Rob's Pile of Transformers: "Blue Thoughts"

This is a storyline that started kicking around in my head when I read Waverider and Splashdown's specs. I figured it'd be fun to send them on a little solo mission together, and it grew from there.

The setting is the G1 comics, somewhere between issues 51 and 56, when most of the TFs have been knocked out by Starscream, and the Ark is idly orbiting the Earth. Enjoy!

Blue Thoughts

   The Pacific Ocean was the largest body of water on Earth, covering
nearly one entire side of the planet.  The vast sea was unbroken by any
major land mass; one could wander there for weeks on end without seeing
any dry earth.  Vessels lost there could not be found for months.  It was
capable of great violence; yet on a clear, sunny, windless day like this,
the Pacific lived up to its name -- tranquil, benevolent.  The endless
plain of water hid countless lifeforms, from the tiniest microbes all the
way up to the largest creatures native to this world.  And today, the
water's surface harbored visitors that were not native to this world at
   Two metallic forms, Autobot Transformers, rocketed across the water at
several hundred miles per hour.  Splashdown floated a few feet above the
water, suspended by repulsion lifters.  His companion, Waverider, bumped
along the surface of the water, with only his rear hydrojet propeller
submerged.  After traveling across the spectacular blue plains for almost
an hour, Waverider found that the grandeuer of his surroundings was too
much to keep to himself. 
   "Splash, I gotta tell you, I just love this planet!" he exclaimed,
breaking the silence of the last hundred miles. 
   "What're you yammerin' about now?"  Splashdown snapped, disturbed from
his thoughts. 
   "All this open space!  Just water, for thousands of kilometers!  Isn't
it fantastic?  I mean, there was nothing like this on Cybertron, or even
   Slashdown refused to be impressed, Waverider saw.  "Tis space yer
wantin'?" the grizzled old Autobot asked.  "Some day I'll show you
Metallasis, son.  Puts this little tub to shame!" 
   "Aw, c'mon!  I mean, look around!  Any way you look, there's nothing
but water from here to the horizon.  How much bigger than this can you
 "We scoured the mercury oceans of that giant world for six months before
we found the Decepticons' minin' outpost.  _That's_ how big it was." 
   "Six _months_?" Waverider repeated.  "Pull the other one, Splash." 
   "Six months, arr,"  Splashdown said, indignant.  "They was minin' the
mercury, see, so the outpost could just keep a-movin' about.  It did no'
matter much where they was, for there was the mercury everywhere on that
great world.  And 'course with all that mercury the sensors weren't
working for naught." 
   "So how'd you finally catch them?" 
   "We set ourselves down in one place, and there we stayed." 
   "Oh, now I _know_ you're pulling my leg." 
   "Not every strategy involves running in blind at your target, son." 
   "Oh, really.  Alright, so how'd you come up with this great strategy?" 
   "Some computin' wiz boy -- name o' Starblast, I think -- figures out
the evasive path they've been usin', by addin' up all the places and times
we had 'n hadn't been.  He convinces us that they've been leadin' us in
circles.  So we just stops right there, and sets up camp in the middle of
the ocean.  Sure 'nough, five days later we gets a sensor readin'; their
mobile mining platform's about to blunder right into us.  We had 'em
wavin' the white flag o' surrender before the day was through." 
   "Mmm-hmm.  Right.  Well, it makes a good story, anyway, but it still
doesn't sound much bigger than here." 
   Splashdown's voice was heavy with sarcasm.  "I could quote ya figures,
but I'm 'fraid they was purged in my last systems check." 
   "Too bad, old timer, looks like for now -- hold on.  Sensor reading
ahead.  Looks like we're coming up on a ship." 
   "Arr, an' a right big one to boot.  Tanker, I'd wager." 
   "Do we dive, or evade?" 
   "Go around, son.  We've no time for underwater dilly-dally." 
   The two Autobots curved away from the distant ship, to avoid contact
with it.  Waverider completed his sensor assessment of the vessel, and was
about to file the readings away, when he noticed a small anamoly among
them.  Two tiny, compact energy paints stood out distictly from the
background noise of the ocean, sun, and ship.  Knowing their meaning,
Waverider straightened out again, resuming course towards the ship. 
Splashdown's reaction was immediate. 
   "Son, just where do y'think yer goin'?" 
   "Look closer at that ship.  There are Decepticons on it." 
   "I know that, son.  My sensors are as good as yours." 
   "Weren't you even planning to mention it to me?" 
   "It dinna seem necessary." 
   "What, you mean we aren't going to do anything about it?" 
   "I don't think so.  The 'cons've pulled this sort of stunt before.  The
Earthlins on that ship'll be fine, so long as they cooperate." 
   "Are you really so sure of that?" 
   "No, but Prime's orders were clear as the sky.  The energy readings
have to be checked out soon as possible." 
   "But Prime didn't figure on us running into this.  Why do we bother
patrolling all the time, if we aren't going to get involved when we
actually catch the Deceps in the middle of something?" 
   "Son, normally I'd be with you on this.  But we're not patrolling here;
we've got a mission." 
   "Optimus would support me.  Isn't he always reminding us that we've got
a responsibility to protect the humans?"
   "Arr.  Findin' the source of those readings is the part o' that
responsibility Prime's assigned to you and me.  The 'cons and their
tanker'll wait." 
   "Splash, even Prime is wrong sometimes.  Just because 'he said so'
doesn't mean that we shouldn't --" 
   "Son, there's a time and place for steppin' around orders.  But
sometimes yer mission's more important'n anything else.  Now's one o'
those times." 
   "How long could it take?  It'll just be a quick rescue mission..." 
   "Long enough for the 'cons to spot us and shoot a few humans.  How'd
you like that guilty weight on your conscience?" 
   "Then we can recon first --" 
   "Son, it might not be that easy.  "Half the time when we get involved
the Earthlins mistake us for their enemies.  It might be a trap o' some
sort.  Suppse that crazy Earthlin', the female with the metal suit, is
there waitin' for us?  Or somethin' worse?" 
   "Alright, then, we'll call in an aerial recon first." 
   "Tis a good idea, but who's to do it?  Cosmos'll no be o'erhead for
another two hours, and the Ark, she's too far out of range.  We're on our
own out here.  We'd best let it go till after we check out the readings." 
   "No!  I'm _tired_ of the Decepticons running roughshod all over this
planet like they own the place.  We're the only ones who can help those
humans, Splash; we've _got_ to check it out," Waverider concluded with
   Splashdown sighed deeply, resigned.  "Alright then.  Go check it out. 
Jus' remember this be a mission for stealth." 
   "Gotcha, Splash.  I'm on my way."  Waverider drasticly cut his speed,
dropping back into the water.  A pair of diving planes extended from his
hull; he sank amid a swirling vortex of water as he flooded his ballast
   Splashdown, not having slowed at all, transformed to his robot form in
mid-air.  His momentum carried him forward for several more yards, till he
hit the surface in a plume of water.  He bobbed there, watching as his
companion sank from sight. 
   "G'luck to ya, son, and fer sake o' Primus be careful," he said

- - -
   If the ocean was beautiful above the surface, it was beyond words
below.  Waverider was sure that the murky, shimmering wall of water
surrounding him was the loveliest shade of blue he'd ever seen.  He
relished any chance he got to dive beneath the ocean.  The Earth's sky
was beautiful, too, but it was so... distant.  The water, though, was here
and now, immediate.  He could reach out and touch the blue, if he wished. 
It embraced and cocooned him, offering shelter against the threats of the
world beyond. 
   The shelter was illusory, he thought, as the propeller noise of the
tanker came clear to him, a high-pitched swirling sound, like water
running through pipes in a wall.  He triangulated the source and moved in,
sensors cautiously sweeping the waters around him.  Since arriving on
Earth a year ago, he'd tangled half a dozen times with Finback and
Submarauder in situations like this.  But, as he approached the tanker,
his readings said the waters around him were empty. 
   A quick probe of the hull revealed nothing but the dull churning of the
ship's massive diesel engines.  Waverider moved alongside the giant ship,
and rose to within daringly few feet of the surface.  Nearly clear of the
water's interference, his sensors took only a moment to learn what he
needed to know.
   *Two Decepticons, very similar to each other.  I bet me and Splash
could take 'em.* He sent a quick transmission to his companion, telling
him as much. 

   "I'm going to get up there," he concluded.  "Move in in three minutes." 
   "Son, NO!  Secrecy be top priority --" 
   "Splash, we can take 'em!  It'll only take a minute." 
   "Son, this energy source is almost certainly the Deceps' doin'.  You
move in now, they'll be waitin' for us for certain when we get there." 
   "I'm not passing up this chance.  If you don't want to help, fine." 
   "Brazen youngster!" Splashdown spat out, breaking off the transmission. 
   Fuming, Waverider shut down his communicator, now more determined than
ever to free the tanker from his enemies' grasp. 
   He transformed to his robot form, gently surfacing near the tanker's
bow amid the churning surf left as the giant ship plowed through the
water.  He gazed up at the sheer wall of the ship sliding past him, and
briefly wished he had his outer Pretender shell.  The syntho-plasmic form
would hide his energy signature from the Decepticons, give him added
strength in battle, and had various tools that would make scaling the side
of the tanker easier.  But the cumbersome humanoid shell had no way of
getting this far out in the ocean on its own; it was stored away aboard
the Autobots' orbiting space craft, the Ark. 
   *No sense leaking lubricant over spilt energon,* he thought, wondering
how he was going to get up to the tanker's deck.  The deck railings were
nearly forty feet above him, much higher than he could reach.  There were
no handgrips or indentations anyw here, just the smooth metal sides, all
the way from the stern to the... 
   At the bow, about fifteen feet lower than the upper deck, hung the
ship's anchor.  It gave him an idea.  Returning to skimmer mode, he dove
again, and headed off the ship.  Quickly calculating its speed and path,
he angled himself toward the surface, and punched his hydrojets to full. 
   Waverider burst through the surface near the ship's bow, his speed
enough to carry him high into the air.  He reverted to robot mode, and
made a grab for the anchor.  Unfortunately, he had miscalculated his
angle; he smashed into the ship's side with a metallic clang that
reverberated through the whole vessel.  He rebounded back, but caught the
anchor with his fingertips as he fell.  Waverider dangled over the water
for a moment, then pulled himself up onto the anchor.  Standing upright
brought his head up over the deck railing.  At first he saw nothing but a
group of human crewmembers, backing away from him in fright.  Then he
realized he was looking at two pairs of metal feet, right in front of him. 
He looked up.
   Two Decepticons, one white, one black, but otherwise identical, stared
back at him, then at each other. 
   "Ah, Splashdown, I could use a hand," Waverider radioed his distant
   "Look at that, Runabout, we got ourselves a stowaway!" the white one
said.  "Whatever do you think he wants?" 
   "I think he's tryin' to steal our tanker, Runamuck," Runabout said. 
   "He's not being too clever about it, is he?" 
   "No indeed." 
   "That's okay, I never did care too much for clever." 
   Runabout looked down at him.  "This here tanker's ours, Autobot, we
rightfully stole it.  And we don't take no riders.  Heh-heh.  Anchors
away!"  He reached to release the anchor chain, to drop it back into the
ocean.  Runamuck stopped him. 
   "Hang on!  Don't just get rid of 'im; let's smash him first!" 
   "Smash him?  Why don't we blow him up?  He'd make a real great ball o'
fire, don't you think?  Heh-heh." 
   "I think it'd be better to smash him --" 
   "Methinks not, Decepticons!"  Laser shots suddenly bombarded the two,
as Splashdown came racing in across the water.  The Autobot increased the
thrust to his lifters, rising higher and higher into the air, till he was
level with the ship's deck.  He transformed in mid-air and skidded to a
halt amidships, his gun held high in one hand and aimed at the two
   "Mates, I'll give ya one chance to leave this vessel w'out a fight,"
Splashdown said.  He stepped forward menacingly, clamping onto the gun
with both hands and aiming lower.  "I warn ya, t'will not be a pretty
sight should we come to blows." 
   The two Decepticons both started chuckling.  "He said 'blows',
Runamuck."  The black robot yanked a gun from its hip holster and began
firing, faster than Splashdown could react.  "Excellent idea, don't you
   "Heh heh.  Yeah!"  Runamuck was only a second behind his comrade,
blasting at the veteran Autobot with his own weapon. 
   Splashdown dove for cover without having fired a shot, disappearing
into the tangle of pipes and machinery that covered the ship's deck.  The
Decepticons' fire ripped holes in the deck and machinery; water spewed
from ruptured fire-fighting stations.  They were so busy shooting and
laughing that they failed to notice as Waverider hauled himself onto the
ship's deck. 
   Waverider tackled Runabout, causing the black Decepticon's shots to go
wild, punching holes in the bridge tower.  Splashdown's face and weapon
reappeared from behind a row of cargo pumps, aiming for Runamuck. 
   "Idiot!  Careful what yer doin'!" he admonished Waverider, as he saw
the damage done to the bridge tower.  "Unless it's to be killin' humans
you want."  He aimed, but held his fire -- there were humans in his field
of fire, trapped at the bow of the ship. 
   "Heh heh.  Better worry about yerselves, Autobot!" Runamuck exclaimed,
firing at Splashdown.  Chuncks of the machinery that sheltered him
exploded and melted away. 
   "Garrrr!" Runabout exclaimed, still grappling with Waverider, and
losing.  "Get 'im off, get 'im offa me!  Runammmmph!" 
   Waverider had one hand planted on Runabout's face, and was about to
clock him with the other, when Runamuck shot him in the back.  The blast
knocked him off of Runabout, and across the deck towards the stern. 
   Splashdown charged, taking full advantage of the distraction.  He
blasted Runamuck at such short range he was sure he couldn't miss.  The
white Decepticon went flying face-first into the ship's deck.  Splashdown
aimed for the other of the pair, but Run about was up and firing again. 
Most of his shots missed, demolishing a deck-top storage shed and punching
holes in the ship, but one caught Splashdown in the gut.  He staggerd
backwards in a spray of sparks. 
   Waverider blasted at Runabout from behind with his own gun, forcing the
Decpticon to retreat toward the bow.  Runamuck stumbled off to join him. 
The two Autobots formed up and took cover, blasting away at their foes. 
   Runamuck popped out from his cover, firing and shouting across the
deck.  "You know, Runabout, this isn't much fun anymore.  Shall we take
our leave?" 
   "But we never got to blow up the Autobot, Runamuck!" 
   "That's okay; I bet we could find somethin' else arond here to blow up
   "Heh-heh.  Yeah.  Like what?" 
   "I dunno, Runabout.  Let's stop and think about it for a minute." 
   With that, the two Decepticons stopped firing.  Their Autobot opponents
gaped at each other in confusion, hesitant, till Splashdown spoke, pushing
Waverider forwards.  "Go, son, go before they --" 
   "Hey," Runamuck said, "I got it.  Draw their fire, Runabout!" 
   "My pleasure," the dark Battlecharger said.  Laughing madly, he fired
wildly before the Autobots could move from their cover.  Splashdown and
Waverider were about to return fire, when a tremendous explosion rocked
the front half of the ship, as Runamuck blasted its cargo tanks. 
   "No!" Waverider shouted.  "You son of a --"  He started to move on the
Decepticons, when an towering mast shot loose by Runabout -- one of two
fifty foot metal poles which stood at mid-ship -- crashed down on him and
Splashdown, pinning them to the deck.  Runabout's manic shooting spree
continued as Runamuck pumped one shot after another into the ship's decks,
blasting cargo holds and fuel lines.  Huge fireballs roiled out of the
ship's guts. 
    The Battlechargers continued laughing and shooting, till an explosion
tore apart the deck that Runamuck stood on, sending him flying skyward,
and then crashing back into the sea.  Runabout stopped shooting and dashed
to where his comrade had disappeared over the side. 
   "Runamu- DAH!"  Runabout tumbled over the edge and into the water,
nailed by a single shot to the back. 
   Splashdown holstered his weapon and finished pulling himself out from
under the collapsed mast.  "I give this ship five more minutes o' life,
then she's bottom-bound," he said, lifting the pole so Waverider could
crawl out.  He tossed it aside, and gazed at the spreading flames.  The
ship was heaving badly, nearly blown in half by the explosions.  "We've
got that much time to get all the humans off o' her." 
   "Okay, you check the stern, I'll --" Waverider stopped, as the two
Decepticons suddenly rocketed out of the water and into the sky, riding on
leg-mounted jumper jets. 
   "Heh-heh!  Have fun playin' with the humans, Autobots!" one of them
called, as they shrank into the blue.  "Bye bye!" 
   Splashdown studied their flight path for a moment.  "Son, go after
them, quickly," he told Waverider.  "I'll take care o' this." 
   "But the humans --" 
   "Son, they're headin' for the energy source.  You're so eager to fight;
go and stop 'em!  I'll handle this." 
   "Alright," Waverider said, stung by the words.  "But hurry." 
   He leapt off the side of the ship, disappearing beneath the water; he
surfaced in his skimmer mode.  His hydrojets fired, and he shot off across
the gleaming Pacific.  With his last glimpse of the tanker, he saw
Splashdown rescuing several humans from the bow section, which had nearly
been severed by the explosions and was sinking fast.  Then his course
turned away; there was only sun, water, and speed. 

- - -
   It took Waverider only a few moments to catch up with the fleeing
Decepticons.  They were flying low, a hundred feet or so above the sprays
of the ocean surface, and only a few feet apart.  Waverider held his fire
till he was almost beneath them.  He carefully aimed his top-mounted
cannon for their leg jets, and fired. 
   The shot went wild; he was traveling too fast for accuracy.  Runabout
took a hit across the back; he spun out of control, but still managed to
grab his gun and squeeze off a few shots before he hit the ocean. 
Runamuck came to a dead stop in mid-air, pelting the ocean surface with
lasers.  Waverider swerved wildly as he tore past and beneath the two
Decepticons.  Rotating his cannon, he delivered a continuous stream of
counterfire as he swung around for another pass.  He had Runamuck lined
up, and was about to blast him out of the sky, when something smashed him
in the side, hard.  The impact blew him clean out of the water and flipped
him over.  Internal sensors reported a multitude of damage as he crashed
back into the ocean, nose-first.
   "You _fools_!" he heard a new voice call out to his opponents. 
"Interrogative:  _Why_ have you wasted time dawdling with this Autobot?" 
   Waverider righted himself, in time to see a giant purple gun soar
   "Heh heh.  Sorry 'bout that, Shockwave," Runabout called from where he
floated in the sea.  "Butcha see, there was two of 'em, and the other one,
   "Silence your whining modulators.  I shall deal with the Autobot,"
Shockwave announced, circling back around. 
   Damaged and outnumbered three to one, Waverider knew enough to choose
the better part of valor.  He dove, and punched his hydrojets to full
thrust.  An enormous hiss roared through the water, as Shockwave fired in
after him, blasting ocean water to steam.  But Waverider had made it deep
enough; Transformer sensors weren't all that good at penetrating water. 
Several more shots followed, but each was further and further off the
   Waverider headed off on a random vector, swerving till he was certain
his pursuers couldn't possibly guess his path.  After a few moments of
evasives, he paused, uncertain what to do next. 
   Several moments later, the distant sound of lasers hitting the waters
above him gave him an answer.  Switching to robot mode, Waverider rose
slowly and surfaced a quarter mile from where he had last dove, cautiously
poking his head above the water. 
   Splashdown, in hovercraft mode, whipped past him, missing his head by
only feet.  He was laying down a continuous barrage with his top-mounted
gun; return shots came from the air, where Runamuck hovered on his
rockets.  The Decepticon's blasts splattered the water around him, as he
tracked the erratically swerving Splashdown.  Runbout tore past Waverider
a second later, pursuing Splashdown, firing madly. 
   "Well _there_ you are, son!" Splashdown exclaimed.  "Get yerself up
here and lend me a hand!" 
   Waverider transformed and launched, glancing around.  Shockwave was
nowhere in sight or on sensors. 
   "Hold still, Autobot -- ah!  Hey!" Runabout exclaimed, nearly blasted
by Waverider.  He came to a halt, trying to attack his new pursuer, but
Waverider had already zoomed beneath him.  "Hey, Runamuck!  That other
one's tryin' to sneak up on us!" 
   "Not very nice of him, Runabout.  Not very nice at all!"  Runamuck
fired on Waverider, only to take a hit from Splashdown. 
   Swinging his gun around to fire on Runabout, Waverider opened a channel
to Splashdown. 
   "Splash, there was another one, a big purple gun named Shockwave. 
Where'd he go?" 
   "I seen nothin' but these two, son," Splashdown said, zig-zagging
beneath Runamuck.  "Sure you weren't seein' things?" 
   "He blasted me out of the water, Splash.  I'm pretty sure I didn't
imagine it."  Waverider pulled a sharp turn, nearly flipping over, and
fired on Runamuck, distracting him from Splashdown.  The Decepticon took
several hits, holing his armor.  Waverider grinned to himself.  "Keep on
'em, Splash, we've nearly got 'em." 
   "Tis too late, son." 
   "Have ya got yer sensors switched off?!  The energy source -- it's
movin'.  Movin' towards _us_.  By comin' here we've tipped 'em off." 
   Waverider examined his sensor array, and discovered that Splashdown was
alarmingly correct. 
   "You're right, Splash, the energy readings -- Primus!  It's right under
   The ocean suddenly seemed to boil around them.  Runabout and Runamuck
streaked away in opposite directions, breaking off the fight.  Jets of
water shot through the surface; a whole area of the ocean undulated
unnaturally.  The surface of the water began to rise, with the two
Autobots in it.  They were swept along by the water as it poured off to
the sides, as something very massive pushed its way out of the sea.  They
tumbled some fifty feet back to the water's normal surface. 
   Transforming underwater, they paddled back to the top, and gazed up
through the streams of water still pouring down on them.  The imposing
form became wholey visible as it pulled further away from them, and they
realized what they were looking at. 
   "A Decepticon attack cruiser!" Waverider yelped. 
   "An' a right old one, to boot," Splashdown said.  "That's why they're
here, then." 
   "Must be where Shockwave went, too." 
   The battered Decepticons circled back around, heading for a side
airlock.  "Thanks for the warnin', Autobots.  We'd a' never known you was
coming if ya hadn't bothered our tanker.  Heh-heh!"  Runabout called as
the two entered the hovering vessel, the airlock sealing behind them. 
Small streams of water still dripping off of it, the menacing purple ship
engaged its thrusters and began to move across the ocean. 
   "We've got to stop them," Waverider aimed his weapon.  But Splashdown
pushed the gun down. 
   "Stop it, son!  You want to call attention to ourselves?  You think
we'd stand a chance against an attack cruiser?  Count yer blessins that
they're lettin' us go!"  His optics followed the strike craft as it
powered away from them, heading north.  As it disappeared in the
distance, he turned to glower at his comrade.  Waverider wilted under the
   "Splash, I'm -- I'm sorry.  I should've listened to you, you were right
   "Waverider,"  Splashdown cut him off.  Waverider _knew_ he'd had it;
Splashdown _never_ called him by name.  "Ya stuck to yer beliefs.  Tis
nothin' to be ashamed of." 
   "I know I was wrong, and -- what?" 
   "Ya heard what I said.  So you were wrong.  T'has happened before, to
all of us.  You were true to what ya felt.  Tis important, y'know." 
   "Uhh -- what?"  Waverider was still not sure he was going to 
come out of this with his skin. 
   Splashdown's large optics and mouthless visage were nearly unreadable, 
but his voice was tired, weary.  "When ya been fightin' long as I have, 
tis a bit easy to lose sight of the things that really matter.  Like 
defendin' humans, even if it costs you a victory.  You're younger than I; 
you've not lost sight o' that.  Sometimes we all need remindin' o' what 
matters.  If I'd 've gone in with you, the tanker'd most likely be back 
in the humans' hands now." 
   In the distance, a towering plume of black smoke, hanging over a
burning oil slick, marked the grave of the tanker.  The sun was sinking
low on the western horizon, bathing the ocean and the smoke in a soft
yellow glow.  Waverider stared at the sight. 
   "Thanks, Splash.  It's just that... well... It doesn't _change_
anything.  The tanker's still gone, the 'cons are gone.  It's not _fair_
that the Deceps can get away with this, do this to the humans and just
walk off scott free." 
   "Tis war, son.  T'was not made to be fair." 
   Waverider had no answer for that. 
   "Our mission's done.  Let's go home." 
   The two Autobots transformed and rocketed off over the water's surface. 
Behind them, in the west, the sun slipped beneath the horizon.  The
planet's shadow fell over them, turning blue to black. 

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