The Arithmetic of Memory

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The Arithmetic of Memory is an episode of Transformers: Renegade Rhetoric described on the Renegade Rhetoric Facebook page.


Source Text

The following was posted on Facebook on January 27, 2016. [1]

Dear Cy-Kill, Have you found yourself liking Leader-1 despite yourself? He's so charming.

Cy-Kill: We were once good friends, you know, long long ago, before my eyes were opened to the harm the Guardians do.

More recently, he was pursuing me after I had destroyed a Space Hawk repair facility in Miami, Florida. I couldn't shake him, so I fired off some random blasts at a busy highway overpass. Predictably, he broke off his pursuit to help the pathetic humans, and I was able to make my escape.

Leader-1 landed, and did his best to hold up the bridge while the people tried to drive off of it. The last of them had just gotten off and he prepared to let the heavy burden go, when he spied a little girl run under his feet, chasing after a dog. He pushed her out of the way of the collapsing bridge, and a large piece of rubble struck him directly on the head.

He awoke, to see the little girl and her dog standing by his head. They asked if he was all right, and he said he wasn't sure. They asked his name, and he was shocked to find he didn't remember it! The girl, Amanda, said, "that's ok. Maybe I can take you home until you remember." Leader-1 thought that was a grand idea, and followed the little girl home. She told him that he'd have to wait outside, because the house was too big, and she wasn't allowed to have any pets.

He didn't much care for being characterized as a pet, but agreed. After a few moments, he saw an explosion in the sky and thought he had best check it out. He started running towards it and tripped, but was shocked to discover that he could fly, and made his way towards the battle. The little girl emerged a moment later, her mother in tow, and was scolded for making up stories. "But he was right there, mommy, honest!"

Crasher and I battled the Secret Riders, who had caught up to me while searching for the missing Leader-1. Though we were outnumbered, I was confident of a victory over those clowns. I became momentarily worried when I saw Leader-1 flying towards us, and was preparing to break off the battle when he opened his mouth and asked who we were, and what was going on. Tri-Trak was nonplussed. "You mean you don't know? We're the Secret Riders."

"Secret Riders," remarked the confused Guardians, "never heard of you. Why are the three of you picking on these two?"

Crasher remarked that Leader-1 had scrambled his circuits, but my wits were fast and I saw an advantage to be seized. "Oh, thank heavens you've returned to us, Leader-1. The dreaded Secret Riders were getting ready to disintegrate us poor Renegades."

He frowned, as if something didn't sit quite right with him. But then he pointed his blaster-fist at Tri-Trak. "Look, 'Secret Riders,' I think it's best you go off and stop bullying these two Renegades."

Tork protested. "Leader-1, you don't know what you're saying," but Crasher had caught on and draped herself over him.

"You won't let those nasty Secret Riders hurt me, will you, Leader-1?" Her contact clearly made him uncomfortable, but it also bolstered him.

"Of course not, ummm--" "Crasher." "Crasher. I'll protect you. Get behind me." She smirked and did as he asked. "Now, are you 'Secret Riders' going to fly off, or am I going to have to make you?"

The prospect made Crasher giddy. "Oh, make them, make them!"

Twister and Tork looked to Tri-Trak, who was clearly out of his depth. "We can't let the Renegades have Leader-1, grab him!" That was the wrong move, because once they started trying to grapple Leader-1, he became unstoppable. He tossed each of them to the ground in turn, and then raised his blaster at Tri-Trak. Sadly, some lingering memory stayed his hand, because he hesitated, and the Secret Riders flew off.

I was delighted with circumstances, and brought him back to my Thruster. He expressed confusion at several points, but Crasher's physical affection and my expertly-spun lies seemed to disarm his concerns. Soon he half-believed that he was the number 2 Renegade, and that we would soon liberate the oppressed people of Gobotron from the scourge of the Guardians once and for all.

Back at the Command Center, the Secret Riders were distraught. Leader-1, a Renegade? Turbo was adamant that they had to restore his memory, though didn't have any concrete ideas as to how. Then Scooter piped up that he had an idea that just might work, but that they needed to know where Cy-Kill would strike next to pull it off. Tri-Trak pointed out that, with Leader-1 on his side, I would invariably be drawn to the greatest prize of all... Gobotolis itself. Hoping his instincts were right, they set off for home.

Sadly, for me, their instincts were spot on. I knew that the Guardians would never be able to fight back effectively if Leader-1 was among the opposition, and decided to take out the Guardian Council once and for all. We arrived in Gobotolis airspace and were greeted with a dozen Guardians... Guardians who all held their fire once they realized who they were up against. Annoyingly, Leader-1 was still not firing back, despite believing himself to be a Renegade, but Crasher, Cop-Tur, and I were more than enough to take out opponents who wouldn't fire back.

We made our way to the council chambers, where Zeemon approached us with a white flag. "Cy-Kill, it saddens me to say this, but the Guardian Council has no choice but to acknowledge your victory. We ask only for your mercy, for ourselves and for the population of Gobotron."

I had no intention of leaving Zeemon as a rallying point for Guardian resistance, and told him so. "Mercy? Renegades don't know the meaning of the word. The populace will serve my every whim, or this shall be their fate!" I raised my fist and blasted him to dust. This shocked and horrified Leader-1, who immediately declared that he could never fight beside someone as monstrous as I. Oh, well, I knew this day would come, and moved to blast him... only to be tackled by Zeemon, of all GoBots. The version that surrendered was a hologram, designed to show Leader-1 my true nature. By the time I got the old codger off me, Leader-1 had me dead to rights, and told me that I had five seconds to flee or be blasted. I chose discretion as the better part of valor.

Matt and Nick expressed concern that Leader-1 would never regain his memory, but A.J. told them they were being silly. "You sure are," agreed Leader-1, restored to his full faculties by a session with the Brainstormer. He thanked them for never giving up on him. A.J. noted that Leader-1 had been pretty friendly with Crasher, and wondered if she should be jealous. Leader-1 blushed, embarrassed at her teasing, and elicited a round of chuckles.