Author's Notes: Wow. I was not expecting that many reviews! Thanks everyone!
Soundwave's body was…surprisingly heavy. Knock Out struggled to drag him over to the last empty table, trying to ignore Megatron's watchful glare and the stares of the less-injured Vehicons.
And, of course, the human's beady optics and slightly upturned mouth. The table he unceremoniously dumped Soundwave on was within the human's full view, providing him with a first row seat to Cybertronian biology no organic should ever see.
Without thinking, Knock Out injected the other Decepticon with a sedative and began attaching sensors to what remained of his chest. Considering his weight and frametype, the medic guessed Soundwave would burn through the sedative in about two megacycles, and wouldn't be able to handle another one for four more.
Totally aware of the complete silence in the room, Knock Out examined the injury. It was the size of both of his hands and looked like the decoy had been smashed into his chest, possibly by a blunt weapon, possibly by Bulkhead's wrecking ball. Of course there were internal injuries to think about, and the usual crushed vents and lines that could prevent him from circulating Energon properly, and lead to the loss of limbs.
Knock Out straightened and turned to open a hatch, moving pieces of packaging and spare parts aside until he found it.
"Well? What are you waiting for? Applause?"
Suitably abashed, the Vehicons continued to perform what minor field repairs they knew. Knock Out beckoned Megatron closer, starting up the scan as he did so.
"This scan should tell us exactly how deep in this object has penetrated. If the procedure can be completed now, I will do it, but if-"
"Soundwave takes priority over all of them."
"But Lord Megatron, I think that if I wait-"
The look in the warlord's optics silenced any protest, however logical and well-intended Knock Out might have thought up.
"I'll get right on it my lord." The scanner beeped, presenting him with a clear image of the injury.
"It could have been worse," Knock Out reasoned, mostly to himself, tracing one claw along the digitized image of Soundwave's fuel pump, mentally going over the steps he would be taking to do the procedure without Breakdown's assistance. "But my, lord, you should know that this is a rather lengthy operation, and when he awakens in the middle of it…it will not be pleasant."
Nearly imperceptibly Megatron's optics narrowed, but Knock Out still stepped back.
"If your medical expertise is as good as some make it out to be, I expect that you can handle any complications."
Knock Out inclined his head. Thankfully, the warlord took the hint and stormed out almost immediately after, though not before informing him that he would be returning as soon as a matter of great importance was dealt with.
With Megatron gone, the entire space felt empty. Knock Out snuck a glance at the human, who was trying not to stare at the exposed cables by pretending to look at the field repairs two Vehicons were performing on a fellow squadmate. He looked at Breakdown's optics. They were looking into his own. Unnerved, he turned away, widening the wound with a scalpel and preparing to dig in.
"What?" Knock Out looked up and checked the time on his internal chronometer. Soundwave had perhaps one megacycle of stasis left, and he was barely halfway done.
"Er, if could you perhaps-"
The medic growled and the Vehicon flinched away, but Knock Out beckoned him closer.
"Put your hand where my hand is."
The Vehicon complied.
"Do you feel that? Just at the tips of your servos?"
The trooper nodded.
"You can touch it, if you want. It's rather durable." The medic shot a glance at the human, dropping his voice. "What you are feeling is Soundwave's fuel pump. Now, if I can't get this hunk of scrap metal out of his chassis within the next megacycle, he will awaken and most likely panic. Then, the decoy will puncture his fuel tank leading to an extraordinarily painful death and Lord Megatron will have all of our heads for trophies."
The Vehicon jerked his hand out of the opening. Energon began dripping to the floor.
"I'm sorry sir. It's just that he's going into stasis lock."
The double amputee. Knock Out considered the time and pulled his hands out, cleansing them quickly. His back felt stiff after hunching over Soundwave's body and his processor was beginning to overheat.
Quickly, he looked at the damage. If the bleeding wasn't brought under control soon, he would go into stasis lock and then offline.
"I can't do anything more for him."
"Couldn't you try?"
Knock Out glared. The Vehicon cowered, surprised at his own impudence.
"I can give him a sedative. That will make the process easier for your 'friend'." Knock Out looked at the remaining troops. Perhaps if one of them had had any previous medical training…
The silence was broken by the human. Knock Out turned, ready to give the fleshbag a piece of his scalpel before realizing that Breakdown's body was reaching for the welder, much to the anger of its current occupant.
"Breakdown?" The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. "What are you doing?"
The other Decepticon opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out. Scowling, he jabbed one finger in the direction of the injured Vehicon, and then to the welder.
Of course. Knock Out had disabled his vocaliser just a few solar cycles ago. It wasn't something he could fix on the fly.
He made the decision in less than an astrosecond.
"I'm going to hook you up to the voice synthesizer."
Breakdown nodded. Quickly, Knock Out draped a tarp over Breakdown's lower torso, preventing his now-conscious assistant from trying to extract the human. Or from seeing anything he wasn't ready to see.
"Don't ask questions, Breakdown." Once he nodded, there was a rush of static as the bulky device was attached to the other Decepticon's throat. The synthesizer was too unreliable for anything but temporary use, and Breakdown wouldn't sound anything like Breakdown but it was better than nothing. "They're not good for you."
"Get over here." Knock Out pulled the Vehicon to Breakdown's side with one hand. "Breakdown will explain how to cut off the bleeding lines. Listen to him."
The Vehicon nodded, staring at Breakdown. Knock Out began to wonder if he had been one of the troops to drag him into the sickbay when he spoke.
"What do I do?"
The voice was too mechanical, too monotone. But it was Breakdown's way of speaking. Hearing it, Knock Out nearly jumped on the way back to Soundwave's table.
"Seal off - broken – bleeding lines."
Breakdown struggled against the restraints but did not question them, thankfully. He strained to see the Vehicon's work.
Knock Out's Spark stopped for a cycle as he remembered that no matter what Breakdown was acting like now, he was still attached to the human. The human who had heard everything that had just taken place, even if he hadn't seen it. For all he knew this could just be an elaborate ruse, or fragmented data surfacing as memories. Truthfully it was nothing conclusive-
He would deal with that when the time came. Looking at the pool of Energon in Soundwave's chassis, the analytical, scientific part of his mind realized he had forgotten to calculate for Energon loss when guessing how long the sedatives would last. The orderly part of his mind realized he was shouting for everyone who was not dying to "Get the frag out!", and the final, instinctive, survival-oriented part of him realized that somehow Megatron was standing right behind him.