A SPRINGER and RODIMUS MERMECH TALE
No slash in this chapter (he's just a kid here!)
Gracefully swimming through the dancing weeds of the ocean deep, Springer approached the nursery of the mermechs, his desire to be there was great indeed. It was not because he had a newly hatched merling there, nor was it his duty to guard the newly hatched infants, but because there was someone he wanted to see, someone he promised he would return to when the time was right. It had been nearly a century since he was last here, but he kept that promise close to his spark.
Gliding over a underwater hill, he came at last to the great reef that served as a shelter for infant mermechs. Every century, adult mermechs would come in their thousands to deliver their precious eggs. Inside each egg was a new life waiting to come into the world, a little mermech waiting to hatch. However the great ocean was a dangerous place for a fragile egg, and a little merling for that matter, so they were left in the great reef, where the sharp rocks and jagged coral protected them from danger. It wasn't just the natural barrier that kept them safe, but selected mermechs would patrol the reef, keeping dangerous predators out, and some occasions keep the little ones in.
Springer floated above the reef, and watched from above as adult mermechs swam out of the protective reef and into the great blue void of the ocean. These mermechs, who lived within the reef in their youth, had now reached adulthood, and were now leaving the great reef to begin their life anew. Springer watched them all, keeping an optic out for someone he promised to meet. As he floated there, he began to recall what lead him to keeping that promise.
Over a century ago, Springer had been selected himself to patrol the great reef. It was a great privilege, but the emerald scaled mermech preferred to battle sea monsters and attack surface dwellers, who dared cross the mighty ocean on their puny vessels. Now he found himself playing a wet nurse to newly hatched merlings, and he didn't find it exciting at all.
One day he was swimming around the boundaries of the reef, doing the same boring routine he had been doing for the past month. He would hiss at lurking predators and at little curious merlings, who dared peeked out of their haven, to help pass the time. He didn't want to be here, but until a relief was found for him, he had no choice.
Swimming through a forest of weeds, something caught his optics through the shimmering green strands. Cautiously peering out, he spotted something that surprised him. Bobbing up and down in the azure ocean, far from his safe haven, a little merling was attempting to swim out into the void.
"What in the abyss is he doing?" muttered Springer, who slowly swam over to catch the wayward merling. There was no danger, thus no need to rush.
As he got closer, he was able to see the little merling in better detail. An adorable little thing covered in baby scales, that shimmered in crimson and gold. Little pudgy arms that flopped about, as the merling struggled to stay afloat, and a long tail that hardly moved at all. Despite swimming in such a pathetic way, the little merling still seemed pleased with his progress. That was about to stop.
Swimming up behind him, he caught the merling before it could swim out any further. "Little ones like you shouldn't be so far from home," proclaimed Springer, swimming back to the reef.
The merling struggled in his grip. "Lemme go," he demanded, trying to push Springer's hands off him. "I was about to break my record, you meanie!"
With a little pop, the little merling freed himself from Springer's grip. Springer sighed as the little merling struggled to float upright before him, his vain attempt at swimming both amusing and sad.
"One more nautical yard, and you would have ended up as skarkticon bait," teased Springer, poking the merling's chubby belly.
The merling pouted, flapping his right arm too much so he ended up spinning upside down. "I would have just hit him with my tail, and swim away," he declared in vain.
"Oh please, your tail wouldn't even cause a scratch," teased Springer, grabbing the very tail he mocked. "And with your lame swimming technique, a skarkticon wouldn't even have to give chase."
Without warning, the merling pulled his tail free and slapped the emerald mermech in the face with it. The slap didn't hurt, but it still stunned Springer that someone had the gull to hit him. The merling then stuck his glossa out at him and swam off, very slowly and clumsy, back to the safety of the reef.
"Meanie!" he cried, before disappearing into the coral branches.
Springer shrugged it off and continued with his rounds. Sometime later he returned to the same spot where the little merling gave him trouble, and to his annoyance, the little brat was at it again.
"Why do I even bother," sighed Springer, sitting upon a rock to see how far the little merling would get.
The little merling continued to swim poorly through the crystal water, flapping his arms too fast and barely using his tail at all. Despite this, he seemed so happy with himself as he made slow progress to swim away from the reef. Springer watched and smiled a little, unable to deny that the little merling was just too cute, his stubborn personality his only flaw. He recalled in his youth that he swam just as bad, but he never swam out of his haven. This little one had guts.
Something caught his optic, and not too far off he spotted a lone sharkticon, lurking a little too close to where the merling was swimming. The merling didn't notice the danger he was in, he was far too focused in his swimming. Springer merely rolled his optics, and stealthily swam over towards the foul creature. The sharkticon noticed the lone merling, but before it could even bare it's fangs, Springer emerged from the deep blue, his emerald fins flaring as he snarled viciously at the creature. The sharkticon yipped in fear, and swam away as fast as his fins could take him.
"I could have done that," came an young angry voice.
"So much for thank you," Springer muttered to himself, turning around to find the little merling floating near him, still trying to stay upright. "You couldn't even scare a sea slug," teased Springer, "you're far too cute to scare anything."
The merling grew angry, his arms flapping even more. "I'm not cute," he angrily declared, his tail flapping about in rage. "I'm a strong and powerful mermech, and soon I will become the master of the ocean!"
Springer laughed, using his tail to coil around the merling to keep him still. "You won't become a mermech if you continue to swim out of your playground," he said, "I can't always protect you from these monsters, cute one."
The merling huffed as he tried to push Springer's large tail off him. "Don't call me that, I am Rodimus, you big green meanie," he suddenly declared, "so don't call me cute, or I'll hit you with my tail again!"
"Rodimus, eh?" retorted Springer, who was finding it fun to tease the little merling. "that's a fancy name for someone like you. If anything, you should be called Roddy."
That only angered the merling even more, so much that little tears were starting to form within his azure optics. "Stop teasing me you... you... MEANIE!" He then forced himself out of Springer's grip once again, and tried to swim back to the reef.
Unfortunately he flipped his tail a little too hard to the right, and ended up swimming face first into a rock. Springer could not resist snorting with laughter as the merling fell flat on his belly, on the sandy floor, vanishing within a cloud of dust . The small sniffles he heard from the merling made Springer cease with his chuckles.
He slowly swam over and hovered above the merling, feeling a tad bit guilty for causing the poor thing to cry. The merling just laid in the sand where he fell, trembling as he wept, for either the pain of swimming straight into a rock, or the humiliation he went through, or possibly both. Springer sighed and scratched the back of his helm, he wasn't good with merlings, and had no clue how to cease the tears. Well, there was one thing he could try.
Being as gentle as he could, Springer delicately picked up the merling, who did nothing but continue to sob as discreetly as it could. The merling didn't resist, but whined loudly in bitter protest. Keeping the little thing within his arms Springer swam upwards, up towards where the light from beyond the surface joined with the ocean.
He gave the merling an encouraging shake. "Hey c'mon now," he gently pleaded, "don't you want to see the view?"
The merling whined again, and rubbed his optics. He then, at last, looked up and his little face was filled with awe. "We're so high," he squeaked, "is that light from above? Can I touch it?" He reached out to touch the rays of light, but he couldn't take hold of them.
"Light doesn't work like that," chuckled Springer, swimming back towards the reef.
"Is it true that light cannot reach the abyss?" asked the merling, forgetting how upset he was earlier. "How can you see down there?"
"As you get older, your optics develop so you can see in the darkest of places," explained Springer, "you also get glowing scales when you reach my age."
The merling twisted round a little, looking at Springer's body. "They're not glowing," he retorted.
"Only works in the dark," replied Springer.
"Can we go to a dark place then?" begged the merling.
Springer sighed, knowing that this was impossible. The little merling's body wouldn't be able to handle the pressure, and he could get hurt. "I'll take you when you're older," he promised. He wasn't certain if it was a promise he could keep, but it made the merling happy. "Alright, back to the reef with you."
The merling suddenly became upset. "I don't wanna go back," he whined, "they all make fun of me."
"Why would they make fun of you?" asked Springer.
"They all swim better than me," sighed the merling, "and they won't let me play with them. Even the grownups think I'm hopeless."
Ouch. No wonder the poor thing got defensive earlier. Springer tried to think of something to say as he swam towards the middle of the reef, where deep within little merlings swam and played around the coral trees and seaweed forests. Their swimming wasn't too bad, not as good as an adult mermech, but much better than the little merling he held. Laughing and singing with delight, the merlings continued to play their games, until Springer's shadow caught their attention. They all scattered as fast as they could as Springer swam past, his giant form terrifying them. It made the merling in his arms giggle at least.
Approaching the merlings sleeping area, little beds made from soft plants. Springer gently placed the little merling into a vacant one, folding the plush strands to tuck him in. "Look-... Roddy, was it?"
"Rodimus!" huffed the merling.
"Right, Rodimus," chuckled Springer, "don't get upset about the swimming. Everyone starts off terrible, but then it will become so natural to you, you don't even have to try."
"So were you bad at swimming?" asked Rodimus, sitting up a little.
"Very bad," lamented Springer, smiling. "However I eventually got better. You just have to have patience and train... in SAFE areas."
The merling huffed again. "Can't you teach me?"
That one came out of the blue. Springer stared at the little one, optics wide open with surprise. "I ain't no teacher, Roddy," muttered the green mermech, "you have to learn on your own."
"Please? Pretty please?" begged Rodimus, clutching his arms around Springer's arm. "Please teach me how to swim."
Springer groaned in disbelief as he found himself actually wanting to teach the merling. He wasn't certain as to why he wanted to, but deep down he had an urge to help the merling become a better swimmer.
"Alright, I'll teach you," he sighed, hoping he wasn't going to regret this.
Rodimus jumped up with delight, not caring he was now upside down yet again. "Oh thank you," he squealed, flopping about with joy, "thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Springer grumbled as he grabbed the excited merling and put him back in his bed. "Now go to sleep," he ordered, "I'll start you off with the simple basics tomorrow."
Rodimus obeyed and nestled into his organic bed. Springer sighed as he slowly swam upwards and away. He could only pray that he truly wasn't going to regret this decision.