The Twilight Zone: Episode 8X All In Good Time

Sandra looked over her shoulder, the sun was only just above the trees now and would be set shortly.  She turned back to the translator who was poking half-hearted at the incisions in the lintel, and said,

"Well?  What do they say?"

"I don't understand," said the translator slowly, stepping back and looking at her.  "All it says is All in Good Time."

Sandra swore and stamped away.

 

As the sun set she was sat in the rusty caravan that was her accommodation on the dig looking out of a small window.  Phillipe Ruche, her supervisor, would be arriving in the morning, and she still couldn't say if they'd uncovered the Mansfield Libraries or not.  When he got here she'd be overlooked again, and Phillipe, the eminence in this field would take all the credit.  It was so unfair!  But she still had a chance, if she wanted to take it.  She looked over at the table, at her rucksack which she'd put a torch, some spare batteries, and her camera in.  It broke all the rules, but sometimes you had to.  Didn't you?

 

No-one saw the shadowed figure slip out from the caravan just after midnight.  And no-one saw a shadowed figure hobble back to the caravan not long before dawn.

 

"Ah, Sandra, bon," said Phillipe when she answered his knocking on the caravan door.  She was dressed, save for her bare feet.  He looked at them, and a moue of amusement appeared.  "Do I find you deshabillee?"

"I'll be with you in just a moment, monsieur," she said.  She pulled her boots on, her face going red with the effort and pain, and hobbled as quickly as she could across the site to catch up with him at the excavated entrance they'd finished the day before.  He was already surrounded by his students -- her students, she corrected herself -- who were hanging on his every word and showing all the awe they never had for her.

"This is very clearly of the right period," he said, "and we can see tool-marks on the lintel here and here," he waved a hand casually, "that I am sure analysis will prove to have been made by tools of the time."

At the back of the little group Sandra bit her tongue and nodded.  Phillipe was quoting almost directly from her research reports, yet it sounded like he was seeing all this for the first time and making acute observations.

"Let us venture in," he said.  "Is Sandra here?  Perhaps she would like to lead the way?"

"Oh no, monsieur," she said, forcing herself to smile.  "We haven't been inside yet, and I would like you to have the honour."

He looked startled for a moment, but he covered it up quickly by walking under the lintel.  'You should have asked what the inscription said,' she thought, and her breath was tight in her chest.  She followed the little group in, pulling her torch from her belt like everyone else, but hung back until they reached the point where the passage did a little dog-leg.  Then she stopped and waited until she heard Phillipe's voice raised in a scream.

"Mon Dieu, qu'est-ce que fait--" she heard, and then she placed her shoulder against the rock wall at the dog-leg.  It swung open and round, stone grating against stone, until the other side of the passageway was blocked off, leaving no escape for Phillipe and his groupies.  She turned back now, down the other passageway was an observation room at the bottom of a flight of shallow stairs, and she had no wish to watch Phillipe's demise.

As she came back to the entrance of the site, she found the translator studying the inside of the lintel.

"There are more characters here," he said, shining his torch on them.  "I'll have worked them out by the end of the day."

"My money's on To the Victor, the spoils," said Sandra.

The End

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