DairyCon 2040: Erect and Proud!

Chapter Three - How the Mighty Have Fallen

By Lewis M. Brooks III

Nine thousand miles south of Chicago, the frozen wasteland of Antarctica sits at the bottom of the world, its cold and unforgiving landscape unwelcoming to visitors. In addition to the seals, penguins, and birds that live there, (and the science teams doing research), for the past twenty-five years Antarctica has been home to another group of beings. It is the headquarters of the Supreme Ocracy, Sovereign Alliance of Decepticons, more commonly known as SO SAD.

Following the Decepticon surrender there was much debate over what was to become of them. Some argued they should be exiled to deep space. Others wanted them incarcerated, held as prisoners for as long as they continued to function. After all the pain and death they had left in their wake, many wanted vengeance, demanding their permanent deactivation and destruction.

In point of fact, the world government, after months of deliberation, was prepared to order the destruction of some and permanent incarceration of others. It was only Optimus Prime’s impassioned plea on behalf of the Decepticons that eventually led to a treaty and the establishment of the country on Antarctica as the Decepticons’ own nation, New Cybertron.

For the first five years, Decepticon movements were monitored, though they were allowed to move freely throughout the world, and an Autobot force was stationed within New Cybertron. After the five years passed with good relations and no incidents, control of New Cybertron was turned over to the ruling counsel in the capital city of New Kaon, and their leader, Megatron. Though elected, his unanimous victory was considered somewhat suspicious.

In his palace in the heart of New Kaon, Megatron sat in his quarters doing work vital to the future of the Decepticons.

"How much do we get for these damn things Soundwave?" asked Megatron as he sat back in his chair and flexed his aching hand. He had been at this for hours. "I know we need the money for energon production and spare parts, but must we stoop to this level?"

He scowled down disdainfully at the small cardboard and plastic box on the table in front of him. The toy inside didn’t even look like him. Adding insult to injury, they had the unmitigated gall to make him a truck. He wasn’t even a nice shiny one with lots of chrome, he was rusted and dirty and about 600,000 miles old. They should have just written ‘Megatron, he’s just not as good as Optimus Prime’ across the box. He signed his name with the pen strapped to his middle finger and placed it in the pile of signed toys.

"They retail for $999.95," Soundwave replied in his usual synthesized drawl. "We sold nearly one hundred thousand units last year. That doesn’t even include the ones signed in Cybertronian. We get $2999.95 for those, but we get five times that for the ones I put on Ebay. Fortunately most humans are really, really stupid."

"My Cybertronian is so rusty I might be telling them all to go f*ck themselves," muttered Megatron.

"I doubt they’d even notice," said Soundwave, as he opened another case of toys to be signed. He placed a stack on the table. "Here’s the last of them. Use the red pen for a few, we get a premium for those."

"Right," muttered Megatron dejectedly. He signed the last few toys, and removed the pen from his finger. He sat back in his chair. "What happened to us, Soundwave?"

"To put it bluntly," said Soundwave. "We lost."

"It was a rhetorical question," growled Megatron. "I was once the scourge of the galaxy. The name Megatron struck fear into the hearts of beings from Andromeda to the Large Magellanic Cloud. Worlds shook before my might and I left nothing but burnt corpses in my wake. I was a god. Now we’re hocking toys for money to buy fuel. Maybe we should have all just died fighting. At least then we’d be remembered with honor and respect, spoken of only in whispers for fear we could return from death if called."

"You’ve always had a flare for the dramatic," said Soundwave. "If we kept fighting, within six months every last one of us would have been molten slag and the humans would have displayed your head on a pike on the White House lawn. You did what any wise leader would. You saved the lives of your people when you realized your war was lost. You allowed the Decepticons to become something else rather than just a memory. You built New Cybertron."

"And what has become of New Cybertron!?" yelled Megatron, slamming his fist upon the table, causing several toys to topple to the floor.

"These will have to be listed below collector grade," muttered Soundwave to himself as he picked the toys up from the floor. "Hmmm...perhaps we’ll bill them as a battle damaged variant. That would work, we can quadruple the price." He facepalmed. "By the pit, I’ve become Swindle. I should have taken that job on Steven Tyler’s ‘Cryonics Forever Tour’."

Megatron stood and went to the window. He pressed the control pad and the metal shield slid back revealing the once grand capital city’s royal square. It was virtually deserted, save for a few Decepticons milling around by his statue. "Most of our people left years ago. Who’s still here? The Terrorcons? The Insecticons? The Monster Pretenders? They’re all batshit crazy! Where the hell are they going to go? Most of our people only come back once a month to pick up their energon rations. Some don’t even bother doing that. Did you know Motorhead won ten million dollars last year on the RPGA Tour? What idiot even came up with the idea for a Robotic Professional Golf Association!? A damn Micromaster is making millions while I’m hocking toys on Ebay!"

Megatron dropped into his chair and buried his face in his hands.

"Rumble, Frenzy, eject, operation...umm...take these toys to my office," said Soundwave. The two small robots ejected from Soundwave’s compartment, transformed and landed on the floor.

"What the hell kind of operation is that?" asked Rumble.

"Yeah, you usually come up with something aloof and fear inspiring," said Frenzy.

"Do it!" Soundwave ordered. Rumble and Frenzy began to gather up the toys, whispering back and forth about how they really should have taken that job the demolition company offered them.

Soundwave sat in a chair on the opposite side of Megatron’s desk. "You need to relax," he said. "You’ve been under far too much stress. Why don’t you spend some time with your My..."

Megatron leapt over the desk, grabbed Soundwave around the throat and held the barrel of his fusion cannon to his most loyal follower’s face. He leaned in close and spoke softly. "I’ve told you...never mention that when anyone else is around!" growled Megatron. He turned to Rumble and Frenzy. "GET OUT! NOW!"

Rumble and Frenzy didn’t need to be told twice. They quickly gathered the boxes and left. Megatron let go of Soundwave and returned to his chair.

"My apologies, Lord Megatron," said Soundwave. "I forgot."

Megatron leaned back in his chair. "I’m sorry, Soundwave," he said. "It’s just...they relax me." He stood and went to the wall behind his desk. He typed an access code into a keypad and the wall slid aside revealing shelves from floor to ceiling filled with his vast My Little Pony collection. "They’re just so very pretty, aren’t they?" Megatron picked up his favorite pony and started making whinnying noises and holding her up to ‘fly’ around the room. "Pegasus Princess Tiffany is so pretty, isn’t she, Soundwave?"

"Yes, of course...she’s a very...pretty pony," said Soundwave somewhat uncomfortably. He opened his compartment and retrieved a data pad. "We have a few things to go over...unless you’d like to be alone for a while...with your Princess Tiffany."

Megatron sighed. "No, let’s get this over with," he said.

Megatron placed Pegasus Princess Tiffany back onto the shelf and sat in his chair. He pretended to listen as Soundwave went over expense reports, building and repair plans, international treaty proposals, energy production rates, news from around the world, and then got to Megatron’s least favorite topic.

"We’ve received a number of personal appearance requests for this month and next, all with fairly lucrative compensation," said Soundwave. "There are...let’s see...five, no six gun clubs, two Toys R Us stores, three used car dealerships, and a strip mall outside Boise, Idaho."

"Murder me, Soundwave," muttered Megatron pitifully. "Just kill me now and be done with it. I don’t want to live like this any longer."

"It’s not so bad," said Soundwave trying to sound cheerful. "Look on the bright side...I know you’re still looking for all the new My Little Ponies, so this will be some good opportunities for shopping."

"I guess you’re right," said Megatron, perking up a bit. "I do still need those rare Anniversary Edition Shine Bright Pegasus Princess Tiffany blue and green bridal variants. Say yes to all of the appearances. Is that all?"

"Almost," said Soundwave hesitantly. "There was one more. You received a personal invite from a...Fredbot...wait, no...Fred...to attend DairyCon 2040 and the Alcove of Honor induction ceremony tomorrow."

"Let me see that, Soundwave," said Megatron, holding his hand out. Soundwave gave him the pad. Megatron threw it on the floor, pointed his fusion cannon at it, and blew a whole clear through to the room below. He sat back in his chair, feeling quite happy with himself.

Soundwave opened his compartment and retrieved another data pad. "So, is that a no?" he asked.

"Do you always keep a second data pad on hand?" asked Megatron.

"You blow it up at least once a month," said Soundwave. "It seemed prudent. I also already scheduled a repair team. They’ll be in to fix the floor shortly."

"I want no part of that ceremony," growled Megatron. "Alcove of Honor...what a joke. They know NOTHING of honor! They elect fools who look good on magazine covers. I might go if just once I though they’d elect someone truly worthy."

Suddenly an idea began to form in Megatron’s mind. Perhaps for once they would elect someone worthy. They just wouldn’t know they were doing it.

"On second thought...I will attend," said Megatron.

"Say what!" exclaimed Soundwave in a voice not at all like his normal voice. He clamped his hand over his faceplate.

Megatron laughed. "Come on, Soundwave," he said. "Do you really think I don’t know you’re DJTapeDeck?"

"You do?" asked Soundwave returning to his normal, voice.

"When I first saw your YouTube music videos, I wasn’t sure," said Megatron. "The CGI was well done, but I knew that was no human singing. The music sounded like something you’d like. I was walking by your quarters and heard you practicing one day. That’s when I was sure."

"You’re not mad?" asked Soundwave.

Megatron laughed. "Why should I be mad?" he asked. "Because you have a marketable skill? Because you have eight of the top ten spots on the iTunes music charts this year? Because you have something to put on your resume other than, Tyrannical Despot, Omen of Doom, Scourge of the Weak, and Bringer of Death? Come on Soundwave, I’m not that petty."

"Oh, well...thank you," said Soundwave.

"Anyway, as I was saying, tell them I’ll attend," said Megatron. "I think this could be fun!"

"You aren’t thinking about breaking the treaty, are you?" asked Soundwave suspiciously. "Most of the Decepticons will join the Autobots if you do, and honestly, we won’t last long."

"No, I’m not going to do anything like that," said Megatron. "I am weary of battle, but I think I know how to have some fun. Send for Bombshell. I need his unique skills. I think we can be sure DairyCon will have an Alcove of Honor ceremony they will never forget!"

Onward to Chapter Four!

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