Hidden in the Fossil Record

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Fossil collector finds something in a millions of years old layer that is not of this Earth.

Submitted: July 10, 2012

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Submitted: July 10, 2012



Hidden in the Fossil Record

by Rolf Luetcke




I was hiking back to the fossil layers I had found last week behind my house in Saint David Arizona.I had been collecting fossils for a couple of years now and every canyon had different layers.I had researched the fossil layers of this valley and had called a professor at the university in Tucson.  He had sent me an article on the San Pedro Valley he had written a number of years ago.In the article I found all the information I had been looking for about ages and kinds of fossils found here.  Much research has been done on the valley from as far back as the 1800’s and the major studies had been done in the 1930’s and 40’s.  There had been several major digs in the area and the fossils were fairly well known.

The fossil record of the area was between around ten thousand years and 5 million years old, depending on the depth of the layer.The more recent layers were the highest ones and contained the animal remains of the time of the Mammoths that had roamed here when the Indians had first arrived on this continent.The deeper layers held animals that were more ancient and I had found early horse toes, glyptodont bones, rhino bones, camel bones and many others.

One layer near our house had fossils I had not seen on other hills.  They were from smaller animals and the layer that was about two feet thick and contained thousands of fossil bones from birds, lizards, snakes, mice, rats, rabbits and more.I had found the layer the week before and shown it to friends who got very excited about the many bones because they collected fossils of the smaller species.I had gone back to work out a few blocks to bring to the friend to pass along to others who were going to soak the layers in acids that dissolved the cementing material and left the bones behind.  They knew that many new species could be added to the records since the older studies had focused on the larger species.

I crossed several small washes behind my house and saw the fresh tracks of the wild pigs and coyotes as they followed their nightly rounds.I got to the bottom of the hill where I had found the layers and worked my way up the hill.Near the top was the layer I had found.  It stood out from afar with its white colored fossil layer in the surrounding darker soil.  These deposits had been near a spring and the multiple animals that had been trapped in the mud were deposited in the layers exposed today.

The time in history when the spring was flowing went through a drying period after a few million years of wetter climate.The lakes and streams of the area had been drying up and the springs were the few places where animals could get a drink.  The mud surrounding the spring had become very sticky and animals that had come to drink had been mired and died.  Eventually the spring had dried up and the layer had been buried under mud and sand of floods when heavy rains had fallen.  The fossils were calcified and not petrified also hinting of their more recent deposition. 

I set down my pack when I reached the layer and sat down on the first block and got out a bottle of water and an orange.I looked at the scenery and imagined how it could have looked when the layer was being deposited.The animals that had come to drink would have been a wonder to watch.Saber tooth tigers, mammoths and many other exotic animals had come here to drink.

I finished my orange and got out my tools and set to work.I had brought along a couple of empty dog food bags to put in the pieces I collected.  One would go into my pack and the other I would carry.

I had just gotten out one block when I put the chisel into a small crack that I hoped would break off a nice sized piece.As I pounded and the block cracked loose I laid down the chisel and hammer and pulled the block forward.As I lifted the block my eye saw something unusual.I set the block down and took a closer look.Inside the rock was an object that was metal.It looked like one of the big caliber rifle bullets that had accidentally been dropped and filtered down into the layer.It was odd because there was no crack that could have let the bullet filter down.  It looked new and I got out my pocket knife to remove it from the rock.

I pried it out and as if fell to the ground I got a shock.  It looked like a bullet but it was not.I picked it up and saw immediately that it was not a bullet. It was a little bit larger and although it was the same shape it had a hole where the tip of the bullet would have been.I looked the object over closely and saw that it narrowed toward the tip was it was smooth all the way along.There was a widening at the bottom but it was not like a cartridge.  It had a serrated edge and on the bottom was something in the middle but not like a primer but more like a stone of some kind.The object looked brand new and I had a hard time figuring that out since it had been inside a rock layer that was several million years old.  I was studying the object when I twisted the lower portion with the serrations and bright light came out from the stone in the end and where it hit there were small explosions where the dirt was vaporized.I moved the object a bit and the beam of light cut a bush in two.  I immediately twisted the end again and the light went out.

I stood for a long time just staring at the object.It was not a bullet but it was some kind of weapon.I had to be very careful from now on.  If it had been pointed at me when I had twisted it I could have been severely injured or even killed.I studied the object carefully before I tried anything else.  On the surface just above the bottom rim were several symbols and I could only guess what they meant.  They were nothing I recognized.

Whatever this thing was it still worked and I had no idea if it was new or old.What had it been doing in the fossil layer?

By this time I had completely forgotten about the reason I had come here in the first place.The fossils had lost their importance and the object was number one.  I sat down on the layer and continued to study the object.  I finally got up the nerve to try the light again and this time made sure I pointed it away from me.As I twisted the end the light again leapt forth and when it hit the rock I had aimed it at the rock sat for a second and then exploded.  I aimed it across the canyon about a quarter mile away and the light hit the hill just as strongly.Rocks started popping and exploding.I turned it off.

Whatever this thing was it was nothing I had ever heard of.I sat for a long time just wondering about what the object was and how it had gotten here. 

I looked at the symbol on the other side of the weapon one and decided to point it away again and tried that direction.There was a sudden shudder of energy in front of me and the air shimmered as something appeared out of thin air.I just stood and stared at a huge version of the same object I had been holding in my hand.It just hovered in mid air in front of me.I was trying to grapple with the object in front of me and my mind went through all sorts of ideas.The one I kept going back to was that the object was not from this planet.On the one hand it was complete fascination and on the other hand was that there could be beings inside and who knows what that meant.

The object just hovered but nothing else had happened.I finally stopped thinking and walked the few feet to where the object hovered and touched the side.It felt cool and smooth.  There were no windows or visible doors.I wondered how beings got into and out of the ship.  I ran my hand along the ship and looked for any symbols on the outside.  I finally felt something on the hull and when I looked there were symbols.I touched each one.Suddenly an opening appeared on the ship and a walkway slowly came down to the ground.I tried to look inside to see if anything was in there but I saw nothing move.I called out a hello but no answer.I stood wondering what to do next when a feeling overtook me.  It was a very pleasant feeling and one of tranquility and not of danger.

The ship seemed to summon me in and I finally got up the nerve to walk up the ramp.When I looked in I saw everything was the same golden metal as the outside.  There were various objects I had no idea what they were and I could see an area toward the front of the ship that looked like a seat with displays in front of it.The ship still seemed to be summoning me inside and I finally got up the nerve to go in. 

There was no sound but the ship had a feeling that was very pleasant and inviting.I would have thought fear would have been there but it wasn’t.  As I approached the front area there was a seat and it felt like it was calling me to sit down.I had not seen any evidence of any occupants and I decided that there was no harm in sitting down.As I sat down there were devices that clamped around my arms on the arm rests, clamps that held my feet in place and another one that wrapped around my forehead and I was held completely motionless.

You would think that at this point fear would have run rampant but there was no fear and when a snaking device came up from the console in front of me with what looked like a needle heading straight for my face I felt no fear.The needle touched my forehead and seemed to melt into my body.As it did there was an explosion of understanding.

The needle went back into the console and I sat at the console and all the things I saw suddenly made sense.In fact everything I had ever thought suddenly made sense. The door of the ship slowly closed and the ship lifted up into the sky.

Every question I had was answered and I understood everything perfectly.The ship had visited here several millions of years ago and the former owner was an explorer from a race far from our world.The ship had landed at this spot and the occupant had gotten out and gone looking for samples to take back to its world when the unthinkable happened. Since there were no immediate threats the being had not had all its defenses activated and when it had reached down to pick up a shiny stone a viper had bitten it through one of the gloves.It could not have known that the venom of the viper was so toxic to its system.  Before it had a chance to reach for the cartridge like object it had around its neck it had fallen into the mud and was dead.The object had become part of the fossil layer and the ship had gone into cloak mode and the alien had become part of the fossil record too and what I had found was the signaling device the alien carried to signal the ship of any danger and cloak the ship and it doubled as a weapon in case of danger.The device had been in the fossil layer for millions of years before I had accidentally found it.When I did find it and activate it the ship again appeared and was programmed to adapt to any species that flew it.

The beings of their worlds were varied and the ships were built to adapt to any of the hundreds of species that used it.  The ship was taking me back to its home sector and I was not doing anything to alter its plans.I had been given instant knowledge of all their beings had possessed and my world and petty worries had immediately been forgotten.

I remembered that I had had a life on planet Earth but the family I had and the friends I had been collecting fossils for were of no importance now.They would eventually find my pack and tools and wonder what had happened to me but it meant nothing to me now.

In an instant I had gone from member of Home sapiens on a small world in a small arm of the Milky Way galaxy, with a life expectancy of maybe 70 years to member of the intergalactic community that encompassed a million worlds and species and unlimited lifespan. 

I had no past but only a future I looked forward to meeting head on.



Copyright Rolf Luetcke

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