I Spy Mission Log - Entry 07/Team 1
"Shit!" exclaims Jones as she dives for the edge of the crevasse. Peering over the edge she thinks, "I've got to keep my weight spread out... don't want the hole to break any wider..."
Down in the crevasse and disoriented, McHale pulls out a knife and spikes it into the icy wall. He then uses it as a handle to hang onto, and notices he lost a snowshoe. Trying to get his bearings he looks around and thinks, "How far down am I? Did I hit the bottom or a ledge or what?"
Peering into the fissure below, McHale sees... nothing.
It is too cold for infrared, and too dark for starlight. Even if he had a light source, the crack is too deep to see the bottom. There is no indication of heat emanating from below. All indications point to a natural fissure. This area is riddled with them, from small foot sized cracks to large gaping fissures. To make matters worse, storming in this area has concealed many of them.
Two narrow ledges barely support McHale and his gear. In order to get better footing, he opts to lose his second snowshoe. Bummer. He is glad he packed his rifle away in its hard plastic case, and slung it on his back. He now uses it as a wedge across the crack, so as to hang from the strap, if the ledges give way.
More questions spring to mind. "How far am I from the bottom of this thing? What caused this crack? If Whiteout is using the glacier as a cooling unit (a heat sink, really) and these cracks are a result, couldn't we enter the base this way?"
Wedging the rifle case was a good idea, as one of the two ledges now breaks away from the wall. Even in the relative silence, McHale is unable to hear the ledge definitively hit bottom.
He seems to be caught in a narrow section of the natural fissure, 45' down from the surface. His 'caught' status is tenuous at best, as he's hanging by what ever means his rifle was attached to his person.
Chunks of snow and ice toppling in from the rest of his team peering into the once snow-covered fissure threaten to knock McHale loose.
"Dammit! He's too far down. Martin, you got some rope?" shouts Kristin. "I can't believe I forgot to bring rope from the plane.. Idiot!"
Making sure both Kristen and herself are laying down flat on the snow, Sue asks her partner to look out for more fissures opening up around them. She then retrieves a lightweight strong rope from her pack. Jones moves away from the hole and anchors the rope, figuring Martin will guide the other end over the edge to McHale. "Hopefully he can climb out himself.."
Sue's rope is within reach, the end tied into a large bowline. The rain of snow and ice seems to be tapering off.
McHale's dangling by his rifle case's strap and one ledge. He pulls the rope over his head and arms and gives a couple of short, quick tugs and says something witty like, "Haul away!" Once the slack is out of the rope, he frees the rifle case and starts scrambling and climbing out of the fissure.
McHale is hauled up. He's not being moving particularly fast. Kind of jerky ride, but the tension on the rope has a positive feel, like he's in no danger of slipping back. It could be one person (though unlikely with all his gear), or two in synch.
Once up, McHale sees it was only Ms. Martin pulling. She even looks like an amateur bodybuilder, now. Though while she coils and stows her rope, the image seems to pass and she appears more like a regular woman, although still well built.
Collected and out of the hole, Team One then proceeds with their original plan: close with Atlantis, make camouflaged shelter, and wait and observe.
Shadowcat Tim McHale Sue Martin