Ratchet has lengths of cable stretched out on the tabletop in front of him. Eight piles of cables, each with different colors, have sets of connectors waiting to be welded and soldered to their contacts. Ratchet chooses cables from different piles and coils them up off to the side with a pair of connectors of one type or another, then continues until he has all of the connectors set aside with their prospective cables. He has an extra connector after he's done, and he stuffs that into his subspace with a grunt.
There's a scuffing sound at the door, and Ratchet whirls around to face the sound. "First Aid!" he exclaims. His optics narrow. "You're not supposed to be here."
First Aid hangs his head. "I know - I'm sorry. Swivel came to see me though, and wanted me to pass on some information to you. I wasn't going to come in, I just haven't seen you outside, and it's kind of important, I think."
Ratchet cocks his head. "Oh?" He leans against the table and raises an optic ridge. "Must be, then. What did Swivel have to say?"
"There's a bounty on your head in Cubicron, because of what happened the other day. I mean, maybe you already knew it, but... I thought you should know, so you should be careful, especially now that the dome is opening again." First Aid says. "That was it, really." First Aid hesitates a second. "And Streetwise commed and we talked. He's willing to consider letting someone scan him, to see if he's got encrypted data the way I do. But- it can't be you."
Ratchet lets out a long vent from his fans as he compiles this information. "That's... interesting, but not unexpected. I have a feeling I could recruit somebody to take my place for the scan," he grants, "Although the bounty on my head is a unique experience, to say the least." He pauses for a little while as he picks up a set of cables and plays with the free ends for a few moments. "When does Streetwise propose coming by, so I know when to have Perceptor take my place?" he asks.
First Aid shakes his head. "That's the other problem. He can't come back to Iacon, and even losing his bodyguard long enough to get out of Cubicron is probably going to be difficult." First Aid tries very hard not to be obviously curious about the cables laid out on the tabletop, although he can't keep from glancing at them occasionally. "Have, um... you had a chance to talk to the engineers you hoped might be able to help yet?"
"I have," Ratchet says with a decisive nod. "Wheeljack and Perceptor are very interested indeed, Wheeljack perhaps a little bit more than I expected," he notes with a snort. "Perceptor isn't so much of an engineer, although he'll take on a job if it needs his help. Special Ops is also somewhat interested in the encryption on your pings," he tells First Aid, eyeing the mech keenly. "It's not matching their lexicon, and they practically wrote the thing for all of Cybertron." He spools and unspools the cable about his servos, tugging, spooling, unspooling, tugging.
"Oh. That's good." First Aid looks hopeful. "So do they think they can decrypt it, then? Is there anything else I can do to help in the meantime?"
Ratchet eyes First Aid solemnly. "They suggested that it might be better to do the decryption on your memory directly," he says. "It's your choice. They could also test algorithms with a copy of your memory, but the process doesn't tend to work as well. It's your choice," he says. "They suggested I page them as soon as you decide what you rather they would do."
First Aid says "Directly is fine, if they think it will work better and get this resolved faster." He takes a tentative step inside the med bay door. "I would /really/ like to get back to work." He says, vehemently.
Ratchet nods and gestures to a berth. "Better get comfortable, then," he says. "I won't say they'll be able to get it cleared up in a single pass, but they'll try their best. I'll page them to tell them you're waiting." Ratchet pauses as he gathers up the cables and connectors he's been working and playing with and turns to the intern. "They'll certainly be happy to help you get released to come back to work. Just don't worry too much about Wheeljack," he suggests cryptically. "He's not always this enthusiastic, but he's usually pretty close."
"Thanks, Ratchet." First Aid says, crossing the med bay to the berth. "Um, when you say enthusiastic, what exactly do you mean by that?" He sits lightly on the edge of the berth, nervous despite himself. Ratchet said direct decryption was unpleasant.
Ratchet cocks his head and stows the cabling and connectors in a cabinet, sorted by color and type. "He's... not one to leave a problem unsolved," he replies after some thought. "He means well, don't get me wrong. It's just that he takes to most difficult questions like a feral turbo fox to a glitch mouse, and, well, he does manage to solve them," he says optimistically. "Eventually. Trial and error with Wheeljack is quite an education. Actually, he has a reputation for making things explode, although you don't need to worry about that. And if he makes me think you do, we'll discuss it." He pauses with a slight scowl. "Educationally, of course." He crosses the lab to retrieve the memory scanner and some associated paraphernalia for the pair's use.
First Aid nods, looking a bit bewildered, but waits patiently enough.
It's only a breem or two later that a solidly built grey and white mech with glowing panels on either side of his faceplates appears at the door of the med bay. "I take it this is your mysterious intern, Ratchet?" He asks as he strides across the bay. "I'm Wheeljack." He says to First Aid with a nod and a smile. "Nice to meet you, but I bet you wish it was under different circumstances." To Ratchet, he adds. "Perceptor's on his way, I think."
Ratchet nods. "Shouldn't be too long. He paged me back to say that he had some syntheses running that needed to finish," he says. "I trust this full procedure will be done with no permanent alterations to First Aid's memory or programming," he tells Wheeljack pointedly. "If you need me, I'll be in my office."
Half a breem later, a shorter, red and gray mech with a long barrel mounted to his shoulder enters the med bay and looks at Wheeljack with a raised optic ridge. "I trust Ratchet has given us permission to proceed?" he asks, looking around the Med bay for the CMO. "Oh, hello," he greets First Aid. "I'm Perceptor. I don't believe we've met?"
First Aid shakes his head. "No - First Aid. Nice to meet both of you." He says politely enough, half his attention on Ratchet as the older medic leaves. "So... how will this work?"
"I promise to return your intern to you in the same shape you gave him to us, Ratchet," Wheeljack says jovially. "Don't worry, First Aid. Even I can't make an explosion out of code alone, and that's all we're working with today. We'll be using the same diagnostic computer as Ratchet used for the scan the other day, but instead of simply registering checksums and metadata, we'll be examining the encrypted sectors more directly. Perceptor's actually the coder between the two of us-" He gestures at the other bot with a grey hand, the panels on either side of his face flashing animatedly as he talks. "He'll be using a data pad to actually look at sections of the encrypted code and working to decrypt it."
"The process is considerably more granular than your previous scan," Perceptor says as he picks up First Aid's medical record to transcribe the metadata to his analysis data pad. "The scan rate is necessarily protracted to elucidate any patterns that might be traceable through your memory. Pattern detection is our primary priority during this early stage of the process," he says with a slight smile. "You should notice very little disturbance, provided you do not stress your cycles for the time being," he notes.
First Aid nods as Wheeljack talks, and continues as Perceptor elaborates. If Perceptor's manner confuses him, well, he doesn't show it. "Okay." He says, scooting further back onto the berth and leaning on his hands. "Let's get started, then?" He says with more bravado than he feels.
"You're probably going to want to lie down for this. Percy's right, it shouldn't hurt- but it may be a little bit disorienting, since it's going to be examining the physical structure of your memory core in a little more detail than before." Wheeljack says, picking up the diagnostic scanner. "Let me plug this in first, though," he extends a screwdriver from one finger and reaches over to unlatch the panel covering the data ports on the back of First Aid's head."
Perceptor fiddles with his data pad quite a bit before Wheeljack establishes the connection to the scanner. "I'm quite excited about this opportunity to delve into your memory encryption," he enthuses. "I've been developing these heuristic algorithms for quite some time without having a test subject on which to validate them. I certainly hope my efforts prove to work to your benefit!" he tells First Aid as he continues to putter away at the data pad, thankfully not for programming in the algorithms from scratch. Not entirely, anyway. "We should thoroughly document every sector's comparison to each of our algorithms, Wheeljack. These intermediate data will prove most useful in further developments of the algorithms."
First Aid holds still while Wheeljack attaches the cables and then turns, lifting his feet onto the berth and laying down on his side. "Ratchet said you were the enthusiastic one," He says quietly to Wheeljack as the scan starts up.
Wheeljack chuckles. "It's an interesting challenge, for sure. I'm more interested in the errors you got when trying to upload the trans-scans, to be honest. We ready to get started, Percy?" He glances at the other scientist.
"Oh, yes, quite," Perceptor replies, quickly finishing his fiddling. "Please begin the transfer," he says as he looks from the scanner to First Aid and back.
"Starting data transfer," Wheeljack says, pressing a finger against the touch screen on the scanner.
First Aid shutters his optics. This /isn't/ quite like the last time, and while it doesn't hurt, precisely, it's uncomfortable, like having something with tiny prickly fingers picking delicately through his processor- not painful, just uncomfortable. He clenches his fists, holding still, and settles down to wait.
"Oh, my," Perceptor says, pausing to peer over his data pad to watch First Aid's fists clench. "Wheeljack, that's not supposed to happen. Are you sure you haven't set the scan rate too highly? We must be very careful," he says, tapping commands into his data pad to look at the first set of sectors in detail. "Ratchet will be most irate if we cause him undue discomfort."
Wheeljack examines the diagnostic pad. "I can turn it down further, but the signal strength will drop too, and since strength and response acuity was the main vote for doing a live decryption, I'm not sure how much further I can drop it without losing that advantage." He pauses to look at First Aid. "Do you need me to drop it down? We can always just download the data and do a static decrypt without you here."
First Aid shakes his head, onlining his optics again. "It's okay, it's just really strange. I'd rather get it over with." He says firmly.
Perceptor nods and shrugs, then hums as he starts reading the panel more closely. "You should do your best to hold fast, First Aid, for your continued cooperation is most commendable. It would appear that our scan has already yielded results. You seem to have a standard file structure in there, which should make its navigation much simpler once we've elucidated what the filenames mean..." he trails off. He putters around in absorbed silence for a few more moments, humming to himself, until he suddenly grabs First Aid's medical record from the berth side stand. "Hm! I had seen this before! Yes, First Aid, you'll be glad to know that these location transmissions of yours are of the proper length for encryption. Indeed, they're seemingly made for it! Most interesting. This is not a technology generally observed in most Transformers' communication abilities. It is fascinating to be able to discover it here. Thank you, First Aid!" He natters on and taps excitedly at the data pad, seemingly oblivious to everything around him.
First Aid says "Um... you're welcome?" First Aid continues to hold still.
Wheeljack passes the scanner to his other hand and touches a setting on the touch screen. "I'm going to bring the scan speed down a fraction of a percentage and see if that makes any difference to the results. Both of you, let me know how that works."
"Hmm. Oh, yes, the signal strength is still entirely acceptable," Perceptor tells Wheeljack, bobbing his head. "Certainly if the algorithm detected a faulty scan it would repeat the scan until it received the proper checksum confirmation," he says before blinking his optics a few times and holding the data pad up in front of his face, at half-arm's length. "Oh. Hm. Wheeljack, have you ever seen this before?" he asks as he watches a video playing on his data viewer. A blue mech with red optics appears to be smiling and talking, but no sound signal is reported. "First Aid, I don't mean to impugn your faculties in any manner when I enquire, but do you hear voices right now, in your memory?"
Ratchet is cleaning radioactive remains from the transfusion tree when his audios pick up Perceptor's question. "What?!" he asks. "You want to know if he's hearing *what?!*" The CMO strides over to the bedside to take a look at the video Perceptor is watching repeatedly on a loop. "Oh," he says, deflated. "You got any red-opticked friends, kid?"
"Red opticked friends?" Aid sounds puzzled, and more than a little distracted. "No- not that I can think of- and no, I don't hear anything other than you three."
Wheeljack leans over Perceptor's shoulder to take a look at the video as well. After a pause just long enough to be uncomfortable, he speaks up. "Well... the decryption is working well, isn't it? Let's see what else we can find."
Ratchet's optics narrow at the next batch of scan results, and he snatches the data pad out of Perceptor's servos. "This should be junk code," he says, peering. "Your left arm isn't anywhere near this big, but you've got all the motor code for one that is." He grunts and taps into the data pad a few times when Perceptor, as quietly annoyed as he gets, reaches up and grabs the item back from the Chief Medical Officer's grasp.
"Yes, but we cannot legitimately dismiss anything as 'junk code' until we have fully defined its context," Perceptor lectures as he, too, examines the now-decrypted record. "That is our purpose here, after all. And I intend not to make any judgments regarding the purpose of even a byte of data until I know its full function and placement within the context of First Aid's memory."
At that outburst, Ratchet raises an optic ridge and goes back to his office.
First Aid doesn't move. "You found something bad, didn't you?"
Wheeljack says, "It's not conclusive until we know the context, First Aid. Don't worry about it just yet. We'll get to the bottom of this."
Perceptor makes a pleased sound at the latest data find. "Ah! Yes, this is most fortuitous. We can now begin to estimate your age, First Aid. This audio file has a date stamp of well over a vorn ago," he says. He turns up the audio from the data pad’s outputs for First Aid and Wheeljack to hear the data snippet.
The data pad’s speakers emit the sound of laughter- young-sounding laughter, and more than one mech. An adult's voice- a bit softer- perhaps further away- cuts in "Place nice, sparklings, or put the game away."
Wheeljack says, "Well, that's helpful, anyway." He picks up a data pad, beaming a request to Percy's pad for access to the file of notes Percy is making.
Perceptor gives Wheeljack access to his data pad without comment. "Oh, the addition of more metadata to your data structure is most welcome, First Aid," Perceptor says as the data pad again reveals the directory structure in First Aid's encrypted memory. "According to the directory now, your earliest files are from approximately three-point-five vorns before now, and you ceased to record encrypted information slightly less than a megacycle ago." He taps the panel several times, humming happily to himself. "Perhaps you are indeed older than you think! Perhaps your medical records should be updated..." he trails off.
Wheeljack hums. "What was the date on that video file again?" He scrolls through the notes on his data pad. "3 vorns ago. Someone you knew as a sparkling, perhaps, First Aid?"
Perceptor tuts to himself as he looks at the wider data structure. "You appear to have some redundancies in this memory area," he says thoughtfully. "That implies an intentional development. Your creators were concerned with the maintenance of this memory of yours... except that you can't remember any of it. Odd," he says.
"That /is/ odd," Wheeljack agrees. "There must have been some sort of reason for it. Perhaps they needed to be able to access it later- or wanted you to be able to, First Aid, when some other condition was met." He gives Percy a concerned glance at the last statement. Conditionally hidden programming could potentially be anything.
Perceptor sighs at Wheeljack's look, but presses on. "There are conditional statements appearing, although this is unusual," Perceptor says in a puzzled voice. "This subroutine is set to halt your coolant circulation, but the triggering condition is not yet available." He looks up and at First Aid and Wheeljack. "What would be the purpose of such a thing? Halted coolant flow almost unilaterally results in decreased component life and increased systems stress. Why would it be coded into a control system?"
"That /really/ doesn't make any sense," Wheeljack says, snatching up the data pad he'd been about to put down to examine the diagnostic scanner again. "Let me see that. Huh. It really /does/ do that. Wonder what the condition is that triggers it? That's just the one line decrypted there, I wonder what else is in that directory."
"There is a pattern emerging here," Perceptor notes as he examines the records that are becoming available. "You have recognizable sectors of code appended to masses of code that doesn't have an immediately recognizable function, and you have encrypted code that ostensibly replaces whole sectors of your own. This segment," he says, nodding to the data pad, "should put you into recharge, but surely you haven't needed to decrypt this subconsciously to defragment your memory? Have you been experiencing undue difficulty with recharge?"
First Aid says "No, not really. I've never had a problem with recharge /or/ defragging my memory. Are you saying that my processor decrypts all this when I'm recharging though, and then... that doesn't make any sense, does it?"
Perceptor shrugs. "It's been known to happen in... high security situations," he says, shooting Wheeljack a look.
Wheeljack stares down at his own data pad. "I don't think that has anything to do with recharge protocols, Percy-" He taps the screen, highlighting the block of still-encrypted data. "That's entirely too much code for that kind of thing, even if he was decrypting and reencrypting his entire core every time he charged- and that'd take orns if he was doing it every time he recharged. There must be some kind of trigger on that, too." He nods in agreement, head fins flashing an alarmed shade of yellow.
Perceptor pores over the information being revealed on his data pad with each round of algorithms, his previous enthusiasm somewhat muted. "It's as though there is piecewise data here for a completely different mech, though why anyone would have such a thing, I can't begin to guess. Having only motor coding for a single limb is hardly useful. And here you have someone's trans-scan files," he says, his voice upturning in confusion. "The mass equations for this scan are yours, First Aid. I thought you said you had been experiencing errors with that? Perhaps the error was because the trans scan file is incomplete?" he asks before tapping a few buttons to send the scan information to Wheeljack's panel.
Wheeljack reads through the file with a dubious expression on the visible part of his face. "Having an a file already loaded into your system as an alt mode would explain the conflict error that's mentioned in your medical records, First Aid, but this form doesn't look like it would be particularly useful. There's no propulsion system. I wonder if you were meant to have some sort of stationary form, then..." He pauses. "Unless you were meant to have more than two forms, of course. Most stationary-form mechs do have something transportive as well. Ratchet?" He raises his voice to carry back to Ratchet's office. "You've examined his cog system, right? Does he use the standard high-resistance components like the known triple changers do?"
Perceptor opens his mouth to begin speaking as Ratchet hollers from the opposite end of the med bay, his head sticking out of his office door. "Close enough to it," he replies to Wheeljack. "Definitely made for a load he isn't built for. A lot of his weight ends up being cog," he says with a frown.
"Er, yes," Perceptor says at the interruption. "Here's an interesting video file for you, First Aid. It has some audio attached. Do you recognize anyone here?" he asks, holding the data pad up for First Aid to view.
First Aid onlines his optics again to look at the video. He's silent for a bit, then- "Streetwise!" He says, with more than a little surprise in his voice. "That's Streetwise. I /did/ know him before, then."
Ratchet peeks out of the office at that remark and grunts. He cocks his head and goes back about his business.
"All of you, get out of here -- I mean it. I'm a better fighter than the lot of you slaggers," a voice crackles out of Perceptor's data pad, followed by a loud whir. "He's dead. Go!!" "Oh, my," Perceptor says, his optics wide. "Do you... do you recognize that voice?" he asks First Aid delicately. Death and doom were hardly what he was expecting to uncover. First Aid shakes his head. "No, but ... I don't know. It's familiar, but I don't know why or where I heard it. The voice, or that clip that you just played."
Wheeljack is focusing on the data coming from the scanner and feeding into his data pad. "Hey, this looks like more shut down code," he announces. "Video and audio, although it leaves chemoreception alone. Wish we could figure out what this trigger state is, though."
Perceptor stops his examining in confusion. "Chemoreception?" he asks. "What could a mech possibly be doing that he doesn't need audiovisual stimuli but operates on chemosensory systems alone?" His face is contorted in puzzlement, and he shrugs with his data pad in the air. "It's hardly enough to direct movement of anything a mech's size, and he can hardly shrink to a nanite's scale to follow an odor plume," he says.
Perceptor watches the video now playing on the data pad and rolls his optics up to look at Wheeljack over the edge. There's a sound of weapons fire of some sort, and the red-opticked mech from earlier is shooting something. He peers carefully at the video and backtracks a few times to look at the weapon in question, then sends the file to Wheeljack for more knowledgeable analysis. The frame view -- as though cut from a V -- made a clear identification less simple than he expected. He stops to look at First Aid and turns the data pad around to reveal the video to the patient on the berth. "Apparently many of your associates have violent streaks about them," he says simply.
First Aid watches the screen silently. "He looks familiar, but... I don't know." He looks troubled. Wheeljack examines the screen for a second before his head panels flash blue. "I'm not sure that's all that definitive, Percy. I'm fairly sure that's not a real weapon." He laughs and touches the data pad to pause it. "Look how he's holding it."
Perceptor narrows his optics, then pushes the data pad away a short distance to keep from focusing too closely on the obscured pixels. "That's... Oh, dear. I do apologize. He's not holding that properly at all for a real weapon. It looks as though he's playing with a toy," he says. He looks at the metadata on the data pad. "If the mech in the film is in the same age class as First Aid while they interact, he would be approximately two vorns old in that video."
Perceptor is quiet for a few breems as data plays across his decryption algorithms. He hums thoughtfully. "You would appear to have begun your medical education quite early," he tells First Aid. "This looks to have some repair information in it, and you seem to have recorded your readings." He quirks an optic ridge. "Generally downloading the text is a more efficient form of data storage, however," he says as a voice breaks into the video to ask First Aid if he's going to read all day, and announcing that there is now an open courtyard available for play, according to someone named "Coruscate." As the voice in the file announces First Aid's name, Perceptor's second optic ridge rises to join the first.
First Aid actually laughs. "I like reading. I guess I always have?"
Wheeljack taps the screen of the diagnostic reader, glancing at the scan percentages. "This is working, but I wonder if we could be more targeted about what data we're retrieving if the scan parameters were tweaked slightly."
"Mm, that's a decided possibility," Perceptor says distractedly as he looks through the data directory tree. "We need to be careful, of course, but so long as it causes First Aid no difficulty, we should be able to employ those alterations readily," he says.
The door hisses open then, and a robed mech - the priest, Flare - steps in. He abruptly stops "oh, sorry. I think I got the wrong room." he speaks quickly.
Wheeljack pauses in the midst of adjusting the settings on the diagnostic scanner and eyes the interloper. "I think you do," he says, before looking back down at the screen. "How is that, Percy? It should have upped the signal strength."
"Indeed I shall- First Aid??" the mech declares, shocked as he recognizes the youth on the bed. The cloak he wore fluttered a little "Is the young one okay?"
"I'm fine," First Aid says, lurching up onto one elbow to see who asked about him. "Wow, Wheeljack, that feels really weird. Not like before." He sways a little bit. "I think it's messing with my equilibrium sensors... Um... I don't remember your name, sorry. Got you mixed up with the other priest that one time, I think."
Optimus Prime enters from Main Level Roadway.
Wheeljack puts a steadying hand on First Aid's shoulder. "Hold still, there- I can turn the scan back down if you need me to. I'm just hoping that the higher signal strength will let Percy's algorithms work more efficiently."
Flare falls silent then, allowing the scans to continue as he relaxes once more, reassured. Perceptor meanwhile focuses back on the work, adjusting it on occasion as it begins to slowly bring up the rest of the information "It is fascinating how much extra capacity you seem to have, First Aid."
"Success! " declares Perceptor all of a sudden, pressing some keys as he falls silent as a voice comes out ""Okay Aid, your turn. Yes, your brothers are fine, they're in recharge. You understand how this works, right? I'm going to use this scanner to access some of your memories and move them behind a partition. You'll still have them, you just won't be able to access them until you and your brothers are back together, but for now, you need to stay safe and grow up. "
"Interesting! This was dated not long before you were found - a curious thing though! why would they hide such things from you?"
The sound of someone entering can be heard, metallic feet hitting the floor with a sure sound; not someone trying to go unheard, nor needing to announce his presence by loud stompings. Optimus Prime is a mech of presence, but he doesn't demand people to snap to attention the moment he enters a room. No scientist, he's here merely as an observer. Stepping to the side to remain out of the way, he stands quietly.
First Aid shakes his head a little bit dizzily and offlines his optics deliberately. "I don't know- that doesn't sound so bad, though," he says. "I mean... if they did it to protect us, that's probably good, right?"
"I don't know, but it's definitely a positive sign. I'd really like some more information about who these mechs are in your memories, though." Wheeljack says, scrolling through the already decrypted data on his data pad idly. "Hello, Prime. Checking up on our project?"
Flare, a priest of the temple of Primus visiting and blundering into the wrong rooms, bows his head regally to the Prim as he enters, his wings rustling under the cape.
Perceptor nods at Wheeljack, waving preoccupiedly to Prime "I'll try to focus on specific data concerning the brothers, and of course the mechs who did this." he responds to the other scientist.
Optimus Prime nods his head affirmative. "How is the progress?" he asks. "And the brief version, please," he adds with the mild humor that is characteristic of him. Seeing the priest, he inclines his head back, giving respect as he receives it.
"It's going pretty well," Wheeljack says. "I won't say that what we've found hasn't raised more questions than it has really answered, but we haven't found much that would make me feel like First Aid is likely to be a security risk. I think it's pretty clear whoever did this to his memory was trying to protect him.”
Perceptor lets Wheeljack reply as he leans forwards, finding something quite interesting. He taps briskly on the keyboard "I think I found something - audio WITH visual!"
And he brings it up. Laughter comes in first and a red arm was seen stretched over First Aids' chest in a hug (From Aids' point of view), peering down at a pale blue mech - quite larger it seems, embarrassed at the bottom of a hole. Then the camera turns, focusing on a face familiar to Prime and First Aid as Streetwise, laughing with a huge grin. Then a shift of memories to a board game, white hands placing the pieces carefully as though plotting out the next move.
Optimus Prime holds his chin thoughtfully for a moment, then nods his head. "Good work; keep looking," he says. Watching the screen he makes a small sound of amusement. "That looks like a positive memory, and rather harmless. But it pays to be thorough." He gestures towards the screen. "Can you bring up anything else?"
First Aid says "Wheeljack, not to be ungrateful, but... can you either turn it back down or ... maybe finish up soon? I don't feel so good."
"More evidence for the 'creators with odd priorities' hypothesis, I suppose." Wheeljack says. "It looks like most of these memories are on the third partition- it was created just a few orns before you were found in Cubicron, First Aid. Let's just try and get a little more of this decrypted while I run a record, and we can work on the rest without you having to be hooked up directly to the scanner. We should have a large enough sample of decrypted data to make fairly short work of the rest, even with a static copy."
First Aid onlines his optics to glance at the video. "I know Streetwise, and the others... they're familiar. I'd know that blue mech if I met him, but I don't remember his name. I don't know." He offlines his optics again and cycles air through his vents.
Optimus Prime nods in approval. Learning things at the risk of another sentient being that has not been /proven/ to be a threat is not the Autobot way. "Nothing so far seems to indicate danger other than the presence of a mystery, and not all mysteries are bad. Best let him rest now." He turns slightly towards First Aid, even though his optics are offline. "Hopefully this will be finished soon. Your patience does you credit," he says with that benevolent, wise, /fatherly/ way of his.
Flare rubs his chin ponderously, folding his arms as he regards First Aid, and then Optimus.
Percy chuckles as well at the memories, hitting the right buttons to record "One last piece is about to be recovered. We may as well watch it as well." he notes cheerfully, guessing it would be happy memories like the others.
"We're taking you to your new guardians now. From here on, they will finish your train- " And suddenly the scientist nearly falls out of his chair in surprise as a shriek comes from the speakers suddenly, the video feed showing a dark sight indeed. Attacking half-formed mechs, feral empties by the look of it rushing towards First Aid. Coruscate was there, wielding a long bladed spear to hold them off as they leapt at him first. He shouted over his shoulder "Run for it! Get away and hide! "
Video-First-Aid turns away, rushing off into darkness as footsteps came up fast behind him. The video ends suddenly, and Perceptor stares wide-eyed at the blank monitor, his hand on the stop button.
Wheeljack looks down at his data pad. "That was recorded two orns before you were found in Cubicron, if the date in your medical record is correct. That would be how you ended up there, I think. And the chances of you being a deliberately planted agent of some sort seem unlikely given that."
First Aid nods slowly, looking a little bit sick at the vision of the mechs who had apparently been his creators and protectors being torn apart. "It's good to know." He says.
Optimus Prime frowns with his optics since his faceplate is rather lacking in any expression. "It appears he was the one being threatened, not being a threat," he says gravely in accordance to Wheeljack. "I think the chances are good that he is not a threat to us." Again he turns to First Aid. "I'm sorry this was difficult for you, but I'm sure you realized how important it was to make sure," he says kindly.
Flare curiously, had vanished, without a sound.
First Aid blinks at Prime. "I'm sorry, I didn’t hear you come in. I... thank you, and yes, I understand."
Wheeljack leans over to press the button on the diagnostic scanner which goes into standby mode with a hum and a beep. "Let me unhook the cables, Aid," He says, extending a screwdriver from one hand and detaching the connector from the data port on the back of Aid's helm. "You can sit up now- you should probably go recharge, though- I suspect your processor will be doing a serious defragmentation cycle when you do."