Maximal Boot Camp is the next chapter in the Beast Wars. In it, Cheetor reminisces about his past training in Maximal Boot Camp, his friends Prowl and Ironhide, and his arch-enemy/rival, Stinger.
Somewhere in space, a Maximal shuttle streaks through the solar night and crash-lands on an asteroid, where its lone occupant races off across the barren ground in vehicle mode. Hot on his trail is Polar Claw, who chases him to a space bridge node on the asteroid. The yellow and black-armored escapee triggers the space bridge with a blast from a pair of stingers, and Polar Claw loses his quarry as the portal explodes with light.
On Earth, Cheetor, Foxfire, and Wolfang are on a scouting mission for the Predacons. As they do so, Foxfire asks in curiosity about Cheetor’s past. He mentions that before he was part of the Axalon crew, he was in Maximal Bootcamp to become a part of the Maximal Elite Guard. Back then, he was competing against Stinger, a 'bot sharing his bodyform whom he met when during his training days.
In the Predacon Base, Megatron contacts his double-agent on the Tripredicus Council through an old transmission code and congratulates him on Stinger's breakout. The double-agent is concerned that they are speaking so freely on the subject, but Megatron assures him that nobody will be able to listen in on the broadcast.
The message comes through exceedingly scrambled to the three teens, but they are at least able to comprehend the existence of a double-agent. Naturally, Cheetor immediately assumes it to be Stinger, and he decides to settle his old score, with Foxfire and Wolfang tagging along. Cheetor remembers how it all went down...
Cycles ago, on Cybertron, Cheetor meets Ironhide, a fellow Maximal named after the brave Autobot who fought alongside Optimus Prime, when they both attend boot camp to train under Polar Claw, alongside Stinger and aerial bot, Prowl. The two speedsters immediately earn Polar Claw’s ire—Cheetor for his impetuous impatience, and Ironhide for his desire to be nothing more than a space bridge technician—and the pair gets saddled with oil cleanup. Of course, Cheetor begins goofing off, which results in a stack of oil drums collapsing on Polar Claw, which results in Cheetor being made to stand in the middle of the courtyard in the dead of night, holding up oil drums and repeatedly declaring himself a “worthless oil stain.”
After a while, though, Cheetor calls it quits, but as he is walking by a warehouse, he spots a shadowy figure speaking into a communicator, with the voice of Magmatron responding! After a moment's hesitation, Cheetor pops his blasters and commands the spy-bot to show himself...but the figure has vanished. When Cheetor turns to leave, however, he spots Stinger walking out of the warehouse.
Unsure of how to proceed, Cheetor confides in Prowl, who encourages him to gather some evidence and present it to Polar Claw. Cheetor tries setting up a trap, planting a box with the Elite Guard symbol on it in the open, hoping Stinger will grab it...except Polar Claw is the first to come upon it, and it explodes, covering him in paint. Next, Cheetor tries a listening device, but accidentally winds up broadcasting Polar Claw over the camp's loudspeakers as he jokes about advising himself on the toilet. In traditional boot camp manner, Polar Claw makes the whole team suffer for Cheetor's mistakes, and Stinger takes it out on the little 'bot by disconnecting his legs and stuffing him in a locker. Prowl comes to Cheetor's rescue, and urges him not to give in.
But the bullying doesn't stop, as Stinger hits Cheetor with a burst of “friendly fire” in a simulated combat training exercise. Of course, it's just a paint grenade, but when Ironhide offers to help Cheetor up, but he snaps and insults Ironhide's lack of ambition before storming off. Turning a corner, Cheetor yelps as he finds several auto-cannons pointed in his face, but then laughs as he remembers that they're only loaded with paint rounds for the simulated combat. Or rather, they were, as the shadowy figure from the warehouse slinks by the cannons and switches them to active ammunition. As the cannons open fire on Cheetor and Prowl, Ironhide speeds to their rescue and takes out the cannons by dropping a building on them with his wrecking ball...only for Polar Claw to get squashed under it as well. Cheetor encourages Ironhide to scarper, rather than risk his career by owning up.
Tracking the message they intercepted, the three teen Maximals wander through the wilderness, as Cheetor reminiscing about the old days. When Cheetor stumbles into a patch of quicksand, both Foxfire and Wolfang pluck him out, but the conflict from his boot camp days starts bubbling back to the surface, and both Foxfire and Wolfang leave him to the mission himself. Angrily stomping up a mountain, Cheetor loses his footing and falls off a cliff, becoming buried in an avalanche.
Prowl informs Cheetor that Polar Claw is about to conduct a surprise locker examination, meaning that it's his last chance to find evidence on Stinger before Polar Claw can take credit for it himself. Doing his best to distract Stinger long enough, Prowl and surprisingly Ironhide allows Cheetor to "help him up" and finger his locker key in the process. As Cheetor quickly opens Stinger's locker, Polar Claw appears behind him, demanding to know what he's doing, only to be quickly silenced when Cheetor presents him with a Predacon communicator.
Impressed with the three's work, Polar Claw plans to recommend him for an Elite Guard position. After Stinger is carted off, screaming he’ll get even with all three of them, especially Cheetor, Polar Claw brings up the matter of the building being dropped on him. Since nobody has owned up, he decides to kick out whoever he feels like—and he feels like Ironhide. Before he can give the big guy the boot, however, Cheetor steps forward and claims responsibility, claiming it’s not worth it if someone else took the blame.
Polar Claw smirks and states he’s proud of that. He explains that he had his suspicion of Stinger being a spy, but couldn’t find out while he kept slipping around at top speed. He originally asked Prowl due to his education as an aerial intelligence officer-in-training, but was amazed to know that two other rookies had the guts to help out, despite none of them had real combat experience or proper training. He states that he can’t make them all Elite Guard members like they wanted to, but told them what you choose to do with their sparks is up to them. But at the moment, he was proud enough to declare them no longer maggots, but Maximals.
Some time later, Cheetor learned that Ironhide was assigned on an asteroid, working on a space bridge node, as Ironhide cheerfully announces "I have arrived!" He also learned that Prowl became an intelligence officer, and that before the mission of the Axalon, the three chatted once or twice a day, reminiscing of the good old days.
Buried under the rockslide, Cheetor reflects on his friendship with Ironhide and Prowl out loud, and about how he saved Ironhide's career, and how much Prowl cared for both, even if his old friends never dreamed big or small. But someone mentions that both Prowl and Ironhide did dream big; as Wolfang and Foxfire appear above Cheetor and haul him out from beneath the boulders, he announces that the two dreamed of being Cheetor's friend, just as Foxfire nuzzles her head to his, as she said she dreamed of being Cheetor’s girlfriend. Cheetor thanks them, and the team run off...
Out in space, it turns out that Stinger didn't escape to Earth at all, and that he is still on the asteroid, the one where the space bridge that was being maintenance by Ironhide, huddled up in a ball. His mind clearly slightly broken; a split personality, the insectoid 'bot buzzes and twitters to himself about how ‘they’ will find Cheetor and make him pay for ruining his life.
By stealing his.
- This is the first tribute episode from the Transformers Animated.
- In this chapter, we learn of Cheetor's past training and we delve deeper into Cheetor's past before he joined the Axalon crew.
- This also marks the debut of Polar Claw, Prowl, Ironhide and Stinger from the flashback.
- Also Cheetor and Stinger have a similar rivalry from the Transformers: Animated with Bumblebee having a rivalry with Wasp.
- Also Cheetor meets Ironhide and formed a similar friendship with one another just like Bumblebee being friends with Bulkhead from the show.
- Unlike the cannon, Stinger is a Predacon spy working for Magmatron.
- It is also revealed that Megatron has a double-agent on Cybertron and the one responsible for Stinger's breakout.
Ironhide: "Hey, little fella. Can you scan a picture of me with these big tall buildings? They'll never believe this back home."
Cheetor: "Mhm. First time off the energon farm?"
Ironhide: "How'd you know?"
Polar Claw: "I'm proud of that. I had my suspicion that Stinger might be a spy, but I couldn’t find out while he kept slipping around at top speed. I asked Prowl due to his education as an aerial intelligence officer-in-training, but I was amazed to know that the two of you had the guts to help out, despite none of you had real combat experience or proper training. Although I can’t make all of you an Elite Guard members, but what you choose to do with your sparks is up to you. Therefore, I am proud enough to declare that you are no longer maggots, but Maximals."
Cheetor: My two oldest buddies. Ironhide's spark is always in the right place while Prowl shows how much he cares for us. I should have never been so mean to both Wolfang and Foxfire. If they were here right now, I would tell them how much our friendship has meant to me. Even if they didn't dreamed big."
Wolfang: "But they did dream big, Cheetor. They dreamed of being your friend."
Foxfire: "And I too dreamed of being your girlfriend."
Wolfang: "We couldn't leave you all alone out here like that. We should've, but we didn't."
Cheetor: "Guys, I want you to know that our friendship is worth more to me than any amount of glory or Elite Guard membership. And if my old friends ever come to Earth I would like you to meet them in person."
Stinger: "He won't hide from us. We will find Cheetor. And we will make him pay for RUINING OUR LIFE!"