Ratchet never wanted to be a medic.
He knew he was suited for it. He’d been built for the medical field.
His genitor was a surgeon. His carrier was a frame specialist. His tertiary spark donor was an experimental mechanical engineer.
Ratchet had been sparked with the expectations of medicine upon him. It was a heavy burden to bear for a sparkling curious about everything, but always pointed in the direction of mechanica textbooks and documentaries.
He remembered craving affection, but his parents not quite understanding what it meant. They knew, in theory, but it was not more important than The Plan. Instead, Ratchet was offered praise, but only if he excelled at their approved activities.
He had the best, he always had the best as he matured. The best upgrades. The best tutors. The best energon. The best training. He had no friends; he had no allies.
Ratchet never wanted to be a medic, but it was the only thing of worth he could do. And he was good at it. Of course he was. Every frame, every upgrade, every download and uplink – all had been planned to make him so.
He was their future, and he was worthless if he did not adhere to it.
He thought such a thing was normal. That excellence earned you praise, and success earned you love. Warmth was a reward for proper behavior and high scores.
Ratchet was their legacy.
The only argument Ratchet ever won was his decision to attend the more public Iacon Academy as opposed to a private instruction for the elite. He’d won that argument thanks to his tertiary spark donor, who felt that contact with his peers could only improve his performance with patients at a later date.
Without constant supervision, Ratchet faltered. There was praise to be found here, with or without success. A little engex, a touch of Syk, and he could fly without wings. He found acceptance in the berth of whatever mech would take him. He soaked up interfacing for the contact he craved.
He dragged himself to class, and forced himself to excel, no matter the fatigue, or the burnout, or the hangovers. Every evening comm with his parents left him feeling more strained than before.
He was on the end of his cable.
Making friends with Wheeljack was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to him. It was the first time anyone wanted him for being him, and not for what he could do.
His parents disapproved.
It was an argument that Ratchet didn’t win, but there was nothing they could do when Ratchet came into his own. They might have made him into their legacy, but that didn’t mean Ratchet had to be around to shine for them.
He graduated with the highest marks. He was given a prestigious internship, and later, given one of the highest honors a medic could earn. He became chief medic to the office of the Prime, and there wasn’t a single moment of it that he could remember where he didn’t loathe his function.
He started a clinic in the slums. He repaired those who couldn’t pay him, all the while thinking of how horrified his genitors would be, how they’d consider it a waste. How he should be serving the nobles, the politicians, the highest of castes. That was his purpose. That was what he’d been made to do.
Ratchet never spoke to them again.
“If you drain all the energon out of someone, they’ll die,” Ratchet remembered lamenting. “But there’s something to be said about breaking their spark, too.”
Ratchet never wanted to be a medic.
But in the midst of war, surrounded by the dead and dying, with the sparks of those he cared about on the line – he was glad he had something to offer them. He was glad he had the skills.
He hated what they made him a little less.