scanner showed a vast network of caverns overlaying caverns, multiple, contradictory patterns stretching to the limit of the scanner's range.
"Hey, look at this."
The other two came close.
"It must be some sort of reflective effect," she said.
Morden looked off into the darkness.
"The cave rock must interfere with scanning as well as communications."
"I've got the title for my expedition report," Favorito said.
"Archaeology in the house of mirrors. This will be a challenge."
"The scan seems accurate up to about thirty yards," Morden said.
"Let me get the sonic probe in here," Favorito said.
"That will tell us what's down there."
Favorito was right. But unfortunately, the sonic probe couldn't be brought in without the mobile elevator platform. For today, they were winging it.
"Let's go with door number three."
They turned down and to the right, Morden lighting the entrance to their branch. Without accurate scanner readings past thirty yards, those lights were their only way out. Anna thought of Hansel and Gretel, marking their path with bread crumbs. The new branch was narrower-about ten feet across-and steeper, the fragments on the ground making the going slippery. The cave ceiling descended to a level about six feet high, forcing Favorito to stoop and Anna and Morden to keep a sharp eye out for headache stones. Only a short distance in, Favorito called out.
He knelt down as Anna and Morden approached.
"Look at this. It's almost perfectly preserved."
They shone their flashlights down with his. A small desiccated corpse lay near the cave wall, partially buried in the rocky surface.
"Incredible," Morden said.
Favorito carefully brushed some of the rock fragments away from the area of the corpse, the camera