The Latest Misadventures of Ensign Al Thums
"Dancing Arcs", SD 201810.05
. Al was in Shuttlebay 1 assisting with the upgrades to the new shuttle, the USS Zephyr. He'd been sent outside the shuttle by Lt. Riedinger since he'd been tripping over the carpet and seats and the Lt. thought maybe outside the shuttle there'd be less chance of getting tangled up in something.
. Master Sgt. Hines was busily removing some of the excess ventral capacitors and conduits from beneath a panel outside and heard the order from inside the shuttle, "I send Thums to you, sir!" Hines had grown used to taking orders from officers younger than himself and graciously accepted. When Thums appeared and asked what the Sgt. needed, Hines answered, "Could use someone with steady fingers and a micro-fusion cutter, honestly, Ensign."
. Excitedly, Thums was ready to help, though his cutter had been dropped inside the shuttle. By the time he'd retrieved it, Hines had used his own to remove the conduit he was working on. As he began hauling the scrap material to the scrap pile, Thums pointed and said, "So, we'll tie that end of the cut conduit to ... there?"
. Hines nodded as he stepped away, "Yeah, we'll tie it through the impulse ports."
. Thums carefully returned his micro-fusion cutter to his toolbox and picked up a plasma arc welder that he planned to use to close off the conduit within the impulse port area.
. As Thums studied the port and the conduits to decide where to begin, Lt. Carter, the hotshot pilot, stepped out of the shuttle, jogging off towards the Turbolift. Thums lifted a hand to wave goodbye, forgetting he held a plasma arc welding torch in it. The welding tip came just close enough to the impulse port lid to cause the arc to flare. The arc hopped across the metallic casings until it found the loose end of a conduit, the one Thums was intending to tie off. Finding a much more conductive material there, the arc flared to full strength and the Ensign was caught off guard.
. Startled by a powerful electrical arc, Thums twitched, which caused the arc from the welder to dance wildly for two to three seconds before rebounding and striking the Ensign in the chest.
. Of course, a powerful electrical current in the chest area will cause random muscle contractions, which brought the arc welder across the other arm and the side of his face before Thums' unconscious hand finally dropped the thing to the floor.
. All of this took only the few seconds for Hines to walk to the scrap pile and drop a piece of conduit. When he turned around he saw Thums twitching from the electricity and arcing lightning dancing between the shuttle and the Ensign before the man dropped unconscious to the ground. With a sigh, the Sgt. kicked the now dead welding torch aside and scooped up the Ensign as Riedinger stuck his head out the door of the shuttle with a muttered, "Oh mi Dios!"