PHD #128: Duty Before Displeasure, Pt. II
Duty Before Displeasure, Pt. II
Summary: Rime examines the Leonis video under the scrutiny of the MPs.
Date: 4 Jul 2041 AE
Related Logs: Duty Before Displeasure, Duty Before Displeasure, Pt. III.
Constin Rime 

One of the workstations down in Engineering has been set aside for the videotape investigations — and it's here that Lieutenant Rime awaits. The large monitor shines back a flat white light at her downturned face, some large technical tome opened across her lap. The MP — was her request honoured, or has another been chosen in Lance Corporal Maragos's stead? — with the carefully-monitored videotape is due to arrive any minute. If they're prompt, all the better. If they're not, it's not like she's lacking in reading materials to pass the time.

Constin is prompt- even a minute or two early, but is distinctly not Lance Corporal Maragos. The marine greets Rime with an evenly voiced, "Sir." In addition to the standard on-duty sidearm, the MP also carries with him in a secured package the real star of this act: the videotape. Expression held rigidly into a stonefaced stare.

Blue-green eyes lift as the door opens, and hold upon the Sergeant with an unreadable expression. "Sergeant," Rime replies, after a few seconds. "Come in. Everything is prepared." There's even an extra chair, so he doesn't have to stand the entire time. "I assume you will want me to explain everything I'm doing, as I'm doing it. Are you familiar with video editing or video analysis?" her attention flicks back to the screen, and a chorus of mouse-clicks drift through the room shortly thereafter.

"Full explanation isn't required. Sir. All that procedure requires is that ah take note and time of intended actions, and any results you come up with," the big sergeant states crisply. "Ah'm not here as an expert, ah'm here to verify the work of yourself, and other experts. Sir." A clipboard is presented to Rime, with a pen attached. It is a record reflecting times and individuals to whom this piece of material has been disclosed prior. One column each for name, time of checkout, time of return, and signtaures of both requesting officer and MP countersignature.

Rime accepts the clipboard with a curt nod, and sweeps her eyes down the list of prior examiners. "Of course," she says, before adding her information. Tidy, printed name, the time checked against the timepiece on the wall as well as the computer's display, and a quick signature — D M Rime. "I'll explain the basics as I go. We'll both be happier with as few miscommunications between us as possible." She hands it back, and looks to the secured videotape package with poorly-concealed anticipation. So focussed on the task at hand she's not even remembering her icy little insults.

Constin puts his own signature down after Rime's- it is an ugly, heavy scrawl especially when compared against the Lieutenant's handwriting. With that concluded, he opens the seal on the package, setting aside another package to re-secure the video once Rime is finished, and hands Rime a pair of thing gloves with which to handle the item. This last step taken care of, the video is held up for Rime to take. The marine simply nods once, and assents to her sentiment with silence.

"First step," says Rime, as she pulls the gloves on and curls her fingers into them, "is to make a copy of the video file. Each time we run that tape, we're degrading it further. Not to mention the radiation damage…" She's speaking quickly, and her voice grows a bit tense by the time it trails off. The tape is gingerly slipped into the player and, after a flurry of clicking and interface windows, the copying process begins. "I'll be keeping a copy of this copy I'm making so we aren't required to go through this song and dance every time I want to check things." She, too, falls silent, as her attention fixes on the video image on the screen, Rear Admiral Abbot and his phalanx of Centurions staring back at her.

Constin shifts the sign-in page to the back of his clipboard and starts writing: 15:07:24 - Duplication of subject video. Lt Rime to maintain copy. "Duplicate tape. Noted. Sir." With that first step taken care of, Constin settles into the provided chair, and watches the tape for the first time, himself.

There, right in the center of the screen, is a man — short but compact, his body muscular and trim, walking like a king between what appears to be an honor guard of Centurions: inspecting the damage to a hospital, perhaps, while interfacing with a gadget that emits waves upon waves of red light. And as the man turns around for one brief moment — there stands the Admiral. "There we have it," Rime murmurs, rather woodenly, after a long pause. She doesn't move for several seconds after that — then abruptly sits up, closes down a few of the interface windows, and delicately pops the tape from its player to give it a physical inspection. "The man who claims to have taken this video died on Leonis, correct?" she asks, glancing up from turning the small item over and over in her gloved hands.

Constin answers, with similar flat inflection, "During the final extraction, yes. Sir. I believe one of his team survived and is aboard Cerberus, but to my knowledge had no part in the production of this item." Looking back to his page, the sergeant records: 15:25:10 - Subject video removed for pysical inspection.

"It's taken a beating. Tape's not new, either. Who knows how many things were on this before…this." The Lieutenant is not pleased with her findings, that's for sure. "Has the Admiral been questioned yet? Or are you waiting on…" The briefest of pauses. "…evidence?" A slight gesture with the tape. She starts to set it down on the table, then pulls herself up short and offers it back to Constin and his secure container, instead.

"Initial questioning has taken place, but ah've not been made party to the results. Sir," Constin answers back as he sets aside the clipboard to pick up the second envelope. He seals it, as he goes on: "It's not procedure to share sensitive information with those outside the immediate investigation, and ah'm able to respect that.." he matches her briefest of pauses. "..Sir."

"This procedure — the checking-in and checking-out of the tape, the gloves, the timesheet — is the same for everyone examining the tape, correct? Including Captain Gabrieli and your commanding officer?" Rime watches the envelope being sealed and breathes out a long sigh, shoulders slumping beneath her crisp blue jacket. She shakes her head faintly, eyes troubled by some internal thought, then sits up straight again. Back straight, shoulders square, soldier.

"Correct. Sir," Constin answers. "Same for any sensitive materials, same for everyone." Taking the clipboard back up, he brings the checkin page to the fore once again, and checks the chronometer before signing it back in, and handing the clipboard to Rime for her own signature.

Can one be put uneasily at ease? Rime seems to be put in that predicament, given Constin's answer. "Good," she finally decides, as she takes the clipboard back. Tidy, printed name, the time checked against the timepiece on the wall as well as the computer's display, and a quick signature — D M Rime. "I'm going to run this copy through a bit-editor and see what it tells me," she says to him, "but I don't believe you're required to witness it."

Constin nods once to that last. "Appraise the Em-Pee office of any discoveries, Lieutenant." Taking his sealed envelope and clipboard, the Sergeant rises to his feet without further ado. "Sir."

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