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Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

The local Solar System. From the Sun to Earth's orbit and the Moon. And from there all the way into the outer regions of the system beyond Neptune and the dwarf planets beyond it.

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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Mess Hall

“You...you know, you’re really easy to talk to. Did anyone ev...ever tell you that? I mean, I’ve been in here....downing this really great energon substitute, telling you everything under Primus that’s been bothering me for the past many many many vorns, and you’ve just been sitting there....burp....listening to all of it. I mean - wow the room is spinning - I mean, most mechs would’ve just tuned me out by now, you know, or simply walked away or even made up some kind of bullscrap excuse why they had to leave. But, not you, no siry bot! You’re a real live spark saver.....that’s what you are! Hiccup! Ah, excuse me. I didn’t mean to be rude. I think I may have reached my limit. Heh."

Bluestreak pushed the empty glass container away from him as he leaned back in his chair at one of the countless tables in the mess hall. He glanced over again at the small maintenance drone that had been forced to listen to his non-stop, increasingly slurred babbling for the past few cycles while he enjoyed the Ark-22’s superb assortment of energon substitute. Ever since Red Alert had deserted him in favor of some non-existent conspiracy, the silver and black mech had found himself alone drinking his sorrows away until one of the many cleaning bots had entered the room. The drone wasn’t sentient, of course, but it would suffice to help keep the gunner’s processor off of things that had happened long ago. It was better than having no one at all.

“Well, I should probably get going now," Bluestreak suggested as he stood up from the table, a little wobbly. “Whoa, somebody should, um, tell Springer to fix the gravity stabi...stabilizers. Yeah, that’s it! You can do that....I’m....just going to take a stasis nap somewhere. Um, not sure where, my quarters I guess. Heh. Anyway, catch ya latter, little maintaining bot!" The gunner slapped the drone on top before staggered across the mess hall and exiting into the corridor beyond.

Corridors

Bluestreak was looking for his personal quarters, but he was having a difficult time finding it. In his inebriated state, Blue would be lucky to find his own gun, which he carried on his person at all times. Still, his drunkenness didn’t stop him from trying to find his quarters as he persevered onward until he came to a turbo lift. “Mmmm...maybe I should, um, try anotherrrr deck. Yeah, that would be good."

The black and silver mech was about to depress the button when the lift’s door parted down the center, revealing the form of Wheeljack standing inside. Bluestreak’s optics widened at the sudden presence of the mechanical engineer. “Wheeljack! Hey, buddy....burp....ah how’s it going? Haven’t seen you in, um....awhile? Right? I think it’s been a while, anyway. Heh. Time’s a strange thing wouldn’t you say?"

Wheeljack, surprised to see anyone else lurking around the corridors, stepped out of the turbo lift and grabbed a hold of Bluestreak’s left arm before the gunner toppled sideways. “Blue, are you drunk?"

“No! No, of course not. Hiccup! Why do you ask?"

“Because you smell drunk."

“Oh...welll...heh, maybe just a little," Bluestreak replied with a shrug. An astrosecond later, he leaned forward and purged about a quart of fuel all over the floor. “Okay, maybe more than a little. Heh. Can you help me to my, um, what do you call it, quarters? Yeah, that's it! I can’t find them anywhere. Those damn living spaces, always moving around and slag. Heh."

“Ah, sure thing, Blue, no problem," Wheeljack agreed, not wanting to just leave a drunken gunner in the middle of the hallway. Holding on to him tightly, ‘Jack guided Bluestreak through a series of corridors until they had reached the black and silver mech’s personal quarters. Along the way, the talkative mech continued to ramble on and on about anything that came to his processor. The scientist barely understood a word of it since most of the gunner’s sentences were slurred and therefore easy to ignore. Thankfully, Blue didn’t purge any more fuel, either, which also made the trek a little more bearable.

Bluestreak’s Personal Quarters

“Here we go, Blue, ol’ buddy. Home sweet home."

“Thanks, Jackie," Bluestreak responded, patting the engineer on the back. “I appreci...a-ppre-ci-ate, yeah that’s it, appreciate it! I knew I’d get it out! Ha ha!" The drunk Autobot then stood there for a moment, looking at the closed door in front of him. “Um, why ain’t the door opening?"

“You need to enter your access code, Blue."

“Oh, right. Heh, silly me." Bluestreak reached up to the keypad and paused a moment. “Um, what is my code?"

Sigh. Wheeljack said nothing as he leaned his comrade against the wall next to the door and went to work on bypassing the lock. Within astroseconds, the entrance to Bluestreak’s quarters was open and ‘Jack was helping his drunken friend inside. “Okay, here we are. Now, you need to sleep this off, Blue, before going back on duty. Understand?"

“Sure thing, Jackie! Hiccup! No problem!" The Autobot gunner replied as Wheeljack guided him over to the stasis berth at the opposite side of the room. Once ‘Streak was within inches of the metal slab, he collapsed faceplate first onto it and quickly drifted off into recharge.

“That’s a good ‘Bot," Wheeljack muttered to no one in particular, or at least to no one that was conscious. The scientist was about to turn away and leave Blue’s quarters when he noticed that the gunner was now lying in a similar face-down position that Smokescreen’s new frame was in when last the engineer saw it. However, there was something different about Bluestreak’s back that differed from Smokey’s, which was odd considering they shared the same mold. “You got to be fraggin’ kidding me!"

Wheeljack put his hand up to his faceplate when he realized what the difference was. Bluestreak’s back housed a pair of retractable rocket launchers that would deploy onto his shoulders in battle just like the diversion expert. Unfortunately, ‘Jack had forgotten all about the launchers and neglected to make them for the rallybot’s new body. Great, one more thing for me to do. Like Axle and I have time for this. Dammit!

Without further delay, the mechanical engineer hurried out of Bluestreak’s quarters, locking the door behind him and leaving the gunner to safely sleep off his drunken condition. The scientist then made his way back through the corridors and towards his lab.

Wheeljack’s Lab

When he finally arrived, Wheeljack found Axle already there sitting on the floor next to the lab’s locked door with his legs drawn up and his head down. “You okay, Axle?" The concerned scientist asked, kneeling down, hoping that the field medic hadn’t decided to overflow his tanks, as well, when he was supposed to be gathering supplies for the diversion expert. “Sorry that I’m late, but after I disposed of Smokescreen’s old body, I ended up running into a drunk Bluestreak in the halls on my way back, and I had to help him to his quarters. You understand?"

Once he could see that Axle was okay, Wheeljack stood back up and entered his access codes, the lab doors opening as a result. “Now, I was able to finish assembling Smokey’s frame," the engineer stated as he crossed the threshold and approached the rallybot’s new body that still lay face down on the primary worktable. “However, while I was assisting Bluestreak, I realized that I forgot two very important pieces - Smokey’s shoulder-mounted rocket launchers. They’re retractable, able to slide into his back when he’s not in battle. I saw similar ones on Blue since they have almost identical frames. So, I’m going to have to get to work straight away on constructing those."

Wheeljack cast a gaze back at Axle, who still seemed a bit out of it. “Where you able to get the med-grade energon and the other supplies you needed? No one saw you, like Prowl or Red Alert, right?"
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:45 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

He couldn’t be sure just how long he’d been seated just outside of the door to the lab. He may have slipped into a light recharge but he couldn’t be certain. He was just grateful that the pain had finally lessened to the point he could begin to think clearly. After a few minutes he began to run through his memory files to catch anything he may have been too preoccupied to have caught. With his head still perched on his folded arms he came across something he never realized was there.

“Aw slag."

Although he was distraught over the memory he refused to lift his head. Just keeping the position proved much more tolerable than standing alone.

Even when Wheeljack had finally arrived he still remained seated. He answered Wheeljack’s query concerning his wellbeing with nothing more than a strained grunt but quickly followed it up with a vocal response.

“I’ll be fine Wheeljack."

When he heard the door slide open Axle finally rose slowly to his feet and followed the engineer back into his lab. Most of what ‘Jack was saying was lost to medic as his only focus was to get the diversion expert back to full functionality. And he had to do it before Ratchet contacted him. Time was of the essence.

“That’s fine ‘Jack. I’m sure Bluestreak, when told of what you did for him, will be quite grateful."

Almost mindlessly the field medic made his way to the CR chamber at the back of the adjoining room. He activated the control panel and entered in an override command provided to all Autobot medical personnel. There was a series of low beeps as a small door opened slowly next to the keypad. Axle removed both cubes from his subspace and gently inserted the first one. The illumination of a green light signaled that the energon was withdrawn from the offered cube and deposited in the reservoir. He repeated the process with the second cube. He then discarded the empty receptacles and made his way back out into the lab.

“I was able to get a hold of two cubes. It’s the standard amount for the severely wounded…hopefully Smokescreen is counted as one and won’t require any more."

Axle ran his hand down his face as he worked his way to one of the stools next to the slab Smokescreen was laying on. He let out an exhausted sigh before he finally gave Wheeljack an answer to regarding Prowl or Red Alert.

“No. I only ran across Ratchet, but I expected that. He didn’t spot me until I was on my way out. I never even saw Red. I suppose Tracer’s pet turbofox is still keeping him busy."

The medic placed both arms over his legs and leaned down low, his optics focused only on the floor below.

“They’re preparing for a mission. Prowl’s gonna show up in the med bay along with a group of other mechs. Ratchet volunteered me to handle Prowl’s exams."

He raised his head so he could look at the scientist.

“I don’t have much time left and there’s still so much I need to do before I can bring him online."

Axle stood up from the stool and shook his head. After a moment he made his way to Wheeljack and placed his hand gently on the other mech’s shoulder.

“I’m heading to the med bay to get that equipment. Once you finished fabricating those missile mounts get him into that CR chamber. It’s preset to initiate the addition of the energon during its fourth cycle…no need to worry. When I get back I’ll set up what I need and then get him back on the slab."

Axle removed his hand from ‘Jack’s shoulder and breezed past him to the door. He had no need to disrupt the engineer from his work as he had already memorized the access code that had been entered earlier. As the door slid open Axle looked over his shoulder to address the busy mech.

“You’re gonna need to change your security code."

He let out a chuckle as he passed through the door and it slid closed behind him.
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:29 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Wheeljack watched as Axle finally entered the lab where he then quickly made his way to the CR pod located in the adjacent room that served as the scientist’s personal quarters. Once the field medic was done filling the reservoir with med-grade energon, he came back out into the main lab and confirmed for the mechanical engineer that he had been able to procure two cubes which should be adequate enough to serve Smokescreen’s needs. “I’m sure it’ll be enough, Axle. Smokey’s tougher than he looks."

Wheeljack was further relieved when the field medic told him that he had only encountered Ratchet during his trip to the Guardian. It would have been preferable for Axle to avoid running into anybody at all, but at least it hadn’t been Prowl or especially Red Alert. The jig would’ve easily been up if the paranoid security director had spotted Axle and started asking him a ton of questions. “Well, that’s good. I can only imagine seeing Tracer's little pet running circles around Red. He’s probably going nuts right about now. Heh."

The revelation that Axle didn’t have much more time before he would be called back to handle some kind of pre-mission exam for Prowl made Wheeljack more than just a little bit worried. However, before the engineer could express his concerns, the medic approached him and placed an easy hand on his shoulder plate. ‘Jack listened carefully to everything Axle told him to do. The scientist nodded accordingly. “Sure thing, Axle. No problem. It shouldn’t take me too long to make the missile mounts and then I’ll have Smokey in the chamber in no time."

Wheeljack smiled under his face shield as the medic then moved to the exit, joking that a new access code would be needed before disappearing from sight. “I don’t think that’ll be necessary," the mechanical engineer muttered to the closed door before he turned and walked over to the secondary work station and began crafting the shoulder-mounted rocket launchers. Two breems later, the missile mounts were completed and ‘Jack carefully carried them over to the primary table where he connected them into the grooves on Smokescreen’s back and shoulder plates, which would allow the launchers to retract into their respective compartments when not in use.

“There, now you’re whole again, Smokey," Wheeljack whispered as he gently patted his friend on the arm. Now it was time to get the rallybot into the CR pod, but ‘Jack wanted to move his injured comrade as little as possible in order to avoid unintentionally damaging the still healing Trinity organs. Therefore, the only option he had was to bring the CR unit to the patient. Thankfully, when the scientist had designed it, he made it portable and easy to move, utilizing a slightly modified hover technology.

Entering his quarters at the back of the lab, Wheeljack quickly took hold of the smaller version of a CR chamber and pushed it out into the main lab. Once it was situated directly next to the primary worktable, the engineer opened the hatch before carefully lifting Smokescreen up in his arms and placing him into the pod. ‘Jack then closed the portal again and immediately activated the machine with the touch of a button.

“All right, time for you to heal now, buddy," Wheeljack said quietly as his gaze switched from the CR pod over to Tracer who was still taking a stasis nap in a far corner of the room. All the engineer could now do was wait patiently for Axle to return with the equipment that he needed. Hopefully, the field medic wouldn’t be called back to the Guardian in the interim.
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:15 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Medical Bay

After leaving Wheeljack’s lab for the second time Axle made his way as quickly as possible toward the medical bay several corridors deep and one level up. It was not a trek he was looking forward to, but there was just no time to sit back and collect oneself.

At first Axle started out at a brisk walk, but he soon broke out into a jog. Only several breems later the field medic had arrived at his final destination. He entered the facility and took to the rear of the room where he knew the equipment he needed would be stored.

Axle rummaged through several storage lockers grabbing a couple of scanners and other tools while a couple cabinets were raided for their syringes and drug supplies. The medic would need as much as he could carry. The process to rouse a mech in such an advanced state of stasis lock was difficult, but not at all impossible.

With his subspace filled to near capacity Axle made sure to leave the facility in the exact condition he had found it in…minus the supplies he had borrowed. He quickly took his leave as soon as everything was in its place.

Wheeljack’s Lab

What seemed like cycles turned out to be nothing more than a few breems. Axle slowed to a walk as he approached the lab’s door. Before he even tried to enter the security code the medic took a moment to gather his bearings. The pain suppressants were wearing off much quicker than anticipated but he had no time to grab any from the Ark – 22’s med bay. His patient was high priority…he could wait.

Axle let out a low groan before almost rolling off the wall to face the door to the lab. He quickly entered the code and stepped back as the door slid open. The medic took a quick look around and spotted Wheeljack who had wheeled the CR pod out from its prior location and set it next to the slab Smokescreen was laying on before he left on his errand.

Axle nodded at the engineer and made his way around to the pod. It hadn’t been long that the diversion expert was suspended within, but time was of the essence…hence the need to awaken the mech with the use of drugs instead of waiting for a CR cycle to complete…which could take days, possibly weeks.

“I’m taking him out. There’s just not enough time to leave him in there. The process is long and requires a lot of energy."

At the same time Axle was speaking he was draining the pod’s nanite rich liquid. The door to the pod opened as soon as the liquid was cleared from interior leaving Smokescreen dripping with what was left over. Axle carefully reached in and took a hold of the mech and laid him out on the work table.

With one hand pressed to the unconscious mech’s chestplate, Axle took out one of several scanners and ran it slowly over Smokescreens chest and torso. Happy with what he saw Axle gave a stiff nod in Wheeljack’s direction and moved on to the second scanner. This time he held it over the chevron adorning Smokescreen’s head. A satisfied smile grew on Axle’s face as he moved the same scanner over his patient's midsection, focusing on the area the t-cog was located. The readings from all three scans were all in the satisfactory range…not perfect, but still well enough for him to be roused.

“Alright. The organs are doing fine. They’re healing rate is steady putting him in the satisfactory range. And that's a good thing."

Axle regarded the prostrate mech before he removed a series of syringes and bottles of several types of drugs. The medic took hold of each syringe and each bottle and carefully filled the apparatuses. With the first device in hand Axle gave Wheeljack a curt nod.

“There are several injections that’ll be administered consecutively. After the last one you’ll see an immediate reaction. Don’t be surprised if he thrashes around, screams, or even tries to speak. It’s all normal. I’m telling you this because I want you to be ready to restrain him if the need arises."

There was no pause to give Wheeljack anytime to even respond when Axle inserted the first syringe into Smokescreen’s main energon line. That first dose was quickly followed by several more until finally the field medic held the aperture of the final syringe to the energon line and looked to the engineer.

“Get ready ‘Jack."

Axle broke off his optic contact with the scientist and pushed the drug.
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:25 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

During the few breems that Axle was gone, gathering more equipment from the Ark-22’s medical facility, Wheeljack sat quietly on a stool next to the CR pod that contained the newly reconstructed Smokescreen. There was nothing more he could do for the time being but remain vigil at his long-time friend’s side to make sure nothing disrupted the repair cycle. All the while, Tracer remained in recharge off in a far corner. ‘Jack saw no need to wake her as she would only begin asking a million questions about the rallybot’s condition and all that she had missed while she was offline. Besides, it was good to finally get some peace and quiet in his lab if only for a little while.

Finally, Axle returned and entered the lab with everything that he needed to help Smokescreen along with his recovery. The field medic immediately moved around to the CR pod as Wheeljack got off the stool and listened carefully to what Axle was saying. While the mad scientist was unsure about removing Smokey from the unit so soon, he understood the rationale behind it. ‘Jack also trusted the medic’s judgment and simply nodded to show that he understood. “Whatever you think is best, Axle."

Wheeljack took a step back and watched as the field medic carefully lifted the rallybot out of the CR unit and placed him back onto the worktable. Axle then performed three scans and found that the Trinity organs were all healing up nicely. The mechanical engineer breathed a sigh a relief, now knowing that Smokescreen’s chances of surviving all that had been done to him had just gone up dramatically. Of course, it was not over yet as Axle pulled out a number of syringes and bottles, explaining the series of drug injections that he was about to perform on the diversion expert. It seemed like overkill to the scientist, but again he was not a medic and trusted Axle’s expertise in the matter. The revelation that Smokey’s initial reaction could be a violent one that would require Wheeljack to restrain him made the engineer more than a bit nervous.

“I’ll do my best to restrain him, Axle, but I hope it won’t come to that," a very concerned Wheeljack said as the field medic administered the drugs one right after another. The final injection was preceded by one last warning to get ready. “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be," the scientist responded anxiously, waiting for any signs of life from the rallybot’s new body.
_________

The last thing he remembered before the darkness consumed him was pain - searing, unbearable pain. The only slight relief he had received was the visage of a femme staring down at him, the very one he had risked everything for in order to help save her. Even as the Allspark was surely about to take him, he had no regrets whatever about everything he had done and tried in vain to do. He was loyal to a fault if not one of the most devious mechs the Autobots had to offer.

Once the darkness had won, Smokescreen expected to see some kind of light at the end of a long tunnel. Instead, he was met with endless blackness. At one point he thought he had heard Tracer’s voice coming out of the void, speaking to him, but he couldn’t be certain. All he knew for sure was that death had taken him. But, if that was the case, where was the Allspark? Or was he not worthy enough to join with it as countless Autobot casualties had done before him? Perhaps his lying, cheating ways had cost him an eternity of peace and now he was destined to exist, if that’s what one could call it, within a neverending void of nothingness.

There were no answers to these questions as his consciousness seemed disconnected from everything he had ever known or thought he knew. He became lost, barely aware of his own existence such as it were. Time had no meaning anymore and neither did thought or feeling. It was like teetering on the brink of oblivion without ever crossing over the threshold. It wasn’t until a strange sensation enveloped his essence that Smokescreen felt himself being pulled out of the darkness. A tiny speck of light appeared in the distance before growing larger and larger until it was so bright that it completely encompassed him as the black void once had. Was this the Allspark that had finally come for him, deeming him worthy to become one with it?

“Where.....?" Smokescreen muttered to the light. “Where....am....I?" He didn’t know if anyone or anything could hear him or if he was even saying anything at all considering he was without a body, or so he thought. Moments passed as the surrounding light slowly dissipated, revealing a pair of shapes standing over him. Were these the long lost souls of Autobots who had died many vorns ago and had now come to greet him? Suddenly, he felt another rush of energy surge through him, forcing his senses to become clearer. It quickly became apparent that this was not the Allspark as the room around him finally started to come into focus.

“What the...?" The rallybot’s optics widened as he realized that he was not dead after all, but still alive and laying on some kind of slab, or at least that’s what it felt like. His immediate reaction was that he had been captured by the Decepticons and had somehow been brought back online for interrogation. His thoughts then quickly drifted to Tracer. Had she been captured, too? “NO! I...won’t let you! Get.....off me, ‘Cons!" A disoriented Smokescreen shouted as he violently lashed out at the pair of mechs that were standing over him, not realizing who they were. “Where’s....Tracer?! Where....is...she?! Aaaahhh!!!"

Smokescreen’s right arm struck Wheeljack directly in the faceplate, knocking him back but not down as the hit was a weak one at best. Ignoring the attack, the scientist rushed back in and grabbed a hold of the diversion expert’s thrashing arm. "Axle, help me! He’s trying to get up! Grab his legs while I get the arms!" The mechanical engineer shouted as he seized the other arm and managed to pin both of them down against the rallybot’s chestplate in an attempt to restrain the newly awakened mech. “Smokescreen! It’s me, Wheeljack! You’re safe now! Tracer’s safe, too! You’re both on board the Ark-22 in my lab! Smokescreen! You’re not a prisoner! Neither of you are!"

The rallybot’s struggles began to subside as the words Wheeljack had just spoken to him registered in his brand new audio receptors. “Jackie? Is....that...really you?" Smokescreen squinted his optics in an attempt to see his old friend more clearly. His vision was still a bit distorted, but he could now make out enough details to see that he was, in fact, in the presence of the scientist. “Wheeljack....thank Primus. I thought....I was dead."

Wheeljack relaxed his grip on the diversion expert’s arms as he began to calm down. “So did I, Smokey. When Tracer first brought you to me, I couldn’t believe that your spark was still pulsating. I mean, your body was a lost cause, so badly melted by the acid that I had to build you a new one from scratch. Axle here was called in to help transplant your Trinity organs and deal with the medical aspects of your recovery. It was touch and go for a while, but you pulled though. How do you feel?"

Smokescreen groaned, allowing his arms to go limp at his sides and prompting Wheeljack to completely let go of him. “I feel...." the rallybot began to say as he slowly raised his cranium up so that he could look down at the new, unpainted body he now possessed. "...naked." Letting out a deep sigh, an exhausted Smokey laid his head module back down on the slab and peered over at the engineer, cracking a slight smile.

Wheeljack chuckled as he patted the diversion expert on the arm. “You may have a new body, but you’re still the same old Smokey underneath! That much hasn’t changed!" The scientist then looked over at the field medic. “You did it, Axle. You got him back online. You truly are a miracle worker," the engineer said as he then walked around the table and placed a thankful hand on Axle’s shoulder plate. “Without you, I couldn’t have saved Smokey. Thank you, for everything." Wheeljack then glanced briefly back at the rallybot before returning his attention to the medic. “So, what’s the next step? What do I need to do to ensure that Smokescreen fully recovers?"
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:36 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

When the final drug was pushed into Smokescreen’s main energon line Axle quickly discarded the empty syringe and watched for a moment. There was no reaction bringing about a sense of panic that somehow this method hadn’t worked the way he wanted it to. Not willing to give up that easily the field medic grabbed one of the scanners he had utilized before and started to run it over the entire length of the unconscious mech.

Axle let out a low sigh of relief as he noticed the small flicker of light breaking through the diversion expert’s slit optics. Oh thank you Primus. The back mech took a long look at Smokescreen before he turned his attention back to the readings that were still pouring in over the scanner.

His concern returned when he noticed that his patient’s core temperature was rising at a steady rate, but before he could back out a warning to Wheeljack the diversion expert began to shout and flail about. The cries seemed incoherent and out of place…perhaps due to the last memories he had before off-lining.

Axle was rocked out of his thoughts when a manic leg shot out and kicked the scanner in his hand to the floor. Mouth agape, Axle looked to Wheeljack who was positioned over the newly awakened mech restraining his arms to his sides. He was only able to register a few words form the engineer when he realized he needed to help keep Smokescreen from hurting either one of them or worse himself.

The field medic swiftly moved into place at the end of the slab and grabbed a hold of the confused mech’s legs effectively pinning them down to the berth’s surface. His head shot up as his patient’s right arm struck Wheeljack in the faceplate causing him to step back slightly. Thankfully Smokescreen wasn’t up to full strength making the hit nothing more than a minor shove.

With his optics focused on Wheeljack, scanning his faceplate for any damage, Axle listened to the engineer try to get through to the incoherent mech. It seemed to work as he felt Smokescreen slow his movements. His internal temperature also began to lower which brought even more relief to the field medic.

As soon as his patient began to realize that he was not a prisoner or under attack Axle slowly released his legs. A slight smile creased Axle’s face as he stepped away and picked up the scanner that was kicked from his hands only moments earlier. He quickly checked to make sure it was still functional and when he realized that it was he stepped up to the berth.

“Naked nothing. We had to look at you from the inside."

Axle let out a chuckle while he ran the scanner once more over Smokescreen’s entire frame. All seemed to be functioning within acceptable levels which would only get better as time went on.

Axle flashed Wheeljack a warm smile when he felt the engineer’s hand settle on his shoulder plate. The field medic offered him a slight nod of appreciation.

“You’re welcome, Wheeljack. And by no means am I a miracle worker…tenacious, maybe…fortuitous absolutely. Although I’ll take three for four."
____

She had heard that they can’t dream. But how would they explain everything that she could see while she recharged? Maybe it due to the centuries use of Syk. No matter what the memory accesses during recharge were becoming more frequent. The were only images, both bad and good. Watching helplessly while Oil Slick had Smokescreen pinned beneath his foot. The scent of the acid used by the ‘Con to stop them both from escaping.

But then there was the casino. Her skimming a few chips from the top of a mech’s stack. That tight grip around her wrist as she tried to make it past the table. And then those optics eyeing her…but they weren’t filed with any kind of hate just…concern.

Tracer stirred slightly as her processor accessed several different memory files. Whether it was done automatically or if she had almost willed it didn’t matter. It was the happy memories she preferred, but there were just so few.

Earlier ones were the hardest. Small rooms with sparse furnishings so as not to use as weapons on anyone else or worse oneself. Then there were the therapy sessions. Three separate mechs…three separate facilities. It was the memory of the second that caused her recharging body for shudder. The treatments they said would work…they lied. It was the walk that she feared the most. Being dragged screaming, begging to stop the procedure…that it wasn’t working. But they knew what was best.

There were no sedatives. Results had to be immediate if they were to work. They thought shutting down her vocalizer would help keep the others relaxed…but she could still scream, but she was the only one who could hear it. Strapped down. Their reassurance that this time the procedure would work. And then the pain…

Tracer sat bolt up right as the memory file flooded her mind. She quickly looked around hoping to Primus she wasn't still in the institute. The scout began to focus on her surroundings taking note of all the spare parts and tools strewn over the top of the bench she was sitting at.

The screaming of her name made her turn on the stool and peer out into the lab. She watched unbelieving as Wheeljack and Axle both tried to restrained a flailing mech. The voice was familiar. Tracer’s jaw dropped once she realized the struggling mech being restrained in indeed Smokescreen.

The femme placed both hands over her mouth as she stood form her stool and slowly made her way out into the lab. Her hands dropped her sides as she finally caught sight of the new form that was now Smokescreen.

"Smokescreen?"

Her voice was low…almost a whisper as she stepped in closer to the berth.
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:04 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Smokescreen let out a low chuckle when Axle mentioned having to look at him from the inside. “I...bet that....was pleasant. Heh," the rallybot muttered quietly as the field medic performed more scans across his entire new frame. He then watched as Wheeljack moved to thank Axle for all that he had done to help the diversion expert become whole once more. “Yes, Axle...thank you," Smokey added, trying to increase the volume of his vocal processor.

Wheeljack turned his attention back to the unpainted mech lying on the med berth. “Yes, you better thank Axle and you better thank me, as well. Not only did I help save your life, but don’t forget that I also helped you and Tracer get to the planet’s surface, lied to my fellow ‘Bots, altered logs and gave you some of my own tech. All those things I did for you and your femme friend over there." The mechanical engineer crossed his arms over his chestplate as he felt himself getting a bit angry, which was understandable since he and Axle had both put their careers on the line by breaking an unknown number of protocols just so Smokescreen could aid a drug-addicted femme. “And you want to know what was worse than seeing your insides? Incinerating your old, half-melted body, that’s what! Talk about a grim task I had to do. I’m supposed to be a scientist, you know, not a mortician."

With his peace said, Wheeljack uncrossed his arms and braced himself with his hands against the edge of the berth. “I’m...sorry ‘Jack," Smokescreen replied, gazing up at the engineer with a defeated look across his new faceplate.

Wheeljack stared back down at the diversion expert and simply shook his head. “Yeah, I know you are. I can’t really fault you much. You’re just being you, after all." The scientist kept his optics locked on the new ones he had given Smokescreen not even a cycle before. “But, you do realize that I no longer owe you one right? You are the one who owes me and Axle big time."

“Of...course," the rallybot admitted. “Anything."

“Good. I’m glad we understand each other," Wheeljack replied, his voice softening from the more stern tone it had just acquired. “You can thank me now."

Smokescreen smiled, knowing that the scientist was being both serious and funny at the same time. “Thank you, Jackie. You’re....the best."

“I know," the engineer agreed. “At least when I’m not blowing stuff up, anyway. Heh." Wheeljack’s attention was then drawn away from the diversion expert when he noticed a wide awake Tracer slowly approaching the med berth. He wasn’t sure just how long she had been out of recharge or when she had snuck up on them, but there she was standing nearby in apparent shock. “Seems you have a visitor, Smokey."

Smokescreen turned his head over to see the troubled femme as she drew even closer to the worktable that was serving as a med berth. He hadn’t heard her say his name as her voice was barely audible, but it didn’t matter. She had escaped Oil Slick’s wrath and that’s all that was important. "Tracer....are you...okay?"

With the happy couple reunited, Wheeljack removed his hands from the berth and made his way back over to where the field medic was standing. “Okay, Axle, what’s the next step? He’s awake and coherent for the most part. Should we put him back into the CR pod or leave him out for awhile?" The scientist’s processor then drifted back to the lie they had concocted in order to cover up the truth about what had happened here. “Also, when should we tell command our Cosmic Rust explanation? The longer we wait, the more suspicious this all becomes."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:10 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

The smile that had grown on Axle’s face only grew wider as he continued his monitoring of Smokescreen’s vitals via his hand held scanner. The mech was processing data at a much faster rate and his bio-organs seemed to be adjusting quite nicely. All good signs of a satisfactory recovery, especially after such a traumatic surgical procedure.

“No need to thank me just yet, Smokescreen. You still have a long way to go before you’re fully recovered. For now….for now everything seems to be right on track."

Axle peeked past the device in his hand to give his patient a stern look.

“Don’t you dare prove me wrong."

After his warning the medic placed a hand on Smokescreen’s new shoulder plate and gave it a gentle pat. He then moved away from the makeshift med berth and gathered up a few tools he would need to make a few adjustments giving the floor to Wheeljack.

It wasn’t long before the engineer was chewing the diversion expert out for the half crazed stunt he pulled just to help out a femme. Axle quickly turned around on his heel ready to step in just in case the lecture Wheeljack was handing out would upset his patient. He had no desire to perform emergency resuscitative procedure after just transplanting all of the trinity of bi-mech organs.

To Axle’s relief it had not gotten that far as Smokescreen seemed to understand just where his friend was getting at. The lies, the breach of protocol, everything done by the engineer was punishable in a criminal manner. In fact not only could Wheeljack be arrested, but he himself could as well. Not to mention Smokescreen and Tracer. The femme would probably suffer the worst since her addiction to an illegal narcotic was outlawed as was having dealings with the enemy. There was a possibility she could be locked away and never see the light of day again.

Axle shook the thought from his processor as he watched the two good friends finally make amends. A small smile crossed the field medic’s features before he turned back to his gathered tool and equipment. It was the sound…or rather… the whispered name of the diversion expert that caught Axle’s attention. He looked over his shoulder to see Tracer slowly moving past him and continuing on towards the slab where Smokescreen was resting.

The femme’s optics were glued to the unpainted mech. She never even acknowledged Wheeljack as she stepped past him and stopped at the top of the bench where Smokescreen’s head was positioned.

Axle’s smile grew nearly tenfold as he watched both his patient and his lady friend. He sensed Wheeljack as the engineer moved to stand beside him. He knew exactly what the white mech wanted to know, and Axle was well aware of just what had to be done.

“Leave him out of the pod for now. However I do not want him on his back for too much longer. Get him up and off that bench as soon as he's able. Get him to start walking…if he says he can’t force him. Inactivity will only cause the mixture of energon and oil in his lines to gel. That happens and you’ll be calling me back to perform emergency surgery."

The medic let out a low sigh before breaking off his gaze from Smokescreen and Tracer. He off-lined his optics as he raised his head up. After a moment of contemplative silence he brought his head back down to level and on-lined his optics.

“You can’t involve me in the Cosmic Rust explanation."

With a shack of his head Axle finally looked over to Wheeljack.

“I’m sorry Wheeljack, but since I was spotted by Ratchet…any mention of my involvement would only draw suspicion from him. He’d start to question as to why I was skulking around the med bay. He wouldn’t stop there. Even if we tell him I was called in to help he’d want to know why I never said anything to him. It’s protocol."

After a moment the medic tore his gaze from the engineer. He then flopped down onto a stool and placed both elbows on the table top.

“Things would escalate from there. They’d find out about the missing med grade energon, the equipment taken from the 22. The sudden disappearance of Tracer…everything we’d done would just unravel. I’m sorry Wheeljack. I really am."

Axle ran his hands down him face as he tried to come up with a suitable time frame, but the only time he could think of was now.

“Tell them now."
____

Wheeljack’s movement hardly registered to Tracer as she moved in to stand at the side of the berth Smokescreen was laying on. After a moment the shocked expression melted leaving behind an unsure smile. His query revealed just how concerned, even now, he was for her. It was a noble quality that made him so likable.

That unsure smile gave way to a relieved sigh. And before she answered him she gently placed her hand over his.

“I am…now."

Tracer gave his hand a firm squeeze as she knelt down so she could be optics level with him. With her free hand Tracer brushed his cheek before cupping the soft metal in her palm. The femme then took the time to run her thumb carefully over his lips while simultaneously giving him a serious look.

“Remember this…there is no pain in the universe that could hurt more than the thought of losing you."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:35 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Wheeljack listened as Axle carefully explained to him that he must not only leave Smokescreen out of the CR pod for the time being, but the scientist also needed to get the rallybot up off that slab as soon as possible. The use of force was granted if necessary. Although, Smokey was never one to be lying around for too long so that would likely not be an issue. “I doubt I’ll have a problem convincing him to walk around some. If anything, I’ll probably have to reign him in for trying to do too much. Heh." The mechanical engineer then glanced over at the reunited couple before returning his gaze to the field medic. “And I’m sure Tracer over there will be more than willing to help him."

Axle then moved on to discuss the Cosmic Rust idea. To Wheeljack’s surprise, the medic demanded to be left out of the faux explanation, citing several reasons for not wanting to be mentioned. This posed serious concerns for ‘Jack as he was an engineer and not capable of performing the type of risky surgery that was clearly done in order to save Smokescreen’s life. “But, Axle, no one will believe that I was able to do all this by myself. I mean, I was able to extract Smokey’s spark without much difficulty, but there’s no way I could’ve performed the other transplantations not to mention administer the numerous transfusions that finally woke him up. I wouldn't even know how to properly program a surgical drone to do all those procedures for me." Wheeljack shook his head, keeping his optics locked on the field medic. “I have to include you, Axle. There’s no other way around it. Otherwise, Prowl or Red Alert or whomever will ask too many questions of me that I won’t be able to answer."
_________

Smokescreen felt Tracer touch his hand with her own as she confirmed that she was okay, especially now that he was online again and improving with each passing astrosecond. The rallybot smiled back at her as the troubled femme caressed his cheek with her other hand before running her thumb across his lips. The diversion expert treasured each feeling that she gave him as if they were the very first sensations he had ever felt. In a way, that was true considering the body he now occupied was brand new.

The unpainted mech’s smile only grew wider when she told him how painful it would have been to lose him. “Not as painful....as it would’ve been....to lose you...Trace." Smokescreen replied, his words still weak but slowly getting stronger with each intake of air. He squeezed her hand back to show that he wasn’t going anywhere. “That’s why...I did...what I did. I’m sorry. I should’ve been....stronger for you....protected you better." The diversion expert let out an exhausted sigh. “I won’t let....you down again. I....promise."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:47 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

Still seated on the stool Axle placed both hands on the workbench and he let out a heavy sigh. He was almost ashamed at what he had just told the engineer. Here he was called in at a time of desperation and he was worried about what repercussions might occur if questions were asked.

He was prepared to apologize once more when a grimace formed on his face. A wave of pain traveled through the entirety that was his abdomen. What began as a slight ache was steadily growing into a severe pain. There had to have been some internal tears. Perhaps a few energon lines that Ratchet had repaired which were now torn.

Axle let out a groan as he pushed himself up off the stool with a considerable amount of effort and stared at Wheeljack as his opposite explained why he needed to agree to have been a part of their forthcoming ruse. The medic threw the engineer a sidelong glance as he tried to process exactly what he was being told.

I must have some internal heating. Which means there are cooling fans down…possibly for my processor. I can’t remember most of what I’ve already done. Alright Axle, just nod and do it. He’s the scientist he should know what he’s talking about.

“My apologies ‘Jack. I…uh…wasn’t thinking clearly."

Axle threw the white mech a forced smile and started to move back toward the makeshift berth Smokescreen was still lying on. His gait was almost unsteady making him stop for a moment and bring a hand to his abdomen. If he was going to possibly get caught and suffer the consequences then he sure as hell was going to be sure Smokescreen was in top condition. If you’re gonna go out, go out with a bang.

“Wheeljack…contact Prowl and let him know what happened. I’ll be seeing to my recovering patient."
____

“I don’t want to play this blame game…not now…not anymore."

Tracer moved in closer to the side of the workbench and ran the back of her along the contours of his face plate. It was so different yet so familiar. She a moment to stare into his blue optics before she leaned down and pressed her forehead gently against his.

“Please, no more apologies. I’ve no right to accept them."

She pulled away but only slightly. The scout gave his hand another squeeze.

“I don’t want you to counter what I’m telling you now…I lied to you and for that I’m sorry. I have to make up for that. You…"

Tracer flashed the diversion expert a sweet smile before pressing her forehead to his one more time.

“You have never let me down. When we first met you did everything in your power to help me…and you never even knew me. It’s who you are."

She paused for a moment before giving him one more whispered statement.

“You told me once it’s not what you have, it’s what you give. I never forgot that. Thank you."

The growing sound of heavy footfalls dew Tracer’s attention from Smokescreen and up to Axle who had stopped just short of the slab. He cast a smile down at both the mech and the femme before Tracer got to her feet and averted her optics down to the floor. It was embarrassing enough to have thrown several fits during Smokescreen’s transplants but to be caught fawning was another.

With a knowing smile Axle shook his head lightly as he stepped in closer to both Autobots. Another wave of pain crested but the medic bit back a groan. The last things he needed was to worry the other three needlessly. He’d work through it and once he was done he’d head back to Ratchet.

Axle gave Smokescreen a stern look as he pointed an actuator in the prostate mech.

“You, up. You’re not gonna get to lie around in here. On your feet…20 up 5 down."

While giving his orders Axle had moved to Smokescreen’s legs and began to pull them over the side of the workbench. In an instant Tracer was by his side seated on the slab and placing his arm over her shoulder.

“20 up 5 down? What’s that supposed to mean?"

Axle moved aside once the unpainted mech’s feet were hovering just above the floor.

“It means I want him up and walking for 20 minutes and then he can rest for 5. Keep that up for 8 cycles. No breaks, no complaints. You get tired you slow down…you do not stop. And you…"

The medic cast a stern look in Tracer’s direction…the look made the blue and white femme flinch slightly.

"…if he tries to rest when he’s not supposed to you drag him back to his feet."

Tracer simply nodded in return before looking over at Smokescreen.

“You might wanna offer him an incentive to keep him going."

The comment bought him a surprised expression from Tracer while the medic simply flashed an optic…the equivalent of a human wink.
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:37 am

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Wheeljack watched Axle’s reaction to his counter argument regarding the medic’s inclusion in the lie they now had to tell. Clearly, something was bothering Axle and it was more than just being involved in all this. He appeared to be in actual physical pain. The mad scientist was about to question him when the field surgeon turned and apologized for his lack of thinking before instructing the engineer to contact Prowl and let him know what had supposedly happened to Smokescreen.

“No problem, Axle," Wheeljack said as he gave the field medic a concerned look. The mechanical engineer decided it was best not to pry about whatever was bothering the medic as there was a more pressing matter at hand now. Speaking to Prowl was not something ‘Jack looked forward to doing as dealing with the military strategist was always a bit of a crap shoot. Sometimes, Prowl was very easy going and understanding, but that was only if he had something else on his processor that he found more important. Other times, he was a real stickler for protocols and following the rules right down to the letter. Hopefully, on this occasion, he’d been in a good mood.

Taking a deep intake of air, Wheeljack opened a secured comm line to the black and white mech: >>”Prowl, this is Wheeljack over on the 22. I need to speak with you at once in regards to an urgent matter. Do you have a moment to spare, sir?"<<

Several astroseconds passed by without an immediate response. The wait was enough to make any mech more than a bit anxious. Finally, Prowl sent a reply back on the same secured channel. >>”I suppose, Wheeljack. But you’re going to have to come over here to the Guardian and meet me in my quarters. I’m in the middle of preparing for an important scouting mission, and I have very little time to spare."<<

Wheeljack sent a non-verbal acknowledgement back to the strategist and quickly took leave of his lab, heading for the Protectobot frigate as fast as his feet would carry him.
_________

Smokescreen remained silent as Tracer told him not to counter what she was about to say to him. He listened to her sincere words as though he had not heard her voice in many vorns. In reality, it had been many cycles since the incident down on Earth, but it seemed like a lot longer to him. His internal chronometer was brand new like the rest of him, and thus it was starting over just like he was in many ways. He felt different physically, but not too much so. As the troubled femme said, he was who he was and that would never change.

“I remember...telling you that," the rallybot replied to her last whispered statement. “But, I must admit....I’m really glad....that I have you." His smile widened as he gazed up into her brilliant optics.

It was then that Axle approached and glared down at the diversion expert, ordering him to get up off that slab and start walking around immediately. He was not to stop for at least eight cycles if not more, spending twenty minutes moving around and only five resting at a time. It seemed like a tall order considering his current condition, but Smokey was determined to get back to normal as soon as possible. Tracer still needed him, after all, as her Syk addiction had only been temporarily calmed by recent events and not cured. That goal would take far more effort to achieve.

“Yes, sir," Smokescreen replied as Axle had already begun to pull his legs off of the make-shift medical berth while Tracer had quickly moved in and put his right arm over her shoulders. Before the rallybot knew it he was up on his feet, a strange sensation especially considering he now had a new body. Looking down at himself, Smokey couldn’t help but wonder what Earth-bound vehicle mode Wheeljack had chosen for him. The red and blue racer was about to ask the scientist when he made quick leave of the lab. “He’s in a rush, huh? Going to talk to...Prowl is he? Hope that...goes well."

Smokescreen cast a sly smirk over at Tracer as she tried to support his body weight with her lighter frame. “You know, Axle mentioned incentives...to keep me going," the diversion expert mentioned playfully to the troubled femme. “I’m certainly looking forward...to what you have...in mind, Trace. Heh." The rallybot chuckled as he took his first step forward away from the slab he had been lying on for far too long.
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:44 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
(OOC: Sorry for the delay Smokes, needed to find the right time to catch up on writing while on vacation.)

Wheeljack’s Lab

“Yeah. Wheeljack’s got some stuff to discuss with our resident annoyance. And don’t worry; I’ve every faith in your friend, Smokescreen."

Axle took a few steps back giving Tracer enough room to help Smokescreen up onto his new feet. He’d be a bit wobbly at first but of course that was to be expected. After all he hasn’t been online for more than a cycle.

The field medic took up a position next to the door Wheeljack had exited out of moments earlier. With any luck the mechanical engineer would pull off their ruse and Prowl would believe the Cosmic Rust story that would be spun.

Axle shook his head slightly as he placed a hand over his face and slid it down slowly. Convincing Prowl of anything was such a chore, and trying to get him to believe their story would be a crapshoot.

The larger mech took another look at both his patient and his femme and let out a heavy sigh. He’d gotten himself in deep before, but this was something else. Being found out about this…he wouldn’t receive a slap on the wrist and a simple demotion like last time…no this time he’d be incarcerated and possibly sent to one of the many prison institutes. Oh sure, it’d be one of the nicer ones, but who in their right mind would want to live out their existence in a cell?

His thoughts were quickly banished by a surge of intense pain radiating from the same location as his previous wound. During his work he had pulled a few energon and fuel lines lose not to mention tearing open a few new ones that had been installed.

Axle bit back a pain-filled yelp as he placed a hand on his abdomen and cringed slightly. He’d need to head back to the med bay soon to have Ratchet look at the damage, but there was absolutely no way he was leaving Smokescreen now that he finally got up and on his feet. No, he’d just have to grin and bear it.
____

Tracer smiled down at Smokescreen when he mentioned he remembered what he had told her so long ago. It felt good to know that he could recall something from that time. Before she could say anything more she found herself placing Smokescreen’s arm over her shoulder and lifting the heavier mech up onto his feet. She forced herself to stay steady as she leaned him closer into her side…placing her free hand around his back and resting it around the edge of his waist.

Once they were both balanced and Axle answered the rallybot’s questions, Tracer began to gently, and slowly help Smokescreen around the lab. They started out taking tiny steps with Tracer concentrating on how and where the mech placed his feet.

That concentration was broken when she lifted her head and took a quick look at Smokescreen who happened to be looking in her direction with a sly smirk on his face. Unsure of just what he had trolling around in his mind Tracer gave him a quizzical look…that was until he spoke. With a serious expression plastered on her face she looked at Smokescreen intently before casting him a suggestive smile.

“I’m not sure I want to give it away…but I will give you a sneak peek."

Tracer stopped their movement around the lab and leaned in close. She gazed at him for a moment before placing a gentle kiss on his cheek. She pulled back very slowly and looked him in the optics…a delicate smile replacing the suggestive one she wore only recently.

“I hope that was to your liking."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:33 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Smokescreen nodded to Axle as the field medic confirmed that Wheeljack was going to have a talk with Prowl regarding the events of the past several cycles, or at least the faux story they had apparently concocted to shield the truth from the prick-bot. “Annoyance is an.... understatement, Axle," the rallybot commented with a chuckle as Tracer supported a good portion of his weight while he took small steps around the lab area. There was no real pain to speak of except for some minor soreness in his back where the T-cog had been transplanted. Smokey also felt a bit stiff all around, but it was nothing that wouldn’t work itself out soon enough. It was like a newly installed gear or other replacement part. It just had to be properly broken in. What the diversion expert felt most was weakness and instability. Getting used to the feel of a whole new body would take some time.

The unpainted mech reached the other side of the lab before slowly turning around with the intent of heading back the way he had come. As he did so, Tracer looked over at him with a suggestive smirk on her visage. She had heard his previous statement regarding what incentives she had in mind for him. Her initial response indicated that the troubled femme was not willing to tell him just yet. But a tease, well, that was another story. Tracer stopped his movements so that she could lean in and plant a delicate kiss on his cheek plate. Once she was done, the femme pulled away and allowed her naughty smile to fade into a more sensitive one.

“Oh....I liked that a lot," Smokescreen admitted with a warm smile of his own. “And I look forward to....a lot more than that. Heh." The rallybot chuckled under his breath as he began walking forward again. Feeling as though his strength was slowly beginning to return, Smokey attempted to take slightly larger steps but almost lost his balance in the process. Thankfully, he managed to reach out with his free hand and grasp a hold of a nearby stool. Between that and holding on to Tracer, the diversion expert kept himself from falling to the floor. “Well, that was close. Guess maybe...I should slow down some, huh?"

With his balance restored, Smokescreen let go of the stool and was about to continue his walking exercises when he suddenly paused for a moment and cast a serious look over at Tracer. He leaned in close to her, but it was not to give her a reciprocated kiss. There was something very important he needed to ask her, something he had only just remembered. "Tracer, did Wheeljack....get the other vile of Syk out of my....leg compartment?" Smokey whispered his question so that Axle would not hear him. “I took it off of...Oil Slick back on Earth. Where is it now? It wasn’t destroyed....with my old body...was it?"
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:42 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

From his relaxing position next to the door Axle watched closely while Tracer helped Smokescreen move carefully around the lab. They circled around slowly in order to keep the diversion expert as balanced as possible. Having him take a fall now would cause serious damage, damage Axle would not be happy to repair especially with his own wounds ailing him.

A small smile crossed his lips as he noticed both the mech and femme stop for a moment giving Tracer the chance to provide his patient with what looked to be a small incentive. The field medic shook his head and crossed his arms over his chestplate. From his vantage point the mech enjoyed the femme’s little gift…who wouldn't?

He pushed off the wall when saw Smokescreen take a miss step and grab hold of a stool and grip Tracer a bit tighter. From his vantage point it looked as though Tracer had everything under control as the diversion expert regained his balance and the femme led him on.
____

After pulling back from her kiss she flashed Smokescreen a broad smile after he commented that he enjoyed the gesture quite a bit. She didn’t want to linger too long in a stationary position so she stayed quite, but only until he mentioned that he was looking forward to a lot more. Tracer cast him a playful smirk before moving him along.

“There’ll be more, don’t you worry about that. But I’m saving the best for when we’re done."

Tracer let out a low chuckle as they rounded the lab for a third time, but now the rallybot was taking larger steps…something Tracer hadn’t realized until he nearly took a tumble. She let out startled gasp when she felt Smokescreen lose his balance and, thankfully, grab a hold of a nearby stool to regain his footing. Instinctively Tracer gripped around the red and blue mech’s waist tighter than before.

“Yeah. Smaller steps would be for the best."

She flashed him an uneasy smile while he steadied himself and let go of the stool. At the same time Tracer readjusted her grip and made to take her next step when Smokescreen paused and looked over to her with a serious expression. At first Tracer believed that he actually did hurt himself but when she heard the concern in his voice as he spoke her name Tracer focused all her attention on him.

“He did. He has it on his workbench."

She placed her hand gently on his cheek and flashed him a pain- filled expression.

“I know you took it from Oil Slick. And don’t worry I had to tell Axle everything as well. He wanted no part in any of it unless he knew how and why you were hurt."

She kept her hand on his cheek as she looked to the floor.

“I’m sorry. I never wanted to involve anyone other than Wheeljack, but even that was unfair. And now…now Axle’s involved. This is getting out of hand. I’m beginning to wonder if any of it is worth it…or me for that matter."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Marcus Rush » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:36 pm

Weapon: Automatic Acid-Pellet Gun
Science Lab

Magnus mused quietly to himself at the sense of ease that washed over his optical sensors as he stepped off the docking boom linking the Ark 22 to the smaller and decidedly more cramped frigate, Guardian. His former and now current seat of command, he shook his head, he could not limit himself to the command of a single starship, Even still Ultra Magnus had once claimed the bridge of this magnificent vessel as his very own fiefdom. As the large blue and white officer navigated the halls as if by instinct and a hidden memory from years of habitation of this vessel, regardless of the fact that most of the Ark Class vessels were of similar make and construction, Ultra Magnus managed to meet and greet with several nondescript Autobot technicians, scientists and other soldiers and operators of the large city sized multipurpose star craft.

He took note of the general increase of morale as he advanced through the dimly lit halls. Spirited salutes were followed by murmurs as he returned respectful nods, the over all mood brightening as he walked. Perhaps Prowl was correct in his initial observation, Ultra Magnus rejected the notion outright. They were being respectful because of his rank. The fact he had assumed command was still not widely known across the small group of Autobots within the sector. As so far as it stood, most of them believed Prowl was still in command and either Springer or Grimlock was his executive.

Turning the bend Magnus approached a large red painted door trimmed in white emblazoned with a large Autobot Science Academy Insignia on its face. He stopped half way between the turn and the door leading to the inter sanctum of the sciences. His mind darted from the thought of breaking the news of transfer of command to the actual notion of how to deal with Grimlock and his actions. Ratchet's words still echoed in his processors as he attempted to shake them to the back of his thought matrix. The loss of Optimus had a detrimental effect on everyone. He, himself, had borne a large impact at the news when he had received Prowl's communique that lead to his current assignment. Ratchet was handling it as he always had, accepting the loss yet not demonstrating those emotional burdens, burying it deeper and deeper inside. Prowl, Magnus assumed Prowl allowed it to build to the point where such burdens began to seep into his judgement processors. At least in this coming mission Prowl would be tempered by Silverbolt should things go awry.

Magnus reached the large red door and pressed the access panel. It slid open quietly to reveal a small laboratory filled with various gauges, scanners and other replication devices that lined the farthest walls. The illumination strips were dimmed to conserve power as the hidden scientist and metallurgist was about doing his important research. "Perceptor?" Ultra Magnus called out as he stepped further in, the door hissing to a close behind him. "Are you here Perceptor?"
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:42 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Smokescreen glanced over to the workbench where he could see the vile of Syk sitting there amongst Wheeljack’s tools and other equipment. The rallybot hadn’t noticed it before until Tracer had pointed it out to him, but then again his optical vision was just now returning to within normal working parameters. “Thank Primus," Smokey whispered, knowing that all had not been in vain. “I was hoping to get more off of Oil Slick, but...that’s all he had. It’ll have to do, I guess. Better than nothing."

The diversion expert returned his attention to Tracer, a smile never leaving his faceplate. “It’s fine that Axle knows. You did what you had to...to save me." Smokescreen replied as the troubled femme wondered if it had all been worth it, if she had been worth all of the problems her addiction had inadvertently caused. The unpainted mech let out a low sigh as he lifted his free hand to Tracer’s chin, raising her head up so that he could look into her optics once more. “Of course, you’re worth it! Don’t ever think...not for an astrosec...that you’re not. All the pain...the lies...the risk...I’d go through it again in a spark pulse...if it meant helping you beat this thing."

Smokescreen then leaned in again and pressed his lips against her chevron for several astroseconds before pulling back, his pristine blue optics gazing into her own. “Now, let’s get me over to that....workbench, okay?" The rallybot suggested, wanting to get a closer look at the vile of Syk he had stolen from the Decepticon chemist. He took another step forward, going slower this time to avoid any unnecessary tumbles. It would serve him no good if he rushed and fell, damaging his new, but still frail body. He would regain his strength in time, but for now he needed to take it easy and simply follow his doctor’s orders. Unfortunately, time was not necessarily on his side as Tracer’s Syk dependency would eventually become a problem again. At the moment she was fine, but that would not last forever and Smokey needed to be in tip top shape for when she would require his help once again.

As he moved across the lab towards the workbench that was now only a short distance away, Smokescreen tried to think of something more positive, allowing his processor to wander back to what Tracer had said in regards to saving the best for last. A chuckle escaped from the rallybot’s vocalizer as a sly grin spread across his visage. “You know, Trace...I can’t wait to see what your best is. Of course....feel free to show me now...if you don’t want to keep me in suspense."
_________

It had been several breems since Wheeljack left his lab to go speak with Prowl regarding what had happened to Smokescreen. Of course, it was all a lie, one that the military strategist seemed to believe if not with a hint of anger and disappointment in his responses to the mechanical engineer. Luckily, the black and white had been in a rush. Otherwise, he may have pressed ‘Jack further regarding those made up events. As it were, Prowl accepted the report and dismissed the scientist with little more than a stern reprimand for not following protocol. At least, Red Alert was not present for the meeting. Then things wouldn’t have gone as well as they did.

Heck, if Red had been there I’d still be answering questions, Wheeljack thought as he approached the entrance to his lab and entered the access code. Once the doors had parted, the engineer stepped inside and looked across the room to see Tracer helping Smokescreen take slow steps around the lab. It was good to see his friend up and about again, even if he was leaning on a femme to maintain his balance. Still, the rallybot had come a long way since he was nothing more than a melted mess on the scientist’s worktable.

Glancing over to his left, Wheeljack spotted Axle standing nearby, watching as his patient carried out the exercises he had instructed the rallybot to perform. Approaching the field medic, the mechanical engineer gave him a curt nod before telling him the good news. “Well, Axle, it looks like Prowl bought our Cosmic Rust story. He was less than thrilled that I waited so long to report everything to him, but I’m confident he believed what I told him nevertheless. I guess it helped that it was a plausible scenario, and that I’m highly trusted by just about everyone within the Autobot ranks. Of course, I won’t be anymore if the truth is ever discovered."

Wheeljack looked back over his shoulder just in time to catch sight of Smokescreen giving Tracer a kiss on her chevron. The scientist shook his head before returning his attention to Axle. “Looks like Smokey is doing pretty good over there, heh, in more ways than just his rehabilitation."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:35 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

Tracer relaxed but only slightly when Smokescreen had no qualms about Axle getting involved in their tangles web of lies and deceit. It was an act that the femme found morally ambiguous. After all she lied to the one mech who she trusted the most and found it to be…easy. Something even now she could not understand. Tracer gave him an uneasy smile before he responded to her doubts of their entire endeavor being worth the trouble or whether she was.

As always Smokescreen was honest to a fault. Reminding the femme that he would do anything for her in order to help her. The uneasy smile that she had been sporting before melted away and was replaced by a warm and grateful smile.

The scout lowered her head slightly and off-lined her optics as Smokescreen leaned in close and pressed a gentle kiss against her chevron. The loving gesture lasted for several seconds before the rallybot pulled away to gaze back into her optics. Without looking away Tracer sent him another smile before he asked her to take him to Wheeljack’s workbench where the vial of Syk was perched. The blue and white femme looked to the work station and back to the unpainted mech.

“Okay. But I’d rather you keep up with your walking."

Even after voicing her opinion racer still led him over to his intended location. No matter how long she tried to put it off he would find a way to keep things moving forward. The trek was slow going but as long as Smokescreen remained on his feet and was balanced enough she didn’t care how long it took.

After a few moments of silence a light chuckle drew her attention to Smokescreen who had a mischievous grin plastered on his face. Tracer furrowed her brow and flashed him a quizzical expression. She cocked her head to the side when he started to tell her just what was on his mind. The mech’s statement elicited a chuckle from the femme. As she quieted down she gave the diversion expert an alluring smile before stopping their advance once more. Leaning in close Tracer whispered lowly into his audio receptor.

“I have been holding this back for far too long."

She backed away slightly and took a quick look over her shoulder at Wheeljack, who was blocking her view of Axle. Once their positions were noted Tracer cupped the sides of Smokescreen’s faceplate and gently pressed her lips to his.

Tracer pulled away slowly…reluctantly. She lowered her hands from his face but she kept her optics locked with his. A very small smile edged its way onto her face while she pressed her forehead to his.

“I really should have done that the first time we met."

----

From Axle’s locale he was able to watch every step his patient and his femme were making. It was times like these that the field medic could actually give all of his patients one on one care. It was the best way to ensure that they were doing everything in their power to follow doctor’s orders. As it was he needed to be responsible for one mech right now. In the coming future he would have to face Prowl who would no doubt question him on just what happened to Smokescreen. Perhaps the tactician’s exam would entail a vocalizer check requiring the medic to shut the mech up for the entire examination.

The thought brought a brief smile to his face before it vanished in the blink of an optic when Wheeljack arrived and took a place directly in front of Axle. The field medic turned his attention to the engineer as he knew Tracer would take good care of Smokescreen for the few moments he had to speak with Wheeljack.

“Well, that’s no real surprise. Prowl is never happy to hear anything that he’s had no dealings with. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I still have an exam to perform on him so there’s a good chance the subject will come up again."

Axle brought a hand up to his abdomen and gently applied some pressure while turning his head to hide the pained grimace. As the wave of discomfort subsided the larger mech turned his full attention back to the white mech.

“I’m gonna try to keep him too busy with tests that way he won’t be able to focus on the story you fed to him. And if worse comes to worse I’ll put him out. Unfortunately it would only be temporary."

Axle chuckled and shook his head slightly before he calmed down and peeked over at both Tracer and Smokescreen. The field medic caught the end of the rallybot’s affectionate gesture. Following behind Wheeljack, Axle let out a sigh and gave a gentle shake of his head.

“He’ll be just fine if he does more walking and less of his lovelorn pauses."

Axle kept his voice down so as not to disturb both Autobots knowing that even if he did they’d simply ignore what he had to say. The field medic looked back to Wheeljack giving the engineer a worried expression.

“Tracer said this whole ordeal was over Syk …that Smokescreen was nearly killed over one vial. Did he even get it? And if he did…I take it he’s gonna want to reverse engineer it. Has he brought that up to you yet?"

Science Lab

For what seemed like vons…or perhaps it had been vorns, Perceptor had not taken the time to even check his chronometer so actual time within the lab stood deathly still…the scientist, what was left of it, was hard at work studying and testing the small sample of ore he found at the former site of the Decepticon base on Earth.

The ore was really quite fascinating. In all of his tests and exams it proved to be highly potent and it seemed to be capable of providing power to a number of devices…and to Perceptor’s surprise that power was enhanced.

He surmised that this one chunk of ore was one a tiny portion that had been available to the Decepticons. And he had a very good idea of how it got to Earth.

Perceptor was deep in his work when he heard the door to the lab slide open. The scientist laid his tool and scanner down while his sniper instinct kicked in. Carefully the red mech slunk past a series of cabinets and drew both of his side arms from his hip holsters. There had been a voice at the far end of the lab but being on high alert the sniper was unwilling to process the ID.

Perceptor rounded one last row of shelves and appeared behind the mech…both weapons aimed perfectly at the head of the hulking form of Ultra Magnus.

“I should have locked the door and activated the communications system."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:25 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Smokescreen offered absolutely no resistance when Tracer cupped the sides of his faceplate and planted a passionate kiss onto his newly fabricated lips. It was a sensation he had not felt since the time before the war when he frequented the Iaconian casinos where his penchant for winning, and cheating, often drew the attention of many a femme. Some would say he was a real lady’s bot back then, but Smokey never let things progress too far with any of them. At least, that is, until a certain troubled femme had crossed paths with him. From the moment he saw Tracer, the rallybot knew that she was different. He just could never have guessed just how different she really was.

“Yes...you should have," Smokescreen agreed once she had pulled back and pressed her chevron against his own. “If you had I probably would have let you keep those chips you tried to steal from me. Heh." The diversion expert smiled as he allowed space to form between their foreheads. He needed to keep moving if he was to get better sooner rather than later. “Let’s get me over to that workbench then....another lap around the room. Okay?"

Turning his head back to focus on his destination, the unpainted mech took several more slow steps forward, keeping his optics on the prize he had risked everything for. The vile of Syk was right there only a few feet away. Finally, once he had arrived at the table, Smokey reached down and picked it up in his left hand while his right arm remained around Tracer’s shoulders. He brought the vile up to optics level and studied it for a moment, letting out a low sigh. “So much trouble caused by something so small...and seemingly insignificant," the tactician commented, not really expecting an answer. “You know, Trace, I do have a plan." He glanced over to her as she continued to help support his weight. “To get you off this slag. I just hope that Wheeljack is willing...to help me yet again. He’s already done...so much. He may not want....to do anymore."
_________

Wheeljack nodded as Axle mentioned the tests he still needed to perform on Prowl and how he would try to keep him as occupied as possible so the falsehood they had concocted did not come up. The idea of sedating the military strategist made ‘Jack chuckled slightly, but he was still concerned that Prowl would become suspicious if the field medic tried to deflect the black and white’s possible queries too much. “Personally, I think it would be best to just answer whatever he asks you, Axle," the scientist suggested as he rubbed his chin guard. “I mean, you know how tenacious Prowl can be. He could become distrustful if you come across as dodging his questions. And knocking him out, as much fun as that would be, will only delay the inevitable, I’m afraid."

Their conversation then turned to the Syk that Smokescreen had risked his spark for and the possibility that the rallybot may ask Wheeljack to help him backwards engineer the chemical. “Well, I did find a vile of what I assume is Syk in a leg compartment of Smokey’s old body. I placed it on a workbench over there," the mad scientist answered as he glanced over his shoulder and pointed to where the rallybot had already picked up the vile in question. “As for making more, he hasn’t said anything to me about it. I’m not sure what I can do. After all, I’m no chemist. I’m just a scientist and inventor. This is not to mention the legality of doing such a thing considering I’ve already broken too many regulations and protocols to count."

Wheeljack let out a heavy sigh as he turned his attention back to Axle. “Still, something has to be done about Tracer’s addiction. That one vile won’t last forever and then she’ll need more or suffer from intense withdrawals. If that happens and her problem is discovered by Prowl, a lot more questions will follow that could ultimately lead back to the truth of what really happened here. I may have no other choice but to help them if we are to keep this lie going. It is what it is, I guess." The mechanical engineer shook his head at the realization that he would likely have to continue down this dishonest road they were all on. It was something he wasn’t looking forward to, but there may be no other way. Otherwise, they could all end up locked away in Garrus-9 for a very long time.

“You know, Axle, you should probably head back to the Guardian. Last time I saw Prowl, he was about to head down to the infirmary for those tests, and he’s likely there by now. Don't worry, I’ve got things under control here. I’ll keep Smokey moving around and give him a push when he tries to stop for another one of Tracer's little incentives. As you said, more walking, less smooching. Heh."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:40 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

Tracer flashed Smokescreen a tentative smile at his remark concerning her being more forward during their first meeting. She had to admit she thoroughly regretted not taking a chance back then. But now is all that mattered now.

The femme gave the diversionary expert a slight nod before guiding him slowly, and gently toward the workbench where the vial of Syk was perched. The closer they got the more hesitant the scout was to, not only approach but to converse about anything concerning the narcotic.

Once they had reached the workbench Tracer’s processor went to work trying to figure out a way, anyway, to put off explaining anymore about her. The femme’s attention was brought back to the unpainted mech when he spoke of just how the little flask holding the chemical had already caused so much trouble and had nearly cost Smokescreen his life and Tracer the mech she had become so close to.

“To anyone but me it would seem insignificant."

Her voice was kept low knowing Smokescreen’s comment was never meant to be answered. It was the sound of his voice speaking her name that had her look over in his direction. She remained quiet as he explained just what he wished to do once he was ready to speak with Wheeljack.

Tracer was hesitant to respond; instead her brow furrowed and she lowered her gaze to the vial clutched firmly in the diversion expert’s hand. After a few minutes she placed her free hand over the hand Smokescreen was using to hold the flask.

"Smokescreen, asking him to do more than he already has…to put him in a position that could possibly land him in a penitentiary or worse…we can’t do that. I can’t do that."

The blue and white scout looked from the vial then to the mech she was supporting at her side.

“He’s not a chemist, and there aren’t any onboard either of the ships. Tell me..tell me you can ask him to do something that can’t be done."

Her optics bore into his but they lacked their former fire. She already knew that without a chemist, replicating the Syk would be nigh impossible. Tracer forced a smile as she removed her hand from his and proceeded to help Smokescreen once more around the lab. Carefully the scout steadied the unpainted mech’s balance as she looked on in Wheeljack’s direction…the usual deep blue of her optics brightening to a near white hue…a common side effect of the drug that was running through her systems.
____

“Heh. I suppose you’re right. I know I don't want our beloved tactician to catch on to anything that’s transpired. Needless to say I’ll try to make the exam go as quickly as possible."

Axle took a look over the engineer’s shoulder as he mentioned the vial that he had removed from the leg compartment on Smokescreen’s now discarded body. The diversion expert had not approached Wheeljack about creating more of the narcotic, but he was anticipating the move.

“I know. He’ll never let it go…strike that…he’ll never let her go."

Axle let out a heavy sigh as he looked back to the scientist poised before him. The medic pursed his lips into a tight line before taking one more look over ‘Jack’s shoulder. His head cocked to one side as he watched both the mech and femme resume their walking. After a quick moment of observation Axle placed a hand on Wheeljack’s upper arm and moved to turn him around.

“Side effects are exhibiting."

The field medic kept his optics locked on the two Autobots while he reached into his leg compartment and pulled out a scanner. He raised the device to optic level so the white mech could see.

“Take this. I want scans of her every fifteen minutes. Relay the information back to me over my private comm line."

Axle pressed the scanner into Wheeljack’s hand and looked the engineer in the optics.

“I have some basic knowledge of chemistry. I’ll come back and give you a hand just as soon as I take care of that other business. Do what you can to get started."

With a firm squeeze of the engineer’s upper arm Axle gave a curt nod and left the scientist’s lab. He’d have to hurry of he wanted to get back on the Guardian before he received the comm from Ratchet.
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:33 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

“I know he’s not a chemist," Smokescreen responded to Tracer as more strength finally returned to his vocalizer and he began moving around the lab once more. “But he’s one pit of a scientist and an inventor. I’m sure he’s got something around here that can synthesize the Syk in this vile. And if not...I’m positive he could build a machine if I asked him to." The rallybot looked away from the vile and over at the troubled femme who remained steadfast by his side. He gave her a reassuring smile as he stopped and withdrew his right arm that had been draped over her shoulders, managing to stand precariously on his own. “See? Anything is possible. After what happened to me, you’d think I’d be one with the Allspark right now, but yet....here I am alive and almost well."

Smokescreen cast his gaze back at the vile before creating a fist around it like a protective shell and allowing his left arm to drop down to his side. “We need to keep this safe and....not laying out in the open." The unpainted mech regarded Tracer again with a serious look. “And I’ll ask whomever I need to in order to help you, Trace....whether that be Wheeljack or Primus, himself. It doesn’t matter. What matters is you getting better and never...ever...having to see that ‘Con again." The diversion expert took hold of her left hand within his right and flashed her another warm smile. “Perhaps it’s time I tried walking more under my own power and less...under yours."
_________

Wheeljack nodded as Axle agreed not to doing anything too rash in regards to Prowl or any questions the prick-bot may ask regarding recent events. It was best to simply play things straight to avoid any unwanted suspicions cast in their direction. The scientist simply chuckled at the field medic’s next comment that Smokey would never let the drug-addicted femme go. “I think that goes without saying, Axle. He risked everything for her. Smokey will fight for her until his spark is extinguished for good, I’m afraid."

The mechanical engineer than felt the tug of Axle’s grip on his upper arm as the medic turned him around to witness for himself the side effects that were already manifesting from Tracer’s optics. “I see it. Her optics are glowing much brighter than normal." Looking down, the scientist took hold of the scanning device that Axle had just produced from a leg compartment and listened to the field medic’s instructions. “No problem, Axle. Hopefully, she won’t give me too much trouble. At least I have Smokey to back me up."

The revelation that Axle had a basic knowledge of chemistry did not surprise Wheeljack as a field medic would need some experience with such substances in order to tend to those in battle that had been exposed to chemical weapons. It would be something that would come in handy in this particular situation if the need arose. However, ‘Jack was certain that he could find a way to replicate the Syk quickly and efficiently without having to drag Axle even deeper into this mess. Of course, Smokescreen hadn’t even asked him to do anything yet and here the engineer was already contemplating how he would accomplish the task.

Once Axle had left to administer the aforementioned tests on Prowl, Wheeljack turned and walked over to where Tracer and Smokescreen were standing, the scanner in hand. The scientist wasn’t sure just yet how he was going to broach the subject with them, but now was not the time to delay things as her symptoms would only get worse. “Well, you two are looking pretty cozy. Heh. And I’m glad to see you standing on your own, Smokey. Just don’t go thinking you’re ready to run a mile just yet. You’ve still got a long way to go before you’re completely healed."

Smokescreen chuckled as he looked over at his friend with a grin on his new faceplate. “I’ll try not to ‘Jack. By the way, what alt mode did you pick for me? This isn’t the same one...as before...is it?"

“Ha! No, it’s not the same. I took the liberty of upgrading you to something a little more modern, at least by Earth standards anyway. The database refers to it as a Subaru BRZ. It’s brand new and looks pretty slick in my opinion. Once you’re all painted up again, you’ll be the sharpest looking ‘Bot in this sector."

“Yeah, well, when can I get my paint job back? I’m still feeling a little...naked here."

“Soon, but first I need to conduct some tests..." Wheeljack paused for a moment as his attention switched from the rallybot over to Tracer. "...on you. I’m sorry, Axle wants me to run a complete scan on your processor. He’s very concerned about the effects that the Syk is having on you and the possible long-term damage it may already have caused. I know you may find this intrusive, but it is necessary, especially considering all of the trouble Smokey has gone through to help you beat your addiction. This is simply the next step."

Smokescreen was more than a bit surprised by the mechanical engineer's sudden request. “Don’t you think that’s taking things to...the extreme, ‘Jack?" The rallybot asked as he then finally noticed the increasingly brilliant glow of Tracer’s optics, which appeared much more white now than their usual blue color. How did I not see that before? Smokey thought, kicking himself for not immediately seeing what was right in front of him. He knew that the intense glow was a side effect of the drug, but somehow he had missed it, likely because he was still adjusting to his own, newly fabricated optics.

“Um, maybe Wheeljack has a point, Trace," Smokescreen suggested as he quickly changed his tune regarding the scans. "I mean, your optics...they’re getting so bright they seem to be burning your sockets a little. Perhaps a scan would be beneficial...so that we can better help you in the long run."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:14 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

Tracer kept a light hold on Smokescreen’s waist while the diversion expert responded to her concerns about Wheeljack and the engineer’s capability to replicate the narcotic. She knew ‘Jack was able to perform miracles but something like this…something that has nothing to do with his field of expertise…it had the potential to blow up in their faces…figuratively and literally.

The blue and white femme let out a low sigh as she cast her gaze over to Smokescreen who was still holding the vial securely in his hand.

Tracer moved her focus from the mech that had risked his life to save her from herself to the vial that caused all of her problems.

In the brief moments she focused on the container she recalled her life before she met Oil Slick…before the addiction. The time she spent to find a way…any way…to become like everyone else…to be normal. It was during the hard times that she remembered those times, but now she realized that it was getting harder and harder to remember everything.

She pressed her lips into a tight thin line as she brought one particular memory to the forefront of her processor. It was before the Syk…before the attempts to find help. Unable to get up…nearly paralyzed by the depression. Unable to function like everyone else. There was nothing…there was no one…she was trapped in a body and cursed with deteriorating mental functions.

Tracer shook her head slightly but looked back at the vial. If she stopped using she’d revert back to that shell. She would be trapped within her own body…within her own dysfunction. That is what scared the hell out of her. But how could she say no to the help Smokescreen was so willing to give. After all he had always been there for her. He had taken care of her when times were hard. And in all that time he had never asked for anything in return. He was willing to give his life so she could have hers back.

She had been and still was grateful for everything, and yet she lied to him. She didn’t have enough courage to confide in him with what had been happening…and even now she still held secrets.

Tracer let out a low groan but quickly stifled it and looked back to Smokescreen. After his speech how could she say no?

“You know what…I really believe you would seek Primus out and ask for His help. You’ve always been tenacious. And hardheaded."

The femme let out a chuckle and shook her head gently. Her smile remained even when he mentioned that it was time for him to walk on his own. She was a bit apprehensive but he needed to get a feel for his new body. And besides he would still be following doctor’s orders.

Tracer gave him a nod and let go of his waist giving him the freedom he needed to start his exercise. Of course she had no intention of leaving his side even while he was moving around on his own. The last thing she wanted was for him to injure himself.

They were making good time and Smokescreen was moving quite smoothly when Tracer paused but she quickly recovered and quickened her pace so she was at the rallybot’s right side. A smile returned to her face as she watched his movements closely only to pause again…this time she raised her right hand to the side of her head and gently rubbed.

The dull pain that had been working its way through her cranium was just now intensifying. She had no reason to mention it to anyone before since she had no desire to distract Wheeljack or Axle from their work on Smokescreen and the lengthy recharge she had taken seemed to have worked, but now…

Tracer stopped next to the recovering mech when she heard the engineer start up a conversation. The scout paid little attention to their talk until Wheeljack had mentioned that he needed to perform some tests. Tracer grew nervous hoping there was nothing wrong since Smokey had been making very good progress. However the femme took a slight step back when ‘Jack look to her and revealed that the tests were for her own benefit.

She took another step back to put some more distance between them and shook her head. They had done processor scans and they said they could help. That hope was what motivated her. It was what made her put her trust in them.

“No." Her answer was voiced so low it nearly came out as a whisper.

Her optics went directly to the scanner held in Wheeljack’s hand before moving them up to look into the engineer’s face. She narrowed her optics and was prepared to fight him off when Smokescreen mentioned something concerning her eyes.

“What?" She hadn’t noticed it before it was mentioned that her optics were glowing brighter and that they seemed to be burning the sockets. Tracer brought her hands up to her eyes and pressed them gently against her visual receptors. She quickly pulled them away as she felt the increase of their temperature.

“Alright. You can go ahead and do the test just…please, nothing invasive. It’s just...do it."

The scout lowered her head and moved to the makeshift medical slab and hopped up on its side. Once she was settled Tracer cast both mechs a somber expression. This could only turn out bad.
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:56 am

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Wheeljack sighed when Tracer at first refused to willingly go along with the scans. The scientist had no desire to force her as he believed that any mech could only be helped if they wanted it. Forcing a medical procedure on someone was not the Autobot way. Of course, her uncooperative stance posed all kinds of long term issues not just for her but for everyone around her, as well. Thankfully, as ‘Jack had hoped, Smokescreen made his opinion known and supported the scans once he saw just how the drug had already affected her optics.

Reluctantly, the troubled femme agreed and walked over to a the makeshift med berth, hopping up on to it. She begged for the scans not to be invasive and to just get it over with. “Of course, Tracer. This shouldn’t take too long. You won’t feel a thing, “Wheeljack promised as he glanced over to Smokescreen. “You going to be okay on your own for a while, Smokey?"

“I’ll be fine, ‘Jack," the rallybot replied as he stood precariously nearby. “Just stay remain focused on her. She’s more important."

Wheeljack nodded as he turned and approached the nervous femme sitting on the medical slab. The scientist retracted his face shield once again and offered Tracer a warm, and hopefully comforting smile. “This’ll be over before you know it. I promise." The engineer then raised the small, portable scanner up and activated it with the touch of a button. The device hummed to life as a series of lights glowed across its surface. With a steady hand, Wheeljack slowly guided the scanner over her upper body, focusing mainly on Tracer’s cranial unit and upper torso region. He made several passes to ensure the quality of data that was received. He did not venture too deep into her sub-processor as it would likely elicit a painful response.

As Wheeljack performed the necessary scans, Smokescreen managed to hobble slowly over towards the med berth, stumbling a few times as he went. For all intents and purposes, the rallybot was doing rather well with no one holding his hand. He still had a long way to go before his balance was fully restored and even longer before he could transform again, but it was a pretty good start nevertheless.

Making it to the slab without falling, Smokescreen held on to the edge with his left hand while his right reached over and took hold of Tracer’s shaking actuators. He smiled at her, hoping that she would remain still and not turn her head to meet his stare. “It’s okay, Trace, I’m here. Nothing bad is going to happen to you while I’m around. Just remain calm and it will all be over soon," the diversion expert promised as he tightened his grip on her hand while Wheeljack continued with the scans. “How much longer, ‘Jack?" The unpainted mech asked without taking his optics off of an increasingly anxious Tracer.

“I’m almost done, Smokey," Wheeljack responded, making one more pass over the drug-addicted femme’s cranium. A few astroseconds went by before the scanner beeped twice, which signified that the procedure was finally at its conclusion. “There, I think I’ve got what I need. Just remain here, Tracer, while I contact Axle with the results." The mechanical engineer then turned and moved away to a nearby workbench, all the while studying the results of the scan. Mmmm, interesting, Wheeljack thought as he subsequently opened a private comm line to the field medic:

>>"Axle, this is Wheeljack. I’ve completed the first series of scans on Tracer. I focused primarily on her upper torso and cranial regions as they would show the earliest effects of the Syk. I’m transmitting the results to you now. Needless to say, they are very concerning, especially the fact that her processor is showing degradation of about 13%, mainly in the right quadrant. Her optics are also beginning to malfunction and are burning brighter and hotter than normal, resulting in her sockets becoming somewhat scorched. I also detected some minimal damage to her vocalizer, but I feel that it the least of our concerns at this point. Please advise, should I administer additional scans like you previously wanted or wait for you to return? Even with Smokescreen’s help, it was very hard to convince her to sit down for this one session. I’m not sure I’ll be able to talk her into another set of scans right now."<<
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Marcus Rush » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:53 pm

Weapon: Automatic Acid-Pellet Gun
Science Lab

Ultra Magnus's optics narrowed briefly as he turned his head to peer down towards slightly smaller Autobot metallurgist. His face remained static and unreadable, no display of surprise or appreciation for the efforts of the war hardened scientist. Inwardly however, he was beginning to gather the pattern that many key sections of his command, medical, sciences and the like were increasingly becoming isolated. Everyone was shaken from Optimus's disappearance, and each were still adjusting. Even still, the hair trigger edge that the entire sector was sitting on did little to lead towards the productive. Magnus resolved to speak with some of the others in an effort to resolve these issues at a more opportune time.

As it stood however, The Autobot Commander, had a greater plate of objectives to accomplish. His visit with Ratchet had already got him thinking of an avenue of strategy he had not previously considered. Dealing with the morale was a small step, even the addition of new supplies tended to help bolster the positive attitude but even that could only go so far. What they needed was a demonstration of unity, direction and a reestablishment of what it meant to be an Autobot. Add to that the thoughts of how to deal with Grimlock's departure seemed to overshadow even the most basic plans. Best focus on what is in front of him now. "It is good to see you as well Perceptor. Though I did not expect you to be as excitable."

Magnus turned his full body now and stepped forward, his guns narrowing in on his chest plate. "Of course I did not come to exchange war stories regarding your new chosen profession. Long and short of it, Prime's disappeared here in the sector, I've been recalled to assume command. Now we are trying to develop a new foundation to counter Shockwave's motives here for this planet we now orbit. The End."

He shrugged briefly and shook his head, trying to hide the emotion behind the words he had just spoke, unsuccessfully. He didn't want the job, nor did he want to be the one to fill in for Optimus until a true successor was found. "Perceptor, I have been informed that you have obtained a sample and information regarding Shockwave's most recent discovery regarding a special ore. I need an update regarding that information as well as what other details you may have gleaned through your own analysis..."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Ember » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:02 pm

Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Wheeljack’s Lab

As much as she didn’t want to, Tracer kept still and let the engineer take whatever scans he had to in order to fulfill curiosity. In all reality she felt as though she was back in that institute being poked and prodded by those damnable doctors…or those who passed for doctors….she was never sure.

It was about half a breem into the test when Tracer finally began to fidget…first with her hands and then by shifting slightly from side to side. It was taking too long and she was becoming impatient. She had no desire to have her entire past laid out for all to see. There were things that she just needed to keep in the past.

The touch of Smokescreen’s hand on hers caused her to flinch slightly as the gesture was not expected, but she quickly calmed and wove her fingers through his. Her optics, however, never left Wheeljack and the scanning device. The fear of him coming across something he shouldn’t burned deep into her jumbled processor causing her anxiety to increase. Although she remained silent externally, internally she let out a primal scream for the probing to stop.

Upon Wheeljack’s announcement that the tests were now completed Tracer let her shoulders slump slightly and her whole body relax. She watched for a moment as the engineer stepped away from the bench in order to contact Axle who had left several breems ago. Since the white mech was now otherwise occupied Tracer looked over to Smokescreen and gave him a small unsure smile.

“You’re doing really good…you know…getting around."

The smile that had formed slowly faded and her face revealed a worried expression.

"Smokescreen, I’m scared. I’ve been scared before, but this time…it’s different."

She wasn’t referring to being on Syk that she was very used to, she wasn’t even referring to weaning off the narcotic, what scared her most was having to explain her past to him. Revealing everything from even before they met. Everything that she had tried to forget.

“Promise me something. Promise me that no matter what the scans and tests show that you won’t walk away."

Tracer gave Smokescreen’s hand a strong squeeze. Please, Primus don’t let them find out.

Communication from Axle to Wheeljack

>>"Okay, ‘Jack. I’m really not that surprised about the side effects manifesting as quickly as they are now, what I am concerned about is that 13% degradation. The right quadrant controls most of the speech, gesturing and organizational skills. Left side degradation would be rather significant had it been detected. However, even if the scans only showed the damage was centralized in the right quadrant it doesn’t mean there wasn’t damage in the left."<<

There was a long pause before the field medic continued.

>>"Sorry for the delay, Wheeljack. Okay, I’m nearly done with Prowl’s check-up. I need another half breem and then I’ll need to speak with Ratchet. Give me approximately two breems and I’ll be at your door."<<

Science Lab

Once Perceptor realized that the mech standing in his lab was no threat to him the sniper lowered his weapons and carefully re-holstered them on his hips. Without the usual pleasantries Perceptor stepped past Ultra Magnus and made his way back to the workbench he had been working at prior to the City Commander’s arrival.

“A pleasure as always, Commander."

The red mech stopped and picked up one of the dozens of pads strewn across not only the bench but the nearby desk as well. Without so much as a backwards glance the scientist resume his work.

“Excitable? Hardly. Prepared would be the more accurate assumption. One can never be too careful when studying such a rare commodity."

The curt announcement made by the Commander caught the sniper slightly off guard but it hardly showed in his demeanor or posture. Instead Perceptor continued with his work.

“I see. It was unfortunate that we lost Prime, but I am sure you will be more than capable of keeping things in order until his inevitable return. As for Shockwave…his motives stand to reason."

With his back still facing Ultra Magnus Perceptor remained silent as he considered exactly what he should reveal to the faction’s new commanding officer.

“That information is correct, Commander. I have obtained a sample of the ore. Unfortunately, it will need to be refined through several methods before it may be utilized as a source of fuel. I lack the precise methods that Shockwave has used, or is using, in order to create a stabilized sample. However…"

Perceptor placed his datapad gently down on the bench and turned around to face the larger mech.

“I was able to refine one of the samples down to what I believe would be stable. I would like your permission to test it on a willing candidate."

From his chair the scientist turned sniper stood and held his chin high. With any luck the new Commander would agree to Perceptor’s suggestion.

“Sir, I would like to be the volunteer to test the refined ore."
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Re: Autobot Vessel Ark-22 - Far From Home

Postby Smokescreen85 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:36 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Wheeljack’s Lab

Once the cranial scan had been completed, Smokescreen could immediately tell that Tracer was more relaxed than during the procedure. She had likely endured such a scan in the past and it did not bring about the desired results she had been hoping for. He could understand her apprehension, but it was still an important test to conduct in order to see exactly what damage, if any, had been done to her processor. More importantly, could that damage be reversed or was it permanent? Those were questions needed answering if he was to successfully get her off of the Syk and make her feel normal all the time without the need for some Decepticon-made narcotic.

“There, that wasn’t so bad was it?" The diversion expert flashed Tracer an even broader smile as he held on to her hand tighter than before. Her initial response was to compliment him on the great improvements he had already made in getting around on his own. Smokey may not be the most physically strong of the Autobots, but he was not one to be underestimated, either. “I’m making do, I guess. Still got a long way to go, though."

Smokescreen’s smile then faded as Tracer told him how scared she was. He placed an arm around her shoulder and leaned in closer to her as she made him promise not to walk away no matter what the results of the scans revealed. The rallybot was a bit taken aback by her sudden worries regarding his loyalty to her. It was as if there was something more that she was concerned about besides just the Syk, itself. Perhaps, even now, there was still something that she was not telling him.

“Trace, of course I won’t walk away," Smokescreen assured her as he squeezed her hand in return of her own gesture, trying to get the troubled femme to look him in the optics again. “What are you so worried about? I mean, if your processor does show signs of damage, I’m sure that Wheeljack and Axle have a way to repair it. They built me a whole new body, after all. I’m sure they can at least fix your head." The diversion expert forced a slight chuckle as he attempted to comfort her. “Unless there’s something else. Is there, Tracer?"
_________

Across the room, Wheeljack received the dual communications back from Axle, who was busy on the Guardian performing whatever procedures he needed to on Prowl. Maybe the field medic would do everybody a favor on both ships and upgrade the prick-bot’s personality chip to something more tolerable. It was unlikely, of course, but one could pray to Primus for the impossible. The mechanical engineer responded to the messages with a simple non-verbal acknowledgement before he turned his attention back to Smokescreen and Tracer.

“Well, Axle will be back with us in about two breems," Wheeljack informed both of his comrades as he made his way over to the loving pair. “There won’t be any more scans right now, Tracer. The results were concerning, but I’m not a doctor so I really can’t give you a prognosis. Once Axle arrives and reviews the findings, he’ll be able to explain things better than I can."

“Come on, ‘Jack," Smokescreen spoke up, not wanting to wait for two breems to find out what the problem was, and clearly there was something wrong for the engineer to not simple give them the results. “What did that scans show? You don’t have to be a doctor to see if there was processor damage or not. Spill it!"

“I really shouldn’t it," Wheeljack countered, not wanting to upset either one of them, especially not the drug-addled femme.

As a result of the scientist’s refusal, Smokescreen let go of Tracer’s hand and moved towards the engineer, stumbling a bit in the short distance between them. “Tell us, ‘Jack!" The rallybot’s tone was one of growing anger, having risked everything for Tracer only to be made to wait for an important piece of information now by one of his closest friends and allies. “It’s not fair to make her wait! You found something wrong, didn’t you?"

“Smokey, you need to calm down. You’re going to tear a fuel line or worse."

“I’ll calm down when you tell us the results," the diversion expert retorted, not backing down an inch.

“Fine," Wheeljack finally conceded, realizing that there was no other way to calm his friend down so that all of the progress Smokey had made thus far was not entirely undone by his own emotions. “The scans showed some slight damage to Tracer’s processor along with some signs of decay in her vocalizer and around her optics."

“How much damage to her processor exactly?" Smokescreen pressed further.

“About 13% degradation to the right quadrant," the mechanical engineer revealed, not wanting to speculate further. “But, that’s it. There are other readings here, but I don’t know what they mean because I’m not a doctor. Now, please Smokey, I need you to relax before you hurt yourself."

Smokescreen let out a sigh and backed away, allowing himself to calm back down to normal parameters. His internal fans had kicked in for a brief time but were now quiet once more. At least, they were functioning fine. “I’m sorry, ‘Jack," the rallybot replied as he returned to Tracer’s side and gripped her hand again. “I don’t know what came over me."

“It’s okay, Smokey. You’ve been through a lot lately. Why don’t you sit down and take a short break before continuing with your exercises?" Wheeljack suggested with a smile on his unshielded faceplate.

Smokescreen simply nodded and managed to hop up onto the makeshift medical slab directly next to Tracer. He sat there and continued to hold her hand, all the while wondering just how much this entire experience had changed him. Or perhaps it hadn’t changed him so much as helped him revert back to the way he used to be long ago. The rallybot hadn’t exactly been the most savory of characters back before the war broke out. Lying, cheating, breaking the rules - those were the things Smokey had abandoned for the most part after he joined the Autobots. Those traits served him well in utilizing diversionary tactics. Now, they were helping him again for a very different reason. Maybe that darker side to him was beginning to come to the surface again or already had.

Maybe.
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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #106 - McCarthyism
Twincast / Podcast #106:
"McCarthyism"
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