Edit: I realized that the title of this thread is wrong. Wrote while very tired. Big spoiler for the whole thread. Spoiler Pious Maximus, pictured above, thus far only exists as a character in the Shadowplay arc that is discussed as a religious leader that is kidnapped, suddenly recants his faith in the Knights of Cybertron, and then is seen by Chromedome and Prowl being brainwashed. Fun stuff, right? (He's also later seen in the very beginning of the 'Remain in Light' arc, mentioned as the reason for Ultra Magnus being on Clemency: to 'save Pious Maximus from himself'. I have no idea what this means, or could mean. But I do know that Clemency has a history of WEIRD stuff happening there.) My next point: Why would it be necessary for the comic to mention Pious, here? Fort Max has been in plenty of issues with pre-war characters, before, and Pious was never mentioned. 56 has already shown a sort of meta dissection of common comic patterns- in this case, Red Alert's paranoia comes out as him analyzing Fortress Maximus's speech pattern, a pattern which is typical for MTMTE. If MTMTE 56 is so self aware, why throw in a fleeting reference like this? Note Fortess Maximus's confusion- he doesn't say that he knows Pious, does he? When Minimus is mistaken for his spark brother, he insists immediately that they're simply of the same house. If Maximus is in the same situation, why not say that? And Sentinel's like- of course he didn't respect Pious. He was in power around the time that Pious would've been brainwashed. Then, there's more. With the advent of the MTMTE 57 preview, we now know the signficance of Red Alert and datapads. In the 57 preview, the crew is boarding the ship, and Red Alert looks down at his datapad. The datapad, after the scene pictured immediately below this paragraph, reads 'THIS NEVER HAPPENED'. Why do I think this is relevant? Look at his mnemo scars above. Why would there be ANY reason to show those if something wasn't amiss? And look below!!! Ambulon and First Aid can be seen boarding, as can Ironfist and Bumblebee! They were very DEFINITELY not present at the initial first boarding of the Lost Light. Ironfist would have been dead by then, Bumblebee was watching from a distance but not boarding, and First Aid/Ambulon would have been on Delphi. So, I theorize that it's simply a mish-mash of people Red Alert remembers...maybe even, to an extent, who he is allowed to remember. Do you see Fort Max in that crowd? Nope. In conclusion: Spoiler Fortress Maximus is Pious Maximus, brainwashed and shoved into a fresh coat of paint+a new alt mode. He is the opposite of his old self, someone that was intensely religious and probably viewed as a potential dissenter. FortMax is aggressive, a loyal Autobot, and never once declares any interest in the 'Quest' or in the Knights, or anything religious. I believe that Red Alert may have been a follower of Pious Maximus. Even if that isn't true, I believe that it is impossible to ignore how he has obviously been tampered with mentally by the Institute. Perhaps he was made paranoid on purpose, to devalue any of his claims about the Institute- maybe he was even made into a sleeper agent, causing his attack on Prowl/FortMax in 56/the 57 preview.