Friday, 15 March 2013


Station Alpha is a concrete bunker. It has an entrance level and three underground floors. Bob gave me the grand tour. Xi won't leave her room at the moment.

The entrance level is just a garage and a lift. There are three jeeps and a couple of snowmobiles. None of them are in good repair, but we all do a course in automotive maintenance, so we're okay for simple problems. Bob told me they have a huge tank of diesel. It hasn't been filled up while he's been here.

The first floor (I've quickly got into the habit of numbering the floors as if the bunker goes up, rather than down) is the lab. There's a lot of equipment, old but good quality. They have huge stocks of chemicals. It's not my area at all; Bob says it's good enough.

The second floor is the living quarters. They're pretty grim. Like everywhere else in Alpha, the walls and floor are bare concrete, the lights flickering tubes behind rusty grills. It's a nightmare to change the bulbs, apparently. There's a sparsely equipped kitchen, a huge pantry full of canned food and bottled water, a communal area (with a rug and a sofa), and a 'gym'. The gym is a small, square room. Inside is a weight bench with no padding, a bent bar, some rusty plates (none of which match), a skipping rope, and a Soviet-era exercise bike.

The bedrooms are on the third floor. There are five identical rooms. Three are occupied. They're cold and damp and Spartan. At least they have the internet here.

We're planning my first trip out into the Green Zone. I'm petrified.

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