PHD #061: The Magic Cylon Substance
The Magic Cylon Substance
Summary: Bia briefs Damon on the resin found on the Chimaera and the liquid taken from the Heavy Raider.
Date: 28 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Bia Damon 
BioChem Lab - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #61
Not nearly as large as it probably should be, the Navy seems to have added this area almost as an afterthought. Various machines and testing equipment line the rooms exterior, their complex functions in various states of use throughout the day and night. In the center of the room are two islands that have broad work areas and microscopes sitting at the ready. Clean testing materials, vials, and tools stand on end in metal grates in the middle. At the rear of the room is a huge fridge, its double doors locked most of the time. Beside it is another locked steel cabinet containing a variety of chemicals and compounds used for testing and comparison.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

At this hour at night, the Medical Lab is a still and silent place. A few lights glimmer and blink as long-run tests quietly go about their business, but otherwise nothing stirs. Tonight is an exception, though — at a table near the door, facing a backlit screen similar to those used for displaying x-rays, sits Lieutenant Bia, Interim CMO. Her chair is slightly turned to face the door, as if she expects someone to arrive soon. In front of her on the table are several folders, a neat pile of papers, and two empty glasses flanking an insulated carafe.

Are those glasses full of beer? Because Damon looks like he needs a drink or two as he walks in wearing his bright orange coveralls. Looks like he just came off the Deck, tool belt and all. Not only that, but he looks exhausted, like he hasn't slept in a while. At least he had the good sense to wash his hands, even if his coveralls are marked with grease and grime all over. "Sir, you wanted to see me?" he asks in a wary voice, looking over at the unfamiliar face.

Grace pushes up to her feet and crosses over to the door as it opens, holding it open while she indicates the room with the faintest incline of her head. "You must be Mister Damon. Lieutenant Bia, Interim CMO." She offers a long-fingered hand out to shake, with a touch of swiftness. Hoping to avoid the whole 'salute' deal, perhaps. "I sure do appreciate you bein' so prompt to come see me. Chief Atreus said he hain't had time barely to blink, lately, and you might be the one showing in his stead. Come in and sit you down."

"Aye aye, sir, that'd be me," Damon says. For some reason, he appears to be very hesitant about her, or the meeting, or something - he pauses for a moment before reaching out to shake the offered hand firmly. "Chief's been up to his neck in… well, just about everything. I'm surprised if he still has time to breathe, some days." He slides into a seat and sits with his back straight instead of leaning back - an attentive posture.

Grace clucks her tongue lightly at Damon as she follows him toward the two empty chairs. "Look at you, child. You and Mister Bannik both running on nothing but stubbornness. I thought the Engineering folks surely were the worst for wear until I seen the two of you." She settles back down into her chair and reaches for the insulated carafe. Sadly, tragically, no beer — only cold water. It tastes better than the stuff out of the water-fountains somehow, though. She gets down to business as she slides one glass over to Damon. "Chief Atreus wanted news on the substances you've found in the Cylon ship and inside the Chimaera, and we've finally got that news for you. How much of a chemist are you? Hain't no shame in sayin' none, it just changes how much summarizing I do."

Damon eyes the water and leaves it where it is for now. It appears he takes some exception to being called 'child' as well, since his eyebrows twitch when she speaks the word. He's far younger than she is, sure, but… child? But, of course, nothing is said. "The substances?" he asks with a vacuous look. A confused look crosses his face - he obviously expected this meeting to be about something else. "Er - I don't know the first thing about chemistry, sir. I mean, maybe a bit about metals and the like - work-related stuff - but that's about it."

The Interim CMO's one of those motherly types, for good or ill. Some people warm to it. Other people bristle and grimace at it, like a child having their face cleaned by a kleenex moistened with mommy-spittle. There's the gentlest of sighs as Grace turns coffee-coloured eyes from Damon to the stack of information. Reaching forward, she takes a drink of her own water before she picks up the folders and loose papers, and starts counting them into piles. They're all in triplicate. One for her, one for Damon, one for… well, Someone Else. Spectrum analysis. Molecular composition. Lots and lots of charts, numbers, and jagged lines graphed and rigorously notated. Last, and perhaps most importantly, three papers stapled together and marked with large black letters: SUMMARY.

"Let's start here, then," she says, picking up the SUMMARY. "Mister Bannik's been in charge of breaking down the Cylon vessel you all have had in the hangar for some time now. There was a large amount of fluid drained off and sent to us for testing. Also, some time before that, an expedition was sent to the Chimaera, where some sort of resin was found sealing some of the doors. Some of this was collected as well. All those papers, there, are the long-winded way of putting what I'm about to tell you."

Damon nods apprehensively. If there's anything he needs less of in life, it's paperwork and reports. This stuff looks like it'd go right over his head and then some - he looks over it because it's his polite duty to do so, but he can't even fake it and look like he understands any of it. "Sir, from the looks of this, you might have to give me the summary of the summary," he says with a self-deprecating chuckle. "I can turn a wrench pretty good, and my welding passes muster, but if I could understand this, I imagine I'd be getting paid a lot more."

Damon gives his self-deprecating chuckle, and Grace gives a quiet and gentle laugh of her own. "Ought to be the ones what hold our ship together gettin' paid, not the ones printing out papers, if I had my way about it." Considering the small mountain of paperwork she just handed over, she could be damning herself. Either she doesn't realize it, or doesn't seem much to mind. "Fine. I'll give you the summary of the summary, in quicktimes."

But first — another drink of water. "The resin and the liquid are related. We hain't been able to make the liquid turn into the resin ourselves, yet. There may well be a catalyst we hain't figured out." A little odd, maybe, to hear 'catalyst' snuggled up against a drawling 'hain't' like that. "Are you familiar with nanites? Microscopic machines? Both the resin and liquid are full of them. There's footage in those papers from our microscope camera, so you can get an eyeful on your own time." A pause there, as she turns the page.

"Money don't mean much anymore anyway, I don't think," Damon says with a wry smile. As Grace starts the summary of the summary, he blinks rapidly a few times. He's struggling to catch up already, and she's only just begun. "Wait, okay, so - the resin's from… the Chimaera, and the liquid's from the Heavy Raider." Blink, pause, nod. That information gets filed away in his brain. "Uh - not familiar, per se, sir. Just that they're tiny machines, too small for the eye to see." He finally reaches out and takes a drink of that water absentmindedly as he frowns down at the pages he's holding.

"That's as familiar as I am with them, too. Weren't something I was expecting to find, that's for sure. Now." The paper rasps as Grace turns it. "You said you're a welder, so you'll understand temperature ranges and tolerances passing well. Both the liquid and the resin have exceptionally wide tolerances. I'd say they were impossible, but we're both lookin' at the paperwork saying otherwise. Extremely high melting point, extremely low freezing point. Both the liquid and the resin conduct electricity and heat remarkably well. There's nothing I've seen in all my years in all the strange corners of my research that compared. This technology's decades ahead of us." Another pause, this time for another sip of water.

Damon glances over the page to find the findings she's referencing. "I'd say they're impossible, too," he murmurs quietly, brows now deeply furrowed as he stares intently at the page. "I remember someone saying there was some kind of residue around the doors and hatches on a ship - is that where this stuff was found on the Chimaera?" he asks, not even glancing up. "And the liquid, where was that drained out of on the Cylon ship?" In other words - what were they used for?

"Yes, that's exactly it, Mister Damon. The resin was used to seal the inner and outer airlock connecting the Chimaera's hangar to the rest of the ship. As for the liquid, Mister Bannik drained it from multiple locations on the Cylon ship, and kept careful track of all of it." His notes on Vial Number referenced against Location are doubtless within the stack. "The liquid was identical throughout the vessel. No change in quality, no matter the location."

Grace turns back a page, and re-reads a few lines as she takes another sip of water. "The major difference between the resin and the liquid is that the liquid not only conducts electrical charges and heat, but it also conducts light waves /and/ sound waves. Liquid-based fiber-optics, if you'll forgive the comparison. I've never seen anything quite like it."

"Liquid-based…" Damon gives a silent 'whew', but he looks a lot more awake than he did when he first walked in. This has got the gears in his brain turning, at least. "High melting point, low freezing point, conducts heat and electricity… and light and sound?" Color him impressed. With a touch of skeptical. "Does it make breakfast, too?" he asks with a laugh, shaking his head. "Gods. Bannik's going to jump up and run around in circles shouting in excitement when he hears about this."

"I'm not so sure about that, but I hain't put anything past those little nanites yet. If'n we get Engineering figuring those little things out, maybe there's griddle cakes an' hashbrowns for all of us." Grace's eyes crinkle a little at the edges when she smiles. If she's not a genuinely warm and friendly beast, she must play a mean, MEAN hand of Triad. "That about covers my summary of the summary, Mister Damon. I'll be meeting with Captain Gabrieli first thing tomorrow morning to pass this along to him as well. I'm betting he'll be the one getting me confused, instead of vice versa, though." A warm little glimmer of humour, there. "There anything else you'll be needing? Any questions?"

"I - Gods, where do I even begin?" Damon asks. "I'm so intrigued by the stuff that I want to try all sorts of tests on it. And I don't even know what kind of tests I should be doing." He's like a little kid that's been given a fancy new toy - one that looks good, sounds cool, but is way too complicated for him to even begin to play with. "I suppose that one of my major questions is going to be its practical applications on the Cylon ship, and I'm sure Bannik'll have many ideas about that. I'll start there, and if I think of something else…"

"If you think of anything else, please do come see me as soon as you're able. We'll continue running our own tests, of course, but if'n there's specific feedback from you and yours, all the better to keep our research aimed where it's necessary." Grace pushes herself up to her feet again, where she'll await at the door to — again — offer out her hand to shake, and smile that motherly smile.

Damon rises from his seat and gives her another firm handshake. "Thanks for the information, sir," he says with a smile. "I'll take this report back to the Chief, too. If we find anything out on our end, we'll send that information up to you, of course." The knuckledragger gives her a respectful nod before turning and heading back to the Deck. He's got some life back in his step now, and there's no doubt that he's headed right for the Cylon ship.

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