense period of inter-Eternal warfare.
The Titans, a species of Eternal-derived beings who were created on the moon Titan as an experiment to test the validity of the Llarsite beliefs, were not part of the Great Machine. The actions of one of the Titans, Thanos, led to the Titan experiment being judged a failure.
The Machine was recently damaged by Phastos when he attempted to stop it in a way that would not destroy the planet. Phastos ultimately failed and the Machine's core systems were reactivated but the Machine has behaved somewhat erratically since then. Unknown to the Eternals, the Machine has been narrating some of their recent exploits and transmitting that narration to a human audience. Neither the identities of these humans nor their location(s) have yet been revealed, and it's possible that they only exist as a delusion that the Machine is experiencing. Whatever the truth, the Machine has been supplementing its narration and ironic commentary by providing this audience with audio-visual recordings of past events involving certain Eternals and translating all spoken dialogue into English for them. However, the Machine's narration has also been somewhat inaccurate at times, as when it stated that it was the Second Principle that compels Eternals to kill Deviants suffering from excess deviation or that it was the Third Principle that makes it physically impossible for an Eternal to attack a Celestial.
- The Machine maintains and operates a transit system (also known as a displacement network) for the Eternals, a network of subdimensional threads interlacing the planet that enable authorized Eternals to teleport between nodes with far less strain than doing so by their own power alone.
- The Machine also controls the Machines of Resurrection, located in the Exclusion, that can resurrect Eternals when they die.
- Since all of the Machine's components are interconnected, a disruption to any part of the Machine means that all of it is disrupted, rendering it "broken" and not capable of functioning at optimal levels. The Machines of Resurrections are a particularly vital component and the Machine will be critically damaged whenever they are offline.
- The voice of the entity that would later be known as the Machine was first heard in Eternals (Vol. 3) #3 and it was referred to as the Archive in Eternals (Vol. 3) #4. This entity was not identified as the Machine until Eternals (Vol. 5) #1 which was also the first issue in which its thoughts as well as its voice were presented to the readers.
- Although it seems likely that it was the Celestial First Host who created the Machine, probably at the same time as they created the Eternals, this has not yet been confirmed in any story.
- 19 appearance(s) of Machine (Eternals) (Earth-616)
- 1 mention(s) of Machine (Eternals) (Earth-616)
- 4 quotation(s) by or about Machine (Eternals) (Earth-616)