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Slippin Right On Through

Posted on 02 Mar 2019 @ 6:42pm by Lieutenant Gabriel Walker

Mission: Prologue
Location: Mark Miller, various

After the meeting with the Captain, Gabe returned to his quarters.  For the moment he was finished with his pre-work. There was more, but he would get to it in a bit.  He had to plan for a department meeting, which meant actually meeting with the assistant chief before hand.
But, in the meantime there was something he had to do, and as he told the Captain, it required a change to do it.  Well, it didn’t exactly require a change. But, he wasn’t going to run the ship in his uniform if he didn’t have to do so.  It would be a waste of resources to refresh the uniform.
It didn’t take long to change into shorts, a t-shirt, running shoes and socks.  He’d already been planning the route, from various places to other parts of the ship.  He wanted to know the average time it would take to get from one point to another in an emergency.
As he walked from his quarters, back to the tactical station on the bridge, he noticed the hallways were filling with more and more crew.  This was good. They would be obstacles for him to get around, helping to approximate emergency situations on the ship. He sat at the station and looked it over once more.  The configuration was slightly different than he was used to seeing, but then again, those systems weren’t new builds. This was. It seemed more intuitive than previous incarnations, controls placed in a better flow.  Split in three to help keep necessary functions grouped together - sensors, communications/transporter, weapons.
He liked the setup and thought it would prove to be much better in combat as well as everyday use.  But, he wasn’t here to judge the efficiency of the station. That would come later, when they left dock and began their shakedown cruise.
“Computer,” he said, having prepared this previously.  “Run Walker test one.”
No sooner had he given the command than the klaxons began flashing on the bridge.  The computer’s matrician voice began intoning “red alert, this is a drill. Battle stations, this is a drill”.
He made it to the doors of the turbolift and gave the destination for his first test, engineering.  The computer, sensing his presence through his commbadge would create logical obstacles of various difficulties that he would have to overcome.  He intended to run this program several times before moving to the next. Once he was sure that it was free of bugs and presented enough of a difficulty, he would have his department run them as well.
The doors opened and Gabe took off at a run, not an all out run, he needed to make sure to pace himself.  It would do no good for him to arrive at a threat location winded and unable to continue functioning because he was trying to catch his breath, but he also needed to make sure to get there quickly.  Lives could depend on it.
“Move aside!” he called out as he raced past crew in the corridors.  He expected the corridors to be less crowded even though the alert clearly said it was a drill.  But the sad truth was, even in a real emergency, there were those that would not follow instructions.  That was something he should perhaps working to change, especially on a ship full of researchers and scientists.
Which reminded him of Anna and that he didn’t bring up her application to join the ship with the Captain.
When he arrived at Engineering, he discovered the doors were blocked to him.  Locked. Gabe shook his head as he moved to the side and took a panel off the wall, accessing the manual door controls.  It took strength to turn the handle that would unlock the door but eventually he heard the click of the door lock’s releasing.  Then, he still had to push the doors open. He was aware of people observing him, watching him as if he’d gone mad. Others worried there was an emergency.
“Time,” he said as he made it to the middle of Engineering.  The computer told him the recorded time and Gabe shook his head.  He could do better. He has done better. The doctors on the station told him he wouldn’t be fully back to form for several more days.  He was also cautioned not to try for those few days. “Okay,” he muttered to himself. “Reset.”
He made his way back to the bridge, where, by the time he returned he felt he was ready to go again, not that it mattered much.  “Run Walker test one,” he ordered and, once again the matrician’s voice rang through the common areas of the ship, announcing the red alert drill.
Despite him calling out when he saw crew he needed to avoid, Murphy was ever present and he collided with a science crewman coming out of a lab on his way.  Both were knocked to the ground and Gabe felt the twist and then the deep ache in his back.
“Are you okay, Lieutenant?” the crewman asked, the worry that he would get blamed for the accident rolling off him in palpable waves.  
“I’m fine,” Gabe said, knocking the man’s hand away from him, trying to ignore the pain in his back and reestablish his control over his telepathic senses just to block the man’s worry away.  “Computer,” he said, with a grimace, “End test.” The lights stopped flashing and the alert finished mid-sentence.
He stood for a moment then, after making sure the crewman wasn’t injured, he turned to head back to his quarters.  He was going to have to take it easy for a few hours, then maybe give it another try. There were still other tasks to accomplish before leaving drydock and he might as well begin work on those.


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