Part of USS Horizon: Episode 1.2 – Remnants and Bravo Fleet: Phase 2: Horizon

Engineer’s Insomnia

Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
August, 2399
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Treylana wasn’t the only one up at such an irregular hour. Paul had been laying in his bed for the past hour staring at the ceiling in hopes that he would fall back to sleep. He had a lot on his mind recently after hearing in a communiqué from Starfleet that his parents had been involved in an accident with an avalanche while skiing in the Swiss Alps. He wanted to be home to make sure they were alright and look after them.

As he lay there, he remembered a time when he was a little boy and fell off a play structure at school and shattered several ribs and nearly snapped his spinal cord. Doctors were able to repair his physical injuries, but the trauma from the fall and ridicule from several bullies took months to heal. He remembered however, that his mother was there every step of the way during his recovery and now he wanted to do the same, but his present assignment in the Delta Quadrant made that impossible.

Realizing that he was not going to get back to sleep with his mind as active as it was, he decided to get out of bed, get dressed into his workout clothes, grab a towel and head to the ship’s gymnasium.

The gym was empty when Paul arrived, as was to be expected at that hour. Everyone else that would have been up at that time was likely already on shift, still sleeping before the start of the morning rotation, or getting ready to head to bed for the afternoon rotation. He walked over to the free weight section, draped his towel over the workout bench and grabbed some adjustable dumbbells, locking in his desired weight.

He proceeded with his workout routine, starting with a dumbbell bench press, moving on to dumbbell rows and squats between sets amongst various other activities. All the while trying to keep his mind clear and focus on the ship’s present mission, which seemed to be up in the air after they had concluded with the Molgeth. It was a shame that they had been at war with the Rorneans for so long only for Rorneans to be wiped out from their own doing. He still didn’t know what caused the explosion. The captain was not at liberty to discuss it. She obviously had her reasons, but it was not like her to keep her crew in the dark. Especially those she had served with for so long like him, Allan and William.

With his strength training now completed and that previous mission now on his mind, Paul moved over to the cardio section and climbed up onto one of the treadmills. Starting up the machine he began to think about work related tasks that needed to be accomplished. The plasma manifolds needed to be cleaned, the mess hall had a replicator that was malfunctioning and he remembered that they were having continuous alignment issues with one of the warp coils ever since the detonation of the gravimetric torpedoes. If they couldn’t permanently stabilize the alignment soon, they were going to have to put in for some time at a starbase and have the coil replaced.

Paul was now sweating up a storm. His cardio workout now complete, he grabbed his towel, wiped down the treadmill and headed out of the gym back to his quarters so that he could jump in the sonic shower and get dressed for the day.

Wanting to get his day organized, he spun the computer terminal around on his desk while trying to throw on his tunic. He noticed an incoming notification from the bridge. Senior staff meeting at zero-eight-hundred hours. Paul surmised that a stop at main engineering would be wise to see if there was anything last minute that needed to be reported to the captain and quickly replicated some toast with peanut butter, a banana, and a large mug of coffee with cream and sugar for breakfast.

Roughly thirty minutes later, Paul found himself walking through the doors to engineering. He wasn’t aware of anyone on the other side of the door, nor thedid unsuspecting crewman. As he went to take a swig from his coffee he inadvertently walked into the crewman that was trying to exit at the same time. Hot coffee went flying from the mug completely soaking the two. The crewman attempted to apologize profusely, but Paul reassured her that he was just as much at fault for the accident and told her not to worry about it.

The duty shift Lieutenant noticed Paul’s arrival “Paul! What an unexpected surprise. Are you okay?” he said, eyeing Paul’s uniform.

“I’m fine Walter. A slight mishap. I’ll sort it out momentarily. I was unable to sleep this morning, so I thought I would pop by and check on things before I report to the captain at zero-eight-hundred. Anything new I need to be aware of?” Paul asked in reply.

“Nothing we haven’t been able to handle. A couple of minor power fluctuations, a broken sonic shower, and a level three diagnostic of the lateral sensors.”

“Any issues with the warp coil we’ve been having problems with?”

“The last check we did at zero-two-hundred hours showed an alignment deviation of point-two degrees, but still within tolerance.”

Paul wasn’t keen on hearing that. They had just realigned the coil two days ago. They couldn’t continue to keep making band-aid alignment fixes. He was going to have to come up with an alternative to keep the coil aligned, otherwise they could end up losing warp capability before being able to make it to the nearest repair facility.

“Alright.” Paul replied, “I’m going to take care of this uniform and draft up a report for the morning briefing. If you need me for anything urgent, I’ll be in my office.”

“Aye sir.” said Walter as he left to continue with his duties.

Paul disappeared into his office around the corner from the warp core and set his now less than half filled mug on the desk and sighed. He’d hoped the coffee incident was not going to be an indicator for how the remainder of the day was going to be.