A Pile of Crap
Main Engineering <Deck 2> [Gibraltar Station]
Immediately as one enters main engineering, one reaches a large blast door, at least 10 meters tall and 6 across, which can be lowered during emergencies. A half-meter past this blast door is another, to provide double protection from explosions and radiation. Past these doors main engineering opens up. A large and spacious room, it is one of the larger areas aboard the base. Half-circular, with a radius of at least 20 meters, it is packed with consoles and people at peak hours. Every wall is lined with monitoring stations, with exceptions for two doors, at one o'clock and 11 o'clock relative to the main entrance. Every three or four stations, a small piece of wall juts past the console a half meter, allowing for a little bit of privacy for the worker at that console. In the center of the room is a large, glowing blue cylinder which seems to pulsate with energy. At the base of this cylinder are several consoles, as well as force-field emitters and another blast screen that can be lowered for emergencies. 8 meters inside the main blast doors is a large table, the center of which is a display screen capable of showing any number of consoles or diagrams. Surrounding the center screen are smaller consoles. The table itself is at least 3 meters long and 2 wide. The door located at the one o'clock leads into a small supply room, filled with several tools and other equipment needed for maintenance work. The door at eleven o'clock leads to the Chief Engineer's office. The lighting in the room is dim, with most illumination coming from consoles and the main reactor. Alert tracers around the consoles and along the side of each door show the station's status.
Ens Drake James Bellows
Lt Jason Turner
Jason is currently running about Engineering like a man with his ass on fire, apparently having lost his uniform jacket in the chaos. Engineering personnel are running this way and that, yammering rapid-fire reports left and right.
"The safety interlocks should have--"
"Massive pressure loss--"
"All systems are down!"
In the middle of all this, Jason is hammering away at a control panel, doing...something. He's flying between options screens too fast to really get a sense of it.
Bellows walks into engineering, he blinks a few times as he watches everyone running around, "What's going on?" he asks an engineer as he jogs next to him, trying to figure out what's going on.
"Waste processor failure!" snaps the crewman, before disappearing down a side corridor.
Jason pushes away from the panel, slapping at the 'clear' button with annoyed finality. "Shit!" He pauses, for a moment, and is unable to contain a chuckle. "How appropriate." Sweeping Engineering with a practiced eye, he points toward Bellows. "You! Ensign, c'mere!"
Bellows eyes fall on Jason and he nods his head, jogging over towards him. "Yessir?" he asks as he reaches him.
"Ensign," Jason asks heavily, "what do you know about waste processors?" He glances distractedly around Engineering. "I wonder where my jacket went..."
Bellows blinks a couple times, "Uhh... nothing, only that it has to deal with waste..." he answers, his face turning a little red from embarrasment.
"Alright." Jason whirls around, pointing at a screen that's still blank. He emits a small sound of annoyance and taps it to life, displaying a miniature of the station's master systems display. "The bio-neural gel packs in life support are going haywire. Fortunately, the idiot who okayed the installation of them didn't get to the oxygen scrubbers, but the things misfired and cycled the waste processor system. Instead of it getting used by the replicator systems, it froze when exposed to space and fried the magnetic motors. There's zero--or, worse, positive--pressure coming through the waste systems to any intake device."
Bellows looks over the screen and slowly nods his head, "So, what are we supposed to do sir? I can't look and read about a system and learn it, I need to get my hands dirty and look it over to see what's wrong."
Jason glances toward Bellows. "Hands dirty? How appropriate. Hold on." Crossing Engineering, he slaps at a comm panel--seeing as how his combadge is wherever his uniform jacket ended up.
<Compin> Turner says, "Engineering to Hawkins!"
<Compin> Hawkins says, "Hawknis here, go ahead?"
<Compin> Turner says, "Captain, we have a situation."
<Compin> Hawkins says, "Explain?"
<Compin> Turner says, "Most important system on the ship just went casters-up, Captain."
<Compin> Hawkins says, "Life support?"
<Compin> Turner says, "The... shitters, sir."
<Compin> Hawkins says, "So... fix it?"
<Compin> Turner says, "On it, sir, but figured you might want to know. What half-wit okayed these bio-neural packs anywhere, let alone in life support?"
<Compin> Hawkins says, "Someone here before me. Are they causing a problem?"
<Compin> Turner says, "Well, seeing as how they just vented the entire contents of the waste processor into space, I would have to say that. Yes, Captain, they are causing a problem!"
<Compin> Hawkins says, "So get rid of them?"
<Compin> Turner says, "Ripping them out will take a while, as we've got to replicate the replacements in hard circuits. However, the more immediate problem is the waste processor itself... It's stuck, Captain."
<Compin> Hawkins says, "So fix it then get rid of them. I've heard nothing but problems from those damn things since I got here. Stupid idea anyhow. I have a bit of a headache, Turner, so you won't mind if I tell you to just do what you have to and let me explain to Command why I have to requisition whatever I have to requisition. Just get those systems back online."
<Compin> Turner says, "Got it, Captain. Out."
<Compin> Hawkins says, "And Turner: Get. Rid. Of. Those. Gelpacks."
Jason gestures to Bellows. "Call the Chief Engineer, will you?"
Bellows nods, "Yes sir."
<Compin> Bellows says, "Bellows to Veshedsky."
<Compin> Veshedsky says, "Veshedsky."
<Compin> Bellows says, "Sir, we are having troubles with the gelpacks."
<Compin> Veshedsky says, "...Are there more infections in them?"
Bellows turns his head to Turner, "I'm talking with the Chief, you want him down here sir?"
"Quickly," comes Jason's reply, as he clips a tricorder to his belt.
<Compin> Bellows says, "Yessir. We need your assistance here in Engineering."
<Compin> Veshedsky says, "Yeah. On my way."
<Compin> Bellows says, "Roger. Out."
Bellows looks over at Turner, "The Chief is on his way down, sir."
(There is a short break, and when we return... Engineering is in what could be charitably called 'crunch mode.' Crewmen are running to and fro, armed with spanners, tricorders, and other tools of the engineering trade. Jason is in front of an master system's display called up on a sub-monitor, taking a PADD from a surprised crewman and beginning to enter data into the device. He looks somewhere between 'pissed' and 'furious.' Bellows is standing beside Turner and is looking over the monintor.)
Stepping through the doors and looking relatively flustered in only his mustard yellow turtleneck and duty pants, Emory looks like he could probably be in a worse shape. As he approaches Turner and Bellows both, he looks between them. "Five seconds, gentlemen. Explain. Now." For the first time, he looks rather... unnerved. Perhaps it's the fact that before he had left his quarters, he had discovered the problem. "Someone has five seconds to explain to me why the station's toilets are regurgitating back into other peoples' facilities."
"Retarded monkeys with bio-gel packs, Commander." Jason doesn't turn around, continuing to copy data from the MSD to his PADD.
"That's it. I've had it. Boys, this is the first and maybe only time you'll see me pull rank." Moving up beside Bellows, Emory begins to tap on the portion of the MSD he stands at, growling quietly. "When I read that report the Lieutenant gave me from one of her officers, I knew this was going to be trouble." When he steps back, he clears his throat. "Lieutenant, take the waste reclaimation system offline, now. All facilities, for the time being. Dispatch damage control teams to the waste containment centers on deck thirty four and deck fifteen... make sure they're offline. We're going to do an emergency flush and purge of the system before we even think about bringing it back online." He steps back another step, rubbing his head. "Notify Operations. Let them know we're taking it down." With that, Emory taps his compin. "Veshedsky to Hawkins."
"We can't flush the thing!" Jason lets out a short chuckle at the unreality of it. "In a nutshell, Commander: the gel-packs decided to take a nap and were asleep at the switch when something triggered the waste processor to perform an emergency venting. Problem is, the main turbine of the waste processor was still cycling. When the hatch opened to drop our shit--pardon the language--the waste wedged open the door and froze in place. The magnetic motors that keep the turbines going are probably fried, but I can't even tell to check a goddamned diagnostic!" Jason slams the heel of his hand against the display, and it wavers for a moment.
Thankfully, the circuit's not open yet when Emory swears at that piece of information. "Then what controls do we have?" he asks, irritably.
<Compin> Hawkins says, "Hawkins here."
<Compin> Veshedsky says, "Captain, I am going over Science's head. We're pulling these gel packs tonight, starting with the waste reclaimation system. We're going to switch back to isolinear chips after that. There's no telling how many more problems these things are going to cause to other systems, sir. I'd rather play it safe."
<Compin> Hawkins says, "I have no problem with that. Frankly, the biogel packs are Engineering's purview anyhow. Go for it. Be my guest. Should I come down and have a toast to getting rid of them?"
Bellows chuckles hearing Hawkins over the compin.
<Compin> Veshedsky says, "Better not, sir. This place is about to get busy. Thank you though, sir. Veshedsky out."
Jason looks at Veshedsky with a grim expression. "I can tell you that we aren't sucking vacuum, if that helps. Whatever moron started on it never got to the oxygen scrubbers." He folds his arms across his chest. "Computer, give me a view of the emergency waste ejection hatch."
The computer beeps, and the screen in front of Jason flares to life. The megaton door that normally holds waste inside the turbine is jammed halfway open, a huge frozen chunk of cheerfully mixed sentient waste matter frozen in a gigantic plume.
"Can we shut the damn things down through the generator and use a JL7 interlock to open the door further?" Emory rubs his eyes a little bit, grunting at the view on the screen. "Bluddy god-damned Tremar. If I ever see that woman I am going to tear her little body limb from limb. Good engineer, my ass." For the first time... the camera's going to see Emory angry. He taps something on the panel, and begins to speak...
Veshedsky broadcasts over the intercom: "All off duty Engineering personnel are ordered to report to Emergency stations at this time. Repeating, all engineering personnel are ordered to report to Emergency stations at this time. Damage Control report to Decks fifteen and thirty four to begin an attempt of an emergency power shutdown of waste reclaimation systems."
"We can try that," Jason says, though he sounds doubtful. "Now, I'm not up to speed on my shit-grinding technology, but I would think that it'd just freeze more of it, no?" He scratches at his jaw. "Do we have any workbees? Or even EVA suits and a couple of phaser rifles? Cut the damn thing off, and apologize if it hits anyone."
Bellows glances back and forth at the Chief and Asst. Chief, waiting for them to figure out what to do.
"Workbee, maybe. The idea of sending a team out to try and open the door up with a Bipolar Torch may work," Emory remarks, rubbing his head a little bit and muttering. "Try taking it offline so it'll stop backclogging into peoples' quarters, and then we'll worry about how to get it out of the system," he remarks.
"It is offline," Jason replies. "I burned out a relay intentionally to keep it from misfiring again." He points to a junction on the MSD. "The reason it's spurting back into others' toilets is because people keep shitting! The turbine's stopped, which means that the tank is closed and anything put into the system is just putting more pressure on the tubes going into the processor." He pauses. "That reminds me." He punches a key on the comm panel.
Turner broadcasts over the intercom: "This is Engineering; I require the attention of all residents of Gibraltar Station, Starfleet and civilian alike. If you do not have an alimentary system, you can stop listening now, but for the rest of you--we're currently experiencing a catastrophic waste reclamator failure, and we--and the rest of your station neighbors--would really, really like it if you stopped backfilling the pipes! Hold it for a while. We're working on the problem. Out."
Staring at Turner, Emory... just... groans, before turning back to the MSD and tapping on something regarding it. He reads the information, before nodding a little bit and grunting slightly. "Damage Control's on station. They're pulling the gel packs," he remarks. "Replacing the isolinear circuitry now."
"That'll work for now, but we'll have to manufacture something more than stopgap circuitry in the morning." Jason seems oblivious to Veshedsky's consternation. "Okay, Commander. How do you want to handle this?" He glances toward Bellows. "I don't suppose you're certified in EVA?"
Bellows shrugs his shoulders, "I'm not sure sir, I just fix things that are broken..."
"We need to get the frozen dingle-berry off of the station before we can do anything. Dispatch an EVA team and a Sphinx Workpod... Mr. Bellows can head up the detail. Take an EJ7 Interlock with you, as well as a Bipolar Torch for your team to use. Remove that chunk, and unjam the door with the interlock. Use the torch to get the chunk off, if you have to. Hopefully, just opening the door up some more will let it get loose. Once we've got the obstacle out of the way, we can purge the system out," Emory remarks, rubbing his eyes a little. He rechecks his thought process, before nodding.
"Guess sometimes folks learn on the job," Jason mutters, before looking back to Veshedsky. "If the ensign's not EVA trained, we might have a new asteroid in orbit. Last time I even went near one was four, five years ago. Rusty as hell." He pauses. "I guess we can just tie a really long string on him."
Bellows nods his head, "I'm sure I'll be just fine. Just get me suited up and tell me exactly what to do and I'll do it."
"An EVA is nothing to worry about, Ensign. You'll do fine as long as you make sure to turn on the magnets in the boots," Emory remarks lightly. "Lieutenant? Go with his team, and keep this straight. If you want, take the Sphinx," he remarks after a moment.
"I've got something better," Turner says dryly. "As of the last time the Captain talked to me, that runabout we tore apart for cover when the Origen went into the Maelstrom--it's still Engineering property. And if I'm going to have to drag around a ball of shit, I want something with better tractors." He folds his arms across his chest. "So we tear off the shitbrick, try to clear enough that the door closes. Can I pick up lunch while I'm at it?"
Bellows chuckles at Turner's plan and looks over at the Chief.
There's a bit of a smirk on Emory's face at the Lieutenant, before he nods. "I get the idea. Give it a try," he remarks quietly, taking a breath and rubbing his eyes a little bit. "This is ridiculous," he mutters quietly.
"This is a station," Jason says wryly. "One must fill the empty hours in the day." He points to Bellows. "Ops boys can show you how not to hurt yourself in EVA. Get suited and tell me when you're ready to go." He whirls and strides out of Engineering, apparently forgetting his jacket. Ehh, it'll show up later.
Bellows nods his head, "Yes, sir," and makes his way for operations.
Watching Bellows go, Emory takes a breath, and nods. "Lieutenant, I've got faith in you. Don't prove me wrong," he remarks. "I'm going to remain down here and do vocal damage control with the civilian populace. You've got this," he remarks toward the Lieutenant, rubbing his eyes a little. "When this is over, I'm filing a complaint to the Corps of Engineers. This is ridiculous." With that, he begins to turn, and make his way deeper into Operations, shaking his head...
Turner doesn't wait around, either. Without another word to the ensign, he takes off out of Engineering at a quick jog, headed straight down to the shuttle bay. On his way he calls down to have the shuttle crew prep the Engineering runabout originally appropriated for the Origen project. As part of that project, both the shields and tractor systems were boosted, and now's another chance to use it.
(We cut to the Engineering shuttle.)
Once down at the shuttle bay, Jason goes through a quick pre-flight check. "Turner to Bellows. Tell me when you're out."
"Roger that sir, but... exactly where am I going?" Bellows asks over the comm.
"Ops! They'll help you prep for EVA. Take a couple of crewmen with you, and don't forget the bipolar torch." Jason engages the runabout's engines, a quick jolt of engine thrust inching the vessel out of the shuttle bay. "Once you cut that frozen chunk off, I'll get rid of it."
"I know to go to Ops, I'm already here getting suited up along with a couple other guys. Where do I go to scrape the crap off the door?"
"Alright." Jason eases the runabout around the station, scanning by eye for the waste processor ejection hatch. And then he sees it--a huge frozen plume. "Report in when you're extra-vehicular. I'll light it up for you."
A couple minutes go by and a crackle goes through the comm as Bellows speaks, "Alright I'm outside... this suit is kinda cool. I think I see you..."
"You'll see me pretty quickly." Jason reorients the runabout with a jet of maneuvering thrusters. "Give me a second..." He taps a few buttons on the console and from the nose of the runabout comes a brilliant blue beam--a low-powered deflector beam--oriented at the hatch. "See that?"
"Yes sir, moving over there now. Let's go guys," Bellows replies over the comm. He begins to move closer to the shiny blue light, moving very slowly to get used to the EVA suit.
Slowly Jason eases forward, remaining about four kilometers from the station's hull. "Alright. Set up as you wish, Ensign, and we'll get this done." He squints out toward the station. "That's a big chunk," he says, letting out a low whistle.
Bellows moves over to the hunk of crap and looks at it for a few moments, "That's a lot of poo..." he thinks out loud. He takes a lap around the chunk, "Alright...we'll torch it away at the bottom to break away the huge piece, then work at the smaller stuff that remains." He takes his torch and starts it up, then begins to work at the bottom of the chunk. "Well...at least it doesn't smell."
"If it was smelling, you'd already be dead." Jason glances down at the panels and frowns, muttering to himself. "Wide-angle dispersal for the tractor beam... ought to be alright, even if it breaks into pieces..." He coughs into a fist as scanner readouts appear on his console. "Ensign, watch out. There are hollow areas in that ice block. The blowback could be harsh."
"Roger that sir" Bellows replies. He continues to melt away under the chunk of crap, slowly working around it and digging in. "Everything's goin' along nic--" Bellows is cut off as a burst of air hisses out from under the hunk of ice. The air pushes his upper body backwards and it begins to move away.
"You alright, Ensign?" Jason lights the impulse engines, easing the runabout forward a couple hundred meters. "Report!"
Bellows' upper body contines to fall backwards, "Oh yeah I'm fine sir" as he says this he bends his knees and his back hits the base. "I took the Chief's advice and turned on the magnetic boots" he chuckles, pulling himself back upright.
"Alright. Watch out, though. The boots are good, but aren't infallible." The closer position of the runabout seems to suit Jason well, and from the position of the crew on the hull it's now much more clearly visible, hanging in space a mere kilometer off of the station.
"Yes sir" Bellows says as he stands back up and contines to work at the block of crap. "It's just about to break off, just need to carve in a few more inches around it."
"Okay. Give a yell as soon as it does. I'll tractor the block of ice and send it on its way." The runabout angles forward, inching closer to a half-kilometer. Jason can be seen through the front viewport at this distance.
Bellows says, "Roger that." Only a few minutes later Bellows and his crew step back from the chunk of ice, "Alright, we're gonna have to push it in order to get it off the doors, you ready to catch sir?"
"Don't push. You don't have any way to get leverage, you'll bounce onto your ass. Just hold on." A translucent beam from the runabout connects the craft with the chunk of ice. Slowly, he begins to reverse course. After a few moments the runabout turns about. "There we--go!" The tractor beam snaps off as the system's newest comet reaches apogee of its tractored orbit around the runabout, sending it off in an unoccupied direction.
Bellows pumps his fist, "Alright! Now to get the crap off the turbines so this door can work, let's do it boys!"
"Alright, good." The runabout eases forward again, jetting to a stop a mere hundred meters from the station. "I'm getting word from the crew inside the station. They're almost done repairing the turbine motors. Can you guys close the door manually? It's heavy, but should be mobile..."
"I'm not sure, we can try to close it, won't hurt anythin'" Bellows replys. Him and his crew finish getting the little remaining bits of crap off the door, "ALright, lets close the doors, there's a couple handles on both sides of the door to grab onto." With that said Bellows and his crew split up and pull on the handles, slowly closing the door back up.
"Nice work, Ensign." The runabout vectors away, jetting back toward the shuttle bay. "You shouldn't be out there too much longer. Once it's closed, signal Engineering and they'll activate the waste processors."