2011 05 15 11:23AM
Ratchet looks at First Aid. "You seem... taller. Have you been modding your frame?"
"No. Why would I do that?"First Aid looks confused and then slightly guilty. "Does researching alt modes count?" First Aid crumbles under minimal glaring. :P
"Researching, no," Ratchet says, eyeing keenly. "Experimenting, yes!"
First Aid holds up his hands and unsubspaces a data pad. "I haven't done anything yet! I was just researching, because of this weird mass error I got when I was trying to load a scan of a possible alt mode."
Ratchet sighs. "Not much you can do for them," Ratchet says. "Your mass doesn't match up with whatever it calls for. Sure, you can build out your frame or remove something, but the mode won't scan without some ancillary modification." He eyes, again. "Ancillary modification requiring copious research and planning," he intones.
First Aid says mildly. "That's why I was researching. The last thing I want is to have to explain how I turned myself into a packing crate to you- or Lifeline, for that matter- anything like that." He holds out the data pad. "This is what I found out so far. I thought that subspacing mass meant that there was more tolerance to mode selection than I seem to come up with. I'm not THAT much smaller than Lifeline, but the only scan I've found that looked like it would work was quite a bit smaller than her alt mode."
Ratchet takes the data pad and looks at it for a long moment, thumbing through the information. "There's tolerance, but not as much as you might think," he says. "Any sort of subspacing mass ends up having some custom work on it, just because of how slagging fiddly it gets. How your size compares to hers is only part of it," he says. "Probably the only straightforward part. Mass subspacing is a pain in the aft."
"I guess. Lifeline's form is a lot more useful than a hover car, though, although the extra speed might end up being worth the trade off. That's why I'm researching, though- I'm tired of walking everywhere!"
Ratchet snorts. "Well, there is that, and you'll want to do more than ground pound if you're out running a call."
"It'd make my errands for Lifeline go faster, for sure. And it'd definitely be useful to be able to get myself out of trouble faster, too. If Deet hadn't been there the other day, Swivel and I would have been in real trouble, and she was waiting on me or she could have gotten out of there faster." First Aid says.
Ratchet nods and hands back the data pad. "Only one thing for it," he says. "You have some research to do. And then plotting on drafting software. And then mass-shifting equations to back up your selection," he continues. "And then there's a description of any... ancillary modifications necessary. There are consequences to dreaming big," he says.
First Aid takes the data pad and drops it back into subspace. "Right. Although I think I'm almost to the point of finding something suitable if I can just do a little more research. There's got to be something that would work without any hardware changes, if I can just find the right specs."
Ratchet shrugs. "Good luck with it," he says. "A design most likely already exists, even if it's not the one you originally intended. If you end up needing any help, or when you're ready to do anything with the designs, let me know."
First Aid smiles. "Thanks, I will." He looks around the bay, which has emptied out since the previous day. "It's quiet today."
"Quieter, at any rate," Ratchet says. "We'll have traffic soon enough... Repairs, maintenance, checkups... I'd rather have that kind of traffic any time than a horde of mechs who've had their frames rattled. What kinds of results did you get from that energon conversion assay?"
First Aid says "51% conversion, so within the tolerances you gave me, but on the hot side- I put a note in the file and I was going to re-check it when I came back on shift. No visible optical contamination, either." He grins. "I like it much better when it's quiet, too."
Ratchet nods. "Running a little bit hot, but yes, worth checking again. See if it's changed to now, and then we can plan another move so he can come online and be on his way." He chuckles. "Don't enjoy it too much, because it has an amazing tendency to change."
"Right," First Aid heads to the lab supply cabinet for more sample vials, and then crosses the bay to the mech in question. He starts to remove a piece of the mech's forearm plating, before looking up with an inquisitive expression. "Does it matter if the sample site is the same for the distal sample? I mean, it's obviously better to compare to the previous baseline sample if it's from the same site, but at the same time, how much do conversion rates differ by location?" He looks back down at the mech and removes the abdominal plate to take the tank input sample first instead.
"It's nice for recordkeeping," Ratchet notes, "although so long as there's nothing odd in one stretch of the loop, it shouldn't matter. Occasionally you'll see a case in which a relay or major actuator is ready to fail, and there's a massive drop in energon usability downstream of that site, but there aren't any signs to suggest that with this patient... At least, not yet. Better not to assume a problem exists before signs present." He shrugs. "You can probably do your distal stick just about anywhere you want, so long as it's medically relevant, of course."
First Aid finishes taking the first sample and reattaches the abdominal plate while Ratchet is talking and nods in response. "So with someone who took some sort of energy blast to the torso like this, it wouldn't matter, but if the reason I was checking conversion rates was due to a more localized problem, I'd do things differently." First Aid is focused on what he's doing rather than looking up while he talks, unsnapping the mech's forearm plating again and taking the sample from the same line as before before replacing it once he's made sure that the stick to the capillary line has resealed itself. He holds both vials up to the light and examines them for visible contaminants.
The CMO nods. "Trauma and injury tend to be, for lack of better language, fairly obvious. You can see the problem readily, and you understand what's necessary for repairs. With some exceptions, there's not a lot of testing necessary to discern the severity of the injury, although you may want to run some assays to gauge the recovery," Ratchet says, nodding at the patient on the berth. "When you have a patient presenting with something more localized, or with something that needs a diagnosis because the outward cause isn't so obvious, you can employ or adapt any number of testing procedures to give you details about the cause."
First Aid says "Right. So is this what you meant by optical contaminants?" He holds up the second vial - the distal sample. "There wasn't anything like this in it last shift."
Ratchet peers at the vial. "That's a contaminant, certainly," he says, taking it to examine it more closely against the light. "Nothing odd in the earlier sample? Nothing at all?" he asks, shaking the tube and watching the white flakes bob in the energon sample. He looks down at the patient and back at First Aid.
First Aid shakes his head. "Nothing at all visible, and the assay results were all within the normal tolerances that the analysis program checks for," he pauses for a second. "Although it was most of a breem between when I took the sample and when I examined it and a bit more than that before it was processed for the assay."
Ratchet quirks an optic ridge. "But you didn't see anything after the draw," he says.
First Aid shakes his head. "No, but I didn't -look- at it until it'd been in the vial for most of that time. There's no reason why something would dissolve after being sampled, is there, if it hadn't gotten filtered out in the first place?"
Ratchet vents a gust of air in a sigh and thinks for a moment. "Not generally," he says, "At least, not with a patient's pathology. It's possible to have some sort of precipitate in the tube that dissolves later, but that usually reflects a problem with the tubes themselves." He looks at Aid. "You drew with dry tubes, right?" he asks.
First Aid looks mildly offended. "Of course. Straight out of the packaging."
"The only time I've heard of something like this dissolving back into the sample is with inoculated tubes that haven't been stored properly," he says, looking at First Aid significantly. "Dry tubes need not apply. So his condition is changing. Get the results for these tubes, and then we'll see what else is going on."
First Aid nods. "Right." He reclaims the tubes and carries them across to the lab, dropping them into the analyzer one after the other and waiting for the results, a process that takes only a few minutes. "The tank sample reads the same as the one earlier, but his conversion rate is even higher on the distal sample- he's up to 57%."
Ratchet hums. "Let's get a few other draws from some other limbs, and see if this is just a local problem. If there's a pattern of strong depletion everywhere, we'll have to start examining more deeply."
First Aid opens the supply cabinet, retrieving more of the vacuum vials for additional samples and returning to the mech on the berth, setting the vials on the edge of the table and beginning to detach the armor on the mech's opposite arm. "It was some sort of energy blast that hit him, right? There weren't any visible injuries, which is why I hadn't labeled him a priority before he started coughing up energon at the triage site."
"I'd figured it was," Ratchet says. "We didn't have very many other cases coming our way. He could still have an energy blast to his name, but this doesn't look like anything an energy weapon does," he notes, gesturing to the tubes.
First Aid replaces the plating and holds up the samples, looking for signs of the same contaminant. "The samples from his other side are fine, but there's some- not as much- of the same stuff in the sample from his right femoral line."
"It's relatively local, then," Ratchet says, "Unless it's a problem that's spreading from a point source. What do the specimens look like magnified?" he asks. "How familiar are you with microscopy of patient samples?"
First Aid shakes his head. "I'm not familiar with microscopy of anything. Should I get a sample from the abdominal return lines on that side?"
Ratchet nods. "That might be best," he says as he steps off into the instrumentation room to start the microscope. "Let's pin down as much as we can with as little disruption to the patient's body as possible, before we start digging deeper. I want to see what these things are before I go liberating them from otherwise sealed conduits."
First Aid unlatches the mech's abdominal plate again and takes yet another sample from a peripheral line branching off the mech's tank outflow. It only takes a klik, and he pauses for another to make sure that the line reseals itself before replacing the plate and picking up the vials to follow Ratchet into the instrumentation room. "I should run an assay on this one too, shouldn't I?"
"Yes, you probably should," Ratchet replies with a nod. "That might be information we could use. We should be working with a dataset as full as we could get it." He starts lining up slides on the counter.
First Aid drops the samples into the assay machine and watches Ratchet setting up slides as it runs. "There's a low level of the contaminant in the abdominal sample, but it doesn't look like as much is present."
Ratchet mulls this for a few moments. "So something's forming and accumulating in his right arm, there's some in his leg, and very little in the return tract. Something's either dissolving, reabsorbing, or trapping this matter before it goes back to the tank." He pulls a syringe and starts drawing up samples to spread out onto the slides. "That's... odd," he judges, preliminarily.
First Aid nods agreement as the assay machine beeps and he turns to retrieve the vials and the results. "The conversion rate is all high for these, but not as high as the second reading from his arm. 50, 52, and the abdominal sample is 55."
"Statistically, they're close enough to be the same," Ratchet says. "Remember, his original value from earlier was 51. With that value from the abdominal sample, he's still in range, although he's burning a little more on this side than are some of the other active regions. Now it's a matter of figuring out what those flecks are," he says, placing his optics over the viewfinder on the scope.
First Aid nods. "Right." He walks over to watch Ratchet work more closely, glancing back into the main med bay to look at the injured mech before returning his attention to the microscope on the workbench. "Can you really identify contaminates visually?"
Ratchet hums as he peers into the scope's turrets. "Frequently, yes," he says. He focuses his attention on something on the current slide, then swaps it out for another. "And these aren't so difficult to identify. Try taking a look," he says, stepping back and waving First Aid to the instrument. "I'll give you a hint -- not all of the sealing happened in a controlled med bay."
First Aid leans over the eyepieces on the scope, crinkling his faceplates as he concentrates on what he's seeing. "It looks almost like... silicate flakes? Maybe dust?"
Eon enters from Main Level Roadway.
"That's what I'd say," Ratchet replies, leaning against the wall of the instrument room. "This is why you always want to seal lines in a clean field, or at the very least, make sure to have clean filters ready to swap out after any contaminants could be trapped. What probably did this is a faulty filter in the arm, and some mildly damaged filters in the rest of the area. What would be your treatment plan for this case?" he asks, facing his student evenly.
First Aid pauses for a klik to think before answering. "Change the filters out for clean ones, first thing. Continue monitoring the energon lines to see what his conversion rate does. There's not really enough sludge in the samples to make it worth draining and replacing all his fluids, is there?"
At this moment now, Eon walks into the repair Depot, the young Autobot pausing as he sees the senior medic and First Aid there to nod in greeting, though he also remains silent as he listens to what they are talking about, considering it, and figuring out his own solutions to any problems suggested.
Ratchet shakes his head. "Not really. A more fluid contamination might justify a fluid drain and swap, but this is a more solid, particulate contamination, so he should be fine with new filters. How are this patient's medical findings otherwise? Anything to keep him offline, aside from the filter replacement?"
As he listens, Eon smiles, looking to First Aid, but he does not say anything. Instead, he heads to a free Terminal, and he looks to the patient as well, before bringing up the files, so that he can review them as best he can.
First Aid hmms. "According to the record, his vitals were all normal for most of the last two joors, and you repaired all the damage from the blast before that... Has he woken up at all since he was moved back here?" First Aid is obviously thinking very hard.
"Generally if someone's here because of trauma, they're kept offline overall," Ratchet says. "He hasn't woken up, because he hasn't had an extended period of self-repair without any anomalous results, not unlike these," he notes, nodding toward the microscope. "Once these signs are resolved, he should be good to go." Ratchet quirks an optic ridge and pops his head around the doorjamb. "Eon! Describe the difference between signs and symptoms."
First Aid twists around, not having noticed anyone walk into the bay while he was focused on the scope in front of him. He nods to the other mech, straightening up from where he was bent over the microscope and heading for the supply cabinets in the lab room for replacement fuel filters.
"Well, sir, the simple answer is that a Symptom is a sign reported by the patient, however the patient may not be aware of other signs that are evident in their condition. " Eon's answer comes smoothly, and he smiles faintly, "basically, all symptoms are signs, but not all signs are symptoms. "
Ratchet nods in approval. "Correct." He eyes the medic-in-training. "I don't think you came by for a pop quiz, although I'm happy to provide. What brings you here today?"
Eon chuckles, "In truth, sir, I came by to do some more research, to learn what I can. It is also a good opportunity to get out of the weapons lab. As much as I enjoy the work, I would prefer to be as skilled a medic as possible, so when the war is over I will still be of some use."
First Aid returns to the main bay with replacement fuel filters for the offline mech stacked on one hand. "Should I change his filters out now, then, Ratchet?" he asks. He's not ignoring the other mech, but he doesn't know him, either, and a patient takes priority over socializing, so he puts the thought of introducing himself aside for the moment.
"Mind as well," Ratchet calls to First Aid as he steps back into his office. "Then if he's otherwise healthy, we can bring him online, document, and release." He picks up his data pad with a green border and scrutinizes the display. "Eon! Something wrong with your maintenance timer?!"
Eon frowns, turning to look at Ratchet, "No, not at all. I just, well, you know.. I haven't done anything to get injured. I thought, well, it could wait until things were a bit quieter, you know?"
Ratchet begins to rumble. "Precisely when do you expect this place to get quiet enough for you to deign to attend to your maintenance schedule?" he asks, waving the data pad. "Your _neglected_ maintenance schedule?" He stands and leaves the office. "Pick a berth."
Eon lets out a mechanical sigh, and shakes his head slightly, "Understood, sir. This one will do." picking a berth, he settles down. When Ratchet brings up Eon's blueprints, the scans would reveal a number of minor alterations, weaponry installed in his arms, as well as his optics.
First Aid nods and sets the filters down on the berth by the offline mech. Filter changes are a familiar task, something that he did almost every shift for some client in a quasi-civilian clinic like Lifeline's, snapping open access ports and extending a screwdriver from one finger to slide the old filters out and replace them with new ones, carefully setting the old filters into a tray for cleaning. The Autobots probably don't refurbish and recycle the filters like Lifeline did, but it was worth checking. "His filters are switched out for clean ones, Ratchet, and I've updated the medical record. Should we wait and see if his conversion levels stay stable before bringing him back online, or wake him up and schedule him for a re-check after release?"
Ratchet turns to face First Aid and narrows his optics in thought. "For something with a more immediate effect, I'd say he should stick around for observation, but for this one, we could probably turn him loose. Have him come by in three orns for a re-check," he orders, then turns to Eon after he pulls up the mech's records. "All right, Eon. Any symptoms since your last checkup? Surges? Temperature errors? Actuator or servo difficulties?"
Listening, Eon frowns slightly, "Well, nothing too severe. The occasional ache in my optics. I figured it was a minor calibration issue since I had them replaced with the new prototypes I had developed."
Ratchet's head snaps up to stare at Eon, face hardened. "Replaced with new prototypes you had developed?!" he asks. "Mind telling me why this didn't show up in your medical file before this?" Ratchet is now not a happy doctor.
First Aid nods at Ratchet again and sets the mech to come back online, talking to him quietly as his optics power back on and relaying the situation. The mech, not being deaf, can hear the impending Ratchet Wrench Flinging(TM) in the background and is eager to make his escape after First Aid relays the order to take it easy and report for a re-check in three orns, leaving First Aid with an empty table and some filters to clean.
Eon frowns, "Ah, well, I.. umm.. " The weapons tech lowers his head slightly, " I just had them installed very recently.. And it kind of slipped my mind to update the files. That's all.. And I dialed up my systems to allow for my other prototype weapon systems. "
"So let me get this straight," Ratchet says, slapping the data pad down onto the berth side stand. "You've been modding your systems, outside of approval from Medical," he emphasizes with a growl, "and you didn't think that bore any mentioning until you got tagged for overdue maintenance? Do I have that right?" he says, his voice a low rumble. "Lie down," he orders, turning to get a sterile kit.
Eon lies down, and he sighs, "My power systems are all within operational parameters, sir.. " That said, he knows better than to argue with his superior. "That said, maybe it was a bit foolish.."
Ratchet returns with the kit and turns on a light above the berth. "Primus save us from your hindsight," he mutters. "Your operational parameters are guidelines, not rules, and if I find something that frags me off, your aft is slag." He pulls a bright penlight over each of Eon's optics, moving it in various directions. "Follow the light, and report any symptoms," he says. He brings the light emitter to just above the surface of each optic.
Eon lays there, following the light with his optics, actually targeting it, though as he does so, his optics begin to glow more brightly.
First Aid carries the tray with the used fuel filters across the bay to a sink and begins cleaning the filters with one eye on Ratchet and Eon.
"Brightening the light shouldn't boost the optic glow," Ratchet says, putting aside the penlight in favor of pulling the large lamp over Eon's face. "Just what did you do with your optical system to accommodate these prototypes of yours?" he asks. "And I don't want to hear what you thought your parameters would or wouldn't let you do. Explain yourself."
Eon says, "Well, I had the originals completely removed, the prototypes however have a built-in laser array."
Ratchet scowls. "And what kind of laser array did your original optics have, pray tell?"
Eon umms, "None."
First Aid finishes washing the filters and is now watching the conversation with a bemused expression on his face, Ratchet's comments on the perils of doing your own modifications from earlier still fresh in his processor.
"Now tell me," Ratchet continues, well on a roll now, "just precisely how you intended to route power to these new optics, considering that you weren't powering laser arrays with the original set?" He pulls the over-berth lamp away and cracks open the sterile kit with angry, stiff movements.
Eon sighs, "If you look at my schematics, sir, and read the file, you will see that the power systems throughout my body are reinforced, indeed, my cranial unit is not my original, originally I possessed a simple monocular visage, before I was first modified. "
"Is there anything I can do to assist, Ratchet?" First Aid asks, setting the cleaned fuel filters onto a workbench to dry.
"Reinforcement is worthless," Ratchet hisses, "so long as there's no context. You're reporting optic pain, and the light adjustment system is running opposite of what it should. That's not wear and tear. That's your optics pulling entirely too much power versus what your system allocation generally is," he says, then pauses. "First Aid, let's get an energon conversion measure on Eon, and I want the return to be coming from the cranium. I want to see just how much these optics sap," he says. "In the meantime, I want to see this array for myself," he says.
Eon frowns, and he sighs, "Sir, my optics appeared to brighten as I was focused upon the light, correct?!
Ratchet cocks his head. "Yes," he says slowly, pulling out a screwdriver. "Tilt your head back," he says, gently pressing upward under Eon's chin before he starts undoing the catches below the faceplate.
First Aid heads to the supply closet for the sample vials and returns to stand next to the berth that Eon's on. "Which cranial return line? Or does it matter?" He glances from Ratchet to Eon. "Hi, by the way- I don't think we've met yet. I'm First Aid."
Eon tilts his head back, "Ah, that can be explained sir. My optic laser array was powering up as I locked in on the light. It's a targeting matrix. " Then as First aid speaks he smiles, "Nice to meet you first Aid, I'm Eon."
The CMO taps lightly along the side of Eon's neck to indicate a likely site for First Aid to work. "Any line should do," he says. "Don't even bother worrying about taking a draw from the tank, although you can get the distribution line coming out from under the chest plate," he says. Ratchet is muttering under his breath as he peers at the mechanism revealed by the removed faceplate. "You're targeting an exam lamp?" he demands, pulling the penlight again and repeating the test series.
Eon nods just faintly, "Yes sir, that is right. " now the face plate is removed, the underlying systems can be seen clearly, the twin lenses in each optic quite clear, though it is also plain to see which is the laser unit.
Eon observes the lamp, and the actual optics dilate and focus, as the lasers begin to brighten some. First Aid slips the needle attached to the vacuum tube into the energon line on the side of Eon's neck that Ratchet indicated, withdrawing it as soon as he has a sufficient sample to run through the assay. He sets the vial down on the side of the berth. "I'm going to detach a piece of your abdominal plating so I can reach one the energon line I need to sample from," First Aid warns Eon before he begins detaching the plate that needs to come off.
"When do you shut the pit-slagging things off?!" Ratchet asks in annoyance. He fishes around in the sterile box to pull out a few clamps that he sticks onto a multimeter before he unwraps the contacts. Gently he uses a probe to turn an optic aside so he can clip the tiny contacts to both poles of a power supply line. He taps the meter's display and displays the readout for voltage.
Remaining still, Eon vocalizes, while he deactivates t6he optic laser array, "I only seldom do, sir, whe they are active, I can focus better using the targeting systems built in. " in the meantime, the readings First Aid gets may shock him, Eon's power systems are reading more akin to what one would expect to find in a transformer triple his size.
First Aid pulls the sampling needle from Eon's energon line and snaps the plate back in place, heading across the repair bay to the instrumentation lab to drop the two vials into the assay machine, which whirrs for a moment before going 'bing' as it completes the analysis. "Ratchet, these readings are weird. Should I retake them?" He sends a data burst with the results to the CMO. "The conversion rate is almost 80."
Ratchet raises an optic ridge and looks from readout to connection, then glares at Eon. First Aid's report makes him look absolutely murderous. "So in your quest to make yourself a one-minibot weapons array, you managed to crank your energy up to something not merely slightly pathological, all because you hooked up new optics that needed so much more power than normal just for you to be able to see your own servos with them? Is that right...?" he asks in a quiet voice. "No, First Aid, leave them. I'm seeing it here on the direct link, they're valid," he calls as an afterthought.
Eon sighs, before he replies to Ratchet, "My power systems are set up to be able to handle any and all prototype weapon systems I create and need to field test, sir. It is not merely for the upgraded optic systems."
"Right," First Aid returns to the berth and watches Ratchet and Eon. "If you don't mind me asking, Eon? Isn't that sort of inefficent? You must go through a lot of energon."
"And you're never gonna make me believe that was how your systems were originally devised. I don't even need to read the blueprints for that -- frame's got a lot of influence on power support, and right now you're zapping like Prime." Ratchet crosses his arms. "You didn't think that would have consequences?"
Eon smiles, before he responds to First Aid, "Not nearly as much as you might think, if you check your readings, you will see my efficiency index is extremely high. " Then he hears Ratchet's words, and can't help but sigh, "There are always calculations to be made with a piece of equipment like myself. Sir, I was originally nothing more than a lab drone."
First Aid's optic ridges crease. "How does that work, though? You can't generate that kind of power without either using more energon or over clocking your own systems to a degree that you'd burn out relays just about every time you did anything strenuous. Wouldn't you?"
"And what does a past life as a lab drone have to do with anchoring the roots for an arc welder in your head?" Ratchet asks.
"If you could bring up the full file on my systems First Aid, you will see.. well, the sheer size of it. It goes right back to before my spark was installed by my creator, Arclight. " Eon's words are calm, quiet now. "Continuous modification has been a fact of my life since before I had a spark, Sir. My creator was constantly upgrading me so that I could be of more use in his lab, until he decided I needed my own creativity. "
"So how do you handle the power transfer issues, anyway?" First Aid asks, curiously.
Eon says, "A lot of Capacitor nodes to deal with overcharging and minimize the chance of power surges."
"That's a load of smelt," Ratchet says. "Upgrading past a drone is one thing. Creativity is something else. This? This is ludicrous. Upgrading yourself into a fire hazard is neither creative nor useful."
Eon says, "Then how do you suggest I allow for the powering of prototypes during field testing?"
First Aid looks curious. "Shouldn't you be field testing them on, I don't know, drones, instead of yourself? And wouldn't testing them on such an over clocked system mean the results were skewed? I don't know much about weapons design, but experimental parameters are the same in any field."
"You build a pit-slagging size-appropriate model, that's how!" Ratchet shouts. "If you're using an array that needs Prime's power load, fragging well build a model Prime's size! Wire it up with all the monitoring equipment you need, and run your tests on it!"
Eon shakes his head, "A model doesn't have my flexibility. When I power them myself, with my own systems, I can adapt and also I can test multiple weapon systems at the same time, or in rapid succession without the need for a dozen different units. It is effiency, along with resource management. "
First Aid opens and closes his mouth a few times. "That doesn't sound safe at all."
Ratchet squeezes the bridge of his nose between his servos and shuts off his optics. "Self-injury is not an acceptable sacrifice for efficiency, and don't give me any slag about control. Scientific tests are about repeatability, anyway." He looks up. "You're either getting normal optics, or the power suckers get disconnected. Pick one."
Eon frowns darkly, "Hey! With all due respect sir, I have not gotten myself injured yet. But fine, put in regular optics. If you insist that it is necessary. "
"It's necessary if you want to lose the headaches and optic pain," Ratchet says as he pulls the multimeter clips, careful to avoid catching on a sensory line. "As far as reducing your chances of exploding in a cloud of capacitor medium, the answer is to downgrade your power systems until the load is reduced commensurate with your frame and armoring," he notes, peering at Eon, his voice flat. "The next time you come in here with a power problem, you bet your bolts I will tug out every single slagging millimeter of wiring in your systems and replace the whole fragging thing. Quit getting watt-greedy." He picks up some bent-tip forceps.
First Aid leans over to watch. "Should I get replacements?" He asks. "The lenses look okay."
Eon goes quiet now, remaining perfectly still.
Ratchet leans over to look straight down over the optics, his own narrowing in thought. "Well, the replacement kits have lenses in them by default," he says, his voice trailing off. "He'll need a new power connection, too, sized for him. Be sure to check the connectors," he says before turning back to Eon. "You haven't swapped out the connectors from universal, have you?"
Eon says, "There was no need for me to do so."
"Right." First Aid is still getting used to the idea of new parts rather than refurbished and scavenged ones. He crosses the bay to rummage in a cabinet, coming up with two sealed boxes containing replacement optic parts, and a handful of power connectors- Ratchet didn't specific primary or secondary, and that much current can't be good for them regardless of what Eon says- before closing the cabinet and returning. "At least your optics won't hurt anymore," he says cheerfully to Eon.
Ratchet looks at First Aid's retrievals and nods approvingly at the selection of power connections. "You might have a quick sting while I disconnect the carriers," Ratchet says as he brings the lamp over Eon's head and carefully slips the forceps into a slot along the medial aspect of the orbit. Carefully he fishes out the wiring until he feels resistance once he reaches the connectors. "First Aid, grab some forceps and hang onto this," he says as he locates a fine screwdriver.
Eon lays there as Ratchet works, and a shiver runs through his body. "right.. "
First Aid picks up a pair of forceps out of the drawer on the side of the berth and reaches out obediently to grab the wire Ratchet's located. He looks down at Eon- who looks a little creepy with optics offline, all told. "Are you okay?" He asks.
Ratchet relinquishes his hold on the wiring and puts his forceps on the berth side stand while he undoes a few of the screws on the nasal support. "Relax," he orders in a low voice as he reveals the secondary connectors. Ratchet drops the screwdriver back onto the instrument tray and winces as he pulls the connector wires apart.
Eon lets out a soft, venting sigh, trying to relax as Ratchet works. "This would likely be easier if I were offline, wouldn't it? You don't normally work on equipment when it is switched on.. "
First Aid smiles. "If it was equipment that needed adjusting and not a person, you and the rest of the engineers would be working on it and not us medics." He glances at Ratchet. "Should that be hurting him?"
"Were you offline when you put the things in?" Ratchet asks, lifting the optic out of the orbit. "It shouldn't be severe enough for off lining, but if it is, the alternative is to start sending kills into the local subnetworks to dull sensation," he says as he pulls the primary connection. "All right, Aid, time to swap parts. Primary connections first," he says briskly.
"Well, I programmed the drones to install them for me... " Eon's voice is now very quiet.. Almost as if he partly doesn't want to be heard..
First Aid picks up one of the power connectors with his free hand, careful to hold the forceps inserted in Eon's wiring very steady, and hands the connector to Ratchet. "Don't worry," he says comfortingly to Eon. "It'll be back to normal soon."
Ratchet raises an optic ridge at Eon's statement. "Optics are delicate equipment, and definitely not to be installed or altered by drones," he says as he hurries to reconnect the primary linkage. "I don't doubt you programmed them well, but messing with optics happens in med bays, or it doesn't happen," Ratchet says, his voice starting to harden slightly. "Secondary connectors, Aid, and I'll take over the wiring while you prep the optic."
Eon goes quiet again, as Ratchet works, the connections are quite simple.
"Alright." First Aid hands the pair of forceps off to Ratchet without loosening them and hands him another pair of power connectors. "There you are," he says, picking up one of the boxes, opening the top and tipping the optical unit out of the box to check the connections.
Ratchet snaps the secondary connection into place and waits for First Aid to finish prepping the optic, poking carefully around the orbit to ensure there are no burrs or wear.
Eon judders slightly as Ratchet pokes..
First Aid picks up a signal meter off the table to check each of the connections and gives the whole unit a once over before handing it to Ratchet and opening the next box to repeat the process.
"Easy, Eon," Ratchet says as he stops poking and accepts the optic. "Quick pinch while the lights come on," he says as he snaps the connection back into place on the optic before setting it back into the orbit.
Eon sighs, going still. but he doesn't say anything.
First Aid holds out the second optical unit silently, patting Eon on the shoulder with his free hand.
Ratchet grunts as he watches the power flicker on in the optic, then lays the cabling into the base of the orbit before seating the optic. He retrieves the nasal support and screws it back into place before promptly starting on the contralateral support to remove the other optic. Carefully he lifts the other optic out of its socket.
Eon tries to remain still as Ratchet works, as he does so, it would be clear to the more experienced medic that the entire cranial unit was actually a later addition to his form, the framework for it is newer than the neck supports.
First Aid sweeps the optical units that Ratchet has removed into the boxes that the replacements came in and seals the boxes, not sure if Eon will want them back for more testing or not.
Ratchet frowns and starts probing around the orbit as he plays out the primary and secondary connections. He looks at Eon with a raised optic ridge and says nothing, although his engine begins to rev. He snaps the wiring connections and accepts the new optic with one hand and positions it in the optic out of anatomic orientation, leaving the connectors in the back facing upward for the time being, until he can reconnect the wiring.
Remaining as still as he can, Eon frowns slightly, "Everything is going alright, isn't it, Sir? With the installation of the optics?"
First Aid glances from Ratchet to Eon and back but says nothing, leaving a hand meant to be comforting on Eon's shoulder.
"With the optics, yes, everything's fine," Ratchet says over his revving. "I'm noticing the extensive nature of your modifications," he says, tapping his forceps significantly on the inside of the orbit after he picks the optic up to connect its new wiring. He's aware that substructure modifications are certainly more benign than power mechanisms, but he's irritated enough with Eon's creativity that he induces a twinge to make his point.
Eon lets out a hiss, "I know they are extensive sir. The complete cranial unit was installed in a single modification, I hand-built it myself before having it installed. THAT modification was performed by another medic, and it is in my files. It was largely to grant me binocular vision."
First Aid blinks his optics in surprise. "So.. you didn't start OUT with binocular vision?" It's not unheard of, really - ensparked AIs are something Aid has heard of before, but what Eon's said makes him think it was a staged process rather than an 'all at once' like the texts had always implied...
Eon says, "That is correct."
Ratchet grunts irritably at the impudence of someone whose vision was -- literally! -- in his hands, and places the cabling and optic back into their normal orientation. He screws the nasal support back into place and forcefully shoves the berth lamp ceiling ward as he grabs his penlight from the berth side stand. Pausing in his fuming, he opens the top drawer of the berth side stand to confirm its contents, then starts waving the penlight over each optic for functional testing.
"They work," Ratchet announces, pulling back from the berth. "Now get out of my med bay, and remember, if I have to fix power problems for you again, you're getting rewired!" He shoves his hand into the top drawer of the berth side stand.
Eon pushes himself up from the berth, and he sighs, "Thank you Sir. And you will not find any further problems with my power systems. "
First Aid offers Eon a hand off the berth. "Here you go," he holds out the boxes containing the replaced optics. "You'll probably want these back."
Ratchet says, "Fraggin' mods," Ratchet mutters.