The fourth in my series of "Transformers: Prime" shorts. Set during the episode "Sick Mind" after Arcee and Bumblebee have returned from their mission on the Decepticon warship to find a cure for the Cybonic Plague to save Optimus' life.
Note: 'cycle' equates to an hour.
Ratchet held up a vial of clear blue liquid, inspecting it. He gave the aqueous contents a swirl.
"It's ready," he announced.
He turned round to face his ailing leader laying quite still on the medical table, save for the steady rise and fall of his chest and a slight sluggish movement of his head. The other Autobots and their three human friends were looking on quietly, 'with bated breath' as the humans would say, praying that this would work. Ratchet prayed that this would work too.
He approached Optimus' side with the vial containing the clear blue fluid. Optimus gazed up at him, nearly half of his face darkened by the spreading Cybonic plague infection, the light in his eyes flickering.
"Just stay still, Optimus," Ratchet said calmly. "This should cure you."
"Ratchet...don't...risk...infecting...yourself," Optimus weakly murmured.
"Don't worry, Optimus. I won't come into contact with your energon," Ratchet reassured.
Taking a narrow feeding tube from nearby, he attached one end to the top of the vial and the other end into Optimus' lower arm, inserting the tube underneath his armour plates into an energon vein within. Ratchet then hung the vial upside down from a tall rod and the clear blue fluid began slowly draining down the feeding tube into Optimus' arm.
"Now just rest," Ratchet instructed his leader. "You should feel better soon."
The Autobot medic then turned to face his watching company.
"We should know within the cycle if the cure has worked," he informed. His gaze drifted sideways. "Let us pray that it does."
"We've done everything we can," Arcee sighed, looking at Bumblebee beside her.
Bumblebee made a low beep of agreement. Raf patted his ankle in a small gesture of comfort.
"Bee, volunteering to go into Megatron's mind...that was a very brave thing you did," Arcee commented with a subtle smile. "Even I hesitated to do it."
"Yes, Arcee and Bumblebee, you both took great risks to find the plague cure for Optimus aboard the Decepticon warship," Ratchet commended, "Bumblebee especially. I can't thank you both enough for that."
Bumblebee beeped a reply at the Autobot medic.
"He's right," Arcee agreed. "Don't forget you're the one that directed us there, Ratchet. We would never have been able to perform a cortical psychic patch without you. And if you hadn't stopped me, I could have eliminated Megatron before we extracted the formula for the cure from his mind. You had as much a role to play in our finding of the cure as we did."
Ratchet turned and looked sombrely at Optimus. "Let us hope that all our efforts will not have been in vain then."
There was a momentary pause as everyone silently watched Optimus' still form again, hoping for the best.
"So...you managed to put Megatron out of commission for good this time?" Bulkhead asked Arcee.
"Can't say for certain," Arcee replied with a stern expression. "I cut his life support line. Let's hope that did the trick."
Ratchet glanced at Arcee as she said this. It seemed impossible that Megatron could have survived the space bridge explosion, but yet he had. Ratchet could only hypothesise that it was the dark energon within him that had saved him from total deactivation. But that perhaps mattered little now if Arcee's attempt at putting an end to Megatron's life had been successful.
Ratchet wondered dully what Optimus would feel about Megatron's life being ended a second time at the hands of one of his Autobots. Their leader had mourned the passing of Megatron after the destruction of the space bridge. To find out that his arch-nemesis had survived the explosion only to be assassinated by another Autobot whilst in a vulnerable state may not have sat well with Optimus. It was...a dishonourable way of taking his life. Megatron had long desired to kill Optimus with his own hands. Would Optimus have preferred to give his once brother-in-arms an honourable and fair death by his own hands too, if he could not save his spark from darkness? Ratchet did not dwell on the difficult and complex notion. Optimus had known for a long time that Megatron's life, in all likelihood, had to end eventually, one way or another, whether by his actions, another's or by fate. It was always just a faint and unlikely hope within the Autobot leader that his former 'brother' would change. And he understood and accepted that the opportunities for and manner of his death could not be predicted or controlled.
Ratchet's attention was diverted when Bumblebee suddenly seemed to freeze up. His whole body straightened and tensed and the circular optical mechanisms within his eyes rapidly shrunk into small dark circles. The others looked at him curiously too.
"You okay, Bee?" Raf asked, looking up at him with a little concern.
Bumblebee quickly shook his head, beeped once at Raf and held up a hand. Nothing.
Ratchet raised an optic ridge at the yellow scout.
"Let me do a quick physical check on you, Bumblebee," he requested. "We'll just make sure you haven't sustained any unseen damage from your mission."
Ratchet gestured toward the blue neon-lit repair chamber.
Bumblebee nodded and walked forward into the repair chamber. Ratchet followed after him and began running a scan on Bumblebee from the controls. He watched a monitor screen that brought up a hollow diagram of Bumblebee's body.
"You seem to be just fine, Bumblebee," Ratchet reported after a few moments of studying his scan. "Everything's in perfect working order. No physical damage evident."
Bumblebee walked out of the repair chamber. Bulkhead clapped a large hand on his shoulder.
"Like I said before, Bumblebee's the best scout there is," the big green Autobot declared. "He can handle a little trip into Megatron's mind and the 'Con warship. No problem."
Bumblebee gave Bulkhead a thumbs up, then he looked over at Optimus' prone form long and hard, internal mechanisms whirring abnormally.