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XIN: The Veiled Genocides

XIN: The Veiled Genocides
By Robert G. Moons
Copyright 2011 - 2012 Robert G. Moons
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Smashwords Edition
Chapter 1
The Sun brutalized the strange landscape with its all too familiar waves of heat. A landscape
made up of large, curved hills, created by rivers that had cut deep into the sandstone and other
soft rock. There were a number of odd looking sculptures that had been carved over time –
mushroom like formations – some that would make the more prudish blush, and others just
laugh. There was minimal vegetation in this harsh landscape; only the hardiest of plants claiming
their small patch of parched, Sun-baked ground. All elements combined gave the landscape an
almost eerie other worldly feel. The area was called the Badlands by the early settlers, and with
good reason – nothing they wanted to grow, would grow.
A solitary figure moved slowly over the solar heated ground, stirring up small clouds of dust
with every arduous step. With every step, he was deciding whether to go back to his air-
conditioned hotel in Drumheller, Alberta, or go on just a bit farther. His stubbornness won out,
so on he struggled.
David Van Bercham wasn’t a paleontologist or some professional dinosaur hunter. He was
just an avid hobbyist, who used some of his vacation time hunting for fossils. This was the
newest of his interests, and one, he was even now deciding whether to keep. Playing guitar in
room temperature was starting to look better and better as the huge sweat spots on his light grey
t-shirt expanded, threatening to dominate the few dry areas that remained.
He wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Just finding anything was starting to look real
good right about now, but he had hoped for the rare possibility of finding a Troodon, a raptor-
like dinosaur that was about two metres long. It was the paleontologist’s flavour of the month.
He was looking in an area up a hill where the layers of rock were estimated to be around 73
million years old. It was around the right time for the Troodons, so if he was going to find one,
this was the place. Then, something strange caught his eye.
Farther up the hill of sedimentary outcroppings, there was a dense black colour that looked
oddly out of place compared to its surroundings. He was too far away to identify what it was, so
he climbed the steep slope to the rock outcropping that framed the dark thing.