PHD #180: The Change in People
The Change in People
Summary: Bannik and Ania meet and discuss how the War can change ordinary people into extraordinary ones.
Date: 25 August 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Ania Bannik 
Recreation Room - Deck 9 - Battlestar Cerberus
This huge room spans quite a lot of floor space, the support beams crisscrossing at even points throughout the room. The two sides are divided fairly between the Enlisted and Officers with an unseen line more or less running down the center of the room. A couple pool and card tables sit in no-man's land with a series of regular mess tables at the rear of the room, nearest a counter full of minor refreshments like coffee and bags of chips. Magazines and reading material are spread out over the couched seating areas and a few televisions are set-up with a couple of video game systems made available.
Post-Holocaust Day: #180

This may be the 'recreation room,' but one person in it, at least, isn't doing too much recreation. Specialist Tyr Bannik has a swath of papers and pads spread out on a table in front of him and several pens ringing the outside of that. He has a book in hand — Fundamentals of Ordinance and Armaments (Ship-Mounted) — and is otherwise buried in work. But perhaps there is one bit of recreation. He's singing, a soft, melodious jazz voice: "Blue suit boogie. Jumpin' and jivin' across the floor …" His voice drifts in and out of the song, and he's apparently in the midst of a refrain.

That invisible line between Enlisted and Officers that exists in the Rec Room? Ania hasn't really realized it yet. Or maybe she just doesn't know where she belongs. Such is the life of a new nugget who is still more civilian than anything. So when she enters, her flight manual tucked under her arm and dark circles under her eyes, she shuffles across the room in a beeline for a couch that is on the side where she probably doesn't belong. But on the way over, she gets stopped by a sound that causes her to tilt her head and pay attention. "Nice," she points out.

Bannik jerks his head up out of his work when he hears a voice in his general vicinity — most are staying away from the nerd for the moment, for yellow legal pads rarely lead to good things. "Huh? Oh. It's just some work on this project I have. Trying to get the numbers to work out ri — oh!" A beat. A blush. "You mean the singing. Thanks." His eyes trail up a bit more, as if to see just who is talking to him.

Ania gives a bright, but tired, smile, with her flight manual clutched to her chest. "Yeah, the singing. I honestly have /no/ idea what your project is, though if it's about numbers, sounds like fun." She pauses and admits, quietly, "Bit of a math nerd back in the day. Uhm, I'm Ania— er, wait, am I supposed to like salute you or anything? I'm still kinda learning all that."

Bannik shrugs his shoulders. "I doubt it. I'm just a Specialist. No one salutes me; I'm enlisted." Tyr kicks out a chair from the table he's at and gestures to it. "Want to take a load off, though? You look like if you clutch that manual any tighter, you'll smudge the ink in it." A beat. "I'm Tyr Bannik, though. I'm on the Deck. What'd you get pressed into doing?"

"I'm in flight training," Ania says as she grins a bit and takes the chair, setting her manual on a clear spot on the table. "Nugget. I dunno why we're called that, but uhm… it's a name. Anyway, Ania Kostasia." She holds a hand out across the table.

Bannik takes the offered hand, giving a friendly shake. "Good to meet you, Kostasia. I'm one of the guys in orange that'll make your Bird the best damn fighting machine we can." He's trying to be reassuring, perhaps. "Nugget? I don't know. Maybe they figure you're not a full chicken strip yet or something."

Ania crinkles up her nose a little, though it's a look of amusement. "I'm not sure I /wanna/ be a chicken strip. I'd rather be a delicious grilled slab of high quality beef," she teases. "But it's nice to meet you. I'm sure my Bird, once I get one, will be glad to know she's in good hands. That is, if the calisthenics don't kill me first. I've spent the last couple of days hobbling around, barely able to walk let alone /run/. I figured it'd be easier than this. Jump in a Viper, learn to fly, blow things up, try not to die horribly. Nobody told me there'd be exercising."

"It's like a hazing thing, mainly, as far as I can tell," offers up Tyr helpfully. "But I suppose it helps with some of the things you'll be doing out there. Like, if you need to be deployed on the ground or something." At the first part, though, he pauses. "I'm not sure what to say when a woman says she wants to be objectified like beef. I was told in sexual harassment training that isn't a good thing to do."

Ania tries not to, but she busts out in a laugh anyway, covering her mouth with her fingertips. "I uh, I didn't mean it like that," she says, laughing still. "I meant if I was going to associate myself with meat, it would be expensive and rare. It was a bad joke that played on my being looked on like I can't /do/ anything because of my upbringing. Pretty much everyone sees me as an incapable spoiled little girl. And maybe I am, but I'm still trying my best. Anyway, are Viper pilots often deployed on the ground? I thought it was just fly fly fly, pew pew pew."
Ania asks, "What were you? Before? I mean were you in the Fleet before or are you a new convert like me?" She shifts in her seat a bit, more just to make herself comfy than anything else. Her fingertips play with the edge of her book, absently like she's not even aware she's doing it. "I was in law school. A very expensive lawschool paid for by my parents who had more money than they knew what to do with. I've never had to do any real work before and I'm well aware of it. Just making that clear because everyone else seems pretty hung up on it. So yeah, I know I have to work hard and I'm trying. Which is probably way more than you care to hear, but I ramble when I'm tired."

"Before? I was in high school when I enlisted. So this is my first real job, I'd figure." Bannik offers a light smile. "And you want to know a secret? A lot of folks think that being in the Fleet before means you know all the secrets. You don't. I mean, eight weeks of Basic and then maybe some advanced tech school, but that's it. You don't become some sort of machine overnight. You learn practically all of it on the job; just like you are."

Ania asks, "So there's no big secret that I can talk you into telling me?" She grins a bit and realizes she's toying with the corner of her book so pulls her hand back. "You know, you might be the nicest person I've met in uniform yet, save for Evan and that doesn't really count. He goes by /Bunny/ so he kinda has no choice but to be sweet and adorable. Anyway, what was your project? I mean, if I can ask. Can I ask?"

Bannik shrugs his shoulders. "Sure," he says. "You can ask. It's — sort of complicated. But." He leans over to try to explain. "What happened is we picked up these particular kinds of missiles from a base we went to. And we want to figure out a way to launch then, but the problem is they're not standard loads for Raptors or Vipers. That make sense?" He tilts his head at her.

Ania listens, her mouth tugging into a hint of a frown as she goes into Thinking Mode. "So you're saying that the standard equipment on the uh, the Birds, doesn't fit what ammo you have. Which means you either have to change the ammo or make the missile systems fit around what you have available. Round hole, square peg scenario?"

"Even more complicated, but yeah. That's the basic problem." Bannik nods over at Ania, encouraging, gesturing at another one of his yellow legal-sized pads. "The other problem is that we want to try to load the ordinance onto a new stealth design frame we're developing. So I've been put in charge of developing the targeting systems for the prototype."

Ania leans in, over her flight manual, looking at the pad. "So it's not just the housing that you have to worry about on the prototype, it's the actual electrical wiring for the targeting and deployment systems? But on the existing systems, you're hoping to utilize the existing stuff all save for the housing? Have you done a comparison to see what they'd have in common and build from there, or haven't you done the full analysis on what requirements you'd need for the prototype?" She pauses a second. "I mean, I'm sure you know what's best, that's your job. I'm not a real technician."

"Well, a Raptor targeting computer is a good base. It has a lot of the basic framework and the computing power to make the new weapons systems function. So that's at least keeping me away from the really basic functions. But." Bannik taps his pad with his pencil. "What I'm doing now is trying to figure out the weights and balances. You need to make sure the missile won't send the plane into a loop just by being loaded on, won't shake it too much when it's released, and then work out the trajectories and thrusts and stuff the computer will send to guide the missile when it's released. Since it's on a whole new frame, all of that needs to be calculated."

Ania reaches for a pencil and the nearest pad, looking it over. "Well I'm not much on the schematics of a Raptor, but I /do/ know enough math and physics to know what you're talking about. I imagine that with the current system, there's an equal amount of effort exerted /back/ to counter the force of the launch. Otherwise firing a missile would have you drifting backwards until you put on thrusters to counteract the motion. Do you know the amount of thrust pressure required and how it differs from the current system?"

"I don't," confesses Bannik. But he holds up that armament book he's had next to him for this. "But this does. So that's what I've been using, along with the manuals we recovered on the new missiles at the base." Tyr sighs. "It's — going. It's just a lot of raw calculations that'd normally be done by a team of trained engineers, not a solo eighteen-year-old Specialist, you know?"

"You must be brilliant to be put in charge of this," Ania points out, though her eyes don't lift from the calculations and notations. "And at least you have some reference points, right?" She pauses after a moment and looks up, giving a little smile. "I'm just totally barging my way in on your stuff, aren't I? I'm sorry. I don't mean to be rude."

Bannik laughs at that. "Brilliant? I don't know. Maybe just willing to work hard and got stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time. Honestly? I'm just learning as I go. So I'm happy to have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of." He taps his pencil against the pad. "But yeah. I have some reference points. And then, once I have the calculations, I need to translate that into targeting algorithms."

Ania smiles a bit, like for the first time in a while, she's a bit less on edge and almost comfortable or something. "Math is one thing that hasn't changed," she admits. "I didn't even think about that until now. Sorry, it's just… wrong place and wrong time. That about sums it up. Anyway, I don't mind helping. I mean, I'm no engineer or anything, but I can apply what I know and learn the rest and help out. I admit, I'm kind of glad to be of some use around here."

Bannik laughs again. "But see? That's my point. This all changes everything. If a barely-out-of-high-school kid can be in charge of designing a new targeting system, then a party girl law student can be a hot shot pilot. Don't let who you were hold back what you can be, huh?" He tries his best EncouragingSmile(Patent Pending).

Ania gives a little laugh of her own, tapping the pencil against her chin in a thoughtful kind of way. "Oh I dunno about hot shot, but I'll settle for passable pilot," she mentions. "At least it'd be doing something useful and not just taking up space in the cargo hold with the other civilians. And hey, if it doesn't work out, maybe I can always come work for you," she says jokingly.

"Whatever. All good pilots are needed these days, unfortunately." Bannik begins to gather on up his items once more, as if packing up to leave. "But hey. You at least feel a little better, huh? Chin up. All training sucks, but most people make it through."

Ania perks up a bit and starts helping him by moving his stuff closer to him so he can arrange it in whatever order he wants. "Yeah, I guess, I just hope I'll be good at it. Never flown a Viper before," she admits. "Closest I ever got was an Eclipse, which really isn't anything like it from what I understand. Oh! This is yours, too," she says, holding out the pencil.

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