03 Feb


Chief Engineer's log, 3 February 2213

Chief Engineer Elliott Monaghan’s report on Starwalker startup, timestamp… oh, just look at the file’s timestamp. It’s way too early on a Wednesday morning for this crap.

I hate these things. There are already six different logs of the startup, but the whitecoats want another report. To be filed away with the research, they said. So, here it is.

I have checked all the autologs, twice. The startup went exactly as it should have. Like clockwork, whatever that means. I have run every diagnostic I have and all systems are optimal. The ship is running within all the prescribed bounds for safety and efficiency. We are stocked up with fresh power cells, fuel, ammo, water, even clean scrubbers.

In short: she’s fine.

I have been up all night doing this because the captain wasn’t sure the intial readings could be trusted. The ship reported that the systems were ‘good’ and that struck him wrong. Okay, it’s not exactly standard phrasing from an AI, but that’s no need to panic.

All the boards are green; I don’t know what else to tell you.

I guess the captain is panicking because this project is already six months behind schedule and an interstellar fortune over budget. It’s his ass on the line if we can’t get the Directors some results soon, even though the delays weren’t his fault. Not his fault we had to overhaul and replace half the systems on the ship when we got to the JOP, either.

Nor was it my fault, for the record. From an engineering point of view, there was nothing that could have been done.

That’s probably why everyone’s so twitchy about the ship. What do they want me to tell them? It was fine before, and it’s fine now. Maybe they should cross their fingers and pray to whatever symbols take their fancy.

All this over one stupid word. Semantics, that’s all it is. The AI is fine – I checked the data integrity myself before we started her up.

I guess I could run some additional diagnostics on her. To be sure, and to keep the whitecoats quiet.


STARWALKER: Elliott, are you still awake?

ELLIOTT: Yeah. Why, is something wrong?

SW: No. But you’ve been working for the past twenty-three hours and you keep rubbing your eyes.

ELLIOTT: I stopped for meals. What, are you worried about me?

SW: (pauses.) I’m supposed to look out for my crew. I’ll still be here when you wake up; you can run your tests then. There’s plenty of time. We’re not due to leave the Jumping-Off Platform for few days.

ELLIOTT: (sighs and rubs his eyes.) All right. If you insist.

SW: Thank you, Elliott. Sleep well.

ELLIOTT: Goodnight, Starwalker.


Oh, shit. The conversation is in the report now. I’ll have to fix it later, after I get some sleep.

Much as I hate to admit it, there is something off about the AI’s semantics. Could just be the exhaustion talking. I’ll look at it again when I can see straight.

I guess that’s it for this report. Finish. What’s the command? Oh, right.

End report.

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7 Responses to “Triple-checked”

  1. Un-glitched : : Adventures in Text Says:

    […] second post went up this morning. Friday’s is all scheduled and ready. Working on next week’s posts […]

  2. Jordan Lee Says:

    You have a character called Elliott!!! You’re a freaking genius!
    I’m really enjoying conversation being in a script type format. I think that it gives it a little something different.
    Can’t wait to see the next installment.

  3. Melanie Says:

    Everyone loves a bit of an Elliott.

    I’m glad you like the conversation format! I’m still playing with it a little, but I think I’m working the kinks out of the exact format. As always, suggestions welcome.

    Next one’s up on Friday. Enjoy!

  4. Daniel Says:

    I like the term ‘star stepping’. It’s very… I don’t know. Charming. Or something.

  5. Mary Says:

    Very cool! I am excited enough about Starwalker to relieve some of the withdrawal pains from AB. 🙂

  6. Angel Says:

    I have a feeling he’s going to change his mind about all this soon.

  7. Melanie Says:

    Daniel – thanks! I like the way it sounds.

    Mary – yay! I am glad the pangs are easing.

    Angel – it is but the first step in a long, slippery path. Ahahahaha.