“If it doesn't work, hit it. If that doesn't work, hit it again. If this fails, try and look like you know what you're doing until somebody who actually does arrives.” — Engineering 101: A Guide


It's impossible to go anywhere without encountering someone from Engineering - one of the inevitable side-effects of living in a giant hunk of semi-sentient machinery that constantly demands fixing and maintaining. Engineers are a generally friendly sort, though they tend to get upset when asked to look at your leaky radiator that will “only take 5 minutes to fix” whilst on their lunch break. They're a busy lot, but that doesn't mean that they don't have time to put their feet up, the unofficial motto of Engineering being “work smart, not hard”. A few hapless newbies once tried to keep up with the influx of tasks from Computer. They lasted about two days before transferring.

Whilst most engineers are magnanimous in not trying to laud the position of power they hold over those who need repair jobs done, there are always those whose air of insufferable smugness taints the whole department with a largely undeserved reputation for vindictive pettiness. As such, the staff tend to show their appreciation for those who treat Engineering with respect.


Emergency Works

When things go wrong, the Emergency Works team will (eventually) turn up to fix it. Members of the team are skilled in diagnosing problems and using what limited resources they have to fix them. Occasionally, parts will need to be brought in specially to solve particularly difficult or unusual problems, which results in a trip to Fabbers Operations and a delay for those waiting on a fix. Frequently the team will have to deal with people hovering over their shoulder asking how long it's going to take to fix and grumbling about how long it took someone to turn up in the first place, so a high level of patience is also recommended.

This is the most publicly visible branch of Engineering, though it is questionable as to whether it is any bigger than Preventative Maintenance.

Preventative Maintenance

The hidden side of Engineering. Those who never have to flag up an issue for Emergency Works should be paying thanks to these behind-the-scenes workers, who try to ensure that nothing has the chance to break down in the first place. Computer will assign maintenance tasks for this team to complete based on its own schedule, but engineers are casually encouraged to use their judgement and do what they can to tweak and improve outside of these assignments.

It can often be a lonely job, travelling to unfamiliar places in the ship far behind the sleek panels of the living space, but for those keen to explore, or to avoid human contact, it's a rewarding line of work.

Fabber Operations

When something can't be fixed by the normal means, it falls to these men and women, experts in using what scrap and debris is available to make custom parts using the giant fabber machines located above the living space in the low-G areas of their sector. It's hugely skilled work and takes a long time to master, meaning that people who start out here usually stay with Fabber Ops for the duration of their working life.

Due to the long hours spent in low gravity areas, it's wise for members of the team to ensure they exercise regularly to keep up muscle strength. It's been known for those who neglect to do so to have trouble walking around below, and there are rumours of small groups living permanently up with the fabber machines to avoid early “retirement” by Computer.


There are two situations where citizens end up dealing with Solutions, and only one of them is remotely desirable. One side of the duties of this team is to meet with people, discuss how to sort out a particular problem or task that falls outside the usual emergency fixes, and possibly, depending on the situation, work with Fabber Operations to come up with a particular googaw that solves the problem efficiently, or send round an engineer to tune or improve. Cases like these, where agents get to exert their creativity and problem solving, are happy for everyone involved.

The flip-side of Solutions is to deal with the complainers, the people who seem to think that Engineering is composed of all-knowing, all-powerful magicians who can fix everything instantly with complete reliability. It is this team's job to assuage these people and try making them go away, if they refuse to go away happy.

BOB Herding

The most exciting or worst possible Engineering assignment, depending on how insane you're feeling on a particular morning. It's this team's job to round up broken BOBs and restore them to a working state. This would be a rare occurrence were it not for certain people's tendencies to try and “improve” the things to suit their own needs better, which almost always activates various anti-tampering mechanisms. These unfortunate meddlers never seem to realise quite how well aware the BOBs are of the potential to use their tools as weapons. This team, however, know this fact all too well, and to be a successful member of BOB Herding, you need both engineering and life preservation skills - this is not for those too unfit to dodge bolts flying at several knots, or those too blundering to sneak up behind the bots and disable them before they get spotted.

The team get along well but there is a large element of competition between members, with most sectors having a tally on the office wall of who's bested the most bots.

Important People

Head of Department

Ellis de Bouillon is the new head. He was a member of the ACTP and was a key player in the Inversion of Asimov.

Notable Engineers

Kalys Rainbow is the previous Head of Engineering. He is the source of much confusion for the general population. Many cannot fathom how someone from the Artist's Quarter could possibly rise so high in the gritty, technical field of Engineering. Those that know him would be able to tell you that this is because his artistic background allows him to almost innately see the way the ship's machinery fits together, the various design patterns and constructs mapping themselves out in his mind, so that he can, at times, diagnose a problem and explain the fix to a subordinate without ever seeing the issue, leading some to believe that he has a sixth sense.

He was, however, a largely hands-on leader, and would readily turn up to assist with a problem that others are unable to fix. It's said that he's managed to fix everything he's ever set his mind to (though some have taken him a fair while) except one…

Werner Black has never been seen by most, but many know his name. He's one of the most prodigiously skilled fabbers currently working, and as well as his usual duties, he's known to take requests on the side and is likely responsible for many of the more bizarre and sinister devices found in and around the Blackout Sector. Working in Toroid 2's only Gray Sector, he's grown a reputation in Red due to his products being smuggled through to get to Blackout, with wares being occasionally seized. Marshals have organised raids on Grey's fabber rooms, but all have been unsuccessful and Werner remains out there, true identity unknown.

Mei Mei White is one of the few celebrities to come from the otherwise docile White Sector. She's a celebrated BOB herder, known for her cavalier yet friendly demeanour and her striking good looks. It's no exaggeration to say that she's hunted down more rogue BOBs than any other officer, no mean feat in a highly competitive work environment, and she has grown to embrace her Toroid-wide fame, though she still rolls her eyes at the posters of her astride a BOB that line many a teenage boy's room. The only group not too fond of her is her place of birth, White, who feel that she is too disruptive.

Ghost, as she is known, is said to be with Preventative Maintenance in Blue. She has received this name as a result of nobody being exactly sure if she even exists or not. People, when straying too far from their living quarters late at night, have claimed to have seen this pale, stationary figure for brief moments, though when they look back she is always gone. Interestingly, she has never been spotted in Blue, though people say this is because Blue is so well maintained, she just takes jobs from other sectors. People would blow this off as nonsense were it not for the fact that work assignments from other sectors do seem to go missing from one day to another. Others in Preventative are convinced it's just their co-workers messing with them, but nobody can be sure. Perhaps she is just a tale told by parents to discourage late night wanderings.

engineering.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/26 22:08 by gm_gemma
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