By Erico


In the wilds of Japan lay vast fields of nothingness, ground forgotten by time. Because of this, this site, and other ones like it were hallowed ground for archaeologists. Undisturbed soil meant that ancient fossils and plants would be in good condition.

Such was the case on the fateful day of April 9, 21XX. A large convoy of hovercrafts skimmed the ground lightly, blowing dust in every direction. This place had been hit by volcanic ash, and the brown mixed with gray blackish dust. The convoy stopped and the vehicle's inhabitants emerged. But one was out first, an older man with gray hair and a beard. But this did not stop him. He breathed the air heavily, smiling as the sun beat down on him. He turned to his people and their robot assistants.

"All right people. Set up camp. Jim, I'll need you to set out the prelim gridwork." A man with brown hair and a younger age smiled at his mentor. Jim Dacker was the youngest worker in Dr. Cain's troupe. Their goal was to find fossils to prove Cain's theory on Mesozoic plant life, one which he had hypothesized by previous finds. Cain walked with a light step. He had been in his field since he got out of college, and his constant strain had kept him in fine shape. Some said he had found the Fountain of Youth, but whenever Cain heard it he laughed. "If I had found it, I would sell it!" was always his joking reply.

Jim Dacker turned his laptop on and activated the robotic probe that scanned their search area, grid by grid. Humans always went in to do the fine digging, for robots had never held the ability to work by senses, just pure mathematical data. The probe completed the scan and sent the information back to Jim's computer. Jim raised his eyebrows. Cain saw it and walked over to him.

"What's up, Jim?" Jim turned to his leader and spoke softly, probably too softly, seeing as the other worker robots were setting up camp and were always very loud.

"It seems the probe has found something metallic buried in grid E-46. Probably some old volcanic deposit." Cain smiled again.

"First rule of archaeology. If something seems odd, then it's important. I'll start there." Cain walked back to his tent, just as a robot finished putting up his bed.

"Your tent is ready, Dr. Cain." The robot spoke, in a monotne voice. Cain nodded. He walked in and picked up his voice diary.

"April 9th, 21XX. We've set up camp at the new site and laid out the preliminary gridwork for the dig. I got some odd readings at location E-46. It looks like something metallic is buried there, several meters below the surface. I think I'll begin there tomorrow." Cain clicked off his mike and went to sleep.

Little did he realize that time itself had been waiting for him to arrive.