Tuesday, January 25, 2011

[USS Charon] SD 241101.25 || Duty Log || "Taming the Beast" || LtCmdr Landon Neyes

=/\= Engineering, USS Charon =/\=

"Bring it online." Landon stood over a console that was flaring with more information than he could really keep track of. Fortunately he only needed to track those little things like overloads and irregularities. Given his significant lack of experience working with a brand new core, the learning experience was proving to be interesting. They had already activated the core for brief periods, his extra curricular activities involving the stims and pain meds included, but this was going to be the time when they really brought the warp drive to sync with the rest of the primary systems on the Charon. Since she wasn't exactly ever 'shut off' again, it was important that everything go smoothly.

For a moment everyone held their breath. The ticking control on his console beeped in the rise in power as they began to initiate the matter/antimatter reaction deep within their systems. There was a sharp flash, then a pulsing thrum began to fill the room. He could feel Charon vibrate a little as she once again came to life. In a way he felt like he was meeting her for the first time, at least the girl he'd be living with from this point forward. In many ways she was very different from the Charon he stepped foot on a so recently. New propulsion system, new defensive systems, new heart. The Starfleet Vessel requisition and registry services had nearly thrown a fit when he'd put in for so many upgraded parts and systems, but once it hit clearance it was almost immediately approved by Starfleet command. Now, Landon wasn't exactly in tune with current Federation political atmosphere, but given the Cap's odd way of getting her ship into trouble, he at least expected to have to defend a few of the requests. It was suspicious that she would be allowed so many benefits, and maybe there was more to this ship than he first thought. The possibility didn't exactly settle well within him.

"Good. She's stable." Neyes grinned excitedly. "Prepare to increase power."

Lieutenant Nealson nodded, in his oddly silent but strong kind of way. Landon's eyes went from his readouts to the core itself. The new reaction chamber on the core itself allowed for the more traditional 'pulsing light' of the matter and antimatter, the blues and reds moving towards each other until they met in the center. By Landon's personal design, though, it also allowed for the viewing of the inside of the chamber itself. The more raw the reaction, the easier it was to display. The small tubes that occluded the light-show were basically designed to be buffers, moving the reaction materials at much more controlled speeds, while the more fantastic displays (first implemented on Intrepid class vessels) were designed to be outlets for times when the core would needs much more room for reactions. Since by Landon's own estimation warp core breaches were 'bad', he had decided long ago that it certainly wouldn't be how he ended his millennial existence.

Neyes tapped a few controls. "Oh please. Don't explode. Pretty please."

The dull hum began to throb vibrantly. "Power up 45%, the intermix ration is holding at 90/10. Core pressure at 600 mega pascals... 650... 700. We're reaching our limit."

"No, she can handle more, Lieutenant. Bring it up to 98% of maximum capacity." Neyes ordered.

The deck shook for a moment as the ship's heart began to beat faster. Given the metaphor, that's exactly what it sounded like. A heart. A giant and unbelievable heart of technology and science. Landon could feel the hairs on his arms pull upwards as goosebumps traveled up and down his body. There was so much power in these devices. In the centuries he'd witnessed, very few things compared to seeing the essence of the stars bottled up at his fingertips. How any race could see this as anything less than a miracle was absolutely beyond him.

"Core pressure at 847 mega pascals!" Nealson shouted.

"Keep pushing it!" Landon's blue eyes stared right into the charging reds and purples of the core, the lights danced off his ice-blue eyes. "Bring us to 105%."

"I'm getting power fluctuations in the primary driver coil assembly! Something interfering with the power flow!" An crewman shouted from the secondary operations console.

Landon raced over to the core diagnostic panel directly below the core itself. "Adjust the intermix to 87/13, and prepare to activate the antimatter reduction chambers!" His hands danced over the controls as he brought the new safety systems online. It appeared they'd be testing them sooner rather than later.

"Chambers ready!" Nealson yelled.

It wasn't necessary to respond, Landon simply entered in the command to flood the chambers with reactants and looked up to watch the core. The previously dull relief tubes along the core's walls suddenly burst to life. The idea was to bring pressure of the primary chambers by creating a few dead-end tubes that would dilute the energy enough to avert a complete disaster. It also served to relieve stress on other systems that might not be able to keep pace with the massive forces and energies being forced through the Charon's arteries. The math involved was painful, and he'd had Savant run a few of the numbers for him. As strange as she was, and as little as he really trusted her, there was apparently some wisdom in allowing her greater processing power aboard the ship.

"Reaction at 105%! Core pressure back down to 850 MPs... looks like we're safe."

Landon laughed a little to himself. "Until someone shoots something off. I want double redundancy installed on all the core's backups as soon as possible. I have a feeling I'm going to be keeping us from falling a part more than once while I'm here." He stepped down from the diagnostic panel. "Bring it back down to 80% and inform the Captain that the core is online and the Charon is ready with warp 9 whenever." He glanced down at his chrono. "Or in '15.5 hours', as she said we needed to be out the door by then."

"Aye, Commander."

With the core finally at full capacity, Neyes stepped into his office after giving a few orders about the rest of the day's activities now that the Charon would be traveling under her own power. It was difficult to imagine just how long a Starship needed to be watched before it could be trusted not to suddenly buckle and break. 

The hiss of the doors to his private little room slid to a close and Landon was finally allowed to rest for a moment. If only a short one. He sat as his desk with a sigh and brought the display at his desk online. Considering everything that had happened, his office was a pristine image of what he wanted in a private work environment. A few small pictures of his family and one of Lexi hung in a vertical line along the left of the doors, and a few small PADDs with reports and some books from Trill sat in a pile at the edge of his modest desk. His favorite part was the chair he'd had installed. He glowed with pleasant cheeriness as the warmed cushions lightly soothed his muscles. This was all until his terminal popped open. 

"Amazing." He said, sarcastically. While it was rare for Landon to frown openly, as he preferred to simply keep a blank face in times of irritation, this was certainly an exception. "Thirteen unread messages? Anyone ever heard of the comm system?"

Oh yes.

"Knew I forgot something..."

=/\= END LOG =/\=

Lieutenant Commander Landon Neyes
Chief Engineer