"Prepare For War..."

by Nate Z

            Things have come full circle. Once again the Ark has crashed into the Earth. Again, the intent was to destroy all of the Decepticons onboard.

            Once again that intent has failed and one of the Decepticons lives.

            But so do I.

            I, Fortress Maximus, one of the most powerful Autobots ever created, still function. I can stop the monster, stop the carnage he is creating. Stop the war before it begins anew and save the people of this planet.

            But I don't want to.

            "Prepare for war, but strive for peace."

            That has always been my motto, the words which I live by.

            But I'm so very tired. No matter how hard I strive, the war continues. I just want to lie here in the Ark, resting, collecting dust. Nothing would please me more than if my massive armaments were never fired again.

            Spike is approaching. I can feel it. He thinks I'm calling to him, and perhaps on some level I am. In reality though, I wish he'd turn and leave, go as far away as possible. Through our bond, I can sense his reluctance. I hear him go on that it isn't his fight. Not his war. And he's right. But I know he will come, will join with me again.

            But what about me?

            I've fought long and hard. I deserve rest. I deserve to...run away....

            I did run once, didn't I?

            Ran from Cybertron and the constant battles with the Decepticons, to Nebulos, a true paradise among the cosmos.

            Until Scorponok and his Decepticons found us. Found me.

            I brought war into Eden, and the Nebulon people paid the price. One of the most noble beings I ever knew lost his life for my sins...

            Things really have come full circle, haven't they? In my own selfish quest for peace and rest, I again risk the lives of countless innocents.

            Can I let it happen again?

            "Blast you," Spike yells, "TALK TO ME!"

            ~A great menace is loose on your world, Spike,~ I reply. ~If what we both fear is true, you may be the only one who can stop it!~

            ~Use your power, Spike. Make us truly one again.~

            Yes, Spike it really is up to you. But not because of the Binary Bonding process.

            Because I'm too scared to face war again alone.


Whoever says all of Bob Budiansky's TF works sucked can kiss my skidplate. True, this story is based on a Simon Furman work, but Simon was writing about a character that Bob had created. Comic Fort Max is one of the greatest TF characters ever, and he was that way because of how Bob wrote him. Simon was just building on what was already there.