Part of USS Aquarius: Unstable Weather

The Seismic Stabilizers

December 2399
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Lieutenant Toran had beamed down with a group of engineers as the inspections had finished, he met up with Lieutenant Kyle along with the others. “What are your orders?” Toran asked as he had just finished reading the status of the seismic stabilizers.

Elizabeth was sifting through lines and lines of code trying to understand why the stabilizers had overloaded.  She’d hoped to find some reason for it.  While she wasn’t able to rule out random malfunction she couldn’t rule out sabotage either.

She nearly jumped out of her skin when Toran spoke to her having not noticed his arrival.   Clutching her chest in a futile attempt to slow her heart rate down she smiled, “It’s a mess, Toran.  There are five stabilizers offline and one still working but damaged. We need to get teams to all the sites. Replace when necessary,  but do whatever is faster.  Hopefully, repairs can be done and we can beat the six-hour estimate.”

Some tunnels snaked out like tendrils of an octopus branching out to the stabilizers with a tramcar for rapid transportation to the various sites.

“Sorry sir, I did not mean to startle you.” Toran apologized looking at the Lieutenant, “Understood, I’ll get the teams divided and on their way.” Toran replied looking at her, “is there anything I need to know before I leave?” Toran asked as he stood there looking at her.

Elizabeth considered it for a moment,  “Be careful.  These earthquakes very likely weakened the integrity of these tunnels.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there were cave-ins.”

“Will do sir,” he replied before turning around to the teams that were gathered with him and giving out their orders. Once that was done he took his group down a path that lead to one of the damaged stabilizers. Once arriving he began his scans to see exactly what was needed, this one looked like it needed a complete replacement. Good thing he had a replacement, he began his work at carefully removing the old component which would take some time to complete before he was ready to install the new one.

Elizabeth turned to the first one she had encountered and kneeled next to it.  “Why did you burn out?” She asked the device.

“Lieutenant?” An enlisted engineer asked. “Are you talking to the stabilizer?”

Elizabeth blushed.  “Um… well, yes I did. It was more of me thinking out loud.  Help me with the panel will you?”

The engineer lifted his end of the access panel to reveal charred remains of circuits.  He whistled at the damage.  “How did this happen?”

Elizabeth shook her head, “I don’t know. Everything just before the overload was working perfectly and then dead.  All data afterward is corrupted.  I can’t even prove that this wasn’t sabotaged.”

“That’s a disturbing thought.  Who would do that?”

Elizabeth shrugged, “That’s politics.”

“Meaning?” He asked confused.

“Meaning,” she started patiently, “I’m an engineer and I don’t know a thing about politics.”

The engineer chuckled at that. “Okay, what now?”

Elizabeth looked up at him with an amused expression,  “We replace it.”

Tapping his combadge after removing the stabilizer, “Lieutenant do you get the feeling that these were sabotaged?” He asked over the comm as he looked between the device and the two officers that were with him.

“It’s been a nagging suspicion since I inspected this. If this was an accident or fluke of nature we would have logs indicating a power surge, but everything useful in figuring out the cause is corrupted. I’m trying to recompile the data, but it’s going to be a slow process.”

“I am getting the same thing here, I think we should get these back to the ship for more analysis to see if we can find something,” Toran replied looking around seeing one of the local engineers get a bit nervous but didn’t do anything at the moment. That put a red flag in the back of his mind that he would need to speak to the Lieutenant about later.

“Agreed, ” Elizabeth said. “The ship’s computer is more powerful too.”

Toran ended the comm channel and sent word to the other teams that once they got the broken stabilizers out they needed to be beamed directly to the ship for further analysis. He did the same with his and began to work on installing the new one in its place which would take a few hours to complete.

Elizabeth finished the upload to the ship and checked on the progress of the stabilizer.   “When you are done here, transport it to the ship for analysis.”  She then moved on to the next malfunctioning stabilizer.