"...And you think that there is something supernatural going on over there?"

"The interested party is looking for something that can shake the world. New technology, methods of working, a revolution of innovative production. The world is looking more and more into companies and businesses. You see the lands in Africa and how we're slowly but surely claiming ownership over them? People live there. Potential slaves, a workforce where the leader is king and the workers are but peasants without a word from their mouth. If that supernatural 'thing' involves this type of business and, god forbid the man in question would do such a thing, which he most certainly would, this could bring a whole set of population issues."

"A new breed of Monarchy, then?"

"Right you are, Nathan. I am glad that you have received our letter. I suppose that your presence means that you are willing to do the work?"

"I do dirty deeds for a living, but this does not sound like I'd clean myself after it all."

"What do you mean?"

"It's unusual, but I expect payment for the work that can put me in deep trouble. My methods are ruthless, but here I am, unbeknownst to any authority that I am a lowly criminal, or at least to them, I am one. If I am to do work against other people like me, chances are that they can see through my plans."

"Businessmen only think of results, not their peers."

"A businessman?"

"You thought he was a slave owner?"

"Is he not?"

"No- Well, okay, he might be, but he does company work first and foremost."

"And so he's trying to do dirty work to enhance the dirty work he would be doing afterwards."

"In short, yes."

"I find it difficult to believe the supernatural part of it all."

"It's probably the dirtiest part. We've heard about similar stories of crystals or gems or what have you. One of them apparently turns people insane. They start seeing things and then tell stories that have never happened. I've a friend who came back from the Americas, who started hallucinating and eventually got himself put in an asylum."

"And this helps me to believe the supernatural exists?"

"It's the best that I can do."


"You get to keep the man's fortune if you get ahold of it."

"Hard bargain, but stealing from a company leader sounds like a worthwhile moment. How do I approach him?"

A sheet of paper slides on the desk.

"... A new way to live, an experiment of a lifetime?"

"Well, for the unfortunate saps, yes, but your idea of stealing from the man gave me one of my own."
“Of all things, a common thief.”

“Now, then, have some transparency with your new disguise, Nathan. You’re not a killer anymore: Just a thief from the streets.”

“This is not the ‘Dirty Work’ I was speaking of.”

“But the dirty work comes after. Be nice to the crew, would you?”

With a push, Nathan is at Scotland Yard’s front door. There is more than one front door over there and the newly appointed thief happens to be at the front door of the prison cells.

“Yes, caught him stealing a loaf at the local bakery. A shame for him and the hard workers out there. I don’t expect any reward in return but a sense of accomplishment. Good day, sir!”

He could barely hear it, but those words put a dent in his confidence. He wished he hadn’t heard that accusation. Would the contractor stay a bit longer, perhaps he would have retorted in some way.

“Dealing with fake monarchs, stealing bread. Dismantling corrupt merchant groups, pickpocketing a granny at an alleyway…”

“Admitting to your crimes, boy?”

A large, intimidating man is at the door, waiting for the thief to notice him. As much as he would like to get out of this precarious situation, he instills his “Cocky Thief” mindset. A few mental “You can do this” self-moments turn the cogs in his new personality, as he begins his newest façade.

“If you would like to let me finish…”

“The loaf’s all we care for, we don’t punish for crimes we haven’t seen.”

“Well, that’s a scary thought.”

“You said?”

“You want the loaf story first?”

“I want you to get in your cell first.”

With hospitality thrown out of the window, not that he expected any, Nathan was thrown into a cell, with nobody to accompany him. He finds this to be a blessing, as he doesn’t have to deal with any potentially dangerous and unhinged person during his stay. The intimidating guard stays by the cell, looking a tad confused.

“The man who brought you here said he invited some person to come visit you. I have no clue what he wants from you, but my instincts say it’s trouble. You’ve picked a bad day for robbery, my friend.”

“Robbery is a strong word for a loaf, don’t you think, sir?”

“And the jewelry?”

His eyes widened in surprise, but it was after that that he realized what the guard implied by jewelry.

“Sneaky bastard.”

“The man said you pickpocketed an old lady by an alleyway.”

“And a mind reader, at that. Got any proof, sir?”

The guard holds a shiny necklace in front of the prisoner.

“I was sure I’ve stolen a pocket watch, that can’t be my catch.”

The tension between the two would have gotten worse, had there not have been a third party entering the room.

“Are we having a fight here?”

A man, with a bit of age showing on his face and an outfit only moguls would wear, approaches the conflicted men. He turns towards the convicted.

“My, my, you look sharp! Any more of a look on me and I might suffer a cut on my face!”

“If you want your Pocket Watch back, I’ve lost it. Ask the real thief over there.” Nathan points at the guard in a mocking fashion.

“I’ve no need for a pocket watch, you fool. However, I would like to have you.”

Nathan feigns surprise and shock.

“Oh, blasphemous!”

“It’s for an experiment, you have no say on whether you accept or not. Come with me, now.”

“Just like that? What is your scheme? I’d better not land in an even smaller cell.”

The rich man smirks. He is not one for hiding true intentions, as he is immediately read by the criminal.

“No, no, how about a new society? You would make new friends there, I’m sure. The boat leaves tomorrow, so you should move now! My friends at Arcadia are waiting for you just outside the building.”

And with that, the rich man leaves. Nathan looks back at the guard, who is only staring at what seems to be the wall.

“I expect you to release me now.”
The sound of wood creaking about dominates the room. For some, it is background noise to help them sleep. For others, it keeps them awake, fearing that an unknown dangerous person roams the boat. For Nathan, he is the unknown dangerous person roaming the boat and he very well knows it.

"The scottish guy's got something up his sleeve, or at least, he seems to be related to this plan of Arcadia's…"

"Something the matter, lad?"

Angus appears from the stairs above, seemingly touring the ship as if he were on guard duty. Nathan's silence bemuses him for a moment.


"What is this 'Arcadia' company, exactly?"

"Meddling about our company? Quite a thievish thing to say, scabby."

"I've never heard of it, is all."

"Thieves like you don't mind the bigger entities, so I'll forgive ye on that. I'll have ya know that we work on figuring out human excellence! This experiment will do well to analyze behavior in an isolated community."

"You're attempting to find benefits in living inside an isolated community? What's your point in that?"

"Why don't ye tell me about your rat pack, thief?"

Angus approaches slowly, putting his hand on the supposed thief's shoulder, a move made to assure him that he is in control of this group.

"You work alone, or with your wee friends? What do you steal? How do you plan to live yer every day life, knowing that ye've got to make another one suffer?"

Nothing but intimidation could be felt from those words.

"I work alone."

Silence, followed by an unsettling smile from the scotsman.

"Well, today, you don't!"

"And tomorrow?"

"Snarky won't make ye get out of jail sooner. I know your precedents, that cell will be yer cozy cot for a while."

"So, I work alone, then?"

"I ought to hit some sense into ye."

"Fine, I'll work on being the lonely man, trapped alone, in his lonely cell. My work requires the utmost cooperation, that the others must cooperate with me by staying the hell awa-"

"I see why ya work alone, bastard."

"At least you believe me, now."

"I always have believed it."

More silence. The wood creaking has ceased for a while, due to the immobility of the two remaining awake people of the crew.

"Well, sire…"

"Overseer Angus, please."

"...Oversire, I've answered your question. I'd like for you to answer mine."

"I don't take orders from arsefaces."

"From man to man."

"From righteous to bottom of the barrel."

"What results do you expect from this experiment?"

A stern look is all Nathan could see of Angus.

"Yer manners are kicking me right in a bad mood. Watch yourself, lad. If you really want to know…"

"I do."

"I simply want to see if we can identify and change behavior in a community of people who will know each other over time."

"Change behavior?"

"I'd start with ye, if you don't mind."

"No thank you."

"Then I have nothing else to say. Go to sleep and enjoy your bed, you won't get the luxury once we get there."
The surprise turned everyone silent, though if there were different kinds of silence, the room would display the entire spectrum, from lacking in reaction, to overly horrified. It took a lot of will for Valentina to not pass out from the shock that lay before her very eyes, despite her experiencing the very same event that Nathan has gone through. What would once again be a miracle in religion has only, in reality, been confusion and dread for what seemed to last an eternity. For Therese and Gareth, seeing a dead person come back to life only further motivates them to figure out this mystery.

“Now, if you want to think in silence, I’ll allow that, but we’ve got an angry scotsman coming.”

Hearing the words “Angry” and “Scotsman”, Gareth’s mind snaps back to reality.


“Should have told you earlier. Come, let’s finish this experiment. You have the dagger with you?”

Knowing all too well what Nathan meant by “dagger”, Gareth pulls it out of his pocket, blade first.

“...Didn’t bother sheathing it?”

“I’ve had much more important things on my mind.”

“Fine. Give it here.”

With no hesitation, the dagger is given to the thief. The process went by so quickly, one might think that the feeling about this whole situation was mutual.

“I will cut the explanation, but I will say this much: See the emerald in the hilt?”


“Shine a light through that, facing the window by the pedestal. Aim for the shield and all of the island’s secrets are revealed.”

“As simple as that?”

“Would you have thought of it?”

“Absolutely not. However, how are you going to shine a light into that glass when there is no light around us? A torch cannot do the necessary work.”

A simple smirk is the response Gareth gets from Nathan, followed by a glass with some rods inside. Perplexed, but quickly figuring out where this glass came from, he nods, although the agreement is a bit hazily solidified.

“From the academics?”

“Amongst other things.”

“Other things?”

“The angry scotsman.”

“So you’ve brought him along.”

“No- Yes, you could say that, but I meant for self-defense! Hold this bulb.”

Gareth holds the lightbulb from its brass casing, with a wire dangling from under it.

“And this will produce the necessary light?”

Nathan ignores the question in favor of executing the plan as quickly as possible. Holding the dagger in one hand and moving it around while looking back and forth from the window by the pedestal, to the bulb, held in Gareth’s somewhat shaky hands. Once decided in a position for the dagger, Nathan covers his eyes with his free arm.

“Cover your eyes and pull the wire.”

“What? What am I covering my eyes with?”

“Turn your head around.”

A dumbfounded reaction was the best Gareth could answer from that. He quickly turns his head, as do the other two in the room, and pulls on the wire. An immense flash of light assaults the room for a short second, eventually dimming down to a less blinding intensity. Turning his head back towards the light, Gareth can barely notice a green glow in front of him, almost hidden behind the brightness the glass has created.

"What in the hell..?"

What follows is another glow, this time, coming from the stained glass by the chapel's walls, followed by a sound of grinding stones.

"Keep holding the bulb next to you, we will need the light. Ladies, you shouldn't follow us, by all means. Keep Angus distracted, if you can."

Not a single word could be uttered by anyone but Nathan: The series of events feels even more unrealistic to everyone, despite them defying realism a whole lot less than witnessing a dead person roam amongst the living once more. Instead, they follow the orders. A sense of humiliation could be felt from them, as they were being ordered around by a common thief.

Nathan approaches the pedestal, looking down: An opening was made right behind it, with stairs leading to an unknown darkness. With Gareth holding the bulb from the side, so as to not get directly blinded from it while looking ahead, he goes in first, followed by his supposed captive, turned ally in these most confusing moments of his young life.

Descending the stairs, one stone slab at a time, not much could be noticed or even seen around the duo. The light does not extend very far and the corridors are curving, preventing them from anticipating what location they will arrive to next.


"Yes, sire?"

"Tell me about Angus."

"I'll cut the pleasantries. He's a man of business, looking for a certain something to revolutionize the industrial world, as he calls it."

"He's no Overseer, then?"

"He is! He's the one who hired you, after all."

"I have not seen him prior to entering the boat."

"Of course, he'd use a lackey."

"Why all the lies, then?"

"So that he wouldn't be suspected of whatever he's plotting, of course!"

"What is in here? Do you know?"

"Some otherworldly rumor, I take it. I was hired to shed light to this whole experiment and to subdue him if necessary."

"A common thief was hir-"

"Not a common thief, sire. A mercenary is a better word to describe who I am."

"Then why were you sent here as a lowly thief?"

"My contractor had his ways."

A remorseful silence is all Gareth could muster.

"You've treated me much better than the guards at the Yard. Do not apologize for what you have done. I've done my business just as much as you have done yours."

"You could have sent more than one person to investigate this affair…"

"From what I've heard, it was suggested that we must keep this as confidential as possible. This secret cannot leave this island."

"You speak as if we're to deal with cursed treasure."

"You are not far off from the most possible outcome, sire."


"I say it with utmost respect."

"The utmost respect I expect now is for us to be seen as equals."

"Gareth, then, let's take care of this cursed treasure."

Even if they do not see each other's face, they still exchange a smile, one signifying a mutual accord and friendship.

The stone corridor eventually gives way to an empty room, or at least a room devoid of furnishing and commonplace items. More stone and rocks cover the walls, the floor, the ceiling: Its uniformity is a sore sight, but what different item could be located inside can be easily distinguished. A crystal can be seen floating above a stalagmite, glowing a distinct purple color.

“Nathan, I haven’t once believed you since you’ve first appeared in my life. I do believe in a first occurence for everything, but this is the last thing I should have believed you for.”

“I wouldn’t fool you in a situation like this.”

“Saying that alone could fool anyone.”

“I don’t play redundant.”

“You’ve fooled enough people here to prove otherwise.”

Another voice emanates from far within the corridor preceding them.

“And fooling, ye’ve done enough of.”

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