=/\= USS Charon, Main Engineering =/\=
A lonely breath escaped Landon's lips as he stood, eyes closed, in his home away from home. The air was warm and still, vibrating with the hum of his instruments. Nothing moved except the slowly concentrated heartbeats in his chest. He could practically hear wall and console screaming out to him, their different positions across the room reflecting sounds and vibrations which belied their locations around him. The slightest movement and rhythm within his earshot resounded to him like an orchestra of a heavily complicated body he had helped create. As much time as he'd spent in this massive room, Landon knew it better than the original designers probably did. The purple hue of the warp-core lit across his eyelids as he stood before it, alone in Engineering.
It had been a devastatingly difficult last two months. Or was it three? The details escaped him a little, as he had eventually stopped keeping a regular schedule. He had slept when he couldn't see straight any longer, and woken as soon as someone needed his help. More than a few times Neyes spent the night in a Jefferies tube, with his commbadge power supply ripped out so he could get some sleep. His arms still held small bruises from the detail work they'd been doing around the ship, and his eyes carried uncharacteristically large bags beneath them. He felt nearly 20 years older, and imagined he would for the coming weeks before he could really fully recover. The ship was repaired though, and it was glorious. Every bulkhead, every beam, every cable, every conduit. Charon was all in working order and humming with the fiercely powerful engine at her core.
Landon had taken the opportunity to redesign some of the propulsion systems to "alternative" specifications. These new and special technical marvels still fell within Starfleet regs, for now, but would eventually evolve into the ship he'd always dreamed of serving on. A ship capable of creating a maximum stable warp field in less than three seconds, like a Defiant class but much larger than any other before her. A ship able to readily calculate the massive "non thrust" maneuvers like a space superiority fighter. Small, wildly hot bursts from the engines that propel her far longer than her normal engines could with her inertial class. The primary problem with all these things was the power requirements normally destroyed the ship trying to wield them. Landon had some ideas on that, though. He'd had some protective grids deployed along the hull as well, which he'd have to have a staff meeting about to explain them all.
The shifts were bare, as the Charon readied to move from repairs to a mission. He had almost an hour alone before anyone had any reason to be in Main Engineering.
For now, he could rest.
"Computer realign the phase emitters in field coil gamma four to my personal settings." He said quietly.
The computer chimed in response, but lacked it's normal voiced compliance, as if it was knowingly acknowledging his command.
Instantly Neyes felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, and the muscles in his arms tightened. The air stiffened as the core's reactant containment field began to harmonize with the kelbonite crystal formations that sealed it out from the rest of the world. A low thrum of bold and reverberating waves swept through the atmosphere in the room when the separating fields moved against each other in a calculated pattern. They moved through Landon and his uniform, and it's cloth lithely moved against his skin. It was something he'd been unable to recreate on any other ship he'd served on, other than his own vessels long ago. The experience was nothing less than getting lost in a song, and it moved him to the deepest parts of his soul every time he had the chance to listen to the hymn of a vessel. Each time it was different, for any number of thousands of possible variables.
The "hymn" was quite possibly the closest he'd ever allowed himself to a drug before this. Landon figured it touched some closed off section of his brain that released some chemicals, made him feel euphoria, and allowed him to experience this brilliance. He couldn't care less. Chemicals be damned. Now that he had nearly unlimited control over the smooth running of the Charon's systems, this was one of the first things he made sure he installed. The setting were tricky, and looked unnecessary to anyone who didn't know what he was doing, so he had to do it alone... a task nearly impossible for anyone other than the captain or the chief engineer.
Landon's heavy and tired head moved to the side and rolled across his shoulders as he let the vibrations cast across him. The smooth fabric of his uniform's shoulder brushed over his cheek and a little sound of pleasure groaned somewhere deep in his throat. He allowed himself to release entirely and relax in the sounds of his ship. It would have been perfect... except for the lingering pain in his arm from his recovering implant. But he had a solution for that.
With a little flick of his wrist, a small hypo appeared in his hand. A combination of stims and pain meds that Landon had been using to keep himself sharp ever since his injury, and since the massive damage to the Charon. It kept him in one piece, and it kept him comfortable, it kept him sane. At first he'd been worried about using it too often, but the doses had become all but second nature to him now. He took them once when he woke up, usually twice again sometime in the day, and then before he went to bed. The results were instantly gratifying, and they were immensely helpful. Landon pressed the hypo to his right arm and released the drugs. Relief was immediate. It had just become so easy to let them take away his discomfort. The stims took the edge off the longer shifts, and the meds made sure he could work when the pain started to get too bad. He didn't have time to spend a day in the medical bay having to doctor try to re-tune his implant, and it was just going to bother him again later anyway. Landon saw little point in paying it any more attention than it was due until the Charon was back out in open space.
Neyes allowed himself to slip even further into his euphoria as he sank to the ground, his legs bent beneath him. Sitting down and pressing his back against the side of the pool table, he felt it start to take him. The combination of the meds and the hymn were breathtaking. He sucked in a tight gasp as the feelings rocked him with surprise and sent his head moving in a wonderfully satisfying motion. It was almost sensual, and he ran a quick hand up his calf and across his stomach just to feel it happen. The tips of his fingers slid coolly across his body. They felt like him, and someone else, all at the same time. There were very few things Landon did that he considered to be truly against his standards of living as a Trill and as an officer. He prided himself on being strong in the face of adversity. But he needed this. It was important.
Taking in another breath, feeling the air move from his lips, down his windpipe and filling his lungs... all of it felt fanstastic. He bit his lower lip. His hand subconsciously moved through his short hair, feeling it twine between his fingers. It was amazing.
He needed this. It was important.
It was... important.
=/\= END LOG =/\=