Start writing The charred ruin of a Norwegian camp deep in the heart of Antarctica served as the landing spot for a tall, rectangular black solid, as it uncannily materialized within what was left of a room.
A set of doors manifested on what could have been the solid’s front structure.
Two small children of different anthropomorphic species – a blue, fully-clothed (minus shoes) cat and an orange fish that only wore a pair of green sneakers – joyously stepped out.
“What wondrous world have we come to now?” The fish (whose adopted name was “Darwin”) enthusiastically asked.
His enthusiasm faded once he got a good look at the dismal atmosphere.
“Someplace where they never learned not to stick a fork in a wall socket?” The cat (who went by the name “Gumball”) wittingly presumed before turning towards the disproportionate interior of the solid and yelling to another party inside. “Uh, Cara? How do I put this bluntly…where the heck are we?!”
Out from the solid stepped an adult blonde with shoulder-length blond hair and striking blue eyes, wearing a denim skirt, chain boots, a pink t-shirt with the House of El crest etched into it, and a black leather jacket.
Although her name was indeed “Cara,” her true birth name was Neas – a Time Lady currently in her third regeneration.
“Well, this is anticlimactic,” she uttered.
“You’re telling us?” Gumball quipped. “Where are we?”
“According to the T.A.R.D.I.S. computer, we’re in the Antarctic, circa 1982,” Cara disclosed.
“I could’ve guessed that from how I’m freezing my butt off right now,” Gumball loudly griped.
“Miss Cara,” Darwin politely addressed. “You promised to take us to someplace fun and exciting after we fought all those Daleks and save all the universes.”
“I know I did, sweetheart. But the T.A.R.D.I.S. has a tendency to take us wherever or whenever it wants.”
Gumball sighed. “Well, I guess while we’re here, we might as well do a little bit of investigating – find out what happened here.”
It sounded like a reasonable idea to Cara.
She and the boys separated, inspecting two halves of the charred camp.
Nothing much could have been explained from what Cara discovered on her end, except for one area containing frozen, bloodied corpses – one of which belonged to a man with wrists and a neck sliced wide open. His blood hung like icicles from his wrists.
“Good God,” she huffed in her disgust.
Near the shredded body, she discovered a half-burnt necktie.
Could it have belonged to the man? She pondered.
“Hey, Cara,” Gumball called from the other side. “You find anything?”
No matter how many television specials about bloodthirsty bears in the woods they claimed to have watched, Gumball and Darwin did not deserve to witness such disturbing carnage up close.
She left the area, meeting back up with the boys halfway there.
“Nothing of interest on this side,” she told them. “How ’bout we just go back to the T.A.R.D.I.S. and…?”
“What in God’s name are you people doing here?!”
They were suddenly cornered by two men – one old, the other young and unshaven – bundled up in layers (Gumball envied them). The younger man, armed with a shotgun, carried a lantern that helped illuminate some of darker spots of the camp. The older gentleman brandished a medical bag and a flashlight.
“Who are you?” The unshaven man inquired to Cara specifically. “Are you Swedish?”
“Norwegian, MacReady,” the older man corrected him.
A slight smirk emerged on Cara’s face – a clever idea brewing in her noggin.
“Yah,” she answered in a phony but believable Norwegian accent. “I am from the Norway, born and raised.”
Gumball and Darwin quickly caught on and played along.
“Yah, dontcha know,” Gumball said with his failure of an accent.
“Oompa doompa doobe doo!” Darwin’s was a whole lot worse.
Cringing, Cara whispered to the boys, “No, don’t do that.” She refocused on the man known to his companion as “MacReady” and said, “I am an inspector.” Out of the right side pocket of her leather jacket, she retrieved a flap of psychic paper – a handy item in case of emergencies.
MacReady took the paper, which flashed Cara’s “credentials” to his mentality just the way she described. “Not that I can read Norwegian, but it looks official enough to me,” MacReady noted, handing the paper back to Cara. “Name’s MacReady and this is Dr. Cooper.”
“Norwegian inspectors always dress so light?” Cooper nodded to Cara’s somewhat revealing attire.
Cara put on a forced smile. “We Norwegian girls are tough, yah?”
“Yeah,” a slightly convinced MacReady remarked. “And what about these two?”
He gestured to Gumball and Darwin, whose bizarre appearances obviously would have been the foremost concern in a new dimension.
Fortunately, Cara was well-prepared to offer an explanation.
“Very realistic thermos,” she said. “They’re designed after their favorite pets. My little ones just love cat and fish. They love catfish, too.”
“You brought your children here?!” An appalled Cooper exclaimed. “Don’t you realize there are dead—?”
Cara feigned clearing her throat to interrupt the old doctor.
“May I ask what you gentlemen are here for?”
“A crazed Norwegian from this camp showed up at our base earlier, shooting at a dog,” MacReady explained.
Gumball considered the circumstance. “Was it the dog or the guy who was crazy?”
“I’ve got a wounded man who’d say it was the second one,” MacReady said.
“We hadn’t found much of anything here in the camp,” Cooper stated, “except for a large block of ice with something that was chiseled out of it.”
Cara curiously frowned. “Show us.”
MacReady and Cooper did as she requested, leading her, Gumball, and Darwin to the spot. She scanned the block with her sonic screwdriver, a device that caught MacReady’s curious eye.
“That some new Norwegian tool?”
“Yah,” Cara confirmed, for the sake of confidentiality.
The readings on the sonic indicated something alien – information that she opted to keep to herself. MacReady and Cooper were still total strangers to her. If there were questions about aliens in Antarctica, they would undoubtedly draw suspicion on Cara, Gumball, and Darwin; they were as much alien as whatever landed in the South Pole.
Together, they moved out of the charred ruins of the Norwegian camp and into the raging cold. Gumball and Darwin both shivered.
“Guess those thermoses aren’t quite so helpful to you kids,” Cooper said.
“Yeah, they’re practically stuck to our bodies,” Gumball cryptically replied.
Believing him to be speaking metaphorically, Cooper chuckled. “Don’t worry. Once we get you back to base, we’ll…”
He stopped along with everyone else just as they came upon an unsettling display:
Scorched remains of a humanoid corpse with two faces!
“What the what?!” Gumball bellowed over the monstrosity.here…