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[2378] Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards: Adventures in Shipbuilding

[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Control Room | Dock 29 | Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards ] Attn: @SarahBerry

“What do you mean, you might get to it in four hours?” Despite her best efforts, Azrin’s voice held a bit of a whine. “Come on Iz, do you know how far behind we’re going to be if we can’t run this test today?” Begging, she was resorting to begging now. As she spoke, the engineer was making a pathetic face down at her combadge, as though puppy dog eyes could travel across an audio only comm link.

[Do you know how far behind we have to be to get a turn around that slow?] Lieutenant Isabelle Renaux, who headed up the ops team for this section of the shipyards, didn’t sound fooled for a second. Azrin wasn’t surprised by that. Izzy spent her life doing maintenance work for Utopia Planitia engineers, all of whom needed their request completed at that very instant. Azrin had been betting on their friendship getting her closer to the front of the line. Unfortunately, Isabelle was a professional. [Why don’t you just do the test without that sensor array?]

“I mean I could, but the only data I’d have would be from me looking out a window and going ‘yep, it lit up, guess the warp drive works,’ and somehow, I don’t think my boss would approve of that method.” That was what she was doing right now, leaning over her console and staring at the hull of the nearly completed starship Artemis. It wasn’t like the computer was giving her anything useful, full of red lights and error messages about the spacedock’s malfunctioning diagnostic sensor array. They were supposed to be doing the full startup of the Artemis’s warp core today, but that was a pointless – and dangerous – exercise without sensors to keep track of the process. She didn’t anticipate any problems, the Artemis was a sovereign, from a class of ships that Utopia Planitia had been perfecting for years.

[You guys didn’t bother putting sensors on that ship to watch its own warp core?]

Azrin looked away from the viewscreen to make yet another face at her combadge. She needed to start more visual comms. That would definitely get her help faster. “They’re there. Bright, shiny, and never been used. They have no credibility at all until we run the core a few times and they match the outputs from Utopia’s old – previously – reliable.”

[You’re gonna have to wait four hours then.]

“Oh, four hours? Are we at least sure about that now?”

[No!] Azrin groaned at the response, and heard a laugh over the comm. [You want it so badly, go down there and fix it yourself.]

“Really?” Azrin looked up, glanced out at the ship again, and shrugged. “Ok! No problem. Just sign off somewhere that I have permission to be fiddling with systems outside my scope of work. You know how touchy people can get around here.” She’d thought that an entire shipyard full of engineers would be marvelous, but apparently the bureaucracy survived everywhere.

[Try not to take too long though. The Artemis had more crew arrive today and there’s another party at Cochrane’s tonight.]

“Pass,” Azrin was already gathering a repair kit and heading out the door. Normally, she was down to party. The shipyard’s bar never failed to provide one, always full of crew assigned to Utopia Planitia and passersby from the many ships docked there. She’d had plenty of fun making new friends last night. “I’m not going to be the one to tell them that the launch of their bright shiny new ship is delayed because someone can’t spare the people to fix a sensor array today.”

[I spared you!] Another bright laugh accompanied the words. Azrin cut off the comm so Izzy wouldn’t hear her laughing too.

“Well played.”

[ Corridor 3A | Dock 29 | Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards ]

It had taken her a while to trace the problem to this junction. She’d started right behind the sensor array itself, and had ended up going on a scavenger hunt through this section of the station looking for something that needed repairing. This wasn’t Azrin’s specialty, which didn’t help. She wasn’t a diagnostic engineer. Izzy or one of her officers would have found and fixed the problem ages ago. At the moment, Azrin was halfway inside a wall, hinged over at the waist as she grasped at a subprocessor just out of reach.

“The sensor array is fine.” She talked to herself as she worked, as though complaining to the station itself would convince the processor to move into her reach. “Not a damaged component in the entire thing, passes the diagnostics with flying colors. But none of the data is reaching the control room, so there much be an error somewhere between them. I checked all the other links, so that leaves you, little overheated subprocessor, which was apparently installed by someone… incredibly… tall!”

She was about as far in as she could go without crawling into the wall. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a Jefferies tube, and the mess of computer components between the hatchway and her goal weren’t made to hold her weight. That left the trill bent over the hatch, pushed up on her toes for a little extra reach, one hand gripping the edge to support her weight while the other reached fruitlessly inside. “Why couldn’t I have been born to a telekinetic species? That’d be- oh wait, I can be! Just need a little antigrav unit and-.” She was still trying to grab it as she worked out the new plan. To her shock, Azrin’s fingers actually did manage to get a slight grip on the processor, which she promptly pulled on… then dropped. “Shit! Thaaaaat’s going to be even harder to get out now.” She’d need a better flashlight just to see where it had fallen.

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