Every now and again, I get an email from someone who wants to know more about SDAI and on more than one occasion - the research sub-levels have been mentioned.
Well, today I will lift a curtain closer to home and shine light on what goes on here quietly while I've been making out with aliens who possess golden mean and spiral curved bodies, or cruising armored, solar powered ATVs in Iran or basically just interfering with human history.
We are standing at the key card operated elevator in the main antechamber. The titanium-blend doors and walls around you are several feet thick and can survive a nuclear blast within a mile of ground zero. Don't bother using your cell-phones here - they don't work. And even your phone's camera will find that its imaging chip is receiving bizarre cycled photon patterns from the built in overhead lighting which effectively block digital photography. To the human eye, the lights look similar to typical fluorescent panels. Though, I will confess if you stay here long enough you will be able to detect which areas are being so bombarded.
I slide my key card through and then manually type in a code which changes daily and which employees receive when they arrive for work each day. The elevator is large and you are amazed at the size. It's the size of a medium sized room - and can fit forty people in the elevator easily. Yes, I see the puzzled look on some faces, "How can an elevator this heavy and large actually work?" The answer is this elevator is not supported by cables. It does not hang perilously in the air on steel cables as do old fashioned elevators. No, this elevator is supported by no less than four titanium screw drives. The entire elevator is pushed up or lowered down by these drives which retract or rise. At no point is the elevator ever leaving contact with these drives. The result is total solidity and a smoothness of movement that makes the old elevator "lurch" a thing of the past.
As the vault-like doors open, we enter and after a few swipes of the card we are on our way down. The elevator descends silently and smoothly - there is hardly any sensation of movement. We emerge in sub-level 8.
The doors open to a long corridor about twenty feet wide and which continues on almost the length of a shopping mall. You cannot see the end of the corridor with the naked eye. The walls here are all white and immaculately clean. The floor is also white and adds to a somewhat "futuristic" feel. As if the designers of this level enjoyed 2001: A Space Odyssey a few too many times. The light here is also different. All the air is filtered 20 times an hour and it seems like the air is actually fresher here than outside. It is. The oxygen content is constantly kept at an optimum level as is CO2 and other gases. The temperature is 71.5 degrees and I will tell you it is quite refreshing to emerge here after being scorched in the desert heat above over half of the year which can reach 115 or higher for several months in summer.
We walk down the hall and you are also surprised that there is not more sound from the group here. Voices and footsteps all seem somehow diffused. This is because they are. The ceilings and walls have panels which embody a sound baffling design. Waves of sound are reflected from the walls and even the floors and redirected towards the large cancellation panels which are the slightly more gray, rectangular ones spaced every five feet or so over our heads in the ceiling as we walk down the hall. The original cancellation panel was based on a Rockwell design that dates to the building of the Apollo rocket stages, and has been updated and manufactured with ever more sophisticated cancellation designs.
What's the use of these gimmicks? When these levels were designed they were designed so all sorts of work could be conducted. Noise abatement, just like atmosphere filtration was considered an important element of the architectural features. SDAI has always considered these types of things that are often overlooked and yet contribute greatly to the working environment.
To our left you see a large door. It has a small number on it in ocean blue. This happens to be 833. I swipe my card yet again and the white door retracts upward into the ceiling. You see a laboratory before you and about fifteen people in lab coats and working with some rather strange equipment. The woman working with that big piece of equipment near the wall is Tech 153. She has spotted us and is coming to greet us.
"Hello Tech1! To what do we owe the honor of this visit?"
"I'm just showing a few guests around a sub-level so they can see what goes on here. Everyone...this is Tech 153, Tech 153....everyone. Why don't you tell them what you are doing here."
"Do they have clearance?"
"I'm declassifying whatever you say. Don't worry about it."
"Ok...well...we're working on the future of medicine. Specifically the treatment of fungal infections. Persistent fungal infections are currently treated by systemic drugs such as sulphur drugs and other drugs. This is the way of the past and unfortunately often has horrible side effects, most often liver damage. One test-patient had persistent subcutaneous fungal lesions that were completely unresponsive to topical drug creams and had a medical history that made oral medications impossible. In this lab, we are currently developing and perfecting non-pharmaceutical cures to certain diseases and ailments. This machine you see before you was used on a patient, lets call them Patient X, and was treated with simple ultraviolet light - black light to be precise. Each lesion was targeted with wavelengths which could reach the subcutaneous layers of skin.
Fungi are unable to reproduce when hit by certain wavelengths of light. Within a few days of the short duration, band-restricted and focused exposure of UV to the fungal lesions, Patient X's lesions were markedly improved. Within two weeks the fungal infections were no longer active, the fungi were dead. The lesions were fully healed within several months time after that, most with very little scarring. Patient X was naturally overjoyed at the quick and painless treatment which produced no identifiable side-effects. Our research team has been cataloging and identifying human fungal specimens and has discovered that fungi, like viruses are evolving and their DNA is becoming more intelligent, resistant to all the previous chemicals they are exposed to. Our work here has involved identifying wavelengths of light which are most effective at sterilizing infectious fungi. We have been extraordinarily successful in doing so and our work will support enormous medical and industrial applications."
"Thank you Tech 153. What do you most enjoy about working here in the sub-levels of SDAI?"
"I'm making a difference. Everyone here is. I've never worked with a group of people who cared so much or were so bright. The projects I have had the privilege to work on are game-changers. They will change the future of medicine, industry and science. My fellow Techs are all really great and I have to say the pay and perks are pretty sweet too."
Tech 153 smiles warmly and I see that she is genuinely happy to see and explain her work to visitors.
"Thanks Tech 153, we wont take up any more of your valuable time. C'mon folks... lets leave Tech 153 and her fellow Techs to their work."
Another quick swipe and the door retracts again. Tech 153 is still smiling and I can tell by the way she is looking at us, she's wondering just who everyone here is and why on Earth I am escorting you all through the bowels of Shamballa.
We leave lab 833 and return to the hall, elevator and eventually back to the antechamber on the surface where we entered it.
That's a very short tour, but is quite more than sufficient for a place that has never, ever, had any sort of public tour before.
The sub-levels are filled with all sort of research projects, think-tank type activity and yes, some contract work for other agencies. Future cities, space stations, settlements, educational systems, vehicles, buildings and much more will trace their roots to the hard working Techs at SDAI.
Like anything in this world, it can become quite hum-drum or boring after awhile. It is easy to become jaded to it all and no longer appreciate what is being done. At other times one can't ever forget it.
Hope that helps answer and satisfy those few question-askers out there and if not, well those are the breaks.