|Image By Rembrandt Peale|
You decide to take a closer look at the huge stone with the ribs embedded in it. You know better than to take your visions too literally. You will have to take some time to get to know what's going on before you react. The tool marks are confusing because they seem too elaborate for the time of the Mastodons. Unfortunately, the equipment for carbon dating is extremely large and samples would have to be sent away. You simply don't have that kind of time.
"So this is old, but how old is it really?" You murmur to yourself.
"We've already sent samples out for carbon dating." Jessica piped in.
"I'm not about to wait for that. How much more of this stone can we uncover? It was obviously put this way on purpose. Look how it holds these ribs far out from the angle of the others." You make your way to where the stone meets dirt and rock. "And where does anyone find a chunk of obsidian this size? It must weigh over a ton."
"Oh, I agree. It's definitely out of place." Jessica doesn't realize you aren't talking for her benefit, rather your own process of thought.
You reach into you bag and bring out your father's hand pick. There's a hollowed out shape where the stone appears to edge with the dugout wall. The dirt and rocks fall away easily from the black stone to reveal a rectangular hole. It's big enough to put your hand in. You shine a small flashlight into the opening. At a distance that would be all of your forearm is a lever. You already knew this wasn't a natural arrangement, but now it's confirmed.
"Jessica, I need some twine." You say. "And get the Professor back here right away."
Minutes feel like years before Jessica returns with your request. She's followed by Amikam and Professor Sigmund. They watch with interest as you make a loop out of one end of the twine. You reach the loop in and slip it over the end of the lever. Your father taught you not to learn from the movies. Never put an appendage into and opening to pull levers if you don't have to. Use another tool to protect your hands. Once the twine is attached, you stand back a couple of feet and give it a firm pull. The lever has some resistance from age, but grinds into movement.
The ground under your feet rumbles as the stone lowers itself, revealing a tunnel.
"Incredible!" Sigmund exclaims. "We must get some lights and go in there."
"Whew!" Jessica waves a hand in front of her face. "We should let it air out for a minute or two first."
You shine a flashlight into the maw of the tunnel. The ground slopes downward and away from your field of vision.
"It goes deeper underground from here." You say. "Better get some safety equipment together."
"I'm sure we can walk in a little way." Sigmund says, clearly excited by the find.
You remember your vision of the red stone and seeing the Professor's dead body. You wonder if you shouldn't suggest that he wait outside for his own safety. Still, you shouldn't enter alone.
So what do you do now? Do you suggest the Professor let you and someone else take a look first? If so, who do you take with you? Jessica or Amikam?