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[Round 18] Remembering Freddy


Julia Harden
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(( Main Engineering – USS Indria-A ))

:: The ship was abuzz with activity. Nathan was monitoring the situation from his office and was hoping all his staff was ready for whatever happened with the Darians. So far this mission, the First Contacts had been a little rough… but no shots had been fired yet and the Captain seemed to have everything under control. ::

:: Both Beta and Gamma shifts were on duty now, hoping for the best of the situation but preparing for the worst. All the team leaders had reported in and now, with baited breath, the Chief Engineer just waited for something to happen. ::

oO In the middle of a Class 11 nebula, being trailed by a race of robots, confronting a species we know little about, and we’ve got our proverbial pants around our ankles… just another day in Starfleet. Oo

:: Nathan, with his still out-of-place nose, smiled to himself at the thought. “To boldly go where no one has gone before” was certainly appropriate this day. ::

:: As the engineers walked about checking and re-checking all the systems, the Chief was pleased with how the crew had composed themselves since the incident with the Caronians. Even though they were still monitoring the engine room from the entrance, nobody had done anything stupid to provoke them. They still had the capacity to breach the core with their weapons… unless Nathan could react quickly enough to erect a containment field, which he had ready to go just in case something DID happen to go wrong. ::

Cowell: Excuse me, sir?

:: Nathan turned to his left as Petty Officer Cowell spoke. The Chief noticed his Australian drawl right away. ::

Baker: What do you have for me?

Cowell: The computer is reporting a small drop in pressure from the main impulse driver coil manifold. I’ve checked it several times and it seems within nominal tolerance, but the computer is still reading a problem.

Baker: Hmm, could be a problem with the manifold sensors or the command coordinator from the computer itself. We don’t have time to track it down right now. Go ahead and override the computer’s report and we’ll figure it out later. And, just in case, switch to the secondary manifold.

Cowell: Aye sir.

:: This was no time to track down a computer glitch, there were bigger fish to fry. But Nathan couldn’t help remember something… ::

(( Flashback: SS Fredricks – Jupiter Station Docking Port ))

:: The old freighter had seen quite a few better days. At least it still ran well for the most part. Yet, it wasn’t too surprising if paint was seen chipping from off the corridor walls, or there were some drips from the archaic cooling system. That’s what happens when a 75 old Victoria class freighter misses a few overhauls. However, Captain Ray Baker still took the ship everywhere across the quadrant. ::

:: Fredrick, or “Freddy” as the crew called her, hadn’t run a full load of freight for about ten years. Nowadays, she was a courier for smaller, low priority loads like cheap wine, flatware, or the occasional food stuffs to Alpha Centauri or maybe Tellar if they were lucky to get the contract and the cargo was right. ::

(( Engine Room ))

:: Under one of the rusting bulkheads, a pair of legs wearing grey pants and half a torso stuck out. Lights were flashing from inside where the man was working… and the occasional swear word came could be heard as well. From across the room, the main doors to the bay opened and a lady in her late 40’s appeared in faded beige coveralls. She was short with brown hair tied up in a bun and blue eyes that looked a little confused. She walked over to the pair of legs, looked down, sighed, and squatted down off to the right side of the legs. ::

Woman: You know, your Father will probably kill you if you mess anything up in there.

:: A familiar voice echoed from under the bulkhead as sparks and lights flew out. ::

Man: He’s not going to kill me Mom! As a matter of fact, he’ll thank me!

Linda Baker: Oh? And why is that?

:: The sparks stopped and an 18 year old Nathan Baker popped out from his work space. He wore a filthy white t-shirt and had the top-part of his coveralls tied around his waist. His face was covered in a mix of sweat and grime, but he had a big smile on his face. ::

Nathan: Because I’ve finally fixed the main impulse drive manifold!

:: The two of them stood up and Nathan wiped his brow. He walked over the main systems console followed closely by his mother… who was about a foot and-a-half shorter than him. ::

Linda: Just because you’ve gotten into Starfleet Academy doesn’t mean you have the know-how to fix your Father’s ship. Besides that manifold hasn't worked for at least 4 years... your Father is conviced it has a Gremlin in it.

:: Nathan locked eyes with his Mother. He had a [...]y look in his eye and a pesky little grin on his face. ::

Nathan: Oh ye of little faith. Just watch and be amazed...

:: A few controls activated and the main impulse drive came to life. The read-outs showed good flow to the reactors. Nathan's grin got even bigger. Linda, shocked at how well things seemed to be going, smiled and patted her son on the back. ::

Linda: Well, I might have to take that back. Everything looks…

:: BANG! A flash came from the bulkhead where Nathan had been working and the engine room was quickly bathed in darkness. About a second later, emergency lights came on showed smoke rising through the chamber. A klaxon began blaring and the two looked at each other again. Nathan’s look of confidence now replaced with disappointment. ::

Linda: You had better be ready with a good explanation, kid.

:: Nathan then realized he’d have to explain this to his father… and the look of disappointment turned to dread. The doors opened in front of the two behind the console. Standing there with fists clinched in rage and biting his lower lip… Nathan’s Father. ::

Nathan: Um… (Nathan’s eyes batted around as he tried to think of something to say…) SURPRISE!?

:: With one step, the angered man walked into the bay and the doors shut behind him. Nathan closed his eyes and tried to go to his "happy place." ::

(( Flash Forward: Main Engineering – USS Indria-A ))

:: The Chief was still waiting for word from the Bridge. Still no shooting from either side… but Nathan knew that could change in a millisecond. ::

TBC

---------

Lt.(jg) Nathan Baker

Chief Engineering Officer

USS Indria-A

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