To Destroy the Evil Forces of the Roman Empire

..after a terrific battle; the crudely wrought but formidable Astrotrain, whose galling but self-assured swagger enlightened the boldness of his automated brethren even as it tested the fidelity of his quondam ally Blitzwing, frustrated the more graceful tactics, worried the time-tested drill, and enervated the resolve of the Autobot advance guard, whose discipline and experience was worth to the task of meeting their foe but not sufficient to drive them to victory against the unexpected and troublesome excursions of these bold new Decepticons; nor could the fortune-favored boldness of the Autobot general Rodimus, at the command of the Quintesson legions who at the time were renowned to the remotest posts of empire for their strength of arms as well as their guile, long withhold the inevitable command to retreat against a foe not corrupted by the dire matrices which had softened the will and weakened the pneumatic limb-pumps of even the most doughty of his men; thus, the embrace of a once-martial technology provided the weapon that great Megatron could not — a lack of self-reliance and a crippling addiction to the fineries of distant laboratories exacerbated itself among the most feckless bastions of the robotic centurions, and their skill in combat became contingent upon their satiety at the electroatomic teat which at once enriched and imprisoned them; and commonly seen throughout the regions, even into the heart of territories previously thought impregnable, were such frivolities previously associated with indulgent and grandeed empires of the east as transforming into hang-gliders, affiliating one’s outer casing with the names and marks of commerce of local merchants, and rampant fornication with such local compact automobiles as could be found at shopping plazas and promenades; and even the high counselor Perceptor, once thought to be the wisest of viziers and a reliable bringer of certitude and assurance, was often found to be immersed in forty-weight imported from the farthest-flung norther reaches of the empire; eventually forced by circumstance into the admission of his council’s debility to the task at hand, the adamant Optimus Prime gathered them to his breast, detailed his strategies, and demanded a vocal assertation of allegiance, and soon a force of some three dozen of the most fell Autobots was readied for deployment, their strength bolstered by a baker’s dozen Gobots, a handful of Robotech Masters, and a small company of Shogun Warrior mercenaries; but the cunning Astrotrain, ever daring in his reliance on instinct to take the day, drew up a team of scouts, heavily armed and taking the form of harmless Scandinavian cars known for their practicality and high safety ratings, and bid them enter into the festivities of the upcoming Feast of Champions, held around this time each year and celebrating the birth of the famed inventor of the spark plug, and commanded them at the height of the festival to pillage and destroy at their whim, so breaking up the materiels and instruments of war that no offensive could be mounted; so instructed, the scouts carried out their orders with alacrity and elan, waiting until a tin effigy of the First Plug, which had been filled with savories and set alight before being hoist high above the camps, reached its bursting point and exploded, spilling its delectable contents at the great iron feet of the Autobot soldiers, to unleash a fury of destruction: the camps were besieged by the enemy at the height of the confusion, and while casualties were few, the cost of arms and equipment lost in the fray is impossible to calculate, particularly when the account of the battle has gone on at such great length, giving the present author little space to perform such economical and mathematical calculation; and so it was that when Bumblebee brought tidings of the ill fortune to the emperor at his villa at Lower Cyberlia, so staggered was the aged ruler to hear it that he asked for a moment of silence to honor the many batteries, fenders and small missiles lost in the raid; and when the moment was nearly up, Octane, who had previously incurred the wrath of his leige by insolently, if ignorantly, inquiring as to the precise nature and duration of a moment, broke the silence when one of his diodes, which had been lost to a laser attack from the long-dead but nonetheless spoken of in fearful whisper Decepticon warrior Scorponok at the Battle of Radon Hill, chose an inopportune moment to burn out and sputter away its life; such a disrespectful display was interpreted by Optimus as an ill omen against the hasty prosecution of the war against the barbarian usurper, and he ordered all units to stand down until he had had such time as to think further on his plans; thus he ordered his trusted advisors from his chamber, all save Wheelie, from his chambers while he contemplated this new turn of affairs in an acid bath; upon his…

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