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It's Too Loud

Posted on 11 Dec 2016 @ 3:04am by Ensign Quinn Mackie & Ensign Kelly Khan

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Operations
Timeline: MD 11 || 0800 Hours

Kelly's alarm went off and she groaned and tried to kill the offending noise with whatever was at hand, but unfortunately, there was nothing that was close enough for her to grab. She stumbled out of bed and ordered a Raktajino from the replicator before she made her way to the sonic shower. She had no idea of what was going on in Abrams' room the night before, but if she had to guess, it was targ mating season, a murder that took a long time, or he had company that was terrified.

Once she had the coffee in her system and a sonic shower, she felt a bit better but was still in need of a solid night of sleep and she knew there was only one of three ways she was going to get it. She could bang on his door until it was loud enough for him and the banshee that had spent the night with him to hear, request a transfer to another quarters, or get some soundproofing to her room. She dismissed the first one as no one could beat on a door loud enough to be heard over the screaming and the second wasn't likely to be granted since she had just transferred to that room.

That left soundproofing and after she changed into her new uniform and put HG on it, she headed down to Operations to see if that was possible. The one person there who might be able to help her figure it out was her boyfriend Quinn and that was who she looked for as soon as she entered the department. She wasn't sure as no one had talked to her, but she suspected she had suffered some hearing loss during the night and would soon know after she talked to him.

Nursing a tall mug of coffee of his own, Quinn had been sitting at one of the wall consoles, trying to keep an eye on dozens of monitoring systems. Normally, the computer would have been able this completely on its own, but that was just it. For the second time since he'd been aboard, the computer had been wiped and restored to factory settings. Because it had happened twice, he didn't trust the computer at all.

Of course his eyes weren't up to the task. There was too much to watch, especially for a mind as tired as his. He'd stayed awake most of the first few hours just to keep an eye on things. So, in his tired state, he didn't notice that the doors behind him had opened and closed.

Ensign Kazae, a Benzite had noticed however. She rose from her station beside the door just after the red-collared Ensign had entered. She stood and approached the ensign from behind. Tapping on her shoulder, the Benzite asked, "Can we help you?"

Kelly turned when the Benzite tapped on her shoulder and gave a smile. "I was hoping that may be the case," she said. "I was actually looking for Cadet Mackie."

"If he's still awake," she remarked, pointing at the blond whose back was to them. "He's right over there."

"Thank you," Kelly said before she turned and went to where Quinn was with a smile. "Hey, Quinn," she said as she stepped up beside of him. "If you stare at the console much harder, you might start to see things that aren't there."

"Hmm?" he grunted, looking up as he took a sip of coffee. "I think I'm already seeing things," Quinn remarked with a sly smile. "Especially since the only red shirts I see around here are yeoman delivering requisitions and the like."

"Trust me when I say it's me," Kelly said. "And you are the person that I want to see. I recently moved to a new quarters and my next door neighbor was either interrogating a Targ or entertaining guests. Is it possible to get soundproofing?"

"Sound proofing?" Quinn asked, looking up at her with a quizzical eyebrow. He knew a lot of things travelled fast aboard a starship, but he never thought of sound as one. "The bulkheads should be enough to stop most sounds. Are you sure there's not a phantom speaker or something left behind from the last occupant?"

"A phantom speaker?" Kelly asked. "I haven't really searched around everything, but I know I heard a lot of noise coming from the quarters next to mine. Do you think it's possible it could be coming through the vents?"

"It's possible," Quinn replied. "But only if your neighbor turned his or her quarters into an echo chamber or sound amplifier. Wait... you and Elisha moved?" No sooner was the question out of his mouth was it followed by a yawn.

"No, I moved," Kelly said. "Yesterday. No...it was two days ago. I'm sorry I forgot to tell you, Tiger," she said and meant it. "Things have been so crazy that it slipped my mind. Want to move in with me? I'm on deck four now in zero four one five next to Doctor Abrams, the giant of Sickbay."

Quinn could only chuckle. "This hasn't been a normal week for anyone, and who knows if it's really still August 2388. For all we know, we could be in 2380... or 2420..." Sighing, he smiled at her. "You serious about moving in?"

"Regardless of the year, I'm going to be twenty-two in a couple days," she said. "Of course I want you to move in with me, Quinn. I love you."

He smiled and rose from his chair to embrace her. He didn't care about the others in the room, but they all knew about the couple anyway. Secrets didn't stay secret long aboard the Black Hawk. "I love you too, Kelly," he told her. "But, if there is a phantom speaker, we'll have to find a way to kill it."

Kelly returned the hug and gave him a quick kiss. "We could make so much noise once you move in that everyone in the surrounding quarters move instead," she said with a wink. "Or find the speaker and reverse it so the other person gets it instead of us."

"Kelly..." he replied with blushed cheeks and an awkward tone. In fact, by reflex he looked up to see if anyone was listening. No one seemed to mind. After all, their relationship was not the only one on board, nor had anyone served in Starfleet without a tryst of their own. "Still, it's worth a look. Care to lead the way?"

She gave a low chuckle at his blush and a wide smile. "You should know me by now," she told him before she headed out of the Operations department with a sway to her hips. "Let's go tear it apart and see what falls out."

Quinn grabbed a toolkit and a tricorder from a nearby rack and followed her out of the department, smiling at the sight before him as he did. "I can't be gone too long. What have they got you doing to get ready for this?"

"I've been studying Karemma flight maneuvers," Kelly said as she headed for the turbolift. "If I can learn their maneuvers, then I can find my way around them. Of course, that would assume that I'd be at the helm at the time. Other than that, it was just wipe, restore, wipe, restore repeat of PADDs and tricorders. What about you?"

"Making sure this computer behaves again. Did you know that this is the second time this has happened to the Black Hawk?" Quinn asked her. "I'm no programmer, but I want to learn now so that maybe we can create some better security firewalls and software. I really hate doing this."

"That sounds like a headache and a half," Kelly said as she entered the turbolift. "I heard about the first one, but I didn't get any details. What we should have done this time around is get the crew of the Chimera and Cochrane to tell us who made the virus and how to get rid of it."

"For all we know, the person who made the virus is still on the Cochrane," Quinn pointed out. "After all, the boarders came from there and not the Chimera. And, if that's the case... interrogating that person isn't possible."

"Good point," Kelly said as she stepped out onto deck four and headed down the corridor to her room. She keyed her entry code and stepped inside. As yet, she had made few changes to her room other than the large coffee table chest sitting in front of the couch and a few pictures of her and him on New Risa and one of her with her parents standing in front of the Academy on Earth. "Now to start tearing the place apart."

Quinn had pulled out his tricorder, ready to scan for the proverbial speaker, but found himself observing his new surroundings. "I had no idea officer's quarters were this big," he remarked to Kelly. He approached the coffee table and smiled at the pictures of the two of them together. "Are these your parents?" he asked, picking up the image of her in front of Starfleet Academy.

"I know, it's amazing, isn't it?" Kelly asked as she moved over to him and gave a fond smile when he picked up the image of her with her parents. "My Papa and my adopted Mom," she said. "I really miss them and my brothers and sisters."

He nodded, knowing exactly what she meant. "When was the last time you saw them?" Quinn asked her.

"Before I left earth," she said. "We got a two week furlough and I spent almost every minute with them. Now we're...who knows how many light years and a universe away and I don't know if I'll ever see them again or if we'll ever get home."

"We'll get home," Quinn assured her, moving to stand next to her and embrace her. "Captain Geisler will get us home. He hasn't let us down yet."

Kelly returned the hug and laid her head against his shoulder. "I know," she said softly. "It just seems like this entire tour has been a nightmare." She paused and took a deep breath. "You're right, though. C'mon, Tiger. Let's find this phantom speaker or whatever it is so you can get back before you're missed."

Quinn released her, but only after another moment or two. He picked up the tricorder from his belt and began to scan. Almost instantly he frowned. "Uh oh," he said, turning towards the outside hull.

"Uh oh?" she echoed him. "What's uh oh? Uh oh's are never good." She moved to get a better look at the tricorder to see what the uh oh was, especially since he was aiming it at the outer hull.

"There used to be a hull breach here," Quinn told her, trying to access the ship's logs from the tricorder. "From a couple months ago, in fact. Doesn't look like they repaired it properly." He pointed at the wall that she shared with her neighbor. "That wall was damaged as well. Looks like it doesn't have the required insulation between bulkheads."

"I got assigned to a room that had hull breaches and damaged walls?" Kelly blinked. "What kind of Engineer doesn't properly repair a breach?" she asked incredulously. "Someone could get sucked into space if it took more damage."

Quinn didn't answer, instead he worked to check the ship's logs. "Here it is," he told her. "Looks like it happened in April... Back when the ship was boarded. Must've been a quick patch and overlooked when the ship was fully repaired at Deep Space 11. It's also probably why the room's been vacant since then."

"I'm going to have to move again, aren't I?" she asked him. "No wonder I got it so easy. I should have known. Nothing easy is ever good." She muttered and went to the coffee table sized chest and opened it, then pulled out a bar of gold foil wrapped chocolate. "Want one before it gets sucked into space?"

"C'mon..." Quinn replied, accepting some chocolate as he began his protest. "The breach is sealed just fine, and if it's been four months after brutal attack and shaking and such, then nothing more is going to happen. If anything, we could get some insulation for the shared wall and get that soundproofing you need. Or, we just don't use the bedroom."

"You're right, but that's worrisome," Kelly responded. "Remember, I'm also an Engineer even if Flight is my primary. As for not using the bedroom....where would you sleep, on the couch? I don't think so. Let's put the work order in for the soundproofing and insulation and hope we don't get sucked into space one night while sleeping." She savagely bit off a piece of the chocolate and chewed.

"We won't get sucked into space," he scoffed. "You know," he said, looking at the portion of chocolate he'd exposed by removing the gold foil, "this is doing more than the two cups of coffee I had this morning."

"That's odd," she said. "A bar of milk chocolate only has about twenty milligrams of caffeine in it. Now if I had given you one of my Cup O' Joe bars, you'd be up for a week. They have coffee infusion, roasted almonds and hazelnuts, espresso infused salt and made of dark chocolate. They have about sixteen hundred milligrams of caffeine in a forty-two ounce bar."

"Maybe it's just the taste," Quinn replied. "Or the fact that I'm standing and not sitting. Or," he said with a twinkle in his eye, "perhaps the daredevil pilot standing in front of me. Could be anything, really." At that, Quinn smiled.

"Where?" Kelly asked in mock surprise and spun around. "Where did the person go and how did they get in my quarters? They disappeared!" She smiled and her eyes twinkled before she leaned in to give him a kiss. "Let's see if that wakes you up more."

He chuckled as he returned the kiss. "I don't think Lieutenant Burke would appreciate me being gone that long," he remarked in jest.

"Then you'll have to stay awake by sheer anticipation, Tiger," she told him with a wink. "Let's get this show on the road. You are going to move in with me, right?"

"Without a doubt," he assured her. "For now, it might just be me and a couple uniforms. As soon as we get through this mess, I'll make the full move." Smiling, Quinn looked around the room. "Officer's quarters. Man, I could get used to this."

Kelly smiled. "You're going to be one soon, Quinn," she assured him. "I may have made Ensign first, but you're still my number one."

Chuckling once more, he embraced her and leaned in for a kiss. "And you're my Captain-to-be."

She gave him another kiss as she returned the hug. "Come on, Tiger. Let's get this place secured and then we can christen it properly tonight."

"Agreed." He turned to scan the wall again. "I can get Petty Officer Solek to come by with some insulation foam to spray in between the bulkheads. That'll take care of the sound problem. As for the hull, not much we can do about that. But, it's been secure for the last few months. I don't see how it can't wait until we get back to Unity."

"You're right, but I'd feel safer with a force field up there," Kelly said. "But we can't always get what we want. It's time for you to get back to work and I have to get back to Flight even though I'm not needed right now."

"That could change all too soon," Quinn told her, deactivating the tricorder and putting it back in its holster. "This is the Black Hawk, remember? We get all of the tough jobs."

She gave a sardonic laugh. "Tell me about it," she said. "I never expected to command a ship or have to destroy that ship, but it's done."

Quinn feared that this was only the beginning. "Well, let us get this over with. Who knows, you might find yourself in a cush assignment on Earth when this is done, flying those ships you always dreamed of. Those places look for exemplary candidates, right? You probably just jumped to the top of the list."

"It'll be a long time for that to happen, Tiger," Kelly said. "I just now made Ensign. I'll need at least two more HG's on my collar before I can even think about getting there and I want to spend as much time with you as possible before I get to that point."

"I won't argue with that," Quinn said with an endearing smile. "Then we shall reconvene tonight for dinner in our quarters." That was a fun thought, sharing quarters.

"That makes you smart," she said with a grin before she raised up and gave him one last kiss. "Until later?"

He returned the kiss. "Of course." Smiling again he told her, "I love you, Kelly."

"I love you, too," Kelly said. "Now let's get moving. We have a ship to retake and asses to kick!"

 

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