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Metal - the new black!
N.B. No credits are given at all.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Stylor tells how he came to be wearing what will be the fashion item of the future - a metal exo suit!
Things had been going fine since the Autobots made a pact with the Nebulans and several surrendered their heads. But then the Decepticons arrive and besiege the city, demanding the five Autobot heads. They attack the city and the Nebulans fight back with the weapons originally installed to handle the Autobots. Like other Nebulans Stylor flees the city wall and is in the Central City Park when he sees Kord - leader of the Nebulans and World Watcher - and Duros rushing through, talking about going to the tomb where the Autobot heads are held. Stylor decides to follow.
Stylor listens outside the tomb as Fortress Maximus tells Kord to hand over the Autobots to the Decepticons if it would save Nebulos, though everyone agrees that the Decepticons would just conquer the planet anyway. Fortress Maximus then suggests restoring the Autobots' heads to their bodies and giving the other Autobots their weapons back, but Kord doesn't want to break the Autobot-Nebulan pact and lose the faith of Nebulans. Duros suggests operating the Autobot bodies by remote control and puts it to the test but it rapidly proves an unworkable solution.
Then Brainstorm suggests integrating a Nebulan with an Autobot. Stylor initially thinks this is ridiculous. But then the Decepticon shelling hits the park directly, destroying one of Stylor's favourite places. Stylor reflects on the designer of the park, Arcana. He was originally a physician but then became an alchemist, finding time to design the park on the way. But if anyone can bring Brainstorm's idea about it's Arcana. Stylor heads for the lab, to find Kord, Duros and Gort already there along with the five headless Autobots. Stylor reflects on Arcana's dress sense - a guy in his fifties trying to be fashionable with a short shoulder cape, narrow one piece dark glasses, long hair at the sides and bald on top!
For some time Arcana has been giving more thought to a way to combine Nebulans than to his wardrope. He has devised an untested process which will involve bioengineering. Grot and Duros immediately volunteer for the process. stylor decides to volunteer as well. Duros is not impressed "saying they need soldiers, not a prancing dandy." Kord sticks up for Stylor's courage in volunteering. Kord and Arcana themselves take the two remaining places.
The five Nebulans are placed on operating tables, each next to a headless Autobot. Kord is assigned to Fortress Maximus whilst Stylor doesn't know the name of his own Autobot. The process is long and painful, and Stylor doesn't understand the details of it, but ends with the five Nebulans covered in metal. On Arcana's suggestion they try transforming and successfully become the heads on the robots. Then Stylor feels himself lifted in the air and realises he is being picked up by his Autobot. The moment he is connected to the Autobot's body there is a huge mental jolt. Suddenly he knows the entire history of this Autobot - Chromedome. The pair introduce themselves to each other.
The five Autobot-Nebulan combinations head to the gates of the city and attack the Decepticons. Although outnumbered they plan to hit hard and fast to avoid giving the Decepticons a target. Constantly shifting between robot and battle modes the five pairs fight fiercely, with the Autobots handling the weapons and fighting whilst the Nebulans focus on strategy. Two heads prove better than one. Scorponok observes the vastly improved skills of the Autobots as the Decepticons are forced to retreat.
The five pairs return to the city to face apprehensive Nebulans who don't know how to cope with the victorious Autobots. Then all five remove their heads and the Nebulans transform. the crowd realises the Nebulans were in the heart of the action and go wild with celebrations.
And now Stylor recommends a tailor who used to be a sheet metal worker who has come up with amazing designs for the latest in fashion!
- There is an odd illustration on page 35 which appears to depict Stylor following Kord and Duros across Central City Park while wearing his Headmaster armour, some time before he actually acquires it. (The only alternative, since the story is told in the first person in the form of a recollection after the fact, is that he's supposed to be "watching" his own flashback.)
- "Chromedome and I had a similar role, but as we were lighter and faster than Kord with Maximus and our hit and run strikes were more frequent." And someone seems to have and gone a bit "and" happy and.
This retells the events of the Decepticon attack on the Nebulan city and the creation of the Heamasters in response, a tale otherwise told in "Broken Glass!" Other than a couple of Nebulan name changes the story is fairly accurate to those events and any variations can be considered embellishments by Stylor.
Items of note
- Throughout the annual the character elsewhere called Galen is here called "Kord". No-one knows why.
- Similarly the character elsewhere called "Gort" is always called "Grot".