0193: Clearing the Cobwebs
“This here is the lone object we’ve seen that looks like it represents something. I reckon maybe it has significance—like it can tell us something about the folks who built this place.”
Rosemary glanced at the young colonist incredulously. “Mary, as in Mother of God. I thought you lot were religious.”
“Religious enough to know that God ain’t got no mother,” Constance scoffed, folding her arms.
“I’m not,” Lamont muttered, rubbing his eyes.
“What?” Both women asked, returning their attention to him.
“I’m not religious,” Lamont explained. “Never have been.”
“Maybe you weren’t,” Rosemary said, “but the way you reacted to this—erm—sculpture looked as if you had suddenly stumbled on God himself.”
“Herself,” Lamont corrected. Noticing Rosemary’s quizzical expression, he gestured weakly toward the structure in the center of the grove. “The representation is clearly female.”
Constance looked at the sculpture with a skeptical expression, while Rosemary regarded the newspaperman with something approximating pity.
“I’d better see you back to the asteroid pod,” the medic offered.
“Wait,” Lamont said, shaking his head as if to clear away cobwebs. “Why did you want me to see this, Miss Beckett?”
“I thought you’d be interested, is all,” Constance explained. “This garden, or whatever you’d call it, is full of peculiar flora, fancy structures, and who knows what kind of contraptions. But this here is the lone object we’ve seen that looks like it represents something. I reckon maybe it has significance—like it can tell us something about the folks who built this place.”
“Perhaps you’re onto more than you realize,” Lamont said quietly, stepping closer to the object until he could lay a hand tentatively on its cold, smooth surface.
“What do you mean?” Rosemary asked.
“I don’t know…yet,” Lamont admitted. “But I intend to find out.”
He glanced down at his wristwatch and started. “Bugger, I’m late. This will have to wait for another time.”
Rosemary took his arm. “I’m coming with you,” she said.
“Don’t you have something to do here?” Lamont asked.
“I do,” Rosemary agreed, “But there’s no harm in seeing you to the asteroid pod first. I’ll be here for at least a day.”
Lamont acquiesced, shifting his arm so that he and the medic looked like friends on an afternoon stroll. As they started out of the strange grove, he looked over his shoulder, first at the sculpture, and then at Constance. “Be seeing you,” he muttered.