Braxis' Big Score

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Braxis' Big Score is an episode of Transformers: Renegade Rhetoric described on the Renegade Rhetoric Facebook page.


Source Text

The following was posted on Facebook on February 2, 2016. [1]

Dear Cy-Kill,

So, after Braxis was arrested for trying to control all of the GoBots, was that the last you'd seen of him? . . No, he had one more adventure of note. It began in the war-torn eastern European nation of Brasnya, in the capital city of Zyargy. From the top of a tank, the leader of the country, Field Marshal Vlasenko, cursed in what sounded to me like fake Russian as rebels retreated. "And stay out," he yelled at their backs.

His number two, the svelte Minister Turvo, applauded his magnificent victory over the rebels, but his burly head of state jumped down, growled "nyet," and knocked his aide to the ground. "The rebels are driven off, but they will be back."

Turov picked himself up, smoothed his duster, and adjusted his glasses. "But what can we do, Field Marshal," he asked reasonably. "The rebels are well funded, and have the most modern equipment in the world. How can we achieve decisive victory?"

Vlasenko put his arm around his aide and guided him to the husk of a store. In the window, a row of televisions was showing news footage of Leader-1 and myself battling. "By getting the most modern equipment NOT of this world, Minister! You will capture for me a GoBot!"

The Minister blanched. "It... is impossible, Field Marshal." The unstable head of state growled and advanced on his subordinate with clenched fists. Thinking fast, Turov threw up his hands and hastily added, "but I think I can get some of their technology. Is good?"

The Field Marshal's rage dissipated, turning to joviality. "Is very good, da."

A few days later, at the Tri-State, Braxis was in the cafeteria complaining about the food when an explosion rocked the ceiling. All of the inmates dodged the debris, except Braxis, who calmly continued drinking his soup. I suppose bouncing around the cosmos makes one inured to such lesser threats to life and limb. A team of six commandos, all speaking with (more-or-less) Russian accents, rappelled in. One of them compared Braxis to an old photo of him, gave the thumbs up, and said "Dr. Braxis, we are here to rescue you."

Braxis arched an eyebrow, took a long slurp of his soup, and stood up. "It's about time. A scientist of my genius shouldn't be wasted in prison."

"Our thinking exactly." They affixed a line to him and pulled him to the roof, where a Mil Mi-24 was waiting. The gunship took off, leaving the guards scratching their heads.

At UNECOM headquarters, General Newcastle delivered the news with concern. "That unstable lunatic is on the loose again. Do you think it's the Renegades?"

Leader-1 shook his head. "Unlikely, General. A raid like that isn't Cy-Kill's style. I'm afraid that Dr. Braxis is in human hands, and with what he knows about our technology, that might be even more dangerous."

Matt was more sanguine. "I suppose we'll just have to keep watching the news and see where GoBot technology starts popping up."

Back in Brasnya, Turov proudly introduced the mad scientist to his sovereign. "May I present to you... Dr. Zebediah Braxis!"

At first, Field Marshal Vlasenko was not impressed. "I ask for GoBots, I get scrawny American?"

Braxis corrected him quickly. "Scrawny Canadian. And I know more science than any ten GoBots. May I?" He gestured to a nearby tank. Vlasenko nodded his assent, and Braxis went to work, disassembling the war machine with power tools and grabbing various sundry objects: computers, telephones, even a blender.

Vlasenko leaned over to Turov and muttered, "This had better work." Turov swallowed nervously.

He needn't have worried. Braxis may be an annoying insect, but he is a genius. After just a few minutes, he had assembled an exo suit from the tank. "May I present... the Braxis Suit! Not as slow or clumsy as your T-10 surplus, but with twice the firepower. Allow me to demonstrate." He proceeded to blow up three more T-10 tanks in rapid succession. Vlasenko clapped his hands. "Very nice, Doctor. The rebels won't know what hit them!"

And indeed they didn't! Over the next 72 hours, the rebels encircling Zyargy were routed and sent scurrying for the hills. This, naturally, drew my attention. From Rogue Star, I watched news footage and deduced that Braxis must be responsible. Crasher was eager to "go down and splatter the little twerp" but I thought it would be more amusing to let the Guardians deal with him.

The Guardians drew similar conclusions, but didn't have my sense of restraint. Turbo, Scooter, and Leader-1 made their way to Brasnya, intent on confronting Field Marshal Vlasenko. The charming dictator managed to throw them off their stride by welcoming them to his country with open arms, with a huge parade in their honor. The Guardians attempted to bring up Braxis, but Vlasenko expertly deflected by informing the Guardians that they were to be the guests of honor at a state dinner, celebrating the recent rout of the rebel forces. Turbo had been expecting a fight, and asked Leader-1 if he knew what the man was up to. Leader-1 confided that he didn't, "but we'd better play along for now."

At the dinner, the Guardians were offered oversized chairs. Leader-1 attempted to bring up Braxis several times, only for Vlasenko to change the subject. Finally, Turbo had had enough, and stood up and grabbed the tin-pot dictator by his elaborate, medal-encrusted uniform and shook him. "Aww, where's Braxis, ya kooky tyrant?"

Little did he know he had just played directly into the Field Marshal's hand. "You dare lay hands on me, the sovereign head of Brasnya? Guards, arrest these ill-mannered GoBots!" In an instant, the room was swarming with Braxis Suited soldiers. The Guardians put up a good fight..; but they were outnumbered, and Braxis is a highly talented inventor.

The Guardians were taken to cells below the palace, where Braxis came gloat. The Guardians demanded they be let out, lest UNECOM come to rescue them, but Braxis pointed out that Brasnya wasn't a signatory to UNECOM, and thus UNECOM had no jurisdiction here. Then, he cryptically added, "but don't worry, I expect you won't be here very long." This made all of the Guardians quite nervous, especially Scooter.

The next day, Vlasenko, Braxis, and Turov debated exactly what to do with the Guardian prisoners. Vlasenko wanted them executed for daring to lay hands on him. Turov pointed out that the Guardians might be needed to defend the Earth from the Renegades, a point which Vlasenko found unpersuasive. Turov then pointed out that they were very popular with the people, and that executing them might increase support for the rebels or even cause a riot. This gave Vlasenko pause... until Braxis suggested that, should the Guardians be executed, he could "take them apart and see what makes them tick," which would put Brasnya centuries ahead of any nation on Earth. Vlasenko ordered them executed in the public square immediately.

A large crowd gathered as the Guardians were led to three oversized poles in the ground, and magnetized to them. Vlasenko, from the balcony above a and flanked by Braxis and Turov, addressed the crowd. He declared that the Guardians were to be destroyed, for crimes against the nation of Brasnya. This immediately led to boos and hisses, and the soldiers between the crowd and their head of state looked quite nervous. Six Braxis Suits marched out and lined up before the Guardians. "Ready," shouted Vlasenko. More jeers. "Aim," he declared, and the crowd's mood got uglier.

Then Braxis shoved Vlasenko aside and grabbed the bullhorn. "Wait! This should be a fair fight." He pulled a remote from his jacket pocket and pressed a button, and the magnetic poles released the Guardians to wild cheering. Vlasenko was furious and attempted to grab Braxis, but the scientist pushed another button on the remote and Vlasenko found himself suspended a few inches above the ground, helpless as Braxis tutted.

The Guardians did much better in their rematch, and were able to defeat the six Braxis Suits. Scooter was happy to note that the crowd was now cheering... until they looked up to see Braxis at the podium. They were cheering for him, not the Guardians, for neutralizing Vlasenko. Braxis quieted the crowd with a gesture, then regally declared that Brasnya had no quarrel with the Guardians, and strongly suggested they depart. Seeing no alternative, they did so.

Back at the Command Center, they watched news footage of Field Marshal Braxis being sworn in by Minister Turov with disbelief. Turbo, in particular, was perturbed that they couldn't just go in and arrest him, but Leader-1 reminded him that they have to respect human laws. "Besides, if Braxis stays true to form, they'll be sick of him inside of a week!"