A Bear of a Secret
|“A Bear of a Secret”|
|Wings of Honor episode|
|Episode no.||Episode 2|
|Game Master||Carl Cramér|
|Wings of Honor episode list|
Can our heroes escape the maze of the King of the North pole?
The radio came to life.
"We have secured the base. All remaining pirates has been captured. We will try to contact Dr. Nooma."
"Roger that." Rex responded. "We will head out searching for the boat and the pursuers, over."
"Rebel, you took some beating. How are you holding together, over?" Dale asked.
"My wings won't fall off until I land. I say we go after them. Out!" Rebel said in her southern accent.
With that the three aeroplanes spread out and headed north-east. After a lot of tries the base managed to convince Dr. Nooma that the pirates at the base really were defeated. Then at last they responded and Rex found out the direction to the boat by taking the bearing of the radio transmissions and they all headed that way. Rebel climbed over land to try to spot the pirates searching. Diana tried checking the coastline from the sea for the boat. Both found what they were looking for.
The pirates were closer to the boat but seemed to still be searching. Rebel dived to gain speed. With screaming engine at 350 MPH she headed for the pirates who suddenly changed heading and set their course for the boat. They had been trying to get the bearing of the transmissions as well. Rex had trouble with his engines loosing speed. Dale pushed her aeroplane to it's absolute maximum topping at 400 MPH at sea level trying to reach the pirates before they reached the small boat, but to no avail. One of the pirates was already on his final approach for bombing when the heroes were within gun range. Rebel engaged him while Diana engaged the other. The pirate dropped two bombs, one hitting the boat. The small boat exploded in a shower of splinters and started to sink. Something still moved down there. At least someone must have survived. Dale fired away at her adversary but jammed her guns. After adjusting his throttle Rex regained full power and engaged Dales adversary. The two pirates lured him into a trap and moved in for a kill. But Rex was faster and fired away at one of the pirates, his 60:s ripping open the starboard wing destroying the pirates wing guns. Rex's six 30 caliber guns poured magnesium rounds into the deep holes. Their return fire damaged Rex's Avenger but didn't cripple it. Seeing the smoke from burning magnesium in his already heavily perforated wing the pirate Avenger pilot headed for the icy coastline. As the burning bullets ate their way through the wing it started to buckle and the pirate bailed out. Less than a second later the wing folded and the plane dove hard into the cliffs. He didn't reach land but splashed into the cold water just a few yards out. Looking like a drenched cat he crawled ashore, trembling with cold.
The last Avenger tried to pull up over the mountain while all the three planes of our heroes closed in for the kill. He failed and rammed straight into the hard rock in a big fireball. The three pursuers broke off looking down at the falling, burning debris, that was all that remained of the Avenger, hitting the water in bursts of steam. It was a terrific sight but a horrible fate.
After making sure that at least some of the crew from the boat was alive and helping others, they flew back to the base. After landing they sent another boat to help the survivors. While refueling they checked the damage. Looking at her starboard wing Rebel said
"You'd better leave me an' the Southern Belle here. She won't fly again for a while."
"Then, you can ride with me." Rex said stepping up on the wing of his Avenger.
Rex together with Rebel in his Avenger and Dale in her Bloodhawk flew back to the wreckage well ahead of the boat. Dale found a flat area and after circling it she landed in spite of the possible hidden dangers below the snow. She was soon followed by Rex in his larger Avenger.
The survivors had left the camp for a cave further up. There were many tracks in the snow some identified by Rebel as polar bear tracks also leading up to the cave, but as if the polar bears had been marching abreast. Following the track they headed into the cave. The rock was really a glacier and the cave were made by melted ice forming streams during summer. The cave widened into a room inside where they saw something very strange. Everyone there was hanging from the ceiling by their feet. Slowly advancing into the room they noticed at the far end, a giant polar bear rising on its hind legs. Dale and Rebel fired at it while it advanced. Rex stepped in front of the women and hit it hard with a spade. It hardly noticed the blow. It swung it's big paws but missed. Dale put a bullet in the beasts neck. Red blood poured down it's yellowish white fur. Roaring from the pain the big bear turned towards Dale and tried to move past Rex but he held his ground. Furious it swung hard against Rex sending him across the room hitting the wall hard. He fell to the ground dazed. Rebel and Dale fired again when Dale's shot finally felled the beast. While Rex climbed to his feet Dale moved up close to shoot the bear in the head. Then the bear opened it's eyes. An animal faking it's death! Shocked, she fired her last round in the revolver but missed all vitals just making it even more furious. A well placed final bullet from Rebel made the monster of a polar bear finally lay still.
"Of all my years of hunting I have never seen an animal faking it's own death in the middle of a fight." Dale said.
"So you're a hunter? Then perhaps you can track for us?" Rebel said.
"I'm afraid not. I'm not at all familiar with snow and ice. I'm used to the jungle."
They let everyone down from the roof while keeping an eye open for more bears. The only ones still alive were Dr. Tariel Nooma, Dr. Yuri Rostoli and the pirate pilot. Dr. Rostoli was very upset. He babbled about a bear man leading the polar bears. Dr. Nooma explained that there had been a man clad in a large fur coat commanding the bears
"probably with some kind of mind control gizmo".
"Of course not. Don't be silly." Dale said. "It must have been a Russian circus performer who trains bears. Haven't you heard of the Russian dancing bears?"
They discovered that Dr. Nooma's things was missing. As their mission was to bring back Dr. Nooma and her baggage they had to find it.
Taking the lead up the stream Rex lit his lamp and headed in. Dale followed with her revolver ready. The two scientists were followed by the pirate, watched over by Rebel. It turned out to be an entire maze of twisting passages. Every now and then they stopped when they heard a bear further down a passage or around a corner. After walking for almost an hour they found a frozen waterfall.
"If we get up there we could avoid the bears." Rex said tentatively.
"Looks hard to climb."
"Maybe we should scout it first."
"I have an idea." Rex said "If we throw someone up the hole and then he or she could use his knife to prevent him from sliding back down."
"It would have to be someone small..."
"Why are you all looking at me like that?" Dale asked.
"Take this rope and fasten it to something solid up there. Then we can use the rope to climb up." Rex decided.
Rex and the pirate readied themselves for throwing Dale up the hole. Rebel watched as the pirate was to put his hand on Dale's behind. She stared angrily at him. He hesitated and didn't get any good grip at her jacket as he changed places to hold.
"Hurry up before I change my mind." Dale said.
They threw her up the ice slope. Landing hard she lost her breath but managed to jam her knife hard into the ice. Slowly pulling herself up she reached a stalagmite and tied the rope around it.
The passage continued, but now they were definitely going up, and there were no more bears. A sound of falling water reached them. After a turn the way was blocked by a waterfall. It was only a thin curtain of water, but getting wet in the cold could be fatal.
"No way I'm going through there, getting wet again." the pirate said.
Rex went back to where some large ice floe lay. Bringing it to the waterfall he held it to the wall through the water. It soon froze in place making a small roof leading the water aside. Walking on they noted that some light started to shine through the ice, reveling a large dark shape inside the ice. At first, it looked just like a rock, but Dr. Nooma found something interesting. A slimy, greenish sheet, somewhat like rubber.
"This is definitely organic. It's stuck, won't some of you gentlemen get it loose for me?"
Rex responded with a cold stare, and Dr Rostoli ignored her, looking at another section of the wall.
"I'll do it for fifty bucks."
It was the pirate speaking. Dr Nooma never hesitated, she just nodded to him, and he started tearing at the rubbery thing in the wall of ice.
"Yuck! You'd better make good on that promise. He earned it" Rebel gave Nooma a hard stare.
"Of course. He's a mercenary, just like me. Mercenaries honor, no less"
"Quit your bickering and come on up the corridor. There is a veritable museum of arctic exploration here!"
It was Rostoli who returned from scouting ahead.
"Look, over there, that seems to be a dog sleigh, but not like the ones the Eskimos use, it's European! Probably from the Peary expedition of 1906. And that, that's a balloon cabin! It's the Eagle, from the André expedition of..."
He went on and on as they went down the passage, curiously peering into the frozen museum. Suddenly, the cave opened up. They came in the back way into a large ice cave, and could look out over the glacier. Just outside the cave, a man was sitting, meditating. The polar bear man.
"I see my disks, over there. You'll have to get them for me".
Dr. Nooma pointed. Rex crawled forward. Water dropped slowly on the strange mechanical device consisting of a stack of discs. Carefully Rex had to break it loose from the ice. All went well until he was back with the others. Then the pirate slipped, fell and broke an icesickle. They all started running or rather skating, Rex dragging the pirate along, down the passage. Running all the way back through the waterfall and down the slope. They all came running out of the cave.
A bear appeared in the cave opening. Running up to the planes Rex jumped onto the wing. Diana rushed to the aeroplane's tail, put her back to it and started pushing.
"Help me turn it!" she shouted to the others as Rex climbed into the cockpit. Rebel, the pirate and Dr. Nooma helped turning the Avenger and it's eight deadly guns toward the cave. As it got close to aligned Rex shouted
"Slow down..." adding silently to himself "Slowly... a little more... Now!"
The pushing was interrupted by a salvo from the guns. The polar bear was hit by the burst and fell dead to the ground. Another burst was fired into the cave to scare off any other pursuers. It started a cave in. Snow filled air poured out of the opening. For a while all that could be heard was the echoes of the bursts and then all was silent.
They all looked at each others and Dr. Nooma said.
"Strange for wild polar bears to attack us like that. There was something weird about this whole thing. but I don't know what."
Dr. Rostoli just shook his head and looked into the ground.
"Well let's leave this place." The skipper of the newly arrived boat said.
They all agreed. As they set out to clear a runway for take off, Dale went up to the bear and looked if the hide could be salvaged, but the high caliber rounds had destroyed it completely. They didn't have to clean the runway of all the snow since the boat had brought skis. It was a simple kind that you just put the wheels on and that are left on the ground when the aeroplane takes off. Rebel rode with Rex. When both aeroplanes were airborne the boat crew collected the skis and left.
Dale circled the boat, looked back at the cave and headed back towards base Aurora. Catching up with Rex she noticed that the Avenger was suddenly overturning.
"What's up, Rex, over?" She said into her microphone.
The Avenger continued to do what turned out to be an inverted barrel roll quickly loosing altitude over the cold water.
"Oh, no! It's to heavy. I can't keep it. We're going down." Rex said in mocked horror to Rebel who was feeling more than uneasy.
Continuing down he leveled out inverted just a few tenth of feet above the surface. Rebel could see the large waves above her, seemingly so close she could reach out and touch them. Slowly Rex completed the full inverted barrel roll saying in the radio
"Just getting a closer look at the waters. Do you think there are whales here, over?".
"Out." Dale just smiled and formed on Rex's starboard wing.
|Wings of Honor|
|Campaign||Wings of Honor • Episodes • People|
|Heroes||Diana Dale • Madeleine Hazard • Rex Reason|
|Setting||Geography • Squadrons • History|