"Then by the Pit, every last Autobot on this accursed world will pay!"
Agent Fowler calls the Autobot base, furious about the collateral damage of a duel between two Cybertronians. Though Ratchet guesses it's Decepticon infighting, a video feed shows a darker-toned Skyquake look-a-like and none other than Bulkhead's old buddy Wheeljack. The team heads out to back up the former Wrecker, while the Decepticon takes Fowler's jet as an alternate mode. As the Decepticon flees, Wheeljack accidentally blows up a gas station trying to take a last shot, leading to Optimus sternly ordering him to return to base with them, much to the rogue's annoyance.
At base, while Ratchet repairs him, Wheeljack tells of his meeting up with fellow Wrecker Seaspray, only for the latter to be killed by the Decepticon the former was just fighting, who Optimus identifies as Dreadwing, Skyquake's split-Spark twin. Optimus states that like Skyquake, Dreadwing is bound by a code of honor and loyalty to Megatron. Wheeljack is eager to go out for revenge against Dreadwing, but Optimus tries to stem his temper and convince him to join the team under his command. Wheeljack's mood only worsens, not helped by Fowler arriving to chew out the 'Bots further. Wheeljack asserts he's not one of Prime's people, and storms off. Optimus explains to Fowler that the Wreckers were the Autobot equivalent of human black ops teams, with a very high job mortality rate.
Dreadwing arrives on the Nemesis
, and quickly asserts his loyalty and service to his master; however he also seeks confirmation of the death of his twin, who he felt die via their split-Spark. Megatron confirms it, but is sure to add that it was under Starscream's watch, and that he was killed by the Autobots. Dreadwing swears vengeance, but Megatron asserts his command over the seething Seeker, telling him to wait for his order to go after the parties responsible. Much like Wheeljack, Dreadwing is not pleased by having to wait for his vengeance.
Bulkhead meets up with Wheeljack in the Jackhammer
, trying to convince him to join the fight on Earth, and that Optimus is "the real deal". Wheeljack scoffs at this, stating that Optimus is just a stuffy figurehead who's all talk and will bail at the sight of trouble. He also laments the deaths of so many of their former Wrecker comrades, but Bulkhead says that just means the remaining Wreckers should band together with Optimus to win the war. Dreadwing calls, challenging Wheeljack to another fight, and Bulkhead is eventually swayed to go along, if nothing else just to back up his rebellious buddy.
Dreadwing and Wheeljack eventually meet and battle, but the Wreckers are tricked into a canyon, where one of Dreadwing's bombs send Bulkhead tumbling down from the top of a cliff, and buries Wheeljack. When Wheeljack surfaces, he finds Optimus (who noticed Bulkhead's signal leaving base) helping him up from the rock pile. Optimus begins to chew out Wheeljack, not for disobeying his command, but for endangering one of his
men. Wheeljack only then notices Bulkhead's abscence, and Ratchet confirms via comm link that the big guy was spirited away by Dreadwing. Optimus and Wheeljack head out in the Jackhammer
, where in a moment of vulnerability (and awkardness, with the large Optimus being uncomfortably wedged in the ship), Wheeljack reveals why he prefers a nomadic, solitary lifestyle: "it's less complicated that way."
The two arrive at Bulkhead's location, where the poor guy is strapped to some crates in a shipping yard, with one of Dreadwing's bombs ticking away on his chest. Wheeljack tries to defuse the bomb, while Optimus takes his leave for other parts. Wheeljack scoffs that Optimus apparently bailed, but Bulkhead knows better. Meanwhile, Dreadwing is contacted by an annoyed Megatron, and reports he's out to destroy Optimus Prime. Megatron warns him that Prime isn't that easy to beat, exasperatedly groaning over how many times he's tried to tell his troops this. Megatron allows Dreadwing a freebie to try, but muses to Soundwave that he'll be quite surprised if they ever see the Seeker again.
Dreadwing notices that Optimus is out of sight, and just then Optimus tries to appeal to Dreadwing's honor, but to no avail. The two begin to duke it out in the shipping yard. Bulkhead ends Wheeljack's attempts to defuse the bomb, realizing only Dreadwing can, and is able to tear free from his confinement and make a run for the water. Wheeljack stops him, having accepted that only Dreadwing can defuse the bomb as well. Dreadwing is soon pinned down by a shipping crane by Optimus, and the Autobots try to get him to help. Dreadwing claims he's happy to die and join his twin, but Optimus smells the load of crap and the Seeker relents and defuses the bomb, to Bulkhead's relief. Nonetheless, Dreadwing escapes as bombs go off all over the shipping yard.
On the Nemesis
, Megatron is amused at Dreadwing's failure to kill Prime, but is pleased that he still survived and has learned his lesson, as the Seeker pledges total loyalty to him. Back at the Autobot base, Wheeljack and Optimus make amends, and though he's convinced to stay, the Wrecker refuses a permanent spot on the team, opting instead to explore Earth on his own in a new vehicle mode.