Bated Breath
Bated Breath
Summary: Rhea calls Zaharis to Engineering to give news on the skinjob silica. It turns out not to be as dull as she thinks
Date: 68 ACH
Related Logs: All the skinjob logs.

Log text goes here

Robotics Research Labs Genesis - Deck 8
67 ACH 23817 Souls

This area is a classified and secured location. The doors and entrances are locked down with direct electronic locks and are monitored via cameras. Only authorized personnel are allowed within. If you have not been shown here ICly and cleared, you most likely are not.

This area has been converted into a large laboratory space for mechanical and robotic study. Tools, machines for analysis of metallic structures and metallurgical properties are located within. On several tables are pieces of multiple Cylon parts and several computers are located here, running various programs to assist in the work being done within.

"It's beyond engineering, it's evolution," Quill shudders. He's talking to the lab-coated Rhea here in Robot Land. "It's wrong. I'd even say unholy if I was a more faithful individual to begin with." He pauses a moment, then shakes his head as though to clear it. Enough with the creepy talk, they are People of Science! "I wonder if we could preserve the samples without further degradation if we subjected them to continual, low-level electronic impulses. Like what a nervous system would put out. Seems like a long shot, but maybe if another undegraded sample comes through the door…"

Zaharis is an undegraded sample. Unfortunately not of the type they seek. The CMO is let into the classified labs after going through the hoops of security out front, carrying with him a black portfolio folder. Doors whoosh and shut.

"I'm not convinced we could get anything better than this from a corpse, after spending weeks staring at it," Rhea says. "But it's worth a try. Not as if there's a great deal more we can do with it. Rev it up at your leisure, Quill." She turns at the sound of whooshing doors, inclining her head to the CMO. "Doctor Zaharis. Thanks for coming down. Though I'm afraid it'll be a disappointing visit."

"Sir," Quill greets Zaharis, offering a salute to the CMO before heading over to a work-station. "I hope your findings up on Deck 13 have been somewhat more illuminating than the ones down here."

"Everything is illuminating." Zaharis remarks to Quill. "In medicine, ruling out is worth as much as pinpointing. I'd expect down here it's pretty similar." He lifts his chin to Rhea rather than saluting. "Major Zim. Disappoint me, I'm ready."

Rhea crooks a wry smirk. "I would've had a report to you sooner, but I kept thinking that, if we stared at it long enough, something could break." She's accustomed to kicking things until they start working. She wears the lab coat awkwardly in more ways than one. "It's fascinating, in a frustrating way. It's designed - and this *is* fundamentally a design - to mimic the material from the central nervous system. It's a delicate piece of engineering. Carefully, deliberately crafted to interact with body structure. It doesn't comprise the entire structure, though it may go deeper than just a few lines in the spine. If you were to get down to a cellular level. How deep, we won't be able to tell from this, though. It's deteriorated. Looks like it happened pretty quickly post mortem. It seems to need constant action, impulses, to sustain itself. Like being hooked into nerve endings. Otherwise it breaks down, significantly. And that's what we're left with."

Quill scurries here and there in the lab as the Majors converse, setting up what looks like the beginnings of a small rig to run a current through a sample tray. Tiny charges, tiny, fiddly parts, it's a far cry from beating Battlestar FTL drives into submission. "We'll see what happens when we add impulses to the samples we've got," Quill picks up where Rhea left off. "Who knows, with stimulation mimicing a nervous system, this engineered-silica may have regenerative properties or gods know what other surprises. But I think it's degraded to the point that this will be like zapping a corpse."

If Rhea was expecting to disappoint Zaharis, it'll be her that's disappointed. His brows slowly raise, something flickering to life in those dark eyes of his. "Are you serious?" No, that's not disappointment. That's almost excitement. He looks over at Quill, taking some swift steps over towards the other engineer. "You're about to try? Let me see."

"It needs time to set up," Rhea says. "Not much, I don't think. Quill seems to have a workable idea well in hand. These things don't happen with the snap of a finger, after all." Rhea winks at Zaharis. "We'll get the results up to your lab as soon as they're ready, though." A slim frowns comes to her lips. "Might be…instructive to look at them in the same room as the medical samples." IE: the robot girl corpses.

"Well, 'about to try' in a manner of speaking," Quill nods, with what Rhea's saying. "There could be serious information loss if I fracked this up from trying to hurry it. Plus great sorrow and gnashing of teeth. If you happen to know off-hand the range of current that neurological impulses put through the neurons in an average spinal cord, though, that would probably save me some time researching it."

"I can look it up." Zaharis tone isn't glib, and his fingers tap against the portfolio folder with pent-up energy. "I'll send it down to you within the hour." He nods to Rhea. "If you think so, sure. Whatever would help."

"Excellent," Rhea says. On both counts. "Anything further you need from us, Doctor? I wish we had more to go on. I'm *convinced* there's more separating human from Cylon than a spinal cord. I suspect we'll need to scratch deeper to find it, though. I wish we had a live model to test." She says 'model' as if it were an ordinary machine. Or a lab rat.

"Thank you, sir. I figured I'd start with whatever level impulses a nervous system puts out when it's near comatose, then move up from there to more rigorous levels. But I don't know whether that means higher levels of electricity, or more frequent bursts, or what have you." The Ensign pauses a moment, then frowns at Zaharis. "Sir, there's nothing in their brain tissue that reflects the presence of silica? It's only in the spine?"

"We've already found other differences, physiologically," Zaharis replies to Rhea, glancing that way. "Just not ones that can be detected until certain factors are in play that would be damaging or fatal to induce in the first place. But if what you're saying about all this is true, that could change things. Do you want to move this upstairs?" He looks back at Quill and shakes his head. "Not in the brain. What you've got here is the only silica that was there."

"You gentleman can get started without me, if you're heading there directly," Rhea says to them both. As to going upstairs. "I have an appointment with the S2. About a matter along this line, I suspect. Do you really think so?" She seems half-surprised Zaharis can parse anything useful from this. Gratified, though. "Well, whatever works."

"That sounds ominious," Quill notes about Rhea's meeting with the S2, brow furrowing slightly. He doesn't inquire further, however, and instead glances between the two Majors. "I'd be interested to know what these other differences are, sirs, particularly if it has any bearing on these Deck 8 projects. For now though, I'd probably better stick on the zap-the-silica project before it degrades further."

Zaharis nods to Quill. "Well let's pack it and head up, then. We can talk up there." He rubs his fingers across his forehead as Quill heads off. "Degrades without impulses…yeah, this could help. This could…frak me. Man, I love you guys."

Rhea offers Zaharis a crooked smile. "We'll take advantage of that love as best we can, Doctor. I'll see you boys later." With that, she's shrugging off her lab coat. In preparation to encounter Marines.

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