Part of USS Valhalla: Mission 2: Ragnarök and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

(5) Loki, the Trickster God

Engineering, USS Andromeda
MD 8
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“Sir, I’m reading and unauthorized access to a panel on deck twelve, Jefferies Tube 8-Baker,” an engineer announced from one of the stations.

Lieutenant Commander Choi left the master situation table to stand next the the ensign making the report.  “Do you have a combadge reading?”

She shook her head, the ponytail bouncing, “No sir.  There’s low level radiation in that area from the deflector dish.”

Choi made a face that exaggerated his wrinkles around his eyes.  The Korean man  had been in Starfleet long enough that ninety-nine times out of a hundred these were false alarms.  Usually an over zealous junior officer trying to take initiative and forgetting to file a maintenance report. Then again there was always that one time…

“My knees hate those tubes, but I better go check it out. Remind Lieutenant Tgrel that I want that planetary defense report ASAP. I know the Val‘s Chief Engineer is working on that, but… well Washington is just a kid.”

The ensign smirked, “Everyone’s a kid to you sir. Except maybe the captain.”

“Nope, I’m still older than her,” Choi said with a mischievous grin. “Ensign, Engineering is yours.”

As it turned out it wasn’t just Choi’s knees that disagreed with him crawling around in the Jefferies Tubes. It didn’t take long for his back, neck, and even the palms of his hands to start hurting.  The grated floor felt like gavel.  He paused at a junction and stood on the ladder between decks eleven and twelve.  Stretching, the vertebrae in his back cracked and popped. Choi let out a long sigh of relief.

He made his way down the rungs of the ladder and stepped onto deck twelve before opening the port side tube and crawling inside.  Fifteen meters down the tube he nearly collided with Lieutenant Kat Donovan at the junction of 7-Baker.

“Commander. What are you doing down here?” She asked with her thick Highland accent.

“I was just about to ask you the same thing Lieutenant.”

Kat looked over her shoulder and back at Choi before displaying a tool kit that she was dragging along with her. “Realigning the wee torpedo launchers. They were off by a whole bloody michron.”

“Lieutenant,” Choi started to chastise her, “I don’t know what things are like on that little Outpost of yours, but here on the Andromeda you don’t just start doing maintenance without first submitting a report.”  It was a false alarm like he knew it would be, and now he was just mad that he had to crawl all the way down here to find that out. The aching knees, and shooting pain in his back was doing nothing for his disposition and forgiveness of the situation.

Kat frowned, “Aye sir.”

To her credit she took her licks without any excuses, Choi thought to himself.  Letting out a long sigh, “Well, no harm done I guess… unless they are now messed up and I have to spend two hours fixing your mess.”

Kat shook her head, “I dinnea think that will be the case. My scans show that the variance is point-oh-one.”

Choi nodded, “Very good.”

Kat nodded, “I know.  Now, if you’ll excuse me laddie.”

“Of course. You are dismissed Lieutenant.” He watched her crawl down the tube with ease with and gave her a look of bitter jealousy. “Kids,” he grumbled.

With the Scotswoman out of sight he made his way to 8-Baker and pulled off the inspection panel. With his tricorder he checked her work. With an appreciative nod, “Not bad Lieutenant.  Not bad at all.”

Comments

  • I love this as an introduction to Chief Engineer Choi. He's cranky, as any good chief engineer should be, but you put a clever inversion on the trope by making him hate the natural habitat of any working engineer: jeffries tubes. Although that hate being because of bad knees is pretty funny. After his tense interaction with Kat (and his appreciation for her skill) this is a promising duo I look forward to reading in future posts.

    May 19, 2023
  • Got to agree with the introduction of Choi, he seems like an experience Chief Engineers that has some weight of history on his shoulders. I got to say his smart ass remarks on the Ensign and Kat makes him more part of the Andromeda then anything else.

    May 20, 2023
  • Again, agreeing with the comments on Choi’s intro. He’s delightfully grouchy! Also I feel that sentence about knees, then back, neck and hands disagreeing!! I can’t help but think there’s something odd about Donovan being down there without submitting a report, but that could be me overthinking! Looking forward to reading more!

    June 9, 2023