PHD #405: Not All It's Cracked Up to Be
Not All It's Cracked Up to Be
Summary: Bannik briefs Cora about the powers (and drawbacks) of the Linked Gun.
Date: Apr 7 2042 AE
Related Logs: None.
Bannik Cora 
TACCO's Office — Deck 10 — Battlestar Cerberus
Cora's non-descript office.
Post-Holocaust Day: #405

Tap-tap-tap. It must be some junior enlisted at the hatch. They are the ones that usually tap without the same level of certainty or enthusiasm as the more senior folks. "Captain?" calls the voice on the other side. "It's Specialist Tyr Bannik. You got a few?"

There's the sound of typing from inside, and then some paper shuffling and Cora calls, "Come in, Specialist." She's setting aside a stack of paperwork when he enters, and gestures him to a chair, "Please, take a seat." A burnt-down cigarette is stubbed out, and she asks, "What is it?"

Open comes the hatch. In comes the duty-green wearing Specialist with the clipboard clutched in his hands. "Sir," nods the deckhand as he takes a seat. "As you know." Which she may not know, but he makes it seem like she does. "We had an inter-departmental team work on simulating what the Gun would do to the battlegroup now that the entire Fleet can be used to amplify the weapon. I got assigned to brief you."

Cora grinds that cigarette into the ashtray for another moment, and then reaches for a pen, looking up again once Bannik is seated. As he begins to speak, her head tilts for a moment, and then she nods, "Yes, I received a memo about that." She flips through a stack for a moment, and then flicks her wrist in a dismissive gesture as it does not immediately appear. "That was quick work, Specialist. Good. What were the results?"

"I have a copy for you," says the Specialist, when Cora reaches for her pen. Indeed, he takes off some octagonal pieces of paper from his clipboard and hands them on over. "I'll start by covering what we already know: When Areion fires the Gun without amplification, she's offline for about fifteen minutes while her systems reset. She has to flood her systems with extra power to make it work, so it takes her other systems offline."

Cora reaches to take the pages Bannik offers, glancing through the technical data briefly as he speaks, and then back to the page with the conclusions, head and brows lifting at once. "And that problem is magnified when they're all linked? To half a day or more?" She lets out a soft, low whistle and shakes her head, "That is not how we had hoped this would work. I assume— hmmm." Whatever she was about to say is cut off, and the TACCO remains silent for a moment or two, reading rapidly through the pages once again. "The amount of recovery time required, does it decrease if fewer than four ships participate?"

"Possibly, sir." Bannik's response is guarded. "Our initial model was based on all four ships firing. We also do not know." He takes off another set of papers and hands it over. "What systems are taken off-line. FTL is a given. Worst-case scenario is all offensive and defensive capabilities. We're running some additional models." He takes a deep breath. "My analysis, sir? And I'm not a Tactical officer like you are. Firing the linked Gun is a last-ditch effort, if we're completely overwhelmed. Because while we'll take out what's in our area, we'll also be left potentially dead in the water. And — well, if what we were facing brings in reinforcements …" His voice trails, but the implication is clear: They're sitting ducks.

Cora nods at Bannik's response, and reaches to accept the next group of pages, which she looks through as he speaks again. Lips purse faintly, and she shakes her head a little before looking back up. "I would tend to agree," she replies, "This is really not how we had hoped it would function. I think there was some chance that it would have spread the power consumption among the ships of the fleet and so made recovery time less than Areion's usual fifteen minutes. It seems not." She spends another moment reading, and then reaches into her drawer, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and asking Bannik, "Do you mind?" she also offers them over, pausing before lighting up to ask, "Has work already been done to determine if there is a way to channel where the power required is siphoned from? That is to say: is there any way for us to control what systems we lose? That's something that should be investigated, if it has not been already. I would also like to see simulations run where the networked Gun is fired using different combinations of two and three ships, to see if there is some scenario that improves upon this risk/benefit ratio."

Bannik takes a pen out of his pocket and begins scribbling on his copy of the report, trying to take down all the models that Cora wants them to also work on. "Aye, sir," he confirms, glancing up at her. "I suppose this is why Areion undersold the concept. It's not a perfect fit any way you look at it. But I guess the big thing is that the power has to come from the FTL drives. There's no other way to make it work; it's our biggest power source on the ship. That's why we know at least the FTL will be offline."

Cora slows as Bannik takes out a pen, listing things out at a somewhat more measured pace to make sure he gets a chance to get them all down. She nods at his confirmation, and then again, "Yes, I imagine it is why. And yes, losing the FTL is a serious concern. Given the speed of enemy craft, any escape without FTL is essentially impossible. Even if we are able to somehow ensure that power remains for weapons and targeting systems, that is still a long time to hold off an enemy force should reinforcements arrive." She smokes thoughtfully, frowning at the reports in her hands, and then looks back up at Bannik. "You've been heavily involved in the research into captured cylon technology, Specialist. Have there been any findings yet regarding what, precisely, The Gun does to Raider systems?"

Bannik scratches a bit at the back of his neck, a sort-of nervous gesture, as he considers that question. "Well. I don't know the technical terms for it, sir. It — fries them out. Like, makes them overload, burns them out from the inside. I guess that's the way to put it." He lets out a heavy sigh. "I know this isn't what you were looking for, but. It's what we've got, sir." It's a half-apology.

"And it fries them out in a way that is permanent, correct?" Cora double-checks, "We at least would not have to worry about the Raiders we've fried coming back online to attack us, it would be Cylon reinforcements arriving from outside The Gun's range. Correct?" It's not quite a rhetorical question, and she waits for confirmation before gesturing with a few fingers, dismissing that half-apology. "It's hardly your fault, Specialist. The technology is what it is. I am sure that everyone is doing their best to make this system as useful as possible. Even the Areion engineers," she adds, with a quirk of a smile, "Say what you will about the spooks, but their desire to kill as many Cylons as possible cannot be doubted."

"Not technically, no, sir." Bannik shakes his head. "I mean, we've never really waited to find out. The Gun disables them long enough so that the Air Wing can just swoop in and do mop-up. So it's pretty much the same thing. Our main threat would come from reinforcements outside the zone of engagement."

"Hmm," Cora replies. "And I take it this isn't something that can be determined from examining the raiders we've recovered who were subject to The Gun? It would be good to know how long the disabling lasts." She scratches at the back of her neck, not intentionally imitating Bannik's earlier gesture, surely. "And if ExLORAD is offline, we'll have no way of knowing when those reinforcements are arriving. Lovely." She shakes her head again, and then asks, "Is there anything else you wanted to highlight for my attention about this, Specialist?"

Bannik shakes his head and takes this as his cue to get to his feet. "No, sir. I think that's enough to wrap your head around for right now. Like I said, we've never waited long enough to find out how long it would take for them to be active again. But our models show that the linked gun would take them down for an indefinite period of time." A pause. "Unless there's anything else what you wanted from me?"

Cora nods. "Well, if you can come up with a way to potentially determine more precisely how severe The Gun's effects are, I would like to hear it. It would be good intelligence to have. If you can put some thought into that question along with the others, though I understand work on cylon technology has been temporarily restricted? Something to do with this illness, I gather. While it's currently halted, if you could provide an updated report on the progress so far, that would be valuable as well. I understand there are several…branches? of the project; would you be able to compile data from each of them?"

"Yes, sir." Bannik nods. "A lot of the slow down has been because we need a lot of biotech muscle. And, well, —" The biotech muscle has been busy treating patients from the DeadlyFlu. "Thank you for your time, sir." The Specialist comes to a loose form of attention, and then he's gone, off to do what he's been tasked to do.

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