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Appearing in "The Next Best Thing to Being There!"

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Synopsis for "The Next Best Thing to Being There!"

At G.B. Blackrock's Aerospace Plant, Shockwave forced Optimus Prime to witness as he completes the final touches on his six new Decepticon warriors whom he dubs the Constructicons: Scrapper, Mixmaster, Scavenger, Hook, Long Haul, and Bonecrusher all of whom can transform into Earth-based construction vehicles. As Prime witnesses this he wonders what Shockwave will do to him when he learns that he no longer carries the Creation Matrix.

While at the Autobot base, the Ark, Prowl show G.B. Blackrock around their base where they discuss telling the world of their existence while Blackrock secretly marvels at how the technology aboard the Ark could be a boon to his company. He is then shown the repair bay where he watches as Jazz gets repairs to the damage sustained from Circuit Breaker. Prowl points out that their war is not without casualties and turns Blackrock's attention to Sunstreaker whom they have not been able to fully repair as yet. They then meet Huffer who is working on reestablishing communications and find that he is just reminiscing over their homeworld Cybertron. Showing Blackrock the repaired and headless body of Optimus Prime, Blackrock suddenly remembers that the phone system at his Aerospace plant is rigged to allow for him to dial a special number and listen in from any phone in the building even if it's hung up. With this revelation, Prowl orders Huffer to connect a phone hook-up.

They are then radioed by Bumblebee, who has been scouting the Aerospace plant and he reports in seeing Laserbeak dropping a special bomb on the soldiers positioned outside the base, causing their weapons and vehicles to melt. While the soldiers are harmless, the Constructicons rush out to carry out their first mission. Prowl orders Bumblebee to follow after him and promises to send out a team of Autobots to meet with him. Inside the Aerospace Plant, Shockwave then shows off his next work in progress, the ultimate jet fighter that he dubs Jetfire.

At the Witwicky house, Sparkplug finally comes home from the hospital and is surprised to find that his son has fixed up all the cars that were waiting for repairs. While he is glad his father is proud of him, Buster keeps secret the fact that he gained strange powers that allow him to mentally control all things made of metal thanks to the fact that Optimus Prime transferred the Creation Matrix into him.

Meanwhile at a road-side diner in Idaho, Bomber Bill stops in for his usual meal while on the road shipping freight in his big-rig. While showing off pictures of his children to the waitress, Bomber Bill is suddenly startled when the Constructicons arrive and steal all the big rigs, including Bomber Bill's rig. Wanting to get home to his family, Bomber Bill decides to follow after the truck thieves and get his vehicle back. That night he watches as an Autobot convoy speeds by and manages to stop Huffer. Hopping into the Autobot, he is shocked to find that there is nobody inside driving, leaving Huffer to explain what he is.

The Autobots track the Decepticons to a space monitoring center in the mountains where the Constructicons and Soundwave are building a giant transmitter out of the stolen trucks and radio equipment. Spotting the Autobots, Soundwave orders the Constructicons to defend the transmitter while he completes his transmission to Cybertron. The Constructicons then merge into one giant form, a robot called Devastator who manages to keep the Autobots at bay. Ordering Huffer to destroy the transmitter the home-sick Autobot is hesitant at first and fails to stop Soundwave from completing his transmission.

Bomber Bill meanwhile has found his truck complete and intact and uses it to sever some of the wires leading to the transmitters. When Soundwave attempts to kill Bomber Bill, Huffer saves him knocking Soundwave aside. With their mission accomplished, the Constructicons separate and transform into their vehicle modes and retreat. Huffer and the Autobots then bid Bomber Bill farewell and Huffer comments on how he envy's Bill for being able to go home when he can't.

Lastly at the Aerospace Plant, Shockwave is annoyed to find that Optimus Prime has not used the Creation Matrix to bring life to Jetfire yet and determines that if Prime cannot produce this new warrior then his usefulness has come to an end. Listening to this threat over the phone are G.B. Blackrock and Prowl.

This story is continued next issue...

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