September 12, 2011, 10:15 PM
(Intelligence Compound, Polyhex)
Starscream decides to head back down and do some more dissecting of sorts on the prisoner. After all Megatron did say he could do what he wanted with him since Vortex was done. With a lit enercig in his hand, the Air Commander opens the door and smiks at First Aid, "I thought I'd find you here." he says dryly and walks toward the tied up Autobot. "Did you have a good cycle? I did." he flexes his left wing. "Lifeline's repair has set and my new wing is as good as my old one. She does amazing work you know."
First Aid lets his optic come online as he lifts his head muzzily. His injured wrist which he pulled free after realizing that the strap no longer held it in place without his hand attached to catch on it is tucked against the lower edge of his pectoral plating, shielding the injury and clamped lines as much as he can. After a long few seconds while he tried to bring his systems online, he sighs, and lets his head drop back against the headrest of the chair again.
Starscream smirks, "Don't trouble yourself, Autobot." he says sarcastically as he opens up the same chest access panel and resumes his perusal of the mechs inner workings from where he left off the cycle before.
Robustus finished his work cycle and was glad for it. Evading Lifeline had been a bit too easy, but then he figured she would keep to herself for awhile yet in order to adjust to life here in Polyhex. He vented softly, rubbing at his beard with his hand as he contemplated the Intelligence Compound door a distance ahead of him. Would he even be allowed in.. that was the question on his processor. The guards could stop him if that was their orders. Dare he try to press his luck? For the sake of a fellow medic... for the medical oaths he holds even dearer than his own life, he will dare.
First Aid cringes as the seeker begins roughly sorting through the wiring in his chest again, but doesn't make a sound other than a staticky moan as he turns his face away to the side, deliberately offlining the optic.
Robustus steps up to the guards, looking them in the optics. "I wish to see the prisoner." he states carefully.
The guard - who is actually standing in the intelligence center proper, rather than guarding the cell specifically- shrugs. "We've been ordered to let engineering and medical have full access for research, sir. Air Commander Starscream is in there now, but your code should work unless he's locked the door."
Robustus nods and tries his code, but the door doesn't unlock. So he knocks a few times upon it.
Starscream is totally engrossed in pilfering inside the Autobot. He vaguely hears his moans but pays it no mind. Then he hears a knocking sound and he pauses. He looks at First Aid and then back to what he was doing. Then he realizes its the door and he looks back, "Who is it?" he asks testily.
Robustus didn't like that tone at all, but kept his cool. Voice kept respectful and friendly, "It is Robustus sir, I wish to see the prisoner. May I come in?"
Starscream looks at First Aid and his wings twitch. Then he goes to the door and unlocks it. He opens the door but is standing in the doorway blocking the view of the prisoner. "Why do you want to see the prisoner?"
First Aid hears the door open. Timidly, he lets his optic light again, turning his head to see who's there. Not Vortex, please Primus. At least Starscream has stopped, for the moment.
Robustus's silver optics meet Starscream's red optics, is tone even and respectful, "Medical protocol sir. It behooves me to see to it that the prisoner remain functioning while in our possession. Would you rather he offline before you learned all you need to sir?" he asks.
Starscream looks back at First Aid then back at Robustus, "Then you should ask that question to Vortex. He's damaged this prisoner badly -- not that I care." he reluctantly steps aside to let the medic in then shuts and locks the door.
Robustus nods crisply to that, "Oh I'm aware of that sir." he intones darkly, then steps inside so the door can be shut and locked. The medic's face softens at the sight before him, only First Aid sees it briefly before his expression changes to determined resolve. "What are you doing to him Starscream?" he asks, pointing to the exposed wiring.
First Aid looks at Robustus briefly, optic flickering before he looks away again.
Starscream returns to his work and replies, "Examining the Gestalt circuitry and components."
Robustus let's a small growl escape him before reigning himself in. "You realize you could kill him if you pulled on the wrong thing sir? I'm sorry but if you must look at those parts, then you will do so under my supervision. I cannot allow this mech die in my presence. My medical oaths won't allow for it. Will you comply to my supervision?"
Starscream vents air through his intakes, "What does it matter? Its just an Autobot and part of a legendary Gestalt team. WE want him dead. IF hes dead that cripples his 'team'. And you want him alive? That's treasonous!" he continues his work uncaring what discomfort hes giving the Autobot.
First Aid shivers. It's not that he didn't know that the Decepticons would probably kill him, but hearing it discussed so coldly, as if he's not even there, is still chilling.
Robustus's hands flex into tight fists, his entire body trembles with barely contained anger. "Listen to me you uppity seeker and listen well. Autobot or not, he is in Polyhex, and while he remains in Polyhex he is under /my care/ whether you like it or not. You cannot speak for what our Lord wants for him and you know it, or do you wish to lose both wings this time sir?" his tone is low and gravelly now. "Until I hear from our Lord directly that he is to die, then he remains alive and as whole as I am permitted to make him. You try to stop me from my duties sir, and mark my words, you will experience a pit far worse than anything Megatron can inflict upon you. Do I make myself clear?" Oh yeah, Rob is crossing a line here, but in his mind it is with good reason.
Starscream sneers at Robustus, "Megatron said I could do with as I pleased! And it pleases me to tear him apart and see this technology --" he stops though and looks back at First Aid. Hes had too much wing damage recently to even consider leaving himself open for more. "Keep him alive, but don't get in my way, understand?"
First Aid blinks back at Starscream tiredly.
Robustus's scowl is full on nasty, "Did he really?" he optics narrowing suspiciously. "I'm watching your every move sir. You even try to end his life in my presence, I shall teach you the real meaning of a medics wrath invoked."
Starscream snorts, "Yea yea -- let me do my work and you do yours." and he starts tracing another wiring component in the gestalt system to somewhere on the top of First Aids left leg.
Robustus growls softly and moves next to First Aid's right side. He whispers into the young medics audio, "Be strong." his hand coming to rest on the mech's shoulder, a gentle flex of his fingers meant to reassure.
First Aid offlines the optic again with a wince as Starscream continues to dig into more wiring.
Starscream mutters sarcastically as he continues his 'work', "How touching, Robustus..." he yanks open another access panel on top of First Aid's other leg and starts separating the wires to compare it to what he just seen on the other side.
Robustus's silver optics are leaning toward platinum coloration while he observes Starscream sorting through the others innards. Slowly slipping his hand across First Aid's shoulder to press against his neck near the energon line, feeling his 'pulse' and counting the energon pump beats. "How quickly you forget, sir, that I saved your life. If I had not done my job, not cared, then you'd be melting in the slag pit right now." Verbal surgical strike. Gotta love it.
First Aid halfway tries to curls, trying to to protect the other leg as the plating is yanked off. The bonds prevent much motion, but it's too painful not to react.
Starscream stops and looks at Robustus, "He's an Autobot, I am not. That is the difference." he puts a hand on the First Aid's leg and forces him still. "Stop moving." he says as he resumes dissecting the leg system.
Robustus slips his hand further, being stealthy just in case Starscream catches on what he's attempting to do. "We are all Cybertronians, no matter what sigil we do or do not wear sir. I am sworn to medically tend to all Cybertronians. Your sigil, his sigil, have no meaning in the medical world. What has meaning is injury and suffering." his tone low, attempting a more calming tone to get the seeker to relax a bit. "You were suffering and I took care of it."
First Aid vents heavily, fans whirring hard. He unshutters his optic again, looking up at Robustus with a pained, pleading expression.
Starscream pauses again and looks at Robustus, "Why do you care about him? He'd kill you as soon as look at you if we were all on the battlefield. So why bother?"
Robustus slips his hand just a bit more, fingers seeking the spot he's looking to find.. gotta be in there somewhere.. up under the helm... back of the neck.. His optics shift back to silver when looking at First Aid, mouthing to him, 'It will be okay', before looking back to Starscream with those platinum hued optics. "He is a medic, sir. Medics do not kill. We are sworn not to harm our patients.. though there are times I'm heavily tempted to sneak a wing tweak on your trine mate to make him behave."
Starscream scoffs, "You keep saying that but you're wrong." and then he gives Rob a look when he mentioned the wing tweak. "Skywarp I'm sure.. he needs a CPU tweak not a wing tweak." and he goes back to his 'project'.
Robustus narrows his optics at Starscream, finding that button at long last and depressing it before slipping his hand back to the young mech's shoulder. "I am not wrong, for that much I am certain, for a medic that does kill willingly is not one who keeps their oaths as I do nor are they worthy of the title of medic." his voice quite serious about that, "As to Skywarp, I doubt any amount of processor tweaking would do much good.. even if he'd allow me to do it."
Starscream chuckles, "I doubt he'd let you touch his head. I don't think you could get close enough to tweak his wings -- but perhaps its time for a practical joke to be played on him for a change." he continues his work and as before it recording everything he's finding.
Robustus smirked at that idea, "You don't say sir, I'm listening to what you may have in mind." the medic states, looking positively amused at the prospect.
Something sparks off Robustus's fingers where they're buried in the back of Aid's helm, although the button reset that should take his sensor network offline temporarily depresses with a faint click.
First Aid jerks, then seems to collapse in on himself, optic flickering wildly, inadvertently digging Starscream's fingers deeper into the wiring of his leg as sensors reset themselves.
"We could --" he stops and looks at First Aid then to Robustus, "I thought you were watching him to make sure hes .. /ok/?"
Robustus jerks his head toward the sudden reaction, "What did you do? WHAT DID YOU DO?" the second time is loud and demanding. His hand jerks back as he gets something zapping his fingers, he growls and checks the mechs temperature. "Slag it.. slag it all to the pit." he hisses.
First Aid 's optic is still offline, and the wiring under Starscream's hand is hot- hotter than it should be for a mech not running some sort of high-energy combat system.
Starscream yanks his hand away from they wiring and steps back. "I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING! YOU'RE THE ONE WHOS SUPPOSE TO BE WATCHING HIM!"
Robustus frowns as he focuses upon the younger mech and tries to figure out what is causing the sudden spike in heat. "You had your fingers and hands inside him and you /dare/ cop that excuse with me?" the mech hisses. Then he realizes something. "OH slaggit.. why didn't I think of this before." he smacks his forehead so hard he tilts his own chevron slightly off kilter. "Ow." he mutters, "You need to stop what you are doing sir. He needs to be left alone for awhile. Please I beg you let him cool down before you continue."
Starscream huffs and slams the access panel shut on First Aid's leg. "Fine.. how long will that take? I don't have all day!"
First Aid's vents continue to cycle hard, and he's shaking hard enough to rattle loudly against the table. His bad arm is shaken loose from where he's tucked it against his torso, and he accidentally bangs it against the side of the chair as he flails, provoking a staticky wail of pain.
Robustus moves quickly to get the arm back where it won't hurt as badly, "As long as it takes sir. He is not a warrior like you, he's not built like a seeker who can fly through the air to cool himself. He suffering stress induced heat flare up and his systems aren't able to keep up with it, causing a cascading affect throughout his systems." he explains, in his hand is his trusty injector which he fills with coolant that's of medical grade, made to assist in bleeding off heat from overtaxed systems. He thrusts that directly into the young mech's coolant line in his neck. "First Aid, listen to my voice. Feel me touching you. You are safe, I will not let you die." the medic's tone takes on a quality he reserves for very special occasions. A nearly melodic quality to his vocals. "Primus give me the strength to get through this." he whispers, voice reverent. "For you are my strength. Guide my spark as you guide my hands," he's hoping the youngster knows the oath as well as he does, something to be spoken when you are not sure if you can get through a procedure.
Starscream stands there watching, the look on his face unreadable.. After several moments he turns for the door, "Very well." he says quietly, "I will be back later."
First Aid is too incoherent to talk beyond mumbled static too disjointed to understand, but he reaches for Robustus with the free arm.
Robustus allows the movement as he whispers the oath he himself has spoken one too many times before, "Dear Primus give me the guidance and knowledge to do my duty to the fullest. Guide my hands as you guide my spark. Keep my hands steady, let my mind recall clearly all the lessons of my craft. Give me inspiration. Open my optics to all possibilities. Carry me through any faltering, oh Primus. Assure me that your will is done through my hands, my mind, my spark." said softly with reverence and conviction. Surely the youngster knew it... unless they stopped teaching it. He injects him with more of the medical grade coolant, "He's gone now. You are safe." he murmurs to First Aid, knowing it won't be long to be back, "Listen to me First Aid. He will be back. I need to know you can take your mind somewhere else. So you need to do this for me okay? Focus on the most pleasant memory you can and turn your entire being into that memory. Cling onto it, relive it. Smell it. Feel it. Sense it with all you have in your body and spark. It will carry you through the rest of what he has to do. Then, when he is done, I'll be here to tend to you."
"L-l-lifeline?" First Aid asks. His optic blinks on dimly, although he doesn't seem to be reacting to what's actually around him. "Ratc-ch-chet? Please.. hurts... make it s-stop,"
Robustus frowns at the question at the pleading. It tears at his spark, his head craning down as his optics dim to a burnished shade of pewter. "I wish I could make it stop. He wants something from you.. what I do not know. He will get it, just as Vortex got what he wanted. It is just better to let him." he lifts his gaze, meeting the younger mech's blue dim blue optic. "When this is over, the pain will stop and I will see to it you get back to Ratchet." his tone low. "As to Lifeline... I will ask if she can see you. Until then, for your sake, please do as I have told you and be strong for a bit longer." He reaches out and cradles the younger medics face, "Can you do that?"
"H-hurts so much," First Aid's voice is a thready whine, but he turns his face - the uninjured side- into Robustus's hand, giving a hiss of pain as something twinges.
Robustus nods, "I know. Just focus on my voice, close that optic. Use my voice to guide you to your pleasant memory." he intones, his voice soft. "There is no pain. You are not here. See your friends. Your comrades. Know you will be with them soon. Turn to the memory. Feel it. It is all that matters. It is what calms you. It is what makes you feel all is well and you are safe."
First Aid shutters the optic again and it dims out. His systems are cooling, slowly, the plating no longer scorchingly hot, instead just unpleasantly warm. He mutters something too quiet for Robustus to hear.
Robustus continues to talk, nothing really specific, just hoping this will work. Sometimes having a mech friend who was a psychologist really helped in such matters. Feeling the young medic's form begin to cool was a good sign at least. He keeps talking, waiting for a full cool down. Finger on the mech's energon line to feel the pulse, if it is slow enough he'll allow Starscream to come back and continue. Hopefully by then First Aid will be suitably in his safe memory to put up with it.
First Aid's systems continue to cool back down to a normal range, and he appears to be mostly offline again, if not in a low-level stasis as Robustus continues to talk soothingly.
Robustus quietly comms Starscream, "He's cooled off now, but I suggest you not talk as you finish your explorations and try not to disturb him overly." then continues to speak to the youngster soothingly, even singing a song to him that he often sings when he's in a good mood and alone in the medical bay.
Starscream walks back in suddenly. Hes actually rather quiet and casually he walks back up to Robustus and First Aid. With a look at Robustus he resumes his work, quietly and is that a bit of 'not as rough as before' handling?
First Aid twitches from time to time as Starscream resumes the examination, but nothing like the violent reaction before. From time to time, he mutters something almost inaudibly, apparently lost in a conversation with someone no one else can see.
Robustus watches on quietly, observing and not interfering. Keeping his optics between the younger mechs reactions if any, and what Starscream is doing.
Starscream finishes examining the gestalt tech there and moves back up to the mechs torso. He notices the heavier struts for his back and starts examining and visually recording what hes uncovering.
First Aid stops talking as Starscream begins examining the shoulder and back struts that can be accessed with First Aid in the reclined 'chair' but doesn't appear to come fully back online, either.
Robustus sighs and shifts around to bring the young mech forward so Starscream has a better look. He speaks softly into the younger medics audio to keep him focused on his little memory, "A good memory you have there. It is safe there."
First Aid mumbles something, bringing up his free hand to Shove at Robustus. A pause and another muttered apparent comment, this time with a single word intelligible- Lifeline's name.
Robustus gets the hint. He steps away then says to Starscream, "I trust he'll be alive when I get back." with that he turns and heads out of the room.
Starscream huffs, "Yes.." he says sourly. Starscream looks back at First Aid after Robustus leaves, "You called her name -- Lifeline. What were you remembering?"
"I didn ... *crackle* materials, just my *hiss*." First Aid's voice is staticky and quiet and his optic remains offline even as he rambles. ".. won't be any tro-*click*"
Starscream smirks, "Of course you won't be any trouble, First Aid." he snickers and continues examining the struts and components in the mechs back.
"Didn't mean to *crackle*. I can let him *staticky fritzy noise* outside?" First Aid says, still apparently not anything like coherent. He sucks in a deep intake as Starscream bumps something and shivers. "Don't be mad, Lifeline, please?"
Starscream stops and looks at First Aid. A wicked look crosses his face and he says quietly, "Why do you think I'm mad at you?" and here is one advantage to the Air Commanders rather high pitched voice .
"Glitchy chewed some of the wiring in the parts cabinet," First Aid says. "Wanted to make sure the weld held up before *crackle* go."
Starscream frowns. That made no sense. "Glitchy?" he asks keeping his voice up in the higher range.
"The glitchmouse," First Aid says, as if that clarifies everything. "Rascal stepped on him."
Starscream raises an optic ridge, "Where is Rascal now?"
"Ran away when Metro-X *hiss* here..." First Aid twitches again. "Metro is nice."
Starscream continues, "What did Metro-X do to make him run away?"
"Don't know. Doesn't like him." First Aid mumbles.
Starscream twitches his wings, "Who doesn't like who?"
First Aid 's optic blinks on, but it's very dim. "Forgot? WHa- *krrrrtz* -ing about?"
Starscream shrugs, "We were talking about why you think I'm mad at you. Why would it upset you that I might be mad at you?"
"Oh-" First Aid's head slumps back again and the optic goes offline. "Like you, Lifeline. Took care of me. Don't want you to be mad. Just... think you're wrong. *mumble* Ratchet's apprentice... can still come back? 'f you're not mad."
Starscream mms to himself, "And what do you think I'm wrong about?
"Autobots," First Aid murmurs, going still again. "Not wrong. Doing the right thing."
Starscream makes a guess and says, "Reviving the legendary Gestalt technology?"
"What's gestalt?" First Aid says, distantly.
Starscream asks, "Surely you know what a Gestalt is? Ratchet and I have talked about it enough. You can't say you didn't hear some of it?"
First Aid shakes his head, slowly. "N-n-no. Trick question? I swear I've been stu-studying!" His tone rises sharply towards the end.
Starscream smiles in spite of himself and then changes tactics, "Tell me about your studies, First Aid. Tell me what you've learned so far."
"Armor welds always 20 verix, for the ones we work on here. Said I could learn the rest later. Flux, solder, structural patch, layers but watch the tension lines... compensate for natural flexion of the plating..." First Aid rambles about armor plate for almost a klik before stopping, sounding confused. "Test tomorrow? When's the test?"
Starscream realizes that didn't work. The vents in his helmet vents lift up and the fans inside kick on suddenly. He's clocking at this point and now it's time to see of Robustus' helmet modifications actually work. "Has Ratchet tried to teach you anything?" he continues.
"Me? Why would he?" First Aid wrinkles his faceplates, prompting a wince as the damaged plating around the missing optic is moved. "Not making me leave? Lifeline? Thought you weren't mad?"
"I'm not mad -- you don't like Ratchet do you?" Starscream asks.
"Don't know him." First Aid shakes his head. "Don't.. wait.. Ratchet's my mentor? Exams. Failed the trauma section. All mixed up."
Starscream gives up and hes getting a headache. Hes not sure the helmet mods worked but then again, this Autobot right now could give anyone a headache with his rambling. "Fine, don't worry about it." he says as he closes the access panel. "I will be back later." and he prepares to leave.
First Aid hmms. "Always worry. Vespa's not a nice mech, Lifeline. His son's okay, though. Like him."
Starscream stops and looks back. What was that? He records it to memory and opens the door. "Good for you, First Aid." he says and walks out.