C. G. McGinn


Ramblings about Books and Writing

Expedition 2

Remington's mentor was Captain Silas Rutledge Taft, more of a giant then a man who had been a highly decorated Naval Officer during the Oil Wars. Taft had been given the task of reclaiming New England, beginning with Boston. His base of operations was the USS Rand Paul, named after the late 45th President of the United States. Yet Taft had always been a front-lines leader, leaving command of the carrier to his 2nd, while he oversaw what he felt to be the "real work" taking steps towards Boston Harbor. From this frontal position, and despite the protests from his retinue of Naval officers, Taft made his seat of command and quarters on the Ice Breaker, John Adams, while the battle ships, tankers and support staff sailed behind. Taft wanted to be the first to reclaim Boston and the only way he felt this would be achieved was to place himself a literal step from where the shattering ice would meet the land.

His vessel would never reach the land that ran along the shore of the harbor. An hour after entering the outer harbor, the Taft Expedition was greeted by an ice shelf that blocked the horizon and prevented their ships to travel further. Not to be outdone by miles upon miles of ice that held more characteristics to steel, than their liquid counterpart, Taft assembled a scouting party that was lowered down onto the ice and ordered to find a breech in the shelf that led towards the land.

The last known sighting of the Taft expedition was a thirty minute walk from where they had departed from the ice breaker. A cooking pot, badly dented, was half buried in a fresh dusting of snow. There was no trace of the expedition or where they had gone. Several attempts were made to locate them, however after a month of searching, the rescue teams gave up on Taft and his men. What had become of the six highly trained soldiers and their veteran commander, to this day remains a mystery. Had they fallen through the ice? Impossible considering its sheer thickness. Had they been attacked? But by what? What sort of creature could get the better of these armed men, leaving nothing behind but a battered cooking pot?

With the surface temperature of the earth continuing to drop, keeping the ice breakers from creating new paths, forcing new expeditions into already established routes, the question of what happened to the Taft Expedition may never find a satisfying answer.