The Devil's Greatest Trick
The Devil's Greatest Trick
Summary: As the Kharon heads towards a Scorpia offensive, Roubani offers Kai a tactical idea.
Date: 201 PHD (5 November)
Related Logs: Relay

Ready Room

The ready room's lights have been dimmed this afternoon, giving the place a movie theatre feel that's helped by the film running on the projection screen. Grainy black and white gun camera footage plays out across the wall, sending sharp, striated patterns of light and shadow across the bulkheads. The CAG's standing opposite the screen, folders and papers scattered across the nearest chair's foldout desk, hands jammed into the pockets of his fatigues and a pen trapped between his teeth.

When berthings turn noisy, this is where one can usually find Roubani. It must be noisy down there now, as the hatch allows a sliver of light to peek across the ready room floor. The dimmed lights don't immediately deter the JG in blue, but they do make him pause and skim the room first, cautiously.

The footage continues to play out across the screen. There's no sound to accompany it, just the motion sickness-inducing twist and turn of the gun camera— or rather, the viper it's mounted to. It sparks and flares white with ordinance being ignited, and somewhere off to the left, a raider fleets through the image almost too quickly for the eye to follow, and goes up in a plume of fire and shrapnel. The former doesn't last long; the latter peppers the camera screen. Kai doesn't turn around, though he does remove the pen from his mouth and note something down on the pad he pulls out of his pocket.

Roubani shifts the pile of folders and large technical manual in the crook of his left arm, bracing it against his hip like a mother does a young child. Satisfied that the Zone is Safe, he nudges the hatch shut again with his foot and starts down the aisle towards a seat. The screen gets a glance or three of idle curiosity, but while it runs he makes no interruptions of the study. Except for the noise the heavy books make on a desk. Can't help a thud or two.

"Afternoon, Lieutenant." Scritch, scratch as Kai writes. He didn't look over his shoulder, so maybe he's just memorised the cadence of Nadiv's footfalls by now, and the unobtrusive manner in which he tends to enter a room.

There are worse things to be recognisable for. Roubani slides onto the seat as noiselessly as folding paper, crossing his legs. "Afternoon," he murmurs back, still watching the screen. "Which engagement was that?"

"The Elpis and Bellerophon rescue," Marek notes absently, while finishing his notetaking. The pad's tucked away again, and he steps toward the tape player, and taps 'pause'. The image on the screen is frozen with the viper at full burn away from the charred wreckage of a raider; in the background, the distinct star-shaped bulk of the ruined cylon baseship can barely be glimpsed. "How's your day going?" he tacks on in an obvious, if somewhat awkward attempt at casual conversation.

"Somewhat productively," Roubani answers. Interpreting the question, as he often does, to mean anything but a real personal inquiry. He softly clicks the back of his pen, sliding a legal pad out from underneath his pile of stuff. "Spent most of the night thinking about tomorrow. I have something for you."

Whether meant as a personal enquiry or not, the question — and its answer — are left alone when Roubani mentions having something for him. "What's that?" Kai murmurs, sifting through the papers he'd arranged and pulling out a couple in particular. One seems to be a list of some kind, the other a very rough diagram of something. "I'm guessing it's not coffee. The stuff up here's shit." More rustling; he doesn't look up.

"If you were a real gentleman, you'd sacrifice enough pride to secure a gift of Marine coffee," Roubani says, as he picks through his things. "Preferably large enough for all of us." Only half-serious, is that. Ha ha, gentleman. Legal pad and some printouts found, he stands up and moves over the few feet to settle on the edge of a chair two spaces from Kai's, extending the handful across the empty desk between. "Diversionary tactic proposal, using our swallows."

Ha ha, indeed. Kai doesn't even qualify that with an answer, though he might be a little amused. Dark room, inscrutable man, who knows. The sheaf of papers is reached for, turned around, and then flipped through; he sets the others down on the top of the foldout desk. Blue eyes flick across to the young man at something in specific, then shift back to the report. He reads.. kind of slowly, so the silence is drawn out.

"Ensign Gresham is more knowledgable about the exact technology than I," Roubani says quietly, after giving Kai a while to peruse. "But he believed it would be possible to mimic the signal of a ship as large as a Battlestar, and also convert that signal to one that would confuse their DRADIS. It wouldn't keep them occupied forever, but it would cost them attack initiative."

Kai nods slowly, brushing at the scar above his lip with the pad of his thumb in an absent fashion. "I'll have to confirm with Black Cat, but to my understanding the drone'll only fool guidance systems on warheads, not DRADIS." He flips the page, then flips back, mulling it some more. "It definitely has potential, though. Do you suppose.." He gestures to the still image on the projection screen, though it has little relevance to their discussion, "Do you suppose the drones can be re-programmed to frak with their DRADIS? Sort of an on-the-fly jamming.." He's clearly getting out of his depth here, and quickly.

Roubani glances at the screen, just a flicker of his eyes. "From what I've read in the manuals, in theory it is possible." Theory and practice are, of course, two different things. "We could use a pseudo random noise sequence. The filtered noise signals would be modulated using that to provide a plurality of modulated noise signals. Then those could be broadcast over the area of operations covered by the drones, to provide a plurality of jamming bursts corresponding to a navigation signal. And the bursts in turn could be configured to substantially mask the navigation signal in the area of operations."

The Captain seems to follow along with most of that, anyway, judging by the furrow of his brows and the small nod that accompanies 'plurality of modulated noise signals'. "I'm not going to even pretend to grasp the mathematics of it, but what we'd want.." He sets the proposal aside, pulls out his notepad again, and clicks his pen on. " a time.. division.. duplexing.." He talks while he writes, scribble scribble. "..signal, to achieve a sliding.." Er. "A sliding.." He scratches at his ear, as if it'll help jog his memory.

Whether or not Roubani knows what Kai's getting at, he doesn't interrupt the train of thought. He clicks his own pen on, eyes following the text that Kai's scribbling out as he makes a few notes of his own. His, of course, are substantially more mathematical in nature. When Kai pauses he just listens.

Kai rubs at his forehead. "Sliding… correlator examination." His lips twitch slightly, and he writes that down. "It's been a while." Since classroom lectures on ECM programming, that is. The sheet of paper's torn off and handed over to Roubani. "I'm sure you and Thorn can work something out. I leave it in your hands, though I can't promise command'll approve of the idea. I'll bring it up in the planning session tonight."

Roubani moves slightly to take the paper. The ledger shifts on his knee, where Kai might be able to see that he'd already written 'correlator examination' in the pause. "Of course. It is only one possibility." He folds the paper Kai gave him, sliding it under the black butterfly clip at the top of his papers. "Four hundred people, was the estimate?" He asks after a few moments of deepening the crease with his thumb.

"Approximately," Kai confirms, easing more properly into his chair and directing his eyes toward the screen in front of them. "There's no way we'll be able to remove all of them." It's spoken with the same sort of blunt finality that he tends to deliver all his bad news.

"Is the thrust to again fill the cargo hold with civilians?" Roubani asks, thumb clicking his pen softly off and then back on. "Or to enable to them to flee the premises and remain on their own?"

"The thrust," comes the Captain's bland reply, "is to rescue as many prisoners and civilians from the surface as we can, and destroy the cylon encampment." He sucks in and blows out a breath through his nose, checks his watch, and starts gathering up his papers. "Why don't you chew on the decoy plan for now. Figure out whether it can be done." Sounds like the proverbial door slamming shut, where discussions of leaving people to die are concerned.

A brow goes up at the tone. "You are not being accused of something," Roubani answers, turning his shoulders to face front again. The ledger's settled again on his top knee and he scribbles out some more notes. "It will be on your desk in a few hours."

There's a pause, and a somewhat blank look given Roubani at those first words. He starts to say something, changes his mind, and simply nods curtly. "Looking forward to it, Lieutenant." Shifting back to his feet, he strides over to turn off the projector and pull out the tape.

Roubani braindumps onto the paper for a few seconds, scribbling headed across the paper in lines and circles and arrows. Do this, do that, delegate this, delegate that. When he talks again, it's out of that pensive silence. "You'll do everything within your power. I've faith you will."

Kai has finished gathering up his papers, the gun tape, and that pen with the little light clipped to the end— which is slid into a pocket of his fatigue jacket, and patted as if to ensure it's safe. After a week off the flight line, his name's finally been scrawled back into the CAP rotation, so it's entirely possible he's off to do a patrol. "Baleh," he murmurs softly, trudging along the rows of chairs on his way to the hatch. He doesn't look up; his eyes stay fixed on the deck in front of him. Just before he steps out, "Mamnoon, Nadiv." Thunk.

"Be safe." Roubani's pen is moving again, the newly descended silence lending itself well to getting lost in work.

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