Dr Anderson paused his digging and straightened up, wishing desperately that he could wipe his face free of the sweat that rolled down his cheeks and off his chin. Or perhaps take off that accursed hazard-suit he was forced to wear for even a minute or two of freedom. His respirator mask coughed and wheezed like an old man with pneumonia; he hoped it wasn't clogging up with sand and grit again. They couldn't afford another delay while the guards whisked the good doctor off to find a replacement. He understood why he was wearing all this gear, of course, though he couldn't help but wonder if it was really necessary- it had been years since the last incident at the Site, it wasn't like-
"Are you alright, old man? Or is it time for your nap?"
Anderson rolled his eyes at the interruption to his train of thought: Julius Underburg. Of course. He'd know that brash voice anywhere. The owner of the voice was peeking out of his own trench a few meters away, his wicked grin invisible under his mask but definitely there.
"I'm fine, thank you for asking. In fact, I was just worrying about how you were holding up. I know you fresh university grads sometimes have trouble out in the field- you know, with the excavation."
"Hey! I'm twenty-seven, remember- I have experience!"
'Of course you do, son.' Even after so many decades digging holes for a living, he never got tired of that old routine. Still, he would learn, they all did. And Underburg had the signs of actually being a good archaeologist, if only he could loose the bluster. The younger man heard his chuckle and crossed his arms, a whole-body scowl. Time to change the subject, Anderson thought.
"Have you found anything good today?"
The other nodded. "Yeah, a couple of artifacts. Most of 'em are just domistic stuff, cups and plates and that, but I managed to find an old cell with some nice items… Most of it got taken away by the Ghost Busters, o' course. You?"
"The same, mostly. I found some skellies, though; just uncovering one chap's arm now… Well, I say chap but I think it's some sort of animal. Not a normal human, anyway."