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To Walk With A Champion

Who: Wheelie, Rodimus Prime, Moonracer, Springer, Markdown, Galvatron, Fusillade, Fury, Future Ric Flair
IC Year: 2029
Location: Turnbuckle
TP: Non-TP

The Galactic Wrestling Federation is in danger - Future Ric Flair is just TOO good. Who can stop his domination of the game?


Planet Turnbuckle


It's the time of night for a distress call. A distress call that's sent to all channels. Radio channels, Autobot Channells, Decepticon channels, so many different channels. 4chan(nels) are even represented. And yes, it's quite distressing.

"It is a dark day for Galactic Wrestling. The annual Pay Per View on Planet Turnbuckle is sure to be a disaster... for the universe! Who will defeat this mystery wrestler?! Surely, if no one can take the title from him, wrestling will forever be extinguished from the galaxy! And then what will you do in your two bedroom trailer? Noble Decepticons... Money Hungry Autobots, we require your help... TONIGHT ONLY... ON PLANET TURNBUCKLE!! first exit after the delta nebula overpass."


SOME TIME AGO

Wheelie, standing over the fallen Pounce (or possibly Wingspan) with a folding chair, dents in both his weapon and his opponent, sees what he has become. He removes his robot Luchamaster mask and looks into its eyes mournfully. "Corrupted, this sport of kings and men. El Mighty Wheelo... never again."

NOW

As he hears the distress signal, Wheelie stops what he's doing (his taxes) and tries to suppress a broad grin.


Rodimus Prime is on his way back to Sol after yet another failed "Galactic Peace Conference." "I swear to Primus," he says, looking over his shoulder at whatever passengers might be in the shuttle with him. "I should just stop going to these things. They should just hire local bouncers instead." He scowls, looking back at his control panel. "Wheelie, did you leave something in the reactor turbine again? We're losing power in the left nacelle." He flips a switch, and notices the comm board lighting up. "Uh, can someone else pick that up? It looks like a distress signal. I'm, ah, a little busy," he says, nonchalantly, while jerking on the control sticks and narrowly dodging under a city-sized asteroid that happens to be tumbling through the shuttle's flight path.


"The turbines off-limits to Wheelie oh cap'n, since Kup said he's aghast at what'd happen." Wheelie sets down his Space W2s and goes to check, though.


Markdown frowns as he listens in to his headset. "Distress signal... I don't know, sir, sounds more like an advertisement. Apparently the planet Turnbuckle needs somebody to help stop a mystery wrestler or something. And they're asking for us specifically!" He shakes his head. "This is nuts..."


"As dumb as that sounds," Rodimus replies gravely, hands gripping the controls so tight his knuckles would be white if he were a hu-man, "I don't think we have much of a choice. Barely have enough power to make a landing... If we're lucky. Crash positions, everyone."


Moonracer is allready ring side. She has front row seats, and is howling for blood. Who'da thunk she was a fan.


Springer slouches casually in the co-pilot's seat, although his hands twitch for the auxiliary flight controls occasionally, especially when Rodimus looks away from the screen. He holds himself still for the most part though. Something in the back of his processor registers Rodimus's order for someone to check on the distress signal. It takes a few seconds before he realizes that he could in fact also qualify as 'someone'. So Springer tears his attention away from the screen and all the hurtling asteroids depicted there, and turns to a comm panel. "Roger, this is the Autobot Shuttle..." he puts a hand over the mic for a second. "Which one are we on anyway, guys? Uh...no not you Rod, you just keep your eye on the asteroids. And the planet." Removes hand from mic. "We read you, planet Turnbuckle...coming in for a landing. Sort of."


"I think this is the 'Orange Orion'," Rodimus replies, anyway. An asteroid bounces off the front shield, making the entire ship quake violently. "Uh, woops."


Wheelie hops into a seat and assumes the crash position, leaning forward and resting his elbows against the communication console, hands behind his head. Looking down into his lap, he sees his Luchamaster mask staring up at him impassively. "..." Wheelie says, gobsmacked.


To those that can see it, Planet Turnbuckle is just a little moon outfitted with a humongous sports arena, with a parking lot to match. The sign reads G. FU.WF. - Galactic Future Wrestling Federation in awesome blinking space neon. There are spotlights everywhere and space rednecks of every race trying to down the last Nucelon Lite from the trunk of their cyber-cars before they step into the arena to buy an overpriced, watered down Archeville Cider.


Markdown grumbles as he simply places both hands in front of him on the console, waiting for the impact. "Why do I always have to go to the oddball planets?"


Rodimus Prime pushes the shuttle through the moon's thin atmosphere, a brief flicker of plasma from atmospheric friction before it begins to sail/plummet towards the parking lot. "Out of the way, everybody!" Rodimus shouts, snatching the comm wand from Springer long enough to yell into it before throwing it away. The Orange Orion is quaking worse than a Mexican jumping bean with cerebral palsy, though Rodimus has the wherewithall to smash his fist against the RETRO ROCKETS button on the main panel. A pair of jets under the shuttle's nose flare, causing it to lift up just in time for it to spectacularly scrape its belly against the parking lot. Fishtailing left and ride as it careens through the empty back rows, Rodimus pumps the rudder controls wildly with his boots, the shuttle's minimal aerodynamic steering rudders flapping like the gills of a fish that made the mistake of flopping out of its bowl. Space pickup trucks and cyber-hyundais are smacked out of the way with the brutal sound of crushed metal, Rodimus wincing in sympathy. The shuttle finally spins out, conveniently sliding into the last front-row parking slot.


"Don't be such a grumpy gus -- Wheelie scouts ahead of us!" Wheelie says, unusually eager to get out of the ship. He scampers off into the parking lot crowd, disappearing from sight.


Rodimus Prime lets out a mechanical sigh of relief, leaning back in his acceleration chair. "Hey, where'd Wheelie go?"


There it is, the Galactic Space Astro Wrestling Dome in all of its glory. And Moonracer has unwittingly saved a seat for Autobot and Decepticon alike.

The loudspeakers boom outside, letting even those in the parking lot hear (even those who have scrambled away from the immoral autobots and their shuttle) "Who will defeat THE NATURE DROID... FUTURE... RIC... FLAIR?!"


Springer peels his head off of the console in front of him, apparently he didn't have the foresight to buckle up his crash harness. He doesn't seem the worse for wear however - while the console shows a dent shaped like Springer's strong Autobot chin. "I thought I heard him say something about scouting ahead." Springer spots an open exit hatch. "Guess that the last we'll see of him." It's hard to say how Springer feels about that. But he finally vaults clear of the co-pilot's chair and looks around. "Everybody else in one piece?"


The Decepticons on the other hand don't actually NEED to park as such. Galvatron steps directly out of the shuttle door and descends to the moon's surface, trusting Astrotrain to find somewhere to put himself. "What a revolting display of organic life," he remarks to his Decepticons, surveying the space hicks.


Markdown's body is jostled hard as the shuttle shakes, but is able to use his arms to stop his face from flying into his control panel. "Ah, crud," he says, watching the Autobot shuttle destroy a variety of flying cars. "I'm not going to have to pay for that, am I?"


Rodimus Prime turns his pilot's chair around to face Markdown with a *swoosh*. "Maybe they don't have lawsuits on this planet?" He responds, trying to sound helpful.


Shockwave follows Galvatron silently keeping in my his own plans regarding their presence on this world.


Markdown waves at Springer as he unstraps himself and stands up. "Yeah, yeah. I'm fine." And as Rodimus Prime tries to console him, Markdown replies, "Sir, I'm not feeling that optimistic today. There's probably a swarm of lawyers waiting right outside the hatch already!"


A little green orphan alien boy, roughly the size of a Wheelie or a Hubcap, walks up the ramp of the Autobot shuttle. "Oh please, dastardly Autobots, won't you ddefeat F. Ric Flair? He is ruining wrestling by being /too/ good!! Only you and your Decepticon friends can help!" He says, before dropping a box of Lucha masks... and hobbling down the ramp like an orphan.


Rodimus Prime gets up out of his chair, steadying one hand on the ceiling handrail within the shuttle and walking it back towards the egress hatch. He pats Markdown on the shoulder before moving on, looking down at the small orphan and his proposition. "Uh..." He holds up a finger to respond, but the orphan is the fastest limper this side of the Crab Nebula. "I'm not sure how I feel about fighting aliens /before/ I get to know them," he mutters, kneeling next to the box of masks. He picks one up, looking it over. "Kinda kinky."


The ability to fly carries with it the additional luxury of unassisted descent. Galvatron and Shockwave arrive, and not too much later, Fusillade thunders in, flying low over the main parking lot, setting off shuttle alarms, rattling windows, and eliciting several dozen Galactic Rebel Yells. She seems a bit preoccupied, though, motions a bit sluggish, as she appears to have a one-sided argument with herself.

"Stop squirming! We're almost there!"

"No, you can't shoot your way out! I'm a ranking officer!"

"/FINE OKAY/ Primus we are HERE."

Bomb bay doors open up, and the more sensible sorts recoil in horror, while another pink tentacled girl in pigtails, coveralls and single faceted eye gurgles out "Maw maw! That space cow's birthin' a baby!"

Rose-of-Sharon exists simultaneously in all times and worlds.


Look out, world, it's Fury. "Took you long enough!" is her retort, as she hurtles out of the bomb bay to her apparent doom. Fusi is a mama? The little egg unfolds wings at the last moment and goes zooming over the crowd, doing a few barrel rolls as if to stretch out, before returning to settle in as Fusillade's escort/wingman.


Galvatron sneers at the box and at Rodimus Prime in turn. "'You may make do with your shabby, borrowed masks that some filthy organic sludge has been sweating unspeakable fluids into. I, GALVATRON, have no need of such trappings!" He snaps his fingers and Bricktop the Gumby Seeker grouses up beside him, carrying a giant space-robot gym bag. "I have brought my OWN," adds Galvatron.


Also in the Autobots' mask box is a key to the stadium's back door... the dressing room! Oh no! It also says Only one challenger at a time, what is this geneva on it. Galvatron probably already knows how to get there because there was maybe a flyer on the window of his shuttle?? Anyway, inside the Astro Mega Dome... oh wait, you need to get in there first.


Rodimus Prime jerks his head up as he hears Leonard Nimoy's gravelly voice haranguing him from across the parking lot. "What? Galvatron?" He scowls. "What in the Pit are you doing here?" But as Galvatron further taunts, Rodimus plunges a hand into the box of mask, randomly pulling out a mask with flames on it that perfectly matches his color scheme and decal motif. "YOU'RE ON, GALVATRON," he shouts, jerking the mask (made of unstable molecules, so it conveniently fits) over his head. "I HOPE YOU LIKE BEING PILEDRIVED!" He points his Finger of Condemnation at his nemesis.


Markdown looks skeptically at the luchadore mask as he picks one up. "And... what are these for? It's not like it would be that hard to everyone identify us with the mask on." He looks out the hatch at the world beyond, frowning at the somewhat backward planet. "Huh. Well, at least I was wrong about the lawyers. But then again..." His optics settle on Galvatron. "...they're only slightly less dangerous than those guys!"


"Mr. Prime, I believe it's Pile/driven/..." says a red orphan, swining from a vine. A grammar vine?!


"Primus, does anyone have /parents/ on this planet?" Rodimus mutters, re: alien orphans.


"Oh, that tickles," Fusillade goads as she banks sharply, circling the stadium until she's satisfied that there's at least a snowball's chance that she can get in. Somewhere, in the back of her processor, she makes note to NOT let Cyclonus know about these developments, if at all possible. All the proceedings are being simulcast on large screens outside, and that draws her in like a beacon. "C'mon down, Fury. Oh, by the way, if you were given the hardpoints for it, how many 500 pound bombs do you think you can carry in that iota of an alt mode of yours? Hypothetically speaking, of course?" She transforms, sets down outside, and proceeds to mince toward the entrance to negotiate a place to sit.


Springer watches the others put on Luchadore masks, then casually runs an optic over the box of masks. He snorts softly, shaking his head. "No thanks, I brought my own." He touches a spot on the side of his forehead, and a small plate slides down into place over the upper part of his face. It's kind of like Rodimus' old binocular-visor...except Springer's is shaped more like a Zorro mask (except it's green - but it's such a dark shade of green it could almost be mistaken for black). "Well, let's get this over with..."


All sorts of aliens are pretty mad at Fusillade for setting off their car alarms and spilling their Nucleon Lite. "oobagoobaboobaboo!" seems to be some sort of alien language, and it future babelfish translates into :(


The Autobots, when they get their asses in gear, will find the back door to their dressing rooms... and the RING BEYOND.


Rodimus Prime shoves the box of masks over to Markdown. "Uh, it's traditional. I think. Just put one on," he mutters, still glaring at Galvatron and his entourage. "Or not. You can be the manager, if you want." He jabs a finger against Markdown's chest, glaring down at him through his flaming pervert wrestler mask. "But if I say 'CUT ME', you better -CUT- -ME-, got it?"


Fusillade's answer is a sulky "Two," even as Fury obediently tumbles out of the air to land neatly on her feet, transforming as she falls. She clanks after Fusillade, curiosity caught despite herself.


Galvatron levels his Imperious Finger at Rodimus Prime in turn and shouts, "Rodimus Prime, I have an answer for you, but I don't think it's an answer you're going to want to hear!"


Crowd noise. "But even though you can't wait for our next scheduled event, and I think you're an irresponsible hothead, who hasn't fully recovered from his injuries at the hands of Guiltor, YOU'RE ON!" More crowd noise! Redneck aliens throw their weird alien brews into the air, whooping and hollering!


Galvatron reaches into Bricktop's bag and pulls out a long red cape emblazoned with a Decepticon symbol, swinging it around his shoulders and latching it with magnets, followed up with a villainous luchadore mask in black and violet with silver embroidering and a tall titanium crown that fits over his own built-in crown. "I can't WAIT, Rodimus Prime! I've been distracted by this ridiculous Guiltor business and the Seacons before that, and I haven't had a chance to get a crack at you! So tonight... I'm going to GET SOME!" The crowd erupts in cheering again as Galvatron pauses for crowd appreciation.


Orphans are, in fact, a unit of currency on the planet Turnbuckle.


In a darkenened alley connecting one part of the stadium to another external wing, Wheelie stares into his Luchamaster mask, holding it in his hands, which tremble a bit with vivid recollection.

MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO

"I DON'T KNOW WHO EL MIGHTY WHEELO THINKS HE IS," cries The Macho Man Rad, pointing at the camera (and the view for emphasis). "I'M THE INTERGALAXIAL CHAMPION OF THIS FEDERATION, I HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS, I ALWAYS WILL BE, AND THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS. YOU FEEL ME? HE'S GONNA GET HIS TRANSFORMING ASS /BEAT/ AND THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE!"

NOW

Wheelie shivers.


"SAVE IT FOR THE RING, YOU PURPLE <bleeeeeep>," Rodimus shouts over his shoulder at Galvatron, ushering Springer and Markdown along towards the back door to their dressing room. "Just follow my lead here," he whispers to his subordinates, trying to bluff his way into convincing his followers that he has some kind of plan. Going through the dressing room and signing a few autographs from some space floozies who snuck in ("Sorry, ladies, I'm married -- To the Matrix," he adds with a wink), he wanders out to the stadium floor, standing in his corner with his arms folded over his chest. He looks around, trying to figure out where the hell he is and why he's wearing a mask.


Markdown tries his best to maintain a straight face as he looks back at Rodimus Prime, now concealed behind his absurd mask. "I... I... heh... um.. actually, that's a great idea, sir! I'll be your manager. And I got just the thing to complete the disguise..." From subspace, he pulls out a jacket with dollar bill signs on it, and wears it. He completes the facade of a bloated, flamboyant capitalist with a lit cigar. "Wha? Cut you!? I... Well, ok. Ack!" He shuffles over to the dressing room. "Geeze, I don't know if I like this, Springer..."


INSIDE THE ULTI-DOME

THE NATURE DROID, FUTURE RIC FLAIR is in the ring, versus the vicious POLLUTENSTEIN a ginormous smog monster from Federation Zx20, wearing its eponymous boxer shorts and hotel towel cape. Flair viciously chokeslams Pollutenstein so hard that he breaks the barrier of space and time, and is reduced to nothing but a small trophy of himself.

"THAT SMOGGOT JUST TAPPED OUT. WHO'S NEXT?!" cries Future Flair.


"Aww, we'll work you up to more. But that's a good start," Fusillade coos out to Fury, before slinking over to the seating area close to where Moonracer is staked out. "Three Corona Extras, please," she says as she sprawls out over the seats. The vendor looks her over a few times suspiciously, before handing over the bottles that shimmer like the surface of a blue-white giant, "Don't be purchasing these for minors, now!" "What?!" "Don't be givin' this to your kid." "DUDE, she ain't mine!" "Oh, orphan currency." "-NO- we don't DO that sorta thing! Cripes, just give me the drinks!" Fusillade snatches up the beverages, and plunks the two in front of Fury. "There ya go, think of it as hazing. Man, you should see it when we get A-10's in, or some of the Soviet fighter je... OH!! They're starting! They're starting!!!"


Moonracer sits quietly in her seat. Strange, what with the front row and everything heating up so HOTt. She sits neatly cross legged gazing awestruck into the ring with a sign obviously carefully made with artistically laid out glitter that says

HOT

ROD

4

EvaaAAa!1!


Fury's voice is a venomous hiss, as she narrows her optics at the beer vendor. "I'll have you know I'm older than your entire species," she notes, raising her chin. "I remember when your planet discovered multicellular organisms. I'm no child." But she takes the drink, pops the top off, and eyes the gas that comes pouring out.


A bunch of little Teenage Kremzeeks circle the ring, doing an ancient Kremzeek dance that signifies... BRING ON THE NEXT CHALLENGER. Everyone should know this dance because they attended culture day, and if they didn't that is grounds for immediate dismissal.


An alien that looks and smells exactly like an orange creamsicle hands Fusillade and Fury those sweet styrofoam #1 fingers that say NATURE DROID RULEZ #1 on them.


Wheelie continues to stare into his mask.

MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO

"THIS IS THE MOST VILE THING I HAVE EVER SEEEEEEEN" howls the announcer as El Mighty Wheelo is crucified, tied to an explicitly Christian cross with a spool of barbed wire laid on his head. Double Punch solicits some boos from the crowds, and rears back with the chair...

NOW

Wheelie throws up oil.


Markdown's brow perks as he listens to the crowd. "Man. You hear those animals? I think they want to start the next fight real soon, Springer. Um." He looks around the dressing room. "And... I don't know where Rodimus Prime ran off to. Ah, nuts. Uh. You wanna go in there, first?"


"Ey, Moonracer, think those jackafts can get it together to go one on one with that joke up there, or think we'll just see them feelin' each other up?" Fusillade sasses, already midway through her drink. It's a light beer, despite the Extra name. Just look at it incandesce! She shimmies up in her seat and shimmies counterclockwise to the Kremzeeks. And then... a delectable aroma wafts over. With a faint EH? she looks over at the alien. That scent likely used as a hiring factor to improve customer relations and reactions... It's not terribly difficult for it to deposit the foam finger in her lap, as entrancing as the aroma is. As it turns to leave, though, Fusillade leans forward, and proceeds to hook her teeth and fingertalons in the top of it hard, icy orange dome.


Springer freezes for a moment, then shrugs in a casual (-too- casual) gesture. "Sure...I've been in more backroom brawls, pit fights, and gladatorial duels than you energon creds in the unmarked Monacus account for the Autobot emergency fund. Uh, well, except that we surrendered that to the Cybertronian council before the last war started." He winks a quick optic at Markdown. "Sure, I'll go in there first." He turns and heads for the ring, putting a little bounce in his stride and flexing his thickly built arms whenever he gets a chance.


Markdown gets into the act, as well, puffing on his cigar and grinning arrogantly at the crowd as he walks down the aisle, following Springer. From his dollar-sign jacket, he produces actual dollars, and tosses them at the crowd. He has no idea what the exchange rate is, here, for American dollars, but hopefully the alien hicks will take it anyway.


1 USD = 8.032 Orphans


Galvatron confers with his team in the dressing room. "Shockwave, how do you feel about your chances against Springer?"


"That bad, eh?" replies Galvatron. "Very well, you can stay here and monitor the bout. I for one am going to give Rodimus a piece of my mind!"


As Springer even thinks about stepping up, Future Ric Flair, a gleaming golkden android in amazing leopard skin briefs and an equally awesome red cape, looks down at him. "YOU, PUNY ROBOT. MONTALBON DOODLOOTOR CREATED ME WITH OVER 8000 SUBMISSION HOLDS... BUT THEY ARE THE LEAST OF YOUR WORRIES... I ALSO POSSESS..."

The audience gasps.

They say it along with him "THE. FUTURE. FIGURE. FOUR!"


Fury has utterly forgotten the 'beer' she was given - there's still a stream of blue-white glowing gas pouring from its mouth, shimmering over the bleachers. The amount seems to be all out of proportion to the size of the bottle. "What are you DOING?" she hisses at Fusillade. "That's obscene. What the-?"


Reflector makes sure to get a few good snaps of Fusillade robolating the creamsicle alien for his website.


"Oh," Rodimus says, stepping up behind Springer. "This is the guy the orphan wants me to fight." He pushes one fist into the opposite palm, glaring up at Future Flair. "Listen, buddy, I don't wanna 'cause no trouble. My issue is with another hombre," he says, pointing at Galvatron. "No reason we can't be friends."


Galvatron is standing outside the ring on the opposite side from Rodimus, one fist on his hip and the other making a rude gesture behind Flair's back.


"I'VE SEEN THE FUTURE AND IT WILL BE. I'VE SEEN THE FUTURE AND WORKS," says F. Ric Flar, fllexing his robocops. "AND IN THE FUTURE, ROWDY. RODDY. PRIME. THERE IS NO. NEED. FOR... FRIENDS!!!" the crowd goes f'ing bananas.


Larry the Robo-King Lawyer, the anouncer, yells into his mic. "oh my god Cyborg Vince, can you believe the audacity of the champ? I mean you can't argue with hard facts and algebra, but that Nature Droid's got a mouth on him!!"


F. Ric Flair winks at Fusillade and flexes at Galvatron threateningly.


"Establishing my position as an apex predator!" Fusillade says between the crack of the being's shell and whimpering, flailing appendages. "Oh, hey there," she chirps up at Markdown as he moves past, before glancing back over to the ring. "Yannow, Boss Man's the only one up there. Hmm." Fusillade's gears are moving, and she double-takes at F. Ric Flair, before standing back up and clutching Fury by her handle, giving a few windup discus turns, and then responding properly, throwing both hands up in the air.

"WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Fusillade misses Fury with her grasp attack.


Rodimus Prime points at Future Flair. "Hey, buddy. I'll go through you to get to Galvatron if I have to." He narrows his optics. "You do not know the forces you are trifling with."


In the crowd, Cyborg Yul Brynner narrows his eyes at Future Ric Flair. One eye is actually a death ray, though, so it doesn't narrow. "Soon," he whispers, before teleporting out of the arena silently.


And Fury? Totally unprepared for this. She drops her beer, and is hurled most of the way into the stadium. Fastest transformation on record - she crumples into her usual round self, snaps out her wings, and barely avoids digging her nose right into the middle ground. The obscenities she produces are so fast it makes her sound like an auctioneer. But no orphan is harmed, and she pulls up in time to go soaring back towards where Fusillade stands, still scolding like an angry sparrow.


Markdown sneers at F. Ric Flair, pointing a gold engraved cane at him. "My man, I'm the manager of these fine mechs here--" He gestures towards Rodimus Prime and (absent) Springer. "--An' I KNOW! I KNOW! You don't have a praaayyyyer against 'em!" He does this odd unduluting movement as he mocks F. Ric Flair. "Yah just some overrated punk with one or two fancy moves. Ah ain't impressed."


"That's pretty good," Rodimus asides to Markdown.


First rule of command? Delegate. As the mini jet returns, Fusillade hahs! and crosses arms over her chest. "Aww go on into the ring, you're a convenient biting height. Don't make me make it an order."


Markdown blinks. Wait, did that Decepticon greet him a while back? Er, well, probably. "Thanks, sir!" he mutters.


"And I'll go through YOU to get to Rodimus," adds Galvatron, climbing into the ring and glaring at Flair.


Galvatron ducks as a tiny egg-shaped Seeker is thrown into the ring.


Future Flair gyrates right back at Markdown. "HAHA, I BET YOU'RE SOME KIND OF TRANS-FORMER. SOUNDS PRETTY SPACE-GAY TO ME. THE LAST TIME A TRANS-FORMER MANAGED A GOOD WRESTLER WAS IN THE TIME WARS, AND THAT WAS IN THE FUTURE, AND IT HASN'T HAPPENED YET AND STILL MIGHT NOT. SO," Future Flair says, as Galvatron gets in the ring, "THE ONLY THING WRITTEN IN STONE IS THAT YOU. WILL. TAP. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUT."


Markdown is withholding evidence.


"NOTHING IS WRITTEN," replies Galvatron through his mask.


"YOU CAN'T FOOL ME, I CAN READ! I HAVE THAT PROGRAM INSTALLED!" replies the Nature Droid.


Rodimus Prime slides under the ropes, hopefully while Future Flair is distracted by Galvatron climbing into the ring. Rodimus does a feel quick rolls on the mat, then swings his legs out, trying to scissor kick Flair's legs out from under him!


About a hundred and fifty Bedouins in the cheap seats stand up and cheer wildly. "Long live the fighters!"


From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar flies his mech into the crowd and parks it. He took a transport vessel; the Space Mountain Express, to get here. Asia is the pilot...


Galvatron lunges for Future Flair with his left arm outstretched (his cannon has vanished into subspace for the time being) to try to clothesline him simultaneously with Rodimus sweeping the leg!


There is a tiny robot thrown at F. Ric Flair and he is very distracted by that. "WHAT IS THE /DEAL/ WITH THAT ROBOT? IS IT AN EGG? IS IT A PLANE? I MEAN /COME/ ON!" he is scissor-kicked then and clotheslined by two brave warrios in Space lucha masks... but fortunately, Future Flair is THE CHAMP. His robot body splits in two, crackling with blue time vortex energy, flies to the other side of the ring and comes together again. F. Flair, still on his heet, cracks his ro-knuckles.


From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar sits the cockpit and yells, "I'm a limousine ridin', jet flyin', kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin' son of a gun. WOOOO!!"


Rodimus Prime pushes himself back up to his feet with the nimble agility he's known for. "Ugh, I hate when we have to work together to overcome a third party adversary that we cannot defeat without our powers combined," he mutters to Galvatron, before rushing towards Future Flair. "BUT SCREW THIS GUY!" He does a double-footed dropkick, aimed at Flair's chest.


From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar cheers on Flair and does more quotes, "This ain't no garden party, brother, this is wrestling, where only the strongest survive.


Fusillade just kinda stares, gape-mouthed, as Flair splits in two. "GET 'IM GET 'IM!!!!"


Fury disobeys sufficiently to land back on the bleachers, having returned to her robot form. "I'M A ROBOT AND A PLANE," is her screeched response.


"I am obliged to agree with you, Rodimus Prime- and ironically enough, it is that that I hate being obliged to agree with you!" replies Galvatron, bouncing off the ropes to come running back at Flair.


Markdown waves at the referee enthusiastically, yelling, "HEY! HEY! Ref! That guy's using dark magic to put himself back together! That oughta be illegal! DO SOMETHING!"


The ref, who was kinda/sorta watching the fight, slowly makes his way to the edge of the ring, staring down at the complaining Autobot. "Uh, Magic isn't illegal. I think." The ref shrugs, back turned completely towards the fighters. "Uh, lemme check my manual..." Producing a brochure from his backpocket, the ref reads the individual pages VERRRY slowly.


<Autobot> Markdown says, "Rodimus... I distracted the ref! Maybe you use an illegal move on this guy?"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "I don't even know what moves are illegal!"


"A DROPKICK, HMMM, ROLWDY RODDY PRIME? I SEE YOUR DROP KICK AND RAISE YO--" well, the champ is dropkicked, there's not much more to say. He lands on the mat as Galvatron iks coming at him, "...AND RAISE YOU... THE ALTERNATE HISTORY DIAMOND CUTTER!" Flair says, as his body turns into a diamond worth at least 4 billion orphans, and flies at Galvatron like a moneymoney UFO.


<Autobot> Markdown says, "...good point. Uh. Shoot him, maybe?"


Wheelie continues his traumatic sprint through memory lane.

MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO

"AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH" Wheelie screams as he punches a speedboat right in the nose.

NOW

Wheelie begins to weep robotic bile.


Orphans aren't worth anything. But their blood is delicious. :V

:v


<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "No way, the intergalactic wreastling leage!?"


"This ref is useless and should be destroyed!" exclaims Galvatron, indignantly. "How can you not see he's obviously cheating!" He's just incensed that he can't figure out how to cheat the same way.


Rodimus Prime rebounds off of Future Flair's chest, handspringing off the met and landing in a crouch. He presses one hand against the side of his helmet, nodding to the advice from his "manager." He throws a hand out, his long, finned Photon Eliminator rifle phasing in from subspace. "This worked on the Diamond Dragon of Regullon IV," he says, shouldering the weapon and firing off a few yellow-white photon blasts -- rather unsportsmanlike -- into Future Flair's back. "Should work on this slaghead!"


<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Good idea!"


Galvatron grabs the ref and uses him as a human (alien) shield against the diamond-edged spinning UFO!


The ref hears the energy weapon cracking out, and slowly begins to turn to investigate.


"HEY!" Markdown yells, grabbing the ref's attention again. "I'm not done talking to you! And I still have yet to hear from you about that dark magic business!?"


"Oh, right," the ref says, looking back at his brochure--until Galvatron throws him at the Champ! "Oh dear."


<Autobot> Markdown says, "The same, Sideswipe. And their current champ is ruining the sport, apparently."


The diamond that is Future Flair is shot... shot, shot. As it rebounds off of the ref, the diamond turns back into Future Flair, a handsome robot if there ever was one. There are smoking craters on his back, which dollar bills from 1897 fall out of. "YOU. DARE. SHOOT ME... IN FRONT OF MY SON?!" Future Flair asks, looking with teary eyes at Nate Briar, with an 'i'm sorry' look on his face. "AND THE WOMAN I LOVE?" He looks at Fusillade.


"FEEL THE POWER OF..." Future Flair's hair turns into a thousand skis, shooting at Rodimus and Galvatron like greased snow lightning, "NATURE."


<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "Alright, You listening Rod? First you have to go for any visual organs. Failing that, try his reproductive systems. A good hard chair shot to the baby making cluster can take down even a tanzarian magma dragon."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "I think he's a robot -- OWW!"

<Autobot> Whirligig says, "I'm wondering if I should be worried that you even /know/ that, Sideswipe."

<Autobot> Whirligig says, "I do my best to avoid studying those kinds of things..."


Rodimus Prime catches a ski right in the optic, flipping onto his back and writhing on the mat in pain. "SON OF A VECTOR SIGMA!" His gun skitters off the mat, landing in a child's lap.


<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "What? I'm a fan. Besides, the dragon was asking for it. Robot?! Crap.. Maybe you can trick him into calculatging Pi."


<Autobot> Sunstreaker says, "Sometimes I wonder if I'm related to you."


The gun weighs a good six hundred pounds so hopefully the kid has insurance. Or is an orphan so no one will miss him.


<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "Me too.. That's alright though, I love you even if you are the ugly twin."


Markdown ulps as the fight seems to go bad, and looks about for a way to help Rodimus while the ref is still knocked out. "Ah-HA!" he says, and runs over to one of the ring-side announcers... and pushes him off of his chair! Then, he grabs the chair, folds it up, and climbs onto the outside of the ring. He holds the chair up, like an overweight scorpion about to strike, and waits for F. Ric Flair to get in range.


The gravity is pretty strong on this planet, the kid is okay


"Wait," says Galvatron, just standing there and staring at this bizarre display. "Skis? What do skis have to do with nature? Or hair? Why not go with tree roots or- OOF" A ski nails him right in the mouth and hurls him out of the room and through the announcers' booth!


Physics just makes it THAT MUCH WORSE.

no i mean like he is sturdy

'Kay.


Future Flair cackles and does an amazing future underground railroad touchdown dance, as both of his opponents go spinning with skis in their eyes (mouths). He is just so jolly dancing there, and just within chair range...


<Autobot> Sunstreaker says, "Fragger."


Markdown swings the chair with all of his might. "Your little ski trip just took you to the HOSPITAL, Future Ric Flair!" That was the best one-liner he could think of, sadly.


Fusillade isn't too hung up on enforcing rules when the Decepticons aren't on missions, so she doesn't really seem too bothered when Fury zips back out of the insanity of the ring. Although she does feel inclined, pointing with finger while fist is wrapped around solar-powered swill, "Hey, that diamond thing was stealing your 'flying geometric shape' motif. Just so you kn..." She pauses a bit as she stares gape-mouthed up at Future Flair. "I... UH? But you don't have any wings..." And then she screams and dives under the seat as the rocket-propelled skis impale chairs and stands.


<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "Slag kisser."


"I thought there was supposed to be more order," Fury says critically. "In these sorts of things." She's observing thechaos with great curiosity, having hurled herself back into the air. She can circle above and watch.


Wheelie continues to weep and vomit and convulse outside.

MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO

"EL MIGHTY WHEELO IS DOWN! HE'S DOWN! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS! ONE! TWO! THREE! WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION! WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION! EL MIGHTY WHEELO HAS LOST AT GALACTOSTRANGLEMANIA, THE BIGGEST SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF MATH! HE HAS LOST! AND WITH HIM... ALL HOPE..."

NOW

Wheelie wipes all the crap off his face, mans up, and drops a pair. He holds the mask in his hands. He knows what he must do.


There is a time-shattering clang (everyone's watch, pda and cellphone stops for like 3 seconds, okay?? i am in charge here) as Future Ric Flair is hit by Markdown's amazing chair attack. yellow-orange chrono-energy pours out of his chair wound. He looks actually hurt, as he faces the accountant-bot. "YOU... HAVE IMPRESSED ME AND MY MAKER, PROFESSOR MONTALBON DOODLOOTOR. HE IS WATCHING YOU THROUGH TIME, WEARING A WOLF MASK AND A JOHN DEERE T-SHIRT. YES, YES. YOU... HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!" F. Ric Flair says, leaping into the air. Somehow, his legs come in contact with Markdown's... and somehow... the ultimate... out of time... it's... it's...

THE FUTURE FIGURE FOUR?!?!


Markdown's arms flail about as he writhes helplessly against the ultimate leg lock. "AAAHHH Primus it hurts!!! Somebody help me!!! Oh, geeze, the agony! AAAAGGGH!!" The poor Hummer isn't going anywhere, it seems!


Someone will help you, Markdown.

Someone will.

Screaming for vengeance like a defender of the faith, ancient space Judas Priest hymns begin to play. The crowd stops stone dead, as they realize what this means. Wearing a Luchamaster mask that makes his face look just like Submarauder, El Mighty Wheelo stands at the top of the ramp. He doesn't say a word, he just points.

Directly.

At.

F.

Ric.

Flair.

Marching toward the ring, he grabs a mic. His voice in the mask sounds like Ed Asner, or maybe Lady Laurence Olivier. "NAITCH, OF ALL YOUR DUMB THINGS, THIS IS THE ONE... THAT MAKES ME CALL 'REMATCH' FOR THE BELT YOU WON!"

The crowd is stunned, until one man begins to sing, a splendid song like 'we are the world' but not stupid and petty like that one. Soon, the entire crowd is singing along too.


Galvatron climbs back up out of the broken announcers' booth, pulls the ski out of his mouth and snaps it in half, growling. "Damn your eyes, Future Rick Flair!"


F. Ric Flair is so stunned that he stops fouring Markdown. He just stands up, a compartment in his stomach opening. A delicious space gatorade comes out, and he drinks it. It pours back into a new gatorade bottle in his stomach. The hatch closes. "DIOS MIOS," says Future Flair "I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE THE DAY." Flair's cape transmutes into a hat, which he puts on his head, only to take off and place against his beating android heart. "LISTEN, I..." his cyber eyes turn red, "NO. THE NATURE DROID SHALL NOT RELENT. YOU. WILL..."

The crowd chants with him. The ones who aren't singing.

"TAP. OOOOUT!!!!"

The stadium is split in half. One side chants, banging primal war drums. The other side sings, playing soulful electric guitar.


Fusillade glances askance at Fury. "So. Which one you want? Tapout or We Are The World?"


Meanwhile, our hero, Rodimus Prime, has crawled over to one of the corner posts of the ring. He grunts and grits his jaws together, grabbing the ski in his optic and yanking it out with a flash of sparks and sizzle of electricity. "Ugh, Primus." He nods his thanks to an orphan who hands him one of his lucky rags, which he ties around his head in a bandana that covers his shattered eye. "I have no idea what's going on," he mutters, pulling himself up to his feet.


Markdown, meanwhile, twitches on the ground, looking in horror at his legs, which have been twisted around and are now pointing upwards in an unnatural way. "Oh, geeze... oh, geeze... What did he do to my legs!? I can't move them!"


El Mighty Wheelo laughs, which is dubbed, because his mask has no actual mouth. He puts his hands on his hips and looks smug, which is also dubbed. "It was only through pinning my title you sapped -- when it comes down to it, Flair, /I'VE NEVER TAPPED/."


"I'm so lost," confesses Fury. "What are they trying to do?"


"Make more orphans," Fusillade theorizes. "We should pick different songs so we can fight over it. Flair or Wheelie?"


Galvatron comes up beside Rodimus Prime. "I'm not certain of what's unfolding before our eyes either, but it seems that Wheelie is the nemesis of Future Rick Flair." He looks on, clearly puzzled.


F. Ric Flairs eyes turn back to nature blue, and he slumps. He sticks out his tongue and withdraws a microchip, which he stamps into the mat. "I... will no longer speak loudly. You, El Mighty Wheelo, you, mangled Markdown Manager, you... Rowdy Roddy Prime, you, Galvatron 'The Dragon' Steamboat... and Fusillade, the woman I love, with her child, the eggsweep, I..." Future Flair looks down at his awesome boots. "I have seen the nobility in your hearts. It is, I, Future Ric Flair, Son of the immortal Professor Montalbon Doodlootor, who must tap out... with this... I..."


Time-vortexes open everywhere. shwooooooosh


"I must retire. You have shown me the error of wrestling, El Mighty Wheelo. You have shown me... that I am... indeed... the leader..."

swaaaashoooswoooosh

"...of the DIRTY MAGNIFICENT NINETEEN."


Markdown is hoping that one of those time-vortexes will sprinkle magic powder on him, returning him to a normal, undamaged state. They don't. "Dammit... my legs..."


Galvatron thrusts out his chin in consternation. "How did he know they used to call me El Serpiente Magnifico?" he asks Rodimus, who probably don't know either.


"Fury!" IT's a metallic screech. "And she's not my designer! She's just my ride!" There's a good deal of righteous indignation in Fury'svoice.


The crowd falls silent again, except for one jerk who just keeps playing the intro to 'Smoke on the Water' and screwing it up.


Pulling off his mask, Wheelie leaves the ring. He throws the mask into the crowd, where it lands on a mostly-purple robot. "I could make a whole suit out of this..." the robot muses.


Wheelie walks over and picks up the Championship Belt -- and then, with his boyish strength, breaks it in half. This actually does spray magic powder everywhere, which fixes Markdown's legs, and causes Fusillade's HEART stat to, if only for a few moments, upgrade two APs that day.

"I am glad you've lost the will to terror... for this belt is over, and now begins a new era."


Rodimus Prime gives Galvatron a glare. "What am I, Future 4-11?" He walks away from the Decepticon leader, focusing on Markdown. He scans over the other Autobots' crippled legs with his one good optic. "Primus, I'm sorry, Markdown, I got carried away in this whole Wrestling Planet thing..." He tears off his mask, readjusting his bandana quickly. "I mean, it's right there in my tech spec -- I can be hotheaded sometimes -- but, that's no excuse." He kneels down, a multitool emerging from his finger and switcihng off Markdown's pain receptors in his legs. "I'll get you fixed up good as new, pal, don't worry." He picks up Markdown and starts walking out of the ring.


Rodimus need not have bothered, as Markdown's legs twist around and set themselves correctly in their proper position, all thunks to Wheele's belt powder(!?). "I... um, it's alright, sir, I probably should've known better than to tangle with that guy." He sighs as he pushes himself back up, and works his legs a bit to test them out. "Freaking oddball planets..."


Fusillade kind of leans away from Fury. Before she gets a chance to more fully explain, MAGIC happens, and she ohs quietly, gazing raptly at the center ring.


All of the vortexes change the expensive stadium beer into Nucleon Lite, and the Teenage Kremzeeks become responsible and start paying their child support. The championship belt becomes butter in the time stream, lubricating the fryers of the future and the broilers of the past. Time is lost, they say, but they are wrong. Time is an egg with wings, an elegant plane that always knows your name and never pulls your ticket.

swooooooooooooooooshaaaaa

kwwaaaaaakhtoooowassshhh

The dust of time paves your road and clutters your computer screens, heroes. Today, Future Ric Flair disappears back into time... where he belongs.


"I'm fairly sure this is not what I paid for," Fury says, in a surprisingly reasonable voice.


"Well you know, you get what you pay for, I'm pretty sure we just... walked in," Fusillade counters.


Wheelie doesn't have a rhyme, or a giggle. He can only watch Flair disappear... and salute the Nature Boy who made Wheelie a Robot Man.

MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO

El Mighty Wheelo, shamed and stripped of his mask, is sullen after the loss of his championship to Future Ric Flair. An interviewer asks him, "Wheelie, is it true that you have already invoked your rematch clause against Future Ric Flair for the title?"

"Yes," Wheelie replies, in Rock Hudson's voice. "And I have also invoked the clause allowing me to choose the venue. Me and you... one on one... in the most dangerous ring ever made. Except there is no ring. There's only us, a planet, and a belt that means more to me than the universe. So I'll see you for our rematch, Flair."

Wheelie points for emphasis. "I'll see you... on /QUINTESSA/."

NOW

Wheelie starts to follow Rodimus and Markdown, ruminating over these events.


Galvatron seems to have been affected by Flair's speech and retirement, as well as Wheelie's magic dust. He stands amazed in reverie, hands open. Slowly he reaches up and pulls off his own wrestling mask, holding it before himself to look at it. "'El Serpiente,' the children would say to me, 'sign my cast, I broke my wrist trying to be like you.' 'El Serpiente, will you come to my birthday party?' 'El Serpiente, when I grow up I want to do what you do.' Have I gone awry?" Galvatron holds up the mask so that the overhead lights shine through its eyeholes, and contemplates it. "I have, I think. I have, perhaps, strayed from the path... forgotten what is truly my most honest, inner self. Neglected to act according to that which is best in me." Galvatron lowers his hand, mask clenched in his fist. "But no longer! From now on I will live as I should! I will be honest with myself and express my ideals clearly!" His cape rustles behind him in a gust of wind that sweeps through the arena in the sudden hush. "I will build... a finer world. With that which has mattered most to me, with that voice that is left to me when speech fails. WITH THIS!" His cannon rematerializes on his arm, blazing gold as it spins up to high power. "DIE, AUTOBOTS! BWA HA HA HA HA!" shouts Galvatron, tossing aside his wrestling accoutrements and swinging the beam of his cannon across the stadium, Autobots and civilians alike with a deafening BWEEEEEEEE-KOW. "BWA HA HA HA! HA HA HA HA HA!"

Galvatron unleashes his A Finer World attack on Rodimus Prime, Moonracer, Wheelie and Markdown, striking Moonracer, Markdown and Wheelie.


Markdown is sent flying by the blast, knocking over the ref who JUST woke up. "AAAAAHHHH!" he screams as his body flies over the ropes and lands hard on the pavement outside.


Wrestling fans flee in all directions like Smurfs, shouting and wailing, some of them on fire and some of them missing important parts. Part of the roof collapses in a screech of steel and a roar of masonry.


"BWA HA HA HA!" adds Galvatron.


"Oh, El Serpiente!" says a young alien who has managed to avoid the sudden widespread destruction, picking up the mask and cradling it in his arms. "You're back!"


Wheelie is blasted all the way to the shuttle. He curls up and has a nap until the Autobots leave.

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