Samantha was in her “Tuesday image”, as she called it, an orange version of the outfit she wore last night. She was looking at what Powell said about her accepting help from his company, not true at all, and was swiping at the air with her claws as she yowled in anger. The police were holding her back. Prowl, in robot mode, looked on with his arms folded. “You know, given what happened to me, I don’t think I would hold her back,” he remarked.
“Why not?” asked the Chief, a female, Mobian, Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake called Michelle.
“Because someone mistook me for their Prowler this morning!” growled Prowl. “I was doing a patrol with Walter and a family was moving the TV they bought towards my trunk, mistaking me for their car. ‘Sweetie,’ asked the husband, ‘are you sure the TV can fit?’”
“‘Of course, darling!’ assured the wife. ‘It’s a Prowler!’”
“‘No, it’s Prowl!’ shouted Walter. ‘Do you not see the siren lights on top?!’”
“‘Or the Autobot symbol on my hood?!’ I continued. At that point, the crook ran off with sacks of rings and we went in pursuit. He was driving a Prowler as well. ‘Oh, for the love of…DOES ANYONE ELSE THINK THESE CARS ARE A BAD IDEA?!’ I shouted.”
“‘They look gaudy as Hell!’ agreed Walter. ‘Powell DEFINITELY had a hand in this!’ We managed to stop the crook as the car rolled over at a slight turn.”
“‘And poorly constructed,’ I observed as I extracted the crook from the car. ‘No way would Mrs. Urbana allow such a car on the road if she KNEW the condition.’”
“‘Sadly, she had no knowledge on what kind of crap her brother pulled on her,’ remarked Walter. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if it exploded.’ No sooner had he said that, the car exploded! ‘I WAS KIDDING!’ he shouted.”
“The Prowler 500 is a literal bomb?!” wailed Samantha.
“And I got the investigator’s report,” continued Prowl. “Apparently, the fuel tank is placed so far in the front, it would cause an explosion on impact.”
“Powell will just dress it up as saying that it was Operator’s Error,” sighed Samantha. “He’ll never admit a mistake if it exposes him.” At that point, the TV started showing Powell.
“My name is Porter C. Powell,” he announced, “and I admit that I’ve made a mistake. I’ve let my sister make too ordinary of a car. That’s why I want YOU to ‘Pimp the Prowler!’”
“That’s never gonna sound right, no matter HOW you dress it,” gagged Michelle.
“I’m calling all customizers, car wrappers, and cash craving creatives,” continued Powell, “to design the freshest, the funkiest, and the freakiest Prowler 500 on the road!”
“Who uses those words in a commercial?!” snapped Samantha.
“It looks like the event is on Thursday,” mused Prowl. “Mrs. Urbana, how much is it for a paintjob? I think I have an idea on how to get your brother. He’s ignored 29 summons from the Police.”
“…You’re planning on causing an upset for him, aren’t you?” realized Samantha as she grinned. “If that’s the case, and if your superiors are okay with it, it’s on the house.”
“I’m fine with it,” replied Michelle.
“I’ll just check with Optimus and Ultra Magnus,” declared Prowl.
The day came, and Powell looked at all the Prowlers that were competing. “I think we have our winner,” guessed Powell. He passed by another Prowler in a sky blue color with stars littering the body.
“You just HAVE to check out the interior,” replied a Mobian in a beard and hoodie.
“Don’t mind if I do,” assured Powell. He came into the passenger’s seat as the mystery Mobian went behind him. “I really don’t see what’s…” the door shut automatically. Another mystery Mobian, the driver, then hit the gas and they sped off. The way the driver took the turns made the wheels leave the ground briefly. “WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO, KILL ME?!” screamed Powell. “DON’T YOU KNOW THESE THINGS ROLL OVER ON A TURN AT TWENTY MILES PER HOUR!?” The car then stopped, hard, in front of a wall. “I DEMAND you let me out!” ordered Powell. “The designs my agents snuck past Samantha make them unsafe at ANY speed! They explode on impact! They’re nothing but energy-guzzling death traps!”
“Once more for the public,” called the mystery Mobian as its voice changed. It was a voice Powell was VERY familiar with. He turned around to see the hood being pulled back and the false beard coming off of Samantha Urbana’s face. Her rose was green, as was her outfit underneath her disguise.
“Samantha?!” gulped Powell. He then relaxed. “Well, nothing a little scrubbing can’t handle. Let’s see…kidnapping…”
“Don’t bother!” replied the driver as he shimmered and shifted into Prowl’s holo-form. “Take a look under my rear-view mirror.” Powell then saw a lens underneath, a broad view lens. Samantha then pointed to the billboard on the Main Plaza Tower. It was showing what was going on in Prowl’s interior!
“YOU DIDN’T…! YOU…!” spluttered Powell. “How long?! How long has that been filming?!”
“The instant we rolled into the ‘Pimp the Prowler’ event,” explained Prowl.
“From what the Chief said,” continued Samantha, “you’ve ignored 29 summons from the police during the public outcry against you!”
“Thus,” finished Prowl as he activated Powell’s seat belt and made the warrant come out of the glove box, “you’re being placed under arrest for Public Endangerment, Corporate Sabotage, and threats of retaliation! You have the right to remain…!”
“I’m familiar with the Miranda Rights, thank you!” dismissed Powell. “I want my lawyer!”
“Somehow, I thought you’d say that,” remarked Prowl.
“Mark me, though, Prowl,” hissed Powell, “I’ll be walking out of this! They can’t make charges stick on Porter C. Powell!”
Powell was wrong. After the trial, it was determined that Powell Motorworks would fund the recall of the Prowler 500. Powell, himself, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Prowler 500 was taken off the market and Powell Motorworks was crippled. They could still operate, but they were no longer the motor vehicle juggernaut they once were, that title was given to Urbana Industries. Samantha DID cover her end by issuing an apology to her clientele. She felt that, by letting Powell’s agents get into HER company, she let her customers down. The overwhelming support she got had insured her company’s future. They didn’t blame her in the slightest. Back at base, Prowl was watching the press conference on the main monitor. “By the Covenant, it’s good to be back in my usual colors,” he sighed as he looked over his paint-job.
“What I can’t understand,” muttered Ultra Magnus, “is why you would WANT to go around in that gaudy paint-job!”
“It was needed to bring Powell to justice,” assured Prowl. “What I wanted was irrelevant, sir.”
“Hey, bots!” called Optimus’ voice. He came running up holding a disc in his hands. “Bee and I found this old diary!” said Optimus. “He thinks it was made in the 1980’s!” Prowl’s optics widened as his door-wings went up.
“Er, Prime,” gulped Prowl. “You may want to give that to me! It’s a historical artefact! It could be delicate!”
“What’s this I hear about an old war diary?” asked Jazz’s voice. He and Sonic then came into view. “Let’s see!”
“Guys, NO!” shouted Prowl. Too late. Optimus switched the diary on and saw 80’s Prowl! He once transformed into a police issue Datsun 280ZX Turbo. 80’s Prowl had leg warmers and a sweatband on as he was doing aerobics with 80’s exercise music playing in the background. As Optimus, Sonic, and Jazz laughed, Ultra Magnus gave a look of stark confusion.
“Prowl!” Optimus managed to get out. “Is that you?! Are you…waving your leg for help!?”
“Prime, that’s my diary!” snapped Prowl, going red with embarrassment. “Exercise videos were very popular in the 80’s! I thought I’d make one for Cybertronians!”
“Most undignified,” observed Ultra Magnus, “but that DOES amuse me!”
“Optimus, give me that,” hissed Prowl as Optimus kept it in the air. “Seriously, gimme!”
“Catch me if you can!” taunted Optimus as he ran down the hall.
“You should know better than to say that to Prowl!” called Jazz. “He’s a cop!”
“Don’t make me chase you!” sighed Prowl. He then rolled his optics, then ran down the hall in pursuit.
“OH SCRAP! ARE YOU WEARING CLEATS?!” squawked Optimus. The chase was on! Sonic, Jazz, and Ultra Magnus started laughing.
“He won’t change in some respects, will he?” chuckled Sonic.
“No, I don’t suppose he…” an alarm cut Jazz off. “The External Perimeter alarm!” he yelped. Optimus and Prowl stopped the chase and returned to the Command center.
“That doesn’t make sense,” remarked Optimus as he handed Prowl’s diary back to him. “All Autobots are inside.”
“It’s not an Autobot outside the base,” explained Teletraan. “Take a look.” He showed what was going on outside the base. Blackarachnia was walking towards them holding her hand to her side. It was a slow walk.
“That’s bold of her,” observed Optimus. “Jazz, Prowl, Ultra Magnus, with me. Let’s see what she wants. Teletraan, keep the defenses on standby.” They strode out to meet Blackarachnia as the base defenses trained themselves on her. “This is rather bold of you,” called Optimus. “I thought you’d be a little sneakier.” Blackarachnia said nothing, just walking forward. “No quips? No snark? No speech about how the Autobots failed Cybertron? No images from your Chrono-knife showing suffering Decepticons?” Still nothing. It was then that Optimus noticed how she was walking. “Are…you limping?” he quizzed.
“Retirement…9-2-1-8…black!” she gasped. Optimus then saw pink spatters around the hand that was holding her side. He ran forward and caught her as she fell. Upon closer inspection, he saw that she had torn metal under the hand. “Retirement…9-2-1-8…black!” she repeated.
“She’s wounded!” shouted Optimus. “Help me get her inside!” The other Autobots helped Optimus pick her up and they carried her inside to Med-bay. Ratchet got her stabilized and started fixing the stab wound. “Did she tear into her metal?” asked Optimus.
“Judging by the way it was punctured,” explained Ratchet, “I’d say this is a stab wound.”
“And most self-stabbings aren’t so clean,” supplied Prowl. “This was done by someone else.”
“Teletraan, look through ALL the files relating to the code 9-2-1-8 black,” directed Optimus.
“I found one official file,” reported Teletraan. “It’s supposed to be a verification code for the Obsidian Order of Star Trek: Deep Space 9.”
“Any unofficial files?” asked Optimus.
“It’s a restricted access file,” explained Teletraan. “I can’t get through.”
“Clearance Code: Prime Omega,” announced Optimus.
“Access granted,” reported Teletraan. “It appears to be a Spy-Changer’s retirement code.”
“Retirement code?” asked Ratchet.
“When a Spy-Changer has to leave the service, like in times of age or if their position is compromised,” explained Optimus, “the Spy-Changer can use their retirement code to get out of deep cover and return to normal life. Teletraan, can you find out whose retirement code that is?”
“Working on it now,” replied Teletraan. “…Uh oh.”
“Uh oh?” repeated Optimus.
“That’s the retirement code for Elita-1,” elaborated Teletraan, “working under the alias of Blackarachnia!” All eyes turned to Blackarachnia.
“That’s…my girlfriend?!” yelped Optimus.