Patrick had a nice glass of iced tea with Hans in his tent as the former recalled with great enthusiasm about their past misadventures. Hans laughed obnoxiously while Patrick pretended to enjoy his stories.
"Tell me again Hans, what is it you're doing here in the middle of nowhere?", asked Patrick trying to change the topic.
"Ah!...", exclaimed Hans and took out the ancient scroll from his bag and carefully placed it on the table.
"This ... my boy...is one of the dead sea scrolls...", said Hans.
"No way!... you actually have a dead sea scroll ?" , said Patrick .
"Yes ... acquired it from a gypsy who sold it to me for ten bucks...", replied Hans proudly.
"Wow man... lemme see it...", said Patrick carefully untying the thousand year papyrus.
It looked like it was made of old clay and had cracks on its surface. It was incomplete though as it appeared to have bern torn off at the top right corner. Upon it were a few lines of inscriptions in ancient Egyptian, Hebrew or Aramaic - about which Patrick was not quite sure of yet. At the bottom of the page however was a peculiar drawing of a round mirror shaped object with rays coming out of its edges and a spiral in the centre- three human beings were kneeling in front of it, as if praying.
"Amazing...", whispered Patrick.
"Ja? what did I tell you ? This is a clue ... a clue that tells me there is something more hiding beneath this ancient mounds...", said Hans lighting his cigarette.
"Hmm... but how can you be so sure that this is the same place described in this text?", asked Patrick.
"Look at the top right corner ... here... see something?", saud Hans pointing his finger on the torn off corner of the page. There appeared to be some word that has bern smudged overtime. This word was however not ancient but some modern Turkish word.
"Yeah... Turkish....Hoyuk!..", said Patrick reading the smudged word aloud.
"Exactly and what does that mean?", asked Hans knowing that Patrick could figure it out.
"Hmm... it means a mound in the Turkish language...", answered Patrick.
"Wunderbar! ...and how many such Hoyuks have been found in Turkey?", asked Hans
"Well the only one other than this is the Catalhoyuk ...yes ... and Gobeklitepe means potbelly hill or mound... ohh....i see..." said Patrick finally realising the meaning.
"I knew you'd get it, that's why you're the best...Now you see Catalhoyuk is a Neolithic settlement far north from here... It's unlikely that this scripture indicates that location for I've sent people up there to research for months and they found nothing that looked like that! .." said Hans pointing his finger at the drawing of the mirror shaped object.
"Now, I can't read this scripture...", continued Hans, "and thats why you're here...translate this for me and find me this object..." .
Patrick burst out laughing and almost fell off from his chair.
"What is it that’s so funny?", asked Hans apparently offended.
"Funny?... Man I think old age has finally caught up to you, you're getting senile and delusional or maybe all these years of your obsession with the supernatural has turned you paranoid..." said Patrick still laughing.
"You're basing your entire operation on a smudged our word and a thousand year old ruined scripture which God knows is written in which ancient language - a scroll that you bought for ten bucks from a wandering fool in the desert?" said Patrick handing the scroll back to Hans.
"Then prove it! Prove me that I'm an old senile paranoid and translate this script. If you can prove that I'm wrong I will still pay you and book you a flight back home ... huh?", said Hans with determination in his eyes.
"Ah... very well...give me a few hours and a laptop and I will prove it to you that this scripture is nothing but some old religious stuff and there's nothing here but stones in this Tepe! ...And I will be out of this place tomorrow with my payment..." , said Patrick.
"Very well then we have a deal", replied Hans shaking his hand.
"Oh and btw what's Blackbird?", asked Patrick with a grin on his face.
"Ah... so you've noticed it..." , replied Hans impressed by Patrick's observational skills.
"Hard to miss the name on file you're trying to hide under those papers.", winked Patrick.
"Smart eh... its the name of this whole operation... classified - top secret. We're here under the cover of an archaeological team unknown by the Turkish government. Our superiors have allowed us to excavate here with full support provided we find what we are looking for...we have three days left..." , said Hans in a serious tone.
"And what is it that you're looking for?", asked Patrick.
"Star- gates" , said Hans looking at Patrick.
Patrick was now sure that Hans had truly gone delusional. He just shook his head and walked out of the tent. Outside it was almost sunset. Patrick looked at the scroll in his hand and walked towards the excavation site. The pillars in the mounds stood tall as the sun rays hit them from behind in a beautiful hue of golden light. Patrick looked in amazement – he had only read about this site in books and encyclopaedias but to see this curious looking ruin in real life was different experience altogether. Until nightfall Patrick strolled up an down the site observing and chatting with the workers and scientists. He found that there was nothing else to find there- whatever could be dug up has been apparently dug up. It wasn’t a deep dark cavernous ruin but it was much like the Stonehenge - shallow and a pile of rocks stacked upon one another. The carvings and drawings however caught his attention and he spent almost an hour observing them.
Meanwhile, Hans sat in front of his tent looking at the work of his expert – he was deeply pleased with himself for bringing Patrick here and he could see his dreams turning into a reality. But time was running out- three days was all he had.