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The engine room Part 2... From bad to worse

Posted on Monday 2 May 2022 @ 21:13 by Captain Melody Jones & Civilian Sansa Draxx-Jones & Commander Seklar & Lieutenant Commander Mathias McPhee & Lieutenant Ricardo Draxx & Lieutenant Hamish Teague

Mission: Disaster!
Location: Main engineering
Timeline: 08H00
2649 words - 5.3 OF Standard Post Measure


Melody was looking lovingly down at the two new arrivals who seemed quite relaxed to say they'd just been born.

"They're perfect... Just like their father." She said quietly, then reaching out, giving Draxx's hand a squeeze.

Seklar peered in by just leaning around the doorframe. "Do you need anything?" he asked, nodding towards the two infants. His office was pretty scarce when it came to usable items that made things homey.

Mathias smiled towards the happy mom and the wee ones turned a sharp gaze toward Seklar. "It's all covered." He rose from where he had been gathering up the instruments he had used to deliver the babies with and then moved out of Seklar's office. "Now, shall we get to getting the ship up and running?" as he brusquely brushed past Seklar. "We need to run scans over the plasma injector conduits and the Electro Plasmic system. We need to see if something had been shaken loose when we experienced that blast." casting a gaze towards those who were there to help out.

Seklar barely stepped out of the way in time, not understanding why McPhee reacted as he had. "We are working on that, I trust the engineers to do their work without me constantly supervising them," he said, "and you do not need to tell me how to operate engineering. Scans are already running, and they cannot be hurried. Sometimes, waiting is the best option. We are also checking the warp core and dilithium crystals for micro-fractures, just in case."

Mathias gave a curt nod, "Ah good, more engineers must have made their way here whilst the babies were being born. In that case." he turned to look back at Captain Jones. "Captain, I am going to be stepping out into the corridor for a few moments." He was feeling a bit claustrophobic, and needed a breather.

Hamish placed a hand on Sansa's shoulder, "I'll go with Mathias, as I want to get out of the way as well, I think he needs a moment or two to just gather his thoughts together. With all that has happened, he just needs a moment. And probably something to eat." Hamish holding up a ration bar with a smile. With a nod, Hamish followed Mathias out of Engineering.

Sansa turned and looked at him with a mixture of love and concern. "Ok. Be safe won't you?" She blew him a kiss as he was leaving. "For luck, Mo gahol."

Hamish caught the kiss and pressed it his lips, then followed after Mathias.

Draxx was lost in revelry of fatherly bliss, in awe of his new sons. He hadn't said anything so far but finally found his voice. "You were amazing red. They are amazing. And evidently hungry," he chuckled as they were both latched on separate breasts. "I can have a cuddle yes once they have finished their breakfast."

"Mathias!" Melody called out just before he had got through the door and beckoned him over. "Thank you... For everything. Your support at this difficult time has been invaluable. I want to help but right now, but this childbirth lark really takes it out of you." she managed a weak smile, not having lost her sense of humour. "I think all I can manage is rest. As Second Officer, you are in charge now until I'm back on my feet or we establish communication with either the XO or Admiral Jackson. Please keep me informed of any developments. Also, For your professionalism and dedication to duty, I'm also promoting you to Lieutenant Commander. I'll make sure it's made official when the ship is back in one piece."
She then added "Keep an eye on Draxx and Sansa, would you? Make sure they're safe. I've got the feeling that Sansa and Hamish have got an..... an interesting story to tell" She cast a glance over at Sansa who was still keeping her gaze on Hamish.

Mathias walked back over to Melody and touched her shoulder. " Er thank you Melody, er Captain." his face flushed a dark pink. "I will keep you apprised of how things are." his shoulders straightened out a bit, and walked out into the corridor to have a breather. When they were out in the corridor, Hamish handed him a ration bar, "You need to eat."

Meanwhile, Ensign Ricky had been working on the repairs. He had acknowledged the Captain when he had arrived in engineering (It would have been rude not to acknowledge the ship's most senior officer), added his congratulations and returned to his work.

Now he was getting worried at the engine display. He called out to the Chief engineer. "Commander! I think you better see this. I'm getting some very bad readings from the magnetic containment system. It looks like there's a field deviation and it's getting worse. Field strength is down to 59% and it's still falling."

Seklar instantly moved over to check the readings and he had no alternative but to confirm them. "What have you tried so far?" he asked of the young engineer, looking directly at him to see what his response would be.

Ricky was working the console. "I've tried resetting the command sequencer and bypassing the primary feed... Nothing. It's not a computer's fault. It looks like the command relays have been physically severed." He sighed. "Someone is going to have to go down to the ODN junction on deck 38 and re-connect them. If we don't correct the problem, when the field reaches 15%, it will collapse and..."

Sansa had heard Ensign Ricky's call and had come into the main engine room, curious. She came over to stand near Seklar. "And what?" She asked.

He looked at her, uncertain at first, but realising it was the Captain's daughter, decided he better answer her. "The ship will explode."

Sansa took a deep breath but remained calm. She managed a smile at him. "Thank you for your honesty."

Despite himself, Ricky blushed.

"Go," Seklar ordered the young man. "Keep an open comm, I want to hear what you are doing as you do it. Run as fast as you can." Though, with his hearing shot for the moment, Seklar would have to rely on someone nearby to let him know what was said.

"Aye Sir!" Ricky responded as he gabbed an engineering tool kit and sprinted towards the nearest Jefferies tube access.

He managed to climb down relatively quickly as he arrived on deck 38, and started heading down the horizontal tube towards the ODN junction. The last hatch between him and his goal was shut. He stopped short and got out his tricorder which started beeping wildly as his face fell. The amount of radiation on the other side of the hatch was almost off the scale. A nearby power conduit must have ruptured. His tricorder also displayed the time to fatal exposure, which was less than 60 seconds. He was fairly confident he could repair the ODN line in the time.. whether he could get out again... was a different story.
He hesitated, not overly keen to be irradiated. He started playing out various scenarios in his mind... Maybe the hatch wouldn't open... Maybe he got lost and found himself in an escape pod...." He was so wrapped up in his own head, that he didn't notice someone come up behind him.

"Hi Ricky, I came to help." Madeline noted his demeanour, and could see the worry on his face. "Heck I'll go in there with you and between us, we can get it done in half the time and then we can go out on our date. Well after we save the ship." giving a quick smile. She could feel the seconds ticking away. "Either way, I know you can do this, we can do this."

"NO!" he said, a bit too loudly at her suggestion. He then took a deep breath and looked at her. In some deep, dark corner of his brain, he actually thought about sending her in alone. It lasted for about a split second before he realised what a coward and bastard that would make him.
"You're not going in there." He said quietly. "There's.. There's not enough room. and besides, I need you out here to monitor the repair. Look I'll be out in two minutes anyway." He had closed the tricorder at this point, not sharing the fact that 2 minutes would be one minute longer then he would survive in there.

"Ricky there is room enough for both of us, I'm not that big. So, hey lets call this our first date, hmnn?" reaching out and touching his shoulder and giving a cheeky grin. "We can do this together. Seriously let me help, I don't want you to go in there alone." Then Madeline gave Ricky a heartfelt kiss. "For good luck." giving him a cheeky grin. "We've got this!"

Ricky was shocked at the kiss but did pull away. Trying to keep his voice calm and put his hand on hers. “Look I’m not going to lie to you. The radiation in there is so high, that lethal exposure is under a minute. I…. I might be able to get in, repair the ODN line and get out and be ok, you won’t.” He smiled. “Stay here. Please. I’ll be back before you know it.”

"Ricky, I will be okay so let's go." giving his hand a squeeze. "I've got my gear." Madeline's eyes pleaded with him, she just had to go help. She firmly believed that both of them could accomplish the impossible.

After a moment, Ricky seemed to relent. “Ok… Ok, I’ll open the hatch and go through first and check the hatch controls on the other side… just so we can get back out. Then you follow me through. We’ll repair the conduit and get back through the hatch as fast as we can, understood?”

Madeline nodded, "Agreed." she was beaming, they were going to be a team and she loved it. "Okay ready when you are." Madeline said.

He smiled at her enthusiasm. “You’re going to make a hell of an officer someday.” He took another breath, coming to a decision. “Let’s do this.”

He prepared himself and his tool kit and then activated the hatch. He entered quickly and then turned to inspect the control panel on the other side. Seeing that it was working, he locked eyes with her once more for a moment that seemed like an eternity before, with a bittersweet smile on his lips, he repeated “A hell of an officer…..” then added “I’m sorry…” before sealing the hatch in front of her.
Once he was satisfied she would not be able to open it from the other side, he turned and headed towards the ODN line.

"Ricky! You said we'd go together! Ricky!" Madeline pounding on the hatch. "Dammit Ricky!" watching as he disappeared from view. "Oh... Ricky." Madeline said softly, then saluted him. Maybe he will come back maybe... though she had a feeling he wasn't and all she could do was stand there with tears streaming down her face. "Bless you Ricky, bless you." she said softly.

1 minute passed… Then 2…. 3…… 4…… 5…..

The hatch remained closed.

Madeline placed her head upon the glass of the hatchway gazing towards where she last saw Ricky, then closed her eyes for a moment, tears stinging her eyes. She lifted her head and wiped them away, it was time to go back to engineering.

Back in Main Engineering...

Madeline slipped back into engineering, being rather quiet to check on things there. She had a saddened expression in her eyes but didn't say a word. Her thoughts though were on Ricky.

Sansa had seen Ensign Madeline leave, following Ensign Ricky and now she saw her return alone, a haunted look in her eyes. She came over to her, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Madeline... Are you ok?" She asked in a soft voice.

Madeline shook her head, she looked at Sansa. "No... I am not. I just saw a hero and he never came back." her voice soft and low.

Though he didn't hear the young woman speak, he certainly did sense her grief. Watching the two women for a moment, he then walked up to them. "What happened?" he asked quietly, though he made no move to make any other gesture of comfort. Contrary to Sansa, he had not observed her departure from engineering. "I sense grief... who are you grieving for?" He studied them both, not sure how else to respond.

"Ensign Ricky has not returned." Sansa added, now embracing Madeline. "Have you been able to stabilise the antimatter containment system?" She asked Seklar.

"Affirmative. Imminent danger seems to have been averted." He nodded towards his office. "If the captain does not mind, please take her to my office. She may feel more at ease there. Meanwhile, I could use your assistance, if you are willing. Whatever happened in the past hours, I am not certain what exactly happened, but it appears I must have hit my head. Again I am not certain, but my hearing is affected. I need someone to tell me if and when I am spoken to, when I am working, unless you can find me a medic who can....fix this?" He cast her an almost pleading look. "I cannot medicate myself," he admitted, "and I need to be able to be on hand, in case my engineers require my attention."

Madeline looked at Seklar, giving a return embrace to Sansa, then straightened up her shoulders, "I can help you on that to convey when people are needing to communicate. I would rather be busy doing something instead of sitting down and doing nothing. Work will help me out better."

Seklar nodded in understanding. "That is acceptable," he agreed, looking towards Sansa. "All help may be necessary," he added, "and I still require medical assistance. Since I have no recollection of what exactly happened, it is logical to assume that I do need monitoring."

"Well, aren't we lucky that we have some tricorders to do so." Madeline replied, with a slight smile. "It not only has the capability of detecting anamolies in the engine, it can be configured to monitor you as well." definitely hiding her grief for the time being.

Unfortunately, feelings were hard to hide from an empath. Seklar reached to rest his hand on her arm in an almost fatherly gesture. "There will be time for grieving," he promised sincerely, "and we will find out how he died. Know this however, if he had not gone and did as he did, we would all be dead. He did what he had to do, as we all would do."

Madeline's breath hitched for a moment, then she succeeded to squash her grief down once more. "He didn't let me go in with him to help. Anyway, we do owe him our lives, he was a hero." mustering up another smile. "Okay... shall we get to work, Commander Seklar? And thank you."

Sansa released Madeline. "I'm here if you need someone to talk to."

"Thank you, Sansa I appreciate that. And I will definitely do so." Madeline responded with a wan smile, before she turned away.


●●●● Captain Melody Jones
Commanding Officer
USS Merlin

Sansa Draxx Jones
Marine Biologist
USS Merlin

Ensign Ricky
NPC Jones

●● Lieutenant Mathias McPhee
Chief Operations Officer
USS Merlin

●● Lieutenant Hamish Teague
Chief Science Officer
USS Merlin

NPC McPhee

●●● Commander Seklar
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Merlin

●● Lieutenant Ricardo Draxx
Assistant Operations Officer
USS Merlin


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