A single steam train travelled its eighty mile journey from London to Southampton, dragging it’s two passenger carts behind in the process. The steam bellowed from the train, spreading outwards into the atmosphere as a white and grey cloud, a cruel reminder of industrialisation to the nature that filled the surrounding area. The puffing of the engine and the clanging of the wheels on the tracks was all that could be heard as it continuously chugged towards its destination.
Within the front passenger carriage sat two men, facing each other from across the barrier of a table. One man, dressed in the conventional equatorial explorer outfit of a cream coat and trousers, brown leather long boots and cream hard helmet. His face was closely shaven while his bright green eyes stared into the small handbook which acted as an exploration diary, well drawn maps of the Yucatan area of Mexico with several points circled nearby the city of Merida and the nearby coastline followed by short hand notes outlining the presence of Mayan temples and settlements, an effort to figure out a pattern.
The other man, dressed in the same attire, silently read through the most recent newspaper. This individual exhibited a much more refined posture and etiquette when compared to his companion, licking his thumb before turning a page only to find a story of slight relevance.
“Ah, Garth, there’s an article here about Captain Phage.” The man stated, surprised at what he had begun to read,
The other man, Garth, slapped his handbook shut before leaning forward against the table, a highly inquisitive look plagued across his face as he attempted to read the paper upside down. “What does it say?” He questioned, impatient at the failure of upside down reading,
“It’s just outlining his point of view during his captivity by the Zulu barbarians.” The man replied, struggling to read and talk at the same time, “Apparently it wasn’t really something that could be defined as a ‘capture’. He said they treated him well and taught him something about the body.”
“Yeah, what did they say?”
“Just some bollocks about life energy -magic basically-, they told him that he’s some special man who can influence the calamity of the world.”
“He is a captain,”
“It’s a load of bull. Who would believe this?”
Garth leaned back against his chair, his gaze directed towards the static natural scene of bright green as the train charged through it. “Perhaps it’s just their pagan religion, Damien. Some, like me, would believe it to be that.” He replied, his mind working hard while trying to put things together. It wasn’t like this information would be helpful to the two’s expedition, after all, they weren’t travelling to Africa.
“Whatever, I’ll have to question this man about it.” Damien dismissed the archaeologist’s words, returning to his newspaper as the train sounded it’s whistle, stating it’s near arrival to the final destination.