“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 on the very opposite side of the globe.’
They nodded in agreement.
‘For this bear to show up here, it must have been really lost or…’
A sudden blast of freezing wind hijacked my lungs and stole my breath. I quickly swallowed, took a fresh gulp of air and continued.
‘… might be that climate change, messing things up.’
The huddle immediately stopped and without bashing a single eyelid all heads slowly turned towards me. Was mentioning climate change to controversial I thought? As in slow motion all of their beaks opened, and they squealed like a choir of Hellbound castrati.
‘Of course it’s the fekking climate change!’
I concurred and we carried on.
Some moments later.
At the front.
A tiny wing went up, signaling the end of our search.
Full of enthusiasm we all 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. The hole at the bottom of this crater however was filled with pristine blue water instead of an dangerous looking snuff worm.
‘We have arrived.’ the biggest of the English speaking penguins proclaimed as he dug up a small fipple flute made out of reed and brought forth the first three notes of – People are Strange – from The Doors after which nine of his brethren dove in.
As the surrounding ground shook air bubbles rose up towards the surface . The clear blue water turned black and with an ear splitting sound the periscope of the sub crashed through the ice sheet.
There, absorbing the sunshine through its non reflective black paint lay my AWOL outa here. I thanked the penguins profusely and handed them the Wilson rackets to stave off any future bear encounters, jumped on top of the vessel, did a quick spin around while displaying 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 the steel, I knew I had entered an Akula-class Soviet nuclear submarine, the greatest of them all. Having read my fair share of books on fission and energy from the nucleus, 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 as I hit more switches and pushed in some buttons a tape-deck played Kalinka and the 362 ft long weapon of war slowly rebalanced itself.
Shit started to peep, things hissed and old smells crawled up out of the depths of the awakened machine. Another switch and all of a sudden 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.
To avoid unwanted attention and because I still needed 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 steered the vessel via the gulf of Aden into the red Sea, through the Suez Channel towards the Aegean Sea where I decided to hide it somewhere close to the Anatolian border so I could 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.
I was getting close.
Peering through the periscope I soon spotted the grand entrance into the intricate submerged labyrinth. I 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 hidey-hole.
I turned the key, scuba-geared myself up, took an oxygen tank out the sickbay and walked over to the torpedo shafts were I blasted myself off 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 while searching for the Great Po-Peloo, I immediately recognized the onset and after some twitching and wrigling my little wrist mirror did away with any lingering doubts.
Fractals started to appear and the all encompassing strong laughing gas buzzzzzzzzzzz 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.
I was sitting on a cheap bendable 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 lay some leather reins attached to a tiny goat and on my still salty lips hung a cigar which, however hard I tried, just wouldn’t light up.
Sitting at the same table, a beefy greek named Zorba was staring at me quite baffled. He was dressed in sweatpants and a sleeveless yellow like shirt, had a shiny face, a big mustache and hair all over his body.
My head was throbbing.
After the eleventh 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?’ Zorba wanted to know.
I racked my brain…
‘I don’t recall… How so? Do you want it?’
‘Oh no no.’ Zorba exclaimed startled waving with his sausage like fingers. ‘You should not give away that goat oh odd looking stranger. It’s called the Good Luck Goat, it is considered a gift from up 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. Slaughter it in the name of Zeus.’
The words uttered by Zorba visibly unnerved the goat 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 the soft mediterranean evening while the goat kept tugging seemingly aware of where it was going.
The sun was setting and the air was filled with the smell of aniseed, grilled octopus and baklava. Bustling over the cobbles of the antique downtown road we soon entered the harbor where beautiful boats, lined against the quay, were dancing up and down .
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.’