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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
The Thing : Reanimated 2, has been posted below. The pace picks up a little in this chapter I’m thinking. I want the express my thanks to my beta reader this time around. Hopefully the mistakes will be a lot fewer. ZBP
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 504 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
OT: The Thing-Reanimated Chap2
Roster : Vostok #2 (Russian Station, Antarctica)
Dr. Kate Lloyd (paleontologist, Thule base camp)
1)Alexander Veselov (lead scientist)
2)Ivan Alenin (assistant to lead scientist)
3)Dr. Greta Dubiousky (doctor/surgeon)
4)Dr. Hans Burkov (lead biologist)
5)Peter Lapidus (lead engineer/electrician)
6)Vladimir Kalagin (engineer/laborer)
7)Boris Gorev (engineer/laborer)
8)Erik Kuklev (engineer/laborer)
9)Alexei Olkhovsky (geologist)
10) Olshefski (radio operator/ polish)
11)Lawrence Boskin (Russian helicopter pilot)
12)Sergei Laptev (Russian co-pilot)
13) Ben Ballard (American helicopter pilot)
14) Franz Jenson (Danish co-pilot)
McMurdo : US Station, coastline- Ross Dependency
Thule Base Camp- Norwegian Station, continental interior.
Vostok Station 2- Russian Camp, continental interior, located a few miles from the main station at Lake Vostok.
Outpost #31- US Station, continental interior.
* Equipment; Snow Cat-explorers, snow rovers, steam generators, electrical generators, steam & electrical turbines.
The Thing : Reanimated - up to this point
THINGS haven’t gone well for Kate. Miss Kate Lloyd, paleontologist hired by Sander Halvorson for his Norwegian base down in Antarctica. Still, her fate has turned out better than theirs. Having survived, and been rescued by a Russian team from Vostok 2, run by Base Commander Alexander Veselov, Kate finds that she is no more among friends now, than when she was at the Norwegian camp. They do have to get along though. It’s a matter of the entire crew’s survival, though they don’t know it yet. Alexander is thinking now that maybe he should have left her out in the snows, to freeze to death. As he thinks about it, that may not be a bad idea even now!
After a long, exhausting discussion of what had taken place at Thule, the Norwegian base camp, the Russian team of Vostok 2 were more convinced than ever that Kate was “off her rocker,” an American expression that they did not understand, but would have agreed with fully had they known it meant that she was one hundred percent crazy.
She went over the fine details of what had happened at Thule, and Alexander wanted to have her locked up then. However, truth being, that as long as Ballard and others were opposed, it didn’t seem like a good idea. Fact was that none of her story could be proven at this juncture one way or the other, at least until Boris and Peter returned.
The only thing solid at this point was that the body of Sam Carter lay in warehouse building six, burnt to a deep fried crispy-critter. They didn’t know that Kate had been the one responsible, and she didn’t tell them. They were only aware that she’d known about it. She had told them that Sam had gone after Sander with the result that it had cost him his life. All of which was true, only she’d left out the part where she’d pulled the trigger on the flamethrower.
“We became separated and I fell through a hole and was knocked unconscious. When I came to I made my escape in the snow-rover you found me in!”
Kate made certain to omit the parts that would get her locked up.
Alexander didn’t trust her. But he didn’t know how to proceed without causing an international incident. Continental Law was complex and vague down in these parts.
The Vostok 2 commander spoke to Benjamin Ballard.
“As long as you keep your eyes on her and she behaves, she’ll be allowed to walk to camp without restraint.” Veselov said, “If at any time she steps out-of-line, it’s the base gulag.”
“Understood,” the American pilot said.
It had been a long, exhausting day, and given some time to relax, Kate began to talk with Ben, alone. She explained more of her side of the story to him in private. She trusted Ben, since he was a new arrival, and there hadn’t been a chance for him nor Franz to be turned into a “Thing”. Kate was allowed to visit the mess hall, under the supervision of Ballard of course, were she was furnished a hearty supper. She was asked while she ate, the question that if the Chameleon could imitate any life form why didn’t it just imitate a whale or a seagull and head to South America or New Zealand?
“I don’t know! Maybe it’s physical tolerances are much the same as ours. Could you fly to another continent, or swim there?”
“Of course not!” Burkov concluded.
“Well, maybe it’s the same. It may be able to imitate other life forms but cold and heat stress it to the point of shutdown. Freezing temperatures send it into a form of hibernation. Although it’s physical appearance may be able to change, it’s biological make-up remains the same. It’s structure will not allow it to withstand heat and cold better than you or I. As a whale, it certainly wouldn’t do it good to freeze off of the waters of Antarctica and slip down to the bottom of the ocean. It could end up worse than we found it!”
This did make sense to Veselov and Burkov. She was a clever girl.
“These are only speculations on my part. We didn‘t get a chance to study it, we were trying to survive!” She finished.
What the Russian team did not suspect, was that the paleontologist planned to sneak out of her bunk during the night, and finish off what she’d started in the other Cat-rover a few days ago. She planned to incinerate the remains of Sam Carter by setting fire to warehouse six, and burning it down to ashes. But first things first.
“Mr. Veselov where do you store your blood plasma?”
“See! All neat and tidy and not a thing missing. If your creature does exist Miss Lloyd,” Veselov was saying, “it certainly hasn’t invaded this area!”
The base Commander felt confident in showing the American paleontologist the storage compartment in the med lab where the blood supply was stocked, and left unguarded. There had been no reason in the past for it to be. Still, she asked that he lock the cabinet and retain the key.
“Halvorson, and team member, Adam Finch, were working on a blood test. One that would determine who was human, and who was not. They felt confident the procedure would work. Evidently the Chameleon felt the same. It destroyed the blood supply by burning the whole room down to rubble.”
“Well, this cabinet is fireproof, Miss Lloyd,” Veselov stated. He could see that she was dead serious about him completing her wishes. He humored her by locking the cabinet and putting the key on a chain around his neck.
“There, will that have you rest easier?”
She was already not to liking this man. He was such an asshole. A mirror image of Sander Halvorson, almost.
Later that night, after the camp went to sleep, Kate Lloyd remained awake in her bed. There were two guards stationed outside around camp, in case there was some kind of wild animal roaming the Antarctic snow drifts. Veselov wanted to be safe. Kate felt that she could slip by the guards without much trouble. She remained alert, there was a mission to perform, she would set building six on fire and make sure it burned down completely with an accelerant.
With the excuse of needing to go to the bathroom, if caught, she slipped off of her cot. She made sure not to disturb Ballard or Jenson who slept in the room alongside her. She made her way to the door, and paused looking back before turning the knob. Before she could do this though, there came a loud shout, gunfire and screams from the outside.
There wasn’t a soul left in camp that could have remained asleep during this ruckus. Ballard awakened.
“I heard gunfire! Something’s happening!” She said.
The three were out the door in a flash. Down the hall and out the front of the hut in seconds. Outside, they were met by Alexander.
“Sergei’s been wounded! Shot by Erik!” The base Commander told them. He stared at the paleontologist.
“You’ve got the whole camp stirred up with tales of alien creatures! Their nerves are stretched tight,” he returned his attention to all three of them, “Greta and Ivan have Sergei in the surgical room!”
They turned to see Hans coming towards them.
“Greta needs to get into the blood cabinet!”
The camp was in a state of upheaval. Most everyone headed towards the med lab to check on Sergei. Kate, Ben and Franz followed the others. They found Erik there too, being consoled by crew mates. They watched as their comrade received medical attention. His wound, a shot through the side, was bleeding profusely. The medical team was working diligently. Plasma packets were being hung to help with his blood loss, and Erik was expressing shock at being attacked by something in the dark, and shooting Sergei by mistake.
“I don’t know! It was big and dark and grabbed at me but I got away!” He put his face down into his hands.
“Maybe it was a seal?” Alexei Olkhovsky said.
“This far inland?” Lawrence Boskin questioned.
“It was neither,” Alexander spoke, “ we are in such a state of apprehension that anything could make us jumpy! A sheet of cloth blowing in the wind! A shadow slithering across the equipment hut. People will see monsters in the dark when their imagination has been sparked!”
He turned to look at Kate.
“You have the camp in an uproar milady.”
Kate ignored his remark. But she did want him to translate what Erik had said.
“He was attacked! By something big!”
“The body! Sam Carter’s body!” Kate exclaimed.
“Sam Carter is dead, and locked up tight in a warehouse! I viewed the remains myself, just thirty minutes ago, before this happened! With the excitement and the camp being on edge I believe the best thing for everyone is to return to their quarters and try to get some rest before another incident happens.”
The base Commander was fairly adamant in his decision.
Kate didn’t like it, but she returned to her bunk. She spent the remainder of the night in restless slumber, as did the others. She tumbled, and turned, and ideas sprang into her brain.
The THING! Extreme heat could kill it, and cold….put it to sleep. A good recipe for space travel.
The beast expressed fear, maybe part of the reason it behaved like a Chameleon. And it looked to be supplied with an ability to form natural weapons, which explained why it didn’t need artificial defenses to protect itself, or attack. It’s mental ability for stealth seemed to equal that of people, yet some of it’s intellect was far beyond the capabilities of humankind. It was a foe to be reckoned with. Still, at the same time, maybe it had taken it’s assault by the drill as an attack. It had set itself up in defense mode! Could the alien be reacting in a natural state of protection? Could it be reasoned with? At this point, could communication with it be established at all?
It’s purpose for being here is unknown. Maybe it was just a traveler? Then, maybe not! Kate could go through a million scenarios, all with believable plausibility. The fact was, it was killing them! And it had to be stopped!
She twirled the thoughts over and over in her mind, until she finally drifted off to sleep. She awoke the next morning to the sound of water splashing. She opened her eyes and could see Ben at the sink, shirtless, with a towel draped around his shoulders. He was looking into a mirror, shaving, having heated some water on a small cook stove. She noticed him flinch as he cut himself, a trickle of blood began to run down the side of his face. An idea occurred to her.
The alien rejected metal, right…likely anything foreign entering it’s body, plastics and silicon too. It had a way of self-healing so that it didn’t need foreign substances to repair it’s body! With this insight, Kate felt that she could wander through the camp indiscriminately and pick out individuals who were still human. She could also make note of those who were questionable. This would at least give her a list of people she could trust.
Ben, she trusted, Franz too, with his gold K9 tooth in his smile. The others she would have to determine once she saw them.
“Kate! You’re awake! Sorry if my thrashing around awakened you.”
“No. I was about to get up.”
“Good! I hear breakfast around here is on the table until 10am. It’s 9 o’clock now, we have time.”
The two Americans, and the Danish co-pilot dressed for the day and headed out to get chow. The mood of the camp was somber. The three felt that it was due to Sergei being shot the night before. The weather was overcast and breezy with snow. Either the storm was letting up, or it had just reached a calm spot. Air traffic was still restricted. There were sounds of work being done around the camp, everyday, routine stuff. Entering the mess hall, Kate, Ben and Franz could see that there were only three others inside. Ivan Alenin, Lawrence Boskin, and Alexei Olkhovsky , the geologist who seemed to double as the cook. The team of three walked past him as he stood at the stove.
“Please take a table and I will bring you a plate of food.”
There were no menus or list of cuisine written on the wall. Here, you ate what was provided for the day. Lawrence and Ivan each sat at a table alone, and Kate couldn’t help but notice the Russian helicopter pilot’s stare at her as they occupied a table some distance from the two other men. His eyes were like needles trying to pierce her soul. She averted his gaze as well as she could. She looked over at Alexei as he prepared their meal. The thought came to her, what if the Chameleon could contaminate their food? Introduce itself so that it’s victim ingested it without a struggle? Her focus became concentrated on Alexei. Then she noticed the earring in his right ear. A breath of relief escaped her.
Lawrence stood from his table and exited the hall, his gaze never faltering from the paleontologist for more than a second or two. It was unhappy and hateful. Ivan exited soon also, without saying a word.
Momentarily Alexei came over with three plates of food.
“Please sit will you?” Kate asked.
Alexei silently took a chair.
“What’s going on around camp? I know someone was injured last night, but I’m getting the feeling that I’m being blamed. Like I caused it?”
Alexei looked deeply into her eyes.
“Sergei died this morning. 3am. Yes, part of the camp blames you, your coming here. Greta is distraught and Hans fairs little better. The Commander has sedated them and they are resting in their bunks.”
Kate and the others were shocked! They knew Sergei’s wound was serious, but nothing modern medicine couldn’t handle. He should have been saved easily.
“They’re not sure. They are investigating it right now. Alex sent Vladimir and Erik out this morning on a snowmobile to recover the Cat-rover you were rescued from. Erik doesn’t know about Sergei. Alex will take him aside when he returns.”
Kate could feel the hatred of the whole camp descending upon her. It caused her to feel like a leper, an outcast. She had to prove that she was right! But moreover, she had to make sure that no one else left Vostok 2!
“Alexei. Could you draw me a diagram of the camp? The existing buildings and location of equipment?”
He looked at her, distrusting at first. She had to gain his confidence.
“Look, like I told all of you yesterday, the Chameleon rejects metal bonding with it’s body! It doesn’t need or want it.” She made a gesture towards his head and the earring he was wearing, “ I can see that you are human. Ben cut himself shaving this morning….” they looked to see a bandaid stretched across the pilots left cheek, “ I don’t think an alien would do that! And Franz, well….” the co-pilot’s smile was all they needed.
“And me,” Kate opened her mouth so that all could witness the fillings in her teeth.
“We here are all human, and can be trusted. My idea now is to find out those in camp who also are?”
It did seem plausible to the cook, but he didn’t like turning on his comrades, any of them.
“Look, if they’re a “Thing”, then they aren’t Russian anymore right? The chameleon relies on confusion and mistrust to divide and weaken it’s enemy so it can conquer. If we unite we can stop it.”
Alexei silently agreed. He stood and went to a set of drawers at the far wall. He returned with a piece of paper and sat down.
“I need to know the location of buildings, structures and where equipment is stored. I need to know where any possible weapons can be had.”
Alexei drew her a picture, a diagram of the camp lay-out.
“Here are storage buildings, three and four. We keep machine parts in there, and weapons and explosives are also kept inside. There too is where old equipment from Lake Vostok Station is stored. Vostok 2 acts as a garbage heap, so any old equipment that is considered trash by Lake Vostok Station is brought here. This is building number eight, the kitchen and activities center, and here, buildings one and two are crew quarters. Building five-A is for extra storage and where you bunked last night, and five-B is the radio room. Warehouse six is where supplies are kept and the fuel for our vehicles, and structure seven is where the generators, boilers and old steam turbines from LV Station are maintained. Here,” he pointed, “next to the dog kennels.”
“You have dogs?”
“Yes!” Alexei looked at her, “don’t worry, they were removed the second day you were here, and brought to Lake Vostok. You were still recovering in the surgical room. Building nine, here,” he pointed, “there are no animals in the kennel at this time. For some mysterious reason all the dogs were lost at the main complex at Lake Vastok. These Huskies are used as sled dogs and LV was in need of them more than we were. Alex had them delivered to the other camp.”
It seemed odd, but Kate felt that she had more pressing matters at the moment.
“What about transportation? How do the scientists and work crews get around?”
“Well, there are two snowmobiles, the Cat-rover that Boris and Peter are using, and we’ll have another once Vladimir and Erik return with the one which stalled on you out in the blizzard. And we have a dozer.”
“What about the helicopter that Lawrence and Sergei flew?”
Alexei began shaking his head.
“Down for repairs. We have the parts, in storage building three, but the chopper has not been fixed yet.” He looked over at Ben and Franz, “we do have the American chopper though.”
That didn’t sit well with Kate. Her secret concern was not about survivors getting out, but containing the Chameleon here, keeping it from escape. Once it was destroyed, the whole of Antarctica could rest easier. Even if they weren’t aware of it. She knew no one on foot could make the journey to the other camps and survive. They would have to have means of getting them there. This included the alien. She was determined to see that it never got the chance. She looked over at the Russian cook.
“Alexei, this thing can’t be stopped by bullets or blades. You have flamethrowers?”
“ Two in building four,” he answered, “along with flares and explosives charges!”
“Good, make sure you supply yourself with protection!”
The rest of the morning and into the afternoon, Kate and Ben wandered around camp. Franz joined them from time to time. The American paleontologist wanted to make sure that she had a good idea of the layout of Vostok 2. Their lives might depend on it.
Later she asked for Ben to accompany her to warehouse six. She wanted to get a sample of Sam’s tissue and mix it with stored blood under a microscope.
They wandered over to the building and ventured inside. Warehouse six was an airy structure, unheated, but protected enough from the elements that something stored inside could thaw. They searched for the body of Sam Carter, but couldn’t find it.
“See, I knew Boris and Peter had brought back trouble when Alexander told me that they’d recovered the body!” She looked at Ben Ballard.
“Relax Miss Lloyd!” A voice came from the door. She and Ben turned to see Veselov and a few of his comrades entering the building. They stepped through the doorway.
“Sam Carter isn’t missing! I know right where he is!”
Kate and Ben viewed him questionably.
“He’s been stored inside your helicopter, Mr. Ballard,” Veselov said looking at the pilot. Then he turned to view Kate.
“What I don’t know is what you are doing here?”
“I came to get a tissues sample, for testing.”
Veselov looked at her, then turned back to Ballard.
“I’ve arranged for Erik and Vladimir the fuel your vehicle Ben, but I’m afraid that once the fuel drums have been ferried outside, and your tanks have been filled it will be too late for travel. You do know the restrictions for night flying in the Antarctic don’t you? In the morning after a nice breakfast you can then leave,” he looked again to the paleontologist, “ and Kate can accompany you. Your comrade’s body too, can complete the journey to McMurdo. After all, he was an American too. You can perform your test then ,Miss Lloyd.”
END ACT 2
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