“Aiming for Antarctica-ss”
reading time: 3 minutes
Waddling towards the presumed location of the abandoned submarine, the few English speaking penguins explained to me how it had been the very first time they’d encountered a polar bear out here in the wild…
‘Totally understand. ‘I told them. ‘Many forget polar bears normally live in the Arctic and you guys in the Antarctic.’
They nodded in agreement.
‘For this bear to show up here, it must have been really lost…’
A sudden blast of freezing wind hijacked my lungs and stole my breath. I quickly swallowed, took a fresh gulp of air and continued.
‘… or might be climate change, messing things up.’
The huddle immediately stopped dead in its tracks and…
Without bashing a single eyelid all heads slowly turned towards me and as their beaks opened, they squealed like a choir of Hellbound castrati.
‘Of course it’s the fekking climate change!’
I concurred and we carried on.
At the front.
A tiny wing went up and signaled the end of our search.
Raring, we assembled on the ridge of a crater evoking memories of the Great Pit of Carcoon, a place where I, opening for the Max Rebo Band with my experimental synthpop ensemble called Ultra Laser, had nearly lost my live due to a daring escape of some rogue fresh-faced rebels. However, the hole at the bottom of this crater was filled with pristine blue water instead of an odd looking Tatooinian snuff worm.
‘We have arrived.’ the biggest of the English speaking penguins proclaimed and digging up a small fipple flute made out of reed he brought forth the first three notes of – People are Strange – from The Doors after which nine of his bruvvers dove in.
While air bubbles rose up towards the surface, the surrounding ground shook , the clear blue water turned black and with an ear splitting sound the sail of the sub crashed through the ice sheet.
I thanked the penguins profusely, handed them the Wilson rackets to stave off any future bear encounters, jumped on top of the vessel, did a quick spin around while giving them the thumbs up, disappeared down the barrel of the beast, closed the circular vault like hatch and made my way towards the engine room.
Just by the feel of it, I knew I had entered an Akula-class Soviet nuclear submarine, the greatest of them all. It took me a mere three minutes of fiddling to correctly position the uranium rods and spark up the sleeping behemoth.
Wam! Bam! Bam!
Juice started to thump through the pipes, the lights popped on and while a tape deck played Kalinka, the 362 ft long weapon of war slowly rebalanced itself. I hit the switches and pushed in more buttons.
Shit started to peep and hiss and old lingering smells came back alive. Another switch and coffee started to brew.
Black as the night and sharp like old puss’s pee-pee I smashed down two cups before dropping the sub to minus five hundred feet where I set in motion my journey towards Anatolia. I steered the vessel via the gulf of Aden into the red Sea, through the Suez Channel straight into the Aegean Sea.
While the sound of the sonar kept me focused
To avoid unwanted attention and cause I still required the sub for:
A) an upcoming expedition trying to crack the mysteries surrounding the Baltic Sea Anomaly..
B) a series of otherworldly experiments involving the Biefeld–Brown effect and the properties it exhibited relative to radioactivity..
I decided to hide it somewhere close to the Anatolian border and enter the Bosporus in a less conspicuous way.
Alone in the canteen, sipping on yet another teeth cracking cup of coffee, I rolled out the map of the surrounding sea and pondered about a possib..
The palm of my hand slapped the table..
The Maze of the Minotaur.
Long believed to be nothing but a myth I had stumbled upon this secret cave complex hidden beneath the Old World Island of Crete while on a oyster pearl dive during my time as a hired muscle aboard the Christina O.
The perfect hidey-hole as the Minotaur and me are the only ones alive and able to navigate this intricate submerged labyrinth. And since the minotaur was diagnosed with agoraphobia a few years ago, I knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
I was getting close.
Peering through the periscope I soon found the grand entrance into the labyrinth, grabbed the wheel and took a left, a right and a double left. I went a bit down and went way up, forwards, backwards, left, left and after a final half spin I had found the perfect spot.
I turned the key, scuba-geared myself up, took an oxygen tank out the sickbay and and walked over to the torpedo shafts were I blasted myself straight into the Aegean Sea.
It was at the second safety stop that I slowly became aware of some glitches in the matrix.
Since I had dabbled with nitrous oxide on numerous occasions during my search for the Great Po-Peloo, I immediately recognized the onset and my little wrist mirror did away with any doubts.
Fractals started to appear and the all encompassing strong buzzzzz in my head grew louder and louder and louder until it al went..
Apart from my fins I was still geared up when I came back to my senses sitting on a cheap hard plastic chair outside an open pit grill-house named the Mighty Moussaka. In my left hand I was holding a beaker filled with eye-stinging 160 proof herb infused Ouzo, in my right hand I held onto some leather reins attached to a tiny goat and on my lips hung a cigar which, as hard as I tried, just wouldn’t light up.
At the same table, staring at me slightly baffled, sat a fat Greek named Zorba, dressed in sweatpants and a sleeveless yellow like shirt, he had a shiny face, a big mustache and hair all over his body. My head was throbbing.
After the fifth time trying to light up the cigar, Zorba leaned forward and opened his mouth.
‘It’s Dolmades.’ he said with a raspy voice.
‘The thing in your mouth. It’s Dolmades…’
‘… Rice stuffed in a wine leaf.’
‘Of course.’ I shrugged and quickly swallowed the thing in one go.
‘How did you acquire the goat?’ he asked.
I racked my brain…
‘I don’t really remember… How so? You want it?’
‘Oh no.’ Zorba the Greek exclaimed slightly startled. ‘You should not give away the goat my odd looking friend. It’s considered a gift bestowed upon you from above…’
While talking, Zorba took a handful of Nafplion olives, stuffed them in his mouth and grinded them, flesh and stone, between his teeth until oil dripped out of the side of his mouth. ‘… you should slaughter it, in the name of Zeus.’
The words uttered by Zorba visibly unnerved the goat at the end of my reins became and it started to tug…
… the clocks up in the bell tower struck six, all of a sudden reminding me of my mission to find my watch.
‘Parakalo.’ I bade Zorba farewell and downing the Ouzo in one go, I got up, shook his greasy hand and took off goat included.
Trying to realign myself with my mission I wallowed in the atmosphere of a soft mediterranean evening the goat kept tugging seemingly aware where it was going.
The sun was setting and the air was filled with the smell of aniseed, grilled octopus and baklava. Further down the road I threw off the wetsuit to thoroughly enjoy the brush of the mediterranean wind on dank skin while bustling over the cobbles of the antique downtown road. Soon we entered the harbor were beautiful boats danced up and down lined against the quay.
The goat kept at it and at the far end of the quay lay waiting, hiding in the shadows, an abandoned cracked pier made out of rusty steel and half decayed, fungi infested wood. Treading carefully, it creaked and cracked but the goat seemed adamant and then it was reveiled…
There, at the end of the eerie pierie, hidden behind a veil of gently floating fumes, a vessel named -Hesiod- was waving on the water. It was a stunning white Gulet looking mysterious, sharp and fast, adorned with intricate carpets from bow to stern. It had two golden masts with big ochre orange sails and as we approached, sweet alluring smells exuded, as suddenly…
‘Tea?’ someone asked in a otherworldly accent.
‘Yes hello, you want some tea?’
‘Hi, my name is Skele…’
‘Say no more bearer of the Good Luck Goat.’
Good Luck What?
‘Did they tell you to sacrifice it to Zeus?’
‘Euhm, yes, Zorba, someone… Yes they did.’
‘Trade me the goat, and you can have anything onboard.’
‘Why do you need the goat?’
‘To fuck with Zeus.’