"Renegade Deception" #20, 21 &22 - "Finding a leak the hard way"


[USS Pegasus, 5 minutes after core-failure, main engineering]

Evans was walking toward the doors of main engineering, and was murmering to himself. "Ok, don't screw this up as well... You can do it... Yinyang... Yeah... That should do it..." The doors wooshed open, and Evans was greeted by a very silent warpcore, surrounded by very busy engineers. A little woman was heading for him. This time, howeve, Evans was so wise to first check the pips on her collar, before yapping something silly. As such, he immediately gave a quick salute...

Lt. Black paused when the man who'd just entered saluted. For a moment, caught up in the midst of trying to fix her engines, she had no clue why he'd just done that. Then she blinked a couple of times. "Oh, right," she said out loud, looking a bit distracted, and returned his salute. "Are you the help the bridge was sending?"

"Yes ma'am, Ensign Evans reporting... Is it what we think it is? Small plasma leak?" Evans stated, matter of factly, a bit amused by the blatant insecurity of the woman in front of him.

Ah yes. Right down to business. She didn't mind this at all. "Yes, I think so. I'm checking the sensors now, doing the calculations, trying to figure out where it was going wrong." Somehow she felt she had to defend her part in what had happened again. "I did think one of the semitones in the engine hum was a touch low." She looked at him again, started to say something, and stopped herself. "Do you know how to do the equations? Want to help me find the problem?" <Yes, I didnt screw up fist contact!> Evans thought. This fact only, made this whole day a lot more bearable... "EPS flows are my specialty, ma'am!" Evans said relieved, and actually a bit excited, "As a matter of fact, I was running the calculations as the warpcore failed... It's going to be a doozy to find it, though, the leak is pretty small... However, I'm quite sure that the problem is very close to the actual antimatter reaction chamber... I wouldn't be surprised that it was leaking into the reaction... It could have clogged the exhausts..."

"That's worth a look, Evans. Thank you." Lt. Black called down to her engineering team to please go open the exhaust ports.. CAREFULLY... and check for any obstructions. Then she headed back to her station, sitting down and bringing up her calculations. She turned back towards Evans. "Want to come crunch some numbers with me?" she said with an amused smile.

"Yes ma'am!" Evans actually smiled a little... The first smile since meeting Alexandra...

Lt. Black looked back at him and then chuckled a little, amused, but in a friendly manner. "Oh, I see," she blurted out before she could stop herself. "You Were smiling on your crew picture."

"I only smile on special occasions, ma'am!..." Evans dared to joke... "However, might I recommend that we start cracking on this warpcore problem?" he said, and looked over to the crewmen, carefully opening up the exhaust port

Lt. Black chuckled at his joke and nodded at his suggestion. "Sounds good!" She was doing what he had been starting to do when the engines had gone wrong... checking each sensor and doing the calculations herself. She cleared a workspace for him and routed a few of the sensor readings over for him to start calculating.

After a few minutes, Evans started mumbling again:"Wait a second, this can't be right... D'OH!" Then he turned to the crewmen still checking the exhaust: "Just curious, did you find anything?"

"Can't say I did, sir! all looks normal... " the crewman answered

"Damn, why didn't I think of this before... Ma'am, I think I was wrong... We need to find the leak BEFORE the reactionchamber..."

"Before? Well, alright." She motioned to all of the assorted conduits and tubings reaching up into the ceiling and disappearing. "Got any suggestion as to where to start? It couldn't be too close to the engine itself."

"Well, where is the last flowsensor before the injector located? It's the values of that one, that tipped me about the problem..." Evans stated.

One of the crewmen pointed to a panel about three meters away from the core "That one, sir..."

"Thanks, crewman" Evans said, as he walked toward the panel. He took hold of the latch, and turned it. He carefully removed the panel, but not carefull enough. With the extra room available, the EPS conduit connector right after the sensor failed, and the conduit popped loose, and hit Evans on the shoulder, depositing a big drop of hot plasma on his arm.

"AAAH! SHIT THAT HURTS! STUPID PIECE OF CRAP!" Evans cursed, as he dropped to the floor. He instinctively almost grabbed his arm, with his other hand, but his coutious part, boosted by adrenaline stopped his hand just in time. He looked back to the panel, and saw a small pool of cold plasma shorting the safetycircuits, that must have automatically shut down the warpcore. "Well, looks like we found the damn problem!" he cursed, biting back the pain...

Lt. Black had seen him go for the panel and started to say, "Wait, first you want to..." but she was too late. She leapt to her feet and grabbed a canister off of the wall. She started spraying some sort of foamy liquid over his arm and possibly accidently into his face... it smelled chemical and tasted horrible, but it immediately went to work neutralizing the plasma. "Geez, you could have lost an arm!" She wasn't angry, just alarmed. "Are you ok? Did we get at it early enough?"

Oh, it tasted terrible allright, but the heat was gone almost instantly. "PflblBEH! Yuck! Ah! Watch where you're spraying that stuff!" he bubbled... However, when he came back to his senses a few moments later, he said:"I guess I should thank you... Man, this really isn't my day..." He looked at his arm, but couldn't see the damage he was feeling. The foam was still covering it. He tried to remove it to take a better look, but he was sorry right away: "YELP! Ouch, that hurt too! Must be a pretty bad burn..." It was...

"Well, just hold still and don't move it." She wasn't as exasperated as she sounded. She was just worried and helplessly amused by his reactions. She smiled encouragingly as she tapped her combadge. =/\= Main Engineering to Sickbay, we've got an injury here, plasma burn, it might be bad.=/\=

Russell was in his office reviewing some gathered data when he heard the call and tapped his combadge =/\= Sickbay here, I'm on my way. Floyd out. =/\= He picked up his medical kit and rushed out heading for the turbolift. When he stepped into the turbolift he thought of his tour with Alexandra and remembered where Main Engineering was located. "Deck 8" he said and a few moments later he arrived at Main Engineering. He saw his roommate on the floor with plasma extinguisher all over his body, and sat next to him. He got his Tricorder and began scanning the injuries. "What happened?" he asked

Evans internally groaned <I should have known this would bite me in the butt some day...> "Plasma burn to the left upper arm... About a thimble of the stuff... Almost immediately neutralised... Hurts like a sonofabitch, though..." Evans stated. <Please don't make it any worse...> he continued in his thoughts only.

Lt. Black, a short young woman with Asian features, spoke next, looking up. "It was my fault... I failed to warn him in time about the plasma conduit." From the look on her face, for the moment, it was impossible to tell whether she was covering for him somehow or truly feeling as if she bore a measure of blame.

"Ah nonsense! I should have taken better precautions! By the way, noone could know the damn connector would blow up on me!" Evans immediatlely said.

"Looks like you got a nice second degree burn there, Ensign." Russell said after completing the scans. "Nothing a bit of dermaline gel can't cure, but first we need to get rid of that foam." As he was cleaning the wound he said "Who gets the blame is only for the record. My only concern is that the wound is healed." Then he got the gel and put that on Evans' arm. "This might sting a bit, but it'll make you feel better in the end. I can get you something for the pain if you want."

"GAAAH! WOOHO! OUCH! WAAAH! THAT HURTS! Yes I would like somethiAAAAHgainst the PAAAIN! AUW NOW PLEASE!" Nothing more sensical than that came out of the mouth of Evans for the next few moments...

Lt. Black tried to not laugh. She knew this was serious business, burns were painful... but his reaction just amused her somehow. She glanced away, mouth twitching.

Russell raised an eyebrow by that sudden outburst by Evans, but as a doctor for many years he had seen quite some patients like this: screaming before you laid a finger on them. He had a hard time to keep his face straight. He got his hypospray and put a dose of sedative in it. He injected it close to the wound and said "There you go, this works almost instantly and for a few hours."

"Are you sure?..." Evans whimpered, even though the pain was fading as he uttered the words... Only a few moments later Evans recomposed himself as the pain was fading to much better manageable levels. He was trying to get up:"Well whaddya know, it works..."

Lt. Black smiled in relief. "Well, we found the engine problem. I'd better get my people working on it right away." She watched Evans with some concern. "Are you ok now?"

"He'll be fine for the moment. It's what you call a quick fix." Russell said before Evans could even answer. He faced Evans and said "You'll need to come with me to Sickbay for further treatment. You don't want that to become a 'war trophy', do you?" with a smile on his face.

"Aw man, I'm fine! really!" Evans protested, already forgotten his whimpering a few seconds ago.

"Go ahead and get it taken care of properly, Ensign," Lt. Black suggested, still looking amused, but kind. "We can take it from here. We'll have the engines

"But..." Evans started, but his common sense took over "Yes ma'am, you're welcome... Let's go doc, let's get this over with..."

"Right this way, Ensign." Russell said making a gesture with arm directing Evans to the exit. "I'll make sure that there will be no more left than a bad memory." and also headed for the exit.

And with this, the doctor left Engineering, closely followed by Evans, leaving Kath to fix the core. Now that the problem was known, the solution was easy...


Posting like there's no tomorrow:

Lieutenant JG Kathleen Black Chief Engineer (and crew)

Ensign Ronald Evans Chief Ops

Ensign Russell D. Floyd Chief Medical Office