With the time frame and the course of action decided, the three decided to split up in order to prepare and gather supplies for such a trip. Garth had decided to travel to his home in Brighton, packing lightly for the one or two nights he would spend there. However, there seemed to be a sign of hesitation in Garth’s decision, taking his time to board the train as a concerned expression covered his face. There was something he was not looking forward to in his home, something that had forced him to use his profession as an excuse to get as far away from the area as possible. Perhaps that was why he had given such a short deadline for the preparations of the journey, seeming more rushed towards leaving the country once again.
As usual, Garth spent his time on the train staring into his notebook, giving additional notes to his work as he worked his brain as hard as he could in order to solve the many mysteries of the spears. His main focus was placed on the Iberian explorers, how did they know of the spears before him? Why were they so focused on gaining possession of the spears the three Englishmen had taken? Why didn’t they just take the spears while they could? There were a myriad of questions pulsing through Garth’s mind as he frowned at the notebook, tapping his pencil against his forehead impatiently. His past works were solved quickly and easily, it would make sense for irritation and anger to be felt about such a complicated find. There was so much missing information, so much mystery. He had involved himself in something that he shouldn’t have, but why? For knowledge, that was all he wanted. Not the problem of conflict with other explorers, not the involvement in this chase. What happened to the other spears?
The smell of smoke suddenly appeared in the air, the rest of the passengers acted on this by covering their mouths and noses with their clothes or a spare cloth. Complaints echoed through the many conversations as if it was a normal thing to smell smoke during this journey. Garth, on the other hand, did not act on this smell by covering his face. Instead he closed his notebook and returned it to his pocket as he looked out of the window. Factories. They were close to their destination.
As Garth left the train, gathering his luggage to drag behind him on the bag’s wheels, he gave off a large sigh. Following the large busy streets of Brighton, Garth walked slowly towards his home. A large villa located on the other side of the town, situated far from the busy roads and loud populace. A large metallic gate sat at the entrance to a long twisting road which lead to the roman-styled villa, the surrounding area filled with bright green grass and neatly trimmed bush sculptures. The guards quickly recognised the man who appeared before them, one offering to take Garth’s luggage as he escorted the young man to the building.
“Welcome home, young master.” A butler greeted Garth at the doorway to the massive stone building, taking the bag from the guard and waving for him to return to his post before inviting the Archaeologist into the home.
“Thanks, can you take me to my father?” Garth cut straight to his business here, determined to get this meeting over and done with so he can return to Cambridge as fast as possible. His voice exhibited concern, as if he was scared, or perhaps he was angry. The butler had no reason to push into his young master, smiling a little before leading Garth up the massive, well kept stairway. Walking through the hallways in silence, the only sound coming from the birds of the outside world and the footsteps of the two inhabitants. It was painful, the constant tapping of shoes against wooden floor, they resonated through Garth’s head. His hearing seemed to become more sensitive lately, he could hear the many conversations of the train passengers with greater detail, focusing on a single conversation freely as the rest of the sounds faded into nothing. Was he ill? There was no logical explanation for such a strange development. The only close explanation would be the psychological effects of such a tragic event of watching two deaths, knowing that a whole country could be hunting him down at this very moment. That must be it, right?
“He’s in his office, master.” The butler broke Garth’s track of thought as they arrived at large wooden double doors, a simplified symmetrical pattern thrown on each door. “I’ll take your things to your room.” He stated once again before disappearing back the way they came, travelling to the other side of the villa.
There was hesitation in Garth’s actions, staring at the door as his heartbeat increased, he could hear it. The heard beating ringing through his ears, the contractions of his muscles as he raised his arms, the quivering breathing that screamed ‘run away’. Finally, he opened the doors.
“Ah, Garth! Welcome home!”
Damien slammed his hands on a worn out wooden desk. Many papers littered across the desk as a small fossil, propped up on a specialised metallic stand, silently jumped from the shock of the slam. Returning to normal within seconds. A small hint of singe calmly travelled through the air, although nothing was burning. Fergus, sat at the desk, calmly jumped at Damien’s sudden action, a small expression of surprise quickly returned to a patronising smile as the old man slowly raised from his wooden chair.
“Take a seat, Damien. Would you like some tea?” Fergus questioned warmly, accepting the fact that Damien would refuse to leave the professor alone. After all, he followed the professor into his office, constantly questioning more and more about the spears.
“If it’ll get you to speak, then I’d love some.” Damien replied, sarcastically adding more to the patronising nature as he took a seat on the other side of the desk. Watching as Fergus began boiling water and preparing the tea.
“You know, I’m getting very old now. My memory isn’t as well as it used to be.”
“And talking about it will allow more memories to return to you, it’s normal nature.”
“Why must you keep pressing me?”
“Because we’re now involved in this mess. We deserve to know. Besides…” He smiled a little, “Garth would get annoyed if we don’t give him information.”
Fergus simply replied with a short laugh, pouring the tea into two cups before taking them to the desk on a silver tray. Allowing Damien to take a cup and saucer with a small nod of appreciation, taking a small sip which was followed with a calm sigh of enjoyment. It was good tea.
“We did agree to keep this information between ourselves…” Fergus stated, staring into his cup as the memories of his past flooded back into his head.
He sighed, taking a sip from his cup before carefully placing it on the saucer and lowering the set to the desk, leaning back on his chair as he looked up at the ceiling. “I lead an international expedition to the same temple you went to. The main group was made up of me, Choi, Ikal and Diego.”
“Who is Diego?”
“He’s a Spanish explorer, well, he was. I don’t know much of what happened to him now, I do recall him mentioning about going into politics after the expedition.” Fergus paused for a moment, struggling to recall the exact details, “I can’t tell you too much. It’s been such a while since then, he could even be dead by now. I remember he busted his knee during the journey.”
“That’s fine, we just need to know the information. But learning of your story would be very interesting.”
Fergus nodded, happy to know that he could tell such a story. “It was around thirty years ago, Mexico was really struggling back then. There was the threats of war, the hostility towards America. But we all wanted to go. You see, after my past expeditions to China, India and North Africa, I had gained a good name. Ikal personally contacted me about his concerns of the country. So I gathered a group of students and great minds I had met throughout my journeys to travel to Mexico and see what Ikal needed.
That was when we saw the spears. All ten of them, sitting on that altar. Ikal had explained that these spears were used by the ancient civilisations of Mexico. They had…” He paused again, thinking of the right word, “…Power.”
Damien leaned forward, intrigued at the story already as he forgot that he tea even existed. The inquisitive stare forced Fergus to continue.
“Ah, I can’t remember.” Fergus groaned, slightly annoyed at himself for forgetting the important parts, frowning at himself, hoping that Damien doesn’t snap at him again.
“Don’t worry, how will Choi help us? Where did the rest of the spears go? What about those other explorers that attacked us?”
Fergus thought even harder, trying to find the answers to Damien’s questions, stuck in the back of his mind. Hanging from the tip of his tongue as he knew exactly how to answer, yet still couldn’t find the words to explain. “Choi is a teacher. One of his students could use one of the spears, and he studied it for the whole thirty-or-so years. He’s the most knowledgeable in the nature of the spears. I think he’s adapted his teachings around the powers and techniques of the spears, a way for his students to become attuned with the Earth.”
“So you want him to teach us?”
“That’s right,” Fergus nodded, “If you’re going to encounter those other explorers again, and probably other spear users, you’re going to need to know how to use your own spears. Welcome to the secret world.”
“You’ll know what I mean later,” Fergus dismissed Damien’s question as he took a sip of his tea once again. Reminding Damien that he also had tea, following in Fergus’ actions. “I can’t tell you where the rest of the spears go. I only know that one of them is in China, and apparently another two are with those explorers.”
“What are we going to do about them? They seemed to be specialists or something,”
“Well, if they know of the temple’s existence, then Diego is still alive. He must have funded those explorers, probably said he’d pay them a certain amount for each spear.”
“Why did you all leave the spears there?”
Fergus looked down again, this time, his face showed sadness. Grief. This part of his memories was the most predominant, a curse. “We were too scared. The four of us, and Choi’s student, were the only survivors. Everyone else died to the spears.”
“I’m sorry,” Damien gave sympathy towards Fergus, knowing the feeling to loosing a partner to the spears.
“Listen,” Fergus looked up again, a determined expression used to hide his grief, “I’m going to tell you something that I don’t want the others knowing. Not until you get to China. Understand?”
John had returned to Southampton, he carried all three spears with him in order to store them in his home. He had hidden them in the cupboard under the stairs, resting against the wall behind his old uniform. That was when time seemed to slow down, his body naturally refusing to close the door as he stared at the uniform. How he wished he could continue wearing it, life was much better back then. He was a patriotic soldier, working his way up the ranks during his sortie in Africa. Now, he had to be hidden, he had become involved in something he wish he didn’t. There was no way he could return to the military now.
And so, the door was slammed shut. Left alone for John to leave his home once again, travelling to the port where he would then search for the Expedite. However, it was nowhere to be seen. It’s usual docking area was empty, with no familiar faces of the sailors to be seen. Where did they go? It had only been a day.
“Ah, John. Did you forget something?” Finally, one of the sailors appeared from nowhere, carrying an empty wooden box which he then proceeded to fill with the ropes and empty sacs that were left on the side of the dock.
“Actually, I wanted to talk to you guys about hiring you again. We kinda need-”
“No.” The sailor interrupted John, dropping the box down with a large thud as he straightened up towards John, standing about a foot higher. “We don’t want to be involved with you lot again.”
“Wait, we need you. We don’t want to get anyone else involved. At least let me talk to your captain.”
“They’ve travelled to Cornwall, gonna tell Harold’s family about what happened. I doubt they’ll want to join you anyway.”
“Come on, it’s really important to us. You’re the only people who can do this! We’ll pay you more…”
“It’s not about money, John. It’s about our lives.”
“Can you at least tell me when they’ll be back so I can talk to your captain?”
The sailor sighed, growing more and more annoyed at John before realising that he had to do it. There was no way he could make the decisions for the captain, or the whole crew. He was simply giving his own personal belief, “I dunno, they could be a few days or a week.”
“Shit.” John rubbed his hands against his face, turning to face the dark blue waters of the ocean. “We’re in a rush.”
“There’s nothing I can do about it, come back on Monday or something.”
John couldn’t do anything about this, he simply clicked his tongue in irritation as he kicked a stone into the waters. “Yeah, whatever,” He mumbled before turning around to leave again, at least he could take advantage of this time to rest. Locking himself in his home once again, doing nothing all day everyday, only leaving to buy more food. Hopefully, time would hurry up and pass quickly. But there was no way it could happen, John’s house seemed to have some mystical ability to slow time. Days feeling like months, months feeling like years. The motivation to get out of bed lost after the first three sleeps, was he depressed?
A flame was lit from a match, held closely to the end of a cigar, lighting it with several puffs, pouring smoke into the room before it was lowered. Replaced by a cup of tea as a small sip was taken, the residue of the milky broth stuck on the thick black hair of the upper lip, quickly wiped away with a small white tissue, kept in the pocket of a brown suit jacket, accompanied with a darker coloured waistcoat and a white and blue checker shirt, the pattern so small that it seemed to be a light blue colour from a distance. The clothing itself seemed to struggle in holding back the stomach of the man wearing it, the job of covering the body made harder and harder as he leaned back in the perfectly made chair placed beside a burning fireplace, a bear skin used as a decorative carpet in the middle of the room while a stuffed dear head hung from above the fireplace. A second, similar chair sat opposite to the first, keeping the room perfectly symmetrical as the smaller, thinner, young man nervously sat. Smiling towards the butler as he finished pouring the young man a cup of tea before being dismissed from the room by the larger man.
“So, Garth. I thought you would be gone for longer, how was your trip?” The man questioned, his voice showing happiness at his son’s unannounced appearance. He would of styled his black hair better than leaving it as a comb over otherwise.
“It was okay.” Garth replied, carefully tasting his tea to test it’s heat.
“Where did you go again? Africa?”
“Ah! Of course!” The man burst into a disgusting laughter, coughing a little as his health seemed to deteriorate even further with each puff of the cigar. “Did you find what you wanted?”
“Well then…” He looked around, expecting someone to burst in to the room with some artefact, “Where is it?”
“I left it in Cambridge,” Garth lied, there was no way he could let his father, a dirty collector, know of such a unique item.
“Ahh…” The man sat back in his chair once again, sipping on his tea and puffing on his cigar, “When are you going to take over?”
“Take over the company, of course! I’ve worked many years, expanding such a great metalworking franchise. I need to hand it over to you soon, have you found a girl yet?”
Garth frowned at his father’s laid back nature. Even though he had appeared with such a serious request. But the way he keeps changing the subject, his carefree attitude which hid the disgusting nature of the true beast he is. Garth hated him. “Father, I have another expedition to do.”
“Oh? Again? So quickly?” The man’s mood seemed to change suddenly, as if he was against his own son from doing what he loved. “You should at least spend some time here, give your dear father some company. It’s been lonely ever since your mother-”
“I’m on to some amazing mysterious ancient work. What I have found in Mexico had pointed me towards China, my professor is currently looking at the artefact to find more information I need before I go. But I will be travelling next week.” Garth spoke fast, too fast, he didn’t want any interruptions occurring. “In fact, I need to return to Cambridge as soon as possible so I can look over the research.”
The man placed the cup on a small wooden table which stood beside the chair, holding a saucer, a pot of sugar and a spoon. Freeing his hand in order to hold it to his fat chin, thinking hard. “And you want some money for the journey?” He questioned, the carefree atmosphere was completely destroyed and replaced with such a serious mood, as if the man suffered some sort of bipolar. He glared at his son, the green eyes meeting the younger green eyes.
The man groaned, almost sarcastically, he took several more puffs from his cigar before finishing his tea. “You really are high maintenance, Garth.”
“With such a great mystery, an amazing ancient story for me to uncover, of course it would cost a lot. However, once I have finished my adventure across the world, hunting down these clues. I will be in this country for years, researching the evidence, piecing everything together. Once that is done, I will definitely be able to take over the company. Is that a good deal?” Garth explained again with lie after lie, the whole conversation was fuelled with lies. A smart man convincing a fool, such a simple yet complicated action. Fools can show genius actions through pure intuition, but these lies should definitely convince his father. He sat in thought, deep thought.
“If you stay the night, where we can catch up on each other. Then it’s a deal.” The man seemed to return to his happy nature, the deal bringing an even bigger smile across his son’s face. Such a complicated expression was mixed with the man’s smile, as if his mind was caught on something. Some means of acceptance, a sadness, loneliness. Perhaps this was what it meant to be a father. Helping their son in the real world, watching them grow up and disappear for years, doing what they want. It was amazing, but also saddening. This one night would be enough to last the rest of the man’s life in terms of fatherhood…
A lone suede chair sat before a burning fireplace, the only source of light coming from the fire, leaving the rest of the room in darkness. One man sat in the chair, his image covered as a silhouette as he slowly puffed on a cigar. Three other people joined the man in the dark room, a butler, Matias, and Gabrielo. Both carrying their respective spears.
“I see you have completed my job.” The man stated, his free hand resting against the top of a walking stick.
“I guess you could say that.” Gabrielo answered, one hand rubbing against the back of his head nervously. “We were the only two who could hold the spears.”
“That’s fine, we can use you two as a basis on finding suitable users. We’re already ahead just having you two alone. I’ll have some people prepared to pick up the rest of the spears.”
“What is it?” The question was spoken with slight annoyance, he was clearly a man who didn’t want any complications to occur,
“The other three were taken.”
“Three? There should be more than that.”
“We only saw five spears in total. We were going to secure the other three before realising that they were taken.”
“Did he find more potentials?” The man mumbled to himself, catching the attention of Matias who slightly cocked his head to the side, wondering on what the man meant while holding back the questions. “Who took the three spears?” The man spoke out louder, disregarding his mumbling.
“Englishmen, sir.” Gabrielo answered,
“Fuck!” The man stomped his foot against the floor in anger. Forcing the two explorers to flinch at such an action. “All of them?”
“Yes.” Gabrielo’s voice fell more silent, fear taking over as he hoped no punishment would take place,
“We encountered them and tried to recover the spears. But they got away.” Matias added, standing more straight as he spoke,
The man didn’t answer, instead he grabbed a pencil and paper from the small wooden table place next to the chair. Scribbling in at great speed before placing it in a letter, signalling for the butler to come over and hand the letter to Gabrielo.
“I have two further orders for you two.” He begun, “Go to Paris and meet the man I addressed the letter to. He’ll know what to do after you hand him the letter. But first.”
The man pushed his weight on to the walking stick and stood from his chair, the butler rushing over to give him a hand as he stood. His body wincing at the weight placed on the right knee, forcing him to lean further in to the stick. He still didn’t turn around, the body kept as a silhouette against the burning lights of the fire.
“Go to England, a university in Cambridge. Find a man called Fergus and give him my regards, you’ll learn more from there. Make sure he can’t tell anyone else of your appearance when your done.”