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Storm System

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"Sit." Ratchet gestured to the nearest repair table; the newcomer obligingly sat down, the constant low-grade wariness of a trauma survivor plain in his steady blue-opticked regard as Ratchet laid out his tools and began his checkup. "Designation Cloud, right?" His answer was an affirmative grunt.

Autobot Cloud. It was an Earth name through and through, and Cloud had never offered another one. Not that it was a bad name for an Autobot - weather patterns were usually Decepticon territory, but 'Cloud' was nonthreatening enough without the attached connotation of Cybertronian acid storms. There was only a hint of mild warning, of the cloud's potential to become a thunderhead. Still, it was odd for a new Autobot to put his Earth moniker before his sparking designation, especially reporting to the Prime for the first time.

Not that Cloud wasn't an odd mechanism all ways round, Ratchet reflected, picking his way over his patient's bird-crest helm. Not wrong, necessarily, just - odd.

A code-verification scan revealed the extent of the oddness, as well as answering a few questions. "Got a few holes in your memory banks, here," he commented, though 'a few' was putting it mildly. His earliest memories were pocketed and pitted like a derelict ship, and one long stretch of time was irrecoverably scrambled.

"Yeah," Cloud's tone was bored and bland, like they were talking about the weather.

"Any idea how you got those?"

Cloud gave him a flat stare worthy of Prowl. "If I knew how I got them, they wouldn't be holes anymore, would they?"

Ratchet rolled his optics, disliking having to concede the point. "Just askin'."

Try as he might, he couldn't find any excuse to keep Cloud in the medbay for observation. The memory loss didn't seem to impede his function, and physically he was in excellent shape, as sturdy and strong a frontliner as the Autobots could have asked. "All right, you're free to go," he sighed, unplugging the scanner from Cloud's medical access port. "Go on, go make some friends."

"I'm not here to make friends." Cloud stood, dismissing Ratchet with a toss of his crested head. "I'm here for the mission."

Ratchet leaned ruefully against the table as Cloud exited, wondering what Prime would make of their new recruit. His report to his leader would reflect no reason Autobot Cloud couldn't be put to work immediately, but he was getting one of those funny little medic's hunches that he couldn't shake - the nagging feeling that he'd missed something important.