Sorry about the long wait guys. It's been kinda rough getting these chapters out with work and college and whatnot…
One word: Finals.
Oh, and—as a new feature—the song that inspired this new chapter was Lost in the Echo by Linkin Park.
So… here's the new chapter. Enjoy!
Name: Chi Star Pax
Location: Training grounds, N.E.S.T. Base, Diego Garcia
Okay, so the training grounds are normally reserved only for those who actually go out and fight the 'cons. And Ratchet had pretty much banned me from doing that (not that I planned on listening to him when it came to that) so my presence there was pretty… strange. Especially when Lennox explained that I was there for 'stress relief.'
Second: Stress relief? Who came up with that?
And my third thought: I blame Sideswipe.
The twins heard my thought and Sunstreaker burst into a fit of laughter while Sideswipe demanded that I explain why I was blaming him for my apparent 'stress.' I only smiled and told him that he was the cause of 90% of the stress on base, so why not blame him?
Turns out it was Ratchet's idea to claim that I was overstressed and needed to let out my frustration on some of the targets in the training area by blowing them up with a nonexistent gun.
Yeah, that went over well.
"Okay Ratchet, something is going to have to give with this." Chi ground out as she stalked into the med-bay. "You do realize that these military personnel are going to figure out that I'm not exactly human anymore, right?"
Ratchet gave an exasperated sigh. "Unless you can figure out how to explain what it is you are—which we are not sure of yet—it is useless to try and tell them."
"I'm not Cybertronian, and I'm not human." Chi huffed as she jumped up onto the counter in front of Ratchet. "I'm some sort of hybrid that can't be replicated, and we are going to have to tell the humans or they'll get suspicious of you guys and me."
"What brought this on?" Ratchet asked with irritation evident in his voice.
"The suspicious looks on the training grounds." Sideswipe stated as he and Sunstreaker stepped into the med-bay.
"Do you guys have to follow me everywhere?" Chi snapped.
"Yes." Sunstreaker said simply.
"Prime wants us to keep an eye on you." Sideswipe clarified. "And we actually like being in your company."
Chi snorted and turned back to Ratchet. "So, how are we going to fix this?"
"If you want to tell the humans, go ahead." Ratchet snapped. "But then you get to explain why you have human skin."
Chi scoffed and gave the medic a glare. "For your information, this 'human skin' is slowly starting to come off anyway. Apparently it can't regenerate the way it should be due to the metal underneath."
Now the medic paused in his calculations on the datapad in his hands and stared at Chi, who realized that she had just gotten herself in trouble.
"When did this start happening?" Ratchet began running scans and his optics narrowed.
"A week or two ago?" Chi stated with a small 'don't kill me' smile; she wasn't going to push the medic now.
"You mean to tell me that your skin has been coming off for two weeks and you haven't told me about it?"
Chi shrunk at the medic's deliberately calm tone, he was pissed. "Yes?"
"Do you realize that I can't properly take care of you if you don't tell me what is going on?" Ratchet asked in that same calm tone. "I am the Chief Medical Officer, and I am your doctor. In order for me to be sure that I am giving you the proper treatment, you have to tell me these things."
"I know that! I just wasn't too keen on telling you that my skin was falling off because I was freaked out by it." Chi snapped, pissed now. "You may be used to your pieces falling off and being put back on, but I'm not! I was a fragging organic for crying out loud! This isn't supposed to happen unless you are dead or damn close to it!"
Ratchet froze and stared at the woman, and then shot the twins a questioning look.
/She's still having a hard time coping with the change, Ratchet./ Sunstreaker stated over a private comm. /She's trying though; it's just hard for her to figure it out. And she keeps having pings from her systems telling her to transform, which she's not sure what it is she's supposed to transform into./
/Transform? She shouldn't have the protocols for transformation… how long ago did this start happening?/
/Three days ago./ Sideswipe stated, revealing that he had been eavesdropping on the supposedly private conversation. /That's when she first mentioned it./
/Three days, and neither one of you bothered to mention this?/
Now the twins were the ones to shrink away from the look Ratchet was giving them. He was pissed, but was staying a lot calmer than he normally would. Normally he would have already begun throwing things.
"What was that I heard about your skin falling off?" A calm and structured voice asked from the shelf above the counter Chi was standing on, causing the others to turn and see Kira watching Chi with a blank expression.
"Kira. I didn't realize that you were up there." Chi sighed and gave a slightly pained expression. "My skin has been disconnecting from the metal underneath it and falling off. That's why I've only been wearing long sleeves and pants lately."
"Why haven't you told anybody about it?" The cyborg jumped down from the shelf and grabbed her creators hand before shoving the sleeve on it up to her elbow. "I could have helped you when it first started."
Chi sighed at the bland tone that Kira was using at the moment. "You can yell at me you know… I know you want to."
"I'm not going to yell at you, but I am going to tell you that I'm rather pissed off that you haven't told me about this." Kira snapped, her tone going from bland to irritable in a matter of seconds. "We can take some of the nanites that make up my skin and re-program them to match your systems and skin. They would also allow you to transform, which I am going to assume your systems have been telling you to do as well."
Now Chi shifted uncomfortably. "Yeah. I just don't know what it wants me to transform into."
"All you have to do is activate the transformation sequence and it'll take care of the rest for you." Kira stated absently. "Alright, you'll need to get rid of the skin that's left for the nanites to work."
"Easier said than done." Chi deadpanned. "I may not feel pain, but the skin doesn't want to come off easily either."
"Surge energy through your systems and the skin will burn off." Kira stated and glanced at the medic, who nodded. "It won't even make a burnt skin smell. You just have to destroy the connection that your skin has to the metal, which I'm going to assume is a glue of some sort that the doctor created."
"Can I say that the fact you know this stuff is kinda creepy?" Chi asked with a look of one who wasn't quite sure what to make of the person in front of them. "Stand back, I don't want to fry your systems with this. And be ready to put out the fire."
"What fire?" Ratchet asked, already transforming his hand into a fire extinguisher.
"My clothes will catch on fire because of the intensity of the energy that I'll be forcing over the metal part of my skin." Chi rolled her eyes. "Energy does create heat you know."
Chi dodged the wrench that Ratchet chunked at her and shot him a grin. "I was waiting for that to happen."
"Just surge your systems." Kira sighed.
Chi shrugged and closed her eyes; the others knew that she was gathering energy from the air around her in order for the surge to be hot enough. Normally, she would have already had the energy, but she had just spent most of it blowing up targets and the occasional water bottle (she only wanted to test that specific soldier's reflexes). After only a few minutes, she opened her eyes again and the other four in the room watched as she began to glow, and then her clothes caught on fire as energy crackled across her skin. Within seconds all that was left of the organic shell that she had been covered with was ashes, and her silvery protoform was left spotless and bare.
"Um… nanites please?" Chi asked after her metal form had cooled and her systems had run a diagnostic to make sure nothing had been damaged.
Kira stepped forward and touched her creator's arm. A minute later Chi was once again covered with what appeared to be skin and she had activated a hologram to change the appearance of her optics to eyes. Her hair, which had been replaced with fiber optics for some reason, returned to the golden color streaked with red that her hair had been to begin with. She appeared to not care that her electronic skin took on the appearance of a normal human woman as she activated her transformation sequence. Ratchet watched closely and ran several scans as Chi's human appearance was replaced with that of a large dog.
"A cyber-wolf." Sideswipe muttered.
"That explains her attitude and dislike of being trapped in any way." Sunstreaker stated thoughtfully.
Shut it you two.
The nanites recognized that Chi had shifted form and immediately switched from the color of pale human skin to a deep black that seemed to steal the color from around her. A blazing red symbol appeared on the shoulders of the cyber-wolf and Chi let out a snort before transforming back to her human-ish appearance. Kira stepped forward and draped a long jacket over Chi's shoulders.
"That could be useful." The blonde woman muttered as she donned a look of deep thought.
"No." Three voices stated simultaneously.
The twins and Ratchet shared a slightly creeped-out glance, before looking back at the blonde woman.
"Did the three of you just—"
"You are not going to spy on the Decepticons." Ratchet snapped.
"And you are not going to be in any battle against them." Sideswipe added almost as if it was an afterthought.
"Oh come on guys!" Chi exclaimed. "I have been through worse at the hands of humans."
"You're not going to." Sunstreaker stated firmly. "Sideswipe and I wouldn't be able to function properly if you were on the battlefield."
"You mean you would go into your gladiator modes." Chi snapped. "Oh yeah, I know about those."
The twins stiffened and glanced at Ratchet, who shrugged.
"I noticed the coding for it when you first came into the med-bay." The medic explained. "So it's not news to me."
"You guys don't want me out there because you don't want anybody to know about your gladiator history or programming." Chi stated evenly. "And me being in immediate danger with you two near would not only activate the gladiator programming, it would let the gladiator programming take over completely and put the others in danger."
Everything was tense in the med-bay as Chi explained the exact reasons why the twins didn't want her on the battlefield.
"Fine. I won't join in on the battles as long as they don't start with me in the area." The blonde woman huffed. "But if a battle starts within a block of me, I'm joining in."
"Deal." Sunstreaker nodded firmly.
"Only because we highly doubt any battle will begin with you anywhere near it." Sideswipe ground out. "I may not like it… but I'll deal with it."
Chi nodded and then turned back to Kira.
"So, can you go and get some of my clothes from my room?"
Name: Chi Star Pax
Location: Medical Bay, N.E.S.T. Base, Diego Garcia
Okay, so Ratchet decided that I needed to stay in the med bay so that he could run some more tests and make sure that I was okay. He located the transformation codes and then also found some coding for weaponry. After finding this I figured out how to transform my arm into a blaster kind of like Bumblebee's.
One word can describe my thought there: Cool.
He also discovered that I had a subspace compartment and a sword that came out of the middle of my back. Being a body guard and an ex-special ops operant, I was perfectly okay with these hidden weapons.
Lennox wasn't too thrilled when he walked in and saw that my arm wasn't an arm, but a blaster. So I finally had to explain that my humanity (or lack thereof) was not really the issue. The issue was explaining to the government lackeys that what happened to me was not able to be replicated, and that I was not a danger to humanity itself.
On the contrary, I was perfectly okay with helping the Autobots keep the Humans alive and free.
Now to convince the asshole Director Galloway (seriously, I thought they had gotten rid of his ass) of that fact.
So there we go, new chapter ahoy! XD
Thanks goes to my awesome beta Starcee138 for getting this chapter back to me quickly, I apologize for taking so long to post it!
And a big thankies to all of my readers and reviewers. I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter too, review if you read it please! XD
Until all are one,