S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Then there was light

Posted on Wednesday August 29th, 2018 @ 20:50 hours by Mayterial Droz & Damien Walker

Contract: Smugglers Need Not Apply
Location: Airlock 13, Starbase 72
Timeline: MD03 - 13:30 Hours

It had been dark in the corridors of the Fawkes for far too long. She was in desperate need of an engineer that was capable of getting everything up and running again and to keep it running. She was happy to receive a recommended person from an acquaintance this morning. Sure, A'Dana was famous as well as infamous around these parts but May had never been able to fault her for her people skills. The name she put forward was familiar somehow, though. Damien Walker. Where had she heard that name before? She took up her familiar position up against the bulkhead at Airlock 13 and waited for him to arrive. Perhaps the familiarity would reveal itself once she saw him.

Damien checked his PADD and the message from A'Dana again:
“I know you're probably sitting somewhere on the promenade now, thinking what to do or where to go next. So, I took the liberty of contacting an acquaintance of mine, she is docked at Airlock 13, waiting for you. It’s a nice small ship, with plenty of work, just the way you like it. It’s the SS Fawkes… you probably know the story. And the captain, well let me just say she might surprise you. I think you could get along fine. I would appreciate it if you got her ship running, if you decide to run with her is up to you.

Damien, I will miss you and I hope you find some peace inside. If you do… call upon me again… as it was, you know we could not… lets leave it at that. We talked about it enough. Thank you for giving me something I didn’t know I was missing.

Love A'Dana.
p.s. I have sent over your tools, I know you said you don’t need them, but you never know.”

Damien wasn’t sure if he felt relieved to have a job lined up already or not. On the other hand, everything he owned was on him now and he knew A'Dana would not line up a job he wouldn’t like. Besides how bad could it be after all he had been through. There were not many surprises for him, but the name Fawkes was nagging him at the back of the head. Doing the work he did for so long you knew about the rumors and stories. He just could quite put a finger on this one.

So, he made sure he was heading in the right direction, turning the corner that took him along a corridor on the other perimeter of the station and as he looked through the window he saw the Gourmal class cargo ship set against the stations docks. Cardssian design, SS Fawkes written on the side. Tying the name and the design of the ship together, Damien smiled as he remembered the story about smuggling, drugs, trial, betrayal, imprisonment of the crew, but not the captain. The rumours about her were hitting the station and they went either way. Was she involved or not? In reality Damien didn’t care, rumours were just that, rumours and if she was involved and was acquitted, well then she is one hell of Captain. But Damien worked with much worse and he found a comfort in A'Dana's message, he trusted her to make a good decision for him, and if anyone knew the real story it was her.

As he turned the last corner he saw her, captain Mayterial Droz, leaning against the bulkhead, her raven black hair all about her. Damien though she was a vision, a real forceful beauty toped with charisma and by the looks of it, she was expecting him. What unnerved Damien a bit was that among all the people on the walkway, as soon as he was in her field of view, her eyes were locked on him. Damien walked up to her not breaking eye contact. “Hi, A'Dana told me you have some problems getting your ship up and running. I am here to help.”

"She's dead in the water at the moment, unfortunately. Starfleet thought it prudent to switch all the power off, we're running on a tether with the Starbase." Mayterial pushed a sports bag forward with her foot. "She said you might need this."

Damien picked up the bag with his left hand and swung it over his shoulder, tools making small clings as he did. He looked at Mayterial, who seemed tired, overworked and on the cranky side. But her eyes were observant, intent. Taking crewmen on ships, even through acquaintances, was always a lottery. Damien, had no reason to worry her, so he tried to placate some of the fears she might have, by placing a little smile on his face “Right, thanks” he extended his right bionic arm, hoping the servo motors will read the impulses correctly and not apply to much pressure “Damien Walker, so let’s see if we can start her up, eh?”

"Mayterial Droz." She introduced herself to the firm handshake from the Engineer. She didn't really want to indebt herself to someone like A'dana but so far the hunt for an Engineer had been fruitless. "She's an old ship, doesn't like to be switched off. We'll want to make sure everything is in order before we just flip the switch. Ever worked Cardassian tech before?" she turned and started to walk back inside the darkened corridors of the Fawkes. Without the full life support up and running the corridors were starting to become more stale with the air inside of them barely moving around. She hated to see her vessel in this state. it's what drove her into the bar yesterday.

“Yeah.” was the only thing Damien offered back as he followed her in, he knew full well that she could read his confidence. It was not the Cardassian tech he was concerned about. Fawkes, like any other old trading ship, was probably a hodgepodge of used parts from all over. Traders didn’t utilize brand new equipment, they barter, infuse, adapt and worst of all cross align systems just to make the ship fly to the next port. Efficient was not the word used on those ships, with each engineer bringing their own flavor of improvised fixes and adding to what captains like to call – character of the ship. As Damien stepped in, he knew this ship had character in spades. He could get her up and running relatively quickly, but fixing her from stern to bow, that would be an undertaking.

Nevertheless, he could not help himself likening the old gal. It was always the underdogs, the leftovers, the beaten, just waiting to be given another chance that appealed to his soul. Looking at the walls, panels sliding in awkward angles, doors stuck, bulkheads open exposing skeleton of the ship, even lights were unscrewed hanging from the ceiling. “Starfleet did this? I guess you pressed all the right buttons.” He saw contraband inspection, but this was another matter altogether. As he made his query he pressed one of the panels back in its place. The panel was blinking, and after a well placed hit in the corner of display, it settled giving him the basic info about the ship and its systems.

"Well, let's just say this wasn't my first encounter with them. They wanted to be thorough." As Mayterial saw him hit the panel for a bit she winced, the memory of the pain in her foot coming back to her. "We should probably get you to the engine room first, work our way up from here." She slowly started the walk down the corridor again, looking back to make sure he was following her. "A'Dana seemed to praise you highly. What did you have to do to get on her good side?" Everyone on the frontier had a reputation and A'Dana's preceded her wherever she went.

A pang of regret hit Damien as he was remembered of A’Dana, they went back all the way to his racing days, it was only later they developed a relationship. One they both knew could not last, but talking to an empath Damien put up walls, trying to bury his feelings. He didn’t want to expose A’Dana affection for him, it is a weakness others can exploit and Damien did not know who Mayterial was, except what he heard over the grapevine “I… fixed things for her” was all he wanted to say on the subject at the moment.

Mayterial never really actively scanned for emotions or thoughts but sometimes there were strong bursts from people and after she asked about A'Dana she couldn't help but sense that she hit a nerve. Something to keep in the back of her mind and perhaps explore further later on. It wasn't important right now to dig into it deeper. They came to the end of the corridor as the conversation grinded to a halt.

Thankfully they reached the turbolift door, that was half opened. Damien used his artificial limb to force the door open, at first, he applied little pressure, but the door didn’t budge so he let the arms servo motors do its work and the door gave way with a loud clang as it receded into the wall. However, the arm kept pushing for second more, even thou he willed it to let go. It has been like this ever since it was installed, like it had a mind of its own. He was retuning it constantly, but lately it was acting up more than usual. Damien offered only a smile in a way of apology as he stepped into the turbolift, the floor creaking slightly as they both entered. “Engineering, Deck 4, Aft” he said, as he remembered the specification from the panel outside.

Another thing to take note of, that explained the firm and slightly artificial feeling handshake. So many questions were starting to form in May's head it was hard to pick just one and focus on it. In stead she allowed the ride to continue in silence, a bit more receptive to surface thoughts and feelings from the engineer sharing her personal space in the cramped lift.

As they were riding the creaking lift to the aft side of the ship, silence closed in. So for the first time Damien really looked at Mayterial she was an incredibly stunning woman and A’Dana seemed to like her. She sure as hell would not send him her way if she was a rotten apple. Damien peered into those black orbs of her and began “So the ship was offline for a while, what was it 6 months?” he said not really asking the question “Anyway, I would forego turning the main drive at first, instead I would go with the secondary power systems and those damn Cardassians used fusion drives back then for secondary power and those designs featured carbon reaction chambers and laser fusion initiators to generate power, which is…” Damien simply waved his hand in dismissal “We have to get those online first to heat up the EPS conduit at a low value ok?”

"Well that most certainly sounds like the proper way to start." Mayterial knew a thing or two about power distribution but it had been a long time since she had been active in Ops and times had changed significantly. She could probably follow instructions and help out in a pinch but she would be hard pressed to explain it to anyone. "So, I've always had my Engineer tell me that we couldn't power down, not without needing three days to start everything back up. Why don't they make these things to be able to just switch back on by the flick of a switch? It works for the Shuttle, heck it worked for the Galaxy class I used to be on."

“Well the reason is your refurbished warp 5 engine, as I saw on the specs before.” Damien made a sigh “You see, god knows who and how they integrated the system and I don’t want our restart to overload plasma injector before we test the EPS strengths and really see what and how is everything interconnected. The other problem I am having is the fact, that even though you are tethered to the station power supply, your power grid is not properly dispersing power through plasma manifolds to even run life support!” The lift stopped at that moment and they exited in the dark hallway. Ironically the engine side of the ship was an even darker place. Damien quickly took out a flashlight from his pack and handed a second to Mayterial and the continued, unphased “Which in turn means power conversion levels will need retuning.”

Mayterial had phased out by the time Damien mentioned EPS and she just waited for a clear instruction on his part. She was a bit surprised to be handed a flashlight when she didn't quite have a clue what he wanted her to do. "Please tell me this is not how you lost your arm. I'm rather attached to mine." She grinned a bit at her stupid, and probably inappropriate joke.

Damien stopped, turned towards her and light his face up quickly “It was exactly how it happened, why do you think I carry an extra light with me?” he said with a grin and pointed the light forward again “best thing that ever happened to me” he said under breath. The engineering chamber was completely in the dark and Damien watched the big engine as their lights crossed the room searching. “Right… so let’s light this bucket first. It’s a three man job but I guess three arms can do it just as well.” he added jokingly “We will just go at it slower. So I want you to head below and man the plasma conversion sensors, on my mark I will reinitiate the carbon reaction chamber in the secondary systems and watch the laser fusion initiator to bootstrap the reaction process, this is where you come in, watch the plasma distribution, don’t let the flow pass a variance of 0.05. We will start slow at 30% ok!?” Damien practically screamed that last line as he was climbing up the ladder, one deck higher where the secondary systems were.

"Whatever you say, boss!" Mayterial shouted back. Engineers were always a rare breed. Captains may own the vessel, Engineers actually still felt the ships were theirs. This man was no different, and that was a good thing. If he felt that the ship was his house he would probably be more inclined to stick around and help them along their way for a little while longer. She walked up to the sensor display for the plasma converters, eyes darting around the display to try and find the plasma flow indicators. 0.05 was a small margin and she knew how quickly things could get out of hand with tech like this. "Ready!"

Damien watched from above as Mayterial took her position in front of the console, it was dark at the moment, but he knew that she will have her hands filled in a second. He turned, checked his tricorder making sure the reactor had enough fuel available. He crunched beside the hatch for a manual bootstrap sequence and placed a power battery on it to help with the initiation of the laser fusion. Damien yelled ”Here we go! On my mark… mark!” and pulled the lever watching the sequence restart and generate energetic plasma. The lights started to flicker, consoles began lighting up in the noise as the ship was waking up. Damien offered a quick glance toward the captain and saw her fast at work behind the console, but a smile painted on her face. He turned and started cranking up the power output “10%, 15, 20, 25!” He yelled, as he watched the room being washed in steady light, consoles sputtering to life as the primary systems came back online. Suddenly a loud noise erupted from the ceiling and sparks flew everywhere followed by a console blowing up 2 meters from the captain. The noise was deafening.

Out of a reflex Mayterial dove aside and looked up and around to make sure nothing else was going to explode in a hail of sparks. "Holy shit, dude! I thought you were competent!" The heat of the explosion and the loud sound slowly receding. leaving a ringing sound in her left ear and the smell of slightly singed hair.

“Its fine, just the old gal waking up cranky! Keep it up and watch that variance!” He yelled back his voice strong but unconcerned “27, 28%!” it almost became unbearable in the cacophony of the room, but Damien was sure he could push it. And just as the wild wakeup call began, the noise receded, lights became still, and sparks stopped flying.


"Ït's fine, nearly blew my head off." Mayterial muttered quietly to herself as she returned to the console and put her eyes back on the variance. "We're still within specified parameters." She gave a loud and clear status update, leaning on the console with both her hands as the adrenaline was still pumping strongly through her veins, heart pounding loudly in her head.

Damien watched with a smile as the chaos was replaced by a soft hum of gently running generators, the stale air being pushed away by a fresh breeze as the life support system came back online. He double checked the readings on the console making sure the system was stable. Satisfied he turned back towards Mayterial and was repaid by a beautiful smile.

The adrenaline was ebbing away but that didn't stop the feeling euphoria as the Fawkes came back alive with a gentle hum of the back up generators. Mayterial was never one to have much sentimental value to anything, but this ship was getting to her. She took in a deep breath and sighed with satisfaction, consciously taking in this moment and revelling in the feeling for the better part of five seconds. She snapped back to reality and looked up to Damien, "What are you still standing there, gawking? Let's get to it."

OFF

Mayterial Droz
Captain
S.S. Fawkes

&

Damien Walker
Engineer
S.S. Fawkes

"If you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."

 

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