It was a bright night in a cold
town and we were sitting in a darkened bar. An odd assortment of shady
characters and old sleds hung about.
I was carefully nursing my glass of vintage
2000 Bordeaux when three people from the limno team slipped in - like
a bad taste in my mouth. The team kept to themselves, pounded down some
drinks, and slunk out. Not too long afterwards, we left the bar too.
The sun was still shining, the shadows were long, and the limno team
had vanished without a trace into the night.
Ostensibly the team was a bunch of limnologists
on continent to study the lakes of the Dry Valleys. But I had heard
things. They made me think otherwise. The team members didn't sound
like the stereotypical scientists that you see in movies or on television.
"Jersey Mama" Jill Mikucki,
I was told, had a smart mouth, a bad ass attitude, some seriously
scary driving tactics she didn't hesitate to use if anyone dared
get out of line, and little sympathy for those who would voice
their discomfort at suffering cold or injury.
She would bat her big blue eyes
at them and whisper "it's a harsh continent" unnervingly
in their ears.
Mikucki - Up to No Good
"Joking Mad" Joel Moore
seemed nice enough when you met him, knew how to make people laugh,
but it was all a front, they said. He played dirty, real dirty.
And you never knew what would set him off, make him go crazy -
a look, a comment, some sand in his hiking boot on a clear, sunny
- Hey I'm a nice guy - really
"Krafty Meistress" Kerry McKenna claimed to be different
than the others. "I'm a computer modeler," she would
insist. But a wickedly mischievous smile belied her angelic demeanor.
And she appeared slightly delusional, kept talking about some
badger in the valleys - not the whole badger, just the head. Seriously,
as if there were badgers on the continent.
- What's behind that smile?