Phillips wipes the frost from his goggles and turns to the vast emptiness that confronts us, “Well, what now?” I step out in front the group and gazing into endless snow-covered landscape, “We go straight in.” Phillips pulls up his goggles and squints, “How far?”
I look over my shoulder with a confident smile, “As far as we need to go!”
Tillman begins laughing, “You’re plum crazy, this is pure suicide. There’s just straight on nothing out there! We don’t know where in the hell we’re going and we got no way back! We got no snowmobiles and we only got three days of food and water on us, and that’s if we even last three days."
Phillips turns back to him pissed, “If that’s the way you feel, then head back now you moron and forfeit your share of the money!” Tillman just looks down with no response, well that shut him up, Phillips handles this trained ape very well. I wish Tillman would head back and take that Sugar Pie automation with him.
If I told them what I was searching for, they would probably flip me off and head back to the sub. Hmm, maybe I should, I could get rid of Tillman and Sugar Pie, if Phillips really cares about me, he wouldn’t leave me out here alone. Would he? Something to think about.
Walking into desolation not looking back to see if they’re even following. I wonder if they will come to their senses and back out now. I wouldn’t blame any of them if they did. Phillips isn’t stupid, why would he go through with this. This is a suicide mission, I know it, he knows it. I could imagine Tillman marching to his death for money, he’s got nothing between the ears. And Sugar Pie is just a sex-bot following her owner Phillips, no there is no way she’s going anywhere, oh well.
And despite Tillman’s only rational verbal rambling so far, Phillips still heads into the snowy barren landscape following me to the ends of the Earth, quite literally. He defends his action as business as usual. I like a man with principles, he may be simple, but at least he has principles. Not sure yet if he’s driven by greed, bravery or maybe even love yet, but so far he’s a real trooper, even though he knows Tillman is right, the odds are completely against us. We are sure to freeze to death when night fall does hit. I feel kind of guilty, he doesn’t even know why we are on this expedition. But that was part of our deal, no questions asked.
Even if we make it to our destination we certainly will never make it back. I mean look at this place, barren, there’s absolutely no wildlife out here, it looks completely dead for as far as the eye can see. I thought why would God even create such a place? Then I remembered, that’s right, a barrier, yes, a barrier, even the temperature seems to be dropping as we get further out. The Laws of Nature can stop anything.
I should be terrified heading into this desolate environmental barrier. But something deep inside won’t let me. I actually have more of a feeling of wonderment and discovery. I was sent here to this time line, by who, I don’t know.
Well after a few more hours, I can still hear the crunching of snow behind me, so I guess the greed of money supersedes the fear of dying, at least with Tillman. I can only hope Phillips can stick with me long enough.
I’m taking a huge gamble, the map Dad showed me revealed the base nearby, so we might come across some smaller outpost along the way, hopefully before things get really bad. The hours continue to pile up until finally the snow crunching behind me finally ends. I look over my shoulder, Tillman just appeared over the ridge, he seems to sway a bit, “I need a damn break” he pulls off his back pack throwing it to the ground. He plops down on it. He reaches for a side pocket on the side of his pack and pulls out a can of beer and pops it open, icy foam oozes out, “A brewsky is what I need, damn it’s almost frozen!”
I can’t believe this stupid turd, look around genius, we’re in the middle of the largest damn ice box ever. He tries to sip on his beer. Just looking into those dull eyes of his I could tell nobody’s home.
Then Phillips appears over the ridge, his back pack drops to the snow too, and uses it as a seat.
So taking a deep breath, “Okay guys, I guess we got some time for a little break.” I plop down on my back pack and wow, I didn’t realize how tired my legs are. I guess in all my excitement of discovery, I must have totally numbed out the aches and pains. I giggle to myself watching the way Phillips fumbled for his pack of cigarettes, it must been his first of the day. He should just quit, with his amazing hot body, I’m surprised he even smokes at all.
He lights up and takes a deep inhale glancing over at me, “You know, we were very lucky getting past those patrol boats back there. I was checking the Internet, there’s some kind of treaty, preventing anyone from exploring here.”
“Wow, you actually did some research?”
Yes I did as a matter of fact."
“Well, haven’t you wondered why? Haven’t you wondered what are they guarding out here? What is so damn important that no one is allowed beyond a certain point?”
Relaxed, Phillips takes another inhale on his cigarette, savoring it, “Not really, but like I said, no questions asked, but I have to admit, you’ve peeked my curiosity.”
“I have?” I take my pack off to use as a seat too, I lean forward with anticipation. I’m finally might get more than a few words out of him. I’ve heard of being A Man of Few Words, but come on!
He exhales a steady stream of smoke, “I can’t help but wonder what brought you to all the way out to Antarctica, or where in the hell you got a mini-sub for that matter. I know without it, we surly wouldn’t be sitting here.”
The way he’s sitting holding that cigarette, his mannerisms scream pure sexuality. To me, smoking is a dirty habit, but he makes it look absolutely hot. He slightly adjusts his pose, “Like I said, I’m here to just do my job."
To break the spell of his dreamy blue eyes, I pull out an energy bar and quickly unwrap it.