The Flat Earth Society

Other Discussion Boards => Arts & Entertainment => Topic started by: Chris Spaghetti on September 20, 2007, 05:01:01 AM

Title: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 20, 2007, 05:01:01 AM
Why am I doing this? Chris Tredinick thought for the hundreth time, as he sat back in the cheap, uncomfortable airplane seats. Somewhere near the back a baby was screaming and the large woman crushing him against the plastic window was sweating waterfalls, despite the arctic conditions created by the plane's air conditioning. The answer was simple, Chris was intrigued, about a week ago a letter had fallen through his letterbox from a 'Dr Thomas T. Bishop'. He wrote at length about a bold new scientific thoery which, he claimed, would reveal a conspiracy on an astronomical scale, though he was not explicit in describing what the thoery was. Instead he was given instructionsa and directions to a convention centre on the Falkland Islands where he would 'reveal all'. He'd also included a pair of return flight tickets from Birmingham International Airport in the UK to an airport in Stanley.

The letter alone he would have dismissed as junk mail, some sort of ploy to fool the gullible, but the plane ticket made him wonder, made him doubt. Trans-Atlantic plane tickets were still a lot, even with the rise of budget airlines. So he'd booked all his annual leave over the 4 week summer and taken off.

The letter had explained that in order to prove his thoery correct he would be leading an expedition out into the Antarctic (though quite why he insisted on referring to it as 'the Ice Wall' he didn't know.) over a sustained period and that any money lost through time off work he'd pay personally.

Eventually the plane landed at the passengers disembarked, many were tourists, drawn to the Islands by it's history of Maggie Thatcher's War. He passed through the security terminals, collected his luggage and walked into the arrivals terminal, where a man with dark glasses was holding a placard with 'Chrissetti' written on it, there were eight other men who all dressed identically, holding obscure placards reading 'Gayer', 'Midnight', 'Narcberry', 'Divito','Dann', 'Trekky', 'TheEngineer' and 'Gulliver'. Chris pulled out his letter again and read the bottom line 'Your pseudonym for this project will be Chrissetti, do not use your real name'
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 20, 2007, 12:09:52 PM
He was taken by the humourless drivers to one of nine identical black BMWs with blacked out windows.

"So, what's the deal with this journey then?" Chris asked the driver, who shrugged in response and Indicated he should get in the back. "I didn't even know there was a convention centre on the Falklands, where is it?"

"Not far." He responded. The road they were traveling on was a dull, featureless strip of tarmac through a largely barren plain of scrabby grass, in the distance, a couple of bomb craters were still visible from the Britain-Argentina war for the islands. A war which Chris had never fully understood the point of. It wasn't long before they were driving through the extremely low-rise town of Stanley,

Convention centre? there's barely a chip-shop!

Then he saw it, a fairly large dome of steel and glass, small by convention centre standards, but it looked like the most modern building on the island he'd seen, as they drove closer he noticed a brushed-steel sign above the entrance

The BMW pulled up and the driver indicated for him to leave

"Sorry, where am I? where am I expected to go? What is zetetic astronomy?" Chris said, standing outside the car.

"You'll find out soon enough, in Doctor Bishop's speech this afternoon." Said a voice behind him, making him jump "my name is Mr Chaltier, one of Dr Bishop's assistants here at the Rowbotham Institute."

The man was dark haired, fairly young, about 20ish and dressed in a white lab coat.

"Hello there," Chris responded, holding out his hand to shake the Doctor's "My name is Christopher Tre--"

"Chrissetti. I believe it explained in your letter that real names were not to be used over the coming weeks?"

"Well, yes, but why?"

"That should become clear in this afternoon's speech, but please, in the meantime, allow me to show you to your quarters for the duration of your stay before any of the other guests arrive."

"Sorry, am I forbidden from seeing the other guests?"

"You will meet the others this afternoon, please all will become clear--"

"When the great Thomas T. Bishop explains?" Chris snapped back, this man was seriosly beginning to grate his nerves.

As he was led into the building he noticed the institute's logo for the first time, a red Northern Polar projection of the Earth, with Antarctica spread around the edge, like the UN logo...
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 21, 2007, 07:35:50 AM
As he passsed through the inside of the Rowbotham Institute, Chris became intrigued by the images on the walls, A large poster of a woman holding a sheet out on a boat floating along a canal, another showed a series of flags on the same stretch of water. Underneath the poster on a small metal plate were the words 'Bedford Canal Experiment'.

Eventually he arrived at his quarters. A modest studio apartment consisting of a kitchen/living room, a small bedroom and an en suite bathroom, overall he'd stayed in worse conditions. On the work surface in the kitchen was a program for the day:


12:00 - Arrival on site, shown to room
14:00 - 'Modern Zetetics' By Dr Thomas Bishop
15:00 - Lunch
15:30 - Primary briefing
18:00 - Dinner
19:00 - Tour of Facility 'A'
21:00 - Bed

He looked at his watch,12:45, over an hour until he met his mysterious host. He half-heartedly tried the door. Locked, just as he'd expected. He pulled out a silver Nokia 6210i with sellotape holding the back on. No signal.

'Chrissetti' sighed, nothing to do for over an hour other than unpack and get settled so he unpacked the bags, hung up his clothes and sat reading  a book for close to an hour, eventually there was a click at the door,

"Please come with me to the auditorium, Mr Chrissetti, Dr Bishop is about to begin his speech."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Trekky0623 on September 21, 2007, 04:02:07 PM
The Book.docx, chapters 1-3 (

The Book.doc, chapters 1-3 (
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 22, 2007, 04:35:59 AM
The auditorium was a fairly large room, in the centre of the institute dome wth seating for over 200 people, at current it was occupied by about twenty, filling up, as these events always do, from the back first. Not wanting to stand out, Chris sat on the second from back row next to a brunette woman who was chatting quietly to a man wearing glasses and a short beard with a woolly hat.

"Hello, my name's Chris Tre- Chrissetti for this, any idea what all this is about?"

The brunette turned to face him and Chrissetti was pleasantly surprised how pretty she was

"Gayer for this trip, and this pretty man here is Dann, we know about as much as you, still Tom Biship should be starting in the next...5 minutes."

A scientist started to walk down the row of seats handing out name tags like the one he was wearing

"Sorry, I forgot to hand these out earlier, can you wear them at all times, please? 'Raa' said, handing name tags to Gayer, Dann and Chrissetti.

Over the next few minutes, more than 30 more people entered from the back of the hall, all wearing their nametags. One of the last was a spitting image of a younger Patrick Stewart, the guy who played Captain Picard! And to top it off his name badge identified him as 'Trekky'. He was holding the hand of a girl no older than 14 who was clearly grating on his nerves.

"Ok, ok, new game! I'll say a word and you--"

"Just be quiet! You've been doing this for two hours now, 'Muffs'!" Trekky said, angrily.

Eventually the lights dimmed and the curtains on stage opened to show a projected image of the Earth, slowly rotating

"Everything you know is a lie." A voice from offstage said, amplified by the room's speakers. An older man, with grey hair and glasses made his way onto the stage wearing a suit and tie, sudden;y Chris felt extremely underdressed in a  T-shirt and jeans. "A lie which has been forced so thoroughly into the masses subconcious, that nobody dares to question it.

"This!" He said, jabbing a finger at the rotating Earth "Is the centre of it! Not the Earth itself but the shape of it!. We do not live on a blue ball hurtling through the cosmos but upon the back of a great disk, thousands of miles wide. This is what the Earth looks like!"

The familiar ball of the Earth slowly unfurled itself outwards from the North Pole, leaving the Arctic circle in the centre, the continents and oceans arranged themselves around it in a circular shape, the Antarctic ice stretched itself around the oceans like a cradle

The ice wall! Chris thought back to the strange expression on his letter.

"What I am about to tell you has been proven by the great Professor Samuel Birley Rowbotham, after whom this very institute is christened. He wandered the isles of Britain until his death in 1884, proving through easily repeatable experimentation why the Earth is flat."

Chris raised and eyebrow and sat back in his seat in wry amusement, the man was a nut! He listened for close to an hour about Flat Earth physics. How gravity didn't exist and was created by a 'universal Accelerator' pushing up on the Earth, how water was held in by an ice wall possibly hundreds of miles thick, how the sun and moon were 32mile objects circling over the equator until:

"Oh come on!" A guy from closer to the front yelled "You don't expect us to actually believe this bullshit, do you? Hello, we've got pictures of the Earth from space!"

"Which neatly brings me to my next point." Tom said "NASA, ESA, the Argentine Space Agency, the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, The Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization, The Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, etcetera, etcetera are all lies, dedicated in a mix of covert military research, producing fake space videos and pictures, faking rocket launches and, most importantly, lining the pockets of the creators.

"'What could be gained from lying about the earth?' you say? Space travel is impossible because it would require infinite energy to keep it accelerating against the UA. When NASA realised this, they had 2 choices, either admit to billions of US dollars wasted into a fruitless research or save face and fake it, investing the government grants into secret military endeavors and advanced image manipulation technology. As well as making a hefty profit. Soon, other 'space agencies' joined the scam.

"Could it be done? Of course, only a few people need ever know about the biggest deception in the history of mankind..."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 23, 2007, 02:01:54 PM
After an hour, the screen at the rear o the room was filled with diagrams elaborating on specifics of Flat Earth Physics, Tom Bishop had ranted and shot down any question or argument so well the entire argument was becoming plausible to Chrissetti, there were still problems, the 'sinking ship' effect which kept getting brought up even though Tom had explained it already, multiple times.

"So, how exactly does this even affect us?" A bored looking dark-haired man named 'Midnight' shouted out.

"I'll explain more during the 3.30 briefing, until then, I'm sure you'd like to get something to eat, the cafeteria is out the back doors and down the corridor on the left, all free of course!"

The room began to file out loudly, everyone discussing Tom's 'revelation' Chris picked up a few of the comments

"The people who believe this are idiots!""What a crock of shit""Besides his poor logic and thinking skills, I have no other evidence to prove that he is a retard.
BUT he cannot DISPROVE that he is a retard.""you know what my real problem is??? PEOPLE BELIEVE THERE IS A FLAT EARTH!!!""tom bishop: You are a dick. A dick who talks sh!t, that's right, you fulfill two lower functions. hahahahaha"

But amongst the obvious disregard of the theory, there were some actually discussing it seriously, Chris turned to the brunette he had sat next to

"What do you make of it?"

"i reckon he's got a good point! he's swayed me!" Gayer said, with a grin on her face


"You'll never know for sure!" She said cryptically while Dann laughed.

The cafeteria was a room almost as big as the main auditorium and was filled with cheap plastic covered MDF tables and scientists and guests eating around them on cheap plastic black chairs, along the far wall was the serving hatch staffed by the pale guardians of the food, clad in reed and white striped garbs they ladled out the food, without changing their expression. Just like every other cafeteria worker on the planet, Round or Flat. Chrissetti, Gayer and Dann stood in the queue and waited for the line to take them to the hatch.

"baked potato, Spaghetti Bolognase, Lasagne or Faggots and veg." The older woman in red and white said without a trace of emotion.

"Erm, Spaghetti, please." Chris said, as a plate of it was placed on his tray.

"I hope you don't mind," Gayer said, with her now-familiar cheeky grin "But from now on, your name is Chris Spaghetti!"

The newly christened Chris Spaghetti laughed "Yeah sure! Not one hundred per-cent sure why I got the name 'chrissetti' anyway, you two know how you got yours?"

"Sure," Dann said "Dann's my screen name on loads of websites, or variations of it."

"Same here, well General Gayer to be exact."

"but I..." Chris stopped and thought of the extension of his Myspace "Forward slash Chrissetti. So he's picked us off the internet, but there are millions of people on the internet, why us?"

"random draw? who knows, maybe he'll tell us this afternoon."

"He's got a lot of explaining to do in the next two and a half hours!"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 24, 2007, 01:17:41 PM
"Thank you for returning." Tom started, once most of the crowd had returned tothe auditorium, many of the seats, however, were now bare, their owners either returned to the rooms or simply left the Rowbotham institute altogether and booked a hotel in Stanley "Firstly, although I've explained how the Earth works as a flat disk accelerating upwards at 9.8m/s^2 but how does this affect you? Why, and how were you all picked for this mind-expanding trip?

"My colleagues and I have spent hours on purpose-built internet forums designed to encourage free-scientific thinking and conspiracy theories. All of you have visited and joined at least five of them, scattered across the 'Net. You've also used the name you currently have pinned to your chest on at least one of these sites.

"So why are you here? For me to try and convince you the world is flat? No." Tom took a breath "The purpose of the next few weeks, if you want the opportunity, is to prove to yourself we live on a Disk.

"I will personally be leading an exploration team out onto the Ice Wall, or 'Antarctica' to find the end of the world. The aim is very simple, to find the edge, or to find the other side of Antarctica.
The test is very simple, too. From our starting point, the geographic South Pole should be 850 miles away, then a further 800 or so miles to the other side. During this time the hours of daylight should be consistent with a RE model.
If, after 1,000 miles on the ice this turns out to be true, then I will concede the rotundity of the earth, but if FE is correct we should experience less and less daylight until we are in absolute darkness."

The room descended into rumbling murmurs as everyone began to discuss the 'mission'.

"If," Tom continued, making himself heard above the rumble "after hearing of the expedition fully, you do not wish to embark, then feel free to leave and collect return flight tickets to your respective destinations from reception. Ideally, of the 250 people invited here, I'm looking for 15 to actually go out on the ice."

As a sudden rush of people for the exit filed past Chris, he became determined to hear Tom Bishop's plan out until the end.

Hey, even if we don't see the 'end of the world', an opportunity like this, to go out across the Antarctic tundra doesn't turn up every day.

"Hey, Tom!" A man called Raist called out "Remind us again why can't use our real names? What's with the stupid code names?"

Tom smiled grimly "Well..."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 25, 2007, 01:57:44 PM
"I believe that an Agent from NASA or one of numerous other space agencies has gotten wind of the Rowbotham institute, and would very much like to prevent this mission from going ahead. None of you will use your real names in case the agent is one of those selected for the operation through the internet, this way we protect your identity and you from possible blackmail. Nobody in this building knows your real name and the internet sites where you were found have long-since been deleted."

The screen behind Tom changed to the start of a slide-show presentation, showing a military-grade helicopter

"We will be taking a helicopter to a base already established in secret near the Ronne ice Shelf" The helicopter gave way to 2 maps of the Antarctic, the first being a Flat Earth map the second being a standard map of Antarctica. "Here we will make final preparations to the equipment, and is the very last chance to pull out.

"It's also where the groups will be finalised. For the expedition we will be travelling across the ice in custom-built snow-cars, designed to accomodate three people and tow a huge weight capacity. The other two people in your group will be closer to you than your family if you want to survive." Tom started speakin in a much more sombre tone than usual "make no mistake, a cock-up out there may mean not only your own death, but the other two in your group. Look after them."

There was a gasp from the audience as the image changed to their 'custom vehicles'. Flame-red trucks with bulky, spike-rimmed tyres with a bull-bar thick enough to crumble a house. A roof-rack supported a large red storage pod and a row of powerful halogen lights. behind the huge cabin was an equally large 'pick-up' style rear. The thing looked absolutely enormous, and that was before you considered the three-carriage sled-train attached to the rear, each as tall as the top of the car's wheel-arches.

Tom chuckled "Ah yes, our pride and joy, the ToyotaLand Rover Ice Cruiser, each one cost roughly US$500,000 and they're capable of towing their three passengers and close to a tonne of supplies at a consistent 50MPH and in relative comfort. One of the sled carriages on each car will be a fuel transporter enough to take the cars almost 2,500miles, twice what we expect to be needed. Red for high visibility, of course."

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 28, 2007, 12:37:16 PM
Tom spent most of the afternoon going over details of the expedition, how CB radios would be used to keep in touch, contingency plans should any of the Ice Cruisers break down, the high-calorie food which they would be eating guilt-free, stressing that there would be no drugs or alcohol on the trip at all, other than for medicinal purposes, and:

"If the Institute's research is true, then near the 'rim' of the Earth will be absolutely dark, other than starlight, the sun cannot illuminate much further than the explored regions of the Antarctic, that goes for the Moon too, so chances are, we'll have a maximum visibility of about 100m with the Car's lights. Get into trouble more than about three times that distance and chances are that we'll never see you again. So, I've bent your ears for 2 and a half hours, I think it's time for dinner, then those o you wishing to take part in the expedition will be given a guided tour of 'facility A' of the Rowbotham Institute."

OOC: sorry for the short post, will add some more this weekend
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 30, 2007, 02:54:14 PM
As people began to file out of the hall, Chrissetti overheard a heated argument between the Patrick Stewart look-alike and the young girl who was with him.

"Listen, 'Trekky' I am going on this trip whether you want me to or not! I was selected the same as you, so I get to go!"

"Muffs! You're thirteen years old! This expedition is going to be tough enough for the few people in that room are physically fit. I am not having my little sister dying on some stupid trip led by a madman!"

The girl grunted in frustration and stormed off towards the canteen, pushing through those already in the corridor.

"Muffs! Wait!" At this point he must have noticed Chrissetti, Gayer and Dann listening in "hey, I know this is really rude but could you please keep an eye on her? make sure she doesn't go running off? I do my best but..."

"hey man, don't sweat it, we'll look after her, won't we guys?"

Chrissetti and gayer exchanged a look that could only be described as 'a Look'

"Yeah, s'pose so, we'll be your eyes and ears."

Dinner was a choice off sandwiches, crisps and fruit, out of which Chrissetti picked a couple of ham and cheese, some salted crisps and an orange

"Hardly a feast" He grumbled, only half-jokingly. As promised, they kept a collective eye on the teenager angrily sitting apart from her brother, munching through a packet of crisps.

"He's right though." Chrissetti whispered "There's no way Tom can let her go out there. Even if we're not going to be plunged into eternal night, I wouldn't be thrilled taking someone so young out into the Antarctic."

"Those Ice Cruisers looked fairly tough, providing she stays in or just immediately around the car, she should be fine." Dann replied, holding a sandwich which was in danger of dripping mayonnaise down his front.

"Well, as long as Trekky doesn't expect us to be looking after her out on the ice. I'm not having that kind of responsibility put on my shoulders!" Gayer said.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 06, 2007, 08:45:24 AM
The after lunch tour took them throughout the dome of the facility and all the various laboratories contained within. The 'Photographic Interpretation' lab was devoted to proving the early NASA pictures to be fake with 'varying success'. The 'Universal Acceleration Analysis' Lab had five scientists attempting to establish the exact nature of the force which accelerated the Earth upwards to create the feeling of gravity and a sealed lab bearing only the numbers '101'.

They also saw an example of one of the IceCruisers and it's toboggan train behind. It was an imposing sight and Chrissetti suddenly couldn't wait to be behind the wheels of one of them.

"How long 'til we know who we'll be driving with?" Chris asked Chaltier, their tour-guide.

"When you arrive at the Ice-Facility. We don't yet know who's going to back out."

"And how long will that be?"

"Tomorrow evening the group agreeing to the expedition will board the helicopter to take them to the facility."

"Tomorrow?!" Gayer spluttered "I thought we'd have time to prepare, to  sort equipment out?"

2Tomorrow you'll be provided with sufficient kit to keep you relatively comfortable until you reach the ice Base. We'll sort the rest of your stuff out there."

They were escorted back to their rooms and had the doors locked again.

"It's for your own protection" Chaltier had assured him when Chris inquired "We still don't know if there's a spy here."

"So it's for your protection, then?!" Chris had snapped back "To protect your damn stupid research!"

"This is an aspect of the plan, yes but--"

"Then damn well say so! We've all been brought out here with no prior warning as to what's going on, we're forced to swallow some bullshit about the world being flat and now you lock us in our rooms and don't even have the freaking decency to tell the truth about why!"

"Forced?" Chaltier replied calmly but evidently with effort, "The Rowbotham Institute has offered a fully paid chance-of a lifetime opportunity to see what millions, no billions won't. we've tried to make your brief stay as comfortable as possible and you accuse us of being unreasonable?"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 07, 2007, 02:10:04 PM
"I--!" Chris started, but the truth was that Chaltier was right "Guess you're right..." he finished lamely. Chaltier shot him an I know look and he took off smugly.

"Self-righteous bastard." he muttered, when he was sure he was out of earshot.

"Ungrateful prick." A voice shouted back.

Chris spent the rest of the evening in a foul mood, too pissed off to bother reading the latest bestselling Clarkson book he'd brought with him and instead spent the evening pacing the claustrophobic room grumbling and wishing he was home.


The following morning he was awakened by the sound of someone knocking his door lightly. Cursing his guest he pulled himself groggily out of the modest bed, scratched, stretched and made his way to the door. Forgetting that the door had been locked last night, he was unsurprised to find that he could open it.

"Yeah, whadyawant?" He yawned.

"it is 8am and i have been instructed to give you your program for the day, breakfast is at 9 and, erm...can you please get dressed?"

Chris looked down and sure enough he was standing talking to a man in a lab-coat stark naked.

"Thought you'd appreciate the view!" He snapped, took the paper and slammed the door in Chaltier's face.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 16, 2007, 01:38:32 PM
Breakfast passed with a barely contained vibe of excitement, the program for the day had decreed that basic equipment would be distributed after breakfast and by lunchtime they'd be boarding helicopters for the Antarct-- sorry, Icewall. By the time Chris arrived, the hall was just about filling up but he didn't recognise anyone, Gayer, Dann and Trekky must have still been in bed.

he took himself a croissant, a strawberry yoghurt and a copy of a British newspaper, unfortunately in the absence of a proper broadsheet newspaper he was stuck with The Sun who had devoted their entire front page to David and Victoria Beckham.

Settling down alone at one of the long tables he flipped the paper over to page 3 and briefly admired the topless brunette just as a voice from over his shoulder said:

"Wish that was me in there?"

"You can guarantee that the moment your eyes flick across a naked girl there'll be someone there to see you" Chris laughed as gayer and Dann sat down.

"You guys just slightly excited about this?"

"Yeah, I think the whole thing's completely insane but it should be a unique experience."

"That's for sure, I just can't wait to get behind the wheel of those cars!" Gayer said

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 19, 2007, 01:09:58 PM
"OK, people, listen up!" A scientist announced and waited for the various conversations to die down. "This afternoon you'll be heading out to the Antarctic Base where you'll receive most of your equipment, in the mean time you'll need a thermal jacket, trousers, underwear, hat, and socks. A pair of walking boots, which have been walked in, I know this sounds unhygenic but you do not want to be walking in new boots, not if you want to avoid blisters! Oh, and a pair of sunglasses. All these will be collected from the main auditorium."

Everyone moved for the door almost at once, it was then that Chris could tell just how many people had decided not to go on the trip, yesterday the corridors had been crammed with about two hundred people, now there barely 30. As they walked, Chris tried to recognise people, there was obviously, Gayer and Dann, Trekky was further ahead with Muffs, a dark haired sullen man he remembered as Midnight, a tall guy with medium length blonde hair called Raist, An older man who had clearly believed every one of Tom's words called Narcberry, A guy with wild hair who Chris could only recognise fro his nametag 'Gulliver'.

Behind him was a short man with black hair called Divito, A guy with longish brown hair called Diego Draw who was sneering and making loud comments that

"This whole excercise is a f*cking waste of time." He was saying to a bored looking man with glasses called Roundy, who in turn was trying to subtly catch the attention of TheEngineer.

No doubt he'd become familiar with the rest in time...
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 27, 2007, 02:20:27 PM
With equipment collected and equipped, the gaggle of explorers leaving the Rowbotham Institute resembled very well protected teddy Bears, padding everywhere turning simple movements and motions into a hilarious stiff-limbed waddle.

"Hey Chris!" Someone called, voice obscured and muffled by a thick scarf "Too much spaghetti?"

"Gayer, if that wasn't so predictable it would be funny!" He joked as she waddled up beside him, "You seen Dann? I thought he was all up for this trip?"

"He is I haven'--"

Suddenly, as they turned to see the big military-style troop carrier helicopters, they caught a glimpse of the beginning of a fight, two guys in the standard red Arctic gear facing off against someone in a blue coat and a smaller figure in pink.

"Muffs..." They both said together and jogged awkwardly over to the site of the argument.

"Do not raise your voice to me! I understand your concerns but your sister clearly wants to make this mission of discovery and I feel it would be unfair to--"

"People could die!" Trekky yelled at Tom Bishop in his blue coat "I will not expose my sister to that!"

"But I want to c--"

"She's 13, not out of school. You need consent from a parent or guardian. I know the law, Tom." Dann said calmly, a direct contrast to Trekky's anger.

"And I have it..." Tom announced


"When I sent the letters and tickets out, I made a special case in 'muffin-Queen's case and contacted your parents. I have her consent form here." he held out a piece of paper for him to read.

"Yeah see, I--"

"This is bull." He pulled his hood down in one sharp quick tug and stared the greying face of Tom Bishop in the eyes "Alright. But know this...whatever happens out there is your fault."

"Yay! does this mean I can com--"

"Shut up, Muffs." They all said as one.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 03, 2007, 04:21:22 PM
After the high tensions on the ground, they were all relieved to board the military helicopter and strap into the utilitarian passenger area. It was a cramped room with seats arranged back-to back in rows, leaving just enough room to walk between the aisles.

"You guys strapped in back there?" A voice came over the intercom "OK, this is an eight-hour flight, give or take depending on the weather. I don't wanna hear any bitching about how bored you are, if you ju--"

There was an interruption broken by mutterings of 'ok, yep...sure' before the pilot came back on again. "Tom has asked if you could arrange yourself into nine groups of three and one two-group that Tom will join. Thanks." There was a click, the intercom went off. There was a click and the intercom came on. "Not until we've finished takeoff though, please."

As the twin rotor blades whirred into action, a cloud of dust was turned into a swirling, twisting maelstrom. The noise from the twin rotators was deafening and, if Chris was completely honest, just a little bit exciting. With a slight lurch the 12.1 tonne weight left the ground.

Now there was just the matter of entertaining themselves for an eight-hour flight.

<OOC: I'm aware that contra rotating helicopters do not usually have a flight range of 1000+ miles as it is from the Falklands to Antarctica, but let's just suspend our disbelief for a moment here and imagine it is a special variant designed by the Rowbotham Institute, ok?>
<OOC P.S. See, I do my homework!>
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 04, 2007, 01:52:29 PM
Less than an hour had passed and already the crew of the Rowbotham Helicopter were getting restless. Muffs had been threatened with lynching if she tried to start another of her inane games.

"I spy with my little eye somethi-- ow!" Muffs complained as a spare seatbelt clip hit her squarely in the forehead.

"Nice shot!"

It was amazing how quickly little groups and alliances had formed within the band of would-be explorers. In just half an hour, most people on board had settled with their team-mates for the upcoming trip, naturally Trekky had insisted Muffs be in his car but there very few who were willing to travel with the hyperactive thirteen year old, resulting in their car being the host for Dr Bishop.

"Fantastic, clowns to the left of me and bloody jokers to the right..." Trekky mumbled.

Chrissetti, Gayer and Dann decided they would be riding in one car together almost before they left the Falklands behind them. Only Trekky's insistence that one of them should ride with him and and Muffs had kept them from settling it on the asphalt landing pad. Diego looked pleased at having acquired a man simply named 'Z' in his car, along with an Arab possibly ironically called 'Saddam'.

"Hey, Chrissetti! Bet we get to the end of the world before you!" Diego sneered.

"Don't feel you need to stop when you get to the rim!" he replied testily.

"This is going to be a long trip." Sighed Gayer.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 06, 2007, 01:32:53 PM
White wispy clouds lashed past the custom-built helicopter, with every one a small ripple of turbulence shook the passengers inside who, after six hours over featureless southern pacific had drained the conversation well, bored the hyperactive Muffs into sullen gloominess, locked Chrissetti and Diego into one long glowering contest. Gayer had stopped picking up subtle sexual innuendo in every sentence uttered.

"hey here's a point." Someone piped up, was his name Gulliver? "Why can't we see the edge of the world from this height? Look, there is clearly a horizon filled with nothing but ocean."

As if he'd declared there was a leprechaun on the side of the helicopter, everyone made a conscious effort t see out of the window and observe this perfectly ordinary phenomenon.

"I was wondering how long it would be until one of you asked that!" Tom chirped in over the intercom. "Air is not perfectly transparent, this is blatantly obvious when it is, for instance, foggy.
 The horizon that you see is a simple natural effect whereby the accumulated air opaqueness is built up until you can see no further. You can see much further the higher you go, surely this is further evidence to support Rowbotham's theory as air gets thinner the higher you go, so the less air there is to see through, so the further you can see."

"Bull! Look! I can see a line where the ocean meets the sky! Five year olds know this when they paint the sea!"

"So paintings by five-year olds are now scientific?" narcberry piped in, joining Tom Bishop's commentry "I'm just glad that the sun has decided not to show it's deadly radioactive wavy yellow lines recently!"

"...what?" Gulliver exclaimed, temporarily confounded by Narcberry's seemingly incoherent babblings.

"Look," Narcberry continued, determined to make his point understood, even at the cost of common sense "When a child paints the sun, it's always a yellow blob with wavy yellow lines coming out of it, right? Well where are they?"

"But that's ridiculou--"

"Another victory for the Flat Earth!" Narcberry declared.

"Also...dongs..." someone else muttered. It was clear to see that a perfectly reasonable conversation had now descended into mindless bickering with Tom Bishop randomly quoting from Rowbotham's theories, Gulliver yelling at narcberry, who was in turn ploughing on with his 'childish Round Earth' argument, which was in turn being ignored on account of everyone hurling abuse at everyone else.

"Reminds me of a message board I joined once..." Gayer said, before adding her own homo-erotic jokes and innuendo into the melting pot.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 10, 2007, 09:47:56 AM
"What the flying frakk are you talking about?! The ocean's of the world do NOT float!" Gulliver shouted at Narcberry who had taken great pleasure for the last hour in drawing everyone into 'debating' his 'theory' that water floated when it was in...water... which somehow disproved the Round earth Theory. Chrissetti had cottoned on to Narcberry's leg-pulling very early and had sat back talking with Gayer for the last half of the heated argument, Dann had left his seat to go talk to someone called Raist and had been adamant that he go alone.

"So how long will you be living in Norway for?" Chris asked Gayer as someone tried to hold Gulliver back from punching Narcberry.

"Oh, just until my Uni course is over, then it's back to good ole Blighty!" She replied as Gulliver broke free and rushed at narcberry.

"You'll have to call in if you're ever in Birmingham" Chris said as narcberry landed a fierce right fist on Gulliver's jaw.

"Haha, yeah definitely, hit some pubs, get wasted and spend the evening with a trucker's penis in your ear!" She replied as Gulliver and Narcberry fell to the floor in a storm of flailing fists and elbows.

"I don't even want to ask!" Chris laughed and lifted his legs up as the brawling Gulliver and narberry rolled past.

"Hey guys!" The pilot called over the intercom "can you sit yourselves down back there, I'm coming into land and your movement is making it hard to balance our weight!"

Narcberry and Gulliver untangled themselves, wiped blood off their clothes and both muttered something about the other being 'extremely lucky'. Dann had reappeared from somewhere near the back of the 'copter with an awkward smile on his face.

"Where did you go?" Chris asked.

"Oh, erm, just to talk to somebody..." He replied, possibly a little too hastily

"Sure..." gayer said with a wink, "Nudge nudge wink wink, say-no-more..."

Everybody else found their way back to their seats and got themselves strapped in. Finally they'd be leaving this tin-can behind them. Out of the window, the first large icebergs fell into view, looking as small as sugar lumps from their unique vantage point. There was a cheer as the helicopter passed over what had to be the shore of the antarctic mainland.

"Less than half an hour 'til we arrive, guys!"

Thank God
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 12, 2007, 03:30:03 PM

Pure brilliant white stretched out towards infinity. Unbroken, unbounded and untamed, the only true wilderness left on the face of planet earth. The viewer turns from this magnificent vista, not that it truly ends, to see a dark shame looming over the virgin ice, descending to a square platform marked with a fading red 'H'. As it descended it threw up a violent, churning white storm of snow and ice forcing the observer to bring a gloved hand in front of his face.

Here he comes! the observer thought with genuine excitement The greatest living legend the cause has ever seen.

With a violent jolt the 12 tonne military style helicopter touched down on Terra Firma again, the twin rotor blades continued to rip through the air and the cloud of snow and ice while they were slowing down with a distinctive whhoop-whhoop-whhoop noise. Eventually the rotors stopped, the engine stopped whirring and...

the observer waited...

...and waited...


Eventually the doors burst open and two men fully equipped in Antarctic gear fell out slamming each other in the face with whatever body part happened to be nearest, they were followed by the rest of the inhabitants inside who were gleefully cheering the scene.

he's not there! He can't have cancelled! This is his dream! The Observer thought.

Suddenly, at that moment, the Observer's fears were halted as the front door of the helicopter opened and down stepped a supremely calm and serene Professor Thomas Bishop. The man. the legend.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 15, 2007, 02:23:35 PM
Tom Bishop walked over to the man who had watched the helicopter's descent, shook hands spoke briefly before he pointed, Tom nodded and indicated the watcher should go ahead. At first it was not clear what Tom had been looking at, but gradually an image made itself seen through the white airborne snow. A large but squat dome protruded from the deathly pale landscape, though it's white and chrome colouration barely stained the pristine vista it was set against. Away from the main dome was a modern steel/aluminium shed about one and a half stories high, the massive sliding doors took up the entire length of the shed. Around the entire complex was a chain-link fence, which seemed pointless in the uninhabited Antarctic wilderness.

“Cut it out you two.” Tom said to Gulliver and Narcberry who broke apart from each other immediately “Welcome to SnowFox Station, a secondary complex of the Rowbotham Institute for Zetetic Science. It’s a short walk down but mind your step, the paths are slippery.”

Tom trudged off down the barely visible path, leaving the explorers to follow alone. He was right, the path had been compressed, cleared, frozen, thawed and frozen so many times it was like walking over a recently polished plane of glass covered with a thin sheet of icing sugar.

Chris couldn’t help laughing at the people in front of him waddling and sliding along the path, some slipping and falling on unfortunate parts of their anatomy;

“need a hand?” Chris asked one of the fallen.

“I can manage, thanks!” Gayer snapped, tried to get up, slipped again and finally accepted Chrissetti’s hand. “I could have managed, thank you very much!”

“Sure.” Chris replied with a roguish grin.

“Oh you can shut up, damn Brummie!” she joked, giving him a push that sent him on his ass. “Aw, need a hand?” She sang.

“Sore loser.”

“Oh wow,” Sneered a voice from behind them “We’ve been here five minutes and he can’t even reach the first checkpoint. Impressive.”

“Diego, you’re a twat, has anyone ever told you that?”

Eventually, accompanied by a whole range of swears and curses, the intrepid Flat Earth Explorers reached the entrance to the SnowFox facility, which up close bore more than a passing resemblance to the Stanley facility they’d just left. Tom Bishop stood next to the stranger from the landing pad.

“As I said, welcome to SnowFox, now please allow me to introduce my esteemed colleague here…”
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 19, 2007, 03:55:00 PM
"That can wait, Tom!" He said in a jolly voice, let's get in out of the cold!"

Tom concurred and the troop made their way into the SnowFox facility. Like the Stanley facility, SnowFox also had the red Flat Earth map symbol on the door, but next to it was another circular plaque, the Red Flat Earth symbol surrounded by a blue fox curling from the top-right of the circle clockwise to the top left, where it's head looked over the disc of the Earth. at the bottom of the circle, covering the spine of the fox was a red banner-style plaque proclaiming the word SnowFox in bright gold letters.

The inside of SnowFox was largely the same as the Stanley facility, apart from the roof being lower and did not have the fluorescent tubes lighting everything clinical-white, instead the building was lit much more subtly, using uplights and lights set back into grooves along the corridor walls. The floors were a sort of vinyl, plastic and judging by the way the snow they had trodden in was melting, it was probably heated. The large glass doors behind them closed and it was already obvious how much warmer it was inside.

"My codename for this mission is Dogplatter," Tom's colleague announced "I run the SnowFox facility along with sixteen volunteers and we've been working hard these last few days to get all the equipment ready and checked so that you'll be as equipped as possible when you set off out into the ice tomorrow morning. Until then, you each have a room loaded with your personal gear.

"This mission has two objectives; the first and most important being to locate the edge of the world, if indeed it exists," Dogplatter paused to let the snickers and derisive comments to die down "the second is to try and locate something that the Flat Earth community is divided  over the existence of..."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 24, 2007, 03:07:55 PM
Dogplatter led the unlikely expeditioners into the main auditorium of SnowFox and Chrissetti was struck by just how much it resembled the Stanley room where Tom Bishop had ranted and raved about the rotundity, or lack thereof, of the Earth. Only here the ceiling was lower and it was definitely chillier. Dogplatter invited them to sit as he made his way to the stage.

"In the Flat Earth model, some believe there are three permanent natural 'satellites' of the Earth. The Sun, The Moon, and the shadow object. This is a dark object normally invisible to the inhabitants of Earth until it passes in front of the moon or the sun, causing moon phases and lunar eclipses, also balancing out the tides.

"Again, not all Flat Earth Proponents support this theory, but likewise, opinion is divided amongst proponents of the Shadow Object theory, some claim it has been in the Terran system since the formation of the disc, while others believe that it's irregular orbit can only be explained by it arriving much later in our skies.

"You know that the ice-wall stretches hundreds, possibly thousands of miles and that our inhabited Earth is a melted patch in the middle of it? Well some of us, myself included believe that the Shadow Object started 'life' in another inhabited oasis deep in the Ice Wall." A screen flickered to life behind Dogplatter showing the Earth in the middle of a massive collar of ice and out in the middle of the white nothingness, another, smaller Earth.

"The seconadary objective for this mission is to find the origin of the Shadow Object, the theorised sister-'world' to Earth, Cybele."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 26, 2007, 11:01:53 AM
oh, God. This just gets sillier and sillier Chris thought

"Should we be on the lookout for leprechauns along the way?" Someone shouted, apparently Chris wasn't the only one who thought it was ridiculous.

"Sure, why not?" Dogplatter replied without skipping a beat "I hear they're attracted to Guuinness."

This raised a ripple of laughter as Dogplatter invited the guests to dinner in the canteen, a much anticipated lunch, a lunch at least 3 hours overdue, it was 8pm now but it was hard to tell as it was still light outside. God bless Antarctic summers.

The scene following Dogplatter's announcement was not dissimilar to the reaction following Tom Bishop's passionate rant where he declared the Earth to be a circle, a majority of people snickering or outright insulting the theory proposed by the speaker, a few reasonably arguing against it, and a couple of quiet ones silently agreeing with it. Chrissetti decided to just smile and leave the arguing until his belly was filled again.

Hopefully they'd have spaghetti.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 26, 2007, 02:26:40 PM
Unlike the rest of the SnowFox facility, the dining hall was not a picture-perfect copy of the one at the Stanley facility. Round, wooden tables were arranged asymmetrically around the hall, laid out with tablecloths and cutlery in front of four wooden chairs upholstered with a blue suede-like material. The lighting matched the rest of the facility’s standard, white lights screened and shaded by having been set back into recesses in the walls. All in all it cumulated to create a pleasant atmosphere.

Gayer, Dann, Raist and Chrissetti sat themselves around a table next to one occupied by Trekky, Muffs and ‘Midnight’, someone, Chris had seen once or twice as just a glimpse of short, dark hair and permanently bored expression.

“So, what does everyone reckon then?” Dann said, addressing the two tables simultaneously “Crock of shit, or realistic, scientific, theoretic theory?”

“What? Do you mean do you believe there’s a mysterious Cybele out in the Antarctic tundra which happens to be the birth-place of a shadowy ‘anti-moon’?” Midnight  sighed “Of course it’s completely ridiculous.”

“Hey, how come if you think it’s stupid, you’re coming with us?” Muffs asked, to which Midnight simply shrugged and said;

“Something to do.” 

“Well, I happen to think it’s an interesting idea which deserves all the research it can get.” Gayer announced, eliciting looks of utter disbelief from the rest, even Muffs.

“For real?” Raist asked, reflecting the disbelief on his face.

“You’ll never know for sure,” She said, winking “Anyway, what’s for tea? I for one am starved!”
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on November 28, 2007, 03:17:25 PM
Dinner arrived in the form of pizzas of every type ever brought to mouth watering life in the ovens of the world, everything from plain cheese and tomato to slabs of bread loaded with just about everything edible on the planet. Four waiters swirled around the tables depositing the food on each of the tables and within seconds the flock of Italian food was being passed around, exchanged, swapped and given to every other table. People ate with one hand holding a slice of whatever pizza they had decided to enjoy while simultaneously holding a tray containing another, unwanted one to the next table along. Despite only having three pizzas on the table initially, Chrissetti had five individual slices of totally different food on his plate.

"Fantastic idea, this!" Muffs squealed, her plate resembling some sort of Tate Modern art piece, with pizza stacked eight or nine high. Trekky just sighed in resignation.

As the pizza was consumed, the tumulus sea of conversation ebbed and flowed over the room, Chrissetti was only able to grasp the odd sentence as it bobbed into audible range before sinking again. The sense of tension and excitement was thicker than the cheese on Muff’s pizza.

The mood was only interrupted when ‘Z’ swaggered over to the table and leaned on the back of Gayer’s chair;

“hey, listen babe, why don’t you ditch  these two losers,” Indicating Dann and Chris “And come ride in with us?

“hey, if we get bored out there you could always ride on us!” He said, chuckling. Gayer stayed calm, refusing to rise to his bait,

“Well, I would… But I’d hate to take Diego’s fun away!” Gayer replied, levelly. Z’s lips curled into a snarl and was about to retort when a mighty crash distracted him from the other side of the room. Gulliver and Narcberry were at it again….
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 02, 2007, 11:57:49 AM
After lunch, the explorers were shown to their quarters for the night. Unlike the spacious rooms in Stanley, the SnowFox accommodation was a tiny bedroom/living room and a shower and toilet room. In the corner of the room was a pile of cardboard boxes , making the already small room seem claustrophobic. Each of the boxes, of differing sizes had the Rowbotham Institute’s red UN logo printed on the side as well as a white sticker describing the contents and their uses. Out of curiosity Chris picked up and opened the largest box. Inside was an article of clothing that would have looked at home on a 60’s Sci-fi film. A bright orange one piece coat with a hood. The box marked it as an ‘Arctelligent Extreme Thermal Survival Suit’.

Why are we going to need this? he thought, I was warm enough in the other jacket

One by one, he examined the boxes, uncovering ‘Night Vision and echolocation binoculars’ which were fun to use, looking through them in echolocation mode, turned the room utterly black with the geometry of the walls and objects mapped out like a black-and-white Tron. A whole box was full of ‘heating bricks’, oblong blocks with a metal strip folded over one corner. ‘pull strip to begin brick’s self heating mechanism’ said the label on each of them.

One of his favourite finds in the boxes turned out to be contained in the smallest box. Inside was a metal rod that tapered to a point at one end. The box called it an ‘Arcticelligent Omni-tool’ which was a fancy name for essentially a swiss-army-knife with much more high-tech adaptions. Chris toyed around with torch, laser pointer, screwdriver, ice-pick, distress beacon, manipulator, soldering iron, heating element, knife, and strangely, toothpick. Each adaptation folded out of what had appeared to be seamless metal.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 03, 2007, 02:13:59 PM
With everything packed away there was little point in staying up so Chrissetti settled down to sleep, wincing at the crinkly sheets, like the ones you got at hospitals. here he was, in the Antarctic, just hours away from the most exciting journey of his life. He wondered whether the others felt the same.

Saddam was restless in the tiny compartment of the SnowFox facility. He had slept better in T-72 tanks. To say he had felt uneasy moving to the West after he had served in his more famous namesake's army was an understatement.

The cold rain pattered on the young Iraqi's head. New York in Winter had a special way of dealing with foreigners from warmer climes, it made them wish they'd never left. Not that he had any choice in that respect, it was that or face an extremely uncertain future in post-Hussein Iraq, so he'd jumped at the American offer of conditional asylum. Whatever those conditions turned out to be.

His apartment was hardly a shining beacon of western development. He had to step over a passed-out drunk every night up to a poky two-room apartment that was frequently being burgled, on fire, being shot at, or all three at once. His time in the army had ensured that the living room/bedroom/kitchen and bathroom were kept in immaculate, if spartan conditions. The room contained everything he needed. Running water, a fridge and cooker, a small, black and white television, a sofabed and the high-spec computer his new American Boss had given him.

Saddam logged in and mused, as he always did, what a fantastically easy job he had been given. Scour the internet for pages relating to any of the words on this list:

Flat Earth
Samuel Rowbotham
Doctor Thomas Bishop
Zetetic Astronomy
Christian Catholic Apostolic Church
Alexander Dowie,
Samuel Shenton
Charles K. Johnson
Shadow Object Theory

So far he had joined and posted on 45 online messageboards and kept a log of their activities, he had visited 1,276 sites mentioning anything on the list and regularly checked them for updates.

So far he had been given little clue as to what, specifically he was looking for,,, or what the Americans wanted him to do. they just paid him his modest salary and told him to 'keep us informed'

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 06, 2007, 12:55:53 AM
Chris woke with a start in the morning darkness from the most bizzarre dream he'd had in months. As ridiculous as it sounded, he had dreamed he was part of a team of explorers setting out across the Antarctic desert to find the edge of the world.

What day was it? Tuesday? Wednesday? He lay in the darkness trying to place the exact date, hoping it was Tuesday, because he had a project cost report to be finished by Wednesday and he couldn't remember even starting on it.

With a sigh, he pulled himself out of bed and scratched himself, letting out a wide yawn, unseen in the blacknes. He stumbled over to the lightswitch and clicked it on.

Oh God.

This wasn't his poky Birmingham flat, it wasn't his bed, it wasn't his light switch, and it wasn't his pile of cardboard boxes filled with supplies. His dream had been real, and so was the SnowFox facility. He grabbed his mobile phone and checked the time. 8:25.

Heh, I'd have been late for work, anyway he thought with an inward smile.

Thirty-five minutes passed while he showered, got changed into a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt and tried the door. Locked. Like yesterday, he'd have to wait until Chaltier or someone opened the door.

Back in England, a cost-report sat unfinished on Chrissetti's desk. 
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 10, 2007, 03:20:36 AM
At ten O clock there was a rattle at the door and Dogplatter poked a head into Chrissetti's room.

"Good Morning!" He said cheerfully "Just to let you know, breakfast is now being served in the dining room and at eleven the final briefing will take place in the vehicle sheds out the side."

"We finally get to drive the Ice Cruisers, then?" Chrissetti asked eagerly.

"You will be later, we need to go over all about how they work, where everything connects and what not to do."

"All the boring stuff, eh?"

"All the boring stuff that will keep you alive. Anyway, enjoy breakfast and I'll see you in a little while."

Dogplatterwalked away towards the next room down the corridor., Chrissetti followed him out to find the small corridor was full of bleary eyed explorers resenting being woken, one of thse with bright, keen eyes was Dann who seemed positively excited to be awake but just before  he could call out to him, Dann zipped into a room and slammed the door behind him.

"Yo, Chris Spaghetti!" Called a voice from behind him Chris smiled as he turned to see Gayer strolling towards him, looking fabulous desipte the unflattering tracksuit and hastily tied-back hair.

"Heya, Gayer, let's get some breakfast, I don't know about you but I'm starving."

"Should we find Dann first?" She asked

"erm, he'll probably be a while"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 10, 2007, 08:23:28 AM
"What makes you say that?" Gayer asked

"Let's just say I've got a hunch." he replied and together they walked the curving corridor into the dining room which was slowly filling with people from the corridor. A large buffet table was set up along the far wall hosting a full continental-style breakfast, complete with national newspapers from all around the world.

"I wonder how they get the papers here so early? We're at the arse-crack of the world and I'm holding this morning's Daily Telegraph from England!" Chris mused as he picked up the paper along with a croissant and yoghurt.

"I honestly don't care" Said gayer, between mouthfuls of toast "I don't read the paper anyway."

They sat down and watched the other 'explorers' coming into the halland appreciated for the first time, just how few there were. 27 people were in the room, the only people not present were Dann, Tom Bishop and Raist. Trekky  had sat himself down in the corner with a scowl on his face, taking care of Muffs seemed to be getting the better of him. Muffs herself was happily helping herself to her third fruit yoghurt.

"How do you not get fat?" He growled at her.

"Youthfull vigour!" She chirped back "Something you seem to have lost!"

Dann finally reappeared with just ten minutes before they were due to head out to the vehicle sheds, Raist followed in non-chalantly and they peeled off to separate tables.

"Why don't you just bring him over?" Gayer whispered "I mean, it's fairly obvious how you feel, and neither of us care."

"I don't know what you mean." He declared and buried his head in Chris' newspaper. Both Chris and Gayer decided to drop the topic, besides there wasn't really enough time to go into it, in less than five minutes time they would be making a move to see the Ice Cruiser cars
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 12, 2007, 07:24:22 AM
Dann continued to dodge the topic concerning Raist and him all the way down to the vehicle sheds, eventually Chris and Gayer both decided to give it up. Instead of going through the massive main entrances on the sheds, the explorers entered the warehouse-like constructs from a small side-door connected to the SnowFox dome through a short corridor..

"Before we go in, can I ask all of you to make sure the external doors remain closed at all times, some of the Cruisers still have exposed engines and we don't want the cold getting at them when there's no reason to, ok?" Dogplatter said ""Please follow me in."

There was an almost simoultanious gasp from everyone  as they  made their way into the cavernous sheds. They had seen the pictures of the Ice Cruisers, sure, but nothing could quite prepare them for the sheer scale of the behemoths. The Nearest car to them, the 'Rowbotham' was more than twice Chrissetti's height and long as well as wide.

"All right, listen up." Tom Bishop said, appearing at Dogplatter's side as though by magic "This is where we will read out the final groups and the name and number of the Car you will be traveling in. Go to your allotted car and one of our technicians will talk you through the controls and procedures. All right:
Car one, 'Rowbotham'. Trekky, Muffs and Myself
Car two: 'Shenton'. Midnight, TheEngineer and Raist.
Car Three: 'Ross'. Chaltier, Raa and Dogplatter
Car four: ' Columbus'. Mr Ireland, Space Cowgirl, and Bytes."

As he read out the names, the people separated from the main group, met up in their three's and walked over to their chosen cars.

"Car Five:'Johnson'. 0042, Narcberry, and Token
Car six: 'Dowie'. Rex, Cheesejoff, and Gulliver
Car seven: 'Amundsen'. Diego Draw, Saddam, and Z
Car Eight: 'Lazarev' Chrissetti, Gayer and Dann
Car nine: 'MacKenzie' Bushido, Divito and vauxhall
And finally car ten:' Weddell'. Althalus, Masterchief, and Roundy."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 19, 2007, 05:35:11 PM
(sos about the delay, guys)

Gayer, Dann and Chrissetti made their way past all the other behemoths on the way to the Lazerev, observing how the technicians were showing the other teams through the cars. The Lazarev was no different to all the others apart from the bronze plaque on the side of the red bodywork with '08 - LAZAREV' in an attractive bronze design, underneath that was the Rowbotham institute logo next to a quote in tiny letters 'Optimism is true moral courage-Ernest Shackleton'

"Good morning. or afternoon, I forget which." Said a grey-haired man stepping out from behind the truck, despite his hair colour he did not appear old, certainly his voice contained the vigour and youthfullness seldom seen even by people in their late twenties "My name is Erasmus and I'll be taking you through the motions on the Toyota/Land Rover Ice Cruiser, a unique vehicle made 'specially for the Institute. They cost over half a million dollars each, so try and bring her back in one piece!

"The most important feature I should mention is the in-build metalwork heater,small pipes radiate heat through every panel of the car to stop it from seizing up in the cold, but it runs off the engine, so for God's sake, never turn off the engine while you're out there. In case of emergencies, tossing one of the heat-bricks on the bonnet should warm the engine up enough to get it going again, other than that, the engine layout isn't vastly dissimilar to domestic cars, do you drive?" Dann and Chrissetti nodded "Then you'll know about it.

"Emergency wheels are in the same place you'd usually find them and other than that, there's not a lot else on the outside of the car, so if you'll follow me in..." Erasmus opened the car and they had to climb up a short ladder to reach the cockpit.nothing could have prepared them for the interior. A massive compartment with more in common with a sci-fi starship's bridge than a car. There was enough room for there to be floor space between the seats (a stylish cream leather design.) and a 4m by 2m flat empty space at the back. "Sleeping quarters. Warmer and safer than setting tents up."

The number of controls on the car was truly overwhelming, Chrissetti had learned to drive in a Mini and currently owned a tiny Peugeot. This monster had 11 forward gears and four reverse, five separate dials for the heating controls, several controls for anti-glare/telescoping/sonar/Radar HUD screens on the front window, a stalk that controlled the 25 individual lights mounted over the car, a complicated radio/walkie-talkie arrangement, controls for the brakes and coupling links for the caravan attachments not to mention a whole grey panel with more buttons than his latest games console on it. And that was just the driver's controls.

"This will be impossible to learn!" Chris complained

"Complete Nonsense, it's a very easy car to drive once you get the hang of it. whoever is in the second passenger-seat has a computerised instruction manual, as well as a paper copy if need be." their eyes flicked to a colossal tome underneath the seat, and vowed to leave it there.

(short one this time but im just getting the ball rolling again)

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 23, 2007, 03:56:53 PM
“Right!” Erasmus declared,” it’s time to give you guys some training on in these things. Firstly, do any of you know how to drive a regular car?”

Dann and Chrissetti confirmed they did

“Well once you get driving this isn’t too different, except you’ll need to change gears a lot earlier and more often, or you’ll get bogged down on the ice. But before we can get into any of that, we need to take you through the pre-drive checks and preps. For this trip, Dann will be the main driver, Chrissetti, you take the co-driver position and Gayer in the auxiliary driver’s position.

“All right, now Chrissetti, you have in front of you a set of backup controls that are on the driver’s seat, temperature, communications, etc etc so first we’ll activate the metalwork heater, it’s the little red button marked ‘MWRK HTR’. Ok, now we need to set the internal temperature controls, underneath the ‘INT HT’ you’ll see a plus and a minus and a little digital readout, play with the controls until it’s about 20° and finally hit the tyre heater controls. Just hit ‘TYR HTR AUTO’ and that will regulate it automatically for us.”

Chrissetti couldn’t help feeling like he was in the cockpit of a space shuttle or at the controls of the Starship Enterprise, he went through a couple more heating controls and set up the complicated navicom which gave their GPS co-ordinates on both a round Earth Antarctica and a Flat Earth Ice Wall. He then turned his attention to gayer and led her through the controls of the communication array

“The most important piece of kit you have on-board.” Erasmus told them grimly.

Eventually he passed the keys to Dann and began to explain the controls.

“All right, check all four hand brakes are on and that you’re in neutral and fire her up!”

The key clicked and a fantasic rumble came from the engine, it sounded like a nuclear generator had been turned on. Suddenly a loudspeaker voice tore through the hangar.

“Opening main bay doors, please ensure all personnel are in protective temperature environments.” A klaxon sounded twice and the enormous metal doors slid open and the majestic Antarctic vista burst into the hanger, casting a brilliant blue/white light over everything and blowing in a flurry of powdery snow. The bright blue sky, unblemished by even a single cloud met the pale white horizon like two opposites attracting.

“Okay” Erasmus said “Gayer, switch the comms to broad range, Chrissetti, monitor those temperature dials, Dann…

“Hit it!”

Dann slammed down the clutch, slid it into first gear and gunned the accelerator, feeling the car chomp on the bit of it’s hand brakes

“car 1 ready!” Came Muffz’s excited voice
“car 2, ready”
“Car 3 ready to go!” Chaltier said
“Car 4 engaged” Said a female voice Chrissetti didn’t recognise
One by one they all confirmed their status
“Car eight ready!” Gayer announced
The last two confirmed, and all ten behemoths launched out onto the ice in a wave of roaring engines and raw power…

Until car 6 stalled, Car 9 started to spin, car 4 got stuck in the snow.

“OK, Dann get third gear now.” Erasmus said as they went past 20mph “But don’t bring the clutch up too fast or— “

The engine hiccoughed and they stalled to a halt.

”Hey! Whaddya know, not five meters out and you’re already crap!” The sarcastic tone of Diego Draw sneered ”Why don’t we, hang on, oh shi—“

Ahead of them, one of the icecruisers went into a wild spin, coming to stop facing the opposite direction it had come

“And that’s why we don’t stay in the low gears!” Erasmus said with a wide grin shared by everyone in the Lazarev.

Another fifteen minutes of painful stalls and spins later, most of the drivers seemed to be getting the hang of the huge trucks and practice had begun on basic formations that they should be driving in out there on the ice. They were supposed to be driving in a simple line, keeping about four car lengths between them and the car in front, but from the air it resembled something from the Wacky Races radar with red cars sliding about in all directions, and car nine apparently hopelessly lost somewhere to the East of the rest of the pack, everyone else was ‘helpfully’ pitching in with direction ‘advice’ three people were saying left another two offering right and the rest alternating between ‘left’, ‘right’, ‘forwards’ and ‘penis’

After the ‘success’ of the first manoeuvre they tried their hands at more complicated formations and scenarios which, over time, became more fluid and natural. By the time they had finished mucking around it was late in the afternoon and the brilliant Antarctic ice took on a more orange glow and Tom Bishop came over the network comms

“ok, great going, guys. We’re going to come back home, hook up the trailers, refuel back up to the brim and tonight we’ll be sleeping out under the stars!”

There was a unanimous cheer from all ten cars. Finally they were about to get underway, the Antarctic was their oyster!
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 27, 2007, 04:39:33 AM
With the massive equipment caravans in tow, the Ice Cruisers were truly sights to behold, longer than a city bus and taller too. They now carried enough fuel to keep them moving on the ice for 2 months, plus enough camping equipment to help them survive twice that long if the cars did run out of fuel. All the equipment was built to survive temperatures lower than anything ever seen on Earth, the technicians had left the cars and now they were on their own as they snaked away from the SnowFox dome. Chatter between the cars was excited and frequent, clogging the radio network up with trash talk and general chit-chatter. Tom Bishop occasionally tried to give inspirational pep-talks but was drowned out by the already-excited Muffs who needed no pep-talk to feel up for the expedition.

The Lazarev and car three, the Ross, had to come between Cars 5 and 6. It seemed that Gulliver and Narcberry were quite prepared to take their argument onto the ice. Although neither of them had tried anything yet, the other cars in the convoy wanted to make sure they stayed that way.

Inside the Lazarev, Dann had really gotten the hang of driving, dropping gears or making split-second course corrections had become second-nature to him already. Although the windscreen was anti-glare he had still donned a pair of shades to 'protect his eyes from the sunlight reflected off the ice'. Chrissetti had left temperature controls and had set about organising the sleeping area at the back of the car. Occasional curses reached Gayer and Dann's ears as he trapped fingers in the fold-up beds. Gayer was doing a good job representing the Lazarev on the comm-link, warding off Diego's pathetic put-downs easily.

"Whoever nurtured your personality should be shot." She said warily.

The hours passed, the orb of the sun descended almost to the horizon and seemed to stop, the glare making it appear a brilliant golden six-pointed star.

"The midnight sun." Someone said over the intercom. "Surely that's all the evidence we need that the world is round?"

"Not at all." Tom Bishop said, smugly "Look at all the snow we're kicking up as we're driving along, so many ice crystals disturbed by the slightest movement and freezing the very air itself. Consider all these tiny crystals as 'glass' prisms. The light from the sun is simply refracted to us through all the ice crystals. How do I know? Well, do you believe that the sun is actually an orange object with six points actually closer than the horizon? no, of course not, the light is scattered and refracted by ice in the air. This is how the sun works."

For just one, precious, glittering second, there was silence, save the rumbling of the engine until

"That's bullsh--" Started Gulliver, and from there toppled the first domino of incoherent, enraged 'debate'.

"I'm beginning to pick up a pattern here..." Dann muttered

"Tell me about it." Gayer grunted. before she launched herself into the vocal meleé.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 27, 2007, 02:17:23 PM
It was ten pm by the time Tom Bishop decided to call it a night and the sun was still a deep orange orb in the sky. The ten cars had parked in a rough circle and the explorers had abandoned the warmth and safety of the cockpits for the cold ice and harsh winds.

"I think if I was cooped up in there any longer with her I might just scream." Trekky grumbled. Muffs was in the middle of trying to assemble a full-sized snowman and it wasn't long before most of the team was helping her to push the boulder-sized torso across the thin layer of snow and the ice underneath.

Chrissetti, however was one of the few who didn't take part in the grunting and heaving of people trying to move a ball of ice larger than they were. Instead he sat on the hood of the Lazarev, still warm from the gentle hum of the engine, and watched the sun. After a while the hood bounced as someone else settled down next to him.

"What are you thinking about?" Gayer asked.

"How little it matters whether the world is round or flat. This is the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen."

"Should I leave you alone with it?"

"No, it's nice to share something this good."

Together they sat and watched as then sun didn't set while behind them, the ridiculously undersized head was lowered onto the Snowman's torso to a chorus of cheers from the gathered crowd.

"You know, it's weird to think I've never breathed air this clean, or just sat and watched the horizon with someone." Chrissetti said, barely more than a whisper.

"Never?" gayer asked, astonished "You've never camped out on a hill with a guy, well a girl in your case, and just let the world pass you by?"


"You should. It's so relaxing, like you could just lie there forever." She said, getting misty-eyed "Well, until the guy gets bored of being subtle and just starts rubbing your boobs."

"personal experience?" Chrissetti laughed, strangely he didn't have any trouble picturing the scene.

"Twice." She said, "The third time he found himself left naked in a ditch nursing an impressive black eye."

While they sat and watched the unusual skyline, most of the others went back to their cars leaving Gayer and Chrissetti alone, save the huge snowman. They smiled and agreed to go back inside the car and get some sleep, neither wanting to admit just how nice the warmth of the car felt on their frozen faces.

At least getting to sleep should be easy tonight Chrissetti thought as he wrapped himself up in his thick sleeping bag.


The letter had caught him completely by surprise. Tom Bishop (From the fifth message-board, as far as he could remember) had written to Saddam personally, inviting him to the exclusive revelation of 'a bold new scientific theory' and had included a return plane ticket to the capital of the Falkland Islands. He re-read the letter for the twelfth time that night. The US authorities would want him to report it and hand the letter over to him

But why? Saddam thought, as he paced the tiny apartment. It troubled him. Covert sneaking around on the internet, the odd list, now this? Suddenly he wanted out. Now. The flight was in just three days, all he had to do was to keep trawling his internet sites like nothing had happened and give them their update reports.

How would they know I got a letter?

Saddam stuffed the letter inside a phone book, hid the book in the back of his cheap cupboard and buried it under a pile of junk. It was perfect, once he got to the Falklands he was in British territory. Maybe he could meet this ‘Tom Bishop’ and find out why American intelligence was tracking an eccentric scientist  outside  American jurisdiction


He’d always laughed off so-called conspiracy theorists as nothing but nutters. Nutters with too much spare time, like those idiots who spent hours writing  ‘books’ on the internet to amuse a small group of people, surely no-on could take them seriously?

“Then why am I tracking them!?” He shouted to nobody in particular and collapsed into a nervous bundle on the floor, the knowledge of the letter burning at the back of his mind. Always burning…

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 29, 2007, 11:23:53 AM
”Rise and shine, folks! Time to get up!” Shouted Tom Bishop over the radio. Chrissetti got up much too quickly and cracked his head on the wall of the car as Gayer and Dann grumbled into the world of the wakened. Your breakfast this morning should be a sachet of cereal from your food supplies. Don’t have any more as you want to get into a habit of rationing your food.”

The radio clicked off and Chrissetti got out of his sleeping bag, stretched and scratched himself.

“Chris Spaghetti! Stop that,” gayer moaned “Dann isn’t—oh men are disgusting!”

Chris and Dann grinned inanely at each other then down at Gayer who wasn’t exactly a vision of early-morning beauty. Her long brown hair was wild and sticking out at strange angles, her eyes hadn’t adapted to the light at the same speed so she was squinting.

“What?!” She snapped “Go get some sodding breakfast.”

Outside the car, a thin layer of snow had settled over the windscreen, reducing visibility to a series of different intensity lights through the grey. Chris was glad to see that the heaters had kept frost from forming. As they fumbled around in the car, breakfast was eaten, clothes were changed and soon they found themselves dressed in their outside coats ready to face the open air. The door opened and the force of the cold wind hit them like a dagger across the face.

“jesus it’s cold out there!” Dann grumbled as he dropped down onto the ice. All the other crews were appearing and cursing the cold too.

“Allright! Gather round, people!” Dogplatter called. People formed in a loose circle around them, shifting from foot to foot and rubbing hands together to keep out of the cold “OK, it’s 9am now, so if we set camp at 10 tonight, going at an average of 40 miles per hour, we should have covered about 500 miles come this evening. This means that in the next couple of days we’ll be at the ‘official’ Geographical South Pole. Weather reports are saying that we’ll have a fairly smooth time of it, apart from this band of pressure which is causing these winds we’re feeling at the moment. Sometime today or tomorrow, we’ll be facing the full brunt of up to 150mph winds.”

“So you’ll need to know how to deal with them” Tom Bishop pitched in “So If you’ll follow us to the Rowbotham…”

Tom and Dogplatter led them to  the behemoth that was Car 1 ‘Rowbotham’ Dogplatter stood behind Tom, immediately next to the car.

“When the high-wind alarm sounds you must come to a full stop, get out of the car and start by applying the Primary Anchors. There are four on the main car and two on each of the caravan trailers.” Dogplatter opened a hatch bigger than his hand and pressed a button inside. The car gave a whir and a metal drill was visible sliding out of the bottom of the car and boring into the ice, throwing up an impressive spray.

“The next step is to lash it down. On top of each car you’ll find strong cords wound around a shallow drum. These should be unwound and stretched as far as possible from the car. The pegs at the ends should be hammered into the ice using the mallet, found on top of the car, at 45 degree angles from the ice.” While Tom spoke, Dogplatter had climbed on top of the car and come back down trailing a black plastic-sheathed cable and holding a mallet. He proceeded to follow Toms instructions and pound on the peg until it was barely visible outside of the ice. ” Ok, any questions?”

Nobody had any, so Tom ordered them back into the cars and to get ready to leave.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on December 31, 2007, 11:30:21 AM
The morning drive started much smoother than the embarrassing first attempts of the first day on the ice, all ten cars quickly arranged themselves into the familiar long line in numerical order. By ten O clock, the sun was a powerful white light in the sky once more that not even the glare-proof windscreens could adequately get rid of, everyone was wearing shades after just half an hour, without them, the ground was a blazing white light. The wind continued to pick up speed, throwing up a fine mist of ice and snow.

"What's the time?" Dann asked, the designers of the IceCruiser, who had the foresight to include just about everything they would need, had neglected to put a clock on the dashboard.

"Almost half twelve." Chris said from his comfortable position with feet up on the dashboard and seat fully reclined.

"Want to have a go behind the wheel? We're already cruising along nicely so it shouldn't be too hard to pick it up."

"Sure, why not?"

"Me after!" Gayer called out. Chrissetti sat on the edge of Dann's seat and placed a hand on the steering wheel.

"When i count to three I'll let go and you put your foot on the accelerator, not too hard though, ok? ok. one...two..three!"

Chris took the controls and accidently put far too much gas on, causing the engine to roar as though it had been provoked.

"Easy! I said not too much" Dann chastised as he settled into the temp-control-seat. Driving became second-nature easily after that, once the car was settled in seventh gear with the clutch up, there was actually very little that needed to be done, apart from course corrections to match the snaking line of cars and caravans up ahead.

Very little to be done until the winds came.

The car gave a sudden lurch and an alarm sounded the severe weather alert. Gayer hurridly snapped her seatbelt on as the huge car began to slew from side to side as Chrissetti over-compensated for the wind. Chris and Dann both snapped their seatbelts on as Thomas Bishop issued orders to stop over the intercom.

"Clutch and brake down together! Now!" Dann yelled, the roaring of the wind forced him to shout to make himself heard. Chrissetti obeyed and the car came skidding to a halt. "Alright! Gayer, you start setting up the anchors, me and Chris Spaghetti here will lash her down!"

All three of them rushed to the door and pushed it open into the howling gales of the Antarctic. the cold alone was enough to make Chris' eyes water while the wind punched him like a prize boxer. There was no time to waste as Chrissetti clutched the bucking truck and hauled himself onto the roof, crawling across on his belly to avoid being swept off the precariously slippery metal.

Gayer ran to the small hates around the car and activated the anchors. She had three of the car's anchors down when the last button made a groaning noise and nothing happened.

"Dann!" She yelled "It's not working!"


"The anchor! It's jammed or something!"

"Shit! You help Chris lash down the car! I'll see what I can do!" Gayer ran to the front of the car and caught the first heavy cable that Chris had tossed down, then picked up the mallet from the ice. It took all her strength to hold the cable taut and her first two mallet swings just glanced the gunmetal peg. Meanwhile, Dann had crawled underneath the IceCuiser and was frantically trying to free the anchor drill.

Chris tossed down the second cable and winced as the wind threw it wildly off target and slammed into Gayer's leg, causing her to loose her footing and slip on the ice.

"Shit!" She shouted and caught the cable in one hand, while rubbing the spot where the heavy piece of metal had struck with the other. Soon all the cables were lashed out and the mighty truck held firm against the winds, which had continued to gather speed and power. The caravan's anchors were released and Dann slid out from under the car, proud to announce that he'd repaired the faulty anchor. With their work complete, the trio threw themselves back into the safety and warmth of the Lazarev.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 01, 2008, 01:49:52 PM
All three of them simply sat, panting against the door for a moment as the winds lashed against the lazarev, still making it shudder despite the protection they had worked hard to erect. Gayer drew air through her teeth as she rubbed the spot where the peg had hit.

"I'm sorry, Gayer, the wind, i-it caught it!" Chrissetti stammered, terrified that he'd caused real harm. The brunette simply smiled back at him;

"Don't worry, it's just bruised, I know you weren't responsible."

"All right, people." Shouted Tom Bishop through the radio "Is everyone all right and anchored down? If so, can you let me know."

"Car Four all present and correct." A girl announced, fighting through a lack of breath
"Car nine hunkered down"
"We're all right. Car Eight is all right." Dann told the radio. One by one the cars announced that they were ok, finishing with Diego's car.
"Hey, wait a minute." Dann said "Car Two hasn't checked in. Car Two, can you respond?"

There was nothing but static for a moment until a voice broke through, obviously worried despite the calm pretense.

"This is Midnight of Car Two calling out to all cars, we have a serious problem, one of our guys has taken a deep cut from a loose cord. We've managed to lash the car down, but he's losing a  lot of blood. Nobody here has any medical experience and we're appealing for assistance."

"Who?!" Dann demanded "Who's been hurt?!"


Dann looked as though someone had punched him in the gut.

"Where are you in the line?" The unfamiliar girl's voice asked.

"We were directly behind Car 4 when the winds picked up. Who am I talking to?" Midnight told her

"OK, hold tight, I'm just in front of you, I'm training to be a nurse, just press some clean cloth against the cut until I can get there" She said with authority "The name's Space Cowgirl, by the way."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 02, 2008, 02:38:20 PM
Why am I doing this? Mara Clark thought as she shunted the 'Columbus' door open to face the bitter cold of the Antarctic. The winds were harsh enough to leave her face blessedly numb after a few seconds in the howling wind. The world was smothered by an impenetrable blanket of grey, leaving Car 2, The Shenton as nothing more than a silhouette in the distance.

"Argh!" She screamed fruitlessly against the wind as she was knocked down to the ground in a particularly fierce gust. Pulling herself up was exceptionally difficult against the raging weather but nevertheless, she gritted her teeth and pushed onwards. Raist was counting on her.

Finally, as she thought her legs were about to collapse, a figure loped out of the snow and offered a hand to her. A hand she was only too eager to take. It led her to the Shenton and even helped her inside as the door swung open.

"Thanks!" Space Cowgirl panted.

"No problem." Midnight grunted, trying to prove he was fine after the trek into the snow. They both took down the heavy hoods. Mara, or 'Space Cowgirl' pushed her long dark hair out of her attractive African face. Raist was lying in the sleeping quarters at the rear of the car, blood spreading through a t-shirt pressed to a deep gash underneath his left eye, his breaths were shallow and accelerated.

Space Cowgirl wasted no time examining the wound closer and ordering TheEngineer to retrieve  the medi-pack.

"Thank you." She said, opening the little green box "Now listen to me Raist; This is going to hurt like hell, but I need you to keep as still as you can for me, ok?" Raist gave a feeble half-nod as Mara removed the disinfectant from the case, poured opened the lid and dribbled it over the wound.

"AAARRRGH!!!" Raist screamed, following it up with a string of exotic curses. Tears were streaming from his eyes

"I'm sorry, but the wound has to be sterile. Now, Engineer, Midnight; I'm going to need you to hold his head down."

"What are you going to do?"

"I need to close that gash up with some field-stitches, or else the blood is never going to stop. I really don't want him thrashing about while I'm doing it, or he might lose an eye."

With a grimace, they both co-operated and pinned Raist down while Space Cowgirl threaded the needle. She tried not to be troubled by Raist's screams of agony as she literally sewed his face back together again. By the end of the crude operation Space Cowgirl's hands were slick with dark claret. She then proceeded to press gauze against the wound and wrap it in bandages, sure enough, the bleeding stopped seeping through and she announced that he would be stable.

"The next biggest worries I have are shock and loss of energy. Keep him wrapped up in a sleeping bag and as warm as possible, give him plenty of fluids." She told the other two explorers, before picking up the radio

"He's ok. i've stitched him up and given the others strict instructions on how to care for him. I'll ride out the rest of the storm here, save risking my neck trying to get back."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 05, 2008, 09:22:42 AM
Dann relaxed the second Space Cowgirl announced that Raist would be all right.

"Thank God." He muttered

"Hey Dann, why don't you tell us what's going on between you and Raist?" Chris asked.

"Nothing is!" He snapped back.

"Oh come on, it's not like you haven't made it obvious!" gayer chipped in.

"We really don't have any problem with it." Chrissetti said, gently. In a flash, Dann was out of the comms chair and was staring Chris with burning eyes.

" on!" He growled ominously. Gayer stood back from the two arguing men.

"Fine! Christ man, we were trying to be supportive, you dick." Chris said and turned and sat down in the temperature control seat and pretended to monitor the heat of the car. The weather controls told him that the winds outside were ripping through at 174mph. Faster than most tornadoes. The windows had turned from light grey to almost completely black as the volume of airborne ice screened the window from the sun's light.

"I wonder how long these are going to last for?" gayer asked, timidly, trying to break through the electric atmosphere that had developed between the two men on board.

"Not sure." Dann grunted back. He had taken to sulking at the rear of the car.


Chapter III

The storm finally blew itself out after three hours. All ten cars had survived the punishing winds, though a couple of support cables had been ripped from the ice and had carved great gashes out of the sides of the affected cars' paintwork. The sides of all the vehicles were plastered in snow and ice torn up by the tempest. The tracks they had left in the ice had worn away completely, but an observant viewer would notice there was a track, several hundred metres from the huddle of IceCruisers.

The occupants of the huge cars were all engaged in removing the anchors and cables, ready to  move off again, all save raist who had been advised to stay inside, at least until the wound had healed a little.

"OK, that's the last one!" Gayer called as the little metal drill retracted into the underbelly of the car. Chris jumped down from the roof of the car as Dann and him finished putting the cables away.

"Quite proud that ours all stayed in the ice!" Dann said, "We must be the only one who did have all four surviving!" He patted Chris on the back and followed the other two back into the Lazarev.

"Can I get a status report from everyone before we go?"Tom asked.

"Car Two fine. Minor paint damage from a loose cable. Raist is stable and up and about." Midnight said

"Car three is ready-to-go. Just a dent from a wild cable peg to report."

"Space Cowgirl's back to Car Four fine. We'll need to have a proper look at one of our caravan's anchors tonight, though. It's having troubles retracting."

"Car Five is good, save some scratches from a loose cable."

"Car Six is fine."

The rest of the vehicles reported they were in good condition and Tom gave the order to go. All ten cars rumbled off, relaying their deep tyre-tread tracks behind them. Nobody noticed the smaller tracks running parallel to them.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 06, 2008, 02:04:20 PM
As the explorers traversed the mighty Antarctic desert, the scenery subtly began to change around them. No longer was it an infinite plane of ice in all directions, but now dark brown mountain rock was exposed. Chris, Gayer and Dann had watched as the landscape around them became gradually more and more rough and jagged. the sun had descended to a point just above the horizon, stretching the shadows from the ancient mountains hundreds of metres in front of them.

"We should set up camp in the next valley, it should give us some protection if the winds pick up again during the 'night'" Tom announced over the radio and most of te cars tended to agree. All but one...

"We lost way too much time earlier in the snowstorm." Diego Draw declared "i'm pretty sure nobody would have a problem with going for another hour or so, it's not like we have darkness to worry about."

"No, Diego. If we have another incident like today, I want everybody to be alert and at the peak of their physical capabilities, not half-asleep because they pushed themselves too far the night before."

"What's the hurry, Diego?" Gayer asked "it's not like we're on a deadline here."

"Some of us ar--" He snapped, then seemed to catch himself "Some of us would prefer to be."

The radio lines were silent for the remainider of the drive to the valley. Steep snow and ice-covered mountains rose up on either side like guardians to another world. Inside the valley, light had a hard time reaching the ground, casting a gloomy twilight into the pass. Dann slowed the car and joined the rough circle formation the other cars were making, all of them facing into a centre circle where several explorers had already begun to congregate, the headlights from the surrounding cars throwing them into stark light.

Dann had gone to visit Raist, leaving Chrissetti and Gayer alone in the Lazarev.

"it's weird. it's so dark, but the sky above the valley is still bright." Chris said


Silence fell across the car

"How's your leg?" Chris asked, just to break the charged atmosphere

"It's ok." She said and took his hand in hers, guiding it to where the peg had hit her leg "See? Everything feels normal."

Their eyes travelled from the spot on her leg and locked on each other.

"you know, I--" Chris started

"Shh..." gayer silenced him, and slowly, they brought their heads together, tenderly and nervously, their lips touched, sending an electric shock down Chrissetti's spine. Just for a moment they hovered, barely touching each other, before Gayer placed her free hand behind Chrissetti's head and brought them both into a full kiss, gently at first, then with more passion, Chris wrapped his arms around Gayers shoulders as she around his head and waist. Time stood still as the kiss went on and on. Had they been anywhere else in the world, the stars would be shining high in the sky. Finally they broke apart just enough to smile at each other in the dim light of the Lazarev. For the first time since he'd received the letter, it felt like absolutely nothing could go wrong.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 07, 2008, 02:51:34 PM
In the early hours of the morning, a figure crept out of one of the slumbering cars and out into the gloom of the antarctic Valley. He stopped for a moment to take in the awe-inspiring silence of the place. No birds, cars, breeze rustling the leaves, no people walking past, no music, nothing but the almost inaudible humming of ten huge diesel engines. it was no surprise that this was called the Whisperer's Way. The figure carried a worn leather satchel he had brought from the Stanley facility with him. he hitched it over one shoulder and began to climb the shallower side of the valley, crawling on all fours to gain purchase on the bare rock and ice.

At the top he admired the view before setting up the rugged little machine carried in the satchel. A heavy plastic box barely 30 inches across and half as deep. A thick antenna protruded from the back, extended to full length it was over two feet long.

"Hunter Owl calling Station #00245. S00245 do you read me. Over." He said into the microphone, keeping his voice to a whisper.

"We read you, Hunter Owl. Please provide a status report on Operation WinterStorm. Over." A woman with a heavy Californian accent said. To hear it out here in the icy wilderness was disconcerting.

"Three Grade A targets are confirmed to be in the expedition, along with twenty-seven others, mostly civilian. They have supplies to last months on the ice. Over."

"Understood. Can you provide geographical co-ordinates for the SnowFox Facility? Over."

The one addressing himself as Hunter owl unfurled a piece of paper from his pocket and read out the co-ordinates.

"Continue with operation as planned. We will deal with SnowFox. Over and out."

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 08, 2008, 12:47:14 PM
"Rise and shine!" The radio shouted at a volume that shot Chrissetti awake, who smacked his head against something hard. "It's a beautiful day today. With any luck we should arrive at the South Pole before nightfall."

"Ohh my head!" Chris groaned, rubbing his forehead.

"Your head!" An indignant voice screeched. Chris opened his eyes and met the annoyed face of General gayer. in a flash the grogginess of the morning vanished and he remembered the previous evening in vivid detail.

"Sorry." he said sheepishly.

"You'd better be!" Gayer said, smiling. "Come on, time we got up!"

"i quite like it here." Chris said, with a cheeky grin. Gayer pushed the open sleeping bag off herself and stood up over him. She smiled, grabbed an ankle and pulled him out of the sleeping bag.

"Agh! Cold cold cold!" He yelped. In one quick movement, he twisted and tackled her down to the cold floor, lying on top of her so that her body was as cold as his.

"You sod!" She laughed.

In the middle of their childish wrestling on the floor of the Lazarev, Dann pulled the car door open and climbed inside, he paused to watch the scene for a moment before he coughed.

"Shall I leave you two to it for a minute?" he asked, wryly. Both Chrissetti and gayer yelped and tried to cover their bodies with the abandoned sleeping bag "Oh come on, I've seen it all before, just get dressed. God, I feel like your mother!

"Well, one of your mothers anyway... otherwise it's just weird..."

Chris and Gayer got dressed quickly and followed Dann out into the middle of the car circle where Tom Bishop was giving his morning briefing. He spoke briefly about the good weather conditions predicted, the change in surface conditions, from the uniformly flat plain to ice boulders and hidden crevices.

"Hopefully, if all goes well, we should reach the predicted location of the South Pole this evening, from there, we'll know pretty quickly whether the Earth is Flat or Round. If The Rowbotham institute and I are wrong, then we head back to SnowFox first thing tomorrow morning and you can all annoy me as thoroughly as Muffs has been doing ever since we left." Muffs gave a cheesy smile and double thumbs-up "If, however, the rest of the world is wrong, we proceed as planned out into the Ice Wall, search for the existence of Cybele and, ultimately, the Edge of the World, or Occumbo Australis."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 08, 2008, 04:14:07 PM
There was the traditional cheer from the explorers as Tom finished his speech and each of them returned to their cars. Soon the valley was thrumming from the sound of ten huge diesel engines roaring to life, they left the safety of the valley and out onto the ice fields again. Today radio chatter was scarce and mostly focussed on the job at hand, as though the conversation well had simply dried up. Conversation in Car 8, however had rarely been so fluid;

"So then guys, I'm gone for one night and you two are at it like rabbits. If you'd wanted me out of your hair earlier, you only had to say!" Dann chuckled

"It's not like that, it just...happened.." Gayer said, "Fortunately."

"So where did you head off to last night? It's not as though there are many places open out here!" Chris asked.

"I spent the night with Raist, seeing how he was after the accident." he said levelly "He's gonna have one helluva scar there for later life."

"How's he feeling?"

"fine, the dizziness has gone and he was walking around and stuff."

"-And stuff?" Chris asked, unable to see Gayer's frantic 'no' gestures.

"Look;" He sighed "He's got a girlfriend back in the real world, we're just...friends..."

Suddenly, Dann had to slam on the brakes as the car in front of them slammed to a stop, it's trailer caravans slewing over the path like the tail of an angry snake. The car remained motionless.

"This is Car 8 to the rest of the convoy, car seven has just crashed!" Gayer said over the quiet radio network. "Car Seven, are you guys ok?"

"ugh, just peachy." Diego grunted in reply "Hit a fucking ice boulder. Clipped it on the front-left wheel, probably smashed the transmission. Shit."

"Hold tight." Dogplatter announced "Chaltier has been trained to work on the IceCruisers and there's enough spare parts in the third trailer to build a whole new one from scratch...almost."

"We'll just slow you lot up." Diego said. "There are enough supplies here to last us for a few months and, as you say, the spare parts are in the back. We'll fix it ourselves and head back to SnowFox. I know it's a cliche but go on without us."

"Don't be stupid. It'll cost a couple of hours probably. just hang tight!"

"Come on. let's go laugh at them." Dann said, a wicked smile on his face
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 11, 2008, 12:09:45 PM
“So. You didn’t see it?” Chrissetti asked Diego with more than a hint of doubt.

“That’s what I’m telling you.” Diego snarled. Behind him, Dogplatter, Z and Saddan were huddled around the front of the colossal IceCruiser.

“You didn’t see a five-foot block of ice in the middle of a completely empty snowfield?”

Diego murmured something incoherent and wandered back to Car Two with his hands stuffed in his pockets.

“Does anything here seem a little ‘off’ to you?” Chris asked Dann and Gayer

“Well, not showering for three days is starting to take it’s toll.”

“Yeah, come on, Chris. Diego’s a moody git but there’s nothing suspicious about him.”

The repairs took well over two hours, even though the damage was largely superficial, the front bumper had to be replaced and the alignment had to be reset, but otherwise the car was in remarkable condition. The other vehicles were eager to get back on the move after the delay, but Tom Bishop insisted that everyone keep their speed to under 40mph until they cleared the boulder field, an insistence that most cars in the convoy were lax in following. Eventually, however, they were forced to slow down as the boulders became more and more frequent and larger and larger in scale. Cars bumped and clipped the jagged pieces of ice, some were forced to stop to make hasty repairs while others escaped with just dents and gashes.

“Argh!” Dann roared in frustration as the car ground to a halt again. In between the massive rocks, snow was loose and powdery, only serving to obscure dips in the path. Twice in the last hour they’d had to stop to shovel a few feet of snow and ice clear of the front wheels in order to move again. Not only was it physically tiring but having to keep stopping was massively demoralising.

“For God’s sake… not again…” Gayer groaned.

“Maybe not.” Chris said “Dann, try shifting us into reverse, pull the clutch back enough to start moving and then stop again, keep doing it until we start to rock backwards and forwards, I reckon it could wear the ice into a nice slope for us to accelerate up.”

“Beats shovelling in the snow.” Dann shrugged and followed Chris’ idea. Surprisingly, after just a few rocks, the car’s momentum was beginning to carry it up the small ramp at the front.

“Now gun it!” Dann floored the accelerator and the Lazarev launched itself out of the ditch and back onto the ice again.

“Woohoo!” Gayer whooped, before giving Chrissetti a quick kiss “How did you know that would work?”

“Lucky guess?”

With their new ‘rocking’ technique, getting through the ice boulder field was measurably easier. All ten cars finally cane within eye contact of one another again as they travelled through a clearing in the boulders no more than two-hundred metres from side to side. Outside the clearing, the alien landscape went on as far as the eye could see, a rugged, jagged sea of white and blue sat silently beneath the orange glow of the Antarctic sun. It was hard not to feel calm and tranquil.

That was until the rear caravan of the car ahead exploded…
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 11, 2008, 12:10:37 PM
”Get out of the way!” Doctor Bernard yelled, shoving Mara aside with a sweep of his arm, the young nurse stood back and watched as he set to work on the gunshot victim currently known as Jane Doe. A paramedic team had found her slumped against the front of an apartment building in downtown New York. They had done a great job in keeping the victim alive until she could be brought to hospital. “We need to get her into theatre, NOW!”

Mara could only look on as a swarm of nurses and doctors rushed her stretcher down the corridor. She hated the way nobody regarded her as important just because she was an intern, everybody has to start somewhere, after all. She sighed and ran after the injured woman, planning to watch from the observation room when one of the admin nurses, was her name Theresa? Thrust a letter into her hands.

“Who’s it from?” Mara asked, turning it over in her hands.

“Do I look psychic? It wasn’t dropped off with the usual post, though. Some hot-shot in a fancy suit delivered it by hand.”

Mara decided that she’d finish her shift a few minutes early. Doctor Bernard would no doubt chastise her for it, but what was new there? She took her letter to the waiting room and opened it up.

   ‘Dear Miss Mara Clark

   I write to you today as representative of the Rowbotham Institute for Zetetic Astronomy, we are a cutting-edge scientific facility based in the Falkland Islands and internationally established since 1906.  We extend to you a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to be present during the discovery of a bold new scientific theory which will revolutionise the way we think not only of the world around us, but the universe as a greater whole. It will involve a long expedition in Antarctica, or the ‘Ice Wall’ with members of the scientific community, as well as ordinary member of the public.

   I realise that at this point, you may be naturally sceptical, indeed this letter may already reside at the bottom of a wastepaper basket, however, to prove our good intentions we have provided a free plane ticket to Stanley Airport in the Falkland Islands and an open contract for us to pay any expenses caused from time off work. If upon arrival, or at any point during the briefing, you do not wish to continue then your return flight will be booked and paid for by the Rowbotham Institute.

   If you decide to take advantage of this offer of learning and discovery then we require you only to board the plane listed on your ticket.

Your pseudonym for this project will be Space Cowgirl, do not use your real name.

      Yours sincerely

            Dr Thomas T Bishop

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 11, 2008, 12:25:12 PM

Cars scattered to try and escape whatever had detonated car six’s caravan

”What is it!?” “Are we being attacked?!” “what the hell?!” The radio was clogged with panicked chatter and screams as bullets tore into the side of Tom Bishop’s car

”Get out of here! For the love of god concentrate on avoiding the ice boulders! They have us in the open in here!” Tom ordered.

“Tom! What’s going on?! Who are these people!?” Gayer yelled, as the unmistakeable sounds of bullets danced a lethal tattoo on the IceCruiser’s bodywork.

”No time!

The explorers darted into the maze of boulders and jagged ice, risking serious crashes in order to escape the pursuers. The Lazarev had fallen just behind the Rowbotham and witnessed it skimming the sides of boulders, it’s trailer caravans swinging dangerously from side to side, slamming into the huge lumps of ice. Suddenly Dann shouted and pointed out of the window.


Hurtling alongside the lazarev was a white snowmobile ridden by two men in Arctic coats, one driving and the other trying to aim an automatic rifle at Tom bishop’s car. Whoever was driving the Rowbotham was doing a suberb job pinning it down and stopping the snowmobile from getting a clear line of sight.

“Hit them!” Chris told Dann who jerked the lazarev sharply to the right, catching the snowmobile  on the side and forcing it into a large ice boulder. But they had no time to relax as the patter-patter of bullets tore from the opposite side, another snowmobile was gaining on the Rowbotham. Tom Bishop appeared leaning out of the car’s windscreen a moment later letting rip with a powerful handgun while all around him, the hail of white hot lead tore up the side of the IceCruiser.

BLAM, Tom’s shot hit home, thudding into the shoulder of the driver who lost control and plunged headfirst into a boulder. The explosion lit up the ice all around and blasted ice for hundreds of metres.

"Is that the last one?" Muffs squealed in shock and terror.

As if on queue, another snowmobile leaped from a boulder and pursued Car Seven, who were lagging behind, apparently the crash earlier had done more damage than they'd thought.

"We have one hostile attacking on our right side! We need assistance!" The Iraqi known as Saddam shouted through the radio. "Please, we need a--" The transmission gave way to static and in the Lazarev's side mirror, an orange fireball leaped into the sky where Car seven had been.

"Ohhh shit..." Chris gasped, "I know they were assholes but..."

"The snowmobile isn't following, it must have gotten caught in the explosion..." Dann said, his face as pale as a ghost's.

After the intense firefight the silence was oppressive. Now only nine engines penetrated the nothingness of the Ice Wall.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 13, 2008, 02:16:11 PM
For an hour the twenty-seven survivors drove frantically fast to escape any more pursuers, when none came, they agreed to stop. gone was the neat circle they were used to in their camps, battle scarred IceCruisers sprawled across the ice with their caravans trailed out behind them. Even before they had fully stopped, explorers jumped out of the cars and were converging on Tom Bishop's vehicle. To his credit, Tom stepped out amongst them while Trekky was held back by his sister.

"Who were they?!" someone shouted
"Why were they trying to kill us?!"
"Why the f*ck didn't you tell us?"
"Arm us?"
"I'll finish what those snowmobilers couldn't!" Gulliver threatened and stepped forward to face Thomas Bishop down.

"Stop it!" Chrissetti yelled, above the crowd. Suddenly all eyes were on him and the temporary burst of angry energy dissipated in a second. but he cleared his throat and carried on "Mr Bishop, I think we'd all like to know just why three people have just died..."

"I'm sorry but--"

"But nothing!" Chris turned on him furiously "Thee people have died because of your... theory! This ridiculous idea that the world is flat! Now tell us. Who were they?"

"Guards." He said flatly. "I didn't believe that they existed. Now I know better."

"Who?" Gulliver shunted Chrissetti out of the way.

"Some of us in the Rowbotham Institute believed that the organisation that keeps people believing the world is round have guards posted around where the 'South Pole' is supposed to be."

Gulliver slammed his fist into Tom Bishop's jaw, dropping him to the ice as others held the enraged Gulliver back

"I'm sorry!" He croaked, tears welling in the old man's eyes. "None of this was supposed to happen! I believed the guards were myths, an invention of conspiracy nuts! I'm sorry I'm so sorry!" He broke down before the mob of explorers, the tears freezing in the frigid air even before they left his face.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 14, 2008, 05:05:40 AM
"Leave him alone!" Dogplatter ordered, fighting his way through the crowd. "This isn't his fault. All this proves is that somebody secretly wants to stop us from exploring the Ice Wall and that the world really is flat."

"That's bullsh*t and you know it! There's probably a terrorist group here, or a secret military project. Your quest has taken us into restricted military territory and now they're gunning for us." Gulliver snarled

"All right, all right!" Somebody else cut in. was his name TheEngineer? "This is acompishing nothing. The question is, what do we do now? Go forward or go back?"

It was amazing the effect these simple words had, in a second everyone in the crowd was loudly voicing their opinions over everyone elses. The explorers were scared and angry, if they went on it might mean further attacks, if they went back then the attackers won, and they might still be stopped by more hostiles.

"Stop it!!" Yelled Dogplatter, angrilly splitting up narcberry and Gulliver who were seconds away from turning the charged crowd into a physically violent one. "We will not be unarmed if they strike again. Under the floor at the back of each car is an AK-47 rifle and a handgun for everyone on board. Some of us considered the guards a real possibility. Now if we press on, we can escape into the darkness of perpetual  night, if we head back, we go straight back through the boulder field and the team they inevitably sent  to collect the first team will destroy us. It's your choice."

"Go back another way." Trekky said, stepping down from the Rowbotham "They won't be expecting it. We head back another way, report these guys to the authorities and let them take over. I'm not putting my sister in danger. Not again."

"You don't get it." tom said, standing up again, icicle tears still frozen to his face "They are the authorities. We should carry on. Escape the sun's light and the safety of the darkness beyond..."


Rain hammered on the young Iraqi's head as he walked off the main street down the side-alley that was a shortcut to his apartment.despite the overwhelming smell of urine and the graffiti, Saddam had never felt threatened by anyone in the alley. Which is why he wondered why he felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise at the sounds of footsteps behind him now. They were steady, fast steps, the footsteps of someone who wanted to let his prey know he was being followed. He sped up, so did the footsteps behind. Saddam risked a glance behind him. Two heavy-set Americans in dark suits stretched across their muscly torsos, leading them was a shorter man with medium-length blonde brown hair.

"Mr Al-Hashan. We need to talk." The leader said above the drumming of the rain

"Shall we at least get inside first?" saddam said, trying to stall the men.

"here will be fine."

Saddam sighed and turned to face the Americans, employing tehniques he had learned in the army to disguise his fears. The muscle positioned themselves either side of Saddam, and looked about as inclined to move as a mountain. The brown haired man smiled and held out his hand to Saddam.

"My name is Diego Lawrence, an agent of the same organisation you now work for. I wonder, did you understand your instructions when we employed your services?"

"Of course I did."

"Then you deliberately held back the letter from the Rowbotham Institute then?"

Saddam was silent for a moment, then replied calmly and with as much authority as he could muster

"I want out. Nobody said anything about spying when I accepted this job. Deport me back to Iraq if you want but I'm not going on that flight to the Falklands."

"Yes you are, Saddam Al-Hashan. You will go because otherwise a certain Sahah Al-Hashan will match her official records."

A cold shiver ran down Saddam's spine. His sister was dead, she had died years ago. How dare this man disgrace her memory?

"Sahah is dead." He said coldly.

"Officially. But in actual fact she went into hiding two years ago. Forces in the area know her as the ghost bomber and has made life hell for the troops over there."

"Good. You bastards deserve every damned bomb and bullet that hit you!" He snarled, the two mountain-men beside him twitched threateningly.

"She is now in a top-secret prison, one few know about. Guantanomo is nothing more than a side-show to this prison." He handed him a photo of a beautiful Iraqi woman chained to a wooden bench in a spartan cell. A newspaper dating thre days ago was open on her lap.

"The plane leaves in just two day's time. For her sake, be on it. You'll get further instructions from myself when we land.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 19, 2008, 12:04:58 PM
Although most people in the convoy would not believe that they were being pursued by a clandestine organisation devoted to mainaining a falsification of the Earth’s shape, they did admit that staying in one place would be disadvantageous to all of them. The nine cars sped across the antrctic waste without the usual excited radio chatter, and without the illusion that the environment was a safe one.

According to their maps they were now less than one hundred miles from the geographical South Pole, the winds howled at the sides of the Toyota/Land Rover hybrids emphasising the dark mood of the explorers, even when they were so close to their goal. Mile after mile passed in silence and the cars drove in a much tighter formation than they had been prior to the surprise attack by the snowobiles.

On board car one, the atmosphere was charged even more than in any other vehicle of the fleet. A petrified Muffs stared at the radar screen while Trekky tried to contain his anger at Thomas Bishop, who preoccupied himself with the radio transmitter.

“Mr Bishop?” Muffs asked, the first words she’d said since they had gotten underway. “Why are those people trying to kill us? Why do they care so much that we find out whether the Earth is flat?”

“Because it would mean the end not just for those directly involved in the conspiracy but for the millions of people who have had the wool pulled over their eyes for at least fifty years. If we revealed our findings to the world  sure there would be ridicule aimed at us, but people would start thinking and questioning the motives of the space agencies. Audit trails, no matter how well covered up would conclude that what they say they are doing and what they’re actually doing are totally different.” He said solemnly “The safest option they have is to have us killed and blame our deaths on the Antarctic conditions.”

“So why didn’t you forsee that?” Trekky asked, the level of malice had definitely dropped significantly from his voice but it was still a threatening tone “This ‘conspiracy’ stretches all around the world and you didn’t think they’d defend the one place on Earth that could disprove them once and for all?”

“I didn’t think it was possible. Sixty-thousand miles of harsh winter ice, that’s thousands of soldiers to feed, home, care for and keep secret. It should be impossible.”

“I wonder where they house them all?”

Trekky and Tom Bishop looked at one another, the realisation that they might accidently drive through hostile accommodation hit them both like a dead weight.

“We need to start looking at possible locations.” Tom said to Trekky. “Think you can drive, little sister?” the young brunette’s face lit up with glee, the horrors of the day temporarily forgotten. She leaped out of the co-driver’s seat and stood hunched over Trekky’s seat as he started to explain how the car worked, everything from the complicated speed to gear ratios and Muffs watched, rapt with concentration as she tried to remember all the controls, her mouth mimed what Trekky was saying to try and more easily remember.

“Do you think you got all that?” He asked. Muffs nodded confidently and slipped into the driver’s seat with ease. Trekky slid the seat forward so her feet could comfortably reach the pedals. In seconds she seemed totally at ease behind the wheel, carefully dodging a lump of ice, adjusting the headlights mirrors to give her a clearer field of view.

“Erm, need a hand with something?”  Trekky asked

“Nope, got everything in order here. Go play war games with Tom.” She said, whilst switching into a higher gear. Trekky looked furious for a second, shook his head and walked to the back of the car where Tom was setting up a huge map of he world, keeping everything other than their own section of the ice-wall folded over. Trekky scoffed.

“Look.” He said, “I can understand the desire to prove to the world you’re not a nutter, that you’re right, I felt the same thing trying to prove that B’Lanna was a better engineer than Scotty at the last Star Trek convention, but this is going too far, it’s not worth people dying over.”

“Let me ask you something, Andrew. Why did you come? You’ve been protesting about every decision I’ve made even before we left the Falklands.”

“Because who would turn down a chance to see all of this?” He said, gesturing towards the pristine snowscape outside that was slowly metamorphosing from the calm umber and orange to blood red as the sun set lower and lower in the sky. “But I wouldn’t have come if I’d have known what would happen.”

Tom nodded slowly and sadly

“So you never cared. Never even gave the Institute’s theory a second thought. This was all going to be an adventure holiday for you.” He said “You think I’m mad. Some senile old fool who’s out to try and make the world as he sees it? If that’s true then I’m not the only one. A lot of people believe in the Institute, believe in me.”

“Oh come o—“

“The Stanley facility employs thirty people, SnowFox twenty-four, over three-hundred in facilities around the US, almost one hundred in Great Britain and western Europe and many more in China and Japan.”

“Yes bu—“

“Who do you think pays for all this? To pay for a secret lab in the Antarctic cost two-million US dollars, that’s before we take the equipment into consideration. A lot of people fund this project. Up until a couple of years ago, the International Flat Earth Society exclusively funded the day-to-day runnings of the organisation.”

“Why did they stop?” Trekky asked smugly.

“It’s leader was killed. Burned in his home along with valuable one-of-a-kind Flat Earth literature.” He replied grimly. Trekky’s smile vanished “Fractured remnants of the society exist world-wide but they have enough funding their own running, let alone the Rowbotham Institute. That means that close to eighty percent of the running costs are paid for by private sponsors who…know…exactly what we do…” Thomas’ face blanched and his voice faded to a whisper as though struck with a great realisation. Without warning he rushed over to his suitcase and pulled out a black ring binder. He frantically flipped through the pages, tearing some off the rings until he finally came to a page, stopped, mouthed the words as he read it back to himself , and dropped the binder on the floor in shock

“What?!” Trekky said, scrambling to his feet to retrieve the binder. He read the page that was face up:

“Oedipus Auto Components Limited. Oh six sponsors of the…  blah blah blah,” The paper went into details about the American company’s sponsorship deal, underneath it was a picture of Thomas bishop wearing a tailored suit with a blue tie shaking hands with a tall businessman with dark cropped hair next to what had to be a prototype or a concept car for the IceCruiser. “What is this, Tom?”

“I take it you didn’t notice the tiny logo on the engine casing of the snowmobile that tried to kill us?” He said, a trace of Tom Bishop humour slipping into the sentence. Trekky didn’t justify the question with an answer. “I wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t on a piece of the shrapnel stuck in the side of the Rowbotham, presumably from when the snowmobile exploded. It was an ancient Greek-style face. Much like the one…”

“…That Oedipus uses for it’s corporate logo.” Trekky finished as realisation hit him too.

“We’ve been set up from the beginning, the conspiracy wanted us out here.”

“Congratulations, Tom. Two epic failures in one day…how does that feel?”
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 20, 2008, 03:20:27 PM
When the sun set for the third time over Antarctica, it did not cast it's wonderful crimson rays on a camp of parked IceCruisers, but a fleet racing hell-for-leather across the wilderness, their battle-scarred bodies hurtling through the wind and snow.

"The wind is picking up again." Raist said to his comrades in car two, he had spent the time since the accident recovering and manning the temperature and radar controls, trying not to pick at the infuriatingly itchy scar on the side of his face. Space cowgirl insisted that it was just a sign that the wound was healing itself but she'd have a look at it next time they stopped. "If we have to lash down again, I'm doing the anchors."

"Do you think it's going to get that bad?" TheEngineer asked

"Things have already gone so bad, it makes sense for the inevitable cycle to continue." Midnight sighed

"Thank God for your warm, cheery optimism, eh Midnight?" Raist laughed, wincing at the shoot of pain it sent through his jaw.

"You can talk," midnight retorted "You whinged loud enough when you ffound out you wouldn't be seeing your gay lover again tonight."

"What Dann and I have isn't gayness, it's just..." He fished for appropriate phrases "man-lurve" Raist finished, rolling the 'r'.

"That was a shudder, in case you hadn't noticed." TheEngineer said, shaking his head at raist. Suddenly the winds picked up violently and the Weather Warning alarm sounded again.

"Ok, guys! You know what to do!" Tom Bishop called over the radio. The Shenton slowed and TheEngineer pulled it's handbrakes on before donning the thick winter coat and forcing his way out onto the ice. vicious Antarctic winds scoured any exposed skin, while the force of the wind forced him back like a sail. At leas the cloud of snow wasn't anywhere near as fierce, they could still see other cars stopping and preparing just as they were.

"Come on, let's get this over with!"


Outside car nine the pale skinned Vauxhall was struggling to engage the last ice anchor, a stray bullet had hit the mechanism and he was employing the full use of his engineering skills to restart the damaged machine.

"Start! Come on, you vicious bastard!" He screamed, and clobbered the machine with the emergency wrench he had found clipped to the underside of the car. With a grunt and a groan  the drill started up and plunged into the white. "Yes!"

He looked around to see Bushido give him the thumbs up. Him and Divito had succeeded in lashing down the cables. Vauxhall clipped the wrench back to the underside and fought the violent winds back to the car, stumbling as rogue gusts pummeled him. When he finally managed to climb into the cab the winds had brought with them a blizzard harder than anything the last snowstorm had brought up.

"Well, it could be worse." bushido shrugged as they watched the outside world turn from dark grey to solid black as snow built up against the windscreen.

"--Car Eight secure." The radio said, they'd forgotten that everyone was supposed to give a confirmation message to the rest of the convoy.

"We're all good here in car nine!" Bushido claimed over the radio.

The three men sat at the back of the car listening to the roaring of the sudden storm outside and playing Poker with a packet of battered pornographic playing cards, enjoying the cards themselves as much as the game. After nearly an hour the game became dull and they instead 'amused' themselves by speculating why they were attacked, and why car seven had been destroyed.

"They were assholes." Divito said, admiring an attractive blonde on the five of harts.

"So what, you blow up assholes now?" Bushido said, before the other two burst out laughing at the accidental innuendo.

"Speak for yourse--"

Suddenly the MacKenzie gave a violent shudder and all three of them felt the car slide to the right. Another jolt and it began to lean precariously to one side, sending the cards scattering across the floor. Vauxhall scrambled to his feet and tried to reach the radio, pulling himself along the back of the chair as the whole car slammed back to the ice before lurching back and forth and leaning even more dangerously, bags slid across the room, one of them knocking Bushido unconscious and another smashing into Divito's leg. Vauxhall reached out a hand to get to the radio as the whole car flipped onto it's roof, tossing Vauxhall's muscled body like a ragdoll into the wall, his head left a blood splatter where it connected and Vauxhall slipped into darkness...
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 21, 2008, 05:53:03 AM
In the heart of the storm, the MacKenzie spun and tumbled as the tempest winds battered it's toppled frame. Pieces of the car tumled away across the ice, never to be seen again. Finally the battered IceCruiser came to rest against a rocky outcrop and the dunes of snow covering it's jagged edges. A spire of rock-hard ice smashed through the driver's side window, allowing in the deadly cold Antarctic air and the rain of glass shards.

Vauxhall and Bushido were still unconcsious, or dead, Divito couldn't tell from his crumpled position against the rear of the car, half buried under an avalanche of suitcases, sleeping bags and pornographic playing cards. The pain in his leg was making him giddy while a gash above his left eye stained his vision a stunning blood red. He gave a sigh of relief when the car abandoned it's wild tumble through the ice and was about to try and pull himself over to the radio when something in the shattered window caught his attention. A shadow, about human shape. Divito tried to call out to the shadowy manifestation but stopped himself, there was something wrong. Someone trying to perform a rescue would be making more noise, trying to attract the attention of whever was trapped inside, not skulking around hunched over, like it was searching for something. Eventually it found the unconcsious body of Vauxhall, instead of trying to help him, the figure, someone dressed in the standard Rowbotham Institute arctic coat, pulled out a long sleder strip of metal that glinted in the weak light. A knife! With the speed and precision of an adder's bite the blade flashed down and pluged into Vauxhall's body, the legs and arms began to shudder uncontrollably before they lay still.

The mysterious attacker pulled the knife out of Vauxhall with a sickening squelch, even in the gloom it was easy to see the blood dribbling off the end. The attacker wiped it and began to prowl the car again, hunting out Bushido who was lying beneath one of the chairs which had broken in the mad tumble of the MacKenzie. The attacker found out his prey, examined Bushido's unconcsious form before bringing the knife round in a deep slash through the unaware japanese man's throat, spraying blood in a quick violent fountain that splashed across the attacker's face. He removed his hood and glasses to wipe the blood off them, allowing Divito to clearly see the face o the dark spectre. Dark hair framed a ahrsh face, a familiar face, the face of someone he thought he'd never see again.

"Z? B-but you're dead!"

"Then this can't be happening, Divito." He said, turning to face  the helpless man lying crumpled under the detritus of the cabin.

"Why are you doing this?" he asked, his voice as level and calm as he could manage in the face of the impossible killer. He had to keep him talking while he unclipped the pistol from the hatch at the back of the cabin, the one Tom Bishop had talked about and the one he was currently lying on.

"What does it matter? You're going to die today with or without that knowledge." He said menacingly. He really was enjoying this

"It matters."

"Tough." Z loomed over Divito, knife raised. Divito succeeded in slipping the gun out of it's holster, was it loaded? No time to check, he kept it hidden beneath a sleeping bag while he clicked the safety off and curled his fingers around the grip.

"Goodbye." Z said, bringing his hand down in a wide arc,

"Goodbye."Divito replied shooting through the sleeping bag , the bullet tore through Z's knife hand and he leaped back in abstract horror. Divito unhid the gun and tried to take aim through the blur of blood in his vision while Z dived behind the fallen radio chair, pulling out a glock pistol of his own.


The noise in the silent cabin was so much louder than in those hollywood blockbusters and the lead tore the chair to pieces, forcing Z to flee from his hiding spot, with just enough time to to fire ione bullet before he dived through the broken window. The bullet slammed into Divito's chest with  a spike of pain that forceed him to gasp out, barely holding back a scream. If Z knew that his shot in the dark had hit home then he would probably come back. All Divito could do was to drag himself over to the radio, click the open bandwith and call for help in a weak voice before he passed out, blood dribbling from a gunshot wound just below his ribs.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 26, 2008, 02:51:58 PM
The cry for help went unnoticed by seven of the eight cars cowering beneath the storm clouds, their anchors holding them steady against the hurricane speed winds.


“What was that?” Gayer exclaimed from her position on the floor of the Lazarev with Dann and Chrissetti.

“What?” Chrissetti asked as she stood up and went to the radio.


”Please….murdured..” The weak voice said, barely audible above the roaring of the storm outside.

“Hello?!” Gayer called down the radio, trying to get a response from the caller. “This is Car Eight to all cars, please can you give me some kind of indication that you’re ok?”

”Gayer,” Tom called, his voice calm and full of confidence and authority ”What’s happened?

Gayer told him of the voice calling for help. Tom listened and appealed again for everyone to give a confirmation. Just a word that they were all right.

One by one, everyone said that they were fine. The gap left by Car two was painfull, almost a physical pain. The Lazarev gave their ok and everyone waited for the MacKenzie. Nothing came.

“Shit” “Not again.” “Oh Christ!”

Car ten reporting in…” Everybody was in a panic, two cars down in less than six hours. That didn’t add up to a good survival prospect, but what could they do? They were two days travel away from the SnowFox facility, indefinite distance away from the magical ‘safe shadow’ that Dogplatter seemed convinced existed.

“We have to save them.” Dann said, slipping into the driver’s seat.

“Are you mad? Look at the weather! Even if we aren’t blasted off our wheels how do you honestly expect to find them?” Chris said with a pleading tone.

“We can’t just leave them out there!”

“There’s nothing we can do!”

He was right, even if Dann couldn’t admit it. To try and move in a blizzard was damn near suicide. In sheer frustration he pounded the steering wheel.

“Dann…” Gayer placed a hand on his shoulder, Dann simply shrugged it off and stood up to face them.
“There are three of our people out there, and we’re going to just let them die?” With that he picked up his coat and walked to the door.

“No!” Chrissetti rushed him, rugby tackling to the ground. “I won’t let you be victim number seven.”

Dann heaved and threw Chrissetti off him.

“You’ve already written them off!” He snarled, eyes full of grief and anger. “How many does it take? How many before we take the right risks, before we’re prepared to risk our comfort zone to save someone else? You’re a coward. A stinking coward.”

“Stop it! Stop it, stop it, stop it!” Gayer screeched, cutting through the charged atmosphere between the two men. “We’re already in enough danger from the bastards out there, now we’re throwing daggers at each other, too?!”

“Gayer, I—“

“Enough! We’re supposed to trust each other in here and we’re too paranoid to even tell each other our names?” Gayer was at fever pitch now, the stresses of the journey exploding in a sudden burst of anger.


“Natasha!” Gayer said, cutting through Dann’s interruption, his own anger gone in the face of the whirlwind of Gayer’s fury. “Natasha Valentine..”

“Chris Tredinick.” Chrissetti said, looking at Natasha in the eyes.

“Daniel Sanders.” Dann said, meekly.

“Thank you.”

Getting all their stresses into the open seemed to clear the air between the Lazarev trio. Just in time as the weather warning alarm shrilled it’s safety indicator. Dann smiled smugly and pushed out onto the ice. Chrissetti and Gayer quickly followed. Outside the winds still beat hard against the trucks but it was nothing compared to the tempest just moments ago. The rest of the explorers were trekking to where the missing Car Nine had been before the storm.

Twenty-four inexperienced expeditioners gathered around the site of the MacKenkie. Each of them utterly shocked. Instead of the empty plain of ice, punctuated by just the drilled holes from the anchors. Instead, what they found was four of the pegs, still connected to four cables, but each of them was cut cleanly and smoothly. The entire anchor mechanisms were left drilled into the ground.

“This wasn’t an accident.” Tom Bishop said solemnly. “Whoever did this knew how to disassemble the anchors and knew where the weakness in the lashing cables were. This i—“
“It doesn’t matter!” Space Cowgirl cut across him. “We need to concentrate on finding any survivors.”

Finding the car wasn’t going to be difficult, the mad tumble across the ice left large chunks of debris, equipment from smashed caravans, pools of spare diesel, crumpled plates of mangled metal. Tom Bishop was worried that they might be travelling into a trap so he ordered a few people back for AK-47s, now they appeared like a military troop.

Less than fifteen minutes after they began their search, the main bulk of the MacKenzie was spotted buckled and crushed against a rocky outcrop through the ice, nothing was stirring around it. Behind them, the rest of the convoy was invisible beneath a veil of snow and ice.

“So who’s going in?”

Nobody moved apart from Dann, Midnight and Space Cowgirl. Dann armed with a pistol, Midnight with an AK-47. Space Cowgirl with a medical kit.. Dann led the way up the carcass of the IceCruiser followed by Space Cowgirl, then Midnight, the other armed members of the group scouted around the MacKenzie.

The door was jammed solid, the crashes had caved it in on itself and crumpled the door frame around it. The windows had smashed and with a little effort they shoved the debris blocking them out of the way. Dann sucked down a deep breah of razor sharp icy air and forced his way inside, training his pistol at the deep shadows lurking inside the behemoth machine.

“Hello?” He called, hoping for a response, a reply, a grunt, anything to let him know that somebody was alive. His eyes began to adapt as Space Cowgirl came in, letting him make out shapes in the gloom. “Hey! Down here!” The young nurse rushed over to where Dann had called, on the floor was the vague shape of somebody on the floor. Was he unconscious? Dead?

“Here.” Midnight said, tossing Dann an omnitool, currently set to work as a flashlight. Dann and Space Cowgirl screamed  as the little pool of light splashed over Vauxhall’s body. Blood had soaked his tee-shirt and jeans, cold dead eyes stared aimlessly at the ceiling. Space Cowgirl regained her composure and examined Vauxhall, checking his pulse in one last futile grasp for life.

“He was stabbed.” She said breathlessly

“What? No, he couldn’t be. Who could have stabbed him?”

“I was an intern at an inner-city hospital. I know what a stab wound looks like.”

With regret she closed his eyes and stood up, hope of finding survivors dropping by the second. It wasn’t long before they came upon the body of Bushido, throat slit from side to side. Seconds later they found Divito, the flashlight showing the bullet wound just underneath the ribs, off to the left side of the body. Space Cowgirl was about to declare him dead too when she saw his lips move soundlessly.

“He’s alive!” Mara shunted Dann out of the way as she knelt beside him, opening the entirely inadequate medical kit. “One of you, give me your shirt now! Now!”

Midnight stripped from the waist up, shivering in the Antarctic cold still blowing in through the shattered windows. He pulled his coat on again and tossed the shirt down to Mara who tore it into expensive linen strips. She applied pressure to the wound and made the best field bandage.

“Who did this?” Dann said, kneeling down by his head. “Who killed Vauxhall and Bushido.

“…” Divito croaked, his face screwed up in agony as he tried to form the word. Or rather the letter. “...Z…”
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 28, 2008, 04:48:46 AM
"Z? But he's dead. We saw the car explode. Nobody could have survived that." Dann said, shaking his head, refusing to believe. Space Cowgirl had tried everything she could to save him, but still the wound was bleeding through the padding.

"There's nothing more I can do. At the very best I give him a couple of hours to live. I'm sorry."

"I'd better tell the others what'sn happened, Dann said sadly, preparing to get up.

"I'll go." Midnight interupted, and he climbed out through the broken window.

Outside, the explorers had gathered into a worried knot, Midnight was worried that some of them might have itchy trigger fingers at the moment, so he approached them slowly.

"They're dead." He said calmly and simply. "Head trauma, looks like they died by being battered into unconscioussness by the car rolling across the ice. Space Cowgirl is just packing up now. Me and Dann will escort her back, neither of them will want to be crowded now, so go back to the IceCruisers."

The worried crowd started chattering nervously amongst themselves as they turned to leave, Midnight's authorotive voice cutting through them. A few stayed behind, mostly the fellow explorers from Dann and Space Cowgirl's car, Midnight told them to go and wait as he went back inside the MacKenzie.

"How'd they react?" Dann asked.

"I told them they died in the crash."


"They're panicked enuogh as it is, we don't want to push them over the edge into outright hysteria by telling them that an angry ghost is knifing them while they sleep."

"Dann rounde on him, backed up by Space Cowgirl. "We've been lied to enough by Tom and the Rowbotham Institute. And now by our own, too?"

"Fine. Tell them. Panic and chaos are the natural response to big news so this should be fun to watch."

The other two were silent as they considered Midnight's concealed warning.

"All right, we keep it secret for now. But ehast about him?" Space Cowgirl said, indicating the man lying with a gunshot wound.

"Whatever." Midnight shrugged. "But the longer we satay here, the harder it will be to maintain the air of it being an accident."

"All right. Here's what we'll do."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on January 28, 2008, 08:53:09 AM
he SnowFox dome relied heavily on supplies from the mainland, usually from the Falklands. When the last supply helicopter disappeared in the intervening time between Stanley and SnowFox the people inside became nervous. The expedition to the IceWall had emptied most of their armoury and in the last few hours radio contact with the island had ceased.

Lisa LaCaille sat in her office going over the data time and time again. At 4am this morning, radio signals in and out of the SnowFox facility were blocked. Coupled with the helicopter mystery it put the acting Head of Facility in a serious problem. Did she arm the men and wait to see if they were being attacked? Evacuate the facility on the reserve helicopter?

She stood up and walked to the small window her office enjoyed and looked out over the facility, the vehicle sheds, now devoid of cars, save one Toyota Land Rover IceCruiser. One that she would have driven in as NutH had there been enough volunteers. Instead she'd been left to command the facility, placing every engineer, cartographer and scientist under her care. It was a massive responsibility that she wasn't prepared for, but one she was determined to live up to. She walked back to her desk and pressed a facility-wide PA system button.

"This is Madame LaCaille. As of this moment we are at condition yellow. All non-essential work is to be shut down immediately. All staff are required to check arms and be prepared to step up too condition red at any time without warning. Thank you."

She knew that the scientists would complain. Most of them were quite willing to carry on their experiments during an earthquake; nevertheless she had to make sure the facility was on its guard. Her gaze happened to wander out of the open window and she caught a glimpse of something dark on the horizon. It was nothing more than a speck but she was used to the pristine Ice Wall skies, the eternal blue broken only by a wispy cloud.

"Oh merde!" She ran back to the PA button and yelled 'red alert' just in time for the first missile to hit the corner of the vehicle sheds. A golden plume of fire leaped hundreds of feet into the air while the shockwave shattered every window in the building. The sound was loud enough to leave the world ringing in her ear when the explosion passed. Outside, the Vehicle shed had slumped on one corner into a smouldering ruin of metal. Seconds later the heliport went the same way, the reserve contra-rotating helicopter throwing shrapnel to the winds. On the horizon, the helicopter had gotten close enough to make out details and several dark squat shapes were looming up from beneath the horizon. Suddenly there was a fwooosh noise and Lisa looked to see institute men firing heat-seeking bazooka rounds at the approaching army. The helicopter easily intercepted and destroyed the rockets before launching a volley of smaller ones itself. Boom boom boom boom, a chain of fire snaked across the ice, turning a section of ice into a worrying ice chasm, devouring peripheral buildings whole.

Lisa ran from her office to find out what was going on and ran into a whirlwind of activity, AK-47 equipped men and women scrambling to open windows, a couple of them carrying ammo for the rocket launchers. It wasn't long before the dark shapes on the horizon revealed themselves as armoured personnel carriers. The helicopter opened fire again with its gatling cannon, turning the SnowFox dome into the world's largest colander. A lucky shot clipped the helicopter and it was obvious it couldn't fight, Institute soldiers opened fire on its retreating form.

But now the APCs were in range to open fire with heavy cannons, shredding any wall or body its leaden death came into contact with. One rocket fwoooshed through the air and connected with an APC, forcing soldiers to flee from the back screaming as the flames melted their coats into bubbling, cracking skin.

A storm of bullets ripped from both sides as soldiers from the attackers dismounted from the backs of the trucks to lend their rifles' power to that of the large cannons. Lisa ran through the dome, giving orders to retreat or move to another location, or just offering support, whenever she passed a hole big enough to shoot through, she fired a couple of rounds from her pistol, feeling pleased when one of her shots actually hit someone. She dived out of the way as a supporting column collapsed, bringing down a wall and a considerable chunk of the ceiling. She was lucky enough to escape with just some deep scratches.

Lisa could see her troops were too disorganised to mount any kind of counter-attack so she gave the order to retreat into the middle ring of offices and labs, she would force the conspiracy troops into a bottleneck through a handful of entry-points.

"How many of us?!" She screamed to an engineer she forgot the name of,

"About fifteen. I could rig a few of the labs to explode, make some booby traps for them, which should level the playing field a little."

"All right, but make sure that our boys know where they are!"

The man nodded and ran off into the smoke choked corridors of SnowFox. In minutes everyone was silently in position. The conspiracy troops had all left the APCs and were making their way over to the facility's three main entrances and a hole blown up in the outer shell. Lisa waited patiently as the soldiers made their way beyond the threshold before yelling the order to the engineer who detonated his booby traps, five men were caught in the small locations, bringing enough debris down to seal off all but two entrances, from which conspiracy troops opened a clip of ammunition blindly into the building, hoping to get a lucky shot. Lisa expected them to advance, but they didn't. Instead there was a soft chink chink as a little metal capsule was thrown into the building.

"Cover your mouths!" She ordered, pulling her jumper up in front of her face as the metal capsule started leaking poison gas into the building. Several Institute troops panicked and fled from the rooms too early and were mown down by machine-gun fire. Those that didn't move passed out quickly from the gas. Lisa's world went black as she saw Conspiracy soldiers stormed the now defenceless building, shooting the gagging, spluttering men and women in the head.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 03, 2008, 12:36:37 PM
 Tom Dann, Space Cowgirl and Midnight stayed with Divito as his fatally damaged body slowly broke down. Dann tried time and time again to get him to explain what he meant by “Z”. there were bullet holes in the back of the chair. Who fired them? At whom? It was frustrating that one of the witnesses couldn’t respond and the medical opinion was without question that he was going to die. The moment came three hours after they found the wreck of the MacKenzie.

“He’s gone.” Space Cowgirl said simply, trying hard not to break into tears.

“You did your best.” Dann said, gently placing a hand on her shoulder which started to shake.

“It wasn’t good enough.” She said with a sob “Now we’re sitting in a tomb. A cold dark tomb.”

Midnight came in from the ice outside with his usual solemn expression even more glum than ever. “Come on. Lets head back to the convoy.”

“No, i—“

“We’re going. Now.” He said with true authority. Pulling Space Cowgirl by the wrist. They left the battered hulk of the MacKenzie behind, trudging through the snow and ice following the trail of debris back. Mara was trying to stop crying simply because her tears froze on her face and hurt. They all agreed to maintain the story that someone had sabotaged the anchors and all three of them perished when it toppled with the wind.

“Hey.” Dann said, opening the door of the Lazarev. Gayer and Chrissetti were huddled around the radio, apparently chatter had been hard and fast between the cars.

“What happened?” Gayer asked quickly. “What’s taken you?”

“ Divito was still alive. Space Cowgirl spent so long trying to keep him alive but there was nothing we could do, the sho—wound was too deep.”

“The sho--?” Chris asked with an eyebrow raised

“Slip of the tongue. We should tell the other’s I’m back so we can get underway.” He said, cutting across any more questions. Begrudgingly the others agreed and radioed through.

Ok people. I know you’re all shaken by the deaths of  our friends and comrades Divito, Bushido and Vauxhall. The people who sabotaged their car are the inhuman scum who are dedicated to stopping us uncovering their secret and shattering their lies to six billion people the world over.” Tom Bishop said ”And we already know that they are lying, they are trying to kill us. From this moment on there will be no more stops. We sleep in shifts. We will honour our friends by bringing down those responsible.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 10, 2008, 06:35:56 AM
Eight cars thundered across the ice which the storm had worn down to the smoothness of a plane of glass, allowing the explorers to gun the throttle up to a terrifying hundred miles an hour, not that it was obvious at all, from the inside of the cars the landscape seemed unchanging, just a perfectly solid divide between the sky and the ice all around.

On board the Lazarev, Dann had fixed himself on driving, insisting that there might be a hidden ridge or bump, he shrugged off most questions, either not answering or giving a brief grunt to confirm or deny the question. The radio was full of chatter about the deaths on board the MacKenzie, a discussion that Gayer and Chrissetti dropped when they saw how uncomfortable it made Dann.

"You two may as well get some sleep." He said, startling the silent Chrissetti and Gayer. "If we're going to be driving in shifts, you better be alert for it."

"Yeah, you're probably right." gayer said, cheekily grinning at Chris.  "Let's get some 'shut eye'."

"Ugh, if I hear or see anything I'm throwing the both of you out onto the ice." Dann said, shaking his head. He fixed his attention more than ever before praying for a cluster of boulders, or a sudden cliff or anything to distract him from the sound of clothes dropping to the floor, instead he had only the six-pointed star of the Antarctic sun setting over the ice to distract him, so he started whistling.


Malcolm Lee sat back at the computer and grinned. The pathetic people on the internet chat-room had taken the bait easier than he'd thought and had descended into purposeless argument, forgetting why they were arguing in the first place. He knew it was ultimately pointless but it was amusing to see the bumbling masses bicker at his expense, or rather at 'Midnight's expense. There was a clatter at the letterbox so he left one last scathing comment and he went to the door, not that it was a long way, his apartment was a tiny three-room studio overlooking Silicon Valley. His job as a software designer just about covered the rent, the cost of running his computer and a couple of decent nights out a week.

Midnight picked up the single letter on the floor in front of his door and walked back to his worn sofa as he opened it. He read it. He re-read it. he put it down and laughed.

"Even a fake plane ticket too!" he said, to nobody in particular. He decided that the internet could confirm whether the invitation to a 'unique scientific revelation' were genuine. He went back to his fearsome array of technology, a triple core 600GB hard drive plugged into six flatscreen monitors that were stacked two by three and curved around the user. A wonderfully unique and ergonomic wireless keyboard sat next to a complicated five-buttoned  wireless laser mouse. Three large speakers sat at the sides of the monitors with a further two behind him. Stacks of CDs and DVDs were arranged in alphabetical order and formed two multicoloured pillars at the side of the computer table. it gave him the computing performance that most internet surfers could only dream of. His home-designed graphics heavy operating system managed whatever program he wanted with little to no fuss.

he started hunting down the information he wanted from the worldwide web. He discovered that the plane ticket was real. Booked and paid for from California to the Falkland Islands in a week's time, but that was all. Now he was intrigued, he usually assumed that anything could be found on the web, given the skills to hunt it down but Thomas Bishop remained an enigma. Apparently he was a real person who had graduated Harvard University armed with a doctorate in astrophysics in 1974, he went on to work in an observatory in Massachusetts for five years and had apparently questioned most of the established 'facts' and figures been touted by the scientific community. In 1982 the observatory and the research community who financed it quietly told Tom to leave. In 1989 he became a watched figure by the CIA and the FBI, though Malcolm couldn't find out why. After 1990 the only records of his existence were plane flights to various destinations around the world.

Midnight booked himself a two-month paid holiday by hacking his employer's computer starting  in a week's time...


“Hey!” Muffs called, attracting Tom and Trekky’s attention who were scribbling on the Ice wall map. The time was ten pm and for the first time on the trip;

“It’s night!” Trekky exclaimed. It was true, darkness had completely fallen over the ice, only the Rowbotham’s headlights showed the landscape as black and white relief. Suddenly the lonely beauty of the Antarctic became so much more menacing.

“Wait, doesn’t this mean that we’re past the ‘South Pole’?” Trekky asked, making air quotes with his fingers.

“No. According to the radar compass, we’re twenty miles from the official ‘end of the world’.” Tom said, pointing to the little device on the dashboard. He clicked a switch on the radio “All right, everyone. We’ve finally got nightfall and we’ll be approaching he border of explored territory in an hour, make sure everyone is armed. from now on we run without internal or external lights. God speed.”

“We should turn back.” Said Trekky

“We’ve discussed why we need to carry on an—“

“This is suicide. We’re thirt—twenty-four untrained civilians, and we’re going up against a well-armed military who know we’re coming into their territory. That’s not good odds, Tom.”

“We have one advantage. They don’t know we’re armed.”

“They know we have guns, we dealt with three of their snowmobiles, remember?”

“Exactly, we stopped them, there was nobody left to report back.”

“Unless there were more of them.” Muffs piped in from the driver’s seat.

“And what if they don’t know?” Trekky asked “They’re still out to kill each and every one of us.”

“We press on.” Tom announced with fierce determination.

“Stop this damn pig-headedness!” Trekky yelled “We’ve lost six in how many days? Three? At this rate there will be no-one left in twelve days. Why make that worse by trying to run the blockade?”

“Because these bastards deserve to be brought down. You agreed with that, nothing’s changed. We turn tail and run now then they’ve won. Completely and utterly.”

Trekky shuddered, as if physically restraining himself. Closing his eyes and mouthing counting to ten under his breath, unfortunately Tom didn’t seem to appreciate the depths of Trekky’s anger.

“So will you agree we need to continue?”

At that point Trekky finally lost it. He burst from the front of the car fists first, a clumsy right hook caught the older man across the cheek and he went down to one knee, Trekky followed through with his other fist, blood erupted from his lip.

“Andrew!” Muffs shrieked, “Stop!”

Trekky stood seething over Tom Bishop who was staggering back up to his feet, wiping blood from a cut on his bottom lip
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 11, 2008, 04:41:57 AM
Tom scowled at Trekky, walked calmly towards him, and landed a perfect haymaker hard enough to land him on his back wearing an amazed expression. Trekky scabbled to his knees, wincing as he felt the bruise starting to form on his jaw, Muffs yelped and began to cry.

"Ouch." Trekky grumbled, "That's one hell of a punch, but it doesn't change anything. We need to turn around while we still can."
"We need to hit them back." Tom responded with utter conviction.

"Go hunt your whale on someone else's time, Ahab. Not mine."

"I--" Toms words turned to bitter cinders in his mouth, he had meant to lecture Andrew on the evils of the conspirateurs, remind him of their atrocities, but somehow he couldn't shake the image of himself as the doomed captain, nursing his anger at the white whale that crippled him, losing everything he loved to the leviathan, "to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."


"For twenty-six years I've been hunting my own white whale, I've spent just about every penny I have in the endeavour, haven't settled down for more than 2 months anywhere. I've brought hundreds more to the hunt. And now the whale is in range of my harpoons, I haven't sacrificed so much to give up now."

"Didn't Ahab die fighting the whale?" Muffs asked

"Ahab didn't have AK-47s."

"Neither did the whale."

"You better decide what we're going to do soon." Muffs said urgently "Because pretty soon it's going to be a pointless argument anyway."

Outside the Rowbotham night had truly descended the only difference in the sky to the ground was the stars. Straddling the horizon was a harsh pinprick of white light, artificial light. Trekky and Tom looked at each other and both went to pull out the Arctelligent binoculars. They both zoomed in on the alien manifestation. Through the powerful zoom it became clear that the lights were powerful searchlights mounted to a dark skeletal metal tower
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 11, 2008, 03:59:32 PM

She was used to the cold by now, the way it curled itself around her like a cobra, drawing life from her. She was used to the hunger and the anticipation of just one more slice of stale bread. She was even used to the wooden bench made slippery with condensation. What she couldn't get used to was the isolation, in all the time she'd been locked up she hadn't spoken with another human being, or even seen one. Food was delivered in little brown paper packages through a slit at the bottom of the door.

Time, there was another bizarre concept. She genuinely had no idea how long she had been imprisoned, there were no windows in the depressing six by five foot concrete block and food deliveries were irregular. She had absolutely no point of reference.

That morning, or afternoon, or night, who knew? Sahah Al-Hashan's world finally changed. As she lay on her bunk staring mindlessly into the middle distance, she heard a click at the heavy metal door that contained her. It took her mind several seconds to analyse what the alien sound actually meant but when the door opened a crack, she pulled herself off the bed and to her feet so quickly that  days of inactivity, poor nutrition and exhaustion made her legs crumple beneath her, sending her sprawling to the cold grey floor.

"Sahah?" A voice said, a familiar voice. She tried to reply but her vocal chords just gave out a strangled squeak. Then the owner of the voice walked in. He wore a thick coat and trousers, hiding most of his body. the face, oh yes, she recognised the face. Handsome Iraqi features with a short bushy dark beard and eyes haunted by dark memories.

"B-Brother?" She rasped and struggled to her feet, legs shaking with the effort

" Xushik!" he exclaimed in Kurdish "You're alive!"

He ran to his Sister and held her in a deep embrace, letting out years of pain in loud cries. Saddam and his sister held each other for both an eternity and no time at all before armed soldiers gripped the man by the shoulders and wrenched him away from her. Sahah screamed at the soldiers, pulled at Saddam and punched the soldiers who knocked her to the floor with the butt of his gun.

"Bastards! you evil bastards! Let me go! let me GO!" He screamed, making his voice hoarse while tears streamed from his face but it was no good, the heavy metal door slammed shut with a sickening finality. The soldiers turned him around to face his tormentor, the captor of his sister, Diego Draw standing before him with a smug expression across his sneering face.

"Now you know she's alive, and the one responsible for making sure she stays that way is you, Saddam."

"F*ck you!"

"it's very simple. Just complete your mission. When all of the insurgents are...dealt with you and Sahah walk away free to do whatever you want. We will of course pay to help your new lives start up. Now what do you say? will you continue to help us?"

"Get f*cked!" He spat, still straining at the soldier's grip.

"Very well then. Corporal Jones? Kill her."

"No! all right! all right! you win! For the love of God you win!"

"I thought you might say that. Corporal jones, belay that order. Mr Al-Hashan is learning."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 16, 2008, 03:12:42 AM
All Eight cars had stopped in a line a few miles from what was now being called the Dark Tower. So far nothing had come out to investigate, in fact the whole scene had remained pretty much consistent since it had first been spotted. Not even the bright stars in the sky above could throw light on the onyx sea of ice ahead, no way to know what they would run into.

"There's no way we can launch any kind of attack or avoid it if we don't know what we're facing." Trekky had said, resigned to the popular vote to continue.

"What about a scout? Send one car out ahead to see what's there. Save risking the whole convoy."

"Yeah, but who would be the scout, Raist?" Dann asked, eagerly rejoining the conversation now that Raist had an imput.

"I'd be willing to go if Midnight and TheEngineer either don't mind crashing in someone elses car or coming with me?"

"This needs to be done, and you need more eyes and ears. I'm in." TheEngineer said solemnly.

"Whatever." Midnight said, it was hard to picture that statement without painting in a shrug

"All right. But I want you running completely silently." Tom piped in.

"If we reduce the temperature of the heaters we can reduce our potential heat signatures, not that it will make a great deal of difference but every little helps." TheEngineer declared.

"You have four hours. If you're not back by then we take a completely different route." Tom told them. "Good luck."


"Raist wait!" Dann called into the radio. " careful."

"We will, man."

With a loud click, the trailer caravans detached themselves from the Shenton and with a churn of the engine the IceCruiser launched into the dark unknown, disappearing from sight in less than a minute

"I think we've made a mistake..." Dann muttered.


The Shenton was cold, very cold. A thin layer of frost had already begun to form on the inside of the glass and exposed metalwork. The occupants were all dressed up in the arctic coats trying not to be bothered by the tiny icicles forming at the ends of their noses. The cabin was totally dark, save for the slight illumination of important instruments on the dashboard which cast an otherworldly glow on the three hooded men..

“Careful.” TheEngineer told Raist “Driving will be a bit more slippery, I just reduced the heating to the tyres.


Conversation had practically died as they snuck up on the Dark Tower, as if their talking from over twenty miles away could attract their attention, such was the tension on board.

“Switch to echolocation.” Midnight whispered. “We’ll see a bit more than what we’ve got at the moment, which is bupkiss.”


TheEngineer flipped a switch on the dashboard and a HUD screen powered up on the dashboard. A white line drew itself across the horizon and perpective-distorted gridlines drew themselves forward, mapping a perfectly level surface. There was a slight ‘ping’ as though they were on a submarine and one line at a time lit up and reshaped itself to the new terrain ahead. The path they drove down was as flat as a mill pond but up ahead and to the right, the ground got more uneven and jagged.

“That’s clever.” Midnight commented, admiring the invisible HUD technology more than the actual echolocation itself.

Driving along now looked more like a black and white version of Tron than the Antarctic, something which helped the hour long drive seem to go much quicker. When they were about half a mile from the tower the path started to narrow, with rough, jagged land on both sides, the Dark Tower sat right in the middle. TheEngineer ordered the echolocator off and he pulled out his binoculars to get a closer look at the tower.

“I can’t see a great deal more than we cold before, we’re going to have to get a little closer.”

They stared edging forwards in 100m stages until they were only about six-hundred metres from the base of the tower.

“That’s it, I can see details now. As far as I can tell it’s a small facility. Two warehouse-like buildings are a little way away from the tower itself. The tower is just a metal skeleton, like the Eiffel tower with a few searchlights and a satelite dish of some kind on the top of it. Probably to communicate with the rest of the conspiracy forces. I can see two trucks and a few snowmobiles.”

“Is that it?”

“No, some sort of anti-aircraft gun is a bit further away, I guess that’s to stop people flying to the edge of the ice wall.”

“So pretty heavily armed and the possibility of calling for backup. Fantastic.”
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 17, 2008, 05:09:18 AM
"There's no way we can win with just a few AKs." TheEngineer mused

"Any ideas then? Oh great tactical genius?" Midnight asked snidely.

"Yes. We steal ourselves some new gear."


"From them?" Raist asked, pointing in the dark to the tower.


"Engy, I didn't think it would happen to you of all people, but I do believe you've gone mad."

"Shut up and listen...this is what we do..."


The Shenton roared over the ice, headlights blaring, engine roaring and shooting a pistol into the heart of the base. All four spotlights focused on the mad mechanical bullet going hell-for-leather across the snowfield. The commander ordered the anti-air gun to focus on it while Conspiracy troops rant to the jeeps and the snowmobiles. The mad car was almost half a mile away before the conspiracy troops caught up with it, peppering it with bullets, trying to stop it's mad dash but the car crashed through whatever was in it's way seemingly oblivious to anything around it, whether terrain or the troops firing mercilessly on it.

The snow Jeeps brought up the rear, huge top-mounted machine guns punched holes the size of ping-pong balls into the bodywork of the Shenton, shattering the top-mounted lights and turning the rear into a mangled heap of scrap-metal with sparks flying from broken heating element wires. A lucky shot punctured the rear tyre and the car swerved violently, smashing into a pursuing snowmobile, before ramming through an icy outcrop, bouncing madly over the uneven terrain, finally toppling over but with enough momentum to keep it rolling senselessly, debris flying off it after every contact with the ground.

Snowmobilers launched themselves over the dangerous terrain, more than one crashing on some sharp outcrop, the riders thrown painfully back to Earth. The Shenton continued to roll until a lucky conspiracy round caught a leaking fuel tank, turning the helpless iceCruiser into a violent bright orange, red and white fireball, illuminating the ice Wall for miles.

The Shenton was destroyed.

Half a mile away, the door of the Dark Tower command room burst open, startling the technician at the monitors, he didn't remain startled though as Raist threw a punch hard enough to send the young man flying off the wheeled office chair to crumple unconscious to the floor.

"Come on!" He whispered urgently to Midnight who ran into the room a second later, studying the array of computers. He settled himself at the technician's chair and started hammering instructions into the computer, his hands a blur as they danced over the keyboard.

"Go! I've got things covered here!" Midnight ordered. Raist nodded and ran out of the control room and into the shadows outside. The searchlights were still locked onto the Shenton's broken body. There was a low rumble and a Jeep adapted for arctic conditions rolled around the corner to pull alongside him. The door opened and TheEngineer hopped from the cab to help Raist load up the cases they had stacked beside the control room into the back of the Jeep.

"Come on, Midnight, we don't have long..."

Sure enough, confused voices were ringing out all over the facility, a couple of guards were visible in the distance shouting at one another and making expressive hand gestures.

Midnight walked out of the control room and closed the door behind him,

"All right, I've implanted a worm into the main computer, it will transmit the usual confirmation orders back to the main force every hour but if anyone tries to use the dish it will tell them that it's out of order."

"Will they be able to hack it?"

"Yeah, once they realise what it is it shouldn't take them more than an hour to root out the worm and destroy it, It's only a crude program but I didn't have time to write a better one."

"All right, it'll have to do... get in."

The three jumped in the Jeep and Raist resisted the urge to open the throttle and get as far away from the Dark Tower as possible. Instead he waited until he judged they were out of earshot and gunned the accelerator.

Behind them the Conspiracy troops started filing back into the facility, smug at having destroyed another car and killing three more insurgents. 
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 24, 2008, 05:55:54 AM
The jeep rocketed across the ice, leaving the Dark Tower far behind in the false belief in their success. The car was much quicker than the IceCruiser but much, much less comfortable. The heater felt like it had been taken from a 1974 Austen Allegro, the seats seemed to be manufactured from the same materials as execution chairs and there was much less room

"I miss the Shenton." Raist mused as he shifted in the seat to try and get comfortable.

"Forming an emotional attachment to an inanimate machine is both pointless and an indication of the sliding standards of society..." Midnight said, receiving only rolled eyes in response, they were both quite used to Midnight's pretentious ramblings by now.

"Hang on, do we have a radio?" Raist asked.

"" TheEngineer said. "Shit..."

"So we're driving back in a car belonging to the enemy into a camp of paranoid trigger-happy tourists armed with AK-47s." Midnight Summarised neatly.



“Everyone to arms!” Tom bishop called through the radio, the jeep driving towards them wasn’t the Shenton, it wasn’t even an IceCruiser, which could mean only one thing; Raist, Midnight and TheEngineer had been stopped. He gritted his teeth against the cold as he leaned out of the window, AK-47 in his hands and trying to ignore the apopleplctic look on Trekky’s face. The rest of the cars had arranged themselves into a wall and windows were opening with the extremely efficient automatic weapons pointing out at the oncoming vehicle.

Which stopped. It began to flash its lights apparently in some sort of sequence.

”it’s Morse code!” someone called.

“It’s a trick! Don’t let your guard down!” Tom snapped

”They say ‘Dant shoott it is su. Raist egnineer amd midmigt’” He, was that…Althalus? Said, straining to piece together the inexpertly sent Morse code.

“They’re lying!” Tom’s grip redoubled on the gun

”Why? What would be the point? I’m sending a message to tell them to come on in.

The headlights of the Weddel began to flash back at the jeep inviting it to join the rest of the convoy. There was a quick exchange of flashing lights and the jeep rolled towards the rest of the cars, keeping a cautious slow speed. It was smaller than the IceCruisers, making it appear top-heavy. An image exacerbated by the roof-mounted gun turret. Unlike the exploratory Land Rover/Toyotas, the Jeep was clearly designed for combat, armour plating on the bodywork, a metal grille over the headlights and the white and light grey camouflage covering it. Doors on both sides opened and Tom took a breath and steadied himself to shoot on sight. Three figures stepped out, their hands above their heads. Tom told everyone else to hold back while he left the Rowbotham and walked over to the newcomers.

“Tom! So good to see you again!” Raist said with a wide grin.

“What happened to the Shenton? Why are you in this?”

“Gather everybody together.” TheEngineer ordered “I’m not going through this 21 times. And do it quickly, we haven’t got long. Tom jogged back to the Rowbotham and told everyone to gather around.

“So…” He said when everyone had formed a semi-circle around him “What happened?”

“We went to scout on the Dark Tower like we said, but when we got there we realised it was far too well armed for even all of us to attack;” Raist started

“…So our fine and mighty general Engineer here prepared our battle plans. We stopped the Shenton just out of range of their searchlights, left a pistol pointing out of the window with a bolt from the chair pressed against the trigger, we started it up, got into a high enough gear , left a heat brick on the gas and jumped out of the car.” Midnight continued “Incidentally, that’s why my arm is so bruised it’s starting to look like a diseased Smurf.”

“As I thought, they sent the main body of their troops out to catch the runaway Shenton while we snuck onto the facility. The first thing we did was to split up, I was to go and hotwire another car, while these two took the dish out of commission and stacked up some weapons.” TheEngineer said. “Unfortunately, the worm Midnight created to stop them from using the communication dish will be cracked before long so we have to strike now while the iron is hot!”

“Weapons?” Gayer said with an evil grin on her face. Raist took them around to the back of the Jeep and opened it up, inside there were five large crates of equipment. They opened the first one to find a bazooka with three rounds of ammunition. In the next case were two disassembled M40A3 Sniper rifles and boxes of ammunition. The third case contained additional equipment for the snipers, heat sensitive scopes, cheek pieces, laser sights, A-frames and armour-piercing rounds. The fourth box contained a mortar and a couple of rounds while the last one had four Heckler and Koch 416 submachine guns ready for use.

“Fantastic.” Gulliver sneered, wearing a broken nose and black eye from his fights with narcberry “now all we need is someone who can actually use them…”
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 28, 2008, 02:59:56 AM
"I can." A voice said

"Oh no," warned Gulliver, pointing his finger at the speaker "I am not having you in charge of bazookas and high-tech weaponary, we'll give you a pea-shooter and you'll make-do with that!"

"You know how to use these weapons?" Tom asked incredulously

"Sure, I was in the US army for a year or so before the incident with the rope, the sandbags and the mule when I was dishonourably discharged."

"The rope, the sandba--"

"Don't ask." Narcberry said, waving off Tom's curiosity "Anyway, I know how these guns work and if you want to survive the atack run on the Dark Tower, you'll need to kit me out."

"Agreed, we'll follow your recommendations..."

"Good lord..." Gulliver groaned.


From a distance, it might have been a scene out of a Mad Max movie, eight large vehicles rumbling over the ice, their passengers armed to the teeth with automatic weapons. Closer up, it was clear that Lord Narcberry's First Armed Division, as the eponymous commander had named the ragtag group of explorers, were hardly a battle-hardened road gang, most of them were practicing reloading or recocking the guns, or dropping bullets as they loaded the weapon clips. Lord Narcberry himself led the advance from the Johnson, or the 'War Wagon' as he'd christened it. As planned they cut all radio contact half a mile from the base of the Dark Tower and ran in on silent. TheEngineer armed with a sniper rifle took up position atop a large ice boulder on the left edge of the flat path while Chaltier took the other to a mound on the right. Dann was personally trained by Narcberry in handling the rocket launcher and he waited in the middle of the path, right at the edge of the Tower's visibility, while the others stayed in the cars, leaning out of windows armed with a mix of AK-47s, HK416s and pistols.

The silence was oppressive, not even the winds stirred across the black icy vista. Gentle rolling clouds blocked much of the starlight. On the boulder TheEngineer shuddered against the cold  seeping in like water through bread from the ice as he started picking out potential targets in his scope. Dann gritted his teeth against the cold as he concentrated on aiming the unwieldly tube, he centred the crosshairs on the anti-air gun still levelled to fire at the Shenton. Its dark sillouhellte against the lights of the rest of the facility offering it as an inviting target. His shot was to be the starting signal for the attack, as soon as he pulled the trigger people would start dying. Sweat formed on his brow and froze while he readjusted his sight.
His finger curled around the trigger.
He squeezed...
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on February 28, 2008, 03:09:55 PM
The rocket flew from the tube with a demonic roar and a trail of smoke


Dann missed by metres, instead of hitting the anti-air gun, it unleashed it's hellish explosives on the base of the Dark Tower itself, which groaned and twisted down like a collapsing house of cards in slow-motion, the heat from the blast reduced a sizable circle of ice into a lake of melt-water, suddenly the air was filled with the crack of gunshots and the roar of engines as Lord Narcberry's army advanced on the Dark Tower, guns blazing.

The conspiracy soldiers rushed to their stations, despairing that most of their vehicles were trapped in the rapidly re-freezing melt water. They took up arms and began firing their own hail of lead back at the explorers. One of the cars lurched dangerously to one side, then tipped over into  a crack caused by the bazooka explosion. One person dived from the open window as a conspiracy rocket slammed into the car and reduced it to a molten heap of slag while the blast wave lifted Althalus clean off his feet and into the ice boulders on the side of the road.

Seemingly oblivious, the other cars continued their unrelenting attack on the facility, where the survivors had retreated to the main control building and were desperately trying to get the communication dish to work while simultaneously firing back at Tom Bishop's troops.

The Lazarev took a ruptured tyre and skewed into the ice boulders a few metres ahead of Althalus who had recovered enough to limp over to the damaged car

"Give me a gun!" He screamed through the open window, the right side of his face a gory mess of blood and burned skin.

"Here!" Gayer said, handing him the spare pistol as she burst out of the stricken Lazarev armed with an AK-47. Chrissetti stumbled out afterwards gripping one of the pistols. "What happened to you? Where are the others?"

"Dead." Althalus said, shaking with rage. "The bastards killed them. Masterchief, Roundy, they're both dead."

"Then let's get payback." Chrissetti growled darkly "And in case this is it..." He leaned Gayer back in his arms and kissed her passionately and deeply who first gasped in surprise before returning the kiss with the same energy. They broke apart and only looked at each other for a moment before they ran across the ice to rejoin the battle.

The Dark Tower had utterly collapsed, demolishing most of the roof of the command building where the few conspiracy soldiers huddled against the storm of explorer's bullets, Dann had finally managed to hit the anti-air gun with the bazooka, reducing it to dark scrap metal half-submerged in a new lake of melt-water.

"Stop shooting!" Tom Bishop yelled, his surprisingly powerful voice making itself heard over the noises of battle, the megaphone in his hand probably helped "Survivors of the Conspiracy. Come out unarmed with your hands above your heads and lay face down on the ice."

In reply the troops sent a new volley of shots. suddenly, the building gave a lurch as a fissure in the ice cracked underneath the command building, it held for a moment then collapsed into the new crevice, the ruined Dark Tower fell in after it.

Silence. Then the sun's rays appeared weak and feeble on the horizon.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on March 02, 2008, 05:41:23 AM
A team of five went to investigate the remains of the Dark Tower
while TheEngineer and Chaltier covered them with their sniper rifles. Tom
Bishop led the investigation with powerful automatic weapon in his hands.
The crevice was more than two metres wide and had completely swallowed
the command building and most of the tower.
"It's over then." Trekky said with a relieved sigh "But at what cost?"
Tom Bishop looked back behind him in the early dawning sun, one car
totally demolished, another crashed into the ice and the ice itself
suffering gaping cracks and chasms.
Chrissetti recoiled at the carnage all around them, Space Cowgirl was
rushing from body to body doing her utmost to keep the wounded alive. She
was tending to the massive burns trauma Althalus had suffered when there
was a high-pitched shriek from the other side of the path, Space Cowgirl
and most of the survivors ran to see what the matter was. What they saw
horrified them.
Masterchief was horribly burned all over, his coat melting to mix with
his skin, not an inch of his skin was not black or red. But he was
"Everyone hold back!" Space Cowgirl told the others as she searched
though her medical kit for anything of any use. She realised that she
had to move him to a better condition than the bare ice of Antarctica but
to move him in his current condition?
"Somebody make me a stretcher!" She shouted, make it look like you know
what you're doing, that's the important part, after all you might be so
good at lying you convince yourself you know what you're doing.
She started disinfecting the wounds, had he been awake Masterchief would
have been in agony, as it was his unconscious form didn't respond.
She wrapped a silver foil blanket around him and waited for the others
to come back with some sort of stretcher.
Death and destruction, so much for a peaceful scientific

A few minutes later Tom Bishop came back with the others carrying a crudely made stretcher made from a sleeping bag tied to…was that metal from the Dark Tower?

“OK, give me a hand here.” Gently the lifted Masterchief up a little. Mr Ireland tried not to gag as the cracked, and burned skin wept blood as it moved. They slid the stretcher underneath and lifted him up.

“Take him into the Columbus; I need to be with him.” She ordered, eliciting a groan from Mr Ireland.

“If its ok with you, I’ll travel with someone else, I can’t spend my day looking at…at [me] that [/I]!”

“Fine,” She said off-handedly “Go help them fix the Lazarev and see if they’ll have you.”

“Hag on a minute.” Chrissetti said, “Who screamed?” They had all been too distracted by Masterchief’s gruesome injuries; they had totally forgotten who had warned them in the first place. “Oh no…”

There was a figured curled up on the ice several metres away, gently rocking back and forth tightly hugging her knees.

“Alice?!” Trekky exclaimed running over to the distressed form of Muffs.

“Come on.” Space Cowgirl urged, “Help me with Masterchief, let Trekky deal with this. Chrissetti tore his eyes off Muffs and helped the others take Masterchief back to the Columbus.


“Alice? Alice, are you ok?”

Muffs said nothing, she just let the tears roll down her face and freeze to her cheek.

“If only you’d stayed in the car.” He said mournfully as he sat down beside his sister, putting an arm around her. She leaned her head on his chest and continued to cry, that set Trekky off and soon they were both in floods of tears.

“I never wanted this! I knew this was a bad idea. It’s all my fault…”

“No…” Muffs whispered between sobs “N-not your fault.”

“I should have put my foot down more firmly, should have turned this around.” Trekky said “I should have stopped Tom Bishop.”

It seemed like they sat together on the ice for an eternity, huddling together as they shivered against the cold.



“I’m cold.”

Trekky let out a sort laugh “me too, let’s go inside.”

They stumbled to their feet and held hands as they helped each other back to the Rowbotham.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on March 06, 2008, 07:08:24 AM
"And done." Bytes said as he pushed himself out from underneath the lazarev. The damage wasn't too serious and had been relatively easy for someone with his engineering prowess to piece it back together, especially with the Aladin's Cave of spare parts in the caravan trailers. He was happy that he was finally doing some good, in the fight he didn't think he'd actually hit anyone or anything, hopefully anyway, Bytes was a pacifist, a vegetarian and about half a dozen other causes he'd been part of during his university days but sice were forgotten about. He was pretty sure he had both been a member of the Support our Troops group and the Anti-War alliance, He'd joined the  Zetetic Astronomy Society simply because Ruth Thompson had been a member.

"We can set off again now? Dann asked, standing beside him "Because sooner or later they're going to come and find out why the Dark Tower has stopped transmitting."

"Yeah, we can go." Behind them, the other six cars were reforming into their standard travelling formation with the Rowbotham leading the way.

"Come on in then!" Gayer chirped, far too merrily for someone who'd just witnessed a horrific battle. "Welcome to the Lazarev family."

"You won't be so welcome if the wheel falls off." Dann said with a smile.

"Firstly, I want to thank all of you for your contributions to that battle." Tom announced "And we especially remember Roundy, who paid the ultimateprice to help us carry on fighting. When we bring evidence of their lies and deciept those who have fallen along the way will be lauded as heroes and martyrs and of cou-- agh!" There was the sound of scuffling and a series of shrieks that could only have come from Muffs

"Tom Bishop is a lie!" trekky  announced. "He talks of 'heroes' and 'martyrs' but he forgets that they're simply unfortunate victims of his devastating ego-trip.

We've been mugged into following him to the end of the earth, and what have we achieved? The deaths of seven  innocent men and the permanent scarring of another two. Have any of you seen Masterchief? Go on over to see him and then tell me any of this has been worth that!"

"Hang on a minute."
Dogplatter cut in "Would you let all those victims' lives mean nothing? We need absolution on this. Absolution and vengeanceon their behalf. We're already beyond the edges of the map. Have any of you bothered tio look at the GPS readings lately? Apparently we're at co-ordinates  $$5!! , !!%$. I'm no Boy Scout but I know when something's wrong.

"You thin anyone is going to believe us anyway? Even if we bring back video, photographic and ice sample evidence people are going to dismiss us as lunatics, at best an odditty in the media and on the internet for a couple of weeks. I'm dropping Tom off here and driving back to SnoFox. Come with me if you want to live.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on March 12, 2008, 05:21:39 AM
"Finally, someone's speaking sense!" Gulliver said, somehow he managed to convey a sneer in a sigh of relief. " Me, Cheesejoff and Rex are coming with you, I've been against this from the start."

"See how quickly the Round-Earther runs away with his tail between his legs." Narcberry declared "Another victory for Flat Earth!"

Chrissetti and the rest of the Lazarev 'family'  stopped listening as Narcberry and Gulliver srted laying into one another again..

"That's another two cars down." Chrissetti remarked "There won't be any more left soon."

Ahead of them, the door of the Rowbotham opened and Tom Bishop was pushed to the ice, the door slammed shut and the Rowbotham turned tail and drove back the way they had come,  the Dowie was quick to follow.

"Good luck guys. If you do make it, I'll just have to be content with being the one who 'left before they were famous'. Trekky said

"How about 'the one who was too much of a coward to fight for what's right!'" Dogplatter replied.

"Sticks and stones. Sticks and stones..."

With that, both cars blasted their horns once and drove towards the horizon, where the sun was already starting to set again.


"This is just one more case of America forcing Western Imperialism on countries too poor to object!" Ruth shouted from the Stage of the University Guild Hall "Enough is enough!"

There was an excited and angry cheer, such might be heard at a witch burning, ahead of Tobias, one hundred enraged Socialists collectively shook their fists and passionatley agreed with whetever anti-establishment ideal Ruth was preaching today. Personally, Bytes wasn't interested, he was interested in her and building up to ask her to the cinema on Saturday. He had his ammunition ready; there was no Socialist event on that day, she was drop-dead gorgeous in his eyes, and the film was about the life and times of Che Guevara.

The meeting was supposed to last an hour but Ruth was still fighting the good fight 45 minutes after the bar closed. Suddenly the room erupted into thunderous applause as she stepped down and left the comfort of the soap box behind. Tobias  joined in with the rest of the crowd and tried to avoid the conversations breaking out around him

"What do you think Bush should do next?"
"Since when does economy come before humanity?"
"When will people learn we want true democracy?"

How the hell was he supposed to know? The closest he ever came to a newspaper was the cartoon section of the free paper they gave out on the bus to Uni, and you never got much razor-edged political satire in Boris the Barbarian. Now that the bar was closed, people filtered out of the hall rapidly, soon it was only him and a group of Socialists arguing about referendum, or wars or something. Ruth was among them, looking dutifully angry but exhausted as well.

"--It's a good point, and definitely one to bring up at the next meeting, I'll let everyone know closer to the time." She said whilst backing away surruptitiously. The others bade her farewell and she turned back to the stage to collect armfuls of notres and leaflets. Tobias breathed in, closed his eyes and said the little prayer common to nervous hopeful Casanovas throughout history; "Plllleeease don't let me mess this up!"

Tobias walked with a confidence that wasn't entirely honest over to the stage

"Can I give you a hand?" he said, gesturing to the piles of paperwork.

"Please," She replied "It's amazing the amount of paperwork  needed to bring down capitalism, of all the things I imagined Karl Marx doing filling out forms wasn't foremost in my mind."

"I hear Che was a notorious timesheet-stamper!" Bytes joked, pulling the only Socialist name he knew out of his head. To his surprise, Ruth actually laughed. She took the papers he had picked up and shifted her balance,

"Thanks erm... Sorry, I can't believe I forgot to ask your name!"

"Tobias. He said with a smile he hoped she'd take as charming, not creepy.

"Thanks, hey you seem like a nice enough guy, let me repay you by getting a coffee tomorrow." She said with a smile she hoped he'd take as flirty, not creepy.

"Sure." He said, trying to stay cool, "When and where?"

"Say 12, at the Clock Cafè?"

"Sounds good." Tobias said, struggling the urge to yell out ya-hoo at the top of his voice

"here, let me give you my number." She put the paperwork down on the stage and pulled a battered envelope from the top of the pile and wrote down a cell phone number on it.

"See you tomorrow,."

He noticed when she'd walked away that the envelope was filled with a letter that poked out of a slit at the top. Feeling guilty he took it out and read it. He stopped. He read it again.

"Thomas Bishop...Ice Wall..." He murmured while reading aloud "And is Bytes some sort of code-name?"

Inside the envelope was a plane ticket to the Falkland Islands.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on March 16, 2008, 03:36:45 PM
Tom Bishop was seething as he pulled himself to his feet. It wasn't the indignity of being thrown out of his own car, it wasn't even the anger he felt at watching two of his cars disappearing into the distance. It was the betrayal. Dogplatter walked over to him through the gloom and put an arm around his shoulder. To everyone watching it looked as though he was simply trying to comfort his mentor. The truth was, he was trying to hide their conversation.

"It was on the Rowbotham, wasn't it?" Dogplatter whispered.

"One of them was. This changes nothing." Thomas told him.

"But what if Andrew and the rest are stopped on the way back? What if they get their hands on it?"

"What of it? By then it will be too late."

They walked together in silence to the waiting body of Car Three, the Ross.

"Do any of the others know?" Tom asked him.

"Of course not!" Dogplatter replied, shocked as though Tom had slapped him, "You told me not to say anything!"

"Good. Please help me keep it that way, old friend."

they stepped into the Ross with a new fierce determination. Tom told the other cars in the convoy that they were setting off, wishing the deserters luck but stressing that he thought they were wrong. Soon the significantly smaller band of explorers were rolling along the ice again, running from the sun, running from their persecutors, running towards their goal, the end of the world.

Though the seriousness of their venture wasn't reflected in the Lazarev where the argument was how rubbish the rations SnowFox had provided them with were. Three of them; Chrissetti, Gayer and Bytes were sat around self-heated pasta dishes while Dann had his on the dashboard of the car.

"This actually tastes like an ex-boyfriend." Gayer announced as she tore the rubbery spaghetti in half. An awkward silence followed.

"Which part?!" Bytes asked incredulously looking at the dribbling pasta.

"umm..." She rolled it around in her mouth "Right earlobe."

"right earlobe?" Chrissetti laughed.

"Yeah, the left tasted like vanilla."

There are some sentences that stop the workings of the brain like a figurative spanner in the works. Natasha Valentine was a spanner production, packaging and distribution-to-delicate-works operation. They ate the rest of the spaghetti in silence while the various cogs of the brain tried to recover

"I hope the rowbotham Institute is gonna pay for protection of us when we get back." Bytes said eventually.

"What do you mean?" Chris asked, gulping down the last of the awful pasta.

"Well, we're terrorists aren't we? I mean, if those guys back at the Dark Tower were government henchmen then we just went and blew up government property and killed government soldiers."

"Never thought about it that way." Dann muttered from the driving seat.

"And you've all seen the news, what they do to suspected terrorists. Dragging them out of bed at dawn, shipping them off to Guantanamo..." Bytes said "now think what they'll do to guys who just shot a bunch of bazooka rockets at them."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on March 20, 2008, 07:02:53 AM
"They'll have to catch us first!" Gayer laughed, The others, bar Bytes smiled.

"But we're in real danger!" He protested.

"Yeah, I kinda noticed that when they sent armed gunmen on snowmobiles after us, or maybe when the Weddel was sabotaged, then again, it might be when we faced a small army at the Dar Tower." Chrissetti said

"That doesn't worry you? That there are trained killers trying to stop us?"

"Of course it does! It terrifies me!" Chrissetti said, "But falling into a pit of despair is helping no-one. Five or so days ago, I'd never held anything more potent than an air-rifle, and now I'm wielding AK-47s at the military. You know why?"

"No bu--"

"Because if I don't then we'll die. It's as simple as that."

Bytes looked as though he was about to retort, then thought better of it and closed his mouth.

"Wuss..." Gayer muttered and Chrissetti rolled his eyes and smiled. 

Hour after hour the five remaining cars rumbled through the darkness. The stars themselves wer blotted by a cloud of airbournse snow and ice from the intense winds that ripped across the now almost totally flat landscape, drifts and lumps were battered into submissive flatness by the raging winds and scouring crystals of ice.

It was clear why those responsible for making the Antarctic appear as a continent not a wall of ice had chosen where they had as their stoppage point, cartographers are always embarrassed by large blank spaces of nothingness and a map of the area they were driving through could be produced without so much as a contour line.

They agreed to drive through the night, or at least during the time when their body clocks said it should be night, the difference was utterly non-existant in the almost universal total blackness, sleeping in shifts, in some cars the driver stayed up alone but in some, like the Lazarev, two remained awake while the other two slept.

In this fashion the Convoy covered hundreds of miles without an incident, a week with neither a death nor a serious injury. Miraculously, Masterchief was in a stable condition and conscious when Space Cowgirl wasn't pumping morphine into him to dull the pain.

They'd had to stop twice, once to fill up the collossal fuel tanks from the storage pod caravan they all pulled, and once to re-stock the Columbus' medical supplies by raiding the other four's.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on March 22, 2008, 06:44:06 AM
"Guys?" Space Cowgirl had said "We need to stop quickly, I'm almost out of supplies here, and I don't want Masterchief to start getting worse again."

One by one, the cars skidded to a halt, finally coming to rest in a crooked wavy line. The doors opened and everyone stepped out onto the ice, shivering at the brutal conditions of the Ice Wall. The second Chrissetti's boots hit the ice the frigid air seemed to pass straight through the thick Arctic coat to ravage his skin. His breath froze as it touched the fabric of the coat, leaving frost and icicles coating the zip. He went to walk, only to find that hairs on his leg and arms were sticking to the now completely frozen fabric.

Everyone seemed to be having similar problems, with most returning inside, but someone was walking calmly towards the Lazarev as if the temperature was barely below zero. He wasn't wearing the usual coat, instead he was wearing a bright orange one-piece suit twice as bulky as the normal coat, the hood went well over the head and covered a bug-eyed mask with a short tube leading down from the mouth.

"The genius of the common human intellect never ceases to amaze me." The figure said.

"M-m-midn-night?" Chris shivered.

"And still amazes me." he sighed "I take it you never saw the extreme survival gear in the box back at SnowFox?"

"I-I-I f-forg--"

"Forgot. I gathered, just get inside and get changed." He said, before walking off to the other travelers. Chrissetti turned and walked stiffly back into the Lazarev, where Dann, and Gayer were getting changed, Bytes was helping them out of the frozen coats, pressing a heat brick on the zips. With a series of grunts, the perfectly stiff coats were removed and they struggled into the extreme Arctic gear, all except bytes who had left his gear in the Columbus.

"Welcome to Earth, we hope you enjoy your stay!" Bytes joked, looking at the three bug-eyed explorers, who turned and left for the ice again. This time the wind hit but instead of the bone-freezing cold, Chrissetti felt the coat go cool, then slightly chilly, in comparison to how it had been the new suit was a furnace.

The parked cars resembled an alien landing site, almost everyone was outside and dressed as invaders from another world, all identical, nobody noticed the extra identical suit traipsing across the frozen wasteland.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on March 30, 2008, 08:10:48 AM
Saddam breathed heavily through the enclosing mask of the extreme survival suit, he knew he ought to be calm, after all he looked identical to the others milling around themakeshift car-park, so far nobody had even looked at him strangely, but he had been at the Dark Tower, he knew what Thomas Bishop's men would do to him if he was discovered.

He tried to look inconspicuous as he made his way to the side of one of the large IceCruisers and pulled out the omnitool.

How ironic, using your own specialised tools against you Saddam thought to himself as he set to work on the task at hand. The work was difficult through the thick gloves, but  he managed to remove one of the bullet-hole ridden panels and rewire the delicate innards of the machine. He took just a couple of minutes before he resealed the panel, safe in the knowledge that his work was done, at least for the moment.

He resisted the urge to run for his hiding place, to be hidden amongst the spare parts and emergency rations. Instead he kept his head level and walked with  confidence back to the caravan sled. Part of him hated what he was doing, still convinced that Tom's group were innocent, but another part  reminded him of their callous destruction of tower B-586 and what would happen to Sahah if he didn't.

Suddenly he heard voices from the other side of the IceCruiser, he had to drop to the ground and roll beneath the car where he waited for them to pass and board the car.

They're heading out again!? Saddam thought in a panic, he'd assumed they had stopped to refuel again.. He knew he would have to compromise stealth for speed as he rolled out from under the car and hoped that the gloom and darkness of the ice wall night would protect his secrecy as he bolted for his hiding place. Legs and arms pumped as the first IceCruiser  rolled forward with a roar of it's mighty engine. Ahead, his car had started to move and Saddam tried desperately to ignore the pain in his legs as he sprinted for the car, no less than twenty metres away, now rapidly gaining speed. He launched himself at the moving caravans and landed heavily on the side, the impact winding him, neverthe less he had made it and he ignored the throbbing pain in his side as he dragged himself inside the cramped compartment.

Now safely concealed he pulled out a radio transmitter from a leather pouch.

"Saddam to base, do you copy?"

"we read you, Saddam. Is all going according to plan."  Diego's voice derawled.

"Task completed, nobody saw me, now I want to talk to Sahah."

"You'll see her when they arrive at base. And they will arrive here."

"What makes you so sure?"

""They won't be able to ignore it. And it will be far too tempting a target for dear Doctor Bishop."

Saddam  stroked his chin, surprised at the thickness his beard had grown to in just a few days without shaving.

"Why?" He asked "We could have had Thomas Bishop killed at any time,, destroyed SnowFox with no problems, why let him get this far, and with civilians too?"

"You'll find out soon enough.".

"When? When everyone's dead?" Saddam asked, starting to grow angry at Diego's vague smugness. "They have a thirteen-year-old girl with them an--"

"No they don't."


"Several members of their group splintered from the main party and set back to SnowFox. They were intercepted by patrols three days ago."

"Oh God..." Suddenly he couldn't get the smiling face of Muffs out of his head.

"Relax. We're not monsters. They're fine, better than those who chose to stay anyway." Said Diego. "We'll speak again, Saddam."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on April 10, 2008, 05:32:19 AM
With 'Lord Narcberry' on board, life was almost never a dull moment on board the 'Johnson', a fact which galvanised Agent 0042 but irked Token. They were behind the rest of the pack of vehicles and their progress was slowed by their constant insistance on changing drivers every few minutes, not that it was a problem, the red lights on the back of the Lazarev were like beacons across the perpetual darkness of the Ice Wall.

"So the badger says to the rabbit--" Narcberry began illiciting a groan even from Agent 0042, a week of Narcberry's bizzarre and usually politically incorrect jokes were starting to grate.

"Narc, finish that sentence and I promise you that you're walking from this point on, just concentrate on driving."

Narcberry smiled but shut up as they trundled on in silence, the conversation well between the cars had totally dried up, the Johnson hadn't heard anything from anyone in over an hour.

The car was almost perfectly silent as it cruised across the solid sheet of polished snow and ice, every tick, click, clang and clonk had become familiar background noises to the occupants of the Johnson. So much so that they had faded into the background. The Bang stood out like a sore thumb.

"What was that?" Token asked.

"I don't know. We had better stop. Call the rest and tell them we need to stop." Narcberry said. Agent 0042 clicked the radio and spoke into it.

"This is Car Five. Sorry guys but we need to pull over. Hello? Hello? Can anybody read me?" Agent 0042 said "This is car five, can anybody else read me?! Fantastic, the radio's out. Put your foot down, Narc, we need to catch up with the Lazarev."

"Aye aye, Captain!"

The Johnson picked up speed as Narcberry literally put the pedal to the metal, racing towards the Lazarev. Suddenly he found it hard to put enough weight on the accelerator, Narcberry's muscles felt fatigued and weak. In a dozy panic he turned and saw that Agent 0042 and  Token were looking just as groggy.

"W's 'ppening?" He slurred.

"'Ts gash. Gotta be gas." Agent 0042  said though hjalf-closed eyelids.

"Barstarrdss...." Narc fought the gas while he brought the car to a halt. He frantically tried to get the door open and yelped as he touched the handle. It was frozen solid. All the metal was, and the door wouldn't budge to Narcberry's weak muscles. There was a thump as token collapsed to the floor unconscious and Narcberry gave up on the doors, stumbled to the back of the car and pulled out the 9mm pistol. With every fibre of concentration he raised it in the direction of the windscreen and fired just as his vision went blurry. The bullet found it's mark and shattered the glass panel, letting out the dangerous gas.

And letting in the dangerous cold. The wind whipped through the new opening and chilled any moisture in the air and on the car into spidery-silver frost. The skin on Token turned ice-blue and began to freeze.

Narcberry collapsed in a fatigued heap on the pile of environmental suits and clawed them over him like a blanket. Agent 0042 fell next to him feverishly trying to start one of the little heat bricks they'd been given, the combination of gas and parylising cold air turned  the simple job of removing the silver tab into a laborious and intricately difficult task. A combination of luck and persistence yielded results and Agent 0042 and Narcberry huddled beneath the coats making use of every joule of energy from the heat brick while the world around them turned into permafrost.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on April 11, 2008, 05:03:21 AM
They sat huddled under the frozen slab of coats for what seemed to be hours as the effects of the gas slowly wore off. By then the lone heat brick was starting to lose it's vigour and the absolute cold they had hoped to stave off was creeping through the shield of coats.

"We're going to die....aren't we?" Narcberry said through chattering teeth to 0042.

"We could still be rescued... The others weren't that far ahead..." agent 0042 tried to convince more himself than Narcberry.


They lapsed into silence, thinking straight was more difficult now than when the gas first permeated their lungs.

"What about Token?..." Narcberry pleaded, wanting to hear good news.


"I mean, he could just be uncon-- unco-- asleep."

"I said don't."

Silence took over again as the heat brick  became little more than luke-warm.

"What's your name?"  Agent 0042 asked Narcberry

"Seems almost blasphemy to break the 'Narcberry' persona now." He joked "Kevin Nodvin. I used to work as a telephone operator for one of those prank call companies. People get angry and confused if you tell them the oceans are floating..."

"...The oceans are floating?" Agent 0042 asked, sure he had misheard him.

"Yeah, then tell them that proves the Earth is flat and some people will rant forever and a day about how stupid you are. Who'd have thought it was true?" Narcberry laughed, "And you?"

"Martin Roberts. I was a spy for the American Secret Service." He said

"So what are you doing dying in the cold of some god-forsaken lump of ice, instead of sunning yourself on the beach of Monte Carlo hunting for evil geniuses?"

"Ha, I wish being a spy was all about Aston Martins and beautiful women. I got DVT on the last mission sitting in a clapped-out Lada in Russia with two days worth of fast food wrappers around me."

They both winced as the heat brick finally gave out, letting the cold in further. Martin knew that if they stopped talking they could slip unconscious and die.

"We were undercover in St Petersburg on the trail of a possible double agent..."


Julian Frakes looked over his shoulder as he walked into the inconspicuous dilapidated office building. According to his case file, he was suspected of being on Moscow's payroll since the end of the Cold War, though evidence was extremely patchy at best.

Martin had been covertly tailing him for more than a week as he made his way through 'contacts' in snow-covered Saint Petersburg. Nothing had seemed out of the ordinary, until tonight...  The old office building wasn't listed anywhere in his official contacts directory and his body language suggested he was much less at ease going into the building than anywhere else he had visited in the last week. Martin shuffled in his seat as he trained his listening device, the most advanced 'gadget' in his paltry itinery on the dark haired man, wincing as it squealed with feedback.

"Nicolai! My friend, how good to see you again!" Julian announced heartily to a short scruffy Russian man with grey greasy hair and a moleskin coat that looked as though it had never been washed. He shook Julian's hand without returning the beaming smile on the American's face.

"You know I never relish your return to the Motherland comrade, it always means something has gone wrong, your side or ours it makes no difference, I'm the one who gets it in the neck." He wheezed, lighting up a cigarette. Julian's smile flickered but did not drop.

"You are shrewd as you are useful, Nicolai. I fear this may be the last time I ever grace this ghetto with my presence. Vladimir has made it perfectly clear he doesn't trust me and I'm positive my folks are onto me as well."

"How so?"

"Another agent is in the city but my 'boss' refuses to say who it is. I think I'm being followed."

"And you bring him here!?" Nicolai spluttered, reaching inside his scabby coat for a revolver pistol.

"Relax. If he knows what is good for him he'll put down that listening device and get out of the car."


"What did you do?" Narcberry asked, trying to focus on the story, not the overwhelming sense of fatigue he felt.

"Shh!" Martin urged "What was that sound?"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on April 14, 2008, 09:02:51 AM

Martin shushed him and strained his ears to make out the sounds outside the car. Was it rescue, or the saboteur, come to finish the job he'd started? Instinct made him want to call for help, but years of paranoid training held him back. There were a series of bumbs and smashes as someone climbed in through the windscreen.

"Shit." Someone said, voice muffled beneath the enviromental suit and the layer of coats between Martin and the outside world "One of them is dead. Was it Token?"

Martin missed what was said next,

"Yeah, frozen to death by the look of it...huh?... No, no stab-wounds... Where are the others?"

"Here!" Narcberry called, voice cracking "We're here!"

Martin winced under the coats. Had Julian just fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book? The coats were thrown back and the frost ridden air smacked him with an almost physical suckerpunch.

"Quick! Get a couple of heat bricks!" A figure shouted, identity totally obscured behind the facemask of the arctelligent survival suit. He helped them up and forced them into their own survival suits and urged them to hold the heatbrick close to their heart. Before long, both Martin and Julian were safe and warm.

Not that that consoled them, Token had been a good friend;

"And now he's gone, thanks to those bastards! What took you so long?!" Narcberry blurted, barely coherent.

"You were so far behind anyway, that it was hard to tell that your lights weren't moving" Dann admitted "It was only when we couldn't get you on radio that we got suspicious."

Soon the car was teeming with people, everyone  barely one step away from utter panic and chaos. Bytes and TheEgineer were under the hood of the car, trying to work out what went mechanically wrong. Midnight was engrossed in the electronic components, particularly the radio. A highly streesed Space Cowgirl was examining narcberry and 0042 for signs of pneumonia or frostbite while Raist tried to follow what she was saying and acting as her nurse. Altahus had gotten well enough to look after masterchief who still needed 'round the clock care.

Meanwhile, Chrissetti, Gayer, Dann and Raa  chipped away at the ice to dig a shallow grave on Narcberry's insistence.

TheEngineer looked up from somewhere in the rcesses of the engine  and whispered to Bytes, who nodded grimly. They had a brief argument, then TheEngineer walked off to find Tom Bishop.

"Tom, we need a serious talk..."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on April 21, 2008, 06:58:02 AM
Tom broke from his trance and pulled his eyes away from the infinite blackness beyond the lights of the convoy.

"Hmm?" He grunted.

"We have a serious problem. I have investigated the damage to the Johnson and as far as I can make out the damage was planned, controlled and timed. A technical genius sabotaged this car."

Tom's expression was invisible behind the suit's face mask.

"You're sure?"

"Positive. What concerns me more is that the timer on the gas coolant tank was set for less than ten hours, which means that somebody here is a traitor."

"What about somebody outside the convoy? We've seen the conspiracy mobilise against us before."

"Possible, but unlikely. To have been able to do such extensive engineering they needed time, so they had to be right next to us when we stopped to refuel so they would have been within visual range or RADAR range, unless they tampered with the RADARs of every car in the fleet."

TheEngineer said matter of factly, trying to keep his voice down, he no longer trusted anyone but himself.

"All right. Then we need to draw up a suspects list. It couldn't be Space Cowgirl, Masterchief, or Althalus. While I doubt it was either Narcberry or 0042 because they put themselves at great risk, we can't rule it out.

"The next car along was the Lazarev. Dann was with Raist last time we stopped to refuel and Chrissetti and Gayer are practically joined at the hip."

"What about Bytes?" TheEngineer pointed out "He's shown himself to be a skilled engineer, he was very insistant on getting out of Space Cowgirl's car and he found the source of the damage to the heating grid remarkably quickly..."

"...Almost as if he knew where to look..." Tom finished. They both cast a suspicious glance at Bytes who was up to his elbows in engine. "Keep an eye on him. Find an excuse to get him moved to your car.

Inside the caravan trailer, Saddam listened and made plans.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on April 23, 2008, 06:25:01 AM
It was quickly established that the Johnson was utterly out of action. The damage to the engine was reperable, providing they were willing to hang around for several days, but the heating elements had been totally fused and molten to the shell of the car.

Narcberry was destroyed by the death of Token and hadn't spoken since. For everyone else in the rapidly shortening convoy it was a shock to the system to have the normally eccentric and jokey Narcberry reduced to a silent brooding figure. He had gone on board the Ross with Chaltier, Raa, Dogplatter and Tom Bishop without once complaining or making a joke about the cramped conditions.

Agent 0042 was solemn but still active on board the Lazarev after TheEngineer had invited Bytes onto the Equinox. In ordinary circumstances his prescence would have brought morale to rock-bottom, but by then it was too late, the radio contact between the cars had ceased apart from Tom's insistance on hourly registers and conversation had nose-dived, even between Gayer and Chrissetti.

For another two days they rolled across the ice in relative silence, Chrissetti was behind the wheel of the Lazarev whilst the others slept, a rota that they had all consented to. He first noticed a change in the terrain when the horizon reappeared. Ever since the Dark Tower, the absolute darkness combined with the fog of airborne snow had reduced visibility to just a hundred metres at best, ground and sky merging as one.

Outside the window, the scenery change was so gradual he hadn't noticed it happening until he realised that the infinite plane of ice was no longer black, but a deep navy blue, and the sky was a slightly lighter shade, a sky that met the ground at a clear and visible horizon. He watched as the minutes turned to hours and the ground became lighter and lighter, and the sky even more so; still darker than any night in the city but compared to the void it had been before, it was as if a lighthouse was glistening on some distant shore.

With all the suddenness and brilliance of a nova, or the ferocity of a nuclear explosion, the sun burst over the contested border of sky and ground flooding deep crinsom light into both the sky and across the endless plane of ice.

"Gayer! Dann! Agent! Wake up." He saidunable to take his eyes off the sun's hypnotic beauty "I think we just proved tom wrong!"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on April 28, 2008, 02:39:02 AM
"W'tr f'ck ya t'kin' 'bout?" Gayer grunted through a yawn that threatened to topple her skull off. Agent and Dann were groggily waking up too. As one exhausted and half asleep unit, they stumbled to the front of the car.

"Look! The Sun!" Chris exclaimed

"So?" Gayer yawned again. "Waitaminute..."

"How can the world be flat if we've found the sun again?" Dann said, slipping into the co-driver's seat.

Soon the radio waves were buzzing with excitement at seeing the ruby orb still half-hidden by the horizon. It was the same nameless buzz they'd had when they left SnowFox for the first time.

Just with fewer members.

"And once again we're left with an overwhelming sense of pity for poor deluded Thomas Bishop." Midnight sighed smugly.

"Save your pity, Midnight. I have a very good idea what this is, though we'll need to get much closer to find out." Tom announced.

"Stop it, Tom. You've been proven wrong, admit it. That horizon is a good two day's drive away I'll wager. Our instruments are obviously broken and we probably strayed into secret military territory. We should start transmitting loud and clear to anyone who can hear us to ask for directions back to a weather or research station, where we'll all take the next boat or plane back to the Falklands and start phoning our very best lawers to sue you and the Rowbotham institute for every damn penny you own." Midnight sneered.

"We'll see. The whole world will see." Tom replied vaguely
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on April 30, 2008, 05:45:12 AM
 The landscape gradually but surely changed as the  cars made their way to the ruby beacon in the far distance. The ground  subtly poked it's way through the shell of ice as sharp, jagged rocks, one side still brown from it's rocky surface where the snow hadn't piled against it. With new barriers to break up the currents of the wind, the snow had falen irregularily and visible humps, dunes and channels snaked their way across the ice, breaking up the tedium of driving as the rocks broke up the wind.

For the first time in days the radios were chattering again, what would they find when they reached the sunshine? What had the soldiers I the Dark Tower been defending? How would they rub Tom Bishop's face in his wrongness?

If there was one thing that threw any kind of doubt on their spherical Earth certainty, it was the sun. Instead of getting brighter as they approached it, the orb remained a blood-red crimson.

"Have you noticed that it hasn't been night since we first saw it?" Dann noted.

"Almost as if it's 'stuck' in permanent sundown." 0042 agree, largely to distract himself from Gayer and Chrissetti's publ;ic displays of affection. "Hey, you two! Get a room!"

"We're in one!" Gayer giggled "Go get your own room!"

Suddenly the Lazarev lurched steeply to the right and ground to a halt, frontleft side pointing down into the-

"Water!?" Dann shouted as the front left wheel slid beneath the ice. "Get to the back of the car!" The ice around the Lazarev gave a tortured groan as hairline cracks raced away from the puncture, splitting and rejoining and growing.

"Help!" 0042 yelled into the radio "We need help!"

With a loud snap and a scream from everyone on board another shard of ice split, dropping the Lazarev further into the water, the front left wheel was now totally submerged. Dann slammed the car into reverse and piled on the gas in an effort to drag it back.

"What the hell's going on!?" someone yelled over the radio.

"We're sinking! The ice snapped, we need a tow!"

"Dann!" Chrissetti yelled from he rear wall "Get back here!"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 04, 2008, 06:22:36 AM
“No.” Dann said, I can pull us out of this!”

He roared at the car as the front wheels edged further into the water and the back started to lift off the ice. Outside, the Equinox, the Conspiracy car was having it’s caravan’s uncoupled. The it was bearing down on them, fast enough to spray loose snow up in great waves from the sides.

“Slow down, idiots!” Agent 0042 yelled into the radio.

”We can’t waste time and you want us to go slower?” Someone called, it sounded like TheEngineer.

“Yes! The ice here is pretty thin, resting on water! The pressure from the cars will create waves in front of the car and the faster you go, the bigger the wave, that’s what shattered the ice in the first place!” Agent said at tongue-twisting speed. As if on cue, the Equinox gave a lurch as it bounced into a new crack in the ice. TheEngineer quickly brought his speed under control and slowed down.

Gayer strangled a scream as they all felt the whole car start to slide forward, accompanied by painful metal-on ice screeches as the underside tore at the lip of the ice.

Then it stopped, the Lazarev shuddered, stopped and started to pull out of the water and back onto the more sturdy ice. Everyone inside sagged with relief and smiled. The pool ahead of them looked so small, so insignificant, but it was getting bigger. Very quickly.

“Quick!” Agent shouted “Get the Equinox uncoupled, we need to move.”

“What about the waves?”

“I think it’s a bit too late for that now!” Dann replied as he gunned the throttle into reverse away from the advancing fractures. With an impressive flick of the steering wheel, the Lazarev spun 180 degrees, throwing it’s caravans out behind it, coming close to smashing into the Equinox which was quickly retreating to its caravans.

“Go Dann Go!” gayer squawked, gripping on to the back of one of the chairs. The huge IceCruiser  slalomed and skittered across the ice as it shattered and broke off around them, sending up huge geysers of freezing water into the air. The Lazarev shuddered and bounced over massive fractures and splits while they tried desperately to turn back towards the rest of the convoy who were in almost as much as a hurry to escape the frozen lake as they were.

Their under-ice wave was clearly visible now, buckling and cracking the ice ahead of them while the indefatigable schisms of ice continued to spread and multiply behind them.

“Find the edge!” Dann ordered, “Use the Radar and find the lake edge!”

Chrissetti stared at the green and black image, following the contours underneath them and trying to work out where the safety was, not easy while the car bucked and lurched all over.

“Oh sh*t!” He realised.


“Gayer, get the others to turn to the right,quickly!”

“Why? What’s ahead?!”

“The shore! It’s the edge of Antarctica!” He replied frantically.


“This isn’t a lake! It’s an ocean! A huge Goddamned ocean!”

Gayer told the others the news and noticed the cars jerk suddenly to the right. All around them now the ice was breaking away in colossal plates, slipping and sliding over one another, bucking and rising, spraying water like the spray of a waterfall, sending chunks of ice as big as footballs flying through the air to batter the side of the Lazarev. Even 0042 screamed as a piece half the size of a normal car left a jagged dent that reached into the car beside his head.

“Lazarev! Head towards us! We’ve found solid ground!” Tom ordered.

“Easier said than done!” Dann quipped as the plate the Lazarev was riding threw them off it’s surface for a split second.

“There!” Chris pointed to a mound of white not heaving or cracking “An island!”

“I see it!”

Behind them a plate of ice as big as a football pitch heaved into the air, rising ominously with the sound of  an enraged whale. It hung in the air, suspended by unique counterbalances of ice at it’s base before it thundered towards the water.


The wave of water and ice spread from the plate, taller than a house and with the unrelenting power of an earthquake.

“Hold on!” They all screamed as the wave hit their ice plate, picking them up and pushing them, water tumbling in mad, thunderous torrents and ice slamming into every surface. With a final push it slammed into the land and sent them sliding along the ice accompanied by chunks of ice and a wave of water.


Suddenly the world was unmoving and calm, the stunned silence louder than the hum of the engine.

“That was fun, anyone fancy another go?” Gayer said with an ear-to-ear grin.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 06, 2008, 10:43:36 AM
Chapter V

A lone figure paced the frozen corridors almost entirely at random. He had lived in the fortress for so long that his feet did the thinking for him when he walked around it's vast interior. He stopped and checked his watch and sighed, it was the part of the job he hated most- well, second most after the reams of paperwork he found himself doing more and more of these days. He walked into a stairwell and started to descend at a comfortably slow pace, no sense in rushing forward the inevitable.

At the bottom an armoured guard acknowledged him with a salute and moved aside to let him pass through the frost-encrusted door which opened with a crunch. He sighed as he heard the shrieking noise from the far end of the dark corridor, it seemed to him never to stop. Day or night, morning or afternoon, the kid had lungs like a supertanker.

"All right, Muffs! Shut up!" He roared as he came to stop outside a sealed metal door.

"Let us out! You won't get away with this you--"


The shot echoed up and down the corridor, stunning the thirteen year-old into silence.

For about a second.

""Oh yeah, always the big hard man with the gun. Come in here and fight like a man! Me and Trekky'll take y--" she stopped, seemed to reconsider then said "Well I'll take you on if he won't!"

Diego slid open the view slide on the door and looked at a calm Trekky sat back against the wall;

"Can't you shut her up?" He said, well, almost pleaded.

"Tell me about it, you don't have to live with her!"

"You know, I don't have to feed you at all." He said, picking up the tinfoil covered tray beside the door "I could just eat it myself right here." he pulled the tinfoil off, wrinkled his nose then said "or just dump it on the floor."

"Only you won't." Trekky said with superhuman calm.

"Oh, and why not?" Diego sneered, he was good at sneering.

"Because the only time she's quiet is when she's eating." Trekky shrugged, referring to Muffs' now constant stream of abuse.

Diego smiled in agreement and grudgingly passed the tray through the gap.

"So." He said as Muffs eagerly tucked into the grey slop under the tinfoil "We'll try again. Where were you and the others going when you left the main group? to get reinforcements? Reveal our secrets to the media? Or to stop anyone chasing the rest? a roadblock of sorts?"

"We've told you, all we wanted was to get out alive!"

"After storming Lookout Tower B-586?" He replied "Seems pretty counter-intuitive to me."

In his peripheral vision he saw the soldiers walking down the corridor.

"Please. We've told you the truth!" Trekky became more desperate, losing his cool and his voice wavered.

"We'll see how that truth changes without your sister in the picture." Diego said harshly, motioning to the two soldiers who slammed open the door.

"What? No!" Trekky screamed as one of the soldiers gripped him and held him. The other pulled Muffs to her feet and held her by the throat in one arm and held a gun to her head with the other.

"Get off me! Let me go! Andrew! Help!" She squealed, kicking and screaming at the guard who visibly struggled to hold her and winced as she bit down hard enough on his wrist to draw blood.

"You know what to do with her." Diego snarled "Finally we'll have some silence in here!"

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 13, 2008, 02:41:51 PM
The sea groaned and heaved like a wounded beast as they slabs of ice re-froze together again, water gushing up between the slabs like grout, binding the slabs together.

The convoy had stopped on what had turned out to be an incredibly small islet, their battered bodies gleaming in the crimson sunlight. Work was underway on the Lazarev,it's suspension had been damaged in the violent escape from the sea and ice had locked up the front wheel. Chrissetti was underneath the front wheelarch chipping away at the solid block of frozen water  whilst Bytes and TheEngineer were making repairs to the suspension. Gayer was being her usual incredibly helpful self and sitting on the bonnet, staring out into the far distance across the seemingly endless plane of creaking ice. Had anyone been paying attention they would have noticed her slip off her sunglasses, lean forward slightly and squint.

Suddenly she pushed herself off the truck and ran inside, leaning in far enough to grab a pair of binoculars. She adjusted the setting, hopped back on top of the car, swearing as her foot almost slipped and brought the binoculars up to her eyes.

"Hey, Chris?" She called, not taking her eyes off the horizon.

"What?" He snapped while his right hand came down again onto the ice, the small axe in his hand sending up a flurry of crystalline sparks, the frozen block didn't seem to be any smaller than when he'd started more than half an hour ago.

"Come look at this!"

Pretty busy right now, can it wait?" Chris responded irritably. Gayer rolled her eyes and picked off a lump of solid seawater off the windscreen and threw it at Chrissetti's head "Ow! All right!"

He picked himself up while nursing the throbbing pain in his head. That girl could throw hard. He took the binoculars off her and aimed at the horizon, striving to see what she had deemed worth giving him a concussion for.

"What the?..." He muttered, turning the little dial on the side to try and focus. "It looks like..."

" a city!" Natasha finished. Indeed, on the horizon, about fifty miles away give or take were a series of irregularly placed geometric shapes like spires reaching off the endless vista of red ice. The Sun seemed to hang in the sky above the fabulous structures. Some of them seemed to lean or bend and although it was too far away to see details it was apparent that they were damaged and partially collapsed.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 15, 2008, 05:30:26 AM
Tom halted in mid conversation with Dogplatter and Raa, the three were wearing deep frowns and had their arms crossed; whatever was being discussed was evidently serious. He heard Chris and made his apologies to the others before walking over to where Chrissetti, Gayer and now several others had gathered.

"What is it?" Tom said.

"Have a look, just under the sun." Chrissetti passed the binoculars to Tom who climbed unsteadily onto the bonnet of the Lazarev. He stared at the collection of odd shapes for a moment, his lips moving as if mentally calculating something then he passed the binoculars back.

"Well. It seems that we've succeeded after all!" he announced to confused silence. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have succeeded in our secondary objective, we have found the mysterious birthplace of the 'shadow object', Cybele!"

He announced this in such a way as to draw raucous cheers from all present, complete with arms raised to the air. A shame that puzzlement and silence was all that rewarded him, in a cartoon this would be the point where the famous tumbleweed rolled past.

"Come on." He grumbled "Get the Lazarev rolling again and we'll get moving."

Dejected and disapointed, Tom climbed down from the Lazarev and walked back towards Raa and Dogplatter.

"...What?" Said a voice from behind him. He turned to see Midnight giving him a look of total incomprehension "I'm sorry, what did you really expect from such a vague explaination of our current predicament? A standing ovation? Flowers draped across the shoulders? Perhaps a fresh bottle of champagne srayed over you by bikini'd showgirls? Well I'm sorry but while we might be able to stomach the sight of Gayer and Space Cowgirl in their predicably fetching poolside attire, they might, just might require a bit more of an excuse to catch hyperthermia than 'ta-daa here's Cybele.'"

"Not that much more." Gayer whispered to Chrissetti "Mind you, my legs would need a shave first..."

"There is a hypothesis within Flat-Earth theory that holds that eclipses and irregular gravitation are caused by a mysterious entity called the 'Shadow Object'. What's more  this 'Shadow object's highly ecentric orbit suggests that it appeared in the heavens many millenia after the sun and moon, but it's mostly flat orbit suggests that it came from a system more or less as high above the Earth as the Sun is. This origin point was named 'Cybele'." He explained, facing down Midnight's objections.

"So what's the city? Aliens from the Shadow Object?"

"I have no idea, and I don't know about you but I'm quite excited about finding out!"



The little box winked it's green LED at Saddam who sighed in the darkness underneath the Ross.

Enjoy your victory, Mr Bishop. He thought without malice but as a simple matter-of-fact It will be your last
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 21, 2008, 01:47:08 PM
Four cars cruised across the refrozen sea at a steady thirty miles per hour, trying to keep their underice wave as small as possible. Nevertheless, occasionally geysers of water would jet from a broken seam in the ice plates or a hairline crack would ind it's jagged path across the surface with a terrible cracking, splitting sound. The 'city' in the distance steadily grew larger and larger on the horizon, appearing as a silhouette against Cybele's bright crimson light. Gayer claimed it as 'Lovesville' being as she had seen it first. Nobody understood the meaning behind the name but it was accepted as fact almost straight away.

"I think I can see windows." She said, eyes glued to the powerful binoculars as they had been for the best part of four hours. "That or my eyes are really going square."  She put the binoculars down and rubbed her eyes vigorously, as a child would rub sleep away.

"Get some rest." Dann said from a recumbant position on the floor. His eyes were closed and his arms were behind his head like a pillow.

"Yeah, in a bit, in a bit." She said, passing the binoculars to Chrissetti "Here, have a look."

"Can't. Driving." he said, staccato fashion as he swerved to avoid another fountain.

"Excuses excuses." She muttered and  shoved the binoculars in Agent's face, who was trying to read a dog-eared Chris Ryan book.

"Have a look!"

"Why? We'll see it clearly enough soon anyway, quit bothering me!" Agent 0042 snapped.

"Am I the only one who cares about Lovesville?" Gayer sighed in exasperation. "Well, me and Tom Bishop perhaps."

"Sorry," Agent 0042 said rubbing the bridge of his nose "It's just that-that place gives me the creeps. Reminds me of Moscow."

"Run by the mafia?" Gayer replied, confused.

"Covered in snow?" Chris piped in.

"Famous for unique architecture?" Dann mumbled from the floor.

"Offers prostitutes for a third of the rate you'd pay in Amsterdam?" Gayer said with enthusiasm, enthusiasm which died in the seconds of awkward silence that followed " I've been told..." She finished lamely.

"No! No, when I was in the Service, Moscow was always this... strange and exotic land, supposedly friendly but with a menacing overtone, Saint Basil's seemed to loom over Red Square as you followed some ex-KGB or mafia bigwig, everyone in the Square seemed to be against you, hiding any sort of weapon under the heavy coats." Agent 0042 said, going over flashback falls without a barrel "Every agent hated the Moscow assignments because on the surface they were safe and easy, but it never, ever worked out that way."

"You're scared of KGB agents?"

"No, I'm scared we're rushing into this without a second thought as usual and it's going to cost us dearly..."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 22, 2008, 04:59:20 AM
As the hours rolled on, the 'city' beneath Cybelle finally became clear enough to see. As usual Gayer was the first to start noticing details, to nobody's surprise. What did come as a surprise was the state of the 'city'. From a distance the various towers and structured had appeared tall and noble. In reality they were qa vision of entropy, decay and destruction. Most of them were glazed in a thick skin of frost and ice, long icicles hung from every overhang. Once in the distant past, the windows had contained panes of glass but now there were only shards and open holes to betry their earlier prescence. From a distance there had seemed to be a wide variety of shapes and design, it became clear however that almost all of the towers had once been near-identical monoliths of grey concrete and steel, now most of the structures had begun to collapse, leaning at precarious angles or had simple crumbled into an irregular pile of debris

"What the hell?" Chrissetti muttered staring into the binoculars as Dann took over the driving seat "They look...ancient."

"But not abandoned..." Agent 0042 announced, looking through his own pair..


"Look at the ground leading to that tall tower, the one with the mast on top. Vehicle tracks."

"fresh vehicle tracks, look at the oil spillage, the snow hasn't covered it up yet."

They were now less than a mile from the outlying ruins of 'Lovesville' and all the cars had come to a complete stop while they reviewed the situation.

"We should go around it." Space Cowgirl said darkly. "It's obviously a trap and we simply don't have the medical resources to take any more injuries, it's hard enough just keeping Masterchief in relatively comfortable conditions."

There was silence for a moment, presumably while Tom gathered his thoughts.

"You're right." He said simply. The shockwaves from this proclaimation washed over everybody like a white-water river "Our mission as far as Cybele was concerned was to discover whether or not it existed. If there weren't tracks in the ice I would be all too eager to investigate further, but I feel this is a mission for another day and...Dogplatter, why are we moving?...what? What do you mean 'it's going by itself?'"

The Ross was indeed moving, it's wheels were kicking up a flurry of ice as it accelerated over the sea.

"Everyone carry on! Something has taken over controls of the car! If we get out of this we'll catch up with you!" Tom yelled in a panic as the Ross rushed headlong towards the ancient forboding buildings.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 25, 2008, 12:18:43 PM
"Hell No." Dann grunted as he threw himself into the driver's seat and floored the accelerator "We've lost far too many already."

The Lazarev skidded on the ice as the traction control struggled to stop the inevitable wheel spin. To the right of them, the faster Equinox went past them and started to gain on the Ross

"I'm going to try and flip over one of the caravans" TheEngineer announced "That should stop them."

"Yeah? And take out half the ocean? There's gallons of fuel back there, you melon!" Gayer said.

"Got any better ideas?"

She stopped and thought. One of her eyes fell upon the bulge of a pistol in Chrissetti's pocket. She made a mental note of the innuendo for later then said:

"Shoot out the back tyres! There are plenty of spares."

"Great." theEngineer said unenthusiastically, "but the only decent marksman is on the Ross. Remember? Narcberry is the munitions expert." 

"I can hit it." Agent 0042 said with a preoccupied air, as if running a complicated equation through in his head. "Hang on, how did Narcberry end up an expert in guns?"

"He was in the army apparently... Anyway, what experience do you have? i can shoot rifles but I'm useless with handguns." TheEngineer said. The Equinox was now almost level with the Ross and they were all going past some outlying buildings of 'Lovesville'.

"American Secret Service." Agent said with confidence.

"Oh well, better than nothing, I suppose. We'll slow the Ross down for you to get a shot off, I don't need to tell you to be careful."

While Agent 0042 checked the pistol, pulled on sunglasses and positioned himself to fire out of the passenger side window, the Equinox closed the gap on the Ross, their ice sprays were now so close together that there was a mini-blizzard raging between them. Gently, TheEngineer veered the Equinox into the side of the Ross, they came together with a crack and a spray of sparks. The Equinox bounced off and struggled to maintain speed while the possessed Ross barely wobbled. Suddenly without warning the huge bulk of the Ross swerved into the path of the Equinox, forcing TheEngineer to slow and turn out of the way, the Ross used the advantage to put distance between it and the Equinox.

Agent 0042 realised that he couldn't wait for TheEngineer to slow the Ross, he'd have to take the shot. The window was rolled down and the freezing Cybelian air hit his exposed skin like a pack of razors, numbing it to the bone in seconds. He gritted his teeth and focused down the length of the barrel and the space just above the pin at the end. The back wheel reappeared in view, partially obscured by the careering caravans behind it. Flash, visible, flash gone.

He closed his grip on the trigger as the Equinox dived back for another disabling ram, this time catching the front-left quarter of the Ross and sending it into a mad slide across the ice, wheels throwing up a blizzard and completely hiding the back tyre from view.

Suddenly, the Ross slowed to regain control and Martin Roberts saw his chance. He felt the tightness of the trigger, squeezed, fired...
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 26, 2008, 09:27:16 AM
The muzzle of the gun flashed with fire as it released it's deadly payload. The shot hit the side of a caravan with a chorus of sparks. Martin cursed and focussed down the gun again. He took a deep breath to stady himself, felt the trigger, and fired.

The Ross lurched violently as the back right tyre tore itself apart, shedding rubber and heating element all over the ice. In seconds the rim was riding the ice digging a deep trench in the ice, but though it slowed and swerved, the car did not stop.

"Dann, bring us 'round to the other side and I'll take out the other tyre."

"You got it." The Lazarev fell back and veered to the left side of the crippled Ross.


Saddam swore loudly as the car threw him into a pile of spare components, he assumed the wheel had been shot.

"Oh no." He grunted with fierce determination. "you're not stopping me that easily."

Adrenaline coursed through his veins as he struggled with the bulky remote-control unit. he hadn't wanted it to come to this, but Diego draw had been very insistent on Bishop getting to Cybele even if the others didn't.


The car lurched again as the other back tyre exploded. now he was losing speed fast, the heavy car pressing down on the thin rims of the wheel was driving itself into the ice. Forty miles per hour, thirty-five, twenty.  Suddenly he felt two separate thuds and the Ross ground to a halt. Saddam roared at the useless RC control and threw it at the wall of spares. He pulled out a pistol and caressed it in the dim light. A Heckler and Koch MK23, he felt it's heavy bulk in his hands and leveled it at the sliding caravan hatch.

Forgive me, Sahah
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on May 31, 2008, 03:58:57 PM
The convoy, or what was left of it surrounded the Ross and had guns pointed at it should it decide to continue it's mad rush into the middle of Cybele. Chaltier, Raa, Dogplatter, Narcberry and Tom were stood around it explaining the situation to everyone else. TheEngineer once again had his head in the innards of the gargantuan engine powering the Ross, occasionally swearing or tossing a piece of machinery onto the ice. bytes and chrissetti were busy jacking the truck up to put the spare wheel on. Dann and Raist had disappeared inside the Lazarev to 'discuss' 'route options'.

"Oi!" Gayer called from the back of the Ross to the occupants of the stricken car "help me with the spare wheels. i might be stronger than you pussies, but I'm not Wonder Woman!"

"I'd dispute that." Chrissetti called.

"Oh leave the soppy stuff out!" She joked "I swear you're more of a woman than I am!"

"Right you are, Superman!" Chris laughed as the ruined tyre he was working on dropped to the ice. Gayer simply stuck two fingers up and walked with the Ross crew to the spare parts caravan.


Saddam heard the crunch-crunch of their boots as they walked back to his hiding plan. he flipped the safety catch off the pistol.


Gayer fumbled with the frosted-over handle on the caravan.


A crack of crimson light shone through under the thin crack between base of the caravan and the bottom of the door. the light was broken towards the middle by the sillouhette of the SnowFox explorer struggling with the iced-over handle.


Gayer slid the metal sliding door up and open.


Saddam pulled the trigger.


Gayer barely had time to scream as the flash of gunfire tore into her side, dropping her down to the ice with a shower of blood the same colour as the star above. her vision started to blur as a figure launched itself from the secrecy of the caravan to unload a deadly lump of lead straight into the dark-haired head of Chaltier. the world would never know the colour of his hair again. Dogplatter reacted by charging shoulder-first into the crazed Saddam, shrieking as a bullet tore it's way through his shoulder.

By then Gayer's vision had blurred to reduce the fighting blobs into an indiscernible mesh of colour and movement. the occasional gunshot added to the cacophony of shouts and screams and pounding of feet as other expeditioners rushed to he source of the gunshots.

For Natasha Valentine the world slipped into total darkness.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on June 01, 2008, 04:09:33 PM
Saddam and Dogplatter fought viciously, slamming whichever part of the body happened to be closest into the nearest area of body on the other. The gun skittered away during the struggle to be picked up by Narcberry.

Saddam appeared to get the upper hand, he slammed Dogplatters head into the ice and dragged TheEngineer to the floor by his feet. he roared a primal, desperate roar of fear and anger, somewhere out of hearing, Narcberry was shouting something at him. He felt a boot slam into his side and he rolled with it to the left, off Dogplatter and TheEngineer. Suddenly hands were pinning him down to the floor and he had to scream;

"All right! I surrender! I give up!" and stopped tensing against his restrainers.

"Get a coat or something we can use to tie the him up!" Someone ordered, was it Tom Bishop? Bastard. Saddam thought bitterly. Seconds later he was yanked to a seated position while a cold fabric was wrapped around his wrists behind his back. Beside him, Dogplatter and TheEngineer pulled themselves to their feet, the first spitting out a glob of blood.

Everyone, including Dann and Raist had arrived to see what the commotion was.

"What the hell happened?" Dann asked, looking at disbelief of the bound Saddam.

"This bastard just shot--"

"--Natasha!" Chrissetti rushed to Gayer's side, eyes full of shock at the sight of the blood around her unconscious form. "Cowgirl! Help!"

Space Cowgirl was already on the scene carrying a dwindling supply of medical equipment, she gently pushed Chrissetti to one side as she examined gayer closer. The bullet had torn through her right side, her coat was torn and covered in blood which was rapidly freezing in the frigid air. Mara gently pulled up her coat to give her direct access to the wound.

"get me an omnitool!" She barked.

"Is she--"

"Do it!" She took a bottle of disinfectant and drizzled it generously over the wound, swabbing it with a piece of cloth. Chrissetti returned with the tapered tube and handed it to Space Cowgirl who fiddled with it's settings and finally decided on what appeared to be a spark lighter setting. With a grimace she took the tool and pressed it to the wound while holding it together with the other hand. With the blood out of the way, it was clear that the wound, while fairly deep hadn't hit anything important, the bullet had merely caught her a glancing blow on it's path to the ice, taking a sizable chunk of flesh with it. Space Cowgirl activated the omnitool and sparks leaped from the end of the tube, searing and burning the flesh underneath.

"What are you doing!?" Chris yelped, mouth agape.

"Cauterizing it. i have to seal the wound to stop the bleeding and prevent infection. if you'd prefer her to die of gangrene just let me know, Christ knows i don't have enough penicillin to deal with it if it does emerge." her words weren't deliberately unkind, she was just stating facts. "She's not badly hurt, her body just went unconscious to deal with the sudden trauma. She'll be ok." 

The group looked around at the unexpected battlefield. Gayer's injury, the dead form of chaltier on the floor, the bloodied and bruised Dogplatter and as one beast moved in on Saddam, surrounding him and pinning on him the unspoken hatred, fear and rage at the enemies who had so relentlessly persecuted the. The beast suddenly had a face.

And it was terrified.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on June 04, 2008, 11:21:25 AM
The circle of angry faces surrounding Saddam got tighter and tighter.

"I vote we execute the bastard now." Narcberry growled, slowly pulling the safety off the recovered pistol.

Suddenly out of the blue, Chrissetti landed a rib-cracking kick into Saddam's side, dropping him to the ice witha grunt of pain. "A shot to the head's to good for him!"

From Saddam's point of view, the second kick from behind came from nowhere, the third was laid by Dann and before long a flurry of blows rained on him as he curled into a fetal position and tried to cover his head. A boot caught him in the mouth and the hot copper taste of blood filled his lips.

"Wait! Stop it!" Tom shouted, a white hot ball of fury "You're not wild animals! We're from apparently civilised countries, America, Britain, Scandinavia, Australia among others, let's act like it!"

Tom reached down and pulled Saddam to a seated position and whispered just one word in his ear. Talk.

He gulped and looked around at the enraged faces still circling him, held back by the one voice of reason and justice. Wincing at the pain he pulled himself to his feet and took a breath.

"My name is Saddam Al-Hashan and I've been put to work against my will by the secretive organisation who tracked and tried to kill you all."

"Who?" That was Dogplatter

"I honestly have no idea. i thought at first they were linked to the US military but it seems that the army has no idea about their existence." he said, "please! You must understand, I had no choice but to what I did! Diego, he's threatened to kill my sister if I do not respond."

"Diego? Diego Draw? How did you and him survive the explosion? We saw the truck explode in a fireball!" TheEngineer said.

"Impressive pyrotechnics, that's all. You were all too busy getting away from the snowmobiles to notice we jumped out about ten seconds before the car went up. Me, Diego and Z were taken away by the snowmobile which was 'shooting' at us. We rode behind you just out of sight for about six hours until the blizzard hit. We camped until it cleared and found the MacKenzie, half buried in the ice."

"so that's what he meant by 'Z'. he was talking about his killer. Sounds like something from some cheap and cheesy action book." Midnight said, to the shock of the others standing around.

"'Killer'?" Raist exclaimed "You said they died in the crash!"

"I lied. Look, you were all panicked enough at the time, i didn't think you could handle the news that another three of us had been murdered. Though i suppose they were really the first ones to die, weren't they?" Midnight said, shifting his attention back to Saddam, who nodded.

"After that, Diego felt sure you would turn back so we were picked up by helicopter, that's when I was taken to see Sahah, my sister. They've had her locked up for weeks and threatened to murder her if I didn't comply! if I didn't kill you first, I'm sorry!" he said, getting more hysterical as he went on. "But you didn't turn back, instead you pressed on. When watch-tower B-586 reported destroying one of the IceCruisers, I was sent to investigate. I arrived to see you massacre the guards on that tower and level the facility itself. You were all so busy putting everything together afterwards I just slipped in and set up camp back here."

"You've been back here that long?" TheEngineer said with disbelief.

"Believe what you want to believe. All I know is that food was in short supply." Saddam continued "Well, when Trekky and the others said to turn back, again I thought you would. Instead you pressed on like lemmings. Every time you stopped afterwards i was ordered to do a little sabotage work. I'm so sorry.

"That's my story, kill me now and they'll have no reason to keep Saha hostage. i did my duty, now Diego will release her. That's all I care about." He leaned his head back and closed his eyes, waiting for the bullet.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on June 09, 2008, 02:27:10 PM
Narcberry's knuckles turned white as he gripped the handle tighter and tighter, never quite squeezing his trigger finger. beads of sweat formed and froze as the others looked on with a cocktail of emotions, from rage and bloodlust to fear and compassion. but the final decision was Narcberry's, he had the gun and nobody else wanted to take up he mantle of executioner. He licked his lips nervously.

"Any last words?" the tone was pleading, as if asking him to recite war and peace or the bible, anything to suspend the grisly task ahead.

"I ask you not to hate..." Saddam said in a quiet voice, blending into the whisper of the wind. "Because hate does not leave space for a man to be fair; it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking."

Narcberry's hand shook and he steadied it with his other. He tightened his grip more and pulled back his trigger finger with extracted care.




Suddenly there was nothing. Even the wind itself seemed to hush itself. For a moment everyone stood stock still. In that very moment the universe held it's breath, the clouds seemed not to move, Cybele's rays seemed oily and slow. the gun dropped from Narcberry's hand, still menacingly smoking from the end of the barrel.

"You should have killed me." Saddam said sadly, his eyes fixed on the three molten craters in the ice just inches in front of him.

"What, and sink to your level?" Narcberry retorted with tear-filled eyes. "That isn't justice. whatever has happened, whatever nightmares I've seen and no matter what atrocities have been committed in front of me I refuse to lose the one thing which makes us human, the one thing which separates us from the rest of the blind and toothless animals who wear the clothes of men."

"So what will we do with him?" Dogplatter asked.

"Take away his toys and tie him back up in his hidey-hole." he said "i may have just saved your life, don't expect me to make it comfortable for you, Saddam"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on June 15, 2008, 11:54:21 AM
Saddam was tied at the wrists and tossed into the back of the equipment caravan. TheEngineer went in first, searching for the Iraqi's gadgets. he found the remote control, the radio and a small palmtop device of indeterminate function.

"Destroy them." He said to the others as he tossed them out onto the ice. Midnight took Saddam's HK Pistol and fired a round into each of the little pieces of technology which gave one final sparking stutter of life before lying silent.

"Right." Tom announced. "Let's get the cars ready to go and get the hell out of here. I don't trust this place."


Diego's enraged fist sent a deskload of paperwork and equipment cascading down to shatter on the frosty floor.

"How dare they!?" He raged, looking around for something else to smash "Z!"

The door burst open and Z stood in the doorway running a strip of cloth down the length of an impossibly sharp knife.

"Saddam's dead." Diego growled "His radio stopped transmitting half an hour ago."

Z said nothing, he just kept running the cloth down the knife. Silently inviting Diego Draw to fill in more blanks.

"They're just outside the Hubward Province. Less than an hour away. It's time to make use of our guests."

Z smiled.


The unmoving crimson orb of Cybele shone down on the abandoned city, casting long shadows from the large broken and shattered towers. Menace seemed to come from behind every structure, every piece of rubble as the ragtag group of SnowFox expeditioners drove around the edge of the great city. Chatter was kept to an absolute minimum as not to attract the attention of the conspiracy troops.

"this place is incredible." Gayer sighed, gazing out of the passenger window at the towers "Who do you think built it?"

"Aliens?" Dann said with a shrug, "Makes as much sense as anything else that's happened these last few weeks."

"I don't think so.." Chris mused "Unless they had very human methods of construction."

"What do you mean?"

Chrissetti pointed at the closest tower.

"Look, relatively modern window frames, like nineteen twenties? thirties? I think these are fairly recent constructions, definitely in the last century or so. That, or E.T. had a penchant for nineteen twenties architecture."

Suddenly there was a crackle on the radio and an unclear voice. Gayer and Chrissetti looked at each other while Agent 0042 fiddled with the radio knobs and dials.

"..g-t....y. It- ...a...t--p! G-- ou- .... f -ere!"

"Please repeat your message. You are breaking up!" Agent said.

"...s car on- Rowb-tham!" Came the static-heavy voice.

"Wait, Trekky? Trekky is that you?" Agent said with a furrowed brow as he kept trying to clear the radio.

"...Who is that?" Trekky said, his voice much clearer "look, it doesn't matter. You have to get out of here now! Diego! He's alive and trying to kill you all!"

"What's going on, Trekky, we thought you headed back to SnowFox? Who else is there?"

"Just me, Muffs and Gulliver in this car. We're on remote control to meet you! You can't let that happen! get out of here!"



Suddenly the radio cut dead.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on June 18, 2008, 01:13:55 PM
Muffs looked on in rare silence as Trekky and Gulliver fought the plastic and metal panels on the dashboard, trying to get to the sensitive controls inside. She had her knees tucked right up against her chin with her arms wrapped around them while she huddled in the back of the car. Occasionally she glanced down at a small, almost invisible lump on her forearm.

I should tell them. She thought, bleary eyes looking at her brother, who screamed in triumph as the surprisingly flimsy-looking panel clattered to the floor. Later. right now he needs to concentrate.

"Come ON!" Trekky roared as he discovered the sheet of metal behind the plastic. Gulliver just grunted and got to work on an exposed screw with his makeshift screwdriver, a piece of metal from the chair which lay in pieces around the car.

The car bumped and clattered as it hit a dune of snow or piece of building debris, throwing Muffs to the floor in a tangled heap. Instead of getting up she simply lay there on the floor gently rubbing the little bump under her skin in a hypnotic rhythm.

Had she been looking through the side window she would have seen the SnowFox convoy accelerating away from The Project's car. The Project; one of the last things she remembered before they injected the sleeping drug into her. She remembered Z gloating about the secret organisation and how they had the whole world wrapped around their finger.

"They don't suspect a thing," He had said "But it's all there, all the evidence, all the documents, all the lives, laid bare to the whole world to see but they're so stupid. It's really quite amazing, tell the world hundreds of little inconsequential lies and the people revolt, tell one big lie and nobody questions it, after that you can tell as many little lies as you want."

"But why?" Muffs had demanded "Why all the lies and deaths? Are you people retarted?"

"Because." he had said with a flash of menace "It all proves that The Project works. Proves that people can pull the strings of the puppeteers. Night night..." After that, the needle went into her arm and she remembered nothing until they woke her up, and that was a whole new nightmare...
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on June 22, 2008, 04:02:40 PM
"Ow!" Trekky yelped as sparks leaped out of the car's electronic innards. Careful and considered electronic disconnection had now turned into 'find a wire, give it a tug' resulting in a lot of sparks, swearing and pain and precious little else. So far it had resulted in the window wipers engaging in a mad frantic dance, the headlights blinking and flashing like a disco and the engine in general emitting a random screech. Still though, the car hurtled towards the SnowFox explorers and was gaining by the second.

"Mu- Alice come and give us a hand!" Trekkyshouted as another handful of wires exploded.

Muffs looked down at the little bump on her arm and at the sparks coming from the severed wires. Would it be safe? Would it just make matters worse? She shook her head and retreated back into her embryonic position.



"We need help!" Trekky yelled.

"I can't!" She shouted, tears in her eyes.

trekky looked as if he was going to rebuke her, then he just shook his head and dived back into the car's innards. Muffs just sat and cursed the little bump on her arm and what it meant.


"We can't just leave them!" Gayer argued into the radio.

"You heard him, the car will be rigged to explode or something!"Someone else replied.

"Then they'll be killed!" Gayer shouted, her fists shaking with rage "Muffs is thirteen! You're happy to see a fucking kid killed because you're too much of a fucking coward to try and save them? pathetic."


"Fine! Fuck you! Dann, you know what to do."

"Aye aye, ma'am." He said as he slowed the Lazarev down to let Trekky's car catch up. "What if Mr Ireland is right though..."

Gayer shot him a murderous glance.

" a purely hypothetical sense of course." Dann added quickly.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on June 29, 2008, 01:12:26 PM
As it drew closer it was obvious that the remote car carrying Trekky, Gulliver and Muffs wasn't an IceCruiser or the cars they had encountered back at the Dark Tower. Whereas they had been geared towards endurance and strength, this was clearly built for speed. A simple body had a swept-back, aerodynamic shape ending in a small spoiler along the back of the car. it was bright blue in contrast to the red of the IceCruisers and looked rushed, as though it had just been churned out without real thought for aesthetics, ice had formed crusts along every surface and edge, proving it was insufficiently insulated. Right now it was also flashing it's indicators, randomly squealing from various cavities inside and pulsing it's headlights.

Inside the chaos was just as acute. Trekky was still disassembling the innards of the car, more difficult now that the main electronics were more or less gone and now the components were all moving mechanical parts. Gulliver had the shell of the radio off and was hurriedly trying to get it working. Muffs was picking at her arm with a sharp piece of metal discarded from her brother's 'engineering'. in the window, the behemoth of the Lazarev was now so close that it's spray was plastering the driver's side window with layers of snow and ice.

"There!" Gulliver declared! "Got it!"

--in! we're going to try and slow the car, hold on in there!" Gayer's voice said over the radio.

"Gayer! for God's sake get back! they're blatantly not just planning on letting us go, any of us, why do you think this car is on remote control?" Trekky barked.

"That's why we're not stopping!" Gayer said "open the right-side door!"


"Give it a good boot! Shouldn't take much!" Gayer told him.

Trekky looked as if he was about to argue, then he sighed, stood up best he could and went over to the door. As Gayer had predicted, the ice had made it stiff and unresponsive, but it opened with one well-placed kick which surprised even Trekky. The door flew out, then slammed back again, knocking the young man down on his ass. Gulliver rolled his eyes and pushed the door open and held it, grunting against the 50mph wind.

"OK, hold it there!" The Lazarev suddenly roared and turned lazily towards the streamlined Project car, it grunted and accelerated, bumping against the bodywork of the weaker car which bucked and rocked. One final roar saw the IceCruiser give a burst of speed shearing the door completely off it's frame with an ear-splitting screech.

The Lazarev opened it's door wide enough for someone to walk in...

or jump in...

"Oh dear God no!" Trekky stammered, realising what the mad British girl had in mind.

"Come on!" She shouted over the billowing of the wind and the two huge engines. she had a hand out of the car and behind her Chrissetti held onto her waist and braced himself on the floor. Behind him Agent 0042 gripped Chrissetti. "Put your faith in the conga line of life!"

"No way! Not a chance in hell!" Trekky gulped as he saw the rolling bucking ice in the half meter between the cars.

"Fine then!" Snapped Gulliver, "Get out of the way." He shunted Trekky aside, took a breath and ran at the gap...

...and stopped on the edge. He took another breath full of painfully sharp ice and steadied himself on the edge of the door and jumped. He felt his heart leap into his throat as the safe secure floor of the car dropped away and for a couple of milliseconds which felt like forever. Then an arm grabbed his  and he fell facefirst into the waiting belly of the Lazarev. He rolled to the side and let the heart hammer against his ribcage.

Back on board the Project's car ,Trekky was building up courage enough to make the jump.

"You can do it, Andy!" Muffs said with a sad little smile. And that was enough, Trekky's legs pumped as he ran at the ice cold wall of air. he leaped and crashed straight into Gayer and Chrissetti sending them crashing painfully to the floor.

"Come on Muffs! If I can do it I know you can!"

Alice looked down at her arm, now red raw from her scratching at it with the metal. Should she do it? Knowing what might happen? Knowing what was waiting within? She looked up at Trekky who waited with arm outstretched. She thought back to how her brother had defended her, fought for her, argued against Tom for her, if there was one person who could save her now, he was on board the Lazarev waiting for her.

She pulled herself to her feet, tugged her sleeve over the cursed lump and ran full pelt at the gap.

Come on, Andrew, I need you to fulfill your promise to Mom and Dad... and to me....
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on July 03, 2008, 03:43:49 PM
Z grunted as he tossed the useless control box to the floor. somehow Trekky had managed to override the remote control unit.

So much for it being practically indestructible. He muttered. If he was totally honest with himself this was exactly what he been hoping for, an excuse to get the job done himself, there was just something deeply impersonal and, well, rude about killing from afar. he also missed the tactile pleasure of feeling the life drain from the body like water from a sodden sponge. He stood up from his desk and strolled to the frost-encrusted door, pushed it open and walked with a spring in his step up the partially frozen corridor. Z looked enviously at the lift which had never worked for the fifteen years he'd lived in the icy tower.

His steps reverberated off the walls as he made his way up steep concrete steps in the empty stairwell. After climbing the first ten floors he rested against the wall for a second before continuing.

You'd think He thought That if she can wire a car for long-range remote control and rig it to explode she could at least fix the damn elevators! i mean, they've only been broken since, what, the 1950's?

Four more flights of huffing and panting and Z stood at a door blackened and buckled by countless explosions. Experience taught him to use his shoulder to barge his way through the door. Inside it was clear to see why the door was in the state it was. Discarded pieces of machinery lay broken abandoned or both around the floor, many of the pieces sporting large holes and collars of metal where it had obviously exploded. In the middle of the room was an impressive hole through the floor underneath, steel reinforcement weaved it's way over the gap, hanging on to scraps of concrete. At the far end of the room a figure was hunched over what Z assumed was a desk made of shrapnel, brilliant blue sparks silhouetted whoever was doing the welding.

"Is it ready?" Z asked and was completely ignored by the figure.

"I SAID..." He began

"I heard what you said hehehehe.." The figure said in a high pitch voice muffled by what was presumably the welder's mask "But if I mess this up then BAM back to the drawing board." She, it was definitely a she, went back to her work for two more joins then she pushed the mask back and swiveled on her chair.

It was a testament to Z's composure that he didn't flinch as he saw The Project's chief scientist.

"You're looking well, Ms Taters..." he said, opposed to the evidence in front of him.

"...Pope Taters..." She said, indicating a blackened scrap metal formation perched on her head vaguely in the shape of a cardinal's hat.

"Pope Taters." he sighed, he was used to her eccentricity, every time he went to see her she was calling herself by some new self-appointed title, usually ordained by a hideous blackened lump of scrap metal.

"..With the flowery dress."

"Pope Taters with the flowery dress." He groaned, he could be here all day, or night, in Cybele the words were meaningless, the little sunlet didn't move.

"And robot arms!" This time Z yelped as two mechanical claws poked their way through holes in the tattered pink dress. They were crude, probably operated with her real hands but the appearance was more than a little disconcerting.

"Look, Pope Taters with the flowery dress and the robotic arms, is it ready?" He snapped, cutting through any more of her 'enhancements'.

"Please, it was a quick repair job i could do in my sleep."

"Good, because I need you to pilot it, last time I got in something you 'repaired' i spent two hours buried in a snowdrift." Z said. Without a word, Ms Taters nodded and scuttled off in the direction of the stairs.

It's a fine line between madness and genius. Z thought I don't think Taters ever knew there was a line!
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 09, 2008, 03:37:39 AM
With Muffs safely on board, the Lazarev accelerated away from the now empty Project car. Left in a flume of snow and ice, the RC car could only roar it's engines impotently at the escaping SnowFox vehicle.

"Looks like you did some real damage to it." Dann commented, just as the sleek car vanished in a giant orange fireball, quickly followed by the whooomph of noise as the shockwave tore up the ice in it's way. Dann stared into the mirror with his mouth agape "But not that much, surely?"

Muffs flinched and curled herself up into a ball near the back of the car, keeping her right arm tucked underneath her left.

"What's up with her?" Agent 0042 whispered, nodding his head towards Muffs

"Things weren't good in Cybele. I think it hit her hard." Trekky said sadly.

"Trekky, Gulliver, what actually happened? last we saw of you, you were heading back for SnowFox

"We found their army, that's what happened..." Gulliver snapped, fidgeting to get comfortable.

"We made our way past the ruin of the Dark Tower and we just saw the first slithers of the Sun on the horizon when Muffs noticed some sort of cloud in the distance." Trekky cut in "We turned off our lights and tried to be unnoticeable but there was no way they were going to miss us."

"You hid from a cloud?" Chris asked, puzzled.

"A cloud of snow and ice, thrown up from their wheels and tracks. They had troop carriers, prison vans, even light tanks.

Naturally we surrendered, what else could we do?"

"We had AK47s..." Gulliver muttered.

"And they had guns with rounds the size of bowling balls."

"So what happened then? We didn't see anyone go past." Gayer said, turning in the seat.

"No idea." Said Trekky "We were dropped in the back of the prison truck with the SnowFox survivors--"

"What!?" Gayer gasped "What do you mean, survivors?!"

"It's gone, Gayer. Everything's gone. We got talking with the commander of the place. She told us that they were attacked, shot up and blown up." Gulliver said.

"Saddam..." Agent 0042 said through gritted teeth. He looked up to see Trekky and Gulliver looking at him in incomprehension. "Saddam betrayed us. He was working for them the whole time. Giving away our position, sabotaging the cars. We have him locked up in one of the caravans. So what happened then?"
"They just kept us locked up in the back of the troop transporter and we didn't see daylight for about a week; they let us out when it was night or when we were in, what did they call it? The Shadowlands, the dark areas that neither our Sun or Cybele light."

"Before we knew it we were thrown into our own cells in that city we passed before they put us in that car to trick you." Trekky said "We have to go back. They have dozens of people locked up in there.

"I for one am sick of running and being on the defensive. I'm sick of fearing every shape on the ice, every glitter in the sky. It's time we brought The Project down."

"With AK47s and a couple of pistols?"


"Even though we know they have guns of their own?"


"And tanks?"



It was two day later that the remaining cars convened in a circle reminiscent of the early days of the expedition. Like those glorious days, the expeditioners sat or stood around Tom Bishop discussing everything, from their lives before SnowFox, Cybele, The Project and the End of the World. Tom's people looked so much more ragged than they had all those weeks ago, with coats ripped and in several cases peppered with bullet-holes, unkempt hair cascaded down shoulders to frame faces decorated with wild beards.

"When is this going to end, Tom?" Althalus asked wearily "We know the Earth is Flat now, you've proven that much, we've got enough evidence to prove it. Why do we continue with this insane death march? There's only about half a caravan of fuel left in each car and if SnowFox is gone then we're close, if not passed, the point of no return--"

"We're close." He announced, cutting across Althalus' complaint. Tom paused, to let this sink in, but instead someone shouted 'prove it!'.

"I know you've almost all given up even looking at them but pay attention to your compasses again. We're close to a very powerful magnetic source. I believe it's the Edge."

There was excited, but skeptical muttering. Most of them were now immune t Tom's outlandish claims.

"I'm so confident that if we don't find it in the next two days, we'll turn back, get back to Sol's light, notify the authorities and rescue the prisoners in Cybele. Rex, Cheesejoff and the rest of the SnowFox team."

This drew a much more favourable reaction people clapped  and shouted their agreement. If anything, the applause grew and grew. it wasn't until people had stopped clapping and the noise was still there that anyone cast their eyes to the skies.

"To arms!" Tom shouted over the whopp-whopp-whopp of the distant helicopter, "Trekky's right, it's time to fight back."

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 12, 2008, 05:47:12 AM
There was a rush to the cars as everyone went to grab a weapon of some description, most rushing to grab the automatic AK-47s or the pistols, while the specialist weapons were taken by those who had used them before. Less than three minutes later everyone had taken up a position they believed in their mind to be great military thinking, in reality it was a mix-match of what people learned from a combination of Hollywood, videogames and paintball which would have made a real Sergeant shake his head in despair.

In the middle distance the helicopter was now visible as a dark sillhouette against the red sky. The shape was wide and squat with the semi-visible disk of the blades whipping away above it. It was also totally stationary.

TheEngineer lay on a mound of snow and ice, his form slowly getting covered by the flakes as he pointed the sniper rifle in the direction of the helicopter.

"Why don't you fire?" Chriss called, holding the machine gun at his shoulder

"Too far out. I only have three shots left and I'm not wasting them." He said, voice muffled by the snow "Lower your weapon a bit, you're not Rambo for God's sake."

Narcberry was patrolling the camp, getting people to better positions and demonstrating how to hold and fire their weapons. Most of the silliness was completely gone from him now. No longer did he call the explorers 'Lord Narcberry's First Armed Division', though he still referred to the IceCruisers as 'War-Wagons'. Proof that a leopard really can't change it's spots.

"Why don't they attack?" Dann grunted, his arms shaking from holding the rocket-launcher at the ready.

"Because that's not what we want." A voice came from all of the SnowFox cars. It was Diego's voice, amplified and distorted byu the many radios. "Make no mistake, with the missiles equipped on this thing--"

There was a hurried argument on the chopper;

"With the Death Torpedoes (Better Taters?) equipped on this helicopter, we could easy turn your whole little camp into a pool of molten metal and ice from here."

"Why should we believe you?" Tom asked confidently, clearly believing that Diego was bluffing. A second later there was a firey roar and a trail of smoke flew out from the helicopter to slam into the floor half a mile away, the fireball looked unnervingly close.

"Put the weapons down and walk away from the cars, perhaps then we can decide how we will resolve this peacefully" Diego sneered.

"Engy baby." Gayer whispered "Fire."

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 14, 2008, 09:20:53 AM

The gunshot rang out across the rosy ice but there was no echo. It was a million-in-one shot. Out of range, unclear vision and blocked by the helicopter's downdraft. To expect it to hit, let alone cause any damage was pure fantasy. Or at least it should have been. Instead the little lump of metal flew through the air towards the helicopter. As it started to lose it's speed it started to level out it's flight, metres away from the machine and was caught in the turbulence created by the downdraft, which caused it to tumble, which caused it to lose it's straight path, which angled it towards the window, which broke on the bullet's impact showering the occupants inside with rectanglular shards of glass. The bullet hit the control panel and the helicopter began to slowly spiral towards the ground.

It was a million-to-one shot.

"Nice shot..." Narcberry said with his jaw agape. "Come on! Let's make sure we won't be followed."

In seconds the convoy was rolling on the way towards the downed helicopter, just half a mile away. Everyone had a gun and was poking it out of the closest window, creating the illusion of four extremely large, extremely angry red hedgehogs, well three red hedgehogs and one irate albino cousin.

The helicopter had landed fairly well given the circumstances, the front of the squat metal shape was buried in the ice and the rotors lay shredded and broken across the floor but otherwise it was in good condition.

"Come on out with your hands up!" Tom ordered. "You're surrounded and outgunned."

The front screen of the helicopter was shattered and what emerged from it was not the familiar sight of Z but a misshapen blackened metal...thing on top of a girl's face. Pope Taters with the flowery dress and the robotic arms crawled out of the wreckage holding up her human hands and one broken mechanical one. She swayed slightly on her feet as she looked around.

"I've lost an arm. has anyone seen it?" She said in a faraway voice.

"Who are you? And where's Z?" Tom asked, seemingly nonplussed by the bizarre scene in front of him.

"Oh he likes to do the silliest things." She said with a giggle, "But my research shows it only hurts for 4.863 seconds on average..."

Most people were now stood around the helicopter, Raist and Agent 0042 stood between the Lazarev and the Equinox, each with an AK47. Suddenly their throats became gushuing fountains of claret with the tip of a long blade at it's source. Muffs screamed as the helpless pair staggered forward before collapsing to the ice where the blood had already begun to freeze.

"..or was it minutes? Either way it won't hurt for long."

"Fan out!" Narcberry ordered, shouting above the sound of panic. "He can't have got far!"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 15, 2008, 11:25:22 AM
Saddam listened with his heart pounding in his chest. from inside his dark prison he heard Muffs' screams, Narcberry's barked orders and Dann's roar of despair and anger. There was only one person in the Project who could cause that much panic and terror without being spotted. And it wasn't the mad scientist.

"Z" He said as the caravan's shutter silently slid open then closed again, a silhouette slipped in and became lost in the gloom.

"Keep your voice down!" Z whispered harshly. As Saddam's eyes re-adapted to the darkness he saw the famous project assassin stooped in the caravan clutching a long knife in each hand. "I silenced two people today, don't force me to make it three."

"How?" Saddam whispered "They aren't completely stupid, surely they noticed a man with two knives sneaking up on them?"

"It's amazing how good a distraction Taters can be." He said and sat down beside him. "You disappoint me, Mr Al-Hashan. Letting yourself be captured like this. We joked back in Cybele how you could have been the new me, if only you'd forget about your sister for a moment."

"Let Sahah go. She doesn't deserve this." Saddam pleaded.

"No. She didn't. Still, it won't be a problem for you." Z said, playing with one of the knives, apparently bored.

"What?! No..." Saddam yelped, forgetting himself.

"In a moment I want you to tell me something Saddam."


"When i ask the next question, I want you to tell me 'no'." Z said, completely calm in the face of Saddam's emotional pain. "Will you deny Allah? The creator and giver of all?"

"Wh- I... No." He said, uncomprehendingly.

"Then I give you The Project's last gift." He held the knife up high, "A martyr's death."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 19, 2008, 03:16:18 PM

Dann's breath came in pained rasps as he ran to Raist's side. He already knew that he was dead, living people's necks weren't supposed to look like that. His once handsome face was now covered in ice-encrusted blood. Dann took his shaking hands and tried to pick the frozen crimson off his face, only to find it as willing to shift as a layer of cement.

"Shit. shit shit shit shit shit shit shit SHIT!" He yelled, tears streaming from his eyes. He hadn't had chance to tell him how he felt, how close he'd felt. How he didn't care anymore what the others thought or said or did.

Now he was gone.

He looked up from Raist's body and stared at the freak from the helicopter with murder in his eyes. She was being restrained by one of the others, though she didn't seem to be in any hurry to escape, she was sat on her haunches bobbing her head and humming something.


He pulled himself to his feet and gripped the sniper rifle like a club. He started walking towards her, slowly at first, then twenty feet away he broke into an enraged sprint, wielding the rifle above his head.

"Wh--" Her watcher started as Dann pushed him to the ground and brought the gun down in a wide arc to smash into Tater's head. She was knocked onto her back, skidding across the ice with the force of the blow.  Dann wanted her to plead, to beg, to ask for forgiveness, to make a pitiful repentance for the atrocity she had helped commit.

Instead her face broke into a wide, if lopsided smile.

"My what a big one you have, sir!" She giggled. Dann roared and slammed the butt of the gun down on her chest, forcing her to curl into a fetal position "But it's how he uses it that counts!"

Shaking with primal bloodlust he turned the gun around and pointed the powerful gun in between her eyes.

"Dann! No!" A quiet voice beside him called. He tried to ignore it but a hand tugged at his shoulder so he spun and planted a clumsy right hook on his agitator.

"Gayer?" He stammered, looking down at the figure sprawled on the ice. "Oh god, I'm so sor--"


He didn't see the fist until he was looking up at it from the floor, clutching his bleeding lip.

"Leave her alone!" Chrissetti ordered, subtly shaking his balled fist. In that instant, the red mist descended in Dann's vision and he rugby-tackled the Brit to the floor, who struck back with a blind kick to Dann's neck.

"Calm down! For god's sake calm down!" Gayer shrieked, pulling them apart. "We need to be together now more than ever! Remember the killer on the loose?"

"I'm just stopping there becoming another one." Chris said calmly, helping Dann to his feet. They looked into one another's eyes, Dann's filled with pain and anger and hurt and Chrissetti's filled with fear for his friend.

"But she killed him!" Dann said with a cracking voice.

"Then don't sink to her level--"

"You fired on The Dark Tower. You held a gun against the helicopter. Why is it OK to shoot someone from a distance but not to do it up close?" Dann said, his voice steadying. "When is it right to kill?"


"We were both prepared to kill her when she was half a mile away. The only difference between us is, I'm still prepared to do it now. With my bare hands if necessary."

"Hehehe" Taters giggled "Just like Z, so many silly ideas."

Muffs' scream cut through the air like a knife.

"I have a feeling we're going to have to test your theory." Chrissetti said grimly as they ran towards the convoy.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 28, 2008, 04:18:58 PM
Dann and Chrissetti turned the corner of the Lazarev to see a terrified Muffs held in place by a man with a long slender blade. Everyone else had gathered around him armed with some sort of firearm.

"Drop your weapons or I redecorate the side of your lovely automobile." He said, knife hand twitching. Muffs whimpered as a drop of blood trickled down her neck. "Do it!"

There was a moments pause at everyone looked at everyone else before Tom dropped his AK47 to the ice, a second later fourteen more weapons clattered to the floor. Z looked around until he was satisfied there weren't any tricks being pulled.

"You!" He ordered Bytes, seemingly at random, get the nearest radio and set it to the following frequency..." He then rattled off a series of letters and numbers which obviously made sense to Bytes who scuttled off into the Lazarev. Within seconds he brought the radio out and began to tune it.

"Z to Diego. Come in Mr Draw." Z said, still holding the knife.

"We read you, Z, what's your situation?" The familiar sneery voice said.

"I have them. All of them. Bring in backup." He proclaimed smugly.

"Well done Z. You've served your purpose well."

"What do you mean?" Z asked, suddenly without his swagger.

"Goodbye old friend."

In the silence that followed, a tiny noise broke echoed across the ice and the lump in Muffs' arm began to flash an ominous glow. She screamed and struggled at Z yelling 'Let me go!', the knife cutting little slashes across her throat. Suddenly, the group broke into mass panic, everyone talking and shouting at once and scrambling for the discarded guns.

"What's going on?""let her go!""What are you doing!?"

"Twinkle twinkle little star,
How we wonder what you are,
Deep Inside the brat so shy,
Like a diamond in the sky,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
Here to make us all go aaarrrgh!" Tater's voice sung happily across the ice. Chrissetti turned to see the insane scientist miming a huge explosion with her hands.

Suddenly Z shouted above the rest of the shouting and screaming, an impressve feat when both tom and TheEngineer were vying for control

"You have no reason to trust me, but I promise you I won't let Diego take me out." With a flick of his wrist and a twist of his arm, Muffs' arm was held before him, the blinking light now almost a constant stream of noxious red light.

"No!" Trekky yelled, but it was too late, with a sickening plunge of the knife, the blade was an inch deep in the fourteen year old's skin drawing a geyser of blood. A tiny egg shaped red blob popped out a moment later and skidded on the floor, trailing a little wire.

"It's a detonator! If I get it away from the rest of the bomb it shou--"

Everyone turned away as the little egg in Z's outstretched arm exploded with a ear-splitting bang, tearing his arm and upper body to bloody gore. The ruined and fountaining body of Z stood for a moment, one remaining eye flicking back and forth before the whole gruesome marionette collapsed into a pile on the ice.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 29, 2008, 12:25:44 PM

Diego was glad he finally had good news to report, Bishop's rag tag army of disciples had gotten too far. Further than anyone had before, even the US Military only got as far as the edge of the shadowlands before patrols had disposed of them, something he was always keen to remind him.

It wasn't my fault! He reasoned in his own head while he waited for his Director to open the door. How were we to know they would be so damn lucky!?

Finally the large oak doors opened on frost encrusted hinges and a voice from inside invited him in.

"Do come in, chap it's positively frigid out there!" An upper crust voice announced, it gave Diego shivers, everyone knew what that voice meant; nevertheless he took a breath and stepped into The Project's most prestigious room. Dark drapes hung from the windows, plush red carpet made a welcome change from the harsh broken concrete of the rest of the ruins of Cybele. Mahogany furniture had collected a multitude of bric-a-brac over the years until it was hard to see where the furniture stopped and the trinkets began. The ever-present frost and decay was held at bay by a real log fire burning in the corner, but a battered space-heater in the opposite corner proved that the fire was nothing more than an expressive luxury.

"Come, sit. We have much to discuss. Over brandy perhaps? My last bottle." The voice said again.

"Of course, sir." Diego said, settling into a tall backed mahogany and worn leather chair.

"Please, how many more times? Call me Oscar." a dark-haired man stepped out from behind the other chair holding two glasses of brandy. He had a face that seemed always to be decorated with a wry smile on his lips and in the little twinkle in his dark eyes. Oscar was a man of intelligence, anyone who had conceived and managed the modern purpose of The project had to be thinking three moves ahead of just about every free-thinker in government, the media or in the public eye.

"Oscar. It's done. SnowFox has been destroyed, the Rowbotham Institute itself is being disassembled piece by piece now that the police have 'discovered' a string of financial crimes, and I've just had word that Thomas Bishop's merry band of men have been blown to kingdom come." said Diego, taking a sip from the elaborate glass in his hand.

"I find it rather staggering just how close Kingdom Come seems to be, with the sheer number of people blown there, you would rather think that a couple of them would have stumbled past Cybele hmm?" Oscar said, taking a sip from his own glass.


"You're an intelligent man, Diego, it's why I made you my second in command, but sometimes your stupidity is cause for concern. Tell me, if dear Doctor Bishop currently lies in a hundred thousand pieces of raw mincemeat then just how is he ordering his disciples around? Disciples I believe you told me had joined him in his chunky fate?" Oscar said with his knowing smile.

"What?! I don't understand! There was enough explosives in that kid to take out a group that size. i don't believe you." Diego raged, clearly this was some sort of trick or test. Oscar shrugged, stood up and walked over to a little electronic box. He turned a dial on it and Tom Bishop's muffled voice spoke out, telling a distraught Dann that there would be some sort of burial for Raist and Saddam but Z could rot on the ice as far as he was concerned.

"No more lackeys, Diego, you know what the stakes are. You have seen the plans and know what Tom intends do do, it can't be allowed to happen." He stood in front of Diego and spoke solemnly "It will be the end of everything we know, not just The Project but the world." 
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 01, 2008, 03:23:14 PM
It should have been raining, everyone should have been dressed in black, there should have been flowers, gravestones, songs and prayers. Instead the bodies of Raist, Agent 0042, and Saddam Al-Hashan, were laid out on the ice like slabs of meat to the world. Next to them were spare jackets with the names of the other deceased burned onto them carefully, courtesy of Byte's omnitool, Token, Bushido, Divito, Roundy and Vauxhall.

It wasn't much but it was the best they could do. Everyone gathered around the line of bodies and representatives of the missing bodies. Narcberry stood up and spoke for Token. Not much, just a recollection of the good humour and the arguments they shared before Saddam's sabotage killed him. Tom spoke for Bushido, Divito and Vauxhall, an even shorter speech about how full of life they'd seemed before they were killed by Z in the battered hulk of the MacKenzie.

Althalus and the now recovered Masterchief stood up to speak for Roundy, both of them baring the scars from the explosion of the Weddell. Both of them talked about how they had become close friends in such a short time that it was more painful to know he was gone than the disfiguring scars on their bodies and faces.

Narcberry stood up again to talk about Agent 0042;

"He was a good man and a damned tough man. He got me through the sabotage on the Johnson with his strength, courage and humour. For him to survive that savage attack and then be killed by another cheap, distraction technique is unforgivable and I swear by everything he stood for to avenge him and to let the world know that he was killed by cowards, protecting a cowardly conspiracy." He started to shake with anger as he glanced across at Taters who was standing alone by the mutilated corpse of Z singing something softly to herself.

Narcberry walked back over to the group with his head bowed. TheEngineer then held his head high and walked in front of the bodies.

"Saddam Al-Hashan was a man of tragedy. We saw him as an enemy because of what he did to us. he killed Token, he would have killed the rest of us, but he didn't do it for selfish reasons. He was a man twisted and distorted by desperation for his sister. We should not blame him for what happened but those responsible for taking a good man and turning him into an ugly caricature of himself, in the end these were the same monsters who came to kill him." He said. "For his sake, and for everyone else captured in Cybele we shall return to free them and Sahah, his sister. I pledge myself to Narcberry's vow."

TheEngineer walked back with murmurs of agreement rumbling through the bereaved group. The seeds of revolution had now been sown.

Finally, Dann stepped forward with tears in his eyes running down to his now quite impressive beard.

"I loved Raist." He said, "It was a love more powerful than simple friendship, it was man-lurve. He was warm and caring in a world of cold and brutal indifference. He was funny in the face of tragedy and now he's gone because of those evil, bastards!. i would give anything, kill anything just to see his bright and lurving eyes again, but nothing will. Nothing will bring back one of the greatest men on the face of the Earth but I join Narcberry and Engy when I declare that The Project will know justice and it will know vengeance."

The seeds of revolution sprouted their first roots.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 06, 2008, 08:49:07 AM
Twenty minutes later the 'graves' were a rapidly disappearing sight in the rear view mirror of the Lazarev, ten minutes after that they were gone, lost in the wilderness of ice, snow and the sombre crimson glow of Cybele. No map would ever have them marked upon it, nobody would come to lay flowers on them and grieve over their loss. Well, nobody except Taters, who insisted on being left behind with 'squidgy Z'. Strangely enough, nobody protested.

"What are the magnetic readings?..." Dann sighed, it was the first thing he'd said since his speech about Raist. He was sat at the back of the car with Muffs whose arm was stitched up courtesy of Space Cowgirl.

"Stronger than before." Chris said. he knew that Dann was just trying to stop himself from breaking down again over his dead lover but the robotic Dann was slightly creepy. "I'm surprised we haven't seen some sort of aurora in these conditions."

"You mean like the Northern lights?" Muffs asked.

"Yeah, that sort of thing."

"Multi-coloured clouds and stuff?"


"Like that?" Muffs said, getting up and pointing out of the passenger side window. sure enough, right on the horizon was a thin band of green, standing out against the red stain of Cybele and the blackness of the night sky. Gayer 'wowed' and picked up the hastily re-fitted radio.

"This is the Lazarev. Is anyone else seeing that?" She said.

"You mean the multi-coloured clouds and stuff that we all saw about ten minutes ago?" Someone replied, was it Midnight?

"Yes, we see it, Gayer." Tom said with more patience than Midnight "Try re-adjusting your radio. We were discussing how far away it was and we concluded about fifty miles to the horizon now. If you've noticed carefully, the actual horizon has been getting lower on the skyline. I have a feeling that we're very close to completing our mission."


Diego grunted against the acceleration as Tater's jet blasted away from the Cybele city towards Thomas Bishop and his explorers. it was too late to stop them before they reached the Edge. Fortunately he had one ace left up his sleeve.

Almost subconsciously he patted the grey box beside him.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 06, 2008, 11:42:28 AM
"That is probably the most impressive thing I've ever seen..."
"Bloody hell. Tom was right."
"Also, dongs."

In front of the convoy was a morphing, fluid, and beautiful wall of light and colour, stretching higher than any office building or skyscraper and seemingly stretching into eternity. Blues, greens, reds, purples yellows, oranges all fought for dominance in a vista of a magnetic blizzard. Occasionally there would be a flash of lightning as all the energy arced across pockets of magnetic variance. Shapes seemed to appear and disappear almost at will, as if dark spirits were fighting for control of the cloud.

The four remaining cars were still heading towards the base of the storm, the horizon which was now significantly closer, ridding all doubt that they had made it, against all the odds, against more than 3,000 years of scientific belief, against 'satellite photos' and 'spaceflight', to the indisputable end of the Earth

"We've done it!" Tom yelled with a grin on his face. "Please tell me someone's recording this!"

"Got it all on camera." Raa said with a smile to parallel Tom's. "Should we get a shot directly over Inferus Ora?"


"Southern Edge in latin, thought it was an appropriate name." Raa shrugged.

"Ok, stop the cars, I don't want to risk the electronics getting any closer to the magnetic field, it's close enough to walk the rest of the way." Tom said, reaching for the radio "All right guys. We've suffered much to get here today, but finally we've done it thanks to your hard work, determination, grit and persistence. This, the glorious sight in front of us is the end of the world. The edge that Columbus was afraid to sail over according to the flawed legend. As far as we can gather, the aurora is caused by whatever energy generates the universal acceleration effects which push us up at ten metres per second per second."

"Great." Midnight said "So we get the film, what then? We still have to get past an army which is prepared for us now and, in case you hadn't noticed, we have significantly fewer soldiers than when we started."

Tom simply smiled, not that those on the other end of the transmission could see it.

"We're going to go right to the edge and set up a sevice called the HTA, the Hyper-Telecommunication Array to send these images all the way back to 'mainland Earth'. There were two of them, but when trekky took the Rowbotham he also took the main HTA. I can only hope that this has enough power, boosted of course by the Dark energy stream at the edge to send the transmission to a pirate television station back in the Falklands.

"Everyone look heroic, we're about to smash a centuries old conspiracy live on international television."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on September 25, 2008, 02:10:14 PM
Chris had half expected some sort of great whooshing noise to be coming from the pulsating cloud ahead, some sort of sonic indication that they were standing on the literal edge of planet Earth. Instead, there was just the gentle sound of the wind being pulled towards the rim. Tom saw him gazing at the edge and walked over to Chris with his typical lopsided smile on his bespectacled face.

"It's incredible isn't it? I know very little about it, the same as everyone else who has studied the possibility of such a phenomenon as long as I have." He put one arm around his shoulders and held up his other to the fabulous vista "But now, thanks to us, the human race can probe it's mysteries."

"Oi!" gayer shouted from behind them "Get your own toyboy, Tom!"

She removed Tom's arm and wrapped her own around Chris.

"Hey!" Chris said, faking hurt feelings.

"Oh shut up, you know you're my bitch." She said with a giggle, Thomas Bishop walked off to go set up the HTA, a bulky crate was being delicately offloaded off the Ross, well, as delicately as possible when it was being manhandled by Muffs, trying to 'help'. With a thump it landed on the ice and Narcberry dug a crowbar into the side and pried the side off.

Inside was a painfully complicated looking device, vaguely cuboid in shape with a spider-web style dish attached to the top connected to a forest of wires and cables looping over one another and darting into various holes in the side of the stainless steel case. The snowFox team plugged in yet more wires and cables into the bulky recording  equipment and a pipe into the Ross' spare fuel supply. With such a complicated setup, Chris imagined a smooth and silky startup process, instead Raa pulled a ridiculously large lever which caused the whole edifice to shake and shudder and produce black smoke from somewhere within. A few clonks and clanks later and Tom gave the thumbs up.


Rob Steve settled down into his armchair with a grunt and a sigh, putting the kids to bed was getting more difficult by the day, little Roundoo was screaming his head off again, Sokarul wouldn't shut up with his stories about the dead kangaroo he had found near his school, no doubt inspired by his irritating friend from school Eric Blowdoe. It didn't help that the family dog, a yapping Jack Russel called Wardogg (His sons had such wild imaginations), kept yapping and jumping on the bed.

Why can't he be like Flatoo, the cat? Rob thought grumpily while prying the television remote out of Roundoo's hand.

But now it was his time, just a can of cheap beer and the television to keep him company, perfect. The news was on and the tanned reporters were talking about some brushfire out in Queensland.

"Fine." he said with a sigh, so long as it isn't further south." He muttered. Suddenly the picture started to fuzz and turn to static "Oh come on! You're two months old, you can't break on me!"

When the picture returned gone were the familiar Australian presenters and the SBS news studio had been replaced with a psychedelic wall of colour in front of a snowy field. A man wearing a orange jacket holding a microphone took up the right half of the screen, he was an older guy, the type who you expected to see presenting awards at university, some pomme with his head up his own butt. he pulled the hood down to reveal slightly messy silver hair and a pair of frost-lined glasses.

"Ladies and gentlemen...we are sorry to interrupt your regular broadcast..."
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 03, 2008, 04:09:50 PM
"The world as you know it is nothing more than elaborate lie, a great experiment in thought control which has worked so perfectly that nobody even questions it any more. Look out of your window now and what do you see? A horizon? A point where the curvature of the earth starts to go 'down' from your point of view? have you ever stopped to consider the other possibility? The possibility that your eyes aren't deceiving you? that the earth really is flat?

I'll get to the hows and whys later, but first I want to reveal to you the full majesty of the truth, the power of fact in the face of a publicly accepted fiction. Ladies and gentlemen i present to you, The Edge of the World!"

Tom threw swept his right arm out as the camera zoomed past him to the very close horizon and the wall of colour. Out of camera shot gayer was whispering in Chrissetti's ear that the red light on top of the HTA  had gone out.

"Amazing isn't it?!" Tom declared enthusiastically "We lost too many people to accomplish this but here we are on the border of the totally unknown, hundreds of miles across the 'Antarctic', pursued by agents of the lie--"

"Tom." Dogplatter said, trying to get the man's attention.

"--Across a collapsing ice floe, braving brutal blizzards and--"

"Tom!" But the doctor wouldn't be silenced, he continued with expressive arm movements telling the few people in front of him a tale of daring-do and heroism. "Tom! Nobody's watching!"

"--scorched with terrible burns and- what?" He said, the gears in his brain audibly crashing as his train of storytelling was derailed.

"Our signal's being jammed by something, nobody can see us." Midnight sighed.

"By what?" Tom shouted, suddenly uncharacteristically angry.

"By me." Everyone turned to see who had spoken, everyone recognised the voice, it was the voice of the supposedly dead, the voice of--

"--Diego!" Chrissetti snarled, reaching for his pistol.

"Oh please, you insignificant pest, this really is for your own good - for everyone's good." He said, holding a little grey box about the size of a shoebox with a bizarre antenna protruding from it. "This is a jammer, or a 'wave-collapsing-and-condensing-box-of-silly-fun' as it was termed by it's creator."

"Taters." Everyone said in unison, who else?

"And it just saved the lives of everyone on Earth, Cybele and half a dozen other 'warm oases' around the ice wall."

"You're lying!" Tom snapped furiously "This is all to perpetrate your filthy lie to the rest of the planet. I will stand for it no more! I will cut the cumberer down!" He pulled his own pistol out and shot, Diego barely had time to move and the bullet grazed his shoulder

"Stop it you idiot! Look!" He pointed to a space somewhere in the colourful miasma.

"I'm not twelve, Diego Draw, i won't be fooled with the old 'look behind you' gag."

"You were fooled by that when you were twelve?" TheEngineer laughed, "Anyway, look Tom, he's telling the truth, something's happening up there!"
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 04, 2008, 11:41:01 AM
Indeed there was, about two hundred meters up, a great volcano-like plume had erupted from the colourful nebula at the edge of the world and it seemed to be growing.

"What's happening?" Space Cowgirl asked, sweeping hair out of her eyes to see it better.

"As far as we can tell the magnetic storm is disturbed by high power radio signals. We discovered it about 30 years ago according to the older members of the Project." he said, talking as though he hadn't tried to have them all killed. "It reacted violently with Cybele and the city you saw was all but destroyed."

"so that's why you were trying to stop us?" Bytes said in incredulation.

"Partly. But mainly because we can't let anyone discover the truth about the Earth. there's too much in it for us." He said "And it's so easy to have people killed in a land which doesn't exist on any map."

"Or so you hoped." Chrissetti added with a grin.

"Ordinarily yes. But I have orders from right from the top of the Project, all we ask is the death of Thomas Bishop, his SnowFox researchers and the destruction of any research relating to the Ice Wall and we'll let the rest of you return home. You weren't to know what you had let yourself in for when you signed up for this."

"And what if we refuse?" Trekky asked.

"You die here, your families are shown a capsized antarctic ship and told that you were on it."

"And you go on fooling the world..." Tom sighed.


There was a silence among the group as the weight of Diego's words fell like lead over them. Nobody looked into anyone else's eyes in fear of what they might see there.The seconds ticked by like hours until finally Trekky stepped forward.

"Would you release the prisoners in Cybele?" He asked.

"I suppose we could stretch the deal for anyone not directly involved in the research."

"Andrew!" Muffs squealed "You can't seriously be considering this!"

He slowly drew a pistol from inside his coat, and drew a gasp from everyone else.

"I don't like this but what choice do we have? If we don't do this then we all die. Tom must have known there was a risk of death involved in this but the rest of us have been needlessly dragged into it."

Slowly he raised the gun to Tom bishop who looked as shocked as anyone else on the team.
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 08, 2008, 03:11:49 PM
"I'm sorry Tom." Trekky said, his voice quivering "I'm doing this for everyone, for Muff--"

"Oh no you don't!" Muffs shouted, tears in her eyes, "Don't make this about me! I'm not the reason you think it's easier to kill Tom!"

"Yes it is!" Trekky hissed, his gun still pointed squarely at Tom's chest "It's always about you! Everything i've done, I've done to keep you safe!"

"Maybe it's time to stop trying to be safe? Do what's right for a change!"

"I am doing what's right..." He whispered as he pulled the trigger.


The gunshot should have echoed dramatically, time should have slowed as the body dropped to the floor, the world should have respected the spray of claret. The world remained flat and uncaring, even as the scream echoed chillingly.

"AAAAAANNNNDDDRRREEEEEWWWWWWWW!" Shrieked Muffs, rushing over to her brother's collapsed form with horror in her eyes. She dropped to his side and cradled his head in her hands as Space Cowgirl rushed over "no no no no no no, come on, big brother! You said you'd look after me, you promised! You can't break your promise now! please! please, please!"

Trekky could do nothing but cough up a mouthful of blood and bile. The gunshot had gone straight into the middle of his back and left an ugly, perfect rose of gore in his front. Space Cowgirl tried to get Muffs to move while she started padding the deep wound with material, the young teen turned to face her brother's murderer, Bytes was standing less than twenty feet away with one of the pistols at his feet, the smoke showed it had recently been fired.

"M-Muffs, I'm sorry, I-I couldn't let him become a murderer, not for you, not for anyone. I'm so sorry, I aimed for his--"




"--up!" Muffs yelled, clutching Trekky's dropped gun with feral rage. The only reason twenty rounds weren't pumped into Bytes' lifeless form was a lack of bullets in the gun. "Oh God... oh god what have I done?!" 
Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 11, 2008, 06:14:57 AM
Muffs dropped the spent gun to the ground, her hands shaking. She looked around to see the SnowFox explorers looking shocked and Diego with a bemused grin on his face.

"I- I'm sorry, I didn't mean to I... "

"Why did we bother trying to kill you?" Diego said snidely "looks like you're doing a good job of it yourselves."

Everyone armed pulled their guns out in startling synchronicity  and trained them on the blonde haired Project Agent.

"Why shouldn't we just kill you?" TheEngineer growled "We survived to get here, we'll take all our evidence and make it back and expose you."

"Because if Oscar doesn't hear from me every hour then he'll kill all fifty-two of the Cybele prisoners and send a full armoured division to kill you. You've been ripped apart by men on snowmobiles and armed with knives, how do you think you'll hold up against an armoured transport?"

The situation seemed hopeless, utterly hopeless, one way or another there would be death. Narcberry seemed to be developing an idea though, a characteristic smile was growing on his face, he adjusted the aim slightly and aimed for the gray box in Diego's hands.


The box exploded in a rain of components and shrapnel, cutting Diego's face and causing his to flinch long enough to reactive the HTA.

"No!" Diego screamed, his eyes bulging in panic, what have you done?!"

Suddenly a flash of lighting exploded into the ground just metres away from their position, the cyclone of gas had become a whirling storm growing and arcing lightning through the nebula and out into the Antarctic air. Diego ran for his jet when a fork of white-red lighting smashed into it, creating a fireball hot enough to melt a huge crater in the ice. From the middle of the hole there was a sudden discharge of energy and the nebulous gasses around the edge of the Earth burst forth from the hole at the bottom, becoming a reddish swirling column hundreds of metres high.

"RUN!" Tom yelled over the crescendo of energies and everyone bolted for the cars.

"WAIT!" Space Cowgirl Shouted "Trekky's not dead!"

Like a truck overturning on a highway, the traffic of escaping expeditioners stopped in their tracks.

"Come on, I'll help you move him." Chrissetti said, rushing over.

"No! he's not dead but he's in no condition to be dragged over an exploding ice field." She said as another plume of crackling gas burst out from another weak spot

"Andrew's...alive...?" Muffs whispered.

"Barely, he's lost a lot of blood and I can't tell if anything important has been hit. The only reason he is alive is because the cold has frozen the wound together, if we go jangling him around the seal could break and start bleeding again, especially once we get him back to one of the cars." Lightning struck the HTA but by now the chain reaction was too far developed.

"So what do we do?" Gayer asked.

"I don't know! Damnit if we move him he might die in minutes but if we leave him here he will definitely die. I'm just an intern, I can't deal with this!" Space Cowgirl said in despair. Another lightning bolt was close enough to make their hairs stand on end. There was a new sound in the background though, a sort of scraping, shuffling sound.

"What about if we made him a stretcher?" Chris asked.

"that would be great but we don't have time!"

"What about this?" they all turned to see Muffs dragging a long, flat piece of metal from the exploded jet. Space Cowgirl lifted her head out of her hands and looked at the young teenager and smiled.

Title: Re: The Book
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on October 22, 2008, 02:35:15 PM
Carefully Space Cowgirl and Gayer carefully moved Trekky onto the makeshift stretcher and Chrissetti helped them rush him onto the nearest truck, it didn't matter which one, in seconds they were spraying ice as Chrissetti stood on the accelerator.

"Wait! Wait! For God's sake wait!" Someone called, gayer looked up to see Diego running after the car.

"Slow down, Chris." Gayer said "Slow, but not slow enough for him to get on."

Diego caught up with them and was out of breath by the time he pulled level.

"Let me in! I'm not going to die out here!" He shouted, all smugness and pride gone from his voice.

"Call off The Project!" She ordered, shouting out of the window "Free passage back for all of us, including the prisoners."

"I can't!" He yelled, desperation in his voice.

"Come on, Chris, pedal to the metal..."

"NO! I mean, I can't get you the prisoners, I can tell them to let you go. Oscar controls the city but I have sway over the army!"

"Ok then, let him on, Chris."

The car slowed and Diego scrambled on just as a bolt of crimson lightning struck just metres from his last position. He collapsed against the door puffing and panting and red in the face. gayer loomed over him with the radio in her hands.

"Make the call. Now." She ordered, Diego looked for a moment like he was about to argue then thought better of it. Grudgingly he adjusted the radio and signalled through to The Project.

"This is D Draw, over, do you copy?"

"We copy, sir, over." A gruff voice replied.

"We're letting Bishop's men go. Stand down all units between here and the site of SnowFox. Over." He sighed.

"Sir!? Our orders have alway been to--"

"I know what your  old fucking orders were, I'm telling you what your new orders are!"

"Yes sir. Oscar won't like this, sir."

"Let me deal with Oscar. Over and out." He said, handing the box back to Gayer. She smiled and reset the box to the inter-car frequency and told them all that 'the pussy gave in, we've got a free run all the way home!'.

Outside the unnatural storm raged on, turning the End of the Earth into a swirling maelstrom.


"Igloos make such nice, cosy houses." A girl said, sitting in a half- burrowed pit of ice and snow, the winds still able to whip past her head. "Like a little sugary gingerbread house." She took a bite out of the wall of the pit "Not fresh gingerbread though...yuk."

Pope Taters with the broken mechanical arms and the torn flowery dress under a rather dull survival coat heard the storm before she saw it, a rumbling roar, deeper than a hurricane and more menacing than one too.

"Ooooh, somebody's being playing naughty!" She said in her sing-song voice "All the kings horses and all the king's men won't be able to put Earthy back together again this time! Oopsie!"

She tried to stand up and see if she could see the oncoming storm but she stumbled and fell, her legs were totally numb. "Nasty rotten legs!" She cursed "I shall have to be Doctor Pope Taters with the mechanical arms and legs and flowery miniskirt when I get back."

Besides the thundering of the edgestorm there was another familiar sound, the sound of tyres on ice, the sound of engines, the sound of the SnowFox trucks.


"What's that?" Dann asked over the intercomm, he was driving Tom Bishop's car. "Oh my god is that..."

"It's Taters." Chris confirmed. Diego looked up from the sulk he was in at the back of the car "Don't worry, we'll pick her up. She can be seen to be a doctor when she gets back then locked up in a nice padded cell."

Chris pulled up along Taters' pit and rolled down the window.

"Come on, get in."


One Month Later

The waters gently lapped against the smooth grey brown pebbles of the beach, creating a brilliant clattering sound with every wave as it tried to drag the rocks back to the ocean. Above them hardy seabirds circled and dived occasionally towards the surface of the sea or at the old jetty bravely stretching out into the unforgiving waves. It was an ancient wooden structure from a bygone age, an age where Antarctica was still the last frontier on Earth. Who would have thought that was still the case?

A small red ship spotted with patches of ice waited at the end of the jetty, on it's bow there was a comforting sight to the men and women walking down the jetty towards it, a fox wrapped around a UN-style map of the earth.

"We're finally here." Chris said to Gayer, who squeezed his hand in reply "Hey, are you ok?"

"Yeah." She said slowly "I just wonder how things are gonna be different now? Knowing what we know? Seeing what we've seen?"

Chris was silent while he considered it. More than two months ago he and a group of complete strangers had set out on a fun joke of an expedition, now a family of friends was heading back to a lie of a world, reinforced by just about everybody. Knowing that the lie had so many people under lock and key in a prison that appeared on no map guarded by people who didn't exist.

"We'll come back." He said firmly and turned around to look at the line of SnowFoxers "Maybe not all of us but I know we'll come back."

"I know..."


Also... dongs...

All characters and portrayed in this book are entirely fictional, any resemblance to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental

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