The Dark Angel's tears - Marco Fosso - ebook

In modern Middle East, the discovery of an archaeological find rekindled the interest of people involved in an ageless conspiracy.The truth will be distorted, hidden and manipulated from the facts that happen every day by those who seek to confuse mankindby any means.What seems to be taken for granted will prove be the deception of men who dedicated themselves to anunnaturalcause. In an unusual New Orleans, a news story will bring to light plots of occult powers.Supernatural forces will dispute what’s at stakes ... humanity.“The blood of God will bathe this world and you will drown in it.”Marco Fosso, born in Milan in 1953, returns with a story of conspiracy together with his friend Antonio with whom he practiced an ancient Okinawanmartial art for years.He translated the ideas into words that have been used to write this novel.Antonio Policrisi, born in Buenos Aires in 1959, is the authorof this story. In collaboration with Marco, he was involved in the productionof the book.

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Marco Fosso e Antonio Policrisi

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Original Title

The Dark Angel’s Tears

Marco Fosso

Antonio Policrisi

Italian edition

Le lacrime dell’Angelo oscuro

© 2011 by Antonio Policrisi and Marco Fosso

Registration Number ©

TXu 1 – 764 – 112

August 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-291-64100-4 - 9000

Cover, graphic work and picture   © 2013 by William Cardani Web designe

Translation by Donatella Zerial

All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, and in any form.

“For our fight is not against blood and flesh, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers who govern this world of darkness, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11,12)"

Note degli autori

The times in which we live have the ability to keep people in a constant state of stress with the media bombarding us with harsh news full of cruelty, economic collapses, dangerous pandemics, wars, political strife and religious conflicts.

We pondered upon this, and one day my friend Antonio told me about his idea to use this subject as the topic for a novel of strong and particular tones.

He explained to me how the story would unfold and what it should be based upon. I listened carefully and eventually, we decided to venture into this project.

The topics in this novel are fictional; although in some respect, they put emphasis on the sometimes ambiguous behaviors of political and religious institutions all over the world; institutions that not always seem to act for the common good and that hide awkward and cumbersome truths.

Just think of the suspicion that arose in many of us, at least once, when we saw how wars burn millions of dollars around the world, benefiting only those manufacturing weapons or making the interests of the few usual multinationals.

Also, diseases are a source of huge money shifting where money ends up in predictable pockets. How is it possible that we learn of unconceivable diseases that suddenly develop without a reason? Is this truly a random happening?

We don’t think so; rather we believe that many facts are cleverly created to generate new business and to keep people in a state of confusion and perhaps, in a state of anarchy.

It’s obvious that law and order are abstract concepts run by a few, and by those few I do not mean only governments. What if there was an old hidden power, in the hands of a few people who maneuvered everything to evade the normal course of global evolution for purposes still unknown?

Therefore, it may be difficult to discern when good is good and evil is evil.

For instance, let’s look at the war on terrorism and the Western world. They both consider the opponent to be the evil one; however, if we listen to the terrorists, the U.S.A. and consequently the entire Western world, is the evil empire, and if we listen to the Western world, the terrorist are on the other side of the coin.

In addition, everyone interprets religion to their own benefit; despite God and Allah are not gods of war rather of peace. Therefore, we must assume that there is a third party known as Satan that confuses us and takes advantage of the situation.

Or, are we misinterpreting everything and living a life that no longer honors most of humanity rather it benefits only a few people?

It would be much clearer if the truth were within everybody’s grasp, even if inconvenient. Perhaps, we could be happier without the doubts that makes the daily struggle more difficult and without the critical question marks about our future.

Angels and blood

The immensity of that light gave him an incredible strength; he unfolded his mighty wings and soared into the vastness in which he lived from time immemorial.

The breeze gently ruffled his long dark hair, his nostrils dilated to take in the scent of Paradise.

Being an angel gave him the opportunity to understand the magnitude of the universe.

He felt that he could have done even more if only God had listened to his advice, but God Immense was not interested in what he was trying to tell him from a long time, and this made him feel unsettled. He felt uneasy and restless, although he did not understand why and he could not pinpoint its exact meaning.

In that place, you did not discuss the given orders. Everyone knew what to do; the tasks were well defined, and the fact that there was an angel who would dare question the word of the Divine was inconceivable.

Lately, there had been talks among other angels who saw things differently like he did.

"Lucifer," a deep and thundering voice called. Hovering, the Angel stood; the Supreme was calling him.

"Lord, at your service", he answered quickly.

"Why do you contradict my choices? Why do you oppose my decisions?" the voice asked.

"My Lord, you have chosen me as your Angel; you gave me what you have not granted to others. Why should I not point out if you chose to act in ways that are not your ways?" Lucifer replied.

How can you tell what is best for me? I have regarded you more than any other because you are smarter and wiser. However, this does not give you permission to contradict me. You are the one chosen to be brought to the highest levels of Creation; therefore, why complain?" Lucifer stared at the glowing light. "You want to bring new beings into life, and this is a mistake because there are us already in Heaven. What else do you need?"

"I do not want to create Men to keep them with us. They are going to populate a planet and they will be the link that will give rise to a new generation. They will bring creation to completion. This is not your concern," the voice explained.

"They are imperfect and fragile creatures, and they could become a problem, my Lord. You created me from fire while you will create men from clay, but I will always be superior to them and I will never bow down to those creatures” the Angel replied.

"Men will have access to Heaven only if they will be worth of it and if they will lead a life of meditation. This is what Creation needs," God said.

"I don’t think so: if someone will impart men the wrong teachings, they could be misled, and you would not accomplish anything." Lucifer insisted.

"Who could ever lead them astray?" the Supreme asked.

"Let’s assume that one of us want to do it, how difficult would that be? Not difficult at all, believe me."

"You talk as if you want to do it. What do you want to prove? That you are smarter than me in deciding what future Creation should have?" the voice remarked.

"Sure, I could do it. If I had to choose between your error and the correct path to take, I would do what needs to be done. I would oppose you at all costs.

"How can you talk this way? Fighting me will not be the solution unless you want to take my place. However, I warn you, you are not all-knowing; thus how can you expect to rise above me? "

"What is there to know besides what I already know in order to dictate laws, to be worshiped and to give life to creatures? I can do it. Many are worried about your choices and they would be ready to take my side," Lucifer threatened with arrogance.

"You don’t know what you're saying my Angel, and you don’t understand the consequences to which this conversation may lead you. Think about it."

"I have thought about it, and I am convinced that it is time to stop you, God. Now, you have an opponent in front of you."

"All I ask is that you love them, protect them and help them find the right path. How difficult is that?" the voice said in a softer tone.

The blond Archangel arrived with his huge wings and came between him and the Light.

His presence was commanding, majestically towering Lucifer.

"Archangel, you are not wanted here; go away," Lucifer said in a threatening tone.

God intervened to make his defiant Angel come to his senses.

"Lucifer, a feeling called envy is rising inside you. This is not what I wanted for you; stop it, you are still in time; otherwise, I will be forced to banish you."

"You would send me away because I’m trying to advise you to do your best?" He asked skeptically. "Or maybe ... you need someone to blame to justify your mistakes? This way you would look like the good God who loves, forgives and does no wrong."

“You are not advising me; you have decided to rebel against me, and I cannot allow it."

"I will be your conscience from now on, and you have to acknowledge it. You will no longer be the only one making decisions," Lucifer answered with determination.

The Archangel approached the rebellious angel, provoking his reaction.

Fluttering his wings, Lucifer soared above his head and fired a flow of energy against him, hitting him in the chest. The Archangel writhed in pain backing off. As loyal God’s protector, he endured the pain and prepared to fight against the rebel. "This is too much. Stop it! You are still in time", ordered the imperious light.

"No! Now, it’s time to act. Enough with your orders! You want servants, not beings who think independently. If you are the Good, now I will be your opposite," the rebellious angel shouted.

"Lucifer, you are banned from Heaven for eternity. You will be Evil, the one living in darkness, and burning in anger’s fire. You are doomed to soak up the negative energy of the universe. Traitor!" God thundered.

Blind with rage, Lucifer screamed in anger against his Lord.

"This is what led to your lack of trust in me. God, you now have driven me away, but I loved you; you are the only Wise. Now, I am forced to fight against you: I will not grant you truce. I will threaten your power, your creatures, and I will try to destroy everything you created. From this day forward, Heaven will meet its opposite. I am the Lord of Evil."

He turned and flew away quickly as he felt his body changing. His white wings turned black, his face disfigured, his legs changed appearance and turned into two goat-like thick legs. God took away even his angelic beauty. Crying with rage, he left forever those loved, sweet-smelling places that he now loathed with all his soul. He assembled the angels who had sworn allegiance to him. Some of his tears fell onto Earth. As if they were acidic, the tears dug a hole in the rocks until they reached a layer of granite where they collected and remained until one day someone would discover them.

Soon after, the most violent war ever existed broke out in God’s kingdom. Angels battled against angels with all their power.

The kingdom of Heaven became a huge battlefield where supernatural beings attacked each other.

Lucifer went against God. Two forces of the Universe fighting in a place previously filled with peace; and where now everything turned into hatred, war and destruction.

It is difficult to believe that this did not cause suffering to the both of them. Lucifer believed he was right; or was it his true nature that now manifested itself unconsciously? Or else, had God in his greatness planned everything, and for reasons known only to God, he had given the angel the bone of contention? Wasn’t Lucifer the chosen one? Chosen for what? Perhaps chosen for all this?

In any case, He lost his Angel along with many others. Why this happened is a mystery. Perhaps in the scheme of creation, an essential piece of the puzzle was missing in order to attain its goal.

Giving birth to a new generation of beings: the humans, was it necessary?

They would populate the world that God had fashioned for them, but was it worth sparking off a war in Heaven for them?

What was the purpose for these creatures, and what fate will they have in centuries to come? Or, was the presence of a new God of Evil necessary to give meaning to the existence of Good?

Day and night, light and darkness, God and Devil, is this the theorem that will mark the existence of humanity?

Apparently so. Every day, in every moment in the world, something good happens, and simultaneously something else bad happens. This is life’s equation, but will there be an ending? Is there a plausible explanation, or better yet, an understandable one? Maybe, one day, the mystery will be revealed.

We will never know for sure how many victims perished in the clashes among the Angels; however, Lucifer’s legions were banished, fell on Earth, and hid beneath the surface, where they created a new kingdom, Hell.

With their presence, they gave the universe a new balance. Until then, the Universe saw only God making the decisions about the fate of creation.

Who turned out to be the winner from this catastrophe? Was it God and the forces of Good? Or, was it Lucifer the devious, the deceptive one that lured him with deceit? Will we ever find out? Certainly not in this lifetime.

From that moment on, the rebellious Angel would be known as the Devil.

This was the beginning of a long and bloody dispute. Lucifer lost the first battle but the war would last for centuries to come. It would be merciless, it would spread everywhere, and it would be in the consciousness of God’s creatures.

Now that Lucifer was on earth, all life form would have to live in fear of his presence.

His kingdom of Evil would become the nightmare of the new world God created.

In his cave, the fire lit up the shadows, and he looked at his hands. Long nails were growing out of his fingers. His body was muscular and deformed, and covered with dark down. He opened his mouth and out came a dim tongue of flame; spirals of fire accompanied his laughter.

He felt strong and powerful. He now was a “God” like his opponent. He could do anything he wanted.

He turned his gaze towards the thousands of followers who anxiously waited for his orders. They too were different, bloodthirsty animals, clothed in evil, ready to sow terror and fear. This was his new kingdom, and they were his subjects. Relying on this new life, he sat on the stone throne. One of his filthy servants approached him, kneeling at his feet. With a deep voice, he asked, "Lord, what should we call you? What is your name now?" He thought for a moment and then replied," You will call me, Devil, Satan, the evil one, Angel of Darkness and I will be the Prince of Demons for eternity. "

All bowed in submission.

Thus, Hell began. This is what humanity would learn to fear from the depths of its soul.

The Discovery

"It is dark red in color, it looks like blood, but it cannot be blood because it’s too liquid and, for being this old, it should be clotted by now. It looks like ... yes! It looks like ink," Rodriguez said looking through the light at the small glass bottle that they found near the ruins in the city of Thebes.

The evening was warm and the starry sky was magnificent. The floodlight lit the archaeological expedition field.

Sitting outside Rodriguez’ tent, the head of the expedition was chatting with his assistant. "What do you think they used it for? Maybe they used it to write a parchment to the king or to the legislators, or perhaps to sentence some unfortunate?"

"At the moment, it’s hard to say. We will have a better idea when we have more evidence and therefore be able to draw better conclusions."

"Indeed. Nonetheless, tomorrow I will send it to the lab for analysis, and we will discover its chemical composition. It will help," Rodriguez concluded placing the bottle back in the shipping metal case.

On the inside, there was thick foam to prevent any accidental breaking of the glass and thus spoil the precious content. "Let's have one more beer. We deserve it," he added raising his can to toast with his assistant Bruno, a 28-year-old young man from a good family, a passionate researcher and promising archaeologist. He had blond hair, bushy beard, blue eyes, a normal built, and was rather short. He left the comforts of his city, Toulouse, to move to a hot and dusty region of the Middle East, looking for antiques that turned out to be difficult to find. Rodriguez was ok with sweat and discomfort. He was a man in his fifties, his hair quickly thinning out and exposing most of his forehead, and had an expanding waistline that gave him no respite. The belly would grow relentlessly forcing him to make new holes in his leather belt. Not even the hard life of the archaeologist helped him stop the inception of old age.

"To our discovery!" He exclaimed, raising the can for another toast. They both smiled satisfied with the work they did. They were so exhausted that they had to go and lie down in their bunks.

Rodriguez put the tape that he was to ship the next day under his bunk bed. He lay down and closed his eyes smiling.

He felt he was about to unearth something important and that that small bottle of ink might soon uncover some surprise. He felt it, and he knew so.

He sighed and was carried away by his dreams that wrapped him in a refreshing sleep.

Later that night, a snake crawled into the tent. The silence in the Middle Eastern night was absolute. Even the snake’s movements made no sound.

He reached the bunk bed, spiraled around the metal pole, and slipped under the sheets.

The light, shifting patterns of the snakeskin revealed its poisonous presence.

It didn’t take long, and a sudden movement of the man triggered the sinking of the lethal fangs into the man’s flesh. The poisonous liquid flowed from the venom glands, down the duct, and seeped through the victim's bloodstream.

Waking up with a start, Rodriguez pulled the snake away from his leg and cast it away. He immediately screamed for help. He fell to the ground. He fumbled for his knife to cut the point where the snake bit him. The shock was about to get the best of him. Struggling, the poison started to flow faster and faster, and his nervous system started to freeze. The breath was shortening, and he started to feel weaker.

A stifled cry came out of his mouth. A couple of strong hands grabbed him. Unintelligible voices were talking to him and the words no longer had meaning to him.

He recognized Bruno’s face, and wanted to entrust his life and his work to him, but he could not talk.

"Talk to me. Come on, talk to me." Bruno shouted.

"The anti-venom. Quick! Inject it in the leg; there is no more time. Now!" He shouted beside himself to the Egyptian workers who rushed to his aid.

He saw fear and despairs in Rodriguez’ eyes while he was struggling to communicate with him. He knew that time was running out and it was a matter of seconds: either the antidote would take effect, or the poison would have won its frantic race.

The body arched stiffening; it jerked and exhaled a last feeble breath. He felt his body surrendering. It was over. Incredulous, angry, and distressed for the loss of his friend, an exceptional man, he released his emotions and the knot in his throat.

At dawn, he found himself sitting outside of his tent with an empty mind. Looking lost, tired as he has never been, the team leader brought him back to reality. "The helicopter is here. They will take the body away and the boxes to be shipped to the lab. You should go into town and take a couple of days off. I'll stay here to look after the works. "Bruno looked stunned. He slowly stood up, shaking the dust off his pants.

"I'll go into town to accompany the departed. I'll clean up, and tomorrow I should be back on the field." He gave the Egyptian man an affectionate pat on the shoulder thanking him, and wearily he walked towards the transportation that would have escorted him to town.

When he arrived at the inn, he contacted the authorities and the university in New York. He explained what happened; then took a long shower and napped for a couple of hours.

He woke up conscious of the situation and determined to take charge of the expedition until he would have heard from the financing sponsors. They might send a replacement for Rodriguez. He would have to ensure that he or she would find everything in order and the excavation works operational. Before returning to the field, he would stop by the lab to make sure the package had arrived safely.

"Come on. Let's get busy and don’t dwell on anything else.” He thought forcing himself to react mentally and physically.

As he was leaving the hotel, a man in his forties, bald, with a thick dark mustache approached him.

"Are you looking for me?" Bruno asked him straightaway.

"Yes. Ahmed, Inspector of Police. I’m here to ask you some questions about the incident," he said quietly.

"I left a statement in which I explained all the details, but if you wish ... go ahead. I'm listening."

"Do you consider the death of your friend an accident?"

"Of course, I have no doubt. Why do you ask?"

The inspector raised an eyebrow. "These are routine questions. We want to ensure that it involves no wrongdoing by an irresponsible party. Sometimes envy or jealousy makes people do the most inconceivable crimes."

Bruno reacted with dismay; he could not believe his ears. He could agree that the police had to investigate the death, but that they would suspect him of the crime...

"So you think I arranged for the snake to bite Rodriguez? Are you out of your mind? Why would I do that?" He snapped, looking at him opening his arms with bewilderment.

"Maybe, once the victim is out of the away, you could have taken over his role? This is a noteworthy project, isn’t it? Therefore, why not? In that environment, there is no lack of dangerous animals," said Ahmed.

"Look, your theory does not hold. The university will soon send someone to replace Mr. Rodriguez and this individual will take over the project. Consequently, I'll keep my position without the slightest change in the team structure."

The inspector looked at him without moving a muscle in his face, a total lack of expression. "Therefore, I should close the investigation and rule it an accident?"

"Do as you wish. I lost a friend and I’m not in the state of mind to listen to a conspiracy theory from anyone. If you want to waste your time trying looking for criminals in the excavation field, that's your business. You obviously have nothing better to do." Bruno said firmly venting his anger.

"I can understand that this is a difficult time for you, but please take my advice: don’t take this attitude with me; I’m only doing my job. However, for now it will do. I'll stop by the excavation field to gather some other testimony from the workers.

Without giving him time to respond, he left.

As soon as he arrived at the lab, Bruno spoke to the staff. They had started to analyze some of the archeological findings and the results proved the authenticity of the objects.

"If you wish to wait, shortly we should receive the results of the analysis for the liquid in the bottle we found with the other material," Dr. Gaynor said. He was the head of the laboratory, an Englishman who moved to Egypt a few years back.

"Gladly. Will it take long?" he asked even though he was in no particular hurry. "Ten minutes at the most, and we will have an initial assessment," he answered. "Good. I'm really curious about that liquid; it looks like ink at first sight". It did not take long, and a technician in a white coat walked in holding a sheet of paper in his hands.

"Well ... I'm not sure ..." he said. Bruno and the head of the lab looked at each other puzzled. "What is it you're not sure about?" Bruno asked. "You see, the chemical composition is bizarre ..." They could not tell if he was embarrassed or he was teasing them. "Well?" Gaynor asked.

"Initially, I used the microscope; then, I spread a few drops of liquid on a scroll to analyze it under the fluorescent x-ray spectroscopy."

"Well? What was the outcome?" They both urged. "It appears to be a kind of metal gallate ink because it contains a mixture of gallnuts with iron or perhaps copper sulphates. However, there are some unknown elements besides the hemoglobin present in substantial quantity." This piece of information struck them more than the presence of unknown elements.

"Do you know for what purpose they used that liquid with blood?" Bruno asked. "It’s definitely ink, but I cannot tell from what era. There are too many elements that puzzle me. The presence of blood is unusual, but I cannot explain the absence of blood clotting. This liquid could be two or three thousand years old, and it remained unaltered until today."

"Do you have any idea who could have used this type of ink," he asked innocently.

They looked at each other silently. They were both guessing, asking themselves many questions to find a plausible explanation to this issue.

"OK," Bruno said. "We need to investigate this further. I will go back to the excavation field. We might find something that could help us unravel this mystery. Also, I would like to take some of the liquid with me. I assume you don’t need the entire contents of the bottle," he asked softly.

"Certainly not. Take the dose necessary to do more analysis and pour it into a vial." The lab manager ordered to his assistant. Bruno thanked the two technicians warmly, and left.

At night, they closed the lab and moved the most valuable findings to a special room equipped with an armored door to prevent thieves from looting and reselling the items on the black market, where they would only make a few dollars while the various antiques dealers would be the ones profiting.

The next day, the cell phone rang suddenly. Bruno stopped deciphering a tablet they found, and wiped the sweat from his forehead: the day was hot as usual.

"Hello," he said. "Dr. Bruno?" Someone asked on the other side of the line.

"This is he, who’s calling?"

"This is Dr. Gaynor from the lab. I'm sorry to inform you that last night there was a break-in and among the missing items there is also the small bottle with that liquid". Bruno rolled his eyes and could not refrain himself from swearing. "Dammit, didn’t you have an alarm system in the fucking lab?" He yelled into the microphone.

"Uh ... yes, we did; it was also connected with the police. In fact, they arrived within a few minutes, but the thieves had fled by then. They also damaged many other pieces and not all are yours." He paused, waiting for another outburst from Bruno. "Son of a bitch! That’s all we needed. Why are you calling me just now? You should have contacted me immediately."

"I'm sorry but there was a lot going on and I had to communicate the incident to other people."

For heaven’s sake, what a mess! Is there at least a chance that the police will recover anything?" He asked longing for an optimistic answer.

"I cannot say; we can only hope so. They might have already been sold to other dealers; then there wouldn’t be much hope at all." Gaynor concluded. "Damn thieves, and those who trade stolen goods", Bruno answered curtly. "Keep me posted about everything, even the smallest news." He instructed him. "I will. The police will keep me informed. Goodbye." Bruno hung up the phone and kicked the stool where he was sitting. Instead of feeling better, he felt only more stupid.

The Archeologist

In the squalid house of the Arabic man, the man in the dark suit reached out his hand and grabbed the object that was being handed to him. He studied it carefully and placed it under the light of the oil lamp. Even though the plastic bottle softened the light, dark purple highlights gleamed within the liquid. The man pulled out a handful of bills and threw them on the table. The Arabic man took the money greedily, counted it and said with disappointment:

"Only $200.00? Mister, if the police would find us and somehow we would blurt out that we were paid to steal and kill an archaeologist ... How would you like that?” The man looked at the Arabic man and at his accomplice who sat silently during the negotiations. He put the small bottle in the pocket of his jacket. With a swift action, he clutched the throat of the Arabic man he was bargaining with. The long, sharp nails pierced his flesh; he withdrew his hand and cut his throat. A river of blood gushed out staining the clothes of the man, and pouring onto the floor. Staring in shock, the victim fell to the ground like a puppet.

Before the other man could recover from the shock and react, the man rushed to him knocking him off his chair. Amid screams of terror, he grabbed his hair, moved his head sideway, and bit his neck ripping his muscles and tendons. He bit him several times, until the head was hanging to the body by a thin string in the neck.

Standing up, the man spat a piece of flesh from his mouth and licked his lips. A look full of evil filled his deep, dark eyes. He smiled showing his sharp, yellowish teeth. Now that he had found the ink made from the tears of his master, the Devil, the mission could start.

He looked around ensuring not to leave any clue, and left form the back door.

Given the late hour, the alley was empty. As a precaution, he gazed into the darkness, saw no one, and started walking away. The killer did not have a strong body, rather he was almost skinny at five feet five inches tall, with round shoulders, short hair and a hooked nose; and yet he was as lethal as a wild beast.

His body blended into the darkness while he walked the narrow streets of the city.

Bruno woke up at dawn. He sat on the edge of his bunk bed holding his head within his hands and rubbed his eyes to ward off the exhaustion that had weighed him down in the past few days. He sighed, and weakly sat up as if lifting a weight heavier than usual. He gulped a long drink of water.

Outside the tent there was a great calm. The workers were still sleeping. Within an hour, everything would have come back to life as usual. He went to the kitchen where the cook, the only other person awake besides him, was starting to prepare breakfast. He nodded hello and told him that coffee would have been ready in five minutes.

Bruno thanked him and waited patiently. Meanwhile, he swept the horizon. Dawn had always had a unique charm, more so in that place that carried something magical with it. Overflowing with history, that place made you forget in what era you were living. Yesterday, he had to stop deciphering the tablet and he regretted it because it looked interesting. Today, he would have continued as long as nothing else happened.

While he was sipping his coffee, he pondered with cynicism to guess what news would have made the day. "Maybe, the inspector who is upset with me will be back, or I will get fired, or someone will steal other relics?" He smiled because occasionally when he was under pressure and discouraged, he would mock himself this way to ward off bad luck. Around noon, a couple of gentlemen arrived aboard a jeep. It was Bryan, Rodriguez's replacement, sent by the university. He welcomed him in the meetings tent.

He shook his hand, limited the introduction to a few pleasantries, and they went straight to the heart of the matter.

"As you anticipated, I will direct the excavations," said the newcomer.

"I imagined so, and I confess that I like that. I don’t mind unburdening myself of some responsibilities.” He admitted with a bittersweet smile.

"The police have notified me that they have doubts about the unfolding of the accident and they think you are one of the possible suspects."

"Yes, I am aware of it. What do you think?"

"I do not think anything of it. I have orders to safeguard the works. As far as I’m concerned, keep doing your job and don’t do anything that might jeopardize the operation," Bryan said sharply.

Bruno could not help but thinking that he was an amusing character. This is what he had not anticipated in the morning when he was projecting what else could happen during the day: meeting an asshole. He had enough with being judged.

"Why are you smiling?" Bryan said.

"Nothing, I was just thinking," Bruno replied elusively.

"Does it concern me?"

"Yes, in a way." Bryan did not understand what he meant.

"Tell me then. I'm curious."

"Well, you see, after months working alongside a man like Rodriguez, you get used to dealing with smart, sensitive, and educated people. He was a true gentleman. Instead, today I find myself facing you, and this leaves me somewhat puzzled."

"Why?" Bryan insisted.

"Let’s forget about it."

"Well, no. Now I insist. You started saying something in a tone I‘m not sure I like."

"If you insist ... After listening to you, I realized that you don’t have the balls where they belong." He retorted his contempt with a seraphic expression.

Bryan froze. His face turned red and was eating his heart out.

"Do not take it personally, I met many stuffed shirts and you are not even the worst kind," Bruno chimed in. "I'll get to work, so I can do something more productive than talking to you." He left him alone to cool down his anger. He did not care about the potential disciplinary measures. "Fuck everybody." He thought through clenched teeth.

He went back to his desk, sat in his chair, and resumed deciphering the ancient stone, so strange and complicated at the same time. What he understood was that it spoke about someone who had found out ..., "damn, what does this series of hieroglyphics mean?" He grumbled trying to concentrate; he was still angry about his meeting with Bryan.

In the evening, the university sent him a communication that ordered him to abandon the excavations field not later than the following day. He had been fired.

He thought out loud. "That’s all that idiot’s fault."

Instinctively, he went to talk to him. He entered his tent.

"Still here?" Bryan asked.

"I'll leave in the morning. I wanted to thank you for your recommendation ... to kick me out" Bruno replied with a serious expression.