Over at the Experimental Energy Research
Laboratory, two scientists have made a use out of electro-cells that, on the
bright side, could potential solve the world's energy crisis. Or on the
downside, potentially blow up if mishandled and threaten the world's integrity.
We know which of those will happen.
Naturally, Skywarp and Starscream show up on the roof and start demolishing the place to get themselves the electro-cells, ignoring the scientists' warnings of it's dangerous nature. Megatron shows up, scolds Starscream for doing the task for him and swipes them himself, while the scientists scream that if one explodes, it could "set off a chain reaction that could devastate the Earth!!"
And we're not even two minutes in.
Of course, they can't leave without leaving their mark, so Megatron lets Starscream blast the place to pieces with him. What a gift.
Over at the Ark, Cliffjumper reports to
Optimus and informs him that he's found some info on the stolen electro-cells,
in the very place Mirage patrolled yesterday. Mirage is shocked to hear this and
states he would've gotten some kind of signal for sure, but Cliffjumper gets all
up in his grill and claims he found out but didn't want the rest of them to
know, but Prime shuts them up before they resort to fisticuffs, rolling out to
Over there right now, Starscream berates Megatron for his crappiness at failing to fill a single energon cube with the electro-cells' power, but the emperor of destruction explains the volatile nature of the electro-cells is why he's acting with caution. Starscream shoves him aside to do it himself, managing to fill the cubes up with ease, and uses this opportunity to explain why he should be in charge for his ambition to test and diverge.
Of course, as he says this the energon drains from the cubes, the cell starts flashing and explodes, knocking the lot of them to the ground and angering the Decepticon leader very muchly. And so Starscream must pay the ultimate price...!
The Autobots arrive at a cliff above the scene, but their attempt at being stealthy is foiled by Laserbeak spying on them, prompting them to leap to lower ground. Soundwave is alerted of this invasion, rushing off to tell Megatron and therefore saving Starscream from getting a fusion cannon through the head. Soundwave is reminded that the Insecticons are nearby and should be called into action, with a special reward if they do the job well. Mwa ha ha ha ha, adds Megatron.
The Autobots move in on the electro-cell testing machine and begin snooping about, where it doesn't take long for Cliffjumper to find one of the tools, only for Starscream to intercept and blast him down. The Mini Vehicle, being a dickhead, pulls a variation of the "what's that behind you?" trick before blasting him in the chest.
Mirage, meanwhile, occupies his beatings
towards Skywarp, attempting to follow up a wisecrack with a sucker punch, only
for the Seeker to dodge out of the way and make him look like a doofus. Skywarp
grabs him from behind and prevents him from punching back, but the Autobot just
throws him over his shoulder and continues to tussle and tumble on the
The Insecticons show up and blast Mirage off of the Decepticon, tearing off his insignia in the process. Optimus, meanwhile, gets into one of those heroic arguments with Megatron, only for Kickback to interrupt and blast Prime in the chest, sending him out for the count.
Shrapnel tends to Cliffjumper with some laser fire, but in the process accidentally shoots the machinery and overloads the electro-cells! Megatron commands his troops to ignore the Autobots and save their evil devices, spraying nitrogen from his cannon to douse the flames. The Autobots check up on Mirage to ensure he's all right, and decide to retreat to make sure they don't suffer any more damages, vowing they will return to set the wrongs right again.
Ratchet sets to fixing up their posh-voiced chum while Cliffjumper complains that if Mirage had reported about the electro-cells yesterday then they could've solved today's problem earlier, though Mirage repeats he didn't read any signals on them yesterday. Optimus says until Cliffjumper can back up his claims with proof, he'll stick to trusting Mirage, while also sending the mouthy little car on a reconnaissance mission.
Mirage decides he's got better things to sit around recuperating and heads out on his own little mission, arriving at the Insecticons' hideout to witness them complaining that their special reward was nothing more than two energon cubes. Turning invisible, Mirage heads inside, swipes the cubes, drops off the Decepticon insignia he tore from Skywarp earlier and makes his exit.
Stopping off at the electro-cell machinery, Cliffjumper spies Mirage and assumes he's now one of the Decepticons, and prepares to blast him before the sound of the Insecticons arriving distracts him. Mirage's plan is going just as he planned, so he turns invisible and makes an exit while leaving the energon where he is, doing so when Cliffjumper isn't looking, confusing him considerably. And then Starscream shows up with a blaster aimed at him. Zoiks!
However, Cliffjumper just transforms and rams Starscream before making a quick exit, prompting Megatron to pop up and berate his lackey's uselessness. However, Starscream resolves his problem by firing upon Mirage, who decided to make himself visible once more, while stray shots land near the Insecticons, who treat the matter in an entirely different light, assuming this to be downright treachery!
This is exactly what Mirage hoped for, and decides to make himself scarce once more while the Insecticons fire upon Starscream and Megatron, prompting the Decepticons to fight back. Skywarp doesn't fare too well, merely getting kicked to the ground by Kickback and then chased by the rest of them, but as they pursue him, Mirage finds himself in the crossfire and is taken out by a shard of unpleasantness.
The Insecticons gather around the fallen Autobot and ponder where he came from, but don't think long about that before Bombshell implants a cerebro-shell inside his head, which will make him obey only them! After commanding him to stand up, they command him to find a target and fire his missile, getting poor Skywarp blown the fuck up and cementing his loyalty to the Insecticons.
Back at the Ark, Ratchet informs Optimus of Mirage's disappearance, just as Cliffjumper rolls into alert them of him being sighted on Decepticon premises and dropping off energon cubes there, but Optimus reminds them that the electro-cells are still their highest priority as they head over there, hoping to hear both sides of the story.
At the electro-cell machinery, Mirage assists the Insecticons in their battle against the Decepticons, giving Thundercracker a missile sandwich before Megatron shows up behind him and Bombshell, demanding to know what's going on. Bombshell explains that a Decepticon insignia had been left where their missing energon cubes had been, while Megatron explains that it was obviously Mirage's doing. Knowing this, they cease the battle and prepare to eliminate the one that caused the ruckus...
But Megatron prevents them, as why destroy a perfectly good slave and a lose a perfectly good way to annihilate the Autobots?
The Autobots arrive to check out the scene, but find the Decepticons and Insecticons nowhere to be seen. Mirage pops up, explaining that he took care of the matter, explaining his scheme of turning the Insecticons against their masters and since they're off fighting elsewhere, they can nip in and swipe the electro-cells. Cliffjumper believes it to be a trap, but Prime insists they go and check it out anyway.
Of course, it's a trap, as all the bad guys leap out from behind boulders to fire upon them, Mirage doing the same, thus prompting the Autobots to take cover and giving Cliffjumper valid reason to kick his comrade's ass. Bombshell commands Mirage to get back on his feet, but the punch rendered him unconscious, so with their slave now out for the count, he prepares to destroy him...
Only for Ratchet to fire at the Insecticon and chase him off, giving him the opportunity to check on his buddy. He quickly takes notice of the cerebro-shell planted on his head, alerting it to Prime and finally making Cliffjumper reconsider his hastiness in deeming Mirage a turncoat. Mirage apologises sincerely, but Optimus just tells him to shut up.
The Decepticons prepare for the final assault, so Ratchet, Mirage and Cliffjumper distract them with laser fire while Optimus makes a run for the electro-cells. Megatron, however, is aware of this, and runs to the chamber where they are stored, having Optimus leap out in front of him and claim the battle is over.
The others show up, despite the fact they're meant to be busy distracting everyone, so Megatron decides that if he can't have the electro-cells, nobody can! He goes kaka-kookoo firing all over the place, exploding everything in sight while the Autobots realise he's gone just a little insane and make their exit, while Reflector gets a bit of limelight just in time for him to be blown away.
The Insecticons make a break for it and the Decepticons run for safety, the Autobots doing the same as they roll out, the whole place going up in smoke. Megatron laments the loss of the electro-cells as he lies in the wreckage he made.
Back at the Ark, Optimus apologises to the scientists over the loss of the electro-cells, but they're pretty upbeat about it, happy that the Earth wasn't destroyed and the energy they harvested lost. Mirage is patched up and Cliffjumper apologises to his buddy by claiming he has a hole in his head as well, before resorting to roughing and tumbling on the ground, much to Ratchet's amusement.
Shrapnel's voice is entirely different when the Insecticons get fired upon by the Decepticons.
Considering Mirage's tech specs say he's "unsure of Autobot cause... can't be fully trusted," it almost makes up for how out-of-the-blue Cliffjumper's hatred of him is, but doesn't make up for how it isn't explored much further in the cartoon. Or in the Marvel comics. Or... anything, really. Until the Dreamwave comics, at least. =(