AWD #345: Rush Job
Rush Job
Summary: Remember that four week Iron Pilgrim retrofit? Yeah, have it ready in three days, Intel says.
Date: 1 June 2016
Related Logs: All Iron Pilgrim Logs
Elias Halena 
The Iron Pilgrim Cargo Vessel
While light cargo ships such as this have a series of bays for moving freight and men, this particular bay is the largest. It is currently undergoing a retrofit. All unnecessary materials have been stripped, and the space is instead littered with men and tools. Scaffolds have been set up, allowing workers to access the high walls and ceilings. Most appear to be busily drilling and welding to cover the space with blast-resistant paneling. However, the most remarkable piece of work is happening along the starboard side of the bay — a new wall is being erected, with large cargo doors to allow access between the larger space and the smaller one. There‚Äôs not too much work going on in the smaller space, just now, save for the building of that partition.
AWD #345

The Iron Pilgrim is a standard cargo vessel. There are hundreds, thousands even in the navy and for the time being this one is no different. It has several large cargo bays, is designed to carry great weights, and as a result can often be slow when it's full. Today, in it's orbit over Piraeus, the Pilgrim is one thing that it's bretherin around it are not — busy. Not just busy hauling freight either. The Iron Pilgrim is awash with men in jumpsuites armed with welders and power drills doing strange things. Building walls. Tearing down internal paneling. Brining in new internal paneling. Amidst it all is a pale, redheaded woman with a limp. She sports a jumpsuite, her hair is pulled back in a pony, and there's a clipboard in her hands and a satchel bag of tools hanging over her shoulder. She watches the work with bright-eyed interest, waiting for her next meeting.

Arriving aboard one of the Raptors from Orion is a young officer, or at least quite young-looking for the Major's pips on the collar of his blues. Elias comes armed with a clipboard full of papers and a pen, and he steps off the bus to stroll through the busy cargo ship, trying not to draw any extra attention to himself. Meanwhile he's assessing both the progress and the on-going work, lips compressed in a thoughtful line. It's not long before he spots the red-haired woman, though it takes the Intel officer a moment to decide that person in the work jumpsuit is indeed the officer in charge. "Captain Tremaine?" he tries to confirm as he closes the distance to a more conversational range, voice raised about the din.

Halena turns to the left, favoring that leg and keeping weight off her right one for the duration of the motion. Most likely she expects to see one of the techies with a question, or something along those lines. But an unidentified Major? Well that's at least a bit of a surprise. Her brows lift just slightly at the sight of the man, but otherwise she remains pale and professional-looking. "Yes sir, Major," the woman says easily, speaking in a manner that's been perfected over the years by a very proper upbringing. She starts walking toward him, her limp noticable but not overly pronounced. "I wasn't aware to be expecting visitors. How may I be of assistance, sir?"

There's a nod for her confirmed identity, then Elias offers a faint smile at Halena's surprise. "I'm Major Gray, Fleet Intel Officer," he explains in a matter of fact tone. "No cause for alarm, and I don't want to interrupt your work. I only wanted to see how things were progressing." It's not exactly an apology for arriving unannounced, but at least he does acknowledge the distraction his visit represents.

While Halena had no idea who this Major could be or what he could want, the revelation doesn't appear to come as a surprise to her. Perhaps years in the Navy have hardened her to the surprise visits of seniors. "Of course," she says, speaking easily and politely. She gestures with her free hand deeper into the large cargo bay. "This way, please. I'll be happy to take you around unless you've any particular area that you'd like to view first, Major. Though I would warn you — there's very little heartening to see in a ship that's in the process of being retrofitted. Something about having all the innards spilled out of the floor can look depressing, so I'll assure you immediately that most of our demo is proceeding as necessary. And of course, I'm happy to answer any questions you may have as we go."

Elias nods at the invitation, turning to follow Halena's lead further into the ship. "Mmmm," is all he says for the state of the vessel, a rather carefully neutral sound that betrays little in the way of opinion. The mess doesn't seem to bother him at any rate. "We have an unknown object we'll need to quarantine for study, as soon as possible. Any estimate on when that might be ready?"

"I recieved word just this morning that the timetable needed to be moved up," Halena says by way of response. A crewman walking by pauses to give her a peice of paper with some updated numbers on it; the redhead glances over them and tucks them into her file before continuing along. Limp or not, she's able to keep a comfortable pace. "My understanding is that your newest aquisition is known to be technical in nature only." Because the Raider, for example, isn't. "If that's the case, we'll be able to have this space here," she gestures around her with both hands. "Secured … to an extent whenever you'd like it. Ideally I'd like to have the attached medical bay also secured, even if it's nothing more than an empty room, before you bring anything in here. But … we're still working on preceisely how to handle the transmission blocking capabilities and emergency dump procedures. So my question to you is … are those features needed to safely handle what it is you've obtained? The less features you need, the faster I can have it done for you."

"I see," Elias says, looking a little relieved to hear that the Chief Engineer is in the loop and on top of the situation. He pauses, looking around at the work while Halena receives the paperwork from the crewman, and then falls in beside her again when they resume. Answering as to the nature of the object in question requires him to slow, however. The Intel officer considers, thumb against his chin as he rubs the side of his forefinger absently against his lips. "Yes … it's highly unlikely to involve any living thing. Have you been given the details?" Then there's a brief study for the space the Captain proposes to use before Elias gives a slow shake of his head. "There's always a risk involved, but I think physical containment should be sufficient. We need to move on this as soon as possible."

"No, sir, I haven't. But if a lockbox is all you're looking for, I should say two weeks and we can have the secured panelling around this space and the future medbay reinforced. Since the Raider revelation I've altered the initial design so that the main bay here is split into one section, roughly two-thirds the size of the bay, and the other section, roughly one-third size. The smaller section will be the medical quarentine, and one-third the size is far bigger than I had initially intended…" Where is Halena going with this? Suddenly she, herself, doesn't seem to know. She just got swept up in talking shop, apparently. But her hazel eyes focus on the young Major again and she nods, back on track. "I know two weeks seems like a long time for a box, sir, however one thing that I do insist on if we'll be utilizing Cylon technology in here is that this entire space run on parallel operations. Seperate power, seperate life support, the works. That's what will take time, not reinforcing the bay. If we are discussing Cylon technology, I would request more guidance on the nature of the object. Because if it's Cylon technology I'm going to go ahead and say right now that I do not feel comfortable bringing anything potentially operational on board until we have transmission scramblers built in here."

There's no sign of impatience from Elias as the Engineer detours into the technical details. Rather he listens closely and nods along, making no comment when she refocuses. The timeline she gives causes him some concerns however. "I see." He ponders this for a several seconds, mouth going tight. Then he exhales slowly and looks to Halena once again. "The object appears to be a container, roughly two meters by one by one, floating in space. Contents are unknown, but no energy readings that a Raptor's sensors could detect." Which would seem to rule out anything alive, given the temperatures in question. "It doesn't appear to be of Cylon origin. But it has clearly been left where our forces were likely to find it. It could be a trap. Or it could be breadcrumbs of some kind."

Halena pauses in their little tour now, folding her arms over her chest and allowing the clipboard-and-file to hang freely in one hand. She shifts her weight off her bad leg, considering first the man before her, and then her surroundings. "The paneling we're setting up should allow it to be blast proof. Insofar as anything can be resistant to explosions on a ship, naturally," She adds, as a nice CYA caveat. She's quiet, chewing thoughtfully on her lower lip. "We can get the paneling up in a week," she promises. "And I can jury-rig a secondary power source for this location. But life support is a different beast. I can't imagine Shackleton could have a seperate system set up and ready to go in that time. But … if your people would be willing to wear EVA gear when opening this Pandora's box of yours…" she muses, eyes flitting back up to Elias. "It would remove the threat posed by having active life support systems linked. Once you've determined that there is no threat — that the damn thing won't emit toxic gasses or something — then we could reactivate the life support for this bay and everyone could go about their days."

There's another patient, attentive silence as Halena works through the technical details. "I see." There's a certain amount of resignation in Elias' expression as he continues. "As I said, this is something we need to deal with sooner rather than later. I think the EVA suit will have to do, this time." And his followup question might be slightly at odds with the time estimates he's been offered. "What can you have ready in seventy-two hours?"

The question doesn't seem to off-put Halena. She seems more interested in thinking through the math of this new integer in her once long-term equation. "Power, she finally decides. Her hazel eyes lift and flit over the room, particularly in one section where, it's clear, a framework of steel is being welded up to seperate the earlier-described two thirds and one third. That seems to be where her focus is. "And a partially secured space," she finally decides with a sigh, looking up at the ceiling to see how the paneling work is progressing. Then? Back to the Major. "We won't be able to reinforce the partition between the physical quarentine — the two thirds — and the medical quarentine. We'll slap the paneling up there, but it's not like paneling over the rest of the hull, which is built to take damage from the outside already. It's …" she gropes for a way to describe it. "It's the difference between a load-bearing wall and an internal wall." This Old House: Cargo edition. "It's still a wall, but it can't withstand the same abuse as the others. Now, that said, a breach in that wall isn't the end of the world unless there's a biological contaigin or electronic pulse that goes with it. The breach just means that whatever might be inside now has the potential to spill over. But," she sighs, looking toward the aft of the cargo vessel where the large cargo bay doors are located. She purses her lips. "I can rig the doors to open on a kill switch. I think I can, anyway. So if whatever is in the box is exceptionally dangerous and manages to breach the wall, we can dump it out." She looks directly at the Major, apparently unafraid to meet his gaze. Her own is a bit grave at the thought of what she's suggesting. "Even with tethers, it puts your EVA crew in a dangerous position."

Elias settles his attention on Captain, studying her closely as she works through the problem. At least he doesn't interrupt before she has delivered her verdict. There's an understanding nod for the distinction between the types of walls, and the comparison does seem to be roughly the right technical level for the Intel officer. "Mmm," he acknowledges with another guarded sound, weighing the dangers described before giving a reluctant nod. "Given the time available, I think that may have to do." Risks will have to be taken, and apparently the Major has the responsibility for this particular decision. "I'll review the planning with Lieutenant Almaeda and we'll get word back to you in the next few hours to confirm."

Halena nods. "If it's alright, I'm going to start pulling some more bodies from Orion. Resourcing to complete this level of task is going to be … grander than initially planned on the old timeline. And," she adds, without any hesitation. "I'd request to be part of the initial EVA crew for this, in case I can be of assistance during any unexpected mishaps." She watches him, a bit more grave now than the warmly professional she was when they first started speaking.

"Yes," Elias not only gives immediate agreement to her request for more personnel, but adds a bit more. "If you run into any problem getting the resources you need, let one of us know." Persumably that would be Skyler or himself. "Colonel Petra wants this taken care of ASAP, and he's quite keen to remove any obstacles." The Orion's Tactical Officer is one step down from the Commander and XO, and the Colonel's interest might explain why Elias has suddenly decided to visit the Iron Pilgrim himself. Then the Major hesitates when he hears her second request. "If you're volunteering, Captain, I won't stand in your way. You seem to know your job and you're aware of the risks."

"I am, sir. Thank you." She nods to him once more, her solemnness likely a testiment to the fact that she understands the pressure, as outlined, and the risks she's outlined as well. "If that'll be all sir … while you wait to determine if we're able to press forward with this particular idea, I'll go ahead and assume we are until I'm told otherwise. So I'd best start alerting the crew immediately to the change." And to the fact that none of them are likely sleeping in the next few days.

"Yes," Elias confirms her understanding of the situation. "Go ahead. I will see that you receive new orders to that effect as soon as possible." They can get a jump on the military bureaucracy, even if they can't avoid it all together. As for the effort required to make everything happen in three days, the young Major simply gives a quick nod. He seems confident that it's necessary. "That will be all, Captain."

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