Disclaimer: Transformers is not mine, yadda yadda.

Trust the Liar

We are both of darkness and shadows, though different as black and white.

He is the twilight of the forest in shaded green, deceptively peaceful but full of cruel creatures that would pounce and tear and take what they wanted, leaving the rest to rot. Trust not his gentle words, for they will draw you in and trap you.

Myself, I am the eternal night of a mountain cave that shrouds itself in its own self-generated gloom. I am silent, deep, impenetrable except to the crafty one who knew just how to get inside me and to find what had been hidden within the steel caverns from all others.

We are an army of ourselves, of strength and skill, of talented mind and strong body.

What, you didn't think me capable of overdone poetic metaphor? When a mech stands around and thinks all day, his mind finds ways of amusing itself. This is mine.

"I'm going to kill him," my companion mutters.

"Really?" I ask, cocking my head. He sighs.

"No. He's worth too much to me at the moment. As much as I hate to think it, I need him."

The forest lurker leans back, arms lightly folded, resting his head against my broad mountainous chest. He's decided he wants to sit on me tonight, for some reason. He'll do that sometimes, on me or on desks or occasionally on the roof. Gives him a new perspective, he says.

I know what he wants, of course. He never comes in here to talk with me. What he wants to do is talk at me. So I pull the trigger and start him off.

"What are you going to do?"

From out of the depths of the forest pour forth the majestic designs, the lofty schemes. He paints beautiful pictures of fallen enemies and battles both past and present. And I listen and pet his wings, knowing that the words are not said for my benefit, but his.

He does so love the sound of his own voice. It's one of his greatest flaws and perhaps one of the things I like most about him. He says that being able to speak his thoughts freely helps him think, which is why he is here. Sitting around on the dark talking to himself would just be plain silly. So he talks at me. I have been privileged at times to be in his presence when his own monologue inspires him to some new idea and his face lights up with insight, but tonight he is simply talking while I listen.

As if I really need to. I know all the lies, all the grand speeches by heart. I see through the two masks he puts up, one over his face and the other over his intentions, shielding both from all but the one who knew how to read him. I know him better then he thinks.

Or perhaps I don't, and even to me he is lying, deceiving me into thinking I know more then I really do. It wouldn't surprise me at all. Manipulation comes to him as easily as speech.

Everyone is a tool to him, a means to an end, even me. I know this, and I have always known this, somehow. Perhaps it should bother me, but by now it does not. I'm accustomed to being used by others; at least with him it means I'm no different from anyone else.

He pauses in his oration, waiting for me to make some response. He knows, and I know, but we must keep up the pretence that this is an actual conversation.

"And then?"

Now his focus turns inwards, into how words will be dropped ever so precisely into the proper audials, subtle poisons planted that will not be detected until it is far too late. Wills bent, minds seduced, tilting the balance of power in our favor.

No. His favor. Always his favor.

He wasn't always like this. I knew him when he was younger, less arrogant. Less…I hesitate to say less ruthless, we are Decepticons after all, but he viewed things differently.

From the way he acts now you'd never know that he was once as inexperienced and naive as a mech right out of the factories. Now he constantly flies higher, holds things tighter, trying to keep the power he has gotten and gain more at the same time. He's never satisfied and I wonder just how far he will go before he bites off more then he can chew and chokes to death.

He's stopped again.

"And then?"

I await the next torrent of words patiently.

"And then…" He stalls, stuttering. The comforting vibrations of my questioning rumbles resonate through his back and wings, and still he is uneasy. Something's wrong.

"And then nothing." He pushes himself away from me and stands up. I reach out a hand to bring him back, but he rejects it. Something is on his mind that weighs him down, something which frightens him. He steps out into the hall and vanishes without a word or even a backward glance.

This isn't right. He keeps secrets, but I always know that there are secrets. He drops teasing clues about what he is going to do, loving to keep me in suspense. If there's anything he likes as much as hearing himself speak, it's knowing something that no one else does. Barring the hints, he weaves complex lies so secure that I take them as truth and am content, despite the fact that I know they are false. But the flat-out silence, this door slammed in my face does not suit him.

I haven't seen him like this since…how long ago was Planet Vector? Eons, at least. Any Decepticon involved with that battle would quail to know just how close he came to giving up, how many hours he spent talking at me and how many more he spent cloistered in his quarters with only his strategy board for company. It took all of his skills and cunning to win Vector, and although he made it all look so easy, he was scared. If we had lost that one pivotal battle, Vector and its entire system would have been lost to us forever, along with a sizable number of troops and supplies.

Contrary to popular opinion, the taking of Vector was merely a hurried recovery from a dreadful mistake. He had made an error, stuck out his arm too far and nearly gotten it cut off. We were lucky, really, that we even came out alive.

And he's overextended himself again, I think. Gotten into a situation that he can't control. He has no strategy, no plan for dealing with this situation or he would still be in here gloating about whatever it is. Or perhaps he has a plan, but is still unsure of himself. There is a chink in his arrogant armor, and he slinks off to repair it alone with shoddy materials, perhaps to feed himself the same complex lies that he gives everyone else.

I amend my previous thought. I have never seen him act this disturbed, though he covers it well. At least on Vector he talked at me. What is so great, so terrifying that he can't even talk at me about it?

It scares me, not for his sake, but for my own. If he is at risk, he who claims to have once schemed his way out of an Autobot maximum security prison, then what of me? Am I part of this too, and just don't know it yet? I'm used to being one of his tools, but I would at least like to know what's going on.

Shadowed forest, your rivers have ceased their roaring, your birds have lost their voices. When a jungle is silent it means those creatures that have enough sense to flee have already done so. And despite your vast knowledge and wisdom, I have never known you to have common sense.

Friend, what have you gotten yourself into this time?