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Old July 31 2009, 05:14 AM   #1
trampledamage
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July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

Not Everyone's Happy

July Challenge: Major Malfunction
2655 words




"zegretting matomagrack resto frayl magenillan"

Scotty recognised that sound; Keenser was cursing in his native language. Scotty ran over to the maintenance hatch that he knew Keenser was working in, running some performance tests of Scotty's own design - tests that Scotty required completed before he would be personally happy with the Enterprise's engineering repairs.

Standing at the entrance to the hatch, Scotty looked in at his friend. The small alien was standing holding the testing scanner and poking at it with a finger. His cursing had subsided to a mutter but he was obviously frustrated by something.

"What's up, big man?" Scotty called up.

Keenser sighed, and gestured for Scotty to come into the tunnel. Scotty climbed up and crawled over to the work-station. He saw that Keenser had been running the tests to validate the performance of the air filtration system. He looked over at Keenser and waited for him to explain.

Keenser cocked his head on one side, trying to think of the correct English word to use. He pointed to the filtration control unit and said, "Banjaxed."

"No way!" Scotty was shocked. It was five months since he had been on Delta Vega, keeping the relay station there running on a prayer and a shoestring and he was getting used to having an engineering system that actually worked, and this one was supposed to have just been repaired.

Keenser thrust the testing scanner at him, "They've completely bollocksed it up," the alien said crossly.

Keenser watched his friend and mentor as Scotty looked at the scanner readings. For several minutes the only sound was the quiet click of Keenser's second eyelids.

"Bloody hell," Scotty breathed. "You're right on the mark with 'completely bollucksed' big lad." He sat back on his heels thinking. "I don't understand it... this isn't even a section that was on the repair list." He grinned at his friend, "Well we'd best be finding out what those idiots were monkeying around at, hadn't we, eh? Come on!"

Scotty climbed out of the maintenance duct and jogged back to his office, he leaned over the mountainous piles of bits of circuitry and technical manuals that covered his desk to reach the comm-system button, pressed it and spoke, "All engineers on duty report to central engineering immediately."

As he waited for his engineering team to make it back to him, Scotty puzzled over the question that was bothering him most, 'If, for whatever reason, the repair engineers at Cochrane Station had felt it necessary to fix the filtration system why wasn't it listed on the repair sheet?'

* * *

There was silence in the conference room as Scotty finished explaining his findings. Spock spoke first.

"You are to be commended on your thoroughness Mr Scott. My understanding is that standard procedure is to test only those areas listed on the repair sheet."

"Aye, it is, which is why I gave us the all clear to get underway. But I like to do my own testing afterwards. Just for peace of mind, I wasna expecting to actually find something broken."

Kirk rubbed his eyes, "Explain it to me again, Scotty, simply. What is broken?"

"The main air filtration control junction, Captain."

"Air filtration?" McCoy interjected, "Come on Scotty, if that was broken there'd be alarms all over the place!"

"Right you are, Doc. It's still working, but it's definitely broken. I give it, two days of use."

"Two days?" McCoy was horrified, "But we're almost at..."

"At the Thessalian Cloud." Spock finished for him, "Out of reach of any starbase."

"How long would the ship run without filtration?" Kirk asked.

McCoy answered this question, "Maybe seventy-two hours. The thing to do would be to put everyone inside the evacuation shuttles. But this far out, the shuttles would never get back by themselves, so we'd need to keep them onboard and a crew on the bridge. We could stretch that time by blocking off as much of the ship as possible, but not by much."

"At maximum warp, we would need four days to get back to Starbase 9." Spock calculated. "They don't have a large repair facility, but they could give us enough to then get back to Cochrane Station."

"Where whoever did this will quietly fix this to make it look like we can't run the ship." Kirk said grimly.

"I beg your pardon, Captain, are you suggesting sabotage?" Spock asked.

"Think it through, Spock. This change wasn't on the manifest, but it's definitely been tampered with and set up to fail at the worst point for us."

"Good God," McCoy muttered, "there are over a thousand crew on board. Did this saboteur plan to kill us all?"

"I don't think so, Doc" Scotty replied. "If they wanted to kill us they could have done so in any number of ways impossible to spot in testing: cascade failure of the dilithium chamber, misalignment of the nacelles, damage to the deflector shield, even add something to the filtration system to poison us if they don't want to blow up the ship, or..."

"Allright, allright" McCoy interrupted, "I have nightmares enough already, I don't need any more ideas. If the plan wasn't to kill us all, what was it?"

"Perhaps it was exactly as the Captain described it." Spock suggested, "To make us look foolish on our first mission. There are many in Starfleet who did not approve of Admiral Pike selecting the Captain as his replacement."

"Can't imagine why," McCoy teased.

"I know, some people are immune to my charm." Kirk grinned. "So, thanks to Scotty's mistrust of other engineers." He smiled over to Scotty, "thank you for that by the way. Anyway, thanks to Scotty, we know in advance that the system will fail. What can we do?"

"Return immediately to Cochrane Station and get it replaced." Spock replied.

Kirk was doubtful, "See if we do that, we run into the same problem. Who ever set this up will replace it, and we'll have run home to mamma obviously unable to cope with running the ship."

"Jim, we can't keep going!" McCoy was horrified by the idea, "Breathing isn't something to mess around with!"

Kirk sat quietly, tapping his fingers against the table while he worked things out.

"We have forty-eight hours until the junction breaks down, seventy-two hours of air after that and we'll need ninety-six hours to reach a starbase. Which gives us twenty-four hours before we need to go back."

Spock nodded, "That is correct."

"Are you both crazy!" McCoy exploded, "That's cutting it awfully fine, I agree Scotty's a damn good engineer but the idiot on Cochrane who did this probably isn't."

Kirk smiled, "It's okay Bones, I'm not going to go that far. Spock, arrange for a full-stop of the engines. Scotty, you have twelve hours to figure out a way to fix the filter control. Getting it done sooner would be good. Use whatever you need that you can find on the ship." He thought for a moment, "But don't use the systems on any of the emergency shuttles. I wouldn't want to be without those."

With that, he stood up and left the room.

"Bloody hell," Scotty said.

"Good luck, Scotty" McCoy said with a grin.

* * *

Back in Engineering, Scotty sat at one of the work-benches, with his legs stretched out and his head tipped back staring at the ceiling. He sighed and lifted his head to look out over at his engineering team.

"That's what we've got. Twelve hours to come up with a way to fix the air system using just what we have on board."

He jumped up, "Cartaris and McKenzie, you two inventory all the stores so we've got a list of everything we might use. Johannsen, you and Benjamin create a simulation unit so we can test any fixes. Perry, Hector, Schreiber and Manion- you work with me and Keenser, we've got to come up with ideas."

Scotty led the five engineers over to the maintenance hatch where Keenser had been doing his testing. He climbed in first.

"Squeeze in lads," he called out, "there's room if you don't try to do a boogie."

After everyone had managed to get themselves, if not exactly settled in the tight fit of the tunnel then at least balanced and able to see the monitor for the air filtration system, Scotty explained what he had Keenser had so far discovered about the possible sabotage to the system.

"Look here," he said, pointing to the monitor. "This is the main control junction for all of the filtration systems on the ship." Scotty pressed a control on the monitor to show a close-up of the control junction. "Someone on Cochrane has weakened the membranes, so that they'll start leaking the excess gases back into the mix."

The group of six engineers spent the rest of the shift, studying the schematics of the filtration system, trying to work out some way of fixing the control junction without shutting it all down. Perhaps by re-routing the airflows, or by building a protective cage, or any of a dozen other ideas. All good ones but always there was something that meant it wasn't an option to use.

At the end of the shift, Scotty groaned and rubbed his temples, "A full shift and all we've got to show for it is a pile of rejected ideas and a splitting headache." Scotty sighed, "If we were at a station, it'd be no trouble - take the system off line, pull it out and replace the parts."

"Could we not do that now, sir?" Lieutenant Nils Johannsen asked, "It wouldn't take long, the air we have would last."

Scotty stretched, "Aye, it would. If things went well, but what if there's a problem we canna see yet? No, we'll not risk it. Dammit, there has to be something we can do! Our first trip out on the Enterprise, and we figure out that some eejit's broken Engineering and we can't fix it."

Ensign Martha Schreiber smiled sympathetically, "We've got four more hours sir."

"Aye, aye I know. Oh, but my head hurts - I'm going to be dreaming of air flows once we're done here!"

Schreiber laughed, "Maybe you should see Dr McCoy - get him to give you something to help you sleep."

Scotty stopped moving, and stared at her, then he jumped up, "Martha, you are a genius! Dr McCoy, of course!"

Scotty ran out of engineering, leaving the other engineers sitting bemused, Martha looked at them and laughed, "If I'm a genius, why don't I understand what he's talking about?"

Keenser chuckled, "Don't worry - he's always like this. He'll tell us soon."

* * *

"You want me to what? Are you crazy?"

McCoy was, predictably, not too keen on Scotty's idea, he sat back down in his chair and waved Scotty to the other chair in the office, "Sit down man, you're bouncing around like a jackrabbit in June, it's making me nervous."

Scotty sat down, "Look Doc, it'll only be temporary. I just want to use one of your quarantine rooms. They have their own air supply. I can take that system, plug it into the main filtration pathways and it'll keep everything running while we take the main control junction off line and fix it."

"Let me see if I understand you. You want me to let you use the air system in one of the quarantine rooms?"

"Yes." Scotty replied brightly.

"A team of engineers working in a Q-room?"

"Yes."

"In my sickbay?"

"Ah, yes."

"Worst case scenario - for how long?"

"Ah..."

"For how long, Scotty?" McCoy growled.

"Until the end of the mission?"

"Until the end of the... Are you out of your mind? I have a sickbay to run! I can't have it turned upside down by a bunch of gallumphing engineers running about the place!"

"It probably won't be that long. I promise they'll be careful. Come on, Doc, please. We can't even start to fix the main filter unless we can take it off-line, and we can't do that until we have a back-up in place. The only other filters on the ship are sick-bay and the shuttles."

McCoy sighed, "And the Captain said don't use the shuttles. Fine, I'll let you use one of the q-rooms. But you make sure your engineers understand, my nurses are in charge. If they say to do something, your people jump."

"Understood." Scotty jumped up, eager to get started again. "I'll send a team down straight-away"

He ran out of McCoy's office. McCoy leaned back into his chair and ran his hands through his hair, "What have I let myself in for?" he quietly asked the ceiling.

* * *

Two hours later, Schreiber and Manion were huddled over the local filter control within the quarantine room. Scotty had left them very specific instructions "Stay quiet and be nice!" They connected the local filter into the main ship's air-supply, providing a secondary system. After checking it was working correctly, Ensign Schreiber left the q-room and approached Dr McCoy who was watching them sternly.

"Dr McCoy, could I please borrow a comms system, I need to talk to Commander Scott."

McCoy grunted, "At least he sent someone with manners. Yes, use the one in my office."

* * *

Down in Engineering, Scotty received Schreiber's call with a shout of joy. He ran out of the office and over to the maintenance hatch.

"They've got the filter running," he shouted up to Keenser and Perry, "By-pass the control junction, and pull it right out of the system. We'll fix it down here." He turned back to main engineering, "Carteris, McKenzie" he called out, "We're going to need three sets of size 12 filter membranes and clamps."

* * *

Thirty minutes before the deadline set by Kirk, Scotty called back up to Sickbay.

"McCoy here."

"It's Scotty, I need to talk to Schreiber."

McCoy didn't respond, but Scotty could hear him through the open comm signal as he shouted out to Schreiber.

"Ensign Schreiber here, sir."

"We've got the main control junction back online and it's passed all our tests. I need you to take the secondary filter off-line" Scotty instructed.

"Hold on sir, I'll get Tim to do it now."

Scotty heard her run off. She came back in just a couple of minutes slightly out of breath. "Tim has it off-line, sir."

"Fast work Schreiber, I'm impressed!"

Schreiber laughed, "Tim's been practicing it for the last two hours with some of Dr McCoy's equipment."

"Good enough, Martha" Scotty said with a smile. "Stay by the comm, I'll give you the all clear to pack up as soon as we've tested the main junction again."

* * *

Scotty sat down in the rec room with a well-earned mug of coffee. He was just leaning in to take a first mouthful when Kirk came past and smacked him on the shoulder in congratulation.

"Nice work, Scotty. Saved us a lot of bother."

"Glad to be of service, Captain."

Kirk laughed and left him in peace to enjoy his break.

* * *

Nurse Chapel had just finished calibrating a set of medi-scanners ready for a group of Andorian crewmen who were due for their annual physicals. She was passing the quarantine rooms when she saw Dr McCoy standing in the middle of the room that the engineers had used.

"Dr McCoy? Is there a problem?" she asked. She looked inside, the room looked spotless, with no sign of the engineers ever having worked there.

"Hmm?" McCoy looked around at her, "Oh, no, no problem. Everything looks fine. I'm just trying to figure out what those engineers have changed."

"Changed?"

"They were in here for four hours. There's no way two engineers were in a room for four hours without them "fixing" something!"
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Old July 31 2009, 05:35 AM   #2
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

Awesome! I can't see why it wouldn't qualify. Something went wrong, badly wrong, and they fixed it. Just because the filtration didn't actually have its meltdown, it was well on its way, and if it had happened, they would've been up the creek without a paddle.

Especially strong use of dialogue. I liked!
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Old July 31 2009, 05:39 AM   #3
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

PSGarak wrote: View Post
Awesome! I can't see why it wouldn't qualify. Something went wrong, badly wrong, and they fixed it. Just because the filtration didn't actually have its meltdown, it was well on its way, and if it had happened, they would've been up the creek without a paddle.

Especially strong use of dialogue. I liked!
Cheers! The dialogue was driving me crazy! Trying to figure out all the new voices - McCoy was the hardest.
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Old July 31 2009, 05:49 AM   #4
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

trampledamage wrote: View Post
Cheers! The dialogue was driving me crazy! Trying to figure out all the new voices - McCoy was the hardest.
And yet you nailed him. I could "hear" all of them as I read it.
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Old July 31 2009, 06:38 AM   #5
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

You actually succeeded in making nuScotty somewhat tolerable!

I wonder, do you think his behavior on that Vega station was due to being isolated?
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Old July 31 2009, 10:01 AM   #6
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

You did get the voices dead on. Great story, funny in parts and an interesting solution. Bravo!
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Old July 31 2009, 03:05 PM   #7
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
You actually succeeded in making nuScotty somewhat tolerable!

I wonder, do you think his behavior on that Vega station was due to being isolated?
Thank you! The start of the rehabilitation of Scotty and Keenser was what I was hoping to achieve I wanted to keep some of his live-wire energy, but give him the opportunity to show that he is the engineer we remember from TOS.

For me, Scotty's behaviour in the movie is down to two things - first, the isolation, I figure he and Keenser are on Delta Vega alone, second, if you think about it, everything that happens to him in the movie is absolutely insane and no-one ever explains the back-story to him (old man from future arrives at station, gives him equation to transwarp beaming, Scotty beams onto the Enterprise with this other guy, Scotty re-emerges in big tank of water, gets rescued, arrested by security, interrogated by the Captain, the young guy he's with then antagonises the Captain to the point that the Captain tries to strangle him, and then the young guy becomes Captain himself). And even with all that, he's still able to follow Chekov's plan for reaching Nero, make the transporter's do a dance, and rescue the Enterprise at the end.

Sorry, something of a pet subject - readers of the Trek XI forum will be familiar with my defence of new Scotty


Mistral wrote: View Post
You did get the voices dead on. Great story, funny in parts and an interesting solution. Bravo!
Thank you! I'm really pleased other people can hear the voices too, I never know if it translates from my head to the page properly.
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Old July 31 2009, 06:00 PM   #8
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

Well done trampledamage. I had to shake my head at the start to remember myself this was nuTrek and so the nuTrek actors and characterisations. When I got that right in my head the whole thing flowed and felt very spot on for those guys. And as Nerys stated, this Scotty then had some more redeemable characterisation than the film. Never thought about it, that the isolation might have driven him a little deranged and being back in company and with a job to do, might take a little of that annoying edge off.
Very intrigued first off, as to who would sabotage the mission. In an effort to put egg on Kirk's face someone still put the crew in jeopardy.
I liked how the malfunction wasn't easily fixed nor the solution found too quickly. And I liked how you played up the team aspect of the engineering crew.
Gotta love McCoy, his dialogue and nark. Especially, liked the ending when he's convinced the crew did something in his quarantine room. Hee hee. Good stuff.
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Old July 31 2009, 09:03 PM   #9
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

mirandafave wrote: View Post
Gotta love McCoy, his dialogue and nark. Especially, liked the ending when he's convinced the crew did something in his quarantine room. Hee hee. Good stuff.
The story wasn't finished until I thought of that bit! I was wracking my brains trying to work out how to finish the story properly for McCoy.

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks!
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Old August 1 2009, 12:42 AM   #10
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

trampledamage wrote: View Post
PSGarak wrote: View Post
Awesome! I can't see why it wouldn't qualify. Something went wrong, badly wrong, and they fixed it. Just because the filtration didn't actually have its meltdown, it was well on its way, and if it had happened, they would've been up the creek without a paddle.

Especially strong use of dialogue. I liked!
Cheers! The dialogue was driving me crazy! Trying to figure out all the new voices - McCoy was the hardest.
I love nuMcCoy and thought you did a great job with him.
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Old August 1 2009, 01:04 AM   #11
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

kes7 wrote: View Post
trampledamage wrote: View Post
PSGarak wrote: View Post
Awesome! I can't see why it wouldn't qualify. Something went wrong, badly wrong, and they fixed it. Just because the filtration didn't actually have its meltdown, it was well on its way, and if it had happened, they would've been up the creek without a paddle.

Especially strong use of dialogue. I liked!
Cheers! The dialogue was driving me crazy! Trying to figure out all the new voices - McCoy was the hardest.
I love nuMcCoy and thought you did a great job with him.
Thank you for saying so! I would have hated to get him wrong
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Old August 1 2009, 01:17 AM   #12
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

trampledamage wrote: View Post
kes7 wrote: View Post
trampledamage wrote: View Post

Cheers! The dialogue was driving me crazy! Trying to figure out all the new voices - McCoy was the hardest.
I love nuMcCoy and thought you did a great job with him.
Thank you for saying so! I would have hated to get him wrong
Well, even if you hadn't, your avatar would cover a multitude of sins. That said, you really did nail his style of diction.
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Old August 1 2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

This is one of the July stories I enjoyed the most.

Though I do have a fondness for the nuCrew.

It has alot of potential, and you have a very good ear for the new crew.

I would have liked to seen Scotty face more conflict: not only on an extra-personal level, put a personal, as well as with himself. (Though to be fair, you might have had gone over the limit. )

For example, a conflict with the engineering crew, not to mention McCoy himself.

Last edited by _r_; August 1 2009 at 10:16 AM.
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Old August 1 2009, 03:48 PM   #14
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

A nice little story. You managed quite well to merge what we've seen of the characters in the new movie with what we know of them from the old timeline. I like what you did with Keenser and Scotty. You really captured McCoy. The scene at the end was a nice touch.
I, too, would have liked to see a bit more problems during the repair phase. But the word limit was probably too low for that. The way the engineering team approached the problem reminded me of Apollo 13. Nice.

Will there be a follow-up where the sabotage will be investigated? People as ruthless as that don't belong in Starfleet or any work place others depend on, in my opinion.
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Old August 1 2009, 04:02 PM   #15
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Re: July writing challenge: Not Everyone's Happy (Post Star Trek XI)

Lack of detail during the repair phase isn't so much the word count but the time limit because I would have had to actually figure out the science involved!

Whenever I write these challenge entries, I do always want to continue them. I haven't yet managed it. Maybe this month will be different...
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