PHD #036: Got Any Opinions Kickin' Around Your Skull?
Got Any Opinions Kickin' Around Your Skull?
Summary: Tillman visits the Heavy Raider and asks Trask some questions. The Major doesn't much like what he's told.
Date: Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: Heavy, Belly of the Beast, other Heavy Raider research logs
Tillman Trask 
Captured Heavy Raider-792: Hangar Deck - Battlestar Cerberus - Repair Bay
Post Holocaust Day #36
The inside of this craft is dark, and sparse, minimizing clutter in its sleek presentation of systems. It is pressurized and has an O2 supply indicating some possible desire to transport organic beings for one reason or another. Creepy. The rear contains a large cargo area capable of seating some twelve to fifteen people and gear, depending on how tightly-packed. The controls are a suspiciously familiar yoke-based layout and several consoles are here indicating ship's vital systems, including weapons, navigation and FTL in a red-and-black visual readout. It's unsure how everything is powered on, but there are a series of purple-and-red recessed switches that look like they are made for large fingers, human or Cylon.

Slowly but surely, this monster of Cylon technology is being dissected. For the sake of not having too many proverbial cooks in the proverbial kitchen, the number of workers present hovers around six, all wearing the standard orange jumpsuits of the deck crew. One of those lucky enough to get to poke around is a former knuckledragger who is now Air Wing's primary liaison to the project: the ECO dubbed Bootstrap. It is an attached protrusion on the inside ceiling of the vessel, just above the cockpit, that currently has his attention and that of an avionics technician.

It's probably not any surprise the Command Staff has shown some interest. Tillman has come down a few times to watch and hawk from the catwalk overhead. But today? No such luck. The XO is in his greens as he appears in the hatchway, hanging by both hands off the handle on the outside. He first glances to Trask before looking around the rest of the interior. His brow starts to slowly furrow the longer his eyes survey and inventory.

Digital photos are being snapped here and there, measurements taken, notes jotted down, and each item that is painstakingly removed is carefully bagged and tagged, then neatly arranged on a dolly. As is unsurprising when you have a bunch of geeks engrossed in exploring every nook and cranny of the Heavy Raider, Tillman's arrival isn't immediately noticed. The Repair Bay is at something of a lull, however, so when a Crewman on the floor very loudly calls out "XO ON DECK!" it manages to sink in with those inside the belly of the Cylon beast. Immediately, all present snap at-attention.

"Major," Trask greets, peering from the panel and drawing into a salute, "Welcome to the coolest clubhouse ever." Being the only officer poking and prodding the craft's guts, he takes point. "Crewman Bannik is hitting the rack, but we should be able to answer whatever questions you have, even if it's with 'yeah, we don't know yet, sir'."

Tillman doesn't look phased by the alert/warning that he's around. He just looks to Trask as the ECO salutes. "As you were. Keep at it. Don't let me stop you." The man looks back around again and carefully climbs inside to squat and look around - it's like a Marine surveying a battlefield. "Oh, I don't have too many questions I need answered right away. I'd rather you all get this done right than meet demands about a timeline. I also suspect that your enthusiasm will pro'lly get it done faster than any griping I might be able to afford." He smirks and looks towards the seats in the back. "Ain't this thing the cat's ass, though? Hardly what I would expect, though."

Those assembled resume what they were doing. Even Trask, although he continues to converse. "I'd say that your suspicions are spot-on, sir. I'd even go so far as to say that we'd all readily risk brig-time to ensure that this gets done properly." Examining the innards of the ceiling console, flashlight in hand, the ECO asks the XO, "What were you expecting? Kittens come from a cooter, Major. Although, really, I wouldn't be shocked if this thing started spawning outta its ass." He may or may not be joking about that last bit.

If Tillman is phased by the vulgarity he doesn't seem to even notice it. "I dunno what I was expecting. But… I wasn't expecting seats like this. The first Raiders had crews and seats for the Centurions. But here in the back?" Tillman looks around, back towards the cockpit. "Dunno. Got any opinions kickin' around your skull, Lieutenant?"

If Tillman were offended by the language, Trask would immediately write it off as Majoritis and silently recite a eulogy for the Marine mustang who ended-up a Navy officer that succumbed to pins poisoning. "I have a few that I've been curb stomping, yeah."

The train of thought is derailed as the avionics technician quietly exclaims about something within the panel, "Frak." To which Bootstrap replies, "I know, right? Wicked sick, man. Wicked sick."

Oh, but the XO was soliciting opinions, so the ECO is soon enough diverting enough of his attention to field the query. "If we're opting for poetic irony, perhaps the toasters decided to create cyborgs to serve as battle fodder. It would explain some of the crazy biomechanical crap we've been seeing. We're talkin' positively organic here." Trask's tone turns a bit more sardonic, adding, "It's possible those giant tincans have finer motor control than believed, but I'm not buyin' that Centurions are the ones piloting these things. Machines optimized enough to coordinate a veritable holocaust of humanity are not gonna succumb to poor design. The layout isn't at all ergonomic for their girth. Maybe they take after their original Caprican frakwit designers, but I'm doubting this craft looks as it does due to budget cuts."

Yep, this has the XO's attention. "What kind of biomechanical stuff? I can wait for the report for details but in general what are you looking at?" The rest gets him to look around, too. "Yeah, I was thinking that when I first looked inside. This doesn't look like something accommodating to an eight foot robot. This looks like it might have been built for people. I mean seats? What the frak? Why not just have hook-ups into the wall for securely attaching Centurions?"

"It appears to be a conductive of some kind." At this point, Trask pries himself from that ceiling console and steps over to one of the dissected flight panels, flicking two fingers at Tillman in an 'over here' gesture. "Instead of wiring, we found hoses of sorts that seem more like veins. Literally. When detached, they oozed a shimmering liquid that smells pretty skanky. Comparing notes with Engineering and Medical is what is leading to the conclusion of biomechanics. Honestly, this shit is insanely impressive. No one here has seen anything remotely like it." And he himself is a licensed electrical and aerospace engineer. "In theory, we could reverse-engineer some of this, but it would take years." As for wall hook-ups, "I'd say either because Centurions aren't part of the equation, or the Cylons wanna frak with your head." Smirkity-smirk.

Tillman rises from his squat and follows the gesture, moving over to look at what Trask is pointing to. He grimaces and looks to the ECO. "Biomechanics. Like veins? Or -are they- veins? Gods, what the frak is this junk?" He looks around at the control panel and flight yoke. Then back towards the seats in the back. "Cylons fight and design for efficiency. Psychological operations wouldn't make sense in a design like this… which looks like it was designed for you and me. I mean, for frak's sake, it's got a flight yoke." He pauses, looking to the ECO. "Would it ever be possible to fly one of these things? If you had an extra one think anyone would have the gumption to try putting it into space?"

"They very well could be." Veins, that is. "Or arteries. Dunno. I'm not a doc. Analogously, though," yes, he said analogously, "definitely. In actuality? I'm inclined to believe so, although I can't say we have any definitive proof, yet. If Medical hasn't already done so, I expect they'll be doing a biopsy of some sort, among other tests." That's Trask's opinion on that matter.

As for the other points, "I agree with you," Kal continues. "Like I said, it's not ergonomic for a trashcan. For some manner of cyborg, though…" Mildly, he shrugs. Even though such talk had initially been said facetiously a few days ago, the more that time elapses, the less absurd the idea strikes the cheeky El-tee. "The other possibility is that some moronic jagoff restarted production, and people are actually involved. It's not like douchebag dumbasses have never done colossally stupid shit that ended disastrously, all in the pursuit of cubits."

When it comes to flying the Heavy Raider, the ECO doesn't miss a beat when stating, "I think you could sell tickets to watching some pilots duke it out for the opportunity. The trick is to find a way to match the will. So far, we're not even sure how to power-up the frakkin' thing, let alone how to interface with the consoles. I'm not entirely certain it's possible." Curses! Foiled again by biomechanics!

"How long ago did you get samples into medical for testing, Lieutenant?" Tillman asks easily as he settles into one of the pilot seats. He tests it out, shaking his rear in the seat and frowning. "I don't know about ergonomic for anything metal. I mean, this seat isn't terribly uncomfortable. If you were a cyborg with like eight hundred pounds of metal and armor, why bother with comfort. You're a machine. Ignore it. And this shit isn't Colonial design. I mean, nothing that I've ever seen. Or heard of. And in the numbers reported?" He keeps the next thoughts to himself and looks back to the control panel and all the switches. "Well, power-up for flight isn't important when you're stripping it. I'll see what I can do about getting you another one of these things, though. Start thinking about flight dynamics."

"Honestly, Major, I don't know," about Medical. "You'd need to speak with Crewman Bannik, as he is the one overseeing this project. No doubt, the Chief could tell you, too. I'm just here for engineering purposes and to offer insights from an Air Wing angle. Oh, an' look pretty, but that one's a given." Cheeky ECO is cheeky. "Well, if it's a straight-up toaster, there's no need." For comfort. "If we're talking cyborgs, though, like in The Exterminator," a classic sci-fi film, "they might want some cushioning for their seats." AKA, their asses. "You're right, though. Sure as shit ain't no Colonial design. We're practically Neolithic in comparison. Engineering must be creaming itself about the FTL drives alone." Trask concludes with, "Big Bertha here might get a bit jealous," about another Heavy Raider. Quipping to the ship, "You'll always be my first."

Tillman nods. "Tell Crewman Bannik I want to speak with him right away. Is there anyone from Medical assigned to this project yet?" His eyes lift to Trask as if to indicate that the answer had better be 'Yes'. "But I dunno. A lot of this doesn't make sense. I'll get out of your hair, though, and let you work. Not sure what the hell to make of this but I get the idea I'm not going to like it. Whoever Atreus has running this project needs to make sure Engineering gets that FTL and that the proper people are assigned. I find out a project like this isn't getting the attention it deserves from each department, I'm going to start reshuffling ranks and positions." The XO rises from the chair and looks towards the exit. "You need anything down here, Lieutenant?"

The XO may want the answer to be YES, but he instead gets, "If there is, I haven't seen 'em, sir. Atreus is on-the-ball, though, and there is communication between departments. I'd be stickin' my nose places it doesn't belong if that weren't the case." Knowing Trask, he totally would. As is, he's already going well beyond the scope of his official Air Wing duties. "Lieutenant Stavrian would probably be a good contact point in Medical, seeing how he's the one who's been collecting goo samples during boarding missions. A Lieutenant Paris from M&R was down here, yesterday. FTL, though, would be more the ChEng or Lieutenant Marcion." When asked if he needs anything, the ECO smirks. "A good smoke, but that requires leaving the Deck." Safety first! "I'll inform Crewman Bannik that you request his presence. If any of this starts to make more sense, I'll be sure to personally let you know." That all said, "Is there anything else you require, Major?"

"If you've got biomechanics down here and Atreus was on the ball, you'd have medical looking at this. And someone from FTL." Tillman doesn't look or sound happy. At all. Uh oh. His jaw sets and he looks back to Trask with the last. "Negative. Carry on, Lieutenant. Thanks for the quick tour." With that said, he moves out the hatch and starts off at a purposeful pace for the stairwell. Heads, They A-Gonna Roll.

"Aye, sir. As I said, though, it's probable that Medical /is/ on it. I simply am not in that loop, so I am in no position to confirm or deny." His piece said, Trask draws into a salute. "Any time, Major. If ever you wanna take a closer look, you know where we'll be." Then it is back to work.

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