PHD #304: Communication Breakdown?
Communication Breakdown?
Summary: Marko hunts through the CIC logs in search of the mystery transmissions.
Date: Dec 27, 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Marko Hydra 
A Former Supply Closet Near the Map Room
One might think special, hush-hush from high-level ship Intelligence would be a glamorous assignment. That's certainly how they play it in the spy movies. The spy movies, of course, do not dwell on the conversations you aren't allowed to have with *anyone* about this high-level Intelligence work. Or the fact that your superiors so often won't tell you the real import of what you're working on. Or that you do the majority of your work in near-darkened rooms in little cubbyholes of the ship. Such is your lot in life tonight. The explosion on Deck 10 still has the Navy Offices closed off, so Marko's IIG work has been moved to what can best be described as a glorified supply closet near the Map Room. It's been set up so it can support work on a laptop computer in relative secrecy. If nothing else, the TACCO had the courtesy to clear the room of mops and get Marko a proper desk to work on. Still, glamorous, this is not. But it more or less allows him to do code work uninterrupted, in what little 'free' time the put-upon ECO can carve out given the current state of affairs.
Post-Holocaust Day: #304

"Okay…let's go through this again." Marko sighs to himself, tapping at the keyboard and arranging the evidence he's collected thus far, all of which in the form of separate panes on the monitor into a more manageable pattern. With another tap, he opens up a new pane, and types in two fields 'INCOMING' and 'OUTGOING'. "Okay, first hit I got was from the ANC-23, file tag eleven twelve TC…logged at 22:23 hours, date…eh…I can't remember..wait…Just cut and paste it from the pane into this one. That one was outgoing, file that there…." Slowly but surely, the young, but very tired ECO begins to compile all of the bits of code he's found during his investigation into CIC and arrange them into something that, if he's clever, he can see a pattern emerging from.

Funny thing, all those numbers. All that data. All that code. It's like music in a way, notes put together so those who know how to play it can make it sing. And those who don't end up just making an awful noise. But you spend enough hours looking at it, and one *does* see a pattern start to emerges. In pieces. This is a concerto you're trying to play by ear.

But something *does* jump directly out at you. As you're looking, not even at the code so much as the date-time stamps of some of the work you've done. Twelve hours after you informed CPT Nikephoros that a section of comm code had been rendered inert - on Nov 13 2041 AE - barely 12 hours after the good captain was made aware of this…Nov 13 2041 AE. The date the Cylons attacked Cerberus and the rest of the Fleet after the long, pastoral quiet over Aerilon.

Barely 12 hours after either Cora or yourself - and we know it wasn't you, now don't we - knew precisely where to make a 'fix' to that piece of strange code.
That kind of timing can't be a coincidence.

"Wait a second…that doesn't make sense." Marko frowns, cross-referencing the date-time stamps back and forth over and over again to be sure he's not going crazy. "I report this to the Captain and _twelve hours_ later we get hit?" he asks, back-scrolling through the data to look for other potential links. "Wait a second, lemme try something." he says, pausing to take a sip of water from his water bottle before cuing up a search program, keying it to look for any signs of viral corruption in the code fragments.

No sign of corruption. At least, not that can be readily spotted. Marko is, of course, looking at a line of code that's really only open to manipulation by people who'd know what they were doing with it. Well, and senior command like Pewter and Tillman, but neither of them have a spook background. It's a short list as to who does. CPT Nikephoros, LT Oberlin, LT Rime and Intel's LTJG Stryer all had access to *make* the sort of changes - and 'fixes' - that might've mussed with the comm code. If any of them were originally responsible for rendering it inert, however, they are long gone. All you know is that it's 'fixed' now, and by CPT Nikephoros' hand if one deduces logically.

The screen glows blueish black and white in the dim light. Almost mockingly. Or perhaps that's just what one would imagine, after staring at it for so many hours.

Rule #1 of Hacking, when the screen starts to snicker at you, it's time to take a break. With a sigh, Marko carefully saves his work, shuts the computer down, fumbles his way out of the hideously uncomfortable office chair his ass has been parked at for several hours now and heaves a mighty, joint popping stretch. Forcing himself to forget anything to do with his work, he locks the door to the 'office' (ha-ha) he's been given and makes his way to the head. He tries to disconnect that part of his brain and concentrate on anything else. Oh look, the head's a little cleaner than it was yesterday, wonder who it was got in trouble? That human necessity taken care of, a brisk run up the stairs towards the rec room. Hey, that funny looking mug with the BSC Atlantia crest on it's back. How the hell did that get in here, anyway? A glance at the bug juice dispenser elicits a disappointed frown, pink and purple, not exciting choices, go for the pink, it doesn't stain his tongue so bad. It isn't until he's back in his cramped little work space, door locked securely behind him that he reboots the computer and lets himself think about work again. "Okay…that didn't work…So…Let's start at the top." he says, sipping at his bug juice and re-arranging everything back to square one. "This time, we add a new category 'AUTHORIZED USERS' is typed into the new pane right next to INCOMING and OUTGOING…

While it's quite obvious it was CPT Nikephoros who input the 'fix' for the code after its strangeness had been discovered, backtracking to find out who originally rendered it inert in the first place is going to be more of a chore. While you can compile the above list of authorized users, the code had been inert for gods' knows how long, apparently unnoticed until Marko went poking around in it.

*Why* one might want to render that bit of comm code inert? That's an easier question to answer. And a disturbing one, if one starts pondering the various possibilities. This section of code is the one that scans for unannounced and new frequencies. A little backdoor that one can exploit to transmit, or receive, all sorts of illicit things unbeknownst to anyone else in CIC. If one knows where the door is located.

"Okay…." Marko says once his initial data sets have been entered, then turns to look at the list of authorized users. This is…disturbing, the same names keep popping up, too: Nikephoros, Oberlin, Rime, and Stryer. All of them had the user authority to turn this bit of code on and off, All of them are trusted almost implicitly….

Aaah…but that doesn't take into account people that might have known how to get at the code who aren't authorized users. People, for example, like him. Could the Cerebrus have a fellow 'board head aboard? Sipping at his bug juice, Marko begins to pull up the duty rosters for the dates and times he's noted.

Could be. But once you get outside the 'authorized' user list, you're doing a *lot* of guesswork. There are some commonalities that pop up. SPC Tyr Bannik and CN Sofia Wolfe are often tasked with 'wiring' work in CIC that might allow them a certain level of not-quite-authorized access, if they're clever enough about it. They're in and out often enough that there's some overlap in the dates, but it's note *quite* enough to be all that suggestive.

If only there was a way to check the transmissions that might've gone out on that frequency. Which, rendered inert as the code was, the CIC logs are largely useless for. However, CIC isn't the only one who keeps an ear to comm traffic near the Cerberus. The Raptors on CAP typically record - or at least note - incoming and outgoing transmissions as a matter of course. Which you'd have a front row seat and easy access to as an ECO. There's not much more you can get out of your computer. Hitting the Raptor boards armed with those dates and times you're interested in and that frequency, however, might be the more useful course to take.

Marko hrms as the list leads him more or less nowhere different from where he expected to go. Too much overlap in the schedules, too many other people to have to track. Just making the accusation would make him public enemy #1 on the whole ship. "Might as well finger half the damn CIC." he sighs. "Wait…" he says, pausing in mid-sip. "What if…" he says, flipping open the knee board he always keeps with him for note taking when doing this kind of work, and starting to leaf through it's increasingly fragile notepad. And there it is, he's got it written down, well, one of them, anyway. The sheet clearly reads DUTY SQUAWK - CIC : JAFA. "Frak!" he grins. "Thank you, Master Chief Kollos." he grins, raising his mug in a quiet tribute to the now-deceased woman who taught him to always write down who's on the bitch box during a hop. "Also, I bet there's logs on the Raptors as to what was transmitted when and on what frequency." he says, draining his cup in one, fell swoop. "Ugh…Frak that stuff's awful. Any relation to actual pink lemonade is entirely accidental."

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