Soviet researchers abandoned an Arctic weather station in 1992, leaving behind the island village that was their home.
Decades later, a photographer went looking for polar bears after two years of preparation. Unfortunately, on his way to a known polar bear hotspot, the expedition had to stop at the abandoned weather station’s island because of a storm.
There, to everyone’s surprise, they found polar bears living inside the decaying homes.
Using a unique drone, the photographer took pictures of the polar bears with their heads poking out of windows, standing on the porch, and lounging among the human detritus left behind years before.
Lucky for him, he got plenty of pictures of the polar bears at the abandoned weather station because there were hardly any animals at the so-called hotspot.
Turning this into a story, what if a young girl becomes obsessed with visiting the polar bear village?
Some of her fondest memories are listening to her father read His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass is the first in the series).
One of the characters in the story is a giant anthropomorphic polar bear—he talks and fights alongside the main character.
The young girl becomes convinced the polar bears in the village can talk. When she hears that the village is on the verge of destruction, she runs away from home and makes her way up north with the help of a friendly sea captain.
There are perils along the way, but eventually, she makes it to the village and stands in front of the assembled polar bears.
They are usually hostile to outsiders, but one of their cubs walks forward and stands next to the girl and the captain. The cub is unique, born with opposable thumbs—just like the polar bear character in her favorite book!
The cub’s father is the leader of the polar bear pack, and the young girl is permitted to stay, but the captain has to leave.
The young girl lives among the bears and teaches the cub to talk. She helps them improve their community, and everything’s going great… until a wrecking crew comes for the structures.
The young girl and the cub lead the polar bears into a unified front, and the crew leaves when they discover the girl living with them.
The polar bears celebrate the victory, but it’s short-lived—a more substantial force shows up on the horizon and surrounds the island.
The young girl and the cub stand their ground, and a scientist onboard one of the ships cites an obscure statute about polar bear breeding grounds.
The scientist keeps a boat with him to study the polar bear community, living in the ocean because the bears won’t let him on their island.
The book ends with a phone call from the scientist to his brother in Hollywood about the talking bear perfect for the movies.