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Full Version: Why is Alpha so secret, and so badly hidden?
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Something that escapes me is why there was a need for so much secrecy around site Alpha. The WAU was general knowledge around Pathos II so what was the big deal of hiding its core chamber.

Also IMO it would have been farely difficult to keep it secret considering its location, it's right between Tau and Phi.. the front entrance is pretty well hidden between the rocks, but there is an access tunnel that leads straight to a path and open area in front of Phi.

There's also the cargo shaft between Tau and Phi, the inside of Alpha is right against the monorail in some part, risking discovery during maintenance or construction. (I'm assuming Alpha was built first because constructing it without raising suspicion would have been an even more gargantuan feat) I also think it would have been difficult to get supplies and personel in and out of Alpha unnoticed. I mean I suppose it's possible no one noticed and they even succeeded according to the story, but considering Alpha's proximity to Tau and Phi it seems kind of impractical to do that safely if they're so bent on secrecy.
In general, the people stationed at Tau stayed at Tau. They didn't ever go to Phi unless they had to, and then it was only via the well-trodden access corridor. The "access tunnel" was the result of damage, not an intentional path to Alpha. We don't know the actual route that Ross took to Alpha.

Of course, the existence of Alpha didn't really seem like all that much of a secret to people stationed at Tau. They knew what Ross was there for and what he was doing. My guess is that since they were all stationed at Tau, they were pretty well cut off from the rest of the stations that Carthage had no choice but to let them in on a few things to avoid unnecessary questions.

As far as why it was a secret in the first place, the biggest reason I can think of to conceal the existence of Alpha would be to hide the knowledge of what the WAU really was. If it was just some simple program with the sole purpose of handling life support systems, then there would be no reason to hide that fact. But if, perhaps, Carthage had bigger plans in mind for it... I mean, why else would they assign an AI psychologist to monitor it?
Hmm I suppose that kind of explains why Catherine mostly underestimates the WAU's intelligence, while Ross mentions the WAU gained a heightened sense of awareness.