A Historical Quest (lxngdon x Spectre of the Fade)

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  1. c h a r l o t t e

    Well, today was the day.

    Today, Charlotte Huntington-Price would be receiving her mission, and she would be meeting the famous Dalton Hendry.

    She had dressed for the occasion; a smart grey blazer with a white blouse and black pencil skirt. Her grey stilettos clicked against the front stairs of the Museum of London, and she clasped a briefcase in her right hand with her phone in the other. She was excited and had high expectations; she had heard and read great things about Mr Hendry, from the mouths of her colleagues and the historical journals. Both Charlotte and Dalton were leading figures in their field. They had both discovered copious amounts of historical artifacts in conjunction with their many contributions to other areas, so it was no surprise that they had been selected to go on this mission. Today, they would meet for the first time.

    The Australian woman walked to the third floor, as she had been instructed in her email, and approached the woman manning a desk there. "Charlotte Huntington-Price, here to see Mr Hathington," she said formally to the receptionist. The woman directed her to Mr Hathington's office. Charlotte knocked and entered.

    Mr Hathington, the director of the Historical Artifacts Department of the Museum of London, stood and extended his hand when Charlotte entered. "Miss Huntington-Price. It's a pleasure to meet you."

    Charlotte shook the man's hand. "I feel the same way, sir. It's an honour to have been selected for this expedition."

    "Well, we wanted only the best," said the older, greying man with a smile. "You're the first to arrive."
  2. Dalton
    "Naya, you've gotta make a decision here. I'm gonna be late," Dalton informs the phone in his hand, shifting impatiently on his feet while he waited for his sister's response. Six shirts are laid out across the bed in his hotel room, and his sister was on Skype on the phone, viewing and deciding between them. It hasn't gone well thus far.

    "Don't give me that. You're already gonna be late and you're just impatient," replied the phone in a female voice with an American Southern accent. Dalton's own Southern accent was barely noticable, after years of travel and speaking different languages. Naya makes a noise of disgust when her brother whines at her, snapping, "
    Fine. Just. Go with the indigo one. Not the purple one, the indigo one. And don't make a fool of yourself at this meeting, okay, dumbass?" It was her way of wishing her brother luck. At least, that was what Dalton chose to take it as.

    "Thanks, sis." Dalton switched back to the front facing camera and directed a grin at his sister, giving her a mocking "I love you!" before closing the application to the sounds of her snorting laughs and her attempts to respond.

    That done, Dalton scrambled to get the chosen shirt on, doing up the buttons as fast as he was able because Naya had not been wrong; he was well on the way to being late. His dress could be described as business casual, if one wanted to be generous. A pale indigo button up complete with neat little cufflinks in the shape of ankhs, darkwash jeans without too many stains, rips, or mud splatters. Phone, wallet, keys...yep. Wait, shoes.

    Two minutes and a crazy scramble for his boots later, Dalton was stumbling out of the door of his hotel room and running at break neck speed down the stairs. Not exactly wise, given his klutziness, but he made the journey to a taxi and and only had to catch himself five or six times.

    It was a short drive to the Museum of London, but he tipped the cab driver anyways before walking into the majestic building. The receptionist gave directions far too slowly for his liking. Still, he jogged up the stairs and into the office not more than ten minutes late.

    "Sorry," he said after stumbling in, one steel toed boot colliding with the door as he entered, knocking mud off the boot and onto the floor. Dalton himself was panting softly, short hair in utter disarray, but he was trying to smile apologetically.

    "Sorry!" he announced again after straightening up, closing the door gently behind himself.

    "Good morning, Mister Hendry," Hathington told the treasure hunter cordially and with a soft smile. He gestured at the office's one unoccupied seat as he added, "It's a pleasure to meet you. Have a seat and we can begin."

    Dalton sat with a nod, eyes flicking to and going over the woman who had already arrived. Miss Charlotte Huntington-Price. Her reputation was good, impressively so, but he always preferred to go on what a person actually was. That said, she lived up to what he had heard, excellently put together and professionally dressed.

    Wow, he must make a great impression.

    "To business, then. A recent landslide near Athens, Greece, has revealed preciously undiscovered ruins there. Due to the current political and economic situation in the region, the board is uncomfortable sending in a full team of archaeologists, so we sent in several trusted experts and now, you two. What we have already found at the location is extremely valuable, historically, but the board isn't sending you two to dig through tomes for descriptions of the Trojan War." He produces a sheet of paper, a black and white picture taking up the whole of it. It's of an incredibly old vase, painted with an illustration. An illustration of a man in battle, wielding a javelin and commanding lightning as if he were Zeus, but it was a man. A mortal. "Translators on site believe Zeus' bolt is a real weapon, based on that illustration and texts found in the ruins."
    #2 Spectre of the Fade, Oct 2, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  3. c h a r l o t t e
    Charlotte watched Dalton Hendry stumble into the room and apologise for his tardiness. Charlotte was not one to judge a person entirely on their first impression, so she smiled when they made eye contact. She turned back to Mr Hathington as he began speaking about the landslide in Greece.

    Typical work, really. She had investigated many cases involving natural disasters and the precious artifacts that had been uncovered in the aftermath. But, when Hathington mentioned the possibility of Zeus's thunderbolt being a real weapon, Charlotte's eyes widened so far they could have fallen out of her head. She took the piece of paper and brought it up to her face, her trained eyes carefully scanning over the image.

    "Zeus's thunderbolt. Easily one of the most powerful weapons in Greek mythology." The words spilled out of her mouth with ease; Charlotte had spent most of her life studying this field, even before she considered it a possibility for a career. This was just what came naturally to her. "Used to smite down many wrongdoers or those who opposed the Gods. If it's real, though, it couldn't possess any magical properties." Her voice adopted a sad tone as she stated this obvious fact. The idea that magic could not possibly exist had always upset Charlotte slightly. "Most likely someone made their own bolt, thinking it would give them the powers of the gods." She handed the paper to Dalton. "What do you think?"
  4. Dalton"I think that isn't depicting some guy using a fan-made mach up of the bolt," Dalton responded to Charlotte's question, accepting the paper and looking it over for a second or two before setting it on the desk. He was mildy intrigued by her knowledge on the subject; he hadn't been aware Greece was an area of her study. A pleasant surprise. He'd like to know what she thought about their origins. "I also think I'd like to see these texts for myself."

    "Of course. Transport has already been arranged for you two," Hathington told them both, taking two packets of paperwork out of a drawer in his desk. He offered one to each of them, both labeled with the correct individual's name in neat cursive. "Your expedition will be to investigate this potential discovery, ascertain the truth of its existence, and find it if it does exist. You'll be compensated for time spent and danger, of course, and travel and lodging shall be covered by us. Do either of you have questions?"

    "One, but I'll have more, don't worry. Can I bring my side arm?"

    Hathington chuckles at the question. "Of course. You are technically the bodyguard here. The correct licenses are among your papers."
    #4 Spectre of the Fade, Oct 3, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  5. c h a r l o t t e
    "Side arm?" Charlotte repeated blankly, one eyebrow raised. She had no idea what that was, but figured she would learn about it later. She shrugged. "May I ask what you intend to do with the bolt, if we manage to uncover it?" she asked Hathington.

    A large part of Charlotte believed that the bolt should stay in Greece. It was theirs, after all. A huge chunk of their culture, a slice of what their ancestors actually believed thousands of years ago. For Charlotte, seeing a piece of the mythology she had loved and treasured for most of her life in the hands of those who did not know how to respect it was blasphemy.

    But, of course, this was her job. She was literally being paid to do this. She knew that the Museum of London, or whoever got their hands on the artifact -- if it was even real -- would treat it with great care. It was at least two thousand years old, after all. To see such a precious piece of history damaged would be a crime among the historical field.

    "Oh -- and when do we leave?"
  6. DaltonDalton's mouth opened in surprise at Charlotte's question, an answer on his lips, but he shut it again just as quickly. Now was not the time to get into a whole discussion about pistols and guns in general and how he managed to get his gun in particular into so many different countries with such widely variant gun laws. Not a conversation to have in front of his new boss, either.

    See, Izzy, he can shut his mouth. Sometimes.

    Hathington turned his attention completely to Charlotte at her questions, nodding at her concern over what will be done with the Bolt, if it can be found. "It will be thoroughly studied and evaluated, first, so its age and such can be determined. Then it will likely be put on display for anyone to gaze upon and appreciate. Just as Tutankhamun's burial mask is." He drew out the last word, shuffling through a previously neat stack of papers on his desk, then continued with the answer to her second question once he found what he was looking for. "Your plane is set to depart at four thirty in the afternoon, giving you both plenty of time to collect your belongings. It is a private flight due to some security concerns with what you may bring." Another pause, a meaningful look at Dalton. "There will be two fuel stops, and I'm told the plane is small but quite comfortable. The hangar location and other information are in the packets I gave you both. Are there any other questions?"
    #6 Spectre of the Fade, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  7. c h a r l o t t e
    Charlotte was satisfied with his answer. Mostly. She had no doubt that the museum would take exceptional care of the artifact, but still ... such a piece was not meant for ogling, it was meant to be appreciated by those whose culture it belonged to.

    She shook her head, though. Charlotte would probably lose the job if she spoke this aloud to her new boss. "No, thank you." She rose and plastered a smile onto her pretty face, extending her hand to Hathington to shake. "It's been a pleasure meeting you, sir. We won't let you down, I promise."

    Once they had said their formal goodbyes, Charlotte started walking down the museum hall with Dalton. "So, Mr Hendry," said Charlotte, a curious smile on the historian's lips. "Do tell me, what do you think the chances of finding the piece are? Assuming it's real, of course."
  8. DaltonAfter taking note of both Hathington's phrasing and Charlotte's pretty-but-probably-plastic smile in response, Dalton gave his goodbyes and shook Hathington's hand, keeping his questions to himself. Questions suh as...Why the secrecy? Why the lack of people on this, if it was so vital? What was so dangerous that they would bother with getting him the proper permits to carry a gun? All were questions that couldn't be asked directly; that would be stupid. Well, he would find out in Greece.

    Saying that he wasn't excited would be a lie, and Dalton had always been a shitty liar.

    Charlotte's approach and question was a pleasant surprise as he made his way out of the office, pulling him from his thoughts. "Like, talking about probability? Shit, really low. The odds that it wasn't intentionally destroyed and wasn't accidentally destroyed and wasn't ruined by weathering, collapse, or natural disaster and is both recognizable and retrievable now? Plus our odds of actually finding the thing?" Dalton asked in response, making small gestures with his hands as he spoke. He let out a sharp whistle, like he was in awe of the numbers he spoke of. "Gotta put the odds at a million to one, if not worse." Then he paused, both in speech and in walk, to contemplate how to actually answer her question. "We'll find it, Miss Huntington-Price," he finally answered, a broad and genuine smile brightening his face. "I always find probability has no bearing on reality. Would you agree?"
  9. c h a r l o t t e
    Charlotte smirked as Dalton rambled about the unlikely odds of finding the bolt. She had to admit, the chances of finding the precious artifacts were pretty slim, but she liked a challenge. And, she and Dalton were the best in the industry. If anyone could find the bolt, it was them. Charlotte considered herself lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.

    "Of course we will," she said enthusiastically as they reached the ground floor of the museum. This was where they parted ways until four thirty, when they boarded the plane to Greece. She gave Dalton a warm, genuine smile. "I'll see you later, Mr Hendry."

    Once her driver took her back to her spacious, three-storey apartment in London, Charlotte began to pack. She had already packed her clothes and other essential items, but today, she was packing her books. Now that she knew what the mission entailed and how important it was, she packed all her books on Greek mythology and ancient ruins. She needed to be prepared. She also packed five notebooks and plenty of raspberry-scented pens.
  10. DaltonIt would be interesting, talking with her on the plane, Dalton decided as he waved the historian goodbye and walked in the direction of his hotel, whistling some punk rock song to himself. So many historians and scientists and people of intelligence were dull, boring husks of people, nothing but their logical brain containing value. Miss Charlotte was not shaping up like one of those. He had hoped she wouldn't; it would be a tragedy for such a smart and pretty creature to be dull.

    Once back in his hotel room, he cleaned up. Re-packed the few items he had bothered removing from the duffle bag that held all his worldly possessions, washed any clothes he had dirtied during his stay in London. Showered and even shaved like he hadn't had time to before the meeting. Changed into some adventuring clothes; namely comfortable cargo pants, a bright tee with a smart saying on it, a warm leather jacket, and his boots. On his way out of the hotel and to the airport, he called his sister to inform her of how it all went.

    He arrived at the hangar specified almost twenty minutes early, finding that the plane in it was fueling up and otherwise ready for the trip. It was a small but costly plane, a luxurious twin engine Cessna with seating for seven and some corporate logo on its tail. Hoisting the strap of his duffle bag onto his shoulder, he headed up into the plane after giving it a solid look over, planning on settling in for the wait til take off.

  11. c h a r l o t t e
    Because Charlotte Huntington-Price was the kind of woman to get severe anxiety attacks if she is late -- being on time means she is late in her mind -- she arrived at the hangar fifteen minutes earlier than she needed to be. Wearing denim short-shorts, a white tank top and a leather jacket, Charlotte hauled her suitcase full of books and her two duffel bags of clothes onto the plane. She was surprised to see that Dalton was already there but shot him a kind smile nonetheless.

    "Please don't think I'm a typical woman who carries a truckload of clothes everywhere," she said, smiling, as she hoisted her duffel bags into the luggage compartment. Her shirt hiked up a little as she did so, because she was so short, exposing her flat stomach for a moment. "This beast -- " she put the suitcase of books onto an empty seat before opening it, " -- is purely reading material."

    Charlotte sifted through the volumes until she located the particular text she was looking for; one of her favourites on Greek mythology. She opened to the page that described Zeus's bolt. "Zeus's thunderbolt, an extraordinary weapon given to him by the Cyclops, is said to posses phenomenal power," she read in a dramatic storyteller voice, which sounded hilarious in her rough Australian accent, as she sat across from Dalton, tucking her toned legs up beneath her. "Used to smite down those who offended Zeus and opposed the Gods, this remarkable piece of mythology is said to be a symbol of the terrifying but beautiful power and rage of the Pantheon."
  12. DaltonDalton had already stowed his bag in one of the compartments, the only belongings of his out on display being a stained rag like one would find in a mechanic's shop laid out across one of the two tables, a bottle of gun oil, and a pistol torn apart and laid out across the cloth. He was gently and meticulously cleaning the pieces, dexterous fingers making short work of the process. Looking at the pieces of metal across the table, it was entirely possible to miss what they all made when put together. He looked up from his work when Charlotte entered, smiling at her in greeting.

    The answer to how he had a gun with him in the UK? Not legally.

    "Typical? I'd never dare accuse you of such a thing, darlin'," he informed her, offended at even the notion, but the endearment at the end rolled off his tongue as naturally as breathing. He observed her movements without comment before going back to work, smiling broadly and glancing up frequently as she quoted text on Greek mythology to him. "Really? I thought Hephaestus forged it in the fire of a volcano. Suppose that works, though, I defintely wouldn't make powerful-ass weapons for the parents that kicked me off their mountain." He looked up, trying to gauge her reaction to his statement before continuing, "Good to know you've studied up. Probably going to need those, actually, where we're going. Which is...hopefully not prison."
  13. c h a r l o t t e

    "Hephaestus was the boss of the Cyclopses, you could say, but I'm pretty sure this Cyclops gave Zeus the bolt before Hephaestus. And it was actually Hera that kicked him off Olympus, because she was a vain bitch who couldn't stand having an ugly son." Charlotte looked up from her book the first time and noticed the makeshift workshop Dalton had set up on the table of the plane. "I'm going to pretend I didn't see that since I'm pretty sure everything on this table is illegal."

    Soon the plane was in the air. Charlotte unbuckled her seatbelt and fetched two bottles of Coke, one of which she set in front of Dalton before sitting back down. "I've been to Greece a few times. Greek mythology is my favourite, so, naturally, I'd basically live there. But due to the economic crisis, moving would be a bad idea right now." Charlotte bit the inside of her lip as she looked out the window. To say she was excited was an understatement.

    "So, what part of America are you from?" she asked Dalton. She knew very little about Mr Hendry, and considering she would be spending the next two weeks with him, she wanted to change that. Besides, she hoped they could be good friends. It would help, considering they were both leading in their fields.
  14. Dalton"Hera? Be a vain bitch? No way," Dalton said as he carefully wrapped the gun up in the cloth they were laying on so the pieces wouldn't fly around during takeoff, sarcasm strong in his tone and a smile on his face. Then he glued his face to the window, staying there and staring out the entire time the plane was moving until it reached the proper altitude and began cruising. "And. Well. The cloth isn't illegal, I'm pretty sure. It's just a cloth."

    His attention turned from the impressive view out the window to Charlotte when she set the Coke down, a bright smile appearing on his face. "Thanks. Greek mythology is a fascinating drama, what with all the cheating and lying and sex and backstab-ery. And the kids being born out of random places on Zeus' body. And the part where the world was created by masturbation...or is that the Egyptian origin story?" he asked, gesturing with his hands as he spoke. The movements were made more somewhat more awkward by the Coke in his left hand. "I'm better with Norse and Celtic myths, personally. That's the family heritage, so I studied it when I was a kid. I mean, it's all fascinating, those are just what I got experience with."

    Dalton paused at her question, taking a sip from his drink as he puzzled out how to put where he was from to someone who wasn't from anywhere near it. "I'm from a little town in Lousiana, a couple hours out of New Orleans if you know where that is. It's on the southeastern coast of the States, if you don't. Real humid and swampy." His attention shifted towards her, as did his posture and expression. "What about you? Where did you study?""
  15. c h a r l o t t e
    "Um... in Greek mythology the world was created out of the bodies of dead titans. I'm not sure which mythology has that other theory."

    Charlotte took a few big gulps from her Coke as she listened to Dalton, her body shifted towards him so she could give him her full attention. She had indeed visited New Orleans -- the culture there was amazing, and she was a huge fan of American Horror Story -- so she had a rough idea of the location he was talking about.

    "I grew up in a little town in Victoria, which is a state in Australia. It was called Ballarat; it's a little historical town about an hour and forty five minutes north of Melbourne." She smiled as she remembered her hometown. "It's as old as the Australian gold rush. We moved when I was a bit older. I studied in uni in Melbourne. All my siblings still live in Australia, and I miss them a lot, but I love London."
  16. Dalton"I have yet to find a place I loved enough to settle down there," Dalton responded, his sharp focus staying on Charlotte as she spoke with only glances down to sip from his Coke. "Toronto got close, but that was only because college was awesome. I prefer exploring. Seeing all of the things, you know?" He shifted after finishing the statement, gently biting the corner of his full lower lip and closing the opposite eye as he thought through what he knew of Egyptian mythology, trying to remember if it was the source of the masturbation world origin story he knew he'd read somewhere.

    Then something she'd mentioned popped out at him, crashing his train of thought without impunity. It was quite the important subject to him; he had six, after all. "Siblings? You have siblings? How many? What do they all do?" he asked, the words tumbling out in an excited but mostly understandable rush, a beaming grin appearing on his face. It wasn't often people who brought up siblings had more than one or two, but he still hoped every time the subject was brought up, as comparing his big family to others was always a fascinating and enlightening experience.
  17. c h a r l o t t e
    Charlotte was amused. How could anyone get this excited over someone revealing they had siblings? Most people had siblings. Charlotte only knew one only child. Regardless, she answered his questions.

    "I have four, and I'm the precise middle child," she told him. "It goes; Alexander, Bianca, Charlotte, Destiny and Edward. Yes, our names are in alphabetical order." She paused to giggle at this fact. "Which is probably what sparked my obsession with everything being in order. Anyway, Alex is twenty-eight and a medical student, Bianca's twenty-seven and studying journalism, Destiny's twenty-three and doing architecture and Edward, Dezzy's twin, is doing film. He gets a lot of shit from Alex because he's not studying something 'worthwhile'." Charlotte made air quotes around the word with a disgusted eyeroll. "Alex needs to get off his high horse."
  18. Dalton"Oh, really?" Dalton asked after attentively listening to Charlotte talk about her siblings, an excited smile on his face that would almost be more at home on a young child than a twenty-five year old treasure hunter. "He sat in thought for all of two seconds before going off about his own family with more hand gesturing, nearly spilling his drink a couple of times. His excitement level for the subject didn't diminish at all.

    "I have six. Two of them are twins, too. I'm the youngest. And the shortest, actually. Bo is the eldest, he turned forty in May, and he's an ex-Marine and owns this little cupcake and cake shop thing in New Orleans. His daughter, Claire, is ten years younger than me and she's the best." His grin got a little fonder when he mentioned his niece, thoughts occupied by the misadventures they get up to when he drops by to visit the family. "Bo is convinced I'm a bad influence. Anyways. Izzy's thirty-seven and lives in Pennsyvania, flying helicopters for some transport company. She's ex-military too. Jonah and Marcus are the twins, thirty-three, with Marcus off as the commander of a Navy Destroyer out in the Pacific somewhere and Jonah as Dad's apprentice back home in Dulac. Naya's twenty-nine, living in Cali with her girlfriend, owner of a video game store. She's the sister who taught me how to do makeup." His smile slips just a bit as he started talking about his last sister, a certain sadness in his voice as he told Charlotte about the black sheep of the family. "And Ros, she should be twenty sevenish and she's...I don't know. None of the family does. She had a falling out with Dad when we were in high school and took off, and none of us have seen her or talked to her in years."

    "What was growing up in your family like? Actually, what is being a middle kid like?" Dalton asked suddenly, pushing off the curiosity and worry for his sister and burying it. Roselyn was doing whatever it was she was doing, and nothing he did or said to Charlotte would change it. Besides. Charlotte was here and intriguing and that was a far better thing to focus on. "I've never had a younger sibling. What's that like?"
  19. c h a r l o t t e
    Charlotte felt bad for Dalton when he explained the falling out his family had had with his sister. Charlotte loved all of her siblings dearly and couldn't imagine not speaking to any of them for years at a time. Yeah, they might have disagreements from time to time but they still loved each other more than the world.

    She wasn't going to push him, though. If he wasn't going to talk, he wasn't going to talk, and she couldn't make him do so. Not that she would want to do so, anyway.

    "Being a middle child?" Charlotte paused. She honestly hated being a middle child for many reasons. She thought about lying but that would be wrong, and she felt that Dalton was someone she couldn't lie to. He was so open and honest. Why wouldn't she be the same way in return?

    "It fucking sucks." Charlotte tucked her legs beneath her as she spoke. She couldn't sit in the same position for an extended period of time without going insane. "It's true what people say; the middle kids get forgotten. Mum and Dad kind of forgot about me when I was a kid, because they were too busy trying to figure out how to raise Alex and Bianca so they didn't fuck up with the rest of us, and they always gave the twins more attention than me because they're the youngest and they were kind of stuck in their baby-ogling phase." Charlotte scoffed. "And you end up resenting all of them in your teenage years because of this. Well, you resent them anyway, because the older ones beat you up and the younger ones blame you if you do something wrong."

    Charlotte sighed. "Everything's better now that we're adults though. We're not bratty kids anymore, and I hate to say it, but Mum and Dad give me a lot more because I'm the most successful. They're quite vain, my parents. I still love them, though."
  20. DaltonHonesty? That was good. It was an attractive trait; not nearly as attractive as smarts or general dangerous-ness, but attractive all the same. He listened to her account with both interest and focus, processing her words as she spoke. "It's good to be reassured that siblings suck, regardless of your age in relation to them." He leaned back in his seat with a thoughtful expression, glancing down only to notice the Coke he was still holding and starting at it. He'd forgotten he was holding it. After a sip, he continued.

    "I've talked to eldest siblings and they say things like they're the test kids, the ones the parents fuck up on so they can better parent the rest, and they're the ones with the responsibility and the baby sitting duty and all the pressure to be good examples," he said, tapping his lower lip with the fingers of his free hand. "As the youngest, I got picked on and babied like I couldn't take care of myself. None of my siblings took me seriously til I was in college, and I never got to play with them when I was little because I was too little. I also didn't get much attention from my parents, but mom passed after I was born because of complications with the C-Section and dad...dad was really distant after that. To all of us." Dalton went quiet after that, but it's a thoughtful quiet, and he expanded upon the personal history he'd just given away after a few moments. "I don't know what he was like, as a parent, before I was born. Warmer, I guess? And I obviously never got to see what mom was like. Izzy just says I look like her, that I've got her sense of humor."
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