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Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

[ENS Victor vanVinter | Cockpit Valkyrie fighter | Deep Space Qo'nos system] Attn: @Griff

Flying through the blackness of space was zen and solace, the machine sounds and vibrations systems of the Valkyrie a calming experience. These were sounds that Victor knew like his own breath or heartbeat. The soft whirring of the deuterium pumps fed fuel into the reactor, where there was a constant thrum from matter and anti-matter annihilating themselves deep within the heart of the ship. And there was the ever-present electronic buzzing of the control console, an odd hum that was felt more than heard. So victor flew onward outbound from Qo'Nos on impulse, far above the ecliptic plane. Several light minutes out and at peace with the world and his state of being.

The flight was going well, a simple out and back, scheduled to last three hours, nothing unusual for operations checks or any other flight task. While three hours was long for combat, for anything else, it was nothing. Victor's endurance wasn't even being tested.

And then it happens, something most people might not notice. It was an absence of a sound or the lack of a familiar sound. The deuterium pump began to choke, and it swiftly picked up a rattle, and within fifteen seconds, it stopped entirely. The pump failure was followed almost immediately by an alarm showing deuterium pump failure and then an immediate shutdown of the engines. Victor closed his eyes and counted silently to five. After opening his eyes on the count of six and finding himself still alive, Victor activated the distress signal, using lightspeed communication for this since the mechanic could probably repair the pump before anyone from the Theurgy got to him. There was the added security of using communications others wouldn't be looking for.

"Wolf-11 to Theurgy, I've suffered a deuterium pump failure while on flight, three hours out from the ship. Attempting to effect repair on my own; please send retrieval if I do not call in an hour after this message. Location and time index to follow."

Now that Victor sent his message, He checked his seals and depressurized the cockpit to begin a spacewalk to repair his ship. Four hours later, there was no further response from Victor.

OOC NOTE: The Thread Title, IFE stands for In Flight Emergency

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #1
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Main Shuttlebay | Deck 11 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae, @rae


"Hey, t'Jelloo!"

Walking through the shuttlebay on her way to the deck chief's office, Lillee winced at the shout and the butchering of her name. She turned around to see a gold-shirted man approaching her with a rapid stride, a PADD in hand, although he slowed when he saw the look on her face.

"Oh," he said, wincing, "sorry, I mispronounced it, didn't I?"

Lillee smiled in resignation. "Rest easy, Johnson, I am used to it. What is happening?" She and Johnson had known each other for a few weeks now, since he'd been reassigned to the shuttlebay crews. They had taken heavy casualties during the Klingon boarding action and needed all the help they could get, although reserve manpower was limited. The days when the Theurgy had been fully crewed were little more than a wistful memory.

"Rescue mission," Johnson said briskly, handing Lillee the PADD. "We've lost contact with a fighter, all the details are there. The brass want you out there as soon as possible. If it gets hairy, call in the cavalry."

Even after eight years of living with humans, it took Lillee a moment to puzzle out his meaning, momentarily picturing a fighter cockpit full of hair surrounded by angry horsemen. "Understood," she said, nodding as she skimmed the PADD, her eyes widening as she noticed the name. Victor. Without saying another word, she turned and considered the various shuttles in the bay, deciding a moment later on a small type-9.

"Wait!" Johnson called out as Lillee strode for the shuttle, and she glanced over her shoulder, "you need to wait, someone is backing you up, Lieutenant Ryn. She'll be here soon."

"Who?" Lillee repeated blankly, but too quiet for Johnson to hear. Shunting aside her curiosity, Lillee continued for the shuttle. Upon entering, she checked the various lockers for all the gear that they'd need, especially the EVA suits, grabbing a tricorder and phaser as she went. Her movements were mechanical and well-practised, such that Lillee had time to ponder Victor's situation as she sat down and ran through the shuttle's systems. Her mind raced with clinical dispassion, analysing the possibilities too fast for worry to creep in.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #2
[ Lt. Azrin Ryn | Main Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae @Griff

“New deuterium pump, coming through!” Out of breath, slightly disheveled, and lugging a whole variety of miscellaneous repair equipment, the redheaded trill dashed into the shuttlebay a few minutes later. “And for the record, if you guys want me to repair Valkyries that aren’t currently on the ship, you really should tell me that they aren’t currently on the ship.” Yes, she’d just done a full circle from main engineering, to the fighter assault bay, and back down to this shuttle bay. Somewhere along the way she’d gotten a lesson on pilot lingo. Not that it mattered, because no one had brought up the whole ‘IFE’ thing until she’d gotten to the fighter bay and been informed that they actually wanted her to repair a ship that was a few hours away. Azrin hadn’t even considered that. Then again, given that she normally worked on the Theurgy’s warp drive… she tended to assume whatever she worked on was on the ship.

There would be a lot more screaming if that core was off the ship.

“Sorry Lieutenant,” she heard someone off to the side respond with a laugh. She spotted Johnson fairly quickly, her mood always brightened by a familiar face. He’d been one of the propulsion engineers from before Azrin had been put into stasis. Finding out that they’d moved him to the shuttlebay since then had been a letdown. He was holding out a PADD for her, though they both seemed to realize at the same moment that she didn’t have a hand for it.

“I’m prepared for everything,” she quipped to explain her overpacking while they traded off, Johnson taking some of her equipment and giving her the PADD once she could grab it. “Didn’t get much information to go on, don’t want to do the round trip twice.”

“All we know is that there was a deuterium pump failure. No contact since. Rescue and repair. All the information is on your PADD.” Azrin glanced briefly at the PADD as they headed towards a shuttle. Johnson seemed to know which one it was, so she gladly followed him. Trying to read and walk at the same time, the engineer nearly face planted as she looked at the lost fighter pilot’s name. Victor van-Victor? No, Vinter. That was a mouthful. Someone’s parents liked alliteration. She had no idea who he was.

The rest was mostly location data, which wasn’t Azrin’s concern. Though speaking of which, “Who’s Rescue today?” Since she was Repair, obviously.

“Petty Officer t'Jelloow is waiting for you inside the shuttle.” He spoke the pilot’s name slowly, with far too much caution, like he had absolutely no idea how to say it. She shot him a searching look, and she only got a sigh in return. Since Azrin didn’t know who that was either, she was bound to make a great first impression now.

Johnson came on board long enough to drop off her stuff, waving goodbye and wishing them luck as he vanished. Azrin barely noticed, immediately starting to stow her things in the various lockers, while looking around to see what repair equipment was already on board. She found the basics quickly enough, as expected. What she’d brought was mainly replacement parts and more specialized diagnostic tools.

Up front, she saw the back of a head already seated at the helm. “Hello t’Jell- you know, I think I’ll just ask how to pronounce your name first. Johnson didn’t seem confident in his introduction. I’m Azrin Ryn, repair monkey. Ready to go?”

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #3
[ENS Victor vanVinter | Cockpit Valkyrie fighter | Deep Space Qo'nos system] Attn: @Griff @rae

Victor wasn't quite in his happy place now. His Exosuit gloves were covered in flash-frozen grease and fluids from performing surgery on his Fighter while in deep space. Parts floated about him clipped to the skin of the Valkyrie using magnetic clamps or static lines. To see such a thing would be chaos incarnate, but performing repairs in space necessitated such procedures.

While Victor wasn't happy about spilled fluids, there was only so much you could bleed back into any fluid system before disconnecting parts. So it wasn't just parts that encased Victor in a halo. Still, thin spidery webs of hydraulic fluids and Deuterium, colored red and blue like the depictions of so many circulatory systems, encircled him in a macabre aura. An analogy that certainly wasn't lost on him. Despite the chaos, Victor was steady and methodical, taking care to clip each part to a line or the hull of his Valkyrie. The methodical former mechanic took no chances with losing any hardware. A job that would have taken three or four hours in gravity was taking far longer like this.

And then Victor got to it, after hours of work, a smile twisted on his face. "There you are baby, let's get you working again."

The deuterium pump sat before Victor, and since the system was depressurized, he hit the disconnects and twisted a few recalcitrant nuts with a spanner before the pump broke free from the lines and mounting brackets. In gravity, this was a pain in the ass, opening up the ventral panels, removing meters of lines, even the auxiliary hydraulic pump, and then gently lowering the pump. But in gravity, the hundred-kilo machine part came free with the lightest of tugs. And then he saw it, leaking from the pump like bile from a corrupted organ, a thick brown sludge.

"Oh fuck, hell no, fucking hell shit cocking mother fucker shit fuck, Prophet shitting hell!" The string of profanities came from Victor as quickly as water from a firehose, the sight before him not good by any means. The issue had been hidden by the tiny amounts of spilled Deuterium and working in helmet and starlight, but when Deuterium was this color, there was a contaminant in the tank, and the entire system needed to be flushed. Victor clamped the deuterium pump down and re-entered the cockpit, pressurizing it and powering it up using batteries before activating the comm systems and activating encryption.

"CPO vanVinter to Theurgy, update. My Deuterium is contaminated and has caused severe corrosion to my main pump. Unsure of the source of the contaminant, likely a contaminated fuel port or the inside of my tanks. Please bring a new pump, a fresh supply of Deuterium enough to return to the ship, and components for a flush and clear, be advised that repair operations are EVA."

Victor sat in his cockpit, breathing slowly and waiting for a reply. His oxygen and personal fluid levels were good, and his Valkyrie had enough battery power to last for a while, but the deuterium system contaminated like it was, was a hell of a pain.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #4
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae, @rae


Lillee glanced over her shoulder to see a distinctly out-of-sorts woman, and she couldn't help a little smile. Lieutenant Ryn couldn't look more like an engineer if she tried; the disheveled appearance, the boundless energy, the casual manner of her speech. It was as if a Starfleet Corps of Engineers recruitment poster had come to life.

"Yes ma'am," Lillee answered, turning back to her controls and closing the aft door, then continued tapping at the console. "Flight control, this is shuttlecraft Penrose, designated for Corsair rescue. Requesting permission to launch."

"Permission granted Penrose," came the prompt response, and not waiting another moment, Lillee began opening the shuttlebay doors remotely. The forcefield shimmered as it kept the atmosphere in, the various people inside the bay glancing at the spectacular view of Qo'nos beyond. "Be advised that we've just reestablished contact with Corsair. He wants a new pump and some deuterium, as expected, so the mission is unchanged."

"Acknowleged, Penrose out," Lillee said curtly, closing the channel. She glanced at Azrin with irritation. "Victor used to be a deckhand, so naturally he wants to fix it himself in space rather than be dragged back via tractor beam. Idiot." There was a trace of fondness in her tone nevertheless, and Lillee smiled again at Azrin, this time in apology.

"Excuse my lack of manners, Lieutenant. My name is pronounced t-jel-ay-oo, if you are curious." As she spoke, Lillee lifted the shuttle off the deck and smoothly flew it out of the bay into the great emptiness beyond. The emerald sky of Qo'nos was briefly visible out the viewport before Lillee adjusted their course. "But you are welcome to call me Lillee if you wish. It is much easier, yes?"

After a moment, Lillee gestured at the other console. "Unless you object, I'll take us to warp and save us some time. It's safe in a small craft such as this, and the Klingons say that they've cleared most of the minefields." Her voice was deliberately casual as she spoke, as if there was nothing to be worried about. "The comms are open if you wish to talk to Corsair. If I talk to him, I fear that I will just mock the moron for breaking his bird, which would be fun and deserved but not very productive."

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #5
[ Lt. Azrin Ryn | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae @Griff

“Nice to meet you,” she replied, still determinedly casual in spite of the pilot’s formal speech. Azrin settled herself in the chair next to the helm, blue eyes peering out the viewscreen with interest. She’d been down to the surface a few times, but hadn’t sat back and viewed Qo’noS from above. Her smile turned almost gleeful at the field of stars visible past the curve of the planet. If engineering had one fault, it was a lack of windows. As annoying as working in zero g was going to be, she couldn’t help but look forward to it. Engineering with a view. What could be better than that?

A quiet, self-satisfied sound escaped her lips as the damage report came in. Azrin had brought a new pump and there were deuterium reserves safely stored in the back. It paid to be prepared. Despite her companion’s irritation, she was delighted to hear that this Victor knew what he was doing. “That’s great! Handy skills for a pilot too. At least I’ve always thought so. I keep meaning to ask one of the fighter pilots to teach me how to fly so I can prove it, but apparently someone already did.” That was a joke. Mostly. A far flung dream at best. “Besides, if the plan was to tow him back, I wouldn’t have been able to come along.”

Her head tilted to the side slightly as t'Jellaieu gave a short pronunciation lesson, trying to give her ear the best angle to pick up every little sound. “T-jell-aay- damn, I used to be good at this.” Technically, that wasn’t true either. But Azrin remembered what it felt like to have a clever tongue, thanks to her previous hosts. Elza, the singer, who could emulate any sound. Or Mathiz, the politician, so careful in his pronunciation of every word. They would have mastered the name in an instant. Her brain remembered what her tongue had never tried. “Lillee!” Her frustration vanished as quick as it had come, banished with a laugh. “Much easier, yeah. I’ll get Thea to help me practice the rest.” It felt rude otherwise.

“We can go to warp,” she replied without thinking about it. Senior officer she may be, but the pilot was the one who knew how to fly, even when it came to- “Wait, minefields?” Azrin turned to look at Lillee in shock. If she’d planned for her casual manner to put the engineer at ease, Lillee had been wildly successful. It had sounded like such a non-issue that it had taken Azrin a few seconds too long to even register it. “Yeah. Yep. Whatever you think is best.” Her voice might have been a bit higher than normal. They should have recruited Kino the bomb expert for this instead.

In the face of potential explosions - as unlikely as they might be - Azrin calmed herself in the best way she knew how. She went to work. A few taps brought the workstation in front of her to life and a few more brought up the communications controls. “Shuttlecraft Penrose to Corsair. This is Lieutenant Azrin Ryn on the engineering helpline. What have you done to your poor ship? Did you let any parts drift away that we need to pick up in route?” Despite Lillee's well intentioned plan to avoid mocking him, Azrin couldn't help a little teasing. Honestly, she really did need to know if he'd lost any parts of not. Doing repairs in space was hard.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #6
[ENS Victor vanVinter | Cockpit Valkyrie fighter | Deep Space Qo'nos system] Attn: @Griff @rae

Victor's flush and bleed of the Deuterium system were proceeding slowly. Since Deuterium, even at fuel quality, was just liquid hydrogen, it sublimated off quickly enough, leaving little residue, except for whatever the contaminant was. The sound of the fluid boiling off in a vacuum didn't reach his ears, but everything looked like it was proceeding quickly enough. No further issues, at least not yet.

"Shuttlecraft Penrose to Corsair. This is Lieutenant Azrin Ryn on the engineering helpline. What have you done to your poor ship? Did you let any parts drift away that we need to pick up en route?

A new voice in his ear, and wasn't this the woman that took over for Frank? What did the ship have, a spare supply chest of qualified Chief Engineers? What was this now, ten, a dozen?

"Corsair to Penrose, the situation is unclear. The Deuteium supply is contaminated. It could be a contaminant was already present, or it could be in the fuel itself. I won't know until we bring her back to the hangar and strip the fuel system out. Strongly suggest we cease all fueling operations for the rest of the Squadron until we know for sure. Also, advise you watch your own Deuterium pumps for signs of cavitation if it's the fuel...."

Victor trailed off and prayed that the Lieutenant was smart enough to see where he was going with this. If it was the fuel that was contaminated, then it was a good chance that the shuttle might also be infected. That was a bad scenario, though it could be much worse. Victor just had to sit, wait, and pray that things weren't as bad as all that.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #7
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae, @rae


"Fvadt," Lillee muttered, working her console even before Victor finished talking. "They refitted this shuttle's impulse drive last week, so the deuterium is... four days since refuelling. The drive looks fine now, fusion rates are within norms, but I'll keep an eye on it." She glanced at Azrin, eyebrow raised in askance. "What should we tell the Theurgy? The Valkyries are more vulnerable to deuterium contamination as their engines are designed for high performance, but what of the Theurgy herself? The shuttles, the Allegiant?"

Before Azrin could reply, an alarm rang out, and Lillee returned her focus to her console. "Dropping out of warp." In front of them, the warp field collapsed to reveal the normal starfield with a gllinting speck in the distance. Lillee tapped a control and a virtual window popped up on the viewport, which zoomed in to reveal the stricken warp fighter and its hapless pilot.

Who was floating outside his fighter, attached by a slender line, surrounded by disconnected parts and black sludge.

"He went EVA," Lillee said, shaking her head in amazement. "Of course he went EVA. Alone. To repair one of the most complex small spacecraft in the quadrant. Who even does that?"

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #8
[ Lt. Azrin Ryn | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae @Griff

“Who even does that?" Azrin had been mulling over Lillee’s previous questions when they dropped out of warp, trying to remember the exact day and time they’d refilled the deuterium on the Theurgy. Not the deuterium in storage, but what was actually going through the engines right now. Stupid, sleep deprived, Azrin of last week. She should have known that off the back of her hand. Instead it was stuck on the tip of her tongue. But when the pilot asked her shocked question about who would ever consider trying to do this repair in space, Azrin was drawn back to the present, raising her hand with a small guilty smile.

“I would do that, one hundred percent. I’d never sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for rescue when I could be out there working on the problem. That would be boring.” She’d never be able to sit in a ship for that long with nothing to do. Why not try and fix it? “Actually, I might just go have an EVA of my own to have a look at it myself.”

That idea energized her enough to kick her brain back into gear, and suddenly Azrin had a plan, dropping back into the seat she’d half left to open another channel back to the Theurgy. “Shuttlecraft Penrose to the Theurgy. We might have a contaminant in the deuterium supply. Cease all fueling operations. Then find whatever tank Corsair’s Valkyrie was fueled from, get a sample, and start running tests. We’re looking for local contaminants out here. Penrose out.”

Then she was pulling up the sensor controls on the shuttle, checking if there was anything weird and exotic around that thought deuterium was tasty. It never hurt to cover her bases. “There, tell me if the shuttle finds anything please?” Now, back to the coms. “Penrose to Corsair, we updated the Theurgy. They’re on a contaminant hunt. For now, want some company out there?” Without waiting for an answer, the always excitable trill went to the back of the shuttle to find herself a suit.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #9
[ENS Victor vanVinter | Cockpit Valkyrie fighter | Deep Space Qo'nos system] Attn: @Griff @rae

As the Shuttle Penrose came alongside, Victor let out a sigh of relief into his helmet. This would be fine, more than fine. The reply he'd gotten from Azrin made him smile. Thankfully all of the dangerous parts were taken care of and sealed up.

"Copy that, Chief, come on out and bring that fuel pump with you." Victor chuckled then and hot to work securing the various parts and tools to the hull of his ship. Was this dangerous? Yes, was this crazy? Absolutely, but it was both necessary and, to him, fun. Right now, though, getting his Valkyrie operational again was the highest priority, and unfortunately, the maintenance that needed to be done either required an EVA or atmosphere and gravity. For as excellent as Starfleet Engineering was, you needed to keep things simple when it came to a purpose-built craft like a starfighter. Unfortunately, simple sometimes resulted in the situation that he was currently in.

"Ready and waiting out here, Chief, tools are secured, and everything is as contained as possible. I'm good on air, so there's no need to rush anything." Victor's voice was calm and professional despite the situation he was currently in. This was just maintenance, after all.

"Oh, and if Lillee is in there cursing my name, remind her that she still owes me a new pair of skivvies for that last orbital insertion." Victor's voice was cheerful then, not that he had any ill will against his fellow pilot and longtime friend. Still, though, some sass couldn't hurt.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #10
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae, @rae

As Azrin and Victor spoke, Lillee continued bringing the shuttle closer and closer. By the time Victor made his jibe, she had brought the shuttle within only a few meters of the stricken Valkyrie, both craft at a dead stop. Victor had his back turned to the shuttle, having not seen it approach.

"If a standard Romulan combat insertion is enough to scare you, you'll be cleaning out that exosuit often over the next few months," Lillee countered over the comm with a grin. "Besides, you don't fool me, Corsair. I've seen you drive, yes? What sort of Elements-blessed maniac willingly drives through a barricade and right off a bridge? At least my shuttle was still intact after that mission. On your six, Corsair."

With that, Lillee activated the shuttle's forward lights, carefully dimmed so as to provide illumination without blinding Victor. After he turned around, she waved merrily at him before taking a look herself at the damaged fuel pump. Lillee was far from as capable as Victor or Azrin in such matters, but she was nevertheless much more knowledgeable about Valkyries than most pilots. After considering it for a moment, she grunted in bemusement, unbuckled her equipment belt and then set it aside before joining Azrin at the back of the shuttle.

"It's possible that the contamination is not in the deuterium itself," Lillee said to both Azrin and Victor as she too started donning an EVA suit. She didn't plan on going out herself, but safety rules were quite strict. If the forcefield keeping the air in malfunctioned, she'd die. "The reason that I came aboard the Theurgy back at Earth was to inspect the Valkyries's propulsion systems. The engineers at Khartoum were worried that the first production batch had some problems that would only show up after many hours of flight and combat. One of those potential issues was nadion contamination of the deuterium lines, as there is thin insulation between them and the cannons. Sustained cannon fire could have cracked that insulation in a past engagement. In that case, replacing the fuel pump and contaminated deuterium might not be enough; the impulse engines could seize up before we get back to the ship."

In due course, Lillee had the suit on entirely except the helmet, and after briskly tying her hair into a ponytail, she swirled her finger at Azrin. "Suit check." As she quickly examined Azrin, she continued, "Speaking true, I'm not sure how to fix that, though. Nadion contamination is difficult, if that is the problem, but you are both very clever, yes?"

Unable to resist a wink at Azrin, Lillee returned to her seat and put her helmet on. She carefully spun the shuttle around and backed up to the Valkyrie. After Azrin's signal, she activated the forcefield, depressurised the back of the shuttle and opened the rear hatch, where Victor waited.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #11
[ Lt. Azrin Ryn | Floating between Shuttlecraft "Penrose" and Wolf 11 | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae @Griff

“She’s not cursing your name, and I could tell her, but I think she already heard you,” Azrin’s reply was helpful as ever, just as Lillee’s own rather more sarcastic reply drifted out from the front of the shuttle. “He drives off bridges, and you were talking about flying through minefields earlier like it was no big deal. You two were made for each other. Your poor ships, no wonder that Valkyrie is broken. Pilots are always so mean to them.” Then the engineers had to patch them back together again.

“You owe Corsair a new pair of skivvies,” she offered as Lillee came back to join her and started suiting up. As she spoke, Azrin focused on putting on her suit. This was something she’d done often enough for it to become a habit, which made it all the more important that she focused. Space suits weren’t appreciative of forgetfulness. It was a frustration they tended to vent… explosively. Once they were both done, she turned and let the pilot check her suit, before making an identical gesture towards the Romulan to indicate that Azrin wanted to do the same. “Your turn.”

She had purposely waited to speak until they were finished, knowing that if she got too engrossed in Lillee’s idea that she would completely forget about anything else. Azrin tended to get tunnel vision when engineering was involved. She strapped a tool kit to her back, tapped the tricorder built into the suit’s forearm to wake it up, and gathered up the new fuel pump. “That’s a terrible design choice, but I guess they didn’t have a choice when they decided to make the ship so small? We can check that insulation first. Don’t want to waste time figuring out how to decontaminate for nadion if we don’t have to.” For Azrin, the most important thing was to get out there and see what she was dealing with. She was a propulsion specialist, but mainly she dealt with full sized starship systems, not the compact overpowered designs favored by warp fighters. When the deck crew couldn’t solve a problem, Lieutenant Arnold was typically the one called to the fighter assault bay. The closest she’d come in days was repairing Via’s dismantled ship last week. And that had been a Valravn, not a Valkyrie. She knew the specs, and she was confident she could fix anything. She just had to see it first.

Once they were both ready, Azrin shooed Lillee back to the front of the ship, where the pilot activated a forcefield between them and depressurized the back half of the shuttle. Once the air was gone, she opened the hatch, grinning from behind her helmet as the expanse of stars, along with Corsair and the Valkyrie, were revealed. “Ryn to Corsair, coming out. Be there in a hop.” She attached a few tethers of her own, one to herself and one to the now weightless fuel pump. Just in case she missed. Which would be embarrassing enough without a helpful line to pull herself back in with. Then she grabbed the pump and gently pushed off, a clean trajectory taking her the short distance to Corsair. Stopping her forward motion with a hand on the ship, she hooked a new tether to the Valkyrie and maneuvered herself next to her new pilot companion.

“Delivery. We'll get your ship running, even if we have to build you a new one! Satisfaction guaranteed!” Now what did they have here?

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #12
[ENS Victor vanVinter | Cockpit Valkyrie fighter | Deep Space Qo'nos system] Attn: @Griff @rae

Victor smirked to himself, staying silent for once. Enough banter, time for work. He was friendly and cheerful enough in more casual situations, but now that the Lt had tethered to his Valkyrie, Victor was all business. He nodded, looking at the pump, checking it over, and making sure that it was the right one.

"Alright, right pump, you've got the Deuterium. And let's hope we don't have to decontaminate for Nadion particles. That wouldn't be fun to do in suits." Victor grumbled to himself at that and took a steady breath in his suit. No use sighing or breathing heavily and fogging his faceplate when he had work to do. Victor stood there, magnetized to his Valkyrie's hull, and watched how Azrin moved in the suit. She seemed experienced in zero-Gee, but this unique skill set took some weird qualifications.

Still, now that he had a superior officer out there with him, he'd defer to her slightly, not knowing how much experience Azrin had on similar types of craft.

"Victor to Lilliee, can you take a position 80 degrees relative to us and shine whatever lights that shuttle has down at us, please?"

This way, they'd have more than helmet lights and starlight to work by. Sure, Victor had just asked his old friend to 'hold the flashlight' for them, and he knew she'd pick up on that, but it would be essential. Good visibility would e sure to help out. Anyway, Victor, smiled and went about transferring the technical manual over to Azrin, just in case she didn't have it. Victor had it memorized but still had a copy pulled up for reference just in case he forgot something. Just because he'd helped write it didn't mean he was flawless.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #13
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae, @rae

Now came the most dull part for Lillee: sit back and wait. She ran a quick scans of their surroundings just for the heck of it, but didn't really expect to find anything. The Klingon capital system was one of the most heavily patrolled star systems in the known galaxy. That, in addition to the flight of Valkyries on hot standby and a rather nasty Federation dreadnought in Qo'nos's orbit, meant that only a moron would try to bother them. Still, despite it all, Lillee remembered her Tal Shiar experience back at Aldea quite vividly, and her bone-chilling terror as she'd looked the Tal Shiar beast in the eye. She was taking nothing for granted.

At Victor's request, Lillee rolled her eyes. "Yes sir," she teased, unable to help herself, her voice sounding slightly different inside her helmet. "I'm moving now, sir." A deft few taps of her thrusters saw the shuttle pivot neatly around Azrin and Victor, before Lillee dialed up the lights. "I hope that is satisfactory, Ensign. Standing by for futher orders, sir, if you need light elsewhere."

That bit of banter was a bit much, perhaps, but Lillee never did like feeling redundant. It was moderately irksome to know that even though she'd lived and breathed the Valkyrie project for a year, her expertise was dwarfed by Victor and Azrin's. Thus, scolding herself to shut up, Lillee relaxed in her chait and settled in for a long wait.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #14
[ Lt. Azrin Ryn | Floating between Shuttlecraft "Penrose" and Wolf 11 | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Griff @Tae

“That’s not fun to do without suits,” Azrin quipped, cheerfully enough. Sure, working in space suits was annoying. The thick gloves seemed designed to make everything more difficult, no matter how much Starfleet swore this was as thin as they could make it while maintaining the suit’s integrity. It was like her fingers were replaced with sausages. Still, there was something awe inspiring about doing repairs in space, especially when compared to her normal work locations inside cramped jefferies tubes. When they had all the room in the universe — literally! — to spread out, the problems changed to keeping things close.

Though she knew she’d brought the right pump, Azrin didn’t blame him for checking anyway. Likewise, she also took receipt of the tech manual without question, though she already had it queued and ready to pull up. When it came to practical experience with the Valkyrie, it was obvious that Victor was the one to defer to. Even if Lillee hadn’t told her that he’d used to be a deckhand, Azrin would have figured it out from how everything was arranged out here. For all it looked like chaos, parts drifting randomly on their lines and flash frozen fluids obscuring the view, she could see the methodology in what he’d removed, and the lines attached to the Valkyrie were all neatly arranged.

“Are you ok Lillee?” she asked in the midst of her examination, catching the pilot’s sarcasm while the lights moved to a more optimal position. That brought a smile to Azrin’s face, as the work area was much easier to see now. “If you train one of the visual sensors on us, you can see what we’re doing and make suggestions. Since you’ve studied the Valkyrie propulsion systems too.” Azrin had never been one to prioritize rank over skill. If they were working on Thea’s engines, she’d trust her own judgment more, but these two were Valkyrie experts. Besides, she’d only been promoted a little over 24 hours ago, and that hadn’t really sunk in yet.

“Actually,” she changed tack at the sight of a nasty brown substance floating near the deuterium pump. “We should bottle up some of this contaminant and send it back to you for the shuttle to analyze. A tricorder could do it too, but the shuttle’s computer can give a more accurate ppm count. Meanwhile, we’re going to pull a few more parts to get a look at that insulation you mentioned. Sound good to everyone?”

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #15
[ENS Victor vanVinter | Cockpit Valkyrie fighter | Deep Space Qo'nos system] Attn: @Griff @rae

Victor sighed heavily at the suggestion, but the Chief was right. Bringing some of the contaminated fuel was the right call, and he knew it. At least Deuterium, before it went through the reaction, was just hydrogen, so liquid hydrogen wasn't a big deal. And it froze quickly enough. So he nodded, bottled some of the frozen Deuterium up in a sample container, and tagged it for retrieval, magnetizing it to the hull.

"Sample contained and ready for examination, but yes, to the insulation."

 Victor sighed and passed over the tether with the original pump and then went about removing a few of the fuel lines, tagging and cabling each one, marking where each came from. The fuel lines were unyielding, with frozen Deuterium inside of them. The insulation in the lines was gone, even in a vacuum. They should have insulated the fuel from the elements keeping it in a plasma state; instead, they were frozen solid.

"This isn't good, Chief. I hope you also brought some spare fuel lines because there's zero insulation here. It looks like they gave me the damn Hangar Queen, and someone canned all the damn lines. They put Atmospheric test lines in, but that doesn't explain the fuel."

A groan escaped Victor as he began scanning the fuel lines anyway, just in case they were contaminated by Nadion energy. The process was quick since it came back negative, which meant they could have been infected by anything. Sure, Ice would clog up the pump. It was meant to handle Plasma, not a solid block. But it wouldn't have explained the sludge.

"Well, we know one problem, no insulation at all on the lines. At least the fuel tanks should be good..."

Victor trailed off, pulling up the diagnostic of his Valkyrie, a worried look on his face. He chewed a thumb idly while waiting a few seconds for the diagnostic to show up. Once it did, he let out a thankful breath, blessing the Prophets under his breath.

"And we've caught one break, and fuel tank pressure is exactly where it needs to be. If the Deuterium there were in any other state, then it wouldn't read properly. So, what are your thoughts on this, you two? Have either of you ever heard of anything that turns Deuterium to sludge at vacuum temperatures?"

*Canned = slang for 'Cannibalizing.' The practice of removing Good parts from an aircraft that doesn't fly and putting them on one that needs parts. Frowned upon, but common practice.

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #16
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae, @rae

Lillee scowled at Azrin's concern but pointedly didn't respond, disinclined to reveal her irritation, foolish as it was. The engineer's suggestion to analyse the deuterium at least gave Lillee something to do, and she duly waited for Victor to scoop some up, idly tapping her fingers on the console. Her nose was (inevitably) starting to itch, as happened every time that she put on an accursed EVA suit, but there was nothing to do about it except suffer.

After Victor finished, Lillee ran the transport sequence, beaming the canister the full six meters onto the floor of shuttle cockpit. It seemed a bizarre thing to do when Lillee could've simply hopped outside and grabbed the thing, but Starfleet (being the safety-obsessed ninnies that they were) had strict protocols about EVA operations. If a transporter reduced EVA work, regardless of how much, it was to be used, even if it baffled the Romulan doing the work.

It only took a few moments to plug the canister into a port below an auxiliary console, after which Lillee sat back down and had the computer begin the analysis. She tweaked her nose irritably, recalling the other instances when her nose itched: those adrenaline-filled moments when she'd flown a cloaked vessel, whether it was a fifteen-meter long fighter or a kilometer-long warbird, close to an enemy ship. Oh, those were the days...

At Victor's question, Lillee sighed. "No, never. I do not even know what could do that to deuterium. It is just an isotope of hydrogen, no? How can you disrupt something so simple?" After spotting a flashing light on the console, she added, "the analysis is complete. Normal readings...yes, yes...ah...what in the...Elements preserve...I have no idea what this means. Your pardon, I shall it out."

Pausing to take a breath, Lillee said slowly, "Subatomic stress indicators of the...gluonic...strands...connecting the primary hadrons range from two QAF...whatever those five QAF along a T'Lon-T'Vess scale. Deuterium viscosity corresponds to a subspace...penetration...quantum...value...of six times ten to the power of twelve for a range of two million teracochranes or more. That's all. There is some technical data here, but I have no idea how to read it. Forwarding the data to your suits' heads-up displays."

With that, Lillee sat back, suddenly very grateful that Azrin had come as the engineer puzzled things out. Her nose was itching more than ever, and Lillee scowled inside her helmet. Her itchy nose was soon forgotten however as, right before her eyes, seemingly right behind the stricken Valkyrie, space itself began rippling into a giant green wall that filled the entire cockpit view.

"Theurgy crew," came a unctuous male voice over the comm, "this is the Klingon battlecruiser Fuq'mi. We stand by to provide assistance."

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #17
[ Lt. Azrin Ryn | Floating between Shuttlecraft "Penrose" and Wolf 11 | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae @Griff

“I brought spare everything,” Azrin assured him, though she was biting her lip trying to remember exactly how many spare fuel lines she’d brought. A good engineer could always improvise, but it was still easier to simply have replacement parts on hand. What had the deck crew been thinking? “I think we have enough, but it will be close.” She’d been in such a hurry to get to the shuttle that she hadn’t properly counted or inventoried anything she’d brought. Back on the ship, someone in ops was undoubtedly swearing at her right now, having found a supply room in complete disarray.

“At least this means the deuterium on the ship is fine,” she pointed out as Victor continued the diagnostics, always trying to look on the bright side. Azrin grabbed one of the pulled fuel lines, applying pressure along the solid surface to see if their was any give. Again, she swore silently at the thick gloves. Unless there was a soft part in the middle that allowed her to literally bend the line, her touch wasn’t sensitive enough to feel the difference. It was so much easier to work when she had tactile responses from the parts.

As for the sludge… Azrin shrugged as a response to Victor’s question, though the spacesuit probably hid the slight shoulder movement. She was thinking, idly humming an tune composed by a former host while her brain worked the problem. The trill perked up when Lillee found something on her end, listening along, nodding, and making a few faces at the readout. When the technical data appeared in her helmet, Azrin dived right into it, smoothly navigating through the mess of numbers with small, precise hand movements, blue eyes darting back and forth in response to a screen that only she could see.

“That is so cool!” she burst out finally. However, Azrin didn’t get the chance to explain any further, as the starscape before them suddenly shimmered, replaced with something green and metallic right on top of them, stretching so far that it made its own horizon. She yelped, jerking back from the Valkyrie and accidently pushing off, only to be yanked to a halt a few meters later as the tether pulled itself taunt. This was why they tied themselves onto things.

Hearing the Klingon’s introduction over the comm was comforting after that, her heart slowing to below warp speed. “Oh good. I was thinking it was some sort of giant subspace monster from whatever anomaly Victor flew through.”

“What?” The reply was quick, hard, and not the least bit impressed.

Mouthing, oh shit, Azrin hurriedly switched to a less open channel so only the other two could hear. “Um, Lillee? Do you want to talk to them? Since I just ruined the whole ‘first impression’ thing?”

Before any other drama could get in her way, she kept talking. Trying to go for a simplified explanation – an actual theory lesson would take several hours and a lot of graphs – she jumped right in. “Quantum area- actually, it doesn’t matter what it means, don’t worry about that. Point is, 5 QAF is bad. Very stressful for the deuterium, and for us. Since the rest of the Valkyrie is fine, I’m guessing you went through a really small subspace anomaly. Like a little ripple on the water, subspace touching normal space. Like Lillee said, hydrogen is simple, and it was flowing through fuel lines not rated for vacuum, so it was the first thing affected when you hit the ripple. And the only thing, because it was tiny. If it was bigger, you’d see the same problem with other parts of the ship. The quantum forces were literally pulling the hydrogen atoms apart. That explains the sludge too, because—“

Azrin stopped abruptly as a bright yellow light came from the battlecruiser, aimed directly at the Valkyrie. “Hey, don’t use a tractor beam! We’re tethered to this thing!” Not that the Klingons would hear her, because she hadn’t switched back to that comm channel.

“There’s a long bit of quantum physics that explains why it’s sludge, but I don’t think we have time for that right now, unless those Klingons want to know too.”

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #18
[ENS Victor vanVinter | Cockpit Valkyrie fighter | Deep Space Qo'nos system] Attn: @Griff @rae

Victor grumbled as things went from bad to worse, absolutely beyond chaotic. His Valkyrie stopped working, and now there were Klingons. How had the situation deteriorated so badly, and how had the Klingons even.... no, that made sense. His transponder was on, and he'd been stationary for the last several hours. Victor would have slapped his face if he hadn't been wearing a helmet.

"Fuck this, Enyd has to be nearby. If not, she'll never believe this..." his words trailed off as he hid a terrible job of encompassing the situation, but at least things could be worse? Somehow.

"Alright, this is Victor. Let's accept the Klingon hospitality. Button everything up, and let's get a ride back to the ship. This will be easier to figure out in gravity anyway." He let the sigh he'd been holding in out, a long and drawn-out exhalation of frustration.

"Chief, I know this is fun for us, but I'd rather not have the situation be more complicated than it already is." A grimace came to his face then, and he reinstalled the various hull panels. The components could stay out and be stored in the shuttle, but his Valkyrie had utterly shit the bed, so it wasn't going anywhere for at least a full day.

"I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want to piss them off, might as well give them something minor to laugh at us for than be annoyed at us for... I dunno, something else."

Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #19
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae, @rae

After the Fuq'mi appeared (and after taking a moment to get her shocked brain working again), Lillee's hands whirled into action. She reacted on simple instinct, powering up the shuttle's meager shields and phasers while scanning the enormous green wall ahead of them. Lillee only marginally relaxed when the familiar outline of a Klingon battlecruiser appeared on her screen. Over the past couple of months, from tbe Azure Nebula to Aldea to Qo'nos, she had grown familiar with the ugly Vor'cha design, but never even close to comfortable.

The opening hail was accidentally answered by Azrin, and Lillee winced at the engineer's suggestion. Asking Klingons and Romulans to be diplomatic to each other was akin to setting an oil spill on fire. Still, orders were orders, and besides, the Klingons didn't know that they were talking to a Romulan. Perhaps the animals would be more polite than usual?

"Fuq'mi, this is the shuttlecraft Penrose of the Federation starship Theurgy," Lillee said slowly and carefully with no trace of her usual accent. "We are in the process of conducting repairs. Please stand by." And maybe back up a few kilometers, you drunk morons, Lillee thought to herself irritably. The Klingons had dropped out of warp barely fifty meters from the Valkyrie. It was either a phenomenal demonstration of piloting skill and engineering precision, or it was pure dumb luck that the Starfleeters weren't splattered like bugs by Klingon incompetence.

"Penrose, we are only too happy to help our esteemed allies return to your vessel." The Klingon captain's sarcasm and glee were obvious, and Lillee clenched a gloved fist in frustration. "We will take you aboard and return you to the Theurgy with the compliments of the Klingon Empire. Prepare for tractor beam."

Lillee scowled before realisation struck. "Fuq'mi, no, wait-" she got out, only for the shuttle to shudder as a great yellow light seized the craft, the Valkyrie and the two unfortunate people floating in the space between them. Victor seemed resigned to the situation, and tempted though Lillee was to target the tractor emitter with her phasers, she knew thar he was right. Instead, as they were all slowly pulled around the Fuq'mi's huge hull to its shuttlebay, Lillee started working.

"It's not safe for you both to be out there in a tractor beam, especially with all that debris. Standby for transport," Lillee grumbled over the comm, looking downright murderous inside her helmet. The aft hatch closed, and after re=pressurising the shuttle interior, she removed her helmet and gloves. Transporting the various bits of equipment and wayward officers took a minute or so, and Lillee muttered to herself as she worked.

"Klingons...fvadt...fucking animals...always so busy humping their own bat''s a wonder they ever left their own star system...filthy savages, we should've conquered them long ago...the fools wouldn't have a chance without the Federation protecting them...stupid horny idiots...'only to happy to help'...bah...that sanctimonious fool is probably drunk right now, the dickless moron, probably forgot to wear pants this morning, but I'll bet nobody noticed on those targ sties they call warships..."

After Azrin and Victor both materialised in the shuttle, surrounded by bits and pieces. Lillee turned back to them and said "We should be onboard the Klingon ship soon. I hope you don't mind my staying on the would not be diplomatic if I ended up killing a Klingon, true?"

In retrospect, Lillee would think to herself in the hours and days to come, leaving the comm open, and letting everyone within a million kilometer radius hear every word that she spoke, was not her finest moment.


Re: Day 19 [1625 hrs] IFE

Reply #20
[ Lt. Azrin Ryn | Shuttlecraft "Penrose" | Qo'nos System ] Attn: @Tae @Griff

“What? Nooooo.” At the moment, Azrin sounded less like a lieutenant and more like a child denied sweets. “Doing it in zero-g was part of the challenge!” However, that was all the time she had to complain about it, because they were still in the Klingon’s tractor beam, which was not a good place to be while out in an environmental suit.

Azrin didn’t even really notice Lillee’s swearing, since she was doing a decent amount of her own while trying to gather up all the parts that were floating around them, now imbued with the potential to become dangerous projectiles at any moment. It would be a waste of a lot of good parts if these tethers started snapping. “You know, you could have said that then caught us up once we were ready!” the engineer shouted at the green goliath of a ship, right as she felt the transporter beam lock on and beam her away.

“They are ruining what could have been a perfectly fun mission,” she vented to Victor as they reappeared in the back of the shuttle, pulling her helmet off and brushing off a few loose strands of red hair that had fallen in front of her eyes, unreachable until now. “I wanted to fix it!” She sighed, a truly mournful sound, then headed over to Lillee, arriving just as the pilot made a joke about killing a Klingon.

“Yeah, no. That would be really-“ Then blue eyes went wide, her mouth falling open in an O as she pointed frantically over Lillee’s shoulder, where a solid red light indicated which comm channel was still open. She didn’t even give the Romulan time to react before jumping to turn it off. “Sorry!” The shout could have been for the Klingons or Lillee, considering that Azrin had practically humped on top of her in order to reach the button. Her gaze flipped back and forth between the other two, before launching back into what she hoped was a reassuring conversation. “It will be fine. I mean, I made the same mistake when we got here, and they weren’t mad about it. Klingons like fighting right? A little bit of accidental killing might be exactly what they like to—what else did you say while the comm was open? I was focused on gathering our gear?” Though desperately hoping she’d remembered wrong, Azrin was left disappointed. “Wow. Yeah. You can’t stay on the ship. We’ll go out and apologize and everything will be fine.”

“We might want to send another distress call back to the Theurgy though. For a diplomat this time. Just in case.”

While they worked on that, the shuttle was slowly but surely pulled into the Klingon’s shuttlebay. Azrin did her best to go outside smiling reassuringly, though she still felt more like a sausage trapped in her bulky spacesuit. Her face fell immediately when she was the large – very large, how many did they think they’d need? – group of Klingon warriors glowering at them. “Ah. Right. We just want to say how sorry we are about that little comm malfunction. You might have noticed that our ship is damaged and Lillee really didn’t mean any of that,” a not so subtle elbow in the Romulan’s ribs followed that, “and she is very very sorry.” Hopefully Enyd or Nysari or one of the other diplomats Azrin hadn’t met yet would come rescue them soon. Because the Klingons definitely weren’t having it. “Come on guys. We’re all friends here. The Klingons and Starfleet… and…”

Thankfully for Azrin’s lackluster public speaking skills – for all her rank, her command was normally limited to other engineers – she was rescued by a shudder passing through the hull of the ship, the lights dimming noticeably for a moment before backup power kicked in. What didn’t return, she noticed with growing delight, a real grin blooming on her face, were the normal hull reverberations. Their warp core was offline. The Klingons had hit it too! “The subspace anomaly! I can fix that!”


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