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Equipment Failures

Posted on 04 Sep 2020 @ 2:07pm by Lieutenant JG Kemm & Ensign Alora Nasek & Chief Petty Officer Tarsa Rogers

Mission: Ghosts
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: MD 4 || 1230 hours

Infected gelpacks. Computer oddities. Malfunctioning replicators. A frozen bridge. The Kelpian Lieutenant Kemm was about to swear that the ship was falling apart. What was worse was that he had yet to find a connecting line between all of the issues.

And what was more concerning was that the frequency between the reported issues was increasing. They had more reports of malfunctions in the last three hours than they did the day before. He looked up from the pool table to face Chief Petty Officer Rogers and Ensign Alora, two of the department's best, whom he'd assembled to help him tackle these issues.

A buzz sounded from the pool table below. Kemm looked down and read to the assembled group, "Now we've lost gravity on Deck Twenty-Two, but just on the starboard side."

"Of course just Starboard." Alora said lightly sarcastic, unable to find a pattern. It was like the computer would just pick a random part to snap next. She wanted to spend more time analyzing the breaks but they'd been too busy fixing them. "Does it give cause Sir?"

"It doesn't," Kemm responded. "Which is typical for all of these malfunctions. The error logs state that everything was functioning perfectly right up to the moment of failure."

"That's always how it is," Tarsa chimed in, her tone dry. She'd been dealing with starship systems for more than 20 years. "Ship systems work great. Until they don't."

While Rogers knew she was right, she had to admit, to herself at least, that the way things went on the Black Hawk often exceeded the typical starship cycle. That this particular trait had carried over from the Akira-class Black Hawk to this one was unfortunate.

"This is why Starfleet has engineers. You two included," she said, this time she offered a playful smile. While she rightfully had a bit of a reputation for being a hardass, she wasn't without her charm. Those that found her to be difficult tended to be those who questioned her authority or ability.

Alora nodded in agreement with the Chief and to include her in the compliment, the words bringing her back to the more practical aspects of their issues, "That's why we're here true." She smiled and tapped a few keys, "Scanning for source of error for the gravity then we can at least dispatch a team to the right location get that fixed." She continued her intent was to find where in the system the short was occurring, her attention mostly on her console.

"There has to be some sort of underlying cause here," Kemm explained. "Each system so far has a measure of automation. Replicators serve at a user's request, but the other systems are regulated and controls. Have we seen any sort of variance in the computer's subroutines?"

Having dispatched the team, Alora replied, "Let's find out." She ran a check on the computer's subroutines.

Tarsa watched the two officers exchange words while she tapped away on both her PADD and a panel on the table display. She cross-referenced all of the reported system malfunctions with the locations of the infected gel packs and the nearest EPS nodes. "Here," she said, tossing the PADD onto the table. It slid across the surface, coming to rest in front of Kemm.

Kemm's gaze instantly went to the red display device. He merely glanced at it initially, but some of the key data points forced his attention to remain. "Chief," Kemm said softly, picking up the device to study the data further. "This... This is remarkable. I've only seen one of these infected areas myself, and I hadn't realized there were more. How many gelpacks remain unaffected?"

Alora cross referenced that with the variance in the computers subroutines, "It tracks." She said confirming the Chief's work, "It looks like it's hopping from the infected packs to the EPS nodes and shorting that system, it seems..." She leaned in to check the numbers on the console, "We've got 55% unaffected but it's spreading fairly quickly it seems. Does that confirm with your numbers Chief?" She asked aware her math had been quick and wanted to be sure.

"Very good, Ensign," Tarsa replied, a bit of edge in her voice. "I'm trying to figure out a pattern with the gelpacks. Then, I can make a simple program to automatically reroute power through alternate EPS nodes when an area is about to get hit. That wouldn't solve the problem, but it sure as hell would address some of the symptoms."

Alora nodded, catching the bite in tone and it was it a vaguely apologetic air for disturbing her, simply replied, "It would help not to be running hither and yon every five minutes." She agreed, turning her attention to the layout herself examining the data of the previous issues.

"Here's an idea," Kemm suggested. "If we know this is spreading, then we need to prevent the other gelpacks from becoming affected. Gelpacks are used primarily for essential systems. What systems haven't been affected yet, and can we put them into an entirely manual mode and reroute to auxiliary power? At least until we can get to the bottom of this."

Her fingers moved quickly over the console as Tarsa worked to isolate the unaffected systems. She was a woman of action and much preferred to be doing rather than talking about it.

"Done."

"Thank you, Chief," the lanky Kemm said to Tarsa. "What systems remain unaffected at this point?"

Alora leaned over, not in the way but close enough to see better curious what the answer would be.

Again, her fingers engaged in a graceful dance with controls. "Look," Tarsa said, pointing to the middle of the table display. A cutaway of the ship took up the bulk of the area. It was animated, with different systems being called out with blinking, colored indicators on the cutaway while a list scrolled off to the side of the systems as they were highlighted. "Doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to this," she said quietly while the others observed the readout.

Kemm looked at the list closely. For a moment, he was relieved when he saw that life support hadn't been affected, but he grew quickly concerned by how small the list was. Intraship communications were unaffected, but the subspace transceiver had been certainly compromised. Both primary and secondary power systems were missing, as were the primary and secondary computer cores. Navigation was missing, and so were various security subsystems, internal sensors, and propulsion.

"And I thought being compromised by the Dolmoqour was bad," Kemm remarked. "We can't just take all of these systems offline, nor do we have enough gelpacks to replace them. For every compromised system, we need to set up manual overrides, as well as restore normal working order. I'm open to suggestions I can take to the Captain."

Alora looked at the list and the readout, carefully studying them. "So our ability to communicate long range, move or defend ourselves has taken a hit." She observed, none to happy about it. She was quiet for a few moments before continuing. "I think if we come up with a core code that includes connectivity algorithms that might give it the depth of affect we need." She tapped a few keys to illustrate the sort of coding she was talking about. "If we layer a tertiary software sequential code deviation to more easily affect systems we need to override it could allow multiple paths for the override to follow if one is damaged."

"Some of the systems could be transitioned off of the bioneural network," the redhead added. "We only have so much capacity currently, but we could jury-rig an air gap computer network. Maybe."

Kemm considered both options carefully. The air gap system would suffer most from responsive delays and no external system access, whereas hastily written software code deviations could easily be broken or cause damage all their own. He frowned, not entirely liking either of the options, but something had to be done. "Chief Rogers," he stated at last, "Let's work on the air gap right away."

She didn't reply, but Tarsa did jump to work. "Collier, Gerra," she called out to a pair of crewman, "hit the storerooms. I need ODN relays, conduits, and as many spare processors as you can muster. Stevens, check with supply for the same items. Bring what you can find to workshop two." She turned back to look at the two officers at the table with her. "Joining me?"

"Right behind you, Chief." Kemm didn't look up as he quickly typed up a log entry for Lieutenant Parker to review on his return. His fingers moved faster than ever before, using quite a bit of shorthand and abbreviated jargon before signing off from the pool table and walking in Rogers' direction.

 

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