Changing Gears

by Ragey


A pair of miners are digging in ye olde mines, and we join them when they strike gold!! They take their reward out into the open and do themselves some celebrating...


Only for the Seekers to arrive and destroy their gold and send them scattering. One heads back into the mine only for the construction to be blasted and have the roof cave in on him - Ravage sent to retrieve him - while another goes to phone for help and has Laserbeak drag him away before he can do much.

Megatron arrives on the scene to be brought up to date on what's going on. Starscream informs him that all but one of these people have been captured, the last one radioing for help, but Megatron denies any opportunity to blast or subdue him until he makes his call. It is part of his master plan!


The Autobots are assembled in the Ark to be told of what's up, though Gears takes his sweet time getting there, having had his self-maintenance interrupted for yet another dreary mission. After the obligatory repeat of what just happened in the first two minutes of this episode (mining plant attack, for those who've forgotten!), they head out to their destination.

After spying on a cliff for a while to overhear that they plan to kill the humans, they use that moment in time to leap down and open fire, which after less than twenty seconds of doing so they consider themselves victorious. However, Megatron isn't so keen to call a retreat so early in the show...


And after releasing the humans, blasts the wall behind the Autobots with a little handheld toy, energising the boulders and making them crash into his foes! With all but Gears out for the count, all fire is directed towards him until he lands in a hole and falls unconscious, where Megatron denies any chance to vaporise the pessimistic pile of particles, for he is the more specific part of his master plan!


They take off with the Autobot and land at the real core of this master plan they've talked about so much: The Solar Needle! Gears refuses to provide any assistance at all, so they blast him, open him up and take out a special circuit from his body, one that he alone has among all the Autobots. And with it's removal, he feels like less of a jerk face! Megatron plops the circuit into the Solar Needle and demonstrates what it does...


It harnesses the power of the sun!


This causes earthquakes to occur around the world for whatever reason.


Rocks begin falling around the Ark, and Bumblebee blames this on "solar flares" which to me sounds like he's spouting rubbish from his bumblebum, but what do I know about science? I write about cartoons here.

Gears is then commanded to fill energon cubes from all the energy harnessed from the sun, and is more than happy to oblige. Megatron is well aware that Optimus will find out his scheme sooner or later, but as always, claims to be ready for him.

And in the very next scene, Prime finds out! Megs is harnessing the sun's power in the geographic centre of Africa and will explode the sun in two hours if it keeps up; so despite being located in America, the Autobots have no problem in simply rolling out there. Never mind that crossing the ocean would be a little difficult if you're an automobile with a limited fuel source, the most trouble they have is going through a thick wood, which is solved by Jazz and Sunstreaker blasting a way through.

Meanwhile, Gears makes an idle comment that makes Starscream overreact considerably. He fires at Gears and somehow manages to miss completely, striking one of the several towers and causing the shot to bounce back, knocking everyone down with it's explosive power and getting a few energon cubes vaporised by the power generated between the towers. Starscream is scolded for his idiocy, so gets Gears to work harder and the Autobot is all too happy to comply. But he has doubts at the same time!


The Autobots then fly over a cliff with minimal hassle and arrive near the Solar Needle, and despite the fact Gears could get injured, they decide blowing up the Solar Needle with reckless abandon is the best idea. That is, until the shots bounce back at them! Megatron laughs over how awesome force fields are.


Prime realises things will have to be a bit more complicated: The force field's only opening is at the hole where the sun harnessing ray comes from, but to cover that would certainly kill a man or twelve. Optimus decides that he himself should cover it, but Ironhide deems himself more expendable and offers to take up the task, but Cliffjumper tells them both to shut up as he's the one who's going to save the day!


He misses the hole completely and drives into the energy between the towers, and somehow doesn't get vaporised completely. This drains the force field and forces the Decepticons to prepare for attack what with the Autobots approaching, as Cliffjumper finds himself perfectly alive and rejoins the others.


The Decepticons are nowhere to be seen, however, until Gears rushes in and tries to retrieve his personality circuit, only for Starscream to pounce on him and get him to really prepare for oblivion this time, as it's not like he could miss shooting someone he's standing on top of. He manages to not kill Gears because he spends so long gloating that Bumblebee drives up and rams his backside.


Bumblebee fights off the cassettes while Prime deals with Megatron, trying to convince him that he's a screwball and needs the Solar Needle turned off now or else the sun will explode and nobody will like that very much. The emperor of destruction ignores this criticism, lifts up his enemy and hurls him towards the generated energy...


But Gears blasts the tower in time for it to weaken, the energy being diverted into the ground to run havoc for a brief while. Megatron zaps the Autobot for being so helpful, while the Seekers are all held at gunpoint by Ratchet, Jazz and Sunstreaker, but Megatron tells them to drop their weapons or else Prime will get blasted into something unrecognisable.


The Autobots are sissies and give in while Gears is commanded to repair the Solar Needle, which reveals what the Decepticons have done to the little guy and totally disgusts Ironhide. While everyone's still standing around with their guns pointed at Prime, he decides to ask Megatron if he can be given one last request. Megs sees no harm in that.


That is, until he realises that this request is asking Gears to blast the Solar Needle's circuitry.


With the real plan foiled there's only one thing left to do: Kick tailgate! Optimus scores a number of blows on Megatron's noggin while Ratchet goes totally kung-fu on Thundercracker, Skywarp getting his chin smashed by an uppercut from Wheeljack.


Starscream attempts to finally achieve victory over Gears, but just gets head butted into Soundwave. With this many embarrassments the Decepticons retreat, leaving Megatron to get socked some more by Optimus with more demands for the Solar Needle to be switched off.


Even after some more kicking, Megatron prefers the idea of letting the sun and the Earth get demolished in his scheme for energy, so makes a retreat himself. Wheeljack and Ratchet are left with the task of deactivating the Solar Needle's procedure and bypass it's memory, but they don't know what wire it is!


Optimus shoves them aside and tears the thing apart, and that works like a charm. The ray diminishes, the sun's energy is no longer harnessed and the world is relatively safe. Hooray!


Now all that's left to do is destroy the machine, as well as return Gears' personality circuit back to him. However, Trailbreaker and the others aren't so keen on that second one: They prefer the new happy-go-lucky Gears more than the old whine-whine-whine Gears. As long as they all agree, Prime sees no problem with that, until the little guy threatens physical harm upon them all unless he gets his old mindset back.


He gets his wish and begins demanding that they leave this jungle, but is given the opportunity to blow up the Solar Needle with dynamite. Bumblebee cracks a stupid gag, but Gears has the sense to complain about it and the dangers of explosions and what those vibrations can do to your inner workings...


Everyone else decides it'd be best to just leave the little guy to complain 'til his hearts content, but he don't like that one bit and asks not to be left behind. That's our Gears!

They made a whole episode about Gears, but none about Windcharger or Huffer. =(