It had been around two weeks since Wheeljack had used the portal machine, two weeks since his second failure to find a viable energon source as their Earth resources always fluctuated in availability and recently their stores were thinning. The lower end stuff they saved for emergencies never burned properly for him which made his sensitive tank queasy and his frame unable to run at optimum level.
The planet he discovered would be vital to the Autobots with the vast amount of natural energon located on it, problem was that a monster resided there and seemed to take a great interest in him and he couldn't get anyone else involved. Wheeljack paced back and forth in his lab analysing any possible way to access the vast resource without it attacking him again, it seemed to be able to guess where one was going to open and waited there for it, waited to jump at him, but why? What was it after?
Wheeljack looked at the device and questioned if it had been long enough that the thing may have moved on. Temptation was building in him, curiosity clouding his judgement, he reached forth to power it but his conscience returned stopping him from powering it as he pulled his servo away. A knock at the door followed shortly after. He knew he'd have to postpone the test a little longer, at a time where he knew he wasn't going to be bothered and when the base was still... well as still as the Autobot base was capable of. Wheeljack opened the door only to have the individual before him shove into him pushing rudely into his lab... Prowl doing his monthly check, except this time it was unscheduled, which is unusual but not out of the realm of possibility for the by the books bot.
“Prowl why are you here, next check ain't scheduled for another week and a half”.
Wheeljack hated people prying into his personal space, especially Prowl, it was mandatory but he usually had time to prepare before one, hence the schedule. He watched Prowl wander around writing down things in his book before he finally found the need to reply.
“I've been concerned with your ability to get things done around here lately, in the last three weeks you have produced no results from your two tests, tests that have wasted resources that we have allocated you, resources that we could use for anything other than your little time wasters and fireworks displays that often end up in you injuring yourself and those injuries leading to the waste of medical supplies and the valuable time of our Chief Medical Officer”
Wheeljack felt his irritation evolve into anger, anger he tried to keep to himself until Prowl was done, he knew if he lashed out the process would take longer, he wanted to leave, to go see Ratchet who was finishing soon, but he couldn't leave his lab unattended with this invader.
Prowl's harsh words spurred thoughts that began to stir within Wheeljack's mind as his anger turned inwards, maybe he really was just wasting everyone’s time, everyone's space and everyone's resources, maybe he was wasting the time of his bond mate, who had more important things to attend to being the Chief Medical Officer, maybe he really wasn't useful to the Autobots anymore or maybe he just wasn't useful to begin with...
“No”, he countered internally, he wasn't hopeless, he'd invented countless useful weapons and contraptions that the team have used, the immobiliser being one of the many, he'd also been the one to procure many of their supplies so he was entitled to them, the portal worked, he'd seen it and Ratchet had made sure to make time for him because he wasn't a waste of it, he was Wheeljack, the genius Autobot inventor and he'd not let Prowl get him down.
“The portal works Prowl and on the other side of it is a massive supply of energon that flows on the planet and feeds into it's ecosystem, I've seen it and both times the portal has worked, the reason I haven't extracted anything yet is because of a slight complication, I must try to figure out if it would harm the system of the planet if I extracted large quantities, I kept it a secret because I wanted to clarify that it won't harm it first. I will begin a third test in the next few days, I need time and a lab area that will be left completely alone so as not to cause any unnecessary distractions or contamination”
Wheeljack sounded incredibly confident despite lying through his denta for almost the entire statement, he knew that taking energon would not harm the system as the planet produced an excess amount according to his scanners, and his reason for secrecy was because of the monster that decided to have it's way with him not once but twice and the second time he brought his bondmate into that mess and still felt guilty about it. Wheeljack couldn't mention the monster to Prowl as it ran the risk of getting his project shut down.
Prowl gave him a look of intrigue then continued finishing up on his inspection before initiating a response.
“ I will allow you to resume your tests but if you have nothing by the next scheduled date, we'll be forced to renegotiate your allowances as power and energon supplies are getting lower for the time being”
Wheeljack ex vented heavily with a tinge of annoyance and relief, but he soon came to the realisation that he had a week and a half to extract some energon and before that talk to Ratchet about powering up the machine again. He was sure that monster wasn't going to get him this time, he'd waited two weeks instead of two days this time, surely it thought he wouldn't be back.
“You've still got a fair bit left of your allowance, I hope that portal doesn't sap all of it away” and with that Prowl finally left.
Wheeljack was relieved, he needed to go out so he could spend this night with his Ratch, they'd finally found some time between their busier than usual schedules to do something nice together. After turning of lights and devices, locking the door and checking it three times he finally headed off to the med bay to meet up with Ratchet and he was going to take him for a drive to a nice little spot he liked, then on their way back he'd bring up the experiment.