Samuel's and Arrian's ES1 Reprimands

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Samuel's and Arrian's ES1 Reprimands is an in-Beta document drafted during Dragan 2011 that chronicles the culmination of Earth Station 1's eclipsing of Mission Control during that mission. Written by the Beta Universe personas of Lt. Baltz and Lt. LeClaire, it details an episode in which all six astronauts were effectively forced to choose between their own Alpha well-being and Mission Integrity for an extended period, and was written aboard the habitat and released here in an effort to warn against similar occurrences in the future. It is heavily biased towards the perspective of the astronauts on that mission, who seek not to blame any simulators involved but to prevent the endangering of future missions by the current balance of Mission-Specific power.

If you only read one sentence of this document, read the last one. -Samuel Baltz, Chief Engineer Drake-Sagan 2011


Mission Dragan 2011 Official Habitat Reprimands for ES1

Habitat Logs

Direct any questions to co-authors Lt. Samuel Baltz, Education Commander, Ship Engineer, and LAURA Pilot, and Lt. Arrian LeClaire, Director of Technology and Engineering, Ship Co-Pilot, and Network Engineer

            At 2319 the software intra-hab and inter-hab and MC ceased to function. As unofficial network engineer, Arrian plugged in the t100 network drop to the server that he had previously equipped the habitat with Admiral Doctor Magwood's permission, in less than one minute diagnosed the problem, which was “CASSINI” malfunctioning, removed “CASSINI” from the network, and we all observed the network re-synch. MC confirmed that all the software was synching. This occurred during docking with AYSE, so we proceeded as normal and started to establish an orbit around Jupiter. At 23:22, acting CAPCOM Officer Lt. Baltz was informed that ES1 wanted to contact the habitat. Although he knew the procedures regarding ES1 having direct communication with the hab (there is exactly one earth branch of the OCESS authorized to communicate with the hab: MC), he consented as MC staffers seemed willing to be superceded and were present during the conversation, and after much argument he consented to ES1's adamant demands that acting pilot Lt. LeClaire, currently attempting to establish an orbit, be handed the phone. Lt. LeClaire received the phone call in which he was informed, as per habitat Official Logs- March. 1, Mission Dragan 2323 entry, that the US Defense Secretary was court-martialling him for hacking into computer networks. Although the pilot pointed out that the networks were owned and administrated by an Admiral who had given him permission to do so, and despite his assurance that the mission could not possibly proceed unless he fixed the server, and despite Lt. Baltz's insistence upon returning to CAPCOM that the USDS had no authority over an Ottawa-based organization, ES1 refused to acquiesce.

            The habitat recognizes their error in not asking permission from MC to fix the server software, but it was the only possible recourse to avoid endangering the progress of the mission; not only was the inability to alter the current flight path dangerous to the crew but when MC has no software they are thoroughly useless. An orbit around Jupiter was successfully established. At this point, the longhouse was struck by an asteroid and a hole was created. Lt. Dunbar was sent to the Longhouse and Lt. Cmdr. Frank to the Interlock and they began to conduct an IVA. A hole in the Longhouse was located, the IVA was inconclusive and the materials were insufficient, so another IVA was planned. MC staffers were unaware that this initial IVA ever took place until this document, partially completed, was read to them; the disruption in MC caused by the actions of ES1 disrupted their hierarchy such that they had absolutely no idea what was occurring aboard the habitat, despite the fact that there was probably never more than 3 or 4 seconds of radio silence on CAPCOM.

            Just before the second IVA was set to commence, the EECOM and ENG software were seen to be not updating, and so the interlock could not be depressurized and the IVA was impossible. Because of this, astronauts who had not slept for up to 15 hours and those who had not eaten a meal for up to 14 hours were forced to wait for the servers in order to eat or access their beds. It quickly became clear that not a single piece of software in MC, C+C or ES1 was functional. At this point Lt. LeClaire assumed the role of CAPCOM officer and asked for permission to fix the server, which he had previously accomplished in less than a single minute. For 13 minutes, Lt. LeClaire was on the phone with ES1 establishing timestamps and useless irrelevant information so that the ES1 employees could firmly establish that the server was in fact down and as to ask permission to fix the problem. They never looked at the server software, rather insisting upon knowing every single timestamp and several values on every possible computer. After 14 minutes on the phone, they demanded the hab reboot their software, which we complied with to no avail, and the two heads of the organization gave permission to the Network Officer to access the server and repair the error. A minute after this, ES1 demanded that they take control of the situation and they recommended that we reboot our computers, which we refused to do as that would not accomplish anything no matter what the server error was. Lt. LeClaire continues to argue with ES1 about receiving permission to access and repair the server. 22 minutes after the initial phone call, Cmdr. Martin and Lt. Baltz give Lt. LeClaire permission to fix the server as it was endangering the habitat. At this point a connection to the server through Lt. LeClaire's netbook known as “GHOST” is made. Authentication with the server fails which leads to only one possible conclusion; ES1 had changed the server password. (See figure 1.0). As a result of this, we are prevented from continuing the mission, and most notably, preventing the sleep-deprived astronauts from going to sleep as the longhouse was depressurized prior to server failure. At this point in time some loud, slightly profane words were shouted in C+C regarding ES1 and their insubordination. At this point in time, CAPCOM was given to Lt. Baltz who then spent 5 minutes bargaining with an ES1 employee as to receive the password to the server as to finally fix the problem. The terms of the agreement were that the HAB had an arbitrary time limit of 10 minutes to access the server to fix the problem. ES1 accepted the demands as well as the demand the Lt. LeClaire writes up a document indicating how to fix the server in the future. 2 minutes later, the password is given to the HAB and Lt. LeClaire attempts to login to the server. The login is successful. Upon login, it is confirmed from the open windows that ES1 hijacked the server by changing the password and also they had changed the background to that of tiled words along the words of, “STOP”. It is also noted that the server software was in fact down due to the efforts of an ES1 employee. The HAB finds this rude given everything that had happened in the past 2 hours. The habitat assumed radio silence as to discuss whether or not to lock out ES1 from the server, but this idea is scraped as to maintain moral high-ground. Lt LeClaire proceeds to fix the software at this point, however, upon opening it he finds that the software had been left in a state far worse then that it was previously left in. This is seen from seemingly random drive letters or blanks in the appropriate boxes as well as a lack of colons, which along with the letter errors caused the server problem to be worse then it originally was. These errors are believed to be caused by an ES1 employee. 3 minutes after access is gained, server issues are seemingly fixed by Lt. LeClaire. Software sync is confirmed with MC, however ES1 refused to sync software for an undisclosed reason. ES1 claims that none of their software is working and asks to speak directly to Cmdr. Martin. The commander adamantly refuses and Lt. Baltz informs them through MC in no uncertain terms that if they talk directly to the habitat then they are rendering MC thoroughly useless as occurred for a period of just over a day during Mission Daedalus 2010, and that they must never reiterate that request. Mr. MP, who spent the entire evening in MC, says: “from the initial failures of the server up until the point where Lt. LeClaire had remapped the drives on the server, MC's purpose had been suppressed and the chain of command was removed. For that duration and all the way until then we had been acting as a router between Earth Station 1 and the Hab's fight for control of mission-critical systems”. It was clear to the habitat that the MC power structure was compromised when Lt. Baltz over CAPCOM heard Mr. Pelletier saying “you're not in charge of me. The Flight Director's in charge of me.” At this point Lt. Baltz insisted on seeing Director Goddard over the cameras, and informed MC with Cmdr. Martin's approval that if there was any reason for them to believe that orders were not coming from Director Goddard the habitat would immediately turn off COM, unplugged cameras and televisions, and retired to the longhouse until 0800 when the admiral was scheduled to return. ES1 finally acquiesces to a system diagnostic. Everything is successful, and Cassini and all the other ES1 computers run. The longhouse vents, an IVA is prepared and the habitat is successfully able to vent the interlock in order to prepare for the IVA. The IVA is successful. However, for the duration of the IVA Lt. Baltz is on CAPCOM with MC attempting to determine whether Hab EECOM is portraying ES1's simulation of what the habitat is like or if it is reading accurate sensor data. For 15 minutes, the Earth Station insists that it is a mock-up of the habitat, so Lt. Baltz, as systems engineer, advises Cmdr. Martin not to allow an IVA because they cannot trust the integrity of the EECOM software as an accurate indicator of habitat conditions. The IVA is delayed for the entire 15 minutes, at the end of which ES1 decides that the distinction between “mock-up” and “accurate sensor data” is that a mock-up is composed of accurate sensor data whereas “accurate sensor data” would be too confusing a way to phrase “accurate sensor data”. The explanation given was that we had traveled back in time, which seemed like a somewhat unlikely explanation when weighed against the notion that the systems were actually doing what they were supposed to do. The habitat is informed that ES1 has been watching a movie for the past 2 hours, which the habitat feels explains a lot.

            IVA is completed, food is being prepared, the majority of the crew has eaten, and most are preparing for bed. However, while the last burger is being prepared, a fuse appears to blow and the all the lights simultaneously fail. The crew is able to turn all of them on one by one expect the interlock lights, which at the time of this writing at 0541 EDT March 2, 2011, are still not functioning, and the outlet beside Kelvin and below Tompson also is non-functional. The crew immediately locates a power bar which it substitutes for the outlet, and requests that MC have ES1 run diagnostics on the lights and power. It is generally understood that ES1 is responsible for handling anything difficult or unusual enough that it isn't worth MC's time to answer or is too obscure or impossible for MC to do. However, when the habitat requested that ES1 run a diagnostic on the lights, ES1 stated, according to one MC operative, “it isn't our job to help”. To the understanding of MC and the Habitat, ES1 is in fact on the OCESS's payroll to help, so the statement is deeply confusing.

            The distrust that has been sown between the habitat and ES1 this mission and the last is far beyond any other animosity that is possibly acceptable in space travel. ES1 is the paragon of incompetence and, in mapping drives to seemingly random places, the habitat can only conclude that they intentionally sabotaged the functionality of the server and then refused to allow anyone to fix it. This abuse of power takes on a whole new dimension when given the perspective that they prevented a group of hungry and tired people from eating, from sleeping, or from leaving a very small, hot, humid room for well over 2 hours.