Next morning we went up to the weather station in two vehicles; we took two rovers, so we could leave one with Elvis. He assisted Vincent and Maria in replacing the circuit boards, and after a couple of hours we left him to it.
After lunch Maria went out to assist Tom with some damage to one of the Greenhouse Panels, when in the early afternoon I got a quiet call from Vincent to come urgently. I arrived to find Sylvie and Maria had already arrived. Young Mike was standing around, on one leg as it happens.
“Young Mike was messing around in the shallow flows out back there. Look what he found.”
What he had found was the skeleton of a human arm, to a point snapped just above the elbow. There were still bits of sinew on it. Sylvie picked it up.
“The finger ends they have been split-and this looks like gnawing. Wait-there are gnawing marks all along it.”
“I went and had a look where he found it”, said Vincent. "The flows are like a labyrinth of shallow canyons only 1-2 m deep, with sand blown in the bottoms. I photographed this.”
It certainly looked like a footprint of some sort-three toes and a rear toe, like a reptile or bird. Or maybe it was just one of those odd marks you get sometimes.
We went through the usual catalogue of conspiracy theories and myths: secret geneered corporate experiments gone wrong, Beast of Black Rock, alien life etc etc but with nothing else to go on it was a bit pointless. The most disturbing possibility was that it was someone human-and nearby; if someone had simply ‘lost’ an arm via an accident it would have frozen solid like a block of ice. We showed the arm to Tom and he was a little confused by it. No-one has gone missing it would appear-the nearest settlement is another Mine some 20km distant. He wrapped the arm in a cloth and locked it in a container- we will take it in to the Sherriff at Black Rock when we return