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.Parking between the small wooden buildings, they hurried inside to get warm.Once inside, the smell of coffee permeated the air.“Boy, could I use some of that,” Jack said excitedly.“It’s fresh, Sir,” a man shouted from behind a computer screen.He stood and walked over to greet everyone.“This is Adam Taylor.He’s my right hand man,” Ron said, creating the introduction.“If for some reason I’m not around, please feel free to consult with him.He’ll take care of you.”The short, but stalky young man extended his hand in greeting.His grip was powerful, taking Javi by surprise.“My goodness, Adam.You nearly crushed my hand.Those polar bears better watch out for you,” he teased.Adam shot Ron an embarrassed stare, then replied, “Sorry Mr.Arista, guess I forget sometimes.”“Please, call me Javi,” he shot back.“Yes sir, Javi,” Adam replied politely.Pointing to the coffee, he added, “There’s real cream and sugar, if you’re interested.”“I’m all over that,” Jack joked.For a moment, Javi, Jack, Duni and Helena enjoyed their warm drink, while Ron and Adam conferred on the camp’s arrangements by his computer.Curious about the following day’s flight schedules, Jack wandered over to discuss it with them.As he approached, Adam quickly clicked his mouse, closing the screen.Jack smiled at the action, then moved onto his question.“Hey guys, do you know what time the helicopters will be here tomorrow?”“Hang on one moment,” Adam said, only too happy to help.He rolled to a computer behind him and brought up a spreadsheet.Scrolling down, he nodded, then turned to Jack.“They’ll be here at 8am, Sir,” he said pleasantly.Jack looked back at the blank computer screen Adam just moved from.He then glanced at the computer Adam was using.A puzzled expression crossed his face.“Sir, is there a problem with the time?” Adam asked.Jack shrugged off his curiosity and merely smiled.“No, everything’s fine.8am it is, thanks,” he replied.Glancing at his watch, he realized the time.“No wonder I’m so hungry.It’s almost nine o’clock.These longer days are going to take some getting used to,” he said to the two men.“Yes Sir.It doesn’t start getting dark around here until about 1am right now, but wait a couple of months.You’ll see nearly twenty-two hours of sunlight.That’s when things will really get confusing,” Adam responded.“I think we’re going to get some dinner.You guys interested?” Jack asked.“Adam and I still have some prep work to do for tomorrow.We’ll catch you the next time,” Ron replied.Jack nodded understandably.As he turned to walk away, he glanced back at the blank computer screen behind Adam.Still minimized in the lower left corner, he could see Adam’s program still running.He wondered about it again, then pushed it out of his mind.----- ----- ----- -----The following morning…The two Sikorsky S-61 helicopters hovered momentarily, then set down two hundred feet from Camp Zeus.As Javi, Jack, Duni and Helena watched, their stomachs churned with excitement.With a wave from the copilot, Ron and Adam escorted the four toward the two waiting aircraft.“Sir, as you requested, you and Miss Galanos will be flying in Zeus One.Mr.Arista and Mr.Kanelos will be flying in Zeus Two,” Ron said to Jack.“Zeus One and Two: I like it,” he said, smiling.“Yes Sir, we felt the designations appropriate,” Ron responded.Jack turned toward Helena.She shivered in the minus five degree temperatures.He pulled her close and hugged her, warming her body with his.For a moment, she absorbed the heat and returned his affection.“You’ll feel a lot warmer once we’re in the helicopter.It’ll feel downright balmy while were working.In fact, we probably won’t even need our jackets,” he said, easing her mind.“I’m all for that.I’m not used to all these layers of clothes.I feel like I’m in a strait jacket,” she responded.“Well, in that case, don’t stop with the jacket.I feel strongly you should consider shedding all your clothes.”Helena stared up at him and smiled seductively.“If you play your cards right…” she whispered, stopping just short of a promise.As the copilot of each helicopter opened the rear cargo door, he waved his hand for the four to proceed.“They’re ready,” Ron shouted.While Adam escorted Javi and Duni to the Zeus Two, Ron did the same with Jack and Helena for Zeus One.Inside the craft, Jack buckled himself in.He watched Ron shut the door and lock it.Ron backed away from the aircraft, then saluted the copilot in military fashion.Jack stared for a moment, slightly puzzled by the gesture.“Man, that Ron guy really takes his job seriously, doesn’t he?” he said aloud.“Why do you say that?” Helena asked suspiciously.“He just saluted the copilot, like he would in the military,” he responded casually.“I’m sure he’s just being respectful, Jack,” she countered.“Probably,” he replied simply.He watched Ron and Adam pair up, then walk quickly out of range of the rotor blades.As the pilots of each craft started their engines, he noticed Adam pause in his stride, then follow behind Ron.Jack stared for a moment, then shook his head, dismissing his suspicious thoughts.Helena watched Jack’s eyes, then placed her hand on his.He turned to see her smiling seductively once more.“You don’t know what you do to me,” he mouthed to her.She ran her hand down between his legs and grinned.“Yes I do,” she mouthed back.As the aircraft lifted off, he leaned over and kissed her.“Sir, we’ll be starting at the north east corner of the grid.Let us know when you’re ready to start recording,” the copilot said into his mic, interrupting Jack’s and Helena’s interlude.Hearing the voice in his headset, he quickly broke off his advance.He reviewed the electronics in front of him, sliding a built-in shelf closer.Two laptop computers sat on top of the shelf, as well as two small metal boxes used to control the radar and metal detection platforms.As the helicopter climbed higher, Jack watched each laptop, insuring the radar sensors outside the aircraft were functioning properly.“All systems look good.I’m getting great definition from both radar platforms,” he responded.“Ok Sir, we’re heading to the first check point,” the copilot stated.Jack opened a topographical map of the search region and laid it on his and Helena’s lap.“Here’s our first point of interest.It’s an elevated point about five miles from here,” Jack said.Helena nodded.“Definitely a possibility.There’s a valley that runs underneath the ice sheet at that point,” she said, pointing.“If the ice filled in that valley, it makes you wonder what caused it to continue to build to the higher elevation.”Jack smiled [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

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