NCC - 86105

Engineering a Solution

Posted on Sun Jul 28th, 2019 @ 11:29pm by Lieutenant JG Reggie Hawthorn & Lieutenant Jillian Toomey

Mission: History
Location: Bridge
Timeline: MD 0 || 0800 Hours

Lieutenant JT "Socket" Toomey looked around the small bridge of the overpowered tiny ship she had been assigned to. It didn't quite have that new ship smell she expected, but it didn't quite have that "Ensign th'Rowup did it in the corner again" smell that would assault the memory of her senses forever.

She picked up a PADD that she had been given which contained a list of possible crew that would be coming her way if they didn't get thrown in the penal colony in New Zealand before they arrived to their posting. The more she read, the more she was convinced that Starfleet Command was trying to give it to her like an angry proctologist whose spouse just left them and took the kids, the runabout and the second home on Venus.

There were demotions, demerits, time spent in rehab facilities for one thing or another, and not one single glowing career officer among them. Not. One. They looked like they came from the Land of Misfits and had been evicted to serve out a different kind of sentence on the Magnificent. "Oh yeah. Hard and deep, Socket. No kiss. No reach around. No lube. Well, let's see who is first."

The PADD identified a potential Engineer for the Chief spot by the rank of Lieutenant JG, a rank lower than she would have expected for his age and experience and sighed when she read how he had been demoted from his last post. "Well, Lieutenant Reggie Hawthorn, what's the worst you could do to the ship or me?" she mused while waiting for the starbase she was docked at to send her new crew over.

"What is this?"

Reggie looked down at the tool thumpers still working on outfitting the Magnificents main engineering. All the core equipment was there, it worked sure as shooting. But the little things, like spare part pins, the MSD display table along with secondary control panels, those things were still being installed.

And then Reggie had found the classic ice cream scoop of the devil himself. He took the item, a long metal handle with a concave dome at one end, and rapped it against the railing overlooking the engineers.

"Anyone out there knows what this is, cause I sure as shit do not. And if I don't know what it is, or what it does, I have to be wondering why it's in my engine room," he walked to the ladder leading down to the main deck and clambered down. "We are breaking the laws of physics and bending a good number of them with this here superluminal warping drive. Anyone part of it fails or falters, or just plain gives out I don't need folks wondering what the hell it is before they meet their Maker."

The engineering ratings, some Starbase dock workers, some crew of the Magnificent itself, just looked on in silence.

"Silent types eh?" Reggie grumbled and turned to look at the poor soul who'd entered his domain. "Well until we know what this is I want it gone and boxed."

On the bridge, JT tapped a comm panel. "Computer, locate and page Lieutenant Reggie Hawthorne to the bridge."

In Engineering, a hologram that looked like Mister T popped up near Reggie. "Yo, fool! Get to the bridge!" and flickered out of existence.

Reggie's arrival to the bridge was something of an occasion. Was it the hat, wide of the brim and sunbaked? Was it the boots that gave the deck plating a rattling tap with each step? Maybe it was the devil's ice cream scoop he held in a manner most threatening as he stepped over the threshold.

"I am a might curious as to why in all the Maker's grand design you think summoning me to the bridge during my working hours is a good idea," he groused. "I don't ruin your day by foisting myself on you. I expect you know how to sit in a chair and give out important sounding words, and by rights, I leave you to it."

JT stared at him as if he had spoken an alien language, then her mind translated it to Socket Speak and realized that she had a lot in common with this Neanderthal. "Sit down and shut up. Actually, you can talk, but in terms that have nothing with your delusions of grandeur. What's the readiness status of Engineering?"

"Naaw," the man from the planet Montana drawled. "Reckon I'll stand a while. Fella sits up here too long, he's right to sprout roots and think himself above the working cloth of the folk toiling under him."

He seemed ready to do...something, but upon looking around swallowed whatever he was going to spit.

"Ships fine. And by fine I mean she ain't in no fit state to hold air let alone go forth and do what her designers intended. Do you know what 'factory new' mean? Means nothing's been tested. Nothings been stressed. Nothings been seasoned," Reggie growled. "I got some folks out raiding Starbase stores for more seasoned parts that I know can take the load. There's a Vesta class in dock, sure their Chief bottle washer won't mind donating some anti matter injectors to the cause."

He held up the ice cream scoop.

"Then there are these. So-called 'technical upgrades' that ain't got a lick of documentation to'em save a serial number and a makers mark. 'Ingram Nanoscale Solutions'," Reggie shivered. "Feel I need to wash thoroughly 'fore speaking again, uttering that name out loud. Make Old Scratch seem downright personable."

JT listened to him and smiled. "How many antimatter injectors do you think you can get your hands on and how many spare parts? We don't have a big cargo hold, but I have an idea for how we can store more."

"If I can swap out all five of the injectors that came with this ship from the maker's yard with ones that have had more than a hundred hours of use, we can keep the new ones as spares. Stowing them...well like you said, cargo space wasn't exactly line item one on the spec sheet." Reggie grinned. "I was thinking about maybe allocating one of the Engineering teaching spaces into a new storeroom. See, I reckon the Cadet's we've got will learn more from 'doing' than from listenin' to me try to teach 'em the five F's of power generation. Fusion, Fission, Flux, Faux and Fuck."

He grinned.

"If you'll pardon my language."

She laughed, but shook her head. "No, you're thinking about it the wrong way," she said. "If you take one of those teaching spaces, you know as well as I do that one of the cadets will complain. I was thinking we could sort out the cargo transporter and store everything in the buffer. It's not organic, so we don't have to worry about degradation or shit like that."

"Yeah, thought of that and whilst the idea is rational if there's a power spike we'd lose half the stores. And if we lose power there's no gettin' to'em," Reggie said. "That's and...Ma'am, I hate teaching. I did not sign up to Starfleet to teach wet behind the ear Cadet's and Midshipmen how not to kill themselves with warp plasma."

"What about having a dedicated power supply just for the buffer like Captain Scott did when his ship crashed on the Dyson Sphere? It kept him alive for seventy years." JT pointed out. "As for teaching cadets, if you take out the teaching room like you originally suggested, you'd be teaching them yourself. Still."

"And be doing it in the field, in Main Engineering, where the work is! Not in a classroom like I'm Professor Data at Starfleet Academy," Reggie huffed. "And...yeah. I could rig up a fly wheel, or a chemical battery set up. Ya know in case of an energy dampening field or some such,"

"Flywheel? Chemical battery?" JT asked while she blinked. "What cave did you crawl out of, Hawthorne?"

"The one that keeps workin' when all the pretty pretty lights turn off. You'll be singing the praises of chemically stripping electrons off of our reaction mass if it keeps the replicators running or the air recyclers," Reggie said. He took of his hat, using it to gesture around the bridge. "Teaching these kids that the computer will always be there to hold their hand, and the lights will always be on, ain't a lesson I'm willing to put on my syllabus. I'm here, regrettably, to train engineer's to fix things."

"Teach them both ways so when one way goes out, they'll have the other as a backup," JT suggested. "That way, no one can say they didn't have options or know how."

"Exactly! That is exactly my point," Reggie said with a grin. "So that's a 'yes' to me turning the teaching space into a cargo bay? Given I got to balance the practical with the theoretical?"

"No," JT said. "Don't touch that space until we're well away from the space dock."

"But after?" Reggie asked, pointing his hat at Socket in a questioning way. "Cause if that's so I hear the Chief bottle washer on that fancy pants Vesta class makes a mean bottle of Engine Room brandy that's downright ferocious. Could maybe be something I find on my way back from the pier."

"Just don't let me find out about it and a bottle of that better appear on my ready room table, too," she said.

"I'd advise putting it in a locked drawer. Direct exposure to light can lead to some interesting combustion properties," he said, backing towards the turbolift door. "I'm only saying that in case you take a drink and your ready room...kinda explodes. Won't though, that's a promise someone else will make."

"Remind me to not trust you," JT said. "If there's nothing else...?"

"You called me up here, so if you don't want me here I'll be off raiding the toy shop," Reggie donned his hat and stepped back into the turbolift. "Be seeing you Cap'n."