Chapter. Adlivun Pass incident.
The vessel was neither pitching nor rolling but steadily sailing towards Adlivan archipelago. The perfectly still weather, though, failed to becalm David Adler, who at long last abandoned his only desire to dive back into the dream after someone from the CSI unit had sighted out first ice and their agitated shouts sent the rest of the crew to the illuminators. The journey’s end was not far off. From then on for another hour the hustle in cabin was considerably louder, and combined with the constant drone of the engines made any attempt to start a dialog worthless. Finally he found comfort. After they had left the mainland It was more and more apparent that some sort of simple conversation with his new colleagues was inevitable,
whether he liked it or not. After all, he had forced himself to flung occasional words into the high-sounding platitudes.
David occupied a bunk in the most remote corner of the cabin. He pulled out a case file from a bit battered briefcase to give it a cursory glance, although he had already learned those terse line by heart:
“A group of ten students (eight men and two women) of Department of Geosciences at the UC, all experienced in long ski tours, organized an expedition across unnamed heights of Adlivun archipelago on January 27. One of the group members - George Jeugenes dropped out from the main part of the rout due to a sickness which caused a severe knee pain. He stayed at the village as the rest took a decision to continue the expedition in group of nine. Today It has been 12 days since they reported in. The hunters of the local Voguls tribe claimed they had found a dead body. George stated that according to the description the body could belong to Alex Cohleman. We started assembling a search party.”
It was altogether against his nature to feel sorry for anyone else and the job itself had taken toll on him, but this particular case almost reversed his sentiments and unearthed memories from his own childhood, - one of the hunting trips with his father to be precise, when he’d spent two days alone in the woods. He could hardly think of it without perturbation.
Going up on deck, Adler wished he had never accompanied the party. As soon as he got on top his exhausted consciousness treacherously responded to the bizarre view bursting upon him from behind the clouds of ice-dust and aroused dim ancestral and almost mystic fear unknown to a man of his profession. The vessel was piercing towards a desolate range of austerely aspiring white summits evilly framed by bleak obsidian sky and descending ridges of hoary granite wall that flexed itself against the ocean. Muffled moan of the wind wandering among centenary tree trunks occasionally reached the deck and the whole spectacle imposed an appalling impression that the vessel was carrying the crew further and further into grim white immensity haunted by an enigmatic omnipresent sinister essence.
As soon as it was clear no help was coming a shade of obedience flickered in his eyes. Well aware the air at this altitude sought to displace the strongest drug, his will flexed as hard as his body, and the breathing mask disappeared somewhere in snow far out of reach.
The solitude and endless waiting were gone with the cold wind that touched his still sentient skin, and he beheld them, concealed in silence of their majesty, crowned with starlight by the night, as frozen waves of some elder-world ocean, that had faded from human’s memory. They allowed nothing but to contemplate them, in an indifferent demonstration of a man’s inferiority, with their shadows being brighter then our minds and their silence louder then our cry. With each breath they blew into his body and soul their own freshness, drowning him under waves of numbness, dragging away to a different dimension no one had returned from.
Black sharp peaks only, revealed the tonnes of granite hidden under the velvet silk mantle of snow. He found himself in mysterious temples of peace, too big and ancient for him to enter, but too tempting for his heart to stay and enjoy the everlasting serenity.
Like a child to it’s mother, they aspire to touch the veil of sky. Giants, grown under wandering stars, destined by the Lord to be the thrones no one would ever ascend.