Ratchet is puttering about in the med bay, scrubbing down berths. He stows loose tools in berth side stands and replenishes exhaustible supplies. The medic parks himself on a clean berth and sighs... Hurry up and wait.
Jackknife walks into med bay to see how things are coming with repairs on those that had been brought in a few solar cycles ago. "Good cycle Ratchet." she offers pleasantly, "Glad to see you up and about."
First Aid steps into the doorway of the med bay, looking around to see if Ratchet's busy or away (Primus forbid he actually take any time off) before coming all the way in. "Hello Ratchet- I just wanted to stop by and see how you were doing. Hello Jackknife."
Ratchet snorts, and is about to ask Jackknife whether he really has a choice in the matter, when First Aid arrives. "Hey, Aid," he says with a pause. "All the way over here for rounds?"
Jackknife nods and smiles to the younger medic, "Hello." she replies, then stops at a berth to lean against it.
"You were really slagged," First Aid shrugs uncomfortably and halfheartedly returns Jackknife's smile. "I mean, I've helped Lifeline fix damaged mechs before but... not like that." Most of what he's seen has been the result of brawls- nothing like an actual battle. And definitely nothing like 2 direct hits from Megatron's fusion cannon.
Lifeline follows First Aid into the repair bay, presumably to pick up the cog alloy for Metro-X ... and to get First Aid to return to Cubicron. He's been here more than long enough.
Jackknife looks over to the arrival of the other medic. Regular medic convention in the room now. "I've seen worse." she notes idly.
Ratchet is uncomfortable with the thought of his earlier condition, and he tries to play it off. Tries. "More and more mechs are coming in more and more slagged, Aid," he notes. "It was just my turn, I suppose. Hey, Lifeline," he greets, hoping to deflect attention from his being as... well, vulnerable as he was.
Lifeline looks at Ratchet, immediately taking on an appraising expression. "I can understand not being able to afford much downtime, but you had BETTER be on light duty, Ratchet."
First Aid glances at Jackknife shrugs again. "Yeah, just... I'm glad you're okay." He looks at the ground for a second, embarrassed.
Ratchet snickers at Lifeline's order. "At the moment, light is all there is," he says. "No emergencies lately, so I can take it easy. Somewhat," he says, pointedly eyeing Jackknife. "Everything's fine. For now, anyway," he finishes. He watches First Aid's behavior and his expression softens.
Jackknife inclines her head, "It's always good to see comrades healthy again." she notes, "Wish I could have helped out more, but was glad I was able to help in my own way."
Ratchet nods his head. "I'm glad you were able to help, too... My intakes were getting to be a health hazard," he notes. "And Prime... Prime was here the whole time? Wow," he says, shaking his head. "Well, if it's going to happen, I'd rather it happen when I've got a lot of excellent help around to keep me from going gray," the Autobot medic notes.
Lifeline nods to Ratchet, then looks at Jackknife. "Thank you for your help, by the way." She didn't get to thank the Autobot the other day.
Jackknife nods, "He was here for a long time." she notes, thinking about how if not for Lifeline coming up to help since Starfire and Jade were off elsewhere that the mech probably would have gone gray for good. Not that'd she'd voice such a thought of course. She nods to Lifeline, "No problem."
First Aid glances at Lifeline, then Jackknife, but decides he's not going to get a better chance to ask, even if he'd hoped for less of an audience. He focuses his gaze on Ratchet "Ratchet, if you don't mind my asking... HOW do you go out into that-" Aid is very big on the don't-know-what-to-say-shrugs today, and he curls his hands into fists to hide that they're shaking a little again, like they have every time he starts thinking too closely about the whole experience "sort of mess... over and over again?"
Lifeline looks at First Aid, only too aware of his distress over the events of the other day, but not entirely sure how to reassure the young mech that his uncertainties are entirely normal. She's still half-freaked out herself.
Ratchet raises an optic ridge and glances at Lifeline -- this display can certainly be an ominous sign in a medic-in-training -- then returns First Aid's gaze. "None of us ever plan on getting into that kind of a mess," he starts. "Of those of us who have some combat training -- and I don't let a single one of the medics on my team go out to a casualty location on their own without it -- each of us tries to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes we know where a hotspot is going to be and steer clear if we aren't needed on scene at the time. And sometimes we just get taken by surprise. Like this time," he concludes with a sigh. "If you're careful, it can be a rare event. It never becomes an impossibility."
Jackknife cocks her head to that question. But it is not for her to answer. Though she sticks around for the reply.
"I just keep thinking how stupid it was to be out there, but the camp is just neutrals. There's not even anything to steal, and they need help, and not all of them will go to Cubicron or come here to you, since it's just little stuff." First Aid shrugs again, and looks at the floor. "I don't understand why the Decepticons even attacked there, or.. any of it."
Ratchet snorts. "I don't worry about the understanding part," he says. "That part's pretty much Prowl's job, and I end up being here to reset his computers when it doesn't compute." His voice becomes more gentle. "If everyone could respect everyone else's space, there wouldn't be a war at all, Aid," he says softly.
Lifeline hmphs her agreement with Ratchet's words. "That's an understatement."
Jackknife moves away from the berth she was leaning on. "My theory is the camp is an easy way to get Autobot attention. Therefore, Decepticons go there to draw us out."
Lifeline huffs. "And it's the Neutrals there that suffer."
Ratchet nods. "That's as may be," he notes, "but if they had to draw attention, it would give us a lot fewer surges if they could just go explode an abandoned platform somewhere. Maybe we could comment on their technique or something, but not have to haul back innocent casualties. Personally, I'd rather they all just go find somewhere to burn out, but that's just me." He eyes Lifeline as he understates again.
First Aid notices that he's clenching his fists again and deliberately stops himself. "I know that, I guess- I just feel so stupid. I _know_ it's a war and all that, but I just thought.. I don't know. There are fights in Cubicron, and gangs, and I thought it was like that, only bigger, just mechs who can't agree on things, but they were shooting at anyone there, it didn’t' matter who had done anything to them. One of them told _me_ to run."
Jackknife notes, "Next time one does, do it. Not all Cons are so bad that they would cut a medic a break. Trust me if the Cons really wanted to win this war they'd just gather up all the medics on the planet and either get them to work for them or put them in shackles or something." she notes, "Anyway, enough depressing talk. I've got some guns to work on and there's mechs itching to get them back. No rest for a weary weapons smith."
First Aid glares at Jackknife, but it's more upset than angry. "I *did*." he says. "He let me go, and Megatron blew him up for it on his way out." He sucks air in through his intakes, trying to stay calm. "I think that he didn't see me, or it would have been ME in pieces. And then I realized that Ratchet was hurt and went back, and just... I don't know what I should have done."
Ratchet holds a hand up. "You did the right thing, Aid. Don't try to take responsibility for what Megatron did. There's no winning that one."
"I know that. I _know_ that. But I just don't understand it." First Aid says.
Lifeline tells First Aid gruffly but not harshly, "You might not ever understand it. I still don't understand things like this myself. All you can do is make sure that your own actions are the best you can make them."
Jackknife notes the tone from Aid, she vents softly then let's the youth be. She just moves off to exit the repair bay.
Ratchet nods slowly at Lifeline's remark and waves to Jackknife. "Don't stress over understanding it. That's a medical order," he says, his voice taking a mock edge.
First Aid halfway smiles at that before looking earnest again. "So how do you know you did the best thing?"
Lifeline shakes her head. "You don't. Not ahead of time, anyway. You just have to trust your mind and your spark to not lead you wrong."
"You work with the best information you have at the time," Ratchet says. "You make your choices, and you live with them."
First Aid takes a deep breath, trying to calm himself. It works, mostly. "I didn't know what to do. I froze until that Decepticon told me to run, and then when I saw you on the ground, Ratchet, I couldn't think what to do other than try and clear your intakes. The fuel pump was a lucky guess. I wasn't thinking clearly at all."
Ratchet shrugs. "That's a few things. That's instinct, and clearly, you had a good one," he says. "It's also training. No one can expect you to exceed your training out of hand. Once you get some more training, checking the fuel pump straightaway won't be something that comes up in a moment of panic. Don't curse yourself for training you don't yet have."