Metroplex had been asked to proceed slowly in integrating Medical, a point he had been willing to concede. Ratchet and the rest of the repair staff were venerated by the cityformer; if they were kept safest of all, perhaps he would never lose all of his inhabitants ever again. Once caution and nagging worries had been overcome though, Metroplex put himself on the path of acquiring that deeply situated area, including the cells that held the waiting prisoners. Grimlock remained in stasis, prepped to go back to Earth.
Chromia remained alone, save for Arcee's and Ironhide's visits to her.
Where Metroplex went, so did his nanites with their intended purpose of augmenting the self-repair protocols of the mech in question. It took time to integrate in each new mech or femme encountered, and femmes had been rare off Cybertron due to their dedicated class-structure and hierarchy when Metroplex was younger. However, there were two examples now to study, and despite being of very similar builds and functions, Metroplex knew there was something very different between them, a difference his systems processed as damage to repair.
Monique helped set a plate back into place for Stakeout, while Fixit worked on the repair. Red Hot was waiting, expecting to be bawled out for the injury as Seawatch tried not to take on the role of lecturer over it.
"Okay. Accidents will happen," Monique said in her patient voice, the one that made children listen harder rather than disappoint her. "Red Hot, I know your reflexes and reactions are very speedy and amped up from so long of fighting for your life. You just have to put a new block into the procedure for powering up. Stakeout, you fully grasp this was an accident, yes?"
"Gotcha," the original leader of this team said, looking at Red Hot with a forced smile.
"Good." Monique stepped back, then up onto the platform she used for supervising. "Let's try again…"
To the far side of the rehabilitation center, Bobby and Will leaned on the railing of the catwalk preferred by most humans who worked or observed in here. "She handles them so well," Will told his best friend.
"She's great. Most of the ones willing to come to the rehab program are… well, Ratchet calls them scraplets or some other thing. Kids, to us, but kids who grew up in a war. She helps them adjust to being civilian, and find new avenues to pursue." Bobby was proud of his wife's work. "It was actually the twins' experience, being broken down and brought back like that to give her the idea. Getting to know them, and the idea they've been allowed to remain in the exploratory phase since the treaty made her develop techniques to pull other mechs who only knew the war back to that phase."
"Kind of like trying to help the kid soldiers on Earth recover something of how to learn?" Will asked, seeing the corollary in that example easiest.
"Something like." Bobby then looked away from his wife conducting the small team through the exercises to his best friend. "How's this mess with you as the Deputy Protector gonna affect you and Sarah coming up here? I mean, the others are okay, but it's you and her and Mik and Sam that really get it all."
Will shrugged a shoulder. "Sarah's trying to be certain Annabelle really doesn't need her to raise the baby," he half-laughed. "But the position actually applies more to Mars anyway. Prime's made no claim to Earth, for all he keeps pulling our collective asses out of the galactic fire while the UN figures out this whole planetary concept. So… guess once Sarah's ready, we'll pack up and come on up to stay. God knows I'm tired of being the bureaucratic go-to boy down there. Sam gets so frustrated, but Annabelle's friend Chip is really picking it up, and there's Faireborn…"
"See, time to turn it over to the ones that grew up in this shit, man," Bobby said. "Be damn glad to have some one up here who can't drink me under the table. Sideswipe cheats, I swear. Not like I can taste his cube to be sure it's as potent as my brews," he added with a laugh, eyes going back to his wife at work.
"He cheats," Will agreed, already thinking of the future he and Sarah could have once he officially retired as the UN Chief Expert.
"Whomever did this… they were diabolical in the precision of mimicking the process used by Junkions when they salvage other mechanoids." First Aid tried to remain detached, but that euphemism sat heavily on his processor and spark. Mikaela had been told, more bluntly by Sideswipe than any other, that Junkions would rescue a downed mechanoid at the cost of their freedom until all 'debt' had been paid. Often, the mechanoid was given no choice on whether they preferred deactivation.
"But you're convinced?"
It had been four full sols since Mikaela had come to First Aid with the problem. She had switched the armor on fully to accompany First Aid up to the surface lab so they could work in privacy, and relied heavily on the modifications both her own mutations and Wheeljack's experiments had given her to work side by side with him most of that time.
"The femme was sparked off a shard of the spark that once belonged to a Cybertronian, probably the femme she claims to be given timelines. She has the memory core and personality core or she could not have fooled Optimus Prime and Ratchet. The shard, however, had likely ceased to function and was somehow restarted by an as yet unknown process. It was made to expand, but is now in a state of decay. Without in-depth scans of the programming, code, and possible visible inspection of all components, I cannot fathom what other threat she might be, but the tech used to do this is beyond Junkion standards as taught to me by my programming and integrated training units." First Aid looked at Mikaela bleakly. "Hypothesis: she and her comrades, in total or separately, may all be some form of beachhead maneuver by an as yet unknown entity against Cybertronians."
"Yep. You're convinced. We're all fragged," Mikaela answered glumly.