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No Profit In Delay [PLOT]

Posted on Sat Jun 1st, 2019 @ 10:12am by Zulg & Poc

Mission: Mission 5: Arising From the Ashes
Location: Tevok 2
Timeline: 10 February, 2395 - 1300 Hours


Chief Engineer, and only engineer, Nugg sat next to the worn and dirty main engineering console, the squat, stubby warp core thrumming with orange light behind him. He'd installed the chair, at considerable expense, in such a way that he could keep an eye on all three data screens and put his feet up at the same time. At his age, his feet were prone to a severe aching. There was a remedy, but the cost... it was too high for him. Normally the trips to Empok Nor were quiet enough that he could catch a nap or two. And he was just starting to feel drowsy when everything went bad. The warp core shuddered, slowed, and went dead. The sudden disappearance of the core's light sent engineering into a muted gloom.

Nugg bolted to his feet, ignoring the pain that resulted from such unusual action, and began pawing at the console.

At the very same moment, on the bridge, Poc suddenly stopped searching for the slimy thing hidding in his nose. He immediately knew that something was wrong. He would have called it "intuition". It could also have been his experience as a captain of a space ship. That, or simply because of all the alarms yelling and flashing. "Damn it!" he said. Poc got up from his seat, looking around to find some support. But he was alone on the bridge. Staff economy: his cousin Honk, a.k.a. the pilot/cook/targ trainer, was currently preparing lunch two levels downstairs. It should not have been an issue, though ; the course was set, the star would cover the ship and the Tevok system was always quiet, even considering the science station laying around. They had done it so many times... "Damn it!" he repeated.

Poc approached a console and tried to check something on its monitor, but the information was scrolling too fast and, to be honest, looked like Klingon to him. "Damn it!" he said for the third time.

Poc decided to open a communication to the engineer room. Nugg should be on duty at that time. Poc hoped that his lazy cousin was not snoring or something, or he would throw him himself out of the airlock. After Nugg would fix the issue, that is.

"Nugg, you stupid old larva! What are you doing?! The ship is falling to pieces!" he bawled.

Nugg slapped the com. "Yes, yes, I can see that with my own eyes! Main power is offline. I told you we shouldn't use this route! Too much radiation, too much strain on the shields, too much... gah!" Nugg yelled as the impulse power began to drop. He frantically worked at the controls, knowing that he wasn't a good enough engineer to find a solution to the problem as it was taking place. There was a reason his contract was so cheap.

"Sir," Nugg said, letting his hands fall away from the engineering console. "We... we have no propulsion. What will we do?"

Poc was about to reply that he should go outside - with or without a spacesuit, he did not care - and push the damned ship, but realized that it would probably not help that much.

Instead, he took a big breath and said, using a sweet tone and detaching every syllable: "I don't pay you to find excuses."

"I want you to fix this... this... thing with the orange light" added Poc, more aggressively, his face almost turning red. "Don't call me back until it's done."

He closed the communication and smashed the console just in front of him a couple of times. The alarm stopped. Poc returned to his seat, ignoring the pain coming from his hand, appreciating instead his own old fashioned way of fixing things. He could have been an engineer, Poc thought. He could not be worse than Nugg anyway, he added for himself.

But at least, his stupid cousin was right on one point: what would they do?

Poc tried to analyse the situation in a logical way: no propulsion, no ship. No ship, no delivery. No delivery, no payment. No payment, well, no repayment of the mortgage of the ship. Of course, having no ship would make the repayment useless. But the Orion Syndicate would probably object. Poc's face went from red to white. These ruffians had a very specific and painful way to object, and Poc definitively did not want to end in an unexpected turbolift accident or as food for targs...
All things considered, Poc would help Nugg to push that damned ship, even without a spacesuit.

On the other hand, there was this space station close by. A space station from the Federation. The Federation. They would probably help. No, they would probably be happy to help, and even for free!

Poc's eyes shone brightly. There was a way to save the situation. It would just need some small adjustments, especially regarding the cargo. But Poc already had a few ideas.

He hit the command to open a comm channel to the kitchen.

"Honk, bring your lobes here. Immediately. You have a S.O.S. signal to send." he said.

Honk came onto the bridge a moment later, wiping his hands on a towel and throwing it over his shoulder. He sighed and settled himself into the communications station, ignoring the look on his cousin's face. "What is this SOS?" He asked. "I've got two spore pies to finish and they are in a delicate state. I don't need you blaming me if they don't turn out right." He listened as Poc explained what he wanted and shook his head. "I thought Nugg had just screwed up things in engineering again. Oh well." Honk worked the console, noting for the first time how limited the range on their communications were. Truth be told, he only worked communications so he could get paid enough to cook. He loved cooking almost as much as latinum.

Daphne sat in the wide expanse of the space station's bridge, eyes roving amongst the stars. It was her good fortune to have drawn the late shift at a time when a large asteroid was passing close by. It glittered, visible to the naked eye, reflecting the light of the nearby star on its ice. By astronomical categories, it wasn't particularly large or made of anything special, but it was moving so fast. She felt like a little girl, back on Mars, watching ice meteors fall from the sky. She jumped when the communications array began beeping, and the frowned. They rarely received any kind of communications out here in the Tevok system. The energy from the star made it difficult at best and this signal was strong. She sat up straight in her chair, her mind switching into analytic mode. She isolated the signal, boosting their sensors and calibrating the source. Here eyebrows shot up. It was an SOS. And it was coming from inside the system. She tapped her combadge.

=^=Dr. Maddox, this is Dr. Sill, I think you need to come to the bridge right away=^=

Dr. Maddox's deep baritone responded a moment later, sounding disgustingly awake. Didn't the man ever sleep? =^=Is it a response from Starfleet?=^=

Daphne had been trying not to think about their decision to abandon the station. =^=No, doctor. This is something else=^=

=^=On my way=^=

Daphne turned back to the asteroid but was disappointed to see that it had already passed out of view. "What a pity," she said to the empty bridge.

Henry couldn't believe what he was seeing. Well, he could believe it but he couldn't Believe it. It wasn't that the ship was a Ferengi ship. He'd known that from the SOS they'd sent out. And it wasn't that they'd suffered a catastrophic engineering failure. Those kinds of things happened to all types of spacecraft, including Federation ones. It was the fact that the dilapidated looking ship had ever been able to get underway at all, let along go to warp. He shook his head, despite the fact that he was alone in the shuttlecraft.

=^=Ferengi vessel, this is the Federation runabout Mississippi. My name is Dr. Henry Hill. Can I please speak to, ah, Captain Poc?=^= He hoped he was saying it right.

Poc was sitting comfortably in the captain's chair. Because of all the damages on the ship, he did not know if the video was actually working or not, but he faked his best commercial smile anyway. The one which was able to sell a pair of moonboots to a tourist on Risa ; and without any discount.

=^= Okay, space station, we have a problem. =^= he started, thinking that it would be a good introduction.

=^= This is Captain Poc. =^= corrected Poc, but he was quite sure that his interlocutor was not able to understand the subtil difference in the pronunciation. Damned half-lobe...

=^= I must say that I'm disappointed with the quality of the commercial star roads of the Federation... We were peacefully travelling through this star system when your star damaged my ship, in particular the propulsion.
The failures seem to be too... difficult for us to manage at the moment and we are in an uncomfortable position. Our lifes might be in danger, you know. =^= Poc paused for a second before adding:

=^= But I am sure that we can find an agreement to solve this situation. =^=

Poc's smile was now revealing his jagged and spiky teeth.

Henry was at a loss for words. He was a scientist not a, well, whatever it was that the Ferengi thought he was. He really wished someone else was out here instead of him. It was his fault for volunteering to be the station's shuttle pilot. When would he learn to stop volunteering for things. He tapped the com again.

=^=Ah, Captain, Poc. Sorry about the, ah, space road thing. Why don't I use my shuttle's tractor beam and we will get you back to the science station. Once we're there, we can see about getting you fixed up. The Chief Scientist, Dr. Maddox will be able to discuss any of your other, ah, concerns.=^= Henry decided not to even get into the fact that they'd just sent a mayday of their own. He doubted the Ferengi would respond well.

=^= Oh, I see. You are a, uh, subordinate.. =^= Poc's face was just like he had bitten in a lemon.

=^= Well, do your thing, my good man. I'll tell my pilot to follow your lead. Poc out. =^=

Poc snapped his fingers and Honk sighed but he obediently worked on his console to align the speed/course vector of the space ship with the small shuttle and facilitate the towing. The operation would require his presence and probably some minor course corrections along the way to the science station in order not to damage the internal structure of the ship. Honk sighed for the second time ; his spore pies would definitively be burned and ruined, and the whole crew would blame him for that...

Poc, of course, did not care. He was satisfied so far. He opened an internal communication to inform his crew.
Unlike Federation ships, the sound for starting internal communications was not the usual whistle but instead falling and clinking latinum bars. That was the only way for Poc to make sure he would have the immediate attention of everyone onboard.

=^= This is your boss speaking. As you may have noticed, Nugg screwed up the engineering.. hu.. thing again, and we have to repair it. We are now riding to a science station owned by the Federation. Behave properly, once there. And remember that you owe me 10% of any transaction you may do with them. If you have any question, let me know. Poc out. =^=

Poc then pointed the sensors in the direction of the science station and put the visual on the main screen, eager to see the shape of the space station. He - badly - hummed a few Ferengi popular songs while on their way. Honk sighed for the third time, touching his lobes: the journey would be way too long.


Captain Poc
Ferengi Merchant

Various Tevok 2 NPCs by Llwyedd


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Comments (2)

By Lieutenant JG Yikete Oggt on Tue Jun 4th, 2019 @ 10:05am

I love this set-up to the mission. It's so perfectly Ferengi.

"I want you to fix this... this... thing with the orange light" ROFL.

I can't wait to see how this goes. -Liam

By Lieutenant Cynfor Rees on Mon Jul 8th, 2019 @ 11:21pm

I love the concept of meanwhile on... posts. This shows us what the other side of the plot is doing while the heroes are being heroes.