Nine cycles later, the team reached an undisturbed dig level. It’s virgin soil hadn’t been exposed to the open air since the beast lay rotting on the ground. It was there where the real scientific work began. No critical artifact could be overlooked in their quest for facts and understanding.
“From our examination of its lower intestine and rectum, we believe it was a voracious consumer of liquefied plants and animals.”; Carntibulox explained. “Interestingly, according to our dating tests; the food it ingested died long before it did. Apparently its stomach could could strip away the useful nutrients and leave only the charred carbon fiber remnants.”
“What do you theorize was the function of its hump?”; The commander grilled.
“The scientific leadership is divided in opinion about its purpose, sir. I personally believe it was a breastplate to protect the heart or brain. It seems like the perfect structural location for it but so far, I’ve had no success in locating either to prove my theory.”
The commander saluted Carntibulox in traditional left-middle-pod, to right antennae style. Then he left to follow up on the progress of the other work stations.
On a whim of amusement, the commander decided to ask Randor what purpose he thought the mound served. Despite being responsible for locating the discovery, it was unheard of for a high-ranking officer to solicit the uninformed opinion of a novice. A noticeable shockwave permeated the camp; and the rareness of the occasion wasn’t lost on Randor either.
He thought about the question a bit and then offered a very unorthodox but creative reply. “I believe the hump thing on this beast was meant to even its burden equally between its left and right side.”
“I see a few issues with your theory; Randor.”; Bleekz sneered. “First of all, it’s not a ‘hump thing’; it’s a ‘mound specimen’! As an aspiring historist with a bright future, you must learn to better articulate your points. You’ll sound like you have poor intellect if you continue to refer to things in such a generalized civilian manner.”
Randor nodded his cranial cleft in understanding. In the future he would be sure to speak with professional, scientific terminology.
“So you feel that the beast was domesticated as a pack animal and evolved to have the mound to better balance its loads?”; Bleekz quizzed. “What evidence do you have to support this curious hypothesis?”
“I’m still collecting data sir; but I feel that what I have completely supports my contention. I want to be absolutely certain before I reveal my evidence”; He explained.
Commander Bleekz could hardly suppress his rage. This young pupa that he had generously taken under his wings was withholding his findings! His excuse about waiting to divulge his research was clearly a smokescreen. He wanted all the glory from the excavation committee and scientific community for himself. With more composure than he thought possible; he saluted and told Randor to “keep up the good work”.
Randor was proud that he didn’t release his findings until they were confirmed. He didn’t want to prematurely suggest a theory and disappoint the commander. The more he studied the huge, two-dimensional collection of images that he found, the more he was convinced that he was on target. They seemed to suggest that the mound specimen had been part of a beast of burden which transported monolithisapiens from one place to another. Beneath the fantastic images from ancient times were many strange symbols. He surmised that they might explain what the images depicted. Randor carefully copied the symbols down in his logbook. He raced to consult with an associate who was an expert on decyphering ancient symbols.