Rats in the Lab

Day 0:3 was going to be a busy one for the Lab Rats and their main source of technical support had traipsed out into the up-country before dawn.  Mariana hoped this would be the end of the long discussions about renewable power vs colony health for a long time.  At least she had won enough concession from the hard head that he had built this place first!  Now all they had to do was get the equipment in place and calibrated as a system; easier said than done!

At least the power was already in place, the massive storage cell that RJ had planned to run a full Level 5 lab was overkill for a lowly 2+.  Dave and believe or not Kurt were due with the first two racks any minute now.

Four hours later Mariana was ready to pull her hair out strand-by-strand.  Each rack functioned perfectly individually but no two would fully synchronize.  The beautiful synchronization that Dave and she had planned to do single sample full spectrum analysis was going on its face.  It had to be a networking problem and their network genius was out of touch.  Or maybe not; “Kurt, I know this could be hard for you but we need Ash here as fast as you can find him!”  She actually felt a little sense of revenge over the look on his face.

Fifteen minuets later Kurt was in the small tent where Ash had set up his temp Data Center and explaining the problem.  “So, no two racks will synch Mariana’s right, it’s a network problem and neither she nor I are good enough at that to fix the problem.  She wants Andy but her eyes lit up and she yelled for you.  You know if we don’t get this fixed I’ll never be able to run that comparison for you!”

Ash just stared at him, “Yeah, I know.  What do you think about the problems, any clues?”

“Yeah, the network cards for those racks are scrounged from all different places.  The common source ones planned for were on the supply ship that didn’t make it.  Dave and I can make them talk but not synch the serviced devices.”

Ash actually laid his head back and howled like a dog.  “It’s a software driver timing problem that I can fix!”

“Yeah but what the hell was that sound,” Kurt asked?

“Oh, that’s my imitation of a coon hound barking Treed.  If this run I just started has the results I hope for you may get to hear my imitation of one barking trail!”

Kurt just shook his head and started walking.

Mariana had just finished listening to Andy’s “make a claim” message when she saw Dave, Ash and Kurt high-fiving in the back room.

Strolling back she asked, “I take it you clowns have a fix for our problem?”

Ash bowed and made a sweeping gesture, “Your primary array My Highness, and care to run a sample?”

Mariana merely sat down and inserted a grass sample that had been single staged to death, punched the integrated test button and was surprised when the whole array began to flash and results started rolling up on the screens.  Moving from station to station Mariana rapidly confirmed the accuracy.  “Sally, Linda Primaries are up, time to get to work!”

“Now, you smiling goons how long to get diagnostic up?”

Kurt bowed, “As that is my baby, we will call you when we are ready for business.  Ash claims it will be easier now that he knows the key signals!”

Later Mariana was listening to Andy’s “found us a predator,” call when Kurt came up and told her that diagnostic was up all that was needed were a few confirming runs but he was too bushed to do them today.  Noticing the time Mariana called it a day for the Rats and started to walk back to the tents.  Stopping to talk to several people she was just starting down the bluff and watching Andy drag something huge into the tent clearing.  She had to laugh when she saw Hanna bring out the mug to Andy; half the camp was going to think it was booze.  They would not know that she had explained Andy’s high-speed metabolism to Hanna!

Just then, the Emergency Channel buzzer started its nerve-racking noise!

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

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Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 by Jeff Soyer. All rights reserved.