Subsubsection: 2 April 2014 (Magnolia Station Research Park) Up Subsection: The Destiny Map Subsubsection: 30 April 2014 (sneaking round the dig site, stealing the tiles) 

16 April 2014 (into the Living Land, to the dig site)

The team walks back into Atlanta, hoping to catch at taxi, but at around 6am there’s nobody around who’s prepared to stop for them, and they end up walking back to the hotel.
They have a look inside the briefcase: there’s a single thick document inside, apparently assembled from multiple sources. Phrases that spring to the eye include “uranium target”, “projectile rings” and “tungsten carbine tamper plug”; it’s clear to David and Stephen that this is a detailed manual for the construction of a crude atomic bomb, which might even be built using Nile Empire technology.
The team feels unanimously that this is something that Wu Han and the Nile Empire should not be allowed to have, so they take it to the hotel’s roof terrace and burn it; this takes some time, but curious staff can be deflected with money. They steal the hotel’s phone book to put in the case where the manual was.
It’s been a long night, so everyone gets some sleep. In the evening they discuss what to do next: to stake out the Magnolia Park facility to see who comes to investigate, to try to dig up more on Stevenson and work out where the temple he looted might have been, or to go to Indiana and try to dig up the tiles themselves. After all, Wu Han has two options: he can go to all the trouble and expense of running a dig in the Living Land, or he can produce fake tiles and save himself the trouble.
The team spends the next day copying USGS maps, putting most of the bearer bonds in a safe-deposit box, buying a truck (Diamond picks out one “with character”, which may not be the best move, and Billy Bob’s Used Truck Emporium makes a good profit on the deal), and loading it with a variety of rations, excavation gear, a generator, and David’s cobbled-together ground-penetrating radar. They plan the route carefully to use roads that should still be viable in the Living Land, and carve a copy of it into the paintwork inside the cab as well as loading it onto David’s cyberdeck; paper is just too vulnerable.
Driving through Tennessee and Kentucky to the Living Land’s border takes most of the next day. Diamond takes over the driving in the Living Land itself, though Stephen’s sense of direction is invaluable: he’s able to point out the spots where, although the planned route turns right, turning left is actually the correct thing to do now that directions and distances are all confused by the Deep Mist. Progress is slow thanks to the poor visibility, but as the team’s getting close to where they think the Stevens farm used to be, the engine starts to run even more raggedly than it has been, and they spot a thinning in the mist up ahead. Stephen and Thorfin scout ahead on foot: there’s a tree line (itself unusual here where trees cover just about everything), and a huge excavation beyond it, with no mist over it at all though it’s still visible on the other side. Inside there are over a hundred Nile shocktroopers guarding a similar number of human and edeinos slaves, who sift through rock and rubble; many tents are pitched in the pit, including one huge orange and yellow one with scarlet dragons and Chinese writing covering its surface. Excavation machinery stands off to one side, as do three trucks fitted with some sort of fan or blower arrangement over the cab.
 Subsubsection: 2 April 2014 (Magnolia Station Research Park) Up Subsection: The Destiny Map Subsubsection: 30 April 2014 (sneaking round the dig site, stealing the tiles)