Sparks from Beyond the Line
Sparks from Beyond the Line
Summary: Reed and Rhea discuss the busted buoy marker, and its implications. Later, Taylor and Troy come to visit Sparky.
Date: 20 BHC
Related Logs: One's and Zero's

Main Engineering Genesis - Deck 8
20 BCH 2085 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 3 - Duty Area >-----

Contents: Rhea Marker_Four Wireless 1319
Exits: [O] Corridor

Reed comes in from Corridor 8D.
Reed has arrived.

Main Engineering is never what you'd call calm but the constant, bee-like hum of activity seems doubled right now. In addition to officers and techs going about their daily work of keeping the battlestar running, there's a cluster of additional personnel gathered around the busted marker. Mostly engineers, but some deck mechanics as well. Rhea seems to have given them the run of the place. For her part, she's in the cluster going over the marker. Assessing the damage to it, and doing a lot of thoughtful squinting.

Reed enters Engineering, looking about. He spots the cluster and deduces that's where he's going. Clipboard in hand, he takes exactly two steps before the PO on duty to be the ChEngs second set of eyes over the lesser snipes and making sure Joe Schmoe doesn't walk in, sees Reed, does a quick take on his collar, and sounds the alarm.

"Major on Deck!"

this gets a few people passing by saluting and tells the Boss that there's Brass around. Reed looks at the PO with a blink, "As you were." Seems like that's the first time that happened, and he doesn't really like the taste of it. He looks around again, heading this time for the cluster, with that creepy feeling one gets when they're sure everyones watching him. Damnit.

Rhea looks mildly annoyed by the entrance of the Big Brass interrupting her workers, though she tries to hide it before actually looking up and over. The clipboard she's making notes on put under her arm for a moment, she briskly salutes. Clearly wanting to just get on with the ceremony of it. Her eyes widen when she spots Reed. First with surprise, until she notes his pins. "Major Carter?" She actually smiles.

Reed nods, as if he knows what he's walking into when he approaches Rhea, "Yes, yes, Captain, as you were please." He looks over his shoulder, then back to Rhea, "You'd think the Colonel put a bell around my neck instead of pins when he promoted me. People now have the option of screaming out whenever I walk into a room, alerting everyone and I can't really stop them since they can hide behind protocol." He sighs. "Anyway, I came here to talk about your new toy."

"They don't call it rank for nothing," Rhea says with a wry grin, leveling a firm look around to make sure the engineers get 'as they were' promptly. "But congratulations, anyhow. I'm sure it was well-deserved." That's as much ceremony as she bothers with, stepping aside a little so Reed can get a good view of the marker. "Cute, isn't he? I'm thinking of naming him sparky." Probably a joke. "I was wondering when you and your contractors would start drifting over, actually. Anyone qualified to poke at it is welcome, by the way. We've only just begun our analysis. Interesting little puzzle…"

The buoy marker that was hauled in by the Raptors sits here. There is a deep gash on one side, which looks like something huge took an axe to it. Electronic parts are seen, busted and sparking. A piece, not pertaining to the marker is hanging off the edge, but has been fused in place by the sparks. Another piece found with it, doesn't seem to belong to it either and lays to the side.

Reed looks at the marker for a moment. He frowns slightly, tilting his head, "Well, I've concluded my expert analysis. This did not come from nor is caused by a natural planetary process." He nods, "That's the best I can do personally." He turns back to Rhea, "Yes, well." He turns the clipboard to her, offering it. "List of my Contractors. Several of them want to come over and see the thing, but the Botanists are at a loss to tell me just how they can help, as are the meterologists and seisemologists. Most of them just want to come over to-" Here his voice takes on the quality of an overstimulated five year old. "Real Live Battlestar!" He shrugs, "Anyway, regs are we both need to approve a Contractor visit. Keep this and if you find anyone you want to have a look at it, you'll have them."

Rhea nods at that. "I concur. It almost looks like someone took an axe to it. A very big axe. Not exactly a standard weapon in space. But, we'll figure it out. Whatever keeps me out of the pipes is a welcome change." She grins, rather girlishly. Sparks, squee! This is the stuff she lives for. She takes the list, giving the names a once-over and smirking. "Battlestars aren't nearly as tall in person, they'll be sorry to learn. Anyone with mechanical or comms experience would be welcome. I'd like to strip Sparky, and whatever's attached to him, down before we put him back together. See if there are anymore surprises lurking inside this thing."

Reed nods, "I have a Comms Contractor that comes to mind, she does good work, interesting attitude though. Used to be on the track to Viper pilot before she had to return to Civilian life. I can send her over to have a look." He pauses, "I heard you found a.. blockage.. in the pipes. I guess that's one mystery solved."

Rhea's brows arch. "From Vipers to comms? Well, I'm interested to meet her, at least. The signals this thing was giving off were severely frakked when the pilots found it." 'Severely frakked' is the closest she can come to a clinical diagnosis of the problem right now. At his comment about the pipes, she smirks. "I think someone took the old axiom about keeping their pipes protected too literally. I'm going to feed those things to whoever did it when I track them down."

Reed nods, "I'll have her report directly to you." He pauses enough to switch topics. "D'Artanion mentioned they must be substandard condoms to not be able to handle the water pressure, but I toold her to be happy they didn't or she might never shower again. The idea of getting pelted by oddly shaped water balloons has a certain humor to it. Makes me glad that Genny has tighter security than PAS, so we can rule out anyone under me."

"Marines and-or pilots. I'd bet good credits on it," Rhea says darkly. "Relax, Major. You're in the clear for that little escapade, I think. The culprit can wait. Sparky's more interesting…" She walks slowly around the thing, to study it from another angle. "What in the name of the gods was wandering around the Arm's line doing this?"

Reed looks at Sparky and frowns, "Possibly debris? Given space physics and relativistic speeds, there might still be pieces of the War flying around like eternal shrapnel. Fourty years is a blink of an eye when dealing with the distances of space. Could be a chunk from a battle long over, flew into the new Arm line, took out Sparky here. Unlikely, but then this isn't a common thing." He pauses, "That's.. really the happiest, most optimistic solution I can think of."

"Possibly…" Rhea mutters, kneeling down and staring at the thing. "It's as good a working theory as anyone else has come up with yet. A piece of the war…" Her voice grows soft, thoughtful. "Strange to think about. The Cylon War was before my time. Just a few years before I was born, but it still seems like something out of history class."

Reed nods, "Mmm, to me too. Odd to think of us fighting these shiny polished chrome robots and their flying wing Raiders. These days, it's mostly pirates and insurgents when there's much at all. Still." He frowns, looking at Sparky, "It could be pirates. Minor scuffle out where few Colonials go, which would be the Arm line." He sighs, "But the worst case scenerios are a lot worse." He looks to Rhea.

Rhea nods slowly. "More likely. Or fringe dissidents. Some colonies are more civilized than others. I wouldn't be surprised if some of my Sagittaron countrymen were roaming the Arm's line." She frowns, disapproval for her homeland palpable. Though she blinks up at him. "Worst case scenarios, Major?"

Reed looks to the other people briefly, and turns toward Rhea, taking a few steps to the side.

Rhea nods discreetly to Reed, ordering an electrical tech to finally get the sparking stopped. She seems to feel they've learned as much as they can from leaving it live. She drifts over to her desk, in a more-or-less quiet area of Engineering.

Reed speaks in a low volume, discreet, but the words come clearly and quickly. "Impact analysis is something you might want to focus on. Specificly any residue left in the impact point. Metalurgical analysis of the foreign object and chemical residue. Make sure.. -sure- that it came from a Colonial source, but.. access the old military analysis files from the war and check against enemy metalurgical compositions of known ship types, just in case. The damage may have not come from our side of the Arm line."

Rhea takes all that in, nodding a long. Seems sensible enough, from an approach to studying the thing, though her eyes narrow at some of the rest of it. "I'll see it done, Major," she replies to him, keeping her voice low as well. "Non-Colonial source? What, exactly, are you suggesting may have caused this?" She lifts her gaze from her papers, to look him in the eye.

Reed shakes his head a little, "The marker is a bouy on the Armistice Line, the border between our space and Cylon Space. No we haven't heard anything from them for four decades, but in a few weeks it's Armistace Day, and we'll send our representitive to Armistace Station. Again. to wait to see if the Cylons send a representitive. If you find any anomalies, your report might well be in that mans briefcase when he goes there."

"The Cylons have been silent for forty years, Major. They could've simply turned themselves 'off' for all we know. They're machines, after all…" But Rhea's more murmuring her own thoughts aloud than arguing. She nods again. "I'll keep an eye peeled for any…anomalies. And if you've got anyone skilled at programming or artificial intelligence…it might be prudent to send them to poke at this thing, as well."

Reed smiles slightly, "Despite the Classified nature of aspects of the PAS, I'm afraid that I don't have anyone who has dispensation to go around the Colonial ban on Artifical Intelligence research, Captain." He takes a breath, "And you're absolutely right, the Cylons might have shut down or simply gone inert or something. But the facts are that this is activity of some kind as close to Cylon Space as we can possibly go." He shrugs, "If they're out there, and this is activity from there, this might be the first contact we've had in fourty years. Might open a dialog, enable us to establish rapport with them. That's all up to higher brass than anyone here, but I trust you're going to get to the bottom of this incident, either way."

Rhea looks a tad relieved for a moment when Reed says he doesn't have anyone poking around with AIs. Gods only knows what she imagines might be going on in the bowels of PAS. "We'll get to the bottom of it, Major. Whatever it is. The Cylons can stay 'off' forever as far as I'm concerned, but I do love a good puzzle. And this…" Her gaze drifts back to Sparky. "…certainly qualifies."

Reed turns to look at Sparky as well, "Indeed it does. If you need anything from the PAS, from equipment you don't have here to larger facilities, go through the Colonel for protocols sake, but feel free to mention I'm more than willing to support your work." He looks back to her, "And yes, I agree, the Cylons can remain in their silence till the Gods decide to put on a Reality vid called 'Inside Olympus; the lives of the Gods.'"

Rhea chuckles softly. "I've never particularly wanted to see the way the gods work, sir. Or a Cylon, for that matter. Thank you. I'll keep the offer in mind." She pauses, thoughtfully. "And you're at all interested, or able, to lend your expertise to this on the research side, input would be most welcome. I'll keep you and the Colonel apprised of our findings."

Reed nods, "Thank you, though I'm more of a chemist and planetary specialist than anything else." The terraforming nature of most of the research is well known amongst the Military, even if not everything adds up perfectly. Such as the next thing Reed says. "Incidentally, after looking over the Engineering status on the Station, the final word is that we're going to keep Station and Ship Engineering departments seperated. I'm afraid this prevents a tour of the Station systems." He looks a little displeased with this, but solid on it.

Rhea looks faintly disappointed, but it passes. The neighbors toys might've been fun to see, but that seems to be the extent of her feeling on the matter. "Fair enough. Probably best for my curiosity not to extend above my pay-grade, or my security clearance, anyhow. As for our friend…" She looks to Sparky again. "…if you think of any other among your contractors, or your own engineers, for that matter, that would be good hands on this, please recommend them. I'll get them properly cleared."

Reed nods, "Absolutely, Captain." He takes a breath, "I'll go find my Comms Contractor and see about having her find you so you can put her to use as you like. Just return her in the same number of pieces as I send her, hmm?" He eyes Rhea, smirking, "I haven't forgotten about Fotilas."

Rhea can't help but laugh. "Captain Fotilas is harmless, I think. But I'll make sure everyone keeps their hands on the work while they're here."

Reed nods, taking a step back and says, in a more conversational tone now, "Then I'll head off and get back to work." He inclines his head, "Captain."

"Major," Rhea replies in kind, offering him a parting salute. Protocol and all.

Reed returns the salute, and turns to make his way out of the know of Engineering activity.

…Sometime Later…

While Engineering is never exactly calm, the normal bee-hive level of activity seems kicked up a notch today. A few officers and more than a few techs are going about their daily duties, but there's also a handful of engineers clustered around the marker. Making preliminary notes, apparently, still getting a feel for the thing. They aren't poking at it too deeply yet. Rhea is kneeling by it, clipboard in hand, brow furrowed.

Chief Taylor wanders in, knowing better than to get too close to anyone working and moving around. He dodges around a Petty Officer and approaches the small cluster carefully. Eyes travel over it a moment before he looks to Rhea. "Captain Zimmerman," he greets with a nod. "Neat toy. I take it that's the beacon?" He keeps it light in tone.

Troy comes in from Corridor 8D.
Troy has arrived.

Rhea looks up from her clipboard of notes, grinning wryly at Taylor. "Our new pet, yeah. We've named him Sparky. Careful. I don't think he's properly house-broken yet." She straightens, standing, so she's not craning up at the chief. More than usual. She's not a tall woman. "The electrical techs are getting the sparking stopped now. I want to strip it down, do a little dissection work before we start any repairs. Major Reed over on the PAS thinks there's something funny about the knocks this thing took out on the line. So do I, frankly? You want to give us a hand when it comes time to strip him?"

The Chief gives a light chuckle to her joke. "Aww. He's kinda cute. Just needs a bath and some obedience classes and he'd be ready to guard the home." The man winks to her and crosses his arms and growing a bit more serious. "That's a nasty gash in the side. I can see why you all think it stinks. I can't say I've ever seen random debris do anything like that. Looks like a high-velocity hit, too." A click of his teeth as he cocks his head, then nods toward the separate piece. "What's that thing?"

Troy steps into Engineering looking more than a little out of place, but his curiosity has got the best of him today - that much is clear on his face. Nodding to Taylor and Rhea he says, "Heya, looks like you found the one that followed us home. Think he'll pull through, doc?" He grins, and takes a step toward the thing, but pulls up short when it throws off another burst of sparks.

Rhea frowns. She looks down at her clipboard, where she's made some notes and rough drawings, but none of it seems to have clarified much for her. "Not a frakking clue, yet," she admits. Sounding determined to change that. "My guess would be it belongs with that…" She indicates the other piece, the one fused to the buoy. "Probably part of what struck it in the first place, though even that's just a guess. We'll know more once we strip it down." Troy earns a few stares from the techs and engineering officers working around him. Pilots aren't a usual sight. Rhea watches him to make sure he doesn't trip over any stray wires. "Oh, we'll fix it. It's just been battered, no secret there. *What* did this to it, and why, is the question. You were one of the pilots who found it, then?"

The Chief looks up to Troy as he mosies in. "Hey El-Tee," he offers quickly before looking to Rhea again. "Yeah, no kidding. I hope that's what caused it." He's thoughtful for a moment before he squats by it, apparently fearless of the sparking and mechincal angst it contains. His jaw moves as if he's chewing on something before glancing back to Troy. "And if you were, was this thing stationary when you found it? Or was it spinning?"

Troy nods to Rhea at her question, straightening up slightly, by habit, "Senior on the scene, sir. I retrieved the little piece there myself. Reeves towed in the rest. Have to say, the little thing really got my curiosity up. Never seen anything like that piece sticking out there - thats no meteroite damage, for sure." To Taylor's question, he doesn't something strange, he holds his hand up in a 'hang on a minute gesture, and closes his eyes, but his mannerisms are like someone watching a live feed. Finally he shakes his head and opens his eyes. "Basically stationary Chief, and even pretty close to its post, actually."

Rhea nods to Troy. "Definitely not. Nothing natural. I'd bet good credits on it. Looks like somebody took an axe to it, almost. A *big* axe. Which is not exactly common out in space." She crosses her arms along her chest, listening closely to Troy. "Go on…" she says softly, trying to coax the memory out of him rather than adding any questions. "What else did you see, Lieutenant?"

Taylor stands and his big arms unfold. His jaw sets while Troy speaks and he glances between the both of them. "That's.. kinda not good. Think of physics in space.." He uses his hands to illustrate. "Zero gravity. A mass moving at velocity collides with another stationary mass. They vector off in different directions." One hand hits the other lightly and the two depart. "If something had hit it, this should have been recovered.. someplace else. If at all." That determined and somber expression falls on Troy. "What the was this bouy marking, Lieutenant?" By his tone, he might be addressing a Specialist under him.

Troy clears his throat, rubbing at the stubble forming on his jawline. "Yeah, you know that had kind of a bad ring to it when we were there… couldn't quite put my finger on it. It was a little out of place, sure, but not… what you'd expect." He turns at the Chief's question, his mouth opens and then he considers his answer. Perhaps not exactly the right order to handle that in, but he does pull up short. "I'm sorry Chief, I'm not at liberty to say where we picked it up. If you can get cleared for the report, its all in there." He shrugs apologetically.

Rhea nods again, to Taylor this time. "I'll see if we can get your clearance properly set up. I want a thorough mechanical analysis of this thing, and there's no one more qualified to assist with it. Did you notice anything else out of place when you picked it up, Lieutenant? Anything that might explain this."

"Bah.." Taylor tosses a dismissive hand to the air at Troy's answer. He doesn't look upset at the answer, just a little miffed. "Don't apologize. I've heard that plenty and I'm used to it. Not your fault. I'll probably figure it out by the signal programmed in, anyway." He glances to Rhea with a smirk. "But to answer your question, yes. I'd love to get in on it, Captain. Thanks for the good word. I'm pretty curious about what kind of damage this sustained…and didn't even make it move.." His voice trails a bit when T looks back to the sparking doo-hicky. The burly deck chief might not be looking at them, but he's listening.

"The damage is *very* curious," Rhea agrees, walking slowly around the marker. Almost pacing. "That's why I'm more interested in taking it apart than fixing it. If we dissect, and its little hangers-on, that'll give us our really interesting answers. Don't sweat it, Chief. You aren't the only one curious about this thing. Major Carter's contractors on the PAS are lining up to poke it. And the Major and the Colonel are both very interested in whatever we find out. Sparky here has intrigued a lot of the brass, it seems…"

Troy takes a breath and looks thoughtful as he obsrves the thing from what he must consider to be a safe distance. Rubbing at his jaw still, he says, "Well, its got me wondering too, since we brought the thing back, and all." Thats about the extent of the pilot's expertise and knowledge and he takes a step toward the door. "Well, I'll let you folks do your thing up here. I hope it goes well for you."

"Yeah, I could care less about fixin' this thing, to be honest, sirs." Taylor gruffs it out, eyeing the marker with curiosity. "That's the easy part. Some panelling. New circuit boards and some programming? It's ready to head back out." Rhea's words find him oddly and he looks between the two. "Depending on what did this and where its from, I'd guess its probably not too great an idea to have civilians poking around it. But if the brass wants answers?" He shrugs. "I'm pretty confident we can give them some. I'm just the hired help. I'll leave the big choices to you educated-types." As Troy moves to leave, the Chief nods to him. "Be well, sir. Oh, by the way.. We've got a pair of Raptors in Alpha Bay. You might want to check the whiteboard on what we're doin'. See if you're interested in testing them out and let me know."

"The contractors I'm not too worried about," Rhea says. "The station puts them through intense background checks before they even get to know PAS exists, and I don't plan to let just any of them wander into Engineering. But another pair of qualified hands on a project never hurt it." She stops her wandering pace around the marker, nodding to Troy. "I hope so, too, Lieutenant. Let me know if you find anymore new toys for us out there."

Troy laughs briefly and then nods to Rhea, "Yes sir, will do." With a grin and one hand on the door he nods to Taylor as well, "Thanks Chief, I'll take a look. Cheers." And he heads out.

Troy leaves for Corridor 8D [O].
Troy has left.

The Chief shrugs again. "I suppose they do. I just get concerned about civilians. They tend to lose their cool quicker." He stoops by the marker once more and looks up to the ChEng. "Captain, you think you can get me clearance on this?" He glances around to make sure the other techs don't hear the next part. He hushes his tone. "Sir, this reeks of sabotage. I've repaired my share of impacts on Raptors and Vipers.. but this? This is a new one on me. You know me. I'll keep my trap shut. Though it kinda tickles the spine." His eyes settle on the separate piece and again as if trying to decide if he should touch it.

"I can't see why it'd be a problem. If our superiors are willing to let civilian contractors work on it, you should get clearance for the background reports easily enough," Rhea says. As to the rest of that, she nods. "I agree. But, we'll know more when we get our hands into it." When he goes to touch it, she shakes her head. "Not yet. I want the electronics techs to shut it down first. *All* of it. If it was tampered with in some way, I want to make sure every system is turned off."

"Oh, I won't touch it yet. Its just tempting." The big man chuckles at the piece. "I love projects like this. When I was in secondary school, I'd hunt down engines for cars and build them from scrap. The more foreign and strange the motor, the bigger the draw for me." Taylor smirks, eyes lifting back. "You know what you might have them do? And we should do this while we disassemble what they are doing. Take pictures,even. If it is sabotage? This is the evidence. Whoever did it should be taken before a courts martial." Once more the man rises.

"If we can court-martial them…" Rhea murmurs. "But it's not a bad idea. I'll run it past the JAG office." She smiles faintly at his reminiscence about cars. "My dad used to do that with trucks sometimes. He worked for a shipping company on Sagittaron as a mechanic. Still does. I don't think he'll ever quit. He'd find a ton of parts in salvage auctions, off passing garbage ships…you name it. Say what you will about Sagittaron, it contains some very interesting junk yards."

"Oh no kiddin'? Didn't know you were Sagg." The large man smirks. "Sounds like your Dad's a cool guy. But I know what you're sayin' about the junkyards. I used to order a lot of my parts from there. My own Dad used to joke that there was a couple squadrons of Vipers around there for all the parts to be found. I wouldn't be surprised." A pause. "So when did you want to get in on this thing? We've got a few projects on the Deck but I'm curious when I should schedule the extra manpower." Yes, he replaces himself with two people.

"Straight out of Aera Cura," Rhea replies dryly. A smokey industrial city Taylor's probably never heard of. She doesn't speak of it with any fondness, though there's warmth in her tone for her father. "He's a good man. He kept things together when I was growing up, which is about all one can ask." Back to work. "I want to give the electricians at least through tomorrow to work on it, complete with a sweep of it to make sure everything that can spark is off. The real heavy lifting won't begin until the morning after that. Are you sure you have time to spare for this? I don't want it to interfere with your duties on the Deck and this isn't an order. Strictly voluntary."

The Chief nods a few times to her description of the planet. Nope, he hasn't heard of it. "More than I can say for my own father," he jokes. Apparently not a sore spot for the man. To the business, Taylor clears his throat and crosses his arms. "Gotcha. Sounds like a good plan. As for my time?" A light shakes of his head. "Forget it. I work sixteen to eighteen hour days seven days a week. If someone wants to give me Hades about helping you out on a project like this, sir? Let them. They'll get an earful back." He's known to be pretty fearless of anyone, regardless of rank…to their face.

Rhea nods. "Fair enough. But don't work to hard. I will kick your ass out of my Engine room if I think you need to grab some rack time." Not that she's headed to her bunk anytime soon, for her part. "Thanks. I should get my paperwork straightened up. It'll give me something to do while the techs get this thing shut down. I like to hang around, make sure nothing catches fire."

Taylor laughs and nods. "Aye, sir. You may have to keep your word on that. I turn to a machine when it comes to these things." He winks to the woman and gives the marker one last look. "I'm comin' for you, Sparky!" A finger is shaken to the troublesome buoy. "Yeah I need to get back to the deck before a rook breaks something. Again. Enjoy your evening, Captain!" He lifts a hand in salutations as he moves to leave.

Rhea raises her hand back to wave off Taylor, before returning to her desk. She rifles through her papers, but her eyes remain in Sparky. Who does a lot of sparking as the night-shift electricians stat in on him.

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