[Valdena Yel-pi'shaal – space station in orbit of Eridani 40 A's third planet]
17th Day in the month of et'Khior, YS 9022
It was nothing new to T'Reah to see her Commander in engineering, or in the engines themselves when you came to it. Nor to see the legs clad in rosewood colored pants stick out of a maintenance hatch as the Academy's Chief Designer and Engineer personally saw to her ship's well being. Fickle, these old engine designs had been called, a migraine in the making, capricious, mercurial. Why T'Meni had insisted on them had been a mystery to many. Until the first time they saw Seleya fly out of the Vulcan system like a Shavokh riding the winds.
Temperamental, sensitive, even excitable. And powerful beyond all the academy had predicted. Using but a fraction of the power most modern ships required for high warp speeds, for anything from lighting their corridors to producing the food that nourished the crew, Seleya gave all she had and then gave more. Like her little siblings, the D'Vahl, she did not take kindly to being handled with hesitation, nor with blunt, unsubtle force. Led by a skilled, firm hand… she was without peer.
And right now, she was highly … irritated.
What wonder, then, that her Commander should be as well, though the Vulcan woman showed it not in engine readouts spiking at the slightest touch but in the way her brows creased, and the even more clipped manner of her responses.
"You wished to be informed when Charon was…"
Politely ignoring some quietly mumbled references to Starfleet's irrational ways and some outright unfriendly remarks concerning certain distant cousins, T'Reah stepped out of the way as the small, slight woman emerged from the hatch and straightened her impeccably tailored uniform.
"Arrival in two point three minutes, S'thora."
Holographic projectors spluttered to life in the rear third of engineering, barely eliciting a quick glance from the crew going about their task of stopping their battered ship from throwing yet another fit of temper. Docked in the section of Yel-nu'riko that was specifically designed for the care and maintenance of Vulcan ships but could be modified to accept just about any other Federation design within the hour, Seleya was like a wounded bird cradled under her mother's wing, sheltered from the violence that had befallen her by a massive amaranth red dome. All graceful arcs and curves, the station could host near two dozen great ships at any given time, in emergencies far more than that. But the real time feed taking shape before T'Meni's eyes showed only the curved doors sliding apart, wide enough to admit two Sovereign class ships flying side by side, and the pitiful sight of a heap of wreckage towed by three of the station's own tugs.
Charon. Did these fools not know naming a ship after even a mythical creature would …
Ah. Human hell was an odd place in any case. What wonder, really.
Ever so gently, the silvery disc with more scorch marks to her than a Le-Matya after a run-in with Sandfire was guided to one of the docking ports reserved for Yel-Halitra design ships and already modified to perfectly mold to a Luna-class. Not surprisingly, the section was abuzz with Vulcan personnel who had a … fondness for the science vessel as it were and handled the poor beaten thing as if it were a long lost relative.
"Did they request personnel?"
T'Meni seemed to think the matter over, her slightly canted head indicating rapid chains of logic forming as sharp, grey eyes took in the excessive damage. What had they done, take down half of Nal'Shin's peaks with their underbelly after getting shot at by half the Rihannsu fleet?
Very well. "T'Las. Saskal. T'Yleh."
The three engineers barely blinked before setting down their tools and rallying around their Commander, curiosity piqued.
She would assess the damage personally before deciding how many to send. And whom. No less did courtesy require, and most certainly it would not do but give her personal attention to her little niece's S'thora.
"Naturally. Contact the station. And kindly inform Charon's engineers we request permission to visit."
The viewscreen on the station nearby blinked on as the comm channel was opened to the Charon's engineering room. The screen was small, but it was clear enough that something was blocking the view. The perturbed voice of what was undoubtedly one of the Charon's crewmembers was clear enough, but he was not visible.
"Hold on. Hold on. I'm coming." The voice said, sounding a little irritated. A few moments of noise passed before the screen suddenly cleared up, showing a young Trill officer pulling a large piece of debris out of the way. From their newfound view, the Vulcan crew could see the real scale of the damage to the Starfleet vessel. The officer himself was clearly injured, and had what looked to be dark smears across his face and uniform.
"Ah Vulcans. Thanks for getting back to me." He said.
"Indeed." T'Meni's stoic expression did not falter, though for some unseen and inexplicable reason there suddenly was a clear space around the small woman. That ship looked worse than Seleya, and the people visible in the background seemed to be … patching leaks that sprung up faster than patches could be acquired. Making the ... energy radiating off the Commander one which sensitive creatures preferred to not have in too close proximity.
"T'Meni." The silver-haired Vulcan introduced herself with a curt nod and to her credit did not wince when somewhere behind the Trill a small, muffled explosion could be heard.
"Ensign Landon Neyes, Chief Engineer." He looked back over his shoulder. "So when can I expect someone to come out here and help us out? I've got a skeleton crew working overtime right now. You can imagine it's made us a little grumpy." He squinted for a moment and looked to the side as he remembered they were Vulcans. Maybe grumpy was beyond their scope.
"Ah. Understandable. Though likely inconvenient. However, I am not calling to confirm the station's repair schedule which I do not doubt will be adequate. Judging from the … state of your vessel I must assume you would not take it amiss if additional personnel would be made available? If you would allow a visit, I might be able to reassign some of Seleya's crew to assist."
Ever practical T'Las had already moved closer and quirked an incredulous brow at the mayhem on the viewscreen while Saskal peeked over the slender woman's shoulder like an inquisitive feline.
Landon's face scrunched into one of mild concern. "You're not from the station? Who am I talking to then? This says...," he immediately turned away from the screen and shouted to some unseen engineer, "Utweski! Check the comm designation relay! The whole damned system is put to shit." He turned back towards the Vulcans, a half-smile on his lips. "Sorry about that. I trust you didn't take my inappropriate language amiss?" He didn't really have the patience to deal with the incessant politeness that Vulcans always kept thumbed up somewhere. The scrape on his face still stung a little, and the console he was working on had suddenly decided to invert its display.
"Seleya." T'Yleh offered helpfully, an almost expression of amusement creasing her finely slanted brows before a side-glance from her S'thora made her beat a prudent retreat. "You may refer to us as Vulcan's Corps of Engineers for lack of an adequate translation." The Commander politely ignored any profanities to return to the matter at hand.
"Good. I, uh. Thanks, T'Meni was it?" He nodded. His blue eyes relaxed a little. He'd been up for so long, it was surprisingly reassuring to have someone offering to help. "I'd appreciate any help you could offer. Will you be able to get yourself here under your own power? Someone lit up our shuttlebay with combat explosives." His teeth ground together a little as he thought about it. "The airlock on deck 5 is the only one working outside our dock with the station. Port side. You'll want to use that one."
Combat explosives? Shuttlebay? T'Meni silently added this to the long list of inexplicable behavior exhibited by a variety of species and gave a brief nod "We will. If you are prepared to receive us within the hour, we shall arrive at the station's docking port. Are there sufficient Starfleet tools to equip three engineers for the time being, or should we replicate the appropriate items?"
Not that Seleya's replicators produced anything but colorful sparks at the moment, but if T'Meni's personal request was not enough to prompt the station Commander to supply them with what they needed, the planet was in a dire state indeed.
Neyes paused for a moment as he thought. The woman was being strangely helpful, for a Vulcan at least. Normally her people were passively superior and needed constant attendance in order to keep them satisfied with everyone else's work performance. Naturally they simply assumed their work was always better, since they had a handle on logical priorities and all that. Maybe, just maybe, this time they'd be different. He sighed heavily as he leaned against the console, his obvious fatigue showing. "It's up to you, Commander. I appreciate the courtesy of asking but you outrank me in just about every respect. And while I normally wouldn't bat an eye at you, all due respect, I am trying to be more... approachable. I welcome your help, and bring whatever tools you think you'll need. We have limited supplies at the moment, given half our stock was vented into space. So I wouldn't pack light." He forced a half smile, which was colored with the obvious lack of enthusiasm at being on a completely obliterated vessel.
The Vulcans simply nodded in response, and Landon gave them his little salute before turning around and cutting the comm signal.
Petty officer McKinley was standing nearby, waiting to deliver a report. Landon wiped some of the tired from his eyes, and cleared his throat. He gave the man a questioning look before asking, "You think I was too hard on them?"
"They're Vulcans, Chief. I'm sure they didn't take you seriously at all." He shrugged, handing Landon the PADD. Neyes raised an eyebrow when he noticed one of the buttons on the device wouldn't illuminate. Of course.
"Yeah, you're right. They don't really get offended, do they. Well good, then this should be cake. They'll come in, we'll overhaul the Charon, and then they'll go. No harm no foul." A satisfied grin parked itself on his face. "Easy as Vulcan pie."
His grin faded as he imagined the dish were it to actually exist.
=/\= TBC... =/\=
Ensign Landon Neyes
& Various NPCs