BCH #008: Of Deck Chiefs and VPs
Of Deck Chiefs and VPs
Summary: Topher tries to get something done on the Deck and Atreus bristles.
Date: Feb 18, 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Topher Atreus 

[ Hangar Deck - Port ]---[ Midship - Battlestar Cerberus ]
The single largest rooms on the Cerberus are the hangar decks. Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Mirror images of each other, these two huge areas are located on the flight pods. The inboard sides of the deck, closest to the ship's main hull, are lined with parking and maintenance bays for Vipers and Raptors based aboard the battlestar. The outboard side of the deck contains the launch tubes used by the Vipers for standard deployment. Huge blast doors seal the deck into four sections, each one containing an elevator that leads up to the flight deck directly overhead. The fore-most section contains an elevator system that leads towards Aerospace Fabrication.

Topher is standing at one of the electrical readout stations. His voice raised and barking at one of Xyber armaments technical liaisons and the two deck hands next to him. His head bouncing between all three of them. "LISTEN to me very closely…If you install the ECM package and the targeting backup on the same flashware you will have 15% less accuracy of the heat monitoring system. This is basic software logistics the more you load onto a single multicore the more threads it will use." He picks up the manual sitting next to the monitor and bangs it against the rolling tool box. Several other technicians are staring at him coldly obviously annoyed with his attitude. "No wonder we are getting daily bug reports from this entire deck. This is unacceptable! You need to focus on what it is your doing these are multi-billion dollar pieces of equipment your toying with. NOT some fifteen year old car in your mothers front yard."

Clearly, someone went to get the Chief, for Atreus is running full tilt to the altercation. When he gets there, he looks Topher up, then down, his expression colder than the sub-zero of space. Still, when he speaks, his tone is pleasant enough, if soft and clipped. "What the frak is going on here?" He turns briefly to the technicians in question and motions for them to step back. Inserting himself between them and the irate, he looks a bit up at the man, "First. No one and I mean /no one/ talks to my people that way. Second. Either you calm the frak down /right/ now or I'll call the MPs and have you escorted off /MY/ deck. Third. Any time you have an issue, you come to /ME/. Get it? Not the techs. Not the crewmen. Not any/FRAKIN'/body else. Got it?" His tone warms, but only to the point of civility. "Now. If you can talk in a normal, calm and /Respectful/ tone, we can discuss your issue over coffee. If not? Get the FRAK off my deck until you can."

Topher quickly cuts a harsh look at the Xyber employees in the group. "Well I am fine. It’s my concern with the lives of crew on this vessel. As well as these Xyber techs have had plenty of time to learn their jobs. However I will acquiesce for getting irritated at your deck crew. Though I will be honest we are averaging over a hundred daily tech update and bug reports. Which is not necessary….Though I am quite parched I could use some coffee." He rolls up the Xyber manual and taps it into his palm as he follows your lead. "I am Topher Aurelia vp of software development. I was brought aboard to help implement our new software packages on the Cerberus. As part of a joint project between the military and several contractors." He offers out his hand as he finally steps over to you.

Atreus waits until the pseudo-apology is given, then nods once. Turning to his crew, he speaks quietly, "I'll handle this and get back with you. I want independent verification of those bug reports, pronto." They look at each other, then scoot. The Chief turns again to the visitor, "Right this way." Rather than leading the man to the pot that is clearly available on a shelf built into a bulkhead off to one side, he angles toward his office. Turning slightly at the introduction, he takes the extended hand in a grip that is firm and authoritative without being crushing or lengthy. To judge by the grip, the man has nothing to prove to anyone, "Chief PO Constantine Atreus. I am more likely to answer to 'Chief' than anything else." When the office is reached, he opens the door and ushers the man in. "Please. Now. Tell me about these bug reports? Why haven't I been informed?" That last? Yeah, he is angry. But not necessarily at Topher.

[ Chief's Office ]---[ Hangar Deck - Battlestar Cerberus ]
The room is fairly small, to maximize the area of the deck itself. It contains a smallish metal desk with locking drawers, a computer terminal, a file cabinet against one wall and metal shelves filled with tools, spare parts, and manuals. There are two chairs facing the desk, clearly scavenged from somewhere else. One area of the shelving, nearest the desk, has been cleared and is clean. This holds a coffee maker that constantly seems to have some brew or other in it. Above the chair behind the desk, in a position of prominence, a framed picture has been hung. It is an embroidered image depicting Hephaestus with his two metal helpers. The work is beautiful and almost lovingly detailed. The god is laughing, one eye bright where a patch covers the other. He is held aloft by his helpers, one done in glittering gold, the other in silver.

Topher steps into the Chief's office not making a move towards either the coffee or one of the chairs. Instead he scans the room slowly taking in every inch of it to help judge the man with him. "Yes well I will be honest with you Chief Atreus. My company currently has over a billion dollars invested in this flight deck alone. This isn't on contract what we are doing here it is officially a research project. I was sent aboard because we are getting flooded with software issues. I mean literally we are receiving over a hundred a day from this flight deck. That my friend is bad for business."

Atreus motions to a chair, then moves to the coffee pot. The scent of the brew is rich and warm, spiced ever so lightly with cinnamon. He pours two mugs and sets one in front of a chair, the other near his own. "Sugar? Cream?" As he names each, he gestures to a covered plastic tub and a closed thermos. Once the niceties have been handled, he claims his own chair and mug, "No, that is not good. Not only not good for business, but…" Then, he pauses to take a sip, lowering the mug slowly, "What software are you talking about, Mr. Aurelia?" A suspicion may be growing behind those hazel eyes but the man does not yet give it voice.

Topher slides the purely black coffee close to his person. He sips it slowly not out of any other need then for a pause to collect his thoughts. Once he sets it back down on the table he begins again. "Well what sort of clearances do you have may I ask Chief Atreus?" His eyes look up over the desk at various awards and pictures set in different parts of the room.

Atreus snorts slightly, "If it is happening on my deck with my people, I have clearance to know about it. Otherwise, it does not happen on my deck." His voice remains calm and certain. As he drinks the coffee, he seems to settle a bit. Leaning back, he fixes the man with a glance. "Go on, Mr. Aurelia."

Topher shifts his eyes from one side of the room to the other. He then slides out of his chair and makes his way to the door. He makes sure to click it closed before returning to his seat. "Well here I guess the best thing I can do is show you." He reaches into his pocket pulling out a standard letter sized orange envelope. Slowly he pulls up the lip and slides out a single white sheet of paper. He spreads it out onto the Chief's desk. The paper lays out in graph form several systems all linked to a central flashdisk. "What we are developing is a piece of software that ties the ECM and targeting system together. The way this functions is let’s say a pilot is preparing to fire on a target. Well as it is now whatever is displayed on the HUD is what is given a targeting solution. Instead of such a simple interface this will actually try to get the pilot to select the target that is the easiest to confirm a kill." He then uses his finger to trace out on the paper how each system interacts with the flashdrive and then returns back. "So each portion is run through various algorithms then sent back. So what I was explaining out there is the absolute need for efficiency in this process even the slightest lag can make the overall design not function."

Atreus lifts a brow when the man goes to close the door. "Hmm." When Topher returns and spreads out a sheet, the Chief sets his coffee down and leans forward to read the paper. He frowns slowly, muttering something under his breath. Then he nods, "This interfaces with the CNP software here." He touches the paper lightly, then moves his finger, "And here." Looking up again, he fixes the man with a steady gaze, "You have been in communication with Kiryl Strelokov, right?" Looking down again, his gaze traces the diagram again, "Huh. No wonder. This looks to have been designed for the new frameboards. We're having to rip those out and put the old boards back in. The new ones will be put back in once the CNP software is ready." Passing the paper back, he looks up again, "So. I suggest that you and Mr. Strelokov get together and work it out. In the meantime, we'll probably have to strip your software out as well." The prospect is not pleasing, clearly.

Topher slowly spins the paper back around showing it to the Chief upside down. "Actually..I designed the bulk of the system myself. Each piece is self dependent without the center piece. We actually are quite aware and pleased at your decision to remove the CNP interfaces. The problem is though that even by itself in controlled testing our software should be giving you at least a 20% increase in overall performance." He taps his chin then lifts his eyes up to yours. "If you have the recent heat signature reports from this month over last I think you will see the new efficiency."

You say, "No… No. Sorry. The CNP interface is being downgraded to the older CNP. With the old frameboards and…" Pausing, he sighs and extends a hand, "Forgive me, sir. I need to see your ID, please. Before we can continue."

Topher chuckles a bit at the request for ID. He pulls out his laminated ship pass then pulls another document from the orange envelope. The paper is from the under secretary of naval affairs with a mission statement along the lines of what he told you. Also a odd paragraph giving permission to conduct 'low level linear artificial assumption programming'. "Of course these are the two best I have if that what you’re looking for."

Atreus leans forward to take both documents. He looks them over, paying particular attention to the details. While he does not hold onto them for an inordinate amount of time, he does give them a careful eye. Just to be sure. Passing them back, he nods, "Thanks. Now then. We are not eliminating the CNP altogether. We were informed that the CNP software that we just finished installing was incomplete. The new software should be ready in…" A glance is leveled at a desk calendar, then turned back to you, "Three days. Until then, we are uninstalling the CNP, removing the new frameboards, putting in the old frameboards and installing the old CNP software. When the new software is ready, the whole thing begins again in reverse. Now. As your software clearly interacts with the CNP, I suggest that you get with Mr. Strelokov. I would bet credits to cake that the errors you are getting are from that source. Though I should not make such assumptions without a listing of the errors, first, and a good hard look at your manual second."

Topher nods his head in a sort of uneasy agreement. He reaches down into his cargo pocket and pulls free the now rolled up manual. He lays it on the desk as well as digs out several small flash drives dropping them next to it. "These are the compiled pieces of software if you need the actual code itself. Well then I will need to get that request from higher up the chain. I am sure you understand….I am quite concerned I must say that the overall Xyber contingent as well as the other technicians have slipped notice. Though I do realize with the launching of a new ship plenty of contractors come and go." He taps his chin slowly as he falls back into thought. "So if you would permit I would like to have approval to take one of the removed CNP boards to have a look at it. As well as one of the older models I would like to run some tests with the software. Since it seems very odd to me that there is a conflict since our software worked perfectly in an enclosed environment."

Atreus reaches over to pull the manual closer. He nods as the flashdrives are placed next to the manual, "Thanks. Much appreciated." Taking a long, slow breath, he flips through the manual, but does not try to read it yet. Looking up again, he shrugs, "Don't see why not off the top of my head. But, be aware that I do not have extras of the new boards. We are having to provide the old boards and a back up of the systems for redundancy. I doubt that they will be needed, but… It is procedure." He does not add that it is just common sense. "When you hear about the error codes, please let me know." That handled, he relaxes back into his chair, "Now, let's talk about that larger issue, yeah? About how your crews were interfaced with mine and I wasn't told about it. Who did you talk to? Or was it supposedly arranged?"

Topher lifts up his cup of coffee to take a long sip to slow things down a bit. Once he finishes he sets it back on to the desk again. "Well it is part of the contract agreement with the fleet. Since we are doing this for free we are getting to used any research. It falls under the standard civil advisors regulations as according to Quorom act 456.32b. At the moment we have less than five staff members aboard though the three out there are focused on the flight deck. The other two deal with the systems of Cerberus. I started at this point since its code that I helped design. Though they are only here as teachers and guides they do not touch any of the equipment hands on. However the lack of instruction in installing simple software packages is fairly appalling. Though I am sure you realize this and I guess I underestimate the very fresh crew you have here."

Atreus sets the mug down slowly, "Stop right there." He leans forward slowly, crossing his hands in front of him. "My crew are all top notch. Get that through your head. If there is a problem, sir, it is almost certainly with the interactions between the software and the hardware. Period. That is only to be expected as you have admitted that; firstly, you have not seen the new frameboards and secondly that while it worked in a closed system you have not tested it in real life. Now, unlike yourself, sir, I am not implying that the software is not 'good', but that the testing was incomplete." He considers, then nods, "Here is what I will do for you. Since laying blame is a frakin' stupid, foolish and /utter/ waste of time…" This time when he looks at the man across from him it is with a fiercely intent gaze that says more clearly than words that the subject if closed… "… and we should move on with life… I will provide you with one bird for testing purposes. Until you have made absofrakin'lutly clear that your software works not only with the old boards and CNP but the new, I will instruct my staff not to install it on any other bird. When you have cleared its functionality to my satisfaction, we will proceed as you like. Not before."

Topher rests his hand on the desk tapping his finger against it a few times while he considers. He seems uninterested in reacting to your response in an emotional way. "Perfect….I will even pull my guys off to deal in particular with that flight system." He takes another long sip from his cup in an attempt to hide his smile. "Do you know who I would need to speak with to arrange a test pilot? I feel like if I can keep them up my crew could have something flight worthy in less than 72 hours. As well we would defer to your crew to double check all the systems to ensure safety. Though I would ask for one more thing if you could have yourself or one of your trusted crew to read the spec reports. I would love to have someone as skilled as yourself give feedback."

Atreus does watch the man for a response and half smiles when emotion is not forthcoming. Nodding, he leans back again, "Of course. That would be the CAG. Uh. Major Cidra Hahn." Opening his desk, the man removes a smallish book. Flipping through it, he pulls a pen and paper from another drawer. Carefully, he writes the Major's name and com number on it. The paper is passed to you while the book and pen are put away again. Softly, the man snorts, though it is more with amusement than anything else. "My crew are full up, Mr. Aurelia. I'll handle it. This falls under the 'special projects' part of the Deck." He pauses for a moment, then nods, "Yeah, I think I have enough parts to put together a 'loaner'. Get with me tomorrow afternoon and I'll know for sure."

Topher leans forward tapping the manual he passed over. "In the back of that is all the information you could ever want about the advisers. Feel free to put them to work gathering parks sweeping floors or whatever you need. Also one of them was actually a member of the fleet in his younger days he is quite good at bundling software packages. I am sure if you would let him that he could make clean install suites for your crew to ease the load." He finishes up his coffee before crumpling the cup and dropping it into the waste bin beside your desk. "Well I know you’re a busy man I do very much apologize for interrupting your schedule. As well for any egos I may have bruised."

Atreus reaches over to flip the manual to the back. Noting the names, he grunts once, softly, "Huh." Then he closes the book again and picks it up, "Thanks again. I'll give you a holler if I run into anything out of my ken." Lifting a brow, he smiles a slow smile, "Now, that is a great idea and fairly offered. I'll run it by Mr. Strelokov and see if he has any objections." Rising, he shrugs, "No egos bruised, per say, sir. Just… I don't allow anyone to yell at my crew but me." The man extends a hand, "Let's reconvene later, if that is okay? I've got a ton to do before I can slog through the manual."

Topher stands and reaches his hand out giving yours a tight shake. "Well thank you Chief Atreus for your time. I am sure we will have a lot of innovating to do together." He nods his head before finally releasing his grip and heading out towards the hangar.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License