This is the second act to my Transformers 3 treatment/screenplay.

The first act can be found in my previous post.

I also acted it out with my toys here:

Issue 3

Optimus and Ironhide return to the destroyed Sector Eight headquarters. They see the last of the Decepticons following the call to flee. Grimlock stops to peel Mudflap’s Autobot insignia off and meld it to his shoulder.

Skids is bawling about the loss of his “brother.” He pours a 40 of oil on the ground in honor. Optimus says a few words about the losses they suffered this day: Mudflap and the two humans. The three remaining Sector Eight Pretenders are too damaged to use. Someone says they’ll have to get the 2.0s online instead. (For headcount purposes, this means that Mudflap, Megatron and Bombshell are dead, and Windcharger, Inferno, Warpath, Smokescreen and Tracks are out for the rest of the story.)

Ironhide’s mad at Prime for risking lives, and losing Mudflap, to further the humans’ Killswitch project that ultimately could be used against them. It sows the seeds that makes him rebel later.

Sector Eight people are packing up the two Decepticon bodies: Megatron and Bombshell. The Autobots were surprised to see the Decepticon leader’s corpse. “Maybe it wasn’t us who dealt the killing blow,” Prime tells Ironhide. The human forces vow to dismantle the bodies so that the Decepticons can’t rebuild Megatron again. Ironhide, Jolt and Arcee will stay behind to help after they rendezvous with reinforcements coming from Cybertron.

Meanwhile, Starscream flies toward a mountain. He goes right through it, an illusion. He transforms and marches through Decepticon headquarters. The other Decepticons look at their new leader strangely.

Starscream heads down one of the stark metal hallways. He hears Megatron’s last words echoing throughout the halls. Starscream’s getting scared, until Soundwave appears. He recorded their fight, and is threatening to expose him. If Starscream attacks Soundwave, Buzzsaw will broadcast the message. If Starscream attacks Buzzsaw, Soundwave will broadcast it.

“Are you challenging me for leadership, now, Soundwave?”

“No. The real power is behind the throne.”

“Then,” Starscream asks, “what do you want?”

“The Key.”

“Never. I need it for my troops.”

“Correction, Starscream. My troops.”

Angrily, Starscream turns over the Key to Vector Sigma. It had been found on Cybertron, and Starscream was holding on to it to create soldiers to overthrow Megatron.

Bumblebee returns to the lake to pick up Sam and Mikaela, who made the best of their time alone.

Bumblebee brings them to a prepared place in the desert where the rest of the Autobots are awaiting a space bridge jump.

They watch as a group teleports in. They are led by the commander of Autobots of Cybertron, Alpha Trion, a wise old Autobot engineer. He has space bridge technology. With him is defensive strategist Trailbreaker, espionage agent Mirage, and young warrior Hot Rod.

Alpha Trion tells them of a great battle that took place on Cybertron. We watch glimpses of the battle, but don’t get a real good look at anything. Unless, maybe this is the time to cameo other characters just for fun. But the point is that the Decepticons on Cybertron, led by Shockwave, made a push and eradicated the Autobots. He suspects the Decepticons had a spy that gave away their location. “We are the last Autobots.” Shockwave is really built up here as a threat who personally exterminated hundreds of the last Autobots, either directly, or through his servant Menasor, who we don’t see yet.

Head Count: Autobots: Prime, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Arcee, Jolt, Skids, Wheelie, Alpha Trion, Trailbreaker, Mirage, Hot Rod. Decepticons: Starscream, Soundwave, Kickback, Shrapnel, Grimlock, Buzzsaw and whatever Decepticons are still on Cybertron who haven’t come yet. That’s it. No more since the Allspark is gone.

“Vector Sigma is cold,” Alpha Trion says. Without the Allspark to give it power, the Vector Sigma computer can no longer give life to any machines. They need to discover a way to bring life back to Cybertron. (Remember? The plot from the first movie that never got resolved.)

“We need the Key to Vector Sigma. This, and the creation matrix within you, Optimus Prime, is the only way we can continue our species.”

“But what kind of Transformers will it create? Will they definitely be Autobots?”

“Can’t say for certain. Legends say that whoever holds the key can place elements of their personality inside. But, legends are not always true.”

As evening falls, the Autobots are trying to blow off steam after their memorial for Mudflap. They have a cavern in some mountains far away from civilization. Here they can have a home without endangering civilians. They’re having fun. Relaxing. We get a chance to see what they’re like when they’re not shooting at each other.

Only Ironhide is grim. He says something very ominous about how this is just the calm before the storm and as he turns to give a dramatic exit, he slams into a force field.

“Very funny, Trailbreaker.”

Ratchet says he has plans to reconfigure five Autobots so they could have an alternate mode like that Devastator creature they fought before. Several hands go up as volunteers. He begins preparations right away.

Sam sees Optimus leave the group and goes to talk to him. We get a few minutes of conversation to show their mutual respect and emotion between them. Prime feels he failed his team, and the race of Cybertronians in general. Sam helps pep him up, tells him he’s saved his planet (Earth) many times. “Maybe that’s what you’re meant to do. Maybe Earth is meant to be your home.”

And speaking of home, he’s got to head back. Bumblebee gives Sam and Mikaela a ride.

Since the gathering is kind of breaking up, no one notices Mirage leave on his own. No one, that is, except Hot Rod.

Mirage drives to a pre-arranged spot and transforms. He looks around, rocket dart rifle ready, until something catches his eye. It’s Buzzsaw. He’s not sure what to do until Soundwave emerges.

“Welcome to Earth, Mirage.”

“Soundwave. I came alone. You?”

“I’m never alone,” Soundwave says, Rumble crawling out of his chest cavity. “What news do you have?”

“First, you.”

“Megatron is dead. Starscream now rules the Decepticons. But he’s under my…supervision…”

“Good. Alpha Trion, Trailbreaker and Hot Rod are here now. That’s it for us.”

“And the other…”

“I found the forgotten library before we left Cybertron. I downloaded all the files that weren’t corrupt. One mentions something that would be of interest to you. The Decepticon Matrix?”

“Where is it?”

“Megatron’s body.”

“Can you get it?”

“Do you have what I need?”

Soundwave shows Mirage a vaguely key-shaped mechanism. “The Key to Vector Sigma.”

Mirage asks why Soundwave would want the Decepticon Matrix without the Key? The Key is needed to create new life. The matrix will guide that life.

Soundwave explains that the Decepticon Matrix has power of its own. He lists a few, but notes specifically granting one the ability to change into nothing more than a stream of energy: a ghost in the machine. Soundwave doesn’t want to create more Decepticons. Why have competition? (Besides, with Shockwave guarding Vector Sigma, there’s no chance of the Autobots taking it. Especially with the Stunticons coming to Earth to take down Prime.) He only likes the Decepticons that are a part of him, he says, Buzzsaw perched on his shoulder.

Soundwave asks why Mirage would want to give the Matrix to him. Why would an Autobot do that? Mirage said he’s been fighting this war for millions of years. He’s burned out. He wants it to end any way he can end it.

As Mirage leaves, he doesn’t notice Hot Rod spying on him.

Meanwhile, Bumblebee drops Mikaela home. Wheelie is waiting for her, pacing back and forth like a nervous wreck. He’s talking to the alarm clock. “When is she going to be home?”

Bumblebee brings Sam home. Judy Witwicky is anxiously awaiting the lovebird at the door. “Well, honey? How’d it go?”

“Mudflap’s dead, and so is Megatron and some other big bug guy. My best friends are an endangered species.”

He heads upstairs, and Judy just looks confused. Ron says “Ah, just like us when we were young.”

Back at Autobot base, Mirage is confronted by Hot Rod in front of the others. Doubt is cast upon his loyalty and people ask Prime to make a decision. Prime stands by Mirage. Not to insult Hot Rod, but he doesn’t want to sow chaos right now. Mirage is more useful as a soldier than as a prisoner. Several Autobots stand by Prime’s decision. Hot Rod, Ironhide, Sideswipe, and a few other tougher warriors are leaning away from him. Prime asks Alpha Trion, privately, what he knows of Hot Rod.

“Hot Rod was the last Transformer to be given a spark. He’s a little quick to action, but he has great potential.”

Meanwhile, Simmons and Leo are working in the Sector Eight lab to perfect the Killswitch. Gen. Morshower is there, asking for a status update. He was the nervous little bureaucrat from the last movie. They want to make it worldwide. Morshower gives him a deadline of one day, and Simmons says it might be ready then.

Mirage sneaks into the base and finds Megatron’s body. The Sector Eight guys haven’t dismantled it yet. They want to unlock its secrets first. Invisible, he opens Megatron’s chest cavity and removes the Matrix. He steals away into the night.

Issue 4

We see Lennox and Epps working on the 2.0 Exosuits, but we don’t get a good look at them yet. The third survivor (Furman) of the opening battle is winded. He doesn’t look too good. He’s nervous and scared.

Lennox hears about the new timetable on the Killswitch project and calls the Autobots. He tells them, basically, that they’ve got a day to leave Earth.

This helps finalize the rift that’s been forming among the Autobots (caused by doubt over Mirage, deaths of their friends, and just the weariness of continuing this fight when Prime seems unable to end it). Prime promises to leave Earth, hoping the Decepticons will follow. The tougher ‘bots want to take the battle to the ‘cons. Ironhide and a few others seem to be growing apart from Prime.

Sam is at his new job at NASA. He works in the astronaut training center. His biggest dream these days is to take to the stars. But he’s called into his boss’s office. Things are not going as well as he thought. A lot of the guys in the office are talking behind his back. His boss refers to it as “concern.” They ask him to take a psychological test. We know right then and there that he has no hope of passing.

Finally, we get our first good look at Cybertron. Shockwave and his troops (the Stunticons) are searching for something, and they find it: Vector Sigma.

“With this, we can finally make more soldiers!” Shockwave says.

“What’s the point? They’ll all just die in battle anyway,” Dead End mutters.

Shockwave upbraids Dead End for his sullenness. His pessimism is illogical. He contacts Starscream, telling him he found Vector Sigma. But it’s empty. It needs a matrix to fuel it. Starscream decides he’s going to need the one from Prime, not realizing yet that there is such a thing as a Decepticon Matrix. Shockwave also finds something else: about a hundred empty shells. These are Transformers that Alpha Trion built, waiting for the Allspark or Vector Sigma to give them life. Basically, these should have been 100 new Autobots, but now they’re going to be made into Decepticons.

Starscream wants a new army to command. He wants to create soldiers that he knows will be loyal because he’s the one imparting their personalities. Soundwave pits Starscream against Prime, to try to get him to steal the Autobot Matrix. Soundwave tells him that the Autobot Matrix is the only thing that can get Vector Sigma to breathe new life into those machines.

Starscream tells Shockwave to stay there and guard Vector Sigma, but send the Stunticons down to Earth to create enough havoc to lure Prime and the others away. Motormaster is more than happy with this. He has a score to settle with Prime.

Starscream sends Shrapnel to NEST headquarters to use them against the Autobots. Grimlock is ordered to stay by Starscream as his bodyguard, but Grimlock just scoffs at him. He calls Starscream a coward for using puny humans to attack his enemies. After centuries of being on Earth, he doesn’t like the humans, but he pities them. He sees the Decepticon way as backward. The only ones on this dust ball who fight honorably are the Autobots, he says.

Grimlock breaks ranks with the Decepticons. Starscream challenges him, but in an offhand way, because he’s scared.

Grimlock looks at the rest of the Decepticons in the room (Soundwave, Buzzsaw, Rumble, the two remaining Insecticons) and knows he’s outnumbered if an actual fight starts. He walks confidently up to Starscream and pulls off Starscream’s Decepticon insignia, then says “I’ll be back for the rest of you.”

As Grimlock walks out, none of the other Decepticons challenge him. But he is outnumbered if they should all fight. Starscream calls after him, calling him a coward. Soundwave says “Maybe he’s just using strategy.”

Sam goes to Mikaela for help. He still has a job, but there’s no way they’re ever going to let him on a flight now, even when he was training so hard.

Mikaela gives him a pick-me-up speech about how he’s smart, and he’s destined to go places. It’s in his blood. His great-grandfather was an explorer.

“Look at me,” she said. “I’m still working in my dad’s old shop. Not like you. You’re going somewhere. You’ve already done stuff that people only dream of,” as Wheelie is playing with a flashlight. Every time it goes off, he thinks it’s dead.

Mirage meets with Soundwave in their predestined spot. They trade their items. Mirage holds out the Decepticon Matrix and Soundwave holds the Key to Vector Sigma.

“I sense that is the real Decepticon Matrix,” Soundwave says. “The readings I’m picking up….wait….you mean to double-cross me!”

Mirage takes a bomb out from a hidden compartment and hurls it at Soundwave. Soundwave dives out of the way at the last minute, dropping the Key. The bomb explodes in a sphere of electro-static energy.

“You’re a fool, Mirage. When you fight Soundwave, you’re always outnumbered,” Soundwave says, as Buzzsaw and Rumble eject, slamming into Mirage with the force of a rocket. “Buzzsaw, Rumble: Eject. Operation: Destruction!”

Buzzsaw turns into a circular saw, mounted on Soundwave’s forearm. He flings his arm, and the blade flies off, cuts through Mirage, transforms into a condor, turns around, fires, then transforms back into a saw and cuts through Mirage again.

Mirage can get shots at him, but he’s overwhelmed. He hides the Decepticon Matrix back in his compartment. Rumble rips the compartment open to grab it and toss it to Buzzsaw. Buzzsaw flies it back to Soundwave, but Mirage’s shot knocks it out of Buzzsaw’s claws.

Rumble jumps on Mirage. His pile drivers cause a quake on his body. Chunks of armor fall off. Then Mirage grabs Rumble, who writhes in his hand. Then he turns his hand into a missile launcher and fires. Rumble, at the tip of the missile, is launched and collides with Soundwave, killing them both.

Buzzsaw gets away, grabbing the Decepticon Matrix on his way out.

Mirage returns to the Autobots, severely damaged. He tells Prime he did everything he asked him to do. But the mission was only a partial success. He retrieved the Key to Vector Sigma. The Decepticons have their Matrix. Mirage gives Prime the Key to Vector Sigma. Ratchet gets him stable, but he’s still hurting.

This is how we learn that Prime was aware of Mirage’s actions the whole time. Prime informs the rest of the Autobots that Mirage had to appear to be acting on his own because the Decepticons have spies everywhere. Hot Rod sheepishly apologizes.

Buzzsaw returns to Decepticon base and provides Starscream with the Matrix. Starscream’s very surprised, but very happy that Soundwave’s schemes ended badly. Starscream puts the matrix in and energy crackles over him. He uses the Matrix’s power to augment his robot and jet modes. Whenever there’s a close-up, his eyes gleam bright red with purple lightning crackling all around.

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

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