AUTHORS NOTE: This takes place before the war. There are some OCs, but they aren't going to be the main focus of the plot; Ratchet is. There is NO CanonXOC in this story.
Long ago, it was said that one small act of kindness could start a series of events that affected everyone in an immeasurable way.
That was millions of years ago, long before the Golden Age.
The history of Cybertron was no longer remembered by the planet's inhabitants. Cybertronians had no interest in knowing the past, as they felt there was no need to know what their ancestors had learned or experienced. What happened before was no concern of theirs. They believed they lived in a perfect world.
They were wrong.
A white and reddish-orange mech sat silently at a desk, his light blue optics scanning over a datapad intently. Every so often, he would jot some information down onto the datapad, listing important or relevant facts about the most recent event at the Protihex Medical Center.
He had to attend to many miners earlier that day, after a mining operation was met with disaster as most of the major tunnels and facilities beneath the surface of Cybertron collapsed. No one knew how the mines ended up destroyed. There was no way to prove that the collapse happened from natural causes, but there was also no evidence to suggest the event was intentional.
Though, the mech had to admit, he didn't really care either way. The amount of damaged Cybertronians that needed tending to had increased his workload spectacularly.
There was the sound of someone approaching, and the mech turned around to see a femme standing in the doorway. Her frame was a dark burgundy color, with traces of red. She was taller than most femmes, though she was still considerably shorter than almost any mech. Her optics were a dark blue, and they matched well with the ever present look of bravery on her face. After he saw who was there, the mech turned back to his work and the femme walked over to him, peeking over his shoulder to see what he was doing.
"... 'Most of the patients were relatively unharmed'?" The femme said, raising an optics ridge and smirking as she read the mech's datapad aloud. "Really? I'd assume severed Energon lines and detached limbs wouldn't be considered 'unharmed', Ratchet."
The mech, Ratchet, huffed in irritation, not even glancing up at the femme. "That's why I added 'relatively', Rooter. Their wounds weren't nearly as bad as they should have been."
"That may be true," The femme, Rooter, replied, crossing her arms. "But you should be thankful for that, shouldn't you?"
Ratchet frowned, glaring at the datapad as he continued writing. Rooter liked using 'disasters' as 'lessons', for reasons Ratchet didn't understand.
Ratchet had known Rooter for a very long time. Even though they were partners in the medical field, they never really stayed around each other long enough for someone to think that they even knew each other. They referred to themselves as friends, or acquaintances, depending on what they were doing at the time. Performing surgery on someone was not a time they considered it appropriate to call each other 'friends'.
Ratchet shook his head. He was getting distracted. He was tired, and that was making him lose him focus. He let out an exasperated breath, then continued finishing up his report as Rooter looked down at him with barely noticeable concern in her optics, concern only a medic could express.
"You know, you should take a break." Rooter suggested with a shrug. "Too much stress can lead to overheating."
"Well, thank you for your concern," Ratchet said, his voice laced with sarcasm. "I'm sure I would have never figured that out on my own. It's not like I'm a medic or anything."
Rooter rolled her optics. "You're not, yet. You're only an assistant. My assistant. You still have a long way to go."
Ratchet grumbled something under his breath, scribbling a few more notes onto his datapad before setting it down. He didn't want to admit it, but he was exhausted. Repairing all of those miners had taken a lot out of him. With a quiet groan of resignation, Ratchet stood up and turned to face Rooter. It was only when they stood next to each other that someone could see how small Rooter really was.
"Go, it's alright," Rooter said, chuckling at Ratchet's reluctancy to do something for himself. "I'll finish up here. Go."
Ratchet's frown softened, though it remained on his face, and he grudgingly left the room. He was greeted by other medics as he walked down the hallway, occasionally acknowledging them with a curt nod. They didn't mind Ratchet's attitude as much as they did when they had first met him. They knew Ratchet wasn't the friendliest mech on Cybertron, but he was good at what he did. There were many cases the other medics could not find a solution to, cases that Ratchet managed to solve. They didn't have a choice but to let him do his own thing. The Guilds of Cybertron chose for him to be a medic.
The Guilds of Cybertron were the ones who assigned Cybertronians to a specific Guild. Medics would go to a separate Guild than a miner, and they were taught how to do things that those of their respective Guild were supposed to do. The Guilds were only overpowered by the High Council, though they never really interfered with the Guilds' ruling. No one else could decide if Ratchet was a medic or not. Not even Ratchet himself.
Ratchet walked out of the main Medical area and into the Medical Quarters. Anyone who worked at the Medical facility had their own room in another sector of the building. After passing multiple doors, Ratchet finally reached his quarters, heading inside and taking a quick glance over everything there.
Even though Ratchet had lived there for a while, it looked like he had just arrived there for the first time. There was a desk on the other side of the room, with nothing on the top of it except for a datapad. There was a slab on the wall that could form into a window. Ratchet occasionally peered out of it to pass the time, but he usually kept it closed. Ratchet preferred privacy, and he was paranoid enough to think someone would actually come over and watch him through the window. Opposite of the desk, a berth was pushed against the side of the wall. The room was nothing special, as redecorating was never something Ratchet deemed important.
Ratchet grumbled, walking over to the berth and taking a seat. He sat there for a few kliks, thinking over the days events, before he gently laid down on the berth. He blinked a few times as the exhaustion was setting in before he closed his optics. He knew that powering down for a while would do him some good.
Ratchet snapped out of recharge at the sound of someone trying to uplink him. With a groan, he accepted, but he couldn't even get a word in before the caller spoke first. "Ratchet? Ratchet are you there?"
Ratchet paused taking a moment to recognize the voice. The speaker sounded frantic.
"Rooter?" Ratchet blinked, slowly sitting up. "What's wrong?"
"I... I'm fine, just..." There was a pause on the other end. "... I need to see you as soon as possible. Can you meet me somewhere?"
Ratchet frowned. "I'm close to the refueling station..."
"Yes, meet me there," Rooter said, sounding quite out of breath. "I need you to hurry, okay?"
Ratchet nodded, even though he knew Rooter couldn't see. "I'll be right there."
Rooter had already dropped the uplink. Ratchet paused for a moment with an optic ridge raised, then pushed himself off of the berth and started heading to the requested location. Though he would never admit it, he was slightly concerned. That conversation was completely out of character for Rooter, who was normally so confident and 'straight to the point' when she spoke.
Ratchet tried thinking of various scenarios which would end up with Rooter becoming so upset, though he could come up with none, and he was so preoccupied by his thoughts that he didn't notice how close he was to the refueling station until he got there. His optics scanned the room, looking for any sign of Rooter, but when he couldn't spot her he took a seat on a nearby bench and waited.
As he waited, he glanced around the area again. A stockpile of Energon rested in the corner of the room, a few steps from where Ratchet was seated. There were many Cybertronians wandering around, most of them refueling on Energon, their lifeblood. Those who weren't had either already finished, or they hadn't started yet. It was oddly calm, almost reassuring.
Ratchet turned around when he heard his name and saw Rooter heading over to him. Standing up, Ratchet greeted her with a small smile. "Rooter, I don't usually end up seeing you until later."
Rooter shook her head, her optics wide. "No, Ratchet, listen to me. This is serious."
Ratchet looked over Rooter, his smile disappearing when he noticed her nervous posture. Her hand was clenched shut and held tightly against her chest, as if she was trying to protect something. Ratchet frowned, concern clear in his voice. "Rooter, are you alright?"
"Ratchet, it was over by the Well. I don't know how it got out, but I-" Before Rooter could finish, their conversation was interrupted by an enraged yell coming from the Energon stockpile. Rooter and Ratchet looked over to the source of the yell, blinking at what they saw. Three Cybertronians were arguing, very loudly. Everyone's optics were glued to the scene before them.
A large, brown and gold colored Energon sorter named Oiltrack looked extremely unimpressed. He was blocking the path of the two other mechs. One of the mechs was black and white, and was covered in dents and scratches similar to scars. He towered over Oiltrack, his back hunched slightly.
The other Cybertronian was a very young mech, young enough to still be considered a sparkling. He was grey, with some shades of purple around his joints. His frame was also scratched, and Ratchet almost immediately noticed that some of the wounds were bleeding. Ratchet wondered why they never came for medical treatment earlier.
The sparkling's blue eyes were almost red with fury. The other mech stood straighter, his arms swinging around wildly to express his anger. "And why the Pit not?"
"Because," Oiltrack continued the conversation neither Ratchet nor anyone else heard the beginning of. "The Miner stockpile is to be used over the course of the Orn. Running out after only one Orbital Cycle is no concern of ours."
"The mine collapsed!" The larger mech growled, pointing to the sparkling standing next to him, just to show that he wasn't the only one affected by the event. "Most of the Energon exploded during the cave in! We don't have enough left to last a Breem!"
"As I said before, that is no concern of ours." Oiltrack said, crossing his arms and locking his legs into a defensive position to prove that there was no way he was going to let the miners through. "This is the Medical stockpile. You'll have to wait until the next Orn for another delivery of Energon."
"Unbelievable..." Rooter whispered, glaring at Oiltrack with such malice that it caused Ratchet to stare at her in surprise. Rooter was never one to get angry or upset. "That sparkling is leaking right in front of him, and he won't even spare a sliver of Energon."
Ratchet only nodded, keeping his own opinions to himself. The mech yelling at Oiltrack, Ratchet recognized him. The mech wasn't facing Ratchet, so he couldn't get a good look at his faceplate. The mech's voice was familiar as well, but Ratchet couldn't figure out who it belonged to. The mech was either reminding Ratchet of someone, or he was someone Ratchet hadn't seen in a long time.
Ratchet watched the two mechs argue back and forth before the miner growled, taking the sparkling by the arm and dragging him towards the exit. Before they left the building, the miner glared directly at Oiltrack. The miner roared in rage, his arm shifting into a gun. Ratchet stiffened, and everyone else gasped in alarm.
The only Cybertronians allowed to carry a weapon were those in the Gladitorial pits, and using them outside of the training hall or the arena was against the laws of the Guilds. The mech threatening Oiltrack was obviously not a Gladiator, as he was not equipped with proper Gladiatorial armor. How he managed to get his hands on a gun was anyones guess.
The miner smirked wickedly and fired at Oiltrack. Oiltrack managed to dodge the weapon, but the blast shot directly at the Energon cubes.
What transpired after that took place within the span of three seconds.
The entire stockpile of Energon exploded. Shards of metal imbedded themselves into Cybertronian frames. The roof collapsed. The lights went out. Ratchet and Rooter were blown back by the blast.
Ratchet didn't even feel it when he hit the ground.