Rodimus was waiting with crossed arms and pensive optics when Red Alert stepped off the shuttle.
"Red Alert. Good to have you back with us."
"It's good to be back, Prime."
Red Alert headed straight inside without pause. Rodimus turned, falling into step beside his team's newly returned medic. He didn't ask about what kind of project might have drawn her back home to Cybertron so urgently. "Classified" was the only answer he'd been given when she left, and he knew when and when not to fish for information.
They entered the outpost and turned towards the offices. Voices drifted through the closed rec room doors as they passed.
"Skids' replacement arrived while you were gone. Name's Hot Shot. He's a pyrotechnician. Young." He tight-beamed Hot Shot's profile to her. The more extensive information she'd need as his primary medic would be waiting on her office terminal for her to download.
"Fresh out of the academy?"
Rodimus nodded, a short, efficient jerk of his chin. Red Alert made a note to herself to make sure their little outpost had plenty of parts in stock for mechs of Hot Shot's frame type. No bot, no matter how talented, got through their first post-academy assignment without needing a good few dents hammered out or cabling replaced.
Far from the first youngster she'd been asked to work on. At least this one she'd be able to keep an eye on.
"Brawn's favoring his shoulder again. He says it's nothing, but I think he just didn't want me sticking my hands in it."
One side of Red Alert's mouth quirked up. "I'll comm him."
They reached the small set of rooms that passed for a medbay on an outpost this size. The door slid open at their approach. Red Alert stepped inside, stopping just inside the doorway and giving the room a swift glance to see what damage they'd done in her absence.
Home sweet medbay.
She turned back when the silence grew a little too long. Rodimus was studying her, optics intent.
He could always tell when something was wrong with a member of his team. And she knew she tended to be a little... cold... after certain types of assignments. It would fade. It always did.
"Don't stay in here too long. Come out and meet the new kid. All right?"
Red Alert nodded. "Of course, Prime."
He seemed to want to say something more. Instead, after a moments silence in which his sharp focus never wavered and she offered nothing more, he shook his head. "Get some rest, Red."
He left. Red Alert unlocked her office and booted up her private computer terminal. Another pyrotechnician. How ironic, when all she wanted to do was push her latest trip to Cybertron into the farthest reaches of her memory banks, with all the other files marked "classified."
At least this one couldn't fly.