PHD #316: Gun and Coffee
PHD #316: Gun and Coffee
Summary: Captain Belgoin of the Areion comes to visit Lieutenant Makinen, and in typical Belgoin fashion informs him of Gun-related foo.
Date: 08 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: Past Belgoin logs!
Belgoin Mark 
Naval Offices - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
This area is set-up much like any standard office building. Cubicles have been constructed using cheap waist-high walls, their contents left neutral for whoever needs to use them. Inside each cubicle is a desk with a laptop and chair. Simple overhead lights bring dull illumination to the room except over the back wall where each one of the colonies twelve flags hangs from its own pole. Fake, potted plants dot the room and seem to be standard issue along with the water cooler and coffee machines. Off the main room are a few private offices such as that of the JAG or CAG.
Post-Holocaust Day: #316

Putting most of his department to bed, Mark picked up another shift on the Deck and is still in his orange jumpsuit when he settles down at a meeting table in the back of the offices. There's some dirty smudges on his face. The gloves hang from his chest pocket, flopped lazily forward. There's a pot of coffee bubbling nearby and he seems to have already picked up a cup. The small notepad in front of him already has a few scribbled notes in relation to things he overheard on the Deck.

Arriving just a few minutes late, Belgoin thumps into the Naval Offices, his dark cherry cane providing the means for which he can walk upright. He also seems mildly out of breath at first glance or, perhaps, in pain. "Ask me where the FTL mounts are on a Mercury-class, or the exact location of each of the RCS maneuvering thrusters are, and I could draw a map, blindfolded," says the superior officer, chuckling lightly as he finally finds his way to the offices. "But ask me to find bureaucratic offices and expect me to stumble around Engineering looking for blueprints. Excuse me," he stops a crewman. "I'm looking for Lieutenant Makinen." The crewman is glad to point him in Mark's direction, which ilicits a soft, "Ah. Right." And he heads in that direction, aimed for Mark's desk. "Sorry I'm late, Lieutenant. Got a bit turned around."

Mark hear's the voice before he can see the man. He's already standing when the elder Snipe finds his way over. There's a sketched salute for the man and an easy smile. "Good to meet you, Captain. But like I'm about to complain about a few minutes, sir. Take your time. Each ticking second is another one I get to relax and sip my jet fuel. Call me Mark if its easier for ya, too, sir." He gestures for a chair at the table. "Get you a cup of joe? Anything else before we start pounding brass tacks on this Gun issue?" He sticks a thumb over his shoulder at the bubbling coffee pot.

"Coffee?" The older man eyes the aforementioned coffee pot, and is quick to smile. "Don't tell Kepner, but absolutely, I'd love one. Dump in some of whatever passes for creamer and sugar around here, too, if you'd be so kind." He eases himself down into a seat, resting his cane against Mark's desk. "On the Areion, rank's very important. I'm actually fairly old, for a Captain. Has to do with the fact that I literally reinvented my Naval responsibilities after my training accident, I think. That, and they need someone to make fun of," he says with a playful smirk. "Since I left my paperwork in the capable hands of my crewmen on your deck, let's start at the top, from your perspective. I can answer whatever you need to know."

Mark snaps his fingers at Belgion and nods, turning for the pot. "Since Captain Gabrieli got hurt and I've been over here, I've been trying to ride a fine line. I'm an officer, but I started my career in the enlisted corps more than twenty years ago. I've got crap for formal training so I juggling with how to deal with all of it." he finishes adding all the ingredients and turns, bring the mug back over with a stirstick. "Alright," he sighs, deflating into the chair. His own mug gets a hardy pull before he sits back up, taking up the pen. "Okay, Riederer said that you had an idea of how to extend the range of your gun or something. That it involved installing amps on our Raptors and ships. What *is* that thing on the Areion?"

Belgoin's smile turns wry. "That I can't tell you in detail. Suffice it to say, its operation requires a tremendous amount of energy, operating on EM bands that are specifically designed to interrupt Cylon technology. It'd probably cook a roast pretty good, too. Thanks," he says, that last bit said when he accepts the mug. "Kepner'd have a small cow if he knew I'd be sharing coffee with a junior officer in this way. Fraternization rules are fairly tight aboard the Areion, as you can imagine." He sips his mug, eyes briefly closing. Ahh, that hit the spot. "Raptor ECM packages do, more or less, what The Gun is designed to do, but on an order of magnitude that scales exponentially from additional Raptors. What your birds need to do - any Raptors equipped with this suite, really - is provide computational assistance, bolstered by amplification fields from their FTL drives. Any ship linked into the network and operating properly boosts the effectiveness of The Gun far greater than the sum of its parts."

"Gods. That's probably why Laughlin would never let me come on over for a visit. Our Deck Chief and I are on a first name basis. I can't stand pomp. Seen too many jerkasses stomp good ideas because rank stood in the way." Mark rolls his eyes. Anyhow, moving along. He makes a few notes on the paper and looks at it for a few lingering seconds after Belgion finishes. "Alright. So at its basic level you are overloading the EM band and frequency hopping all over the spectrum to target the flux'ing bands that the Cylons operate their own networks on. Which Damn." Mark looks back up. "That's pretty badass. No wonder it leaves them dead in the water. So by adding the server power of the Raptors and the battlegroup to the Areion, we aren't just extending range, we are probably also boosting effectiveness. Are there any additional raw power requirements from the ships? Are we upping our reactor outputs or is it relegated to drawing directly from Areion's grid?"

"Correct, more or less," Belgoin states, sipping at his coffee again. He's clearly holding back information, but not enough to make Mark's job difficult; he's clearly under confidentiality orders not to just hand the man blueprints. "When The Gun is fired, it uses every available Joule of power from the dark energy reservoir of the FTL drive, temporarily leaving the network member unable to jump for as long as it takes to re-spool, usually ten minutes or thereabouts. It does not affect the normal energy or fuel reservoirs of the network member, allowing for normal function." Another sip of coffee - he seems to enjoy bad Engineering coffee. "The Gun is used in situations only when there are enough pieces on the field to obliterate the enemy while it's stunned."

Mark stares at Belgion. It looks like his jaw might sling towards the ground. "So if we could grab another battlestar, retrofit, and lured a big chunk of the Cylon fleet into one location…" The possibilities are staggering. "Holy Hell, Captain," he whispers, the expression on his face slowly lifting towards a larger grin. "Okay, movin' on. So it leaves us dead in the water as well while we respool. Gotcha." Sip of the coffee required. "I'll leave the practical aspects of the Raptor's function to the Air Wing and Deck. But this sounds pretty good. How close do all of the network members need to be? Does the network lose strength over dispersal or can we be a hundred thousand miles apart?"

Belgoin rests his coffee on the edge of Mark's desk, moving to cross his legs - which is a painful effort, it seems, going left to right. Popping can be heard, likely old reconstructed joints and whatnot. The man gives a small grunt of pain, but visibly relaxes once he's in the desired configuration. "Actually, Lieutenant, when these retrofits happen -" He seems confident that it's a 'when' and not an 'if'. "- I want you on the deck, working directly with your Chief, in a supervising manner. This gear that I'm unloading for you is delicate and bleeding edge as of ten months ago. In fact, we haven't stopped improving upon the original designs. I don't want Deckies trying to figure out which connector goes where, what software gets patched when. You'll have complete details on how to retrofit your birds." Did he say, unloading? As in, right now?

Abuhhhwhut? "You're unloading all of the equipment to us right now? Captain? Most of our Engineering and Deck departments are on forty-eight hour stand-down. I- I guess its a good thing, now that I think about it." Blink. Blink. "But yeah, no problem. Andreas is a damned good guy. Knows his trade and he's kept these birds running. I doubt he'll have a problem taking actual orders from me, though." Mark has been sketching out EM fields on his paper, testing his memory of the spectrum frequencies. He then stops suddenly. "Is this a directed energy weapon that operates along a vectored line in space?" Mark's eyes lift to Belgion. "Or is this a pure broadcast that radiates in all directions at once?"

"You have secure storage facilities, don't you?" Thaddeus asks with a playful laugh. "Relax, Mister, everything's getting taken care of. But this project is going to happen, and it's going to happen soon. Sitting down with you is just a formality; the brass has pretty much already decided." To answer Mark's second question: "Well, a little of both, really. Energy is amassed via dark energy transfers - you know how non-Euclidian and extradimensional dark matter and energy are - and while the initial EM burst is targeted, it's the terminator of the Dee-Ee-sheathed disruption jacket where the main ECM disruption happens - and it explodes outward in normal space with the centerpoint being the terminator." His smile fades a little, and he presses his lips together. "But those are details. I don't want to overwhelm you."

Mark is listening. Honest. He's tapping the edge of his pen on the paper, staring at the desk between them, though. His brain is either very focused right here or the Lietuenant is thinking about strippers. "Yeah. Secure Ordnance Deck, probably." Okay, the defact ChEng is actually here. "Rather than install amplifiers, what if we installed receivers and defelctor dishes?" He squints and looks back at Belgion. "Like this:" Cerb's Engineering Officer of Today turns the paper over and starts sketching out locations of the fleet on a roughly three-dimensional plane. "We know our targets will be out here in front of us." Dot dot dot. "So we position the Areion here." Dot. "Then we place reflector/defelctor fitted Cerb, Praetorian, and Corsair here behind it to absorb all of the wasted and untargeted disruption jacket. It takes a huge amount of that shit," a technical term, no doubt "and fires it right back at the Raptors and Aerion between them and the targets. You could, in theory, use antennas to simply absorb and refire. If, and this is a huge if, the Raptors could handle it, stack the Raptors into a cone shape attack pattern and we essentially turn the fleet into one big directed energy weapon. Think its possible?" Mark looks back up. He's either insane or.. well, he's definitely insane.

Belgoin watches Mark describe his idea with a bemused expression, being polite until the very end. "What you're describing is a type-A scenario, Lieutenant. It's inefficent and has a risk associated with it that does not outweight the benefits of re-absorption. Trust me, we've spent months working on this." He lifts up his coffee for another sip, but pauses, lopsided grin emerging. "Just do me a favor, eh? Let us handle the theory and the planning. I wouldn't want you to get the wrong impression, but… well, frankly, Cerberus and her officers are light-years behind us. I appreciate what you're doing, and I can see you're an ideas-person. But I was serious earlier when I asked you to supervise the Deck and make sure everything is installed, as-is, by the book, with no improvisations. Lives are at risk if you deviate." Sip.

Damnit. "Don't know that its inefficient but yeah, you're right." Its grudging. Mark doesn't like to be wrong, but wo doesn't. The man has a point. They've been at this much longer. "Wish to hell I could've gotten a chance to go look over your plans and tech specs. Even notes. Godsdamn." The man shakes his head and turns the paper back over. "Yeah, no problem. Installed as instructed. Just remember, I'm not really an officer. I was the lead systems integration contractor during Praetorian's final construction. These shiny buckets on my lapel are someone's idea of a joke, I'm sure." Its a grin that accompanies his words. But he sighs, still staring at the paper. Its not a defeated sound. Nope, Mark is still thinking and its just him turning over all this information in his head. "Okay. So plan on losing FTL, not much else for power requirements. Does this require any additional networking within the ship? Or are we good to go as is?" He seems to be wrapping up.

Belgoin chuckles at that. Clearly he's not taking offense at any of this, yet. "Mister, if you're not an officer, then I'm not an engineer. Put it that way." He sets the coffee mug down again and re-seats himself, uncrossing his legs. Another wince of pain. "Well, you see, a Mercury-class battlestar has sufficient networking and high-rated computer systems to handle things with no problems. Same goes for her Raptors, unless you've retrofitted them or made any sort of modifications outside of spec. So, once the paperwork is delivered to your office, you can start right away. Major Hahn's final sign-off given, of course."

Mark snorts, chuckling. "We may have to agree to disagree, sir," the younger man offers with a smile. "As for the Raptors, that is something you will need to talk to the CAG and Chief about. I only came on board after the attacks and we've been kicking eighteen hour workdays. I -think- the ship is still factory stock but I'll have to check records. Other than that, I think we're okay. We're back at full staffing as of Sunday evening. I'll put my people to work installing these things as soon as we're there. Anything else you need from me, sir? More coffee? You can wander the ship and enjoy it. Tell your CO you got turned around or something. Most of the people we've got in Engineering would be happy to chat you up if you're feelin' up to it."

"I've other appointments, Lieutenant, but thank you," Captain Belgoin states as he moves to rise, pushing down on his cane as he does so. Creak, crunch, pop. Ahh, vertical again. "I would ask something of you, though - there's someone I'd like you to give the opportunity to help coordinate the snipes that work on this project. One Crewman Sofia Wolfe. Do you know her?" Odd for the Areion officer to mention one of Cerberus'. "She's a bright girl, and helped me immensely during my survey of Cerberus' energy grid and FTL fitness. If you can find a place of authority for her on this, I'd appreciate it. She's going places."

Mark rises with the man, sipping at his coffee as he does so. Brow lofting at teh request of the favor, the man nods. When Belgoin finishes, though, he's already holding up a hand in surrender. "Done. I brought her along with me to strip the destroyer on Tauron. Love that Snipe. She's one of the best on this boat. I'll find something fitting for her, to be sure. She could use a little more responsibility, anyway. I'll also let her know what you said, sir. Always good to know you're appreciated by the higher-ups." He pauses lifting his mug towards the man in a somewhat-salute. "Thank you for the time and information, sir. All appreciated."

Belgoin inclines his head. "Was a pleasure talking with you, Lieutenant." And with that, the Captain hobbles his way out.

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