A panel of four distinguished xenoarcheology professors, plus two lowly doctoral candidates, opined on the meaning and purpose of a bizarre assortment of artifacts presented by the esteemed Dr. Jody Lynn Nye, whose hat would have made Indiana Jones flinch, Sunday at 10AM in Hyatt Embassy AB. The first object for their skilled perusal was what looked to this admittedly untrained eye like a simple paint roller.
Professor Bobby Nash declared it to be for making thicker lines on cave paintings. Tenured professor Dr. Esther Friesner, famous for her lectures on ancient chick chainmail and sacrificial relics, disagreed with her esteemed colleague. He was, she said, “so wrong it hurts.” The relic was obviously from a sentient feline population that used it as a paving tool to make pathways between settlements. Doctoral candidate J.D. Blackrose agreed that it was used by felines, humbly proposed that it was a grooming tool. Fellow candidate Shami A. Stovall wondered if it had been used to teach kittens, who would love the way it spins.
Dr. Mike Jack Stoumbos, however, declared his fellow colleagues to be profoundly mistaken. The relic was clearly a hand-held reactor activated by friction to power other objects. No, no, professor! Dr. Nye sided with the feline theory. Note how it spins, she pointed out. It must have been used to teach kittens to unroll toilet paper. But Dr. Friesner spotted certain stains on the spinning part. Aha! This, she proclaimed, was used for sacrifice!
Dr. Nye offered several equally odd artifacts for examination. The audience watched in growing awe as the professors explained the true purpose of these seemingly everyday objects. A shiny bag was a domicile. Or a thoracic plate of an extinct robot created and then… sacrificed! But listen… Dr. Stoumbos rubbed it with his fingers… it crinkles. It’s the ancient language of Click-Tak. The back scratcher was actually a religious relic. According to Dr. Friesner, the turning of its two wheels represents history and fate, and the other end is the Hand of Power, which dispenses comfort or… demands sacrifice!
By the time the panel ended, the audience had learned about the Myth of the Star Children and their dispersal in The Great Spewing, that grad students are currently rather hard to find due to previous experiments and a proclivity for eating ancient relics, that all but one of the objects were, Dr. Friesner’s estimation, definitely used for sacrifice, and that a certain orange tabby is The Accursed One seen on many worlds, a comfort to some and an overlord to others. Oh, the things you can learn at Dragon Con!