Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Verne Sequels 1

For two pins I'd actually write one of these. Really, I would. Today, Verne Sequel 1.

Journey Beyond The Centre of the Earth. Professor Lidenbrock, and his nephew, Axel, have spent forty years attempting to replicate their journey into the Earth's interior; but without success. Volcanic activity at Sn√¶fellsj√∂kull has blocked that point of entry, and none of the other possible modes of ingress have proved fruitful. Worse, science itself -- including Lidenbrock's own studies -- seem to contradict the very possibility of their ever having existed subterranean chambers, oceans and forms of life, such as they encountered on their first adventure: the interior below a certain level appears to be wholly molten with extreme heat. Lidenbrocke despairs, becomes withdrawn, doubts his own sanity. But then, one day in the summer of 1913, a man called Arnold Saknuss (MA) presents himself at Lidenbrock's Hamburg apartments. He convinces the elderly scientist that his previous expedition really happened, and that he really encountered those megalosauri -- but that the explanation for their presence is far stranger than he could have imagined. 'The forces at the centre of the earth are profound, the stresses enormous, and the powers not only of gravity and pressure but radiation and magnetism combine at that spot. Under this assault, the textus of reality itself sometimes ruptures. I have reason to believe that this happened half a century ago.' 'Amazing,' gasped Lidenbrocke. 'And what form does this rupture take?' 'We must keep in mind,' said Mr Saknuss, 'that the earth is continually rotating, and that this generates tremendous shearing pressures in the four great forces that all come to bear on the central punctus. I believe there have been ruptures before, but that they have healed themselves. But this time I believe the damage is more profound. What you are your fellow subterranean voyagers encountered, I believe, was a bubble from within the rupture.' 'Astonishing!' 'Think of it as a caul, as is sometimes attached to the scalp of a newborn', Saknuss went on. 'Thrown out from this geological, spatio-temporal birth canal, and containing within it a trillion tonnes of salt water, not to mention the leviathans that therin dwell.' 'And has it now been withdrawn into the rupture?' 'Who can say?' growled Saknuss, clapping his hands to his chest in frustration. 'I cannot be sure, but I do not believe so. I tend to believe that the immense heat and pressures within the globe simply destroyed it. Boiled the ocean to steam, and annihilated the lifeforms within it.' 'But,' put in Axel, 'to insert a trillion tonnes of superheat steam into the lower strata of the earth's rocks ... ' 'Exactly!' cried Saknuss, leaping to his feet in a sudden frenzy. 'Exactly! The terrible tragedy of Krakatoa -- 1883 -- never been explained! The world geological disaster the world has seen since Pompeii, and nobody can explain it. Not even the new sciences of vulcanology and geology have an answer. But I do: the collapse of this massive caul, and its contents of primordial water, thrust through from some place beyond the centre of the earth -- the same place you and your companions explored -- I believe it collapsed in the early months of that year, devoured by the intolerable heat of the inner earth. Trillions of tonnes of superheated steam were forcibly injected into the rock strata, deep below, and the rocks bulged and strained and Krakatoa was one consequence.' 'There were others?' 'In 1887 the Yellow River in Imperial China flooded, drowning well over a million souls. Nobody can explain where all the excess water originated -- but I can.  I alone know whence this water came, finally seeping up and finding emission through the porous strata of the plains southeast of the Himalayas ...'

They were silent. 'It's incredible,' whispered Lidenbrocke. 'What is truly incredible,' said Saknuss, 'is the fact that it is happening again. I have reason to believe the rupture has opened a second time, and a much larger caul have been forced out, one that is bulging and stretching from the centre of the Earth all the way from centre to surface. I do not know what it contains, not yet. But we must find out, for the fate of the Earth as a whole could depend upon it. We must find out what it contains -- but we must do more, and travel beyond the Earth's centre to the source of this material. We must do it, or the world will not last long enough for our children to inherit!"' 'Yes, by all the sacred colours!' cried Lidenbrocke, forgetting his age and infirmity and leaping from his own seat. 'We must do it!'

1 comment:

Lou W said...

I would buy this in an instant!