I’m sitting here blogging from the onboard lavatory of a private jet en route to a private boat, which will take me to a private tanker and down into a private underwater station before descending into the depths of the private sea.

 

Atargatis sits atop the ocean, way above Daedelus, and has been retrofitted to accommodate a process known as acid leeching. Leeching basically involves dumping highly toxic materials over top of really expensive ones so all the garbage covering up the money melts away.

 

…there’s not much to the Dumbwaiter, as it’s meant only to transport to and from Daedelus and the surface. It works like an elevator. You press a button and descend about 3500 ft. If there’s a problem onboard this giant iron nut, you pick up a small grey receiver and speak to someone on Atargatis. If they don’t answer, you pick up a black receiver and speak to Daedelus. If neither receiver works, you’ve got about eight hours of air before you suffocate in a space roughly the size of a minivan, decorated by a color-blind computer technician and furnished by someone who went to design school in jail.

 

Daedelus is the Franco-Russian undersea base of operations spidering out over a shelf beneath the Kamchatka Peninsula at just below three thousand foot depth. There are three main sections to the station, each out stuck out like the arms of a peace sign but elevated according to the ridges of the undersea mountain against which the shelf rests. The station is secured to the mountain using a cantilevered system of anchors and cables, each of which could sustain pull and pressure equivalent to twice that required by the maximum stresses of the sea. The three wings housed the crew quarters, the research center (including the medical bay), and dry dock. The Dumbwaiter had come in at the lowest, most northeasterly end – the dry dock – and was outfitted with both decompression and recompression chambers as well as facilities for long term atmospheric adjustment.