Discovery part 1 by Ronald Faltus

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SUMMARY: Gareth Kael, hotshot young zeno-archeologist, discovers the find of a life time.

The loose ground shifted once move, sending a cascade of gravel across the spot he had just cleared, but the slides were becoming weaker each time he brushed them away. Soon, the temporary coffer that he set into the ground further up the slope would hold the dirt in place, letting him work without any more debris tumble down. Feverishly he swept away the latest intrusion, and returned to dig at the impacted soil underneath. The exhilaration of being so close had firmly taken hold, and no matter how long it took, he was going to cut through the ground, and find what the sonar equipment showed to be a dense slab set into the hill side. So focused, the he only afforded himself a few moments to straighten his back and wipe the perspiration away from his forehead.

Archeology, the science of discovery, had griped Gareth Kael from an early age while on a visit to an excavated Mesopotamian complex while on vacation in Mexico City. Long forgotten by the current residents of the city, it was only found when a new subway line was being constructed. The original occupants built it centuries before the Spanish intrusion, when the Aztec people faded into history. Once again modern man had another physical reminder of how great these ancient people had been, and felt a slight pang of guilt that their European ancestor's thirst for expansion had destroyed their civilization.

The ten year old Gareth gazed at the roped of ruins, and marveled at their beauty. Here was an example of people whose identity and culture had been lost to time. Only through the discovery and preservation of these ruins could keep them from disappearing completely. Even now, a heated discussion amongst civic and business leaders raged, on whether to protect the find, or raze it in the name of progress. And what Gareth was able to gather form the local newspapers, it looked like progress was going to come out on top. What a waste he thought to himself, to destroy something so magnificent, all in the name of laying a new mass transit line.

Gareth smiled fondly at the memory, and used the recalled sensation form his first brush with the ancient world to motivate him to continue. His back was now tight and his arms ached from exertion, but he pushed the discomfort away and bent back down to continue scraping away the hard layer of dirt that separated him for his goal. Behind him, he sensed others that had been drawn in by his growing excitement, each breathlessly watching each sweep of the digging trowel, wondering if the next swipe would be the last. Gareth new that anyone of them would gladly take over, and dig while he rested. But this was his find, his discovery. It was his idea to conduct a survey so far form the main city complex, it was his idea to conduct a sonar sweep on this particular area. And most importantly, he was the one in charge, he was the lead archeologist. Gareth thought for a moment that he was being selfish and conceited, but rationalized his possessiveness as just getting his due.

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