Transformers: The Veiled Threat
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Transformers: The Veiled Threat is a science fiction novel set in between the events of the 2007 movie Transformers and its 2009 sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Alan Dean Foster, author of another Transformers novel and the novelizations of both movies, is the author of this novel also. The 304 page paperback novel was released April, 2009. Foster is an established science fiction writer, having written a large number of novels for both original and existing media properties such as Aliens, Star Trek, and Star Wars.
Present-day, Megatron lies dead, at the bottom of the sea. Cut to the Gulf of Aden where pirates attack a freighter which just so happens to be ferrying Epps, Lennox, Ironhide, Ratchet, and other NEST (Networked Elements: Supporters and Transformers) members to their base on Diego Garcia. Ironhide soon transforms to robot mode and scares the pirates off. Arriving at Diego Garcia, the boys meet up with cybernetics expert Kaminari Ishihara, who has been swimming in the lagoon with the newly arrived Autobot veteran Longarm serving as lifeguard. Everyone enters a briefing where a sighting of Starscream in Zambia is discussed and a plan is hatched with Optimus Prime to confront him.
Meanwhile, we find that Agent Simmons is now, with the disbanding of Sector Seven, working in his mother’s deli in New York. He’s also tinkering with Frenzy’s disembodied head in his basement. In Africa, we learn that Starscream is not only in the area, he’s gaining control over local rebel groups by using his internal synthesizers to create gold coins. He is also accompanied by three other Decepticons: Dropkick, Macerator, and Payload. They soon attack a local dam construction site, making short work of the security forces, and proceed to steal mass quantities of explosives.
The NEST team soon arrives in Africa with Prime, Ironhide, and Ratchet as well as new arrivals: Salvage and Beachbreak. The Autobots soon engage Dropkick, Macerator, and Payload in battle in the Zambezi River. This is all part of Starscream’s brilliant plan, however, as the Autobots soon discover that the current is pushing them towards Victoria Falls. Everyone but Prime and Macerator gets out in time, as the dueling pair going over the side. Starscream swoops in to save Macerator while Prime dangles helplessly. Eventually the NEST team manages to haul Prime up using Beachbreak’s tow-cable, but the celebration is short lived as Starscream swoops in and knocks the diminutive Beachbreak off the waterfalls and to his death.
The Autobots and their human allies soon realize that Starscream may try and destroy a series of dams along the Zambezi and head off after the fleeing Decepticons. At one of the dams, the ground-based Decepticons attack. Payload heads to the valley floor to try to crack the dam with repeated blasts while Dropkick and Macerator fend off the arriving Autobots.
After a short scuffle, Prime manages to knock Macerator over the side of the dam before dispatching his dangling foe with his built-in sword. Ratchet takes repeated hits from Payload while trying to melt the fissures in the cracking dam back together. Both Ratchet and the dam are ultimately saved when the humans enter the dam and open the flood gates, knocking Payload downriver. A damaged Dropkick escapes and everyone returns to Diego Garcia.
Again, we cut back to Simmons in his basement, experimenting on Frenzy and brooding that that ("punk kid") Sam Witwicky has a "hot girlfriend" and is going to Princeton University. Frenzy suddenly comes to life and tries to subvert the building’s electrical system. And after a little chaos, Simmons decides he needs to move the Decepticon head to a space beneath his mother’s deli.
Back at NEST headquarters, two more Decepticon presences are detected and a pair of teams is readied to head out and take care of them. Epps and Russian scientist Petr Andronov accompany Longarm and the impetuous young motorcycle Knockout to Peru to find the Decepticons that have been detected in the deep jungles. On a steep mountain pass, the party is attacked by Decepticons Ruination and Blademaster. Despite inexperienced and risky behavior by Knockout, both are severely damaged and driven off.
Simultaneously, Lennox, Ishihara, Prime, Ironhide, and Salvage arrive in the Western Australian Outback and begin searching for Decepticons. Lennox soon realizes that the ‘Cons are attacking sites with energy reserves; oil and coal in Peru; and uranium in Australia. The team decides that there is a second group of Decepticons not under Starscream’s command, harvesting massive amounts of energy in an attempt to revive Megatron.
Arriving at a uranium mining site, the NEST team discovers a trio of construction vehicles which, naturally, turn out to be Decepticons. The leader, Kickback, takes Prime on and is quickly run through with the Autobot leader’s sword. The other two, Tread and Trample, are quickly killed through the combined efforts of the rest of the team.
Back at Diego Garcia, a small crab-like Decepticon infiltrates the base and hacks into the NEST computers before sneaking back into the sea and rendezvous with an unknown accomplice. Despite the break-in, the NEST team continues their usual business; discussing different ways the Decepticons could draw massive quantities of power to revive Megatron.
In Italy, Starscream enters into a deal with an Italian criminal named Bruno Carrera to help destroy Optimus Prime in exchange for dominion over Europe when the Decepticons triumph. A plan is hatched and Swindle and Deadend begin ripping through the streets of Rome causing general chaos and trying to draw the Autobots out. After an extended chase where Knockout proves he has what it takes, and Starscream challenges Prime to single combat inside Rome's Colosseum.
Prime and the Autobots enter the ancient structure, and Prime promptly falls through a trap door to a subway tunnel extension and into a strong set of restraints arranged by Carrera. Starscream then proceeds to attack the remaining Autobots while a helpless Prime is confronted by a vengeful Barricade. Before the Decepticon can dispatch Prime, the humans attack Barricade and Prime manages to work himself free. He easily defeats Barricade returns to the surface where Starscream has fled.
On his way to whatever scheme he has come up next, Starscream takes the time to visit Carrera at this villa, where he pays him back for his “failure”. Finally, Epps and Lennox are relaxing on the beach back at Diego Garcia when Knockout approached and informs them that something significant is happening, mentioning how he is unfamiliar with the term “shanghaied”.
- Beachbreak - A new character introduced in this book. Sadly though, he was also killed by Starscream here. He was an Autobot who turned into a military jet ski. No toy has been made of this character yet.
- Ironhide - A specially modified GMC Topkick Pickup truck.
- Knockout - Motorcycle, one of the Scout toys from the Revenge of the Fallen toy line, where his name is spelled Knock Out.
- Longarm - Tow truck.
- Optimus Prime - Leader of the Autobots. A Semi truck.
- Ratchet - Autobot Hummer ambulance.
- Salvage - Autobot pickup truck.
- Barricade - Specially modified Ford Mustang Police car
- Blademaster - A new character introduced in this book. Turns into a helicopter.
- Dead End - Car
- Dropkick - Pickup truck
- Frenzy - Head
- Kickback - A new character introduced in this book. Bulldozer. Killed by Optimus Prime.
- Macerator - A new character introduced in this book. A garbage truck. Killed by Optimus Prime.
- Payload - Anti-aircraft tank.
- Ruination - A new character introduced in this book. Osprey Helicopter.
- Swindle - Car
- Starscream - F-22 Raptor
- Trample - A new character introduced in this book. Excavator, killed.
- Tread - A new character introduced in this book Excavator, killed.
Transformers: The Veiled Threat has been called a lifeless read that is miserly in character development.