I could feel my blood growing colder with each step I took down the boarding stairs. The contrast between the psychedelic colors of the sky and the simple, straight lines of the structure before me gave my arrival to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station an unnatural feeling. The roar of the Lockheed LC-130’s engines got farther away as I followed close behind the man who brought me here. I wondered whether Buzz Aldrin had felt the same when he visited Antarctica as when he stepped on the moon when, finally, we reached a partially hidden hatch under the elevated station and the grey haired black man turned around to face me.
“We’ve finally arrived, Drake.”
“Yes, Mr. President, but I’m afraid I have difficulties feeling the importance of the moment given I still don’t know why we’re here.”
“I guess your constant inquiring is to be expected from a journalist, but calling me ‘Mr. President’ more than a year after I passed on the title won’t get you any more answers.”
I went in first and reached the end of the ladder feeling lightheaded due to the unexpected activity and the frequent changes in temperature. On the other hand, Obama looked perfectly fine as he instructed the two soldiers to leave, grabbed a flashlight and started walking.
I hadn’t realized until then, but other than the area directly around the ladder, the entire place was pitch black. As we made our way into the darkness, I realized the walls and ceiling were not manmade. Instead, we were in some sort of cavern… a long, icy corridor possibly made by an ancient underground stream. What lie in wait at the end of the corridor, however, was far from natural. A colossal elevator, stretching several feet in every direction, stood in the middle of some sort of cavernous hall. I looked at Obama with what must have been a telltale look in my eyes. He decided it was time for some answers.
“I guess now is as good a time as any to start explaining. Some… friends, and I have been working on a little project since around four years ago. We use this elevator to transport what we need from the surface.”
“I’d heard the rumors of powerful people making clandestine visits to the Antarctic continent, but… What could you possibly be doing down here? All I’ve seen is ice and solitude since we got off the ladder.”
“Well, that’s because this is only the first stop. A little entryway we built for the more discreet visits such as ours.”
He pushed some buttons on a control panel and the heavy steel frame began moving downwards. With this, he began his lengthy explanation: Apparently, an extensive cave system had been discovered under the southern polar region five years ago. Four years ago, however, an excavation team sent to map the caverns stumbled upon a gigantic shaft leading deep into the earth. After some research, it became apparent that the scale of this place was beyond what anyone had ever seen in nature.
“And what… who could have made something like this?”
“Ah, I see you’re quick to grasp the situation. Indeed, the hollow simply wasn’t a natural formation. Rather, an ancient race of spacefaring beings created it after arriving on Earth. Our theory is that this place is the original landing spot of the first reptilians on our planet.”
“You found reptilians on the south pole?”
“No, that’s absurd. Why would they still remain here after such a long time, when life on earth has become so much easier in recent millennia?”
“Well, while I can think of some examples in history of humanoid reptiles like Japanese Kappa, I haven’t heard much of reptilians aside from a couple conspiracy theories on the internet. How could they-“
“Seventh generation reptilians look exactly like humans, except they have a clearly inferior amount of facial expressions. Think Kristen Stewart.”
He chuckled as he saw my face twist in realization. Not only was he telling the truth, but-
“That isn’t even the point, is it?”
As I asked that, the elevator stopped and the lights went on revealing bizarre surroundings. The icy cavern quickly vanished from memory as we made our way through a luxuriously furnished corridor, complete with a velvet carpet and chandeliers. Paintings detailing great moments in human history lined the walls and my excitement began rising as did the temperature of my body in the adequately heated passage.
“See these grandiose scenes from our collective past? They’re depictions of moments that shaped history, painted by people who weren’t even there. The world is shaped by history, but history doesn’t exist if there’s nobody to record it. We are about to make history. We may succeed in our purpose, or fail catastrophically. Either way, someone must be there to witness and record it.”
“But, why m-“
“You’re the only journalist in my sphere of influence who fits the profile. Specifically, you’re fluent in Esperanto, and that’s the language our meetings are held in.”
Talk was over once we got to the end of the corridor and walked through the dark wooden doors. The event was already in full swing when we came in. I recognized Angela Merkel and Elon Musk among the attendees who, despite my disbelief, listened to the plan being explained in Esperanto.
They were going to sink the entire city of Pyongyang with explosives planted right under their noses, from “The Great Hollow”. If they succeeded, they’d proceed to use similar tactics against other undesirables who opposed their agenda. If they failed, they’d initiate WW3.
I could do nothing but watch in awe as each of them was asked whether they supported the plan, and each of them answered “jes”. Time seemed to slow down as blood left my limbs and tunnel vision settled in. My eyes focused solely on one thing: The big, red button in Obama’s hands.
He pressed the button.
Night had fallen on the South Pole.
Hello, fellow steemers! This is my first attempt at this kind of story in a really long time. It's also my first writing contest on steemit! Many thanks to @v4vapid for organizing such a fun competition , it really got the writer in me going. I'll definitely participate in many more!
It was tough keeping myself below 1000 words. I like describing a lot... In fact, I had to erase around 200 words to make it fit. Tragic.
The lead image was made using pictures sourced from the NSIDC and National Geographic.