AWD #092: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Summary: A distant pulsar masks something very very clever and interesting.
Date: 08/04/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Petra Dropkickst 
Combat Information center - Deck 2 - Battlestar Orion
The Combat Information Center is the tactical heart of the Orion. This CIC is designed in a circular formation, the Admiral apparently a fan of the classical set-up. Dead center are a set of large monitors suspended from the ceiling with DRADIS readings as well as other vital shipboard information. Under this is a small map table outlining current plots and positions. The table has a built-in phone as well as smaller displays as to critical damage reports. Both port and starboard other watch stations are set at all times, in two rows of tiers like stadium seating, one above the other. Each station has a purpose — Helm, Weapons, Communications, Electronic Warfare, Damage Control, and further tactical monitoring. More displays and banks of computer monitors line the walls. This area is heavily guarded by Marines at all hours of the day and night.

Into the morning, people in CIC are still excited. Families are still being brought together as names are matched up. People are going nuts, mostly in good ways, and the mood of the ship (and CIC, itself) seems to be riding that high level like a wave. Most people are smiling and can't wait to get off work. Even if they don't have family, they have their names in to look or they have friends who have family. One woman in particular, who is not smiling, is Lieutenant Kelly Bristow. She's standing at the CIC table with a folder stamped Classified in red letters and is one of the electronic warfare specialists assigned to the pulsar project with Rozzen. One hand behind her back, the other holds the folder vertically, tapping it every few seconds against the lexan surface.
From afar, Rhonwen snuggles.

Petra has a distinct psychic impression that Lieutenant Abbeshire would PROBABLY be a very happy woman if she were relieved from duty an hour early from third Watch, and well, internal alarm clocks suck anyway, so after enough time to shave, shower, and start the caffiene addiction, he makes his way up Deck 2 to CIC, murmuring a greeting to the Marines stationed at the hatch, then calling across the room, "Good morning, Lieutenant…" While the 'Lieutenant' was really meant for the JTACCO, when Petra sees Bristow waiting by the pedestal, one brow goes up and he slows down, altering his walk, "And good morning Lieutenant. Not that you aren't welcome in CIC, but what brings you down the corridor at this godsforsaken hour?"

Lieutenant Bristow seems to understand that the greeting wasn't initially intended for her. She looks tired, harried, and a little grouchy. Bad days happen to everyone, sometimes even when most others are having good days. the folder is settled on the tabletop in front of the TACCO and hands fold behind her back. "Results on the long-term analysis of the beacon, sir. We were able to not just narrow out the message itself we think, but we also have a general location and electronic signal for the source." Some of the weariness drifts away, which means the news probably isn't what has her day gone dark.

Petra sets his coffee mug down on the corner of the tabletop, away from the paperwork, and steps in to crane his head over and look at what she lays out, "So we have a good guess at not only what it says, but where it is coming from? So what does it say? And while it might have been two decades since my last astrophysics class, I'm going to assume the timing this kind of message requires means we can't tell if this is on automatic and there's no live person sending it anymore or not, right?" With the question, he lifts his head to look at Bristow directly, and starts ACTUALLY studying her face. Doesn't say anything while he waits for the answers, but its being noted.

Kelley shakes her head. "Actually, sir, we're pretty sure this is automated. The source pretty much confirms it. We can't make heads or tails out of what it means, though. But it seems addressed to us." Which may or may not be ominous. "Sir, the message is two words and says simply 'Nomad: Vulture'. The signature on the actual transmission gives it away as a Raptor's communications drone, but the power has been significantly reduced and the target source of the transmission? It didn't appear to be moving, sir. We've traced it back to the sun-side of a rather large asteroid in the area. Sir, no comm drone we're area of would survive impact with an asteroid. We believe it was probably planted there."

Petra frowns a little as Kelley describes, "Would reducing the power output allow the drone to transmit over a longer lifespan? Suggesting someone placed this lifebouy of sorts there and tried to eek as much transmission time as they could out of it?" He turns his head back to look at the paper again, still frowning, "I have no frakking idea what Vulture is supposed to mean. You or Rozzen have any suggestions on that? And have you given a copy of this to the Old Man yet?" While he speaks, he reaches out for one of the Helios system maps and pulls it out, so he can look at specifically where the transmission seems to be coming from.

The Lieutenant nods. "That's exactly what we thought. We talked to an Ordnance tech on the deck, and they confirmed it. Lower output means a longer lifespan. But not this long after Warday. They, whomever they are, have probably had to replace the drone signal a dozen times or more. As for suggestions?" She shakes her head,the ponytail bobbing. "Not a clue, sir. And no, nothing up to Jameson, yet. Figured we'd best get this to you before we went anywhere else." The more she talks about work, the less tired she becomes. Personal issues, likely.

Petra narrows his eyes a bit, "Wait." Pursing his lips, he stares at the map for a long moment, letting the low conversation rustle of the CIC fill the space for a few seconds. Finally, he clears his throat, "Alright, Lieutenant, you look like you havent slept in a while, so a couple more questions and I promise I'm done. So." He glances back at her and crooks a finger, inviting her to lean up over the table with him, waiting until she does before he speaks again, lowering his voice, "So, whoever sent this is someone a member of the Admirality, and only a small group of the admirality that knew our orders, and knew the one thing to say that wasn't going to tip anyone else that heard it, off. So I need to know how often someone would have to change the battery on that pod. And then I need you and Rozzen to have Deck do the same damned thing, but make the transmission signal much weaker. As in, weak enough that only someone getting in firing range of that pod would pick it up. We're going to answer them, as soon as I talk to the Admiral."

Bristow seems a little surprised at being invited to belly-up to the table. She does-so, though, and looks down to the map. "Slept, sir. But I got family back. Family that isn't among my favorites. Got back my drunk, abusive uncle who thinks the navy is for chumps and sad idealists." Knowing Kelley, she'd probably like to stamp 'Return to Sender' on his forehead. "But I catch your drift. So vulture is kind of a codeword, then. Gotcha, Colonel. But changing the battery isn't really an option. They'd have to emplace a new pod. Honestly, sir, there's no real way for us to tell when they would have to do it, either. We would actually have to park out there and wait for the signal to die, which could take most of a week, possibly longer, sir." There seems to be some concern that she is going to be parked in a Raptor with a pair of flight crew for six or more days.

Petra mms softly, "Well, if your Uncle gives you any hell, then we'll be having a conversation with the man about how I feel about someone giving one of my officers crap. And if he thinks we're such chumps, we'll be happy to let him go wander Pireaus on his own. Wolves gotta eat too." He pauses a second to change subjects, "Vulture was the command to break radio silence. Honestly in the last three months, I'd practically forgotten our original orders - they're years old now, you just don't think about it too hard when it never comes up. And no, see, that's all Im looking for. Possibly a week or two. So we go out there, and fire a pod of our own that does the same thing, but, like I said, weak enough that only someone that could have fired the original pod will pick it up…not someone a whole system away. I'm thinking we pick a set of jump coordinates in dead space, and a message that we will be there, say, twice a day. And then twice a day we send a raptor to wait for 30 minutes, and come back. See any holes in that idea, Lieutenant?"

Bristow shrugs, her head shaking again. "Not that I know of, sir. But if you start up a new pod, and they are local, chances are they will pick it up pretty quick. It would be like making a low-power call from a Raptor, I suspect. But I understand the point of being cautious, sir." She looks back up to him.

Petra nods slowly, "We have to be. We take risks, but we cant afford to be careless with this location. We have to treat everything as a possible Cylon trap at first. So if they notice it right away? Then we dont have to wait long for someone to show up. Even better. The problem right now is…I have no idea who the frak this is. The Cylons could have found one of the Admirality that knew about our orders and compromised them. So if someone shows up, we guide them to ANOTHER jump point, and some of the Fleet join them there to take a closer look. We'll go from there." With that said, he straightens up a little and taps his fingers on the folder, "This is my copy? I suppose I'm not taking Watch early after all. THIS, I have to go tell the Admiral about before I start giving orders around it. Thank you, Lieutenant. You and the Captain need a couple of drinks on me for this."

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