With soft creased leather bags in hand, Cornelia was outside of the great copper coloured submersible. Cornelia knew the men were already up, she could feel and hear the gentle hum of the Nautilus' engines in the soft teal crush of the Mediterranean. South France warmed early; the sun was peaking over the horizon, chancing a glance to the west.
"Cornelia?" the voice rolled through the air, as sweet and as thick as treacle. Cliff had a cheeky half smile, half wink as he welcomed Cornelia on board. She wasn't having any of it. Cornelia thrust her suitcases into his chest and paraded on board.
Cornelia hadn't previously noticed certain details on the inside of the Nautilus. Steam pressed on through glass tubes and strange little cogs merged into one another, each supporting the next. She didn't know their purpose.
"There is something I need to say, Cornelia" Cliff begun.
"No need, I accept" Cornelia said
"Your apology. I accept it. Now, to business, yes?"
Stunned into silence Cliff continued along corridors that seemed to slowly become narrower clad in strange, intrusive instruments. They eventually came upon a door with a strange lever that when shifted into different positions activated it. Inside was a huge room filled with devices that Cornelia didn't pretend to understand. The large multi-levelled room was fronted with great glass panels that were submerged in a vibrant blue.
Several well dressed men were stationed in front of different equipment, monitoring pressure levels and making themselves busy readying the ship.
Amidst them all stood Professor Harold Ikonov, he looked out of the thick blue glass and into the darkening depths of ocean beyond. He seemed unaware of their arrival.
Silently a member of the crew came and retrieved Cornelia's baggage and was gone through another before she even had time to object. Everyone seemed to be so busy at work and so meticulous and what they were doing, it was a far cry from her crew aboard the Belle Marie.
A man in slightly more regal dress approached Cornelia and Cliff and beckoned them to follow him. They joined the Professor on the lower platform of the bridge and looked out at what he had been staring at. The bridge was just below the surface of the water, the ripples of water created a hypnotising pattern of dappled sunlight. Cornelia briefly noticed that it danced across Cliff's face exotically like soft fireworks.
"Professor, you wanted to leave soon? Then we must have the coordinates." the man that had led them over to the front of the bridge spoke.
"But of course captain," spoke Ikonov "let me just retrieve them from my satchel."
"time is of the essence Professor, the Nautilus has never travelled such a great distance before, it is important that we take into account the curvature of the earth and other such necessities, after all, once we begin travelling, we travel blind."
"What?" Cornelia interrupted "We have this massive viewing deck but we can't see where we're going when we're travelling?"
The captain glared at Cornelia, his lips curling up slightly at the edge into something in between a grimace and a smile, his fingernails curled around into his palm forming slight fists.
"Clearly you haven't been debriefed yet. You aren't on the Belle Marie anymore Miss Harper, you aren't even on the same page. You are currently standing in the most significant and sophisticated creation this side of the millennium. This is the vehicle that will bring us into a new age." the captain voiced with a slight snarl.
"Oh really? The way I saw it was that this vehicle simply does in water, what my vehicle does in the air, am I wrong?"
"More than you know." The captain said as the Professor handed him a complicated list of coordinates.
The captain briefly walked around the room handing out codes for several men to input into their equipment via some sort of binary code.
"Contrary to popular belief Miss Harper this is not merely a submersible. With many thanks to Mr. Cornwall we have been able to develop a unique and technologically advanced piece of machinery that simply defies the boundaries of modern technology." the captain stopped and rapped the thick pane of glass that held the copious amounts of water out. "Project Nautilus. It was originally just a question of how we could travel through water, but our research indicated that with certain advancements we could travel through almost any form of matter that contained a certain mass density."
"I think you've lost me, captain?" Cornelia admitted defeat, she was impressed by the ship, it was more refined and sleek than the Belle Marie and she couldn't deny the fact that it was more advanced.
"Owing to certain qualities in a compound that we discovered in our over sea voyage to Siam, we've endeavoured to create a ship that could retain it's own shape whilst defying the spatial physics of our world. This has resulted in this ship - the Unchartered II."
Cornelia remained somewhat confused at the Captain's description. Was she truly standing in a vehicle that could travel through space on a different parallel?
"Now, if I may." The captain begun once more "We must all remember to take into account the curvature of the earth and pay essential focus to our density scanners, as they will form the basis of our path through the earth's crust. We must make no mistakes, we are blind in travel and must rely solely on our formulae."
"Sorry to interrupt again, but you say we're blind?"
"During unchartered travel, we can not see anything, it's the weakness to our strength."
"So if your formulae aren't correct, we can't change it mid travel?" Cornelia raised an eyebrow.
"Correct. Leave now Miss Harper if you're afraid of death."