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ForewordEdit

If this sounds incongruent or crazy, that's because it was mostly taken from a dream I just had. I woke up just after Sarah's (the name was made up later) awakening. So the ending wasn't provided to me by the muses. Dammed muses, leaving me with the hard part. I figure that if people can write about crazy opium hallucinations, there's nothing stopping me from plagiarizing my dreams.

ColdEdit

Antarctica, since the beginning of time, was the only landmass not subject to petty nationalist claims from one government or another. Maybe the ancient Gods that fashioned Earth made the cold continent of Antarctica in such a manner that it was insulated from corrupting human presence. Or at least that's what the neopagans say nowadays. Antarctica, since the beginning of time, was the only continent with no country, no established laws, for many a land of freedom, a nigh-perfect land paradoxically kept that way by the very desolateness of its landmass.

A place of freedom for many, and most of all, of scientific freedom.

But no matter where one goes, one is never truly free. One is never truly free from prejudice, from oneself. One is never free from humanity. The Kirov Aromanov Antarctic research station is only one of the many in that continent, and not one of the largest ones, was previously owned by Russia until recently it was donated to the UN in 2010. Many believe that it was merely a political move to gather support for its claims in Chechenia, but the fact remains that five people will be sent there, and it is about those five people that this story will speak about.

The helicopter carrying them was currently flying over the snowy fields and mountains of the continent, approaching the station's heliport, preparing to land. behind then was another three helicopters, all of them much larger than the first, bringing the less important members of the staff. The five scientists chit-chatted with each other as the helicopter slowly approached the ground. It was summer, and the weather was cloudless and relatively warm. So much that the pilot sweated under his various layers of heat-retaining clothing.

But of course, days like these were not so common, it is only that the helicopters wouldn't be able to come if the day was any different. The current staff manning the station was near the heliport, waiting for their replacements to leave the helicopter. And they did. Dr. Fürst Von Herr, German biologist of nobel-award fame, Michael Carthiers, of the American Institute of Astronomy, his daughter Sarah Carthiers, renowned geologist, her fiancée, Dr. Maurice DeVrie, author of many books of psychology, and Katarina Roankhov, of the Eurasian Society of Climatology. They led a team of about twenty other scientists of less renown, and various cleaners and mechanics into the station.

The station itself was remarkable. It worked only during the summer, so solar power generators were used to power it, benefiting from the large amounts of solar radiation, including a new technology to harness UV rays. The power is used mostly by the heating system. Central heating, water heaters, heat and more heat, to fight off the cold coming from outside. There was a tank of water used, used to experiment with salt-filtering experiments, in hopes of producing an economically viable process of doing it.

The station was relatively small, for the standards of modern Antarctic bases, but the group of scientists that was now reunited there was without precedents on its history, and many UN delegates viewed this as a good sign, that would further insulate the continent from the countries that were clamouring for military bases to be built there. This is why the Carthiers were allowed to bring Maurice.

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