“… end diagnostics,” concluded the emotionless drone of the servitor’s voice.
Lumi frowned. That was another one.
“Servitor Penance.3141-R, repeat diagnostic: M1.r Life Sustainer; Runtime,” she ordered; she had to hear it again.
“Running diagnotstic: M1.r Life Sustainer; Runtime,” the servitor began, its cogitators whirring to life as it communicated with the machine spirit of the life support system. One by one, it listed the myriad components and functions of the M1.r Life Sustainer, reporting on its current status, as well as any past errors. Lumi listened intently, seeking for any discrepancies that could explain this anomaly.
“Total System Runtime — 62,074,938 Hours.”
That was it, again. The number she needed to hear.
The M1.r Life Sustainer had been running for 62,074,938 hours. Impossible. That would mean that, at some point between when the machine spirit of the Prometheus was first roused, in M33, and the present day, there were 8,059,245 hours that the M1.r Life Sustainer had been inactive. Nearly one thousand years.
“Cancel diagnostic,” Lumi interrupted, and the servitor ceased its monotone speaking. “New diagnostic: M1.r Life Sustainer; Downtime.”
This time, Lumi wasn’t just listening for a specific piece of data — she was taking in everything that servitor Penance.3141-R was saying and adding it all together in her mind. With the aid of her Logis Implant, it was a simple matter to convert the dates listed into numerals, and total them up.
“… end diagnostics.”
It didn’t add up. According to the dates listed in the diagnostics that the servitor had just recited to her, it just couldn’t be. Over the eight millennia that the Prometheus had been online, the total time that the M1.r Life Sustainer had been offline barely added up to one year. Lumi knew, for a fact, that most of that year was during a time in which the Disciples of Thule had completely shut down all systems on the ship in order to do serious repairs.
And yet, the other diagnostic reported nearly one thousand years of inactivity.
This anomaly wasn’t isolated. Half a dozen other systems gave a similar report — nearly one thousand years of unreported inactivity.
She knew these machine spirits — she would know if they lied to her. The diagnostics were correct.
What had this ancient vessel been through?