After finding a new weapon, Megatron becomes infected with a strange disease — one he intends to use against the Autobots.
- Japanese title: "The Terrifying Cosmic Rust!"
While flying through space in Astrotrain, Megatron, Starscream, and Rumble discover a planet with the Autobot symbol visible from orbit. Heading to investigate, they find a deserted city and a pillar inscribed with Ancient Autobot. Activating a recorded message, they are warned to leave, or never return to Cybertron...all in rhyme. Disregarding the warnings, the Decepticons discover a Lightning Bug. While attempting to move it, they set it off, causing the ceiling above them to be destroyed. Megatron is pleased—the Autobots have created a weapon that will allow him to destroy them. While leaving the planet, an asteroid follows Astrotrain (look, just go with the flow) and Megatron destroys it. Bad idea, as the debris penetrates Astrotrain, with one piece hitting Megatron in the shoulder. Heading for their base, Starscream removes the rock, only to discover that Megatron's shoulder is covered in ruuusttt.
In New York, Perceptor is being awarded for his creation of corrostop, a new solution which prevents rust and corrosion. The Autobots plan to spray all the world's monuments with it, but for the moment, they only have enough to spray the Statue of Liberty. Meanwhile, Megatron's health is deteriorating rapidly, and he orders the Stunticons to bring him Perceptor. Heading for Liberty Island, the Decepticons capture Perceptor and load him into Blitzwing, with the Aerialbots in pursuit. The Autobot jets follow the kidnappers all the way to the Decepticon base, but the Coneheads use the Lightning Bug to drive them off.
Taken within their base, Perceptor is horrified to discover that Megatron is covered in rust. The Decepticon leader offers Perceptor a chance to end the war in exchange for curing him. As Perceptor analyzes the Decepticon, he discovers that Megatron is infected with a metallic plague and that the lightning bug is exacerbating the condition. Perceptor offers Megatron corrostop, which manages to wash the rust away. Megatron declares that the Decepticons are about to be cured.
At the Autobot base, the Aerialbots are explaining what happened to Optimus Prime, when Megatron contacts the Autobot leader. Megatron says that Prime has until noon to reach Perceptor, or sunlight focused through his lens will ignite the fuse on a bomb and blow him to pieces. Despite knowing it's a trap, Prime takes all the Autobots with him to rescue Perceptor. As the Autobots arrive, Perceptor warns them to keep away, but Prime pulls Perceptor away once the bomb ignites and explodes, only for Perceptor to reveal that he is infected with Cosmic Rust.
Returning to the base, the Autobots query Teletraan I, who tells them of the fate of Antilla, the world the Decepticons visited. Then, the Autobots notice that they're infected with Cosmic Rust as well. Worse, Megatron is using the Lightning Bug to make the plague spread. Their only hope is corrostop, but Cosmos and Blaster have discovered that Ingredient X, an important ingredient for making corrostop, is gone. Wheeljack suspects that they can use the matter duplicator to make more, if he and Perceptor can fix it. Meanwhile, Ratchet does his best to stem the tide, but they're fading fast. Megatron is watching via Laserbeak, loving every minute of it, only to learn that the matter duplicator now works, thanks to a unique solution provided by Perceptor. All they need is some corrostop from the Statue of Liberty to replicate.
Heading to the Statue of Liberty, Megatron orders the Stunticons to form Menasor and use the Lightning Bug to destroy the statue. However, the Autobots are already there, and the Aerialbots form Superion. The Autobot combiner is able to defeat Menasor and destroy the Lightning Bug. Megatron, out of ideas, orders a retreat. Bumblebee is quite pleased: they not only saved themselves, but also Lady Liberty.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Original airdate: December 26, 1985
Written by: Paul Davids
"Starscream! Keep your grubby fingers off that. It could be a booby trap!"
"What trap? This is a prehistoric communication device, you uneducated dolt!"
- —Megatron and Starscream, doing what they do best.
"Where there's a curse on the door, there's treasure on the other side."
- —Starscream, who has never seen an Indiana Jones movie.
"If that's a lightning bug, I'd sure hate to meet up with a dragonfly."
- —Astrotrain hates big bugs (nearly his size) and he cannot lie.
"Unfortunately, the operation is successful."
- —Starscream bemoans removing an infected meteor fragment from Megatron.
"It's some weird kind of heat ray—and it works!"
- —Air Raid expresses not-unjustified amazement at the efficiency of the Decepticons' weapon-of-the-day.
"Somebody's gotta get us back to Cybertron, Prime. I never thought the end would come like this."
- —Bumblebee, dying from Cosmic Rust and apparently wanting to destroy his home planet.
"The Cosmic Rust has infiltrated your logic circuits."
"Maybe so, but I'll bet it hasn't affected my aim."
- —Megatron and Optimus Prime
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Apparently, Blitzwing is large enough in flight mode to carry the Stunticons and Perceptor. Normally, this could be written off to Astrotrain-style mass-shifting and left at that — until we see Blitzwing land next to Dirge and Ramjet at Decepticon Headquarters. Blitzwing is shown to be the same size as Ramjet and Dirge, even though he's supposedly got Perceptor and at least two Stunticons inside.
- Menasor and Superion are usually depicted as being the same size, yet in relation to the Lightning Bug their sizes vary quite a lot: when Menasor uses the Bug it is roughly a quarter of his size (maybe less), but when Superion blows it up, the Bug almost 3/4 his size. This might be an error of perspective in the art.
- Astrotrain, who got damaged a lot more by the infectious meteor than Megatron, is never shown to be infected. Starscream should likewise be infected, having pulled out the asteroid fragment from Megatron, but again this is never shown. Megatron's statement that "Decepticons — we are about to be cured!" implies that he's not the only victim, though the story focus in general implies that he is.
- Why would Perceptor pick up Megatron's infected hand when he's just declared that cosmic rust is contagious? He may suspect that Corrostop might be a cure, but he doesn't know for certain yet...so why would a scientist put himself at such risk, and for Megatron of all people?
- Couldn't Prime have moved the explosives away from the infected and very contagious Perceptor, rather than vice versa? Though the Cosmic Rust seems capable of spreading through the air, Prime could at least try not to get infected.
- According to Teletraan 1, the "Lost Legion" of Autobots had already colonized Antilla at the dawn of time. That's a pretty ambitious timetable!
- Apparently, the Decepticons' entire hope of victory relied on Menasor being able to destroy the Statue of Liberty with the Lightning Bug, and not Menasor's own tendency to smash everything he looks at.
- Perceptor didn't keep a single drop of Corrostop? Not even a laboratory sample? Not even inside the tanks of the spray hoses used to coat the Statue of Liberty?
- Despite its seemingly great potential for all sorts of useful purposes (or mischief, as the Decepticons are well aware of its existence), the Matter Duplicator is never seen again.
- This isn't an error per se, but the episode's plot really highlights it: as the more warlike of the two factions, it would really make sense for the Decepticons to have at least one medic around, as they're more likely to be in battle and to be injured in the line of duty. Instead, the Autobots have a number of 'bots in their crew capable of administering repairs (Ratchet, Wheeljack, Hoist, First Aid, etc.) while the Decepticons never have a single one in the entire series except for Hook, who does repairs in "The Core" while working for the Autobots temporarily.
- Teletraan 1 calls the fallen Autobot civilization the "13th Legion- the Lost Legion." This could be a reference to the Lost Tribe of Israel, which originally had 12th tribes.
- The Statue of Liberty, of course.
- Megatron coughs while infected with Cosmic Rust, despite not having lungs. Similarly, Ratchet complains that "It's suddenly getting hot in here" and wipes his brow as if he's sweating.
- Apprently, the Autobots and the Decepticons speak different languages, or they used to. Either way, Starscream can't read ancient Autobot.
- One wonders if the reason that the Decepticons haven't yet won the war is that Megatron himself is an enormous pansy. One little chunk of asteroid embedded in his shoulder has him throwing a fit about how terribly wounded he is. Not to mention when his Lightning Bug gets ruined, he orders a retreat despite the Autobots currently being weakened by Cosmic Rust.
- For some reason, Megatron would rather trust Starscream to give him medical attention than, say, anyone else on base. Maybe for the reason that Starscream is a scientist, and no other Decepticon on Earth seems to have even a modicum of similar training or knowledge.
- Blitzwing is used as a means to transport Decepticons in a way that Astrotrain is usually used. He even mass shifts to become large enough to fit lots of Decepticons the way that Astrotrain does. It does make sense to use Blitzwing since Astrotrain is injured and so this is not an animation mistake, Blitzwing was meant to be used this way.
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