On the Nemesis, one of the screens began flashing. Soundwave leaned forward.
“Lord Megatron, we’re picking up multiple contacts.”
“Where?” Megatron demanded.
“Just launched from the Ark. Fast attack craft, closing on us.”
“Bring up the visuals,” Megatron said.
“At once.” The images of Silverbolt, Air Raid, Slingshot, Skydive, and Fireflight came into crisp focus on the targeting scanner. The Autobot fighters were flying fast in close formation. Starscream snorted in disgust.
“A suicide mission,” he said. “Seeking to delay us from getting into tractor-beam range.”
“Destroy them,” Megatron said. Some of the guns of the Nemesis switched from the Ark to the incoming targets, but the five Autobots zigged and zagged, weaving past the bolts of energy that seared past them as they soared in toward the Nemesis. As they closed in—
“We should commence evasive action,” Starscream said. “Target them all with all our guns.”
“All they can do is strafe,” Megatron scoffed. “We’ll laugh off their spitballs. Stay on the Ark. We almost have them.”
“Five seconds to tractor-beam range,” Soundwave confirmed.
The Aerialbots dodged past the last wave of gunnery, roaring above the top decks of the Nemesis, heading in toward the bridge.
“Do your worst,” Megatron said with a sneer.
The Aerialbots did.
Instead of opening fire, they closed on one another, simultaneously shifting into alt-mode and using their forward momentum to merge abruptly, creating a single colossal silver-and-red jet trooper that proceeded to land on top of the Nemesis, wielding the largest electrostatic rifle any of the Decepticons had ever seen.
Starscream’s eyes practically bugged out of his head. “What in the name of Unicron is that?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Megatron screamed. “Concentrate all fire!”
But it was too late.
“I AM SUPERION!” yelled the giant combiner robot as it fired a bolt of energy at the Nemesis’s bridge, scoring a direct hit. For a moment the entire bridge was filled with lightning; electrical feedback flashed through the Nemesis like wildfire, blowing out consoles all over the ship. Soundwave and Starscream were hurled back into the far wall. Only Megatron remained on his feet.
“Get that scrap heap off my warship!” he yelled as he shook off the bridge’s wreckage. “NOW!”
His soldiers were already on it. All over the Nemesis hatches opened; Decepticons poured out to face the behemoth astride their spacecraft, buzzing around Superion like angry bees while the Nemesis’s batteries opened up at point-blank range, sending missiles, lasers, and superheated plasma streaking toward Superion. Multiple hits and explosions knocked the massive rifle from his hands, but he just reached down, digging his mighty fists deep into the Nemesis’s hull, tearing off a huge piece of plated armor and using it as a shield to ward off the incoming fire. Then he strode straight toward the bridge, right at the Decepticon leader, his booming voice lost in the vacuum but vibrating through the hull of the ship.
“PREPARE TO BE DESTROYED, MEGATRON!”