PHD #327: Hard Target
Hard Target
Summary: Decumius and Ximena discuss matters related to the Foundry and the upcoming op.
Date: 19 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: The Silent Mastiff Op logs.
Decumius Ximena 
Pipes, conduits, and cramped passageways. Heat and the smells of sweat and machine oil. Engineering is a maze of hallways that run deep into the aft of the Cerberus. Dotted with a few storage rooms, offices, and workshops, this section of the ship is constantly staffed by a huge team of professionals. From the main fuel tank feeds to the massive FTL drive room, no other part of the ship is more important than this section that provides propulsion and life support to every section of the battlestar.
Post-Holocaust Day: #327

In the middle of reading, in the middle of test taking, in the middle of everything else Ximena's been tasked with since that day nearly a month ago, she still has work to do. There are still work crews to arrange, reports to be written, and, most importantly, equipment to be inspected and repaired. And at the moment, that seems to be what's keeping the Chief busy. Gauges are being calibrated, set out on a work table she's lifted herself up to be able to move at comfortably.

And in walks a heavily armed marine Corporal. A former career Marine like Ximena will recognize that he must have been doing some sort of training exercise - a blank firing adapter is still screwed to the end of his rifle, and it appears that he's carrying the normal complement of ship-board gear. He's sweating, and still breathing heavy. The Corporal's eyes scan the room passively, and noting the Senior Chief Petty Officer, he approaches with haste.

Well, you can say one thing about engineers. They always have their heads down, but their attention tuned to what's going on around them. One of the pressure gauges for the oxy welding torches is just in the middle of having its cover replaced, when the Corporal makes his hasty entrance, Ximena's head lifting from her workbench, eyes looking a bit on the boggling side, given that she's wearing her magnification goggles. Left hand pushes up the goggles, but the right remains on the gauge, "Something I can do for you, Corporal? Some water, perhaps?"

Decumius's eyes squint; maybe at the light, maybe in amusement, because the squint is accompanied by a smile. He jerks a thumb to the tube coming out of his hydration bladder. "I think I'm all set on the water department, Senior Chief, thanks. Corporal Decumius, from Dog Platoon. My El-Tee sent me down here to talk to you about something… kind of important. Regarding the upcoming mission."

"Ah of course. I thought from your state perhaps you had run out." Ximena lifts a hand, as she looks back down, finishing with the gauge, before she sets it aside and pushes away from the table, wheeling The Chair around so that she can get a better angle on addressing the man, "So what exactly is it that your El-Tee needs from me, Corporal Decumius, Dog Platoon?"

Decumius relaxes, leaning against the table slightly. He pulls a notepad free from a pocket on his vest, as well as a pen. "Well, Senior Chief, I'm sure you've heard about the upcoming headlong charge into the black that is Op Silent Mastiff. We're going to be inserted with help from your guys, deck and engineering, and then check out the inside and blow it up. Hopefully, obviously. Problem is, Lieutenant Vandenberg doesn't have as detailed plans or info on the Foundry as you do. The lovely administrative side of things, and all. She was figuring that after giving it a once, or twice over, you might have some idea where the fuel rooms, or reactors were… or anything that would be most suitable to make boom. Senior Chief."

"Of course. Give me a moment to get the schematics we've worked up." Ximena rolls away from the table completely, heading down along the corridor towards one of the, for Engineering, quieter work stations. Clearly, the upcoming operation has been squarely inside her radar, as there are already designs sketched out and notated. The things a trained engineer can do with recon footage. "I've made a couple of copies of these, so you're welcome to take a set back with you for your use. I'll let you look things over before I get into the details with you."

The general schematic of the facility is as follows: hourglass shaped. Two distinct heat blooms on either side, likely power sources. Most of the notations seems to be approximate measurements of thickness and metal density.

Decumius takes down some quick notes, despite the fact that the SCPO has already offered him a copy which he will undoubtedly bring back to his platoon commander. His expression assumes that of concentration and seriousness. "So, the reactors are at the extreme ends of the Foundry ship, on both sides? I have a feeling that we're going to be exploring those IR readings, too."

Ximena's nods, a fingertip indicating key points along the schematics of the foundry. "On both sides, both working at the same intensity. Destroying one would take out the entire facility. Now, from my analysis, I would advise going with the one on the bottom. For two reasons. The first, is speed. There are a series of possible entry points." her fingertip touches to the plans as she points each out. "Here, here, here…and these here. This facility is nearly impenetrable. It was built to be. But you can't do impenetrable and also provide access to the facility for the incoming and outgoing ships, nor to release the heat buildup manufacturing will create. So cutting in at one of these points, the hangar doors, or along one of the heat vents, would be your best bet. My recommendation is the heat vent here. It's on the opposite side from the hangar, which means a raptor could use the bulk of the facility to mask its presence from incoming or outgoing ships, and it's less likely to have security measures in place for a breach." Raiders, after all, ARE loaded down with KEW rounds. "It's also closest to the room that seems to be the source of the IR frequency the foundry is emitting. So you'd be killing two birds with one stone. Get in, investigate, travel down to the base, blow the reactor and evac out."

"That's the idea, I'd more than reckon." Decumius nods at that, his hand continuing to busily jot down more shorthand on the small pages. "Hell of a difference from recon in the Jharkand, but I think we'll do. Speed is of the essence in this place, judging from the size and the probability of a frakkin' huge garrison. Are there any estimates that the scans provided to possible enemy strength, or was the heat masking that kind of thing? Also, how many raiders you think a big ass base like this can hold? As far as how long our air support can hang tight if they're discovered."

"There are no enemy Cylons. Not that we can see." Ximena flips the schematic to the side, before she pulls out some of the photo recon images. "ALL of the rooms we've been able to capture look like this." The images all show rooms full of mechanized arms, cranes, and various other AI-controlled robots built into the ship itself. "Everything is mechanical, automated. Not much different than a car factory. We've not been able to find any sign of centurions or human replicant cylons at any of the control stations. Just these cables, all seemingly leading back down to this control room here." The same one to which all of the IR frequencies seem to lead. "It's as if they built the thing, programmed it, pressed start and then left it to get on with its business. Completely unsupervised. A central 'brain' controlling the entire body."

As for the number of raiders? "Hundreds, possibly. And likely fully armed. Our wings wouldn't be able to stand them off. However, they are at a disadvantage. There is only one hangar door for them to exit out of. They cannot launch en masse, as they can from a basestar. That choke point is going to be our saving grace, if you can't take out the facility before their security is alerted."

"Huh. Well, we're gonna go in assuming that the entire Cylon ground force is present, I think. Best that way. And, also, assume that we will not be able to take things out without security being alerted. I'm wondering, though,if there's a better way for this. If the Marines go down and get our charges, and we send some sort of recon to the central area… are you guys capable of building remote drones with camera and sensor equipment to send from the drop point into the central area?" Asks Decumius, tapping his pen on the paper. "If we can eliminate the need to send a third team into the central area, that means all we need is drop point security and the demo team. Much quicker, and much less dangerous. Speed is of the essence."

"I can ask around, poll the other ships, see what we can come up with. But our timeframe is small, our resources limited. Then you need to figure out who would be running the drones, how would we handle interference from the foundry itself that might make remote control impossible. I think your best bet is to split into two teams. A recon team and a security/demo team." Ximena lifts her eyes from the paperwork, her expression deadpan, much more the assault engineer she was than the snipe she is, "You should probably prepare for casualties. And we still need to go over exactly how you're going to drop in, get your weapons in, and reduce the likelihood that your suits will be damaged. Because if one of them is, that person won't be making the return trip back. Not easily, at any rate."

Decumius nods at that. "Ideally, the tech option is there if you guys can make it go forward. Ideally, it would be some engineers dropped with us, or knuckledraggers, running the show with the robots. But yeah, we're definately not going to plan that as a primary. It would be nice, though." He pauses. "I don't have any more questions for you, Senior Chief, but you've been real helpful. I'll take the info back to the El-Tee."

"You'll want to make sure you get with the deck. They have some survival equipment specialists that will be able to help you with keeping your weapons functioning, and give you some ideas on how to make sure everything you need working does work." A tilt of her head, "Of course deck and engineering will be going in. Who do you think will be cutting a hole in the place big enough to pass a Marine through?" And then a nod, "You know where to find me if you need me, Corporal."

Decumius nods at Ximena, putting his notepad away. He grabs the copy of the schematics and scans, smiling as he tucks that away too. "Thanks very much for the help, Senior Chief. Have a good night."

"You as well, Corporal." And once the marine moves off, Ximena returns to her gauges. A snipe's work is never done.

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