I Spy Mission Log - Entry 10A/Team 1
After more discussion, Tim continues. "I'm good with the plan so far. Exterior recon then a push into the base's more interior (and secure) sections..."
Kristen agrees. "Yeah, a quick run through the outside to find transport, automated security, and any other relevant details would be good...
"Now, on to the new info. On my watch, I checked in with Miss Hemingway. She had some interesting (and disturbing) information for me.
"1) According to her contacts, some of the things that CON has been purchasing in the last few years include 'bulletproof Quonset huts, illegal and exotic live plants, and plutonium' - supposedly for power.
"We probably should be ready for the Greenhouse huts to be dangerous. Who knows what kind of nasty plantlife is in there.
"2) Additional info on CON personalities, specifically Col. Martin "Mad Merc" Strikewell. He was a respected US officer. He, however, has a very 'non-reg' and non-chain-of-command approach to leadership. He also inspired fanatic loyalty in his men.
"If we run into him and/or his men down here, we should be prepared for them to do anything, no matter how crazy.
"3) And now for the disturbing part. I asked Miss Hemingway to see if she could find out anythingabout the leaks we've had. She said she would, and...
"...hmmm....not sure how to say this.
"Oh, well. I'm here because of a leak. Miss Hemingway told me that our organization was not called in by the UNSecCouncil. She found out about the mission from outside sources, and used her influence with the UN to *get* us in the mission.
"I'm very disturbed about this.
"This means that we have AT LEAST 3 leaks: 1) The pilot was working for someone else. => The plane was not going where we expected; 2) Someone else planted a bomb on the plane => I assume it wasn't the pilot's faction, since the bomb killed him (and interfered with the 'send them elsewhere' plan...); 3) Whoever tipped off Miss Hemingway. She's still working on tracking down how her contact found out about the mission. He's being very closed-mouth about it.
"As a final note, I'd like to hope that you can still trust me and Miss Hemingway. I didn't know how I was assigned to this mission. I thought it was all legit. As for Miss H, I trust her with my life. I've known and worked with her for years, and I truly believe that she didn't send me into a trap. (she really *is* into finding out about this Billeter guy.....)" Kristin sighs.
With even more information to chew on, the three agree that they are as prepared as they are going to be for their initial incursion to Whiteout base. With their camp gear stashed behind a protective snow ridge, the small group bundles up and makes their way toward the point of interest most removed from the base-- the drilling derrick.
Sue and Tim trudge through the snow with snowshoes, toward the drilling platform derrick and the structure beside it. Kristen lags behind until the pair are about halfway there. She then alights softly upon the snow and darts in their direction.
After sinking down into the snow at they're very spot, she scans the building with her specialized sensor detector goggle apparatus and finds nothing. Giving the go ahead, the three make their way to the outermost structure, the derrick.
Within twenty minutes of Atlantis II switching to night watch, team 1 had descended upon the derrick. With Kristen and Tim on watch, Sue pours her technically trained eyes over the structure accessible from the ground. The structure has a pipe stand, a drilling derrick, and a pair of medium sized pipes lead from the derrick to the adjacent structure, 10 feet away.
No radioactivity is detected in this area. The snow surrounding the platform is unstained, debunking the thought of the rig being an oil well. There are, however, great sheets of ice surrounding the entirety of the rig, about a foot wide.
The three then turn their attention to the 24'x12' one story structure. To the left of where the twin pipes enter the building, there is a solid storm door. The building seems to be made out of corrugated aluminum and has no windows.
Kristen is sure she could pick the lock and break the door seal silently, but the sound of the blizzard rushing inside surely would wake any inhabitants. The group talks about possible alternatives, then decide that they could rig up their tarp outside to keep the storm out. Before it is decided who will return, Kristen is off.
Not too long later, she returns. Visibly drained, she sits in marginal cover against the side of the structure while Sue and Tim put up the makeshift biouvac to keep the storm at bay. Once complete, Kristen works her magic and breaks inside.
The sonic blast of heavy machinery hits the group like a weapon, and those not holding onto the door fall back. Inside is dark, with EM goggles lighting up the machinery like a Christmas tree. Quickly the three slide inside and close the door.
Sue breaks out a flashlight and scans the room. A second external door is beyond the machinery at the opposite end of the room, 12 feet away, to the right of a pipe leaving the building. In the middle of the left wall in a closed internal door. The wall to the right is visibly blocked by machinery and piping.
Kristen checks out the middle door and finds it unlocked; a simple door having an office still window. Peering through the Plexiglas, the space beyond is split into three smaller rooms. A control room of sorts opens to crew quarters on both sides. She quietly opens the door, and lets her team pass.
The bunks in the room to the right are empty. On the left, as you open the door, some one stirs. They are startled to see light at this hour, and grab for their hand radio. Sue is faster on the draw, and flips an ivory shuriken into the now useless device. It clatters to the floor as the man turns to withdraw his sidearm from beneath his pillow.
Tim instead tackles him to the ground. After a sleeper hold, the captive is easier to bind and gag. He may have information of value, but the primary current mission is to recon the area. As Tim has not seen anyone approach the derrick at night, your group is confident you can finish tonight's primary and secondary recon and return here before anyone is the wiser.
As the building has no external windows, Sue okay's turning on the lights. While Kristen and Tim check out the rest of the building, Sue examines the machinery.
This structure stands beside the drilling platform derrick. The entire complex, including this building, is heated and powered by steam. From the derrick attached to the steam turbine building, a slushy ice-water mixture is pumped down to the geothermal rock beneath the Antarctic surface. The mixture turns to steam, which is piped back to the surface and routed against a series of turbine blades. These blades rotate generator shafts, which in turn create electricity. The steam condenses into hot water and is piped throughout the complex for heating purposes.
While disabling heat and power is an enticing idea, the three agree that without more information they could just be signing the morgue papers for the second half of their team...
Shadowcat Tim McHale Sue Martin