- Bishop is an Autobot pundit.
The first broadcasts of Around Cybertron were bumpy ones, as Bishop and Spearhead dealt with recalcitrant technology.
Bishop escaped the destruction of the Baird Broadcasting Transmitter in 2017 and opened up a new broadcasting studio in Iacon, and started a new news commentary program, The Bishop Brief. He later helped defend Iacon against an assault by Trypticon. In May of 2017 he scored an exclusive interview with Megatron. Soon after he took part in a successful strike against the Decepticon planetary engines under the ruins of Kalis.
- February 27 - "Good News for Cybertron" - A mysterious pulse has positive effects on Cybertron.
- March 1 - "It's... the Bishop!" - Bishop escapes the destruction of Kalis.
Mar 10 - "Bishop Brief"
Bishop appears on a makeshift soundstage, with a rickety set of ‘furniture’ of a desk and two chairs made from crates pushed together and hastily welded in place by someone who clearly did not know how to weld very well. The light is diffused in an eerie halo of soft white light and dust. Against the back wall behind the ‘stage’ the words The Bishop Brief had been hastily spray painted in blue…so hastily in fact that some of the paint ran down the wall in tiny streams.
After a millisecond pause, Bishop says, “Hello, good evening, and thank you! And welcome to The Bishop Brief! It’s a working title…” There's an audible chuckle offstage. Undaunted, Bishop continues. “I’m Bishop…for those of you who had actually been watching Around Cybertron…but for those of you who haven’t, I’m the blue journalist who hides in your bushes and reads your mail when you’re not looking…or for my human viewers…I’m the genie from Aladdin.”
Offstage, there's a sour groan. “Really, Bishop?” Bishop shoots the cameramech a sour glance, and then continues.
“Well, some of you are probably aware that Cybertron is now more than half a billion kilometers closer to the red giant sun Citctus, and for the first time in memory Cybertronians can now enjoy the sunshine…so now when Megatron wants to threaten to throw an Autobot into the sun he can do it himself from the roof of Tarn. Or maybe just have a couple of his seekers do it for him…I hear his throwing arm isn’t so good these days though after his smack down with Optimus Prime. If only he’d had bigger hands he could have blocked Prime’s punches more effectively? I don’t know…”
“And now the big story for Cybertron is the new Golden Age in which…in addition to sunglasses now being a thing again…there is power coming into the planetary grid through solar collectors around the planet. It’s not enough to return every city to full power, but it’s enough for the Decepticons to turn on the lights long enough to see who it is that has a gun to their backs, whether it’s a lowly minion bucking for a promotion or just Starscream trying to take over but not really trying to take over…again. I guess it’s just the Deception way of protesting low wages and hostile work environment?”
Bishop continues, “But what a Golden Age for Cybertron really means is when all Cybertronians, whether Autobot, Decepticon, or independent, has a voice in the direction our planet is taking…and not just the one aimed at Citctus. I mean when all of Cybertron can share equally in the benefits and responsibilities of what lies ahead for our people.”
Bishop pauses and then leans forward to address the camera more intimately. “Which is why I’m extending an invitation to any Cybertronian or human, whatever their faction...to come onto this show…the Bishop Brief…(still a working title)…and tell viewers their own story from their own perspective. Or if they want to be interviewed via a remote uplink, that’s fine too…we fired our cleaning staff a week ago and look at the mess! But seriously…no threats…no faction pumping…just real stories from real people. Because that’s where the news is…it’s being made by all of you watching right now, every minute of every day. Don’t you deserve to be heard too?”
Bishop looked around, waiting a moment before simply saying, “Uh…and that’s our show for now. Goodnight! And good luck.”
March 21 - "Assault on Iacon"
Trypticon launches an assault on Iacon.
March 21 - "Epilogue: The Death of Zetar"
Bishop makes friends.
March 23 - "Bishop Brief #2"
Bishop sits at his desk in his makeshift studio, which has been updated recently with a two video screens mounted on the wall behind his desk, surrounded by an audience of empty makeshift chairs, appearing to be lost in thought at he stares down into his hands lying flat on his desk.
Spearhead hovered over his mark in front of the desk, Bishop in full frame. “Ahem?”
Bishop does not respond, and continues to stare at his hands on the empty desk.
He looks up. “Hmmm?”
Impatiently, “You’re on…like you have been for the last two minutes.”
Startled, Bishop turned to face the camerabot, rapidly shifting into his ‘pundit’ persona.
“Hello, good day, and good evening Cybertron! And welcome to the Bishop Brief! Today I’d like to talk first about the recent attack on Iacon when Trypticon broke through the meteor that fell outside of the city.”
Bishop presses a button on a remote in the palm of his hand, and a still image of the meteor in the center of the charred crater appears on the left screen. “Apparently Trypticon was unable to take a regular flight back to Cybertron because he didn’t want to pay the extra checked bag fee for all of his rage,” A photoshopped picture of Trypticon appears on the right screen of him standing at the Delta ticket counter arguing with a human ticket agent, “because it was too big for carry on.”
The picture on the left screen changes to one of Trypticon painted red and holding a pitcher of Kool-Aid while bursting through the meteor. “So, taking a cue from another comically oversized mascot,” the image on the right screen changes to one of the 1950’s movie version of Godzilla, which is clearly an actor in a rubber suit, awkwardly trying to knock down a scale model city of Tokyo, “Trypticon tried to destroy Iacon...but failed.” The image on the left transforms into a blooper photo of the same Godzilla having fallen on his back and splayed ridiculously across several smashed models.
“Actually folks, it wasn’t just physics that “tripped the con,” it was the efforts of a group of brave warriors who helped defend the city.” The image on the left of Godzilla on his back now has photoshopped images of Mothra, Rodan, Anguirus, Hedorah, and Biollante with the heads of Elita One, Dust Devil, Encore, Bumblebee, and Lodestone superimposed onto them respectively, all standing around the fallen Godzilla.
Bishop’s demeanor becomes more serious as both screens draw into black before displaying a picture of Zetar on the left screen and the red Autobot sigil on the right. As Spearhead zooms in for a close up, Bishop’s facial injuries are apparent; his nose is slightly askew and bandaged in silver medical tape, his forehead is slightly dented, and his right optic is slightly dimmed and cracked.
“But now I want to talk about one heroic Autobot who died defending both Iacon and his fellow Autobots. His name was Zetar…something this journalist learned…recently. Zetar was always willing to help a friend, so I’ve come to understand, and never shied away from danger. His sacrifice will not be forgotten.” Bishop pauses.
The screens both fade to black before the right screen displays a picture of Megatron and on the left a big red question mark.
“But what will Megatron do now that his “Ultimate Weapon of Revenge” is now in the hands of the Autobots? File a petition at city hall? Take up knitting? We here at Iacon are all waiting to find out. And that’s my show for tonight, folks! Good night and good luck!”
<The credits roll, but are very brief as only two names appear in succession, Bishop and Spearhead, and the date of March 23, 2017>
May 3 - "The Return of Zetar"
Zetar returns, to Bishop's surprise and disbelief.
May 3 - "Bishop Interview"
Bishop interviews Megatron in Triax.
May 5 - "Bishop Brief #3"
Bishop sits at his desk, his studio looking somewhat worse for wear in the background as there has apparently been some flooding from leaky pipes beneath the walls somewhere in the studio which has caused the ceiling to drip from several places and the posters to peel from the walls, sagging halfway down into damp, soggy rolls. A large metal bucket sits on his desk, catching drippings from the ceiling above, as in fact do several buckets placed around the studio, their collective drops causing something of an arrhythmic cacophony of dripping water. Spearhead buzzes overhead in his camera drone mode, wirelessly sending signals to the other two camera drones as he fulfils his roles as producer, stage manager, *and* lead camera.
Bishop sighs as he looks at the state of his studio. “Is this really what I’m reduced to?” Looking at the datapad in his hands, he waits for Spearhead’s signal.
Spearhead hovers to his mark on the studio floor, the red light on top of his housing flashing from red to green. “You’re on, Boss.”
Bishop’s transformation into character is virtually instantaneous, taking only as long as looking up from his datapad. “Hello, Cybertron! And welcome to The Bishop Brief.”
He stands up from his desk and walks towards the camera, kicking over one of the buckets on the floor in the process, which falls over and spills its contents with an audibly wet ‘clang!’ However, Bishop, well-practiced in overlooking the obvious, powers through the faux paux and continues as if nothing has happened.
“Yesterday, in an apparent victory for Cybertron’s universal health care system, the Autobots saw the return of the reportedly deceased Zetar. However, since ‘death’ would seem to qualify as a ‘pre-existing condition,’ the question remains as to how much he’s going to have to pay out of pocket for his seemingly *miraculous* recovery.”
Spearhead snickers. “Do you think they’ll ask Zetar to testify before the American Congress as a successful example of Obamacare or the case for repealing it?”
Bishop chuckles as he presses a button on his datapad, which activates the two monitors on the wall behind the stage which are miraculously still functional despite the excessive moisture. On the monitor on the left, a paused video of Zetar appears.
“Zetar...or rather The Walking Screwdriver...had this to say when questioned about his apparent resurrection.” Video footage of Zetar and Dust Devil begins to play on the screen, recorded somewhere on the Iacon Plain outside of the great city.
“Apparently you broadcast a eulogy of me when I died? That was very nice of you, and I appreciate it,” Zetar says cheerfully, but clearly with some confusion and distress. “I'm not sure we've met properly before I got crushed. I'm Zetar! Technically I'm a Multi-function Specialist, but usually I just dig holes in the ground. My life isn't usually as exciting as it's been lately."
The video pauses.
“Apparently digging graves was NOT one of his multi-function specialties,” Bishop snickers, “But neither was ducking, so let’s move on to a commercial break. We'll be right back."
The scene fades to black.
The screen opens with a fast paced montage of shots of Bishop, Spearhead, and Leroy2 in newsrooms, writing stories, interviewing subjects from numerous species around the galaxy, as the shots multiply into dozens and then hundreds of smaller scenes. As the scenes grow smaller and smaller, they merge into large red on a white background while dramatic yet frenetically paced electronic music plays: Introducing the new Box News Network: Fair and Balanced News in One Container! The words fade and are replaced by the large logo for the newly created network, which spins in the center of the screen, and looks like a plain white box with a white circle around it. A deep, resonant voice overlay says, "This is BOX."
The screen fades to black before opening again to another scene, this one beginning with a bird's eye shot over a dreary landscape bereft of life, the wind blowing bits of dust as it howls forlornly across the plain. As the shot pans across the landscape, two Cybertronians, an Autobot and a Decepticon, come into focus. As the camera zooms in, it becomes clear that they are locked in a high-action martial arts fight sequence last several seconds, in which one, then the other, seems briefly to have the upper hand. As the Decepticon finally gets the Autobot in a headlock and dramatically draws out an energy dagger from a panel in his forearm to deliver the final blow, there is a pause as a loud crash and the sound of thousands of footsteps is heard from off screen. As the camera pans to the right, thousands of Sharkticons flood the plain and begin to rush towards the Autobot and Decepticon, who look at each other in a moment of comical relief, and then begin to run.
As the Cybertronians attempt to flee from the rampaging horde of Sharkticons, which have been steadily gaining on them, the Autobot takes out a box of Energex *Extra Spicy* Energon crisps, and begins to slow down. The Decepticon seems incredulous at first that the Autobot has stopped running, but hoping that he has a plan, slows down as well and draws his weapon as the Sharkticons begin to surround them. The Autobot takes out a single crisp and holding the round and slightly glowing morsel up to allow the camera to zoom in on it in briefly his hand, he puts it in his mouth and crunches on it loudly, which causes the Sharkticons to stop cold and watch as he takes another from the box, which he then eats slowly and crunches loudly. After eating two more crisps in this manner, the Autobot reaches to take another from the box only to find it is empty. He gives the box a few shakes. Looking at the empty box, and then the Decepticon, the Autobot then suddenly shoves the empty box into the Decepticon's arms before making a daring, ninja-like escape through and over the growing crowd of approaching Sharkticons, who are too surprised and too slow to react, and leaving the Decepticon holding the empty box. The camera zooms in on the Decepticon, who clings to the empty box as his expression goes from apprehensive to scared as the Sharkticons completely surround him, right before cutting dramatically to a black screen with the words written in white letters across it, "Got Snacks?"
The screen fades to black.
The scene opens once again with Bishop standing on the stage in front of two video screens. On the right is the title card of The Bishop Brief program, while on the left a video showing a close-up of Zetar is paused, with his name in quotation marks, "Zetar" superimposed over the bottom.
Bishop says, "Welcome back, folks. For those of you just joining us, we are talking about the latest Cybertronian Health Care system and whether or not there should be universal coverage even for pre-existing conditions such as hydraulic tension, pump failure, or in Zetar's case, death and dismemberment."
Spearhead groans but Bishop continues, "The Decepticons want to replace it with a simplified approach in which everyone is covered equally under the 'Fight or Die' plan, which is pretty self-explanatory. But look on the bright side! There's no long-term premiums and no one will ever go broke paying for it!"
Bishop steps to the other side of the left screen. "But here we are again with Zetar, who seems to have inexplicably resurfaced after suspecting from suffering from death...which is either a miraculous recovery or a tax-dodge gone horribly, horribly wrong."
The video cuts to a close up of Zetar, who says excitedly, "One moment I'm being crushed, and the next I'm alive again -- thanks to Dust Devil, Spike, and Typhoon. They brought me to Vector Sigma, and he patched me back up again! Apparently I had some of his energy from when I touched him, and it kept me suspended 'til I could be brought back."
The video again pauses, and as he twirls his hand sarcastically in the air, Bishop mimics Zetar's voice to sound like a child's, "And with the wave of his magical wand, Vector Sigma, who knows when you've been bad or good, brought me back to life."
Spearhead interjects. "Well, we know what you're getting in *your* stocking this year, Bishop."
Bishop chuckles. "Hey, it's all fine and well what anyone wants to believe about life and death and that Great Bus Stop in the Sky," he chuckles, "But really? A magical being imparts some energy and *POOF*" and adding the affected flourish of a campy mad scientist, "HE LIVES AGAIN!"
Spearhead responds, less jokingly now. "I don't know what to believe, Bishop. There could be more out there than you realize."
"And there could be a magical force that surrounds us, protects us, and binds us all together...but it's not bloody likely," Bishop replies. "In response, his companion and primary resuscitator, Dust Demon, had this to say:" The video continues at a different point in the recording and from a completely different angle now focused on Dust Devil. "I'm out makin news. Sometimes it ain't the best story?"
The video pauses.
"You're absolutely right about that, Dust Demon...maybe make a better news story next time that has a little less fantasy and a little more reality? Or throw in some space ninjas or a zombie invasion to spice up your, "Bishop pauses to make air quotes, "..."news story"?"
The video plays again, still focused on Dust Devil, "But Hey, if you don't want ta report the news, I'll see if one of Blaster's tapes are interested. I know that too much factual material is dangerous fer you reporter types."
The video stops.
Bishop laughs, "Yes...we reporter types fear factual material...it's why we do things like NOT reporting on magical resurrections but instead report on things *actually* happening...like the Decepticon siege, the annexation of North America by COBRA, and that kitten that was stuck up a tree in Des Moines, Iowa." The second video screen shows a photoshopped image of a surprised kitten up a tree with Dust Devil standing below it and looked worried as a fireman climbs a latter leaning against the tree.
"I'm not saying that Zetar isn't himself...I mean, just take it from him..."
The video restarts, once again focused on Zetar, "This derpy expression is mine. This is real news, although really, it's no big deal."
The video ends.
Bishop laughs. "Enough said."
Both video screens fade to black and then cut to title screens of The Bishop Brief in blue letters over a spinning BNN (Box News Network) logo.
"And with that I end tonight's show. Tune in later on for a special report on Megatron: Mad or Just Really Grumpy? Good night folks!"
May 05 - "The Bishop Brief Special Report"
A black title screen with The Bishop Report: Special Reports in big blue letters printed across it over a spinning BNN logo opens the broadcast, overlaid by a deep, resonant voice which says, "This is BNN. And now, a special report."
The title screen fades and the scene reopens with an establishing shot of Bishop standing awkwardly erect, almost as if at "full attention" in the military parlance, in the dilapidated shell of a very old recording studio, the soundproofing on the walls crumbling and the recording equipment either long gone or covered so long under eons of dust as to be entirely unrecognizable. The camera angle is unusual for Bishop, who usually prefers to be in full frame himself, but neither is he possessed of his usual brashness, and his trepidation as he looks away from the camera is almost palpable.
The camera zooms out and pans to the right slowly, revealing Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons, sitting across from the reporter.
"Well, well," Megatron says methodically, his smile welcoming but his red optics glinting with malice. "The famous Bishop."
Megatron slowly rises to his full height as the camera drone struggles to maintain keeping both Cybertronians in frame, looking even larger and more powerful from up close. "I've been looking forward to our little chat," Megatron says with a smirk. He gestures to the ancient remains of a soundstage. "Please -- set up what you like here in the studio. As promised, we are alone."
Bathed in the light filtering down from cracks in the ceiling that illuminates motes of dust on the way down to tiger-stripe the fierce warrior with patterned radiance, Megatron hardly seems less threatening seated than standing as his cannon clings casually to his right arm, as if little more than a large, deadly decoration.
Bishop sits down across from the powerful Decepticon, affecting a casual position by crossing one leg over his knee as the camera drone hovers behind him. "This is all I'll need, if that's okay? Now, Lord Megatron....uh....sorry, do you mind if I do a promo lead here real quick? It won't take but a tic.."
"Of course," Megatron says sweepingly, settling back down again across from Bishop and giving him another cold-optic smile. "I appreciate you meeting with me," he says in his unmistakable rasping voice, a slightly mocking smirk touching the corner of his mouth. "Just tell me what you need."
The camerabot turns to face both Bishop and Megatron, getting them both into frame for a selfie shot of the two. Bishop turns to face the camera and in his most practiced 'newsman of the people' voice says, "And now, in an exclusive interview with this reporter, I have with me Lord Megatron, High Commander of the Decepticon forces!"
The camerabot hovers back, allowing a full shot of both Cybertronians into frame, and extends a mini boom mic.
Turning towards Megatron, Bishop says, "Now...Lord Megatron. What I need is for you to tell me...tell all of Cybertron...why it was that you chose to push our planet several hundred thousand kilometers closer to the sun? But to start, maybe you could tell us a little more about your personal philosophy. What do you foresee for Cybertron? For the Decepticons?"
The screen pauses and a brief, dramatic musical interlude plays before fading out to black.
The scene opens once again with Bishop sitting across from Megatron in an undisclosed location somewhere on Cybertron, continuing where the report left off.
Instead of answering Bishop's questions, Megatron turns to the camerabot. "Welcome, people of Cybertron!" Megatron thunders. "It pleases me to address you in this manner. Unfiltered by Autobot propaganda -- directly to the public." Megatron gives another smirking smile, and turns towards Bishop. "I've agreed to give this personal interview because I have a last message to deliver to the Autobots and the citizens of Cybertron, and I want all to hear it and hear it well."
Bishop is not surprised by Megatron's lack of cooperation, but having interviewed hot-heated dictators before, Bishop remains calm...though perhaps somewhat regretting not having changed into his brown battle pants this morning. "I'm not Autobot propaganda...I'm the fair and honest news. So, whatever you have to say Lord Megatron, our audience is listening. We're on live."
"Excellent," Megatron rasps, smiling like a shark. "My message may come as a surprise to some. For almost thirty stellar cycles, Optimus Prime and I have battled for Earth, which some of your viewers may know is a pathetic water planet orbiting an unremarkable yellow star. Lives have been lost on both sides, and aside from some minor victories, the Decepticons were never able to secure more than a foothold. Well, tonight I have come here to admit Prime has won -- the Decepticons will never take Earth." For some reason Megatron looks pleased with himself even as making this pronouncement.
Bishop stares incredulously, momentarily at a loss for words. "Uh...I'm sorry Lord Megatron, my audio receptors must have glitched...did you say...Optimus Prime...has won?"
Megatron leans back in his seat, giving Bishop the full benefit of his shark-like dead-optic smile. "Yes. For a time, I thought I could add Earth to the Decepticon Empire. Bring them civilization, peace, prosperity, security -- end their interminable wars and needless suffering. But Optimus Prime would never allow it -- preferring they live in the murderous chaos that they call 'freedom.' It's sad, really. We could have offered them so much."
The camera drone zooms in on Megatron's face, his red optics shining like menacing beacons of maleficence.
Bishop nods, taking everything in. "And what would the citizens of Earth have gained from being a part of the Decepticon Empire? How would they know peace under the leadership of a hitherto...and tell me I'm wrong...aggressive faction?"
Megatron leans forward again, fixing his gaze not on Bishop, but on the camera as he answers. "Freedom is an illusion. Choice is crippling. When life lacks structure, everything is fodder. What I offer is peace through tyranny. One voice, speaking for all of the people. One arm, protecting all. No more governmental gridlock. No more wars for ever-vanishing resources. Citizens of the Decepticon Empire know their place, and exalt in the privilege of bringing civilization and security to all of the galaxy."
Bishop leans back in disbelief. "But what if the 'common good' isn't good for everyone? I can try to see your point of view on the certainty of a unified purpose and leadership. But if there is no freedom to protect, then what is there for the individual to fight for? Do all members of the Decepticon Empire enjoy equal privileges and rewards? Tell us, Lord Megatron, is that even a choice Earth would have had or would you have simply annexed the planet if the Autobots had not opposed you?"
Megatron chuckles darkly, and shrugs. "Well, I guess now we'll never know. Optimus Prime prevented the people of Earth from joining our Empire. It's a shame, really. They would have benefitted from our stewardship and protection. All who served faithfully would have been rewarded, human and Cybertronian alike."
The screen pauses and a brief, dramatic musical interlude plays before fading out to black.
The scene opens with a black screen with the spinning BNN logo in the center of it, and a deep, resonant voice overlay, "And now, the conclusion of this special report from BNN," before opening to Bishop sitting across from Megatron in an undisclosed location somewhere on Cybertron.
Megatron pauses, before continuing, "Now, however, I realize that as long as the Autobots occupy Earth, it will never truly be mine. So, if Optimus Prime doesn't agree to leave Earth immediately with all of his forces, I'll be forced to kill every living being on Earth." He smiles for the camera. "For their own good, really."
Bishop nods, wondering if Megatron is indeed mad. "I doubt that killing everyone on Earth will do much to raise your approval rating there. How will the mass genocide of an entire species be to their benefit?"
The camera drone fixes on Megatron, the lights bouncing off the gleaming armor of a truly lethal predator.
Megatron leans back once more. "Well, ideally, Optimus Prime will make the right choice and abdicate Earth to the Decepticon Empire. Either way, however, the war for Earth is over. It will be mine, or it will be dust. We no longer need its energy, so there is no need to maintain a workforce on Earth to extract its resources. Tell Optimus Prime to think over his response carefully - 7 billion lives hinge on his response." Megatron suddenly stands, effectively ending the interview.
Bishop stands as well, as if protocol still demanded it.
"Uh..well...Lord Megatron...thank you for your time. Any last words for the citizens of Earth?"
Megatron leans forward, once again affixing his dark gaze directly into the camera. "Implore the Autobots to leave your world, humans, before it is too late. Accept the benevolent dictatorship offered by the Decepticons -- or choose death. Those are your only options." He turns to Bishop, towering over him, and his entire body tenses dangerously. However, instead of attacking, Megatron leaps into the air, crashing through the studio ceiling. As shards of steel rain down, Megatron flies off, taking his security entourage with him.
Bishop shields his optics from falling debris as he watches Megatron and his retinue fly away. He turns back to face the camera drone. "Well...there you have it, viewers. This reporter feels a little bit bad for the people of Earth, but a *whole lot* lucky he wasn't obliterated during this interview! I'm sure you will all agree...it was a tense time for all of us. Signing off for now, this is Bishop saying Good night, and good luck!"
The screen fades to a brief sequence of rolling credits, most of which are under the name Bishop, Spearhead, and occasionally Leroy 2. After the end of the credits, the spinning logo of the Box News Network fills the screen with a sentence written in tiny letters beneath it: A subsidiary of the Robontso Corporation.
- Bishop transforms into an "Expedition Coupe", though in his younger days he called it a "Quad-Exhaust, Turbo-Charged Hyper-Cruiser".
- Bishop is Rook's mentor. Feel free to groan at the pun.
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