Another multi-chaptered "Black Crayons" story headed your way. This one has a little less of the "aww…" factor and more of a reminder of why Ironhide is the weapon specialist of the Autobots. Face it, kids get into trouble and need to be rescued. For most, it may be a bully or monsters under the bed that their parents have to protect them from. Annabelle doesn't get things that easy. Set after "Party Time," but check my profile for the entire listing of order.

Oh, and Carl will suffer as well. Just because I say he should.

My First Decepticon

Kindergarten was a whole new experience for the child. She was in a bigger school with older kids in the hallways. In some ways, it was similar to preschool. There was still coloring, games, and recess. But more time was now spent on the alphabet, counting, and learning than before. For Annabelle, it was rather nice. She liked to learn, but she did miss having more drawing time. But when she completed her worksheets, she could still draw on the back.

Ms. Greene, her new teacher, was beginning to exhibit some of the same confusion about the girl's drawings that Mrs. Johnson had before her. The child was resigned to this confusion because she had no intentions of stopping. She could put a black truck in every picture if she wanted to. It was important to her.

One of the nice things about her new class was Suzie was in it. The not so nice thing was so was Carl. Annabelle really didn't like Carl. Between just being a mean bully and what he did at her birthday party that summer, she tried to avoid that boy. If he gave her a good reason, she could always talk to Ironhide… No, she wouldn't do that to him. He didn't deserve that kind of treatment. Not yet.

Recess was nice. Climbing the jungle gym was really great. She was actually pretty good at it. And heights didn't bother her because her best friend, Ironhide, would pick her up way higher than this.

The fire alarms went off suddenly. Several men in uniforms like her Daddy's were urging children onto a bus. Annabelle scrambled down, nearly bumping into Suzie.

"Ms. Greene said something about something really yucky and bad spilled nearby," the pig-tailed girl explained to Annabelle, "So the army men are taking us somewhere else."

"What about Carl?" Annabelle asked. Both girls knew he had found a hole under the fence the other day that he could sneak out to his "secret base" during recess. But the teacher didn't know and neither one wanted to be a tattle-tale. "What if he can't hear it?"

"Don't know," admitted Suzie.

Gaining a determined expression similar to that her parent wore in combat, she declared, "I'll go get him. Just tell Ms. Greene we're in the restroom."

Not waiting for her friend to agree, Annabelle ran for the hole. With the chaos of the evacuation, no one noticed her departure except Suzie. The young Lennox girl dashed into the woods that bordered the school yard. While she didn't know the exact location, she knew the area to check.

Ironhide, disguised in truck mode, waited patiently as the humans were evacuated from the area. The cover story was a toxic spill in the area that had just occurred. Reality was far worse. Reappearing after all this time in hiding was Barricade. What concerned Ironhide and Lennox both was the proximity of the Decepticon to the civilian area. Specifically, he was too close to Annabelle's school for comfort. But the building had been quickly emptied into buses that even now were being moved to safety.

Another soldier ran over to Lennox and the Cybertronian, his face nervous as he drew near. "Sir, the school and nearby residences have been evacuated, but… two students are unaccounted for. Apparently they were supposed to be in the restroom, but when they had been searched for… nothing." He paused, trying to work up the nerve to finish the report. "One was a boy named Carl Mathews, and the other… Annabelle Lennox."

At these words, both listeners were stunned into silence for one instant. But then, Ironhide revved his engine angrily.

"If that piece of trash Decepticon even… I'll turn him in to scrap metal!" he shouted furiously. "Get in, Lennox!"

The soldier climbed in, ordering, "Epps is in charge. If we see anything, we'll contact you."

No one tried to stop them. No one wanted to be killed in the attempt. And at that point, it was debatable which one would give the worst death: the angry robot or worried father.

Carl's "secret base," it turned out, was a wooden crate and an old blue tarp. It really wasn't that impressive, but he seemed to like it. Annabelle gave the base a kick, alerting the boy to her presence. He crawled out and fixed her with a glare.

"No girls allowed," he announced, but uneasily in case she tried to attack. Annabelle didn't react like most girls. "Besides, I don't need to be back until the big hand is on the three." He pointed at his watch proudly. "So go away."

"Carl, we need to go," the girl insisted. "All the kids are on buses and army guys showed up. Something bad is happening."

"I'm not going yet," he complained, "It's not time to go yet."

Unable to think of how to convince the boy, she resorted to threats, "I'll tell on you."

"You better not," the boy retorted, but looked uneasy at the thought of the trouble he'd be in.

"Then come on," urged Annabelle, tugging his hand.

The pair dashed back towards the school, but when they reached the playground once more, it was empty. The whole building and surrounding area was completely deserted and eerily quiet. Carl, his freckled face looking nervous, turned to the girl.

"Where is everybody?"

Rolling her eyes in a similar fashion that she had seen Sam do, she answered, "Duh! They left like I said. We missed the bus because you were at your 'secret base.' Now both of us will get in trouble."

"They left us?" the boy whispered, looking upset at the idea. "What do we do?"

Annabelle thought about it carefully. A big, yucky, bad mess was why everyone had to run away. Or at least that was what they said. Daddy once said not to trust everything "people in authority fed to the ignorant masses." Mommy had been mad at that, but did agree sometimes people weren't told everything important. Like Ironhide and his friends. But whatever was happening was a bad problem. Even if it wasn't a yucky mess, someone would be fixing the problem. Grown up people, like police officers or firemen.

"We find a grown-up to help us," she told Carl. "All we have to do is look."

The boy looked unsure about leaving the school grounds to look for help, but when Annabelle explained that since there was no one nearby they had to go somewhere else and they couldn't get in more trouble for leaving school since they already did that, he agreed. They followed the street away from the school, making sure not to walk in the road. Neither one of them saw any cars moving nor any people. The houses were just as empty and quiet as the school. Someone had even left a sprinkler on in their hurry to leave.

The pair of kindergarten kept walking, their footsteps the only real sound to be heard. Even the birds were quiet. Like they were afraid.

Carl suddenly stopped, his hand going to his ear. Annabelle listened carefully as well. A low sound was steadily getting louder. A car engine. Turning, they could spot it coming down the road. A black and white pattern along with a blue and red light on top, though not flashing, identified it to them as a police car. Mommy, Daddy, and even teachers had always said policemen are good guys and to trust them. In fact, one of those important lessons drilled into every young mind is that, even if they aren't supposed to talk to strangers, police aren't really strangers and to always look for one if they got lost. Carl began waving his arms frantically at the police car.

It began to slow.

Cliffhanger!!! And those of you concerned parents/skeptical people that can't believe that a pair of kindergartens could both sneak off the school grounds at recess and get left behind during an emergency evacuation, sorry to inform you that it isn't completely unfeasible in my opinion. When you have at least three separate classes of kindergarten kids running around, it is possible to miss one or two as long as they show back up on time and this vanishing doesn't happen too often. Thus Carl, who has had his "secret base" for less than a week, has been able to get away with it for now. Next, you've seen enough disaster movies to know that sometimes people get left behind. So there.

Next time, Barricade vs. children. And he will not like the results of threatening them one bit.