ALT #341: Ghosts in the Dark
Ghosts in the Dark
Summary: An engineer, a doctor and a deckie discuss the Hebe ghost fleet.
Date: 13/Dec/2013
Related Logs: Nothing specific
West Toby Samtara 
Chief Engineer's Office - Deck 4 - Battlestar Orion
A small nine foot by nine foot office. Most ofthe floorspace is taken up by a desk and filing cabinets.
AWD #341

The Chief Engineer being quite the busy man - so busy, in fact, that he's never on watch or in his office - he has graciously allowed Captain West to use the space for a little while. West has his pipe between his teeth - puffing away merrily here, the air handlers being controlled by engineering - and the desk has been pushed against the wall to make room for a pinboard with ship schematics, DRADIS readouts, and a map, with zoom-ins, of Helios Alpha. Another board is covered with a running total of what looks like fuel requirements for something or other.

Toby is just a fraction wary about his trip down to engineering. There is a rather large elephant in the corner of that deck at the moment, but he's hoping that if he doesn't mention it, then no one else will either. Dressed in his greens, and with a few sheets of paper under one arm, he's quickly pointed in the direction of the office he wants and gives a quick tap on teh door before sticking his head inside to ask, "you got a couple of minutes Captain?"

West turns to face the door, arching a brow. Then he sees who it is, and there is a momentary pause. Actually, it stretches into a rather pregnant pause. Eventually, though, his military sang-froid kicks in, and he just swallows and says, "Come in, Crewman. You can leave the hatch open. What do you need?" He puts down the paper he was working on and leans against the desk.

Toby steps in when invited, leaving the hatch as it is behind him. He does not the pause, although he's working hard to keep his expression neutral, as if they were just meeting for the first time, the or such meetings were commonplace. Either really, just so long as there's no awkwardness, this is not awkward at all. Lifting the hand that holds the papers an inch or so he states in a business-like tone, "I thought you might need these Sir. I'm not sure how much has been passed onto you yet about the plan to use chlorine against the centurions, but since I believe it's now been signed off on as a concept from on high I figured I'd pass along what I had on it. Save doubling up of time and effort and all that."

West reaches out and takes the papers, "Thank you." he says, as he flips through them briefly, "I'll review them later. Though wouldn't chlorine also be a major danger to us, and the environment?" Another brief pause, "Ah, well, I suppose I'll find out when I read them, won't I." He puts his fingers over the bowl of his pipe and puffs twice, getting it going nicely again, the air sucked out by the vent above him. He tilts his head at the charts behind him, "You might be interested in this, given your concerns about the Orion's tyllium stocks, crewman."

"I would Sir, yes," Toby replies, sliping his gloved hands behind his back once the papers are passed across, "and thats what those are all about. Petty Officer Third Class Alexios was the one who noted the useful chemisrty, I just looked into what was needed in terms of handling and storing it safely. I've put the coshh sheet in there for you, along with recommendations for storage. My basic recommendation was for it to be kept down on planet, as we only have enough gas masks, BA sets and flight suits to provide clean air for about a third of the crew should there be a containment failure. I think I recommended a deep valley a long way from Sheridan with a deep hole dug in the bottom of it, but I suspect there will be other factors as well in choosing a site." His overview given he glances to the charts indicated, not seemingly paying any heed to the pipe this time, "oh Sir?"

"Yes. I'm not quite ready yet, but when I am, I'm going to need a few people skilled at shifting tyllium from a storage tank to a portable tank on a Raptor, and then transshipping it to a merchant ship." West explains, pursing his lips, and tapping his pipe stem against one of the charts, "But it might be quite a bit of fuel."

Toby takes a moment or two to look over the charts indicated once West has finished speaking, then, looking faintly puzzelled he turns back to the engineer. "Do I take it Sir, that you won't be doing this becuase the merchanter is in need of a refuel?" He's mind has leapt to the idea of 'bomb', but he doesn't particularly want to go saying that outloud just yet.

"Well, in a manner of speaking it is. There's no nefarious plot here. There are nineteen ghost ships that need to be reactivated and jumped back here." West puts one hand behind his back, with the papers in his hand, the other holding his pipe. "They are, as I said, ghost ships. No fuel, no power, drifting lifeless but preserved."

Toby ahhs silently, as that makes a bit more sense than sacrificing a working ship to take out whatever you might use a ship-sized bomb to take out. A basestar perhaps. "With you Sir" he confirms with a short nod of his head, "so fuel them up, turn them on and hope everything still works? Or I suppose if you take a few of your lads along then they could maybe fix any urgent issues there before making the jumps."

"It has some complications. Each one of those ships has crew and passengers still aboard. Some of them will need to be moved to make the ship work, and eventually all will have to be buried. Enough to keep the Chaplains very busy. But more to the point, the uncontrolled shutdown means that the failing life support systems probably allowed an unacceptable level of humidity into the atmosphere, which might have flash frozen when life support and power failed entirely." Toby and West might have gotten off on the wrong foot, but when he gets to speaking in his area of expertise, it's obvious the Captain knows his business, "So, we will need to use care in kicking over the fusion reactors, once they're refueled, and monitor for any damage to the systems. Probably jump them back one or two at a time, with marines, engineering, and deck personnel making up skeleton crews."

There's a slight wince that flashes across Toby's features at the mention of the fate of teh crew of said ships, but he quickly gets it under control again and continues to listen. His work does include life support systems after all, so while he might not understand much about fusion reactors, he does grasp at least some of what is said. Once West has finished there a slight frown on his features as he tarted to consider options, but then he nods slowly at the mention of the makeup of the crews. "Slow and steady, that makes sense Sir. You know what type of systems these ships were running? Might be worth having a look and seeing what compatable parts we have in the fleet, and who's worked with 'em before, just in case something's terminal, or it's quicker to swap out than fix in situ."

"Which reminds me…" he picks up the caller set in the wall, dials sick bay, and asks if Dr. Nadir is available for a moment. Not an emergency. Chief Engineer's Office. Then he turns back, and says, "I pulled all the DRADIS contacts and gunsight camera footage from Major… excuse me, Colonel Franklin and her wingman during the recon mission, so I have a good idea of the ship types and classes involved. There are a few supply ships among them, and if necessary, they should carry what we need. Indeed, reclaiming those supplies is one of our priorities. There's also a refinery ship which can probably produce or carry the fuel we need to get the rest of the fleet running, and a salvage ship. So, all in all, it will be a lot of work. But I've never been afraid to roll my sleeves up." A quirk of his lip, and he exhales a plume of smoke from his pipe.

Toby raises and eyebrow slightly as the call is made for Dr Nadir, but he figures he'll find out why soon enough without going about questioning the Captain's actions. There's still that great big elephant in the corner after all. Instead he limits himself to a nod or two at the comments regarding ship types, then asks, "would you be wanting to try a supply ship first then Sir? Test the restarting of the reactor before moving onto something lie the refinary next, but also freein gup the parts needed for others while at it?"

"That's part of what I discussed with Colonel Franklin the other night. She seems to feel that the supplies are quite important. Though I tend towards the refinery or salvage vessel to support recovery efforts." West is smoking his pipe, and having a surprisingly civilized business conversation with Toby. There are schematics of various civilian ship classes and a few maps and DRADIS readouts on a pinboard in the office, the desk having been pushed out of the way to make room. "I need to speak to Dr. Nadir about the bodies." he says, in answer to the unasked question.

Being paged throughout the ship is not unusual for Dr. Nadir, though usually she's being paged to the sick bay or, from there, to surgery. Not, typically, to the chief engineers office. That finely honed sense of smell that the doctor retains possession of detects the aroma of the pipe that West is fond of and - though she only pauses just outside the door long enough to fix a pointed look at the cancer-causing habit - simply shakes her head at West before nodding at Crewman Shackleton in greeting. "Gentlemen," she says aloud, paired with the nod, another long look swept around the room and back, "I don't detect any medical emergency," though she came with one of the field kits anyway. "How may I be of assistance?"

And then that suddenly makes sense. Flash frozen corpses and what might happen when the life support is turned back on. Yep, the expression that flashes across Toby's face states quite clearly that he's more than happy to leave that little issue to the CMO. He gives a brief nod, to show his understanding, then goes back to the salvange order. "I know it's not my call Sir, but forgive me if I say I wouldn;t start with the refinary ship, just in case we get something wrong in restarting, or there's some unforseen compliction." Beyond that though, he'll leave it to the officers to sort out between themselves, those sorts of decisions being well above his rank and responsibilities. As Sam enters he glances over his shoulder and offers her a brief nod in greeting, followed by a quick, "Captain," before letting the engineer explain.

"Doctor, thank you for coming. I told them it wasn't a medical emergency." West shakes his head a bit, but smiles at the ever prepared doctor - ignoring completely her pointed look and puffing on his pipe. At least the smoke is aromatic, and goes almost immediately up into the ventilation system. "Doctor, I've been asked to head an effort to recover the 19 civilian ghost ships of the Hebe fleet. Each one of those ships is filled with the bodies of the crew and passengers who were aboard when they ran out of fuel and life support failed. We're going to need to… erm… see to them when the ships are reactivated." Or be trapped on ships with potentially hundreds of thawing corpses. Yech.

"You'll have to forgive my staff, Captain West, they're rather accustomed to the phrase 'It's not a medical emergency' being used to explain a broad range of things from broken bones to deep tissue lacerations where the non-wounded individual is prepared to just shrug it off," the doctor replies with a measured shake of her head. This said before she turns her focus to the task at hand, "I see." This single statement followed by a moment of silence as the CMO, also medical examiner and all around medical dogsbody contemplates the parameters already outlined. "The problem is multi-faceted, of course. The first of which is, of course, the collection of the deceased personnel, positive identification and disposal of same. This being accomplished, and that breakdown is a separate but accompanying list of course, there is the matter of potential hazards local and unique to each ships environment. I strongly advise that these remains are attended to before anything is done to those ships. The potential for bio-hazards and contamination, both natural and designed, is extraordinarily high."

"We're almost entirely certain that the cause of death was suffocation because of failed life support in each of the ships. They were abandoned, they ran out of fuel, and they died." West explains, with a little frown. "Crewman Shackleton, I'll look over the other things you brought. And I will be following up with your department on this. Thank you for your time."

Toby knows a dismissal when he hears one, and is this time, if anything, rather greatful for it. Deforsting bodies not being top of his list of favourite conversational topics. "Sir," he replies with a nod, not having anything else to add bar the acknowledgement, then he's turning and heading for the hatch,offering a "good day Doctor," as he passes.

((there is likely more, but I was rubbish and had to go to bed))

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