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Interlude Seven point One, The Wanderer Visits the Wreckage

The boat anchored a quarter of a mile away from the warning buoy that indicated an underwater hazard. The buoy was all there was to indicated the ruins of the off-shore research platform which lay beneath the surface of the water.

In the crackle of a dimensional shift the Wanderer was clinging to the buoy, rocking to and fro due to the current. The man in black peered deep into the depths and broke out in song "My platform lies under the ocean, my platform..." which trailed off under the surface as the man stepped off the buoy.

Swimming/sinking to the depths the Wanderer spied the sunken platform and paddled his way into the wreckage to get a look-see of the fissure.

Just below the surface, the wreckage of a support strut or two lurked in the waves; it was this which prompted the warning buoy above. Further below, the shattered bulk of the actual research lab was barely visible in the murk. The Wanderer clicked on a powerful flashlight and drifted down.

The lab had split completely in half as it burned and sank, spilling the contents to the sand. Tides had already taken some debris out to sea and covered other parts with sand.

Deeper and deeper the Wanderer dove to what looked like the remains of the office which Python and Frostorm exited. Not expecting to find anything of great use there, the Wanderer primarily intended to investigate the chasm which spawned the three who so unceremoniously crashed the party - Gargoyle, Mongoose, and Firefist.

"They looked to be surprised by their appearances and even more intent upon making their escape. Scientists are a curious lot, whatever happened beneath the surface, I intend to give it the old college try!," wondered the Wanderer as he moved along the murky depths.

As he expected there was little to be seen in the office. What few papers remained were waterlogged and had reduced to pulp. The computers were ruins with salt-water all through them.

He moved on to the remains of the laboratory. He spent a few minutes looking at the unfamiliar equipment, identifying a piece here and there: radiation counters, hazmat handling gear and so on. Several armoured plates were marked with the radiation warning trefoil. He noticed a few canisters similarly marked.

"Hmm," he thought,"radioactive isotopes still unrecovered. This certainly poses a hazard."

A strange reflection caught his eye, and he swam over to investigate. A section of the sea-floor had been melted to glass and then cooled into a bumpy, irregular mass.

"Most unusual, obviously the result of extreme heat," concluded the Wanderer before landing softly next to the mass. The Wanderer bent down to further investigate and perhaps retrieve some of the substance. The Wanderer looked around to see where in relation he was to the chasm that upset the platform with its fiery explosion.

He stood between the two halves of the sundered platform, almost as if he stood at the hinge of an opened oyster.

Shining the light into the abyss provided little information as the Wanderer stepped began to stumble down the embankment sweeping the arc of light before him, looking for anything which may answer the myriad of questions surrounding this event. What caused those readings? what was behind the tremors? the explosion? what were the scientists researching? and what caused their transformation?

With those thoughts still circling in his head, the Wanderer began to swim back to the surface.

Last Updated 20 June 2000