RoF #107-109 "All the wrong words"


[SB-47 Ronin, Fred's quarters]

Ensign Gothwrain Flemmington Colestol, or Fred if he could convince anyone to use the name he preferred, had finally arrived on the station that would become his home for however long they'd let him stay. Whatever it was that had caused such a stir that all of the inbound and outbound traffic to be suspended had finally ended, or at least been dealt with enough to allow ship traffic to resume normal operations.

This was always a good thing to Fred, he hated when things didn't work the way they were supposed to, just like that cabin door on the transport.... 'Why is it that the doors always move too slowly?' he pondered as he stowed his gear in his quarters. At least they'd allowed him a few minutes to drop his stuff off in his room before he was expected to be on shift.

He was ever so glad that he was allowed a few smaller pieces of baggage to keep his 'anti-boredom' apparatus in, which he had just wound up plopping on his bed after a few minutes of indecision on where it should go.

It was just that he was about to decide where it shoud go, when something chirped. It was that shiny little badge that he got with his duty uniform. It suddenly spoke up. =/\=Evans to... eh.. Geeze, who comes up with these names? Ensign Goth... Gothrwwwwain... Gothwrain Flemm... Flah, forget it... Evans to Colestol, report please?=/\=

=/\= Fred here, go ahead Sir. =/\=

=/\=Eh?=/\= his combadge answered again... =/\=I think there's been a mistake... I was looking for Ensign Go... Gothwr...=/\= But before Evans could finish, he was interrupted again.

=/\= Sorry, Sir, but I prefer to go by Fred... If you really need to use my full name, Ensign Colestol is at least somewhat tolerable... =/\=

There was a short silence on the other side of the channel, but then it spoke again. =/\=Rrrriiiiiight... Well, can't say I blame you... I mean... Eh... Well... Anyways... Ensign eh... Fred... Could you report to the Odysseus please? I need some help with these ODN couplings. I would like to get them sorted out before we launch... We might need them.=/\=

=/\=No problem Sir, I'll be right there.=/\= and almost inaudible, but still loud enough to be transmitted over the link =/\=... as soon as I find out where it is.=/\=

=/\=Oh for pete's sake, just ask the flipping computer! What's so darn difficult about that?=/\= the comlink suddenly burst out. =/\=Sorry, I'm just a tad edgy at the moment. And yes, it's personal, so don't ask.=/\=

=/\=Uh... Okay Sir, I'll do that... Uh... I'll see you in a few minutes. Fred out.=/\= he tapped his comm-badge to close the channel. "Huh, I forgot those things could give directions... " He then got the directions he needed, left his quarters and immediately took a wrong turn.

[30 minutes later]

Evans was digging around in the internal workings of the terminal that was probably causing the problems. At least, it looked that way. <Geeze, what's keeping that guy?> he thought, as he grabbed fully into a live whire. A spark, a "YELP!" and a bump later, Evans sat up, shaking the tingling feeling out of his hand. "Bloody hell, stupid piece of... CRAP!", he said, just as the door opened.

"Well, hello," Kitty's cheerful voice came from behind him. "That's a cute view," she teased. "Want some help?"

Another "NJG!" was heard, as well as another bump. "Don't sneak up on me like that!" he said, as he sat up, rubbing the back of his head, he bumped twice in a minute now. "Sorry... I'm just a bit... Jumpy... Yeah, I could really use some help with this mess."

"That's an understatement," Kitty said brightly, kneeling down next to him. She couldn't help turning just a little, letting the light play over her new pip, or rather not, since the black ones are quite non-reflective. "Have there been any future... developments?" she asked him.

As usual, Evans was once again completely oblivious to Kitty's hints. "Well, it's either this console, or two of the others. I'm beginning to think it's the other ones." Evans said, agitated. He really didn't want to do this while flying, but it looked like he wouldn't have a choice in the matter... "Did you come across a guy named 'Fred', by the way? My new assistant operations... I asked him to get here about half an hour ago. For now, he's still a no-show."

Two seconds later, the door opened once more, and in walked the subject of the query. He seemed to be in mid-mumble, "... stupid maps making everything look smaller." and in a slightly louder than conversational voice "Did you know that some of these corridors are really, really long, and there are even some of them that don't have any intersections in them for a while?"

Kitty chuckled outright. She couldn't help it, being in such a good mood. "There, you see, he just got lost, that's all," she replied brightly.

"FINALLY! There you are. I only managed to electrocute myself twice in the meantime. Yes, those would be the spokes of this station. Going left or right there, would end you up in the vacuum of space." Evans answered, cynisism dripping off of every word. Then he turned to Kitty. "Why are you in such a good mood?" he asked, and it was only then that he spotted the hollow pip. "...Ah... That would explain a lot..."

"Only twice?" replied the Ensign. "I'm usually not one to complain before my fifth... Er... Sorry Sir, I should have been here sooner, to help you.. It won't happen again... I hope..." He blinked at the realization that he hadn't even introduced himself to his superior officer yet, and decided to correct the oversight, "Ensign Fred, reporting Sir."

Kitty started to speak, then blinked at the sudden appearance of this new ensign, full barely-interrupted speech at all. "You don't happen to have ever heard of a Romulan named Letek, have you?" she asked Fred, mostly jokingly.

"No, why?"

"Myesss... Fred..." Evans said, quirking an eyebrow. He still couldn't wrap his mind around it. Any name he could have chosen, this guy chose 'Fred'... It made him think of that silly cartoonserie 'Samurai Pizza Cats'. "Letek? Oh, you know it when you meet him... Small, portly, Romulan, can't shut up in about ten or twenty languages, anoying, yet useful... I actually owe my life to this guy, wouldn't you believe it..." he added in a monotone voice, fiddling with the console again. Another "YELP!", and a shower of sparks... "STUPID!... ARGH!!"

Kitty couldn't help chuckling at that, patting Evans on the shoulder. "There, you see? Maybe this guy will end up saving your life, too," she quipped.

"Uh, let me help you with that, Sir. I seem to handle electricity a bit better than most, at least that's what the infirmary staff at the academy kept telling me most of the times I'd wake up there. What do you need me to do?"

"Could you please fix this ship? Then we could all go home and have a drink, thank you..." Evans sighed. "I'm sorry, I'm just... Trying to fix this console, but it doesn't want to be fixed, apparently. I just don't get it... This circuit shouldn't be hot, but apparently it is. The burns on my fingers can confirm that..."

"Here, let me take a look, I may have had a similar problem at home a couple years back."

"Be my guest! Knock yourself out. Emergency transport is available if you need it..." Evans added, his mood still as foul as an offside player. "I'm fine, I just... lost my touch, I guess. For the moment, at least." he answered Kitty.

"You've still got it," Kitty murmured reassuringly to her boyfriend. "You're the best, remember? You can fix anything. You're brilliant."

"Yeah, sure... Then why are you the one with the commander pip?" Evans said, withouth thinking. He even shocked himself. "I... I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way..."

After a minute or two of digging around in the console Fred's muffled voice could be heard "Oh, Yeah... it looks like someone cross-connected the interface power cable with the data-feed cable at the last relay, though why some idiot decided to make the connectors interchangeable and the cables the same color is beyond me. I should have it sorted in a second..." some minor grunting could then be heard as he tried to disconnect the stuck power connection "though... njg... the tricky part... njg... is to disconnect it... unf... without getting... erg... shocked..." and, sure enough, a few seconds and a few grunts later, a bright blue flash could be seen from within the compartment. "YOWZA! That's the stuff!"

Kitty blinked at that and became very very quiet, withdrawing her hand from his shoulder... then startled at the bright blue flash. "Gah!"

Fifteen seconds later, the console glowed to life. and Fred vacated the access panel. "There ya go, though I'm not sure how reliable the console will be, considering that operating power was being pumped into the data port..."

Evans groaned. He couldn't figure out for the love of god how he had missed that... He could have sworn that that was the first thing he looked at, but apparently, he hadn't. On top of that, he just managed to upset his girlfriend... Again... He took a deep breath to calm himself down... "Good job, thank you..." and then he turned to Kitty, putting his hand on her shoulders... "Look, I know I should be happy for you. Getting your commander pip, not a small feat. It's just that... I'm *not* feeling all that happy at the moment. It's just... Stuff... Like... Well... Petrova, actually..."

Kitty frowned and turned away, his hand slipping away from her shoulder again. "It's ok..." she said unconvincingly. "Really. I'll just, uhm... I'm gonna go find something else to fix, 'kay? I'll catch you later."

"Kitty? Please, don't go, I'm really sorry..." Evans said desparately. His heart was rapidly sinking to his shoes...

After somehow having realized that the conversation had taken a turn for the more private, Fred decided to remain as still and silent as he could.

"It's ok, really," Kitty said quietly, but as cheerfully as she could muster. "I'll catch you after duty, ok?" And with that, she rose and quietly left the shuttle, her head down slightly as she walked across the shuttlebay and back into the depths of the station.

"I just screwed that up in the most royal way, did I?" Evans asked out loud, to no one in particular. But of course, Fred had heard him.

Fred mulled the question over for a bit, "Nah, I don't think it was in 'the most royal way,' since that usually involves an advisor or two, a pregnant princess or a eunuch prince, and at least three other kingdoms at war by the end of the evening..."

He then thought about it a bit more, "Just show up with flowers or something later and apologise profusely for anything and everything you think you did wrong...... It works for my dad whenever he did something stupid..."

"Oh, shut up you..." Evans said. He meant for it to come out as a snear, but somehow, a snicker snuck in. It was then that he realised, that he might still make amends with his girlfriend this night, and that he actually liked this 'Fred' character. "How 'bout testing the replicator and get a cuppa?"

"Sure, sounds good." he said with a smile. He began putting the tools ad test equipment away. "By the way, what problems are you having with the XO?"

Evans cringed at that question... "Wrong question, kid... Just let it rest, ok?"

Fred's eyes went wide "Uh, uh, okay, no problem sir, was just curious is all." he said quickly. "How 'bout that caffeinated goodness Sir? That sounds pretty good right about now." he said quickly, hoping to appease his superior.... It never paid to piss of your SO on the first day, at least not without trying to smooth things over before going to bed.

"Good answer..." Evans just said, turning to the replicator. "Two coffees, a can of cream and a bowl of sugar."


Lt. Commander Kathleen Black Chief Engineer SB-47 Ronin

Lieutenant Jg Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer SB-47 Ronin "I should have stayed in bed..."

Ensign Gothwain Flemmington 'Fred' Colestol Assistant Operations Officer SB-47 Ronin "...What does this button do?..."