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Topic: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis (Read 5068 times) previous topic - next topic
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Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis


STARDATE 57644.52
APRIL 14, 2381
1400 HRS

[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee @chXinya

Alone, Fisher rode a turbolift down from the Central Intelligence Suite on Deck 05, consulting the initial requisition order he’d put in with the engineering department just two days earlier; and he couldn’t help but be impressed by how quickly the turn-around had been. He’d expected the project to take at least two weeks, but clearly someone in engineering had taken a keen interest in it and had put in the hours necessary to complete it well before that time-table had expired. Granted, the renovation of Theurgy’s only surviving Mk I Tovarek-class FTR Drone; turning it into something that would serve a new multi-faceted purpose as an extended loiter and oversight craft for field operations, wasn’t exactly a mountain in terms of challenges. Then again, the reports on said sole-survivor had indicated an exceedingly high level of disrepair and remnant damage sustained during previous missions, so perhaps the task was greater than Fisher had credited.

A minute later the turbolift came to a halt on Deck 16, and Fisher stepped out into a corridor that led to the main Fighter Assault Bay. Passing by the various officers and crewman that had been assigned to maintenance duty of the Lone Wolves and their warpfighters, he offered a few polite nods, though he knew they likely had no clue who he was, or what he was doing there.

His own experiences aboard the USS Diamondback had prepared him a little for the hectic atmosphere that was a fighter deck, but this enormous cavernous space put the much tighter confines of the Akira-class fighter bays to shame. Unable to contain his amazement, Fisher simply offered a sharp whistle as he began walking along the starboard side of the bay, as a flurry of activity was unfolding around him. Some pilots were climbing into their craft, while yet others hurried out of them, having completed whatever sorties they’d been assigned. There were dozens of crewman huddled around a number of the Valkyries, spread out among the many numbered fighter bays, working to repair or inspect the craft, determined to keep them in tip-top shape for the time when a call would come.

And it would.

“Excuse me!” Fisher hollered out to a yellow jump-suited crewman as he was hurrying by, stealing away his attention for a few seconds. “Can you point me to maintenance bay two?” With a simple jerk of his thumb, the crewman motioned over his right shoulder in the apparent direction, which ran further down the starboard side of the bay. He then ran to catch up with his fellows as they went about their business. There was no time or space reserved for sharing pleasantries, or for standing on formality, despite Fisher’s relatively high rank; in this facility, when it was this active, to devote attention to rather trivial matters could spell disaster. In a way, Fisher had kind of liked the feel of it. There was a pragmatic approach to everything going on around him, that was rather refreshing. After all, his job was often so full of convolutions it was hard for even him to keep a tally of what mattered.

As he drew nearer to a massive closed hangar bay door, marked with an M2 outside of it, he figured he’d made it to the right place.

The morning had started on a rather mundane note but had quickly turned exciting when he received the notification from Lieutenant Arnold, the Assistant Chief Engineer, that quote ‘Intel’s New Toy’ was ready for inspection. He’d then forwarded the update to PWO Ravenholm, as many of the new specifications had come via her diligent input. In fact, the entirety of the sensor and communications suite built into the drone had been overhauled, increasing the control capability, while decreasing interstellar lag-time. He’d asked her to join him at 1400 to check in on the project in person. Through a side door, he stepped into Maintenance Bay 02, and heard the echo of his boots against the deck-plating reverberate back at him. The sudden shift from loud activity just outside, to an environment so quiet you could hear your own bootsteps, spoke to the efficiency of the sound dampeners. It was nice, he thought, and it probably helped maintenance crews work without the distraction of all the noise just beyond the big hangar door.

“Lieutenant Arnold?” Fisher stepped further inside, looking about to see if the man was somewhere in the vicinity. Like Fisher, he had come under order from Admiral Anderson to Theurgy as part of a retinue of Officers sent to reinforce it.

Immediately Fisher took stock of what he assumed was his Tovarek Drone, hiding under a heavy cloth tarp. Whether it’d been covered to keep prying eyes at bay, or as a more ceremonial gesture he couldn’t be sure of. However, if indeed the man had delivered on all of the requested additions, and alterations to the drone, then Fisher would need to source a personal thanks of some kind. As such, he wondered for a moment if the man had an appreciation of whisky, then made a mental note to look into it later on.

“Lieutenant?” he probed into the relative silence.

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #1
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Maintenance Bay 2 | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift @chXinya 
Now this, this was a project! Never mind he hadn't slept in two days, except for in the corner of the bay on one occasion when he got just a bit too sleepy. No, just two days ago, or was it one, or three, who knew, just some number of days ago, Frank had been bothering Ji about working on fighters when they needed more people in the bay. Like a gift from heaven, he'd gotten a request to work on something special. He'd coined it 'Intel's New Toy', but this was way better than converting the flag bridge, and running conduit for a new secret panel. Maybe the chief diplomat had put in a word for him, no, this had moved too fast for diplomatic channels.

He'd mostly stayed out of the way down here, only borrowing a service jumpsuit, and a few lines of flux core. Admittedly he'd stuck his hands in a Valkyrie's cowlings just once, until he'd been chased away like a schoolboy on a panty raid. He'd come back to Maintenance Bay 2, giddy, and full of inspiration.

Either way, now he was belly up atop a grav-sled underneath a Tovarek Drone, well, the only Tovarek drone left aboard the Theurgy now, although after its modifications, perhaps Arnold Drone was more appropriate. No, that was just fatigue and black coffee fueled arrogance. Fisher had come to him and told him what the thing needed to do, provide oversight for super secret spooky intelligence missions. Have a payload that could be dropped on any uncooperative Klingon or Breen, provide supplies to the ground, be a communications buoy without broadcasting its position to the whole universe, and provide site to site transports.

It had been a mess when Frank started on it, with a small team of course, mostly design people, and a few hands on guys, but Frank had shoo'd a lot of them away really quickly. Small teams were better on stuff like this. He'd been given a two week deadline, and some of his people wanted to actually /use/ the whole two weeks? Ridiculous, a couple had bowed out when he'd given out the 18 hour shift schedule, that hadn't gone over well. But with the dedicated work of a few people around him, eventually dwindling to just Frank and a very dedicated Andorian petty officer, they'd put the old girl back together. The torpedo tube had been practically hanging off, but that's okay, it needed to be moved anyway to make way for the ground launcher, and a new phaser array. The wings had looked like a rusted hull, full of holes or missing a panel, and the phaser scoring had been a cunt, but, they'd done it.

They'd met all the requirements, they'd re-oriented the torpedo tube, to make way for a ground-facing orientation, that could support a fairly wide angle and be guided by affixed sensor, or a spectra of directed EM-radiation beams, providing a suite of torpedo options to be rained onto the ground. They'd accompanied that with a harvested wing tip phaser strip re-located to the belly of the craft, to provide point defense against ground threats, and to target a full 180 degree arc with precision phaser fire on the ground, while still allowing for some forward fire. Both of these had sacrificed some of the forward defensive arc's power, in favor of ground fire. The remaining wing phaser was relatively untouched, except for a thorough maintenance check, but the belly phaser now could only target a much-reduced forward arc, restricted to the forwardmost 60-degrees in front of the craft and the torpedo launcher was strictly a ground weapon now.

They'd piggybacked the sensor package, capable of providing false sensor readings, to mask the communication buoy signal, that had been a lot of work in of itself, and the tricky computer kind to boot. Site to site transport had been tricky, in theory it should work, they'd shoehorned a projector and field generator in there, which ruined the fully sleek curves of the back end of the drone with a home fabricated duranium-tritanium alloy sleeve that looked a bit like a docked tail on a boxer dog, but on a Tovarek drone. That also took care of beaming supplies to the ground.

Frank had of course 'Frankified' a couple more modifications of his own, a mooring clamp to hitch rides on faster craft, increased yield of the Warp Core for longer mission service while providing more power for the transporter, and of course he'd employed his specialty on the ablative armor on the hull. The craft already had a Type 2 Ablative armor, which was a good start, but Frank had micron-welded, or more accurately vapor-deposited, a Tritanium-Duro-Ceramo coating of his own design, onto the hull. Almost three quarters of a centimeter thick, it would add a small amount of weight to the craft, but would further increase survivability if the craft came under fire, saving the ablative armor for more serious hits while deflecting less serious attacks, and more importantly the lattice structure of the composite was a single-crystal orientation, vastly decreasing the sensor footprint of the drone. It was no cloaking device, but it would make locking the drone on weapons or sensors that much more difficult.

Prior to the 1400 hours time Frank had set with Fisher, he'd covered the craft with a sheet, he wanted a reveal of course, but he'd forgotten to button up the belly, so when Fisher arrived in the bay, Frank was a mere pair of feet sticking out from a plain sheet covering, looking like the wicked witch of the east crushed by Dorothy.

'Lieutenant Arnold?' caused him to slowly roll out from under the craft, 'Lieutenant' caused him to hurry and bang his head on the wing. After a moment of dusting himself off and cursing his project colorfully with a low "Yer a cunt you know that?" directed towards the drone, he raised his protective eye shields and turned to regard Fisher. They'd met of course, but they'd not really acquainted themselves. Frank was red-faced by now, sweaty, with goggle rings about his eyes, heavy bags below them, and a bit of random soot and lithium grease on his face. His jumpsuit was equally messy, but he was all smiles. With a barrel chest and bushy beard, he could have stepped into a mine of yesteryear and fit in all the same.

"She's ready, if that's what you're wondering Lieutenant Commander, worked tirelessly on her, two weeks was an absurd timeline I might add." He chuckled gently, and offered, "I think you're going to be impressed, at least, I hope you are. If not, well I guess you'll just have to deal with it."

He looked around slowly, the bay was really empty now, and Frank asked, "Should we start?" He didn't know who all was supposed to be coming. 

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #2
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @uytrereee

From his directly adjacent position, Fisher could hear someone shuffling around as though they were about to emerge from under the belly of the tarped over drone, and sure enough, after a momentary bout of barely perceptible yet thoroughly amusing profanity, the new Chief Intelligence Officer caught sight of the equally as new Assistant Chief Engineer. The broad-shouldered man had the kind of defiantly weathered look that you’d expect from someone who'd spent decades servicing old beat-up cargo trawlers, which spoke to his character and extensive experience. And to a point, Fisher rationalized that Arnold was pretty much the exact personification of the kind of sturdy and reliable man he’d preferred to deal with in times of crisis; whom he could approach with this level of technical project. So far, the latter had been proven an appropriate rationalization, as the Lieutenant had demonstrated his surprisingly deft level of skill with an incredibly hurried turnaround of this refit and refurbished Tovarek drone. A drone that would hopefully afford Fisher and his team a new level of oversight and support that they’d not previously been privy to.

Fisher offered an appreciative nod in acknowledgement of Arnold’s amusing appraisal and dismissal of the two-week deadline that he’d approached him with, and as his gaze trailed over the starboard wing of the tarped craft, he cautioned with an extended index finger.

“I don’t know. I have high expectations.” Fisher teased.

He crooked his head slightly as he began to move around the side of the covered over drone, dropping to a relative crouch as he tried to sneak a peak under the tarp. In truth, he was excited to see what the crafty Engineer had put together. There were of course specific requirements that Fisher had asked for, at the behest of his team’s recommendations, but he’d also afforded Arnold and his own team a level of freedom to explore. In his own experience, he’d found that Engineers often performed at their absolute peaks when their creativity wasn’t constrained or stifled by artificially imposed limitations. They were dreamers and possessed the requisite skillset to make a bulk of those dreams come true. In this case specifically, he was betting that the machinations of one Frank Arnold were well worth indulging in.

“Warrant Officer Ravenholm, who forwarded you the specification parameters of the new sensor suite overhaul, should be joining us at some point, but she may be held up with her communication and data decryption duties.” It was just now approaching 1400, and Fisher had already assumed that his encryption specialist might run a little late. She was after all under a lot stress monitoring all of the data streams that Theurgy was intercepting, and thanks to Fisher’s demands, the number of those intercepted streams had tripled since his arrival, essentially tripling her workload. It was a lot ask of, but he was determined to syphon any and all relevant information into Theurgy’s databanks for review. In his estimation, it was the only way they could possibly hope to turn the tide. Well, maybe not the only way, but it was one of the more paramount ways his department might immediately contribute to the effort.

Already, Engineering had made a significant contribution to that same effort with this seemingly completed project.

“Plus, I’m too impatient a man to wait any longer for this gift unwrapping.” He chuckled a little, admitting his moderate level of anticipation and excitement for the results. “So, by all means.” He motioned with another wave of his hand, taking a step back as to make room for Arnold to pull back the tarp. Only when compared to the subsequent demonstration that had been lined up afterward, would this revelation pale against. For now, he was more than content to at least relax and take in the relative beauty of what would effectively serve as Guardian Angel for his people in the field. A Guardian Angel that if necessary, would bring to bear its impressive fangs and claws against enemy threats. A Guardian Angel that he realized was more approximate to a potentially vicious and cunning predator.

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #3
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift @chXinya 

Frank just chuckled as Fisher explained his high expectations for Frank's work. He gave a slow stroke of the beard, looking the man up and down, now that he had a chance. He gave a slow grin, "Yeah? Me too." He nodded then once more, and would watched the man circling his bird like a hungry cat, waiting to pounce. Frank had met all the specifications, that much was certain, now he'd gone above and beyond. He was curious if they'd notice the subtle tweaks, made to improve the performance in the field.

"I'm surprised she'd want to miss this. The patron who commissioned the art is here, but the sketch artist is not." He chuckled, "Peculiar." He rubbed the side of his head, a bit light headed now from the lack of sleep and the amount of time spent horizontal under the bird. "Perhaps she already has a vision of this creation, and needn't see the finished product." He grinned gently at that, and took a step back. He took a moment to produce a small thermos, and poured some dark liquid into its cap, taking a sip with a satisfied 'ah'.

When FIsher said however that he was impatient and eager to see the craft, and gave him the go ahead to reveal the craft, he gave a chuckle, and with a quick flick of the wrist disposed of the cold coffee simply onto the floor, and re-capped the thermos. He clipped it back into his belt, and then without further adieu, took hold of the sheet, and yanked it away.

There she sat, a Tovarek drone, with a checkerboard pattern across her hull, and a new docked tail to be regarded. He offered, "Your Huntress." He grinned softly, "Now right away you can see some of the modifications." He figured Fisher would want to circle it fifteen times before he had specific questions, but Frank would try to head those off with a detailed explanation. "First and foremost, we had to put her back together, But that was mostly just reading the specifications, and putting panels back into place." He nodded slowly, "Now first thing I've done is re-orient the torpedo tube. It won't be hitting anyone in front of it now, but it can deliver to the ground with what I estimate will be remarkable accuracy, as the computer has been adjusted for the new firing parameters."

He took a deep breath, now that he was in the throes of explaining all of the modifications, he'd be fighting his excitement for oxygenation. "The torpedo tube can be locked standard with sensors from the onboard suite, but it can also be guided by an EM beam, such as tachyon or polaron. So you can point out a specific target with your tricorder, if you ever had one in mind." He nodded excitedly. "You've also got one of the phasers pointed ground-ward. It can target a full circle from the belly, through the same parameters as the torpedo tube, and sweeps front to aft in a full 180 degree arc. If she can see it, she can hit it. Now that means you've only got one forward phaser left, if something nasty comes knocking. But that's where the defensive suite comes into play."

He knocked on the hull, and then offered lightly, "Now I've applied a micro-thickness coating to the hull, it's a composite of my own design, but it has a dual purpose. First, it should help dissipate energy from incoming phaser blasts, before triggering the ablative armor. But it's also a single crystal orientation, which makes getting a diffractive sensor pattern quite difficult. That should enable her to be relatively stealthy. It's no cloak of course, but, it'll make getting a sensor lock hard, because the footprint of the craft is not much bigger than a soccer ball." He smiled, and crossed his arms, particularly proud of that feature.

He took a pause for questions, and then waited a moment longer, and then continued, "Now you'll notice she's got a new appendage, the tail. That's to accommodate the transporter capability you wanted. There was just nowhere to put the module. Now that sleeve is made of duranium and tritanium alloyed together, but it's not as armored as the rest of the craft, that's why I've placed it at the back, and slightly high up on the back, it looks awkward, but according to the computer, it has the least chance of being struck by fire if we put it there." He gave a nod, "We've also jammed a communications relay from a probe in there so you can talk from ground to drone to ship. It wasn't easy getting the generator, projector, and the relay in that little space, but, we did it. It ruins the sleek curves, but she'll fly the same." Frank was a little worried about the heat, but there was no reason to worry Fisher with that.

He crossed his arms then once again, and offered, "So, any questions Lieutenant Commander?"

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #4
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @uytrereee

“Well, from what I’ve gathered of Selena so far, she can get pretty easily engrossed in the data stream.” He took a moment to round one of the still tarped over wings of the Drone, coming to stand nearer to the Assistant Chief Engineer, offering him something of an apt shrug on the issue. “I suppose that’s why she’s such a good Communications specialist. Nothing seems to get past her, without her at least being aware of it in a cursory fashion anyway.” Then, with a casual motion of his hand, he seemed to indicate that Frank could proceed with the unveiling, rather than delay any longer.

And as Intel’s newest addition was revealed to him, in a somewhat grand fashion as Frank yanked away the canvas that had obscured it, Fisher couldn’t help but let his sense of an immediate approval be betrayed by a stray eyebrow which had raised over his left eye. If this were a poker game, he would have just revealed his hand in glorious fashion, having tipped everyone off to the pocket bullets dealt to him at the onset of the hand. At least, that’s what this unveiling had felt like to him. For he was holding all the cards now, thanks to the glorious dealer that was the scruffy bearded man known as Frank Arnold. Fisher had yet to see, or hear of all the craft’s capabilities and specifications, but in his mind, he was again making mental note to scour his contacts for an appropriately aged bottle of spirits as thanks. Maybe something along the lines of a single malt scotch. Lagavulin 21 immediately came to mind. An old colleague of his was partial to it and had introduced it to Fisher as an alternative to his personal preference for oft-smoother Irish Whiskys. It’d certainly be hard to track down the exceedingly rare sprit, but Fisher had his ways, and his resources. Throw enough gold-pressed latinum at any situation, and you could find the answers and or solutions you needed. He’d need to put in a call with the Ferengi Investment banker that oversaw his nest-egg, and see about transferring some of that amassed wealth into a more accessible account; maybe even on Aldea, if the Ferengi had managed to set up some form of a local branch.

“No worries, Frank. I’m sure Miss Ravenholm will have plenty of fun with her, as primary operator.” The informal use of the Lieutenant’s first name spoke to the level of comradery Fisher was feeling in the moment. It was something of an old habit of his, many times deployed as a means to charm and disarm rivals. In this case though, the sentiment was genuine, and had clearly meant to impress upon Arnold an appreciation of all his hard work.

Settling back on his heels, Fisher crossed his arms over his chest and was more than happily resigned to listen to Arnold as he went through the list of what he had to have completed in order to make the thing even functional again. Clearly it was no small task, and though not exactly an Engineer in his own right, Fisher still knew better than stop the man as he went through the challenge it had represented to him, and his staff. It was an exceedingly small price to pay for such an impressive turn around. Obviously, the added freedom that Fisher had given, allowing Frank and his people to be somewhat liberal with additions had acted as a spark in igniting such a quick turn-around. A blank check was just too good and needed to be cashed right away. He hadn’t in fact intended that creative freedom to serve as a sort of carrot, but it had the effect all the same. “Considering the class was originally designed to attack enemies as part of a swarm, I doubt we’ll be using it in any overtly aggressive manner that might warrant the torpedo launcher in its original orientation. This way it will be a far more effective ground support option.” Shutting himself up so as to let the Assistant Chief Engineer continue, Fisher could feel his anticipation and excitement gradually increasing with each explanation of the drone’s impressive capabilities. A fact that was readily noticeable now, as joining that raised eyebrow was an ever-broadening smirk. The drone wasn’t a wasp anymore, capable of nimble weapons fire against opponents as part of an angry group, but rather more appropriately it was now something a heavily armored beetle that could take a beating if necessary and linger alone over an area for an extended time. Fisher liked that. People didn’t go out of their way to swat beetles, the way they might have done so for a wasp.

Even if this was a surprisingly well armed, and deadly beetle. A surprisingly stealthy one too.

“Sometimes awkward can have a certain redeeming quality. As far as I’m concerned, she’s a beauty. Graceful and sleek in all the right ways that really matter.”

“And please, Drew’s fine.” He offered the courtesy to drop formality, once again offering the man an outstretched hand to engage in that time-old masculine tradition of a firm handshake. “Job, damned well done so far. Though, I think we’ve gone through enough of the mandatory beating around the bush in order to meet the Starfleet requirements. How about we fire the girl up, and give a chance to stretch her legs a little?” Tilting head just a little to one side, a somewhat mischievous grin began to replace that appreciative one from just a moment earlier. “As for questions, as me again in a few minutes. For now, I’ve drawn up a bit of a flight plan, so that we’re technically within regulations... but...” he held his hands wide at either side, so as to hint that it was just the two of them for the time being. “...I don’t see anyone around who might raise issue if we deviated from that flight plan a little. I think we can have a bit of fun.”

“So, what do you say Mister Arnold? Shall we put her through her paces?”

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #5
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift @chXinya 

Frank gave a gentle smile  as he folded up the big tarp, well, he got halfway through folding it, before he got frustrated, rolled it up and chucked it on the grav sled, which he slowly pulled out of the way so no one tripped. He gave a gentle shrug and offered lightly, "Don't know her to be honest. But I'll take your word for it, you seem like a decently honest fella. Well, as honest as your type get." He meant intelligence workers, they were crooked as a question mark, but that's what their work required. Some jobs needed a hammer, some needed a file. "Well then she must be really good at her job." He left it at that, "She'll be pleased with the installed communications package, that much I can certify."

He watched as his craft was appraised, yes it was his craft now. Until this baby was destroyed or decommissioned, Frank would fawn over her. This was his way onto the fighter bay, without a doubt, he'd got his new motorbike, and his boy's garage was this bay. He gave a slow grin at the thought, and raised a brow as the Commander just called him Frank. He liked that, especially in this boy's garage. He gave a chuckle, "We made a few offerings to the god of speed of course, there were a few things that had to be re-done, and some of the wiring harness is...definitely not standard, but I stand by her. She'll be the sturdiest craft out there."

He gave a slow chuckle as he said Ravenholm would be her primary operator, "Ah yes speaking of operating. I've modified a PADD, to allow for interface and targeting, from the ground. You won't be able to fully fly her from the ground, but once she's in a holding orbit above your away mission site, you can use the PADD to access the bird's eye view, sensors, and of course, bring the to speak." He gave a gentle nod, he was proud of the craft, and he walked about it as Fisher did, occasionally running his hand across the hull, almost with affection.

He gave a slow nod, "Well if she's going to be attacked by a strike craft, her biggest defenses are going to be that low profile, her speed, and the armor. She can dance with the best of them I'm sure, and that mobility plus the low profile, will make shooting her down a real cunt." He chuckled gently, and then realized his mouth, and straightened up a little bit, "Good job Miss Ravenholm wasn't here for a bit of the boy's talk eh?" He laughed gently, and then let Fisher assess some more.

He gave a slow nod, and offered, "The ugly duckling becomes the swan." He would give a gentle nod then once more, "Alright Drew." He worked it over on his tongue, giving a slow nod then once more, and shook his hand, his massive calloused paw outstretched for a firm handshake, "Well I'm glad you think so, I'll pass your compliments onto the boys." He rolled his shoulders, "If she gets banged up, I want to be the one to fix her though, I don't need a deck monkey messing up the paint." He chuckled gently, and then would hear the man's desire to let the pony run, and he gave a nod.

"By all means, she's far too beautiful to be penned up in this stable, let's let the stallion run." He rubbed his hands together, and then handed the PADD over to Fisher, saying lightly, "You can start her up from there, and then, you'll have to run her from that console. Controls are essentially the same as a shuttle, a bit more sensitive." He indicated a modified LCARS display five to ten paces away. "You do the honors, I want to watch." He smiled, and waited, "I say that sounds like an excellent idea Mister Fisher."

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #6
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @uytrereee

Fisher had every confidence that Ravenholm would be more than pleased with the diligent work that Frank and his team had gone through in making this drone a reality. The benefits it and its incredible capabilities would afford the Intelligence Department during ground operations could not be overstated. Plus, he imagined the cybernetically enhanced woman would just about lose her mind with excitement at getting to pilot the thing. It certainly beat the hell out of sitting at a console, and monitoring missions via long-range sensors only. Now she, and by extension they, would be able to play a direct and meaningful part of ensuring a mission or task succeeded.

“I’m sure it’ll more than hold its own.” Fisher reassured, more than confident in what Arnold and his team had accomplished. He hadn’t yet see what the thing was truly capable of, but he was fully anticipatory of being further wowed.

Armor was good. Speed was good. But low profile was best. It wasn’t going to be wholly possible for the thing to maintain such at all times, especially when bringing the thunder to bear upon enemies, but Fisher was more than appreciative of the fact that it could remain relatively undetectable right up until that point. After all, a spy’s most useful tool was invisibility, and while they hadn’t exactly strapped a cloaking device to the drone, it was still going to be something of a hard target to spot, let alone shoot down. Those facets would greatly lend themselves to the long-term survivability of the drone, and by extension would mean that ground personnel were well covered throughout the duration of any mission, regardless of how treacherous the airspace overhead became.

A little chuckle escaping him at the bluntness of Arnold’s speech, Fisher was also more than appreciative of the chance to stand down from proper protocol, and procedure. He imagined that the equally as scruffy Engineer also liked to embrace a more relaxed tone when it came to business, at least when matters didn’t need to be so strictly serious.

“No worries, I doubt there’s anyone else aboard the crew that I’d trust with fixing her back up.” He mused for a moment, leaning down a little to once again peak under the drone’s undercarriage. The seems were tight, the paneling smooth; she was buttoned up well enough. It was almost time to let the new girl spread her wings and take flight, which more than excited the Chief Intelligence Officer. “Besides, I imagine the lot of them try to avoid me as much as they avoid the Counseling staff. Only thing worse than having to share the sordid details of your past, is finding out the resident spy on board already knows them without you even having had the chance to.” Grinning a little deviously, it was clear that Fisher enjoyed the mysteriousness of his reputation, and how it would put most people on the defensive from the onset. He couldn’t fault others for reacting in such a manner, but he did afford a great deal of respect to those who didn’t, as it spoke to their sturdier and more experienced nature.

Accepting the PADD as Frank handed it off, Fisher punched up the controls for the craft, and speaking to its intuitive nature he immediately found the actuator which switched on the internal warp-core and power-systems. A low pulsating hum filling the relatively tight confines of the repair hangar, as the fore-deflector began to glow a healthy shade of blue, and bussard collectors a crimson hue. As though he could feel in his chest, and maybe he did, Fisher’s already broad grin grew by an order of magnitude. “Oh yeah!” He remarked excitedly, offering another healthy bout of laughter as he backed away from the lively beast, giving her a wider birth as he sought to clear its path out of the hangar bay. “Grab the hangar door, would you?!” he shouted out over to Arnold, who was closer to the controls which would allow their newest toy a chance at freedom.

As the door lifted a moment later, the loud sounds from the primary assault bay permeated in through the opening, once again bathing the hangar-bay in a cacophonous orchestra of noise. It didn’t bother Fisher, who worked the PADD so as to guide the Drone upward, from where it had been perched across the decking. There was a little sway to motion from side to side, not due to the craft, but more so the spy as he was getting acquainted with how the thing reacted to his every direction. “It’s surprisingly reactive! Very tight controls. Excellent response rate!” he commented loud enough that Arnold could hear him over all of the racket that surrounded them now. “Let’s see how she handles at a little greater distance!” With that the drone began to drift forward a little, a good two-meters above of the decking, slipping evening between the opposing edges of the hangar doorframe. Walking along with it, as though he were piloting a toy model in the midst of a busy park, Fisher was peering about to ensure that the flight lanes were clear.

Nearby, flight crew and Engineers that had been working on their own respective projects stopped in their duties, their attention turning to witness this somewhat new beast’s first venture. Most of them had seen the Tovarek drones prior to today, but there was still an element of newness to this heavily modified iteration. Not to mention, a few of them had likely themselves leant a hand in bringing this one back to life. Turning the drone so that it was lined up accordingly, Fisher waited until he could find the flight-deck controller, who was watching along with all the others. He seemed to appraise both the spy and the Assistant Chief Engineer for just a moment, before he raised his hand in acknowledgement, and approval of launch.

And without hesitation, Fisher spun up the drone’s impulse engine to full, and sent the thing zipping out of the fighter assault bay in a dash. The back-blast of atmospheric thrusters kicking up a windstorm of sorts as he broke operational procedures rather brazenly, though he was far too absorbed in the exhilaration of the moment to care, or even take notice.

As the commotion died down when the drone cleared the forcefield at the end of the bay, he turned back to Arnold and nodded.

“I’ve set it to home in on a holding pattern over its operational test area. Let’s head on up to flight ops and track it from there.” With a wave of his hand, he motioned for the Assistant Chief to follow him.

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #7
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift

Frank gave a gentle smile, and would offer, "Now she's no slugger, I'd not put her in a pound off, and expect her to come back whole. You don't want her fighting in a phone booth, she's a stallion, needs some room to run." He shook his head, and stroked his beard, and then slowly offered, "But she'll dance with the best of them, that I can promise. These drones are more maneuverable than their frame suggests. Like leaves through the wind, elusive, hard to catch." He raised a brow, and then offered idly, "You do much boxing? You've got the right build for it." Frank was still looking for a partner in the pugilistic arts, and not the Vulcan type of them. Fisher did, he was tall, lean, well muscled, definitely not like Frank in shape, but he had a temperament that Frank appreciated.

The best thing about the new drone's profile was, even when it was firing, it would still be fairly unexposed, except for when it was actually emitting a beam. Frank was particularly proud of the passive sensor masking he'd come up with, rather than an active cloak.

He heard the chuckle, and just smiled at it, not drawing attention to himself in responding. At Fisher's statement however, he just shrugged and said idly, "I mean if you did, I'd just hit you with this hyperspanner." He motioned to his belt, obviously joking, especially when he offered, "It's a big ship, accidents happen. But I don't have to tell you that do I spooky?" He offered the man a knowing wink, a gentle smile. At what he said about knowing people's secrets, he gave a shrug, "I've got too honest a way about me for intelligence work, never had a passion for gossip you know?" He chuckled softly, "But you've figured out that about me anyway, I ramble too much to have any great secrets, and you're clearly too clever to not have." He stroked his beard, "Or maybe that's all a ruse, and I'm secretly a Romulan spy."

He watched Fisher take the PADD now, and would slowly alternate between watching the craft start to come to life with a satisfying hum, followed by a whir, the gentle rush of dust out from underneath it, quickly kicked up and then just as rapidly captured by the ship's air handling systems. Just for a moment, he crossed his arms, and watched his craft come to life. No Dr. Frankenstein moment of him screaming 'It's ALIIIIVE' in the pissing rain and lightning, but he felt just as proud as the doctor must have right about now. He took one more moment, no preamble, no ritual, he'd already wrote a little inscription on the inside of his last buttoned up panel of the warp core shielding. It read 'Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.' He couldn't remember where he'd read it, just that he'd read it and gotten goosebumps.

 Once Fisher called out to him, he pried his eyes away from his craft as he went to hit the hangar door control. With a quick stab of the finger, the door raised, the vacuum held at bay by a faint blue forcefield alone. He watched with rapt attention once again as the Tovarek shook off the cobwebs with the slightest of shimmies, and then she was moving, just a little. He walked alongside Fisher, having learned long ago the safest place around anything with the remote, was next to the guy holding it. He would hear his compatriot over the racket, and would nod wordlessly.

A few seconds later, with the simple raise of the hand, a cloud of dust, and a racket, she was gone. All that was left was a tarp, grit, and a smile on Frank's face, and presumably Fisher's as well. He turned to Andrew, and said, "Couldn't have done it better myself. She looked responsive, but you'll be the judge of that."

Andrew explained that the drone was in a holding pattern, and then he was following the man to flight control. While they walked he said lightly, "Ms. Ravenholm missed a real treat." He rolled his shoulders, and offered oddly, "I have the coolest job in the whole universe." He paused, looking around, "Except maybe prostitute and scotch whisky tester." He chuckled under his breath at that, headed to where the real fun would begin.

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #8
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @uytrereee

Fisher would heed the Assistant Chief Engineer’s forewarnings with regard to the combat capabilities of the new Tovarek Mk.II, not only out of professional respect for Arnold, but also because he recognized that they only had one of the things. Maybe someday in the future, there could be discussion of building more of them, so as to offer a multitude of options for the Intelligence Department when engaged in missions. But for now, as this was the very last of its kind to remain in-tact, Fisher would air on the side of caution when it came to dogfighting.

“No worries, Frank. She’ll be in good hands.” He reassured the veritable Doctor Frankenstein, promising to take good care of his latest monster.

“I’ve dabbled in traditional rules Boxing, yeah; though I’ve often preferred the more freeform Mixed Martial game, myself.” When it came to that Mixed Martial game, in a way the Chief Intelligence Officer exemplified many of the fighting characteristics of a boxer, as he was prone to battering down his opponent’s defenses with a flurry of skilled fists, rather than kicks. “I probably talk a little too much trash for either sport, to be honest.” He admitted, shrugging his shoulders as if to make no apologies for that fact. Spies like him didn’t necessarily play fair because most of the time their lives depended on their ability to undermine the focus of their enemies through whatever means necessary. For Fisher, who exhibited a proficiency at poking and prodding at someone until their insecurities manifested themselves in a compromising rage, it only made sense that he’d similarly resort to such a practice even when engaged in something of a more friendly competition. “Though, I may need to alternate strategies soon. Got my ass handed to me in the ring by Lieutenant Veradin the other day.” He explained, his back still strained a little from how it had cramped up later that evening in reaction to the stress he’d put on it.

“Not at all.” He mused in reaction to the playfully teasing ‘threat’ that Arnold made with his hydrospanner.

“Sometimes it pay to be honest. Especially when telling a lie.” Fisher remarked, remembering something of an old adage that he’d heard from one of his old rivals and colleagues within the Obsidian Order. There were a litany of silly, ridiculous, and downright contradictory things that spies like Fisher loved to share so as to improve the mysteriousness of their overt nature, but to be honest, it was all part of a game more than anything. Just as some Engineers loved to prattle on about bi-neural transphasic inducing refractory grids, and or some such nonsense. Everyone had some means of making what they did sound more impressive than it really was, though few of them could say that their lives depended on the ability to spin such intricate webs of verbal bull shit, as it quite often did for Intelligence Officers. A well versed and deliberately confusing entanglement of words could give you just the momentary edge you’d need to seize the initiative and capitalize on it. Though in the moment, no such need existed, Fisher still found it fun to practice, and if anything he knew some might find a comedic tone to the ridiculousness of it.

“Ah yes, the redundancy of the Tal-Shiar. Sending a pair of agents to infiltrate Theurgy, instead of just me.” He shook his head, deliberately letting his grin betray the amusing lie, rather than doubling down on it as he would during other instances.

Once the drone was lifted-off and had sped off down and out of the cavernous space, he and Frank crossed the moderately short distance from the Maintenance Hanger to Flight Ops. Such a walk could be a treacherous one, given the near constant myriad of activity unfolding all around the Fighter Assault Bay; you either paid everything and everyone the level of attention it was due, or you risked winding up a charred and bloody smear on one of the walls. In a way, he could imagine that once you got used to the cacophony of sound and noise, it could be an oddly peaceful space to inhabit. That once you knew the routine and delicate ballet that was all around you, it became a decidedly safer place, and one that afforded you a level of ignorance and room for assumption. But if you were only an occasional visitor, as Fisher was, you dared not tempt things by falling complacent.

Eventually though, he and Arnold arrived within the relatively calm confines of Flight Ops, where they could monitor their new toy with Theurgy’s sensor suite and get a better feel for just how well it would perform. “Alright.” Fisher said simply as he approached a console at the fore of a large viewer, punching in a few commands to bring up a tracking overlay of Aldea Prime, and where the drone was currently orbiting in a holding pattern. “There it is.” He pointed at the screen, bringing the PADD up in one hand as he accessed control over it once more. “I’m uploading the flight-plan that I’ve mapped out now. There we go. Let’s get her in position for surveillance testing.” A few taps against the PADD, and the viewscreen before the two of them began to display the shifting position of the drone as it moved out of it’s holding pattern. “Very little lag. If any at all between command, and execution. Though at this distance, I’m not surprised. Let’s check in on what kind of shenanigans our colleagues are getting into down planet side, shall we?”

He tapped another command on the PADD, and after a momentary delay the view screen before them flickered to reveal a live feed from one of the visual sensors on the drone, zoomed out to display a good portion of the city down below.

“So... you’re a boxer eh?” he commented.

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #9
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift 

Frank gave a gentle smile, and would just peer over the control panel as Fisher said his creation would be in good hands. He nodded lowly, and offered lightly, "I believe you." He didn't need to elaborate on that, it was a simple enough statement. He did believe Andrew, after all, there was only one Tovarek drone left aboard, that they'd seen fit to modify just for his team to use, he had no doubts that the team would take care of it, if only for the utility of having it available.

He gave a slow nod as he made a few trim adjustments on the drone in it's parking orbit with light taps on his own PADD, which of course he'd modified to be able to interact rudimentarily with the drone. He cleared his throat, and gave a slow nod, "Yes, I can see why one would be attracted to the mixed martial arts, more room for improvisation." He gave a chuckle, "Especially when you get into those 'oh shit' moments. But I do find there's something quite elegant about the classics." He chuckled, "If you can call pugilism elegant." He let out a full bodied laugh following that. He gave a shrug, "Boxing would train your striking, if nothing else."

He gave a low nod about Fisher's comment on paying to be honest, but didn't say much on it. Frank just was too earnest to really be deceptive. It was a bit of an obvious statement, but it ran his life. It was the cause of much consternation of his superiors, when he couldn't simply bite his lip, it had retarded much of his upward motion in the past. But for a man that merely cared for doing the best job in the bay he could, it was a boon. He laughed softly, and remarked, "I thought I recognized you from the meetings."

He settled in at a station in flight ops, transferring the status monitor display of his PADD, to the screen in front of him. To the crewman he had displaced, he offered an apologetic but matter of fact, "I'll not be too long, don't worry." He didn't pause for the man's protestations, and simply returned to his work, speaking to Andrew "I'm going to fully open the manifolds now. I was holding them back a little bit, worried about blowing out the in-line stabilizers for the plasma, but everything's way below borderline." He chuckled making the adjustment to allow for 12% more plasma flow, "And borderline is where I play." He laughed at that. The drone would clearly pick up a little more speed, definitely faster than a stock Tovarek.

He let out a low whistle as he read the feedback monitors, "She's performing very well, better than I could honestly have asked for." He traced a small sinusoidal pattern on one of the monitors, "Getting a small phase deviation on plasma return 2..." He stroked his chin, "Nothing that will affect performance, I'll compensate..." He was definitely talking to himself now, as he walked himself through the compensation, very much in Arnold land,  "...reduce three percent through return one, balance the returns...but I'll check it out when she gets back in."

He snapped back to reality as Andrew said, 'Alright', and he offered a low grunt, "Sorry, got lost in the weeds there for a moment." He laughed it off, as he would turn his attention to the viewer, and there she was, "Hello beautiful." Some of the flight control were definitely watching too, and not just the Drone, but Frank and his eccentricities.

"I wouldn't expect much lag at these distances. I reckon for most of your regular operational ranges, response will be milliseconds. Now, obviously that could change with interference, but I'd not expect anything that would affect mission performance." He grinned at Andrew's suggestion, and nodded lowly, "Let's."

He nodded to the question, "I am. I grew up on a mining vessel. My dad ran a deuterium mining outfit. The miners liked to blow off steam, and they'd teach me a couple things. I kept practicing once I left for the institutes, as a way of being close to my heritage." He rolled his shoulders, "Pops used to be quite good, until his lungs went." He nodded slowly, "Now he just lounges about, which I reckon he earned."

He grinned gently, "So, let's find us an observational target eh?"

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #10
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @uytrereee

“Oh I’ve dabbled...” Fisher acknowledged the Assistant Chief’s recommendation, indeed giving it a modicum of internal consideration before further expanding on things. “I just lacked the general discipline necessary to abide the rules. But that was all years ago, when I was younger, and a little more impulsive. I should probably give it another shot someday.” Punching up a few commands on the PADD, he saw Frank’s adjustments being reflected in live sync with his own readouts.

“You certainly know her well. The drone that is.” Fisher commented, appreciative of the fact that the Engineer appeared to be in lock step with the drone, which wasn’t exactly a surprise to the Chief Intelligence Officer. He knew that the Engineering staff aboard Theurgy were top notch, and even though Arnold was just the assistant Chief, he had every confidence that the man could easily fill the role of actual Chief if the situation so deemed it a necessity. He, like so many others in his profession, took their role with the confidence and care that it demanded. If anything, Fisher would have bet that every last nut, bolt, and screw; every seamless welding patch had been gone over and gone over again in preparation of first flight. He would have readily staked his life, and the life of those under his command on the dutiful capabilities of Theurgy’s Engineering staff, Frank Arnold particularly so. Switching things over to begin observational testing, Fisher had a rough idea of where he wanted to focus this particular phase.

“Let’s see...” touching the input commands on the PADD, he brought up the results of a quick scan and overlayed them on the main active viewer. “...there we go. A couple of Crewmen down on the surface. Let’s see if they’re behaving themselves?” he mused, increasing the zoom of the visual sensors in one gradual step, then another. At this distance, a city block was roughly six-inches across on the viewer. “A little closer.” He intensified zoom, a little surprised at how steady the feed was, and how there was little hint at all that they were seeing through the drone as it circled high above the city at low-impulse speeds. “The image stabilization software is very good. Your work, or is that Miss Ravenholm’s doing?” He asked as he tapped to further intensify the zoom once more, definition becoming readily visible among the individuals as they were moving about the street in what was clearly some kind of an outside market. Highlighted by green luminescent circles were four Theurgy crewmen, and though they were in non-Starfleet attire, the drone’s sensors had little trouble identifying them by the commbadges hidden somewhere on their person. “Crewman Terrence, Crewman Bryant, Crewman Delios, and Crewman Hunter.” He read the names as they appeared on the viewer, their basic biometrics and personnel file images also on display.

“Thea?!” the spy called out.

[Yes, Commander Fisher?] came the requisite response of the shipboard AI.

“Would you open a discreet channel with Crewman... Henry Terrence, down on the Aldean surface. Please also encrypt and shunt all communications relay through the Tovarek Drone.” He wanted to see how the feedback was now, as the drone would need to perform such a task with regularity.

[Communications encrypted and shunted as requested. Channel is now open.] she confirmed.

Immediately the sound of a busy crowd milling about; it was a chorus of voices composed of various peoples as they bartered over goods, chatted about mundane details, and argued over other matters. They were simply going about their day-to-day business, and now Theurgy could sneak a peak in on that business, of whatever shape for form it was taking. “Excellent.” He commented, looking to Arnold with an approving grin. The surveillance possibilities were incredible with their new drone and would absolutely lend to the overall effectiveness of the mission. Clearing his throat, Fisher pressed something on the PADD before he spoke. “Crewman Terrence?” an instant later the crewman in question on the viewer began to shuffle about, looking from his left to his right in search of the disconnected voice which had called his name. “Henry, this is Commander Fisher aboard ship. Relax. I’ve accessed your combadge as part of a new test surveillance program. If you wouldn’t mind, please look up to the sky for just a moment.” There was a momentary delay, and hesitation on the crewman’s part but eventually, and rather calmly Henry did exactly as he was instructed and directed his face toward the sky.

Instantly, Fisher locked onto it, and the computer system ran it through facial recognition software, further confirming his identity. “Thank you, Crewman. You may carry on about your business. Fisher out.” He closed the channel and watched as the Crewman stepped away from the particular stall he had been standing at, no going over to Crewman Bryant.

“Audio pickup is excellent too. Likewise, image resolution is crystal clear. How about... via a penetrative sensor sweep?” he pressed a few commands, and the images swung over to a nearby hut. “Let’s see, what we can see?” He allowed the sensors and image processors to build gradually, until the roof of the modest domicile began to grow transparent on the viewer, revealing that in effect they could peer into the building. Once again, there was a surprising level of detail afforded. Not much in the way of color, but general layout, and makeup of the room in question was clear. They could even pick out two life signs, one of a humanoid, another likely that of some kind of domesticated animal. “A little spooky, but an excellent tool regardless.” He commented in earnestness, then shifted the sensors away from this particular someone’s personal liveliness. As a proof of concept, it was acceptable, and while Fisher absolutely was in the business of intruding upon other’s privacy, he didn’t feel it necessary to do so for some random Aldean citizen and their house pet.

Zooming out, he went back to a distance which allowed half of the city to be displayed on the viewer. “So far, I’m impressed. Now, let’s see about testing weapons systems.” Fisher had lined up something perfect in advance of this, knowing he’d need a thorough assessment of the drone’s ground support capabilities prior to his people coming to rely upon it. “I’m transitioning the drone into its third holding pattern. Should only take a minute or so.”

“Mining vessel eh? Certainly explains those catcher’s mitts you call hands.” He teased, picking up on their diversionary conversation with a nod toward the other man. “Still, I think I’d be game to go a round or two in the squared circle with you someday. Maybe learn a thing or two I can use the next time I face down some of the lower-decks security punks on board. They love to throw down against the Chief Spook.”

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #11
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift

Frank gave a slow chuckle as Fisher said he dabbled, although admittedly by now, his attention was split between the tall spy to his right, and the screen in front of him, the screen he had so readily commandeered. His fingers seemed to glide over it every so often, and when they weren't moving, they hovered above the screen mere inches, as if a cat, poised and waiting to pounce on the slightest variance, trim, or attitude adjustment that needed made.

Frank possessed no particularly refined set of piloting skills, but the smart algorithm the drone possessed was as good at any pilot for routine flights, and possibly quicker to react to oncoming debris with no lag between synapse and finger; Frank was good at recognizing the system irregularities, and correcting them. He spoke to Fisher out of the corner of his mouth, his eyes never left the screen as he did so, "I doubt you're particularly lacking in discipline now Andrew, although I have to imagine a man of your, talents and vocation..." Those words held a particular connotation, "...might not care for the confines of civility when your opponent is backing you into a corner. That's when adherence is truly tested."

He rolled his shoulders, and offered, "As well as any creator should anyway. But I have no doubt she'll surprise me, and eventually Ms. Ravenholm will be far more cognizant of her quirks than I. But for now, I'll revel in my exclusive access to my creation." He grinned softly, and would let the screen alone for a second to face Andrew, just smiling, crossing his arms. His demeanor spoke of satisfaction. Frank was nothing if not meticulous, a matter that stemmed from his near constant fear of inadequacy, that he might miss something, or do something, that would result in failure. That, was what motivated him to meet the stringent targets that Starfleet, and Chief Tiran set.

He left the station with a quick remark to the man he'd displaced, "Don't touch that display Petty Officer" and went to stand to Fisher's side, and watch the feed as the data rolled in. He shook his head slowly, "That's all her. I'll argue I'm your best fabricator on the Theurgy, at least top three, but software, signals, that's never been my game. I've always had the strongest affinity for the physical, what I could touch. The abstract has always been a bit tough for me, I had to take Crystallography twice at the academy. Then again I had a broken tooth I was too stubborn to get looked at, that kept me up all night before the final. That didn't help." He laughed softly, he was a stubborn creature, "You can certainly thank Ms. Ravenholm for the signal transmission clarity."

He raised a brow as Fisher contacted one of the Crewmen on the surface, and he was admittedly as impressed as Andrew with how well the drone did when it came into a listening protocol. Then again the specifications he'd been given, called for a surveillance role, as much as a defensive one. You had to see to strike. The penetrative scan, raised his brow further as he gave a slow nod, "I think that tool on your belt will save you a lot of trouble." He stroked his chin slowly, just taking it all in.

As Andrew said he wanted to test the weapons systems, he nodded slowly, and slid back in behind his panel, "Phaser banks are...fully charged, and the torpedo tube is warming up now." He cracked his knuckles with a dramatic interlace of his fingers pushed palms outward from his chest to create a cacophony of cracks. With a satisfied sigh, he offered, "Much better."

He chuckled as he was called catchers mitts, and would roll his shoulders, "My best feature." He winked at the man, "It was a unique childhood for certain, I was lucky really. Gave me the perspective that makes me successful today, do a good job, worry about your career later." He shrugged, "Then again if I worried about my career, I might be a Chief Engineer, instead of an Assistant Chief." He chuckled, "But then again, were that the case, I might not have ever ended up here, and it's better that I am."

"Oh we can spar any time you want, I think you've got a lot to teach me as well." He winked at the man, and then waited, the weapons now fully primed, to see what he wanted to test first. "Time to see how well this old girl can hunt."

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #12
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @uytrereee

“In a way, being backed into a corner is oddly freeing for someone of my... talents and vocation.” He deliberately sought to echo the exact words and tone used by Frank. “As usually contained within those corners are our very best ambushes and traps, laid ready to be brought to bear.” He grinned, peering beyond the PADD in his hands to the weathered Engineer with an obvious sense of playfulness to his retort. Of course there was a valid sentiment to what he had said, as spies like him were taught how a corner could be just as advantageous as it was a detriment. After all, with your back pressed into one, you only had to look in one direction, and in that direction was all of the world, and everything which stood directly in your path. It was a poor sod who dared pin someone like Fisher into such a predicament without a measure of forethought on their own part. “Whether or not I’ve learned to adhere to... civility... within the friendlier confines of a boxing ring? I guess that’s just a matter we’ll need to test out someday.”

Thoroughly impressed by the surveillance capabilities that the reborn ‘Arnold’ iteration of Tovarek-drone had already demonstrated, and keenly aware of the wide manner in which he and his department could put said capabilities to effect, the Chief Intelligence Officer was honestly starting to gravitate toward an attitude of just having fun. Sure, it was a serious matter; wielding such power at one’s fingertips, but every once in a while, you needed to stop and truly appreciate the little moments whenever you could, lest you wound up bitter and discontented. And for the most part, Fisher had managed to avoid spiraling down that bleak conduit, though he knew it was an inevitability that would come sooner rather than later. For now though, he was more than happy to embrace the occasion and really put this incredible machine through its paces, especially with respect to the Engineer which had put in the diligent work to make it function, and whose skills and talents he had no qualms about trusting in.

“Crystallography, huh?” Fisher mused as he listened to the man pay compliment to Ravenholm’s software suite, while also explaining his own relative deficiencies in way of a personal anecdote, the spy couldn’t help but let a heartier bout of laughter escape him. “For me it was Advanced Holography Programming. I didn’t have to take it as a course but was damn determined to pass it, hoping to someday make a hobby out of bringing back old Baseball parks.” Watching as one of the energy read-outs on the PADD reflected a subtle change in accordance with the adjustments that the Assistant Chief Engineer was making as they continued their test, Fisher swiped the notification clear. “Problem was, I kept having cross coding issues with bleed in between one program and another. Well, during the final examination of my re-creation of Old Fenway Park, three-thousand British redcoats stormed the outfield walls and attempted to bayonet my Academy Professor.”

“Two things happened as a result. The first was that I learned if you’re going to copy coding from one program to another, always ensure that any non-relevant elements are absolutely purged in the process. And the second, was that I was barred from taking and potentially failing the course for a third time.” And as if on cue, the PADD chirped at the end of Fisher’s own personal anecdote to alert him of it having arrived over the next staging area of the testing phase.

“Oh, now this will be fun.”

Playing with the controls on the PADD, the spy brought up the tactical display up so that he could directly control the weapons systems, while also tying them into the surveillance feed that was still being projected on the main viewer at the head of the Fighter Ops. “It cost me a couple of bars of latinum, but I managed to find a small mercantile firm on the planet’s surface who were willing to set up some targets for us.” Spinning up the targeting sensor, he zoomed in on a particular patch of expansive nothingness, where casting long shadows across the dry desert landscape were a series of inanimate objects of varying size and makeup. “Nice to see that they understood the idea well enough. I was a little worried. The look on the face of the woman I dealt with as I was trying to describe what I wanted was rather priceless.” All part and parcel when it comes to the vague terms Fisher preferred to use with civilians assets and independent contractors.

Zooming back out just a bit, Fisher latched a red targeting reticle around a quartet of humanoid shapes standing off to one side. “Let’s give that phaser a try, shall we?” Hesitating a moment until the computer had assessed an appropriate attack angle and firing solution, which took little time at all, Fisher pressed the corresponding input on the PADD. A blink later a ruby-hued beam lanced in and struck at the center of the targets kicking up a massive plum of dust and sand upon impact.

“Nice.” He commented simply as the dust cloud gradually dissipated, and where the four targets had originally been, now only burning cinders of the wooden posts which had held them up remained.

“Would you care to test the torpedo system?” he asked, looking back to Arnold and holding out the control PADD for him.

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #13
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift 

"I can believe that Mr. Fisher." He gave a gentle chuckle, "Your whole line of work, it gives me the heebies. I'll freely admit it. Absolutely necessary, especially given our...predicament, but spooky." He grinned at the man, there was an air of playfulness between the pair, but also as though they were feeling each other out. Frank was naturally a lot more obvious about it, because subtlety often escaped him, even if he did try. He would give a roll of the shoulders, "As they say about Roman Legions and corners." He looked up from his screen, "They have no option but to fight." He stroked his beard, "I cannot remember which ancient man put that lesson to best test, there are countless examples." He gave a slow laugh then, "With a reach like yours, it'll be a good day. Less so for my face."

Frank always gravitated towards having fun, it was certainly a personal flaw, but he was a happy son of a bitch most days, at least outwardly. Inwardly he was often plagued by nagging feelings of inadequacy, much of the reason he gravitated towards this project. He grunted out a laugh, re-affirming for Fisher, "Crystallography." He gave a gentle chuckle, but listened to Fisher's story about his baseball parks, and at the part where his instructor almost got a free knifing, he let out a snorting chuckle, "Still, a program of that size, that's impressive." He shrugged, "Should have just said you forgot there were no Redcoats at Fenway." He laughed gently, listening to the moral of the story, and nodded, "That's a shame though." He stroked his chin again, and grunted out, "Have you ever met Xelia? She can make a very convincing simulation. An odd, but not unpleasant Orion."

He raised a brow as Fisher said he'd gotten targets set up on the surface, the man was a seemingly endless source of possibilities. He let out a gentle whistle, and said lowly, "There's not a lot you can't get done by greasing palms eh?" He chuckled, "I can't imagine the Aldeans would be too happy to know we were shooting at their planet." He shrugged, "But when the cat is away, the mice will play." He affirmed that statement with a nod, and then watched the feedback display, seeing a small spike in energy usage, as the phaser lanced out and gave the groundside target what for, very businesslike he said, "I was a little worried about that belly phaser. Glad to see that was unfounded."

As the PADD was offered to him, he gave a gentle giddy chuckle, after he put aside the notion of refusing. He took the PADD, and stroked his fingers across it, picking one of the remaining targets. Had he not helped make this interface he might have struggled with the targeting parameters, after all, he was not a tactical officer. However, he had, and so with relative deftness, the Tovarek Drone took up a swooping pass, and the energy quarrel of a torpedo could be seen rapidly entering frame in mere moments, before his chosen prey disappeared in a flash of fire. Once the smoke cleared, a mere scorch remained. "I think it works." He chuckled gently.

"Alright, now, what else to test. I'm sure I can tune the sensors to look through clothes. We could fly this thing right by the sorority house, good old peep show." He smirked, clearly having a joke, forgetting that the control room wasn't just them.

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #14
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @uytrereee

With a chuckle, the Chief Intelligence Officer found himself once more appreciating the slightly comedic honesty of his Engineering comrade. It had become pretty evident to him by now, that they had shared in a mutual penchant for humor, and a broader sense of levity. Those were features which he might have been considered a rarity in this 24th-century of sensibilities and reserved platitudes. It was beyond refreshing to be able to just drop your guard and embrace the more amusing aspects of serving in Starfleet whenever you could, relaxed in the knowing that the other party in your midst wouldn’t take offense to anything you may have said, or done. In the past, his own disposition and temperament as a decidedly less than serious Officer had driven some fellows, and a number of superiors crazy with annoyance. Vulcans especially seemed to regard Fisher with a less than tolerant approach, which only elicited further deliberate attempts at humorous anecdotes on his part, at least until their stubborn nature wore thin on the spy.

Thankfully, a Vulcan, Lieutenant Arnold was certainly not.

“I haven’t yet had a chance to meet with her, no. Though at some point it’ll likely happen, given her ties to the Syndicate.” He needn’t say more on the subject, as it was obvious that his department and in general Starfleet Intelligence were often tasked in dealing with and against the infamous Orion Syndicate. Having ready access to former members of said Syndicate was surely something of another luxury afforded by Theurgy. “Though if she’s as talented as your tone suggests, I may need to enlist her services at some point. There are a few old-school feeling spy holonovels that I own, which could use some skillful refining.” What Fisher left out, was just how much refining those programs he owned needed. As they drew upon a variety of different eras and times in history, he had encountered a similar problem as before wherein they sometimes bled together. It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for him to have been enjoying a mid-20th century scenario, only for there to suddenly appear elements from thirty-years further on in history, breaking the feel and immersion of the holonovel.

“Also, in my experience, I’ve not encountered too many unpleasant Orion women.”

As their targets came into view, and after having explained how they had been manifested, Fisher nodded succinctly to affirm Frank’s assertion with regard to the effectiveness of Gold Pressed Latinum and bribery. “Eh, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Besides which, I don’t think we’ll be sticking around long enough for any official complaints to be lodged against us. The proverbial winds seem to be picking up, and I think we’re just about due to cast off and set sail.” It was a bit of a shame that they would likely need to soon leave the relative safe harbor of the Aldean shipyards, but their mission and quite literally the fate of Galactic civilization rested in a tenuous balance. He had already decided that if he made it through this insane crisis that Theurgy was working its way through, he would someday return to the Aldean system for a short stint and try to properly enjoy its amenities. Though a dry and somewhat desolate planet, Aldea still had a beauty which merited interest and exploration as far as he was concerned.

“Nope. Phaser works beautifully.” He added to his previous assessment, responding to Frank’s protestations of concern. The man certainly had overseen the development of an incredible piece of equipment, which Fisher was more than certain would prove itself invaluable over the coming weeks, months, or however long it took for this situation to have been resolved. A notion which was only further compounded upon when the Engineer manned the controls on the PADD interface and called down the thunder on the remaining targets in the form of a micro-torpedo airstrike. The devastating blast radius caused would have likely leveled half a city block under a full-yield detonation, of which this for this test it hadn’t been. It spoke to the incredible lethality of this Guardian Angel and the overwatch it would provide. “Damn! I’d hate to be the poor guys on the receiving end of that delivered care package.” Grinning broadly from ear-to-ear, he was really starting to feel himself fill with giddy excitement over the new toy that had been procured for him by the skillful hands of the Engineering department.

He had been about to suggest the last phase of the test, when Frank made an off-handed suggestion that caused him to nearly double over with loud laughter. Drawing the attention of other crewmen at their stations, Fisher shook his head and leant against the central holo-display as he brought a hand to wipe away a tear born of said laughter.

“Sadly...” he chuckled once more in the midst of speaking. “...I don’t think Aldea is home to any such sororities.” He cleared his throat in an attempt to stifle more bouts of laughter. “The only piece of new equipment left to test is the site-to-site transporter unit.”

“Thea?” spy once more called out.

[Yes, Commander Fisher?] the AI-voice responded.

“Please lock onto Crewman Terrance, and transport him to the provided coordinates.”

[Understood. Energizing.]

“Let’s see.” On heel, Fisher turned round to face the main viewer again, which still showed the scorched sand and strewn about debris from their weapons test. Raising an anticipatory eyebrow, he watched as from out of a blue shimmering field the Crewman suddenly materialized, having been moved from wherever he had previously been located. Immediately panic stricken, the young crewman spun around trying to gauge his surroundings and get a grip on what was happening to him. Aware of how cruel it might have been to let the crewman go on without explanation, Fisher winked in acknowledgement to Frank as reassurance. “Thea, please raise the Crewman again.” The Chief Intelligence Officer certainly had an affinity for pranks and practical jokes, but some might have crossed the line, and had he left the poor man without an understanding of what was going on, this would have qualified. Thankfully, he wasn’t as heartless as some other Intelligence Operatives might have been, and in fact was relatively committed to not living up to that reputation.

[Channel open.]

“Commander Fisher to Crewman Terrance.”

Still highlighted on the main viewer and stopping in his tracks the young Crewman tapped his combadge in order to respond to the hail. “Terrance here, Sir!” he answered, his deeply nervous and panicked breaths also being transmitted clearly across the open channel.

“You can relax, Henry. I apologize, but you and your team were dispatched to the surface as part of a test program that I need to administer. For security reasons I was unable to fully brief you or your reporting Officer appropriately. I appreciate your dutiful cooperation, and as such can confirm that you and your fellows are now afforded eight-hours of official leave.” Turning to face Frank, he offered a sympathetic wink to the Engineer. “I’m going to return you to your team now. Please notify them of their authorized leave.” Reaching out to touch at the holo-display table at his side, he found the command that had been linked into the drone and programmed in the return site-to-site transport. “Just remember to be back aboard Theurgy on time and stay out of trouble.” Hesitating a moment, he smirked rather sinisterly. “After all. We’re watching.” Struggling to keep a straight face, he could see the Crewman looking up to the sky in confusion. “I’m joking. Have fun, kiddo.” Looking to Frank once more, he tapped the console to commence transport and the Crewman disappeared into a blue shimmering field.

“See, we spooks aren’t always terrifying, merciless sons of bitches.”

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #15
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift

Frank had a penchant for levity. It was the chuckle at the gallows, the giggle in the trenches, that is the humor of doomed men. Applied more literally it was the indomitable spirit of working men, passed from miner's father to father's son. Frank was the last link in a chain spanning the time in which man could burn the earth and make blades and ploughs with which to tame them, that was to say a miner with rough paws, and an indomitable spirit. Frank was definitely relaxed around Fisher, but then again he was relaxed around most everyone, it's what made him who he was. Sometimes it was particularly annoying to the stoic.

He laughed gently, and said, "I've only met her once, and I have one piece of her work. It's very convincing." He nodded slowly with a low giggle, as he rubbed his hands together. He would give a nod, "Now for a man that can summon Wellington's Warriors from Wrigley Field, she may be but a mere flea atop a St. Bernard." He laughed, clearly enjoying the free nature of the conversation between them, and with the testing of his drone.

He shrugged, "She seemed to think Orion was the best thing since the four jaw lathe chuck." He chuckled, a woodworking reference, the one thing Frank liked as much as smooth jazz. "That was a bit annoying, especially since she's never seen Scotland." He laughed at that, and rolled his shoulders, "Ah, but such is the way with women, the world revolves around ye, and yet eppur si muove." He winked at Fisher, gently lobbing a Gallilean phrase at him, as if to juxtapose the thoughts of women with their thoughts about themselves. He just chuckled, and took out a sheet of flexplast on which he'd scribble down a few digital notes in bright blue on simulated yellow legal paper, notes about small improvements to be made, a degree here or there to be sanded. He said almost as an afterthought as the red chrysanthemum bloomed to white as the Hellbore torpedo made its spectacular impact , "Then the Aldeans aren't as advanced as we thought. I'll have to leave them a copy of Animal House." He chuckled, and looked to Fisher with the same giddy grin, "Perhaps in that impact crater."

He cleared his throat as they moved onto the transporter test, "And the signals synthesizer of course. But that's all programming run through the deflector, so we don't need to worry about it, that's standard hardware, complex programming. Something we'll need to keep in mind, is that this frame was never intended to carry this many subsystems, or the additional weight from the survivability coating. I boosted the warp core to power all of these devices."

He circled a number, and then offered, "At standard running, all operational, we've only got between 6.3 and 8.1 percent excess power, that's a small safety factor." He nodded, "Taking the transporter offline brings the power into a much more manageable thresholds, but a buffer is a gigawatt hog." He stroked his beard, "So promise me you won't try an Andorian Corkscrew and fire the phasers while transporting anyone." He shrugged, "And that if you do, I won't be held liable for them showing up without every fifth electron." He offered that deadpan, and then took a deep breath as he called for transport.

He pretended to click his combadge, and offered, "Don't worry Henry, we've almost perfected the Klingon Corkscrew, stand by for transport." He mimed a poof, flash, dead, before he turned to the screen and watched Fisher play a little joke of his own, and just chuckled gently, "Not always, just sometimes."

Re: Day 35 [1400 hrs.] - From above, it will prey. | Rapax Fit Fidelis

Reply #16
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee

It was becoming increasingly obvious to Fisher that both he and Arnold had been born of similar stock with regard to their respective personalities. In fact, he was relatively certain that their inclination toward amusing anecdotes, banter, and playful sarcasm, which would have likely driven most other Senior Officers into an aggravation fueled frenzy due to the overall lack of professionalism, spoke to a somewhat shared kinship. He wondered if the similarly bearded man, also had in common the penchant for annoying Vulcans, of whom Fisher found particularly enjoyable to trigger. He swore that if you tried hard enough, you could even see steam rising from out of their decidedly pointed ears. Regretfully so, he was soon aware of the fact that there weren’t any such within listening distance who could have demonstrated that very feat. All the same, Fisher found the chance to engage in this kind of relaxing exchange to be moderately rejuvenating. After all, it was important to take pleasure in and enjoy the small things in life, especially given the dire serious nature of the scenario that faced them.

“I’d probably need to drum up something rather valuable as compensation for her help with that specific holodeck re-creation.” He mused in accordance with Arnold’s surprisingly apt bit of teasing about the infamous Redcoat invasion of Fenway Park.

His gaze still attuned to the main viewer of the control room, which continued to display the live feed from the drone’s surveillance system, Fisher waited with bated breath for the Torpedo to strike it’s target. All the while, he listened to Frank as he offered some additional analysis of Xelia, and her apparent preference for the Orion home world. Of course it was natural to favor one’s own home over another, and he couldn’t fault her for that, nor did he think Frank was doing the same. It was just another topic that the two of them could have some good nature ribbing over, and further break up the relative monotony of their day. Sure, Engineers were always busy with one task or the other, and for his own part Fisher had more than a few dossiers and reports to go over in advance of wherever their mission would lead them, but it didn’t hurt to break all that up with something lighter like this was. Once again, all part of enjoying the small things in life when you could, because there were simply no guarantees of them popping up in the future.

“I wonder how well the Aldean people would react to the comedy shenanigans of Bluto.”

For the most part, Fisher wasn’t exactly inept when it came to principles of Engineering. He could get by well enough, but of the disciplines that Starfleet officers chose to put an emphasis on, it was often the last he would focus on. As professed earlier, he had a history of engineering projects that had back-fired on him in often somewhat hysterical fashion. It was especially good then, that he’d managed to pique the interest of someone with as adept an understanding as the Assistant Chief Engineer. Otherwise, the drone might well have been flying in incoherent circles, rather than responding so readily to their command inputs. “I make no promises. But if you’d like, I can have a waiver of liability drawn up by our legal department, absolving you of any wrong-doing if I should transport an Admiral’s prized Beagle to the wrong planet.” The old myth of Archer’s disappearing dog was one which had been making the rounds at Starfleet Academy since the early 2300s, and as far as Fisher was concerned, hadn’t yet worn out it’s hilariousness, even if there may have been more truth to it than most people believed.

“Exactly. Not always. Just sometimes.” He echoed the sentiment offered with a wry wink, settling back a little in a lean against a console as they had completed nearly every major test of the drone that warranted their attention. Crossing his arms over his chest, he admired the readouts of the incredible craft as they ran across the viewer, and likewise on the central holotable. Frank and his people had really outdone themselves, he once more reminded himself as he let a moment of silence linger in the relatively small control room. “She’s an incredible craft, Frank. You and your people really have done great work. But...” hesitating a moment as emphasis, he pushed himself off of the console a moment as a question and in fact additional request had finally dawned on him. “...I do have one thing left to ask about it.” His tone a little more serious now, he approached the holotable to stand just opposite of the other man as with a few taps on the controls, he brought up a holographic display of the drone for the two of them to examine. It’s hull glimmering brilliantly in the light so as to emphasize the nature of what he sought to potentially address.

“Does it come in black?”


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