AWD #365: Pandora's Coffin
Pandora's Coffin
Summary: Shackleton and Tremaine open the box.
Date: 21 June 2016
Related Logs: All Coffin Logs.
Toby Halena 
The Iron Pilgrim
Secured hanger bay.
AWD #365

Ah, the Iron Pilgrim. Now fully functional, the beastly-sized cargo vessel is orbiting in Pireaus space, opposite the fleet. You know, in case of accidents. Or catastrophies. The team working to test and scan the Pilgrim's newest aquisition - a six foot by four foot black coffin with Colonial Navel Intelligence Service markings - will have to arrive by Raptor and suit up on the flight deck before moving through the airlock to where the item is anchored. Gravity has been activated in the bay, but still no life-support. The coffin is smooth, black metal, making it almost blend with the black metal walls, floor, and ceiling of the bay. On one side, two nozzels are visible, with a greenish ice caked inside of them. "Alright," Halena's voice speaks clearly over the comms. Crisp. Professional. "Steer clear of the nozzels. We'll need to collect a sample for Dr. Nadir, but the main focus today is to determine if this thing has any more booby traps and if we can safely open it."

Toby is no great fan of working in an EVA suit, but it's not the worst of jobs, so when he gets assigned it there's a small amount of grumbling with the other knuckledraggers and then he's off to Iron Pilgrim. Suited and booted he eyes the large box suspiciously from a distance at first, grumbling over comm, "Fleet Intel markings, but they're no where in sight when we're poking at it." The 'bloody typical' is left unsaid, but it's likely obvious to anyone there that he's thinking it. Still. There's work to be done an dhe advances on the object with a heat detector in his hand and starts the slow process of checking for any anomalies in it's surface temperature. "You want me to scan the nozzels?" he asks, given he can get readings from several meters away if required, "or skip that area for now?"

"Skip it for now," Halena says, starting to work in the opposite direction on the long side opposite Toby, checking her readings on her own hand-held geigercounter. Neither Toby's search for a heat signature or Halena's search for radioactivity will produce anything thus far. She shifts a half-step to the side, continuing her scan. "Yes, I recommended that the Intel staff stay behind while tests were being conducted, in case we trigger another trap." He can likely hear that touch of conversational smile in her tone. "For our sakes, of course. I've never had the pleasure of dealing with the aftermath of an Intel officer too near to an explosion, but I imagine it's quite the headache."

Logging the string of predictably boring results on on datapad attached to the arm of his suit Toby grumbles something only vaguely coherant about intel officers and honest days work, then moves to stow the sensor gun and grab another. LIDAR this time, to looks for any minute lumps or bumps that might give a clue to, well, to anything really. "So," he continues as he runs a quick calibration scan on the bulkhead, "what do they reckon this is, or are they entirely stumped?"

"If you want to know the truth? They think it's one giant booby trap," Halena admits, candidly. She too seems to come up with nothing, so she moves to the wall to one of the bags brought out full of equipment, and gets something new out. It looks like a mini-thermos. She makes her way back, going for the nozzel this time to collect a sample. "But to be honest, I'm not convinced. From what I understand there's a highly-redacted file in one of the archives that discusses an unknown object very similar to this one. Why highly redact a file on a giant booby trap?" She moves slowly to her knees, her limp indiscernable under the bulk of the EVA. Scratch scratch at the ice, knocking chunks into her little container. "Do you think the LIDAR scan will be able to pick up differences fine enough to indicate a pressure trap? My big fear now is that the top, or the door, or something is pressure-sensitive to trigger another defensive mechanism."

"Well that explains why they aren't here," Toby notes darkly, "I'm surprised we haven't jumped to make doubly sure we can't threaten their precious desks." Turning the tripod round to allos the laser to point towards the box he waits for Halena to finish so he doesn't scan her as well. "Surface only I'm afraid. I mean, it might pick up a small elevted area on a surface, but know if thats structrual, or something else is beyond it's capability. X-Ray might be able to tell you that sort of thing mind, provided it isn't shielded."

There's a soft chuckle that mutters across the comms at Toby's comment. "We built this thing to be at least blast-resistant. Have a little faith in our work. I'm sure the coffee cups back on-board won't even tremor." Halena screws the cap tightly onto the thermos, creating a strong seal before she goes back to the equipment. She returns, with slow steps, bearing a rolled-up shield and an arm and stand for an x-ray. "I'll bet you a pot of good coffee that this is shielded, but I suppose we ought to check the box, hmm? Come give me a hand with putting this together, when you get a chance." Then there's a little pause. "Did you enjoy your Saturnalia?"

"It might be blast resistant," Toby notes as he sets the Lidar going on this side of the box, "-I'm- not though." With the laser darting back and forth he can leave it for a minute or so before he needs to move it to the next side and repeat the process. Stepping over towards Halena he is careful to keep out of the way of the active scan while they set up for the x-ray. "Not going to take that bet," he notes, then shrugs once, "Saturnalia? I was working."

"All the more incentive for us not to screw this up then," the Captain respondds, easily and conversationally. She begins to screw the base together. "Foolish of me, should have done this when we were packing everything up and I wasn't in an EVA suit…" She's quiet for a few moments as she gets the base put together. "Working? That was good of you, gave some others the opportunity to go below and … well I won't quite say enjoy themselves but … imbibe might be a better descriptor." She pauses for a moment. "Any readings that might be a pressure trigger?"

With the scanner beeping to indicate that it's done for now Toby moves it round to the carefully measured point on the next side and sets it going again. "Can't really tell until I get all the sides done," he replies, "or all the ones we can access anyway. I'll put the point cloud together when we have a complete dataset rather than trying to read anything from an incomplete one." It's not long though before there's another beep and he's moving to side 3. "You wanting to x-ray in from teh top or sides?"

"Both," Halena responds, now standing as she works on putting the rotating arm onto the stand where the camera will fit. "Like you said, you're not blast resistant. And neither am I. Taking a few extra pictures might give us even a touch more information. Unless you have any quicker or better ideas for seeing through this thing." Which, by her tone, she is totally open to.

"I take it someone's had a go at UV, IR, and black lights?" Toby asks as he waits for side three to finish and then moves round to side four. "Don't reckon that's get you much beyond surface, but it's something else to try anyway." As for seeing through it, well, he's silent on that one, he's gone through the options he knows, well bar, "how about an anti-tank gun, that might show us what's inside?"

Halena makes a sound that is remarkably similar to a normal person's chuckle. She laughed! "You're correct, technically. We'll have to add that to the list just below kicking it and swearing at it." Finally the arm is screwed together, and she moves to the camera, lifting it grudgingly into place and starting to slide it onto the mountings. "Yes, I had the auxiliary crew do a few things on their own that seemed perfectly safe to me. All negative. We may just end up calling the Marines in here after all, when all this is said and done."

Once that fourth beep is hear toby turns off the laser and moves the tripod so Halena can get in with teh x-ray. Downloading the data he starts the process of tidying it up into something useful as he comments, "marines? Well, I supose if we do end up resorting to kicking it then they might be able to manage that. Not sure I'd trust them not to accidentally space themselves though."

"Get in there…" Halena grunts at the camera as she shimies it this way and that to get it on the mounting. Finally it slides into place with a satisfying sshhiick-click! "You certainly do enjoy your inter-deck rivalries, don't you?" The ChEng asks, good-naturedly, as she begins her schlep around the coffin to the other side where she can set up the screen.

"Can't see anything obvious on first pass," Toby notes as he looks at the screen, "got a bit more cleaning I can do, but I suspect it'll come back negative." Then, at the mention of rivalries he glances up to her and deadpans, "no, I just don't like marines." He leaves it at that though, not seeming particularly keen to be drawn out further. Then after a few more clicks he shakes his head again, "nope, all clear here."

"May I ask why?" Maybe he doesn't seem too keen to discuss it, but Halena is at least politely curious. She listens to his report on the LIDAR results while setting up the screen. That, at least, only takes a minute or two, even in the bulky EVA suit. She sighs. "I think we're just grasping at straws here. No matter how advanced technology gets … you have to open the box to know if the cat is alive or dead." She starts to haul her EVA-ed ass back to the camera.

Toby seems to consider the question for a quick moment as he starts dismantling the LIDAR, then replies flatly, "no," not even turning to look at her as he does so. Busying himself with dismantling the equipment and stowing it carefully he only turns back once that's done. "So," he starts, changing the subject, "at what point do we just crack it open?"

"Fair enough," Halena responds, just as conversationally. She manuevers the arm with the X-ray on it quickly and easily, moving it around this way and that to start to try and get it lined up. "Well, after this … I'm rather out of ideas. I think 'open the door' should come before 'kicking it' or 'shooting it', but that's just my opinion."

Toby stays out of the way as the X-ray is fired up, not that the amount of radiation is likely to be an issue, but the break from exerting himself in the suit is nice. A quick glance as teh pressure and atmo readings show all is well and then he turns his attention back to the box. "You're the boss," he notes. "Want to get that sample for the Docs out first? Just incase it does explode?" He's not yet asking just who is going to be doing the openning, figuring as the FNG it'll be him.

The camera clicks silently in the airless spcae of the cargo container, and after a few moments the image flashes on screen, showing a fuzzy shape that resembles the coffin. Nothing within. "Oh f-" Halena says, catching herself before she manages a curse. "Yes, just move the shade to the nose first for me while I reposition this? Then you can bring the sample through the airlock to the medical bay, and stay there until I say so."

Fetch and carry, it's almost like Toby is enlisted. It's something that's easy enough to do though so he repositions the screen, waits for Halena to indicate that he's got it right, then heads to find where she deposited the flask. Strapping it to the leg of his suit he waits for her to need it repositioning again and asks, "you volunteering then? I'll make sure the cameras and such are set up so we get a good feed." You know, just in case.

"Please do. I'd hate for all of this to be for nothing," the Captain responds, pausing to take another series of pictures. "And yes, I'd rather you waited in the med bay. Your Deck Chief can, I bet, be a terror when she wants. I'd rather not be on the receiving end for losing one of her crewmen." This picture, at least, makes her hum. "The top … is a little thinner than the rest, near as I can tell. But otherwise it could just be a whole pack of explosives, for all I know," the woman sighs.

"Crowbars and other tools of limited violence are over with the rest of the kit," Toby notes as he starts towards the airlock, "shout out if there's anything else you need bringing through." Stepping into the lock he starts the cycling sequence, keeping an eye on the atmospheric readings as he does so, then, as he waits for the pressure to equalise, slips the thermos into a quarentine pouch. "Try not to blow the whole ship up," he offers cheerfully, before the other door opens and he can crack open the neck seal and remove his helmet.

Even though Toby is through the airlock, the comms continue to function admirably and he sounds as though he's right nearby. "It would seem that it takes the prospect of me potentially being blown to bits to make you cheerful. Duly noted." She swings the camera back out of the way, not bothering to move the equipment. Either it'll get blown up with her or … it'll get blown up with her. Placement doens't really matter. So the woman instead moves to the coffin. "Generally speaking, tools of limited violence should have little role to play in mechanical engineering. I suppose you could call this demo, though." So she moves to pick up the nearby crowbar, since there appears to be no handle or knob that she can use for the door. "Video's up?" she asks.

"Give me a sec," Toby grumbles lightly, "you jsut have to walk to the box, I've got to navigate this sodding ship." It does take a few minutes in the end, before he's happy that the sample has been handed over to the right people, and he's made it back to the observation area. "Pictures clear," he notes, "you sure you want to open this in a vaccum? Last chance to change your mind."

Halena was poised with the crowbar, ready to start to work it into the crack and try to force the door open. But with Toby's question, she lowers it a bit, and turns to look toward the window into the flight deck where Toby is watching her. He may have difficulty seeing her face, but her head is tilted in such a way as to display her incredulousness. "Well I was until you asked me that." She sighs once more, turning back to the coffin. A breath. Two. Working herself up to the fun. And then she brings the crowbar tip down hard, wedging it firmly into the crack of the hatch. If not for that vaccume, there would likely have been a thunking noise. And then? Nothing happens.

Toby double checks that the camera feeds are actually recording, then folds his arms over his chest and watches while a great deal of nothing happens. "Any hint of movement at all?" he asks, "if it's just extra force that's needed then we can rig things up for that."

"I think I've got it," Halena's voice cracks over the comms, perhaps sounding just a touch strained. "I just … kind of wanted to wait and see what would happen. So much for my pressure trigger theory." And then, slowly, the bulky EVA suit shifts and moves to slide the crowbar underneath. The top lifts rather easily, comparatively, and once it's off the tracks enough it slides off the coffin and on to the floor with pure silence. No explosions yet. Halena's suit moves to stand over the hole in the top of the coffin now and stare down. Pause. Pause. "Huh." Whatever that means. "You'd best suit up and come back in, Shackleton. We've got some dismantling to do."

There's a brief grumbling over the comms as Toby picks up his helmet again and heads for the airlock once more. There's anotehr tech there to make sure all the seals engage correctly and then he's heading through to go see just what has been revealed. As he approaches the coffin he looks down into it and asks, "all righ tthen, just what are we looking at?"

Inside is a small microwave communications dish that reselmbles a very high powered SCAMP terminal system. For the moment, no other dangers or traps appear to be poised or triggered. Halena, once Toby makes his way over, looks up at him. She's smirking, just a touch. Might be something to do with not being dead and all. "I'm sure I'll care in a few minutes as to what it is exactly, other than some sort of communication system. But for the moment I'm stuck between feeling relieved it's not a bomb and smug that it's not a bomb."

"You know what," says Toby as he stands over the coffin and looks in, "I reckon this is CIC's problem. They've got comms techs who can give it a thorough going over in a way that won't risk it transmitting when it shouldn't. I mean, we can lift it out if you want, but I know I can't really tell you anything about it. Not my area of expertese and all that."

Halena nods as she looks back to the coffin. "That's fair," she agrees. "Alright, I'll let them know. Let's get this cleaned up then, and not touch it otherwise. Once we get a comms person in here to get this thing safely dismantled, we can work on taking the rest of the coffin apart for any other security measures." Her helmet turns toward Toby. "Sound good?"

Toby activates his helmet cam to get some quick footage of the contents, and any insignia or writing on it, then steps back and nods his agreement. "Sounds about right. You want to head through first and get onto them while I tidy up in here? If they have bodies to spare we can head back on the same raptor they send thm over in. Save time and all that."

"I won't argue that," Halena says, moving to lumber her big self toward the airlock. "Good work on this, Shackleton. Thank you." With that, she steps into the lock, and starts the procedures that'll finally allow her to get out of this big stupid suit.

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