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What's the Problem?

Posted on Mon Jul 13th, 2020 @ 5:13pm by Lieutenant JG Edron Zaerbe & Lieutenant Cor Cordale

Mission: Episode 03: "Interlude"
Location: Engineering Laboratory, USS Vesta
Timeline: Day 2 at 1135

ON: [[Engineering Laboratory, USS Vesta, Mission Day 02, 1135 hours]]

Zaerbe studied the readouts in front of him. In truth, he shouldn't have been working right then. The captain had ordered that everyone spend at least a few days taking advantage of the opportunities for shoreleave. And Zaerbe would probably have already been down on the surface with his shipmates had it not been for something in the latest tests of the slipstream drive that had

"Simulation number thirty-six is complete," the computer announced.

Line after line of results scrolled down across the screen. They were interspersed with schematics and other graphical information from the simulation itself as well as references to references from other relevant sources. "So far, so good," Zaerbe muttered to himself, slightly confused. He turned to look over his shoulder at the holographic model hovering in the center of the room and frowned. " what is the problem?"

"Honestly, dah problem is it works." the cobalt-blue furred engineer commented as he removed himself from under a console. "See, simulation after simulation says dere ain't a problem, so den the question is, why isn't it workin'?" the Thux joined the Ekosian at the display. "Our issue here is dat the computer says dere's no problem. But the wiring says there is. There's a disconnect somewhere, and I swear to the Source if I gotta demagnetize the whole damn ship I'm gonna be mad as decaf."

"Cause the slipper works. The engine works. The shields work. But nonna them are talking."

"That just doesn't make sense," Zaerbe protested. He'd been serving aboard the Vesta now for three (going on four) years and he'd never seen something like this happen with the drive. Could it have been an oversight on his part? Perhaps, but he liked to think he knew the drive well enough to not have let that happen. After all, it was primarily his responsibility to take care of the thing. "We've actually used the drive, though," he continued, "so we know it has to work, right?"

"We know it worked." he pointed out, "Dat's different. We haven't used it since dah last time, so maybe something disconnected." the Thux guessed. "So how recent was the last?"

"Well...okay, not recently," the young engineer replied, "I think the last time we used it was a few months back. It wouldn't have been when we came to Starbase 11, because that was just a hop, skip, and a jump. And I definitely remember when the captain decided we were going to make that long stretch from the Beta Quadrant at conventional warp, had to have been before that."

"Sounds to me like we're in for an all-nighter. You wanna cuppa?" he offered, making his way to his office to fetch himself a mug of coffee. "Actual beans, ground, with cinnamon for flavah." he declared. "So, I'm bettin' two slips that there was a disconnect. Why would we make the trip back under warp otherwise? I'm gonna have to crawl around in the ducts again..." he didn't sound thrilled.

Zaerbe's heart sank. A part of him had secretly hoped it'd been something with the minor systems upgrades they'd received upon their return. After all, these yard engineers probably weren't as familiar with the drive as he was. It could have just been a simple mistake that was then easily rectified. Unfortunately, the new deputy chief was suggesting the issue might already have been there before they even got back...and that didn't make Zaerbe feel very good at all.


"Oi, don't go getting all mopey on me. You're not the one gonna be crawling around poking at junctions. You get to stay here and tell me when the drive reads as online." the Thux commented, "But, before that, I wanna run a diagnostic. See if a full on level two might show us where to start. Maybe a few Level threes of the surrounding systems just to see if there's an issue there."

His features softened a bit, "Cheer up. Finding the problem is half the fun."

"Yes, lieutenant," Zaerbe replied as he turned back to the workstation.

Cordale punched in the parameters for the diagnostics. "Okay, dat's gonna take some time. If you wanna get some coffee or a bite to eat, now's the time." he offered.

Zaerbe thought about it for a moment, then decided the lieutenant was probably right. There was no sense not to if they were going to be spending several hours trying to track down where this issue was coming from. He finished entering the last of his commands, secured his workstation, and rose to his feet. "Is there anything you'd like me to get you, lieutenant," Zaerbe asked.

"I mean if yah don't mind, I could go for a hamburger muffin. Trust me, buddy of mine thought it up and it's been in my replicatah profile ever since. Order up two for me, if you wouldn't mind, and it'll do dah rest." The Thux requested, finishing up the parameters for the chained diagnostics. "And dere we go."


Lieutenant Cor Cordale
Deputy Chief Engineering Officer
USS Vesta (NX-82601)

Lieutenant JG Edron Zaerbe
Division Officer, Propulsion
USS Vesta (NX-82601)


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