SIM:Meanwhile, on the Mercury (Part 4)

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"Ghost Ship" SIMs
Prelude: Meanwhile, on the Mercury
Finale

Other SIMs by Rich & Deliera

The events in this SIM occurred on stardate 239106.29.


Meanwhile, on the Mercury (Part 4)

JP by Deliera and Rich

((Personal Quarters of Nick Falls, USS Mercury))

Webber: I think I like this one the most.

::Her finger traced the outline of a Trill spot that lay across Nick’s clavicle.::

Falls: They’re just spots, Jess. Like birthmarks.

Webber: Well, *some* of us aren’t so lucky, I suppose.

::She gave the tactical officer a devilish grin.::

Webber: Mmmm, now that I think about it, there was another spot further down that looked pretty good, too.

::She walked her fingers playfully down his bare chest.::

Falls:::giving a chuckle.:: Now now, you’re already had your fun down there . . .

::Not that he wasn’t up for more, of course, but still.::

::She returned a poutful look, but then rested her chin on his chest, and looked whimsically out towards the lone window in Nick’s quarters, the stars streaking by as the ship continued its journey at warp.::

Webber: I suppose . . .

::She looked back at him suddenly with another smile.::

Webber: So . . . still feeling mopey?

Falls: Are you saying that the entirely of what just happened is because you thought I was “mopey”?

::He seriously hoped not. Nick hadn’t been mopey, he’d just been distracted about everything that was going on.::

Webber: Mmmm . . . ::She gazed upward as if in deep thought.:: . . . no. We did have some time to kill, too.

Falls:::he scrunched his nose.:: It’d be bad if someone went looking for us in the office and then not find us there. I don’t even know how far the download got before we-

::He didn’t finish his sentence though as Jess had slowly crept back up towards him, cutting him off with a deep kiss.::

::She finally broke the embrace and whispered in his ear.::

Webber: You know, for such a pretty face, you sure like to talk a lot, Mr. Falls.

Falls: You’d make for a fine tactical officer, did you know that?

Webber: Oh?

Falls: I’m at the stage where I think you should transfer into the Tactical department. Because, you know, you seduced me, dragged me back to my quarters, had your way with me, and your talented tongue has a fantastic way of shutting me up.

::She bit his earlobe gently.::

Webber: What makes you think I’d want to take orders from you?

Falls: I didn’t. I’m imagining it the other way around

Webber: Well, *that’s* a different proposition entirely. Still. . . maybe I’ll just have to get you to transfer into ops. I enjoy tinkering with things too much to give it up.

Falls: In that case, I’d be happy to-

::He was interrupted by the insistent beeping of what he presumed to be a PADD, and then groaned. Almost carelessly pushing Jess off of him, he went searching for the nuisance, finding it hidden on the floor underneath their discarded uniforms. “Download complete”.::

Falls: Well, it only took …$#@%. Five hours?

::Jess looked back at him coyly from the bed.::

Webber: Time flies when you’re having fun?

Falls: Well, hopefully not *too* quickly. I thought it was pretty adequate.

Webber: Hmmmph…

::She chuckled to herself as he got dressed, but he soon found a critical element missing.::

Falls: What did you do with them?

Webber: What, you mean these? ::She lifted her arm slightly to reveal his undergarments tucked beneath her.:: You sure you don’t want to go back to the office with a little more leg room?

::The Trill narrowed his eyes, a slight pause before he answered.::

Falls: Good thing I’ve got a plan B.

::Without further ado (as these *were* his quarters, after all), the Trill simply opened his underwear drawer, producing a new pair, with a smug smile on his face.::

Falls: Next time, maybe.

Webber: ::She rolled her eyes.:: . . .always so resourceful.

::He chuckled again, pulling on his underwear before taking her hands to pull her out of bed, kissing her as he did so.::

Falls: Come on. Time to go.

((Strategic Ops Office))

::Now properly redressed, the two officers returned to the office to begin analyzing the data.::

::It wasn’t long, though, before they encountered another bottleneck.::

Webber: Damn it, this shouldn’t be taking so long.

Falls: Agreed. Five hours to download is *one* thing, but I thought that was just the Garuda being painful. This has to be a problem with our *own* systems now.

::She sighed, and tapped her combadge, calling engineering.::

Webber: =/\= Have you all been experiencing any issues with the computer systems? =/\=

::On the other end, Ensign Ba’roq, a gruff Klingon engineer who had previously served aboard the Mercury before her relaunch, answered.::

Ba’roq: =/\= Negative, lieutenant. However, we are currently working on some other technical issues. =/\=

Falls: =/\= Anything that could be causing the computer to run a little slow? =/\=

Ba’roq: =/\= Not that I can see. But, I’ll inform Lieutenant Sanchez and add the computer systems to the queue. =/\=

Webber: =/\= Sounds like you could use a hand down there, ensign. =/\=

::The Klingon growled, annoyed.::

Ba’roq: =/\= If you insist, sir. =/\=

Webber: =/\= I do. =/\=

Ba’roq: =/\= Very well. =/\=

Falls: Well, he’s in a very chipper mood this fine afternoon, isn’t he?

::She raised an eyebrow at Nick.::

Webber: You’re not suggesting I should try to change that, are you?

Falls: Why, do you normally seduce guys that are in a negative mood? ::he narrowed his eyes.:: Is that a Gideon trait I should know about?

::She picked up a PADD and they headed out the door.::

Webber: I like a challenge.

((Main Engineering))

::Entering the engine room, Nick and Jess saw that Lieutenant Juanita Sanchez and her staff indeed seemed to have their hands full as various crewmembers ran about. The chief engineer stood by the large MSD of the Oracle class ship as she gave out orders to the engineers.::

Sanchez: Lokef! I don’t care what you say - I want those internal sensors on Deck 4 back up and running in the next hour, or so help me, I will make your life hell.

Lokef: Yes, Lieutenant.

::Lokef, a simple engineering crewmen, merely disappeared in a flash. Nick crossed his arms, glancing at Jess, an amused smile on his face.::

Falls: I guess she’s having a worse day than Ba’roq and I put together . . .

::The Klingon stepped up to meet them.::

Ba’roq: Lieutenants. I will escort you to the chief.

::His voice betrayed the obvious respect he held for her, and he led them over to Sanchez.::

::A fit brunette, she was young, like most of the Mercury crew, although her file reflected that of an experienced officer. A veteran of Operation Bright Star, Sanchez had escaped DS17 before the Vaadwaur Occupation and then subsequently returned after Starfleet had liberated the station to help with its reconstruction. With her no-nonsense attitude and commanding presence, Jess could see why the Klingon liked her.::

Webber: What’s the situation, ma’am?

Sanchez: System failures, slow systems, malfunctions, leaks - you name it, we’ve got it.

Falls: That’s a bit dramatic, don’t you think?

::Ba’roq narrowed his eyes at Nick, a hushed growl escaping under his breath.::

Sanchez: Trust me, until you’ve been down here for over two days, you really don’t know the meaning.

Webber: We’re getting a similar issue up in the strat-ops office. It’s almost like the computer doesn’t want to cooperate. Everything’s sluggish.

Sanchez: You’ve got no idea. Just about every problem in the book has happened one way or another. I had the fire suppression system threaten to go off in here for no good reason, and that would have been a disaster.

::Jess furrowed her brow.::

Webber: Weren’t there similar stories from the drydock crews of some odd things happening back during the refurbishment?

Sanchez:::she groaned.:: Not you, *too* . . .

::The tall Klingon crossed his arms as he leaned against the MSD.::

Ba’roq: Just superstitious stories from simple minded crewmen with childish imaginations.

Sanchez: You got that right. I’ve got a Bajoran in Sick Bay swearing to his prophets that he saw a household cat in the Jefferies Tubes with a dead rat in its mouth. Dr. Romey reckons he’s fine, I say otherwise.

Falls: You don’t believe in ghosts?

Sanchez: I don’t believe in ghosts that are capable of keeping up with a starship at warp.

::Jess looked over the panel of flashing alert icons spread across the ship and frowned.::

Webber: Well, superstitions and cats aside, that’s a lot of red flashing on that board, lieutenant. How can we help?

Sanchez: Grab a toolkit. There’s a lot of repairs that need to be done.

::Jess and Nick diligently picked up their supplies and set off towards the control systems relay room. As they made their way through the maintenance corridor past the other engineering teams, Jess whispered to the tactical officer.::

Webber: Nick, I’ve got a bad feeling about all of this.

Falls: What do you mean?

Webber: Sanchez and Ba’roq can dismiss them all they like, but there were definitely plenty of strange tales from *multiple* people who had worked on Mercury’s rehab.

Falls: There’s always a logical reason behind everything. That story Sanchez was talking about earlier -- with the cat? It was probably someone playing a prank on the poor guy.

Webber: It’s not just these stories though. We’re barely a few weeks out of spacedock. With all the replaced systems and upgrades, the Mercury is practically a brand new ship, and we’re already falling apart? It doesn’t add up.

Falls: The Mercury isn’t in any way *new*, Jess. I mean, sure it’s not old, but it’s over two years. And it *does* add up - it adds up to an idiot behind a desk thinking that this ship is perfectly fine when they didn’t actually look at the reports.

Webber: What are you talking about? Do you know something more than just the rumors?

Falls: I’m just saying that an Admiral or Captain or something probably made a giant mistake by sending *this* ship out before it was ready. There’s *always* a logical reason behind everything.

Webber: ::rolling her eyes:: Great. And now it’s *our* lives on the line if their gamble doesn’t pay off.

TBC…

Lieutenant JG Jess Webber

Operations Officer, USS Mercury

&

Lieutenant JG Nick Falls

Tactical Officer, USS Mercury