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Posted on Tue Oct 20th, 2020 @ 9:29am by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Lieutenant JG Soto Gantt & Warrant Officer Arlan Harlan

Mission: Mission 6: To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Location: Firebird
Timeline: 19 May, 2395 - 1800 Hours

[ON]

Harlan was currently stalking around engineering with a perturbed glare on his face that made all the ratings scatter. He had just gotten back from a very strange experience and informed the captain what was going on. After his debriefing, Captain told Harlan to find Lt. Gantt and get to work figuring out what was going on with the object that was currently in a secure part of the ship.

"Gantt!" yelled Harlan as he marched through his domain. "We have an important project from Captain. I assume he has briefed you or do I need to let you know what's going on?"

Harlan's foul mood wasn't directed at any one person or the specific result of what he was told to do. His mood was entirely the result of having to deal with an object that had forced him to relive a very strange experience. Harlan loved his memories but preferred accessing them on his time. The object crossed a line and Harlan was none too happy about it.

Hearing Harlan growl his name shattered Gantt's concentration. He briefly considered his options. The exit was too far away and his current project wasn't terribly important, but he wasn't ready to follow Uncle Mateo into drink-ignoring his problems. Gantt jumped to his feet in much the same way that cold syrup pours over pancakes.

"I'm here, Chief," he said.

"Good," Harlan grunted. "We've got precious little time to figure out what this object is and how to explain it to Starfleet Intelligence before we arrive at a station. Did Captain tell you anything about this or do I have to fill you in? This is one of the strangest things I've ever encountered, and I once dealt with some ocean critters who communicated via changes in water temperature. Hardest darn fix I've ever had, that's for sure."

"No, Chief. What is the object and where did it come from?" said Gantt quickly. He wasn't sure what story Harlan recalled but it would probably lead to a rant and he'd much rather get to the action.

"It's some sort of technology that was capable of affecting the ship. Very few devices could hit a ship's power like what seemed to happen with that recent Romulan dust-up. What do you know about power systems or Romulan engineering? I haven't seen much in this realm in years and never with this much advanced jazz on it. It's gonna take most of a day or more to really break down what it did to the 'Bird, so get over here and start poking at it with me."

"Power systems are a lot of fun to poke around in but Romulan technology is pretty vague to me. Partly due to not caring but mostly to a particular Betazoid in my group. She could dismantle an an atmospheric compressor blindfolded, and had eyes like--" Gantt felt the scowl rake over him like hot needles. "Sorry. So this is what knocked the Firebird adrift? Does it still work? I'd love to get readings from it before opening it up."

Harlan continued to look over the device in front of them while he answered. "Yep, this is it, apparently. Never seen anything like this before and I certainly don't see Romulan stuff much anymore. Let's get it hooked up to a diagnostic station. It also might be an idea to set up a testing environment so we can see exactly how it works in real time. We'll have to make sure it's shielded though; we don't want to risk darkening the ship a second time."

"There's a heavy cargo pod I saw brought on board that would make a good container. I can set up a dampening field around the container and tie it to back-up power. It should keep the device from knocking out the whole ship again." Gantt checked his PADD for the specs they had on the first pulse used against the ship. "Not much to go by but I am 80% sure we won't knock us out again."

"Good idea, Gantt," Harlan replied. "80% is good enough for me. Let's get it over there while you set up the dampening field."

Harlan spotted a hapless rating walking by. "Hey, you there! Come over here and help me carry this for a second." Harlan fixed the crewmember with one of his infamous glares that he was sure might set the poor youngster ablaze but he got the help he needed while Gantt started setting up some equipment while staring at his PADD.

Harlan shooed the crewperson away after the task was done. "You about done, Gantt? I'm not trying to hurry you but I imagine Captain will want updates ASAP so we can adjust for another encounter, if necessary."

"Just double-checking the back-up fail safe program." Gantt knew very well that Harlan was trying to hurry things along, and respected the reasons for it. They were incredibly luck the last time their ship was knocked into the junk heap and he was in no mood to have it happen again. "Make sure this works..." A translucent field sprang around the clunky metal box sitting on the floor of engineering.

"System looks secure, Chief." The field disappeared, then reappeared. "Ready when you are, sir."

Harlan nodded and flipped the device on. It seemed like the lights dimmed for the briefest of moments despite the field but his and Gantt's efforts held up. The veteran turned to a PADD and numbers started to generate.

"Huh," he muttered. "Looks like this thing works by disrupting the metaparticle diffusers in the beresium crystal locutors. We might need to calibrate the laser fusion replicator so it cycles faster and can't be hit as readily by this thing. How's that sound, Gantt?

Startled at the sound of his name, Gantt looked up. "Chief? We took a hit from that device. Secondary batteries are drained and most background systems are completely without..." Seeing the look on the chief's face Gantt dropped his PADD. " Sorry, sir. Metaparticle diffusers and calibrate fusion replicators. The device creates multiple critical power imbalances by overloading parts that can't handle power surges and disrupting energy systems that can. Recalibration of fusion replicators while cycling the shielding on the beresium crystal locutors might do it. We'd still take a hit but we wouldn't be left adrift. Which one do you want me to start on?"

Harlan thought for a moment before replying. "Good question. It's not great that we still lost something when we started that device but we might be able to get this fixed before captain jumps up our backsides. Why don't you work on the fusion replicators and I'll hit the other thing. I'll let captain know we are making progress in the meantime.

Harlan got the captain on comms and told him what happened. =^=And captain, we shouldn't need too much time to fix what we think is needed for this issue. What should we do when that is all said and done?=^=

Set up a larger environment to test the device under different stress situations to determine where the Firebird would be most vulnerable against this device, answered Gantt silently. He laid half inside the wall with his PADD patched into both the power and environment controls. Engineering never had enough time to do things their way. "Chief, what are the chances that Captain will let us break the thing open?"

"Hmm," hummed the grizzled veteran. "Probably only enough to get a peek at its insides. It's fancy enough that we'll be under strict orders not to start disassembly. That'll be for the brainiac forensic engineers in Intelligence at the next big Starfleet locale. We'll have to turn over any insights we've made at the same time to keep things moving smoothly."

"But that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun. Let's open that main big panel there and at least see what the insides are doing. Grab a tool and get cracking."

Gantt began opening the panel before Harlan finished talking. "They may be the brainiacs but we're the ones who know firsthand what happened to our ship." He cocked his head and scratched the back of his neck.

"This is strange. Everything is familiar but it's wrong, like finding someone rearranged your room while you were out. That calibrator should be connected to the isotope generator. If I could get down to the operations circuits we could maybe see more. I'll pry a little space open and you can see if the sub-micron scanner tells us anything."

"Hrnh," Harlan grunted as Gantt worked on opening things up. He held the scanner open but the readout told him nothing. He decided to give the infernal thing a quick smack. "Grrr, this darn thing isn't telling me what I think it should. It ordinarily would be spouting out some typical babble about the inner workings of the device or a projected diagram of the circuits. This is coming up blank. Those crafty Romulans must think of everything when the rearranging their stuff so it can't be copied or understood easily. That's at least something useful we can tell Intel. What are your thoughts, Gantt?"

"We know the device knocked us out quickly. Life support, tactical, and medical systems dropped. It knocked out warp and propulsion. So, my theory is it causes the power to surge through the ship, overloading systems and draining back-up. The warp system is also screwed up so it's messing with the subspace fields. That's enough to know for now unless we have proper time to study it."

"Captain is going to want to know everything, no matter how small. We've never seen this before."

Harlan looked down at his com badge as he pinged his fearless leader.

=^=Captain, Harlan here. We've got some thoughts on the device in front of us but we might need a little extra time with it before we get the smart spies involved. How's that sound to your ears=^=

Malcom was sitting in his ready room when the call came to him. He rubbed his eyes as Chief Harlan spoke. "Chief, I appreciate your sentiment. In normal situations I would let you two have that thing as long as possible. But we don't have that kind of time. I want it off the ship and into a secure holding area on Empok Nor ASAP. File as detailed a report as you can and make holographic scans for later use," Malcom said

=^=Roger that, captain. I'll let you know when we have that ready.=^=

Harlan turned back to Gantt. "Did you catch that? We can't lollygag around with this like we'd want to. We may not know how it works right now but we have a start. Let's get a file made for a holographic image and get this shipped to Intel yesterday."

"Yes, i caught it all," Gantt said, his shoulders dropping. He should be happy to have even a short time studying a unique item. Instead, all that mattered was he would have many unanswered questions while Starfleet would have all the fun. Maybe there was a way to make them work for it, he thought. Nothing said the report had to be easy to read. Many a detailed text in the Academy had been painfully difficult to read. "No problem, Chief, I'll prepare all the details with modeling and schematics with the readings we have so far. No problem at all."

"Thanks," came the reply.

Harlan noticed Gantt's disappointment and spoke further. "Hey, don't look so down. We did a great job getting this much figured out. I wish we had more time too but this would get us both in big trouble if we messed around like we usually do. We'll have something fun to work on again soon. Sound good?"

The grizzled engineer gave Gantt one friendly pat on the shoulder for good measure, hoping the younger figure would look on the bright side.

Gantt nodded, not sure what else to do. The last time Harlan had said something like that to him was... his mind came up empty. The older man didn't speak often. "Thanks Chief. We did pretty well. No sense letting what we couldn't do ruin a fun day of not blowing up the ship with a strange device." Gantt nodded again with more energy as he returned to his work.

[OFF]

Warrant Officer Arlan Harlan
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Lieutenant Junior Grade Soto Gantt
Assistant Chief Engineering Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


 

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