“Why!” A bang resounded throughout Engineering. “You!” Another bang, small place, same force. “Work!” A third bang, followed by the clatter of a dropped tool and a cry of frustration mixed with pain.
“I’ll get it,” R’tin said to the other engineers in Engineering as everyone looked in the direction of the yelling and the banging, none of them wanting to go and see why their chief was abusing a highly sensitive piece of equipment.
Ever since coming into possession of the Rose, Captain Sidda had granted dominion of the Fiefdom of Engineering over to her loyal subjects, T’Ael and R’tin, which meant the klingon Engine Pit had been rebranded rightfully as Engineering and been given the proper respect it deserved. That of course didn’t help with equipment aboard ship, which was still decidedly klingon and not something easier to work with, like Federation or Romulan engineering equipment.
Not that he or his sister had ever worked with romulan equipment, having been children when they were evacuated across the border into the Federation’s not-so-welcoming welcoming bosom. Neither of them had proper schooling or training in the field, both having picked things up when they managed to talk a freighter captain into letting them come aboard as new workers and from their entering an entirely new life.
T’Ael, far more than R’tin however, actually studied the manuals and processes for the equipment she worked on, versus R’tin’s more practical gut-feeling work. So finding his sister opting to bash a stubborn injector was a bit of a surprise to him. “Isn’t there a tool for that?” he asked of his twin who was now sitting with her back to the wall beside the open access panel and clenching her left hand.
“It’s fused,” she hissed at him, releasing her hand and checking the palm of her right, then showed him the green smear that was there. “Needs motivation to come out.”
He nodded in understanding and left her for just a moment, returning with a medkit and a standard engineering toolkit. “This fuse in that last firefight?” he asked he opened the medkit and threw a cloth at his sister so she could sop up some of the blood at least.
“Maybe,” she said. “We’ve never checked this one actually since we took the ship. It’s been working the whole time until that last fight. It could have fused in place when it was installed for all I know.” She threw the cloth down and took the offered dermal regenerator to the self-inflicted cut.
He wasn’t brave enough to ask how smashing a stuck injector with what looked like a hyper-spanner left her with a flesh wound, at least not where other ears could overhear her response. “I wouldn’t put it past the klingons to actually fuse them in place so they can’t easily be removed.”
That got a snort out of his sister, then he realised why – she was laughing at the stupidity that would have had to take place to come to that decision. And that then set him off with a slight chuckle. “This primary or secondary circuit?”
“Secondary,” she answered. “And yes, it’s shut off and purged.”
“Right. I’ll get a laser cutter then and cut this out, then slap in a spare.” He mulled over the engineering kit, selecting his tool of choice and looked over to his sister. “Go see Bones, she’ll patch you up proper.”
With some muttering T’Ael was on her way, taking the cloth to wrap her hand in just in case and a quick chance to muss up his hair. And a stop to tell off a couple of the new engineers about something. Most of the engineering crew might have been older, maybe even more experience, but they didn’t have the privilege of Sidda’s grace, at least not yet.
An hour’s job was rapidly turning into two, with a visit to stores, then the machine shop to make a modification to the new part because of course nothing would fit properly after a fusing incident, at least till there was a chance to shut it all down and properly rip the whole fixture out for a refurbishment. Just as he was finishing up, the door to the shop opened and a visitor he wasn’t expecting at all entered.
Jenu Trid, their chief helmswoman, wasn’t exactly who he’d expect to see here, let alone greater Engineering for that matter, but here she was. “Need to talk to you,” she stated, a tap to the door’s controls locking it too most at least.
“Uh, okay, but I don’t think we have time for confessions of unrequited love,” he quipped. The murderous look on her face was perhaps just worth it, but perhaps was pushing it? He’d try his luck later.
“Oh fuck off,” Trid said, then closed the distance, looking around the otherwise empty workshop. “What do you know about the prisoners we’re holding?”
“Slavers and murderers from all over the tri-sector area. And their chief financial backer for the last century or so.” He shrugged. “Captain has a good haul actually.”
“Yah yah, but I mean, what do you know about some of them specifically?” she asked in a near-whisper. “Just who have we got prisoner?”
“Slavers and murderers Trid, nothing more, nothing less. I’m surprised we even took them prisoner actually. Captain has a very dim view of slavers. Hostage-taking and asking for ransoms is fair play, slavery is right off her books.” He set the modified injector housing down and then looked her straight in the eyes. “Why you asking? You’ll get your share, don’t worry about that.”
“I’m not worried about my share,” she hissed, “I’m worried we might not actually have who we think we have. Can you get me the transporter logs? I’ll use them to check the public bounty notices biometric data and confirm all the details.”
“Trid, I think you’re worrying too much about it. Even if we caught a few that weren’t slavers, we took some nasty pirate folk out of business. Can’t you just be happy with that?” He knew he sounded exasperated, but he just wanted to get on with this task before his sister came down on him.
“Come on R’tin. Just this once?” She pleaded. “Prove me wrong. Prove I have nothing to worry about.”
He rolled his eyes, scooped up the injector and started for the door. “One condition,” he started as he unlocked the door.
“Next civilized world we go to, buy me dinner. Just you and me.” Then he winked at her and left. He was pretty sure he could feel the daggers she stared back at him, but he’d check his back later for them.