AWD #322: Projects and Yet More Projects
Projects and Yet More Projects
Summary: Engineering and Deck meet, then Air Wing joins in. Two friends reunite.
Date: 09/05/2016
Related Logs: None
Halena Toby Rourke 
Chief Engineer's Office - Deck 4 - Battlestar Orion
A small nine foot by nine foot office. Most of the floorspace is taken up by a desk and filing cabinets.
AWD #322

Between getting to know the ship and getting to know the people, Captain Tremaine's act of getting to know her office has fallen by the wayside. Rather than sitting behind the desk, where one metal chair is positioned in front of it for guests, today she's leaning against it, reading through a recent AAR in a manilla file, biting gently on her thumb as her hazel eyes scan the page. She looks almost exactly like she did the day of her first deck walkthrough — red hair pulled back in a ponytail, a few strands having escaped during the day's work. Coveralls, clean enough to show that she hasn't been putting in grunt time in the past few hours. She's poised on the edge of that desk, as if waiting for something or expecting something. Perhaps for the Crewman she sent a runner for, not too long ago.

Toby has been having a busy time of it of late, with work being thrown at him from all directions but when an officer calls you do just have to go and see what it is they want. He doesn't bother to change out of his coveralls as he heads down to the engine decks, but he does leave his tools behind incase someone might mistake him for a stoker and try and get him to do something work related while he's down there. The Chief's office is easy enough to find and he ducks through the hatch with out knocking, he is, after all expected.

At the ducking presence of a man in the doorway of her office, Halena lifts her gaze and her eyebrows as well. Not so much in a gesture of surprise, but almost like a personal reminder. Oh right, him. That sort of thing. "Crewman," Halena says, not unpleasantly. She rises from her position with her rear against the desk and folds up the AAR, gesturing to the single metal seat. "Please, have a seat. Thank you for taking the time to come and speak with me. I hope the timing isn't terribly inconvenient." She moves around the desk toward her own seat, still limping slightly.

"Captain," Toby replies easily enough, "no more inconvenient now than any other time." Taking the seat offered he waits for Halena to make herself comfortable on her side of the desk then asks, straight up and to the point, "what can I do for you?"

"Hmm," she says, thoughtfully as she settles herself into her seat. There's a touch of relief on her face once she's seated, and she no longer seems quite so tense-looking in the face region. "I have a job for you — well, Lieutenant Almadea has a job for you by way of me." Another manilla folder is removed and set on her desk. Very thin, this. She opens it to a page of her own notes and scans quickly, before setting it down and turning her eyes back to Toby. She gives the man her full attention. "It seems the Lieutenant is in posession of a cargo vessel that she would like seen refitted as a quarentine vessel, both for biological and technological contagins. Naturally a duty of this delicacy will be a joint effort between … stokers and Deck." A touch of a smile? Perhaps just. "You were recommended to me as someone whose skills might be suitable for such a project."

"My," repleis Toby with a smile of faint amusement, "the Lieutenant has been a busy little bee of late hasn't she. See," he figures an explanation would be useful, so provides it, "a couple of days ago she tracked me down and dumped an entire project on my head. Now, your project sounds emminantly more suited to my skills, but unless I can shift the other one then I'm simply not going to have the time to dedicate to it I'm afraid."

The smile and explination from Toby tilt the corners of Halena's lips up just a touch further, enough that it can be considered to be some manner of smile or smirk, not just the ghostly presence of one. "Is that so," Halena says, though her tone indicates it's not really a question. "She must think very highly of your abilities. And your ability to manage a workload. May I ask what it is she has you cornered on, this other project?"

"I suspect more that someone up there is lazy and can't be bothered actually looking at personnel lists," Toby replies in a tone that suggests he thinks int really fucked up this one. "They want me to take apart a captured raider to try and find ways to improve our tracking of them, which, as I told the good Lieutenant, I'm possibly the least qualified man on the deck to do. However, she didn't seem to understand when I put it to her, so I'm lumbered with it until I frak it up to a point it's irreparably damaged, or I can persuade someone who is qualified to take it instead. Trust me when I say I'd much rather be working on your's."

Halena seems infinately amused. "A noble end, to be sure," she says noncommittally — no, the officer won't be shit-talking anyone upstairs, but her tone and that smirk seem to make her sympathy for Toby's plight and opinion abundently clear. "I hope for my sake you frak and hoist quickly, then. But until then … I'd hate to have you dragged down here for nothing, so I'd like to pick your brain a little bit. The good Lieutenant has it in her mind that this quarentine ship should be used for Cylon technology. Particularly sat tech, the sort of nasty thing designed to obfuscate our communications and enhance their own. So, with that in mind … any initial impressions? Particular areas that jump out at you with red flashing lights to cause concern?" She tilts her head slightly, full attention still on Toby.

One thing Toby has never had any qualms about is shit-talking about anyone, brass or not, but he's not about to leap into a tirade when there's actual work to be done. "Oh I agree, it's definitely a project that needs to be looked at, it just needs attention from people who actually have a clue." Leaving it there he considers the question posed for a while before asking, "she wants us to use the ship to study their technology, or to start integrating it with our own in a controlled environment? Cos I've got to say, I'm far less worried about option one than option two there."

"Option one," Halena clarifies without any hesitation. "Though I wouldn't be surprised if option two pops its head up somewhere down the line … focus on option one for the purposes of this discussion." She fols her hands neatly on the table — despite the organized chaos in here, there's a sense of neatness, of everything in it's place even as the woman works on moving in fully. Halena seems like she might say more, but for the moment lets Toby have the floor and ruminate without any other interruptions.

"Good," Toby replies with a slow nod, "anyone seriously suggesting option two right now needs removing from anywhere where there are people who might listen and take it as a serious option." Leaning back in the chair he thinks again then states, "I'd start with passive systems, learn what we can about those before we start playing with anything that we could accidentally trigger to transmit. Even if we should be well out of range out here, that's playing with fire and I don't think we're ready yet for that."

"Therin lies the true nature of the challenge," Halena says. "The Lieutentant has indicated that they would like to have these devices as close to intact as possible for research purposes. Which means this cargo vessel will have to be outfitted under the assumption that whatever it is carrying is capable of transmitting." She shrugs a single shoulder. "Certainly doable, but a challenge none the less."

"We're not talking about doing this at P then I hope?" Toby replies, "so we'll need to leave space on the refit for enough raptors to evac the test crew onboard if everything fraks up. Other than that I suggest taking one appart when it's powered down so we can get an idea of transmitter power and infer from that a safe range. Not sure if adding shielding to the hull to black transmissions would be practical, nor if we even have the resources to do it, but I guess that's one thing we'd have to investigate when we have one to look at."

The redhead nodds in the affirmative once again. "That's correct — this will be strictly mobile. I don't, however, believe that this ship will have the luxuary of transporting research matrials that have already been taken apart. That's an ideal scenario, and will be recommended, but…" she wobbles her head a little, as if judging something in her mind. "…situations tend to dictate how tools like these are used, in my experience. I'd much rather go at this looking first at transmission blocking capabilities, as you mentioned, and if we find either practicality or resource challenges, we start pursuing other options." She bites very slightly on the left side of her lower lip in thought. "It truly is a shame you've been overburdened, I'd very much appreciate having you on board for this. If you can't hoist your current workload, may I ask who from Deck you might recommend to step up for something like this?"

"It seems like we're of a mind on where to start at least," Toby notes with a faint nod, "lets hope it's a fruitful search, and dictates from above do not hinder it." As his workload is mentioned again he offers a smile that says'what can you do?' then replies simply, "give me a day or two. I've still got some options regards others who could take the lead on the raider. If I can't convince any of them, then I'll give you names for yours."

Halena is sitting behind her desk in the small office, with an open manilla file in front of her. There's a few neat piles of other files nearby, and the filing cabinets themselves likely carry more, but are closed and organized for the time being. Toby is sitting in a seat across from the desk to the right, the only guest seat in the house. Halena has her hair in a ponytail with a few strands having fallen loose throughout the day, and is pale as a sailor and engineer should be. I mean who needs sun anyway? "That sounds fair. And of course, if a strategically placed flash of captain's bars might help make that shift more quickly … don't hesitate to let me know, hmm?"

Nose in a file for the moment, there's a sharp rap at the Engineer's door before awaiting entry. Once granted, Rourke slips in. "Chief, I was told there was a deckhand down here that Lieutenant Almaeda wanted me to talk to about setting up some Deck space and using him for an upcoming mission." Of course that means Toby. "And that I need to get a place set up for some research on the Deck." As if he's not asking enough favors. The file he carries and is looking over is not quite set aside just yet.

"I will," Toby replies to Halena, "thanks Chief." That said he starts to push himself to his feet, taking the trailing off of the conversation to be an effective dismissal. He's stopped though, by Rourke's enterance, and the pilot's words seem to cause him to frown. "If you want space on deck then you need to talk to the Chief," the Deck Chief that is, not Halena. "These pips here, they indicate 'crewman', aka, not the guy to come to for requests like that. Now, if you could kindly inform Lt Almaeda that there are other people who work in my department I'd be most grateful and I suspect it's end up wasting far less of both your time and mine."

Yeah don't talk to Halena about this, who right now has her eyebrows lifted again — this time in surprise at Rourke's presence. Perhaps he wasn't expected, but the surprise there indicates more than that. Genuine surprise not only at the arrival, but the person. Her hazel eyes stare for a moment, either at Rourke or right through him to some thought many a mile away. But Toby's voice draws her attention back to him, and reality. And while she still looks bewildered about something, she is also smirking. She doesn't interject, but rather simply watches and listens.

Oh. It's PO Smiley. Rourke remembers Toby immediately and he finally lowers the folder a little to peer at Toby. "Yes, they're nice pips. Which means you're also EVA qualified. I need a Deckie, and you and Diomedes were recommended. I'm taking one of the busses on a field trip to Aerilon to drag back a Raider from orbit so the powers that be can take it apart. Now you can both go, or you can draw straws or rock, paper, scissors, or whatever you do to decide who gets the frak duty, I don't really give a damn. I just need someone to attach a couple of tow lines." And now it becomes more clear why Fox pointed Rourke at Toby. "Chief's already approved the space, she wants to make sure it's shielded so incase it wakes up or whatever it is that they do, it's shielded and doesn't get orders to start blasting everything up."

And that's when he glances over at the Chief. And when their eyes meet, her own stare is reflected in his. There's a history there. Warm summer days of picnics. Saturnalia celebrations at Fleet HQ. "Hullo, Red." he offers to Halena for a moment, before coming back to reality and the here and now. He could possibly be knocked over with a feather. "Anyway, let me know when you feel like taking a field trip with Diomedes. Won't be picking up anything like a Viper jock this time."

It's fair to say that Halena's presence is largely mere background to Toby right now, as he and Rourke continue their habit of getting each other's heckles up. "If it's already sorted with the Chief then why waste time coming down here and telling me you need it sorted?" he retorts, before continuing to frown at the rapter-jock. "Yes, I'm EVA qualified, as are just about everyone on deck, and," he gestures to Halena now, "the stokers. As, for that matter are you, since we're apparently comparing quals. Now, as I'm sure you don't need reminding, if you want myself, or Alexios, on your little jaunt, you need to go through the Deck Chief and get her to order it, or at least check in with her to ensure she doesn't have something more important planned for our time. My orders come from her, not you, so if we're quite finished here, I have actual work of my own to do, despite what lieutenant Almaeda seems to think."

"Rourke," Halena says by way of greeting after he refers to her as 'red'. She doens't interject any more than that, rather letting the boys hiss and snarl at each other as they say fit. Her smile of amusement has faded to one of a debutante's pleasantness, because really it just wouldn't do to be smirking at other peoples' anger.

"I could just go ahead and hand you your orders now, Shackleton, or you can wait to bitch about it later. I don't give a damn either way. There's things I'd rather do than take a couple of Knuckledraggers off to Aerilon to pick up a wreck, but orders is orders." Well at least the two of them have that in common. Rourke sighs, and sets the file to the side. "But if you want to be a brat about it, I'll ask Diomedes instead. At least he seems to know his job and doesn't shirk his duties."

"You could try, /sir/" Toby replies pointedly, "but since you aren't in my chain of command, the end result would be largely the same, only you'd've made a fool out of yourself infront of the Captain as well." Helping. "Now, as I was saying, I have -actual- duties, passed on to me -through- my chain of command, that I need to be getting on with." Taking a step towards the hatch he gives Halena a faint incline of his head and departs with a simple, but polite "Captain," before ducking out of the hatch.

"That's enough, Rourke," The Captain finally pipes up, though her voice is quiet and even — resigned, not annoyed or angry. She does rise though, a bit of that tenseness returning to her features as she puts weight on her bad leg. As Toby moves to head out, she nods in his general direction. "Thank you again, Crewman. We'll talk soon."

"I have orders from Deck .. frak. What an ass." Rourke mutters, though as he leaves, he leans against the bulkhead. "…I think I owe you a hug. Or an exocism. I'm not sure which. Are you really here, Halena?" he asks, unsure of himself. After all, just a couple of days ago, he would have sworn he was kissed by Aphrodite.

"Not an ass," Halena corrects gently. "It sounds like the junior LT in Intel has handed that Crewman at least three seperate projects to either work on or run in additon to his additonal duties. He's getting pulled in about a dozen different directions as near as I can tell, and he's frustrated for it." She comes around the desk then, limping slightly though it doesn't seem to hinder her ability to move. Hug time indeed. "As here as you are, I imagine. You look wonderful." There's real pleasure in her voice at the man's presence.

"What happened to the leg? Where did they find you?" Rourke is a million questions as he closes the distance and wraps the redhead up in a tight hug. "Lords and ladies, I heard what happened on Caprica, I had assumed when Fleet was hit…" he trails off, pulling back to study her eyes. There's an unsaid question there. They were both married. And while he may have no longer been - Halena would probably be the only one that could tell him of Celeste's fate - and her own husband and father.

"I…" Halena starts to answer, looking down at her leg. It looks fine in coveralls, only the limp to tell that something happened. She doesn't really want her eyes to be studied, so she finds a lot of other things to glance at in other directions. Such fascinating bulkheads! "Daddy and Malcolm were on base, so…." Not a lot of hope there. "I was off at the time, and I tried to make it back I took some debris but was evacuated." She finally manages to look at him. Tears in her eyes but they don't go anywhere, they stay settled. She looks up and blinks them away, but then manages to give him a more hopeful smile. "Limited civilian casualties. My mother, I'm sure she's alive and fine. Celeste too, she'd have no reason to have been on-base that day so….not all bad news."

It's an automatic reaction. He reaches up to wipe away a stray tear from the corner of her eye as Rourke glances too towards her leg finally. "I was on a flight when they hit Picon. My ECO died in the first engagement, but I managed to stay aloft. Joined the resistance base there." He nods about Celeste, and says quietly, "Good. Hate to think all that alimony was getting garnished for no reason." It's a weak attempt at a joke. "I'm sorry, Halena." he finally says. "I'm sure you carry their coins with pride. How did you end up here?" he asks, not quite willing to pull away from her just yet - it's good to have a familiar face. "And do you have anything to drink? I just came off CAP, so if you have nowhere to be.." he leaves the suggestion in the air that they can catch up.

When he touches her face, it's proof positive there must be something there so she lowers her head to run her own index finger along her eye, just to be sure. She chuckles from her position with her head lowered. "You know it was never about the money. She said she hoped it would spur you to advancement, chasing the money. Sometimes she said that, anyway," Halena says. She takes a half step back to lean her rear on the desk, removing some weight from her leg. She's quiet for a bit when he asks her how she got here, taking a few breaths to make sure her face is clean. "Ah, evacced. Spent a few months in recovery, was transferred as ChEng for a frigate without one. Had a very talented deputy there though, with a little training was able to make him ready for the job. Rather than tear him from his crew, I took a reassignment." And here she is. She finally looks up at him when he asks about booze and chuckles. "No, not exactly a staple for me here. I'll walk you though," she offers.

"Coffee's better on this boat than it was back on Picon. We can walk that way, if you don't mind catching up." Rourke says, and shakes his head. "She never understood. I never wanted to jockey a desk, Halena. You know that. At the controls of a Raptor, it's all I ever really wanted." He steps back to offer her an arm of support, should she want it. "I came up after the Liberation of Picon just recently. There's a lack of experienced pilots in the fleet, so I got tagged." he gives her a fond litle smile. "Well, I feel a bit safer knowing she's in your hands, Halena." he says with a grin.

"I can't imagine resistance coffee has much to recommend it," Halena agrees, waving off the offer of his arm — she can do just fine, and seems to be better at walking than standing around. She'll close up the office behind her. "But I'm a snob, always preferred the real stuff even to the Navy's attempt at it." Door secured, she moves to walk with him. "I understand your position on the whole thing, Rourke. But I understand hers as well. If you want my boring, analytical thoughts on the matter, you two were too fond of each other to ever stop and ask if you were compatible." She says it easily though and yes, fondly for both the man here and the woman who is not. "But that might just be my view. I never was one for the idea of whirlwind romance." She's quiet for a bit then, her limp not as pronounced when they're able to walk at more or less a steady pace. Halean is obviously used to moving through the narrower halls around engineering, and the practiced debutante's sway of her hips helps disguise that limp a little. "How was it? On Picon? Was it terribly bad down there?"

"Fleet HQ, Perkinston, Queenstown, Pailyn.. all nuked on the opening salvo." Rourke reports grimly. "If I hadn't been on a fire-fighting supression mission, I'd probably been ashes too. There were two major players in the resistance - Brancroft, a general, and Colonel Carolyn Spree. Spree called me to ANVIL when the frak hit the fan, and I became part of her group. Brancroft was bat-slag crazy and tried to kill Orion's staff when they came down to Picon. So he had to be removed. By force." there's a frown at that. "We resisted since the start - they turned Crandall into a slave labor camp, refitting civilian ships to prisoner transports."

He considers her for a moment. "It was nearly nine months before Orion finally arrived to help liberate the place. Once that was done.. well, we spent a few months trying to rebuild and rearm, before we were pulled up here - closest I felt to Elysian Fields in forever, Halena." he admits. "Shackleton took my comment to mean that I was assuming you had it easy, wasn't the case.. but it is a step up from sleeping in a bag on the ground."

"I didn't take any offense," Halena assures the man as they move. "I've seen you with your dander up before." Likely with his ex-wife. "Go a bit easier on him, though. He's been given a project he apparently has no expertise in, and it sounds like the same Intel officer is giving him more and more. So he's chafing." She's quiet for a moment as they move, sidestepping an enlisted man who nods his head to Halena, but says little else — she's a stranger to them, even if she is in charge of them. She remains paused. "You ought to be leading the way, once we leave Engineering I'm not entirely sure where I'm going. You mentioned to Shackleton that you had another mission upcomming — when do you leave?"

"I'm sure your leg still looks fine in a high cut black strapless." Rourke gives her a little wink, before he nods. "You don't know yet? Smell sewer, you're closer to the mess than the head." A grin is offered before he makes way for the crewman as well, pausing to look back towards her. She's still the same beauty that paled around with his ex, but.. a sympathetic ear. There's a momentary blush before he considers her question. "Have a debriefing on a mission from a couple of days ago, first, and then as soon as I can gather an ECO and a Deckie or two, I'll be on my way and back - unless you feel like taking an EVA walk - but I think command would frown at me for taking the Chief out for a repo job."

Halena smiles good-naturedly at his wink and compliment. "I certainly wouldn't know — haven't been sleeping on the ground, but certainly haven't had much in the way of luxuary either. I miss chiffon," the redhead sighs, following along now behind the man. "And wine." A few more steps along with him, and then a light chuckle. Not quite a laugh, but laugh-ish. "I do think it'd be frowned on for me to step out when I've only just arrived. I'm sure that'd have more than one person's panties in a twist. Besides, I'm sure you and Shackleton could use the bonding time."

"Pfft." Rourke says as he moves with the natural ease of a pilot as he leads the way to the stairwell. "Rather take Diomedes, to be honest. Good knuckledragger, proved his worth in the recovery of a Viper pilot and the Raptor that crashed into the Orion a couple of weeks back." he comments as he walks, and considers. "When I get back, want to grab a movie in the Rec Room or something, catch up a little?" It's not a date request. Well, not entirely. And with the news of her husband's loss still fresh - he's not going to push.

"Of course." Halena's easy response to his question might indicate that she does not, in any way, consider it a date. They have history, they knew each other, and knew each other's significant others. No doubt there's catching up to be had. "Any thoughts on how long you'll be gone? I tend to bury my head in the engine rooms too much — never entirely sure who is coming or going on the rest of the ship, lately. War time schedules seem a lot … well not different. We always drilled. But intense."

"Jump to Aerilon? Quick as a bunny. Maybe a few hours to handle the Raider recovery, since we're going to have to scout the battle wreckage to find one that's mostly intact." Rourke admits as he shrugs his shoulders. "Couple of more hours to get it all hooked up for tow and tug it onto the Orion. It'll take most of the day, but I'll try not to keep you waiting too long. You have a chance to visit Piraeus yet?" he asks casually as they head up the stairs.

Halena is remarkable comfortable on the steps despite her limp, though there is always that tenseness on her face when she's on her feet. "I haven't, but I've heard talk of it. Doesn't quite sound like a place where I can get a fine vintage and some quail eggs," she teases. "I assume you've been," she says, not really having an idea for how long the man's been here or not. "Damn convenient that they had all that in the works. Fortunate, I suppose I ought to say."5r

"Barely been here two weeks. Only part of Piraeus I've seen has been from the Raptor or Observation Deck viewer." Rourke admits as they go up one more flight onto the main deck. "If by quail eggs, you mean green dehydrated eggs and by vintage, you mean grape juice, could be just the place for you." he grins. "Next time I have to do a supply run, I'll see if I can find you something more your speed, Halena." It's a lightly made promise.

Halena smiles. "That's very kind of you, but I don't need any special treatment," she says easily. "Everyone complains, doesn't make mine any more valid because I miss fancy things. I get by," she assures him as the walk. "Like you say, it could be a lot worse. You get it. I'm sure Celeste never let you sleep on anything but silk, herself. Where I miss those types of things, I'm fairly certain she's incapable for surviving without them," the redhead teases, ever so lightly.

"You're not kidding. Though there was nights where I missed those sheets and had to imagine the thick wool blanket was those silk sheets." Rourke says with a slight chuckle. "The bunks here aren't bad, though." the pilot admits as they continue to walk towards the mess hall. He doesn't want to think about what Celeste is probably sleeping on - if she's alive. He's heard of the experiments on civilians on Caprica.

"It sounds like thick wool might have been better for you than silk, all things considered. I don't recall ever camping in silk … though we always just used the cabin." No doubt Rourke and Celeste visited the 'cabin', which was a large house in a rural location. "Bunks and barracks seem a damn fine middle ground, I imagine."

"Bunks feel better than ever at the moment - and you never looked in the bags Celeste packed, did you?" Rourke asks teasingly. As he starts to head to the mess hall, there comes an intercomm message for Lieutenant Stavros to report to the bridge. He sighs. "Probably wants to talk about my report from the other day." he mutters, looking a little haunted for a moment, but it's clearly something he either can't or don't want to talk about yet. "I need to go take care of that. I'll see you later?"

"I wasn't in the habit of snooping, no. And I don't think I regret not snooping, given the look on your face," Halena jokes, gently and quietly, back. At the announcement, she also pauses. "Of course. You know where to find me. Take care Rourke, and do be careful, hmm?"

Pausing for just a moment to give Halena's hand a squeeze, Rourke offers a grin. "It's really good to see you, Halena. I will be. See you soon." with that, he lets go and gestures. "Mess hall is to the left!" he calls out as he heads back the way they came.

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