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TR-20564 - Blizzard

Report from Col. Shay

Our early exploration of this world was not promising. The environment is cold and harsh, and the pull of gravity is slightly stronger than what exists back home. The combination is exhausting after only a few hours. Even though astronomical observation confirmed that we were near the equator of this world, the ground was heavy packed snow and ice. We were nearly prepared to declare this mission a loss and head home when a snow pack gave way and Lt. Al-Moyad fell down a crevasse.

We immediately began rescue operations. Using our ropes and climbing gear, we were able to scramble down to the ledge where Lt. Al-Moyad had landed. He had sustained minor injuries and been rendered unconscious by falling ice. Sgt. Walton, our field medic, began rigging a rope harness so that we could lift the Lt. out of the gap when we heard a growling sound.

Cresting the ledge was an enormous humanoid creature, massively muscled, nearly eight feet tall and covered in white fur. Sgt. Jared, who had climbed down to assist Sgt. Baker, drew his sidearm upon seeing its face, replete with fangs and tusks and its clawed hands. Fortunately Sgt. Walton intervened before a tragic misunderstanding could occur. She had noticed that the creature was carrying what appeared to be a toolbox, and something which was obviously a clipboard.

The creature was possibly more surprised to see us than we were to see it. Although we were not able to fully overcome our lack of a mutual language, we were able to communicate with a combination of facial expressions and primitive sign language. The crevasse was actually part of a system of inhabited tunnels beneath the surface of the ice. Lt. Al-Moyad's fall had triggered some sort of automatic alert, and this creature was a maintenance worker, dispatched to fix the new hole in the roof.

With Lt. Al-Moyad injured, and the rest of us near exhaustion from our earlier exertion and the rescue operations I decided against extending the mission at this time. However, I strongly recommend that we return to this world at some point and attempt to form diplomatic relations with these creatures. Their knowledge and experience with living underground could prove invaluable for the long-term viability of Refuge Base.

See follow-up mission: TR-20564a