23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Miko and Bulkhead are enjoying a monster truck rally on the TV, much to Ratchet's annoyance. Ratchet thinks they shouldn't be watching it, and that Bulkhead would be better off helping Optimus Prime's mission to retrieve a Cybertronian data cylinder. He interrupts their monster truck footage to explain how the cylinders were created during Cybertron's Golden Age and hidden throughout the galaxy after the war broke out. Bulkhead and Miko are bored by it all, but Optimus contacts base to ask for backup, which is Bulkhead's cue to head for the field. Ratchet hands Miko a mop, and she's so enthusiastic about having to clean up that she drops it and runs through the Ground Bridge after Bulkhead.On the battlefield, she finds the 'Bots battling Knock Out, Breakdown and a bunch of Vehicons. Immediately, she runs into trouble, as a Vehicon Bulkhead is punching staggers back towards her. She takes cover behind a pile of rock, before spotting the cylinder sitting nearby. While everyone fights, Miko runs over to the cylinder and phones Ratchet. Ratchet tries providing a Ground Bridge, but Miko can't give him precise enough coordinates to grab the cylinder. She tries pushing the device towards the Ground Bridge and even kicking it, but all that succeeds in doing is activating the cylinder. At that moment, Bulkhead spots her and runs over, only to trip and take the cylinder's charge in the forehead. With Bulkhead temporarily out, Knock Out grabs the cylinder and the Decepticons split. Moments later, Bulkhead is back on his feet, apparently none the worse for wear.Bulkhead undergoes a medical check back at base, but insists he's fine. Ratchet tells him to help Miko tidy up. After announcing Ratchet is "null vector squared", Bulkhead wonders if they have any paint.On the Nemesis in orbit, the Decepticons have discovered that the cylinder is empty. They quickly realize the energy from the device has ended up in Bulkhead.Miko draws Ratchet's attention to what Bulkhead is painting, which Ratchet finds is a scientific formula. After another scan, Ratchet locates the cylinder's energy in Bulkhead's head. They determine that the device interpreted Miko's kick as an attack and ejected the data into Bulkhead, and the equations Bulkhead's been writing down are for synthetic energon. The Autobots are excited and collect the equations as Bulkhead writes them. Miko quickly becomes bored and wants to draw Bulkhead away from his work. Ratchet has grave news, however—the data is slowly consuming Bulkhead's mind, and by the time the formula is complete, Bulkhead's mind may be gone altogether. The other Autobots believe they might be able to get the data back into the cylinder. Miko gets out her guitar to try and distract Bulkhead, but when he doesn't recognize Ratchet's name, she figures something's up and goes to Ratchet to get the truth.Knock Out reports that they've detected the cylinder's energy signature, and Megatron decides to go himself to avoid any more failures. Rather than Bulkhead, he and the Vehicons find Optimus, Arcee and Bumblebee. Optimus has a deal for him: If Megatron gives them the cylinder, Optimus will return it to him restored with energy.Miko talks to Bulkhead, but he's becoming increasingly unresponsive and fails to recall her name when she asks if he remembers it. Finally, she steals his mop brush and leads him through the Ground Bridge.Megatron is thinking on Optimus' proposal when he's contacted by Knock Out, who has detected Bulkhead's energy signature. Megatron orders him to retrieve the Autobot's head.At the monster truck race track, Miko attempts to jog Bulkhead's memory, but he's too busy painting the formula on the wall to take any notice of her. Her sorrow is interrupted by Knock Out and Breakdown, so she manages to persuade Bulkhead to follow her and hide among the monster trucks.On hearing they've caught up with Bulkhead, Megatron sics the Vehicons on Optimus' team.Miko tries to find somewhere outside the Decepticon jamming range so she can use her phone. Knock Out and Breakdown search for Bulkhead, until Knock Out uses a tracking device to find the Autobot. Bulkhead transforms and scrawls a glyph on Knock Out's chest, but before the outraged Decepticon can do anything, Breakdown renders Bulkhead unconscious. Knock Out then prepares to remove Bulkhead's head.The Autobots finish off the Vehicons, only for Megatron to simply crush the cylinder and fly off. Ratchet reports that Bulkhead and Miko have left the base.Miko takes a swing at Knock Out with the mop, but misses and falls against Bulkhead. The cylinder energy promptly triggers, firing off into the sky. Knock Out checks Bulkhead and finds the energy is gone. Infuriated, he and Breakdown are ready to take some revenge, but are forced to retreat when the other Autobots Ground Bridge in.The Autobots return Bulkhead's comatose body back to base, where Miko tearfully blames herself for his condition. Ratchet suggests that it's too early to tell how long Bulkhead might remain like that and anything could trigger his awakening, and so Miko decides to try her guitar. After she strums a chord, Bulkhead stirs and wakes up, back to normal.