I Spy Mission Log - Entry 06/Team 2
The crash site is buzzing with activity; quite a change from just a few moments earlier when everyone was braced for impact (or was that paralyzed by fright?).
Michael Kerr has taken two undamaged emergency shelters from the plane's lockers, and is erecting a makeshift bivouac a safe distance from the plane.
Having had first aid training, Jack Thompson tends to Robert Brennan, hoping someone else tends to the fires. Shaking his head, Jack doesn't think that there's much they can do with what's left of the plane, but he don't like the idea of being stuck out here in the snow with only a burning plane to keep him warm.
Anna Baragali, having seen one too many airline tragedy documentaries, is quick to do all she can to put out the fires. Even after the crash there may still be something left to salvage from the plane. And you definitely don't need an industrial sized fuel explosion to announce your arrival.
Unstrapping from the pilot's harness, Robert Hogan rights himself to receive Kristen Jones' satellite gear transmission.
"Team One to Team Two. Please give us your status..." Hogan can make out Shadowcat's voice, but storm conditions threaten to cut communications at any moment.
"Team Two here. The eagle has landed." Looking back to the cabin, he continues. "One minor injury, but everything is stable. Over."
"Team One to Team Two. If you run into anyone who asks where we are, tell them that we got blown out the hatch in the explosion. FYI, according to the Antarctica Lonely Planet Travel Survival Guide, 1st edition:
"Winter on the continent means there is continual darkness in most places south of the Antarctic Circle. The average temperature on the coast is -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Any overland traveling is extremely hazardous. The extreme cold tends to jam conventional weapons. Trigger guards prevent mittened hands from pulling triggers. Bare flesh begins freezing after one minute of exposure to sub zero temperatures, and bare skin freezes to metal. Outdoor battles should be avoided entirely.
"Will check in again in two hours. Team Two out."
Hogan dismantles the satphone and stashes it on his person. He then turns his attention to the radio. Scanning different frequencies, he is able to make out that Whiteout base had been monitoring them and are scrambling a search party.
Brennan isn't badly hurt. There's a bit of blood, but he's dazed mostly. For awhile he blinks, staring uncomprehendingly out from the husk of the plane into the snowstorm. Thompson bandages him well, and seats him comfortably.
Kerr arrives and tells everyone the shelter is ready. He then helps Thompson with Brennan. Once inside, Robert's mind clears and he's back as part of the team.
Thompson takes this opportunity to show Kerr the knife he pulled from the co-pilot's chest. Turning it over in his hands, the design of the weapon is unfamiliar. Upon closer examination in the pale light of a fluorescent flashlight, Kerr recognizes an etched marking on the blade.
Kerr remembers the marking to be the same as the letterhead for a project he once worked on, some time ago. It is the symbol of a particularly secretive arm of the CIA's R&D division. For now, he doesn't let on that he knows, but shakes his head and shrugs.
Baragali and Hogan join the rest inside the shelter.
Thompson is talking with the CIA agents about his gear. "I don't imagine they are going to let me just carry in a suitcase full of electronic gadgetry without a fuss. Yet, if I don't have my electronic gadgetry I'll become pretty well ineffective.
"I could probably put enough stuff to do something worthwhile, into my clothes bag, but they still wouldn't be hidden. I've never had to worry about keeping the stuff secret before (when not in use), so I don't have any means of concealing them. When in use, I usually rely on the environment to conceal the equipment.
"I don't think I'll be able to hide the suitcase close enough to the base to be able to break out later and recover it. The suitcase is fairly bulky but it is lightweight. What do you think?"
The two agree the mission is recon, and for this they need Jack's intell gadgets. They split his remaining equipment and pack it with their own gear. Kerr adds that they shouldn't worry too much about concealment, so long as its not obvious. "Either they're not expecting us and they'll seem to trust us at first, or they'll just kill us."
Kerr knows just what to say to shatter what's left of Jack's confidence.
Once everyone is settled, Thompson passes around the knife again, hoping either Hogan or Baragali recognize it. This doesn't appear to be the case.
Hogan then informs the group that Whiteout base is sending out a search party. "We need to decide on our game plan. Team One survived their jump and they are heading toward the base.
"I think we should stick to the plan; that is, Team One works their way inside stealthily, and we get rescued and go in via the front door. They won't be able to pinpoint our location without the beacon. So... if we're all agreed, we should contact them on the plane's radio and give them our cover."
Robert Brennan Col. Hogan Jack Thompson