Coolant Systems

December 31, 2015:

Oracle and Jericho are working on the Valmorra at the JL:A … and have visitors

Halls Of Justice - Metropolis

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Captain Marvel

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Among the things that Jericho Trent never thought he'd do, working on a space ship is one of them. This is, of course, not just any space ship. It's Hawkgirl's space ship and apparently it's got some… issues. As the hacker had suspected one of the heat sinks was off and frying the wires nearby. Unfortunately this isn't the kind of thing that one can go down to your local electronics store to address so he had to tell the sometimes winged woman what the problem was and wait for whomever the JL:A deals with to keep this kind of thing up to fabricate the necessary part.

It arrived last night.

This morning Jericho is head and shoulders in the ships guts re-installing and doing some test work to make sure it won't happen again. Ordinarily League support personnel handle this kind of thing, or Shayera herself, but Jericho's got some unique qualifications: He's the one who modified the damn thing to begin with. "Right, Oracle, I've patched up the secondary processor. We need to spool it up and overclock it to make sure the heat sink's gonna work properly."

The glow eyed hacker doesn't expect any company… but then he is out in the garage spaces of the Halls of Justice. In the open. Where anyone might happen by.


"Give me a moment, Jericho." Oracles voice filters through the speakers in the garage. Digitally disguised so no one will recognise her. Many think that Oracle is an AI, or a man … thing is … there's very few who know who she.

"Initiating start up sequence." He'll see the systems kick in "I've modified the code … again … you should be able to overclock it and I'm monitoring functions."

Of course, Oracles not present, she's housed in the Clocktower in Gotham.


One of the League's Javelin aircraft comes slaloming in on its hover engines, braking harshly with a burst of thrust that sends hats and papers flying all over the hangar. Hope Jericho wasn't doing anything too delicate; Sam Wilson is coming in with one of his typical envelope-pushing landings. Sometimes Falcon seems to expect that any aircraft should be able to maneuver like his wing suit, and take it as a personal insult when they don't cooperate.

With one last puff of heated air, the craft's landing gear touch tarmac, the contact unexpectedly delicate. The loading ramp lowers almost immediately, but the pilot himself doesn't appear at first. Instead, a cooing, burbling crowd of pigeons start picking their way down the ramp. Sam's voice can be heard from inside, alternately shooing and encouraging the packed-in birds down into the landing area. One hopes there's a good explanation for this.


It's taken over a year for Kara to get used to human eccentricities, but even still, she's constantly surprised by her teammates in the JL:A. A bottle of Soder Cola in hand, driniking it with a bendy straw, Supergirl comes down into the garage, since that's apparently the big meeting place today. She gives a wave to everyone there, including the holographic Oracle, then looks over at the Thanagarian ship. "Is there anything I can help with?" She asks Jericho as she looks over the starship curiously.


Bang "Ow." Jericho hadn't seen Falcon coming in hot and he wasn't ready for the rush of FOD that accompanies the landing. He extricates himself from the Valmorra's open hatch, rubbing the back of his head as both Supergirl and… pidgeons appear. His amber eyes glimmer curiously as he taps at the holographic keyboard hovering over his arm to start up the test sequence on the ship beside him.

"Just trying some computer repairs, Kara. I think Hawkgirl broke something at some point recently, not sure if she was test flying or…" He shrugs, glancing again back toward the pidgeons and then back to Supergirl as if to ask 'do you know what that's all about?'

Test squence starting up. Please monitor internal temperatures. Scrolls across Oracle's screen in text. Ah the joys being a cyborg.

"I really, really hope that's not Wonder Woman, Hawkeye and Captain Britian back from a mission gone wrong." The ex-soldier says of the pidgon gaggle.


Monitoring. if text could have a tone … that would be dry. Holding within specifications.

"Hello Supergirl. As Jericho says. He's working on the hardware interfaces, I get the code." Oracle responds as she switches her screens to a wider view of the hangar. "That's Falcon, Jericho… and are they …. pidgeons?" Clearly, she wasn't monitoring that operation as closely as she might have.

"Falcon … what's with the pidgeons?" she asks the flier, deciding against asking whether the Javelin needed a special cleaning service.


"I brought us our own little flock, from my hometown," Sam explains, finally making it down the ramp after his tiny wards. He quickly elaborates: "Metropolis Animal Control considers them a nuisance and controls their population, because apparently there is no mess too minor for this city to treat as a civic problem." The New Yorker rolls his eyes. "Nuisance, shmuisance. I call it an early warning system."

The flier stoops and picks up one of the cooing birds, which doesn't do much to evade him. "See, New York pigeons are dumb as bricks, so their behavior is ridiculously easy to predict. You can even teach a computer to do it." He pauses, glances up at the speakers, and adds, "No offense, Oracle." Can't hurt, just in case the entity is a rogue AI. "Anyway, I figure we populate the place, tag the birds, rig up some pattern recognition scanners, and we've got a natural and hard-to-notice alarm system, in case of any more attacks."

It's worth mentioning that, since his year off the grid with just a hawk for company, Sam has picked up a few eccentricities. Some neighborhoods have a crazy cat lady; the JL:A has Sam. Kara hasn't seen him since then, so she may be surprised. And judging from his expression when he spots her, he's glad to see her again. He drops the bird, which flaps to the ground safely, and gives the Kryptonian a warm smile. "Hey, Kara! Long time no see."


Leaning over the ship while sipping her cola, Kara uses her x-ray vision honed down to microscopic precision. "Well…" she starts. "It looks like there's some corrosion on the port thruster control board." Hopefully, that helps. Looking at the pigeons, Supergirl smiles and bends down to pick one up. "Hey Sam. So, you're thinking that if we have these tagged pigeons living around the Hall of Justice, if anything spooks them, it could act as another alarm system?"


Jericho glances back at the ship and mutters something in a twisty, resonant language not of this earth in the tone people normally use for invective. "Every time I think I've got this thing fixed…" He sighs and taps that keyboard a few more times to kill the test sequence. It was starting to overheat. Again. Looks like there's one more board to replace Oracle. We'll have to contact the JL:A's supplier for a proper replacement but I'll see if I can't just bypass it… and hope it doesn't blow up on Shayera the next time she takes it out.

To be clear, Sam's idea with the pidgeons isn't a bad one. In less settled places the reactions of the wildlife can be used to gage movements through the brush, if you know what to look for. But the use of pidgons as an alarm system for the JL:A… "Sam I think you came in a bit too hot. Hit your head." The hacker's eyes glint and gleam in amusement. "You think you can get Wonder Woman to sign off on th- no, better idea, get Kate to sign off on it." She might roll her eyes but she's also more likely to say 'yes'.


Already on it. Ordering a new part. Oracle responds to the demontainted hacker. She might be smirking from her perch in the Clocktower - seeing Jericho annoyed enough to use that tongue … it's amusing.

"No offense taken, Sam." The digitally disguised voice filters through. "Since our last discussion, I've been looking at hooking that sort of notification into my systems. It's clever but …" well Jericho's handled the idea of using the birds in the Halls Of Justice.

"How was your time away, Kara?" It's been awhile since Oracle and others in the JL:A have interacted with the young woman.


"Basically, yeah," Falcon answers Kara. "Anyone coming at us is going to know to use stealth or hack our systems or find and evade the scanners. No one is going to think anything of a bunch of spooked pigeons in the front yard." He runs one hand along his jawline and laughs. "Well, I would. But I'm weird that way." At least he's self-aware.

He turns to Jericho with a pleading look. "You really think Wonder Woman wouldn't go for it? I thought it would be right up her alley. Low tech, low impact, using the natural world to your advantage — I mean, secret bird guardians? It's kinda mythic, even." He puts up his palms in a helpless shrug. "Kate's just going to worry about them crapping all over everything."

(Justifiably, if the interior of that Javelin is any indication.)


Humming something that sounds /suspiciously/ like 'Food, Glorious Food', Caitlin wanders in from the cafeteria area with a Dagwood-esque sandwhich in hand. She practically has to unhinge her jaw to take a bite but she doesn't let it slow her down at all, eating with abandon. She's wearing her usual dull but serviceable duds- an old mechanic's jumpsuit with the sleeves off and tied around her waist, and a cotton tee with a picture of the Millennium Falcon on it.

"O-oh," she says, coming up short at the sight of more people than she'd expected. Kara gets a brilliant, familiar smile and a wave hello— Falcon, a more subdued but still polite greeting. "Hi Kara!" she tells the shorter, blonde girl. "Guess what? I got my League ring, finally! I mean, y'know, you probably /know/ that, but I don't think I've seen you since I did." She peers at Valmorra, getting on her toes a bit, then tries to wave at Jericho in hello.

"Hi Jericho! I… uh, wanted to ask you a question," she says a bit nervously, giving Sam and Kara a fidgety glance. "I kinda had a thought about the, uh, ship, and wanted to, y'know… run an idea past you."


"You mean Amazon boot camp?" Kara replies to Oracle with a smile. "I've always enjoyed going to Themyscira with Wonder Woman in the past. But the past couple of months getting tossed around and learning how to fight…." She smile a bit sheepishly and rotates and arm as is getting out the kinks. "Let's just say that not all the trainers are as patient or understanding as Wonder Woman is." The idea of the pigeon alert system gets adressed by Jericho, and Kara nods in agreement. "Also, wouldn't there be a lot of false positives? Like when cats and other natural predators scare them?" And yes, Streaky would probably love some 'fast food'. Caitlyn's arrival brings a smile to Kara's face. "Congratulations!" she says enthusiastically to the red-head. "I wasn't aware, but you totally deserve it."


"Kate's from New York. She's familair with pidgeon mess, I hope." Jericho shrugs. The pidgeons will, to be clear, make a mess. But then, they do that everywhere. "I might be workable if you can get the logistics work out." His eyes glimmer as he works it out internally and then shrugs slightly, letting it go. Would K'nert go to town on pidgeons, he wonders. Probably not. The imp isn't an animal and frankly dumb animals aren't as fun to hurt as people are. Which is… twisted, yes, but he is after all a demon.

"Ah that's where you'd gone to. I'd kind of wondered. Hello Caitlin. Had an idea about ship?" He jerks his thumb at the Valmorra. "What is it?"


"Hello Caitlyn." Oracle addresses the newcomer, who hasn't seemed to realise she's listening in. "Welcome to the JL:A. Have you familiarised yourself with our digital security policies?"

"Maybe that makes me weird too, Sam." The digital voice adds to his statement "I've started observing the movements of avians. It's been quite enlightening." And judging by his face, she's going to order the special cleaning service.

"I'm glad you enjoyed your training, Kara." Oracle has trained with some interesting characters, who don't have the patience of the Amazonian Princess.

That part is ordered, Jericho.


"Aw, you can tell the difference between a regular predator and something that's scaring them but not actually hunting them. You just need a little bit of a feel for it." Sam trails off, staring at the pigeons, and it dawns on him that his 'feel' for avian reactions isn't something he's likely to be able to teach a computer. "Well, okay, you may have a point there," he murmurs more quietly, crossing his arms over his chest. He seems to be getting a bit subdued under the cross-examination.

He glances up as Caitlin's arrival gives him a break from the others' doubts. This pigeon plan made a lot of sense when he came up with it! "New member?" he asks in a friendly way, extending his hand. "I'm Falcon — Sam, to my friends. Welcome aboard."


Caitlin walks up to Kara and offers the Kryptonian a quick but warmly sincere hug, and it's obvious she's pleased as punch that Kara's around again. She stands apart quickly, though, a bit self-conscious in her ratty coveralls next to the more stylishly accoutered blonde. Sam's greeting saves her and she holds a hand out to the fellow. "Hi! Yeah, Caitlin Fairchild, everyone just calls me Cait, or Red," she tells him. "Not much on codenames. It's nice to meetcha, Sam."

"Oh- Hi, Oracle!" she chirps at the disembodied voice. "Yeah, I read through everything and I installed that software on my laptop an' cell phone," she assures the voice. "Just as long as you don't start snooping through my Amazon.com orders," she adds, smiling at the ceiling.

"So… Jericho," she says, responding to Jericho but clearly a bit uncomfortable offering her thoughts up in a public forum, such as it were. She sets her Dagwood on an abandoned cafeteria tray and dusts crumbs from her fingers.

"Er, well… I was on our intranet and I saw some of the repair notes on Val. I mean, I wasn't /spying/, or snooping, they were just common files," she hurriedly adds. "And I was, y'know, kinda curious."

She flickers her eyes back to Sam and Kara, then focuses on Jericho again. "Anyway, it seems like- y'know, I mean, I was thinking," she hedges, "and I started writing down some notes or the error codes and reporting. The thermal couplings all keep returning negative bias, and the engine overrides keep kicking on or off, so it seemed like something must be affect a bunch of onboard systems all at once. Well, the only thing I could think of that would be giving fault diagnostic returns on a /car/ would be, well… the coolant system," she says.

"I mean, you probably thought of that," she adds hurridly, flushing a bit. "So I'm probably not telling you anything new. I just, well, I wanted to help, so I thought I'd um, ask if, y'know.. .uh… if anyone's checked the coolant pumps to see if they're actually circulating, or if they're just /saying/ they are."


The hug from Caitlyn is definitely returned by Supergirl. Kara has missed all her friends here, and the red-haired powerhouse was becoming one of those. After Caitlyn puts down her sandwich to talk tech with Jericho, Kara eyes it for a bit, almost wondering if anyone would notice is she snagged it at super-speed. Instead, she goes back to sipping her bottle of soda through a straw. "Coolant malfunctions would expalin the problems," she says with a nod. "The problem could be that the replacement parts from Earth manufacturers just don't have the same heat tollerance as the Thanagarian originals."


"And the fact that it's cross patched all to hell." Jericho agrees. The coolant system had needed extensive modifications to do whatever the hell the League had done with it back during the 'rescue' mission. Tech support and manual labor had been his main contribution to that and as Sam knows he's frequently busy with a number of non-League activities so he's not across everything that's done up here. Generally, when folks want his help they ask for it. "Oracle can you check the logs on the coolant system and see if they're throwing any faults? I'll open the hatch back up and dig into it after I've had a bit to eat."

Kara's not the only one hungry here, after all.

"Uh, I think she joined up some time in the last few months, Sam. Not quite sure, I've had other things on my mind." Things perhaps related to the hint of a bandage Sam can see under the collar of his shirt.


Oracle was already running that diagnostic, as soon as Cait spoke. "The replacement parts simply don't have the same tolerances. Kara's quite correct there. Jericho and I had to do some modifications to incorporate the best that our science and technology teams could offer." There's a silence for a moment "And then rewrite some of the code to make adjustments … it had been working fine till Hawkgirl took it out for a spin recently."

Jericho, sending you the logs of Shayera's last trip, maybe that will help narrow this down.

"The logs are reporting the coolant system is working within the tolerance of the replacement parts. I'd suggest we look further down the chain, we've likely created a bottleneck. Pushed the stress that the replacement parts would normally handle, further into the system itself."

Sams commentary about a 'feel' for the birds gets a soft chuckle. "You might not be able to program the 'feel', Sam. But we can emulate several scenario's to check. It wouldn't be as fool proof as your inate ability, but … " it's something that could be considered.


Jericho in bandages is hardly news to the team's resident medic. Sam would be more likely to notice something amiss if the hacker wasn't burnt, shot, slashed, or otherwise wounded. Of course, first that would have to happen sometime. Plus, he's distracted by his current logistical nightmare: getting all of those birds back onto the Javelin so he can dejectedly take them home.

"Well, we should at least run some tests," he says, agreeing with Oracle. "No point in letting it be a wasted trip." He glances over at the spaceship, raising his eyebrows. "You want me to run it past the guys at Stark? They may have some materials with better heat tolerances than you've been able to find. I mean, nobody can afford vibranium, but I'm sure we could dig up something."


"Okay. Well, I mean, like I said, I'm not a spaceship engineer," Caitlin says a bit lamely, pushing her hands back into her pockets. "My shop professor always told me to go with my first guess when I get an idea, so… anyway."

She steps back towards her sandwhich and picks it up, taking another big bite. "I only officially joined a few weeks ago," she tells Sam. "After the whole Apokalips debacle. I got stuck on the planet with Shayera and Wonder Woman, and Cap'n Marvel came and rescued me ahead of the advance team. When I got back home, well… Shayera asked if I wanted to join up," she shrugs, finding the sturdiest available chair and flopping gracelessly onto it. "And because Shay's /super/ scary, I said yes. Also, Carol is like my /idol/, so… how could I pass it up?"


Supergirl looks rather pleased that she correctly identified the issue. Science had never been her strong suit on Krypton, after all. At least here on Earth, her rudimentary scientific knowledge came in handy and was usually cutting edge. "If we are talking about preparing for another attack from Apokalypse or some other extraterrestrial force, then wouldn't more satelite coverage and deep space alert systems be more useful?" The question is asked to no-one in particular, and Kara finishes off her soda bottle. Looking back over at Fairchild, Kara squints a bit at the red-haired woman's shirt. "That's….ummmm…" Kara gets that not-so-sure tone in her voice she gets when taling about Earth culture, betraying her unfamiliarity. "That's from those movies…..Star Wars. Right?"


"Carol is pretty cool," Sam agrees with a smile. "Don't let her talk you into any crazy ideas, though." Down by his heel, a pigeon coos, calling him out on his blatant hypocrisy, and he clears his throat. "I should get these guys outside where they can't make a mess," he says hastily. He'll spend the next few minutes totally occupied with the task of herding the birds outside through the bustle of the hangar, then remember that he has to tag them all and be working on that for at least an hour.


"Fair point, Kara, though in this case I think Falcon is just thinking about preventing anyone from sneaking up and trying to do a bit smarter what the Purifiers tried to do a few weeks back." Sam begins herding pigeons, which is by far one of the most amusing things Jericho has ever seen. The hacker pauses to just… watch for a couple of minutes.

I'll look at those soon Oracle. I suspect the excess heat is getting shunted into one of the secondary systems. If we can't find something suitable as a replacement we'll have to rework the whole heat cycle and tell Shayera to just go easy on her. Not that she'll listen.

"Star Wars, yes." Jericho offers Kara helpfully. "New movie came out this month." Does Kara go and see movies? He's not at all sure.

"Anyway, Caitlin's been with the team since then, yes." Shayera is a bit intimidating. Though he politely does not mention that she's 0-2 against him. He only does that when she's here in person to needle.


"Yeah, the Millennium Falcon," Caitlin says, tugging at the hem of her shirt and pulling it away from her assorted curves so it's a bit easier to read. "Y'know. Han Solo's ship. Though, before that, it belonged to Lando Calrissian," she amends. "And a whole bunch of other ne'er do wells. Did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, and people say that as a /joke/," she says, letting the babydoll snap back against her torso, "but really it meant that he dodged around the black hole cluster near Kessel and literally took several parsecs off the trip. 'cause it's not about going fast but how closely you'll go next to the Maw Cluster."

She picks up her dagwood and takes another huge bite, mostly demolishing the sandwhich, and swallows convulsively. She waves at Sam's departing back once he gets the birds out the door. "Have you seen the new one yet?" she asks Kara. "It's /soooo/ good. I've seen it… like, six times this week."


"And I thought herding cats and bratlings was difficult." the digitally disguised voice filters through. There might be the hint of a chuckle - if it hadn't been filtered out. "I'll ensure the Javelin is cleaned thoroughly when Sam's finished with it."

"As Jericho says, Kara. Sam was looking at more terristial forms of notification." As to the extra-terristial threats? She'll remain quiet … Apokolypse had been rather quiet since the rescue mission.

I'll leave you to tell Shayera to go easy on the Valmorra. Not like Hawkgirl will listen "It was an excellent summise, Caitlyn and has given us somewhere else to look … This is a complex systems that is made more complex by components and technology that is beyond ours."


Kara sort of follows Caitlin's explanation of the Kessle Run. But she still looks a little lost. And her cheeks redden a bit when the question of whether she has seen 'The Movie' is asked. "Ummm…no," she replies with a bit of shyness. "In fact…I don't think I've seen any of the films." Hey, it's not like she grew up on Earth… "There's several movies, right?" Oracle's elaboration of Sam's idea gets some nodding. "Well, I'm sure Sam and the others know what they're doing." Using birds as an alarm system for an alien invasion still has her scratching her head, though.


Jericho steps back from the Valmorra and closes the main hatch. There's more work to be done, clearly but it can't be done yet. The little launch and landing area outside the Halls of Justice doesn't usually see this much traffic. A certain glow eyed hacker had been working on Hawkgirl's ship which has recently decided that overheating like a penguin on Mercury is just the thing to do. Not too far from him there's a landed Javelin transport - League Standard - that had up until recently been hauling a passel of pidgeons.

You can tell if you look inside. But really, don't.

Falcon has since departed with those and Jericho can only hope he and Oracle get to test his idea for using them as an alarm system before Streaky finds them. Which will, he suspects, be the end of that. Not from away are Caitlin Fairchild and Kara, who have apparently been talking tech, birds and history with the hacker and the glowing green avatar of Oracle on the comm. Speaking of whom…

"Alright. Well nothing more I can do with this thing. I'm going to catch some lunch and then I have a few things of my own need looking in on. Thanks for your help, both of you. Oracle, if I could have a word with you before I'm out…" The hacker picks up his comm, clearly intending to carry on this conversation elsewhere.


Caitlin makes a Beeker-ish noise, and almost spit-takes her sandwhich on the floor. "You… I … Star Wars… ?!" She double-takes at Kara, then grabs her friend's upper arm urgently. "Movie. Marathon." she tells the blonde, flatly. "We're gonna watch 'em all in the Machete order, and OH MY GOD THE BIG REVEAL!" she squeals. "And I've got the rips from Laserdisc, so it's HD but none of that stupid 'Re-Release Special Edition' editing crap. Because HAN SHOT FIRST!" She stamps a foot on the ground and the heavily reinforced metal floor underfoot vibrates palpably.

Caitlin immediately looks sheepish. "Uh… er, sorry."

She looks up at Jericho and waves. "Okay, Jericho. Thanks for considering my idea," she tells him, with real gratitude. "And if you need an extra greasemonkey, lemme know?"


Oracle catches the note of bewilderment in Kara's voice. That will soon work itself out as the blonde returns to the fold.

"Thank you again, Caitlin and Kara, you certainly gave us food for thought."

With the talk now on Movies … not something the clocktower bound redhead had much time for herself … she begins to focus on yet another of her projects and then Jericho asks for more of her time. "Certainly, Jericho. Ladies, I'm only a call away." Or always watching … "Oracle out."

The avatar in the hangar blinks out. She'll speak with Jericho on his comm.

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