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Just Dropping In

Posted on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 @ 8:48am by Lieutenant Samantha Winters & Commander Elliot Drake

Mission: The Ties That Bind
Location: First Officer's Quarters
Timeline: [Backpost]

Elliot was finding it hard to settle down as usual once he got off duty. Ever since the war had started, relaxing seemed to have fallen out of his vocabulary. Despite that, he tried to calm his nerves and settle in with a log entry, hoping that recapping the day's events would help him fall asleep.

Pacing back and forth in his quarters, he started out the usual way. "Computer, begin recording. First Officer's Log, Stardate 51081.7. The Manoora is still en route to the Faidon System to evacuate the colony on the fourth planet. Much to my disappointment, I'll be staying aboard the ship while Captain Whitlam leads the away team. While I don't like the Captain beaming down into a potentially hostile situation, he does make a good point. He's easily the better diplomat of the two of us, and he made need all of the diplomacy that he can muster to get those colonists to leave."

Drake paused both his speech and his pacing when he heard a faint noise coming from the bulkhead. Being an interior wall, he didn't take much notice of the noise, though it did affect his concentration. "Instead," he continued, "I'll be taking the Manoora to patrol for Jem'Hadar. We do not expect the Dominion to make a move against this system for some time still, but plans could always change. We need to be ready to bring up the away team and retreat at a moment's notice."

Drake was interrupted again by another sound, this time a cry of surprise and slight pain from behind the bulkhead.

Sam, who was wedged between the interior walls, using her feet pressed up against the support structures on either side to keep herself in place, shook her hand slightly to will the pain away before she sucked at the cut she had just received on her thumb. The secondary coolant valves around the officers quarters we badly in need of servicing, and the one she had just been trying to operate had been neglected so much as to have started to rust. She gave it a stern look, as though that in itself would make it cooperate with her, and threw some more weight on the handle, hoping to force it into a new position. It gave with a pop, but the sudden lack of resistance made her lose balance in her position. "Oh, crap crap crap!" she cried, as she felt herself fall backwards. Her back hit the access panel behind her, which snapped out of its own retaining clamps and fell with her onto the floor of the XO's quarters.

Sam grimaced as she looked at the hole her fall had created in the interior wall, and scowled at the coolant valve which had been the cause of it all. "Dammit," she muttered under her breath, unaware that she had dropped into someone else's living space.

"Computer, pause recording!" Drake shouted into the air furiously. He took a moment to make sense of what just happened, and soon found Winters on the floor of his quarters with a hole in his wall. "Just what in the hell is going on here, Lieutenant?" he demanded.

Sam's head snapped around, and she cursed as she realised the room she had ended up in. "Sorry for the intrusion, Commander," she said, picking herself up and dusting herself off. The residue on her hands from the coolant valve meant that she ended up just making her messy uniform slightly more messy in the act, but she seemed not to notice. "Secondary coolant valve's gummed right up. Lost my balance back there," she said, as though that would explain everything.

But for Drake, that didn't explain anything. "But what are you doing in my quarters? And more importantly, what are you going to do about the hole in my wall?"

"Well I didn't intend to drop in on your quarters, Commander," Sam responded, realising that she needed to explain further. "But whoever your last engineer was didn't pay anywhere near enough attention to the ship's secondary systems. If we lose the primaries, that valve is going to be the only thing stopping the rest of the ship's systems from turning all of the officers quarters in this section into quick-bake ovens, and unfortunately the only way to get in and service it is to climb inside the wall cavity itself." She picked up the wall panel to inspect it and tried to hide the grimace when she realised her fall had managed to put a dent into the metal. It wasn't much of one, but when it was back on the wall it would bulge out ever so slightly. She'd have to get that replaced when the Commander wasn't in such an irritable mood. "These wall panels are designed to pop off an on easily enough for access," she said aloud. "The retaining clamps aren't damaged, so the whole in your wall will be sealed back up in a jiff!" Holding the wall panel in one hand, she began to climb back into the wall cavity, intending on leaving the way she had come and pulling the wall panel back into place behind her.

Drake was somewhat in disbelief. He was having a difficult time wrapping his head around how casual Winters was acting about the whole thing. If the matter was as serious as she suggested, then it needed to be taken care of soon. "How long will it take you to get that fixed?"

"Well," Winters said, pausing to take out her tricorder and quickly scan the valve which had been the cause of her 'incident'. "The valve is working again, but it's just a quick repair job. It'll work for now, but I'll have to get some of my boys up here tomorrow to replace the unit to make sure it continues to work should we need it, otherwise it'll get jammed up again in about a week." She used her hip to close the lid on the tricorder and slid it back into its holder on her belt, still holding the wall panel in one hand, and with one foot inside the open wall cavity. "If there's nothing else Commander, I'll get your wall back up, get out of your way and get the work order put in for tomorrow. You won't even notice that my boys have been through."

"I hope for your sake that's true, Lieutenant. I don't need any more engineers falling through my walls," Drake replied. He was still visibly annoyed, but he was at least less furious than he had been. "Dismissed."

Climbing back into the wall cavity, Sam pulled the wall panel back on, and heard it snap into place in all four corners again. Breathing a sigh of relief that she hadn't been court marshalled out of the service for dropping in unexpected on the XO's quarters, she gathered up her tools and began climbing back through the wall cavity towards her next task.

With Winters now back into his wall and the panel replaced, Drake rubbed his temples in an attempt to remove a sudden headache. After a moment he regained his composure. "Computer, resume recording."

Commander Elliot Drake
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Samantha Winters
Chief Engineer


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