PHD #039: Sweating the Meeting
Sweating the Meeting
Summary: Bannik goes to his dreaded meeting with the Exec to update Tillman about the progress with the Heavy Raider project.
Date: 7 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: Got Any Opinions Kickin' Around Your Skull?.
Bannik Tillman 
Ward Room — Deck 7 — Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocuast Day: #39
A large oak table in the center that is surrounded by high-backed, black leather chairs, and is one of the few compartments that has carpeted floor dominates the Ward Room. There is a large LCD screen at one end of the room for presentations that faces the CO's position at the head of the table. At the other end of the room is a small counter for refreshments and has stacks of legal pads and writing utensils available for those that use the room. Nearest the hatch is a small screen set into the wall, which provides a readout for a customizable set of data. Along the starboard wall, stand the 12 flags of the colonies.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

It’s been a day or so since the XO could meet up. Been busy around the ship with a lot of information flowing back and forth. But coming to the appointed time, Tillman is in the Ward Room and sitting at the long table with a scratch pad. The man always seems to have one around with a mug of coffee, this one still steaming beside the pad. He's jotting a few notes down over something or other with a couple of forms beside him. Paperwork FTL.

Bannik makes his way into the Ward Room in his duty greens, coming to attention at the end of the table away from Tillman. "Crewman Tyr Bannik reporting as ordered, sir. Lieutenant Trask said you wanted to see me." Tyr's standing at his best first day of Basic ram-rod straight.

Tillman looks up and nods. "Aye. At ease, Crewman. I don't eat people, despite what the rumors might say." A hint of a smirk crosses his face as he gestures to a seat nearby. "Take a seat. Wanted to talk to you about that Heavy Raider you're working on. I understand Atreus put you in charge of its disassembly and investigation. That right?"

"Yes, sir," confirms Bannik, going to settle at the table, folding — clutching — his hands in front of him. "Chief's got me heading up the team. It's my first real project with a team I've got since coming aboard." Or, really, ever.

The Major nods a few more times and leans back in the chair with his mug of coffee. "Outstanding. Helluva project and damned important work. How's it going for you personally? Feeling confident with the team and know where you are going with the work?" For all the anger that might have been conveyed in a memo, the XO seems pretty conversational about all of it.

Bannik seems a bit wary, as if unsure of how to answer. "Fairly well, sir. At this point, our primary goal is to do a very detailed accounting of each and every part in the ship. As I've told several people, it's hard to know what's going to be important down the road. So the task of removing, labeling, and inventorying each and every little piece is time-consuming. We have some initial findings, and we're going from there."

"Good work. Lieutenant Trask told me that you guys couldn't even get the thing powered-up." Tillman laughs a bit. "Damned shame. I wouldn't mind having one around for our own personal use. Anyhow-" He waves his hand through the air as if dismissing the idea for the moment. "Wanted to talk to you about the project itself. About the initial findings. I had instructed the Deck Chief to keep me updated but I understand he's busy with something which is why he passed it off- which was the right thing to do. But he trusts you so then my trust falls on you. So, what have you got so far?" The mug is lifted to his lips for a sip, watching the Crewman over the brim.

"Well, sir." Bannik takes a file from under his arm and lays it on the table, taking out some digital pictures he's printed out. "What's the most unusual about the craft, so far, that I've noted is the control scheme." He points to one picture. "As you can see, what we have is a standard control yoke. Or what looks like one. But the controls? They're built for a humanoid like presence, not a large chrome Centurion."

Tillman leans forward in the chair and sets the mug down as he looks to the photo. "Yeah, when I was in there I noticed the yoke. But I wasn't aware about the control scheme. Also seemed a little tight for an eight-foot walker. I also sat in one of those seats. I wasn't aware Cylons wanted a padded ass," he deadpans.

"As far as I can tell by just looking at the controls, it seems like they're made for a very fit sort of humanoid. It's a little bigger than Colonial design, but not that much." Bannik then flips to the next picture. "Next are the read-outs. What we're seeing here are /pictographic/ symbols rather than text. So — I don't know what they are or what they mean. It's not like I can just analogize to Colonial designs here. I've got good documentation on them, though, if we can find someone qualified to try to figure them out."

The XO's brow quirks at the picture. Its a very 'What The Frak?' expression. "Damned strange. I've never even heard of someone using pictographs on a control system unless they are things like failures or warnings. What the shit would a machine use pictographs for, anyway, when it can just plug itself in?" He glances to Bannik, though waiting for the young man to continue.

Bannik makes this shrugging motion as if to say 'beats me.' "Then we started digging under the front of the cockpit. That's when we found perhaps our biggest surprise — biomechanical — well, I'm not sure if tubing is the right word, but it's close enough. When we stripping them to get what's underneath, we've gotten a shimmering type liquid." Flip. More pictures. "What does it do? I have no idea. But I have plenty of containers full of it and labeled."

The XO takes up one of the pictures of the liquid and looks at it. "Trask mentioned this to me. Godsdamn that's disgusting. And biomechanical to boot?" He shakes his head and settles the picture back down. "Does it seem like its rotting or anything? Or is it just sitting in the containers being neutral?"

"I've got them in plastic containers and they don't seem to be going anywhere," says Bannik with a shrug. "But it's hard to say what 'rotting' is when I don't know what they do or what they're made up of." He sighs. "I know this is a lot of 'I don't knows,' sir. But that's why accurate documentation and being meticulous matters. The littlest detail could be big later. I know you want Medical to take a look at a sample, so I'll talk to Doctor Diego about getting someone assigned."

"Nope," Tillman starts. "Learning to say 'I don't know' is one of the best skills you can have. Especially when you're dealing with someone like me or a Department Head. Too many people want to try to impress. Its respectable." He gives the Crewman an easy smile. "But Trask said someone had already sent off a sample. I don't remember who. That was one of the things I had wanted to ask you about. Has it gone out yet or is it still waiting?"

"If it went out, sir, it wasn't at my direction, and if that's the case, then I'd be pretty pissed off. I wanted to finish stripping the 'tubes' found in the cockpit before we did that," explains Bannik. "I'll check with Doctor Diego and make sure we're on the same page, though." He flips to the next picture. "Here we have some electronics and chips found at the end of the tubing. You really can't see them in the picture — this is as zoomed in as I could get on the camera. But it's basically nanotech."
The Major chuckles and nods. "Understood, Crewman." His attention then falls back to the pictures and another of those confounded expressions. "Nanotech? Like, you're talkin extremely small computer systems, right? And those tubes were hooked up to these things? Any ideas on that?"

Bannik shrugs his shoulders. "It's years ahead of anything we have, sir. But yes, that's right. Extremely small. People's best speculation is that the tubes are serving the same functions that our wiring does, but that's all that it is — speculation." He sighs, putting his pictures back into the folder. "Most normal thing about the Raider is the engine."

Tillman sighs thoughtfully and leans back in the chair again and looks to the ceiling. "So we've got controls designed for..more or less, people. Pictographic displays. Biomechanical liquids that are hooked-up to nanotech - which the Colonies don't even have. And these damned things are too common for them to be some sort of secret military project. They're definitely Cylon." He lifts a hand to run through what's left of his buzzed hair. "Godsdamn. Alright." Fingers drum absently on the table for a few moments as he searches the ceiling. "It disturbs the frak out of me that they have flight yokes and cockpits designed for people. And assault seating for humans." Another drum of the fingers and he looks back to Bannik. "Any other thoughts? I'm open to speculation or low-grade analysis at this point. If you have a guess or two on these things, I'm open to it if you've got something you want to toss out."

"I can sort of guess at what things are from where they are in the craft. I mean, the control yoke is likely the control mechanism, for instance. But /how/ any of this works? I just don't have the foggiest, and I'd be lying if I said I did. If you gave me a top-grade lab and PhD trained scientists, maybe I could figure it out in a few years. As it is, sir? I'm an eighteen year-old kid just out of A-school trying to do his best." Bannik just lays it all out. "Our next step here is to talk to Engineering and compare the tech from this to the tech from the Centurion. Commonalities between the two will show us what Cylon tech is basic or fundamental or at least give us some hints into how some of this stuff works."

Tillman dips his head. "So make it happen, son." A pause. "I gave Atreus full authority on this project to roll in whomever he felt was required to get to the bottom of this. If he tossed you the ball to run with, then you have command discretion, Crewman." He doesn't sound like he's joking. "If you need to pull civilians for it or grab someone from any department, then you do it. Enlisted or Officers. If anyone gives you shit, you tell them that they can take it up with me at their own risk. Just remember to give proper respect to rank. Don't let it go to your head and it'll speak volumes to myself, the Admiral, and Atreus. I don't care if you're eighteen or eighty." He's serious, but there's some friendly encouragement behind it all. "You do what you have to do. But get with Engineering as soon as possible and see what can be done. Also, wanted to ask you why you wanted to rip all the tubing out before you sent off for samples."

"Because, sir. There's no way to know if the goo is all the same. If the goo from underneath the cockpit panel is different from that found closer to the chips — and I don't know if it is — then the folks in Medical need to know that. I wanted a comprehensive picture of types and classifications and where it all came from before I started shipping off my inventory so to speak." A pause. "If that makes sense, sir." Bannik doesn't sound sure if it does.

Tillman listens and nods at the end. "I was shitfire mad when I heard that stuff may or may not have been sent off for testing. No lie." He let's that hang for a moment. "But, you've got a good reason so consider it just me getting pissed for no reason. Good thinking, Bannik. However, I do have one bone to pick and don't sweat it too much, though. Because this is your first project and you're learning, consider it a free pass." The XO gives a little chuckle as he lifts his mug. "But when you discovered there was something biomechanical involved with the Heavy Raider, any idea what you should have done?" He lofts his brow. Its phrased as something a teacher might ask a student during any other day of class.

"Uh. No, sir. I just figured I should label it, inventory it, and document it like anything else I had," confesses the crewman. His brow screws up as if he's trying to think pretty hard on it.

Tillman shakes his head. "No worries. Learning experience. When you have project leads, its important to explore all avenues that you need to and to involve anyone that might be of assistance. The biomechanical stuff? It would probably have been best to inform medical double-quick rather than wait on it. You've got solid reasons for not sending off the liquid so that's irrelevent. But in the future, check with Medical or even Engineering when you find things like that. You never know what kind of help they can bring to the table, you know?" Totally conversational. Tillman doesn't seem too interested in scolding.

Tillman shakes his head. "No, I think that's it Crewman. Keep up the good work and remember that stuff in the future." Probably not something Tillman will say twice. "Just keep some reports coming in on progress. If you need to talk to me personally about something, just send me a memo and I'll make it happen. Other than that - you're dismissed. Thanks for the time."

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