(2530-05-28) Thruster Installation
Summary: The Seraphim successfully completes a job
RL Date: 28 May 2020
Related: Trouble on the Docks
raven abigail feng 

Songshan Space Station

Somewhere out there in the Black


The Seraphim has finally arrived at its destination, Songshan Space Station in the Kalidasa System. She's slowed down and docked at the station and Raven has gone to meet with the captain to discuss a few things ahead of the big operation. She finally comes back on board and calls everyone down to the cargo bay.

Abigail emerges from her quarters at the call, having been getting in a nap and then a cigarette while they did all the docking bits and pieces. She comes down the corridor and into the cargo bay, lingering at the entrance to see if the gravity is still off before proceeding. It could be very troublesome if she's wrong, after all.

Feng pauses behind Abi at the hatch that leads into the hold. "Now's the big moment," he murmurs. "We'll see if all of the practice was enough. Things have gone well so far." He nods to Raven and his eyes sweep to her feet, checking for magnetic boots that will answer the big question before he steps through the hatch.

"The gravity's on.", Raven calls out to them both with a grin, "We're… well, consider ourselves landed." She waits a bit longer and looks towards what's normally the airlock and now connected to a walkway of the station. "We'll be getting a few helpers from them soon. If you have any questions, now's the time to ask them.", she smiles.

Abigail nods to Feng's words. "It'll be fine," she assures him. "…I reckon, anyways." She walks down into the cargo bay. "Can't think of anythin', Cap. Just say where you want me, and I'm there. You seem less fretful 'bout the whole thing than Valentin' does, anyway."

Feng nods and follows Abi down the steps. He goes to the spot where they left their suits after the final session and lays each suit separately on the bench so that no one will need to worry about finding the right one. He checks the pockets of his suit and nods. Even if the station has an electrician ready to patch the new thruster into the control system, a second pair of hands to work on the job won't hurt. "He ran us through the paces," he agrees with a nod to Abi. "That's a good thing. Covering contingencies never hurts."

"Well, I have faith in you.", Raven declares with a big cheerful smile, straight out of the management handbook of "how to inspire your crew". Then the smile fades, to be replaced by a more serious expression. "I'm confident this will go well. We have experienced people, we've been practising and the local crew is around to help us." And right on cue, two Chinese guys in olive green flight suits come clomping through the new walkway. They stand ramrod straight and fold their hands behind their back. "And these chirpy fellows here are Mr Lu and Mr Xiang.", Raven can't resist introducing them.

"Howdy," Abigail drawls. She looks the two men up and down, quietly amused by their pep. She doesn't spring to attention, but she does nod to them politely. "Well, I feel more confident already," she says, "Although I admit, I was pretty sanguine about it in the first place. This is just the kinda job I like, with liftin' rather than shootin'."

Content that everything is in order, Feng nods and plops his magnetic boots on the floor beneath the bench. Then he looks to the men from the station in their jumpsuits. He nods. "Are either of you the electrician?" he asks. "I stripped and tagged the lead wires before we docked so that they'll be ready to connect when you are."

Neither man moves a facial muscle, they just bow ever so briefly when they are introduced. "Mr Lu is the chief engineer who's in charge of the operation here.", Raven explains instead, "Mr Xiang is their lead technician. Feng, why don't you show him our business end of the thruster?", she suggests, "We need to start moving." She turns to Lu to exchange some technical information, angles, gradients, cables, this and that. Then she turns to Abi. "Do you feel confident going out?", she asks her.

"Sure. Brushed up a bit on my space work," she says, nodding. "And we've done plenty've checks on the suits. Reckon I've got the hang of your equipment by now." She heads over to where Feng's just been working, and locates the suit she was using to practice.
From afar, Abigail laughs, I forgot to tell you, when O was messing with the skills, I got him to give Abi "Red Tape Navigation" with her extra points. It was ALMOST "Alliance bureaucracy Bullshit" but I thought I'd better not call it that. XD

Feng bows to the men and beckons. "We positioned the thruster so that it should slip into place without need for rotation once we deactivate gravity," he explains, leading the other two toward the large white thruster. Already, several sturdy towing cables are in place. "We've tuned the radios to the designated joint frequency. So, once everyone is in suits, we should be able to move." He taps a bright red hatch on the side of the thruster and adds, "The C and C interface is here. As I said, the wiring is ready." Then he nods to Abi. "Shooting wouldn't go well out there."

"Alright. Valentin is out there with you.", Raven assures Abigail. Because he has to be somewhere. Two other guys from the crew are suiting up as well. Lu seems content with the information he's received and the thruster on display and turns on his heel to return to the space station. The walkway is retracted, so the airlock can resume its original function again. "Ready when you are.", Raven tells her crew, her hand on the red button.

Abi gives Feng a very brief, tight smile at the mention of no shooting. She doesn't even have her gun on her. She quickly (but carefully) gets into the spacesuit, latching it in place in the appropriate spots, then she waits for Feng to check it for her before she seals the helmet on. She activates her comms. "Ready."

Like Abi, Feng begins the process of donning his suit and double-checking each fastener and seal. Leaving his helmet on the bench, he inspects her work and then nods. Once she has double-checked his suit, he helps her with the helmet and then she helps with his. When all is ready, he beckons to her to grab one of the heavy yellow cables. He grabs another and then waits for the team from the station to follow their lead. When all are ready, he looks to Raven and lifts a gloved hand to give her an unmistakable thumbs-up sign. At the same time, he speaks through the coms, "Ready to go!"

Raven makes one last com call of warning to everyone, before the cargo bay is sealed shut from the rest of the ship and the large doors slide open to reveal the endless darkness of space beyond. WEll, not really. It mostly reveals the space station's side and the old truster. Two suited-up guys from the space station are already out there to detach the old wonky one.

Feng eyes the panorama before them until he spots Valentin, hard to mistake in his one-armed suit. "We'll move on your signal, when you're all clear, Team One," he confirms. He studies the old thruster from a distance while his fingers fidget on the yellow cord. Without the ship's gravity, he begins to float from the floor and his hand tightens on the cord to ensure that he will be in the right position. Then he looks to Abi and nods his head slightly to her. "Every move counts out here," he cautions.

"Right then." Abi sounds a little less certain now that they're actually going into space, but not to any great extent. She grabs the cord as Feng indicates, following his lead on this. She's good at moving stuff, and making stuff stop moving (in whatever way), but she's not technical at all.

The two local guys wave to the pair from the Seraphim to come out and join them. It's all like a very floaty mute ballet in which they drift around and try to get to the right places on the old thruster. One of the guys does a thumbsup to check if the newcomers are ready to pull out.

Feng continues to watch the movements from afar, and when he sees the signal, he glances to Abi and then the two techs from the station. "Forward, ho!" he calls through his comms. "Slow and steady. Keep the lines taut!" He tugs on his yellow cord along with the others, and the huge thruster that mvoed on Persephone only with the aid of cranes and rollers floats from the deck like an autumn leaf in reverse, hovering for a moment in space and then obeying tugs that guide it forward through the enormous airlock and into the inky Black for its short trip to its new home. "Use the lines and your suit's thrusters to guide this into place," he urges.

Abigail keeps a hand on the cable and the other working on her controls as she moves along, only a tiny bit of a wobble to her. She manages well enough. "Well, ain't that a sight," she comments, remembering how much trouble it was to get the gorram thing inside the first time.
<Chance> Raven flips a coin: Failure.

The Chinese guys start pushing the old thruster out to make way for the new one. But it doesn't really go all that smoothly. Suddenly one of the cables jams and there's a flutter of excitement. Clearly there's a problem with the technical side of things. Crossed wires or something.

"All stop!" Feng orders through the comms as soon as the old thruster falters in space. He thumbs the nobs on his suit to control the thrusters so that they slow the forward movement. Hanging in space, he fixes his gaze on the other team. "We're holding," he advises. "Waiting on your signal to proceed, Team One."

Abi isn't quite as smooth as Feng, but she manages to stop, at least. "What?" she asks, frowning. "What's goin' on?"

There's some chatter through the comms, lots of it in agitated high-pitched Mandarin, then Raven butts in. "Feng, go and help them, they can't tell their asses from their elbows.", she orders him, "Abi, Tintin, hang in there, make sure the new thruster remains stationary and doesn't crash into anything. Especially the Seraphim."

Feng nods and looks to Abi and the other technicians to be sure that they are steadying the shiny new thruster. He takes a deep breath and places one hand on the controls to his suit's small maneuvering jets. Then he releases the yellow cable with the other. He hangs for a moment in the Black. Then he nudges the controls and heads toward the old thruster at a slow but steady pace. While he moves, he queries in fluent Mandarin, "What happened?" and then, "Is anyone hurt?"

"Make sure that the big gorram thruster don't crash into the big gorram ship. Got it, Cap'n," Abigail says, dryly, but she's taking it much more seriously than it sounds. She definitely does /not/ want things crashing into other things out here. She moves around a little, so that between them, her and the XO can keep it in place.

The Chinese techies offer a string of expletives by way of explanation for Feng. One at least has the sense to point at the display that's blinking Error Code 476B and pantomime an elaborate shrug. Hopefully Feng knows what it means.

<FS3> Feng rolls Electronics: Good Success. (8 3 1 7 3 4 4 8 10)

Feng adjusts his trajectory to approach the pane that the tech indicated. He tilts his head to one side. His brows furrow. He nodges himself closer to pry open the access panel. While he reaches into the small cavity, he explains, "Something triggered the ignition system to restart. The fuel tamk should be empty if everyone followed procedures before uncoupling the thruster from the station. As a precaution, I'm disarming the ignition system completely." After a moment, he closes the access panel and the display goes dark.

"Well, I'm glad he's along," Abigail mutters to herself as Feng fixes things. She floats in place with Valentin, watching.

Raven watches from the cargo bay, relieved when some positive excited chattering comes from the comms and the two Chinese techies do a thumbups. The last error removed, the old thruster is ready to glide out of its position and floats in space, attached only by a single strong cord now. "Okay, kids, stick it in.", Raven orders her crew.

Leaving the old thruster to float idly, Feng returns to his line, nodding to Abi. "No boom this time." he assures. "Now comes the tricky part. We need to nudge this beast into place." He glances to the two techs and mouths to Abi, hoping that she can read lips, "I'm worried about those two. Keep a close eye on them. They might not be as good at this as they seem. They should have known to deactivate the ignition completely. If that thing had even a small amount of fuel in the tank …" He shakes his head.
<FS3> Abigail rolls Alertness: Failure. (4 6 5 3 5 7 3)

Unfortunately for Feng, Abigail is looking the other way. Probably at the great big rocket thruster. She is paying general attention, though. Hopefully that'll be good enough. Not that she can /do/ a whole lot to help right now, mind you.

The Chinese techies get ready to receive the new thruster and nudge it into place. By now everyone on the Seraphim's crew is out to help steer the thing. Abi being distracted will cost her when a floaty cable hits the backside of her head. Luckily, without gravity, the impact is very low.

"Easy!" Feng calls, releasing his cable and moving gradually toward the front of the thruster to help Valentin with guiding the weightless but still huge structure into place. The thruster slowly nestles into its cradle, ready for the technicians to connect its control interface with the station.

If there was air to carry the sound, there would be a /bong/ as the cable hits. Luckily, there isn't. She feels it, though, and a brief hiss of Chinese (something about the motherless son of a duck) comes across the radio. Recovering herself, Abigail joins in with the moving.

Slowly slowly the thruster inches forward and slots in. Whew. Now comes the techies' big moment. They need to connect it to the space station's system. Mr Lu's voice can be heard on the comm, being in control of the space station's panel where hopefully soon enough lots of green lights will light up.

<FS3> Feng rolls Electronics: Good Success. (7 10 10 4 6 2 7 2 8)

<FS3> Abigail rolls Mechanics: Success. (8 3)

Without a bang or even a whimper, the thruster stops. Feng watch's it for a moment until he is sure that it has settled. Then he hauls himself along the great engine's side using hand-holds that technicians might use in normal gravity. He reaches the open panel and begins the slow process of connecting leads to wiring that will relay electrical signals from the station to the motor. Once all of the wires are secure in place, he looks toward the station and nods. "It's ready for testing." he announces.

Abigail is not at all mechanically inclined, but she knows enough to keep her extremities out of the way as the thruster is put into place. She holds onto the side somewhere out of the way once it's in place.

Once the thruster is fixed, Lu fiddles with his panel and finally there's a surprisingly cheery chirp on the comm. "Works!", the man announces, "Settings need adjusted, but is okay. Can work with that." This causes Raven to whoop rather noisily. "Well done, crew!"

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