And so had Lonny been passed the torch when Ryder Beaton had retired right after 9/11. A veteran of WWII, Ryder had been 75 years old when he stepped down as the Warlock. Now 65 years old himself, Lonny had given well over 35 years of his adult life to serving his country in this nasty, covert world. Lonny had heartily taken the mantle—more aptly put, the burden of the Warlord’s authority into the next era, trying his best to navigate finding the right solutions to problems that others wished away.
At the tender age of 65, his journey south had taken a toll, and this was as far south as south goes. To ensure a level of security was kept foremost, Lonny Pemberton travelled under the alias of Joe Diamond, an account executive for Allied Signal seeking mining contracts to secure raw materials through partnership with private entities in Chile.
Continuing his journey, Lonny departed on a charter plane full of White Continent enthusiasts from Punta Arenas in the southern tip of Chile and flew to King George Island on the Antarctic Peninsula. The plane itself was a BAE-146 with 4 turbo propeller engines and reinforced undercarriage for remote airstrips.
Under the guise of the United States Office of Polar Programs (OPP), a military officer linked up with Mr. Diamond and escorted him via a Navy C-130 flying above the Ronne Ice Shelf and penetrating deep over the interior and landing at Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. When he could peer through the November fog to see the land below, ‘Joe’ only saw white, a world of ceaseless ice and snow.
Exhausted and colder than he had ever been, 'Joe' was further guided to a billeting space normally allotted as dual-occupancy, the only deference to his position as he passed out onto his cot still fully clothed, his dreams solely dominated by a glaze of an empty and vast expanse of hostile white desert.
Dr. Mark Rutherford started the briefing right on time, “Lonny, our paths haven’t really crossed, most of my previous discussions on particle beam theory were compartmented to your predecessor.”
Lonny deferred, “Mark, the BEAR project was Ryder’s domain—he understood the science far more than I, but now that I’m in a different role, I’ll do my best to keep up. No pun intended, but just bear in mind you’ll have to tailor your coaching to a lower level—I just don’t have the engineering brain to keep up!”
Dr. Lisa Morris chimed in, “Lonny, 25 years ago we completed the BEAR neutron saturation particle beam which then led to other, related research. It’s important to note that even though BEAR wrought devastation in Chernobyl, that particle beam was based on low-order energies.”
Author's note... yes, there is more in the works...just giving a nibble of one, single aspect of a continuance of 'Rosehips in June' and modifications to the current Warlock epic.