I have shipped on the Boreas as directed, and met the Algernon University expedition members. First impressions. Prof. Wadcroft is a pompous oaf, Prof. Enderby looks like something out of a Wagner opera, our driver Mr. Parsons is a simpleton with a single intense interest in machinery and very little else. Miss Alexandra Tennant is a sniper, and I have not yet determined whether her rifle or that tongue of hers is more deadly. She is convinced I’m after her skinny butt. No thanks lady, I’ve seen a lot better. More willing to please, too.
We have found a saboteur on board, who saw fit to disembark before we could question him, and is at this moment swimming towards France. Gaskin vouches for all of his crew, but I haven’t found a man yet who doesn’t want to be very rich. If whoever is plotting against us can put suicidal maniacs on board of our very own Boreas, Hammond must be on to something. If I’m any judge, our usual crew of brave explorers aren’t going to cut it, and we need some more firepower. I’ll have to have a word with our people in Port Said for some proper soldiers. All in all, this mission has the makings of one great big God-awful mess. Somebody owes me for sending me on it.
– James Riley’s expedition report
I thought it would be appropriate to hand the next chapter of our adventure to our American explorer, Mr. James T. Riley, whose enthusiasm for this endeavour is an example to us all, I’m sure.