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  LtJG Aaron Riedinger & Lieutenant Bevin MacArdry, SD
JL: "Another Day, Another Warp Core"

Lt. MacArdry, Bevin.

Lt. JG Riedinger, Aaron.

SD 201811.02

Based upon the events that occurred on the sim of the SD: 201810.19

Note: the events narrated below take place before the last sim (SD: 201810.26).

In the last weeks, the engines of the Darmok were being demanded to the maximum. But with good reason, getting to the Aslan space was something completely imperative. And if to do so the engines should be forced to highly unrecommended levels, it was the job of the engineers to keep them running and operating under the conditions that would be required. And certainly, that was what they were trying to do. Working for three shifts a day was becoming something completely normal and routine for each member of the Engineering team, so most of them were getting tired of the high demand that required to maintain the engines and systems of the ship when it was exiged so much. It could be noticed a little tension in the environment. And the recent attack -and subsequent destruction- of the Zhenkarian Corsaire only increased said tension.

Aaron was repairing a plasma regulator when a officer in gold uniform that he had never seen approached, extending him a PADD. Looking at him in surprise, Aaron commented: "I hope it's an invitation to the holodeck or to go for a drink, amigo". The officer shook his head and replied in a serious tone: "No. We finished the damage report after the Corsair's attack. They told me to give it to you". He handed the PADD to Aaron and quickly made his way to the nearest Turbolift. “Handsome fella,” Aaron thought. He left the plasma regulator on the floor to read the PADD. When finished, he decided to went to where Bevin was. "Oh ... she's going to love it", Aaron thought, after sighing deeply.

When he arrived, he told Bevin: "Jefa, I just received a damage report from Ops. It seems that, in addition to the obvious damage we have here in Engineering, the systems of the replicators fell, the entire deck six is without power, and, there are damages to the screens and walls of several decks. Fantástico, isn't it?”.

Bevin growled softly and made the infamous …˜Digitus Impudens' gesture at the retreating Ops officer's back as she turned back to Aaron. ”Si, we naid tae prayiritize aill tha raipairs we've jist gawttin tha laist o raight naw. Hae tha daimije taims chaik tha waills ain scrains tae say  iffin thay air ain dainjir o vaintin tae spaise fairst thaing thain say tae the raiplaikaitirs. Shat doon daik saix an werk wi Lawjistics tae rairawte paipul an daipairtmints ais naidid iffin we kin werk ait fer tha time bayin whaile we're werkin an tha ainjins hair.” She sighed and wanted to strangle the universe for throwing so much at them all at once, but that was part and parcel of being in command of the biggest and most important department on the ship. If it were not for the Engineering Department, then there would be no engines for the ship and without a ship, there'd be no need for people to go anywhere.They'd be stuck on whatever planet they were born on for the rest of their days.

Aaron smiled at her reaction and raised an eyebrow. “As you wish, my jefa! But see ...”, he said as he pointed behind Bevin, pointing to three other engineers who were working on one of the consoles damaged in the attack. “Now that we have the dilithium, the work here will be easier. Más fácil. You have a more than capable team, surely within less than an hour the Warp engine will be online again and the repairs will progress. It was not easy to survive the attack, much less with all the pressure on our shoulders because, you know ... we did not have the Warp engine online! So ... you were exposed to a lot of pressure in the last hours ... are you sure you do not want a break? Take for granted that we can handle everything here!”

“Aye, I ken tha, Aaron, bit tais staill me waitch an I'm tha ane tha ais iltimitely raispansibil fer ivvrythaing.” She told him gently but firmly.”I'll raist ance ivvrythaing's baik tae nairmil,” she smiled, “air ait laist ais narmil ais thaings gait airoond hair.” She ran her fingers through her red hair and tried to trap a recalcitrant strand back behind her ear, hoping it would stay there, which it had a bad habit of NOT doing. “I'm aifraid tha aur dainnir tanaight ais awff taill we gait thais maiss clained ip an werkin.”

"Si si ... and surely we have to postpone the same dinner until the mess with the Kyrathian Swarm comes to an end! But, what could we do? This is la vida we choose!” Aaron gave her a pat on the back. “I will go to form the repair teams and coordinate with Logistics to work in Deck 6.  When I return, I could continue to help with the Warp Drive. El Capitán expects us to leave it at its maximum capacity now that we have the dilithium!”

Aaron went to a table that was full of PADDs, and started writing on them. When he finished, he put them in a bag and then charged it on his shoulder. He saw a group of five engineers who were working on a Turbolift, and he went to them while caressing his mustache. When he arrived, he told them: "Amigos, la jefa wants us to repair the damage to the walls and screens in the different points affected by the attack ... you know ... to prevent them from becoming openings into space! We can live a couple of hours without using this Turbolift!” He took 5 PADDs out of his bag and handed them to each of the engineers. “It is the report of the most affected points of the ship, along with a list of people who are working on 'non-critical stuff. Each of you will be the leader of a team of five people. Choose from the list the other four members of your respective teams, depending on who is best suited to each of you, and go to repair each of the sectors indicated in the report.” The engineers looked at each other, and one of them sighed heavily. Aaron commented: "Come on, I'm sure it will be more fun than working on a Turbolift! And if you finish before your guards are over ... you can use the rest of your time for anything you wish to do! Have fun, mis amigos.”  Aaron now went to the FWD TL -which was working- with the intention of reaching Deck 6 to coordinate with the people of Logistics. He was received by a Bolian officer that commented in a bitter tone: "You are from Engineering? It was time someone came." Aaron shook his hair, trying to calm down. "Si, yeah ... a pleasure to meet you too." Then, he took a PADD out of his bag, observed it and told the officer: "We will start working on the Escape Pods first ... so I need no people to circulate through this corridor ... nor this corridor," he said while pointing at the PADD. "Yes, yes, go ahead", the officer responded. Aaron raised an eyebrow and continued: "If all goes well with the Escape Pods, in half an hour we will be working directly on restoring the power of the entire Deck, so I will need you to evacuate all the people here by then. Once we re-establish the power, we will continue the repairs in Six Forward and the quarters of the junior officers, and then the normal activity of the deck can be reestablished. Fantástico, isn't it?” The Bolian sighed. Aaron handed him the PADD and said: "Here is everything more detailed. We already have people assigned, right now I am going to inform them. I have your OK?”. The officer grabbed the PADD sharply, read it quickly, and then replied, "Yeah yeah, it's okay. And make your workers come here quickly. I'll already start moving people here." The Bolian hit both palms and addressed the members of his team as Aaron headed back towards a Turbolift bound for Main Engineering.

Bevin was working on the warp drive engines with Crewmen Flint, Weber, Wells and Zahn trying to get all the glitches out of the systems as well as checking over the grades of the Dilithium they had received. Most of the shipment was premium high grade quality, perfect for the engines, but there were several crystals mixed in with the good stuff that were of so poor quality that it would have destroyed the ship if they tried to use them in the warp matrix. Fortunately, the rotten crystals comprised only about 0.05% of all the Dilithium they got and if they had to do some …˜horse-trading' again with the pirates, she was going to see about beaming one of the poor quality crystals into their warp drives to settle the matter once and  for all. They should have a blast with that, she thought wryly. She just hoped they'd have enough time to handle all the necessary repairs before the next rodeo with those outlaws. At least, her team rivaled the legendary reputation of Montgomery Scott's staff on the original Enterprise and, if the Captain didn't stop wrecking her ship every time they turned around, well, the words she had planned for him would not be very nice in the least!! Her brothers said she could flay the hide off anyone with her tongue when she got her dander up, well maybe, it was time to do so and the recipients would NOT like the result.

After a few minutes, Aaron appeared from behind her and with a hand on her shoulder, he said: "Hey jefa, how are things around here?" He shook an Engineering kit he had in his other hand. "Is there anything I can help?"

She smiled tiredly to him and laid her head against his shoulder. ”Git is a naw shaip, ane tha  canna be brawkin?” She was only partially teasing him about the new ship but these constant rounds of repair work every few hours were beginning to get to her. Maybe, if she closed her eyes for a moment, she could summon up a second dose of energy to finish out this round  of repairs. She was hoping that at least, but it didn't seem to be working. Too many hours working and not enough rest were finally taking its toll on her body and his shoulder made a FANTASTIC pillow.

"Yeah, accompany me to the Holodeck! You would be surprised by the amount of ships of that type that can come to be in the holographic environment.", he replied smiling. When he realized that she was about to fall asleep on his shoulder, he shook her hair and said: “But, unfortunately, there are none ships of that immortal nature in real life. And you know what is the worst about these destructible ships? They require a LOT of maintenance. And some have the bad habit of depending on dilithium to regulate the matter / antimatter reactions.”

She started awake at his gentle tug on her hair. “Sairry, Aaronn, bit ye're raight, an I dinna hae time tae laillygaig iffin tha caiptin naids is ait ais clase tae pairfict ais we kin gait.” She rubbed her weary eyes and headed back to check over the repairs they had already accomplished.

"Hey, do not worry, I was just kidding!", he replied to her, while going to one of the consoles. When he reached the console and made a quick scan, he commented: "Hmmm ... the Magnetic Interlock is stable, the Dilithium Articulation Frame is aligned and, somehow,  the Dilithium Regulator is still in one piece.”. He stroked his mustache. "You know ... we could try turning on the Warp Drive and praying for the new crystals to keep the Theta-Matrix Composer stable. Or were you planning to do some other test, jefa?"

“Way'll naid tae caill tha braidge an taill thaim tae taist tha ainjins slawly gaein tae wairp iffin we kin an nae ivvirdae thaim by gaein aimmaiditly tae wairp saivin air aight werk thaim ip slaw sae we  kin chaik tha prawgriss alang tha way.” She told him. ”An I'll be waitchin tha cansale tae aimmaiditly shat thaim doon iffin innythaing baid shaws ip.”

Aaron smiled. "Ok jefa, on my way. Let hope that all that food we exchange is worth it”. He touched his combadge. "Bridge, Engineering here. We are ready to do the first test of the Warp Drive. But contain your excitement of taking it to High Warp right away! We need to monitor and check the whole process, so let's start slowly at Warp 2”. They felt a heavy push that made everyone notice that they actually left sub-light speeds behind. “Perdón, the Inertial Dampers were uncalibrated, my bad!”. He touched his combadge again. “Now increase the speed slowly all the way until Warp 9. Here we are ready to turn everything off if something goes out of control!". After a while of being monitoring the consoles attentively, Aaron commented: "And ... we are at Warp 7 now. So far, so good. Everything looks very nice here, nice work jefa. How do you see everything from there?”

She nodded to him, an extremely tired smile on her face. ”Sae fair, sae guid, Aaron. Lait's jist hape ait stays laik tha fra naw an……” She moved over to a seat by a console and laid her head down on it only to  jerk up at feeling an unusual vibration. ”Aaron, shat ait awff, NAW! Samethin's wrang!” She jerked the rest of her body up from the seat and moved to trace one of the circuits coming from the console, only to find a missed blown juncture box that could have imperiled the whole ship if they had gone any higher into the Warp speeds.

“Eh?!”. Aaron was surprised, the decision to turn off the Warp Drive found him completely unprepared. He moved his fingers quickly through the console and switched off the engine suddenly. Because of that, there was a tremor that shook everyone on the Darmok again. Aaron fell, but after shaking his head, he got up quickly and went to the console where Bevin was. With a remarkable tone of frustration in his voice, he commented to her, "What happened? It was working so well, so smooth ...". They heard a call from the Bridge asking - basically - what had happened, why they had braked so suddenly.

“I failt tha sairkit blaw, sae…… I knaw wha waeld haippin iffin we waint inny fairthir ait tha wairp spaid, tha aintayir shaip waeld blaw ip ais shairly ais  iffin we'd bain hait wi a maissive phasir barraj. Taill thaim I'm sairry iffin I maissed ip thair chaiss gaims, bit I thaut thay'd praifir raisaittin tha baird tae flawtin airoond ain space wi'AUT a suit. Iffin we hald ait tae wairp faur, I thaink ait waill be ailraight.” She told him as she disappeared under the consoles again.

"Well  ... all the good things must end. I will inform the Bridge". Aaron combed back with both hands, and then touched his combadge to communicate with the Bridge. "We had a minor problem, some circuits that flew here and there ... we can only give you up to Warp 4 while we try to do some magic around here. Engineering out”. He crouched down next to Bevin and said: "You know ... it's seven in the morning, I do not think anyone is playing an important chess match. Although ... Vulcans have a tendency to play in the mornings. Meh, I do not think a couple of broken kal-toh games do any harm, but anyway I think it would be smart from us to avoid the Commander for a while! Sorry, now seriously: when was the last time you slept? Do you need help in something out there? "

She shook her head, this constant one-crisis-after-another situation had caused her to miss too many sleep cycles to count easily. ”I dinna ken, sametime ain tha laist sainchewry, mebbe? Gimme same mair cawfy an I shaeld  be ailraight fer a few mair haurs,” she told him, finally acknowledging that she was close to exhaustion but the ship's needs were greater than her own. Too many lives counted on her doing her job and not lollygagging in a  bunk somewhere. “Jist dawbilchaik me werk taill we hae thais crisis dailt wi, thain I'll gae raist.” She rubbed her eyes again, trying to make them focus, and wriggled back under the console while he went for the coffee. She could check out a few more circuits in the meantime.

Aaron nodded and patted her on the back. “Ok, I'm going. And I promise not to tell Shadow about all the amount of coffee you have consumed in the past few days!”. He went to the replicator who was in the Storage Department while stroking his mustache, thinking of the immense responsibility that comes with being in charge of a department as immense as Engineering and how difficult it would be for the 'jefa' to spend these moments of constant crisis. When he arrived at the replicator, he remembered that the systems had fallen down, and then he took his head with both hands as remembered that he had also sent a team to work in Six Forward. Anyway, he pronounced the words: "Café. Negro. Strong.", and after the classic sound, the cup with coffee inside materialized. He had no idea of another way to make coffee, and he did not want to go back with Bevin without taking her drink, so he smiled and muttered praising his colleagues for repairing the systems so fast. When he returned with her, he said: "Hey jefa, the servant came back in. You're lucky that los compañeros have already finished repairing the replicator systems, because I do not have the faintest idea how to make café." He handed her the coffee and said, pointing to the inferior part of the console: "Did you find something under there?"

She came out from under the console and sat up,  eagerly reaching for the cup and praying that her hands wouldn't shake and spill it all over her in the process of trying to get it inside her body to work the hoped for caffeine miracle one more time. “Aye, an iftir tha crisis ais  ivvir, I'll taich ye haw tae dae ait tha auld-faishund way.” She had several circuits in her hands, all blown to bits and close to being just slagged pieces of metal. At least they could still read the serial numbers and codes on them, all from the same manufacturer and all in the same run lot. “Aithir the makirs air gaittin slawppy wi thair prawdict, we wair saint thaise dailibirately, air bith, an I'm tae taired tae ken whaich.”

Aaron stroked his mustache and raised an eyebrow at the circuits that Bevin was showing him. He grabbed a pair, squinted an eye to try to read the serial code of one and commented: “What are you implying, jefa? Probably the circuits overheated because we tried the Warp Drive too fast. We should have checked things more times before try to go to Warp Speed, even though we had such a tight schedule. It is obvious that we are forcing the ship to its maximum capacity to reach Aslan space as soon as possible. After all ... this is a mission assigned by the Starfleet of maximum priority! But ……”. He stroked his mustache again and looked at the destroyed circuits that she had in her hand. He grabbed a handful of these small pieces of metal and said: “It is true that it is a great coincidence that all the circuits of the same manufacturer and the same run lot have exploded. Do you not think this would be an ideal time for a saboteur who would like to damage the ship? You know ... as the ship is being demanded to the fullest, it would be almost impossible for us to distinguish the sabotaged parts from those damaged by the deterioration of the ship itself. And this deterioration could be confused with the ship's performance over-demand! What do you think, jefa? No, perdón. I'm just being paranoid, it's equally likely that this is an isolated fact, a coincidence! While it is unlikely that all these circuits have exploded, there is a possibility, and, in addition, we have no more evidence of anything!”

“Aye, tais traw tha ait CAELD be a cawinsidinse, bit wha iffin tais samethin mair, an we jist haippined tae stambil antae tha fairst pairt o a larjir plawt tae braing doon Stairflait? Thais sairkits air anly maid fer Stairflait, acaise we pit mich mair strain an thaim fer langir thain inny cammarshial mairchaint shaip waeld ivvin draim o daein. Naw, aithir sameane's gat samethin aiginst Stairflait ivviraill, they hae samethin aigainst is air tha maisshun, air tais anly a caise o baid sairkits, I dinna ken, bit ait naids tae be luiked aintae, prantaw, an tha raist o tha flait ailairtid tae tha priblim.” She told him as she stashed the circuits away into a secure cabinet and locked it under her personal code. ”We shaeld pribibly git tha Caiptin ain an thais ais weel tae lait haim knaw aur saspishins.”

Aaron nodded and smiled. "Yeah, we should inform the Capitán. Good job, jefa”. He ruffled her hair. “But I think that now the Capitán is preparing to communicate with the Androide”. He squinted again, looking at the broken circuits. "I could organize a team to diagnose the other components of the same manufacturer and the same lot as these while we wait for the Capitán to be free”. He put a hand on her shoulder. “And meanwhile ... you could use a couple of hours to sleep, jefa.“

She nodded and went to find an out of the way corner of Engineering to curl up in for a short, much-needed nap.


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