Yay! This pairing was a really popular choice so it only seemed natural to write about it!! The beginning is a little strange but just know that none of it is real and I hope I'm not upsetting anyone by making it a little graphic. The first part is based on an actual mock disaster I got to take part in my senior year (aside from the talking ambulance). It was a lot of fun and if you ever get a chance you should really try one. They're definitely an experience. Anyway, hope you enjoy it!!
The air was heavy with smell of burning rubber and metal. Soft moans and cries could be heard from various hidden locations in the area. Crumbled buildings and overturned cars littered the street in a morbid array of confetti. Small fire burned until they were depleted or until a larger one joined in the flames. The cool, November sun shone down brightly over the ruined city block. It was a perfect day for a disaster.
Mikaela blinked slowly, looking around the rubble in a dazed sense of reality. Blood streaked over one side of her face and her shirt was torn and dirty from hours of lying in an upside-down car. She pulled herself awkwardly to her feet, wincing as the movement made her dizzy enough to sway. Stumbling, staggering away from the wreck, she made her way to an ambulance off in the distance.
It had been a pipe-bomb no bigger than a soda can but powerful enough to demolish an entire city block. Her entire class had been involved, everyone was scattered to the outskirts of the former business block. The lingering fear of never seeing her classmates again quietly gnawed at the back of her mind as she staggered on. Forcing those thoughts from her mind, Mikaela made herself concentrate on the goal at hand. The ambulance that lay just a few more feet ahead.
It was all very cliché in a way. Head wound, possibly fractured arm, busted knee; the whole nine yards. Make your way to the ambulance and then all your problems will be solved she told herself.
Clutching her wounded arm close to her, she made slow, deliberate steps in the direction of the medical vehicle. True, it was flipped on its side and the siren was wailing in a pathetically tired way, but it was better than nothing. Crossing the final few steps that separated her and the ambulance, Mikaela fell to her knees and felt her back shudder against the metal side. Blood trickled into her mouth from her head wound and she made a slight face at the taste of warm corn syrup. Corn syrup and red food coloring; breakfast of champions.
Sighing, Mikaela opened her eyes and tried fruitlessly to wipe off some excess "blood" that had collected on her wrist from the arm injury. A small plastic card that had been looped around her neck stuck against her bloody shirt and she gently pulled it away and read it though the blood.
The word Sleeper was written in big bold letters along with a description of her injuries. The rules of the drill had been simple: Sleepers are mostly, if not all the way unconscious while Walkers got to act as living dead, staggering around aimlessly with less critical wounds like twisted ankles or a broken jaw. Sleepers had three different stages: Green, Red, and Black. Green had a good prognosis, a simple bump on the head that rendered the individual unconscious for longer than 5 minutes and lead to short stay in the hospital. Red was a little more serious, open wounds that caused massive hemorrhaging and the possibility of bleeding to death if not treated immediately. With Red, the issues of shock, immediate surgery and possible coma were the usual outcomes. Black was dead. Simply put, if someone was issued a Black card, they could expect to be cut in half, decapitated, missing limbs, missing organs, etc. Black was dead.
The whole purpose of the drill was to teach the students about triage, or the way patients are sorted during or after a disaster. The health teachers had been going back and forth for days about how to teach the lesson when an advertisement for "victims" appeared one day in the local news section of the newspaper. It was a good way for the teachers to get their point across and an even better way for the kids to get out of school for the day.
The ad had come from the local fire department in an attempt to train some of the newer members the procedures and regulations while dealings with a disaster (i.e. Tornado, earthquake, bombing, etc.). Disaster City was what the site had been called. Giant rubble piles, flipped over cars, crumbling buildings, an occasional train car; you name it and it could probably be incorporated into the disaster zone. Today's drill was a pipe-bomb explosion in a busy city block filled with students and workers alike.
As for the students, their role was simple. Read the card you were given and act that part. Let the medics find you, not vice versa. If you had a broken arm, cry out and yell about your broken arm. If you were decapitated, act decapitated and don't talk. It was the firemen and medic's job to treat you based on the way you acted. However, considering this consisted as part of their final for Health, if you were caught acting differently than your card (a Black card who had been crushed by rubble talking to a Red who was bleeding to death from a severed artery in the leg) points would be deducted from not only your final grade but your report card grade as well.
Heaving a long, tired sigh, Mikaela felt her eyes slide shut and began to drift away. That's when she heard it.
"-kaela…?" a deep, logical voice questioned from somewhere behind her.
Slightly confused but even more tired, she ignored it and continued to lean against the busted ambulance. She's been stuck in that car since 6'o clock that morning and desperately wanted to fall asleep.
"Mikaela Banes." The voice said again, this time with a little more certainty.
A prickle of alarm and also vague realization crept through her. Turning slowly so as not to hurt her head any more, she opened one blue eye to peer at the ambulance she was using as a pillow.
"You can talk." The statement came out more accusing than questioning and an awkward silence passed between the two.
"Yes. You are surprised?"
"Well…kinda." She whispered back, keeping her eyes closed. "Normally, a talking ambulance isn't something very mainstream."
A soft, mechanical chuckle emitted from the radio of said ambulance.
"What are you doing here, Ratchet?" Mikaela found herself asking, both confused and curious at the say time.
"I was told of this…drill. I thought it may help me to understand human injuries a little better so I came. And in return, the medical officers flipped me over."
Mikaela smiled to herself but hid it almost immediately as one of her teachers walked by.
Mr. Clark gave her a long, hard stare before walking over to check on a few other students who were talking noisily a few feet away.
Once she was fairly certain he was gone, Mikaela cracked her eyes open again and shifted a little so her back was more flat against the warm metal.
"So, may I ask why you are here?" Ratchet pressed, causing the wail of his siren to fade into nothingness.
"Health final." She murmured back, letting her head fall to the side as another teacher strode by to help Mr. Clark with the two troublesome students he'd found. "We're learning about triage. How it works, why, when, where. You know, the basics."
"Basics?" the ambulance questioned back. What has seemed like a perfectly logical statement to her left Ratchet confused and curious.
"Oh, um…triage is what happens when you separate patients based on the extent of their injuries." She said, quoting the text book Mr. Clark had been so proud of.
"Oh, I understand." Ratchet answered after a minute. "We use a similar system when treating our wounded. We just call it by another name."
"See, I'm a Green Sleeper." Mikaela nodded and offered her card up a little so the Medical Officer could see it.
"Is that a good thing?" Ratchet asked, scanning the card in every way possible in case it held some secret meaning.
"Better than some others." Mikaela answered back, tucking the card back against her chest. "I could be dead."
A low sound came from the radio in a regretful whine. "I would be very sad if you were dead, Mikaela Banes."
The dark-haired laughed gently and smiled. "Well that's sweet." She giggled, picking a speck of dried blood from her fingernail. "I would be sad if you died too, Ratchet."
The ambulance gave a content rumble and left it at that. More silence passed before either said more.
"Hey, speaking of dead." Mikaela started awkwardly. "I have something I may need you to help me with."
"What is it?" The Medical Officer asked, letting his lights flicker out and go dark. "You helped save us from Megatron, I will be happy to assist in any way I can."
Blushing lightly at the memory, Mikaela pushed the memory from her mind. "I managed to salvage a car the other day. A silver, 2007 Pontiac Solstice."(1) She paused letting the words sink in.
"JAZZ?!" the ambulance cried harshly."
Mikaela nodded brightly, suddenly very proud of herself. "Anyway, I managed to put it back together and fix almost everything but I can't seem to get it to run. Think you could give me a hand, big guy?"
"Of course…" Ratchet answered somberly, the news filtering through every nook and cranny of his mind.
Smiling again, Mikaela patted the side of the ambulance gently. "I'm pretty sure we can get him working again." She assured, grinning as the medical vehicle literally vibrated with happiness.
Before any more words could be exchanged between the two, a tall man dressed in a EMT uniform appeared around the side of the car and walked over, kneeling in front of Mikaela and glancing at her card.
Surprised by his sudden appearance, Mikaela let her head fall to the side so abruptly that she almost fell over. The EMT caught her and scooped one arm under her knees and wrapped the other around her back. He lifted her effortlessly and carried her to a waiting "medical tent" so her wounds could be tended to.
A few minutes later, 4 men with the help of a rather large tow truck carefully pulled the overturned ambulance right-side up. Pushing the heavy vehicle off the normal road and closer to some bushes, the men returned to what they'd been doing earlier, not paying attention to the ambulance that was currently fixated on a dark-haired girl being treated in the medical tent a few feet away.
A few hours later, after being given a clean bill of health and an A for the overall class, Mikaela made her way over to the ambulance that had been parked over in a corner of the disaster zone.
"Okay," she began, absently brushing her fingers over a scrape in the paint on the ambulance's side. "Drill's all done."
"What did the doctors say?" Ratchet asked softly, barely noticing as Mikaela began to instinctively work out what to do about the dings and scrapes along his exterior.
"Ah, I should live to see another day." She exclaimed proudly, showing off a green checkmark on her card she'd gotten to keep.
"Wonderful." The ambulance beamed, opening the door for her. "Hop in."
When the girl hesitated, Ratchet let out a confused noise and let the door hang open dejectedly. "What is wrong?"
The teen laughed lightly. "Well, nothing really. It's just I doubt they'll let me drive out of here in an ambulance is all. It's a little…off."
The Medical Officer thought for a minute and scanned the parking lot off in the distance. Deciding on a temporary cover, Ratchet slowly and quietly transformed himself into a sleek, white, Ford F-150 (1) with a simple red cross on the tail gate. Opening the door once more, Ratchet was pleased when Mikaela eagerly climbed into the front seat.
"Awesome change." She remarked as the truck shifted into drive and pulled out of the driveway easily. It shifted and turned like it was one with the road and the girl let herself relax against the seat.
Using her directions and trying to ignore what she was tinkering with on the steering column of the truck, Ratchet weaved his way down the quiet streets that lead to her house.
The truck pulled into the small driveway and let its passenger out before changing into his true form. The two walked over to the garage door and waited for the access code to be accepted.
"I'll warn you, he looks a little beat up right now caused the paint is all messed up but I can fix it." Mikaela prepared as the door slid open slowly.
Inside, a scraped, bent and overall beat up Pontiac Solstice sat lifelessly in the middle of the garage.
Ratchet approached the car slowly, looking it over carefully as if giving it a thorough exam. Gently, he popped the hood and looked at the engine that had been placed inside. Nodding his approval to Mikaela, he quietly and carefully set to work at fixing whatever he could find that needed to be fixed.
About an hour later, Ratchet stood slowly and cast a glance at the teen sitting in the corner. "I have done everything I can. Hopefully it will be enough."
Mikaela nodded and walked over, clamping some cable to the engine and turning the key.
The engine revved weakly, a tight gurgling sound leaking from within. Mikaela tried again, quietly urging the car to work not for her sake but for Ratchet's. The Medical Officer watched closely, whispering words of encouragement and hope all his own.
A few more rolls of the engine turning over echoed throughout the garage before the sound finally died and went silent all together.
Mikaela sighed deeply, disappointment and sadness filling her. They had come so close and now-
There a soft cough and then the engine sprung to life, revving loudly and scaring both girl and autobot alike.
"JAZZ?!" both Mikaela and Ratchet exclaimed, staring at the busted car in shock.
"Yeah! What the hell happened?" the wounded car demanded, halfway transforming and collapsing back into his car form. "Shit! That hurt like hell!"
"Easy Jazz." Ratchet soothed softly. "Do not try to stand up just yet. You are very badly injured."
"Injured my ass! I had to be put back together!" The car continued, beginning to panic and talk louder. "Where's Megaton?! I'll kick that bastard's metal ass so hard he won't be able to-"
Further threat was cut off as Mikaela unclamped a wire causing the car to go silent.
Ratchet jumped a little in alarm and looked at her accusingly.
"Don't worry." The girl answered, putting the wire one a shelf across the room. "He's just sleeping. His battery isn't strong enough to withstand extended outbursts yet so I just unplugged him. He'll be better tomorrow."
Satisfied with the answer, Ratchet sat back on his heels and stared at the Second in Command. "It actually worked. You managed to repair him." He said in an awed whisper.
Mikaela blushed brightly and laughed a little. "Well, I had help from some of my dad's friends. I mean, they were the ones who helped me put him back together and reconnect all the parts. And you helped. I couldn't have done it without you."
If robots could blush, Ratchet certainly would have right then.
Watching in amusement, Mikaela offered her hand up to the large robot in front of her. "Partners?"
Taking her hand very gently in his, Ratchet nodded happily and shook it softly. "I would love to."
(1) I know it's pretty much impossible for Jazz to be brought back to life but still...I can be hopeful. I've had a few people ask about this but honestly, I don't really know that much Transformers other than the movie. I thought it would be cool if Jazz could somehow be repaired and brought back so I added it in this story. Also, I plan to hook him up with a driver in the near future (grin)
(2)Really badass truck! Also, it would be pretty awkward to drive an ambulance away so this was just a temporary look. Hopefully that didn't upset anyone!!