United EX Story #5 – “The Dragon Pays His Dues” Translation
“The Dragon Pays His Dues”
Written by Andrew Hall
Article: Might Gaine
Source: United EX Grimmaster Back of Box
On a rocky mountain ledge, five dinosaur Transformers were raging wildly as if flaunting their raw power. Boulders were smashed into pebbles, sharp gusts of wind punctuated the strikes of a tail, and the earth shuddered with thunderous footsteps. In this place known as “Dinobot Island,” a new Master was making the final adjustments to his drones.
“I’ve got a message from Major Clouder of the Department of Defense!”
Having just touched down on the island, Jetmaster addressed the dinosaur Transformer before him with a cool glare.
“After suffering two attacks from the Decepticons, the Race Drones fortunately escaped unscathed, but our military drones were lost to the enemy… Choppermaster remains unaccounted for. Placing a high priority on this phase of the operation, senior command hereby orders Grimmaster and the Dinobot Drones to prepare for deployment. …That’s what the man said.”
“You guys want… me?”
A contrast to his fearsome appearance, Grimmaster’s somehow gentle eyes darted around nervously.
“Hey, not my decision, but they called you in. Just don’t try anything shady…”
Jetmaster barely avoided referring to the Transformer as an “ex-‘Con.”
“Y’know, I’m real sorry. But look, I’ll fight good and help you guys out!”
As Grimmaster looked at him earnestly, Jetmaster’s expression softened just slightly.
“Well, nobody’s trying to say you’re not tough enough. But, I’ve gotta know. Have you really been training alone here for going on10 years?”
“Oh yeah! Gettin’ in with the Master Class, I wanted to get real strong so I could do somethin’ for ol’ Earth, and all my human pals here, too! Gotta respect the chief after he saved the life of a ‘Con like me, y’know? And hey, I’m not alone… I got my buddies with me!”
As Grimmaster spoke, four Dinobot Drones emerged to gather around him, each calling out to him familiarly as if affirming his will.
“Buddies, eh? Arright, get ready for duty, Grimmaster!”
A former Decepticon who grew fond of Earth during the war 10 years ago. As a new member of the Dinobots, he now fights to defend the planet.
A dinosaur drone that absorbs solar energy through the fin on its back. Converts into an arm.
Illumina III Drone:
A dinosaur drone capable of transporting a human inside. Converts into an arm.
A dinosaur drone that strikes with powerful headbutts. Converts into a leg.
A dinosaur drone evenly balanced with physical and ranged combat abilities. Converts into a leg.
Grimmaster Prime Mode:
By combining with the Dinobot Drones developed by the scientist Wheeljack, Grimmaster covers his own lack of speed with the drones’ swift movement. The Prime Mode’s thick armor can repel most artillery.
The Allspark’s comments
With Choppermaster defeated and Racemaster on the run, it’s now up to the unlikely hero Grimmaster to face off against Master Chaos. A former Con who is dumb, loyal, loves Earth, and owes a debt to one of the Autobot head honchos–Grimmaster is none other than Kakuryu of the Decepticon Dinoforce!
Near the end of Transformers Victory, Kakuryu and the other Dinoforce members were deserted by Deszaras and saved by the Autobots. After Deszaras’ defeat, the Dinoforce made peace with Earth, and we last see Kakuryu living the good life at an Earth amusement park. We learn from this chapter that soon after that break, he enlisted in the Autobot ranks as a full-fledged Dinobot to fight on behalf of Earth!
It’s fitting that the Dinobot Drones were created by Wheeljack, as the original Dinobots were created by him as well. The names of the Dinobot drones pay homage to the Dinoforce’s former rivals: Star Saber, Road Caesar, and Land Cross. The human-pilotable Illumina III is a spiritual successor to the Illumina II, the transforming bipedal mecha that human sidekick Jean pilots in Transformers Victory.
In this chapter, Kakuryu mentions a debt he owes the “Chief”. He’s refering to events from a chapter of the Transformers Victory manga, where Kakuryu’s sneak attack on Star Saber backfires, leaving him hanging off a ledge. Rather than finish him off, Star Saber saves his life. The image for this chapter shows the memory of Star Saber grabbing onto Kakuryu’s hand at that time.
Lastly, this chapter touches on the alliance between Earth and the Master Class Autobots. Clouder is the Godmaster from Masterforce whose Transtector could transform into both Autobot and Decepticon forms, but who ultimately chose to ally himself with the Autobots. Here, we learn he’s a Major in the United States Department of Defense in a position where he hands down orders to the Master Class Autobots. Clouder’s position is consistent with his portrayl in Masterforce, which at one point shows him viewing secret DOD video tapes and later shows him with access to military vehicles.
Will Grimmaster be able to do right by ol’ Earth? Stay tuned for more United EX to find out!!