"Diagnostic Headache"
[Previous post - "Ghostly Problems"]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Engineering
Stardate: 30147.1345

The diagnostic on the voice recognition protocols had come back negative.  The diagnostic on the computer sub-processor handling all turbolift transits had come back negative.  The diagnostic on the magnetic ramps that held the turbolift pod had come back negative.  Even the diagnostic on the pod's components had come back negative.  If it had not been for the computer records clearly showing Commander Maya instructing the computer to take her to Transporter Room 3 on Deck 7, Sonja would have assigned the malfunction to human error.  Well, Shillian error that is, but that not been the case.

So with all of the standard possibilities having been looked into, as well as a few *less than likely* ones, the CEO had been forced to look into the *truly unexpected and out of the way* possibilities to explain what had happened.  Sitting on the floor of the ANUBIS’ Main Engineering in a position that the Captain might have found either funny or offensive, Sonja had tackled the next step in getting to the bottom of this *malfunction*.  One by one the Chief Engineering Officer had removed the control chips from beneath one of the Engineering stations.  The large access panel had been removed and placed against the Control Island giving the CEO as much room as possible to be sitting cross-legged with several piles of isolinear chips all around her.

"You still have not been able to isolate the cause of the malfunction," the ANUBIS's Avatar stated as she came to stand behind the Chief Engineering Officer.  Although ANI had not been a physical part of the search for an answer to what had happened, her link to the ship's computer made that she was aware of what had transpired and the steps that had been taken to discover the cause.  So far though no answer had been found, although several more questions had surfaced thanks to the continuing investigation.

"It just doesn't make any sense," the redhead angrily sighed,  "A turbolift doesn't just decide to take someone three decks lower than they had stated when getting on board.  It’s not like it came from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or something."

"That would be highly improbable given that none of the turbolifts on board the ANUBIS have independent processors; therefore making them incapable of any sudden deviation from instruction given to them by the computer," the Avatar stated in a matter-of-fact manner, not at all having understood that the comment had been said out of sheer frustration.  “By the way, what does a chocolate factory have to do with the malfunction and who is Charlie?”

"ANI!" Sonja snapped before she took in a long breath to calm herself.  "You are not helping right now.  I need to figure out what happened before something truly bad happens.  For all we know whatever caused this could lead to one of the external hatches to open or cause life support to be terminated on some or all decks."

"The odds of such scenarios taking place are nearly nonexistent," the Avatar pointed out with almost a hint of pride. "The ANUBIS' computer and processors are equipped with quantum triple redundancies, not including my own ability to monitor all computer functions and intervene should any one of them show any sign of a malfunction."

“WAIT ONE SECOND!” Sonja exclaimed as a thought jumped into her mind. “Did you have anything to do with this?  Because if you did I can tell you that you are about to suffer from a sever malfunction.”

“I can assure you that I have nothing to do with this,” ANI replied.  “I am as concerned as you that this deviation does not register in any of my systems.  The fact that none of the back-ups were triggered and that I failed to notice the problem is troublesome.  Perhaps I am suffering from some sort of malfunction.”

"I know," the CEO growled Ignoring her malfunction comment before she froze in mid motion.  "Hang on, any of the redundant back-up systems *should* have kicked in the moment something had gone wrong, and if none of them had *you* would have stepped in."

"That is quite correct," ANI confirmed.

"So at the very worst possible case, the turbolift pod should have gone past its destination, triggering any of the safety measures to correct the matter forcing the pod to stop and go back to where it had been meant to go," the red haired Chief Engineering Officer mused out loud.

"Again, that is quite correct," ANI stated.

"So there was *no* malfunction, not unless it was a cascading system's failure that not only affected all of the back-up emergency systems but you as well," Sonja said as a faint smile formed on her lips.

"It would be highly improbable that such a catastrophic system's failure be isolated to affect a single turbolift pod. At the time of the recorded malfunction, there was seven other pods moving throughout the ship.  The computer was also busy running various diagnostics, sensor scans and other high level processes that should have at the very least shown some signs of having suffered from the cascading system's failure," the Avatar explained which led to the CEO's smile to only grow larger.

"Someone broke into the system and overrode the destination," Sonja exclaimed. "That is the only possible explanation.  Everything else is bordering on the impossible."

"Very few people on board the ANUBIS would have had that kind of access and the skill to insure that no trace of this tempering would be discovered by anyone else including yourself," ANI offered, almost sounding relieved that a possible solution had been discovered and that it had not involved any problems with any of her systems.

"Who would have had that kind of access?" the redhead demanded, now more than ever ready to confront the possible culprit.

"Captain Morningstar, acting Executive Officer Maya, Chief of Operations Stark, yourself and me." The short list had made things actually more difficult in that none of them had any reason to create such an situation.  The Captain had likely been the one who sent Maya to greet the new arrival. The malfunction had directly affected the ExO so that had pretty much removed her as a possible cause.  The Operations Officer had performed several scans and diagnostics to figure out why this had happened, so why start it in the first place? There had been no reason for ANI to create a problem and hide it from herself and lastly Sonja had not been in any mood to play these kind of games.

"That's not helping one bit," the CEO stated as she gazed at the piles of isolinear chips scattered all around her.  "All right, let's try another angle: is there anyone on board who could have forged the required access to not only create the malfunction but also make sure that no trace of it would be found?"

"There is only one officer who meets your latest criteria; Ensign Shar'El, the Intelligence Liaison Officer for the ANUBIS."

"Now all that's left is to prove it," Sonja exclaimed, not sounding overly confident that she would be able to pin this malfunction on the ILO, especially given that she could not figure out why Shar'El would have wanted to do it in the first place.  "I pity the fool who made me lose all of this time, there are better things to do. Bad enough that I was woken up at the crack of dawn by a Red Alert for no reason.  I am so getting a drink after this."

Lorraine Paquette
Lieutenant JG Sonja Paquette
Chief Engineering Officer