Sunday, January 17, 2016

Keep It Distant, Difficult, And Dangerous...

Merian Cooper, creator of "King Kong", was a man of adventure, and a film director. Cooper lived by a phrase  - "Keep it distant, difficult and dangerous" after meeting an arctic explorer named Vilhjalmur Stefasson, who proclaimed, "Men get killed easily when they don't live dangerously."

As a result of his eccentric and charismatic life style, Cooper also had a cinematic alter ego and created "King Kong" from one of his own real adventures.  It shouldn't be too surprising then to understand, that in the movie, where the movie director has hired a ship to film a distant foreboding island, is on shaky ground with a production company, recruits a starving beautiful actress last minute, and hijacks the screen writer is all based on a real life account. Cooper molded his movies after his own experiences.

But this is where the story of Skull Island, ends, and a new story unfolds for the adventurer—another distant, difficult and dangerous island called Svalbard. A frozen island, with ice and snow, but none the less where maps and vast windswept areas are still stamped 'unknown'. Resonating from the past, into the present day, or future, the reader becomes an explorer and fiction becomes discovery...

Out of the darkness a space ship originating from Mars named the Peregrines Interstellar (A Hungarian name which translates to The Star Wanderer) runs aground off course on a glacier in northern Svalbard.  A small unassuming journey to land at a space center in Longyearbyn, to collect seeds from the Svalbard Seed vault for a small colony on Mars is cloaked in mystery in the deep frozen canyon shrouding the city. The crash turns out to be quite unfortunate as the captain, a well-known pilot name Tibor,  also has a reputation as well known smuggler with a bounty on his head from neighboring Russia. Making matters worse is an impending snow storm and a scientist onboard named Dr. Lirren Lamaar with with a reputation for recklessness.

And what's troubling the impeccably prepared Lamaar, who's come aboard the ship to collect her heirloom seeds from Svalbard, is that she's stuck on the ice with only so much time to spare. Caught in an epic struggle for survival on Mars, Dr. Lamaar has taken this exotic migration trip back to Earth to help with crop survival on Mars only to find herself trapped on a desolate glacier named Spitsbergen.

"Everyone knows you're a brilliant scientist," Tibor tells Lirren, "but you have a reputation for recklessness."

Lirren had eagerly embarked on the trip. She had promises to keep, debts she owed herself, and her knowledge and skills as a agricultural scientist could help save Mars. She'd be damed if she didn't answer the call. If her own life was lost that was a small thing, but human life was at stake forcing her to take action.  The crops that sustained their small colony on Mars was dying, and a promised land of verdant crop fields on Mars was ironically just a few heirloom seeds away, waiting for her in nearby Longyearbyn.

In the heroic style of most cliffhangers, Lirren resolves to take a small ice craft named Zero Tibor provides her, to travel to Longyearbyn. Poised on the brink of disaster, Lirren speeds forward to make her appointment to collect her precious cargo. But what's really troubling is a dangerous special-ops team from nearby Russia closing in on Peregrines. In the days that follow, Tibor concentrates on repairing damages to his ship aware he and his crew are in danger. And thats not the only problem...

Dr. Lirren Lammar is in fact a mass of contradictions. Usually described as quiet or arrogant, she actually tends to be self-depreciating and humble, particular when it comes to some of her well known Ag inventions. She is a practical woman, but at heart a dreamer, preferring to pull the levers of power from behind the scenes. Lamaar's idealistic spirit is her shield and armor buttressed by a code of honor and devotion to duty. She had learned those values in the realm of science and technology now underway, changing the world forever.

Without regard for her own personal safety she strikes out into the snowy landscape, the mystery of the unknown, moving farther and farther into one of the remotest places in the world.

Adventure manifesting in all its forms and possibilities "Beyond Phobos" takes the spirit of adventure going deeper into the cold wild desolate, the unconquerable realm of imagination, a journey that leads to a showdown between the Russians, the Norwegians, Americans and yes — Mars.

The adventure continues when Lamaar winds up stopping at an old schooner called the Noorderlicht, which is intentionally frozen-in at Tempelfjorden, and is used like a ten cabin hotel to provide base-camp accommodation for arctic journeys.

Only the reader should discover how this adventure ends but taking to heart Merian Cooper's very own words this time, "These are the seconds which give the zest and fire to existence...These are the moments when conscience and memory alike are drowned in the find physical or spiritual beauty of life."