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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:01 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Production Line Gun Shop
Day 287, 0800 Hours

Kasan Smith had reported to the Libra the evening before, been assigned a bunk, and been given the rules about where civilians on the ship were allowed to go—and where was off-limits. There had been similar limitations on the Necromancer even though the refinery ship was a civilian ship, and he took careful note of Libra’s restricted areas. He’d quickly memorized the maps of the frames he was allowed in, and had no problem finding the Gun Shop production line supervisor’s office at 0800.

As he reached the office, he was joined by a tall, muscled man who was obviously heading the same place. They exchanged nods, then Smith went in first.

“I am Kasan Smith,” he said to the small woman there.

“Joe McCloud,” the other man said.

The two men nodded at each other again, introductions to each other accomplished.

“I’m Chief MacLean, chief of Libra’s deck,” the woman told them. “Normally your civilian supervisor, Jason Wright, would be here, but we’re short staffed and he had to get some emergency work done on night shift. I’ll get you started here today.”

“I thought that the production lines were all civilian,” McCloud commented with interest.

Mac nodded. “Usually,” she agreed with a slight grimace, “but thanks to the cylons, every section is spread thin. I’m doing double duty, helping here on the production lines as well as taking care of all my planes on the deck. I understand you both have weapons experience?”

McCloud shot a glance at Smith, then told Mac, “Yessir, I was rai, raised with hand and long guns, and I wasn’t allowed to shoot them until I could p-prove I could take them apart and put them back together.”

“You’ll be doing a lot of putting together here,” she replied dryly.

She glanced at Smith, and he said, “I have Colonial gunsmithing certification.”

“Oh, excellent,” she nodded, and asked him, “You’re a Scorpian nomad?”

He gave an impassive nod, wondering how she knew.

“Good,” she said with satisfaction, as if his being a nomad counted for more than the gunsmithing certification. He wondered if she’d feel the same if she knew his real purpose for volunteering to work here.

“Come on, I’ll show you what your jobs are,” she led them out of the office and around the corner to the gun shop workstations.

It was an atmosphere vastly different than the noisy, dirty steel rolling mill that Smith was used to on the Necromancer. Here, the workstations were long work tables under gleaming lights, with stools, tool boxes, carts and bins holding parts, all sparkling clean. He and McCloud followed Mac to a station labeled “22B”.

“This is where the guns for the Vipers and Raptors are assembled,” Mac said. “We get the steel from the Necromancer, then it’s machined into parts in Libra’s manufacturing plant. The parts come up here where fine adjustments are made if needed, then the guns are assembled.” She gestured to a monitor above the work table, where an expanded diagram of a gun was displayed. “Some of the assembly can be done by one person, but parts of it need two people, so folks work in teams here.”

Both Smith and McCloud looked around, seeing that other workstations had two people working at each. “Keeps you from… getting bored,” McCloud remarked.

“Oh, yes,” Mac agreed. “Everyone who’s worked here for a while has learned how to put a whole gun together, even if it does need two people to do it.”

Smith studied the diagram on the monitor, and Mac said to him, “Keyboard is under the work surface.” She pulled the monitor controls out on a sliding tray and demonstrated how the diagram could be rotated and the view zoomed in and out.

“It doesn’t seem that difficult,” Smith said.

“It’s difficult enough,” she responded. “It’s not like… cooking a meal. Here you have to get everything exact, follow the tech order, and sometimes the parts don’t fit exactly right.”

For some reason, Smith felt he had to explain, “I meant, it’s not like trying to find out why the weapon isn’t working, and then repair it.”

Mac met his gaze calmly, and she nodded. “We’ll get you moved up to repair after you know how to put them together.” She glanced at McCloud, including him. Both men nodded.

“I can pair you two up with a different team, to start out with, if you want,” Mac said.

Smith looked at McCloud. McCloud shrugged, and said to him, “Whatever you think b-best.”

Smith turned his eyes back to Mac. “We will follow the tech order,” he told her. “If we need help, we’ll ask.”

Mac nodded, unsurprised. “I’ll be around,” she made a vague gesture. “Sam and Colton, on the next station, have been here awhile and they can help, too.”

“Thanks,” McCloud said.

She nodded and strode away.

“That’s one tough wo-woman,” McCloud commented.

“Yes,” Smith agreed. He looked at McCloud thoughtfully. “You have been injured in battle?” he asked.

McCloud grimaced. “Yes,” he said. He rubbed the back of his head gingerly. “I’m from… was… an Oasian. Cylons showed up as the fleet was leave… leaving and I got in the middle of a fight. Got knocked out. Duncan saved my ass, and… here I am.” He regarded Smith. “You’ve been in battle,” he observed.

Smith nodded, but he attention was on McCloud’s earlier words. “Duncan? Major Scott Duncan? You know him?”

“Yes,” McCloud affirmed. “Do y, you know him?”

Smith shook his head. “I have heard of him,” he said, his manner indifferent.

“Let’s get to work,” Joe studied the monitor.

Smith nodded calmly, but his thoughts were far from calm. He knows Scott Duncan. That can be to my advantage.

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:24 am 
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Secretary of State Office
End of report
Day 287 - 0901


"...our military reports a preliminary loss of nearly 500 personnel and more than 900 injured from combat operations against the Cylons. A final report will come today from the office of the Admiralty on a full break down of the dead and injured per ship and per department.

As of this time, we have over 6,500 people from Oasis that we were able to save before the Cylon attack / invasion. This accounts for nearly ten-percent of their population. They are currently spread out over several ships in the fleet.

Some of the smaller ships of the fleet are carrying more people than they were originally built to handle. This has caused some strain on life support and supplies. Along with the Captain's Union, the Office of the President and the Quorum of Twelve are working together to relocate some citizens to other ships.

Additional issues like providing permanent identification, medical assistance, education and other needs are being addressed, as they have been since the start of the Exodus. It is our hope that as we address these issues, this allows the new citizens to more easily adapt to day to day life in the fleet."

//Signed//
Eleni Kyriake
Secretary of State,
Twelve Colonies of Kobol

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"Times change...and so must I." - The Doctor, 'Time of the Doctor'


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:49 am 
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Somewhere in the fleet
Day 287
0902


Quote:
…1041 8401 4522 6768 9055
2401 1071 3458 8159 3277
9999 9999 9999 9999 9999…


"One-time pad message complete, Warlord." Mikayla Winston said as she shut off the small transmitter. "What do you want me to do with this?"

David Bern, leader of what was left of the People Liberation Army, looked at the young woman. "We still have three spare machines spread out in the fleet, correct?"

"All working and well hidden. Also, as long as we have transmitters, I can use a computer via a data port to send pads."

"Hide it well, as you usual do. The military has not spotted us using this method of communications." Bern paused, "Our people still know when to listen for a possible message and are supposed to do so once a day. My message made that apparent."

As he turned to leave the room, Mikayla started to pack the micro-transmitter. "So, we're standing by to fight again, if needed?"

"Yes." The Warlord turned around and looked at his operative, "I ordered everyone to stand down and accept the new orders, not surrender all hope and walk away. The struggle is going into a new phase. If that phase fails, we must always be ready to fight for the struggle."

Ms. Winston shook her head in agreement, "May we succeed, no matter the way...for the revolution."

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"Times change...and so must I." - The Doctor, 'Time of the Doctor'


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Cargo Shuttle en route from Harvest Moon
to Luxury Starliner Nimbus
Day 287, Morning

Theron Kyklades was supremely uncomfortable, but he didn’t really care. He’d successfully accomplished the mission that Toni had sent him on. He’d met with her over a day ago, and done exactly what she’d set him to do: get to the big farm ship, Harvest Moon without being detected, learn how to get around the ship, and return to Nimbus without anyone knowing.

He’d stowed aboard this very cargo shuttle twenty-four hours ago. The crates and containers had been mostly empty on the trip to the Harvest Moon, because the shuttle’s job was to get food from the farm ship and bring it back to Nimbus. Now, on the return trip, he was jammed in the narrow space between tied-down crates because there wasn’t room inside any of them. It wasn’t a long journey, though, and he’d survived many more painful things in his life. At least this time the pain was of his own choosing, for a purpose that would give him personal benefit.

He’d told Toni his real name when she gave him this mission. He hadn’t felt right, not being truthful with her, because she was giving him a job—an important job. He knew his name wasn’t on anyone’s list, not on any passenger manifest, and if by slight chance he did run into someone from Oasis who knew him, he now had a protector. She really cared about him and trusted him.

So he’d gone to the Harvest Moon and spent his twenty-two hours there wisely. He’d learned the layout of the ship, how to get around quickly, and where all the important compartments were. He’d found out where the ship’s captain lived, and where the command center was, and he’d even gotten a glimpse of Captain Kalrk himself. He’d hung out with a couple groups of kids his own age, pretending that he lived there, too, and made some “friends”. He’d eaten a couple of great meals, helped the kitchen crew clean up, and left no lasting impression on anyone.

It had been one of the best things he’d ever done in his life. And as an added bonus, he had four lemons and two limes in his jacket pockets. Citrus fruit was worth more than cubits on the Nimbus!

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:48 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Pilot Training Classroom
Day 287 0600 Hours


As the red numerals of the clock ticked over from 5:59 the hatch to the Libra's pilot training classroom banged open. The first person to enter, a Lieutenant by the collar pips on her dress uniform, wore a scowl as she paused to scan the assembled trainees. Immediately behind her was a tall, light-haired Ensign. His uniform jacket was open, the left sleeve hanging empty where the jacket's shoulder was draped over the sling which held his bandaged left arm.

David Carter jumped to his feet as the two officers appeared and the rest of the trainees followed suit with varying speed. Carter recognized the Ensign as Anthony Allen, the recruiter from Taurus with whom he'd met just three days prior. The sour-faced LT he didn't know, but he'd seen her name on his paperwork. She was the Flight Instructor, Mira Koldeski.

Koldeski strode to the front of the classroom, eyes still boring into the now-standing trainees. For long moments she did not speak. Carter's breath seemed overly loud in the silence, and he began to hold it.

"Ensign Allen," Koldeski growled, "where did you find this sorry collection of pukes?"

"They found us, sir," Allen responded. "They volunteered." Carter glanced aside, catching a hint of amusement on Allen's face.

Koldeski's scowl deepened into a disgusted frown. "Pukes with a death wish, then," she assessed. "I am Lieutenant Koldeski, and the Admiral has charged me with the impossible task of forging you into pilots. Before the cylons came I would have told you that most of you will wash out, but we no longer have that luxury. I will make you into pilots, or I will kill you in the attempt. Now sit your asses down."

David Carter sank into his seat, his attention riveted to Koldeski. He found it hard to judge her age, though he felt certain she was under thirty. She had a round face with a blunt nose and wide-set eyes, her red-brown hair wound into a tight bun atop her head. Describe her in a word, David thought. Harsh.

"You are now in the Combined Fleet of the Twelve Colonies," Koldeski continued. "You have the rank of Midshipman. You are both Pilot Trainees and Officer Candidates. If by some miracle of the gods you survive training, you will be commissioned as Ensigns. From now on you will stand at attention and render a salute to every officer that breathes, for they all out-rank you. You will give respect to all enlisted personnel, for they have earned it. Address them by their rank and stand at parade rest while in their presence."

"You will address me as Lieutenant Koldeski, or as Flight Instructor. You will answer to your name, so long as you can still remember it. You will also answer to Midshipman, trainee, candidate, nugget, puke, magpie, jaybird and any other term of derision with which I may happen to address you."

A stocky trainee in the front row raised his hand. Koldeski responded with a withering stare. "What is it, Herron?" The trainee glanced downward at his utility uniform, at the name tape above his right breast pocket.

"Flight Instructor, when do we get to pick our callsigns?"

"You don't, you mewling little puke. I do. Or your squadron mates will, after you're assigned. Call signs are for pilots, and you're not a pilot yet, not by a long shot." Herron seemed to shrink in his seat, and Carter noticed Koldeski shooting a glance at Ensign Allen. When he followed her gaze he saw that Allen was openly grinning, mouthing a single word at the Lieutenant.

Koldeski grimaced, but there was a trace of humor in the expression. "As Ensign Allen would like to point out, my call sign is 'Divot'. My flight instructor gave me that name because he swore my landing skids were tearing divots out of the steel deck." Koldeski paused, then went on. "Ensign Allen is known as 'Slow Poke', because he's always the last one down in a combat landing. You frak up like that during training, and you'll get tagged with a call sign that won't let you forget it" Again she paused. "You will not address any pilot by their call sign, until you've earned your own."

Koldeski turned, stepping behind the podium at the front of the classroom. "From this point forward, you belong to me. Every moment of your miserable lives will be spent training, both mental and physical. You will not have time to sleep, you will not have time to eat, you will not have time for anything beyond the flight manual and the simulators."

"Carter." David was already focused on Koldeski, but when she spoke his name and focused her gaze onto him he swallowed hard. "I know what you're thinking, nugget. You're wrong, you don't know how to fly. Those six years you spent in that wind-up toy you called a plane are going to be a handicap here. You have a lot to unlearn, so consider yourself behind all of your classmates, already."

"Yes, Flight Instructor," Carter responded, nodding. He didn't believe her, though. How could being an experienced pilot count against him here? Hell, he'd even seen combat, of a sort, going up against a dragon with the wing-mounted gun on his light plane. Once, he reminded himself. That was only once, and probably doesn't count for anything. He sat up straighter in his seat, realizing he'd missed something Koldeski had said. She was passing out manuals, and Allen was laughing as he assisted her with his good arm.

When she finished, Koldeski returned to the front of the classroom. She regarded the trainees for a moment, her expression not a smile but yet not the scowl she'd worn thus far. "Take a deep breath, nuggets," she said, her voice softening slightly. "Welcome to pilot training aboard the Battlestar Libra."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:12 pm 
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Agroship Demeter
Day 287
0745


Captain Inga Mueller walked into the shuttle bay to welcome the visiting Raptor from Taurus. As she strode across the bay, a half dozen engineering techs made their way out of the cramped craft. The last to exit was Major Lane Azmos. He quickly made eye contact with Inga and smiled, "Good morning, Captain. Are you ready for us to crawl around your ship?"

"Demeter is ready for your review. My lead engineer is waiting for you in the forward FTL drive collar." Inga smiled. "We're also readying some extra places for your team for lunch."

"Well, then... I guess we need to make sure this takes as long as possible then and maybe stay for dinner?" Azmos laughed. "It's not often we get to eat something that has flavor and quality."

"We do aim to make things as comfortable as possible, Major."

As the two talked, the other engineers made their way towards the hatch. Azmos looked at the officer leading the way, "This is LT Galway, she's my assistant for this inspection."

"Abi Galway, ma'am," Azmos' assistant greeted Inga. "I was FTL maintenance department head on Intrepid, before transferring to the Bull."

"It's nice to meet you." Inga said, nodding. "My engineering specialist is eager for you to start. Please follow me."

After making their way into engineering and getting a rundown of issues from Rosa Thorne-Schmidt, Maj. Azmos looked at his team, "Specialist Morgan and I will go over the controllers and everything up to the transmission inversion unit. LT Galway, you take everyone else and check the FTL systems downstream from the TIU."

"Major, I'd like Thorne-Schmidt to accompany my group, sir." Galway nodded to Rosa, then returned her gaze to Major Azmos.

"No problem at all" Azmos said. "If we have any question, we'll call you or ask one of the other engineers here. Lets get to work."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:19 pm 
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Thorny led LT Galway and two other Taurus engineers aft via the Demeter's dorsal accessway, a square tube that ran the length of the freighter with pressure doors at each end as well as amidships, where it intersected the ship's communications rig. Piping adorned both sides and a wire raceway ran overhead, but the passage was still large enough for two people to walk abreast. When the group emerged from the pressure door into the aft drive collar, Thorny gestured to a small platform across a short catwalk. LT Galway noted a large open space below, reached via a ladderwell just beside them.

"Monitoring station for the aft torus is there," Thorny explained, gesturing to the platform. "The auxiliary drive control station is below, on the main deck."

Galway motioned one of the engineers across the catwalk, then descended the ladder. Thorny and the other engineer followed. LT Galway was standing at the control station when Thorny joined her. Galway's eyes roamed the compartment, taking in everything. Arching overhead was what appeared to be a pipe more than two-feet in diameter and ringed with dozens of electromagnetic coils. Flanges ran along its perimeter, inner and outer, and encircled it at two points forty-five degrees up from the deck. Every flange was populated by a closely spaced series of bolts. This was the aft drive torus, and Galway knew that beneath the deck upon which they stood the circle was completed. Within the torus, hanging in magnetic suspension and in total vacuum, were two superconducting alloy rings. The drive accelerated these, counter-rotating, until their difference in velocity reached light speed. Then an electric charge was applied to the fore and aft tori simultaneously, creating the FTL jump envelope.

"All the FTL controls from the bridge are duplicated here," Thorny stated, receiving a nod from Galway. The Lieutenant ran her fingertips across a tarnished plaque riveted to the control station. It read 'SANGER CARAVEL MODEL TWO'.

"She's a beauty, Rosa."

"Can we fix her, though?" the Demeter engineer asked.

"Up to a point," Galway replied. "We can't open up a torus..." The Lieutenant grimaced, then corrected herself. "Well, of course we could open one, but we couldn't reassemble it. There's no equipment in the fleet that could recreate the vacuum, even if we reassembled it outside, in space. And anything less than a perfect vacuum would be catastrophic."

Thorne-Schmidt nodded acceptance. "Beyond that, though?"

"We can improve your spin-up time, for certain," Galway said, her smile sympathetic. "What other issues have you experienced?"


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:24 pm 
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Agroship Demeter
Day 287
1138


Maj. Azmos, Lt. Galway and Rosa made their way from engineering to the bridge. When they entered, Inga felt the uneasiness of the group, "What's wrong... what did you find?"

The Major looked at Inga trying not to show too much concern, "Demeter may have a bigger issue than its spool time, Captain. Lt. Galway, please?"

"She's a fine ship, ma'am," Galway began, her tone apologetic. "I reviewed her registry entry before coming over. Demeter has been in service almost thirty-five years, and her life-expectancy would be at least forty... under normal circumstances. Since the cylon attacks, though, circumstances have hardly been normal."

"Nothing has been normal since we started running. What's the prognosis?" Inga glanced over to Rosa as she spoke with heightened concern in her voice.

Rosa Thorne-Schmidt met her commander's gaze with sympathetic eyes. "The Lieutenant says we can improve the spooling time by improving conductivity in the angular accelerator. We'll have to custom build new induction coils, and it will take at least a month, but it's within the fleet's capabilities."

LT Galway nodded, then glanced at Major Azmos. Returning her focus to Inga Mueller, she said, "I'm more concerned, though, about the condition of the ship as a whole. FTL jumps stress the entire vessel - hull, spaceframe and field generators alike. Running from the cylons, we've been jumping far more frequently than this ship's designers ever imagined we would. Given Demeter's age... I'm concerned about the possibility of a catastrophic structural failure."

Inga didn't want to believe what she was hearing as she looked at the trio, "Are you sure?"

"When I looked at everything as a whole, what I saw raised questions in my mind. When Lt. Galway was going through things, it raised red flags... several red flags. I trust her implicitly and her training, ma'am... she specializes in this."

Inga looked at Rosa and saw that she was in agreement with the Taurus engineers without a word being said. "So Major, what is next?"

"I'd like to get a team from Titan in here to take a look." Azmos said. "They have the equipment and a process they can go through."

"We need to scan the containment torus in each drive collar to check for metal fatigue. The same should be done for the hull and spaceframe." LT Galway fixed Inga's gaze with her own, conveying the gravity of her next words. "There's no way for us to scan everything, and a lot of the critical areas will have to be done EVA, so something could still slip by us."

Inga drew a deep breath, "Okay, how long will that take?"

"Once they get here and can go through their process... half a day to a day to go in-depth." The Major said. He glanced at Galway to make sure he hadn't missed anything before continuing. "There is one other thing: I want to hook you up to the fleet tug until that check is done... as a precaution, of course."

Rosa bunched her eyebrows, then voiced a question. "How will that help? We wouldn't be using our jump engines, but we'd still be jumping."

"It would still stress the ship, you're right," LT Galway admitted. "But the stress of riding in another vessel's FTL envelope is lower."

"It makes sense... this lets the tug take most of the strain. I can get my folks to start their pre-docking routine." Inga said with a hint of resignation.

"If I can borrow your wireless for a few minutes, I'd like to call over to Titan and let Col. Trafford and his team know about what's going on and get the clearance to get you docked."

"Of course, Major..."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:43 pm 
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Agricultural Research Station Harvest Moon
Sub-Level C
Day 287 1145 Hours


Dexter Coburn stood in the containment room for the Harvest Moon's power reactor, and he felt small. He was shorter than most men, and a bit on the stocky side, but the 50-meter depth of the station's sub-levels and the towering cylindrical reactor vessel heightened his awareness of his size. The Harvest Moon had four power reactors known as LiFTR's - Liquid Fluoride Tylium Reactors. They used a molten tylium salt as both fuel and primary coolant. A secondary coolant loop of pressurized water drove the station's generators as well as providing heated air.

Coburn had zero experience with closed reactor systems when he'd transferred from the Grandeur, where he'd been the Second Assistant Chief Engineer. The ring liner used reactive liquid tylium as fuel, as did most of the ships in the fleet, but propulsion was achieved by an open chamber that vented reaction mass. Coburn had come to the Harvest Moon nearly nine months ago, as Kalrk assembled a crew for the derelict station, and he'd been studying the reactors ever since. The technology still daunted him.

Vibration in the deck plating was the first signal to Dex that something was wrong. The machinery of the power reactor always hummed - there were coolant pumps and electrical generators and huge air fans that all lent their particular frequencies to the background noise of the sub-level. But this vibration was violent, off-key and building to a crescendo. A warning light began pulsing on the control board, and Dex sprinted across the intervening open space as the reactor technician called out a warning.

"Primary coolant pump failure!"

Dex scanned the status board, standing just behind and to one side from the technician. Indicator lights shifted as the molten tylium salt flow was diverted to a brace of secondary pumps, but then the board lit up red as two of the pumps failed to initialize. "Secondaries one and three are no-starts," the technician called out. On the status board a monitor displayed the reactor core, color coded by temperature gradients. The center was already blazing red, and the hot spot was growing rapidly.

The technician turned to look at Dex, his expression grave. "She should have scrammed," he said. "The moderator rods are gonna warp."

Dex looked across the board. A matrix of graphite rods within the reactor were used to absorb neutrons and thereby control the reaction rate. They had been ramping up the reactor output today, pulling the control rods back to increase power production. A SCRAM - setting control rods at maximum - would have rapidly inserted the rods all the way into the core, absorbing nearly all the free neutrons and idling the reactor. The SCRAM light was on, but beside it the rod position indicator still read 15%.

Dex slammed his hand down on the big red button beside the light and the position indicator rapidly dialed up to read 100%. On the monitor the hot spot began to slowly fade. The technician gave Dex a relieved look, an expression that the Chief Engineer reflected.

Pulling out the slim wireless transmitter he carried on his belt, Dex checked his channel and then keyed the mic. "Operations, this is Coburn. We just lost the Number Four reactor."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:37 pm 
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Agricultural Research Station Harvest Moon
Deck 3 - Operations Center
Day 287 1205 Hours


Captain Matthew Leon Williams stood at the power distribution control station in the Harvest Moon's operations center, frowning at the gauges and indicator lights. The ag station was a power-hungry beast and her appetite had recently surged with the addition of Oasian refugees. Twenty minutes ago his chief engineer had reported that the Moon's number four power reactor had been shut down, just as it was throttled up to handle the increased load.

Under normal circumstances that might not have been a problem. But on the run from the cylons, with few spare parts and limited fabrication capability, it could prove to be a crippling blow. When the Harvest Moon was found eight-and-a-half months back, it had been a derelict station with no crew. Three of its power reactors had been idled, but the number one reactor had been left to operate at 25% capacity. Without technicians to monitor the fission process the reactor had become "poisoned", producing too much of a xenon isotope which absorbed neutrons. That had two deleterious effects: it curtailed the nuclear reaction, and as the xenon underwent decay there was a build up of cesium in the core. When the Moon was found, reactor number one had been reduced to less than 5% output. The cesium, a long-lived fission product, prevented the reactor from being restarted.

Dex Coburn entered the operations center, his eyes immediately seeking out Captain Williams. As he crossed the room, Dex noted the glances from the crew who monitored every facet of the station's condition. Each face told the same tale. They fear the bad news I bring, he thought.

"Captain." Dex greeted the grizzled Harvest Moon commander, who had noted his approach. Williams nodded acknowledgement and the chief engineer promptly continued. "We're running number two at 90% and number three at 95%, and that is meeting our demand."

"So we can get another 15% output from the two remaining reactors, if we need it?" Williams asked.

Dex shook his head. "The number two reactor has dropped below the break-even point as a breeder. The concentration of fissionable material in its fuel is now decreasing. The current output level is all we're gonna get out of her, and that level is going to continue to decrease." Dex paused for a moment as Captain Williams took in this information, nodding his head slowly. "Design specs say we can run number three at up to 105%," Dex went on. "I don't want to, though," he added.

"What is the status of number four?"

"The primary coolant pump is fubar," Dex said, scowling. "The secondaries were only meant to allow a controlled shut-down. We might be able to operate at about 20%, short term, once we get all four secondaries operating. When I say short-term, I mean 30 days, tops."

Captain Williams gave an audible sigh. "Can we repair the primary?" he prompted Coburn.

Dex shook his head again. "We don't know the extent of the damage yet, but it's unlikely we could make repairs - the impeller and pump housing are contaminated with fission products." The engineer paused for a moment, clearly pursuing his thoughts. "Whether we could manufacture a replacement is an unknown," he admitted after a moment. "I'm fairly certain that machining an identical unit is beyond the fleet's capabilities. Designing and building a workable alternate... " Dex shrugged. "That's a question we'd have to put to the military."

"We wrote off cleaning and refueling number one during the salvage," Williams said, thinking aloud. "Perhaps we need to reconsider that, for the long term. Meanwhile, I'll contact Libra and ask about the pump."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 3:44 pm 
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Agricultural Research Station Harvest Moon
Kalrk's outer office
Day 287 1300 Hours


Captain Williams had notified Kalrk's office immediately after his discussion with Coburn and then contacted the Libra. He'd spoken to Lieutenant Ilithya Carlin, who among her other duties served as liaison officer to the civilian ships. Carlin has assured him that the Harvest Moon's troubles would be assigned a high priority, but Williams had only managed to get a commitment that one of the command officers would contact him in return. He sensed that Carlin's handling of his situation was laced with more than the usual sophistry he'd become accustomed to from the military, and he pressed the matter - until he became convinced that the public affairs officer was not going to yield.

After that he had sought an audience with Kalrk. He'd planned to do so anyway, to apprise Kalrk of the reactor situation as was his duty. Williams shared Kalrk's skepticism regarding the military, and was certain that the Harvest Moon's keeper would want to know of his suspicions regarding Carlin's evasiveness as well. Not wanting to overplay his hand with the sometimes testy businessman, Williams had related the situation as urgent but not dire. The result was an appointment right after Kalrk's lunch.

Williams brought the Chief Engineer with him, knowing that it would be better to have Coburn answer Kalrk's technical questions. As he stood in the passageway and allowed the clock to tick down to 1300 hours, Rebekah Wayton arrived. Though many thought of her as Kalrk's "assistant", harkening back to the Quorum of Twelve campaign, Wayton was actually much more. A well-educated and experienced businesswoman, Wayton served as the Department Coordinator of the Harvest Moon. She was Kalrk's strong right hand, and Williams often mused that she had more power and much more to do than he.

Williams and Coburn followed Wayton into the office. There they found Kalrk standing in front of a wide wall monitor on which he had a number of documents displayed, as well as a cloned readout of the power distribution board in Operations and a schematic of the LiFTR reactor. Kalrk looked over his shoulder upon hearing the trio enter, then resumed reviewing the monitor. When they stopped a short way behind him, he turned to face them. Brief pleasantries were exchanged, after which Karlk requested that the reactor events be recounted. Coburn did the majority of the talking, then Williams related the details of his contact with Carlin. Kalrk frowned at Coburn's assessment of the reactor damage, but the frown grew to a scowl as Williams spoke.

"I will contact Colonel Wilson directly," Kalrk stated, locking his gaze on Williams. "Of all the command officers, he has the most engineering experience. I assure you he will hear us. Meanwhile we must ascertain what we can do for ourselves. We have no spare pumps, I understand, but what of the primary coolant pump on the mothballed Number One reactor?"

Williams deferred to Coburn, nodding to the engineer. Coburn gave a quick nod in return and then faced Kalrk. "The same fission product contaminants that made us decide not to restart the reactor would be present in the pump assembly. Clearing the tylium fluoride fuel from the coolant loop - a hazmat operation in itself - would just be the start. The fission product deposits would have to be removed, and the internal workings of the pump are complex. It might be doable, but it would be dangerous and I can't give you a time estimate beyond saying it wouldn't be quick." Coburn shrugged and shook his head as he finished.

"And you are certain that Number Four's primary coolant pump cannot be repaired?"

"Not absolute, sir, but certain enough. The same people who can tell us if a new pump can be built, can tell us if this one can be fixed."

"Where do we stand on repairing the secondary pumps on Number Four?" Kalrk asked.

"Dex has our best reactor techs working on that right now," Williams replied.

"That will only give us 20% output, and only for a month at most. Plus we'd be operating without a backup," Coburn cautioned.

Rebekah Wayton turned toward the engineer. "What would it take to bring Number Two back to full capacity, Mr. Coburn?"

"Replacing the fuel," the engineer answered. "Necromancer can provide us with that, but the normal refueling procedure involves shutting down the reactor. In our current situation, we don't have another reactor available to assume the load. We'd fall short of our demand by almost 50%."

"Is there another option?" Kalrk asked.

Coburn looked doubtful as he spoke, "We could swap out fuel while we run the reactor, using the pyroprocessor - it removes some of the fission contaminants from the tylium salt on a daily basis. We could drain and replace fuel as it cycled, but it would be a slow process - and the longer we do it the less effective it would become due to the mixing of old and new fuel."

"Clearly there's not going to be a fast fix to this," Captain Williams noted.

"Agreed." Kalrk was silent for a moment while the others watched him intently. When he spoke again, he did so with conviction. "Rebekah, meet with your department heads and see where we can cut power usage. Then prioritize the suggested cuts by the amount of energy saved. See if, for instance, we can reduce the artificial lighting without detriment to our crops."

Wayton nodded, then turned to go.

"Captain Williams, it will be your duty to see where we might add production. Can the refinery provide any waste heat that would drive a generator? Can we draw any power from one of the tugs, or another ship?"

"Aye, sir," Williams responded, giving Kalrk a crisp salute.

"Mr. Coburn, I believe you have a full plate. See to the repairs on those secondary pumps. By then I will have spoken with Colonel Wilson, and I will let you know which course of action we will be taking."

Coburn duplicated Williams salute, then followed the Captain out of the office. Kalrk returned to his perusal of the reactor schematic.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 12:36 pm 
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Catalina - 'The Beach'
Day 287
1308


Russ Ryan, the Executive Producer of My Side, Your Side, sat on the ‘beach’ next to the ‘ocean’ in the huge dome section of the ship. He was trying to enjoy his one day off from the show for the week, but he found he really couldn’t relax the way he wanted to.

Swimming was no longer allowed and the beach area was about to become even more restricted than it already was. It was all in the name of agriculture and feeding the citizens of the fleet.

After Oasis was found, the fleet government ordered that the water filtration system be modified so it would be a good environment for farmable aquatic life. Midway though the fleets’ layover, the filtration and chemical system had been heavily modified. Scientists found a way to get a compatible biome to quickly blossom in the waters. Algee and plant life had been transplanted from the planet as well.

Over the last few days in orbit, the fish started to arrive. Some took well to their new home. Others did not handle the transition so well. About half of the stock had died due to the stress of moving and the differences between their old and new homes.

And when there was a die-off the day before leaving Oasis, it made the entire Catalina stink of dead fish.

Still, what few marine biologists that were left in the universe seemed to be happy with their self-made world and its inhabitants. For them, everything was going ‘swimmingly’ well. Russ didn’t overly care though: he hated the taste of fish and he was losing one of his favorite places to relax in the fleet. Beer was far more to the liking of his palette.

Also, several sections of the beach had been ripped out and replaced with regular soil. Various seeds were beginning to sprout. Once again, the scientists from Discovery had found a way to modify the lighting of the dome to make it more conducive to raise crops.

Access for the general public was going to be restricted at midnight to finish all of the modifications. Eventually, a small section would reopen to the public. There would be no water access and the area that would be open would be cordoned off from the rest of the new farm.

Russ sighed after finish his beer while lounging in one of the few beach chairs that was left. As he looked around, he noticed a young lady approaching. Nice looking babe...maybe I'm about to get lucky?

She stopped at the foot of his lounging chair. She was in a t-shirt, jeans that were rolled up above the ankles and sandals. The lady also wore very dark sunglasses. “Are you Russ Ryan of that ridiculous wireless show?”

“Yeah.” Russ responded flatly. “Overdressed for the beach on its last day…or are you in mourning since you’re wearing all black?”

The woman showed no emotion, “My boss has a letter for you and your blowhards. There is a letter also addressed to the President and Admiral. See that it is delivered to them. My boss will be by to be on your show tomorrow. You’ll know its him after everything in those letters…come to fruition.”

Russ slowly sat up in his chair, “You and your boss don’t produce my show. Who the frak do you think you are and why would I want your…boss…to appear?”

The woman rolled up her sleeve to nearly her elbow. She revealed a black tattoo that Russ knew on sight:

Image

“Now, be a good boy Mr. Ryan and go back to work. You have a lot to do.” The woman rolled down her sleeve. “My boss will be there tomorrow…I’d suggest you block off a lot of time for him. He’ll provide you the proof who he is when he arrives. One last thing.”

Russ was still in shock that there was an actual PLA operative in front of him. His answer came slowly, “Yes?”

“Don’t try to follow me and don’t look at my ass as I walk away. My boyfriend and his buddies are watching you. Do either and you’ll be spending quality time on a hospital ship. Read your letter ONLY and just deliver the others. Good day.”

Russ didn’t even notice the woman walk away as he tore open the letter and read it’s content. Quickly, he stood from his chair and ran towards the archway that lead into the grand hall of the ship.

His next stop would be his suite. The woman was right: Russ had a lot of work to do.

_________________
"Times change...and so must I." - The Doctor, 'Time of the Doctor'


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:04 pm 
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Cylon-occupied Picon
Day 287


When the highway he'd been following crested a small hill, Marcus spotted the first traces of the city. In the distance stood a gas station and convenience store, with what might be a few mobile homes visible just beyond. This road was a minor route, and he'd seen little besides farmland since he'd left the facility where he'd awakened two days before. There had been a scattering of houses which Marcus had considered searching - primarily in hopes of finding a firearm - but each had been far enough from the roadway that he'd skipped them.

The previous night had been spent in an abandoned van. The vehicle had been left on the side of the road, headed opposite Marcus' path. He would have taken it, but the doors had been left open and the interior light had drained the battery. Besides, Marcus had thought, the driver had probably run it out of gas. Still, it had provided shelter and once the doors were closed, a bit of security in the dark. Marcus had slept in the back, stretched out on the cargo space floor.

It was at night that Marcus noticed how dead the world was. In the day, on the country highway, the lack of traffic didn't seem that unusual. At night, though, the lack of lights emphasized that he was alone. No lights burned in the windows of the distant farmhouses, no streetlights blazed at the occasional intersection. No glow rose from the city to dim the stars, instead they shone stark and brilliant, unchallenged by man. In the days before - before the crash, before the hospital - Marcus had experienced the same nights, only in the wilderness they had not seemed so foreign. Now as he drew closer to what had been civilization, the darkness was becoming more and more alien.

Marcus shifted his load on his shoulders. He hoped to reach the city before dark, leaving enough time to seek out a safe place to spend the night. The gas station might have a few things he needed, perhaps some canned food in its store section. He had doubts about whether he'd be willing to sleep in one of the trailers, but given the sort of folk who tended to live in such housing perhaps he could find a gun.

And he wanted a map. He still didn't know precisely where he was, though he had an idea. The few signs he'd seen beside the roadway had been speed limits and curve warnings. He didn't even know its route number. The intersection ahead might provide that information, and the gas station should have a map.

Marcus picked up his pace a bit. He had miles to go, and darkness was coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:06 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Pilot Training Classroom
Day 287 1315 Hours


The nuggets had spent an hour listening to Koldeski outline the weeks of training ahead, liberally interspersed with her continued assessment that none of them would survive to earn their wings. After that had come five long hours of reading manuals. Ensign Allen would enter the classroom at the top of each hour and inform them of what page they should have reached - he called them checkpoints - and then verbally quiz them on the key ideas. David Carter had found the pace demanding but doable, and thus far hadn't missed any questions.

He was hungry, though. His 5:00 am breakfast had been far too long ago, so when a couple of non-coms arrived from the mess deck with trays of food he was relieved. Carter wasn't sure if the odor emanating from the cart was actually appealing, but his stomach reacted with an immediate growl that he was certain was heard three decks up. The growl became a knot when Flight Instructor Koldeski strode in.

"Alright, jaybirds," she began immediately, "we don't have time to go to mess but the Admiral insists I still have to let you eat, so here it is." Several of the trainees began to rise as she spoke, and Koldeski quickly scolded them back. "You'll get a tray when I say to get one, nuggets," she barked. She looked around the compartment, her eyes settling on David Carter.

"Carter!" Koldeski called out, and David stood, coming to attention. "What are the five C's of a missed approach?"

"Lieutenant Koldeski," Carter acknowledged, then proceeded with a reasonable amount of confidence. "Cram the throttle, clear the flight pod, clean up your flight profile, cool down to pattern speed and call Flight Control." Carter was sure his answer was right, but still he waited for Koldeski's response.

"You talk too much, Carter," Koldeski assessed. "Cram it, clear it, clean it up, cool it and call it in. Go get yourself something to eat." Carter scowled inwardly at the criticism, despite his correct answer, but he hid it and scrambled to get his food. Meanwhile Koldeski had selected her next target.

"Golightly! What does I'M SAFE mean?"

The nugget which Koldeski had questioned was a slender woman with sandy blonde, short-cropped hair. Carter met her eyes as he returned with his tray and gave her a nod of encouragement. "Those are the six personal factors which may ground a pilot, Flight Instructor," Golightly began. "Illness, medication, stress..." she continued, ticking each one off on her fingers. "...alcohol, fatigue and emotion."

Koldeski grimaced. "You can count on your fingers, Golightly. That's encouraging," Koldeski said, her tone heavy with sarcasm. "Go eat, nugget," she added, her eyes already seeking her next victim.

As the next nugget struggled to recall the final check items for a catapult launch, Golightly set her tray down across from Carter and began to eat. Between bites she managed to speak. "You think she's always that cross?"

"An act mostly, I figure," Carter replied, then frowned as he concentrated on Golightly's face. "You from the world?"

Golightly nodded, her lips pursed for a moment as a look of regret crossed her features. "Town, North Street," she explained. "My folk were Academics." She seemed about to say more, but took a bite instead as she struggled to keep her emotions in check.

"My folk are Ranchers." David was careful not to emphasize his choice of tense - he assumed that since she had chosen to say "were", that her family had been left behind or killed. It was really all the same, now. "Golightly," he said, reading the name tape from her uniform shirt. "Your father was a professor at University?"

"He taught physics and mathematics," she said, nodding. Pausing for a moment while David drank, she asked, "Did your folk flee the world too?"

Carter gave a wan smile as he set his cup down. "Some of them," he answered. "My sisters, my cousin, my aunt... the rest stayed behind."

She read the question in his eyes, but paused a moment before answering. "We planned to stay, but after the hospital was destroyed Father sent me to the camp. He was going to get Mother. I don't think they made it - it's been a week. I've asked, and the Colonials are checking..." She shrugged helplessly.

"Is that why you're doing this?" Carter asked, casting his eyes about the compartment to show he meant flight training.

Golightly responded with a look of consternation. "Heavens, no, if you're asking if I have a death wish. But I have to do something, and I've only completed my second year toward a teaching degree." She shrugged, adding, "Plus I have good reflexes."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:26 pm 
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Wireless transmission
Libra / Harvest Moon
Day 287 1311 Hours


In the Battlestar Libra's CIC the communications officer announced an incoming transmission. "Representative Kalrk for you, Colonel Wilson. Encrypted channel, sir."

Wilson raised an eyebrow at what he considered to be the Quorum member's overcautious nature. "At the plot table," he directed. When the comms officer nodded, Wilson picked up a handset. "Kalrk," he began, "You're calling about your busted reactor pump?"

[I am, Colonel. You have been briefed, following Captain William's earlier contact?]

"Lieutenant Carlin brought it to my attention as a priority item about an hour ago. I have Colonel Trafford looking into the possibility of repairing the damaged pump or fabricating another. He will likely be in contact with you shortly."

[Thank you, Colonel. In the meantime we should discuss other possible alternatives.]

"Agreed." Wilson nodded slightly as he spoke, though the wireless call was audio-only. He had been considering the Harvest Moon's troubles since the briefing from Carlin, but the reactor pump replacement wasn't the only priority item demanding his attention currently. "A fuel pump from one of the smaller vessels, say one of the InterSun liners, might be able to be mated to your reactor. Reactive liquid tylium fuel has properties similar the the LiFT salt reactor fuel. What I am concerned about, though, is the operating temperature. The pumps for a tylium thrust-mass engine weren't designed to operate at the extreme temperatures found in a reactor primary coolant loop."

[Understood, Colonel. I thought that might be the case.]

"You should understand this, too, Captain Kalrk," Wilson continued. "Colonel Trafford wants to confer with his fabrication people before saying for certain, but both he and I are doubtful about repairing that pump or fabricating a new one - aboard the Titan or anywhere else in the fleet."

[I see,] Kalrk replied, and Wilson thought he could hear a trace of frustration creeping into Kalrk's voice. [That leaves us with cannibalizing the poisoned Number One reactor.]

"It would seem that is our best option," Wilson agreed, reluctance clear in his voice. "I will contact Captain Ekkers and have him bring the Necromancer alongside Harvest Moon. "

[Thank you, Colonel.]

"Aye," Wilson responded, his mind already turning to other problems. "Oh, Captain Kalrk, I know it will be slow going, but keep me informed."

[I will. Kalrk out.]


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