They surfaced the Rosanne in a bay to the east of Epsilon Base. From there, the team of five were to take a boat to the mainland and hike the rest of the way to the facility. Elsie always felt on top of the world when she emerged from the confines of the submarine and onto the open expanse of the platform above. Although this time she was not greeted by the eternal bliss of the ocean, she instead came to find a picture of green forests and sandy beaches within a natural enclosure of rock.
As they stepped from their boats onto the warm sand and ventured further along an overgrown path that once existed through the dense forest, Elsie was reminded of the beautiful spaces in the countryside to the east of Victoria City. She was captivated by the smells; of earth and mist, trees, rain, the sun – there was a purity about the place. And, as they trekked through, the forest came alive with the sounds of birds and insects and the constant brushing of the wind. Mr. Adams led the way, cutting them a path with a machete, while Goodwin pronounced directions at every turn. Eventually, they arrived at an odd metal door that had half been swallowed by moss and plants. It seemed almost a relic, or some lost contraption belonging to another time and place. Whatever it appeared to be, Mr. Adams made quick work of it all, and the door was freed within moments.
Slowly they entered the dark abyss that awaited within, aided only by the beams of their flashlights. Elsie observed the professor’s head sway from side to side, meanwhile his eyes darted to every corner within sight. He was beginning to remember things about the place that he had once pushed far from his conscience. They pressed on without slowing down, even though Elsie had little clue as to where they were going. They could only see what their flashlights revealed to them, and that was very little indeed, so she assumed that the plan – as with at Gamma Base – would be to locate the power, and then start searching for… well, something.
“Mind yourselves here,” Goodwin warned. “Elsie, you seem to be aware, as am I, that my old friend Charles Vandenberg yet lives. He is a cunning man indeed. I suggest caution; who knows what he left behind in this infernal place.” His tone spoke clearly enough that any love the professor once bore for his old occupations had long since died away – at least, that is what Elsie hoped to believe.
When Jack stumbled upon the power switch the light flooded the entire base in an instant. Elsie was absolutely mesmerised by what she saw. Epsilon Base was far grander than Gamma Base, and better equipped by tenfold. As with Gamma Base there where two levels – and three when including the lower stairwell that Elsie hadn’t seen at first – and there was a great number of doors, and essentially, a lot of searching to do. So the five of them split up, and Jack, when standing next to Elsie, pronounced: “Okay Elsie, I’ll search upstairs and you go downstairs. Trust me, you’ll love the view.”
“Downstairs? But… oh, there’s a staircase.” Elsie found herself traversing a long empty hallway lit with dim yellow lights. When she entered the room at the end of the hallway she was confronted once again with the staggering beauty of the ocean. While the floor and ceiling were flat, the walls curved out towards the vibrant blue expanse, and were made entirely of glass and steel beams. But this was no small room; it was huge, of the likes of a ballroom, Elsie thought. She observed with utter delight as a giant sea-turtle sailed by with streaks of sun upon his back. Indeed, Elsie Heartwing fell in love with Epsilon Base, but was deceived, for she knew little of the tragedies that lingered here still.ns 188.8.131.52da2