Part Two: Lost Souls of Atlantis
I opened my eyes and still only saw lightning and clouds, but now they were overhead rather than all around us. I pulled myself to my feet, breathing a sigh of relief. The storm clouds went from the horizon to the sky beyond us, but it looked as though it had passed up over.
“Well, that was a close call,” I said, looking at Demetrios and Megalos, “but at least it’s over.”
Demetrios looked at me. I don’t think I’d ever seen anything to match the wonder and fear mingling in his eyes.
“Look behind you,” he said.
I looked and was struck breathless.
Sandy beaches stretched up to walls of white stone. City streets wound inwards, towards a central point: a tower of glistening bronze and glass, shining as the lightning flashed around us.
The storm wasn’t behind us. It wasn’t over us.
It was all around us. We were trapped in a spherical storm.
And the island shore we were stranded on…
Megalos said what we were all thinking.
“Atlantis. The crazy girl was right. Atlantis.”
And there it was: gleaming spires and winding roads. The lost city.
“Look!” Stamatios shouted, pointing to some nearby rocks. “People!”
Smoke was rising from a small campfire. Gathered around it were a ragged-looking lot. Some wore togas. Others wore uniforms of sailors from the last century.
One of them ran towards us. He was a young man, perhaps eighteen at most. His sailor’s garb was completely drenched.
“Kavanaugh!” he shouted.
My heart stood still in my chest.
“How does he know?” I asked.
Nobody could answer.
As the sailor came closer, his face drooped. It was a look of disappointment as intense as any I’ve ever seen.
“You’re not Kavanaugh,” he said.
“I am,” I replied. I extended my hand. “Celeste Kavanaugh.”
He shook his head. “No. I’m looking for the Captain. Old Thunder. I fell overboard when the storm hit. Just an hour ago.”
“Jonathon Kavanaugh?” I asked.
The sailor nodded. “That’s him.”
Demetrios looked from him to me. “Wasn’t that your –”
I nodded. “My grandfather.”
“But how can it be?” Megalos scoffed. “An hour, he said. Your grandfather would have been here –”
“At least fifty years ago,” I said. “But look at those buildings and that tower.”
“No rust,” Demetrios said. “No decay at all.”
“So what?” Stamatios asked.
“Time passes slower here,” I said. “For them, thousands of years have probably only been months.”
“But that means…” Demetrios’s face froze in horrible realization.
I worked out what he meant and I could feel my own visage taking on a similar appearance.
“It’ll be going faster out there,” I whispered. “If we don’t get out fast…”
“We’ll be trapped here for centuries,” Megalos finished. “We’ll come back out to find the Americans and the Russians have blasted us back to the Stone Age with their atomics.”
What would it be like? I wondered. What new world would await us? One of death? Or one of new wonders? With the way the world was, it was difficult to picture anything short of Armageddon.
“We need to leave,” I said. I cast a wistful look back at the gleaming tower. “As much as I want to stay, we need to head back into the storm. If we go now, maybe – ”
“No!” The sailor shook his head. “I saw some people trying to get out just after I came in. They…”
“The lightning took them,” he said. “The lightning takes everything.”
As he spoke, lightning flashed across my vision and thunder boomed like a revolver. I looked at the others.
“We could risk it,” I said.
Stamatios shook his head. “Better alive here than fried out there!”
“I agree,” Megalos said. He turned back, gesturing to the city before us. “Why, here we have a great city. A beautiful island to begin anew. What better place could a man be stranded in?”
A sound split the air, louder than the thunder. It billowed through the city, echoing over the storm.
It was the roar of a horn.
“The Queen!” the sailor cried. “The Queen is coming!”
He ran, streaking across the sand.
As he did, a great gate of bronze and silver opened in the white walls of the city. Light shone out – blinding light. We all covered our eyes.
And then came the warriors, all glistening and sharp spears. They were upon us in seconds, running us down like hounds leaping upon a fox. Their spears struck, but it wasn’t just metal biting our skin. It was something else: a flash of greenish light, a glow like fire.
“Electricity,” I muttered as I fell into the sand. “They have electricity.”
For the second time, darkness took us.