A New Dimension: Chapter Fourteen

        “Dr. McCleese?”
        “Yes, Denise?”
        “This seems like an excellent spot to set up our base camp, should we drop the equipment here?”
        “Indeed.  Let’s drop all the equipment here, there’s even a good unloading spot, over there, by where Alise is standing.  Go see if she’ll help you unload our gear.  I will take Maurice up to the dig site, and begin to set up our initial survey.  Oh, Maurice . . . ah there you are.  Will you join me in setting up the initial survey?  We shouldn’t need more than a camera and few stakes.”
        “Um, okay, Dr. McCleese.”
        “Very good, this way.”
        “We should be careful, Dr. McCleese, it rained last night and we don’t want to get mud everywhere.”
        “An excellent observation, Maurice.  Indeed, an excellent observation.”
        “Look, Dr. McCleese, there are all kinds of animal tracks here just past that clearing.  It looks like some kind of bird, and maybe a squirrel, or two?  And over here, a rabbit.”
        “A rabbit?  How can you tell, Maurice?”
        “Oh, I grew up tromping around the woods.  I know all kinds of tracks.  Bears, wolves, deer, coyotes, skunks, racoons . . . “
        “Yes, yes, Maurice, that is fascinating.  Let’s focus on the task at hand, shall we?”
        “Well, okay Dr. McCleese.”
        “Here, now, it’s just up around those clumps of trees.  You know, this ancient mound is possibly one of the oldest archeological sites in Northern Europe.  It’s amazing that we found it in the first place, and even more amazing that we were able to get a permit to conduct a research expedition to uncover whatever lies beneath.”
        “Yes, sir, it’s very – hey, Dr. McCleese, isn’t that the mound?”
        “Why yes, Maurice, it is the mound, by gosh.”
        “So if this is an ancient archeological site, what is an open door to the inside of it doing there?”
        “By golly, Maurice, I have no idea.  The last time I was here, it was an undisturbed hillside.  Could someone have gotten the scoop before us and pilfered all the artifacts within?  Think of it, Maurice, tomb robbers!  Come, let’s get closer.”
        “Well, um if there were tomb robbers, don’t you think they’d have left some kind of trace?  All I see here are those same animal tracks.”
        “Stop blathering about animal tracks, Maurice.  The local wildlife is of no importance!”
        “But, doctor, the tracks, they come right out of the artifact, and -”
        “I said stop dithering, Maurice.  Look, you can look at the pretty wildlife later, okay, right now we need to figure out who was here, and what their intentions are.  They could be evil tomb robbers. . .”
        “Or maybe just regular tomb robbers, you know the not-very-dangerous-kind.”
        “Maurice, this is the idea of a simpleton!  Everyone knows tomb robbers are dangerous.  It’s just a basic fact of the universe.”
        “A fact of the universe, doctor?”
        “That’s right, Maurice.  We must approach the open door with extreme caution.  Wait!”
        “What is it?”
        “I must get the camera out, and make a recording.  This could be a very important moment.”
        “Uh, okay, Dr. McCleese.”
        “There.  I’ve got it.  Here, you take the camera and film me approaching the opening.”
        “But, uh, okay, doctor.”
        “I am now approaching the opening into the hillside where ancient archeological site alpha two niner three resides.  I am now two meters from the opening.  One and a half.  One meter from the opening.  Now I am next to the opening.  Maurice, slowly pan the camera into the opening and sweep it around.”
        “Uh, Dr. McCleese?”
        “Yes, Maurice?”
        “Could, uh, could you do it?”
        “Why, Maurice, can’t you pan the camera around inside the opening?”
        “Be-because it’s kinda dark in there?”
        “Ah – Maurice, I need you to grow a spine now.  Just walk up there and pan the camera around.  I will be right here.  Nothing bad will happen, I promise.”
        “Uh, ok, Dr. McCleese.”
        “There doesn’t seem to be any sign of who created this opening, or how it got here.”
        “You’re right, Dr. McCleese, I think -”
        “I wasn’t talking to you Maurice, I was still narrating the film footage.”
        “Oh.  Right.  Sorry Dr. McCleese.”

“Ahem, let’s see, where was I?”
        “You were talking to the footage about the opening.”
        “Ah, yes!  Ah,he,hem.  The opening appears to be smooth edged, like it was a constructed door.  The light inside is very dim, but I can make out patterns on the wall that seem to be man-made.  Passages lead left and right.  Cut.”
        “Uh, cut what Dr. McCleese?”
        “Cut means stop filming Maurice.”
        “Oh, right, I knew that, doctor.
        “Ok, Maurice, we have to decide what to do here, first.  Before we keep filming.”
        “Right.”
        “Yes, Maurice, right.”
        “Uh, Dr. McCleese?”
        “Yes, Maurice?”
        “I think we should get the others, and maybe some flashlights or something.”
        “Maurice, I was thinking the same.  But by ‘something’, I assume you mean expeditionary gear.”
        “Uh, yeah, that’s what I meant.”
        “Let’s make that happen, Maurice.  Let’s make that happen.”

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