The thin soft bristles guided the final specs of dust from what was once bone. Now, it was something much, much more precious. Silvio barely dared to blow. He could not believe it, even though he had stolen away up here every day for the last three months. Now, finally, he had uncovered the final piece. He stepped back. Now a professor of archeology at Naples University, he had taken the Summer break to finish his research. He thought back to his first dig. The time when his life direction had changed. He had been with Alec, that smart-ass, know it all who had gone on to alcoholism and a string of failed marriages - or so he had heard. He smiled and hoped that he had heard wrong. As annoying as he had been, he was the only other person who was there. He was there when Silvio had uncovered that metal cylinder from the skeleton of a long dead soldier in France. Alec had shared in the moment, and therefore had lived on in Silvio’s memory forever. It had appeared as such a simple thing, a silver cylinder which shouldn’t have been there.
He remembered being abducted and tortured by the men in black three days later, when word had finally gotten out. The cylinder had been stolen soon after - apparently someone had paid his ransom. Silvio recovered and went back to his studies.
He was contacted years later by the Professor from Cambridge who had since become one of his closest friends in the world of Academia. Silvio had heard the Professor had recently retired, or had moved back to America or something. As he scaled the final few feet to the top of the rise he had chosen to get the best vantage point, he realized he would have to give the Professor a call. This was something he would want to know about.
Dr. Silvio Cavalaro adjusted the focus of the wide angle lens on his Canon 5DmkiV. He was about one hundred and fifty feet above the dig site now, and could only just fit it all in. He looked through his camera at the entire skeleton. Seeing it all at once still gave him chills. The skull alone was massive, perhaps the size of a modern day ‘Greyhound’ coach. There was no other fossil record of anything like it. The curved serrated teeth made T-Rex, and even Gigantasourous, look like poodles next to this Doberman. It wasn’t the size of the skeleton however which took all the glory, it was the skeleton itself, and the fact that it was a skeleton, and not yet fossilized. There were even areas of stretched and worn skin which were still intact. Well, perhaps skin was not the right term. Scales would be more accurate.
Silvio focused on the twenty foot horns which protruded backwards from the top of the skull. They would have protected a good portion of the creature’s elongated neck. Once he had focus, he zoomed back to full wide to try and encompass the entirety of the creature’s body in his frame. It looked more like a brontosaurus than the meat eater it was, all except for the massive frame of the bat like fingers which spread out to what must have been a wingspan of more than four hundred feet.
Silvio had taken pieces of the carcass back to his lab earlier in the
summer, and dated the creature to be no more than six hundred years old. Incredible. Unfathomable. All that was left to be done as Dr. Silvio Cavalaro took photo after photo of the beast nestled into the Australian landscape, was to ask his friend Professor Maxwell Landus, whether or not he thought there was any way to find out if the creature really did breath fire...