Day of the Machines

by Ragey


Over at Quantum Laboratories where America's greatest inventions are made, Megatron and Soundwave have made their way inside through the incredibly devious method of abusing the lost and found system. Taking a secret package with them, they soon discover that the whole place is guarded by remote controlled tanks.


Of course, they can just fly out of their range, so any danger they impose is totally ignored. They enter a top secret building where they find TORQ III, a brand new top secret ultra powerful supercomputer that can build and control machinery. When you find something that bodacious, it'd be wasteful to not take advantage of it, so Megatron supplies TORQ with a copy of his personality and makes the supercomputer only his to command!

The top secret package happens to contain circuit linker cards that will also make TORQ's creations his to command, and gets the supercomputer to demonstrate some offensive action with them against Soundwave. Pleased with how effective they are, Megatron tells TORQ to plant the cards on every one of his creations, and will very soon be the controller of everything.


Meanwhile, the creator of TORQ, Paul Gates, laments to a fellow scientist that he fears the supercomputer is too powerful for this world, and what if it gets into the wrong hands? His chum merely states how radical it is, being the first machine to build over machines (and machines that happen to be the like of door locks and file cabinets), but just when they decide to call it a night the door slams and locks on them. Paul states the obvious ("This isn't supposed to happen!") and grabs the phone to call maintenance.


"Maintenance can't help you, Doctor Gates. I control Quantum Labs now!"


Paul reminds his colleague that TORQ controls everything (more or less) and immediately sets to rewiring the visual phone for long-distance calls.

Meanwhile, Megatron, Rumble and Frenzy are flying over a fleet of oil tankers, and begins firing the chips down at them, putting them under his control. What a fiend!


Over at the Ark, Teletraan-1 informs Optimus Prime of an unexplained change in oil tanker paths, all converging near the location of Decepticon HQ, so it's pretty obvious who's to blame. Paul Gates alerts the Autobots of what's happened to all the machinery and TORQ commanding them and all that, to which Prime says is their primary objective. Hound objects to this, claiming they can't let the Decepticons get away with all that oil, so Prime allows him, Skyfire and Spike to go and check it out while the rest tend to the machines.


Prime and company arrive with an army of tanks as their welcome wagon, and take no time in ripping them apart, but it's only after they do that do they discover they're all remote controlled, which shows the Autobots are pretty quick to assume humans are dicks.


Ironhide is shot down while complimenting Prime's skill, and the Autobots are soon surrounded by more armoured vehicles. Of course, in the next shot they can run away with no problem, but it doesn't change how their situation is pretty hopeless, to say the least. Prime claims there's only one step they can take to truly flatten this menace: Call in the Dinobots!


They arrive surprisingly quickly just at the same time another wave of death suppliers roll in, and waste no time in stomping them flat or chomping them good.

In fact, they don't even have to do an awful lot. Sludge just has to walk through an approaching army of trucks to crush them beneath his girth, and Snarl simply breathes a short wave of fire on tanks to cause them to melt. They find Paul Gates and his colleague on the top floor of their building, so Prime gets a boost up from Sludge and gets them down safely.

Prime brings Paul up to date on the situation regarding the oil tankers and machine rebellion and all that, with Sparkplug and Wheeljack popping in to inform him of the circuit linker chips that are allowing TORQ to control things he wasn't meant for. Prime holds onto one just for safekeeping while TORQ manages to overhear this all and claims he will not be stopped by mere Autofools.


They come to a locked door, but Prime blasts it open with a snappy one-liner only to unleash a laser machine on his trail.

Meanwhile, Skyfire, Hound and Spike spy the Decepticons' oil platform with a force field around it that prevents them gaining entry, but Hound gets an idea and gets them to land on one of the tankers. The captain begs them to help as he can't control his ship anymore, and Hound merely asks him to find a good place for two giant robots and their kid companion to hide.


As Hook saps the oil from the ship, Hound and Skyfire leap out and open fire upon them, prompting Soundwave, Rumble and Laserbeak to do the same on their Autobot foes. Skyfire takes out Soundwave and Hound bursts Hook's oil pipe, but Laserbeak snags Spike and threatens to drop him on some jagged rocks unless the two surrender. They give in.


Back at Quantum Labs, Prime tears apart the laser device, only for another wave of slave machines to roll out after them. A giant claw on wheels snags Prowl but is promptly taken care of with a blast of acid in it's innards. Sideswipe is prevented from escape by being bound with wires of some kind, but he sorts that out by getting his hands out (off-screen, naturally) and smashing the claws, rendering them useless.


While Ironhide destroys some kind of laser hose machine by sticking his finger in the nozzle, Prime, however, is threatened to be torn to pieces by some kind of thing. Since he's being pulled in by wires he can't break, he just uses them to swing the machine into a wall.


With those machines out of the way, Prime ventures inside the building which has been reconfigured into a maze of some kind, which Prowl reminds him must be a trap. Good to see his role as military strategist not going to waste.

Meanwhile, we pop in to see Hound, Skyfire and Spike in a cell, stripped of their weaponry and equipment, but Spike claims when the time is right, he will have a plan.


Prime traverses through the maze with caution, as who knows what kind of evil machines will lunge out at him? He blasts the ones he can and those he can't he merely blasts the wall and makes a getaway. However, he's unable to escape from the giant tentacled robot crab thing, which prevents him from escaping and plants a circuit linker card on him!


Prime is brought towards TORQ as the supercomputer taunts the Autobot leader about how super great he is and how he'll soon control the entire world, but Prime reveals that he had actually just slipped a dead circuit linker card into the robot's hand! The machines are commanded to kill him dead, but he knows he just had to bash the console and that's the end of TORQ and all that he commands.


Soundwave informs Megatron of the tankers no longer being commanded by TORQ, but Megatron had evidently expected this and has his own control panel to work around it. Prime and buddies net themselves a hydrofoil and sail out towards the platform.

Back in the cell, Spike takes note of the huge pile of junk they're sharing a cell with, and among the pieces is an electromagnet, which he places against the wall...


And sticks Rumble and Ravage to the wall, allowing them to escape with ease. They arrive at the force field generator, guarded by Frenzy, and using Spike and Skyfire as decoys and sending him running all over the place, allowing Hound to blow up the generator while he's gone.


This allows the Autobots to arrive with minimal obstacles and lets them open fire upon the Decepticons. Megatron legs it, and only now does Prowl realise that Megatron is still controlling the tankers without TORQ, guessing he must have a remote control device of some description. Prime chases after as he believes the remote control could be the very thing they need to wrap up this mission, and starts struggling for it.


Knocking Megatron to the ground, he lunges at Prime to reclaim his control, but he has the control thrown at him and crushes it when he lands on the ground, thus allowing the tankers to make a speedy exit. The Decepticon leader heads back inside the platform and starts up the self destruct mechanism, prompting all the Decepticons to get their asses out of there.


The Autobots assume this isn't good news and head to the hydrofoil as things start going boom, but Prime stays behind to look for Spike and company. The destruction, however, assists in their rescue and allows Prime to get them a way out, allowing Skyfire to transform and whisk them all to safety.


Back on dry land and with today's little mishap cleaned up, Paul Gates claims he won't rebuild TORQ III until he's absolutely safe from being overthrown by villainy. After all, all machines are unreliable unless properly monitored. The Autobots grumble in response to this, but he covers his flub by claiming the Autobots are exceptions to this rule. Except in the fourth episode.

The Seekers are all completely absent until the final battle (with Skywarp not appearing at all), none of them getting any lines either, which is very peculiar to say the least. I suppose they needed the chance to show off the cassettes more.


Skyfire pulls some gerwalk action whenever he lands on the tanker, which is the only time he ever does it. Probably for good reason, what with Robotech existing at the same time.


The Dinobots are completely forgotten about after their three minutes of show time, and Hook isn't seen again after Hound and Skyfire's initial attack. Not to mention that Hook isn't even seen in robot mode and is in a yellow colour scheme.