You enter the Engineering deck. It is a cramped area with many jagged parts and pieces of machine jutting out at odd angles. This area is better lit than the other areas you have been due to the rows and rows of computer displays that cast their multi-hued light upon empty aisle ways and chairs. There are tools strewn about, mostly around various access hatches that peek into the inner workings of this ships engines. The air here is unsettlingly hot and an acrid smell mixes with the scent of liquid hydrogen. Also…something else. The smell of rotting flesh.
You draw your laser pistol and slowly creep forward.
A thorough search to discover the origins of the rotting smell reveals nothing. However, you do notice some irregularities. The Maneuver drives have been re-worked after this ship got to its present position. The crew had hardwired the system so that the energy sent to the engines would be shunted back to the Power Plant. Now it uses only the littlest of thrust to keep it in its stellar position. Newly placed insulated cables run from the Maneuver Engines to the Power Plant.
The Power Plants safeties have been manually overrode so that now the generator is creating three times the normal amount of power. Its vibrations rise and fall with a pitched whining that comes from somewhere deep in the lanthanum core. It’s no wonder that this ships fuel reserves are almost depleted. The energy output to the rest of the ship is a mere trickle of the overall power usage. In contrast the vast majority of power is being directly sent to the Jump Drive.
Here’s where it gets weird. The observation screens show that the ship is in Jump Space. This is impossible for many, many reasons. A closer look (and a lot of guessing) reveals that the Jump coils are activated, but un-collapsed. It’s as if the entire ship was both here in the real universe and…somewhere else.
Beads of cold sweat pop out on your brow.
This whole ship is a lab rat in an attempt to test the theories of how to punch holes in the fabric of reality. No wonder they wanted to be as far away from prying eyes as they could get. Some files you find nearby state that Laboratory “C” in the ring section has all the data feeds and experimental results of the situation. That could be valuable to someone. Also in this room you find a Chief Engineers Manual that says that an emergency re-set key can be found in the crew quarters down below you. With this key you can re-start the elevator to the ring and find this laboratory “C”.
Now knowing the schematics of what is going on, you realize that the power flow between the parts of this engine room is fairly simple. You believe that with the tools lying around you can divert power away from the Jump Drive and bring the coils back to a normal state. Although selling the information gained from this experiment would bring you millions of credits, letting it continue with no scientists to control it and perhaps keep it from exploding would not be a good idea.
Still, you wonder where that strong scent of rotting flesh is coming from.