11: Development

“Welcome to Cod Bay!” An extremely excited voice called out from the slightly crowded streets of the British town. The Englishmen had finally arrived to the other side of the world, their second last stop at Ceylon before heading straight to China. The massive change of culture made it seem that they had travelled to a new world, architecture, clothing, mannerisms, goods. In fact, the only thing that seemed similar was the scarlet uniform of the colonial garrisons which policed the colony.

Garth, Damien and John were met by a Caucasian man, long hair held back as a pony tail, dressed in the traditional native clothing of Ceylon. A strange overeager smile plastered across the man’s face as he pressed his hands together in some kind of welcoming way. Two other men joined him, dressed in rather simple attires as pistols hung from their belts. Perhaps some form of guards.

“You travellers must have had it hard, coming all the way here. Are you tourists?” The strange man continued in his attempt at starting a conversation with the three, some kind of trade technique when it came to welcoming -and ripping off- tourists, Continue reading “11: Development”

10: (Mis)Adventure Final

The morning sun calmly threw its gentle rays onto the Hungarian lands, a winter breeze pushing through the leafless trees and dew covered grass. Most wildlife had already disappeared for their hibernation while others fought to finish their preparations as fast as possible, leaving animals which had tolerance for the winter climate to take prominence in the area, filling the skies with their unique sounds as they prospered. Although, this orderly, gentle morning was broken with a sudden scream. A scream which described confusion more than fear.

Matias was sat up in his bed, holding his fully healed arm as he continuously screamed in disbelief. It must have been a dream, there was no way a broken arm could heal overnight, perhaps it wasn’t even broken? Just a simple bruise… Amazed and worried at the results of his sleep, Matias failed to notice the entry of his companions and the witch as he stared at the arm, moving every joint he could in the attempt to find the breakage.

“I told you, Matias, the demon healed you. To think your spear symbolises simplicity, you really are over complicating this.” Hanna spoke out to grab the Spaniard’s attention, her smooth voice easily calming the man down, almost unnaturally fast. Then again, it was something Hugo and Gabrielo would expect of a witch, although there was one thing that had piqued Gabrielo’s interest.  Continue reading “10: (Mis)Adventure Final”

9: (Mis)Adventure Part 3

Six elongated weeks passed on the open seas, travelling south with the coast of Africa left on the horizon, far away enough to ensure the masking of their presence. With winter falling upon Europe, Summer began to rise over southern Africa. Temperatures raised to unbearable heights once again, leaving the sailors to go about their work in a sluggish manner. Their tops left in their quarters in the attempt to cool down, but really exposing themselves to the sun even more, inducing the development of sunburn across their backs. The three explorers kept themselves in the shaded areas of the cabins, napping the long hot days away or talking amongst themselves about anything that came to mind. Anything to take their minds out of such a state of boredom, that was when a call from one of the sailors stated their arrival in Cape Town. Finally, they had reached land once again.

It was the same as before, the captain of the ship disappeared to negotiate prices for supplies from the local warehouses while the sailors jumped into action of performing maintenance on their ship, working has fast and hard as they could so they could retreat into the closest Inn they could find, alcohol and a bed was all they wanted now. At least this time, John decided to stick with the two explorers, following them over the gangplank and into the crowded streets of Cape Colony’s capital. There was a much more pleasing sight here than Gold Coast. The housing was more professionally built, hints of Dutch architecture standing out from the English control, attempting to take control of the Colony as before. The populace was much more civilised, garrisons were more lenient towards the people as every street screamed multiracial unity. The closest hotel proved to be promising, better beds, indoor bathrooms, proper running water. They could easily stay here for way more than the two nights than they planned.

Eventually, once the three had familiarised themselves with their rooms, they had decided to visit a local Inn for dinner and a few drinks, inviting Samuel to join them. It could be a good way to get on his good side, finally dispelling any tensions and hatred held between the two sides. There was no need to bring the spears, only small pistols carried by all four Englishmen. They had made it to the other side of the world now, there was no need to worry about any Spanish influence or attacks that could threaten the group, even crime would be quickly dealt with, especially due to the fact that the four were English. However… Continue reading “9: (Mis)Adventure Part 3”

8: (Mis)Adventure Part 2

The remnants of summer continued to flow throughout the atmosphere of the Crown Colony of Gold Coast. The sun beat down on the populace, reflecting off the stone constructions of housing and the massive fort that stood beside the sea as a blinding burst of white. Palm trees scattered around the area as the streets flourished with the sluggish citizens, each attempting to cope with working in such hot conditions. It had only been a few minutes since arriving at the colony, the sailors had quickly jumped into maintenance of their vessel while the Captain decided to visit the local warehouse in order to discuss prices of supplies.

Emerging from their quarters came the three troublesome explorers, longing for a decent room to sleep in for the next couple nights before leaving once again for South Africa. The view was amazing, Garth and Damien simply stood at the gangplank in awe of what they could see, if only they were born earlier in order to watch over the creation of the colony. The rolling hills, the palm trees, the giant fort. Everything that could be seen held a story in itself, a history, no matter how brutal it may be, it was beautiful. However, John was having second thoughts. Concern covered his face as his eyes slowly scanned over the area, watching the inner workings as if he knew it all.

“You two go ahead, I’ll stay on the boat.” John stated, his words wavered as he slowly turned to return to the cabin,

“Wait, why? We’ve got two nights here, so we might as well make use of our time.” Damien replied, questionably watching John’s worrisome actions.

“I’d rather not stay in the town. You know, bugs and shit.”

“You never objected to this in Mexico, and I think it was even worse because it was the height of summer.” Damien placed his hand on John’s shoulder with concern, attempting to convince the ex soldier to join the two. “Besides, we need to stay together at this time. Who knows what we’ll run in to.”

“Leave him, Damien.” Garth stated, his voice exhibited sympathy, “I doubt anyone would know we’re here.” The words incited a sigh of relief to be thrown from John’s mouth, shaking the hand from his shoulder before continuing back to the cabin.

“You were dispatched here before decommissioning, weren’t you.” Garth questioned, instantly stopping John in his tracks once more. A moment of silence fell over the three as the atmosphere fell low.

“Yeah.” A blunt reply given without turning to face his friends, John’s memories came back to haunt him as soon as he realised where he was. There was no way he could handle staying in the place which held nothing but a negative memory. He couldn’t question Garth’s assumption, he was a smart man, and the actions of an ex soldier such as this would definitely provide enough evidence of a previous dispatch. A dispatch which had scarred the man’s mind for the rest of his life.

“Let’s go and find a hotel for now, Damien.” Garth suggested, holding back the urge to press further into John’s past as he hopped onto the gangplank, returning to land once more. There was no means to find a hotel alone, no map, no signs. The only way to find one was through spoken word, asking the people to point the two in the direction of a hotel, or at least somewhere to sleep for the two nights they would be stuck in this sweltering area. Continue reading “8: (Mis)Adventure Part 2”

7: (Mis)Adventure Part 1

Morning had arisen over Brighton, the McLoughton villa slowly followed the bright autumn day with the mixture of bright green grass and golden-brown trees, shedding their skin of leaves in the light breeze which pushed the inhabitants of the town into wearing extra layers to compensate for the decreasing temperatures of the season. The head of the villa had awoken from his loud slumber early to the sounds of his butler’s voice, reminding him of his plans to visit most of his many factories. Naturally, Garth had awoken at the time his father had finished his breakfast at the massive decorated wooden table. Entering the room to see the myriad of untouched silverware which nearly covered the whole table, many sizes of foreign vases placed on the windowsills as expensive paintings hung from the well maintained walls.

“Good morning, son. Did you enjoy our little two man party last night?” The fat man greeted his son as he pulled his jacket over his body, straightening the fabric before buttoning it up. The butler gave a small nod as the man raised his arms, silently asking how he looked.

“Of course, it’s nice to know you’re doing slightly well.” Garth answered, rubbing his bed head in a little pain as he scratched against his stomach, still dressed in his pyjamas.

His father hummed playfully as he quickly stepped over to his side, placing an arm over his shoulder, “Is that a hangover you have there? Is the wine too strong for you?” He poked at his son’s intolerance to alcohol,

“You forced me to drink so much, of course it’d affect me this way.” Garth protested, a more natural smile slightly pushing through his tired expression as he pushed the arm away from his shoulders before sitting at the end of the table, opposite to were his father had sat. “Are you going somewhere? Another meeting?”

“Nah,” the fat man dismissed loudly, almost on purpose, “I’m just visiting the factories. Gotta boost the working man’s morale y’know. Are you going to return to Cambridge today?”

“That’s right, I need to prepare for the journey.”

“Well, be careful out there.” The man pat Garth on the shoulder before turning to leave the room, a maid stood on the other side of the door carrying a briefcase which was kindly handed over to the man. “I hear there’s been some unrest in South Africa lately.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll just be in Cape Colony for a day or two. It shouldn’t be too bad.” Garth waved his hand as a sign of dismissal, fully aware of the present dangers that spread across the world. He was too tired and hungover to figure out a true plan of action, but upon return to Cambridge, he may be able to think of something with Damien.

“Alright alright, I’m off then.” He turned to leave, quickly giving an order to the maid who handed him the briefcase. “Give Garth my bank book please, I left a cover letter on the table.” Finally, he had left.

Digging in to breakfast, Garth silently tended over his hangover as he received the bank book and a cover letter stating permission to withdraw a certain amount of money. It’s safer to bring the butler with him to hand the bank book back after taking out the maximum he was allowed to. It would prevent the loss and misuse of the book during the journey after all. At least he had quickly completed his side of the preparations, with enough time to spare to pester Fergus about more information. Unless Damien had successfully done that for him. Continue reading “7: (Mis)Adventure Part 1”

6: Again

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? Continue reading “6: Again”

5: Truth

It was a silent journey back to England, not a single shanty was sung, not a single word was spoken. The whole atmosphere of the Expedite was filled with grieving at the loss of a good, innocent man, all for some strange artefacts. Garth had locked himself inside his cabin, sitting on the bed, his body leaning forward as his mind worked the hardest it ever could in the attempts of solving the mystery of the spears. All in vain. Damien and John simply stood on the top deck, leaning against the rails as they shared cigars, staring into the deep blue horizon of the sea. The simple month at sea felt far longer than it should before the English coast was sighted on the horizon, finally calling for an end of this painful adventure.

However, it was a calling for a new beginning.

Continue reading “5: Truth”

4: Escape

“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.  Continue reading “4: Escape”

3: Rivalry

3 days earlier…

Screams echoed through the simplistic build of the underground temple, each distinctively unique sound of pain and panic resonated between the stone walls of the hallway before escaping into the surrounding forested area. Within the main altar of the temple stood the remaining explorers and their translator, Ikal, who silently leaned against one of the three walls, his arms crossed while his eyes stayed fixated on the two foreigners. One Portuguese, the other Spanish, dressed in their respective national equipment which showed off their presence to be a government-funded one. Around the room lay the victims of the spears themselves, each showing the fates that accompanied the attempted wielding of a spear: Charred bodies, Hands covering the ears, or a look of all life being sucked from the body.

“You…” The Spaniard growled in his native language, holding a spear which held what seemed to be a bowl underneath the blade, water dripping over the edges of the bowl with the man’s movement as he stomped towards Ikal. “Why can’t they hold the last three? What did you do to them?”

“I didn’t do anything,” The Mayan replied calmly, “They just had no potential and couldn’t handle the power of the spears.”

“Then how come we can?” The Portuguese explorer questioned, holding a simplistic yet fully metallic spear, “And what happened to the other four? Did some people get here before us?”

“I don’t know. I’m not the only native here you know.”

The Spaniard spat on the ground in frustration, seeing his whole group become brutalised by three strange objects had hit him hard. There was a sense of uselessness within his mind, he would’ve stopped them before it happened. He could’ve told them to leave the spears after the first death. But why did he decide to keep trying?

“I want you to tell us how to find people with potential, I want those last three spears. And you are going to help us whether you like it or not, Savage.” He ordered, speaking his words through gritted teeth as anger slowly fuelled his mindset. “But first, we need to give these bodies a burial, they deserve it.”

“I suggest we also cover our tracks.” The Portuguese man added, “We will meet you in Merida next week, Ikal. Understand?”

“Of course,” Ikal sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose in the process as he straightened himself from the wall. “Let me give you a hand with the bodies.” Continue reading “3: Rivalry”

2: Discovery

The city of Merida, capital of the Mexican state, Yucatan. Surrounded by farmlands and dense forests, mainly known for the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza located more inland of the state. Within the city, the Mexican inhabitants continued their day to day lives. Surrounded by the large stone buildings, the stone covered streets smooth with the wear of the people’s feet and vehicles. Among the citizens walked the four Englishmen: Garth, Damien, John and the captain of  the Expedite. Their destination was the same for all travellers and explorers, an inn. This time, a specific inn was being targeted as a meeting site for their fifth party member; a Mexican native.

This man was known throughout the community of central american explorers, his ability to speak a variety of different languages paired with his knowledge of his native lands and customs made him a person of importance. Hired by countless explorers during his life while charging a hefty sum for his services. This man’s contact was given to Garth by his tutor back in Cambridge, a small advantage for the new archaeologist. With the help of the locals and a small pocket map, the group had quickly located their destination with ease.

Upon entry of the inn, the group were hailed by the lone bartender. Already informed of the Englishmen’s arrival, he had informed the group that their translator was waiting in a small meeting room upstairs. Pointing them in the right direction before asking if they would like a waitress to serve them, of course they would accept. The floorboards carefully squeaked under the feet of the explorers, each silence breaking sound reminding the group of the age of this inn. Even the slightly rotten wooden door screamed it’s need for replacement during the entry into the small meeting room, revealing the long wooden table, wall hung candles lined the cracked stone walls as the rays of the setting sun struggled to pass through the small singular window. At the far end of the temple sat the Mexican native. Wearing western clothes of the Mexican populace along with a simple Mayan headdress of feathers and bronze. His wrinkled face and greyed hair suggested this expedition to be the man’s last before retirement.

“So which one of you is Garth McLoughton?” The man spoke out, fluent in the English language while exhibiting an unrecognisable mixed accent. His arms crossed over his chest with some sort of professional aura emitted from his presence.

“I am, it’s nice to meet you, Ikal.” Garth answered, stepping forward with his hand outstretched in order to initiate a handshake. The native kindly dismissed the handshake with a small wave of his hand before pressing it forward as an invitation to the others to sit.

“I am aware of the gist of Garth’s expedition from the letter he had sent me,” Ikal began speaking, sitting back and raising his feet to rest on the table in the process, “Although, time had finally caught up with me. So I may need you to remind me on the plan, once that is done. I suggest you all head to your rooms and rest up, we will leave in the morning.”

With that, the group quickly jumped into their explanations. Introducing Ikal to their professions and goals of the expedition. The general area of Garth’s theorised temple had been outlined, confirming with Ikal the presence of a ‘hidden temple’. Continue reading “2: Discovery”