Episode 24 - A malady Preys on my heart that medicine cannot reach.

We received the results from the DNA test performed in the femur bone retrieved from the pond. The skeletal remains at the bottom of the Mulberry Pond belong to our first research Biologist in the team. Dan is officially dead. The test results confirmed that the signs of trauma on the bone were caused by a quite large bite. In theory the giant turtle could've bitten Dan's leg and dragged him inside the water. Considering that the skull and femur bones were scattered around the torso, the giant turtle could've had Dan as a meal, leaving the rest of the carcass for the fish to eat. Because of this new information, we were issued M60 Machine Guns to be used in our daily pond patrols. Although weighting about 18.75 pounds, this weapon fires the standard NATO 7.62 mm and about 100 rounds per minute. It's a lot more efficient than the riffles we were using and in case of a turtle attack, it can pierce the animals carapace. I never thought I was going to see so much fire power in this mission. Last Saturday after we finished installing Argo3's new propeller, we took a drive down to the old waterfall to place the mini-sub in the pond. Sergeant Palmer decided to drive the Jeep. It was the first time he showed interest in the car. - Harris, I have to say that having a vehicle wasn't a bad idea at all - said the sarge, while driving by Camp Muskogee. - I just thought you boys would become lazy if we had a car, but this is great! - the sarge continued as he shifted gears. Upon arrival at our destination, I secured the pond's shore with my new M60. - This gun is so heavy! I could probably throw this machine gun at the turtle and kill freaking thing! - I said jokingly. The sarge smiled and signaled Roy to get in position. - All Clear! - I yelled. The sarge had drawn his pistol and was now standing in front of Roy. Roy himself already had Argo3 in his hands and was making his way towards the pond. - All systems check! - said Roy as he set the mini-sub in the water. And once more Argo3 disappeared under the ice. Back at Base Camp the Professor had already received the first new photo sent by the mini-sub. The missile seemed to be in the same position and all its main panels in place. But he looked very concerned. Our blood tests had returned negative for cell mutations, somewhat of a relief but too soon to tell. Ben's wound, caused by contact with the turtle's claws, was not healing fast. Not only that but it had become infected. Ben had developed a cold a couple of days before and was now pretty sick. The poor guy didn't look so good. - We may need to send him back to Mission Control if he doesn't get better soon - said the professor. Ben's eyes grew bigger in disappointment. - I'm fine, I'm fine! - said Ben annoyed. On the other hand, I was not feeling so well either. I was well physically. But I was starting to feel anxious about my letter to Jill. She hasn't responded it yet. Not a note nor a word. My dad used to say I didn't think twice about doing stupid things. I just hope the letter wasn't the case.

by Corporal John Harris, February 23, 2006