Dr. Andio, Dr. Patrice, Simpson and several others worked hard through the summer months, finding many small bits and pieces of beautiful pottery, some had been sealed to protect the items inside, all of which had rotted or turned to dust over the long millennia.
One of the items was a hardened leather breastplate that had been carefully placed inside a rather large urn buried near the cave, along with what could well be bracers and greaves, gloves and a cap. The items were in remarkable condition because the urn was hidden and sealed.
Several other urns of a smaller size were found near that one, those urns held the remains of various types of grains, one had simple loaves in it. The food items weren't edible, as tiny amounts of air had entered those urns, turning the grains to powder and the loaves to rock.
It was assumed that the large urn contained a warrior's gear and the smaller ones the food needed for the journey into the afterlife.
Days could be spent just trying to piece together one small urn or jar that had been broken long ago.
Eventually the summer ended, the equipment was packed up and many of the bits and pieces were taken with them for further study.
Late in the evening of September 17th, a farmer who lived a few miles away reported a strange glow at the cave. The person on the other end of the phone wasn't truly listening, just making agreeable sounds to get the guy to hang up the phone so he could look at porn pics again.
The glow slowly spread across the entire hilltop, all around the cave on the southern slope and was soon visible for many miles.
Just as the clock tower in the nearest town struck 11 PM, the glow intensified rapidly, then flashed bright as a cloudless noonday sun nine times. Each time a flash lit the night sky, a naked body appeared on the slope of the hill east of the cave and joined those already there.
As the last one appeared, the first looked around, then spoke to the others, "We have returned. The world awaits us."
The first walked over to the west side of the cave, stepped off nine paces, then the women tore at the ground with their bare hands.
It wasn't an easy task, ripping up loose grass and the dirt below it, but after just over two hours of work, they uncovered another urn. It looked just like the large urn that the archeologists had found that summer, but the designs on it were slightly different, prettier one might say.
The first woman had to find a loose stone roughly the size of an ostrich egg, then used it to bash the seal keeping the urn closed.
Once the seal had been fully broken, the woman looked within. A set of armour, like the other armour but with embroidery on it, was inside the urn. She carefully pulled each piece out, then donned it. Some of the pieces required her to accept help from the other women.
"I, Shinis'qua the Strong, will lead Leroqand to greatness in this changed world. Behold us, for we have come. Fear us, mortals!" she shouted.
Once she had finished putting on the armour, the nine women turned to the west and began to run at an easy mile-eating lope.
The farmer had watched the weird lights and had been briefly blinded by the flashes, but kept watching once he could see again.
Just before 12:30 AM, he became too tired to stay there and wandered off to his bed, knowing he would be awake again in four hours.
He spent much of that time tossing and turning. In the end, he slept for less than two hours, this was going to be a very rough day.
He struggled to feed and milk the two hundred dairy cattle, then had to gather eggs from the large coop before going back in the house. An older dog, some kind of mix that had collie of some sort in there, followed him in, the sat down under the table as the farmer made breakfast.
He settled down with a full plate, three blueberry pancakes, six slices of bacon, four eggs over hard, a large heap of hash browns and four plump breakfast sausages. Two slices of toast sat on a smaller plate near him, with a jar of homemade peach jam next to that plate.
The farmer grabbed two slices of bacon and looked down, saying, "Hello, Old Bacon, here's your breakfast," as he dropped the food. A minute or two later, he dropped two more slices of bacon for the dog, followed shortly after that by two of the sausages and an egg.
He'd been feeding the dog bits of his meals for the dog's whole lifetime, just over seventeen years. He took the dog to the vet regularly for shots and check-ups; except for occasional bugs that ran around from time to time, the dog was disgustingly healthy.
After he had finished his breakfast, he cleaned up after himself, leaving the dishes to dry in the drainer.
He was still feeling tired, but his usual coffee with his breakfast was helping him to wake up somewhat.
Old Bacon followed him out to the fifteen year old Ford 150. The farmer was soon driving in the direction of the hill with the cave.
He parked not far from where the archeologists had kept their vehicles, then walked toward the hill, watching where he placed his feet. He knew they had been scraping at the ground when pieces of pottery and such were found and that some fragments might still be there.
As he approached the hill, he could quite clearly see the large hole in the ground several feet from the cave's mouth.
Beside the hole was a rather large pottery urn with interesting designs etched into the clay. Amazingly, the urn was in one piece.
All around the urn and the hole, bits of flattened grass could be seen, these showing feet of slightly different sizes and shapes. The footprints were over on the other side of the cave mouth as well, although not as many. There were odd depressions as if bodies had fallen there.
He pulled out a five year old cell phone and called the same place as the night before.
The guy who answered was no better than the one he had spoken to them, and he finally lost his temper.
"Listen, you young ignorant shithead! There were weird lights all over this hill last night, I was too tired to check it out then. I'm telling you quite clearly that there are tracks from nine different people, I'm assuming they are women as the prints I can see are not very large. There's an urn sitting next to a five foot deep hole that looks almost like one I saw when I was out here visiting the archeologists a few weeks ago.
"Now, you twaddlebutt, you can get off your arse and get your boss on the line so I can tell him what the hell I've found!"
Not long after dawn on September 20, Dr. Andio and Simpson drove to the farmer's house and waited as he finished his chores.
Well, that's not quite true, Simpson had been raised on a farm and so he took on the task of collecting the eggs and feeding the chickens.
The three men sat around the table demolishing a nice breakfast spread, then discussed the urn which the farmer had brought home.
From what he said, the guy running the paranormal investigation group laughed and said he was full of cow manure.
Dr. Andio and Simpson spent several minutes examining the new urn, even to the point of picking it up once or twice.
Dr. Andio chuckled, "It's the same size as the other big one we have, but this one has much more etching on it than that one. The pattern is also quite interesting, something that would seem to be a world, with nine smaller worldlets circling around it. Very nice work indeed."
Dr. Andio and Simpson stayed long enough to have lunch with the farmer, then left, taking the new urn with them.
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