Location: United States - North America
Date: April 10, 2016
Summary: Back from Cybertron, Sparkplug starts to succumb to illness.
As logged by Sparkplug - Sunday, April 10, 2016, 10:30 PM
Human Quarters - Residential Complex - Autobot City
Yesterday, when they landed, it was pretty much an 'out' day for Sparkplug. Helperbot managed to get him to walk around the human quarters and diplomatic lounge once or twice, but the majority of the time, he spent the day sleeping. Now, at 6:30 a.m. - after Spike's debriefing with Crosscut, Spike goes to make some coffee to 'officially' enter the day. As the coffee brews, he carefully creeps in to Sparkplug's room to see how he's doing.
Sparkplug, unusually, in still in bed. With his systems wiped out and his immune system vulnerable, Sparkplug managed to someway catch a bug since his return from Cybertron - at least, that's the best case scenario. He lies weakly in bed, coughing regularly, while Helperbot makes him tea. As Spike enters, Helperbot looks at him with what on a sentient creature might read as concern. "Good morning," it beeps, sounding somehow both sad and stressed out.
Spike looks at Sparkplug and sighs. He finds a chair and pulls it up near Sparkplug. He gives a nod of appreciation to Helperbot. He smiles, "You can take a break if you want to for a few hours." Spike looks at Sparkplug and says "Heyah... Ron and Judy left last night after you crashed (at 4:30 p.m.). Can I get you anything?"
Helperbot beeps like taking a break might physically pain it, but it bobs its head and says, "Thank you. I will use the time to study and listen to music." It wheels out, giving Sparkplug one last look before it closes the door.
Sparkplug coughs and looks blearily at Spike. "I'm OK. What time is it?" He looks around, a little confused. "Are we back in Autobot City? Is everyone OK on Cybertron?" He coughs again, covering his mouth with the sleeve of his striped pajamas.
Spike nods and gets Sparkplug's usual array of meds. Helperbot usually administers them, but it's usually after breakfast. He nods calmly, "It's OK, we're back home. We've been home for about 36 hours." Spike smoothly lies...sort of - all of them were in a pretty deep sleep. "All of us have slept for about 15 hours or so - typical for that type of travel." He looks at Sparkplug and says "The Seacons... they killed a few dozen Autobots... but... the medics said that they were able to save around 200 injured."
Sparkplug frowns, and coughs as he weakly tries to get out of bed. "We shouldn't have come back. With all those injured, we should be there, helping out. When is the best shuttle back there?" He breaks into another coughing fit, and is forced to lay back down until it passes. "So old," he says weakly, a tear running down from his left eye. "So old." His face twists into a grimace of impotent misery.
Spike sighs and says "Ratchet's up there, coordinating with First Aid. They've got things set." He looks at Sparkplug with concern and says "Let's try to eat something...you didn't eat yesterday. I think that's why you're not up to full strength."
Sparkplug nods his head heavily. "Eat. OK. I'll eat something." He tries to sit up, coughing a few times before he can do it. "Where's my robe?" he asks, looking around the room. "Where's Helper?" he asks, sounding angry. "That blasted robot's supposed to be here. Has he taken off on me, too? Can't I rely on anyone around here?" Sparkplug tries feebly to make his way onto his feet, scanning the ground as he does so.
Spike frowns slightly, thinking 'calm...calm.' He looks at Sparkplug and says "I gave him the morning off." He sighs and says "Look, I'm doing the best I can, OK?" Spike goes and gets Sparkplug's robe and places it near him. "No one's taken off on you, by the way. Buster's doing midterms, and Ron and Judy had to get back home."
Spike says evenly "It's just like back on the ol' oil rigs, just you and I relying on one another."
Sparkplug pauses a moment, and then nods his head once more. "OK," he says finally. "OK." He stands and shrugs on the robe, and then resumes scanning the ground. "Have you seen my slippers?" he asks meekly. "I'm sorry I yelled." He doesn't seem capable of actually yelling, but now might not be the time to point that out to him. He interrupts his slipper-search to have another coughing fit.
Spike smiles easily "It's all right..." He hands Sparkplug his slippers. As he waits for Sparkplug to get his slippers on, he texts Helperbot. "Sorry 2 bother you on break, but could you run a quick diagnostic on Sparkplug's chest scan this morning?" Spike gets up, giving his dad some room. He'll wait to see if he needs assistance getting to the kitchen, where Spike will make up some basic scrambled eggs. Anything to get something in his system so he can have his array of meds. In the meantime, he tries to distract his dad. "Uh... so, it looks like the Joes are going to be here for awhile longer."
Helperbot texts back, "While I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose illness or suggest treatment on my own, I suggest Mr. Witwicky be checked for bronchitis, based on analysis of chest scan and symptoms."
Meanwhile, Sparkplug frowns. "The Joes?" he asks, for a moment looking confused again. "Oh. The Joes. Right. Why are they here again?" Sparkplug coughs, and seems to be having a hard time focusing.
Spike gulps, wondering how this is going to work. There's no way Sparkplug can get into the main dining room on his own.
Spike strategically 'moves' the wheelchair to where Sparkplug's slippers are. He continues to talk, "Uh...Cobra attacked their headquarters. They've been here for awhile, but a few weeks ago, there was a crane collapse, nobody injured, thankfully, but it did enough damage to set back construction for weeks."
Sparkplug nods vaguely, sitting in the wheelchair to slowly and carefully slip his feet into the slippers. He then sits up and places his hands on the sides of the chair, and seems compliantly resigned to be wheeled into the kitchen to eat. He coughs again, and then just leans back in the chair, staring downward, seeming checked out of the conversation.
"Do you require any additional assistance, sir?" Helperbot texts Spike.
Thanks to technology, Spike 'beams' a file to First Aid on Cybertron. It's Sparkplug's chest xrays from today. He texts 'I know you're busy, can you please check these out?' Spike texts back to Helperbot, "Just sent scans to First Aid for analysis. Nothing needed. We'll be in the main lounge, Thanks." Spike slowly wheels Sparkplug to the main lounge. Keep the conversation going. "Should be a slow day in the repair bay today..."
"That's good," Sparkplug mumbles. "I might not be up for working today," he says in severe understatement. He continues to stare at the floor as he's wheeled out, his gaze interrupted only by frequent coughs.
"I'll look at them as soon as possible," First Aid texts back. "Thank you for bringing it to my attention."
Helperbot hovers in the main lounge, somehow managing to look furtive as it pretends to be doing anything besides monitoring Sparkplug from afar.
Spike rolls Sparkplug to a table and begins to cook up some scrambled eggs. Keep it simple today. He looks over at Sparkplug and sighs "Maybe... just for today, take it easy?" He adds "I know you already know this, but Cybertron to Earth... that trip can wipe anyone out." Spike cooks up a relatively quick dish for Sparkplug. Nothing fancy today. No shallots, no sauteed mushrooms, just something very simple and edible for him to get something in him. But the fear is beginning to creep into Spike that this may require a hospital visit.
Sparkplug nods heavily and someone absently. "Take it easy. Yeah. That might be a good idea. Tell Roland I won't be in today, OK?" He shakes his head and blinks a few times.
Spike nods, now looking somewhat even more worried, "Uh...yeah. Don't worry - we'd probably get let out early anyway - it's been a few slow days." Spike gives Sparkplug some coffee and then an array of pills - to go along with the 'just get something in him' breakfast.
Sparkplug eats quietly and methodically, perking up a bit once he gets some food and hot beverage in him. As he sips his coffee, his coughing calms down a bit, and he gives Spike a weak smile. "Thanks for taking good care of your old man," he says suddenly. "You're a good kid, Spike."
Spike absently texts Helperbot "He's going to take a nap after this. I know we need to keep him mobile in case pneumonia sets in, but he needs to get some rest." Spike blinks and grins. That was ... out of nowhere. He grins weakly and takes a sip of coffee. "Dad, you're like my best friend. We'll get through this."
Spike takes advantage of this one 'good window' - as Sparkplug's health deteroirates, sometimes 'good days' may turn into 'good moments' "That was some tribute to you up there on Cybertron. That building was amazing."
From several feet away, where he pretends to be bopping his head to very unboppable ambient music, Helperbot simply texts back, "Acknowledged."
"Wish I'd been able to see more of it," Sparkplug replies, "But I'm glad you got your conference and passed your exams. You're a good kid," he repeats.
From Cybertron, First Aid pings back the bad news - he'd like Spike to take Sparkplug to a local doctor for a physical exam, because the scans do seem to indicate bronchitis.
Spike smiles, he won't bother humoring Sparkplug about a 'next time' visit. Instead, he says "When Hound gets back, we'll get him to 'project' the areas we didn't get to see. His latest upgrades... his holograms are practically another reality now. Spike frowns at the text he got from First Aid. He instantly relays it to Helperbot. He then texts Buster. "Shit... First Aid wants me to bring dad in to Dr. Morin's... possible bronchitis."
Spike sighs and steels his spine. "Hyeah... uh... " He bites his lower lip. "So... your latest biometric scan... First Aid isn't here... it came up possible positive for bronchitis. We're going to have to go in and see Dr. Morin... "
Sparkplug nods his head slowly. "It's good... It's good," he says, starting to nod off in the wheelchair in spite of his several swallows of coffee. As Helperbot calls Morin's office to make an appointment, Buster texts back, "XRAP OK DO YOU NEED ME TO GO?"
Sparkplug coughs and rouses himself from his micro-nap. "What? Dr. Morin? OK," he says rapidly, in an 'I was awake the whole time!' manner.
Spike frowns at the text. Goddamnit, Buster. stop yelling. Spike texts to Buster "Not yet. Let's see. Will text you findings."
Spike smiles meekly and tries to reassure dad, "His office is an outpatient clinic, I'm sure they'll just give you another chest x-ray and give you some meds there, and send you on home." No need to send him to the hospital.
Sparkplug nods with heavy eyes. "OK, Spike. Whatever you say. I'm tired. 'M gonna go lie down, K?" He coughs again, and looks ready to pass out in his chair.
Spike nods. He looks up at Helperbot.
Spike wheels Sparkplug back into his room. He looks at Helpberbot and gestures him to take Sparkplug's legs. Spike manages to get an arm in the wheelchair 'back' and 'lift' Sparkplug's upper body onto his bed.
Sparkplug is lifted into bed by Helperbot and Spike. "Thanks, son," he mutters. "Thanks, Helper." Helper beeps in reply.
Spike nods, "No problem, dad." He then gets Helperbot to this side and says "Uh..let's...play it safe and maybe... get together a 'overnight' bag in case dad has to spend the night at the hospital." A quick tear falls down Spike's face, but he quickly recovers. Spike looks at Helperbot and smiles, "I'll...keep you updated."
Helperbot beeps. "I'll be ready," it promises, as Sparkplug slides into a fitful sleep.
TO BE CONTINUED ...