"I see a voice…I can hear my Thisbe's face." Pyramus, Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare
"For an empty ship, this place certainly is, um, stinky," Trip murmured, trying to avoid breathing through his nose despite his physical exertions.
Malcolm squatted next to him, helping him ease off the cover to the heavily corroded panel. "I've smelled worse."
Trip grimaced, easing the cover onto the floor. "Like what?"
Malcolm stood, picking up his tools as he did so. "Florida - pig farms, paper mills," he said flatly, a spark in his eyes as he turned back to his own work.
Trip squinted up at his friend. "How did you…I thought you'd only been to Florida once," he said with surprise.
"I was. I just…" Malcolm shrugged. "I got around a bit while I was there."
Trip raised his eyebrows, then peered back into the open panel. Malcolm walked to Hoshi, who was trying to get the dusty computer system to work.
The captain had sent Malcolm, Trip and Hoshi to this long-abandoned ship, hoping that they could analyze the technology, perhaps learn something about the beings that had traveled within it. They'd found no signs of life and no bodies, so now they were focusing on the equipment, and the ship itself. And trying hard not to focus on the smell.
Trip held two wires, one in each hand. "Malcolm, could you do me a favor?" he tossed back over his shoulder, twisting so that he could see Malcolm, near Hoshi. "In that alcove, over there," he indicated the one he meant with his head. "There was a device, a long, blue tube, hooked into one of the circuits. It was partially disconnected. Could you hook it back up? I think it would help me here."
Malcolm nodded, stepping away from Hoshi and through the door Trip had indicated. The engineer turned back to his work.
Malcolm stepped into the alcove, putting his tools down next to the door and crouching next to an open access panel in the wall. He heard the door slide shut behind him and glanced back, surprised. Then he smiled - it seemed to be the only device functioning on the ship. And happily, it seemed to block some of the smell. He decided to leave it shut for now.
He peered into the open panel and easily found the blue object that Trip had indicated. It looked simple enough to reattach. He stood, walking to the door, crouching down to rummage through his tools.
There was an explosion from the open panel. A roar, then white, heat, blinding, and Malcolm fell back, slammed against the door.