Discovery part 2 by Ronald Faltus

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SUMMARY: Garth responds when his superior threatens his authority over his discovery.

Part 2

"What do you mean open it, I told you we need to figure out what is in there before we break the seal." Gareth boomed into the mike, hoping the volume would make the recipient on the other end of the teleconference video to concede his position.

The figure on the other end, lowered his head, and rubbed his palm over his forehead. "Gareth, it's been decided. You need to get that hatch open and get in there as soon as possible. We already got security breaches all over the system. Vent-Nor can not afford to wait any longer and lose this find."

It had been two weeks since Garth's discovery and it didn't take long for word to get out, bringing in competing firms form all over. Vent-Nor might be the foremost company in zeno-arhceology, but they were by no means the only. Everyone who had the resources to mount their own salvage expeditions had sent teams to Vergos. A few were already rumored to be on the planet, with many more surely on their way. It would only be a matter of time before one would get brazen enough to try and jump Vent-Nor's claim. Out here on the fringe, with little enforcement Galactic Protection and Security forces, possession tended to come down to who carried the larger gun. Sure, someone came in and forced Gareth and his team out, Vent-Nor could sue in the Galactic Courts to retain the rights to the site, and probably would win. But by that time the vault would be looted, leaving only an empty chamber for Vent-Nor to pick though.

"I am waiting for a response from Dr. Hues. He has done a lot of work on Zafranian script treanslation." Gareth had been in an argument with his superior, Kenneth Dunbar for almost a half hour now, and it looked like both of their patiences had worn out. Orbiting the planet in a Vent-Nor cruiser, it was his responsibility to oversee all the planeside archeological activities for the company. "Just give it a few more days to see if he can come up with anything."

Ignoring his plea, Kenneth continued. "Have you taped the door and taken an air sample?"

"Yes." he responded reluctantly.

"Did the filters pull out any dangerous biological or chemical particles?"

"No. But..." Gareth hesitated, looked away knowing he was going to lose this argument.

"Then by all scientific measures, it is safe to open the door." Kenneth was speaking calmly, slowly choosing his next words to soften the order he had to give to his protégé. "Gareth, you are the best young archeologist to come around in years. Since you have come on board with the Alien Technology and Procurement Division, you have developed into a top notch field researcher. I have always valued your insight, and I understand that you feel that opening this door is dangerous, but it has to be done." He added a touch of sternness to drive home his point. "Now I am ordering you to take your team, and open that hatch immediately!"

Gareth chafed at the command, biting his lip as he continued to avoid looking at the monitor. Images swirled in his mind, pictures of all he had done so far in his career with the ATPD.

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