Viper Maintenance

Persephone Arrius, , Lieutenant J.G. Ayesha Myers, , Lieutenant J.G. Brent Rivers, Ensign Ryan Kelpor, Major Jonathan Kilmartin and Major Catherine Wolf
Viper Hanger on mission day 1 at 1401 hours

Persephone entered the bay and approached one of the Viper Mk. 7’s. She pulled back the canopy and climbed into it, trying to power the Viper up; Nothing. “Well this is a frakking Caprican tragedy.” The doctor, who appeared to be like your average civilian then climbed out and began to open up panels and access ports on the viper. Equipment began to appear nearby this particular viper. Her fingers typed on an interface console she had attached to the viper’s systems. “Wait… wow you are a vicious piece of code aren’t you. Time to take you apart you little piece of…” She typed some more. “You… Piece of Felgercarb.”

From a relatively safe distance, the Deck Chief and three Knuckledraggers watched the scientist at work having been ordered to give her full leave by the CAG and at the behest of the Commander. That didn’t stop them moaning about the mess she was making though.

The Chief shook his head slowly as he glared at her. “I swear to the gods, if she makes anymore mess…”

“You’ll do what, exactly?”

The three enlisted people spun on their heels to come face to face with the commander of the Air Group who looked at them disapprovingly. “That mess you Knuckledraggers are referring to may just help her get more of our ships into the fight and help bring more people home. Got it?” Sunbeam neglected to wait around for the response and pushed past the crewmen and made a beeline for the civilian who was hard at work. He came to a halt just as an unknown piece of equipment was tossed to the decking and landed at his feet. “You know, every part you take out, I have to get someone to put back again…” he smirked as he called out in the woman’s direction.

“Then they can stop bitching like little fraks and help out. Because this is going to keep us alive. That being said time is a luxury we do not have at the moment.” She pulled out from under the Viper and began to jot down notes on a nearby whiteboard. “So it is CNP… But why… CNP had military grade firewalls and anti-malware… So…” She began to pace for a moment as she spoke to herself. “So, if I was a Cylon… And I wanted to bring down the whole of the fleet…”

[A few bays down]

Ranulf was on his way to his bunk, he had come here to check on his Viper to make sure it was combat ready and green listed to launch.  He was tired after an early morning CAP, his first real combat.  All the information overload, all bad, he had then flown with Bargain on a recon/SAR mission.  So his brain was fried.  No telling when he might need to go out again so he decided to just shower, change and sleep till his next task was set.  He was walking past the Type VII vipers and saw a tech crew setting up a computer diagnostic?  He had spoke to many pilots today and listened in on several conversations.  He stepped over “Hey fellas?  That diagnostic is going to read perfect would be my guess.  Everyone I listened to said the Vipers behaved perfectly till they went to live combat.  Maybe you should tackle the A.I. directly with a live combat scenario and see how it reacts?”  Ranulf shrugged “I would suggest disconnecting the weapons systems first though, just in case.”

An older Tech snarled “Frak, just what we need some frakking nugget telling us our business!”  He tossed a wrench at Ranulf, more as a ‘go away’ sort of thing then an actual attack.  Ranulf had excellent eye to hand coordination and years of martial arts training, since he was a kid.  He leaned to the side and caught the wrench.  It was rather easy, they had practiced with real knives back home!  He stepped forward and righted the wrench in his hand so it was handle first.  “No disrespect intended, just trying to help.”  The older Tech’s expression softened as he accepted the wrench back.  “Sorry Ensign, I know you guys had it rough today, just like all of us have.  Your idea was not all that bad either.”  Ranulf smiled “Luck to you fellas, we need you to keep us flying.  Right now everyone really needs us flying..  That circle of life thing?”  He nodded “I best get out of your way.”

He started walking away and heard the older Tech’s gruff voice “you heard the Warrior, disconnect the frakking weapons and lets trick the A.I. into thinking it is a real combat situation!”  Ranuld smiled, he hoped that was not a dead end.  Those guys had no time to chase red herrings.  He saw the CAG, and a woman’s legs?  He stopped by the techs watching.  The pile of parts scattered across the bay and the shapely legs..  Then he heard her voice and smiled “Hiya Doctor Arrius.  You know those parts come out easier if you use the right tools?  If you handed the parts out to these gentlemen here it would make rebuilding the Viper easier to, I would think?”   He saluted the CAG when the officer glanced in his direction.

“It’s in the CNP, Ranulf… As impossible as it seems. It got through the military network security. But what I can’t figure out was how.” Persephone paced some more. “A Direct cyber attack outside the network would have lit up Caprica HQ’s cyber-defense command.” Persephone began writing on the nearby whiteboard. “Could it have been an inside job?”

“What if Caprica HQ wasn’t there to get lit up?” Sunbeam questioned, his arms folded across his chest as he thought out loud. “We know that Caprica was the first of the colonies to get hit. If I was a Cylon and I wanted to wage techno warfare against the Colonies, I’d start by taking out warning systems,” he told, not bothered if the scientist wanted his opinion or not.

“Then someone posed as Caprica HQ and updated CNP…. But that would have been impossible without…. Without an authorized user….” Persephone mentioned. “Gaius…. you son-of-a-frak. I knew CNP wasn’t ready, but you pushed it out anyway.” Persephone removed the digital transmitter. “There’s a fail-safe installed in these new vipers. It’s a holdover from the Mk. 6. due to a incompatibility between both vipers. A quick downgrade patch was installed. If I can trigger it….” She crawled under the viper, once again, in a position where her legs could be admired.

Ranulf was not one to shy away from speaking his mind.  Even if he did sound dumb at times.  He was also not quite distracted by her great legs enough to not speak.  “Say, Doctor Arrius; I have heard programmers often put a back door on complicated programs so they can bypass the security?  What chance is there that backdoor was left in place and someone learned of it?”  Ranulf was sure it was something vastly more complicated then that but then he did not really know how complicated hiding or finding a backdoor might be.

The CAG, however, was distracted by her legs and her petite frame. It never hurt to have attractive women around and, since he was in a position of command, he’d never look at his pilots or co-workers in such a way. But a civilian? Hell yes. The Ensign’s comment, however, distracted him and he looked at the youngster with frustration. Couldn’t he see that he was having a moments peace for a few seconds? This was potentially the end of humanity! They would need to repop… He shook his head and quickly put all such thoughts on the back burner as he awaited the womans response.

“I wonder….” Persephone put the viper into user mode and typed in one of Gaius’ passwords. “Gaius Baltar had an obsession with two things; Blondes and Himself. He became so predictable I started to figure things out about him.” She pushed the enter key and the backdoor responded. She then ran the downgrade patch. The Viper lit up suddenly.” Alright gentlemen.. Good news, and bad news. “Good news is I tricked the Mark 7 into thinking it was a Mark 6. You’ll get the same functionality… except CNP.”

Sunbeam couldn’t help but marvel at the woman’s almost instant display of technological sorcery. She had managed to do something he had assumed would take the Knuckledraggers ages to do and she did it in no time at all. “Excellent work Doctor. Excellent indeed,” he gave her a nod of appreciation. “So, now we get this done to all the mark sevens?” he then enquired as he looked about the hangar bay at the mass of derelict vipers sitting, rotting.

Arrius nodded and wrote the procedure on a white board. “Hey Knuckle-draggers. Get your frakking asses over here.” She flipped the board around. “This is what needs to be done, snap to it.”

She gestured Ranulf and the CAG towards a maintenance closet.

Jonny nodded and gave his own gesture to the youngster to follow, no idea what the woman would be telling them.

Ranulf was still trying to understand if she had already fixed the problem for the typeVII Vipers?  He followed at a discreet distance as he was not even sure he should be in a meeting like this.  Still the Captain had not dismissed him, in fact he had signaled for him to follow.  He had a sinking feeling he was in way over his head.  Still it was always nice to watch Perssephone walk.

“Okay Gentlemen.” Persephone noted. “Gaius Baltar has just become the most infamous traitor and mass-murderer in our race’s history. His access codes were all over that CNP update.”

“Woah! Okay,” Sunbeam threw his arms up in the air to stop the woman in her tracks. “Talk like this needs to be shared with the Commander, not two viper jocks. I suggest you see him and, if Baltar is alive, we can try and track him down and deal with it. But I can tell you now, the Commander will want all the proof you can give him. Military types always do,” the CAG told, a much more focused and grim look about him.

Oh snap!  This was way over his head!  “Say Doc Arrius if you think you fixed the problem?”  He faced the Captain “Ahh, Sir being one of the least among the pilots here, I volunteer to test fly the typeVII.  You know see if it works when we face the Cylons.”  He glanced at Persephone “I trust the Doc here.”  Ranulf felt staying focused on thing within his pay grade was the best, maybe the only way to deal with this information.

Persephone nodded. “Which is why we need a lid on this now, Captain. People are going to start looking for someone to blame when they should be working together to survive. You Gentlemen will be the only other people who will know my suspicions on Baltar except myself, the Commander, and the Major. Keep the scuttlebutt to the minimum. Baltar may be dead, but I don’t think he acted alone…” She turned to leave. “Keep a tight lid on this gentlemen.”


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