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@  PlutoniumBoss : (28 March 2020 - 11:08 PM)

Oh yeah, that was Fort Max. My bad.

@  LBD "Nyt... : (28 March 2020 - 09:12 PM)


@  LBD "Nyt... : (28 March 2020 - 09:11 PM)

Christmas Maximus?

@  Maximus Ambus : (28 March 2020 - 01:13 PM)

At least the ozone layer is healing. unless this is a 0.0000000001% thing it's sounds like good news.

@  ▲ndrusi : (28 March 2020 - 09:27 AM)

(But only pretty sure, not 100% sure.)

@  ▲ndrusi : (28 March 2020 - 09:26 AM)

Pretty sure y'all were thinking of Fortress Maximus yesterday.

@  Bass X0 : (28 March 2020 - 12:38 AM)

Dare! Dare to believe you can survive 2020!

@  Steevy Maximus : (27 March 2020 - 08:18 PM)

Baja Blast is back at retail!

@  TheMightyMol... : (27 March 2020 - 03:47 PM)

Shame he wasn't around more. He seemed like such a jolly, happy soul.

@  PlutoniumBoss : (27 March 2020 - 02:16 PM)

No, he was definitely Metroplex. You could tell because he was in Metroplex's distinctive red and green coloration.

@  Paladin : (27 March 2020 - 02:11 PM)

that was Leader-1. or possibly Jolt. maybe Grindor...

@  PlutoniumBoss : (27 March 2020 - 01:57 PM)

Metroplex was in Armada, in a flashback. He was the same size as everybody else. I thought that was the joke.

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (27 March 2020 - 12:39 PM)

@Rodimus Supreme: Gah! You are right! How'd I get that mixed up? x.x;

@  TheMightyMol... : (27 March 2020 - 12:14 PM)

There is no Metroplex. Only Zuul.

@  Rodimus Supreme : (27 March 2020 - 11:13 AM)

@Tm_Silverclaw: There is no Armada Metroplex, he was in Cybertron.

@  Rodimus Supreme : (27 March 2020 - 11:12 AM)

And they'd be better off just retooling Metroplex and Fortress Maximus to be somewhat more accurate and changing/adding parts for interaction with later play gimmicks.

@  Rodimus Supreme : (27 March 2020 - 11:11 AM)

I honestly would prefer that for scale purposes.

@  Cyoti : (27 March 2020 - 11:07 AM)

They can redo all the CW combiners as Titan Class figures like Predaking/Devastator.

@  Dekafox : (27 March 2020 - 07:52 AM)

They could just redo Metroplex again too. Especially if it's going to be S3 based. They could also do another Primus to go with the coming Unicron.

@  OverDrive73 : (26 March 2020 - 10:56 PM)

If anyone is bored, or interested... I just added the last chapter to my fanfic comic in Allspark Pictures

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (26 March 2020 - 10:54 PM)

And no.. We could always get Titan Class Superion.

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (26 March 2020 - 10:53 PM)

We need Titan Class Transformers Armada Metroplex.

@  Telly : (26 March 2020 - 08:39 PM)

ill be surprised if scorpy isnt the last titan

@  PlutoniumBoss : (26 March 2020 - 05:57 PM)

Too bad a new character titan class figure is pretty much an impossibility.

@  PlutoniumBoss : (26 March 2020 - 05:56 PM)

I want a titan class, really good looking bucket wheel excavator. Like Cybertron Metroplex was supposed to be but didn't quite pull off.

@  wonko the sane? : (26 March 2020 - 03:32 PM)

I just taped up a shower curtain and took my first shower in three weeks. It was heavenly.

@  Rodimus Supreme : (26 March 2020 - 11:48 AM)

I would buy that...

@  Maximus Ambus : (24 March 2020 - 02:03 PM)

Studio Series 100 Titan Class Driller.

@  Sabrblade : (23 March 2020 - 09:05 PM)

I'll give ya 25 cents, a pack of gum, and some peanuts.

@  TheMightyMol... : (23 March 2020 - 07:35 PM)

I can give ya twenty bucks for it.

@  Paladin : (23 March 2020 - 04:28 PM)

hoarder? I hardly know 'er?

@  Dekafox : (23 March 2020 - 01:52 PM)


@  repowers : (23 March 2020 - 01:48 PM)

* hordes shrubberies *

@  Telly : (23 March 2020 - 01:46 PM)


@  PlutoniumBoss : (23 March 2020 - 01:22 PM)

At least we haven't resorted to shouting "NI" at old ladies.

@  CORVUS : (23 March 2020 - 11:04 AM)

Keep it out, and I won't reply to it.

@  RichardT1977 : (23 March 2020 - 08:50 AM)

It's a sad world where we can't discuss our health and safety without it descending into political arguments...

@  fourteenwings : (22 March 2020 - 11:46 PM)

woah I have no idea what's going on here but it's certainly breaking the "keep P&R out of the shoutbox" rules (which really should be enforced like... at all)

@  CORVUS : (22 March 2020 - 11:13 PM)

Ugh, Chinese. Typo-city.

@  CORVUS : (22 March 2020 - 11:11 PM)

Rodimus, you're just flat-out wrong. Trump eliminated the Pandemic Response Team. Trump was advised in January that this could be serious, and he didn't listen. Trump spent weeks downplaying COVID-19 by implying it was a hoax, and then that it was just a type of flu. He was late to close down travel from China, and by the time he closed down air-travel to the EU, that was also too late. He has refused to take responsibility for removing the pandemic response team, even though he basically bragged about it some months before. He's also prematurely talked up treatments using chlorquinine that have not been properly vetted as yet, and he keeps calling COVID-19 the "Chinense virus" because he can't help but be a jerk. Face facts: Trump is an incompetent bungler. Period. Full-stop.

@  repowers : (22 March 2020 - 03:49 PM)

That's totally super biased!

@  Nevermore : (22 March 2020 - 03:00 PM)

I'm not. I'm listening to his own contradictory statements.

@  TheMightyMol... : (22 March 2020 - 02:06 PM)

Most people don't, but it's still making enough ratings to continue, apparently.

@  Bass X0 : (22 March 2020 - 11:45 AM)

I’m not finding modern episodes of The Simpson’s at all funny.

@  Rodimus Supreme : (22 March 2020 - 11:44 AM)

Trump HAS been working on this, stop listening to those idiot "news" outlets that just spin everything against him out of bias.

@  TheMightyMol... : (22 March 2020 - 08:52 AM)

At the least, they could keep it off of Twitter.

@  wonko the sane? : (22 March 2020 - 08:10 AM)

I'm pretty sure the capuchin from "outbreak" would have done a better job than trump.

@  Nevermore : (22 March 2020 - 05:13 AM)

Isn't it sad that President Schwarzenegger would have been the better alternative in retrospect?

@  NotVeryKnightly : (22 March 2020 - 03:38 AM)

It was President Schwarzenegger, not Wolfcastle.

@  Maximus Ambus : (22 March 2020 - 02:51 AM)

He put that in a speech in Springfields 'Do as we say' festival in 2005 too.


Blazing Justice

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#1 Blueshift

  • Citizen
  • 2297 posts

Posted 11 November 2018 - 12:22 PM

A silly story about Micromasters. 
"Blaze Master, get a lawyer!"
Blaze Master rocked back in his chair with a disaffected snarl. Whilst most Micromasters had been constructed to a human scale for better fuel efficiency and integration on the planet Earth, Blaze Master was bigger than average and so his bulky robotic frame filled out the plastic and metal chair on which he currently rocked back and forth in a cavalier manner. He rolled his eyes at his fellow Micromasters in disdain. "It's not like I did anything wrong!"
"You napalmed a school!" Strikedown squeaked her response, gripping the back of Blaze Master's chair in case it toppled onto her. Both she and Hot House had squeezed themselves behind Blaze Master, peering over the shoulder of the larger Autobot. "Napalming a school is illegal, Blaze Master! Get a lawyer!"
"Pfft!" Blaze Master rolled his eyes even harder and rested his arms behind his head, propping his big metal feet on the desk in front of him. "It's not like anyone was injured."
Hot House's head popped around the other side of Blaze Master. "No, no-one was injured because there were one hundred percent fatalities! Get a lawyer!"
"Get a lawyer!" Strikedown echoed. "I'll do it! Just ask me!"
There was a ripple of disquiet at the commotion from the nearby humans. Blaze Master stopped rocking on his chair, and instead brought his fists down on the desk, bunching them up slightly with an air of annoyance. "Listen, I don't need a lawyer and I don't need you two losers! I'm part of the elite Autobot Air Patrol! A hero! No-one tells me what to do!"
"Quiet in court!" There was a furious hammering in front of the trio as a human wearing an ornate wig and long black robes scowled at the Micromasters. "The defendant will remain quiet or be held in contempt!"
"Get a lawyer!" Strikedown hissed urgently.
Blaze Master casually screwed up some of the pieces of paper strewn about in front of him, tossing the ball into the crowded courtroom. Every seat was filled with stern men and women wearing suits, the galley above crammed with cameras and journalists, all eyes on the three Autobots. "You guys don't know nothing!" Blaze Master muttered back to his two comrades. "I'm a big Autobot hero. I'll just get a slap on the wrist and a small fine."
"Get a lawyer!" Hot House whimpered.
The judge slammed the gavel down harder and then rose to his feet, face glowing red with rage. "Whilst this court recognises that the defendant is an alien space robot, he must recognise the sanctity of this Hague War Crimes Tribunal!"
"Hmm. Right. Yeah." Blaze Master pursed his lips and sunk back down. "Guys, I think I'm gonna need a lawyer."
"Okay, so what do we know?" Strikedown stalked about the rather nice little office she had been given by the charming men in the court. The walls were lined with bookcases full of antique leather-bound law volumes, which Strikedown had spent the last hour artfully arranging to project the right air of intelligence.
Hot House just hugged himself in the corner. "Are you sure about this, Strikedown?" he said in a quavering tone. "I mean, you're not really a lawyer, are you? And don't proper lawyers have to start doing small cases and then work their way up? And have a degree? And a knowledge of law?"
Strikedown just shook her head. "I know how these things work, I watch television! We're the underdogs, Hot House! Defending poor Blaze Master against baseless accusations! The underdogs never lose!"
"I mean, he did do it though, right?"
"Well, yes, but..." Strikedown scowled. "That's not the point. The point is that all the other Autobots have just left poor Blaze Master to rot in international jail with no help - no help but us!" She jabbed a finger at Hot House to labour the point. "We're going to save Blaze Master from going to jail for all the things he did definitely do, and then Commander Countdown will see I'm proper officer material and promote me!" Her eyes glazed over as her imagination began cashing in on the glory, the prestige, the medals... Soon she would be lording it over her fellow members of the Micromaster Metro Squad. She'd be drawing up the duty rosters and  choosing who got the best patrol pairing and they'd all have to listen to all of her lectures on safety and personal development.
Hot House perked up slightly. "And I'll get made a member of the Autobot Air Patrol! Just like you promised! Did you see, Strikedown? In the courtroom, Blaze Master actually spoke to me when he called me an idiot! He noticed me! I've made it, I'm in the big leagues now!"
"Yeah, we're both in the big leagues!" Strikedown lowered herself into a particularly plush leather swivel chair with a flourish, twirling around in it. "Now all I have to do is learn how to be a lawyer and get Blaze Master off this charge!"
"Yeah!" Hot House punched the air. "We're ninety percent there already! Now let's um..." he paused, thinking.
Strikedown fell silent as well.
The only sound in the room was the sound of Strikedown's chair as it slowly rotated with a squeak.
"Oh! Oh!" Hot House broke the silence with an eager cry, thrusting his hand into the air for permission to speak. "I know! I could paint myself blue and pretend to be one of the Decepticon Air Strike Patrol and claim it was all a Decepticon trap, and then the humans will kill me and not Blaze Master!"
"Hot House! That's lying!" Strikedown was aghast at this suggestion. "You can't lie! We're Autobots! We're going to get Blaze Master off those charges in a fair and honest way!"
"Right. But..." Hot House frowned under his face mask. "I mean, he did do it though, didn't he? He did literally napalm that school full of children whilst laughing maniacally?"
Strikedown nodded, picking up a nearby file. "Well, yes, that's the little niggling problem here. But let's review the facts. The school was in the middle of an outdoor play celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of Autobot City. Half of the children were dressed up as Decepticons. They were flying the flag of the enemy, Hot House! What else was Blaze Master to do?"
Hot House thought for a bit. "...Not napalm a school full of children?"
Furrowing her brow, Strikedown leapt to her feet and started pacing back and forth. "But Blaze Master is an heroic Autobot! Maybe he thought that the children were all Decepticon Pretenders! Adorable tiny Decepticon Micro-Pretenders! Like how some of them used to disguise themselves as forty-foot tall fleshy demon creatures, but instead these disguised themselves as defenceless children and their families!" She snapped her fingers decisively. "Yes, that must have been the reason! Blaze Master acted in the heat of the moment to defend this precious planet!" She held up a hand for a high-five, look of triumph on her face. "I've done it, Hot House! I've won the case!"
The high-five wasn't returned. "So uh..." Hot House scratched his chin. "Why did Blaze Master radio back to base with the message..." He carefully studied his personal data pad for the correct wording. "... 'Four-twenty blaze it, I've just napalmed a school full of children, el-oh-el, I'm going to finish off any survivors'?" He tilted his head quizzically. "How does that fit in with this theory?"
"It's uh..." Strikedown faltered before slumping back into her chair and sinking her head into her hands. "Oh man, I hope Blaze Master isn't guilty, we're gonna look stupid for helping him out!"
"Don't worry, you're going to look stupid anyway!" A grey Micromaster stroke purposefully into the office, clutching a briefcase in one fist. He swept away all the books Strikedown had laid over the desk in one motion, carefully placing down his own possessions. "Commander Countdown has assigned me to Blaze Master's defence, not you two idiots, whoever you are!" He glanced dismissively at Strikedown and Hot House. "This is embarrassing enough without the Two Ronnies playing at lawyer. Who even are you?"
Strikedown stood up, brushing herself down in an attempt at looking smart. "Well, I'm uh, Strikedown, of course! Micromaster Metro Squad! I'm actually really important with a great experience of the law and I've made a lot of headway in this case already, so you might as well just go away and leave me to it! Countdown can trust-"
"Metro Squad. That's traffic duty, isn't it?" The stranger didn't even bother looking at Strikedown as he laid out various legal-looking documents and began studying them. "I don't really think that writing parking tickets gives you any legal experience..." He trailed off, taking a second, better look at Strikedown. "Wait, do you transform into a hovercraft?"
"I, uh..." Strikedown looked down at her chunky body with bits of boat conspicuously hanging off it, the large fan plonked behind her  head proving that she did indeed turn into a hovercraft. Or at least bits of one. "Well, yes, but you'd be surprised how often you need a hovercraft while patrolling the city for littering violations. And I'm also a Micromaster combiner!" She puffed out her chest proudly. "So a valuable team member and a guardian of the law and a combiner so uh, you'd better let me do the lawyering!"
"Ha!" A grin cracked across the stranger's face. "A Micromaster Combiner? Combining into a vehicle with someone else? You don't turn into a hovercraft, you turn into the back end of one! A hovercraft's ass!" He started to laugh, shaking his head. "Primus wept, a hovercraft's ass who writes parking tickets." He turned his attention to Hot House as Strikedown flushed a deep red. "And you. What are you supposed to be? Don't tell me, half a tractor who works in a car wash!"
Hot House bunched up his little fists impotently. "What? No! I'm a plane! See, wings!" He turned around and gave a little waggle by way of demonstration. "I'm Hot House, and I'm going to be the next member of the Autobot Air Patrol! Cos Strikedown said I could be if I helped her!" He helpfully pointed at Strikedown. Strikedown just flushed a brighter shade of red, bunching up  her fists with frustration.
"Right. Yeah. Wow." The stranger suddenly strode forwards to grab Strikedown's chair and tip her out of it. "If you two want to be useful, you can fetch the drinks. I'm going to be busy on this case as I'm an actual lawyer."
Strikedown scrambled to her feet, folding her arms with a scowl. "I'm not anyone's skivvy! I'm going places, me! We have our dignity, don't we, Hot House?"
"Um, yeah, one lump of energon or two?" Hot House was already at the drinks dispenser.
"Good boy." The stranger took his place in the chair, resting his arms behind his head and swinging back in an imitation of Strikedown's earlier power-pose. "Now, if you want to learn something, here's how I'm going to get Blaze Master off. See, it turns out that the entire school thing was just a Decepticon false flag operation!"
Hot House gasped, almost dropping the hot cup of cyber-coffee he had just made for his new boss. "Really? " he squeaked.
"Yeah." The grey Autobot nodded. "Happens all the time. The Decepticon Air Strike Patrol are up to some scheme, they get unmasked, yell 'foiled again lads, scarper!' and we all laugh about it. Say..." He leaned forwards. "Hot House, you're a jet. If we paint you blue you could look just like one of those Decepticon guys. Go and make an admission of guilt, humans kill you, job's done, we can go home early, everyone's  happy!"
"Everyone apart from Lady Justice!" Strikedown quivered, stepping in front of Hot House who was about to excitedly start looking for a paintbrush. "That's lying, Mr... uh, I don't know your name."
"Swindler," said Swindler.
"Swindler," Strikedown repeated. She was about to retort, but then paused and fell silent for a few seconds. "Uh, I don't think I trust you?"
"Why not?"
"Well, uh, for a start, your name is 'Swindler'."
Swindler rolled his eyes in an exaggerated fashion. "Oh wow, turns out the traffic cop is just another robot racist. I'm just trying to expedite matters! We all know the Decepticons are secretly behind it! I mean, it's not like Blaze Master is some sort of deranged maniac who just loves nalpalming schools! He should be free! Don't stop Hot House from being a hero!"
Hot House nodded firmly. "I can be a hero, Strikedown, like his said! And he's a real lawyer and everything!"
"A real lawyer who is literally called 'Swindler'." Strikedown threw up her hands, marching towards the door. "Hot House, this will be done properly! You're not painting yourself as a Decepticon to fake the evidence! No-one is painting themselves as a Decepticon to fake the evidence!"
Strikedown's attempt at an exit was foiled as three bulky Autobot jet Micromasters entered the room, crowding into the doorway.
"Hey, Swindler!" called the jet in the front. "We've had an idea. Why don't we paint ourselves as Decepticons to fake the evidence?"
As Strikedown started to gently slam her fist into the wall in frustration, Hot House started to bounce up and down giddily. "It's the rest of the Autobot Air Patrol!" he squeaked like an excited schoolgirl. "Ohmygod! Ohmygod!" He bounded towards them, a look of utter joy etched across his face.
The lead jet turned to Hot House and punched him clean across the room. "Oh wow, um, sorry." He looked sheepishly at Swindler. "He just came at me! I hope he's not dead!"
"Not dead!" Hot House called, struggling to pull his head out of the far wall. "I-it's an honour to be punched by you, sir!"
Swindler positioned himself behind the desk, beckoning the Air Patrol to take a seat. "Eagle Eye! Tread Bolt! Sky High! Good to meet you! Sit down, and we'll work out how to get your buddy off these terrible charges that he definitely did not do so you can go back to doing barrel rolls or whatever it is that you spend your time on."
"I'll help!" Hot House finished extracting himself from the wall and ran over to arrange the chairs. In a flash, Sky High punched Hot House across the room again.
"Wow. Sorry." Sky High scratched the back of his head. "Look, he just came at me too damned fast, sorry!" He craned his neck to look at the new hole Hot House had made. "Hope I didn't break your robot butler!"
Swindler started to pass round energon cigars to the Air Patrol. "It's okay, I don't mind. Now boys, we've got three avenues of attack. Firstly, the anonymous witness who made the statement that got Blaze Master arrested - who are they? Secondly any survivors - we think that they all died in this unavoidable tragedy, but could there be any eyewitnesses? Thirdly, the judge - where does he live? We need to make sure nothing awful happens to any of them." He winked heavily.
Strikedown marched over to Hot House and yanked him out of the wall. "Come on, Hot House, we're leaving!" she scowled, glaring at the four Autobots now seated around the desk. "We're Autobots! We stand up for truth and justice! We don't need to debase ourselves with these... these disgusting reprobates!"
"But, but..." Hot House whined as Strikedown dragged him away from his life's dream, holding out a hand towards the three Autobot jets, trying to grasp at them. "The Air Patrol..."
Strikedown threw Hot House out of the door with an almighty crash and followed, slamming it so angrily that the room shook. Swindler was just about to begin talking again when the door gingerly opened and Strikedown poked her head back in. "I just realised that you're all officers, so just wanted to make sure that you know there's no hard feelings and I think you all do wonderful jobs and hope you consider me in the next awards round." She gave a big grin and a thumbs up and slowly slid out of the room.
Swindler and the three members of the Air Patrol just stared. "I don't know who that is," Sky High said finally, "but I think I hate her."
Autobase was a sprawling complex built on the outskirts of San Francisco. Originally erected for use during the early phase of the war, it had been repurposed for Micromaster inhabitation, each room now divided into multiple levels for maximum utility by the size-efficient Micromasters. As such it had changed from a stark, utilitarian base into a blaze of colours and designs as various indecisive Micromaster build teams had used whatever scraps they had on hand to expand their domain.
All across the complex, Autobot Micromasters were hard at work. Various Micromaster patrols screeched out of the base on missions every hour - there was no time for rest while the Decepticon forces remained on Earth. Everyone had a job to do, and everyone had to play their part. Strikedown's part at this moment seemed to consist mainly of sulking.
Strikedown sat crouched over a laptop in a corner of the break room, frantically typing away. She had been mulling over the events in the Hague for days, tying herself in knots - had she really upset the Air Patrol? She hoped that her plucky determination and forthright attitude had impressed them and her calling them names had charmed them with her bold nature. Just to be on the safe side, she was in the process of carefully constructing a five hundred slide Powerpoint presentation about her achievements to send to them. She had reached as far as slide two.
"Am I in it?" Hot House stood on his toes to peer over Strikedown's shoulder to gaze at the worryingly empty 'contents' page. "You've been working on that for hours, did you include all the stuff I told you about me and how I should be in the Air Patrol too? You promised!"
Strikedown covered the screen with one hand and then slammed the lid shut, turning to the diminutive jet. "Look, Hot House, I'm busy! I've been a lawyer and I've got my presentation to do, and I've got important Metro Squad business to be attending to as well, I can't afford to be as lazy as you are! Now, fetch me my drink!"
As Hot House faithfully scampered off, Strikedown settled back to work, fiddling with the correct font to use for the 'contents' title. She finally settled on Comic Sans as the most professional choice. In truth, there wasn't much Metro Squad business to do at the moment - Power Run, who usually formed the front of their hovercraft combined mode, had told her that he'd accidently got assigned to Roadburner that week, and even though that resulted in a strange combined mode of a hovercraft/cherry picker truck, he couldn't defy the itinerary. Strikedown had seen an opening, and approached Roadburner's usual partner, Wheel Blaze. When she had suggested to him that they pair up as he was at a loose end, Wheel Blaze had accidently jumped out of a window and was now in the hospital with multiple fractures.
Strikedown was a bot of action though and knew what to do in any emergency. As Wheel Blaze had lay injured, she quickly set up an internet petition to suicide-proof all of the windows at Autobase to stop this from happening again. She had then sent Wheel Blaze a card saying "I'm Wheely sorry!" which she had thought up all herself and told everyone who would listen so they would realise what a wit she was.
She had done her best to ignore the court case, but all anyone was talking about was Blaze Master and his trial, and Swindler, the brave and plucky underdog lawyer struggling to save the day. Strikedown was thankful that she didn't have any friends who'd remind her of how Swindler had stolen her rightful glory.
Blaze Master was currently on the television at the moment, in fact, playing to a crowd at the other end of the room. Strikedown did her best to avert her gaze, but curiosity got the better of her. She stifled a grin as she saw how badly Swindler was struggling with the defence.
"...A bizarre opening statement from the defendant!" the news reporter stood outside the courtroom as Swindler pushed past, shoving his way through the paparazzi. "Amazing scenes earlier today as the Autobot Blaze Master took to the stand in what is being called the trial of the century!"
The clip shifted to a view of the court. Blaze Master moved to a podium, surrounded by armed guards. Gripping the sides of the stand he looked over the crowd and immediately bellowed "god, I love napalming schools," before Swindler leapt in to rugby tackle him to the ground and clamp a hand over his mouth.
"Do you think he did it then?" Hot House appeared by Strikedown's side, passing her a steaming hot drink. "I mean, he does talk about killing children an awful lot. I keep going back and forth because everyone on television keeps telling me to think different things, and I know it's important to always treat both sides of an argument with equal weight, but..."
"But the case is solved!" A heavy briefcase thumped down on the table as Swindler loomed over the two Autobots. 
Strikedown gave a shriek and dropped her drink all over her laptop. "You've ruined it! Days of hard work!" she cried. "I'll sue you, I'll show you the true power of the Metro Patrol!"
Swindler ignored her, taking a seat with a smirk. "See, I thought it was odd. Why would two no-name loser Micromasters go all the way to the Hague to put themselves on the line to defend someone who's obviously guilty of a horrific crime?"
"Oh, oh!" Hot House put  up his hand. "Because Strikedown said we'd win and then I'd get to join the Air Patrol and-"
Swindler shook his head. "See, if Blaze Master goes to jail or gets executed or whatever, then there'd be a place free on the Air Patrol making it more likely you'd get a place. You'd have to be an idiot not to see that!"
Hot House put a hand to his faceplate. "Ooh!"
This threw Swindler slightly. "Hmm. Okay. Maybe I overestimated there. But you, Strikedown." He jabbed a finger at the half-hovercraft. "It's in your best interests for Blaze Master to be found guilty, because then you're not the worst Micromaster!"
"I..." Strikedown's eyes bulged with anger. "I'm not the worst Micromaster, what a horrible thing to say! There's, uh..." She gripped her now-empty coffee cup tightly, crushing it in her shaking fist, and started to stand. "I don't have to listen to this."
The remaining three members of the Air Patrol suddenly flanked Strikedown. Strikedown decided at that moment it might be a good idea to sit down again.
Swindler continued. "See, if Blaze Master goes to jail then he's the worst Micromaster, and if you somehow get him acquitted, you're covered in glory. It's win-win for you!"
"Yeah, but it's still nothing to do with me, I'm just a conscientious citizen..." Strikedown looked around shiftily for any escape route. The Air Patrol were too close, but Sky High looked twitchy and was probably about to punch Hot House and moment, and in the confusion she could...
"I got hold of a copy of the anonymous witness statement." Swindler triumphantly slammed a tape recorder down on the table.
Strikedown stared at Swindler, and then bolted past the Air Strike Patrol and jumped out of the nearest window. Or at least she would have if they hadn't all been suicide-proofed earlier in the day.
Swindler pressed a button on the recorder. The familiar voice of Strikedown filled the air. "Uh, hello, is that the police? Look, I'm an anonymous Autobot and I just heard how Blaze Master - that's B-L-A-Z-E-space-M-A-S-T-E-R was boasting about napalming a school full of children, you should arrest him and send him to jail right away! I've secretly recorded him and stamped it with my personal ident code! Please, he's the worst Micromaster!"
As Strikedown picked herself off the floor, the Air Patrol rounded on her, barely restraining themselves from trying to help her hurl herself out of the building. 
Hot House just pointed a finger at her in alarm. "Y-you're a tattletale!" he gasped in horror.
"Hey! Hey!" Strikedown brushed herself off. "How am I the villain? Blaze Master literally napalmed a school full of children and was boasting about it. I just did my civic duty and secretly recorded him and told on him! He still did it!"
"Yeah, but... tattletaling is worse, I think!" Hot House furrowed his brow in concentration. Working out what was right and wrong was starting to overheat his logic circuits. 
Two of the Air Patrol stood on either side of Strikedown, patting her on the shoulders firmly. Strikedown took the hint and sat back down heavily.
"So here we are." Swindler patted the tape recorder. "There's only one witness, and a second-hand one as well. You're going to take the stand tomorrow and tell everyone you're a liar and you made it all up." He threw a manila folder at Strikedown. "Or else!"
Strikedown opened the folder. Inside was a list of names and photographs of humans. "I... don't get it?"
Swindler quickly snatched back the folder. "Ugh. That's the list of survivors. A few managed to escape and were too terrified to come forwards. We tracked them down first and destroyed all the evidence so that the prosecution can't get their dirty hands on it. They'll continue to think that Blaze Master's attack was so deadly it killed all of the children and every single relative. No, it's this folder I'm talking about."
Strikedown flopped open the new folder and instantly went pale. "You wouldn't dare!"
"I would!" Swindler leaned forwards. "A complete list of every time you've reported one of your colleagues in the Metro Patrol to high command. The Air Patrol are officers, remember, they have access to all your accusations! Every time you've tried to get another Micromaster sent to jail!"
Strikedown leafed through the file. It was a very, very large file. "T-these were all valid complaints! And it's supposed to be confidential!"
"Aaaah!" Hot House continued to point at Strikedown accusingly. "You're a tattletale! A tattletale!"
"Fine! Fine!" Strikedown slammed the folder shut. "I'll do it!"
Strikedown stood on the witness stand at the Hague, gripping the podium tightly with both hands. The wooden surface started to splinter underneath her fingertips. In front of her were a sea of faces, all of them staring intently at her. At the very front was Swindler and Blaze Master on the defendant's bench.
"...And you vow to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" The court aide finished swearing in Strikedown.
"I do," lied Strikedown as she prepared to perjure herself.
Swindler leapt to his feet with a flourish. "So, ladies and gentlemen. With no witnesses or surviving family members, this defence council posits that Blaze Master actually heroically destroyed a secret Decepticon Micro-Pretender training camp at the risk of his own life, and should actually receive a medal for valour! The only accusation against my client is a baseless anonymous claim, which we shall soon learn was completely faked!" He pointed a finger at Strikedown.
Strikedown began to sweat profusely. 
"Oh man," Blaze Master started to sharpen his rotor blades. "Once I find out who that anonymous witness is, I'm gonna murder them to death just like I murdered all those school kids!"
The podium beneath Strikedown's hands finally shattered. She gave a shriek and ran towards the prosecution desk. "I've distracted them for long enough!" she squealed. "Quick, quick!"
The prosecutor, an elderly grey-haired man, rose to his feet. "My honoured colleagues. The prosecution has learned of survivors of this attack who can testify that the dead were indeed real, innocent children and not so-called Decepticon Micro-Pretenders." He patted Strikedown's shoulder. "This heroic Autobot used her eye-cameras to take photographs of an evidence file that the defence council attempted to hide from this court!"
"Traitor!" Swindler started shaking a fist at Strikedown. "Tattletale!"
Strikedown sunk back. "I-I'm just doing the right thing!" She moved behind the prosecutor for protection. "This is the sort of heroic hard decision that officers have to make!"
There was a disturbance as the four new witnesses made their way into the court, pushing through the crowd and towards the front. Strikedown wiped her brow, furtively glancing towards the fuming Blaze Master. Soon this nightmare would be over. Blaze Master would go to jail, she'd be safe from retribution, and everyone would see how wise and brave she was for doing the right thing. She - 
She froze.
The four 'witnesses' who were currently lined up at the front of the courtroom did not look much like any sort of relatives of human children. In fact they looked suspiciously like the Decepticon Air Strike Patrol wearing wigs and dresses.
A closer inspection revealed that they actually looked even more suspiciously like the three remaining members of the Autobot Air Patrol and Hot House painted to look like the Decepticon Air Strike Patrol wearing wigs and dresses.
Hot House waved merrily at Strikedown. "I'm in the Air Patrol! I did it!" he mouthed to her.
Swindler sidled up to Strikedown with a smirk. "I couldn't just give the prosecutor the file to plant my witnesses, I had to find some way of making them think it was real, and I knew you couldn't resist tattling." Without missing a beat, he strode forwards with an accusatory finger. "Wait a minute, that's not - "
"Foiled again lads, scarper!" screamed Sky High, who was currently disguised as Whisper, throwing off his wig and being very careful to flash his Decepticon insignia for all to see. 
Strikedown started to shake. "And yet I'm the villain?" she hissed in disbelief.
The four crafty Autobot jets started to run. Blaze Master rose to his feet, seething with rage. "Decepticons!" he roared, a napalm cannon sliding out of a hidden compartment in his wrist.
"No, wait, listen, this is all a false flag!" Strikedown ran back into the fray, waving her arms and standing between Blaze Master and the 'Decepticons'. "I-I'm telling on you! I'm telling on all of you! It's actually - "
The 'Decepticons' ran. Strikedown was not so fast. She was cut off as Blaze Master attempted to resolve the situation via the application of fiery napalm.
"How did they know?"
Deep in the heart of the Decepticon base, Supreme Earth Commander Skystalker shook his fist, a snarl etched across his face. He clutched a copy of that day's paper, the words "DECEPTICONS BLAMED FOR HAGUE NAPALM CATASTROPHE." A photograph of the Decepticon Whisper was emblazoned beneath it. Next to it was a smaller one of Blaze Master labelled "HERO".
"I'm sorry, sir." Whisper and the rest of the Decepticon Air Strike Patrol stood before him nervously, wringing their hands. "But we weren't there, I promise!"
Skystalker threw the newspaper across the room. "Fools! Somehow the Autobots learned of our plan to create a training camp for our new Decepticon Micro-Pretenders at our base disguised as a school! We thought that there was no way that they could have detected us - this Blaze Master must be a genius! And to cap it off, they somehow revealed to the world that we were behind it!" He shook his head. "We must be ever more sneaky in our schemes! And so, I unveil..."
A large monitor slid down from the ceiling. The screen flickered into life to reveal the cunning Blackjack, sitting in a room surrounded by mewling kittens
Blackjack petted a nearby kitten. "I can confirm that our next scheme is underway, sir. The new squad of Decepticon Micro-Pretenders are disguised as adorable orphaned kittens and puppies here at this fake animal sanctuary. There's no reason for the Autobots to suspect a thing, they'll never find us!"
He frowned as the sound of helicopter blades filled the air, getting closer and closer. 
He sniffed.
"D-do I smell napalm?"