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Not a Used Vessel, but Gently Loved

Posted on Thu Jan 23rd, 2020 @ 12:17pm by Lieutenant Tobias Hobbs & Lieutenant JG Howard Ludovisi & Ensign Stephenie Faire

Mission: New Frontier
Location: Bridge, Isokaze
Timeline: May 13th, 2364 - 1220 HRS

The bridge of the Isokaze was clearly dated. Though still technically within its service-life and appropriately retrofitted according to Imperial Regulations, it was very much on the back half of its usefulness and at best satisfactory for practical duty. The HUD panels along the aft wall of the bridge were literally overhead, making them unergonomic and difficult to view. Not that anyone would ever want or need to look at them, considering each screen was dedicated to one sweeping, overly generalized, and thus practically useless information. The sky blue outline of the Soyuz-class’s plan and profile-view deck configuration was statically represented on one large panel close the ceiling, computer core efficiency took up the majority of another along with astronomic position on another, and the RSS feed unceasingly scrolled a smattering of reports both unimportant and urgent from various decks, departments, and officers, all without certain necessary metadata. To boot, the operating system itself was missing two of the latest patches from Imperial Operations. This made the computer interface sluggish in comparison to the Yamato, as well as ungainly in its layout and operation. Officers in operations yellow worked at the various consoles, most of them either software or networking specialists, while the lowliest of enlisted engineering-mates fetched various components from the Yamato’s industrial replicators as they were called for. A haptic-solenoid here, a wiring harness there, fuses, isolinear chips, and an ungodly plethora of padd-bound reference material and tools amongst other things. The Isokaze was not the Yamato, but the idea was to substantially modernize the frigate over the next several hours before their departure.

Howard Ludovisi oversaw this undertaking while standing at the Operations Station aft and port of the command chair. His contribution was the daunting task of manually collating the priority reports that had been racing through the RSS seemingly unchecked and undocumented since before its transfer to Commodore Russ’s authority, distributing those reports to the appropriate personnel, modeling a rudimentary intravessel reference system for keeping that feed at least moderately organized going forward, and signing off on the related requisition and work orders that all found their way to him. Occasionally he would bark at one of the crewmen, demand assistance from a subordinate, or ominously curse the previous crew for what appeared to be a deliberate dereliction of basic process maintenance. As the RSS feed suddenly went blank, the Lieutenant squeezed his eyes shut, smacked the console in front of him with both hands, and leaned onto it with a sigh, “This is my hell.” Another deep breath as he stood up and said again, “A Soyuz-class frigate stuck in the 40’s is my hell.”

“We need to do what we can ,”. Tobias informed him. “To make her defendable and get us there and back. I have been on ships in worse shape and we defended ourselves against bad odds. If we all lend a hand we can quickly make her defendable. I am having her well stocked with weapons, what do we need fire power wise to load for firing?”

“I was on the ground during the last rebellion on Andoria,” the operations chief replied absently as he picked through the small pile of padds in front of him, glancing each one over as he continued, “And the Second Romulan Incursion.” The tone certainly had an air of commiseration around it, seeing as Howard recognized a fellow warrior in Hobbs. The undercurrent, though, held a note of rank-by-way-of-age. The Andorian uprising of the mid 2340’s was a short but grizzly streak of engagements, and the Second Romulan Incursion had claimed nearly a dozen starships before being beat back. gruesome as they were embarrassing due to how unprepared and inadequately equipped the Imperial Marines had been. Hobbs, as far as Howard could tell based on the security head’s appearance, would likely still have been in primary school at the time.

As he handed one of the padds to Hobbs, Lieutenant Ludovisi‘s combat experience became clear, “The phaser emitters have actually been downgraded, sir. Between that and the mess here,” the older man pointed vaguely around bridge then, “It could almost be called sabotage. Type-fives in the middle of a rebellion?” Ludovisi shook his head. “If we get into a slugfest out there with anything our size or bigger, those shot-out cannons’d only be useful against unshielded hull.” The Lieutenant leaned forward and pointed at the text on the padd’s screen, “I recommend we transfer a majority of the Yamato’s photon torpedoes to our compliment and have Commodore Russ request a resupply. Command can ignore a Soyuz-class, but a Galaxy battleship,” he again shook his head, though this time smirked knowingly, “there’s no way they could say no to that.”

“I’ll speak with the Commodore,” Tobias nodded. He saw no reason Russ would have a problem with them taking them but their was protocol to follow. “I have a team of security and marines coming on board to protect the supplies once we get them.” He smiled then. “You know this is more than likely a test to see if we are fit to be under his command. I know we are so let’s get this done and come back proud.”

Howard nodded while at the same time reinitializing the operations console, “Probably. Three ships and a station means the Commodore needs competence as much as trustworthiness.” The Junior Lieutenant let out a happy grunt and stopped what he was doing once the RSS feed booted back up. To Howard’s ecstatic surprise, his homegrown algorithm had integrated into the software of the Isokaze’s systems; apparently it had automatically restarted and not failed as he’d originally suspected. Pleased with his progress, he braced himself against the console and leaned towards Hobbs, his tone turning conversational, “You think we’re gonna end up stuck on this skid full time or wind up back on the Yamato?”

"Of course we will be back on the Yamato" Stephenie chirped in after stepping through the bridge doorway that nearly closed on her after her first attempt to pass. "But might as well make this place feel like a home away from home.. some decorations.. fresh paint job..." Stephenie trailed off a bit, thoughtlessly picking up some technical thing-a-ma-jing tool resting on one of the consoles.

In truth she had absolutely no idea why she was here, or what she could possible add, but the one skill she could use was to keep the moral up and not let everyone sink into despair.. even if she felt it herself.

"SO.. what can I do to help?" Stephenie offered swinging the tool around thoughtlessly oblivious till a frantic hand of an operations junior officer reached up from under the console feeling around for the tool.

“Ludovisi,” Hobbs growled. “Put Stephenie to work before she kills off what little crew we have.” He shook his head and went back to what he was doing.

“Right away, Lieutenant,” Howard’s reply came, placating without being patronizing. The Operations Chief then looked to Stephenie, raised his eyebrows in bemused frustration and motioned with his head towards the network engineer who had by now stood up to look for his missing implement, “Ensign - please return the isolinear spanner to Kalnoky.” The tone was firm but patient, which was a distinct departure from Howard’s managerial tact. This was not lost on the junior officers in the general vicinity, most of whom within ear shot had taken a moment to cautiously investigate the anomalous behavior as it continued, “Do you have any technical skills, or familiarity with logistical procedures?”

“Just give her orders,” Hobbs growled. It was going to be a long trip with her attitude. He looked at Stephenie. “You can be with us or against us but it would make things more efficient if you got along. I am not putting up with your insolence!”

Stephenie blinked a moment then shrugged as she looked back and gave the tool to the tech with an equally confused expression. Tensions were going up quick but there wasn't a point in making them worse. "Well I can hold some things.. oh and I can read off what the screens say. erm.. the one that is working at least. "If it gets too quiet I can even do a song and dance!" Stephenie impishly smiled as it was too tempting to let that one comment go unsaid. "Can you show me what I am looking for?" Stephanie called over her shoulder as she stepped up to view the consol. This wasn't the first or last time she used the damsel in distress to shamelessly coax a little friendliness for her own well being. Stephenie knew to she needed to gain some trust and possibly drive a wedge a bit deeper between her new shipmates as a bonus.

Tobias took a deep breath. “Welcome to the madhouse, Faire.” He replied. “Though I appreciate the song and dance offer we are leaving very soon.” His eyes met hers. They needed to work together, everyone started with trust, until they proved unworthy. “We are trying to get this ship as ready as possible. Ludovisi here is going to need help, I hope you are a quick learner.”

Stephenie thought over Hobbs words, he was right in that they needed to make some progress. She enjoyed the banter but in this case they needed to show the crew a united command. "Well if we are going to do this, I wont stand in the way of those that are capable of handling their jobs. I can relay our status from the departments and present their solutions....

"Stephenie to Engineering, can you give me an estimate when our systems are online? We need options"

“Soon as we can,” came a grumpy answer.

Hobbs listened as the reply came back with some song and dance. He continued to work on the console in front of him. “Faire, you tell them to haul ass, grab some help off the station I don’t give a damn what they do we need to be out of here ASAP!”

Hobbs looked over at Ludovisi and Faire. “Think about why we were handed these cards! It’s a test and I’ll be dammed if we fail!” He took a deep breath. “Faire your in charge of making certain engineering gets us up to leave on time, Ludovisi, you have tactical and weapons.” His eyes landed on a blue guy hovering in the corner. “You get to work on one of the stations! We can do this!” He didn’t wait for a response just went to work.

- Main Engineering -

Stephenie stepped her way through a maze of engineers and mechanical equipment being assembled and disassembled in every stage of repair. Engineers were moving this way and then that, more than a few giving Stephenie's blue department color's uniform questionable glances. The space opened up to a center console table where two Engineering officers, one being the Chief Engineer who was having an argument over steps to take. Stephenie stood there a moment listening till they both stopped and noticed her. She simple smiled and offered a moment of silence before the junior officer was dismissed.

"I didn't call for a medic.." The Chief Engineer started off

"No? well your stations seems every bit in order as a surgeons workstation!" Stephenie smirked "Ens Stephenie Faire, ships Counselor.. I believe we spoke a few moments ago."

"Lt. Brown.. look um counselor, we are really quite busy down here.." Stephenie started making her rounds around the area close by, picking up small tools and poking at consoles as their lights flashed on and off "And if you don't mind I think we are all fine to...Don't touch that!" Lt Brown startled and quickly stepped in before Stephenie could select a command to vent a plasma shaft nearby. "Oh you were saying something Lt.? Stephenie turned back and smiled softly, my you are a bit tense.."

Lt Brown studied Stephenie's face a moment before easing a bit. "I know we are under orders to get going however we haven't finished testing the.. Ens put that down!" Stephenie turned again and dropped a hydro spanner with a rather loud thunk over an coolant pipe installment.

"I'm just trying to help you seem to need it around here, what does that do..." Lt. Brown managed to catch Stephenie's arm as he pulled her back from "helping" anymore. We have things handled here, we will be up and running..."

"Well see the thing is Lt. I told our Captain we would start moving in half an hour, but that was ten minutes ago. See this is his first command, he wants to make a good impression.." Stephenie stepped in getting close "You know how important a first impression is don't you?" Stephenie continued without giving time to respond "Anyway so he said he was going to come down and fine a new Chief Engineer otherwise, and well... he isn't as nice as me.. and I would hate to see anything happen to you. So do you think you can get something going now? I mean I can help if you like I am sure that..."

"NO!" Lt. Brown Sputtered then softened his voice "Thank you Ens I will let you know when we have thrusters, I think I can get us minimal power in about ten minutes."

Stephenie's face brightened as a smile crept across her features "That is wonderful! I will report we can get going in a couple minutes!" Stephenie energetically half walked half skipped through the corridor back to the turbolift leaving the Chief Engineer calling out and trying to buy more time, but the damage was done. Stephenie hoped for his sake he got the ship moving, but either way even if he failed Stephenie managed to put someone else's neck on the line rather than her own.

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