Lt. Jason Smegg, Chief Engineer
Flight deck, 1200 hours
"Build a starbug in 24 hours???" Lt. Smegg was incredulous.
"That's what I said, Lieutenant. I don't care if you have to divert
people from life support maintenance, we NEED that shuttle tomorrow!"
Commander Nipels tried to roar, but instead it came out as more of a
"Yes sir! Right away sir!" Smegg replied almost mockingly.
"Ya smeg head." said Nipels.
Smegg wanted to tease Nipels about his name, too; he seemed like he'd
take it well, but still decided against it; insulting one's superiors is
not the best way to advance in the Space Corps.
Flight deck, 1203 hours
Lieutenant Smegg touched the button on the communicator on his pocket.
"Comm center, get me the head of life support maintenance and the head of
food replicator maintenance."
Colleen, the ship's computer, automatically replied. As Jason heard the
computer reply, her name reminded him of his former "girlfriend", Colleen
L. Ellianz. (The "L" stood for Lauren, which he thought was a prettier
name and should have come first, but what the hey.) He had pursued
Colleen throughout his Academy career; she had not quite ignored him,
which in his book was enough to count her as a girlfriend. Unfortunately
she got assigned to the SETI project, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial
Intelligence. She wanted to look for alien life forms all her life and
she got her wish. Too bad for her she never found any before the
scientists in the project got bored and pointed their telescopes at
Washington, D.C. and started calling their program STI.
Anyway, Colleen's (the computer's) voice said, "Lieutenant Box and
Lieutenant Junior Grade Hansen are on the comm."
So Smegg said to them, "I need you both to bring your teams for an
emergency project. Commander Nipels wants a starbug built by tomorrow and
the main engineering teams can't possibly finish it by tomorrow. I know
you both work in vital areas of the ship but this is just temporary and
well it is the commander's orders..."
Box and Hansen paused for a moment, then Hansen agreed to work on the
project. But Box - well, "I'm on LIFE SUPPORT maintenance, dammit! Do you
really want us all to FREEZE?!"
Lt. Smegg replied: "Aw, c'mon, we won't all freeze. I know life support
systems; what's the worst thing that could happen if they go unattended?
You know how much testing those things go through before they're approved
for use? Colleen should be able to take care of it anyway. I don't know
why we even have you guys around."
"You don't need us?! Well thanks a lot, that really got me to work for
"But Commander Nipels specifically said I should take the life support
"Oh, all right. But I'm putting it in the record that this was your
"And I'm putting it in that it was the commander's."
Flight deck, 1234 hours
Lt. Smegg was glad to see that "Operation Jury-Rig", as he called it, was
going even faster than expected. The scutters were actually helpful -
although they were occasionally tripped over by members of the crew and
made funny noises, they did reduce the need for human labor greatly. But
at least this was a challenge - Jason had always loved challenges. Not
too hard ones, though. This one was a bit too hard for a first
"I should be on the holo-simulator playing Sonic the Hedgehog" he thought
"Sonic the Hedgehog? What's that? And pardon my asking, but don't you use
the holosimulators for, well, you know, what the rest of us use them
for?" asked an engineer.
"Oh, sure," replied Jason, "but with four hours time allotted each day,
well, it does kind of get kind of repetitive. Though still fun." He
"Four hours? I only get one!" complained the crewman.
"Rank hath its privileges. I hear the Captain gets ten. Bet he never uses
them all, though - there's eight for work, eight for sleep, so what are
the odds he uses all his hours every day?"
"Ten hours? Damn!"
"Yeah, I know - it's outrageous. He gets paid enough already - I hacked
the ship's databank and found out he gets 300 kilocredits a year! But
hey, if I were a captain, would I complain?"
"I know I sure wouldn't."
"So the system continues."
"But us engineers, we get paid pretty good though. We're in demand."
"Yup. Say, I don't think I know your name. Mind if you tell me?"
"I'm Hayle. Spaceman Daniel Hayle. I go by Dan."
"All right, Dan. You seem like a nice guy, huh. When we're off duty you
can call me Jason."
"Thanks, Jason. Uh, I mean, sir."
(I hope none of this conflicts with any previous stories... the name of
the computer especially?)
Thought of the day:
If you could see ultraviolet, what color would it be?
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