ENG Cadet Jonas Illin

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Re: ENG Cadet Jonas Illin

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:59 pm

The minutiae of the daily life of the lower ranks.
Well realised and written, Paul! Anyone who can make a boring task this compelling to read about is all right by me. :)

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Re: ENG Cadet Jonas Illin

Postby Paul Scott » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:59 pm

I'm feeling particularly inspired so another one will actually follow shortly. :p
Engineering Cadet Jonas Illin
USS Bremen

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Re: ENG Cadet Jonas Illin

Postby Paul Scott » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:23 am

So there Cadet Illin was, out on the hull of a Nova class starship, in a environmental suit, along side his superior officer who he had previously stunned to a stupor... A few hours ago he would have likely felt a lot differently about this whole thing, but as he stood there, trying to save the officers aboard the crashed vessel, he actually felt like he belonged for the first time in a long time....

Earlier, in the Jeffries tube...

Even to some Starfleet officers, people assume that scrubbing plasma conduits is a process that requires a hapless engineer to physically crawl into a conduit to clean it from the inside. If only that were the case... With a type 5 descaler you'd be done within 15 minutes.

Every class of ship's engine layout is slightly different, so the actual process required differs from ship to ship. In fact, some engineers base their entire careers on how easily accessible the plasma conduits and relays are aboard a ship. The Defiant class was a particular favourite due to how compact things were, making it a relatively simple task. Meanwhile, despite its massive size, the Galaxy class offered one of the simplest and most efficient designs in terms of nacelle/plasma layout in all of the Fleet's history, thanks mainly to Dr. Leah Brahms, who many Engineers agree must be one of the nicest people in the universe to have made the process so user friendly...

But then there was the Intrepid... Ever wonder why you can't see the plasma conduits in an Intrepid's engine room? It's because the lead designer of the class was far more concerned with visual aesthetics than actual practicality (which by the way makes him, frankly, a terrible engineer).

The plasma conduits aboard an Intrepid class run underneath the floor of engineering between decks 12 and 13, before extending towards the rear of the ship. Officially they were known as Power Transfer Conduits, or PTCs, as not only did they provide energy to the warp nacelles, but fed the main batteries that powered the ship. This was done via a series of sixty EPS relay valves on each conduit that also served the purpose of regulating the plasma going to the nacelles to ensure against the possibility of overloads. On top of this were two main forcefield generators at either end of the main conduits that helped contained the plasma, as well as thirty independent back up forcefield redundancies to protect the ship in the event of a breach. As a more recent upgrade to the class, a third emergency conduit was installed with all these same sub sytems to ensure that power could still be rotated to the warp drive should a catastrophic event occur... all in all this meant that the entire PTC assembly was made up of 276 independent sub-systems. "Scrubbing" them entailed going to each and every junction to regulate the power flow while crammed in multiple jeffries tubes, dealing with the extreme heat bleeding through the conduits. "Scrubbing" also entailed scanning the entire length of the conduits to ensure that there were no micro-fractures in the casing, which was a potential risk, because the same aforementioned designer decided that the best way to achieve warp speed was to give his nacelles a variable geometry... A design feature which no other major power in the Milky Way had even considered... This should tell you something in of itself.

So there was where Jonas found himself, in the middle of an overly warm Jeffries tube, with the added downside of being watched by two of Starfleet's finest.

Truth be told though he really didn't mind the company all that much. Both Ensign Harrington and Crewman Guyle were highly irritating, but even their constant chatter gave a break to the otherwise mind numbing boredom that Jonas found himself in. Plus, it was true to say that they were stuck in the situation just as much as he was. The pair of them had even taken to working on their PADDs. Jonas hadn't asked what they were doing but the sense he got was that they were concentrating intently whenever their attention was on their work. They simply waited until he was finished at each particular junction, and followed him down the tube to the next.

Jonas breathed out a pant of boredom and stretched out his cramped limbs as he finished at his current panel. He was about to tell his shadows that he was moving on, when he noticed them looking up from their PADDs at him already.

"Onwards to the next one, Cadet?" Harrington asked, with Jonas only nodding in response as he stifled a yawn, before turning and crawling forward along the tube with the other two close behind.

"Are you honestly going to go to each one of these control junctions?" Crewman Guyle asked, with a tint of bored scepticism to his voice.

"That is the job," he replied.

"That's crap," Harrington chimed in.

"I'm not the one that assigned it..."

"No," the Ensign interrupted, "I mean, you don't have to go to every panel along the PTC."

Jonas tilted his head over his shoulder to look at the security officer.

"Apologies, sir," he said with a certain note of irritation, "I thought I was the engineer here."

"You have a real chip on your shoulder, you know that, kid?" Harrington said with a slight Irish lilt to his voice.

Jonas turned his body lengthways and sat upon the metal grating, his neck tilted downwards to stop from hitting his head.

"Please, enlighten me."

Harrington and Guyle shared a sly look before the Ensign raised his hand in invitation towards his subordinate, leaving Guyle to clear his throat in a mock tone.

"Computer," he began with the intercom making its customary chime, "Copy the inputs last made at PTC junction... Which panel were we just at?"

"Eighty-seven beta," Harrington added,

"Geez, we shoulda told the kid from the start instead of wasting all this time," Guyle returned to the computer, "Eighty-seven beta and transfer these same commands to junctions eighty-eight alpha to two-hundred-seventy gamma."

"Wait, you can't do that..." Jonas began before getting cut off,

"Why can't he?" Harrington asked, "It gets the same job done. All you have to do now is double check the forcefield generators and make a visual inspection of the the pylon hinges. The rest of the conduit's structural integrity can be checked from engineering via the SI monitor."

"But that's not the procedure!" the cadet shouted,

"Oh you really are green," Harrington snorted with Guyle laughing behind him, "Look kid, the procedures for these ships were written by desk jockies more that two decades ago when plans for them were first laid out. Since then the computers and internal sensors have been upgraded about a dozen times or so. Besides, have you ever heard of someone doing this whole scrubbing chore when it isn't a punishment detail? Of course not. Why? Because chief engineers know that it's completely pointless. An exercise designed to make work for idle hands..."

Jonas let out a weary gasp of exasperation, "I fucking hate this job..."

"Just as well we sped it up for you then," Guyle noted, "Should knock about six hours off..."

"No, I mean I hate the job... This... Engineering... Starfleet. The whole god damn thing..."

"Well... You don't exactly help yourself..." Harrington began,

The cadet looked over to the Ensign with the kind of indignation you can only get away with when you know the ranks have been dropped.

"Look," Ensign Harrington continued, "It's a small ship. Everyone has seen you about the place. You seemingly keep your head down, get the job done, but you have this constant force field around you that says 'stay away'. Don't even need to be Betazoid to pick up on that. You eat alone in the mess hall, hang out in your quarters and spend your free time in the holodeck lab..."

"Yeah, why is that anyway?" Guyle chimed, "Except for maintenance crews no one ever goes in there."

"Well, I'm kind of a writer..." Jonas shared,

"A holo-novelist?" Harrington asked,

"No, not yet. My dad is one though."

"No way, that's pretty amazing," Harrington continued, "But see, that's the kind of thing that no one knows about you, because no one really knows anything about you, and that's unsettling on a ship like this. We're a team. We rely on each other, and that means we rely on you, and well, it also means you can rely on us. Can you honestly say you've made a friend since you got here?"


Jonas shook his head, feeling that hypothetical force field around him still.

"Doubt I will after shooting up the engine room. That team's not going to trust me now."

"Kid, we're Starfleet. We get that shit happens. CEO is just sore because it probably felt a bit personal... Anyway, as for friends, you've made two now."

He couldn't help but laugh... If only because the line was a pretty lame cliche.

"Well... You guys seem to have saved me some time... Want to head up to the mess hall for lunch?"

Harrington reasserted his authoritative security officer persona for a second.

"Can't do that, Cadet," he said, "Orders are orders and you're still on punishment detail... I've got a better plan anyway."

Pulling out the same PADD from earlier, Harrington slid it over to Jonas' side. He picked it up and only had to glance at the display before looking incredulously at the security guards.

"You guys have been playing computerised Dom-jot this whole time?"

"Mainly," said Guyle, "We also played some Stratagema around junction thirty or so."

Jonas actually laughed for the first time he could remember in a while, tapping out commands on the PADD to start a new game with Guyle's corresponding device.

"So, tell me the truth," Guyle asked as the three of them got as comfortable as they could in that cramped jeffries tube, "Were you awake enough at the time to enjoy shooting a superior officer in the chest?"

Jonas didn't look up from the PADD to meet the Ensign and Crewman's gaze... He did smile though...
Engineering Cadet Jonas Illin
USS Bremen

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Re: ENG Cadet Jonas Illin

Postby Gunther Vermeulen » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:27 am

Really nice writing, Paul, I enjoyed that great interaction you created!
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Re: ENG Cadet Jonas Illin

Postby Einar S » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:51 am

that was a fantastic log man! Real treknobabble gets me all excited too! Keep it up!
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Re: ENG Cadet Jonas Illin

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:39 am

Hahaha!
Paul, I loved that. I was truly disappointed when I ran out of log to read.
Bravo :)

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Re: ENG Cadet Jonas Illin

Postby Paul Scott » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:28 pm

Thanks everyone. May and up re-using these characters a bit. Just glad I finally got Round to writing it. It's been in my mind for about a month.
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