DairyCon 2040: Blackrock!

A former billionare reflects on his past.

It had been a long day.

Shuffling paperwork on his desk, GB Blackrock pondered. The new promotional arm of BlackRock Publications was doing extremely well. In the years since he'd moved most of his fortune out of oil and aerospace industries, Gary Bennet saw his fortunes quintuple.

Money was definately not a concern for him these days. Making a difference was.

He remembered the feeling he had when he first started out, with Josie and the Neo Knights. He'd saved two worlds that day, and he never forgot that.

A shame that everyone else did.

This is why, when he returned to earth, he continued his adventures, financing superhero teams of all types. While never as well-known as Stark with his Avengers, Blackrock was proud that he financed such noteworthy groups as the The New Last Order of Rival Dragon Secret Defenders, and The Ambush Bug Corps.

When he discovered that their exploits were not being taken seriously by the public at large, GB Blackrock vowed to change that. Pouring funding into a new venture, he beefed up his marketing department and created BlackRock Publications.

Not just print media, but television, action figures... it was the Hub of his entire organisation. Give people the sizzle, and the rest would follow.

And follow it did. When they'd landed the contract to market toys for the various Transformer Conventions, it was like coming home. Instead of Decepticons stealing his facilities, and Autobots failing to protect them, he was using his know-how to make money off of both sides.

That's when he was assigned his Protector.

Optimus Prime and Bumblebee had revealed nothing, simply saying that, although the War was over, there were still some Decepticons that might want to take revenge on the small human. The 'bot assigned to him was code-named, 'SellOut.' He didn't need a map-reader to see where their thoughts were.

He still did his racing, of course, and in this, his Protector was well-suited. Being a racecar had its advantages, and plastering his various business concerns on the car (as well as naming the raceway after himself... and controlling the media coverage) had proven beneficial. That said, this year hadn't gone well; his car was pummeled by bits of MotorMaster tumbling out on the first turn in the race. He was still bruised from that; though he was sure SellOut's injury (seeing a giant Menasaur head smush his windshield) was probably worse for him that what the human was feeling.

At least Jazz stayed to see if he was ok; the other 'bots didn't even talk to him anymore. He would have thought some of the others would have stayed, but he supposed old wounds ran deep.

Blackrock pulled up an image on the monitor screen. He could see that the Techs were just finishing repairs to SellOut. As soon as they left, he activated his communicator to the repair bay. He wanted... no, he *needed* the 'bot's opinion on this new promotion.

"So... what do you think?"

"About what?"

"About the new promotional material I sent you. This year's Alcove of Honor ceremony should be the biggest one yet."


"So... doesn't that excite you?"

"My job is to protect you. Barring that, I see no reason to tolerate conversation with you."

"Oh come on, we've been doing this for years now... what, is it the Devastator's Balls Acc packs that were being passed out at the race? I swear, I didn't know they were going to do that."

"I just wish you wouldn't be hyping a Decepticon. They're the enemy."

"We've been overe this. There *are* no enemies anymore. We've been at peace."

"Then why am I still here?"

"Because Optimus assigned you. And besides, you enjoy the racing, the attention, the high-quality parts I supply. There are 'bots who aren't nearly as well off as you."

"Yea... that means we were made to be together."

"Why is that?"

"Because I'm a sellout, too."

Blackrock shut off the monitor. Days like this, it didn't pay to talk to him. He supposed the damages from today's race were still bothering him. Still...

He returned to the papers on his desk. The hype was coming along nicely. Early results were in, and it looked like Blue Datsun Minispy might make a solid contender this year.

The winner would be announced at the Dairycon Convention. Obviously, they would also be giving away a figure of the winner as well. His factories would work overtime producing a figure of the winner (tabulated mere hours before the end of the Show.) Thanks to modern automation, he'd have them in their package and shipped to the Convention Center just-in-time. He'd get paid extra for that, and the money could go toward financing the Josie Blackrock Adaptive Electronics Center (A non-profit that helped the disabled, with limb replacements, or entire body surrogates in some cases.)

He smiled at that. He'd had some good years with his love, and although they no longer spoke (divorce would do that for you), she still happily took the money he provided.

At least he wasn't a complete failure. Some of the money he spent did some good.


In a sudden fit, GB Blackrock shoved the papers off his desk, put his head in his hands, and began to sob quietly.

It made sense, after all. Why he was assigned the Protector. Why Optimus and the others never spoke to him again. Why Josie had left him. Why he no longer felt fufilled. Any amatuer shrink could have pointed to it.

He was a sellout after all.

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