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Arcee and Cliffjumper are scouting for Energon in the Nevada area. About a minute into their conversation Cliffjumper picks up a reading of an untabbed deposit. As he is insepecting it the Decepticon warship carrying a strike force headed by Starscream arrives. The Decepticons engage Cliffjumper and eventually one of the shots hit a piece of Energon, destroying the whole site in a blue energon flame. Two of the Decepticons drag Cliffjumper onto their ship to Starscream. Cliffjumper remarks where Starscream's master is, and Starscream jabs him fatally in the chest and says he has no master, leaving Cliffjumper to fall dead in a pool of his own energon.
Arcee has now contacted the other Autobots and told them of Cliffjumper's situation. They use a Ground Bridge to get to the site, but are too late, as the Nemesis has only just departed. While searching the site, Arcee and Bumblebee come across one of Cliffjumper's broken horns which was lost in the battle. Ratchet scans for Cliffjumper's life signal, only for it to disappear, signaling his death.
Soundwave reports to Starscream a recorded portion of the conversation between Arcee and Cliffjumper, indicating the former's location is in Jasper, Nevada. Starscream decides to send out troopers to destroy her.
The remaining Autobots hold a memorial for Cliffjumper, and Optimus tells the others that they must now work harder to stop the Decepticons in order to honour Cliffjumper and keep humanity safe. Arcee, still bitter at the loss of her partner, drives off so that she can't dwell on the situation. Ratchet points out to Optimus that "helping humans will only result in more tragedy."
Meanwhile, Jack Darby is working at a KO Burger drive thru and finishes his shift after experiencing non-paying customers. Arcee pulls into the KO Burger's parking lot after realising she is being followed by two Decepticons, and Jack admires her vehicle mode, getting on. Jack fails to impress Sierra and her friend when they find him talking to the motorcycle, when he was in fact telling himself he would buy his own motorcycle someday. When the Decepticons arrive, Arcee is forced to drive off with Jack on her, startling the teenager. After losing the Decepticons Arcee drops him off in an alley and warns Jack not to speak of her to anyone. However she is forced to save Jack and take him with her when one of the Decepticons chases him.
The chase continues onto a freeway when Bumblebee arrives and holds the Decepticons back as Arcee and Jack enter a stormdrain. Rafael Esquivel is playing with a remote control car when they arrive, and during the battle Bumblebee is knocked down. Raf yells for the Decepticons to leave him alone, and inadvertantly draws one of them to himself and Jack, but luckily Bumblebee saves them. As the humans flee down a drainpipe, Arcee and Bumblebee continue to battle until Bulkhead arrives, prompting the Decepticons to flee.
Later at the Autobot base, Arcee and Bumblebee report the conflict to Optimus and reveal that Jack and Raf were witnesses. Optimus decides that the boys will need to be protected by them should the Decepticons want to target them. At their high school, Jack and Raf are surprised when Bumblebee and Arcee arrive. Raf eagerly takes off in Bumblebee, while Jack is more reluctant to head off with Arcee. While Arcee attempts to convince him to go to their base, Miko Nakadai comes across the pair, leaving Arcee no choice but to bring her as well.
At their Headquarters, the kids are introduced to Bulkhead, Ratchet and Optimus. Optimus then informs them about their war with the Decepticons, and fears that their leader, Megatron, will return despite being missing for three years. Back on the Decepticon warship, Soundwave reports to Starscream that he has detected a transmission from deep space. Starscream asks for Soundwave's certainty about the message, not wanting to waste Energon, and then agrees to have the Space Bridge activated. Megatron arrives from the other side, announcing his return.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)