While searching for the missing sparks, the Maximals are attacked by two new Vehicon generals.
- Japanese title: Captive Souls (捕われの魂 Toraware no Tamashii)
Cheetor is fleeing from the usual horde of Cycle drones as the episode opens. Rattrap cuts in and destroys a lot of them.... then Nightscream does the same... and so on, with Thrust looking on in anger as Silverbolt blows away a batch of drones that are surrounding Blackarachnia. Thrust ends up getting bashed down by a flying pile of Cycledrone parts, then surrounded by Maximals, who send him packing. Rattrap notes that their victories are coming rather easily these days, with a touch of trepidation.
Megatron, observing, coldly notes that he won't allow the "mongrel" Maximals to run roughshod over his planet.
Rattrap has cobbled together a cart from busted Cycle drones, and hauled it back to base (apparently this was the purpose of the mission!) Blackarachnia thanks Silverbolt for an assist in battle, but he only chews her out for losing focus.
The Cycle drone parts are for Botanica, to help her unlock the secrets of the organic core. Nightscream tries to warm Botanica up to the idea of combat, but she's having none of it; she's a scientist, not a warrior, and doesn't want to become more like Megatron. Optimus defends her position, saying the other six can easily handle one Vehicon general.
Aboard the big floating head, Thrust gets chewed out by Megatron for failing to hold the Maximals at bay; when Megatron says he's no better than Tankor or Jetstorm, Thrust angrily reminds him that he's remained loyal, and it was Megatron's choices that caused the other two to turn against him.
Cheetor tries to cheer up a moping Optimus, who's down in the dumps over the missing Sparks. Nightscream, meanwhile, approaches Silverbolt, trying to get him not to be such a jerk to Blackarachnia. Silverbolt isn't interested in anything else until the war is won, and flies off.
Optimus has some kind of brief vision just then, alerting him to trouble with the Sparks. And above, we see Megatron gleefully holding aloft two of the Sparks in question. A moment later, two new Vehicons roll out from a chamber, as Thrust looks on in approval: one floats, and shoulder-mounted helicopter blades; the other is bigger and bulkier, and "skates" just above the ground. Thrust starts to deliver a lecture on the way things work. The new guys look at Thrust, at each other... and then one of them casually bashes Thrust aside, as Megatron laughs.
Nightscream pursues Silverbolt above the surface, still pressing the Blackarachnia issue. But Nightscream is suddenly blasted out of the air, then caught by Silverbolt. They spot the new generals, who stare ominously... then laugh and transform. The floating one becomes a sleek, twin-bladed helicopter: "Obliterate!" The other, a six-wheeled ground vehicle: "Terminate!"
Nightscream radios for help. The Maximals move out; Botanica stays behind, over Cheetor's protests and with Optimus's blessing.
The group arrives in time to help. They handle the new generals easily, and find their vocabulary limited to little but "OBLITERATE!!" and "TERMINATE!" Silverbolt is concerned and confused as to why Megatron would create such ineffective general; Rattrap figures they're easier to control. Primal tries to reach their Sparks, hoping to free captive Maximals within and also to learn the location of the Sparks, but they escape and run off.
Botanica, meanwhile is working with her machines, when a vat of green goo that she's using begins to seethe and speak her name, overwhelming her with visions of drifting Sparks....
The team pursues their quarry; the Generals round a corner and turn to face their opponents, their backs to a wall. For a brief instant, the Maximals are triumphant. And then a cloud of drones -- identical to the generals -- rises into view.
It's a trap -- the Maximals are surrounded by hundreds of drones. Their leaders transform, and speak. The helicopter muses that Primal never learned not to underestimate his opponents; the tank simply laughs that the team fell for the simplistic ruse.
The drones open fire; Primal absorbs it and uses the energy to blast through the platform they're standing on, so the ground falls out from beneath his group. They try to retreat to base, but at every turn they're intercepted by drones. Primal notes that their foes are clearly master strategists.
Back at said base, Botanica finds herself adrift. She is treated to various flashbacks to Megatron's invasion, his armies of drones, the Maximals' fights.... then finds herself alone again.
Even the planet's sewers provide no safe haven, filled with more drones. The Maximals decide to fall back to the Council Citadel, while a plant-vine nearby shows Botanica what's going on.
The Maximals slam shut a pile of heavy doors behind them. Firepower impacts the doors from the outside. Optimus has a horrible realization: they've been herded here. A screen with the helicopter's face on it approaches; he invites the team to surrender. Primal tries to reason with him, but the helicopter -- Obsidian -- says that he and Strika are doing what they've always done, which is to defend Cybertron. The Maximals have been taking on the two greatest generals in Cybertronian history.
A horde of Striker drones bursts through the doors. The group retreats again, but is soon sealed into another room with scads of drones. Primal vows to go down fighting, but then Botanica bursts ito the room and transforms. She launches a plethora of planet-vine-bomb things, disrupting the drones and causing them to randomly blast each other.
Strika and Obsidian, watching from afar, note that their targeting systems are being disrupted, by the new Maximal whose capabilities they know little about. The Maximals revert to beast mode and retreat, and Botanica simply melts into the floor.
The generals finally arrive at the scene, find the Maximals have vanished, and order their forces to stand down. The two later report back to Megatron, prepared to accept punishment for failure -- a point that Thrust happily emphasizes. Megatron is pleased with their loyalty, though, and for keeping the Maximals occupied, allowing him to finalize his plan for the Sparks.
Botanica burrows her way, drill-like, into the Maximal base. She explains what changed her mind; Rattrap facepalms: "Another one with visions." The team apologizes for trying to force her into their way of doing things; Botanica vows that it's her fight as well. Silverbolt is pessimistic; the new Generals have fought a thousand wars together, and won them all. Primal observes that they were culled from the missing Sparks, and vows not to let Megatron violate another. A dancing vision of Sparks fills the screen as we fade out.
Botanica : The more we fight like Megatron, the more we become like Megatron.
Writer: Brooks Wachtel
Original Air Date: March 22, 2000 (YTV); September 23, 2000 (FOX)
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- This episode marks the first appearances of the two new Vehicon generals, Obsidian and Strika, as actual characters. However, it should be noted that, along with Botanica, their first literal appearance was actually in the episode "Fallout", during a vision by Optimus Primal.
- In the opening scene, after Silverbolt blows up an assortment of (just) cycle drones, the debris inexplicably includes aero drone parts.
- Silverbolt seems to know about Obsidian and Strika's past success as war generals despite the fact that his protoform was activated during the Beast Wars on Earth and his own datatracks were lost. Presumably he read a history book at some point.
- At one point Botanica refers to a new crop of weed that she planted in the orchard. As the camera pans out, a large group of marijuana plants are visible along with a portrait of Bob Marley