Beneath The Ice
By Mike C. Kerr
Chapter 1 – The Site
Blue and white filled the view of the helicopter’s windshield. It was a
beautiful day in Antarctica. No wind or snow was in the forecast for today
but the men still felt the cold beneath their heavy jackets. Karl smiled,
it’s just like home, he thought. They were about six miles from their base;
ahead of them was ‘the site.’
‘The site’ was the nickname given to the area of Antarctica that was first
found by a Russian satellite about ten weeks ago. The satellites detected
strange readings and magnetic anomalies. The Russian government was busy
with other matters that were none of the Norwegians business but the
government of Norway was more than happy to send down an expedition team for
Karl scanned the ground ahead and spotted the large crater surrounded by
tarps and machinery. Slowly, he lowered his vehicle next to the other
‘We’re here!’ Karl shouted to the other men in the chopper.
‘It’s about time,’ retorted Arkov as he opened the side door, ‘I’ve seen my
youngest son throw paper airplanes faster than you can pilot.’
Arkov was the representative sent by Russia to oversee the expedition.
Beneath the rude and impatient exterior laid a man of extreme intelligence
and he had the diplomas to prove it. Dr. Valentin Arkov was a nuclear
physicist for the Russian army; he was not a man to be taken lightly.
‘I thought you flew well,’ Mikael said after Arkov was out, ‘I’m just glad
we’re on the ground!’
‘You and me both, Mikael,’ replied Karl, ‘any longer in the air with that
man and I would have gotten air sick!’
The two men laughed as they stepped out of the copter. A tall Norwegian
with a full beard appeared from behind the other copter and approached them.
‘Glad you joined the party,’ Ragnvald nodded at Karl then Mikael, ‘I’ve got
no one to talk to between the loud mouth and the techies, uh, no offence
‘None taken,’ replied Mikael as he walked off to the crater.
Ragnvald was the other pilot for the expedition. He was more experienced
than Karl and the two could usually be seen talking about their piloting.
‘Bah!’ exclaimed Ragnvald, ‘the hell does that guy get off telling you his
kid can throw paper planes better than you can drive?’
‘I know,’ agreed Karl.
‘I’m amazed at the fact that an asshole like him could actually find a
woman to have kids with!’
‘Ha! She was probably desperate.’
‘Or maybe he’s lying about the whole thing!’
The two men laughed at this. A stream of cursing drew their attention away
from insulting Arkov.
‘Sounds like someone disagreed with Anders,’ commented Ragnvald.
Anders was the base manager. He was ex-Norwegian army and a demolitions
expert. His skills as a leader and as a professional bomb-layer made him
perfect for the job. Unfortunately, the man was a real dick. When they
were laying down the thermite charges the previous week, the only thing you
heard besides the explosions was Anders yelling. If someone made a
suggestion about where to lay the charges he himself would blow up and
scream phrases like: ‘I was trained for this shit! I don’t need you telling
me what to do!’ or ‘who the hell is in charge here! I thought it was me but
your making all the orders!’ Thankfully, there were a few times that Anders
was great to be around. One of those times was when he was sleeping.
Karl and Ragnvald walked through the tractors and explosive crates to the
tarps. Johannes, the team’s medical officer, was talking to Mikael by some
boxes. Arkov stood by the edge of the crater staring down at the
expedition’s find. Anders was yelling at Jacobine over by the radio.
Jacobine was the only female member of the expedition and was the team’s
geologist and meteorologist. Even with all her intelligence, she was
quickly cut down in a confrontation.
‘...Don’t care what you think,’ shouted Anders, ‘don’t ever use this
goddamned radio without notifying me first!’
‘I’m sorry…’ Jacobine stammered.
‘This is just a field radio!’ Anders interrupted, ‘do you know what that
‘Yes I kn...”
‘It means that the line is not secure! Any of the other bases around here
could have heard us! What, do you want the Americans to come snooping
around here? They’d just take credit for our discoveries!’
‘I know, I’m really, truly...’
‘I don’t care! I...’
‘Hey Anders why don’t you lay off,’ Ragnvald said, in a quiet but
The station manager glared at the pilot before turning around and leaving.
Karl noticed Anders give them the finger but turned to Jacobine.
‘What was that all about?’ Karl inquired.
‘I, I accidentally mentioned the alien body and ship when on the radio,’
Jacobine was noticeably uneasy about the event. What an ass Anders could
be, Karl thought.
‘Uh, so how about that body?’ Karl asked, hoping to change the subject.
‘Well, we, uh. Anders wants to get a picture of all of us around the ice
block so we haven’t loaded it onto Ragnvald’s helicopter yet.’
‘Yeah, it’s some eerie shit, huh Karl?’ Ragnvald asked his friend.
‘Yes. I mean, it’s amazing that we, this generation, have found proof of
intelligent life other than ourselves.’
‘Wait a minute, how do we know it’s intelligent?’
‘It built a space craft, Ragnvald,’ Jacobine said in a steadier voice, ‘It
has to have some intelligence.’
‘Right,’ Ragnvald agreed as Anders walked towards them.
‘Jacobine, I’m really sorry, what I did was uncalled for,’ Anders
‘No, it’s okay,’ replied Jacobine.
‘No, it’s not okay,’ Anders continued, ‘I’m not trying to make up excuses
for myself but I’m under a lot of pressure for this expedition...’
‘I know, I know...’
That was Anders. One minute he would be criticizing you and the next, he
would be criticizing himself. Another one of the times Anders was nice to
be around was when he was being apologetic.
‘Well, come on,’ Anders said, ‘we should take this picture for the records
and get out of here.’
The group of people agreed and walked over to where the ice block
containing the alien was. Dr. Arkov was holding a bottle of wine and
pouring it into glasses on the ice block. Mikael was standing over a camera
preparing it for the shot.
‘Alright everyone, stand behind the ice...’ Mikael told them, ‘Okay, smile.
Good. Hold that position.’
‘Hold up, Mikael,’ Karl said, ‘Get in there, I’ll take the picture.’
‘Are you sure, Karl?’
‘You’ve done more for this expedition than I have Mikael, get in there.’
Mikael ran over to grab a glass and stood beside Ragnvald. The group
raised their glasses in a toast and Karl clicked the shutter.
The group dispersed and went back to their tasks at the camp. Mikael
walked over to where Karl stood.
‘I think it turned out rather well,’ Mikael said as Karl held the Polaroid
On the far left was Mikael, beside him Ragnvald and Anders stood. Then
there was Johannes and Jacobine with Arkov on the far right.
‘I don’t like it,’ Anders commented as he made a face, ‘I don’t think I’m
Karl thought of something funny to say but decided to save himself of
Anders rage and just keep quiet.
‘Alright people,’ Anders yelled, ‘start packing up. Ragnvald, get your
copter ready, your going to be the lucky pilot who flies this ice block back
‘Hoo-ray,’ Ragnvald replied in a mocking tone as he walked away towards his
‘Hey Karl,’ Anders shouted to the pilot, ‘Jacobine, Mikael and the doctor
are going up with you.’
‘Don’t you need help with the ice block?’ asked Karl.
‘It’s not like we’re going to carry it back to the base on our backs!’
Anders replied, ‘I’m quite sure we can secure the block to the helicopter.’
‘Whatever Anders, I’ll see you at the base.’
Anders returned his attention to Johannes.
‘Alright, let’s go back to camp and warm ourselves up,’ Karl said to his
passengers as they walked to his copter.
Chapter 2 – The Base
Ruben stood in the room with the rest of his team. All of the expedition’s
members stared at the block of ice in the storeroom with different
expressions. Everyone had been excited when they first found the creature.
When they were cutting it out of the ice the general feeling was calmness,
but now that they were going to melt the creature out of the ice, people
began to get worried.
Looking around the room, Ruben studied each person’s expressions. Jacobine
was quiet but anxious. She chewed on the end of a pen while rocking back
and forth on the heels of her feet. Johannes was looking around the room
and glancing at his watch, he looked like he needed a sedative. Karl kept
leaning over and talking to Ragnvald. It seemed that talking calmed him.
Ragnvald however, seemed more inclined to silence and quickly ended Karl’s
attempts to start a conversation. Mikael, like Jacobine, was also chewing
on a pen. Maybe it was a trait shared by the geniuses, thought Ruben.
Rolf, the dog keeper, stood tapping his feet to a non-existent beat. The
cook, Stefan, was a chain smoker. He already had a couple butts on the
ground beneath him. How rude, Ruben thought. The Russian snob seemed to be
the calmest of all. He stood completely still, like a statue, studying
everyone’s expressions. Like me, Ruben thought. Ruben turned back to
listen to Anders continue on about how they should melt out the thing in the
‘...Now that we have that settled, do we have any volunteers?’ Anders was
asking about people to help melt the ice.
‘I’ll help,’ Mikael and Jacobine said at the same time.
‘Good, anyone else interested?’
‘Actually, I’m kind of interested in helping,’ Rolf spoke out.
‘Great, how about you doctor?’ Anders said turning to Arkov.
‘You shouldn’t have to ask,’ the Russian said, looking up, ‘It’s why I’m
‘Right... Okay, everyone not helping get out,’ Anders yelled through the
Everyone piled out. It was near dinnertime and Ruben overheard Stefan
talking to Karl.
‘You ready for the “Stefan Surprise?”’ he asked Karl.
‘Ha, if it’s like your last surprise then no!’ Karl replied.
‘Yeah, that last meal was crap, Stefan,’ Ragnvald added in, ‘what are you
trying to do, kill us?’
‘You don’t smoke while you cook, huh Stefan?’ Ruben asked.
‘Of course! That’s what gives my food that special flavour!’ Stefan ranted.
‘Yes, if you like the taste of ash,’ Johannes added from behind.
‘Hey Johannes, you okay? You looked a little off in there,’ Ruben asked
turning to his companion.
‘I don’t know,’ Johannes sighed, ‘I’ve had this feeling since I found out
about the alien body and now I think I know what that feeling is...’
‘And what feeling is that?’ Ruben asked stopping to face Johannes.
‘Fear,’ was the doctor’s reply as he walked into the Rec. room.
.:a short time later:.
‘Get up, people,’ Stefan called, ‘It’s time to eat!’
Ruben left his seat at the radio and went to the mess hall where everyone
else was seated.
‘Here we go,’ Stefan said while wheeling in the serving tray, ‘Scrambled
eggs, bacon and good old French toast.’
‘Stefan, I thought we were eating dinner not breakfast,’ Ragnvald
complained, ‘I wanted a steak!’
‘”You can’t always get what you want,”’ Stefan began singing the Rolling
Stone song while loading up his plate.
‘I for one am glad we got something normal to eat,’ Johannes said.
‘What, are you insulting my cooking?’ Stefan looked offended, ‘I thought
everyone would love a little breakfast for dinner after a hard days work.’
‘Looks great, Stefan,’ Anders said as he and the others entered the room.
Ruben noticed that they were missing a person.
‘Hey, where’s Rolf? Did the alien come back to life and eat him?’ Karl
asked. Ragnvald and Stefan laughed at this.
‘We have almost completed the thawing process,’ Arkov said indignantly, ‘in
case the specimen does reawaken, we have left a man to watch over it.’
Arkov made up a plate of dinner and walked back to where the ice block was.
‘”We have almost completed the thawing process,”’ Stefan said, mocking the
Russian. Laughter filled the table.
‘Come on, quit poking fun at him,’ Anders said. He was the only person not
‘He can easily shut down this expedition if he sees it necessary,’ Anders
continued, ‘so I expect you all to start treating the doctor with a little
more respect, and especially you three.’
Anders pointed at Karl, Ragnvald and Stefan.
‘Aw come on Anders,’ Ragnvald protested, ‘if the good doctor can’t laugh at
a little friendly humour...’
‘That’s just it, its not a little friendly humour if you continue to do it
throughout the entire day,’ Anders interrupted, ‘so I expect you to stop.’
‘Alright already, I’ll ease off.’
‘Come on guys, can’t we just eat in peace?’ Ruben had had enough.
‘Agreed,’ remarked Johannes as he shoveled another spoonful of egg into his
The table fell silent until Ruben spoke up again.
‘So Johannes, what did you mean by you feared that thing?’ he asked,
turning to Johannes.
‘Well think about it, here we are thawing out a creature we know nothing
about. It’s from another planet so how could we know anything about it!’
Johannes explained, ‘who knows what we’re releasing when we thaw it out.’
‘You make it sound like the things going to come back to life,’ Karl said.
‘Who knows, it just might,’ the medic replied, turning to look at Karl,
‘like I said, it’s from an entirely different world, for all we know it can
stay frozen for thousands of years, which is has, and then unthaw and come
back to life!’
‘The odds of that happening are very slim,’ Dr. Arkov spoke from over by
the serving cart, filling up another plate, ‘you are worrying about bad
dreams my friend.
‘Besides, we are armed with the latest in Russian weaponry, whatever that
alien might have is no match for our guns,’ Arkov finished stacking French
toast on his plate and left for his bunks.
‘Latest in Russian weaponry, it doesn’t stand a chance against our
Norwegian guns,’ Anders commented under his breath.
‘Anders, Anders,’ Ragnvald scolded jokingly, ‘did I hear a remark against
the good doctor.’
‘Just a little friendly humour,’ Anders said as he finished his dinner and
took his plate away.
‘I suggest you men bunk down early,’ Anders announced turning back to the
men at the table, ‘that creature will be thawed out early next morning and
I’m expecting you’ll all want to be there when it is removed from the ice.
‘Whether you think it’s a good idea or not,’ he finished glancing at
‘I’m gonna head off to bed,’ Ruben said after Anders had left.
‘Me too,’ Jacobine concurred.
She had been talking quietly to Mikael during all dinner. Now that Mikael
had no one to talk to he turned and joined Ragnvald and Karl’s conversation.
‘I thought you were heading to bed,’ Jacobine asked when Ruben turned down
towards the ice block room.
‘I want to see how far it’s thawed,’ he replied.
‘It’s pretty much done,’ Jacobine said turning down to the room with him,
‘I think it may finish thawing before the early morning.’
Ruben looked into the ice block room and stared at the creature in the ice.
It was hard to tell what it actually looked like; the frozen water
prevented them from seeing the alien accurately.
‘That thing...,’ Ruben faltered, ‘it looks horrific!’
‘Yeah,’ Jacobine agreed, ‘but that’s probably the same thing it would think
of us if it was still alive.’
‘So you think it really is dead?’
‘Of course, I mean, it has been frozen for thousands of years and...’
Jacobine’s sentence was broken off when a loud snort radiated from the
other side of the ice block. Rolf was snoring.
‘I should wake him,’ Ruben said and he started towards Rolf.
‘No don’t,’ Jacobine protested holding Ruben back.
‘But he’s supposed to be watching this, thing.’
‘He’s had a long day, let him rest.’
Ruben glanced at Rolf, then back to Jacobine.
‘Please,’ she pleaded.
‘Alright,’ Ruben surrendered.
‘Great, lets say you and me open a bottle of wine and have our own little
‘I like the sounds of that.’
Ruben linked his arm with Jacobine’s and they left together for her room.
Chapter 3 – Bad Dreams
Rolf awoke but did not open his eyes. Everything was cold around him. A
strange breathing noise was resonating from the ice block at his side. He
dared not move. Listening closer, he heard the breathing noise begin to
rise until the sound was above him. A clicking noise, like claws hitting a
hard surface rang out as the breathing went around the room past where Rolf
sat. The door creaked. Rolf waited for the door to creak close then he
sighed relief and opened his eyes. In front of him a massive figure loomed.
It generated a piercing hiss and its red eyes burnt an image on the inside
of Rolf’s eyelids. Rolf had no time to react when a large claw rose above
his head and came crashing down.
Darkness. Rolf awoke but did not open his eyes. Everything was cold
around him. He heard breathing everywhere. Slowly, he lifted his eyelids.
He was lying inside of the ice block, which now looked like a large bathtub.
Surrounding him was every member of the expedition.
‘Have a nice nap, Rolf?’ Anders asked.
‘How, how the hell did I wind up in here?’ Rolf asked looking around at the
frozen tub he was sitting in.
‘That is what we want to know,’ Arkov said as he lent over to look Rolf in
the eyes, ‘where is the alien?’
‘Where, the… what? You mean tha, that thing escaped?’
‘You were supposed to be watching it, Rolf,’ Anders also lent over towards
the dog keeper.
‘I, I guess I fell asleep.’
Rolf saw Ruben lean over and whisper something to Jacobine. Jacobine
‘How long have you all been standing here?’ Rolf asked.
‘We found you in here about half an hour ago,’ Mikael told him, ‘we tried
waking you but you were in a very deep sleep. You were probably dreaming.’
Rolf closed his eyes and saw the alien’s red stare. He quickly reopened
‘We searched the base but didn’t find anything,’ Mikael continued, ‘so
we’ve been standing here for about three and a half minutes waiting for you
‘Why do you need me awake?’ Rolf asked.
‘You were the last one to see the creature still encased in ice,’ Arkov
‘Uh, that’s not necessarily true,’ Ruben spoke up.
‘What do you mean by that?’ Arkov asked, turning towards Ruben his eyes
‘Before I went to bunk down last night, uh,’ Ruben stammered, ‘I came in
here to see how it was melting, I saw Rolf asleep and was going to wake him
‘You didn’t,’ Anders finished the sentence for him.
Jacobine stepped forward to protest in favour for Ruben.
‘It wasn’t entirely his fault,’ she said, ‘if I hadn’t told him to let Rolf
sleep he would have woken him.’
‘So your both to blame,’ Arkov said, his eyes burning, ‘for losing the find
of the century! No, the millennium!
‘Now we have a creature of unknown origin running around the Antarctic! If
it freezes, we may never see it again! You two have cost Russia a great
deal. I will see that your government has both of you thrown in jail for
Ragnvald was about to step in for Ruben and Jacobine’s defense but Anders
motioned for him to hold back. Arkov then turned back to Rolf.
‘Don’t look so relieved,’ he said staring into Rolf’s eyes, ‘I will see
that you get a punishment like theirs only multiplied by ten!’
Arkov then stomped off to his bunk to start writing his report. The room
was silent for a while until Anders spoke up.
‘Alright people, we know this thing is about as large as a we are so it
shouldn’t be too hard to find,’ he said to the expedition, ‘now we only did
a quick run through before, now it’s time to get thorough. I want each and
every one of you to tear up each and every room. Ragnvald, Karl and Rolf,
you’re going with to come with me and search outside in the helicopters.’
‘Why do I have to come?’ Rolf asked.
‘It’s your damn fault we lost this god damned monster, so don’t ask stupid
Anders looked around the room again. Everyone seemed hesitant to look for
‘Move out damnit!’ he shouted.
‘Ragnvald you come with me. Karl, your with Rolf,’ Anders ordered.
‘Why does the jerk always want to fly with me?’ Ragnvald whispered to Karl.
‘I don’t know,’ he replied, ‘but good luck to you!’
Anders and Ragnvald climbed into their copter as Karl turned to Rolf.
‘You ready?’ he asked.
‘No, I hate flying,’ Rolf admitted, ‘but lets go anyways.’
‘That’s the spirit,’ Karl said patting Rolf’s back, ‘Let us go.’
Within minutes they were up in the air circling the camp. Rolf stared out
the window at the ground wishing he were there. Karl kept his eyes ahead of
him on the sky and on his instruments, occasionally looking out his side
‘See anything?’ he asked.
‘No,’ Rolf replied.
‘Well, keep looking!’
They circled five miles outside the camp before deciding to return.
‘Where are Ragnvald and Anders?’ Rolf asked.
‘They were heading towards the crater to see if the alien found its way
back to its craft,’ Karl replied, ‘I doubt that it would though.’
‘I hear you.’
‘Hey, don’t be worried about what Arkov and Anders said, it’s not your
fault that you were tired.’
‘Hell, it’s their fault for making you the only guard! Staying up all night
watching an ice cube melt isn’t my idea of entertainment! I’m not surprised
you fell asleep.’
‘There’s only one thing I don’t get,’ Karl continued, ‘how did you wind up
in the ice block?’
‘I don’t know, my friend, I don’t know.’
‘Maybe the alien put you there.’
‘That would seem to be the most logical explanation.’
‘Or maybe you slept walked into there.’
‘That is also a possibility.’
When Karl found someone who would talk to him, he continued to talk until
the person told him to stop. Karl was still talking when they had arrived
back at the base.
‘But isn’t it amazing that your absolutely fine? I mean, wouldn’t the alien
get scared and maybe attack you?’
Rolf remembered the dream with the red eyes.
‘I’d rather not think about that,’ he said to Karl.
‘Yeah, I guess not…’
An explosion on the other side of the camp broke off Karl’s thought. That
came from the kennels, Rolf thought. Karl darted forward into the base and
Rolf quickly ran after him.
‘Wait Karl, we may need… these,’ Rolf shouted in vain to Karl who was
running too fast to hear. Rolf picked up one of the fire extinguishers he
was trying to tell Karl about and ran off to the kennel. More explosions
ensued and the entire building shook. Rolf heard screaming and cursing
ahead of him. As he approached the other side of the base he heard a
familiar hissing sound. Rolf saw the red eyes from his dream but kept
moving forward. Ruben and Jacobine came up from behind Rolf.
‘What’s going on?’ Jacobine had to shout over all the noise.
‘Explosions and fires over by the kennels,’ Rolf replied.
‘We better go then,’ Ruben said holding up a fire extinguisher of his own.
The three ran into Johannes and Stefan almost knocking them over.
‘Come on we got to get out of here!’ Stefan shouted pushing through Ruben
‘What’s going on?’ Ruben stepped forward to Johannes.
‘As I predicted,’ Johannes said in a foreboding tone, ‘the creature is
alive and well. Unfortunately, it is a predator…’
Johannes broke off and slumped down against the wall in shock. Jacobine
pointed out the blood coming from Johannes. Shrapnel from the explosions
had hit him.
‘You two go ahead,’ Jacobine shouted amidst the chaos, ‘I’ll stay here with
Ruben nodded and he motioned for Rolf to follow. The two men found Karl
and Mikael at the kennels. The kennel was really two buildings in one; one
half of the building was actually used for housing the dogs, while the other
half was used as storage, such as the extra fuel.
‘What’s happened?’ Ruben asked Mikael.
‘When we were searching the kennel,’ Mikael began, ‘one of the dogs blew up
and turned into this, this thing!’
‘What?’ Rolf yelled.
‘Look at it!’ Karl shouted pointing towards the kennel.
Ruben and Rolf slowly stepped forward to peer into the kennel. Inside,
they saw all the dogs that were still alive yelping; they were trapped in
their pens by mesh wire and flames. At the very back of the kennel there
were massive claws and tentacles flailing about in the fire. At the center
of the tentacles was a large mass of what resembled a dog. It was quickly
losing its similarity to the canines around it as it morphed and twisted.
It tried to crawl away from the flames but didn’t have enough strength left.
Slowly, the tentacles stopped moving and the thing succumbed to the fire.
Rolf stared with his jaw dropped. Ruben also stared but after the thing
stopped moving he regained composure and rushed forward with his fire
‘Get those dogs the hell out of here!’ Ruben yelled.
Before Rolf could react, Karl had already run in and began opening the dog
pens. Rolf stepped forward to help Ruben put out the flames. Soon the fire
was out and the four men who had the courage to stay at the kennel stood
around the charred black corpse.
‘Was that the alien?’ Karl asked turning to Mikael.
‘I don’t know,’ Mikael admitted, ‘we came in here and it seemed normal.
The dogs whined for attention but nothing out of the ordinary. Well, I
wasn’t paying much attention, I was busy recording our efforts on a tape…’
‘What about the alien?’ Karl asked.
‘Well, I had my back turned but I heard Johannes shout,’ Mikael continued,
‘I turned around and one of the dogs had just burst open!’
‘What do you mean, “burst open?”’ Ruben questioned.
‘Its sides split open and tentacles and claws were growing out of it,’ the
biologist continued, ‘I’d never seen anything like it! It, its tentacles
shot out and grabbed the dog in the adjacent pen and…’
Mikael faltered and looked at the ground.
‘And what?’ Karl pressed, anxious to hear the story.
‘It began absorbing the dog.’
‘You mean eating it,’ Ruben put in.
‘No, it literally absorbed the dog,’ Mikael said grimly, ‘then to our
horror, it began looking less and less like a beaten corpse and more and
more like a well-fed, well-kept dog!’
‘But, that’s impossible,’ Ruben whispered to himself.
‘What about those explosions?’ Rolf asked.
‘Well, after staring at the monstrosity for a while, Stefan raised his
rifle and fired at it,’ Mikael continued, ‘I guess that upset that thing
because it swung its tentacles towards Stefan and tripped him. Then, I
guess Stefan’s gun went off because the next thing we knew was that one of
the fuel barrels had exploded. Johannes and Stefan ran; they just left me
here. I was lucky to get out before that second explosion.’
The men stood in silence for a while. The three surviving dogs whined
outside the kennel, eager to find a warm place to lay but wary to return to
their pens. A buzzing filled the background. It was a helicopter.
‘How are we going to explain this to Anders?’ Ruben asked.
They stood a moment longer before heading inside with the dogs. For the
moment, the charred corpse was forgotten.
Chapter 4 – Man’s Best Friend
‘I’ve never heard a bigger load of crap,’ Anders said once he had finished
listening to his team speak.
‘How can you say that?’ Mikael protested.
‘We have the evidence…’ Ruben said backing up his friend.
‘Do you? From the sounds of your story, it seems to me that whatever
happened in there was burned,’ Anders continued.
‘It may be burned but it is still recognizable,’ Mikael argued, ‘once you
see the corpse you will believe us.’
‘If you’re so sure, then please. Lead the way to then kennel.’
‘Fine, I will.’
Anders watched as the team got up, they glanced nervously at each other and
began picking up rifles and pistols. Ruben even had a flamethrower out.
The station manager pondered the possibility that his team may be telling
the truth. No. Anders knew that he wasn’t the most popular person at the
camp and he was positive that the explosion was just the result of human
‘You don’t believe them, do you Ragnvald?’ Anders asked the pilot.
‘It’s hard not to, sir,’ Ragnvald admitted, ‘these people are my friends,
my brothers. They wouldn’t lie to me just to cover up some mistake made in
the storage room.’
‘That’s easy for you to say,’ Anders mumbled to himself.
Jacobine stayed behind with the injured Johannes and Stefan, who seemed to
be in shock.
‘Aren’t you coming too, doctor?’ Anders asked the Russian.
‘I have better things to do than listen to your expedition members try to
hide their errors,’ Arkov replied in an icy voice.
Anders nodded and turned around to follow the rest to the kennel. He was
beginning to hate that Russian more and more with the passing hour. Mikael
took the lead with Karl and Ruben. Ragnvald walked directly behind them
with Rolf who had brought along one of his dogs. Anders took up the rear.
When they neared the smoldering building, Karl motioned for them to stop.
‘Come on, what’s the hold up?’ Anders complained.
‘We’re not taking any chances with that thing,’ Karl explained.
‘Oh for god’s sake,’ Anders yelled, ‘give me that you fool!’
Anders grabbed the rifle out of Karl’s hands and walked up to the doorway
of the kennel. He raised the rifle and fired off all the rounds.
‘There,’ Anders said throwing the rifle back to Karl, ‘let’s go.’
The men looked at each other then followed Anders into the kennel.
‘I don’t see anything,’ Anders said in a loud mocking voice.
‘It should be at the back,’ Mikael started.
‘You said that in your story,’ Anders replied turning to face Mikael, ‘and
I just looked back there. There is nothing!’
Ruben raised his flamethrower and moved forward slowly.
‘Rolf,’ he said motioning for the dog keeper to come forward.
‘Stay,’ Rolf told his dog as he picked up his fire extinguisher.
‘Stand back please,’ Ruben announced as he pulled down the trigger.
Flames shot out into the back of the building igniting what once burned.
‘What the hell do you think your doing?’ Anders screamed as he ran up and
knocked Ruben to the ground.
The two men struggled for control of the flamethrower as Rolf began to put
out the flames. Anders backhanded Ruben in the face causing him to drop the
torch. Anders then rolled him over and unhooked the fuel tank from Ruben’s
‘You crazy asshole,’ Anders yelled as he set down the flamethrower away
from Ruben, ‘what did you do that for?’
Ruben sat up rubbing his jaw, ‘to make sure we got it.’
‘That thing,’ Mikael said for Ruben.
‘More like you burned evidence of your foolishness!’
‘What are you saying?’ Rolf asked after he set down his extinguisher.
‘I’m saying that your lies will not fool me,’ Anders explained, ‘I know one
of you blew up this shack and I also know that your all trying to cover for
‘Well if I don’t find out who is responsible for this mess, your all gonna
pay. Ragnvald, Karl, lock up Mr. Torch-the-kennel in his room.’
‘But, sir…’ Ragnvald began.
‘That’s an order.’
Anders left the kennel and started back toward the main building. The two
pilots picked Ruben off the ground and escorted him back to his room.
Mikael and Rolf were left standing in the blackened shack.
‘Why doesn’t he believe us?’ Mikael asked.
‘He’s a damn fool, that’s why,’ Rolf responded as he pet the husky at his
‘What’s that dog’s name?’
Mikael watched Rolf petting the dog for a while longer until it hit him.
‘How do we know that your dog isn’t one of those things?’
‘Well he doesn’t have tentacles pouring out of his ears does he?’
‘Of course, but whatever that alien was, it had managed to replicate that
Rolf turned to look at Mikael.
‘Are you saying that Kris might be infected?’ Rolf asked the biologist.
‘I’m saying all your dogs might be infected.’
Rolf withdrew his hand from Krisoffer’s head. This caused the dog to stop
wagging his tail and look up.
‘We, we can’t just burn all the dogs!’ Rolf argued.
‘I agree, but for now we should find a safer place for them until we can
come up with some kind of test.’
Kristoffer cocked his head to one side to stare at the two men.
‘I guess I can put them in my room,’ Rolf contemplated, ‘I’d just have to
move my stuff out so that I could sleep on the couch.’
‘Alright, we should do that as soon as possible.’
The two men started back to the building with the dog.
.:later that night, outside Ruben’s lodging:.
‘Come on Ragnvald, let me out!’ Ruben yelled from inside his room.
Ragnvald stood at the door with a rifle, ‘I cant! I’m sorry! You know what
‘Of course I know what Anders said!’ Ruben replied, ‘Now let me out!’
Ragnvald shook his head and went back to his magazine.
.:same time, the rec room:.
‘You know what I just thought of?’ Karl said as he put down a full house.
‘What’s that?’ Rolf asked while putting down a straight.
‘Where was Arkov during the whole alien incident?’
Mikael laid down two twos, a five, a six and a queen, ‘he was writing his
‘Yeah that’s what he says but you know what I think?’
‘What do you think,’ Rolf said dealing out a new hand.
‘I think he took the cooked body.’
‘Why would you think that?’ Mikael asked.
‘Well think about it, it’s a perfect chance to keep the body for Russia and
he got us in trouble at the same time.’
‘That doesn’t seem like that good a reason, Russia and Norway are working
together on this expedition.’
‘I thought of that too, so here’s what I got now…’
‘Look just shut up!’ Stefan yelled from the couch.
‘Hey! If your not going to say anything nice then get the hell off my bed,’
Rolf yelled back.
The three men playing poker laughed.
‘We don’t blame you for running, Stefan,’ Karl said, ‘I almost peed myself
when I saw that thing too!’
The cook mumbled something to himself then sat back on the couch.
.:same time, the infirmary:.
‘Those bandages okay, Johannes?’ Jacobine asked the medic.
‘Yes, that should be good,’ he replied smiling at Jacobine, ‘you know, if
you weren’t a scientist you would make a good doctor.’
‘Thank you,’ she said smiling back, ‘but I’m already taken.’
‘Ah yes, the fiery Ruben.’
‘Uh-huh, anyways I’m going to check on Ruben.’
‘What’s happened to him?’
‘He and Anders got in a fight so now he’s locked in his room.’
Johannes said nothing. Jacobine said good-bye to him and left, shutting
out the lights on her way out. Johannes leaned back on his pillow and shut
his eyes. Now that he was alone, his thoughts focused back to that of the
missing alien corpse. Had it really been killed in the fire? Should they
have let it burn longer? Is it still alive or had someone moved it? The
possibilities were endless. Just then one of Rolf’s dogs walked into the
infirmary. Strange, Johannes thought, I thought I heard Rolf saying that he
was going to lock them in his room. Johannes closed his eyes again to think
more. Then he thought of something. Quickly, Johannes sat up and looked
around the room. The dog was gone. He was sweating a cold sweat of fear,
where was the dog? A faint hissing noise hummed behind his head. Johannes
slowly turned around to face his greatest nightmare.
.:the rec room:.
‘Mikael! You finally won a hand!’ Karl exclaimed.
‘I think I’m getting the hang of it,’ Mikael admitted.
Amidst the laughter, Stefan heard a scream.
‘Hey shut up!’ he commanded.
‘Alright Stefan, remember what I said about you saying mean things?’ Rolf
The men began to laugh again when Stefan stood up.
‘Seriously, I heard someone scream,’ he said straining to hear the sound
The other men went solemn immediately. Slowly, they laid their cards on
the table and pushed out their chairs to stand up. All four men stood,
listening. Then they heard it. It was coming from the infirmary.
‘Johannes,’ Stefan whispered.
The men nodded and grabbed the weapons they left scattered about the room.
Stefan and Karl rushed forward with rifles. Stefan seemed to want to prove
his courage this time. Mikael followed behind with Rolf who was carrying a
flamethrower. Rolf glanced at the pistol in Mikael’s hand.
‘You ever fire one of those?’ Rolf asked.
‘No, and I hope to keep it that way,’ Mikael replied.
When they reached the infirmary the screaming stopped. Karl motioned for
them to hold. Anders and the others came running from the other corridor.
‘Where’s Arkov?’ Karl asked suspiciously.
‘In his room, I just saw him,’ Anders said, ‘that’s not important, what’s
‘Don’t know,’ Karl replied, ‘we heard him screaming so we came running!’
Karl glanced past Jacobine, ‘hey Ruben, good to see they let you out of
‘No time for that,’ Ruben retorted as he rushed forward and kicked in the
infirmary door. Once inside he raised his flamethrower and pointed it about
‘Rolf, damnit!’ Johannes yelled getting up off the floor, ‘one of your
dog’s got out of the room!’
‘Where is it?’ Rolf stepped forward.
‘It’s gone! It was like that other dog that was burned! Its ribcage was
popping out of its sides and it tried to grab me with its tentacles!’
‘Where is the dog now?’ Anders cut in.
‘When you broke open the door it rushed into that corner.’
Johannes pointed to the darkest corner of the infirmary. Everyone was
quiet. The hissing sound played through the room.
Ruben stepped forward but was stopped by Rolf.
‘It’s my dog, I’ll be the one to put it down,’ he explained.
Ruben nodded and backed up.
‘Lights please,’ Rolf asked.
Jacobine turned the switch. Light flooded the room and the creature became
visible. Beady black eyes stared at the team from the writhing mass of
flesh. The thing’s side opened up to reveal a dog-like head. The head
split in two to reveal a strange tube shaped appendage. Mikael saw what was
coming and yelled for everyone to duck. Slime was sprayed at the group of
people. Ragnvald and Stefan got some of the slime on their clothes and then
recoiled in horror causing them to fall backwards. Anders got some of the
slime on his face.
‘Holy shit!’ he screamed, ‘it burns!’
Anders fell backwards. Jacobine rushed forward and dragged him to where
Johannes stood. Stefan began firing at the alien. Karl and Ragnvald soon
joined in. Rolf motioned for them to stop then stepped up and released the
flames. The creature writhed in the heat and released a horrible unearthly
scream. Rolf turned around and started towards the door.
‘Where are you going?’ Karl asked.
‘My room, I need to see if the other dogs are alright,’ Rolf responded as
he ran out the door.
Stefan waited till the creature stopped moving then doused the flames with
‘What are you waiting for?’ he yelled at Ragnvald and Karl, ‘go help him!’
The two pilots looked at each other then ran after Rolf. They caught up to
Rolf while he was in the hallways.
‘You guys ready?’ he asked them.
‘Ready as we’ll ever be,’ Karl answered.
When the reached Rolf’s room they saw a gaping hole where the door should
have been. They looked inside to see another writhing mass of flesh trying
to grab Kristoffer who whined in the corner of the room trying to hide. The
human’s presence distracted the thing, allowing Kristoffer to run past it
out the door. Rolf lifted his torch and released burning death upon the
abomination of nature.
‘Welcome to hell,’ he muttered to himself.
They turned to see Stefan running towards them with a couple fire
extinguishers. Karl grabbed one and they started putting out the flames.
Rolf took of the fuel tank off and set it on the ground with the torch.
Kristoffer whimpered at his side. Rolf knelt down to scratch the dog’s fur.
‘It’s okay, boy,’ he said to the dog, ‘it’s just you and me now.’
Chapter 5 – Betrayal
Anders lay in the bed beside Johannes. The acid had not hurt him badly,
his beard was slightly melted and there were some red patches of sensitive
skin on his face. The acid had been wiped off before it was able to cause
too much damage. Anders felt his beard.
‘Son-of-a-bitch,’ he said aloud.
‘What’s wrong?’ Johannes asked.
‘I think I’m gonna have to shave this beard off later.’
‘The present is the best time for anything to be done.’
‘True, but I’m tired,’ Anders pulled the covers over body and lay flat,
‘good night Johannes.’
‘Good night, Anders,’ Johannes replied.
Beneath his covers, Johannes hands began to morph into sharp claws. He
turned to look at Anders. The door burst open; Jacobine was carrying some
‘You still up, Johannes?’ she asked him.
‘Uh, yeah,’ Johannes stammered, his claws reforming into human hands.
‘Well you should get some sleep.’
‘Like I’m trying to,’ Anders complained.
‘Wah, wah, wah!’ Jacobine mocked, ‘I’m going to put these on you to speed
‘Fine,’ Anders said and he sat up.
Johannes thought about just attacking both of them there and then when he
noticed Ruben watching him from the doorway. Ruben stared into his eyes and
Johannes stared back at his. Ruben’s eyes moved downwards towards the
flamethrower in his hand. Damn, Johannes thought, he suspects me. Ruben
moved his head in the direction of Jacobine’s but kept his eyes on Johannes.
.:in a hallway:.
‘Why are you so goddamned worried?’ Ragnvald asked the biologist, ‘we got
the alien and there is nothing to fear now.’
‘What about the corpse that disappeared from the kennel?’ Mikael argued.
‘Look, I don’t know,’ Ragnvald admitted, ‘I wasn’t there but it probably
‘See? Even you can’t know for sure.’
‘You guys are freaking me out,’ Stefan said, ‘I’d rather not talk about
this at all.’
‘Calm down, Steffy,’ Karl said, ‘this is going to be the hot topic for the
rest of this expedition, probably the rest of your life! You better start
getting used to it.’
‘Don’t remind me,’ Stefan said as he walked away towards the kitchen.
‘You know what bugs me more than the missing corpse?’ Karl asked after
watching Stefan turn the corner.
‘The fact that Arkov was missing during all these incidents?’ Mikael
‘The fact that Arkov was missing during all thses incidents,’ Karl said,
‘bang on buddy.’
‘Tell you what,’ Ragnvald broke in, ‘why don’t we follow Stefan and finish
this debate while eating.’
‘Agreed!’ Mikael and Karl said.
Ragnvald and Karl started towards the mess hall. Mikael, who was a couple
steps behind them, dropped his pen. He bent over to pick it up when
something came crashing through the roof. The burnt corpse that they were
talking about grabbed Mikael with its tentacles and wrapped itself around
him. Ragnvald and Karl turned around to see a giant praying mantis-like
claw stab Mikael in the face.
‘Holy shit!’ Karl exclaimed.
‘Come on, come on!’ Ragnvald yelled, pulling his friend away from the
creature, ‘we gotta get the flamethrower!’
The two men ran down the corridor away from the tangled mass of tissue.
Ruben heard some shouting and saw the pilots running down the halls towards
‘What’s going on?’ he asked them.
‘Ruben come on, that thing got Mikael!’ Karl explained.
Ruben stalled, glancing back at Johannes.
‘What are you waiting for?’ Karl asked.
‘You guys should come too,’ Ruben said to Jacobine and Anders.
‘Wouldn’t miss it for the world,’ Anders said as he grabbed the shotgun off
the nightstand. Jacobine grabbed a fire extinguisher and moved towards the
door. Johannes started to get up when Jacobine stopped him.
‘Your in no condition to go around saving people, doctor,’ she said to him,
‘you of all people should know that.’
Johannes nodded and sat back down.
‘Oh come on!’ Ragnvald yelled.
The group ran down towards Mikael. Johannes waited a moment then left his
bed and followed them.
.:further down the hallway:.
They found a partial Mikael further down the hallway. Anders stopped and
aimed his shotgun. The Mikael-creature turned to face the group and roared
with its otherworldly lungs. It threw down its arms, which turned into long
spears of flesh. The creature began advancing, swinging its spears at the
expedition. Anders fired taking the creature’s head clean off. It stumbled
backwards and fell backwards as another shot from Anders put a hole through
it. Anders fired one last time and took off a leg. Ruben then stepped
forward and released the flames from his weapon. The thing caught fire
immediately and began to burn. The expedition sighed relief until Karl
pointed out something. The leg was crawling up the wall. Plunger-like
appendages were pulling the mutilated leg up the wall towards a ventilation
grate. Ruben pointed upwards and fired. The leg writhed and fell back to
‘Shit,’ Anders said, ‘What about the head?’
The people looked at each other and stepped back as Jacobine put out the
flames. Once the hallway was clear Ruben moved forward in search of the
head. It hadn’t got far. Two large insectile claws grew out of its eye
sockets and it sprang away with amazing speed. Ruben, Ragnvald and Anders
shot after it. The head rounded the corner and flung itself into the
kitchen. The men heard Stefan shout and pans clattering. They got in the
kitchen and saw Stefan lying in a pile of metal and the creature heading
towards the mess hall. Ragnvald shot but missed the creature. Anders fired
and took off one its legs. The men slowly walked towards the writhing head.
They stared down at the monstrosity.
‘Each part of Mikael is fighting for itself,’ Ruben said to himself.
‘Each part of Mikael has to die,’ Anders said.
Ruben nodded. The men stepped back and Ruben pulled the trigger. Mikael
was no more.
Ruben went into the infirmary first with the flamethrower drawn.
‘Aw hell,’ Johannes shouted, ‘put that away! Do I look alien to you?’
Ruben hesitated, then Anders pushed away Ruben’s gun.
‘Ragnvald, Karl,’ Anders motioned for the pilots, ‘go get Rolf and Arkov.
We need to have a meeting.’
The pilots nodded and began towards the door.
‘And make sure Rolf brings that dog of his,’ Anders added.
.:the infirmary, later:.
‘I guess I am to blame for Mikael’s death,’ Arkov confessed after hearing
the news, ‘I took the burnt carcass into my chamber for private studying.’
‘You piece of…’ Ragnvald started towards Arkov but Rolf and Karl stopped
‘We’ll get him later,’ Karl whispered to his friend.
Ragnvald nodded and sat back down.
‘His death was not in vain,’ Arkov announced, ‘I have been thinking as I
was listening to your story. We already know that the alien can take over
any being is wishes, but we now know that each part of the alien is a whole.
In a time of danger, each part would fight for its own individual life,
such as the leg and head did. We could perform a simple blood test to find
out if anyone else is infected.’
‘Or we could tie you up for betraying us, doctor,’ Anders said.
‘You could, but you would do so in vain, I know more about this creature
than you. I studied it.’
‘Or you could be one of those creatures,’ Ruben said lifting his torch,
‘you spent enough time with it alone.’
‘I will prove my innocence,’ Arkov protested.
‘Alright,’ Ruben said in a cool, calm voice, ‘how do you propose we do this
‘We take a sample of each persons blood, then mix it with some hydrochloric
acid,’ Arkov explained, ‘if the blood reacts to the burning then we know
that person is infected.’
‘”React?”’ Ruben asked, ‘In what way?’
‘I don’t know,’ Arkov was beginning to become frustrated, ‘It’ll probably
fly out and try to escape.’
The team sat in silence.
‘I think it would work,’ Jacobine said, ‘I think we should try it.’
With her support, the team was more willing to try the doctor’s test.
.:the infirmary, later:.
Everyone had taken a sample of their blood with syringes and gave them to
Jacobine. Ruben stood beside her with his torch ready. Jacobine took the
first syringe and picked up a beaker of acid.
‘I think it would make sense to do me first,’ she said.
She pressed down on the plunger forcing the blood into the acid. Nothing.
The group sighed and she picked up Ruben’s blood. Same result.
‘We’re okay,’ Ruben told the group, ‘now we’re going to see if any of you
aren’t who you say you are.’
Jacobine tested Arkov. Nothing. Next were Ragnvald and Karl, both okay.
Stefan was next; he was okay. The next syringe was Kristoffer’s. The dog
was fine. Jacobine looked at the last two samples: Rolf, Anders.
‘Johannes,’ Jacobine started, ‘Where is your sample…’
She didn’t finish her sentence because once she looked up she saw he was
‘Son-of-a-bitch,’ Ruben cursed, ‘he must have left when we were gathering
samples. Come on lets go!’
‘Wh-what about Rolf and Anders?’ Stefan asked.
‘We’ll test them after,’ Ruben said, ‘we have other things to fry, mainly
Everyone gathered their weapons and they left the infirmary to search the
Chapter 6 – Smoke of the Deceased
Stefan sucked one last puff out of his dying cigarette then dropped it on
the floor and stamped it out.
‘Pick it up,’ Ruben said.
‘What?’ Stefan turned towards him.
‘You just dropped a cigarette butt on the floor, pick it up,’ Ruben’s tone
‘Why?’ Stefan asked, perplexed by his demand.
‘Because you just left a mess in the hallway.’
‘What are you gonna do, call me a litter bug?’ Stefan was growing angry,
‘it’s a freaking bit of ash. I’ll take a vacuum to it later.’
‘If you had just put it in the tray in the first place you wouldn’t need to
take a vacuum to it.’
‘Oh yeah, well why don’t you…’
‘Cut the bullshit!’ Ragnvald yelled to the two men.
The expedition had split in two teams to search for Johannes. Ruben led
team two which included Stefan, Ragnvald, Rolf and Kristoffer. Anders led
the rest. Ruben and his team had just gone a few feet from the infirmary
doorframe when him and Stefan had the cigarette argument. Now Ruben turned
‘Rolf, give me all your weapons,’ he commanded.
‘What? Why?’ the dog keeper looked confused.
‘You haven’t been tested. We found you asleep in that ice block, you
obviously didn’t jump in there yourself.’
‘Are you saying I’m infected?’ Rolf’s eyes narrowed.
‘I’m not saying anything, but I think everyone would feel a lot safer if
you weren’t armed.
‘Fine,’ Rolf gave Ruben his pistol and Ragnvald his rifle. He kept the
knife inside his jacket secret.
‘You walk in front too,’ Ruben said.
‘Oh come on Ruben, that’s enough,’ Stefan complained.
‘Rolf, in front.’
Stefan began to open his mouth again but Rolf motioned otherwise. Stefan
instead lit another cigarette. Ragnvald watched the whole exchange quietly.
He had complete trust in Ruben; they had been close friends before coming
to this expedition. He had never really liked Rolf though and didn’t argue
with Ruben’s command. Rolf began to walk down the hallways with Kristoffer
following right behind his heels.
‘You disarmed Rolf,’ Stefan continued, ‘your making us weaker to the
‘The other group is probably giving Anders the same treatment,’ Ruben
responded, ‘after all, he did get some of that alien’s digestive juices on
‘Anyone even attempts to take my gun away and they’ll be dead before their
body hits the floor,’ Anders said. They had been having the same
‘Look at it from our perspective,’ Karl argued, ‘you could be infected! We
haven’t tested you, and you did get that acid on you.’
‘I’m not infected.’
‘How are we supposed to know that for sure?’ Arkov broke in.
‘Well I guess your just going to have to trust me,’ Anders said it a quiet,
‘Radio room is clear,’ Rolf announced.
‘Well now what?’ Stefan asked.
‘We keep looking,’ Ruben replied.
Ruben noticed that the radio was had been changed to a different frequency.
He reached over and began to adjust the dials. The lights went out.
‘Shit! What the hell did you do, Ruben?’ Stefan asked.
‘Nothing,’ he replied.
It was the middle of a cloudy night. No light entered the room.
Kristoffer began to get anxious and the team heard the dog bolt for the
‘Kristoffer,’ Rolf shouted as he felt his way after the dog.
‘Rolf, wait!’ Ruben tried to stop him but the dog keeper had already gone
out the hallways.
‘God damnit, where are the flash lights?’ Ruben asked as he began to fumble
around in the dark.
‘I don’t know,’ Ragnvald said in a corner.
‘Alright, everyone sound off, I have an idea but I need to know your
positions,’ Ruben explained to the darkness.
Ruben listened; Stefan and Ragnvald were behind him.
‘Good,’ he said and he pulled the trigger on the flamethrower. A bunch of
cardboard boxes containing weather readings caught fire in front of Ruben.
‘How did you know where to shoot?’ Stefan asked, thankful for the light.
‘This is where I work, it’s like my home-away-from-home,’ he explained as
he pulled some flares and flashlights out of a nearby drawer, ‘like you and
Stefan nodded. Anders, Jacobine and Arkov came through the door at that
‘Where’s Karl?’ Ruben asked.
‘Don’t know, where’s Rolf?’ Anders replied.
‘We have the same problem.’
‘Everyone stay here,’ Anders said pulling off his torch and giving it to
‘Where are you going?’ Arkov asked.
‘To find Rolf and Karl,’ he said, ‘and to turn the power back on.’
‘I’m coming with you,’ Ruben said.
‘Alright,’ Anders agreed. He loaded his shotgun then left with Ruben.
Jacobine closed the door behind them and turned towards the rest of the
‘Looks like we’re on our own for a while,’ she said.
‘At least we know none of us are infected,’ Ragnvald said.
Everyone except Arkov seemed relieved by Ragnvald’s words.
.:in the dark hallways:.
The clouds were clearing. Rolf knew this because moonlight began to shine
through the windows. He had lost sight of Kristoffer and was angry with
himself for leaving the safety of the radio room. Rolf huddled down beside
a barrel drum and listened. Footsteps were coming his way. They were
constant, that meant whatever was coming this way was having no trouble in
the dark. An alien, Rolf thought as he drew his knife out of his jacket.
As soon as the person was in front of him, Rolf jumped out and put the being
in a headlock with his knife held firmly against their neck.
‘Who goes there?’ Rolf asked.
‘Shit man it’s me!’ Karl said.
‘How do I know it’s you?’ Rolf asked suspiciously.
‘If I was an alien, I would have already killed you,’ Karl explained, ‘all
you have is a knife, not very threatening to an alien huh?’
Rolf realized his error and put the knife away.
‘What are you doing here?’ Rolf asked.
‘I got separated in the dark,’ Karl told him, ‘how about you?’
‘When the lights went out Kristoffer ran. I went after him but wound up
‘Well I don’t know where everyone else is so why don’t we go look for the
‘Sounds like a good idea. Do you have any weapons?’
‘This rifle and a pistol. Why? Don’t you have a gun?’
‘They disarmed me,’ Rolf confessed.
‘I understand,’ Karl said handing the pistol to Rolf, ‘we tried to do the
same to Anders but he refused.’
The two men slunk slowly through the halls until the heard sniffing in a
storage room. Rolf peered in and heard Kristoffer bark happily.
‘Shhh,’ Rolf told the dog as it ran up to him so he could pet it.
‘Now if only we could find everyone else this easily,’ Karl said.
At that moment Kristoffer began growling. The two men turned around and
‘Where the hell have you been?’ Karl asked raising his rifle.
‘Now now, lets not be hasty,’ Johannes said as he limped into the room.
Rolf pushed his pistol into Johannes chest making the medic stumble
backwards. Johannes raised his hands above his head.
‘Okay, okay,’ he said, ‘I admit it must seem like I’m an alien. I assure
you, I’m not.’
‘Then where the hell were you?’ Karl asked again.
‘Didn’t Stefan tell you?’ Johannes eyed the men suspiciously.
‘Tell us what?’
‘I needed morphine, I am injured,’ Johannes told them motioning towards his
legs, ‘I told him to tell you guys that I would be right back.’
‘Then why weren’t you “right back?”’ Rolf asked.
‘The lights went out,’ Johannes said, ‘how can I find my way back in the
‘Your lying,’ Karl said as he pulled a grenade out of his pocket, ‘step out
of our way Johannes or I’ll blow us all up.’
Johannes expression changed from calm to worried.
‘Why don’t you believe me?’ he asked.
‘Sorry Johannes, its just business.’
Karl, Rolf and the dog worked their way around Johannes and out the door.
Once out in the hall Karl closed and barred the door shut.
‘You think that’ll hold him?’ Rolf asked Karl.
‘It will for a little while, let’s get out of here!’
The two men heard wood breaking from inside the room. It sounded like
Johannes had broken into the roof. They pointed their guns upwards as
Kristoffer started barking. They heard the creature crawling in the rafters
away from where they stood.
‘Why didn’t he try to disguise his identity like the Mikael creature did?’
‘It knew it would be discovered with the blood test, that’s why it ran,’
Karl answered, ‘now it knows that we know its not Johannes.’
The men turned to see a flare and a flashlight coming towards them. It was
Anders holing the flare and Ruben obviously holding the flashlight because a
flamethrower was hanging off his back.
‘We heard Kristoffer barking,’ Anders said.
‘What happened?’ Ruben asked.
Karl explained to the two men what happened.
‘So Johannes is still loose,’ Anders sighed.
‘We should go fix the lights,’ Karl suggested.
‘Already checked,’ Ruben told him, ‘the fuses are fine, we ran downstairs
to check the generator and it was gone. Completely disassembled. It’ll
take at least a week to put it back together and even then it might not
‘Right now we should go to the war room,’ Anders told them.
The war room was the biggest room of the complex. Its housed most of the
computers and held all the important records; most of the guns and
ammunition were kept in this area also. If the expedition were to make any
sort of stand against the creature it would start in that room. Beside the
war room was the ice block room.
The group was about to head back for the rest of the expedition when a
massive explosion went off.
‘What direction did that come from?’ Anders demanded.
‘I don’t know,’ Rolf admitted, ‘but that’s the direction Johannes went.’
Chapter 7 – The First Degree
Eight humans and one dog milled about in the war room. Rolf slept on a
chair in the corner with his dog by his feet. Karl and Ragnvald stood by
the ice block room door talking to Anders. Arkov sat in the back of the
room scribbling down notes in his reports. Stefan was cooking up some
canned food on a hot plate. Jacobine sat by a window staring out into the
white. Ruben crouched over the last repairable radio holding a soldering
iron. The explosions had wreaked havoc on the outpost. Last night, when
the first explosions occurred, most of the electrical equipment at the base
was destroyed. In fact, most of the base had gone up in flames. It was the
next day now though. The base was now simply a bunch of smoldering cinders
and a few still standing rooms, the war room being one of them. Johannes
had not been seen since then.
‘Piece of shit,’ Ruben cursed to himself in the corner.
Ragnvald, Karl and Anders stepped out into the ice block room with their
guns. Checking the barricades, Jacobine thought. Jacobine smelled smoke.
‘Stefan, is that your food?’ she asked him.
Stefan took the cigarette out of his mouth and looked back at his
unattended hot plate.
‘Son-of-a-bitch!’ he yelled as he ran over to the canned pasta, ‘you gotta
be fucking kidding!’
He threw the overcooked ravioli on the ground and yelled.
‘Damn you Johannes, you bastard!’ he shouted, ‘I’ll burn you for burning my
kitchen you asshole.’
A book flew and hit Stefan in the side of the head.
‘Hey shut up,’ Rolf said groggily.
Kristoffer walked over to the pasta on the ground and began eating it.
‘Damnit,’ Ruben cursed softly again.
He picked up the radio and hauled it over to the back room so that he could
have easier access to the electronic supplies and went back to work. Stefan
glanced down at the dog eating the spilt food.
‘Get out of here you mutt,’ Stefan said and he kicked the dog causing it to
‘Hey watch what you kick or I’ll kick you in the teeth!’ Rolf said,
‘Ha, your to slow to hit me,’ Stefan sneered.
‘I have no idea what you mean Stefan,’ Rolf said angrily, ‘with your mighty
black lungs you wont be moving anywhere fast!’
‘Don’t tempt me!’
‘Your asking for it!’
‘Hey! Both of you!’ Ruben shouted from the back room, ‘shut up!’
Ruben closed the door. Rolf and Stefan glared at each other. Arkov got up
and went into the ice block room hoping to get away from the screaming
‘You people make me sick,’ Jacobine said pushing them apart, ‘I’m going to
the washroom. When I get back you two better be doing something
Jacobine went out the door and around to the hallway.
‘You ain’t worth my time,’ Rolf said and he returned to his chair to sleep.
Stefan just stood there. After a moment he picked up his box of cigarettes
and walked to the ice block room to join the others. Rolf sat there
listening to the quiet commotion Ruben was causing in the back room then
.:a while later:.
Rolf awoke with a jolt. He had felt something brush against his legs and
when he looked he saw it was only Kristoffer.
‘Silly dog,’ he said and patted the animal’s head.
Rolf could hear voices coming from the ice block room. It seemed Jacobine
was with them. Rolf sat and listened to each person’s voice: Ragnvald,
Karl, Anders, Arkov, Jacobine, Karl again and Stefan. He wondered why he
didn’t hear Ruben speaking. Usually Ruben was very opinionated. Rolf
listened for Ruben in the back room but didn’t hear any noise. Maybe he
fell asleep, Rolf though to himself. The dog keeper got up and ambled over
to the back room. He slowly opened the door and stuck his head in. What he
saw sent a chill through his spine.
‘Hey you guys!’ Rolf shouted towards the ice block room, ‘come here!’
Everyone piled back into the war room and ran over to Rolf to see what was
going one. Inside the back room, Ruben lay on his back with a soldering
iron stabbed into his eye. The smell of burnt flesh and blood filled
everyone’s noses. Jacobine gasped and turned away, trying to fight back
tears. Anders went up close to examine Ruben’s body.
‘He was murdered,’ Anders announced, Jacobine began crying loudly, ‘not by
one of those things but by one of us.’
He looked from person to person.
‘This expedition has just gone from worse to horrendous,’ he continued,
‘with an alien and a murderer in our midst we are in a lot of danger…’
As Anders continued on with his plans for setting up night watch shifts and
the likes, Stefan began to back away from the group until he was out of the
back room. I’m not safe here, he thought, I’m probably next to be knocked
off. Quietly he grabbed a rifle and a few grenades and snuck into the
‘Stefan? Where’s Stefan?’ he heard someone say.
He turned and saw everyone coming towards him.
‘Get away from me!’ Stefan shouted as he ran down the hall.
‘Stefan come back,’ he heard Anders yell.
They were running after him now. Oh crap, Stefan thought as he turned into
a room. He closed and locked the door behind him then slumped to the floor
against the door. Safe, he thought, for now. Something began to bang at the
door. Stefan jumped up.
‘Leave me alone!’ he shouted, ‘just go away!’
The banging continued and Stefan heard a loud raspy breathing. It was the
same horrible hiss that the creature in the kennel made. The same
blood-curling hiss that whatever got Mikael made. Stefan began to sweat a
cold sweat and he began to shake uncontrollably. The breathing noise filled
the entire room. Stefan couldn’t tell whether or not it was coming from the
door or the window. The window. Stefan turned towards the window and saw
the silhouette of a human. Oh thank god, he thought, someone found me.
‘The creature is at the door!’ Stefan shouted to the figure, ‘you gotta
help me out!’
The figure raised its arms to break the glass. That’s when Stefan noticed
that the figures arms weren’t exactly “arms.”
.:outside the room:.
‘Open up the freaking door!’ Anders shouted again as he hit the door more.
Ragnvald motioned for him to stop and told everyone to be quiet. They
listened. Stefan screamed and glass shattered on the other side. They
winced as they heard bones cracking and flesh tearing. Karl and Rolf began
charging the door. It started to give against the blows. They charged
again and the door broke down. Anders stepped forward with a flamethrower.
Nothing. The room was empty except for a pool of blood. All they could
hear was the wind whistling through the broken window.
‘Shit,’ Anders said.
The group grimly marched back to the war room.
Chapter 8 – Truths Unknown
‘Rolf, Karl and I shall take the first shift,’ Anders announced.
Everyone nodded their heads and dispersed. Ragnvald let Jacobine have the
bed and he took the couch that they pulled out of the rec room remains.
Arkov wandered into the corner with some papers. Karl set up sentry at the
window while Anders guarded the hallway door. Rolf stood by the ice block
door. Rolf stared out through the door’s window at the ice block. How the
hell did I wind up in there, he thought, I guess it doesn’t matter anymore;
all that matters is survival. The dog keeper had been watching for about
half an hour when he heard clicking noise. Like claws hitting a hard
surface. Alarmed, Rolf began to look around wildly. Kristoffer rubbed
against Rolf’s leg.
‘Jeez,’ Rolf said, ‘you gotta stop sneaking up on me like that!’
The dog sat down and Rolf scratched its furry mane. The clicking noises
continued. Rolf looked up through the door window and saw what looked like
an upright lobster wandering around in the ice block room. This ‘lobster’
was a mass of mutated flesh, its claws rolling around off its body and
tendrils hanging on the underside. Where the ‘lobster’s’ curved tail should
have been he saw Stefan’s torso being dragged around. Rolf shied away from
the window to hide himself. The creature looked towards the door. Rolf
began to breath harder. He contemplated calling the others over but then
they would have to destroy the creature. He wanted to see what it would do.
The creature, satisfied no one was watching from the door, resumed its
examination of the ice block. It ran one of its claws across the ice and
leaned forward to look at the inside ice. Rolf watched as the creature
finished its examination then walked out of view. Rolf leaned closer to the
glass to see if he could get a better look. The alien wasn’t in the far
corner and the door wasn’t ajar so that meant it hadn’t left the ice room
yet. That would mean the creature was… The alien’s head appeared in front
of Rolf’s vision. He shouted and stumbled backwards.
‘G, get over here you guys!’ Rolf shouted, ‘its right at the door!’
The creature was hitting at the door but once it saw Anders come towards it
with his flamethrower it backed away. Rolf picked up his rifle and kicked
the door through. Anders yelled and began shooting flames. The creature
was near the exit and it had begun to morph into Stefan so that it could run
away faster. Anders ran full bore towards the alien with Rolf right behind
him. Rolf glanced back to see Karl standing at the war room door holding
his own flamethrower; it seemed Karl was staying to guard the others.
Anders torch blazed again when they got outside and Rolf saw that the
creature was on fire. The station manager began to laugh maniacally as the
Stefan-thing burned. It stretched and blew in half sending a piece of it
flying away from the fire. Anders gave the burning half more flame then ran
off in pursuit of the other thing. Rolf tried to follow but slipped on ice
and landed on his back. He blacked out.
.:a very short time later:.
Rolf’s eyes opened with a jolt. He was still lying in the snow and he was
freezing. Rolf rolled over and tried to push him self to his knees. His
joints popped with cold and his body was soaked through his clothing.
Slowly, the dog keeper managed to get back on his feet. He looked around.
The lights were still on inside but Anders was nowhere to be found. Teeth
chattering, Rolf picked up his rifle and stumbled back towards the ice block
room. The doorway was blocked by debris.
‘Aw, shit!’ Rolf muttered to himself.
Frantically, Rolf searched for a way in. He found one. Almost eight feet
above his head there were windows for the ice block room. Rolf pried away
all the debris that he could and piled it up onto each other to form a
makeshift ladder. Slowly and deliberately, Rolf climbed up the debris to
the window. Shit, Rolf thought, how the hell am I going to break it? He
began beating on it with his hands. Ineffective. The dog keeper glanced
back down at the ground and had an idea. He climbed back down and picked up
his discarded rifle. He tried to aim at the window but his shivering caused
him to miss.
‘Come on, Rolf,’ he said to himself, ‘this is an easy target.’
He fired again and the bullet went through the window. Four more shots and
Rolf dropped the gun. He was sure he had pneumonia by now and he ran back
over to the debris and began climbing with a renewed vigour. When he
reached the window he banged on it a few times and it gave way. Rolf pulled
himself through the frame and into the room. He hung there. Oh crap, Rolf
thought, how am I going to get down? He clutched onto the edge of the
window thinking but soon lost his grip. Rolf fell about ten feet to the
ground. Whump. He lay there a while wondering if he had broken anything.
The cold ran through his body. After a moment he got up.
‘Holy shit,’ he said, ‘nothing’s broken.’
Rolf smiled at his luck and began for the war room door. Before he could
get his hands on the knob the door swung open and the nozzle of a
flamethrower was staring him in the face.
‘Where in the hell have you been?’ Anders asked cautiously.
‘Outside, unconscious,’ Rolf was getting angry, ‘why the fuck did you leave
me out there? I could have died!’
Anders looked at the shivering Rolf.
‘I didn’t see you outside, I thought you went back in,’ Anders answered, ‘I
burned the rest of Stefan anyways.’
‘That’s good to hear,’ Rolf commented as Anders let him in.
‘What?’ Rolf turned to look at Anders.
‘When I came back in I found everyone around her body arguing over who did
‘You mean she was murdered?’
‘I’ll tell you in a moment, get into something warmer,’ Anders replied but
he kept his torched aimed at Rolf, ‘you know we’re going to have to test
Rolf just looked at him.
‘We’re going to have to test you too,’ the dog keeper replied, ‘neither of
us have been tested yet.’
‘Fine,’ Anders said, ‘we’ll retest everyone.’
.:after Rolf had gotten changed:.
‘So where is her body?’ the dog keeper asked to Anders.
‘We burned it like Ruben’s,’ Anders replied.
‘Just in case.’
‘Just in case,’ Anders repeated.
‘How did she…’ Rolf began.
‘Multiple stabbings,’ Anders interrupted, ‘there was a fire axe in her
spine, two ice picks; one in her head, the other below her right shoulder.
A sharp piece of metal had also been driven into her back and a rifle. A
rifle of all things had been stabbed into her side.’
‘My god,’ Rolf muttered.
‘Arkov, Ragnvald and Karl are all suspects,’ he continued, ‘it’s basically
you and me… once I know for sure your human.’
Rolf nodded and started setting up a blood test when he heard the alien
howl. Everyone looked up from his or her tasks towards the hallway door.
Ragnvald was firing his rifle down the hallway. Karl and Anders scrambled
for their flamethrowers but Ragnvald motioned for them to forget it. That
thing had gotten away. The blood test was forgotten and soon they set up
sleep shifts. Ragnvald and Arkov were to take the next night watch shift
but Karl stayed up with them as the third watchman. Rolf and Anders grabbed
some survival blankets each and fell asleep on either side of the station.
Anders awoke groggily and looked around. Karl stood over him.
‘Wha, what’s going on?’ the station manager asked.
‘Ragnvald’s missing,’ Karl replied anxiously.
‘What happened?’ this news had woken Anders up.
‘Don’t know,’ Karl admitted, ‘I went to use the bathroom and when I came
back he was gone. Arkov was sleeping by the ice door but I swear I heard
Rolf get up when I went in the bathroom.’
‘Alright,’ the station manager got up and walked over to Rolf, ‘hey wake
Rolf murmured and rolled over. Anders kicked him hard and Rolf awoke.
‘The hell do you want?’ he asked.
Rolf sighed and sat up wiping the sleep from his eyes.
‘Where’s Ragnvald,’ Anders repeated.
‘What do you mean, “where’s Ragnvald,”’ Rolf asked, ‘I’ve been asleep, how
the hell should I know where he is.’
Anders turned away from Rolf without answering his question.
‘Everyone,’ Anders announced, ‘we are being picked off at an alarming rate.
Yesterday there was eight of us, now that number has been cut in two. It
seems my shift sleep plan was a failure. No matter what, something bad
happens. If you want to take the risk, go ahead and sleep. But for now,
all we can really do is wait.’
The group of four men glanced around at each other.
‘Just wait,’ Anders whispered to himself, ‘that’s all I have to say,’ he
finished by looking up into the eyes of each member. Each set of eyes was
filled with fear. Fear of the alien and of the murderer. Fear of sleep and
fear of awake. What was in their eyes was fear of death.
Chapter 9 – Truths Revealed
The room was quiet, like a desert without a wind. No one spoke to each
other. They all sat around waiting. Karl and Anders were playing a game of
cards on the table. Rolf lay back in a chair scratching Kristoffer’s fur.
Arkov sat in the corner scribbling on his papers.
‘Damnit,’ Anders said, ‘good game, Karl.’
‘Play again?’ Karl offered.
‘Naw,’ Anders replied, ‘I’m gonna shave off this mess of a beard while I
Anders stroked his damaged beard and walked towards the bathroom. Karl
gathered the cards and walked over to the back storage room.
‘I’m going to sleep in here,’ Karl announced, ‘I’m going to barricade the
doors from the inside.’
Arkov and Rolf nodded. The Russian continued to work on his papers for a
while longer then got up and walked towards the broken radio Ruben was
trying to fix. Rolf watched as the scientist hummed and tried to rebuild
the broken machinery. Rolf’s gaze wandered over to where Arkov’s papers
were. His report, Rolf thought, I wonder if he mentions me losing the alien
in it. Rolf stood up and walked over to the corner. The cover of the
report had a bunch of serial numbers and secret phrases on it. Rolf opened
up the report and skipped to the page where it listed of expedition
casualties. Rolf began reading from the top of the list. It began with
Mikael, Johannes and Stefan, beside their names it read: infected by alien
entity. He scanned down the list and read all of the victims who were
murdered. Soldering iron stab wound to head, it read beside Ruben’s.
Multiple stabbings with random objects (read page 33 for details), it read
beside Jacobine’s. He looked at Ragnvald and expected to read, missing in
action but instead his description read: Stab wounds to stomach, body
stuffed in closet. How the hell could Arkov know that? Rolf thought. He
scanned down and read more. Anders’ name was there and it read, death by
suicide, slashing of throat and wrists. But, Anders isn’t dead yet, Rolf
thought. Rolf found his name on the list.
Jans R. Bolen – decapitated by fire axe
Rolf couldn’t find his breath. Arkov was the murderer, he had all of the
killings planned out and was slowly executing each one. Execute, Rolf
thought, I hate that word. Rolf flipped to the page where it went in depth
about his death.
Jans Bolen was suspected of being one of the aliens. The expedition tried
to tie down Mr Bolen for his own safety but Mr Bolen refused and became
violent. In a violent rage, Mr Bolen fired his rifle and killed expedition
member Karl Kristoff. Dr. Valentin Arkov managed to stop Mr Bolen by
hitting him with a fire axe. The blow decapitated Mr Bolen.
Rolf heard footsteps and grunting behind him. He turned and saw a freshly
shaven Anders stumble towards a chair. The station manager was covered in
blood. Anders sat in the chair and shuddered; his neck had been slashed.
Rolf stepped back into the shadows and watched as Arkov stepped forward and
made the cut in Anders neck deeper. Anders made a gurgling noise then died,
his arms fell limply to his sides. Arkov took his murder weapon, the razor
Anders had shaved with, and slashed his wrists. Blood poured onto the
floor. Arkov looked around quickly then slid the razor into Ander’s dead
hand. If Rolf hadn’t seen it happen he would have thought it was a suicide.
I’m next, Rolf thought. Arkov was heading towards the ice block room when
Rolf stepped forward with his rifle.
‘What are you doing Anders?’ he said in a quiet but commanding voice.
‘Y, you were here all along?’ Arkov asked bewildered.
Rolf raised his rifle and fired it into the roof. Karl came running in
with a flamethrower.
‘What’s going on?’ he demanded and then he spotted Anders, ‘what the hell
‘I found our murderer,’ Rolf said waving his gun towards Anders.
‘You sick asshole!’ Karl screamed and ran towards the scientist.
Arkov tried to jump out of the way but the pilot was to fast. He swung his
torch at the scientist and hit him upside the head. Arkov fell and Karl
stepped back a few steps. Karl ran forward and gave Arkov a massive kick to
the stomach. Karl raised his torch to burn the Russian when Rolf knocked it
out of his hands.
‘What the hell did you do that for?’ Karl demanded.
‘Wait,’ Rolf said, ‘I want to find out why he killed them.’
Karl looked at Rolf; a fire was burning in his eyes. He then looked at
Arkov and spat at the quivering mass.
.:a few minutes later:.
Arkov was tied to a chair, squirming.
‘You don’t know what your doing!’ he reasoned, ‘with me tied that thing
will get me!’
‘With you untied you’ll get us,’ Karl replied with a snap.
‘You don’t understand,’ Arkov said, ‘I had to kill them!’
‘Why?’ Rolf asked in an eerily calm voice.
‘They were the prime suspects!’
‘What do you mean?’
‘They were the most likely to be infected!’
‘But in the end, none of them were.’
‘Yes, a minor mistake on my part…’
‘“A minor mistake?!”’ Karl shouted, ‘you killed almost half out
‘And if I hadn’t they would have been infected anyways,’ Arkov replied.
‘So why were they the prime suspects, Arkov,’ Rolf asked still in a calm
voice, ‘why were they so special? I was one of the prime suspects too,
Arkov. Why didn’t you kill me first?’
‘Ruben had great leadership qualities, but the man was a fool,’ Arkov
reasoned, ‘he was trying to command everyone and at the same time was
upsetting everyone. If I hadn’t have killed him he would have commanded us
to out deaths.’
‘Bullshit,’ Karl blurted out, ‘that’s no reason to kill the man.’
‘I also suspected he was infected at the time.’
‘So why Jacobine?’ Rolf asked.
‘Ruben and her were secret lovers,’ Arkov responded, ‘if Ruben had been
infected then maybe he would have gotten her when they were sleeping with
‘But after killing Ruben, wouldn’t you have seen he wasn’t infected and
therefore couldn’t have gotten to her?’ Rolf reasoned.
‘He’s bullshitting us, Rolf!’ Karl interrupted, ‘these are all just excuses
he’s making up! The man is just crazy!’
‘Your right,’ Arkov said, a strange grin coming over his face, ‘I am crazy
The doctor began chuckling. Slowly, his chuckles rose to an all out crazed
laugh. Karl punched the doctor in the face.
‘I killed Ruben because I didn’t like him, he was an arrogant ass hole!’
Arkov said smiling, ‘I killed Jacobine because she was a woman! Women don’t
have any place in the Antarctic!’
‘Why you sexist bastard…’ Karl muttered. He clenched his fists ready to
hit Arkov again when the Russian continued his crazed rant.
‘Ragnvald was tall and quiet! He was a freaking loner! I hate loners and I
hate tall people! So I killed him and stuck his body in a cabinet!’ Arkov
was laughing menacingly while he spoke, ‘and Anders. Anders was never fit to
run this operation. He thought he was so strong and so skilled. He thought
his tough love would keep him alive! Well I showed him, I showed him that
tough love doesn’t do shit!’
Arkov began to laugh again. Karl raised his fist but then thought better
‘Let’s just leave him in here,’ Karl said quietly, ‘maybe Johannes will
come and do him in for us.’
‘But what if Arkov is already one of those things?’ Rolf asked him.
‘Blood test,’ Karl said and he went to get a flamethrower.
Rolf grabbed a couple of drinking glasses and a spool of copper wire. They
put the equipment on a table and Rolf pulled out his knife.
‘I’ll go first,’ Rolf said, ‘I haven’t been tested at all yet.’
He took his knife and made a small incision on his pinky finger and let the
blood fill the bottom of a glass. Karl, who had been heating up the copper
wire with the torch, stepped forward. Rolf stepped to the back of the room.
Karl stuck the wire into the blood. Nothing. The tissue burnt but that
was all, Rolf was fine. Karl took off his torch and gave it to Rolf. The
dog keeper began heating up some more wire while Karl cleaned off the blade
and sliced his own pinky. Rolf stuck the wire into the blood. Nothing. The
two men looked at each other. Then they smiled and embraced.
‘Holy shit, man,’ Karl said almost in tears, ‘I though I was the only
person left who wasn’t infected.’
‘Same here,’ Rolf said, ‘same here.’
‘So, how about we do the crazy bastard now?’ Karl suggested motioning
towards the closed door Arkov was sitting behind.
The two men gathered up their stuff when they heard Arkov scream. Rolf
raised his torch and Karl picked up the other flamethrower. They ran up to
the door but held their positions there. They heard wood breaking and flesh
being torn. That otherworldly hissing was filling their ears. Rolf saw the
red eyes flash into his mind. Then, in his mind, he saw those eyes catch on
‘We got to do this now,’ Rolf muttered.
Karl nodded and they were about to break down the door when the door
shattered and a mass of fur and flesh flew over their heads. Both men fell
but quickly rose again to their feet. In the back room a large mutating
mass of Arkov stood up. It looked like some cross between a horse, a
centipede and a human. Another crashing noise came from behind them. What
ever had gotten Johannes had come through the war room wall and towards
them. The Johannes-thing looked like a spider that had been crossed with a
pit bull. It moved forward on its eight legs and Rolf caught a glimpse at
its face. It was Johannes face except it had eight eyes bulging out of the
fore head. Karl screamed and ran towards the Johannes creature with his
torch burning. The creature sprayed acid juice at him but missed. Rolf
dove over a table and rushed towards the creature as well. It was
preoccupied with keeping Karl at bay so it didn’t have time to react when
Rolf came up from behind and lit its bulbous body on fire. The creature
screamed and its legs flailed. One leg hit Rolf across his back while he
turned to run. Luckily, all the leg hit was the flamethrower tanks. Rolf
fell and heard a hissing noise coming from his tanks. They’re going to
blow, he though. Quickly, Rolf pulled the tank of and threw it over towards
the Johannes-thing. The tank exploded almost completely incinerating what
was once Johannes. The explosion knocked Karl backwards and he landed on
his back. Karl’s tank caught on fire and he yelled as his jacked started to
burn. Rolf ran up and pulled the tanks off his friend and pushed him behind
a table. The tanks exploded and whatever bits remained of Johannes were now
gone. Karl rolled on the ground desperately trying to put out the flames.
‘Shit! Get it off!’ Karl shouted.
Rolf pulled out a fire extinguisher and turned it on Karl. The flames were
out. The dog keeper dropped the extinguisher and looked for some grenades.
He found a couple beside Anders dead body. Rolf picked one up and held it,
ready to throw it at the Arkov-thing. It was gone. Arkov had gotten away.
Rolf sighed and ran over to Karl to help him up.
‘Arkov is gone,’ Rolf said breathing hard.
‘What about that furry thing that broke the doors down?’ Karl asked
breathing equally hard.
‘Wh, I, oh crap,’ Rolf looked around the room, ‘Kristoffer? Kristoffer!’
Rolf turned back to Karl.
‘That thing got my dog,’ he said.
‘We’ll have to burn it, and Arkov,’ Karl said picking up a rifle and a
Rolf nodded and looked around for a rifle. There weren’t any to be seen.
The explosions had probably fried most of them.
‘I can’t find a gun,’ Rolf complained.
Karl stepped into the back room. Rolf saw him push aside some crates then
saw him pull out a metal box. He brought the box over to Rolf.
‘Anders showed me this before he died,’ Karl explained, ‘it’s the latest in
Norwegian telescopic weaponry, he told me. Most accurate sniper rifle in
the known world, he said. I didn’t know how he had managed to smuggle this
rifle in but I didn’t bother asking. All I know is that this could be very
useful right about now.’
Karl pulled it out and handed it to Rolf.
‘You’re a better shot than me,’ he continued, ‘lets finish off this alien.
They both glanced at the dead man sitting in the chair. The cold was
seeping through the walls and his blood was starting to form icicles.
‘Poor bastard,’ Karl said and he began towards the ice block room, the last
place they saw the Arkov-thing and the Kristoffer-thing go.
Rolf followed but glanced back at Anders. He looked at the surprised
expression at his dead face. Rolf raised his hand towards his head and
saluted his fallen comrade before following Karl.
Chapter 10 – The End Is Just The Beginning...
The door blocked with debris that had kept Rolf stuck outside was now gone.
It had been completely destroyed. Karl and Rolf stepped outside slowly.
It was early in the morning and the sun’s rays reflected off the snow. The
Arkov-thing stood five feet away from them.
‘Your dead Arkov,’ Karl said to the creature, ‘your not ever going to see
the light of day again.’
The Arkov-thing seemed ready to pounce but thought better of it when it saw
Karl pull a kerosene grenade off his belt. Karl pulled the pin out and
Arkov turned to run. Rolf raised his rifle fired at the creature. The
impact of the bullets caused it to stumble and soon a grenade was upon the
creature. The bomb went off in a flash of flame and the thing was burning.
Rolf watched it burn and mutate. Arkov’s face split in two and stretched in
the heat. The dog keeper looked beyond the flames and saw Kristoffer
standing there. Staring at them. The dog was about thirty metres away.
Kristoffer turned and ran. Rolf raised his rifle and fired, he succeeded in
hitting the dog. A cloud of red sprayed into the air but the dog kept
running. Rolf fired five more shots. Three more clouds of red filled the
air but the dog kept running. Rolf attempted to fire again but the clip was
‘Quick, Rolf!’ Karl motioned impatiently, ‘to the chopper, we’ll chase that
cursed creature to its death!’
Rolf followed the pilot to the helicopter while changing the clip in the
rifle. He threw the empty one to the ground as Karl opened the copter door.
Rolf fumbled with the clip and loaded the gun while the rotors began to
‘Come on, get in,’ Karl shouted over the noise.
‘What about grenades? We need something to burn it with,’ Rolf said
motioning back to the camp.
‘There’s a box of kerosene grenades underneath the seats,’ Karl told him,
‘on your side.’
Rolf saw the box, nodded to the pilot and climbed into the copter. Karl
grasped the joystick and the craft began to rise. He pushed the stick
forward and the copter’s nose tilted and the craft flew. The dog had run a
fair distance while they were busy getting the copter in the air. Karl was
worried they had lost the dog. He searched for a trail of blood but there
was none. That dog was definitely infected. He piloted the craft over a
stretch of white snow and then over a steep cliff. Karl looked ahead and
saw Kristoffer standing in the snow watching them. Karl gave the copter
more speed and the dog turned and ran.
‘Get ready,’ Karl shouted to Rolf.
Rolf checked the rifle then leaned out the open door on the left side of
the copter. He saw the black figure running across the white expanse and he
raised his rifle. He saw the dog fill his scope and fired. Again and again
he shot at the dog. At these heights he couldn’t tell if he was hitting it
but he knew even if he did hit the dog it would keep going. Nevertheless,
Rolf kept firing. They were approaching another outpost up ahead. Rolf
leaned over to Karl.
‘Move in closer,’ the dog keeper asked, ‘I’m going to try and drop grenades
Karl nodded and flew in closer. Rolf set his gun down and pulled out the
box. He lifted the lid to reveal a large amount of grenades in neat rows.
He picked one up and yanked out the pin. He looked out the window and
tossed the bomb towards the dog. An explosion went off and Rolf looked to
see if they had hit the dog. They hadn’t. The dog turned towards the
outpost and Karl had to pull back on the copter to turn and chase it. Karl
steered the helicopter towards the base and circled around. Rolf saw a
group of men gathering outside the base. Karl brought the helicopter down
and set it on the ground. Karl crawled over to Rolf’s side and grabbed a
grenade; Rolf jumped over Karl and climbed out the pilot side so his
companion could grab a kerosene grenade. Karl got out and saw the dog turn
towards the group of men. He pulled the pin and threw his arm back, ready
to toss the bomb at the dog but the grenade slipped out of his hand and fell
into the snow behind him. Rolf saw him.
‘No!’ he shouted vainly to Karl, ‘run!’
Karl didn’t hear his friend and was busy trying to find the grenade in the
snow. It exploded in a shower of flames. The helicopter caught fire and
exploded as well; Karl’s body was sent flying. Rolf ran after the dog, he
had to stop it. He saw the dog jump up onto one of the men. They just
stood there, oblivious to the danger they were in. Rolf stopped and shouted
at the men.
‘Get the hell away!’ he screamed, ‘it’s not a dog it’s a thing! It’s
imitating a dog! It’s not real!’
The fools still stood there.
‘Get away idiots!’ Rolf yelled once more and he raised the gun and fired at
the dog. He aimed well but his urgency caused him to miss the shot; he had
hit the man that the dog was jumping at right in the leg. Oh well, he
thought, I’ll apologize after I get the dog. He walked forward in the snow
and thought he heard a window break. The dog was near the building now.
Rolf raised his rifle and aimed it at the dog again. A shot was fired, but
Rolf hadn’t pulled his trigger. The bullet collided into his skull. Pain
shot through his head then everything went black.