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it's science [Mirrorverse Transformers Prime fic]

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Aug. 10th, 2011 | 01:16 pm

Title: it’s science
Summary: Mirrorverse/Shattered Glass AU [with some key elements of Beast Wars]. Ratchet is ready to test immediately.
TF_Prime community Monthly (August) Prompt: Ratchet - "Good news, everyone!"
Rating: PG-13
Warning(s): violence
Character(s): Mirrorverse/Shattered Glass TFP AU: Ratchet, Starscream, Optimus Prime, Elita One, misc. others
A/N: First TFP fic. I find the TF mythos’ size and varied continuities intimidating--so if there are any world-building details that are just plain wrong, it’s artistic license, since any “wrong” details are meant to serve the story and characters. Mirror!Ratchet's inspiration comes from the fact that his VA Jeffrey Combs was once Scarecrow on Batman: The Animated Series' last season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owaMoWmD2vE&feature=related


Jazz screened the incoming message.

"Ratchet, you got any news?"

"The best," the scientist murmured. And indeed, Jazz noted the scientist's stoic nature cracked a little with pleasure. Still that vanished as Ratchet snapped, "Now stop wasting my time and patch me in with Optimus."

Jazz knew there wasn't even a point in being offended. He just swiftly alerted Prime and switched Ratchet over.

###

“Well?”

Optimus Prime’s back remained turned to the screen that flickered with Ratchet’s image as he finished a report, his voice calm and curious.

Ratchet wasn’t perturbed by Prime’s lack of facial recognition, not fooled into thinking his leader was disinterested.

“Elita One successfully captured that squadron of Decepticon seekers. Lost their commander though, off-lined during the fight.”

“And they are enough?”

“Yes, we can begin testing immediately.”

Prime finally looked over his shoulder, and nodded. He turned back to his own screen, exited out of the report, and brought up another.

Ratchet waited to be dismissed, perfectly calm.

“Allow me to speak plainly, Ratchet—it doesn’t matter one way or another to you, does it?” Prime’s optics were still fixated on the next report.

“I’m not following, Sir.”

Still patient, Optimus said, “You’ve been present for my arguments with Elita.”

Ratchet shrugged, knowing he could no longer sidestep. “You both make relevant points—seems best to just be a neutral party in that case.”

Optimus turned around fully to face Ratchet. The scientist said, “If I may speak plainly, Sir, as long as I get to test, I could care less if it’s Autobot or Decepticon. I just want to know if it can be done.”

Optimus favored his chief medic and scientist with a contemplative glance. “Thirst for knowledge is an emotion I can trust.”

Then he finally dismissed Ratchet, with orders to periodically send reports to him on the Protoform X project, and to keep an eye on Elita.

###

The next subject actually managed to fight off his gag and curse out all the scientists and security in the operating room.

One of the guards sneered, saying the seeker lived up to his name with that screeching, screaming voice of his.

Elita angrily approached the young ‘con—who even went so far as to head butt her, his red horn apparatus brutally gouging out one of her optics before the autobot guards held him back. Or more like piled on him like a bunch of organic alien canines.

“We need him functional for this,” Ratchet reminded the guards, his voice rising over the gagging of the ‘con as one of the ‘bots was clearly choking him.

“Ratchet—” Elita began in a low voice, one hand over her empty, bleeding socket as the chief medic bent down and picked up her optic.

“I’ll see what I can do about it later—”

“Ratchet—”

“—but it looks as if the whole thing will have to be replaced, either an op-patch or a completely new optic—”

“Ratchet, this is why we usually put subjects under, for situations like this—” and with a snarl Elita pointed to her empty optic. Her jaw clenched when she heard the ‘con chuckle weakly in a low scrape of a voice. Even his gasp as another guard punched him in the gut while the other finally replaced the gag didn’t please her.

“As I explained to you Elita, I don’t want any anesthesia programs run—no sensory receptors turned off for this trial, and only the bare minimum to restrain him will be allowed—nothing must interfere with the dark energon infusion or the process this time—”

Not to mention he hoped that if the sensory receptors were active, their own energy could be used to finally meet their objective with the spark.

Elita opened her mouth, but Ratchet’s hand rose up, the one with her optic gripped in it. “Just because you allowed the ‘con to bait you—” and the thought tickled Ratchet deep down, making him feel some odd affection for the latest subject, “—does not make it my fault, nor does it mean you can go back on your word.”

Elita’s frown only grew deeper as Ratchet asked her to leave to find another medic for some immediate first aid. With one final cold, one-eyed glare, she retreated, her hand threatening to crush the optic Ratchet returned to her.

Ratchet nodded to the guards, and they began strapping the still-struggling subject to the operating table.

The restraints were modified to Ratchet’s new parameters, able to lock in the subject in even tighter. Once the young ‘con was strapped in, his struggling was massively reduced, if only because he simply could no longer move, the restraints up his arms and legs and around his wings would not let him.

Once Ratchet started to open the spark chamber, the seeker whimpered. Optimus’ trusted scientist knew pure terror, violation when he heard it.

###

Ratchet and Elita waited after the latest subject’s operation. They had to give it some time.

Finally Elita tested him. The subject was restrained again. She speared the young ‘con with the energon blade straight through his spark, embedding it with a certain pleasure that bored Ratchet until he realized that no matter how much the seeker screamed around his gag, he did not die. A strike straight through the spark, let alone from an energon blade, should’ve killed the cybertronian. But though the subject’s red optics were now rolling up to the back of his head, they did not flicker out; his lithe body shuddered with pain, but it did not still with death....

“Elita, that’s enough.”

She harshly snapped out her energon blade, her eager revenge did not blind her to the Decepticon’s failure to offline when he should’ve.

Both Ratchet and Elita peered at the seeker’s spark. Ratchet’s breath vanished; it was the most amazing thing he had ever witnessed. The spark seemed punctured, mutilated, even beginning to divide—but then it shifted even as the ‘con whimpered, the spark pulled itself back together into a perfectly whole, normal-looking spark. But it was no longer normal. It was beyond that.

Elita looked back up at the ‘con. She even looked gently at him.

The scientist lifted her blade, laid it next to his optic.

The seeker only twitched, the lingering pain sapping his energy for a complete flinch.

“As you can see—” and Elita gestured with her free hand to her new optic, a perfect replacement. She looked good as new, as if nothing had happened. “—Ratchet fixed me.”

“But you—” and Elita pressed the blade in slightly deeper, threateningly. The ‘con shook, whimpered. Ratchet stayed crouched and level with his spark chamber, still examining it, ignoring the way the metal trembled under his touch. Ratchet’s hands were as steady as they had been during the Decepticon’s operation.

“—you, if we’ve done our job right, should be able to fix yourself—” and Elita drew the blade down in a quick vertical cut, teasing, “—automatically.”

Ratchet looked up at that, watching the drip of mech fluid, waiting for the immortal spark’s self-repair protocol to kick in.

“Perhaps even reattach your optic, if the cable is left intact—”

The young Decepticon squeezed his optics shut. Elita swung back then lunged. Ratchet gripped her blade arm, stopping her.

“The cut hasn’t healed itself,” he said, and Elita watched the steady drip drip of mech fluid alongside the shivering con’s optic, falling down his cheek, to his pointed chin.

“Perhaps it needs to be more severe, to elicit a reaction....” She murmured, half-scientific, half-sadistic.

Ratchet shook his head. “Optics are touchy, hard to replace—as you well know.”

Elita inclined her head slightly, considering. Then she nodded.

She stabbed the blade straight through the ‘con’s shoulder. He shouted. When she brutally yanked it out, he finally passed out.

The shoulder wound stayed, just as the cut did.

“He did fall unconscious once I removed blade, perhaps he needs to be conscious for the healing factor to kick in....” Elita murmured contemplatively as she took the ‘con’s chin, turning it about slightly in her hands, ignoring the slackness of his jaw. His optics were shut, but not squeezed tight, they were almost calm.

“Perhaps, or another infusion....”

Ratchet and Elita theorized and discussed the matter a bit more as the guards carried the successful subject away, before the two scientists finally separated.

Whatever the reasons behind the self-healing factor apparently failing, Ratchet knew he’d have good news for Optimus either way.

They’d made an immortal spark after all.

A/N: So this plays around with the G1-Beast Wars continuity fact that apparently Starscream’s spark is immortal/he can stay hang on as a ghost or just a spark even if his body’s destroyed, and can possess other cybertronians. Beast Wars said that was because Starscream’s spark contained a mutation that made it indestructible. Besides his character making a cameo in the Beast Wars episode “Possession,” he had longer-reaching effects on the show: the Aubtobot’s descendants, the Maximals, experimented to try to replicate Starscream’s immortal spark, and ended up creating an insane, murderous Protoform X/Rampage. And later Rampage’s spark is able to be split in half, the other half bringing Dinobot’s clone to life.
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