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Problem Solving

Posted on Wed Aug 12th, 2020 @ 3:31am by Petty Officer, 1st Class Magdalena "Molly" Crawford & Captain Mike Ryan

Mission: S1: Prologue
Location: UES Intrepid | Deck 10 | Engineering (Second Level)
Timeline: Day 8 at 1030

[February 8, 2158]

Molly aggressively tapped away on several nearby control displays and groaned. Things had drastically changed in the past seventy-two hours as the Intrepid engineering team had found out that they were now working on implementing a Warp Six engine. Their shifts had been doubled in efforts to not get behind schedule - Molly’s own, however, being one of the more senior experts on propulsion systems had tripled.

“Fuck the person who decided to do this!” She loudly muttered to herself as she tried integrating the power flows once more. Much of the interface systems had been designed to maintain and work with the expected Warp Five engine that Intrepid originally had.

"I appreciate the offer, Petty Officer, but, there's those pesky fraternization rules," Mike said after leaning down right next to the womans head then walked around to her side and standing up straight. He had come to check on the integration progress and walked up just as she had spoken, "I guess I don't need to ask how things are going," he added with a smirk and nodded to the monitor.

Molly internally jumped slightly as she registered Mike's voice and presence, 'Of fucking course. Had to mutter that by the actual man who is responsible for this shit' she thought this to herself while maintaining a calm and cold exterior.

"Shame Commander... Rules that is... Although they haven't stopped me in the past..." She then grinned at him flirtatiously for a moment - a moment ruined by the sudden obnoxious beeping of the consoles in front of them.

"I don't think you'd like the answer if you did ask that question though. Best not." Molly tapped away, creating a bypass junction to one of the secondary flow regulators, which for the moment silenced the alarms. "Are you sure command can't spare any more officers for this ridiculous task?" She looked up at Mike - it shouldn't have been any surprise to him, he would have read her file. He would know her mouth had the habit of getting ahead of itself at times, but that when it came down to it she was a hard and determined worker who got shit done.

Ryan just grinned at the flirtatious comment, glad the beeping broke in before he could get himself in trouble, "command may or may not exactly know about this just yet," he replied with a chuckle and mustering his best innocent look, "what's giving you trouble?" he asked and leaned down, already know from the Petty Officers attitude they were going to get along great.

There was a pause now between them - as Molly processed the news that command was not informed of the installation of the warp six engine. Of course, that isn't exactly what Mike had indicated in his statement but she could read between the lines. She was genuinely perplexed as to how this whole thing was being pulled off.

"I see. Well doesn't that just make this all the more thrilling." She gave him a playful grin and then tapped on the console to her right several times. The display changed over to a diagnostic subroutine and mapping overlay - Molly spent the next several minutes reviewing it with Mike, essentially reaching a dead end with several power distribution pathways to the propulsion engines.

"I cannot find the fucking source of the problem." She stated this flatly, with a frustrated tone. "Well... I think we know the problem overall," this was stated as she pointed to the warp core bellow them. "I don't have a solution. Not something I'm used to saying..." It wasn't - after several years of space service, working in an engine room nearly identical to this one, Molly was used to being the one to come up with tricky solutions now.

Ryan nodded, "well, someone had to be first," he replied with shrug as she pointed to the core, "and if the computer doesn't show you what's wrong it's time to go trace the paths manually, where are the dead ends at?" he asked and reached across to zoom in on the dead spots on the schematics.

Molly laughed and playfully swatted the Commander in the chest, hitting rock solid muscle which caused her to bite her bottom lip softly in a pondering manner for a moment. "Oh please. I've been at this long enough to know that.... Sir..." She then turned her attention to the monitor once more. "I've isolated these three junctions. I initially thought it may be the physical flow regulators themselves but they've been checked, they're in good working order as far as we can tell." As she explained things her hand nearest the monitors highlighted the three trouble spots.

Ryan smirked, "well, you've been here long enough to know my favorite quote, so, you've eliminated everything else, what's the simplest answer, even if you don't think it's the correct one?" he asked and put a hand on the woman's shoulder, just high enough his pinky grazed the skin on her neck.

Mike's pinky just barely having touched Molly's neck caused her to take in a deep inhale, causing her to nearly choke on her own breath. She could feel the goosebumps raise on the back of her neck also. She was dead sure her signs of arousal were quite evident to her Chief, so she figured there was little point in pretending anything else.

"That there isn't anything wrong... And it is the diagnostic programming subroutines themselves?" Her voice was softer now, sultry even. It was not an answer she had wanted to accept, especially if there was really a problem but each of the junctions had been manually checked.

The engineering chief grinned as he watched her reaction, "correct," he replied, "I would bet a months pay it has to do with the amount of extra power going through those pathways. The diagnostics were set up to monitor about twenty percent less power, the extra flow must be making them look like they're blown," he said and gave the red headed engineers shoulder a squeeze that was almost massage like, all the while keeping an innocent look.

"Well there you go. I'll get a programming team on things as soon as possible. There are several diagnostic systems which will need re-coding." Molly leaned into Mike's squeeze slightly, a shit-eating grin on her face. She gave the Commander some serious side-eye for a moment before a look of determination took over. "I was hoping I might get your help with an additional power regulation problem we've been having. It does involve crawling into an isolated area of the ship..." She paused for a moment, giving her best 'fuck-me' look, "Might take us a while to get that problem fixed. Sure could use your years of experience Commander."

Things were moving fast - just the way the fiery red headed Engineer liked. She stuck out a olive-branch to her senior officer, the ball was in his court now. They had all been working so hard over the past little while, she welcomed a chance to relieve some stress.

"I think I can poke around for a while," Ryan replied with his own shit eating grin, "sounds like I'll need to get deep into the system, lead the way," he added and stepped back slightly to let her get up.

"Yes Sir.... Very deep..." Molly winked playfully as she stood back up and led the way.

Twenty minutes or so later - deep in the bowels of the Intrepid's maintenance halls, loud moans could be heard along with the sound of two bodies furiously connecting.


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