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[Deniaud] Character Log Stardate: 201803.27
The Joy of Chaos
"He remembered that she was pretty, and, more, that she had a special grace in the intimacy of life. She had the secret of individuality which excites - and escapes." [Victory, Joseph Conrad]
It was far more busy than she could have ever imagined. The engines were running hot and power fluctuated as CASSI worked endlessly to manage the sudden influx of bodies that had boarded the Aldrin. She straightened and took in a deep breath, her fingers curling over the railing that surrounded the warp core. Her eyes closed and she simply listened.
The discordant mixture of sounds filled her ears - the light taps of nails on consoles, the near angry thrumming of the warp core, the shuffling and stomping of feet over carpet, CASSI's sweet voice filling the speakers, K'hevok's deep voice booming against the bulkhead. Officers called over one another as they reported on problems with the coolant matrix and they sounded warnings of the sudden burst into warp.
“Science is saying that sun's about to blow!”
“We don't have enough power for the warp engines to suddenly jump to maximum warp!”
“Reroute power from all redundancies!”
It was a mess.
She could hear bodies bumping into one another as officers ran from station to station. Engineering was in chaos, and it wasn't one of their drills. Although the space itself was gigantic by Starfleet standards, there were simply far too many bodies.
Far too many cooks in the kitchen.
“You have to adjust the Altonian converter!”
“Are you daft!? That'll cause a feedback in the polarity grid!”
“The plasma matrix isn't responding!”
“Why the frak would you adjust the disharmonic command chamber?!”
Her eyes opened and she straightened, her shoulders pulling back and a small subtle smile gracing her features. It was genuine and it made her glow in ways she hadn't for months. There was tension in her muscles, anticipation and excitement bubbling within her limbs. It made her fingers tingle. Her mind was quick. She felt forced awake from a long slumber. Her inner monologue worked through the problem with calm and near deadly precision.
…€Â˜Over twenty decks needed to be maintained at a constant level of at least thirty-two celsius (90-F) for the Dumoe. Primary, secondary, and tertiary coolant systems need to be maintained. The jump to maximum warp now would cause systems malfunctions.'
She turned, her hips swaying to one side to avoid the running ensign who failed to keep others in his peripherals. Her stride was calm despite the hurried pace, her focus lingering on the main console where five other officers hovered over the controls.
…€Â˜Refocus CASSI's matrix to deal with the Dumoe and the rotation of systems. Coolant and environmental controls will be placed on schedule to allow all generators to rest properly. Schedule maintenance shifts.'
Her hand rested on shoulders as she caught their attention. Flawless and vibrant emerald green hues swept over the faces. There was a hint of emotion that coloured her expression. Their names alluded her. It reminded her that engineering was no longer her realm but that alone was not the reason. Months were spent in two destinations - her home with the Chief of Security and Tactical and her office to catch up on reports that were near avalanche levels. She hadn't stepped foot in engineering for nearly six months. Her hand rested on their shoulders as she spoke to indicate who was receiving the order. There was a hint of apology that glinted in her eyes for not knowing their names.
The five individuals were young - three enlisted crewmen and two junior officers with the rank of ensign. “Increase the photonic pulse variance. That will distribute the thermal radiation,” she said to one crewmember - a brunette girl with anxiety clearly embedded in her hazel hues. To the last two enlisted crewmen, her hand rested on their shoulders and she stared up at the strapping lads who practically towered over her with their height. “Modulate the atmospheric dampening seals throughout the decks. That'll regulate the change of temperature better.” To the two ensigns, she nodded and placed her hands on their forearms. “We need to recalibrate all the the thermal feed chambers on location so that we can stabilize the temperature and keep it regulated. I'll maintain levels here with CASSI.”
They stared at her, a bit dumbfounded that they hadn't accounted for something so simple. The changes would need to be done concurrently - synchronized to the last minute. They walked away as a group, mumbling to one another.
“Who's that?” whispered the brunette, her head turning to regard the short senior officer who had sent them out on a mission.
Her friend chuckled and he shook his head at her. “You kidding? That's Lieutenant Commander Deniaud,” he informed her with ease. “How do you not know who she is?”
“I don't know. I've never really seen her before, and I've been here six months.”
Her smile dipped ever so slightly as she overheard the end of the conversation. Had she fallen so out of touch with that the engineers aboard the Aldrin didn't know who she was? There was a time when her name carried an inkling of awe. There was the slightest shake of her head and she turned to face the main console as her hands danced over the panel to change the information that flowed freely. They had brought up the wrong information, all five focusing on different parts of the ship to solve the same problem - believing it had been a power distribution issue and not simply that the computer system was having problems processing the sudden influx of commands. It wasn't their fault. The crewmen and officers were young and inexperienced. Besides, her mind always worked a bit differently.
…€Â˜Slow down. We'll bog down the servers. Some of these are needless. They'll regulate the temperature. K'hevok has the warp core. I can focus on CASSI to make sure she's watching all our systems. Jump to maximum warp. Transfer power for a thirty minute spurt. Have the Aldrin slow down to warp two, redistribute and organize flow of power, then keep steady at warp four point five. Create rotating schedule for generators and systems.'
Her eyes remained glued on the console as she streamlined the environmental controls for the appropriate decks. She tapped the controls on the console as she met Commander K'hevok's eye just as they received the order to jump. There was the slightest nod of her chin before her attention moved to the information she brought to the surface.
The warp core thrumming increased as the engines pushed the Ashar-class vessel into motion. She felt the floor tremble under her feet, the sensation so slight that only the most sensitive of engineers could feel it. The air had the slightest of quiver around her as the warp core surged to life to send the Aldrin flying towards their destination and as far away from the exploding star. Her heart raced with her excitement. She was alive with joy, the chaos around her feeding her inspiration as her mind raced with the possibilities. Known theories, established algorithms, possible designs swirled in her mind as her fingers simply moved over the glassy surface on instinct alone. Multitasking was never a problem for her.
A soft hum fell from her painted lips without her knowledge, the melody lilting and bright. Despite the panic that surrounded her, she was at peace and without the weight of her life on her shoulders.
She was the willful youngest child of Ambassadors Aubert and Henriette Deniaud and the direct descendent of deposed King Louis Philippe I through her father and the honoured Emperor Oshio Ayumu through her mother. She had once been independent, passionate, curious. There had once been music and dancing, baking and singing, quilting and knitting in her life. Her laughter had once rang sweetly down the hallway, the dulcet harmony of summer caught in the lilting sound of her mirth. Her choice to remain by Gideon Salieri's side had calmed her significantly. There was some notion that his constant need for attention and desire for affirmation of her love caused sadness to embed itself deeply into her very being.
Yet, in that moment, surrounded by the beautiful cacophony that filled engineering, MariÃƒÂ«lle Antoinette Deniaud gave no thought to the man who was to be her husband. She was in her element and she relished the joy that came with chaos.