Disclaimer: Transformers is owned by Hasbro & Takara. Everything else is just me ripping off recolored filler figures from the Armada & Energon toy lines. :P
Notes: This story takes place in the Armada/Energon universe, set between the two series.
A tool is defined as an object. An object that is used by someone else to further their own ends. For a long time, we were living tools that knew no other way of life, even if we wound up suffering over it...

It was what we were, until finally, the evil being which gave birth to us and set us down that path was vanquished.

A tool can be used as a weapon to harm others. But it can also be used to build, create, and give life.. But if that tool is living, then the wielder may not realize the simple fact that, in the end, that act isn't much better than using it as weapon. This is something we would see for ourselves for a second time...

But this time, from the outside.

False Peace, Part 1
By Infinity Blade

The deep jungles of South America. An area of the world far removed from the large metropolitan areas that were littered all across the world. Even as these urban landscapes continued to crop up and grow larger, there still remained some places like this where nature could merely take its course, without the hindrance of "human advancement." A place where the ruins of civilizations long gone could remain as they had been for so many years. This world and the "modern" world were very far removed from one other...

Thus, there was something extremely invasive about a large, bright yellow motorcycle with black stripes tearing its way through the foliage. While there was something reminiscent of terrestrial motorcycles, the appearance of the vehicle looked foreign. Alien, even, as though it were of a new, different kind of technology.

There was also the fact that it was considerably larger than most vehicles of its kind...

But the kicker was the fact this motorcycle had no rider.

The vehicle abruptly skidded to a stop, which resulted in it kicking up a large cloud of dirt and dust. A satisfied laugh then came from the bike.

"I should be way outta their scanners' range by now! TRANSFORM!" With that, parts of the motorcycle began to shift positions... the underside of the vehicle formed arms, the end of it legs, and the front, a chest. The last step of the transformation took place, as the head rose out of the steering column of the vehicle. The result was a tall skinny robot, with the green exhaust pipes of his vehicle mode serving as guns.

"Hah! Those slag-suckin' Autobots... they didn't even notice I was there! Another great flawless mission accomplished by Ra-"

"Given how loud you are, that really IS an accomplishment..."

The yellow robot spun around, to see a blue, black, and brown cone-headed one standing behind him. The fact that his arms looked like rocket engines and wings on his back indicated that he transformed into a fighter plane..

"Dirge!" the motorcycle-bot exclaimed, putting a hand to his chest. "Slag it, don't sneak up on me like that! Next time I just might blow a hole through your processor!"

Dirge crossed his arms. "So you weren't seen?" the jet-bot questioned, matter-of-factly.

"Nope! Not that it would've mattered if they had, y'know. There ain't no Autobot that can outrun Rapid Run!" With that, the yellow and black robot struck a pose, arms held up as if he were firing.

"How charming," Dirge muttered, though he didn't seem all that amused. "Of course, there is the fact that what you just pulled off was a covert and secret mission. And you do realize, that if you were discovered on Earth in such a facility without proper authorization, it would, I don't know... RUIN EVERYTHING WE'VE BEEN PLANNING!"

Rapid Run's optics widened, and he took a couple steps back, holding up his hands up defensively. "Whoa, don't boil your oil, fly-boy..."

Though he looked as if he was about to lunge at the cycle-bot and tear his head off a few seconds before, Dirge quickly relaxed and regained his composure. folding his arms behind his back. "Well... anyway," he said. "So long as you weren't seen, I suppose all is well. We're going along right on course. But for our objective to succeed, I must know if you found everything we need?"

Rapid Run gave a small laugh. "Oh yeah. This is gonna be a cinch." He paused for a moment and glanced around. "Hey, where's Pred'?"

Dirge's optics narrowed. "Think for just a moment. Remember what I said about this being a 'covert and secret mission?"

"...oh. Right."

"Bingo," Dirge replied before turning around and walking off. "Come on, Rapid Run. Time to go meet with our 'brilliant leader'..."

A brown-haired boy, twelve years of age, sighed as he leaned up against a large window. As he stared out of it, he couldn't help but be amazed at everything below him. The fact that the city could be constructed so quickly in a place like the rainforest... Even though it was only partially completed, the fact that construction had begun only a short time ago was what made it so astounding...

Of course, there was no way that Kicker would ever admit that to anyone.

The city rested between two large cliff faces, and was being built with the utmost care so as not to disturb the ancient ruins in the area. It was being built with one purpose: To mine Energon, a "clean" fuel and power source that had recently been discovered on Earth. Harnessing the power of Energon was said to be something that would usher humans into a new age with limitless possibilities... Just as it would be for the alien robots known as the Transformers.

It had been six years now since the humans and Transformers had entered into an alliance. Six years since Kicker had been able to live a life that didn't have anything to do with those metal giants... But that was so long ago now, and he could barely even remember what it was like before they had entered his life...

"Whatcha looking at?"

The boy grimaced, and looked back into the Jones family living quarters at his nine year old sister, Sally. "Nothing," he muttered half-heartedly, turning back towards the window.

"You're looking at something! Or else your eyes would be closed!"

Kicker just gave an exasperated sigh and didn't bother to give that a proper response.

The young girl walked over next to him and stood on her toes to peer out the bottom of the window. "It's nice here, isn't it?" she asked, but he just looked down at her with a confused expression. "Now that we have some place to stay here..."

Kicker took a quick glance back at their quarters. It was actually quite roomy, and much like a large apartment. It resided in one of the recently completed buildings, one that had a significant portion set aside to give human workers and scientists in the city a place to live. It had only been a little over a week since the tower was finished, and before then they had been stuck living in tents and temporary shelters.

Kicker couldn't really complain about these new living arrangements. It was actually rather comforting to be some place human-sized, or where he would be separated from the large Transformers that roamed all around the city.

From their vantage point, they could see several Transformers working down below, working on other parts of the city. "Hey, big brother..." Sally said. "Why do some of them look the same?"

Indeed, there were several Transformers that looked completely identical. Three of them were stock-looking black & yellow robots, and two were white and red robots with wings. "Oh, them," Kicker replied. "They're, uh... special."

Sally turned her gaze up towards her brother. "Like you?"

The boy's cheeks flushed a bit, and he turned his head away from her. "Well, uh..."

As if on cue, there was a sudden buzzing sound from the quarters' front door, which drew the attention of the children away from the window. "Hold on!" came a cry from another room. Kicker and Sally's mother, Miranda, came dashing out from the kitchen, hit a button on a control panel beside the door, and it slid open with a soft hissing sound. Standing on the other side of the doorway was another woman, who was dressed in a conservative-looking business suit, and whose hair was red with several blonde streaks running through it.

Kicker knew her. She was some government representative named Stella Holley. He didn't really know much about her other than she was apparently involved somehow back when the Transformers had been on Earth in secret. He didn't really care too much about the details, either.

What really caught his attention, though, wasn't Stella at all. It was what stood next to her: A dwarfish red-colored robot with a green visor. It was a Minicon, which was a type of small, human-sized Transformer that spoke in beeps instead of words. Kicker knew this particular Minicon was named Red-Line, and was could often be seen with two other Minicons and hanging around Stella. Those two weren't here now, but Kicker wasn't complaining; a Minicon was still a Transformer.

"We're here to pick up Kicker," Stella said to Miranda, smiling brightly. "Dr. Jones says that everything's just about ready to go."

Kicker released a long, wistful sigh and stood up. "Alright, I'm coming..."

"Now remember to be careful, Kicker," Miranda said, and leaned down to give her son a hug when he reached her.

Kicker just nodded slightly, and didn't do much else beyond saying "Right, Mom. I will..."

Miranda smiled as she released the boy from her embrace. "I'll see you in a few days, okay?"

One of Kicker's hands unconsciously clenched itself tightly into a fist at what she mentioned, but once more he nodded, giving her an incredibly forced smile. "Yeah... Seeya in a few days."

Kicker suddenly froze up as he felt a cold, metal hand clamp lightly onto his shoulder. He jerked his head around, and saw that it was Red-Line, who was motioning out into the hallway with his other hand. The Minicon beeped away, despite the fact that Kicker clearly had absolutely no clue what he was saying. Instinctively, the child glared at the small Transformer and Red-Line instantly jerked his hand away as if the boy had bitten it.

"BYE!" Kicker heard Sally cry as he headed out the door. He didn't make the effort to either look back at her or say any words. Instead, he merely gave a half-hearted wave, all while attempting to avoid the Minicon's gaze...

"Somehow, I wasn't expecting the Professor to have this kind of an entourage," Dr. Brian Jones muttered, with a trace of amusement in his voice. The brown-haired man stood on the catwalk of a large chamber with several scientists, not to mention a blonde teenager named Rad and a trio of Minicons. They stood there so they could be eye-to-eye with one of Jungle City's recent Transformer arrivals, a blue and white Autobot named Blurr.

Blurr focused his optics on the doctor. The Transformer almost wondered if there was a trace of annoyance in the doctor's tone that stemmed not from his being there, but from what it likely implied, especially considering that their operations in Jungle City had been going so well. "I can assure you," Blurr stated, "that our presence here is necessary. Before Professor Sakai and his colleagues made his way here, our intelligence received some information that there could possibly some trouble from Decepticon insurgents. We're unsure of specifics of who in particular might be trying to do this, but Jungle City has definitely become a target. Optimus Prime himself gave me direct orders to accompany the Professor, and I've already sent my team out to scout the surrounding area."

"I wouldn't worry too much, Dr. Jones," Rad said with a smile. "Blurr's one of the best soldiers the Autobots have. We shouldn't have any problems with him around.."

Next to the young man, one of the Minicons, named Highwire, beeped in agreement. The other two miniature Transformers, Grindor and Sureshock, followed with similar assurances. As Blurr had noticed when he had first arrived, the three Minicons had quite obviously reformatted themselves, resulting in a change in their appearance and alternate modes. Despite that, thought, he could still instantly recognize them as the Minicon companions of Rad, Carlos, and Alexis, who had aided the Transformers six years ago on Earth. He had to admit, though, that there was something really odd about Sureshock and Grindor being there without Alexis or Carlos...

Regardless, that wasn't something he could allow himself to be distracted with. The severity of the situation wasn't exactly clear, but Prime could only afford to send a small team without raising suspicions or worries... The more help they had on hand, Minicon or otherwise, the better.

Dr. Jones glanced back at Rad, and grinned. "Oh, I'm not worrying. Just wondering where that old coot Blurr's supposed to be accompanying is."

Blurr's optics blinked beneath his visor a couple times. "Old... coot?"

"Oh, I've just had to go play a game of hide and go seek," a voice grumbled with a hint of humor. All eyes and optic units turned towards a doorway on the catwalk to look at an old man with short, gray hair. "Unfortunately, it seems that I can't quite find the little girl who's hiding..."

Dr. Jones gave a small smirk. "Aren't you a little too old for that, Sakai?"

Sakai gave a hearty laugh as he walked over to the younger man, and grasped Jones' now outstretched hand and shook it firmly. "Tell that to my granddaughter. I actually think she's more excited about seeing a bunch of old ruins than she is about all the alien robots running about!"

"Professor," Blurr spoke up, "if your granddaughter's run off, I must insist-"

"Nah, don't worry about it Big Blue," Sakai said, waving him off. "That girl's smart as a whip, so she can take care of herself. Unless you plan on locking everyone in Jungle City up in their quarters until we've made sure some psychopath hasn't made off with her, of course..."

Blurr blinked again. Did the old man really just call him "Big Blue"? ...Either way, the response was somewhat bothersome. Blurr had been hesitant, knowing what he did, when he had learned the Professor was bringing a child with him. While Sakai did have a point in regards to not shutting down the work that was going on, Blurr couldn't help but think that humans were far too comfortable with their personal security at times...

"If you're worried that there's so much danger," Dr. Jones said, turning around to face the Autobot again. "Then we should have you or one of your men accompany us when we set out today."

"Set out?" Professor Sakai questioned with a bemused expression. "Well, that's a fine welcome. I come all this way and you plan to leave as soon as I'm here?"

Dr. Jones slapped the other man's shoulder with a laugh. "We have good reason to believe that there may be another Energon Point in the surrounding area. If we found something like that so close to another point where we've already set up shop, we'll have twice the payload!"

"You don't say...?" Sakai questioned, raising an eyebrow. "Y'know, I can't wait to find out how you're tracking all this Energon down so easily..."

Dr. Jones' grin grew even wider. "You'll have to see it to believe it, Sakai..."

"Y'know, Red," Stella muttered as she and the crimson Minicon led Kicker through the corridors of the Jungle City mining facility. She was glancing down at her outfit and frowning slightly. "I'm really not used to wearing stuffy business suits this much... I swear, I look like one of my old bosses."

"Yeah, I see what you mean," Red-Line replied in his own language, which would sound like a series of beeps to most humans. Because Stella shared a psychic link with the miniature robots, she was one of the few people who could understand their coded language. "I'm not used to seeing you wear this much either." "Of course, I guess I have to look professional..." the woman trailed off. Then, she did a double take and glared at the Minicon. "What's that supposed to mean?!"

"...What?" Red-Line asked honestly. "What did I say?"

Stella sighed and placed a hand to her forehead, though she couldn't hide the fact that it slightly amused her. "Oh, nevermind..." She paused for a moment. "Y'know, Kicker," the woman said to the boy behind them. "You should really be proud of yourself. It's thanks to your ability that we've been able to uncover so much Energon. Because of you, both humans and Transformers have a bright future ahead of them..."

...the reply was silence. Kicker wasn't the most talkative child, but there seemed something odd about this, for some reason. Red-Line appeared to have the same idea, and he stopped in his stride at the same time as Stella. The both of them gave each other a look, and then turned around.

Behind them, there was... absolutely nothing.



"Oh, God," Stella moaned, slapping herself upside the head. "I can't believe that kid just snuck off like that! And without a peep... They're gonna KILL me..." She grabbed one of her golden hair strands and held it in front of her eyes. "I hope this isn't starting to affect my IQ..."

Red-Line looked at the ground. "Perhaps I shouldn't have..."

Stella glanced at the little robot. "Red? What is it?"

"...I'll find him. Don't worry," the Minicon stated. "If I need to, I'll get Servo and Flat-Out to give me a hand."

Before she could even reply, the Transformer was already dashing off. "Hey!" she cried. "What am I supposed to tell Jones?!"

"Uh... stall 'em!" Red-Line cried, and then transformed into a miniature car before driving off through the corridor.

Stella crossed her arms and groaned. "Oh, SURE. That'll be a piece of cake!"

Dirge and Rapid Run stood at the mouth of a large cave. "PREDACON!" Dirge called into the cavern. His mechanical voice echoed off the cavern's walls, but that was the only sound that they heard. The two Transformers looked at each other, both looking rather perplexed.

"Looks like nobody's home," Rapid Run muttered, and then snickered a bit. "Hey, maybe he saw something shiny and went off to get it..."

Dirge paid little mind to the motorcycle robot's jab at their comrade's intelligence. Something was most definitely amiss. He had only just left the third member of their group, a Decepticon like themselves, to meet up with Rapid Run a short while ago, yet now he was gone. "Predacon's intelligence may leave something to be desired," Dirge said, turning around and taking a good around them, "But even he would notice that something's not quite right here. He wouldn't just abandon his position so casually... Not without a good reason..."

Dirge moved as quietly as he could, and narrowed his optics. Yes, something was not right... There were small signs in the lush, green wilderness that there had been recent movement nearby, and not just Predacon's movement. Those signs were obvious. The large, three-clawed footprints, the formerly high-hanging branches which now lay shattered on the ground... Things like that were hard to miss. No, there was something else, something less intrusive...

Most notably, Dirge noticed more footprints in the dirt. From what he could recall, they appeared to be in the shape of a feline's paw... a rather large feline, at that. A feline larger than any terrestrial cat, or most other animals for that matter. Following the footprints with his gaze, Dirge could make out the evidence of where this thing had moved through the forest, indicating that it and set out towards the east. Predacon's tracks indicated that their comrade had gone west...

"Remember when I said that bringing Predacon along on a covert scouting mission wasn't exactly the brightest of ideas?" Dirge asked. "Perhaps I was wrong..."

"What're you talkin' about?" Rapid Run replied, sounding genuinely confused. Dirge looked back at the yellow & black Decepticon. "We are not alone." Overhead, Dirge's words were cut off by the sound of a bird releasing a loud cry. "... and it appears Predacon realized that." The jet-bot wasted no time in marching off towards the west. "We must make haste, my friend. Staying here is no longer safe..."

If there was one thing could be said about Kicker, beyond his certain other extraordinary talent, it was that he had strong legs. It wasn't really too difficult for him to run clear across Jungle City, and at a rate and speed that would likely make some track runners jealous. Of course, at the same time, he was only human, and by the time he was on the outskirts of the partially-completed city, he had slowed down to a slow walk in order to catch his breath.

He was actually quite surprised at how easy it had been for him to get away. Stella had somehow gotten so caught up in talking with that machine, he had been able to slip away with ease. He sort of wondered how long it would take for them to notice he was gone... but in the end, he didn't really care.

As Kicker neared a temple, one of the ones that were all over the area. He knew that this would only be temporary, that they would find him, that he'd have to come back, and that he'd still wind up having to look for Energon. He'd probably be in some amount of trouble, too... but he didn't really care. So what if he caused them some aggravation? It wasn't like they hadn't caused him any discomfort...

The worst part was that he knew his father would still get to show him off like some little light-up action figure. Kicker just simply wanted to... get away. Get away before he had to deal with people constantly hitting him with a barrage of questions. He knew that was what would happen as soon when he had heard his father talk about some "old colleagues" coming in that day...

Panting, the boy reached his destination and stumbled over to the side of the stairs that led up the side of the pyramid. He leaned up against the stairway and sighed. A frown crossed his face as he stared down at his feet. He just didn't understand why things couldn't things just be... normal. He often wondered what it would be like if he was just a normal child... and he found that he couldn't imagine it. He didn't even know what a so-called 'normal' life was really like. What it was like to just go to school, interact with other human beings his own age, instead of spending time with scientists, tutors, and the giant robots that had caused all of this...

Each time he thought about this, it didn't take him long to realize that he'd never have a normal life. No, he'd spend the rest of his days being a dowsing rod for his dad and a bunch of metal freaks...

"Stupid Transformers... Stupid Energon..." he grumbled, and then kicked a large rock that was next to his foot, causing it to fly across the ground. "Stupid Dad!"

"It can't be that bad, can it...?"

Kicker cried out in surprise and spun around, clutching his chest. Standing on the stairs above him, he saw a girl about his age, with blue eyes and long, dark hair. She blinked a bit, and then frowned. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you like that..."

"Wh-who..." Kicker stammered.

The girl's frown turned into a small smile. "My name's Misha. What's yours?"

-To be continued

Notes: Ahh, been wanting to do something Transformers related for awhile. Guess there's a few points I need to cover...
1) For those who don't know who on Earth Stella & Red-Line are, they come from a mini-comic that was included with the Micron Legend (Japanese Armada) DVDs in Japan. The story, "Linkage," is a side-story that runs alongside the timeline of Armada which tells the tale of other Minicons that were awakened on Earth away from the Autobots & Decepticons and a woman named Stella. My use of them here is partly just to USE them because I like "Linkage" so much, and since I figured that if the Armada kids (well, most of them) were playing a role after the Earth became allied with Cybertron, it'd only be logical for Stella to. And since Alexis is only 16 at this point, and obviously too young to be a government representative, I figured... hey, why not?
http:e's down, but hopefully it should be back up again.

2) Rapid Run, Predacon, and Dirge. Like the above, information for those who don't know... Rapid Run is an Energon toy that's a repaint of Sideways. Predacon is an Armada toy that's a repaint of Transmetal Megatron from Beast Wars. Dirge is... well, his body is that of the Powerlinx Thrust toy from the Armada line. Thrust was, of course, smashed to bits. But as I was looking for characters to use in this, I had Powerlinx Thrust suggested to me. So, the name Dirge got slapped on him (named after the blue & black cone-headed G1 Seeker of the same name)... and viola! Instant new character.
I realize, though, that he may seem sort of similar to Thrust in his character at this point, but... well, I can't say much at this point, but you'll see. (Though, no, he's not Thrust reborn. Just before anyone asks.)

3) Using the name "Misha." As I'm sure many know, the English dub of Energon (much like Armada) is... flawed, to say the least. But I'm such a fanboy from way back that I just can't call the truck anything other than Optimus Prime. As such, I'll wind up going along with English terms. Unfortunately, the naming of Kicker's girlfriend has been inconsistent in the English version. Thus, I'm just going with the name that was used last, Misha. (which is also the name in the Japanese version)

Well, anyway... hope anyone who might actually read this thing enjoys it. :P