The Road to Ruin

by John Ritchie

‘Na Khi to base. We are facing ruin – over.’
“What did he say?”
“We are facing ruin.”
“What the hell is he talking about. I already told him the funding is
practically in the bank.”
“I guess he doesn’t believe you, Jack”
“It’s not his job to believe me. He’s a freaking Archaeologist. Did I
stop him going to Cambodia? Did I stop him trailing off after some
dumb legend? No, I did not. I believed in him.”
“So, what shall I say?”
“Tell him to look on the bright side, get his head turned around.”
“O.K., Ah, Kim? Dr Petrie says, Get your head around and look on the
bright side. – Over”
‘Na Khi to Base – Tell Dr Petrie headed round on right side, not
facing ruin. Now we are in deep dwang – over.’
“He says…”
“Yeah, I heard what he said. What is the matter with the guy? All he
had to do was walk into the damn jungle and check out this long-lost
temple story. Lookit, I’m an administrator, I don’t do field work any
more. I got grunts for that. Kim is a grunt. He’s not paid to worry
about funding…”
“Er, he hasn’t been paid in three months…”
“He’s paid to… Ah, goddamit. Tell him to get out of there. Book him a
flight home. Wrap it up. I’m going to grab some coffee.”
“Base to Na Khi. Dr Petrie says scratch it and come home – over.”
‘Base – Roger. Na Khi out’
Kim Na Khi stared at the perfectly preserved temple he’d just
discovered behind the ruined fort. He trudged through the bat guano
covering the temple floor and scratched the statue. It was solid gold.
He couldn’t take it back though. He only had twenty kilos baggage
allowance.

John Ritchie writes for fun. Which is just as well as nobody will pay him.

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