The Chronicles of Z'va'Xin HTML version

The Chronicles of Z'va'Xin
By Robert G. Moons
Copyright 2011 Robert G. Moons
Chapter 1
Alien “fossil” unearthed
The sun brutalized the strange landscape with its all too familiar waves of heat. A landscape
made up of large curved rock hills created by rivers that had cut deep into the soft sandstone and
other soft rock. There were also 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
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.
Dave Van Bercham was not a paleontologist or some professional dinosaur hunter – 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. Writing music at 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 was not 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 – around the right
time for the Troodons. Then something strange caught his eye.
Farther up the hill of sedimentary outcroppings was a dark black colour that looked oddly
out of place compared to its surroundings. It was too far away to make out what it was so he
climbed the steep slope to the rock outcropping that framed the black thing.
Less than a minute later, he was conversation distance close and looking eye level at it. He
thought it would have been a dark rock or something, but getting closer to it had made it even
more of a mystery. Only about 15 centimetres of it was visible. Rain and wind had partially dug
it out from its tomb of rock.
He touched it but quickly pulled his hand back. He didn’t know why he did this. Something
instinctive, something very basic made him react like that. Like a cat seeing itself in the mirror
for the first time. But like the curious cat, he touched it again. It felt like glass, but cold. It
shouldn’t feel that cold in this heat, he puzzled. Yes, that was why he pulled back so quickly –
the briefest touch told him something was wrong. Another odd thing struck him next – there
were no reflections on it. Something this smooth should have reflections but instead of seeing his
face or the glare of sunlight on it – nothing. If he wasn’t touching the black smoothness of the
thing, he would have thought there was nothing there.