Friday, January 13, 2012

Tinkering With TRNE

penumbra . 11
Plug In Babies ~ Elizaveta Porodina

Ivan goes to check the orbit-launch system (OLS); a hulking tube of explosive liquid to which the Leviathan is strapped by means of a network of delicate spines known as the Suspension & Damper Rack (SDR) or Spider. The OLS has its own autonomous control system OLSCS.
“Trinny I need a logic ladder diagram for the OLSCS.”
TRNE opens the file and runs the diagram on his monitor.
Triangles and squares and adjoining arrows.
“Okay, I don’t want to know the sequencing; I want to understand how it works”
“Ivan, I can give you a list of diagram types for you to choose from.”
“Show me.”

- Maintenance Workflow
- Organogram

“Okay Trinny, filter that down to Technical”

- Main Power Distribution
- System Block Diagram
- Termination Diagram

“Why do your lists always start at M Trinny?”
“Ivan, M is in the middle of the alphabet and that makes the scrolling equal in both directions.”
“That’s just fucking stupid Trinny! Start at A.”
“Ivan, I detect that you are angry.”
“I’m not fucking angry”
“Ivan, your pulse is increasing and your forehead skin temperature has risen by 0.4 of a degree.”
“I’m not angry Trinny,” Ivan makes conscious effort to slow himself down. TRNE’s reactions to anger, perceived or genuine, tend to be unpredictable and, like it or not TRNE is an integral part of the Leviathan, “Show me the System Block Diagram for the OLSCS Trinny”
Text boxes linked by arrows.
Ivan assembles a picture if how the OLS is connected together: cables between equipment whose diverse purpose should have served to fulfil the most fundamental part of the Leviathan’s journey: escape from planetary gravitation.
Ivan has spent the months learning how to understand the way the systems work – from the ground up.
“Give me the OLS P&ID Trinny”
Complex symbols linked by obscurely numbered lines.
“I need to know what these symbols mean Trinny”
“Ivan, do you want the menu again?”
“Yes please Trinny; search diagrams technical legend”
Ivan’s understanding of how the system works becomes a disparate collage of processes most of which make fundamental logical sense but Ivan finds himself unable to begin to understand what part of the process failed and perhaps more importantly: why it failed?
The options presented to Ivan at the highest level point to either mechanical failure or design fault. Given the complexity of the systems he at first believes the former to be the most likely but the more he comes to understand via the vessels documentation the more convinced he is that a strong thread of incompetence has been designed into the Leviathan.

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4 comments:

Courtney said...

It's electric :-)

Garth said...

Courtney: Electricity plays an important part in any control system - without it you need to do a lot of manual labour to utilise oil or water instead ;]

Harlequin said...

i love it that a strong thread of incompetence has been designed into this system.... say it ain't so!!

but how could it be otherwise?

Garth said...

Harlequin: anyone who works in engineering will tell you that things are designed and built by the lowest bidder.