2015-04-03 Doctor's Orders

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Doctor's Orders
Date 2015/04/03
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical
Participants Rodimus, Ultra Magnus
NPCs Ratchet
Plot Evolve
Summary Rodimus and Ultra Magnus have both gotten cleaned up.

Lost Light: Science and Medical -- Science and Medical

To one side, medical: often one of the quieter areas of the ship, Ratchet runs it with an iron, if somewhat rusted, hand. When a crisis breaks out, it transforms from silence to a hub of activity, carefully overseen and controlled.

To the other side, science: things explode with distressing regularity behind those triply-reinforced walls. Warning signs are posted prominently, and triply so around Brainstorm's Workshop.

Rodimus eases out of Perceptor's Lab with a discomforted sort of twist to his features. He rolls his shoulders, settling armor back in place. He looks squeaky clean. All the dust and ash of the dead world now lies in carefully labeled, carefully arranged vials in Perceptor's lab. (Well, okay. Not all. Say the words 'dead world' and watch Brainstorm's expression /go nova/, and then try keeping samples out of his hands. It's not gonna happen. Still. Most of it, anyway!)

The -- body? victim? patient? -- that they've recovered now lies in medical under the care of Ratchet and Knock Out. It's in that direction that Rodimus head on leaving the lab only to find the door determinedly, pointed, fixedly locked to him with a warning from Ratchet that if Rodimus violates the safeguards, Ratchet will be forced to get creative. He rocks back on his heels.

It's not unusual for Ultra Magnus to appear looking squeaky clean, in his own turn, but there's a level of above and beyond to which he appears at this point. His scouring has been thorough and meticulous, and notably, he has conducted it himself, and catalogued the results himself for the review of the research team. Every interworked piece of his armor has been cleaned in the solitude of his quarters. Not a molecule of the black sooty ash has been permitted to remain upon any part of his heavy frame. How he has accomplished this on his own recognizance is one of the mysterious of the most anal bot in the galaxy, doubtless.

So it is that his stop in the research lab to provide the materiel is comparatively brief, and he emerges again just in time to witness Rodimus's reaction to his rebuff in the hallway.

Predictably, his reaction is to try again: "Ratchet, come on, I'm the captain. You gotta let me in."

Ratchet's response /blisters/.

Rodimus cuts off audio halfway through. His expression is dazed as he turns away to spot Ultra Magnus stepping out of the lab he just left. Dazed swaps for confused. It's a subtle change. "You are way too big for it to have taken /that/ little time to sweep you out."

"The tradition of medical authority aboard ship is very old and storied throughout the galaxy, Rodimus," Ultra Magnus informs his commanding officer as he walks across the plating toward him, the clank of his step gentle only because it is measured. "Even the humans have their own version of it. Though, of course, theirs is more ... biological."

Folding his hands in a loose clasp behind him, Ultra Magnus sweeps a long glance down Rodimus from his height, and says with mild dignity, "It took seventy eight point three three four standard minutes. Our guest is not yet ready for an interview, I take it?"

"What a /captain's/ authority," Rodimus grumbles. He does not test the door again, however. He folds his arms over his chest and gives Magnus his full attention. His gaze sweeps from shoulder stacks to booted toe. He looks thoughtful. "That's a lot of minutes, but I guess there's a lot of you. Tell you what: next time a planet dissolves beneath us, I'll help you get it off your boots," he offers with a quick grin.

"What about a /captain's/ authority," Rodimus grumbles. He does not test the door again, however. He folds his arms over his chest and gives Magnus his full attention. His gaze sweeps from shoulder stacks to booted toe. He looks thoughtful. "That's a lot of minutes, but I guess there's a lot of you. Tell you what: next time a planet dissolves beneath us, I'll help you get it off your boots," he offers with a quick grin.

Ultra Magnus gives Rodimus a look of vague suspicion, his plated brow heavy over his gaze as he eyes his captain. "That should not be necessary. I am very capable of cleaning my own boots." These boots scrape wide as he settles his stance, broad hands fallen to his sides, and says: "Do you imagine that in the course of our mission that we will destroy many planets simply by stepping on them? It's new to my experience and I'm concerned that it might be a violation of at least one galactic treaty."

Rodimus puts his hands up, fending off suspicion as much as question. "Hey, it wasn't us stepping on it that did it. It was the impact of the pod. Ship. Thing. Whatever it was." He glances back in the direction of medibay again with a brief frown. He chases it off his features with effort and looks back at Ultra Magnus. "Not anything we could help, anyway. Too bad we never really got down into the core, though. Or what was left of it."

"Yes. The violation in question was not ours." Ultra Magnus lifts his glance to consider the sealed door to the medical bay for a moment of narrowed gaze that suggests a shadow of humor about an otherwise neutral expression. His frown resumes its ordinary prominence after a beat as he returns Rodimus's glance. "Perceptor will conduct a thorough examination of the material we brought back, and I imagine that Nautica will have a great deal to say about whatever they find as well."

"Boy, will she." Rodimus glances off to the side. Slowly, his smile widens as he looks back. "She's enthusiastic enough about it all, that's for sure. She's got Perceptor's problem with language. They use too much of it. Have you ever /read/ one of his /memos/?" he asks, as though the answer isn't perfectly obvious.

"I read all of the memos," Ultra Magnus informs Rodimus without humor. "From everyone. With scrutiny." (And, sometimes, when he feels it is appropriate, with a little red pen on hand--)

His head lowers slightly, as if borne downward by the sheer weight of frown across his brow. "I appreciate people who enjoy their work," Magnus says, a little like there's a but buried in there in the midst of this mild encomium. "In any event," he says, instead of voicing whatever it is, "I presume you've asked Ratchet to alert us as to when our guest is awake?"

"/All of them/?" Rodimus looks vaguely intimidated by the weight of all that /scrutiny/. "From /everyone/?" He has a moment's guilty-conscience flinch to consider the kinds of memos that /he/ sends, then abandons the thought as boring. (Much as he abandons the half-written memos he sends, and the well-written memos he rarely reads.)

"Yeah, of course. I'm pretty sure he said he would, but I wasn't really listening. I figured if I just talked over him, he'd agree," Rodimus says. His easy tone fades into something a tiny bit more thoughtful as he reflects, "But it didn't work."

Ultra Magnus gives Rodimus a look of mild consternation. He says, "Yes. All of them. Every memo. Rodimus, why do you think I schedule briefings? Do you think I am doing it to punish you? Never mind, don't answer that." He waves this off in a gesture that becomes the close of a loose fist as he lowers it to his side, saying: "Do /you/ agree with an argument merely because it manages to be louder than you?"

Rodimus has his mouth open. It is not a 'no' that his lips and tongue shape against his teeth.

Rodimus swallows his answer on Ultra Magnus's request. He replaces it with a room-warming smile. "I don’t really run into a lot of people louder than me. I mean, Swerve will talk more than me -- he'll talk more than /anything/, just /try/ shutting him up, I /dare/ you -- but he's pretty easy to run over. Anyway, that's /me/. And then there's /other people/."

"Rodimus," Ultra Magnus begins, and then the name just kind of hangs there for a moment, weighted in the air as he tries to figure out some avenue of persuasion that might slide past the happy smile and the bright coat of paint and the general Rodimus of Rodimus.

Finally, he says: "All right. You're right. That was a bad example. But you can't really expect Ratchet to be easy to run over. Or myself, for another example." He gives his commanding officer a firm, steady look.

Rodimus looks sly. "No, sometimes you've gotta run around a problem, instead." And then steal its ship. His expression lights. "I bet there are other ways to get into medibay besides the front door."

"Such as waiting for your chief medical officer to give you the go ahead, and /then/ going in the front door," Ultra Magnus suggests with a particularly forbidding version of his usual frown. (He may only have two expressions, but there are /gradations/.)

"Oh, I shouldn't have said that out loud. In front of you," Rodimus continues to say out loud, in front of Ultra Magnus. He's having a Whirl moment. "Or that."

"Rodimus," Ultra Magnus says levelly. He stares down at him like he might stare at someone whose likelihood of future criminal activity is skyrocketing with passing seconds. (Or like anybody who is having a Whirl moment.) "It will not benefit you or this ship to infuriate your CMO. The tradition of medical authority--"

Rodimus waves his arms wide and repeats, "Captain's authority! He's -- he's disrespecting /my/ authority! He's, uh, undermining! Undermining the chain of command!'

"The captain's authority does not outstrip the CMO's in questions of medicine," Ultra Magnus states, his hands as restrained as his tone, the weight of his gaze very serious. (As it usually is.) "When it comes to the direct question of his patients, Ratchet outranks everyone aboard, which includes both of us. There are a few limited exceptions in the history of Cybertronian law when it comes to ... matrix holders, of course," Ultra Magnus is forced by candor to correct himself. "But for example when the captain is injured, his doctor may order him confined to the medibay and, on rare occasions historically, restrained under lock."

Oo, loophole. Rodimus narrows his eyes. "I /was/ a matrix holder. Carrier. Whatever. And anyway we've still got half of it in the lab." He waves back in Perceptor's direction. "So I go grab it and then Ratchet has to let me in, right?"

"Why do you want to go in there?" Ultra Magnus asks, a little as though he suspects that the main reason Rodimus really wants to go in there is because Ratchet told him he couldn't.

"Be--cause." The first, second, and third answers all fail in the face of this perfectly reasonable question, /because the answer is exactly what Ultra Magnus thinks it is/. After a long pause, Rodimus says, "Restrain under lock, huh?"

"When necessary. I understand that some captains make notoriously terrible patients." Ultra Magnus gives Rodimus a look of lifted brow more than frown. It remains to be guessed which of the two of them would be the more terrible patient, actually.

(The answer is probably both.)

Settling back, Rodimus says, "Well, I've probably got memos to write about something, I bet, so maybe I'll just go -- do that." Ultra Magnus appears to have successfully defeated his siege on the medibay.

"I look forward to reading them," Ultra Magnus says, with every evidence of real sincerity, as he turns about to head off down the hall.

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