Author : Ian Rennie

I don’t want to do this any more.

It’s cold, and we’re all hungry. I knew it would be like this, but that’s the difference between knowing and experiencing.

Nobody talks much any more, Scott least of all. When we were on the way there, he tried to keep people’s spirits up by talking up the grand adventure. When we got to the pole and found we had lost, that all this was for the privilege of being the second team to get there, he sort of withdrew. He doesn’t show how much this has broken him, doesn’t show that he suspects what I know for certain. We are all going to die here.

I knew it would be like this. Observing this is why I came. I’m sure that months from now when I hand in my paper, “A chronosociological survey of the extremes of the human condition, with specific reference to the antarctic explorers”, everyone around me will say what brave and courageous work it was. But it’s not. It’s cowardly. All of these men are going to die, have been dead for centuries. Whatever happens to this body, I will live on.

I stand up, they all turn to look at me. They will call this a supreme sacrifice, but it’s not.

“I’m just going out,” I say, “I may be some time.”

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