PHD #228: EVENT - Out of the Wreckage
Out of the Wreckage
Summary: Crews from the fleet work to free a salvageable FTL drive from wreckage, for use on the civilian freighter.
Date: 12 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: All of the freighter related logs.
Bran Leyla Marko Sofia NPC 
Meridian Starport, North Continent, Aerilon
It's a starport. It was nuked, there's lots of broken ships around.
Post-Holocaust Day: #228

It's been a bit of a hectic few weeks, since the freighter'd been discovered and the crews of all of the ships have been working double-time to get the old crate up and running. Only a few days ago, the sublights were brought back online, but despite the fact that the rest of the ship was almost up to speck for human…and plant…cohabitation, the old girl was still missing an FTL drive. But, one would hope, that today is the day that that changes, as two raptor teams have come down from the Cerberus, carrying and extra heavy load of marines and crews from both engineering and the deck, to inspect, approve, and then, if all goes well, begin to clear the drive from that wreckage of whatever it was once attached to, to be transported to where the freighter is now waiting to be completed.

Marko takes a sip from his canteen as he watches the crews start to swarm over the wreck, shaking his head slowly. "This is, without a doubt, the damndest thing I've ever seen." he comments to his pilot. "You got any idea how they're going to lift the drive once they get it disconnected?"

Sofia is in awe. "Wow." She's boggling, one of the snipes who gets to help play fire ant or vulture to the rest of the crew. She smiles at Marines in passing and will swarm contentedly. "Hey!"

"Raptors probably," Leyla offers, as she reaches back to pat Bertha's nose, muzzle thingie. "Figure do it like we did the roof, remember? Except rig up two raptors, pulling in tandem, one up above the other, on either side of the drive, which is going to mean some very careful piloting." And two pilots who know each other extremely well.

There are indeed a swarm of green and orange ants moving up and over and around and under the engine, still housed in the back of the ship it once belonged to. Some are cutting away metal, letting it slide down and clang down to the ground, others are inside avoiding sparks and working at removing couplings and all of the internal nervous system that keeps the drive operating, others are doing, well…better not to ask.

Marko nods a little. "Yeah, that would do it." Marko agrees. "Heh, something to see, isn't it, Crewman?" he asks Sofia. "I don't envy either of you the task, Sweet Pea." he points out, wincing at the noise as one of the bigger metallic chunks clangs to the ground noisily. "Eh…there's not any chance this thing could…you know, explode, or anything, right?"

Sofia grins. "Yeah, we work on them but we rarely /see/ one out like this, you know?" She considers. There's a wince at the clang. She'll help when she can, pausing to chat with Marko and Leyla in passing. She passes a torch here, moves a part. She's fairly diligent at least and hmms. "Yeah… be a shame if anything got damaged." Pilot OR equipment.

Things seem to be moving smoothly, despite the noise, though, truth to tell, given that it's mainly engineering and the deck working, it might just be that the level of noise is directly proportional to the amount of good solid work being done. There is, after all, a reason why earplugs and hearing protection are required on the deck. Worker, ants, worker ants, go, go, go! "Hey, Wolfe, you got any extra fuel tanks lying around?" Called down from right over the back of the drive, where the bulk of the metal skeleton encasing the machinery is still intact.

"I have to admit, I don't think I've ever seen one outside of a ship, except maybe in a scaled down test lab. I'd almost forgotten how big they are," comes Leyla's answer to Sofia, as the crewman passes. "Well, you might not envy me the task, but you'll still be sitting in the backseat plugging away, Flasher."

With clipboard in hand, is Junior Lieutenant Sam Bran. The ECO has a pen currently tucked behind his left ear and itching to be used but for the time being the man glances sidelong as his strides carry him past the likes of the others, the others being Leyla, Marko and Sofia. He angles an eyebrow questioningly and then inclines his head with a thoughtful shake of his head. Whatever silent judgment is passed just then is kept to himself as he reaches up to undo the front of his flight suit. "Come now, the fields of Elysium wait for no man, or woman, so we best lend a helping hand." Another look, a slow and patient one, is given before Bran tucks the clipboard underneath his left arm and begins heading towards the freighter in the process of being galvanized. Only a sparse glance is given overhead to idle, grey-gold sunshine.

"Sounds like a plan." Marko nods in reply to Bran. "Yeah, they're staggeringly big." he adds for Sofia and Leyla's benefit. "Unbe-frakking-lievably big." he smiles. "So, let's go ahead and get this big bastard outta there so we can get on with our lives. I'll be nice to have the civvies off the ship." he adds. "Heh, how's that for a motivator?"

Sofia smiles as she's called to. "Yeah, only a couple. I can grab one for you. Where you need it?" She calls up. She grins at the pilots. "Me too," She nods at Leyla. "Like sure, we fix it all the time but you only ever see PART of it." She considers. Then there's a smile at Bran and Sofia puffs a little. "I am! I just talk in the .05 seconds I have beside people. I gotta grab a fuel tank," She moves for it. "In one way yeah. It'll be nice to have space. In another, I'll kinda miss most of them. But … they deserve better than being crammed in like sardines."

"Motivation enough for me." But that's all Leyla's going to say about that. "Come on, let's go cut some metal." She can do that pretty easily enough, yes she can. The more nuts and bolts hands on things, well, better to leave that to people who are more used to working on things larger than a raptor. Off she goes towards where some makeshift scaffolding's been laid out.

The man who originally called for the fuel tank, an engineer by the greens, calls back down, "Can you bring it up the back, right where Jess is working?" Jess, apparently, is a deckie, who's now waving her arms from high up on the back of the skeleton, just to mark her position before she goes back to cutting through hull plating. "I think if we can cut it just right, she's gonna peel open like a ripe orange."

"You need any help, Wolfe?" Marko calls to Sophia as he follows Leyla towards the ship. "Cutting metal, haven't done that in….eh….well, ever." he chuckles amiably. "Just don't let me burn my damn fingers off with the torch."

"Looked like you were all floating along on ambrosia to me," is dryly stated as fact by the ECO in passing, with him offering a short grin over his shoulder. Still, he said it. The clipboard is passed along to someone else and he shares a momentary word with the lass before his attention is brought back forward and to what remains of the mechanical corpse. Bran takes a long and good look at it. "My, what big ass you have." That much is said to no one in particular save himself, or the ship.

There's a … pause. Sofia just kind of stares blankly at the mention of burning something off with a torch. She looks troubled. Something … memory. She just kind of shakes her head after a long moment. "Yeah! Sounds good," Sofia beams and smiles, waving back. She'll faithfully fetch it and wheel or pull it over as needed. "Maybe… I'll try without first." She hates to be a bother. "And be sure to wear gloves and a mask if you cut metal." Nod. She grins at Bran. Then her eyes go wide. "With that many women around, you are so gonna get slapped like - so hard you'll be the first dude to travel through time." She is obviously teasing as she helps lug along a fuel tank.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to actually have you on the torch, but it's a two man operation. One person to cut, one to direct the metal when it drops, so it doesn't hit some poor unfortunate soul on the head. Looks like they're trying to cut through the structural members that are holding the back end of the hull up and over the engine. Once they're gone, shouldn't be hard to extract it." She continues on, passing Bran and Sofia, though she catches the comment, "Nah, knowing Pens, most of the women here would take that as a compliment."

"That's a relief, 'cause I've got the mechanical aptitude of a sea monkey." Marko chuckles. "It sounds like a good plan, though. Should save us a hell of a lot of time." he nods. "Heh, just be sure Toast or Jugs don't hear anything like that." he cautions Bran. "Leyla might not get violent about it, but I have no idea how Quinn or Cidra would react." he smirks. "And I don't _want_ to." he adds, shuddering dramatically.

Bran looks up from where he is standing and off in the direction of the others. He lifts the breadth of his shoulders into a shrug. "I can tell them, sure, and to their face, if it were true, but I was talking to the ship," and the rest of whatever he says is cut off, because now his comments are even further mentioned under his breath and he's walking past the high-pitched squeal of metal being cut asunder. The Taurian takes a step back and cranes his neck to look at where he is heading and then begins to climb up a point in order to move into the ship rather than stare at its outsides. He needs at the actual drive.

"I know, I was teasing, sorry," A shrug at Bran. Sofia forgets humor might not translate to all colonists. Or something. "Huh? Did you say—" She winces as the squeal begins. A shrug and Sofia moves to bring the fuel tank into place. She laughs and turns red. "I think I made him mad…" Way to go Sofia. She looks abashed. Either way, she moves to work.

"Thanks, Wolfie," Sofia might actually recognize the man, now that she's close enough to see his face and hear his voice without the distortion of noise and distance, Castor, one of the more…shall we say, young and ungristled engineers. "You want to give it a go? All you gotta do is hold on while Jessie here cuts some ship skin."

"Oh, yeah, you're all thumbs, right." Leyla hops up on the scaffolding, climbing it in a manner that would make any deckie proud, though, given the fact that Bran seems to have just as much ease with it, so much so that it's only his, um, lower half, that's visible by the time she gets up to his level, and that only for a second before he's gone into the belly of the beast, it might be a Derry thing. "Alright, let me see if I can find a welder to divest of their burden."

Marko follows Leyla on slightly less steady legs, though he's a reasonably quick study. "Heh, did I mention I'm not much on climbing without stairs?" he jibes, laughing to himself as they make their way up. "Damn, what are you, part mountain goat?" he asks Leyla, shaking his head a little. "Slow down, will ya?"

A smile at Castor. "Yeah, think nothing of it," She waves a hand. She doesn't seem to mind the younger Engineers. Sofia's oddly old for her rank after all. "Um… I can try, sure." Though there's a strange fear of those torches. She has to steady herself. "Sure." She smiles. She inches closer, "Where do you want me?"

"Hey, just stay right with me, I won't let anything bad happen to you." Yes, it's one part camaraderie, and maybe one part sweetness (on the crewman that is), but Castor does lead Sofia over to the far side of the plating Jess is now back to cutting away at, "Just hold your hands right here," he indicates some metal handgrip that have been magnetically attached to the hull, "Then, once she cuts it free, we make sure nobody's where it's going to fall, unclamp the handgrips and let it go. You okay with that?"

"I'm a bull, Flasher, you're the goat." Unlike certain other members of the air wing, Leyla actually can joke with Marko about his colony of origin. That said, once she's on top, she holds out her hands to help him up. "Come on, it's pretty flat up here, you should be okay to settle in. Let me get dressed and get that torch over here."

"Ah, dry up." Marko replies with mock annoyance as he takes Leyla's hand to help hoist himself up. "Okay, this isn't so bad." he says, taking stock of where he's wound up. "Ah, hand grips." he says, spotting a pair nearby and snagging them.

Aw. Sofia might blush a bit, either out of embarrassment or being grateful. "Thanks." She nods and lets herself get lead along towards where the handgrip is. "Sounds good, I think I can manage." She smiles. "Much appreciated." Dutifully, she sets about to… holding her hands there!

The work is continuing apace, more groups like Sofia Castor and Jess and Leyla, now in welding gear, and thank goodness for cool weather there working on removing the parts of the bent and blasted hull that would keep the rest of it from falling clear, while teams along the bottom create fault lines where the metal hull can fold back as it peels apart. Within the skeleton itself, Bran arrives just in mid process, the teams inside unfastening, unbolting and uncoupling for all they're worth. There's also a secondary team going over the engine itself, to make certain there's no damage to it they didn't catch before.

"Just keep a good hold on them. Keep your weight forward to hold the metal from sliding off until you're ready." That said, Leyla gets to work, the torch coming on with a flick and a pop as she gets to work, ignoring the sparks coming up, and the metal dripping down below, thankfully, onto the secondary hull. The inner hull, of course, will be sawed apart, which is both faster and easier, once the work on the outside is done.

Marko nods and snags the metal bit with his hand grips, careful to heed Leyla's advice. "How's it going over there, Pens?" he calls, blinking in the glare from the torch's super-hot end. "Ya know, something just occurred to me." he says. "Here we are removing a device that enables a space ship to travel faster than light, and we're using the same cutting gear people have been using for ….how long?" he asks. "Is that odd to anyone but me?"

Sofia smiles at her little group, grateful for the cool weather. Obediently, she holds the hand grips until her cue and making sure no one is gonna get squished. "It kinda is. But not a lot of people like technology," She points out.

Leyla finishes the first cut she took over for easily enough, cutting away a jagged portion where the metal had folded in on itself into the ship. A final molten line of metal, before she settles back, moving well clear of Marko, "You've got the ball." Hey, it's an oldie but a goodie. "Well, seems like some things, if they work, why replace them with something new? Just keep using them till you can't."

The grit, the grime, the oil and grease, the work and heat and sweat, this is more to the Taurian's standards of Elysium Fields. Sam Bran gives a look into the wake behind him and what remains of an exit onto the world beyond before directing himself forward and through the lowered pipes and conduits onto a catwalk towards the drive unit that is their objective. The man signals a nearby engineer before speaking over the general commotion of things, gathering a situation report in the process. Just barely can he hear the ones overhead but from his knelt down position does he look up and wave a hand. "Should be done on this end in a bit," but he doesn't elaborate on how long a bit lasts, but it's just a bit and he's turning back around.

The engineers working inside the skeleton seem more than pleased to have another hand to help with the world. Clearly, a mustang officer is always welcome on this crew, and one that actually knows what the frak to do with an FTL engine, it's like christmas, if there was such a thing as christmas in the colonies. Still, they're more than happy to get the ECO up to speed and elbows deep in some grease of his own.

Outside it seems as if things are almost ready to go. The cuts along the bottom are finished, and the teams working along the top of the hull to cut it open are finished as well. "Looks like we're about ready to hook the winches up," Castor calls, as he gets the call back from the team finishing up at the far end, "Okay, let's finish up the work we're doing and get off this thing so the people downstairs can finish sawing through the secondary hull."

Marko nods. "Yeah, that's true." Marko replies, shrugging a little. "Just strikes me funny sometimes." he comments, preparing to let the piece Leyla just cut drop to the ground.

"Um, sorry about that joke earlier sir," Sofia offers to Bran. She smiles, seeing him join in with them though. She nods, and will let her metal move as it needs to. Slowly it drops and the handgrips are clamped to a new part. She'll smile at people in passing. A nod at Castor, "Sounds good!" She beams at him. "Let me know if I need to change jobs too," She's not too fond of being so near those torches.

"I think we're done now," is the low alto rumble from Jess, as she pushes the welding helmet up to reveal her face, the torch popping off a second before. "Thanks for your help, Wolfie." She too moves back, to give Sofia clearance to drop her slab of hull, "Once you drop it and the dust settles, we're gonna get off this beast and get down on the ground." Castor too moves back, as if he wants to give Sofia the honours.

"I'm ready when you are," is Leyla's reply to Marko, as she finishes putting away the supplies, and moves to carry the equipment over to where it's being lowered back down to the ground.

Marko nods and lets the piece drop, careful to aim it's path of decent away from anyone working below them. "Alrighty, what's the next step?" he asks. "Want me to get her prepped?" he says, nodding in the direction of the Raptor.

"Just don't leave me hanging with a multi-ton set resting on my hand," is murmured to the man knelt down beside Bran, with him reaching into a crevice of darkness just to end up in the position to lose a forearm if things go bad. However, things don't and he's hearing someone else potentially calling out to him. He wrinkles the bridge of his nose, tripping something with his concealed hand, and he looks up. "What?" He can only see half of Sofia, but that's who he is talking to.

"Oh. I'll apologize later," She responds to Bran. "But I did want to say I was sorry," She nods. Then a smile at Jess. "Thank you too but it's what I'm here for." And lo, the hull slab drops with a tremendous noise once folks are all cleared. "Sounds good." She blinks at Castor, but smiles. "There we go."

"Not to worry, El-Tee, can't afford to have blood and gristle gumming up the works. We'd have to do a whole other system purge and that would put us behind schedule." But they move well enough along, and things progress smoothly, as does the secondary hull breaching, which is coming along like a hot knife cutting through butter, "All structural members have been cut free, soon as we're done with the hull, we'll peel her open."

Indeed, the work outside is speeding up, the juryrigged scaffolding being pulled aside to free the hull of obstacles, and the winches are being clamped up and are pulled taut, ready to go.

"Yeah, you'd better. Looks like Piper and Shortbus," a raptor team from the Providers, "Are already getting their raptor spun up. And the cables are there and laid out for you, I'll be down in a minute."

"You got it." Marko replies, taking the time to be extra careful as he climbs down the exposed ribs and structural members. "Heh, I think we just invented a new sport. Ship climbing." he chuckles. "Too bad we thought it up _after_ Warday." he sighs. "Could've been huge…all we need's a wrecked ship and a few local welders to cut her up a little. Franchises near all the major ports."

"All right, all right, I've got it done on my end." Bran begins to retract his hand after turning away from Sofia's general direction, just so he can make sure he doesn't rip off skin in the process of removing his hand from mechanical innards. He wipes what grease remains on a thigh and looks over his shoulder again in the general direction of Sofa: "You're fine and lovely, don't worry about it!" That's called out in light-hearted response before he begins to stand and move to a better position as things fall and crash.

Jess makes short work of getting her tail off of the high ground, taking one of the last scaffolds down to the ground. Castor, naturally, being the gentleman that he is, waits to help Sofia, before he too will end up on the ground, and allow the last of the hull to be cleared of debris. Once everything's clear, and that includes people who have no desire to be pancaked, and the people on the inside give the okay, the winches begin pulling for all their worth. Here's to hoping everyone's got some ear protection on, once the walls, as they say come tumbling down, with enough weight and force to shake the ground, and for the first time, perhaps since the day it was installed, if even then, to allow light to shine down on the FTL drive now freed from the ship's belly.

"Actually, being as how there weren't that many wreckages before Warday, seems like the sport would do better business now than then, don't you think?" Leyla is far back with her ECO now, face turned away to avoid the dust and debris that rolls out in the hull's wake.

"Yeah, maybe got a point there, but who the hell's around to do it?" Marko chuckles. "I mean, how am I supposed to make cubits by the truckload off it, if all the punters are either starving or ashes?" he reasons. "Completely buggers up the plan, you see."

Sofia smiles, "Thanks." She is helped down and lands with a soft grunt. She is content to be three dimensional and scoots as needed. She has her ear protection at least, and her eyes go wide as the FTL is freed and pulled up. She looks amused by the trio of Air Wing's commentary but says nothing, largely mingling with the enlisted. "It's in pretty nice shape though, given the circumstances."

"Frakking perfect," and then Bran is cut off by something clanging in the background. At least the drive is finally freed which leads the ECO to lifting a hand to pat a paneling next to him. After a look is given to the ones near to him and then with him glancing skyward, Bran squints thoughtfully. He covers his face and appears near to the others. He's still dirty, dusty, and relatively blue collar with so much black covering the sedate green of his flight suit. "We're still on schedule, but a drink now would be great."

The hive of ants, as soon as the dust settles, are moving quickly back to work, making certain that the FTL drive is completely free of its housing, and, given its size, rather than leaving it to the raptor teams to hook up their cables, they handle securing the drive in its assembly, and leading the cables out to be hooked up to the raptors for the team extraction. Despite the slowdown in work, the morale levels seems only up the upswing. They know when they've done good work.

"Maybe you ought to be looking at exchanging cubits for something that's useful now. fresh fruit maybe, or non-mystery meat." Always helpful, that's Leyla. "I've got some water in the back, but that's all I can offer you, Pens." That's what comes of asking for a drink around a teetotaler. She means in to speak in a whisper to the dusky-skinned ECO before she ducks into her raptor.
You paged Bran with 'IC: We can celebrate later.'

Marko gives a long, sliding whistle at the sight of the massive FTL drive being removed from the guts of the wrecked ship. "Wow…now there's something you don't see every day." he sighs happily, nudging Leyla gently to make sure she's looking. "First time I ever saw one intact outside of a text book. Frakking unbelievable…." he breathes. "Heh, yeah, but now, what's there to spend the cubit's on?" he adds. "Yeah, sorry, Pens, my bus driver's a tee totaller."

"Ow." Deadpan, as Leyla peeks her head back out of the raptor, to watch the grand unveiling of the FTL, which, she mostly missed, but can at least now see with the dust clearing, "Well, that's why you should use something else, besides cubits. Slabs of meat on ice, fresh veggies, candy, new skivvies. Stuff that has real value." But looking isn't going to get the work done, and she's soon back inside, pulling on her helmet so she can go ship to ship with Piper.

Sofia is among those ants and seems happy for the work done. She grins. "Thanks guys." She's content to spend her time mingling with fellow enlisted, helping round things out and get laded up.

"Okay, we're up and running back here, Sweet Pea." Marko calls over the intercom, sealing the hatch automatically. "Looks like the load stabilizers are good take the weight." he reports. "She's yours to fly."

With the massive FTL secured and free of the ship, it's now down to the raptor teams to hook up, take off and lift the drive away. Slow and steady wins the race as Sweet Pea and Piper take their time working out the logistics of the move, Piper in front, Sweet Pea in the back, both of their ECO pulling double-duty monitoring the drive and adjusting the engines to compensate for the weight dragging them down, or trying to. It's going to be slow going, back towards the freighter waiting for its new baby to be delivered, but eventually they will get there. For now, back at the (former) spaceport, the crews have time to wind down, and maybe do a bit of celebrating, before they wait for their own rides, and the long hours ahead to get the drive installed into the freighter. ETA to space? Three, four days tops.

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