I Spy Mission Log - Entry 08B/Team 1
Before heading outside, Tim cleans and checks his weapons. In this weather, he keeps his rifle in its case (for now) and keep his pistol limbered up. Quiet, quick and close range work is what we're looking for here. The other orders of the day? Stay warm. Stay alive.
He then takes watch. Tim uses his starlight scope to take photos and scan the area around Whiteout base, trying to identify the function of each building and trying to figure out what Whiteout's 'schedule' is. He's looking for what is considered 'night' by them. He's also looking to identify any motor pool, helipads, or hangars. And of course, patrols.
The Atlantis II airport consists of two hangars and two sheet metal structures. Barrels of aviation fuel and gasoline surround the buildings. On the other side of the base from the airport, a structure stands beside a drilling platform derrick.
The main complex is relatively silent at all times. Voices and other sounds that might carry between the huts are drowned out by the sound of the wind blowing ice crystals against the exterior walls.
Sixteen transparent acrylic Quonset huts of seemingly uniform size, surround the geodesic dome. The huts and the dome emit a violet light through their transparent walls. This violet glow is reflected on the snow outside the complex. A vehicle ramp slopes below the surface, on each of the four sides of the complex.
Toward the center of the base, a 100' high tower supports an antenna; six guy wires support the antenna tower. Four 60' tall, 3-bladed windmills also stand around the perimeter of the dome.
Activity outside the complex is almost negligible, much less than would be expected for a base of its size. No aircraft or ground vehicles arrived or departed during the surveillance period. A single security person passes on a routine circuit; once every three hours by night, once every hour and a half by day. He seems to be checking doors to be sure they are locked.
When Tim wakes Sue, he talks to her about her obvious lack of weapons. He then opens his knapsack and offers his submachine gun, if she wants it.
"No thanks," Martin replies.
He then asks about what weapons she does use. v"I am very comfortable with body weaponry; martial arts, if you prefer; and archaic weapons (knives and the like)," comes the reply.
"Hmmmmm," replies Tim. "I bet you've heard that before. I can understand wanting to be self-reliant and all (look at me, every time we stop, I'm checking my gear because I KNOW that eventually, it will fail), but I have serious doubts about your range. An example: You are, say, 30 yards away from me. I see someone's sneaking up on you. Instead of yelling and giving them a (hurried) attack on you, I just shoot them in the head. But, if you have a method for watching my back in a similar situation, I'm feeling very good."
Tim also asks about her increasing and decreasing body mass trick.
"Hey... you weren't supposed to see that!" Sue responds defensively.
"Then try putting on some sweatpants and a big old comfy shirt. Also, when you haul somebody out of a hole, don't make them feel like they are attached to a tractor or something. I love the cat suit, though. I'm just waiting for you to kick the crap out of somebody (not me!) before starting to call you 'Mrs. Peel', but you have to admit, it's tough to hide a lot while wearing it."
Sue starts to smile, then her face turns to a frown; although her eyes are not unfriendly. "Well, phys ed and physiology are hobbies. I've learned over the years how to manipulate my appearance."
"Nice hobbies. Does this extend to less muscularly 'functional' body parts, like your face? If it does, and you don't mind, let me have an up-to-date resume, I'd like to pass it along to some associates of mine..." Tim smirks.
Tim rubs his chin. "Anyway, you seem like you're staying toasty warm and that's VERY interesting to me. Is this a martial arts discipline or is it gear? If it's a skill, I practice Aikido, myself, and was wondering if you would mind me checking out the dojo where you study or studied. If it's gear, I'm not asking how it all works, I just want to know what to expect if it goes South."
Wincing, he continues. "Bad expression here, but you know what I mean. If a malfunction occurs, somebody will have to take getting you home into account."
Now it's Sue's turn to shine. "Cold endurance is both practiced and equipment enhanced. I studied in Japan, so that's out for you."
Tim rebuts with "I get along very well in Japan. ASL is a universal language; I just have to hang out with deaf folks."
Sue continues. "And my equipment is off limits to the Yanks (sorry)." "Okay," Tim adds. Sue finishes with, "But don't worry, it is natural energy transfer/enhance/retention micro fibre tech. Nothing to short out."
Snapping his fingers, Tim replies, "That's right..! My boss had offered to let me test one of those on a snowboarding trip to West Virginia two years ago. It was just TOO damned hot and I didn't like the Spiderman look out on the slopes. Wish I'd remembered to ask for one of those outfits before THIS operation. Oh well..."
Storing away what Sue said for the moment, Tim continues. "Also, I'm interested in any other useful, out-of-the-ordinary skills you may have. I'm a pretty careful planner and I've only gotten as far as I have by knowing everything about a situation I'm in, including my allies' capabilities, and then eliminating all variables."
The other answers with, "By trade I'm a mechanic: electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical."
Tim takes the leap. "That screams 'helicopters' to me. I've been priming Kristen for stealing snowmobiles, but if you can fix them AND fly them, I'll ride home in style and be happy doing it."
Grateful for the information, Tim adds, "I know I'm asking a lot. If there's anything you want to know about me, I'll be glad to tell you (with due modesty, of course). I just want to foster an environment of trust an openness. And get out of this alive, of course."
Taking him up on his offer, Sue asks, "So, Timothy, tell me about your skills."
"So, what's to tell? I like to stay in shape by running (and biking and swimming) triathlons and also practicing Aikido. If you know anything about Aikido, you know that almost no offensive moves are part of my skill set, but that I can offer some devastating responses to personal aggression. Basically, though, I hate getting hit in the face, and that's ALWAYS part of hand-to-hand combat, no matter how good you are.
"I'm really out of my environment out here; I'm much more of an 'urban' type guy. I like computers and am an 'electronic infiltration specialist' at NSA. I also have a part-time job testing the anti-incursion capabilities of computer systems belonging to third world dictators.
"I'm a good marksman but I feel very outdated carrying a rifle around. My skills allow me to kill anyone I can see that gets within 1200 to 2100 meters of me, but that range depends on what equipment I have. Right now, my gear limits me to the maximum of 1400-1500 meter range.
"Other skills? I scuba dive and have a recreational knowledge of explosives. I practice good hygiene, treat ladies well, know how to make Bananas Foster, can order at a French restaurant (no big trick for you Euros, but plays well back in the States), and can do any number of interesting things if given proper motivation."
He then wishes her a good watch. "There's no reason for us to get into a strain tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing day of watching and waiting."
Sue furrows her brow. "Do you mean to hang out while team two is captured?"
"For a bit."
Sue adds, "It has taken us two days..." "And I'm tired," Tim adds almost to himself. "...to reach the base, and team two, if they were rescued yesterday could be inside the base already."
"Let's hope so, otherwise, they'll just be a bunch of spy-cicles (I crack me up) and we'll be on our own."
"I'd rather break in and have a look around, myself," counters Sue.
"I'm for breaking in, too, but I want to figure out when 'night' is at Whiteout Base. Even though it's dark all the time, people are people and there should be a night, or 'down', period where there is less activity going on. It shouldn't take us long to figure out when that is. Let's let circadian rhythms work for us...
"So, good night and good watch. Keep an eye out for night time types of activity (maintenance and whatnot) and be sure to use your nose. The smell of frying bacon is a sure sign that it's morning down there."
As they switch places, Tim adds, "If anything looks odd, don't hesitate waking me."
"Right." With that, Sue dons her light intensifying goggles and heads out into the elements.
Later that morning, after Tim leaves to pack up the tarp and the second tent, Sue asks, "Kristin, did Tim ask you a lot of personal type questions of you without venturing any info on himself? Just curious."
The answer? "Why, yes, he did. Although he did offer to answer questions if I had any..."
[As per the majority of team one's wishes, you folks have not attempted to contact team two by radio. All previous radio air time was for listening purposes only.]
Shadowcat Tim McHale Sue Martin