Fuel, Blood and Sugar
Fuel, Blood and Sugar
Summary: What /really/ powers the good ship Genesis.
Date: 43 ACH
Related Logs: None

Main Engineering Genesis - Deck 8

43 ACH 6285 Souls

Main Engineering is staffed by the Chief Engineer and his or her crew. There are enough monitors, flashing lights, back-up generators, consoles and various other areas to man the battlestar and keep it in top form at all times. Storage areas, locked areas, pipes, machinery and tools are all around the area. The desk of the ChEng sits in an area where it is the quietest so work can be done.

----< Condition Three - Duty Area >----—-

Contents: Darius Rhea Magic 8 Ball Marker_Four Whiteboard Wirele

Exits: [O] Corridor

Special: +detail - Details available

Darius is sitting at a large computer console. To his left… a lot of stuff, actually. A few technical manuals for the Valkyrie's systems… a mountain of them, in fact. There's also several sheets of paper, a pencil, a calculator… the computer screen is pouring through service logs, circuit diagrams, technical readouts, and there's at least one simulator program opened up. His right arm is still in that sling, but the left seems as though it's not sure where it needs to be at all… it's a little spastic, really. He flips some pages, then lifts the pencil to write something down, then switches to the calcualtor, then goes back to the computer, and so on. Boy, he sure could use a second arm!

Some people age prematurely, and some other people age a little slower. This guy's body, on the other hand, is like 30 going on 75. His face looks remotely youthful, all things considered. A line here and there, sure. But his hair is white, and it doesn't seem dyed, either. He keeps his hair straight and doesn't seem to be going bald, at least. Thin, extra wide glasses frame a face that seems to default towards a subtle scowl. Fun!

Darius is wearing the dark green navy work coveralls. The coveralls are rugged and flame-resistant, and are complemented by steel-toed work boots. Reinforced dark gray cargo pockets and a handyman belt around his waist hold any necessary tools. On his left sleeve is the black, gold and white Genesis patch, and the pins on his collar show a rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.

Rhea is at her desk, which is something of a rarity. The ChEng tends to prowl Engineering wrenching things, avoiding her paperwork at all costs. She's hunkered over it right now, though. She's glaring at an inventory list as if it's personally offended her, one hand idly up massaging her temples. She has a headache. A few notes are swiped on her paper before she shoves it aside, looking up. Darius happens to fall within her line of vision. For a second she just drinks from her ever-present coffee cup and observes him. All the work, work, working makes her expression moderate. It pleases her. Though annoyance at the universe in general still lurks behind her eyes.

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. The only jewelry she wears is a plain gold wedding band, on the third finger of her left hand.

And if there's one thing Darius is into, it seems to be his work. His file would show that he went to college, of course. He turned down officer training because he wanted his hands dirtier, and this man's fingers appear to be -filthy-. If you were in when he entered the floor, he surely saluted. If you weren't, then no such thing happens because the man is so busy pouring over the guts of the ship, as seen from the computer systems, that he's not noticing anything else. He finally does stop, leaning back for a moment and peering at the screen. This takes a few moments of contemplation, though if you're astute, he's basically staring into space.

Rhea doesn't fuss much with salutes and such in her shop. She observes protocol but she's more concerned that folks keep work-work-working. She freshens her coffee cup and leaves the desk. Giving it a parting glare as she stomps away. Her destination is Darius and his console. "Getting the Genny learned?" she asks. There's some terseness in her tone but it seems more a product of her mood than anything aimed at him.

"There is a lot of fuss made over the 'right way to do things' mentioned in these books." Darius chuckles a little bit, "Always works, but that's no way to treat a piece of equipment like this." And then he sighs a bit, amused, "Yeah. Slowly, but I'm getting it. It's a much different configuration than my last tour. It's nice to be on a ship again. Did Major Carter speak to you about the Terrible Ten, major?"

Rhea snorts. "Tech manuals are most useful in classrooms. A real shop requires improvisation and adaptation. Do it the way it works, don't stall my engines and we'll get on just fine. I suspect it'll take you less time to get into the rhythm of things than you think. The PAS was an experimental facility. Lots of new tricks to learn. Genny's just a regular battlestar. If there is such a thing." That last puzzles her. It even distracts from whatever's annoying her. For the moment. She shakes her head. "Terrible Ten? He hasn't mentioned it to me. Care to share?"

"No, she'll never stall. A vessel like this runs on fuel and blood, neither of which is in short supply around here." He's glancing at a profile view of the battlestar, with various power relays highlighted. Looks like he's analyzing their histories to see how much each can be overloaded. Possibly a worrisome thing for one of your staff to be studying, but he presumedly knows what he's doing. "Rogers and company from the PAS. About ten guys who do a -lot- of heavy lifting, assembly, and disassembly. I used to call them the Terrible Ten, affectionately. I wasn't sure if they landed on their feet or not, or what you were going to do with them… I'd not let them loose. They might take the ship apart for fun." He chuckles, clearly meaning it with endearment.

"I do wish we had more fuel," Rhea admits. "But we're good for the short-term. And I try to grease the engines with blood as rarely as possible. Human sacrifices tend to gum up the works." She crooks faint smile. Focusing on snipey matters improving her disposition. She nods, as to the Terrible Ten. "I fully intend to use and abuse Rogers and the other PAS snipes as well as I'm able. They're about as good structural hands as you'll find in the Fleet, and Genny was lacking in structural engineers. I actually borrowed them once before. When we were doing repair and refit work on the Pandora." A couple months ago. Before the universe fell apart. "I'm already working them into the regular duty roster. Fear not. You boys can still grub around together to your heart's content."

"Good. Because…" And he listens to your description with a nod, "Couldn't have said that better myself. I used to tell them to do things and they'd have the work done before the bloody paperwork was dry." Darius adds with a slightly darker tone, "We may need people like them in the coming days. Damned toasters." That much makes him frown. "I'm hoping I'm up to speed in a week, but you know that old adage: Always double your ETA. You'll either need the time, or your CO will think you a miracle worker."

Rhea chuckles at that, her grin widening. "I have built my reputation on intelligently bullshitting ETAs. It's a skill I prize. I'll hold you to two weeks and prepare myself to be amazed by your resilience." She tilts her head, regarding him. As she might regard something in her tool kit if she hadn't quite figured out how to use it on a given job. "I've been reviewing your file. Impressive stuff. Can I ask you a question of a somewhat personal nature, Senior Chief Petty Officer?"

"Oh, but then you have to wonder if one week was the expanded ETA or not. We'll just say two weeks, yes." Darius smirks again. His face always looks ever so slightly grave, and smiling appears to be something slightly unnatural for him, but he does it plenty of times, so it's probably just a matter of nature giving him a somewhat odd face. One could only imagine his ability to scare people who are under him, though, "Of course, but only if you call me Darius."

Rhea snorts. "You need a nickname. I'll get Snatch, the Professor and the Twins on that. I'm sure they can come up with something properly foul." Rhea's face is no more scary than any other woman who's reached the upper half of her thirties, but there's a blunt competence about her that gets the bossing job done. "It's of a professional nature but I am curious about your motivations. Like I said, I saw your file. Is there a reason you're working for me and not ChEng of your own engine shop somewhere?"

"I need a nickname?" Darius raises a single eyebrow over that one, responding with some clear amusement. His tone is such that it sounds as though he's questioning the question he just asked, "I'm sure something will turn up, yes." He taps a couple of keys, and shifts the highlighting from power relays to power feeders. He really does appear to be interested in knowing what it would take to blow out the ship's electrical systems or, if one takes a more pragmatic view, how NOT to blow them out. His is certainly not a typical way to approach a vessel, though. "Oh, that." That. He turns towards you and peers carefully, looking you in the eyes, "It's a funny question." A hand comes up to adjust his glasses, "How'd you end up doing this? You went to college, probably for engineering, then joined up with the navy, went through another school, and got dropped at someone's doorstep with an Ensign next to your name and a pocket calculator, am I right?"

"You're wrong, actually," Rhea replies. Good-naturedly enough. Her own military upbringing is a subject that she seems warm enough to talking about. "I'm a mustang. Navy came first. I enlisted as a recruit straight out of high school. Mechanical tech. Typical mercenary reasons. I wanted to get the frak off Sagittaron, and pay for college. The military benefits were the most efficient way to do that. I did the standard 'give me some university money' hitch. Made PO3 before my tour on the Battlestar Mercury was up." She sounds proud of the rank. "When I joined I figured I'd be done with it when my hitch was up. But I liked the work. Like playing with the big government toys. Not many civilian jobs where you get to put your hands on machines like these. I stuck with the Reserves through college and went through OCS after I got my degree. And here I am. Now. What's your story?"

Darius taps a key to turn off the console he's in front of, though he's not staring at it, "You see… I have a problem with that, because it totally defangs 'my story'." He flashes you a good natured grin, as if to say 'whoops!'. "Well, I.. I suppose I was idealistic when I came out of school. I wanted things as real as I could get them. That obviously ruled industry -straight- out. All I needed was to hear the word 'management' from the recruiter and I told him he could take his OCS and stick it where the sun don't shine." He grins, chuckling a little, then shrugs, "So I've got really, really dirty hands. Might try for it some time, now that I'm a lot older and… a -little- wiser, but then I'd worry I'd just end up pushing papers all day. Right now, I'm needed right where I am."

Rhea chuckles dryly. She seems to get a kick out of the story. And her de-fanging of it. "I like to keep my people on their toes. That means tripping them occasionally. You'll have to allow me my little amusements." She nods a little. "You joined the enlisted ranks after college, then? Can't criticize that. No better way to get a sense of how the Navy operates than to go through its machinery as a tech. Unusual application for your particular sort of tool, but I'll take you as I find you. Know this about my shop. Like I told another new arrival not so long ago: a snipe is an engineer who works for a living. We're all snipes here, brass or otherwise. A commission down here just means you also have to put up with some administrative bullshit the techs can blissfully ignore. We respect the rank, but we value competence and experience. And we all get our hands dirty." She holds up her fingers at him. Calloused things with grease under the nails, with those little random half-healed burns and scars most mechanics can't avoid.

Darius nods, "Directly. Recruiter seemed a little surprised, but I'd just finished university and wanted as little bullshit as humanly possible. You can imagine how surprised -I- was as a Recruit." Darius listens to you and seems to warm a bit, regarding your general attitude, "The real irony is that I got shoved into the engineering brainstem on the PAS.. that was sure a mixed bag. The last place I wanted to be was, well, basically doing a Chief Engineer job, even if that wasn't the title. And as an NCO to boot. But then that station was so bizarre compared to the mainstream tech… won't see anything like -that- for a long time, if ever. But that's good. ANd I didn't have you pegged for the 'sit back and command' type. Nobody gets as passionate about tech as you did in the cafeteria without being legit. No one."

"The engines do make me purr," Rhea says with a crooked little half-smirk. "Anyhow. Most of the NCOs I've worked with know their tech teams better than the lead officers do. It's a different sort of leadership role. You're more a foreman than a commander. And you can afford to be a friend in a way that brass would take away. No more valuable cogs in any engineering machine than the senior NCOs. What'd you get your degree in?" She adds, for her part, "My BA was in mechanical and aeronautical engineering. I always wished I had a better natural head for design. Fascinating stuff. But, it lives half in theoretical land. I'm a practical creature."

A statement like that one is all but begging for a response, but Darius manages not to make one. It's probably -quite- obvious that the slight pause can be taken as <insert generic flirt here>, which gets the job done without any risk at all. "It'll be interesting. I haven't run into any of your engineers yet, but I've been a complete shut-in between my arm and wanting to be productive as quickly as possible. I tend to scare people who I'm leading." ANd for show, he frowns. I mean he -really- frowns. He looks like a bond villain… it's absolutely uncanny, "Grid C4 is twelve megaflops under spec. Who was calibrating it and why did you screw it up?" He then returns to 'normal', "Which is why I try not to do that, but I've got no patience for mistakes like that. Oh… BS in electrical. Signal processing especially. Communications. Never did much with it, though… commmunications work, I mean. Always been an interest, though."

Rhea regards Darius steadily. Putting on her own ChEng Face. Eyes flinty, jaw set. It's a combination of icy officer and a mother who's about to go get the especially painful switch. It seems to work for her. In a flash, it relaxes into a chuckle. "I like it. That'll serve you well. Communications? I've got a junior LT who's freakishly talented with programming. Lily Stephanos. Electrical is her secondary emphasis. You'll probably end up working together with the Electrical tech teams. You'll meet the rest of the cogs soon enough, I'm sure. I'm glad they don't have much time to chat. Means they're busy."

Darius is sitting at a large console. His right arm is in a sling, and his left is holding onto a pocket calculator, though it's not being used. There's a number of engineering books and technical readouts open, along with a piece of paper. The computer screen itself is blank, it's apparently been switched off. He's speaking with Rhea, who's standing right over him. The two are conversing, "Makes sense. I always prefers electrical work. Mechanical can get you killed, but you always see it coming. And that's no way to go." A bit of grim laughter there. He thinks nothing of your initial reaction to his well placed silence… after all, that's why he didn't say anything. "I used to play around all day with telecom relays while I was in school. Was even in a research group for some kind of theoretical FTL communication system. Whatever we were doing, it didn't pan out too well, at least while I was there."

Packwood pokes his head into Engineering. Just his head. Not that it's a disembodied head or anything. It's still attached to his body, one would presume, it's just that the remainder his body remains outside, round the corner of the hatch, just out of sight. After a quick check to see who's in here, the man sidles in, hands (which not only does he have, but are attached to arms and to a body that does exist after all - huzzah!) clasped behind his back and an angelic smile of complete and utter innocence on his face. Honest.

Despite standing at just under six feet tall, and with a relatively healthy build, the word which might best describe this young man is elfin. Slightly pointed ears, chin and nose, with freckled skin and a mischievous smile all combine to lend a somewhat puckish aura to him. His hair is that very pale shade of blond, bordering on white, and has been allowed to grow out until it skirts the border of what the military allow by regulation, curling uncontrollably at the tips.

Packwood 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 his left sleeve is the black, gold and white Genesis patch. The pins on his collars show a rank of Petty Officer 3.

Rhea snorts a laugh. "Interesting way to look at it. I always got a little nervy with the idea that a single wire could fry all of my circuitry if I put a finger wrong. Anyway. I like things that clank. FTL communication system?" She's intrigued. But the entry of a new arrival into her lair takes her attention off that idea. Engineering is buzzing along in its standard beehive-like fashion. The consoles of every vital system on the ship are worked by officers and senior techs. Even more techs move in and out, grabbing work kits and heading off to various maintenance runs. For her part, Rhea's attention goes to Packwood. And his wandering limbs. She strides out from behind the console to meet him. "You look highly contented, PO," she observes wryly, at the smile. "You must not work for me."

"It was a shot in the dark theory, I think. Might have worked with lots of time and thought and plenty of bankroll. No idea how far along it went after I left. Not that it's all that useful to us right now." Darius frowns a bit at that one, then shrugs. He, too, turn to the new arrival and nods, "Oh, somebody ate the canary." He adjusts his glasses and glances back down at a tech readout.

"Guilty," Packwood admits amiably. "Of not working for you, sir. Not of eating the canary. I bet there isn't much eating on one, anyway. You know, by the time you've got all the feathers off, you've got a couple of breasts barely worth the effort. But… um… yeah. Anyway," he trails off, apparently suddenly realising that not everyone in the world really needs to hear his thought processes on the matter of eating birds. He clears his throat, weaving his way over to the console. "Sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt you. I'm here on behalf of all the guys on the deck."

Rhea puts her hands on her hips, just listening silently at Packwood talks about feathers and breasts. Brows slightly arched. "Not interrupting, Petty Officer. On a mission, are you?" She sounds unsure whether to be wary or amused. "All right. Lets have it. I always have time for a Deckhand. Next best thing to a snipe."

Darius switches his console back on, which is happy to highlight all of the power recirculators on the ship as well as some absurdly high power levels… and dates. The historical dig for 'most power pushed through the ship' continues, though he's paying more attention to Packwood and Rhea than the screen, "We were just talking shop. Don't worry about it." And then he just falls silent to let him speak.

Packwood grins easily. "Next best thing? Next best? Man, I think it must be the air in here, makes you all a bit loopy. Anyway," he pauses to bring his hands out from behind his back, offering up a clear plastic bag, filled with a dozen or so assorted individually wrapped chocolate bars and cookies, some looking a little more battered than others. "We wanted to say thanks to all the snipes who came down to lend a hand over the last few weeks. So, uh, we had a bit of a whip round."

"I assure you, Petty Officer, the fumes sharpen our minds and keep us strong of wind and limb," Rhea says. Amused by the comment. Though her smirk widens into a broad smile when the treats appear. The ChEng, deep down, as easily swayed by chocolate as any other woman. She gladly accepts the bag. "I may have to raise my estimation of you people another notch. No trouble at all, PO. Chief Taylor was always more than willing to lend his hands to my little projects, and the faster those birds get back in the black, the better for all of us. But you are very welcome all the same. I'll see the techs who put in time on the Hangar Deck get first crack at these." She'll even restrain herself from snarfing the whole bag. With effort.

Darius appears more amused by the exchange and all its facets than anything else, "Fumes build character. That's what the recruiter told me, and recruiters always tell the truth, so I believe him." Oh sure. YOU try being the striaght mand and the jokester at the same time. He's perfectly deadpan, "I'm sure the guys will flip when she passes these out. Really a nice thing."

"You should have seen how frakking hard it was to squeeze these out of some of the girls down there," Packwood notes. "You'd think it was their first born child, not a frakking cookie." He laughs at Darius's comment, grinning. "Oh yeah. Character. That's what they say about FOD plod, too, and anything else shitty and miserable."

Rhea rifles through the selection of treats. Still restraining her impulse to snarf. "How did you manage to get all this together?" she asks, impressed. The comment about the Deck girls makes her laugh. "I can believe it. You're a brave man, to attempt to separate a woman from her chocolate. Bigger fellows than you have been killed on such missions." She chuckles. "What's your name, anyhow? I like to keep track of who's delivering my gifts." The banter between the deckie and Darius draws another chuckle.

"Nonsense. Those things aren't shitty or miserable. They build character. It's the Navy way. Character." Yeah, okay. He maintains that deadpan, but is clearly affected by Packwood's comment on having to pry the chocolate away from women, "Sounds like it, " wait for it, "was a character building experience."

"Well, who could resist my charms and winning ways. I do this great puppy dog eyes look," Packwood informs the pair solemnly. "Oh, uh, SE3 Packwood G, sir. But don't expect any more gifts. I value my testicles far too greatly to even consider asking the girls again to delve into their stashes."

Rhea nods shortly to the deck hand. Smirking. "Understandable, Petty Officer Packwood. There are many things I'll demand of the enlisted personnel but risk of castration isn't one of them. Decreases productivity." It's a joke. "Seriously, since you're down here, you folks might get a chance to return the favor if you're up for it. I need some extra mechanical hands for the Persius strip-down. It's grunt work mostly but it's a lot of grunt work."

"Castration builds character." It's voiced in mild protest, as if Packwood were missing out on something. "Which does remind me, sir. Am I expected at the strip-down? I'm a one-armed bandit. I wasn't sure if you wanted me handling something ancilatory, or just staying in to study." (Darius)

"In which case, Senior Chief, I'm very happy to have a complete and utter lack of character," Packwood assures Darius immediately. "But yeah, no problem, sir. I'll pass the word to the clankies and apes for you. Just the mechanical types you need, or did you need some of us with brains, too?"

"I'm always a proponent of brains on any job site," Rhea says. "The DRADIS dismantling and the FTL removal in particular will require a delicate touch. I'm trying to wrangle some CIC specialists to assist. Maybe some of the ECOs as well." She leaves this particular discussion of character to Darius and Packwood.

Rhea adds to Darius, "Stick to the manuals for now. You're on light duty until the sling comes off. There'll be plenty of work to do once we finish hauling. Don't fret."

"Delicate's my middle name," Packwood assures her firmly, nodding once. "Well, it isn't really. Graeme Delicate Packwood would be kind of odd. And all the kids would take the piss at school. It'd be like being a guy called Hilary, or Shirley or something. You know, designed to get you a good kicking behind the bike sheds when the teachers aren't watching."

"Major Carter insists my tools fell on me because I swore at them all the time. I say it just proves I was right about them." Darius smiles dimly at that one, "It's like calling in sick and working from home. And a name like that, you tell the kids that the D stands for Deadly, Demonic, or Destroyer."

Rhea snorts. "Major Carter lacks an appreciation for the fine art of profanity," she says, with disapproval. "We have far better frakking taste in my shop, Sagona. I never met a tool kit that didn't work better once I'd cursed it a couple of times." She allows herself a chuckle at all that. "I think Destroyer would be worse. It's like a playground challenge to take that kid down."

"And I'd give it about thirty seconds before somebody found out," Packwood adds cheerfully. "I had the added disadvantage that my brother was in the same class. Secrets? No frakking chance. You should have heard some of the rumours he put about when I was trying to date this one girl he had his eye on too. And then, of course, she ended up with one of the frakking Pyramid team and neither one of us after all, so that was a whole bunch of waste of time. I got him back, though, so it was all fine."

Rhea grins, looking half-tempted to ask for more funny stories about Packwood and his brother. Though she restrains that impulse. Asking about family is usually a highway to pain these days. "Sounds like you made quite a pair," she says simply. "Now, if you both will excuse me…" A decidedly displeased look comes to her face. "…I have to get my thoughts in order for what will no doubt be the most idiotic fight I've ever had with command. Don't worry. It doesn't involve anything clanky. At least, not if folks are doing it right. Packwood, give my warmest regards to all your Deckhands. Especially the girls. I know the depth of their sacrifice. Sagona, happy reading." With that, she returns to her desk.

"Idiotic fights with the brass is why you get paid the big bucks, sir," Packwood responds. "I'll pass the message on, and see about getting some gearheads up here to lend a hand for you." He waves a casual salute, turning to amble back away for the door.

Rhea returns the salute, distractedly, and hunkers back over her desk. Frowning at a memo she picks up. She absorbs herself in glaring at it. Hands twitching toward the chocolate. But she refrains. Her workers can have their turn first.

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