It was there on the table; a rough looking ceramic pot that would be deemed worthless by the ignorant but Judson knew better. He knew from its fine lines and from the marks seemingly scratched into the surface before the clay was fired that this was something of great value. Although lacking the characteristic cord-markings, Judson knew he was looking at a piece of Jomon oatsu pottery, probably dating anywhere between 2,500 and 10,000 years BC.
"It's quite something, isn't it?"
Mac raised her eyebrows, obviously unable to get excited over a pot, but she smiled indulgently at his boyish enthusiasm as he raved on about the workmanship that had gone into its creation.
"It's just a pot, Judson."
He looked up at her aghast; mouth open, eyes wide in shock. "Just a pot?" He pointed at it. "This is priceless. This is a piece of history dating back to the beginning of civilization. This was crafted by one of the earliest men to walk this Earth."
She tilted her head. "How do you know a man made it?"
"Why not a woman? Maybe a woman made it."
"Well... Yeah... Maybe... But it doesn't detract from its intrinsic value as--"
"Doesn't detract? Are you being sexist?"
"No! You know what I mean..." Judson sighed as Mac's lips trembled momentarily before she broke into a grin. "You just love baiting me, don't you?"
"You are such good fun, Judson. It's why I stick around."
With that she flounced off, throwing a parting grin over her shoulder, and leaving Judson alone with his amazing discovery. He grinned and carefully placed the pot into a secure container knowing it would be a tragedy for it to have survived all these millennium intact in a small cave only to be destroyed by careless handling now. The Japanese Museum of Antiquities had already made an offer for the piece that was vastly understated compared to the true worth of the pot, but money was not as important to Judson as seeing these priceless artifacts made available for all to share.
"Gabe? Plot a course for the main island. We have a delivery to make."
He heard Gabe's affirmative and smiled once more as he closed the lid, sealing the pot away in safety until he could hand it over to its eager new owners.