PHD #010: Über Robot Mojo
Über Robot Mojo
Summary: The findings from the investigation into the Raptor and Viper Mark-VII malfunctions on Warday are discussed.
Date: 08 Mar 2041 AE
Related Logs: Into the Jaws of Death and other logs about the malfunctioning birds.
Atreus Damon Marko Oberlin Rojas Trask 
Chief's Office - Hangar Deck - Battlestar Cerberus
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: 2 - Danger Close

Atreus has cleared out his office, such as it is. He moved a table into the room and set chairs around it. Mugs for coffee or tea have been set out while a coffeepot percolates on one side. Tea bags and hot water are available. Someone has provided a box of doughnuts from the galley and there are hints that; should this go long, pizza might be available. Atreus is leaning against one wall, his arms crossed over his chest and a stormcloud brewing behind his eyes.

Marko comes limping into the Chief's office with a whole mess of flight manuals, hard copies, and Gods only knows what else in his arms. Judging by the little beige paper file folders jutting out from the stack, this was once a very nicely organized bunch of data. The man's limp suggests it's current state of disarray is entirely unintentional. "Chief…" he says, nodding to the Deck Boss as he puts his papers down and starts frantically trying to reassemble everything. "Frakkin' ladders… too damn steep."

Restless. That's the one word to describe Damon as he paces back and forth, fingers tapping against his legs on both sides. His gaze is far more vacant than Atreus' stormy look, like he's just staring right through the wall right in front of him. Surprisingly, he has not availed himself of any of the tea available. "Hey, sir," he says as Marko enters, giving the Ensign a respectful nod. Then back to the pacing and tapping.

Trask is far from bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, looking as though he is long overdue for sleep. In truth, he is, but he's a resilient bugger and just keeps on plowing. "Chief," is greeted, pleasantly but in total passing. The coffee pot is what gets a much more formal hello, except that brew is still brewing. Cue mild frown and slight rolling of the eyes.

"Oho, I've got a box of garbage code, I've got a box of garbage code, because my baby loves me." The sound of a man's voice precedes the actual man himself, as Oberlin makes his way into the Chief's office in his fatigues, a large folder clutched to his side, as he was singing some nonsensical song to himself. Falling silent, he smirks a bloodless sort of smirk. "Chief. Lieutenant. Crew." First to Atreus, then Trask, and then the others in turn, mostly out of unfamiliarity.

Rojas is a little on the light side as far as information goes. He's just holding a couple of technically manuals bound together in a box that's closely tucked under an arm, and a cup of steaming (And slightly terrible) coffee in the other hand as he enters the office, raising a slight brow at the re-arrangement of the room. "Folks." The used-to-be-a-reservist looks pretty relaxed, all things considered. The coffee probably helps.

Atreus pushes from the wall and nods to each in turn, "Thanks for coming. I know everyone is pretty swamped so let's get this show on the road. Please sit down and if you'd swing the hatch closed?" He nods to Rojas, "I'd appreciate it. Here is how this thing will go. Everyone will get a chance to state their evidence. Keep speculation out of it until we hear everything everyone has to say. Crewman Bannik could not join us, so I will be reading his report out loud. Once everyone's information has been put on the table, we'll hash through it." He nods to Oberlin, "Care to start us off, Lieutenant?"

"Might as well break open Crewman Bannik's report. It's got the same information as mine did, from what I read," Oberlin says, suddenly straightening and nodding to the Chief, edging up towards his desk and depositing his folder upon it. "Basically, we have a body. Or thousands of them. And smoke, and bloody footprints. But no actual gun, to continue the metaphor." He looks around and states, "Suspicious entries in the Code changelog of the Viper Mark VII's. The Mark II's and Raptors didn't really have anything eyebrow-raising."

Nathan swings shut the hatch with an elbow and shoulder combination, looking a little more awkward than is really needed thanks to the coffee and books. It's a lot easier for him to look more comfortable when he's slid his way into a seat and put the various items down on the table. "I'm more of an 'engines and metal' kind of guy, it's gotta be said." He starts with the closest thing to an 'I may be useless' apology as he can, tapping the edge of his mug. "And there was sweet FA in those. The LT's track is better than anything I've got, barring side-thoughts and random inklings."

Letting out a somewhat dramatic sigh, Bootstrap stews while the coffee brews. Since Oberlin addressed him, Oberlin gets a 'sup?' chin tilt as a greeting, along with an, "El-Tee." Brown eyes glance at those assembled and then flit back towards the coffee pot. "If you weren't so damn delicious," he murmurs to the collecting java, "I'd harbor a grudge. You better be hot an' bothered an' ready to go by the time I'm back." That said, Trask moseys on over and parks his rear, then sets a folder on the table. "The Raptor systems look as they should, which, really, in and of itself is suspicious 'cuz a systems frak-up shouldn't be lookin' like business as usual. /Especially/ not one of /that/ magnitude. There is something inherently wrong about not finding anything wrong. As for the Vipers, my findings don't differ from what's already been said."

The young Ensign gives up on trying to get his papers together and takes a seat as the more experienced crew members begin giving their reports, nodding randomly in a 'yep, that's kind of what I thought' kind of way. Then, it's his turn. "Gentlemen, I don't think we're going to find anything by looking at this conventionally," he says thoughtfully, then, with a little smile, draws the blue whistle on its steel ball chain from around his neck and holds it up. "See this? Got this in a Berry Crunch box when I was a kid. Don't look like much, does it? What if I told you that, before they converted their systems a few years ago, I could play sweet, _sweet_ hell with the Delphi Communications Grid by blowing this into a handset?" he asks. "We're going to have to think _way_ out of the box on this one." he continues. "There's ways to insert malicious code into a system and have it slide right through any system check you care to run on it. Somehow, I don't have the first clue how, I think that the Cylons found a way to do just that very thing. They found a backdoor. As for evidence, well, sirs…?" he says, shrugging expansively. "Has anyone found out any more about the red light the pilots are reporting right before our systems went down?"

"Findings from my crew, corroborated with the rest of the Deck crew who were on this - including the Chief," Damon introduces, remaining standing despite the invitation to sit. He reaches over to the Chief's table and picks up a tiny folder - the report is maybe ten pages long. The filing box underneath it is probably annexes and supporting documentation. "Boils down to this, gents. Every bird that started floating dead in the water had the new CNP programming on her boards. The ones that survived, didn't." He glances around at each and every one of them except Atreus. "The ones that went offline then came back had partial upgrades - the work wasn't completed on those ships. Some ECOs were able to rescue their ships by routing past or bypassing the faulty programming. Others, a complete reboot of the systems." He takes out copies of the report and hands them around to each member in the room. "Pilots interviewed also reported a red light going off on their consoles half a second before their systems died, as the Ensign said. This all may be linked."

Atreus nods, "Thanks everyone. Okay, here is what Bannik reported. As the LT said, it is significantly the same. Just wanting to be sure it gets said for completeness." Clearing his throat, he flips open a folder and reads from a sheet on top, "The Viper Mark II had insufficient computerized avionics to notice any major changes or difficulties to the avionics systems. The mechanical nature of the Mark II's avionics package prevented much substantive analysis; all appeared normal. The Viper Mark VII systems indicated several subtle, but noticeable changes. Interestingly, we discovered in the change log for the avionics system random snippets of code that had been altered. While no piece of code standing alone was noticeable — indeed, there seems to be no unifying feature among the parts that were changed, all pieces activated at the exact same time, five days before the attacks on Picon. I've attached a copy of the change log with the relevant changes circled." Lifting the page, Atreus indicates the log beneath, "Anyone interested can look this over." Then, he looks back to the page in his hand to finish reading, "The Raptors, which we would have expected to have exhibited similar changes, however, were showing completely normal avionics. This is an anomaly we cannot explain."

When he finishes reading, Atreus closes the report and sets it with Oberlin's. He slowly settles into a chair, then folds his hands on the table. For a moment, the man looks around the office, "First, I personally want to thank each and every one of you for your hard work thus far. Building on what we do know… Analysis. Lt, please start us off again." The stormclouds behind the Chief's gaze remain though; while it is clear that he has his own ideas about what happened, he is reserving final judgement until he hears the opinions of the experts gathered.

First and foremost, the Lieutenant shoots Trask a little smirk before falling into an attentive position as he listens to the various crew give their findings, one by one. "Agreed. I don't think this was a simple 'systems crash' at a bad time. Now you bring up this red light, which I will avoid making jokes about involving shore leave on Aquaria City." A bloodless smile flickers upon his features and flees almost as soon as it arrives. Like any kind of humor right now, it doesn't quite work. "I don't like coincidences," Oberlin says, as he eagerly grasps the proffered report and holds it aloft in front of him, his eyeballs scanning it like the head of printer moving across paper.

"Now you mention the CNP. Without jumping to too many conclusions, I've heard something of this theory before." He clears his throat and looks from Damon to Atreus, nodding his head pointedly at the Chief, his eyes widening a little. "This may be a factor. If some jagoff decided to build a system with a single point of failure —" He tensely smiles, shaking his head violently and not even bothering to finish this line of thought. Professional disdain's a bitch, isn't it? "I think the point here is simple. We found something that has no explanation in a normal, healthy system. We have entries that were not created under any logical, explicable system and then were summarily removed or at least disabled, leaving no legible trace." He points to a copy of the changelog right there without even really looking at it. He's probably already looked at it enough, to be honest. "Think, here. We have a consistent pattern of new tech being more adversely affected than old tech. We also have a number of ships that were hampered, but not completely disabled at a given point. We haven't found any of the fleet that seemed to share that fate."

Finally looking up, he shrugs in a hapless way, looking around the room. "Can anyone come forward and tell me the difference between /our/ planes and the rest of planes drifting in pieces around the worlds like some kind of scrap abattoir?" An additional question is directed to the Ensign. "Good catch on the Wireless boxing, by the way. Do you remember why we went to analog in the first place?"

Rojas just sips at his coffee while everybody talks. It's like talking shop back home, except there's somewhat larger stakes on the table and he can't fire people who come up with dumb ideas. That alone is enough to make him carefully consider every word as he leans his elbows onto the table, hiding his smile that appeared at the mention of CNP. His random musings may have been on the right track. "Every Seven that came through my refit yard had the CNP software shoved in it as part of the normal process, but that's only been in the past couple of… about three months." He has to count that out on his fingers. "Where'd our batch of surviving sevens come from?" Yup, he's got an idea of the differences, but not the information to draw a quick conclusion.

"I recall hearin' somethin' 'bout boards needin' to be yanked," is remarked to Damon before Trask notes about Marko's findings, "Frequencies have been known to frak with things. Shit-ass system they had at Delphi, though." Trask's tone has a derisive undercurrent of 'frakking Capricans' to it. "Badass toy whistle, by the way. Nice shade o' blue." When Oberlin says 'jagoff', a thoroughly amused smirk forms. Brown eyes flickering once more to the coffee pot, the Jig gets up to finally get a cup of coffee. "Honestly," he continues, while pouring, "I'm more of a hardware guy. I can program and code a bit, as is to be expected of any electrical engineer worth anything, but complex shit like this? Beyond my scope. You need an avionics system designed, built, programmed, installed, assessed, modified, or repaired? No problem. You wanna frak that shit up by hackin' that shit?" Yeah, that is not his thing.

"I believe we did it to keep the Cylons from being able to hack around inside our networks, Lieutenant." Marko smiles, nodding a little as he moves to give the changelog a long look. "Okay… now right here… this looks suspicious to me," he breathes, shrugging off Trask's comment with a grunt of laughter. "See, all of these changes look so… innocent. Does anyone here think we would've even noticed them on a daily maintenance cycle?" he asks.

Damon purses his lips and goes back to drumming his fingers against his legs as the others speak. He almost looks like an ADHD kid in class, staring off and seeming for all the world like he's not even paying attention - lost in his own world. But the way that his eyes dart back to the person who's talking once in a while shows that even if he doesn't look like it, he's hearing what they're saying. "Some of our birds were retrofitted," he says at last in response to Trask, a long silence preceding his turn to speak. "When we downgraded the CNP firmwares, and then uplinked the new software to 'em again. We kept the old boards in some of them for manual bypass in case of failure - we didn't have enough parts to put the new boards in all of 'em." He nods to Atreus. "Chief's idea. Might just be what saved those ships."

Atreus rises after Trask returns with his own coffee. He walks back to the pot and lifts it. The pot is brought to the table and the Chief pours his own mug. Setting the pot in easy reach of the others, he returns to his chair. Flipping a couple of pages, he nods, "Right. The new VIIs came with the CNP, yeah. The software had been installed on all our birds before I got posted here. They finished that project the week I arrived, I think. Then, I got a call from Mr. Kiryl Strelokov, a civvie contractor over in Engineering. His firm provided the CNP to the fleet and he said ours was installed too soon. That it was buggy as all frak." He pauses to consider, then nods, "He said it would make the Mk VIIs behave like the Mk IIs and he was working on a fix. So, we had to downgrade everything to the old CNP code until he sent down the upgrade. That is what was on the VIIs and Raptors that failed. His new… debugged code." By the time Atreus has finished speaking, his tone has gone very still, the storm clouds on his brow threatening to shoot lightening through his eyes. A hand fishes in a pocket and he pulls out three disks, "One has the original CNP code that shipped with the VIIs. The second the CNP code that Mr. Strelokov said was premature and the last has the upgrade he provided. You can thank the Deck’s software library and our penchant for saving shit." The disks are set on the table. "I want a team to comb through this. Maybe the LT, Trask, Marko and Bannik."

"It's my thing, Lt. Somewhat. But anyway, I know we had a number of contract staff around. Is our boy still with us?" Oberlin ponders, addressing the group as he mulls over the ideas that have been presented. "Or did we leave him on Picon?" He greedily eyes the disks, but doesn't touch them, yet. "Ahem. Anyway, all jokes about Delphi's now decommissioned comms grid aside," he eyes Trask wryly before sticking to the matter at hand, "Yes. We went analog for security purposes. That seemed to work, although it hobbled people used to digital efficiency. I'm going to leave that old debate alone for the time being while I propose something else. Something that Crewman Bannik and I already noted. We should go over those disks. Examine every stage of the upgrades. And for the love of whatever Gods love us, start some salvage work on those dead planes outside." Again, he flickers a cold and less-than-heartfelt smile.

"Regarding the code changes, Ensign," the Intel officer adds, "What's troubling is they appeared to be activated, out of nowhere five days before the attack. We don't know what they came from. Hell, we don't even know exactly what they were /doing/."

Rojas clicks his tongue against his teeth as the closest thing to a tangible culprit they can find is… well, partially found. "It sounds like a fine idea, and something that should give us at least a hint of what's going on." Then his hands touch the table, one moving to quickly snatch his coffee and hover it near to his face. "-But it's something I sure as shit can't help with." Ah, failings. Always a fun thing to admit amongst peers. "We're stepping out of my zone of experience."

Mmm. Coffee. Not just any coffee but Deck coffee, which is the best coffee, according to Trask. The secret ingredient is engine grease. Returning to the table, jet black brew being sipped along the way, the JG sardonically points out, "I'm pretty sure we'd notice Cylons pokin' 'round our birds." Although that's only because no one yet knows about skinjobs. More seriously, he offers, "Industrial sabotage? No doubt that some fat contracts were on the line with the war games. Corporations have done worse things to earn some cubits." Wryly, he smirks, then sips more joe. "If that's what it is an' those morons are still alive, I bet they feel pretty stupid about killing their intended customers."

"Five days before the attack?" Marko asks Oberlin, brows knitting together into a very serious frown. "Okay… that's not… encouraging," he says, flipping through the log some more. "And the ones that went tango uniform on the day of the… attack were the ones that had the upgrades, Chief?" he asks, looking to Atreus for confirmation. "PO Damon, I think Chief's idea just saved a whole lot of lives," he breathes, peering back to the changelog like a cop interrogating a suspect he knows is guilty. "I've heard of logic bombs and other fun little things that will infect a system gradually… Yeah, definitely need to find this consultant and find out what he's got to say about these 'upgrades'."

"Aye, Ensign, I think it did," Damon agrees, starting to pace again. Once again, a considerable pause before he speaks again. "It could've been a beacon, summoning the Cylons to the fleet. Could've been some kind of virus, corrupting our systems. A backdoor. A comms snoop. More likely than not, accessing networking functions to deactivate all ships, fleet-wide, at the same time." Damon's voice is flat as he lists off a few options off the top of his head. "Even if it wasn't Cylons that did it, like the el-tee says," a chinpoint to Trask, "there's too many coincidences here to say they don't go hand in hand in some way or another." Placing the file back where he grabbed it from on top of the box sitting on the desk, he hooks his thumb onto his toolbelt and begins walking toward the hatch. "I know basic avionics, but that more or less stops at the limit of what I gotta know to get a bird in the air. So I'm at the limit of my usefulness, too. If you'll excuse me, I gotta get back on deck - holler if you need me for anything."

Atreus says, "Okay. I'm not a code monkey either, Ensign," Atreus is not at all shy about admitting his shortcomings. Turning to Marko, he nods, "Yeah, Ensign. They all had the modified CNP." A nod to Damon then, "Thanks. Yeah, I'll hollar or catch you up later. Appreciate you coming in." After a pause to consider, he adds, "The light. It flashed after the initial attacks, I think. Ensign Apostolos was pretty clear about that. They had just gotten space-born, so the initial attack had already gone down. She did not know where it came from, though…" Steepling his fingers, Atreus continues, "Let me know if I missed anything, then. We know that the code is responsible to some degree. We know that changes became 'active', whatever that means, five days before the war games. We know that a red light flashed before the systems failed. We know that every bird that died had the new CNP software." He pauses to look around the table, "What we don't know. Did the other fleet ships have the same CNP as the upgrade in our ships? Did the red light signify anything? Was it a signal? What are the differences between the old CNP and the new?" He pauses, a frown beginning, "Did I miss anything?" Turning, he nods to Oberlin, "We do have salvage missions scheduled, LT. Just waiting on the CAG to give us the word.""

"I suppose I'd better bug Major Hahn in the nicest way possible then." Oberlin just muses, his mouth curving in a tightly drawn smile. "Once we have a smoking gun, we can proceed to our next step - making sure this is /locked down/ and in no way compromised. Still, we have some pieces to the puzzle here." He just glances at the Chief now, nodding his assent. "We seem to have the basis for a whole lot more questions."

Some moments later, he turns to address Marko. "Five days." He confirms. Then to Damon. "I don't think it was a brute-force intrusion or anything purely external. We would have had some kind of intrusion alarm on /one/ of our shipboard systems somewhere. Even if for a second, the Cerberus' firewalls are robust enough that, even were they to compromise our systems externally to a large degree, we would have gotten some kind of signal notification. Some kind of trace. /Something./" He looks to Trask for backup on this.

Rojas taps the table, lifting his coffee as he stands but leaving the books where they lie. "We're out of my expertise, Chief. Seems like folks have a lead to follow, so if you don't mind, I'll use this time to try and grab a shower before getting thrown on duty?" He suddenly knows how it must have felt for ex's of his when he started talking about engines. Nod and smile. Nod and smile.

"Okay…" Marko says, starting to scribble down notes furiously in his best 'left handed illegible scrawl'. "Five days, red lights, CNP code upgrades and or debugs, original code, Chief's ideas to bring the birds back up to spec," he says, more to himself than anyone else. "That about covers it. Would you mind if I got a copy of those disks, Chief? Might need to find a computer to run the 'upgrade' on that isn't linked to anything, just in case," he adds, wincing a little. Something's got the man more than slightly spooked. "Gods damn…if they're that good….we are in very serious trouble."

Sardonic as ever, Trask none so helpfully notes, "I'd say we've been in Very Serious Trouble since the Colonies got nuked." To Oberlin, he mildly shrugs. "Unless the firewall was built by a complete frakkin' moron who didn't even know what the purpose of a firewall is… yeah, an intrusion /should/ be detected, however brief it may be before log entries were suppressed. If these mobile trash cans have Über Robot Mojo, though…" His eyes widen, while his head jiggles and hands get all jazzy in an 'ooooh Über Robot Mojo' manner. "…I suppose all bets could be off."

Atreus lifts a hand to Rojas, "Thanks for coming, Ensign. Appreciate your time and input. Best grab that shower, though. Before the hot water is used up." His smile is quick, though his eyes remain sober. Turning then to the others, he nods, "Right. Yeah. I can get copies for you all. Don't see why not. Lt? Want to take charge of this part? Seeing as you're ranking and have the right kind of experience. I can have Bannik report to you for the duration. And I'm sure the CAG will let you borrow Trask and Marko, here."

Smirking towards Trask, Oberlin snorts out a half-chuckle at the man's statement about firewalls. "What /he/ said." He points towards the ECO momentarily and then his head swivels back to study Atreus. "Um, sure, Chief. If you /insist/." He mutters, dryly, hiding what may or may not be a faint smile. He loves this part. Continuing, he addresses the matter of Cylon wizardry. "I think at this point, any time there's a question of 'overestimating the enemy' we should probably do it. Given what we've seen." There's no smile here.

"Über Robot Mojo's about the term, yeah." Marko nods, still scanning the changelog and furiously scribbling notes for a few more moments before securing his pad and pen. "Finding this thing's going to be a real bastard, Sirs," he says for Oberlin and Trask's benefit. "If it's an asymmetric backdoor or any other kind of cyrpto stuff, all it'd have to be is a single line of code," he sighs, shaking his head. "You rewrite the compiler so it sees the code during compilation and that creates the backdoor in the output. When the hacked compiler finds that code, it compiles it like its normal, but also puts a backdoor in."

Atreus says, "And I am afraid you all are talking gibberish as far as I am concerned." He finally takes up his coffee mug and lifts it to take a sip. When that is finished, he nods to Marko, "You all have copies of the logs as well. Tell you what. You all get to it. You can even have my office for the time being. Lieutenant Trask gave me a new puzzle to worry about and I am going to go get on that. Thank you all for coming. Lt? If you would let me know what you all come up with, I'd be grateful."

Oberlin nods along to Marko as he sputters his theory. "Once we find it, though — it's a single line, as you said. Boom. We can search for it, and /maybe/ find a version of the code that doesn't have it. There's been talk of incremental builds, after all." He doesn't have anything to add there, and simply nods his head to Atreus. "Of course, Chief."

Rising, Atreus carries his mug with him. Before heading to the hatch, however, he turns to look again at Oberlin, "By the way. I want Kiryl Strelokov detained. We can say it's for his own protection, if you like. No matter how I look at things, he's involved and if someone lacking a clear head gets a notion that his company was involved in the destruction of the human race, his life might be in danger." The man pauses, the stormclouds returning, "And if I find out he was? Off the record?" He does not finish, though the thought is clearly written in his gaze. "You want to call for it, or shall I?"

Oberlin doesn't even have much of a response to this. Not a full one. His lips twitch, ever-so-much. "Frakking company man. Selling this shit on a for-profit basis. That's how we got the Cylons in the first place. And /oh look/ how /that/ turned out?" He coughs, looking amongst the others. "Strike that from the record. Please."

"Considerin' you're the Chief an' your turf was dissed, prob'ly best /you/ call the MPs," is Bootstrap's opinion about detainment. When Oberlin speaks, a reaction is only prompted at the request to strike the comment. "Why?" The question is both sardonic and genuine, coupled with a quasi-incredulous expression that transmits 'seriously, dude, that is dumb'. The scratching bit. "On the subject of clusterfraks prompted by stupidity, short-sightedness an' greed, someone in QUODEL might know somethin' about which corps had which contracts, regarding the installation of ship systems throughout the fleet."

Also, it would seem that the senior ECO couldn't give a frak about airlocking some jagoff.

Marko doesn't seem to mind the notion of sending the asshat responsible for this for a long swim in nothingness himself.

Atreus chuckles, though the sound is cold and lacking in humor, "I think we all agree, LT." He lifts his mug in a silent salute, "I'll send a note up the chain right now." He moves back to his desk to place a call. Looking over to Trask, he nods slowly, "The only person I know in the QUODEL? I… do not think she would know. I'll leave that part of it to Oberlin and Intel."

There may be a few rumors floating around how Oberlin made a Saggitaron or two disappear. Or not. He smiles thinly. "Get it to Lieutenant Archer and I'll have a chat with him. It's," he sighs a little, "for his own good, like you said. When word gets out about what happened, frak, /I/ might not be safe." He falls silent and addresses Trask. "Sorry. Shades of undergrad thesis. You have to expect these things. I guess I'll talk to Mr. Rejn too. I'm sure he'll be full of laughs. He always is."

"Just don't let the reporter find out, for Gods' sake." Marko sighs, gathering up his papers and standing up. "We've got enough work to do as it is without having her sticking her nose into everything."

Atreus nods, "No problem. Gotta say, I'm really glad you are talking to all these people. They don't tend to like my arguments. And, after a while, if I can't get the answers I want by making adjustments or beating something with a wrench? I'm done." He looks at Marko and flinches, "I'd forgotten all about her. Pesky woman. Yeah, it is best to keep her out of it if we can. And watch out for others of her ilk. With all those civilians in the Starboard Hanger, one of 'em could be another reporter."

"I accept protection payments in the form of chocolate truffles," Kal with a 'K' idly quips to Cal with a 'C'. "Also, try some guy named Petrovski." Close, but not quite correct. Oberlin can surely make it work, though. "He's the lackey of Virgon's Quorum HBIC."

"I'm going to sneak into the Admiral's quarters and punch him until he lifts the no-booze order. If I'm going to die in a Cylon sneak attack I don't want it to happen sober," Oberlin says, again, his mouth flickering. "These just jokes. Petrovski. Maybe he'll work harder in the name of a native son of Virgon." That smile just drops now. Some lengthy pause ensues, as he adds, before starting towards the door, "I can handle that reporter too. I managed to not throttle her in CIC in the Uram exercise. I have endless patience. Really."

"Well, looks like I've done everything I can for now," Marko says, giving a little stretch. "I'm gonna start going over some of my notes when I get to my bunk. Got to fly a CAP at Zero Holy Frak," he adds. "Thanks for listening, Chief," he says, offering the man a handshake. "Bootstrap."

Atreus chuckles at Oberlin, "Better you than me, LT." He pauses, his smile growing, "No kidding? You are good if you kept her out of trouble." Rising as the others begin to depart, the Chief accepts Marko's hand, his shake firm, if brief, "Thanks for trusting me to listen, Ensign. Means a lot. Luck flying. That is a terrible time to be up."

"I'm a master of bullshit. Goes with the trade," Oberlin says, with less humor than one might expect. And then, he's out the door. Poof.

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