Trojan Horse #78 - "Hotfix"


Kathleen Black hurried down the corridors to Engineering. The ship veered slightly now and then as it evaded, but she had developed an excellent pair of sea legs and didn't even stumble. She hurried through the propped-open doors of Main Engineering and smiled in delight to see the lights on and half the terminals functioning. This extra engineering crew had been doing a fantastic job, as had her own. They blinked and looked up at her odd apparel, the shorts and tank top with the oversized bathrobe flung over it all.. but the Pegasus crew almost immediately went back to their jobs. They already knew she was a bit odd and already trusted her entirely.

"Route the repair report to my terminal, along with a recent diagnostic," she said, immediately giving orders. "Watch the third conduit, it has a tendency to overheat, and don't overload 'number four', it's had its regulator fused half-open."

Her last remark had been directed towards a Lantree engineer, who hesitated. "Is that our ship firing at us, Lieutenant?" he asked tentatively. "Looks like it," Kitty said solemnly. "Look, nobody believes your captain is just going to attack us with you guys all on board. I bet they're trying to get whatever's happening to stop. Meanwhile, we've got to keep THIS ship together, so get to it."

With that, she disappeared into her office. She beamed as she saw a nice crisp clean uniform in her size lying folded on her chair. That had to be Williams' work. For all that he was not ambitious enough to seek his own Chief Engineer position, he seemed to know exactly what she'd need and provide it for her.

She changed into the uniform while reading the reports. Goodness knows she'd managed more difficult maneuvers while reading, through her childhood, when a book occupied her interest so much that she simply would not put it down, even when she had chores to do. Not three minutes later, she left her office, up-to-date and properly attired. The Lantree engineers, reassured by her simple explanation of current events, were working right alongside the remainder of her usual team.

"Alright, we're going to continue repairs during battle," Kitty said. "One-third impulse is not going to be enough to avoid torpedo hits. I'll direct you. Just.. pretend we're not being fired upon." She contacted the person on the bridge filling in for ops, wishing wholeheartedly for Evans' mixture of creative intelligence and quirky humor that matched her so well, the two of them working like two halves of a whole entity... of course, there was someone else entirely at the Ops station, and it took her a while to get the crewmember to understand what she needed.

"Ok, we need two people at this end with a replacement coil.. two people at that end with another coil.. stand ready." The chamber was flickering as power was fed through the damaged coils, lowering impulse efficiency. She assigned another person at the power switch... and waited until she heard from Ops. "Impulse burn over. Go!"

The power was cut, the chamber opened, the teams worked quickly to replace the coils, the chamber closed, one of them shouting "Clear!" before the power was turned back on... and Kitty contacted the bridge. "You've got impulse up to one-half power now. I'll tell you when we've got more. We're not going to get warp online. We just... We don't have it, and we're not gonna without a serious spacedock overhaul." She paused a moment, then thought she ought to make sure they knew what had happened... "Evans won't be coming to the bridge. He's in Sickbay.. he's been.. badly hurt.. w-we were in the lounge, and..." She paused, cutting herself off, a more pragmatic part of her knowing she shouldn't babble in the middle of a fight.

"Ok, impulse burn..." she warned the Engineering crew, as the repaired chamber lit up properly. There was still plenty to do. Now that they realized her plan, she was able to set up multiple teams to do quick-replace tasks between engine burns. She remained at the console, overriding safeties, since the engineers who built this ship would have blown a gasket if they'd caught the Chief Engineer authorizing this level of hot-repairs.


Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus