The Decepticons discover a source of rare energy in a deserted canyon. The emissions come from Corlonium crystals, located in a crevice. The raw energy cannot be sampled, though, as the crystals destroy electronic circuitry on mere contact. Anticipating the Autobots' imminent arrival, the Decepticons engage them in a skirmish that sees Optimus Prime rendered unconscious by Laserbeak. Falling into a ravine, Optimus becomes the unwilling subject of Laserbeak's holographic photography. The details of Optimus's internal structure secured, Megatron produces and controls a clone of his enemy, designed to lure the other Autobots to their doom in the crystal-lined fissure. The Decepticons retreat and the Autobots unwittingly return to headquarters with the impostor. Much confusion arises when the real Optimus returns, as telling them apart proves impossible. As the Autobots lament the failure of their many identity tests, bogus reports of increased energy readings from the crevice cause them to return there with both Primes in tow. Another battle ensues, in which the Optimus clone destroys a replica of Starscream to gain the Autobots' complete trust. Windcharger and Spike find the Decepticon base, but Spike is captured while Windcharger falls toward the crevice and certain destruction. The rubber tire insulation of his vehicle mode saves him, however, and he stops the other Autobots at the last minute from entering the fissure. The false Optimus then reveals his true self by not caring to rescue Spike, and the Autobots destroy him. An exasperated Megatron flees, dropping Spike from high up in the sky. Fortunately, Powerglide catches Spike and all is well.