AWD# 533: What's in the Box?
AWD# 533: What's in the Box?
Summary: Lance Corporal Gray and Lieutenant Wescott report on the data they found in the Piraen black box.
Date: Tue 06/Dec/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Elias Gray Kelsey 
Combat Information Center
The Combat Information Center is the tactical heart of the ship. This CIC is designed in a circular formation, the original 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 relating to critical damage reports. Both port and starboard 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 armed Marines at all hours of the day and night.
Fri 23/Jun/2006 (IC Date)

CIC took some light damage during the recent fighting — a power surge and a few consoles shorted out. But it has all been repaired, and things are back to full readiness. The TACCO is on watch duty, acting as Officer of the Deck, which during the recovery phase means a lot of reports and message traffic to sign off on, with the occasional call to hector some repair crew or other. Elias is leaning over one of the weapons consoles, discussing something with the crewman manning that station. The young Major looks a bit rumpled and worn, with a dusting of five o'clock shadow and dark circles under his eyes. But then, so does most of the rest of the crew, too.

Gray enters the CIC, the random appearance of a Lance Corporal out of nowhere causing a minor stir as he asks for directions to Major Gray's station. After a moment of making sure that he isn't just some nugget who got lost, he's pointed to Elias' station. As he arrives, Gray offers a salute. "Major Gray?" he asks, having only interfaced with the Major once before (and only relatively briefly) and wanting to make sure he's not interrupting something overly-important. Of note is the fact that Gray turned up without his jacket; he was directed here in at least a mild hurry by someone outranking him, and there's an ineffable look of unease on his face as he appears.

Elias glances away from the crewman at the weapons console when Gray addresses him, and his expression shifts from dubious to one of vague recognition. "One moment, Corporal," he tells the newcomer. Then the young Major wraps up the discussion over missile controls by telling the crewman, "Reset them all for conventional targeting. Reloads will be available … at some point." He sounds confident of this even if the timing is vague. And that done, he turns back to Gray. "Yes?" Only now does he take the time to assess the man, and his mouth tightens at the Marine's uneasy expression.

"I was sent here by Lieutenant Wescott. We…er…" He swallows. "We were given permission to examine the contents of The Box." Beyond that, Gray clams up. This may be the CIC, but going further in a semi-public environment like this seems like a Bad Idea.
You paged Dropkick with 'I assume Gray was looking at the box mostly because Kaxiras hasn't done a request yet?'

"Wescott?" Not a name Elias was expecting to hear, apparently. The TACCO straightens up, his face shifting to a weary sort of skeptical. "Given permission by whom?" he prompts. He doesn't seem the least bit concerned about secrecy, given that there are any number crewmembers who can overhear them at this very moment.

Gray shrugs, opting /not/ to dismiss it with 'above my pay grade'. "I asked for permission to check the information which it might contain against intelligence which I had come across in the last few months. She turned up with access permission. With respect, you'll have to ask her where the permission came from, but she was apparently the most available officer to accompany me to examine it."

Elias listens to the Marine's response, but all he says at first is, "Mmm." The Major considers a moment, then turns to person at the communications station. "Send word down to the Air Wing — Lieutenant Wescott is to report to CIC, ASAP." Apparently he will be asking her, though with the limited number of raptor pilots and the recon being done, the odds that she's available are slim. Then he turns back to Gray. "So … I assume you have something to report, Corporal?"

Gray swallows at the big question. "Yes, sir. Quite a bit, actually. I hate to answer a question with a question, but where would you like me to start?"

There's a smile, thin and strained, for Gray's question. "At the beginning," is Elias' answer. He waves the Marine after him and steps over to the central plotting table, collecting his clipboard and readying his pen before he prompts, "Go ahead."

Gray manages a smile that is mixture of being one part forced and one part the cat that ate the canary. «As you wish…» "Alright. The box is the most amazing computer system I've ever seen by a longshot. Its capabilities exceed stories I've heard about prewar systems from fifty years ago. This includes a full three-dimensional display…I'm not quite sure what the right term is for it…with full depth. Lt. Wescott and I were able to control it by moving our hands…" Including his still-bandaged right hand. "A deeper question is how the frak the system had logins for both Lt. Wescott and myself even though this was, to both of our knowledge, the first time we had encountered the system while it was active. As far as we know, prior to our access the system had lain dormant for three thousand years." Gray is being as level with his voice as he can with these revelations in spite of a nervous energy flowing through him. "It also recognized Lt. Wescott as being an officer, which allowed us to access officer-only areas of the system. I can return to that in a moment.

"The system contained a map of the galaxy. The map is three-dimensional and, in spite of its age, it is likely mostly accurate. I was able to find, among other things, the Cyrannus system, the Twin Rocks, the indicated origin-world of the Piraeans, the Rally Point, and the Galactica's last pre-Ragnar jump location. We explicitly did /not/ attempt to locate Piraeus or Ys'ral on the chart given how closely that intelligence has been guarded. However, doing so should take a user directed to do so less than a minute once the system is operational.

"According to the intelligence provided by the system, approximately one-third to one-half of the galaxy is overrun by a likely-hostile machine intelligence. Galactica's last pre-Ragnar jump location was on the edge of space indicated to be controlled by them. At this point, the best guess Lt. Wescott and I can manage is that Galactica ran into the hostile force, a force which would at this point be over five thousand years old."

With that, Gray takes a deep breath and waits for an indication as to whether to keep dumping on the Major or whether Elias has questions.

Elias is standing by the central plot, clipboard in hand and pen poised, though he's listening to Gray. The Marine is finishing what sounds like a fairly involved explanation, to which the Major nods. "I see." He may not have know much fo what the Corporal has related thus far, but Elias hardly appears shocked. Or even overly concerned. "If there is a five thousand year old machine-race out there, they could easily have overrun the entire galaxy … if they were so inclined. I assume there's more?"

Gray nods. "Yes, sir. As it stands, per the intelligence provided, the intelligence in question…I will call them Red Force since the map used that color for them…did not come close to Cyrannus. The nearest approach appears to have been about one kiloparsec." Beat. "Which, to be honest, I'm not sure of the scale of. Per Lieutenant Wescott, the Rally Point is approximately ten kiloparsecs out to the rim, while Red Force by contrast dominates the core of the galaxy. The Twin Rocks do not appear to be near any known Red Force territory, though the third Cylon world remains an unknown in this respect. For reference, the Piraean origin world was deep in Red Force territory.

"As to the Galactica, considering the age and size of Red Force and…well, a lot of unknowns about them…it might make sense to cross-reference their 'star charts' with the database in there on the off chance something hits.

"I also did a search for Kobol and Earth. Earth did not return a hit. Kobol, on the other hand, returned a single hit as the name of a legendary colony ship captain. Considering this alongside the timing, I have a few theories."

"So, aside from the map files…which I do not believe we exhausted the capabilities of…" Not even close, in his estimation. "…there were detailed files on the second-generation Cylons which the Piraeans referred to. Their designs were very much in line with our Cylons: They were more advanced and larger, but seemed to be of a similar design family. The weapons would probably not be usable by humans, at least not without substantial modification.

"There were also files on the Lines. I only had time to review the files on one, and I opted to review the files on Line One." Everyone's favorite pain-in-the-arse line. "In the general overview, however, is the fact that the Lines were /not/ intended to resurrect repeatedly, but to live out a regular lifespan and then have their memories as part of a common database. With that said, the Piraeans were looking at the possibility of applying resurrection technology prior to their war for the purposes of life extension. With respect to the Ones, the file indicated that a One was serving as the Piraean Secretary of Defense at the time of their war."

Lieutenant Wescott, as sent-for, is getting back from a flight. She's still in her suit and survival gear, holding a helmet bag in her left hand. Given the wide look on her eyes, this is her first time in CIC. She tries to take it all in without bumping in to people. Still a little limp in her step, she makes her way over to Elias and stands at attention. No, she has not failed to notice Gray standing there. Likely she already knows what this is about.

Elias notes a few points as Gray talks, but not many. Specific details like distances are written down. Most of there rest is simply absorbed. Halfway through he notes Kelsey's presence, and offers the Lieutenant a nod. And the next time the Marine pauses, the TACCO steps in. "Mmm … hold that thought, Corporal." Elias turns to the pilot. "Lieutenant," he greets Kelsey, studying her closely. "The Corporal here tells me you were given clearance to access The Box?"

Kelsey see's she is being addressed and looks to the Major while she stands at more or less attention. Back from a flight, she looks pretty sloppy for CIC but it can't be helped. "Yes, sir. I was on a list, apparently. Probably because I flew the mission that recovered the box and also on the discovery team, sir. Best I can do for an answer because I don't know more than that, Major."

"Mmm," Elias sounds a little dubious of Kelsey's explanation, but he doesn't press it. Clearly they did access the box, somehow. "Were you there for … all this about the previous generation of the Cylons? It sounds like we know what happened to Galactica out there…" A conclusion he floats to the both of them, ending up looking to Gray. "Was there more to report, Corporal?"

Gray thinks for a moment. "Lieutenant Wescott has informed me that I'm under a kill-rather-than-be-captured order now, as is she. I appreciate the consideration." In light of what he's found out about the Cylons, there is not a single trace of irony or sarcasm in his comment. "Other than that, I believe I've covered all of the major points. There was…a lot to take in during a relatively short period of time. I'd be happy to answer any questions you, or anyone else with the appropriate clearances, has as best I can. And I'll be happy to provide you with a written summary and analysis unless you'd prefer I not do so." He then pauses for a moment. "Uh, sir, if I may? What /would/ be the appropriate clearance for this?"

Kelsey actually has to think on the verbiage rather than the fact of the question's answer. "I guess so, sir. If they are a prior generation. I mean-" She looks bewildered for a moment before shrugging it off. "But I was with the Lance Corporal, sir, yes. The conclusion about Galactica is supported by theory and circumstance provided by the … box." Thing. Kelsey knows better than to keep talking in situations like this. She has learned.

Elias' mouth bows into a tight frown as he hears about the kill order. "Problematic. Given that we need every Marine that can carry a rifle on Leonis in less than forty-eight hours." And a glance Kelsey's way as he adds, "Not to mention every raptor pilot we have left." And then he mulls things over a moment before telling the Marine, "Write up a report for the Intel Officer. Or have Lieutenant Kaxiras debrief you, if there's time. For now … the background information can be discussed freely. Any distances or locations? Classified. Do not disclose to anyone without a clear and immediate need to know." And since there seems to be general agreement about what happened to the Galactica, Elias tries to tie that line off. "Let's call that case closed, for now."

"Yes, sir. I'll produce a report ASAP; I should at least be able to get a solid draft in the next 48 hours." It's a contingency that Gray is all too aware of. "If I have a chance I'll arrange a debrief before Leonis; if I don't, I'll arrange one afterwards unless some Cylons manage to object personally." Gray nods to the notes on classification…and to the bit about the Galactica. "Understood." That will be going in the report as well in some form. There are still a few niggling questions there, but…well, at this point he's going to consider that a 'spare-time puruit' rather than anything urgent.

Kelsey nods. "I issued the order pre-emptively and alerted department heads. Considering we know certain things, I decided prudence would be to err on the side of caution. Same rules as ECO's, sir: We don't get taken alive. But…" She's Lieutenant Nobody. Anyone ranking over her in the chain can reverse it. The gag order on locations and distances is something she seems to understand well, too. Gone are the days with Wescott stealing away to cry out a secret to someone. To Galactica, "Copy, sir. Closed."

General agreement and acknowledgement given, Elias exhales a long breath and looks around the CIC. He his watch duty to deal with, and now a crewmember is hovering with yet more paperwork for him to sign off on. "Good … I can guarantee you this matter will be the cause of some long discussions, but for now let's focus on the task at hand — liberating the remaining people and resources of Leonis." The Major ponders a second, then tucks his pen back in his jacket pocket. "If there's nothing else? Dismissed."

Gray nods. "Nothing else, sir." With that, he offers the Major a salute and heads out alongside Kelsey.

"Frak yeah, Leonis." Kelsey gets to kill SAMs. This makes Kelsey happy. Even if she's still a little dazed about what they had seen, the idea of killing them seems to calm some part of her. "Thank you, sir." She salutes and turns to move for the door.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License