The crew grew silent as the shipboard crane deposited their find, winched up over four hundred meters from the ocean's bottom, on the rolling deck of their small tug. After years of research they had finally found it. Lost at sea when the Ming Dynasty fell, this box had been so precious to the Empire that someone had braved the Straits at its most perilous to keep it from the invading hordes. Or had the sinking been intentional?Staring at their find, Rearden wondered what the last Ming Emperor had been thinking when he hung himself. Could it have been of this? Its surface was faultless, absolutely seamless even, and the only sign of its once human providence was the faint Chinese script still visible on the front casing. "Those are the instructions on opening it," he said to no-one in particular. "It looks like we'll need someone who knows how to read Chinese...."