Bears and Bulls
The following was posted on Facebook on January 28, 2016. 
Dear Cy-Kill, What is humanity's worst trait?
Cy-Kil: Its petty venality. Of course, that does present certain... opportunities, to one as unscrupulous as I.
Crasher, Tank, and Hornet were raiding an military base in New Jersey, attempting to knock out a new experimental aircraft UNECOM had been developing. Pumper and Beamer were on-hand, providing security, but they were outnumbered and outmatched, and the jet was destroyed, causing much revelry among my troops. The Guardians Astro-Beamed in Dozer and Bullet to assist, and Crasher sensibly led the Renegades in a dignified withdrawal, their mission accomplished.
Tank and Hornet got away, but Pumper got off a lucky shot and hit Crasher, forcing her to land. She converted to her car mode and lost him in a tunnel, but blacked out.
She awoke, to find herself in a lavish mansion. Drake J. Hinkleford IV, the ninth richest man in the world, introduced himself and explained that had observed battle and, upon discovering her unconscious in car mode, had her towed to his home. She converted to her robot form and threatened to squash him, but he remained calm, and said that he had a proposition for the Renegades. "I'm listening," my psychotic lieutenant managed, for despite herself she was intrigued.
It was an ordinary day at the New York Stock Exchange. Traders were bustling about, calling out orders hither and thither. Unexpectedly, the market began to take a huge downturn! Stock after stock tumbled to ten-year lows, amid panic. Only one company seemed to be rising, RAL. Investor after investor, seeking a safe haven, bought into RAL.
Even Leader-1, aboard his Command Center, was interested in the unusual market activity. Scooter pointed out that, at the rate RAL was rising and the other stocks were falling, that one company would own over half of the world's wealth by the end of the day. Turbo wondered if the Guardians should do something, but Leader-1 cautioned that it wasn't their place to mess about with human finances. Matt still thought it was fishy, and decided to investigate on behalf of UNECOM.
As the closing bell signaled the end of the market, financial analysts were in a tizzy about RAL's meteoric rise. They had scooped up majority positions in every one of the companies on the S&P 500, making them stewards of the vast majority of humanity's businesses. They were breathless at the skyscraper headquarters of the mysterious RAL, waiting for some kind of announcement. Hinkleford emerged to a podium set up before his building, flanked by heavy security. The crowd quieted, and he addressed them. "People of the business community, you're probably wondering about RAL, now that it owns every other major company on the exchange. We are a group of investors who believe that we can manage the economy better than the so-called executives that have been mismanaging my competitors. Expect profits to reach dizzying heights under my leadership. Thank you."
The reporters burst into simultaneous applause. Matt muscled into the front row, a frown on his face. "Mr. Hinkleford, exactly how did you manage to get every other stock to plummet at the same time?"
Hinkleford frowned, but the crowd booed Matt, forcing him to back off. Still, Matt's hackles were up, so he grabbed Scooter and told him that they were going to get to the bottom of this. Matt disguised himself as a security guard, and together they snuck into the RAL headquarters. Scooter was quite nervous, especially as he knew Leader-1 would never approve this mission. When they got to the penthouse, they heard Hinkleford talking to a familiar voice... ME! I was anxious to start phase 2 of our plans, using our economic control of the planet to slash UNECOM's budget and privatize planetary security.
Matt whispered that they now had the proof they needed, and that they needed to warn Leader-1. Fortunately for me, as they turned to go, they bumped straight into Cop-Tur. "Hey, looks like we got us some industrial espionage here!" He whipped out his rotor blade and spun it up!
Caught between Cop-Tur and myself, Scooter did the only thing he could think of... he pried open an elevator shaft, grabbed Matt, and jumped in. Cop-Tur couldn't fit down the shaft, and he reluctantly reported to me that the Guardian spy knew what was up. I was furious, but Hinkleford told me not to worry. He picked up the phone and asked to speak to the President.
Back at the Command Center, Matt and Scooter breathlessly reported what they'd seen. "That fink," exclaimed Turbo. "Good work, Matt, Scooter," praised Leader-1. "Now we can put RAL out of business for good. Get me General Newcastle."
Leader-1's expression turned sour when the voice on the other end of the line informed him that General Newcastle was no longer with UNECOM. "Perhaps you'd like to speak to our new head," the secretary inquired. Leader-1 agreed, and was soon speaking to the snooty General Thurston. Leader-1 started to explain the situation, but Thurston cut him off. "I'm afraid that RAL still legally owns all of those companies, whether or not the CEO chooses to spend his free time with your little rivals. Goodbye."
The Guardian leader was stunned. "'Little rivals,'" he asked, in disbelief. Nick shook his head. "That's what happens when you have money." A.J. hit him on the shoulder playfully. "Aw, don't be so cynical, Nick!"
Without UNECOM their contacts were limited, but the retired General Newcastle came through for them again. He had heard through his contacts at the joint chiefs that RAL was building something huge out Area 51, now a privatized facility under the auspices of the Earth Defense Command. Matt hoped that this was the proof they needed to get Hinkleford once and for all, and further remarked that they needed to get Newcastle back into the military. "You just don't look right in civvies."
Leader-1, Turbo, and Scooter made their way to the Nevada desert. At the base, they avoided the ubiquitous cameras and infrared beams surrounding the facility. "Strange they're not using Renegades to guard this place," remarked Turbo. "Maybe he's building something he doesn't want Cy-Kill to see," noted Scooter, presciently. They opened the door to the central hanger and observed two enormous, animal-shaped mechs, one bovine, one ursine. Turbo was impressed. "Either one of those could take on a dozen GoBots!"
Hinkleford stepped out from the shadows. "That's the idea. And now that they're completed, I won't need to deal with that Philistine Cy-Kill any more! EDC, destroy those Guardians!"
The bull and bear mech were more than enough for three miserable Guardians, who were forced to give ground. But Leader-1 got an idea, contacted the Command Center on an open frequency, requesting that Pumper and Beamer get ready to assist. "Hinkleford has enough firepower here to destroy every GoBot on the planet, Guardian and Renegade alike!"
I'm afraid that Leader-1's gambit worked. On board my Thruster, Hornet monitored the frequency and informed me. I was livid that my so-called ally had built such powerful mechs behind my back, and immediately ordered an attack. Cop-Tur, Crasher, Hornet, Tank, and I assaulted the EDC base, with me screaming for Hinkleford's head. The bear mech broke off of its attack on the Guardians and engaged my men, and was more than a match for us. Still, I was determined to get Hinkleford, and pressed the engagement.
Simultaneously, Leader-1 and his four Guardians battled the bull mech. The creatures were extraordinarily powerful, and I feared the day might be lost... until Leader-1 had his minions don their Power Suits. Courageous was able to defeat the mechs by grabbing the bull by its horns and hurtling it into the bear, destroying them both.
I looked up at the towering mech, and asked if he was going to oppose me. Hinkleford, screamed that Guardians had an obligation to defend all humans, even him. Leader-1, standing next to his combiner, just smirked. "You know, Cy-Kill, I think that the Guardians' work is done here." Hinkleford looked on in disbelief as Courageous disbanded and the Guardians flew away. I pounded my right fist into my open left palm, and approached him with menace in my eyes.
At UNECOM headquarters, General Newcastle took great pleasure in booting General Thurston out of his office. "Glad to have you back, General," remarked Leader-1 jovially. "I couldn't have done it without you. And now that RAL doesn't own the world's companies anymore, maybe things can get back to normal around here."Turbo scratched his head. "You know, we never did figure out what RAL stood for." "Isn't it obvious, Turbo?" asked Scooter. "Renegades Always Lose!" Somehow those pathetic Guardians thought that lame joke the height of comedic genius.
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