First written around 2003, has since been somewhat edited

"Is this safe, Kyle? I mean, it's obvious it isn't, so why must we go on with this? Half our dogs have already died, the other half is by a thread, our guides tell us to go back and threaten to leave us if we don't, Lifus is dead, my finger's broken and we're running out of food. We're crazy to... Are you even listening?" He wasn't. Kyle couldn't listen even if he was paying attention. His ear mufflers, hidden beneath three layers of thick hoods, wouldn't let neither cold nor sound in. Morris gave up and sat down on his share of the seat of the sleigh.

Of course he wasn't listening. No one would listen to him, not even his own son. So why should Kyle, this solitary and half-deranged scientist? Looking back, Morris realized that accepting this assignment had been a pretty demented thing to do in the first place.