The story is set in 1969 and details the account of a top secret space ship called Ghost-1, built by the American organization known as Sector 7. The ship was built by examining and reverse engineering the frozen remains of the Transformer Megatron. Sent into space at the same time as Apollo 11 to hide its trail, the ship is sent to orbit the far side of Jupiter to look for any more alien activity. However, the ship falls into a wormhole that was apparently accidentally created by them due to a slingshot around the sun and emerges in an unknown part of the galaxy - where it is not alone.
The Ark and the Nemesis arrive, intrigued by the ship's Cybertronian design. Starscream leads the Decepticons on an attack as the humans flee. Bumblebee pursues them, as does Starscream, who hopes to annihilate the ship - and any traces of Megatron with it. Putting Bumblebee to flight, Starscream communicates with Ghost-1, pretending to be benevolent. Scanning their computers, he learns of the existence of the Allspark and Megatron and decides to string them along by telling them of the war. He hopes to provoke them into firing on the "evil" Autobots, who will destroy them. Optimus Prime arrives, having fought off Blackout's attack in orbit, saving Bumblebee from giant rock-chewing worms. They encounter Starscream and Ghost-1, who fire on them, burying them in the cave with more worms.
The humans, meanwhile, have become suspicious of Starscream's intentions, noting differences in the behaviors of his and Prime's. When their ship sinks into a sinkhole, Starscream betrays them and leaves them for dead. When Prime and Bumblebee cross paths with the ship underground, the Autobots communicate with the humans, who tell them of the in-stasis Megatron. Knowing that Megatron would decimate their people if he reactivated, Prime vowed to see the humans return to Earth to warn it. They eventually free themselves and head back into orbit, where a full-scale assault by the Decepticons is under way. Despite the Autobots' courage, they are outnumbered. Captain Walker of Ghost-1 makes the decision that they cannot flee, since doing so would lead the Decepticons straight to Earth. The wormhole eventually collapses as they prepare their attack on Starscream, which leaves them stranded. They fire on Starscream as he and Bonecrusher prepare to finish off Prime. Starscream annihilates them in retaliation and retreats, severely wounded. Prime laments their sacrifice, but had already begun to suspect that the Allspark was the reason Megatron went to Earth. Knowing that Starscream would seek Earth merely for revenge on the humans injuring him, Prime resolves to locate Earth before the Decepticons do.
On Earth, a different crisis unfolds. An order has come through to transport the frozen "Ice Man" from the Arctic to a place of safe keeping somewhere near the West Coast of the United States, to be studied more concretely. The convoy carrying him is sabotaged and derailed by a Soviet spy, who indicates a KGB assault will take place to recover Megatron. A more immediate problem presents itself when it is revealed that Megatron is thawing out. As the weather worsens and the Russian attack begins, Megatron reanimates. Lieutenant Colonel Nolan and Colonel Thomas Kinnear, both of them seasoned and fine commanders from Sector 7, managed to stop the disorientated Decepticon leader by first driving a snow truck into him, then freezing him once more with liquid Nitrogen even as he killed them both. The soldiers, under the command of the tenacious and resilient officer Lieutenant Jenson, fought off the Russian attack with the aid of a squad of Army Rangers, then resolve to complete Megatron's transportation.
The mission to move Megatron from the Arctic to the Hoover dam is undertaken in 1969 (concurrent with the Apollo 11 moon mission) — however both the movie and prequel comic series state that Megatron was relocated in the mid-late 1930s. To further complicate the issue, the prequel and the movie conflict, as the movie states Megatron was moved and cryo-frozen in 1934, yet construction on the dam was not completed until 1935 (and the prequel comic shows the interior of the Dam in 1935, with Megatron clearly not present and characters discussing his then-upcoming move to the Dam).
Also, the Decepticons are depicted in the novel as traveling in a spacecraft, but the movie and Target-exclusive prequel comic included with the DVD shows the Decepticons traveling to Earth as protoforms. This is later explained in the IDW comics in that the Decepticons left their ship on Mars and traveled to Earth as protoforms.
- "Talking Transformers Movie Novels with Alan Dean Foster". Seibertron. http://seibertron.com/people/interviews/view.php?interview_id=32. Retrieved 2007-06-25.
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