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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Hello, the story below is the beginning of a new story arc of which I have no idea how many chapters it will take to complete. It continues the story of “The Thing” , John Carpenters 1982 version, and the recent prequel at the Norwegian camp which came out in 2011. However, the story now picks up again in 2012 at the U.S. Antarctica base at McMurdo landing. Time has dulled folks memories of the men who were lost that mysterious moment back in 1982, but there are some that remember, and want to know more. Check out to see what happens ( author’s note: best to have seen both “Thing” movies before reading the story), just saying.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 748 RATING: SERIES: FIREFLY
Cries from Outpost 31 : The Bryce Copper story
“Who’s in Control?”
Lee W. Stearns
He landed on Helo pad #3. His belonging, gathered into a nice duffle bag, were all the luggage he carried. He had come to McMurdo because he was thinking of applying for the civilian helicopter position which had come open recently. The government was still taking applications, and it would be a few weeks before they would make a decision, so he felt confident that he had time.
He stood on the helicopter pad while the chopper’s co-pilot assisted the new arrivals with their luggage. He gazed up into the deep blue tint of a beautiful Antarctic afternoon sky, cloudless for the moment.
“Better not get used to seeing blue skies around here!” He heard someone say. He turned to see the helicopter co-pilot handling two heavy suitcases and placing them on the ground. Luggage for one of the other passengers, not his, a scientist by the name Lee William Stearns.
“Very few of them to be had, especially during the winter months,” the co-pilot said, “ most time it’s overcast and dreary, but you‘ll get used to it. Enjoy your stay,” the man voiced with a smile over the noise of the whirling blades of the helicopter as he reentered the cockpit.
Bryce got the feeling that the co-pilot’s last words were a joke aimed at him? No matter, he hadn’t come here for the weather, he was here to attain a job, maybe, and there was another reason why Bryce had journeyed to this frozen wasteland. A secret he had shared with no one since beginning this trip to Antarctica. He was looking for better answers to the question of what had happened to his father down here at the frozen bottom of the world thirty years ago.
Doctor Herbert Copper, Bryce been told at a very young age, had been killed in an incident at U.S. Base 31 back in 1982. Details had been sketchy, but it was all that had been provided to Bryce’s mother, Claris, at the time. Also, the body of the deceased had never made it’s way back home. It had remained buried in a frozen graveyard in the Antarctica. As Bryce grew older the answers of what had happened to his father had became less satisfactory, he had also come here to do a little investigating himself.
Bryce had been receiving post (mail) from an anonymous source for some time. Someone very mysterious and very knowledgeable of him, his father, and the Antarctic. He had become curious about those letters. Correspondents which were telling him a different story other than the ones he’d been receiving from the authority. Communications which at first, had him thinking that he was the victim of a lunatic!
Those letters explained remarkable, unbelievable things, so strange, and so extraordinary that they seemed out of this world, and literally they were, *out of this world*. They tempted his curiosity, and he was here to set that curiosity to rest, and maybe at the same time find evidence of the person who’d been sending him that junk? He had two weeks before his visit was over, and as luck would have it one of the last anonymous letters had hinted that it’s source had generated here, McMurdo landing. Had his antagonist slipped up, or had they purposely sent him a clue? Bryce was here to find out.
A moment later a snowmobile arrived with a long hauling sled attached to it’s rear. The crew of resent arrivals plied their gear aboard. All in all, there were three new visitors to the camp.
Bryce Copper, ex-helicopter pilot and veteran of the U.S. Iraqi conflict, U.S. military, retired. Lee W. Stearns, American paleontologist, Serenity, Pennsylvania, and Jacob Winters, American biologist, hometown, Port Arthur Texas. Two of the three had been invited to spend the winter in the frozen wasteland. One, Copper, had invited himself. He had received permission from the military with a personal note that his safety was his own responsibility. There was not much fear in that, the thirty-three year old Bryce was in peak physical condition, and his mental mindset was strong. He had no fright that he could handle himself in any stressful situation.
The new arrivals loaded up their gear, and headed toward the main complex of McMurdo.
The welcoming committee was festival and gay. Happy to have new faces to look at other than the ones they’d been seeing over the past several months. Not that they weren’t happy with their current cohorts, it was just that new blood stirred up the energy in the camp. An isolated part of the world such as this saw very few visitors, new people were always a breath of fresh air.
Bryce had partaken of the drink more than usual, and Becky Blevins, camp nurse, and sometimes cook was more than happy to assist him to his temporary lodgings, or bunk as it was referred. Located in building fourteen, it was the shelter for new arrivals, extra personnel, and folks temporarily assigned to McMurdo, she assisted him to bed, her face containing a smile the whole time. Seems he wasn’t the first person she’d helped navigate to his place of lodging. She laid him in the cradle of his sleeping quarters.
“Bathroom facilities are down the hall to the right,” she explained, “Mr. Stearns will be lodging across the hallway, door right, and Mr. Winters will be located door left.”
Bryce looked at the camp nurse through glazed eyes and viewed her with the idea that maybe she’d thought the men had become better acquainted on the ride down. She may have figured that they had developed more of a friendship with one another during their trip. Actuality, he didn’t know the other two men that well, so why would he care where they slept? That being noted, he said nothing. He lay there letting the world spin around him. The whole time telling himself that he shouldn’t have drank so much.
“Oh, I.M.Cook’s bunk is on the other side of the wall,” she pointed to the wall left of his sleeping quarters. “He’s the regular camp cook! Ironic isn’t it? His name is Cook, and he’s actually a cook? Anyway, he’s on a weeks furlough, so you won’t be seeing him for a while,” she paused, “…and there’s no one lodged to your right.”
Becky grinned, and paused a moment seeing to his comfort before exiting the room. Bryce got the feeling he and his new acquaintance would become fast friends. Every place he’d been there was always someone willing to orientate the new arrivals, he was grateful for that. He ventured into a restful slumber.
The next morning, when he awakened he dressed and went down to the camp kitchen.
“Good morning Mr. Copper!” He was greeted by the staff as he entered the camp mess.
“Hello!” he returned. He was given a hearty breakfast of eggs & oatmeal while he looked around at the faces that occupied the facility. A man approached him and sat down with a tray of food.
“Hello, I’m Ivan Bellows. Not to be confused with Ivan Cook!” He laughed. Bryce had no idea what he was talking about.
“Ivan Cook, the regular cook here at McMurdo!”
He understood what the man was talking about then.
“Anyway,” the fellow continued, “I’m to fill you in on camp protocol. Breakfast is from five to ten AM, “he pause momentarily, “since you’re a visitor, therefore no scientific agenda has been assigned to you, you are free to roam the camp, within limits. There are areas that will be off the radar for you, you do understand?” He looked to seen if Bryce was getting the message he was sending, he was.
“There’s research being conducted of the matters which might pertain to national security, that make sense?”
“Good!” Bellows spoke. They talked further, and when the man finished he had confidence that Bryce was there to research the civilian helicopter job he had applied for, nothing else. Which actually was only partially true. The ex-military chopper pilot, and son of Herbert Copper, was also there to find out about what had actually happened to his dad, and maybe find the identity of the person who’d been sending him all the crank mail that so disturbed the natural order of his life.
It was late afternoon the first full day of Bryce Copper’s stay at McMurdo. He had met up with Becky, made a visit to all the huts and had gotten a general layout of the facility. He had gone to the mess hall for supper, which was served from six to ten, then he had stepped outside for the last remaining minuets of sunlight before returning to his bunk.
He had queried of the burial site of his father, being told that it was off-site somewhere, and that he would be taken there in the next day or two.
Alone, he ventured into the glow of the late evening. Being that the regular population of McMurdo knew that, as the daylight receded the temperature declined dramatically, Bryce noticed that there was not another living soul in sight. He looked to the western horizon and saw the last embers of fading sunlight as it dwindled down past the snowy peaks of the hills in that direction. He turned back to light a cigarette, then looked up.
He witnessed a light in the distance, small and unassuming, blinking almost as if it were a star resting on the mist of the heavy snow dunes to the south. He felt funny as he thought of the word SOUTH. Was there really a south at the South Pole? He moved forward to investigate the light.
Bryce traveled two hundred yards in the snow, but just as he’d reached the area where he thought to find the light he became aware that it had retreated an additional one hundred yards further towards the coastline. He continued his march towards it. He could see it swaying in the distance now, as if someone held a torch, waving, trying to gain his attention. He looked back at the camp and noticed that it was hidden behind snow drifts, he continued onward. Just as he reached a distance of about fifty yards he noticed the figure of a man. A man covered in a parka, he couldn’t see the face. The individual held a flare high above his head casting a brilliant shadow on the snowy ground around himself, yet at the same time making it hard to view details about him.
He assumed that it was a man, although he really couldn’t be sure. It could be anybody, so laden in clothing they were. There were snow clusters starting to fall, clouds were moving in. The weather was starting to change just as the co-pilot said it would. The last glimmer of the day was just beyond the mountain peaks. A thin pink veil which voiced that night would soon be upon them.
Bryce looked back at the man. He surprised Copper by holding his hand up, palm out, in the position of expressing that the curious new arrival to the camp should halt! Bryce Stopped.
“Who are you!!?” Bryce shouted, “What do you want!!?”
The man said nothing. His arm drifted back down to his side. He stood there just looking at him for a while. Bryce’s antagonist then turned and began to walk away. Copper began to run after him, but he noticed that the man was also running. He called for him to stop, but the individual just increased his speed. Copper lost sight of him as he proceeded down the dip of a shallow snow slope. When he gained the further bank he could see that the man was gone. There was no sight of him. No one in his vision, and nothing around at all for that matter. Bryce noticed that he stood on a rocky crest, barren of snow, with nothing but the hard outcrop of rock protruding. In the distance he could hear the ocean, and he witnessed the sound of ice forming in the waters off Ross Dependency, but there was no person to be seen. The man had disappeared!
Copped walked back through the snow towards the township. He noticed the lights still burning in the activities building. He entered through an outside door and saw Becky Blevins sitting at a table in the dim light of the rec-center with two others. He went over to the small kitchen area, then approached the trio.
“Bryce, this is Peter and Scott,” the new arrival to McMurdo was introduced to the two men sitting with her. Bryce had just come from getting himself a warm mug of hot chocolate at the counter, he spoke of what he’d just seen out in the snow.
Scott looked at Peter.
“Less than two days on continent and he already developing Byrd Fever,” the two men laughed, then left the building before Bryce could question them about what they had meant. He looked over at Becky.
“Bird Fever? Is that anything like Bird Flu?”
Becky smiled, took a sip of warm coco, then she addressed his question.
“It’s Byrd Fever, with a Y” she expressed, “ a condition humorously named here for the explanation of people seeing visions out in the snow,” she giggled, “ better known on the mainland as Cabin Fever.” She returned to her drink.
“So, people are starting to think that I’m hallucinating, going nuts?”
“I don’t know, are you?”
Bryce viewed her through questioning eyes.
“Look, I saw something out there. It wasn’t a mirage or figment of imagination. It was real just as I’m sittin here talking to you. Maybe a joke being played upon the new folk, or maybe someone’s twisted sense of someone being funny. Still, it was there, and I have no doubt of what I saw.”
Although Becky seemed to believe in the honesty of what he said, she wasn’t convinced that he’d actually seen it. The endless treks of white could play tricks on a persons mind. She’d been victim it that herself. Still she wasn’t about to make enemies of a new arrival at McMurdo, especially a handsome one. She sought to humor the man in his experience of what he thought he’d seen, her answer was both pointed and dodge-full.
“So, you saw something, yet don’t know what it was? May haps a seal, or albatross? An investigation in the morning, under better lighting might provide an answer, that a good idea?” She took a deep sip of her coco.
Bryce could see that making claims of seeing spirits in the snow drifts may not be the way to start out his introduction to McMurdo Station. Might not help his chances of gaining the pilot’s job here on Ross Dependency. He acknowledged that it may have been a twist of the imagination, a cork-screw of thought. He was willing to let folk think of him what they would, least till morning, when the event could be examined in the snow. That would show then that he wasn’t going bonkers, wouldn’t it?
END PART 1
Thursday, March 29, 2012 11:55 AM
Thursday, March 29, 2012 2:14 PM
Saturday, March 31, 2012 7:19 AM
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