Meira watched the team rise from the table to saunter wearily to their beds to sleep – perchance to dream of Atlantis, of carbonated aquifers, ancient ceramic murals, solar ovens, subterranean lakes . . . or perhaps not. Perhaps their dreams were not as hers. Perhaps their minds were elsewhere. During the meeting just ended Bill had surprised both her and Peter with his knowledge of aquifers – how to trace them from the surface, how to test them for pressure, and the various tests for toxicity. Benjamin, as always, had shown absolutely no sign of being impressed by any evidence of Bill’s virtues but his face told her that he was excited. She knew he was excited at the prospect of examining ceramic murals more than ten thousand years old.
They had decided that the first move should be to take the helicopter in search of a clean aquifer because they were going to need a lot of water. Once they found it they would set about the problem of transporting it in large enough quantities to thoroughly clean the inner walls from top to bottom. Only when the walls were cleaned could the stories upon them be read and once they were – once the true history, the true pre-history, could be verified – then myths could be dispelled, and bigotry, the endless falsifications to suit the power seekers, could be exposed. It was exciting, thrilling; she was on the threshold of a truth – a truth so long buried under ancient testaments of old men’s ramblings and the power broker’s deceptions.
In her dreams she would be there, in a time before the floods, before the retreat of the ice caps when the interglacial warming was starting. She was so deeply convinced that it was there, in that optimum period of the Holocene Interglacial, that the Matriarchy was at its apogee. She could barley control her enthusiasm. In those twenty thousand years before the floods of Noah, when the ice caps still covered half of Europe, and most of Australia, humans reached the pinnacle of their evolutionary development. To them, to people enjoying long lives in a time when there were no shortages, not of food, or water, or fuel, because they made clever use of the Sun, there was no concept of war. Beyond competing for superior achievement there was nothing over which to fight. There was no pollution, and there were no myths and lies and threats of endless misery in death because education and health reigned supreme. When Mother? Oh when will we return to that life?