Mount Whitney Station (official name: Imperial Reydovan Chancellery Command Post 001, or IRC-CP1) is a secret installation built on Earth at the direction of Imperial Chancellor Joshua Underwood, shortly after his exile by Artimus Devaneaux in October 2375. It was completed after five months of hasty construction in March 2376.
The base is portrayed by the "Phaeton" pattern outpost terrain created by Forge World for the tabletop strategy game Warhammer 40,000, one of the real-life Joshua Underwood's hobbies when he is not roleplaying.
As the name implies, the base is situated near Mt. Whitney in Underwood's native California, approximately fifteen miles to the west of the mountain. This area is sparsely populated and has been for centuries; many of the towns there are dying-out former boomtowns of California's Gold Rush. The area where the base is located is well isolated from the hiking and mountain-climbing trails of the area.
Underwood knew that secrecy would be his greatest weapon when he made preparations to overthrow Artimus Devaneaux's regime. Realizing that hiding in any public setting - his estates in Sacramento and San Diego, Castle Joshmaul in Scotland or Château Thelian, the estate of the Federation President, in Paris - would induce Artimus' assassins to follow him, Underwood ordered the construction of a base in the Sierra Nevada that could be well-fortified...and well-secluded. In October 2375, construction of the installation, described as "a not-so-obvious place to hide" by the Chancellor, began, secretly endorsed by Councillor Mikhail Britanov - though Britanov was NOT told where it was. Two months later, when Britanov became President, he formally approved it. The file bearing his signature is heavily secured; only Britanov himself has access.
While Chancellor Underwood recuperated from his severe injuries, he received a highly-encrypted message from the chief engineer in charge of the project on March 3, 2376. It consisted of three words: "We are operational." On March 5, at the suggestion of newly-crowned Emperor Kieran Devaneaux, command-and-control operations were moved to this location. The base's location remains a secret to all high officials except the Emperor, Underwood and Marshal Matthew Russell, the newly-appointed Imperial Warmaster.
No one else in the Imperial government was informed, especially not the nobility; their alliances were too random to truly trust them. Underwood also wished to emphasize that no one in the Federation or anywhere else must suspect the base's true purpose. He especially pointed out three "no-nos": Federation President Meriah Broussard, in order to protect her in case a powerful psionic attempted to steal that information from her mind (and possibly kill her in the process); Admiral Kiran Joshmaul, because Underwood no longer trusted him with such secrets; and the Empire's new allies, the Aetherian-Roman Empire, because as Underwood pointed out, alliances were temporary. The Aetherians were still unknown to the Reydovan Empire, and entrusting them with this information would be a catastrophe if the Aetherians turned on them for whatever reason.
By all appearances, even to intensive scans, Mount Whitney Station would be a simple sensory observation station with an anti-air turret to take out enemy fighters if they ever reached Earth; with the recent Breen suicide attack during the Dominion War, such a precaution would not be looked at twice. The troops to be stationed there were thoroughly mind-screened; those who did not meet the standards had any memories of the base's location or purpose wiped.
Because of its importance, Mount Whitney Station is equipped with the best defenses of any base in the service of the Empire. It is rivalled only by Whitesoul Spire, the citadel of the Chancellor.
Weapons and TroopsEdit
Mount Whitney Station has a Warhawk-class combination-air/ground defense disruptor turret on its southern hub, though it is primarily used as an anti-air turret. The base is surrounded by plasma mines, buried Hunter-class anti-personnel turrets, and extremely sensitive tachyon detection grids, controlled by the northern hub - the base's command and communications center. There is also a garrison of about two thousand Imperial Guards, all thoroughly screened, and all with the best records.
Also controlled from the command hub is the installation's shielding system, known as the Ricochet III-class refraction shield. Developed by Underwood himself, it theoretically bounces back all enemy fire. In practice, it only bounces back enemy fire half the time; during battlefield reports of the Ricochet I system on a Reydovan colony attacked by the Sha'kurians in 2349, the main colonial hub's shield system withstood nearly fifteen hours of constant Sha'kurian bombardment before it was finally destroyed. The "ricochet effect" of the shield also took its toll; often, the warheads from their dreaded multiwarhead missiles came right back at them, destroying at least sixteen ships in the 30-ship force. Conventional colonial shields only withstood about three to four hours, if they were able to get the shield up in time (the Sha'kurians were masters of sneak attacks).
The Ricochet II was battle-tested during the Dominion War, when the massive Jem'Hadar fleet later destroyed in the Korolev Expanse attacked a small base on a world on the Federation side of the Expanse (the world was class D, so no one protested - or noticed) in 2373. That base lasted nearly two days before the fleet, now short of about twenty-eight ships, was ordered to divert into the Expanse proper. Had the bombardment continued another two minutes, the base's commander estimated, the shield would have collapsed.
The Ricochet III system used at Mount Whitney Station was battle-tested during the early part of the Reydovan Civil War, when Artimus' fanatics attacked Easthaven in November 2375. The layered city was protected by a Ricochet III, and the bombardment had lasted for almost six days; by the time it was over, the shield had collapsed and several hundred people within killed, but all of Artimus' attack ships were either destroyed or severely damaged, and the fleet was forced to withdraw.
The westernmost hub, nearest to the command hub, contains the Chancellor's private suite and conference room, private quarters for the officers, a holodeck, the main medical bay and Underwood's personal cybernetics lab. Directly down the long corridor from the west hub is the east hub, placed north of the turret control room. This contains the barracks and armory for the base's troops.
Buried directly beneath the turret is a Reydovan Firelance-class reactor, a special type of plasma reactor developed by the Reydovan Empire to power entire colonial settlements much larger than Mount Whitney Station. The computer core is buried directly beneath the command hub, with ODN cable running the entire length, width and breadth of the installation. The Firelance reactor is fed directly to the weapons and defensive systems allows much greater energy output from both the main turret and the anti-personnel turrets, making it foolhardy for anything short of a Borg invasion to attack the installation.