The following are character interviews with Dr. Jack Oswald from the Hell Holes series:
- TBD (TBD)
- Question: Today, we are honored to have Dr. Jack Oswald with us. As many of you know, Dr. Oswald is our nation’s premier expert on hell holes, being both the first person to actually enter one as well as a being a member of one of the assault teams in our attack on the demon homeworld. Welcome, Dr. Oswald. We really appreciate you taking the time to join us today.
Dr. Oswald: You’re very welcome. I’m glad to be here.
- Question: To begin, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and what you did before the invasion.
Dr. Oswald: Well, I was a geology professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where my wife, Dr. Angela Menendez, was a professor of climatology. During the school year, I primarily taught undergraduate and graduate classes in geology and acted as an advisor to several graduate students. During the brief Alaskan summer, I did field work up on the North Slope, both research as well as acting as a consultant for the oil companies to help finance my research.
- Question: Much has been written about the demon invasion. I understand that you are also writing a book on your experiences.
Dr. Oswald: Yes. After surprisingly surviving the assault on the demon’s portal complex, my wife and I decided to take a two-year sabbatical and co-author a book on small part we played in the war. Not everyone knows that my wife was part of my team researching one of the holes when the demon invasion first began.
- Question: That must have been a truly terrifying experience. Perhaps you can tell us something about your initial contact with the demons. How did you manage to survive when so many others were killed that first day?
Dr. Oswald: It was certainly not because of either of us did. People have tried to make me out as some kind of hero, but the real heroes were Aileen O’Shannon and Bill Henderson. Were it not for Bill shooting several of the hellhounds and the shield Aileen conjured with her amulet, none of us would have survived that first encounter.
- Question: That must have been quite a shock, seeing Ms. O’Shannon using her amulet to create a magic barrier between your team and the hellhounds. As a scientist, what was it like to see a real magic spell?
Dr. Oswald: It was definitely bizarre for my wife and me. Of course, it wasn’t until later that we learned that the devilstone in her amulet was actually an advanced alien technology and not magic at all. It was the same with the medical nanobots in the demon blood that enabled them to heal before our eyes. It really shook our faith in the existence of a rational scientific explanation for everything, at least for the first few days until we learned the truth. But as Arthur C. Clarke famously said, “A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
- Question: I understand that in spite of having no military experience, you actually volunteered as a member of one of the assault teams that entered an inactive hell hole, used their portal to travel to the demon homeworld, and destroyed the demons’ portal system, thereby ending the invasion. That was an amazingly brave thing for a middle-aged college professor to do. What made you decide to volunteer for such an unbelievably dangerous mission?
Dr. Oswald: In hind-sight, I was probably a lot more foolhardy than brave. At least, that’s what my wife has said. But truthfully, I was pretty much scared from the time I first saw the hellhounds until we landed back at Eielson Air Force Base after the mission was over. Actually, I volunteered because I felt I didn’t really have a choice. First of all, the team needed someone who was familiar with hell holes and could determine the safety of the tunnels through the permafrost leading to the portals. Secondly, we needed a scientist who could collect information about the demon’s homeworld and determine if humans could safely survive Hell’s environmental conditions. And finally, I felt responsible because I was the one who initially suggested taking a nuclear bomb through one of the portals to destroy their portal complex on the demon homeworld. If I didn’t go, we would’ve just had to send someone else in my place. I couldn’t have lived with myself if my staying home resulted in the death of one of my colleagues and friends.
- Question: I understand, but I still think it was an amazing thing to do. As a final question, how about telling us something about your the assault that isn’t widely known outside of your fellow survivors?
Dr. Oswald: Well, there is one image that I can’t seem to get out of my mind when I lie in bed at night. As we entered the tunnel leading from the bottom of the hell hole to the portal, it was initially quite dark and we had to use of night vision goggles. However, it wasn’t long until we could see dim green lights every few yards along the tunnel. Only when we got close to these strangely shaped lights did we finally realize what we were seeing. The demons had stuck human body parts—arms, legs, heads—that were covered in a bio-luminescent fungus. The demons were using our dead as nothing more than glorified light bulbs.”
- Question: That certainly shows just how little the demons think of us. Well, that’s all we have time for tonight. I want to thank our guest, Dr. Jack Oswald, for a very enlightening interview.
Dr. Oswald: It was my pleasure.