Odd Prompts 2023, Week 14

After a long hiatus, we’re back! This week on Odd Prompts, our prompt from Cedar Sanderson was “One of them may have been harmonious”.

Ewan pulled the panel off the bulkhead. At least this one wasn’t smoking. This represented progress of a sort, since the attack that had left them bruised and bleeding had also left them very confused as they rushed to fix damage that didn’t even make sense. The hope that he was starting to make progress lasted until the cacophony of sound poured out of the newly opened panel, and the glow of a riot of warning lights was revealed. He stared, rapt and dismayed, until the beep of the radio broke through his shock. “Mackenzie! Report!”

“Captain, I stopped all the spot fires and took care of all the spots that were smoking, but things aren’t looking up. I just opened the hatch to the tuning bay, and I can’t even see a place to start, sir!” 

“That does sound bad. I’m still dealing with the navigation and comms issues, is there anyone else I can send to help?”

Ewan winced as a sound in the cacophony changed pitch. “Yes sir. Could you send Buonarroti with a couple of sets of noise-cancelling headphones and a tuner? I’m going to need her perfect pitch.” He drew his Omni tool and began prying out the socketed crystals that were clearly shattered. “No saving these wee beasties.”

A thump of ship shoes magnetically attaching to the bulkhead beside him prefaced the slapping of a headset into his shoulder. “So you finally told the Captain that you needed someone who knows what she’s doing down in Engineering, huh?” Buonarroti snarked. Mackenzie grinned as he grasped the headset with his off hand and slipped it over his head, immediately eliminating the harsh nails on chalkboard screaming from the tortured crystals. “Aye, lassie. I told him that we had a dreadful bit of work ahead of us and that if there was anyone on his shit list that he could spare to send them down right away. And here you are!”

Buonarroti grinned at him from behind her own specialized headset as she looked at the crystal array. “You weren’t lying. I’ve never seen such damage to the emitters before in a ship that still had power and was underway.” She adjusted the settings on her directionals and then pointed saying wryly, “Look! That set in the back might even still be harmonious!”

McKenzie shook his head. “It’s a right bit of work indeed. A single pair in an array is naught to be happy about. I don’t know how our bubble hasn’t collapsed yet and we have no idea what hit us or whether it will return. Honestly, lass. Do you think you can reseed and tune the bed quickly enough that we can get the emitters online? I trust your ears and senses over mine and I need to get some of the other systems functioning. Can I entrust this to you?”

Buonarroti nodded confidently and absently as she started setting out crystals and began applying her probes and listening to the results. “On it, Chief.”

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