Scylla and Charybdis

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Scylla and Charybdis is an episode of Transformers: Renegade Rhetoric described on the Renegade Rhetoric Facebook page.


Source Text

The following was posted on Facebook on January 28, 2016. [1]

Dear Cy-Kill,

Do the noble Renegades wish to conquer the Earth for our own good? We've made quite a mess of the environment. . . I care nothing for Earth's ecosphere! In fact, I'm quite sick of hearing about it.

I learned of some cutting-edge research being conducted deep under the ocean surface at Charybdis Labs. I decided to raid it, that its secrets would be mine. As Cop-Tur and Crasher aren't particularly aquatic, I took Klaws and Scorp. Little did I know that Leader-1, Dive-Dive, and Man-O-War were touring the facility, along with Matt, Nick, and A.J. Rather than a simple raid, it turned into quite a battle! Neither Leader-1 nor I were at our optimal, but Klaws pursued Man-O-War through oceanic trenches, and Scorp found himself pinned down by torpedo launches from Dive-Dive's submarine configuration. When it became evident that I was losing this skirmish, I fired at the base's power supply, causing a huge explosion!

That's when things got... interesting. Some of the research at the lab involved Scylla-Waves, which gave ocean mammals the ability to communicate with surface dwellers. The explosion summoned a large pod of whales, surrounded by countless dolphins. The battle ceased as we--Guardian, Renegade, and human alike--realized that we were thoroughly surrounded.

The lead creature, an enormous blue whale, "spoke" in a booming voice that echoed in each of our skulls. "You surface dwellers have profaned the mighty oceans for the last time. All ocean traffic polluting our waves must cease immediately, or we shall stop it ourselves. My ultimatum is delivered, Leviathan has spoken."

Not one to let a good crisis go to waste, I swam to the creature and bowed in obeisance before it. "Noble Leviathan, I am not a surface dweller... indeed, I am not of this world. I have come, drawn to your momentous struggle. We Renegades have battled the oceanic depredations of the humans, and their Guardian allies, for years. They shall never stop pouring garbage into the Earth's seas, so long as they are allowed a foothold anywhere near the oceans."

Leader-1 attempted to intervene, closing the gap between us and imploring Leviathan, "Don't listen to him, Leviathan, Cy-Kill is a--," but I cut him off by shouting, "watch out, he's about to attack!"

Several dolphins headbutted him back, and Leviathan was furious. "You dare ignore my ultimatum and attack me? The so be it. It shall be war upon the surface dwellers!" I grinned my widest grin as whales and dolphins battered the Guardians and their wet-suited allies, who were left with little opportunity but to board Dive-Dive and flee.

True to his word, Leviathan directed attacks on all of the Earth's shipping, forcing cargo vessels to harbors. The Guardians did their best to protect the crews and passengers on the Earth's ships, but were hampered by their unwillingness to open fire on the cetacean aggressors.

Back at UNECOM, General Newcastle complained that the Earth's economies couldn't survive without access to the oceans. Leader-1 apologized, but said that there was little the Guardians could do; a war with the ocean wasn't something they could in good conscience engage in. But then Scooter piped up that it might not come to that! He had been working with Dr. Turgenova and had discovered that, by modifying the frequency of the Scylla-Waves, it was possible to make it impossible to lie to the ocean dwellers. Turbo was quite excited. "Imagine the kibosh that'll put on Cy-Kill's plans!" Scooter then got nervous. "There's only one small hitch... we need to get back to the Charybdis Labs." Dive-Dive was more confident. "Just leave that to me!"

Back at Charybdis, Leviathan proudly reported to me that there were no boats anywhere on Earth's oceans, and that they could relax from their crusade and get back to hunting and playing. I told him he was a fool, which rather enraged his dolphin entourage. I did not relent, though, knowing I needed to bargain from a position of strength. "The surface dwellers are cunning, Leviathan. If they've pulled their ships into port, it's time to strike at those ports! If you fail to act now, they'll arm their vessels, plating them in steel and loading them with torpedoes. Your only hope is to take away their ability to wage war on you... forever!" Leviathan, reluctantly, agreed, and set about preparing to attack the coastlines. At that moment, Klaws informed me that something had tripped the lab's proximity sensor... something metal.

"Guardians," I spat. "They just couldn't leave well-enough alone! Klaws, Scorp, prepare to fillet some Guardians." Man-O-War and Leader-1 entered our scopes, and my two Monster GoBots engaged them, aided by dolphins and killer whales. Little did I know, Dive-Dive had docked with the station, disguised by one of Scooter's holograms as a humpback whale. Scooter, Nick, and A.J. snuck aboard and gained access to the Scylla-Wave generator. I spotted them on the monitor and went to deal with them personally, but was waylaid by Turbo and ended up engaging with that annoying blowhard.

I had just managed to defeat Turbo, and was holding him in one hand and preparing to blast him with the other, when I noticed a monitor displaying Leader-1 speaking to Leviathan. I couldn't have that, so I tossed Turbo aside like the garbage he is and swam out to meet them.

Leviathan's voice reverberated through my entire body. "Cy-Kill, this Guardian tells me you lie, that the surface dwellers have chosen not to fight my cetacean brothers even in the face of our attacks."

"Leader-1 speaks nothing but lies," I informed him haughtily, but even as the words left my mouth they felt strange, buzzing, and I heard myself say "Leader-1 tells the truth." I clamped my hand over my mouth, not sure where that had come from. I tried again. "We Renegades are your only friends, if you don't listen to us the Guardians and surface dwellers will make war on you." Again, the buzzing, and again, what I heard was "We Renegades care nothing for you, and wish you to wage war on the Guardians and surface dwellers to further our own agenda."

Leviathan roared, and charged me. I sounded a hasty retreat, and withdrew from the vicinity of Charybdis with nothing to show for it.

Leader-1 was able to broker a peace between the oceans and UNECOM, and shipping resumed, in exchange for a severe reduction in ocean dumping. I believe they even managed to get a dolphin into the United Nations, thanks to this little misadventure of mine. Matt made a joke out of that, saying that "Cy-Kill had done more for world peace than any other being in history." A.J. added, "maybe we should give him the Nobel Peace Prize," which prompted a short round of chuckles from all in attendance.