“Lieutenant, assume command of your engineer group. You will be group one. I'm sending you in with the initial rescue team. Saving lives is the order of the day. Do what you have to do. Understand?” At that he turned back to another group.
I found Ensign Porter and six crewman sitting on pallets at the back of the room. No equipment or personal protection gear in sight. Seeing me coming, one of the crewman called for attention.
“Ensign Porter is your team ready to go?” I inquired. He just stared at me. “I don't see any equipment, did you think that this was a drill of some kind? No? THEN GET OFF YOUR ASS! FIND OUR EQUIPMENT AND GEAR AND GET BACK HERE!” The little idiot jumped to his feet, nearly falling, and ran off. I sent half the crewmen after him as help. All around us heads turned in our direction.
Lowering my voice, I asked the remaining crew “does anyone here have experience with something like this?” The three crewman just shook their head no. “All righty then. Here's the plan. When Ensign Porter and the rest of the crew get back, suit up. According to the XO, we go in with the first group. He wants us to focus on saving lives first. We will concentrate on life support and power. Use common sense, unless you hear different from me. “
Ensign Porter returned carrying his personal gear. The crewman were loaded down like pack mules trying to drag a repair cart.
I lost all respect, if any, that I had for Porter. Crewman were not slaves. I hurried over and took some of the load off the crew.
“Ensign Porter, help drag that cart over here. Crewman Bartleby, start distributing the equipment and gear. Give everyone equal amounts of gear. Take only what you are sure that you need. Remember, the ship is right here. It can always send something to you. Porter! Are you listening to me! Help with that cart!” He was starting to really piss me off.
“I don't have to listen to you.” Porter looked smug as he tried to tell me off. “Commander Arthur says you're not a real engineer anyway.”