Wednesday, October 27, 2010

[USS Charon] SD 241010.27 || Duty Log || "Guts" || Capt. Savant, Ens. Landon Neyes

=/\= Main Engineering, USS CHARON =/\=

Neyes rubbed two fingers between his eyes as he looked on over the pool table. The whole area was cast in shadow, lit by a few yellowy blinking lights and a pair of emergency torches in the corner of the room. A secondary power conduit had basically ripped itself from inside the ceiling and had spilled its guts all over. A splash of green from a ruptured energy panel illuminated a access corridor nearby. Cords, cables, conduits and other internal things that shouldn't normally be in sight were just hanging there. A scruffy and extremely filthy Chief Engineer wiped grease and soot covered hands over his uniform as he assessed the scene before him. It was all he could do to keep from looking around at all the other issues in Engineering. The report that he'd read in sickbay was well... sickening. There wasn't a single system on the ship that hadn't been mangled by the Romulans. Or by Mr. Ambassador Commander.

"How long until we have full deflector capability at this point? I know... You're still working on the power couplings on deck 8 but I'd like an estimate. Or. Something. Anything. Good news preferably." Landon rested his uninjured arm against a nearby console as he spoke to one of his as-yet-unnamed crew members, who was also a dirty mess.

She fidgeted with a PADD for a moment before forcing herself to look him in the eyes. "Well."

"How long?" He interrupted. Trying his best not to get irritated.

"Maybe another two weeks?" She immediately seemed to tense up. "We're still having problems with the phase inhibitors for the deflector's primary dish. It can't be started up until they're fixed, and they keep blowing out power relays."

Landon closed his eyes, and breathed in slowly. The deflector dish hadn't really survived their 're-entry', as everyone kept calling it. In his own opinion, He could have brought a rock down a little smoother than the Charon had been brought in. The atmospheric torsion itself had caused almost as much damage as the battle with the Romulans. The nacelles were in and of themselves almost worthless at this point, and the impulse engines were a matter which he'd spent the last three hours working on. Trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with them in the first place was difficult enough. A wave of dread had enveloped him in sickbay when he'd read over the damage caused by the Charon clipping a mountain or hill, or something hard and made of rock. It didn't so much matter other than it had destroyed about 30 square meters of hull.

"We do have good news though, sir." She brightened. "We've cleared up the computer enough to bring Savant back to Engineering. In truth we never really know if she was broken, but the computer was so blocked out we just assumed she was shut out."

Landon scoffed. "I'm sure she would have walked right in and verbally 'non-scolded' me if I ever ASSUMED she couldn't do something."

A tired smirk crossed his lips and he folded his arms. This should be fun. "Oh Savant? Heelllooo."

And he waited... but he didn't have to wait long. A holographic projector fired up from the corner of the room - he could tell, because it sparked as it activated, and cast glimmering lines of light into the room, like a blue sunrise. Savants' avatar stood, wavy and indistinct but quite present, beside him. "Hello, Sir. Can I help you?"

Landon turned around to face the creepy and overly suited holographic AI. Naturally her nearly perfect figure had appeared directly behind him, forcing him to turn and address her. Aside from her flickery and unevenly pixelated image, she seemed just as eager to serve as usual.

"Can you fix the ship?" He asked, only half kidding.

"Given time and resources, yes Sir," she replied, her expression a little incredulous. "Are you... retiring?"

"If I could retire I would have done it 200 years ago." His blue eyes thinned as he looked on her. "It looks like the maintenance overlay in grid 12 is interfering with the holographic projectors." He turned and worked the blinking controls. That particular area of Engineering was without light, as they hadn't gotten around to repairing and replacing those smaller details.

Her figure continued to flicker and waiver as she stood, waiting on his next move. Over the next few moments he would look up at her and then back down, not ignoring her, but still seeing if she'd say anything or move to fill the silence. He rather enjoyed the "one-sidedness" of it.

She did not speak for some time, only stood there, flickering. It was a little unusual to see her, and it would take a minute to place why - she didnt' fidget or grow uncomfortable in the same position, as people generally did. The fluid economy of her movements had no need for it. "I have managed to complete a triage table of repairs, Sir, and will begin effecting those I am able as resources become available."

Landon sighed a few times before finally tapping a few final commands. "There!" And just like that, she seemed to become a bit more focused. Visually, of course. For her lack of social prowess, Landon had to respect her seamless drive at making priorities. "And thank you. Just make sure those repairs don't directly hinder the diagnostics we mere mortals are trying to complete. I don't have to tell you we're on a minimal power budget." While he was sure she was much more useful than half the Engineering staff. Or the crew for that matter. There was a moment, if ever so brief, that he had considered asking if her program could be taken offline. The power reserves in place to keep her operating would probably speed up repairs to the energy network...

He smiled at her, partly in response to fixing her, and partly at the thought of seeing her fade into oblivion.

Savant smiled briefly at his efforts - repair of the holoprojectors was well, well near the bottom of her triage table, as well as her prediction of his own - it must have been a personal reason for moving the job up. Sweet, in his way. "Of course, Sir. I am currently farming waste heat from the secondary fusion reactors for non-vital processes. Perhaps I will be best used in providing supplies and repair material to damage control teams, instead of working on my own?"

Of course. She was siphoning power from some unseen source. "Where do you get these ideas?" He stopped what he was doing and took a genuine interest in her process of thought. He would have never considered using the damaged systems of a means of energy. "We have a power output of just under 20 percent, and yet we have more systems online than any other ship I've worked on in this condition. How much power are you getting from this?"

She raised an eyebrow at the question, replying quickly, "a stochastic interaction within my decision network?" And then a pause, "That's a difficult question, Sir. You know that I'm composed locally of several hundred thousand decision nodes, and I have several million more on Vulcan. A large enough minority of them have sufficient knowledge of ship systems to realize the answer I was looking for."

Then she grinned faintly, to soften the hardness of her statement; her prediction models of Landon were still fuzzy but she hoped it would have the proper effect. "I'm able to collect approximately eight per-cent of normal system load by the process, Sir. I do suspect that it is rather hard on the heat buffers within the system, but it should be well within tolerance."

He waved off her concern about the heat management system. There were still small fires in uninhabitable areas of the ship. Naturally he had teams rounding the decks looking for them, and the internal sensors seemed to intermittently pick them up as they died and started. Fire and heat suppression wasn't on his short-list, however.

"WENSTON!" Landon hollered off up to the second level.

"Sir?!" A man hollered back.

"Get some portable processors out of storage and hook them up to Savants matrix. On the double." He watched as the man quickly stopped what he was doing the disappeared into one of the many doors out of the core room. There were problems he admittedly didn't have the time or manpower to fix at a decent pace, but there seemed to be every evidence that this AI of Charon's was able to do far more than float around the ship and bother him to fulfill her little schemes and models. She was a brain, and one that was physically hooked into his ship's systems.

She put her hands to her luminescent heart and smiled broadly, looking smitten, "Sir, I'm touched at your concern."

"Don't get all touchy feely with me, Savvy. I need more power to the structural field emitters on deck 7, 2 and 11. There are systems power shortages all across the grid and life support is sketchy at best on deck four section 13. Can you spare some time to help out with those repairs? Maybe think up some other little tricks while you're at it. I may have to start expanding your data center if you keep this up."

As much as it pained him to admit defeat, there was little more he could do than to stay awake 20 hours a day to keep up repairs. As the Charon stood, she wasn't going to get back into subspace for another month, maybe even more. Warp was so far past his 'big-picture' he would probably need to start stealing people from security to help repair the drive systems.

The hologram nodded once, all business again. "Yes, Sir. I will transfer my power-intensive processes to Vulcan as possible, and place those items at the top of my repair list." She began moving files immediately, drawing her high maintenance processes away to Vulcan where she could. It was a terrible mess, but at least it was working again, and Vulcan provided perhaps the best company for her work.

Behind the veil, Savant was barely paying attention to Landon. She couldn't help it - she was too busy. Charon's computer systems were heavily damaged in the conflict, and she had only just gotten FTL processing returned to her, praise be to the Engineers. Setting her own house in order was proving to be a nightmare, because her most active registers had been translated into Romulan architecture! Compatibility was proving to be a great issue, as two parts of her were split into opposing camps. It was as if one side of Savants' distributed brain had suddenly stopped talking to the other, a severing of the digital corpus callosum. She could function, certainly, but the impairment was tremendous.

Still, there was work to be done, and she wasn't about to lett something like a little bit of Multiple Personality Disorder get in her way. "Would you like me to request Damage Control specialists from Vulcan, Sir?"

"As far as I know they'd need to talk to the Captain about that. The transporters are pretty shot up, and don't even ask me how they managed to beam over to that warbird earlier because it us BEYOND me." And it was true. As far as he knew the Vulcans hadn't even said a word about their ship skipping through their atmosphere. He had been so caught up in the busted mess of a ship around him that there was little else he paid attention to.

For a second, he just looked at her. She stared back.

"I, um. Yeah. Go ahead. We could definitely use the help. I would like to start rotating some of my people back off a double shift. Most of them are in hospitals, anyway." He covered his face with his good hand and took a moment to gather himself. It wasn't that he was upset about their situation, or even frustrated. Landon knew he was just in over his head. He was a pilot. A grade-A helmsman through and through, yet here he was amidst the most fallen out ship he'd ever had the displeasure of fixing, and he had half the crew he expected to. It took all he had to just keep from getting back on a shuttle and heading home. There was little Starfleet offered him other than a home and a job, and both of those he could easily get on Trill. Yet still, something kept him there.

"Do me another favor, Savvy."

She inclined her head, and her tone had changed to something warmer, something personable, with a hint of it in her eyes. Even with lower processing time, she was capable and willing to interact on a meaningful level. "Of course, Sir?"

He looked at her with a genuine expression, "Check on Robert Lansine. He was in our briefing on the Fury. I know I don't need to tell you that... just humor me. But I haven't heard from him since we came on board and retook the ship... He is still alive?" He almost didn't ask, knowing she would give him the honest truth.

She smiled a little wider, and spoke quietly enough so as the others nearby would'nt hear about his moment of concern for his friend. Couldn't have that from the gruff Engineer. "He's fine, Sir."

Neyes visibly softened. That thought of Rob somehow getting blown out an airlock or shot to death, vaporized by some hideous Romulan was one of the only other concerns he'd carried with him since they had parted ways with the Marines on the Fury. There was a part of him that trusted Lansine could hold his own, but the protective brother in arms half of him still held onto a worry that wouldn't die.

"I suppose if he survived Cardassians, he would have survived Romulans." Landon brought up a schematic of the repair priorities that Savant had suggested, dismissing the subject of Robby, and acting as if he'd never asked in the first place.

His jaw tightened as he read over the list, and a moment of anger finally popped from his emotional island. "WHY..." he immediately reigned himself in and moved closer to the hologram, speaking more softly, and more controlled. "Savant?"

She put a hand on his shoulder as he turned back from his station at the console - her touch felt like static and a condensation of fog more than fingers. The holoprojector was still damaged and would be until it was taken apart. Even she could see that his question was rhetorical, and that he needed no answer.

"How does one go about rationalizing rerouting power from the Deflector phase emitters to the injector control systems? We're not moving. Why do we need injectors? Hmm?"

"The injectors help maintain core pressure stability, Sir, and provide a release function in the case of dilithium vapour overburden." She spoke quietly again - this was more a question that he wouldn't want overheard for morale purposes than any emotional concern. "Regulation, and safety, require they be operational. I do have record of the injectors being sidelined in some circumstances, however."

"Yes. Ok." He found himself wondering why he needed to explain this. "They were fine at twenty five percent, Savant. They don't need to be taking four hundred terawatts a piece if we're not moving. The core isn't even operating at full capacity. We need to deflectors online to start testing subspace field integrity. I need those emitters online once we repair the nacelles. So WHY, I say again, are the injectors taking more than eight percent of my available power."

"I will power injector strength to minimum thresholds, Sir," she humoured him - the control was right there, but clearly he needed to vent. Savant often found herself used as a verbal punching bag, and it was a task she took to with cheer. At least, that's generally how people saw it. His displays showed power reserves climbing as she lowered the injectors' consumption.

"Now..." Neyes pretended to pat her on the shoulder. "Go... scheme or whatever it is you do in that cybernetic little world of yours." He thought for a moment. "And go ahead and use the power you just cleared up to, well, clear up. From what I understand you're in a bit of a bind yourself, resource wise." He looked over at the computer pathways console and made a cringing face. "If I was you I'd need a good lay and a cup of coffee."

She smirked and the hologram bobbed up into the air, her normal cue that she was leaving. "Don't I wish, sir. Please let me know if you need more help." And Savant disappeared with a puff of photons, back to the ether from whence she came.

He watched as he hologram fizzled out of view in a little display he called the "lightshow". It always amazing him how she managed to make her exits so flashy and unnecessarily over the top. This time it was a little less impressive, given the damaged holoprojector she was working with, but given time and repairs, she would undoubtedly return to the former glory of glitz with a vengeance.

He reached into his work pocket and pulled out a hypo that he'd been saving from earlier. The doc had recommended that he only take it twice or so a day, but it was only 6 hours into his double shift and his arm hurt like hell. It wouldn't kill him to work through, and he just felt better on the meds.

Popping the hypo and placing it back into his pocket, he quietly muttered something unpleasant about Romulans and continued reading over the damaged systems reports on his console.

=/\= END LOG =/\=

Capt. Savant
Bi-polar Honorary Engineer

Ens. Landon Neyes
Chief Engineer