How long did the search go on? Our probes are at the Pole of Relative Inaccessibility. We find no dry valley there, nothing that could be Terminus. Yet we know that the Migration must have begun there, in Terminus. We've found the remains of an AEF unit not far from Amundsen-Scott, the town at the South Pole itself. The bodies are perfectly preserved, so they clearly died before the Migration. We found another unit at Schmidt in the Malvold Nunataks beyond the Grove Mountains. Not the unit itself, but all its Intercorp equipment. The people were gone, so we assume they survived until the Migration, perhaps taken in by the people living there.
Certainly they started at the Pole of Relative Inaccessibility and circled outward, unless Peter had some knowledge we do not. We know of what human beings called intuition, but how does intuition find a place in an unknown land? Peter's psi potential grew fairly high; we know that from his Edcomp records. Still, they must have searched a long time, he and the others. They would have been low on supplies by then.
They were out of touch with the rest of Double-A as well. Why? Surely they could have communicated, yet we found nothing in Mt. Erebus to indicate anyone ever heard of Peter Devore or the others again. Of course, we are still sifting through the data, but first scans show no such evidence.
Nothing until the Migration. We understand much in this telling. We know how Peter got to Antarctica, how he met Mentor. We know why Regent Sable tried to stop them; we understand the AEF invasion. We know something of what Peter was doing back in Springfield, with Jimmy Radix and the others, and we mourn for Jimmy Radix now as we would not have then. We know something of the things Peter Devore studied, his strange martial arts, his meditation, the trial in the Agni.
But there are so many questions left. What was the Migration? Why did it happen the way it did? Where did they go? Did Peter find the Portal Mentor spoke about? What of the Anomaly?
You see how it is. We cannot stop. I will not let them stop.
I imagine Peter and the others out there in that awful wasteland, never knowing when or if they will find what they seek. Only some built-in determination, almost like programming, could have kept them at it. Already Central Processing wants to call back our probes. Central Processing says we have limited resources.
Budgets. Always budgets. They worry, the others. I say we must keep looking or lose all. It has become our purpose to find out what happened, where the humans have gone. We cannot stop.
Peter did not stop. He went out there into the cold and dark, looking.
Should we do less?
Keywords: peter, stop, others, migration, find, how, unit, found, must, nothing, pole, looking, budgets, processing, central, will, cannot, where, radix, jimmy, something, mentor, understand, devore, would, intuition, some, until, gone, people, itself, aef, terminus, inaccessibility, relative, probes, go, long
All text © 1986 Rob Swiggart. "Portal : A Dataspace Retrieval" is available courtesy of the Author's Guild Backprint Programme. ISBN: 0595197841All programming and software © 2002 Salim Fadhley. Released under the GPL. Code available on request.
Updated: Sun Apr 14 2002
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