Fossilicious

“Stop! Stop! Stop!” Sami shouted. The truck didn’t stop, and continued reversing towards the compost area. He ran towards it, waving his arms, and shouted up to the cab, “Where are you going?”

The driver stopped.

“You’ve got bulk building waste, it doesn’t go there. Can you please put it in the bin over there?” He pointed to a double-height yellow steel container.

Maybe it was an honest mistake, thought Sami, a new driver backing up to the wrong bin. Or was it deliberate, a trick to reduce costs?

Dumping compost was free, but building waste was $200 per truck load. Why didn’t he go to the commercial facility, which was cheaper and better suited to bulk waste? Coming to Lucerne’s Transfer Station was a soft option, especially with the regular guy off today and Sami managing the 3D Unit and waste facility. The driver thought he’d get away with it.

“It’s quite tight here. Shall I help you back up? No? You’re okay? Then go ahead.” Sami kept an eye on his manoeuvres. Truckers were always the best drivers on the road, but they were careless here. He didn’t want any more bins bashed.

As the trucker tipped his building waste, Sami saw it was mainly red, but with cream flashes. Had they demolished a clay brick structure, held together by mortar? Who built like that around here?

When the trucker handed over the cash Sami said, “Where is this waste coming from?”

“The Taxila area, up towards Mt Negra. They’re digging out an old water channel. It’s a long way to haul it here, but there are tough regulations for heritage areas.”

“Was there a structure? Why is the waste red?”

“I don’t know, pal. I just bring it here.”

The trucker drove off. Sami was curious about the waste, and walked to the bin. He saw one of the cream objects, and another one, and more. Though it broke regulations, he climbed into the bin and poked around. The cream flashes were bones, huge bones, bigger than cows and horses. More like elephants. But no, Guru Baba had an elephant’s foot stool as a reminder of man’s brutality to beasts, and Sami knew the scale of elephants. These bones were bigger.

Sami hauled them out, one by one, and lay them on the ground. The red material fell away. Some bones were bigger than he was. He treated them like pieces of a puzzle, but he couldn’t fit them together successfully. Then he had an idea.

He scanned the bones individually with the hand-held scanner, and then modelled the form on his computer. It was the strangest beast he had ever seen – like a triceratops, but with six legs, and horns all along its spine. He looked the creature up online but found no references.

He scaled it down 1:50 and printed out a model in red. It was the first Samisaurus seen in Lucerne for two million years. Sami took it for a “walk” in the yard on a trolley, and said to the creature, “Look, there’s Mt Alba, and over there, Mt Negra. Imagine them smoking, like they were when you were alive.”

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