A/N: This is it. The last chapter. Everyone read and review. Don't like the ending? Sorry, but it had to happen this way for the next story to start. By the way, this is the first in the trilogy of stories that will lead to another set of stories about the New Great War….enjoy. I only own Pride names and plot.
Cheetor, Prowl, and Blackarachnia entered Optimus' holding cell. They cut him loose and helped him out of the room. Blackarachnia had a sick feeling. This was too easy. Cheetor and Prowl felt it, too. But all the same, they needed to evacuate Optimus. If he had any energy left to fight, they'd need it against the Predacons and the Pride. Cheetor and Prowl had exited the Nemesis when Leo had caught sight of them.
"Cheetor! Prowl!" he screamed, "Quickly, we shall crush these Maximals once and for all."
He began to say more, but was cut off by the appearance of Blackarachnia and Optimus Primal. Leo's face grew angrier.
"Traitors!" he shouted.
Cheetor and Prowl drew their weapons and began firing on the Predacons, eventually making their way to the Maximal side of the fight. Blackarachnia carried Optimus behind the fighting lines so he could rest. Silverbolt focused his attention on Blackarachnia and almost didn't notice Cheetor standing beside him, firing at the Predacons.
"This does not change all has been done," he said, "You and I still have a score we need to settle."
"It's gonna have to wait, Silverbolt," Cheetor replied, "We got bigger problems now. Focus your attack on the heavier hitters while I go for the faster blasters."
Silverbolt nodded and the two continued firing. It was then that they noticed the fusion cannon igniting, preparing to fire.
"Silverbolt," Cheetor said, "Round up Rattrap, Stampede, and Rhinox and get them behind the lines. I'll get the others to safety. We'll meet back at the base."
Silverbolt nodded and the two separated. Cheetor ran into Rhinox, who had run out of ammunition and was taking cover.
"Rhinox," Cheetor said, "Get Frostbite and Waspinator back to the base. Fall back now!"
Rhinox took off and shouted at Frostbite and Waspinator, who transformed and followed Rhinox.
"Prowl," Cheetor said, "I want you to follow them. You'll be safe. I'll be right behind you."
Prowl shook her head no.
"Do it," Cheetor said, "That's an order."
Prowl kissed Cheetor softly, then reluctantly transformed and caught up to Rhinox. Cheetor peeked over his shoulder to see Inferno, Dinobot, Quickstrike, Snarl and Leo fall back to the Nemesis. Cheetor hopped up to join Silverbolt when he was tackled by Darkstripe and Fang. The two were in beast mode and held him down, attempting to bite off Cheetor's head. It was then that Cheetor saw the fusion cannon of the Nemesis aimed at him.
Silverbolt had gotten everyone to safety when he saw Cheetor being held down in the path of the Nemesis' fusion cannon. He took off in Cheetor's direction, despite the shoutings of everyone else. Silverbolt leapt at Darkstripe and tackled him, allowing Cheetor room to struggle free. Cheetor had gotten to his feet when the fusion cannon fired, sending a beam of energy hurling towards the four of them.
The initial blast threw Cheetor back. As he struggled to his feet, he saw Darkstripe and Fang explode. He smirked. Those two deserved to be destroyed. Cheetor looked around to find Silverbolt only to find him on the ground, motionless and severely damaged. Cheetor rushed to him and helped him sit up. Blackarachnia followed, trailed by Optimus, Rattrap, and Stampede.
"Silverbolt," she said, half-shouting, "Rhinox is there anything we can do?"
Rhinox shook his head. "I'm afraid, with his wounds, he's too far gone," he said, "Even for stasis lock."
Silverbolt wearily opened his eyes. "Do not mourn," he said, "I sacrificed myself to correct my mistakes. I will die with honor."
Cheetor bowed his head. "Silverbolt," he said, "I know we haven't always gotten along, but--"
Silverbolt cut him off. "You need not apologize," he said, "It is I who should apologize. I have done nothing but doubt you and your abilities. You are, without a doubt, a far better field general than I. Let this be our settling peace."
Silverbolt struggled a bit and raised his hand. Cheetor shook it and the two exchanged a silence. Silverbolt looked over and saw Blackarachnia sobbing.
"Beloved," he said, taking her hand in his, "Do not weep for me. My love is strong enough to transcend this world and the Matrix. My spark and my essence will always be with you. I love you, Blackarachnia."
He shuddered a bit, and then shut down. All were in tears as Silverbolt's chestplate opened up and his spark came floating out and into the depths of space, where it would join the Matrix.
Back to the base, Cheetor broke the news off Silverbolt's death. Blackarachnia, finally being hit with the reality of what happened, rushed to her quarters crying. Everyone bowed their head in silence.
"The recycling ceremony will commence tomorrow morning," Optimus said, "Tonight, say a prayer for his spark."
Everyone left, except for Optimus, Rattrap, Rhinox, and Cheetor. Cheetor was still upset with Silverbolt's death.
"There had to have been more I could do," he said.
"There was nothing more you could've done," Optimus said.
"So, pussycat," Rattrap said, "Did you learn anything new from this experience?"
"Yeah," Cheetor said somberly, "That no matter what I do, what choices I make, I can't change who I am and who I'm destined to be."
Optimus smiled and nodded.
"It's good to have you back," Rhinox said.
Cheetor smiled and left for his quarters. Prowl would be waiting for him. Rattrap stretched and yawned.
"Well," he said, "Back to scanner duty."
With that, he left and took his seat at the scanners.
"It seems our young cat has grown up," Rhinox said.
"I'm glad," Optimus replied, "We're gonna need him. If the prophecy is true, we're gonna need him."