Memoir: Missile Log

The video begins, coming to life with Coll's face partially obscured as she gets the camera set-up. Behind her, a cruise missile is lain out on a set of steel girders that support the weight of its twelve foot frame. The lights are low except for a pair of large floor-stand work lights that shine from just off to the side of the camera. Its not exactly optimal for movie quality, but everything is lit up. Beyond the missile is a locked hatch, the reinforced armor of the door plan to any viewer. On it, the location is stenciled: POD-F16-AL2. Port Ordnance Deck, Frame Sixteen, Armored Locker Two.

She steps back from the camera, clad in her orange coveralls. "Crewman Lauren Coll," she states, rolling her hair behind her ears before digging into her pockets for something. "The date is..uh..twenty-six June, twenty-forty-one AE." She lifts her hands back up, glancing at her watch as her hands move behind her head to tie her hair up. "The time is current twenty-three twenty-one hours." The woman takes a long breath as she looks around the room behind the camera. "I'm going to be going through the disassembly of one space launched cruise missile system in order to test its components, guidance systems, and capabilities. This camera has been donated to monitor the details of this action and record the procedures followed. Security has a larger field picture onnnn..Camera four-sixteen?" She nods once. "Yeah. Anyhow, let's get started."

Coll steps back from the camera and moves over to the missile. "An X-Ray of the missile found its powercore to be at the rear, just fore of the engine hatch. Step one: Completely remove the powercore and ground the missile to the steel girder frame." Coll takes up a screwdriver and begins disassembly.

The whole video takes just over two hours. By the end, she's sweating. Coll has been talking her way through her actions the entire time, her eyes intensely focused on the missile while she works. By the time she finishes, almost the entire casing has been removed and the missile is hanging by hooks and chains from someplace overhead. With the nosecone and skin removed, the whole missile looks like the leaded tip of a pencil with springs between the lead and the rest of the components aft of it. She takes a step back out of frame as her arms cross.

"It looks like a penetrator design. This is pretty beautiful, actually. That engine looks familiar. Possibly a drone? A small aircraft engine? I'll have to check the library. I'm not sure what the secondary booster is for, though. Maybe..atmospheric flight? Flight tanks are damned big, too. Thirty? Thirty-five gallons of Tylium?" Lauren takes a step in to look at something more closely then moves back out of frame. "I haven't seen wiring like that before on an explosive. Note: I have not physically touched the warhead package. It smells like almonds, though. Reminds me of the color of the RDPX composition used in the Lightning Javelins." Her voice trails off into silence. The only sound is the hum of the floorlamps.

Boots fall on the floor and she appears back in front of the camera, wiping sweat from her brow. "This concludes take-down procedures. I'm shutting off the camera for component disassembly and systems analysis." The Crewman steps in once more and turns off the camera.

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