Starbase 243


McGyver It

Posted on Wed Apr 28th, 2021 @ 9:29am by Captain James Warrington & Violet Hunter

Mission: Bring on the Wrecking Machine
Location: Holodeck
Timeline: TBD

Violet was in the holodeck performing a training session on how to improvise repairs with materials that seemed unrelated to the task at hand. She was usually adept at improvising repairs, but this scenario seemed to be taking her to the limit. She was still trying to figure out how to get into a locked chest with a rusty pipe, a handful of fertilizer, a spray nozzle for a hose and something called a swiss army knife. She was considering how to attach the nozzle to the pipe when a buzzer went off and the holodeck door opened.

"Ah there you are," the Captain said as he entered. He took a moment to watch what she was doing and take a look at the tools provided. "Quite the puzzle. What is your current train of thought?"

Violet looked from the odds and ends to James and then back to the assorted items again. She knew some of her training would be to improvise solutions to unique problems, but this one was beyond her. "I have to get into the box, but I just can't figure out how to. The pipe is too big to slip through the hasp of the lock and pry, plus it's so rusty it would probably snap if I tried. The nozzle handle will fit, but I can't get enough leverage to pop the lock. I thought maybe I could pick the lock with the...Swiss Army knife???...but that doesn't seem to work either." She looked at the fertilizer and shook her head. "As for the handful of dirt...I don't even have a clue."

James crossed his arms and scratched his chin thinking how best to help her. "Well. You've got a quite literal interpretation of the items to hand. Try thinking about what it actually is you have," he said as he reached down and took the pipe. "You are right. Its a rusty pipe. But that IS a rusty pipe?"

Violet looked at the pipe in his hands. Her bottom lip tucked in as she thought about the pipe. She looked at the other items again. There was something about what James had said that was familiar. She pulled out a ribbon from her pocket and tied her hair into a pony tail. "Rust is oxidized iron." She looked at the other items and a plan began to form in her head.

Watching as she tied the ribbon James made a note to ask her about it sometime. "Exactly. No one part will complete the puzzle. But you can adapt and combine them to give a solution."

Violet opened the blade of the pocket knife and began scraping rust from the outside of the pipe, collecting the filings in the nozzle housing until she had enough to fill about a quarter of the neck. She then measured out a small amount of fertilizer and worked that into the neck of the nozzle. She then attached the nozzle to the pipe and poured a mix of rust shavings and fertilizer into the pipe leaving a slight bit pooled at the open bottom. She looked about the ground and grabbed a small rock and inspected it. She looked up at James with a smile. She began striking the knife blade to the flint rock until a spark caught and ignited the mixture. A moment later she picked up the pipe and nozzle and held it to the lock hasp and pressed the nozzle hand. A blue flame shot from the nozzle and burned off the lock in seconds.

"Very very nice. If I'm completely honest I'd have put the mixture into the lock itself, but I think your way is definitely better," James said grinning. "Time to see what's inside I think?"

Violet used the pocket knife to lift the lock from the box clasp and opened the box. She reached in and pulled out a rolled piece of paper. She pulled the rubber band and spread out the note. "Always remember that not everything is as it seems. Solutions to a problem are often hidden in plain sight. -- A. McGyver" She looked up at James. "Who is A. McGyver?"

"Someone who knew how to solve a problem," James answered with a slight smirk. "Right. I think we should put this into practise. Computer load programme JW55," he instructed. The world around them fell away being replaced by a never ending field. Beside them appeared a pile of ropes, planks of wood, concrete cinder blocks with the hollow centres and several metal pullies. Next to that and running as far as the eye could see was a ditch about four foot deep, a steep but climbable slope on either side but at least a foot of muddy water cover the bottom. The top of the ditch was about three metres wide. "Alright then. I would imagine you'll have a notion about what you've got to do here so I'll give you your instructions. "Beside us are construction materials containing everything you would need to build a bridge to the other side. Cross the ditch. Oh," he said feignnig forgetfullness. "To make it interesting. I'll race you."