Wilkes Ice Station is an American research station situated in Antarctica.
In 1991, the Wilkes Research Station was unknowingly built on the remains of an old station which had been buried in the ice by an earthquake in 1979.
Several scientists sponsored by the U.S. would regularly visit Wilkes to undergo research projects for six-month stretches. Brian Hensleigh, James Renshaw, Sarah Hensleigh, Carmine Yeager and D.K. Llewellyn each worked out of Wilkes at least once in the years between 1991 to 1999. They occasionally met scientists from the neighbouring French station d'Urville. Brian's daughter Kirsty occasionally visited the station while he was alive, and still did so with Sarah (her stepmother) when Brian died.
In June 1999, Renshaw was doing ice core research when he discovered he was drilling into a section of ice 300 million years old that had been uplifted by an earthquake. While he was amazed to be studying the trapped gases in the ice cores, he became annoyed when he learned his supervisor, Bernard Olson, was piggybacking on his findings and writing a research paper of his own. Soon afterwards, Renshaw's drill struck metal, and Olson was later found murdered. Renshaw, accused of Olson's murder, locked himself in his room while the other scientists made a call to the McMurdo station to request military police to arrest him.
After a few days, two divers were sent down into the cavern where Renshaw's metal had been located, but when contact was lost with them, a second, larger team went after them. When Ben Austin and his team arrived in the cavern, he began reporting what he could see, but was shocked when he saw what he believed to be an alien spaceship. After reporting this to Wilkes, Austin and his team were brutally killed by mutated elephant seals. Abby Sinclair sent out a distress call for help, and mentioned the apparent spaceship, however Wilkes received no response due to a solar flare that was disrupting communications.
As it happened, the Americans, the French and the British each picked up the distress call, and all were eager to claim the ship first, and prepared their military forces to obtain it and any other potential alien technology for themselves. The French sent a team of paratroopers who had happened to be doing cold weather training at d'Urville, who pretended to be scientists from the French station. They took with them two real scientists, Luc Champion and Henri Rae, whom the Wilkes staff already knew, so that when they arrived they were welcomed inside.
Soon afterwards, a U.S. Marine recon unit led by Shane Schofield arrived to secure the station, and were suspicious of the French. When the French realised their cover was about to exposed, they opened fire on the Marines, turning Wilkes into a battleground. During the battle, the station's air conditioning unit was damaged, and leaked flammable gas into the station, nearly setting the whole place ablaze with the gunfire. This caused a section of the B-deck catwalk to collapse into the diving pool on E-deck, taking several Marines, paratroopers and Wilkes scientists with it into the killer whale infested water. The conflict finally ended when the last remaining paratrooper was tricked into stepping into his own trap.
In the aftermath, Schofield had his Marines finish securing the station, attempt to establish contact with McMurdo, and prepare a dive team to go down to the cavern. As Gant, Montana, Santa Cruz and Hensleigh dived to the cavern, Schofield had Abby attempt to find gaps in the solar flare they could use to call out of, when he was unexpectedly shot by the ICG mole in his unit, Snake. Renshaw rescued him and patched him up, asking Schofield to help prove his innocence, but while attempting to interrogate Snake, the first gap in the flare opened up. Before they could put a call out to McMurdo, Trevor Barnaby's British SAS platoon jammed them, requesting that everyone in Wilkes stand down before their arrival.
Schofield knew that the SAS would not let them live, and with so few able-bodied people decided their best option was to get the station evacuated before they arrived. The remaining Wilkes staff packed up what little they could and boarded the hovercrafts to make a run for McMurdo station. While the one-legged Mother hid herself so she would not get caught, Gant's team prepared defences in the cavern with the ship, which they had learned was not alien. While Rebound's hovercraft with the scientists made their escape, Book and Kirsty were captured and brought back to Wilkes and Schofield and Renshaw fell over the ice cliffs. Meanwhile Barnaby's men swept through the station and sent a dive team down to the cavern, and Barnaby had demolition charges set up around Wilkes.
Schofield and Renshaw returned to Wilkes by using dive equipment from a long-lost ice station, but the former was captured after being blinded by anger following Book's execution by killer whales. After Schofield killed Snake after being forced to fight to the death, he escaped and evaded the SAS troops until he found Kirsty and set a trap, killing everyone in the platoon with a pair of nitrogen charges. Not long after he finished Barnaby, Renshaw told Schofield of an email he'd received listing ICG agents thanks to a thought-to-be-dead friend of the Marine, and learned from Gant that her team had discovered the plane was made in secret and lost in an earthquake.
When Schofield next tried to make contact with McMurdo, he learned from a fellow Marine, Romeo, that Wilkes had been surrounded by several American forces who were awaiting a Navy SEAL unit to enter the station. Realising that it was the ICG preparing to finish everyone inside and take the ship, Schofield took Kirsty and Renshaw with him on a rapid dive to the cavern below. As the SEALs entered Wilkes, they switched off their radios, causing them to miss the warning that a rogue British fighter had launched a nuclear missile at Wilkes. In addition, Baranby's demolition charges detonated, which began caused the ice shelf with Wilkes on it to begin calving to form an iceberg. As the perimeter forces retreated, Schofield and the survivors used the Silhouette to escape the destruction, moments before the nuke struck Wilkes, obliterating the station completely, as well as the SEALs inside.
After Ice StationEdit
The incident that took place at Wilkes would remain newsworthy for several years, and Schofield's actions there began his notable repuation among intelligence and military groups for years.
- Brian Hensleigh (geologist)
- Sarah Hensleigh (paleontologist)
- Kirsty Hensleigh
- James Renshaw (geophysicist)
- Abby Sinclair (meteorologist)
- Warren Conlon (geologist)
- Ben Austin
- Bernard Olson (supervisor)
- D.K. Llewellyn
- Carmine Yeager
As part of its function as a research base, Wilkes Ice Station contain various laboratories and other scientific facilities, in addition to the necessary living facilities for the scientists that work out of the station.
Wilkes' A-deck lies just beneath the surface of the ice, with the main entrance rising up to above the surface from the northern-most tunnel. The known facilities of A-deck are the station's radio room, and a dining room.
B-Deck largely serves as Wilkes' living quarters, featuring several rooms the scientists live in, a common room, and men's and women's shower rooms. There are also a few laboratories, notably the bio-toxins lab, and storage closets. Unlike the other floors, B-deck had a rock formation in the south-west corner where a hallway would normally be, resulting in a dead end tunnel that is occupied by Renshaw's room.
The primary facilities on C-deck are never mentioned, all that is known about it is that C-deck contain the air conditioning room for the station, and features a retractable bridge that spans across the station.
The facilities of D-deck are never mentioned.
Most of the features on E-deck are never mentioned, however it contain a storeroom for diving equipment. The south tunnel extends out further than the other decks, leading to the drilling room that is used for ice core research. In the central shaft of E-deck is the diving pool, which features a diving bell.
- Wilkes is loosely based on an actual ice station named Wilkes Station, which was abandoned and left burried in ice.