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”

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”

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”

1: Exploration

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.

Continue reading “1: Exploration”