Meeting the captain
Engineering was a mess. People running to and fro, a beehive of activity. Half of Hel's staff hadn't arrived yet, and Lt Cmdr Swann and his team had left half the systems in need of at least some tweaking.
First things first though, the important stuff. The main warp core was stand by, but running on minimum output, the ship was still powered by the starbase. The transporters were only half functional, weapons were offline, but shields seemed ok ... ish, and navigation was updating to the latest charts.
That left half the ship's replicators half functional, the secondary power grid offline and the main computer core displaying an array of minor and mild warnings.
Ro had made her way through main engineering to a fairly out of the way corner where a group of engineers were huddled around a worktable trying to figure out a prioritized list of repairs from the sounds of it. She waited for a moment, soaking in key phrases like 'weapons offline' and 'transporters shoddy' before clearing her throat to draw attention. "Just a tic boys: point me to your boss, wouldya?"
"Over there, Ma'am." one of the engineers offered, holding up a part of a power conduit for another. He waved in the direction of a pale woman with raven black hair, poring over several data padds, with even more stacked nearby.
"Thanks," Ro said with a wave before heading over to the chief. She was an odd looking one- that was for sure. Made odder still for managing to be a few shades lighter than the natural redhead. "Heya, chief?" O'Touvelli said in a cheerful enough tone as she drew closer. "Commander Ro O'Touvelli. I need a few minutes of your time if you've got some to spare."
"Sure thing, Commander." Hel responded cheerfully enough, though a little bit distracted. "Just give me a second, need to finish this. Hmm. Looking ok, I suppose, aaaand - Done." she smiled, signing off on the padd. Then one look at her CO, before she motioned to her office. "I'm totally going to call you Queen Ro."
The redhead blinked a few times as the gears shifted in her head. She was already feeling a bit worn thin from chasing down leads and crew and parsing details that somehow got skipped from one terminal to the next. "Okay.. Why exactly am I Queen Ro?"
"You're the woman in charge of the Kingdom." the engineer offered without missing a beat. "Coffee?"
"Would kill for it," Ro said, dropping into one of the empty chairs in Hel's office bonelessly. "So why is my ship broken? Shorthand. Nothing technical. Does it seem to be intentional? Or is it put together with twine and paperclips? Maybe some glitter for the cute light fixtures? Why?"
"Newness." was the simple reply, as two mugs of coffee were produced, one offered to Ro, the other for Hel herself. "All the systems are physically installed - at least, all the primary ones and most of the secondaries - just gotta make 'em all talk to each other."
A sip from her coffee. "Mmmm. Liquid awake." the pale engineer smiled. "I can have us flying in ... an hour give or take if you want me to focus on that. Combat ready in seven? Eight hours? Something along those lines. Secondary systems functionality in about twenty hours, long as nothing goes wrong. All the redundancies and backup systems .. day or two."
The commander took a long drawl of coffee as well. "More like liquid lunch. Take the time that you need to get it up and running correctly- that's not my concern. I'm asking if the systems were tampered with or half assed. Trust me: it's relevant to a whole slew of other problems that are butting their ugly heads into us getting our feet under us."
"Tampered? No. Half-assed? To some degree. This boat's built by people who want to go home on time, there's always things they leave for the ship's own engineering team to finish." Hel mused, cupping the warm mug in both hands. "I know what state we're in but see no reason to suspect foul play." A pause. ".... Why, do you?"
"Thirty some odd staff spread out between four different bars are all direly ill, but none of the other patrons. The ship is in a hell of a state. I've got more crew sent to the wrong ship if they received orders at all and the wrong orders were sent here. I don't like to make these kinds of leaps, but you can't deny that the scope of this is a little too much to be coincidence. Starfleet makes mistakes, but not like this." Ro found herself wishing again that the security chief had checked in, she'd love to drop all of this in his hands and say 'go hunting'. "I'm keeping all officers who reported in restricted to the Kingdom for their safety unless they've got special permissions from department heads and an escort."
"Didn't know it was that bad." Hel frowned. "Well, if I come across anything suspicious I'll let you know first thing." she added, taking another long drink of coffee, savoring the taste. "Barring unforeseen events I've got things under control here, though. Lot to do, but all I need to get it all done is minions and time. Minions are trickling in as we go along and time you just gave me."
"Minions?" Again, Ro found herself giving the engineer an odd look. She had a feeling that reading up on the woman's file would turn out to be.. interesting to say the least. "Well hopefully in a few days we'll get the rest of your minions routed here. Just watch the ones you've got now because our poor doctor's pulling overtime trying to patch up our sick folk already."
"Previous captain I had took offense at me calling them serfs. Besides, I mean it kindly and lovingly and all that feely touchy crap." The engineer smiled, before turning more serious again. "I'll say something to the minions about making sure their food is clean and from a trusted source, not trusting candy from a stranger, all that jazz. If things really are as bad as you say you're right in cautioning me."
"I'd rather be wrong than right on this one, but you never know. Better to be safe than sorry." The commander said with a shrug. "Take care of your minions, Hel, and keep me in the loop on what's going on. I need to go chase down the other department heads now since status reports are coming in coded pinyin. I'm not in the mood to run a cipher just to read updates."
"No problem, Captain. I know how it works, a clear and concise report a day keeps the captain away, or how did that saying go?" Hel chuckled, finishing her coffee. "Oh, before you go? If we're ever sending people down to a planet with nice mountains or caves, let me know? I don't get nearly as many chances to climb nowadays as I'd like."
Ro quirked a fine red brow. "I'll try to keep that in mind.. You might have to remind me- you know- when the crisis is averted, but sure. Excuse to climb mountains. I'd be up for that, too."
Hel smiled warmly. "Great! It's a date, then." she said, recycling her mug. "Now, was there anything else I can do for you?"
"..Fix the ship? That'd be great. Once this mess is under control we'll have a senior staff dinner and I'll be a bit more free to be social, but right now I'm juggling hats. I hope you understand. Thanks for the coffee, though," Passing the mug back to Hel, the CO grinned apologetically. "I'll see you around."
"No problem, Queen Ro." Hel gave a nod. "We've all got our hands full juggling all the everything ever. I'll get your ship working, don't worry about that - and I'll send some clear status reports." she added. "Do you want a daily list, or updates whenever we get major systems stable and running?"
O'Touvelli stood, rolling her eyes a little at the title. She smiled, though. "Just for that, I'm going to call main engineering the pit. Running update I guess? If I get news about the rest of your staff I'll pass that on to you as soon as I get it, too. Just keep your communicator handy because I'll be running all over the place."
"Pit works with minions. I like that." Hel smirked, folding her arms over eachother. "And I'm the lady of the pit. Yeah, that has a nice ring to it." A nod. "I'm keeping my communicator near. Was nice meeting you, Captain."