Warnings: Language (it's Ratchet, duh!), Medical goriness (not too bad thou), & Violence (Duh! Warzone here!)
A/N: I've taken out my OCs, Added more detail/dynamics to scenes, and hopefully nicked all grammar/spelling mistakes. Let me know if I missed one or lots.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, that right belongs to Hasbro.
"You ever had one of those wars where everything goes wrong?" - Hawkeye Pierce; M*A*S*H
'And if I'd known what agreeing to work as CMO for a whole ship full of hellions, I'd...'
Ratchet sighed, today was already starting out... Actually, he had already run though a list of adjectives from Cybertroian to Human, even some hybrid dialect of the two, but no matter what word came to his processor. Whether it be busy, crazy, hectic, hellish, full of slag, pit-spawned, fragged up, mothertrucking slagged to pit-hell and back, none of them could do Ratchet any justice on describing how this day was going.
It actually started out a-okay. Which reflecting back should have been his first clue in. Ratchet woke from a peaceful recharge, surprisingly feeling refreshed and energised. He even woke up early enough before his shift in medbay to walk down to the rec room to get his morning ration of energon then sit at one of the many tables there and enjoy drinking it. Not having to skip it entirely or down it like most mornings, either because he tried to obtain those extra minutes of recharge or some sort of emergency or a more occasions than he'd like for some idiotic reason.
The night before last was Slingshot sporting a temperature high enough to melt his finer internal wiring. The CMO had been awoken by several emergency pings from a near panicky Silverbolt about this matter. Thinking it being a severe virus and not wanting it to harm the arielbot nor spread to the rest of the gestalt, Ratchet was up and sprinting to the medbay even before Silverbolt finished explaining what happened. Turned out Skydive had dared Slingshot to down five sacks of sugar. And said sugar was congealing the energon in his tanks while some of the sugary crystals escaped into his energon lines causing the fliers sanitation sensors to heat his frame up in order to kill the contaminant.
After spending four orns working on Slingshot; purging his systems of the glucose, keeping his temperature stable during that, clearing his energon lines, integrating purified energon back into his systems and dealing with worried gestalt members; Slingshot was finally stable and nearly 100%. Thus meant a rant on the idiocy of dares, of Slingshot, of Skydive and with added curses that could have stripped paint, ensured. Punctuated with a wrench to the helm for both Slingshot and Skydive before they were dismissed, Slingshot on light duty though. That enforced part wasn't lost on Silverbolt.
Last night: peaceful, not quiet but not crazy loud, relaxing, even enjoyable. And it stayed as such throughout the night. Giving the exhausted CMO a deep recharge cycle, uninhibited by the normal nightmares or outside interruptions. Something the CMO was needing. It was too good to be true.
Dropping his empty cube in the recycler, he nodded in greeting to Optimus as they past each other in the doorway and he headed towards his medbay. The place were he ruled and his word was law. Note to the emphasis on his medbay. No one dared mess with him in his medbay.
A small twitch of his brow plate was the only indication of his underlying fury. Before he stiffly stepped over towards the wall intercom and depressed the button for the loudspeaker.
"Sideswipe. Sunstreaker. Report to medical. Now." The cold calm order chilled 'bots who weren't on the medic's shit list, even Optimus himself.
The two condiment coloured terrors in question, too were frozen at such a tone from the usually loud ranting sort of angry mech. Sideswipe immediately regretted ever formulating the prank idea and Sunstreaker, as he glared heatedly at his twin, was regretting ever getting his servos dirty by helping his brother set up said prank. But none the less they always marched towards the warzone unperturbed and bravely, though the thought of bribing Skyfire and escaping to Spain crossed their processors, they made their way to Ratchet's domain.
And both were instantly meet with a wrench each to the helm. Leaving them side stepping as their equilibrium circuits scrambled to correct themselves after such a blow. Rubbing dented helms and groaning, they didn't see a irate neon orange and purple CMO winding up for another pitch.
With both now sprawled on the floor and watching the metaphorical birdies fly around their helms, Ratchet moved to loom over the two. Servos on hipstruts and optics narrowed, he revved his engine angrily and growled, "This will be cleaned up by the time I return from the wash racks or I'll do more than just dent your helms with those wrenches."
Two garbled slurred, "Yes, sir's" reached his audios and he sighed, comming First Aid to oversee the twin terrors cleaning duty to make sure they didn't frag anything else up while he made a trip to the wash racks to rinse off his new infuriatingly bright colour scheme.
A happy yet tired sounding confirmation ping was the answer his apprentice First Aid sent and Ratchet left towards the wash racks, hoping to Primus he wouldn't encounter any other mech on the way. No such luck apparently. As Prowl came around the corner, helm bent reading a datapad but, his doorwings registering the spark signature of Ratchet's, he looked up to give the CMO a nod in greeting. Instead an optic ridge rose in a confused question after he looked up and his mouth opened to inquire but he closed it with a shake of his helm, deciding he didn't want to know, before nodding anyway before continuing on his way. The sound of angry engine revving echoed through the orange hallways 'till he reached the wash racks.
He flipped on the 'occupied' switch before turning on the heavy solvent. Closing his optics and letting the heated solvent wash over his frame, from helm to ped. He prayed when he opened his optics the paint would be swirls of watered down orange and purple disappearing down the drain as it faded from his frame. Remembering back to when the twins repainted Brawn and Cliffjumper in questionable human female attire, using solvent resistant paint. It had taken the combined efforts of himself, Wheeljack, Perceptor, and Hoist to create a solvent wash strong enough to erase the paint but not eat through the armour. They had found one but it stripped the affected 'bots down to their primer and they had to completely repaint themselves.
He shivered at the thought and peeked open an optic to see that indeed the paint was melting off his armour easily and disappearing down the drain. A heavy relived sigh gushed past the CMO's vents. Now that that worry was unfounded, he relaxed marginally in the heated solvent running down his frame.
Not even given the time to flinch at the sudden deafening noise before the comms jumped alive with a multitude of voices; asking what happened, cussing, reports, and punctuated with repeated apologised from Wheeljack.
Ratchet growled before barking out, "Injuries, Report! Now!" The comm chatter quieted as that order was heard above the rest.
Several reports of ringing audios, processor aches and dents came through the comm as Ratchet shut off the tap and hurried back towards the medbay. All listed injuries were minor until the injury report for the cause of this chaos's came over the comms, relaid by Hoist.
'Wheeljack's left arm is severed and there's a sizeable hole along the left side of his chassis.' Hoist's tone was tense, 'Preceptor isn't responding to his designation and has energon leaking from the back of his helm.'
With curse combo that would have Ironhide stunned, Ratchet ordered them to keep him updated but don't move them until he got there. Then he comm'd First Aid to order him to set up for major trauma victims; one with a chassis breach and another with a possible cracked helm.
Ratchet skidded through the doorway into Wheeljack's lab. He immediately noted Wheeljack was sitting up, alert and talking, well apologising, to Hoist who was crouched next to the inventor and talking back as well to keep him awake. The inventor's entire left side of his chassis was blackened and definitely missing multiple pieces of armour. Ratchet scanner flashed over the Lancia and relived the damage to be superficial; his spark pulse was strong, if a bit fast, thus his spark chamber wasn't breached and a majority of the energon line split had been cauterised by the heat of the explosion. A painful injury, which was probably masked by worry and shock, but not life threatening.
"Hoist, get him to medbay. First Aid is there." Ratchet ordered, then moved on to look at Preceptor.
Grapple was kneeling over an unconscious Preceptor who was sprawled on his back several meters away from the supposed explosion site, if the charred black remains and gaping hole on the primary workbench were anything to go by.
While Wheeljack's scan proved him to have non-critical injuries, Preceptor's on the other servo wasn't fairing as well. His spark pulse was far too quick, and, even though the scientist remained unconscious, his vents heaved, his fans near buzzing with the force they were using to pull in air.
Crouching next to the downed mech, Ratchet specially scanned Preceptor's cranial unit. Not surprised to find a severe dent and small crack in the outer castings of the helm, that disrupted his equilibrium chips and possibly the short term memory circuits. The important inner processing units that housed long term memory, high functions of thinking and living were jarred and 'bruised' as the humans put it but were otherwise unharmed.
Seeing that his patient was stable enough to move, Ratchet looked to a concerned looking Grapple.
"Grapple, help me get him to the medbay." The CMO ordered, the worried engineer hopped to it. Ratchet supporting one side and Grapple the other, they hurried off though careful of their now groaning cargo.
"Hey, Percy, were almost to medical." Grapple spoke to Preceptor, adopting the nickname that drove the Scientist absolutely crazy, hoping to get a response beside the pained groans. No such luck though.
"First Aid, you have that cranial trauma kit set up?!" Ratchet asked the moment the 'bay doors slide apart as he and Grapple set Preceptor on the open berth near where the medic's apprentice was working on Wheeljack.
Without breaking stride in his welding and splicing of amour, wires and lines, First Aid quipped, "Yes, sir. Its next to that berth you just placed Preceptor on." Still sounding respectful and professional yet had his mentor's signature bite to the reply. That was lost on Ratchet, who nodded and with a stated 'good', he got to work himself; splicing the outer processing wires and equilibrium chips that were snapped.
Not even one breem into Preceptor's repairs before the medbay doors flew open to emit Air Raid and Silverbolt supporting an obviously unstable FireFlight. The smallest of the arielbots was dented from helm to wingtips to his pedes and was that a tree branch sticking out from under his dorsal plating?
Ratchet growled several questionable though creative oaths and curses under his breath as he glared at the new arrivals, knowing it was something daft the areialbot did to land him in that condition. The CMO pointed towards the empty berth to his right and the supporting 'bots quickly complied, helping their dazed brother to sit on the berth and not fall over.
"Wheeljack's status." Ratchet called out to First Aid, not looking up from his work in placing the newly repaired balance chip into the correct slide in the scientist complex processor. With the internals hardly damaged his basic self-repair systems could do the work, even the crack on the outside could self-heal, Ratchet just needed to place some tempt-plating on it in order to keep it set and the inner working protected until it healed.
"Stable. I've finished the repair work to his chassis and elbow joint. His servo will need to be rebuild entirely since there wasn't anything left to repair." First Aid relaid as if reading from a medical textbook, it was the tone the young apprentice had always used when reporting injury list. The CMO had once thought it was his apprentices nerves or newness to the gore of battlefield medicine that made his tone sound so clinical, but as First Aid began to grow as a medic, Ratchet figured it was the youngling's way of keeping professional distant with his patients.
Where Ratchet used anger or irritation to cover up his worry, First Aid reverted back to staged clinical practices. Thinking of the scenario as if the 'bot in your care or on your operating table wasn't someone you had shared energon with or played 'bullshit' with every Friday or saw on a daily basis. They weren't comrades or friends or anything besides a patient that needed you at your professional best to save their lives. It was something all medics had to learn.
"Good. Wheeljack's arm will have to wait, give him a pain chip and start to work on FireFlight." Ratchet ordered before staring work on performing a light weld to his patient's cranial shell before welding the temp-plating into place.
"Yes, sir." First Aid snatched a pain chip and inserted into Wheeljack's neck port, then set to work on scanning the small arielbot while inquiring on what caused this.
"Well..." Air Raid started hesitantly, servos raising to rub the back of his neck nervously, a habit picked up by the humans no doubt.
Silverbolt sighed, feeling as if he was a lone creator caring for four troublesome sparklings, "Air Raid and Skydive were arguing on who could out-manoeuvre the other. FireFlight must have over heard them and decided to butt in to give his opinion, thus leading to a dogfight match. This is the end result." The maturest arielbot retold, tone laced with frustration and exasperation at his brothers.
He was the same age as each of them, but apparently vorns older mentally than expected. How that happened no 'bot knew, perhaps since he his the gestalt's centre, their leader and main competent to their combiner team. Though the four others weren't much competition, not that they weren't competent in battle or to preform their assign duties. It was more of the maturity level and common sense departments that lacked any smarts.
First Aid couldn't find it in his spark to blame them though, after all the gestalt was sparked for war. Born into fighting, warring, carnage, and death; they never got to experience a sparklinghood or a younglinghood as nearly all of the 'bots on base were able to. They could draw from their memory caches, good memories from a better peaceful time while the arielbots could only remember the war. Thus these incidents were them trying to make good memories of fun and good times with friends, even if it ended them in medbay or in trouble with Silverbolt.
First Aid just smiled behind his mask and shook his helm in exasperated amusement before getting to work popping out the numerous dents donning the flier's frame. The gesture was interpreted differently by the two standing arielbots, causing Silverbolt to give Air Raid a stern glare. The look promised punishment later. Most likely clean up or sentry duty.
Across the medbay, Ratchet was preparing to bring Preceptor back online. Running another scan of his patient's cranium then rechecking the wielding on the patch, the CMO was satisfied with the results thus he began the process of rebooting the scientist.
"Ugh,... I'm going to kill that fragger."
'Well, that wasn't the weirdest thing to ever come out of a patient vocaliser when they onlined after a cranial injury.' Ratchet thought, mildly amused, though it was a rather violent declaration from the pacifistic mech.
"In due time. Now, can you follow this light with your optics?" Ratchet's tone ensured his question came off more as an order as he lifted the small penlight and moved it side to side then up and down. Preceptor's optics following each direction perfectly and optic . "Good." The medic clicked off the small light before he asked, "What do you remember of what happened?"
Preceptor pushed himself up onto his elbows so he wasn't talking from a complete surspine position. His expression was pinched in confused concentration. "I recollect only a dispute with Wheeljack over an insertion of magnesium or phosphorus... Of the purpose or events after the fact I do not recall." The scientist reported with a disconcerted frown on his faceplate before he looked around Ratchet to glare towards said engineer on the berth next to his, "I do know I supported the phosphorus infusion, but no, ignore my opinion. Go with magnesium and nearly blow us all sky high!" Preceptor's vocaliser rose til he partially yelled the last statement.
Wheeljack, on the other hand, had the decency to look abashed and apologetic at his lab companion. The topic of him being known for his unpredictable explosion from his created inventions was a tender topic for the Lancia. He was a genius when it came to engineering and always came through when it was needed of him, his spur of the moment inventions saving many lives in battle. But the engineer hated the fact that he was a times the cause of injuries to his Autobot comrades. He would get lost in the excitement and thrill of a new project and forget nearly everything else. Time slipping away along with all cares but that of his project. And apparently the consequences of his experimenting slipped by as well.
"Enough, Preceptor. The blast jarred your equilibrium and short term memory chips, I've repaired the majority of the damage but your self-repair systems will handle the rest. " Ratchet butted in, stern and snappish with his servos on his hipstruts, "Though, if your well enough to argue and disrupt my medbay, then your well enough to see yourself from my medbay." The CMO glared as the scientist stood from the berth. Outside perspective would have perceived the look as to further encourage Preceptor to hit the gas peddle on his retreat from medbay, but secretly Ratchet was monitoring the scientist's balance and motor functions, thus he quickly added at seeing Percy wobble in his stride, "Light duty and no lab experiments 'til that temp-plating on your helm sets. Got it?"
Preceptor huffed but nodded, "Of course, Lieutenant Commander." He replied formally as he always reverted to when his pride towards his scientific opinions or correctness was bashed, however lightly.
Ratchet just rolled his eyes before turning to clean up his tools; wiping them down and carrying them to the correct trays in the back of the medbay to organise them. Then he grabbed the tools and spare parts/armour for the rebuilding of Wheeljack's new forearm and servo. A task the engineer would have been given if it wasn't him in need of it, and with Preceptor's talents leaning more towards cyberology of science instead of inventing, and now with him peeved off, the task fell to Ratchet.
Gathering the last necessary tool, a arch welder, Ratchet didn't make it two steps back into the main portion of medbay before a panic stricken yell of, "Ratchet!" echoed down the halls along with the sound of hurried pedefalls.
A/N: I had to stop it there or I'd have gone on forever. Wow, this was a total re-write. I expected minor changes but it turned out majorly changed... Hope it's better than the first time 'round.
How was First Aid's character? Was he too much like Ratchet? Not enough? To vague? I want him to hold individuality obviously but I also would like him to have some of his mentor's traits such as the snappish temper at times and no nonsense. But I also like the play on First Aid's gentleness and empathy since he's still young. Plus it does give him a diff from Ratch.
As for Preceptor seeming OOC. I view him as a caring 'bot and a complete pacifist, unless direly needed, but I also picture him a bit prideful in his scientific work. While Wheeljack is almost humble to a fault when he screws up, Preceptor takes a small offence at not being able to argue his point on his mess up. I figured he could use a difference from Wheeljack since their roles could be interchangeable, because they both invent, repair and rebuild stuff to improve or help Autobot life.
If any other character seemed odd, please PM or leave it in a review. I'll explain my reasoning for the character's persona, take advice and hopefully make amends in later chapters.
Thanks for reading! ^.^