PHD #014: Freestyle Cylonicity
Freestyle Cylonicity
Summary: Haeleah and Oberlin discuss how to handle the Cylon 'corpse' confiscated from the Chimaera. Watch For: DJ Jazzy Intel's Mad Sweet Rhymes.
Date: 12 Mar 2041 AE (PH 14)
Related Logs: The Issue of Echidna
Haeleah Oberlin 

[ 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: 2 - Danger Close ]=

Haeleah gets to the Ward Room a little earlier than the time arranged. When you're meeting with someone from CIC, best to polish your punctuality. She slips into the room bearing a black folder, blues in reasonably pressed order. She even washed her hands before she came. The sign any serious snipe has made an effort to polish themselves.

Uh oh, ROLE REVERSAL TIME. While Haeleah's polished and dressed to the nines, it appears that Oberlin, judging by his hastily-buttoned olive duty Greens and stack of messy paperwork clutched to his side in a desperate attempt to keep some semblance of order, has been working in the trenches today. Or at least flitting about in places other than CIC. He at least stands straight in a presentable pose when scanning about to spot the Snipe. "Hullo, Lieutenant." He finally states, shifting his things to his left side.

Haeleah straightens and salutes Oberlin. Grungy or no. Got to respect the betters. "Lieutenant Oberlin, sir. Lieutenant Junior Grade Haeleah Parres. Thanks for taking the time. The Cheng was sure Tactical would be all over this." 'This' meaning the corpse of Cylon currently under guard by Marines in Engineering.

"By 'all over' I expect you mean I've been gearing up for a 'hate-opsy,' Lieutenant." Oberlin says, with no small amount of wryness in his voice. His stress-worn eyes narrow as he lets out a single 'hmmph', closed mouth which might pass as a laugh. He returns the salute about the same time, firmly and lets his hand drop. "Don't need to thank me, Lieutenant. You're right. The fact that it's taken this long for me to get to it just gives you an idea how much is going on." With that, he strolls on over towards Haeleah and her folder, as he eyes the packaged intel greedily.

Haeleah lays the folder on the table, where Oberlin can paw through it at his leisure. It's thin at the moment, however. Mostly filled with incident reports from the fire-fight on the Chimaera, where the Cylon was taken, and some general info on where and how Engineering has stowed it since then. "There isn't much to tell at the moment. We're going to be getting our hands into it shortly. I wanted to ascertain if you had any instructions on how the Cylon should be handled. From an Intel perspective. I've done a quickie damage assessment on the thing but that's as deep as I've gotten. It was shot to shit, but we should still be able to get some useful information out of it. Especially in terms of how the Cylons have…evolved since the war." She uses the word 'evolved' uncomfortably. As if unsure that it applies, but unable to find a better one.

And paw he does. Oh, how he does. Oberlin barely hesitates as he clears the distance to the table and sets his own notes down, mostly printouts with notes scribbled in the margins by hand that practically drip with hints of frustration. He shakes his head and opens his mouth, and closes it, starting to thumb through the pages. "Hm. This is probably going to involve a lot of educated guessing on our part. We don't know /how/ dormant it is. It could have a bug or pose some kind of nature. From what I'm seeing, it appears they don't exactly talk like we do, or chat around the fire. Cylon Bob and Cylon Jim don't hang around at work by the water cooler gossiping about Cylon Jack's new promotion. They have some form of Wireless communication. Or some approximation, I mean, that's the only thing that would make sense, here."

Haeleah nods to Oberlin. Though her curls are pinned, they still do some bobbing with the movements of her head. "That's why I figured it was best to bring this to you folks before we started poking at it, sir. It was pretty violently deactivated by the Marines on the Chimaera so, but I honestly don't know exactly what to expect when we crack it open." She sounds a mixture of wary and eager. It's hard to tell which emotion is dominant. "Do you think it could be capable of…messaging its own kind in the state its in?"

"Mmmm." Oberlin muses over Haeleah's statement and question in a distant sort of tone, continuing to thumb through the documents. He reaches over with his other hand to cup his chin in a manner befitting the most pretentious of stereotypical, stuffy professors. "Given what I know of their physiology, we're in guess-land on that one. If it /were/, though, I'd say we'd be completely and utterly frakked now, wouldn't we?" He heaves in a breath and lets out a single laugh. "Especially considering that, if they /knew/ our location and we're not swimming in them, they probably had some kind of long-term plan. Now wouldn't /that/ suck?" He turns to eye her, with a humorless sort of smirk. "So anyway, A guess. My guess would be 'no.' Just for sanity's sake."

"My educated guess is 'no' as well, sir, but like you said it's still just a guess," Haeleah says to Oberlin. "I'll instruct the techs we get on this to keep a very close eye on its electrical readings, though. I know the Marines are eager to get its specs. Though I think they're mostly concerned with the basics. Weight, thickness of its plating. Weapons capabilities. All that goes into blowing them up, or their own capabilities as war machines. All of that should be pretty easy to catalog. I'm more interested in seeing what makes them…tick." Again, she seems unsure if that's the right word choice, but it's the one she lands on.

Squinting, the dark-haired officer raises and lowers his shoulders in a sloppy shrug. "Yeah. Well, I think the most maddening thing about all this is that the unknowns are so pervasive and so complete that it makes even finding a place to start difficult. When the attack first hit, I even heard at least one complete tool saying 'it might be the work of Saggitaron insurgents.' Ha. As if they knew anything about their damn goals." Another humorless snicker and he gets to the point. "So that's why I think we're both right. Reining in the wild speculation, because usually the most simple explanation is closest to the truth. The marines shot this piece of shit down, and it's 'dead'. And we have its guts to play with. And by 'play with' I don't mean 'melt down into Tauron street gangster style chain jewelry.' Although I'd laugh if I saw someone wearing it." He takes in a long, slow breath and gets back to the important details here.

"So, you're suggesting we start with the 'brain.' How they communicate."

Haeleah tilts her head to one side when Oberlin briefly goes on about Saggitaron insurgents, though the bit about melting stuff down Tauron-style gets a little laugh. And a nod. "After we assess the basics, particularly its offensive systems. But I suspect its brain and its communications systems are going to be the more interesting bit of technical necrophilia." Ahem. She flushes a little and adds, "Sir." This may be why she was editing her word-choices earlier. "I was actually hoping you, or someone else from CIC, could give us a hand as far as the programming is concerned. I have some background in software engineering but it's not something I've played with extensively. On a professional level, at least. I'm mostly versed in mechanical systems, and our technicians that aren't hands at that are generally better-trained for electronics."

Catching the laugh, Oberlin can't resist but continue one last reference. "I'm thinking of some Tauron-freestyle right now but I'm on duty so it would /vastly/ inappropriate." Arching an eyebrow he clears his throat smoothly. "Hardware engineer, huh? No kidding? Systems architecture and security, that's one of my specialties. Computational Linguistics." He says with a brief, ghostly flicker of a smile. "I'd say you found your guy. With the caveat that I don't really specialize in your area. I don't know what /you/ know, Lieutenant. And vice versa. And, confidentially speaking I am also analyzing some traces of possible Cylon attempts to compromise our systems."

"You a fan of the Vibius Five Crew, sir? I've got a few of their recordings from my high school days in my bunk. My grandmother hated Tauron music." Haeleah adds it wryly, and proceeds briskly back to the professional. A nod to Oberlin. "I just finished my Master's on Scorpia before I got this assignment. Part of the concentration was in Mechatronics, if you're familiar with it. Still Mechanical studies, mainly, but it pulls in some programming along with other odds and ends. The Navy's been big on it for the last few years, and I did grad school on the military's cubits. I haven't gotten to use it much in practice, though. I'd be happy to look over your shoulder." She beams, just a little, at the prospect. But that fades at that last. "Our vital systems, sir?" She keeps her alarm tempered, but there's an undercurrent of it.

This caused Oberlin to raise his eyebrows even more. "Why, as a matter of fact, I got into them in college. Blue Bulls totally screwed the pooch with his 'solo career', though." he declares, with the voice of self-assured authority. "This is before he flipped out and ran off to Gemenon. Anyway, where were we?" He drums his fingertips on the table. "Scorpia, eh? I pulled mine at Adrianople on Caprica. Moment I got that masters, I booked off-planet though. Was only there for school. Joining the Fleet helped me pay off some of my loans, but I still owe a grip." He pauses and lets out the deadpan addendum that doesn't need repeating. "I don't think I'm going to be hearing from any bill collectors though." Finally, he addresses the question. "Vital systems. Because we may very well be touching on precautions touched on this, I think this is something you need to know. There were — irregularities in some of the code upgrades for our fighters. We don't know any more at this time."

Oberlin adds, "Remember. Confidential." Yep.

"I picked up his last album," Haeleah says with a wince. "After he changed his name to Yusuf Apollodorus. It was all hymns, gods and animal sacrifices. And a lute. Really surreal." Ahem. A nod Oberlin at some of what he says about school. "I got by in undergrad but ROTC seemed like the ideal way to pay off my student loan debt. You get to play around with the most interesting tech in the Navy, anyway, so I stuck around for grad school. I don't even want to think about what S-I-T costs without the military cubits." Not that she's drifted entirely off to chit-chatting. The last part makes her eyes widen slightly, and she's all of serious business. "Confidential. Of course. Upgrades, huh? Have you seen any traces of anything in the ship's main systems? I can recheck the logs, now that you mention it. Everything been chaos and a half lately, so we might've missed minor glitches."

Oberlin's eyes roll back in his head in a dramatic, exaggarated fashion as that ill-conceived solo album is named. "Not his brightest hour. Anyhow, your story sounds shockingly familiar. Sometimes I have to think back on why I enrolled and got sucked into the C.O.N.I. machine in the first place. But you know how it is. Obviously." Ruefully pursing his lips, he lets out one more shrug. "From everything I can tell, the Cerberus' mainframe, along with the Corsair and Praetorian are spotless. They didn't seem to be altered in any way. Which is troubling, if you think about it."

Haeleah exhales a little, nodding. "So you think the Cylons are using some kind of cyber-weaponry in addition to nukes and big metal walking guns? That…makes sense." It obviously unnerves her some, but it makes sense. She gives her head a small shake, trying to push the ideas that brings up to the back of her head. "Anyway, the Cheng is keeping this tightly classified right now but there are some Marines who want to get in the loop about our autopsy on the thing, and that seems like a good idea to me. Gods knows I don't have the best head for knowing what to make of its weapons on a practical level. I'll sift through the Engineering techs, see if I can put together a decent team, and we can get cracking on the kitchen toaster."

"Our ships don't suck, Lieutenant." Oberlin says, flaty. "We hadn't poured cubits into design upgrades for the last four decades only to have our fleet wiped out in a single volley." There's a flicker of a polite smile, but oh, how cold it is. "That's part of what has people on-edge, but trust me when I say there will be an answer to that soon. In the meantime, if you /want/ to double-check the ship's maintenance logs, I'm certainly not going to stop you. We're eyeing a connection between the fleet-wide CNP upgrade and system issues various ships had but right now that's all what we've had so much of." He gestures towards the Cylon reports with an open hand, turning a page. "Educated guessing. If some dipshit built a collapsable system with a single point of failure, I will personally and professionally go down to the surface of whatever ash-ridden planet they are left on and dig up their corpse just to spit on it as a gesture in the face of bad design."

This cheery sentiment expressed, he merely shrugs, once more. "So yes, we build a team and crack this bastard open. Who knows? Maybe we can reprogram it to serve drinks and pole-dance." Yes, he says this with a straight face. "Or kill its buddies."

"Better safe than sorry, sir. I will check them. Though my gut says that if the Cerberus was susceptible to whatever might have affected the other battlestars…well. We're still here." Haeleah leaves it at that. And nods grimly at the last bit. "Or at least figure out better ways to kill its buddies. I have to admit, it kind of blows my mind. Six months ago I was in a classroom listening to an argument to revive artificial intelligence research."

"Heh. I heard some of those. Thing is, you isolate, you build failsafes. Also, you don't build frakking warbots. That's just /tasteless./" Wow. Oberlin certainly /does/ have a touch of professional pride. His nose twitches at the thought. "In any case, this is a good beginning. Would you keep me informed?"

Haeleah chuckles, but there's little actual humor in it. "Of course, sir. Looks like you'll be a primary as far as the hardware-software stuff goes. Should be interesting." And she's back to that undercurrent to eager again. "If there's nothing further, I'll get back to work." Straighten, salute, all that jazz.

"Especially the softare. May need a little help here and there, but I'm uh, resourceful. You know." Oberlin says, smirking a bit. "Oh, there's always more. That's one delightful little thing about this job I keep discovering." And with that, there's a sigh. "Nah. Enjoy your work, Lieutenant."

Haeleah drops the salute and turns to go. Though she does add, "If you ever want to listen to the Apollodorus recording, I kept it for laughs. Later, sir." With that, she's off.

And with that, Oberlin does something shocking, tacky, and utterly unbecoming of an officer. He gesticulates with harsh motions and utters, "Apollo on my arm, I carry a spear, meltin' toasters down and I wear 'em as gear." He paraphrases an old Apollodorus line from that album, adding in a shockingly bad middle-class style line about the aforementioned Cylon bling. He goes into something in old Gemenese after that, although that seems to be a verbatim recital. And he stops. Stares at Haeleah. "Uh. Let's just keep this a secret. Confidential, Lieutenant. Like the other thing." He straight-faced salutes her and waves her off.

Haeleah beams, snickering, but it's a somewhat rueful sound. "Confidential. I'm down, sir," she replies. With a perfectly straight face. She's snorting a chuckle as she departs the room.

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