Location: Makeshift Laboratory - Basement - Maxwell Ranch
Synopsis: Heather, Pyotr, and Elizabeth work on figuring out how to Charge Visitor Laser Weapons!
Heather O'Leary walks into the Lab, looking for either Elizabeth or Pyotr. She is carrying a Visitor Laser Sidearm, frowning at it. She mutters something about 'Last Powercell', and 'D-Cell's won't fit'.
Well.. it's official. Pyotr is a Mad Scientist. Not only is there the usual assortment of gear that the resistance has gathered and 'borrowed' over the last few years but now there are a few editions that Pyotr has.. kludged together... in some frankenstein abortion which seems to include an actual home-built vandergraph generator and a Tesla coil. Cables cross cross the lab's floor in a spiderweb connecting the multiple devices to a chain of what looks like a chain of modified Uninterrupted Power Supplies.. among other things... all which trail back to a large manual lever switch that is.. uhm... jumper cabled to the reactor. Sitting in the center of all these crisscrossing cables (which seem to coincidentally form a pentagram) is Pyotr.. a laptop balanced on one leg and soldering a separate motherboard... There is a spark and he curses.. then sucks on his thumb.
"Might want to be careful. Angel wouldn't like it too much, if you were... Toasted." Heather says to Pyotr, in Russian. She tilts her head to one side, and switches back to English, able to more easily speak 'technobabble'. "Might I ask why you are electrocuting yourself?"
Pyotr Zagadka sucks on his thumb a little more. "No pain, no glory." he says after pulling his thumb out of mouth and inspecting it with a grimace. "This is ridiculous, da. How many skyfighters... squad ships.. have we captured or destroyed? And you notice not ONE had damned recharging ports. Who in hell designs such system?"
Heather O'Leary smirks, "Not proper planning, in my opinion. Although, there has to be a way to recharge them. I've tried rigging a power cord, and plugging it into a wall socket. All I got was an explosion of sparks, that blew out three breakers, and a melted power cell."
Pyotr Zagadka grumbles. "That is because port is not for charging. It for diagnostics." he says with a huff and starts sodeirng again. "No no.. I discovered that cells are induction charged. Is overly complicated. is easier to actually merge reactor with our OWN systems then recharge their own weapons..." Satisfied with the solder he sets down the soldering gun and picks up his voltometer. "But i think I know why."
Heather O'Leary shakes her head, "It has been a long time since I used any of my electrical engineering knowledge....." Heather shrugs slightly, "But, I am following the technobabble, so tell me what you think."
Pyotr Zagadka tests the last circuit and grunts once, happy with the readings. He sets both the board and the meter down and then slips the laptop fully into his lap, making sure the USB port is properly connected to the wire that leads to the board that leads to.. well.. everything else. "Security." he says flatly, bringing up his compiler and watching the strange mishmash of human assembly code and Visitor iconic code waterfall scrolling down his screen. "And not just to keep /humans/ from charging devices."
Heather O'Leary frowns, ever so slightly, "Fifth Columnist." She sighs, softly, "Makes sense, all in all. But I still don't like it." She sighs, and moves further into the Lab, and glances down to see what Pyotr is looking at. She frowns, deeper. Ugh, she hates assaulting her eyes and brains with the Visitor Alphabet.
Pyotr Zagadka doesn't seem to have /much/ problem with the almost arcane mishmash of code evolved from two species.. but then again he is also a little bent in the head. "Nyet. No. Not make sense." he states and then looks from the screen. "Well, little bit sense but.. Think about it. This technology... from hardware to code.. Security 'features' have been in place since BEFORE they came to Earth."
Heather O'Leary sits down on one of the cleared workbenches, setting the Sidearm down next to her, and looks thoughtful, "Is it possible they anticipated a Resistance Movement might capture a Squadship, or a Skyfighter? Or they were just being proactive, just in case?" She shrugs, "Although, guessing about their intentions is... problematic, at best. It really doesn't get us any closer to a solution, unless..." She pauses, "Could they still have the recharges on a Skyfighter, or Squadship, just deactivated?"
Pyotr Zagadka furrows his brow a both as he thinks on this. "Maybe on some specialized ship, I am sure but.. I have feeling that it is not just proactive anticipation, as you say." he lifts his glasses and rubs his eyes. "I think Visitor society is very... compartmentalized.. Much like Russia was during COld War. I think that Visitor's Military Command does not trust it's people except for handpicked few. I think.. These security measures are to protect them from themselves. They not anticipating, Heather. They are /expecting/."
Heather O'Leary sighs, "I could wish they had more to protect themselves from, than." She looks at Pyotr, and then shrugs, "I’d be willing to bet, that one of the things Elizabeth has down here, is what we need to recharge these things, if we can identify it. We have a lot of captured technology from the Atlanta Mothership... Much still needs to be identified."
Pyotr Zagadka nods and lowers his glasses back onto the bridge of his nose. "Well, I know is not pretty but this just prototype.. If works I can reduce all this clutter into a single unit. The work you and Elizabeth have done even before I got here is astounding. Of course, you and /Elizaveta/ might not be happy with final pieces I needed to.. uhm.. borrow."
Heather O'Leary just looks at Pyotr, and says, "I am almost afraid to ask, but what parts did you borrow?"
Pyotr Zagadka motions to far end of the bench on which heather sits and a small apparatus. "Well... you see.. I needed something to broadcast modulated near em field... And I was in bathroom in house early this morning and saw that your battery powered leg shaver and toothbrush were induction charged...."
Heather O'Leary nods, ever so slightly, "Well, I guess I will be switching to shaving my legs with a disposable razor, and using a regular toothbrush." She doesn't, however, ask why Pyotr was in her and Elizabeth's bathroom... the private one in the Master Bedroom, because she can easily guess he was there strictly to see if they had such equipment.
Or else he wandered through in one of his befuddled 'dazed and confused' moments when he is deep in a project, lacking sleep and powered by an unhealthy amount of coffee. Pyotr is prone to do that. It's not like he is well versed on most social cues during the best of times. to begin with. "Well.. is small price to pay. Though I must tell you if my calculations correct this not QUITE as efficient as an actual visitor unit."
Elizabeth Maxwell stops at the door to the lab right at that point, blinking a little at the sound of those in it, listening to what's being discussed, and poking her head in after a moment. "Something in progress in here?" She smiles.
Heather O'Leary shrugs, "Better something that works, even if inefficiently, than not having the Laser Weapons when we need them. She glances up and smiles at Elizabeth, "Just talking with Master-Thief Pyotr, about recharging the Visitor Powercells."
Pyotr Zagadka doesn't take any umbrage at all with the title. HE barely even registers it even as he is checking the few final lines of hybrid human/visitor code on his screen. He does, however, look up when he notices Elizabeth and grins. "Da. And I can say with certainty that it most like not probably blow up!"
Elizabeth Maxwell blinks at that and raises her eyebrows. "Master thief? What's he been snitching?" She raises her eyebrows just a little bit and looks over at Pyotr, nodding at the second statement. "Yeah, I've been looking at possible better ways to do that when I've had time, it really would be bad to not have them when we need them." She raises her head at the code, scratching her head and trying to read it. "Well, hopefully not." She smiles.
"The electric shaver, and electric toothbrushes from our bathroom..." Heather says with a grin, than an affectionate smile at Pyotr. "*If* it blows up, and kills us all, Pyotr, I will be very mad at you." Yes, she is teasing, and her tone should indicate that.
Pyotr Zagadka looks all innocent when she asks what has been taken. if she hasn't noticed their toothbrushes missing then there's a good chance NEITHER of them will have noticed the toaster missing either. "Oh, no to worry, my friends. I am pretty sure no one will die. Be maimed? maybe. Die, most likely not." He motions towards the lever. "If someone could, as they say, flip the switch.. Then I can monitor the system before we actually charge...
Elizabeth Maxwell nods a little bit at that. "Okay, if that's all, I'm not entirely that worried about it." She smiles just a little bit, thinking towards Heather (I'd be more worried if it was other things.) To Pyotr, she smiles. "Well, if one of us gets to start it, I hope it won't." She grins a little bit and walks over to check it out. "Otherwise I won't be happy about it. Shouldn't you start it yourself though, as the proud builder, or is that what you're worried about?" She grins just a little more then.
A soft laugh comes from the thought Elizabeth projected in her mind, but Heather simply stands up, and moves closer to Pyotr, which incidentally places her closer to the Conversion Chamber. She glances at the door leading to the Conversion Chamber, but shakes her head, and looks at Pyotr, "You should fire it up. You created it."
Pyotr Zagadka would probably, usualy, complain a little about having to get up and do it when they are obviously better situated then him but.. it's the look that Heather gives the conversion chamber. He regards her with a little understanding and then with a grunt stands and crosses over to the lever. He wraps his fingers around the handle. "Ready?"
Elizabeth Maxwell picks up a piece of plastic-y material that on look wouldn't possibly deflect explosion debris, rather break and let it right through, holding it up in a joking manner while grinning toward Pyotr. "Ready."
"As I'll ever be." Heather says softly, "Just remember, we die, I get mad, and haunt your eternal soul... eternally." She is trying to stay joking, however dangerous such a device might actually be.
Pyotr Zagadka grins. "Alrighty.. Lets get show on road." And with a flourish he pulls the breaker.... And SCREAMS!
Elizabeth Maxwell jumps significantly at the scream, holding up the plastic thing then dropping it quickly when nothing comes for her, hurrying over to Pyotr.
Heather O'Leary jumps at the scream, but is only concerned for an instant, figuring it for a joke. "Very Funny, Pyotr." She looks at Elizabeth, "Next time he is sleeping, I am switching his toothpaste with shaving cream, and placing his hand in a glass of warm water.... And a Sharpie might also be involved." Yes, she can prank as well.
Pyotr Zagadka writhes and shakes like he is having an epileptic seizure.. His scream has been cut off and he is gritting his teeth as his whole body quivers and undulates. You would expect there to be sparks and smoke and fire.. perhaps klaxons! It is only a few moments before the women actually get to him when he finally stops shaking and stands straight, releasing the handle and just grins at Heather then, hand on one hip. "You should /REALLY/ see her face, though. Is priceless...." he says matter of factly.
Elizabeth Maxwell grins just a little at Pyotr and shaking her head slightly, looking over to Heather. "Hmm..." She raises her eyebrows a bit and ponders. "I'll have to think of something nice and spectacular as a way to retaliate for that..." She glances over at Pyotr then, still smiling.
Heather O'Leary moves toward Elizabeth, and comments, "Well, he did get you. Thankfully, I have figured out he has a sick, and low, sense of humor." She winks at Pyotr.
Pyotr Zagadka smirks and carefully steps over the wires, checking the laptop that is cradled in the crook of his other arm. "I can deal with any prank either of you throw my way." he says cheekily as he checks over the readings. "Well damn.. It works! Well.. I mean works as in Not on Fire. You have that powercell?"
Heather O'Leary grabs the powercell from the Sidearm, it looks much like a pistol's clip, except it also appears to be mated with a Battery Pack. Ugly, slightly heavier than a regular clip, but much lighter than a battery, she tosses it towards Pyotr, "Catch."
Elizabeth Maxwell watches, raising her eyebrows just a little at the 'fixed' clip, interested.
Pyotr Zagadka catches it rather deftly and inspects the cell for a moment.. Not that he's never seen one but he is checking to make sure the casing it's damaged. "Looks good." he says and then leans over the homebrew pad of plastic with the multiple induction coils in it base.. "Okay... The clip is charged by a triple variable electromagnetic oscillation that pulses in specific rolling sequences. Is why each induction coil in charger base is controlled by separate computer board which regulates frequencies in their separate patterns..." He very slowly lowers the clip to about a quarter inch above the pad.. then drops it onto the base and quickly steps back.
Heather O'Leary just waits to see what happens.
Elizabeth Maxwell watches, ready to jump if she notices any smoke or anything wrong when it hits the pad, eyebrows raised.
Aaaaaaaaaand... They're still alive! he peeks through eyes he had unintentionally clenched shut and breathes a sigh of relief. "Well.... That's good." he says and stares at the screen on his laptop. "Best estimate.. 63 percent as efficient... So.. Will take one third longer to charge to full then their own unit, give or take."
Heather O'Leary nods, "And how long until you can make more? One charger will take quite some time to load the Spare Power Cells we have laying around...."
Elizabeth Maxwell looks the unit over as well. "I would hope if it uses a charging pad, then more than one could be charged at once?"
Pyotr Zagadka frowns a little as he seems to be crunching number.. "Well, if I get a few more coils and UPS units we could do four at a time.. efficiency would drop a lille.. Down to... hmmm... 58 percent. But that is not bad. Much better than not charging at all, da? Now that I know design works I can also build smaller overall unit.. Probably two more with what we have on hand, minus coils and UPS units.
Heather O'Leary frowns slightly, but nods, "Get us a list of what you need, and we will make sure to add it tour shopping list." She looks at Elizabeth, "You might want to go through the rest of the stuff we brought back from the Atlanta Mothership, as well. See if we have anything that will help Pyotr bring up the efficiency..." Or, for all she knows, they might have a complete charging station, and it just hasn't been recognized for what it is.
Elizabeth Maxwell hmms and nods just a little bit. "Right, I'll look for the stuff, if you need any help for anything in making a smaller one, well, let me know. I'll look through the unsorted stuff and dig through the ship computer dump over in the corner..." She gestures towards the little computer still powered down. "To see if there's anything useful for helping with it."
Pyotr Zagadka looks up from his own laptop and smiles. "I will get you list A.S.A.P." he promises Heather and gives her a cocky salute. Then he looks to Elisabeth and chuckles. "Almost like being Alien Archaeologist, no? Digging through their trash. I guess We should feel... insulted? That we have to do so but.. It's still all very amazing."
Heather O'Leary chuckles softly at the salute. She shakes her head slightly, and moves to the door of the Conversion Chamber, for a few moments. This is as close to it as she has been in some time, and it fills her with dread, but she stands still, just slowly trying to get herself over it. Shortly, she turns and moves back towards the Lab exit, speaking softly, "I'll make sure the other depleted Power Cells are brought to the Lab. I have been collecting them, for some time. We have hundreds..."
Elizabeth Maxwell hmms and shrugs a little bit. "Well, we tried not to grab anything we thought was trash, anyway... Well, I tried not to, and tried to make certain others didn't if I could, in terms of what I recognized." She shrugs.
Pyotr Zagadka looks up from the laptop at Liz and sighs. "I not be criticizing, Elisabeth.. Truly. I would have brought REAL trash so you are many steps above me. None of this would have been possible without you, either." he says sincerely, then looks to Heather and makes a face. Hundreds.. Oi. "Well after this one clip is charged I will test in gun. If all is well I will quickly get this mess into real casing and start one the other units.. get as much done as I can without few missing pieces. By end of week we should have all three running."
Heather O'Leary nods and slips from the Lab. Both to get the Powercells, and, perhaps more importantly to her, to escape being near the Conversion Chamber.
Elizabeth Maxwell nods and shrugs just a little bit, smiling. "Just do what I can, thanks. And... Yeah, testing the charge is probably a good idea." she nods. "I'll see if I can get anything worked out for the others, maybe I can find something before the supply trip."
Pyotr Zagadka watches Heather walk off, noting that look she gives the conversion chamber, then looks to Elizabeth. "What? Oh, yes.. The Supply trip." he says, then pushes his glasses back up his nose as they have slipped. "She really not comfortable with that thing around."
Elizabeth Maxwell sighs and looks over at it. "I know... After what happened to her that one time, I don't blame her in the least, to be honest. But it needs to be here to undo the procedure if someone else gets that forced onto them..."
Pyotr Zagadka walks over and places a hand on the casing of the chamber. "I can understand.. No.. I can't. It must have been horrible." he murmurs. "I hate it, you know. How something that could be used for such good is used for such evil."
Elizabeth Maxwell glances over and shrugs. "Even if someone highly trained in psychological and psychiatric disorders and the use of the thing were involved, it really isn't ethical to ever use the thing outside of undoing what has been done." She shrugs.
Pyotr Zagadka shakes his head. "It's not just that." he says. "This.. thing.. affects the mind. But it does that by manipulating the brain. The brain, for all it does, is a PHYSICAL thing. If it can tap into brain then it might.. no.. MUST be able to tap into rest of body as well. The Nervous System. Cells. Bioelectrical system.. WHo know what. It could be used to physically heal body maybe."
Elizabeth Maxwell hmms a little at that and scratches her head. "Never considered that, we'd need a doctor... a doctor other than Julie mind you, after her run ins with it, to discuss the idea with, though... and it would take a lot of study and tinkering with it..." She hmms. "That could be a problem realize, if we wreck this one trying to make it heal injuries, we wouldn't have it to deconvert someone here later."
Pyotr Zagadka goes silent very quickly. "No, you are right /Elizaveta/.." he says, using the Russian version of her name as he walks around the chamber. "We could not ask Julie. I would not do that to her." he says softly. "And we not wish to damage this machine when, you are right, clearly might we need it in future. It was just.. idle wondering.. wishing.
Elizabeth Maxwell nods at that and ponders it. "If we can get hold of another one, then possibly. But until then..." She pauses just a little, and gives Pyotr just a bit of a naughty smile, thinking. "Asides, I'd think you have it pretty well off for that, doesn't your girlfriend take special care of you whenever you're hurt?"
Pyotr Zagadka definitely flushes at that, but his faint smile doesn't disappear. "Angelica takes very good care of me, da." he admits. "She.. too good for me, sometimes I think. I am just poor scatterbrained scientist. She is.. She is Angelica." he says, as if that makes complete sense to him
Elizabeth Maxwell grins a little at that and shrugs just slightly. "Oh, you two are cute together. And I'm pretty sure she'd be a lot more lonely if she didn't have you to snuggle up to."
Pyotr Zagadka chuckles a bit. "Perhaps. I just know that she is... I hate using term human. It sounds racist but.. She is human. I not mean physically or even mentally.. but.. deeper."
Elizabeth Maxwell smiles and nods just a little at that. "I understand. No worries there. I notice how hard she's trying to fit in with everyone else as well, though, trying to seem closer to the others. Even if she got drubbed the 'mistress of Bactine' when she first got here, or something like that..." She smiles a little more.
Pyotr Zagadka sighs and sits down on the bench and sets the laptop aside. "I think she shouldn't have to try so hard. She doesn't need to try and really pretend to be.. human. I mean in stereotypical sense of word. When we win in future there will be many Visitors who helped us. Do we force them to continue to pretend to be human? Or to be who they just are?"
Elizabeth Maxwell hmms at that and scratches her head a little. "I'm not sure, it just depends on people as a whole. Some of them stayed behind after the first invasion as well, and still were wearing their masks and all... it seemed necessary, it may seem necessary to them for a time after this is over as well, at least." She frowns and considers.
Pyotr Zagadka looks at Elizabeth. "I can see for time, maybe. But we need to think about this or what are we fighting for. Not just freedom. It's more than that now. When we win there is no putting genie back in bottle. There is whole universe out there.. Up there. And how we, humans and our Visitor allies, will be after the fighting will determine how we interact with rest of universe."
Elizabeth Maxwell nods just a little at that, considering it. "That's a long term goal though at this point. Industry and population may have to expand to support it, after this is over...."
Pyotr Zagadka nods. "Da, you are right. But Still... some people still need to be thinking further ahead than that. Planning. Dreaming."