“So, you agreed ta not tell no one what you seen here, right?” Bubba grinned. “‘Cause they gotta shoot ya if ya tell.”
I nodded. “National security thing, right?”
“Yep. Nashnal secritity,” Bubba grinned, and tapped me on the shoulder. I thought my arm was going to fall off. Bubba was no little guy. I knew, looking at him, he could throw me like a basketball, and I’d probably fly through the air like one.
“Well,” he shrugged, “It’s that time.” He pointed to the entrance to the helicopter, where armed soldiers guarded the line, and people getting on had to be blindfolded first. “Time to put our heads in bags.”
It was pitch black in that bag. I couldn’t see a thing. Not even the texture of the fabric. Once my head was covered, I was escorted into the helicopter, and guided to a seat. Bubba wound up next to me. “Yeah. We ain’t allowed to see where we goin’. Safer that way. Less chance of leaks in stuff.”
The flight was over two hours. I have no idea where we went. I only know what was there, when we got of the flight, and they took off our bags. And I had never imagined anything like it.
“Govmint don’t want nobody knowin’ ‘bout dis.” Bubba rambled as we walked. “Specully them Christian types.” He was a talker, Bubba was. “Get ‘em all pissed off an talkin’ ‘bout it all being a guvmint plot.”
We took a long ride on a rail car, like a tourist train at a park. Maybe 45 or 50 minutes, between hills, and buttes, and plateaus. “Where the fuck are we, Bubba?”
“Maybe sumwheres in Wino-ming, er Knee-vahad. I don’t knows.”
The train stopped at a small station, and we all got out. It was one of the biggest archeological digs I’d ever seen. “Damn, there’s an entire city here!”
“Right!” Bubba bounced up and down, “An it’s fastinatin.”
“But, there aren’t supposed to be any cities here.” It was true. There was no record of a city, with monuments, and brick buildings, and who knew what else, ever having been in North America before the Europeans arrived, and started building them. Just Indians, and others. And their huts, and maybe some mud houses and stuff.
“Day say it’s like 40 thousands old,” Bubba whispered. “Fum long afore we existed.”
I received my assignment, where to dig, how to dig, what to be careful of, and how to report anything I found. I was part of a team. Bubba was part of another team. “Aww, little buddy. They put you on the little detail gang. You don’t get to fine da big stuff.”
And see I did. We were guided to where we were to work. Past all kinds of strange artifacts. What looked like paved, cobblestone roadways, separate homes, with garages. There were strange, huge circular items. “Did those hold pipes together?”
Someone answered, “No one knows.”
“What are they made of.”
The someone grinned. “Carbon fiber.”
“Carbon fiber.” He waved at them. “Fiber composites. Over 40,000 years old. Maybe over 50,000.”
I had nothing to say.
“It’s ancient Earth history. The first proof anyone ever found. Ours is not the first technologically advanced civilization here.”
I stopped, and stared at the pipe segments. “Carbon fiber?”
Someone in my crew piped up, “Yeah. Seems we used to be an advanced civilization.”
“Humans. We played around too much with the environment, though. And it went bad. Triggered all kinds of environmental chaos. Big flood, then big ice age type thing. All but wiped us out. All but wiped out everything.”
A third person spoke, a woman, “It’s why we’re here. The government wants to learn what happened, and see if we are on the same path of destruction. See if we are going to end up the same way.”
That was my first visit to the dig. It was true, I swear. We used to be more advanced, technologically, that we are now. We even learned about settlements on Mars, and the Moon. And, we’d abused the planet.
And Mother Earth killed us all, to survive.
Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 13th week. You can read about the challenge here. I continue to enjoy writing for it every week so far. And every week I wonder where the words came from. This week, I’m guessing I’ve been watching Ancient Aliens from the History Channel too much. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that show up.