“Nickie, take photos of this before we remove it.” Lennie stepped back from the stone sarcophagus. The rough-carved container held skeletal remains and a metal box. The runes and seal on the lid matched the others they had found around the site. Whatever is in the box better be worth the deaths of the workers.
The flash lit up the area several times. Nickie stepped away and grabbed the video camera. “Ready to record.”
As Shannon and James packed the skeleton, Lennie donned a pair of gloves and picked up the box. “Interesting. There’s no latch or sign of hinges. I hope it’s not a puzzle box or something that needs a special key.”
“I wonder what’s inside.” Nickie moved to a different spot.
“Lennie, there’s something strange about the skull.” Shannon held it out.
She placed the box in a padded case, before accepting the skull. She ran her fingers over the frontal bone, “Strange. There are four protrusions across the forehead. If tissue covered them, they would be noticeable. Nickie, get a close up of this.”
James held up a thigh bone. “I’ve dealt with skeletons from other sites, but these bones feel heavier.”
“Aliens?” Nickie’s eyes widened.
The others laughed. “Typical apprentice. Aliens are the first thing that comes to mind,” Shannon said.
“I thought the same thing the first time I saw an elongated skull.” Lennie returned the object to Shannon.
Once the bones were packed, the group returned to exploring the rest of the room. Lennie knelt by a pile of debris, moving stones and pieces of wood aside. Her fingers tingled as they brushed across an object. “What’s this?” Removing the dirt revealed an intact seal. “Nickie, bring the camera, please.”
“What did you find?”
“A seal. When my fingers brushed against it, they tingled.”
Lennie held a finger to her lips as she opened the door to the Scryers Office. Stan stood before a computer, back to the door. Serena, Ben, and Brant followed Lennie into the room.
“I find it interesting that all the Scryers are at the mandatory monthly meeting except you, Stanley Myers.” Serena moved to the fore. “I don’t remember giving you permission to miss the meeting.”
He spun and dropped a flash drive. Before he could recover it, Lennie dashed forward and picked it up. She glanced at the screen. “He’s downloading all the Scryer reports to flash drives.” She grabbed two more from the desktop.
“What are you planning to do with the reports, Stan?”
“I was backing up the files, just to be on the safe side.”
“Since we already have several backup systems in place, I don’t buy it. You have two choices, Stan: Tell me the truth or go before the Master Scryer.” Serena brought out her phone.
Shoulders slumped, Stan removed the flash drive and stepped back. “I’ve been working for the Council of the Crimson Moon. If I don’t do as Mr. Aston says, He will kill Lynda.”
“Lennie, gather up the flash drives and bring them with you. We will deal with this matter in my office. Stan, if you know what’s good for you, you will come with us. If you refuse, Ben would be happy to convince you otherwise.”
As she led the way from the room, Serena made a call requesting security to lock down the Scryers Office until further notice.
Gillian slumped in the passenger seat, head against the window. Jake, snapped pictures of the people coming and going from the Archive. “Still no sign of Stan Myers.”
“Damn. Mr. Aston hasn’t been able to get hold of him through either of his phones.”
“If he’s been caught taking something from the Archive, do you think he’ll confess to who he is working for?”
“Probably. He’s a bit of a wimp to my way of thinking. Any sign of Myers’ wife?”
She lit a cigarette. “What about the others? Without the GPS trackers, this is the only way to keep an eye on that core group.”
“There was the brief appearance of Lenara Lenquil two hours ago, but no one else was with her. She came outside, looked around, and went back in.”
“I hate surveillance.” She glanced in the backseat. “The parabolic microphone is of no use either. “ When is our relief due?”
“Oh just shoot me now.”