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HOW SMALL WE REALLY ARE

March 12, 2019

A caravan of military snow vehicles make their way across a frozen plain in the North Pole.  The sun reflects off of the crisp white snow as it begins to set and the beautiful Northern Lights start to show.  As the vehiclA es bounce and trudge across the snow Dr. Cranston sits inside, bundled up in a large coat. Dr. Cranston was once considered a fraud for his research, considered by many to be crazy.  Due to his outlandish claims, he lost everything, a prisoner to his life’s work. That is until the first incident, then people finally started to take him seriously, he finally had the reputation he’s always wanted, but at what cost?  He’s already grumpy as he hates the cold and his glasses keep fogging up. He takes his black thick-rimmed glasses off of his head and cleans the lens with his cloth as the vehicles pull into a camp located at an entrance to a huge canyon of ice.  

Dr. Cranston slides open the side door and throws his duffle bag on the ground.  General Stovall walks up to Dr. Cranston to greet him. “Dr. Cranston thank-you for coming all this way to meet with us.” “Could you have chosen a place that wasn’t thirty below zero?” “I thought you scientists didn’t want the poles to get any warmer?” “Very funny.”  Dr. Cranston and General Stovall begin to walk towards the camp. They breath heavy as they trudge through the snow and clouds form around their head from their heavy breathing. Dr. Cranston drops his bag next to the bed that he’s been assigned in the camp. “Sorry you can’t sit down and rest for a while after your long trip but we really need to get back to the monitoring station so you can have a look at this.”  “Are you ever going to tell me what I’m here for exactly or do I have to keep guessing?” Just then ground shakes violently for a few seconds, both Dr. Cranston and General Stovall go silent until the shaking stops. The ground shaking clearly terrifies General Stovall, reminding him of the terrors of war. A frantic young soldier comes running into the room after the shaking stops. “Sir, I just got a radio call from the monitoring station, the situation has gotten worse!”  “I noticed soldier!” “They want to terminate the subject now before things get out of hand.” “Not until Dr. Cranston has a look at the specimen.” “But sir?” “Damnit those are my orders!” “Yes sir.” The young soldier walks away with his tail between his legs. Dr. Cranston confused and shaken by the earthquake turns to General Stovall. “Is anybody going to tell me what the hell is going on, why did you bring me here?” “Because we found something, something only you may be able to understand.”  General Stovall’s cold and fearful delivery, the terrified young soldier, and the ground tremor all worried Dr. Cranston a great deal. His inner scientist was starting to creep out as his fear was turning into curiosity of what could be causing all of this.

Dr. Cranston gets into a snow vehicle with General Stovall and several other young soldiers and they begin riding to the monitoring station inside of the canyon.  It was dead silent in the vehicle as it crawled and bumped its way through the canyon. All Dr. Cranston could see is clouds of breath coming out of the heavy breathing soldiers mouths, it was obvious that everyone was so tense, so nervous, so scared.  Dr. Cranston, however, expected that from young soldiers who didn’t have much experience on the battlefield, it's only natural. That's not what worried Dr. Cranston however, what worried him was the look of pure fear that was on General Stovall’s face.  Dr. Cranston read up on him before he came; he did two tours in Iraq and was in the Persian Gulf War years earlier, the man saw death, horrors that Dr. Cranston could not imagine. So what after all that could inject such fear into this man? The snow vehicle pulls up to the monitoring station as the sun sets and the Northern lights shine even brighter.  

Dr. Cranston steps out of the vehicle and looks up, he sees it, he begins walking towards it very slowly in utter shock.  He is reminded of how small mankind really is. “Oh my God…” He puts his hand on the ice that encases it and feels it’s heartbeat, he then jumps back in utter fear.  “It’s alive!” “Yes we know Dr., would you like to join us inside so we can discuss the situation?”

The team goes inside the station and sit around a long conference table covered in paperwork with other personnel.  The General pours Dr. Cranston a cup of coffee which he accepts very graciously. Everyone sits at the table in silence for a few moments, everyone still trying to process what they have discovered.  Dr. Cranston looks at his reflection in the cup of black coffee, thinking of all the problems that science and mankind have caused when messing with nature and can’t help but blame himself for the existence of this creature.  “Dr. Cranston, I know you’ve only been here for a few minutes but… What do you have to say about what we’ve discovered?” “I’ve spent years trying to get us ready for this day, to make sure we’d be able to protect ourselves. But I’m afraid that it won’t be enough.”  “Won’t be enough? Dr. what are you saying?” “No conventional weapons were able to harm it before what makes you think it would work now?” “That was over thirty years ago- our weapons have advanced since then!” “Not enough, our only viable option is to put a tracker on him if he wakes up, which is bound to happen with the ice caps melting it's only a matter of time.”  “What is this tracking bull shit?” “I mean we treat it like the force of nature that he is, we treat it like a hurricane and monitor it- and prepare people in case he enters a populated area.” “You mean to tell me that we drug you all the way out here and that's your goddamn solution?” “What would you rather do, use nuclear weapons and decimate the planet?” The whole room goes silent, the tension so thick you could cut it with a knife.  “Listen Dr…” Just then the ground starts to shake more violently than ever before and a huge boulder of frozen ice along with an avalanche of snow comes crashing through the roof of the station as screams of death fill the room.

Dr. Cranston wakes up a few moments later, dizzy, confused, his vision blurred, one of his legs crushed by debris and blood running down his head.  He seems to be the only survivor and begins crawling out of the wreckage in horrible pain. As he crawls on the bright white snow he leaves a trail of blood.  He stops and looks up into the cloud of snow from the avalanche and sees it, it’s silhouette through the thick cloud illuminated by the bright northern lights.  It slowly turns around whipping its tail quietly through the air before letting out a huge roar. It has awakened and our future is now uncertain…

 

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