Chapter 32 - Polarizing

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“Work on how to bring the auxiliary craft into the equation with just the Hiroshima,” Evan said. “If that Warbird deigns to show itself, we’ll ask for help, but we’ll need to work on the assumption that we’re in this on our own until then.”

“Aye, Captain,” Stephanie stated, mostly to go on record for having said those words. And, insofar as trying to find a way to puncture the interference with the ship and its assigned craft, she meant it. She liked challenges, and team projects, after all…

With direct tasking from the ship’s Captain, LTJG Stephanie Davies-Muir would normally turn straight to it, yet these were not normal conditions and her plate of tasks was more than one layer deep. Nanotechnology still needed analysis, for instance, yet even that was not the most pressing need. A main ship’s system was in a highly compromised state, and she needed to ensure that it was returned to normal service as quickly as she could.
Even knowing that the intricacies of the quantum-slipstream drive were new to the fleet, and not universally understood, she remained frustrated by the callous manipulations of the system by persons that she truly believed ought to have known better. In her mind, one needed to fully grasp what could go wrong, well in advance of pushing the limits of any ship system…
Realizing there was a hint of unfairness in her assessment, she worded, “It would help if th’ system was fully hardened.” Thus far, efforts to harden the system were frustrated by the need to ensure it operated, but she saw that as a poor excuse. The quantum slipstream drive needed to be able to withstand combat damage, yet large portions were easily sent awry.
Arriving on scene, she queried, “Where do we stand?” A quick scan with her eyes told her much of what she needed to know, yet that was cursory, at best. She needed to know if there was something that eluded such methods, and how such things might affect the repair timeline.
Taking a breath of carbon trichloride-infused salted air, Ensign Canu reported, “Fabrication of repair conduits and connectors is complete. Per your direction, we’ll be isolating one at a time, and replacing the damaged junctions. However, polaric containment was compromised, so we may have matrix damage.”
Which meant that it was possible, if not likely, that the injured personnel were hit with polaron radiation at some of the flashpoints. Stephanie hoped that she was wrong on that though, as polarons were known to wreak havoc with the central nervous system. It meant that she might have to add a trip to the Infirmary to her expanding to-do list. “We don’t,” she assured him “Matrix checks out. However, we do need a hand-over-hand check of all polaron feeds, j’st t’ be sure.”
“Agreed,” Canu replied. “We’ll perform those in conjunction with the post-replacement continuity and insulation checks.”
“Guid plan,” Steffi agreed. “But be certain it’s a hundred percent verification.” They couldn’t cut corners on that part, as any compromise of the polaron shielding in the auxiliary conduit layer could present a serious risk to personnel.
“I’ll personally oversee the inspections, Lieutenant,” Canu promised. He had the feeling she was going to depart, which he found interesting. In his admittedly limited experience, Chief Engineers tended to remain present, and micromanage most repairs, yet she appeared content to set priorities, and then let the workers work. At first, some had assessed her preferences as lazy, yet in-depth analysis of her work habits implied that she was anything but. Instead, she seemed committed to empowering people to do what they were trained to do, and checked in to verify that her standards were being maintained. The jury was out on whether she was unwise to lead in such a manner, yet he had to admit that he rather liked her leadership style…
OFF: Note – polaron effects on the CNS were drawn from an earlier injury to LT al-Khalid a few years back…
LTJG Stephanie Allison Davies-Muir
Acting Engineer, USS Hiroshima (NCC-70157-B)