Thursday, August 11, 2011, 12:44 AM
(Repair Depot, Iacon)
Lifeline clomps into the repair depot trailed by two almost sheepish looking security mechs.
Crackshot was just about to pass out entirely into rest mode when the clomping jarrs him out of it.He jerks his head up a little, blinking in surprise.
First Aid looks up from his datapad. "Lifeline! Hi!" He stands up, crossing the bay to greet her.
Ratchet turns to look at Lifeline but returns his attention to the mech on the berth when he hears the movement behind him. He points his finger at Crackshot and drags it across his neck cabling.
Crackshot blinks. He couldnt QUITE make out that motion but could tell he was being looked at. He lifts a hand placatingly "WAsn't going anywhere. REflex." he murmers, relaxing back, although his head was slightly tilted in the doors' directino.
Lifeline looks over at Crackshot, her optics narrowing slightly before she steps over to greet First Aid. "I had some rebuilt rotary joints ready, thought I'd bring them." Sheepish secruity mech #2 sets a closed crate on the nearest table.
"Lifeline, I'm so, so sorry-" First Aid says. "I really didn't want to quit."
Crackshot merely watches, obediently not moving a muscle unless absolutely necessary.
Ratchet quirks an optic ridge at First Aid's admission, although he vents a sigh at his meaning. "Lifeline!" he says briskly, trying to change the subject. "I'm fairly sure you're not here for just part delivery."
Lifeline huffs air out of her vents as she looks at Ratchet. "That transparent, hm? I /would/ like to know what is so dangerous that First Aid is acting like he'll never be allowed near Cubicron again."
First Aid looks at Ratchet. "She already knows most of it. Can't we get permission from Prowl or something to tell her? You know she won't tell anyone. I know it's his job to keep us safe, but it's our own history and files- don't we get a say?"
Ratchet's expression is dry for several kliks, and he holds his face in one hand while he points toward his office with the other. "Office, now," he says.
<Autobot> Ratchet says, "Prowl?"
<Autobot> Prowl says, "Yes, Ratchet?"
<Autobot> Ratchet says, "Guess."
Crackshot's optics flicker a little, and his face frowns deeply as he turns to stare back at the ceiling with a sigh
<Autobot> Prowl says, "...Sideswipe or First Aid."
<Autobot> Ratchet says, "Either way, you'll have an interesting shift... visiting the Medbay..."
<Autobot> Prowl says, "So it will be a surprise? Very well. On my way."
Prowl enters from Main Level Roadway.
First Aid looks between Lifeline, Ratchet, and Prowl as the black and white Autobot enters the bay.
Crackshot hears the other mech entering, but remains still where he is, a rather rejected expression on his replaced faceplate
Lifeline nods to Ratchet and turns toward Ratchet's office. If she noticed Prowl's arrival, she makes no mention of it.
"First Aid, then." Prowl says mildly, looking over at Ratchet. "Do I need to open a comm line to Red Alert?" Even he's not quite sure if he's joking or not.
First Aid follows Lifeline into Ratchet's office. First Aid looks confused- definitely not sure if Prowl is joking or not. "I want to tell Lifeline."
Ratchet snorts a laugh. "Your guess is as good as mine," he tells Prowl as he herds everyone toward his office.
Prowl frowns, but doesn't say anything immediately, allowing himself to be herded into the CMO's office. He watches both Lifeline and First Aid carefully, though.
First Aid waits until everyone is in and the door is closed. "I want to tell Lifeline what's going on. All of it. She knows most of it, anyway." He pauses. "And I think she could help."
Lifeline simply crosses her arms and waits for the Autobots to hash out whatever is going on and share what they know with her.
"This has already been discussed, First Aid." Prowl answers quietly, helm tilting forward slightly as he looks at First Aid. "I do not intend to revise my decision."
Ratchet shifts in his chair a little bit to get comfortable -- this could be a while. He vents heavily and stares at his desktop. "Prowl," he says, gesturing to the 2IC and then to the Cubicron medic, "Lifeline. Lifeline, Prowl. Lifeline here helped me with taking care of First Aid after his reactivation, and she's been hosting him during shifts in Cubicron for his continued internship. And I believe you're just the mech to clear her to find out why her temporary staff isn't on shift anymore," he says with another vent.
First Aid says, "She knows almost all of it, anyway, and she's never given any reason to think she's untrustworthy. She knows the names of my brothers, even though she hasn't met Hot Spot and Groove yet. She knows about our memories, and she helped with the datacopy from Streetwise so his memories could be decrypted. She's already involved with us anyway."
Prowl's optic ridges draw down, one doorwing twitching almost unnoticably. "And you failed to inform me of this?" The mild tone is at odds with the sharp edge to his words. "I hope you have a good explanation for not doing so."
Lifeline turns her attention fully to Prowl. "Did you think to ask?"
First Aid was about to say the same thing. "I tried to tell you the other day, when we were all meeting."
"This was necessary information." Prowl says simply, smoothing out his expression with only a modicum of difficulty. "We have suffered a security breach that most likely puts your life, and the lives of your brothers, at risk, but you still failed to tell me of this? There were multiple points at the meeting were you could have told me." He ignores Lifeline for now- one issue at a time.
First Aid quails a little but replies, "I asked you if we could tell her then. I've known her as long as I can remember, I work- worked- for her whenever I wasn't on shift here- of course she knows about my brothers, she was one of the only people I told in the first place!"
Lifeline simply raises an eyeridge at being ignored for the moment. She doesn't take offense....not yet.
"She was also involved in the repair and restoration of Blades," Ratchet provides.
"You never said she was aware of quite a few details. Details that we need to keep on absolute lockdown. I cannot protect you if you do not provide me with complete information." Prowl explains, voice softening slightly. "This is the second time I have been unaware of someone's knowledge about yourself and your brothers. This is /not/ a good thing, First Aid."
First Aid glances at Lifeline and explains. "Swivel's journal got stolen. She wrote down some of the things I told her and asked her to keep secret."
Lifeline ohs. OHS. "Stolen by whom?" She's fairly certain she already knows, but she has to ask.
First Aid looks down. "Psykeout."
Lifeline isn't familiar with that name, but by First Aid's tone and posture it's NOT a good thing.
Prowl interrupts at this point. "Meaning it is currently in Decepticon hands. Jazz is attempting to retrieve it, but this is no excuse for not informing me that someone knew enough to be dangerous." He doesn't want to be particularly harsh with a mech this young, but nothing else seems to be getting through how important this it.
First Aid says, "I didn't think she'd tell anyone, or write it down like that. I didn't know. But it's different with Lifeline, anyway."
Lifeline looks from First Aid to Prowl to see what the security mech's opinion of the young medic's words will be.
"Unless your connection to her was totally hidden, the Decepticons most likely would have found their way to her nonetheless." Prowl explains calmly, though the twitch of his doorwings is less hidden now.
"If I had known, we could have spoken to her, learned about the diary, and averted all of this."
First Aid says, "I didn't think of it. She's my friend- I know she didn't mean to."
Prowl heaves air out of his vents. "Regardless of whether she 'meant to', she /did/, and we have to deal with the fallout. If Jazz fails," Which isn't very likely but is still a possibility, "This could possibly lead to the deaths of people you care about. It will most likely lead to more deaths anyway." He pauses then, doorwings hiking higher. "Is there anything else you have not told me?"
Lifeline manages to refrain from shaking her head. She's met Swivel, and that little femme is a few thrusters short of a rocket pack. She glances at Prowl again, making a note of the doorwings.
First Aid crosses his arms defensively and shrinks in place. "I'm sorry! I didn't think!" He exvents himself, trying to think. "About people I've told? No one." ... But people who already seemed to know.
"But there's this mech that knows... something. I didn't tell him, he just /knew/. Hot Spot has met him, too, and Streetwise. His name is Alpha. But I don't know anything else about him. He just ... knows stuff. Like our names."
The name catches something in Prowl's processor, and he quietly files it away. "That will be dealt with. Are you absolutely certain that no one else knows?" What a processor-ache. He's almost tempted to ask for a vacation when this is all over, but Primus knows no one else would file any of the paperwork correctly.
First Aid shakes his head. "No. Not that I can think of. I'll tell you if I do think of anything, honestly."
Lifeline shifts her feet, possibly getting impatient.
Prowl vents heavily again, doorwings relaxing minutely. "Thank you. I do not appreciate how many times we have been caught off guard lately." He casts a quick glance at Lifeline. "I will allow you to attempt to make a case for telling Lifeline, at least."
First Aid vents air again. "Like Ratchet said, Lifeline helped repair me when I was first found in Cubricon. The things I've told her have been as I found them out- I told her about Streetwise when his adopted father was threatening her, when we first decrypted my memory- and she helped treat Blades the first day I met him. I believe Ratchet told her about the encrypted pings that afternoon."
Prowl gives Ratchet a Look at the last bit, before turning his attention back to First Aid. "Regardless, this is not reason enough. It would add a greater risk to both of you." He reasons smoothly, a tiny twitch of his doorwings following.
Lifeline takes a small step back at Prowl's choice of words. Attempt? Seriously? She is very careful to NOT react beyond that, even though she'd be perfectly content to dent Prowl upside that chevron.
Ratchet rolls his optics. "It's the same slagging risk it's always been, Prowl. First Aid's having a connection to Lifeline is old news."
Lifeline says, "And you are NOT going to order me to stay here also. I have a clinic to run."
"Besides-" First Aid adds, a little desperately. "She can /help/. Ratchet, didn't you say our cogs are most like triple-changer cogs, only bigger than they ought to be for our size? Lifeline's the one that rebuilt Metro-X's cog system when it was damaged. From scratch- you brought her the alloy yourself."
Ratchet snorts. "Sure did," he says with a dry look. "Coated my slagging subspace with it, too. High point of my career," he notes with a straight face.
"You are neutral, I could not even if I wished to." Prowl answers automatically, still focused on First Aid. "The risk of an information leak is smaller the fewer know. We cannot-" He pauses suddenly, head tilting slightly as he shifts his attention to something else. He relaxes minutely at the report pinging him. "Jazz has successfully completed his mission."
Lifeline looks at First Aid, frowning slightly. "What does Metro-X's cog have to do with anything? That was just a necessary repair." It's not like transformation cogs are just lying about unattended.
First Aid looks back at Lifeline and shrugs helplessly- he's in enough trouble for what he's already told. When Prowl speaks, though, he vents a sigh of relief. "He did? So they don't have their names? Thank goodness."
Ratchet vents a sigh and blinks his optics.
Prowl shifts slightly, his rigid posture relaxing noticably. "He found it within Polyhex. We do not know how much they know." He doesn't dare say that they don't, but the fact they have it at all... "Continue."
He orders First Aid, but the sharp edge is out of his voice.
Lifeline looks from Prowl to Ratchet and back, making note of their reactions to the just-received news.
Yes, Prowl's doorwings do get a moment of scrutiny. Then she looks at First Aid again. Spotlight's yours.
"Um... At the time, I didn't have any reason to think I /shouldn't/ tell her. And she's trustworthy. That's all, I guess." First Aid glances at Ratchet. "But... her expertise with triplechanger cogs could be important. Sir."
Ratchet looks at First Aid, then Lifeline. He shrugs.
"Groove's missing cog is going to need to be replaced, isn't it?" First Aid asks.
Prowl stares down at the mech silently for a few moment, before heaving air out of his vents. "Very well. I have a feeling you would wind up doing so behind my back anyway, and if I know, it cannot cause any more harm. However," Here he glances up at Lifeline, frowning slightly. "Be aware that this is dangerous. More so than you realize." He pauses at First Aid's words, looking sharply over at Ratchet. "...there has been an immense break down in communication around here lately, it seems."
Ratchet snorts. "Welcome to my world," he tells the 2IC. "You should've been in the 'Bay when he brought in the orphaned, feral rotary flier. Barrel of laughs and high-grade, I tell you." He folds his hands on his desk. "Anything else you'd like to add?" the CMO asks, expression bordering on angelic.
First Aid has the grace to look somewhat sheepish.
Lifeline is startled by First Aid's words, so much that the other Autobots' sarcasm goes unnoticed.
"Wait, what? Groove does not have a transformation cog? What slagging kind of moron removed it?"
"Aside from possibly tracking devices? Not at the moment." Prowl answers Ratchet rather dryly, shaking his head slightly. "I need to speak with both Jazz and Red Alert immediately. Excuse me." Stepping back, he quickly exits the office, activating his comm as he goes.
First Aid answers Lifeline. "No, he doesn't- from what he said, they removed it to begin refitting him for the Crystal Guard's standard set of upgrades when he made his oath. Oaths? I don't know. But it's gone."
Ratchet revs. "He's still got the wiring harness, but no cog," he notes.
Lifeline starts muttering curses of the sort that would make Groove's audios shrivel.
First Aid says "Is it that hard to get the alloy to make a new one?"
Lifeline scowls as well. "Yes."
"Really? Can't you just, I don't know, melt down a few?" First Aid says. He hadn't realized.
Ratchet coughs. "Because it's an energon stroll to wander into Polyhex, grab one of these babies, and boil it down to make a cog like, I don't know... so many energon goodies?"
"Polyhex? Why?" First Aid is confused.
Lifeline looks at Ratchet and echos First Aid. "Polyhex? Why there?"
Ratchet buzzes a raspberry from his vents. "You see triplechangers walking around Iacon much? The Decepticons have them. Autobots really don't."
"But how did you get the alloy you gave to Lifeline before?" First Aid asks. "You must be able to get it somehow?"
"For a while I had a supply, but I never had a use for it," the CMO replies. "I gave it to Lifeline."
Lifeline huffs a sigh. "So you don't have any more." Figures.
First Aid says "And you can't get any more? Where'd you get it in the first place?"
Ratchet's expression is strangely demure. "We've got an exceptionally creative supplies acquisition officer," he says. His face quirks.
Lifeline frowns at that. "What is that supposed to mean? You have someone WORSE than Reliquary?" That's where SHE gets all of her truly odd odds 'n' ends, after all.
"He... managed to acquire it during the course of some resourceful trades," the Autobot CMO answers evasively. "He's good, but he can't win on all the deals."
Lifeline huffs out an annoyed sigh. "Well, unless he can pull more of cog-alloy out of his aft, there's nothing we can do anyway."
First Aid shakes his head. "No, I guess not, but... there's got to be something."
Lifeline says, "Well, while you work on figuring that out, I should probably start back to Cubicron."
First Aid says, "I'm sorry I can't work for you anymore, Lifeline. Maybe once all this gets worked out?"
"Once this is all worked out, you had BETTER." Lifeline gives First Aid a look that to an uninformed observer would seem harsh, and then turns to leave.
Ratchet waves to Lifeline as she leaves, and turns to First Aid with a frown.
"I'm sorry- but I think she needed to know." First Aid says.