Chapter three is ready
Stardate 53105.0 USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia, Lower Engineering
V'ras stood at the console looking at the readout, his head slightly tilted to the right side and his left eye brow raised ever so slightly. The computer readout was puzzling him, if he were human he would probably say it annoyed him, but that would be an emotional response, and V'ras would not succumb to such basic primal instincts.
"Lieutenant, the readout still says not enough power is reaching the reactor," an ensign shouted from another console.
V'ras turned his head and starred a blank look at the ensign, of course he could see what the readout said, he was looking at the same readout, it was obvious; the question was why. V'ras wanted so much, he wanted to serve on a Vulcan only ship, like the T'Kumbra or the Soval, he wanted to stop being assigned to human teams; they were always so chaotic and he wanted to not have to listen to any more obvious points, that humans so often stated.
"Ensign, I want you to replace all the isolinear circuits in junction forty four alpha," V'ras ordered to the young man, there was no need to replace those circuits, they had nothing to do with the reactor, but it was a way in order to get him out of Engineering and away from him. As the ensign left he was glad that at least on this assignment he was the most senior officer in engineering, having been placed in charge of the engineering team building of Nightingale after the completion of the USS St Bernards and USS Hippocrates, which he had been a team member of both.
V'ras knew the ship like it was a member of his family, and he felt the same appreciation for the ship as he did for his parents. It was only logical that such an intimate bond had occurred; as for six months, he had lived and breathed this vessel and nothing else. Now he was going to be the chief engineer on the vessel, which as he had said to Admiral Jenkins was only logical.
As V'ras stared at the computer screen as it gave him readouts of the warp reactor. Something was stopping most of the power from getting to the reactor, something that should be a simple problem, but V'ras, despite his vast knowledge of the ship, had no knowledge of what was causing the slight drop in power. V'ras knew he was against the clock, the ship was due to leave in just a few hours and he could have more work to do than was possible in that time.
"Lieutenant, what is going on with my engine?" asked a male voice from behind V'ras. V'ras turned round to see Captain John Wilcox coming towards him, his strides were well placed, purposeful with each hit on the ground.
"Captain, sir," V'ras replied, "the reactor is not accepting the entire power that we are trying to draw into it." V'ras brought up a schematic of the reactor with lines showing the flow of power and pointed to the two different figures, one that stated the amount that was trying to be pushed into the system and the other what the reactor was taking in.
"What is the cause?" the Captain responded as he leaned over the control panel to look at the brightly coloured diagram, his eyes shifting left to right studying the screen with a passion. V'ras wondered if Captain Wilcox understood what was on the screen or whether he was pretending to be an all knowing Captain.
"I have no idea," V'ras had to admit that, it was not what he wanted to say, but as a Vulcan he could not lie, "I have taken the power intake apart and put it back together."
The Captain seemed to ponder at the situation for a moment; V'ras wanted to tell the Captain that this meeting was wasting his time, which considering the need for speed was illogical to say the least, but that was something fascinating about the way that the Captain reacted to the problem.
"Perhaps you've sprung a leak Lieutenant?"
"A leak sir?" asked V'ras, surprised by the suggestion made by the commanding officer, "what do you mean by a leak?"
The Captain started tapping on the controls and brought up another group of statistics, on the screen showed the power distribution, represented by a red to green scale of how much of the power was present all over the system. "It seems to me, something in the system is draining the power, drawing power from the system when it shouldn't be."
"That would seem to be like a leak and the problem that we have," V'ras suggested, it was another obvious human point, but said in a new way that made it seem different, "but where?"
"Well that is now the question," Captain Wilcox sighed as he looked at the readout, "I was hoping for something more concrete on this readout, but I'm not the expert," he replied as he stood up straight giving V'ras a look that made the Vulcan feel uncomfortable, "you are."
"My position as chief engineer was assured as I have overseen the engineering team on this vessel," V'ras was proud of his position, he had only been in Starfleet for a few years, and at a tender age of twenty six he was already a chief engineer.
"What's the bottom line?"
"The bottom line sir?" another human expression that confused V'ras had popped up from the Captain.
"What does this mean? How fast can we go?" the Captain asked V'ras, his voice now strained.
V'ras considered the question, tilting his head to his right again, "Warp seven," he replied quickly.
John didn't look happy at the answer, V'ras was wondering if his primal instincts to tear up equipment would come out of the calm persona that humans like to portray, yet have yet to manage. "Try to do what you can at this stage," Wilcox replied, "but I want this ship ready to go by the launch time, you'll have to make any further changes at our next stop."
V'ras nodded in agreement, for a human he made sense, "These orders sir," V'ras started to say, "They seem illogical to send a barely functional ship out on this kind of mission, if you don't mind me saying sir?" Although it was not the Vulcan way to question orders, V'ras felt an unnerving urge to point out the illogical orders that they had been given.
The Captain seemed to bite his lip, V'ras had an urge to try to sense the Captain's thought at this moment, it would be fascinating, but that would be an intrusion of privacy and that wasn't the Vulcan way.
"Orders are orders Lieutenant," the Captain responded, "they don't have to be logical, we just have to follow them."
"Aye sir," replied V'ras.
"Lieutenant V'ras where the hell is that damn engineer that is assigned to sickbay?" shouted another voice from behind the Captain. The Captain turned round to see who was shouting. "My apologies Captain, I didn't realise you were here," the voice continued, a slight reddish around the cheeks of the woman dressed in a science uniform, V'ras instantly recognised that she was embarrassed.
"Not a problem Doctor," replied Wilcox, he seemed half amused by her embarrassment.
Lieutenant Commander Rachel Burton was the chief medical officer on the Nightingale, from what V'ras had gathered she was a competent doctor, but was outspoken and demanding. An engineer was supposed to be stationed to work on the sickbay equipment permanently, but in the need for the ship to be ready in time for the departure, V'ras had reassigned the ensign to work on the dilithium matrix.
"I've had to reassign them," V'ras said, "I need every engineer able to work on the engines until we leave space dock."
"I don't care," Burton's voice rose with anger embedded into the words, "I need the imaging chamber up and running, who knows what injuries I could be facing from the Brave."
"The imaging chamber will not help this ship out of space dock Commander," V'ras voice was calm, collective and Vulcan, it seemed only to annoy the doctor more, "It is only logical to work on the systems that we need first before working on other."
The Captain had seemed amused by the small disagreement that had erupted in engineer, "Doctor," the Captain interrupted the conversation before it got out of hand, "It will be several days before we reach the Gorn border, you'll have plenty of time with the engineer in order to get the imaging chamber working," the Captain paused, "until then, I am sure you have other preparations in which you can be getting on with."
Rachel Burton nodded in agreement.
The Captain gave a nod to both the engineer and the doctor and walked out of the room with a commanding yet unsteady stride. V'ras raised an eyebrow for a second, contemplating about what sort of a commander the Captain was going to make, at the moment he didn't seem all too comfortable with the role.
"Is there anything else Doctor?"
"No," the Doctor hastily replied and also walked out of the room.
Stardate 53105.1 USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia, Chief Medical Officer's Office
Rachel stormed into her office, if there were still manually opening doors she would have slammed it shut to show her annoyance at the situation. Instead she had to make do with just throwing herself down in defiance on the chair that sat behind her small inconvenient desk.
She was made to succumb to a Lieutenant; she needed that ensign to repair her equipment; that was his job not some dilitium matrix. She would have to make a point of this to the Captain at some other time.
Nurse Williams approached the office door from sickbay, popping her head round the corner and giving a broad, apprehensive smile, "Not a good time doctor?" she asked.
"What is it Williams?" Rachel found herself saying, she didn't want to deal with anything, she wanted to lock herself in the office and complete the paperwork that she had flung across her desk before they left space dock.
"The last of the medical supplies have arrived sir," Williams announced with a smile on her face, something that Williams was adept at doing, despite what trouble there was, she smiled through it all, especially to patients. Rachel had seen her work during the Breen attack on Earth, and some of those who had died from injuries her care had done so with a smile from a comforting beautiful face.
"Cargo bay three, that's out designated storage compartment." Burton said, a stinging tone to her voice, it wasn't Williams fault that she hadn't got her way, but for some reason Burton found herself taking it out on the poor head nurse.
"Its full sir," Williams replied.
Rachel threw down the padd that she was working on, she had no authorisation to place any medical equipment in any other place, and none of the other cargo bays were secure enough or had the right storage setup. Burton thought about how much medical equipment that they must be carrying for there to be too much for the large cargo bay to be full, it started to boggle her mind.
"Start to take some out of storage then," Rachel replied, "Put some of the most used equipment in the right areas of the medical bays," Rachel looked up at her chief nurse, "anything else?"
The nurse entered the room fully and sat down in front of the desk, still giving her bright, cheerful smile, "Couldn't get the young ensign back?" she asked.
Rachel shook her head, the anger she felt about the situation was rooted in her thoughts at the moment.
"It's okay," Williams replied, "It'll be more than a few days until we need it Doctor," she continued, "And I'm far too busy to keeping an eye on some grease monkey to make sure he calibrating it correctly."
Rachel found a tickle in the back of her throat, it was the beginning of a laugh, she didn't want to laugh, but her head nurse sometimes made some funny comments. "Alright, I'm overreacting," her head nurse also had a unique way of making a point, without actually saying a word, "I just want my medical deck working before we leave."
"Well that was never going to happen now we're leaving early was it Doctor!"
Rachel realised that now, she just didn't want to admit it; perhaps she wouldn't speak to the Captain later. Rachel noticed that Williams was still wearing her warrant officers rank, "Where's your ensigns badge?" she asked, changing the conversation away from her and to her nurse.
"My commission isn't official until next week," Williams replied, her voice for once showing disappointment.
Rachel nodded, "I'll speak to Medical, we'll get it moved forward."
Williams gave another trademark smile and nodded to Rachel who at last smiled back. Her job seemed done; Williams left Rachel alone, Rachel was glad of that.