Transformers Universe MUX
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Log Title: Bridges

Characters: Ratchet, Starlock, Signal Flare

Location: New Harmonex; Iacon; Ratchet's Lab

Date: April 26th, 2022

TP: Liege Maximo TP

Summary: Ratchet opens, and mends some bridges for Starlock, both metaphorically and literally. 

As logged by: Starlock - Friday, April 26th, 2022, 9:13 PM

Heart of Harmonex - New Harmonex - Neutral Territories

Starlock

Starlock was sitting in the Peace Pavilion where it was quite, empty, but pretty, she had her sketchbook set to the side and she sighed out and leaned against the wall against the bench.

Ratchet drives in and transforms, detaching from his Onebox component and letting the supplies packed MARB continue without him towards the Tranquillo Hospital. He smiles, seeing Starlock, and approaches her, stopping a polite distance away.

Starlock's finials would twitch up and she'd open her optics and looked over and waved. "Hey Ratchet, here to work at the hospital?" She'd ask, relaxed, acting normal.

"Possibly, if you need it, but mostly I wanted to talk to you about the refugee situation. How are the Decepticon migrants fitting in?" Ratchet asks. "Any trouble?" He closes the distance between Starlock and himself, to get into better conversational distance. "Would you like me to sit?" he asks. "I don't want to just loom over you," he chuckles, the height distance exaggerated even further by him standing and her sitting.

Starlock chuckles, relaxed he didn't bring up her past radio messages and pats the seat beside her. "Sure, no need for my permission there." She'd smile. "Their... Well saying they have mental issues is a understatement." She chuckles weakly. "Working on making sure they also get mental help, get them settled in, but they're all on edge." She'd explain.

"As for trouble, none, yet, surprisingly." She'd add.

Ratchet nods, and frowns. "Unfortunately, with the Decepticons taking over the Calyhex city-state with their Titan gone, we've lost a lot of good resources for mental health treatment. Want me to send Rung along? Or try to find Froid? I don't think I can pull Cheshire out of retirement - rumor has it 29 sessions with Dust Devil was all he needed to quit counseling forever," he half-jokes. He carefully sits next to the smaller medic, making old-mech groaning noises as he settles in.

"Rung's an idea, he likely has a few contacts that can help in this situation." Starlock says with a nod, and then chuckle. "Poor guy." She adds to the joke with a grin, more sketches of concepts for Imager's frame are on the sketchbook page.

"How's your work on your own project?" She asks.

Ratchet chuckles. "Which one? I would like you to look at the GroundBridge when you can spare an astrosecond - I think I've got it working, but a second set of optics would be good, and some help with testing as well." He frowns. "We also have some sort of sleeping sickness going around - Bots falling into sleep mode mid-shift or walking and talking while shut down for recharging - I can't make heads or tails of it."

Starlock raises a ridge. "That /is/ weird." She says in regards to the narcolepsy. "And sure I'd love to have a look and help." She'd pause. "Actually, I have time now if we wanna head over." she offers.

"Alright," Ratchet says, climbing slowly back to his feet just as he got settled. "I also want to talk to you about another concern, preferably away from other Autobots' audial," he says gloomily, glancing around to ensure the square is still predominantly empty. "It's not a popular topic, but one that I think is important, especially in light of your recent actions," he says with an ominous frown. He takes a moment to brush small crystal glittery shardlets off his knees.

"Eh?" Starlock says, freezing stiffly in her spot once she is up. "D-did I do something wrong?" She asks, starting to internally panic. Thankfully no one else was around.

Ratchet frowns. "Just the opposite. You've listened to everything we've talked to you about since your demotion, and worked hard, obviously, not to be such a loud, disruptive force in conflicting situations. Also, you've taken it upon yourself to lead quite a few relief and rescue missions, often before we in command have time to even pull our heads out of our tailpipes." He cracks a smile. "What I'm trying to say it, you've gotten better, and I've noticed."

Starlock would relax some as she listened, her shoulders coming down, a thoughtful frown on her face. "...I mean.. without all the stress, and just isolating myself... accepted that so little people don't like me an--.. I just.. I dunno, I feel like I've always been like this, just without so much going on." She'd muse.

"Then again I'm just.. I judge myself harder then most." She'd scratch at her cheek, but smiles lightly. "Thank you."

Ratchet nods. "It might be unpopular, but I'm willing to take the heat. I plan to restore you to rank of sergeant. You've shown you can lead - you've always had that talent - but more importantly, you've shown you can distinguish when there is a time and place for argument and discussion. If you can promise to take your complaints to me, privately, instead of shouting over channels - I'll restore your rank to medical sergeant. Solomus knows I could use the help."

Starlock stands there, looking lost in thought, a long moment would pass before she'd take a long breath and nod. "Alright." she'd smile, trying to hide her unsure feelings, but still looking more then ready to help and get back to her work.

Ratchet grins. "Good. Now, Primus knows I'm not expecting perfection - I'm not demoting you for a single transgression or anything. But I want you to know your work is seen and valued, and I want to give you back the authority you deserve." He looks up as his MARB rolls back from the hospital, completely unloaded. "Now, let's head back to Iacon and we'll make it official," he smiles, transforming and recombining with his Onebox component.

Starlock smiles and before Ratchet transforms, She quickly hugs him, then transforming into her mini-bus mode to travel along side him. "Thank you." she says softly. "Let's go~" she then adds loudly in a more joyful tone.

Ratchet chuckles and heads back to Iacon, trying to keep up with the peace-bus as they travel across the broken countryside.

Iacon Medical Center - Iacon

Ratchet

Ratchet leads them back to the IMC, transforming once they return. Catching up with his messages on the way, he tells Starlock once they arrive that Autobots are planning another supply run to former Con territory tonight - this time, led by Typhoon and Fortress Maximus. "I don't know why Chromia would choose Typhoon," Ratchet muses aloud. "I guess since she's a navigator?" he shrugs. "She might know the best routes by now.

Starlock shrugs. "Maybe? Could help to avoid a con ambush." Starlock would muse aloud after she would transform upon entering the area with Ratchet. "I admit I'm not very familiar with Typhoon, I've talk to her... once or twice? but not enough to /know/ know her." Starlock adds.

"I helped build her," Ratchet muses. "Although that was more Wheeljack's project than mine," he smiles. "Interesting to see Chromia give her a leadership role. Officially Stormwind's the leader, although frankly I'm not sure why -- she couldn't lead antoids to a picnic. I'd have put Blizzard in charge, but..." he shrugs. "Not my job, and of course I'm biased towards medics," he grins.

Starlock chuckles. "That's fair, I guess we'll find out?" Starlock says as she starts for his lab, stopping once at the door, not wanting to enter without his permission.

Ratchet's Lab - Iacon Medical Center

Ratchet enters his lab, waiting for Starlock to follow. The GroundBridge has been rebuilt since the 'incident' with the unwanted visitor and looks a little more put together than before. "Now, my trickiest part is guidance right now, but I think I have the bridge itself stable. Right now, it just opens into the main lab, but eventually I should be able to target anywhere on Cybertron's surface. Maybe even reach the Moonbases, although I'd rather rely on a Space Bridge for that."

Starlock would go over to look it over "Oh yeah? well I would imagen it would be planet side only." She'd chuckle. "So how does it work in regards to other places, just needs coordinates?" She asks.

"That's the theory," Ratchet says. "If you'll help me run some experiments here in the lab, maybe we can try to expand it further. I might have to start with someone at the exit site to send a receiver signal. Ideally, eventually we won't even need that, but... baby steps," he lasts. "Right now, let's just not bring in any more other-dimensional Decepticons," he chuckles. He opens a panel on the side of the machine so Starlock can get a better look. "The manual and schematics are on that screen there," he points out.

The machine looks much more solid than before - Ratchet has been making improvements and modifications since Starlock has seen it last. Looks like it SHOULD work - Starlock can't find any obvious problems. Of course, bugs like to pop up when you least expect them, and when you're travelling through unspace, anything can happen. Ratchet watches anxiously as Starlock looks over his invention.

Starlock nods. "Huh, looking good so far, what kind of experiments have you tried?" She'd ask looking up at him.

"Well, I got back to the point I was at before - opening rifts into the main lab and sending intimate objects through - even some drones. Haven't tried living beings yet - would your morals object to sending some tribbles through?" Ratchet asks Starlock, laughing. "We could stand to lose a few," he jokes, but then adds, "the drones had no damage and didn't record any dangerous radiation - not that I think that would even hurt a tribble."

Ratchet grins evilly, retrieving a tribble from one of the many containers of them he has in the lab. << Signal Flare, >> he radios. << I'm going to open a GroundBridge to the main lab. Let me know if you see it open on the other side. >> Ratchet frowns, and then switches to a broader channel. << Attention, Iacon, >> he announces. << GroundBridge test commencing. If there are any surprise power fluctuations or anything... don't freak out. Ratchet out. >> He flips off his comms and gives Starlock a wicked grin.

<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "Attention, Iacon: GroundBridge test commencing. If there are any surprise power fluctuations or anything... don't freak out. Ratchet out."
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Got it. So should we brace for impact?"
<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "If things go well, there shouldn't BE any impact!"
<<Autobot>> Signal Flare says, "Ready, Ratchet."

"You don't have to look so maniacal about it!" Starlock shouts, but laughing as she did, given she was interested to see how this would go, placing her hands on her hips, then giving Ratchet a thumbs up.

<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Ratchet, the last time you ran a test with the thing.."
<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "We wound up with an other dimensional Decepticon. I know."
<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "Oh Primus oh primus we're all gonna die?"
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Just make sure you don't open the briefcase"
<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "don't even reference him!"

"Maniacal? Me?" Ratchet throws back his head and delivers a classic villain laugh as he pulls the switch, and a large, green portal opens before the two Autobots. After a few astroseconds, it stabilizes, and at the other end of a short unspace tunnel, the main lab can be seen, along with Signal Flare. Sig waves. "All clear, sir!" you can hear him say both through the tunnel, and over the broadband, although there is a slight delay between the two.

<<Autobot>> Signal Flare says, "All clear, sir!"
<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "Fire in the hole! <snicker>"

Starlock shakes her head and just laughs. "You're having to much fun." She adds with a smile. She then pauses. "Huh, wonder if Mechanical life, and organic life will interact with it differently." she muses as she looks thought the portal.

<<Autobot>> For better or worse, no explosions or power outages... yet.
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Well, have we been teleported to an alternate reality?"

Ratchet looks at Starlock with amusement in his optics. "Are you volunteering for the mechanical life form test? Shouldn't we toss Dust Devil through first instead?" he laughs. At the chirp of the radio, he responds, << I don't know, Hot Rod - am I still devilishly handsome and attractive? >> he chuckles, giving Starlock a grin. He monitors the wormhole, making sure it remain stable even as he jokes around.

<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "I don't know, Hot Rod - am I still devilishly handsome and attractive?"
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "How much energon do I get before I answer that?"
<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "You'll find my fist works in every dimension."
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Hey, that just influences me when it comes to saying how beautiful and freshly minted you are."

Starlock looks to see if the tribble is okay, then back to Ratchet, there was the real temptation to leap through and give him a little scare for amusement, but, she'd decide against that and grinned. "Sure." She'd smirk. "I'd love to do that first but he'll never volunteer since he knows what we're doing." She laughs.

"That and if he goes though, something dumb with another dimension will /totally/ happen." she adds.

<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "I do try to always remain minty fresh."
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Lovely. Can you pass me along the concoction so I can try to make sure Kup uses it?"

Ratchet chuckles. "Of that I have no doubt you are correct." The tribble still in hand, he checks once more to make sure the bridge is stable, and then tosses it through to Signal Flare - who catches it adroitly, and immediately begins running scans on it. Ratchet waits anxiously, smiling at Starlock but unable to conceal his nervousness. "Come in," he mutters to himself. "How long does it take to scan a slaggin' tribble?"

Starlock chuckles and waits, crossing her arms to hear the news. "Lets be real, that boy doesn't need any more 'chosen one' syndrome." Starlock jokes half-heartedly, something in her tone slightly off.

<<Autobot>> Signal Flare says, "Tribble is clear. No sign of damage from passing through the GroundBridge."

Ratchet breathes a sigh of relief, and his smile becomes less forced. "Well, since I'd never ask one of my doctors to do anything I wouldn't do... if this doesn't work, tell Inferno he can have my office," he laughs, some of that nervousness returning. With that, Ratchet strides forward, directly into the GroundBridge. Through the bridge, Siggy can be heard saying, "What? Sir!" stepping towards the other end of the bridge himself.

"OI!" Starlock suddenly says in surprise and worry. Following right behind him. This was some silly stress test for sure! but still there was a worry, and she needed to be sure Ratchet would be okay.

<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "And you're sure it's the same one?"

Both Ratchet and Starlock wind up on the other side before a surprised Signal Flare. He quickly scans then both, anxiously examining the results. He then puts the sensor away, and simply runs his palms very close to both Autobots, not quite touching them. Finally, he takes a step back. "No ill effects. No disruptions found in your energon flow, by the instruments or by me personally." Ratchet turns to Starlock. "See? No problem."

<<Autobot>> Signal Flare says, "Ratchet and Starlock both passed through a GroundBridge from Ratchet's lab to the main lab. No energon disruption detected, by me or my scanners. Ratchet does have a goatee now, though. Is that bad?"
<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast transmits the sounds of a large gun cocking.
<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "He's kidding!"
<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "Make sure he never jokes like that again, would you?"
<<Autobot>> Starlock says, "Err... Dare I ask why?"

Starlock huffs at Ratchet and places her hands on her hips and then chuckles at Signal Flare and shakes her helm.. Backblast's gun being loaded does startle her though, leaving her looking very.. confused.

"Eheheheh~ well, seems it's working, loud, but working." She muses looking back.

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "Ain't you ever seen Star Trek or anything like that? Universal law. If it goes through any kind of portal, dimensional shift, teleport, etc, etc, and comes back with a beard, especially the goatee, that's the evil mirror 'verse version."
<<Autobot>> Starlock says, "...But how would that work with Femme's?"
<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "I think that actually applied to mirror-verse Hot Rod, actually. But no, I'm me. As far as I know. *chuckle*"
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "No, that sounds about normal. Hey, Ratchet, do you have anys udden urges to try and tear us apart and experiment on us? And has his color scheme changed?"
<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "Uh... good question Starlock"
<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "Colour scheme changes, pointier optics? Dunno."
<<Autobot>> Starlock says, "see theres the hole in your logic-- ahah Nahh our colors are the same... Not sure what mine would even turn too since i'm purple already."
<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "The mirrorverse Autobots did have differing color schemes. I didn't see mine, though. Black, presumably. But I only feel the desire to choke Dust Devil, so nothing has changed."
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Got it. So unless you're trying to sneak in pretending to be the normal ones then we're good."
<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "That's a universal constant. All the alt universe bots are kinda mad at me fer hackysackin that bomb back through the portal ta a full bridge."

Ratchet grins. "Should we walk back through, or take the door?" He gestures to the doorway right next to the portal, which DOES make the portal look a little less impressive. A large hole in the wall would have the same effect, but quieter.

"Let me try something first, sir," Signal Flare interrupts, and tosses the tribble through. He tenses, as if waiting for it to explode. Instead it lands on Ratchet's desk and snuggles up to one of his bottles of high-grade, sucking out the energy right through the bottle.

<<Autobot>> Signal Flare says, "It did seem to take several annocycles for them to recover from that, Dusty. I wish I'd been there to see that!"

Starlock chuckles as the Tribble does that. "Seems safe enough, probably odda monitor ourselves and it for the next day to make sure nothing pops up, but, looks like you did it Ratchet." She'd grin at him.

Ratchet nods. "A good point. I should leave it running... although it uses a LOT of energon. But we should know how long it's stable BEFORE there is an emergency that requires us to keep it going." He smiles. "I'm walking back through." This time, he confidently struts through the GroundBridge back into his lab, showing no ill effects. He waves through the portal at Starlock and Signal Flare.

Starlock chuckles once more and follows him. "Why didn't you choose electricity instead or did it just need that strong of a power source?" Starlock asks as she walks back through.

Ratchet looks at Starlock and frowns. "Sadly, punching a hole in unspace and keeping it stable requires an intense amount of energy." He studies the panel again, nodding to himself before turning back to Starlock. "We're not going to be able to use this daily, but it might help getting, say, supplies to Stanix without putting Autobot lives at risk." He frowns thoughtfully. "Soon we'll try longer-range tests."

Starlock nods. "That would be pretty useful." She'd muse, now thinking of all the supply drops they could make without putting to much at risk distance wise, it would change their position in the war, if it continued. She'd grin. "Did great~" She'd grin.

Ratchet grins. "Thanks! I couldn't have done it without your initial input," he smiles. "And I might need your help for the longer-range tests as well. I know you're busy, so I won't take all your time, but you probably understand this theory better than anyone else besides possibly Perceptor and Wheeljack. And Goth, but right now, I'm not sure it's wise to bring him back to Iacon. Might put a target on him."

"To be fair, that bats got a pretty big target on him already." Starlock says with a nervuse laugh and sigh. "It's fine. I.. I like helping you... and spending time with ya'." she admits aloud and rub at the back of her neck.

"Well, since we're gonna need to stay with in close range for at least a day, anything else ya wanna talk about?" She asks.

Ratchet says, "Well, did you bring those sketches of Imager's new body?"

"Yeah" she'd grin, getting her sketchbook out, then the other sketches on her holo-screens brought up.. she's made a couple dozen. "I uh.. may gone a little nuts." She'd smile sheepishly.

Ratchet laughs. "I can always trust you to be thorough! Have you showed any of these to Spitze to see if she has an opinion?"

"Yeah.." Stalrock says with puffed cheeks. "She wanted to play with the shield like a frisbee." she says as if she should of expected that of the Dinobot.

Ratchet chuckles and shakes his head. "At least I can't be blamed for this one!" he laughs.

"Nope!" Starlock laughs. "Still I wish I knew more of what Imager wanted." she'd huff.

"Who ever knows what femmes want?" Ratchet laughs jokingly.

Starlock snorts. "Its easier when you know them like any other friend." She explains with a smile, looking over her concepts. "...Um, sorry about the radio the other night.. I spiraled a bit." She'd say.

Ratchet nods sympathetically. "I wasn't sure how to respond," he admits.

<<Autobot>> Optimus Prime says, "Autobots - The decepticons are making a move against the free state of Stanix."

"With all the talk of being made for something greater, outlier abilities, great skill, and... well, 'chosen syndrome' I.." She'd sigh. "It hit a sore spot with me.. I'm.. small, plain.. 'normal'" She murmur softly. "I feel-- felt like I'm.. just not destined for anything.. no matter how hard I try to make myself into something that can match up to the sort, and that I'm just.. useless.. someone to die without anything to my name." She'd murmur softly.

<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "... Slag. What are the orders, Sir?"
<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "That deadspark Starscream! I knew we couldn't trust him!"
<<Autobot>> Optimus Prime says, "Aid in escorting non-combatants out of the area. Ratchet, it was his own that warned us. Pilus is making the attack."

Ratchet makes a face. "Am I nothing, because I'm not a One Percenter? The only thing I have special about me is these hands, which you gave me..."

<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "... Lovely. So what are we going to do?"
<<Autobot>> CMO Ratchet says, "Oh. Uh,.... he's still a deadspark."
<<Autobot>> Optimus Prime says, "He is certainly something, Ratchet."
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Heading to rendezous point"
<<Autobot>> Optimus Prime says, "Keep us posted Hot Rod."
<<Autobot>> Drift says, "On it. Race you to the fun, Hot Rod."
<<Autobot>> Hot Rod says, "Works for me."

Starlock snorts. "No, no, you're.." she'd look for the words, but that does bring up something. "I think thats why I also look up too you, not just your kindness." she laughs. "Being around all these crazy super-powered weirdos, you don't fall behind them, and match up to them in other ways." Starlock goes quite, knowing she'll never get there.

Ratchet smiles. "And you will, too, Starlock. You just need time. Trust me, when I was your age, I was a mess." Suddenly, the GroundBridge starts to cough and smoke. "Slag!" Ratchet yells, turning quickly and shutting it down. "Looks like I might have a long night," he tells Starlock. "You'd better prep the lab. Sounds like we might have injured coming in from Stanix."

Starlock smiles, not sure about what he says, but gives a salute and gets things set... and helps make sure his lab doesn't catch fire, again.

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