Action/Adventure similar to National Treasure, Indian Jones, and The DaVinci Code.
May 18, 2012 – McMurdo Station - Antarctica
As soon as the door to the C-130 opened, Megan knew she was in her version of hell. Hot weather never bothered her, but she genuinely loathed cold weather, hated it with an overwhelming passion. Now, here she was on the coldest continent in the world and their pilot said a blizzard was moving in. The memory of the day her feet almost froze while ice skating in college suddenly kicked in. She made a promise to herself on that awful day that she would never willingly go out in cold weather unless it was to get from work to home and shopping.
In the distance, through a fog of snowflakes, Megan could see the pale lights of several buildings. She knew they were much closer than they appeared, but the thick snow flowing down clouded her perception.
A grinning lieutenant bent over and spoke into her ear. “Follow me mam, and keep close.”
He was Navy Lieutenant Mallard Beartalker, a Native American of the Navajo Nation. He was from a military family. His grandfather was in the Marine Corps Signal Unit designated Windtalkers during World War II, and his father retired from the US Navy as a Master Chief. Beartalker was assigned to Navy Special Warfare Group Two, Seal Team 4, stationed out of Little Creek, VA.
General Jones, via the CNO, personally ordered him to deploy with his entire platoon, consisting of two officers and fourteen enlisted men, as security for Ms. MacKenzy. Beartalker exercised his authority and brought along two EOD Operators, and a brand new Ensign, turning the platoon into nineteen effectives.
This was not his first trip to McMurdo Station. Years earlier he had deployed here to undergo special warfare training under arctic conditions. Mallard waved off the Airforce guide and raced towards Building 115, the same building Monday and his steam had been directed to. He kept a close watch behind him to ensure that the scientist, Ms. MacKenzy was following.
As they entered the building the heat was suddenly unbearable, although it was maintained at a comfortable 72 degrees. Lt. Beartalker directed her to a row of cafeteria tables and Megan immediately started pealing off layers of clothing. She glanced around the room and noticed a dozen or so occupants, most drinking coffee or enjoying a leisurely meal.
“”They’re assigning quarters to you, Ms. MacKenzy.” Beartalker helped her shuck off a particularly difficult sweater. “We may as well enjoy some lunch while we’re waiting.”
The rest of Beartalker’s Team filed in and joined them at the table. They were a rugged, professional bunch of young men. Each looked as if he could eat his weight in iron and spit out nails. But, they were often referred to as ‘the best of the best’ among America’s Special Operations Forces.
Megan had no idea why she had been assigned such a powerful and expensive bodyguard. She had not even mentioned the strange phone call she had received and the warning right after she left the conference. In fact, she had practically forgotten about it herself. Fortunately, the scientific community at McMurdo had eighty percent of the equipment she needed, so preparations for departure moved at a very fast pace.
Her thoughts were interrupted by something the Lieutenant said. “Food?” he pointed towards the cafeteria line while watching the quizzical expression on her face.
“No thanks,” Megan replied. “Some coffee, hot and black, would be delish.”
One of the Petty officers got up and rushed to fill her order. Megan nodded her thanks and turned to speak with the Lieutenant.
“Lieutenant Beartalker?” she asked, making certain of his name.
“That’s me, mam!”
“Enough of this mam stuff,” Megan smiled. “Call me Megan, not Meg, but Megan. “I know you probably got your surname from your Native People, but I’ve been curious about your first name, Mallard. Anything to do with the mallard duck? Your totem perhaps?”
Beartalker gave her a huge grin. “Figured you’d get around to the name sooner or later, everyone does. My family name, Beartalker, was given to me because my grandfather said that I used to talk to bears when I was a boy, not that I remember though. Bears frighten me. I was probably talking to my Teddy Bear. My father gave me the name of Mallard after US President, Millard Fillmore. He liked him for some reason. Said he knew what he was talking about when he ran for US President under, The Know Nothing Party. Says all white men should have been in that Party, because they knew nothing about Native Americans.”
“My father couldn’t spell worth a damn either,” he grinned. “Mallard Fillmore it was, so Mallard Beartalker I became. With a name like MacKenzy I’m thinking you are either Scottish or Irish?”
“Both!” Megan reached up for her hot coffee just arriving. “My Dad was Scottish, my Mum was Irish. Me, I don’t give a hoot either way. I appreciate my heritage and have learned the customs of both, but I yam who I yam…just me.”
Beartalker’s voice shifted into a quiet serious mode. “I must talk with you in private once you have been assigned quarters.” He gave Megan a nod and glanced around the room. “I have a special message which must be delivered to your ears only, a verbal message.”
“Cloak and dagger stuff,” Megan smiled. “I love that. “I think it was Colonel Mustard in the library with the candle stick.”
Beartalker grinned then thanked the Petty Officer for bringing his food.
Megan glanced down to see him dig into a huge plate of French Fries smothered with brown gravy and jalapino peppers. “Awesome!” she blurted. “My favorite kind of food.” She noticed the other team members also had heaping plates in front of them. “Do you guys always eat like this?”
Beartalker finished a mouthful before answering. “In Special Ops, you never know when your next meal may be so we have developed a habit of keeping the tank full. I learned that from a special friend, a history professor at Loyola University, who was ex Army Special Forces. Doctor Stiehl tried to recruit me for the Army but my family background is solid squid.”
“Doctor Monday Stiehl? Megan asked.
“Same man. With a moniker like Monday, who could forget him?”
“I’ve read quite a number of his publications. He’s a rather famous archeologist. His latest find, the tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, a favorite of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, has been in all the scientific journals. A brilliant man. I’d love to meet him someday.”
“You may have an opportunity to meet him sooner than you think.” Beartalker glanced around again. “My message concerns him, and others.”
Megan’s interest suddenly perked up. Why would a world famous archeologist be anywhere near Antarctica? There was something strange going on, something other than the Crust Displacement. Lieutenant Beartalker was probably the best there was at what he did, but he was pretty damn lousy at hiding his emotions. She could tell he was dying to get something off his chest, but why it would concern her she didn’t have the vaguest notion.
“I think I will have some food,” Megan stated, her appetite whetted by the smells and satisfied grunts of eating around her. A Petty Officer started to get up but she waved him back down to finish his meal. “I’m not helpless, and I’m no Navy big shot either,” she smiled. “A plate of French Fries smothered with chili and topped with dill pickles sounds wonderful,” she muttered, as she headed in the direction of the counter. “And a strawberry shake.”
Almost before she finished her hasty meal an Air Force officer approached the table and advised them that their quarters were ready. Due to the inclement weather he had a snowcat running, warmed up and waiting just outside the cafeteria door.
Megan glanced up from her chili fries. “The rest of my team here yet Colonel?”
“They’re due to land in about two hours, mam.” The officer replied. “I’m Captain Spears. Thanks for the promotion though.”
“Can’t tell a lieutenant from a colonel,” Megan smiled. “I prefer sergeants anyway, they’re the ones who know what they’re talking about.”
“Got that right, mam!” One of the Navy chiefs gave her a high five.
Half an hour later Lieutenant Beartalker knocked on her door. As soon as she opened it, Beartalker and a chief quietly entered. The chief had some type of electronic instrument in his hand and he slowly covered every inch of the small two room quarters. Satisfied, he shook his head at Beartalker then quickly left the room.
“Bugs.” Beartalker walked over and sat down at a small table. “Never know when Uncle Sugar or someone else wants a ring side seat at your private conversation.”
Megan joined him at the table. “The mystery? I almost forgot about it.”
“What I am about to tell you comes from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” Beartalker sounded solemn. “The big cheese himself.”
“Shoot!” Megan placed her elbows on the table and pulled her feet up in her seat. She was wearing Donald Duck slippers.
“The President and other top level members of our government have not been honest with you. They have know for sometime where the source of the Earth Shift is originating and exactly who’s behind it.”
Megan simply nodded her head for him to continue.
The President and many other world leaders belong to a secret organization named, The Brotherhood. The object of this organization is to create world peace at any price. Once they have achieved their goal, they will be the new leaders of the entire world. There will be no separate nations only one ruling body. Top leaders in the US Special Operations Command, along with the top leaders of most of the US military, all branches, are aware of this and intend to prevent it from happening if at all possible.”
“So why haven’t you acted before now?”
Beartalker hunched his shoulders. “There is another organization, the one responsible for the Earth Crust Displacement, and they are extremely powerful. So powerful in fact that without the military might of the other nations combined with ours, we probably could not defeat them.”
“Another bunch of brothers in the hood?”
“They are mortal enemies of The Brotherhood. They are Neo-Nazis and have been preparing for this move since before the end of World War II. It would take all night to tell you everything the military knows about them. Suffice to say they have the power to generate the Earth Crust Displacement, or ECD we’re calling it, and they also have nuclear weapons and technology far beyond our present capabilities.”
“Just when I thought it was safe to go outside and play.” Megan muttered. “Why don’t you simply let these two rival gangs go at each other?”
“Militarily, The Brotherhood is very weak. Their power comes from their world wide political and financial connections. Their goal is to travel back through time and assassinate Jesus Christ and Muhammad to prevent their religious dogma from spreading. They believe that, not only will this germinate world peace, it will wipe the Nazis from history.”
“Jesus Christ!” Megan blurted. “I mean, time travel, Nazis, assassinations, are you sure you’re not making all this up?”
“It’s all true, Megan.”
Megan stood and walked to the small refrigerator in her dining area. She removed a root beer then returned to the table. “Why tell me? For that matter, why send me to the end of the world when your generals and admirals already know what in hell is going on?”
“We believe you have the ability to help us prevent The Brotherhood from succeeding, and their failure may generate enough concern to unite the nations of the world against the Nazis.”
“I’m a scientist, not a magician.” Megan raised her root beer in a toast. “But, lay it on me, I can take it.”