Operation Big Stick - The Setup
Operation Big Stick - The Setup
Summary: Shem brings Rhea in on a plan to smoke out possible Cylon infiltrators.
Date: 122 ACH
Related Logs: None

Shem is sitting at the table. It is graced with a glass of water and a red-hatched manilla folder with CLASSIFIED printed in red across it.

Rhea enters the Ward Room at some appointed time, to chat with the S2. She notes the folder, and the prominent CLASSIFIED lettering. "Lieutenant Shem."

On the major's entry, Shem's eyes shoot up to the door. He stands and performs a crisp salute. "Sir, thanks for coming in."

Rhea acknowledges the salute in kind, gives the standard "As you were" and sits. "Of course, Lieutenant. It sounded important." A glance to the folder again. Curious.

"Yes, sir," Shem confirms. "You got the memo about the Cylon agents?"

Rhea nods to that, expression turning grave. And some of her curiosity fades. Mention of Cylons seems to answer a lot of her questions about this meeting. "The one concerning the models known as 'skinjobs'? Yes, Lieutenant. I find the whole matter deeply disturbing."

"Yes, sir," Shem answers. "But 'skinjob' is a term I like to use." He taps the folder. "The way it's been going, I think I have some evidence to show that the military ranks have been compromised. I've gotten the go-ahead from higher to mount some kind of operation to trap them."

Rhea's expression is grave, but she doesn't disagree. "There have been a series of very strange accidents around the Fleet. The matter aboard the Destiny, and the Hiri-matu, and the tampering with the water supply on the Carina. They certainly suggest some element of enemy infiltration. I'll do whatever I can to assist in ferreting them out, Lieutenant. What do you need of me?"

Shem slides the folder across the table. "That's your copy, sir. It commissions Operation Big Stick." He leans forward and props his elbows on the table. "The goal is to perform a shipwide system diagnostic, where there would be a lot of unusual traffic in the computer cores and terminals around the ship, where security would seem to be more lax because of all that confusion, and monitor these points to see if anybody tries to take advantage."

"Big Stick…" Rhea repeats the name under her breath. But, if she finds any humor in it, it is suppressed. Now is not the time for giggles over Marine names for classified operations. She nods along with the plan, turning it over in her mind. "I see. Let them think they'd have easy access to muck with our systems, and then wait for any suspicious activity. Sound enough. And if we're watching, no one should be able to frak anything up *too* much before we can squash it."

"Walk softly, sir," Shem contributes, nodding. There is never humor in operation naming. "That's the gist of it. I don't have the technical skills to put it together, so I was hoping you could fill in the specifics, sir."

Rhea nods to that. "I'll need to coordinate with at least one of the folks on the main board in CIC. Someone in command, or a trusted hand in Tactical, would do fine depending on how close you want to play this. They can get a second set of eyes on the diagnostic readings, for any off traffic. I can set up the diagnostic myself, with the aid of a CIC programmer."

Shem nods. "Yes, sir. Only Colonels Salin and Petrakis know of this operation. I don't know any CIC crew personally, so if you would select one, that would be fine."

"I'll review their personnel reports and coordinate with the XO if need be," Rhea says. "Off the top of my head, I'm told Specialist Drusus Cato is a skilled programming hand. I'd prefer to have someone with specialized computer skills on this, particularly to monitor for any backdoor activity. My own expertise is in machinery, rather than fine programming. Anyhow, if Mister Cato's skills check out, I can forward him the particulars for this assignment, pending security clearances of course."

Shem seems displeased with the man's rank. "Specialist, sir?"

Rhea nods to that. "I'm sure you'd prefer to keep this as tight as possible, Lieutenant. So would I, though I'm unaware of any other top programmers among the Tactical officers. I'll review the matter with the XO. She works with those folks more closely than I do."

Shem mulls that over for a moment. Eventually, he says, "If Colonel Petrakis trusts this man, sir, I'm okay with it, but I can't clear a specialist to learn about the existence of the agents. I'll write up a cover story for him."

"There've been enough funny accidents around the Fleet to raise eyebrows anyhow," Rhea says. "A human saboteur might satisfy curiosity. But, intelligence is your department, not mine."

"Yes, sir," Shem replies.

"I'll get to work on my end of this directly," Rhea says. "Is there anything else you'll need of me, Lieutenant?"

Shem shakes his head. "No, sir. Thank you, sir." He stands, anticipating her.

Rhea stands as well. "Anything I can do, Lieutenant. Oh. Before you go. I've been meaning to ask. Have your people been able to make any sense of that mess on the Destiny? The one that got a couple of their technicians dead."

"We're still questioning the person of interest, sir," Shem replies. "But based on what I have now, it doesn't seem like he was involved. Case of an overvigilant police force."

Rhea makes an "Hmm" sound. "I see. Well. I wish you luck with it, Lieutenant. If there's anything more I can do, on anything you require, you know how to reach me. I'll get cranking on diagnostic procedures. I'll keep any work I do on this on my secured personal drive. It's isolated from even my top-level files in Engineering."

Shem nods. "That would be great, sir."

Rhea nods to that. "If there's nothing further, I'll let you get back to work. Dismissed. And thank you for trusting me with this, Lieutenant. I'll do good work for you."

"Thank you, sir, I trust you will," Shem replies. He salutes crisply, then picks up his glass of water and walks out.

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