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Just another day in the office

Posted on Mon Jun 10th, 2024 @ 6:01am by NVeid tr'Rehu & Ensign Liam O'Connor

Mission: Character Development
Location: Sickbay
2069 words - 4.1 OF Standard Post Measure

Liam sat at his workstation in Engineering, sifting through the backlog of maintenance requests that seemed to grow longer with each passing day. Among the mundane tasks and routine checks, one request caught his attention: a report of random power outages affecting the surgical equipment in the ship's sick bay.

Curious, Liam leaned forward, tapping on the display to bring up more details. It seemed like a significant issue, one that could potentially endanger the lives of patients if not addressed promptly. With a sense of urgency, he decided to investigate further.

"Computer, who made the request regarding the power outages in sick bay?" Liam asked aloud, his voice echoing slightly in the rather unusually quiet engineering room.

A moment passed before the computer responded, "Surgeon NVeid tr'Rehu."

Nodding to himself, Liam tapped his communications badge, initiating a call to Sick Bay. "Surgeon NVeid tr'Rehu, this is Ensign Liam O'Connor from Engineering. I've received your maintenance request regarding the power outages. I'll be on my way to Sick Bay shortly to assess the situation and work on resolving the issue."

With a sense of purpose, Liam gathered his tools and made his way out of Engineering, heading towards Sick Bay to tackle the problem firsthand. As he walked through the corridors of the ship, his mind raced with possibilities, determined to get to the bottom of the mysterious power fluctuations affecting the surgical equipment. It wasn’t long before he found himself entering Sickbay looking for the surgeon.

The random outage of the surgical ward was concerning, even if sickbay did have backup equipment. However, if the backup was acting up as well, it was a real concern. The Romulan hybrid looked up when a junior engineer strode in. Quietly, he beckoned the young man and led him to the ward. "I don't understand the outage," he explained, the words coming out in strongly accented Standard, "I can't see anything wrong and according to the diagnostic I ran, it should be working.

Liam followed NVeid tr'Rehu into the surgical ward, his brow furrowed in concentration as he assessed the situation. The Romulan hybrid's accent caught his attention, adding an air of mystery to the already puzzling problem.

"Well, let's take a look then," Liam said, his voice calm and reassuring. He approached the surgical equipment, scanning it with his engineering tricorder to assess its status. "Hmm, everything seems to be in order on the surface, as you said" he mused, furrowing his brow as he analysed the data on his device.

He moved closer to one of the surgical consoles, examining it closely for any signs of malfunction. "It's possible there's an issue with the power distribution network," he speculated, tapping a few commands into the console to access its diagnostic logs. "Or perhaps there's a fault in the wiring that's causing intermittent outages, is this the only area that's being affected?"

The surgeon shrugged. "I'm a doctor, not an engineer," he replied, "insofar I've noticed it affects all equipment just completely at random and never all at once. Several work stations have shown signs of malfunction now. First I thought it was just a glitch but if this persists it may have dire consequences. What if there's a malfunction during surgery?

"Well, that's why I'm here—to make sure it doesn't happen during surgery," Liam responded, his mind already ticking through the possibilities of what could be causing the issue. "Where and when did you first notice the issue? It would be good to track it from its start."

"At least the past two shifts," NVeid confessed, "I know I should've alerted engineering sooner, but I felt I should make sure it was something first, before troubling the already overworked engineering staff. I'm capable of fixing small errors myself, but this.." He gestured around sickbay. "As for where, I'm not entirely sure as it was on multiple beds as well. I do remember one patient, who was Human, being read as if she were a Klingon. Imagine the sound of all the alarms, before misdiagnosis could happen..."

"That must have been quite the experience," Liam mused as he made his way over to the beds, his curiosity piqued by the situation. "The beds are interconnected, right? They're not each operating on separate data chips?" he queried, his tone reflecting his growing suspicion that the problem might be rooted in a malfunctioning data relay within the broader sickbay data network.

As he examined the beds, turning to NVeid tr'Rehu, Liam offered a reassuring smile. "Don't worry, I'll get to the bottom of this. It might take some time, but we'll figure it out," he assured, his confidence bolstered by his training and experience in troubleshooting engineering problems. "Let's start by checking the data connections and running some diagnostic scans to pinpoint the source of the issue."

"The only worry I have is making mistakes during surgery due to malfunctioning equipment," NVeid answered, sensing the young man's confidence with ease. He smiled politely. "As far as I know, each bed operates independently, but as an engineer you probably have a better understanding of that than I do? I'm just a simple surgeon sir."

"It's understandable, and yes, they operate independently. However, for the sake of space efficiency and, let's admit it, sheer convenience, most of the components are linked via a data relay. Otherwise, we'd need a mini-computer core in each bed just to handle the vast amount of medical information necessary for diagnosing patients," he clarified. "So, typically, when something interrupts the data link, the beds are the first to be affected, especially if what I suspect is happening comes to pass." He gestured toward the beds, focusing on the one nearest the wall and access panel. "The farther away from the central relay, the more prone to corruption they become," he continued to explain. "Do you expect anyone to arrive within the next ten minutes? I'll need to power them down for maintenance."

"Barring unforeseen circumstances I am not expecting any visitors," NVeid answered, watching the young engineer with interest. "If push comes to shove, I can use a tricorder or more archaic means if examination." He gestures towards the series of beds. "By all means, do what you need to do."

Liam set to work, examining the cables and connections with meticulous care, his mind racing through possible solutions for the sporadic power outages. As he replaced a damaged isolinear chip, he couldn't help but think about the valuable insights he'd picked up from his colleagues, especially Vivienne. Running a full system diagnostic, he felt a sense of satisfaction when it confirmed everything was back to normal. "Alright, the system is reporting normal operations," he told NVeid, feeling a surge of pride. As he packed up his tools, he reflected on how much he loved solving real problems and making a tangible difference, even if it meant crawling through Jeffries tubes. "Shall we test it?"

NVeid watched from a slight distance so he wouldn't be in he way, but still close enough to possibly learn something new in the process. He did appreciate being able to fix small things if needed,so he wouldn't have to bother anyone else to do it for him. He was pulled out of his thoughts upon the question and nodded slowly. "You'll be my guinea pig," he said, gesturing for the man to place himself on the bed. A keen observer would notice his gesture had encompassed more than just a wave towards the bed

As the man took his place, the Romulan activated the bed and smiled when the readings showed what they ought to. "What caused the issue?" He asked as he motioned towards the next bed to be tested.

Liam hopped onto the bed, examining the equipment closely. "It looks like during the recent maintenance inspection, someone might have accidentally bumped or misplaced the data alignment chip. This optical cable allows data to flow between different nodes. If it's not properly aligned, it causes a slight micro-misalignment in the information, which explains why the wrong data was captured. It’s likely someone was accessing the ship's computer or holodeck for information about Klingons, and it got fed into the medical system. The computer, as intelligent as it is, tries to fill in the gaps with what makes sense, but interpreting a Human as a Klingon is obviously an error. It's all just ones and zeros."

"Ones and zeroes?" He arched a single slanted eyebrow at the man. "It does in occasion label a Human correctly as something else because of their mixed heritage. Sometimes people don't know there's an alien among their forebears." He chuckled as he pointed at the readings. "You however, seem to be all Human. For mixed heritage came as a surprise when I was in medical training."

Instead of answering the questions about binary languages, Liam focused on the latter comment. “How did you get surprised?” he asked, genuinely curious. He was somewhat relieved to find out that the he himself was fully human, not that it would have mattered to him either way.

He leaned in slightly, eager to hear the story. His curiosity was piqued; after all, it wasn't every day you encountered someone with an unexpected background or experience, especially in a place like this. Liam always found it fascinating to learn about others' unique journeys and surprises they'd encountered along the way.

As he waited for the response, Liam's mind wandered briefly. He thought about how diverse the crew was and how each member brought something special to the table. It was these unexpected stories and backgrounds that often led to the most interesting and rewarding interactions.

"I'm not a purebred Romulan," NVeid grinned, an amused sparkle touching his dark eyes. "I always was the odd one out with my telepathic prowess, it is a rarity among Romulans and even then they are touch telepaths like Vulcans. I'm not, and until I learned of my mixed heritage, it was always an enigma. My mother was a proud Rihannsu woman, my father apparently is a Betazoid diplomat."

“Sounds like you ended up with the good end of the deal,” Liam said with a smile. “Is there anything else you need me to test before I head off? As much as I’m enjoying sitting around talking, my boss would have my head if I didn’t clear our backlog for the day.” He leaned forward slightly, a look of genuine curiosity on his face, ready to assist with any final checks or concerns.

The room was filled with the hum of medical equipment and the occasional beep from diagnostic tools, creating a backdrop of efficiency and urgency that was a constant in Sickbay. Liam glanced around, appreciating the complexity of the systems he helped maintain. "I'm happy to help with anything else you need," he added, "but I really should get back to Engineering soon. We’ve got a lot of maintenance requests piling up, and I’d like to avoid another lecture from the chief."

He watched the doctor for a moment, waiting for any additional instructions, ready to jump into action if needed. His mind was already mapping out the quickest route back to Engineering, considering the tasks still awaiting his attention. Despite the busy schedule, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction from solving another problem, ensuring that the ship’s systems—and its crew—remained in top shape.

"I don't want to keep you even if I do appreciate the company," NVeid smiled politely, "thank you for fixing the systems...things might've gone very wrong otherwise." He smiled. "On the other hand, you weren't dawdling, you were doing important work so if Finn gives you a hard time, send her to me, alright?"

“No problem! And I’m sure she’ll be just fine—she’s actually a great boss,” Liam said, thinking fondly of their chief engineer. “I’ve enjoyed your company too. If this issue crops up again, or if you have any other engineering problems, or even if you just fancy grabbing a meal sometime, you know where to find me.”

Liam smiled warmly and gave the medical officer a friendly half-grin. “See you around, Doc.”

NVeid simply nodded, greatly appreciating the invitation. "I will take you up on that sometime," he promised as he watched the man leave.


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