With the mechanisms of apocalypse firmly in place, both sides accelerate their efforts to determine the actual capabilities of the other. No detail is too insignificant: attempts are made to recover Soviet test warheads from the bottom of the ocean.
By the time USS Triton circumnavigates the globe underwater, the full potential of the nuclear submarine as the preeminent weapon of the Cold War becomes apparent. And so the ever-increasing pressure to discover how many warheads the other side has, and how they work, and most importantly, where they are, the United States and the Soviet Union diverge in regard to intelligence gathering. The massive US lead in technology leads to spy satellites, hypersonic reconnaissance planes and the most ambitious intelligence operation in human history. The Soviets, on the other hand, play to their strengths as well: the ability to turn individual human assets. One of these paths will lead to the biggest intel haul of the Cold War.