Optimus Prime and his crew are discussing with Professor Sumdac and Catain Fanzone a robbery by a female kickboxing champ called Stella Healy who has become an industrial saboteur for hire called Stiletto. Apparently she has stolen a prototype laser scalpel and an experimental metal alloy. Optimus offers to get the goods back, but Fanzone suggests he leaves it to the police.
Nonetheless, soon afterward, a mysterious vandal is attempting to collapse the Ambassador Bridge by slicing through the cables. It turns out to be Stiletto, who is confronted by Prowl. He suggests that she returns the stolen goods, and when she attacks, she passes straight through one of his holograms. However, she then manages to shatter one of his shuriken with a kick.
Bumblebee turns up to help, but only manages to blow up a gas tank. Optimus douses the flames, Ratchet tries to repair the broken cables of the bridge, and Bulkhead tries to deal with Stiletto with his wrecking ball - only to have the cable cut with her heels, and the ball land on his head, taking him out temporarily.
Bumblebee moves in to take her on hand-to-servo, but she removes his wheels and makes her escape on a bright pink motorcycle that looks just like Arcee's movie toy. However, Ratchet pulls the bike out from under her (without harming
Arcee the bike). She attacks Optimus this time, but discovers the only thing her heels can't cut through is his axe. He divests her of her boots and she is soon arrested.
While Sari and the Autobots wonder why Stiletto wanted to collapse the bridge in the first place, we are taken to Megatron's head, who muses to himself that the metal alloy and laser scalpel would make a reasonable material for his new swords... and that collapsing the bridge and the damage done to the Autobots was all just a field test.
Bots Of Science
A younger, slimmer, sexier Ratchet, currently a Field Tech, and still with his unbroken crest and EMP generator, is touring the Hydrax Plateau, contemplating how the Decepticons are now using Cyber-Oxidants that the grunts call Cosmic Rust. He's horrified that the Decepticons are even using it on their own soldiers to get rid of Autobots.
When his commander (whose identity is not confirmed) contacts him for news of survivors, Ratchet spots a Decepticon slowly dying from Cosmic Rust. He goes to help the Decepticon, but his commander tells him to do otherwise. Ratchet ignores him and tries to help Oil Slick. He warns the Decepticon that he's going to have to lose his legs, but Oil Slick tells him that he has an anti-oxidant that will reverse the effects. Oil Slick claims to have a medical background.
After some discussion regarding trust, names are exchanged. Oil Slick gives Ratchet instructions on mixing the anti-oxidant, telling him that the contents of the vials are a trade secret. He then tells Ratchet how to administer the chemicals. They discuss how they each have much to learn about each other as Oil Slick recovers...
And then Oil Slick sends a blast of chemicals at Ratchet, infecting him with Cosmic Rust and mocking him for being too trusting. He informs Ratchet that he is not a medic, but a chemical warrior who got caught up in his own attack thanks to wind shift. Now he doesn't need Ratchet, he can just kill him slowly.
Oil Slick then drives away, unaware that Ratchet has just swiped his antidote from under his big nose. He cures himself, contemplating how the upside of this mess is that the Autobots now have the cure for Cosmic Rust. He also thinks about how he's learnt a little about deception from them... and wonders if they'll ever learn anything about conscience from Autobots.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Ratchet: "So all that talk about 'bots of science and trust was just..."
Oil Slick: "LIES! Decepticon! It's right there in the name! 'DECEPTI-Con.' When will you Autobot fools ever fighure that out?"
(Oil Slick points out the blindingly obvious)
Items of Note
- The bright pink motorbike Stiletto tries to get away on bears a very strong resemblance (and by strong I mean pretty much identical) to the alt mode of Arcee's Deluxe movie toy. Perhaps it's just a callout... or perhaps it's a hint of alt modes to come?
- Cosmic Rust was also the name of an episode in the G1 continuity, which starred a disease with effects pretty much identical to the way Cosmic Rust is portrayed in this issue. It was also mentioned in an Animated episode prior to this issue.
- Cover A: Oil Slick.
- Art & Colors: Marcelo Matere
- Cover B: Young Ratchet carrying an injured Oil Slick.
- Incentive Cover RI: Young Ratchet.
- Art: ???