LAKE VOSTOK, Antarctica – Rapidly moving their heads from side to side and emitting a strange green glow, Russian scientists announced today that they had found “nothing of note” during their decade-long research into this subsurface Antarctic lake, which was once thought to harbor exotic ancient life-forms.
“There are no organisms living in Lake Vostok. We feel we have wasted our time here in the frozen tundra. We must return home now. All glory to K’axhura,” intoned Sergei Buristov, chief biologist at Vostok Station. When later reached for comment, Dr. Buristov unleashed a high-pitched squeal and spontaneously combusted, raining down entrails on everyone within a 50-foot radius.
Scientists from around the world, who had followed the Lake Vostok research with great interest in the hopes that it might provide some insight into the origins of life, reacted with disappointment. “I am as deeply saddened by the outcome of the Vostok study as I am puzzled by Dr. Buristov’s unexpected passing,” said Peter Franks, professor of protobiology at Yale University. “It does seem odd,” he added.
Within minutes of the announcement that the study had failed to produce any meaningful results, the remaining 19 Russian scientists quickly entered into a rigid marching formation and efficiently dismantled their research compound, storing all of the steel beams and aluminum boxes in a pile ominously marked “PHASE II” and eating all of the wooden structural supports.
The Russians then boarded a plane to Moscow, where there are now additional, unconfirmed reports of isolated incidents of unexplained behavior, including an hour-long broadcast on state television containing only the words “All glory to K’axhura, Master of the Universe, Destroyer of Worlds.” In recent days, news agencies in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Berlin have successively noted a rapid increase in visits to hospital emergency rooms, where scores of patients have complained of ailments including massive internal bleeding and a feeling of deep dread and terror.
Doctors are at a loss to explain the apparent epidemic, which many have termed merely an outbreak of mass hysteria. Others, however, have noted that several of the patients who have presented with green skin have also tested positive for high blood levels of icosahedrite, a rare mineral found only within meteorites emanating from the deepest reaches of space.
At press time, it was confirmed that this new disease, which astrobiologists are calling Vostok neurological fever, is communicable through bodily fluids, and that patients are advised to “ALL GLORY TO K’AXHURA ALL GLORY TO K’AXHURA ALL GLORY TO K’AXHURA ALL GLORY TO K’AXH.”
Originally published: March 2013