The fortress and the prison are hit, the Autobots have been taken by surprise, and Megatron's free! Can things get any worse? And more importantly, can the Autobots do anything about it?

To you dear readers, I present part 3! Featuring Warpath, Sky-Byte and others! Oh, and more from Team Athenia!

Invasion - Part 3.0

Central command hub, inside Elite Guard Headquarters, Fortress Maximus.

Sentinel Prime knew the Decepticons were disabling their primary cannon, the one he had once ordered to be fired upon Omega Supreme. He knew because he had seen a Decepticon trio, purple and grey with green chests, remarkably similar-looking to one another, and a mysterious dark grey female Decepticon with a half-masked face that moved like a cyber-ninja, in the vid screen before the image had been cut. He had seen the Decepticon trio combine into a tank mode and fire a photon canon at the fortress' primary cannon. And the female Decepticon that moved with the skill of a cyber-ninja had sliced at the camera with a three-pronged handheld weapon just before the video transmission had been cut. Sentinel also knew that a commando group of Decepticons were approaching the fortress because Powerglide, Autobot pilot extraordinaire, currently flying outside the fortress, had reported a sighting of them via a broken commlink transmission.

Sentinel Prime was in a bad situation. And worst of all, he wasn't quite sure what to do.

"Sentinel Prime, sir, communications are down and the Decepticons are tearing the fortress apart! What are your orders?" Cliffjumper prompted from his work station.

If Sentinel Prime could have sweated, he would have been dripping. "The cannon! We need to fire the cannon!"

"The cannon's non-responsive, sir," Jazz reported. "The 'Cons've cut it off."

Slag. But Sentinel didn't say it out loud.

"Well, what about all the automated defences?" he blasted.

"They can't get a good fix, sir," Pyro gloomily informed. "The 'Cons have got in too close to us and they're just blasting them down one by one."

Double slag.

"How did they sneak up on us like this?" Sentinel demanded.

"Sir, Depth Charge's TransTech reinforcements and the Guard bots outside need assist," Jazz quickly informed. "Hang tight. I know where to find it."

Jazz left his station and transformed into vehicle mode, driving speedily out of the command centre.

"Where do you think you're going, Jazz?" Sentinel shouted furiously after him. "Get back here! That's an order!"

But Jazz was already gone.


Outside Trypticon Prison.

"BAM! Bring those 'Cons down!"

Warpath, a veteran of the Great War, found himself now in a situation that he didn't expect to find himself in again: fighting Decepticons on Cybertron. It was like the Great War had never truly ended. He fired a long shot from the canon turret built into his chest at a Decepticon flier passing overhead. The Decepticon flier, a dark blue jet with olive green wings, or more specifically Dirge, manoeuvred narrowly away from Warpath's canon shot, just missing it.

Elsewhere on the ground, Bulkhead and Bumblebee had arrived at Trypticon and entered into the fight as well. As they sped along the battlefield in vehicle modes, they were joined by Rodimus and his team in vehicle modes too.

"Bulkhead and Bumblebee, right?" Rodimus called as he drove up beside Bulkhead. "Optimus Prime's bots?"

Ironhide, Brawn, Hot Shot and Red Alert formed a semi-circular flanking formation behind Bumblebee and Bulkhead.

"Yeah, that's us," Bulkhead shouted back. "And you are?"

"Rodimus Prime. Perhaps me and my team might be of assistance?"

"Can't say no to that," Bulkhead replied.

Beside Bumblebee, Ironhide appeared. Bumblebee jumped a little in his car mode.

"Er, hey Ironhide," he said nervously. "Heh, fancy meeting you again in the middle of a warzone."

"Save it, Bumbler," Ironhide snapped. "Ah don't like yer much, but unlike you, ah don't let down mah comrades."

This stung Bumblebee more than a little, but he said nothing.

"Now wait just a cycle," Bulkhead said, coming at once to Bumblebee's defence, "you weren't exactly a good bot back at boot camp either, Ironhide. If I remember correctly, you used to bully me and Bumblebee too..."

"That ain't the point, Mudfla- I mean, Bulkhead," Ironhide protested.

"Oh? Well then what is?" Bulkhead demanded.

"Guys, I don't know what this is all about," Red Alert interrupted, "but don't you think we have bigger problems right now with Decepticons trying to break into Trypticon and blow us all to the Well of Allsparks?"

"Incoming!" Hot Shot suddenly shouted.

Bulkhead, Bumblebee and Rodimus' team swerved apart as a pair of Decepticons fliers, Dreadwind and Darkwing, came in low and strafed them with machine gun fire.

"Run, pathetic Autobots!" one of the fliers boomed.

It was as the pair flew up and prepared for another pass at the seven Autobots that they themselves were targeted...by Optimus Prime.

He appeared from the skies above the Decepticon pair, taking them by surprise, airborne thanks to his Powermaster upgrade. Through his yellow-tinted visor, his targeting systems locked onto them and he fired his shoulder canons. His shots were accurate, hitting both the 'Cons on their roofs. They took off, realising their attacker had the upper hand from above them.

Several Autobots on the ground looked up to see the winged Optimus Prime soaring toward the Decepticons. Amazement seemed to follow in his wake. Bulkhead, Bumblebee and Rodimus and his team transformed to bot modes.

"Whoah! Is that Optimus Prime?" Hot Shot exclaimed, pointing upward. "He's flying!"

Rodimus was speechless for a moment, but then he gathered himself. "He's not so hot," Rodimus said in an unimpressed manner. But even the young, flame-painted Autobot captain could not completely hide the awe in his optics.

"Nice timing, boss-bot!" Bulkhead commented over his commlink. "And lookin' good in Wheeljack's suit!"

"Stay sharp, Bulkhead," Optimus warned as another Decepticon flier flew into his path.

The Decepticon transformed into bot mode before Optimus. He was a large, brutish-looking, yellow-faced Decepticon, blue and white and sharing a similar body type to Lugnut. His mouth contained jagged, shark-like teeth.

"Beware! By fear and flight, Decepticons strike with thunderous might!" the large, shark-toothed Decepticon declared.

Optimus, now hovering in the air, raised an optic ridge quizzically. "Was that a...rhyme?"

"A haiku actually," the large Decepticon corrected.

Optimus Prime inclined his head to one side slightly. "I didn't think the Decepticons could be poetic."

"Yes, well, I must admit there aren't many like me. And I don't receive much appreciation for my poetry." The large, shark-toothed Decepticon seemed glum as he said this.

"That's...too bad," Optimus said semi-sympathetically. "Y'know Autobots might enjoy listening to you more."

The large Decepticon lit up suddenly. "You really think so?"

Optimus had to wonder if this Decepticon was for real. "Oh, absolutely."

"Sky-Byte! What are you doing down there?" a voice demanded in the large Decepticon's commlink.

"Er, General Obsidian!" Sky-Byte responded in a startled manner. "I was just..."

"You've got Optimus Prime in your sights!" Obsidian barked. "Stop fooling around and take him down!"

"Yes, General Obsidian, sir! Of course! Right away!" Sky-Byte returned his attention to Optimus Prime. "I'm very sorry, Optimus Prime, but I'm afraid I must destroy you now."

Sky-Byte opened his giant pincer hands and lunged at Optimus.

To be continued.