PHD #132: Making It Happen
Making It Happen
Summary: Marko and Tisiphone update Trask on their progress with the simulations overhaul.
Date: 08 Jul 2041 AE
Related Logs: Three Questions
Covington Marko Tisiphone Trask 
Flight Simulation - Deck 11 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #132
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.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Marko sits, Indian style, with a portable computer on his lap that he's rapidly typing commands into. Said computer is connected via standard data cable to Sim-01-540. The overhead display shows a virtual Cylon Raider wrought in clunky graphics cutting a rug in deep space, ducking, diving, spinning, and even pulling that weird, scary back flip they do sometimes. Its binary-described thirty mike mike cannons blaze away at something off screen before veering away sharply. "Hey, Boss!" Marko calls, waving from his position on the deck. "Sit and stay a spell," he invites.

Tisiphone is nearby, leaned up against the outside of an empty sim-pod, cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth. She looks over to Marko and his frenetic coding every now and again, but her attention always wanders away before long to some middle, wool-gathering distance. Nervous, perhaps, or brooding over Lords only know what.

Rumors that Trask went 'round the bend seem to show no basis in fact. His temper and his patience are what he lost, not his marbles. The SL looks a bit haggard, but that simply is because his boyish blitheness has been laid down for an extended nap, resulting in the augmentation of the weathered quality it serves to counter-balance. "What'cha got me for me, JiGs?" is asked, cigarette briefly bobbing with the words, until plucked from his lips so he can take a swig from his thermos of coffee.

"Well, hopefully, the solution, or at least, the biggest part of the solution, to our problem." Marko grins. "Lieutenant Trask, I give you, Cylon Raider X1-B," he pronounces, standing up and gesturing proudly to the screen. "JG Apostolos came up with the basic flight model," he explains as the virtual Raider plays cat and mouse with a simulated asteroid on a training run not unlike what Viper pilots do to hone their gun and missile skills. "All of the physics you're seeing here are the net result of her work," he adds proudly. "There's been a few tweaks here and there, but the basic model's based on her research."

Tisiphone looks up with a bit of a start when Trask enters, so intent on her woolgathering was she. "Sir," she murmurs, straightening up from her slouched lean against the sim-pod — and then promptly slouching her hands down into her pockets. All the better to stop your fidgeting with, my dear. She listens to Marko's description, and starts shaking her head a little at what he's saying, almost immediately. "Man /what/?" she mutters at him. Louder, glancing to Trask: "He's being modest, Sir. Twenty pages of scribbling wouldn't do anyone any good until he made it talk to the sim computers."

Brown eyes flick from Marko to Tisiphone to the display screen. "Don't worry. I'll grind both your asses." It's said so casually, as if he were relaying what's on the menu in the mess hall. The faintest of smirks suggests that he's kidding. Mostly, anyway. Briefly, Kal's forefinger taps some ash from his smoke, which he then returns to his mouth. Puff-puff. Intently, he watches the model, determining what it can do and what it still needs to do.

Hatch opens, Covington walks in, hatch closes. She glances around briefly, notes the assembled, "Y'all." No attempt is made to interrupt the gathering in progress, though she does skirt the room to head over to one of the viper 'pods'. There's a mostly empty coffee cup in hand, which dangles from her finger, sloshing just a bit. An unlit smoke dangles from her lips. "Hm." She kneels beside the flight pod, and puts down her mug with a clunk.

"Well, mostly what I did was translate her physics model into a virtual one," Marko replies, too deep into 'geek' mode for the whole 'ass-grinding' comment to land. "When Apostolos tried to plug her raw data into the sim body, it was unflyable, and therefore, unmeasurable. Raiders are laid out different than Vipers, after all," he adds unnecessarily. "So what I did was study as much gun camera footage as I could to determine where the RCS jets on a Raider are, how they move, so on and so forth," he says. "Then I coded that up and loaded into the Sim body. Flies like a dream now."

"Yeah. Yeah," murmurs Tisiphone with a nod, clinging onto the bottom of Marko's explanations for dear life — and dignity. She plucks her cigarette from her mouth, gesturing a little with it at the monitor before pulling in a lungful of smoke. "I tried disabling the G-limiter completely in the sim for my first try. Meant I could throw the Viper around in ways it didn't want to go, but- yeah. It felt like I was piloting from six feet outside the cockpit. I'm not sure the firing's right on it- recoil feels a bit heavy- but if we give the Petrels a crack at it, they might think different. Might be used to the twenty-millimeter cannons, and they've got the thirties." She chuckles once, smokily, and tries not to fidget. Much. "Dunno about flying like a dream, but it sure as frak doesn't fly like a Viper anymore."

For a long moment, Bootstrap observes the simulation. His gaze is acute but his expression otherwise impassive. "Looks good," he finally decides. "Looks real frakkin' good," is further asserted with a series of small nods. "I trust you'll make the necessary modifications. How's the Heavy comin' along?" One… two… three… attention shifts from the display to the younger ECO, then to the mistress of math after hearing what she said. There's a keen light in his eyes, as if he just had an epiphany. "You think you can work out something from the Raider's POV? We have a rough idea of some of the Heavy's capabilities. I'd be curious to see what it all looks like from inside that cockpit. Might give us some new tactical insights." As an afterthought, Covington is noticed. "Skids."

Dallas purses her lips briefly, and almost loses her cigarette in the process. Luckily, it's unlit. She watches it drop to her lap, then brushes a strand of curly blonde hair from her eyes. There's an ear to the conversation going on yonder, but the Lieutenant is on a mission of her own. She braces a hand on the floor, then takes a lean under the chassis, feeling around with her left. She frowns slightly, almost off balance as she digs around under there. "Sounds like y'all…" She grunts softly, "Been busy." That's probably a response to Bootie's greeting but could be a general observation. Mutter. She ahs softly, and yanks her hand out from under the pod. Got it.

"Haven't started working on the Heavy yet, sir," Marko admits simply. "Reason for that's because we have a lot more data on that model than we do the Raider," he explains. "Coding up a heavy, based on what I've seen of the Intel, doesn't seem like it'll be much of a problem, especially now that we've got a reasonable grasp on Cylon RCS systems. Might sound like circular logic, sir," he admits, shrugging a little. "But, me, personally, as a programmer? I like to start with the really _hard_ parts… Once you've got those worked out, the easier stuff falls right into place."

"Raptor pilot would probably be better for testing the Heavy Raider, yeah?" Tisiphone wonders, glancing uncertainly from Marko to Trask and back again. "But. Well." Her shoulders hunch a bit, then square determinedly. "The real treat is if we can pilot the Raiders from the sims. I mean- two of us as Vipers, two of us as Raiders, and dogfight that way. I think that's how we'll /really/ learn how to stop losing so many birds. I think that's what Flasher's gunning for, too. Knowing our enemy by trying to be them." Her pale eyes flick over toward Covington as she rakes her bottom lip with her teeth, but she looks too nervous to speak up.

Trask wasn't asking for justifications. "Chill, Flasher. I'm not questioning your process. Just wanted a status report. You haven't started working on it, you haven't started working on it." No blood, no foul. "I gave you this project because I fully expect you'll get the job done to the best of anyone's ability. I have neither the time nor interest to micromanage." Another drag from the cancer stick, an exhalation of smoke through the nostrils, and a nod at what Tisiphone said. "Yeah. On all counts." Looks like they're all on the same page. Well, except for Covington, who is not part of the pow-wow. "I've instituted a No Slacker policy," is quipped to Dallas.

"Slackers make good kindlin'." Dallas reaches up and eyes the bit of pinkish purple something held between her two fingers, so recently liberated from the undercarriage of the training pod. It looks like a tiny brain. No wait. That would be chewing gum. She simultaneously does two things. "Thought I left you here." She shoves the gum into her mouth (don't you hope it was hers to start with?), and sweeps her cigarette off of the floor. Gnaw, gnaw. The unlit smoke is tucked behind her ear, and she downs the last sip of coffee, then grunts softly as she stands. "Y'all." It's just like aloha. She raises her empty cup to the group in a sort of toast-salute, and moseys for the hatch. This, my dear friends, is just how classy the Petrels are. Is it any wonder they got put on tv so often?

Faint praise, but it rings in the young ECO's ears. "Yes, sir," he replies, blushing faintly, Bootstrap being just about the last person he ever expected to compliment him. Covington's antics draw a horrified wince. "You do know…" he begins to say, then just gives up. It's Armageddon, who gives a frak about the niceties anymore? "Anyhow, sir," he says, drawing his attention back to Trask. "We're on track. Now that we've got her flying like a Raider, pending further testing, we'll get her _thinking_ like a Raider," he grins ferally. "Already working the algorithms."

Oh, gods. Trask is agreeing with her. Tisiphone hasn't looked comfortable at any point of this pow-wow, and she just keeps getting cagier. There's a metaphorical steel-toed shoe around here, just waiting to drop. She knows it. Taking another long drag off her cigarette, she stalls for a few seconds by exhaling slowly at the ceiling, then asks, "We'll just bring extra pilots in for testing as we see fit, keep you updated, then?" So much latitude and wiggle-room. It seems to be an unnerving thing for her.

"They should," make good kindling. "It gets real cold in the depths of space." Since he's not even looking at Covington, the whole Gumgate thing goes unnoticed. What does get noticed is Marko's faint blushing. "Calm down, Scaurus," is drily commented, "You look like you're hoping for a reach-around." The only thing that happens is Trask drinking more coffee. Oh, and saying, "Make it happen, kids. Ya need somethin', lemme know. Anything else?"

Covington's just at the door, hand on the hatch. She huhs, though the chewing doesn't stop, and neither does she pause. "That ain't blueberry." Hatch opens, she steps out, SNAP goes a blown gum bubble, and then hatch closes.

"Just to get as many Viper pilots inside her as we can," Marko replies, pointing to his portable and not the sim body, and by extension, Tisiphone. "Wring the thing out, make sure the flight characteristics are right… or as close as we can get it…" he adds, pursing his lips thoughtfully. With that, he kneels down suddenly and taps out a long sequence of commands into the computer, nodding, satisfied, at the results. "It's like I said, Boots," he says, pushing it a little. "Get the hardest part done, the rest will fall into place."

"You, uh. You got a deadline we're aiming for, Sir? Or is it 'two weeks ago'?" Tisiphone pulls the last gasp out of her cigarette and drops it to the floor, grinding it out underfoot. She looks to the hatch for a moment, her hand coming up to hook around the back of her neck, ragged fingernails scratching absently at her skin.

"Here's hopin' that those Raiders will topple like dominos." To Tisiphone, the Taurian adds, "It'd be more like 5 months ago but, yanno, that ain't happenin'. Get the best possible job done in as little time as possible. Use your best judgment. You can always tweak it down the line, but all this effort is moot if you rush out a shitty product. If you have doubts, run it by me, and we'll figure out what we can do to amp up the efficiency."

"Actually, sir, I was hoping you could go over the model," Marko says, fishing out a two-finger's deep folder worth of printouts. "I know you're pretty good with aerospace engineering, and the more input we can get on this, the better," he adds.

"You just about slept in the Heavy Raider while the deck crew was dismantling it, too. Nobody better to figure out whether it looks right or not, once Flasher's got it built up in his computer." Tisiphone rocks back on her heels for a second, wavering there, before leaning forward again. "Think I'm good, Sir. I know what needs to be done."

"The Society of Aerospace Engineers tends to be an elitist bunch, so my membership probably is for more than show," is quipped. Undaunted by the size of the folder, the SL takes the proffered papers, finishes the last of his cigarette, and starts flipping through the notes even as he's grinding the butt beneath his boot. "I'll review 'em. Might take a while. I'll assign a high priority status, though. Consult with some of the Deck peeps. Etcetera, etcetera." Two heartbeats later, the folder is closed. "This my copy?"

"Yes, sir," Marko replies simply. "Anybody else you might run those past needs print outs, they're saved," he adds. "Anybody on the deck you think might be better to talk to than another?" he asks. His tone make it clear he's got his own idea, but is definitely looking for fresh ideas. "Frakkin' shame about Ethan," he sighs. "I liked that kid… Good pilot… Dumbass way to… well… you know," he says, letting his voice trail off. "And, for the record, sir," he adds, standing a little straighter, voice more serious, "I've put a letter in your in box, sir. I hope you will give it due attention."

Tisiphone shifts her weight uneasily, as conversation edges toward Raptor Matters, and clears her throat softly. "I'll, um. If we're done here?" A slight incline of her head toward the door, her hands slouching back down into her pockets. "I need to swing by Sickbay."

"Bannik's your best bet," is Trask's opinion, insofar as Deck people go. As for the letter, there is some manner of vague nod. "Right. Keep kicking ass, or I'll be kickin' your asses." So nonchalant. Also, that would be his way of adjourning the meeting. "Don't skimp on your rack time," he calls out on his way to the hatch.

"No worries, sir," Marko replies, nodding. "I'm heading that way now. Got lots to do," he adds. As Trask wanders away, Marko intercepts Tisiphone and wraps the girl in a quick hug. "We're a hit!" he grins happily.

Rack time. Tisiphone is spared from having to commit to it by the Lieutenant's departure. "Mmn," is all she manages, unable to /not/ acknowledge his words in /some/ way. Looking back to Marko, her eyes widen in shock for a split-second before she's hugged. "Uh-" she says, her arms held out awkwardly for a beat before she reminds them how to proceed with a friendly hug. "-heh," she finishes. Squeeze. Once she remembers not to freak out, she actually /is/ capable of hugging. Briefly. She steps away again as soon as possible, and chuckles weakly. "Yeah. All we have to do is not disappoint him." No pressure, Jigs. No pressure at all.

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