Words of the Wise


Once Cornelia had ensured that the rest of the Belle Marie was free of any alien devices, she dismissed her crew. The night was young and she didn't know what tomorrow would bring, they deserved some leisure time. 

Cornelia retired to her cabin once more and locked herself in. She sat staring at herself in her looking glass and rubbed her temples deeply with her thumbs. A storm was brewing and she wasn't sure where it would leave her. She uncorked a bottle of deep crimson wine, Madeira, a fine wine. She had been saving it for a special occasion but now seemed a good a time as any, besides she couldn't deal with any of the other wine that was on board. She poured herself a glass, a whole glass, right to the brim of a deep bowl. Her first taste wasn't so much a sip as a gulp.

As she continued to merge her lips into the wine, Cornelia thumbed through the photos of the map, that the Professor had taken the time to develop earlier that day.  She had never seen anything like it. The photos were a poor quality, they had been rushed and the animated map hadn't made anything easier. Cornelia studied the picture of the minotaur. For a second she thought she saw it move. It must have been the wine, she thought.

Knuckles clunked on her chamber door, knocking Cornelia out of deep thought.

"It's unlocked." Cornelia waved a hand redundantly. 

The door opened slightly and from behind it the timid Professor Ikonov peered around. 

"I hope I'm not disturbing you Ms. Harper?" he said. 

"Not at all" Cornelia had all but given up hope for a moment of peace and quiet. "Care for a drink?" she tapped the expensive looking wine bottle.

"You know, maybe I will." 

Cornelia invited the Professor in and told him to sit down and relax, she poured him a glass of wine that wasn't quite as large as her own. For a moment or two they sat in silence. Ikonov looking, typically into his lap, as usual looking for the right words. Cornelia looked at him briefly with wonderment. He didn't seem the sort to go on treasure hunts or adventures yet he certainly travelled in the right circles. She found herself considering what kind of person Professor Harold Ikonov was. His moustache had grown since they had left and it didn't appear as though he had time to trim it, it had become slightly unkempt. His hair wasn't as professional as it had been back at Royal Society. It hadn't really occurred to Cornelia that perhaps Harold was having a rough time here too, that neither of them had known what they were getting themselves into.

"What brings you here?" Cornelia broke the silence.

"Well, Ms. Harper..." the Professor began.

"Cornelia, please." 

"Yes, right. Cornelia. I know I may seem a little unobservant outside of theology, mythology and science but I'm not blind. Cliff said you knew each other but there was more than that, wasn't there?"

"I don't think that is really important, Professor." Cornelia frowned, she hadn't expected the Professor to quiz her on this.

"Well you see, actually I think it is important." the Professor retorted, almost as though he were offended by the fact they hadn't told him they knew each other before hand. "This trip should have professional integrity and if you can't contain your emotions for its duration, I'm afraid we are going to have to part ways."

"Excuse me?" Cornelia was shocked at Ikonov's sudden attack. "How have I not been professional, it's him thats..."

"I'm not just talking about you Cornelia, I spoke to him too. Unfortunately for you, Cliff is more valuable to my cause. I want you on board. You are loyal and hard working, but I won't have my team sniping at each other like enemies."

"I can assure you that I have done absolutely everything in my capacity to ensure that I am professional, if I have to work with him, I will, I'm not here for emotions I am here for money. My crew and I are hard working, honest and most of all professional, I take deep offence that you should suggest otherwise. If you want to get rid of the unprofessionalism, perhaps you should ask Cliff about this." Cornelia slammed down the napkin down in front of him. "I assure you professor, I am nothing if not professional and I just want to know my duties, I am not here for romance."

"Very well Cornelia..."

"Ms. Harper." Cornelia snapped.

"Ms. Harper." Ikonov peered into his lap once more and sighed. "If you are to accompany us for the remainder of the journey, we will be travelling in the submersible, I suggest you get your most trusted team to fly the Belle Marie to Athens. You are to come with us."

"You want me to leave my ship?" 

"There are quarters prepared for you. Any questions?"

"What is the plan?"

"We're going to the bottom of the sea, Ms. Harper, to find  Theseus' final place of rest," the Professor stood and made his way to the door. He seemed saddened that his conversation with Cornelia had turned sour. "in the meantime, I suggest you get some rest, tomorrow will be a long day."

Once the Professor had left, Cornelia let her hair down and finished her wine. 

The End

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