auramatic: (Default)
Name: Read
Contact: [ profile] abetterdaughter
AIM: Readimus Prime
Other characters: N/A

Name: Ratchet
Canon/Continuity: IDW
Canon Point: Before Empire of Stone (whenever that is)
Personality: Ratchet is a medic, first and foremost, and a talented one. Even before the war on Cybertron, it was both his job and his passion--he was a doctor for some of the most influential and powerful members of the government while simultaneously running secret clinics in the slums to treat patients who couldn't afford medical care, a practice the government would have actively frowned upon. It's partly because of the talent he has but he has a very deep sense of duty, almost an obligation to help those in need of his skills, in any capacity. It drives him to work almost constantly, but it's also a large part of what makes him such a good medic. Even before the war, he went out of his way and put himself in danger to help foil an assassination plot by breaking into a building and being suspended upside-down from the ceiling while he used his exceptionally steady hands to disarm a bomb--not exactly on the list of standard duties for a physician. But that determination to avoid bloodshed and the knowledge that his skills were necessary to do so help him keep a clear head regardless of the pressure put on him by the situation he's in, whether it's defusing a bomb, getting shot at on the battlefield, or keeping someone from dying on his operating table. It was that steadiness and that desire to reduce suffering as much as possible that drove him to join the Autobots as a field medic.

Millions of years of war have ground a lot of that idealism out of Ratchet, but no matter how much his bedside manner leaves to be desired, he still cares intensely about each of his patients, still feels personally responsible for each life he can't save. That gruffness is a defense mechanism he uses to struggle to distance himself from each individual patient, and from each individual person, because he knows at any time anyone he knows could end up on his operating table, become his responsibility to keep alive. It's a guilt he carries with him almost constantly--he knows intellectually that he can't fix every person who comes across his operating table, but he feels like he should be able to, like there's always more he could have done. Or not done--this guilt and frustration sometimes extends to people he has saved, one in particular. One of the individuals Ratchet saved when he was operating a clinic out of the slums, Drift, went on to be renamed Deadlock and become a Decepticon, one who was infamous for his bodycount. Ratchet feels responsible for each of those deaths--the ones injured by Deadlock that made it to his medibay in particular, but for all of them, because he knows if he hadn't saved Drift from dying, all of those people might still be alive today. Ratchet's relationship with Drift is similar to his relationship with the war itself--he does what he believes is right, but is guilty and almost resentful of the moral ambiguity of war. His instinct is to help people who are injured, and it makes him upset and frustrated and almost angry when it turns out that doing so may not always be the clearest and best course of action. Ratchet's feelings about the war and the things it has driven him and other Cybertronians to do are complex, but he still believes in saving people. This extends to the lives of members of other species as well, and he still has as much of a disregard for authority when it gets in the way of his work as he ever did--he goes out of his way on several occasions to save or assist humans he's befriended, even if it means disobeying direct orders. Ratchet's interest, despite how long he's been at war, is to save individual lives; one at a time if necessary.

In More Than Meets The Eye, Ratchet is keenly aware of the length of his tenure as Chief Medical Officer, his failing ability, and the fact that he may no longer be able to do the work that is so important to him. His hands, after millions of years of constant use doing delicate work, are starting to degrade and shake when he does things as simple as picking up a glass, let alone doing surgery. He calls traveling with the crew of The Lost Light his 'swan song'--his one last chance to maybe do some real good as he looks for a new CMO. Now, at the end of the war, Ratchet is left out-of-sorts in the same way as many of the other old veterans; when you've been at war for millions of years, peacetime can be difficult to adjust to, as well as being anticlimactic. Ratchet has difficulty handling how little satisfaction this much-sought-after peace has afforded him and how many problems (and how much violence) is left over in the war's wake. However, he's still tireless in his desire to do as much good as he can and he's still a workaholic--which is good, because the crew on The Lost Light is more than a bit of a mess. The struggles they go through as a crew force Ratchet to grow, however--he acquires a new set of hands to continue his work, but ends up coming to terms with the idea that it is time to pass on the mantle of CMO to another medic. He even goes so far as to accept Drift (who is also on the Lost Light) as one of his friends, refusing to abandon Drift to lock himself safely in the medibay and instead staying to fight in a battle they'll almost certainly lose. However, Ratchet hasn't changed at the very core of who he is. His response to the question 'are you happy?' is "I'm happy when I'm working, yes," and it's true. He's still just as dedicated to healing people and preserving life as he ever was, despite everything.



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January 2015

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