(47a) Addendum to (47)

The Misha Campaign (277-1121 ff.)

Private Activities in Jump

    During jump, Jaek has wandered around the entire Nightshade , just browsing to see what's around.  Nothing is locked -- of course there are no door controls and no obvious way of locking anything.  No-one stops him going wherever he wants.
    One of the places he visits is Sick Bay.  The equipment here is unrecognizable, but like the carbon dating equipment he used recently he can guess a lot of the function from the form.  In contrast the medicine cabinets are full of Imperial drugs -- Bridgehead has clearly stocked it thoroughly to his liking.  All sorts of drugs are here, from hangover cures through stimulants to truth serum, including some supplies hand marked by the Baron himself.
    In fact, the whole ship looks like the crew have transferred their own Imperial gear into it, to supplement the native supplies on board.

    Before the ship is expected to come out of jump -- if it does another six day one -- Jaek arms himself.  He's used to being pirated, and takes nothing for granted on this new ship.  He carries a body pistol in the small of his back and a switchblade stiletto in a boot sheath.  They don't seem to show up on anyone's sensors.  (In addition, he has in his possession about 5000 rounds of Zhodani ammunition for his pair of gauss pistols -- they're incompatible with Imperial rounds, of course.)

Additional Investigations in the Office

    While in the office, after the data port is installed, Jaek searches the place more thoroughly.
    He searches the desk, file cabinets, and shelves -- carefully, so as not to disturb anything obviously.  He looks in the desk drawers, opens the cabinets, and peruses the books and loose papers.  He is looking for information that seems out of the ordinary for a warehouse, for information or evidence of tech level higher than local, for records of transactions, accounts, of substantial monetary value.  Perhaps he'll find something about seemingly important persons, or of places which may be off-world.
    In fact he finds that all supplies delivered here are paid for in advance from the head office -- the only financial transactions here are payroll.  By picking open the locked cabinets he finds the payroll records for this site as well as personnel records.
    Inventory and project management records are in open cabinets. Inventory consists entirely of tech-appropriate equipment, all consistent with the projects described.

    The operations here go by the name "Rosebud".

    There are several projects planned here.  Construction hasn't started on any of them yet, although this building has been complete here for over twenty years.  Supposedly most of them are ready to start -- ground surveys are complete, bore samples taken, and weather information collected.  All the data has been sent back to the head office for authorization of projects, and they're just marking time here waiting for an official visit to tell them to go ahead.  Paper copies of the preliminary reports are also here on a bookshelf in the project manager's office.

    Looking at this stuff, the projects seem innocuous enough, he examines the plans with an eye towards ways the 'projects' outlined might be useful for other reasons. Even with an eye towards higher tech, or production which might appear to be farming, but actually other stuff. Like the whole cold war Zhodani missile stuff, things that look like something they're not.
    Looking at it this way...  The survey, meteorological, and geological data could of course be used for anything.  Since no construction here has actually taken place, this operation could be canceled, shut down, and the data still used for almost any other purpose -- and the equipment left here could be used to build it.  Underground facilities, launch sites, access to an under-mountain installation (the building is a mere 1500 meters from a cliff that becomes the mountain range).  You could use that data as a basis for building pretty much anything.  Who's to say the "farming" wouldn't fail and leave the workforce and facilities for another "public works" project -- perhaps a military installation?  The possibilities are just too vague to narrow down any particular purpose, but there's certainly possibilities there.

    Jaek looks at the project plans in more detail.  He finds several main projects comprising "Rosebud."
  1.     Primary consideration is to getting water here.  Plans are ready for construction of a nuclear powered humidifier plant to increase atmospheric moisture, and a network of surface irrigation channels to open up agriculture.  The fission plant will also generate power for the whole setup at this site.  Water for the whole operation is shown merely as entering via a large diameter vertical pipe extending downwards.
        That pipe is shown as having a diameter of 10 meters -- easily enough for whatever one might want to make of it (missile silo, meson site, anything really).  It is not, however, built yet.  The projected position of the pipe is shown as about 600 meters due north of the current building.  The future nuclear plant is to be located directly on top of that pipe.
  2.     Secondary to that is soil improvement.  The intent is to import organic material from farms elsewhere on the world, and use a combination of blasting and grinding to break up the desert ground to mix in with the organics.  This will be a small scale operation at first, until the full hydration project comes online.  Once that happens, local sewage (currently being stored underground) will be reprocessed for soil improvement too.
  3.     To support the future of this site, a whole town based on specialty agriculture will be constructed.  Initial layout has been determined for the core infrastructure, but anything beyond that is a sketchy "town zone to be determined".  The company would construct the town, and eventually hand it over to the government while retaining control and operation of the utilities.
  4.     Eventual plans include a railroad from the coast, referring to a future WDC project called "Paradise Gateway" which will handle transportation infrastructure.  The company appears to be in a management consultancy role using public sector  labor and resources.
        Jaek thinks, "Including Public sector moneys? Are there any financials (analysis, planning, charts, spreadsheets, promotional materials, anything that indicates what the cost of this improvements is going to cost? and if yes, can I compare what they say it will cost with what I think it will cost, and note discrepancies?"
        Examination reveals that there are no financials concerning either the town construction or the transportation.  Nevertheless, it is clear that all funding would be  funneled through the WDC's head office, and would appear here to be regular funding no matter what the original source.  All financial records and projections that are in fact present are consistent with the described projects.

    There are no plans of the current building and facilities.  No records pertain to any site or project other than this desert location, with the exception of the brief mention of "Paradise Gateway."

    If something appears as an extremely valuable piece of information, (like a ledger) or a receipt for an extreme amount of credits or offworld goods or some such, he would take it directly, but there really isn't anything important enough to risk breaking the covert nature of the mission.
    Everything seems normal.  There is nothing that seems out of the ordinary.  It's frustratingly normal, in fact.
    So normal, it might be a cover. Or maybe he is supposed to think that...

    Just one oddity: the Site Manager -- Ell Corvani -- has a mailbox slot, but there is no office for her here with the others.  All other office personnel have named desks, but she does not.

    Actually, one other oddity now he's been thinking about the project in broad suspicious terms.  It might be insignificant, of course, but...
    Why would they plan to build a large fission reactor to power the site, when the Nightshade already picked up neutrino emissions from a low output fusion plant in earlier scans?  That would have the output to power the operation until it gets above village size.  Anyway, what's powering this warehouse?  Maybe they need the whole fission reactor to vaporize the incoming water from a 10 meter pipe, but is that really what's going on here?
    Since it might be extraordinary or obvious or suspicious, he takes a digital snapshot of the fission plant and hydration facility for his records.

    He also looks for something non-descript, like a paperweight, or a letter opener (maybe even a framed photograph) as a 'trophy'.  Jaek always takes something small, insignificant as a marker. He has quite an extensive collection of trinkets for all his time in the service and beyond.
    Matching his needs is a 10 cm glass paperweight with a globe of the world embedded in it, with the company name engraved with gold letters around the base.  He pockets it and leaves.