Beyond the Mountains of Madness : A shock in the lightest night
by, 6th March 2013 at 10:33 PM (125 Views)
The return to camp is another tiring ski, but upon their return, the group are welcomed with open arms -or rather the new supplies are.*
That night, the exhausted explorers are once more troubled with bad dreams.
*James Ford dreams that the black opals in Mandys neckless turns into hundreds of squalling babies (1) ;*Harry dreams that he and Albert are being cannibalised by other members of the expedition and something with lots of eyes and mouths (2) ;*Clive's nightmare is of a large unnatural black rat that chases him and Mrs Chippie around the Gabrielle *(3); *Fitzwilliam dreams of being on board the Wallaroo, seeing his drowned sister in the water ; Dibden dreams of his late wife.
Somewhat shaken, the PCs regroup the next morning. The weather is not great, as strong winds and heavy snow is falling. It is unlikely that they'll be able to fly the planes, so they concentrate on other chores -feeding the sled dogs and checking over the drill equipment.
A bell begins to ring out from the hut that contains the radio. A mayday signal is being recieved.
They rush over to the*radio hut, where the expedition radio operator, Louis Larouche, is monitoring the incoming message.
"Help, the camp is under attack ! "*
It is the Lexington expedition -they barely get this message out before there is the sound of gunshots, and they drop off air.
Starkweather and Larouche stare at each other in shock as an explosion is heard in the distance, and smoke is seen on the horizon in the direction of the Lexington camp.
Fitzwilliam immediately springs into action ." We need to send a rescue mission !"*
Starkweather nods. "A good idea. You start organising the sleds, I'll round up the men."
The two dash out to begin assembling*the mission.
Ford pauses at the door, and turns to Romford.
*"Did they say they are under attack? Out here?...by what?"
"There's no bears in Antarctica...."
Ford and Romford look at each other uneasily.
The rescue party , consisting of three sled teams , is shortly underway, accompanied by men of skis. Once again it is hard work, the glacier being pitted and broken, with thin ice, crevaces and ridges all adding to the exertion of skiing in the extremely cold conditions.
It doesn't help that Dr Green, who is accompanying the expedition, is a poor skier, and he is eventually relagated to a passenger on one of the sleds.
He is less than amused to discover the husky's habit of pooping while they pull the sled.*.
The snow blows into their faces, and the strong wind whistles around them, making conversation difficult, and the low visibility makes it a tedious slog. Rime materialises on their eyebrows and beards as the chill seeps into any exposed surface.*
Romford twists his ankle while skiing over a particularly awkward pierce of morraine hidden beneath the snow, which slows them up slightly, but he is quickly placed onto one of the sleds, and they start off again.
In all, it takes several hours to cover the eight miles between the camps, but at last they see the Lexington camp.
The air over the camp is black with oily smoke of burning fuel, the radio mast has collapsed, and while the tents still stand, *they are covered with a film of ash, and where the generator shack once stood is merely a burnt hulk.
What could possibly have happened here ?*