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Skystalker and Skyhopper begin their plans for conquest, while Big Daddy and the Hot Rod Patrol seek help from the Autobots they abandoned. Meanwhile, Countdown reveals a secret of cosmic proportions.
The returning Skystalker and Skyhopper meet with Shockwave. Skystalker's viciousness is evident, as he details destroying an entire planet simply to generate energy for a radio transmission. Shockwave reveals that he intentionally let the Race Track Patrol go, in hopes that Countdown would attempt to contact them and lead Shockwave to his base. While that attempt failed, it did lead him to the Hot Rod Patrol, and we learn that Shockwave is now following the Hot Rod Patrol in hopes of catching up to Countdown.
Meanwhile, back in Little Iacon, Road Hugger attempts to confront Big Daddy, only to be captured by Chop Shop. The combined Micromaster force attempts to repel the Deluxe Insecticons, but the Hot Rod Patrol leave, convinced that the Race Track Patrol led the Decepticons to their location. Conversely, the Race Track Patrol decide that it's time to look out for themselves, and leave their fellow Micromasters to their fate.
Back at Countdown's base, Countdown is interrupted from his thoughts by Groundshaker, who wants to intervene in the battle at Little Iacon. Countdown orders him to stand down, which infuriates the impetuous Groundshaker. Groundshaker accuses Countdown of not being an equal partner in their efforts, and reveals that he is aware of Countdown's attempts to have him transferred off of the mission. Countdown apologizes, and reveals that he has a reason for not interfering yet; he recovered a Golden Disk during their mission to Paradron. The Golden Disk is full of bizarre information about Cybertron, explaining such mysteries as why Cybertronians have passenger compartments designed for smaller beings, and that the ultimate role of Cybertronians is to establish peace in the universe. Such knowledge could be deadly if it passed into the wrong hands, and Countdown has appointed himself guardian of the disk for that reason. Groundshaker then suggests that choosing when to fight and who to help goes against the entire point of the disk's teachings.
Meanwhile, Venom and the Deluxe Insecticons are looking for the Hot Rod Patrol. Venom attempts to turn the Decepticon Micromasters against their brethren. Barricade accepts on behalf of the entire Race Track Patrol, a move which upsets Motorhead. Blaze Master is shot unconscious by Barrage when he tells Venom where to stick it, and left to be tended to by Freewheeler and Fixit.
Back at Decepticon Headquarters, Skystalker and Skyhopper plot against Shockwave, who they feel is just as blind and ignorant as Megatron and Starscream before him. They unload a crate full of explosives, suggesting they have a sinister plot in mind.
While all this is going on, the Hot Rod Patrol rush back to Autobase, hoping to warn Autobot command of the goings-on in Little Iacon. Unfortunately, the Battle Patrol are on watch duty, and send the Hot Rod Patrol packing, humiliating them in the process. However, Stakeout manages to slip them a cache of weapons, and mentions that the Battle Patrol destroyed the Hot Rod Patrol's reputation with command. Big Daddy then decides to go find the only other Autobot that might be able to fix the situation in Little Iacon.
The Deluxe Insecticons continue their search for the Hot Rod Patrol, with a group of Decepticon Micromasters in tow. Barricade reveals to Motorhead that he has no intention of sticking with the Decepticons for long, but for now it is the only way to stay under the radar and out of harm's way.
Meanwhile, Shockwave is running diagnostics on Blitzwing, and reveals that his form is mutating, growing extra parts, almost as if he was evolving. Shockwave then orders Blitzwing to guard him while he recharges. The process is disturbed, however, by Skyhopper and Skystalker, who quickly best the larger Decepticons due to their extreme lack of fuel.
As the issue ends, the Race Track Patrol return to Decepticon HQ to find the entire Decepticon army preparing for war. They are summoned to Shockwave's chambers for a private conference, where it is revealed that Skystalker has overthrown Shockwave, and has assumed leadership of the Decepticons!
- Originally published: September 15, 2004
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Damn straight. Those're Little Iacon rules: you step to one of us, you step to all of us. Whatever you're after, you ain't gettin' it".
"But this isn't about that. There's trouble--big trouble--in Little Iacon."
- —Big Daddy
- Chop Shop's color changes from red to brown.
Items of note
- This issue takes its title from the seventh album by Bad Religion.
- It is patently obvious that Rob Ruffolo was drawing the Micromasters from model sheets that did not include their backs, as the back detail on most characters is generic, at best. This is especially obvious in the sequence where Skyhopper is unloading the crate of explosives.
- The password to get into Iacon is "V-Sigma-19-84." Very clever.
- Countdown claims the Golden Disk gives a solid explanation as to why the Micromasters have modes that appear so similar to Earth vehicle designs. Presumably this also relates to Blitzwing's mutating into having an Earth mode.
- The letters page is filled by a press release about how Dreamwave collaborated with Hooligan Skateboards to produce one of previous issue's covers.
- The "Wavelengths" page has poetry from the desk of Erik Sander.
- Cover A: Skystalker shaking hands with Shockwave by Don Figueroa
- Cover B: Micromasters doing... something, art by Pat Lee
- G.I. Joe: Valor vs Venom DVD/VHS
- Generation One #10: "The Route of All Evil": "Payback's a 'bot!"
- Energon #26: "Multiplicity, Pt. 3": "The Haunting!"
- Transformers/G.I. Joe: Divided Front (double-page centerfold and as a separate, single page)
- Generation One More Than Meets The Eye Guidebook collection, volume 1
- The Age of Wrath #2: "Purgatory"
- Transformers/G.I. Joe: Divided Front (back cover)