Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 1)

CHAPTER 1 Hampstead: 6pm October 24th 1997 The cigarette perched between Pete’s lips scrawled the surreal, smoky shapes of his words in the air as he spoke. “So what is the old…chap up to then?” Ash dropped onto his shirt cuff and he cursed, flicking it away in irritation then scrutinising the material for any

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 2)

ABOARD ‘THE BLACK WOLF’ Somewhere in the Southern Ocean; September 1597 “What do ye see, Cap’n?” “I see a ship full of scared men, Mr Perkins, trying to outrun us -” Captain Henry Black chuckled in jovial triumph, revealing teeth of surprising whiteness as he continued squinting down the telescope, before adding: “- at last.”

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 3)

Winchester: around 9pm October 24th 1997 Because everyone knew something was afoot, for Jane the conversation over dinner was like the supporting act at a concert; pleasant enough, but not something in which one could lose oneself – except…there was also the conjecture about the missing guest, which did add a little to their anticipation;

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 4)

Time: Unknown; Place: Darkness Panic had set in when daylight vanished; a primeval fear against which mankind would never find a defence; not even a king or a great warrior, both of which he had ceased to be the moment he had realised he was lost in the dark. He cursed the pride and stubbornness

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 5)

Winchester: August 29th 1997 “What?” “Nothing; just smiling.” “I can see that, but at what?” “I don’t know. It doesn’t have a label.” “Well then it can’t be worth knowing about.” “How can you say that?” “I label every tiny fragment of bone and pottery I find on my digs. Something must be truly worthless

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 6)

London September 22nd 1997 “Impossible. The board can’t postpone the programme at this stage.” “But I just need a holiday.” “The trouble with you, Edward, is you’ve never been a good liar. Even complete strangers know when you’re not telling the truth. Since I’ve known you forty-five years, you haven’t a hope in hell. So,

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 7)

North of The Scorpion Archipelago  October 28th 1997 “Jesus, it’s the fucking Lost World, isn’t it? With any luck we’ll find dinosaurs still rule and we’ll have big game hunting with a difference.” Jane’s knuckles were clenched white, in part through the ostentatious and unnecessary crude language from Pete, which showed disrespect for her father

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 8)

Scorpion Archipelago October 29th 1997 What it brought was warm sunshine, and though there was not the level of humidity one would find in a jungle, it became oppressive once they were under the blanket of the forest. Despite the early night and fresh air, most of them felt weary, their dreams having been invaded,

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 9)

Scorpion Archipelago October 30th 1997 5am “Robbie! Robbie!” Cobus had risen early, a habit he had acquired during his national service. The others all stirred. Catalina jumped up at the urgency of his voice. “Oh my God, where’s Robbie?” Now they were all up. “Perhaps he’s gone to the pool for a wash.” “If he’s

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 10)

Scorpion Archipelago October 30th 1997 2pm He was cold now. Nothing seemed to warm him; not the campfire, the blanket, the tot of whisky or the afternoon sun. An hour before, the thought of a letter from his old acquaintance, the sound of his voice on parchment from beyond the grave, would have made him

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 11)

Scorpion Archipelago October 31st 1997 12.20am “I don’t think we could catch them even if we tried,” said Pete, looking through the night vision goggles. “They must be incredibly strong; they’ve nearly reached the island. Maybe they’re on some other sort of drugs.” He said the last sentence under his breath. Cobus risked a quick

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 12)

Scorpion Archipelago Base Camp October 31st 1997 12.20am Once again, as the inflatable had whined off in pursuit of the other boat, looking as fragile as their hopes when it bounced on the waves, the Professor had been close to giving in to despair. He saw now that the loss of his daughter would succeed

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 13)

Scorpion Archipelago – Temple Island – 31st October 1997 He had forgotten many things over the course of several millennia. Memory had become a soup; a sludge into which everything was stirred. From time to time, the odd thing bubbled to the surface. All that really mattered in the dark brew of his life was

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 14)

Perth, Western Australia, October 31st 1997, 6 am Western Pacific Time It brought indescribable comfort to hear a voice – even a disjointed, crackling one – from civilisation. “Who’s that? Is that you, Catalina?” For a moment the girl could imagine how people in countries that had been overrun by the Nazis must have felt

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 15)

Scorpion Archipelago Base Camp, October 31st 1997 4am For a moment he had drawn strength from the rising column of black smoke above Temple Island. Had they done it; stormed the enemy stronghold and rescued his daughter? The return of his Jane was all that mattered. And if it meant that Cobus and Jim, and

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Fiction

The Scorpion Archipelago (Chapter 16)

Off the coast of Temple Island, October 31st 1997 He knew that the k’ib was still there on the other island, and his strength had not yet failed him. After millennia taking the water of life, its effect would not fade so soon. Now, the nearer he drew, the more he could feel the dust

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