Day 040: Interfering With The Mountain
Summary: Jumar, Grey, and Morgan consider ways to mess with the Mountain. Keelyn provides moral support, at least for Jumar.
Date: 8 July 2016
Related: Immediately follows Briefing the Scouts
Jumar Grey Keelyn Morgan 

Computer Lab, Camp Jaha
The floor of this room is slightly canted, only a couple of degrees, but enough to be noticed. Luckily, the desks have been fixed to the floor, so they do not move, but the chairs have a disturbing tendency to inch their way toward the door when in use, and very little with any sort of curve to it manage to stay in place atop the table. Monitors are arrayed at the back of each table, and keypads grace the surface, allowing twenty people at a time to access the databanks of the Ark. A single large screen stands opposite the entry, allowing for a teacher to guide a class.
40 Days After Landing

Whatever else you might say about the 'computer lab', it's not exactly go-sci, but it works for it's purpose of being essentially a computer library.

Today… it's being put to a very different use. Jumar sits at one of the computer terminals typing furiously. The big screen against the wall shows a computer map of the region… centered on Mount Weather. There's code being written in a column off to one side as Jumar works tirelessly.

oh, and the dropship radio is next to him on the desk. Fancy that.

Grey is in his armor, without his rifle, and with a nearly-trained cup of caffeine. He's still favoring his left arm, keeping it tucked in close to his side. "Corporal Shumar said you had something?" It must have fried the Corporal a bit to go out and play messenger for a mere Guardsman, but, she's a professional. Grey comes across the computer lab, craning his neck to see the screen, "You're workin' on the Mount Weather problem too? I couldn't get any solid sat-images that were anywhere close to right before the nukes hit. Just old shit. You do any better?"

Before Grey can go any further, Jumar puts his hand up in a 'wait' gesture. "Listen to this." Jumar turns on the radio… and instead of the usual interference, Grey can hear something garbled, "what does that sound like to you, Lucian?"

<FS3> Grey rolls Alertness: Failure. (4 5 1 2 4 2)

Grey sets down the cup on the table, leaning forward and narrowing his eyes as he listens, "Uh… sounds like white noise to me, man. Or some nasty-ass crackle. Same sort of shit we've been getting on the comms since we got 'em up and working at all."

Jumar frowns a bit, then adjusts just a bit. The tuning gets just right to hear the garbling better. "That, Mr. Grey, is the sound of garbled *voices* with encryption." Jumar waits to see if he can make the implication.

Grey leans further toward the speakers, his frown deepening as he strains to hear through the garbling. The techie's words cause Grey to reach up to touch the earbud radio nestled into his right ear, which is silent save for the faint hiss of the interference, "It ain't us. The Trikru don't have radios, so…" He slowly straightens up, eyebrows lifting, "You can hear transmissions from the Mountain."

Jumar snaps his fingers, "that, Lucian, is the sound of the only unjammed frequency being encrypted." He points to the screen, "And that is the nearly pinpoint location of their transmitter." Jumar starts to type, "Me and Hector have been working at this for goddamned ages. Scrubbing through the entire radio spectrum is ridiculously slow and tedious, but shit happens and all that." Jumar gives his trademark 'big old grin' to Grey, "and I'm pretty sure I can break this with a few days." He starts to type again as he looks at the monitor, "That transmitter is either in the Mountain and powerful, or on top of the mountain. We can make it go boom easily. There is, however, a problem." Jumar takes a break, "we have an either or dilemma. I'll be taking it to the Chancellor soon as I'm done with you, but since you're putting together a scouting mission, this is immediately relevant to you, and I wanted you aware of this before you went out." Jumar points to the code on the right column, "We have no choices here. I can break the interference and boost our range for radios… or we can keep the spectrum the way it is and I can break their encryption."

Then something weird happens, and Jumar pops up a bunch of other code, replacing the map. "Oh, and I'm fairly positive this is what caused us to go off course and for that dropship that nuked their village to crash. You know, the one that set off the Grounders? This pretty much confirms Mount Weather is responsible for it."

Grey's thoughtful frown returns as he listens to Jumar's explanation, "Between that and the forge, you been busy." That's just a throw-away though, his mind churning hard on the information provided. "Sooo… we can either talk to each other and coordinate, or we can hear them talk to each other, but still not be able to coordinate what we do about it." He grunts softly, mulling it over, "I say we coordinate. It'd be real good with superior numbers. But… totally not my call." The last bit, however, causes him to raise his eyebrows again, "Well that's good. Now you just gotta figure out how to explain that to a Trikru."

"They do say they're here to 'talk', even if they are bringing a few of the lunatics who murdered us at the camp." Jumar clucks his tongue, "I can walk them through the why… but they'd need electronics training to understand the how." Jumar grunts, "I'm not the one going out there and putting my life on the line. I'm the one spearheading technical efforts to get us as many edges as we can. There's a reason I stayed in the dropship during the siege." Jumar points out, before he brings up the map again. "I brought this to your attention so you could delay your mission long enough to see what the Chancellor wants to do with this information."

Keelyn comes inside after a shift. Obviously the guards are more alert, more tense, having pulled back into more of a defensive posture. So her work today was more tense, more because of everyone's stress than the work itself. She slumps in a bit, looking around as she does so, not quite having turned off 'patrol' mode yet..

Grey shakes his head slightly, "Nope. Gonna have to be able to explain it to folks without any knowledge of radios or radar or anything like that. Then again, if you can convince 'em that the Mountain caused Thripoda, you'll be makin' sure that all the Trikru are pissed at the Mountain, instead of at us." He stands over Jumar's shoulder, studying a screen, a mostly-empty plastic cup of caffeine sitting on the table before him. "And we're leavin' tomorrow. Only thing this changes is I'll bring my earbud with me, and if the Chancellor picks comms, you can talk to me." He glances up at the second Guard, upnodding briefly. And then he blinks, frowning, "Smyth?" Snorting softly, he offers a faintly-crooked grin, "You made it down then."

As Keelyn comes in, however… Grey sees something he's never seen before from Jumar. An affectionate smile. Then he hears something he probably never thought he'd hear from Jumar, "hello sweety." The tone is mildly teasing, but there is actual affection there. Once Jumar gets the greetings to his girlfriend out of the way, Jumar just groans as he listens to Grey, then fixes him with his 'are you serious' expression. "I realize that we're trying to work with the Grounders… but that's like… like. "Jumar scrunches up his nose, "like explaining electromagnetism to a five year old." Jumar rubs his forehead, "fine, I'll see if I can dig up a goddamned radios for dummies book."

Keelyn rubs her eyes, and stretches a little. She ws coming over to say hi to Jumar, but then she's addressed by Grey. Seeing him, she does that doubletake you do when you see someone infamous, that microreaction of disgust, pity, something. "If I didn't make it back from walking the fence we'd probably have worse problems…" she says with a cold chuckle, before coming up behind Jumar and hugging him.

Wait, Jumar has feelings besides rage, annoyance, and distaste? Grey blinks as he looks between the two of them, stepping side so that Keelyn can hug the techie. To buy some time, he takes up his cup, swigging the cold caffeine and grimacing, "Eugh. Only thing worse than cold caff is no caff." Keelyn's words cause he to frown a moment, then jerk his head upward, "Naw. I mean from orbit." What, no snarky, needling comment? This is definitely not the same Lucian Grey from the Ark. Hell, he might not even be any sort of Grey. "And yeah. Just explainin' how that," he gestures to the code, which he certainly doesn't understand, "means that the Mountain was screwin' up our telemetry. How it made us crash where we didn't want to be. That should be enough." And isn't that a tall order?

In fact, Jumar brings up one of Keelyns hands and gives it an affectionate kiss as she hugs him. "Sweetheart, I'm talking to Lucian about some technical issues and I need my hands for now. Okay?" Jumar does, however, give her a kiss on the cheek as well as he says it. Then Jumar gestures to the big screen… which currently holds an entire screen of code. "oh, that's not the data for the interference. That's the data for my decryption program. I'm building it as I go. But. "Jumar flashes a grin at him, "I can bring up the code for interpreting the interference whenever, so no problem there." A beat. "So, you have the general idea now. any questions or comments before I bring this to the Chancellor?"

Keelyn laughs and takes her hands off of Jumar's chest then, just rubbing his shoulders as she pecks his neck. "Oh yeah from Orbit. I guess with everything happening I'm kind of focused on what just happened, than stuff that feels like it was forever ago, even when it really wasn't, you know? But I'llb e quiet since I can't add to whatever you're doing."

This time, Grey notes to Jumar, "You can just go with 'Grey,' man. Lucian was my mom's idea." Which means, by his expression, that he hates it. The PDA causes him to grimace a bit, his head starting to turn away, toward the new ground-level entrance to Alpha Station, but then Jumar has a question, and he shrugs, "Well, whatever it is. Some way to make 'em understand that even the jackholes who took over Exodus Ship weren't aimin' for Thripoda, and only hit it 'cause of the Mountain." He pauses, then shrugs, "If that's what happened, I guess." The query about questions or comments causes Grey to snort in amusement, "Hell, just don't mention my name. Jackhole's got it in for me. Pretty sure he wanted Kai and Greery and Stone as Guards," Only one of the three is referred to by her first name, notably the one who has left Camp Jaha, "and just couldn't figure out how to get them without me. Serves his ass right that Adams' girl went native."

Oh boy. Grey's gonna hate Keelyn and Jumar then. These two are public displays incarnate, as anyone who's seen them together can confirm. "Are you referring to Kane? Or someone else?" As Keelyn starts to rub his shoulders though, Jumar leans back a bit. "It's official, we need a masseuse. I've been working *way* too hard and even this I can feel the tension subsiding." Jumar brings up the map, then, and gestures to one of the dataslates. "I'd suggest you download this into your dataslate for when you go out there, so you have a reference and know where the transmitter is for scouting."

Keelyn remains quiet. She hasn't studied this kind of math, though if you asked her she might not even know it's math that's being done. She just look at the screen, holds Jumar's shoulders and giggles at the massage comment.

"Oh, Kane. For some reason, he doesn't like my face." Grey's smirk suggests that he knows it's probably the family name more than anything. The mention of the masseuse causes the ex-Cadet to open his mouth, then carefully shut it. "I'll mark it on the map we got. How close can you pinpoint its location? It'd be good to knock the shit out of it, unless Kane goes for the 'listen to the badguys' plan."

And then there's Morgan in the entrance to the lab. "Crowded." he says, nodding to the people inside. "Hey." Okay, not really that crowded but still. Someone he doesn't know. Not that that's all that surprising given six hundred people and being locked up for three years. "Oh, Grey. Want to talk to you when there's a moment."

It doesn't take long for Jumar to zero in on the map with the terminal. "That's as close as I can get a triangulation on it -that is, a location- without being right next to it." Yep, that's right on top of the mountain, all right… way past the acid zone, and they still don't even know how the acid works yet. "You'll probably get hit by the acid before you can even come close to it, but you'll know it's there." As Keelyn rubs his shoulders… "you should definitely get lessons, sweetheart." Jumar gives to Keelyn in an affectionate tone. "well.. from the database, at least." Jumar looks back to the radio, turning it up lightly. At this volume, you can almost make out what the voices are saying.

"Oh, and hello Morgan."

Keelyn is still just standing behind Jumar, rubbing his shoulders, leaning a bit against him. True to her word, she's listening but not speaking. Now that they're not talking about code sshe does understand a bit more. At least until it's databases again.

Grey looks up as Morgan enters the lab, upnodding briefly. His eyebrows raise at the news that the other teen needs to talk to him, and then he's looking back to the map for a minute, "We're hopin' that they won't spot us, since the fog ain't there all the time, it's pretty much gotta be hand-triggered, yeah? So we go in real quiet-like, spot a way in, and come out real quiet-like." And then he snorts softly, "Some of the idiot Trikru," which is different from the normal Trikru, by his phrasing, "are still too damned scared of guns to be okay with me bringin' a rifle in case we get swamped with Reapers. Assholes." And then he looks back to Morgan, "Better be today. I'm headed out scouting tomorrow mornin'. What's up?"

Acid? Morgan steps over to look at the terminal. "Mount Weather? What did you find?" And then, head cocked slightly to one side, he looks at the radio. "You got the radio working?" he asks Jumar then looks over to Grey. "Scouting the mountain? Good. Wish I could go with you but I suck at being quiet. Anyway, those maps Kai gave you. Did you scan them into the computer? I was going to look for them but easier to just ask you."

"Then screw them. Take people who are more interested in staying alive than in being afraid. We didn't tolerate their crap at the dropship, I don't see why we should now." Jumar pointedly states, "if they're that afraid of Mount Weather, they are a liability anyway, by simple virtue of they won't have your back if *they* come out with rifles." As Keelyn starts rubbing some more though, Jumar stops typing and simply leans back, letting Keelyn massage them. "I would say I learned to navigate the spectrum… not get the radio working." Jumar gestures to the garbled voices, "Me and Hector found the only frequency that isn't being jammed. It's encrypted. The only people that means it could be is them. I have some ideas on how to proceed, I'll let you know what works." The mention of maps gets Jumar's attention, though. "Maps?"

Keelyn gives Jumar another kiss on the neck as she massages him, her attention going in and out of focus. She's tired. She did a whole shift of patrol, and she doesn't even want to think, just rest.

At the query about the maps, Grey reaches down into the right thigh pocket of his cargo pants, pulling out the rolled leather, "Guard've got a couple copies of 'em. They're not givin' 'em out willy-nilly. I think 'cause Kane doesn't want people runnin' off toward Polis or Tondc without him havin' some idea of where they're goin'." Despite his earlier commentary on the Chancellor, he doesn't seem to disagree with that point. "I'm sure you've got a good reason." There might even be a little challenge there in Grey's look to Morgan, "Have a look." He unrolls the maps and sets them out on the table. They're hand-drawn, just the locations of some of the major villages and large landmarks with measurements noted just with hash marks. "Days of travel, apparently." Grey shrugs at Jumar, "You find me a half-dozen people who know the area, and can move through it as good as the Trikru scouts can, I'll be happy to take 'em with me. And I didn't see a single person run when we started shootin' at the dropship. Whatever else you think the Trikru are, they ain't cowards."

"You found the frequency they use to communicate?" Morgan asks, quirking a brow. "Can you jam them in turn? Cause if they trigger the mist remotely, that would keep it from working right? Oh, and speaking of mist Grey… As long as you're going near the mountain, take a glass container with a lid with you. If you happen to get caught in it, get us a sample." Pause. "Oh, and don't inhale. That'll probably kill you. Take some raw meat too and if you just see the mist, toss the meat in and record what happens to it." He looks over the maps, nodding. "Been to TonDC anyway. Interesting place. I don't have time to sightsee though. Can you get another one?" he asks Grey. "I want to give one to Kai, since she got us them in the first place. She wants to talk to the Trikru and mark the locations of the villages that they know the Mountain Men have destroyed. It'll give us an idea of their range. Who knows, we might be out of range here which would explain why they destroyed the village and not us."

"Yes. No. I highly doubt they haven't wired their delivery system, and I can rig up another helmet camera for Luc-Grey." Catching himself before he uses the first name again. Jumar then raises a brow, "it'd be easier to take an oxygen mask if that's the case…. better yet, do we have anything airtight in station? I'll talk to the Chief about that." Jumar brings up his hands then to Keelyns, taking them off his shoulders and down to hug him again, and this time, intertwining fingers. "I'll say this, they've done a really good job of maintaining a perimeter."

Once Grey finished talking, however… "I've never thought they were cowards. I've thought they're reactionary lunatics, and I still do. Only difference now is we have a lot more defenses, so they can easily tell that a war with us means losing a *lot* more people this time around, and we're a potential 'friend' against the Mountain."

Grey looks… not particularly enthused by Morgan's request, "You want me to get close enough to a fog that burned the hell out of three of our people to catch some in a jar? And I shouldn't breathe? Aww hell no. And I'm not carryin' around raw meet to throw into the fog. If I see it, I'm gonna be runnin' the other way." He gestures to the maps, "Far as I'm concerned, Kai can have those back any time she wants. All she's gotta do is ask." Jumar's suggestion of the camera causes Grey to frown slightly in thought, "Hrm. Any chance that'd get tracked from the Mountain? I don't wanna be running around transmitting anything all regular-like that they can track." He chuckles dryly at the commentary on the Grounders, "Man… you got that backwards. Fi and Eli and Kai talked 'em into peace, or at least givin' it a chance, before the Ark even came down. And we've gotta convince them to help us against the Mountain. They don't want any part of it, mostly 'cause it's their villages that keep gettin' wasted. You know that most'a the folks who helped us, the ones from C-Bur, don't have homes anymore, right?"

"No, Grey. /If/ you get caught in it, don't breath. And try to get a sample." Morgan clarifies. "It was inhaling it that probably killed them. The external burns weren't bad enough but it almost certainly badly damaged their throat and lungs. You should probably keep your eyes closed too once you know what direction to run in. And tell the Grounders that as well. We do need to see the acid in action though so just do it without arguing please? Recording the meat I mean. You don't have to deliberately walk into the mist." Grey gets a look when he talks about Kai asking but all he says is "I'll let her know. But you should go find her with a copy since she's not going to be coming in here. She's Trikru now and they're barred from entering the station. Or just give it to me. Also, we do have some hazmat suits, Jumar. But they're unreliable. Kane'll let us try one out and give us a rover if we can pinpoint one of the places the mist is."

<FS3> Jumar rolls Mechanics: Success. (5 4 4 1 7 1 5 4 2 5)

"Wait. It's a mist? Ho one told me about this. That means it's probably diffused enough that it'd have to be long term exposure that gets you. A rover would probably be able to handle something like that for a good few minutes before the stuff got to a concentration enough inside to do any real damage. At least, that's the theory." Jumar squints into the distance… his traditional 'thinking mode' stare, "Sealants would still be needed to keep it out… but that does mean that you can probably outrun and keep the damage to a minimum with anything remotely airtight. If you're lucky, the stuff isn't concentrated enough to eat through metal." Jumar pointedly ignore Greys comment about the homes for now, considering it 'stating the obvious'.

Grey's dry chuckle expands to an actual laugh at Morgan's suggestion, "Dude… if I'm in the fog and I'm not screaming and melting, I'm gonna be runnin' for the edge of the fog as quick as I can. With my eyes open so I don't run into a damn tree. I'll take the jar if it'll make you feel better, but I'm tellin' you right now, none of us are gonna be hangin' around in some acid fog fumbling with a jar." He gestures to Jumar, "Well, it doesn't melt trees. We saw it didn't melt clothes. Who knows, maybe it ain't even an acid. But the Trikru say it's a low fog, to go up a tree or into a cave if you can't outrun it. But yeah, maybe a rover and one'a the hazmat suits for when it's time to get a sample."

"Pretty sure it's an acid. And heavier than air obviously." Morgan notes and looks at Jumar. "Do you think you could whip up a something before he goes? Maybe something attached to a rope he could throw into the mist or lower if he's up a tree? Something that'll automatically seal itself after a few seconds." He pauses to run a hand over his hair as he thinks. "You know, if it's heavier than air, there might be tanks of it underground in different areas. Maybe even in lower lying areas. Send the gas out under pressure and it spreads out. Over time, it rolls back into the lower ground where it can be sucked back in."

There's an actual laugh at this, then Jumar looks up to Keelyn, "sweetheart, I think they think I'm a miracle worker. It's flattering, really." Jumar grins up to her, then he looks to Morgan, "the most I can promise is to get something generally resistant and see if we have the parts to cobble something like that together. I'd need time to check our inventory."

Keelyn kisses his cheek again when she's addressed, and just keeps on slowly rubbing his shoulders.

Grey gestures toward Morgan with his right hand, "There we go. Trackin' down the tanks, or findin' some way to capture the flesh-eatin' fog that doesn't involve being inside it. I'm totally down for that." He drains off the last of the cold caff, grimacing in disgust but not wasting any, then gestures toward the door with his right hand, still doing as little as possible with his left arm, "I'm gonna go get packed up. We leave first thing," the way he says that suggests it's something of torture, "tomorrow mornin'. If you've got somethin' by then, Jumar, lemme know. If not, well, we'll be back, and we can try again."

Morgan frowns suddenly at what Grey says. "Oh fuck. We're idiots. We've been overlooking the obvious since we first ran into it. Not that we had access to a computer when we first landed. And we're not chemists We need a chemist. Grey just said it; it's flesh eating. But it leaves trees and clothes alone. How many acids don't react with vegetable based matter but do with meat? There can't be that many."

"I've never actually seen it in action, but you're right. General sealants should work, then." Jumar gets his squinting face again. "I'll let you know about the rest later?"

Grey shrugs with his right shoulder alone, "Hey, I just call 'em like I see 'em." And often wrongly. And then he offers a salute of the empty cup, "See you 'round." And then he's turning toward the door to start back into the artificially-open-weather room outside.

"We've never seen it in action either. Just what it does to bodies." Morgan nods to Grey and says "Make a copy of the map. I'll tell Kai." Turning back to Jumar, he muses "If it doesn't react to plant matter, do you think it's likely to react to rubber? Since it's almost certainly stored, maybe even piped in, metal is probably safe too so the rovers will be safe. But maybe not the wheels. We're not sure about plastics either but if we can narrow down which acid it is, we can make better guesses."

Jumar gives a nod, "I'll let you know by morning if I have something useful." With that, Jumar just sighs and leans back into Keelyn completely. "Yet another project…"

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