Fragments

Cornelia glared at Lord Alastair. Her mind raced through all the potential courses of action, yet there was nothing she could think of. If Harold didn't get all the pictures done in time, she thought, they were all dead. They'd have to hand over the map before it was finished. 

"Bare with me I'll find out what's taking so long." Cornelia smiled an obviously fake smile. Before the arrogant Alastair could question her she swung out of the door, and fled towards the cabins. It took her less than a minute to reach the frantic Ikonov who was clumsily doing as directed, taking pictures of the map in fragments. 

"Aren't you finished yet?" Cornelia's voice was unfamiliar, high pitched and concerned. 

"I'll need another ten or so minutes yet." Ikonov was feeling the strain.

"We haven't got that long. Just take pictures of the important bits, make it quick."

The map was really quite bizarre. Unlike most maps it wasn't tangible. It moved, the walls it presented seemed to flux, the passageways and rooms disappearing and reappearing in a dark ink upon vellum. 

"What on earth is that?" Cornelia was pretty startled by the animated ink, but more so by the strange image at the centre of the map that seemed to be very static. 

"Supposedly," Ikonov started "that is where the minotaur dwelt back in ancient greek times." 

"Minotaur?" Cornelia frowned. This was all a little far fetched for her. "You are joking right?"

"Hard to say my dear, Daedalus might have invented a machine that represented such a beast, to scare away any intruders from his inventions. It's said that Theseus slew the minotaur though, so chances are it's not there any more."

Cornelia simply glared at the well dressed man as he stumbled about the crinkled map snapping shots with it as quickly as possible. She removed a silver pocket watch from inside her flight jacket, an exquisite time piece that had several dials indicating the month, day and time. 

"Time's up Harold... looks like we're going to have to give up the map." Cornelia put a hand on his shoulder. 

"Just one more shot." Harold leant over the central part of the map and snapped a shot of the strange minotaur creature. He rolled up the map and put it in a cylindrical, leather map case. He swung the leather shoulder strap over his head and scurried behind Cornelia as she led him through the air ship to where Lord Alastair stood waiting. 

"My map?" The man was sickeningly arrogant.

"You know very well that the map doesn't belong to you." Ikonov said, reacting without thinking.

"Perhaps, my dear old friend, but then, we always did share all our most interesting discoveries, didn't we?" Alastair smiled a dark smile and grabbed the leather case from the professor. He unscrewed the lid and checked the contents were as he wished. "Thank you for your time." 

Alastair turned and begun to leave the ship. He had what he needed, the Belle Marie was of no further interest to him.

The End

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