AT/D10-11 - Engineering
Posted Star Date 22101.08 @ 01:27 (01:27 AM)
Benjamin threw the padd down in silent resignation. Schedules were one of the necessary evils of being a department head, he was finding, and trying to get everyone’s work shifts in while also giving them sufficient time off, and then dealing with requests for time off… If he’d known what this was going to look like, he would’ve laughed in Tyra’s face.
He smiled at that before looking back out of his office. Not that you would have, he corrected himself. He wasn’t sure why, but he couldn’t actually tell the captain no on something. Maybe part of it was feeling like she was on his side and wouldn’t give him more than he could handle. Maybe part of it was simply the inspiring presence she had, making people feel like they could do more than they normally could.
Or maybe it’s just because you know she could kill you with a single finger, and that’s without considering what would happen if she sicced Jenny on you.
A knock on the doorframe brought him back to the present. He looked up and smiled. “Come on in,” he told the Andorian woman standing there. Orivessa sh’Thanis, his assistant, walked in and took the seat across from him, antennae spread in what he’d come to think of as her “friendly” posture. She was smiling, as well, which lent credence to the fact that this was a social call. “What can the chief do for you?”
“Oh, someone’s in a good mood,” she said with a smile. “You get to see Cera last night, I take it?”
Benjamin shook his head. “Why would I do a thing like that?” he said. “No, I was just contemplating what would happen if I made the captain angry.”
She laughed and leaned back in the chair, arms crossed. “She’d kill you, have medical bring you back, and then let Jenny get to work on you.”
“Yeah,” he said, “but at least all of this paperwork would be your problem instead of mine.” They both laughed at that – she liked the paperwork even less than he did. “You do anything fun last night?”
Ori just sighed and shook her head. “Kate keeps trying to set me up with one of the Sandersons, and last night I finally couldn’t come up with an excuse.”
He shook his head. Whitby, one of the enlisted and a mutual friend of theirs, had long touted herself as a matchmaker, but setting her up with one of the Sandersons? “Which one?” he asked, though truth be told he wasn’t sure that there’d be much difference between the five brothers who all somehow wound up on the Artemis.
“The Tactical one,” she scoffed, not even bothering to give Dennis his actual name.
And he didn’t blame her. He winced in sympathy as she spoke. “The mumbler? Oh geeze, I’m sorry,” he said, and tried not to do any more than chuckle. “I’m sure that was a terrible night.”
“You have no idea,” she said, and shook her head. “I was really hoping you had done something fun, so I could at least live vicariously through you.”
“No such luck, I’m afraid,” he said. “I spent my night finishing up my Artemis model’s paint job, ready for the decals.”
“I still don’t get the appeal of model building for an engineer,” she said. “And really, so basic of one, too. It doesn’t even have lights, much less a levitation system or even rudimentary propulsion. I swear, that would be so easy to do.”
“Yeah, but that’s not the point,” he said. “I just want something I can focus on and push all other distractions out, and sitting there and building and painting does that. That’s all I need.”
“Also can’t believe you’re building the Miranda one, instead of this beauty.” She shook her head, her antennae spreading wide as she spoke, this time in a bit of disbelief.
“Yeah, well, I’m a history buff,” he retorted half-heartedly. “So sue me.”
She shook her head and stood. The work day still loomed ahead, and while the bulk of their work was done, there was always more to do in engineering. “Why should I?” she said. “Star Fleet owns us both anyway.”
He shook his head. “Yeah, well, better than prison, right?”
That drew the desired chuckle. “True enough.” She took a breath and changed the subject. “Any word on our next mission?” she asked.
He shook his head. “Not yet, though hopefully we’ll have something soon.” He waved at the padds in front of him. “We’ve been taking on spare parts and supplies, and the captain has us doing pre-mission checks over the next few days. You’ll see it on the schedule for next week once I post it.”
She nodded and turned away. “Good,” she said. “I didn’t come all the way to the Delta Quadrant to stay stuck in orbit of one planet.”
He nodded at that. “Agreed. And if I have to have Leeola root one more time…” They both laughed, and she walked out the door, back to her work. He saw her wave at someone on the upper deck before heading to a ladder to get up there.
A look at the padds, and he shook his head again as he picked the schedules back up. “Dennis Sanderson?” he asked no one. “How did Whitby think that was a good match?”
Posted Star Date 22101.11 @ 03:35 (03:35 AM)
Benjamin clapped a couple of crewmen on the back as he made his rounds of the engineers. He didn’t do it every day, but often enough that it wasn’t unexpected when he wandered up to the people. All the reports in the world wouldn’t tell you anything if you didn’t actually get out there and see it for yourself every once in a while.
Most things were going just fine. He wandered past a group of his engineers doing some maintenance work on the EPS grid, taking the opportunity to perform some preventative work earlier than scheduled. Another group he walked past was working on the Benamite problem, though they seemed to be ignoring the “We can’t find any at the moment” problem as something that the science departments will handle, and were working on how to build a refinery on New Talax once some was located. He admired their optimism; he wasn’t so sure they’d be able to find a good source nearby, but planning was never a bad thing to do.
Eventually, he came up to a group, and decided to have a little fun. He schooled the smile off of his face and barked out, “Crewman Whitby! What do you think you’re doing??”
There was a clatter of tools as Kate - who had dyed her hair a stark white this time - jumped what had to have felt like three feet but was barely half an inch. She leaned on the wall next to where she was working once she turned around, a hand on her chest. “Sir!” she said. “I’m sorry, I was just trying something new--”
“You really set Ori up with Dennis “The Mumbler” Sanderson?” he said over her. “I mean, I could see Bill or Charlie, but Dennis? I thought you would know better than that one.”
She let out a nervous laugh. “Oh, she told you about that?” she said. “Of course she did, why would you ask me about it if she didn’t?
“I swear, it seemed like a good idea,” she continued. “Heck, Cera even approved of it, though it’s possible that she wasn’t entirely paying attention to me when I mentioned it. But it didn’t go that badly. You know they both like those old movies, right? She said she had a good time when I talked to her!”
“Likely to spare your feelings,” he said. He smiled and tried to soften his tone. “It’s alright. Just… try and think about who you’re working with before you try your hand at matchmaking again. I know that setting Ori up with someone seems like a good idea - and likely could be - but just throwing her together with people to see what works isn’t exactly the best idea. We’re not the science department, after all.”
She grinned at that. “I know,” she said, “and I’m sorry.”
He set a hand on her shoulder. “Eh, don’t worry about it. We all need our distractions, and I’m sure it made things interesting for her, if nothing else.” He smiled, and started to turn away to continue his rounds.
“Oh, and I had considered tying that line into the shield subsystem already, but I don’t think we’re quite ready to actually do it. Run some more simulations - there should be some already tagged in the projects folder - and get with me, we’ll check the numbers. Once you undo what you did here, of course.”
She shook her head and picked up a spanner. “Yes, sir,” she grinned, and he continued on his way.
Posted Star Date 22101.18 @ 05:25 (05:25 AM)
Benjamin finished his rounds and came back to the main area of engineering, but he had to scratch his head for a minute. Something’s missing, he thought. He ran back through his steps for a minute, retracing them in his head and reviewing everything he’d seen before he finally realized what it was.
“Anyone seen Crewman Kirnat?” he asked, naming their young Brikar engineer. She had been helpful back on the asteroid base, and had spent a while on the planet helping the Talaxians get their power stations and such set up. Somehow, she didn’t seem to mind the taste of Leola root, which endeared her to them somewhat even if the rest of the Artemis crew was confused by this.
“I heard she had to head down to sickbay,” another enlisted said, turning around from her console. “Something about a shoulder problem? I’m not sure.”
The chief engineer tilted his head in a moment of confusion, but recovered quickly. “Thanks, Dani,” he said, and walked over to his office. Had he missed something in his reports? A quick sort through his padds showed that he had indeed - she’d called out this morning, complaining of a shoulder issue. He couldn’t find any record of her having injured it, but it was always possible that her work on the planet had simply aggravated something.
He looked around; everything seemed to be going well in engineering at the moment, and they didn’t particularly need him at the moment. Might as well, he thought, and put thought to action before he could change his mind. “Ori,” he called to his Andorian assistant as he walked through. “I’m gonna go check on Kirnat; be back in a minute.” She gave him a thumbs up, and he was out the door.
Edited by Lt (JG) Benjamin Elias, Star Date 22101.18 @ 05:25 (05:25 AM).
Posted Star Date 22101.29 @ 01:56 (01:56 AM)
Posted Star Date 22101.31 @ 01:18 (01:18 AM)
“I’m telling you, Kate, this isn’t going to work,” he said, standing at the central console with her the crewman. “Sure, we can add the additional framework for it and get the power amplified enough, but it just isn’t going to be stable enough for regular use. We’d blow out the phaser array trying to get that much power through it.”
“So we don’t use it on a regular basis,” Whitby countered. “Keep it for emergency use, and it should be just fine. Maybe we need to break up an asteroid that’s careening somewhere, or we just need that one shot against the Borg whenever we run into them out here; we’ll need the extra power when that happens, won’t we?”
He rubbed at his temple. “Maybe, but it’s just too unstable,” he said. “Even if the extra circuits aren’t engaged, there’s just way too much possibility of it backfiring. I can’t sanction us doing it like it is.” He saw her starting to argue again and held up a hand. “Keep at it, try and get it cleaned up and stable, and we’ll look at it again another day.”
It was obvious she still wasn’t happy, but there wasn’t much he could do about that. He was responsible for keeping the ship flying, and he just couldn’t risk it. But that’s why they ran the simulations, to see if it would work. And why I didn’t want you just doing it two days ago, he thought. Fortunately, before she could get another argument together the main doors opened to a surprising sight.
Seeing Tyra walk in wasn’t that rare, though she tended to try and leave engineering alone in his experience, but seeing her walk in out of uniform and with her daughter Evie was very surprising. The two engineers smiled at them as they entered, and put their work aside as the pair walked into the room.
“Good morning, Captain,” he told the two, sketching a salute at the little girl. “What brings our young officer and her yeoman down to the depths of engineering today?” He asked the question playfully at the girl, but he threw a glance up at Tyra, making sure she knew it was directed at her. He assumed it wasn’t a status report – he’d sent one to her just yesterday – but couldn’t think of what else would bring her down here.
Whitby, looking back and forth between the two actual officers, brightened her smile and turned to the young Crawford. “Obviously,” she said, “the young captain is here to inspect our Slipstream drive, isn’t she?” The enthusiasm from Evie was almost palpable, which drew a grin from everyone. “I can escort you if you’d like.”
Posted Star Date 22102.01 @ 02:40 (02:40 AM)
Posted Star Date 22102.02 @ 02:34 (02:34 AM)
Benjamin couldn’t help but smile at Whitby’s suggestion. It wasn’t quite as visually exciting as the warp core, but if anyone could spice it up it’d be the young engineer. Tyra elicited a promise of keeping her hands off of things before releasing her child into Whitby’s custody.
“Alright, Captain,” she said - addressing both Crawfords with the title, before grabbing the little girl’s hand and walking with her towards the back of the room. “So, you know how the warp drive makes us get places so fast? Well, this thing lets us go even faster,” they heard her say before they got out of earshot in the general hubbub of engineering.
He sighed and turned back to Tyra, watching the captain make sure her daughter was okay. He totally understood her caution; sure, Kate was fantastic, and he’d trust her implicitly in this, but engineering was still a busy, active work zone and a lot of things could happen.
For a moment, he wondered what it would be like in her shoes. Would he let his children run around here without him? Would he even let them be on the ship? A starship is a very dangerous place, even before considering being out here in the Delta Quadrant and being on a military vessel.
He pondered it for a brief moment, but pushed it aside. A lot of things had to change in his life before that was even a possibility, and the answers depended a lot on who he had children with. And that’s not happening anytime soon.
“I thought I would check in and see how everything was going,” Tyra said as he focused back on her. She seemed in a good mood, as well, as she continued on, talking about how she didn’t want them to feel left out down here.
“There was also a delivery that needed to be made down here and it didn’t feel like something to bother Cera with, not with how busy she’s been coordinating resources for the colony,” Tyra added, a hint of mischief reaching the redhead’s eyes at the quartermaster’s name. He felt his cheeks get a touch warm at the mention of her name, but he tried to hide that with a quick reposition, settling himself against the console and crossing his arms as he looked back up at the captain.
“A delivery?” he asked playfully, trying to keep them on the task at hand. “Pretty sure I saw the last of the requisition requests get filled yesterday, so all of that should already be here.” He made a show of looking behind her at the closed door. “And I don’t see that brand new spatial flux coil I asked for that got denied, either.”
He raised an eyebrow at her and gave a grin. “So, I assume the delivery is news of some kind?” he asked. “Because the only other thing I can think of is you got me a new flask, and somehow that doesn’t seem appropriate for work hours.”
Posted Star Date 22102.07 @ 04:21 (04:21 AM)
Posted Star Date 22102.07 @ 20:44 (08:44 PM)
Benjamin was glad that the captain seemed to be in a good mood, as she seemed to take his joking in stride and replied in kind. “I’m going to hazard a guess that security and engineering have drastically different ideas of what is appropriate on duty and we will leave it at that for the sake of my spotless reputation,” she said and drew out a snort from Benjamin as she grinned at him.
She did go ahead and come to the point, though, discussing a recent talk she’d had with her higher ups, and specifically how it related to him. If they didn’t want me on her ship, he thought, maybe they should’ve reassigned me before sending us all the way out here. He felt his eye start to spasm a touch at the thought, but schooled it back down.
She waved a hand, dismissing the tangent she’d found herself on and that he’d missed most of. “Anyway, I can only assume that they were trying to pave the way for trying to force some *** kissing idiot - who is probably someone’s second cousin or something - into your department upon our return but to be honest, I hung up on them before they could get that far.” He grinned at that, as the picture of her literally hanging up on an admiral was definitely something he could picture the redhead doing. She continued on for a moment before pulling her hand out of her pocket, revealing a small black box.
“I pulled some strings and got your promotion packet expedited. I already pretty much had it written when the bastards called but it gave me a good excuse to make some calls as a nice ‘screw you’ to the ********.” She grinned again and added, “Unless you don’t want to put up with us long term… I can return this, if that’s the case.”
He tried to breathe for just a moment. He hadn’t exactly been expecting this, though he was glad of it. And to be fair to the bastard admirals, they weren’t exactly wrong - the Artemis was a high-profile ship, and was de facto in command of the Pathfinder flotilla. He’d felt a little conflicted as the group’s chief engineers met and he was the most junior one there, despite being on the flagship. They’d all had way too much to do to get in a pissing match over authority, fortunately, and had been cooperative enough, but it’d been there in the back of his mind nonetheless.
Maybe that’s been part of the stress these past couple of months, he thought, remembering the readings he’d seen in sickbay the day before. Of course, just because this might help alleviate some portion of what was stressing him didn’t mean it’d actually reduce anything overall. Every time he’d been promoted so far just added more work to him, and he didn’t presume this time would be any different.
Still, he smiled and accepted the box from her. “No, ma’am,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be.”
And it was true. There might be more prestigious postings - he’d heard rumors a new Enterprise was being commissioned, for one. And life might be simpler if he went back to civilian service. The hours were long, the work never-ending.
But the Artemis had really become home for him. And he wanted to keep serving here with his friends, and where he was needed. He looked in the box, and then back up to Tyra with a smile. “Thank you, Captain,” he said. “For everything. Is there anything I can do for you?” He left it hanging there; whether he meant something the chief engineer could do for his captain, or that he could do for his friend by way of repayment, he left open to Tyra for interpretation.
Edited by Lt (JG) Benjamin Elias, Star Date 22102.07 @ 20:44 (08:44 PM).
Posted Star Date 22102.24 @ 01:56 (01:56 AM)
==Ensign Orivessa sh'Thanis, Engineer==
Ori sighed and stretched, her antennae following suit as she stood in the middle of the engineering floor. Crewmen were going back and forth, accomplishing the dozens of small tasks that kept the ship running even when everything worked fine. Diagnostics were running, systems monitored. Fuel levels were checked and double checked, while power generators were watched for any sign that there were problems. Even on the calmest of days, the engine room was a hub of activity, both here and on the level above; she could see Whitby running down the gangway with a padd in hand, surprised to see her long blue ponytail trailing behind her.
That woman changes her hair more often than Sanderson changes underwear, she thought uncharitably. Katherine Whitby was a good friend of hers, but Ori could never quite get behind her ever-shifting sense of style. Once, just after the Halloween party, she'd convinced the Andorian to dye her white hair to a darker shade. She'd been so horrified by the result - black hair did not compliment her skin tone in the slightest - that they'd had to go to sickbay to try and get it undone. Never. Again.
Tapping her hand on the console in front of her, Ori kept on with her work. Not that it was very stimulating at the moment; Benjamin had taken advantage of his position as Chief Engineer to walk the readiness report up to the bridge, with left her in the supervisor's position at the moment. Which meant paperwork. Mostly personnel updates and status reports, none of it was that interesting after months in orbit of a single world, but it had to be done.
She looked up and around, and hoped that something interesting would happen soon...
Posted Star Date 22102.27 @ 03:30 (03:30 AM)
== Launch Day ==
=== Temp NRC – Crewman Recruit Janine Matthews, Security ===
Getting to patrol on a ship like the Artemis was already a dream job. The technology was cutting edge stuff, meant to explore the depths of space where other pioneers could only dream of going. Then, she was in the Delta Quadrant; one of two quads that hadn’t been well investigated already. Talaxians, the Kazon, and so many other species yet to be discovered. And the opportunities, those were boundless as well.
But that wasn’t it. Janine never could have dreamed as a child, just how soothing the sound of a thrumming warp core was. Each time she had got the chance to do the rounds in Engineering, she took it. Janine had grown up on a pioneer style colony, just on the outskirts of Federation space. They had generators and fuel pumps, but nothing that even remotely touched the level that the Dual Thrawn-class Warp Cores did. It was a marvel of engineering.
Wish I could say that it is a wonder why I didn’t join the Corps of Engineers. But me and machines don’t have the kind of connection that someone needs to fix and maintain them. I break almost everything I touch just about, which is why Security was such an easy fit.
“I’m going to go do a sweep of the maintenance hatches,” Janine’s partner wandered off.
“Okay, I’ll just be over here. By the cores,” she replied to his back.
Strolling over toward the heart of Engineering, Matthews smiled and nodded to all the Engineering staff that she recognized. Taking extra patrols in the area meant that she generally knew most of the personnel fairly well. Some she knew better than others, like Whitby. But that was just natural when it came to after-hour hang outs and gossip dishing.
Janine’s farrow-black haired bun bounced as her feet carried her closer and closer to the middle of Engineering. Finding a wall to guard, her eyes swept across the space, smiling at all the crew that walked by her. Whatever was happening, it seemed like things were in a readiness mode, which meant that the ship might finally be leaving New Talaxia’s orbit. Above, Janine spotted Whitby, and for a moment considering calling out to her; though that would have been unprofessional, something that Lieutenant Coleman had commented on during her last performance review.
Which was complete bupkis honestly. It was one patrol that I decided to pull a small prank. No one got hurt, no big deal!
Searching the room further, Matthews spotted sh’Thanis.
Good! I can chat without being ‘unprofessional’ with Ori!
“Hey Ori! Looks like a lot of movement is happening in here. Don’t suppose you can dish? Are we casting off? Setting sail? Embarking on a new course… so on and so forth?” she grinned as she sidled up next to the Andorian officer.
Orivessa was just a couple of inches taller than Matthews was, but considering that the engineer had antennae, it meant that Janine was often looking up just slightly to her.
“Saw Kate changed her hair again; not surprised. Pretty sure she’s been through every color possible now. Guess that means I’ll have to take her to Ten Forward and check her spreadsheet that she’s got going on the correlation between her hair color and the attention she gets from a certain someone.”
The last bit was said with a rolling chuckle.
== tag sh’Thanis ==
Posted Star Date 22103.01 @ 03:09 (03:09 AM)
==Ensign Orivessa sh'Thanis, Engineer==
Next time I wish for something interesting to happen, Ori thought as she spotted Jan across the way, shoot me.
To be fair, it wasn't that she didn't like the security crewman. She was fun to hang out with, and was genuinely interested in engineering - always a plus that set her apart from the usual meatheads in security. Plus, she usually had good gossip. She got to tour the ship more as part of her duties, and so could overhear things and simply had more exposure to the people of Artemis. And sure, she sometimes pulled pranks which required days of work to get the carpets cleaned and the room clear. But it was just the once.
But at right this instant, she wasn't exactly prepared for the energetic woman to come over. Stuck in the supervisory position, she really needed to try and focus on everyone else, and not her.
But I can take a couple minutes. She smiled broadly as Jan came up to her. “Hey Ori!" the shorter woman greeted her. "Looks like a lot of movement is happening in here. Don’t suppose you can dish? Are we casting off? Setting sail? Embarking on a new course… so on and so forth?”
"Wish I could say," the Andorian replied. "Not exactly a lot of info coming down just yet; was just told to be ready to cast off, and then Ben went up to the bridge and left me here." She sighed and shook her head, antenna curling a bit in frustration. "Hopefully they'll know something soon, and let the rest of us know."
“Saw Kate changed her hair again; not surprised," Jan said, and Ori couldn't help but chuckle at it, having been thinking the same thing just a few minutes. "Pretty sure she’s been through every color possible now. Guess that means I’ll have to take her to Ten Forward and check her spreadsheet that she’s got going on the correlation between her hair color and the attention she gets from a certain someone.”
That part got her laughing out loud, and drawing a couple of stares. She waved them off, and they lingered for a moment but got over it and turned back to their stations. "Oh, I'm sure they could write a guide for it. Pretty sure that Kirnat has that spreadsheet up to date, though I'm not sure she's seen today's development. Maybe we should call her down, actually." She tapped a finger against the console behind her before deciding.
A quick tap of her commbadge, and Kirnat was on her way down, arriving just a moment later. "You wanted to see me?" the woman said on arrival, her gravelly voice sounding louder than she probably meant it to. Ori had a few ideas on why, exactly, Kirnat was so obsessed with Whitby's hair colors, some of which seemed to boil down to simply that the Brikar woman doesn't have any hair to dye, and so it was fascinating to her.
"Did you see Whitby today?" Ori asked the woman, looking up at her. The Brikar shook her head, and so Ori kept on. "She's dyed her hair again, a kind of ice blue."
Kirnat smirked, and asked for the console. She pulled up a small file from her personal folders, and made a note in them. "Ice blue, huh? I'll have to get a picture later." A consultation later, and she said confidently "She must have seen him last night in the crew lounge. Likely didn't get to talk to him, though; conversations usually get darker tones."
That brought out another laugh from the Andorian, greeted with a wide grin from the Brikar woman. She turned to Jan and waved a hand at the data. "Does that answer your question?"
Posted Star Date 22103.08 @ 14:17 (02:17 PM)
==One week later==
The Artemis had been performing flawlessly for the week it had been travelling; the engines were in particularly fine shape. Home to some of the most gifted minds in Star Fleet, the Artemis' Engine Room sometimes resembled a mad scientist's meeting than might otherwise be expected aboard what was nominally a fleet flagship, but the work was done to a high degree of professionalism and efficiency, so the idiosyncrasies of the crew were usually overlooked.
One such meeting was taking place at the fateful moment; in one of the workshops a Bolian Midshipman was proposing a new plumbing system that would improve waste extraction efficiency by five percent, complete with working model, when the deck seemed to drop out from under him. He was thrown to the floor, his prototype crashing down on top of him and covering him in simulated effluent.
In the main section, breakers tripped and the ship immediately dropped from warp as the computer registered conditions that were unsuitable for continued travel. The main displays showed damage to the forward hull and the subspace transmitters. The Main Deflector no longer registered as a system connected to the Artemis, and there were rising radiation levels along the leading edge of the secondary hull.
Posted Star Date 22103.09 @ 03:14 (03:14 AM)
==The Current Day…==
Benjamin enjoyed his job. Sure, he complained about the paperwork, and the responsibility was stressful at times. But overall he enjoyed it. The Artemis was an amazing machine, and benign able to dive into its guts every day was a joy. The people he worked with were amazing. They were out here exploring the depths of the galaxy, quite literally where no one has been before.
One thing he had tried to do was to encourage experimentation and innovation among his subordinates. He was working with Whitby on some upgrades to the EPS system; Ori was working with Kirnat on some fine-tuning on the gravity generators and other environmental systems for the benefit of the various extremophiles in the crew like the Brikar was. Sanderson had been brainstorming some new ideas for weapon targeting sensors, though he hadn’t come up with anything yet.
Some days, though, he kind of regretted this encouragement.
Midshipman Borlant, a Bolian who transferred over from the Scott, was currently showing him his latest idea in the workshop. He could see the main engineering floor through the windows, and wishing he was out there instead. Of all the things to be this enthusiastic about, Benjamin thought, how is this what he picked?
“And with this added part,” he was saying, and pointing to the portion of the waste extraction system he was demoing, “we can improve flow and make the system take about twenty percent less power than the current configuration.”
“Do you have an estimate for installation time and cost in replicated parts?” Benjamin asked, doing his due diligence despite the less than enthusiastic feeling he had about all of it.
“It’s all there in the documentation,” Borlant said, pointing towards the padd Benjamin held. “It likely will be a little intensive, and may require us to stay near a friendly world or our support ships for a couple of weeks, but it could be very much worth it. If things stay quiet around here, though, maybe we could even take care of it as we go out here.”
Benjamin sighed at that. A twenty percent energy savings on what was already one of the lowest power systems was, on the whole, not really worth it in his mind, especially if it required an extensive layover while the toilets were out of commission. But he didn’t have the heart to tell the guy no just yet - especially since he hadn’t yet had his coffee this morning. “Alright, then. Thank you, Midshipman,” he said, and started walking towards the door at the far end of the space. “I’ll study up and get back to you--”
Before he could finish his sentence, the floor quite literally dropped out from beneath his feet, and Benjamin was left thrown to the floor. He heard a crash behind him, and turned to look as he picked himself up. He tried to gag, but held it back. The poor Bolian had his waste extraction system fall from the table, on top of him. The simulated excrement had hit the fan that was part of his improvements, and sprayed all over him and the back wall, and Benjamin thanked his lucky stars that it had been pointed that way and not his.
“Get clean, Midshipman,” he called as he scrambled back to his feet, “and get to damage control! You’ve got three minutes.” He was already out the door and in main engineering before he heard what the Bolian might have said, though he thought he heard some retching as he walked out. He pushed that out of his mind, though, and started to assess the situation. “What the hell’s going on?” he called out.
Orivessa was picking herself up at the center console as he walked in, and pressed a couple of commands. “Unknown, chief,” she said. “We’ve dropped out of warp, though.” He looked over at the dual core and saw they were slowing down, though there was a long hum coming from that area. A sudden stop like this was going to eat at their coolant supply, and he made a point to look at that as his diagnostics came in.
“We’ve got a hull breach,” Ori called out, “on the leading edge. Forcefields in place and holding. Radiation levels are rising all along the fore of the secondary hull, and…” She stopped, and consulted the console.
The moment drug on, and Benjamin had to look at her. “Ensign?” he asked, pulling her back.
She looked up, her antennae down and spread in a concerned confusion. “I can’t get any readings back from the main deflector. Can’t even register that it's there.”
He stopped for a second, but gathered himself quickly. “What the hell happened up there?” he asked no one in particular. Working the console, he started calling out orders. “Ori, get a damage control team to that hull breach and get it patched double-time.” She nodded and turned to get a team together. Slapping his commbadge, he called out, “Damage control teams three through eight, stand by at points gamma seven through eleven, get radiation gear and stand by for orders.”
He turned around. “Everyone else, get me status reports. What else is broken on my ship?” As everyone started moving, he started running scans of his own. First thing he had to know: is the radiation coming from inside the ship, or outside? Is it safe to move in to figure out what’s going on with the main deflector?
As the scans ran, he hit his commbadge again. “Elias to Bridge. We have a hull breach and radiation spikes, and I have no contact with the deflector. Still assessing the situation, will update as we know more. Recommend all stop for the moment until we can figure out if we even have a deflector dish.”
==GM Input: What can I tell about the source of the radiation? Am I sending my people and myself to die if we go to the deflector? Also, just a general systems check to see if there's anything else acting up that we can tell at the moment.==
Posted Star Date 22103.11 @ 14:36 (02:36 PM)
The radiation was emanating from the hull breach closest to the main deflector, and the sensors had flagged it as Neutron Radiation. Emergency forcefields were holding the radiation at bay, but the area would need to be thoroughly decontaminated before anyone could work there for extended periods of time.
Aside from subspace communications being offline and the ship being adrift, the ship was more-or-less intact.
Posted Star Date 22103.14 @ 02:43 (02:43 AM)
[Crawford to Elias. I'm not sure what safeguards or scans y'all have access to but we're detecting anomalous readings near the antimatter storage pods on Deck 18. I've ordered security to begin evacuating the deck but I need you to send someone to evaluate the issue. There might be radiation in the area...] she hesitated for a moment before continuing, [and please, have whoever you send acquire a security escort just in case the issue isn't... mechanical in nature.]
Posted Star Date 22103.14 @ 03:57 (03:57 AM)
Benjamin was glad when the results came back and it was fairly straight forward. Highly dangers, yes, and potentially deadly, but it seemed fairly straight forward. Neutron radiation? he pondered for a moment. It was such an odd one to appear at the moment, though damage to the deflector could conceivably be to blame.
Not likely, but it’s possible. He listened for a moment as other people chimed in, and he got an overall picture. Things appeared alright over the rest of the ship, with the damage mostly limited to the area right around the deflector.
For the first time since coming aboard the beautiful Artemis, he regretted that the ship didn’t have the same separation between the saucer and secondary hull that some other designs did. The radiation could easily leak up a deck or two, and it could easily become a bigger problem if they didn’t get a handle on it right now.
“Alright,” he said to the room. “Keep an eye out for any and all neutron radiation; containment is working for now, but let’s not let this get any worse than it already is.” He hit his commbadge before continuing. “Engineering to DC Teams three through eight. All teams are to proceed only once suited for radiation. Team three, head straight for the hull breach. Team four, assess the status of the deflector dish itself. All other teams, first evacuate anyone that’s there and then get to work closing up any damage you see. You know the drill.”
He kept tapping at his console, worried for his people. He knew them, he knew he could trust them. Ori was there with team three, after all, and Whitby was down with eight. There was plenty of experience elsewhere in the group, as well, and they’d run drill after drill. I don’t think I ran any with neutron radiation, though, he mused, but then again it didn’t come up very often.
For a brief moment, he couldn’t help but remember the agonizing hours he’d spent locked in the core after the Megasphere battle, waiting on decontamination to be set up. He could still see L’Haan’s face, as un-Vulcan an expression as he had ever seen on her face. It was a terrible way to die, even if it somehow killed quickly, and he would be damned if he saw any of his people go through that.
His commbadge chimed and pulled him back to the present, thankfully. [Crawford to Elias,] the captain was saying. [I'm not sure what safeguards or scans y'all have access to but we're detecting anomalous readings near the antimatter storage pods on Deck 18. I've ordered security to begin evacuating the deck but I need you to send someone to evaluate the issue. There might be radiation in the area...] There was a moment’s hesitation, as if she was debating continuing. [And please, have whoever you send acquire a security escort just in case the issue isn't... mechanical in nature.]
Well, he thought. That wasn’t exactly something he’d been prepared for, but he couldn’t ignore it either. “Yes, ma’am,” he acknowledged, and closed the channel. He didn’t move his hand far, though, as he tapped it again. “Damage Control team eight,” he said, “hold position. We’ve got a possible situation in the antimatter storage pods; security is on their way, as am I.”
He turned towards Sanderson, who was just coming in the doors. He had just wrapped up his shift an hour or so previous, and likely hadn’t even made it to his bunk yet if he knew the man. “Sanderson, keep an eye on things here, and prep the antimatter ejection system. If I call for it, I want it to happen immediately.” The man stopped for a second, but nodded as Benjamin strode confidently past him and on out the doors. Within moments, he was in a turbolift and heading down the Deck 18.
==GM Input: Sanderson will be running a quick diagnostic on the antimatter ejection system, just to make sure it's still functional. Please let me know?==
Posted Star Date 22103.16 @ 18:15 (06:15 PM)
The ejection systems seemed to be functioning correctly, but engaging them would eject every ounce of Antimatter not currently in the Warp Core or the feed tubes into space along with anything (or anyone) in the storage rooms. Recovering them would be a long and arduous process, especially without the facilities of a spacedock to assist.
Posted Star Date 22103.25 @ 02:18 (02:18 AM)
==Ensign William Sanderson, Delta Shift Engineer==
Bill was exhausted. Now that the initial shock of everything was beginning to wear off – and being stuck in the supervisor role again did nothing to help sustain that adrenaline and focus – he was beginning to realize just how long he had been awake. But he had a job to do, and by God he was going to do it.
And if he had to take two seconds to replicate a cup of coffee, then he was going to do that, too.
He started the diagnostics he’d been asked to run, and then got his coffee. By the time he came back he had the report up and ready – the ejection system was fine, and ready to be used if called for. He slid all of that away and made sure the ejectors were in no danger of being used before moving on to his next task, that of wrangling the engineering bay.
He gave the MSD a quick glance, and quickly his gaze fell upon a problem. Sure, the Master System Display was screaming about the deflector dish, but a secondary alarm was also up and blaring, and as far as he could tell was being ignored.
“Alright, people,” he called to the room at large. “Damage control is working on that deflector, so let’s get propulsion righted. Thrusters and impulse – get me diagnostics, make sure they’re fine, and then get them back operational. Warp core, just start with the diagnostics, and then check in here.”
He pitched in on the warp core himself. He knew better than to get it up and running again if there was a problem in antimatter storage – starting to pull the antimatter out could prove catastrophic, depending on what Ben was dealing with down there. But he needed to know if there were other problems, too.
And so he did what most engineers did during their days of work: started running diagnostics and waiting for the results. Good things I’ve got my coffee, he thought, and pulled a sip of the sweet, dark brew.
==GM Input: Diagnostics for the propulsion systems? I’m assuming that thrusters and impulse are fine, just pulled offline by the failsafes. Anything else wrong with the warp core than just “antimatter storage has an interphasic mine in it”?==
Posted Star Date 22103.29 @ 13:45 (01:45 PM)
The engines were in perfect working order, the breakers had tripped and starved them of their fuel supply before shutting the engines down themselves. Once the breakers had been reset, the engines would need to be primed with fuel before restarting, which would take about an hour if the minimum-safe guidelines were followed, or up to three if it was done "by the book".
There was nothing wrong with the warp cores, they was still powering the ship after all, but the warp plasma manifolds would need to be purged before the ship could go to warp again.
Posted Star Date 22104.03 @ 21:37 (09:37 PM)
==Ensign William Sanderson, Delta Shift Engineer==
Fortunately, the reports came back very positive. The breakers had done their job and prevented any major damage to the engines, and mostly they just needed to be reprimed and they would be good to go. The thrusters would be a little easier - mostly self-contained units, they could all be done simultaneously and quickly - while the impulse engine would take a while.
The warp engine, however, was a slightly different matter. Though undamaged and still technically online, it was going to be touchy to work with. Though still pulling antimatter, he had no desire to ramp it up at all, in case the extra pull caused whatever Ben had found down there to get even worse. They did, however, need to purge the warp plasma manifolds as part of that restart sequence, which wouldn’t affect the antimatter, so they could at least work on that.
“Alright everyone,” he called. “We’ve gotta get our engines up and running, and fast. Teams Alpha through Charlie - get on the thrusters. They shouldn’t take long to get working, so split up and make sure each thruster pack is on. You’ve got half an hour.” The teams started moving quickly, grabbing supplies and heading out. He knew it was a rush with that time constraint, but he also didn’t actually expect them to get it finished in that time.
“Team Delta, get to work on the impulse engine; get it reprimed and ready to ignite as soon as you can,” he ordered the next group, who also left quickly. “Rest of you, get those plasma manifolds cleared. Make sure we’re not clogged when we get that engine back online.” He saw nods around the room, and they began to file out.
He walked over to Kirnat, the large Brikar crewman, and got her attention. “You’re with me,” he told her. “We need to get the breakers cleared so that the engines will power on.” She nodded, and the two engineers filed out through the crowds to the primary maintenance area, on the other side of the warp core from slipstream control.
As they walked, he hit his commbadge. “Engineering to Bridge. Working on getting you engine control again, Captain. Appears to be no damage to any of our propulsion systems, the breakers did their job. Should be able to give you impulse in a couple of hours, thrusters sooner than that. It's just gonna take time.”
Once there, it was just a matter of getting the breakers flipped. Some of them were large, some small; he made sure that they had a supply of spares in case any of them had burned out. A quick survey both visually and with the tricorder, and Bill and Kirnat got to work.
==GM Input: Getting the breakers replaced/back in position, and got teams trying to get thrusters ASAP, then impulse.==
Posted Star Date 22104.26 @ 13:14 (01:14 PM)
==Apologies for the delay, I didn't see this in my feed!==
Resetting the breakers was simple, and priming the emergency thrusters was similarly accomplished without issue; the liquid fuel supply would run out with prolonged use, however. The Impulse drive took longer to bring to operational power, but once the reactors were lit and plasma exhaust was being generated, maneuvering thrusters were available.
It would take another ten minutes to get the reactors to the required levels to light the main drives. Then they could focus on the Warp Core.
Posted Star Date 22104.27 @ 01:20 (01:20 AM)
==Ensign William Sanderson, Delta Shift Engineer==
Fortunately, as he and Kirnat worked the breakers, it seemed like the devices had done their job, and done them well. They found a pair of breakers that were blown, but nothing on any critical system, and even those had cut the power before blowing out. "Looks like we're good to go for the most part," he said to the Brikar, who smiled at the comment. It was a weird thing to see, considering the overall immobility of her rocky face, but she made it work.
Those replaced, and the rest of the breakers reset back to being functional, they went back out to the main engineering bay. "Alright, status!" he called out. It hadn't been more than a couple of minutes, but he needed to stay up to date. At a time like this, every decision was critical, and making a choice without information was tantamount to suicide.
"Emergency thrusters are back up; we're lighting the impulse drives now," called one of the crewmen from the second level. Maria? Marianne? Marla? He couldn't remember her name for the life of him, but recognized her from Beta shift's team. "Estimate maneuvering thrusters in three, call it fifteen before full impulse." He nodded at her, and she turned back to her console. The estimates were overall positive, though he was glad they weren't in a true combat situation at the moment. Even three minutes without being able to move would have seen them dead.
He took a moment to access the central console, checking for any updates from deflector control. Unfortunately, it was still reading as non-existent, which was worrying to say the least. Damage control was still working on it, but they hadn't updated anything yet. He did see a couple of odd requests from Ori, with the note that she was trying something to get rid of the radiation faster and get it to where they could work easier on the damage, but nothing on the damage itself except for confirmations.
I take that back, he thought, and pulled up a quick update on the hull breach itself, which proved to be a few pictures of the room and the breach. He let out a low whistle at the sight - it was always amazing to see a gash in the hull out into space, but it didn't actually give a lot of new information. He closed the report with just an acknowledgement, and hit his commbadge to call the bridge. "Engineering to Bridge." He checked the chronometer before continuing, and was pleased to see an alert pop up confirming what he had thought. "You've got thrusters ready now; I'll have impulse for you in ten minutes. Warp is still gonna be a bit longer."
He sighed and closed the channel. He was still nervous about trying to get the warp engines fired up with the mine down in antimatter storage, but there were plenty of other steps to take before they started feeding fuel into the reaction chamber. "Alright, good work people," he called out. "Now keep it up! If you're assignment is done, then get to work on the warp core. Everything up to priming the core, let's get it done."
I hope you're doing alright, Ben, he thought. For a moment, he considered calling down to ask, but thought better of it quickly. Last thing he needed was someone interrupting him.
Posted Star Date 22105.05 @ 01:39 (01:39 AM)
==About an hour before the bridge post==
Benjamin looked up the ladder at the hatch for the mine and felt his legs weaken. He squeezed the tricorder in his hands, trying to summon the courage to walk up the steps. Static blurred his vision as his artificial eye fritzed again, sending a headache spiking through his head as he stood there. Jenny, Nathan, and Eli stood off to the side, waiting with disappointment.
Eventually, one foot lifted up the ladder, and then another. 800 steps later, he reached the top, the hatch open before him, a dozen tricorders stuck to the lid. Pushing himself lightly towards the opening, he peered into the cavernous opening. Vertigo took hold; the detonator was either two feet or two kilometers below him, he couldn’t tell which.
He rubbed at his eyes, gripping the lip of the ladder and trying get himself together. He pulled the tricorder up, hoping to get a better reading than what his eyes were giving him, when the tricorder flew from his grasp towards the mine lid. He tried to grab it desperately, the device staying just past the tips of his fingers no matter how far he reached to get it.
One last grab, and he got half of it in his hand - but the magnet was too strong. It kept pulling the device, and with his grip on it Benjamin followed. He pitched forward into the gaping hole and fell, fell…
He crashed to the floor of his office, rolling off of the small couch he kept in there and knocking over the small table that was beside it with his feet. “What the--” he said, trying to untangle himself from the blanket he was wrapped up in. Blearily, he tried to get his brain working, remembering what was going on.
Eventually he remembered, though. Damn status reports, he thought. He’d been trying to go over all of the data from the damage the Artemis had taken from the mines to figure out what they needed at this supposed repair yard they were heading for. The list had been compiled, eventually, but by the time they’d finished he’d been too exhausted to really do much else, and had collapsed on the sofa instead of heading to his quarters.
He wasn’t entirely sure where the blanket had come from, though.
He set it aside, rubbing a hand over the stubble on his chin as he righted the table and started collecting the padds that had scattered when his foot kicked it over. The windows were dimmed, fortunately, but the activity in Engineering hadn’t exactly reduced much from what it was during Alpha shift. It was just the nature of the job; things had to be constantly maintained and monitored, or else they were going to be in even worse shape than they already were.
“Computer, time?” he asked around a yawn as he got up off the floor with the couch’s help, to which the computer cheerfully replied that it was around midnight. He’d slept maybe four hours, if his count was accurate, which wasn’t great but was at least something. Only a little less than last night, he considered, though part of that had been due to exhaustion and coming down off of an adrenaline high. But there’s no rest for the wicked, they say.
A quick check to make sure there wasn’t anything pressing happening informed him that while engineering seemed to be under control, they were only about an hour away from the station’s coordinates. For a moment, he considered just going to bed, but sighed and decided that he wanted to see this place firsthand. Besides, Tyra will probably call senior staff up when we get there anyway.
But with an hour, he did have time to freshen up, first. Stepping out into engineering, he nodded at Sanderson briefly, but didn’t stop for conversation. If there was something important, he would read it in the shift report or Bill would’ve already tried to wake him up. No, the first order of business was a shower and fresh uniform, followed by breakfast and a mug of coffee. Those last two, not necessarily in that order, he thought.
And then, onwards to whatever awaits…
>>Bridge, catching up with the timeline>>
Posted Star Date 22105.16 @ 00:59 (12:59 AM)
Benjamin walked into Engineering, and rather than slipping through like he had an hour previous, this time he walked in and headed straight for Sanderson. He’d considered walking in and calling out his orders, but this wasn’t his normal shift. There wasn’t any need to supercede Sanderson if it wasn’t needed, and considering that for the majority of the team nothing was going to change, he felt it wasn’t needed.
“How can I help, sir?” Sanderson said with a smile as he walked up to the master operations console. Benjamin had always kinda hated the thing (he felt like he was stuck at the thing half the time), but it really was the best place to work on the floor.
“We made it to our destination, Bill,” he started simply. “The Talaxians listed it as a repair station out here; no idea what it’s doing out here in the middle of nowhere, but it’s here. It’s also abandoned, as best we can tell. No lifesigns from the station, but no damage to it, either; just a month-old ion trail.” He saw Sanderson bristle a bit, which he couldn’t blame him for. It really was a creepy situation. “Captain’s taking a team across to see if there’s anything we can use to fix the ship. Who’s next up on the rotation for your crew?”
Sanderson nodded and pulled up the mission list. Benjamin tried to keep people rotated through, so that everyone could get a little experience in the field, but he didn’t want to wake anyone from a later shift; taking someone from gamma shift was the sensible option.
He couldn’t help but see Sanderson grimace, a wave of his shoulders adding emphasis to the unease. “Well,” he said, “next up is Midshipman Stelic.”
And now Benjamin understood his friend’s reaction. Stelic was one of the newest additions to the Artemis engine room, transferring over from the Scott. At the time, it had seemed like a standard crew rotation; some of his people had stayed at New Talax to help with some setup for the colony, so Scott had provided some replacements. Within a few days, though, he’d begun to wonder if Vollik, the Scott’s chief engineer, was playing a prank on him by getting rid of one of his problem officers.
It wasn’t that Stelic couldn’t do the work, or was lazy, or anything that you would typically consider “a problem” for an officer. No, he was in most ways a model of Vulcan efficiency: quick, smart, and adept at his tasks. However, he’d had an injury in his childhood that left him with a permanent half-smirk to his face, and that combined with the smug superiority he exhibited at all times just left him rubbing every single person he worked with the wrong way. Benjamin felt bad for sharing in that feeling, but it was just inherent in every interaction.
“Alright,” Benjamin said, rubbing his hand over his face for a moment before settling down. He was the chief engineer; he didn’t have time for things like that, not right now. “Get him ready, tell him to bring his engineering kit and whatever else he needs for an away mission. Meet in the shuttlebay in ten.” Sanderson nodded, and turned to start issuing orders.
For his part, Benjamin pushed off the table and walked on back to the door. A quick stop by his quarters to pick up his kit - and replace his coffee - and then it was on to the shuttlebay.