Log Title: An Open Door Characters: Ratchet, Starlock Location: Iacon Medical Center Date: 11/12/2020 TP: Non-TP Summary: Ratchet calls Starlock to his office to speak with her privately. As logged by Starlock
Starlock was at her desk, studying a medical text book on her datapad regarding human medicine and anatomy, still working to that goal of being able to help their human allies... Inventory had already been done, Rounds finished, cleaning done, paperwork filed.. so she had the time.
Ratchet pokes his head out of his office and asks, "Starlock? Can I talk with you a moment?" His tone is light in an attempt to convey, 'you're not in trouble and this is not a trip to the principal's office.'
Starlock flinches hearing that, but she quickly relaxes realizing his tone isn't harsh, she'd take a vent. "Hm? Yeah." she'd chirp, placing a book more on her page and highlighting the text, before getting up to go and join him.
Ratchet holds the door open for Starlock, and the joins her in his office.
Starlock followed him in, part of her wishing she had pockets to shove her hands into out of nervousness, but she'll make do with folding them behind her back. "S'up?" she'd ask with a tilt of her helm.
Ratchet closes the door to the office behind the two of them, and then walks over to the counter. "Kaff?" he offers Starlock, refilling his own mug of the energy-boosting substance. Leaning against the counter, he smiles disarmingly at Starlock. "Just wanted to talk to you a moment," he explains. "You're not in trouble -" he reassures her. "I just noticed your interaction with Springer and wanted to discuss it with you."
"Sure." Starlock would smile, before she'd cringe. "Ahh... Yeaah.. I didn't.. appreciate /that/ being teased about of." She'd admit with a frown, finials drooping as she glanced away. "..Yeah he doesn't see it as a punishment, but he wasn't the one demoted.." She'd mutter. "Sorry." She'd sigh and place her hand over her face.
Ratchet nods. "I know it's a sore spot, but I wanted to point something out." He sips his Kaff before continuing. "I'm not close with Springer and the others, but I have noticed one thing - they use humor and teasing as a form of group-bonding. Like me with Ironhide or Wheeljack - I tease them because we're friends. I say things to them I'd never say to our allies in Protihex. While I respect them, they're not one of us."
Starlock is quite a moment. "I know.. normally I'm not that sensitive.. but that was.." Starlock would cringe and scratch at her cheek. "....I was proud of my rank.. I got that through my hard work in the med-bay, being always on duty, helping with the management.. and sure maybe my work on the field also contributed but.." her optics well a little. "...just.. reminds me how much I failed and rather not be reminded of it.."
Ratchet nods again. "I can understand that. But you can rise through the ranks again - I notice the work you do, and if you can just stay out of trouble for a while, I can put in a good word for you." He winks an optic. "As for Springer - look at his point of view. He's proud of his team - he's also worked hard to take it over and build it up since Impactor died. Prime treating it like a punishment detail must rub him the wrong way. If he's making snide comments about it, they're directed at Optimus - not you."
Starlock frowns as she leans on the wall. "Been busting my aft since I returned.. I doubt anything I do at this point will get that back." She admits somberly. "...Alright.. I just... I tried to hide it and not address it, by shoving my nose into work and burning off the energy through there.. sadly optimus noticed."
"I understand," Ratchet insists sympathetically. "Just, regarding Springer and the Wreckers - if they tease, remember, it means they're trying to include you. It's much more flattering than formal politeness. I suggest you hit back, preferably below the belt, with a smile," he grins. "As for your rank - you went behind Command's back and worked with the Decepticons. I mean, I might do the same, but realize you put Prime in a tough spot. I'm sure there are those who think he went too easy on you."
"I know, I know.." Starlock huffs in agitation, she'd slid down the wall and sit there, hugging her legs. "...Doesn't mean I feel any less bad.. Specially with how I've been told pretty much a lot of the rank and file /hate/ me..." She'd murmur. "I still don't understand how they expected me to come to them after everything that had happened, Harmonex, everyone telling me I can't do something despite doing it, what the virus made Sideswipe and Sunstreaker do, how was I supposed to trust I'd not be put down, attacked, so forth and so on.." She'd frown. "..I still think.. I did the right thing, even if I could of done it differently." She'd add.
"As for the Wreckers, and Springer.. I'll.. try to remember that."
Ratchet chuckles. "I'm not sure you did the wrong thing! Trust me - I've been in your boots. Primus knows how many times I've been busted down for going off and doing something heroically stupid for the right reasons but the wrong methods. I mean, I remember once on Gamma V..." He shakes his head, realizing he's getting off topic. "And yet," he says, gesturing out the CMO office. "Here I am." He smirks in amusement at his own predicament.
Starlock is silent bit a small smile does emerge. "Doesn't make me any less hurt, or angry, but.. I did what I could with what I had, and conditions I perceived at the time.. I'm proud of that.." She'd add.
"I've had trouble trying to figure out how to help them in correcting the glitches caused by Chromosome breaking the program, mostly because I can't get access to them, I know the Dominicons maybe /trying/ but.. I don't trust them with the information.. specially how Dust Devil reported to me 'they want to know what I did to fuck with their heads'... Their words, not his." Starlock adds as she has her fingers do the quotation marks.
Ratchet nods. "I don't blame you. I don't trust them, either. They ARE former Decepticons, and they didn't exactly react well when we tried to help them with their scraplet situation. And I'm sure Chromedome and Lightspeed could figure out and fix what's wrong with the Combaticons - but, again, IF we had access to them. Which we don't. So, it may have to be a neutral faction - Valvolux, or Altihex or Tyger Pax. I just can't see the Combaticons trusting us with their minds."
There is a moment of silence. "Me, maybe? Altihex, oh hell yes, considering its run by Goth and Khamsin, who the combaticons used to be pretty close with.." Starlock states. "I'd.. rather give the information to their /doctors/ in those areas and not the Dominicons, mind you, since we medics and doctors tend to have oaths to not use our medical knowledge as a weapon, and I'm pretty sure programing that could be reverse engineered to enslave programing counts as that." Starlock explains as she crosses her arms.
Starlock squints. "That and I don't trust them to not go around and free anyone willy-nilly."
"Or you," Ratchet amends. "Although if it's a programming issue, you or I might not have the right expertise in this matter." He frowns, considering. "It's too bad things in Calyhex are so chaotic right now. They used to have some top-notch cyberneurologists," he sighs. "Still, the Combaticons have a lot of more trustworthy options. Are you still talking with them? I won't tell," he says with a twinkle in his optic.
"I left on good terms with at least three of the five when I finely came back from Calyhex... I think Blast Off took my words to spark, on they don't need to repay me, all they need to do, as a favour, is not get enslaved again, and live." Starlock smiles. "I've not bugged 'em on radio since, well, Soundwave and Blaster and others are listening." She'd mention. "Buut I think I could get a hold of 'em if I tried." She'd smile.
Ratchet holds up his hands. "Well, I'm CERTAINLY not suggesting you contact them, especially if you've been ordered not to. But if they contact you..." He shrugs. "Maybe you could steer them towards, well, anyone else besides the Dominicons? In the meantime, maybe we can go to the Valvolux Medical Center and see if we can find a doctor willing to treat them without handing over Chromedome's formula for potential Dominicon enslavement."
Starlock shrugs with a smile. "We'll see what happens, Jazz does have heavy optics on me and my internet activity as well." She'd grin. "Challenge accepted, but, also it haas been longer then what I wanted with them sufferings those after effects." She'd grin mischievously.
"...Thanks." She adds, looking at Ratchet with a tired smile. "...I know I should be able to talk to more people openly like this, but You, Sky Lynx, and Dawnfire are really the only two I feel.. I can without fear of misplaced judgment, maybe even Jazz a little but." She'd muse. She'd sigh and lean back. "Sorry I am so difficult."
Ratchet smirks. "You don't know the half of what I've done that would be considered difficult to my superiors. Sometimes I think Prime just promoted me to force me to become more responsible. Word is still out if it worked," he says with another wink. "Anyway," he says, filling his mug with more Kaff. "That's all I wanted to talk about. Anything on your mind, now that I've lectured you on my views?" he laughs.
Starlock chuckles and smiles and thinks as she sips on her own kaff at last before pausing in thought. "I've been doing a lot better, talked with Scales and cleared up /that/ mess dating back to when I tried to kick D.D out of medical cause he was screaming at Cerebros." Starlock muses as she thinks.
"Made a report on the whole prophet thing." She'd continue to list off as she thought. "Been working to get New Harmonex build up." She'd then pause and pull a decretive box from her subspace and open it to show a couple of the crystalline seeds they had been given, clearly something she wanted to show Ratchet. "...Most are with Krystallos for him to work with in New Harmonex, these couple I've been carrying around to keep safe till he needs them." She'd smile softly.
Ratchet puts down his kaff and comes over to look. "They're beautiful," he marvels, awe overcoming his usual grumpy snark. "And this Krystallos thinks he can make them grow and sing like the ones in Harmonex?" he asks, looking from the crystals to Starlock's face. "That would certainly be quite the accomplishment," he grins approvingly.
Starlock nods. "Yes, why I sought him out... Given him the audio files already too." She smiles. "Found a bunch of plants with Hound's help too, sent a few over to the garden.. Remember that flower I used to have on my desk?.. We found more of those too." She'd chuckle.
"Oh, very nice!" Ratchet smiles. "I really should go check out Scales's garden. I've been stuck in this lab so long I'm a bad boss for not showing interest in my team's other interests."
Starlock chuckles. "I'm sure she'll appreciate it, you'll might need to also pass along Prime's thanks if you see her before I do." She'd grin as she closes the box, and carefully puts it away, she frowns slightly.
"So... do you think Springer took last night.. badly?" She asks.
Ratchet nods at Starlock's advice that he pass along Prime's thanks. "That's a good idea. As for Springer - I think he just doesn't know what to do with you. I think he feels like it's his job to toughen you up, as a Wrecker... and then Prime asked him to go easy on you. How do you do both at once?" Ratchet shakes his head in sympathetic frustration.
Starlock chuckles. "I guess I can get that, suppose I should talk to him." She'd sigh. "Honestly I don't even know what's going on there." She'd click her jaw.
Ratchet grins. "It might help. I know a lot of the problems around here come from a lack of communication. People not talking about their..." He shivers in mock horror. "'feelings,'" he concluded in exaggerated disgust.
Starlock grins in amusement at Ratchet. "You're not wrong, I mean... Look at you and me here! we're doing great cause we talk to one another." She'd laugh. "...But yeah.. I'll.. try and talk with him."
Ratchet smiles. "Thanks. He doesn't seem the touchy-feely type, but he'd probably appreciate your effort. I know he wants to do what's best for you and the Wreckers. He just needs to figure out what that is, and preferably before your first mission together!" he laughs.
Starlock laughs. "Agreed, best to get that aired before that happens, else there likely will be a whole slew of other problems you probably hear rant about me!" She'd grin, and push herself up and make her way over to Ratchet, and hug him quickly. "....Really.. Thank you.. I try not to bug you to much with things like this.. but.. really means a lot to have someone to talk to about this stuff.. makes it easier to move past."
Ratchet accepts the hug, since no one else is looking. Can't ruin his grumpy image. "Unless there are patients dying in OR or space creatures coming through the GroundBridge, you can ALWAYS come and talk with me, Starlock. People care about you. Well, some of us. Most of them don't care who you are as long as you get them patched up and sent back into battle," he laughs cynically.
Starlock snorts. "Don't I know it." She'd huff and relax there. "Alright then.." She'd take a vent. "...Maybe I've been letting what Hot Rod said about most not liking me, get to me a bit much." Whoops, that cat's out of the bag!
Ratchet does NOT look shocked at that admission. He's old, but he's not blind and deaf. "You are DEFINITELY letting it get to you too much. That's one mech's opinion... and, frankly, Hot Rod does NOT speak for all of us. He's not the Prime - he's some hothead kid who doesn't know when to put his vocalizer in park."
Starlock chuckles, a smile on her face. "Fair.. Still kind.. it hurts, know?" She says, but still smiling. "Will be hard to get past that."
Ratchet nods sympathetically. "Yeah. It can't be a good thing to hear. Not letting it get to you is easier said than done, I know. All the praise goes in one audial and out the other, but the criticisms can sting and linger," Ratchet says thoughtfully.
Starlock hehs. "Yeah... Couldn't agree more." She'd take a vent and lay her helm back. "...Alright.. I don't think there's too much more to cover." She'd smile over.
Ratchet nods. "OK," he says, finishing off one mug of kaff and pouring another. "Well, thanks for talking to me. I won't keep you -- although maybe be thinking about ways to decorate the lab. We have a party to plan!" he grins.
Starlock lets out a loud laugh. "Yes! I'll be sure to bring crystal decretive." She'd grin.
Ratchet laughs. "Excellent. OK. Back to work. And remember -- my door is always open. Figuratively. Literally it will be closed. I can't stand listen to you all natter all day," he finishes grumpily.
Starlock chuckles. "Fair." She'd stretch out. "Alright, thank you again." She'd say as she'd head for the door.
"Yeah, yeah," Ratchet grouses, and goes back to his kaff.