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The Substitution of Imitation

Posted on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 @ 8:59pm by Lieutenant Talrian Bran

Mission: Legacies
Location: Transporter Room Three

Talrian was deep into the innards of the access panel, muttering to himself - curses mostly. He hated that they were slipping out of his mouth - as educated as he was, as much as he wanted to portray the image of the model officer for his troops, as much as his background was not one where they resorted to vile and coarse language - nonetheless there they were. Small scratches were small red lines lining the back and sides of his hands and wrists. He couldn't understand why they still had to have raw, unfinished edges here in the 24th century, surely there was a better way.

Of course there was, he had to admit to himself, the better way was called "engineers" and, honestly, this was their job.

Except...he wasn't sure he trusted it to engineers. It was engineers that put the wrong parts into the phaser arrays to begin with, because they felt it would just be the same as any other compensators. They fail to understand the differences because they fail to understand there are differences.

It was the Starfleet mentality toward anything Marine all over again.

That it was just a different form of Fleet. Not that it wasn't just a different form but almost entirely different. Marines were...Marines. Not diplomats or scientists, doctors or purely scholars. Marines were there for combat. Much like this ship. It was designed for combat and now retrofit into a Fleet purpose. If engineers could understand that, they could be beneficial in helping out with what he was doing here.

"What are you doing?" the voice asked from behind him. Talrian sighed and considered pulling himself out of the access panel to address whomever it was behind him. But it would take time to get out, and then put himself back to where he was at. Whoever was behind him, he was sure they weren't worth that time.

"Fixing this transporter pad so it does what I need it to do." It was all the answer that was required.

"This transporter isn't broken," the man said, indignant pride filling his voice.

"Never said it was," Talrian answered.

"You said you were fixing it, pretty sure you're not authorized to fix things."

"Didn't say it was broken," Talrian said, finally finding a grip on the isolinear chip he wanted, he should be able to bring it out now. A new cut crisscrossed two others as he pulled hard and the chip came out, banging the back of his hand against another piece of the innards.

"I'm going to have to call security if you don't get out of there right now," the voice said. Talrian heard it moving.

"Sounds like a good idea," Talrian answered, "you'll need them. Especially if you keep reaching for that phaser under the control panel."

The man went silent, but the silence of the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

"The problem with your type," Talrian said, "is that you're nice. You think you're brave and you do the drills, training to grab the phaser and defend your section of the ship. But you're not a warrior. You don't have the instinct. You'll hesitate and by doing so will allow me to get to my own sidearm," here he held up the sidearm taken from the holster on the side, "and I have no problem using it." He pulled himself completely out of the access panel and stood up.

He was sure the dust and fluids smeared across his uniform detracted from his normal appearance but, well, it may also give him credence as the warrior he was. The transporter crewman suddenly threw his hands up, showing they were empty and gaped at Talrian.

"Point proven, I think," Talrian said. "Now, as for calling security, you won't have to. But stay there, I may need your expertise in a moment."

"I won't help a sabotuer." It was said defiantly, but the slight quiver told Talrian it wouldn't take much in the way of 'incentivizing' to get the cewman to assist wherever he wanted.

"Good," Talrian said, trying not to let his sarcasm filter through his voice. "I'm glad to hear it. I'm not a sabotuer, just someone trying to fix this ship's weapon systems to keep us all alive."

"With the transporter?" the crewman asked, his hands slowly lowering. "What's the transporter go to do with the weapons?"

Talrian shrugged. "I need to replicate the actual parts for the phaser arrays and we don't have industrial replicators."

"What does that..." the crewman started but then saw the isolinear chip in Talrian's hand. "Oh...transporter technology and replicator technology are essentially the same."

Talrian nodded, he felt like smiling. Finally someone was smart enough to figure things out. "And if you can create components with one-"

"Then you can do it with another, if you change certain components out," the crewman said, as he looked over the control panel. "Then we need to scrub the pattern buffers so that we could replace the replicator pattern. Only, transporters can't create matter, just as replicators can't."

"Not a problem," Talrian said, "we can put something out of storage into the transporter and activate. Then recall it through the pattern buffer. At least, that's my understanding."

"A bit more than that," the crewman said, "but essentially, you got the basics."

Talrian watched as the crewman's fingers danced across the LCARS panel, recalling how just a few short minutes ago the man declared he wouldn't be of help to a sabotuer. Yet, here he was not only helping but essentially taking over the project and making sure it was pulled off. It made him want to shoot the man in the foot for that alone. Maybe if he'd worked harder to confirm his identity it would be less annoying. But he hadn't.

Still, causing the man physical harm at the moment would make his task harder. At least this way, someone who knew transporters much better than he did was helping him.

"If you'd asked from the beginning," the crewman started, "then I could have saved you several steps, including removing the isolinear chips. They can be rerouted by the computer into the configuration we need."

"Oh," Talrian said, simply. He didn't know that. Of course, as he'd said previously, he was trained to take ships apart, not fix them.

"But what's done is done," the transporter operator said. "Now...what do you want to recreate?"

Talrian stepped over to the panel, absently wiping his hands on his already dirty uniform. He'd holstered his sidearm and pulled out the miniPaDD with the designs for the ship specific compensators. He handed it to the operator. The other man took a few moments to look it over, poking at the display on the PaDD. "There it is," he muttered to himself.

"What?" Talrian asked, his natural curiosity taking over.

"The pattern file, I was getting worried we didn't have that. Without it we'd actually have to have the device to recreate the pattern. But they sent the replicator file. Give me a moment." He set the miniPaDD on the counter, over the dataport. Talrian heard the subtle ping as the information was accessed and transferred from the PaDD to the console. Now the crewman went quiet, his concentration completely on the console before him. Talrian tried to watch what he was doing, to learn something about the process for next time he might need to do this, but the crewman worked so quickly that Talrian could barely keep up watching it, much less assimilating any of the information.

"Okay," the crewman said, shaking his hands and handing the miniPaDD back to Talrian. "Ready to give it a go?"

Talrian shrugged. He'd been ready some time back.

"Got the storage matter," the operator said and, as his fingers raised from the bottom of the screen to the top, "energizing now."

Talrian turned to the transporter pads and waited. Finally, there was the faint silver shimmer of an incoming transport.

"And, finalizing," he said, reducing power to the transporter. Talrian found several small devices on the transporter pads. They appeared to be the phaser array compensators that he wanted. But would they work? Only one way to find out at this point.

"I'll give this a try and if they work, can we lock this transporter so we can get more?"

"It'll require a senior staff authorization, but I don't think that will be hard to get. Right now, nobody should need to transport off the ship so I don't think there's much damand for the room. Which is why it was unsecured in the first place."

"Noted," Talrian said, wondering if that was a crack against security not doing their job? If it was, he'll check into his responsibility in the area and make sure it's never a concern again. He gathered the three devices they created and headed for the door. He almost made it before he stopped and half turned. "Thank you for your help," he said, the words sounding like the afterthought they probably were. "I do appreciate your help."

"Yes, sir," the operator said as he worked on locking down the station and keeping the pattern buffer from refreshing.


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