PHD #098: The Problem of 481
The Problem of 481
Summary: Coll is given a new assignment that has broad implications.
Date: 4 Jun 2041 AE
Related Logs: Too many to list
Constin Alessandra Coll 
Security Hub
More than just an office for the Marines and their XO, this room has remote surveillance views of the Brigs as well as a state of the art communications center built into the far bulkhead. A locked and heavily armored door to the aft leads into another room, the white lettering on it reading 'ARMORY.' There are a few desks scattered around the room for getting necessary paperwork done and the Commandant's picture hangs on the wall next to one of the President.
Post-Holocaust Day: #98

Constin is sitting at a desk, amidst a mass of paperwork. GODS he hates paperwork. Inventories, security sweeps, service jackets, formal statements, schedules.. Because on top of everything else, the CMC is short five fireteams active at the moment. The big Corporal is wearing a uniform shirt in an unusual manner, his right hand still encased in a rigid brace, his left arm is through the tan uniform's long sleeve, while the shirt's right shoulder his simply draped over his right arm, leaving the off-duty tank top and dog tags clearly visible beneath.

Coll has been trying to keep herself busy. And hanging out in the brig with a bunch of mutineers and a woman who might have set her up for all this mess? Not the best place for her to be. She's parked herself at one of the Marine desks, looking like she just got back from a shower. Her hair is still wet and clipped up behind her head. There's some kind of munitions report in front of her and she's tallying up figures. Something safe and clerical that isn't going to get anyone killed if she talked about. "I forgot how much I hated paperwork. Could be worse, though. At least I don't have to stare at Morganfield's face anymore."

"How could anybody forget how much they hate paperwork?" Constin mutters back, with a big exhale, leaning back in his chair and rubbing his eyes with thumb and forefinger. A wordless sound of frustration before he picks up the stub of pencil, makes a notation, sets the pencil down, turns the page, picks the pencil back up, and resumes his notations as he reads down. Having one functional hand makes it even worse.

"Easy. Don't pick up a pen. My job consists of using computer readouts and wrenches. If I have to do more than sign a few papers a day, its been cause fo concern about papercuts." Coll never looks up. She's busy adding and subtracting. Duty fit for the Gods. "How goes your studying? Been able to get any in while you were down there in sickbay, buzzed and full from that little home cookin?"

It has taken a bit of legwork with a lot of doors to stick her head in before Alessandra arrives, the same 'procedure' used before - hatch cracked open and its edge peeked around curiously - but this time she actually steps in when she sees the subject of her little hunt is here along with the Corporal. "Ahem…hate to break up your little…lovefest," she quips with a wry grin, "but I got something I need to discuss with the deckie." The Lieutenant is in a fresh uniform and has apparently taken a shower as she looks a lot cleaner than the last time and a bit more refreshed, the holster strapped to her right thigh as it has been for a while, now. "Coll. This is from the CAG." There's an envelop on her hand which is extended to the enlisted woman, the El-Tee herself now quiet as she waits for it to be taken from her and read.

"Nah, some little piece of business with the Cee-Oh kept coming up," Constin drawls back deadpan. "Ah havn't even looked at a book in a couple days. Was real glad ah stopped puking, though.." he comments, with the distracted voice of someone going through dual columns of numbers looking for inconsistencies. Not exactly strenuous brain work. Looking up at Alessandra walks in, he greets, "Sir."

Coll looks up to the entrant with the same greeting but blinks when 'deckie' is mentioned. She stands from her chair and stands to parade rest. A look to the extended letter and she takes it cautiously, as if it might be ticking. "Uh, sir?" She furrows her brow and glances between the two but settles again on Alessandra. "Is there something I should know about? I'm not a Viper driver." She obviously has no idea what the letter refers to. A hand slides the envelope open and she takes out the note to read it.

"It has nothing to do with piloting…frak me, Coll. Sit down. No need to get all offical when it's just us three, alright?" Taking a deep breath, she grins to Constin and nods in reply to his having greeted her but she's not here to socialize. Not just yet, at any rate. "Coll, after a discussion last night it had dawned on us that each Viper and Raptor is in need of being thoroughly inspected…" Looking around, she makes sure they are able to speak freely before daring to continue but even with it being just them that she can tell she's quick to drop her voice to a hushed murmur. "We need your help to inspect the Raptors for communication devices, bugs, beacons and any other possible means of communication. The Vipers as well, if you think you know enough about them to do so. This is a delicate matter that requires complete discretion. That means you will have to work the midshift, undoubtedly, which will suck but there's no way around it, I am sorry. I will help over-see these inspections when I am able to and I am going to make sure that we have at least one Marine to try and insure that this will go as smoothly as possible." A lot to digest, Allie pauses there, allowing for Lauren to take this in and formulate questions or theories.

"Bombs, too. Don't forget those," Constin adds dryly to Allie's litany of horrible things that could be found on the ship's birds. Apart from that, he says nothing else, blue eyes habitually narrowing in thought as Alessandra outlines the hush-hush plan.,

Coll's to busy reading the note to really understand about being told to sit down. She flips the paper, then back over and she reads it again. Luckily its short because the Lieutenant is talking again. She looks to Constin, then back to Alessandra and her mouth starts to hang open a touch. When Allie finishes, she tries to say something, but its more of a stammer of vowels and coughs. Like if someone was trying to verbalize puncuation. Abuhhh.

Alessandra nods. "Bombs. Yes. Thank you, Corporal. Those too. Basically anything that's not supposed to be anywhere near our ships. Things meant to harm, spy on or otherwise compromise our people. Can you do that, Coll?" Reaching up, she rubs the pad of her right thumb along the side of her nose, getting rid of an itch which threatens to make her sneeze. "Hmm. Sorry. Anyhow. Corporal. I'd like for you and the Lance…Cadmus I believe his name is? I'd like for you two to help out when you're able to do so without drawing suspicion. If you can't, please suggest and/or assign Marines who can. Need someone to guard the ships and Coll…" Clearing her throat, she puts her hands behind her back, Constin looked at intently as one might expect. "Do you have the authorization to do that?"

"Ah have the authorization to carry out any necessary investigations with as much discretion as required, sir," Constin answers back. "Officially, ah'm restricted to Light Duty, which means ah've got enough off-duty time to lend some help, and ah know of several others who can be counted on."

Talk about a change of direction for Coll. She's still trying to comprehend it when Alessandra asks her about finding something on the ships. Probably better to sit, the Crewman sits her ass back down in the chair slowly as she stares at Sophronia. "Uh. Yu- -yessir." With the initial shock wearing off, the Deckie slowly starts to crack a smile as she looks back to the note. "Uhm, when should I start? Like, I assume tonight. But what time? Do you have a place you want me to start? I can't be down there without Marines. Not yet." Her brain starts firing again and she looks back to the Viper jockey.

"Very good, Constin. I'll leave that in your more-than-capible hands." With one point of logistics taken care of, it leaves Alessandra free to address Lauren directly. "Start with Raptor Four-Eight-One. Seems that the Lance Corporal thought it was a potential target the other night and, because of such, is a logical place for us to begin which I agree with. We will go from there."

"Hand, sir," Constin corrects Allie, deadpan at her compliment toward him. Turning an eye toward Coll as the deckie accepts the assignment, he adds pointedly, "And this is crime-scene shit, Coll. Don't you be leaving your prints everyplace and fouling up this investigation, yeah?"

Coll gathers her wits and glances around the desk. She grabs a post-in and jots down the Raptor number and begins sketching out things to look for and check. She's not even looking up when she speaks again. "What are you looking for with these searches? Chances are good that any knuckledragger worth fielding is going to spot something in the easily and most-accessed areas. That means I'm going to have to rip into some of these frames' darker areas. I'll probably need to get into the chief's office, too, and check to see which of the.. Yeah." Apparently an idea comes together. "Yeah, get into his office and check records. See if there has been any work done recently that doesn't match the logs we keep in the computer systems. When you flash out an ECU or something, the computers log the date, time, and the crewmember who did it - all by their service number." She's still jotting all this down. There's a quick glance to Constin and she smirks before looking back to the paper and scribbling again. "I'll have you guys down there with me, right? I'll wear gloves. Won't touch anything strange." Then, to Allie: "How deep do you want me to go? I could spend a week stripping and reassembling a Raptor."

Alessandra purses her lips and blows out, puffing her cheeks, the air trapped within them released with a loud ppffft when it's forced between them. "I don't think we have a week, Coll," she eventually says with a sigh, leaving the subject of the computers alone since she knows frakkall about the damn machines herself. "Not for a single craft. We -might- have a week for them all but even then, I think that'd be us taking too long. We got to make sure we can get our rescue party where they need to be-" That being 100,000 miles above Leonis, "-safeley and do so in a timely manner otherwise we run the risk of losing every single one of our people still dirtside." Her left hand is shoved into her pants' pocket while the toe of her right boot is tapped against the deck plating. "Take as long as you need to be thorough without taking too much time, Coll."

Constin hears out the elaborate litany of thoughts which Coll apparently pulls out in the five breaths between being told the assignment and hatching this plan. Were his working face less solid he'd look surprised. "Huh. Checking the records would give a list of the most likely birds," he concedes, with a short nod. "Gotta be quick, like the El-Tee says," he notes with a glance aside to Alessandra.

Lauren is just nodding along as she continues making notes. "You got it, el-tee. Figured a week was too long. But a week for everything? Sir, I would suggest getting two people on the Vipers since we've got a lot of them and I don't know 'em as well. But if you want this kept to me? I'll see what I can do. wanna task people to shift frames over to the starboard pod, sir? I can work probably sixteen or eighteen hour days down there if I dont have to worry about people bothering me." Coll never did sleep much. "Just seal me behind the blast doors and don't let the civilians access what I'm working at. It'd probably be safer to do it this way, anyway." She glances up and looks between them. "Sir. Corporal. If that's doable?"

Alessandra clears her throat. "Sealing yourself off might cause brows to be raised if it's noticed but I'll let you do what you think is the best. Just use discretion." Smiling a bit, she waves, that being nothing more than a brief waggle of fingers given to both of them. "I'll let you guys figure the rest out. I need to do a few things myself. Take care."

Alessandra has left.

"Not sure shifting entire birds would be considered *subtle*," Constin adds, skeptically. "Think working where they sit is probably best, yeah?" Allie's departure is met with a voiced, "Sir," before the MP eyes Coll again.

Coll's brain is working a thousand miles a second so at the mention of subtlty and her idea's lack of it, the Crewman smirks and nods, gesturing to both with her pen. "Thanks for the info, sir," is all she says to Allie on her way out. "But yeah, good point. Sorry. Got a lot to think about." She sighs and takes another piece of paper to keep writing down notes. "Well this would get me back on the deck, now wouldn't it? A chance to help out? Maybe save some lives?" She shakes her head, that smiling just growing. There's a renewed energy to her movements. A light and life that just hasn't been there. "CAG doesn't think much of me and a Viper stick hardly knows me. How the frak did I pull this assignment?" she wonders aloud.

"So it seems," Constin mutters to Coll's getting back on the deck and helping save lives. A terse breath let out, as he picks the stub of a pencil back up and returns to scanning down the double column on the page in front of him. Locker 12-Delta-127: Picon P90s - Logged: 6. Present at inspection: 6. Fragmentaion Grenades - Logged: 6. Present at inspection: 6.

Coll stops writing and sets the pen aside. She glances over the papers. "Yep! I figured you would be happier, though! I'll be out of your brig and leaving you people alone up here in Marine country on the overnights. Besides, I'll be working. Isn't that what you kept telling me to do?" she dares, lifting her eyes from the paper to look at him with a playful smile.

"Damned right it is," Constin allows at that last, before voicing back deadpan, "This *is* mah happy face." With that, he turns his eye back down to the inventory lists, grousing, "Hell. Now ah gotta get through all this shit before mid shift."

"No it isn't. I've seen you laugh and smile. I've seen pride on your face. Yeah nearly squint every time you grin. Its inspiring." Coll's energy seems to slow from it and she looks to his papers. "Give me some of that and I'll help. I'm almost done with this ammo report. We can split it up and grab some nachos or something from the galley before we head down to the Deck. You can sit down in the back of one and doze."

Constin considers only for a second, before nodding and muttering, "Double check these for me?" setting down his pencil to pass a fresh folder of reports. Low priority, which indicates no unexpected discrepencies within, but still requires double checking. Belatedly, he glances up to question, "Nachos?"

Coll reaches across and takes the folder. "Yes, nachos. You know? Processed, preserved cheese, canned tomatos, olives that barely deserve the name? Some salsa.. Combined they form something that actually isn't bad. Of course, Im probably the only person on board who thinks that." She opens the folder and picks up her pen again.

Constin sniffs dryly at the description. "That what those are called?" he mutters, a brief grin tugging at the corner of his lip. "Yeah, ah suppose some food on the way to the deck *would* be a good idea. After all, you're gonna need it, ain't you?" The grin deepens a bit before he wills it back into neutrality.

"Yes, that's what they are called. Ass." Coll laughs, shaking her head as she looks to the reports. "Yeah I have a feeling I'm going to need my energy. This is going to be a long night. I may need your help with a few things, though. You're..about Borensteins' size, right?" She looks over Constin's bodymass. "Maybe around the same strength, too?"

"He's bit skinnier than me," Constin estimates back, after he earns the 'Ass' label. "Close to the same strength ah'd guess," he muses after another moment. "Whyfor?"

"Kay. Well if I'm digging around Raptors, I need to know what someone about Morganfield's and Borenstein's size can get at. I'm about the same size as Morganfield. See, he'd have problems getting at a few parts of the Raptor's underside without help and getting them lifted is a two-person job. Meanwhile she's smaller and can get at places a little easier." Coll stops and looks back to Constin. "The Lieutenant said Raptor four eight one was a potential target and place to start. Why?"

"Borenstein was making noise about using that bird to leave, during his little standoff," Constin answers. "Might just be a fake before the cross, but then again it sure doesn't hurt to have a starting point, yeah?" he adds with a shrug.

Coll lifts a pen and dangles it in Constin's direction. "You said that he looked like he took a hostage before he got there, right? And that he was acting like he knew somethin' was up?" She shakes the pen once. "Did he make sure he was near that Raptor when he came down into the hangar bay? Or was it sorta happenstance that he was moving for it?"

"Yeah, grabbed a hostage outside the bay," the big corporal confirms. "And was toting a sidearm, which there's no frakking way he'd get away with for long, before somebody notices." Narrowing his eyes to run over the details of the scene again, Constin states, "He set his back to a Viper, at first- when he figured out we were folling him.." A frown. Damnit, Jenkins. "Was close to the Raptor, though. Less than thirty feet away."

Coll's face begins to frown as well. "So..he grabbed the hostage, I'm assuming subtly, and had a gun on him. So by his mindset, he knew he was in trouble. Something was going to happen. And.. a hostage would imply protection, right?" She tilts the pen side to side as she works through the points. "But he can't go anyplace on a battlestar. I mean, the guy is pretty big and sticks out in a crowd. And he couldn't take anyone with him on a Viper so that's probably not relevent." She squints at the idea and she looks to Constin. "Did he say anything? Other than what you said about his motives?"

"Her," Constin corrects. "Hostage was a woman," he notes, before addressing the rest of Coll's question. "He said quite a bit, but ah can't say how much of it was chaff, so.." a shrug. "The hostage, supposedly, was to get him to the Raptor. As for why a Raptor, when Maragos told him the bridge would lock down the bay before letting him leave, Borenstein threatened to make an FTL jump inside. Knew that would frak up the whole bay."

Coll's eyes go wide. "That probably would have taken out the entire flight pod. Maybe the ship. All the fuel lines in there plus the electrical? Combined with structural damage?" She low-whistles. "Okay, so the guy intended to go somewhere. Did he say where he wanted to go? Why he would jump away? I'm asking because this kind of stuff is going to point me to where I'm looking. Things are already starting to focus in on a few key areas."

"Made noise about wanting to die on his own terms," the marine fills in. "Didnt give any destination, and if he did, we couldn't trust it, anyhow," he mutters. "Remember how ah said some folks were just done fighting? Think that was Borenstein."

"Huh. Yeah you also said you didn't buy his line about running away after Virgon. No wonder this is so screwed up." Coll stares at the desk for a moment, deep in thought. "But no. Fighting? What do you mean?"

"So the bastard is a treacherous saboteur, let's just have presume that, for this discussion.." Constin preambles, the MP in him still addressing the man as a 'suspect' even now. "He's doing damage to Cerberus' body and crew. Why leave? Or try to get himself gunned down? Only reason ah have right now is, how things were going wasn't good enough, anymore. He didn't suicide in his bunk.. and he didnt just board a Raptor and jump during maintenance."

Coll watches Constin. "Right. If his goal really was to force us to run, there's better ways to do that than killing pilots. And if he really wanted to die on his own terms, he would have probably done exactly like you're saying and just run. Or blown himself up. And if he's part of the team that set me up? It still doesn't explain how in the frak the Cylons knew the exact position of the Raptor. I mean, Emerson sounded like they jumped in directly on top of her. Moments after a bomb went off??" She peers at him. "That doesn't make any sense. He had to have.. Oh motherfrakker," she sighs, rolling her eyes. "He had to have modified the navigation system. I'll bet you could link, through avionics, the nav and comms system. Send out a burst signal whenever you want. It would act like an ELT.. you know, the things all planes have that send a signal when they crash. Hell, a bomb going off would set off an ELT. But the signal would have to be boosted to reach that far, that fast."

Constin nods twice as Coll repeats the inconsistencies in Borenstein's action. Right after she swears, though, his eyes narrow. "What?" As Coll elaborates, the frown deepens, reflecting his incomprehension. "Whoa, whoa, slow down there, techie…" he voices, before attempting to paraphrase, "So you think.. Three-oh-fiver was rigged to give off some kinda comm beacon?"

"Yeah. I do. How else could the Cylons have known where Emerson's Raptor was? She had to have been the target. Any other Raptor, undamaged, would have fled the scene at the speed of heat and jumped as soon as possible. Gods, I didn't even think of this til you mentioned the other Raptor and jumping." Coll settles back in her chair. "Right. See, an ELT is just a basic transmitter or beacon, right? They are designed to go off when there is a hard shock to the body. Hell, a hard landing would set one off. Happens all the time. A bomb? Oh you bet. But a bomb goes off and Emerson calls for a SAR? There's no way she would have shut off an ELT. If someone could link the comms system with the avionics package? There would probably be enough juice in there. ..Do you have any kinds of ties from Borenstein to..I dunno..Cylons? This shit doesn't make any sense otherwise."

"Not apart from sabotage, on its own, no," Constin answers, expression still one of narrow-eyed thought and a mild frown as the avionics jargon rushes over his head. "Ah could draw ties to cylons if ah tried, but there wouldn't be any hard facts backing any of it up. But- if you find this kinda rig on another bird, would you be able to tell what kind of signal it was sending? Or would it be a kind of all frequencies sorta thing?" Yup, out of his depth.

"Mm." Coll looks away and back to the desk. "Well that's just one theory. It could be anything. See, if Borenstein had any Cylon ties and he really was actually working for them? That rig would be perfect. Jump away, set it off, wait for the Bullethead Cavalry to come rescue you. But why in the frak would anyone work with them? That boggles me somethin fierce." She sighs. "But for figuring it out? I dunno. Maybe. A lot would depend on what it was specifically set-up to do. If its hooked into avionics? I can kick some ass there. But comms systems? I know some of that but not enough to really get into the nitty gritty. You'll need someone with a better skillset than my own."

"Long as you can find *something*, that'll do. If you can figure what it is and how it runs, so much the better," Constin answers readily. "If you can't figure it out, ah'll find someone who can." Even discussing possibilities he doesn't entirely understand are enough to get the wounded corporal fired up. "Right, finish up here in a hurry and let's get going, yeah?"

"Remember, this is all based on a single theory, Constin. If there is a frakking bomb on board? Or something else?" Coll tilts her head towards him to indicate how long this could take. "I have no idea what I'm looking for in a whole ship. One of a LOT. What was Borenstein's job on Deck? He tied to anything in particular on the Vipers?" To the last she nods and sits forward in the chair again.

"Tried to frak every pilot with tits," Constin answers as he searches his memory for anything more substantial. "Mechanical. He worked on the mechanical systems primarily, ah think."

"Other than diddling the pilots." Coll takes a long breath and lifts her hands to rub at her eyes. "Mechanical." She repeats it a few times through a sign. "Gods. That's a helluva change. Okay, they'll have to stick to what they know. Engines, structures, lifting bodies, FTL.. Just the kinda skills you would want to know where to plant a bomb on a Raptor and disable its engines and FTL."

"…Okay," Constin notes after a moment, making sure she's done with her thought before interjecting. Instead of just keeping his eyes narrowed in thought, when the marine gets confused, he tends to peer intently for a moment, shift his eyes onto something else, then peer back again. "So you know where to start?"

Coll shakes her head a bit. "Not really. He could have wanted that Raptor for anything. Just some basic ideas of what they did with three-oh-five is providing some decent clues, though. Course, its all conjecture." The woman sighs. "Anyhow, lets get this shit finished and get down there."

Constin nods. "Right." The immediate task in front of him is well understood- if not enjoyed, so skimming down the reports, and taking note of any points of interest is a swift process.

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