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#17 Turtle in a shell

Posted on Tue Apr 19th, 2022 @ 6:52pm by Lieutenant Ken Kudo

Mission: Behind Enemy Lines
Location: main engineering
Timeline: current


Lieutenant Ken Kudo stood over the main engineering schematic table, affectionately known as the 'pool table' by engineers throughout Starfleet. His eyes danced around, glancing at readings and looking to areas that were in the green. Some of those areas had amber warning boxes next to their particular system. The danger; system burnout and overheating. The holo-field for the exterior was putting an enormous strain on the power systems, all except his hidden gem of a backup system. It wasn't affected due to it not being networked with the other systems, saving it from power discrepancies, and any damage due to them.

The fake battle was a good idea but preparation had been fast; a little too quick to get everything exactly right. The phasers, for instance. Romulans did not use phasers even remotely close to that of the UFP. Their particle weapons were plasma infused beams that not only blasted into shields and hull, but also slowly ate away at the sections they had damaged. It didn't last long, this 'burning' of material, but it was effective.

A rather attractive Ensign approached the pool table from the other side, comparing notes she had on her PADD to what was seen on the schematic. As she worked she came around the table to his side, still looking to data and comparing on her PADD. "Excues me, Sir."

With mirth in his eyes Kudo stepped back so she could occupy the spot where he had been standing, and she did not hesitate in doing so. Again, because she was working. Ken was impressed. Yes, his staff were dedicated and did their jobs well. But, occasionally, there were those who stood out when it came to labor and intense focus on one's duties. He noticed that she seemed focused on the EPS (Electro-plasma system).

"Something in particular you're looking for, Ensign?"

The woman stopped what she was doing and half turned to look back. "Aye, Sir. Trying to see if there was any way we could infuse the phaser emitters with a bit of plasma. But, with the holo-system so active right now it would put an enormous strain on the EPS. We don't need plasma manifolds exploding and taking out whole sections of decks."

Kudo gave a nod. "I would agree. Also, our emitters are not designed for plasma weapons. We'd get a few shots and the very plasma damage they cause would effectively shut down any emitter used. But," he added as she went to speak. "It's a sound idea and good effort on your part."

"So, there's nothing we can do?" She asked, fully turning to face him as she leaned her bum agaisnt the siderail of the pool table.

"Afraid not," answered Ken. "Trust me, I've been over it a dozen times myself. It is not possible with the current state of the Indy. She is not built for plasma weapons."

"Well, that sucks," the woman sighed and thrust her PADD into her thigh pocket. "Hours of research and nothign to show for it."

Kudo gave her a smile. "I wouldn't say you got nothing. You've expanded your knowledge of our systems, plus plasma systems, and in all that effort you also got to meet your boss. Not a bad deal, unless you think your boss is an ass?" He made sure to turn that last part into a query.

"That remains to be seen, Sir." She popped back at him, with her own smile and mirth in the eyes.

Green eyes, a light olive complexion, and dark hair almost black. And, by her stance and how the uniform conformed to her body Ken was sure she hit the gym and exercised regularly. He extended his right hand. "Lieutenant Ken Kudo."

The woman grasped his hand in a polite handshake. "Claire Nordeen. Ensign extraordinaire." She giggled as she released his hand.

He liked her attitude. Positive, humorous, yet disciplined enough to not overstep. "Any more bright ideas, Ensign, don't hesitate to bring them to me. And, glad to meet you, Claire."

"You too, Ken." Nordeen gave another slight grin and then turned and walked away.

Kudo watched her go, but he never let his eyes go to her backside. Instead, his eyes took in the strong shoulders, the straight spine and how Claire kept her torso squared. He was not a fan of slouching. With her out of view, and his own wandering brain back on point, Ken left main engineering to go around the bend to his office/quarters.



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