BCH #001: Barring Some Manner Of Epic Fail
Barring Some Manner Of Epic Fail
Summary: With the swallows now trained to sing a different song, Trask speaks with the TACCO about when to release them.
Date: 25 Feb 2041 AE
Related Logs: Think Tank & Phantom Swallows
Tillman Trask 

-[ Ward Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus ]-

A large oak table in the center that is surrounded by high-backed, black leather chairs, and is one of the few compartments that has carpeted floor dominates the Ward Room. There is a large LCD screen at one end of the room for presentations that faces the CO's position at the head of the table. At the other end of the room is a small counter for refreshments and has stacks of legal pads and writing utensils available for those that use the room. Nearest the hatch is a small screen set into the wall, which provides a readout for a customizable set of data. Along the starboard wall, stand the 12 flags of the colonies.

-=[ Condition Level: 3 - All Clear ]=-

With a quick meeting scheduled from the Air Wing, the TACCO left someone else on watch in the CIC. Tillman has already taken a position at the table in the Ward Room with a cup of coffee and a small stack of papers. At the back of the room is the perpetually brewing pot of caffeinated people fuel and the smell fills the room.

Lieutenant (JG) Trask has been a busy boy, working with Engineering, organizing with Deck, spearheading the Air Wing efforts, and now meeting with the TACCO. All just to get some swallows to sing a different song. "Captain Tillman," he greets, stepping inside, dressed in his blues, which is something he tends to avoid as much as he's able. A crisp salute follows, mainly as a matter of protocol. "Thank you for meeting with me. I'll make this as brief and as informative as possible."

Tillman rises as Trask enters, himself in his blues - which he probably lives in. The salute is returned quickly. "Be at ease, Lieutenant." The Tac Officer motions to the chair across from him. "If someone needs to meet with me, I assume it's for a good reason. Don't feel rushed. What's on your mind? Oh- There's coffee at the back if you'd like." The last is offered a bit absently as if he's forgetting his manners, retaking his own seat. He reaches out for his mug of brew.

Truth in advertising, the ECO gets right to the point, although his tone is quite casual. "We're programmin' a slew of swallows to read with diff'rent signatures. One batch will manifest as a series of birds; the other as a doppelgänger of the Cerberus. What I need to know is how Tactical wants 'em released. We can jump in an' activate some of the bird decoys an' keep some in reserve, or we can unleash 'em all in one go." He doesn't even pause as he pours himself a cup o' joe, which he takes black. "Obviously, the doppelgänger will manifest before the actual battlestar, but we need to know how Tactical wants to play it, so we can do our hocus-pocus on-cue." By this point, he's now sitting across from the TACCO, idly blowing on the steaming caffeine, letting those big brown eyes of his lift-up in a rather boyish manner, expectant of an answer.

Tillman leans back in the chair with his mug, taking a long sip. He looks to the chair across from him as the Lieutenant speaks, his mind lost in thought. He's quiet for a moment before looking back to the Jig. "Well, the plan is to have you all jump in first and execute the false image of the Cerberus. After that, I've purposely left things vague. I hate micromanagement, personally. So what can you tell me about the bird decoys? How will they register?" Tillman watches the young man with some interest.

"Barring some manner of epic fail, they'll register as real as a real ship on the opposition's DRADIS. Lieutenant Oberlin's been exploring how we can exploit the miasma that is Uram." Taking a sip from his brew, which is held in his left hand, Trask then idly slides a folder towards Tillman. "All the specs are there, sir. As you no doubt are aware, Engineering is workin' on some tricks of their own, which is — as you again are no doubt aware — why the timing is vital. Triggering the phantom vessel while the FTL-masked real mccoy jumps in… Well, we'll be able to lease our adversaries to others." That's how much the Cerberus will own them.

The Captain doesn't reach for the folder that's slid across the table, but instead keeping his focus on Trask. Some might consider the look oppressive but he's merely sizing the other officer up. "That I am, on both accounts. So, these swallows should appear as Vipers or Raptors on the enemy DRADIS. How do you think it might look to launch all of those Swallows as once, right as you jump in?" He's looking for an opinion. "If you were at an ECO panel and saw this appear on your screen - this faux Battlestar, and then you kicked out the Swallows - how would that look to you? Real enough for you to scramble and curse?" The Captain's brow quirks a bit. He keeps his face and tone even of almost all emotion.

"Barring some manner of epic fail," Bootstrap reiterates with aplomb, "the signatures will read as legit. Since you're askin' how I'd personally react, I'd jump on the comms to see if anyone could confirm with line-of-sight, but going by the straight DRADIS readings, there would be nothing to indicate that I was being duped, an' I say this as a licensed electrical engineer, sir. The signal flares in the sector actually work in our favor." For someone being sized-up, the Jig isn't shrinking in the slightest, although he does have another sip of coffee. "Now, I figure I'm not the only smart cookie in the fleet, which is why our point of entry is just as important as our timing." Just in case someone else seeks visual confirmation. "I make it do what it needs to do. How it gets used really isn't my call, Captain."

The TACCO nods at the end and turns back to look at the table and the few papers on it. "My concern is their Raptors, too. We know their position. But only so much can be done to prevent visual confirmation. What is most likely going to happen is that they will see the DRADIS signature, the other ship will confirm it, then they will open fire. There probably won't be time to scout and recon. I think your idea of flushing Swallow Vipers will seal it enough, though. Go ahead and kick those out as you see fit. I'd like you to take charge of their employment, Lieutenant. It's an important consideration that would normally go to a Major or Captain." He looks back to Trask. "Think you can handle that level of responsibility? The performance of this ship in the games may depend on you." He's dead serious by the sound of his voice and the look on his face.

The el-tee doesn't wilt. "Sir, they don't call me Bootstrap for ironic reasons," Trask replies, the amusement he manages to mostly stifle at the corner of his mouth still reaches his eyes. "For what it's worth, I backseat for Cap'n Quinn." Odds are the SL won't let him frak-up, right? "Have for a solid year, now." Odds are he isn't a frak-up, if that's the case. "I'll pull my weight and do my part, sir, and I'll pick up whatever slack I may find." It's a matter-of-fact statement lacking any semblance of defensiveness or pandering.

"Fair enough. I know Quinn well. If she trusts you with her backseat, then I need nothing further." Tillman nods once and sips at his coffee. "Sounds like some damned fine execution. What's your involvement in this project? And don't be modest, Lieutenant." He still keeps the same expression, eyes focused on Trask.

Trask isn't a modest man, bit neither is he a braggart. Usually, he's just obnoxious. In this instance, he manages to not be glib. "Well, sir, the CAG tapped me to work with the ChEng, seein' that Engineering wanted an EW specialist to work on an FTL consult. I knew the Major back when she was a Captain and I was the AE lead aboard the Aegean. Before I made the lateral move to Deck, I worked six years in Engineering, specializing in Electrical. Just so happens that a few of those years were spent workin' with Captain Gabrieli, back when we both were aboard the Chimaera." It comes out very conversationally.

His propensity for cheekiness also starts to surface. "Now, now… before you get the wrong impression, I didn't get the assignment due to cronyism. As I mentioned before, I'm a licensed electrical engineer. Aerospace, too, since I'm already givin' you the run-down. Anyway, after a chat with the ChEng, one of his el-tees named Marcion, and your own Lieutenant Oberlin, I opted to start training the swallows to sing a different tune. Took a while to work out the configurations to create the doppelgänger, as that requires far more coordination than pinging as a Raptor or Viper, but I'm confident it'll work. Rounded up some other ECOs to assist with the reprogramming an' brought Chief Atreus an' his AE lead aboard to make certain all the bits an' pieces function as they need t'function. That's pretty much it. Y'know, the same ol', same ol'." That explained, Bootstrap whets his whistle with more java.

Tillman finally gives off some emotion with a chuckle, shaking his head. "Did five years on the Aegean. I was Tac there, also. Admiral Strye's a good woman. Good crew, too. I consider her to be a personal friend, actually." He smirks, letting it silence hand for a moment while he considers the information. "Well, I don't think the Major is any less likely to play favorites than I am. Like you said, I will assume you got the assignment for your own qualifications." He sips at the coffee. "If this works, I'll tack a letter into your file and see if I can get Major Hahn to sign off on it, too. I'll pass your name along to the Admiral when I speak to him next, as well. Damned fine work, Lieutenant." He rises from the chair, taking the folder up as well. "I just hope it works as advertised."

"I'm grateful for the two-year stint I did there. Damn fine ship with a damn fine crew," the ECO broadly smiles. "I was up to be Deck Chief aboard another vessel but then opted for OCS while I still was able to squeak into flight school. No doubt that the Admiral's rep added heft to my stellar record. Can't say I ever spoke with 'er, though. My loss, as I hear it. Guess it was a bit much to hope she'd've transferred here, too." There's a hint of laughter in his voice. "I'd been wonderin' 'bout you," Kal continues. "I knew the Aegean had a TACCO named Tillman. A Captain, no less, such as yourself. Go figure that it actually /is/ you." Evidently, this is a happy development, if the el-tee's demeanor is any indication. As for the praise, "Havin' some really good peeps aboard certainly helps, but it is damned fine work, I must say." Cue impish grin. "Oh, just so you know, it's spelled K-A-L … T-R-A-S-K." Which is his way of saying that it'll work. Well, barring epic fail. Rising, he concludes with, "Thank you for your time, Captain. Really glad to see you were poached from the paragon poacher." Strye has a reputation, after all.

"Nope, I think Strye will probably stick with the Aegean until they either promote her or kick her out of the Navy. She loves that ship." Tillman grins, then laughs a bit. "Aye. Same guy. Just remember I didn't leave that ship voluntarily. She gave me the boot. Gave me some hell about overstaying my welcome and them needing to train new officers for the position. Though I'll say getting the position here sweetened that quite a bit. It'll be my last cruise so hopefully we can have a repeat performance with the quality here. Looks like it so far." He takes a few steps towards the hatch, turning to the Lieutenant as he reaches it. "Best of luck this evening, Lieutenant. Kick their frakking asses." A sly smirk crosses him before stepping out.

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