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OT: The Thing : Reanimated-chap4
Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chap 4 of “The Thing: Reanimated” continues below. Funny how in matters of crisis the human elements of jealousy, ambition, control, power, and lists of other issues are ever present and are still part of our nature. Maybe it’s one of the reasons we’ve remained limited to an existence on our small, little world, instead of being able to explore the vastness of the universe like the Chameleon? Of course, would we ourselves act as Chameleons if we were as advanced and able to explore other worlds?


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 559    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

OT: The Thing-Reanimated Chap 4 -----------------------------------------------------------

Roster : Vostok #2 (Russian Station, Antarctica)

1)Dr. Kate Lloyd (paleontologist, Thule base camp) 2)Alexander Veselov (lead scientist & overseer of Vostok Base 2) 3)Ivan Alenin (assistant lead scientist and Afghanistan war veteran) 4)Dr. Greta Dubrovsky (doctor/surgeon- sometime cook of Vostok 2) 5)Dr. Hans Burkov (lead biologist & assistant to Greta) 6)Peter Lapidus (lead engineer/electrician, & most literate in foreign languages) 7)Vladimir Kalagin (engineer/laborer & overseer of Husky sled dogs) 8)Boris Gorev (engineer/specialist of labor trades) 9)Erik Kuklev (engineer/ specialist of labor trades) 10)Alexei Olkhovsky (geologist & main cook of station Vostok 2) 11) Olshefski (radio operator/ polish) 12)Lawrence Boskin (Russian helicopter pilot) 13)Sergei Laptev (Russian co-pilot) 14) Ben Ballard (American helicopter pilot/ main area of station- U.S- McMurdo) 15) Franz Jenson (Danish co-pilot/ American station McMurdo) ============================= 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 rovers , snow rovers, steam generators, electrical generators, steam & electrical turbines. Flamethrowers, flares, grenades and an assortment of other weapons & equipment that may be needed in the Antarctica. ============================= The Thing : Reanimated - up to this point

Haven witnessed the THING for themselves, members of camp Vostok 2 finally understand their plight. They are under attack by a creature that can mimic any one of them. Maybe half of them have been turned into a THING already. Barricaded in building eight, the mess hall & activities room, they discuss their options and look for ways of dealing with the Chameleon. Although fear has them on pins and needles, they will respond just as any scared animal would, they will defend themselves. That is what the Chameleon doesn’t want, prey that knows it’s there and that it has weaknesses! ============================= Building Eight, Kitchen & Activities room; Before long something was heard coming from outside, screams for help. The group looked around at one another, uncertain what to do. They peered out a window that had been only partially barricaded and could see Franz out in the snow.

“We’ve got to go out and help him!” Kate said.

“What!!? Let one of those things in here?”

Alexei had said it, but the rest of the group seemed to agree. Kate studied all of their faces.

‘Yes, we have to let him in, we can‘t just let him freeze to death! We can do the test, check him!”

The men were jumpy, still nervous from what they’d witnessed in the med lab. But the paleontologist was becoming battle hardened, like a soldier in war, after all, in her mind they were at war.

The survivors had barricaded the entry points. Sealed themselves up so that anything wanting to come inside would have to face down the flamethrower.

Ben and Alexei took down the barricade. Alexander wasn’t of much use at this point. He may still have been human, but Kate would have traded him for Ivan in the blink of an eye.

Once the door was open, the team peered outside. Franz was out there, alone, on his knees. Ben had given Kate the flamethrower and she watched vigilantly as he and Alexei picked the man up and brought him inside. The door was closed and the barricade reapplied. Franz was set in a chair. He was shivering with cold.

“What happened?”

“I don’t know! I went to get another fire extinguisher and someone attacked me!”

They looked at his face, he was bleeding. His clothes were ripped and shredded and he looked to have injuries, but nothing serious. His mouth was dripping blood, they had him open it. They could see that the gold tooth was missing.

“Franz! Your tooth!!?”

“Yes, it pulled it out of my mouth! Then it ran off!”

His story seemed to match his injuries, but he was still suspect. This is how the Chameleon operated, it turned it’s prey against one another. It was an intelligent adversary. Still, they could take no chances.

“Tie him up!” Kate said.

Ben and Alexei had no problem with that.

“So now you’re tying up Americans?” Veselov spoke.

“He’s Danish!”

“No matter, he’s part of the American crew.”

Kate could hardly stand the base Commander’s arrogance. She had put up with Halvorson, she supposed she’d have to put up with Veselov also.

“Alex, does it seem to you that our lives are in peril? Might we get a little assistance with that?”

Maybe shame would help him to recover some of his humility? Get him off his high horse?

“Well Miss Lloyd, since you seem to have all the answers how about you tell me what you want?”

“A little help!”

“Maybe you can help me. Why don’t we take the Snow-Cat out there and head for Lake Vostok? Ivan and Franz can ride in the back, and you can keep the weapon on them.”

Veselov was attempting to take control again. The others stopped to hear her answer.

“First off Alex, do you think getting into a Snow-Cat with the likes of what you saw in the med lab is a good idea?” She looked around, no one thought that it was, “ …..and second, you saw the hole the creature created in the wall trying to get out. You think a few strands of rope will be able to keep it bound? At least here we can torch it! What would happen if one of us pulled the trigger on this flamethrower in the cabin of that Snow-Cat?”

Her point made, all of them agreed, it was not the thing to do!

“What if someone took a snowmobile, went for help?” He questioned.

Kate paused, her lips curling into a semi smile, not pleasent, but one of distain.

“And I suppose that someone would be you?” she focused in on him. “Take a look around Alex! Lawrence, Vladimir, Erik and Hans still remain unaccounted for. They would get to you before you had a chance to leave on one of those machines,” she paused, “ you may even give them the idea of going to Vostok Station themselves, if they secretly haven’t already! Just think of the damage they could do! Where would your safe haven be then?”

She stopped, and looked around.

“Look, during all of this I’ve been making observations. I’m sure we all have. Although the Beast can absorb our bodies, it has trouble with our brains. It can simulate our physical forms, even make an almost perfect copy, but our minds and memories are more of a challenge, it has trouble duplicating them. Boris showed us that, when he slipped with his knowledge of English, and Carter…,” she stopped to view their faces, “ yes I blew him away! He wasn’t wearing the earring that I’d seen him wearing the entire time he’d been at the station. The “Carter” in the Snow-Cat didn’t even remember which ear it should be in.”

The American Paleontologist paused to let them absorb the idea that she could end a life. They viewed her wearing the flamethrower, and knew that she would use it if she had to.

“Look,” Kate pointed at Ben’s left cheek, “the Chameleon doesn’t link itself to any form of inorganic materials. Ben cut himself shaving the other morning. In my opinion this alien wouldn’t even attempt to do such a thing, cutting itself with metal! It could grow a beard and none of us would be the wiser. I think it feeds on it’s victims, consumes them. It may even be the way it reproduces itself!”

She scanned Veselov.

“It may be an amazing specimen, something incredible to study, but it’s a Pandora’s Box just waiting to be opened. We can’t control it. We need to make certain that it remains out of the hands of those who would try!”

************************** It was agreed. The small group of individuals staged in building eight decided that they were in need of the remaining weapons stored in building four. It was determined that Ballard and Alexei should acquire the other flamethrower, and return with as many grenades and flares as they could carry.

Veselov would stay with Kate, barricaded within the station’s activities room. They could protect themselves with flares if the THING attacked. Also, they could watch over Ivan and Franz. Although it was half empty, Ben and Alexei would take the flamethrower to complete this mission.

Kate gave Veselov a flare.

“Think you could use this to save your own life?” She spoke with a smirk. Kate had, had her fill of the pompous individuals who seemed to be in charge of these isolated outposts in the deep Antarctic wasteland. They seemed to think they knew everything.

Alexander said nothing. He took the flare and put it in his pocket.

Dressed as well as they could against the elements, Ben and Alexei were ready to head out to retrieve as many defensive supplies as they could.

Just before leaving Alexei looked at Kate. He pointed to her head.

“Kate, you’re bleeding?”

Looking at him questionably she touched her head at the hairline and looked to see her fingertips coated in blood. Then she remembered her fall at the alien crash site. She’d injured her head and Greta had told her it had taken four stitches to suture the gap the first day she was brought back to camp. The cut must have opened a little in all the activity.

“It’s nothing, an injury from when I was with the Norwegians. It will be a reminder of this nightmare once we get out of here,” she said, “if we survive?”

Alexei looked at her, “We will survive. You will.”

His smile and confidence boosted the American Paleontologist’s feelings that she was doing something right, and that the Russian cook was on her side, even if she was battling Veselov over control.

Alexei turned to look at Ballard, the two men were completely covered. All that remained open to the freezing air was the oval of their faces. Their heads were covered with snug fitting hoods, and their bodies covered with heavy clothing. They were ready to go. They exited the building and headed towards the weapons hut.

************************** The minutes past like hours, and even Veselov was showing concern with the amount of time it was taking.

“Shouldn’t they be back by now!!?” he asked.

Kate said nothing, but knew he was right. A moment later there came the sound of someone approaching from outside. She looked through a small crack in a window where the glass had been left unbarred. She could see Ben out there in the snow, alone. He looked to be struggling but he still retained the flamethrower. He made his way to the door.

“Kate, open up! Let me in!” He shouted at the threshold. What was she to do? She looked at Veselov.

“Stay ready!” she said to him.

“Ok, set the flamethrower down and back away twenty paces from the door!”

“Kate, it’s me! Let me in! I’m freezing to death!” Ballard spoke, sounding desperate.

“Just do it Ben!”

He complied. Kate looked out of the window and saw that he’d abandoned the weapon at the doorstep.

“Now back away!”

He did as instructed. She turned to Veselov.

“Watch him while I recover the flamethrower!”

The door opened and the girl retrieved the weapon in two seconds. She mounted it on her frame.

“Ok, let him in!”

Ben entered and immediately fell to his knees on the floor. He was shivering from the cold, his face was whitened and frosted, his eyebrows frozen in ice.

“What happened!!?”

“They attacked us as we were exiting the weapons building,” he looked up, “I blasted one, but the others,….. they got Alexei!”

Kate felt her stomach about to turn.

“We need to get out of here!” Ballard spoke suddenly, seemingly throwing caution aside and agreeing with Veselov now.

“Kate, we can save ourselves! We can make it to Lake Vostok Station or McMurdo and convince them to place strategic weapons strikes here and on Thule with air forces. There are military craft flying in and out of those stations all the time. They can use missiles to irradiated the entire landscape around these areas,” he paused, seeing if his plan was taking root, “we don’t do this and we die, all of us,” He stopped to let his idea sink in.

“If the message doesn’t get out, those THINGS can sit and wait until rescue teams arrive. It’s early winter, and the continent is being bombarded with storms every few days. The blizzards will keep coming, but sooner or later the weather will clear and the air teams won’t be grounded anymore! Time is on their side! We can barricade Ivan and Franz in the back storage garage, and come back for them before the strike happens, then we can all get out before this place gets leveled!”

It made sense to Veselov.

“Yes Kate, listen to your friend! It’s the right thing to do!” The base Commander spoke.

“THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!?” Ivan spoke loudly, he and Franz still bound tightly to the chairs. “And what of you Alex! Throwing me and Franz to the wolves so that you can save yourself!”

‘We said we’d come back for you, before the strike.”

“Like I’d believe that for one minute! By THAT time we will have been subjected to the creatures! They’ll come in here and get us! I’d rather be killed out-right before letting that happen!”

“No ones getting killed” Kate said. She thought for a moment, “ look, I have a plan, but it’s something that I need to do alone.”

They all looked at her with questions on their faces.

“I have to leave. It should only take me an hour or so, but when I get back, you’ll have to raise the big supply door in the rear to allow me back in. You can test me when I return and put the barricade back up!”

None of them knew what was in her head, but Ben and Veselov agreed. They would be no worse off if she didn’t return.

Ivan pleaded with her again….

“Kate! I don’t want to be left here!

“Nor I.” Franz spoke.

“No ones getting left.” she assured them. She looked deeply at the two men, “I trust that both of you are still human, but this goes beyond my trust. If this idea of mine works, we may all be able to leave from here safely.”

END ACT 4

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