Double Dribble (Transformers: Renegade Rhetoric)

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


Source text

The following was posted on Facebook on January 21, 2016. [1]

Dear Cy-Kill, Are you a fan of sports?

Cy-Kill: No. Though I'm not above using them if they further my agenda.

While monitoring Earth broadcasts, Fitor mocked the humans for their obsession with sports. Cop-Tur chimed in that "I kinda like watching them throw that ball around. Looks easier than battling Guardians, anyway." I became exuberant. "Cop-Tur, you're a genius!" He looked perplexed. "I am?" I shook my head. "Of course you aren't, but I am, and you've given me a brilliant scheme."

The next day, at UNECOM headquarters, the Guardians were enjoying a relaxing game of cards when the perimeter alarm started blaring... Renegades! It was me, flying in while waving a white flag. Leader-1 flew out to greet me, flanked by Turbo, Scooter, Small Foot, and Treds. "Whaddya want, Cy-Kill, I haven't got time for your tricks."

I assumed a hurt expression. "No trick, I assure you, Leader-1. We Regrades are a peace-loving people, and have endured the endless scourge of war for far too long."

Turbo piped up. "So, you've come to surrender? That's too good to be true."

I arched a brow ridge. "Surrender? Nothing of the kind, but I am here to propose a friendly contest between Guardian and Renegade."

Small Foot was intrigued. "Contest? What sort of contest?"

I produced a GoBot-sized basketball with a flourish. "This kind! We play a single game of basketball."

Turbo looked thrilled--the dolt is apparently a fan--but Leader-1 was suitably perplexed. "And the catch?"

I smiled. "Oh, no catch, but the loser leaves Earth... forever. Mwah ha ha ha ha! You have 24 hours to decide, or hostilities shall resume."

Back at base, Matt told Leader-1 in no uncertain terms that it would be a mistake to dance to Cy-Kill's tune. Leader-1 wasn't so sure. He thought the chance to defeat the Renegades once and for all was too good to pass up. "Besides," added Turbo, "we can kick his chrome-plated butt any day of the week."

A.J. piped up, "maybe, but I'd rather be sure. So I invited some friends over." She pressed a button, and a door slid open to reveal a human basketball team. Turbo was thrilled. "The Harlem Globetrotters! What an honor!" One of them, #22 I believe, tossed a ball to Scooter, who fumbled it, and said that the Guardians had a lot of work to do.

Following a long day of practice, Leader-1, Turbo, Scooter, Treds, and Small Foot were starting to come together as a team. Turbo, in particular, rose to the challenge, even coming up with an oversized basketball uniform. Their confidence high, they decided to accept my challenge.

Meanwhile, I did some preparations of my own. My team, which was myself, Cop-Tur, Crasher, Fitor, and Crain Brain, was a miserable failure. We hogged the ball, wouldn't pass, and generally got in each others way. "This is a disaster," I proclaimed, when Dr. Go walked into the court.

"Maybe not, Cy-Kill. I have created a special ball for you... one that responds to this telepathic chip." He opened my chest and inserted the microchip. Nothing seemed to happen. "I find your invention underwhelming, Dr. Go." "You're not using it right," he insisted. Try willing the ball into the basket!"

I did so, and the ball flew out of Fitor's hand directly into the basket half the court away. We all started laughing, assured of victory.

The next day, five Renegades faced off against five Guardians. As we took to the court, Fitor cautioned me to keep it subtle. The clock started, and Leader-1 immediately took possession of the ball. When blocked by Crasher and Crain Brain, he passed back to Treds, who converted to his tank mode and fired the ball over our heads and into the basket. Three points to the Guardians, with only 15 seconds on the clock. Cop-Tur got the ball and converted to his helicopter mode, flying over the opposition, but Turbo tossed Scooter into the air for the steal, and soon the Guardians scored another two points. The crowd was going wild at the apparent ease with which the Guardians were dominating the court, so it was time for me to use my special ball.

Crasher dribbled the ball down the court, with Turbo and Leader-1 blocking. As she made her shot, Turbo leaped up and deflected the ball... only for it to loop back and enter the basket. This caused a rash of boos, especially from Nick and A.J., but Leader-1's confidence wasn't shaken. "Good try, Turbo."

Leader-1 dribbled the ball and passed to Treds, who again attempted a three-point shot. This time, the ball flew unerringly towards the basket... only to tilt up at the last moment, directly into Crain Brain's hands. He converted to his truck mode and dunked from half a court away, tying the score.

Over the rest of the half, we Renegades achieved a commanding lead, thanks to Dr. Go's special ball. The crowd was quite agitated when the halftime whistle blew.

The Guardians were dejected. "I can't believe how badly Cy-Kill is beating us," moaned Treds.

"Can't believe is right," said #22. "I've seen a lotta crooked games in my times, but this is the crooked-est."

"So what do we do?" asked Scooter plaintively. "I dunno," replied his mentor, "but you've got 14 minutes to do it or the Earth is toast."

This kicked the Guardians into high gear. Leader-1 ordered Treds and Turbo to review the footage, to see if they could see anything unusual, and had Scooter and Small Foot look at the Command Center's sensor data. Soon they realized that, every time the ball behaved strangely, there was a spike of Naismith radiation from Cy-Kill to his nearby Thruster and back to the ball. When asked if Scooter could block it, he sadly replied that he couldn't... but maybe they could if they could get onto the Thruster and disable whatever was generating the radiation. There was only three minutes left before play resumed, not enough time for a stealth mission, so Leader-1 had Spy-Eye and Wrong Way astro-beam in from Gobotron.

The second half of the game started much as the first had gone. We Renegades, with a little help from my telepathic chip, managed to extend our lead. Unfortunately, even as we did so, Wrong Way and Spy-Eye were making their way aboard my Thruster. Wrong Way go turned around and went in the wrong direction, but wound up bumping into Dr. Go. The diminutive scientist quickly offered to give the Guardians whatever they wanted, as long as they didn't hurt him. Minutes later, the Naismith radiation generator was smashed.

Back on the court, we were taunting our opponents. There was only one quarter to go, and we were up 45 to 32. I shot from the half-court mark, barely looking at the ball, and willed it into the basket... but it missed by a mile. I cursed Dr. Go's name, but tried again, willing Scooter's shot go wide... it didn't! Over then next eleven minutes, the Guardians closed the gap with their strong teamwork, while my team got more and more snippy with each other. At the buzzer, the score was 50-51, with us barely ahead.

I had fouled Scooter in the final seconds of the game, and he was given two free throws. I told my men not to worry, he'd been missing free throws all game. Leader-1 told him to believe in himself, and #22 told him to remember what he'd been taught. He made the first shot, tying the game, and I clenched my fists in rage. I threatened to melt him down for scrap if he dared to make the second shot, but apparently the little worm had more backbone than I gave him credit for, because he made the second shot as well.

At that moment, Spy-Eye and Wrong Way emerged from my Thruster holding Dr. Go. "No fair," I declared, "you assaulted my man while the game was in progress? This violates our deal! Hostilities shall resume immediately!" Go elbowed Wrong Way in the chest and ran back to the Thruster, and we boarded the ship and flew away.

Turbo complained at our withdrawal, but Leader-1 was more magnanimous. "Aw, let them go, Turbo. We wouldn't want a battle with all these bystanders around anyway." #22 praised Scooter for his playing, and the little GoBot asked if maybe he could be a Globetrotter. He was assured that, if they ever start taking alien robots, Scooter would be the first in line.

Joel W. Vanhoose: What kind of design did Turbo come up with for the Guardian jerseys?

Cy-Kill: Wholly unoriginal.