Actions

2018-10-30 Break

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Break
Date 2018/10/30
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Medibay
Participants Ratchet, Rodimus
Summary As in, break of a fever. Not break of Ratchet's cane over Rodimus's head, JEEZ.

Getting to this point took Ratchet longer than he would have liked. Between deciphering the Quintesson's instructions, vetting them to make sure they wouldn't cause more mischief, dealing with Soundwave's petulant mischief, and testing the cure on the (consenting) Jet, Ratchet is finally ready to see to his Captain. And not a moment too soon: the electro-plague continues to ravage Rodimus's systems and he practically guzzles fuel, though Ratchet has kept him on a lower regimen to minimize stress on systems that are involuntarily activated as a result of the Quintesson attack. In short, Rodimus is hungry and cold, in an airless void.

The good news: he hears Ratchet knock on the interior airlock door and can see his face in the porthole.

Despite the fact that they don't help, Rodimus has asked for heat blankets -- and melted straight through them. They are sort of slumped, crispy and crinkled, around his feet where he's hunched in the corner, legs drawn against his chest. The appearance of a face in the airlock and a knock on the door startles into him into a bleary pretense of health that's transparent as glass. He stumbles to his feet, kicks the crisped blankets to the side, and clamps his armor in tight to try to still the rattle of the shiver that creeps across his frame. He can't do anything about the way the fever has brightened his gaze, overheated filaments near-translucent and Matrix-blue light spilling forth. "Ratchet, when I told Penchant I'd rather you just offline me until you had a cure, I didn't really mean it."

Ratchet grimaces from behind the airlock when he sees how Rodimus is taking this. That's the worst part of the job, seeing the vital and energetic laid low by things they can't control. There's no trace of that expression when the door opens to admit him into the makeshift chamber. Instead, he wears a light, slightly lopsided smile. "Unfortunately curing alien diseases isn't an overnight process." Ratchet gestures towards Rodimus's slab, inviting him to lay down on it. "But I think I've got something that can get you back to a more manageable situation. Let me just do a scan first, make sure nothing has changed too much since last time." The doctor pauses. "I really am sorry I couldn't do this sooner. It was the Quints."

"Ratchet, I trust you," Rodimus says, an impulse there to reach for him, clasp him on the shoulder, and back up the sincerity of his gaze with the warm weight of his touch. Except it's not a warm weight, now: it's a scorching heat, liable to do real damage to Ratchet if left for a moment more than a paint-scorching poke. So his hand stirs, and then falls, clasped in a fist at his side. He makes his way over to the slab with a creak of metal from struts and supports in his frame which have been exposed to an unusual degree of heat and expanded; some of the worst show signs of bending if too much weight is placed on them, so it's probably for the best that Rodimus has been reduced to a sad, pathetic ball. "I knew you'd find the cure."

"Well, the Quint you brought back was very eager to share. Wanted to know all about your symptoms." Ratchet begins. While balancing on his cane he produces a datapad and begins the scan, focusing on that instead of all the red alert warning signs that Rodimus is unconsciously broadcasting his way. "He laid a few traps in his explanation but I sussed them out. Jet seems to be doing well. You two have the same thing." Apparently satisfied with the scan, the doctor nods and stows the pad. "You should know that you've been infected with an electrically transmitted virus. It's hijacked your metabolic systems to activate the processes that consume the most fuel. Hence your uncontrolled flare-ups. It's a wasting disease the Quint stored in his tentacles."

"Electronically--." Rodimus breaks off as he tracks through memory to find the key piece. His eyes flare in a sharp, bright anger. "That little fragger. He zapped me with his tentacles. I didn't think about it. I don't think I even told you, that's how little I thought about it." He pauses, then says, "I thought I was being a total badass when it didn't even rock me. Now I wonder if it wasn't calibrated not to. What about Jet? That's why he was so fuel-hungry? He's had it longer," he says, obvious concern showing through. "But Jet's doing well? You treated him?"

Ratchet nods. "Soundwave told me." The doctor replies. "And I sort of put together from there, when I saw how Jet was suffering and I had no other explanations." He shrugs and turns away, reaching into a compartment to withdraw two components that he sets about working on. "That would be my guess. It supercharged your internal systems, overrode the inherent programming. It's an insidious little disease. Though, I've never been too impressed with the malicious application of these things. Could be an entire technique to override and regulate abnormalities in metabolic functioning. Instead, he uses it like a sledgehammer. And I'm supposed to think these Quints are clever? Heh." Ratchet shakes his head. "Anyway, Jet's doing fine. I had him under observation for a few solar cycles and he's actually resting and recharging normally." He turns back, holding a faintly glowing vial of some purplish liquid. "This may take a bit out of you."

Rodimus grins as Ratchet immediately begins complaining about the lack of subtlety in the Quint's approach. "Yeah. Give some people a scalpel and they'll just stab people with it." He's trying to be serious. He even carefully molds his face to look solemn. The tease shows through in his voice. News that Jet's doing better eases some of the tension from Rodimus's shoulders, and his vents slacken as he relaxes again. Making a face at the liquid, he says, "I hope it takes a lot out of me. I can't believe you were right, after all. Cooties. Quint cooties."

Ratchet laughs, a sharp guffaw escaping his vocal processor. "I felt bad about that one." He replies. "Well, for a little while. And where you were concerned. Soundwave can be awfully petulant for someone with his resume." Ratchet offers Rodimus the vial, which is unusually thick and crystalline, designed to be heat resistant. "Take this and down it as fast as you can. I don't quite know how prolonged exposure to your kind of heat will affect the serum." He notes with a serious mien before switching back to his earlier line of banter. "Then again, I can't imagine being in that structure. Everyone afraid of you. No wonder you don't develop a sense of humor. No one to put a chip in your armor."

Rodimus takes the vial from Ratchet with extraordinary care not to scorch or scald. He throws back the contents of the vial like he's afraid they'll evaporate before they hit his tanks if he's not fast enough, and makes a face -- even if that was probably too fast for any taste to register. It's a face that melts into a touch of crooked humor. "You liar. You didn't feel that bad. I heard he got confined to quarters because of the Quint angle, and his mods. Makes sense. Don't tell him I said that. Do tell him I stood up for his sense of humor, though: he's totally funny. Ish. In his way. No other Quint-trouble, though?"

The medicine tingles as it goes down, and Rodimus can feel a slight buzzing hum start to spread through his systems. Not unpleasant. "I did feel bad." Ratchet insists, though he's watching Rodimus closely, particularly in his optics. "It was unprofessional and not consistent with our recent trend towards harmonious living." The doctor confesses. "As to his sense of humor, I'll defer to you on that. As for the quarantine, I need to figure out how to...defuse what's been grafted onto him." Ratchet shakes his head. "I told him it was a bad idea..." He squints at Rodimus's optics. "How are you feeling?" The buzz spreading through his sytems is not unplesant, as it gently edges him towards a shut down.

The light of Rodimus's gaze softens, less due to the effect of the medicine and more as Ratchet speaks. That his gaze keeps softening, dulling with a soft baffle of fuzz, that has something to do with the medicine. The first gentleness is for Ratchet's apology, and Rodimus answers it with a smile. "Apology accepted, then. I'm not sure I could have resisted the crack in your place, either." At the question, he hesitates, grasping for a description of how he's feeling. "I feel -- fuzzy? Which is an improvement over melty, maybe? Kind of feel like I could pass out. Is it supposed to do that?" His question is a bit distant, as though he stands a bit at a remove from the actual feeling. "You could always just pull them off of him, haha. They're detachable. Quint's just dropped, like -- pppphbt." He flaps his arms to demonstrate.

Ratchet nods slowly. "That's good. That's good. The energon serum is going to slowly and gently shut down your systems, like you're recharging. It will purge the virus, and then your brain module will reboot everything back to normal. Or that's the theory. Worked so far with Jet..." The doctor shrugs. Dangers of this line of work. "So just lie back. You should be feeling a little warmer as your frame retains more of its heat." Ratchet urges, one hand out but not touching Rodimus, as if to reassure him and guide him down. Then he blinks at something Rodimus said. "...Detachable? Why in the pit is Soundwave still in quarantine then? He could've just handed them off to me."

"Because he's petulant all the time, actually, not just some of the time," Rodimus says, more than happy to lie down. He shivers with a clatter of armor as he presses his overheated frame to the ALSO too-warm, but less-scorching berth, like it's made out of supercooled ice. "I don't think they are all detachable all the way, though. I dunno. I kind of like them. I hope he can keep them." Ratchet's saved from the rest as Rodimus's systems offline: tick-tick-tick, and then the light of his eyes goes dark. He's probably dead.

Ratchet considers Rodimus's information about Soundwave as he drifts off. "Huh." He muses just before Rodimus goes offline. "I guess it is true what you say. Never meet your monsters, they'll always disappont you."

Sometime later, Rodimus comes back online. But he's not in the airlock. He is, in fact, in the medbay, lying on a non-melted circuit slab. He feels tired, very tired, and aside from a thin feed of energon his fuel tanks are damn near depleted. But, he is not longer freezing, nor does he feel the compulsion to FLAME ON right here in the middle of everything.

Ratchet happens to be walking by. Or the datapad in his hand alerted him to Rodimus coming back online. Choose whichever makes you feel better. "Welcome back." The doctor says. "Feeling better?"

Rodimus answers with an incredibly overacted groan of suffering and pain as he says, "I'm being held against my will and denied energon by the galaxy's biggest sadist. No, seriously, I'm starving. My tanks are basically on empty. Are you still not fueling me?" He is absolutely, 100% oblivious to the line in his arm. His ventilation system is a little glitchy: it keeps idling at too high a heat, even for him, and then is suddenly forced to kick in and blast hot air as it cycles atmosphere through. It's just such a blast of warmth that greets Ratchet now as Rodimus's frame remembers: oh yeah, cool.

Ratchet squints his optics against the blast, momentarily deactivating them before bringing them back online. "Your systems were running in the red for a long time." Ratchet replies. "I'm being *careful* so I don't overstress your systems or burn down my medbay. It won't be for much longer. The signs are very promising." The doctor assures Rodimus with a nod. "Your job is to rest, talk to the mechs you've missed, and let First Aid know if you start to register over 3000 degrees." Given the hard set of Ratchet's features, it's impossible to tell if he's joking with that last. "And call me a sadist? Maybe everyone's a sadist to the galaxy's biggest masochist."

It takes Rodimus a split second to parse that last line, at which point he looks incredibly offended. He sits up, without the squeak and strain of joints and struts that the heat had earlier provoked, and says, "Hey!" He stops for a second. He is clearly struggling to come up with a good quip. He doesn't get far. He just mutters, a little disgruntled, "I'm a risk-taking rebel, not a masochist." Please, don't point out to him that he hasn't been a rebel against the man for a very long time. He has been the man for years. YEARS. "Oh, hey: was I at least out long enough that the organic slag is over with?"

"Risk taking. So that's what they call Minimus's poetry these days." Ratchet mumbles to himself, idly scratching something into his pad. He's listening, though, and apparently he doesn't find the creaks and groans of Rodimus's superheated form too distressing. "Lie back down. You shouldn't be exerting yourself on a low fuel intake." Ratchet says in his most clinical voice. At the question regarding the organic sludge, he looks up and around. "Eh. Getting there. No new cases. Just processing some of the old. The Eukarians are very amused, and I think a little offended. I don't know. They're a strange people."

"Offended? Why, because it's a cheap imitation of them?" Rodimus flattens back out again, looking like he'd like to turn into a puddle, if possible. He's no longer malleable. "At least the Eukarians are well-designed. They aren't gonna leave sludge all over. They're cool, like Chimera." He narrows his eyes at Ratchet as he settles back in. "I'll teach you how to recognize Soundwave's jokes when I'm feeling better. I think you'd like his sense of humor."

"From the ones I've talked to, I think it's because this incident seems to demonstrate that for a good portion of the crew looking like them is their worst nightmare." Ratchet replies. "Which is pure nonsense. Even the more animalistic appearing Eukarians are made of the same stuff we are, just rearranged. And sure, some /can/ process organic matter into fuel, and their ecosystem incorporates energon in fascinating ways that mimic organic worlds, but they're not /made/ of organic material." The doctor replies, rambling on a tangent. "So, yes. They're cool." He taps his pad a few times. "Maybe. We'll make it a double date. You and Soundwave, me and another drinks for two." Ratchet grins at Rodimus as he starts to withdraw. "Rest."

Rodimus sits right back up as Ratchet casually mentions the Eukarian concern, looking too concerned now to rest easy. He starts to say something, then pauses, midway to a gesture. He subsides somewhat, but it's clear his rest is going to be the kind of rest that's interrupted by work as he tries to figure out an angle to tackle that particular problem. "Eukarians are same as the rest of us. But if they're feeling that -- then I'll do whatever I can to fix it." Even stop the tank-purging noises when someone sneezes otherwise oozes organic slime. THE SACRIFICE. "Thanks for mentioning it, Ratchet. And -- for everything. I knew you'd fix me. Now I can go right back to chasing risks."

Ratchet arches a brow at Rodimus as he puzzles over the problem and resolves to fix it. The doctor eventually shakes his head. "I've met first year medical students who had a less of a complex about saving the world." Ratchet eventually replies. "Your ability to endure through unrelenting optimism is an inspiration to us all, Captain." He claps Rodimus on the shoulder. "You should be up and about in no time."

blog comments powered by Disqus