S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Power Talk

Posted on Monday September 24th, 2018 @ 11:07 hours by Damien Walker & Mayterial Droz & Volok

Mission: Smugglers Need Not Apply
Location: SS Fawkes, Engineering
Timeline: MD03 - 1900 hours

The engineering was humming softly with secondary generators running, but the warp drive was still silent. The consoles, displays and relays were opened, apparently amid mechanics inspection. On some consoles, scanners were attached silently processing data and running diagnostics. There were various tools placed everywhere around the room and the whole place had the work in progress vibe. This time Damien was sitting cross-legged on top of the warp engine trying to make sense of how the power transfer conduits of the human designed warp engine were installed and adapted to the Cardassian design. So far he found no fault in the system, but every time he tested the power flow there was a power transfer resistance he could not account for. Damien scratched his head again checking the tricorder readings as he heard footsteps on the catwalk below.

Volok was taking his tour of the ship. Mayterial had shown him around a bit, but the great reveal what turned out to be the deplorable state of his quarters, left him interested in the situation on the rest of the ship. Engineering being one of the most important departments of the ship, he'd thought he start there. While he walked in he saw a person sit upon what seemed like part of the engine assembly. "I suspect adhering to Starfleet safety protocols is optional on this vessel?" Volok asked calmly looking at him.

At the words Starfleet and protocol, Damiens mind snapped out of his immediate problems, not quite sure if it was meant as a joke or a bad pun. He turned and saw a Vulcan standing down below, immediately recognising the Starfleet vibe on him. During his years in the commercial sector there were always some former Starfleet officers or dropouts working on the trading ships, he has seen them all and most of the time they carried themselves a little bit higher than the rest of the crews. But Vulcans sure perfected the stance "I must have missed the memo, I didn't realize this was a Starfleet vessel." he said making a show of checking the room around them. Doing work on trading ship required a flexible mind and If there was anything that Damien hated was protocols and procedures.

"I did not suggest this vessel to be Starfleet but following proper safety regulations is only logical." Volok said slightly stoic. "And the Starfleet protocols take in account nearly every possible scenario, so they are best practice on any vessel." Volok took another few steps closer. "However, it is not my intention to initiate our working relationship by quoting protocol that formally does not apply to this ship. My name is Volok, I am first mate aboard this vessel. I presume you are the residing engineer?"

Damien signed, sagged his head knowing full well his frustration over the power interference in the ships power gird would be lost on the Vulcan. He swung his legs on the side of the oblong warp drive and slid down, jumping the last meter to the ground. As he made a loud thud on the grid walkway, he quickly closed the distance to the first officer. “For the time being.” he added, extending his arm “Damien Walker” and as they shook hands, Damien continued unfazed “Listen, this ship needs its own set of rules and nice talk here and there, a quick caress on the sides if you know what I mean… she is quite remarkable, refurbished human warp 5 drive, Cardassian fusion reactors, plasma regulators from all walks of life, the list of adaptations is endless” with his left hand Damien grabbed Vulcans shoulder “I even found pieces of Romulan technology in the magnetic interlocks!” He said excitedly “She I gonna be one though mistress to please, I can tell you that much.”

Slowly Volok looked at the hand on his shoulder and then back to Damien. "She? Is there a purpose to assigning a gender to an inanimate object?" He asked with an eyebrow slightly raised. He encountered this phenomenon more often and never had gotten a proper explanation. Volok wasn't counting on one now, but still. It never hurt to ask. He wasn't much of an engineer, but the fact that the ship contained that many parts of different origin, he made the assumption compatibility issues were common. "And by mistress I assume you feel the need to be romantically involved with this vessel?"

Damien looked at him perplexed” There is no question about it, each ship is different, that is half the secret of their charm. We can discuss, concuss and rediscuss about them ad infinitum from every imaginable point” Damien pointed widely at the entire engineering room trying not to miss an opportunity to make some exaggerated talk to a Vulcan. He always loved watching their faces cringe as he explained something endearingly. However that did not change the fact, that it was exactly how he felt about ships in general, he always found an illogical connection to them, trying to make them his own” You see they are a world without end, they are always changing, improving, forever eluding the grasp of the crude intelligence by never doing just what you expect them to do and you never come to any final conclusion. You know what I mean?”

Volok gave Damien his typical Vulcan blank stare while listening to that long passionate monologue about a complicated piece of technology. Halfway through he made a half hearted attempt to reply, but let him continue, analysing Damien's explanation. "No, I do not know what you mean." He answered bluntly. "Technical equipment should operate within design specifications. If not, it is faulty and should be replaced." Volok added oversimplifying things. "You seem to treat a vessel like a living entity."

“Well that’s where you are wrong, as we live and breathe on this ship, the ship with all its functions and machinery becomes an extension of our collective effort… so in a sense it does become a living entity taking over the characteristic of its inhabitants who make her fly, fix her and so on. And besides there are so many interconnected systems on this ships its hardly just a matter of replacing them.” Damien saw this point as a perfect opportunity to use some of that famed Vulcan logic to help him solve todays problem “For example, right now I am searching for the power drains in the ship EPS conduits. When I scan, the equipment its fine, when I run a test, the energy flows, it says its diverted to one system but then I find it overloading another. It actually feels like it has a mind of its own. But pinpointing the cause has become a serious matter!”

"With that logic I can see why attributing signs of life to a vessel makes sense to you." Volok said with a faint nod. He had known and worked with many engineers is his days with Starfleet. Their tendency to attribute a will of their own to inanimate objects when they don't operate the way they're meant to, was quite common. Volok always thought those claims to be excuses when they weren't able to solve the problems they encountered. "Then again, there must be a technical solution to your problem, not one that involves imaginary lifeforms called ... gremlins." Volok added with a barely detectable smirk.

Damien simply stood there, entrenched in his own thought after the Vulcan’s jab. His mind was running on warp 9 as pieces of information rearranged his thoughts “Gremlins, that’s it! That’s exactly what it is!” he quipped, realizing it wasn’t just the connections of ships systems that were misaligned after the inspection. Starfleet’s protocol in the ship wide inspection was also to take out the computer core and comb through it. There are bound to be bugs, just lurking in the subroutines. “You are a genius!” he added wiggling his index finger at the stoic figure. Damien quickly walked to the nearest console, and with smile painted on his face pointed the Vulcan to the electro-plasma distribution network array “Would you mind helping me in finding the … gremlins?”

Volok was no programmer, but was always willing to help. And with the ship being manned by a skeleton crew it meant everyone probably had to know a bit of everything to keep the ship running smoothly. "Of course." Volok said. "Although I must admit my skills with programming are less impressive than my medical proficiency." He said preparing Damien for the worst. He joined Damien at the console. "How do we proceed?"

“Well, something is disrupting the power supply grid, initially I assumed the errors were tied to the long power down. Now some of the drain is due to bad connections after the inspection, which is easily fixed, but the other problems persist, the ship is simply allotting too much power to one system and as the computer compensates, it reroutes the power somewhere else, but the primary sensors are not registering that. Hence it looks like a drain, but you don’t know where! Look here.” Damien scratched switched the displays on the console to show Volok the power readouts.

“So, if there are other, as you say gremlins lurking about, we need to locate the source by disabling the primary sensors and reroute them to secondary sensors. In the few seconds in between, we will initiate a small power overload in the life support system, the computer will try to compensate and as the secondary sensor come online it should in theory, show us a path as that power is rerouted somewhere else! From that info we might extrapolate bad subroutines in the ships power supply programming.” The theory seemed fine to Damien, although he didn’t like doing testing to the life support system and would never do that in open space. Since they were docked, Damien felt confident enough about their safety.

Damien looked at Volok, he always felt confident working with Vulcans, their minds were always at the task at hand “I am going to run the power surge and would like you to the reroute sensors, would that be ok? There are probably gonna be a few sparks and outages thou, maybe we should notify the captain?” Damien always felt the health of the ship was his domain and in the past he was used to do things his own way, but he learned the hard way some captains did not appreciate his initiative. Considering his previous conversation with the first mate, he felt running this test on his own might not be the best idea, which made Damien pause, although he was itching to get started.

"If our actions cause various systems to overload or cause alarms, I must agree informing the captain may be wise." Volok said with a slight nod. He looked at the panels and viewscreens to focus at the task at hand, It had been a while since he had performed any task of engineering origin. Or it must have been resetting the replicator unit at home, but anyone with a working index finger, or any working finger form that manner, could manage that. "I am awaiting your signal to proceed." He said looking at Damien.

“Great stuff!” Damien said, giving the thumb up finger to Volok but already walking away to the power distribution array. As he reached the console he tapped the commlink “Damien to May? I need to make a power distribution test, so there will probably be a few blow outs… there is also a slight chance that the life support system might go offline, but I think we are in the green.” Damien made a pause and added as an afterthought “Nothing to worry about.”

"Wait what? That sounds like something to worry about. I kind of like my life support, I kind of need my life support, Damien." Mayterial was caught off guard by the sudden call and the contents of the request.

“Yeah… It’s going to be fine! Besides it can happen now in controlled environment or in space uncontrolled, when we are not tethered.” Damien enforced the last word, berating himself for asking permission. He sighed and pointed to Volok raising his hands as asking for help on the matter.

Volok didn't immediately share the unbridled optimism of Damien concerning the sparks and possible loss of the ship's systems. "Are you certain you will have critical systems online in time in case of failure, mister Walker?" Volok asked just to be sure. He would be an accomplice in said systems failures and that wouldn't be a very good first day on the job.

"Volok?" May heard the voice of her newly minted First Mate. Even though he was a medical doctor she felt more at ease with him there. "You make sure this is sorted properly. I trust in both of you. Do what's necessary."

"I will make sure proper procedures will be followed, Captain." Volok said acknowledging Mayterial. "Although there is a high probability these proper procedures are not compatible with heavily modified Cardassian technology." He added anticipating some sparks...

"Get it sorted." Those were the last words they heard from their Captain before the communications cut out.

“Yes, yes, yes” Damien said hurriedly just itching to do a little testing, if he didn’t put the ship through its paces how would you ever get to know her. “OK, first mate watch that screen and on my mark switch the sensors and…” Damien made a smile with a wink as he said “duck.” He went over the commands double checking them making sure the power surge was just within testing parameters and said “GO.” All the while he was watching the readouts for the tight window when the sensor will switch. As the moment finally came Damien initiated a surge. To his surprise the ship went dark.

Volok had anticipated the call from Damien to hit the switch just at the right time, but it seemed like it didn't have the expected outcome. "It would seem your calibrations are a bit off." Volok said dryly. "May I suggest rectifying the problem urgently, as it would seem none of the ship's systems are active, including life support." He added, tapping the non-responsive screens.

Damien had nothing to say, he knew his calibrations were fine. He scratched his head in the dark, Volok’s last words running through his mind and as he was thinking it over, he heard a forcefull hum of auxiliary fusion generators coming online. The sound was rising to fast and at the same time lights and consoles started to flicker. “Ohoooh” was all he managed as the ship woke back, engineering shuddering slightly underneath them. As Damien turned to Volok a few relays blew out above them sparks and smoke surrounding them both. Damien covered his eyes as the cacophony continued for a good ten seconds that seemed like an eternity to him and finally receded to former normal state. Damien looked around “Right… ehm just as planned.” he added turning back to the console to check the readouts, it seemed the ship was hiding surprises around every corner.

As the consoles popped back to life, Volok checked the readings. "Systems are coming online one by one, running within specified parameters. I must admit it appears that your... unconventional approach has worked." he said to Damien. "The minor power fluctuations are probably due to the relays and conduits that produced a lot of sparks during the procedure."

“Yeah… probably” Damien answered but kept the counsel to himself. He was worried as the power should not drop down so quickly after the sensor have been turned off. Damien checked to see what the readout from the secondary sensors meant. At first glance nothing seemed apparent, but as he checked the plasma flow compensation levels, he saw all the commands were scattered around the ships systems, the answer apparent “Volok look at this, the ships computer is scrambled, when we blinded it, it didn’t know where to put the excess amount of power, even though there are redundancies in place for such events.”

Volok walked over to the consoles Damien was controlling and tried to assess what they were looking at. He wasn't an engineer, but his basic knowledge of power systems gained over the years was helping him in this matter. "It is reasonable to assume that those power fluctuations have their origin in this situation. What can you do to rectify it?"

“Yeah, well…” engineer said taping the console and displaying the command root paths as they changed during sensor switch. They all pointed to the bridge and from there to the computer core, Damien pointed to the mapped out display of the ship overlaying the new data “…something is messing with the command subprogramming structure, I need to go to the bridge. Damn it, this could be anything!” he added, the thought of tearing the bridge apart horrifying him. It seemed the inspection left a heavier dent on the ships system than he anticipated. He looked up at the Vulcan “Anyway, it seems I have some more gremlins to take care off.” He added already picking up his tool bag “and thanks for nudging me in the right direction”

Volok gave a slight nod in response. "Preparing the vessel for departure without imaginary stowaways on board will be a preferable outcome." He answered referring to the gremlins Damien was hunting for. "Please do so without causing more harm than they do."

The engineer simply smiled as he slung the tool bag on his shoulder "I will do my best..." and added with a wink "...to throw them off and keeping the ship in one piece, but no promises." As he was saying that, Damien put his arm around the first officer’s shoulder and led him gently out of the room. He had to admit he quickly warmed up to him, for a Vulcan, Volok was damn funny.


First Mate
SS Fawkes


Damien Walker
SS Fawkes

Special appearance by:

Mayterial Droz
SS Fawkes


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