While Julian and Ahn are flying to NY from Bern Traveler is restlessly wandering the city after dark and encounters a creature of living ice stealing liquid nitrogen from a dockside storage facility.
Traveler follows the tanker truck to the dock passed the smashed gates and two unconscious security guards, where the creature transfers the nitrogen from the truck to a yacht with a built in tank.
The creature attempts to incapacitate Traveler but Traveler retreats into a sales office and continues to avoid the creature and arms himself with two carafes of scalding hot water. While Traveler is in the office one of the security guards from the gate attempts to stop a second creature but receives a serious (5 of 8 Body) injury for his troubles.
Traveler surveys the situation from the roof of the office and Blinks to the ground to help the fallen guard.
Traveler goes to the guard house to call 911 but before he can get out much valuable information, the second guard, who had been hiding, attempts the shoot Traveler, but only aids Traveler in avoiding the surprise attack of the Ice creatures who had been stalking him.
A carafe of hot water to the face destroys one of the creatures, and the second one returns to the boat to attempt an escape.
Traveler performs a spectacular leap to reach the escaping boat but is forced to Blink below decks when the creature attempts to direct a hose of liquid nitrogen at him.
While Traveler is below decks he collects the boats paper work while the creature unleashes the entire tank of nitrogen over the boat and runs it into a concrete embankment before disappearing.
Xino arrives at the Ferry terminal where the boat crashed and calls Julian who is just landing.
They research the owner of the boat and discover that he is a former Oceanography professor who had disappeared in the boat from his beach house about a year earlier.
Simon had left the university about 6 months before his disappearance. There was some rumor that he had been forced out for being a fervent proponent of the theory that a disruption of the Themohilaine ocean current could cause a swift and intense ice age.
In reality, Simon had resigned saying his work was not appreciated.
After leaving the university Simon continued research alone at the beach house and then about 1 year ago he disappeared along with his boat, and apparently, all his research notes.
As Julian and Xino discovered, all that was left behind at the beach house was some cast off chemistry equipment and a forgotten note on a national geographic map of the world recording some volume calculation and indicating a region just south of the tip of Greenland.
After a week the north Atlantic weather clears enough for Julian and Shino to fly to Narsarsuaq Greenland.
In Greenland, Julian, Xino, and Connor investigate Simon’s connection with the place. They learn that after his disappearance from the east coast, Simon arrived at Narsarsuaq in his boat. He seemed to be doing to some freelance research at the nearby subduction zone but after a few months he stopped coming to reprovision and instead metal and electronics began disappearing.
The local criminal element of Narsarsuaq reported to Connor that before he disappeared, Simon asked him to get as much of a certain rare chemical, Selinex, as was possible.
Julian makes friends with Claire Montgomery, an Irish grad student in Climatology, waiting for the weather the clear so she can return to New York University.
Traveler and Xino speak with Claire and then discover a stream of water running across the runway. Gathering some supplies, they trace the stream up the glacier behind the town and across the mountains.
After two days of travel, they remove several sensors devices planted in the middle of the river of the water and find what seems to be the source, a small rocket launching platform and a radio antenna. Three of the ice creatures have buried themselves in the snow surrounding the device and attempt to ambush Xino and Traveler. One of the creatures radiates a field of intense cold which cripples the character’s ability to recover. After both Xino and Traveler are beat into submission, the creatures return to the device and begin packing up the equipment. Traveler and Xino recover too soon and attempt to create an explosive device from the blowtorch that Traveler packed.
One of the creatures grabs what appears to be a laptop and flees to the west, skating over the surface of the snow. The remaining creature moves to intercept Xino and Traveler.
Traveler pursues the fleeing creature and though he manages to catch it, he discovers that it can create 5 more of the Ice creatures to pound Traveler back into unconsciousness.
As Traveler and Xino investigate the remaining equipment the first flakes of the coming snow storm begin to fall.
They find a radio receiver and two small rockets with some sort of gas tanks attached.
Scene 4 – The Snowy Hills of Greenland
A powerfully broad-shouldered man stands on the airstrip of Narsarsuaq Greenland. A stream of running water twinkles in the winter twilight. The water pours down from the glacier in the mountains behind the town and across the runway, between the figure’s legs, and finally out to sea. A stream of running water that is improbably, not frozen in the sub zero temperatures of Narsarsuaq in mid-January. A slender female figure approaches and clings close to the man for warmth and whispers to him in an Irish brogue, “Julian.”
“I’ve just heard from them on the satellite phone. They’re up on the ice pack. Two days away in good weather, but the storm is coming up fast. If only the helicopter was working.”
“You’re worried about them. I don’t blame you.”
“Not exactly. From what I know, those two can take care of themselves, but I wish I was there. This is an enemy that I don’t know. I’ve not seen him in battle. It seems he has the whole ocean to hide in. I can’t surround the ocean and squeeze him into submission like Vercingetorix.”
“He was the Gallic leader that Julius Caesar conquered in 51 BC.”
“Oh. Well, shivering in the cold won’t bring them back any sooner. Why don’t you come back to bed? It’s dark after all…”
As they turn back to towards Julian’s plane the first few flakes of snow begin to fall, invisibly, on the pale concrete runway.
Journal – January 10th 2009
“The interloper from New York returned today to interfere with the dispersion and flow test on the snow pack. Except, this time he brought support. He’s cleverer then I gave him credit for. He must have traced the documents I was careless enough to leave on my boat.
There’s no telling what he’s capable of or what other reinforcements he might have.
They came from the south and the pattern of broken stream flow sensors leads to Narsarsuaq…”
A gaunt and stoic Inuit sits at a small wooden table in the main lodge at Narsarsuaq. He stares down at the board of interlocking blonde and red wood as he speaks.
“They have been gone now for four days, Julian friend. Not even the least wise of my ancestors would walk the sirmirsuaq in a storm such as this.”
“I’d look to your own men, Amak.” Julian says as bears off his last checker and then strides to the door of the lodge, opening it to reveal two dark shapes approaching through the swirling blizzard.
Julian ushers the figures, Traveler and Xino, into a private corner of the lodge and eagerly listens to their news while the locals stare in amazement at these two who came out of the cold after days of walking across treacherous glaciers in a fierce winter storm.
At the other end of Narsarsuaq a slim humanoid figure creeps through the fury of snow. The figure is made completely of frosted ice and possesses nothing but the hint of facial features, invisible now in the shadowless void of white snow. The creature stops, finding the wall of an airplane hangar its hand then silently traces the outline of the building until it finds a door and enters. Moving as quietly as fallen snow across the concrete, the ice man finds the rear landing gear of Julian’s private plane and places a small device inside an inconspicuous place inside the well. Then, as silently, the figure disappears into the snow storm.
By satellite phone Julian arranges to purchase all existing supplies of Selinex and have it appear to be sequestered in a warehouse in New York, but actually have it transported to extremely hot and dry climate under false label. Julian further arranges to rent the exclusive rights to Selinex from its sole manufacturer, the New York Chemical Company, for a term of 6 months and to fund the NYCC’s scientists to recreate Simon’s creation using a list of chemical thefts on the eastern seaboard during the last year. The contract has the understanding that Selinex rights will revert to the NYCC and they will also have exclusive rights to any discoveries made by their scientists while under Julian’s employ.
These plans in motion and the weather clear, the group leaves Greenland for New York in Julian’s plane taking with them Claire and another research student who’d been trapped in Greenland by the recent storm.
About half way through the trip an explosion blows a hole in the rear of the plane and struggling against the suction Julian, Xino, and Traveler get the normals into seats with seat belts on before the tail of the plane detaches completely, leaving the rest of the fuselage to spiral into the cold North Atlantic.
All but one of the normals are critically injured (0 or less BODY) in the crash but the characters manage to inflate the escape slide at get the normals aboard where they can be stabilized. The group floats in the North Atlantic for a few cold night hours until icy knives pierce the raft at both ends and begin slashing the air cells. Xino searches the area for Simon’s sub and spots it submerged nearby while the others fight off four of the ice creatures. After a powerful concussive blast from Connor stuns all four creatures, they break apart and melt into water. At that same moment, the submarine turns and flees southwest towards the eastern coast of the US.
The submarine escapes, however Xino discovers a large iceberg in the distance. The normals are moved there and sheltered in a snow cave and warmed by a fire of recovered seat cushions until a day later when a Coast Guard boat spots them.
Xino and Traveler sneak aboard the boat and leave Julian to answer all questions alone. He tells the Coast Guard that he was vacationing and does not mention Xino or Traveler, hoping that the normals won’t mention them. Satisfied that they are not drug smugglers the Coast Guard allows them to return to New York City.
Julian, Traveler, and Connor arrange to conceal themselves in heat insulated Selinex containers and allow themselves to be stolen by the ice creatures. Xino, along with three Aburami clan ninjas, follow the ice creatures in themo-insulated stealth suits via helicopter.
Safely stowed away on board Simon’s submarine hidden in a deep fold of Hudson Bay, Connor pops the seal on his container to discover that he’s in Simon’s chemical manufacturing laboratory surrounded by ice creatures preparing to manufacture their chemical catalyst.
One creature grabs a laptop from the table and attempts to leave the room only to be hit by Connor’s Force blast before he can escape.
The cargo bay begins to fill with water.
Another creature takes up the laptop and leaves the lab.
The remaining ice creatures, especially one who gets the drop on him from behind, knock him out and toss him into the cargo hold to drown with the others, underestimating how long he would be unconscious.
In the fight between the creatures left in the cargo bay, Connor misses and blasts open the cargo bay door, flooding the cargo with water.
Connor also blasts open the door to the lab flooding half of the submarine.
Traveler teleports into the entry way of the submarine to cover the exits and discovers two more ice creatures guarding the area, followed by another one from the control room.
Traveler blinks outside the sub at the same moment Xino and two ninja dive from their helicopter to intercept the sub.
The last ice creature in the control room turns off the lights before leaving, taking the laptop with it.
Traveler blinks into the control room immediately after and triggers the external airlock doors, allowing Xino and the ninja access, while denying the creature with the laptop the ability to leave.
In the darkened entry way, hidden in his thermal suit, Xino manages to swap the laptop for a book of Japanese poetry before the ice creature escapes into sea.
After being hacked into, the laptop reveals Simon’s research and journaling from the moment that he left the university to pursue his plan to melt massive quantities of sea ice to create climate havoc and force political action on global warming.
When performing chemical research at his beach house Simon there was an accident which transformed his flesh into ice and giving him the ability to extend his consciousness into ice to create duplicates of himself which share his mind.
Scene 5 – Summer Interludes
The Silver Warrior
Ruwenzori Mountains, Democratic Republic of the Congo, August 2009
The last tendrils of the great Central African rainforest mount the shoulders of the towering Runwenzori Mountains. In the shadow of those mountains, somewhere in the trackless jungle between Kikingi and Loulo a band of FDLR fighters are making their way south to regroup with their main rebel force after being driven into hiding by the Congolese army. Behind them the smoking ruins of Kikingi and the wailing of the few survivors is a warning to the Congolese of the futility of resistance. A warning not intended to reach Loulo in time to avert the coming massacre.
A passing soldier, his rifle slung over his shoulder, flicks a cigarette butt into the foliage behind him, a butt which sparks as it bounces off the cheek of an unnoticed white man in the deep green shadow of a gigantic frond. Traveler’s worn face doesn’t so much as twitch as several motes of burning ash slowly die on his cheek. As the soldiers move on though the jungle he vanishes without a sound and reappears, still unnoticed, yards farther along their intended trail. Traveler listens intently from the bush to the chatter of the passing soldiers until, at last, one makes a jesting remark about their intentions in the village of Loulo and with the speed of and stealth of a panther he darts deeper into the jungle to warn Loulo if he can only to be brought up short by a robot suddenly emerging from its camouflage of underbrush. Traveler freezes for an instant as the robot levels a strange looking rifle at his chest and fires. Faster than a bolt of light, Traveler disappears again, this time reappearing behind the concealment of a thick forest tree trunk just as the jungle is rocked by an explosion more powerful than any grenade. That followed by more energy rifles from all around and finally the sound of the soldiers beginning to return fire into the jungle at their unseen ambushers.
Traveler takes one long stride into the jungle and then stops again as another explosion lights the sky brighter then daylight.“But there’s something odd about that. It’s near the soldiers, but not near enough to actually hit them. Neither was the first one. Like they’re meant to scare rather than kill. I hear the sound of bullets bouncing of those robots, but I don’t hear the sounds of any human screams.”
Traveler turns around and follows robot as it presses in on the rebel’s position, pushing them towards the mountains. Traveler can see now and hear a ring of robot warriors relentlessly pushing the soldiers into the mountains, “but where?”
Skirting around the battle Traveler comes to the point towards which the solider seem to be being driven, the opening of a ravine. Taking to the high ground, Traveler climbs into the hills above the ravine to find a better vantage point. He watches the soldiers, pushed back by an unseen and unstoppable enemy, finally take the only course left to them and fall back in the ravine with its steep unscalable sides. Then he watches as a slender figure of pure shining chrome descends from the sky onto the lip of ravine above the trapped rebels and with only a brief and almost friendly wave in Traveler’s direction begin pouring slaughter down upon them.
Somewhere in the United States, August 2009
In the dark it’s always dark but they talk they talk in the dark and they don’t think that I can hear them.
“Subject Psy 10…has he shown any improvements?”
“No…such a shame he has the strongest potential I’ve ever seen but the manifestation is still unstable. Seemingly due to a latent multiple personality disorder. His powers keep…AAGH!”
“Oh my God, Bill! Are you ok?!”
Visions in the dark visions of the dark let me show you.
“What are you doing?! Don’t open…NNNGK!”
The News of the Day
New York, New York, September 2009
The unseasonable warm weather means that cafes will keep their sidewalk tables out for another week and people can sit outside even as the wind sweeps fallen leaves around their feet.
A man in a perfectly tailored black suit sits at one such table reading a newspaper and crunching stray leaves with his Italian loafers when a slender black woman approaches his table and sits down.
“Julian! Thanks for meeting me.”
“Detective McBride, it’s my pleasure.”
“Detective’s bit formal isn’t it?”
“I’m sorry, but you never told me your name.”
Detective McBride flushes as she realized that it’s true. In all the craziness of what happened 4 months ago she hadn’t ever told Him her first name.
“It’s on the card I gave you.”
“Names are meant to be spoken. Flat little marks on paper can’t tell me who you are.”
She forgets for a moment where she is and what she came for when His eyes lock on to hers. She feels so completely in this moment that her past and her future all her memories and all her dreams have melted like soft wax ready to be reshaped and remolded. She could have been anyone, be anyone, become anything in the world, anything that He told her to be.
“Alice, actually. My name is Alice. What’s in the news?”
“Well, there’s an interesting story about someone in the Congo fighting the FDLR single handedly. Apparently someone with incredibly advanced weapons and armor. They’re calling him the Silver Warrior.”
“Oh…Any news about…her?”
“Well…an earthquake in central Italy collapsed Civita di Bagnoregio. I was sponsoring a research team there.”
“It’s alright. They weren’t there when it happened, but it seems all computers and research was destroyed.”
“Do you think she’s may be active again? Killing I mean?”
“In New York? I do think so, why?”
“Someone’s been killing criminals, and not just killing them, but ripping them apart, and not just ordinary criminals, but special ones.”
Detective McBride glances around them before taking a file folder out of her satchel and sliding it in front of Julian.
“Derrick Blake. Wanted for hijacking an armored car and bank robbery. According to the account of the robbery all he was doing was singing and everyone in the bank fell asleep. Two days ago he was found in an alley with huge bites taken out of his neck.”
Julian is silent as he flips through the pages of the file in front of him.
“There are four others like Derrick all dead in the last two weeks and I don’t have a single lead. I have some known associates for the victims, but none of them will talk. Hell! I can’t even find them to ask them to talk. Julian, I wouldn’t ask you personally…but if you know anything or anyone…”
For more please see The Story So Far…