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Trouble in paris

Posted on Thu Oct 25th, 2018 @ 6:21am by Ensign Kara Hoffman & Commander Gary Taylor
Edited on on Thu Oct 25th, 2018 @ 6:29am

Mission: Season 2: Mission 2.A: R&R
Location: U.S.S Elysium
Timeline: Present
4367 words - 8.7 OF Standard Post Measure

"Au Revoir!" Kara said, as she stepped out of the cafe and into the streets of 21st century Paris. The computer continued the report. "This was 21st century Paris. As you can see, at this time, pollution caused by machines and factories was a large problem. People often had handheld devices called mobile telecommunication devices, with which they used to communicate with other human's, instead of face to face interaction. At this time, there were four billion thirty two million". Kara interrupted. "Computer stop. I do not want to know how many mobile phones there were on the planet thank you very much. Pause scenario." The computer froze the holodeck, and everything stopped. "I'll never get this program running the way i want it to. It's supposed to be educational, but not totally boring...why does the computer keep adding in random data on it's own accord. This makes no sense..." She walked to the far wall, and opened the hatch for programming, and began checking through the diagnostics. "There's nothing wrong, so why is it adding superfluous data i didn't ask it to?!"

Gary had walked to Engineering to see Ensign Kara Hoffman to talk to her, she had forgotten to sign off on some of the repair work that had been done on the Elysium when it had been 'stolen' by a band of smugglers. He hadn't called to see if she was there, deciding he wanted the exercise. Now however he tapped his combadge, "Computer locate Ensign Hoffman." The reply was instant. "Ensign Hoffman is in the holodeck." Taking the information, Gary proceeded to the holodeck, saw a program for 21st century Paris was already running. Entering he called out. "Ensign Hoffman?"

Kara looked up from the diagnostic panel, and frowned. "That sounds like... Aye, commander, I'm over here!" She hopped away from the panel,
turning a corner to see the commander. "Welcome to my project, i'm trying to improve my holo-engineering skills. What do you think so far sir?"

Gary followed the voice and soon was standing in front of the younger woman. "I'm sorry for interrupting your holoprogram Ensign." He looked at the surroundings, "I'd say you have hit the mark in recreating Paris. Very well done." Then he remembered why he was here. "I just need your signature on some of the repair work done when the Elysium was taken then I will leave you to Paris."

She tilted her head a little, she must have forgotten to sign off on the plasma grid repairs. "Sorry about that commander, I was exhausted when I finished. I must have forgotten." She quickly embellished her signature onto the padd's, and handed them back to the commander. "There, that looks like it's taken care of now. Say commander, could I ask you a favour? I don't want to impose, but can you just...stand right there for a few moments, I want to test out my interface program. I created a tour guide to take people round this version of Paris, so they can learn what culture and human life was like back in the 21st century. Is that ok? Oh please say yes! This engineer would be grateful, and might even treat you to your favourite meal. Go on, what do you say?" She nodded her head eagerly.

"It's not a problem Ensign, gave me an excuse to get off the bridge." Gary replied pleasantly as he tucked the PaDD under his arm. He smiled at the younger officer's exuberance. "Right here?" He questioned as she explained what she was trying to do. "I'll be glad to help you and there's no reason to bribe me my favorite meal though that is a nice touch." He teased lightly. "After all I want this engineer to be happy and have a first rate interface program."

"Thanks commander, you're the best! The program will load up, ask you your name and what you hope to learn, it will then store that in floating memory, and use that information to tailor the tour to the individual. If someone loves to learn about art, It will remember that and take them to the best art galleries and hideaways. So, here we go." She took two steps away, and nodded to the commander to remain where he was. She was so nervous. "Computer, activate tour guide mikael and resume program."

The tour guide appeared out of thin air, where Kara was standing moments before. A very handsome and well dressed man. shoulder length auburn hair, a wonderful chestnut complexion. A strong jaw. Tall but not too tall. He wore a fantastic two piece suit, blended with golden stitches and red and blue materials interlaced into a floral pattern. He looked around him, took in a breath, smiled and turned to the commander. "AH! Bonjour! Here ve are, in ze beautiful zitee of pari'!" Kara shook her head and sighed. "Sorry commander, hold on. Computer freeze program and remove accent. Resume when finished." With a slight flicker, the program continued. "What is your name sir, and what would you like to learn here in your tour of Paris?"

Gary smiled at the hologram. The ensign had certainly done her work well on presenting a first class program. "Hello." He greeted the guide,"My name is Gary Taylor and I would like to see some of the better but not as well known restaurants that the average visitor to Paris doesn't get a chance to see."

The hologram clapped his hands together, smiling and laughing. However something had clearly gone wrong. The sound began to echo through the holodeck, distorting and growing unbearably loud. Kara threw her hands to her ears in reponse. The program flickered for a few moments, and the holodeck power grid failed. The simulation ended completly, returning them to the grid. The lights were off, the room was quite dark. Not a trace of paris to be found, except the tour guide program, frozen in space in front of them both. Kara just stared for a few moments, getting her senses back together.


Gary remained rooted to the spot, his eyes on the frozen tour guide and Ensign Hoffman who stood a few feet away. The noise which had threaten to deafen them had ceased and now the silence was equally as deafening. "I thought Paris was known as the City of Lights?" He joked trying to inject some levity into the situation. "Arch appear." he ordered. Nothing. "Arch appear." Same result nothing. He looked to Kara, "Are you alright?"

Kara took a sharp inhalation of breath, pursed her lips together. Frowning and scrunching her face up, trying to smile. When she breathed out, she showed her exhaustion. "This happens whenever the program hits this part. I thought I had fixed it. Sorry commander. For some reason, the computer keeps adding in random information into the holomatrix. Overloading it like this. I have no idea why the computer would do such a thing. On top of that, now if I'm not mistaken the entire hologrid power matrix is offline. Which means we're not going to get out of here very easily. However what is he still doing here? A latent image perhaps or.." She reached her hand out, and the hologram was solid. frozen almost as if in a stasis field, or a block of ice. "What in the seven hells..." She exclaimed, looking to the commander.

Gary looked closer at the guide, he was indeed frozen and solid. "It may be that the computer in adding to your program picked up on the hard light of the guide and mistakenly thought it was a real person but if that is so, why weren't we frozen?" he looked about the now empty holodeck. "Have you examined your core program? If your getting the same results at the same part in your program. There may be an error in the coding. Perhaps conflicting requests for information." He walked a few feet away. and looked around. " There should be an access panel for the emergency power to the holodeck. If we can find it, we may be able to override the current problem and free ourselves. if nothing else we'll have more light."

Kara understood what the commander meant. "Well the coding is fine. The problem is that for some reason, when the guide accesses the memory locations to retrieve information regarding, oh I don't know, let's say a nice restaurant. It doesn't just take the information it requested. It takes back more with it. Random pieces of information that I did not code it to take from the computer. All of this eventually leads to an inevitable shut down, because sooner or later it's memory overflows. Looks like it's back to the drawing board after this disaster. The control panel is on the furthest wall, should be just above shin level." Kara started making her way over, but she almost bumped into the commander with it being so dark. She placed her hand on his shoulder as she moved. "Just in-case. Don't want any accidents while we're stuck in here eh?"

"Hmm." Gary frowned not that Kara could see it but he did. "The computer is pulling too much information back from the initial request which in turn is leading to a cascade effect effectively disrupting the simulation." He shook his head, "It's not a disaster Ensign. It's a glitch in the program, we'll find or you will." He assured her. His hands went out to her as she bumped into him. "It's fine and no we can do without any accidents." He turned his head to face her. Where were we standing in reference to the farthest wall? Lets get our bearings before we start wandering all over the place. What do you say?"

"Good idea. I'll pull you back with me slowly, to where i was stood before. I was facing the right hand wall. So one step, two steps and three steps back. then a 90 degree turn right and I should be facing the back wall now." She moved backwards as she spoke, guiding the commander with her as she moved. "Alright. Now if i remember correctly. It's 31 steps from here to the back wall. So we want to take 29 steps and stop, to ensure we dont bash into it and give ourselves a real headache. Ready to do a dance in the dark commander?"

Gary was impressed with Hoffman's thought process it was clear,logical and organised. " Ready when you are Ensign." He replied then asked the question on his mind,"Just how is it you know it's 31 steps from where we are to the back wall? That usually doesn't fall under the important information section." He quipped as he moved in unison with her. If any one was able to see them it would look like they were dancing as the took a step, then another. Stop and repeat the process. "I'm not as much worried as getting a headache as I am breaking my nose banging into the wall."

Kara smiled as they moved. "I guess your nose is in my hands." Kara counted each step perfectly. she stopped and gripped the commander a little tighter, to stop him too. "29 steps. Now reach your arm out and take one step forward commander. I think you'll find with just one step, the wall and your hand will touch perfectly." I will join beside you, then we take 12 steps along the wall to the left, stop and kneel down. Feeling directly where our knees are, should reveal the hatch seam." Kara had taken a few days to memorise the entire room layout a few days before starting her tests, when she realised that something like this might be inevitable. She never actually thought the entire Holodeck power systems would fail however, this was a totally different demon from a simple program malfunction. She felt a little uneasy. Perhaps it was just her imagination, but it felt like she was being watched.

"Oh please be careful." Gary teased, "It's such a handsome nose." He chuckled. He felt her grip him a little tighter to stop him from breaking his nose. He took the one step she advised and reached a hand out and sure enough he could feel the wall. "There's the wall." He confirmed, "Excellent work Ensign. I am very impressed." He said honestly. He waited for her to slide up alongside him before they began to move again. "Ensign, I was thinking on the problem you are having with this program. Could it be that your matrix is to general? What I mean, is I'm guessing you want the program as you said to not only inform the visitor but educate them. I think that may be your problem. It's pulling all information to educate the visitor."

Kara slid slowly alongside as the commander moved and spoke. She had to agree, he had a point. "Well yes. I did use a general matrix..." She quickly added in "However i modified it. I added in laced matrices and adaptive filtering. So, it can pick and choose what information to keep based on the current circumstances. Almost like how our brains do it. We can hold a thought for as little or as long of a time as we want right? Well this program can do almost the same thing, with a few limitations of course. I suppose it needs some tweaking, maybe the adaptive filtering is the problem...it was the one part i never had time to troubleshoot..." Her voice trailed off. "Alright, stop here. If we kneel down and search around, we should find the access hatch. I think..." For the first time Kara sounded unsure. She had a feeling of unease that was building in the pit of her stomach. She couldn't help but feel something was very very wrong, but could she put her finger on what it was? No, all she could do was do her best to keep her mind clear. It also did not help her state of mind that she disliked being in large empty dark rooms.

Gary listened as Kara spoke, "I think you should check the adaptive filtering. I believe you will find that is where the problem lays." He continued to move along the wall until she said stop. He heard the uncertainty in her voice as she spoke of finding the access hatch. Running his hands along the wall he felt no raised ridge to signify a hatch. "Nothing so far." He informed her, still running his hand along the wall before stopping. and turning his head back at her. "This is going to sound stupid but why can't we just use our combadges to get out of here?" He inquired.

With a heavy sigh, Kara had to admit, the commander had a point. "You're...right. Of course i'll just ask ops to beam us outside." Kara kneeled down and tapped her combadge. -A- Ensign Hoffman to ops, can you please lock onto me and commander Taylor and beam us to Engineering. We've had a slight problem in the holodeck and require assistance in leaving -A- She waited. A good two or three minutes later and there was no response. "Commander, can you try?" This feeling that something was very wrong, was now above danger levels. "Commander, I think something more than just a simple power failure is going on here..."

Gary tapped his own com. Taylor to bridge,Ensign Hoffman and I are trapped on the holodeck. Beam us to Engineering." Silence, total numbing silence. He tried again "Taylor to Bridge." Same result just silence. Gary also heard the first sign of nervousness in Kara's voice. "Easy Ensign. don't over react. Lets find that access panel and go from there." He said in an attempt to keep her mind occupied and focused on the problem at hand. "First thing we need is some light."

"I can get us light, if we can find the access panel i mentioned." Kara turned back to the wall, and felt around slowly. "AHA" She exclaimed. "It's here I think. Give me a hand to open it would you commander. If I can reset the relays, then I can get the lights I think in emergency mode. I hope. From then it will be quite the challenge to open the doors. Eventually someone will realise we're trapped, right? It could take me over an hour to hack into the computer to break the seal on the doors. That's not a guarantee, since I've never actually y'know, done it before."

Gary did as she asked, sliding his fingers first along then under the access panel, pulling back as he did until the hatch popped open. "Ah." He said with satisfaction. "Alright Ensign, lets see what magic you can work on getting us some light. Then we can work from there." Gary moved back to allow Kara access to the inside of the panel. "You know, The fact our combadges don't work could mean there's a general dampening field in place and that's what's preventing our signal from going out."

"That ws my thought too! Or the entire ship ahs no communication. which seems highly unlikely. Therefor a dampening field is the most reasonable assumption." Kara moved to the access panel and looked inside, inspecting the conduits and control panel inside. "Alright, let's see. The holodeck's reset sshould be accessible, once I trigger it, I should be able to access rudimentary functions..." She tapped commands into the panel, moving through the base operations to attempt to get basic functions back online. Somewhat successful, the emergency lighting trigger, dimly lighting the holodeck, however she was blocked from accessing anything further. Slamming her hands against the wall in frustration, she turned to the commander. "That's the best I can do for now, without an engineering kit and access to engineering I can't do more... Damnit Elysium, work with me please, and I'll give you a nice sexy beautiful, full ship-wide level 1 diagnostic, if you would please just help me out."

Gary nodded in approval as the lights flickered on and stayed on dimly but it was better than being in the dark. He reached out a hand and placed it on her shoulder, "Easy Ensign, easy, stay calm. You did a good job with the lights." He looked around searching his memory, something kept nagging at him, picking at him like it was a open sore. Then he had it! The Jeffries tubes! "Ensign, there are Jeffries tubes throughout the ship. Where are they in here?"

Jefferies tubes of course. I am sorry commander, I totally forgot. Yes there should be..." She turned and looked to the north east corner. "Yes, over here! The access is here!. "She quickly pried open the hatchway to reveal the entrance-way. "Excellent!" She got to her knees and attempted to climb inside, however a force-field blocked the way, pushing her back hard as she flipped over onto her back. "What the!" She exclaimed.. "Well...apparently that is a no go. What the hell is going on... this isn't normal whatsoever. I wonder if our frozen friend over there has any suggestions, at this point i'm open to anything."

Gary stared at the force field for only a second before diverting his attention to Kara. "Are you alright ?" He asked as he scrambled over to her to check for any injuries. "Don't give up." He told her as he walked over to the frozen tour guide and ripped him from his spot, dragging him over to where Kara was. " I'm going to take Mr. Helpful here and shove him into the Jeffries tube. Hopefully, he'll short out the force field and we can climb out and to safety."

For whatever unknown reason and since Kara did not have a tricorder with her the reason was not clear, but as the hologram touched the forcefield, it shoved commander Taylor and the hologram too back also in the same manner it had to Kara. She stared. "This is...wait....wait a minute. hold on...commander, I think I have an idea! Yes an idea that I think might prove more effective than our current brute force strategy. If the program is still active then maybe, just maybe language selection and understanding must be... yes. Try asking the force field, to let you through, but try to add, empathy to your tone of voice. y'know?" She stared at him, blinking a few times.

Gary sat on his rear still holding the frozen tour guide. He blinked, blinked again and stared at her. "You want me to ask the force field to let us through but to add empathy to my voice?" He questioned, shook his head muttering "If this doesn't beat all." He sighed and turned back to the wall and the open Jeffries Tube. "Um, Mr.or Miss Force field, could you please, let Ensign Hoffman and I through? We would, I mean we would greatly appreciate you doing this favour for us." He looked over to Kara, "Now we wait, I suppose?"

"If i'm right any second now" With a hiss and a pop, the force field dissipated, Allowing them access out of the jeffries tube. "Yes, I finally figured it out!" Kara let out a loud triumphant belly laugh, she couldn't believe it was so simple. Overwhelmed with her emotions, the holodeck suddenly reset to it's original settings, the light returned to normal and the archway appeared however the hologram was nowhere to be seen.

Gary looked around, "Well I'll be." He said in an astonished voice. Everything was as it was when he first entered the holodeck. He looked at Kara. "Well done Ensign, nice thinking. You should be very proud of yourself. It's nice to see someone think outside the box. Keep it up and you'll go far." He finished, he had no problem praising junior officers or acknowledging exceptional work. "Now that is behind us, I believe we talked of dinner however there has been a change from the original proposal." He smiled at her, "This is my treat."

"Kara scratched behind her ear. It wasa common thing for her to do when thinking or nervous and she hoped it did not draw any attention. "Well it would be rude of me to refuse you commander, I accept. Now let's get the hell out of here, and night-shift can monitor the situation until me and my team can resolve it tomorrow." She exclaimed, happy to be free of their imprisonment, as she began to climb through the Jeffries tubes, back to safety and hot food. "Don't scowl, I'm hungry can you blame me, not eaten since 7am!" She exclaimed to Gary behind her, as they exited the holodeck through the Jeffries tubes."


"Command thinking." Gary commented as Kara accepted his offer for dinner. He followed her through the Jeffries tube, chuckling as he did so as he heard her admonish him not to scowl. "Me? Scowl? Never. I'm just surprised your stomach isn't just growling but roaring. You need to make time for breaks. You can't work well if your distracted."

Kara and the commander had almost reached the corridor just to the side of the holodeck. As she approached the hatch, she stopped and typed in the access code. The doors opened for her with a "whoosh" and she clambered out of the jeffries tubes. "It's good to be free, thank you very much Elysium and thank you commander. I'm sorry this turned into a bit of a waste of time, good fun though right?" She smiled widely, but tiredness was evident. " You're right about scheduling breaks. I'll put a couple into my working days from now on, that way I'll always be at peak efficiency."


Gary followed Kara out of the Jeffries tube and into the corridor, Standing he looked at her and smiled as she thanked the Elysium and himself. "Truer words were never spoken about being free. As for a waste of time, I disagree. I got to work and observe and officer firsthand who overcome a challenging situation. Who during the entire time, never lost her composure. Who was always thinking, looking for solutions to a difficult problem. Who was the very definition of grace under fire. So you see it wasn't a wasted experience at all but an educational one."

You're too kind commander. I'm glad you were with me." She walked to the holodeck control panel on the wall, and sealed the room so no one else would get trapped until the power grid had been fixed and checks run to ensure safeguards were in place. "Now then commander,i'll head back to engineering to file my incident report before I get changed. What time should I drop by for dinner?" She smiled, thinking on the events of the past hour or so. ~I wonder if i'll ever get that program stable, i'm not one to give up so easily. I'll figure it out, somehow.~

Gary shook his head, "Not at all. I'm merely stating what I observed Ensign and I'll say so in my report of this incident. You take care of the things you need to and I'll see you for dinner say at 1800 hours? Oh by the way, any requests on what you would like for dinner so I can pick the appropriate restaurant."

"Well, I had some thoughts about that. Does Italian work for you? it's one of my favourites!" She nodded and got super excited. "I'm in love with a good spaghetti carbonara! Extra bacon. Sounds good I hope?"

"I like the way you think. That is an excellent idea. I'm partial to Italian so this will be perfect." He was pleased she was happy and he fond himself looking forward to both the dinner and her company. "Now until this evening, I'll let you get back to Engineering and I'll head to the bridge."

"Awesome possum!" She turned on her heels full of excitement and walked away with haste towards the turbo lift at the end of the corridor. She lifted her hand to wave. "Until tonight then!"

 

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