Hornets' Nests
Hornets' Nests
Summary: Roubani and Sen rattle some hornets' nests. Classified property stolen, raider research, and risk versus rewards.
Date: PHD065
Related Logs: Inside Job, that log where something was found blinking on the hull, and Periander IV Recon

Kharon - Engineering

Roubani has been at one of the consoles for a while. He's technically not on duty anymore, but never quite got around to unbuttoning his jacket, so the occasional enlisted still comes up and bugs him. He's just sent yet another away, after spending quite a while teaching the young woman something complicated about voltage and wattage. His screen is chewing on some long process and while he waits he's got what looks like a flashlight body, unscrewed and mostly taken apart. And…some magnets.

Sen had been tucked away in the bowels of the Engineering passageways, where her approach to fixing a broken ventilator fan has degraded down to beating it with the crescent shaped end of her wrench. Either she's victorious, or she's given up for now, and returning to central besmudged in grease and with a pair of skinned knuckles for her effort. She's in the yellow jumpsuit of their trade, which means she was prepared to get down and dirty today. "Ensign." She greets, before tossing the heavy tool onto a metal table with a clatter. "Science experiment?"

"Something like that," Roubani murmurs. He has the magnets in a small tube, connected by wires through another tube and a coil, finally connected to the flashlight bulb that he's taken out. The magnets he picks up, briefly and quickly shaking the little tube they're in, and on the other end of the experiment the flashlight bulb glows. It stays lit for about ten seconds after he stops. "One day we're going to run out of batteries, you see."

Sen flicks her gaze over, but has the daily reports to keep her busy for a while. "So you're going to power my ship by shaking it?" She asks simply, her easy smile not coming so easily today. She picks up a clipboard and starts looking at some numbers, a frown creasing her features and making her look every bit her thirty some odd years.

Roubani hehs. The sound isn't accompanied by a smile either but that's nothing new. "No, sir. Only the flashlights for now." A little dry, that, but he keeps working. He's been on the quiet side since coming back from Periander, even for him, having returned from the facility and gone straight to work while he waited for Sen to be free for a debrief.

Sen stretches her neck by turning it this way and that. The hours she's been keeping are hellatious but self-induced, maybe she just doesn't want to rest. "We might have some emergency crank versions around here somewhere, but thank you Ensign, that will be helpful." She mutters as she reads over the latest Tylium measurement, then shakes her head and throws the clipboard down to clatter with her wrench. "Don't suppose you've seen that doohickey we've pulled off the hull, have you? Strangest thing…"

"Should be in its storage locker," Roubani idly tilts his chin in that direction, then looks back at her. He puts the magnets down, brushing his hand off on his fatigues. "Captain, did you receive a debrief on Periander?" He raises an eyebrow slightly.

Sen drags a hand down her face, "Yeah, well. It's not. I'm looked all over, one second it was there and the next it's not. So unless it sprouted legs and walked off…" She exhales a huff of a sigh. "Stranger things have happened. But no one recalls seeing anyone with it, or anyone specifically going in and out out the area… Periander. I'm sorry, Ensign. I might have gotten a written report, but it's likely buried by now. Give me the verbal run down."

Roubani is about to open his mouth, but then she hits him with two things at once that demand equal attention. "I-…wait, it's gone?"

Sen sits heavily into a chair, her will to stand apparently depleated. "That's what I'm telling you. So if you have any knowledge of it's whereabouts, you better dish, because I'm about to start busting heads."

Roubani stares at her a moment, then draws a very slow breath. "No, sir. As far as I knew it was under lock." His voice is slightly tense, but stays controlled. "Has ship security been notified?"

Sen scratches her forehead absently. "I was trying to solve this in-house before I ran it up the chain. See if someone was working on it, and just forgot to lock it back up, or … that's the next step. That inside job deal is starting to stink more and more, so if you see /anything/ suspicious, you find me ASAP."

Roubani's lips thin into a frown and he stands up, needing to do something with his sudden energy. "I will, sir." He pauses. "When did you first notice it was missing?"

"Yesterday evening. I've only poked at it myself a few times, but something was bothering me about and I wanted to take a look, only it wasn't there." Sen says. As Roubani stands to power through his adrenaline rush, she digs in her pocket for a piece of candy but only turns out empty pockets. Bummer.

Roubani's hand automatically starts patting his own pockets. He's gotten used to her searching behaviour, and absently tugs a strawberry-flavoured candy out. It's flipped off his thumb at her, his attention focused on the talking. "Security cameras?" He points upwards and towards the hatch. "Ar there any watching the hatchway or around where it was being kept?"

Sen reaches up to snag the candy as it's tossed her way. "Thanks." She starts to unwrap it as he goes down a road she's already chiding herself for. "No. The only cameras on board the Kharon are in the Brig. Mostly Command believes in honesty through paranoia. And we don't have the power to track the log of who enters secured areas anymore, we took that functionality out with the virus. Everything is logged manually now, and you don't sign in and out if you're going to steal something."

"Shit." The word puffs from Roubani's lips, unbidden and totally unnoticed. "Alright. Sir, all due respect but I think we're far beyond the time when someone who just forgot to put it back would still have it. Unless they took it to bed and breakfast with them."

Sen blinks owlishly as Roubani swears. It's not something she clearly expected, and for a moment she's thrown for a loop. Shaking her way to knock that out of the forefront of her mind, she focuses back on task. "You were pretty much my last hope."

Her blinking at him registers somewhere, but most of Roubani's mind has moved on. He'll wash his own mouth out with soap later, no doubt. "Important lesson about where to place your hopes, sir," he replies, wryly. "We should contact security. We already know we've got…issues…on this ship." What a euphemism he chooses there, for whatever human hand was responsible for that virus getting as far as it did.

Sen rolls the candy between her fingers, then finally pops it into her mouth. "Yes, thank you, Ensign." She replies flatly, considering his words one step above him shaking his finger at her. "See if you can find the brief for me. Move it to the top of my shit- list." Because she can swear without blinking an eye. "I'll go walk this up myself." Not that she looks like she needs to be walking anywhere but to her rack.

Whether or not Roubani offended Sen's delicate sensibilities for once seems to go right by him. His eyes are reservedly worried, glancing off towards the storage lockers. And then it's out of his hands, which leaves him agitated and with nowhere to put it. "Yes, sir." A glance at the magnets and then at his screen, fingers swiping over the touchpad to wake it up.

Sen hauls herself out of her chair, starting to crunch on the candy already as she moves towards the hatch to go file a rather unpleasant report.

About forty-five minutes pass ICly

Roubani had left for a while, perhaps to do that briefing she wanted. Or at least think about it while he did a load of laundry. Whatever struck him during that short period brings him right back to work, fingers buttoning his fatigues jacket back up as he comes in and heads for where he left her. "Captain?"

Sen marched that shit over to the proper authorities, and still didn't call it a day. All this nonsense has given the ChEng a foul mood, which is a feat within itself. Now she's since come back down in Central, to spread the love and the joy that is being a pissed off woman in charge. She's at a table that's currently being used as a desk, barking out orders about little things that need to be done, sending enlisted snipes scattering like cockroaches. "Yes." She says crisply.

Which should be enough to scare any self-respecting Ensign right back the way he came from. Unfortunately for Sen, there are things Roubani needs to do. And so here he is. He folds his hands behind his back, good hand holding the bad's wrist to keep it in place at the small of his back. "I wanted to apologise to you, sir." The words are simple, as is his tone, leash back on his usual quiet demeanor. "Some words were uncalled for, and at a time when I should be at my best, I wasn't. There is no excuse for that, and you have my apologies."

Sen leans forward, dragging a piece of paper in front of her and planting her elbows to either side as she hunkers over it to read it. "Can it, Ensign. When I think an apology is necessary, I'll order you to give one. I have no intention of behaving like if I have more brass on my shoulder that I automatically know better then those that have less." The last is muttered as she reads, "Now what of the Periander."

Roubani doesn't cost them both face by agreeing. He doesn't even nod, just going on as requested. "If you remember the blueprints given to us, sir, we only made it as far as production rooms three and four before the cylons forced us to abort." He pauses, his eyes flickering, and his mouth thins into a faint frown. "The facility had suffered damage from an aerial bomb, possibly several. Many of the Periander's staff had also been shot." Sparing her a more vivid description of the carnage, his voice lowers so it doesn't carry beyond her little work area. "One of the Marines said that a bomb fragment we found was…it was Colonial, sir."

Well if he didn't have her full attention before, he certainly does now. Sen even pushes away her paper and looks in his direction and everything. "Were we able to ascertain what the research facility was studying?" This news, coming on the tail end of them discovering a virus sabatoge of an inside sorce, and then missing equipment, and now Colonial forces bombing their own at some point in time…that's enough to give you ulcers.

"We recovered some magnetic tapes from production room three," Roubani replies, regarding her face. "However, upon our return they were removed by command, and I was informed they are now classified information. We didn't have time to get anything else, or assess any equipment for viability. And…we were forced to abandon crew in the retreat." He exhales through his nose. "I don't know what was on those tapes. But I know there is more. Those people…including our own crew abandoned…died for a reason and we didn't find it." There's a pause, which grows long. "We have to go back."

Sen would once upon a moon been right there with Roubani, leading the charge. But the furrow of her brow suggests differently, now. "I'll speak with command, see if I can review those tapes." But she's just a Captain, she doesn't have a whole lot of weight to throw around, besides being ChEng. Maybe they'll end up asking her opinion anyways. "But you're suggesting we go back down there, into the proverbial hornet's nest, simply because the mission left you feeling unfulfilled?"

"Is it so different from being in the proverbial hornet's nest up here?" Roubani asks her simply.

Sen regards Roubani carefully, treating this as a intellectual debate which means she seems to honestly be interested in his opinion. "There's a difference between dealing with potential risks as they come, and opening yourself up to them willingly without knowing the rewards if any. We go back down there and risk more resources, more lives, and come to find out all they were studying was the…" She tries to grasp for something random and meaningless by their current definition. "Effects of sleep deprivation on Sagittaron monkeys."

Hell, she's looking at the effects of sleep deprivation on a Sagittaron monkey. Roubani doesn't actually say that, thankfully. "What reward is it that we are striving for right now, sir?" He asks, voice staying soft. He too is debating rather than arguing, even if he obviously believes his own words. "Are we not spending resources every day, lives? Tomorrow will be the same, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. If that facility had simply been gutted in a random fire I wouldn't say what I'm saying, but it wasn't. And perhaps it isn't something that helps us, but I find it hard to believe. That on the eve of our destructions, Colonials bombed a sophisticated Colonial research facility and that means nothing."

Sen leans back slightly in her chair, looking a little sluggish herself. She drapes her arms over her midsection, as if they're simply too heavy to do anything else with. "If that tape showed they have found some way to mass produce Tylium, or food, or turn space dust into drinkable water, I'm all for storming the castle again. If they were testing mind control drugs on hamsters, it doesn't matter. Not anymore. Nor does it matter who destroyed them or why. All those people and all those reasons are ashes."

Roubani's lips twitch slightly. Not quite a smile, but less of a frown that he'd been wearing. "I will agree that for the most part those tapes should guide us." he pauses, adding with a self-deprecatory note, "Of course, I was a pilot and therefore I can't completely agree that it wouldn't matter. Knowing there is lost crew still down there. But that's not mine to affect."

Sen takes a long breath, the sort that fills up our lungs to capacity, then takes a lazy time about exiting. "The possibility of survivors increases my favortism towards a return expedition exponentially, but I'm still not entirely convinced. I guess it comes down to the tapes, which for the moment, are out of either of our hands. No sense in losing sleep over it."

Roubani nods. He knows he's not talking to the person that actually decides this stuff, but he does look a little less weighted for having said his mind. "Understood, sir." There's a brief pause in which he seems to switch gears mentally. "There was one more thing. About the raider."

Sen smiles just a hint, but even that seems to take some effort on her part. "Ensign, you're so all over the place, I need a map to keep up with you sometimes. What about the Raider?"

Roubani also smiles a little and rubs his fingers over his eyebrow. Tiredness shows in those little moments, hinting at lines coming into his face far, far too early. "I've managed to identify several systems. We have a point on the avionics computer, life support, and weapons. All seem to be networked to a central hub of parallel processors. Two are dedicated to maneuvering, one to positioning and targeting, and one for general systems. When I tried to reverse engineer the main computer, I found a pattern in one of the heuristics being used in the raider's AI. Whether it matches the original programming, I don't have the expertise to say and I don't know if anyone around might." He draws a breath, having more but pausing to let her speak if she's going to.

Sen wasn't expecting for him to make this much progress so soon. The surprise is evident on her features, and both brows loft incredulously. "When do you have time to sleep, Roubani?"

Roubani makes an unintentional puff of laughter. It sounds a little embarassed. "It's taken me a month to even be able to say that much, sir. All told I've been rather slow." He was also held up by nearly being killed in a viper, but suffice to say that's not tacked on.

The majority of the Captain's bad mood is starting to melt away, because maybe it just takes too much energy to keep it going. Now just just kind of looks frumpy, sitting there in her overalls with grease on her face and a headful of unruly hair that's been tamed back into a haphazard bun. "And in that time, you've had a host of other jobs to do as well. I'm still impressed. Pass off to me what you know of this AI pattern, and I'll see what I can dig up."

"Yes, sir." Roubani hasn't gotten to the bad news yet, and he softly clears his throat as though to warn her. "There is…something else. When I was working on this for the Air Wing, I found that the cockpit contained some sort of, well, 'goo' is the best way to describe it, Captain. I informed Captain Marek and he wanted to take it to medical for assessment, but he never had the chance." So now it's in her lap. Sucker. "The substance to all appearances seems…organic." And there's the bomb.

Sen makes a face at that, it pulls into a deep grimace of ick. "I had just assumed that stuff leaking out of the wreckage was hydrolic fluid or something equally less disgusting. I assume you've collected samples, I'll walk it over to Pike." Ultimately though, the 'bad news' doesn't seem to faze her that much. Knowing their recent luck, he could have told her that soylent green is people, and she wouldn't even bat an eye.

"I've got samples, yes, sir." Better believe Roubani kept some of that for old times' sake. "They'll be to you shortly. And I will get those heuristics over as well. With the gods' grace perhaps they can be made useful to the air wing somehow."

"I'm sure you're used to hearing this by now, but good job, Ensign. You seem to be an asset where ever you are stationed, and it's not going unnoticed." Sen pushes to her feet, the weight of the day starting to be too much for her shoulders to carry anymore. "I'm going to wander up to medical. Get some aspirin. Is there anything else you need, Roubani?"

Roubani seems to about to argue the praise, as he does. But that would take energy he doesn't have. "Thank you, sir," he murmurs instead, then moves on, standing as well. "No, sir, not just at the moment. I've got to get my laundry."

Sen offers him a decent smile, "See you back at berthings then. You're off duty now, aren't you? Try to enjoy it."

"Yes, sir," Roubani replies. Which means he'll be gone long enough to painstakingly fold every article of clothing and then probably be back to work. He offers her a vague half-smile, a formal salute, and then is headed towards the hatch.

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