I figured with all my blathering about me being a writer, I’d need some proof, so here it is. Part one of a rough draft of ‘Irvine’s Everest’:

 

These letters were received by Rebecca Langford, wife to Jacob Sacramento, renowned biologist and lead scientist on the Mt. Everest expedition of Patrick Jenneke, representative of Helix Biolabs in June 2013. What Helix Biolabs’, Jenneke’s and Sacramento’s reasons for climbing Everest is unknown, but the expedition had no known survivors. Helix continues denies any knowledge of the happenings on the mountain, saying Jenneke and Sacramento had been made redundant months ago. These letters, and what was found on the mountain, have been enough to charge Helix Biolabs with corporate espionage and unethical research.

Member’s of the expedition, several sherpas under Jenneke’s employment, and members of a Helix Biolabs security detachment have all been found dead on a path up the northern slope of the mountain, leading to a camp built by the expedition. Many sherpas looked to be in the process of fleeing, and were found to have been shot, most likely by the security force. Other sherpas and members of the expedition were found with contusions and heavy bruising caused by physical blows by a human arm, though considering the force of the impacts, this seems almost impossible. In the camp itself, Jenneke, along with the leaders of the expedition were found torn to pieces, as if attacked by a wild animal. Jacob Sacramento remains to be found. These are his last known correspondences to Rebecca.

1st June, 2013

Dear Rebecca,

The group has begun our ascent! We set off from Tibet to the Northern base camp, similar to Mallory and Irvine when they set off. I wonder, will we ever become as notorious as Mallory and Irvine, or Hillary and Norgay, or Shackleton and Crean? What we have the chance to achieve here would immortalise us in history forever. I know I’ve told you little, but I’ve told you all they’ve permitted me to. I couldn’t risk losing my position here on the expedition. As head scientist, I’ll be one step closer to fulfilling some of my wildest dreams, thanks to you and your perseverance. You pushed me into science as a kid, you pushed me into my research, and you made me agree to join Jenneke’s expedition on Everest. I can’t thank you enough.

Admittedly, the Northern ascent is worse to climb, but it’s easier to get through politically. Considering what we’re doing here, I’d rather not get stuck in Nepal right under the Chinese’s noses.

I’ll write again when we reach the Rongbuk Glacier.

All my love,

2nd June

Dear Rebecca

We met the sherpas at the base camp at the base of Rongbuk Glacier, rather than the ‘tourist’s’ base camp at the monastery. The sherpas were anxious about this, but more so about what we were doing. They haven’t been told what they’re carrying, though some complain of it’s weight. They have been forbidden to ask about or check the contents of their bags, and some have been threatened by the guards we’ve brought along. I find Jenneke’s taste in security to be sub-par. He relies on men with brute force as a skill: men not suited for a delicate procedure such as this, made even more dangerous by the threat of Mt. Everest’s climate

Originally, only 3 of the sherpa’s leaders were told what this expedition was for, and what was in the bags. 2 of them, with some persuasion, agreed to stay on, provided they keep their new-found knowledge a secret. The third was… not so willing. He refused to do so, and I haven’t seen him since we began the climb, where some of Jenneke’s men stayed behind to negotiate. They returned when we made camp today, saying he was unwilling to join, but agreed to keep quiet about the whole thing. How they managed to keep him silent is a mystery to me, but I’m far too concerned about the task at hand to think about it.

Any number of things could go wrong. If any of the sherpas find out our intentions, the whole convoy will know. We could have a riot on our hands if they disagree with the plan. On a mountain, this could prove disastrous for everyone. And there’s the matter of the tests we will perform. I oversaw the design, the testing, the approval of this drug and the equipment, but I still can’t help feeling this will go wrong. If it doesn’t, we’ll be credited with providing near immortality for the human race. If it does, we will be damned for our work. I pray I haven’t said to much already. Jenneke can be paranoid at times. Damn him for his secrecy!

Love,

Jacob

7th June

Dear Rebecca,

We’re at camp 5, after days of acclimatising, and only . I’ve barely noticed, but some of the security detail had to be moved down from the mountain, complaining of altitude sickness at camps 3 and 4. I doubt they’ll rejoin us. But this isn’t what concerns me.

A group of sherpas were spotted by Jenneke himself looking into their bags out of curiosity. It was all just medical equipment for testing brain activity, but it was enough for him to want to have them pulled aside, and taken over a snow bank, out of sight.

I think they’ve been killed. Jenneke’s a madman, he’d kill us all just so no one finds out. The men sent down from altitude sickness, the third Sherpa, they’re probably dead as well.

To hell with Jenneke’s secrecy. If this goes awry, and it may well, I need someone to know what we did here. Someone needs to know my work.

For 4 years, I’ve been involved in Helix’s Research & Development team. With the near unlimited resources of the Biolabs, we’ve had immense success. Organic prosthetics, reanimating dead tissue, the list goes on. But there was one accomplishment we all had are sights set on. The ability to reanimate and regrow dead glial cells and neurons (brain cells) and tissue. And we were able to synthesize something, something we believed could give humans new life, prevent cancerous cells from causing brain damage, prevent or even reverse necrosis, the list of possibilities was enormous. But we needed a cadaver. A perfectly preserved corpse, one with little damage to the nervous system and brain.

And then Helix showed us there greatest secret. The location of Andrew Irvine. No one had ever been successful in recovering his body, yet Helix had somehow found the location, with only he cold as his murderer. He was the perfect subject. It was wrong, inhuman, but if there was a chance it could save millions of lives in the future, is it so wrong? Only time will tell. I hope we can reach the second step, where Irvine rests, before the expedition descends into madness.

I love you, dearest Rebecca,

Jacob

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