A/N: The story is coming to an end. There's a shocker in the next chapter. What is it? You gotta wait. Meanwhile, enjoy this. I only own the plot and a few Pride names. Enjoy

Stampede and Waspinator were the last two to wake up in the morning. The walked into the control room and joined the rest of the Maximals as Rattrap discussed the battle strategy.

"Ok, this is what we got so far," Rattrap said, "I want Frostbite, Stampede, and Myself drawing the majority of the firepower away from the rest of you. Waspinator will fly around and carry these charges to place on specific areas of the Nemesis. The charges, once detonated, will disable the Nemesis' shields, allowing Blackarachnia to get inside and find Optimus and Cheetor."

"Perhaps I should enter the Nemesis," Silverbolt said, "I am a better tracker and I have a score to settle with Cheetor."

Rattrap rolled his eyes. "How many times do I have to tell you?" he asked, "We're rescuing Optimus AND Cheetor."

"Then why send Blackarachnia into enemy arms instead of me?" Silverbolt asked.

"Because she's good at hiding in the shadows," Rattrap said, "And I believe that Cheetor won't fire on her. You, on the other hand, Cheetor won't have a second thought about blasting."

Silverbolt quietly growled.

"Besides, bird-dog, you gotta join Rhinox in taking out their fusion cannon," Rattrap added, "Now, does everyone know what their job is?"

Everyone nodded, including Silverbolt.

"Good," Rattrap said, "Then let's transform and move out. We got a cat and a monkey to save."

Cheetor stared out of one of the portholes of the Nemesis. He didn't want to be a Predacon, yet he was wearing their insignia. His spark felt heavy with grief. He had made the ultimate betrayal and gave Optimus to the Predacons. He felt a hand touch his shoulder. It was Prowl.

"I know why your sad, Cheetor," she said, "And truth be told, I'm sad, too."

Cheetor said nothing but instead continued staring out the porthole.

"I have a plan," she said, "But you must listen."

Cheetor looked up and stared at her. She leaned into him and began whispering to him. As she finished, the hull of the Nemesis was rocked. Cheetor looked back out and saw the Maximals firing on the Nemesis.

"Looks like we may have to start that plan of yours a little early," Cheetor said as the two of them then ran out of the room.

Silverbolt and Rhinox had begun firing at the hull of the Nemesis. When the auto defenses activated, the two of them took cover as Rattrap, Stampede and Frostbite began circling the Nemesis, drawing the firepower away from Waspinator, who was already making his rounds on the areas of the shields where he'd need to drop the charges. Blackarachnia was preparing herself for stealth when Silverbolt placed his hands on her shoulders.

"Beloved," he said, "Whatever happens, I am sorry for my actions. For I know that I caused all of this."

"You know something, Bowser," Blackarachnia said, "You do have a way with words."

She held onto to him tightly. Waspinator landed and held the remote detonator in his hands. They all watched as each charge exploded, causing a chain reaction that ended with the shields going off-line. Blackarachnia kissed Silverbolt passionately, then turned and crept into the interior of the Nemesis.

"Return to me, beloved," Silverbolt said, watching her transmetal 2 form disappear into the Nemesis.

"She'll be alright," Rhinox said, "We've got our part to do."

Silverbolt nodded and charged into battle with Rhinox, focusing his attack on the fusion cannon.

Meanwhile, Rattrap, Stampede, and Frostbite were still circling the Nemesis, each time changing their pattern so the auto-defenses couldn't get a definitive lock. Out of the corner of his eye, Frostbite could see the main hatch opening and could see the Predacons making their attack. Frostbite stopped where he was, transformed, and began firing at the Predacons. Waspinator saw the Predacons and joined Rattrap, Frostbite, and Stampede. Rattrap saw the Pride exit the Nemesis, one by one, to join the battle. All except for Cheetor and Prowl. A spark of hope ignited that maybe Cheetor hasn't turned Pred.

Cheetor and Prowl crept through the dark hallways. This was their chance for redemption. As they crept towards Optimus Primal's holding cell, they heard another set of footsteps in the dark. Prowl drew her weapon, but Cheetor held her by the arm.

"Don't worry," he said, "She's a friend."

Blackarachnia emerged from the shadows. "Where's Optimus?" she asked.

Cheetor motioned for her to follow them.

Megatron, who was watching not only the battle, but the trio of Primal's rescuers as well from the command deck, grew furious at the sight of Cheetor's betrayal. He knew Cheetor couldn't be trusted.

"Once a Maximal," he said to himself, "Always a Maximal."

He would let them rescue Optimus and make it out of the Nemesis, and then he would destroy them all with the fusion cannon. He sat in his command chair, smiling evilly.