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Picking up the pieces, one at a time...

Posted on 30 Sep 2016 @ 7:59am by Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Various, Ending in Relay Junction 17A
Timeline: MD 8 || 0905 hours

Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion motioned for the team that Lt. Harris had assembled for her to follow behind her wordlessly. The fact that the department was already up to their eyebrows in work seemed superfluous to people when they had some ‘brilliant’ idea they wanted to try. Liz wondered momentarily just how different her conversation with the man might have been had she not been in the middle of a discussion with the ship’s acting First Officer. In the few seconds she allowed herself to muse, Lt. Marion thought of at least eight long archaic swear phrases Admiral Cowell had taught her over the years.

“Where are we headed, Lieutenant?” one of the crewmen asked as they hurried to keep pace with the somewhat irritated woman.

“Up to relay junction seventeen alpha. Someone decided it would be a good idea to overload half the distribution network trying to triple the output in that section thanks to relay sixteen theta being fried instead of just fixing the problem… So we’re going to clean up that mess and fix the original problem while we’re there,” Liz explained before stopping at one of the storage rooms that held the equipment they would require for the job.

As Lt. Marion tapped out the lock override code, she noticed one of the more senior enlisted rubbing his hands together nervously. When the door slid open, she motioned the three other crewmen inside and detained the troubled individual.

“What’s wrong, Petty Officer?” Liz inquired.

The man looked down for a few seconds before looking back up, “I don’t know anything about power relays. I was trained on deflector control on my last ship and I never left that department. I don’t think I would be any good to you…”

Marion held up her hand to cut the man off, “I don’t need experts, Petty Officer, I just need bodies. If you’re that worried about breaking something, you can be in charge of ripping out all the broken conduit circuits and ruptured panels. No real way to screw that up.”

The Petty Officer nodded vigorously, “I can definitely do that, Lieutenant.”

“Alright then, get in there and grab the tools you’ll need for the job, I’ll meet you four at the relay,” Liz gave the man’s shoulder a comforting squeeze before turning toward the turbolift.

Lt. Marion entered the turbolift and ordered it to the appropriate deck, allowing herself a moment to lean against the bulkhead of the small lift car to gather what sanity she could manage. Her time aboard the Black Hawk had already seen her thrown right back into the middle of warp realities and bothersome scenarios. And without the ability to contact her father, she really had no way to vent other than to have the turbolift hold her up for a moment.

The sudden shift in momentum clued Liz to the slowing of the lift, giving her just enough time to straighten herself up and tug her overcoat down and back into place before the doors slid open. Thankfully no one was waiting for the lift car, and Marion was able to exit and access the Jeffries Tube junction without having to explain her less than composed appearance to any passersby. Liz clamored through the narrow passageway as she made her way to the junction that had been destroyed not long ago. The smell of charred metal and blast residue hit the woman’s nose before she ever got near the actual damage. It was a very familiar smell, one that called up images of the past Liz would have rather forgotten.

Upon arriving at the small junction between the two relays that required repairs, Liz marveled at just how utterly they had been ruined. The one to her left had been ruptured during a confrontation and there was simply no avoiding such a thing. The one to her right, however, was the product of stupidity but you couldn’t tell it from just how savage the carnage had been.

“Harris needs to be in the Ops trainer back on Earth, not on a damn starship,” Liz grumbled at the man’s handiwork. She had spent a good portion of her recruit training running disaster drills and had never seen a relay so completely obliterated before. With a long sigh, Liz began the task of pulling up what pieces she could while waiting for her team. It was going to be a very long shift…


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