Decepticons attack Iacon, Optimus hallucinates, Megatron explains his plan to Starscream who does what you can expect.
After being defeated at Sector Zero-Six (Protihex) due to information Starscream thought it was a good idea to leak to Grimlock, Starscream questions the sadism of Megatron's operation. Skywarp and Thundercracker leave, blaming the incident on Starscream.
On Megatron's orders, Soundwave, Ravage and three Insecticons hunt Optimus Prime through caves deep beneath the surface of Cybertron.
Alone, wandering the tunnels, a translucent image of Optimus emerges from a yellow pool. The mysterious mirror Optimus tells the real Optimus that there is something greater going on, greater forces at play. Before vanishing, the image points out that Prime is about to be attacked by Ravage. Optimus quickly overpowers Ravage into a retreat—but now his location is known to his enemies.
Shockwave continues to lead the Decepticon army against Iacon. From the High Council Pavilions, Jazz and the other Autobots manage the defensive efforts—questioning why the Decepticons are attacking the Autobots at their strongest location. Prowl suspects it's part of a greater strategy.
Starscream approaches Megatron, asking for an explanation. Megatron answers by revealing his vision of a mobile Cybertron and that the war to disguise Megatron's plan to re-start the planet's engines. Also, the attack on Iacon was to disguise the effort to capture Prime, and acquire the key to knowing the truth behind Cybertron's history and destiny, ...the Matrix. As Megatron explains the plan to the skeptical Starscream, Prime fights off the Decepticons sent to capture him. When Starscream points out how Prime evades containment, Megatron departs, leaving Starscream with a warning to remember his place.
Grimlock receives a radio message from Prowl with a new mission. While the Autobot army regroups away from Iacon, Grimlock is to assemble his regular team and recover Optimus.
Optimus, having escaped Soundwave, comes face to face with Megatron for the first time. The two meet on a bridge across a hole deep into Cybertron. But before they can begin combat with each other, Starscream blasts the bridge, sending Optimus and Megatron falling even deeper within.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- "From day one, it's been about pain... Not insurgence, not conquest, not terror. Just pain. It's Megatron's way of controlling us. The arena, the forge, the branding pit... We've been gradually conditioned, tempered. We inflict pain, we take it. No questions. It's what it is to be a Decepticon."
- "Starscream... Will you shut UP!"
- Blitzwing's triple changing ability was later written off as an art error since later in the Dreamwave continuity he did not possess the ability to do so.
Items of note
- During Shockwave's attack on Iacon, "Are All Dead" is burned into the wall in a similar manner to the iconic cover of "The New Order".
- During the final confrontation in the issue, Megatron brandishes the sword from his Japanese toy issue.
- Cameos: Venom, Ramjet, Dirge, Thrust, Frenzy, Chop Shop, Brawl, Octane, Blitzwing, Astrotrain, Blast Off, Cliffjumper, Vortex, Huffer.
- Prime vs Ravage by Don Figueroa and Gary Yeung