One Born Every Minute (Transformers: Renegade Rhetoric)
The following was posted on Facebook on January 26, 2016. 
Dear Cy-Kill, How are your new troops working out?
Cy-Kill: Some better than others. As I feared, Odd Ball has fallen in with Vamp and Scorp, though I've been fortunate to keep Monsterous out of their clutches. It helps that Fright Face is so stand-offish. Unless Vamp or Scorp challenges him to a duel, he's going to naturally look down on them. Of course, it has likewise been difficult to convince him to take orders from anyone other than myself. His team is more pliable, and I've been purposefully sending them on missions with other Renegades to help better integrate them into my forces. South Claws, in particular, seems to get on well with Stinger of all people. I don't see it, but I'm encouraging it none-the-less.
The rest of my recent recruits have been doing well. Pow Wow and Breez still have a natural tendency to stick together, but their Gobotic upgrade has radically improved their confidence. Clutch and Warpath fit right in.
As for Puzzler, they have been a smashing success... with one exception. It began when I sent Rube on his first solo mission to Earth, alongside Crain Brain, to conduct simple reconnaissance on a high value target, one Doctor Blanco of UNECOM. He had been working on transmutation ring, able to turn one atom into another. The ancient fantasy of turning lead to gold was nearly a reality, and we Renegades would have it. But there was an unexpected complication... the gruff Crain Brain had been mocking Rube for his complete lack of experience, and Rube was starting to get rather miffed about it. It didn't help that he continually made foolish errors. He had, after all, practically been built yesterday.
When Doctor Blanco was ambushed by a tabloid reporter expressing disbelief at how much taxpayer money had been "wasted" with Blanco's "alchemical fantasies that would never amount to anything," Blanco exploded with frustration, shouting at the woman and her cameraman. Rube saw in the Doctor a kindred spirit, and broke cover, saying he was tired of being mocked, and would the Doctor care to do something about it together? The Doctor agreed, and the two went off into the night. Crain Brain muttered, "uh oh, Cy-Kill's not gonna like this," and then did the sensible thing and contacted me. At first I was livid, but then I began to see potential in this development.
Meanwhile, the tabloid got the entire exchange on film, prompting General Newcastle to summon Leader-1 to deal with the situation. Leader-1 promised swift action, though Newcastle assured him that Blanco was a good man, "just a trifle naïve." Leader-1 promised that he'd keep this in mind and not go too rough on the man, though "he has to learn that actions have consequences."
Blanco and Rube next popped up at his alma mater, Texas A&M, where they attempted to acquire the Optical Waveform Field Inverter he needed to finish his transmutation ring. Things quickly got heated between them when Rube threatened an elderly professor, which Blanco had not anticipated. "What do you expect, I'm a Renegade!"
Rube, however, had failed to anticipate the swift Guardian response, and soon found himself staring down Leader-1, Turbo, and Scooter. "Darn, I hadn't expected them to show up so soon," he muttered, prompting Scooter to ironically echo his earlier sentiment. "What do you expect, we're Guardians!" Turbo and Leader-1 got into a firefight with Rube, who was no match for two-to-one odds. Scooter and Nick pleaded with Blanco to come back to UNECOM and stop working with the Renegades, but Blanco was deaf to their words. The Doctor managed to extricate them by mixing several chemicals together and making a smoke screen, enabling the pair to drive off with the technology they needed.
Back at their temporary warehouse hideout, tensions were thick between Rube and Blanco. Rube hadn't realized that organics need regular food and sleep, which prompted another blow-up from Blanco about his idiocy. Rube nearly tore his limbs off... but then remembered how much he needed the transmutation ring. Besides, they now had everything they needed to be wealthy beyond belief. But Blanco hadn't realized that Nick had slipped a tracking device into his lab coat pocket, and the Guardians again showed up, this time bringing several Hitch Hiker and Ridge Runner units for backup. Rube, the imbecile that he is, tried to fight his way out, only to get handily blasted by Leader-1. "I'm surprised you were foolish enough to try something like that," he expressed as he lay injured on the ground, "we had you surrounded!"
"STOP CALLING ME A FOOL," he replied angrily, and then, from hiding, I revealed myself. "Yes, only I can call my men fools. I knew this naïve moron would draw you out, Leader-1. Soon the transmutation ring will be mine, and I'll have three less Guardians to worry about." I had assigned Stinger to keep an eye on him, and the time to strike was now. I unleashed my Quick Step mechs to counter the Guardians' Hitch Hikers and Ridge Runners, and then engaged Leader-1 while Crasher used her seismic stomp on Turbo and Cop-Tur menaced Scooter, and Monsterous loomed in the background.
Leader-1 didn't flinch from my attack, as I expected him to. He just activated a force field to protect his men. "I expected you might think this way, Cy-Kill, so I brought a little backup of my own!" I turned to follow the line of his vision and saw four more Guardians in Power Suits; Royal-T, Dozer, Road Ranger, and Treds! They formed Courageous and battled my monster to a standstill. My ambush had turned into a fair fight, and the transmuter wasn't worth the effort. I grabbed Rube and sounded the withdrawal.As Doctor Blanco was led away by Newcastle's troops, A.J. lamented how all of this could have been prevented if Blanco was just a little less naïve. "Or Rube," added in Scooter, "how exactly is a 15 foot tall Renegade going to spend all that gold?" This got quite a chuckle from all assembled.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
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