Wednesday, 4 January 2023

Conan And The Young Warriors: new page and storyboards

A new page has been added for Conan And The Young Warriors, the 1994 network spin-off series to Conan The Adventurer.

The first addition to this page is 15 pages of storyboard from episode 9 Brothers Of The Sword, written by Michael Reaves,

To view the page, head to: Conan And The Young Warriors




Monday, 2 January 2023

Transformers: The Killing Jar script

The Archive kicks off 2023 with a bang, as the script for Transformers season 3 episode The Killing Jar is now available.

Contributed by Ryan King and originally from the estate of voice director Wally Burr, the script includes reference art provided by the episode's co-writer Michael Charles Hill for the Quintesson ship central to the plot.  The design was taken from Chris Foss' artbook 21st Century. Originally conceived for Alejandro Jodorowsky's ill-fated mid-70s attempt at a Dune movie, Foss would then attempt to re-use the design as an early concept piece for the Leviathan (later the Nostromo) in the 1979 film Alien.

To read the script, along with all other available season 3 material, head to: 

MP 700 The Transformers, Part 2








Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Transformers - Attack Of The Autobots storyboards

The Archive is now able to close out the year with its seventh full storyboard set from The Transformers.  David Wise' debut episode: Attack Of The Autobots.

Drawn by Wendell Washer, Gerald Moeller, Peter "Aeon Flux" Chung, Gregg Davidson, Vincenzo Trippetti and Roy Shishido.  This 162 page storyboard set appears to have been drawn up using the first draft script as little of the dialogue matches the broadcast episode.  

To view the storyboards, head to Attack Of The Autobots storyboard gallery


Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Detailed outline of the very first Transformers The Movie script

In November 2020, I assisted with the digital restoration and organisation of production items uncovered from storage by Flint Dille and scanned by Jim Sorenson before being auctioned.  Among them was a copy of Ron Friedman's first script for The Transformers The Movie, outlined in late summer 1984 and completed by February 1985.



By January 2021, I had completed an extensive written outline of this script.  Having carefully read through all 210 pages, ensuring no details were missed.  Endeavouring to write from the perspective of someone reading this script when it was received in 1985, without reference to elements that came later in the movie's writing and production.

In the interim, Jim Sorenson and Chris McFeely gave a presentation at UK Transformers convention TFNation 2022.  Providing a summary of the plot and working with artists to provide fan interpretations of scenes and characters,

Now I have received approval to make my outline public.  Without further ado, I present Transformers The Movie as it might have been.


The Transformers: The Movie

First Draft Script Outline

 

1.     Assault on the Steel Mill (pg 1-8)

 

We open with narration laid over shots of a squad of generic Decepticons – clad in sleek, black armour – charging toward the front lines.  The Autobots have fortified an old steel mill complex, located in a mountainous river valley and are currently under siege. 

Down by the river, a special group led by the Constructicons is sucking up iron ore from the nearby railway, to be melted into steel and used for the construction of high-tech Assault Towers. 

We are introduced to Magnus who is leading the defense, Tanker, Hot Rod, Arcee and Wheeljack.  A barrage of fireballs hurtles toward the group, prompting Magnus to grab an iron bucket (used for pouring molten steel) and swing round repeatedly, catching fireballs in the bucket.  On the final swing, Magnus hurls the bucket back at the Decepticon lines.  The fireballs explode amongst them, prompting the lead officer to dive for cover.  Only for a fireball to scorch his backside and the bucket to land on his head. 

Hot Rod cheers on Magnus’ efforts, only for Tanker to point out the real threat: the previous attack was a diversion while a trio of Decepticons fly a massive fusion cannon up to high ground and transform into the various mechanisms to aim it.  The cannon is preparing to tear holes in the front lines, ready for the nearly completed Assault Towers to smash through.

The Autobots worry as the supply of Rocket Fuel energy to the troops is dwindling rapidly. 

The cannon fires, generating a black cloud of “Fire Snow”, white hot crystal flakes that melt through both Autobot defenders and the steel mill itself.  Arcee moves amongst them as a ”nurse”, applying metal bandages.  Tanker takes a hit from the snow and almost loses an arm and some of his shoulder.  Hot Rod douses him with liquid helium as Arcee moves in to patch him up. 

Magnus orders the others to provide cover fire, while he charges across the battlefield towards the cannon.  As he comes up the hill, the Decepticons engage him with small arms.  Hot Rod quietly implores Optimus Prime to hurry….

 

2.     Reinforcements On The Way (pg 9-15)

 

We cut to an old-style freight train moving through the mountains, carrying a supply of rocket fuel, along with Optimus Prime and other Autobots in vehicle mode (Jazz, Prowl, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Sunstreaker etc) on flatbed car carriers. 

In the locomotive cab, we are introduced to General Blaze (A gruff “General Patton” type) and a Green Beret Colonel: Rusty Steel (An “Indiana Jones” type).  The train comes under strafing runs by Decepticon jets.  Blaze orders Rusty to make his way back along the train and coordinate with Optimus Prime. 

Rusty works his way along the side of the moving train toward the flatbed carriers, coming under fire as he does so.  He presses flat against the train as it enters a long tunnel.  Knowing the attackers will be waiting on the other side, he moves to the space between two wagons and readies a rocket grenade launcher.  Upon exiting the tunnel, he wings one jet with the grenades and ducks to avoid the second.  Which flies low, attempting to skim him off the train. 

Rusty makes it to the first flatbed and into Prime’s cab.  They begin to confer when Megatron lands on the track ahead.  At Prime’s order, the Autobots race off their flatbeds and run on the available roads and paths parallel to the train.  The Seekers, Coneheads and Soundwave form up on Megatron to block the train.  The Autobots transform to robot mode (Rusty leaping from Prime’s cab back to the locomotive) and charge through the blockade.  

Rusty makes it back to the cab.  Blaze, upon seeing Starscream land and tie the approaching tracks into a knot, hits the brakes.  Prime flies alongside the train and tells them to keep going.  He then addresses the train as “Rails” and orders “Transformation Alpha”.  The locomotive’s “eye” (the headlight) acknowledges. The old-style freight train transforms into a high-tech bullet train, powered by rocket engines and running on laser cushions instead of rails.  The train speeds ahead and ploughs through Starscream on its way to the battlefield.


 

3.     Breaking The Siege (pg 15-26)

 

From the sky, Megatron sees the train approaching the steel mill and orders the completed Assault Towers forward.  The towers have limb-like appendages that hurl Rocket Bombs and Laser Jets against the Autobot “fort”. 

The Autobot position is torn apart and Decepticon ground troops close in for the kill.  Hot Rod takes on two troopers in hand-to-hand combat.  A third looks to get the drop on him using a Laser Chainsaw.  But Tanker trips the trooper, causing him to fall on his own saw and be cut in half at the waist, the two sections of the trooper going running off. 

The Assault Towers overrun and crush the Autobot fortifications.  Tanker spots the fusion cannon on the hillside preparing to fire on the approaching train.  Meanwhile, Magnus continues to make his way up the cliffs towards the cannon, coming under heavy fire. 

The train arrives at the Steel Mill complex, Rusty leaping from the cab to the shoulder of a flying Autobot to warn Prime of the cannon aimed at them.  As the Decepticon artillery crew zeroes in on the train, about to blast more Fire Snow.  A smoking and wounded Magnus on the cliffside below unleashes a torrent of flame from his wrist-mounted flamethrower.  Undercutting the cliff and sending both cannon and crew tumbling down. 

Prime orders “Transformation Beta”: the train transforms again into a giant robotic snake-form.  Using lasers and flamethrowers, it melts one Assault Tower.  Then using its “tail” and “coils”, it wraps around the other towers, crushing them and sending them toppling.  Finally, it coils around the remaining Decepticons troopers and tower ruins.  Fusing them into a molten mass before letting out a burst of flame-breath in triumph. 

An irate Megatron demands Prime show himself and fight.  Prime answers the challenge, upon which Megatron charges and they slam against the still-firing ruin of an Assault Tower.  The assembled Autobots watch and cheer on Prime.  The fight sees the use of lasers, hand-to-hand combat, a jagged steel spear, a concealed laser knife from Megatron’s boot and a chunk of concrete.  Finally ending when Prime wins a test of strength and judo tosses Megatron into steel and concrete rubble.

The jubilant Hot Rod, who had been spectating, sees Megatron find a discarded blaster in the rubble and quickly hide it behind his back.  Tossing his own blaster aside for show.  The smoking, damaged Megatron pleads for mercy while Prime cautiously steps forward.  As he moves to pull the blaster out, Hot Rod leaps on him but is quickly overpowered and thrown aside.  Megatron fires point blank at Prime, delivering a mortal wound.  With his last ounce of strength, Prime smashes Megatron’s torso casing open with both fists, sending wires and circuitry spilling out. 

The shocked Autobots and humans move to Prime, Hot Rod begging him for forgiveness.  The battered Decepticons converge on the dying Megatron, who begs for his essence to be interred.  Starscream coldly announces they shall take Megatron back to Cybertron and there determine who shall be the new leader.  The Decepticons transform and take off for space, carrying Megatron with them.  Almost immediately, they begin arguing over who should lead as they travel back to Cybertron. 

Ratchet, Wheeljack and Arcee perform field repairs on Prime, until eventually Ratchet concedes the damage is irreversible.  Rusty barks orders.  First at Ratchet to evacuate Prime, then at Wheeljack to start construction on a new battle fleet to pursue the Decepticons.  Gears angrily confronts the human for daring to give orders to Autobots.  But Arcee steps forward, telling Gears to fall in line as Prime valued Rusty’s counsel.  The other Autobots agree and split off into the two work groups.  Wheeljack is irritated by Arcee joining his group.  She reminds him that she is the best metal worker they have, he responds by dismissively telling her to stay out of the way before returning to giving orders to the work detail. 

Ratchet’s group of Autobots transform and roll out for Headquarters, using their vehicle modes as a makeshift gurney for Prime.  Hot Rod continues to berate himself, but Tanker tells him to get his head back in the game.  The two of them transform and follow behind Ratchet’s group.

 

 

4.     Fight For Leadership (pg 26-30)

 

A distant speck in deep space grows larger and is revealed to be the Decepticons, continuing to argue more and more over who will be the leader.  Megatron is a limp body in Starscream’s arms.  Feebly protesting that while he still functions, he rules.

The party comes swooping over Cybertron, down into the Decepticon Hall Of Heroes.  An art-deco mausoleum, ringed with the bronze statues of past leaders.  At the base of each statue lies a ceremonial urn which contains the essence of each leader, which then flows into the chest of each statue. 

Once they land, Skywarp escalates the argument into a shoving match, causing Starscream to dump Megatron on the ground.  The shoving match turns into an all-out brawl, while Megatron crawls towards his ceremonial urn, begging his troops to inter his essence before it escapes into the void.  The fight wrecks the Hall and shatters many of the statues.  As Megatron uses his last ounce of strength to reach his urn.  A fireball from Skywarp - deflected by Starscream - melts the urn.  Megatron writhes on the floor as his essence (a translucent, glasslike image of himself) leaves his body.  His corpse then shatters to pieces and the debris trails after the essence.  Which floats away into deep space, leaving behind the Decepticons, the Hall and Cybertron. While the brawl continues on.


 

5.     Return to the Mountain (pg 30-37)

 

The makeshift Autobot ambulance party arrives at Autobot Headquarters.  At General Blaze’s command, the mountain rotates to reveal that the Headquarters is now a Medieval-style fortified city-state.  Here, both human and Autobot soldiers have compounds, train and construct defenses together.  There is an inner ring of housing units, from which people rush to see the wounded Prime being brought in. 

We meet Springer, an Arnold Schwarzenegger of an Autobot, who has been training in combat techniques with Mirage and Bluestreak.  As the ambulance arrives, Springer jets off to patrol the perimeter, leaving Bluestreak to alert medical personnel.

The half-cone of the mountain rotates back into position.  The joint Autobot/human medical team led by Ratchet preps Prime for emergency surgery. 

Rusty and Prowl head for Teletraan I to check on possible Decepticon activity.  Along the way, they are joined by Daniel who clearly idolises Rusty.  As they walk, Daniel excitedly repeats the gossip he had heard about Rusty’s deeds during the battle, before solemnly asking after Prime, wondering if he could have a chance to say goodbye.  Rusty assures him that if he keeps quiet while they run their security scan, he can make it happen. 

They are confronted by Daniel’s mother - Ellen Prentiss - a computer scientist who is not happy about her son’s idolisation of Rusty.  His sarcastic wit cracks her up, despite her best efforts to remain formal with the Colonel.  Rusty heads off with Prowl, while Ellen puts her foot down and tells Daniel to get to his computer class.  Telling him that if he really wants to help Rusty, he’ll study real hard.  Once he runs off, the alert goes out for all personnel to report to their stations and Ellen moves off. 

At sick bay, Ratchet and his team of assistants continue the operation on Prime.  Hot Rod and Tanker watch through a glass partition.  Hot Rod continues to berate himself for getting Prime hurt, but Tanker encourages him.  Prime shows no life as the procedure continues.


 

6.     The Entity (pg 38-42)

 

Out in deep space, Megatron’s essence continues to drift, trailing the broken shards of his body behind it.  He swears he would do anything to see himself restored

and wreak vengeance, when a ghostly voice calls his name.  The voice gets louder and more fearsome.  Beckoning to Megatron “come to me!”.  A pale, cold ray engulfs the terrified Megatron, pulling his essence across the endless void.  Until it lands on a slab-like mechanical planet.  In a sulfurous, hellish cave filled with snake-like iron “grass” and steel “tree-trunks”. 

The voice welcomes Megatron to the Planet Unicron, introduces itself as The Entity and makes an offer: Be restored to even greater strength and power, in return for eternal servitude.  Or remain drifting in space, his essence decomposing into oblivion.  After being threatened into submission, Megatron agrees.  A cold ray and a whirlwind reform the shattered remnants of his body.  Transforming him to Galvatron, coated in metallic scales and wearing the symbol of his new master. 

The Entity commands him to return to Cybertron, convert all Decepticons to his service and begin the conquest of Earth.  Galvatron transforms into a self-propelled laser cannon and flies off into space.


7.     Death Of Optimus Prime (pg 43-47) 

The operation to save Prime continues apace. with the life signs growing weaker and weaker. The doctors stop to confer, then reach the grim consensus.  Ratchet steps up to address the gathered onlookers: Prime’s wounds are mortal and he cannot be saved.  Prime uses the last of his strength to address the assembled crowd.  He tells them not to grieve and that he names Ultra Magnus as his successor.  As Prime is tilted into a half-sitting position and Magnus takes his hand, the transfer of Prime’s Matrix begins.  The doors to Prime’s chest open, revealing a pure white light that shines to a similar door chamber on Magnus’ chest.  Optimus Prime’s Matrix - a miniature, glowing energy being that resembles a miniature Prime - floats out of his chest and into Magnus “heart-chamber”.  With a last plea to “remember me….” Prime falls back, dead. 

Amidst the grief and shock, Rusty steps forward and asks Ultra Magnus for orders.  Most of the assembled Autobots and humans are gung-ho to board the battle fleet now under construction and end the Decepticons.  But Magnus cautions against leaving Earth undefended and orders them to begin building fortifications.  As the crowd moves out, Daniel finds Rusty and offers to help.  As they zoom off on an Autobot that has transformed into an electric tug, he replies “Okay, but if your mom gets sore, remember this was all your idea!”


 

8.     The End Of Cybertron (pg 47-52)

 

The Hall Of Heroes is ruined as the brawl is still going on.  Most of the statues and urns are destroyed as Starscream fights with Thundercracker and Dirge.  A cold ray of light washes over the combatants, stopping the fight.

A shadow descends as Galvatron transforms from space cannon mode and lands, laughing maniacally.  Starscream starts to back away as he recognises that this is Megatron.  Galvaton corrects him and states that all will serve The Entity. 

The cold ray slashes down from space and engulfs Starscream, changing him into a larger, more powerful, scale-covered form.  As Galvatron continues to laugh, the ray travels over the Hall Of Heroes, transforming the other Decepticons.  It then sweeps out over the planet, converting every Decepticon it reaches, willing or not.  Until a massive army from all across Cybertron marches to form up on Galvatron.  The Entity’s voice roars, commanding them to leave the planet and begin the invasion of Earth, in order to suck it dry of energy. 

As the entire population heads out into space as a massive armada.  Over The Entity’s laughter, Cybertron collapses, folds, shrinks, shrivels and bends until it is the density of a dwarf star.  It is suddenly sucked through space and absorbed into the planet Unicron, which grows larger from its “meal”.  A furious Galvatron rages at the destruction of his home planet, but The Entity rebukes him and reminds him his place is to serve.  Galvatron feigns obedience, but half to himself and half to Starscream, he mutters about vengeance for Cybertron. 

 

 

 

9.     Hell On Earth (pg 52-63)

 

We return to Autobot Headquarters for a montage of metal shields (with vertical flute “chimneys”) being constructed and positioned around the mountain complex.  With more being readied for distribution to sites around the globe.

As General Blaze orders Autobot and human strike teams to assemble for boarding the space cruisers.  Rusty, with Daniel’s help, monitors the distribution of the shields to the major US cities.  Nearby, Ultra Magnus interfaces with Teletraan I - which is now a mobile unit - and checks in with Wheeljack who is at the space cruiser construction site, back at the steel mill.  As Wheeljack reports on the progress of the battle cruisers, a large rocket thruster breaks free from the crane holding it and starts falling towards him.  Arcee catches it and puts it back in position, while an oblivious Wheeljack complains about Arcee “interfering”, much to her exasperation. 

Ellen begins to good-naturedly bust Rusty’s chops, both for involving Daniel in war preparations and encouraging him to disobey her.  Suddenly, Teletraan I sounds alarms throughout the complex, reporting to Ultra Magnus of a large unidentified force approaching from Space Quadrant Zeta: the location of Cybertron.  Teletraan informs Magnus that Cybertron no longer exists, showing an image of nothing but space debris at the location.  Magnus orders all hands to battle stations as Teletraan attempts to identify the incoming force as similar to Decepticons but with power enhanced to a level beyond the computer’s ability to calculate.  The armada swoops down to Earth, heading for the mountain.  Galvatron is shown on the viewscreen, with Magnus believing Megatron has returned. 

Galvatron launches the opening salvo at the base.  Magnus orders the shields raised, with the Autobots and humans taking refuge from a relentless barrage of bombs, lasers and flames.  The shields absorb the heat, cool it and release it via smoke through the chimneys.  The Autobots cheer as the shields hold, but a furious Galvatron calls out to The Entity.

The clouds in the sky above begin to boil and become infused with a pale green light.  They cluster into a green ball of energy.  With a command from The Entity to “Strike now!”, the energy is released like green lightning.  Surging first through Galvatron, then the other Decepticons and finally channelled through their blasts to melt and warp the shields.

Magnus orders the Autobots to scatter as they come under bombardment.  Rusty tells Ellen to take Daniel and head for the mountain.  Galvatron flies overhead and leads the Decepticons in the same energy discharge as before to melt the entire mountain.

As Ellen and Daniel realise their intended refuge has been destroyed, Starscream barely misses them with a strafing run.  In response, Rusty grabs a machine-gun style laser from a ruined vehicle and fires.  Nailing Starscream and sending him careening into other Decepticons.

General Blaze uses Teletraan I to contact Wheeljack at the steel mill.  Wheeljack reports amidst the carnage, as Decepticons and Insecticons carve up and melt the cruisers.  While he is reporting, Bonecrusher charges at him from behind and is intercepted by Arcee.  She dropkicks, hip-tosses and shoots him, with Wheeljack none the wiser.  “Can’t you see I’m trying to report?” he shouts with irritation before a stream of fire comes across the picture, and Teletraan goes to static.

Devastation is everywhere as the sun sets and Magnus orders a retreat into the hills.  We pull back to a wide shot of the landscape and fade to black on a scene of smoke, shouts, screams, laser fire and the burning mountainside.

 

 

10.  In Hiding (pg 63-74)

 

Night has fallen as sporadic laser fire can be heard. Dead Transformers litter the landscape and the smoking ruins of the mountain can be seen in the distance.

On a nearby road in the forest, a Sweep Party composed of black clad, “Gestapo”-like Decepticons searches the area.  Detecting an Autobot presence, the Gestapo Men fire on a shadowy metal figure in the trees.  But it is an already-dead Autobot hulk that melts and falls to bits.  As the group moves on, Rusty is concealed under heavy foliage nearby.  He watches the Sweep Party pass, then heads back down the hill towards a secluded ravine where the Autobots have set up a guerilla encampment.  Passing many wounded Autobots being repaired at a field hospital, he joins a briefing already in progress.  Consisting of Ultra Magnus, General Blaze (who has an arm in a sling), Prowl, Gears, a wounded Brawn and Ellen taking notes.

Ultra Magnus works a holographic map projection and takes a report from Rusty, stating that the scrambler network is keeping the Sweep patrols from finding their position. 

Magnus relays that they took a beating from the Decepticons new power source, which he has traced to an area of deep space in the vicinity of the Shadow Nebula.  He proposes using the one remaining battle cruiser - saved by Wheeljack and Arcee - to launch a search and destroy mission that will cut off this new power. 

The assembled Autobots ruminate over what the former Megatron has become, Arcee joins the briefing to inform them that the Decepticons’ new plan will destroy the Earth within 96 hours.  Wheeljack uploads new data into the holographic map, showing a giant metal cage being constructed in Earth’s orbit.  Energy waves begin to fill the cage, causing the section of planet beneath it to start shrinking and collapsing.  A ray of collected energy is being beamed from the apex of the structure out into deep space, towards Planet Unicron. 

Prowl, Rusty and Jazz argue over whether to strike at the cage or to follow Magnus’ plan.  We cut to the Decepticon Sweep Party in the hills, where the lead Gestapo Man picks up the scrambler network on his scanner.  The party locks on to the co-ordinates and changes direction. 

We cut back as Magnus quells the arguments, stating that Wheeljack and Arcee will retrofit the remaining cruiser, while Hot Rod and Tanker will recruit a crew.  Wheeljack tells Arcee “Try to stay out of my way.  We can’t afford any foul ups.” to which an amused Arcee replies “You won’t even know I’m there.” 

Suddenly Teletraan I, battered and mounted on a tank-like vehicle, sounds an intruder alert.  Rusty and the Autobots move quietly to surround the area that Teletraan is pinpointing with a beam of light.  They charge on the intruder’s hiding place, only to move back some metal wreckage to reveal Daniel, who had been eavesdropping.  Ellen barely has time to admonish him before Rusty’s scanning device picks up the Decepticon Sweep Party headed right for them.  Magnus orders the teams to split up and carry out their assignments, wishing them good luck.

The humans move through the trees and down a low hill.  Rusty picks up Daniel and throws him down the slope, landing in a dark stream.  The other humans jump into the water and Rusty pulls on a rope at the stream bank to reveal several rafts.  They climb aboard, though Ellen falls back into the water twice after refusing Rusty’s help and has to be pulled aboard.  They lie flat on the rafts to avoid being spotted by the searchlights of the Sweep Party.  Rusty hopes that Magnus can give them the diversion they need to make it out. 

The Sweep Party reaches the deserted guerilla camp.  The lead Gestapo Man orders the troopers to scour the area and kill all Autobots.

At Magnus’ signal, Brawn and Huffer carve a tunnel through the rock of the nearby slope.  Allowing Wheeljack and Arcee to follow before sealing the tunnel shut behind them.

Next, Magnus orders Hot Rod and Tanker to make a break for it.  As they move off, he tells Hound to give their “friends” something to shoot at.  Hound uses his hologram projector to create an illusion of generic Autobots directly ahead of the Sweep Party.  The Decepticons begin charging and firing, shouting “Entity!” in a Viking-style warcry.

Magnus orders the remaining group of Autobots to transform and charge.  The group bears down on the Sweep Party from behind in auto mode.  Just as the holograms dissolve and they realise they’ve been tricked, Magnus smashes into the lead Gestapo Man and sends him flying.

More Autobots crash into the Sweep Party, hurling them skywards.  Sunstreaker and Sideswipe are waiting in mid-air with huge metal beams, swinging them like baseball bats and knocking the Decepticons far away.

As the remaining Gestapo Men mount a counter-attack - the human raft party passing by unnoticed on the stream below - Magnus orders Chemico to provide cover for the retreat.  Chemico is a walking laboratory of an Autobot, with clear glass tubes and interlacing piping in his torso that spews out a smoke screen.  Obliterating our view of the Decepticons who once again charge forward screaming “Entity!”.  We pull back to a wide shot of the ravine filling with smoke which rises against the night sky.  We close in on the cold moon and slow dissolve to:

 

 

11.  Recruitment (pg 74-91)

 

Daylight as Hot Rod and Tanker roll across the desert on their recruitment drive.  Hot Rod complains about the hundreds of miles they’ve travelled to find recruits for a “suicide mission”.  Tanker tells him to stow it with that “suicide” talk and states that this is the kind of terrain a wise soldier might go to survive in.  At that moment, explosions and laser fire come from the dunes ahead as Springer jets over the dunes, being pursued by two Decepticons who transform into jets and fly after him.  Hot Rod dismissively notes that Springer can’t be much of a fighter if he is on the run from only two Decepticons.  To which Tanker points to the other eight charging over the dunes, screaming “Entity!”.

Hot Rod wants to charge in and help Springer, but is mystified as to why Tanker just chuckles and proceeds at a leisurely pace.  The answer soon comes as Springer, upon being cornered in the dead end of a canyon, makes a sarcastic show of asking for mercy.  When Starscream instead orders him destroyed, Springer literally leaps into action.  Using his jumping ability - his “springing” - to cause the Decepticons’ laser fire and cluster bombs to take each other out.  Eight of them are melted wreckage, only Starscream and a trooper remain.  Springer quips that maybe they should ask him for mercy.  A furious Starscream charges, only to be grabbed out of mid-air by Springer who also grabs the nameless trooper.  He smashes them both together so that their limbs rend through each other's bodies and leave them in a twisted metal “knot”.  A battered third Decepticon rises and attempts to shoot rockets at Springer, who responds by hurling the metal knot at his would-be killer, entwining him with it.  Starscream rages impotently as he tries to free himself, while Springer stomps their discarded weapons.

Hot Rod and Tanker approach the initially hostile Springer, with Tanker saying they need him for a mission.  When Hot Rod says they need the best warriors they’ve got, Springer says he knows a few who fit the bill… 

Meanwhile, Starscream gets a hand free from the pile to activate a communicator on one of the other Decepticons’ chest compartments.  He gets through to Galvatron, who is busy berating the lead Gestapo Man for letting the Autobots escape back at the guerilla camp.  Starscream reports that the Autobots are recruiting for a mission.  Galvatron demands to know what the mission is, but Starscream complains that he was too busy freeing himself to overhear that part.  Galvatron coldly tells him to continue freeing himself before cutting off the communication.  He vows that he will track down and incinerate the Autobots.  As he and the Sweep Party take to the air, he shouts to the sky to “augment the energy cage!”.  We see more girders and beams being flown up and assembled to the cage as it continues to drain the Earth of energy, shrivelling the planet. 

We cut to another part of the desert with an oasis and oil refinery.  Our Autobot trio arrives to see smoke and hear sounds of battle coming from the distant refinery.  Springer tells the others that Sky Spy reported an Autobot outpost that the Decepticons haven’t been able to overrun.  They ready their weapons and start to move in until a huge, shrieking Insecticon flies overhead.  Flames coming from its rocket ports and laser bursts firing randomly.  Hot Rod stands his ground and opens fire, but Tanker realises the Insecticon has been hit as it flies straight over them, landing out-of-sight behind a nearby dune and exploding.  As the trio go to make sure the Insecticon is finished, Tanker remarks that the Decepticons’ new power source should have made it nearly indestructible.  They crest the dune to find the Insecticon: a smoking, twitching wreck.  Springer prods it and notes that its defense circuitry was cooked and its processing unit blasted once its armour relaxed.

Hot Rod leans forward to examine the creature’s Entity insignia when it suddenly jolts to life, grabbing him and shooting flames at Tanker and Springer.  Hot Rod fights to get out of its grip, getting a huge gash in his side from its lasers.  He wrenches on the Insecticon’s midsection - tearing its body in half - but it still puts up a fight.  Springer grabs the creature’s head, crushing it between his arms and his chest, finally killing it.    

Tanker welds and patches up Hot Rod’s wound.  Just as he finishes, three healthy Insecticons come flying in.  The three Autobots transform and roll.  But as they quickly outpace the flying Insecticons, they see a small army of Decepticon troopers charging at them from the ground.

The Autobots back off and take a side turn to evade the two groups.  A high-speed chase ensues with bombs and laser fire exchanged, as the three are desperate to reach the refinery and find cover.  Springer transforms, grabs the other two under his arms and begins springing every which way.  Evading fire and covering more ground towards the refinery.

Finally reaching the refinery, the trio take cover behind a building and prepare to make their last stand.  However, the Decepticon troopers don’t want to give them a fighting chance and form up in a firing squad to melt them down.  The trio decide to go out fighting and charge toward their enemies.  The firing squad lets loose their combined firepower, but before the laser blasts reach the Autobots, two flame jets meet the barrage head-on and stop the lasers in mid-air.  The flames belong to Grimlock and Sludge, who hold the laser fire long enough for Swoop to fly through the ranks of the firing squad, blasting them and knocking them down.  The three Autobots join the Dinobots’ fight and swiftly send the Decepticons running.

They have no time to celebrate as The Entity’s cold ray comes down from the sky and bathes the Decepticons in its green light.  Restoring them and sending them charging back into the fray.

The Autobots and Dinobots flee further into the refinery, heading for a passage between two “crackling” vertical towers, the Decepticons in hot pursuit. 

Seated at a monitor station next to one of the towers is Mentlar.  He watches the monitors as first, the Autobots run between the towers.  Then as the Decepticons close in, Mentlar sends a beam from his alpha wave-style headband to the tower on the other side.  A chicken wire pattern of energy spreads between the two towers, to create a “finishing line” net.  As the Decepticons pass through the net, they fail to notice the Entity scales and energy field has been scraped off them.

Mentlar orders the Dinobots to attack, who fan out in a three-pronged formation to blast the Decepticons.  Melting most of them down and forcing the survivors to retreat, their leader entreating The Entity ``Why have you forsaken us?”

Hot Rod, Tanker and Springer attempt to recruit the Dinobots to the mission, but only succeed in confusing them.  Which in turn makes Grimlock hostile.  Mentlar placates his ego by saying that only the Dinobots can make their brilliant strategy succeed.  “Grimlock like brilliant stragety.” (sic). 

Mentlar suggests they execute the plan quickly, as his Immuno Stabilizer Field we saw earlier only strips the Decepticons of their new powers temporarily and they are already building a resistance to it.

Suddenly, a blurring image moving at super-speed, trailing a cyclone of dust and wind, rushes into the scene and barrels over Tanker and Springer.  As they take up fighting positions and try to see through the dust, the images collect themselves into the vehicle mode of Blurr.  Who transforms and in a Jimmy Stewart-like manner, speaks slowly in counterpoint to how fast he moves.

With Blurr scouting ahead, the entire group heads out into the desert, rolling over the horizon as they set out to rejoin Ultra Magnus.

 

12.  Blast Off For The Shadow Nebula (pg 92-103)

 

Galvatron leads the Sweep Party through an arctic landscape, tracing a signal, searching for Autobots.  The signal weakens, so the Sweep Vehicle opens a device on its roof to absorb more power from The Entity.  As the signal grows stronger, Galvatron reads the monitors and sees a large party of Autobot survivors.  Vowing to crush all of them, he leads the Sweep party onwards, backed up by a huge strike force. 

Inside a large, fortified ice cavern.  With seventy-nine hours remaining before Earth is destroyed, Ultra Magnus begins the countdown for the launch into space.  He, Springer, Blurr and Mentlar load up on weapons and board the space cruiser while human and Autobot troopers move ammunition into place.

Wheeljack is directing robot tugs that are moving the cruiser into position.  As he barks orders at them, Arcee corrects him, to which he starts to correct himself until he realises he is listening to her “Do you mind?  Do you mind?”

Rusty loads up on weapons from the racks and moves to board the cruiser.  Daniel runs up, wanting to say goodbye and give Rusty the lucky silver dollar that Daniel’s father gave to him.

They are interrupted by Grimlock howling, which brings down a shower of ice crystals.  Hot Rod tells him to pipe down, Grimlock complains about wanting to talk to Mentlar.  “Me, Grimlock,want to fight in brilliant stragety!”  Hot Rod placates him and points out that he - along with Hot Rod and Tanker - will be riding outside of the cruiser, as there is no way for the Dinobots to fit inside.

The announcement goes out over the loudspeaker to clear the area for launch.  Ellen rushes up to find Daniel,  She pauses to wish “Colonel Steel” good luck, before thawing a little and calling him “Rusty”

Outside, Galvatron leads the assault as the strike force of Decepticons blast and melt their way into the ice dome.  Autobots and humans fire back, attempting to protect the cruiser as the Decepticons tear and blast the roof off the ice dome.  Bumblebee flings himself on to a cluster bomb, which explodes and blasts him out of shot.  Magnus sees this and begins activating the launch sequence.

A Decepticon opens fire on the trio of humans, prompting Rusty to throw Daniel onto the boarding ramp of the cruiser and tell him to get aboard.  Ellen yells at him to stay here, but when the Decepticon comes around for another pass, Rusty yanks her on to the ramp “Are you nuts, lady?  “Here’s” a zoo!”

The ramp retracts, the engines flare to life and the afterburners spew fire which cook Decepticons.  Hot Rod and Tanker mount Swoop and Grimlock like horses, shooting flames and lasers at jet mode Decepticons from above and humanoids ones below.

Galvatron commands that they must not launch, firing a barrage that scatters Blaze, Wheeljack and Arcee.  Jet-mode Decepticons bombard the cruiser, screaming “Entity!”.  Hot Rod nearly falls off Grimlock’s back, but is caught by Swoop’s wing as they attempt to keep up.  The cruiser blasts off for full launch, quickly moving from horizontal to vertical.  Hot Rod, Tanker and the Dinobots fly alongside, with the Decepticons in hot pursuit. 

Hot Rod looks back to see Gravedigger (Scrapper) unroll metal cable from a spool in his side.  The cable is then electrified to form an energy whip.  Gravedigger repeatedly whips at the group as they move further up into the stratosphere.

Magnus inside the cruiser orders “Maximum bursts” in order for them to break through before their thrusters burn out.  The cruiser accelerates to twice its previous speed, the afterburners frying Decepticons. 

Gravedigger’s whips have lassoed Swoop, trying to reel him and Hot Rod in as he struggles to keep up with Grimlock and Sludge, who are catching up to the cruiser.

With Tanker telling him to break loose, Hot Rod grabs two loose ends of the electrical wire and brings them together.  Creating a white explosion at his end and sending an electrical current back along the wires towards Gravedigger.  He sees the charge coming down the wire, too late to avoid it.  The charge hits him and sends him and others cartwheeling in mid-air, crashing into other airborne Decepticons and creating a “traffic jam”.  Hot Rod and Swoop are able to catch up with the others.

Galvatron is furious and shouts skyward “Stop them!”.  We zoom high into the sky to see the energy cage structure “come alive”.  Girders split to form appendages with laser cannons, and steel plates start closing the gaps in the cage, blocking the cruiser’s route into space.  Magnus is ready to blast through, but Mentlar suggests that the cage is slow to react to sudden change.  Magnus interprets this and grabs the controls to turn the cruiser into a barrel roll.  The cruiser and the Autobots outside make it through just before the steel plates clang shut.  Galvatron barely has time to register the cruiser bearing down on him before he is smashed into his troops and sent plummeting to Earth.  The cruiser speeds through an open edge of the cage structure and out into deep space, Autobot and Dinobots following behind. 

We cut to the ruins of the ice dome as Galvatron comes hurtling down and crashes into the ground.  The lead Gestapo Man salutes him, but Galvatron is not in the mood and starts to insult and threaten his subordinate.  The cold ray of The Entity comes down and transfixes Galvatron.  The voice berates him and orders him to assemble a force large enough to destroy the Autobot mission.  A flat-top “aircraft carrier” style spaceship descends into view through The Entity’s light.  The voice warns Galvatron not to fail or he will be reduced to atoms.  As the light vanishes, Galvatron mutters to himself that for destroying Cybertron and now denouncing him in front of his troops, The Entity shall pay!  He orders the Decepticons to battle and they fly up to the carrier.

Meanwhile, a convoy of vehicle mode Autobots and humans in snow vehicles speed away from the burning ice dome.  Wheeljack and Arcee in the lead.  General Blaze, riding in Wheeljack, watches the vanishing speck of the cruiser.  He tells Wheeljack that Magnus’ team is their last hope and that those left behind need to stay alive long enough for Magnus to destroy the Decepticons' new energy source.  Wheeljack replies that that just got a lot more dicey as the shadow of the flat-top carrier looms over them, before heading off and out into space.  Blaze replies “They’ve got to succeed!  There’s no alternative!!”

 

13.  Pursuit (pg 103-118)

Aboard the cruiser, Ellen works with Mentlar to input data into the ship’s computer, narrowing the search for the new energy source in the Shadow Nebula.  Mentlar plugs into the ship’s boards to determine their destination.  Ellen smiles at Mentlar’s compliment of her efforts and says there’s no need to call her “Dr. Prentiss” but Mentlar doesn’t respond, his eyes blank.  Magnus tells her that he has interfaced with the ship itself and will return to normal once he has plotted a course.

They are distracted by Daniel, who calls out to his mother to show off Mentlar’s invention: The Exo-Suit.  A metal-cage frame for humans to manipulate, three sets of them ready.  Daniel shows off by trying several tricks, but finds himself unsteady on his feet.  Rusty gets into his exo-suit and tries to impress the onlookers by doing a tap dance.  Springer presents Ellen with her suit, explaining that it increases the wearer’s strength a hundredfold.  Blurr chimes in that it also gives them incredible speed, though it is tricky to control.  Rusty continues to show off by doing a pirouette, going faster and faster until he starts spinning like a top.  He cries out for help as he spins around the ship, bouncing off the walls.  Springer and Blurr catch his exo-suit by each metal arm and reverse his spin to slow him down.  Rusty eventually stopping his spin and collapsing in a heap, feeling sick. 

Outside the cruiser, Hot Rod asks Tanker how he’s feeling.  Tanker takes it as a reference to his age and gets testy.  He quickly apologises, explaining that he is getting the crick in his neck that he always takes as a sign that Decepticons are near.  Hot Rod looks back with horror to realise Tanker wasn’t wrong, as the Decepticon flat top carrier is closing in from behind, opening fire on them.  Tanker reports to Magnus as the cruiser takes hits, Springer and Blurr moving to patch up damage inside.  Magnus sees a misshapen cloud-covered asteroid in the distance and tells Tanker to take his group and split off.  The cruiser will attempt to hold off the carrier and rendezvous with them on the far side of the asteroid.

Tanker’s group veer off, out of the line of Decepticon fire.  On the flight deck of the carrier, the split is seen by Galvatron and Soundwave on their scanner consoles.  Galvatron sees through the plan to misdirect them and orders surveillance on the Dinobot group.  Soundwave ejects Laserbeak to head off to the asteroid, while Galvatron returns his attention to wiping out the cruiser. 

As the cruiser comes under relentless fire, Magnus orders Rusty to man the aft torpedo tubes.  Rusty grabs Daniel by the hand and brings him along, saying he’ll need a port gunner.  Mentlar is still plugged into the ship, in a trance, Magnus pleading that they need him.  Springer and Blurr open a hatch and fly out into space, seeing the carrier directly above.  They fly out and up towards the carrier, unleashing cluster bombs and grenades along the length of the carrier, tearing up the flight deck.

Galvatron orders return fire and Decepticon gun ports open up.  We cut back to the cruiser where Ellen is desperately trying to disconnect Mentlar from the ship without erasing his logic program.  Mentlar comes out of his trance, saying he has pinpointed the precise source of the Decepticons’ power supply.  Magnus brings him up to speed on what’s happening and Mentlar deduces that they need a way to evade the Decepticons.  Going into a trance again, but this time thinking.  Ellen hopes he thinks fast as a missile is headed right for the viewscreen.  Magnus takes manual control of a laser and detonates the missile safely.

Rusty and Daniel are in a two-seat gunners chair “I drive, you shoot, kid!”.  Rusty manoeuvres the guns in order for Daniel to shoot down the Decepticon jets taking off from the flight deck and striking the cruiser.

With Galvatron’s assault not letting up, Springer and Blurr return to the ship, saying they can’t take much more of this.  Mentlar says he has a plan involving light, which leaves Magnus puzzled…. 

Hot Rod, Tanker and the Dinobots approach the asteroid.  It is wracked with storms and lightning that almost tears the Dinobots in half.  They land to find a place of boiling lakes, unstable land masses causing avalanches, active volcanoes and scorching winds that buffet the group.  The Dinobots want to go back and fight, but Tanker tells them they’ll be fighting soon enough: “They know we’re here” as he spots Laserbeak overhead.

As the group opens fire on the bird, Galvatron watches through a monitor.  He orders Soundwave to mark their position so the main force can deal with them once they’ve destroyed the cruiser.  Galvatron stops and suddenly shivers.  At Soundwave’s concern, he explains that he feels uneasy, as if Optimus Prime were near, even though he knows that's impossible.  A bomb hit to the carrier shakes him back to reality and he orders “Annihilate them!” 

Back on the cruiser, we briefly linger on a shot of Ultra Magnus “heart chamber” as Mentlar hands out dark glasses to the crew.  He explains that even with the glasses, none should look when he ignites the Photon Flares that are piled and ready.  With the ship almost coming apart under the assault, Springer and Magnus step through an airlock and load bundles of flares into the torpedo tubes, which shoot them out into space.  Galvatron is on the deck of the carrier and barely has time to wonder what the flares are before Mentlar pushes the button to ignite them.  A chain reaction of white light explosions fill the screen.  We see Galvatron’s POV as his sight shakes, blurs and refocuses to realise the cruiser is gone.  He orders the carrier to head for the asteroid.

 

14.  The Asteroid (pg 118-132)

 

The cruiser sets down on another part of the asteroid.  The Autobots load up on weapons and the humans get into their exo-suits as they set off to find their comrades.  Rusty points out that they must do it quickly as the Decepticons won’t take long to find them.

Unbeknownst to them, Laserbeak is already in the clouds above the cruiser, relaying their position to Galvatron.  He orders a full-scale assault to “end this charade!” 

Elsewhere, Hot Rod’s group are scouting the terrain when a laser blast sends Tanker falling into a crevice.  Grimlock is delighted to have a fight, transforming and flying off.  Decepticon jets come in on bombing and strafing runs.  Once Tanker has climbed out of the crevice, he grabs a passing jet.  Sending it spinning into Grimlock’s path, who swats it and sends a flame blast after it.  Hot Rod checks on Tanker, who tells him to transform and roll out.  As the two of them head out on the ground, Swoop and Sludge follow Grimlocks lead.  Transforming and flying along to provide air cover. 

Cutting back to Magnus’ group, his scanners indicate Tanker and the others are on the other side of a volcano-filled ridge.  At that moment, he gets a reading and sees Galvatron’s huge assault force coming straight at them.  The Autobots transform and roll, leaving the humans wondering what to do until Mentlar shouts back to transform their exo-suits.  Concentrating hard, Daniel’s suit transforms to become more streamlined, with the feet becoming laser jet roller skates, allowing him to race off after the Autobots.  Rusty and Ellen follow suit, rejoining the Autobot formation as they race towards Galvatron and a line of Decepticons barring their way.  Mentlar suggests a “high-low” technique to Magnus.  He “goes low” by deploying an earth-chewing device from his front bumper and burrowing directly under Galvatron.  He then burrows a trench parallel and to the rear of the Decepticon line.  Galvatron spares a moment to look back at what Mentlar is doing, but then looks forward again and orders his troops to melt down the formation of Autobots and humans headed straight for them.  Magnus orders the others to “go high” and with Springer and Blurr.  The trio transform, extend arms and lock hands to knock the Decepticons backwards and upside down into the trench.

There is no time to celebrate as more Decepticons pursue the group and Galvatron climbs out of the trench.  Magnus turns and prepares to make a stand, first ordering Blurr to take Ellen and Daniel.  Then telling Rusty to find Hot Rod and the others. 

All plans on both sides are interrupted by a massive earthquake that threatens to shake the asteroid apart.  Just as soon as it starts, it stops and all is calm again.  Blurr recognises this as a Galactic Warp Hurricane.  Soon the asteroid is hit with howling winds and slanting rain, sending all combatants flying.  Decepticons are unable to keep their footing, firing and missing.  Galvatron braces himself against the driving rain and orders that the Autobots shall not survive this storm.  The Decepticons dogpile on Springer as the lightning flashes.  Autobots and humans fight for their lives in hand-to-hand combat.  Magnus attempts to fight Galvatron, but is no match and hurled to the ground. 

Above them, the carrier is being torn apart by screeching winds, hailstones the size of boulders and lightning strikes as the winds threaten to bring the entire ship down out of orbit.  Soundwave clings to the superstructure as he orders other Decepticons to stabilise their orbit.  But even he is thrown across the deck as the hull is torn up and the carrier rocks violently. 

Below with Hot Rod’s group, they stand back-to-back defending against the enemy and the elements.  But the wind proves so severe that it knocks the Dinobots over, pinning Tanker under Sludge.  Hot Rod and Swoop run interference while they try to unpin Tanker.

Nearby, Thundercracker and Hook confer.  Hook produces a pack containing Electron Bombs.  Thundercracker notes that they could tear the asteroid in two, to which Hook replies “Who cares?”.  Both laugh, take a supply of the bombs and advance on the Dinobots.  Who regain their footing in time to lash out at incoming Decepticons, as the storm intensifies.

Thundercracker and Hook throw their bombs, then dive for cover.  A massive explosion sends Autobots and Dinobots hurtling off the asteroid and into space.  As they become separated, we see their individual arcs as they fall through space, with a trajectory of a small moon some distance from the asteroid. 

Magnus and Galvatron continue to battle as the storm worsens.  Ellen and Daniel take refuge behind cover fire provided by Rusty and the other Autobots.  Suddenly Dirge makes a grab for Ellen.  Daniel’s exo-suit hand grabs Dirge’s arm, who smirks and tries to twist the human’s exo-suit arm instead.  But Daniel concentrates, allowing him to judo toss Dirge headfirst into the ground. 

Galvatron wins the fight and throws Magnus into the other Autobots.  As he leads the Decepticons in a final, frenzied charge.  Explosions are heard overhead and a massive shadow is cast over everyone: the flat top carrier is crashing.  On the flight deck, Decepticons are swept over the side by the raging winds.  Soundwave gives the order to abandon ship, the wreckage he was clinging to tearing loose and dumping him over the edge as he says it.

Galvatron cries “Transform and flee!” but it’s too late.  Massive sections of the carrier come crashing down, burying him and the other Decepticons.  Springer steels himself to catch a piece of the carrier that is coming down on him, telling the others to stay close.  The huge fragment lands and there is stillness, nothing but the rain can be heard.  Suddenly, the metal of the fragment bulges, cracks and a metal hand punches through.  With a mighty roar, Springer lifts the fragment off him, holding it up like Atlas.  The Autobots and humans are safe, though they do move quickly from under the metal “umbrella” as Springer can’t hold it much longer.  He flexes and heaves the fragment away.  Galvatron and other Decepticons who were trying to climb out of the wreckage are crushed again as the metal hulk lands on them.  Magnus tells his crew to get back to the cruiser and resume their mission.  As the cruiser takes off, Ellen asks about Hot Rod and the others, to which Mentlar says they don’t have enough fuel to search in this storm.  Rusty comforts Daniel by saying “They would want us to carry on, son.”.  Magnus orders maximum thrust and set course for the Shadow Nebula. 

Back on Earth, more of the planet is being shrivelled by the energy cage.  Starscream works an intercom console on the structure, trying to contact Galvatron.  On the asteroid, Galvatron hears the transmission and wearily pulls himself from the wreckage.  He acknowledges the message and checks his scanner: no Autobot presence, the mission has been a success!  Starscream is not pleased that Galvatron still lives, but says nothing as his leader proclaims that he shall return to Earth.  To take charge of the operation once again and eradicate the last of the Autobots and the humans, soon he shall have dominion over all!

 

15.  Planetfall (pg 132-133)

 

Hot Rod falls through space down towards an odd planetoid.  Down through the atmosphere to a bizarre landscape of towering rock pinnacles.  Finally landing in a sea of mercury and sinking all the way to the bottom, colliding with a high-tech metallic reef.  Regaining his bearings, he transforms to a water-modified vehicle mode and sets out in search of his comrades.  As he rounds the corner of the reef, he sees a robotic squid tearing Tanker to pieces.  Hot Rod fires on the creature, which reacts by unleashing a laser ink stream to cover its retreat.  Hot Rod pushes through to Tanker’s head and torso.  Tanker just about manages to tell Hot Rod to use his magnetic powers, pick up his pieces and get him out of there before he rusts.  As he complies and engages his power, magnetic waves pull Tanker’s body parts and stick them to Hot Rod’s torso.  While he carries the torso and swims towards the surface.

 

16.  Arrival At Planet Unicron (pg. 134-137)

 

We cut back to the Autobot Cruiser, where the slab planet Unicron comes into focus on the monitors.  Magnus and his crew marvel at it, but don’t have time to make plans as the cruiser lurches as if it hit a wall.  Mentlar works the controls and determines that they’ve hit a “plane of enormous sheet energy”.  More than a simple forcefield, Rusty compares it to being “snagged by some giant brain wave”.  The cruiser shakes violently as the crew activates reverse thrusters, but can’t break free.  Suddenly the shaking stops as the cruiser turns and is violently pulled forward.  Mentlar’s scanner shows that they are being pulled away from the planet, down to a nearby moon.  As the moon draws closer, we see it has scales similar to those found on The Entity’s servants.  Magnus orders Springer to prepare the escape pod for the humans.  Springer struggles against the G-forces of the hurtling cruiser, but pulls the escape module down off the rack, telling the humans to get aboard.  Rusty pushes Ellen and Daniel to get in, saying he’ll stay with the others.  Ellen says they’ll stay too, brushing aside Magnus’ protests by saying if the cruiser can’t withstand this tractor beam, the module won’t “We’re all in it together!”

The cruiser breaks through the metal crystal atmosphere..[End of story beat on missing page 137]

 

17.  Freeway Chase (pg 137-141)

 

 [Start of story beat on missing page 137]

Back on Earth, Wheeljack (with Blaze inside) and Arcee lead the retreating Autobot convoy and are being chased down a free way by the Seekers.  As Starscream and Skywarp have zeroed in on Wheeljack, Arcee transforms and jumps up, grabbing onto Starscream’s tail assembly.  Starscream attempts to climb into the air, but is slowed down.  Arcee twirls him over her head and throws him down to earth.  Starscream crashes on top of a freeway overpass where a group of Decepticons were lined up to block the Autobots.  The overpass collapses, burying all who stood on it.  Wheeljack and the convoy make rolling jumps over the rubble and continue on.  Wheeljack “compliments” Arcee:  “Good work, Arcee.  It’s about time you pulled your weight!”  Arcee transforms and rejoins the convoy, saying to herself “A lot you know!” 

Galvatron arrives to see Starscream pull himself out of the wreckage and proceeds to insult him for his incompetence.  Starscream is all excuses, but Galvatron won’t hear of it and leads his troops in a fresh charge against the fleeing Autobots.

Before he can get far, the cold ray descends and freezes him once again.  Galvatron is fuming, but plays the toady.  The Entity’s voice is furious at him for failing to terminate the Autobot mission.  Now they intrude close to his domain.  Galvatron is ordered to destroy them personally.  He feigns obedience, but once the cold ray has vanished, decides that he’ll deal with them at his convenience.  With that, he presses forward after the Autobots in the distance.

 

18.  The World Of The Savage Sharkticons… (pg 141-148)

 

On the unknown planetoid, on the shores of the mercury sea, Hot Rod finishes re-assembly of Tanker.  Who is rather salty as he thinks a piece of himself is missing.  But as Hot Rod hangs his head, tells him that overall he did a good job.  Hot Rod again wallows in self-recrimination, both for Prime and for getting them stranded.  Tanker tells him he has been brave and determined.  As for being stranded, they’re functional and have another chance.  This perks Hot Rod up as they transform and head out over the red metallic hills, scanning for the Dinobots.  As Tanker rolls out he realises there was a part missing after all, as his treads are missing some teeth.  As the two move into the distance, we see they are being watched by shadowy figures.  Who make clacking, harsh chatter as we dissolve to…. 

The two Autobots crest a ridge, their scanners picking up both a Dinobot and other, strange readings.  They transform and start towards a grove of metallic moss trees where the signal is coming from.  Hot Rod is eager, but Tanker advises caution as there are alien life forms near.  He recommends making communication and takes a small case from his belt, which bleeps and makes strange sounds.

Tanker gives the universal alien language salutation “Graaaaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong!” and holds out energon sticks.  Encouraging Hot Rod to follow his lead, he walks forward and continues to deliver the salutation.  As they move around the vegetation, they see Sludge in the clearing, frozen in mid-motion.  They get closer to examine him and see that he is in a gravity-defying suspended animation.  A whirring sound comes from all around, telling them they are not alone.  Their attempts to smile turn to shock, as out come the Sharkticons: robotic scavengers with jaws within jaws, teeth within teeth, looking like a giant mouth.  They approach Hot Rod and Tanker on rolling, whirring platforms.  The two Autobots approach, giving the salutation and offering the energon sticks.  The lead Sharkticon whirs up, examining the sticks before devouring them greedily.  This causes the others to close in for a feeding frenzy.  Both Autobots can see where this is going, so Tanker punches several Sharkticons to allow Hot Rod to escape.  The pair don’t get far before they are cornered and herded into line by cattle prod-like shock sticks.  The lead Sharkticon clacks a command, to which the others march Hot Rod and Tanker off.  Several others stop to lift Sludge and carry him off to join the procession.  Tanker speaks softly, saying that his alien language translator has told him what they are, as well as the phrase they keep repeating: “We eat!”

Hot Rod is ready to run again, but Tanker tells him to stay put as his sensors have picked up Swoop nearby.  Just as they were expecting a rescue, they find Swoop frozen like Sludge was, Sharkticons gnawing at his tail and hindquarters.  Hot Rod attempts to help him, but is shocked back into line and forced to keep marching.  Swoop is picked up and carted off like Sludge was.  As they continue to be marched forward, receiving occasional shocks from the Sharkticons, Tanker says they need to think of a way out “...or we could be dessert at a Dinobot banquet!”

 

19.  Intruders In The Entity’s Domain (pg 148-156)

 

On the satellite moon of Unicron, Magnus and his crew make their way out of the airlock.  Their cruiser is damaged, but intact.  The area is covered with crystalline metallic scales.  Magnus deduces this as an offshoot of the planet providing the Decepticons’ new energy source.  Mentlar heads back into the cruiser to begin a research probe, to see if anything they can learn about the moon can be useful when they attack the planet.  Meanwhile, the others set about repairing the cruiser.

Rusty offers to show Daniel a trick, seemingly allowing him to execute some deft manoeuvres and flip Rusty on to his back…..then he concentrates hard, his exo-suit glows and repels Daniel away.  He offers the boy a hand up and explains that it's all in the mind “Just imagine your suit repelling the other guy’s and bingo!”

Ellen arrives and is aghast that Rusty is trying to take Daniel along with him on a reconnaissance mission.  She absolutely forbids it, over Daniel’s protests and Rusty relents to her wishes.  Blurr joins them as Mentlar scrapes a single crystalline scale off the surface of the moon and collects it in a specimen jar.  Rusty and the two Autobots transform and move out on their recon mission.  We hold on the void where Mentlar took the scale from.  A network of electrical webbing snakes out across the landscape, sparking electrical contact, making a tiny sound that is magnified as it spreads across the surface.  The electrical webbing rises into space as we cut to Planet Unicron.  Where the sound is loud and speeds up to a fever pitch before dying off.  The Entity has sensed “Intruders!” and is furious. 

In Earth’s orbit, the energy cage now covers three-quarters of the planet, which is shrivelling and shrinking even further.  We cut to the California hills, where Galvatron leads Sweep Units through the smoking ruins of housing areas.  Sporadic fire coming from Autobots in hiding.  Galvatron tells the Sweep Units that they’ve driven the Autobots to ground, now finish them off!.  As his troops move out, the cold ray of The Entity comes down and stops him, leaving him choking and gasping.  He tries to play the toady and make excuses.  But it falls on deaf ears as The Entity thunders at him for lying and allowing the intruders to live.  He orders his servant to assemble a suitable force to wipe out the intruders.  Galvatron, dangling in the beam and being strangled, “understands and obeys”.  Once the beam releases him, Starscream approaches “More orders, “omnipotent” Galvatron?”.  He is shoved aside, Galvatron proclaiming that the war on Earth is won, once Magnus and his followers are destroyed “we shall rule all!”.  Starscream needles him that it appears it is not “we” but The Entity that shall rule all, including the Decepticons.  Galvatron gets nose-to-nose with Starscream, ordering him to stay and finish the draining of Earth “Neither Autobot nor Entity shall survive my wrath!  I promise you!”.  With that, he flies off, leading the Decepticon armada into space. 

We cut to a pillbox location nearby with Arcee patching up a wounded Wheeljack.  They watch the Decepticons go and presume that Magnus is causing enough havoc in space to get those on Earth a fighting chance.  Wheeljack suggests that it's time to join forces and counterattack, to which Arcee responds “I love an Autobot with fighting spirit!” and kisses him on the cheek.  He tries to play it off as inappropriate for comrades-in-arms, but as she smiles and tells him to consider it a symbol of affection between buddies, moving to an intercom console.  He exasperates “Shebots!” but smiles and feels his cheek.

Arcee’s scrambled transmission goes out across the planet to all Autobot groups: Join forces and counterattack.  After a Decepticon Sweep Party passes by some rocks and bushes. camouflaged Autobots rise from their concealment.  Reacting to the transmission, Jazz exclaims “Man, those are the words I’ve been waiting to hear!  Transform and roll, baby!”  as more Autobot units cheer and roll out.

 

20.  ...And Their Cruel Masters, The Quintessons (pg 156-160)

 

Back on the unknown planetoid, Hot Rod and Tanker are herded into a holding pen within the Sharkticons’ walled compound.  We catch our first glimpse of the Quintessons: slender and fragile humanoid creatures with metallic heads bearing five faces.  Metal supports run down to their fragile shoulders, in order to keep the massive heads upright.

The two Autobots are shoved and locked into the pen.  They are approached by another prisoner: Granix, rector of the Planet Lithone.  A robot made of granite and stone, chipped and cracked in places  He tells them to abandon all hope of surviving.  The Sharkticons, he explains, are a primitive tribe of cannibals, who serve their cruel, intelligent masters, The Quintessons.  As he speaks, we see Quintessons in guard towers point to him and converse.  He continues: they send the Sharkticons out to find those unlucky enough to land on the moon, and put them on trial for trespassing.  Guilty or innocent, the verdict is the same - to be eaten! 

Suddenly, the lead Quintesson appears at the open door of the holding pen “That one!”.  The Sharkticons charge forward and seize Granix, ignoring his pleas that he is the last survivor of his expedition.  Hot Rod and Tanker fight the guards in an attempt to free him, but are forced back by shock sticks.  The Quintesson explains that as the two of them will be sentenced, they should see the fate that awaits them.  He has the guards herd them out of the pen to overlook The Arena.  Granix is thrown in, given a long shock stick with an explosive charge.  He manages to dodge and kill two of the Sharkticons before more pounce on him and quickly devour him.  Hot Rod says they’d better think of something fast before their turn in the arena comes.

 

 

21.  Realisation (pg 160-161)

 

Back on the moon of Unicron, the cruiser is repaired.  Mentlar examines the crystalline scale he procured under a microscope.  He announces that the scale is “A thinking component of a larger organism, linked to the slab shaped planet itself”.  The assembled crew realise it is one with the core of the planet, which is providing the Decepticons with the power that is making them invincible.  They resolve to reach the core and destroy it.  But at that moment, Blurr zooms in to inform them that a massive force of Decepticons will be arriving any moment now.  Magnus steps forward to the cruiser console to begin preparing….

 

22.  Rumination (pg 161-163)

 

Having been put back in their holding pen, Tanker paces back and forth, lecturing Hot Rod who is sitting with his head in his hands.  Tanker tells him that he has been courageous, indomitable, more mature than his years.  “So quit mopin’!”  Hot Rod tells Tanker he isn’t moping, he's thinking and has come up with a plan.  He has noticed the Sharkticons movements when they feed, bumping into each other, that suggest they have primitive contact sensors.  Bumping into each other is the only way they can recognise each other.  Hot Rod ponders if they could fool those sensors.  Tanker catches on and asks how much lubrication grease he can spare.  Hot Rod makes sure he is not observed, then opens a panel in his armour to reveal a network of gears and cams “I have more than I’ll ever need...in fact, you might say I have a lifetime supply!”

 

23.  Planning For The End (163-167)

 

Galvatron leads the armada in space, riding a rocket war sled.  Soundwave reports that the cruiser has been located and survivors verified.  Galvatron watches through his console monitor at an image of the four Autobots working on the hull of the cruiser.  He crows about his impending triumph and presses forward. 

We cut to the cruiser, where the “Autobots” are in fact two-dimensional robotic doubles.  We look inside the cruiser to see the humans are also doubles, moving in a life-like fashion.

The real crew are hiding in ambush up the nearby mountain.  Awaiting the Decepticons who will have to travel through a narrow mountain-lined pass to reach the cruiser.  Springer, Blurr and Mentlar are laying explosive charges, intended to collapse both mountains and bury their enemies.  Daniel offers to help, but Magnus soothes Ellen’s protests and asks to confer with Rusty.  As they walk off to the side for a conversation we can’t hear, Daniel is curious as to what’s wrong.  Seeing the situation, Mentlar leads Daniel away by asking him to help with timing the charges.

We cut back to Rusty’s reaction to what he has just been told, describing it as “suicide” for those involved.  Magnus tells him that the Decepticons’ power and numbers will turn the battle against them.  When that happens, Rusty is to go with Springer, Ellen and Daniel and make a run for it.  Magnus quells his further objections by saying he must live to reach the planetary core and obliterate it.  He softens and tells Rusty that the Autobots have decided this “You will not deny us, will you?”.  Rusty wearily accepts the plan and the two rejoin the others, crouching at the detonation devices as the enemy closes in.  Daniel is worried, but Rusty reassures him by flipping the lucky silver dollar.  All the same, as he puts it back in his pocket, he crosses his fingers behind his back…. 

 

24.  Judgement (167-178)

 

Hot Rod and Tanker are brought to their sentencing.  The lead Quintesson finds them innocent of trespassing, but guilty of insolence.  Tanker quips “I knew I should have said “Please” and “Thank you” more.”.  The Sharkticons close in around them, confirming Hot Rod’s theory as they bump into each other, then move away.  On the count of three, the two of them make a series of moves, shooting streams of axle grease into the Sharkticons’ sensor lights.  The creatures bump into each other again, but not recognising their own, begin to devour each other.  One attempts to jump Hot Rod from behind, but Tanker covers it with the grease.  Causing it to bump into two other Sharkticons and eat them.

The two Autobot run to various holding pens and cells, opening them up and allowing the other prisoners to rise up.  They grab discarded shock sticks and charge the Sharkticons, who back up as more prisoners use the grease technique as well.  Blinding the creatures and causing them to devour not only their own, but the Quintessons as well.

The lead Quintesson moves over to a pile of scrap metal, using beams from his eyes to animate the scrap piles into new Sharkticons that immediately join the fight.  “Devour them, my children!” he giggles.

As the tide turns, Tanker shoots grease at one of the newly-created Sharkticons, which sends out a ray dissolving it.  Just when it looks like the uprising is over and the prisoners will be slaughtered.  A stream of flame melts some of the Sharkticons.  Grimlock flies over the arena flaming, frying, melting and stomping both Sharkticon and Quintesson alike.  As one of the Quintessons attempts to animate more scrap piles into Sharkticons, a metal-bandaged Swoop flies in and cuts him in half vertically, the two body halves twitching and the head spinning wildly until it explodes.  Grimlock and Swoop come at their remaining enemies from both sides, smashing them into sheet metal and toasting with flamethrowers.  The metal clangs over into a flat plate showing the faces and bodies of Sharkticons and Quintessons outlined in it.

The lead Quintesson attempts to run for it, but a repaired Sludge bars his way and pins him underfoot.  Before he can blast the Quintesson with laser breath, a prisoner runs up and stops him.  Saying that they can use the Quintesson’s mind scan to probe space and contact their own kind for a rescue.  Hot Rod demands to know if their friends are still functioning and where they are “do your stuff, Double Dome”.  A holographic projection appears above them, initially unintelligible until Tanker uses his translator program.  The holographic swirl moves into his ear, allowing him to see Magnus and the others in danger on the moon of Unicron.

Hot Rod throws the surviving Quintesson to his former prisoners “He’s all yours now!” as he, Tanker and the Dinobots jet off into space at top speed.  The prisoners cheer them on.

 

25.  Last Stand (178-191)

 

At the ambush site, the Decepticons come screaming through the pass towards the cruiser.  Magnus and the others wait for the right moment.  Just as Thundercracker - who is leading the charge - realises they’ve been tricked, the Autobots hit the detonators.  The underpinnings of both mountains disintegrate, causing a landslide that buries both the cruiser and Thundercracker’s force.  Magnus, Blurr, Springer and Mentlar charge at the Decepticons who are trying to dig themselves out of the rubble.  Engaging them with blasters, bombs, kicks and blows.  Rusty jumps into the fray in his exo-suit, telling Ellen and Daniel to stay back.

As mother and son huddle against the wall of their hiding place, Daniel cheers the others on.  Dirge drops down from behind and leaps at them.  Ellen kicks him, flips him over and steps on his neck.  As Daniel cheers on his mother, Rumble leaps on him and pins him down.

He boasts about their strength and twists Daniel’s head.  Forcing him to watch as Dirge easily moves out from Ellen’s grasp and throws her on her back. Trying to step on her as she uses the power of her exo-suit, struggling to stay alive.

Daniel turns his head back and concentrates hard.  His exo-suit crackles with energy and Rumble is flung high into the air.  He charges toward Dirge, who is most amused until Daniel delivers a two-handed blow that dents his torso in, caves in the sides of his chest and hurls him on to Rumble.  Daniel confidently tells his mother that they stay here until  Rusty comes for them, to which Ellen replies “Yes, Dan.  Whatever you say.”

Back at the main battle, Rusty and the Autobots have cleared the area.  But don’t have time to celebrate as Galvatron is coming in with a larger force he held back for such a  situation.  Magnus tells Rusty that it's time to enact the plan.  Rusty salutes him, then transforms his exo-suit and jets back to Ellen and Daniel.  Magnus tells Springer to complete the mission when the time is right.  As all four Autobots make peace with their fate.  Then transform and charge with a cry of “Autobots Forever!”.  The charge smashes and scatters Galvatron’s force, with Rusty riding over the Decepticon leader and forcing his face into the mud.

Magnus tells Rusty and Springer to go, as he, Blurr and Mentlar lay down a barrage of continuous laser fire and flames.  The smoke covering Rusty and Springer’s move back towards Ellen and Daniel.

As the group moves away from the battle.  Mentlar and Blurr roll into the Decepticons.  Blurr’s speed laying down bombs so fast, there is no defense and Mentlar uses blasts from his headband and misdirection.  Ultra Magnus engages in hand-to-hand combat with a multitude of enemies.

As more Decepticons swarm into the scene, we cut to Springer and the humans.  Daniel cries that they can’t just leave them back there.  Rusty grimly sets his jaw and says nothing as they speed away.  Ellen tries to comfort her son, but he doesn’t want to hear it. 

We cut to a dark and swirling fog bank that rises like a wall.  Beyond it is a flat land, cracked and dry like an ancient seabed.  From within the fog, we hear the voice of Daniel asking if the others will be alright.  Rusty replies that he doesn’t want to think about it.  We see the lights from Springer’s vehicle mode and the humans’ headgear come into view.  The party moves out of the fog, Rusty relieved to see sunlight again.  Only they look up to see the Planet Unicron, burning like the sun.  They realise that is where they have to go to complete the mission.  But before they can answer Springer’s question of how to get there, racing towards them are the Junkions: a ferocious “Road Warrior”-like tribe of robotic Hells Angels made up of rusted, sharp metal and reused parts.

Springer and the humans flee, but their pursuers quickly close the distance.  A Tricycle Junkion riding alongside tries to snag Ellen with a hook-hand.  Springer reaches a straight arm through the spokes of the Junkion’s front wheel.  Causing him to flip forward, smashing into the ground and flying into pieces.

Springer tells the humans to transform their exo-suits again.  Showing them by transforming into a sleeker, streamlined vehicle mode with rocket thrusters and laser jets.  Rusty and Ellen concentrate but nothing happens.  Daniel tries and his exo-suit transforms into a low racing-car style mode.  The adult humans frantically try to imagine as the Junkions close on them.  They transform into similar vehicle modes and the quartet race off, leaving the Junkions in the dust.

We focus on a motorcycle-sidecar Junkion.  This is Wreck-gar, their leader.  He bellows for the other Junkions “transform too!”.  They transform into faster, lower riding, more garishly chromed and battered vehicles.  They zoom off after their quarry. 

We cut back to the mountain pass, where the sounds of battle fill the air and torn and broken Decepticons lie in abundance.  We see Mentlar’s dead body, crumpled and smashed.  Half his head buried in a pile of dead Decepticons he had taken with him.  We see a blurring movement as Blurr takes down three Decepticons before he explodes with them.  His fragments raining down into view.  We see Decepticons moving away from the sound of battle battered, torn apart, blasted to shreds as the voice of Galvatron orders “Keep at him, you cowards!”

Ultra Magnus fights knee deep in a pile of bodies, one Decepticon hanging on to his neck, another to his arm.  Galvatron stands to the side, waiting to use his cannon, firing, hitting his own troops as Magnus throws them at him.  Magnus is wounded and weakening, his armour torn open, half a leg gone, a hand missing.  Finally, a group of Decepticons let loose a barrage of grenades, blowing him out of the pile.  Galvatron finishes him off with the cannon as he lies helpless.  Ultra Magnus is dead.  Galvatron strides over to his body, amidst the broken remnants of his army.  He uses a razor saw extension from his hand to cut open Magnus’ heart chamber and extracts the glowing Matrix of Optimus Prime, placing it in a bottle that he wears like a pendant around his neck.  Laughing triumphantly, he states that “It is time for me to “renegotiate” my contract with The Entity and assume my rightful place as Autocrat of the Cosmos!”.  With a cry of “All hail Galvatron!”, he jets off toward Planet Unicron.  The few surviving Decepticons weakly salute him, as we hold on the dead body of Ultra Magnus.

 

26.  Scrap With The Junkions (pg 191-194)

 

We cut back to the “flats” where the Junkions have caught up to Springer and the humans.  Rusty and Springer fire blasts and smash their pursuers.  But when Rusty’s blast hits one of the Junkions and tears it apart.  The pieces keep moving and reassemble into another fast-moving vehicle.  Springer grabs two of them and smashes them together, leaving them by the roadside.  The pieces of the mashed twosome separate into three more Junkions and rejoin the chase.  Ellen and Daniel, having grabbed a broken piston from the road, slide it through the wheels of several Junkions riding in parallel.  They go flying and falling to pieces, but again, reassemble and the chase continues.  They add laser blasts forcing the quartet to dodge and weave.

Finally, Springer and the humans see a mob of new Junkions blocking the road ahead.  Skidding to a stop, they are surrounded as Wreck-gar leads the tribe in a “clank-rock-style glee club” song.  The four are chained to a flatbed Junkion “jail truck” and taken away.  Rusty comments “I heard of going from the frying pan into the fire, but I think we just went from the fire into the toilet!” 

Out in deep space, Tanker’s scanner tells him that Ultra Magnus, Blurr and Mentlar are dead.  Hot Rod hopes that Springer and the humans are still alive.  Though their signals are weak, Tanker pinpoints them to the moon ahead.  Hot Rod can’t see it until Tanker reminds him to use his Optic Transducers.  he sees the moon….and the remnants of Galvatron’s strike force headed toward them.  Tanker tells Hot Rod and the Dinobots to take cover in the nearby asteroid belt.  As they watch the scarred and torn up armada fly by, the Dinobots are happy that Magnus destroyed so many Decepticons.  Hot Rod notes they’re heading back to Earth, or what’s left of it.  He tells Tanker they need to complete the mission, so beam them down to Rusty’s last coordinates.  Tanker sends out the beam, but as they descend to the moon, he warns that he has lost them in a Veil of Fog.  If they’re still alive, they will be tough to track down.

 

 

27.  Renegotiating The Contract (pg. 195-197)

 

Galvatron approaches the slab planet of Unicron, begging for an audience with his master.  The Entity wearily indulges him “Attend me”.  As he descends towards the same “grass” and “tree-trunk” area from when he first arrived at the planet, Galvatron activates a device on his belt, muttering to himself “I’ll “attend” you, all right….I’ll attend to you well!”

Feigning obedience, Galvatron secretly sets the device down on the ground.  He calls out to The Entity that the Earth is almost drained, as he shows a holographic projection of the planet caged and drained, shrivelled and sunken.  Their enemies on the moon are exterminated: Galvatron’s service is complete!  No longer toadying and now threatening, Galvatron demands an end to the agreement and to pursue his own freedom.  The Entity lets out an ominous chuckle that shakes the area.  Progressing to uproarious laughter, amused that “the molecule” would dare to make demands.  Galvatron roars that the device he set down on the planet’s surface is a “specially enhanced Thermo Charge” that will burrow down to the core and melt through the other side.  If The Entity does not sever the contract, he will detonate it.  Upon receiving more mocking laughter, he triggers the device.  Which detonates, dropping through the molten surface of the planet and triggering a series of cascade explosions inside the planet.  As the “grass” withers and the “tree trunks” shatter, Galvatron laughs manically “A “Molecule” am I!”

 

28.  Strange Alliances (pg. 197-204)

 

At the Junkion village, Springer and the humans are tied to metal stakes, surrounded by gibbering and chattering Junkions as Wreck-gar steps up to call for silence.  Rusty tells Daniel that when Springer goes for the leader, he’ll untie him and his mother.  Ellen whispers that they can’t escape, but Rusty points out the solution as several Junkions with cutting and burning tools attached to their arms begin advancing.  Springer will make his move when they are distracted by working on him.  As Wreck-gar and the others close in on Springer, Daniel steels himself.  Suddenly, the Junkions yell and shout as Hot Rod, Tanker and the Dinobots appear in the sky above, landing in the middle of the village.

As the new arrivals take stock of their surroundings, more Junkions ride down from the hills and out of ground burrows.  Hot Rod wonders who is rescuing who?  Rusty and Daniel call out to leave them and complete the mission.  As both sides are ready for a fight, Tanker steps forward and…. 

[page 200 missing] 

Rusty asks why the Junkions don’t like The Entity.  Wreck-gar explains that his people have always fought it, none of them wanting to be absorbed by it.  When their ancestors fought it, they had to live behind the Veil of Fog to be free.  Rusty, Hot Rod and Tanker confer.  Realising what The Entity is, they ask Wreck-gar how they can defeat it.  “Want defeat, then no talk, show!”.  He leads them to a primitive equivalent of Teletraan I, which carries the secrets of the Junkion ancestors and prints out a sheet of data.  Only Ellen is able to interpret: It contains the history of the Junkions and a diagram of The Entity.  “Junkion scientists devised a supreme Protector to maintain a loving watch over all but something went wrong and jealousy and hunger for power became lodged in the Protector’s core…”  Hot Rod realises the Protector is The Entity.  Ellen continues “...it remained in its own orbit for generations but the Decepticons have now given it enough energy to break free!”.  Wreck-gar points to the diagram of the planet Unicron, stating there is only one weakness… 

[page 203 missing] 

Grimlock is waiting for Scrapo, a giant Junkion who had been feeding him metal in the background earlier.  Grimlock promises to tell Scrapo all about “she bots” and promises “Grimlock get Wheeljack to make Dino Girl.  Shebot for Scrapo…”.  The three humans stifle laughter as they move out.

 

29.  The Enemy Revealed (pg 205-212)

 

Back on planet Unicron, the last blasts from the bomb shudder and die down.  Galvatron regains his bearings, only to lose them again as The Entity roars that he shall pay for breaking the agreement.

A “jungle” of huge metal cylinders rises up from “crater” patterns in the planet’s surface (The Entity’s “pores”).  As the cylinders surround Galvatron, razor-like blades open up from them and whirr.  Closing in on Galvatron and slicing the air in front of his face… 

The combined Autobot and Junkion forces land on the surface of the planet, Scrapo ominously telling them “Not planet”.  As Daniel lands, his feet dislodge a crystalline scale on the surface.  The same electrical effect that happened on the moon now plays out again across the surface of Unicron. 

The whirling blades around Galvatron stop.  The Entity bellows with fury at the “intruders” that they are no match for him.  The Entity is one with the universe, one with this very planet!

From Galvatron’s POV, the mountains on the horizon rise and shift as the surface of the planet rolls and ripples.

The Autobots and their allies hang on for dear life to the changing world around them as metal “tree trunks” rise from the landscape, which distorts as if it were a muscle flexing.

Galvatron sees the horizon rise, swell and distort as if it were a vast moon rising.  Only it is the head of a colossal robot.  As The Entity laughs, we see other portions of the “planet” open out and unfold to become the limbs of this galaxy-sized robot.

Galvatron loses his footing as the ground beneath him shifts and he is hurled into one of the metal “tree trunks”.  We pull back a vast distance to see that Galvatron is the size of a flea, holding on to what we realise are the “hairs” on the back of The Entity’s hand.

The Entity tries to shake Galvatron off his hand, but he burrows into the joint gap between the hand and the wrist.  The Entity laughs in triumph, proclaiming he is free to devour and absorb the universe. 

Cutting back to the Autobots and humans as Springer clings on to the “collar” around The Entity’s throat.  Holding on to Rusty’s exo-suit, who is in turn keeping Ellen, then Daniel from falling.  Ellen points out the channel to the core shown on her blueprints, which is visible at the collar joint.  Rusty orders Grimlock to make it look the other way.  The Dinobots and Scrapo fly around to the other side of the head and blast into its ear.  The Entity reacts, attempting to swat the Dinobots away.  The Autobots and humans race and jump into the channel, The Entity’s movements having opened it wider.

They are now in the “bloodstream” of The Entity.  The hole behind them closes and the Autobots use searchlights to find their way forward.  They look around at the “plumbing” and skeletal structure of The Entity: acid waterfalls, snap valves of “mineral blood” and robotized “white blood cells”.  The group realise they are in the circulation system and speculate they won’t be welcome.  Sure enough, the robot white cells - vacuum faced leeches of metal with tiny, ringed fangs - begin to attack.   Springer and Tanker hold them off with laser blasts, telling Hot Rod and the humans they will have to press on.  They head down a flashing passageway leading to the core. 

Meanwhile, The Entity grows body armour, a helmet and weaponry as he moves through space.  Reaching a small planet and immediately gobbling it up, laughing and belching.  A passing meteorite shower is scooped up and slung into his mouth like peanuts. 

Galvatron emerges from his hiding place and opens fire “Die, monster...die!”.  The shot blows The Entity’s finger off, which goes hurtling through space like a flying mountain.  Galvatron watches in horror as the stump regrows into a new finger as The Entity once again attempts to shake him off the hand.  With a mighty effort, Galvatron leaps into the crack at The Entity’s elbow. 

Inside the brain access channel, huge valve doors close to the front and rear of Hot Rod and the humans.  As the walls of this “artery” close in.  “He knows we’re here!”.  Hot Rod blasts through the valve door and the group rush through as a series of sharp-edged doors drop after them.

They find themselves in the atrium chamber that leads to the core.  The only way through is a “porthole” aperture, ringed by a rhythmically opening and closing razor-edge steel “iris”.

Rusty states that it's too small to get through.  Daniel says he can fit through as he sheds his exo-suit.  Ellen asks what a boy could do inside a living planet.  Hot Rod gains an aura around him and his heart chamber, saying there is a weapon with the power to undo The Entity forever “...and my sensors tell me it is near!”

 

30.  All Hope Is Lost (pg 212-213)

 

We close in tight on Optimus Prime’s matrix, glowing and pulsing as it remains in the jar around Galvatron’s neck.  Who is now firing blasts into The Entity’s ear as he tries to swat Galvatron like a gnat.  He gobbles up more asteroids as Galvatron lands on his collar bone.  At last, The Entity has reached his destination: the caged and shrivelled Earth. 

We zoom to the surface where Wheeljack and Arcee have the high ground in a shooting exchange with the Decepticons.  The battle stops as all look up to see the shadow of The Entity blotting out the sun.

Arcee believes their friends have failed.  As Blaze, Prowl and the other Autobots react, Jazz rises “The end is coming at us.  And if it comes, I want to go out like I came in - free!”.  He launches a roaring charge at the Decepticons, Autobots and humans falling in behind him and driving the enemy back.

 

31.  Till All Are One (pg 213-219)

 

Galvatron is on The Entity’s shoulder, trying to carve into it with a laser knife, when Hot Rod’s voice calls out for “Megatron”.  He tries to reach out, saying that they need Optimus Prime’s Matrix to destroy The Entity.  Galvatron turns on them with the laser knife, ranting that he is “Galvatron, Imperator of the Universe!” and will surrender nothing.  He throws the knife at Rusty, who barely ducks. A chase ensues across The Entity’s chest, with Galvatron heading for the shoulder joint. 

Human citizens on Earth who are not in battle react to The Entity as it gobbles up nearby asteroids. 

As Rusty and Hot Rod attempt to box him in, Galvatron flies to the back of The Entity’s neck, hanging on its metal hairs.  The Dinobots and Scrapo come at him.  He tries to flee again, but Rusty and Hot Rod come from the other side and corner him against The Entity’s collar.  Galvatron shouts to stay back or he will destroy himself and the Matrix.  Rusty points out that both he and the entire universe will be terminated.  Galvatron, clearly driven mad, rants that if he cannot rule, that is what he wants…”Nothingness!”.  He laughs and ignites a flare that he is about to touch to his belt.  Before he can, Ellen floors him in her exo-suit “I knew I’d get it right one of these times!”.  Hot Rod snatches the pendant from Galvatron’s neck and flies off. 

As the surface of Earth shrinks and shrivels under the feet of the fighting Autobots.  Arcee and Wheeljack look up at the shadow above them.  Wheeljack silently puts an arm around her waist “I didn’t mean half the things I said”.  With a fond glance, Arcee replies “I know”. 

At the aperture to the core, Hot Rod hands Daniel the Matrix.  While Rusty and Scrapo tow in a disgruntled Galvatron.  With a cry of “Until all matrices are one!” Daniel times himself, then leaps through the iris.  He lands in a narrow passageway of tubes, wires, cables and flowing crystal tubes.  Merging into one small knot of tubing and wiring.  Daniel kneels and opens the pendant, urging “Come on Prime..do your stuff…”

Nothing comes out at first, so he shakes the bottle and the glowing images of Optimus Prime appears and suddenly dissipates to nothing.  Daniel is dejected, then a sighing sound and rush of wind rises through the interior.  A hurricane of light floods the core, seeping out through the aperture where Hot Rod and the others are waiting.  “He’s done it!  It’s beginning!”.  The hurricane of light sweeps over them and blasts out, sending Daniel flying into his mother’s arms.  We see The Entity out in space as a glowing area of heat forms on its chest.  Pulsing and throbbing like a festering wound.  Galvatron is swept away by the hurricane of light and out into space on the electrically charged winds. 

The Entity approaches Earth.  Salivating, licking his lips, sucking energy on to his tongue like a feeding chameleon.  He laughs, but then feels the throbbing hot spot which is increasing.  He rubs the area then tries to resume its meal before convulsing.  A glowing halo of Matrix light hums and crackles around his body.  The voice of Optimus Prime speaks:

“Your evil shall be eradicated...The goodness of the universe must survive all such as you..”

The Entity reacts, face contorting wildly and tries to tear out the source of the glowing heat.  Continuing to rip away until he tears himself to pieces.  The sky fills with pieces of his body, which dissolve in energy bursts like shooting stars over the Earth.  Dissolving the energy cage and releasing the energy flow back into the planet.  The shrunken Earth swells, refills and regains its colour and atmosphere. 

Down on the surface, Wheeljack and Arcee cheer, embrace, then roll after the leaderless Decepticons.  Who attempt to flee until they are stomped into the dust by the arriving Dinobots.  Hot Rod takes charge “Autobots, transform and roll...the day is ours!”

As he leads them to run down and over the fleeing Decepticons, we cut to the three humans.  Rusty wishes they could have brought “Megatron” to justice.  Daniel, watching through Sky Scope binoculars says “Maybe he has already!”

All three look and we follow their POV to see Galvatron clinging to a portion of The Entity’s hand,  flying through space in terror “Help meeeeeeeee!  Help me..” as he vanishes into the vastness of space. 

We cut to the new Autobot Headquarters.  Autobots and human troops led by General Blaze form parallel parade viewing ranks.  Cheering as Hot Rod, Tanker, Rusty, Ellen and Daniel lead the victory parade.  Rusty hoists Daniel on to his shoulder as we…

 

FADE OUT

 

 

THE END