This is just a quick preview of something larger that I am currently working on.
December 12, 2016
Krasnoyark Krai, USSR
63 Miles NE of Norilsk
I hate Siberia. That was my mantra as I crawled forwards, eyes squinted against the wind. I hate Siberia, I hate Siberia. The snow kept finding ways to sneak down the top of my coat, where it took longer and longer to melt as I got colder and colder. I saw the ridgeline, just ahead of me, wind howling up and over it, making the snow spray wildly into the air. My companion nudged me in the shoulder and leaned close enough to talk into my ear in his accented English. “How is it going, Typhoon?”
“I hate Siberia,” I replied through gritted teeth.
He tipped his head back and laughed, the wind whipping most of the sound away and a sudden flurry of snow nearly obscuring his bearded face. “Let’s get you inside then, my American friend. Before you catch cold!” He crawled the short distance to the top of the ridge and beckoned for me to follow. “Down there is facility,” he said. His finger indicated something in the flurry of snow.
I crawled up next to him but couldn’t see anything but snow. “If you’re lying to me, Ivan, you’ll regret it.” HQ said he was a reliable informant, but that didn’t make him a reliable guide.
“I am not lying. The facility is there.” He stared down the hill, as if he could somehow part the snow with the force of his gaze.
“Ok then, Ivan. Let’s get going.” He pulled himself over the ridge and flipped around until his feet were in front of him. I followed suit and together we slid down the hill, checking our speed by digging our heels into the snow. The cuff on the bottom of my pants popped opened and I almost yelped as a flood of ice poured in. Stupid, freezing cold, miserable Siberia. I reached the bottom of the hill before my companion and crouched there, using my augmented hearing to listen for anybody coming to investigate the micro-avalanche caused by our descent.