Unearthing an Office

‘Watney, you need to see this!’

I pushed back my magnifying goggles, twisting around to see where the echoey call had come from in the cave. My research assistant, Steve, waved his arms to get my attention and I flashed him a thumbs-up to let him know I was on my way.

‘What have you got?’ I eventually puffed, making my way to him.

‘Something… incredible,’ his eyes sparkled. He led me to a deeper part of the cave, a nook I hadn’t actually been to yet.

I stopped in my tracks.

‘Is that a…?’

‘Fully preserved,’ Steve grinned. ‘We’re gonna be on the cover of every archeological magazine on the planet!’

Spread out before us, covered in delicate red flags and crisscrossing string, was the unmistakable shape of an ancient office space.

‘I don’t believe it,’ I whispered. ‘Look at that professional office interior design. Located in Melbourne, I presume?’

He nodded. ‘It has to be, it was the only metropolitan area in the vicinity. But we had no idea it extended this far!’

‘Extraordinary,’ I breathed.

‘That’s not all,’ Steve slapped me on the back, clearly enjoying himself. ‘Follow me.’

He led me further down, past a team of research assistants delicately brushing dust from an obtuse stapling device.

‘No way!’ I stopped in my tracks. ‘It isn’t?’

‘It is,’ Steve nodded. ‘I just finished the dating myself. Those there’ – he pointed – ‘are a genuine example of office fitouts for Melbourne offices, early in the century.’

‘Remarkable,’ I shook my head. ‘Look at the design, the ease of use, the functionality.’

‘Don’t make them like that anymore,’ Steve shook his head.

‘They most certainly do not,’ I agreed, crouching down for a better look. ‘How much farther does this cave go?’

‘The scans are a little… inconclusive,’ Steve admitted. ‘We didn’t know this opening was here until one of the students stumbled across it on their lunch break.’

‘Well, Steve,’ I stood up, turning back to him with a grin. ‘What do you say we break for lunch?’