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2016-08-27 Professional Courtesy

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Professional Courtesy
Date 2016/08/27
Location Backwater Planet
Participants Ratchet, Pipes
NPCs Rook, Xeta Praxis, Grr
Plot Denied
Scene GM Mirage
Summary Ratchet uses his skills as a medic to trade for credit towards fuel by helping out at the clinic on-planet. He takes Pipes along to lug stuff around.

A rusted out shack that passes for a medical facility in a small town on a small backwater planet in the middle of nowhere. The planet has both organic and inorganic residents. Most of the other mechs are monoformers, naturally, but there are a number of sentient vehicles who might pay for a nice wash, and nearly all of them consume similar products.


Rook sits in one of the chairs of the local 'infirmary,' if it can truly be called that. The building looks like it has been cobbled together from refuse, nothing more than rickety pieces of rusted metals thrown together in the hopes that it would stand. A gust of wind makes the building groan, as miserable and sick a sound as the coughs and moans from waiting patients. The Ardurian Roc watches the others with his bulbous optics: an eclectic mix of organics and mecha.

He hopes his crewmate is finished speaking with the doctor soon. He is all too ready to leave this miserable place. It reminds him of his home. Arduria, too, is a cancer waiting to collapse at the first puff of wind. His long talons clack, clack, clack against the arm of the chair as he marks the time. When he hears the creak of the door opening, he shifts to observe the new arrivals.

Cybertronians,:: he hisses in derision. Much as Cybertronians use the names of Rocs as an insult for cowards, the rocs have little love for their cousin species. ::You have to be kidding me.:: His voice can only be heard crackling over the ancient radio hanging from a belt at his waist, or over comms when set to the proper frequency.

<FS3> Pipes rolls Friendliness: Good Success. (6 7 5 5 5 5 6 7 1 4)

Ratchet spent the better part of the morning putting together several kits for mecha and organics out of the medical supplies on the Lost Light. He grumbled under his intakes somewhat as he tried to consider things he would need. Someone had sent back a picture of the 'medical facility'....more like a rusted shack about to blow over. He'd heard all about how they were 'out of gas' and couldn't use their credits here or something wasn't working. He'd only heard rumors and hadn't had a debriefing yet from those in command.

He'd woke that morning to a message asking him to trade his medical 'services' to help pay for fuel. He hoped that whoever was making this deal better be getting top pay for his help, not to mention the supplies they would use that they later would have to replace. Finally he figured he was as ready as he was going to get and he called for assistance to get the kits gathered and put on the transport to the medical facility...shack.

Upon entering, he had to duck somewhat to get in the door which made him leery about the stability of this structure to begin with...and he wasn't even that tall. Someone like Ultra Magnus would almost have to bend in half to get through that door. He smirked at that mental thought. Looking around, he heard the hiss of derision and his optics flashed then narrowed. He pointedly turned his attention to those around him, taking in the extent of the injuries and illnesses that he could guess off the top of his processor. He inwardly groaned. This was worse than he thought. With a grumbled command to those helping transport the kits, he pointed a finger to a somewhat absent corner for their deposit.

"Who's in charge here?"

Pipes is not averse to a little hard work, and the current "stranding" of the Lost Light on this planet calls for some, to earn the money to fuel up. So, the blue minibot heeded the call for helping Ratchet, and has dutifully embarked on his latest mission: to scare up some dough. Of course, taking in the sights (such as they are) and meeting the locals (such as they are) are bonuses. Shopping is off the agenda, sadly.

Pipes enters the large shack, er, infirmary along with Ratchet, loaded down with supplies. He can't see directly ahead due to the pile of stuff he's carrying being so tall, so he continually walks at angles and looks to the side to see where he's going. Navigating the door into the shack, um, infirmary was a challenge, but he succeeded. He sets down his load in the appointed corner, and then notices ... a fellow mechanoid! Looks kind of birdlike, maybe it's related to Jumpstart. "Hello, there, friend! We're here to help out! Could you direct us to the doctor on duty?"

Rook stands from his chair, thankful to be out of the blasted thing. One thing he never got used to in space travel is sitting. Perching makes so much more sense, but perches are a rare commodity out in some space sectors (and this backwater is no exception). His huge optics fix on the pair, unblinking and unwavering. The roc's movements are quick and jerky, as if he is about to tear away at any moment, and it is likely this very watchfulness and way of holding themselves that created the widely held rumor that his species is cowardly. ::You'll have to wait your turn, just like the rest of us,:: Rook snaps back.

His clearly annoyed quips are interrupted by a curious helm peaking from deeper within the shack. Surprisingly enough, the mecha appears to be of the same species and Ratchet and Pipes. A few of his face markings hint at his origin: a Camien, and a devout one at that. "Don't mind Rook. He can be a little sour at times, but he's nice enough once you get to know him. Name's Xeta Praxis," he introduces himself. "I was just getting done here if you need to talk to her."

Stepping out of the way, he reveals a knee-high, beetle-like creature. Her mandibles twitch and flare at the sight of the Cybertronians, and she crosses two pairs of arms over her segmented chest. Her carapace shimmers blue-black in the speckled light. Reaching out with one of her hands, she points at the Cybertronians and chirps a question in some alien language. A multifaceted eye stares out at them from, of all places, her palm.

<FS3> Pipes rolls Friendliness: Great Success. (4 1 3 1 1 8 8 7 7 7)

<FS3> Ratchet rolls Xenobiology: Good Success. (7 4 1 8 3 6 8)

Ratchet sighs as he hears Pipes behind him echo the same question he just asked. He truly hopes this isn't going to be the way of things during this endeavor. He gives Rook a sidelong look, optics narrowing again but he keeps his intake shut because the last thing he needs to do is start an incident. He huffs out a breath and turns to see the Camien who introduces himself. He moves towards the Camien and upon seeing the beetle like creature who is apparently the 'medic' in this rust trap, he looks down at her. He works through his databanks to see if he recognizes her species from somewhere. He's seen something similar at one time, many years ago but the creature and its mate were dead. There are many characteristics shared between those and this one.

Upon hearing her 'clicks' he shakes his head a little, "I'm sorry. I don't understand. My name's Ratchet. I'm the Co-Cheif Medical Officer of the Lost Light and have been sent to exchange my services and some of our supplies for credits towards fuel for our ship." He scowls a little, but he is a doctor and he's taken the oath to help any and all in need. But he also knows he's trespassing on someone else’s 'territory'. "Where do you want me to set up and begin?" That's assuming she wants his help at all.

"Oh, we're not patients," Pipes replies cheerily to Rook, blithely unaware of the possibility of starting an incident. Poor guy, must really need a checkup. "Hello, Xeta Praxis, I'm Pipes! I guess you're the doctor in charge, huh?"

But then ... oh my stars, a small organic arthropod! Dr. Praxis must be pretty good to work on such a wide variety of species. Pipes crouches down. "Well hello there! Did the doctor get you all healed up?" It is only then that Ratchet speaks, correctly recognizing who is the doctor and who is the patient. Pipes' optics go wide and his blue shade may be going a bit purple with the color of embarrassment mixing in. "I ... oh, I'm sorry, um, Doctor. I couldn't understand what you said, there." He stands back up and thinks maybe he needs to be quiet for a spell. Wow, it's hot in here.

Xeta Praxis nods to Pipes in greeting, but then turns his attention back to his crewmate. "Let me just get out of your way," he remarks to the two Cybertronians, slipping in the direction of the Ardurian Roc. The roc appears to be scowling, and his beak opens as if he is moments from protesting, but Praxis silences him with a gesture. They turn towards each other and begin to talk in muffled voices. They are an exceptionally odd pair, especially considering the derision that Rook just showed for Cybertronians, but the universe is full of such oddities.

And speaking of oddities, Pipes is facing one just now. The beetle-creature edges forwards, the eye on her hand narrowing into a glare. Her mandibles give a few annoyed clicks before a few Cybertronian words struggle from her mouth. "Speak little. Try," she hisses. The way her mouth moves looks almost-painful. She is clearly not built to make these sorts of noises. But considering her position, and the range of clients she has to help, she has picked up basic understandings of thousands of languages.

"You?" she points to the one behind Pipes, and then gestures to herself in question. It is the best way she can manage to ask if he is the one who is the doctor like her. Once that is done, she lifts one of her arms to her mouth and begins to clean it with her mandible as a way of showing them she wishes for them to scrub down first. "This."

<FS3> Ratchet rolls Diagnosis: Great Success. (8 3 8 7 5 8 8 4 3 3 5 4)

Ratchet's optics follow Xeta Praxis and Rook for a moment, then asks Xeta, "Do you speak her language?" He indicates the Doctor. "If you do, can you download it into a file that I can access?" He doesn't wait for an answer since there are more pressing matters, and Xeta seems occupied with Rook. He's not here to be nosey so he doesn't bother to try and listen to what Xeta and Rook are speaking about. He's here to do a job and hope they can get off this Primus forsaken backwater planet. However, a little niggle in the back of his processor sees several different species of aliens he hasn't really had a chance to document. His internal fascination with Xenobiology is piqued and he wonders what other beings are here that he might study while they wait to make enough. Well, he'll sure get an optic full in this tin can.

If he were less professional, he' might face-palm at Pipes' faux pas but he doesn't. He turns his full focus back on the beetle in front of him, very carefully cataloging her movements and body language. At the indication of needing to scrub down, he gives her a slight nod.

Turning to Pipes he shifts and points to the stuff he just had him drop off. "Blue container. Bring it here and open it. It's a portable sanitation station." As he scans the room and the patients waiting for assistance, he runs a surface diagnosis algorithm to gage what they are looking at. He turns back to the beetle, "It appears you have a small epidemic on your hands. What is your name and how do I say it in something that is easy for you to communicate to me?"

Pipes gives the actual doctor a salute. Shutting up, sir. Or ma'am. Whatever you might be. Thankfully, the other medical professional in the room gives him something to do, so he hops to it. There are a few blue containers, but he peeks inside them to find one that looks ... sanitationy. As he's looking, he makes some small talk with the Camien and the other mech. Hey, they didn't tell him not to say anything! Yet. "So, what's your story?" He finds the right container and returns it to Ratchet.

What do you mean she wants us to wait until closing?!:: Rook's voice suddenly crackles over the radio. Whatever they are whispering about, it clearly did not make the Ardurian Roc happy. The metal appendages on his back flare in annoyance. Xeta makes a gesture to quiet him when the other Cybertronians speak up.

Glancing over, the Camien offers up a quick smile to Pipes and the doctor. "Us? We were just hoping she could mix up a medication for a crew member of ours before we went on our way," he answers Pipes. "And I know enough. I can forwards you the language pack if you need."

The doctor, in the meantime, throws an annoyed glance at Rook. Holding a finger to her mandibles, she gestures for him to quiet down before glancing back at Ratchet. "Write?" she chirps out. That she can do better than speak, if need be.

Ratchet nods to the Camien. "Send it to me if you can," he says, his voice quieter. He looks uncertain at the Rook but then looks at the doctor and pulls out a data pad from his subspace, along with a stylus. These he hands towards the doctor before he goes to set up the sanitation station and once done, begins to disinfect his arm plating and servos like an old pro. Well, he is old...ish, and very familiar with this method. It only takes him a few moments before he is done and has readied the station for any further use.

He looks over at Pipes, "I want you to record information on those that I assist with. I want a log of my work to show towards the cost of our fuel." With that, he turns back and moves to an area that appears to be a set of tables used for seeing patients on.

He grimaces at how low set they are. It would require him to be on his knees for most of the time. He looks over at Pipes, "Green container. The biggest green one. Bring it to me." Luckily, he brings his own table that is set for his height once put together.

Pipes nods to the Camien. "Well, maybe we can take some of the doc's load off so she has more time for you!" Then there's a set of directions from Ratchet. Good thinking, having proof of what he does! He'll have to make sure that he writes up his own contribution too - should be worth a few more whatever-they-use-here. He hops back to the pile and gets the big green thing. Heavier than it looks. He hauls it back over and sets it down somewhere that looks reasonable.

Xeta mutters something to Rook, who still looks irate, before moving his digits up to his comm line. He sends out a short data burst with the necessary files to both of the Cybertronians in the room. When their translation protocols kick into place, all the little chirping and whining noises the doctor had been making suddenly make much more sense. "... finally get some help over here. I've been telling the main branch we're backed up more than we can handle, but do they listen? No, never, they'd rather..." she is muttering to herself, a mixture of complaining and rambling.

Xeta steps up towards Pipes, and the doctor laying out his tools. "Well, since it looks like we might be here for a while, is there anything I can do to he-"

The angry muttering of the doctor suddenly morphs to a cry of indignation. While the three were talking and setting up, the annoyed roc had taken it upon himself to scamper forwards and pick up the bug-like creature by the back of its neck. "Listen, you little creep. You're going to do what w-"

"Put me down, put me down, put me down!" she snaps, the heads of waiting patients suddenly snapping around to watch the scene.

Ratchet accepts the language packet and scans it for any tracers or virus's before he proceeds to download it into his processor net. He seems to relax a little and smirks at what the beetle is saying. Able to speak in her language a bit, he makes the little clicking noises back to her, easy to replicate with his vocal processor. "What is your name doctor? Where did you...," Before he can finish the question to ask about her education, he sees Rook move over to grab her by the neck and haul her up.

His battle protocols go online and in a moment, a wrench, small enough to avoid maximum damage to the Rook is in his hands. His fierce scowl could stall most Cybertronian sparks and he pitches it towards the bird creature. "Unhand her. No one touches medical staff like that you rotted piece of carrion!" he bellows.

<FS3> Ratchet rolls Intimidation: Success. (2 3 3 3 2 2 3 7 3)

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Ratchet=firearms Vs Rook=6 < Ratchet: Success (8 4 3 2 5 6) Rook: Failure (3 3 5 5 6 1) < Net Result: Ratchet wins - Marginal Victory

Pipes doesn't even think to scan the language pack as it streams in; the Camien is clearly a trustworthy bot. When his translators update and he understands what the doctor is saying, he can't help but draw comparisons. To another bot. Who's here. Still, wisely, he says nothing.

Pipes scoots back again to the pile to find a datapad - there must be one in there - when Rook makes his move. Oh, maybe this is why it was a good idea Pipes came along. He steps up. "All right, friend, put the doctor down. Now that we're here to help we'll get you fixed up. No need for that." Look at the little diplomat. Still, one hand drifts towards his hip, ready to bring out Jake if necessary.

Rook spots the flicker of movement out of the corner of his optic, trying to get out of the way only a moment too late. Ratchet's wrench slams into his shoulder. It's not nearly enough to get him to drop the little bug, but it is enough to seriously piss him off. ::This is none of your business, Cybertronian. Stay out of it!:: he snaps at both Pipes and Ratchet.

When the Roc tries to turn his attention back to the writhing bug, though, Praxis interrupts him. The Camien, unlike his companion, abhors violence. At the scene unfolding before his optics, he has blanched of all color. "Rook, must you? I know you're in a rush but..."

Rook swipes his talons at Praxis in a show of frustration. This whole situation is just becoming more unbearable by the moment, and he just wants it to be done. With a noise of disgust, he tosses the little doctor aside. She lets out a shriek of disdain as she streaks through the air. He does not pay attention to where she lands. ::We're done here,:: he barks to Xeta, grabbing the Camien and beginning to pull him towards the exit. Apparently this happens fairly regularly, because Xeta's posture slumps and he simply allows himself to be dragged. He offers an apologetic smile to the Cybertronians and the doctor in turn. "I'm so sorry about this. I guess we're going?" he mutters.

Meanwhile, the little doctor is on a heap in the floor muttering to herself once again, "... second time this week I've been thrown... whatever happened to manners... behind schedule...:

Ratchet remains tense, prepared to do worse if the Rook doesn't let go of the doctor. When he throws her, Ratchet does try to catch her but he would have to move a bit faster and try to avoid stepping on or running into some of the patients. It was a valiant try but he looks pissed when he misses her. He turns back to look at the two retreating beings. His optics narrow at Rook and his field clamps in tight around him as he scowls at the Camien. As they are leaving, he calls out, "You should find yourself another partner Xeta! That one's going to get you killed some day."

And with that, he turns his back and goes over to where the beetle is picking herself up, "Are you all right?" he asks gently in her language. "Any damage?" He tries to give her a quick once over with his optics so not to be intrusive. "I never did get your name."

Pipes frowns as the little confrontation heads south. Before Jake joins the party, though, Rook tosses the doctor aside and grabs poor Xeta Praxis! This won't do at all. He chases after the pair and makes a leap for the Camien's legs. "Oh no you don't! You need your medicine!"

The beetle stretches and gets to her feet when Ratchet leans in, stretching the soreness out of her myriad limbs. There's a thin crack in her carapace along one of her arms, but she does not seem overly concerned about it. Instead, she tilts one of her hands upwards so that she can look up at him. "... Is nothing, happens here often... rough planet... name is..." She trails off, making a sound like a lawn mower. Apparently the name cannot be translated. "But you will not be able to say it... Most just call me Grr... But they must stop, disturbing the patients."

No longer dizzy from her throw, Grr's attention has snapped back to the confrontation at the door. Many of the patients in the waiting room are now cowering in their chairs or trying to slip away. The Camien she had been speaking with shortly before her helpers arrived is now stuck between two of the robots. The roc still has a firm grip on the back of Xeta's armor, and Pipes has successfully managed to snag one of the legs. The camien's optics are bright with anxiety, tears of light bleeding down his faceplates. "Ack! Is this really necessary? I'm fine. You can let go."

Ratchet catches sight of the crack. "I can fix that when we have a moment," he says almost quietly. "Or at least patch it so it won't get worse." He nods at her name but looks at the doorway. "Pipes! Let go of them. I need you to go back to the ship for additional supplies." He transmits a packet of information to Pipes. "And get some others to secure these walls a bit better outside. I don't need this place falling in on us while we're working."

With that, he ignores Pipes and the other two. He'll ask Grr later what that was all about. He begins to assemble the examination table that works best for him and motions to Grr, "What is our first priority?" he asks, "What have you been having to deal with the most or is the worst and should be attended to first?"

"Are you sure?" Pipes looks up at the Camien. Ratchet's also barking more orders at him, so he reluctantly lets go and stands up. "I'll see you around, maybe?" He turns to receive the rest of Ratchet's instructions. "All right, sure thing. Who's going to write down what you do, though? Well, anyway, here's the datapad." He scurries over and sets the datapad down on the expandable table, then rushes out the door. He can be heard converting to alt mode and driving off. This may relieve some of the patients.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm sure," Xeta says in a rush. Honestly, he would say anything just to see the fighting stop. This has all been too much excitement for one day. As the pair finally leaves the ramshackle clinic, the sound of Rook's radio crackling as he snaps at Xeta can be heard. The pair might catch a glimpse of the Camien attempting to wave goodbye as he is hauled off, the look on his faceplates anguished.

With them finally gone Grr turns to survey the damage to her clinic. Many of her patients have slipped away in the ruckus, leaving the place the emptiest it has been in days, but that isn't exactly comforting. She knows they stumble back in worse condition a couple of days later. Her mandibles click in annoyance. At the question of first priorities, though, she notices that one of the people still waiting appears to be too sluggish and out-of-it to even notice or react to any of the excitement. That alone is alarming. She points to them. "I will help... calm rest?" she explains. Glancing down at the crack in her own carapace, she sighs and then moves her arm to clean the wound with her mandibles. "Will be fine, drool is antiseptic."

Ratchet nods. He may have a millennia and more experience than Grr but she is the resident medic/doctor. He follows her lead and goes over to the one she indicates. Trying to exude a calmness about him, he gently gathers up the creature who is about half of Ratchet's size and carries them over to one of her examination tables. He wants to get a feel for what has been used to treat these aliens before he begins to diagnose and treat them himself.

As for the missing patients, he knows that as soon as word gets out that there might be a chance to actually get attended to perhaps even today, many will filter back, and then some since there is now a second pair of hands...well, servos, helping.

Once Ratchet gets to see Grr truly in action, it quickly becomes apparent how she came by her nickname. The little doctor is full of spit and vinegar, herding patients back into the waiting and giving a quick glance over others. With her clinic constantly overflowing, she has become something of an expert at management. She skitters here and there chittering, growling, and speaking in equal measures. Under her, she will quickly have things calmed in no time. She is in the process of chewing out a patient who was trying to use the commotion to steal medication when the lethargic patient Ratchet is attending to finally seems to stir.

It appears to be a species similar to Grr's with slight differences, hinting that they are either common or native in this sector of space. While larger, it has the same segmented body and hard carapace. It's shell, unlike Grr's gleaming one, is a dull and scratched grey. The eyes on its hands are filmed over with age. "... Who are you? Where is Grr?" it demands, trying to twitch away. Apparently a regular visitor if they know the medic by name.

It doesn't take Ratchet long to truly get the gist of the medical issues, often conferring with Grr about her attempted methods to help cure some of the lesser effected patients and offering suggestions or additional treatments. Used to running his own medical ward much like she is, he fits right into the flow, speeding up the process of attending patients by being able to pick them up or take them from one place to another. Having a second pair of optics and servos to help with some of the more difficult cases speeds up the process.

As the first patient begins to stir, he moves so that he isn't looming over the patient, "I am Ratchet," he responds in the language of Grr. "I am Cybertronian and am here to assist her with her clinic. She is attending another patient as we speak." The creature's attempts to wriggle away do little. Considering the lethargy that was afflicting it only moments ago, it can barely manage more than a half-hearted step or two. Apparently it didn't hear much of what Ratchet had to say either. "Grr?!" it calls out, voice slowly growing louder. The medic looks up from where she is still lecturing her wayward patient. She chirps at him from across the room, a string of words that is also untranslatable.

"I'll be over in a moment, Rrg," she calls back. "Just keep him quiet for me, will you?"

Ratchet nods to Grr, and moves slightly to get the other's attention. A patient in this state, older, perhaps going blind and lethargic to start, can get startled or scared. He does nothing that would seem threatening, but he leans over the creature a little. "Rrg, how well do you know Grr?" He tries to engage the older creature.

Whatever the thief had come to the clinic about in the first place, apparently Grr does not find it concerning enough to warrant them staying after their case of sticky fingers. While Ratchet is talking to the older bug in order to keep him calm, the medic is now in the process of chasing them out the door. It would be no exaggeration to say that she is literally nipping at their heels. The ancient bug squirms at the commotion.

She is done in time to answer the question for the confused, sickened creature. Once she is satisfied the troublemaker is done and gone, she scampers over to Ratchet's side. "This one, they bring him here at least once a month... but never this bad, no, no... I told him, but he would not listen... they never do, think they are immortal..." she complains, leaning on the tips of her feet to get a better look. Her mandibles click in disdain. "Do not eat the alien barnacles off sides of ships, even if they will pay you to clean, I say... slowly toxic, over a lifetime, eats you from the inside out... but sometimes only way to make a living."

Ratchet grimaces, "Dear Primus! That's how some of them make a living?" He gives a shudder, "Is there nothing else for them to do or is that the best there is?" He understands that not everyone is destined to have a gracious job. He has seen even what happens to even the lowest Cybertronians. It's not pretty and often fatal, but one can always hope for something better.

What is disgusting to Ratchet does not even phase Grr. She clambers onto the examination table to get a better look at the patient. Her mandibles click together in thought. "For some it is the only way... We are a small planet, not very many opportunities..." she explains. Leaning over, she begins to prod at Rrg to see if she can get him to stir. However, he seems to have lapsed back into lethargy. The medic rests a hand along the base of his shoulder blade, apparently taking his vital signs.

"Is alive... Will watch him tonight, see if we flush toxins from him... But may be too many," she mutters to herself. She does not have high hopes for this one. She decides she'll see to the unpleasant task herself. Glancing around, she nods towards a mechanical patient she knows has been waiting for some hours yet. "I will handle this... You repair his vocalizer? Is fritizing..." She begins to busy herself with Rrg, talking to herself. "So much work, so much work... why does main branch think extra hands for only one day will do enough..."

Ratchet sighs quietly at her words, at the reality of the situation. He listens with half an audio sensor to the words she's saying about so much work, not enough hands. He sets aside part of his processor to work over some of the information they have on this planet and its citizens, their trade, the things others have seen and reported. He wonders if there is some way for Grr to take on an apprentice of sorts, if nothing more than someone to sort through the sick to decide what order they were seen in and help streamline things a little better to make the flow easier.

He moves to the mechanical alien and motions for them to follow, getting them up on his travel medical exam table and goes to work. For hours, the two work on cases that they can do what they can and those that had slunk away with the violence come slinking back to fill up the waiting room. Ratchet continues to work long into the evening even after Grr may tire and need rest.

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