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Replicator Woes

Posted on 29 Sep 2017 @ 1:40pm by Lieutenant JG Charles Carmichael & Ensign Quinn Mackie

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Guest Quarters
Timeline: MD 6 || 1500 hours

He’d been aboard barely a day, and though Charles hadn’t been charged with anything, he’d still been confined to quarters. In fact, he hadn’t seen a soul since Lieutenants Moreau and Metsker came by to interrogate him. The quarters were nice, much bigger than his aboard the old Akira class and even the Vasco da Gama. If the computer access wasn’t restricted, Charles would have tried to read up on the ship’s manifest and even looked up the science labs to see how advanced the facilities were. The Century Class was new to him, and what little he’d seen of the ship so far was quite remarkable.

Everything, that is, but the replicator.

Communications were also restricted from Charles’ quarters, so he was forced to beg the guards to call someone--anyone--in Operations to come to his rescue. Unless, of course, they would be so inclined to provide ration bars. While he awaited their decision, Charles paced up and down the main room, arms crossed as he attempted to wait patiently.

His back was to the door when it finally opened. “Someone call the repairman?” a young voice joked.

Charles cocked his head slightly to the left. There was a slight familiarity to the vocal structure. Could he finally have encountered a second friendly face on board? Well, friendly was left to be determined. Commander Teixeira was not a friendly face, at least to the junior lieutenant, even though Charles had been aboard for the entirety of Captain Geisler’s service. The science officer turned to see a young ensign. His face was familiar, but the haircut was far from it.

“Lieutenant Carmichael,” Quinn Mackie said in absolute surprise. “I didn’t know you were aboard!”

That’s right! Charles thought, finally remembering the once-cadet’s name. “Ensign Mackie, it’s good to see you again. The patient’s right over here.”

“What are you doing under security escort?” Quinn asked, moving towards the replicator with Carmichael.

“Captain Geisler doesn’t trust me,” Charles simply replied. “With everything that happened aboard Deep Space Fifteen, and the Vasco da Gama… Starfleet’s going to be picking up the pieces here for a while.”

“Geisler doesn’t trust you?” Quinn looked up, blinking in surprise. He’d just set his toolkit on the table and opened it. Quinn removed the tricorder so that he could interface with the replicator’s diagnostic unit. “You’ve been around longer than I can remember.”

Charles arched an eyebrow. “Are you implying that I’m old, Ensign?”

“N-n-no,” Quinn stammered, turning towards the replicator. He tapped a few buttons on the replicator and synced it with the diagnostic unit. “I just mean… I thought the Captain has known you for--”

The lieutenant chuckled. “I knew what you meant, Quinn. Relax already.” Sighing, he said, “The replicator won’t produce anything cold or chilled. In fact, most of what it replicates tastes like cardboard.”

It was Quinn’s turn to chuckle. “What’d you replicate that didn’t taste like cardboard? Can you hand me the spanner?”

Charles obliged, removing the elongated tool from the kit and handed it to Quinn. “Pasta and olive oil,” he replied. “The one thing that really has no taste to begin with.”

“There are worse things,” Quinn said, smirking. “Like shrimp.”

“How can you not like shrimp?” Charles demanded. “Especially paired with Centuarian cocktail sauce! It’s the perfect balance of sweet and sour.”

Quinn just shook his head. “I’m just not a fan of seafood.” He reached inside the unit with the spanner and activated it.

“How long do you think this will take?” Charles asked, hovering close over Ensign Mackie’s shoulder. As if his question was a grand cue, Charles’ stomach rumbled. He’d eaten a couple meals since being confined to the cabin, but the lack of flavor made it impossible to finish.

“Not long,” Quinn replied. “It was just as I suspected. All of the replicators were installed improperly at the shipyards. We’ve taken care of all of the ones in the assigned cabins, but we’ve had to put off the rest of the ship as soon as we arrived in the Finnean sector. Since this room has never been used before, you got the short end of the stick.”

“Basically,” Charles inferred, his eyes narrowed and his tone low, “you’re telling me that I’ve been overlooked.”

Quinn turned off the spanner, changed the setting, and activated it again. “That I can’t answer, sir. If it’s any consolation, I didn’t know this room was occupied until your request came across my desk.”

The lieutenant sighed, hanging his head in despair. Not only was he not trusted, he’d been completely forgotten. “Great…”

“I can do this in my sleep though,” Quinn said, trying to assure the science officer. “I must have done sixty of these myself.”

“Now I am consoled,” Charles mocked. At least he’d know he’d be able to eat soon. “You still seeing that hotshot pilot? Is she even on board?”

“Kelly and I are still together, yes.” The ensign shut off the spanner and manipulated a few things on the replicator’s console since it was still in diagnostic mode. “All right…” Quinn dragged out his speech for a moment as he confirmed that his work was complete. “Give it a shot.” He pressed a control stud to release the replicator from diagnostic mode.

Charles smiled, grateful for a chance at something comforting at last. “Root beer,” he requested from the system. “Chilled, no ice.”

“No steak?” Quinn asked, surprised. He’d heard that the Vasco da Gama’s crew had been imprisoned for a couple weeks with nothing but bread and water to drink. “Or shrimp? Or both?”

As the replicator whirred and produced the carbonated beverage, Charles chuckled. “You have your diagnostics and I have mine. If this tastes good, chicken parm is next.” He picked up the glass, instantly noticing the cooler temperature, and brought it up to his nose. The aroma was correct, and the carbonated bubbles flying off the top and popping seemed on point. Charles lowered the glass and took a sip. Instantly, he smiled, savoring the sweet taste. “Perfect.”

“Excellent,” Quinn said, repackaging his toolkit one by one, saving the tricorder for last. He closed the kit and picked it up off the table. “Don’t hesitate to call if you need anything,” he said, lowering the case to his side. He couldn’t commit about getting the request to the Captain, but he would try.

“Thank you,” Charles said, raising his cold root beer, as if he were making a toast. “For Dolmoqour.”

Quinn curled the left side of his lip into something just shy of the smirk. He was pleased. The subtle facial hints he’d made while in the room had been read loud and clear. “For Dolmoqour,” he replied quietly, affirming the Lieutenant’s proclamation. With a gentle nod, Quinn excused himself and left. There was much to do.


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