PHD #267: Special Projects, Part 2
Special Projects, Part 2
Summary: Cilusia and Shiner are assigned to the Hammerfall Missile project. Shiner stays behind to tell Damon he wants to become a pilot.
Date: 20 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: All the Hammerfall Missile logs.
Cilusia Damon Shiner 
Chief's Office - Hangar Deck - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #267
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.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

As with when Radcliffe came into his office earlier, Damon's office is in a state of disarray. The desk's been cleared off except for the computer terminal, and there are stacks of papers and folders all over the floor. This time, though, instead of ignoring all that, he's down on the floor sorting through it all. There are already two big garbage bags full of what can only be assumed is trash, and a third is well on its way to being filled up.

"Isn't that a fire hazard?" is Cilusia's first comment upon entering the offices here. For maybe the first time in her life, she takes advantage of the opportunity to lord over the deck chief as well, assuming a superhero-esque pose to let Damon get a glimpse up; the only thing that's missing is the fan to blow her hair about heroically!

Shiner ruins it, stumping into the office a moment later, giving Cilusia a once over and a smirk. "Nice. I'd hit that. How much?" Peering round her, he gives Damon a nod. "Hey, Chief. More shit to move, is it?"

"Don't frakking set fire to my office and we won't have to find out," Damon replies without looking up, continuing to frown at the report in his hand. "I haven't officially 'owned' this office for even a week yet. Please don't destroy it until I've been in here for at least half a month." With a shrug, the report gets tossed into the garbage bag as he stands up. "Nah, Shiner, special project. Come in, you two, close the door and have a seat, yeah?" He gestures vaguely to his desk and the two plastic chairs facing it while looking all over the floor for something. Found it! He picks up a folder marked CLASSIFIED and sets it down on the table. "Congrats on the promotion, by the way," he says to Cilusia with a grin before sitting down. "Don't frak it up this time." It's said with a wink, so you know he's joking.

"No Pee-Oh Ones about to agitate my last nerve…shouldn't be a problem this time," Cilusia replies with a smirk. "It wasn't a problem, until he got all up in my face. Oh, but was it worth it to see him run off with that tail between his legs!" A little chuckle escapes her lips as she pulls the plastic chair back to get a seat; the rubberized feet hop and skip on the metal deck as she tries to slide the thing.

Shiner wrinkles his nose, choosing to lean up against the desk rather than risk the second chair. "'Special project', huh? By which you mean I have been randomly selected from people with my postcode, and may already have won… a big fat extra work detail, right?" Still, he's grinning easily enough, shrugging one shoulder. "You desperately need my vital qualifications. I'm a mean hand with a hosepipe and I'm the fastest mopper in the west."

"Well, not quite," Damon says to Shiner. He pushes the folder toward Cilusia. "These are the files we have on the Hammerfall Missiles. I'm not gonna lie - I know next to nothing about these. What I do know is this: it's something that Crewman Coll was working on before, and we want to keep pursuing it." He nods to Cilusia. "Petty Officer Second Class Fasi, I'm putting you in charge of this project from the Deck perspective." There's a slight emphasis on 'second' what with her being promoted recently and all. "Shiner, I'm assigning you to Cilusia for this project. Mainly 'cause I figure a lot of this stuff can be done stationary. You'll have to get clearance from Intel to restart work on this, since they ordered a stop on all projects that Lauren was working on."

Shiner draws a hand across his lips, replying innocently, "Wasn't going to say a thing, PO." He does, however, eye Damon. "Uh, Chief? Did we do something to piss you off? Because I totally apologise if we did and that's why you're setting us up on a highly explosive project started by a cylon."

Damon barely suppresses a grin at the exchange between Cilusia and Shiner. "Look, I know this is kinda frakked." He points a finger to each of them in turn. "You're a survival equipment specialist by trade and you're still under a year in the Fleet - not that that matters after the end of the world and all. But still." An apologetic shrug is offered to the two of them. "We've all had to learn fast and I have faith in both of your abilities to get this done. I'm told that Lauren made videos of her dismantling and reassembling the Hammerfall missile - that should catch you up to speed pretty quickly on the mechanisms of the thing, though I imagine you'll have to talk to EOD or Weapons or someone else to get the full details. And, uh, because you brought up frames… apparently, these missiles require a special heavyweight airframe for delivery. So you'll need to figure out not only if the missiles are safe, feasible, and worth manufacturing. You'll also have to devise a delivery method if they are. I imagine there'll need to be a lot of inter-departmental dialogue to make this happen."

Queue the thinker…such as Cilusia can make it come to life. Mostly, she just sits back in her seat and hmmmmms a bit, putting her palm across her mouth. "So who's got hold of these tapes and schematics and shit? I'm not going near the damn thing until I read up every last bit of information like gulping down water back home." Home being just a little warmer than it was to start, on account of nuclear detonations and what have you.

Shiner perches against the desk, pointing out once more as he crosses his arms, "I think you're missing the point, Chief. Lauren Coll was a cylon. One of the bad guys. You know? The tin cans who are out to kill us? I don't trust /shit/ of whatever's she's done. If she's got notes on these missiles, I'd bet you a hundred cubits to a pinch of shit that they're somehow booby trapped or otherwise going to get us all blown up. Bad guys don't just handily leave useful bits of information about ways to kill them lying around. Seriously."

Damon gives Shiner an even look. "Then prove it," he challenges, but not in a baiting way. "Pore over the schematics, the videos, whatever you have to do so that we can go to Command, lay down our evidence, and say 'This is why we don't trust this thing'. Until then, or until she's declared to have been the enemy - which they're still investigating - we will pursue everything that might give us an advantage the next time we go head-to-head with the Cylons." He taps the folder sitting on the desk. "I'm told this missile has massive firepower. Enough, maybe, to turn the tide of battle in our favor. I can't ignore this on the suspicion that Lauren was a Cylon." To Cilusia, he adds, "I have a copy of the videos. But, uh, I'm not sure that I'm supposed to have 'em, or be showing them to other people or what. Check in with Intel - they confiscated a lot of that stuff, so they should have everything you need. Worst case scenario, come see me. I've got copies of everything she was working on, including the Strike Viper."

"Sounds like this shit is being kept pretty secret. I haven't heard a godsdamned thing about of this…until now of course." Cilusia now has another reason to go on up and see some of those Intel folks, aside from that IIG-dealie. "If the videos show her taking apart whatever she was working on without it blowing up, I'm going to have to guess it's not booby-trapped, but…you never know."

Shiner rolls his eyes. "Well, it's not going to blow up on the vid of her taking it apart, is it? Look frakking close at the one where she puts it back together, though. If I was a cylon, I'd totally frak with it right there, and then leave instructions that make it look really easy. And then? BOOM!" He shifts his gaze to Damon, adding almost meekly, "Sorry, but I would. My question is why /us/, Chief? It's dangerous, frakking dangerous. Surely the Weps guys are, like, trained with all this crap, no? Sure we can build mounts and stuff… although, y'know, the AE(M)s would know more about that than us. Seriously, Chief, no offence, but every single frakking alarm bell in my head is going off screaming 'this is a setup'."

Damon points to the CLASSIFIED on the folder. "I know secrets leak like a whore's abused asshole on this ship, but some things do end up staying behind closed doors," he says to Cilusia with a small smile. "And Shiner, the best answer I can give you is that this was Lauren's project before she got shot. She had the lead on this thing, so we as the Deck have to take the initiative to revive this project if it bears reviving. You both sound like you'll be going over all this with a fine-tooth comb - and that's exactly what I was hoping for. If we're shutting it down, give me a good concrete reason for it with evidence, not just feelings, yeah? And if we continue with it, it might not be you two who do the actual work. It might very well get passed off to Weapons or someone else who's better trained to deal with this shit. Talk to those people. Learn from them."

"Now that sounds like a frakking plan," Cilusia comments dryly. "I get you now, Chief. That's definitely more up my alley and all that. We get to take that with us on the way?" she asks, pointing down at the CLASSIFIED folder.

Shiner confirms, "So we're looking over all this shit she's left us and figuring out where the booby trap is, right?"

Damon snorts a laugh at Shiner and shakes his head. "Get outta here before I throw something at your head. And don't misunderstand my meaning: I want this missile thing to work. If what I'm told is true, it could be a massive asset to the Fleet. But it's gotta be a sure thing. Like Shiner said, if it ends up blowing up in our faces…" There's no need to finish that sentence. "Take the file if you want, Cilusia; just keep positive control of it, yeah? And keep me informed on your progress and plans as you go along."

"Ten-four, aye-aye, yessir, and all that good shit," Cilusia comments. The folder is pulled across the desk to her, and scooped up under one arm. All the while, she goes about sliding that chair back out with the rubber feet hopping and bouncing along on the metal flooring.

"Aye aye," Shiner adds his own dubious affirmative, absently scratching at the back of his neck. "Before I bugger off, Chief, with the PO to play with exploding messily, can I borrow you for ten minutes for a wee word?"

"'Course you can," Damon replies easily. "Though I can't promise I won't throw something at your head within those ten minutes. What's on your mind?" Cilusia's given a glare as she leaves for making all that racket with her chair. Again.

"I'll get a helmet," Shiner replies solemnly, shifting position as he leans against the desk once more. "Um. Well. Anyway. I… er… yeah, so it's like this. I talked to the CAG about maybe learning to fly, right? And she reckons I could do it, so… uh. I guess this is me going through all the channels and stuff and asking formal permission and all that shit. I want to learn to fly the birds, Chief, not just shunt them around the deck like expensive trashcans. They're made to fly. I want to try it."

Damon looks genuinely surprised by what Shiner has to say. In fact, he's stunned wordless for almost a full minute as he just sits there blinking at the man. "You'll have to be fully recovered first," he says inanely. "But, uh, if that's a possibility you want to pursue, we can try to arrange it. Usually, you gotta have more time in before you can transfer like that, but the need for pilots is pretty high right now, so…" He shrugs. "Come talk to me when you're given the green light by Medical, yeah? We'll draft up the necessary paperwork. Until then, I'll talk to the CAG and see what we can do for you."

Shiner lifts his chin briefly, very deliberately setting his cane down on the desk. He pauses a moment, a look of complete concentration on his face, then, only wobbling a little, manages the two or three steps to the chair unaided. Stopping there for a second to catch his breath and centre himself, he turns, leaning on the chair, then pushes himself away from it again to launch himself in a drunken lurch back to the desk. Once there and safe again, he gives Damon a triumphant, shit eating grin. "There! Medical can frakking bite me. The CAG said she'd consider it when I could walk without the stick. And I can walk without the stick. Shit, pilots spend all their time sitting down anyway, Chief."

Damon looks around. Nothing's available on his desk, so he reaches down, grabs a permanent marker, and chucks it at Shiner's head - in a friendly way, of course. "Don't make me kick the cane out from under you again," he warns, brandishing a second permanent marker menacingly in the Apprentice's direction. "I'll do what I can for you, Shiner, even though I think that you in a jumpsuit would be the most disastrous thing to ever happen to this ship. That and the fact that I don't want to lose you from this department, but I have to help advance you and your career. In keeping with the Fleet's needs, of course, and what the Fleet needs more than anything is pilots."

Shiner rubs at his forehead, wrinkling his nose. "Frak it, I should have got that frakking helmet after all. Look, I know everyone thinks I'm just a bit of a joke and all, but I really want to give this a go, all right? If I fail, I fail, but… yeah. You know. I wouldn't get this chance if they weren't desperate, I know, but I'll be buggered if I'm going to waste it."

"I don't think you're a joke," Damon responds. Despite his grin, his tone is serious enough to be believed. "You might be a bit of a joker, and I'll break both your legs if you ever do anything inappropriate with Sofie, but you deserve your fair chance just like everyone else. And shit, you might actually make it. Then you can laugh at me when I have to salute you on the very hangar floor you used to work on." He lets the permanent marker drop back into the pen-holder. "But even if you don't make it for whatever reason - not being fully healed or whatever - nobody's gonna think less of you for it."

Shiner looks innocent, using his fingers to form air quotes. "Define 'inappropriate'?"

"If I hadn't just put that marker away…" Damon says with a laugh. "You're impossible, Shiner. Maybe this is the Gods' gift to me by loosing you on the CAG instead."

Shiner flashes the man a quick grin. "Cheers, Chief. I'll do my best not to be back on the deck with my tail between my legs. No offence."

"Good, then I won't have to throw a wrench at you," Damon says with a grin. "Just don't blow yourself up until you earn your wings, yeah? And don't you worry, I'll have you working like a slave until you get to skip off that deck as a nugget."

"Oh. Phew," Shiner replies drily. "I was really worried I'd get special treatment, too." Grasping his cane from the desk, he touches his forehead in vague salute. "But thanks, Chief. I'll let you get back to your previously scheduled fire hazard now."

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