Part of USS Century: 1.5. The Long Haul

Engineering Contingencies

USS Century
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Lieutenant Commander Brak stepped off the turbolift after leaving the Bridge’s Observation Lounge and entered the Main Engineering section of the Century. The Tellarite watched his team moving about the space, performing the necessary work that kept the ship running in peak condition. Their performance and efficiency was something to be lauded, and generally would have been under anyone else as Chief Engineer. And privately, the Tellarite in question did appreciate their hard work and efforts each and every day. That did not, however, translate well through his words. Outwardly, in true form to his particular species, he could always find something to complain about.

“Gather ’round, everyone. We need to have a quick meeting,” Brak called out to everyone currently occupying the space. As the various officers began to filter in, forming a circle around the shorter Commander, the man folded his arms across his chest and muttered, “Took you long enough.”

Once he knew he had the attention of his staff he began to explain the purpose for the sudden work stoppage, “Just came down from a meeting with the XO. We’re about to head out to uncharted space in the next week, and we need to get together a list of everything we think we’re going to need, and throw in a few nice to have things just to keep the Ops department on their toes. If your section head isn’t hear, pass the word to ’em as soon as you can and make sure I have something to route up before the end of the shift.”

The group gathered around him started to discuss the topic at hand amongst themselves, though no one had really moved from where they’d been to do so. Lt. Cmdr. Brak let out a sharp huff of air before exclaiming, “Alright, you layabouts, chit chat while you move those hands. Maintenance doesn’t do itself, even on these automation heavy ships!”

The engineers chuckled at his statement and set about their tasks while still discussing the information they’d been given. Brak, for his part, headed over to the master console that sat just outside the main warp core chamber, pulling up the inventory of items that they already had on hand while comparing it to what he already had in his head of what they might want extras of. 

“I thought I felt a change in gravity down here,” a feminine voice from behind the Tellarite drew his attention. The owner of the voice turned out to be his Assistant, Lieutenant Alicia Tanner, a somewhat shorter than average Human with fairly short, sandy colored hair.

“Where’ve you been, kid? Had a meeting without you,” Brak grumbled.

“Doing work,” the young Lieutenant replied, “These engines don’t tune themselves, now do they?”

The Tellarite snorted in approval, “They certainly do not. Set the tools down for a second and take a look at this here with me. Need a fresh set of eyes, want to make sure I’m not missing anything right in front of my snout.”

Alicia nodded and set the tool kit she’d been shouldering down on a nearby stool before moving over to stand beside him. Brak scrolled through the list he’d compiled, stopping just long enough for Tanner’s eyes to catch everything before moving on. It took less than a minute for him to reach the end of his scroll before the Tellarite gave the woman an expectant look.

“You forgot a spare dilithium intermix chamber assembly,” Lacy said offhandedly.

The Lieutenant Commander frowned, flipping through the list again before grunting, “So I did. Good catch.”

The woman ran her knuckle under her chin in thought for a moment before asking, “Are we going to give the night crew a chance to submit inputs? Some of the issues they seem to run into tend to differ from what we tackle, so it might be worth giving them a chance to pitch in.”

“Don’t think I mentioned getting the word to them, just the section heads…” Brak admitted in a surly tone, “Couldn’t hurt to give them a stab at it.”

“Sounds good, I’ll put it in the pass down log for them. Give them until shift change to have their version back to you?”

The Tellarite pondered the question for a second before nodding, “Yeah, that works. XO wants a list from Ops by 1100, so if you come in on the early relief rotation and get that from them, I can have it out of here way ahead of time. Should work just fine.”

“As good a plan as any,” Tanner said, pushing herself away from the console, “I’ll go hunt down the section chiefs and find out where they are with their lists, see if I can help speed the process along.”

Brak nodded, “Fine. I’ll see if we have the time to shut down the warp core and do some conduit maintenance before we head out since we’re probably going to be running at high warp for a month straight, give or take.”

Lacy’s face drew down into a pensive look, “That could work if we were docked with the starbase, but I haven’t heard that being the plan. We’d first have to make sure all of our backup generators were given a serious once over before we tried that, and seven days isn’t a lot of time to do both.”

The Tellarite frowned and stroked his chin for a moment before nodding, “I see your point. How about we do a thorough once over of the backup power grid, make sure if something happens with the warp core, we can at least limp around without worrying about starving or suffocating while we patch ourselves up.”

“Sure, I’ll talk to the reactor maintenance team while I’m making my rounds and see what they can make happen while we’re prepping to leave,” Tanner said, making her way to the rear of the engineering compartment to carry out their agreed upon plan.