Previously On The Theoretical Science Foundation:
Trying to contact the brother of their dead colleague, our heroes stumble upon a deserted farmhouse overrun by giant spiders.
Having secured the giant centipede in the trunk of Buck's sports car, the group set out into the snow, following the strange tracks - one clearly human, one "something else".
After about half an hour of steady progress we rounded a corner and came upon the entrance to the old mine (see picture above).
Switching on our headlamps, Buck (my explorer) and Dick (Kevin's G-Man) took the lead as we plunged into the increasingly warm and sulphurous Stygian darkness.
Buck was in his element, reminiscing about his many expeditions attempting to gain entrance into the Hollow Earth.
Down the centre of the passage ran a decrepit pair of mine cart rails, which the party agreed to follow, meaning they would have a "bread crumb trail" to follow back out in case of emergencies.
As we made cautious progress into the subterranean caverns, the temperature continued to rise.
Our first encounter with the denizens of the deep came when an enormous trapdoor spider burst from the ground behind us, biting Onyx (Erica's cat burglar) on the foot. She, Freya (Clare's photojournalist), and Fr Ned (Simon's priest, played by Clare last night as Simon was suffering the side effects of his latest vaccine shot) took on the creature.
Fr. Ned - the Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Reverend - managed to flip the giant arachnid onto its back with a mighty blow from his knuckledusters, before arachnophobe Onyx bravely delivered the coup de grâce.
|Our route down the mine|
Continuing into the darkness, our lamps barely illuminating the ground in front of us, Buck and Dick stumbled into a wall of webs blocking the way, having mistaken it for some kind of mist.
Dick stepped back, but Buck was stuck firm and as he struggled, the others saw five giant spiders - the size of dinner plates - scuttling down the gossamer webs towards their colleague.
Gun fire rang out, but not before one of the creatures took a chunk out of Buck's neck. A burst of adrenalin powered the explorer to pull himself free, collapsing to the ground and allowing his companions to blast the critters to pieces.
Behind the remnants of web, it was obvious that an immovable mine collapse had blocked the passage, so we had to backtrack and eventually follow the rails to the end of the line.
Beyond the final buffer, Dick could make a pair of "prisms" reflecting the light of our lamps, and suddenly a pair of enormous mutated grasshopper/praying mantis-like creatures charged us.
As we engaged them in battle, two more - slightly smaller ones - executed a pincer manoeuvre, ambushing the party from our flanks.
Despite suffering multiple cuts and scrapes, everyone distinguished themselves well in the ensuing tussle.
Onyx cut Jeff free and tried to revive him, but to no avail.
Fr Ned offered to give the geologist a fireman's lift and carried him back outside into the fresh air.
The shock of the cold brought Jeff around, but he was still groggy.
Hopefully, once Jeff is more compos mentis, he'll be able to give us a clue - or, at least, a working theory - as to what the devil is going on!
|The old farmhouse|
- Buck Hannigan - played by me
- Dick Tate - played by Kevin
- Father Timothy 'Ned' O’Flaherty - played by Simon (absent)
- Freya Larson - played by Clare
- Onyx Jones - played by Erica
Showrunner - Pete