PHD #250: Hatchway to the Soul
Hatchway to the Soul
Summary: It takes a little accident to open the hatchway to a deckie's confused, evil soul.
Date: 03 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Shiner Cilusia 
Hangar Deck - Port - Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
The single largest rooms on the Cerberus are the hangar decks. Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Mirror images of each other, these two huge areas are located on the flight pods. The inboard sides of the deck, closest to the ship's main hull, are lined with parking and maintenance bays for Vipers and Raptors based aboard the battlestar. The outboard side of the deck contains the launch tubes used by the Vipers for standard deployment. Huge blast doors seal the deck into four sections, each one containing an elevator that leads up to the flight deck directly overhead. The fore-most section contains an elevator system that leads towards Aerospace Fabrication.
Post-Holocaust Day: #250

Vroooooom. Vroom. Tshaaaw chunk vroooom. Beep. Beep. Tshaaawwww. Yes, fear. Shiner is in a forklift, shunting various crates from a stack on one side of the hangar deck over towards one of the Raptors. Vroom. Etc.

This particular Raptor is obviously down for repairs. Why else would they let Shiner anywhere near it with a forklift, you'd be forced to ask yourself. Those pesky hatches, they tend to get a little heavy when you want to replace one. Cilusia's playing police officer, standing on the winglet of the Raptor and guiding the forklift into place by waving her hands backwards through the air towards her head.

Shiner leans out of the side of the forklift, squint more pronounced as he concentrates on not running the Raptor through with the heavy machinery. He nudges the stick forward just a little, dropping his cargo by a few inches, then eases the vehicle forward maybe a foot more, agonizingly slowly. "How'm I doing? How close am I? Higher? Lower? I can't see the frakking tines!"

"Guess we'll have to get you a few directories to sit on the next time then," Cilusia replies. Holding up both her hands, palms out, she gives him the sign to stop a minute. On the winglet, she spreads out a rubberized mat, and then pops back up into sight. "Give it…a foot forward, then down about six inches. SLOW."

"Frakking stupid design if you ask me," Shiner grumbles, frowning in concentration as he nudges the machine forward. "Say when!" he calls, eyes fixed on Cilusia for the signal. "Tilt good?"

"Tilt's fine. Keep going. Keep going. Down some. Little more. Down. Okay…okay…STOP!" Cilusia is kneeling down on the winglet of the Raptor, and when the tines hit the mat, she holds her hand out in a fist. The tines should come down gently on the mat…if Shiner is any good at anything. "And yeah, who'd have thought. You put it so the driver can see the cargo that's being lifted, and can like…drive forward to pick it up. That's such a bad idea."

Shiner waves a hand vaguely towards the front of the vehicle, scowling. "I'd make the tines guard see through for a start. You can't actually see the tines unless you've got 'em at full tilt up! It's not as easy as it looks, you know!" He snorts, giving the stick a sharp nudge back to, in theory, lower the tines to the mat. Only what he actually does it jerk the whole cargo up by about a foot, slamming it into the top of the hatch with a nasty sounding crunch. There is a deathly silence for a moment and he just stares, wide eyed and with growing dread.

Well, that would certainly get the attention of a few folks there in the hangar bay. If the hatch wasn't being replaced before this, it certainly is going to have to be now. The cargo crate containing the new hatch is all smashed and crushed up, the hatch itself formerly standing open all twisted and bent out of shape from the sudden collision. "Whoa! Holy FRAK! What are you DOING?" Cilusia hollers, looking around the side of the crate, thankful she didn't get smushed or thrown off the winglet herself.

"I… uh…" Shiner falters, looking for all intents and purposes like a deer caught in headlights, cheeks reddening as activity around the deck ceases and people turn their attention their way. He fumbles with the control stick, trying his best, too late, to lower the crate once more to where it was supposed to be. "Shit, how bad is it? Can we cover it up?" he hisses.

"You're //really/ frakkin' lucky we're already in the process of replacing the godsdamned thing! Holy shit man! Read the frakkin' instructions before you hit the stick!" Man, she looks a little pissed off! "Just set the frakkin' thing down now! DOWN!" The instructions are pretty sharp, but she's not looking at Shiner. She's looking at the mangled edge of the open hatch, part of it crumpled up; it won't ever seat right on the frame again.

"It all goes the wrong way!" Shiner protests. "Up should be up! Not down!" Still, the protest is fairly weak, and he lowers the crate with timidity, nudging the tines down a scant millimetre at a time, cheeks still blazing red. "We can fix it, though, right?" And by 'we', he means 'you'.

"We're replacing the hatch anyway. You better just hope that the frame didn't get torqued, or we're frakked right up the ass. If that's the case, you're going to be the one walking down to fab and asking them to make you a new one. You should know that shit's all frakkin' backwards on a forklift! Damn, you've never used one before!?" There's a thump on the deck as she hops off the winglet, and jerks a thumb at the crate. "Put that frakker in park and get up there. That new hatch needs to be unpacked…for real. Not just smashing it up."

Shiner grits his teeth. "Look, I forgot, okay?! It happens! A guy makes mistakes!" He wrinkles his nose, easing the forklift back to park up, chewing on his lip nervously as he watches behind him, every movement slow, careful and deliberate now. When it's too late. "Sure, you've been doing this job forever, but I haven't!" He yanks on the handbrake, killing the engine, and slides sideways in his seat, eyeing the steps down to the ground.

"I'm not dumb enough to drive the forklift though. You're supposed to have a liscense for that, you know!" There's a few people gathered, sure, but for the most part, they're just gawking. Nobody's bothering to speak up about it yet, since accidents do happen. "Quit worrying about it though…we were scrapping that hatch anyway. Just…get unpack it!"

Shiner hooks one hand around the handle by the door to the forklift, carefully moving his foot onto the first step down. "Aye aye, PO," he responds miserably, testing his weight before shifting his other foot, agonisingly slowly, to the ground, there to again carefully test it'll support him before putting his full weight down. He keeps a hand on the side of the forklift, using it for support as he awkwardly takes a stumbling pace towards the winglet. "You won't tell the Chief, right?"

"As loud as that was, I'm pretty sure he already knows!" Cilusia has to stifle a chuckle at that one, but really, it was pretty damned loud. "Just…let's hurry this shit up. I don't want to spend the whole shift working on this one frakked up Raptor hatch, afterall!" Since she's not crippled, she climbs up first, and even offers a dirty hand to help Shiner up.

"I'm on it," Shiner tells her earnestly, nodding gratefully as he accepts the hand. He grips her hand tightly, setting his feet ready to try to climb up and grits his teeth. He physically lifts one leg, yanking it up by the trouser leg with his free hand, plopping it down like some kind of prosthetic on the ledge to help the climb and wobbling precariously. "I've never fitted a hatch before," he warns her.

"Never…replaced a door or nothing? Did you do any work with your hands at all, before? And I don't mean jacking it." Cilusia moves in to cutoff that obvious joke before it can grow…no puns intended. "You sure you're cleared to be back already? Looks like that leg is still kinda messed up," points out Captain Obvious. The crate is partially smashed, but the rest has to be taken apart by wrench; thankfully, Ciluia's got one in a pocket of her orange jumpsuit.

"I was just a lifeguard before all this," comes Shiner's response as he tries to climb. "And sure, I'm fine and cleared and everything," he lies smoothly. "The Chief said I could get back to work." Well, not entirely a lie, that part, but still. "I don't have my toolbelt, though," he warns, somehow managing to scramble up and then lying flat on the wingtip to catch his breath.

"Well, it's pretty frakkin' simple," Cilusia starts out. Sudden understanding as to how he could not figure out the forklift dawns on her. "Get the old one taken down, swap it with the new one, make sure it's a tight, sturdy seal, vac-pressure test is, done. Problem here is that the locking mechanism on this old one is shot all to hell. No go on using this one again."

"We can't just, like, replace the locking bit?" Shiner queries, pulling himself to a seated position and holding out one claw-like hand for a spanner. "Or something? We have to do the whole thing?"

The mangled hatch is given a pat with the palm of her hand. It's a pretty good reminder that no, the lock can't be replaced on its own. "Nope, afraid not. Not now at least. Could've maybe yanked it up before it got all smashed, but we'd still need forklift the thing up here. I can barely lift you up here, let along a Raptor hatch and locking mechanism."

Shiner mumbles out a quiet, "Yeah, sorry about that." Sheepishly he fumbles with the wrench, settling it awkwardly with both hands. "I undo here, yeah?" he clarifies the blindingly obvious. "How did you learn all this shit, anyway?"

"You don't just sign up, you know. They have classes and shit." She kinda mumbles along there while she works at unscrewing some of the things holding the crate together. "Plus, you learn a thing or two when you grow up in a shithole like Scorpia. It's the hot, wet armpit of the colonies, you know!" A snarky little smirk pulls at her lips when she talks about Scorpia that way. It's a love-hate relationship she has with her home, for sure.

Shiner snorts. "Our PO at basic told us to just keep our heads down and do what we're told." He works at the crate, musing, "I always wanted to go to Scorpia. It looked pretty neat on the posters and everything."

"It's a miracle what they can do on computers nowadays. Take shit and make it look like gold. Unless you wanted to go there and sweat like a pig for the whole time you're there, get lost in the jungle, or risk getting bit by a few dozen poisonous…anythings, Scorpia is probably not for you." Yeah, yeah, it's a pretty rough, jungle-y place, we've got it. "I never managed to get myself off-world until joining up in the fleet. Little hard to sight see from the inside of a fleet vessel, though."

"But there's, like, all those animals and stuff, right?" Shiner replies, squinting as the new hatch is worked free. "And safaris and things? Like in that movie with that guy with the big hat, yeah?"

"More like, that show where people disappear into the dark jungles on boats and never come back. There's animals, sure…half the twelve colonies' most dangerous animals live on Scorpia, I think. Could just be a rumor or some shit, but it seems likely. Lots of poisons…snakes, bugs, lizards. If it bites or stings, it's probably deadly there. It frakkin' sucks. Of course, the tourist traps are kept pretty clean."

Shiner ponders a moment. "I always fancied saving up and getting the guys together for a trip over there for my 21st and shit." He shrugs. "Maybe not now, huh? I'll probably just have a cup of tea and an early night. I've turned into my grandad."

"It's less cancer-y, that's for sure. Probably not a good idea to visit any colony…especially one likely bombed all to hell on account of the fleet shipyards being right there. As for tea, try avoiding anything that doesn't come pre-packaged. Loose stuff makes you a real tea-nerd, like some old fogey." By now, the crate is basically completely disassembled, the replacement hatch exposed from within.

"Tea is awesome," Shiner defends his beverage of choice, "What do we do with this now?" he asks, nodding to the hatch curiously. "Just sort of shove it in place and duct tape it or something?"

"There's a little more to it than that. It's pretty close, but you missed a few steps." Leading by example, Callista starts to show Shiner how the hatch is fixed to the Raptor, how to work at it to pull it from the frame, how to muscle the new one into place, fix it on the hinges, on and on through the whole process until the Raptor has itself a new spaceworthy door.

Shiner isn't a great deal of help. The unkind might say he's more in the way than anything, but he tries, bless his heart. And once the hatch is fitted, he beams a bright smile of achievement, giving Cilusia a firm nod before stumbling back to his forklift to try not to break anything else.

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