- Sentinel Post
- Location Name
- Sentinel Post
- Location Description
During Operation Underworld (the American mission to recover lost military hardware from the area around the British Entry-Point) the U.S. troops set up observation and supply posts all around the perimeter of the Valley. Simple cylindrical towers air-lifted into place, they usually served as entry into supply stores dug into the rock below.
With the advent of new environment suit systems (that did away with air tanks in favour of the Exile-style filtration system), the need for regular supply dumps of air tanks was removed, and the outposts were largely abandoned.
There were three categorisations of outpost: Field-Base, Sentry-Post and Observation Post. The most prolific (and simplistic) were the Observation Posts (O.P.s), then Sentinel Posts, and finally a handful of Field-Bases (during Operation Underworld there were: Field-base Alpha-9 at the ruined village, Alpha-3 on the edge of the Singing Forest, and Alpha-1 located at Burnt Plateau).
Many such outposts were created during the attempt to reclaim the Divinity and were later abandoned, often becoming a home or lair for some unwelcome creature or phenomena.
Field-Base - a walled compound capable of housing up to 50 soldiers [see Field-base Alpha-9].
Sentinel Post - a single fortified structure capable of housing up to 21 soldiers.
Observation Post - a small pillbox structure, allowing shelter for up to 6 soldiers, including oxygen, ammunition, and food storage.
A Sentinel Post is smaller than a Field-Base, but larger than an Observation Post. Generally two stories high with several underground levels, they had a top floor which gave 360 degree observation and shooting platforms, and a ground floor which housed communications equipment, a rudimentary airlock, and entry to the lower levels.
The standard design is for 3 sub-levels (either entirely excavated or adapted from existing natural cave systems) beneath the main structure. The first is a barracks level (with escape tunnel and concealed exit), then a supply store below this level (containing rations, a rudimentary Medical Station, and oxygen tank store). The lowest level is the ammunition store, where volatile equipment such as energy packs and suit chargers are stored, furthest away from the corrosive effects of the atmosphere.
There is always a Sentinel Post within an hour's march of any Observation Post.
Although Sentinel Posts have rudimentary airlocks, their lower levels are generally not sealed due to the difficulties inherent in sealing the natural rock formations. An airtight hatch at the entrance to the lower levels may be closed when necessary, sealing the upper structure, but this is generally left open. Troops therefore are required to wear their environment suits at all times throughout the structure.
The airlocks however do go some way to mitigate the corrosive effects of the atmosphere upon stores and supplies.
Observation Post (O.P.)
An Observation Post is smaller and more rudimentary than a Sentinel Post, being little more than a roofed cylinder which has been air-lifted into place.
These steel structures allow shelter for up to six troops, and are kept stocked with caches of oxygen, ammunition and energy packs.
Chains of these O.P.s were placed along patrol routes in U.S.-held territories, creating defensive positions, observation points, and safe-havens for patrols caught in the unpredictable weather of the Field.
For every three or four O.P.s there would be one of the larger Sentinel Posts to house a squad while individual patrols of 2-6 soldiers would be stationed in the O.P.s for up to several days at a time with little or no communication. Stories are told of unfortunate troops storm-locked in their O.P.s for up to a week, counting down their meagre oxygen supplies and desperately hoping for rescue. At times such as these there are reports of several troops driven mad by unnatural occurrences within the storms. Trapped in their outposts, some eventually took their own lives, while others wandered out into the storms in a vain attempt to find the Sentinel Post. These unfortunate few were never to be seen again.