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Pilot Proof Cap

Posted on 24 Jul 2017 @ 2:47am by Lieutenant Gemma Alexander

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Hanger Bay
Timeline: MD5 || 1645 hours

Kalvin watched each of the Alpha birds as they landed with a critical eye. Three had a bit of a dip in the portside wing as she landed. He made a mental note to have the portside antigravity pod checked. It was only a half second or so delay before it engaged, but it could be enough to throw a pilot off. Walsh and Alexander on the other hand were nearly textbook landings. No sooner had the birds shut down in their parking areas than canopies started coming up, except for Alpha Two. He saw some animated signals between the pilot and ground crew and decide to investigate further.

"I'll handle this one Waters." Maddox said as he approached. "Check Alpha Three's portside anti grav pod. Looked like its got a half second delay before it's engaging when they pass through the force field."

"Aye aye Senior."

"Lieutenant, is there any particular reason you don't want to come out of your bird?" He asked as he climbed up the ladder the crew moved to the side of the bird upon shutdown. "If you're worried about your appearance, your hair's fine, but makeup gets done in the locker room."

Archer glanced up from her controls, breaking off the animated discussion she was having with her ground crew at the crew Chief's approach. "This gorgeousness is all natural and needs no addition..." She quipped with a slightly saucy grin, then it faded but still good natured, "However, I seemed to have a short be between the console and the hatch. And yes I turned it off and on again" She joked, taking off her helmet, her tied back red hair still tight to her head.

"Smartass." Kalvin quipped and climbed back down to get a spanner to enable him to remove the access panel. "I'll let you out this time Lieutenant, but you owe me drinks or dinner. Or both, your choice." He chuckled as he began to unfasten the access panel.

Gemma laughed then replied as she unbuckled from her seat, "Both is a special occasion and I don't know you nearly that well, Chief..." ever ready with a quip, "If they'd just fix these craft so you could access more of the systems from inside I wouldn't need to ask but then where would you put it..." She said in her Earth British accented English glancing around the small space, covered in everything she would need as the pilot. There wasn't much more room for any additional access ports. Not that she didn't want to be able to fix it herself, but it was what it was.

"Well you have to start somewhere Lieutenant. So dinner or drinks it is." Kalvin chuckled as he removed the access cover and pulled a small penlight from his pocket. "The reason you can't access it from inside is to keep curious jocks from playing with things they don't know how to play with. You'd more than likely break something and cause my people more of a headache than the original issue."

Gemma grinned, she'd yet to meet a person in pilot country who wasn't ready with the smart alec remarks. It definitely made things more interesting, "Hey we realize our lives are based on this thing. We're not entirely crazy...all the time, maybe just once in awhile..." She grinned down at him, "At least I've had the engineering extension courses for fighter craft, I know what I can fix, what not to touch and how bad it will kill me if I do..."

"Not to mention the crew chief murdering you in your sleep for breaking his or her aircraft." Kalvin reminded her with a smile.

Gwen leaned into the window trying to see what he was doing to her beloved craft, "Right so rock and hard either the repair will kill me or the techies will." She paused, "Can I know what you're doing to Arrow or do I have to leave you alone to wave your magic voodoo techie wand?" She joked but there was an underlying note of curiosity in her voice. She really wanted to know but would make an effort to let him do his job if that's what was needed to repair her fighter.

"Well right now I've removed bolts 1 through 8 in order to remove access panel A from space frame B to get access to internals C and find out where you've managed to short the system for your canopy controls. Luckily for you, I'll probably have to blame the dockside engineers who gave your bird the once over before it was delivered. So it's their asses I'll want to hang, and not yours. Besides which I haven't seen yours yet to know better." He commented with a smirk as he traced the light in his hand over the wiring conduits and chips in the circuit boards. "And there's out culprit there." He shook his head in annoyance as he removed a chip from its slot, the visible end blackened by burn out. He held it up for the pilot to see while he looked around. "K'Vel, grab me a replacement chip for slot 381 Delta, will you? And bring over a diagnostic cart, we're gonna have to run the whole system and see what caused the chip to burn out. Since this appears to be the correct chip."

"Be just a minute Senior Chief." Grunted the Klingon systems specialist.

Gwen nodded to herself, he knew his business. Which to be fair she didn't expect him not too but was comforting nevertheless. For Archer it was a point of personal honor that she knew as much about her craft as possible, well as best she could without getting in the way too badly. The fact it was infinitely more complex than the horses that would take her ancestors through battle to battle notwithstanding.

She replied, "My thanks Senior Chief, if you get me out of here first I wouldn't mind a look see. Not that I don't trust mind..." Well maybe just a little, ."..I just like to know these things." She paused thinking, "And if you want help hanging some dockside yard dogs out to dry I'm there with ya...." Nothing major mind, just some gentle reminders about acceptable safety standards. It could have been the weapons or life support systems affected after all.

"Can't get you out without the new chip Lieutenant." Kalvin shook his head in the negative. "No chip means no connection to the control interface, and there's no manual release mechanism built in down here. Maybe I'll tinker with that in my next test run on the holodeck." He said with a shrug. "Still have to see if the stuff I tweaked on my Padd on the trip here works or how long it takes to make the bird blow up. Anyway, once we get you out of there I'll show you where the chip goes. If you want to hang around while we run the diagnostic, that's up to you."

Gemma sighed and leaned back in her chair. She'd be hoping he could just manually get her out but alas, as her Grandmother would say, earwax. Gemma didn't understand quite the book reference something about not getting what you wanted and a boy named Harry Potter. She'd have to read that sometime. "I'd not mind it, actually rather hoping to expand my repair skills with my fighter." Not only was it a point of pride but she found it helped her understand her craft's limitations etc even better. "Why might you be blowing up a craft, Senior Chief?" She asked curiously, leaning into the window again.

"It's a hobby, taking the design specifications, schematics, wiring diagrams. All the technical information about a bird, tweaking this or that in my downtime on my Padd or console, and then running it through a simulator on the holodeck. See if my tweak improves something, makes something worse, or causes a catastrophic failure."

Gemma laughed again, "Well there are worse hobbies..." She replied. They continued like that talking and joking back and forth until finally the repair was complete then her cockpit cover popped. Relieved she hopped out and true to his promise the ground crew chief patiently explained to Archer the art of his craft as he completed the follow up diagnostics.


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