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Troubled Shuttle Part 2

Posted on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 @ 1:06am by Ensign Lucas Miles

Mission: Shore Leave
Location: Shuttle Bay
Timeline: Current

Lucas breathed a sigh of relief as the shuttle touched base onto the landing pad of the shuttle bay. He felt the slight jolt as the docking clamps engaged, locking the shuttle in place.

He began powering down the systems, dialing down power to the various systems and subsystems. He made sure that he transferred the shuttle's flight plan and sensor readout to flight ops as was standard procedure. Once this was done, he started shutting down the engines starting with the impulse engines then the warp engines.

As he was doing this the doors to the shuttle opened letting in Crew Chief ch’Thranne. The blue-skinned Andorian had his gaze squarely fixed on a large padd in his hands. The look on his face was that of bewilderment. No doubt, the Chief Petty Officer was frustrated as to what the problem plaguing the shuttle could be.

“Chief,” Lucas greeted. “A bit hairy out there this time.”

“I’d say,” the Crew Chief replied, his gaze unwavering from his padd, which Lucas could see was displaying the sensor readouts of the flight he had just completed.

The Chief’s antennae were moving sporadically, and his silver eyebrows were furrowed in deep thought. “I’m really not sure what’s happening. We’ve checked the readings repeatedly and there’s just no reasonable explanation as to the power overload of the EPS conduit.”

Lucas nodded as if it was already a foregone conclusion. He had also had no warning before the overload. “Is it still starting in EPS conduit G6?”

“Yes,” ch’Thranne replied, this time looking up to face Lucas. “Ensign, I’m really not sure what’s going on here, but rest assured my team and I will get to the bottom of it. We’ll purge the plasma in the conduits again and this time I think we’ll do a visual inspection of the entire conduit system.”

It was a menial task but a prudent one. If this issue was not addressed, then the shuttle was liable to get someone killed. Heck, it had almost blown up on him not even five minutes ago as he was testing it. That would have been a short Starfleet career, seeing as how he was not even a week into his first assignment.

He did not envy the technicians that will be inspecting the entire conduit system of the shuttle. He supposed the one saving grace is that at least it was just the shuttle and not the ship.

“Anything you need from me Chief?” Lucas asked. “I’m just finishing up my post-flight check.”

“Nothing now Ensign, but we might need you to help with further pilot testing if you’re up for it.”

Lucas grinned. He had already been out in the shuttle field testing it twice and both times the shuttle had mysteriously suffered a cascading power overload that threatened to blow up the ship had Lucas not powered down the shuttle both times. Luckily, he was never far from the Independence on both occasions and had just used the shuttle’s inertia and thrusters to guide the shuttle back into shuttle bay.

“Sure Chief,” Lucas said. “They do say, the third time is the charm, right?”

“That they do,” ch’Thranne replied a slight smile on his face though it did not touch his eyes. Lucas could tell the senior NCO was still perplexed by what was plaguing the shuttle. As the individual responsible for the readiness of all auxiliary spacecrafts on the Independence, Lucas knew this came with the territory. Hopefully, the Chief knew that Lucas did not blame him for what could have been catastrophic accidents.

Truth be told, Lucas has had closer brushes with death.

“I’ll keep you appraised on anything we learn Ensign.”

“Sounds good Chief, thanks.”

Lucas turned to his console and resumed his post-flight checks. He would also need to complete an incident report and see if he could schedule a debriefing with Lieutenant Rebecca Maida.

He was finishing the last of his post-flight check when the shuttle’s comms activated, "Flight Ops to Miles, sir I'm going to be taking the shuttle down for maintenance. Just thought I'd give you a heads up."

"Understood," Lucas answered. A few seconds later there were flashing warning lights and klaxons as the landing pad slowly began to descend a level under the shuttle bay into the maintenance sub-deck.

Lucas expected the shuttle will be out of operations for the next week or so. Visually inspecting the complete EPS conduit of the shuttle was not a quick job.

He patted the console. "It was scary there for a while, but we made it home," he said to the shuttle as if it could hear him.

The shuttle came to a near gentle halt in a maintenance alcove that was just underneath where the shuttle had been parked earlier. The shuttle's doors opened, and a pair of techs walked in nodding to Lucas. He could see another pair of techs on the exterior of the shuttle bringing in several equipment to begin their diagnostics and possibly repair any damages identified.

Figuring there was no sense sticking around and getting in the way, Lucas picked himself up and headed out of the shuttle bay. He would stop by the mess hall for a quick lunch before heading to the Bridge to start his shift.

Ensign Lucas Miles
Flight Control Officer
USS Independence


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