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CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

CHAPTER 01: Damage

[ USS Theurgy | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 15 | 1120 hrs. ]
Attn: Lone Wolves Squadron. Free to join the fun.

As if she emerged from a swarty womb, Narik Cinsaj sucked in air through her breathing mask as she leaned back from an opened service panel - seated upon the wing of a Valkyrie Mk. III. Sore and dirty, she rolled her shoulders and stretched her neck, finally finished with re-installing two units in the RCS Thruster Assembly of the attack fighter. All around her in the hangar, Starfleet personnel laboured alongside her with the other fighters, cleaning out thruster chambers and testing the TTCA controls of them once they were re-inserted into the Valkyries.

"Skritz frinx, I need something to drink," she said quietly, her Ferengi curses born from her many years as a slave on their ships. She stood up upon the wing with her tools in her hands, and while her civilian work clothes had once been a deep magenta colour, the course fabric and the exposed skin of her arms and neck were now blackened with ash - as if she had used herself as a cotton pad and cleaned out the fraxen engines with her whole body. Breathing heavily, sweat beading her Boslic forehead, Cinsaj leaned back her head where she stood, arms and tools hanging by her sides, thinking that she really needed to prove herself to the new engineering crew she surrounded herself with; to show them that she could do far more than clean out engines. This being her second day on the Theurgy, she hoped that someone would happen to look at her credentials and free her from this manual labour. To put her to proper use in Main Engineering. "Two units down... six to go, and eight thruster chambers left after that... Great fun..."

She shouldn't be complaining. She could have been dead. She could have fallen down into that tunnel underneath the shield dome emitter on Theta Eridani IV. She could have been seared to pieces by a Reaver's phaser canons. At least she had her health, she supposed, in this awful situation she had ended up in.

Taking a deep breath, she walked towards the nose cone of the Valkyrie, stepping across the closed canopy and reaching the NAVDEF radome and the two sockets on either side, which was where the next two Reaction-Control Subsystems were to be inserted. She saw the text below the edge of the canopy on her way there, which stated WOLF-01 IRON FOX, but she paid no thought to what it meant. Instead, she carefully got down on all fours, and with her lilac hair hanging down before her slate grey eyes, she reached into one of the gaping sockets on the side and...
"No..." she said with despair, withdrawing her hand... which was covered in black, corrosive goo. "These were supposed to be de-gunked yesterday. Chief! What the frax..."

Seething, she put both legs down on one side of the nose cone and dropped to the titanium deck, her hand held out demonstratively before herself and holding her tools in the other hand. "Covington, right?" she said through her mask when she got attention from the human that was supposed to be some hot-shot when it came to this attack fighter kind of maintenance on a starship. "Didn't we get help the whole night from those fighter pilots from the Harbinger? I cannot insert the RCS assembly into this."

When the Chief had seen her hand, she tried to wipe it clean with one of the many cloths that sprouted from the pockets along her legs. She took a deep breath to clear her head, and then removed her mask to be able to have some kind of proper conversation. "Sorry, it has been a long morning..." she confessed and wiped her cross-marked forehead with the cloth, clearing sweat but adding twin lines of ash instead.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Abrasion Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #1
Once he had departed the Operations Officer's quarters, Sten Covington had wasted no time making his way to his hangar deck. He knew he was late for the timing he had set for work to resume after he'd ordered a complete end to the previous day's activities in order to allow his personnel to be well-rested for what was to come.

Oh, the pilots from the Harbinger had not been overly pleased when Sten informed them they were not welcome on his flight deck unless he or one of his senior techs were present. But they hadn't fought him too hard when he made it clear his was ten final word on the matter, and that those few who could countermand him typically deferred to his considerable experience and judgement in all matters pertaining to fighter maintenance.

Once in the bay, Sten did as was his custom when there were no fighters launching or recovering and he started to pump music through the bay's speakers, this day choosing a selection of upbeat and more aggressive tunes from his native Britain and neighbouring Ireland. He was certain Phantom, the tyrannical psychopath that he was, did not approve of the practice and it might violate a regulation somewhere. But it seemed to help the technicians and improve their productivity so if he was ever called on it, Papa Bear would have a leg to stand on.

Sten was busying himself going from fighter to fighter, assisting where his extensive knowledge and experience were required. And that was when he heard a voice calling to him in a less than courteous manner. The veteran, his face knitted into a fierce scowl, left the engine he was working in and made his way towards the source of the call, his long legs eating the distance and he wiped his hands on he rag tucked into his toolbelt.

It was that civilian engineer who had spoken to him so. And she was bitching about the crap that was caked in every nook and cranny of each and every fighter. "Miss Cinsaj," indeed, Sten knew who she was. Just as he knew the names of everyone who was on his flight deck and wasn't part of his staff or the Lone Wolves. "I'll let your tone and choice of words slide this once since you're not Starfleet. But if you insist on those with me, you'll find yourself on your arse outside my bay, understood?"

He then looked at the fighter she was working on, Renard's personal bird. "And no, it wasn't supposed to be done yesterday. And no, Harbinger's pilots didn't work through the night, and neither did my tech. I planned all the cleaning work for today. And since you can't put a thruster assembly in that housing as it is, I strongly suggest you set it down and clean it out yourself."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #2
Narik raised her eyebrows at the replies she was given, clearly having misunderstood the situation - thinking that cleaning had begun during the daytime the day before.

"I see," she said, suddenly feeling that ire bubble inside her at the clear indication that she was to act like an obedient slave and that her word meant fritz to the old human. "Forget I said anything then," she said courtly and walked away, shaking her head. She was long done with these uptight Starfleet people that could not get over themselves for sake of common sense and efficiency. There had been no clause in her contract on the Harbinger that suggested that she would follow Starfleet protocol to their fullest extent, and her opinions had been valued. Right then, that sickly feeling in the bottom of her stomach made the Theurgy feel like any other Ferengi slave ship she had served on. In fact, she was so bloody furious that she was not about to accept this.

"Hey," she said, rounding on the self-important bastard flat-skull and walking back to him, "on second thought, if you want that attack fighter clean, I suggest you clean it yourself. I don't have a contract aboard this ship, and I am not doing anything until I have a new one written up and signed by Chief Engineer Marlowe and your Captain."

She had a mind to wide her hand clean on the human's yellow overall, but she settled on tossing him the dirty cloth on her way towards the exit of the Flight Deck. On the way there, however, one of the fighter pilots that worked on the grey - older - Valkyrie fighters made an annoying whistling sound in her direction, clearly mocking her.

"Frax you, beard man!" she called to him without breaking pace.

Riptor, which was his name, chuckled at her as she walked past him. "Me? No thank you, I prefer a tight arse to a freak like you any day."

Clenching her jaws tight, Cinsaj walked on, not about to stop.

"On second thought," called Riptor after her, "your ass looks okay from this angle, now that you have your ugly head facing the other way!" His white teeth showing through his ash-blackened face and beard, the pilot returned to his cleaning of a thruster chamber soon enough, but Narik was already holding back indignant tears - remembering how she used to be paraded naked across cargo holds whenever there were Ferengi guests visiting the ships she grew up on.

OOC: The situation took an unexpected turn so I improvised a little. :)

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #3
Somehow, Sten wasn't surprised at the civilian's response to his words. First of all, he was not known for his overabundance of tact, especially on his flight deck. And truth be told, it was his direct approach that was a key to his so-far successful career as he had become known as someone who had absolutely no tolerance for bullshit, let it be those who offered it to make officers feel better or being on the receiving end. And second, he had no idea how things were ran on the Harbinger and perhaps staff on the other renegade starship tolerated that sort of things, but Covington did not much care for people telling him how things should be run in the Fighter Assault Bay.

However, when the woman began heading out of the bay in a huff, the Chief Warrant Officer shook his head. Not at her attitude but at losing a pair of hands on the deck. He could use the personnel, and if she was working alone on a fighter then it was largely his fault as he failed to provide her with more accurate directions than just picking a bird and getting to work. He should have assigned her to a specific work crew, maybe with Marquette doing the work in the Mark II's she would have been more familiar with.

However, his thoughts were interrupted first by the whistling and then the comments from one of Harbinger's pilots, the big bearded loudmouth Riptor. And his behaviour inflamed the old veteran. That, and the visible shuddering it caused in the Boslic civilian. "Miss Cisanj, if I may have a moment of your time before you head out?"

Sten had spoken loudly, his gravelly voice easily cutting through the combined din of men working and the music on the speakers. But his tone was that of a request, as evidenced by his words. However, he did not wait for a reply as he  made his way towards the offensive pilot.

"Riptor!" The callsign was not spoken, it was shouted and dripped with his anger and indignation. No one talked to anyone like this on his deck. Not to him, not to his technicians or his pilots. Or even to a rude civilian who was storming out. And the fact he was an officer made it even worse, particularly as the Chief of the Deck had the nagging feeling it wasn't the first time Riptor did something like that.

Covington wasted no time in closing the distance and came to a stop directly in front of the bearded pilot. To say Riptor was a large man was an understatement. Sten himself was generally considered an imposing figure standing nearly six and a half feet tall and being powerfully built and still brutally strong and fit; but the pilot dwarfed the Chief by half a head and at least a solid sixty or eighth pounds. However, that did not stop the older man at all. In fact, it only seemed to make his furious scowl look even more warranted as he looked up to Riptor.

"I don't know how things are done on the Harbinger, but on this ship, on this deck, MY DECK, things are done my way." Sten's voice rose as his anger rolled out of him. "And on my deck, no one talks like that. Ever. Miss Cisanj might be a civilian, she might have been on your ship, and she might be on her way off this deck in a huff, but I'll chew on broken glass before I stand for your bullshit."

Sten stepped even closer, and he drove his callused fingertip into Riptor's chest. "You have exactly this one chance to apologize to Miss Cinsaj here and get the hell off my deck under your own power and stay away until it's time to be rid of you. I strongly suggest you take it. Now."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #4
Narik had come to a stop when that Covington man had shouted to her, thinking at first that he would have her return to duty despite her wishes. She had rounded on him to give him a flaming piece of her mind, yet belatedly, just when she was about to open her mouth to make her retort, she recognised the fact that he meant no such thing - his attention directed to the animal of a human that towered next his fighter.

The Covington man's booming triage made Narik unsure what to think, unused to others stepping in to defend her integrity in the fashion that he did. Immediately, because she was without such prior experience, she thought he had an ulterior motive - meaning to fool her and make her trust him. They all took advantage of her in the end, and this human was of the same ilk as the bearded animal that he castigated openly - overriding the infernal music that was being played.

As she regarded the exchange, watchful, she saw Riptor stand opposite the Covington man, looking down upon him as he was being admonished for his words to her. Underneath the beard and the heavy browridge, there was little sign of direct fright or discomfort, more like annoyance to have been called out by the Chief. Perhaps he thought it annoying to be approached by someone of lower rank, and yet he might think that this wasn't his ship - out of his common waters. One thing was sure, and that was that he did not back down - immobile where he stood.

In the time before for an answer was given to Covington, a shadow appeared between two Valkyries further down the line - the Wing Commander of the Harbinger. Phantom, as he styled himself after his grievous injury - half his face seared clean off his skull. "What is the meaning of this?" he rasped like a saw against bone - his throat evidently hurt as well. "Rip?"

"This Chief here seems to have a problem with my courting methods, Commander." said Riptor, seemingly cleaning his teeth underneath his beard - stare unwavering from Covington's. "Asks me to apologise and leave. At least I would like to think he is asking nicely... for his sake."

Phantom's mismatched eyes left the two tall men and looked around, soon settling on Narik in understanding that she was the offended party. Narik, in turn, shuddered inside at the ghastly sight of the human. "Pardon, woman," he rasped to her in that chilling way, and the unburned side of his face smiled - only it turned out more of a sickly grimace than a sign of amiability. "My pilot forgot his manners. Riptor, apologise."

There was a long pause, Riptor still looking into the Chief's eyes - unflinching. "Sorry for talking bad about your face and your head, Boslic. Your arse is still fine, though. Perhaps as cute as your boyfriend's arse. Wouldn't mind to shaft 'em both."

The transition was seamless. One moment, Phantom had been walking. The next, he had kicked Riptor in the bend of the knee - making the towering beast slam into the deck. No finesse. No fancy martial arts technique. Just brute, uncompromising precision. Narik had jumped a little at the swift brutality of it. She had been unprepared, not thinking that the silver-haired human still possessed the speed of a man half his age.

"Fuck it, Commander!" roared Riptor as he struggled to get up, but Phantom checked him with a mere look - his countenance usually grim to look upon as it was.

"Leave," scraped the scarred abomination of a man, "lest I clip your wings. We are guests, no more."

Slowly, Riptor stood up, lingering a little to look upon the Chief again, and then towards Narik - about to leave but perhaps debating to say something more... Meanwhile, Narik's heart was beating fast in her chest.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #5
Riptor's utter lack of repentance nagged at Sten. In fact, he seemed more annoyed at being interrupted in hurling abuse than anything else. And the Chief of the a Deck was a mere moment away from grasping the pilot by his collar and physically throwing him out of the hangar when the disfigured commander appeared and made himself heard.

And the explanation the junior pilot gave simply served to anger Covington and his face contorted into a savage snarl and it took the entirety of his self-control not to reach for one of the heavier tools in his belt and cave in Riptor's skull. If anything, he knew he would have his entire staff backing him with their testimonies if it came down to it.

But a true surprise was when Phantom ordered his pilot to apologize, a command that Riptor did not even obey as all he did was hurl even more abuse before being brought down to his knees by a well-placed kick, obviously enough to finally get his attention. But even after this latest blow, Riptor did not appear ready to depart just yet. And finally, Sten made himself heard, his tone one that would brook no dissent. "Get the fuck off my deck, Riptor. My deck is out of bounds to you until I say otherwise."

Maybe the pilot viewed himself as far superior to any deck ape, but Sten would have none of it. This was his hangar deck and unless ordered by one of the handful of people on board who had authority over him, his decision would stand. "And don't worry about your bird, it'll be spaceworthy and get you home safely. But only because it is a valuable tactical asset and we take our work seriously, not because you deserve my people's efforts."

As he turned away from the bearded pilot to face Lieutenant Commander Kilinvos, Sten said one last thing to him. "And if I hear you treat anyone on this ship like this again, you and me are going to have more than words."

And only then did he address the senior officer. "Sir, please kindly remind your pilots that I run this deck and my orders aren't suggestions. If you can't get them to accept that and keep them in check then get them out of my hangar. My people got enough work to do as it is and we don't need that kind of bullshit."

Covington did not even wait for a reply before he turned his attention to the civilian. "Miss Cinsaj, I understand we didn't really start on the right foot here. Are you going to be all right? If you want to lodge a formal complaint against Riptor, I will staff it through Commander Renard. Either way, if you would reconsider your position on the matter, we could use your help here."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #6
Within the office The SCO's head was laying on a sprawled out pile of PADDs.  After many long hours the night before sorting through post flight reports and debriefing materials he finally succumbed to the exhaustion and fell into unconsciousness where he sat.  Now nearing noon the SCO was reaping the consequences of pushing himself too far  To his lift sprawled on the desk were a pile of kneePADDs and to his right was a single cup of a certain Terran beverage he had picked up drinking on nights like the one he had just been dealing with.   In the cup was a tan colored liquid that once held a strong roasty aroma and many hours ago was much hotter.  To the side of the cup sat A small chilled pitcher of sorts sitting in a bath of ice water and a tray on which were several small white cubes.

As the Vulpinian shifted in his slep a strange chirpy buzz began to issue from below his ear causing him to reflexively awaken witha start looking around wildly before he looked down at the padd that was recently under his head seeing a display reading Illegal input.  "Fucking hell, what time is it?" Miles said out loud to himself causing Thea's automated query response to reply. 

"The current time is Eleven Hundred Twenty Five Hours."

"Thanks Thea," Miles said groggily as he looked at the long cold beverage on his desk and headed over to the replicator.  he placed the cup on it and spoke to it. "Recycle contents, and gimmie a fresh one.  Colombian, black, 90 degrees Celsius, three quarters full"    The cup dematerialized and a fresh one replaced it on the replicators surface steaming from the extremely high temperature.  He took the cup and walked back to his desk placing one of the sugar cubes into the near boiling liquid and then taking the cream bottle from the chilled bowl and poured it into it.  He smiled softly as he took the spoon he had left on the table and stirred it a bit knowing that now it was perfect.  He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes as his fur-less form began to replace the fox like one he had been "wearing" moments before  He took a sip of the beverage savoring the way the cream and sugar seemed to mix perfectly with the bitter taste of the roasted beans of the Arabica species of the Terran coffee plant.  It was a sublime combination of bitter and smooth with just that perfect touch of sweetness that seemed to make it easier for him to adjust to another day of not enough sleep.  He briefly considered just walking out the door to get to work knowing he was hours past the time he had wanted to begin work on his bird but seeing he lacked the proper attire at the moment and wasn't even wearing shoes he decided he may as well take a couple more minutes to just relax before dealing with whatever headaches the world outside his office had in store for him.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #7
Standing where she were, Narik saw Riptor grin again underneath his beard, dusting himself off as the tall human in the yellow overall told him that he was never to return and that if he repeated his detestable behaviour, they would have more than words. "I reckon we will indeed," said the bearded human confidently, seemingly unimpressed by either the man's physical stature or his rank. Perhaps both. Then again, perhaps he faked his disrespect in both regards as well, meaning to look superior in the eyes of his squadron. "I will leave, but only because Phantom tells me so. Not because some grease monkey thinks he..."

"Now, Riptor."

The quietude in the scarred man's scraping tone broke no nonsense, and Riptor fell short of completing his insult - the barest of flinch in the man's eyes speaking of a thought upon potential repercussions. He nodded once and picked up his things before walking away. Yet as he passed Narik by, he gave her a grin and a wink, as if he was some lecherous Ferengi thinking himself the mightiest and wealthiest slaver on the market. On her end, Cinsaj merely stared back in defiance to his unvoiced claim upon her, folding her arms underneath her breasts and cocking a hip in wait for him to leave the hangar. Behind her, the Covington man told Phantom to keep his pilots obedient and follow his orders or they would have to leave.

"Duly noted, Chief," rasped Phantom in reply, his words measured and obviously not hinting any reaction to the lower ranking human's words. At least Narik thought the scarred man held higher rank, but with all the pips of different design, she barely kept track of the usual insignias. She knew she preferred to do business with those who held three dots on their collars or more. Made for easier transitions into dealing with the required work. Phantom walked back towards the fighter he had been working on. "You heard him, squadron. Consider the Chief's words my own while we are in this Flight Hangar."

"Miss Cinsaj, I understand we didn't really start on the right foot here. Are you going to be all right? If you want to lodge a formal complaint against Riptor, I will staff it through Commander Renard. Either way, if you would reconsider your position on the matter, we could use your help here."

Narik turned her slate grey eyes towards the Chief and took a deep breath. "Fine, its not like I do not want to help... but don't treat me like I'm Starfleet. I'm not, so you better get used to dealing with civilians as well. " She walked back to Covington, chin raised, and while proud and defiant, there was humour in the glint of her eyes underneath her forehead. He had been good to her, so she would play along. "What is it you humans say? Something like old dogs and how they won't learn to do new things? I might be a challenge for you, Chief..."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #8
Eventually, Riptor left. But it had been no easy transition. If anything, it took damn near all of Sten's self-control not to physically eject the offensive pilot from the hangar bay. Particularly when the bearded man chose to challenge the Chief's warning about a far less pleasant conversation. However, Sten had no illusions he would take a few licks in a row with Riptor. He was, after all, about twice the Harbinger man's age, at least forty or sixty pounds lighter and a few inches shorter. But Covington didn't fight fair or clean, and he wouldn't come to that argument empty-handed. From previous experience, a ball-peen hammer or a nice long wrench were not only effective tools on the flight deck, they also did an amazing job at adjusting attitudes when properly used.

But Phantom's behaviour did not sit right with the old Chief despite the apparent support. That maniac was not a leader, he was a tyrant. First booting his pilot in a way that could easily cripple him instead of employing a more appropriate disciplinary measure was a spot that stood out in the Chief's mind. Then, there was the complete lack of acknowledgement that Covington actually ran Theurgy's fighter bay. If anything, his words were more to the effect that he was deferring control to the older man for the time being.

That was something that would bother any Deck Chief. Even when he was sent off to other ships or star bases to phase in new procedures or fighters, Sten always knew he was never really the man in charge in the affected fighter bays and always acted with the local Chief's blessing and made it clear he was not there to take over but to give the deck crews the tools to do their job, tools to be used in the way his counterpart would see fit.

Sten was not overly surprised with Narik's terms and he offered a nod. He was not used to having civilian techs in his hangar so it would be a bit of a learning curve. "Miss Cinsaj, I helped develop all three generations of Valkyrie fighters and how to train ground crews. I wrote the maintenance manual for the Mark Three's. I can learn all sorts of new tricks." He offered a warm smile, obviously starting to view the Boslic as one of his Cubs. "Now, just to be formally introduced, I'm Chief Warrant Officer First Class Sten Covington. Pilots get to call me Papa Bear, techs with a few exceptions call me Chief. Since you're not Starfleet, I'll be a bit more open-minded with you. So long as there's no 'fraxing' involved with it and we're clear this is my deck, regardless what anyone else might think."

His smile grew wider as he mentioned  his basic terms, which he did feel were quite reasonable.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #9
Because of her life experiences, saying that she was not the trusting kind would be the gravest of understatments. Still, Narik could agree to such basic terms for the sake of getting along in a closed work environment. She was a hired consultant and might even suggest objective feedback to the processes and logistics of how this Covington man ran his hangar. A better usage of my services than cleaning his fighters, that for fraxing sure...

Of this, she said naught for the time being, instead inclining her head deeply - proffering her forehead. It was the Boslic way of showing respect in a subject matter of discussion. Or ceding  a point of long negotiation during a trade. "I like to call you Covington because I understand this is your family name," she said, and while estranged from her people, the family she lost still meant much to her. Images of Mateej's face came unbidden yet she pushed it from her mind.

"I will not be swearing in reference to this name," she said in amiable accord, her steps slow and flowing as she circled around the Chief, "yet I do not make such a promise for dead matter and tools I may use. My name..." she said, her purple hair stirring as she whipped her head around to face him once she made half a turn.

" Narik Cinsaj, formerly of the honoured family Cinsaj... that now be lost to Boskia memory and Bosala II ship registries. My services are many, my advice sound, and I profited for ten years as an Engineering Consultant to Starfleet and Federation. Ten years,  sixty contracts deep into the being a trusted and valued resource from outside your Federation borders, showing the old and the young alike new ways of how to become better. Improving designs and making new ones as required. All this I did, prior to being branded a traitor like the rest of you Starfleeters. Now, as I find myself aboard the illustrious Theurgy-Class USS Theurgy, with a long range of prototype technology that begs to be calibrated and refined, I currently..."

She paused and smiled sardonically, finishing her introduction by gesturing towards the Wolf-01 fighter. "Well, you know what my current non-contracted occupation is already, Covington man," she said and did not mock her task, just the irony of it, "I may not write books like you do, but once I am finished with that Valkyrie AC-409, you may write a book on how clean and spaceworthy it will be."

Coming to stand before the towering Chief, Narik planted her fists on her hips - craning her dirty neck to give him a mock-serious threat. "Yet if you seek to publish it... I will take my due share of the profit, human. Mark my words."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #10
Having started off on the wrong foot with Narik seemed to have corrected itself and, to Sten, things looked up. While he was not intimately familiar with her background, he had gathered she was some sort of engineering consultant who made a living troubleshooting issues with existing designs and procedures. But on this flight deck, there was precious little the woman could offer in the immediate. The Mark III's weren't even fully shaken out yet despite the extensive operational hours they had logged so far, and they were just starting to show everything they had to show, maintenance-wise. Fighters in the design stage were not so much getting post-flight maintenance as much as a full rebuild after each testing serial, and while Covington could anticipate most points of stress before they became points of failure, there were still some surprises.

Despite the Boslic's apparent enthusiasm, though, the Chief seemed to detect a hint of something else, as if getting her hands dirty with the fighters was beneath her. And that is when he offered his instructor's smile and began with something along the lines he said many times when he was working at the Academy, turning raw recruits into Fighter Bay Techs. "Maybe you're used to more glamorous jobs, but we need every hand we can get without compromising the Theurgy's repair schedule. But like I told all kinds of recruits and trainees, there's not job too small or too dirty on a flight deck. Every last little thing that doesn't get  done has a cost in lives. Either one of the ground crew because a safety measure got skipped, or the pilot when his impulse plasma manifold ruputres and incinerates him, or the lives of the entire crew, or people we are charged to protect, because we don't have every last fighter up to snuff."

Sten was not berating or lecturing. He was simply explaining the nature of the fighter maintenance beast. "Let's face it, Starfleet is all about the officers, and if you listen to them it's like us grunts aren't needed. But look around, there isn't a single officer in the ground crew and even the pilots know who's boss on this deck. Well, at least the Lone Wolves do unlike our guests. We're the guys who get shit done, and done right, so the officers get to do their thing. This is where non-coms get to really shine."

Then, it was as though the older man had a flash of genius. "You're some fancy-schmancy engineer, right? Tell me, how would you like being my right hand for a little project involving a fighter from the future? Once we've got our birds back up to my standards, Iron Fox wants our trophy over there made combat-ready. And I could use someone who can find ways to make our technology work with that thing's systems. Don't want to pull out the antimatter bottles and find out they won't play nice with our power outlets and vaporize us, you know?"

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #11
The Convington man suddenly seemed to fall into a rhetorical sliding rail, the speech he held - while perfectly sound and viable for the right kind of audience - just a little bit too practiced for Narik to be able to keep her attention. Her eyes glazed over a bit underneath her forehead, remaining where she stood just below his towering height - hands still on her hips. He might as well have struck her enthusiasm over the head with a coil spanner.

She made no comment on what he said, but she knew herself well enough to know why she wasn't affected by the words. It was because she didn't necessarily believe that the Starfleet way was the only way. It was also because she made a clear distinction between what was important, and what was interesting. Important work needed to be done, always, because of the very reasons that the human illustrated so eloquently, but it wasn't like she didn't have the merit of being able to chose. At least she had been able to, before being branded a traitor like the rest of them.

Indeed, the problem was that because of the high repute of her skills, she only had an obligation to carry out the contracts she chose, and not a duty to do as she was told by someone in a suit with more gold in their collar. The resemblance between these allegedly 'shining' non-com grunts... and slaves... was far too high for her comfort. She placed great value her freedom, more than most aboard the starship did. However, it was for that same reason she felt an obligation to assist the Starfleeters; because of the threat of the enemy.

An enemy that would make you a slave to some unknown kind of parasite, and in the end, enslaving the ignorant masses of the Federation and beyond.

The proposition that Convington made, however, made her enthusiasm return as if it never left. She had been pining to get underneath that hull since she arrived to the hangar. Well, at first, she had kept clear of it because one of those Reavers had nearly vapourised her a handful of times down on Theta Eridani IV. Yet over time, trepidation had been replaced by curiosity. "That is something I would gladly add as a first priority in my contract," she said, turning from Covington to lay her eyes upon the metallic beast, "I may accept your request. A worthy challenge indeed. I just want it in print before I begin. I cannot do professional work unless the conditions are made clear."

Turning her head back, Narik gave the human a lopsided grin. "As for compensation, I am aware that there is none right now. Yet if we are successful, and our names are restored to honour, I mean to cash in my due share. Mark my words."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #12
If Sten Covington was any judge, it seemed to him as though the work in the bay was something the Boslic considered as being beneath her. In fact, he could swear she completely disconnected when he explained some of the dynamics at hand.

And while he'd said as much many a time before  it was no mere rote he'd repeated so often he believed it. It was something he deeply and truly believed in. And really, he'd had a hand in the creation of the current state of fighter bays across Starfleet and its officer-less mode of operations. And how it streamlined things by removing the issue of addressing officers and the inevitable frictions that would result from enlisted technicians doing what the commissioned types might consider out of the scope of their abilities.

But at the mention of working on the Reaver, Narik's expression spoke volumes. However, she did dictate terms, including how she only worked under clearly defined contractual clauses.

Who on this ship had time for contracts? There was too much bloody work to be done for the people in charge to come up with these things! And Sten was one of them.

"Contracts might be difficult. First, I don't write them or even have the authority to draft them. But would a verbal agreement work with you?"

That much Covington could do. At least until he could bring it up with Iron Fox or Natalie Stark. And really, he wasn't looking for a full-blown consultant, he needed more hands in the hangar bay. And one who could so some magic with technology that might not even be compatible with Theurgy's

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #13
Narik listened to the Convington man try to sneak his way out of a written contract, but she merely raised a hand to wiggle her finger at him.

"No can do. Do you think I was born yesterday just because I was not born the same century as you were?" she said in jest about his age, grinning to him and tilting her head.

"I think you will find apt time to get a contract drawn up before there will be any attention shifted to the Reaver craft. There is still plenty to do on these regular attack fighters and there might be hours and days before I can start working on that thing. Preferably, I want the Captain's signature on the contract by-the-by... Just a precaution so that not, supposedly, one of your superiors decide that I am not entitled to any credits at all in the end of all this, just because the Chief of the Deck acted on his own without their approval."

Walking back towards Fighter-01 again, she flicked her dirty cloth over her shoulder, resuming work on the Valkyrie with or without him raising any debate on her terms. "Same kind of thing happened to me before. Won't happen again, Covington man."

She climbed the attack fighter again, setting about with the toil to get the chamber clean.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #14
"Then, Cinsaj girl," Sten decided to play along and fall into her own mode of address. It was not done in a way that could be considered snarky but instead to be falling more in the wheelhouse of the somewhat more relaxed atmosphere he preferred to foster on his flight deck. "We might have a problem. Like I said, contracts and the like are for the Sirs and the Ma'ams. I don't touch those unless one gets out on my desk telling me I got some civilians working for me. But I'll staff your request up the chain and we'll see what the powers that be decide, all right?"

There wasn't much Covington could offer. If anything, his hands were as tied as he claimed. He did want the woman's input on that thing from the future and some of the R&D that would be involved with all the spare Reaver parts they'd scooped up. But if she insisted on contracts he couldn't provide, or the chain of command would be unwilling to endorse, then he'd have to do without.

And part of Sten missed his old boss, Lieutenant Cooper. Bouncing into him off of the Harbinger was a surprise all right. But, suffice to say, the man was a little peculiar and definitely a galaxy-class egghead, but he had a good head on his shoulders. Damn, the man would be missed if only for his brains...

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I got pilots to babysit. Don't want those crazy kids messing up my birds more than they already have."

OOC: sorry, kinda short. I was a little stumped here.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #15
A bit down the line of attack fighters, Hannah "Nightmare" Slaverton was soaked in sweat, even to the point her white undershirt - with sleeves hiked up and zipper pulled down her chest - was clinging to her tanned body like a second skin. An effect that she cared naught about and that she figured was quite ruined by the amount of rough ash that stained her, so she did not bother doing anything about it - not about to make it an excuse to sneak away. She may be the Lone Wolves' party girl but she was quite aware that that black and hellish Calamity ship could appear any moment, so the sooner the birds had their wings cleaned, the sooner they could fly.

She leaned back from the service panel on her Valkyrie, needing to rest her back a bit from rinsing out the black shit that had gotten everywhere inside it. As she did, she overheard the Boslic that had made a scene a short while ago.

"Much obliged, Covington man," she said as she set to work, "Much obliged..."

Hannah blew out some air through her full lips and her dishevelled hair danced in the brief gust. Her thoughts went to Riptor, wondering what had gotten into him. He had seemed perfectly fine to her in Below Decks the day before, but then again, there had not been any Non-Coms around then. Pity he had to be such a dick, since he sure was nice eye-candy. At least until the point where he started messing with the poor civilian. What a fucking bastard. I wonder if all the fine Harbinger pilots are like that with the rest of their crew?

Spotting Chief Covington walk by below the wing of her bird, Hannah called out to him. "Hey, do we have any water down there? I think this black crap has gone down my throat, Chief." Truthfully, her head hurt from drinking real alcohol in Below Decks the night before, but it was not like she was going to admit that to Papa Bear. Standing up, she walked out on the wing as she spoke with the Chief of the Deck.

A shaven head popped up from a thruster chamber on the next bird in the row, and it was Evelyn Rawley, laughing and looking just as dirty and sweaty as Hannah was. Grinning, the short madwoman gestured with her cloth to Nightmare. "I don't think that's all that went down your throat last night, Ensign Slaverton."

"Shut up, Ranger..." said Nightmare with mock indignation, a grin equalling the other wolf's close at hand. "I will have you know I was a good girl..." She had been! There had only been some chatting... and perhaps some kissing behind a pillar. Nothing extravagant. In fact, she had much liked to visit the good Doctor Nicander to have her fill for the night, but she had been too weary to locate him. Sickbay needed the exotic Câroon more than she did too.

"Yeah, right..." said Rawley and returned to her task, some words about 'hell' and 'freezing over' barely overriding the music in the hangar.

OOC: No worries, it was well above the minimum word count. :) Sorry to have written you into a corner with Narik, but I could not see her budging much. Hope this venue of events makes it easier for you!

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #16

"It's always brings a tear to my eye to hear such magnanimity coming from folks we as rescued out of the goodness of our hearts," a masculine voice drawled sarcastically.   While Sten and Narik were establishing the pecking order, Master Chief William Robert 'Billy Bob' O'Connell had entered the flight deck.  He had patiently waited while Covington and Narik concluded negotiations before putting his two credits in. The flight deck was Papa Bear's domain, after all.  O'Connell was just visiting.  He frowned at the Boslic as she diverted her attentions to the Valkerie.  "What's with the new meat, Papa Bear?  Is she a mechanic or a gorram lawyer?"

O'Connell grimaced as he looked at the Boslic and the two Valkyrie pilots working on their fighters.  All three of them were beautiful women, the kind a healthy male would like to stand close to just to get a peek at them, let alone do anything else.  But ever since being infected with alien pollen in the Mahéwa system, Billy Bob wasn't feeling too healthy, at least not in the boys and girls department.  Truth was, every time he got the urge to merge he felt so ashamed of himself that he could barely think straight. 

Nuts to this.  Time to get your head in the game and get to work.  He glanced over at Sten.  Sten Covington seemed to have come out of his Niga and Ishtar incidents with his head on straight, the limey bastard.  Small wonder.  Sten Covington was a legend in certain Starfleet circles, what they called a 'man and a half'.  He was the one man who stood up to junior officers and won.   It was a tribute to the way Starfleet was ran that top officers knew a secret that they never seemed to share with their junior men. 

A chief on your side is worth his weight in latinum.  They get the job done and can anticipate your needs.  They can work the system to keep an officer from drowning in procedure and actually have time to concentrate on the mission.  When an officer dreams up a mission, a chief makes sure he doesn't forget any of the equipment he needs to get it done.  And when a Valkyrie flies off into the black, a chief makes sure the rutting thing doesn't blow up either.  God bless all chiefs.

Sten Covington was an inspiration to all chiefs and any grunt who aspired to be one.  The stories about Papa Bear went from the inspirational to the ridiculous.   They said as a drill instructor he had trained the most successful Starfleet officers serving today when they were in the Academy.  They said he was on both of the teams that designed the Hammerhead and Valkyrie fighters and that he was the one who figured out how to convert the engineers' science fiction dreams into science fact reality.   They said that he had broke a Jem'Hadar's neck with his bare hands during the Dominion War and that he had killed himself a Nausicaan when he was only three.

Sten Covington never sold out and became a commissioned officer no matter how many times he was asked; there was too much work to be done.  Instead he had become a warrant officer in order to stay in his beloved Starfleet doing what God had sent him there to do.  It was said that when a relative told him that his wife was leaving him if he didn't muster out he had said:  "I'm going to miss her."   If something needed doing and had to be done right the first time, Sten Covington was the man to go to.  God bless all chiefs.

O'Connell owed Covington one.  Almost ten years ago, he had taken a cantankerous petty officer aside and knocked him into shape so he could focus on his chief's exam.  "Starfleet needs good chiefs," he had told Billy Bob.  "If you fail that test, I better not find you."   To this day, the deck chief swears that it didn't happen that way but that's the way Billy Bob remembers it.

O'Connell had applied to the Theurgy when he heard that his old shipmate Sten Covington was assigned there as chief of flight deck operations and Billy Bob had never passed up an excuse to ogle the adorable lady pilots under Papa Bear's care.  But after all that happened since, the flygirls no longer looked like eligible young bachelorettes.  Now they looked like underage damsels in distress attracting every predator from enemy pilots trying to kill them to their own shipmates trying to get them in the sack.  It made Billy Bob sick thinking about it, especially since he had been one of the worst offenders when it came to thinking about them as sex objects.  That was before an infection of a sexually transmitted pollen turned him into a sex object himself.  Now the joke wasn't funny anymore and he didn't like anybody who reminded him of who he used to be.

Sorry about the ridiculous backstory CV, but you know how Billy Bob likes to spin his tall tales.  You can decide which (if any) of the stories are true (and if I get to add any more).    ;)

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #17
"You know where we keep water and coffee, Nightmare. It's not because I'm old and from England I'm your butler, though." That last part Sten had spoken lightly and in good humour despite the scene with Riptor and all that nonsense about contracts with Narik. And indeed, in a small space between the locker room and the pilots' ready room, there was a supply of coffee that was always on during working hours as well as water available. And as was Covington's custom during major work periods, there would be a light, easy and quick to eat lunch delivered from the galley soon.

Some might think it as spoiling everyone working around the flight deck, but to the old Chief of the Deck, having food delivered was a matter of efficiency. If people were told to break for lunch, they would expect some actual downtime. And that would mean stopping their work, securing their workspace, showers and changing into fresh coveralls, making their way to get food, socialize, make their way back and then figure out where they left off. Doing things his way, every member of the ground crews, and the pilots, knew they could take short breaks as needed to grab a coffee, stretch out or just take a breather to get their heads back in the game. That, and they only had to wash their hands before eating instead of the whole song and dance of being presentable outside the confines of the hangar. It led to less wasted time, better morale and greater efficiency. Perhaps that too might be construed as bending some regulations, but it got the job done better than abiding by the letter of the law and to was, really, a victimless offence.

And it was to the banter of the two pilots that the well-known voice of Theurgy's Maintenance Chief was heard with one of his sarcastic comments. That boy, Sten thought, needed to learn to cut that crap if he ever expected to be as good a senior NCO as he thought he was. There was no need for that false wit anywhere. "Worse, Billy Bob, an engineering consultant. And you're just the man I was hoping to see."

The old Brit was indeed glad to see his counterpart from Maintenance. There had been a brief meeting the previous evening and a few words had been exchanged, paralleling the request Sten had made of Commander Renard. "And I hope you've got a team from your hull and structure shop outside my bay. Look at that deck, beat to shit. I need those divots pounded out and the whole flight deck structure and framing checked out before we can have flight ops again. Care to help out?"

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #18
Miles stood within his office as he made the finishing touches with the reports.  He sighed as he walked over to the small closet in the room and pulled from it an engineering gold jumpsuit with a collar of tac-conn white upon which were embroidered the pips of his office.

A couple minutes later the Vulpinian emerged from the office carrying a small box and walking over towards his fighter seeing the Boslic engineer at work on his fighter.  Seeing the helping hand he simply walked over and said casually,  "Sorry for the mess;  Wish we had been able to fly in a bit better conditions. Damned ash is so fine it gets everywhere.  It's a wonder the fighters didn't explode on us when we went orbital." 

Miles took a position on the opposite side of the fighter and took a few tools out of the box opening up the same part on the opposite side before getting to work degunking his fighter happy to see someone was here to lend a hand with the job.  He was even more thrilled to see based on what she wore she would probably be a crew member better suited than him to take care of the actual repairs and diagnostics while he could take care of the dirty work.  Her appearance suggested a civilian contractor and those were rarely employed for deck work but were much more likely to be a person much more knowledgeable on the work that he was less skilled with.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #19
Continuing her work, Narik Cinsaj saw the second yellow-collared man appear, and judging by their looks and behaviours, Narik had a feeling that the Covington man was none too pleased with her conditions. She did not care. She had been through this before. She had no regulations or chain-of-command protecting her, so she had to look out for herself. She did not even blame them for seeing things merely in their own way. She couldn't care. Indeed, she could not care any less if the Starfleeters thought themselves having scruples and benefitting this area of the Galaxy. The Ferengi thought their ways were the right ones. So did the Cardassians. The Breen. Romulans. Borg. Those Founders. Everyone claimed their own way was righteous in their own opinion. How was she to take the word of anyone of them? She had been proven to not even trust her own people. Not even family...

Frax them all. Everyone was self-righteous. Even herself.

Then appeared... what seemed a Vulcan, yet at second glance, the Boslic was quite positive that neither them nor the Romulans had tails. Of course, it had to be a Vulpinian then, unless there was some species she had not encountered yet. "Apology accepted, but I think some of the people here might have preferred they exploded so that they would not need to clean them out," she said in jest, squinting to try and see some sort of stripes or dots of rank or position to name him by but she could not make it out from the distance, "...Vulpinian. I take it this is yours then? So then you would go by, 'Iron Fox'?"

Out of respect, she did not say that she hoped it was not his real name. She knew far too little of his species to make that comment.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #20

"The brass had my guys working on the exterior hull outside deck ten," O'Connell replied to Covington's request.  "They should be filtering in here as soon as they turn in their EV suits.  In the meantime I reckoned I ought to come in early and form a game plan, but I see you've already done that."  Billy Bob frowned before surveying the flight deck.  "I aimed to have them rested before they repair the hull outside this deck, but a man don't always get what he wants now does he?"

Billy Bob hated to admit it, but the safety factor from having a well-rested repair team paled in comparison to having an intact hull and a functional flight deck.  Sure it would put his men at risk to have them back on duty while fatigued but it would put them more at risk if the enemy attacked and the fighters couldn't use the flight deck to launch and return.  If the rutting ship blew up, it wouldn't matter how much sleep they had would it?

A good chief is like a good officer.  He doesn't make excuses telling his superiors why what they need is impossible, he finds a way to make the impossible happen.  By the time a chief becomes master chief making a superior's requirements possible is standard procedure, or he isn't a chief.  By the time a chief becomes a Chief Warrant Officer First Class like Sten making excuses is not only absent from his vocabulary, but he can no longer imagine why someone would spend the time and energy making excuses instead of doing the gorram job in the first place.  Billy was a chief; he didn't make excuses, but that didn't mean that he didn't complain once and a while.

"Speaking of not getting what he wants, did one of our pretty little wolf cubs tell that Harbinger pilot to stick it where the lights don't shine?" Billy Bob asked.  "He and his wing commander looked mighty tetchy when I moseyed past them on the way here."  He looked at Sten.  "Well, it's kind of hard to tell with Commander Kilinvoss on account of him not having a face and all," he admitted, "but you know what I mean."

O'Connor bit his tongue when he noticed Lieutenant Commander Renard enter the flight deck in a gold jumpsuit carrying a toolbox.  Renard might rip Billy Bob a new one for speaking out of turn about a fellow pilot but more importantly O'Connor respected an officer who wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty when it came to the menial jobs necessary to keep a spacecraft flying.  The Vulpinian thought like a chief, and that's the highest praise an enlisted man can give an officer.  Hard not to like a fella like that, and it made no sense to get on the wrong side of a fella you actually cotton to.  Miles Renard also possessed more charm with the ladies than just about anyone onboard, almost as much as Billy Bob imagined he himself possessed before that unfortunate incident in the Mahéwa System.  If anybody could get the whiny Boslic to get with the game plan it would be Iron Fox.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #21
He laughed softly at her joke then heard her words to him. "It's a holdover from my birth-name from my species native language,   And yea it's mine well I adopted it after its previous pilot was taken out of the action.  I'm the Squad Commander.  Miles Renard at your service, Engineer."  he said as he pulled out a mess of the ash and grime from the insides of his fighter.  Watching as it began to make a large pile on the floor causing a mild dust cloud to form at his feet, he sighed as he looked at the fighter realizing how every nook and cranny of it had to be storing equally annoying amounts of the fine particles of dust and who knows what all else.   "So judging by the unique attire you must be a engineering contractor right?  What's your specialty?"   He asked politely as he took out a brush and began to sweep out the insides of the ship compartment he was in trying to get the infuriating dust off of its surfaces wishing he could just use the old Vulpinian method for cleaning a fighter after flying in a dust storm.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #22
The answer given by O'Connell elicited a nod from the Chief of Flight Deck Operations. It was true, there was serious hull damage ship-wide that needed looking after and that a team could be dispatched this quickly to the fighter bay was a testament both to the operational necessity of being able to get fighters into space but also of the toughness of the maintenance teams. "I know, mate, you'd rather give your boys some downtime after a little trip into zero-G. But I really appreciate the quick assist here and let them know that. And don't burn them out. I don't expect a whole lot of real damage in the support structure but we already had a few struts nearing the edge of their tolerance zone before the combat landings. Your guys might have to pull those, recycle them and replicate new ones."

However, Covington's mind changed gears when there was mention of Riptor and getting out back into his place, and a few comments about Kilinvos. Grabbing Billy Bob by the upper arm, Sten pulled him between two fighters, well-clear of the Harbinger pilots. "No, I sorted him out. No one acts the way he did on my deck. Not towards me, my Cubs, my pilots or a civilian engineer.  And as much a psycho as he is, Kilinvos was the one thing that stopped things getting really unpleasant. Watch yourself around these guys, all of them. And for Pete's sake watch your mouth around them."

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #23
A bit surprised to see the head of the pilots being so ready and able to deal with the maintenance of his own attack fighter, Narik Cinsaj still made no particular comment. If he deigned doing this instead of those that ought to be more proficient at it, then it was his call. Then again, she could hardly say she knew anything about the Vulpinian so perhaps she was too quick to judge. Perhaps all the Theurgy pilots were more ready to handle maintenance than the Harbinger pilots evidently were.

At the question about what her forte was in her profession aboard, she told him true - leaning out from the wing in order to reach into the thruster chamber. "Many. I am specialised in solving engineering issues," she said and grunted, leaning back to fold her cloth over before continuing, "be it through work processes, calibrations or choice of hardware for the required task. As a consulting engineer, I have experience from both Federation and Non-Federation solutions, be it in areas as design, electronics, holographics, hydraulics, maintenance, systems or warp field drives."

She was not aiming to impress. It was just her usual jargon where she was required to promote her own services. Make a living. Best thing of it was that she did not have to use falsehood to do it. Made for more compelling business opportunities if her clients learned that there was truth to her word. Perhaps her work on the Reaver would earn her the recognition she needed on the Theurgy in order to be taken seriously.

In the meantime, she'd do the grunt work, confident that things would work out now that the Convington man had provided her with such an opportunity.

"Do you know where this ship is heading and what the plan is, Vulpinian Miles?" she asked with a content groan as she leaned back, finally having wiped the chamber completely clean. Sweat trickled down her throat and between her breasts, and she longed for a fraxing bath.

OOC: Info that there will be a event on the holodeck has become official at this point.

Re: CHAPTER 01: Damage [1120 hrs.]

Reply #24
"Watch yourself around these guys, all of them," Sten warned him.  "And for Pete's sake watch your mouth around them."

"Copy that Papa Bear," O'Connell nodded grimly at Covington's warning, his eyes now narrow and alert.  The Harbinger's pilots weren't the Theurgy's pilots.  Unlike the Lone Wolves, they didn't know them from Adam.  Who knew what they would do or what they were up to?  With the enemy in charge of Starfleet Command and psychos from the future out to get them, the paranoia factor was off the charts.  All it took was one wise guy to ignite the deuterium and get the Harbinger's officers attacking the Theurgy and everyone aboard her.  Billy Bob had been in Starfleet long enough to know that a chief anticipates and prevents trouble before it starts and doesn't cause it where it's not needed.  The long hours and lack of sleep had made him dopey, but it was no excuse.  A chief was a chief no matter how many hours he had put in or how little sleep he had.  Save the excuses for the officers, both commissioned and petty.  The ship was in trouble and there was too much work to be done for some numbnuts to shoot off his mouth and cause a ruckus.

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