I had my briefing today, and was told I had three choices for an initial posting: Mapping, Ecology, or Palaeontology. Mapping is the project I got a glimpse of yesterday; they observe and model the mal field. After my briefing, I was taken to Ecology and shown around.
I was surprised, to say the least. They showed me a large, water-filled tank. Inside the tank were hundreds of small snakes. I couldn't get a good look, as they were fast swimmers, so the researcher showing them to me extracted one. Its head was almost spherical, with three evenly-spaced depressions around the skull. It had no other features, and they told me the depressions were the snake's sense organs. They saw my reaction, and I told them that Phillips had found an identical snake. They nodded and said they want to mount an expedition to Victoria to see if there's a colony of the creatures there. I didn't mention that the water, and the things in it, only seem to be there sometimes; I just asked them where they'd gotten these snakes from. They told me there's a huge colony of them living in a lake under the facility. They think the snakes are one of the most common life forms in The Sick Land. If they're right, it just goes to show how out of touch we were at the station, and how out of touch the academic community is in general. Back when I was at the station, I thought academic research was the cutting edge. Compared to what they've done at the facility, we look like children throwing stones in the dark.
I'm seeing the Palaeontology project tomorrow.