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Topic: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions (Read 301 times) previous topic - next topic

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CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0912 hrs ] Inversions

[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @fiendfall

Once integration was complete and the ship jumped to warp, Nator had sent a message up to Ops on the main bridge for whoever was there to remain so, and oversee repair teams as they coordinated with Engineering. For hir own part, s/he ordered that any spare pair of goldshirted hands from the greater two Vectors head to the Helmet in order to assist with the effort. Of all of them, that Vector had suffered the worst relative damage; enough holes to qualify for an overengineered collander, an EPS grid that was holding together in a more Schroedinger-esque fashion than was generally acceptable, and innumerable other system failures and damages.

The hull of the ship was in a dire state the whole vessel over, if s/he were to be honest. It was a wonder the Ranger had managed to integrate, but s/he was looking at some fairly impressive buckling along the huge breach in the dorsal surface of the Sword's saucer; when the Helmet had come down (none too gently given the circumstances) it had battered some of the warped spars and plates flat, and at least one of those had cut right through a crew gangway. No injuries, thankfully.

S/he was sick of hearing hir new mantra in hir mind already. Two hundred engineers and a fortnight in dry dock.

Nator had hir nose buried in an oversized drafting PADD, flicking through schematics and overlays and scrolling lists as the tabulated damage reports streamed in. A gratifying number of them were colour-coded as 'active investigation' - read, 'we're fixing it standby' - but there were so many. There was one rather ambiguous listing on this deck, which was why s/he was here in person... the explanation s/he'd been given over comm had left hir with a muddy understanding.

"Careful, Lieutenant," a crewman said, holding an arm in hir path. "This corridor's a bit... fucky."

That pulled hir attention back to where s/he was putting hir feet. S/he looked up, meaning to look at the Bolian addressing hir, but was completely sidetracked by a vertigo-inducing image of an engineer (or, well, a goldshirt at least) standing on the deckhead, completely upside down. Hir gaze flicked to his collar to grab his rank, before s/he met his eye again. The PADD dropped to hir side as s/he let hir arms fall.

"Petty Officer," s/he said, deadpan. "You're on the ceiling."
  • Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 01:22:41 PM by Auctor Lucan
Nator 159:
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Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0912 hrs ] Inversions
Reply #1
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Top Hat

It felt like nothing short of a miracle that somehow, somehow, they'd managed to hold out long enough for the Ranger to arrive, to reintegrate the ship, and make it out in one piece. Or, mostly in one piece. Morgan's heart was still jack-rabbiting in his throat long after they went to warp -- logical and level-headed he may be in a crisis, but it was always after that reality sunk in and pulled him to pieces.

(That was a kind way of putting it and he knew it, knew that 'logical' was sometimes only a hair's breadth from 'immoral', and sometimes not even that; just as he knew that in him logic, instinct, and cowardice were often one and the same.)

But the crisis was not over, merely dialled down a few notches from 'absolutely dire' to 'pretty bad'. There had barely been time for a sigh of relief to celebrate their survival before it had been all hands to stations once more. Vector One had taken quite a beating before they had managed to escape, and reintegration had apparently been... messy, in more than one place. Not that Morgan knew much more than the basics, and the basics were: they were afloat, they were safe, and they were more than a little on fire.

Which had brought him here. Running down a corridor on Deck 4 towards what was honestly only a minor blaze, but still, you know, a blaze. Except suddenly he wasn't running -- or he was, only he was sideways, and the floor had apparently grown an arm and punched him in the face.

Or, not the floor. The ceiling? Which he was now crumpled on.

Huh.

He picked himself up, trying not to think too hard about how very upside-down he was right now. Low-g he was used to, he liked, but flipping the world on its head? There were bits of detritus scattered around his feet from where they'd been shaken loose in the explosions; the same kind of mess that not a few feet away lay on the ground above his head. It gave him a weird kind of vertigo, especially when a crewman rounded the corner above him and almost walked straight into him. A very right-way-up crewman.

'Don't come any further!' Morgan said quickly in an attempt to keep the crewman correctly orientated. 'The gravity plates must be playing up, just... stay back there.'

So on one side he had a bemused-looking crewman, and on the other a fire that was probably about to go from 'minor blaze' to something more pressing. And in the middle... Morgan, on the ceiling.

And that's when Lieutenant Nator appeared.

'You're on the ceiling,' s/he drawled, looking at him with that piercing stare of hirs.

'Yes, sir,' he said, uselessly. 'Petty Officer Song, sir. There's a fire down the hall, I was going to contain it. But then, ah...'

If he had to guess (and he did, being an engineer, albeit an upside-down one), he'd say the fault lay with the EPS lines; they'd been heavily mucked with to contain the plasma leak, and they were usually a good place to start.

Still, guesses weren't good enough. They'd need to find out exactly what was wrong before they could fix it. If only one or two gravity plates were affected it might just be a localised defect, maybe just something broken during the explosions that had rocked the ship not half an hour before. If not, probably EPS. Either way, they should investigate.

'Sir, I can continue down the corridor,' he offered to the Lieutenant. 'See how far the malfunction goes.'
  • Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 06:22:19 PM by fiendfall
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0912 hrs ] Inversions
Reply #2
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @fiendfall 

Song... Song. The name rang a bell; one of the original crew, thought s/he couldn't remember any specific interaction with him. Not that that meant it never happened, of course. Hir head injury was going to take a while to sort out, even assuming hir natural healing capabilities were up to the task. The reminder soured hir mood still further. While rationality dictated s/he go back to sickbay to have hir healing progress checked and to find out what if any social memory function s/he was going to regain, s/he knew that going there would mean s/he would be relieved of duty. There wasn't much else likely, in hir view. 'Hi hello my brain still doesn't quite work properly; could you help?'

Nator nearly snorted in derision.

To the rest of the petty's report, s/he nodded to acknowledge him before sweeping an eye over the corridor beyond. The power systems were so fouled up that even the lights further down were flickering, and the gangway near the fire was lit by the conflagration alone. S/he muttered some curses in Hermat quiet enough that no one's UT elected to translate, and pulled a tricorder from hir belt pouch.

"... See how far the malfunction goes."

"Well, don't be in such a rush to deprive the Task Force of the opportunity to break your neck..." s/he said, as s/he scanned beneath the deck plates, oblivious to how well-received (or not) hir gallows humour might be. "Gravity reverses again five metres along. And- grief. And then reverses again near the fire."

Which went a good way to explain the fact that, now s/he looked at it properly and all, the fire was flowing towards the deck. In hir defence, the turbulence caused by the conflicting convection currents in the smoke made it hard to see. S/he folded the tricorder closed and replaced it, looking thoughtfully at the imaginary lines in the deck that marked out the 'right way up' zone in hir mind.

"Gimme that," s/he pointed at the hardcase satchel on the shoulder of the crewman next to hir. "That a standard kit?"

"Uh, yes, lieutenant. Here-"

"Thanks." Nator wrapped the strap lengthwise around the case tightly so it wouldn't come loose, then put the handle between hir teeth before taking it back out briefly for a, "Gangway."

Dutifully the crewmen flattened themselves against the bulkheads, perhaps intuiting her intent as s/he stalked further back down the hall. Eight, ten metres ought to do it. The toolkit handle was held secure by hir fairly vicious-looking canines (rarely shown outside of a belly laugh or, well, the end of a hunt) as s/he crouched down onto hir hands and feet like a sprinter on the blocks. Without preamble, s/he launched forwards towards the crewmen and the upside-down Morgan Song - gaining surprising acceleration thanks to hir joint structure allowing an all-fours bolt - lunging forwards at the last moment to leap across the intervening 'fucky' patch.

S/he probably looked faintly ridiculous, stretched out like some old-school superhero with hir eyes screwed shut to avoid the worst of the vertigo, a grey case the size of hir face clamped between hir jaws as s/he flew past the petty officer.

Of course, the gravity had other ideas. It lofted hir as s/he passed the damaged section, so when s/he cracked an eye open and found hirself a couple of feet higher in the air space that s/he anticipated, s/he nearly tumbled completely. A bit of a hasty correction and s/he came down with a little less grace than anticipated, but at least s/he didn't have to grow any new teeth. It was nasty to eat as an obligate carnivore when one of your biting implements was blunt.

Dusting off hir hands (pointlessly) as s/he stood, s/he dug a clawtip into the corner of a bulkhead panel and popped it off its fasteners, looking over the state of the pipework and regulators therein. "I would ask if you could climb down here, but switching the gravity up and down is just gonna turn this into a logic puzzle spiced up by broken bones. I'm going to kill the generators and we can do this in zero-gee."

Firefighting on the float. Great idea. Superlative. Earning that commission yet again. Hir hand hovered over the manual breaker for the graviton generators."

"You ready?"
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Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0912 hrs ] Inversions
Reply #3
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Top Hat

The lieutenant almost seemed to look through him with with hir impenetrable gaze, silently cataloguing and judging the petty in front of hir. It was impossible to read what s/he was thinking, whether s/he found the sight before hir worrying or frustrating or amusing, and not for the first time Morgan found himself struggling to quash the instinct to duck his head. He knew Nator -- not well, of course, not personally, but since he'd woken it had felt like an unending parade of a thousand new faces, almost like the ship had been completely re-staffed in the time he was under, and so he couldn't help latching on to anyone he knew like some sort of imprinting duckling. It was stupid, and he knew it, but he'd never done well alone.

The lieutenant was difficult to read, especially upside-down as s/he was, but was that a slight twinge of annoyance flickering about hir face?

Morgan stood up straighter.

And then immediately cursed himself as Nator simply scanned the area with hir tricorder. Of course, they had technology for that, why would he put himself at risk to find that information? Especially when, as the lieutenant so neatly put it, Task Force Archeron would enjoy killing him more than the corridor would. (Although, he did have to wonder about that; the corridor had a cruel look to it.)

More than cruel, it turned out -- downright sadistic, if the gravity readout was to be believed. Reversing twice within such a short space? It made him queasy just thinking about it. Good thing he hadn't gone barrelling down there or he would've had a nasty surprise. Twice.

Seemed like the lieutenant fancied a surprise, as s/he moved down the hall for a run-up. The lights flickered and danced in anticipation, throwing Nator's face and body into unnatural angles.

'Sir?' Morgan tried, but the lieutenant's intent was clear. It was all he could do to get out hir way as s/he crouched like a coil, thrumming with energy, before s/he sprang forwards, graceful and predatory, all teeth and claws and whites of the eyes, and sailed past Morgan to land, right-way-up, on the other side of him.

He let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding, though whether he'd been afraid for the lieutenant or himself he wasn't sure.

'I, uh. No broken bones sounds good.' So did zero-gee; at least then he could right himself and stop looking at everything upside-down. Floating was definitely preferable to whatever this was. And he'd always liked low gravity; the few times he'd been on Earth he'd always had to spend a few days getting used to the unfamiliar pull on his bones.

The lieutenant made ready to turn off the gravity plates completely, before turning to him with a questioning 'you ready?'. He only had to respond with a quick 'Yessir', and that was it.

He didn't so much fall as detach from the ceiling as the pressure holding him in place vanished, leaving him hanging in space, body light and movements heavy. He twisted in the air, pushing himself off the ceiling to float over to Nator at a weird 45 degree angle.

'Extinguishers?' he asked as he approached, catching himself on the wall so as not to sail into hir. He walked his hands down the wall until he was low enough in the corridor to reach the panel the lieutenant had opened; nestled inside he found what he was looking for. He took one for himself and handed the other to Nator. 'Here, sir.'

And then he turned to the fire.

He'd never seen fire burning in zero-gee before. It was... odd, to say the least. Blue and shapeless, casting the corridor in a pale glow. It certainly looked less dramatic than it had done mere moments ago, and yet the prospect of putting it out while not in complete control of his movements was still enough to have Morgan balking at the prospect.

Still. He was at least used to low gravity; he glanced over at the lieutenant to see how s/he was handling it. S/he'd been almost balletic in hir leap to this part of the corridor, but he knew from more than one experience that zero-gee could wreak havoc with your co-ordination, something that he was still far from immune to.

This was so very much not what he had anticipated doing when he had rounded that corner.
  • Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 02:08:01 PM by fiendfall
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0912 hrs ] Inversions
Reply #4
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @fiendfall

S/he took the offered bottle with a nod - which mostly served to highlight how long it had been since s/he had performed hir last EVA certification. Trying to nod in null-G was mostly pointless and usually just ended up introducing a slow wobble into your position. Nator reached out to the panel to steady hirself again. Switch on, idiot. S/he could feel Song watching hir, and probably the crewmen back down the hall besides. One of them was putting up a warning about the variable gravity area ahead.

Nator clipped the extinguisher to hir belt before moving hand over hand along the bulkhead. S/he would have pushed off, but it wouldn't take much of an overcompensation to bounce hir into the fire - and that was firmly filed under 'Undesirable Outcome'. As a method of locomotion it might not have been the swiftest nor most graceful, but it did have the benefit of relative safety.

Luckily, the extinguisher was designed to be used easily one-handed. S/he'd be able to 3-point anchor hirself and push against the impulse of the jet. Now that the gravity had been cut, the fire had become a roiling bubble of greasy blue flame, fed from within. The haze of smoke was becoming impenetrable, and the rising heat made sweat prickle hir brow. And, now that they were further down the hall, s/he could see the faint shimmer of an emergency forcefield beyond the fire - which explained why no one had come across it from the other way.

Of course, that did mean there was a hull breach in that section, so s/he wanted to make sure the power situation here was as steady as possible. Explosive decompression was another standby on the Undesirable Outcome list. One thing at a time. I can have them rename the Helmet to 'Colander' later.

The pair of goldshirts hosed down the fire at the same time, the strange corpse light from the fire fading to leave only the misfiring lighting grid to illuminate them. The environmental systems could finally begin clearing the air of the smoke (and, now, evaporated flame retardant foam), while the bulkhead began to tick rapidly as the heat dropped off, contracting as it cooled in turn.

"Okay, we can-" Nator squinted. "Ah, balls."

The tiniest green flare could still be seen lighting the blasted bulkhead panel from within. Plasma fire. "Go back and check that the junction back there is fully locked-off," s/he ordered, kicking off in the other direction to get between the fire and the forcefield and check the next one along. Hopefully, they'd both be properly sealed and the green glow inside the blown conduit was simply the residual plasma in that section of the line. They could just wait that out, if it were the case; little danger of an oxygen ignition.

"...whole fuckin' ship is falling apart because of these bullshit, sibling-fiddling..." Nator muttered fractiously as s/he drifted sedately down the ruined corridor.
  • Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 07:00:53 PM by Top Hat
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #5
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Top Hat

The lieutenant seemed to adjust to the shift in gravity well, and Morgan was more than happy to let hir take the lead as they made their way down the corridor towards the fire. Halfway between floating and wall-climbing, he navigated his way hand-over-hand with movements that were somehow both weightless and clumsy. Luckily the walls -- or was it the floor? He'd completely lost track -- had enough hand-holds that he could push himself along with relative ease, but it still felt painfully slow. Not that he was in a hurry to face the inferno, but the corridor was rapidly filling up with smoke that hung thick and dead with no air currents to shift it. And then there was the heat. Morgan knew his internal temperature gauge was broken but the closer he got to the fire the more the heat felt overpowering, burning everywhere it touched him.

He cast a glance upwards at Nator; s/he was nearly at the fire, as it boiled angrily beneath hir, a surging bubble of blue flame. Morgan was only a few feet behind, but he realised he'd only be a hindrance if he came to a stop behind hir. Staying anchored to the wall in the face of the kickback from the extinguisher would be interesting enough on its own without needing to worry about getting in each other's way. He should switch walls -- or no, that was definitely the ceiling. There was a light fixture that would make a decent handhold, the electronics already dead. And extinguishing the fire from multiple directions would be twice as effective. All he needed to do was push off from this wall carefully, as he'd have very little directional control once he was floating untethered.

It'd been a while since he had to navigate zero-gee, but he remembered the basics. He'd only need a little momentum to carry him across. It took him a moment to ready himself, calculating the angle he'd need to push off at. Up ahead, he could see Nator preparing to brace against the wall to extinguish. He'd have to be quick. He pulled himself in close to the wall, a reverse push up, manoeuvred himself around to face the right direction, poised like a swimmer about to race. He took a breath, and then --

He drifted with surprising ease, propelled by inertia, sliding through the air to the other side of the hallway. He stretched out his arms as he approached, reaching for the handhold he'd identified, and caught it safely. Or, he caught it until he didn't, he was safe until he wasn't, and as his hands slipped from their anchor he found himself tilting head over heels, desperately trying to find purchase on the wall to stop himself somersaulting indefinitely.

He ended up mostly upside-down, if it could even be called that anymore considering the lack of a right way up, and considering the smoke stinging his eyes made it difficult to even tell what way up Nator was across the hallway. The fire raged directly above his head; not ideal for extinguishing purposes, but there was little time for ideals and besides, this close to the fire he didn't fancy doing any more zero-gee ballet. They'd just have to make do.

He looked to the lieutenant for the go-ahead, and they hosed down the fire together, leaving nothing but the residual heat and smoke, and floating clouds of extinguisher foam. One problem down, one to go.

Or... Make that two to go. Nator's expletive brought Morgan's attention to what s/he had spotted: plasma fire in the EPS line. What was that old saying? From the frying pan...

'Go back and check that the junction back there is fully locked off,' Nator said as s/he moved up to investigate further along. Morgan turned himself around, movements freer now there was no danger of floating into a fire, and propelled himself towards the previous junction. The panel had gotten itself wedged; it took him a moment to get it open and survey the damage inside. The power line had been crushed, the apertures buckled and misshapen, but there was no fire, and the plasma must have already been redirected.

'Line's dead,' he called back to the lieutenant. 'We can starve it out.'
  • Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 01:51:42 PM by fiendfall
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #6
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @fiendfall

S/he was getting used to zero-G. Or so s/he thought, hir hindbrain was still expecting the concept of 'floor' to hold up even though it held no power over hir current situation. Nator settled for pulling hirself along the bulkhead, toolkit in tow, and trying not to look like an ass in front of the enlisted folk down the hall. The Burdens Of Command, right.

The Hermat hauled hirself to a halt before s/he got too near the faintly-buzzing forcefield near the hull breach. Sapphire light streamed through the breach, and the lieutenant was very glad that they'd found a way to modulate the ship's shields to ward off the radiation of the nebula; without the reassuringly solid hull between hir and space, it was all too easy to fantasise about the grisly death that radiation sickness promised.

The deck itself was torn and blackened by whatever calamity had befallen this particular patch of the hull - internal explosion, perhaps. There were some reaction-mass storage tanks on the deck below... peering towards the frayed lip of the corridor, s/he could see more open volume than 'personnel compartments and corridors' should suggest. Looks as if they accounted for it. "Sankolov can go make out with a Nausicaan; I hope he shreds his tongue-" s/he muttered to hirself.

Prying the warped panel off the inspection hatch, the problem was apparent. The wrenching impulse from the detonation below had bent the entire junction assembly through about twenty degrees; not a great deviation, until you considered the sort of alloy one's average plasma conduit was made from. The valve was stuck open, which meant that the existing flow in the rest of the line wasn't being sequestered either. Luckily, this end of the line had been forcibly truncated by the hull breach.

"Line is dead. We can starve it out," came the call from the petty. S/he waved hir acknowledgement and called back.

"Same here. We should be able to give it a minute; just keep an eye on it."

Nator pushed off back towards the others, glad to be moving away from the ephemeral barrier between hir and vacuum. The effect was purely psychological, but it had a surprisingly strong effect on the Ops officer. "Which generators were they again?" s/he asked, gesturing towards the deck without thinking. The movement introduced a slow tumble into hir travel, utterly ruining any pretence s/he might have made at freefall competence. Nator sighed, before a heartfelt, "Fuck's sake."

Conveniently, hir twist put hir in reach of a handhold on the bulkhead near Song. Claws scraped against duranium as s/he arrested hir momentum. "This was one of the inverted ones, right?"

Smooth.
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #7
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Top Hat

For all the lieutenant's grace before, all it took was a misjudged gesticulation to send hir spinning through the air in slow, floaty somersaults. At least s/he'd timed it well -- accidental gymnastics would have been much more troublesome if the corridor was still on fire. And there was a forcefield protecting against the hull breach, so really there was no danger unless Nator managed to brain hirself on a spiky piece of wall. It did provide a stark contrast to the Hermat's earlier display, though.

Watching this unfold with much the same fascination as one would watch a natural disaster, Morgan almost didn't answer hir question.

'It was this one, and the next, I think...' he trailed off, almost mesmerised by the lieutenant's movement.

While Nator righted hirself, Morgan busied himself with closing the hatch on the bulkhead, a job which was surprisingly difficult, actually. The panel wanted to be closed about as much as it had wanted to be opened, which was to say, not at all. The panel was blackened and warped, the hinges glued up, and wrenching the damn thing open had managed to get it stuck like a stubborn flag at half mast. And while it wasn't too difficult to pull while in zero-gee as long as you had an anchor point, trying to push something without any body weight behind it was a little trickier. It mostly consisted of Morgan bashing on the thing and trying not to propel himself across the corridor by accident; with his luck, he'd probably take out the lieutenant on the way.

The panel was mostly closed when Nator appeared in his field of vision, accompanied by a screech of claws on metal: 'This was one of the inverted ones, right?'

He agreed with Nator while he tried to find the deck. It took a moment. He was pretty sure they were roughly in the middle of the area affected by the gravitational malfunction; the access panel Nator had used to cut the generators was a little further down the corridor, and in the opposite direction was the charred area that until moments ago had been playing host to the fire.

According to Nator's readout, gravity reversed three times in the area between the unaffected part of the hallway and the fire, meaning there was at least one section that was functioning properly, and then two that were damaged. The EPS lines were completely fried, which honestly explained a lot, but with how beaten up the ship was looking he wouldn't be surprised if the grav-plating was knackered. He'd like to get in there and take a look before making any sort of call.

It shouldn't be that difficult to manoeuvre over to the deck and find a maintenance hatch. He could effectively wall-climb up to it from here.

'Shall I take a look at the plating for this section?' he offered.
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #8
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @fiendfall

Nator elected to ignore the petty's obvious assessment of hir lack of finesse in zero-gee. Mostly because hir pride was wounded enough as it was; ground-bound hir species might be, but they were also fairly firmly ensconced within their niche as 'actual, manual hunters' and so gracelessness during some physical task was... embarrassing, to say the least.

At Song's confirmation, s/he pushed hirself 'down' towards the deck and reached for the latches near the bulkhead to release the panel, hoping that it wasn't as warped as the wall had been. The plates were heavy, and while there was no gravity there to work against hir, s/he still had to fight the inertia of the alloy grid until it got moving. Hir forearms corded with the effort to haul it out of the way before Morgan got to hir side to help out.

The sight of the equipment space beneath was both encouraging and a puzzle. It didn't appear to be outwardly damaged, which was probably good. But it still obviously wasn't working, so there must be a deeper problem.

Bullshit, s/he decided.

"Is it the regulator?" s/he mused aloud. "Or the phase discriminator?"

The Hermat fished around hir belt for hir tricorder, only to find that it was no longer there. Casting hir gaze around, s/he saw it drifting sedately along back up the corridor towards the containment forcefield, bouncing gently off the bulkhead on its way. Yep. Bullshit. S/he looked back to Song. "Sorry," s/he gestured. "Could you...?"

Instead of scanning the thing as s/he intended, s/he manoeuvred round until s/he had hir head almost entirely inside the work space to see if there were any loose connectors, shorted links, and so on. Nothing immediately apparent... which was somehow, perhaps, less irritating than finding some minor inconvenience or a simple fix might have been. Something worth the effort?

And if that isn't the entire issue...

They ran, and they fought, and they repaired, and they ran. If they didn't succeed, the whole saga would be pointless. All the deaths and the damage, only to fail.

Nator scowled the thought away, aiming the expression at the intricate workings hidden beneath the fat cylinder of the graviton generator. S/he jabbed a claw at a melted bundle of cable trunking for good measure.

"Anything?"
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #9
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Top Hat

It took the both of them to work the deck's plating from its seat; although it wasn't as warped as the bulkhead hatch had been, it was still stubborn as a mule, fighting them back even without the help of gravity. Between the two of them they managed to get it free, 'dropping' it and sending it spinning slowly away from them. Morgan would pick it up later.

The machinery beneath the grating appeared suspiciously unharmed, feigning innocence. There was clearly something wrong, it wasn't going to fool him that easily. At least there was no damage to contend with, but internal mechanical issues or a computer malfunction were no fun. At least when something was on fire the problem was obvious. This was an enigma.

Nator made a move to scan the offending equipment, only to discover hir tricorder had gone on an adventure of its own. Luckily Morgan's own tech had stayed in its place even through all the gymnastics, but before he could offer it to the lieutenant s/he had submerged hirself in the crawlspace up to hir shoulders, almost entirely obscuring the contents of the hatch in the process. Lucky tricorders could scan through biomatter.

The screen flickered briefly as the tech considered the situation, before bringing up its judgement. The phase discriminator seemed functional, but the readout suggested wild variances in the graviton compression relay. Probably the regulator, then; hopefully not a bug in the gravimetric stabilizer's code. He didn't know where the nearest terminal was, and didn't fancy trying to find it when he could barely even tell where the floor was anymore.

'It looks like the regulator's malfunctioning,' he offered in answer to the lieutenant's question. 'I'm not sure why; could be the magnetic dampening, or maybe a tech issue. The compression's going nuts, though. From what I can tell, something caused the failsafe to kick in, but whatever the issue was also reversed the polarity. Take a look, see if you can make anything more of it.'

He offered the tricorder to Nator, hoping it might coax hir out of the hatch s/he was still currently rootling around in. Perhaps s/he'd pick up on something he'd missed -- two heads, and all that.

Then, a thought: 'Actually, would you mind letting me get in there? I'd like to try tapping into the local terminal.' If he could find the wiring for the terminal he could piggyback from here, plug it into his PADD and get a reading on what had happened on a systemic level. At least that would shed some light on what had caused the failsafe to trigger. It could be as simple as a blown fuse somewhere down the line, or maybe a forced system reboot due to damage, or maybe the rerouted power had messed with the generators...

The point was, it would probably help. Hopefully.
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #10
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @fiendfall

At that moment in time, Nator wouldn't have minded getting a hold of whoever the no-doubt very self-satisfied technician was who designed this marque of gravity generator, depositing them in any given forest with an hour's headstart, and then cheerfully hunting them through it until s/he'd eaten both of the little bastard's hands.

This thing was so compact it was a nightmare who makes things like this. Fucking impossible to-

"It looks like the regulator's malfunctioning." S/he pulled hir head up to focus on the tricorder Morgan waved in hir direction as he explained the surrounding fault. Nator took it from him to read it, one hand still buried in the guts of the generator.

"Hmf," came hir expert assessment, annoyed despite hirself at the situation. He wasn't wrong so far, but with a non-responsive diagnostic unit in the thing itself, they'd reduced their potential problem pool from 'everything' to 'about half of that'. Still progress, s/he reminded hirself.

"Actually, would you mind letting me get in there? I'd like to try tapping into the local terminal."

"Sure. There are a few ports available in there. Couple of blown breakers, but those are for the secondary circuits. The main power feed to the generator never spiked high enough to force a shutdown." Patently. Or there wouldn't have been an inverse field in the first place. C'mon, don't get patronising. "One sec-"

The Hermat extricated hirself from the deck, making sure s/he kept one anchoring hand on the edge of the hatch to avoid floating off again, and pulled hir kit around on its strap to find a couple of tools.

"I'll make sure the hardware is up to scratch while you do that. Here," s/he added, holding out a connector cable for his PADD, before setting about popping the retaining plate off the top of the cylinder. A mass of intricate microdyne motors, graviton lenses, and projection boosters greeted hir.

Gimme EPS lines all day. No moving parts, no eight hundred page blueprints...
Nator 159:
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #11
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Morgan accepted the cable Nator offered, and manoeuvred himself up to peer into the hatch. It was exactly as the lieutenant had said; a few conduits overloaded, a few mangled wires, but nothing that was obviously the cause of the graviton malfunction. It took him a second to find the ports Nator had mentioned, and then another few to work out which one he needed. A moment of fumbling around, and the cable was successfully connecting his PADD to the internal system.

'Alright, let's see what we've got...' The PADD quickly adapted to the new input, cycling through a few permissions requests before opening up into an approximation of the local terminal's screen. He wouldn't have administrator access from here but he could reach most functions. Starting with the data logs.

The entries were overgrown with minutiae detailing updates in the relay; he scrolled up, skimming the information for the part he needed. There -- at 0958 the failsafe was engaged. And before that... It was a mess. At 0953 critical atmospheric pressure was logged, and the computer had responded by rebooting the magnetic overlay to decompress the area. The very next entry logged the failsafe being activated. A reboot shouldn't have caused that, though, so what... ?

'I'm missing something,' he muttered, frowning at the data in front of him. Had something been damaged in the fight? Everything inside the maintenance hatch appeared normal, and power had been making it here just fine. Had something in particular happened at 0958 to cause the reboot to malfunction? He cast around, frustrated. Then--

Oh. Yes. Yes, something had happened. They'd reintegrated the ship. He didn't know the exact minute it had occurred but 0958 sounded close, at least. Close enough to warrant a second look.

He scanned the data logs with fresh eyes. Assuming he was right, and reintegration had happened then, everything made much more sense.

'I think reintegration may have been a factor,' he said, moving over to show Nator the data entries in question. 'Look - here's where the failsafe kicked in, and just before that the computer forces a reboot of the system to combat atmospheric compression. Only, I think the regulator had already started recalibrating for reintegration, so when it rebooted and tried to reset it had nothing to reset to. That's why it errored, and the polarity was reversed. The regulator was trying to replicate old settings without instructions. Why it didn't connect back up to the system properly after the reboot, I don't know. Should be an easy enough fix, though.'

They just needed to get the regulator back on the same settings as the rest of the ship, linked in with the graviton coordinator. With any luck, it'd be as easy as finding the right cable and plugging it back in. Any more complicated, and he'd have to find the terminal. Re-coupling the systems wouldn't be something he could do remotely. He'd just have to hope it didn't come to that.
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #12
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @fiendfall

S/he remembered, once upon a time, when s/he had been thrilled to be involved with the architecture project for the Theurgy line of vessels. Starfleet's most ambitious project yet - expertise pulled from dozens of species, lessons learned from prior projects, consultants from every shipyard in the quadrant. Any problems with redundancy would only ever play into the Federation's longstanding reputation (well-earned) for over-engineering their ships. The problems implicit with such a design would surely be subsumed by the weight of the creative energies lavished upon it.

Now, Nator cursed every one of them. And hirself for not raising hir future concerns in the past. Reintegration was the second most important thing this ship did and it turned out that unless the ship was in perfect condition, s/he reflected with no hyperbole at all, it fucked everything.

The Hermat nodded, pensively. "Yeah. Always knew I wanted to pillory the directors at Utopia Planetia. Now I have a reason to go look them up."

While Song went digging for the proper software, s/he dove back into the inspection pit to make sure all the connectors were in place. Unfortunately, because so many of them were under the generator housing, s/he'd have to remove the thing anyway. Sighing, s/he reached for the right spanner to take the retaining bolts out. "I'll check the hardware," s/he said.

Hir PADD bleeped; a welding team reporting their patch on deck six was completed. Nator summoned them to attend the hull breach in this corridor (from the other side of the hole) and routed a general systems group to start in on the compartment that had just been pressurised. Then, unable to procrastinate any longer, set about the slow task of overcoming the dense generator's inertia to get it out of the way.

The connectors on its underside were all clear - thanks in part to its necessarily sturdy construction - but there were two in the deck housing itself that were another story. Melted cable trunking had flowed into the contact and interrupted it. There was no damage, so the scans didn't pick it up. "I would like to sleep for four years, please," s/he muttered, despite hir bitterness at having basically done that for the last few months already.

S/he started chipping away at it. "Might as well format the controls anyway; it won't hurt," s/he said. "But I am going to be so mad if we plug that thing back in after I scrape this shit off and it works. Hundreds of years of scientific advance and mechanical iteration, foiled by melted polymer. Grief."
Nator 159:
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #13
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

With a renewed sense of direction, Morgan set about preparing the system for recalibration. Now they had an idea of what caused the problem, he no longer felt like they were just poking around in the dark; this was fixable, and easily so. All they had to do was reconnect the graviton controllers on a local level with the ship-wide grid.

He backed away from the maintenance hatch to allow Nator to take a look at the cables. Hir suggestion made sense, if each of them tackled the problem from opposite directions they'd be covered no matter what the fix turned out to be. With any luck it'd just be a simple case of reconnecting a cable -- even the age old technique of 'unplug it and then put it back in' would probably work here. But Morgan might as well do what he could from a software side, in case it all turned out to be more complicated than that. Which, knowing his luck, it probably would be.

There was a certain amount he could do from his PADD, mostly consisting of resetting various procedures and configuring the connectivity setup to search for the grid. Maybe it really was just a software issue, and the system's bugs had stopped it from trying to reconnect; the logs showed it had just reset to defaults, rather than ever trying to communicate with the rest of the ship. And the defaults had clearly been bugged to the moon and back, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch to assume those defaults didn't include a directive to even search for the calibration grid.

What he wouldn't give for an afternoon elbows-deep in this system's code... It'd be something to mention, for sure. Any bug that could cause this much trouble would definitely be worth looking into. It'd been caused by unusual circumstances, and in standard service the likelihood of this ever happening was pretty slim. But with how popular the Theurgy was these days, he didn't want to underestimate the probability of something similar happening. All it would need was for some other system to go offline and require a reboot, and for reintegration to occur around the same time. Unlikelihood in the grand scheme of things, but the way things were looking these days... Never say never, he supposed.

He glanced up from his work at the lieutenant's muttering. 'Everything alright in there?'

Manoeuvring so he could see without getting in Nator's way, he peered over hir shoulder. The sight that greeted him was almost funny it was so simple; he couldn't help the small laugh that bubbled out of him. Something inside the hatch must have overheated, probably because of the plasma fire. That'd caused the polymer coating the cables to melt and pool around the cables' connectors in a pudding of plastic, which then hardened into a misshapen lump and disrupted the relay. All because the cables had been too hot.

But yeah, that'd do it. That had done it. He'd keep doing what he could from the software side, but he wouldn't be surprised at all if, as Nator said, s/he scraped that 'shit' off and it worked. Heavens, what a lot of fuss over something so simple. That felt like it could be a metaphor for something. Or maybe he was reading too much into a bunch of melted plastic.

'I've done everything I can on my end,' he said as Nator chipped away at the offending lump of polymer. 'Once you've got all that off, the local controller should reconnect to the grid automatically.' Then all they'd need to do would be re-enable the graviton plating in this area -- a simple flick of a switch. The wider problems of bugged pathing and damaged cables could be left until they were no longer in immediate danger. Hopefully, anyway.

ooc: my dude I'm so sorry for the wait ty for being so patient
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
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Re: CH03: S [D06|0912] Inversions
Reply #14
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Corridors | Deck 04 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @fiendfall

Taking careful aim with a laser scalpel, Nator carved away layers of the polymer trunking from the fouled contacts in the guts of the generator mounting. S/he huffed a few strands of hir fringe away as it drifted into hir gaze in the zero-gee.

"Everything alright in there?"

"It will be," s/he stated with a grim finality. Honestly; such a mundane problem.. s/he hadn't been joking when s/he said s/he'd be angry if this turned out to be the fix. Having Morgan sort out the controller was almost insurance against hir blood pressure - disguising which variable it had been was probably safer for the personnel and equipment present.

The engineer shifted, floating around hir to observe hir progress. It was a slow enough process, given the tight nature of the confines within which s/he was forced to work, but Nator had cleared one of the ports already with a final desultory blowing of the plastic flakes out of it.

"I've done everything I can on my end. Once you've got all that off, the local controller should reconnect to the grid automatically."

S/he nodded an acknowledgement while s/he cleared the last plug. A flick of a claw cleared out a few errant polymer flakes, then s/he pushed back from the inspection space and manoeuvred round to try and haul the generator back into place. Inertia, again, was the enemy, but between the two of them they managed to get everything back in place. A minute to check everything was seated and connected...

"Okay, fire it up," s/he said.

As the graviton generator spun up to speed, the apparent gravity increased so they were drawn towards the deck with a gentle bump rather than a sharper shock. But it was at least the right part of the corridor to which they were drawn; a quick scan also revealed that the other units nearby had had their software reset properly and were syncing up nicely with the repaired generator beneath them.

"Well thank fuck for that," Nator opined. "Let's get this deck plate back down; I never want to see this corridor again," s/he added, before mumbling something else about the desire for a nice empty shipyard. Hir PADD was buzzing in hir pocket - no doubt some fresh hell that the other damage control teams had encountered.

"I'll leave these crewmen in your capable charge, Petty," the Hermat said, gesturing to the two onlooking goldshirts who were still keeping an eye on the edge of what had been the variable gravity area. "Try to keep your feet on the proper surfaces?" s/he asked with a deliberately deadpan face.


-FIN
Nator 159:
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