Babysitting (Transformers: Renegade Rhetoric)

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Babysitting is an episode of Transformers: Renegade Rhetoric described on the Renegade Rhetoric Facebook page.


Source Text

The following was posted on Facebook on January 8, 2016. [1]

Dear Cy-Kill,

What do you think of children? I hear some Decepticon leaders have a soft spot for them. . . Some Decepticon leaders are severely lacking in taste. Actually, let me amend that statement to strike the word "some."

Of course, children occasionally have their uses. My Thruster had gotten the drop on Leader-1's Command Center in the Snake Nebula, and we were pursuing. Suddenly, a giant eyeball appeared out of nowhere, a free-floating sphere that focused first on us, then on the Guardians. Cop-Tur was close to panicking, though of course I kept my head.

A booming voice filled both ships. "Creatures of Dimension 4, break off your hostility. We of Dimension 13 have an urgent task which supersedes your petty feuds; a child who needs supervision for 48 of your time units. Which of you shall accept this task?"

Crasher, exhibiting a stark lack of imagination, suggested we "let the Guardians handle it, they're used to babysitting lesser life forms," but I barked at her to shut up.

"Of course we shall accept custody of your offspring. I shall treat the child as if it were my own." Crasher asked what I was doing, and I whispered for her to be quiet... if the child was a tenth as powerful as the parent, we'd have a potent weapon!

A glow suffused Thruster's bridge, and a twelve foot tall green toddler with long, floppy ears appeared. "Keep Mal'Filius safe... or there shall be consequences." The eye faded from existence, and we were alone with the child.

Cop-Tur piped up that the Guardians were getting away, and asked if we should target them. Mal'Filius laughed, and said "let me, let me!" I was delighted, and pointed at the smoking ship on the viewscreen and told Mal'Filius to blow them away. The little scamp nodded, puffed up his cheeks, and blew, and the solar wind hit the Guardian ship and nudged it into hyperspace! I was furious, but Mal'Filius' eyes shined with tears, and he whimpered that he thought I wanted him to blow them away, which he did. What choice did I have but to relent?

We tracked Leader-1 to a small Guardian observation asteroid, where they had set their Command Center down for repairs. The automated defenses were too dense to get the Thruster in, so I opted to keep the ship's Stealth Device active and go in and personally finish the job. Mal'Filius was keen to accompany us, and I despaired of what mischief he might get up to alone on the ship, so we took him on the assault.

As we entered the base, Cop-Tur banged his head on a low beam. I whispered at him, furious. "Cop-Tur, you iiidiot, this is a stealth mission. Stay quiet as a mouse." He got halfway through his typical "sorrr-eeeeee" when his "eeeeee" changed pitch. I looked down and, where my loyal minion had been standing, there was a rodent! I shouted for Mal'Filius to change him back, and he shrugged and did so, but it was too late. My own roar of displeasure had summoned the Guardians.

The firefight quickly became a standstill. We had failed to achieve surprise, but the Guardian's couldn't outflank us to get an advantage. Despite failing us twice, I opted to give Mal'Filius a third chance to get it right, though I warned the little twerp that my patience with him was running thing. He asked what I wanted done, and I told him I didn't care, just so long as I never had to look at Leader-1 or the Guardians ever again. He waved his hand... and the Guardians vanished! It appeared that the third time was, indeed the charm. I was, of course,delighted. "Very good, Mal'Filius, very good indeed! Now, Cop-Tur, Crasher, we have unrestricted access to a Guardian observation post and Command Center. Let's take advantage, shall we?"

I directed Cop-Tur to finish repairs on the Command Center, intent on flying it back to Rogue Star so Dr. Go and I could learn all of its weak points. I went to the observation asteroid's computer core, so that I could download the latest Guardian intelligence reports. I left Crasher to babysit Mal'Filius, cautioning her not to accidentally blast him.

What I didn't realize was that Leader-1, Scooter, and Turbo hadn't been disintegrated at all... but made invisible! Leader-1 was quick to realize what had happened, and split up his forces to harry me and mine. In the computer core, Scooter kept switching wires and plugs around as I worked, causing me to trip, erase data I was intent on downloading, and give myself a nasty shock. Turbo allowed Cop-Tur to finish repairs on his vessel, but then locked him out of the ship. And Leader-1 began whispering to Mal'Filius, sewing dissent with Crasher's admittedly brusque manner.

Finally, I realized that, whatever was going on, Mal'Filius was to blame. I rushed down to the docking bay where I had left Crasher and the troublesome toddler, arriving just in time to tune-out Cop-Tur's babbled excuses. Enraged, I pointed a finger at Mal'Filius and shouted at the child, "listen, you little brat, tell me exactly what is happening or I shall make you wish you were never born!". He collapsed on the floor and started pounding on the ground with his fists, wailing.

A piece of advise... never make a toddler with god-like powers have a temper tantrum. The asteroid started shaking apart, so I called for us to get to the Thruster. Crasher asked, "what about the brat," and I snarled to leave it. I had had enough. We got to the Thruster and departed.

Leader-1, however, couldn't leave well enough alone, and picked up the screaming child and soothed it by rocking it back and forth, even as his force field deflected falling pieces of debris. Once the child was calm, he asked it if it wanted to ride on a fun car, prompting Turbo to moan, "oh, no, you're not suggesting what I think you're suggesting."

Cut to the Command Center, where Turbo (invisible, of course, but in my minds eye he is transparent so as to better showcase the action) drove to the ship with Mal'Filius clinging to his roof. Scooter flew ahead to start up the engines, and Leader-1 trailed behind, blasting any stray pieces of rubble threatening the child. The Command Center took off just in time to avoid the explosion as the observation asteroid blew up.

A few hours later, the eyeball returned, and the same voice thanked the now-visible Guardians for the exciting time they had given little Mal'Filius, and hoped he wasn't too much of a handful. They asked if there was anything they could do, and Turbo blurted out that he needed a week in a body shop to pound out the dents their little boy gave him. He glowed, and in a moment was good as new. The eye disappeared, and Scooter took his lummox of a companion to task. "Gee, Turbo, we could have asked for world peace, or at least to get our observation asteroid back, and you wasted it on getting a few dents hammered out?"

Turbo's eyes went wide, when he realized just how big an opportunity he had squandered. "Aw, nuts!" This prompted a round of laughter from all present.