A man paces the deck of a ship, the heel of his shoes making a "click, click" as his feet collide with the splintery wooden floor below him. The man's tailcoat flows behind him as the wind picks up, making his long jacket, along with the flag that was tightly fastened to the mast, blow rapidly in a noise-filler manner. A troubled man he is and is deep into thought. If only his thoughts could go on before he was interrupted by a young gentleman's voice.
"Christopher, we're going to land soon!" A boy, no older than sixteen, ran to the pacing man, Christopher, his blonde locks bouncing as he moved.
"Are we now? What place is it this time? I don't believe we're at Thailand yet." Christopher said to the boy. The blonde male shook his head at the man gazing at him. "It's not Thailand, sir. The Cap'n said it'll take another two hours till we reach the coast of Thailand. The place that we are taking port is just some island that is quite close. There are no details about it though, I'm afraid."
The man named Christopher walked towards the side of the ship, leaning upon it, allowing his hands to dangle as he looked out into the never ending blue. The dark brown eyes that lied in his sockets blinked not once, even when the brunette hair that matched his eyes blew into his face by the sea winds.
"Alden?" Christopher spoke to the blonde young man behind him. "Does this island have people on it? Any tribe of some sort?"
Alden's face flushed red.
"How did you know sir?" he asked to the man.
The corners of Christopher's mouth turned upwards, as if leering in a way.
"I'm not an idgit, Alden, nor a fool. Stopping at 'some island' is quite suspicious, yes?"
Alden's cheeks darkened more at the newly made statement. The boy nodded his head, his mop-like hair bobbing with it.
The brunette man sighed. He breathed in the air of the sea and listened intently to the rolling waves crashing against the side of the ship.
"I thought I told them I wanted to rest for the last hours of today?" Christopher said, more to himself than to the adolescence behind him.
"Yes, you did, but they figured since we only have two months until our excavation is over--"
Alden was cut off by Christopher's voice.
"King George, I'm pretty sure, would grant us extra time if we told him we have yet to find an answer and that we need more time. In fact, I'm pretty sure he would force us to keep searching along with sending another group along with us. Now go tell the captain I am in need of rest."
Christopher moved away from the ship's side, taking the tie from his hair out as well.
Alden watched as his superior walk past him and to the cabins to sleep before he himself went away to tell the captain Christopher's word.
The cabin room was unpretentious, which to Christopher, provided a little cozy aura, but yet, it was not home. For three years, Christopher and his team went out to investigate the mysterious matter of deaths and births.
Everyday, Christopher knew, a person dies along with a person born, but with so many deaths as bizarre as he's seen, with as many children bringing children into the world, it's all too noticeable. Especially if it means two hundred people, old to the young, dying each day in each town around the world and at the same time, the same amount of children are being born in their place. Some villages in Africa and some towns of Europe are now no longer inhabited and reeked of the smell that death brought with it.
Christopher's team, consisting of six people, including Captain Bartel, a Dutch sailor, Alden, Christopher's devotee, Berhanu, a heavy-set African man, James and Baron, two inseparable brothers, and Francelin, a French scholar who joined for research purposes, all were seeking the answer in every country and continent.
But so far, they found nothing but the air around them and the strong feeling of homesickness that stirred in them all.
Christopher sat in an old wooden chair, it creaking as he loomed over his journal on the desk. His pen scribbled the words he wrote onto the tiny notebook.
November 2, 1807
Still no answer. I'm starting to wonder if there even is one. The team is tired of the expedition, all of us are homesick. Since we are rushing from place to place now, hoping to get through, it's become more tiring for I. James and Baron are typically in for the ride. Francelin is serious about the search, but unlike everyone else, is enjoying the journeys to the many places. He takes all the ridiculous cultures as a learning experience." The only one who is truly serious is the African, Berhanu. It's amazing how revenge can push a man to great limits. We found him in a small village in Zimbabwe. Apparently, his village took huge notice in the occurring deaths. The births were a little out of the ordinary for him, especially for little, little children, but most girls would get married to man the time they grew breasts or started their periods, which ever came first, and such could start at the age of nine. Berhanu had a younger brother named Awotwe who was weak when it came to sicknesses. They barely had medicine or proper care to treat him all the time so Awotwe remained sickly. Once the village was visited by a few European medics, they were able to diagnose Awotwe and give him tho proper medication. He got better, much better after the medication, until, by what Berhanu said, a "witch" came into the village, walking down the path with a silver instrument held in hand, striking strings which played no sound and people started dying. He ran to his brother to help protect him, only to have his brother die in his arms. Berhanu blames this so called witch for the death of his village's people and his brother, along with all the other souls in the world. If you ask me, I believe his brother just died over an overdose. As for everyone else, they were victims to the unnatural cause we are investigating.
Christopher leaned back away from his journal, the chair creaking once more along with the floor due to the shift of weight. The man held his pen above the booklet of three years recordings, eying the page for more to jot down. What more could Christopher write? He already felt perturbed by reminding himself endlessly everyday of the horrible reasons for the long journey that kept his team and himself away from home. He knew not of what to want more, to go home to England or to find the answer to these unexplainable events. He knew not what to fear more, the possibility of him never finding the answer and forced to deal with the curse the world is going through or him finding the answer, and when he finally heads home to England, everyone he ever knew would be lost...just like his wife.
Christopher's wife, his dearest Agilina, died of an unknowing cause. He woke one night to the cry of his newly baby daughter, crying for food. So precious was she, the babe he held in his hands that even in the middle of the night he could care less that she woke him for her own selfish need for food. After filling her with the nourishment she required and laying her into the castanet, returned to find his wife not breathing.
The doctors told him it was because her lungs collapsed, suffocating her silently while he stood awake with his daughter, Camellia. Christopher's perfect and healthy wife died from her lungs giving way.
How could something so horrible as such happen to someone so healthy like Agilina? No sense could come off nor did logical reasoning. Nothing came to mind every time poor Christopher ever took time to ponder on.
Christopher riveted the journal with hard eyes, searching for the next words. Finally, he canted inward, fixing the muddy orbs he held on the paper as his etched the words into the paper.
There is not much I have to say so for now, other than we have reached an island two hours away from Thailand. I'm not very interested in talking to the natives of the island, but if I'm to find the cause, I'll have to confront them. Hopefully, Captain Barte---
Suddenly the ship came to a brute halt, the force yanking the longing excavator out of his wooden chair, the ship creaking the loudest it ever had in a long while. A hand rose to the sharp corner of the desk that was firmly nailed to the floorboards, and as the pressure strained upon the hand, dear Christopher emerged. The canister of ink dribbled to the floor since the stopping of the ship tipped it and the remnants ran over the front of Christopher.
The man stood plumb, looking with disgust at the black mess that was spewed on his torso.
"Such luck I have to go on and ruin my favorite blouse." he whispered nonchalantly to himself. Christopher reached his hand out without even contemplating if there was something on his desk to clean the horrid mistake. Flashing his eyes over to the wooden table to see that his actions were not to prevail, he brought his hand back and rushed to a drawer by his bedside. Finding a linen cloth, he tried his best to mop up what much he could of the Indian ink on his shirt.
Now that Christopher had found a small solution to his previous dilemma, he had time to mull over what had happened. The man was irritated at such roughness of the ship. 'Didn't the captain know how to drive better than this?' Christopher thought. 'He knows how to steer this ship and what to look out for, especially things such as coral reefs.'
Again, his shoulder length hair covered his face again as he now glared at the entry he was writing. The black liquid soaked a portion of the paper he had written his passage on, only soon to be even more aggravated to find a few other pages of the book were drenched as well.
"The nerve that captain has." was the mutter that managed to peep it's way from his lips.
Alternating the sheet from the journal to his shirt, he tried sponging up as much as he could. After, cleaning as much as the dingy rag could hold, his temper got the best of his and he stopped his way over to the captain's hull.
"What is the meaning of this?" Christopher said as he looked to the captain, his face was red, making Bartel sigh. 'I see he's not going to like this' Bartel thought, glancing at the furious man before him.
"We are taking port now. I anchored the ship too close though by accident, but at least if we are in a need of rush--"
"Taking port? I thought I sent message to you saying I wanted the day to rest!" the brunette shouted now, not bothering to lower it for those quite close to him. Christopher turned sharply, scanning his eyes for what he wanted. "Alden! Didn't I tell you to inform the capta--"
"Now don't yell at the kid because I went against yer orders." Bartel interrupted Christopher, before he could finish yelling at the poor blonde in the corner. "I know you wanted to rest, and that's just fine, but the majority wants to check out the island." Bartel gazed deeply at Christopher, sending the message he shoved in the air was read by all in the hull. Even someone as young and oblivious as little Alden could read the message being portrayed.
"This isn't just your mission, you know." the captain spoke.
Bartel strutted over to the desk of his own, retrieving papers lying upon it. Everyone in the room thought simultaneously that with Bartel's unkept hair, he looked more like a Sasquatch with an overly large sailor's coat on. No one could blame him for such bad habits. From being so far away from home for so long, each and everyone of them had developed habits that were considered bad and would be looked down upon by outsiders of the ship.
"You can remain here and rest if you want, Mr. Bostwick, but the rest of us are going to shore." spoke the savage bearded grizzly of a man before stomping out of the hull and onto the deck, leaving a very angered Christopher in the hull. The other men in the room slowly inched towards the door, trying to leave the still-filled air from the minor argument, hoping to leave before the brunette could turn to snap at them next.
Alden, the only one left in the room besides Christopher, walked over to Christopher, keeping his head low away from the choleric eyes of his epitome.
"I-I'm sorry, sir. They were already voting when I came in." Alden quietly whispered over to Christopher.
"Don't be. I shouldn't have yelled. I was out of line."
Alden's eyes widened, soon jotting up to face the supposed man who apologized just a moment ago with confusion pasted upon the face of the boy.
Alden knew that Christopher was a good man. He had a heart of gold though he never showed such, he was intelligent beyond any Alden had ever met, and serious to the point, never pushing forth humor, which always gave him the confidence to stand up to anything. To Alden, he was the ideal role model, someone that was worth even trying to imitate. Oh why couldn't Alden be more like him? Was he not good enough? Did God see him not worthy enough? Either way, whether it be bad or worse, Alden knew that even though his exemplar was wonderful, he never apologized upon his own. Of anything to have a flaw of, it was Christopher's biggest. Any apologizes he ever made were forced on him by a fellow peer or someone higher than himself. Why would Christopher apologize now?
"You're a good kid, Alden. I should've known you wouldn't deliberately not inform the stupid wretch of a cap'n I wanted to rest. I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions." Christopher murmured through his lips.
Christopher turned on a dime and left the newly confused Alden in the hull, quietly pushing the gears in his brain to figure what happened.
'Alden is a good kid.' thought the man who left the poor confused boy in the hull. 'I should give him a little more of credit, I presume.'
Christopher finally reached the destination he wished to reach. The entire team was loading into the puny dory, amazing Christopher to no end of how such a small thing could carry so many men. All the passengers turned to look at their chieftain and with a sigh, the man spoke.
"I can't have the lot of you going to an island by yousleves. If any of you perform a blunder, it's my head the king will have."
The men nodded up at him, letting him pass through onto the ship soon to be followed by a swift Alden running towards the boat. After everyone was loaded in, the dory dropped inot the water and soon was heading towards the island. What they