In an original Hammond institute investigation it was found that the
site was still active. In his books, Felix Holsten named the site
Bishop's Folly after Prof Bishop, who led the original team.
The Ancients had somehow used animals/biorobots to maintain the complex.
The Professor managed to get inside but was injured during the attempt
and may have succumbed to the low-lying chlorine layer but something
inside revived him. He may have interfered with the complex somehow
because alarms sounded inside and the exploration team legged it back to
the boats. The professor was not seen again but a spaceship was seen to
leave the complex, creating gravitic waves as it went.
The team decided to moor the hovercraft near the subsided section of the
complex. A shack constructed from burned timbers was visible on the
shoreline, it wasn't described in any reports or shown on original
aerial shots so the team decided to visit the neighbours. As the team
got closer they could see that the shack had wooden shutters that were
closed, Robert sensed that there was someone inside and banged on the
door. The door opened a crack and a bearded face peeped out, muttering
in Greek and English, glancing at the shoreline. The man produced a gun
and ordered the party to leave and to stay away from his daughter. As no
daughter was apparent this wasn't difficult and the team returned to the
hovercraft where they spent the night.
The following morning there was a boat on the shore outside the shack
but it was decided to leave well alone for now.
A quick overview of the site showed that it had sunk by 2-3 metres and
that there were changes from the most recent aerial photo in that some
of the lava that had previously covered much of the site was gone.
Miho's instruments showed voids underneath the surface, ground radar
showed the voids to be 3 - 5 m below ground. The team found the upper
airlock which had previously been covered by lava. A cylindrical
structure, it protruded above the water by about a foot and a half; the
top covered with small encrustations.
Miho wanted to stick a hand inside the hole with the imager but Robert
pulled her back suggesting that something may have moved in. Robert
spent the day by the airlock, fishing and watching the shack for any
signs of life. Eventually the occupant of the airlock emerged - a big
fish with plenty of teeth and tentacles.
Miho spent the rest of the day surveying the site aided by Andi. Antonio
kept watch. Miho noticed small arthropods in the water that appeared to
be eating the lava. Robert dissected one and found that its digestive
tract full of 'lava sand'. The arthropods laden with sand were seen to
climb into the mouths of larger, flatter fish and emerge looking
thinner. Robert caught one of the larger fish and found its mouth full
of sand. The fish swim off into deeper water where the team can't follow
to find out the eventual fate of the sand.
Robert and Antonio decided to take one of the flat fish over to the
shack as a peace offering and to find out if it's edible. As they
approached the shack they heard a female voice crying for help some
distance into the regrowing bush area. They followed the sound and, at a
piercing scream, Antonio sprinted ahead to find the source of the
trouble. A young girl ran out pursued by a large ambusher 'beetle'.
Antonio shot it and made it slink off in to the undergrowth.
The little girl, sobbing, fell into Robert's arms. When she recovered,
she introduced herself as Electra, daughter of the shack man. As they
walked back towards the shack she talked of the animals around the site
and offered to find Robert some edible fish but as they got nearer, she
took her leave of them worried that her father would be
Meanwhile, Miho collated her data from the surveys. It shows cavities,
tubular and cylindrical, and some segments that may be damaged. It seems
there are multiple layers and the lava may have entered the base as well
as covering it over. Andi took the data to match the patterns of the
available evidence and try to predict the remainder of the site.
A comparison of the data with Felix Holstein's sketch map of the site
suggests that there are areas in the complex that were deliberately
hidden from Felix.
It is decided that the site should be left for a proper excavation with
Andi stayed in touch with the ship during the visit and finds a message
for Robert and Antonio from someone called Elmer Goldberg, saying he
wants to talk to them. The email originated on-planet and a search of
the local net shows that there is a Goldberg ranch on the planet, part
of Colonie d'Argent.