|Maintain ship power. Patch hull breaches. Make sure that everyone has functioning lights and breathable atmosphere.|
|Related guides: Guide to Engineering, Hacking, Atmospherics, Guide to Construction, Supermatter Engine, Solars, Substations|
|Alternative names: Maintenance Technician, Engine Technician, Damage Control Technician, EVA Technician, Electrician, Atmospheric Technician|
|Part of the|
Head of Department |
The Ship Engineer, also more commonly known as a Station Engineer is one of the central lynchpins that keeps the ship whizzing along through space. Almost all of the ship's bare essentials can be traced back to its Engineering staff: they keep the ship powered, breathing, not bathing in radioactivity, in good repair, and with functioning and unbroken lightbulbs, even in the case of unfortunate accidents. Almost any machinery-related issue on board the Torch is the ultimate responsibility of the ship Engineers.
The ship Engineers answer to both the Chief Engineer and Senior Engineer. The Chief Engineer is the ultimate authority in the department, but the Senior Engineer is responsible for seeing that the Chief Engineer's orders are carried out, and they are generally also the most experienced and highest-ranking of the rank-and-file Engineering staff.
The Engineer is a very wide-ranging job with a variety of sub-specialties, as can be seen from its wide variety of alternate titles. No one Engineer is expected to know everything, and, for the most part, being reasonably well-informed in their specific area of specialization is sufficient. There are a handful of tasks, however, that any given Engineering player should be willing to undertake, given their importance to the round as a whole.
First and foremost, an Engineer's job is to get the ship going, and then keep it going. The first priority in that role is configuring, starting, and maintaining the Supermatter Engine, which supplies power to the Torch. If a Senior Engineer or Chief Engineer is present, they will generally have specific orders on the details of engine configuration, but ultimately the primary concern is to get the engine up, running, and stable as soon as possible. If the rest of the ship loses power because the Engineering staff were too busy arguing over how many cans of phoron to pump into the distro loop, something has gone very, very wrong.
Once the engine is set up, Atmospherics, ship shielding, and the solar arrays will each need to be configured. These systems are not technically required for ship operations, but if they are not configured, anything that goes wrong will do much more damage and be much harder to repair than it would if they were ready to go.
Once the basics are set up and running, fortunately, they are largely self-maintaining. What the job requires from this point on is mostly up to the circumstances of the round. Command may have some special instructions regarding construction projects they want carried out, such as retrofitting the old brig or something similar. More commonly, though, the ship will experience a technical failure of some kind, whether from hostile action or a simple meteor strike and/or electrical storm, and fixing this will be the department priority.
Aside from checking in on the various ship systems occasionally to ensure that everything is running smoothly and any round-specific faults that need correcting, your average Engineer will spend their time effectively on extended break, waiting for the call to action. Visiting the Gym or building a private department bar in an unused office are popular pastimes in this circumstance.
The Engineering Monitoring Room, located at the entrance of the department, contains a variety of consoles that can be used to monitor and control a large number of Engineering systems from afar. The station's power systems, atmospheric alarms, and many other things can all be surveyed with ease from the office, and a surprising number of repairs can be effected remotely by interfacing with their control mechanisms. The ship's engine can also be placed into Combustion mode here, and managed thereafter.
Not everything required of an Engineer can be done from here. Construction still has to be done in person, and not all electrical or atmospheric faults can be corrected remotely. Still, the ability to set up and manage Substations and gather more information about a problem before setting out to fix it is invaluable, and there should generally be at least one Engineer watching the monitors to feed information to the rest of the department.
Tools of the Trade
Engineering, more than any other department, has a wide variety of tools and supplies that are necessary for its proper functioning. Any Engineer worth their salt will generally be found carrying a veritable warehouse full of supplies on them at all times in case of emergency. The most important pieces of equipment that any Engineer can carry, and which most will have with them at all times, include a fully-stocked tool belt, a Multitool, a T-ray scanner, a welding helmet or goggles, a pair of insulated gloves to protect against electrical shocks, a set of optical meson scanners, and inflatables.
The tools have obvious applications in everything from construction to machinery repair, and the advantages of not going blind while welding and/or not dying of electrocution while tinkering with the power grid are obvious. Multitools are useful for hacking airlocks when required, checking power flow through specific cables, and a variety of other, more niche uses. A T-ray scanner allows for checking on the status of wiring and piping without crowbar-ing up the floor panels. Optical meson scanners protect an Engineer's vision while also allowing them to see through walls and other obstructions to better survey any damage. Inflatable walls and doors allow for safe entry into depressurized or otherwise atmospherically-compromised areas of the ship, thus preventing the spread of the issue.
Almost any given Engineer will also carry a supply of metal and glass on their person if they are expecting to have to do any construction work at all.
Being a Traitor Engineer can be both the easiest and hardest task on the ship. On the one hand, you can go almost everywhere on the ship, and have easy access to the tools to get rid of any pesky doors (or walls) in your way. Also, many crew members don't bat an eyelid when they see an engineer wearing a jetpack, or standing in a hole in the wall. Any curious crewmen are usually deflected by saying you are doing engineering work ("I need this to repair hull damage!").
On the other hand, Engineers lack weapons. Stungloves, however, are the hidden weapon few ever search for, which can give the upper hand in a fight. Secondly, Engineers loitering near their target may quickly arouse suspicion, especially if you are far, far away from a maintenance tunnel.
And finally, if you truly hate SolGov, it is within your grasp to detonate the supermatter and generally sabotage the power supply of the ship.