Where On Earth? An Alaska Adventure
By David H. Minton
Fiery Seas Publishing
Dan Richards, an Iraq war vet, is a surveyor for the mining company, looking to open a new silver mine. Scrambling to establish his helicopter charter business in the wilds of Alaska, while trying to stay connected to his teenage daughter, his world soon turns upside down when he rescues a woman and her dog sledding team after an avalanche.
Samantha Bettencourt, an environmental engineer, is eager to begin her first project with the university. A spokesperson for an environmentalist group intent on preserving the wilderness, she is on the path to saving the wild, but when Dan walks into her life things start to change.
Sparks fly between Dan and Samantha as they find themselves running for their lives—from the good guys as well as the bad guys out to ruin the things they long to protect. Will they be able to escape before it’s too late? Will they get a chance at love or will they lose everything. . . including their lives?
Turning to the frozen bundle, Dan asked, “What’s the matter, Larry?”
“Don’t know,” he mumbled, hardly understandable. “She’s hurting, can’t stand. Baby not due for 10 more weeks, last check-up everything fine. I left her with enough firewood for a couple of days, been walking all night.”
“Okay, you stay here and get warm and fed. Frenchie, have Ken break out the snowmobile, get it topped off and add a couple cans of fuel; take Larry to the infirmary and get him to bed. You are going with me. I’ll be ready in two minutes; we’ll take rescue kit C.”
“Roger,” Frenchie said and left the room.
“I’m going with you,” Larry said.
“No,” Dan was quite gentle. “We have to get her back here in this storm. I’ve done this before and so has Frenchie; you rest easy, we’ll make it back. Frenchie is a combat EMT. You’ve been up all night and need to rest up for what is to come. If I take you, I won’t be able to bring Frenchie back—nothing personal, but I’d rather have the medic in this case. We’ll be back in six hours, max. You sit tight.”
“I could walk back here again,” Larry said.
“Don’t be heroic, Larry. Anne will want you here when we get this done. Sit tight, go with Frenchie.” He checked his watch. “We’ll be back around lunchtime.”
Frenchie hurried out of the room, yelling to Ken. Dan rushed into his bedroom-bath area, quickly brushed his teeth, got dressed and picked up a Winchester 30-06 with a box of ammo on his way out the door. Samantha felt forgotten in the hubbub, but he stopped in front of her, gestured to the room, and said, “Mi casa, su casa. I’ll be back as soon as I can; you won’t be stuck here any longer once we can get a chopper out. I’m sorry to leave in such a rush.” And then he was gone and she was alone in the room.
As the flight got underway, Samantha, having never experienced a helicopter ride before, saw that the view below her was quite different, in an intimate way, than the view from a passenger—plane window. She looked all around below and was amazed by the closeness and the individual features of the view. She now understood why it was sometimes called a ‘God’s eye view.’ Like God, one could stop and hover over one place, examining as long as needed. When she looked down on a scene from the chopper, it looked like what she imagined God might see if he looked down from heaven. The amount of detail she could see was amazing. She began to study the terrain, looking for anything familiar. Her reasoning was that one of the most important things in her life had happened not far from here, so she should at least be able to recognize major landmarks. It wasn’t to be, however, and she was entirely surprised when she heard Dan announce in her ear they had arrived and he would be putting the bird down. They would wait until the police caught up, in about five minutes. By this time, they were sitting on the ground, waiting.
At first Samantha didn’t recognize anything, but then as she scanned the scene, she realized her team was congregated off to the side and they were furiously active, barking and running. Suddenly, Dan leaped out of the cockpit and began running toward her dogs with a powerful-‐‑looking rifle. When he started firing at the dogs, the noise blasted in her ears, and she was sure it was powerful.
“What’s he doing shooting at my dogs?” she shouted, “I have to stop him.”
Frantically, she undid her seatbelt and moved to the door, trying to figure out how to open it and get out. By the time she had figured this out and had landed in a foot of snow, the police department chopper had arrived. The Police Chief jumped out and began clambering through the snow after Dan, carrying a shotgun—and also shooting at her dogs. She bounded into the path Dan had cut and furiously followed the two men, yelling loudly at them as she went. Etoile ran beside her, undeterred by the fluffy snow that threatened to bury her with each step, even using Dan’s tracks.
After graduating college, David spent two tours in United States Military Assistance Command Republic of Viet-Nam, before beginning his career as a nuclear engineer, then electronics engineer, tele-communications engineer, and software security engineer. He has previously published three non-fiction books, several poems, and many non-fiction technical and historical articles.