The afternoon sun’s glare through the Bradley’s windscreen was relentless as John tried to get a better look at the NGIA headquarters and when they crossed into the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain, he could appreciate the true scale of the CMAFS complex. A tunnel entrance at the end at the base of the mountain was all that betrayed the activity within. Of course the old complex was well known, but it was still the most secure and hardened site in the United States.
“Did you manage to get through your briefing on the complex last night?” Jenny asked as they pulled into a parking space.
“I did my best. It’s a big place. I’m not sure the pads screen you gave me did it justice,” John replied stepping out of the vehicle and getting a good look at the Mountain.
“Don’t worry everybody gets lost a couple of times at first,” she said heading to the main gate.
Security processing was slow at the front gate with their arrival coinciding with several others. Taking advantage of the delay, Jenny explained, “The NGIA accounts for less than five percent of the facility area and less than ten percent of the personnel in CMAFS. The rest of the complex supports the new international Moon base, including security and intelligence gathering focused on defending the moon base’s support launches and landings as well as, in cooperation with the Canadians and Mexicans, aerospace control and defense of North America from attack by missiles or space vehicles.”
Clearing security, Jenny continued, “The NGIA section is unique as it contains living quarters for the physicists and other personnel. You’ll be billeted there and the personal effects you requested should already be there.”
John said, “You mentioned there’d be a series of briefings,” as he surveyed the inside of the mountain.
“The schedule will be on your pad. You’re lucky as the briefings are starting the cycle over again. However, don’t worry they are repeated a couple times a year. The briefings can be entertaining as we try to keep technical openness and peer review integral to our work.”
Trying to find the calendar on his pad John brushed several icon choices with no luck. “Hey, where’s the calendar again on this thing?”
“Try the NGIA icon.”
“Got it.” Going to the week view, John said, “Looks like the first one is this evening at eighteen hundred …uh, six o’clock.”
“Which one?” Jenny asked.
“Quantum entanglements and frac-time geometries,” John read.
“I might sit that one out. My head nearly blew up last time, but I suggest you go. It’s the basic theory on temporal transition,” she said.
“You think someone that flunked calculus 101 can handle it?”
“Just ask questions, the physicists love it,” she recommended. “Let’s get you to your quarters. It is sixteen thirty now. You can get a start on unpacking before the briefing. They’ll have pizza there or we can go to the mess after. Tomorrow, you finish indoctrination and officially meet the team,” she added.
“Sounds like a plan.” John said.