About Three Seconds

Green. Nothing but green. Green yesterday, and probably green tomorrow. Hopefully. If all went well. His mind drifted to fields of green grass in bright sunlight, with puffy clouds drifting lazily by - and the alarm went off.

Bong! "Telemetry Lost" said the expressionless, but somehow endearing synthesized annunciator voice.

Vicky, they all called her. No one remembered why. Never mind, the green was gone. In its place - adrenaline.

The entire screen showed red. Everything was alarmed and frozen - or zero. Gone. "Don't panic," he thought. It could be a false alarm.

Bong! "Telemetry Lost" said Vicky, without a trace of worry.

He glanced at nearby screens. All red. Red everywhere. Receiver failure? They're redundant. Transmitter failure? Redundant. Power failure? Unlikely. Redundant too.

Bong! "Telemetry Lost." "Vicky," he thought, "we know! We're on it!"

He checked the main status display on the wall - the only screen with any green on it. All the 'net links were up and green. The facility was not islanded. Receiver sites were online. "That's bad" he thought. It looked like an upstream problem. How far upstream? All the way? He frowned. This could be very bad - it could be

"Telemetry Restored" soothed Vicky.

And reading by reading, the green returned. There were, to put it mildly, exclamations from the team.

"How long were we down?"

"About three seconds!"

... It felt like a minute ...

"But it's all back. Everything! Like nothing happened!"

Like nothing happened? Impossible. Something happened. But what? And how? And why?

To be continued... troubleshooting, press conference, not again!, coming and going, pushme-pullyou, hands off, simple math, not-so-simple math, disbelief, belief.

And amazingly, at 23 minutes into this old movie, someone had the same idea: https://youtu.be/4OXYLCVUaCc - which I watched 10 years after I started this story.


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