Taking Time – Leap of Faith
by Lieutenant Mia Drake & Rear Admiral Iluvar

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Post Details

Title   Leap of Faith
Mission   Taking Time
Author(s)   Lieutenant Mia Drake & Rear Admiral Iluvar
Posted   Sun Jan 24, 2010 @ 8:58pm
Location   Holodeck One
Timeline   Shoreleave 03, 1300 hours
ON: [[USS Tethys, Holodeck One, Shoreleave 03, 1300]]

McCabe stepped back and nodded with satisfaction at the console and diagnostic setup he has designed on the holodeck. It was a completely non-intrusive diagnostic system that would allow him to examine Peter's matrix without any risk to the young hologram's program integrity.

Just before the ship's chronometer struck 1300 hours, the holographic form of Peter (NPC) shimmered into view in the center of the room. He didn't seem particularly thrilled to be there, but that was mostly because he still wasn't sure how much he liked someone else picking through his subroutines. Noticing McCabe nearby, he turned and approached the engineer. "1300 hours, as you requested," Peter said.

For a moment McCabe blinked at Peter's sudden arrival. It was easy, he mused, to forget that the young man was a hologram. Smiling, he approached. "Peter, step over here and check this out," he said. "I've put this diagnostic scanner together here in the holodeck so we can scan your matrix for any anomalies without actually actually interacting with it directly." He pointed to a screen, obviously proud of the large console device he had designed. One of the benefits of doing diagnostic work in the holodeck was that one could design the hardware however one liked, and it was obvious McCabe had taken some 'liberties' with the design. "This screen is so that you can see what's happening in your matrix as we go through it section by section. We'll start with your physical attribute parameters."

Peter's eyes widened slightly at the sight of the intricate design the engineer was explaining. He may have been a hologram, but many of the terms the man was using were still unfamiliar to him. Unlike the EMH, Peter's program had already been designed with well established character subroutines, meaning that he was less inclined to expand his program as much as the doctor was.

McCabe watched Peter blink at him and then realized he was going over the young man's head with his excitement. He blushed slightly. "Sorry, I get... excited. Basically, this is what's going on inside your program right now. This display should always look neat and orderly. What I need you to do is watch for anything that looks out of place in the lines of programming code. Don't worry, you'll know it when you see it. It will be like seeing a dog in a line of ducks," he said with a chuckle. The first section we'll look at is the section that controls your physical appearance. In a human, it would be similar to seeing the genetic 'code' that dictates someone's hair color or height."

"O-kay," Peter said slowly, keeping his eyes on the display and trying to see if anything looked out of place. So far, things were looking good, but he still wasn't quite sure what he was looking at. At one point, he thought he saw something, but when he looked again, nothing looked abnormal.

The Engineer smiled. "I would have thought you'd have more of a... uh... knowledge of your own programming," he said hesitantly. Suddenly realizing what he had said, the young man looked at Peter. "I'm sorry... that was probably too personal of me."

Peter shrugged, still keeping his eyes on the screen as he had been told. "Everything happened so fast at first," he explained, "Lieutenant Gor thought I was a security threat. He tried to convince Iluvar to have my program restricted..." The young hologram paused, wondering just how far things would have gone if Iluvar had not stood up for him or if Lieutenant Gor had not been transferred to a different assignment.

Rodney shook his head in disgust. "A security risk? That's ridiculous! Obviously he didn't succeed in his attempts." Truth be known, McCabe was quite disgusted by the idea of restricting Peter in any way. As far as the young man was concerned, Peter was a person who had rights like anyone else on the ship. He wanted no part of the long winded debates about 'sentience' that the egg heads loved to engage in.

The young hologram was silent as he continued to watch the lines of coding scroll across the screen. Most of it didn't make sense to him, but he kept watching for any anomalies, like the engineer had instructed him. He was just about to chalk his concern up to an isolated incident when he saw something that looked out of place. "Wait," Peter exclaimed, pointing to the spot on the screen, "Right there!"

"I see it," McCabe said, manipulating controls on his console to isolte the piece of code that was causing the problem. He studied it for a moment before shaking his head in disgust. "Well there's good news and bad news," he said finally.

"What do you mean," Peter asked sharply. He didn't like feeling this vulnerable and, consequently, it caused his temper to be rather short. The last thing he wanted was to have no control over himself, which is why he always worried about others tampering with his program.

"The good news is the problem is not overly serious, though it could become so if not taken care of. I can do it in a very short time. The bad news is that it will mean you may be unable to interact with objects while I do the reprogramming necessary." Rodney paused for a moment and decided that whether he entirely understood it or not, Peter deserved an explanation. "When Lieutenant Gor restored your matrix, he did a... shoddy job. Basically there's an error in the code responsible for your physical form. Left alone it could spread to other areas of your program, causing further problems. Think of it like a virus in a human. While I make the repairs, I have to shut down the parts of your program responsible for allowing you to interact physically with your environment," he said, watching the young hologram carefully. The Engineer decided that he would do nothing until he was sure Peter understood what was going on.

"That dirty scoundrel," Peter growled, "If only I could get my hands on him, I'd..." He paused, realizing that the engineer was still waiting for an answer. The thought of having to return to a state where he was not able to interact with his surroundings was scary. It had been alarming the first time after Lieutenant Gor had tampered with his program, when he had been unable to grasp objects or touch surfaces. At least this time, McCabe was giving him a warning...and a choice.

"Sorry," Peter apologized, "I didn't mean to...that is to say...how long would it take?"

The Engineer pondered that for a moment. "It's difficult to say exactly, but it would take at least five to six hours, as I want to make sure that any fix I make doesn't cause any more problems." He paused and sighed. "I can't imagine what this is like for you. Possibly it would be similar to a doctor telling me I'd be stuck in bed unable to move for several days, but I'm not sure its the same. I'm not going to do anything without your permission."

Thinking, Peter debated between his two options. If he refused and they did nothing, there was the chance that the anomaly would spread to other parts of his program, maybe even threaten his existence. There was also the chance that it might not. If he agreed, he would be unable to interact with anything for five to six hours. To him, that was a long time, but it was a necessary step to ensure that nothing would happen. It also required a huge leap of faith. If people were able to trust Doctor Haelen (NPC) with their lives, there was no reason he shouldn't be able to trust this engineer.

"Let's do it," Peter consented, looking over at McCabe.

McCabe grinned and nodded. "Right, let's get to it. I'll set up the initial parameters," he said, adjusting controls on the console in front of him. "Why don't you talk me through this, let me know how you feel as we go," he said with a smile.

With a sigh, Peter thought, Here we go...

[[5 Hours Later - Shoreleave 03, 1823]]

McCabe rubbed his eyes and gave Peter a tired smile. "Ok, I think we're almost done. I'm bringing your physical integrity programming online... now," he said, eyeing Peter carefully. "You may feel a little strange for a moment."

After five hours of standing in the middle of the room, unable to touch or feel anything, Peter was willing to take a little discomfort to get things over with. He felt a slight distortion in his form that passed almost immediately. Glancing at McCabe, he asked hesitantly, "Was that it?"

Rodney stood up and tossed a PADD to Peter, watching him catch it in one hand. He grinned at the young hologram, proud of his work. "That's it. I think it's safe to assume the surgery was a success. How do you feel?" he asked expectantly.

"Much better," Peter replied with a smile, eyes focused on the PADD he had just caught in his hand, "Nice to know I won't be going on the fritz at any moment."

"Definitely not," he said with a smile. "I also cleaned up the program a bit. You'll find your senses are slightly enhanced; colours will be brighter, sounds a bit clearer, etc. Lieutenant Gor really did a rush job, so I wanted to make sure there were no other... surprises lurking in your program."

Peter blinked. This man had gone above and beyond just for the sake of helping Peter out. It was something that was, unfortunately, a surprising rarity. If only more people could be as accepting of holograms as McCabe or Iluvar were. "Thank you," the young hologram said, "I'll try to keep that in mind."

"Don't worry about it," McCabe said with a smile. "Just doin' my job. Now over the next little while if you have any issues at all let me know right away, no matter how minor."

The young hologram nodded, but he could tell that McCabe didn't quite trust that simple gesture. "I promise," Peter assured the engineer, "no matter how minor." If the afternoon had been any indication, Peter knew he could trust McCabe to be helpful in any matter that would arise. Peter also knew that it was unlikely that anything would crop up because he'd watched as the man had worked meticulously to correct any discrepancy.

Rodney nodded wearily. "Now I think I've kept you here long enough, and I need to take a break," he said. "I'm picturing my quarters, a cold beer, and a good book." He turned for the door, but then paused. "Oh, and thanks for trusting me. Believe me, I know that isn't easy," McCabe said, remembering his days living on the streets as a child before he met the man who saved his life - Sam Bishop.

OFF

A JP by

Crewman 1st Class Rodney McCabe (PNPC)
Engineer's Mate
USS Tethys
Played by: Lieutenant Sam Bishop

and

Peter Pevensie (PNPC)
Mentor Hologram
USS Tethys
Played by: Rear Admiral Iluvar