A Short Short
Tech Skills, Nothing!
Written in February 2012 by KJ, Steve’s Girl, H50 1.0 FOREVER
It all began when the HPD set up a terminal on Kono's old desk. As the chief of computer services had told Steve McGarrett, it would save untold man hours, time the Five-0 detectives would not have to spend traipsing over to the HPD building. Jenny had received training in how to use the terminal, and for a time, it seemed as though the new system were working.
But, then, late one night, a call came requesting information about the latest goings on at Sunhala, home of notorious crime boss Honore Vashon. Chin was the only detective still in the office. Jenny had left several hours earlier. Using the chart showing the functions of each computer key, Chin tried to look up the information.
At first, everything went well. He managed to boot the computer using the password he had been given and called up the name Sunhala. The computer said it had no knowledge of that name and told Chin that he should press the ESC key to enter a new name,
Chin didn't mean to do it. Really. But his hands were large and pudgy, and when he reached for the ESC key, he accidentally hit the F1 key. That's when it happened. The screen became a sheet of ASCII symbols, hieroglyphics, which slowly sagged to the bottom of the screen. And, then, everything went black.
Just then, the telephone rang. Chin answered it to hear a voice thundering over the line.
"What the hell are you doing over there, Kelly!?! You've wiped out all our records!"
Chin sat, stunned, phone in hand. His mouth was suddenly dry, and his heart was thumping wildly. Why, oh why, did he have to be the only one left in the office? He didn't like these machines. Why, at his age, did he have to learn all this new stuff!?! Let the younger guys handle all of this.
"Kelly? Hey! What's going on over there?"
Chin started and quickly drew his attention back to the problem at hand.
"Sorry. Looks like I must have pressed the wrong button."
"Which one did you press?"
"I meant to hit the ESC key, but I hit the one next to it. It has an F1 on it."
"Okay. We're gonna have to figure this one out. Do us a favor and leave the computer alone. Don't touch anything else on it, you got that?”
Chin was only too happy to oblige. He wandered around the office and looked out of the windows. Maybe that would help to clear his panicked mind. McGarrett seemed to spend hours staring out the windows in his office, so maybe there was something to it. But then McGarrett had never wiped out the data on a computer before. What would he think when he found out what had happened? Chin liked and respected Steve, but no one could deny that the man had a terrible temper sometimes.
Chin finally sat down and closed his eyes, trying to keep calm and compose this thoughts. He had no idea how much time had elapsed when suddenly the phone rang. He sat bolt upright and stared at it. Slowly he reached a shaky hand towards it.
Several hours later…
Chin groaned inwardly and thought, Oh, no, not that voice again. "Yeah, I'm here," he replied aloud.
"We've been able to repair the damage you did. Had to work overtime, naturally. Do you have any idea what time it is?" Without waiting for a reply the caller continued, his tone growing sarcastic. "Now listen and listen carefully. You may be a member of McGarrett's ‘Fab Four’ – nice nickname isn't it – but please! Wait until someone more skilled than you arrives to get the requested information." The line went dead.
Chin sat there, stupefied. "Arrogant youth", he murmured, "but he’s right – in a way. What will I tell Steve?" With nothing left to do, Chin pulled himself from his chair and went home. His family were still asleep, and he did not wake them as he showered, changed into fresh clothes, and left again.After having a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee, Chin returned to the Palace. He hoped to arrive before Steve did, and so, he was caused to sigh in frustration when he pulled up to the historic building to see the big, black Mercury, license number F6-3958, parked in its customary space.
Entering the outer office of the Five-0 suite, Chin paused and took in a deep breath in an effort to fortify himself for the meeting that seemed sure to await him. After a moment, he squared his shoulders and walked straight through to the open door of Steve's office.
"Good morning, Boss," he called as he stood framed in the doorway.
"Good morning, Chin," Steve replied as he glanced briefly at him. His glance did not linger on the other detective, for he was looking for something that he thought should be on his desk. "Where did you put the latest report on what is going on at Sunhala?"
Chin hesitated for a moment, then blurted the truth: "There is no report, boss. I blew it. I pressed the wrong button on the computer and everything went black. Then I got a call from… − I don't know from whom – yelling at me and insisting that I wiped out all their records and..." The words died in Chin's throat, and he stood in place and looked at the chief investigator.
For a long moment, McGarrett did not say a word as he stared at his Chinese assistant. Did he not believe him? Finally, slowly, thoughtfully, the words came to him: “Yes, Chin. I received a call at home from the chief of the computing center. He told me what happened. What I doubt he told you is that the F1 key has been a problem in the past. The programmers are working on it, trying to keep this from happening.”
I wish he’d told me that! Chin thought to himself. Aloud, he said, “That’s good, Boss.”
McGarrett nodded. “If they want us to use the key next to it on a regular basis – and we will, since no investigation hits a home run on the first try – the key right next to it shouldn’t take down the system. But they are aware of that fact, and they managed to recover their data, so no serious harm has been done.”
“That’s good, Boss,” Chin said again.
“For now, we’re going to have to get the information the old-fashioned way.”
“The old-fashioned way, Boss?”
"No, no. I don't want you to dig it out manually. Just call over there and get one of their geeks to pull up the information. If 'Sunhala' doesn't pull up something, then give them related names: 'Vashon', 'Honore Vashon', 'Vashon Enterprises' You get the idea."
Steve smiled as he watched the heavy-set detective turn and walk toward his cubicle. He shook his head sadly, fully aware that Chin had spent a wretched night.