I Spy Mission Log - Entry 09/Team 1
Tim waits for everyone to wake up. While still huddled in the tent, he starts coffee. In a futile gesture against entropy he asks, "So, girls. While we're waiting, who wants to get in a quick round of 'Twister'?"
Glancing over at Sue, Kristen smirks and says "What is it about waiting that turns men into little boys?"
Sue flexes and adds, "I'll twist Tim so that he won't soon recover." Smirk.
Feigning wounded, Tim counters. "Okay girls, have your little fun. See if I try to lighten the mood again. Besides, I didn't even bring my 'Twister' game. I didn't bring cards either. Can't play 'Quake' or surf the 'net 'cause I'll suck up all my battery time. I can't go for a run here in land of ice and holes.
"So, I've run out of fun stuff to do and you two don't like my jokes, so my question to you is, how shall we pass the time?"
Rubbing her chin, Sue concedes. "Good point. So, what's the plan?"
Businesslike, Tim starts. "During watch, I've gotten an idea of when 'night' is for our friends at Whiteout. I think we should plan to go in soon. The sentry comes by every 3 hours or so. That gives us plenty of time to get in and if the weather cooperates, we may even leave no trace of our passing. Any thoughts about how to accomplish this penetration?"
At this point, he pulls up some of the photos of Whiteout Base on his computer so they can start planning out entry, if that suits everyone else.
"By the way, what was that good point and who made it?"
Sue answers. "In answer to your questions, I was referring to your last comments. I just thought you made a good point that we're all in this together, and we should try to get along while we're passing the time. I don't think Kristen's and my comments were spiteful, we were just teasing you."
"Now isn't that better?" Smile.
Once again following Tim's lead, Sue continues. "If we are going to continue watching the base to determine their daily schedule, as you had previously said, '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'.
"I'm interested at perhaps having a look at that structure next to the 'drilling platform derrick.' If we haven't seen anyone approach it or leave it during that time, perhaps it is an automated system which may afford concealed underground access to the base."
Kristen adds her own thoughts. "If you've figured out the night cycle, sure, let's go ahead and try to sneak in. Now, where could we get uniforms... of course, with such a low population, they most likely would notice any out-of-place people, so disguise is unlikely."
Sue chimes in again. "Another good point, Kristen. Perhaps this is another reason why we should wait the day out, or, one of us should go in and try to contact the other team. One person is less likely to be caught that three.
"Before going in, I think we should try to have some sort of 'big picture' game plan to coordinate with the others.
Tim replies, "I'm satisfied about the schedule of Whiteout base. I'm ready to get in there. I want to see that structure next to the 'drilling platform derrick' as well.
"As far as the antenna with the guide wires goes, my sources (who have seen pictures of it) report: 'this setup is consistent with a radio tower connected to a standard radio unit, although technically speaking it could also be used for controlling/launching engines of mass destruction.' Certainly, it is something that needs to be knocked out, if we decide we are the military option.
"Sue, if you mean the low building with the blue glow, I assume that's some kind of green house with Gro-Lights. Now, why they don't move the whole process underground instead of using up energy heating a plastic bubble in this icy Hell is another question...
"As to the 'barrels of aviation fuel and gasoline surrounding the buildings.' Where there's barrels of aviation fuel and gasoline there's vehicles. We should see about securing one of those and making sure it works.
"Maybe we should consider two intrusions. I know the risk is higher, but I would consider some closer recon a good idea. More info equals better planning equals going home alive. Just a thought..."
Kristen outlines her ideas. "So, how's this for a plan. First Scout - we want to investigate the airfield, and the drilling rig (if time permits)."
Tim replies, "Sounds right. I especially like the airfield idea. I'm feeling a little exposed here with no definite plans for my exit from this little affair."
Sue adds, "I like the two trip recon approach. Two of us can check inside structures while the third takes watch- meaning watching the team's back and continuing to observe for base routine."
Kristen continues. "We need to check for automated defenses: passive and active sensors (IR, ultrasound, etc.), cameras, alarms, tripwires, etc., etc., etc. Slow, careful, spread-out approach. Actually, we can get around to the airfield side of the base at a distance, then move in for the 3-hour break."
Tim agrees. "With a guard only coming by every 3 hours? And all he does is check doors? You KNOW there's some electronics being used to guard this place. Either that, or they could put the base on some hellish frozen patch of glacier that nobody in their right mind would get near... Wonder which one they went for? Probably both."
Sue asks, "How do you propose to find said defenses before they find us? Perhaps scouting about in singles may be best... if someone triggers something, the rest of us may be able to determine what happened, and to help out."
Kristen has more ideas to discuss. "As for sensors, I've got some detection equipment (at least for active sensors...). Because of the environment, they may not be able to use some types (i.e. heavy snowfall is a problem for motion sensors). Also, we should be immune to IR, since in this cold climate, if our clothing leaked any heat, we'd be dead. Just don't go showing any active IR sources, and we should be fine.
"Two to do the breaking and entering, while one stands guard. I'm one of the two doing the B&E. The two of you can decide who's the other (I'm presuming Sue, with Tim on watch...).
"What we want to scout for is what types of transport we can steal for escape, see if it's possible to sabotage everything else, any info about what the base is doing, anything interesting and/or useful we can steal... etc.
"Then, for the second scout, how about one of those underground vehicle ramps. That's where any land vehicles would most likely be stored. It'd probably also be a good way to sneak in, what with large, vehicle-filled garages being good spots to find hiding places..."
Sue adds, "I definitely recommend the approach above for the vehicle ramps. No telling what is waiting for us down there."
Kristen continues. "True. To me, this would be a good place to penetrate the base itself. (Besides, this snow is getting on my nerves. Give me a nice, dirty NYC parking garage any day.)"
"AMEN!!" responds Tim.
"Hey, where's your sense of adventure?" smirks Sue. "Then, you two aren't tosty warm."
Kristen adds, "By the way, do we have any command-detonated explosives? We might want to hide some among the fuel drums, in case we need a distraction.
"If we get to the drilling rig, we probably want to check: what it really is (we're calling it a drill cause it looks like one from a distance, right?), what it does, any useful info/toys (as above).
"Agreed? By the way, I've got all sorts of nice B&E equipment. Should be able to deal with most physical and electronic locks, internal sensors, etc."
Tim ponders for a moment, then adds his own thoughts.
"Something we didn't even consider, is that these people are probably having data comm links with other sites. If there's a link, I can worm into it, or at least one of my associates can. I'll get on the horn and get somebody working of cracking into Whiteout's computer system.
"I'll probably have to go link up at the radio tower (or wherever their sat. link is located) and capture some data so that me and my nerdy posse have something to work with (things like, who they are and who they are talking to and such). Once we are in (the computer system), I can close this operation down. Imagine the fun if their environmental controls are computer operated. And I would bet dollars to donuts that they are.
"Just something else to consider."
Sue responds, "Hmm. Devious, I like it!"
Tim then adds, "I also want to test the homing beacon that Jack set up to make sure it's bona fide and not something set up by Whiteout to pinpoint us. We are, after all, piggybacked on it's signal."
After putting all the ideas together, Tim starts in again. "Kristen, this is sounding fine except for a couple of points:
"Point 1) I don't NEED to go inside, but I will need to get to the base's communication array, tap in and monitor their data communications. I don't need a lot of time, but I will need some. If I don't do this, any kind of remote electronic infiltration will be impossible. Despite what you see in movies and the like, I won't be able to walk into the base and plug an unprepared system into their network and have my way.
"Once this is done, I can take an overwatch position. Speaking of overwatch, that brings me to:
"Point 2) I'm watching and see something bad is about to happen. How do I inform you? Or are we ready to start de-populating the base now? If we have no communication, and hope to remain undetected for any length of time, splitting up is about as useless as screen doors on a submarine. If I off somebody to protect your back, trust me, they will be missed. Plus, the centerpiece of my gear that would be useful on overwatch is a big, unsilenced, noisy rifle. Searches will be mounted and spies will be found, questioned and eliminated.
"Us not having stolen any vehicles, sprung the other team, accomplished our goal, etc. makes running from the staff of Whiteout base difficult at best.
"So, if we can get over these difficulties, I'll be glad to hang outside. Otherwise, we need to plan for a three person team going in."
Nodding, Kristen agrees. "Hmmm. Got a point there. Okay, so what *do* we do if we run into someone?
"Or do we make our #1 priority (i.e. follow this rule even if it means we have to abort the scouting run) not being seen by anyone?
"Decisions, decisions. Things are so much easier when there's 7 million other people around to put the blame on."
Tim replies. "As far as what we *do* when we see someone: Once I'm convinced that these nutballs (You live here and aren't a nutball? Not likely.) are planning some act of mass destruction, it's hunting season. Until that issue's put to bed, I'm not willing to start offing people just for being crackpots. Also, I'm putting some pieces into play (outside our group) that will assure the completion of this mission.
"Okay, how about this...
"We go in for the scouting run. All of us infiltrate the base. You two get me into the area where the communication gear is located (antennas and sat links, outside stuff) then provide security (watch my back) while I capture some data. Then we we start to make other penetrations (the motor pool and the 'oil rig'), I'll hang back and provide security for you. I have a silenced pistol and will have a chance to deal with any Whiteout base personnel quietly and quickly. Basically, I'll loiter in our exit path and keep it clear.
"The rest of the plan is sound. The getting in and getting out part, that is. I just want to modify our agenda once we get in there. It's important that I get a try at infiltrating their systems. If I can and can down power generators, security gear, environmental controls or attack data (like copying then maybe wrecking a key database), I could help accomplish our mission with a much smaller amount of exposure to death for myself or my teammates.
Shadowcat Tim McHale Sue Martin