Starscream royally pisses off Grimlock.
Previously, Starscream and co. had been sent on a mission Sector Zero-Six to distract them from possibly interfering with Megatron's plans. Grimlock was last seen going into Kaon after the Decepticons had obliterated the Forum of Enlightenment
Starscream and his pals drop in on Grimlock, brooding in an abandoned coliseum where apparently, Grimlock regularly defeated Starscream. Starscream questions how Grimlock rejected Megatron's uprising—suspecting that some part of Grimlock still wants to be a Decepticon. Annoyed at Starscream's arrogance, Grimlock swats him away with a backhanded punch.
The other Seekers draw their weapons but are stopped by Starscream, who tells Grimlock (under protest by Skywarp) where his squadron's target is, and invites Grimlock to Sector Zero-Six, suggesting that Grimlock give into his dark urges to conquer and destroy. They leave a furious Grimlock to continue on their mission.
In a flashback, Grimlock (still a Decepticon at this time) prepares for a gladiatorial match with Maul (drawn to somewhat recall Demolishor) while being pestered by Starscream. Starscream tells Grimlock that "some" say that he doesn't have the killer instinct and this information has reached Megatron. Grimlock grabs Starscream by the throat, causing him to backpedal and say that the opinion is not his own, but "others". Grimlock releases him and leaves for the match as Starscream pays a bribe to Emirate Xeon.
In the match, poor Maul is quite outmatched and soon has his head cracked open by Grimlock's massive fist and his chest sliced open by his energo-sword. It's uncertain, however, if Grimlock delivers the killing blow.
Back in the present, the Seekers arrive at Sector Zero-Six. Oddly, it is deserted. They find a voice recording by Grimlock stating that he evacuated the station and left a "present" for the group—a bomb! Skywarp warps his teammates out seconds before the bomb explodes.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- "Did you see the indecision, the consternation. They should make Grimlock baiting a national sport!"
- Starscream mentions Grimlock 'throwing in with Optimus Prime and the Autobots'. He means Sentinel Prime since Grimmy was already an Autobot before Optimus became Prime.
Items of note
- The first four pages of this story were previously released in the DW Preview Special 2002.
- The story fits between issues 2 and 3 of The War Within, and would later be released in order in the trade paperback.
- Following the story were sketches by Don Figueroa of characters in the series, including the unused Devastator.
- Also included was a section by writer Simon Furman on how he came up with the story, and a question and answer section with artist Don Figueroa.
- Cameos: Cy-Kill in gladiator audience.
- Starscream brooding; art by Don Figueroa.