The Subject-Going South

Personal Journal of Doctor Hans Janssen, I.O.R.A. (International Oceanic Research)

Translated from Dutch

Antarctic Penguin Project.

November 19th, 20XX

It’s beginning to get warmer. A relative term of course. By human standards it’s Goddamn freezing. I put down my cup of coffee, well instant coffee which barely deserves the name. Sorry, I was consumed by my hatred of this… “Coffee.” Anyway, I put it down for a minute and when I picked it up, it was frozen solid. It might’ve been longer than just one minute but still.

At any rate, the weather is improving and the chicks will be hatching soon. After that, De Vires will be relieving me. Let him freeze his balls off down here. Sorry De Vires, you’re a good scientist and a decent man. You deserve better but I will still leave you here and not look back.

Note to self: don’t show your personal journal to anyone. Especially De Vires.

November 22nd 20XX

Was woken up this morning by what sounded like a sonic boom. There are no commercial jets that fly over this area or military. Even in this warmer weather it’s dangerous, or so I was told. Also, there are no places to land. Also, this is a protected wildlife area. Also it feels like the result of some billionaire who has little regard for the environment. I’ve also used also three times in a row. Shit! Five times. Damn.

I reported this to our office in Punta Arenas but was told that there were no scheduled flights in my area and no reports of unauthorized air travel. My reply was that I knew what I heard. They assured me that they will look ino the matter but I’m not hopeful about this.

Additionally, the penguins were very agitated. Normally they are unaggressive creatures, having no natural land predators. However, the sonic boom has sent them into a frantic state. As I approached the nesting area, about a dozen chased me off.

That might sound comical but let me tell you, a penguin bite is nasty business. They are cute but it hurts like hell. Don’t irritate a penguin.

Time to break out the small reserve of brandy.

November 27th, 20XX

I am now heading deeper into the Antarctic wilderness. It it a terrible idea? Most likely.

A few hours ago, I was observing the nesting area. The Penguins had finally settled down from the earlier disturbance and their socialization was beginning to recover when it happened.

An explosion, somewhere in land. South of here. Technically everything in land is south of here but there you go. I hurried back to camp and reported it. I was asked to try to find the location and radio the coordinates by the Chilean authorities.

While I’m not a solider, I’m also not a monster. People might be hurt. Even if they shouldn’t be here. So off I go.

November 28th, 20XX


I didn’t bring a compass to the South Pole, for obvious reasons. Navigating this terrain is challenging. Luckily for me, I just followed the plume of smoke on the horizon. Probably not lucky for anyone there. I should get there soon. An hour maybe?

November 28th, 20XX


Holy mother of God! I don’t know what was here but it was HUGE! Whatever was here before is gone. I mean to say, there is a crater about one thousand meters in diameter. It looks like a bomb went off. It’s impossible to tell if there was anything here.

I’ve radioed the location, as best as I can and lit flares for any rescue craft. Helicopters? Should I try to see if there are any survivors? Who the hell could survive this? I’m not even sure there were any people here. No one is supposed to be here. There’s literally nothing here.

Full disclosure, when I first saw the crater, I could swear saw a figure in the crater. I blinked and they were gone, if they were there in the first place. I had to imagine it. Right?

Just going to take some shelter in the lee of this boulder and wait for the authorities. The penguins can research themselves.

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