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So you're a multi-national ultra-top-secret organisation and want to build a starship in orbit using alien technology. How could you possibly hope to keep such an undertaking secret from spy agencies, the media and every backyard astronomer whose telescope strays in your general direction? You're not quite in plain sight but may as well be. Even if you had alien stealth technology (and maybe you do) someone will surely notice a space station being constructed and wonder to whom it belongs. There's only one possible solution.

You need a cover.

In the ISDC universe, The Milesham Organisation provides that cover. Established in the late 19th century by a guilty industrialist to rectify the environmental damage his factories caused, the organisation has found renewed relevance and success in the era of climate change.

It wasn’t always that way. After Charles Milesham's death, his organisation struggled from bad management and diminishing relevance. In the first half of the 20th century, concerns about the environment seemed frivolous compared to the visible and widespread suffering flowing from global war. The second half of century was no better, with its focus on industrial rebuilding in Europe and economic growth globally.

Nearly a century of neglect made the Milesham Organisation perfect for moulding into a cover for the ISDC, helped by forensic record reconstruction and artful laundering of funds. The organisation’s board were politely terminated and Charles Milesham's nearest living relative – a descendant of Charles’ sister – was re-introduced to her family’s legacy.

Under Ms Milesham’s leadership the organisation transformed itself from charitable fund raising to advanced research. Helped by secret infusions of alien-derived technology from the ISDC, the organisation had a series of spectacular commercial successes. Soon Milesham had accumulated enough wealth and expertise to announce the Atmospheric Climate Research Orbital Space Station (ACROSS) program.

In the 21st century environmental issues have much more significance, and governments are more supportive. The Australian government particularly so, offering its advantageous geography and the support of its military to Milesham’s mission. Personnel have also poured in from around the world and now space launches and orbital construction are nothing out of the ordinary.

This is how the ISDC hides in plain sight.