Archaeological dig, Lower Manhattan, 2605 AD
Professor Theel couldn't resist letting out a small whoop of delight as he delicately brushed the dirt off of the artifact. Around the dig, his students stood up from their work.
"Whatcha got there, Doc?" asked one of them. The students put down their tools and closed in around the professor.
"It's a ceremonial item, from late in the Circuit period. I believe the correct name for it was 'glowstick'."
The professor gently placed the glowstick on a specimen tray hovering nearby. His eyes crinkled with excitement.
"The glowstick is known to have been used in ritual group dance exercises popular with urban homosexuals, called 'Circuit Parties', which were usually held in conjunction with hallucinogenics and banging drums," he said.
The students murmured with appreciation as they crowded around the tray.
Professor Theel nodded towards his assistant and said, "If any of you have an interest in the Circuit period, Eric is the one to ask. Eric, didn't you go to the last Circuit Faire held in Holoscan World?"
Eric smiled broadly, "Oh yes, Professor. It was, um...'totally awesome, dude!'"
The class was impressed with Eric's usage of the ancient vernacular. Encouraged, he pulled another classmate over to him and pushed his hand in front of his face.
"Talk to the hand, bitch!"
The other student grinned, put a hand on one hip and snapped his fingers in Eric's face, "Don't even try it, Mary!"
The professor nodded approvingly as the students applauded. "Very nice, Eric and Mark, you've clearly done your homework!"
Mark blushed, "Thanks, Doc! You should see us in our Circuit Faire costumes! I have TWO pairs of 'track pants'!"
Regina spoke up, "I have an authentic Fag Hag costume!"
"Oh, shut up, you do not!" said one of the students.
Regina whirled around indignantly, "Yes, I do! I got it last year, when we were doing that dig at the Jersey Home For Obese Spinsters!"
Dismissively, Eric looked Regina up and down. "You are not nearly fat enough to pull off Fag Hag, Regina."
"Oh, and I suppose YOU think you can play Dealer?" Regina spat back.
Eric snorted, "Shows what YOU know, I play Circuit Boy."
Theel jumped in, "Um, before this goes any further, let's all get back to the work at hand, shall we? Regina, see me after class. I'd like to refresh you on the rules regards taking items from these digs."
"You sketchy queen," Eric laughed.
Theel snapped, "That's enough Circuit Talk for today, Eric!"
Eric lowered his head, "Sorry, Doc."
From the far end of the dig an intern started shouting excitedly. The professor and the students raced over. The intern had unearthed a slightly-rounded, white metallic surface.
The intern was shaking with excitement as he turned to the professor, "Is this what I think it is?"
The professor said, "Well, let's not get too excited just yet. It could just be another coffin."
But it was not another coffin.
Beyond their wildest hopes, they had found a nearly intact "tanning bed." The hover-crane magno-lev'd the tanning bed slowly up and onto the surface. Barely able to contain his excitement, Theel approached the ancient machine, and lifted the lid.
-to be continued