PHD #069: No Great Illusions
Log Title
Summary: Lieutenants Rime and Oberlin discuss the upcoming mission.
Date: 6 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: All Operation Cobra Talon logs.
Oberlin Rime 
Combat Information Center
The central nexus of the ship, the fighting capability all stems from here. With entrances on both sides, an entire section of the wall will twist its armored glass and doorframes out of an air locked position and allow access. At the rear of the room is a standard hatch that allows access as well. Computer terminals sit in a semi-circle around the main plotting table in the center of the room. DRADIS and other essential readouts are displayed on screens that hang from the ceiling. Forward and aft are a set of glass plots that hang vertically from the ceiling and provide the crew with the ability to coordinate air traffic operations in the easiest way possible.
Post-Holocaust Day: #69

Third hour of the watch. Also, luckily for him, the Officer of the Watch is none other than Lt. Oberlin, burning a bit of the midnight oil as the XO and Admiral have taken their leave of CIC, which is no quier than usual. Things have been rebuilt since the attack on command center, with a little less glass to shatter than was previously found. Drifting from the lead tactical station, the Lieutenant makes his way back to his usual station with one rounded white disk sitting next to some carefully sealed casing, and another empty casing. He's been fiddling with this thing for some time, it seems, staring down at the object as he hefts it in his hand, eyes narrowed. For once, there's no coffee sitting nearby. Probably because coffee and cylon technology likely don't mix. Better safe than sorry, right?

Lieutenant Rime hasn't yet re-sorted which shifts are for sleeping and which are for waking, after the rush for a brilliant-yet-simple contingency plan by 0800 for the Admiral. She strides into CIC in mid-yawn, still braiding her damp blonde hair back away from her face. She spots Oberlin not long after the tail of her yawn is muffled into her forearm and heads toward him, peering down wordlessly from one mystery casing to the other. Should he notice her, she'll lift her brows in silent query and offer a slight smile; if he doesn't, she continues to peer.

This is one of those rare cases where the object of Oberlin's study may indeed be more perplexing and absorbing than anything else going on in the room. It's a clear sign that the world's turned upside-down that his paranoia has been slipping. He has some sort of spanner-like microtool which is applied gently to the disc which is cupped in his hand, he stares at it as he makes some tiny adjustements. The whole thing looks like, in the terms of another time and place known as 'earth', a smoke detector if such a thing were designed by Apple and marketed by the Sharper Image. If such a smooth, white horror can be conceptualized. He takes a step back from his station as his vision ratchets up a bit. "Hm. Something I can help you with?" He asks, tentatively. His eyes are still mostly locked on the disc.

"Is that the transponder you mentioned in the operation briefing?" she wonders. Either fresh from sleep, or fighting off its siren-song, Rime's words are a little slower than usual, the Actae lilt woven more strongly between the syllables. Her head tilts slightly to one side as she looks from the immaculately-groomed plastic to Oberlin. She starts to fold her arms lightly across her chest, then abruptly halts, bringing the back of her hand up to her mouth to stifle another yawn. "Pardon."

"Good guess." Oberlin says, smirking one of his trademark little smirks as his lips rise on one side of his face even as they fall upon the other. As he fiddles with it some more, it turns in his hands, and his fingers twitch a little around it. "Errgh!" He notes. "Sorry. Little static shocks. Happens with the multitool, although it's a side-effect of the direct charge we applied to them to get them going. There's a little access port we had to create to ensure an external power feed." He chuckles a single, tight chuckle and adds, "You should have seen the data feeds these things were spewing out. The encryption algorithms were so frakkin' robust they green-screened the terminal we had the things hooked to and I had to reboot and dial down the filter. So yeah. Their technology blows ours away. This isn't news."

"Coffee thermos is over there if you want to help yourself. Careful. Want to have a look?" He holds out the disc in an offering. "Not at the same time, of course." It doesn't take much to determine he has a sense of pride about this thing. It's his baby, after all.

"How robust? Like, route the power from Cerberus's FTL and life support into the main CPU and still take five years to crack the encryption, robust? How long can you hold your breath?" Rime's face doesn't lend itself well to a smirk. What she manages is its gentler cousin, a crooked smile. "Sorry I missed it. Putting the final touches on it while your JTAC and I were trying to find the perfect 'exit strategy' from Leonis?" It doesn't take long to choose between coffee or transponder — she steps forward and delicately accepts the device. "So. Tell me about your baby." One brief look to Oberlin before she's turning the transponder over and around in her fingertips.

When Rime's fingertips close around it, she too gets a gentle static shock. You know, the kind you get from dragging your socks over the carpet and touching a doorknob. Just like he warned. "When you're trying to quantify something remote, sometimes the figure that gets quoted is so far beyond reasonable expectations, so far beyond anyone's ability to rationally conceive that you might just jot down a godsdamned infinity sign and call it a day." He shrugs, a little haplessly. "Kind of like this burnout trying to date my sister. I remember when I was a kid — he actually finally gave up and asked how many years he'd have to wait to get her phone number. Her response was simple - 'more than he could afford' to wait. So yeah. This is 'more than we can afford.' But if you want a parsing estimate, we're talking 7 figures of encryption challenges in under a second."

Rime's index fingers jump at the tiny cracklepop, but she keeps hold of the device. She doesn't laugh at the story about his sister's hapless suitor, though the curve of her downturned cheek shifts with a smile — which lasts until Oberlin gives his parsing estimate. That brings her gaze up, her brows barely lifted at all, as if it doesn't occur to her to ask if it's a joke. "What are we supposed to come up with against that?" she asks him, and then, "How certain are you this is even going to work, Lieutenant?"

Oh, it would appear that this very question has been either posed to Oberlin or has occurred to him once or twice since this discovery. He too barely blinks. "Careful with that," is all he initially says. He looks again at the disc and then back up at her, shrugging again faintly. Reasonably. A majority of outcomes I can come up with would make them pause. Given the reports of fleet strength and concentration around Leonis, they're simply unprepared for this. I hope. But if it rights some cosmic scales somewhere, I'll be on the Eidolon if it gets blasted out of the void." He finishes, matter-of-factly. "To answer your other question? Simple. We smash and grab. How many cases have you seen in history where a technologically inferior enemy holds their own, waging a guerilla war to a point where the superior party has to seriously weigh their options, at least?" He shrugs. "I have no great illusions about our long-term success, but we forsake our right to bitch about our lot if we don't try."

"One or two precedents," answers Rime on matters of guerilla warfare, sarcasm sharpening and straightening the accent curved around her words. "Maybe one or two." A silence falls over her, then, as she finishes her inspection of the transponder before offering it back to Oberlin. She doesn't linger over it too long. Parents can run to restlessness if their children are away too long. Blue-green eyes study his face for a moment before she says, only, "They're letting you go." Light puzzlement.

"More like I showed abject disappointment and the Admiral decided to reward me with a suicide mission." Oberlin barks out a laugh, looking around CIC to see if there really are any other reactions. He closes his fingers around the transponder and it too, after cursory investigation, gets neatly stowed into the container and sealed next to its companion as he talks. "But yeah. There are enough precedents to make just trying worthwhile. I guess it's ultimately a flaw or merit of being human depending on your perspective." He shrugs. "For what it's worth, I'm reminded of something about gift horses and mouths. We've been in space how long? Even if it's an irradiated shithole made out of a bland city that my dad would have sprung himself over a mortgage in — I count myself lucky. And I'm nosy. It's a thing."

"Be careful what you wish for, hein?" Rime's smile goes crooked again when Oberlin laughs. "Sometimes you-" Again, a yawn sneaks up on her, and she hastily brings the back of her hand up for muffling duty, glancing away apologetically. "Pardon. Maybe I should try to sleep before 0800 after all." She takes a step toward the CIC's doors, then pauses to turn and study him again. "I'm not sure I'll see you again before Cobra Talon is a go," she says, the lightest touch of mirth in the phrase. What a name. "Good luck. Trample some irradiated grass for me. I'll see you when you all get back safely."

"Oh. Right." Oberlin says, his eyes darting to and fro. "Cobra Talon." He grins goofily. "Say it with me. "Cobra Talon." He repeats, for emphasis. With that, he continues packing the precious cargo together. "Ensign Powell. Ensign Pow —" A young man in an officer's uniform steps forth nervously with a Marine in tow. "Uh, escort these up to the Port Hangar Bay. Let's see if we can get these squared away. I'll 'liase'," a bit more of a grin "with the deck crew and engineering when I get a spare cycle or two to oversee the installation."

With that, his attention returns to Rime. "Eh. Who knows? You may actually see some of us again." There is a tight smile. "Thanks for the visit."

Rime's amused eye-roll is half-hidden by a quick glance down to her boots. The laughter is even more poorly-hidden, brought back up toward Oberlin on a somewhat brave smile. "A pleasure, Lieutenant. See you on your return." A final moment's worth of inspection before she's out the door.

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