Computational Philosophy
Computational Philosophy
Summary: Rhea and Solon do some lab work and talk Cylons, FTLs and a shared love of Tauron geography.
Date: 85 ACH
Related Logs: The Right Tool for the Right Job

Robotics Research Labs Genesis - Deck 8

85 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.

----< Condition Two - Restricted Area >---——

The Doctor is here, and - as the security records will indicate - has been quite often. Apparently, he's getting to know his new environment, enjoying the opportunity to exercise his intellect in a slightly more stimulating environment. Currently, he's not up to much exciting, though, perched in front of a computer display, pouring through some particular data.

Wiry and wild-haired, with sharp features and bright blue eyes, this man is memorable in appearance - if perhaps a little odd looking. Not especially tall or short, he is rather thin, his lanky frame supporting a minimal amounts of both fat and muscle alike. His face is long in structure, nose straight, cheekbones high and fairly prominent. Around it all, his curly brown hair forms a kind of riotous halo, frizzy and slightly unkempt.

Solon is dressed in a Colonial officer's uniform. The medium blue jacket is tucked into matching trousers, with a black, brass-buckled belt around the waist. A softer, darker blue fabric decorates the shoulders. The black buttons are off-center, running up the right hand side of the tunic. The left breast sports a single button-down pocket. On his left sleeve is the black, gold and white Genesis patch. The pins on his collars show a rank of Captain. Over his uniform, he wears a white, doctor's labcoat.

Rhea slips into the lap, the soft beep and click of security protocol beings passed announcing her entry. She heads to one of the computer stations. Not far from where Solon is working, though she seems to be here on her own purposes. "Captain." He's acknowledged with a nod and faint, crooked smile. "Getting a feel for the place?"

In her middle thirties, Rhea Zimmermann is neither a young pup nor particularly grizzled. There's an air of easy, straightforward competence about her. The confidence of a woman who knows herself and owns both her strengths and foibles. She as a strong-featured, handsome face: high cheek bones, a broad nose and almond-shaped hazel eyes. Her face is smooth, save for tiny laugh and smile lines at the corners of her eyes and mouth. When she speaks, traces of a working-class Sagittaron accent color her words, though education and years of living off-colony have softened it. But her most distinguishing feature is probably her hands. Small but strong and calloused, with deft fingers and short nails that usually have traces of grease under them. Her long dark hair is tied back in a tight, no-fuss ponytail, to keep it out of her face while she works.

Rhea is dressed in Colonial Fleet fatigues. The olive green shirt is tucked into matching trousers, with a subdued black web belt around the waist. The trousers are in turn bloused into black combat boots. A softer, lighter green fabric decorates the shoulders of the shirt, and the buttons up the center are hidden by a flap. Black quick clips, rather than buttons, secure two large pockets on the front of the shirt. On her left sleeve is the black, gold and white Genesis patch. The pins on her collars show a rank of Major. Threaded along the same chain as her dogtags is a plain gold ring, a wedding band, now worn around her neck like a totem.

"Ah!" Surprise, as someone interrupts his data-diving reverie. Solon looks up over the rim of the screen, making out Rhea a moment later, which, of course, has the effect of settling him again. "Major, it's good to see you. Yes, yes… I've been making myself familiar with everything here, as well as with the data on file for the project." He adjusts to a fuller, upright stance, and then inquires, "Do you need me for something in particular? I still haven't really gotten through the background material, yet."

"I wasn't here looking for you," Rhea replies as she settles herself at the other computer. She's likely read the records. She keeps tabs on the Engineering folks. But he's clearly working, so she leaves him to it. "I wanted to review some old data. Needed a bit more quiet than the engine room provides. And whenever I try to work in my quarters I get the urge *not* to work. Always hated homework." Type, type, type. Entering further security codes to get her logged into this isolated system.

A little Solon-centric? Yep. The world revolves around his genius, or at least, those matters that he has chosen to make his life's work - granting him a measure of importance by proximity. But, it's not a bad thing that she's not there for him - because it means he can keep at what he was doing. "Ah, I see," he answers, when she explains the purpose of her visit. Well, you'll find me quiet as a mouse, I assure you major." And, indeed, he'll happily return to his own data-diving, his face bathed in the glow of the terminal. Mmmmmm.

Rhea snorts softly at Solon's Solon-centricity. But it's an amused sound more than anything else. "Don't mute yourself on my account. This isn't anything too delicate. Just need to go through some old logs. Make sure I didn't miss anything the first time…" Click, type-type, click, scroll. It doesn't take her long to access the data file she wants. If Solon was curious enough to peek over her shoulder, he'd find her looking at old repair logs. Not exactly scientifically scintillating. She's intent about it, though. As she scrolls she asks, "What are you working?"

Mute himself? Seeing that he doesn't sing as he reads, it may not be much of a concern. At the same time, curiousity is only natural, and in a certain proximity to her terminal, Solon might help himself to a glance or two. He's certainly interested in the workings of the ship, of the department that he is now apparently a part of. "Ah, data on the project for the most part, and on these facilities. I want to know exactly what I have to work with, as it will certainly shape my approach to things." He's thorough, in general. "I'm rather interested in Major Zaharis' notes as well, preliminary as they may be. This is rather new ground, so I certainly want to familiarize myself with every small scrap of data we have so far." He looks thoughtful, "Mention of the organic components in the raiders actually has me thinking about a potential answer to one of the paradoxes that had been bothering me, already - although not an answer that is tremendously useful to us."

"Hmm…how's that? The answer to your paradox, I mean?" Rhea asks. Her eyes are on the screen but she's listening to Solon. She's not done scrolling yet, and that's rather mindless work. She finally finds the file she wants. It's a log of repair work and tests on the Destiny's DRADIS, if Solon is terribly interested.

"The parallelism necessary to handle the complicated FTL calculations at such extreme range? Its so simple really - the very issue science grappled with in the creation of AI, of the cylons in the first place. Computational power of that scope - the scope necessary to even begin to emulate the complexity of human thought, for instance - its impossible using standard circuitry. The appropriate model is much more like the human brain, which of course functions with a massive degree of parellel functionality." As his thoughts ramble, Solon comes back to the point. "So, its reasonable to conclude that to handle the jump calculations, they rely on organic computer systems, or systems that in some way are derived from the functioning of the human brain. It would certainly explain the biological components, would it not?"

"I'm in awe of what the creators of the Cylons did," Rhea says. And she does sound it, though her tone is tempered with a somberness. "Those scientists, engineers…they created *life*. From nothing. From metal and silica and programming code. It makes the invention of the hyperlight drive look like a savage poking at a firepit. Sometimes I wonder. If I'd been there, working on that project…it's so easy to condemn them now. But I wonder…" She doesn't give voice to what she's wondering about. Data. Now that she's got the right file she absorbs herself in it, hazel eyes flitting over old log entries and test result reports.

Solon bobs his head in quick agreement. "Daniel Graystone was certainly a great mind, as were those who continued his work." Her comment on the superiority of one achievment to the other turns him thoughtful, though, and he offers. "I would stack them side by side. One is mastery of the shape of the universe, one mastery of that which dwells within it. Neither would be tremendously meaningful on their own - space without life, life without a place to live." Occasional philosophy, between FTL-babble. "I'm certain I would have been as eager as any to work with them if I had been alive then," he echoes her. "In any case, it suggests that we may need to look for alternate approaches to the jump calculations, assuming we are able to reverse engineer the drive functionality in the first place."

"That's one way to look at it. Shape versus structure. I don't know. I figure…the universe is what it is. The fact that we haven't explored the vastness of it yet is on our own limitations. Its mysteries are still waiting to be discovered. FTL allowed us to expand beyond our little colonies, our little systems. The Cylons, though…that was something from nothing. That was *creation*, not just understanding." Rhea's lips twist into a smirk. "Maybe it was creation without understanding, given how our mechanical children turned out. Anyhow. At the moment, I think it's more important just to wrap our heads around *how* the raiders work. Known thy enemy and all that. Once we have them figured out, then we can work on rebuilding them." The ChEng is a practical creature.

The philosophical debate on knowledge and creation - they ae interesting things to ponder, although ultimately he too soon returns to the world of the real, the immediate. "Naturally," Solon remarks, regarding the raider function. "I do not feel the basic aeronautics will be tremendously complicated, however. Although there are certainly… stylistic differences, the initial data on the craft - width, length, weight, engine size, observed maximum speeds, there's really nothing remarkable about any of it. The control, however - that's clearly where the radical departure is. And if we're to escape them permanently, our ability to exceed their jump capabilities may be more important than any other aspect of our rival technologies."

"Indulge my interest in the aeronautics," Rhea murmurs with a slight smile. "Never gotten my hands on a Cylon engine before. I'll admit, I'm looking forward to playing. I'm an aeronautical engineer when you strip me down to basics. But you're correct. Ultimately their FTL capabilities, and the way it interacts with their biomechanical structure, is what'll be most enlightening. Which is why you're aboard this ride, Captain." She doesn't continue the philosophical debate. She trails off the raider subject entirely. Absorbed in her report spreadsheets. Eyes narrowed. Looking. For what, it's not immediately clear. But she's quiet for a good while.

A quick nod. Solon, for all his flights of fancy, is perfectly willing to reel things in when requested, refocusing his attentions. Of course, he has only the files here - those that she has likewise had the time to review - and perhaps whatever intelligence the propulsion lab had to work with. "I imagine to get a full picture of the flight capabilities… well, we'll need to peform that work on the Pandora, with the actual raider. Probably take it out into zero-g as well. Although with just some engine tests, we can probably model a great deal of the rest on the computer."

"Mmm-hmm…" Rhea mutters, nodding, eyes flitting back and forth. Searching Those ideas sort of wash over her. Not that she isn't interested, but her focus is on the files she's reviewing at the moment. She's like that for several minutes. Until finally she leans back in her chair. As if to get a wider look at the logs. She snorts a soft, "Hmph."

Ok, so, in absence of anything else, Solon will eventually take a bite of the apple that's been dangling for a while. "So, what are you looking for in there, exactly?"

"I'm looking at nothing," Rhea replies, eyes still lingering on the screen. She seems half-relieved, half let-down. She turns her gaze to Solon, elaborating. "We did a good deal of repairs on the ships we discovered, the ones that'd been worked over by the Pegasus. Including some work on the Destiny's DRADIS console. That was weeks ago. Ship's been jumping just fine, under rather stressful FTL conditions. But…I wanted to double-check our post-repair testing reports. Just to see if we'd missed anything…off."

"Ah," Solon breathes, as she explains the purpose of her investigations. "It was certianly worth double-checking, in any case. My worry is that… well, there are so many very small things that could go wrong, including simple error by the navigator on the ship. But the margins for error on an FTL jump… well, certainly you know as well as I that they simply don't exist, and the larger and larger discrepencies will vary the jump destination…" By larger and larger amounts. He really doesn't need to finish it. The thought is grim. "Do we have any sort of data from the Destiny, or any other information about the conditions of the jump?"

"Nav frak-up's usually the case in these sorts of things," Rhea agrees gravely. "Hopefully their captain has the presence of mind to just stay wherever they landed, if that's the case. Keep the search grid as small as possible, so the Raptors have *some* chance of finding them." A slim frown comes to her lips. "No margin for error. That's sure as hell right. I said to Reed…" A pause, to amend. "Major Carter, that is, last night. Makes looking for a needle in a haystack simple. This is more like a needle in an ocean." As for that last question, her frown deepens. "Conditions for them were the same as for the rest of us. We picked up a Cylon basestar on the DRADIS, the civilian ships jumped to the emergency coordinates, and the Hera and Genesis followed. Every ship made it but the Destiny. I don't believe the error came from our end. The correct coordinates were transmitted to them. As for what was going on on that ship at the time…no way to know from where we're sitting. Until we find them."

A simple nod when she confirms that, from their end at least, all appeared normal. "Unfortunately that leaves us with very little to go on. The curse of our fantastic technology, I suppose, that its misuse tends to yield equally impressive failures as successes." Hunching down a bit beside the terminal he was working at, now-forgotten, Solon turns thoughtful. "An ocean indeed - vast, endless, infinite." Solon the poet! "It might be possible, given the initial, and proposed destination coordinates, to theorize likely actual destinations based on common errors, although the complexity of the calculations certainly makes it a dubious bit of guess-work at best."

The poetry makes Rhea crack a faint smile. Albeit a wistful, half-sad one. "Tauron, aren't you?" she asks. Apropos of nothing. 'Zimmermann' is Tauron in origin, Solon'd likely known, though the ChEng herself clearly is not. She clears her throat, mind back on jump coordinates. "Dubious guess-work is better than blind guess-work. Carter and I were wondering if it'd be possible to use the Visser's galactic mapping data to calculate a possible location for the Destiny. Or assist the Raptor SAL teams in some way. You'd know better than I. Their problem right now is knowing where to look, not how to get there."

"Indeed, a product of the first colony," Solon answers, albeit without much sense of inflated pride, despite the particular term he uses. Likewise, it doesn't seem he gives the sudden topic-change much thought. "And you, Major? Do you have family history there?" Apparently, he has made that connection on the name - even if her apparent origin lies elsewhere. As for the map, the question causes him to tilt his head back slightly, looking up. "Well, its essentially a very large collection of not just map - area - data, but also of jump records, recording the various probe missions, as well as information on gravitational phenomenon and other factors which could impact a jump. Given the starting position and destination, we could certain cross reference and… well, again, it wouldn't really tell us anything out right, unless it was some external force that threw them off, but it might ease some of the computational headaches in plotting out theoretical miss-jumps?"

Rhea's smile crooks a notch. "No. I was born on Sagittaron." She says it flatly, little love apparent for her colony of origin. "My husband was Tauron." Past-tense. "I liked the name. Your people do love their extra syllables. I didn't get to spend much time on the colony itself, but I always enjoyed it. Great cities, good music, verbose poetry…I do love the culture." But she doesn't linger on the subject of Tauron. She clears her throat again. Back to business. She nods shortly. "Very well might. Worth a look, at least. Shake your data. See what you can find. If you come across anything useful, let me know. And forward it to Command and the Air Wing. Anything'll help at this point, I suspect."

Oh, that is the other very logical option, isn't it? That she got the name from someone else? On some things he's a genius - on others, well, he goes for that whole absent-minded professor sort of thing. "Ah, of course," Solon answers when she explains it. "Haha, yes, perhaps," he'll note of the names, then nodding along as she speaks of some of the colony's virtues. "I did quite enjoy it, although I found it very interesting when I started traveling, with the military. I'd been off world for a few conferences before that, but those experiences had been somewhat limited." But the miltiary is always good about shipping people all over. "Of course," he says of the particular assignment.

"Tell me about it," Rhea says dryly, as to military mobility. "Ephraim and I lived on both Scorpia and Picon for awhile when we were married. Never on either of our home colonies, though. We were both Navy. He was in Logistics. We were actually married on Tauron, though. His uncle had a house in the Valley of a Hundred Lakes with a big garden. Beautiful country. Rained the whole time we were there but, we muddled through…" She trails off again. She hadn't meant to go off on that. She shrugs. "Anyhow. Carry on, Captain. Keep me apprised of your findings." She closes out of her data, prepping to leave the lab.

What she reveals of her life history, the man takes in with apparent interest - not just the bits about Tauron, although he does smile when she describes the place where they lived. "I know the area, I actually always quite enjoyed the rain." He's nostalgic for just a moment, before letting the thought evaporate. There is great danger in lingering in such discussions, letting those thoughts of home come to the fore. And so back to the work, and a simple acknowledgement. "Of course, Major."

Danger, indeed. Or, at least, such thoughts now come with a lot of regret. For Rhea, at least. She stands, computer locked down again, giving Solon a short parting nod. "Good hunting, Captain." It's a goodbye of sorts. And off she goes, leaving the lab with the same beep and clicking sounds she came in with. The security doors whoosh shut behind her.

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