PWD #04: Rats, Rock and Roll, and Rocks
Rats, Rock and Roll and Rocks
Summary: After making a discovery on the Hangar Deck, Augustus goes to discover the root of the problem.
Date: 01/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Ekho Augie 
Laboratories - Deck 4 - Battlestar Orion
The Sciences department aboard the Orion has its primary facilities down here in labs surrounded by various gear. Each lab has its own label on the outside of the hatch and much of the hallways in this area are Limited Access to personnel. Hatches with names such as 'Stellar Cartography', 'Xenobiology', and 'Planetary Physics' line the halls, each one stocked with the equipment and capabilities needed by the Fleet to complete its surveys.
PWD #04

There's one thing you can always count on in the labs. It's loud. Okay, that's a complete lie. MOST of the labs are actually rather quiet. But there's always one bad bean that spoils the soup, and at the moment, it's the lab down at the far end of the hall. 'Biosystems Engineering' is the placard on the hatch, and just at the moment, there's music blaring so loudly, traces of it are leaking out around the soundproofing seals. it seems, if one were to look in through the window in the hatch that the (mad) Cap is in. Her jacket's off, the rest of her uniform isn't, and she seems to be working on a scale model of a biosphere, a set of blueprints spread out on the table next to her.

*Clunk, Clunk, Clunk* Walking down the hallways, Augustus Garrido is a very rare sight in the halls of what he affectionately calls 'The Braniacs Billets'. He grunts as he glances in the windows, much like a kid visiting the freak show at the local carnival. Behold, the ponytail twister and her plant pod people! Or Gene, the Astrophysist with four eyes!

He doesn't see anyone he really wants to interact with. The nerds shall inherit the universe, indeed. That is until that call of music catches his ears and his head swivels to seek out the source of the noise. Because if it ain't country twang, it's just trash. He catches a glimpse of Ekho working inside. Aha. He raises up his left hand to bop on the glass and then pauses.

It's still wrapped up in fresh bandages and ties, and he frowns. "Frak." With his other hand occupied, he instead bangs his foot against the wall to get her attention before heading over to open the door.

Ekho, sadly, doesn't hear the kicking at the door, because, upon closer inspection, she has some industrial strength ear plugs stuffed in her ears. But the shift in air currents and pressure as the hatch unseals she does notice, not to mention the sudden and complete cessation of the music as the hatch opens and she turns, holding up a hand as she unseals the plugs and pulls them out of her ears. "Chronos on a crutch, that is the worst shit I have ever not heard. Still alive, El-Tee?"

"Aww, yer sweet, Captain Doctor." Augie says with a smirk. "Though I doubt that's me yer feeling." the DCO offers as he makes his way into the room. "Nice digs ya got here, our tax cubits well spent." A grin at that, and pats himself. Her question, for just a moment, catches a flash of something in his eyes. A trained eye will catch that comment hit home someplace.

"Got a present for ya, Doc." With that, he drops the container in his right hand onto the nearest table. Inside is a very drowned and decomposing rat. He made sure the container remains sealed. Damage Control Biohazard protocols for the win. "Captain Delacroix fished this out of a pipe she was helping me flush up in the hangar the other day."

So why bring it down here? The rat's right ear has a red tag in it. The tag itself has the name 'Calliope' on it.

"Sweet as Ambrosia, it's so good of you to notice." Ekho, tucking the ear plugs away, sets down the modeling supplies she was working with back into the supply box she got them out of, "I like to keep the cigars, booze and women behind closed doors. What the government doesn't know won't hurt it." There's a sharpening, in there, perhaps in the narrowing of her eyes, or the crease between her brows, that she notices something about the man's change in demeanour, but perhaps she's too polite to comment on it for the moment, "Presents!" The box is accepted, and, after properly gloving up, openned. "Calliope is a wonderful name. But it looks more like a Nike."

"Heh. Those are the only reasons why I tolerate ya." Augie winks at the doctor. The rat is just a rat. The marking is plain, crude. Probably some greenie snuck it on board and it got out. "It looks more like dead meat to me. Anyway, it one of yers?" he asks as he folds his arms across his chest, subconsciously protecting his damaged hand as he waits for her reaction.

"Have you been speaking to my husband? 'Cause that's just what Galen said to me at our last anniversary dinner. 'Hon, you know I only keep you around cause you bring the best girls home.'" The rat she puts down, heading back to one of her cabinets, pulling out a small hand scanner. "Tell you in a jiff." Ekho returns to the box, nonplussed by the state of the thing, turning and scanning, "We tag and record all of our specimens. But there's microchip in this one and no sign that anyone dug it out before they sent it wandering. But if you want to doublecheck, we can run through the list over in the farm."

"Well, sounds like me and your hubby would be besties." A snort at that. "Damn Jiggly Squadron's been rubbing off on me. Frak that." Augie smirks widely as he settles back. "I'd like it if ya'd run it fer me, Doc. I need to know if this is one stray, or if we have an infestation. Bad enough that the Marines and Pilots are frakkin like bunnies at every drop of a leave, but I don't need the rats doin it too."

He pauses for a moment, and sets a cigar on the table. A true gift. Because he's about to ask something. "So, Ekho. About that damn hole y'all sent me to drag yer bits out of.. what's the deal? Noone's told me shit, and if I get orders to drop in there to finish the job, I want to know what I have to deal with. I was told low rad yield, not 'cook my nuts so I can't make bebes' rads."

"Yeah, he's not bad for a raptor stick. Next time you're on Caprica, look him up. You two could make a night of it." Ekho sets aside the scanner, heading back to the drawer for a datapad and some sheets of paper hardcopy, "Too many tits on the flight deck for you?" She doesn't sound at all put off by the notion, "Somehow, I don't think it's just the marines and the pilots. But I'll see if we can't get a crew together to start scanning the ship looking for hotspots. She pauses, looking down at the cigar. It's not that her expression changes, or the look of her face shifts, but it does, sort of. She suddenly looks just…more serious. And less like the slightly manic, possibly insane scientist she usually comes across as. "Until I can get back down there, all I have is conjecture, Lieutenant. What I can conjecture, is that there is some sort of deposit down there emitting enough radiation that it took an entire layer of granite above it to shield it. And our drills are destroying that shield. What that deposit is, I can't say yet. But it certainly is not naturally occuring, nor is any material strong enough to destroy the allows we use in our equipment."

"Captain, and I say this with all due respect, is bullshit." Augie frowns, arms folded over his chest as he considers the doctor. "I'm not the braniac that you and Doc Rocks are, but I've dealt with rads before. And a 'deposit' don't pump that many rads into a bit that fast." he says. "I checked the files, but I didn't find anything, but are we dealing with a crash site?" he finally asks point blank.

"It's not bullshit, Lieutenant." And there's much more ire in the Captain's voice than is usual for her. "But would you prefer I start jumping off the deep end and throwing out conspiracy theory laden conjecture? What I know is that this level of radiation is not naturally occurring. Neither is any alloy with enough tensile strength to destroy our mining equipment. But whether it's some sort of alien technology, the remnants of some ancient bombardment or some sort of crash site I will not be able to say until I can get back down to the surface. So until I can say with certainly what exactly it is we've got down there, it gets labeled a deposit." Ekho takes a moment, before she continues, "And the files are shit. Most of the planetary scans they ran before we got here are practically useless."

"Frak." Augie backs down just a little. "I ain't trying to crawl up your ass, Doc. But it was my balls dangling down there on the line, and I'm trying to make sure of what it is before I go back in." his expression softens just a little as he considers the options, none of them sound good. "Ya think with the amount of rads it was putting out, everything in the area would be dead. It's shielded?" he suggests, looking back up towards her.

"Too bad." Ekho seems well able to put her bad mood behind her, "Look," she turns, heading to her desk and pulling out some sketches she's been working on of the area, setting them down so Augie can look them over, "If I could have gone down in your place I would have, Lieutenant. If I could get access to a free bird, I'd fly down there myself, but the 'Sciences' on my jacket tends to put the deck crew off." A lift of her shoulders, almost a shrug, "It was shielded. From what Rocks was able to ascertain, there's a layer of granite over the deposit that shielded the radiation. But we have no way of knowing if the granite was placed there, or if it occurred as a result of an earthquake of some kind. But whichever it came from, we're looking at something that happened five to eight hundred years ago. This was not some secret military operation gone wrong."

"Alright." Augustus accepts the skinny from Ekho. "That's all I really need to know, Captain." he draws in a breath and lets it out slowly as he considers the response from her. "Well, if you ever decide you want to jockey down there to check it out, I'll go diggin in the slop for ya. Just don't tell Galen, he may not like the idea." A smirk at that. "Not to mention Ceres would probably have my ass in a sling, too. Anything else I might need to go, or should I leave ya to that trash ya claim is music, and I go get these bandages changed?"

"If you can get me a spaceframe, we've got a date. And nobody will ever have to know." You know, except CIC who'll be wondering why a ship is taking off without approval. "I like to live dangerously." Ehko folds back up the sketches, before she comes to her full height, "Believe me, I'm not listening to it. But I can't concentrate with these damned alarm klaxons going off all hours of the godsdamned day. So…I borrowed something loud enough to mask the alarms, crank it up as high as it will go, and these," she pulls out the ear plugs, "are strong enough that it all turns into white noise in the background. Problem solved." Her expression softens, then, and for a moment, she looks, well, much as she probably looks when it's her kids she's looking at and not some half-decomposed rat. "Go take care of you, I'm not going anywhere." And then, it fades, and there's that slightly cracked mask she wears over, one would imagine, the real Ekho Lin, "But if you start growing things in unusual places, I want to see."

"Discretion's a good thing to have, lass." Augustus chuckles and offers the doctor a wink. "Just a few more days, the checks are almost done. The Egghead Division just takes more cause y'all have all these labs and dangerous shit." And he probably is doing it just to torture them, anyway. He tips his fingers to the side of his head in a salute. "I'll see ya around, Doc." And with that, he saunters out of the lab. As he does so, he hums a melody to himself. It's haunting and nothing like his usual crunchy Tauron music choices, just.. a few bars.

And then the door closes behind him to leave Ekho to her work.

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