Monday, December 22, 2014

15,000 Miles From The Past {5}

Date: January ??, 1938
Location: Northwest Bay, Isla Incognita
Situation: Day 2 Ashore On The Island
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Important Suggestion: Reread Chapter 4 Landfall here:

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Previously as shadows darkened the camp at the end of Day #1 ashore, the von Stiehl Expedition calmly settled down for the night. Sentries peering outward for signs of trouble behind a chest high zariba of bushes that had been torn from the countryside and then staked around the encampment saw nothing. Deeper within men made preparations for the morrow, exchanged stories, joked and relaxed. Von Stiehl radioed the squadron in the bay and ships offshore saying all was well and that the march inland would begin early next day. The night passed uneventfully. Early in the morning von Stiehl spoke to the men.

"Meinen Kameraden! Today is the day we heroically prepared for. Within the hour we march inland. Only fate truly knows our destiny. However, YOU are the best soldiers and sailors of The Fatherland. You carry the most modern and potent weapons available. Moreover, your will is strong and you do not misunderstand what is at stake for our homeland.

Every one of you volunteered to restore our nation to its former economic health, vigor, strength and happiness. Should we succeed and I believe we will, your individual reward will be great --- as it should be.

We carry two flags. The one behind me reminds us what was lost when the Empire ceased to exist twenty years ago.

The men surge forward raising shouts of approbation amidst a few cheers for the abdicated Kaiser and Crown Prince Wilhelm.

Our second flag posted at my tent confirms that time has marched irrevocably forward. We are now responsible for the ailing Weimar Republic. Men, let us do our duty for our country, wives, children, families, sweethearts and our future. 

Officers. Dismiss your men. Reassemble in sixty minutes fully prepared for the march.

Seventy-five minutes later Leutnant Eugen Jochum's Gruppe 2 covered.... 

pitan Paul Neumann's Gruppe 1 as it crossed a shallow portion of the river.

After Neumann crossed, Jochum advanced to the stream bank remaining in close support.

Staying close to each other, both groups leapfrogged inland. 

A modest rise was ascended as they advanced deeper and ever alert into the interior.

The totem discovered yesterday bespeaking of a boundary, warning or both was reached and passed. 

Neumann continued forward without incident. 

Being careful to at first avoid vegetation which might conceal predators.

However, some singularly curious trees and other vegetation blocked their way.  

All was peaceful as they entered.

One hundred yards behind, Gruppe 2, began to think this would be a Sunday promenade.... 

Until a giant wild boar sow and her shoat unexpectedly charged out of the bush. Only one soldier was able to take aim to luckily dispatch the maddened territorial beasts. In the blink of an eye (einen augenblick) all eyes turned to the rear where raucous shouts and a blaze of firepower erupted.

The Headquarters Gruppe had just crossed the stream when a gigantic crocodile sounded, charged and heaved itself through thick vegetation to feast on the men. Major von Recker turned about with amazing speed pouring his machine pistol's magazine into it. Soldiers nearby added even more lead.   

The terrible crocodile immediately fell dead. Von Recker remembered the doctor suggesting such a creature had not been alive on the Earth for a very long time; many millions of years. Still with a plentiful food supply it could grow to impossible dimensions. He identified the one killed yesterday as Deinosuchus. Was the stream full of them?

Von Recker and von Stiehl were glad to leave the dangerous stream behind.

Everyone remained extremely alert. Fate so far had allowed only the barest of warnings. 

As another wild boar charged von Stiehl's radioman and von Stiehl himself. Fortunately this beast succumbed to rifle fire as had the others. Then....

A hideous serpent rose to strike von Recker. It too was dispatched in a wild spray of bullets.

Things changed for the leading group too when an arboreal and bipedal Monitor dropped from a tree and charged. This  fearsome creature fell dead in seconds. It was as if the island lured the expedition into the interior before springing multiple ambushes. Clever island?

Several hours later a wary von Stiehl arrived at his destination.

A stubby and cracked lava column. Eyes and weapons looked cautiously into its dark fissure. 

In you go my comrades. A few paces in a thirty-five degree shaft will appear. Pause until your eyes become accustomed to the near darkness. The way will be illuminated by a luminous chemical placed upon the walls by people long ago. Then descend until you arrive at several chambers which still should be barely lighted. Look about and report.

Fifty-five minutes later as Radioman Kuhlm, Herr von Stiehl, Major von Recker and von Stiehl's
personal bodyguard Konrad Pulvermacher waited for reports, the latter heard the unmistakable sound of returning footsteps. "Some of the men are surfacing sir."

Obergefreiter Glatzeder was first to appear saying, "We found the objects. They are uncountable."
Meanwhile the men guarding the perimeter heard shouts and gunfire in the distance. 

It is coming from the patrol - out there!

Ja. JA! I can barely see them. It's....

The islanders again! One of our men is down by an arrow.

Now they are knocking him and another on the head. They are lost!

You might want to dim or better still --- turn off the lights to view next scenes best.

A procession approached a bon fire.

 Agitated natives awaited the approach of a doolie.

One of von Stiehl's men was still alive within. 

Two women gesticulated apparently about his fate.

A decision was made and the procession continued to...

The shore of a lake where the soldier or sailor was deposited on a rock slab. Soon he.... 

Dumbly ascended to the top of a wooden platform adjacent to a volcanic cone glowing red in the moonlight.
 A pagan priest made incantations as guards stood by. Afterwards the man....

Climbed the ladder of his own volition. Why? Was he desperate to end a hopeless ordeal? Was it an appeasement to the island or a false god? We only know that moments later....

The ladder was empty. --- Not long afterwards a....
Hellish rasping sound rent the air.


1) This was the second weeknight game on the island using Astounding Tales by Howard Whitehouse.

2) After Game #1, the house rules chart for activation of island troubles was improved - for the island! Ditto after this one as well. It was a good learning experience for me. Plus, as animals were painted, these needed to be added.

3. Chuck L. again supplied generously from his collection of animals, natives and vegetation. The small volcanic cone came from a pet store aquarium department. Todd B's vegetation is also in abundance. The platform is from Miniature Building Authority. The doolie set is from Foundry.

4. Come back in late January 2015 for Day #3 to find out what von Stiehl found and his next move.

5. Thank you for looking in. I wish I could distribute virtual popcorn or other treats from a concession stand for you. Thank you as well to Chuck L. and John B. for commanding von Stiehl's bold expedition!

6. Placing your remarks and questions below at the word COMMENTS at this time will be greatly appreciated.



  1. Once again there are mysteries and dangers on this island. I look forward to the next installment of the adventure.

    Merry Christmas to all.

    -- Jeff

  2. Munch munch...no problem, Bill, brought my own popcorn. :)

    Excellent as always. I look forward to the next installment.


  3. Great stuff! But, are General Pettygree's adventures over?

  4. "Looks dangerous Indie, you go first." Fun stuff!

  5. Really enjoying the story and the work that has gone into it!

  6. Now that is an amazing take- great recount as well!

  7. Thank you Jeff, Lieutenant, TOMW, Michael, James and Carlo!
    I really appreciate your comments and for TOMW, General Pettygree's stories are not over. Early 2015 will see him return and....
    Grateful for your comments Sirs,
    Bill P.

  8. great adventure story - looking forward to the next installment

    Merry Xmas

    -- Allan

  9. Great battle report. lovely photos.

  10. What great fun. How incredibly imaginative.

  11. I'm really enjoying the show, thanks for the effort.