Chapter 2 - Happy Place

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There was a bounce in K’Naut’s step as he left Main Engineering. The Mercutio was finally going to explore an uncharted sector. He was excited by the possibilities. 30 years ago, he had left the tame, intellectual design labs of Utopia Planitia for the thrills of a deep space assignment. He’d been assigned to the USS Endeavour, which had been part of the Sol System Defense Fleet. So much for deep space exploration.

But now, a new sector waited, and he’d given himself the plum assignment for Engineering’s preparations. He began to humming his favorite Earth song, “Are You Happy In Your Work?” as he entered the nearest turbolift.

“Torpedo maintenance,” he told the ‘lift.

He was still humming when he arrived in the maintenance bay. One of the ordnance specialists was poking around the innards of a quantum torpedo. The petty officer snapped to attention when she saw K’Naut.

“At ease, Muller,” the Caitian said, waving off the formality. He looked curiously at the torpedo. “What are you working on?”

“Uh…there’s a power fluctuation in the guidance system, sir,” Muller replied, only relaxing a little. “I’m trying to track it down.”

“Ah,” K’Naut said. “Carry on. I’ll be running diagnostics on the probes.”

“Yes, sir.”

The probes were stored in a separate magazine from the torpedoes. K’Naut entered and climbed the catwalk to reach the Class I probes. He sat down next to the first device. He began whistling an old Caitian hunting song as he pulled the equipment he needed from various pockets and pouches. A whole shift, ear-deep in diagnostics? It was going to be a good day.