Thursday, February 12, 2015

Walpurgis Base (Awesome Normal Universe)

Walpurgis Base is located in Antarctica, and hides the heat signatures of both it’s geothermal and nuclear power generators with a local volcano. It has several purposes, the first being as a very well protected shelter, as it is buried deep enough in the ice that it could probably survive a direct hit from an intercontinental nuclear missile, and secondly as a site for mining and refining fuel for the Orion drive stored on the base, still in construction. It has a combined internet and radio tap located seven miles away, camouflaged and under a small lake, and two backups, all maintained by remote drones. The taps are in line only, which naturally means it requires an actual signal to intercept in order to receive new data as it cannot send packet requests. Fortunately, there are several broadcast satellites that pass over it. Walpurgis also houses several redundant backups of as much of the internet as possible, as well as the majority of the US government database, which is what the local computer terminals mostly search. Two fairly large tankers and an excavation mission were mysteriously lost along with all hands in order to import the materials, and roughly twelve people still alive know about it outside the base crew. The base currently contains fifty people, but could theoretically hold as much as two hundred, and there is a plan for potential expansion, although it would require drilling through more than a mile of ice to mine the necessary raw materials.
The real interest, at least storywise, is that half of the staff are some flavor of madmen, not actually trained to be there, and/or capable of making random and wacky devices to inflict upon their coworkers, usually with some enthusiasm. The series takes place in the Awesome Normal universe, with several iconic characters getting minor references in the background, but the actual time it takes place is uncertain, and any influence it has on outside events is far from obvious. The base is known to have been in the works since well before the St. Halsburg bombing or the formation of the Idle Hands, although either of those may have contributed to the frankly ludicrous amount of secrecy surrounding the base, and it is strongly suspected that Walpurgis is not the only base of it’s kind, or even the only one operational. There is a reasonable chance that Fergus did find out about it, though, based on a short scene where he mentions the optimal positioning of several boat disappearances and a geothermal power source to his colleagues. This scene takes place after he embraces his persona as a supervillain, and probably assumed de facto command of the group.

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