Methodically Bruce went through the crew members to determine what he knew about them. Starting with Stuart he knew that he as in his early twenties and this was his first expedition. He had studied cartography at a college near his home in Missouri. He had always been fascinated when his dad told him stories.
Growing up Lyle had been absent more than present as he was constantly on expeditions; but the times he was home were the best for Stuart. He decided to follow in his dads’ footsteps and then maybe get to spend more time with him. It didn’t really make sense that the two of them would have been on this ship since 1993 because Stuart would have still been in high school. That did not mean, however that Lyle hadn’t been attached since the beginning. He might be a good resource to speak with.
Matt appeared to be in his early forties and his background was military. He had left the Navy in the early 90’s and found that commercial flying was just not in his nature. He’d hired himself out since then. He had no family waiting for him at home, so long voyages meant nothing.
Joe had a similar background to Matt. In fact they had both been in Navy Seal training together. From what Bruce had gathered, the two men reconnected after they had left the Navy and sold themselves as a team. Joe however, had a wife and family waiting for him in Tennessee. Bruce was unclear whether or not Joe had actually been on the mission since 1993. He would make a point to ask him at dinner.
Carl, the ship’s captain was in his mid fifties and had always been at sea (so to speak). He had no family waiting for him and could definitely been with the expedition since 1993. His overall non-knowledge of the excursion left Bruce with no reason to question him again.
Steve had been very clear with him that he had nothing to hide and would give him straight answers. That left Monica and Jack. What did he really know about them? He knew that Monica was in charge of the expedition and that Jack said he was a linguist. Was that a lie as well? Jack had straight out told him that they were in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. That was definitely not true. He had told him he was a linguist and was there in case of indigenous tribes. Didn’t indigenous tribes exist in the Amazon region? Why would there be indigenous tribes on islands in the Atlantic?
Bruce thought hard about what he remembered from school about geography. If he recalled correctly, there used to be a land mass called Pangaea where all land was connected. It took centuries to separate the land masses into what were now considered continents. Wouldn’t the existing islands have been a part of the original mass? And wouldn’t that in turn make it so that all of the tribes on the islands were one time associated with the tribes on the mainland? There wouldn’t be a need for a linguist.
But if the real target was the Amazon River in the first place, a linguist would be necessary. There were areas along that riverbank and inland from there that had never been visited by modern man. Bruce remembered the stories of cannibalism and sacrifices from the movies. What if they were true? If they were, why would this team be involved? Bruce did not think that Jack would answer any of these questions honestly, but he could always try.
Monica was the biggest mystery of all. She appeared to be in her early thirties. She had said she’d been hired to map out uncharted islands, but she certainly knew they were in the middle of the Amazon and not the middle of the Atlantic. She had seemed to be interested in finding the remains of the wrecked shipped his family had been on. Was that normal curiosity, or was it more than that? What was her purpose for lying and why was she so generous to offer him such a job? And what was his job?
It seemed to Bruce when he’d finished going through the list that he needed to have a serious talk with Lyle, Joe, Jack and Monica.