Author's Note: This fanfic was inspired by a drawing here at DeviantART, as well as a conversation with another artist/Skyfire fan. The plot bunny sank its fangs into my leg not long after, and it will not let go.
This fanfic is a one-shot, not really a part of my fanfiction series, written purely for enjoyment.
Disclaimers: I do not own the Transformers. I'm only borrowing them, and will turn them loose when I'm finished.
A Day At The Rodeo
Skyfire sighed contentedly to himself, indulging in a stretch of frame and wings before settling again. He had been attending a scientific convention on the United States' east coast, much to the quiet jealousy of Perceptor, who had also been vying for a place there. It had been quite an enjoyable experience.
Once the convention had come to an end, the white Valkyrie had been preparing to take to the air again when he had been surprised by the arrival of an even larger mech, Sky Lynx. The other mech had been overseas on a mission of his own, and had decided to drop in and offer Skyfire a lift back to Autobot City. Skyfire had politely declined, preferring to fly under his own power.
Not riding inside the bigger mech also made it easier to put up with Sky Lynx's ego.
The two had been flying together for an hour or so, Skyfire listening with a quarter of an audio to Sky Lynx's tales of his exploits (with heavy emphasis on his own magnificence, talent, and skill), when his sensors began pinging for attention. Startled out of his thoughts, he refocused his attention on his sensors, quickly realizing what had gotten his attention. It was a distress call from somewhere south of them, in Texas. There was a Decepticon causing trouble.
"Are you reading that?" he asked his companion, interrupting Sky Lynx's current monologue.
"Of course I'm reading that," the bigger mech retorted, turning his birdlike head to give the smaller Valkyrie a look. "I merely chose not to mention it."
"We should check it out... We're the closest Autobots in range." Skyfire banked in that direction, kicking on his afterburners and streaking across the sky. Behind him, Sky Lynx huffed, tucked in his front legs, stretched out his neck, and took off after him.
It wasn't long before they were close enough for their sensors to pick up a lone Decepticon signature, though, oddly, it was away from any of the large centers of population. Confused, Skyfire ran a quick search, tapping into the world wide web and quickly discovering that there was a major rodeo in progress at that location. Thousands of humans were in attendance. Due to the nature of the event in progress the area was mostly open space, with precious little cover for so many people. And now there was a Decepticon running loose among the people. Just one, but even that was one too many.
Descending through the clouds, Skyfire got his first look at the area, quickly spotting the errant Decepticon. He quickly recognized it as Tantrum, one of the Predacons, noted for his vile temper and constant need to destroy things.
"Decepticon sighted!" There was anticipation in Sky Lynx's voice and the way his front paws flexed on air. Skyfire could almost hear the big mech's weapons powering up.
"We can't just go in shooting!" the scientist protested. "There are too many humans and nowhere for them to take cover!"
"And just what do you suggest we do, then?" Sky Lynx's head swung around to glare at him.
Skyfire was silent for a long moment, staring ahead toward the rampaging Decepticon bull. Was there any way to bring down that Decepticon without causing excessive amounts of damage or injury?
His sensors swept over the rodeo grounds, desperate for any ideas. When he caught sight of what was going on in the largest arena, he had to pause. Humans mounted on equines were chasing down and tying up creatures that looked a great deal like Tantrum's bull mode. Skyfire quickly looked up what they were doing. Bull-roping, according to the internet and the rodeo schedule.
Wait a minute...
The scientist cast a speculative look on his companion. Sky Lynx had four legs. Skyfire looked from him to the rodeo grounds and back again. And then the proverbial light bulb went off over his helm.
"I think I have an idea," he informed Sky Lynx.
"Oh, really." The other mech's yellow gaze regarded him for a moment. "Do tell."
"Do you have any heavy-duty cable in your cargo space?" Skyfire asked instead.
There was a moment of silence as the larger Autobot checked. "Yes, I have a fresh load to be delivered to the city. Why?"
Had he been in robot form, Skyfire would have been grinning wickedly. Chuckling silently to himself, he outlined exactly what he had in mind.
Sky Lynx threw back his head, flaring out his wings so suddenly he almost stalled, staring at his smaller comrade incredulously. "You want me to what?!"
"It's the only option I can see!" Skyfire transformed, using his powerful thrusters to hover in front of the bigger shuttle.
"No, no, absolutely not! It's humiliating and demeaning and..."
"Will give you a chance to show the humans just how skilled and agile you are," Skyfire interrupted coaxingly, counting on Sky Lynx's vanity to convince him to go along with it. "They'll all be admiring you and want your autograph later."
Sky Lynx was silent for a moment, wavering between his pride and his desire to be admired. Finally, he heaved a long-suffering sigh and relented. "Fine. But you owe me a buffing and waxing when we get back to headquarters."
The scientist's wings relaxed. "Deal."
The crowd of spectators in the main arena had been totally oblivious to what was going on outside. All their attention was on the cowboy and the bull in the arena, their cheers drowning out the screaming from outside. The loudspeakers had been announcing the scores when the main doors suddenly burst inward, an enormous red and orange metal bull charging into the ring. The bull was sporting clear Decepticon insignias. Its red optics glowed brightly as it charged through the shattered doors, smoke blasting from its nostrils.
For a moment there was shocked silence as the spectators struggled to figure out what was going on. Then, just before panic started to set in, something huge and white leaped over the side of the arena, a whoop echoing in the startled silence as the white thing landed behind the Decepticon.
The white thing was a huge robot bearing red Autobot insignias. It looked like a space shuttle that had sprouted legs, with a dinosaur-like tail and a long neck. On its back was a smaller mech, sitting just forward of the folded bird-wings, holding onto his mount's neck with one hand, legs wedged behind the front legs. In his other hand the smaller mech held a long coil of cable.
Skyfire winced at the jarring landing, holding onto Sky Lynx's neck to keep from falling off. The bigger shuttle was in fine form, keeping his gaze on the Decepticon as Tantrum spun to face them, glaring at them murderously. One hoof pawed at the ground, tearing furrows in the dirt and striking sparks off the concrete underneath. Not looking away from the Decepticon, Skyfire unlooped the cable he held in his other hand, revealing it as a lasso, like the ones the human cowboys had been using only made of steel cable.
A mutter of surprise ran through the crowd. All eyes were on the action.
Tantrum let out a bellow of rage and charged. Sky Lynx leaped out of the way, spinning around on one hind paw as Skyfire threw the lasso. The loop settled around the enraged Predacon's neck and pulled tight. Skyfire quickly secured the other end of the cable to Sky Lynx's armor, the bigger mech's greater mass easily able to withstand even a yank by Tantrum. Digging in all four feet, Sky Lynx threw back his head, pulling the cable taut. Tantrum bellowed again as he was yanked around, his rear end swinging around wildly as his front end suddenly stopped moving. Before he could throw off the disorientation the smaller of the two Autobots launched himself off Sky Lynx's back, slamming into the Decepticon's side and bowling him over. As fast as he could, Skyfire pinned Tantrum down by planting one massive knee on the bull's head, pulling out another length of cable and grabbing for the furiously kicking legs. As soon as all four legs were tied together, the scientist opened a panel on Tantrum's neck, yanking out a wire and sending Tantrum into immediate stasis. The red and orange bull went limp under him.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Skyfire got to his feet, dusting off his hands. A moment later he almost jumped right out of his armor as the crowd erupted with applause and wild cheering. The startled scientist's head whipped around to stare for a moment before he regained his composure. The humans were on their feet, cheering and waving, some younger humans actually jumping up and down. All of the human cowboys had come out of the back to watch, and all of them had joined in the cheering. One of them climbed up the rail to speak to the group of humans who had to be the judges.
White armor and wings ruffled as Skyfire regained his composure. He waved back to the crowd, then turned and walked back to Sky Lynx, who was very visibly preening and posing as hundreds of camera flashes went off all around them. Hopping back onto Sky Lynx's back, Skyfire tugged on an armor plate, grabbing the cable still around Tantrum's neck. "If you're quite ready..."
Sky Lynx made a harrumphing sound, spinning as neatly and gracefully as he could. With Skyfire holding up the cable so it wouldn't catch on his wings, Sky Lynx arched his neck proudly, raised his tail, and pranced showily out of the arena, dragging the stasis-locked Tantrum after him.
Silverbolt gritted his dentas grimly as he led the Aerialbots in a fast descent. Autobot City had received the distress call, but most of the other Autobots had been busy dealing with another Decepticon raiding party. Only now were the Aerialbots, the only Autobots fast enough to respond to the call and have any hope of keeping casualties to a minimum, free to respond. But the Decepticon had been running rampant for Primus only knew how long. The casulaties were sure to be high already.
The five fliers descended below the clouds, settling into an attack formation. Silverbolt's sensors swept the rodeo grounds, looking for the Decepticon. When he saw what was going on down below, he almost stalled his engines and dropped out of the sky from sheer surprise.
There was a Decepticon, alright. Tantrum's red and orange armor was very visible and his outline immediately recognizeable. He was also out cold, clearly in stasis, with all four legs tied together with heavy-duty steel cables.
Sky Lynx was on the ground next to the tied-up Decepticon, hind legs folded under his massive body, front legs stretched out in front of him like a Terran cat at rest, head up and preening like the galaxy's biggest peacock. Skyfire was sitting cross-legged on the ground next to him, leaning against Sky Lynx's front leg. There was a crowd of chattering humans around them. As the stunned Aerialbots watched, the scientist leaned down to very delicately sign an autograph for a young human.
"What in the name of Primus happened here?" Air Raid demanded as soon as his feet were on the ground.
"Sky Lynx and I were on our way back when we caught the distress call," Skyfire answered, looking up. "We were the closest Autobots, so we answered it. Going in with guns blazing was entirely too risky, so we had to improvise."
"'Improvise,'" Silverbolt repeated.
"As the humans say, 'when in Rome...'" Skyfire twitched his wings.
Silverbolt looked from Skyfire to Sky Lynx and finally to Tantrum, noting the tied-up legs and finally spotting the lasso still securing the bull to the largest Autobot. "When at a rodeo, go along with it, huh."
"Indeed." Skyfire rubbed the back of his helm, smiling a bit sheepishly, very carefully picking up a very small (compared to him) award and showing it to the five gawking fliers. "We weren't expecting to win the bull-roping competition, though."
The Aerialbots just stared at him for a long moment. "No one is ever going to believe this."
"Of course they will." Sky Lynx somehow managed to raise his head even higher. "There are pictures and videos and it's all over the human internet."
"Incredible." Silverbolt shook his helm at both of them. "Well, let's get that 'Con loaded and head back to base. There are a lot of mechs who're going to want to hear about this."