ODE TO BLACK
Location: Sickbay, USS Tigris
Timeline: 1730 hours - MD 5
OOC: additional author is Lieutenant Sean Byrnes
Nikki was sitting at her desk working on a proposal she wanted to present to the CO when the lights both in her office and the Main Suite of Sickbay flickered then went out. For a few seconds, her desk was illuminated by the glow coming from the monitor on her desk but then that went out as well. Exclamations of surprise erupted outside of her office. She got up, took her pen light out of her labcoat pocket and made her way to the door of her office. "OK...no one panic!" she called out. "Mac? Is anything working?"
"No!" someone else answered. "Mac went to check the Surgical and ICU Suites."
"Auxiliary power should kick in any minute," Nikki said as she moved, cautiously, towards the nurses' station. Small beams of light from penlights danced in the darkness. When the auxiliary power didn't kick in she said, "someone jam something in the doors so they stay open and we get some light from the corridor in here."
"The back door won't open," someone called out from the rear of the suite. The back door was the one that led to the Surgical and ICU Suites and medical labs.
Frustrated, Nikki tapped her combadge. "Dr. Redex to Engineering. We just lost all power to Sickbay. No lights, biobeds, computers and the door to our extended suites and labs won't open," she said and leaned on the nurses' station counter.
Busy checking status readings at the pool table in engineering, Byrnes was suddenly met with red status readings across the board, all hinged around the medical and science areas. "Great Caeser's ghost!" He hissed that to himself, then heard the incoming call from the Doctor, tapping his comm badge he responded. "I read you, Doctor. Just got my status board lit up by the malfunctions. As for the doors, along the bulkhead at the bottom and next to each door is a panel you can remove. Those are the manual release cranks for powerless doors. Open 'em, then lock 'em in place. I'm on my way." Tapping his badge off, Byrnes switched out his blouse for an engineers vest stuffed with needed tools.
Just before stepping out of engineering, "Graf, hold down the fort and run a diagnostic on the power failure. Gimme ideas by the time I arrive there. Pick a team and send them along behind me."
Leaving main engineering, Byrnes made his way to the lift, which would only go up as far as one deck below medical. Again, he cursed under his breath, left the lift, and scrambled up an access ladder to the next deck. Sure as water in an ocean, when he popped the hatch to climb out he was in complete darkness. Taking out his palm light and extending the strap, he turned it into a headband, light forward like a miner, and proceeded on his way to sickbay.
Nikki tried the manual lever for the back door of Sickbay but it didn't do anything. In fact she was only able to get it to move part way before it stopped.
Using her penlight she looked at the wall and saw another panel midway up. Loosening the wingnuts she removed the plate and shined her light inside. The circuits and the wires connecting them were fused together. It looked like some kind of mutant alien goo.
Arriving at the main sickbay entrance, and seeing the door still closed, Byrnes went to a knee and opened the panel for the hand crank. Seeing the circular gear wheel and handle he pulled the handle out for gripping, then began to crank. With each rotation the door slid open an inch or two. After a good twenty turns it locked open enough for people to walk through without turning sideways, so he stood and went inside, looking this way and that, seeing all the people in blue. Seeing one in the blue smock of her trade, Sean gave a grin. "I'm here for my physical, Doc. If this is a bad time, I can come back later." It did not dawn on him that his head lamp was glaring brightly right into her eyes.
"Ill be glad to give you your physical now. But since we have no power to our sensors it will have to be done old school," Nikki said, with sarcasm. "Are you ready to bend over and cough for me?" she asked, quirking an eyebrow.
Byrnes chuckled at that, finally seeing the halo of light with its center on her face. "Oh, sorry 'bout the light, Doc." Then he got back on point with her explanation. "I had a high protein breakfast, Ma'am. If you're that brave, go for it." Seeing the open panel at another door, he moved the angle of light that way, walking around her. "What the..." Sighing, he looked inside at the melted, now hardening goo that was once insulation. "Well, seems the thermal reaction grid on deck 8 is shot. The coolant leak and bypass musta caused it to overwork and then finally overload. Let's get some heat back in here before we all start to suffer hypothermia."
Sean went over to a crawl space cover, under and at the head of one biobed, pulling it free and setting it aside. On his hands and knees, putting his upper body in first to look around, he then ducked the head and spoke under his torso, back to the CMO. "Now's your chance, Doc," he said with a chuckle, then crawled inside. Finding the battery generator he manually activated it, pulling the lever down, and instantly the lights began to flicker back on, though with less illumination.
Mac...on the other side of the door...pounded against it. The back corridor was pitch black and the battery of her penlight had already died. Muffled curses could be heard through the door.
Nikki smirked. "That would be my Director of Nursing," she said, apologetically. "Our Surgical and ICU Suites are on the other side of that door as well as our labs. "The power must be out in them as well. Luckily there are no patients in them at the moment," she said.
"Murphy's law, Doc." Byrnes spoke toward the opening, raising his voice a bit. "Tell her to calm down, I'll crawl over and open the hatch from where I'm at, then she can get to sickbay."
Nikki giggled. "Clearly you haven't met my Head Nurse," she said, lightheartedly. "My main concern is to get auxiliary power in the labs. They have stuff that needs refrigeration. We can live without computer access and all the technological frills. Just get us a little light and we'll be good until you can solve the main issue....wherever or whatever it is," she said, hoping to alleviate some of the Engineer's stress.
As good as his word, Byrnes crouch-walked around to the access hatch for the lab/ICU compartment, releasing the locks and opening it. Poking his head out, to provide light, he looked around until he spotted someone. "Hello, Miss. Right this way. Can crawl back into sickbay, and the lights are on in there..sorta. Anyway, come on." Crawling out, he then motioned for those in here to get going.
Mac looked at the small opening and then laughed. "You're joking....right?" she asked. "You expect all of this magnificence to fit through there?" She patted Sean on the cheek. "You're cute," she said with a smirk.
Sean blushed a bit, not expecting that, so he brought out his tricorder and turned it on, to distract himself back to the problem at hand. He scanned her, then the opening, and with a charming smile he spoke. "Well, darlin', all that wonderful womanhood will fit, without effort. It's a bit of a crouch or crawl back around the bulkhead, but you'll see light from sickbay coming through the other hatch. Here," he removed his head lamp and handed it to her, digging out his spare. "That should help."
"Go towards the light?" Mac laughs. "You're funny, sweetie," she said. Slapping Sean on the butt, she climbed through the opening and came out on the other side. "Well!" she said, once she stood up and began to brush herself off. "So that's what birth feels like."
The medical staff broke into laughter. Leave it to Mac to ease the tension.
Byrnes, coming out behind her, standing and stretching his lumbar region, gave a chuckle. "Sounds about right. Alright, lemme get this under control." He tapped his badge. "Engineering, Byrnes. Activate emergency batteries and then bypass that power to deck 8, with focus on the medical section. Seems we have a fused thermal reaction grid so get some people on it. Out."
Tapping the badge off, Sean looked to everyone, patting Mac on the back since she was closest. "Glad everyone is okay. We'll have this repaired ASAP." The lights and all the systems came back online, slightly dimmer than usual, but working. "Alright, Doc. You are running on emergency power in here, but it will last for days if necessary."
"Thank you so much," Nikki said with a grateful smile. "I owe you one."
Mac walked up to Sean and...in a voice meant for his ears only...said, "next time you do that you better mean it," and she walked away with a playful sashay. Clapping her hands she called out, "alright people. Back to work. We have B shift report in 20 minutes."
Sean stood there taking in what the nurse had just said, his mouth working like he was going to speak, several times, then decided to not say anything. Not sure if the Doctor had heard it, he gave a sheepish grin, a nod, then turned and crawled back into the bulkhead.