The Frakking Situation
The Frakking Situation
Summary: Darius and Quill discuss officer conduct and Murphey's Law.
Date: 47 ACH
Related Logs: Scrap Metal

Darius is sitting at a console, peering at the screen, and squinting, as usual. His eyesight? Oh, it's fine. You're likely to quickly learn he squints whenever he's irritated at something. And considering that both his arms are apparently functional and cast free, this man might just never be happy.

Is it time for work again? Seriously? Wasn't Quill just /at/ work? Well, the white-board says it's duty time, so here he is, stifling a yawn. Anyway, all work and no play makes engineers… what they are. And explains many of their personality disorders. The ensign signs in and checks out a tool kit, then wanders over to the nearest open work station, which happens to be next to the Senior Chief's again. "Hey, Sagona," Quill greets, before taking in the irritated expression and observing, "You've got a smile that lights up a room, anyone ever tell you that?"

That squint develops into a full bore scowl, and Darius simply doesn't look like a man one would want to piss off. What he may lack in bulk he makes up for with sheer malevolent appearance, and at the moment (thankfully?) what he's pissed off appears to be some sort of electrical system, "Hello, sir." His scowl evens out a little bit in what might just pass for a smile… except it's still facing downward. "You know that saying about it taking fewer muscles to smile than to frown?" He looks up at you, utterly deadpan, "Complete load of horseshit." Extra spin on the 'horse' part of that word. A nice, hearty, healthy swear, "I heard things got… uncomfortable."

"Well, the saying about it taking fewer muscles than either smiling or frowning to raise a finger and tell someone to frack off is also horseshit," Quill grins. "Yet, cathartic." He's immune to scowling, he's an officer. Or just socially inept. Or both. The console is switched on, and Quill logs in to access what's apparently some engineering-foo that was started earlier. A list of files comes up, exciting! "Uncomfortable how? On the Persius you mean? Yeah, you could say that again…"

Darius nods curtly, "A real 'military engineer' moment. Nobody ever said anything about having to electrocute any damned toasters when I went to university, anyway. I heard the Terrible Ten disassembled them, though. Guys probably didn't even realize they were still moving. Just saw some bolts that were still screwed in, said 'hell with it', and fried the poor bastard just for good measure."

Quill quirks a wry smile at this. "Well, we talked about electrocuting just about everything it was possible to electrocute when I was at uni. Never did it, though, and I think most people I knew would have shat themselves at the sight of a Centurion." He brings up schematic of the Persius's drives, there are modifications here and there with what seems to be making a Mercury class system match up with a Valkyrie. "It took some doing to even find the fracking thing after it commed the CIC. Crewman Stephanos, Specialist Alderman from Deck, and CPO Rogers — pretty sure he was one of yours from the PAS — did the actual toaster toasting. It was a moment of beauty."

"Yep. That would be their ringleader. Great guy. I'm sure he enjoyed melting the frakking bastard. Wish I was there and I'll bet everyone envies them for pulling the switch." Darius leans over to look to the schematics, "Huh. Yeah. That's non-standard alright. Good." and then to you, "How'd you hold up? No need for an underwear change, I hope."

"I know I would have liked to," Quill notes somewhat wistfully, about pulling the switch. He grins, "Really, though, how many technicians does it take to cause a massive, messy electrical overload on a ship that's already falling apart? Definitely not more than three. And how often does anyone get to do that, just let the gigawatts soar without regard for what shape the electrical systems will be in afterwards? Would have been bad form to rob anyone of that. Against the Gearhead Code of Honor." He nods at the specs on his console, when Darius points it out. "Got the nod from Major Zim, we're going to re-engineer those bastards to use PAS tech and less fuel." Just like doing that is, you know, a walk in the park. "First step is making two different classes of Battlestar FTL play nice, though." To the latter question, the ensign raises brow. "Stephanos would be the one to ask about underwear changes." Pause. "Or maybe not, depends how much you value your sanity. I did alright. Trying not to think about what would have happened if that Centurion was up and running at full steam, though."

"If it was up and running, you'd have dealt with it… and good." Darius glances up at you, regarding you with some care for a moment. "You know, some people make a big deal out of officers versus enlisted… others play it down." The look on this guy's face is just… man. He needs a cigar. "But there's this sort of… thing with a lot of enlisted. Some guys are gonna take it a little personally, and that's why you've got to make sure they see the rank's not just some paperwork. Can't lead them if they don't think you're worth following. Know what you would've done if it came out shooting?" He shrugs, "You'd have dealt with the frakking situation. Now this retrofit, re-engineering, reverse engineering… not like flipping a frakking switch. It's a good idea, but so is winning the war. Major knows this'll suck like a two hundred cubit prostitute, right?"

Quill listens. Which hopefully isn't a rare trait in an engineering officer, the way Major Zim runs her shop, but whatever the case, he's paying attention. "Dealt with the fracking situation," he echoes once Darius reaches the end, words accompanied by a dry smile. "True enough. One way or another." As for the plans, he shakes his head. "This'll be an expensive prostitute without herpes," Quill continues the analogy. "Difficult to attain for people like us, but worth the wait. Part of winning — or surviving — the war is not sucking up tylium like we've got access to an unlimited supply of it, cause we don't. This hybrid FTL works, we're using less fuel and we're a damn sight better off. If it doesn't, we're not sacrificing Genesis's stock drives to make it happen." But is the engineering tenable?

It's gettin' there. The plans are still early, and don't involve the PAS tech yet. The Mercury/Valkyrie engineering would have had to be done anyway, so there's not much excitement yet on the console screens.

"Oh, don't I know it. Don't get me wrong, Ensign. It's a lovely idea, and I'm completely on board. Just as long as the polished brass knows it's got the potentialto be a particularly unsightly little undertaking. We might have to stop the fleet. That's my concern. Might have to stop it for a while if things don't go our way, which…" He glances at the plans, "Well, I mean, it looks sound without crunching all the numbers, but you know it's going to get pear shaped. We're screwing big-time with the FTL assembly…" He points with his finger, further illustrating the need for a cigar, "The light phasors, the fusion pumps, the antimatter flow… something's going to go wrong. I like the idea, but we've got to make sure we don't get covered in shit from on high when, not if, we make a mistake."

"Mmmh," Quill says, thoughtfully, narrowing his eyes at the console's schematics as though wondering which part of the design will be the one to betray him. "Yeah. True. We can get this shit set up before taking Gen offline, probably even test-jump using the skeleton of the Persius, but there's still going to be down-time when the swap is made, where we'll be sitting ducks for any cylons who come traipsing along. More downtime if/when things get shitty." The ensign looks over, curious. "What do you think, Sagona? If it was your call, is it worth the risk?"

"There are ways we could frak this up that would just about kill the rest of the FTL system. We've got enough parts to cross that bridge if it came to it…" Darius is in thought, now, "PAS wave junctions with the hyperlight, could interface with the plasma uplink.. huh… It depends on the yield. PAS quality yield would be a neat trick. That thing abused its mass to get a lot of the job done. This would be a downscaled… assembly. Huh." He starts typing on his console, starting to put together a rough mathematical simulation, "Hard to say. We can simply assume that we're going to get stranded. No such thing as a clean job when you get this big and experimental. But if our yield is nice enough, then yes. One thing we could do is change the drives over in phases. Jump, make fast modifications, test it, then be ready by the time CIC has new jump data. Lot more potential for something to go wrong, but easier to revert unless we get a catastrophy on our hands. No." He finally decides, "No, I can't answer that yet. Needs error modelling first. But it has potential. We're going to pay for this drive with blood, though."

"The files are on the main engineering server," Quill offers. "Any time you want to make modifications, Sagona, the project will be better for it. Just make sure you record what you did or save a different version, so I don't inadvertently undo your work next time I'm on duty." He's jotting down notes with fast and inaccurate typing as the SCPO talks, though, and nods. "I like the idea of doing it in stages, and I think Command will go for that long before they'd go for a single, time-consuming overhaul. Doing it in stages also will allow us to isolate what isn't working, one component at a time. It'll be a bitch and a half to put together, since we'll essentially be designing one working FTL system for each jump… but are we fracking engineers, or what?" A pause lingers when Sagona points out the price of this operation, and Quill takes in the information on the screen. "You're right. We will," he decides after a moment. "I guess the question will be how much, and it'll be up to engineering to make sure it's as little as possible." A sigh, he shakes his head. "Or? Command could decide the whole thing's untenable, or we find massive tylium deposits somewhere the Cylons haven't noticed, and the whole point's moot."

"Of course. Wouldn't want to reinvent the wheel. I don't know that it's our call to make, though." Darius taps fingers over the desk and stares at your schematics, "We're putting everything at risk, so it's ultimately Major Z's ass at stake if anything goes wrong. Shit rolls downhill, remember that. She'd get the biggest bite of that shit sandwich. What we're going to have to do is come up with estimates. Presentations… and not bullshitty ones, either. Sell it to ourselves, then to her, and let her sell it to the brass. Let -them- decide what to do, knowing the risks and the cost. They get paid to lose their hair over shit like this. And you know… I wonder if we really could build a second FTL drive. A backup system."

"Yeah, that thought occurred to me, and it's not one I like," Quill admits, to the topic of Major Zimmerman and the inevitable shit sandwich. "She does right by us, the thought of Command busting her ass for a failed FTL project is…" Quill shakes his head. "Not something we're going to let happen. It's like you said, we do the best we can, we do better than that, and then, well… she's a smart woman, she'll make the right call on whether or not Command gets to hear about the idea." At Sagona's latter words, Quill raises a brow. "A backup system as well as a PAS-tech hybrid system? Doubtful, there'd be too many components needed for it that I doubt we can fabricate from scratch. If you keep fuel reduction plans out of the mix, though, absolutely. Persius's rig just isn't that different from the one Genesis has. It's fracked, but not FUBAR."

Darius nods slowly, "Was afraid you'd say that. We don't have enough parts for that. Could tear into one of the civilian ships, maybe. Raid it for parts, let the construction ship make a flattop for them later, but it's getting sketchy. I guess this is going to be the way to go, then. I'll do some modelling, and keep it up to date with our design. I'll also give Major Carter a call and see if he's got any insight. We'll do it in stages, a little at a time."

"I mean, we could try," Quill says, pulling up Engineering's inventory of current metals and materials. "But the FTL drives on this thing are massive, and even if we did have the ability to fabricate a third rig, we'd be shooting ourselves in the feet the next time those materials were needed to repair Deck's little birds, or the water rec system, or combat damage to Genesis, or whatever the frack else goes wrong. We'll keep it on the backburner, though, you never know." There's an appreciative nod to the mention of Major Carter's name, and Quill pauses before diving into his work in earnest. "Sagona. Thank you," the ensign says, sincerely. "I'm sorry about the PAS, but glad you're here."

"Yeah, I know. And you're right. It's just too much. I'm dreading when we pull on the drives and we're stuck, though. Could be a 10 minute fix. Could be a ten day fix. Can't help but want to find a way to stop that from ever having a chance to happen." The Senior Chief sighs, irritated. His gaze narrows and the scowl comes back. He really does care, of course. "Motherfrakking hell. So, that's the plan. Let's collect some evidence, do some tests, work out some real numbers and believe in them. And please, it's fine. Is what I'm here for. PAS went, but some good'll come out of it. Main thing is that the 450 people who we lost didn't go for nothing. We'll soup this bird up. Just gotta do it the right way, or not at all."

Quill grins. Hearing solid talk about FTL plans, as well as plans regarding not fracking up said FTL plans, it's music to his ears. "If you weren't such a cranky bastard, Sagona, I'd hug you." Fortunately for everyone involved, he doesn't, and is absorbed into his own work console so the Senior Chief can work in peace.

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