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Great things come in small packages

Posted on Tue Jan 19th, 2021 @ 4:32pm by Ensign Cynthia Clary & Commander Garran Suliborn

Mission: On the Verge
Location: CIO's office
Timeline: MD01 - 1500

You are not going on a date, Cynthia told herself. You're a junior engineering officer going to coordinate with a senior staff member about updating the cybersecurity and surveillance capability of a series of orbital platform.

Definitely not a date.

Besides, Cynthia told herself, the Commander was three times her size. How would the mechanic.s even work in a relationship like that?

Still, Cynthia found her thoughts often wandering to Commander Suliborn. Growing up, Cynthia had been raised on tales from her great-grandfather. In those tails, a band of operatives (called adventurers by her great-grandfather) went on amazing missions, all led by a Sirran that her grandfather dubbed "The Big Bad Wolf." It was only after her Academy graduation that her grandfather divulged the name of The Big Bad Wolf, And it was quite by accident that Cynthia learned that the Sirran who was Chief Intelligence Officer on the Solaris was The Big Bad Wolf.

Commander Garran Suliborn wasn't quite the Sirran Cynthia had imagined. But then again, Commander Suliborn and her great-grandfather had been much younger men in the days of "The Big Bad Wolf" and his followers.

It didn't matter to Cynthia. There was something about the graying whiskers and the dignified personage of the older Sirran that pulled on Cynthia's heartstrings.

And other parts of her anatomy.

Cynthia reminded herself that this wasn't a date. Okay, she had washed her hair with a treatment that had just a hint of lobeira in it. Her uniform was just a hint tighter than normal, showing off both her firm, flat stomach and feminine curves.

Not a date, she told herself, as she signaled her presence at the entrance of the Chief Intelligence Officer's office.

"Come!" Garran's resonant voice boomed. He looked up from his PADD as the door opened for Cynthia and smiled as he saw who it was, looking at her over the rim of small, round reading glasses. "Ah, Ensign Clary. Cynthia. What can I do for you today?" he asked with a smile.

"Yes, well," the diminutive engineer stuttered out, suddenly feeling a little nervous. "Lieutenant Cortéz assigned me to work with you and Lieutenant Carver on getting those orbital platforms up to date." Feeling more comfortable with the discussion turning to technical matters, she added. "The platforms are woefully behind in their surveillance capabilities, as well as their cybersecurity. And my size, as well as my skills, makes me uniquely qualified to deal with both of those categories both remotely and on site."

"Are you suggesting we upgrade the existing platforms to a more current standard? We'd need to plug the holes in their coverage as well. Personally I figured we'd send for a full replacement grid, but if you have ideas regarding possible worthwhile upgrades I'd be more than happy to listen," Garran mused, steepling his fingers a bit. "We could at least bring their cyber warfare package up date with updated firewalls, smart IFF decrypters and the like. Would likely involve an on-site hardware upgrade to their central logic cores."

Shrugging, Cynthia replied, "Upgrades will be faster than replacements. I'm not saying I don't think replacements will be better," Cynthia hurriedly added, "But we can get the upgrades in place faster than we can the get replacements, even using the ship's replicator capability. And from what I understand, the colony's single industrial grade replicator is offline for the foreseeable future." Cynthia chewed her lower lip as she read her PADD. "And you're right about the IFF function. The platforms don't even have a Mode S Interrogator. I doubt if even the Paklads would want to salvage them. I do think we could replicate something to fill in the surveillance gaps while we do the hardware upgrades on the rest of the platforms."

"Could we strategically place some high sensitivity scientific probes and slave the GOD platforms to them?" Garran flicked an ear. "Use their sensor equipment and slave the weapons platforms' targeting system to them? We'd need to figure out how many probes we'd need to deploy for the best coverage and it'd be a stopgap measure at best until replacement platforms are delivered - which is going to take a while - but it'd bypass the sensor resolution and band limitations on the old platforms' hardware."

"Maybe some Class Two Probes," Cynthia answered thoughtfully. "I'd have to talk to Lieutenant Cortéz and the Chief Science Officers about that. And coordinate how the weapon systems are configured with Lieutenant Carver."

And change into a uniform I didn't make marginally snugger for the Commander's appreciation, Cynthia thought to herself. Lieutenant Carver is not a man who needs encouragement.

"But yes, that's all doable. Let me just run something through---" Cynthia paused as her PADD froze up. Looking up at the LCARS interface Garran was sitting in front of, she pointed at it and asked, "Sir, would you mind if I used your interface momentarily?"

Garran chuckled in amusement and flicked an ear. "Certainly. Feel free to climb on my desk. Though you'll find the interface set to 'old people mode', with the larger font and buttons," he smiled. Truth be told his entire terminal was a gigantic piece of equipment, suitably larger than a Federation standard one. "Oh, you'll excuse me if I log out and have you use your own credentials, mine unlock some - sensitive information not suitable to your eyes, Cynthia."

"I don't think of you as old at all...Silvertail," Cynthia said with a blush. "You just get better with age."

Cynthia almost made a randy comment about what would be suitable for whose eyes, but wisely decided not to. Instead she just said, "Just let me know when you're logged out."

"I am literally older than your great grandfather, Cynthia," Garran replied matter-of-factly as he saved his work and logged off, leaning back in his chair and turning his terminal screen around for the Flirtesian.

"Maybe," Cynthia allowed, as she used a combination of her Floresian stilts, natural grace, as well as her jumping and climbing ability to ascend to the desktop. "But great-gramps is nowhere near as handsome as you are."

As soon as Cynthia was at the LCARS interface, though, she was suddenly all business. She brought up a three dimensional hologram of the colony world and the existing orbital platforms on top of the desk. She then began placing satellites in different points of orbits, her frown deepening as she did so.

"I don't know strategy and tactics like either you or Lieutenant Carver do, Commander," Cynthia said, her voice very serious, "But I do understand node vulnerability. We could get by with six Type 2 probes to fill in the gaps, positioning them at six equidistant local Lagrange points, and they'll provide the improved targeting for the weapons platforms that you want. However, if anybody takes out any two of those Type Twos, it will crash the whole system."

"On the other hand," Cynthia continued, "We could shoot our--- em, I mean deploy all available Type Twos, and we'd get a bigger net and more decentralized command structure that wouldn't be as susceptible to disruption. However, that many probes means we wouldn't have any Type Twos available for any other use, at least not for awhile. Granted, even if something knocked out all the Type Twos, it wouldn't knock out the system, but your targeting capability might be worse than before you added the Type Twos to your net."

"Lieutenant Carver is the tactical one," Garran mused, leisurely leaning back, hands behind his head. At her comment of handsomeness he had chuckled in amusement. "I'm not a fan of minimal coverage. We're a navy, albeit a space navy, and navies like redundancy. But I'm also not a fan of exhausting our supply of Type Twos. Probably easiest to run a few simulations with different amounts of coverage and present them to Carver, see what he thinks?"

The large Sirran leaned forward now, seemingly paying more attention. "Meanwhile we're going to need upgraded software. I can pull the latest patch for the Odin Three from the subnet, we can work from there. Need a secure line between the type Twos and Odin Threes, lot to do still, but we have a plan."

"Aye, sir," Cynthia responded, still in her 'business mode.' She paused, with an impish smile coming to her lips. "Maybe you could help me whip up a training simulation for working on the platforms themselves, so I can get in some practice? I think I am the most logical person to go over there and work on them." Cynthia lifted up her arms as if to emphasize her diminutive size. She had been referred to more than once as a 'shrunken shapely hottie,' but in this instance, it was the 'shrunken' aspect of her physiology that was going to benefit her the most while working on the platform.

"I believe I can," Garran smiled in return, reaching for his PADD. "Wish they'd made these a bit bigger. Like twice this size," he quietly muttered under his breath.

Unfortunately for Garran, his muttering wasn't quiet enough not to be picked up by a Floresian's acute sense of hearing. "Oh, I don't know about that, Silvertail," Cynthia playfully remarked. "They say great things come in small packages." With a broad smile, Cynthia picked up her own PADD to help the Sirran intelligence officer design a training program for her.

 

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