They catch a plane down to Argentina. They have two days to rest and sleep off the jetlag before their boat leaves for Antarctica. Before they leave, Lars takes him out shopping for extra warm clothing.
And- other things.
“This is sweet.” Lars picks up a small snowglobe, shakes it so the little colony of penguins is engulfed in glitter.
Hermann smiles. The caption reads Greetings From the End of the World!
“Do you think Newt and Monica would like one?” He continues.
Oh, of course. Hermann tries not to let his face fall. “I think so.”
“And-” he turns back to the stall, “How about this one for the study?”
It’s a simpler one, with the dazzling mountains of the Andes inside, he shakes it, and snow falls. The slogan simply reads Terra Del Fuego.
Hermann smiles, a real smile. “I really like it.”
“Maybe we could start a collection?” Lars continues, patting him on the shoulder. “A snowglobe for everywhere we go?”
Hermann cannot answer. Nods, swallows the lump in his throat and leans against Lars’ side.
Their globe is carefully packed away in Hermann’s suitcase, Newt’s is mailed off. The little ship taking them to Antarctica is old and a little rickety, but comfortable.
And warm. Which is becoming more and more necessary, right now.
Hermann has new coats and jackets, lined mittens and hats and scarves and snow boots- and he is still cold.
It’s not exactly cold, not as he knew it. It’s a cold that has nothing to do with how much clothing he is wearing. It’s a cold that’s sunken in, that lives in every crevice of the tiny islands they past, the wind-smoothed icebergs, the hollows of the waves.
“It won’t be much worse,” Lars pats his shoulder gently. “I’ve put word out that we’re coming, so they should meet us by Mount Erubus. Can you believe people actually try and climb the thing? I know you- we- are short lived, but- really?”
“Won’t they see the shoggoths?” Hermann tucks his hands under his arms, away from the frigid railing.
“The shoggoths have lived here for millions of years.” Lars shrugs. “They know how to hide- besides, who would believe them?”
Hermann supposes he has a point with that.
“Blasted people.” Lars grumbles, as they trudge down the side of the mountain. “Health and safety nightmare-”
“They said there might be a storm coming.” Hermann catches up. He glances back, the rest of the group is still in sight, and the escort from McMurdo Sound. “They said we shouldn’t go too far.”
Lars hesitates, glances from the open, white-flashed landscape, then back to Hermann. “We’ll stay here.” He says finally. “They can meet us here. If there’s a storm, we can go back, and they can wait a day or two.”