Alfred Roland stormed out of his study, leaving Carolyn Winters behind to finish organizing his next flight schedule. He had been acting testy lately, culminating in near tantrums with even the smallest things. Today’s episode revolved around his inability to remember the combination to his office safe. This business with Leonard and that new protege of his was really getting into Alfred’s head.
Though looking back, it had really started when Alfred found that first set of pages from Estevanico’s journal. Stepping around the desk, Carolyn took a closer look at some of the pages, tracing her finger along the lines of a map. Hard to believe that the words of a dying man from hundreds of years ago could turn someone so dramatically. They are certainly priceless artifacts, but she couldn’t see the same magic behind them that Alfred did.
Maybe that was on her though. She had always been a more logical minded creature, even in childhood. She had preferred books to dolls, and even those were more textbook than recreational. Carolyn would read, explore, and experiment, never willing to believe, needing to know.
This had followed through to early adulthood, when she had first started working with Alfred Roland. Hired fresh out of Georgetown University, she wasn’t sure how a physics degree would help her out as an assistant to an eccentric billionaire. It turned out to be a dream job, constantly travelling with Alfred across the globe on treasure hunts, learning about the true history of the world one ancient piece at a time.
In those days, Alfred was a much more abstract person, always looking for something, but never quite finding it. Carolyn thought he was probably looking for something to make him the next star archaeologist, something like a real life Indiana Jones. Though they found many treasures and had incredible adventures, Alfred was never satisfied. He believed in something more, something that our ancestors knew and was lost to us over time.
When he found those journal pages, it was like lightning struck. Suddenly the world tours were limited to the American Southwest. Alfred was convinced there was something there, and it turned out that there was. He found page after missing page of that journal, and was convinced that once all the pages were united the answers he was looking for would be there. Carolyn would always be there, though with his current temperament it was getting hard to keep his company.
She looked down at the safe and punched in a few numbers. Sure enough, it opened with no trouble at all. With a small smile, she wrote a playful note to her long time employer. There was still a bit of the absent minded man she once knew somewhere in there. She hoped that it would come back fully after all this journal business was over.