AWD #361: It's a Trap
It's a Trap!
Summary: Halena reports to Elias, in order to give him a heads-up on the business with the coffin.
Date: 17 June 2016
Related Logs: Coffin Retrieval
Elias Halena 
Map Room
Dominating the room is the large bottom-lit map table in the very center. Ten feet across and eight feet the other way, the table can gather a large number of people around it while still accommodating enlisted and support personnel in the small riser seating behind the table. The risers are done in single-piece desk sections that run the width of the seating area and have small reporting displays built into them along with communications ports for headphones. At the head of the room are two very large LED displays that can have almost anything put on them, including projections of what is on the map table. A single computer at the support seating controls this and in the rear of the room is a large, locked case that holds maps and table models.
AWD #361

Elias is not difficult to find — he's working in the Map Room outside the CIC for virtually every waking moment of his day. And today he is in a typical spot, sitting in a chair pulled up beside the raised central table, papers spread out before him. With a pen in his right hand and a cigarette propped between his lips, the Intel Officer seems to be deep in thought as his eyes scan the text on the page before him. There's a thin haze of smoke hanging around the young Major, indicating that he's probably been like this for some time already.

Standing in the doorway, Halena Tremaine will rap her knuckles against the bulkhead to both signal her arrival and request permission … well to be noticed, for starters. "Major," she says in that polite, professional tone of hers, though that slight touch of a smile that sometimes has appeared before isn't there today. In fact, she looks even more pale than normal, which is saying something. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail, as always, red bangs resting gently against her forehead. She wears one of the normal jump suites signifying that she's both from Engineering and a Captain.

Even with the knocking, it takes Elias a moment to register the Chief Engineer's presence, and then his eyes lift reluctantly from his reading. His long forgotten cigarette gets a quick drag, and then the Intel officer ashes it into the small ashtray he keeps near at hand. "Captain." For a second he simply studies her, perhaps noticing the change in demeanor. And then he finally gestures Halena inside. "What can I do for you?"

Halena limps her way in, walking as well as she normally does. "Thank you, sir," she says, remaining standing once she's nearby him enough to speak conversationally. "If you have a few moments, I wanted to brief you on the results from the 'coffin' collection, as they're calling it. I'm still working on the AAR, but I thought you might prefer to get a jump on some of the details." She shifts her weight to mostly her left leg, standing more comfortably. She maintains eye contact with the man, pointedly so, rather than let her eyes wander about where they might appear to be seeking to glean information not appropriate for them.

Elias makes no effort to hide the papers, and even a cursory glance could probably identify them as standard reports from all across the fleet — numbers dealing with personnel, munitions, fuel, and all the other sundries of war. "Of course," he agrees, then gestures to one of the nearby chair. "Have a seat, if you'd care to." The young Major leans back a bit, looking up at the Engineer and taking another puff of cigarette smoke. "Since you're here, I am assuming you went along personnally, and you think the results are something significatn."

"I did go along personally, yes," Halena says, turning her back on the man to move toward the chair, then settling herself down in it. There. Seated, she doesn't look quite so bitchy. Some tension in her face is gone. Still, she sits straight-backed with her arms on each of the rests in a pose of relaxed class. "And I will say that the Pilgrim behaved admirably under some … strenuous conditions. The coffin did have some automated defenses—a distress signal calling in nukes, a chemical boobytrap. But all that will be in the report. That's not why I wished to speak with you on the matter."

"Mmmm," is Elias' response to Halena's presence on the mission; a very non-committal noise. For his part he seems largely unruffled, maintaining a matter-of-fact tone and his usual unhurried sort of conversation, filled with pauses to smoke. The report of all those defensive measures does peak his curiosity, however, as does the fact that there is something of more import. "I see." He exhales a thin stream of smoke. "So … what is it you wish to speak to me about?"

Halena doesn't seem surprised by his tone or reaction. She tilts her head to the side slightly, thoughtfully, while maintaining genereal-eye contact. "The coffin was marked with a Colonial Fleet Intelligence Service designation on the exterior," Halena says, eyes flitting just slightly over the man's face to see if that garners any particular reaction. "I don't know if you were aware or not, beforehand, or if it makes much difference to you. But I thought it best to let you know, in case this is something you need a day or so to review, to get ahead of, before the AAR is finished and published." She moves her hands from the armrests, folding them gently in her lap.

Elias does not seem at all surprised by the markings on the 'coffin.' There's a thoughtful few seconds as he takes one last pull from his cigarette, then carefully taps out the burning end. There's less than half left, but it looks like he's saving the rest for later, given the way he's left it carefully balanced on the edge of the tray. Then he gathers himself for an explanation. "The pilots who discovered the object reported the serial number, yes. But Fleet records are largely destroyed. The only thing we could find was a heavily redacted report of a similar object having been found near the Armistice Line prior to War Day. Thus the precautions." And then he manages a slender, weary-looking smile and gives the Chief Engineer a slow shake of his head. "I suppose that depends on what's inside. I take it you opened it?"

Halena's brows lift in surprise. "You would take that entirely incorrectly," she says, speaking a little more conversationally now that the report part seems to be happily off her chest. "My orders were quite preciese in that it was to be brought via the Pilgrim to Pireaus airspace, opposite the fleet. And that is where it currently sits. Gravitational systems active, life support inactive, and awaiting further orders. Before anyone opens it, we're going to run the heaviest diagnostics test I can fathom. After all, it did try to kill me two times in as many minutes." Her face drains a touch at that, and she shifts a bit in her seat. Ah, perhaps that's the reason for her lack of color today. Close calls are never fun.

"Oh?" It's Elias' turn to be a bit surprised, but it passes quickly enough. "In that case, I appreciate your discretion, Captain. And to be perfectly honest with you, I have no idea what is inside that thing. But the amount of security you've already encountered sounds … excessive. Luckily you were there to handle it." " He considers briefly before going on. "I'd like to find out what requires that level of protection, if it is more than an elborate trap. When do you think your tests will be complete?"

"It's the ECO you ought to be thanking, Major. Since we are speaking candidly, I will say I cannot recall the last time I've found an individual so distasteful but to whom I am so very pleased and grateful. Lieutentant Evans is the reason we all weren't nuked within a minute of capture." She shifts again, lifting her bad leg over her good in a relaxed, crossed position. She exhales a soft sigh, and then bites gently on her lower lip in thought for a moment. "I haven't even begun to develop all the tests I would like to run on it. I'll head back over this afternoon to start getting some preliminary readings, see what I can learn from the exterior about the best way to approach it, if you'd like." Her eyes, cast down for that thoughtful moment, now lift to the man again.

"I'm not familiar with the Lieutenant," Elias admits, though something about her story intrigues him. "Where were …" The Intel officer catches himself and brings the question to a halt. "I'm sure your report will cover all the details. No need for you to go through it twice." And there is a generally accepting nod for her timeline for examining the object. "That would be ideal. The sooner the better, obviously. Do what you can, Captain, though I suspect, in the end, we're going to have to cut the thing open and hope for the best."

There's that touch of smile at the corner of her mouth. Or, for Halena's contenence, what equates to a smile. "You can ask if you wish, Major. Like I said, I came to make sure you had whatever information necessary in case there are other aspects of this project that I'm not aware of that might need to be addressed immeidately. Well," she tilts her head a bit again, smile growing just a touch further. "I'm sure there's aspects that I do not know, nor do I need or wish to know. But I'm sure you understand my meaning. At any rate," she moves her hands back to the arm rests. "Give me a few days to see what I can learn from the hull. I'll draft some test procedures, and from there I'll know more about the timeframe. I assume you'll want to be on-hand when we do decide to 'cut the thing open' as you say?"

"I was wondering where exactly the nuclear weapons were supposed to launch from," Elias asks. "Given that the object was orbting by itself quite a distance from anything else. But that's just my curiosity." And then he smiles back, though it's only a very slight, wry curve of his lips. "I wish I had information to withhold, Captain. But I don't. As much as I appreciate the consideration." Then there's a slightly reluctant nod. "A few days. Very well." And does he want to be present when the object is open? Elias purses his lips. "I suppose I should be."

"You're the major, Major. I certainly can't compel you to be there if you don't wish to be there," Halena says, perhaps teasing him a touch. The thought of the nukes, though, causes her to shift in her seat again and cast her eyes away in thought. That teasing is gone, now. "They came from the Raiders, FTL-ed in at the coffn's call." She shakes her head a touch. "A rather close call, and hopefully worthwhile. If this coffin is someone's idea of a practical joke, I'm going to be quite miffed."

"No," Elias says with a touch of hesitation. "It's more a question of how … useful my presence might be." Btu the news about Raiders being involved makes his decision much more clear. "I see. Which would seem to indicate it /is/ just an elaborate trap." Something about this causes the Intel officer to frown to himself. "My guess is that we won't find anything inside, except more traps. But if you can find a way to scan the interior to confirm, that might be worthwhile."

This isn't quite good news for Halena, unsurprisingly. Since she's the one that gets to play with this thing. "There's a window from the flight deck into the main bay," she assures him. "Although if you're fairly certain this is nothing but an elaborate trap … I might recommend that you not set foot on the Pilgrim, until it's properly handled." She bites softly on her lower lip again, glancing down and away for a few thoughtful moments. "Well," she finally says, looking back at him. "No matter what my tests may yield, I trust the Intelligence branch to find some way to use this to our advantage, now." Small smile again, though a bit tighter, this one.

"I'm not certain," Elias admits, "but I can't think why they'd leave anything we could use inside the object." And then he musters another faint smile for final comment. "At the very least, we know what they are if we see any more of these. And perhaps we can return it to the Cylons, with a little surprise of our own."

Halena pushes to her feet, shifting her weight to one side once she's upright. "That, I'll leave to you, Major. In the meantime I'll see to my business, and be in touch with you in a few days to update you on my progress." She nods her head once to him in a gentle, respectful gesture. "Good afternoon, sir. Hopefully I'll have good news when we speak next."

Elias rises as well, though he doesn't seem to be planning to leave the compartment himself. "Very well," he says. "Good luck, Captain." And then after a moment of hesitation, the Major adds some advice. "Don't take any unnecessary risks." Helpful advice? Perhaps not so much.

"I wasn't aware there was such a thing as 'unnecessary' risks in the Navy, but I will keep it in mind, Major. Thank you." Teasing a touch again. Halena nods her head again, more relaxed and conversational in her tone and contenancec than when she entered, though the tension of the situation and the standing weight on her leg bringing some hardness back to her eyes. With that, the redhead turns for the door, her steps making soft taps along the floor in a slightly-off pattern. Tap-tap, tap-tap, tap-tap. She sets one hand on the bulkhead frame and moves through, turning down the hall to be on her way.

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