Journey Into the Deep (Chapter Three, page 2 of 8)

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I glanced questioningly at him and he shrugged, "I lost my job at the University two years ago and I couldn't find another one. Cindy left me six months ago and with the divorce now final I have to sell the house."

I looked around again at what had once been a home in better times.

"I'm sorry to see it come to this between you and Cindy." I said with genuine regret.

He nodded and looked choked up for a moment before he looked away. He looked back to me with a mask firmly in place and with a hint of curiosity pervading his voice he asked, "So what's in the bag?"

I looked around for a table and he gestured into another room that was dark. I stepped toward it, but stopped dead, as he flipped the light switch on and revealed the big oaken dining room table that the room held within its confines.

The one time I'd been here before had been for a Thanksgiving dinner. I'd had my family with me then.

"I'm sorry Eli! I wasn't thinking! I've got a table in another room we can use." Matt said apologizing all over himself.

I broke free of my trance and headed to the big table, which I unloaded my bag onto, as I concentrated on getting my emotions firmly in check.

"This is for your eyes only Matt. I'm trusting you to keep what you see in the strictest of confidences." I said firmly.

He nodded eagerly, as he pressed closer to the table.

I started to take out the five petal pieces followed by the central crystal piece, which I sat down in the middle of the petals already arranged on the table.

"It's theā€¦."

"Orlanis Star!" Matt said finishing for me in a daze, as he stared down at the artifacts on the table.

He shook his head back and forth, "It's not at all what I expected!"

"Me neither. I found them with this note from Captain Rogers in the attic of a house he once stayed in." I said, as I handed the note over to Matt and watched his eyes go big as he read.

He reread it through several times before glancing up at me, "My friend I fear you've traded one treasure quest for another."

I sighed bitterly at the confirmation of my thoughts.

Matt shook his head at me smiling wryly, "I swear you must be the one man on God's green Earth that would react just so to finding out that your Civil War treasure hunt just became one of a far grander scale."

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