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The Fallen and his soldiers hunt down the four Transformers needed for the Unbinding.
Grimlock charges at the Fallen who easily swats him away and reprimands Bludgeon for having to interfere in person. But Grimlock is not so easily defeated and relentlessly attack the Fallen again... in vain. Jetfire watches the deactivation of Grimlock and speculates on the Fallen's origins, then blacks out. The Fallen drags both of them away, while Bludgeon and the other henchmen leave to retrieve the third target. Shockwave, forgotten, awakens.
At the hub-capital Iacon, beneath Virtue's Forum, in the Autobase, Prowl and the other Autobots discuss the escalation of the arms race between the six factions. Trailbreaker relates to Prowl Jetfire's theory of intelligent manipulation behind recent events. Sideswipe interrupts the discussion, bringing Prowl to answer a video communication from Swoop regarding Grimlock's disappearance. Moments after Swoop hangs up, an alarm signals an attack within the Autobots' brig. The lower levels of the base are invaded by the unstoppable Fallen.
In another part of Iacon, the Protectobots ponder why their combined form, Defensor, has such a reduced intellect. Bludgeon and his cronies crash the deliberations. With the elements of surprise, Mindwipe's hypnosis, and Hot Spot's hesitation to initiate the interlink into Defensor, the Protectobots are quickly defeated. Hot Spot is declared a captive.
Jazz, Sunstreaker, and Mirage continue to defend, refusing to let the Fallen retrieve the Autobots' prisoner. The Fallen's dark power lets him shrug off the Autobots' attacks and disable the three of them. He tears open the jail cell and recruits the fourth and final component of the Unbinding: Blitzwing.
Above, in the tactical central of the Autobase, Prowl orders a containment field erected to make sure the Fallen doesn't escape. But when Bumblebee sets up the shield, feedback detonates his console and almost injures him. There's no question that the Fallen has escaped.
In the Well of All Sparks, Jetfire awakens, bound to a machine with the three other Transformers captured by the Fallen. He explains that they are about to become casualties of a divine war, for when the Seal of Primus opens, chaos will follow.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- The dialog on page 4 (page 96 of the collection) in panel 2 is confusing. The Fallen appears to be addressing Jetfire, while responding to Grimlock. The simplest fix would be to change the Fallen's line from "He does, Jetfire," to, "Jetfire has an idea." This comment is only based on how you look at it.
You're from before. Aren't you? Before the golden age, before recorded time."
"You know so little... about who and what you are, about the forces at work around you...beneath you. The golden age--heh.
...To the Dark Age"
- —Jetfire and the Fallen
- —Hot Spot and Blades on Bludgeon's arrival.
Items of note
- Cameos: dead Autobot duty guards, Defensor (on monitor)
- Blitzwing's cell number is D-43, the same number his toy was assigned for its original Japanese release.
- It's never made clear why particularly Jetfire, Grimlock, Hot Spot, and Blitzwing were necessary for the Unbinding.
- On the final page of the story, the Fallen casts a shadow with horns intentionally evocative of Unicron. How it's possible for him to cast a shadow with his back being constantly on fire is unclear but there's all kinds of Dark Magic involved so don't think about it.
- The "Declarations of War" page has reader mail answered by Roger Lee and a piece of fan artwork by Ryan Wilton of Megatron in a manner similar to the famous scene from Planet of the Apes.
- The "Wavelengths" section contains an article from the desk of John Ney Rieber.
- The Autobots try to keep the Fallen from breaking Blitzwing out of prison; art by Don Figueroa, Erik Sander and Saiko.