16 April 2014
Synopsis: Six months after the events of Dark Cybertron, New Iacon’s population has evacuated to live in Metroplex. However, Metroplex is still damaged, causing problems for its inhabitants. Windblade, due to her unique talents as a cityspeaker, is assigned to communicate and work out what is wrong. Despite Windblade’s politeness to their governor Starscream, he wastes no time in making subtle threats, erroneously viewing Windblade’s difficulties in communicating as an attempt to undermine his authority. After Starscream departs, Windblade’s friend Chromia quickly voices her dislike of Starscream, but Windblade considers it to be merely a slightly more aggressive attempt to protect his people.
Windblade attempts to communicate with Metroplex, though Metroplex’s wounds makes comprehending him more difficult than usual. Windblade traces the problem to a diversion of power at junction T134. Having not mapped out all of Metroplex, she decides to seek out Ironhide. Ironhide has been wandering the depths of Metroplex, having been visibly shaken due to contradictions with the vision of the future he once saw. After a short conversation, Windblade asks Ironhide’s opinion on Starscream, but Ironhide tells her that to find out who Starscream really is, she should ask his friends, not his enemies. Windblade and Chromia search underneath the Acrolight District which Ironhide points them to, but get nowhere. Chromia insists Windblade take a break, and she instead goes to Blurr’s bar, intent on finding information on Starscream. Windblade is warmly welcomed by the owner Blurr, and begins asking people about Starscream. Whether it is Autobot or Decepticon, the answer is universally the same: everyone hates him.
This discovery unnerves Windblade, but when she meets Chromia again, a huge eruption blows apart the access shaft they are about to enter. Windblade is severely wounded, though she grabs an orange wire before passing out. While wounded, Windblade dreams of her homeworld, the Metrotitan known as Caminus, who had given birth to a new generation of Transformers from the hot-spot he carried. Having lost contact with Cybertron, Windblade was later recruited by the traveling Autobot Thunderclash due to her talents of speaking to the Metrotitans. As she reflects on how peace is slipping away from them, Starscream walks into her room…
Characters Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Windblade, Chromia, Metroplex, Starscream, Rattrap, Ironhide, Blurr, Tall Tankor, Fat Tankor, Fizzle, Slug, Swindle, Waspinator, Sky-Byte, Circuit, Caminus (flashback), Thunderclash (flashback), Nautica (flashback), Optimus Prime (flashback), Ultra Magnus (flashback), Nemesis Prime (flashback)
Reviews & Commentary: Reviewed by Blackjack
21 May 2014
Synopsis: News reporters Longtooth and Circuit attempt to interview the various civilians regarding the bombing, but after interviewing several patrons at Maccadam’s, Blurr kicks him out. Starscream and Rattrap visit the injured Windblade, despite Chromia’s protests. Starscream meets Windblade alone, and delivers what is essentially another warning. Windblade tries to put on a brave face and demand that he leave. She confides to Chromia about the orange wire, which she suspects is part of an igniter capsule. However, they realize that the news reporters are recording them, causing Chromia to scare them away with her axe. Windblade says how she suspects that Starscream had Rattrap set off the blast, but Chromia warns her to watch what she says until they can get more conclusive proof. They head off to meet Ironhide, watched by Starscream and Rattrap, who plan their next move.
Ironhide (who had been guarding Metroplex’s brain in their absence) is unsurprised to hear of their theory but could not find a reason why. Windblade tries to consult Metroplex, trying to find if any of the problems plaguing the titan could be Starscream’s doing, but the wounded Metroplex shows too many possibilities where it could’ve gone wrong, and Windblade curses how she had not healed Metroplex but may have made things worse. Chromia and Ironhide watch Circuit’s footage, noting Waspinator's remarks that he’s ‘not wanted underground’, and the three surmise that someone told him to. Windblade and Chromia head to Maccadam’s and immediately find Waspinator, who makes a run for it, but is quickly taken down by Chromia. Windblade shows some pity on Waspinator, who’s constantly abused, and talks nicely to him. Waspinator is still afraid and keeps avoiding the issue, but agrees to lead Windblade to where the encounter took place without naming any names.
Waspinator leads Windblade to Metroplex’s filtration systems, where they find a massive energon reservoir from one of Metroplex’s wounds. Windblade concludes that Starscream is trying to mine either the Death Ore or the Regeneration Ore that Metroplex was infused with. They depart, not knowing that they are being watched by Rippersnapper. Windblade contacts Circuit of the Iaconian news, and allows them to interview her live at Maccadam’s. Circuit asks for proof and Windblade leads them, as well as a group of other people in the bar, down to Starscream’s mine. However, upon their arrival, they are ambushed by three Terrorcons, and Windblade draws her sword, preparing for battle.
Characters Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Longtooth, Circuit, Chromia, Blurr, Tall Tankor, Fat Tankor, Waspinator, Starscream, Rattrap, Ironhide, Metroplex, Slug, Nautica (flashback), Rippersnapper, Sinnertwin, Cutthroat
Reviews & Commentary: Reviewed by Blackjack
25 June 2014
Synopsis: As the Terrorcons confront Windblade and her allies, she reflects on how she was once deemed ‘too centered’ to be a cityspeaker, and despite Chromia’s warnings leaps into battle. She was surprised by the fact that Cutthroat could fly, prompting Chromia to abandon the others to protect her friend. Blurr takes charge, ordering Tall Tankor to take into the air and assist Windblade. Circuit and Longtooth continue to film the battle, which goes poorly for the Windblade’s allies. Despite initial resistance, Rippersnapper defeats Slug, whereas Sinnertwin manages to take down both Blurr and Waspinator. Under Windblade’s orders, Tall Tankor manages to distract Cutthroat long enough for Windblade to get close enough to pull out her sword and force Cutthroat to crash-land. However, Starscream and his forces suddenly enters the fray, ramming Windblade and arresting her and her allies. However, Chromia manages to slip away.
The group is imprisoned, where Starscream introduces Blurr and the others to the ‘Badgeless’, Starscream’s new police force, who hide their identities with masks. Starscream threatens the group with execution, with the excuse of them helping deliberately damaging Metroplex’s systems to help Windblade stay in power. Longtooth says that he has video evidence proving otherwise, to Waspinator and Circuit’s surprise, and Starscream easily says that he can easily kill him. Starscream then tells them that they aren’t about to start a war, but the others should side with him to ensure their own freedom, noting that not many people will want to help an ‘alien’ and all he needs is one or two to discredit the rest. Blurr, however, speaks for the group and rejects Starscream’s offer.
Meanwhile, Windblade is being electrically tortured by Rattrap for Chromia’s location and the ‘real’ reason they arrived on Cybertron. She does not say anything. Starscream arrives, and with the torture being unsuccessful, instead undoes her cuffs since he doesn’t think she will cause trouble. Windblade immediately tries to tear Starscream’s head off, but he easily takes her down. Starscream then angrily asks Windblade why she stopped helping him if that was all she wanted, and admits that he did tamper with Metroplex’s filter systems to get the Ores with no intention to kill the Titan. When Windblade accuses Starscream for the bomb that nearly killed her, Starscream and Rattrap are initially confused before Starscream orders him to take Windblade back to the cell, knowing that Windblade cannot possibly justify killing Starscream anyway.
Windblade is returned to the cells, and thinks over the revelations that Starscream was trying to find out about the bomb and power outages which she thought he started, which makes no sense. Her thoughts are interrupted by Chromia, Sky-Byte and Swindle bursting in to break them out. As they all scatter, Blurr and Slug stay behind to slow Starscream’s forces down. Chromia and Windblade head to Metroplex’s brain, and Chromia is surprised at the revelation that Starscream is not behind all the trouble… whereas within Metroplex, power is rerouted to activate his Space Bridge.
Characters Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Sinnertwin, Cutthroat, Rippersnapper, Chromia, Windblade, Blurr, Tall Tankor, Circuit, Fat Tankor, Slug, Waspinator, Longtooth, Starscream, the ‘Badgeless’, Rattrap, Sky-Byte, Swindle
Reviews & Commentary: Reviewed by Blackjack
23 July 2014
Synopsis: Pursued by two of Starscream’s Badgeless, Windblade and Chromia race towards Metroplex’s brain when a power outage plunges the city into darkness. Back in the prison, Starscream manages to take Slug out with a shoulder missile and takes off in pursuit. Chromia wants to kill their pursuers, but Windblade manages to talk her down and she complies, causing the Badgeless to crash with her physical weapons. Metroplex begins to convulse, however, and with Starscream in pursuit they barricade themselves within Metroplex’s brain chamber. Chromia tells Windblade to ‘merge’ mentally with Metroplex to gain control over his systems, something Windblade is initially evasive about since the link could kill her. Starscream breaks through the barricade easily and Chromia charges into battle against him, despite Windblade’s protests.
As Windblade prepares the merge, Starscream throws his sword to wound her, and the distraction allows Starscream to slice off Chromia’s arm. As Starscream prepares to deliver the killing wound to Windblade, she manages to connect with Metroplex, causing the chamber to come alive and restrain Starscream against the wall. As she (or rather, ‘they’) explore Metroplex’s systems to find out why the Space Bridge is online, and images from Windblade and Metroplex’s memories flow together. They see many of the other worlds that were colonized by the Metrotitans, their inhabitants having evolved in their own way, but they cannot sense the beacon of Caminus. As the two’s memories and perceptions become blurred and intermixed together, the truth is revealed – the one responsible for the blackouts and diverting power to the Space Bridge – targeting Caminus – was Chromia.
As Windblade reveals what she knows, Chromia tries to reason with the city-speaker, justifying her plot was all for the single reason to get Windblade home, refusing to see her friend die for the Cybertronians. Chromia continues to attempt to get Windblade-Metroplex to activate the bridge, while the trapped Starscream screams that with Metroplex integrated with Iacon, the activation would kill everyone not completely inside the Titan. Windblade-Metroplex sees the remains of Caminus, dismantled and scattered across a planet. Windblade begins to lose her grip as she is overwhelmed by all the mass of data within Metroplex, and the fact that she cannot choose. As she thinks that she’s alone, a vision of Metroplex appears and offers his hand with the assurance that she is never alone. United at last, and realizing not being able to choose is a choice in itself, they manage to deactivate the Space Bridge.
Windblade deactivates the link between to Metroplex, and confronts Starscream for drawing new war lines between new races, as well as the truth that neither Cybertron nor Caminus can survive without help. She tells Starscream that there are many other colonies out there waiting for the leader of Cybertron to unite them, and she appeals to Starscream’s ego; in exchange for keeping quiet about all this, Windblade will allow him access to Metroplex’s Space Bridge once he has recovered, in order to unite all the colony worlds and making Starscream a true ‘Chosen One’. He agrees and leaves. Windblade prepares to look for Circuit and prevent an information leak, whereas an ashamed Chromia thanks Windblade for taking the blame for her. Windblade grants Chromia permission to leave Cybertron as soon as they can get a shuttle, but demands that Chromia follow her orders until then. Chromia claims that she will serve the Cityspeaker faithfully, but Windblade quietly hopes that one day her friend will believe in her too. Windblade then takes to the sky, vowing that she will begin to fight for both her homes, Metroplex and Caminus.
Characters Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Windblade, Chromia, the Badgeless, Slug, Starscream, Blurr, Rattrap, Metroplex, Knock Out, Vanquish, Fireshot, Injector, Air Hammer, Caminus (flashback), Nautica (flashback)
Reviews & Commentary: Reviewed by Blackjack