2018-10-30 No, YOU Need Medical Attention

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2018-10-30 No, YOU Need Medical Attention
Date 2018/10/30
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Wheeljack's Laboratory
Participants Wheeljack, Bulkhead, Nightshade
Summary While working on a cure for the Chimeracon problem, Bulkhead and Nightshade notice Wheeljack acting a bit peculiar himself.

Wheeljack's lab is a masterpiece of controlled chaos. Shelves, stacked haphazardly with completed projects and curios, line the walls. The workbenches in the center are covered with the guts of machines in various stages of completeness, and all of the furniture is solidly built and looks ready to withstand whatever might be thrown, dropped, or spilled on it.

Bulkhead has been quite busy ever since he asked Nightshade for a sample of her nanites, riding on an inspiration borne of desperation. All of his other ideas have been...less than successful, to say the least. While having the Chimeracon solution means they can break down its chemical components and get a better understanding of what Tarantulas put into it, efforts toward synthesizing a cure had stalled. Until he'd remembered Nightshade's nanites, and if they could change the CNA of a 'former when it came to size, well. Maybe they could be used here too.

He'd asked Nightshade to join him and Wheeljack in the lab while they tested the latest round of nanite-solution, and while waiting for her to arrive, Bulk had stepped out to get the two of them some fuel. He comes back with a tray of six energon cubes; surely that will be enough to carry them through several more hours of work. "Hey, Jackie," he calls, setting the tray down on one of the few remaining empty spaces of workbench, "Brought some lunch!"

Nightshade has finally gotten used to walking instead of flying, even if she'd much rather do the latter. Some part of her is a little jealous of the 'afflicted' who have functional organic wings, and another is just imagining how much more fragile insect chitin is and shuddering. But it's with a fancy sashay that she walks through the lab to the door, because while she might have lost hovering ability she still has style.

"Hello, lovebirds! How is it going? I hope my little inventions are helping, um, this time." She keeps staring at Bulkhead, just because it's distracting when he's so shaggy.

Wheeljack looks up from his current project at the sound of the tray tapping down against the nearby table. His current workstation is a mess, much more chaotic than even usual for him, but despite his constant movement, his fins are glowing a little dimmer than usual when he catches sight of Bulkhead. "Thanks a lot, Bulk," he says cheerily, waving. He stands up, still fiddling with a tool in one hand as he picks up the cube of energon and pours it down his intake in one go.

Wheeljack is already progressing back toward his workstation, nearly beginning to mutter to himself, as Nightshade comes in. "Hey Nightshade!" he says, sparing her an absentminded wave as his optics already focus back in on his work. He pulls up a datapad, and begins to make a series of notes on it. "What have you got for us?"

Bulkhead's brow is already furrowing with worry as he watches Wheeljack. Is he more erratic than usual? Or is Bulkhead just stressed? It's so hard to tell. He shoves down the doubts, telling himself that he's already smothered Wheeljack enough in their relationship without trying to stifle whatever brain blast Jackie's having now, and turns to Nightshade. "Going as well as they can," he says, offering a crooked grin. The fur on his frame shifts with each movement in a soft wave. "I think your nanites might be the key to all this, but first we have to test it."

Turning to a different workbench, Bulkhead taps a slightly sharper fingertip against a row of beakers. "I'm going to expose a piece of armor to this solution, see if it has any effect on the Chimeracon infection."

"Well, good to see you working hard!" Nightshade's a little surprised at how quickly Wheeljack just chugs that Energon; clearly he needed it, poor dear. She's carrying a small, sealed container of nanites to use in the experiment, reaching up to place it on the counter. "I do hope they'll be of help. Feel a little, well..." Her wings wilt. "I was needling to preserve the Chimeracon solution for further study rather than lock it away, and here we are..."

"It was an accident!" Wheeljack tells her, clearly unbothered. The nanites manage to drag his attention away from the datapad which he leaves on the table with what looks rather suspiciously like the remains of some strange tentacle. Instead he crouches down to look at the nanite container, apparently just barely keeping from reaching out to start poking at the thing. "A non-fatal accident, even. And when this is solved everything will be just fine." Some of the brightness has returned to his fins with the energon, as he flickers them at both. "Now come on, let's get testing! I was wondering if we might apply them to some other diseases while we're at it-- imagine the potential repurcussions for cybercrosis, or cosmic rust..."

"Let's focus on the Chimeracon problem first, before Dymium chews through all the wiring in the lab." Said catboi is currently in the common labs, where passing security can keep an eye on him. Bulkhead definitely didn't plan that for when Breakdown would be on patrol duty, no sir. "It's not your fault, Shady. You weren't the only one pushing to study that solution. But with your help--" and he plucks the container of nanites from where Nightshade has placed it, to begin adding it to the beakers, "--we might finally be getting somewhere with a cure."

"I thought about it myself. You know one of the original purposes I hoped to use it for was to help Hound and Perceptor and his other...ilk? I just don't like people having their frames altered against their will. Goes against all my principles," Nightshade says, watching Bulkhead and Wheeljack work. "But I need to monitor them more closely, seeing what happened with poor Whirlwind and all. Still, they ought to be able to reshape and reconfigure the organic additions and return you all to normal, ideally. N-no offense, Bulkhead! You certainly look...fluffy!"

Wheeljack laughs a little, bumping his shoulder against one of Bulkhead's fuzzy sides with only a moment of hesitation, and no indication of disgust as he does it. Still, his attention is focused on the beakers, as he starts sectioning off pieces of armor to hold out to Bulkhead, as well as occasionally mixing and fidgeting with the other materials that Bulkhead has prepared. "We all want him back to normal," he says easily. "And sure, of course we'll monitor the results-- we'll definitely be sticking a few monitors to Bulk whenever he decides to volunteer himself as test subject."

"Seems like they've come to terms with it, at least. When I talked to Hound...things are still hard, but he's doing well, as far as I could tell." With a chuckle of his own, Bulkhead nudges Wheeljack back, probably leaving several strands of fur on Wheeljack's armor. He doesn't mean to, it just kind of happens. Which may be why he oh so subtly ignores all the pieces of armor Wheeljack is offering to him, and instead takes the first beaker, swirls it a bit, and holds it up to the light.

"I've already got some sensors in place," he says, optics locked on the beaker he's got in his hand. After a few moments, it apparently settles into something that pleases him, because there's that little thump thump thump of his tail smacking against his leg. "And I know this will work - that datapad, next bench over, could you get it, Nightshade? The one with the gold sticker on it--that should show you the results." And then he holds out his arm, beaker poised above it, and trickles a few drops into his soft green fur.

"On yourself...?" Nightshade frowns. She should have expected that, but she's seen what those nanites can do without control. She tries to imagine Bulkhead, well, bulking up.

The result in her mind resembles a very large Borb.

"Right, of course, of course!" She grabs the datapad and peers at it, just in time for Bulkhead to go ahead with the sample, which elicits a little squeak from the butterfly.

The nanites feel tingly on the surface, but they don't burn like they did when Fritz took them internally. Instead they start eating away at the Chimeracon parts and seeping in, starting to slowly reshape Bulk into his original form. Nightshade must have dampered them to keep them from working all at once.

"Of course you did," Wheeljack says, fins flashing in... well, it's not annoyance. More like fond exasperation. And true to his nature, Wheeljack doesn't step back when the beaker is poured onto Bulkhead's arm. Instead, he leans forward, optics flashing over Bulkhead's armor as he gropes blindly for a datapad with the readings. "Are you getting data, Nightshade? If he's going to risk his own plating, we ought to make it easier to fix him." And yet Wheeljack can't help but sound a little eager. He's tapping at the tools again himself, and his hand finally lands on a datapad that he starts typing into one-handedly.

"We have mechs who need this now," Bulkhead says to Nightshade, as he watches the nanite solution absorb itself into his plating. Where he's poured it, there's definitely a tingling that spreads across a small area of armor, and as he watches, the fur begins to wither, then flake away completely, finally falling to the ground as miniscule particles. He's beginning to grin, because that's a good start, even if they still need to wait and see what the later effects are--

--And then he notices that eagerness in Wheeljack's voice, and the grin becomes a frown. "Wheeljack," he begins, holding his arm out as more fur flakes away into nothing, "What's wrong."

Nightshade records the data with taps on the pad, glancing between it and Bulkhead's arm. "I've made alterations to them to keep them from being so fast-acting. It won't hurt this way, but it may take you a day or two-a few rather itchy days, I confess-to change back to normal. I wanted to avoid any addictive tendencies this time," she adds, biting her lip. "Please keep an eye on it in the meantime! And yes, Wheeljack darling, you seem a little wired. A little too much enercoffee?"

"Oh, I'm fine," Wheeljack says, shrugging his shoulders because his hands are no longer free. "I just think that it's fascinating, don't you? I know you've been working on this for a while, Nightshade, not to say that it's not well-researched, but when combining factors like spark energy and a new solution in an open air environment, it's so likely for there to be complications, you know. But good! It looks like your armor isn't even melting off or anything, Bulkhead," Wheeljack says, still cheerful, as his optics drop to the crumbling fur. "I wonder if we could do some chemical analysis of the fur and other organic material post-reaction-- did you program the nanites to incorporate the material, Nightshade?" he asks, darting back over toward her instead to try and peer over her shoulder at her own datapad. "How are their structures changing?"

<FS3> Bulkhead rolls Mind+mind: Good Success. (4 1 8 4 5 3 2 8)

"You've done a good job, Shady. It doesn't hurt at all. I think I might need a few more doses to get all of it, but so far it seems to be working well." Bulkhead slants her a smile, though it fades when he turns his attention back to Wheeljack. His expression becomes something of a mixture, featuring confusion, worry, and a smidgen of hurt.

"He's not angry," Bulk says, mostly to himself. Then-- "Nightshade, I think that datapad has a scanner attached. Can you do a full frame scan on Wheeljack for me, please?"

"I-I, erm, Wheeljack! Wheeljack, mon ami, you are speaking a little fast for even my brilliant and knife-sharp processor to keep up with!" Nightshade chuckles nervously, giving side-glances to Bulkhead as she looks up at Wheeljack. "I would love to do an analysis on the fur, but let us do this one step at a time? They-well, the material should probably dissolve after some time. Their structures are-..."

Flushed and a little irritated at feeling so left behind, she focuses on Bulkhead instead. And blinks. "A full frame scan? Well, yes, of course, but..." She programs it to run a scan on him, tilting her head.

<FS3> Nightshade rolls Engineering: Good Success. (1 8 1 2 8 2 2 3 1 7)

"Am I? Sorry," Wheeljack says, fins flashing brightly still. "There's just so much to think about! Aren't the implications fascinating? And speaking of" he leans over Nightshade's shoulder to poke a finger at one of the images on her screen. "Hey, could you zoom in on that? I want to get a better look at the readings, they seem interesting--"

Wheeljack cuts himself off to look at Bulkhead, fins flashing in surprise. "What?" he says, baffled. "Why are you scanning me? You're the one pouring nanites all over your plating. Nightshade, scan him!"

Nightshade's scan of Wheeljack does reveal something unusual - the scientist is burning awfully hot, internal temperatures showing a significant increase in the use of fuel. For a 'former of Wheeljack's size, he's working through energon the way Trailbreaker would when using forcefields.

Bulkhead, meanwhile, holds his hands up, palms out, the fingers of his left still curled around the half-full beaker. "I have sensors on my frame, which are all feeding data to the same datapad Nightshade is holding." Glancing her way, he adds, "Did you get any odd results from your scan?"

Nightshade frowns at the results, tapping the screen. "Wheeljack, you are burning up! You should check your fuel consumption status and make sure nothing is wrong there. And-" She gives a flat look as he pokes her screen. Excuse you, stop using your height advantage! "I can send a copy of the readings to you, mon ami, but we need to make sure you are alright." To test, she sets a hand on Wheeljack's plating in case it feels hot.

"I'm fine, really! Just busy," Wheeljack says, shaking his helm. "I've got plenty to work on." He ducks away from Nightshade's hand, but not before she can feel the warmth emenating from his plating. It's nothing much, really, but his optics are rather bright as he ducks away from her to move back in Bulkhead's direction. "We're here to work on the chimeracon solution! So let's finish that up, shall we? Make sure Bulkhead's not going to melt into a puddle before delivering it to the rest of the ship, I'm sure they'll be happy about that."

Seeing the results doesn't matter, after what Nightshade says. Bulkhead palms the remaining solution and grabs for Wheeljack with his free hand. "Let's make sure you're not going to melt into a puddle yourself," he says, with more of a growl than intended. Keeping his grip on Jackie, he takes the remaining solution and pours it over his helm and those ridiculous, itchy, floppy ears. "Keep an eye on that datapad, Shady. Watch my sensors, and watch Jackie's internals. And while you're at it, let Ratchet know, would you? Just in case."

Nightshade looks up at the couple and wonders...what exactly she's stumbled into here. "We want neither one of you melting! Why not have both of you report to Ratchet so he can help observe the decontamination process and make sure Wheeljack isn't going to burn his engines out? It does no harm to check. I will continue to observe and monitor results, I promise."

"I don't need to go to Ratchet for anything," Wheeljack insists, his fins flashing. "I'm not in any danger of melting! I'm just working, like the two of you should be! You know what it's like, getting inspired! It's just a little bit of extra work now, to finish it off later. And besides, I have some material that still needs study. There's no need to bother Ratchet especially since he'll need to solve all of this chimeracon solution business soon enough." He's pulling slightly against Bulkhead's grip on himself, even as he pats Bulkhead's hand. And huffs slightly as Bulkhead dunks himself with the solution. "What happened to waiting for comorbid effects?" he asks wryly.

"What happened to taking care of yourself?" Bulkhead counters, his grip remaining firm on Wheeljack, even if he has to pull his conjunx into an awkward side hug. "And what happened to us solving the Chimeracon problem? When have you ever given up so easily on a project? This isn't like you, Jackie!" While keeping as good a grip as he can on Wheeljack, Bulkhead, with fur withering and falling off his helm, addresses Nightshade. "Please send a message to Ratchet, and keep watch on our vitals. We'll head over there for study. And, uh. Thanks again for the nanites?"

Nightshade is just. Going to extract herself from this. Besides, watching Bulkhead de-dog is proving to be a little...gross. "Will do, will do. I am glad my nanites could be of help this time! And I will report back as soon as anything, um, alarming shows up." Okay, Wheeljack's vitals are a little alarming, but that'll be for Medical to decide. "You two should maybe talk this one out in the meantime, yes? And get some rest!" She starts to head back out.

"We can do both at the same time," Wheeljack protests. "And I'm not giving up! I'm just multitasking." He can apparently tell when his protests are falling on deaf ears though, because his helm fins flicker with something suspiciously pouty, as he says, "fine, we'll go to medical. But I'm bringing some work with me!" and defiantly, he snatches up more of his datapads, sparing only the barest of nods for Nightshade. Someone is not pleased here.

"Multitasking is good. Hand me some of those, you don't have enough space in your frame for all of them." With Jackie at least agreeing to go to Medical, Bulkhead is less tense, even if he's yet to let go of the shorter 'former. He can't have Wheeljack escaping, after all. "Thanks again, Shady--c'mon, Jackie, Jackie, we won't be there long, stop pouting, they'll let us keep the datapads so we can keep working--" This will be the continuing discussion Nightshade hears as she leaves, with Bulk keeping Wheeljack close and trying to convince him that a few days on a mediberth may actually give rise to more ideas. What better way to inspire genius that to drown in boredome, amirite?

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