“I can’t believe we had to steal these,” John sighed to himself, disgusted at the acts he was forced to do in order to safely return to the ship. It was deemed the most safest way to escape without any violence as proposed by Damien, stealing robes from a stall in order to hide their clothing and faces from the police who roamed the streets. The three all wore similar robes of a dirty cream colour, stretching down to their knees to effectively hide their bodies. They kept to the high density crowds of the city, another act of hiding from the police, seeming to be casual workers as they carried their wrapped up spears, John also carried his rifle over his shoulder. The gear was hesitantly destroyed and hidden before they left the hotel in order to lighten the load, it would be impossible to carry such a large amount of luggage between three people without the help of a horse and cart. The fact that all of the gear was lost had left Garth in a sulking state, walking slightly slower than the rest of the group as he hung his head low in sadness. So much money wasted.
“You’re going to have to deal with it, John, we can’t afford to be recognised right now.” Damien replied, using one hand to pull his hood further over his head as a couple armed policemen walked past, ignoring the three’s presence as they stopped a random citizen to enquire.
“Come on, Garth, we need to hurry up.” John stated, attempting to keep his voice quiet while also grabbing the archaeologists attention, snapping him out of his sulking trance to bring him to his regular walking speed once again. Hoping the necessary sacrifice of his gear will prove to be useful later on in the three’s adventure.
It was out of pure luck that the streets of Merida were packed with it’s citizens, it was the height of the day after all, inciting the populace to leave their workplaces for a lunch break. Or bringing the housewives out of their homes to browse the market stalls that lined the streets. The police had a harder time with their search because of this, they had to become more selective with the people they question in order to efficiently continue their search with better results. Two policemen slowly walked close to a building, talking amongst themselves about their failures in finding information, complaining about how impossible it is to find a few Englishmen in a large city. It was just like looking for a needle in a haystack.
That was when they turned at a corner, passing the three explorers as they hid their faces. A true suspicious sight to one of the policemen as they quickly turned and called out to the three, stopping them in their tracks. Damien and John’s faces fell to a panic as sweat slowly slid down their foreheads, it was the end. They’ll be found out instantly. The Spanish words the policemen spoke seemed rushed, somewhat angry. As if they were commanding the three to come with them. There was no way they could pretend to be natives, they were European after all.
However, their doubts were quickly removed as Garth’s composed voice replied to the policemen, turning to face them as he spoke, confusion spread across his face, “Es tut mir leid, sprechen Sie Deutsch?” He spoke, attempting to put on his best German accent to make it seem more believable.
The policemen were left speechless, they had no idea what was said, but it definitely wasn’t English. With their heads turned to face eachother, some words were exchanged before they looked back to Garth. They were stuck behind a language barrier as they slowed their words down, using hand signals to say “Don’t worry, have a nice day,” before they turned away to continue their search.
A large sigh of relief was given as Garth turned to face his companions once again, “My heart was going mad,” he spoke, resting his head against his chest.
“Wow, that was amazing, Garth! You saved us!” John congratulated him, his face also showing relief as he slowly recovered from the thoughts of being caught.
“It’s not going to work again, that’s the only German I know. We don’t know if they can speak other languages or not.”
“At least it removed that suspicion, we should hurry and get out of the city.” Damien stated as he continued walking, using his memory from their arrival as means to take them back to the port.
A few hours had passed as the three continued their rushed escape from Merida. As the streets became less packed, the three decided to take the alleyways instead, increasing the length of their journey after a few wrong turns were made. Finally, they had left the outskirts of the city and reached the main road that connected it to the coast. With the city left in the background, they could finally loosen up some more. Refusing to remove their stolen robes until they reach the ship just in case they passed anyone who was aware of the search, at least they could walk down the road with their thumbs up, asking to hitch a ride on anyone who passed. With failure.
Time slowly passed as the sun’s rays beated down on the explorers, sweat was dripping from all over their face, water was running low and no one was offering to give them a ride. There wasn’t even a sign of any village througout the whole road, the day was getting worse and worse for the three. That was when salvation had finally appeared, a horse and cart stopped beside the three as a man popped his head out from inside the cabin. An iberian man, calling out in Portuguese as he signalled to the three that they can have a lift. There was very little Spanish or Portuguese in any of the explorer’s tongues, only the Spanish word for ‘Thanks’ could be spoken as they boarded the cart, allowing the driver to continue the journey.
“Hey, where are you guys headed?” The Portuguese man, Gabrielo, asked. Dressed in what seemed to be an explorer’s outfit. Matias was sat beside him, dressed in similar gear while he stared at the three hitchikers, his arms crossed over his chest.
None of the Englishmen knew what to say, there wasn’t even any point to asking if they could speak German, it’s not like any conversation could be made. “Can you not understand me? Are you some kind of monks or something? Where are you from?” Gabrielo continued speaking, alternating through different European languages as he did so.
With a small grunt, Matias finally added to the efforts of passing through the language barrier, his accent was far off while the spoken words were broken, “You English? Speak?” He asked, still glaring at the three with suspicion. The three’s reaction had confirmed it, John jumped at the English as he held back from confirming Matias’ guess. This reaction was more than enough to spark a quick action from Matias as he threw a hand over John’s throat. “Gabrielo, translate.” He ordered to his companion, who had a higher knowledge in English than the Spanish explorer.
“You fuckers killed Ikal, I knew we would find you trying to run away.” It was a direct translation without any editing, the way Gabrielo spoke didn’t show any threat than Matias did when he spoke through his teeth, his face filled with anger. John’s reply was directly translated back to Spanish for Matias,
“Wait wait, let us explain ourselves, we didn’t kill him.” He struggled to push his words through his constricted throat, coughing several times between the words as his body reached the natural panic mode, gasping for air while attempting to pull the brutish hands from his neck.
As Matias seemed to refuse his assault, Gabrielo insisted he pull his hands back, telling him to stay calm in this situation to at least listen to their story. “Go on,” He gestured to John, who was crouched over while holding his neck, panting heavily to refill his lungs with oxygen. Instead, Damien decided to explain the whole story, purposely leaving out the information about the spears as they only asked about Ikal.
“Bullshit, Ikal wouldn’t kill himself.” Matias replied once Damien was finished with his explanation, “You’re just making shit up to save yourself.”
“What forced him to do it? And why did he apologise to the last King of the Maya?” Gabrielo calmly enquired, his arm held outwards to tell Matias to sit back.
Damien hesitated for a moment, trying to find his words to hide the spears. If these two people were explorers, then they would definitely want to keep the artifacts to themselves, Matias had already proven himself to be stronger than him and Garth, if only John could react with his rifle, but the cabin was too small to do anything. “It was a strange reaction to the artifacts, when one of our team died trying to hold the spear.”
“That’s wrong, he took us there before and didn’t react when our crew was killed by the spears.” Gabrielo corrected, stressing Damien some more as he struggled to find a better way to explain the reasoning. There wasn’t really much he could do to explain the problem.
“Did you not visit the temple to see his body? We didn’t touch it.” Garth added to the conversation, his voice composed and held with reason as he questioned the explorer.
“No, we didn’t. We couldn’t.”
“The police wouldn’t let you there? Perhaps you should leave them work out the cause of death before pointing fingers.”
“Why are you leaving? And dressed in those robes? They would obviously want to talk to you three,”
“We have places to be, we don’t have time to-”
“Bullshit!” Matias raised his voice, “You’re running away because you killed him. And what’s with those long sticks of cloth? What are you hiding?”
“Just some of our gear,”
“It’s too small in here, we can do that when we arrive.”
Matias simply grunted in reply, he was silenced by Garth’s and Gabrielo’s composure as they calmly argued away like the true gentlemen they were. However, this argument proved to be more intense than it looked, the two were staring into each other’s eyes as the spoke, an aura of rivalry filled the whole cabin as the calm smiles were thrown to each other in agreement. “We’ll see then,” Gabrielo stated before falling silent himself, leaving the cabin on an edge for the rest of the journey.
Upon arrival at the port, the five calmly left the cabin of the horse and cart, Gabrielo throwing a few coins to the driver before allowing him to return to Merida. Without saying a thing, the three Englishmen decided to walk fast towards the Expedite which calmly sat at one of the docks, the crew working casually on maintaining the ship, laughing amongst themselves as they smoked and ate, taking in turns to add further maintenance.
“Wait, hold on!” Gabrielo called out to the three, struggling to work out what to do now that the Englishmen were running away. They definitely have something to hide for them to lose their cool as soon as they reached the port, and this something had grabbed Matias’ anger once again. He pulled his own spear from one of the wooden crates that was carried in the back of the cart, allowing Gabrielo to do the same as they ran after the Englishmen.
The shine of the metallic spear caught Damien’s eye as he looked back, shock spread across his face as he was frozen on the spot. The two spears, each with unique properties, they were definitely some of the missing spears from the temple. John and Garth both followed in the shock as they turned to see what was forcing Damien to stop. If these two were going to attack now, it’d be best to warn them away. Instinctively, John grabbed his rifle and pointed it towards Matias, forcing the Iberian explorers to stop in their tracks.
“Alright, get lost now, we need to go.” John called out in a threatening manner,
“Now I see the way your ‘gear’ is wrapped up, they have the same shapes as the spears. I suggest you hand them back.” Gabrielo replied, keeping his body in a defensive pose,
“These artifacts belong to us, we’re taking them back to be analysed.” Garth stated,
“Those artifacts are mine!” Matias shouted, translated by Gabrielo to sound less threatening once again,
“Back off or I will shoot.”
“You don’t have the guts,” Matias growled, proceeding to step forward. This one move had forced John to act by instinct once again, pulling the trigger of his rifle. The bang had resonated throughout the port, grabbing the attention of everyone in the immediate area, the bullet flying straight to Matias’ chest. However, a strange action appeared to Matias. As if something had taken control of his body, his arms were moving on their own, pulling the metallic spear in front of him, perfectly in the bullet’s path as it blocked the shot, ricocheting the bullet into the ground. His face was the same as everyone elses, surprise, shock, amazement. Even Matias had no idea how he managed to defend himself as John fumbled to reload the single-shot rifle.
“Not now, John, let’s go. Now.” Damien insisted, patting John on the shoulder before he quickly turned to run. The gunshot had allowed the crew of the Expedite to recognise their contractors as they quickly ran to their own weapons, pointing them towards the Iberian explorers in order to keep them at bay. Unneeded attention was grabbed as policemen ran to the scene, their weapons at the ready as they saw the several weapons and the running Englishmen, calling out to them in vain.
“Go go go!” Damien shouted as he ran up the gangplank, followed by Garth and John, jumping down onto the deck to hide themselves from the police who was pointing their weapons back at the crew.
“What about the Captain?” One of the crew members questioned,
“He’s dead! Get this thing going!”
The crew stopped in hesitation as they struggled to take in the sudden bad news, the great captain they had all respected? Dead? What the hell happened over these two nights? There’s not much they can do now, and such a situation wouldn’t allow the contractors to lie. The gangplank was kicked from the side of the ship as the robe holding it to the dock was cut, smokey steam bellowed from the funnel of the ship as the engine began to run, slowly pushing the ship from the port and into the open sea. Finally leaving Mexico behind.
“Prepare a ship as soon as possible”, Matias ordered his companion. His anger reaching new heights as his face glowed red, gripping his spear as tight as he could,
“Now? It would take a while, and we need a crew.”
“I don’t care! We’re going to hunt them down. Those spears belong to us!”