PHD #342: Guidance Testing
Guidance Testing
Summary: Mark needs help with the flight sims. Marko and Leyla help him with his project as well.
Date: 03 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: Just after Hitting The Hammer, Results of testing: Memoir: Hammerfall Results
Marko Leyla Mark 
Flight Simulators
A training room specifically dedicated to honing aerial skills, this area is equipped with several flight simulator pods that allow the pilots to practice maneuvers and tactics without being in a real live plane. The Viper-pods are installed on one side of the room with a little space between them, an attempt to provide a realistic feel for close-range wing training, while a smaller number of Raptor sim-pods are installed on the opposite side of the room from the Vipers. A central computer terminal and overhead display screen sits at the head of the room, where one can input exercises and data to be run in the sims, scroll through score records, and control the training modules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #342

This late into the night there probably aren't a lot of people interested in the flight sims. So it might come as a surprise that the light is on and hatch open inside. And sitting at the controls is a sight someone might not expect: The Chief Engineer (as some of those who know him) is parked at the control console with a cup of coffee and the operations manual. He's in his filthy orange coveralls, but the top has been rolled down and he's wearing a bright orange surfer shirt on top. Legs propped up on the metal counter, he plods along with his reading as if he belonged here.

Marko meanders sleepily into the Flight simulation space, drinking greedily from the nearly omnipresent bottle of water he keeps with him. Oh, what's this? Someone's in the space? What's all this about? Frowning, Marko pauses just inside the hatchcombing, peering at the back of the man's form curiously. "Hey, who goes there?" he calls out in a sharp, irritated voice. All the pilots should be either asleep or on CAP right about now.

Leyla coming in just a fair bit behind Marko, pausing just behind him, takes the time to peer around her ECO's body, looking into the sims, though it's a tossup as to whether or not he knows she's back there to begin with, "Well, it's too big to be me, plus the hair's too dark. And I'd never wear such a butch haircut." You know, just since he's asking and all. "Also, orange, not my colour." Despite the fact that she wears it quite often when she's working on the deck.

Makinen sets the binder down in his lap and leans around his propped feet and the console to see who approaches. "Oh, hey man! You about scared the hell out of me." He looks back to the binder and turns a page. "Juuust doing some reading. Trying to figure out how to best exploit your simulation modules to my own nefarious ends." He fakes a short evil genius laugh, shaking his head side to side before he sips at the mug and looks back up. "Hey, you're Scaurus, right? Put the ring on that lovely Marine? I think we met a few weeks back in the Galley." But hearing a female voice, Mark leans even further over and grins. "Hi there!" He's quick to his feet. "Mark Makinen. Engineering. And never underestimate orange. Ever."

"Oh, Captain." Marko replies, slowly starting to recognize the man based more on his voice than by sight. "My apologies. What's got you up here so late?" he asks curiously.

As Marko's still blocking the easiest path of forward progress, Leyla sidesteps him, adjusting the printouts in her hands, and the laptop along with it. "Leyla Aydin, Air-Wing. And I don't underestimate orange, I'm just trying not to overestimate that shirt." The armful of materials gets itself carried over towards the center control console. "You're the new ChEng." Hey, it's not like news doesn't get around. "From the Praetorian, right?"

Mark reaches out to scuff Marko on the shoulder as a friend might. "Bah. Don't apologize. I'm stompin on your turf. You got all sorts of rights to be askin." He shoves his non-coffee hand into his pocket, watching Leyla pass by. "Overestimate the shirt all you like. Its only dangerous to underestimate." He winks. "And yeah, good ear for the rumors. I was Lieutenant Nobody over there. Next thing you know I get a payraise and more work." Yay. He turrets his eyes to Marko. "But what am I doin here?" He leans back a skosh and rotates at the waist to glance at the sim computers. "I? I am trying to find out how to test something." Annnd he looks back to them. "I have a guidance system designed and scraped together by a former knuckledragger on here that she installed into an untested missile system. Turns out she's an accused Cylon but nobody knows for sure. Damon and Command want me to look over the missiles. See if she left any surprises."

Marko steps fully into the compartment and, good little JG that he is, scrupulously dogs the hatch behind him. "Former knuckle-dragger accused of being a Cylon?" he asks, cocking his head curiously. "I see. Have you scanned it for viruses and so forth?" he asks. "Got a pretty damn good antivirus suite on my portable." he says, patting the near omnipresent laptop he has slung over his shoulder in its bag. "If there's anything dangerous on it, should be able to detect it."

Leyla moves easily through setting up the materials she brought with her, leaving room for Marko, so that he can do the same, "Story of my life, Captain, story of my life." Leyla herself, went from busy to OMG my head might explode when she got brassed. "You wouldn't be testing a system for viruses in the sims, you could do that anywhere. Either you want to test the feasibility of the missile itself, or you want to test the feasibility of the guidance system if it were used in something other than a missile." That's just her two cents.

"Yeah. Her name was Crewman Coll. Claimed to be some former Raptor ECO or something. Anyhow, she was working on the missiles and had just finished them when she got shot or something. Hell if I know the details." Makinen makes his way back over to the console. "Nah, no need for the AV. I already ran it through the AV system we have in our electronic warfare suite. Its clean." Mark flops back into his chair and sips at the mug of coffee as the contents roll with his movement. He lifts the cup afterwards to gesture to Leyla. "Dingdingding!! You nailed it, Miss Leyla Aydin. I figured I'd try and run this puppy through your sims. This Crewman rewrote the avionics programming from a Raptor's autopilot system and turned it into a ranged and terminal guidance package for a twelve hundred pound anti-ship missile."

"Coll…Yeah, yeah, I remember, now." Marko replies, bobbing his head slowly. "Hey, it never hurts to ask, Sweet Pea." he adds defensively. "After everything Tisi and me went through to get the sim Raiders up and running, the last thing I want's a Cylon virus playing around in these computers." he explains, pausing to take another long pull from his water bottle as he moves to the master control panel to start plugging in his laptop. "Well, if that's the case, sir, why don't we pop in the program you've got and have a look see?" he suggests.

"That's why you're the practical one in this relationship, Flasher and I'm the logical one." Like Kirk and Spock, only with 100% less romantic hijinx. "I'll disconnect Sim-2 from the main grid and lock down the remaining units." One never knows, do they, when it's better to isolate something from a shared system or not. That's the easy part. Isolating one of the control terminals is more up Marko's alley. Her own work is left to the side for the moment.

"Yeah? You knew her? Cool." The Captain sips at his mug and scoots closer to the controls, moving the binder out of the way for his mug. "Thought you'd never ask." Mark reaches into his pocket quickly and pulls out a PDA, complete with USP plug wire. "Got it right here, ready to go. I once-over'd the code and it looks pretty legit but avionics aren't my strong point. Most of my work has been in systems integration with primary battlefield components. Like networking fire control to CIC or gunnery. I can touch this stuff but I need to run several full-on simulations of how this thing is going to perform in different scenarios. She has twenty of these things down on the lower decks. If they work like she says, we could cockpunch the Cylons pretty hard with them. They wouldn't know they were under attack until their ships started blowing apart."

"Ah-ha!" Marko chuckles, slipping into the Raptor's sim body to start locking down it's systems to accept only the data being fed in through the laptop via the main control panel. "She admits it!" he calls out triumphantly. "You're a witness, sir." he adds with a chuckle as he slips out of the pod to snag the PDA from the Captain and start plugging it in through his portable. "That sounds like Coll, sir.: he adds. "I never was sure about all this Cylon business, but that's just my opinion." he shrugs. "That and two cubits'd get you a cup of cloudberry tea back home."

The raptor team work in perfect harmony, not even really needing to speak to each other to know what they need to do. They've worked together too long and to well, to need verbal communication to get their ideas across. Marko at the sim, Leyla at the control panel, one prepping the test sim, the other making certain to isolate all the other systems for safety. Perfect synchronicity. "I've always admitted to being the logical one. Remember our last big trip out? Disturbing and cold-blooded? Wasn't that how you described me?" Again, there's no ire in Leyla's voice, clear indication that she probably agreed and still agrees with Marko's description of her. "Set on my end."

"I hear nothing and am a witness to everything. Marines might think they control the cameras but we know the wiring." Mark taps his temple with a finger, giving them a fiendish smile. The 'Cylon bidness' gets a shrug from him. "To be honest, I didn't know the woman. Whether or not she was a canner isn't a big care of mine. I hear about some skinjobs helping the Cerberus, I wonder regardless. Besides - these things ain't blown up yet and they've been sitting idle for nearly four months. I'm not exactly flipping shit to worry over them." He sits back in the chair and watches as the PDA loads. And loads. And loads. When the program opens on the screen the contents of the master file, let alone its reference files, is huge. Pages and pages of endless code - though almost all of it is familiar. It might take days of detailed examination to confirm it all, though. "Like I said. I glanced. Her little video log said this took nearly a month and a half to assemble. I'm assuming she tested it, too. You think an average knuckledragger is capable of this?" If he has his doubts, he conceals them well behind even tones. And a lifted coffee mug. "Gods, disturbing and cold-blooded? What did you do? Leave a whimpering puppy behind and laugh about it?"

"Heh, I'm just not living that one down any time soon, am I?" Marko chuckles ruefully to Leyla, finishing up his part of the work smoothly and starting to bring the, by now, much ballyhooed software online. "Okay, Sweet Pea, streaming data to you, now, now, now." he calls, tapping the XQT key on his portable. "You'll have to ask her, sir." he smirks to Mark. "The last thing I wanna do is get sideways with my pilot." he says with mock diffidence before leaning over the portable's screen to peer at whatever datasets might appear. "There's been all manner of weirdness on this boat, sir." he adds, eyes starting to focus in on the data stream. "And, as far as what people can do, I've learned there's no telling what people can do, you put their back to a wall." he notes simply. "We all have our own backstory, don't we, sir?" he muses, shrugging a little as the screen starts to fill up. "Ouch….give the kid credit, she does good work." he whistles approvingly.

While Marko's looking at the raw data, Leyla is sending it through the control console, which is doing its best to interpret the data and filter it onto the display screen as it would the normal guidance data for a raptor. In this case, it's trying to give a heads up display of what it would look like from the point of view of the missile as it does in a normal sim representing a raptor for training. "Position doesn't always dictate ability. Sofia, one of yours, for example, has the skills and knowledge to be an officer, but she's still lower enlisted. I try not to judge people by what their title is, but by what they do. So the question here, is could a human mind have made these alternations and modifications in the timeframe that she supposedly did." No, Leyla isn't commenting on what got her that assessment from Marko.

"People are people. Seen Cylons do some pretty human things, too, but they're a long way from my kind of company. Shit, I even prefer cats to them and I godsdamned hate cats." Mark doesn't comment on a backstory, though. Maybe he's got one. Maybe he doesn't. The Captain then nods a few times to Marko's comments about the code. "No shit. I caught one part where she references the infrared, radio, and the UV sensors in rotating sequences to differentiate the navigation readings of quasars and pulsars. I mean, this is a complete navigation package. I don't know if it was done, but you could theoretically measure local gravity by that same design by looking for shifts in the electromagnetic. It would keep the missile on course near gravity wells like black holes or stars." He glances between the both of them and slowly nods his head towards Leyla. "Wolfe is quite possibly my favorite Snipe to have ever lived. She's got what it takes and she knows I will support her no matter what. She talks to me about the decision every now and again. I almost want her to stay enlisted because she makes everyone else work harder by making others look bad. But yeah, I get the point. And I agree. I'm positive a person could do this in the timeframe, but the question should rather be whether or not her mind could do it. Simply thinking of throwing a Raptor Av Suite in here is just mindboggling."

"Well, there's really no point in questioning whether or not her mind could come up with this. As far as I know, it, along with the rest of her is buried down on Aerilon. If a human could do it, then there's no reason to bring her possible Cylon connection into it. Because if it's human engineering, then cylon tech really becomes a wasted point for argument. But what do I know. You'd probably want to ask someone who knew her. And I certainly didn't. I have the privilege to fly with her husband once, though. Good Marine." Leyla's attention shifts back to Marko, "Everything's loaded into the system Flasher, but this computer doesn't seem to like the changes too much. Beat it about the head and shoulders for me, would you?"

"Ha!" Marko calls, shaking his head in admiration. "Coll, you cute little _frak_!" he laughs. "You rigged it through the abridged CNP protocols….Gods, why the hell did I think of that?" he sighs, shaking his head slowly. "Well, sir, if you want my honest evaluation, based on what I'm seeing on my side, I'd say you've got about ninety eight percent complete software, here." he says seriously, features scrunching thoughtfully as he backscrolls through the datasets. "She used the CNP functions as a roadmap." he explains, pivoting the screen where Mark can see it and gesturing the senior officer over. "Then she overlaid Raptor sensor suites to integrate them in a rotating fashion, each dataset feeding off the next, so on and so forth, until it generates a complete target lock." he says, giving another long, slow, admiring whistle. "You see her, tell her I said she frakkin' rocks the universe." he grins toothily. "The stuff you're having problems with is where the protocols don't match up." he advises Leyla. "I can see what it was she was _trying_ to do, and it's clear, at least, from where I'm standing, she knew there were bugs she hadn't had time to chase down before the fit hit the shan for her."

"Far as I know there's no way to determine human from Cylon anyway. Even if we had her body. But the guidance system doesn't look to have any Cylon code. I just thought it was really strange that someone with this kind of knowledge and creativity did this just on a whim. Its entirely possible, though." Mark seems pretty indifferent to it. But as Marko speaks up, the Chief Engineer leans in to look over the code while Marko lists it all off. "If I see her again, Scaurus?" He laughs. "I never met her. But if I do that means one of two things - both most likely mean I'm dead." The man chuckles, smirking. Mark just lets the man go for the rest, though. "Right. And she just had to adjust the sensor packages to match what was in the missile. Huh. Damn. I dunno. Like, this is hairy shit. Godsdamn I sure as hell haven't seen anything like this before but then again I spent my career in a cushy office with contractors trying to come up with original and inventive coding - not trying to bridge gaps with existing and working code." He's not even going to ask his opinion on Coll's status now. "Okay, now I know its tempting, but do not change a single damned thing about this code. Nothing at all. We need to know how its going to function in test flights. And no speed sequencing, either. The only bitch about it is up-" He gestures towards the very top. "Here. See where the registry needs a plugged value? That plugged value is the starting location and bearing based on current astronautical charts. From best I can tell she used Cyrannus as the reference of zero, zero, zero. So in order to fire it we would need precise launch data which was probably meant to be fed from the launch platform - which we don't have. But we don't need it, either."

"There's quite a bit that we've done since Warday that we never would have thought to do beforehand. As for it being on a whim, you'd have to look at her work record, talk to people she knew. For all we know, she might have been working on this or other projects that never came to light." But now that things have gone way past what she's capable of parsing, Leyla seems content to settle into one of the seats close to the control console. She'll tap into the computer when Marko gives the instruction, but for now, she's got nothing else to add.

"Yeah." Marko sighs, remembering suddenly that Coll, like so many others, is no longer with us. So hard to keep track of the living and the dead among the other rates these days. Sometimes, it's even hard to keep track of the other airdales that we've lost…For Marko, post-Warday has been a study in living in the 'now', which, with the blissful exception of the wife he rarely gets to see, mostly equates to work, work, work, then more work, just to keep his mind off this sort of thing. "Yeah, I see that, sir." Marko nods at length, clearing his throat. "So, given what you've just said, what's the problem?" he asks, shrugging a little. "I mean, obviously we've got updated charts, if that's what you mean. Fixing the reference points shouldn't take more than an hour, if that. Like I said ,sir, we're about ninety-eight, eh, scratch that, call it, ninety to ninety-five percent complete here." he says, peering down at the data sets. "Who or whatever Coll was, she knew her shit." he says, nodding his approval. "I would've never thought of this kind of thing in a million years." he adds. "Do you wanna bring it up in realtime?" he asks the Captain, starting to grin wolfishly. "Sweet Pea, you read to make a live pass at this?" he calls out.

Mark leans back in the chair with his mug and spins to better see Leyla. "Its not my investigation. I don't even know who handles it. I'd imagine the Marines. Besides, I've got too much going on to chase down some dead chick's buddies. Command will know whether or not this guidance system works. They'll weigh that evidence. I'm interested to know, sure. Especially if she turned out to be a skinjob and handed us the keys to this missile system. That'd sure as shit change my mind about them being through and through bad news. Hell, even humanity has had dickheads who side with the Cylons. But three canners who undeniably gave the finger to their own race?" He tilts the mug into his shrug as if offering the floor to her for her thoughts. But he quickly looks back to Marko. "The problem is plugging in the actual launch location. See, I think she tried to make it work with TRAFIKS. I used to be Deck," he asides as if to explain. "But she was right. There is no way in the highest hopes you dared dream this bastard is going to launch from a Raptor. We're going to have to tow it into space and have someone manually plug in the launch location and target information on the actual missile via datapad." He then notes to the test: "Don't bother with shortrange shit. Let this thing run overnight and I'll look at it tomorrow morning. If she was a canner and she has this program ready to go to gangbang us, it would work on shortrange tests. It would have to in order to maintain cover during testing."

"Three out of how many thousands, if not millions of them. That's not even an aberration on that scale. That's a simple scan and defrag. Every computer system has errors." Leyla clearly isn't all that interested, oddly enough, in discussing the merits or lack thereof, of rebel cylons working to aid humanity. "Yeah, I'm ready when you are, Flasher. Just give me the parameters you want and I'll see if I can get them loaded into the system properly." But there is one more thing she comments on, "Long range targeting of an FTL capable target is problematic at best. Against a stationary target, it might work to your advantage. But given the materials that would be needed to build something like this, sending it off into space with no gaurantee that when it gets to the target, the target will still be there is a waste of time, effort and materials that are in short supply in the fleet."

"Can the Cerb fire it?" Marko asks, going back over the data. "Do we have tubes that big?" he muses. "Towing ordnance behind Raptors sounds like a nice way for the Cylons to blow up both ordnance and Raptor…." he sighs. "But, again, as far as I can tell, her TRAFIKS reads are pretty much on the money." he notes. "You've pretty much got an integrated targeting and tracking system here. All that's missing's a few lines of code here and there to correct the stuff she didn't have time to clean up." he says, pointing his finger at the screen where tell-tale 'place holder code' is contained within brackets. "And how to deliver the weapon. Sweet Pea, let's do as the man says, and spool her up for a twelve hour evaluation." he calls. "I'll set up a log."

"Errors are still errors. Backdoors that you can exploit for your own purposes until the admin decides to attempt a defrag. Hell, the admin may not even know the error is there until it really shows itself. Until then, no reason to defrag." Mark winks, lifting the mug to sip at it. "You know, I'd agree but you guys should really watch the videos she made. Seriously. This thing burns its motor to eleven thousand meters a second. The secondary motor in the rear end is a boost-phase that ignites on its target approach that effectively doubles its terminal velocity. Add to that the fact that these things are stealth? It also has a target search and acquisition system. If it arrives on station and there is no target, it will look for one nearby fitting its parameters. Its a beast. Check out the vids. Chief has copies in his office." Mark creaks back in the chair and puts his feet up on the console again. "Nah. Cerb can't fire it, either. Our tubes are either too big or small. The Praetorians are all too small, too. Damned shame. I shot a memo to Laughlin about these things and he near shat himself hoping they would fit. I don't think I've ever actually gotten a reply from him that fast." He'll sit by and wait for the test.

"The problem with that, is that as far as I can recall, all three of those backdoors are now dead. So unless you can figure out a way to detect any more that might be hanging around in the system waiting to be exploited, you're just spinning your wheels in neutral." Leyla nods, at Marko's question, and begins to plug in the requirements for the twelve hour test he's requesting, "Seems a bit odd that as detailed as she was in these plans, she failed to think of a suitable launch scenario. You know one that wouldn't involve raptor tow-in surfing. You're good over here, Flasher."

"Yeah, that's got me wondering what else she was thinking about." Marko replies, nodding towards Sweet Pea's position inside the sim body. "But, if this works, it works, and we can sort out the particulars later." he notes, tapping in the appropriate commands and stabbing XQT to set the machines to thinking, if you can call it that. "I'll have to see what I can do about that, sir." Marko says to Mark. "The videos, I mean." he adds. "Has anyone looked over the hardware?" he asks curiously.

"We've been on the run for nearly a year. No terrorist attacks since you all fried that one from your Deck. Not Coll, the other one. If there's any others within the fleet, they might be what we're looking for. But I live for a world of theory, Miss Aydin. Theory is what makes things possible to be evaluated and established as fact. And facts, my dear, are wonderful tools." Mark tilts a finger towards her. "As to the firing platform? She was non-specific in the videos. It sounded like she assumed there was one. But yeah, look them videos over. I've seen them a few times now." The last question gets a shake of his head. "Nobody's even wanted to touch those things since she got caught and or shot. Not until yesterday evening, though. I've got Petty Officer Fasi checking the physical missiles. All sorts of tests and scans. If there's something abnormal, we will find it."

"The last time I checked, I was not a 'Miss', Captain Makinen. I gave that up the day I accepted my appointment to Fleet Academy." While it's uncertain what exactly about what the ChEng's said that's pissed her off, Leyla is clearly just in that frame of mind. With a capital P. "Nor am I a child that needs to be given instructions on the importance of theories and facts." Leyla steps away from the computer she's been working at, moving across to retrieve her work, none of which she had a chance to go over since her arrival. "Flasher, feel free to run the sim at your leisure. I'll get back to work on pinpointing those errors in the ship's orbit when I get a chance."

"Gotcha, Sweet Pea." Marko replies, nodding, stabbing the correct keys in sequence. "She is….up and running." he calls out as the Raptor sim body begins to play out various scenarios based on established guidelines. This is only a training sim, after all, without input from a pilot and ECO, it has to make do with pre-packaged instructions. "Okay, sir, you're hot." he calls, nodding as he slips a bit of paper from his pocket and affixes it to his portable. The message reads:


Mark watches Leyla get upset with him but he doesn't make a move to protest. He just watches her get up and go without a word and shakes his head. There's still something light about his smile. Maybe even a little entertained. His attention falls back to the sim and the man gives a firm nod. "Alright, thanks Scaurus. I'll come back and clear it out tomorrow morning. run a few more tests. I appreciate it."

Leyla clearly neither needs nor requires an apology or an explanation. The work she had to do for Marko just at this moment is done. The rest she can find a time and a place to do without any interruptions. With her ECO occupied, and the ChEng dismissed, she's out of the door and back down the hall, likely before they finish settling the sim in to cook away on its programmed course.

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