Ratchet is in his office, replacing diodes in laser scalpels. He examines each through an eyepiece on an arm mounted to his desktop, then touches an iron to loosen the connection to the other components. He grunts as the scalpel he's working on now makes a small fizzle sound, then extends tiny forceps from his fingertip to remove the diode. He carefully replaces the part, seals the scalpel, and puts it in line with the scalpels he's already completed. Every so often he leans back to watch the recovering mechs on the berths in the 'Bay.
There's a tap at the door. A big red bot was just outside the glass door there, visibly it was Prime as he waits patiently for the go-ahead to enter. He seemed slightly scuffed up, but definitely not injured.
Ratchet looks up at the sound of the knock and stretches his arms out over the desktop, scalpel and forceps still in hand. He vents at the interruption, but he knows he certainly can't refuse Prime. "Yes?" he asks, elbowing the control for the eyepiece.
First Aid walks into the bay, carefully quiet to avoid disturbing any patients there. Two shifts off in a row was enough to make him feel a little bit guilty, even if he had gotten to help Lifeline in Cubicron and kept Swivel out of trouble (well, sort of.) The Prime is standing outside Ratchet's office door, and Aid doesn't want to interrupt whatever he's there for, but he also needs to know what Ratchet wants him to do on this shift, so he settles for a polite "Hi!" as he comes to the doorway to Ratchet's office, waiting a few steps back.
Turning half sideways, Prime smiles behind his mask "Hello. You are First Aid, correct? ' he nods, then glances up to Ratchet "I came by to see how things were. I've been too busy to visit lately." he explains to his old friend.
Ratchet nods to the Prime, indicating a seat across from his desk. "Things have been interesting," he says. "First Aid's been learning the cables here," he notes, then turns his attention to the intern.
"Everyone's monitoring should be automated, but you may want to make checks on vital signs without the computer. It's not as though computer power's always guaranteed," he finishes in a mutter.
"Yes - er, right." First Aid isn't intimidated but well... impressed? Yeah. Something like that. "I'll do that," He not-quite squeaks as Ratchet gives him an assignment, and he hurries off into the main bay to start making the checks suggested and recording the results.
"That is good to know. I was concerned as I heard... rumors." explains the Prime, once Ratchet was done giving orders. He watches First Aid, and adds in a quiet voice "how is he adapting?"
"Fairly well," Ratchet replies, raising his optic ridges as he watches First Aid set about his task, "although he's still rather new. It'll be quite a while yet before he's seen enough here to make a true determination." The CMO turns his optics to his commander. "Rumors?" he asks, brooking no small talk.
First Aid isn't eavesdropping, really, but he did hear his name before making a determined effort to focus on the mech on the berth in front of him and ignore a conversation that's absolutely none of his business anyway.
"Yes. About modding, and arguments concerning some weapon experiments?" asks Prime, his voice calm, and offering no accusing tones at all. "And that's good that he is working hard. I hope he makes the right choice."
Ratchet grunts, his optics narrowing. "Yes," he says. "Crackshot. He wanted to alter his optical system, as I recall. He didn't enjoy my response," he says with a cool smile.
"He did? That is not what he told me. I will have Prowl or Ironhide speak to him further about it then." notes Prime, frowning beneath the mask.
The medic sits back in his chair, crossing his arms, previous diode work forgotten. "Oh, really?" he asks. "Precisely what did he say?"
First Aid collects the stats off the last of the patients on the far side of the bay before moving back to the side nearer Ratchet's office- probably where he should have started, given that Ratchet probably arranges more critical patients there for easier supervision. Still, no one seems in distress and everyone's vitals are more or less in the same range as the records indicate they have been..
"He said he was fashioning a new targeting array for.." a pause to think "multiple targets, based off a kludged prototype they used when the Decepticons attacked their research base not long ago. He wanted to continue working on it."
Ratchet snorts, then nods his head. "That I don't doubt," he says. "In fact, he practically told me as much. My quarrel is what he wanted to attach it to. Crackshot wasn't exactly planning on outfitting a drone with the thing," he continues, then looks up at First Aid moving around outside the office door. His voice drops. "First Aid."
"I was aware he was going to use it himself... I was not aware there were problems with it. We have plug in scopes, don’t we?" asks Prime, ponderously
First Aid looks up from measuring coolant pressure on a mech he vaguely recognizes as the one that had been coughing up energon during the triage the other day. "Yes?"
Ratchet picks up a data pad on his desk and waves it toward First Aid. "You might want to look at this before you start working with him," he says, clicking the data pad to the section on energon transfusion and drawing. "Under the circumstances, he'll also need a workup on his energon conversion rate. Your best bet is to get tubes from the tank and from a limb, wherever you find most accessible." He returns his attention to Prime. "We do indeed," he says, "And medical has been keeping tabs on everyone who uses the things," he notes, eyeing the commander, "Unless someone's been failing to report. Just because we have them doesn't mean they're free for anyone who wants to use them to hook up. Nothing's ever that simple, or that safe for all models."
"We do have signup sheets and registration purpose forms. I'll put out a reminder to everyone and ensure the NOD will double check that the paperwork is being followed. " Promises Prime "we may be liberal but we also want to be safe, correct?"
First Aid retrieves the pad from Ratchet. "Alright," He says with a nod, and steps back out to start reading before he's even walked all the way back to the injured mech's berth, scrolling down and then back to the top a few times, then pulling a data pad of his own from subspace to download the mech's more detailed medical report to compare the data. He puts one of the pads down on the side of the berth, wrinkling an optic ridge in concentration as he looks at one set of information and then the other.
"Liberal's wonderful so long as it doesn't impinge on health," Ratchet says with a shrug. "It's all too easy for someone to decide that some mod would be absolutely wonderful for their systems, only to blow out their built-in channels when they find out their modification wasn't made for their net. And Crackshot's no medic, no matter how many telescopes he's worked on."
"No, he is not. Which is why I encouraged him to ensure the medics had an optic on whatever he was doing. I'll make sure he's spoken to." promises Prime again, turning to watch First Aid, tense.
First Aid looks up and steps back towards the office door, waiting for a pause in the conversation. "I'm sorry to interrupt, Ratchet, but I had some questions- is it just the differential coolant pressures that you need based on the disrupted lines that the injury caused? Or are you looking for the actual throughput rate that he's processing energon at, and if so, why do we need the secondary line readings, beyond checking on the seals that you made after the injury?"
"Pressures are important in general, for any case," Ratchet says, "But throughput isn't definitively gauged solely in the body core. The distal measure is intended to provide data on the effectiveness of a transfusion, as well as the system's uptake of energy from the supplied energon. Assessing the patient's state alongside that result can illustrate the difference between an efficient use of energon versus a failure of the system to process the energon it has flowing." He sighs. "If he had a protracted energon loss, his systems could have begun to sip what supply he had left, and that should show. Short of that, you should be able to gauge the extent of his uptake for any post-injury pathology." Ratchet notes Prime's expression and raises an optic ridge, silent.
Prime is quiet during the discussion, watching First Aid keenly now, his head tilted slightly
First Aid nods. "Is there anything else different about taking the readings beyond multiple sites? The analysis is beyond anything I've ever done." Arcee walks into the repair bay, needing a bit of maintenance. "Hello, First Aid, Ratchet," she says, "Could I get a checkup soon?"
Ratchet nods. "Your peripheral site should be somewhere in the returning circulation, rather than a distribution line. Draw into a vacuum vial with a self-healing cap, otherwise your sample might degrade before you can complete the analysis. The needle on the count machine can take up the specimen through the same seal," he says, pointing toward the lab room nearby. "Run full counts on each specimen, and pay attention to energy counts and contaminants. If one of the samples has coolant contamination, there may be capillary lines in need of repair. If you find any significant optical contamination, he might not have any uptake at all, and his lines need checked for lumen blockage. He should have at a minimum 45% energy difference between the core output and the periphery return. More than that and something abnormal may be running too hot, less than that and he may need some delivery intervention." Ratchet vents as Arcee stops in. "Anything in particular you're concerned about, Arcee?"
Prime nods in approval, remaining quiet as he turns his attention to Arcee "Ah. Arcee. Good to see you again."
"Oh, hello Prime," Arcee says, nodding, "It's good to see you, too." She turns towards Ratchet. "I think a few of my servos need replacing. I think there's a grinding in one of my wrist joints.
First Aid nods at Ratchet and goes to retrieve vacuum vials from the storage in the lab room and turn on the count machine before returning to the injured mech in question. He checks briefly on the mech's status readings on the berth's monitor before removing an armor panel on the mech's arm to draw a sample into the tube from an exposed line, replacing the panel after the vial is full. The mech's tank is only slightly more complicated to access, located in his upper abdomen behind a wide, flat grouping of lines that he presses gently aside to insert the sampling tool into the tank via the input tube at the top, withdrawing it and allowing the lines to slip back into place as soon as he has his sample.
Ratchet turns his chair to look at an array of data pads on the shelf behind him, selecting one with a green rim. He thumbs through some information on the panel. "Arcee," he calls into the 'Bay, "I have here that your regular maintenance is up to date. Unless you're having any other symptoms, all you should need is diagnostics and repairs." The CMO faces Prime. "Optimus, is there anything else you need?"
"Nothing at all Ratchet. Did you have any other... issues to face me?" asks the Leader as he turns his attention back to Ratchet.
Ratchet huffs some air, seeming to deflate a little. "Yes, actually, I do." Ratchet says, tossing the data pad onto his desk until he can take it up again when he works on Arcee. "Two things. One, there's a neutral named Reliquary who may be prowling a bit close to Iacon, and who I've... met. Lots of rust, walking hazard. And he should probably be on Red Alert's radar, for the better health of the citizenry, if nothing else." he says. "And then there's Deet."
"Okay," Arcee says to Ratchet, "I think there was a bit of things that got into my gears after a scouting mission and race."
"I'll ensure he's made to clean up, but we cannot turn anyone away if they need aid. We'll try to make it part of the 'requirements' for aid if he's that bad though." Prime frowns, concern flickering in his optics "Is he really that bad off? Ah yes, Deet. I was going to tackle that issue next. Have we any more news about her?"
First Aid replaces the abdominal panel on the mech and taps it to see if the catches caught, picking up the vials from the tabletop and turning to take them into the lab when the mention of Deet catches his attention, although he doesn't say anything, just listens initially.
Ratchet snorts. "The mech was practically snowing scraplets," he says. "If he's as ornery as he was when I saw him last, he won't go for the cleanup idea. He may, however, "salvage" some of our supplies," the doctor notes pointedly. "Deet I haven't seen... or heard... recently, but I'm wondering -- why the frag did you send me down into that pit to try to find the ship?!"
"I thought that perhaps she may have had a... psychological problem." explains Prime "A programming error that you may have been able to help with. If I was wrong, then I do apologize for sending you there." notes Prime, his voice softening a little.
"If I need to program, I don't do it by voice," Ratchet states firmly. "And voice was the best I could do with Deet. Although something was certainly wrong, it wasn't anything I could access to fix," he qualifies. "What ultimately happened with that ship, anyway?"
First Aid speaks up. "I saw Deet yesterday, and I talked to her a few cycles ago." He really truly isn't trying to eavesdrop, but he also doesn't want to withhold information that it doesn't sound like Ratchet and the Prime have. "Lifeline was there the other day too, and got the IP address of the pilot Deet's looking for, and was going to ask some of her sources in Cubicron if they could work on it, too." "So you saw her? Where is she now? " asks Prime, focusing now on First Aid as he waves apologetically to Ratchet, not intending to send him on a wild ship chase.
Arcee takes a seat and listens to the conversation, especially about Deet. That name seemed familiar.
First Aid looks a little uncomfortable under the scrutiny but lays out what he knows. "I'm not sure where she is now, but she was outside of Crystal City by the Mercury river yesterday. We- Swivel dragged me out there to show me something." He squirms. "We kind of overheard - well, it's not overhearing if someone's shouting over the radio and blocking everything else out, and they were all yelling- her talking to some Decepticons. Megatron and the same seeker femme from the refugee camp. She just said the same thing that she had been saying though- she's looking for Psyke and she's going to start destroying things if no one helps her, and that she'll give whoever gives him back to her anything that they want." First Aid looks really embarrassed. "That's when they spotted us while we were trying to get out of there. Deet got us out of there, though- she picked us up with some sort of beam- and left us at the edge of Iacon."
Ratchet's optics narrow. "That's not our tech," he says.
"A tractor beam? One mech has one, although it sucks a lot of power." notes Prime to Ratchet, considering this as he rubs his chin "And interesting. Why did she save you though? Obviously she is not as dark as she is trying to make herself out to be..."
First Aid holds up his hands and shrugs. "I really don't know. Swivel- she's a friend of mine from Cubicron- and I have been trying to find out what we can and we've both talked to her a couple times. Maybe that's why. It's only the last few cycles she's been threatening to do anything if no one helps her, and she seems really upset about missing her pilot, wherever he is."
"Hmm. I'll get Blaster on it. The mech is young but he knows his codes well. We'll see if we can find this pilot, before she does start blowing things up. Thing is: Do you think there's any indication that she CAN? " asks Prime, looking at Ratchet, then First Aid.
Ratchet shrugs. "My opinion is that guessing she can't could be a problem if she proves us wrong," he says.
First Aid shakes his head. "I don't have any idea at all- on whether she could or would hurt anyone. She did something when you were caught in that cave in with her, didn't she Ratchet? To break up the rock fall?"
Those blue optics turn back to Ratchet now expectantly, not repeating the question posed by First Aid.
Ratchet nods slowly. "She did. Those engines of hers were powerful enough to vibrate the rock fall out of place. Not sure what kind of energy she's got to get that much strength, but it was an impressive effect."
"Vibrations? Interesting. We'll look that up too to see if we can find anything. For now, I have to go - And First Aid?" Prime turns back to the youngster
"So, nobody's seen Psyke, yet, I take it?" Arcee wonders.
"I'm yet to see any Psyke," Ratchet admits.
"Um, yes?" First Aid is still trying to remember if there was anything else he should remember about Deet.
"We'll find him, or we'll find a way to deal with Deet... otherwise." notes Prime grimly. "I'll get on it." And then First Aid responds "Welcome aboard."