PHD #340: Playing with Firepower
Playing with Firepower
Summary: Vandenberg and Bannik meet up to harvest high explosive for Operation Silent Mastiff.
Date: 01 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: OSM Prep. Lots of stuff.
Bannik Vandenberg 
Port Hangar Deck
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.
Post-Holocaust Day: #340

"We're going to need six-six-two moved over to the Repair Bay so that I can take a look in its flight control system," Bannik is telling some aircraft handlers, pointing at a Viper and then over helpfully at the Repair Bay. See? It goes there. "So, get it hooked up for a tow and I'll sign off on getting it taken off the line for a few hours." He holds a clipboard in his other hand, gesturing vaguely with it as he speaks.

Vandenberg, clad in a dirty set of combat blacks, appears on the hangar deck and making her way towards the young man. At least she's devoid of her assault vest and helmet so she doesn't look terribly official. "Specialist Bannik?" she calls on the approach, ducking around a Viper's wing as it is moved past. "Hey. Chief Damon wanted me to get in touch with you." When she stops she puts her back to a wall so she doesn't get ambushed by something moving - which is everything by her estimation.

"Me?" Tyr sounds confused. He can't seem to quite figure out what a Marine Lieutenant would be wanting with him. "Uh. Sure. Lieutenant." He gestures with his clipboard. "Come on into my office." His 'office' is a little spot over by a workbench, out of the active movement of the Deck. "What can I do you for?"

The Marine steps over with him out of the way, still keeping her back to something that is stationary. For now. "Yeah. I need to disassemble six Mark eighty-two five-hundred pound bombs and harvest the RDPX high explosive inside them. Heard a rumor you've got pallets and pallets of them down on the Ordnance Deck. He wanted you to give me a hand with them. Got an hour or so and an ordnance manual handy?"

Bannik furrows his brow at that. "Sure. We've got some bombs from our times raiding the anchorages and the like. And I've got — some training — on them." Avionics, after all, technically is also the ordinance branch of the Deck. "I can grab a manual. What. Uh. What do you need the explosive removed for?"

"Good. Grab the manual." Natalie is all business on this part of the ship. Its not common to see her around here. She probably doesn't like the idea of being run over. A hand dives into her breast pocket and comes out with a folded piece of paper. Its orders from Colonel Pewter. Signed and delivered. "Thanks for asking. The explosive is for our breaching charges for Silent Mastiff. We're blowing open the hangar doors and entering there. I need five-hundred and forty pounds of RDPX composition to attach to our blasting rig and to build a separate bomb to blow open the hangar doors."

Bannik takes the octagonal piece of paper from the Marine Lieutenant, looking down at it owlishly from behind his glasses (that are behind his eye protection). He reads silently to himself. Then he folds it up again. "Well," he says finally. "It's going to take a little more than an hour. But — sure. I can get it for you. What are we going to do about securing the explosives when it's loose?"

"No problem. I'm on duty right now and my entire night is dedicated to it. I've got my music player and a do-rag." Vandenberg taps her cargo pocket on her right leg. Her left leg jingles with the pat. Those are probably her tools. "Once we've got it harvested I've got Dog Platoon's entire first squad running protection detail. They're standing by to deploy to the ordnance deck on my word. Once we crack, they're defending. When we are done, we'll be moving it to freight elevator nine and taking it up to missile bay twelve where I have an empty tube reserved. Your job ends there. I'll be doing the shaping and timers in the tube so if there is a negligent detonation, it'll blow out the tube and not the rest of the ship." Apparently she's played with bombs before.

"All. All right, then." Tyr tries to sound like he deals with large amounts of explosives every day on his job. Which he does, mind you, but not usually out of their casings. "I. Uh. I'll need to pull a ton of blank forms to start the sign-out process for the explosives, and then grab the manual, and then we'll — uh. We'll get to it, huh?" He flashes a smile at the Marine Lieutenant.

Vandenberg, at least, doesn't seem nervous at all. Whether or not she actually is under the surface? Well that's not clear. She takes a radio out of her pocket and lifts it to her mouth. She doesn't raise her voice higher than she needs to. "Dog One, Dog Actual. Deploy as fragged. Expect myself and Specialist Tyr Bannik on scene in one-zero mikes. Clearances limited to listed personnel only. Orders are to detain anyone trying to breach cordon by any means necessary. Use of lethal force is authorized by Lieutenant Vandenberg as of nineteen thirty-five hours. Out." She stuffs the radio back into her pocket and looks back to Bannik. "We're ready when you are, Specialist. Lead the way."

"Okay. Yeah. And — I'm going to need a team of Handlers to help with movement of the bombs," Bannik is explaining as he comes back with a sheath of blank forms with all sorts of official-looking capital letters and 'IMPORTANT — WARNING — VIOLATION OF FLEET REGULATIONS AND COLONIAL LAW' warnings plastered all over them. "I mean — 800-pound bombs don't get themselves up on the work bench. I've got a few people I can trust if you want me to call them."

Vandenberg nods once, stiffly. "Call whomever you need, Specialist. They can meet us at the stairwell and I will sign them through." She looks over the forms and reaches into that left cargo pocket. It jangles while she- there it is. A pen is produced. "The mightiest sword." She holds it up. "Just tell me where to sign for these things and we'll get to work."

"All right. Hey! Riggins!" Bannik calls out to one of the faceless orange-suited aircraft handlers running about the Deck. "Get me Timon and her dayshift crew, okay? Get 'em out of bed if you have to. We need our best folks for this one." He then presents the clipboard to Vandenberg. "First form we have is to requisition the men needed to do this off of normal shifts and put them on the approved list. We'll get to the individual bombs once we get down there. I need to record serial numbers and stuff." This kid is more anal about his paperwork than a personnel officer.

The Marine watches the efficiency of the Deck with some ill-disguised jealousy. "I wouldn't mind having that kind of grease on some of my Marine's elbows," she mutters, taking the clipboard. She listens to the explanation without a hint of disapproval. When he finishes, she signs off for whats needed. "It might seem like paperwork is a pain in the ass, but I've got orders for a clear chain of custody from start to finish. You give me everything you could possibly need signed and I'll get it done."

Bannik takes the clipboard back and tucks it under his arm. "Don't you think I mind, Lieutenant. I'm the guy who cataloged every single part on a Heavy Raider and hag it bagged and tagged and marked with an inventory number. So, you know, this is small potatoes." He heads for the stairwell, looking to head off towards the ordinance storage rooms.

"You guys have a heavy raider?" Color Vandenberg surprised. That's the first she's heard of it. "Cool." More jealousy. Wrong career track! She shakes her head and moves to follow the Specialist off towards storage.

Cue the montage. With a small squad of aircraft handlers, headed up by a Petty Officer Second Class, the avionics tech and Vandenberg can go to work on taking the explosives out of the massive bombs. It's slow going, one filled with paperwork and pauses to consult the large, weathered manual that he's placed down next to the work bench. "We need to snip the wire over here — it's marked D3 on the diagram, or is it —" His voice trails off. "Do you think that's D4 or D3? I can't see where the line is exactly pointing."

"Its blue. That means D-Three. Don't ask how I know that." Vandenberg wouldn't guess with explosives, right? She's long-since dispensed with the duty shirt and is sporting an old concert t-shirt from nearly ten years ago. One of those arena rocker bands with big hair and triple platinum albums that nobody dares listen to in public anymore. Sleeves rolled up, she seems pretty energized about this. She lifts the wire snips to the blue wire but doesn't cut yet. "Doublecheck. Blue is D-Three." Nobody has bothered with rank addresses in quite some time. "So Bannik, how's life on the Deck? Ever get to do shit like this?" The red do-rang is adjusted on her head with her free hand.

"Yeah. Blue is d-three." Bannik has taken off his cranial, but not his eye protection, as if one of these goes off, he may lose his skull, but his eyes will be protected. "Go ahead and cut it." He glances up over the bomb between them and shrugs. "Honestly, sir? I get asked to do just about everything that ought to really be done with a few more ranks and years of experience than me. Some kind of — wunderkin or something. But I guess that's what the end of the world does to people. Makes 'em step up."

With the direction to cut, Van snips the wire and sets the snips down. "Sweeeeeet. And please, for the love of the Gods, you don't have to 'sir' me. I'm not even in uniform. Easier to just enjoy the work, right?" She lifts her eyes and winks at him before looking back to the bomb. "Well sounds like you really know what you're doing if people are putting that much trust in you. Especially something like a heavy raider." She places gloved hands on the metal casing surrounding the RDPX core and slowly lifts it off. "Probably no surprise that Damon recommended you for this gig, right?" She chuckles, setting the metal casing down carefully. "Seen a lot of people step up more than they had to or wanted to. Some can't handle it and fizzle. Its kind of depressing to watch. Others thrive. You seem to be holding up really well." She brightens her smile at him and leans down with her face close to the explosive. "Mmm. Pastey. Like you could smear it on a bagel."

"I'm not sure this is something that someone, you know, enjoys, sir. It's more like 'hopes doesn't blow up in your face.' I'm not one of those 'big explosions are cool' sort of people. But I guess if you are you go into one of the combat branches, huh?" Bannik at least manages to flash a smile at that. He reaches for his clipboard. "Okay. Let's get the explosive weighed and logged in. And then we can get the casing cleared and move on to the next one." He gestures towards the balance set up on the other side of the work bench. "As for how I hold up? Well, a lot of faith in the gods, that's the first part. And the other is just a whole lot of hard work and not wanting to let people down, I guess is all it is."

"Heh. Exactly. I did a lot of work with IED's and explosives. It always ticks the nerves a little bit but I got a great piece of advice once from a Master Sergeant: The more nervous you get, the more likely you are to screw up. So take your time, try to enjoy it, and for the love of the Gods measure twice and cut once." Natalie smirks at him. "Give me a hand." She reaches into the bomb casing proper and sloooowly lifts out the metal container whenever he's ready. Its heavy. "We'll measure the whole thing and then I'll scoop the RDPX out into the container. We can just tare it." Settled onto the balance, she steps back and wipes her arm across her brow. "Sounds like the Marine ethos, Bannik. I think that's the best way to look at it. I still say my prayers nightly. You enjoy the responsibility that people bring to you?" she asks, still holding her happy-go-lucky expression.

The question seems to really throw Bannik for a loop. Or if not for a loop, then into a quiet thoughtfulness that stops him for a moment. "I don't know," he says finally. "I guess I do. Not because I want to get promoted or get medals or anything like that. But I like helping. It keeps me busy. And it — you know — it makes people's lives better in a way. And that's good to know. I like making things better. It's the gods' work, I think."

Vandenberg chuckles. "I don't think many of us do it for the glory anymore. But you continue to impress me, Mister Bannik. If I can ever do you a favor, you let me know." And so the work goes. Small talk and chatter for a few hours while the Marines outside the armored work room stand stoic guard. Six bombs later, all five hundred forty pounds of high explosive has been harvested and deposited into metal containers. With the casings set aside and marked, the containers are loaded onto the freight elevator under the watchful eyes of Marines and Deck. "Wish me luck," Vandenberg says with a grin, waggling her fingers at Bannik as the doors to the elevator close.

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