Vincent Oversees a Fuel Purification Plant Malfunction

GM'd by Ewan Quibell

Characters: Vincent, Simrii, Vlad, Gvarokh, Slade, Lakir
NPC: Chuck
Location: Engineering on the Miishakaal, at the Gishinridu Highport

1125.7.6 Standard Imperial time: 08:25, Standard Vland time: 08:23, Local time: 06:45

Gvarokh on the bridge checking over the ship's systems is greeted with an incoming comms call. It's a middle aged Vilani with a spacer's hair cut and stubble. "Fuel delivery". Gvarokh passes him through to Vincent.

The look on the man's face seems to say that it's going to be a long day as he says, "Fuel Delivery," to Vincent.

Vincent replies, "Right this way," and pulls up the schematic showing the gentleman the refuelling filling point.

"Thanks," comes back across the comm. The outside cameras track two vacc suited individuals jetting over from the berthing point and connecting a fuel hose to the filling point.

"Nice day for it," says Vincent as the fuel tank gauges start to rise.

"We don't always see Leresha at the start of first work. It's good to see a sunrise every now and then."

The fuel tanks read full after about 30 minutes, and the techie says, "Pressure readings show that you're full. Detaching now."

The two men jet back to the berthing arm with the fuel hose and disappear through an airlock. "The fuel will be charged against your ship. See you." and the comm connection closes.

Vincent gets to work starting up the fuel processing plant, but before he can run through the sequence completely, he receives another comm call from a different human. "Hi I have your life support supplies, and would like to extend a docking collar to your passenger airlock to deliver them, via a line. Is this ok?"

"Sure, I'll be right over to show you in."

Putting the sequence on hold, Vincent makes his way to the crew lounge to find the docking collar almost attached to the external airlock. He watches as the docking collar slowly comes towards the ship.

The collar attaches to the hull of the ship without a sound and a human in a hard helmet vacc suit comes floating along the collar holding a line. The intercom on the airlock chimes as the human says, "Permission to come aboard." To which Vincent responds "Permission granted." The man enters the airlock feet first so that they come down as the gravity field of the ship grabs him. He takes off his hard helmet before the airlock has cycled and Vincent can see the controls showing that there's only a slight pressure differential which he overrides the warnings for.

A slight breeze comes into the ship as the airlock opens to the collar. The smell of the high port hits Vincent's nostrils and the distinctiveness of it nearly makes him sneeze. "Morning," says the man. He attaches the line to the inside of the airlock and says into his suit comm, "Attached. Send them across." A convoy of containers attached to the line slowly make their way across. As they reach the ship, and the ship's gravity kicks in, the guy holds them, detaches them from the line, and passes them to Vincent.

After 10 minutes of stacking the boxes the guy turns to Vincent and sends a delivery note to the ship's computer, which Vincent checks off against the boxes.

"I've been told to take payment for these and the fuel delivery."

And having checked the amount, Vincent authorizes payment from ships funds.

The tech adds, "Thanks. Do you want the socking collar left out?"

"No thanks, there's no further need for it...correct?"

"Up to you," he replies, "just means you'll have to extend it if you want to board the station. It's no hassle for me to run it in."

Vincent offers his hand to shake, saying, "Thanks. Farewell."

The guy looks at it for a moment before he unclips his vacc suit glove and takes it in a firm but not tight grip. "No problem, just doing my job." He attaches his glove and helmet before entering the airlock once more and cycles both doors. He unseals the collar and, pushing off from the ship with his feet, floats back to the station with the line and collar in front of him.

Vincent heads back to the engine room where he starts the fuel processing process. The job requires little concentration, an occasional glance to make sure that things are going according to spec.

A half hour or so has gone by in Engineering. Vincent tries to keep himself occupied while the purification process goes on. Suddenly an almighty klaxon sounds next to his ear.

Literally jumping out of his seat, Vincent looks at the readings on the display in front of him. They show that the fuel isn't flowing into the purification plant. Looking at the panel, Vincent sees that there is no fuel flowing past the filter. The compression pump, which lies after the filter, has failed. This is the reason why the klaxon is sounding off. Vincent suspects that the pump failed due to lack of fuel to compress. And the fuel isn't flowing because the filter is clogged. His best guess is that the filter scrubbers have malfunctioned in some way.

Vincent knows that to fix it will mean purging the fuel from the purification plant in order to open it up. He'll have to look at the filter, scrubbers, and the compression pump. He's hopeful about the possible outcome, but there's a nagging feeling in the back of his mind.

Vincent turns off the klaxon and is greeted with another sound, that of the comms channel opening across the ship.

Vlad's voice comes across "Hey, need some help?"

Vincent looks at the task that could well be at hand and thinks that a bit of muscle may be of use in moving some of the components. "Sure can."

Vlad and Simrii turn up in Engineering still vacc-suited. Vincent puts them to work almost instantly.

The fuel shows purged from the purification plant in less than 30 seconds, and this increases the bad feeling that Vincent has.

Directing Vlad and Simrii to hold and lift various panels and equipment it's only 10 minutes until a couple of the purification filters are on the engineering deck along with the scrubbers.

As Vincent expected, the filters are clogged and the scrubbers are toast. However the bad nagging feeling gets really bad as Vincent looks at the compression pump. The compression pump is a heap of bit and pieces, not looking like it should look at all.

Vincent expects that Slade may be a tad bit annoyed ...

Vincent asks, "Since we don't have the pump on board, who feels like going and getting one while I start the prep work?"

Vlad answers, "Not I. I'm under orders to stay on the ship to avoid possible problems with that anti-vargr cult."

Simrii offers, "I'll go if I have to, but you'd better write it down. I have no clue what any of you engineers talk about half the time, though I wouldn't mind learning."

Chuck shows up, "What the hell is going on here?"

All that is said by Vincent is "We just need a new pump. If someone is willing to get it, then I can begin the prep work. Otherwise, I'll have to run and get one. We need it to purify the fuel."

Lakir and Slade rejoin the ship at this point and make their way to Engineering as quickly as they can. As the iris opens Slade can see most of the fuel purification equipment lying across the engineering deck with Vincent, Simrii, and Vlad covered in various lubricants. "I hope you nut jobs remember how to put this all back together." He's clearly pissed off. He does a quick visual check to make sure they haven't routed the unpurified fuel into the cargo hold or anything like that and makes sure all the proper valves and safeties have been set.

Slade disappears to the other Engineering level to perform additional checks. He knows that Vincent is a competent engineer, and his visual checks show that all seems as well as can be expected. The fuel filters are clogged and the fuel scrubbers are toast. The compression pump is a heap of bits and pieces, not looking like it should at all.

Slade calls out, "Anyone know where the captain is?"

Gvarokh answers over the comm, "She hasn't returned to the ship yet. What do you need?"

"You on the bridge?"

"Yeah."

"I'll be right there. I'll go get the parts Vincent. You stay here. I want this thing back the way I left it. Lakir, I'd like you to come with me. You can fill Gvarokh in on the transponder."

Chuck offers, "I can give you a hand with picking up those parts if you want Slade."

Slade replies, "I'll let you know."

With that, Slade and Lakir leave Engineering.

Simrii, covered in grease or whatever the hell passes for grease at this particular moment in time (probably something that was strained out of a french fry deep fryer compressed and hydrogenated then scented with a hint of lavender to remove any unpleasant odors), politely asks, "Is there anything else I can do before retreating to my quarters to clean off this suit, clothes and self?"

Vincent sighs, "Nah. Go ahead. I've got it covered right now."

Vlad adds, "Wooo hooo. I'm outta here too."

Simrii and Vlad leave to get cleaned up while Vincent sits amidst the pile of compressor parts.

Next: The New Fuel Purification Plant Parts Are Delivered