Friday, April 08, 2005

Emergency! Shields are down!

We had some routine engine maintenance today. I started by shutting off the flow in one of the engine cores. At that point, we were running on only one engine. We have a pretty elaborate recovery plan in case we get attacked while this is happenening. Anyway, I'm about 2 hours into the maintenance when my tricorder starts beeping. I first look around to see Mr. Scott is around, and since he isn't, I yell "Code Purple!"

Several guys stop what they're doing. Some of the others have no idea, so they just keep on working. Several of us huddle together, because right now, we have a Severity 1 Porn Emergency here. We have been using the engine room to store the porn we took off that 200-year-old ship. The shielding and radiation from the matter-anti-matter reactions throws off some of the sensors - porn doesn't rate the highest sensor grade, so it is possible to mask it. While we had the flow diverted, though, we had to rely solely on the protection provided by the container we kept it in.

But just a few minutes ago, someone - we don't know who, but it is someone who is going to lose all porn privileges, that someone decided to take a quick peek. When the container was opened, the sensor sweep picked it up, and my tricorder intercepted the alert, since I am monitoring security alerts.

First thing we need to do is figure out where to move the porn. It won't be safe here now that the sensors have picked it up. The whole area will soon undergo a manual inspection, because they certainly won't believe that the reading was a false positive caused by radiation flux - especially not down in Engineering! We discussed a few of the usual hiding places, but most of them are still undergoing occasional manual searches because of previous violations. Then Crewman Phyrrvo comes up with a great idea. He used to work in shuttlecraft maintenance, and the shuttlecraft has all kinda of shielding, and also some pretty concentrated radiation readings. It would be really easy to stash the porn there, if we could only get it there without detection.

We decide to go for the old "contamination two-step". Phyrrvo calls a couple of his buddies in shuttlecraft maintainance and offers them membership in the porn brotherhood in exchange for their cooperation. Soon, at a pre-arranged time, crewmen in both Warp and Shuttlecraft Maintenance experience radiation emergencies. In both cases, this involves several crewman in radiation suits dragging their exposed comrade to sick-bay. Some of the guys coat their suits with just enough radiation to mask the porn container, and I get to play victim. Just outside sickbay, we meet up with the shuttlecraft guys, who are similarly irradiated. We hand over the container to a couple of them who rush it back to the hangar, while me and the other victim are dragged into sick bay.

McCoy comes in, looks at both of us and shakes his head. He runs his little sensors over us and chuckles. So, boys, what is it this time?

I look at him blankly and go "Huh?"

"This isn't the first time I have seen the old contamination two-step'", McCoy smiles. "Romulan ale?"

"Porn," I say sheepishly.

"Oh well," says McCoy, "I see more anatomy than I really want to anyway. Let me know if you get some Romulan Ale. Now get back to work, and try to come up with a better scheme next time. That radiation trick is older than I am."

See, I told you he was a nice old guy.


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