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Posted on Tue Nov 29th, 2016 @ 8:41pm by Ensign Jacob McCall ENS

Mission: Shakedown
Location: Shuttle bay
Timeline: During in System Testing

The shrill bleeps indicated the change of watch. James sat behind his desk a mug of Valcan tea steamed beside him. The day shift would have just begun to start. Even with the ship in dock there would still be work which needed doing; diagnostics to be run, routine maintenance on the ships systems and his capacity of Flight Controller, the main job for the day was an inspection of the auxiliary craft shuttle bay.

James walked into the shuttle bay 20 minutes later to find the Engineering team receiving a briefing form a young Bejoren Ensign. They were huddled around a workstation with the shuttle directly behind it. On seeing him the group came to attention.

“Morning. Sir” The Ensign said in slightly officious manner.
“Carry on” James replayed. At the moment the shuttle bay’s door opened in in strolled Barns. On seeing he assembled crew he hurried to join the group. The young officer shuffled nervously, not the first time he’s late thought James.
“Barns, your late.” James’s voice was stern and disapproving.
“Yes Sir,” Came the reply in a thick Welsh accent. A few of the non-human members of the maintenance team stared at him. So deep was his voice that the universal translator had given up. James knew Barns of old, one thing to be sure of was the heavier the ascent the heavier the night before.
“48 hours restricted shore leave.” James said staring at his erstwhile college. Several of the group winced, that was harsh. The young officer opened his mouth to protest but Barns interjected first.
“But the Dabo tables are being good to me, I’m on a winning streak” He blurted out his accent returning to a more regulated level.
“If you want to argue, we’ll make that 72 hours.” James turned to the Ensign “Carry on Mr. Karval”
The officer began to read his Padd.
“Flight report 1562Alpher reports that this shuttle veered to port by 5 degrees when dropping out of warp drive.” He was about to continue when Barns put his hand up.
“Sir, if I may” The Ensign half turned to James, James had an idea of what was about to happen, and shrugged his shoulders.
“Go on” The officer spoke; James could hear the confidence daring from his voice.
“Please would you fire up the engines?” Barns asked, James nodded his agreement. The Officer tapped on the panel which was on the work station and soon the low rumbling of the engines could be heard.
Barns stood in front of the shuttle for several seconds, his arms folded and then he walked to the port side of the craft and placed his hand on the dorsal panel. Nodded thoughtfully and drew his finger across his throat. The Officer cut the engines.
“Simple, the plasma relay on third input node is wearing and some corrosion will have got into the plasma delivery system. That’s why it’s losing power on the port side and veering.” For moment the bay was silent. James could see the looks of aur on the faces of the team. Slightly disgruntled the Officer began typing on the work station screen. Several seconds later he said “Confirmed”
James smiled. He was about to explain to the young officer how Brans had worked this out. When the officer asked “What caused it?” James felt his heart sink; he knew Barns would not give this moment of triumph up.
“Rotation of Earth sir.” Barns said in a nonchalant way, whipping his hands on an oily rag he pulled from nowhere. Of all the answers the Officer was expecting that was not one of them.
“How?” He stammered.
Barns lent on to the shuttle, an air of authority surrounding him. James could see the engineering team hanging on his every word.
“She’s built in dock yard above earth, as Earth rotates so does the dock yard therefore the port side of the shuttle travels further. Stands to reason.” So straight was Barns’s delivery that James almost believed him. He could see that the officer was going to question him.
“How long does the replacement take to fit?” James asked cutting through the hero worship atmosphere that was developing.
The Ensign looked at his work station “20 hours sir”. Almost a shift and a half James thought.
“Barns, I want this serviceable by the end of the shift.” Barns caught James’s eye. The challenge excepted.
“Yes sir” came the reply

James gestured to the Ensign to follow him. “It’s known fault with Type 11, eventually the Starboard or Port plasma delivery system begins to degrade.” The officer looked crest fallen. “We’re not sure why, it probable has something to do with the ships approach vector, not Earth’s rotation.”
“But how did he know which side to check, l did not give a direction for the veering?” Came the reply. James thought for a second, he was not sure; it could have been a lucky guess or may be Barns could hear something in the engine sound.
James decided to change the subject. “If they get the job finished in the shift, you can give 24 hours shore leave back.” And winked at the Ensign.

James turned to speak to Barns but he was already ordering the team to get tools and parts. Doing what he does best thought James and he left the Shuttle Bay.


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