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Halloween Fantasy

 
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Getting Ready

A half hour prior to the publicity photo being taken everyone had trooped into the musty smelling Ranger Quartermaster's store.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 63)

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Slowly, they completed the journey out of the stairwell and onto the concourse. The escalator slope that led up to the entrance excavation was about thirty metres away. They would need to get right up to the base of it to be able to lob their grenades up into the seething mass of adult ticks.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 62)

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Hobbes was backing away, his head slowly moving from side to side as his brain tried to deny what his ears were telling him. He managed two whole steps before making a sandwich of Gregor with Bodil on the other side. Gregor closed his hand around the archaeologist’s right wrist, just in case the he got careless with the pistol he was holding. Hobbes turned his head and looked up into Gregor’s pain filled eyes.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 61)

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The last of the food was finished and the party set off again. Pretty soon more and more foliage started to appear and the humidity started to rise. Ranger Weis stopped everyone to remind them that they were once again entering the preferred climate for the giant London Ticks. Consequently, weapons were rechecked and caution cranked up a notch or two.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 60)

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Bodil soon came to realise that carrying a sizeable lump of metal around soon makes your arm ache. She tried switching it from hand to hand, and that kind of worked for a while. Then she tried sticking it into the waistband of her pants like she had seen it done in movies but that didn’t work out as well as she had thought it would.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 59)

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Bodil, Ellie and Gregor stood and looked at Weis while Hobbes paced up and down looking unhappy.

“No.” Bodil said after a few seconds. “I don’t recall that she did, say, how big they were.”

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Halloween Fantasy (part 58)

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With Ellie’s aid, and flanked by Professor Hill and Mister Hobbes, Gregor walked up and down the corridor a few times until he and Ellie between them decided that he was probably strong enough to attempt the journey back to the surface.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 57)

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Her ears ringing from the gunfire, Bodil ran to help Ellie with Gregor. Together they laid the bodyguard flat and, still working together as Bodil’s paramedic training kicked in, they quickly and carefully began to examine the extent of the damage to Gregor’s chest and abdomen.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 56)

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Gregor turned back, his eyes wide.

“We need to go. Now.”

Ellie grabbed an arm each of Hobbes and Professor Hill and turned them towards the exit.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 55)

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Despite Bodil having seen a pre Fall reactor before, what was visible through the metre thick lead glass window took more than a moment to make sense of. The much smaller reactor at the LifeNet facility in Iceland was mainly a large empty room with a couple of overhead cranes, lots of pipes and gauges and an empty floor area.

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Halloween fantasy (part 54)

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The steps were steep and longer than the ones they had come down to get into the generator hall. They let out into a small unlit corridor with a single doorway off to the left. At the far end of the corridor more steps upwards.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 53)

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With weapons cocked, Gregor and Weis cautiously led everyone back the way they had come and in the direction from where the new light source seemed strongest. They rounded the last corner into the concourse and stopped. With the new, but still dim, lighting they were now able to take in the whole of the concourse. Both men surveyed the space along the barrels of their weapons before Weis finally announced it clear from any threat, or ‘seems safe-ish’ as he put it.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 52)

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While the two of them disappeared into the darkness with only the bobbing beams of their torches showing their position, the remaining trio carried on with the rest of their meal. The comfortable silence was broken by Professor Hill

“Why does Mister Hobbes call you ‘Miss Troy’?”

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Halloween Fantasy (part 51)

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“What? Warm? How?”

“Touch it. It’s warm.”

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Halloween Fantasy (part 50) (OMG 50!)

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The ranger disappeared around the corner and when Ellie and Gregor found him a few seconds later Weis had gone past the foot of some stone steps and on through the passage to the other platform.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 49)

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The decent to the level of the Central Line was uneventful. By the time they reached the concourse at the bottom the dancing torch beams were picking out very little in the way of plant life. Yes, there was some ceiling collapse and there was a fairly large pool of water being fed by sporadic drips from another great crack directly above them, but on the whole the condition of the concourse wasn’t too bad.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 48)

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Archaeologist Hobbes now directed the party through several much more narrow tunnels and then down a flight of stone steps, keeping up a nervous commentary as he did so.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 47)

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When Weis and Gregor started to get so far away that the surrounding darkness threatened to hide them from view, Ellie started to creep forward to keep Gregor within range of her torch. Bodil and Hobbes followed suit but with Hobbes’ torch now turning like a demented lighthouse to make sure nothing was creeping up on them while they tried to make sure nothing crept up Weis and Gregor.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 46)

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Bodil turned to the little ranger.

“Ranger Weis, we were wondering if you had any idea when the entrance hole we came down might have been created. It seems to have been made by an explosion.”

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Halloween Fantasy (Supplemental)

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 No writing today because I had a stupid idea: "hey... pictures!" So I made some pretty pictures lol, well, I tried.

 

Carrion Worm

On the plus side, she no longer needed to use the bathroom.

 

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Halloween Fantasy (part 45)

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All eyes turned to the new arrival. Gregor took a step forward, which had the effect of stopping the man dead in his tracks. Sufficiently warned, the man’s eyes quickly scanned the four arrivals and then flicked back to settle on Ellie.

When the man spoke his voice held a little keening note of suppressed anxiety.

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Haloween Fantasy (part 44)

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The following morning saw only Dr. Awolowo blinking painfully, and perhaps regretfully, in the morning sunlight as he and Ranger Hancock headed out of the compound and then east towards the main settlement of the Gu-Nar. Cybil and Amy met for an early breakfast and to plan how they were going to go about visiting the various offices and conservation facilities of the expeditions that were based here.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 43)

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When everyone was seated Bodil found that she had Victor sitting opposite her. Whether this was by accident or by design she couldn’t be sure, but the smile he gave her raised hopes it was the latter.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 42)

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Sergeant Glasser again paused for effect. Aside from Amy and Cybil glancing nervously at each other, the Sergeant’s words were met with polite indifference from the others. Professor Hill and Doctor Awolowo were very well aware that exploration in recently radiation cleaned areas was dangerous, both had lost friends and colleagues in the past.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 41)

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Vertibird flight wasn’t unfamiliar to Professor Bodil Ramsbottom-Fergusen, Hill-Davis. Nor was the noise, or the discomfort of the webbing ‘seats’, or the freezing temperatures at altitude that condensed into rain inside the fuselage as they descended. Nor was she unfamiliar with the heart pounding excitement of the prospect of a dig so far off in the semi-explored wilds of La Grande Bretagne.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 40)

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A second is not a long time. But the sound of tearing air seemed to linger longer than its actual duration. Nobody moved, nobody said anything. Then the bleachers behind Bodil and Ellie exploded into laughter. The laughter then turned into a steadily growing round of applause until Poppy soon had her very own standing ovation.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 39)

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“What other option?”

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Halloween Fantasy (part 38)

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Bodil spun the dial on her binoculars.

“Really?!”

The reticule zoomed in, too much. Nose hairs don’t tell you anything. She dialled it back a bit.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 37)

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There was a visible relaxing around the table. As if by magic a waiter appeared and both Bodil’s and Ellie’s drinks were replaced and a fresh jug of iced water provided.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 36)

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Ellie and Poppy chatted happily with each other in a mix of English and the expressive sing-song language the furry little animal had used before with Gregor. Both of them used mime, too, to convey what their limited knowledge of each other’s words could not. They looked to Bodil like two infants who had met each other for the first time after the long summer school break and were animatedly sharing their holiday stories.

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by Dr. Radut