In the dead of night, Bumblebee suddenly rouses everyone with the news of a Decepticon incursion, and Strongarm, Sideswipe, and Grimlock spring into readiness, as do Denny and Russell who are perturbed at being woken. As Bumblebee looks around for Drift, the others realize that it's just a drill. While the Autobots disperse, Drift finally arrives, and Bumblebee is about to lecture him on teamwork when Fixit sounds the alarm. He's detected a Decepticon signal in Crown City — to be precise, it's the bounty hunter Forager, one of the Ronin. Drift claims that this Decepticon isn't worth his time, and instead sends Jetstorm and Slipstream with the others. Despite the lack of Drift and Grimlock, the latter of whom would be too conspicuous, Forager is swiftly taken down by the team and bundled back to the scrapyard, however as they're stowing him in a stasis pod, he announces that he recognizes Drift as an old friend. Bumblebee attempts to question Drift, who says he'd rather leave the team than answer questions about his past, and departs.
The next morning, Denny finds the other Autobots attempting to interrogate Jetstorm and Slipstream without success. Russell manages to win the pair over with a game of tag, and they reveal that Drift used to be a Decepticon named Deadlock. A discussion ensues over whether Drift might be still be working for the Decepticons, however it's cut short when Fixit announces he's detected two more Decepticon signals, and he's also found Drift's signal, which is heading for the Decepticons in question. The Autobots roll out to investigate, leaving the two humans and three Mini-Cons at base. They soon reach a quarry, however rather than two Decepticons, they find two metal disks which are producing fake signals. Bumblebee realizes that this has all been a ruse to draw them away from the Scrapyard.
Indeed, the Decepticons Foxtrot and Stilts are currently approaching the scrapyard. Using holo-cloaks, they disguise themselves as Bumblebee and Grimlock and are able to capture Slipstream and Denny after gaining entry. Russell and Jetstorm are able to hide and avoid being captured, escaping the scrapyard. The two Decepticons force Fixit to release Forager from his stasis pod, and he tells them about "Deadlock" being on Earth. As Bumblebee's team returns, the trio disguise themselves as Drift, allowing them to get the jump on the four Autobots and stuff them into stasis pods.
In the nearby woods, Russell and Jetstorm encounter Drift and fill him in on the situation. Drift explains how he was once a homeless bot until he joined the Decepticons, but after nearly being destroyed in battle, he was found by the Circle of Light and trained as a samurai. He later joined the Ronin, but became uncomfortable with their methods, and after an incident in which they almost blew up Athena's moon, he blew up the ship and fled their company. Drift returns to the scrapyard with Russell and Jetstorm, using them as "prisoners" in order to convince the Decepticons that he's on their side. The promise of the location of nearby Energon stores piques the Decepticons' interest.
Drift leads the three Decepticons to a deserted factory outside the city, the site of a previous Decepticon capture, where there's a known Energon stash. They break in, though they're almost discovered by police Officer Wong. Drift is able to prevent the man's death at the hands of the Decepticons by faking Wong's death, and the officer is able to leave intact without even having seen a Cybertronian. They return to the scrapyard where Drift uses some shuriken to surreptitiously free Denny, Russell, and the Mini-Cons while slipping them a note. The freed prisoners are able to defrost Team Bee from the stasis pods and explain what's up with Drift. A battle ensues between the Autobots and the three Ronin. Despite using every trick in their bags, the Decepticons are defeated. Bumblebee apologizes to Drift, who promises to try to be more open in future, and who also apologizes to his Mini-Cons. The three Decepticons are then loaded into stasis pods.
"All right, bots, we need to apprehend this Decepticon before he's spotted."
"Oh, he's not spotted. He's striped, see? ... What? I may be half-charged, but my funny bolt is always at one hundred percent!"
- —Bumblebee and Sideswipe discuss Forager.
"Let go of me! I have rights, you know! You can't lock me up just 'cause I'm a convicted criminal!"
"A Dinobot? Guess I'll have to act extra dumb to match my new look."
- The publisher's synopsis of the book is incorrect, as Drift has already joined the team instead of Bumblebee having just met him.
- The cover shows Drift, Slipstream, and Jetstorm ready to fight, but Drift has his Mini-Cons on his arms in their buzzsaw forms as the Mini-Cons are in robot mode.
- The book has Drift as a member of the team, setting it after "One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing".
- "Out of the Shadows" would go on to flesh out Drift's time as a Decepticon before he joined the Ronin.
- Drift's back story as a Decepticon named Deadlock who later joined up with the Circle of Light is shared by the Drift from IDW Publishing's comics.
- When Stilts is holo-projecting Grimlock, he acts "extra dumb", speaking in the grammatically altered manner of the Generation One Grimlock archetype.
- The title shares the same phrasing as SNK's Samurai Shodown video game series.
- Denny does the Robot in a vain attempt to convince the Decepticons that he's a Cybertronian.
- Stilts says he thought Drift was "debris drifting through space in a galaxy far, far away".
- Foxtrot and Stilts are a reference to the fable "The Fox and the Stork", which is fittingly about tricksters being tricked.
- The first chapter of Bumblebee Versus Scuzzard is included at the end as a "sneak peek", despite that book having been released earlier.