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Tag: flight

Chapter Nine: Dec 6 - Dec 9 - In Flight, Part Two
After unloading enough supplies for Moore, Lexington, Meyer, Halperin, Priestly, and Miles to survive for a few days at most, the Belle took off and flew through the pass towards Lake's camp. The winds were severe but Evvy managed to keep the aeroplane flying despite the beating it had taken. Going through the pass, they could all see that the Miskatonic Mountains had been severely damaged by the quake, losing as much as 10,000 feet in height. Gone were the strangely symmetrical peaks, the cuboid formations, and the oddly regular cave mouths. It had been no surprise, following the reveleation that the mountains were artificial. The vast expanse of tunnels and underground structures had withstood millions of years of erosion, but the force unleashed by the Nameless God stirring in its prison had left the timeless mountains looking more like rotted stumps than the soaring peaks they had been only hours ago. Buernor had come to, and he said "There is no way that anyone could climb down that mess," as he pointed to the collapsed and broken slopes below. "If we do not save them, Miss Lexington and Professor Moore are doomed."

The mountains had collapsed under the onslaught of the earthquake, leaving only their shattered stumps.

The flight was quick, and before long the Belle circled Lake's camp. It was obvious the earthquake had reached here as well. Great cracks had formed in the ice, and smoke was billowing from where the Starkweather-Moore Expedition's generator shed once stood. The tents were still intact, though shrouded in snow and ice. Fearing the worst, all aboard the Northop Delta were relieved to see a figure emerge from a tent and wave to them. Coming in for a landing, Evvy misjudged the damage done to the once pristine runway and all aboard could feel the plane's other ski bend with a sharp jolt as the aeroplane skidded to an uneven stop. Samuel Winslow approached, bewildered that the membersof his own expedition were stepping out of Lexington's craft. "What happened to Miss Lexington and the Professor? What about Mister Starkweather? Where are the rest?" His questions were answered in a perfunctory manner, and he was quizzed in turn on what had transpired at the camp in their absence.

Winslow shared that the quakes had struck several hours ago, and the aftershocks had opened up fissures in the ice. The generator was damaged and caught fire, quickly spreading to a nearby tent and the overturned fuel drums. Most of their fuel and food was gone, and they only had enough for a week at best. Most of the dogs had run off, and those that remained would not be enough to see them to the coast. Sykes and the Sorensons advised against any travel, stating the region was too unstable. The remaining Fokker had tipped over into a crevasse, and was damaged beyond repair. They had lost three men - Bryce and Cartier were in the sample cave, which had collapsed, and Stoltz, the BFE radioman, had fallen in a crevasse. Doctor Professor Uhr had been badly burned, and there were other injuries as well. They had seen the Weddell fly overhead, turn towards the South Pole, and then fly on. Evvy remembered they had laid supply caches between their base and Lake's camp, and realized they only had enough fuel to reach the nearest one. If they hurried, they could catch the two Germans.

It was early yet at Lake's camp, 6 a.m. to be precise, and time had to be spent straightening the Belle's damaged ski, checking the engine, and getting what fuel they could from the D-BFEA. Tyson gave what aid he could to Uhr, who kept up a brave face despite the 2nd and 3rd-degree burns on his hands. The rest aided in clearing the cave to try and recover Bryce and Cartier's bodies, but only found the former. Myers found his notes and samples, and opted to destroy them rather than let evidence that the cave had been worked by intelligent hands reach the outside world. Stacey and Pierce Albemarle siphoned what fuel they could, and after Huston and Longfellow had filled the Belle, the group was on its way again. Colt Huston had joined them, as someone would need to fly the Weddell back to camp. One of the Germans, Benecke, decided to join them as well. Though an opportunist by Jeeves's reckoning, he would present a friendly enough face to Baumann and Rucker.

The Belle was ready to fly before long.

An hour later, they spotted the BFE's supply cache from the air. The big Boeing 247 was three miles away on rough ground, but looked intact. Opting for expediency, Evvy set down as close as she could to the tent and radio mast the two men had set up. Taking precautions, Jeeves stepped out with a rifle much to Benecke's puzzlement. "They have gone snow-crazy," he explained, "and that's why they stole the plane. We need to be cautious." Despite his misgivings, Baumann emerged from the tent with a friendly wave. Though obviously shaken, he was still sane. He explained that Halperin had gone mad, and they feared the others dead when they saw the damage that had been done to the tower. Rucker had been shot in the belly, and was in bad shape. He had contacted the Graf Zeppelin however, and expected the airship to arrive in about ten hours. As he spoke with the others, Tyson went to examine Rucker. Though the geologist was in bad shape and feverish, he would survive with proper care. But Rucker seemed determined that the truth must get out to the world, and Tyson saw that he had no choice. A syringe full of morphine later, and Rucker would be a problem no longer, though Tyson opted to keep that detail to himself.

Stacey explained the situation to Baumann, whose glimpse of the Nameless God had been enough to convince him that the world should never know of the horrors that lay locked in the southern ice. A plan was made to port fuel and supplies to the Weddell, though the going was slow and the wind brought with it a whiteout that did not clear for several hours. By late evening, the Graf Zeppelin had arrived, and German parachuters had landed to help secure the area. The situation was explained, and after Baumann and Rucker's body were taken back, a rescue flight would be lauched to Lake's camp. With luck, they would be in Argentina in a week's time. Relieved that their comrades would be safe, both aeroplanes were flown back to Lake's camp. Following a few hours' rest, they were once again en route in the Weddell for the City of the Elder Things.

Despite the turbulent winds (and a bout of airsickness) the aeroplane was circling the ruins after a few hours. A figure could be seen on a nearby tower, several hundred yards north of the original landing site at the plaza, waving a red flag or shirt of some kind. Setting down about 200 yards away, Evvy and Tyson remained with the aircraft while Jeeves, Stacey, Myers, and O'Neil made their way to the ruin. A figure emerged, and after a tense moment, it was revealed to be Patrick Miles. He explained that the Elder Things had returned to the city and attacked them. They had used some strange device to dissovle what was left of the Enderby with a glowing blue mist. They had shrugged off Moore's pistol, but Miles kept them at bay with his rifle. Moore had fallen down an icy slope and broken his hip - badly - and Lexington and Preistly had not yet returned. He made sure that the two on the plane would remain there before escorting the rest to their temporary redoubt inside a collapsed tower.

The city of the elder things was no more.

Moore was there on an improvised stretcher and in great pain thanks to his broken hip. Halperin remained there, still bound and glaring furiously, while Meyer sat in a corner nearby, muttering softly to himself in German. Before concrete plans were made gunshots sounded from outside and Miles, who remained by the door to the crumbled tower, entered. "They are coming back," he yelled, "and they have that strange box with them!" Moments later they could feel a vibration that reached down to their bones shake the tower, and a blue mist could be seen descending from the ceiling. "Run, in God's name run!" Miles yelled. O'Neil grabbed Meyer as Stacey and Myers hauled Moore's stretcher. Jeeves attempted to pull Halperin along, but the man began to fight like a savage beast. Believing that a clean death was preferable, he put a bullet in the madman's head and ran.

Running out of the ruined tower, up the icy ramp of rubble, and into the plaza, all could see the tower dissolve in a haze of luminous blue mist. Suddenly, there was a hail of loose stone, shards of ice, and a spray of water as the foundation of the disintegrated tower erupted upwards. Horror followed. A massive, irridescent black ooze with a multitude of eyes, chittering mouths, and lashing pseudopods rose from below - a Shoggoth! Miraculously, the only one who froze was Myers. A quick slap from Stacey shook him from his stupor. Herr Meyer screamed and tore lose of O'Neil's grip, running headlong into the ruins. Jeeves had lagged behind, and now ran for his life. The Shoggoth was not along, piping "Tekeli-li, tekeli-li" madly, as four Elder Things swooped down from the nearby rooftops.

A shoggoth emerged from the ruins, firmly under the control of the elder things. Horror came with it.

A hail of gunfire greeted them, to little effect. O'Neil ran and managed to inflict damage on two of the monstrous aliens with his shotgun, while Tyson remained by the Weddell to lay down covering fire. Stacey and Myers kept dragging Moore's stretcher as he fired off rounds from his pistol. Miles ran ahead and was snatched by one of the flying creatures, as was Meyer. It was too late to help them. Although all who had visited the Black Tower knew the fate that awaited them, it was all they could do to survive. Jeeves shot the Shoggoth with a round from his flare gun, and the monstrosity screeched in a multitude of reedy voices. It grabbed the Englishman, and began to pull him away. O'Neil blasted it with his shotgun to no effect. Tyson was pulling the survivors aboard the Weddell when he remembered something - the Dust of Suleiman! Reaching into his parka, he pulled out the three small packets of dust. Handing one to O'Neil, they launched a volley at the shambling horror. The dust dissolved the irridescent protoplasm on contact, forcing the creature to drop Jeeves and retreat howling into the ruins.

In an instant, Evvy had the Boeing 247 in the air. There was still no sign of Acacia Lexington and her cameraman, Priestly, but they had no time to wait. They circled low over the city, and by sheer dint of luck O'Neil spotted them returning to the plaza. Despite his misgivings, he alerted the others and signaled to the pair below to run ahead. Coming in for a quick landing, the duo were brought aboard, and the aeroplane took to the skies once more. They had lost two to a fate worse than death, but there was naught to be done but survive. With a mixture of regret and relief, they turned towards the pass through the ruins of the Miskatonic Mountains and flew towards Lake's camp.

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Chapter Nine: Dec 6 - Dec 9 - In Flight, Part One
Following the calamitous events in the Elder Pharos, other events were in motion outside. Unbeknownst to the other members of the Starkweather-Moore Expedition, Dr. Charles Myers had accompanied Ms. Lexington and the members of the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition on their flight to the city of the Elder Ones. Having explored some of the structures and tunnels over the last few days, he was convesant with the Elder Things' history and had grasped the rudiments of their written language. Despite his initial reluctance to show that he had cut a deal with Acacia Lexington and her party, he could not put off his examination of the black tower any longer.

Following the hour-long hike, Myers found the outer garments of the others in the entry chamber, and felt that the temperature in here was above freezing. Taking a cue from the others, he shed his parka and began to venture down the spiral ramp, guessing that is where the others had gone. The temperature rose steadily, quickly nearing 100 degrees. An archway covered with a curtain of dried, woven, reedy plants about 30 yards down led into a narrow hall with six rooms (three to a side) extending off it. A preliminary examination revealed chambers were curious sewing was being done, and what appeared to be a livng chamber of some sort. Heading further down after that, he discovered an archway leading to a single, large room about 60 yards down the ramp. The ramp was no longer walled on the inside at this point, and had opened up revealing a well or shaft descending to what appeared to be magma far below. A quick examination revealed several huge crystals in the room, along with what appeared to be ventillation shafts drilled through the stone.

Myers found a number of strange artifacts on the lower levels of the black tower.

Upon exiting, Myers could hear movement from another arch, about 20 yards further down the curved ramp, but opted instead to head back up. Examining the remaining rooms he found additional living quarters with maps, charts, and instruments taken from Lake's camp three years ago along with a strange, crystalline device that let out an unearthly chime he found disturbing. In another chamber, he found a pit filled with ice and three stone cylinders with tops that could be removed. In one he saw a fetid, irridescent, black mass that moved of its own accord. Shuddering, he sealed it and left it where it was.

Upon returning to the entry chamber, he was nearly knocked off hsi fet by a series of tremors. After gathering his wits, Charles was surprised by Dr. Meyer of the BFE running down the ramp, shrieking! Acacia was quick on his heels. "Grab him! He's gone mad, and will run outside and freeze if we don't stop him!" Grabbing the desperate man, Charles and the German tumbled down the ramp but avoided any serious injury. They were quickly joined by Jeeves and Evvy, but there was no sign of the others. Jeeves was evasive about what they had found, stating that in this case ignorance was preferrable to the truth. Despite this, Myers pressured Evvy to know what was in the canvas satchel she was carrying. Upon seeing the severed head of Richard Greene, Charles could only agree with the stoic English butler.

Following an echoing oath or cry above, they were joined by Tyson. Wide-eyed and obviously shaken, Tyson brushed aside all concerns for his well-being. "We should go. There is nothing more for us to do here." When asked about Samuel, Dr. Schevchenko, and Starweather, Tyson only replied. "Dead. All of them." He pointed to the bag Acacia was carrying. "That is all that remains of James Starkweather. There is nothing to bring back of the others. It is for the best that you do not know why." Once again, Myers was forced to agree.

Upon leaving the tower, they discovered that the earthquake had extended far beyond the tower. Part of the ridgeline of the valley had collapsed, and strange craters now dotted the broken ice of the valley floor. Tyson and Myers went to examine one while the rest escorted the incoherent German back to the planes. They found a strange, smooth, black stone there. A wave of revulsion swept over both men as they looked at it, and the sensation only grew as they touched the thing. Tyson could feel his back warming up, and pulled the dark gray star-shaped stone found in the cave at Lake's camp from its box. The stone was hot, hot enough to cause the oustide of his mitten to smolder. As it drew within a foot or so of the stone, it exploded in its box. Tyson took the black stone, intending to sample it later.

As they hiked towards the planes, the group saw the Weddell fly overhead on a course back to the City of the Elder Things! Quickening their pace, they came within sight of the Belle. "Stop right there!" A voice yelled out. It was Douglas Halperin. "Faces! Show me your faces!" Jeeves could hear the ragged edge of panic in his voice, and Myers spotted the barrel of a rifle poking out of the open cabin window. Acacia stepped forward, attempting to calm the pilot, but two shots were placed into the ice near her feet. "I said show me your faces!" With that, all threw back the hoods on their parkas, and were signaled to approach. Halperin's eyes were wide, and dried blood had crusted on his face from an ugly wound on his forehead. One cheek was pale with frostbite, and he was raving. Whatever he had seen had driven him mad, and in his madness he believed that the elder things could disguise themselves as humans. Halperin stated that Baumann and Rucker had overpowered him and Thorson after sharing some hot coacoa. From what they could glean, the earthquake coincided with the momentary failure of what Tyson called the Cold Hole, and there was no doubt that they had all caught a glimpse of the Nameless God. But Halperin was there only way out, and he kept one hand near his gun even as he taxied down the ice and the Belle took to the air.

Halperin had caught a glimpse of the Nameless God through the storm, and sanity had fled him.

Upon their return to the city, the group made plans as best they could under Halperin's watchful eye. No matter what, Baumann and Rucker could not reveal what had been found in the City of the Elder Things and beyond. The world could not survive more meddling by human hands in places man was not meant to venture. They had to be stopped. But Halperin was too dangerous to himself and others to be allowed free reign. If he left them in the city, they would all die there.

Much of the City of the Elder Things had been reduced to rubble by the earthquakes.

Drawing closer, the group could see the earthquake had done tremendous damage. Much of the city had been reduced to rubble and the peaks of both the Western Range and the Miskatonic Mountains had collapsed. But the plaza was still intact, and the landing was smooth. As they touched down, Evvy made a pretense of checking the engines for Halperin. With the madman distracted for a moment, Jeeves made his move. Halperin managed to squeeze off one shot, grazing O'Neil's ear in the tight quarters of the aeroplane before Jeeves jammed a syringe filled with morphene that Tyson had provided him into his neck. In seconds it was over and Halperin was drug off the plane and bound. Moore approached them from the nearby ruins, and after a quick explanaton of what happened and a moment to grieve for the loss of his friend, their plan was finalized. Acacia and Priestly would remain with Moore and Miles to film what was left of the city and the surrounding mountains. This would prove that there was nothing of note here. The rest would pursue the Boeing 247. It was their only chance to get everyone, both in the city and at Lake's camp, back to safety.

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Chapter Seven: Dec 1 - Dec 4 - The City of the Elder Things, Part Two
The initial take-off from Lake's camp went smoothly and in no more than a few hours' time, the passengers on both the Weddell and the Enderby saw the Miskatonic Mountains loom ever larger in their view. The foothills that the Miskatonic University Expedtion had encamped on were comparable in height to the Alps, and the higher peaks soared above them. Lexington's sturdy Northrop Delta, the Belle, was more than an hour ahead and no longer in sight. Both the Boeing-247 aeroplanes shuddered as they rose past 16,000 feet, and heavy turbulence rocked both cabins. But all were strapped in, and apart from a few bumps, everyone was fine. Evvy noticed that they had caught a powerful tailwind, and their airspeed rose to more than 250 miles per hour. She knew these winds could prove to be a problem, but gritted her teeth and flew on.

The mountains went upward, seemingly without end.

Higher and higher the aeroplanes climbed, and their engines strained in the thin air, but they rose steadily and made good time. Beneath they could see the knife-edged peaks jutting up from the ice and snow. The whole sky had turned ruddy pink as the Antarctic day shone through a haze of ice crystals and freezing fog. Haloes of golden light shone around the black peaks, and as the planes climbed over 21,000 feet, the strange cylindrical and cube-like formations Dyer had described could be seen dotting the sides of the bare peaks. And there were the oddly regular rectangular and semicircular cave entrances that the text had mentioned as well, unnerving shadows against the matte black of the peaks, though without any point of reference their scale could only be guessed at by those aboard the planes.

Through Moore's binoculars, Tyson spotted strange pits and marks around the entrances, similar to the dots inscribed on the green soapstone tokens found at Lake's camp. There could be little doubt that the upper reaches of the mountains had been worked by intelligent hands. Far below, Buernor saw that the glaciers flowing through the pass were strangely smooth and regular, as if flowing along an ancient riverbed or road. He realized it would be possible to ascend or descend the slope in a couple of weeks, provided one had the supplies...and oxygen. By now, those aboard had donned their oxygen masks and discovered that the dry air in the tanks tasted of glycerine and oil, a sensation similar to sniffing paint fumes. Apart from some mild headaches and dizziness, they were all fine however, and quickly adjusted to breathing with a pipe-stem clenched between their teeth.

There could be no doubt that the upper peaks had been worked by intelligent beings.

As the planes flew through the pass, Schevchenko was struck by how similar the view was to the dream-like images of Nicholas Roerich's paintings. As the wind rushed by, some of the passengers heard an eerie, atonal piping from outside, seemingly coming from the mountains. It echoed down to their bones, filling them with nameless dread and primal revulsion. Clearing the summit of the pass, the planes began to descend and there was a hiss that set the hairs on the napes of their neck up as icy mist slid along the hull of the aircraft. And then the haze was gone, and all aboard could see it - the city.

It was vast beyond comprehension. Broken buildings and crumbling spires of black stone jutted up from a sheet of glacial ice no more than 40 or 50 feet thick. Strange, pyramidal shapes, truncated cones, needle-like spires, arched spans, tubular briges, and cyclopean ramparts could be seen everywhere. Great courtyards, crumbling towers, and a labyrinth of streets extended as far as the eye could see, to the horizon and beyond. A great channel of empty ice, perhaps once a mighty river, ran through the city and ended between two colossal, barrel-like towers eerily reminiscent of the Elder Things found at Lake's camp. It turned into a frozen waterfall descending through a massive arch to unguessed at subterranean depths. On the planes flew, turning a great arc, and they could see that the city extended more than 30 miles out from the shadow of the mountains but ran perhaps hundreds in either direction along the spine of the Miskatonic range.

Beyond the pass stood the city, crumbling and ancient, vast and timeless.

"We should find a place to set down," Evvy shouted, and Moore nodded. He pointed to a great plaza dominated by a mound of rubble and a massive pit in its center. Five lanes left the circular clearing, the lower half of which was a clear sheet of ice several hundred yards long. Despite the radio static, Evvy called Halperin and the two planes banked and turned, landing smoothly on the ice. Well, mostly - the Enderby touched down hard and all aboard were bounced around again. Upon landing it was determined that the righ ski had bent nearly in half, and would have to be fixed before the plane could fly again.

Where Starkweather was excited and ready to begin exploring, Moore was practical and advised that both planes be unloaded and a camp established before anything else was done. Jeeves also pointed out that per the safety guidelines of polar survival, a buddy system needed to be established. Starkweather grudgingly agreed, and after nearly an hour of scouting and arched chamber with an intact roof at the base of a tower was found. Miles, Evvy, and Halperin had managed to straighten out the right ski on the Enderby while the rest unloaded gear and hauled supplies to the structure. Two canvas tarps were strung over the entrance, forming an airlock of sorts, while the three tents, camp stove, and gear were all set up inside.

With a proper camp set up, the investigators began exploring the city. Starkweather and Patrick Miles set off to get photos and pry off some of the local murals for scientific evidence, while Evvy and Greene began to check the perimeter of the great plaza. Jeeves and Stacey took the lane to the southeast, reconoitering some of the nearby city, while Tyson, Thorson, Schevchenko and O'Neil examined the great pit at the center of the plaza. Samuel, Halperin, and Moore stayed behind to examine the buildings nearby. Jeeves took the time to scale a nearby building, and from its roof saw a white obelisk to the west and a great clear space to the south. Venturing that way, he and Stacey discovered a series of massive pits more than 50 yards deep and 30 yards across set with ancient stone pipes. He could not know their purposed, but surmised that something was perhaps grown here.

The city of the Elder Things extended as far as the eye could see.

Climbing up the rubble, Buernor, Nikfifor, and William discovered the pit was the base of an ancient tower that had fallen millions of years ago. The hole was more than 200 feet across and 60 feet deep, and a massive ramp spiralled down the side of the tower to the floor below. A band of intricately carved murals more than a yard wide spiraled down with the ramp, broken up by panels of the strange, dot writing of the elder ones. As they descended, the trio began to decipher the pictures and correlate the subjects with the dots in the accompanying text. From what they could glean, the Elder Things were not native to Earth, and had travelled here more than a billion years ago through the void of space. They had turned from a mechanical technology to a biological one, and had grown foodstuffs and monstrous servants, only to have the servants rebel against the hypnotic control their masters used. "Shoggoths," Tyson whispered, "the things described by Dyer and in the Pnakotic Manuscripts."

Bands of intricate murals could be seen decorating the walls. They told the story of the elder things.

Further discoveries awaited them at the base of the ancient tower, where five archways led out of the circular chamber. A few were choked with rubble, but the rest were open. Examining the area, O'Neil discovered a scrap of yellowing paper wedged in between the stones of the wall. The tracks of two pairs of boots, perhaps a few years old, led through the hall. "This must be where Dyer and Danforth exited the city," he said.

"That's not all," Tyson replied. He and Buernor discovered the remains of a sled hidden beneath the curve of the ramp, along with a mound of ice similar to the ones found by Lake's camp. A green, soapstone star sat atop it, and when opened, they found a burial pit much like the ones where Lake's "specimens" were buried. But what they found was a human body, upright and frozen. "Gedney," Tyson said. "I recognize him from his pictures. But why would they bury a man this way?"

Evvy and Greene had found similar carvings after squeezing into an ancient tunnel beneath a collapsed building at the edge of the plaza. It led to a great learning hall of some sort, where the clever young socialite was able to pick out the meaning of the murals carved there. Her discoveries were much in line with those of the learned doctors, save that she realized the creatures had flown through space without any mechanical contrivance. "How wonderful that would be," she thought, though she was saddened that the "strange dinosaurs" had died off and left only ruins. By evening, the expedition members had gathered back in the plaza, exhausted. Tomorrow would bring more new discoveries, no doubt. And perhaps new terrors as well.

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Chapter Seven: Dec 1 - Dec 4 - The City of the Elder Things, Part One
The three large Fokker aeroplanes had circled Lake's camp and set down on the smooth ice south of the site at just after 6:00 a.m. As the German craft slid to a halt on the ice, the members of both the Starkweather-Moore Expedition and the Lexington Expedition hurriedly rose from their tents and walked over to greet them. The planes were all labeled - D-BFEA, D-BFEB, and D-BFEC - and the hatch to the lead plane opened. A slender gentleman with a trim, grey beard stepped out. "Greetings," he said in flawless English with only the hint of a German accent. "My name is Doctor Johann Meyer, and we are with the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition. I must apologize for our unannounced arrival. We have no wish to alarm anyone. I appreciate your kind welcome, and hope that our expeditions will equally benefit from our shared scientific talents. I bring greetings from the leaders of my expedition, and their salutations on your perseverance in the face of every difficulty. If there is anything which we can do to assist you, please approach myself or Doctor Professor Uhr and state your needs. Our labor, supplies, and equipment are at your disposal, within reasonable limits, of course. Again, our thanks for your hospitality, our congratulations on your successes, and my hope for more to come."

The Barsmeier-Falken Expedition touched down early on the 1st.

After a few pleasantries were exchanged, questions were asked. The Germans had arrived by flying over the South Pole, and were camped somewhere on the shore of the Weddell Sea - an answer Evvy realized was somewhat misleading, as that was roughly equal to the length of the East Coast of the United States. Dr. William Tyson asked why they were here, and were told "We are at the limit of the range which our planes can travel away from our base, and decided to see the renowned discoveries of Professor Lake for ourselves. In fact, we would have been here sooner, but there has been some bad weather across the ice cap. And of course, we have heard broadcasts from America of the accident which befell you ten days ago, and thought perhaps our own superior equipment might be of use if any of yours was damaged." Dr. Buernor Thorson asked why their expedition was in Antarctica to begin with, and was told "Our expedition is here to survey the coast and the Miskatonic Mountains, and determine if there are any mineral resources here that can be profitably exploited." Dr. Nikifor Schevchenko asked when they had arrived and was told, "We left Bremerhaven on September 15th, and set foot on Deception Island over four weeks ago, on October 27th, after a voyage of 9,000 miles from Germany. Our aircraft landed at the South Pole on November 2nd." He also explained that they had not contacted them via radio due to magnetic interference from the mountains. With that, he asked that his expedition be allowed to set up camp 50 yards south of Lake's campsite, and then asked to speak privately with Acacia Lexington and then Professor Moore. Since Moore had no grounds to refuse, the Germans set to work.

Jeeves noted that Acacia Lexington seemed to be expecting the Germans' arrival, and he shared that with the others. "What is that woman up to?" Moore asked. "We will find out soon enough. If you wouldn't mind keeping an eye on our new arrivals...?" With that, the rest of the investigators began to observe the German personnel as they set up their camp. Jeeves watched their radioman, Schimmel, who was unfriendly at best, though his assitant Stoltz was much more polite. Stacey Meredith Whitehall III talked with Doctor-Professor Franz Uhr, who Tyson recognized as a leading anthropologist and cryptographer during the Great War. Tyson talked with the BFE's geologist, Rucker, and found him a dedicated though blunt and unimaginative sort. Evvy talked with the pilot who buzzed the camp, Baumann, and found him charming and dashing - for a German, that is. Buernor observed their dog wrangler, the arrogant Gunter Thimm, and observed that despite his training the Germans' dogs reacted just as strongly to the radio and the scent of the Elder Ones. He and Tyson took time to hide the samples they had uncovered, unsure of how much to share with the members of the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition. O'Neil took time to interview other members of the BFE, including the absent-minded Kleiser and the jovial Uhr.

After speaking with Ms. Lexington for an hour or so, Herr Meyer spoke briefly with Moore. "It seems," he said, "we are set to Greenwich Mean Time while you are set to the time of your ships. That puts us 12 hour apart exactly. Our midnight is your noon, and so forth. That can work to our mutual advantage, allowing us to work around the clock. I must get some rest. We can continue our work tomorrow, and aid you with yours." The BFE members had set up their camp with military precision - radio mast, generators, mess tent, and 9 living tents - and in a matter of hours were an established presence.

The BFE camp was a model of efficiency.

O'Neil took a moment to talk with Acacia as she returned from talking with Priestly about a flight on the morrow. She readily admitted that she had been in contact with the Germans. They were interested in crossing the Miskatonic Mountains and seeing the plateau Dyer had described. While their Fokkers could not reach the altitude necessary, her Northrop Delta could. She was ready to sell them some seats on her plane, and was waiting for the right offer. "Anything that gets me out from under the thumb of James Starkweather." Impressed by their mutual candor, Acacia and James found a new degree of respect for each other, slight though it might be. Work continued apace on the expedition's finds for the rest of the day. Samuel was feeling much better, and did an extensive examination of the bodies of the Lake's personnel along with Tyson, while Schevchenko and Thorson studied the specimens of the so-called Elder Things in finer detail. The other scientists were informed of this, though Moore, Griffith, and Myers concentrated on studying the caves, fossils, and unusual stones left in the mounds of snow and ice. The rest of the camp crew took drilling samples and cleared away some of the mess, trying their best to weather the gruesome discoveries made thus far.

Early on the 2nd of December, the BFE personnel rose and got to work. At Moore's request, some of the investigators took turns working through their "night" to keep an eye on the Germans. They found nothing unusual though a few (such as the pilots Baumann and Breyer) were armed, and a stealthy O'Neil determined that Meyer had an unusual book and a rifle in his tent. Shortly after breakfast, Meyer approached Professor Moore and offered aid in clearing what remained of the last airplane shelter and in examining Lake's discoveries. Moore could not, in good conscience, refuse and so a full disclosure was made. With the aid of heated copper loops - "ice knives," Meyer called them - the shelter was cleared under Tyson's guidance. The results were horrifying. A number of dissections had been performed here, and the brain of one of the dogs had been slidced into paper-thin section and arranged near where a body lay then allowed to freeze. It was fine work, though neither Meyer or Uhr seemed surprised. Both were fascinated by the remains of the Elder Things and carefully examined the gruesome signs of dissection and slaughter that had been buried at Lake's camp.

The remains of the second aeroplane shelter had been uncovered at last.

"I have something I must share with you," Meyer told Moore, and presented him with a loose manuscript of sorts. "We will talk later." Moore began to read as the others cleared up and continued their examinations. Acacia returned from her initial flight, coughing and furious. She accused Moore of trying to poison her and her crew, stating that the oxygen that the Starkweather-Moore Expedition provided was tainted. Moore apologized, distracted by what he was reading. She stormed off in the meantime to make a deal with Meyer and the Germans. He readily agreed to her demands of fuel, oxygen, and a new radio for her base camp and plane, and preparations were made for a flight. In the meantime, Moore shared his discovery with the investigators. It was nothing less than Dyer's manuscript, stolen months ago from Roerich in New York! Several of them read the work, and discovered the awful truth of what had happened to Lake's camp, and what Dyer and Danforth discovered in the Miskatonic Mountains (see Summary of the Dyer Text for details).

Not long after, Starkweather contacted the camp by radio. "Blast it Moore! I'm gone a day and you invite strangers to tea! I'm heading back as soon I can. We need to figure out what the Huns are up to and what that blasted woman is up to." Moore and Lexington's broadcasts were terse, and no mention was made of the slaughter at Lake's camp. After consulting with Moore, the investigators opted to share what they had learned with Acacia, feeling it was their duty. Though Buernor argued strongly that this information should be shared with the world, the rest felt they should wait until they had more proof less their claims be dismissed - or worse yet, attract those seeking to profit from Dyer's discovery.

The 3rd was taken up by preparations for a flight over the Miskatonic range to the city Dyer had discovered. Acacia was skeptical but thankful for the warning, wondering what the Germans had wanted to see over the pass through the high mountains. Starkweather arrived around 7 p.m., and rallied the troops. After catching some rest, they prepared to leave early as Acacia was waiting for confirmation that the BFE had delivered supplies to her base near the Ross Sea. But the tanks of oxygen they secured in Melbourne proved to be tainted with industrial lubricant. Though they might induce some headaches and nausea, it was ultimately determined they were mostly harmless. The Weddell was readied, with Evvy and Moore acting as pilot and copilot, and Thorson, Tyson, Schevchenko, and Brighton-Foyle as passengers. The Enderby was piloted by Halperin and Miles, with Starkweather, Dr. Greene, Stacey Whitehall, and Jeeves as passengers. Early on the 4th, they took off, headed for the mountains.
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