Epic Unearthed, страница 1
Copyright © 2014 Thomas Turner
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author.
This book is dedicated to my father.
Donald Ray Turner
I tell everyone, “If I can be half the father my father was to me, I will be a great dad.”
Dedication to a Friend
In life, success can never be accomplished alone. It is the people that surround you that can help create something great, and this is the reason I am dedicating this page to Rickey Flores. When you picked up this novel, his guidance and talent is what you see on the cover and back page. I could have never done this without his inspiration.
“Four weeks of digging and still nothing,” Duncan murmurs, atop a hill surrounded by mountains.
“That’s because there is nothing here,” Kyle responds in a stern voice. “We only have two more weeks before our investors send us to another location. The conditions here will only worsen with fall approaching.”
Duncan looks at the sky, feeling he has failed his fellow archeologists. The weather is dreary, and the clouds are thick and gray. The stunning scenery and howling winds make him feel as though everything is a dream.
Duncan scans the mountainside, noticing members of his team working through their assigned areas. The closest town is eighty miles away, via rough and rocky terrain. The only people in the vicinity are his team of archeologists. Since hikers and mountain climbers found arrowheads and tools where Duncan’s team is excavating, the area seemed promising. However, the expedition has gone on for days with little success, and he is toying with the idea of moving to the next project early.
Duncan Edwards is in excellent shape for a forty-four year old; a few noticeable wrinkles, and a touch of gray in his dark brown hair, make most of his peers think he is in his thirties. He always makes a dramatic impression with his good looks and personality. His lean, muscular build, with olive skin, and piercing blue eyes, does not go unnoticed when he walks into a room.
“We have fourteen days here; let’s make sure we utilize our time. Go check the sites to the east; I am not giving up yet.” Duncan calmly says to Kyle.
Kyle nods his head and walks down the trail, toward a team of archeologists working in the field. He makes his rounds to see if his coworkers have missed anything. Without the needed breakthrough, the project is becoming frustrating.
The idea was Mr. Callaway’s, one of the main investors, for Duncan to excavate the area. In Duncan’s past, he has had success with places like this. With rivers and fertile land, the location is ideal for an ancient civilization to thrive, but right now, the site is driving him crazy.
Kyle Hightower, who has worked under Duncan for five years and has the respect of his fellow archeologists, was the type of student who never had to study other than a couple of hours before a test. He has a great deal of common sense and problem solving comes naturally to him. In his early thirties, with sandy brown hair, and brown eyes, he steps under the canopy of a dig site and asks Raymond, a student intern, if he has found anything interesting.
“Nothing,” Raymond replies as he works. “I have examined this area thoroughly, and found only two arrowheads in the past two hours.”
As Kyle bends down and filters through a pile of excavated dirt, he notices a weird-looking stone jutting from a large chunk of clay. When he lifts it up and breaks off a section, he notices a small stone carving of a horse with reins. Raymond and Kyle bemusedly study the new discovery. The two wash off the artifact with water, and see it is an ancient work of art. Both archeologists understand they will not be able to tell where or when it was made until the carved stone goes to a lab for testing.
Kyle reaches for his walkie-talkie and contacts Duncan, “Site Four has something of interest; we have found a two pound stone figure of a horse with reins that contains a possible organic substance in the eye socket which could be carbon dated.”
“Determine exactly where you found the stone and get our crew to that location,” Duncan orders.
Kyle knows the archeologists have been working almost twenty hours a day and says, “Because everyone is exhausted, we may need to call it a day. The artifact could have been dropped in passing hundreds or thousands of years ago. Since it’s getting close to the end of the expedition and our supplies are limited, we need to wait until daybreak. We all need to regroup before we go deeper…”
“I don’t care. Time is not on our side,” Duncan interrupts angrily. He then tries to govern his emotion, taking a deep breath. In a stern tone, he speaks into the walkie-talkie, “Get the supplies and crew there now. I don’t want excuses!”
By seven-thirty at night, Duncan’s team has completed the setup with equipment and digging tools close to the site. The weather is becoming increasingly cold, but the full moon will aid the archeologists with natural light. The crew begins working close to the rocky mountainside where they found the artifact.
On a gut instinct, Duncan orders his team to work feverishly in the northern perimeter of site Four. Since his team has had little sleep for days, most of the crew is walking like zombies. Some cannot feel their hands because of the frigid weather.
Rachael Baker, a team leader, shouts toward her mentor, Duncan, “I found something!” A line of stones coursing through the rubble, leading uphill to the mountain side was discovered. Duncan and Kyle run quickly toward Rachael. While climbing up the loose rocks, both men slip and fall at the same time. Duncan scrapes his hands and Kyle hits his knee hard. The two stand up like nothing ever happened.
When Duncan and Kyle arrive on the outskirts of the site, Rachael looks at their wounds and asks, “Are you guys okay? You’re both bleeding pretty badly.”
Duncan wraps his hand tightly with a bandanna to stop the bleeding and responds, “I can’t feel anything now, but I might think differently later.”
Rachael shows Duncan and Kyle the unnatural formation of stones going toward the mountain. To the archeologists, the pattern seems surprisingly manmade. There is no way of telling what they have discovered until they dig deeper.
Rachael says to Duncan, “I didn’t know what we were uncovering until I brought more light up here. When I was manipulating with artificial light, I noticed a stone formation. The configuration was in front of our faces the whole time but masked with natural rock.”
Duncan looks at Rachael’s discovery and calls out to his team, “This area is where we will concentrate all our resources. Move our digging equipment up here!” Duncan smiles at Rachael and says, “You are the most amazing woman in the world right now; thank you!”
After hours of digging into the rock formation, the archeologists see the top of what appears to be a stone door blocked by rubble. Duncan recognizes it as a doorway into the past, but feels he has been here before. With the new discovery, Duncan’s crew becomes enthusiastic, pushing harder until they cannot dig anymore.
The archeologists eventually unearth the door and realize the true magnitude of the entrance. The stone door is almost two feet thick, sixteen feet wide, and twelve feet high. The outer part of the ingress has spectacular carvings, with writing Duncan has not seen before. The script reminds him of Egyptian hieroglyphics, yet different.
The next morning, in haste, the crew connects chains from a jeep to the stone door. The driver of the jeep accelerates slowly, pulling at the ancient entrance. With great force
While the crew removes the chains and ropes from the entrance, no one says a word. Because of alacrity, a piece of history has been marred.
Duncan walks toward Kyle, and humbly says, “We always talk about how tomb robbers destroyed history. We just did the same thing here, and it happened here under my supervision.”
“Those thieves only cared about money and riches,” Kyle replies to Duncan. “We stand for a lot more than that. We are uncovering something no one has ever seen before, so we can share this discovery with the world.”
Duncan shakes his head and says, “Still, we were reckless, and didn’t respect history or preserve this site for future generations to see in its entirety.”
Kyle puts his hand on Duncan’s shoulder and replies, “It already happened, and the only thing we can do is keep moving forward.”
Duncan and Kyle climb to the breach and feel a draft of cool air coming from the opening. Duncan takes a flashlight and looks through the chipped barrier. All the archeologists crowd around their mentor, waiting for him to say something. They are still stunned about their discovery. No one can believe what is taking place. Duncan looks inside the mountain and cannot see an end to the darkness. Finally, backing out of the entrance, he instructs his crew to return to the original camp and bring the rest of the supplies to the new site. The leadership of Duncan and the excitement of finding a new discovery are the two things keeping everyone focused. The project is already becoming overwhelming.
Duncan and Kyle sit on a rock close to the entrance, looking at each other in disbelief, then laugh. They suspect that this is about to be the biggest discovery ever. Duncan says to Kyle, “This will never be topped until we find the Ark of the Covenant.”
“What do you expect we’ll find inside?” Kyle asks.
Duncan replies, “Great things, Kyle, great things.”