"We're going to do what?" Swindle facepalmed. "Seriously? How the frag is this going to help?"

Onslaught scowled behind his battlemask. "We have our orders. I expect you to carry them out."

"Ons, our orders are stupid."

Onslaught forced his fists to unclench. "That is entirely beside the point, Swindle. We have our orders. You will take them seriously." He was perhaps even less happy about the plan than his subordinates, but arguing with Megatron was unwise when they were on good terms with the Decepticon leader, which they certainly were not.

"It's a giant purple griffin. How the frag can I take that seriously?"

"Try," he growled. "Vortex, stop laughing."

"I can't," the helicopter managed, before doubling up, giggling hysterically again. "I love this plan!"

Swindle stared at his snickering teammate, then back at Onslaught. "Yeah, tried. Failed again. Giant. Purple. Griffin."

"Uh..." Brawl raised a hand.

He was going to regret this. "Yes, Brawl?"

"Whazza griffin? Some sorta cannon? Fortification?"

Onslaught resisted the urge to facepalm. "No."

"See, it's this Earth thingy," Vortex said, slinging an arm over Brawl's shoulders, rotors quivering. "Organic thingamajig. It flies around."

"And shoots things?"

"Nope," Vortex answered cheerfully.

"... Recycles stuff into energon?"


"Uh... transforms into somethin' that shoots stuff?"

"It doesn't do anything," Swindle growled. "It's a stupid mythological beast-" he sighed. "It's made up, Brawl. By humans. It doesn't do anything."

Vortex cracked up again. "That's why it's so perfect! It doesn't do anything! See, it's this thingy that's like two squishies welded together, and it's perfect and useless!"

"Oh." Brawl still looked confused. "So why are we buildin' one? Why not just go weld two squishies together?"

Onslaught's engine growled. "We have our orders."

"Stupid orders," Swindle muttered. "Hey, why don't we ever just hold a city hostage?"

"Oh, that would be fun! Can we do that? Please?" Vortex wheedled. "Please please please?"

"It'd work better than this. 'Hey, humans! Give us energon or Onslaught blows up London. From here.' And if they want a demonstration, you nail part of New Jersey. No one likes Jersey anyway, so it's not useful as a hostage. We could keep it up for ages." Swindle grinned at Vortex.

"Get a rotatin' schedule goin'. Or we could make a wheel and spin it to see who we're threatenin' today," Vortex added, gleeful.

"What part of 'We have our orders' do you insubordinate glitches not understand?"

"The part where our orders make no sense." Swindle paused. "This is punishment, isn't it? I swear, try to kill a mech once-"

"Just shut the frag up and do it," Onslaught snarled.

Swindle held up his hands placating. "Hey, I'm just sayin'. C'mon, Tex, let's go find some... parts." He snickered. "Griffin parts."

"Right behind you, Stumps," Vortex said cheerfully, bobbing a rotor at Onslaught as he passed. "This is goin' to be great!"

Onslaught turned an irate glare towards his other two subordinates. "Do you two have a problem with our orders?" His tone said very clearly that having any problems would be immediately detrimental to their health.

Blast Off shrugged.

Brawl looked confused. "What are our orders?"

Onslaught commended himself on the amount of restraint he showed in not strangling the tank. "Just go with Blast Off, do what he says."

"Oh. Okay. Why didn't you say that in the first place?"

He would not kill his team. Megatron wouldn't approve of the loss of Bruticus. He would not kill his team...