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Necessity trumps it all...

Posted on 09 Jan 2017 @ 6:03am by Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Engineering Lab, Deck 15
Timeline: MD 11: 1020 hrs

Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion wiped the sweat that had accumulated on her forehead with the sleeve of her uniform as she sat back and assessed the work she had done. Most of it had been straight from memory, and even then, she’d hit a snag or two in the first hour as she struggled to recall all the little details that she’d learned and had been summarily told to forget. The ordeal that had transpired was impossible for her to forget, even if some of the minute details of the technology they had encountered and utilized to survive had managed to slip almost out of reach. Two still smoking husks that once might have been perfectly viable pieces of equipment had she not had to make a few ‘trial runs’ were more than enough evidence to that fact.

Liz sank back in her chair as she marveled at the number of adaptive matrix control modules she had managed to construct. She had replicated the pieces she had needed to physically construct them, that wasn’t the piece of the project that she’d been averse to allowing her engineers to witness. It was the programing subroutines and behavioral algorithms that could get people in trouble should they simply start appearing elsewhere in the years to come. Also, taking into account the fact that Liz purposely wired them just poorly enough to cause them to overload after the shields sustained a significant percentage of damage, a fact that Marion wasn’t proud of but at the same time knew was necessary to protect not only her own ass but the crew at large from intense and undeserved scrutiny, made the project all the more a one-person job.

Lt. Marion was, overall, proud of her work. And more importantly, the adaptive matrices would do their job effectively enough to keep the ship out of harm’s way until they managed to find the missing crew and perhaps even the ship with them. At least that was the hope, and the prevailing desire of the crew at large. Despite not knowing anyone on the Cochrane, Liz wouldn’t wish a fate lost in some twisted reality on anyone, and it certainly wasn’t a place she intended to die in.

Liz pushed her thoughts out of the past and refocused them on the present and what she could do that moment. She tapped her commbadge and requested the duty repair team to report to the small Engineering Lab she’d confiscated for her work. When the team arrived, Marion promptly began handing out orders.

“You three,” Marion pointed to the three closest Petty Officers to her, “I need you to grab the larger adaptive modules and start fitting them to the shield generators. They go in the power relay panel, just between the EPS conduit and the frequency attenuation module.”

The three crewmen nodded and began gathering the devices.

“The rest of you,” Liz turned to address the five crewmen left behind, “The smaller units are for the fighters. They fit in the same place. Unlike the ship, you’re going to have to force the fighters to accept the modules by reprograming their diagnostic protocols. I have an isolinear control chip inserted into each of them. Plug it in to the fighter’s diagnostic matrix control board and have the craft cycle the information into its diagnostic routine. It’ll be a pain in the ass the first time you do it, but you should be able to get it to work. If you run into problems, call me and I’ll come down there. Do not, under any circumstance, try to program them without the chip. You’ll fry the entire command module up if you don’t use the chip I provided. This stuff is touchy at best.”

The technicians nodded their understanding and began gathering the smaller devices for insertion into the fighters and shuttles slated to launch. When the team had finally left, Liz walked over to the replicator that she had used to fabricate the devices and scrubbed the pattern buffer memory as well as the computer logs that recorded the activity of the replicator and the items fashioned. She would much rather explain the hole in the log than have to explain to someone in Temporal Investigations exactly why she had decided to disobey orders. Given their situation, she wanted the luxury of getting to explain the hole in the logs versus never getting back home…


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