Entering main engineering I see a flurry of activity as junior engineering staff are trying to maintain ships systems, without a First Assistant
Engineer, people are getting in each others way, it's time to get some order in the house,
"Officer on deck!" shouts a tall red head second assistant, and everyone jumps to attention.
"As of this moment saluting in the control room is banned!" I bark "I can be addressed as Sir or Chief Engineer, now someone better bring me up to
speed as to why there is chaos in my Control Room!"
The red head speaks up, "Sir, we have problems with distribution and power fluctuations on three decks, starboard hanger bay is reporting a coupling
failure and their launch rail is off line Sir!"
Wheeling to the main console I motion the second assistant there to vacate the console, he looks as if a weight has been lifted from his young
shoulders, I bring up the schematics on the display, the hanger bay coupling is fried, sending two assistants to replace the coupling, I check
distribution, load sharing is off, I type in an algorithm written by my professor so many years ago and modified over time, power displays drop from
red to yellow then to green, load sharing is equalizing the couplings. I bring up the launch bay and reboot the rails, they go from red to green.
Keying the intercom for the starboard hanger bay I announce. " Starboard hanger bay this is the Chief Engineer, your launch rails are green!"
Turning back to the group behind me I give them a withering look. "Anyone creating chaos in my control room will find themselves replacing shower
heads and repairing toilets, is that clear!"
"Yes Sir!" they chime in unison.
"Second engineers will pair up with third engineers for all duties, you will work as teams always, there are six overheated couplings that now need
replacing, I want them done in 15 minutes! "
Turning the the Ensign I say "Mr Roberts where are those people I asked for?"
Ensign Roberts grabs the chair "Right this way Sir!"
Wheeled into the ready room there are a group of people waiting, I look at the list.
"Ensign there are only 23 people here, where is number 24?"
"In labor Sir" he replies.
"Well that is a valid excuse, we will do with what we have", I tap the datapad and get a list in order of rank and experience.
"Ms Craig I am assigning you as my 2IC" I look at all of them, "You are all seconded to this ship for the duration of the current emergency, I
realize some of you are civilian but I hope all of us can work together, for those of you who are unfamiliar, we run on interstellar ships time. There
are 100 seconds to a minute, 100 minutes to an hour and 20 hours in each day, you will need to work 10 hours on and 10 hours off" Looking over this
group of mixed engineers I ask, "Are there any questions?" for the next 10 minutes I field what questions I can.
My datapad turns red and chimes "Emergency, emergency"
"Toodles to engineering. We have a major problem. There is a quantum feedback in our core processors. We need as many people as you can spare, to
solve the problem. Me and my men are already working on it, but this has to be solved before we fry the logical processors on board".
"Cliff, Ames, Benson, see Mr Toodles in main computing, do what you can, Ms Craig your with me, all engineers to their stations, Ensign Roberts,
control room now!"
We wheel around and a few moments are back in the control room in front of the main console, bringing up the quantum display I exclaim, "Crikey! we
have a null address in the quantum stream, I want three engineering teams here now!" I yell.
Keying the link to spares I put in a -request- "Spares, I want two main power cables and three data link cables to the main hanger bay five minutes
Turning to the assembled engineering teams I bark orders "I want you all to get to the main hanger bay, there you will find the remains of the space
station's control room. First team connect the power cables to panels 1 and 7 and route them to main power in the hanger, Second team route the data
cables to terminals 1, 3 and 5, connect them to main data lines in the hanger, Third team replace all the fused relays in distribution panel 1. I want
it done in three minutes!"
"Tickette!" my orange "scarfe" is alert in an instant, "Go home, get my com-link, hurry" I tap my left shoulder, Tickette nods and leaps off my
shoulder becoming a russett orange blur, leaping from wall to wall she takes the shortest route to the hanger, five levels up she arrows into free air
extending her legs and arms the skin between becomes sail like as she glides at high speed towards our former quarters, describing a neat loop to wash
off speed Tickette streaks into the old control room as the startled personel work feverishly, retrieving my com-link from the cradle Tickette is
again a blur as she heads back.
The first team reports power coupling complete, one minute later teams two and three report work complete, from the console I power up part of the old
control room, Tickette streaks in and hands me the com-link, a slightly curved silver panel no larger than a finger with a touch surface in the
center. Touching the com-link I ask "Sheila, online?" nothing, sending a 4 milli second surge on the power line I ask again, "Sheila, online",
"Yes, Professor" says a disembodied voice.
"Sheila, access ships logs for the last 40 hours" I wait.
" Accessing, - accomplished" says the voice
"Sheila, we have a quantum address of null on ship creating an infinite loop, processors are overloading, I propose sending an inverse phase quantum
pulse through the ship, concur?" I ask.
"Proposal has risk, approximate 30% complete cascade failure, alternatives are unknown at this time" Sheila says.
"Sheila I want you to monitor the pulse, shield you core and adjust the phase shift to precisely 180 degrees, comply?" I ask.
"Yes Professor, ready"
My 2IC has her mouth half open so I explain, "Sheila is a positronic matrix AI and has no need for quantum processing, "she" is the only one fast
enough to adjust the phase with precision"
"Ms Craig, shields to maximum, set the quantum emitters to an 8 Millisecond second pulse, without shield sync." I turn to my left "Mr Gray,
ship-wide comms, override all channels" I send a voice message to Mr. Toodles via datapad, " Toodles, I am sending a reverse phase quantum pulse
through the ship, reboot time approx. 2 mins" to the ship comms I announce
"All hands, all stations, this is the Chief engineer, prepare for a quantum pulse, stand clear of the hull and ships systems, failure to comply will
render you unconscious for several hours, quantum pulse in two minutes" I key off the comms. "Everyone ready?"
[edit on 29-8-2009 by prof-rabbit]