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JL | Cmdr th'Zarath & Lt Merlin | CEng & CStratOps | "Rumour has it..."

Posted on Sat Feb 10th, 2018 @ 11:38pm by Commander Thelin th'Zarath & Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: The Round Table
Location: Hidden places...

Taking his time exploring the situation in engineering had taken its toll on the Andorian as he made his way further through the station and towards another of the turbolifts to evaluate its condition, he had a permanently open comm link with the PADD stored in the pocket of his jacket so he could record his thoughts on the fly without needing to pause in his inspection. So far in the past few hours he'd had to force open seven different doors and lock out one turbolift for being an ultimate death-trap, that made for sad reading as now there were four service turbolifts and two civilian ones out of action until they could replicate and install replacement parts. The next turbolift was one used primarily by the Engineering staff to move about the station without interrupting any of the day to day running of the other departments.

When those turbolift doors opened, the sole occupant stood in the middle of the lift, finger raised to the place where the control panel was located, in the middle of a good scolding. "-times do I need to tell you to *behave*! All this crappy stuff is doing you guys no good! I keep telling you, they are going to replace the lot of you by a bunch of brand-new turbolifts if you don't get your act together." Brief pause. "I know they have zero personality, but believe me, right now people all over are more than willing to trade that in for the personality you dis-" He looked up and grinned a greeting at the massive Andorian. "Hi! Maybe you can talk some sense into him. Stubborn idiots. 'Those modern lifts have zero personality,' my nose!" He straightened and crossed his arms.

What should have taken Thelin by surprise was the conversation the man in front of him was having with the turbolift, but the more surprising thing was that he'd turned to the Andorian and asked him to get involved, a smile crossed Thelin's face as his antennae narrowed towards him, "In fact, that's why I'm here, to evaluate our friend here for repair, refit or replacement, if I had my way I'd gut the entire system and replace them all, they might have character but some of them are downright deadly." he replied with a slight chuckle.

"THANK you!" the lieutenant said empathically. He took another look at the Andorian. "I don't think we've met yet, but you're the Chief Engineer, right?" He pointed his finger at the lift again and added in a stage whisper: "Now, here's the man you need to impress. Seriously. Show him you can behave and he'll show you love, I know you will." He grinned again and shook his head to remove a few errand strands of hair from his forehead. "Sorry about that. They aren't used to working this hard, after the whole refit of the station. Mind you, for the better part of the last years they only had to carry a skeleton crew around, so sometimes days went by without them getting used. So some of them are a bit cranky." He shrugged, then grinned again. "Oh, and I'm Lieutenant Merlin, by the way. Also known as 'that weirdo who talks to lifts' or 'that weirdo' in short."

"Lieutenant Merlin, it's a pleasure," Thelin replied, his antennae narrowing slightly as he offered his hand towards the strangely interesting man who seemed insistent on conversing with the station's systems, "Commander Thelin th'Zarath and for the record you're correct, I am the new Chief Engineer, for my sins." the Andorian added before looking over the lift for a few moments, "Rumour has it, Mr Merlin, that you have... an intimate knowledge of this facility, moreso than any other officer on board and you'd be the man to show me around the truly hidden depths."

"The pleasure is all mine," the lieutenant said, shaking the Andorian's hand. "And oh yes. I've done a fair bit of exploring. Most of my knowledge is in the old sections, of course. I haven't had a chance to walk through all of the new additions yet. But my guess is that you're more interested in the basic core anyway." He grinned suddenly. "It's a pity Commander Satie has probably dismantled the old still by now. I showed it to him last week or so. But I daresay I can find a thing or two which might interest you down there. Is there anything particular you'd like to know?"

"Anything and everything in the older sections is interesting to me," the reply was simple and the truth, the Andorian was still getting to grips with everything that had been put on his plate and despite the renovation work that had been undertaken, some of the older sections of the station were still relatively under-maintained and needed quite a lot of remedial work before they could be used regularly without putting too many people at risk, "Part of my job will be getting things like your friend here," he added, gesturing to the turbolift, "to play nice with the new components and the new sections that have been added, either that or replace them, but given everything that has happened in the Federation in recent years, we're not exactly flush with spare components and supply runs are limited."

"Spare components…" the man repeated, tapping with his finger against his chin. "Oho, I might have something from you there, if it hasn't been stripped after I left… Shall we explore?" He turned to the turbolift again. "Deck… 916, I believe it was. Engineering Sphere." And softer, he added: "Now, remember what I told you about behaving for this man?"
The doors closed and the lift began to move, smoothly, down and down and down. The lieutenant leaned casually against the wall and said with a pleasant smile: "So… what sins did you commit to be assigned here?"

"Well, this is actually a step up from where I have been previously, although my last posting was a little more... prestigious," the Andorian replied with a chuckle as he leant against the wall of the lift with his back and sighed, he instinctively reached up and traced the line of his cybernetics as the lift moved, "I'd been retired for a short while but before that I was the Executive Officer on the Enterprise, the posting before that however was most certainly a punishment." he added quickly, "I was sent to Ferenginar to act as a diplomatic aide, it was the most dismal posting I've ever had. I had an altercation with the Admiralty after they decommissioned my ship after the end of the Second Dominion War, certain words were said which sealed my fate."

"You sound like you've been through quite a lot," the lieutenant remarked. He listened attentively, unlike most people who often listened with half their attention, their other half already thinking about what they were going to say next. "It might almost be worth it to get stuck in the lift to hear you tell some of them. I said *almost*," he added quickly with a warning look at the turbolift control panel.

The lift gave a brief rattle as it continued its descent, almost as if it wanted to answer 'I didn't do anything!'

"See that you don't," the lieutenant muttered and turned his full attention to Commander th'Zarath again.

"You could say that," Thelin replied with a slight sigh as he ran his right hand through his hair and smoothed it back down against his head between his antennae, "I have to admit, I nearly saw red when I saw the Vorta in sickbay, I lost too many friends, too many good men and women to them during the war." he rolled up his left sleeve and tugged at the blue-hued covering to reveal a small sliver of his prosthetic, offering it forward for the Lieutenant to take a look at, "Lost a big part of myself too."

"I can imagine that must've come as quite a shock," the lieutenant said mildly. "Seeing Valeese, I mean. I guess it's the difference between knowing and feeling. You know she's Starfleet, and a competent officer and doctor. But what you see is a Vorta, with all the memories that brings back to you…" He nodded slowly, regarding both the man as a whole and the prosthetic arm. "That looks like an interesting piece of work," he said, bending forward to take a closer look. Then he added with a grin: "Don't worry, I won't try to talk to it."

"It's behaves about as much as the turbolifts on the station," Thelin replied as his face brightened slightly and his antennae twitched a few times, right now it was aching more than it usually did but that was due to the workload he'd been under since he had arrived, "I occasionally have issues with it clamping down on the grip, thats why you'll never see me shake hands with my left or hold anything fragile."

"I'm sure my left hand appreciates the consideration," the Lieutant said with a smile. "But maybe I ought to try to talk to it. The turbolifts seem to behave remarkably well for me. Then again, I can hardly keep trailing you for a good morning pep talk to your arm every day. Anyway…" The lift slowed down and the doors slid open without the almost standard wheezing groan. "This way." A large part of the Engineering Sphere was new, but the core was the bottom part of the old station, and it was this area to which the lieutenant stuck. He walked through a few corridors, then opened an entrance hatch and gestured to the Engineer. "Shall we go in?"

"Lead the way," Thelin replied with a wide gesture with his prosthetic arm and a slight smile, "You know, I love this kind of thing, digging around in the depths of something long forgotten or abandoned, most people have no appreciation for the history of a facility like his."

"I know!" the lieutenant said with gleaming eyes. "And seriously, there is so much to discover here! I only spent a few months on the station back then, but the chief engineer at that time had been for years. I think you could've placed him blindfolded on any part of the station then and take it off and he'd be able to tell you exactly where he was." He followed the Andorian into the service corridor, which was smaller than the regular hallways but, unlike the Jefferies tubes, most people could still stand here. The lieutenants hair brushed the ceiling, as did the tips of the Andorian's antennae. "Go straight ahead until you reach the junction, then turn left," he instructed. "When you think you've reached the end of the corridor, take a good look." He whistled softly as he followed the engineer.

It was a tight fit and Thelin was glad for his antennae letting him know that he was definitely far too talk to be making his way through this service corridor at full stance, he was hunched over and bought himself in low as he followed the instructions given to him and he was still brushing the top of the passage, "Am I looking for anything in particular? or just having a good look?" the Andorian replied with a chuckle.

The lieutenant leaned against a bulkhead, arms folded, regarding his collegue with a smile. "Oh, I'm sure you'll know it when you see it," he said with twinkling eyes. It shouldn't be hard to find for an engineer, but he recalled how amazed he himself had been the first time Lieutenant Patak, who had been Chief Engineer on CST thirteen years ago, had shown him. It was a genuine party trick: totally obvious in hindsight and almost magical until you knew the trick.

He watched as the Andorian examined the cover in front of him, removed it and scanned (or poked, he couldn't quite see what Thelin was doing from this angle) inside. But he must've found it, for suddenly the whole panel folded away and revealed a large room behind it. Lights slowly began to glow, stuttering a bit at first after years of disuse.

Spare parts. Lots and lots of spare parts, ranging from microspanners in boxes of only a few inches high to the hard shell of a warpcore, three metres high. Some of it obviously repaired, others brand-new, still pre-packaged. "Welcome to Wonderland," the lieutenant said softly.

"Wonderland indeed," Thelin replied with a chuckle as the panel moved to reveal the bounty hidden in the bowels of the station, "I'd seen reference to this place in old logs but the schematics for this part of the station are out of date or corrupted, at the best of times they're half legible." he stepped through the gap and into the room that had opened up, moving amongst the parts and tools that had been hidden away for decades.

The lieutenant grinned. "Supply runs to CST were few and far in between, and it was always hit and miss whether they carried what was needed," he said. "So Patak decided to apply some ingenuity. You won't find anything newer than, say, ten years or so in here, but especially for the older parts of the station you have some good supplies. I helped him with some occasional repairs or tests back then."

"I think we're going to be needing spaces like this, we're going to be looking at similar supply situations now too, Starfleet simply cannot spare everything that we need to keep the place in top shape, that's why they chose to refit the station instead of build a new facility," the Andorian replied as he made his way through the hidden cache and marveled at the variety of items they had stored away.

The lieutenant nodded. "I'm sure you can find some places on the station. At this moment it's far too big for the people who live here or pass through. No doubt that'll change in time, but when that happens, the need for those spaces will disappear as well." He slowly walked after Thelin as the Andorian wandered through the storage room.

Thelin chuckled and placed a heavy cybernetic arm on the wall, he tapped his fingers a few times and listened for the reverberations as the sound rang out around the room, "It's quite large, but you're right, as the station grows, so will it's need for space but it'll also acquire parts and replacements easier."

"Well, there are always the official storage rooms for the regular resupplies," the lieutenant said. He loved watching the engineer, seeing the eagerness in the man's face and hearing the dedication in his voice. He was probably what the station needed, someone who could, hopefully, appreciate the old parts and who could forge a greater unity between the old and the new. "Be good to him," he whispered softly, placing one hand against one of the old bulkheads. "I'm sure he'll be good for you."

"You've shown me something that, as an engineer, warms my heart," Thelin stated as he turned and bowed his head slightly, "For that, you'll always have a friend in me, Mr Merlin and you'll always be welcome in my engineering deck."

The lieutenant grinned and gave a slight bow back, one which looked perfectly natural, not stilted at all. "You're welcome and more than welcome. I've always had a fondness for this station, maybe because it was my first home, or at least the first I can remember. And if you ever need someone to hand you a hypospanner when it's busy in Engineering and quiet in Ops, just give me a call."

"I shall remember that," Thelin replied with a light chuckle as his comm badge struggled to chirp from an incoming message, the signal down in the bowels of the station was difficult at best and a broken message came through requesting his presence for yet another difficult turbolift, "I'll have to head back up, feel free to stay as long as you wish, Mr Merlin."

"Thank you," the lieutenant said. "I'll see you around."

"I hope so," the Andorian replied with a bright smile as he stepped through the pile of parts and headed back towards their entrance.

(End Log.)

Commander Thelin th'Zarath
Chief Engineering Officer
Cold Station Theta


Lt. Evan 'Weirdo' Merlin
Chief Strat Ops
Cold Station Theta


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