Motives Theory #8 (submitted by anonymous): This entire plot is a game that the Operator is playing, using the characters as replaceable pawns. It wants to see who will survive the slow descent into madness and dissociation from reality.
Whoever survives wins the Ark.
In this case, “the Ark” is safety, and possibly a Biblical reference.
Operation Strikeback - September 1957. Three F3H-2M Banshees from USS Saratoga cross decking on HMS Ark Royal. With 9 aircraft carriers and their 650 aircraft, Strikeback was a major naval exercise simulating an all-out Soviet attack on NATO.
The first angled flight deck carrier,
HMS Ark Royal, operating with the first super-carrier, USS Forrestal - 1972. Though ordered by their respective navies almost a decade apart, both were commissioned in 1955.