The high Peruvian desert plateaus are always dry. Always. The airstrip on the edge of one was about fifteen hundred feet long and the black jet took up the entire length of asphalt when it landed. It taxied to a stop near the three black Acura MDXs.
The black jet was here because of the Nazca Lines. These were long strips of the Nazca Plateau where the surface had been scraped away to reveal a lower layer of stone. This created “lines” which had been crafted to form shapes, often recognizable as animals.
The Lines were mysterious and inexplicable. Explanations ranged from ceremonial pathways to alien landing strips. But there were no real answers. The characters drawn on the Plateau had also been etched inside a photo of a flying saucer in the Ohio archive. John and Kathy were here to follow the trail of bread crumbs.
Evidently Dr. Braun had learned of their destination since a box of books were waiting in their MDX. As the little convoy tore off into the desert John and Kathy settled in the back seat. John began reading a thick, official looking report. It was a Army Corp of Engineers report about the construction of the plateaus with large parts blacked out. As John read it he got the feeling there was a lot more going on here than his security clearance was privy to.
The entire five hundred pages were about speculation the plateaus had been artificially prepared for the lines. There were hundreds of diagrams, tables, charts and survey details. John smiled at the meticulous engineering minutiae as he flipped though it. Then he stopped and the smile faded.
It all rang a bell, he had seen this before. While his smart phone booted up he dug into his luggage looking for a tiny case. He took one of the ten USB drives inside and plugged it into the phone. John didn’t carry lots of papers. He stored them on USB drives and carried them in the wallet like case. It let him move fast and light.
He soon found the scans he was looking for, stored there from a story in the past. There was a mound in Mississippi with too many similarities to the Nazca plateaus to ignore. He’d done a story about it in the past and the thick government report finally reminded him of it.
Laying the book on his lap he compared it with the pictures on the Smart phone. He’d gathered all sorts of data about the mound, including a Computer Aided Drawing file. Now he looked at one, then at the other and laughed, interrupting his partner who was staring out at the landscape. He grinned at Kathy. “I’ve found what we’re looking for.”
“I’ve found it. We’ve got to get back to the States.”
As the MDXs rolled back to the runway from the high desert a pair of inquisitive eyes watched. As soon as the plane was airborne the sport utility vehicles disappeared down the road. But the individual still waited half an hour to make a phone call, just to be safe.