Return to Faltan Base (Part 4)

Posted on Sat Mar 30th, 2024 @ 10:14pm by Lieutenant JG Paisley "Mura" F'rar & Commander M'Mira & Ensign Connor Turner

2,077 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Mission 4 - Like a Thunderbolt
Location: Faltan Planetary Base
Timeline: MD 06 - 1830

Connor started leading Paisley off towards the computer core. He looked at the Cajoran strangely. "Why do you want to know about my girlfriend?" At least I think she is my girlfriend. Did we ever decide that? "She's the FNS Reporter. Surely you have heard of Candy Templeton."

As they headed for the Computer cores, Paisley listened. "Nope," she said. "Never in my life. Over on the Columbia, we had a Louise Layne," she said, rolling her eyes. Like, who planned THAT one?! Paisley was convinced it was a pen name, because while it was clever, no one could be stupid enough to name a literal child Louise Layne, right?! "Candy is the name given to girls from a certain side of town that myself and my stepsister weren't supposed to go when my father and I lived on Earth," she said. Finally, they had arrived. "What the hell? It's a MESS in here," she said. She might only be a Junior Lieutenant, but she had been around long enough to know that a computer core wasn't supposed to look like THIS.

"Bugger!" Connor exclaimed. "The Falteans must have already been here. I cannot imagine that Commander M'Mira would have allowed this. What do you think that we should do? We should make sure that nothing was compromised, I should think."

Paisley looked at him sideways. "We should start getting it cleaned up. I'll radio back to the Base, or you can, and we'll alert Commander M'Mira and perhaps the Science department," she said, moving forward towards the computer core. "I'll take the aft set, you do these." She indicated the first set of computers.

Connor looked at Paisley and recognized she was of higher rank, so said nothing immediately. "Radioing base seems foolish since we came here somewhat clandestine, but I can notify Commander M'Mira and Ba'zra." He thought for a moment and asked, "Did she ask for us to be radio silent?"

Paisley set her kit down, and took stock of her work. She glanced up. "No, she didn't," Paisley said. "Or if she did, she didn't to me and my supervisor didn't pass it on," she said. "Though, she's kind of an idiot, so I am not totally surprised," she said. She looked around then. "Did you happen to see a replicator? I work better with Jumja tea or something," she explained.

"You're calling a Commander an idiot?" Connor asked aghast. "Why are you saying that?!" He moved over to a replicator and found that it was working perfectly. "Jumja tea, please," he requested.

"No, my supervisor," she said. "Calm down." She shook her head. "I would never speak that way of the CO," she said. Even if they were. She knew where her bread was buttered. "Ok, two Jumja Teas," she turned to the replicator in the corner of the room, and, a minute later, handed the redhead a steaming mug. "Interesting choice, Ensign. Most humans find the tea too sweet," she said. "Truthfully, I was raised more with my Cardassian heritage, so it took some getting used to," she said.

She finally shut up and looked around. "Yes, you radio back, and I will start," she said. With a sigh, she picked up a spanner, and began to see what she could figure out. "Can you please also replicate three yellow wires, 35 centimeters long?" She said.

Connor looked at Paisley like she had two heads. "You asked me to get the Jumja tea for you. I would not have chosen it." He shook his head and then said, "Yes, I'll replicate them, but what for?"

"Going to tear 'em all out and start from jump, obviously," she said. "Are you SURE you're a computer tech?" She raised an eyebrow. *The Fleet is just hiring anyone these days*, she said to herself. "Well. Anyway. Enjoy the Jumja. At any rate, it's good for stomach upset. My nannies would give me some when I was a child," she said. As she spoke, she began her task, unplugging bits and pieces, and carefully cutting wires away. "They've been sabotaged," she said. She held up a singular piece of wiring. "See there?" She pointed at a section that had been notched, but not cut throughly. "I would do that if I wanted to cut someone's relay machine or computer off to avoid them calling for help or something like that," she mused.

"Tell me more about this Fleet News reporter," she said, rummaging in her kit and extracting a decoupler. A bit later, the room filled with the acrid smell of burning metal. "Think we need the black boxes?" She asked.

"What do you want to know? She's blond, beautiful, and my girlfriend, I think." When he smelled the burning metal, Connor asked, in an alarmed tone, "Just what are you doing there?!"

"What do you mean, you "think?" She asked, her head still bent over a motherboard. Finally, she looked up at Connor. "I am trying to open the ALU-Arthimatic-logic unit," she said. "Are you SURE you're a computer specialist?" She asked again. "The burning smell is from the.... WAIT."

She set down her project and stood up. She crossed to the replicator and spoke again. "Computer, Raktajino," she said. A moment later, the steaming drink appeared. Finally, she turned back around, leaving the coffee at the computer replicator.

"Say, Connor Turner. Why are the replicators working if the rest of the machines in here aren't?" She asked him.

"Different power relays, probably. I could take a look at it, if you would like."

She nodded. "Please do that," she said. "But...if you were an engineer here, wouldn't you have made it so the alternative relays would pick up something so essential as you, know, the data center?" She looked thoughtful for a minute. "Maybe I am just worrying too much," she said, with a shrug.

"I think that the Captain is worried about quite a bit," Connor admitted. "I do feel badly for Commander M'Mira, though. She has done a lot for the station and this demotion is not right." The British engineer almost seemed a little worked up. "Damn Candy...."

Paisley simply stared, open mouthed for a moment. "Did you drink the Jumja? You should. It'll calm your nerves. You know what? Maybe mint, instead," she said. "And I agree...from what little I've interacted with the Commander, she seems like she has her proverbial ducks in a row. Isn't that what your people say?" The Carjoran wrinkled her nose a bit. "How did she get demoted, anyway?" Paisley didn't wait for Connor's confirmation-a moment later, a steaming mug of peppermint tea was shoved in his hand. "And why "damn Candy?" She asked, biting into a replicated croissant. "This is good. Do you want one?" She asked.

"Why damn Candy?" He looked over at Paisley like she had two heads. "She's the FNS reporter. She is the one that published the expose regarding the station and the Commander's supposed shortcomings. I will grant you that M'Mira is a bit eccentric, but you get used to her."

He looked at the peppermint tea that was shoved into his hand, not certain what to do with it. However, being British, he could not refuse and he took a sip. He wrinkled his nose slightly and realizing that might be offensive, purposefully relaxed his face. He then looked at the croissant and asked, "Do you always talk, work, and eat at the same time?"

Paisley shrugged. "Sometimes," she said. "I am a busy woman. I need to keep my strength up if I am supposed to be hauling myself through Jefferies tubes and such," she said. "Yesterday, I got stuck briefly in a bulkhead between the Habitation deck and the Promenade. I am glad I had a snack," she said. She paused a beat to finish her sip.

"Sounds reckless to report such a thing about a commanding officer. Clearly, she's either dumb or doesn't wish to go very far in her career," Paisley said. She had her vision trained on the box in front of her, as she painstakingly moved wires from one conduit to another. "I've had a boss I disliked. Nash Winters," she said, making a face. "Guy was a jerk who thought that he was the center of the Universe," she said. "However, he was my Department Chief, and a Commander. I knew better than to speak ill of him until I changed postings. So...right now," she said.

" is anything but stupid!" Connor defended his girlfriend or ex-girlfriend's honor. "And you would be wise not to underestimate her. Everything! And I mean everything she does has a reason behind it! She's untouchable..." He started to pinken. "Poor choice of words, as that's obviously not true," he grumbled. "Let's just say that she has something on everyone at some point. And she loves to be the center of attention."

Paisley snorted. "I am sure she's book smart, but it's awfully reckless behavior," she replied. "Besides, I wear my skeletons on my sleeve," she said, absently. "THERE!" She pushed herself back from the table a bit. "One done. Oh, my, you've not gotten anything done! Tsk. Are you SURE you're an engineer? Did they send you down to babysit me?" She wrinkled an eyebrow, and bunched her nose, causing her single ridge to highlight a little. "Here," she said, handing him a decoupler. "Do something so we can finish. I have an uneasy feeling being here. Can't quite place why, stomach is fluttering." She shrugged, and moved on to the next panel. "Were you able to replicate those wires?"

"Not done anything?" Connor asked blinking. "You handed me a drink. You then engaged me in conversation about my...well, Candy. And was not the mission to scuttle everything, so the Falteans could not use them? We were not supposed to repair them? Seems quite anti-engineering to me."

Paisley shook her head. "How do you manage to get anything done if you can't multitask?" She asked, dumbfounded. "I was able to drink TWO drinks, have my croissant, AND destroy black boxes," she said. "Well. Here," she handed him her decoupler. "Never mind the wires, I'll move on to the next bank of computers. I'll be quiet so you can work," she said, with an edge of exasperation in her voice. Men. Humans. Truly ridiculous.

Connor opened his mouth and then shut it, as he knew that whatever he was about to say would have no effect on Paisley. The woman was insufferable. Engineering should be about building and fixing things, not destroying things.

It was at that moment that both Paisley and Connor's commbadges went off, =^= This is Commanderrr M'Mirrra. Do not destrrroy anything. It is a trrrap. Rrrepeat, do not destrrroy anything! =^=

Paisley sighed deeply, but tapped her comms badge. =/\=Too late, Commander=/\= Paisley reported. =/\=Lt. Junior Grade Paisley F'rar. I already destroyed one. That was my previous order; shall I withhold the rest?=/\=

She shook her head. The ass-end needed to find its head soon, or she'd positively explode!! "Well, Connor Turner. Looks like you have your wish after all. Help me get these back online, then," she said.

M'Mira replied on the comm, =^= Not good! Get out! That's an orrrderrr. If you don't rrrun now, you may be infected and die. Go! =^=

Connor did not have to hear that twice. The shy engineer started running to the rendezvous point.

Paisley shook her head, but grabbed her toolkit and ran out of the room, too. What the hell was going on?

"Head for the transporter pad," she called out to Connor. "Let's go see what's going on."

Just as soon as Paisley and Connor exited the room, they could hear an explosion. To their trained ears, it only sounded like the beginning of one. They could hear the pops of a potential cascading effect.

"Oh, no, that's not good. Maybe we should just beam back and let security handle it," she said. The Engineer wasn't looking to die today.

As much as he found the Cajoran to be rather uncouth, he had to agree with her assessment. However, the beam out point was not far away and he kept running as instructed.

M'Mira was waiting for them with Lockley at the rendevous point. She looked around and saw Connor and Paisley rushing in her direction. She tapped her commbadge, =^= Fourrr to beam up. Quickly. =^=



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