MD #180: Nector of Kobol
Nector of Kobol
Summary: A stick-jock, a bear, and a knuckledragger share a pot of coffee. Technical stuff is talked.
Date: 05/10/2017
Related Logs: None
Donovan Gloria Maconnache 
Mess Hall - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The Crew Mess on the battlestar is one of the larger rooms meant for occupation. The room is far longer than it is wide with the classic stainless steel tables that can be seen anywhere else on the ship, standard to all navy ships. Most of the chairs match, their padding on the seats worn down after several years. Towards the rear of the room is the food prep area and serving lines. During the time in between meals the Mess will serve midrats, or 'mid-shift rations', such as sandwiches and drinks. Coffee pots are left to run at all hours to keep people going as needed.

It's a kind of off hour in the mess. Not too many people about. A few of the mess staff are working on the next meal and some others are cleaning up from the previous. It's like that, non-stop vicious circle when there are so many people to feed and only so many hours in a day.

Donovan is sitting alone at one of the tables. There are plans and papers and drawings and sheets to notes, balance equations and thrust to weight ratios. He honestly looks like his head is about to explode. There is a coffee cup near his elbow, he absently reaches out, without even looking, pick it up, takes a sip. Grimace… cold. He sighs and looks into the mug then around the mess in hopes of securing a refill.

Gloria has not had a good run in the sims it seems, given how soon she's out. She was scheduled for another hour at least. Mid-rats it is apparently as she heads straight for a clingfilm wrapped sandwich, then the coffee. Donovan gets a grunted acknowledgement of his presence, "Corric," but then she's reaching for a mug and filling it with the magic life-giving nector.

All this grumbling, grunting and grumpiness, and to break the monotony of it all, in come a couple of orange clad deck apes, fresh off shift and heralded by the inevitable smell of aviation fuel and hot metal, but laughing about something or other as they go. They part ways, the older woman of the two heading straight towards the coffee, already pulling a dented, grubby mug from one of her voluminous pockets. "Two's up on that," McConnachie notes good-naturedly towards Gloria, giving her a light nudge from behind so she's aware of the budding proto-queue.

Donovan looks up from whatever it is that is making his brain smell like burning batteries. "Oh… Hey Dodona." he says with a nod of his head. He gets to his feet, stretches just bit, eliciting a series of cracks and pops from his back. "Ow." he mutters. He walks over to the coffee and refills his mug. "There we go." he says, more to himself than to anyone present. "Thought the Raptor teams were simming today." he says to Gloria. He looks over towards McConnachie and offers a nod of his head to her. He's always had a great deal of respect for the Decks. They had a bitch job that was a lot of time thankless.

Gloria moves slightly to one side so those that need access to the Nector of Kobol can get to it. Glancing towards Donovan's table she asks, "project?" before wincing slightly. "Yeah, I was in with one of the nuggets. Reckon they want to be a stick-jock instead cos they just dived straight into the middle of the fight…" That usually goes so well with Raptors. "Still, there's time to beat it out of them I guess." Then, noting the orange behind her, "the Chief approachable yet Crewman? The CAG was talking about a project he might need some of you lot for."

"If by 'approachable' you mean 'I didn't want my head anyway', then absolutely," McConnachie responds, cradling her mug in both hands. "What's the project? It's Tauron's next top model, isn't it? I knew it. And here's me on board without my sequined evening gown and gloves."

Donovan looks back over at his table and he nods. "Something I am looking into." he says to her. "Getting the details and data nailed down before I go to Engineering or Deck with it…" he is silent for a moment taking a sip of his coffee and then another, letting the women talk. When they mention the Chief, he groans. He will have to talk this little project over sooner or later. He blinks once and then looks back to Gloria. "Something that might be able to help give the Raptors a edge on hardened targets." he explains. "You guys always do a frackin' pounding on hard targets that the Vipers can't handle." he says. "I was looking at a means for us Vipers to return the favour." he says. "Looks like there is a chance to add a mid-range hardpoint centre under the cockpit of the Viper." he says, pausing to take a sip of his coffee. "Damn that is good." he mutters and then looks back up. "That is if I can work out the balance, centre of gravity and thrust to weight issues." he says. "Give us a chance to hit and forget and then the Raptors go in and level the absolute frak outta something." he says.

Gloria gives Mac's reply another wince, then nods, "if he talks to me again I'll make sure someone else gets the job of approaching her then. Maybe our self-confident nugget.." Delegation. It's important for learning. The comment about models gets a grin though, "well, to be fair, look at your competition? Although would any judge be brave enough to rule against the Chief right now?" Maybe not any pilots. "It was something to do with upgrading the avionics in the missiles we pulled from Aerlion. They’re old, we have better guidance packages, but they’re not easily installed I think." Donovan's project gets a raised eyebrow and she notes, "I'm a qualified Ordnance Officer if you ever need a second pair of eyes on the missile bit. The rest is their territory though I'm afraid," she finishes, tilting her head back to Mac.

McConnachie holds up the hand not actively preventing her coffee from spilling to the deck. "Whoa, avionics isn't my part of ship. I just hit things with hammers, me. And apparently you're not supposed to hit missiles with hammers. The more you know, eh?" She leans over to plant an elbow on the table beside Donovan's sketches, pulling a variety of odd faces, one after the other. "Welll…" she decides at length, "I'm sure the Chief will appreciate your enthusiasm." She sounds doubtful. "You don't want to fly in atmo..? Cats might do the trick to get you out there, but… well, what would I know." She shrugs, resuming her coffee with a satisfied slurp.

Donovan nods and he says. "I'd be grateful for the look-over honestly." he says. "I'm not even sure if it is going to work." he admits. "Wiring in the fire control, linking to TADS." he shakes his head. Yep… this is what a migraine feels like. "Anyway. Seen twice now that we nearly had a ground target in its basement but needed just one more missile…" he shrugs. "Figure we shoot first and then go back to cover, then the Raptors can capitalize on the damage we manage to do." he picks up one of the sheets. "Can't be anything too awful big." he shows a Shrike class AGM. "Was thinkin' something like this… mid-range, mid-yield." he then looks over to McConnachie. "Well, that small profile missile is required so it doesn't interfere with the landing struts." he says. He points to one of the drawings. "Here to here there is nothing inside but the connecting spar for the wing pylons and from here back is hallow space, armour on the outside." he says. "So there is room for the hardpoint and space for the wiring… the TADS already there can do the targeting." he muses. "Atmo-flight would be a pain, but so long as speed is kept to reasonable." Hmm… what IS Viper 'reasonable'… "It could work… might… lots of work and math and poking around to do before we get that far tho."

"You are allowed to hit Skath with hammers though," Gloria replies with a sly grin, "or so I've heard. Maybe you can just give him a heads up when it's safe to approach your boss, That’s a very valid contribution." Pulling out a seat to sit on she eyes the plans again then asks of Donovan, "are you going to end up losing much manoeuvrability, or is that yet to calculate? That off the top of my head is the main worry. You've got to clear them out of our way, and when more firepower on the ground never hurts, we don't want you lot being taken out before you can get there."

"You'd be the poor bastard flying her with the extra weight," McConnachie points out amiably. "And if it's all underneath like that..? Thrusters would need realigned, I'd say." She glances to Gloria as though for confirmation. "Not being funny or anything, but if a Viper could take more firepower, we're on the mark… what is it now? There's a lot of very clever engineers who get paid a lot more than you or I to improve the design every time, and I'd lay good money that if it was as easy as your diagram they'd have done it five or six versions ago. Just my opinion, mind. Vipers need to be manoeuvrable. Let the buses handle the bigger ordnance, no?"

Donovan shakes his head. "On the grand scheme, in vac, there is no loss." he says. "Balance and CG are easy to recalibrate and so are the thrusters." he then looks at another drawing. "Here… is where it gets hard." he says. "Take… Diaz." he says. "She is pretty small." he points at the math on the sheet. "Her Viper would be a the same with this mod as mine is now." he pokes his own chest. "Bigger, heavier…" he explains. "But even still, the math says that the power is there, it's just going to be a learning curve getting used to flying with the added drag." he picks up another piece of the paper. "I wanted to use a much longer range missile… be able to launch from stand-off range, like… over the horizon range." he says. "But the weight gets crazy with missiles that size." he sighs. "It's going to take time… that is for sure… and work." he says, however he does still sound hopeful.
He looks towards McConnachie. "I got these design drawing -from- the upgrade files." he says. "It was never put into practice cause of the cost and the fact that there was always a way to get Raptor support or so the memo I read says, but our situation now is a lot different than it was then." he pauses. Then then gets to the second part of the equation. "There is another reason for this… when Vipers are out and we can't or don't have Raptors… we are at the mercy of ground fire." he taps the drawing. "This could stop that."

"We can also build new Vipers," Gloria notes thoughtfully, "which we can't do with Raptors. Frak, if it works then it's worth a few test flights at least. Couse, then we've got to teach you stick-jocks to actually aim, not just spray-and-pray. I reckon some of you might get the hang of it though." The teasing in her tone is evident as she leans back in the chair and takes another swig of coffee. "Let me know when you're at the point you've got the sim-techs to mock it up would you? I'd like to see it in action."

Donovan nods and he says to Gloria. "That is another issue." he says. "We train with air to air's but not air to grounds." he looks back at all the work he has left to do. "I hope to have this all hammered out in another week, tops… and then see what Chief and the CAG think." Yep… he is doing all this on his own… so far. A voice calls from the corridor. "Corric… you waiting for a fracking invitation… CAP brief is in 5…!"

Donovan jumps up. "Frack." he mutters. "I'll keep you posted." he says and collects his papers and darts off to prevent being late for his brief.

McConnachie drains her mug, noting, "If all else fails, it means I'll never be out of a job. Good luck to you, sunshine. Might want to swing it by Engineering first, see if you can get some backup before going near the Chief, mind. Or bring her chocolate. And cheese. Plenty of cheese. She's a fiend for cheese."

Donovan looks over his shoulder and he nods. "Cheese… got it!" he runs into the hatch-frame. "Damn." he shakes his head running again. "Fracking cheese… right."

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