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Meeting of the Minds

Posted on 13 Apr 2020 @ 11:31pm by Lieutenant JG Damian Akorem & Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Lina Sorensen

Mission: Sentience
Location: Engineering
Timeline: MD 2 | 1100 hours

Of all of the places on board the mighty Black Hawk, one of Harvey's favorites had always been Engineering. He was not a technical person by any means, but ever since becoming a Captain he'd gained a very special respect for the ship's technicians. He'd even come to understand that while the bridge was the ship's brain, Engineering was the ship's heart and soul.

That was why today, twenty-three hours after departure, he'd chosen to visit Engineering. According to the computer, both Lieutenants Sorensen and Akorem were present in the massive room. Hopefully, both would have good reports for him, especially since he was arriving unannounced.

Damian was working at the master systems display table. More officers had been given access to HASA, which has resulted in a power drain when there were multiple users doing more complicated tasks. It was something to do with certain command subroutines when they were running at the same time. Should be a simple fix, just isolating them. But first, he had to find where they were. HASA was very complicated, and he was only just getting started.

Suddenly, HASA manifested an avatar next to Lieutenant Akorem, rendering a Bajoran male slightly shorter than the Operations Chief. "Lieutenant Akorem, you have activated a diagnostic mode. How may I be of assistance?"

Lina who was not standing far from Damian almost jumped up as the HASA suddenly appeared. This would definitely take some time getting used to. And although she was technophile - what else could you expect from a Starfleet engineer - she was not so sure if she liked that special new feature of the computer.

A slightly startled Damian cursed a word that didn't translate through the universal translator. "For starters, a little warning when you appear. But now you are here, run a deep level scan of all the higher level command subroutines. The power drain only occurs when certain commands are run in unison, so we need to find which ones exactly are causing the issues."

"Processing," replied the holographic male. His head slightly shifted on his neck as his irises fluttered, changing colors as the interface scanned the specified subroutines. "I have detected over thirty thousand higher level command subroutines that are currently active and utilizing primary power systems. Are you searching for anything specific?"

"Search for specific higher level functions that are similar, or use the same structure, currently running concurrently, where the power drain is less than zero-point-nine kilojoules," Damian replied.

"Processing," replied the avatar once more. Almost instantly, it added, "Your results have been narrowed down to five hundred and forty seven. Would you like to see them?"

"Please." He turned from the Bajoran hologram and looked over the list. "Can you narrow it down further, where the power drain is between zero-point-seven kilojoules and one-point-nine kilojoules."

The avatar nodded, replying, "Processing." A heartbeat later, it displayed a new list. "Your results have been narrowed down to two hundred and thirty-nine."

"Much better." He began to go through the much more manageable list and noticed that they all were routed through a handful of select areas within the computer system. This should be a simple fix, he thought to himself. All he would need to do would be to redirect them and spread them out through other systems.

Harvey entered Engineering through the massive, but open, door. The staff seemed to be peacefully at work around the pulsing mammoth of a warp core, with both of the department heads he was seeking standing near the pool table with what appeared to be a series of holographic projections next to it. "Something wrong with HASA?" Harvey asked, now standing beside the Operations and Engineering Chiefs.

Damian looked up as the Captain walked towards where he was working. "We are getting close to fixing the power drain issue. Most of the problem commands are run through a small handful of chips and subroutines, so if I can redirect them and spread them throughout the system more, there will less strain on the system. It's basically removing the bottleneck. Should only take an hour or two."

The Captain glanced over at the avatar, who remained motionless and did not return Harvey's gaze. "Aside from alleviating the drain on our power reserves, what other effects do you expect from this process?"

"It should speed up some of the responses by as much as zero-point-nine to one-point-four seconds, which will overall alleviate the usage of the various subprocessors it uses, making HASA another three percent efficient."

It never ceased to amaze Harvey how engineers and technicians got so excited over just a small number of percentage points. Of course, he didn't have to manage thousands of systems and their power requirements down to the fraction of a percent on an hourly basis. "Sounds... exciting."

Chase turned to smile at the Captain, whose smile looked less than authentic. "It is." He turned to the console, before remembering to reply with "It is, Captain."

Harvey nodded, standing now at the pool table. His eyes glazed over the holographic displays and schematics. While most of the data was still foreign to him, he was still able to recognize various figures and statistics, most of which indicated how healthy the starship was. "What's the early verdict on HASA? At least, from your perspective?"

"It has a lot of the same features as the computer, but with a much more personal interface, so people can talk to it. Plus with some of the heuristic algorithms, it has the ability to actually adapt, and weigh up possible solutions to any potential problems, rather than just the first, most probably solution." He smiled again. "Frankly, it is amazing, Sir."

"Amazing," spoke HASA, tilting its head slightly to the left. "An action causing great great surprise or wonder. Astonishing. Astounding. Bewildering. Wonder." It then looked to Damian, as if it was seeking further input.

Damian smiled. "Renable personality matrix subroutines."

"I cannot do that," HASA quickly replied. "This avatar has not been equipped with sufficient mannerisms and personality."

"Feisty thing, isn't it?" Harvey remarked, glancing at the Operations Chief. "Aside from HASA here... how does everything else appear to be with the ship?"

"Hmm, I must have locked them out somewhere. He is usually a bit more friendly." He smiled. "Everything else appears normal, or at least within normal parameters. Few things here and there out need a little re-tuning, but that's down to me wanting them running as efficiently as I can get them. Everything is within the recommended guidelines."

"Not to mention the fact we've been stuck in drydock for several months, so now that the ship is moving again, there's bound to be a lot of adjustments." Harvey then chuckled. "It is why they call them shakedown missions, or so I'm told."

A small giggle escaped Damian's mouth. "That is the case, Captain. A lot of the systems HASA uses are high use systems, so while most of the ship was powered down in a drydock, these issues wouldn't have been apparent, because half the ship wasn't being used to its full capacity."

"And now we are," Harvey extrapolated. "Well, if there's nothing else, I'll leave you all to your work." The Captain gave a final nod and turned to leave.

Damian remained seated, but straightened up, and nodded to the Captain.


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