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Johnson Kenyon

Level 2 diagnostics

Ensign Johnson Kenyon took apart the OPS console.  There’s nothing like Captain Ramson asking to know what the blinking red light is to bring on the adrenalin, he thought.  He looked over the console and performed a cursory diagnostic.  There’s nothing wrong with this thing.  Why do they think it’s wrong?  They just don’t like the blinking light?  What’s the thing trying to say and why don’t they understand it?

Johnson began to sweat.  He wasn’t about to tell the Captain there was nothing wrong with the console, but this was putting him in quite a pickle.  It appeared to be working normally, but were he to insist it was good and later proven to be wrong, he’d look like a buffoon.  That’s not something he could live with.  If only the Romulan engineer were here.  He’d know what to do.

He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, but slowly.  He didn’t want to draw attention to himself.  The second-deep breath had the intended calming effect and, so far as he knew, no one noticed.  He was able to focus again.

Reaching back into his memories of the academy, he remembered Professor Ergstrom lecturing on diagnostics.  Level 1 diagnostics was an extremely detailed search through every nook and cranny.  Level 5 diagnostics was a cursory sweep, like what he did to reestablish communications with the task force.  Back then, he was told there was a ship at the location of the blinking red light.  Now, he was told the blinking red light meant something. 

Between level 1 and level 5, there was a vast difference in time, energy and resources.  Then, there was level 2.  Level 2 was a systematic process of cutting the problem in half.  The process of isolation and reintegration of each system one by one to locate the problem.  This seemed like the best way to approach the problem.  Professor Ergstrom would be proud he remembered at least some of the lecture. 

He reached into the tool bag and pulled out an isolinear spanner.  With the console up, he would systematically shut off inputs into the panel, until he located how the blinking light was appearing on the screen.

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