I Spy Mission Log - Entry 11/Team 1
Tim rifles the body of the guy he shot, looking for keycards or notes with codes on them (not everyone has a head for numbers). He finds a pair of hand-held nighttime signaling devices, a .45 US Gov revolver, a 9mm Uzi with 40 round clips, a hand-radio, keys, winter gear, and light intensifying goggles.
While searching the guy, he takes stock of how large the other actually is. He's really eight feet tall, and well proportioned, muscular, perhaps of Brazilian descent. Tim then takes a photo the dead man's face for later ID.
The blizzard seems to be tapering off, and you figure the time elapsed is about a third to a half way into the base's night cycle.
The three then head to the guard's quarters to search them. They find a hard-wired intercom system, a cot, blankets, spare ammo clips, vehicle keys, a 'near by' base radio frequencies chart, clothes, entertaining magazines, a mechanics tool chest, a short-wave radio, pads & pencils, and playing cards. Upon further examination, one of the pads contains notes remarking on team two's situation:
... Decision to Snowbank unnecessary. Pilot dead and co-pilot incapacitated ... ... Plane shows no signs of foul play ... Story seems to check out ...
Team One then heads back to the hangar to check out possible escape transportation and to discuss their options. After cursory examinations, they find that the helicopters seat 4, the cargo planes seat 15, and the Sno-cats seat 8, or 6 with crevasse detector gear rigged.
They figure they are 450 miles northeast of Siple base, 800 miles northeast of Byrd base, 550 miles northwest of Ellsworth base, and 1200 miles southeast of Argentina. Sue decides that the planes can make it to Chile or Argentina. With a little planning ahead (carrying extra fuel), they could make it to Siple or Ellsworth base with the Sno-cats.
Kristen begins. "I think we need to get our people out. Between them discovering they've had personnel losses, and the standard practice of leaving no witnesses, I'd think that our guys would be in serious trouble if we leave them.
"Which means, we need to find some way to get word to them. Or get to them, but that strikes me as really difficult. It'd be easier if they were working their way out to us..."
"Right," Tim adds. "Us just getting away doesn't accomplish our objectives. The first objective, recon, will be done as soon as we report. That's easy enough. The second is getting our people out and downing the base; that is, assuming that they are even there. Even if we just disable the other vehicles and leave, these guys are preparing to get cut off from the rest of the world. We wouldn't upset their plans at all."
The team nods in agreement. Tim presses the need for expediency. "I definitely think that our timetable has been accelerated by the encounters with our two unfortunates. I would think that going out into this crappy weather would involve a check in with security before leaving. I would have it as standard operating procedure and so I assume that's what the big dude I shot did. We may have very little time."
Sue brings up the exit topic. "Now that we're inside the hangar, we had talked about choosing a vehicle, prepping it for a quick departure, and sabotaging the rest."
Tim pipes in, "In choosing a vehicle, I guess we need to we need to weigh some factors. Weather, carrying capacity and distance to travel would be the biggies."
He votes for mining the Sno-cats and 'copters, stealing the cargo plane for the ride home, and leaving the dogs and associated sleds intact. "We may want to consider fueling the plane now and then mining the rest of the fuel as well. As far as destinations go, I kind of like the idea of Brazil. If nothing else, it will get us away from the project and associated leaks long enough to get home. But 1200 miles is a long hop, over water, over Tierra Del Fuego (the world's worst weather), in a plane about which we know nothing." Sue shakes her head cautiously. "There's no way to tell if these planes are actually in flyable condition, or if they're already rigged to blow once they take off, etc. I just don't think we have the time to do a full systems check.
"Regarding what you said, Tim, about SOP for patrols checking in before they head out. Should we wait a bit to see if the base seems on alert? They send additional guards, hourly watches don't happen, ..."
"Good idea," answers Tim. "Maybe while we are laying low to see if the alarms have been raised, we could check out a vehicle or two and see which is our best choice for leaving. I would be willing to post myself outside and see if we get any company."
"Sounds good." Kristen has some other thoughts. "I think we need to rig up some command-det explosives around some of these fuel dumps and vehicles. It would make a real nice distraction, don't you think? "The thought had occurred to me that we rig the hanger and vehicles, then head back to the rig at the other end of the base. We had seen controls there to take out the base power and heat, right? Well, then. "I say we do some sabotage there, then start sneaking in. If we see too much attention coming our way, blow the explosives. Our main goal is to meet up with our people. Our secondary goal is to find more info. Hopefully, the inside team has had some time to find out more about the base layout. (This is the other reason we need to meet up with them.)
"I'd prefer to hold off on the explosions as long as possible. We may need the distraction more, once they really know that we're here, not when they suspect. Of course, it also might be better to use the bombs to draw them to that side of the base, then later, make trouble to make them think they've been tricked, so they don't pay attention to the hangers. After all, we need to get there so we can leave."
Sue rubs her chin. "Perhaps the best idea is a combination of both. We could set explosives in the hangers away from the vehicles we plan to escape in. We could also plant them in the powerhouse so that in a pinch we can cut the lights."
Kristen picks up with ascent. "Right, so not only do we disable the vehicles, but we disable some of the systems we saw back at the rig that we didn't want to screw with because it would reveal our presence."
Tim is satisfied. "I like the idea of rigging several areas and maybe giving us some flexibility as we leave."
Being open to every possibility, Tim comments on the giant. "I want to figure out if this guy is part of somebody's science project or a natural born freak. If he's part of a science project, I want to acquire (steal or download) that info and, of course, share it once we get back to civilization."
Kristen gives him funny looks and Sue accuses him of being out in the cold too long.
Shrugging, Tim changes topics. "As for going in, that's really you ladies' show. I'm here for support until we get to some computers. And, of course, the shooting thing."
In response, Sue addresses Kristen. "What's your idea on how to get inside the base? Find a door, use the vehicle ramp, or cut our way in through the dome?"
Kristen replies, "My preference is towards the vehicle bays. They've got some cover, and lots of room to maneuver in. We'll have to watch out for sensors and cameras, but I should be able to deal with them."
Tim stands guard and circles the hangar perimeter every so often. Sue checks the plane's systems while Kristen rigs the fuel barrels and helicopters with command detonation explosives. Later, through binoculars, Tim spots a base guard walking around the base proper on the third hour like clockwork.
Shadowcat Tim McHale Sue Martin