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Rise of Safeguard

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As the Decepticons grow restless, Project Safeguard, the first flying Autobot, is initiated and trained. But the twins that are chosen for the test subjects are a bit more than the Elite Guard bargained for.

Synopsis

After millions of stellar cycles of banishment, the Decepticons are becoming restless. Ultra Magnus decides they need to be reminded that Megatron is (presumed) offline and Starscream is in captivity. He gives the go-ahead for Project Safeguard, the creation of a flying Autobot, despite both Sentinel Prime and Jazz's misgivings about the project.

While they're busy planning flashy upgrades, Starscream shorts out his gag and stasis cuffs (he seems to be pretty good at that) and escapes, plotting good old vengeance. But Ultra Magnus still goes ahead with Project Safeguard, getting Autobot scientists Perceptor, Wheeljack and Red Alert to analyze Starscream's flight protocols, despite Perceptor also pointing out the risks, and find some expendable volunteers for the project.

Meanwhile, the twins Jetfire and Jetstorm (though as yet unnamed) are working the slow shift as lowly Energon refiners. But they start bickering and arguing during work again, and a fight breaks out, resulting in a huge explosion that offlines them both.

The Elite Guard takes this unique opportunity to experiment with some special programming, and adapts their lifeless shells for flying alt modes, while at the same time using Starscream's programming to give them the ability to fly with them, despite concerns about creating psychopathic killers.

A deca-cycle of programming and adaptation later, and the future of Cybertron is presented to Ultra Magnus. Then the two start up their usual insulting, arguing and fighting in front of him. Sentinel Prime and Jazz both express doubts about their suitability as Elite Guard material, and are given the task of giving them special Elite Guard Training. Jazz comments that 'with these two clowns, you got nowhere to go but up'.

Sentinel is first up, and after noting that their alt modes are exactly the same, gives them their names - Jetfire and Jetstorm. When he tells them to "Transform and Roll Out", both brothers comment that being jets, they have no wheels and cannot do so. So Sentinel orders them to "Transform and Fly Out". They promptly obey and fly out, instantly getting into ANOTHER argument about their new flying skills. Unfortunately, since they're flying, the sentry towers identify them as Decepticons. But all this does is show that the defense cannons could use a serious upgrade.

After training with Sentinel, the twins went to train with Jazz in the art of Circuit-Su and Metalikato. They soon find themselves incapable of understanding a word he says. Upon his orders to show him their 'moves', he easily knocks them down. But when they suddenly start working together, they successfully and rapidly take him down.


As the twins are easily beating every combat simulation the Elite Guard has, they begin to get cocky. So Perceptor creates a new simulation that will involve a greater test of their flight skills. Using more of Starscream's code, another combat simulation with Starscream himself in it is made. Sim-Starscream starts beating the living daylights out of them, using genuine Starscream sadism and cruelty to taunt and damage them. Perceptor realises that this sadism was not supposed to be in the simulator and tries to shut it down, but the Starscream code has taken over the entire simulator, and right now they can't even touch the twins. Meanwhile the Starscream simulation picked up Jetstorm and threw him so hard he knocked him unconscious.

Furious at Sim-Starscream for what he's done to his brother, Jetfire starts using his newly discovered flamethrowers to set them both on fire - but he can't control the new ability. It starts to manifest itself in his real body too, threatening to send the entire building up in flames.

As Jetstorm recovers, he sees his brother unable to control himself. Desperate to save his brother from himself, he finds a new ability of his own - wind/ice turbines with enough strength to blow out Jetfire's flames, also cooling his real body back down.

But even as the two brothers thank and congratulate each other, Sim-Starscream returns, ready to kill. But then the twins discover their true power - they can combine into Safeguard, a single, more powerful form, and beat Sim-Starscream back using a more controlled blast combining their powers. When they are separated again by Sim-Starscream in jet mode, they combine again to make a larger, more powerful jet, and pretty much defeat him.

When they are finally brought back down from the program, they are told they have passed their training, and are now Elite Guard Junior Officers. Their first mission is to track Waspinator with Sentinel and Jazz, in hopes of finding Decepticon ringleaders.

Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons


Quotes

Starscream: "VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE, MEGATRON!"

-Starscream saying what he says best.


Jetfire: "Watch this, brother! No hands! No viz scanners!"
Jetstorm: "And no brains! We are energon refinery bots, not cyber-circus performers!"

-Jetfire and Jetstorm in their first panel.


Jetfire: "You are looking different, brother."
Jetstorm: "As are you, brother."
Jetfire: "I didn't think it possible for you to look even uglier than before."
Jetstorm: "Your face is no picnic on Energon Farm either."

-The upgraded twins' first words are, of course, insults to each other.


Jetfire: "Er, brother? Are you noticing..."
Jetstorm: "...Big explosions? As a matter of fact, yes, brother. What say we..."
Jetfire: "...Avoid getting blown up? I am liking this plan, brother."

-The twins demonstrate their ability to know what the other is thinking while avoiding the sentry towers.


Jetfire: "Put... my... brother... down!"
Starscream: "Not before I have a little fun with him! So you Autobots want to fly, do you? GO LONG!"

-Sim-Starscream, now with extra sadism and cruelty. You'll think you're being horribly tortured by the real thing!


Jetfire: "Are you thinking what I am thinking, brother?"
Jetstorm: "Always."

-That's touching. And strangely eerie...


Jetfire: "Wait!"
Jetstorm: "Where's big Decepticon kaboom?"

-The twins should stop hanging out with Flareup.

Items of Note

Continuity error

  • In the end they mention that Waspinator has escaped, however it hadn't even got up to him being Waspinator until after they arrive on earth. Is it possible that it's the same Trademark reason that Wasp's toy had to be called "Fugitive Waspinator"? (Note: This error has been corrected in the version available through the iTunes App Store.)

Notes

  • This "The Arrival" issue was cancelled, and never hit the comic-book shelves. Now it is only available with the Jetfire/Jetstorm box set, the iTunes App Store, and of course, eBay.
  • Two members of Ultra Magnus's Autobot Council share Prowl's body type. In fact, they're essentially of the same appearance, albeit with red and green highlights respectively. A hint to his past, perhaps?
  • Ultra Magnus comments that Sentinal Prime could "become a fine Magnus someday", the first reference to "Magnus" being a rank rather than a name.
  • The concerns that manipulating with something from Starscream may end with creating a psychopathic killers may not be just baseless cackle.

Covers

  • Cover A: Sentinel Prime, Jetfire, and Jetstorm in robot mode.
Art : Boo
Colors: Liam Shalloo
  • Cover B: Jetfire and Jetstorm in their jet alts.
Art: Boo
Colors: Benjamin Maier

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