Prallan watched from the corner of Engineering as Lily and the other Engineers finished assembling the new engine. In a few minutes, the Hermus would power up its engines and struggle to free itself from the planetoid.
"Everything is about ready, sir." Chief Wurstol said, handing him an InfoTab. "Tests are good, much better than I expected. Crewman Tigrole was able to configure the inducer coil with the old engine, and everything seems to work fine. We will know about the new engine shortly."
"Very good, Chief." Prallan said, handing the InfoTab back. "Give me one good reason I should keep you as Chief after this."
"Well, sir, if we get off this planetoid, that will be reason enough. If not, then the Captain will take it out of your hands anyway." She headed to help the other engineers with the coil.
"Bring engine one up to 50% power." Wurstol said. The lights in engineering brightened from their emergency levels to a normal level. Both engines hummed softly. "Readings?"
"Everything good here, Chief." Lily said, running a scanner over the engine. "Inducer is working at 70% efficiency."
"Bring engine two up to full baseline power." The engine noise increased in pitch, but the lack of sparks and fire was a good sign.
"Engine two's inducer is at 90% efficiency. Recommend we can push this engine by another 25% without risking burnout." Jenkol said, scanning the other engine.
"Let's not push our luck, Chief. Bring engine one up to par with engine two." Prallan said. Both engines now hummed loudly.
"Engine one's inducer is at 87% efficiency and stable." Lily said.
"Engineering to the bridge." Prallan said into the comm panel. "Sir, we are at baseline power levels, and stable."
"Copy that, XO, all hands, brace for takeoff."
Prallan placed a hand on the brace railing by the console. If anything went wrong he wanted to be on site in Engineering. His fate, as well as that of the Engineering crew, relied on the engines working. The Hermus shook as it lifted off its landing skids. As power was transferred away from the engines and into the thrusters and other systems, their noise changed pitch. "Report?"
"That's normal, sir." Jenkol said. "Transferring power away reduces the engine feedback loop. Inducer two at 75% efficiency and falling slightly."
Prallan gritted his teeth. The inducers had to hold.
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