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Lt Commander Foster - Things I Learned Dating Engineers

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I have a soft spot for Wyn's snark.




((Shuttlecraft Seijin, on route to Herd location, Rakalla Province, Bajor))

This was supposed to be a casual flyby.

A safe, simple scouting mission.

And yet in the last twenty minutes it had gone from unnerving – finding out their chosen pilot was not skilled in in-atmosphere flight paths to concerning as they entered an unexpected atmospheric disturbance above the habitat of the pachitrods, and not it had turned downright confusing and dangerous as there appeared to be something or someone hiding in that atmospheric disturbance.

Wyn was starting to think he was a bad luck charm, dooming every mission to disaster simply by his presence.  And all of this while he tried his very best to make safe and careful decisions.  He wasn’t a risk taker – he was a doctor!

Foster: What do you mean there’s something hiding in the clouds?

Tito: Give some coordinates and I will either stay clear or face them. Your call Commander.

Foster: Stay clear!  We’re not here to place police or heroes.  We were here to scout!

He would like to keep the original intent well in mind and he would note that they already had far more information on their scans than anyone had expected.  Information that an intel guy like Tito could use… if they survived this.

Sill-con: Commander, I know I'm not officially qualified to recommend tactics, but if the ship assaulting us originated from the poachers or pirates then retreating would not be feasible.

Foster: How is retreating not feasible?  ::The doctor asked a question that he truly didn’t understand the answer to.:: Aren’t we faster than them?

Was this a pilot thing?  Or a tactics thing?  Or an engineering thing that he was totally unaware of?  From what he understood this was a warp capable shuttle, nimble and decent at long range and built with all the power of Starfleet behind it.  It had run teams behind enemy lines oin the Dominion war.  The Runabout class was a hardy type.

But he had no clue about cloud dwelling poacher ships.  And really he wasn’t an engineer either, he had just dated a lot of them.

Stupid adorably nerdy engineers.

Tito: Whoever they are, it’s not an official ship. The Government and Security forces are aware of our presence. Could you be right, Ensign? Is it some support ship for the poachers?

Sill-con: ::leans into monitor:: unknown sir, the ship prowls away before we could get any definitive readings, if we are to identify if the model is used by poachers we need a clear opening to scan them.

He sucked a breath in through his teeth hating every moment of this.

Foster: So we don’t know what it is, and we don’t know what it can do…

And for reasons he didn’t understand but was taking into consideration they also couldn’t just run away and come back to scan another day with a crack pilot.  

Wyn didn’t like this.  He didn’t like this one bit.

Tito: Whatever it is it’s close

Tito upped the throttle to avoid the bolts of – lightening?  Weapons?  It was difficult to tell as they crackled out of the clouds.  They could be natural.  They could be weapons made to blend in with the storm.  Or they might be a combination of the two.

Foster: Too close.  ::He drew in a short breath forcing himself to be calm.  He was the leader after all and someone had to keep this show running, now matter how much targ dung they waded into.:: How do we get some distance safely?

Sill-con: hm… I'm not sure, perhaps if we commit to a barrel roll that abruptly halts its speed may throw them off long enough to get our bearings and get a scan… maybe an opening to attack.

He turned oh so slowly and blinked.

Do a barrel roll?

He was pretty sure that, up to this point, he had only heard the words barrel roll in the terms of hot shot show off piloting maneuvers that were best attempted on the holodeck with the safeties on, and in holo games.  He had never once realized that it was an actual real-world maneuver that people used in combat. 

He was starting to wish he hadn’t slept through most of basic piloting in the academy.

Tito: Well it can’t get any worse.

Foster: You had to say it…

He intoned as a stray burst of energy welled up from the clouds and streaked out with a thunderous wave accompanying the wave of lightening.  It clipped the Seijin in the aft and slammed it forward like a tiny boat caught up in a tidal wave.

Sill-con: brace- ::shakes in chair::

Tito: You mean… 

Wyn didn’t care, he was already strapped in and he pushed Tito against his seat hard, hitting the perfect set of trigger points to prompt an immediate brace reflex in the intel officer.

He didn’t care of Tito had some antisocial tendencies and probably hated being touched.  He would apologize for doing things that helped people stay alive… never.


Eeven with the prompt Tito was jolted around like one of those shuttle crash test dummies at the academy, taking advantage of all the safety measures that had been stocked in the shuttle just for cases like this.

The inertial dampeners screamed in protest as the shuttle went sideways and Wyn’s newly fixed antennae twitched constantly, trying to figure out what way was up.

Sill-con: geh… the rear has received damage, we're not critical but we cannot take another strike commander! What are we to do?

Foster: Damage report!  And where’s our friend?

He said friend in the most sarcastic manner possible.  The ship out there was hardly a friend.

Tito: We can’t keep up, I am barely able to fly it, we have to land.

Foster: Then land!  That’s way better then dying up here!

He still wasn’t trying to play a hero, and somehow fate kept chasing them.

Sill-con: ?

Tito: Brace yourselves, I will come in a bit fast but I am confident we can land safely.

Foster: Once again, brace means brace…

Sill-con: ?

The altitude dropped severely and Wyn clenched his teeth and prayed to whatever gods in the universe that hated them right now to not be sick.  He never did zero grav well and a sudden altitude drop was dangerously close to a zero grav experience.

Therefore dangerously close to the barf zone.

Don’t barf.  That would only make things worse.

Tito: Surely we had to land in the middle of the phachytrods…

Foster: Please don’t hit the things we’re tasked to protect…

He said it through clenched teeth, willing himself not to be sick.

That would be one fun report.  ‘Dear Commodore, we kinda killed the things you sent us to protect.  The poachers love us, now…’

Sometimes the most dangerous thing in the world wasn’t a criminal, but a well-intentioned idiot.

And he wasn’t sure how, but he was pretty sure that under his leadership this team had become just that.

Sill-con: ?

Well, he had to give Tito credit as he swerved away from the herd of pachitrods.  Points for keeping to the mission, but the damaged shuttle wasn’t doing so well on the descent.

This was not going to be a soft landing by any stretch of the imagination.

Wyn glanced over and watched the sweat bead up and drip down Tito’s brow and he frowned.  That told him the shuttle was less under Tito’s control and more under the suggestion of where to go and gravity was in control of the rest.


Wyn grit his teeth.  His father had lost a leg in a shuttlecraft crash, and for years Wyn had desperately tried to not become his father, only to very much become his father.

Oh please, fate, he really would like to keep both legs.  Both arms.  Both antennae.

As the tip of the nose turned upwards, alarms blared, the shuttle shields flared and the safety measures went off, Wyn grabbed the straps of the seat, brought his legs towards him to curl up in the most protective position possible and braced.

Exhaust vents hissed, alarms shrieked, the lights guttered.  The shuttle hit the ground with a booming impact.

And then it spun.

And spun.

And spun.

He sucked in a breath.  Awesome.  He was alive.

And he was still the leader.  Great.  This was all his fault.  And he was sure several someone’s would have his head for this.  For trying to be safe.  For trying to be careful.

Tito: Sound off, Commander, Ensign, still with me?

Foster: I am unfortunately still alive and apparently in one piece.

With both legs, both arms and both antennae.  That was decent.

His head was ringing from the noise and the impact.  That wasn’t a head injury, it was sensory overload on his still healing antennae.  He was dizzy as a result, that swimmy sense of vertigo.

Therefore he wasn’t moving.

Sill-con: ?

He lifted his head listening to a strange arrythmic drumming sound coming from outside.

Foster: What’s that sound… ?

He asked it.


And then immediately wished he didn’t ask it.

He didn’t think these things could stampede.

Apparently they could.

Foster: Polarize the hull plating.  ::He said almost by instinct.:: Run the reserve energy from the engines to do it.

Because clearly they didn’t need the engines anymore.

Despite his almost total lack of engineering knowledge he said it with such confidence that it was a clear and precise, unquestionable order.

Tito/Sill-con: ?

Foster: Amp up as much of the power reserves into the hull plating and don’t move.  Don’t touch the outer walls, you’ll get a nasty shock…

Tito/Sill-con: ?

Foster: What can I say?  I have a bad habit of dating engineers and sometimes that nerdy engineering bedroom talk teaches you stupid things that I guess save you from stampeding elephant-cows.

If he ever saw Choi Ji-hu again he would have to thank the Engineer for that tidbit.

Then again Ji-hu had suffered from a Vulcan mindmeld that Wyn had forbade due to the dangers involved… and was never really the same person after that.

But it was funny how the past sometimes came up to help you in the present, even if that was buttersweet.

Tito/Sill-con: ?

As the energy from the damaged engines coursed across the hull the atmosphere in the shuttle started to crackle with an uncomfortable sense of static electricity.  Outside the pachitrods started to naturally part around the crackling shuttle.  One particularly impulsive big male tried to ram the rear end of the shuttle and immediately gave a mooing-yelp as an electric charge crackled against it’s hide.  It stumbled drunkenly away and then started running with the herd.

After that the remaining pachtrods gave the Seijin a wide berth.

Wyn let out the breath he was holding and panted for a bit of extra oxygen.

Foster: Well, that could have gone way better…

He didn’t want to say it couldn’t have gone worse, because it could and he didn’t want worse.

Tito/Sill-con: ?

Foster: Are there any injuries and are the comms still working?

Get the two critical next pieces of information on the table.

Tito/Sill-con: ?


Lt Commanedr Shar’Wyn Foster
Chief Surgeon
StarBase 118 Ops

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