Two picks from the warehouse arrive at the Institute: an ancient medallion mostly encased in granite and a map with an "X" near edge of the North American continental plate. The Institute members who stay to research the medallion need the help of a specialist and find themselves contending with a persnickety metallurgist. To get to the answer about the medallion, they break the rules, and what they discover is amazing, yet so scientically simple. Linda and Virgil have family issues.
"I can't wait to read the next installment"
Virgil's pick from the warehouse sends the Institute of Antiquities group to Egypt. He picked what look like giant pool tiles and a small figurine. However, the liaison in Egypt is Rick's estranged father, Field General Nels Lundgren, and the person sent on behalf of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities is Dr. Carruthers, the original group member who walked away.
"Terrific Institue of Antiquities"
The Colonel makes the first pick from the secret warehouse, “something from the Southwest”. In response, a large, strange wire contraption wrapped in an old “Indian blanket” arrives. Because of his Native American/Latino heritage, the Colonel is interested in identifying the old blanket. Virgil and Mandy test the wire contraption to an unexpected conclusion. Irina and Cynthia investigate the 18,000 year old book from the Marsala expedition and reveal some of its secrets. Cynthia’s drunk mother meddles into her work life, intent on Cynthia returning to Brandeis and more prestige.
"Trullyan inventive and interesting science fiction"
Recently, in reality, archeologists found evidence of writing 9,000 years ago. If there was an Atlantis 10-12,000 years ago, it would be highly likely that it would have links to writing that came after it. Similar to a "Mad Max" scenario, when Atlantis fell, the population would end up mostly illiterate, losing most of the written language with it. But certain symbols and letters would persist, leading to the simple bills of laden 9,000 years ago.
The Institute team gets its first item from the secret warehouse, another crystal ball, and the team discovers the secret of the crystal balls.
"Don't buy this"
Using birthdates, Linda's warehouse pick turns out to be an ancient crown that gives a whole new understanding as to why leaders wore them. Cynthia's pick is the Ark of the Covenant - sort of - a replica built in the 1960s at the University of Minnesota, and it has a surprise. Mike and Irina explore physics in the crystal balls and find information unknown to us in the first "pages". Mandy works with a colleague who is on the International Space Station whose experiment goes out of control.
"Dr. G continues to explore freshe Sci fi ideas."