Millennia ago, before the dawn of our current civilization, there was the Atlantis. Atlantis was a rich and verdant land, inhabited by a race of people whose technology reached heights that would not be approached again on Earth until the 22nd Century. Atlantis was beautiful, and its peoples powerful and happy. But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
It is true that, as early as 76,000 B.C., the powerful Atlantean psychics known as jedi foresaw the destruction of Atlantis and led a group of their followers into the depths of space, never to be heard from on Earth again. However, the jedi were all but forgotten 1,000 years later, when the first hints of disaster began to make themselves known. By this time, in 75,000 B.C., Atlantis was dominated by five great city-states: Atlantis City, Kobol, Mondas, Poseidonis and Tritonis. By the beginning of 74,999 B.C., scientists and mages in all five cities convinced their leaders of the imminence of what we now call the Great Cataclysm, a catastrophic geological event that was beyond even their powers to prevent.
Opinion was divided as to what the consequences of the Cataclysm would be. Some felt that Atlantis would be sunk beneath the sea. Others were more pessimistic, believing that the entire surface of the Earth would be rendered uninhabitable for centuries. Among the latter were the leaders of Mondas, and they planned accordingly, beginning a crash program to construct a "world-ship" that would carry as much of Mondasi civilization as possible to a safe haven in the stars. In 74,992 B.C. the great world-ship, named Mondas, was completed. Her captain was Tlang ferkh-Bodor ti-Mondasi. Today's Mondasi retain an image file of her, a tall woman whose features appear East Asian, or perhaps Native American. Her eyes betray a deep melancholy, as though, in some way, she sensed what was in store for her ship. The day came, and Mondas was launched. The Mondasi who were left behind wished her well, resigned to facing whatever fated awaited them on Earth. Mondas left the Solar System quite slowly, as though reluctant, but when it passed the Oort Cloud, Captain Tlang preparted her ship for its first spacewarp.
No one knows why the navigation system of the Mondas failed so completely, but the fact remains that it did.The ship, instead of entering a controlled warp, entered a wormhole that sent it careening wildly through space. When Tlang was finally able to bring Mondas under control, the Mondasi had no idea where they were. They would soon find out.
The space the Mondasi were in has many names. The first modern day Earthman to visit the place called it the "Great Godforsaken". It is a vast sector of some of the most inhospitable space known to sentient life - not a void, a void would be preferable. Instead it is filled with one toxic planet after another, and inexplicable energy fields that seem designed to foul starship navigation systems and eat away at the minds of living things. Worse still, the very space itself seems to be poisonous, in a way that makes even Vulcans shudder. No explanation has ever been found as to why this place is the way it is. Some legends - tales seldom told in a voice above a whisper - say that somewhere in the heart of the Great Godforsaken lies Apokolips, home of Darkseid. No one living knows. Yes, this place has many names. The Mondasi came to call it "Hell".
Desperately, the Mondasi tried to find their way out of the hell they found themselves in. But even as they wandered, lost and afraid, a fresh horror assaulted them. They found themselves beginning to waste away of a disease they could not identify, for they were unaware that it was the very space they occupied that was eating away at them. Desperate to survive, they began replacing their withering body parts with mechanical substitutes. Soon, many of the Mondasi were more machine than human. Many Mondasi, finding themselves going mad - from the horror at the place they found themselves, from horror at the things they were becoming - took one final step, having the emotion centers of their brains surgically removed, becoming cold creatures of pure logic, becoming at last, Cybermen - Cybermen, version 1.0.
At first, the Cybermen were a minority among the Mondasi. They were considered quite useful - as they were devoid of emotion, the Great Godforsaken did not affect them the way it did feeling creatures. Unshakeable, they were placed in positions of responsibility all around the ship. Too late, the human Mondasi realized that the Cybermen had achieved total control of the ship, and that they had decided that it would be logical for all Mondasi to undergo complete Cyber-conversion, whether they wanted to or not. Captain Tlang was the first to be forcibly converted, becoming the first Cyberleader. Within a very short period, all those aboard Mondas were Cybermen, or dead. It is true that the Cybermen were better adapted for travel within the Great Godforsaken than the human Mondasi had been. They soon learned how to compensate for the distortion fields and thus were able to navigate properly. The fates had dealt the Mondasi a colossal stroke of bad luck by dropping them down into the middle of the Great Godforsaken. Now, the rest of the universe was dealt an even bigger stroke of bad luck - the Cybermen had found their way out.
Upon leaving the Great Godforsaken, the Cybermen discovered that, owing to time dilation effects, several centuries had passed. Leader Tlang decided that the logical course of action was for Mondas to return to Earth. However, Mondas had emerged so far from familiar space that they could not be certain of locating Earth. Thus, it was deemed logical not to "put all their eggs in one basket". Three groups of Cybermen were sent off into space to find suitable worlds to colonize, so that the Cyberrace should not perish if Mondas were destroyed or disabled.
The first group colonized a world they called "Planet Fourteen". They adopted and adapted technology they found there, refining and streamlining their own bodies to such an extent that they were now a distinct type from the Mondasi Cybermen. Once their position on Planet Fourteen was secure, they resumed their search for Earth. These were the Cybermen Version 2.0. (Note: There is reason to believe that during this time period it was this group of Cybermen that were the first, from their point of view, to encounter the being that was to become their race's archnemesis. However, this Cybergroup never discussed their history with outsiders, and the Doctor claims not to recall.)
The second group also colonized a world, a world known to its inhabitants as Telos. Diminished in number while subduing the natives, this group rested and regrouped. They, too, adopted and adapted native technology to alter themselves. They became the Cybermen Version 3.0. Lacking sufficient numbers to resume their search for Earth, they placed themselves into hibernation, laying a special trap for the humans that they were sure would one day come. The Telosians, beaten, demoralized and diminished, let the sleeping Cybermen lie, shunning the area where they slept.
The third group did not colonize a world, instead wandering through space, taking what they needed from various worlds, but never settling on one. In time, they too, altered themselves, becoming the Cybermen Version 4.0.
In the end, it was the Version 2.0 Cybermen who found Earth first, sometime in the mid-20th Century. Observing the world at length, they decided against an outright assault, fearing the strength of Earth's defenders. Instead they decided to infiltrate first. They approached the businessman Tobias Vaughn, head of International Electromatics. Vaughn was a cynical, ambitious man who plotted to use the Cybermen as they were using him. In 1968 they made their move, using Vaughn's electronics to hypnotize most of the world's population to make it easier for them to assume control of the Earth. However, their plan was foiled through the intervention of the Second Doctor, who, with the help of his companions, the newly-formed United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (U.N.I.T.), and the world's super-heroes, was able to defeat the Cybermen, destroying their invasion fleet. Vaughn, too, was killed in the battle. To compound the Cybermen's troubles, the failure of the invasion so weakened the Version 2.0 Cybermen that other space powers were able to drive them from Planet Fourteen, and they resumed a nomadic existence. On Earth, control of International Electromatics passed to Vaughn's heir, his daughter. When she died a few years later, control passed to her husband, a young man named John Lumic. U.N.I.T. collected the remains of the defeated Cybermen, although the head of at least one Cyberman appears to have eventually found its way into the private collection of the industrialist Henry Van Statten, where it was seen by the Ninth Doctor in 2012, shortly before Van Statten's mysterious disappearance. At any rate, the Version 2.0 Cybermen had been defeated. However, only a few years later, Earth would encounter the Cybermen again - Mondas had at long last located Earth, and was on its way home.
Life aboard Mondas had remained static for many years. Unlike the other Cybergroups, the Version 1.0 Cybermen had never attempted to colonize other worlds and had changed themselves little. Remaining focused on their search for Earth, their efforts were at long last rewarded in the early 1980's. Earth was located, and just in time , too, for the systems aboard Mondas were beginning to fail. In 1986, the Mondasi launched a desperate attack on Earth, but were defeated through the combined forces of the First Doctor, his companions, and Earth's military and super-humans. Mondas was destroyed, and only a small percentage of the Cybermen survived. Earth's defenders argued fiercely over what to do with the surviving Cybermen. In the end, it was recognized that as Earthmen, they had a right to live on Earth. They were granted the right to form a small colony in Antarctica under U.N.I.T. supervision as long as they agreed to live in peace with the rest of humanity. The Doctor was invaluable here, exhausting himself negotiating with the Cybermen, finally convincing them of the logic of peaceful coexistence. These Cybermen lived on Earth for many years and became a valuable addition to the human family. They left Earth in the wake of the Great Disaster of 2053, settling on an uninhabited planet they named "Neomondas". They had evolved into peaceful creatures, and, while still remaining cybernetic beings, abandoned the name of "Cybermen". Neomondas remained closely allied with Earth, and became one of the founding members of the United Federation of Planets in 2161.
Back on Earth, John Lumic had renamed International Electromatics the Cybus Corporation, and had rebuilt it back into a powerful conglomerate. However, at the height of his business success, Lumic was struck down by a degenerative illness that he knew would eventually kill him. Lumic had long since found Vaughn's secret files on his dealings with the Cybermen and studied them closely. Desperate to survive, he decided to create his own race of Cybermen. In 2006, his Cybermen were ready. These were the Cybermen Version 5.0. Lumic became the Cybercontroller of this group of Cybermen, and attempted to convert the population of London. This time the Cybermen were defeated by the Tenth Doctor and his companions. The Controller was killed and his Cyberfactory destroyed. But Cybus had factories all over the world, and later that same year, the Version 5.0 Cybermen emerged, this time in conflict with the Daleks, attempting to gain control of a Time Lord artifact called the Genesis Ark. Again the Tenth Doctor intervened, and the Daleks and Cybermen were sucked into an interdimensional void. A few Cybermen survived. Since they could not be restored to humanity, the decision was made to allow them to live with the Mondasi in Antarctica. A few others escaped the void, but found themselves sucked backwards in time to London in 1851, where they were defeated by the Tenth Doctor and Jackson Lake.
At some unknown point, some Version 5.0 Cybermen made their way into space, splitting away from the Mondasi Cybermen, and resuming "traditional" Cyberconquest behavior. Little is known of their subsequent activities, but by the 52nd Century, the twelve fleets of their vast Cyberlegions monitored large segments of known space. These Cybermen also mastered time travel, and sent a Cyberfleet to 102 A.D, to join the so-called "Pandorica Alliance" in an attempt to capture the Eleventh Doctor. One ship of this fleet crashed and was buried beneath what would one day be Colchester. It was reactivated in 2011, and began converting local humans, befire being destroyed by the Eleventh Doctor and Craig Owens.
In the mid-to-late 21st Century, it was the turn of the Version 4.0 Cybermen to discover Earth. They began their campaign to conquer Earth in 2068, with an attempt to overrun the Earth defensive station known as the "Wheel in Space", but were defeated by the Earthmen with the assistance of the Second Doctor and his companions. They tried again in 2070, attempting to overrun the weather control base on Earth's Moon, but were again defeated through the intervention of the Second Doctor. The survivors of these attacks withdrew into deep space to regroup, resuming their nomadic existence.
In 2486, an archaeological team from Earth discovered the so-called "tomb" of the Version 3.0 Cybermen on Telos, awakening them from their long sleep. These Cybermen were returned to their hibernation through the intervention of the Second Doctor and his companions. However, unbeknownst to the Doctor and his friends, the reactivation of this base had sent out a signal, a signal which was received by groups of both Version 2.0 and 4.0 Cybermen. Arriving on Telos almost simultaneously, the various groups pooled their resources and began what they called the "Great Synthesis". The disparate Cybermen combined their technologies and reshaped their very bodies, becoming the Cybermen Version 6.0. For many years, they bided their time and increased their numbers against the day they should once again make an attempt on Earth. However, they were detected by the intelligence service of the Imperium then ruling Earth, which gathered its allies in a conference on Earth in 2526 to make common cause against the Cybermen. Fearing the strength of their enemies, the Cybermen attempted to destroy the conference but were defeated through the intervention of the Fifth Doctor and his companions.
Having withdrawn to Telos, the Cybermen were pondering their next move when fate dropped an unexpected gift in their Cyberlaps. A time-traveler of unknown provenance visited Telos, and the Cybermen were able to capture his timeship. In 2530, they decided to use it to attempt to alter history by returning to 1985 and using Halley's Comet to devastate the Earth , thus to prevent the destruction of Mondas and the "subversion" of the Mondasi Cybermen. This attempt was defeated through the intervention of the Sixth Doctor and the surviving Telosians. (Note: The Cybermen's use of time travel during this period came to the attention of Chancellor Borusa on Gallifrey, and it was from this era that he took the Cybermen he used during his "Great Game" in the Death Zone.)
Driven from Telos, the 6.0 Cybermen made one last bid to alter history, taking their last Cyberfleet back to the year 1988 in an attempt to gain control of the Gallifreyan super-weapon validium. This attempt was defeated by the Seventh Doctor, and these, the last known survivors of the 6.0 Cybermen, were destroyed.
However, in the depths of space, a group of Version 2.0 Cybermen who had not joined in the Great Synthesis had been slowly rebuilding their strength. In 2700, when they felt ready, they launched an attack on the Imperium. This attack, which became known as the Cyberwar, might have succeeded had the Imperium forces not discovered that, owing to a peculiar design flaw, these Cybermen were oddly vulnerable to gold. Inventing the so-called "glittergun" technology and drawing on the prodigious gold supplies of the planet Voga, the Imperium was able to defeat the Cybermen utterly. One Cybervessel escaped, withdrawing into deep space. The Vogans, fearful of Cybervengeance, withdrew into hiding. In 2875, the surviving Cybermen found Voga and attempted to destroy it, but were defeated by the Fourth Doctor and his companions.
The origin of the final currently-known group of Cybermen, Version 7.0, is unknown, although the current theory is that they represent the result of a second Great Synthesis between survivors of other groups of Cybermen, the most common suggested candidates being Versions 3.0 and 5.0. They formed what the called the "Cyberiad" and launched what were called the "Great Cyberwars" against the Human Empire. they were defeated in A.D. 249,000, when human forces destroyed an entire galaxy to eliminate them. Survivors of the Cyberian appeared on Hedgewick's World in A.D. 250,000, where they were defeated by the Eleventh Doctor.
A group of Version 7.0 Cybermen were among those who participated in the Siege of Trenzalore, but were destroyed there. Another group fell under the domination of the Mistress (a female incarnation of the Doctor's old enemy, the Master), and were destroyed when she used them in an attempt to manipulate the Twelfth Doctor by invading Earth.
No additional information about the Cybermen is currently available, but it is assumed that more will be forthcoming in time.