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A slightly less pacifistic Fortress Maximus (seriously, he repeatedly threatened to kill his prisoners or otherwise 'strip them down to their spark cores') was the warden in charge of Garrus 9, an Autobot-run penitentiary where both Autobot and Decepticon prisoners were kept in containment. As the ultimate imprisonment, each inmate was reduced down to their spark and laser core alone, held inanimate in a storage center known as "The Rig" until such a time as Fort Max deemed to rebuild and release them, if ever.
Fortress Maximus was one of many Autobots across the galaxy who watched a news report heralding the miraculous return of Blaster.
After Optimus Prime encountered the Monstructor combiners on Omega Supreme's asteroid bunker, he sent them to Garrus 9 with Jetfire and the Technobots, hoping the science team could help the six recover from Jhiaxus's experimentations. Fortress Maximus was dubious of the possible results, but allowed Jetfire and his team to run their tests at Garrus 9. Things changed for the worse, however, once word of the gestalt technology got out, and agents of the Decepticon Secret Service came to claim the remarkable new tech for themselves. Faced with an incredible amount of orbital bombardment and ground warfare, Fortress Maximus and his defensive crew were at serious risk of being overrun.
In order to maintain control of his base, Max reactivated the only Autobot inmate classified as Threat Level-9: Arcee. Knowing Arcee had strong feelings about Jhiaxus and his work from personal experience, Fortress Maximus felt confident she would do anything to prevent the Decepticons from laying claim to the "Monstructor Six". In case he was wrong, though, Fort Max made it clear to Arcee she was lowjacked with synchronized G-forces that would crush her spark if she stepped out of line. Despite Arcee's help, the Combaticons still managed to make off with the gestalt robots. Despite his better judgment, Fortress Maximus allowed Jetfire to convince him that Arcee was the best available to track and intercept the Secret Service ships and retrieve or destroy the gestalt robots.
When Optimus Prime and Prowl met with Fortress Maximus and Jetfire on Garrus-9 to discuss the prisoners' breakout, also mentioned was that a surviving Decepticon had been tortured. Maximus and Jetfire exchanged guilty glances. Prime left Maximus in charge and returned with Prowl and Jetfire to the Ark-32.
Fortress Maximus joined Hound's attack team on Earth towards the end of Dead Universe incident, battling Grindcore and Straxus for the space bridge located there. While Sideswipe distracted the two lieutenants of Nemesis Prime, Fortress Maximus passed through the space bridge for the moon of Rotan with Warpath. By some means they got passed Monstructor and successfully disabled the Negacore there, sending it to the Benzuli Expanse for diffusion.
Shortly after this, once back in command of his prison, Megatron launched his galaxy wide conquest of Autobot positions. Garrus-9 got targeted by the Predators special forces led oh so briefly by Skyquake, that is until Overlord swooped in and 'promoted' him. One of the new Overlord's first actions was, of course, to lord it over the newly freed Decepticons and defeated Autobots, especially a well beaten Fortress Maximus, throwing him to the mercies of his former prisoners.
Maximus did survive in some form, albiet a horribly mangled form. Badly mutilated his brain was hooked directly into a high security door to act as an electronic lock pick. Perceptor, TwinTwist, Ironfist and Pyro found him in a completely comatose state and attempted to rescue him.
Fortress Maximus was the only being pulled alive from Garrus 9, though according to Ultra Magnus he appears to be on critical life support. So unless someone thinks up some sort of Spike Initiative to help replace his cranial damage he probably won't be too active for a while. Hmmmm....
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At a certain point, Fortress Maximus is a patient at the Delphi Medical Facility in a coma. First Aid manages to jar him out of it when the station was visited by Ratchet, Pipes, and Drift, who were investigating a strange report. The facility had been attacked by a pair of Decepticon combiners, Sonic and Boom, and infected with Red Rust. When he awoke, the two Decepticons had the other Autobots at gunpoint. Fotress Maximus explained politely to them that they were the first Decepticons he had seen since Overlord 'took him down', and that they were standing in the worst place in the universe. He then ripped one in half, smashed the halves together and threw the remains to the side. As the other fled, he grabbed him, punched him in the face (like 10 times) and then proceeded to slam a chest panel on his head, decapitating him. He then remarked to Ratchet that it "felt good".
Fortress Maximus' actions on Delphi led Ratchet to recommend him to Rung for psychiatric care. After a few sessions (with no progress), Fortress went on a rampage, incapacitating several Autobots with similar colors to Overlord. He then took Rung hostage, who was in the middle of a session with Whirl, and demanded that they turn the ship around so he could beat the scrap out of Prowl for waiting three years to send help. This eventually resulted in Rung being shot in the head by Swerve accidentally, and Whirl stabbing Fort Max with some sort of pipe.
Fortress Maximus was later able to apologize to Rung once the latter had recovered from being shot in the head, a very rare occurance for anyone. This was not the only redemption Fortress Maximus received that day as shortly there after Overlord went on a killing spree throughout the Lost Light. With the help of a code phrase activation from Rodimus, Fortress Maximus was able to pound Overlord worse than any save Megatron had done before. Not being able to destroy the Phase Sixer, Fortress Maximus hauled him to his temporal cell and hurled him inside to be jettisoned into space.